10/31/2005 03:30:00 PM|||Andrew|||
I hope to God it never comes down to this.

|||113080145168961009|||Worst Case Scenario10/31/2005 4:23 PM|||Anonymous Yo La Tengo|||Best case scenario:

Theo decides that he still wants to be a GM, and McCourt decides that stats guys aren't really that bad.

Now I'm really dreaming.11/02/2005 9:33 PM|||Anonymous Vince|||Yo La Tengo said...
Best case scenario:

Theo decides that he still wants to be a GM, and McCourt decides that stats guys aren't really that bad.

Now I'm really dreaming.

I heard a rumor your dream may come true10/31/2005 09:03:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Compiling the name suggestions that I liked, I leave things up to you, the DFP readers, to decide the name of this blog. The poll will remain open for some arbitrary amount of time. Thanks to anyone who suggested a name.

|||113077839984496684|||I've Said It Before, and I'll Say It Again: Democracy Simply Doesn't Work10/31/2005 12:14 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||I think you should rename it McCourts Must Go and get the ball rolling on the grassroots campaign to either force them to sell the team, or at least heap mass amount of (additional) shame on them within a small computer community of disgruntled Dodger fans!
Seriously though, for a truly noble purpose, you can being the "hub" of all anti-McCourt ravings, bring in additional posters (such as the former proprietor of one FJT), and get the cause to the people. 15 separate blogs criticizing McCourt in some fashion (here, Blue Think Tank, Choi Central, the newly created firejimbowden.blogspot.com) can't create the underground fury that a single blog can, combining the writing efforts of a lot of pissed-off Dodger fans.
It's a serious idea--bring all of us under one roof, and the most obvious target is McCourt.
As for the DePo legacy, one of the site's features can be following his path. But focusing on him for your blog isn't a good idea--it's kind of hard to chronicle the career of a Special Advisor or Assistant GM.10/31/2005 12:19 PM|||Blogger Andrew|||firethemccourts.blogspot.com for that need.

Straight up hatred, while fun in spurts, just really isn't my thing.10/31/2005 12:50 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||How about:
Dodger Abstract or
Dodger Droppings or
Dodger Intangibles or
Dodger Parking Lot or
Vin Scully For President

or some other name that is even better.10/31/2005 12:58 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||let's call it

Fuck McCourts
Screw McCourts
The Hell with McCourts
Stupid McCourts
Burn, Frank, Burn
Art Moreno for president10/31/2005 1:08 PM|||Anonymous blue22|||"Dodger Droppings" certainly has an appropriate double entendre.

Not sure if it fits with the general attitude of this site though (well, historically speaking at least - this weekend has taken on a whole different vibe).10/31/2005 2:19 PM|||Blogger Andrew|||Expect my usual moderate disposition to return shortly, barring any other massively boneheaded manuevers.10/31/2005 2:31 PM|||Anonymous T Kodami|||I still think that "Home Depo" would have been a more kick-ass name (if you know, very stupid things hadn't happened this weekend).

And while its a little late for write-ins...riffing on my favorite theme:

"Dodgers: Bigger than Jesus"

Your site could use more blashphemy. :D10/31/2005 3:04 PM|||Blogger Vishal|||a little campaigning:

i suggested "dodger math" because it
1) implies statistical analysis
2) is a phrase that bill plaschke made up, so it's got a great irony factor.10/31/2005 3:21 PM|||Anonymous T Kodami|||This isn't a dig at your suggested name, Vishal, but have you considered how close "Dodger Math" is to "Dodgy Math"?

...Though its probably just me that sees the one and thinks the other.10/31/2005 3:27 PM|||Blogger Vishal|||nah, that's cool. i don't think it's a problem. in fact, i think the more ambiguous and open to interpreation, the better.

i'm sure there are people who would refer to sabermetrics as "dodgy math". and heck, it's not a science or anything. my point is that dodger math to me seems like a very evocative name. and i think that's what good names do.10/31/2005 6:13 PM|||Anonymous t kodami|||Yeah, now that I think about it, "Dodger Math" is a good choice. Better than "Dodgers, Indeed"--which currently is the front runner in the only poll that matters.

Still, I know how much Andrew likes getting free hits off of Google for Depodesta's name...same may go for the Jamie McCourt entry.11/01/2005 12:08 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||how about you call it loserville.com???11/02/2005 9:45 AM|||Anonymous T Kodami|||That was hilarious, Mr. Anonymous poster. I am utterly blinded by your trenchant wit.11/02/2005 9:51 AM|||Blogger Andrew|||More like DePodesta for Secretary of the Interior, am I right!10/30/2005 10:13:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Some reactions to DePodesta's firing from around the web.

Metal Supply
"Today is a banner day for the Padres, as the Dodgers have fired Paul Depodesta."

Ivy Chat: Sees this as an opportunity to pawn Dusty Baker off on us.
"Now that he has, and Dodger owner Frank McCourt seems set on hiring an ex-Dodger (hence the interviews with Orel Hershieser), Dusty fits in Chevez Ravine."

Lone Star Ball

"If the decision is based mostly on the Dodgers doing much worse this year or hiring the "wrong" manager, it's got to rank as an all-time dumb move."

Nats Triple Play: Sees an opportunity to be rid of Jim Bowden
"First, it proves that there are front offices more dysfunctional than ours."

Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke

"The only thing worse than a tightwad owner is a meddling, rich owner who thinks he knows baseball."

Elephants in Oakland
"Screw 'em all, Paul. Come home to Oakland."

U.S.S. Mariner
"If you’re nasty enough and loud enough for long enough, and your ownership’s weak-willed, you can bring down a GM in two years."

Drunken Audible
"They are back at Square One with no manager, no general manager, a ton of players that were brought in with the explicit vision of their old GM in mind"

As for the pro firing contigent:

Socal Bloggin
"Frank McCourt made the first step toward getting the Dodgers back to the franchise that it once was. "

Fu2rman On Sports: If you're curious as to what Plaschke would do with the team.
"At first base, look at Kevin Millar from the Red Sox, or Daryle Ward from the Pirates."

And that's all a blog search for "DePodesta fired" comes up with for pro-firing replies. Neither is really able to make an effective case. Other than those two entries, reaction seems uniformely negative, either with "DePodesta is a great G.M. and McCourt is an idiot", or "DePodesta is nothing great, but McCourt is still an idiot". At least Plaschke is on McCourt's side, and that means something, right?

|||113069808417202435|||Reactions From Around The Web10/30/2005 12:45 PM|||Blogger Vishal|||daryle ward??!?! hahahahaha

did he forget that we already had daryle ward before, and that he sucked then, and that he sucked in pittsburgh too?

too bad www.darylewardsucks.com is no longer in operation, because that fu2rman guy could use some enlightenment.10/30/2005 3:19 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||For your name, you could do something like: "Dodger Hope" or "Dodger Luck," seeing as how aside from the prospects DePo stocked your farm system with, your new GM will be relying on those two things.10/30/2005 3:20 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||I should clarify:

Because the new GM will be an old coot who can't figure a standard deviation. He'll be going on his gut feeling and other voodoo.10/30/2005 3:38 PM|||Blogger alan|||I agree with anonymous. We'll be back to the days of trading for Encarnacion and locking him up long-term.10/30/2005 6:23 PM|||Blogger Chuck|||Thanks for the link. I don't think Dusty's going to LA, but it was impossible with DePo in place.

DePo probably deserved to be fired. McCourt is still an idiot. Maydy you guys really will hired Dusty.10/30/2005 8:53 PM|||Blogger Pat|||Thanks for the link. If you want some insight on Daryle Ward, I suppose I can help out, being a Pirates fan and all. My advice is... RUN AWAY. The guy hit one homer from about June 8th on to the end of the season. His power just up and absolutely disappeared. He shouldn't be anything more than a pinch hitter/backup because he can't hit righties and he ran out of gas in JUNE. But hey, if the Dodgers sign him at least that means our front office can't do anything stupid.

And if you're wondering, yes, I'm rooting for Littlefield to get fired only to be replaced by DePodesta (assuming he doesn't find another job fast), if only so we can watch the awkward spin him and Tracy try to put on their falling out when it happens.10/31/2005 1:55 PM|||Blogger DL|||We Royals fans, too, are agitating for the hasty removal of Allard Baird and even faster hiring of DePodesta. These kinds of opportunities don't come along very often.

Baird has been on the job for more than 5 years, and has two consecutive 100 loss seasons for show for it. We all want owners to be patient, but we also want them to be conscious.

My guess at David Glass' (Royals' owner) reaction to DePo's firing: "Now, who is Paul Depanetta again?"11/01/2005 5:44 PM|||Anonymous KB in Phila|||I've been a lifelong Dodger fan. Like since Drysdale/Koufax.

I thought DePo was a fantastic hire and I was itching to see how his 5 years would play out. It looked like his moves were all going in the right direction.

I'll stay a Dodger fan, I guess, but I guarantee I'll be a fan of the team that hires DePo as their GM.

I am delighted to note that it won't be the Yankees. {g}11/02/2005 9:12 AM|||Blogger Michael|||Holy crap, I was listed first!! Thanks, guy!

Metal Supply Mike10/30/2005 09:11:00 AM|||Andrew|||

We may never know the real reason why Paul DePodesta was fired. Frank McCourt's press conference yesterday certainly told us nothing, other than the fact that McCourt is a horrendous public speaker. Sample excerpt, dialog slightly altered "we...uh...thought that if we...uh...moved on with...uh...Paul then we could win more...uh...baseball." Consequently, with nothing else of note to write about until the Dodgers name new personnel, it's speculation time.

Unless Frank McCourt is an utterly bungling, incompetent fool (not completely out of the question) there is no way this decision was made until a week ago. There is no way that he would have let DePodesta start a managerial search knowing he would be terminated weeks later. What could have possibly changed in the last three weeks?

-DePo was conducting his managerial search
-The White Sox won the world series

In turn some combination of the following events occurred.

Frank McCourt was one of the people who learned the wrong lesson from the White Sox winning the World Series. Since his style has clearly shown him as reactionary (Moneyball was the big thing around DePodesta's hiring) he says "I've got to get me some of that"

DePodesta wanted a manager that didn't fly with either the McCourts or Lasorda. Likely he wanted to bring in Terry Collins, while Orel Hershiser or Bobby Valentine was the apple of the McCourts eye.

Unless DePo did something like take a crap on McCourt's desk, I can't see any other thing that could have changed in the last three weeks. As I said before, someone (I really hope it wasn't the PR firm, heaven help us if they make the baseball decisions) suddenly decided that we need to go back to the Dodger way (despite what that actually means) and DePo, unlike the McCourts, didn't bleed Dodger blue.

Despite the fact that Bill Plaschke's article today is the expected garbage (Rob at 6-4-2 goes into more detail) I'm actually sort of proud of him. I just expected todays column to blast the McCourts, the fact that he actually has something positive to say is a step up for him. While there are some people out there who disagree with the firing, the overwhelming majority think this was a good thing. I suppose McCourt got his wish.

This is really as an anti-Moneyball firing down to its core, not only with the release of stat-guy DePodesta, but with McCourt clearly wanting to overpay a G.M. for a trait that doesn't matter (good P.R.) while ignoring what is really important (building a winning team). At least the man who couldn't communicate kept up the same level of class that he's shown the entire time he was with the organization.

"I truly believe that this franchise is poised to begin the next great era of Dodger baseball," DePodesta said. "I have a tremendous amount of affection for the players, staff and front office and I wish everyone the best of luck. Most importantly, I want to thank the fans for their unparalleled support of the team."

Best of luck DePo. Here's hoping you end up with a team that actually deserves your talents.

