Jun 19

Mattingly deserves mulligan for Dodger collapse

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/US PresswireDon Mattingly

I’ve noticed on different parts of the World Wide Internet that frustration about the Dodgers has started being directed toward manager Don Mattingly, something that I suppose is predictable and unexpected all at once.

It’s predictable because frustration about losing always falls at some point in the manager’s lap, as we can see by the end today of Edwin Rodriguez’s 163-game tenure skippering the Florida Marlins. But at the same time, I’m taken aback by the idea of Mattingly as whipping boy, because I don’t know how people can expect Mattingly to do much more about the situation than he already has. And I say this as someone who was repeatedly skeptical about his being hired in the first place.

If anything, as Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com notes, Mattingly has every right to share in the current frustration, rather than be a target of it.

Starting pitching: Not much to say here. The relative strength of the team, it has faltered in recent days, but as we’ve seen by his recent comments about Chad Billingsley, Mattingly is if nothing else trying to do something about it.

Bullpen: Working without Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, Vicente Padilla, Blake Hawksworth, Kenley Jansen and Ronald Belisario for long stretches this season – in case you hadn’t noticed, that’s pretty much an entire bullpen right there – Mattingly has actually managed better in this area than I would expect from a protege of Joe Torre. He hasn’t overworked any pitchers, and he has not let a player’s lack of experience get in the way of using him if he’s the best option. Mattingly’s a bit more infatuated with inherited runner-squanderer Mike MacDougal than I would like, but again, when a non-roster invitee is the only member of your expected Opening Day bullpen not to end up on the disabled or restricted list, you’re not always going to have the ideal man out there.

There are always going to be moments where a manager makes a pitching change that you disagree with, but I don’t know how you can say that Mattingly has been below-average here.

Starting lineup: Mattingly hasn’t been afraid to start sitting the slumping James Loney or even acknowledge Andre Ethier’s struggles against lefties. I think he’d be even less afraid if he had alternatives. Except on occasional days, he has recognized that Jamey Carroll, on pace for 603 plate appearances this year, is about the best option he has in the infield.  Kids such as Jerry Sands and Dee Gordon have gotten trials – in Sands’ case, 144 plate appearances in under two months. The Dodgers don’t have an answer for the left-field question, but is that Mattingly’s fault? Juan Uribe has been terrible, but is that Mattingly’s fault? Casey Blake is aging and fragile, Rafael Furcal has disappeared … you get the idea. As with the bullpen, there’s stuff to quibble about, but I don’t know of any manager who could make this offense work.

One of the next tests for Mattingly will be how much he plays A.J. Ellis while Rod Barajas is out. But regardless of how well he does, does anyone think Ellis will be a difference-maker?

Motivation: Jackson reports that Mattingly held a team meeting after Saturday’s loss, the Dodgers’ fifth straight, all at home. Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. writes that with that defeat, the 2011 Dodgers have matched the 1992 team for the worst 72-game start in Los Angeles Dodger history. All I can say is that one of the main arguments in Mattingly’s favor as manager was his ability to relate to players. What’s happening on the field isn’t pretty, but I’m not sure why we’d pick this moment, 2 1/2 months into his career, to decide that Mattingly is hopeless to motivate his players.

I’m sure there are some of you who will still be wondering where this piece is coming from, that see the Dodgers’ problems originating, as I do, from the people wearing the suits and sport coats, not the uniforms and caps. But all I can say is that there are those who have already lost patience with Mattingly. Perhaps someday we’ll find, as I considered a year ago, that he isn’t the best man for the job, but there’s no way you can base that decision on what’s happened in 2011.

* * *

Crazy one in Albuquerque on Saturday: Christopher Jackson of Albuquerque Baseball Examiner writes that the Isotopes had 13 consecutive batters reach base in the 11-run second inning of their 13-10 victory over Iowa, a game in which all 23 runs had scored by the middle of the fourth inning.

John Lindsey survived being hit by pitches twice in the single inning, only to leave the game after reaggravating a calf injury in the third.

