Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Route 66

Get your kicks …

  • According to the Elias Sports Bureau (via ESPN Stats & Information), 66 consecutive innings without a lead for the Dodgers tied a 107-year-old franchise record. As Bob Timmermann pointed out, that 1905 team went 48-104.
  • Also from Timmermann:
    1. Until Sunday, the Dodgers hadn’t played a game where they scored eight runs with only two of them earned since May 13, 1981.
    2. Vin Scully has not called a Dodgers victory since June 17.
    3. The Dodgers are averaging 11.5 runs when they hold Hello Kitty Day.
  • What was Dee Gordon thinking after his second error Sunday? “I can’t say it,” he told Jimmy Bramlett of LAist.
  • Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus finds a lot to write about the Carlos Lee deal that wasn’t.
  • Magic Johnson has been anything but an everyday figure in the Dodger world, writes Steve Dilbeck of Dodgers Now.
  • Clayton Kershaw’s Texas BBQ and Hoedown might be the best-named and most appetizing event I hear about all year. Tickets for the Aug. 2 benefit at Dodger Stadium start at a salivating $250.


Dodgers averaging 8.0 runs in undefeated July


Luis Cruz to make Dodger debut


  1. I love Magic Johnson and I always will but I’ve been more excited about Stan Kasten’s presence from the start. Doesn’t bother me in the slightest hat he’s not there every game.

    • Anonymous

      I completely agree – Magic has always been a guy that enjoys travelling all over the place to attend different events. Years ago, my friends and I noticed Magic getting face-time in shots of the crowd at all different kinds of places to the point where, whenever it happened, someone was sure to point out, “Hey look, it’s Magic – he’s EVERYWHERE!” Now that he became a small minority owner in the Dodgers, all of a sudden he was going to be going to all the home games? Not a chance. Doesn’t bother me in the least.

  2. Anonymous

    Well, I for one do not think that the 2012 Dodgers will have .316 winning percentage.

  3. Anonymous

    Old friend Will Ohman was just DFA’ed by the Sox.  (No, I’m not suggesting anything by noting it.)

    • Anonymous

      That was last Thursday; wondering about your source

      • Anonymous

        I first heard about it today, in an article that was posted yesterday.  Does it matter?

        • Anonymous

           I know it would matter to me if a source I was reading was reporting news days after things happen. If you had told me your source I would try to avoid it.

  4. Anonymous

    >> Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus finds a lot to write about the Carlos Lee deal that wasn’t.

    For non-subscribers, the article cuts off after the paragraph that starts, “That leaves us with the merits of the deal”.  Are there any interesting conclusions in the rest of the article?

    • Here’s a tidbit:

      Lee, road, 2010-2012: .260/.306/.397
      Loney, road, 2010-2012: .261/.315/.395

      • Anonymous

        Hadn’t realized that Road Loney has returned, after disappearing in 2011.

  5. Anonymous

    In the 1981 game, the Dodgers led the Expos 4-1 going to the 9th. Then they gave up 5 runs to the Expos. In the bottom of the ninth, the Dodgers had two outs and one on, when Chris Speier made an error on a grounder by pinch hitter Reggie Smith. 

    Steve Garvey blooped a single just out of the reach of second baseman Rodney Scott and that scored Davey Lopes (who had reached earlier on an HBP) and Smith (who scored all the way from first). Ron Cey followed with a 2-run homer to win the game.

    In the LA Times game story (by Mark Heisler), it was noted that a Dodgers postgame show after a Fernando Valenzuela start was the highest rated primetime show in L.A. that week. It beat out Parts 1 and 2 of “Murder in Texas” and an episode of “60 Minutes.”

    And this was during May sweeps.