On a final order of buisness, I need a new name. As you can tell by scrolling to the top of this page, I suck at naming things. Consequently I'll make this democratic. Make some suggesstions in the comments, and I'll either choose the best one, or leave it up to a vote. I'd prefer something Dodger related, if possible (keeping the current name is also entirely possible.)

|||113069309915198518|||It Keeps Things Fresh, It's A Fresher10/30/2005 10:06 AM|||Blogger Mr. Landon|||"Dodgers, Indeed."

The number one misconception of the bashers of Depo, currenly raising their glasses to better wash down the bile they've been spewing for the last two years, is their call for a return to "Dodger tradition." Using this as a theme, you've got columns galore!

Think of the possibilities: Plaschke fisking is always entertaining, Lasorda saying we need to do things the Dodger way when he's example numero uno of doing things like trading Konerko for Shaw while forgetting Shaw could demand a trade... and then the wild ass impulsive decision-making of the McCourts that makes people feel less than secure which is not exactly the Dodger way... it's all there for you, my man.

Dodgers, Indeed. I submit it humbly for your consideration.10/30/2005 10:24 AM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||bleed dodger blue...code blue!10/30/2005 10:34 AM|||Anonymous Yo La Tengo|||Is anyone else having nightmares about Bowden?

I think you should keep the name the same. But then, I'm a "traditionalist."10/30/2005 10:50 AM|||Anonymous w|||you should name the next blog "waiting for lasorda's stroke"10/30/2005 11:38 AM|||Anonymous Screwgie|||Maybe your blog should now be titled:

"Jamie McCourt IS the president."10/30/2005 11:40 AM|||Blogger Rob|||Of course Plaschke had something positive to say about the firing. He was in favor of it from the day DePodesta was hired.

Plaschke is an idiot.10/30/2005 11:43 AM|||Blogger Andrew|||Yes, but I wouldn't put it beyond him to do something like that.10/30/2005 11:49 AM|||Blogger Aaeamdar|||My vote remains to leave the title as is. Use the subtitle to indicate Dodgers.10/30/2005 1:32 PM|||Blogger Vishal|||my 2 name suggestions:

The Dodger Way
Dodger Math10/30/2005 10:43 PM|||Blogger Steve|||If you go back to firejimtracy.blogspot.com and poke around, some of the names we discussed for our aborted name change might work. SB liked Dodgers, Indeed then, and I do too.10/31/2005 9:49 AM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||Elevator Temporarily Stairs
Sorry for the Convenience10/31/2005 10:37 AM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||How about --

"DePodesta for Dog Catcher"?

Of course, I would hire him for this job, either.

--Jerry11/02/2005 9:43 PM|||Anonymous Vince|||Andrew Wrote...
This is really as an anti-Moneyball firing down to its core, not only with the release of stat-guy DePodesta, but with McCourt clearly wanting to overpay a G.M. for a trait that doesn't matter (good P.R.) while ignoring what is really important (building a winning team).

I got to disagree here dude. PR matters because people are people. You mistreat enough people, who's goning want to come play for your team? I am not trying to say Pr is more important than knowledge but let me say this. To be a good manager or general manager, understanding baseball simply isnt enough. You have to understand people as well.10/29/2005 03:57:00 PM|||Andrew|||

I was not happy when Frank McCourt bought the Los Angeles Dodgers. I figured that he would have no money, tear down Dodger Stadium, and do other hideously evil things.

Then the first major thing he did was hire Paul DePodesta, and I was very happy. After that, the Dodgers won the division and won playoff game for the first time that I could actually appreciate such a thing. Maybe I was too harsh on McCourt, with the success, and the renewed lease on Dodger Stadium, I could hold off on parking lot attendant and "LOL Frank McCourt is poor!!!" jokes, and learn to embrace these new owners.

After this decision, I really only have one thing to say.

Fuck you, Frank McCourt.

This decision reinforces the fact the ideas that have been floating around the media for the last two years. Frank McCourt has no business running a baseball team. This decision, in the context of the Tracy firing three weeks ago, makes absolutely no sense. You get rid of Tracy, presumably because he couldn't interact with the GM, and then you get rid of the GM who lost around 18 games (and I'm being conservative here) due to injuries and managerial incompetence. At the time of DePodesta's hiring McCourt said "[the hiring] also fits with a desire to recreate the feeling of stability and continuity that the Dodgers have had over the years. We are bringing in a young man and making a five-year commitment. We are looking for stability because it goes hand-in-hand with success." Yeah, this move does a whole lot to promote stability.

Just one year after DePodesta had to destroy a flawed core and make a new team, McCourt's new hire will likely have to do the same thing. If this report by Peter Gammons is correct, this will mean going back to the style of "Dodger baseball". (Since the report is behind closed doors, this is the relevant bit: "After meeting with Orel Hershiser and Tom Lasorda, McCourt, ever sensitive to the Los Angeles media, changed direction. Friday, DePodesta was ordered to meet with ownership at 10 p.m. PT, and was subsequently dismissed. Now, what could be better PR to sell the Dodger tradition than hiring Hershiser as GM and bringing Dodger blueblood -- and Lasorda favorite -- Bobby Valentine back as manager from his historic triumph in Japan. "Don't bet against it," said one person acquainted with the scene. "Tommy really wants Bobby back with the Dodgers.")

Fuck Dodger baseball.

Let me recap the greatest memories of the Dodgers that I have. I am in no way using anything for comedic effect here:

1) Jose Lima throwing a shutout in last years NLDS.
2) This game, back in 1994, where despite the fact that Mike Piazza was available to pinch hit, Darren Dreifort comes running out of the clubhouse and drives in the winning run.
3) Chan Ho Park attempting to karate kick Tim Belcher.
4) The Dodgers blowing out the Giants in the last game of the season of 1993, forcing the Giants to miss the playoffs with 103 wins.

That's it. Do you know what other storied team could have given me similar memories? The god damn Brewers. Dodger baseball has got us nowhere in recent memory. It's all about pitching and defense right? Who else remembers 2003, where the Dodgers had a historically good pitching and defense, and still lost? Maybe, after 17 years of futility, it was time for a change, and, for a brief period, it looked like it would occur. It was a good thing we had going there, wasn't it?

In comparison, here's what the Dodgers have done for me, keeping in mind that the first season that I can recall getting truly involved in was 1992:

1) Perpetually sucked.
2) Traded my favorite player (who happened to be the best player in baseball) for Gary Sheffield
3) Gave a 34 year old pitcher a contract that would give him 16 million dollars on his 41st birthday.
4) Traded my favorite player for Todd Hundley.

If the Gammons report is true, I can also flip the bird to Tommy Lasorda for his role in this whole thing. The fact that DePodesta supposedly got canned for not following "the Dodger way" along with this quote, "leadership [is] a very important characteristic for a new GM He would have a keen eye for baseball talent and experience to do the job" tells me that the McCourts are not looking to hire another stat guy as their G.M. this offseason, rather, he wants a Jim Bowden-a-like to right the ship. With the bounty of free agents avialable this winter, I'm sure this will involve giving Jacque Jones a Garret Anderson style contract.

What effect does this have on me in the end? I have to rename this blog, and I have no desire to ever give Frank McCourt another cent. The Dodgers have long been a part of my life, and I can't completely abandon them, but being a fan does not have to involve giving him money.

Thanks for the memories.

Edit>> I feel kind of bad that the guy who registered firepauldepodesta.com wasted 15 bucks.

|||113062664478053973|||Rated R For Strong Language And Brief Nudity10/29/2005 4:13 PM|||Blogger Aaeamdar|||I think you should not rename your blog. Just subtitle it.10/29/2005 4:20 PM|||Blogger tealup|||I have never understood why DePodesta was ever hired and man am I glad he is being canned - finally!!

I was a Dodgers fan but not a DePodesta fan. I can't help but wonder how long will it take to get a baseball team back where the Dodgers once played. Well, we'll see.10/29/2005 4:22 PM|||Blogger Andrew|||You do realize that the Dodgers have been a horrid team since 1988 and that DePodesta was hired in 2004, right?10/29/2005 4:36 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||I have two completely contrasting feelings about this. first of all, I am disgusted by the ownership's stupidity. if depo is to blame, why fire Jim Tracy? I'm not a big fan of tracy, but along with him came pitching guru Jim Colburn. He is the pitching coach that created Gagne, Mota, resurgence of Lima, and the rest of scrubs that enjoyed second revival of their careers. letting tracy and his coaching staff to walk, then firing Depo is like a disgruntled child throwing his good toys away because he can't have a new one.
but, if Peter Gammon's report is true, at least the replacements for the gm/manager vacancy ain't too bad. Bobby V is Lasorda clone with better adaptability ( shown he can coach even through an interpreter in japan ) and Orel may be one of the smartest dodger ever to pitch ( winning Cy Young without any dominant pitch like Clements' fastball or Zito's curve ) Nevertheless, who are we gonna play? old dodgerball need dodgerball style of players which we let go 2 years ago, like dave roberts to steal, and play defense like cora in the middle....
well, whoever is hired for gm, better get on Manny bandwagon asap. i say trade kent and another player for manny ramirez....just a thought.10/29/2005 5:19 PM|||Blogger walbers|||my sentiments exactly Andrew. here's the e-mail i sent to the dodgers:

I was born in 1955, just two weeks before the Dodgers won their first World Championship. I've been a Dodger fan for every year of my life since I first became aware of the game.

Today, I sadly say I am no longer a Dodger fan. And will never be one as long as the McCourts own this storied franchise.

I've cautiously remained optimistic through all the bone-headed moves by the McCourts since they've bought the team. My faith was always in Paul DePodesta, knowing he could make this team a winner.

But it's clear that Frank McCourt has no spine, sucking up to the idiots at the LA Times (I'll cancel my subscription there too) and that clown Tommy Lasorda.

It's been a 40 year love affair for me with the Dodgers....but I'm sorry, my heart has really been broken this time.

William D. Albers

Fuck Simers and Plaschke too.10/29/2005 5:51 PM|||Blogger alan|||Suggested name changes for your blog, Andrew:

1) Depodesta for GM (again)
2) Depodesta for Assistant GM of the A's.
3) Depodesta for GM somewhere, which will be my new team
4) Dumb Fucking Plashke (if you want to keep the DFP acronym)
5) Tommy Lasorda is a fat fuck
6) Theo Epstein for President (if he can somehow come to the Dodgers, and if McCourt ever wants to win a game)
7) McCourt's wife is a bitch, and man is he whipped
8) McCourt is a bitch, and man does his huband, Jamie, lord over him
9) Orel for Pitching Coach/GM/President (?)
10) The McCourt-Hating, Dodger Boycott Club (or The MCDBC)10/29/2005 6:16 PM|||Blogger fanerman91|||I still feel like I'm going to vomit. I was starting to like the McCourts. Now I don't know if I can even go to another Dodger game while the McCourts are in power.10/29/2005 6:28 PM|||Anonymous Prince Vince|||If you read the newpaper, under the assumption that sports writers, and the so called "baseball experts" have the slightest clue as to what they are unsensically ranting about, stop now. Stop now for your opinions are not that of a informed majority, but opinions that were simply created on the basis of few select individuals marginally distinctive in intellect and knowledge than ordinary the sports fan. Are these writers experienced themselves, the issues which they professionally write about? Are these writers on these teams that they say they know so well, actually in the club offices? No, never, never will. So I propose the simple question: Why in the fuck does everyone and their mother listen to them? Their power extends ever so slightly beyond the norm in that they may walk onto field, talk to players occasionally, or conduct an interview with a player/manager who puts on a mask and says none of their real opinions but, only reads off a script influenced by their owner.

The fact of the matter is that Frank McCourt reads the paper and believes ever word, fears for his image, and is a complete idiot. The paper gives heat to DePo, McCourt fires Depo. Whether he deserves it or not is irrelevant in this sport, or should I say this business. Most people can not filter the bullshit and look at the facts. They can not see beyond what they are told to believe.