Trayvon Robinson went 3 for 3 with two walks and has now reached base in eight consecutive plate appearances. Robinson has a .500 on-base percentage and .705 slugging percentage in June. Though he’s still averaging more than one strikeout per game, perhaps Robinson will be the next kid for Mattingly to play with.

Jun 18

Rubby deserved better, but don’t we all

Jayne Kamin-Oncea/US PresswireRod Barajas had a rough night.

Rubby De La Rosa cruised through the first four innings on 45 pitches, then threw 40 pitches in the fifth inning and still didn’t make it out (though he came within one pitch). The defense behind him didn’t help De La Rosa, who was ultimately charged with five runs in a 7-0 Dodger loss to Houston that also included a sprained ankle for Rod Barajas. So maybe A.J. Ellis will soon join the party, if you can call it that.

According to the Fox broadcast, tonight marked the first home shutout in nine innings for the Dodgers with at least 10 hits in 40 years. The Dodgers have averaged 2.2 runs while allowing 6.0 during their 0-5 homestand.

Jun 18

Farewell, Clarence

Here’s the thing about Clarence Clemons, besides being part of music that has meant so much to me for what I can now say is most of my life.

The saxophone can so often be a cheesy instrument, feeling very much like an affectation, insincere. With the Big Man, it was something completely different – something searing, something jolting, something that could make you exult, or tear up, or both.

The passing of Clarence Clemons is a devastating loss for those like me who didn’t know him personally – I can only imagine what it’s like for those who did – mitigated by knowing that his music will live forever.

Jun 18

A low down dirty shame

One thing I noticed about the sixth-inning-gone-wrong in the Dodgers’ 7-3 loss to Houston on Friday was how the hitters who did the most damage to Ted Lilly were diving for pitches.

Carlos Lee went down and away to loop a 200-foot single to drive in the run that broke a 1-1 tie. The first-pitch breaking ball was not in the strike zone. Then, with the bases loaded, Clint Barmes hit a 1-0 slider over the plate but down at his knees, slicing a two-run double just inside the right-field line about 250 feet down.

The topper came on a two out, 3-2 fastball to Jason Bourgeois – first seen here in my 2002 article on Single-A ball in Savannah, right around the time I started Dodger Thoughts – that was over the center of the plate, but all Bourgeois did with that was hit a grounder up the middle that Aaron Miles flagged, only to miss on the throw to second, allowing two runs to score.

In the meantime, Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com can tell you about the Dodgers’ lack-of-patience woes at the plate.

Not the Dodgers’ night, or their week, or their month, or their year.

* * *

Kenley Jansen, one of three injured Dodger relievers coming off the disabled list in the short term, returns to the active roster today. The trio of returnees will create some tough cuts in the Dodger bullpen, starting with Josh Lindblom, who is being sent to Double-A for the time being.

Note where Lindblom ranks on the following lists …

Opponents’ OPS in 2011 for recently active Dodger relievers
.624 Josh Lindblom
.629 Matt Guerrier
.637 Blake Hawksworth
.686 Scott Elbert
.749 Mike MacDougal
.777 Javy Guerra
.996 Ramon Troncoso

Opponents’ OPS in past 28 days for recently active Dodger relievers
.588 Blake Hawksworth
.624 Josh Lindblom
.686 Matt Guerrier
.840 Scott Elbert
.851 Mike MacDougal
.863 Ramon Troncoso
.868 Javy Guerra

Jun 18

My kid bids fans adieu

It ended with a single, a grounder in the infield that the other kids couldn’t field efficiently enough to throw my son out at first. Some might have called it an error, except when the players are four feet tall or so, you don’t call anything an error.

It ended with a good feeling, which was something that seemed far from assured not long before.

There was no press conference, but if you check the transactions wire, you’ll see the news. My 6-year-old has retired from baseball.

This was my son’s third season of playing baseball — T-ball, to be more precise, in 2009 and 2010, and coach-pitch this year. I’ve occasionally written about it in the past. There’ve been moments, but it’s never been a sport that he has really enjoyed.