  6. Why Dodgers fans believe, and Mets fans refuse to

    • KT

      good article

      • Anonymous

        I don’t agree; thought the article was fitting the writers preconceived notion into reality. If the Mets had taken first place and held on to it they would not be having attendance and revenue problems. But, they were not expected to be good, started out playing about 500 baseball while an upstart team in Washington was looking unstoppable. Now that they might be in a race with 2 or 3 other division teams the equally preconceived notions of their fans that they would not be good and have no money to spend get in the way. Dodgers had the good start which changes things

    • “The starting staff includes a Cy Young Award candidate in Clayton Kershaw”
      I’m sure it’s because his article pertains to this season, but I’m just hoping the writer knows that Clayton has actually won it.

  7. Anonymous

    I liked Mattingly’s comment regarding Lee : “If they don’t want to be here, I don’t want them here.” – Yes it’s an obvious cliche-like statement and some might consider it petty but when given the opportunity to switch from a losing team going nowhere to a winning team fighting for a playoff spot, Lee chose to dither because he was so in love with his cows? Unbelievable. I thought all these MLB players were super-competitive. Obviously not. Dodgers are better off without Lee.

    • kuroda didn’t want to go last year.

      • Anonymous

        Yeah – would have been nice to keep him here.

      • foul tip

        As for his not going at the trade deadline, a story I saw said some of it was the cultural difference between Japanese and American ball.  He said that in Japan if your team trades you in-season it’s like they have given up on you, so there might have been some shame involved–a big thing as many Japanese see it. 

        He said he knew it wasn’t viewed that way here.  And he knew a couple months elsewhere didn’t mean he couldn’t come back to the Dodgers as a FA..  But I don’t think he quite could get past the cultural differences.  He also wanted to be loyal to his team and teammates.  Class act.

        After he signed with NYY, he reportedly said he had wanted to stay in LA but couldn’t wait forever for an offer.  Ned, meanwhile, had decided to go 2 for 1 in starting pitching due to the infamous budget restraints.  Which was far from his worst move.

        Hmm….in addition to Kuroda, wonder who might have been signed with the millions McTort skimmed? Not that Capuano and Harang have been disappointments….but in addition…

  8. Jon W best headline writer in the dodger blog business

  9. In the great Chase Headley is awesome or not debate the evidence the stat boys primarily use that he is  is nobody hits good at Petco. Ok can anyone tell me why. what are the factors. i know home runs are hard to hit there. that’s pretty obvious. oh the splits, that’s right. but why can’t people get non home run hits there. In colorado things are more obvious. The field is huge, etc. the altitude. whatever.

    but what is it about Petco? does the notion that san diego has had a had a batting hitting  team in general since they’ve  called that place home have anything to do with it. Adrian G. had very good starts there. it’s hard for me to take any stat seriously unless there’s reason somewhere behind it. why? because stats are flawed by nature. the presumptions that are made to formulate them are often subjective, rounded off and based on a decision a non-baseball person has made.

    so please tell me why petco is a bad hitters park in general. i got the home run thing. if i can figure that out maybe i can better see the Headley attraction. Also please tell me why WAR is a perfect reflection of a player’s worth. i’m serious. i want to know the reasoning.

    thanks in advance.

    • Park factors account for opponents’ performance in the park as well as the home team.

      Petco has regularly been generated a park factor in the low 90s, where 100 is average.

      Here are Fangraphs’ park factors for 2011:

      • Anonymous

        That’s an interesting chart.  As you can see, there is less variation in park factors for walks (96-105) and strikeouts (96-106) than there is for home runs (90-112).  There’s even more variation for triples (78-130), and look at which park is most difficult by far for hitting those!  :)

    • Anonymous

      Petco is a pitchers park because of its size and its location near the waterfront, where the cool marine layer keeps balls from flying out.  Same for AT&T and Safeco.  Dodger Stadium is similarly large, but less of a pitchers park than those three because it’s farther inland. 

      • there’s more to hitting than hitting home runs. does the cool marine layer cause you not to hit line drives? i’m not being flip to me it makes no sense unless the field itself is the opposite of coors- small. or there’s some tangible thing that reduces batting average or obp.