All I have to Dodger fans is don't act so damn surprised, stop reading the fuckin paper unless you like listening to stupid people, have your own opinions, and if your not smart enough to have your own opinions, you're just part of an ignorant majority and nothing more than a godamn human statistic.10/29/2005 10:47 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||A-freaking-men.

Anyone who doesn't understand why DePo is one of the best GM's in baseball is ignorant.

Anyone who wanted him fired is clueless.

This makes me sick. It's like we're returning to the days of the caveman.

I hope the Royals hire DePo, although apparently their owner is just as insane as McCourt.10/29/2005 10:49 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||A-freaking-men.

This makes me sick.

Anyone who does not understand why DePo is one of the best GMs in baseball is ignorant.

Anyone who wanted him fired is Clueless.

I just hope DePo gets hired by the Royals, although our owner is apparently as crazy as McCourt.10/29/2005 11:05 PM|||Blogger fanerman91|||Well I wouldn't call DePo one of the best GM's on the job but if Kenny Williams could learn on the job, then DePo wasn't at a bad pace.10/30/2005 1:09 AM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||you fucking guys have got to be kidding me- DePo is one of the best general managers in baseball- are you on glue??
Even if healthy, the Dodgers were easily the fourth best team in the NL West-
lowe- 10-14 record- 10 million a year
jd drew- will never play more than 120 games in a season - 11 million a year
valentin, phillips, werth
and the list goes on- that team is a joke!!!!!!!10/30/2005 7:18 AM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||Finally....McCourt does something right...rather than flounder with a rudderless ship and Depo at the helm, he acknowledges his mistake, cuts his losses and moves on.

At least we weren't subjected to a full five years of this nonsense...Now maybe we can get back to the business of developing players and winning ball games.

Bravo McCourt for having the guts to admit a mistake and do what needed to be done.

Ryan10/30/2005 7:34 AM|||Blogger Andrew|||I suggest that you go back and read some other posts on here to understand why Derek Lowe and J.D. Drew are good players.10/30/2005 8:31 AM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||i don't neeed to read up on players on a biased web site to know that jd drew and derek lowe are overpaid, over-extended- slightly better than average major league players10/30/2005 8:55 AM|||Blogger Andrew|||You're right, Bill Plaschke is the one true way.

Really, make your case as to why Derek Lowe and J.D. Drew are overpaid. I'm curious.10/30/2005 9:58 AM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||As long-suffering (from 1970) Cub fans, my cousin and I feel the same way as you do about giving them a cent.

Here's what we do these days: We go to road series. I only go to two/year, he goes to four or five.

Yes, technically they get a cent from the road revenues, but it doesn't feel that way. Plus we get to go see some other ballparks, including Dodger Stadium in 2003.

And the other comment re Kenny Williams is absolutely correct. Kenny blew chunks his first year as GM. He doesn't take the statistical route that DePo did, he's more into chemistry and balance - not having to have any truly awful players because he overpaid for somebody. But he did a fantastic job with the White Sox over the past two years, including not backing up the prospects truck to rent Junior Griffey for two months.

Have a plan, stick to it. McCourt understands that in his real business, why doesn't he understand it here??10/30/2005 3:11 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||Sorry, but anyone who is no longer a Dodger fan because a GM is fired, you're pathetic.

That said, I man-cried when I read the news at 4 AM. It's a bad decision.

At the same time, the next GM doesn't have to do much to succeed.10/30/2005 9:01 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||This is the happiest day that I have had as a Dodger fan since Finley's home run last year.

As the poster who congratulated the post-season run of the White Sox last week, I was trying to prepare myself for approximately twenty years of inane sabermetric foolishness. With DePo at the helm, I thought that the Dodger tradition of Steve Sax, Davey Lopes and Maury Wills was gone forever. Now I feel as though my team has been returned to me.

The past 20 months were characterized by great highs and almost incomprehensible lows. To have the team win the division...meaning that it was almost all the way back from the Fox debacle...only to have DePo destroy the team and create the strangest roster in major league history was mindboggling.

Instead of a franchise player like Adrian Beltre, we got "Just Disabled" Drew. Instead of defensive magic from Izturis and Cora (as described by Vin Scully), we were treated to Antonio "I never met a fly ball I couldn't misjudge" Perez. And finally, the addition of Hee-Seop "I have all the range of, well, an electric range" Choi was truly the low point of my 30 years of Dodger interest.

I truly do not understand the fascination with Choi among some fans. He is a terrible defensive player, strikes out too much and is way too inconsistent offensively. Jim Tracy had a reason for not playing him: he couldn't play. Period. He is the second coming of Billy Ashley.

Hopefully we can acquire a gifted talent evaluator like Pat Gillick, and expunge the misguided DePo acquisitions from our Dodger memories. If the DePo fans do not appreciate a return to pitching, defense, stolen bases and nuanced strategy, I'm sure there will be room for you on the small-market bandwagons of the A's and Blue Jays. The Dodgers now can start acting like Dodgers again, and I couldn't be happier.

--Jerry10/30/2005 9:44 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||Please detail your 'misguided DePo acquisitions'? I can't think of a bad one besides Valentin (who was a 1-year stopgap).10/31/2005 8:58 AM|||Blogger Andrew|||You do know that Adrian Beltre got out OPSed by the pathetic array of third baseman we ran out there, right?

Or that we replaced Alex Cora's vastly overrated defense (you don't even have to use scary stats, just compare things like put outs and assists to Jeff Kent) with Jeff Freaking Kent.

Antonio Perez's defense is quite good once you understand things like errors are not the most effective measurement of defensive prowess (though I do admit I get scared when I see a routine groundball get hit to him).

Billy Ahsley wasn't that horrid, putting up an 800+ OPS in two seasons, but he couldn't do that consistently. Choi, on the other hand, can hit more than .200 making his OPS far more consistent.11/01/2005 6:15 PM|||Anonymous KB in Phila|||"If the DePo fans do not appreciate a return to pitching, defense, stolen bases and nuanced strategy, I'm sure there will be room for you on the small-market bandwagons of the A's and Blue Jays. The Dodgers now can start acting like Dodgers again, and I couldn't be happier."

I was a season ticket holder in 1988. It was a good year. I was a season ticket holder in 1989. It was the beginning of a pile of futility that continued to 2003.

You've had 14 years of mediocrity and you decide it's DePo who's the problem? Who's the illogical one here?

Say what you want, but DePo had a plan where there hadn't been one for over a decade. I am thrilled that he didn't sign Beltre and that we dumped Jose Lima. I have no idea what you think DePo did wrong, but what I saw was much more thought out than anything I had seen since some guy named Bavasi ran the team.

Sure the team sucked, but I can't remember hearing calls for the GM's head in 1989. Maybe it was happening at the 81 away games that year. You know, the year after making it to the post-season. Crappy record. Injured guys. A familiar story, I think.

Your analysis is so flawed it's sad.

But what's really sad is that the odds are very good that the new GM won't be as good as DePo. (Pat Gillick? Ack. I'd rather gamble with Hershiser. Jim Bowden? I'd rather they just left the position open.) If those names haven't given you the dry heaves, you have no clue.11/01/2005 10:48 PM|||Anonymous PrinceVInce|||tealup said...
I have never understood why DePodesta was ever hired and man am I glad he is being canned - finally!!

Yes tealup you and many more who share the same opinion may never understand. It is simple a lack of information and a lack of knowledge on your part. Do some research before you speak and perhapes you will be happy as opposed to confused with the results that come out of mouth.

Anonymous said...
Even if healthy, the Dodgers were easily the fourth best team in the NL West-
lowe- 10-14 record- 10 million a year
jd drew- will never play more than 120 games in a season - 11 million a year
valentin, phillips, werth
and the list goes on- that team is a joke!!!!!!!

Now we have a person who knows some but still needs to enlighten himself in many aspects of baseball. Win loss record means close to nothing. Not nothing but close to nothing. Lowe did a hell of a job. JD is 30 years old and has playd more than 120 games.a decade will tell if he ever plays more than 120 again. His injury has being hit by a pitch. Why dont you set up to the plate and take one 95 mph off the wrist? Valentine, phillups, werth. Valentine hit 30 bombs the year before and every year before, phillups hit 290 his rookie season, and werth has tight ladt year. Depo can only make educated guesses. He cant read the future.

Anonymous said...
i don't neeed to read up on players on a biased web site to know that jd drew and derek lowe are overpaid, over-extended- slightly better than average major league players

And I dont need to read anymore of your post to know that you were never a good baseball player or know a god damn thing about baseball.10/29/2005 11:12:00 AM|||Andrew|||
By now, we've all seen the report that DePodesta is going to be canned. Until the Dodgers actually make some kind of announcement, I'll hold off on comment. There have been lots of things printed in the Times that have turned out to not be true. If they actually do fire him, let's just say I'm going to break my no swearing policy.

Here's to hoping I don't use any naughty words.
|||113060997090741554|||Not Going To React Yet10/29/2005 2:10 PM|||Blogger Aaeamdar|||Well this sucks. ESPN reports it is a done deal. I've been kicked in the gut. With Tracy gone the last real problem standing between the Dodgers and a long run of success was removed. Now McCourt moves to throw it all away.

Sigh. There are other reasonble options available out there but I am really worried this has something to do with Tommy.10/29/2005 2:28 PM|||Anonymous Telemachos|||According to Peter Gammons, Lasorda was in the thick of it -- to bring in Orel as GM and Bobby Valentine as manager.

This per Rich Lederer (posting on Dodger Thoughts).10/29/2005 2:28 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||What I heard on 570 was that this all goes back to the trouble between Bradley and Kent, and that Frank and especially Jamie blamed Depo for that. So why not fire him then? Because they wanted to use him to pass along all of his info during the just-completed Dodger organizational meetings. Pretty shitty, if it's true.

This is truly a dark day for the Dodgers. I'm also afraid that this has something to do with Tommy.10/29/2005 2:28 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||What I heard on 570 was that this all goes back to the trouble between Bradley and Kent, and that Frank and especially Jamie blamed Depo for that. So why not fire him then? Because they wanted to use him to pass along all of his info during the just-completed Dodger organizational meetings. Pretty shitty, if it's true.

This is truly a dark day for the Dodgers. I'm also afraid that this has something to do with Tommy.10/29/2005 3:06 PM|||Blogger alan|||Okay, if this happens, I will do nothing to financially support the Dodgers until McCourt is gone. In fact, I will do everything within my power to steal from them, and that penny-pinching, piece of shit McCourt.10/29/2005 3:19 PM|||Blogger alan|||It's done. This far outweighs the amazing joy I felt when Tracy was fired.

fuck the dodgers.

http://mlb.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20051029&content_id=1262305&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb10/29/2005 3:57 PM|||Blogger Aaeamdar|||I agree Alan. The dissapointment I feel now far exceeds the elation I felt when Tracy was fired. This is now a team with no direction. I may well be joining Steve (of FJT) as an A's fan until McCourt is gone.10/28/2005 10:01:00 AM|||Andrew|||

I was going to write about how the 2005 Chicago White Sox offense, but, as Steve said in the comments of my last entry, what’s the point? Despite the fact that smart ball gets all the press, the 2005 White Sox were far less efficient offensively than the “one dimensional” 2004 White Sox. A very simple way to determine this is by total runs scored:

2004 White Sox: 865 runs
2005 White Sox: 741 runs

Apparently, when you lose your three best hitters (two, if you consider that Magglio Ordonez missed most of last year), despite what the media will tell you, it will actually drop your run production, in this case by about 15 percent.

So, if it wasn’t offense, how did they do it? Well, Alan presents a big reason in the comments from my last entry, courtesy of Baseball Prospectus.