His attitude at practices has mostly been good, considering that he’s not really into the game. But he almost never wanted to play when he didn’t have to. He would have liked to have been better at it, but he didn’t care enough to make the effort to do so, no matter how fun I tried to make it. One of the ongoing mysteries of parenting: not just when to push, but how to push.

It’s entirely possible that my passion for baseball weirded him out from it, though it’s also entirely possible that he wanted to like the game but just couldn’t make himself do so. It was telling, I think, that his favorite part of practice this year was at the very end, when the coaches just had the kids in a glorified game of pickle, and all he had to do was run around like a crazy man.

In the games themselves, his favorite thing to do was to hit, but he really, really struggled at it, and for much of this season, he got worse as it went on. At first, he was making contact, but it would seem like a fluke because his stance was a mess, even by 6-year-old standards. So we’d try to work with him on his stance, but he was very resistant to instruction – prideful, perhaps, or just not wanting to feel pressured into doing something.

So things evolved to where his natural but ugly stance evolved into an unnatural and even uglier stance. It was like a visual representation of angst. Everything was off, and it couldn’t have been more uncomfortable. There was one practice where he swung and missed at more than 20 pitches in a row. Even if you don’t dream of growing up to be Hank Aaron, that’s disheartening.

He is so much fun and has so many other interests. He does well in first grade. My wife and I agreed that three seasons of this game were enough if it wasn’t something he wanted to do. And my feeling was, if he ever decided, two or four or 10 years from now, that he wanted to try again, he’d make so much faster progress once he cared than he would if we kept sending him out there with nothing but a little kid’s stiff upper lip.

So we put the choice to him last month: We were going to finish out this season, but if he wanted to play again next year, it would be his call.

“Hooray!” he exclaimed.

That left the remaining week of the 2011 schedule — and then, another week. See, we thought his final game would be before Memorial Day, but it turned out that there was a makeup game that would be played afterward. So just when everyone thought he had played his final game, another unfulfilling one, there was actually another.

Here’s what happened. In the final two at-bats of his season and maybe his career, his stance all of a sudden came together. It looked like a little boy’s stance should look. And instead of missing each pitch as he so often had, he hit the ball — hit it pretty well, all things considered.

And I was just so happy for him that he could walk away from the game — for the moment or forever — on his own terms, with that feeling that he could do it if he wanted to. An early Father’s Day present, now that I think of it.

When he crossed home plate for the final time, we packed up his gear, grabbed his team photos and dashed off to rehearsal for his piano recital the next day, with camp, swimming and all kinds of summer fun ahead of him.

The craziest thing of all: All this experience has taken place before his seventh birthday. When I turned 7, I hadn’t yet played in a baseball game in my life.

Jun 17

McCourts divorce settlement raises even more questions about Dodgers’ future

So is this what shaking hands while going off a cliff feels like?

Like two skydivers who finally stopped fighting over their single parachute, Frank and Jamie McCourt have reached a settlement in their intergalactic divorce battle, turning the bitter enemies into allies trying to save the family’s ownership of the Dodgers before it goes over the edge.

Like so much in the McCourt saga, the latest news creates more questions than it answers. Such as:

  • The settlement is likely contingent on the proposed television rights deal with Fox being approved — a deal that logically undervalues the Dodgers in exchange for the quick fix. But will that deal be approved by Bud Selig and Major League Baseball, which, if it declines, would risk a lawsuit they don’t want from a now-united McCourt opposition?
  • Are the Dodgers sole or community property? Ruling on this issue by the courts has yet to be determined, and isn’t scheduled to be until August 4.
  • How much does Jamie’s cooperation increase the chances for the Dodgers making their balloon payroll payment of June 30?

Those are lots of moving parts in a story that has been built on a veritable earthquake fault, but fans hoping for a swift end to the McCourt ownership might have more to fear than to celebrate from today’s news, which no doubt strengthens the family’s bid to keep the team.