Mark Buehrle
Actual 236.7 16 8 3.12 54.2
PECOTA 205 13 11 4.47 36.3

Jon Garland
Actual 221 18 10 3.50 50.1
PECOTA 180 10 11 5.05 20.9

Freddy Garcia
Actual 228 14 8 3.87 45.6
PECOTA 195 12 11 4.55 33.3

Jose Contreras
Actual 204.7 15 7 3.61 41.5
PECOTA 135 8 9 4.91 19.2

All it takes to make a winning team is to have four of your starting pitchers pitch into the 90th percentile of their PECOTA projections. Not that hard, right?

What else would help? How about if the bullpen massively exceeds their expectations as well?

2005 DERA*

2004 DERA*

2003 DERA*

Cliff Politte




Neil Cotts




Dustin Hermanson




Luis Viscaino




Damaso Marte




*DERA= Defense adjusted ERA, adjusted for all time.

Yet another lesson on why you shouldn’t spend money on a bullpen. These five pitchers combined made 5.88 million dollars this year. Three of them blew their career numbers out of the water, one slightly exceeded them, and one got worse. Once again, no lessons can really be learned here. It’s not like Dustin Hermanson had some untapped potential that was suddenly unleashed in his mid-30s. Get a bunch of cheap mid range relievers, and pray for the best is really all you can do.

What else could suddenly rise to fruition for the White Sox? How about defense? While the upturn was not as dramatic as in pitching, four White Sox suddenly got much better defensively, three stayed about the same, and there was only one disappointment, Tadahito Iguchi.

2005 Rate2

2004 Rate2

2003 Rate2

Paul Konerko




Tadahito Iguchi




Joe Crede*




Juan Uribe




Scott Podsednik




Aaron Rowand




Jermaine Dye




A.J. Pierzynski




*Career high
**Numbers from centerfield

With this, there are really no real lessons to be learned from the 2005 White Sox. Get a bunch of players together, and hope they all make drastic improvements simultaneously. Sadly, that’s hard to plan for. The best thing that could come from this season is that other teams learn the wrong lessons from the White Sox, and start trading their good hitters for scrappiness. Repko for Bobby Abreu sure sounds nice.

|||113051897015779144|||Sour Grapes10/28/2005 5:30 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||Reading Tim Brown's praise for Guillen and his team's brand of "smart ball" today in the Times made me want to yarf.10/29/2005 9:57 AM|||Blogger Kayaker7|||According to the LA Times, your idol is on the way out. The McCourts are ruining the Dodgers. I'm seriously considering swearing off the Dodgers. Maybe even baseball, forever.10/29/2005 11:07 AM|||Blogger Andrew|||I'll believe it when I see it. That would be the king of all bone headed moves and it literally makes no sense.

I can't believe the McCourts are that dumb.

Also, I need to use the word "yarf" more.10/26/2005 09:02:00 PM|||Andrew|||
The White Sox win the World Series.

I am sad.

Edit>>So, in the first of what will be many shots at the world champions, how many more games would the White Sox have won if they had Carlos Lee?

|||113038588933610506|||Let's All Get Drunk And Play Ping Pong10/27/2005 12:32 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||I, for one (a traditional 30-year Dodger fan) am thrilled that the White Sox won. Who wouldn't enjoy watching a team that pitches, fields, bunts, sacrifices, and runs the bases nearly to perfection?

I feel that the success of the White Sox -- and virtually all of the other playoff teams this year -- is a virtual repudiation of the entire absurd "Moneyball" philosophy. I can't believe that we long-time Dodger fans are being subjected to this drivel.

In fact, the White Sox remind me of the '70s Dodgers in so many ways. Even the uniforms look similar (with the names, too).

The Sox are a very well-constructed team, with a bonafide leadoff hitter, an excellent #2 hitter, and power and flexibility throughout the remainder of the lineup. And the defense is wonderful -- like the Dodgers' defense was in 2004.

Congratulations to the Sox!!!10/27/2005 1:03 PM|||Blogger fanerman91|||Apparently all it takes to be a smallball team is to say you're into smallball without actually doing it. That's a brilliant campaign strategy. DePo should just say he's building a smallball team at every opportunity. Then hire Brian Giles, et al. Just keep saying smallball and the press will love him for it.10/27/2005 2:14 PM|||Blogger alan|||Spouting off that kind of ignorance is dangerous, Anonymous. While, you are entitled to you opinion, to say that moneyball is drivel is to deny the success of the A's, the Redsox and even, to a lesser extent, the blue jays and Indians.

You want to know why it was quite common a few years back for teams with MASSIVE payrolls (including the Dodgers) to be completely inept? Because no one in baseball had a goddamn clue what they were doing. Now, because of the emergence of stats analysis, the only completely inept team in baseball is the Mets. There is no longer such a disparity among teams, between those who spent their money well, and those who gave it to Andy Ashby.

The reason the White Sox won the world series was NOT smallball, it was their pitching and hitting dominating, as it had all year. I could have sworn that it was the goal of all teams to have both good hitting and good pitching when putting their teams together.

Lastly, I agree with fanerman91. Dodgers need to go acquire a "true" lead-off hitter, like Juan Pierre, say we're small ball, but without the hasstle of wasting outs in actually doing smallball things, and gain the support of the fans, the media, and Ozzy Guillen.10/27/2005 2:32 PM|||Blogger alan|||wait--I take that back. The whitesox hitting wasn't dominating during the regular season.

This is why they won 99 games (from BP http://baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=4571):

Mark Buehrle
Actual 236.7 16 8 3.12 54.2
PECOTA 205 13 11 4.47 36.3

Jon Garland
Actual 221 18 10 3.50 50.1
PECOTA 180 10 11 5.05 20.9

Freddy Garcia
Actual 228 14 8 3.87 45.6
PECOTA 195 12 11 4.55 33.3

Jose Contreras
Actual 204.7 15 7 3.61 41.5
PECOTA 135 8 9 4.91 19.210/27/2005 3:02 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||I'll go on record as a supporter of Anonymous when he says that the Moneyball concept is drivel.

At this point, Alan I am curious as to how you consider the A's, Indians, Blue Jays and Red Sox....I mean without the base stealing exploits of a certain former Dodger, the Red Sox go down in flames against the Yankees...and the A's, Blue Jays and Indians have combined to win how many World Series titles in the last ten years? How is this considered a success?

Let's take a look at the most recent World Series champs...Anaheim, Florida, Boston and Houston....With the exception of Boston, across the board those teams were small ball teams that played the game the way that it was meant to be played.

Traditional style teams win titles....speed, defense, unselfish hitting and pitching win titles. I'll take my chances with that over a Moneyball team any time.

To ask the question how many more games would the Sox won with Carlos Lee is absurd....how many more do you want them to win? They won the World Series...end of question.

Success in my book is a World Series title....anything less than that is a failure.

Ryan10/27/2005 3:34 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||As the writer of the first "anonymous" response above, I appreciate Ryan's support. In fact, I would like to restate the original question like this. In continuing support of the new world champions, how many fewer games (or playoff series) would the White Sox have won had they not traded Carlos Lee for Scott Podsednik?

--Jerry10/27/2005 3:56 PM|||Blogger fanerman91|||Anybody who says "moneyball" is about OBP, 3-run home runs, no defense, and not stealing bases doesn't know what they're talking about. The White Sox won because of pitching and defense, not small ball. On offense, they relied on the home run just as much as anybody. Another team built on pitching and defense is... the A's (one of the best defensive teams in baesball this season), aka the team of devils headed by satan that tries to kill all those saintly small-ballers with their pitchforks-for-bats that hit 3-run home runs.

There's more than one way to skin a cat, and why is it an assault on baseball tradition to try to find better ways? The A's, Indians, Dodgers, Blue Jays, and Red Sox have been so called "moneyball" teams for 5-7 years or so, at MOST. That's 5 teams out of 30 that have had their systems in place for either less than 5 years or are still trying to get their systems in place. And they've already won one.

I don't understand why small ball teams (or in the White Sox case, teams that say they're small ball but rely on the home run just as much as other teams) are romanticized and likened to myth while teams that rely on home runs to score (or teams that admit to relying on home runs) suddenly lack heart. You want results and that's fine. But be realistic with your expectations and realize that you're making the strawman argument when you talk about moneyball. Find out what it actually talks about before you call it drivel.10/27/2005 4:11 PM|||Blogger Andrew|||It's amazing how the posts I spend the least amount of effort on tend go generate the most buzz.

As it stands, this should put an end to the "smart ball wins games" talk.

The "one-dimensional" 2004 White Sox: 865 runs

The "Scott Podesednik is our poster boy" 2005 White Sox: 741 runs

Obviously, the offense wasn't the big thing that changed, it was, as Alan so correctly pointed out, the emergence of the starting rotation and a bunch of scrub relievers all having career years.

An entire article will be up on this shortly.10/27/2005 8:16 PM|||Blogger Steve|||The White Sox offense doesn't have anything to do with anything. Why would you waste time telling us about it? Tell us how to get a pitching staff like theirs and you have a story.10/27/2005 11:00 PM|||Blogger Unserious Talker|||ok, here's the thing... the key to winning is to score (preferrably more than the other team).

Personally, I don't care if you do it with the three run homerun or with a walk, a steal, a couple of doubles and a base hit. Runs are runs, and as long as the Dodgers figure out some way of actually scoring them (and preventing the other team from scoring them) then I don't care how the do it.10/28/2005 7:13 PM|||Blogger alan|||Alright. Final Rebuttal for me. Anonymous and "Ryan," here it is. The goal of any offense is to score runs, correct? Why don't you guys do a little bit of research and look at the leading teams in runs scored over the last 2 years, 5 years, 10 years, 100 years (whatever if you feel like doing). Then, look at the standings for team OBP or even OPS for a more exact measurement. Then, come back and tell me money ball is worthless.

AND, if you really have a lot of time, you can look at the leading teams in stolen bases, sacrifices, anything else you feel is a good indication of smallball, and tell me there's a correlation.

So, the point I'm trying to make is: If something (specifically the importance of OBP or OPS) has been proven to be true throughout the entire history of baseball, is that not a good indication of importance?

Lastly, the success that I was referring to with regards to the A's, Red Sox, etc. was regular season wins, which is a better indication of a team's skill (because you have to pass the test of time in 162 games) than in the post season (maximum of 19 games, minimum of 3).10/26/2005 05:56:00 PM|||Andrew|||

This would have been more timely had Blogger not been giving me guff all day.

Have you ever seen anyone look as horrible in the span of one game as Willy Taveraz did last night? To review:

1st - Popped a bunt. Runner on second with no outs.
3rd -Struck out. Runner on first, one out.
5th - Popped out to shallow right center. No on, one out.
8th - Flied out to left. No on, no out.
9th - Struck out. First and third, one out.
11th - Hit on the dome.
13th - Struck out. Runner on first, one out.

A-Rod would have been called far worse than C minus-Rod if he put up a night like this. In my desire to see the White Sox not win last night, I called Tavarez a very naughty word after that strikeout in the ninth. This is why players whose entire offensive value is based on infield hits (he would have hit .172/.206/.226 without them) do not deserve to be the consensus rookie of the year. But, I digress.

For my next small sample size observation, Phil Garner is the worst manager ever. He simply left Roy Oswalt out to die last night. Oswalt set his career high for pitches in an inning in the fifth last night, and, in what is arguably the worst inning of his career, Garner refuses to come out to talk to him, nor did he make any attempt to replace him. Combine this with his love for the bunt (see below), and his bizarre attempts to confuse Ozzie Guillen (yes, Brad Lidge is going to bat in the bottom of the ninth), Phil Garner is the worst manager in recorded history.

In what is not a small sample size observation, if there were any justice in the world, this post season would be proof that small ball doesn't work. You would think that the myth that a team needs to play small ball to win would have died when Boston won the World Series, but then Dave Roberts had to steal that base. Because of that, it "proved" that a team needs small ball to win. This post season should have done far more than Boston ever could to debunk that myth. The best example of this is the horrible bunting performed by the Angels, Cardinals, White Sox, and Astros.

In this table, a bunt attempt is any at bat where the batter showed bunt and took a strike. A successful bunt is when the lead runners are able to advance a base.

Successful Bunts Bunt Attempts Percent
ALCS Game One 1 5 .200
ALCS Game Two 2 4 .500
ALCS Game Three 1 1 1.000
ALCS Game Four 0 3 .000
ALCS Game Five 2 3 .667
NLCS Game One 3 3 1.000
NLCS Game Two 2 3 .667
NLCS Game Three 1 3 .333
NLCS Game Four 1 3 .000
NLCS Game Five 2 2 1.000
NLCS Game Six 0 1 .000
WS Game One 2 3 .667
WS Game Two 0 3 .000
WS Game Three 2 6 .333
Total 19 43 .442

Successful Bunts Bunt Attempts Percent
Adam Everett 1 3 .333
Craig Biggio 1 2 .500
Chris Burke 1 2 .500
Carl Everett 1 1 1.000
Orlando Cabrera 0 1 .000
Chris Carpenter 2 2 1.000
Jermaine Dye 0 1 .000
Darin Erstad 0 1 .000
Chone Figgins 2 3 .000
Jon Garland 0 1 .000
Tadahito Iguchi 2 4 .500
Jose Molina 0 1 .000
Adam Kennedy 1 3 .333
Jason Marquis 0 1 .000
Matt Morris 1 1 1.000
Abraham Nunez 0 1 .000
Roy Oswalt 2 2 1.000
Orlando Palmeiro 0 1 .000
Andy Pettitte 2 2 1.000
A.J. Pierzynski 1 1 1.000
Scott Podsednik 0 3 .000
Aaron Rowand 0 1 .000
Willy Tavarez 2 5 .400

Successful Bunts Bunt Attempts Percent
St. Louis 3 5 .600
Houston 9 17 .529
Anaheim 3 9 .333
Chicago 4 12 .333

Considering that in the optimal situation, a bunt is only useful if you get it down 90 percent of the time, an all around percentage of 44.2 is just dreadful. It gets even worse when you take out the worthwhile bunts that the pitchers made. Without those, the percentage drops to 35%. Will this have any effect on the overall opinion of the bunt? Probably not, but it would be nice if these teams stopped giving up outs like they were week old baked goods.

Sadly, a White Sox victory seems inevitable (though Houston is as well equipped as anyone to win four in a row. If only they could hit.) and if Ozzie Guillen makes good on his promise to retire, he will be canonized by the media. The only really good thing to come out of 2005 is that Barry Bonds missed most of it. Other than that, this has been a sad, sad year.

|||113038357838253322|||Willy Taveraz Is The Worst Player In Baseball (And Other Small Sample Size Observations)10/25/2005 11:16:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Since the other major awards all seem rather obvious to me, I'll just list them off here:

AL MVP: Alex Rodriguez
AL Cy Young: Johan Santana (who won't win, because wins are the most important stat, obviously)

NL MVP: Albert Pujols (Derrek Lee had the best season, by a hair, but since he wasn't on a contending team, it won't be counted. Pujols certainly isn't undeserving of the award, however.)
NL Cy Young: Roger Clemens
NL Rookie of the Year: Ryan Howard

|||113026417725855187|||And The Rest10/25/2005 2:07 PM|||Blogger alan|||I'm with you, except for the pitchers. The win is all-too-mighty. Clemens deserves it WAY more than anyone else, but I wouldn't be surprised if Carpenter wins it. As for the AL, I'm thinking Bartolo. ALL HAIL the mighty W!!10/25/2005 10:46:00 AM|||Andrew|||

Since the end of June, I've constantly had the debate with others about who was the Rookie of the Year in the American League this year. The AL's rookie class is one of the strongest we've seen in a long time. Players who would be favorites to win the award in other years: Gustavo Chacin, Dan Johnson, Chris Shelton, Robinson Cano, and others, have no chance to win it this year due to superior options elsewhere. As I see it, there are four players who have reasonable arguments for the award:

Joe Blanton
44.3 VORP, 201.3 IP, 3.53 ERA, 116 K, 67 BB, 23 HR, .253 BABIP

Blanton was my preseason choice for rookie of the year, and he didn't disappoint, putting up the highest VORP amongst rookie. Two things keep him from deserving the rookie of the year without reservation, however.

-His three true outcome stats were rather bad, putting up a shocking 1.67 K/BB despite his excellent control in the minors, along with a below average 23 home runs.
-The only thing that saved him from complete ruin this year was his .253 BABIP, the third lowest in baseball. While, like Barry Zito, his amazing curve ball serves to keep his BABIP down, some luck was most definately invovled.

As a case for Blanton, if you take out his horrendous May (13.25 ERA) he would have had a 2.55 ERA, which would have lead the AL.

Despite the fact that Blanton had a stronger overall performance than any other rookie, if Baseball Tonight is any indication, he won't even receive consideration, most likely because he only has 12 wins.

Jonny Gomes
36.9 VORP, 407 PA .282/.371/.534/.905 ,21 HR, 9 SB, 1 FRAA2*e

Gomes was able to lead all rookie position players in VORP, despite the fact that he only played two thirds of a season. His .905 OPS was second amongst rookies (behind Ryan Howard), and he lead all rookies with 21 home runs. The only knock against Gomes might be the fact that he is a bad fielder, but, other than that, Gomes was clearly the dominant rookie position player.

Tadahito Iguchi
30.9 VORP, 582 PA, .278/.342/.438/.780 15 HR, 15 SB, 8 FRAA2*

Iguchi gets some consideration because he is a middle infielder, and things like 15/15 seasons tend to get rookie of the year voters all hot and bothered. The one thing that keeps Iguchi in contention for me is the fact that his on base percentage got hurt by the smart ball strategy. If you give him back the 11 times he reached base that were negated by bunting, Iguchi rises to a .360 on base. This doesn't include the times that the bunt failed, which could raise his OBP even higher.

As it stands, Iguchi shouldn't be a serious candidate, he was far inferior to Gomes, but I can see him stealing the rookie of the year award for doing things like bunting and stealing bases.

Huston Street
33.3 VORP, 78.3 IP, 1.72 ERA, 72 K, 26 BB, 3HR, .253 BABIP

Street had an amazing season this year, shoring up the A's closer situation after the loss of Octavio Dotel. Street lead all relievers in ARP** by five, a truly amazing feat. Street was simply lights out all season, and there is nothing that should limit him from serious consideration.

Dropping Iguchi from serious consideration, the rookie of the year award comes down to a starting pitcher, a relief pitcher, and a position player? How to best compare those? Blanton, while he was not as dominant as Gomes or Street, played a full season, and some credit has to be given for sustaining good numbers the entire season.

The best way to do this is to compare these players to the entire league, rather than just rookies. If this is the case, the award must go to Huston Street. While Blanton served as a very good third starter (and was tenth in the AL in ERA, 10th in VORP), and Gomes was an above average left fielder, Street was able to become a truly elite closer, leading all AL relievers in VORP, lead all relievers in ARP, and finished seventh in expected runs added. While Blanton and Gomes were very good rookies, Street was very good, period. Considering that Mariano Rivera is getting Cy Young consideration, and that Street had very similar stats, the award simply must go to him.

However, as I said at the start, this is a long running debate I've been having all season, and I could very well be wrong. I welcome any challenges to my position.

*Adjusted fielding runs over replacement
**Adjusted Runs Prevented, one of the better methods of measuring relief pitchers.

|||112932250090524991|||AL Rookie Of The Year10/24/2005 11:01:00 AM|||Andrew|||

Another day, another playoff game greatly effected by bad umpiring. Has there ever been a post season so marred by game altering bad calls? To review:

ALDS Game Three: For the first time in recorded history, Cowboy Joe West says that Robinson Cano did not touch second base to force out Juan Rivera, despite the fact that historically, a player only has to be in the same zip code of the base to get the force.(the same call would be made on Tadahito Iguchi in the ALCS.) Instead of first and third and two outs in the top of the 7th of an 8-6 game, the bases are loaded with one out. Molina is then sacrificed home.

ALDS Game Five: Cowboy Joe West calls Robinson Cano called out for running outside of the baseline, despite the fact that the only reason he moved was to not block the throw from the catcher to first. The game shifted from having the bases loaded with two outs in a 5-2 game to the inning being over.

ALCS Game Two
: Doug Eddings clearly signals that A.J. Piersynski struck out, yet calls him safe when he runs to first. Instead of the bottom of the ninth ending in a 1-1 game, there is a runner on first with two outs. A stolen base and a Joe Crede double later, the White Sox win.

ALCS Game Four
: In the top of the fifth, replays show that Scott Podsenik was clearly picked off of first base, but is called safe by Ed Rapuano. Instead of no on and two out in the top of the fifth of a 5-2 game, there is one on and one out. Podsednik would later score. This turned out to be meaningless, but was blatantly wrong.

NLCS Game Four
: In a game that had an otherworldly strike zone the whole way through, Phil Cuzzi ejects Jim Edmonds for arguing balls and strikes. While it is in the letter of the law for him to do so, you do not eject a star player from a playoff game unless they, at a minimum, commit arson. While the effect this had was debatable (John Rodriguez inherited a full count and hit a 430 foot fly out), Cuzzi picked the wrong time to figure out who was bigger.

NLCS Game Six
: Yadier Molina is called out at second base by Greg Gibson a on phantom tag by Adam Everett. Instead of the bases loaded and no out, it is first and third and one out in a 3-0 game. While this call is far more excusable than the ones listed above since he was screened out of the play, this call cost the Cardinals 1.2 runs on average, and would prove to be the only time the Cardinals could have gotten to Oswalt.

Now joining these calls, we have the phantom hit by pitch on Jermaine Dye. While the end result was still in question, Wheeler would have still had a 3-2 count on Dye, this call potentially cost the Astros the game. Instead of the inning ending, the bases were loaded for Paul Konerko. While the call was hard to see visually, it could have been made simply by watching Dye's actions. When a player gets hit by a pitch, usually two things happen:

-If the player was hit in an unarmored area, they at the very least flinch.
-The player runs to first base.

Have you ever seen someone standing around looking confused after they were hit by a pitch? That should have been enough for Jeff Nelson to realize that Dye was not hit on the arm. All of this would be academic, of course, had Chad Qualls not thought that grooving a fastball to Paul Konerko was a good idea.

Maybe there is something to this "team of destiny" thing. That, or someone just really wants to see an entire offseason of praise for Ozzie Guillen.

|||113018470830676799|||A Comedy Of Errors10/24/2005 9:46 PM|||Blogger Aaeamdar|||My short on this is MLB needs to take up the approach of just about every other professional sport. NFL does it the best. No, not video review.

Umpires in MLB seem compelled to call a play instantly, even when they *know* they lack all the facts. Why? What is wrong with a huddle? Why can't the 2nd base Umpire (on that phantom tag for example) just admit the issue - "I did not have a clear view" - and defer to another Umpire that did (in this case I have to assume the 1B Ump saw it clearly)?

This behavior is exhibited even when they get the call right. There was a SB in Game 6 NLSC (iirc) where the runner was called out - then called safe once the Ump saw the ball rolling on the ground. O.K. - eventually he got it right - but why the quick call in the first place? The Ump *knew* he lacked all the information and just assumed some of it (that the ball was caught and in the glove). He *knew* he could not make the call, but did it anyway. Then when he saw the ball on the ground he reversed his own call.

Is there some sort of machismo in play here? The Umps are omniscient and to hold off a call to gather information is a sign of weakness? I don't get it. They are shooting themselves in the foot on this one and this post season is just begging for instant replay.

I am not taking the possition that instant replay is a bad thing, but I think other simpler changes could be made first that would go a long way towards fixing these problems.10/25/2005 12:41 AM|||Blogger alan|||good fucking point, aaeamdar.10/22/2005 12:24:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Using the hack described here, DFP now has the added organization of categories for the various posts. Since it uses Google to perform this task, things will not appear in the category for a couple days.