Even if Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon determines that the team is community property, splitting it between Frank and Jamie, there remains the possibility that ex-husband could buy out ex-wife (though that would seem to go against the promise that the Fox money would be used for the Dodgers and not personal affairs).

The sense here is that much will depend on just how resolved Selig is to rip the McCourt parachute for good.

Update: New details about the proposed divorce settlement between Frank and Jamie McCourt offer encouragement to fans looking for a forced sale.

A source told ESPN The Magazine’s Molly Knight (see link above) there is skepticism that MLB will approve the Fox television rights deal. That would void today’s settlement and send both parties back to the drawing board.

In addition, if the Dodgers are ruled community property on August 4, Judge Gordon would order an immediate sale of the Dodgers. I’m not sure how “immediate” is defined, but “order” plus “sale” surely means something.

These notes don’t eliminate doubt, but they do paint a rosier picture for the anti-McCourt faction, since so much depends on the actions of MLB and the court.

I do agree with those who have said that if Frank McCourt does come away from all this with ownership of the team, he would probably aim to make a grand gesture (the “buy the fans a pony” thing I have written about at times) to improve the on-field product. You can file that under short-term gains for long-term costs if you like, since I really don’t doubt that the proposed Fox deal, if approved, undervalues the team’s TV rights. McCourt is just in too poor of a negotiation position for anything else to be true, I believe.

Update 2: From today’s court filing, here’s how the $385 million loan from Fox would be allocated, subject to MLB approval:

  • $5 million to each party for attorney’s fees
  • $5 million to each party  “to use as she and he desires”
  • “Approximately $235 million will be used for the Dodgers (including repayment to Frank’s moneys advanced to the Dodgers in 2011, not to exceed $23.5 million), but not for any payments to or between entities (other than the Dodgers) owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by Frank
  • Approximately $80 million to pay off indebtedness
  • Approximately $50 million “will be put in an account subject to the Court’s orders.”

Update 3: Per the agreement, Frank will owe Jamie $650,000 per month in spousal support until the Aug. 4 community property trial.

If the Dodgers are declared community property, Jamie will continue to receive $625,000 per month — paid out of the $50 million court account described in my second update above, “until the assets are divided and distributed.” That’s $7.5 million per year.

If the Dodgers are declared Frank’s sole property, Jamie will receive the first $55 million of the $100 million she is owed as part of the settlement within 10 days of the decision. Jamie will then receive $325,000 per month until Frank pays the remaining $45 million, due within two years of the court’s decision or August 2013.

Jun 16

Dodger Stadium, 2061

Jon WeismanCh-ch-ch-ch-ch-ch-changes.

At the Los Angeles Magazine 50th anniversary party Wednesday (deftly chronicled by Michael Schneider at Franklin Avenue), they had a series of covers imagining the magazine in 2061. A sample of one can be seen to the right. It appears that Dodger Stadium will have come full circle by then.

Elsewhere … Eno Sarris of Fangraphs takes a stab at what’s wrong with Chad Billingsley.

For what it’s worth, Billingsley, who has a .379 on-base percentage and .538 slugging percentage in 33 plate appearances, is now the No. 1 hitting pitcher in major-league baseball. Clayton Kershaw is also in the top 10.

Jun 16

Dodger Cogs and Dogs 2011: Edition 5

Jeff Gross/Getty ImagesJosh Lindblom has allowed one run and nine baserunners in his first nine MLB innings.

The impossible task continues.

There’s Matt Kemp at No. 1, undisputed and glorious. There are Clayton Kershaw, Hiroki Kuroda, Andre Ethier and Jamey Carroll having seasons that, despite some inconsistency, you don’t need to be ashamed of.  There’s an increasingly competent Ted Lilly, and a tip of the hat to Aaron Miles.

And then, the morass.

Playing time, on a cumulative basis, is one of the factors I’ve used in my Dodger Cogs and Dogs rankings, but as I tried to figure out how to fill out just the top 10, nothing made sense anymore. So I decided to blow things up a little.