Just one more way DFP makes your life easier.

|||112996603410711770|||Using Google For Personal Gain10/21/2005 07:22:00 PM|||Andrew|||
I once turned on ESPN to see a man screaming at me. "That's rather unpleasent" I thought, and with that Stephen A. Smith immedately made the hate list, despite the fact I was only exposed to him for six seconds. I hoped it was the last I would ever see of him.

Sadly, watching the best of Baseball Tonight (who didn't even mention Joe Blanton as a rookie of the year candidate, and Kruk handing Tadahito Iguchi the award because of his bunts) Stephen A. came on the screen for no good reason, and immediately starts screaming a non sensecial, only tangentally related rant about how badly the Yankees need Chone Figgins.

It was so bad that since that rant, the entire Baseball Tonight crew has been making fun of him. Do you know how bad you need to be for John Kruk to rightfully talk smack about you? The screaming talking head has been popular for years, but most don't start their rants be screaming at top volume, they usually at least build up to something. I can't believe that Skip Bayless is more hated than he is. At least he's less popular than billiards.

Bob Wickman just won the John Kruk award for best player that looks like himself.

Edit>> John Kruk just had a rant against the bloggers of the world, saying that while you can have your opinion, you can't say that they were wrong, since they make good picks and they are the best at what they do. This is after he gave the Rookie of the Year award, for both leagues, to Willy Tavarez.

Further Edit>> Kruk is now literally sulking because about five analyists called the David Wright bare handed catch the catch of the year, while he thinks that Ichiro's over the wall catch was better. He then actually blamed the East Coast media bias for the reason why he lost the argument.

|||112994877918716018|||Quite Frankly10/22/2005 1:14 AM|||Blogger fanerman91|||Don't diss the billiards.10/21/2005 09:23:00 AM|||Andrew|||

Baseball Prospectus has been hyping their new book, Mind Game, recently on their website. The subtitle, “How The Red Sox Got Smart, Won A World Series, and Created A New Blueprint For Winning” invoked ideas of a Moneyball style romp featuring Theo Epstein wheeling and dealing in order to put the right pieces into place. After going through three bookstores, I found the book, and was ready to dig in.

I was way off on my initial perception.

Rather, the book reads like a series of Baseball Prospectus articles, with little continuity between them. This point is driven home by the fact that each chapter is written by a different author. Due to this style, basic information about subjects like on base percentage are constantly repeated. The focus of the book was not on Theo Epstein, who interests me due to his amazing ability to get very good players off waivers or on the cheap, but rather on assorted subjects like how good Pedro Martinez is. This is interesting, but it’s nothing that I couldn’t already get from their website.

I had the feeling that the writers of Mind Game had no inside information, as there was no indication that they had spoke to Epstein at any point. How does Epstein pick up guys for nothing that become so useful? The main case presented is that they have a good OPS. If this were the only reason, however, how come teams like the A’s or the Blue Jays didn’t go get David Ortiz or Mark Bellhorn?

The other major thing that bugged me about this book is the fact that the Baseball Prospectus writers are generally statisticians first, writers second. One of the main reasons that Moneyball was so engaging is because Michael Lewis is an excellent writer. He was able to make Billy Beane, Paul DePodesta, Scott Hatteberg, and others into interesting characters, while at the same time breaking down the thought process of Billy Beane. In contrast, the basic narrative structure in Mind Game is present a small snippet of the Red Sox 2004 season, then go off on a long tangent. For example, referencing that Pedro Martinez pitched a good game one night, then spending the next ten pages stating that he is, for all intents and purposes, the best pitcher ever. If you’ve ever just tried to sit down and read the Bill James Historical Abstract straight through, you’re familiar with the writing style.

Reading Mind Game is like reading something that I wrote. Yes, I enjoy writing, but it certainly won’t hold up to any kind of professional scrutiny. Because the book failed to create an interesting narrative, I ended up forcing myself to slog through it by the end.

The book’s main failing is that it simply doesn’t know it’s target audience. Sabermatricians already know most of the information presented (except for a few things, like the effect that a large brawl has on a team), but the casual baseball fan will be turned off by the lack of a narrative and the general arrogance that is prevalent throughout sabermetrics (I know I am not innocent here.) Case in point: “Chapter One: The Banality of Ignorance”. Without a strong narrative or new information, the book could not sustain my interest. Despite a couple of interesting factoids, I don’t see any major league personnel being proud of the fact that they didn’t read Mind Game in the near future.

|||112991187486090234|||Book Club: Mind Game10/21/2005 10:50 AM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||Yeah, I totally agree. I am a fan of BPro, and I was totally disappointed with the book. I was looking for something much more in-depth, insight that I couldn't have come up with on my own if I spent a little while researching. It's like any other book recounting a championship season, with some saber stats thrown in at the end. In the chapter on Keith Foulke, they discussed the bullpen situation in 03, said why it failed, then said, OK, they decided to go get a good closer. Then at the end of the chapter, they claim Keith Foulke is the better closer over the past five years then Mariano Rivera, and just compare VORP. That's it? That's a pretty lofty claim that could inspire a good argument, and all they do is throw a couple of statistics out there. I wasn't bothered as much by the lack of continuity as by the impression that they just recounted the season with some stats thrown in.
Overall, very disappointed in the book.10/21/2005 1:59 PM|||Anonymous T Kodami|||Funny--you wanting a narrative.

That does, however, explain you left the book wedged under the couch this morning. ^.^10/29/2005 3:39 PM|||Anonymous Jay|||Bill Plashke
LA Times Sports

Your recent article is right on Bill!

I have said this since 7-31-2004....yes, the day of the trade that switched out what I call team and fan "chemistry".

The computer lad did not understand that as he works from a laptop and is not able to understand the social part of baseball at all..that being the emotion a player gets from fellow teammate and coaches interactions and encouragement. The fans ( I being a big one for a long time despite the enticing team in Anaheim) are also a big part-ask the Astros why they were so upset that the Minute Made roof was left open therefore minimizing the fans efforts to root and make noise in the World Series!!

We were left with a disjointed team with no sense of purpose led by a manager that is a good technical baseball man (like Collins) but not a good game man in the clutch (leaving in Weaver too long, too often and letting Itzturis lead off while in a long, long slump).

My friend Tim and I rooted all season for a TRACY and DEPO departure. We both wore Dodger Blue T-Shirts with a name and number on the back:



We got curious looks that first two months of the season, by summer we had offers from people wanting to buy our shirts off our backs and several people took our pictures while laughing very hard-they knew the truth!!!!!11 McCourt did not know the truth (what do you expect from an owner that comes waltzing into his seat in front of us in the 3rd inning....he actually came once with a nice designer suit and no socks on! (UGH!!) Our last game we attended late this season against the Giants we had the camera man put us on the jumbo -tron and the crowd loved what was on the shirt-they agreed!!!!!

We canvassed concessionaires, souvenir vendors , security personnel, and ushers..all agreed with us! Fans high -fived us all over....even Bill Russell read my parody poem on Jim Tracy and loved it!

Tim and I drive a long way from Corona and Victorville respectively and shell out bucks to support a team we love and always will...

Please keep up the great work you do every week. Your comments are heard and understood by us real fans.....and now it looks like Mr. McCourt himself!! Good work!

Corona, CA



Picture of Tim, August 2004

Caption on handout we gave out:


Guillermo Mota Missing From DODGER Bullpen10/20/2005 09:46:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Real life caught up to me for the last week, causing me to not be able to accomplish anything for the past week. Hopefully, the flood of work will stop for the next couple of weeks. Combine this with me starting a couple of articles then scrapping them because they, quite frankly, sucked, I've been updateless for a week.

In celebration of my triumphant return, I'm going to detail my dream for the 2006 Dodgers. As it stands, my plans really aren't that dramatic. The main goals for this team are as follows:

-Make the playoffs
-Don't make a Chuck LaMar style signing and block out prospects.

Effectively, I'm saying 2006 is sort of a wash. Our prospects are still a year away, and, while the Dodgers have 23 million dollars or so to spend this offseason, giving us the ability to over pay someone, if Giles and Matsui sign elsewhere as reported, there's really nothing worth overspending on.

The other issue is what to do with Werth. Is it that much of a stretch to see him having a .270/.370/.500 season? Of course, it seems just as likely that he'll put up a .230/.330/.380 season, making me rather miserable. Considering his value is rather low right now, and the rather glum prospects of the next season, I have no problem keeping him and signing Cruz as an insurance policy.

The final major consideration is if Bradley is going to come back. I have no problem keeping him around for next year, and I'm sure DePo feels the same, but I can't speak for Frank McCourt. If Bradley goes, it severally weakens the Dodgers lineup, and almost forces the Dodgers to have to make a huge trade.

Consequently, several plans should be made, which I'm going to seperate into Bradley and non-Bradley

With Bradley

Sign Nomar Garciaparra to a one year contract for six million dollars

Nomar fills two major holes that the Dodgers have: short stop, and third. If he goes down, we have Aybar or Perez to replace him. Without a must have free agent on the market, it's okay to overpay for the chance to have a huge season from Garciaparra. With only a one year deal, he won't block any of the players on the left side of the infield that the Dodgers are overflowing with.

Sign Ted Lilly to a three year 20 million dollar deal

Coming off a bad season, Lilly is the only pitcher that might resemble a good deal this offseason. His strikeout totals have hovered around seven per nine for the last few years, and his home run ratio wa decreasing over the last couple years. (His injuries this year can account for his regression.) Sadly, this ratio is still rather bad, and is walk rate isn't great either. Sadly, this is what you get for seven million dollars these days. The Dodger's solid outfield defense won't save him from his fly ball tendencies, with the Blue Jays having a very strong outfield defense. On the plus side, the switch of leagues will increase is strikeout ratio by one, and slightly lower his walk rate. With Lilly getting around eight strikeouts per nine innings, he can be a solid starter. As it stands, he's likely no better than Weaver, but at least he'll make less money.

Sign Jose Cruz Jr. to a 1 year 4 million dollar deal

The Werth insurance policy. If we reach the trade deadline and Werth is performing, he can traded to fill a hole that the Dodgers need. If Werth fails, then he provides around an .800 OPS from a corner outfield slot. Worst comes to worst, he provides a strong bat off the bench and is over qualified for a fourth outfielder role. Either way, it's a good investment. There will be very little competition to acquire Cruz, as I doubt anyone wants to give the Dodgers a draft pick.

Sign Kelly Wunsch to 1 year 550,000 dollar deal.

Adds some depth to the bullpen. I'm not the biggest fan of LOOGY's, but I don't want Kuo being forced into that role. Wunsch gives the Dodgers options that they otherwise wouldn't have for a low price.

Do not sign Kevin Millwood or A.J. Burnett

Millwood's strike out, home run, and walk ratios were pretty much unchanged from his last three disastrous seasons. Yet, his ERA dropped by two runs. While he had a slightly below average .286 BABIP, and his home and road splits are almost exactly the same. The only explination is that Millwood simply got a nice distribution of hits throughout the year, shying away from big innings and keeping his ERA remarkably low despite otherwise mediocre stats.

The Dodgers have enough injury prone pitchers. Giving 12 million dollars to Burnett is a scary proposition.

Arbitration for Werth, Choi, Bradley and Phillips (about five million dollars)

I still want Phillips on the team. With the loss of Saenz, he can backup both Choi and Navarro. If he only gets 200 at bats in a season, he might not finish as horrendously as he did this year. This of course assumes that our manager is not completely insane.

Total cost: about 26 million. A little over budget, but that will hopefully be acceptable.

Putting this together gives us this team:

LF Werth
SS Garciaparra
RF Drew
2B Kent
CF Bradley
1B Choi
3B Aybar/Perez
C Navarro




I like this team a lot. It has a deep bench, six power threats in the starting lineup, no regular with under a .330, strong defense everywhere but the middle infield (well, at least average defense), four quality starters, and a potentially dominating (or horrid) bullpen. Of course, I said pretty much the same thing about the 2005 Dodgers as well.

The non Bradley team

Without Bradley to shore up the outfield, the Dodgers are forced to look elsewhere for a corner outfielder. That leaves us with a potential Werth, Cruz, Drew outfield. Not utterly horrible, but with injury potential all around, it could be potentially disastrous. Consequently, the Dodgers are forced to look elsewhere for an outfielder. With Giles and Matsui likely off the market, does Adam Dunn or Manny Ramirez sound good?

Ramirez could likely be acquired for a song, so long as we eat all of Ramirez's salary in return. With the current state of the Dodgers outfield prospects, this won't prevent anyone from ascending to the major leagues. What it does though, is limit the avialable budget to about five million dollars. This limits the ability to get an impact starter, and have to go get someone like Paul Byrd to fill the gap. This creates a team that looks like this:

3B Aybar
1B Choi
LF Ramirez
CF Drew
2B Kent
RF Werth
SS Perez
C Navarro

Spare Part (Edwards?)


Unchanged bullpen

I don't particulary like this team. While Manny's impact can not be denied, it opens up a lot of holes in the lineup. 18 million dollars is a lot of money for a team with finite resources. We lose the insurance policy on Werth, a productive member of the left side of the infield, and a decent starting pitcher. Too many holes, plus four years of a monster contract make acquiring Ramirez not worth while.

The other major option is to trade for Adam Dunn. Sadly, as anyone in my fantasy league can attest to, I am very bad at making trades. Generally, I start with a good team, then slowly dismantle it through poorly thought out deals. Due to this, I'm going to avoid making an exact deal, but a probable one would involve the following: Werth, Aybar, and one of our untouchables (Guzman could be the most likely to go, but the Reds really need a pitcher. Billingsly isn't going anywhere, but either Tiffany or Broxton could go.) If this hypothetical trade went through, the following situation could occur.

Lock up Dunn for four years at 40 million
Sign Jose Cruz Jr. to a one year four million dollar deal
Sign Ted Lilly to a three year 20 million dollar deal
Sign Bill Mueller to a one year 3.5 million dollar deal
Arbitration to Choi and Phillips: 1.5 million

This is three million dollars over budget, but I can see McCourt spending a little extra money to put a competitive team on the field. This gives us this lineup:

3B Mueller
1B Choi
CF Drew
LF Dunn
2B Kent
RF Cruz
SS Perez
C Navarro


Spare Part (Edwards?)

Potentially replace Broxton with Osaria in the bullpen.

This is the strongest team we could make in 2006, but it also has the most chance to come back and bite us in the future, With Werth potentially becoming a 25 home run, 15 steals, .370 on base guy with good defense, Aybar becoming a very solid middle infielder, and one of our pitching prospects becoming a star. Of course, everyone could flame out, and the Dodgers come out smelling like roses, but, that's a long shot.

There is also the trade for Barry Zito plan. Since that requires dealing with Billy Beane, I'm not a huge fan of it.

As you can see, I don't have very many grandiose plans for the 2006 Dodgers. On paper, the 2005 team was fine until it was dismantled by injury, bizzare lineups, and under performing starting pitching. Adding to that core can only be a good thing. While the starting pitching still is shaky, this is a far better team, at least on paper, than the 2005 Dodgers.

|||112983052012980802|||The DFP Master Plan10/20/2005 2:31 PM|||Blogger alan|||I actually like your first plan the best, because I feel it is the most realistic. I think we can honestly get Lilly for less (maybe three years $18 mil).

I don't think there is any possible way we'd acquire Manny, and I dissagree with the idea of mueller signing for one year and the idea of Byrd signing for $5 mil. I'm thinking Mueller will sign a for at least two years at $5 mil and Byrd will sign for three years at $20 million-ish.

As much as I love the idea of trading for Dunn and the idea of trading with an organization as bad as the Reds, I just feel like they'll try to pawn off Kearns instead, and I want no part of that.

KEEP MILT-DOGG!10/20/2005 10:26 PM|||Blogger fanerman91|||I like your first plan as well. I still think our rotation (maybe with Lilly) is a healthy Odalis Perez and a resurgent Jackson (or even an incoming Billingsley) away from being deep and solid enough for a (hopefully) above average offense to carry.10/21/2005 5:58 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||Well done! I think I like the first plan the best too, but the Dunn plan does have its appeal. Are we sure that Giles isn't going to be available?10/21/2005 7:18 PM|||Blogger Andrew|||While Giles is nice, he's going to get a lot of money for a corner outfielder who is 35 and only hit 15 home runs this year (six home, nine away). I expect him to get 11 to 12 million dollars a year for three to four years, which is far too much.10/13/2005 12:36:00 PM|||Andrew|||
I was going to tack this on to the end of the rant, but this really deserves its own post.

I suppose this can join it as well. But only just this once.

|||112923232795770381|||Alfonseca Dominates Again10/13/2005 12:40 PM|||Anonymous Scott|||Great post. I read this yesterday at work and started cracking up in the middle of the office.10/13/2005 12:32:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Pierzynski was out, there's no doubt about it. The fact that Doug Eddings blew the initial call is perfectly forgivable, I had to see the replay over and over again to confirm that Josh Paul did catch the ball. What is unforgivable, however, is the fact that Eddings clearly signaled that Piersynski was out. If you look at how he called other dropped third strikes, he points at the ball on the ground, and this was not the case here. Eddings made a bad call, and it cost the Angels the game.

However, this does not mean that there is a massive conspiracy against the Angels. The host of Angel Talk said that this was just another example of the MLB trying to screw the Angels over. This call followed by the fact that the MLB dared to play this game on its regulary scheduled date was conclusive proof. Angel Talk's argument about this call was that Eddings shouldn't have assumed that because Pierzynski was running, Paul dropped the ball. Perfectly logical, that's letting the players call the game. How should he have known then? Because Paul so calmly flipped the ball back to the mound, he must have caught it. Insert stream of callers demanding instant replay here.

He convienently forgets that the only reason the Angels are in the ALCS are due to two blown calls by Cowboy Joe West. I didn't hear any clamoring for the use of instant replay then. I use the term "only reason" because Angel fan seems to think that this game was in the bag were if it weren't for this call. This ignores the fact that the Angels looked atrocious all night, mustering a mere five hits and lasting an average of 37 seconds each half inning. Oh, and the entire bullpen had already been used at that point, leaving us with the question "how long can Estaban Yan pitch before a White Sock (singular?) not named Podsednik deposits one in the 15th row?"

I also recall a key point in the middle of the game where Konerko and Everett struck out on very questionable pitches. Did we want to lynch Eddings then?

Bad calls happen. I'm really not going to feel sorry for you if you say you lost because of a call that put a runner on first with two outs and Joe Crede coming up. Would I feel differently if this happened to the Dodgers? Probably. However, I certainly wouldn't want the rules changed because one game didn't go our way. The Angels lost a game they deserved to lose (despite the White Sox best efforts) in a horrible way. That should be that.

|||112919098117993358|||Unraveling The MLB Conspiracy10/13/2005 1:05 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||It's easy to chastise other team's fans when it didn't happen to your team.10/13/2005 1:13 PM|||Blogger Andrew|||I agree. I went into some rather long winded rants (do a search here for umpire to see them) about umpiring.

However, the extreme reaction of changing the rules of baseball or the notion of a conspiracy is just ridiculous.

The Konerko and Everett strike outs in the 6th were complete gifts, and I'm sure some calls went the other way as well.

All I want is some form of accountability system. If an umpire makes X amount of grevious errors, then he faces discipline. That's it. Bad calls happen10/13/2005 1:34 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||True, true. Conspiracy talk is normal. And, after all, it's just talk. No sport resists change more than baseball, which may have the strongest unions in American team sports. Just ask the sabre community. ;)10/17/2005 11:40 PM|||Blogger Rob|||He convienently forgets that the only reason the Angels are in the ALCS are due to two blown calls by Cowboy Joe West.

... aaaand what calls would those be, pray tell?10/12/2005 05:43:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Somewhat live blogging the Angels/White Sox game

Bottom 1st: Learning nothing from last night's smallball disasters, after recieving a gift two base error, Ozzie Guillen has Iguchi bunt Podsednik over to third. A ground out later, it's 1-0 Sox. Despite the fact that Konerko hits a deep single in the next at bat, Buck and McCarver give small ball credit for the run.

Bottom 2nd: There's no such thing as an aggressive mistake. After violating the cardinal rule of "don't run on Vlad", Aaron Rowand gets a triple. Of course, Ozzie Guillen and/or Little Joey Cora was not content with a man on turn and no out, and sends him home. Rowand then gets gunned.

With the final out of the inning, Crede hit a decently deep flyball, most likely deep enough to score the hypothetical runner. Of course, he would have had to run on Vlad to do so, so who knows?

Top 4th: Tim McCarver mentions that Original Confidence is becoming a clutch post season performer because he has hits in 19 of his last 21 post season games. Total career post season hits for Cabrera: 23, good for a .274/.340/.345 line. I guess a .685 OPS is enough to become a post season hero now. In other McCarver news: after Washburn's 5th or so pitch: "It looks like Washburn's stamina is good tonight."

Top 5th: Rob Quinlan, the second closest thing to Choi on the Angels (due to the inexplicable lack of playtime behind guys like Finley and Maicer Izturis) ties the game.

Jose Molina puts down the second idiotic bunt of the game. Since Erstad was able to take out Uribe, he is praised for his amazing skills. Meanwhile, Casey Kotchman weeps.

As an aside, even though I'm sure I couldn't take repeated exposure to him, Sweet Lou is a pretty good color commentator.

Bottom 5th: Pierzynski walks. For the love of God don't steal. Also get to see the requisite really old guy who's never seen the Sox win a World Series.

Top 6th: Will there be articles about how Vlad doesn't perform in the playoffs now?

Bottom 6th: Not liking the strike zone now. One of my guilty pleasures when watching a game is learning when a player has no hair. Konerko makes the list with a big bald spot on the back of his head.

Top 7th: Mark Buerhle makes live blogging very hard. I just finished typing three sentences and he's already through half an inning.

Bottom 7th: More agressive mistakes for the White Sox. Crede goes too far off the base on a fly ball and gets gunned by the 48 million dollar man. Good thing it wasn't really a mistake.

Top 8th: Scioscia proves all the naysayers wrong. To those of you who said that bringing three catchers to the playoffs was the worst idea ever, Josh Paul starts suiting up. Meanwhile, idiotic bunt number three gets laid down. He advances to third on a groundout. The "dangerous" Orlando Cabrera coming to the plate. McCarver suggests that Buerhle might be thinking about pitching around him to get to Vlad. I would guess that the thought never crossed his mind.

Bottom 8th: Well, Lou Pinella has offically annoyed me. Praising Podsednik for catching a deep, but routine fly ball is enough for me.

Top 9th: Buerhle continues his studly performance. Had L.J.C. not decided to make a not-mistake, this game would be over. Does he dare go 10?

Bottom 9th: Angels get some karma for the job that Cowboy Joe West did on the Yankees. That was an amazingly bad call. Scioscia going for the rare double argument. I would really enjoy it if the White Sox won here, it would be rather appropriate.

Not a great way for the game to end, but, the Angels really have no right to complain.

I don't know how I'm going to be able to survive rooting for this team for three to five more games.