I pushed the new kids, who came late to the 2011 Dodgers but who are providing most of the energy to this team and most of the reason to watch, into the upper echelon. That means Rubby De La Rosa at No. 8, despite only 15 innings (occasionally wild) this season. That means Dee “Roadrunner” Gordon and his 36 plate appearances without a walk at No. 9. That means young relievers Javy Guerra and Josh Lindblom, with their combined 21 1/3 career innings, at No. 10 and No. 11.

And then Casey Blake, Rod Barajas and James Loney, who have all played more and made contributions here and there, but had too many issues for me to feel good about having them in the top 10.

Dodger Cogs and Dogs has always been subjective, and perhaps never more so than today. But at least I wasn’t left aching as I completed the task.

* * *

Before we proceed to the rankings, one final note …

I want to call out the item on Jonathan Broxton below: “Fifth in MLB history in K/9 (11.55), minimum 300 G.”

Broxton should be back with the Dodgers in a few weeks, with what figures to be about three months left in his Dodger career. I know he’s let a lot of people down, and with the way the Dodger fortunes have unfolded since 2010, his postseason mistakes haunt us more than ever.

His career might have gone into reverse, but it’s not as if there wasn’t excellence there. Call him one-dimensional if you want, but what a dimension.

All-time MLB strikeouts per nine innings (minimum 300 games)
12.17 Rob Dibble
12.00 Brad Lidge
11.92 Billy Wagner
11.67 Carlos Marmol
11.55 Jonathan Broxton

No, this doesn’t mean everything, but like his dominance for much of his career before last summer, it means something.

When he comes back, is there any way, any way at all, that Dodger fans might not boo Broxton every time he touches the ball?

* * *

One more thing. In case you thought customer service was dead at Dodger Stadium, here’s a great story from Evan Bladh at Opinion of Kingman’s Performance.

* * *

Today 5/26 5/5 4/28 4/7 Player Comment
1 1 1 1 2 Matt Kemp Has reached base at least twice in 11 of last 12 starts.
2 2 4 4 1 Clayton Kershaw In 15 starts, has allowed 6 total runs in first three innings.
3 3 3 3 4 Hiroki Kuroda Has lowest ERA of his career, but is tied for MLB lead in losses.
4 5 9 6 5 Jamey Carroll Has .444 OBP on road this season.
5 4 2 2 3 Andre Ethier One HR in past 136 plate appearances.
6 10 17 18 14 Ted Lilly First hit of season raised him to 2 for 47 as Dodger.
7 13 20 21 20 Aaron Miles Hitting .353 since May 8.
8 22 Rubby De La Rosa So, he’s gonna be in Dodger rotation all season then? Need to watch his innings.
9 Dee Gordon Marquis Grissom had 124 PA as a Dodger before his first walk.
10 19 Javy Guerra Only four of his 21 baserunners allowed have scored.
11 Josh Lindblom Lowered ERA to 1.00, making case to stay on club.
12 16 7 5 10 Casey Blake On pace for 70 games this season.
13 9 13 9 6 Rod Barajas Has .264 OBP/.389 slugging. Mets released him last year with .263 OBP/.414 slugging.
14 23 32 23 17 James Loney 41 doubles in 2010, on pace for 16 this year.
15 15 10 15 22 Blake Hawksworth Has no strikeouts in seven innings (nine games) since May 3.
16 6 6 7 18 Chad Billingsley His ERA+ is now below Loney’s OPS+, for what that’s worth.
17 7 16 14 Jerry Sands 29 at-bats, three hits, one demotion since last Cogs.
18 11 5 8 Jon Garland Well, he was a better signing than Jason Schmidt.
19 8 11 11 13 Mike MacDougal Eleven of 26 inherited runners have scored.
20 12 8 10 25 Juan Uribe Had 13 doubles, 11 HR after 70 games last year, nine 2B, three HR this year.
21 14 12 12 8 Matt Guerrier Scoreless inning Wednesday was first in five games.
22 17 18 20 24 Kenley Jansen Younger than Elbert, Guerra and Lindblom. Looking forward to his return.
23 21 Scott Elbert After first rough patch of season, needs to show he can bounce back again.
24 33 35 33 Ramon Troncoso Still rising: Unscored upon in seven of past eight appearances.
25 18 30 Jay Gibbons It’s as if the Dodgers suddenly discovered he was one-dimensional.
26 24 15 19 Vicente Padilla Doesn’t look like he’ll have any HBPs this year.
27 25 19 16 9 Jonathan Broxton Fifth in MLB history in K/9 (11.55), minimum 300 G.
28 20 21 22 15 A.J. Ellis Zero HR, 26 walks for Isotopes this season (.457 OBP).
29 28 14 17 12 Tony Gwynn Jr. Has .553 OPS, below what he had with Padres in 2010.
30 Trent Oeltjen Was a batboy for Lasorda-managed U.S. in 2000 Olympic gold medal game in Sydney.
31 36 23 24 7 Rafael Furcal Wednesday marked anniversary of five-hit game.
32 31 Juan Castro Has started four games at first base in his career.
33 30 29 Russ Mitchell For Isotopes: .910 OPS at home., .633 away.
34 26 22 13 19 Marcus Thames He’s barely hitting Dee Gordon’s weight.
35 27 27 29 Dioner Navarro 2 for his last 25 (and yes, that lowered his average).
36 29 25 27 11 Xavier Paul On Wednesday, hit first HR since 5/15/09.
37 32 26 26 John Ely In past three starts for Albuquerque: 10 1/3 IP, 30 H, 15.68 ERA.
38 37 33 27 26 Ivan De Jesus Jr. Slugged .405 in minors last year, .315 this year.
39 34 28 30 21 Hector Gimenez Has .741 OPS since returning to minors.
40 35 31 31 Jamie Hoffmann On Wednesday, in his 1,000th Triple-A AB, got his 300th hit.
41 38 24 25 16 Hong-Chih Kuo Had a 25-pitch shutout inning for Isotopes on Weds.
42 39 34 32 23 Lance Cormier Now wearing the uniform of the Durham Bulls.
Jun 15