Noticing Pierzynski clearly being called out there. A horrible, horrible call, but it was a heads up play by Pierzynski. I can easily see every Angel who strikes out tomorrow running to first, no matter what the situation is.

|||112916435410198721|||I Can't Believe I Have To Root For This Team10/13/2005 1:32 AM|||Blogger alan|||I didn't watch game two, but while I was watching game one, I wanted to kill myself with Lou, Joe Buck and McCarver oooh-ing and ah-ing about all the managerial expertise going on. Every single little sacrifice attempt was praised. Every little fucking thing. I'll bet the sports writers were all jerking off somewhere when they found out that La Russa's, Scocia's and Ozzy's team all made the play-offs AND that Scocia and Ozzy get to go head-to-head in a battle for "MOST SMARTESTEST, CLEVER-McCLEVERSON MANAGER AWARD!!!!!!!"

Finally, in closing, Juan Rivera is the Hee Seop of the Angels.10/13/2005 7:29 AM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||Why do you hate the ChiSox so much?

Good site.10/13/2005 8:49 AM|||Blogger Andrew|||Two words (or a compound word, depending on how you spell it): "smart ball"

If Ozzie Guillen weren't at the helm of this team, making a big stink about how he can "manage" now, I'd like this team. It's pretty well built, and doesn't have anyone I loathe.

As it stands, the amount of press that this team gets because they bunt is ridiculous. Every article I see about Podsednik or Ozzie Guillen being the AL MVP just kills me.

Basically, see above.10/12/2005 10:29:00 AM|||Andrew|||
More fun from Tracy in Pittsburgh:

"The Cardinals are a tremendous model," Tracy said. "They're interesting for this reason -- they can kill you with the long ball. But what takes place with that club in between that long one being hit is what's most damaging about them."...

"It's the intangibles they have," Tracy said. "They do the little things. Sure, they can thunder you in a heartbeat. But where they really beat you down is when Albert Pujols hits the ball through the hole on a hit-and-run and it's first and third and nobody out."

You know what hurts even more in that situation? If Pujols hits an extra base hit. Which he does with startling regularity. The Cardinals don't win because of "intangibles". They won last year because LaRussa could write down "Walker-Pujols-Rolen-Edmonds-Renteria-Sanders" every day. They won this year because even though they lost Rolen and Renteria, Chris Carpenter became one of the five best pitchers in baseball.

Sadly, Tracy doesn't have that kind of luxury in Pittsburgh, where his best strategy is "Bay, then hope the umpire doesn't notice you hitting out of order". If Tracy honestly thinks "intangibles" is why the Cardinals win, the Pirates are going to have a very long three years.

|||112913884150314191|||I'm Just Going To Link To Bucs Dugout For A Week10/11/2005 10:28:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Reaction from the Pirate's blogosphere over the hiring of Jim Tracy.

Bucs Dugout

The more I read about this, the less I like it.

I'm not completely impartial here, as the anonymous poster mentioned here is me (if the poor spelling didn't give you that idea already.)

Where Have You Gone Andy Van Slyke?

I'm completely willing to give Tracy a chance, but with the caveat that the young players be given fair chances next year, specifically Doumit and Eldred.

I agree with his assessment that Tracy needs a black undershirt in that picture.

Walking The Plank

Everyone in town (except Dave Littlefield) wanted Ken Macha to be the new manager. I don't know Jim Tracy from the next guy, so I'm not in any position to say whether or not he's a good hire.

The blogs of the Pirates let me down here. I wanted some hard and fast opinion, and this is all I could come up with. Hopefully, another day will give me some more content for this post.

|||112909639157903321|||Tracy Meets His New Family10/11/2005 10:20:00 AM|||Andrew|||
Rob at 6-4-2 links to many columnists who have pinpointed the cause of the Yankee's problems this year: A-Rod.

If Steinbrenner feels this way, we've got 23 million dollars to spend this offseason, why not spend most of it on A-Rod? (Note: this will not actually happen.)

Edit>>Fire Joe Morgan examines this phenomena in far more detail.
|||112905136903384634|||Logic Prevails Again10/11/2005 09:31:00 AM|||Andrew|||

Scott Brosius, Joe Girardi, or Luis Sojo wouldn't have grounded into that double play in the ninth, that's all I'm saying.

In all seriousness, that game have gone any worse for people who dislike the Angel's strategy.

The Angels continued to wave their luckiest-freaking-team in the world flag, scoring the two difference making runs because the Yankee's defense was too good. Bernie Williams would have never caught that ball, and Sheffield would have had an easy out. Lovely.

There's also the fact that Joe West hates Robinson Cano and/or the entire Yankee organization. First by enforcing the "you have to touch second base" rule that is never enforced, and last night by saying he ran outside the baseline when he was clearly within the letter of the law.

Finally, the game ends on a nice play by Erstad, therefore justifying the 600 at bats he got this year. Would Kotchman been able to make that play? I don't know, but it certainly won't stop the media from calling Erstad the best first baseman in baseball.

In a note to the Angels radio announcers: you are not allowed to rub payroll in anyone's face. "The Yankees 200 million dollar payroll fell a few dollars short" quipped Rory Marcus after the game. The team that spends money at the absurd rate the Angels do can not throw that back at the Yankees.

At least I'm not a Yankee fan any more, getting rid of that horribly dirty feeling. (I actually said, "come on Jeter, let's see some of that post-season magic", with out a hint of irony.) Consequently, I can say this: you did not overachieve this year. You had a 200 million dollar payroll, and, you were the consensus best team in baseball heading into this season. (Heck, I predicted almost everything that would go wrong with the Yankees this year, and I still thought they would have the best record in baseball). As long as you can write a lineup that goes Jeter-Rodriguez-Giambi-Sheffield, you are one of the best teams in baseball. You'll go get A.J. Burnett, Johnny Damon, and B.J. Ryan in the offseason, and you'll be the consensus best team in baseball again. Maybe one day, long after Steinberneer steps down, you'll learn what it really means to overachieve, but that will be a long time coming.

Now, I have to say something that I never thought I would, all thanks to this horrendous season.

Let's go White Sox.

|||112905033290969626|||A-Rod's Not A Real Yankee10/11/2005 1:49 PM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||As a fellow sabermetrician, I really enjoy your blog.

Can you work on the possessives & the apostrophes so that I can forward your comments to friends with a measure of confidence?10/11/2005 2:41 PM|||Blogger Andrew|||Thanks. I really have to fire my editor.10/21/2005 2:07 PM|||Anonymous T Kodami|||You can try copy-pasting into Word (or your stick-it-to-the-man freeware Work-type editor) or I could do it for ya if you ask real nice. :)10/10/2005 12:13:00 PM|||Andrew|||
Injuries killed the Dodgers in 2005. Some have called the injuries an excuse. Some believe the team would have been bad no matter what happened. This is simply not the case. No team could survive what the Dodgers went through this season, losing three of the teams four best players for at least half the season. The Braves didn't have to go through that, the Cardnials didn't have to do that, the A's didn't have to go through that. The Dodgers suffered more injuries to key players than any other team did in 2005.

Some say that DePodesta should have had a good set of reserves ready for the season, again citing teams like the Braves and the Cardinals. The thing is, the Dodgers did have a very good set of reserves, they either didn't play, or got hurt themselves.

This is the bench that the Dodgers had envisioned for the season:
Olmedo Saenz (16.7 VORP)
Antonio Perez (15.7 VORP)
Ricky Ledee (12.3 VORP)
Paul Bako (1.2 VORP)
Jason Grabowski (-8.5 VORP)

Assuming Grabowski would have got shipped out at some point during the season, that is a mighty fine bench, and all the members of it performed admirably. Unfortuantely, Ledee got hurt and couldn't start for a good portion of the season, Perez didn't play, and Saenz got the starting job. People like Mike Edwards and Jason Repko weren't even supposed to be on the team. To complain about their performance is complaining that DePodesta couldn't find adequate backups for the backups. Isn't that too much to ask of a guy who was just entering his first full season? Next season, the Dodgers should be far better prepared for injuries, with the vaunted farm system likely able to contribute in the event of an injury.

Let's hope it doesn't come to that.

This chart maps out how much the Dodgers lost to injury this year. To get the chart to fit, I had to make some odd abbreviations. GM stands for games missed, and the salaries (data obtained from ESPN) are listed in millions.

Player DL Start DL End GM Salary VORP Salary Lost VORP Lost
Eric Gagne Apr 02 May 14 35 8.000 4.2 1.73 5.07
Brad Penny Apr 02 Apr 24 17 5.100 31.2 0.54 3.66
Jayson Werth Apr 02 May 25 44 0.337 8.7 0.09 3.48
Wilson Alvarez Apr 02 May 03 25 2.000 -0.2 0.31 -0.07
Antonio Perez Apr 10 May 18 33 0.321 15.7 0.07 4.02
Elmer Dessens Apr 24 Jun 15 45 1.300 10.5 0.36 4.04
Jose Valentin May 04 Jul 31 77 3.500 -4.5 1.66 -4.08
Jason Grabowski May 18 Jun 07 17 0.327 -8.5 0.03 -1
Odalis Perez May 23 Jul 05 39 4.500 8.7 1.08 3.61
Paul Bako May 27 Never 115 0.650 1.2 0.46 2.94
Milton Bradley Jun 03 Jul 23 42 2.500 23.7 0.65 11.71
Wilson Alvarez Jun 06 Jul 19 35 2.000 -0.2 0.43 -0.1
Ricky Ledee Jun 07 Jul 08 27 1.000 12.3 0.17 2.46
Eric Gagne Jun 15 Never 98 8.000 4.2 4.84 14.19
J.D. Drew Jul 04 Never 80 9.350 31 4.62 30.24
Cesar Izturis Jul 05 Jul 15 7 2.150 0.7 0.09 0.04
Kelly Wunsch Jul 08 Never 78 0.550 2.5 0.26 2.32
Jayson Werth Jul 31 Aug 11 8 0.337 8.7 0.02 0.63
Wilson Alvarez Aug 11 Sep 19 35 2.000 -0.2 0.43 -0.1
Odalis Perez Aug 22 Sep 24 29 4.500 8.7 0.81 2.68
Milton Bradley Aug 25 Never 35 2.500 23.7 0.54 9.76
Cesar Izturis Aug 28 Never 32 2.150 0.7 0.42 0.18


19.61 95.68

The Dodgers lost 953 games to injury this year, not counting little nagging things that cost them two to three games. These losses represented the loss of almost 20 million dollars in salary, and approximately 95.68 runs. This doesn't count Darren Dreifort, which takes another 162 days and five million dollars away from the Dodgers.

The impact of the losses stretches beyond the 95.68 runs, however. Would Werth only have contributed 8.7 runs if he wouldn't have broken his wrist. Would Izturis be nearly replacement level had he not been playing hurt? Would Valentin have hit two home runs? I doubt it.

In 2004 Werth had a VORP of 15.4 in 326 plate appearances and Izturis had a 29.7 VORP in 728 plate appearances. Had these two players performed at that rate this year they would have had a 18.65 VORP and a 19.5 VORP respectively, and would have represented an additional 10 runs lost from these two players alone.

Of course, the Dodgers didn't replace every one of these players with a replacement level body. Robles performed well in his backup roles. Ledee was not very good as a starter, and has most of his value tied up in his pinch hitting duty. All the other backups, however, were pretty much horrid, some so bad (Edwards, Repko, Grabowski) that they almost canceled out the good that Robles and Ledee contributed.

As it stands, the Dodgers likely lost 11-12 wins solely due to injury. When you combine that with under performing starting pitching and poor decisions about play time, the Dodgers could have been a far, far stronger team than they were in 2005.

|||112897582601104435|||2005 Post Mortem: Injuries10/28/2005 5:09 AM|||Anonymous Anonymous|||I think you're right on track and not many people are willing to admit that they share your views. animal lost is an AWESOME place to discuss LOST.11/02/2005 2:53 PM|||Blogger slackfarmer|||Good post. Many have said Depo was very unlucky in 2005, and you've made a good stab at quantifying it.

Another point to remember is that Tracy and the club basically gave up at the end. The managed only 6 wins in their last 20 games, and only 1 win in their last 6.