Slumping Billingsley adds to Dodger woes

Mark J. Terrill/APChad Billingsley allowed seven runs on nine hits and four walks in four innings today.

Chad Billingsley through the end of May: 75 1/3 innings, 71 strikeouts, 100 baserunners, 3.46 ERA.

Chad Billingsley in June, including today’s game: 13 2/3 innings, nine strikeouts, 43 baserunners, 11.19 ERA.

Update: Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has more on Billingsley, who is frustrating Don Mattingly, in part because Billingsley was even or ahead in counts when he gave up all nine of his hits allowed today.

… “Honestly, it’s still the same stuff,” Mattingly said. “You still see the ball coming out the same way. But you can’t just throw the ball by people, because if you’re going to catch too much of the plate, you’re going to get hit. It’s as simple as that. (The Reds) are too good a team, and really, everybody you face, you have to throw the ball where you want it. If you can’t (do that), you’re going to be in trouble.”

Billingsley was at a loss to explain the way he has pitched of late.

“I definitely didn’t get the job done,” he said. “I was throwing strikes and getting ahead of hitters, but I couldn’t put them away. I’m just not executing pitches in certain situations. It just wasn’t very good today. I just have to come back out and get better, just keep working hard and figure it out.”

Billingsley said there really was no difference in this start and his previous two, one of which he won despite giving up four runs on eight hits over five innings against the Reds in Cincinnati on June 5.

“It’s the same problem,”‘ he said.

Dodgers catcher Rod Barajas said that besides not being able to spot his fastball, Billingsley (5-6) also didn’t have the usual sharpness to his curveball against the Reds, something that only exacerbated his struggle.

“He is one of our horses,” Barajas said. “When he goes out there, we expect him to go seven and give us a chance to win. The last few times out, it just hasn’t been there. It’s frustrating, not only for him but for everybody in this clubhouse. It’s just a matter of getting behind him and encouraging him to get back to where he needs to be.”

Jun 15

A few notes about blown leads

In 41 games since May 1, the Dodgers have lost eight games in which they had a lead and five others in which they were tied (not counting 0-0 games).

The Dodgers have won four games after they lost a lead in that span (and, of course, rallied from other deficits).

Of the 13 games that the Dodgers lost after leading or being tied, the bullpen earned part or all of the blame in eight of them.

Only once in the 41 games since May 1 have the Dodgers surrendered a lead of more than one run and lost, on June 9 in Colorado.

Blown leads since May 1
*June 14: one-run lead, by Kershaw in fourth
*June 13: two one-run leads, by Kuroda in second and sixth
June 9: four-run lead, by Kershaw, Elbert and MacDougal in seventh (Dodgers lost)
June 7: one-run lead, by De La Rosa in second (Dodgers won)
June 4: one-run lead, by Kershaw in sixth (Dodgers won)
June 3: one-run lead, by Kuroda in fifth (Dodgers lost)
May 27: two one-run leads, by Garland in sixth and De La Rosa in eighth (Dodgers won)
May 23: one-run lead, by Kershaw in third, and two-run lead, by Jansen in ninth (Dodgers lost)
May 20: two-run lead, by Lilly in second (Dodgers won)
May 9: one-run lead, by Billingsley in third (Dodgers lost)
May 6: three one-run leads, by Kuroda in first, second and sixth innings (Dodgers lost)
*May 3: one-run lead, by Billingsley in seventh

Blown ties since May 1 (not 0-0)
*June 14: by Guerrier and Elbert in eighth (Dodgers lost)
*June 13: by Kuroda in seventh (Dodgers lost)
May 25: by Guerrier in ninth (Dodgers lost)
May 21: by Garland in fourth (Dodgers lost)
May 18: by Cormier in ninth (Dodgers lost)
May 16: by Garland in sixth (Dodgers lost)
May 7: by MacDougal, Kuo and Guerrier in eighth (Dodgers lost)
*May 3: by Broxton and Hawksworth in ninth (Dodgers lost)

*same game

Jun 14

Relivin’ 2005: Blind dates

First in what might be a series of features recalling the last time the Dodgers lost more than 90 games …

Record after 69 games in 2005: 33-36
Record after 69 games in 2011: 31-38
2005 finish: 71-91
2011 pace: 73-89

Dodger Thoughts, June 15, 2005: “Blind Dates”

You know what this is?

000 100 000 – 1
100 020 00x – 3

Or this?

101 000 000 – 2
200 010 00x – 3

This is not liking a girl on first glance, discovering as you go that she has substance and some nice qualities – and then realizing, after it’s too late, that you’re too shallow for her anyway.

Jun 14

Live and in concert …

I don’t think I ever mentioned this Fangraphs panel that I’m going to be participating in the night of July 7:

… Among the confirmed guests who will be joining us for an evening of baseball discussion are:

  • Rob Neyer, national baseball writer for SB Nation
  • Vince Gennaro, author of Diamond Dollars and professor at Columbia University
  • Rich Lederer, curator of Baseball Analysts and well known Bert Blyleven booster
  • Jon Weisman, author of Dodger Thoughts and writer/editor at Variety
  • Eric Stephen, author at True Blue LA, the Dodgers arm of the SB Nation network
  • Jonah Keri, writer for FanGraphs and author of The Extra 2%
  • Carson Cistulli, editor for FanGraphs, host of FanGraphs Audio, published poet
  • David Appelman, president of FanGraphs
  • Dave Cameron, managing editor of FanGraphs

Over the course of three hours or so, we will talk extensively about the local Los Angeles franchises, the current state and future of statistical analysis, and why Jonah is just so darn likeable. In addition to hosting several moderated panel discussions, we’ll also be taking questions from the audience, aiming for an interactive discussion between guests and attendees. …

Should be fun. And then, a week later, I’ll be one of the moderators at the July 14 Variety Sports Entertainment Summit, which has a pretty massive agenda itself, capped by an exclusive look at the making of “Moneyball.”