        • Anonymous

          One might imagine there is an effect from the way that people are pitched to in parks where its hard to hit dingers,   Harang thrived in PETCO in part  because he combined K’s with flyballs.

          • i think that’s reasonable to say bob. but i think there’s about 20 other rational theories you could make on either side of the point. Like the pitcher doesn’t have to fear the home run especially to someone like Headley so he can just throw in there and say hit. that should give a good hitter a chance to hit a line drive somewhere.  you could also say the strength of the padres lately has been pitching so that’s going to keep opposing teams down especially some of the weak offensive teams in tne Nl West. I mean there are a lot of things you can say that are valid. but none answers the qustion of why if headley is so good according to fan graphs why can’t he hit for average in petco?

          • Anonymous

            Don’t know Headley’s case in particular, but flyball pitchers are usually up in the zone and line drives are harder to come by, unless you are Cal Ripken or Gary Sheffield.

        • KT

          No the pitchers do…Like the Dodgers the Padres always stock good arms

  10. Note the use of the words “reference point,” as opposed to “perfect reflection.”

    “Wins Above Replacement (WAR) is an attempt by the sabermetric
    baseball community to summarize a player’s total contributions to their
    team in one statistic. You should always use more than one metric at a
    time when evaluating players, but WAR is pretty darn all-inclusive and
    provides a handy reference point. WAR basically looks at a player and
    asks the question, “If this player got injured and their team had to
    replace them with a minor leaguer or someone from their bench, how much
    value would the team be losing?” This value is expressed in a wins
    format, so we could say that Player X is worth +6.3 wins to their team
    while Player Y is only worth +3.5 wins.”

    • Anonymous

      Here’s another article that tells all about the WAR statistic, a very good description for those not familiar with it:,211211

    • I appreciate the links. I am somewhat familiar with both WAR and Park Figures. Trying not to be difficult but neither tell me Why? in my opinion. Fact based on numbers without the why are troubling to me when looking at the more traditional production factors and seeing one is way of whack. I can understand when ERA is out of whack. I can see when wins are out of whack, etc. In real life when numbers come without a why you generally don’t make a crucial decision until you know the why.

  11. Anonymous

    Ol friend Broxton may make AS team

  12. Getting lost in the whole “Did Cueto and Phillips get snubbed from the ASG because La Russa holds a grudge?” nonsense, is the fact that Capuano was one of the biggest ASG snubs.

    • Anonymous

      There are always snubs, in all three categories (fan votes for starters, player selections for backups, and manager selections), and every year it seems that some of them are truly egregious.  Capuano is one of many.

      Some of the worst this year were players who made the team but deserved to be starters, like Ruiz and Wright.  This year was a good argument for NOT letting the fans vote.

      • You’re right, Sandoval starting over Wright at third is the worst error of them all.

        • Anonymous

          I think Posey over Ruiz was just as bad.  Oh well, you know what they say, two wrongs don’t make Wright a starter.  :)

  13. Anonymous

    I always liked Michael Martin Murphey’s rendition of Route 66 :)

    Anyway, hold on to your Hello Kitty gear:

    Angels Trade Rumors: Indians, DODGERS, Pirates tied to Vernon Wells

    • Anonymous

      Vernon Wells reminds me of Juan Pierre; it’s not that he was ever as bad as people made him out to be, but the problem was that he was never worth anywhere near as much money as his contract gave him.  Oh well, nobody’s going to trade for Wells unless there’s big-time salary relief involved, so that’s not our problem.  (IMHO the outfield is not where we need help, at least not right now.)

  14. Anonymous

    JDP: Vernon, we want to move you
    Vern: NTC BRO! I love the OC, why would I leave? No chance.
    JDP: You will play once a week for the next 2 years if you reject a trade.
    Vern: …..Where am I headed?

  15. Anonymous

    Wells is no better than Rivera but he has an insane contract for 2 more years. If the Halos want to eat the money and throw in Morales they can have Loney for him. I would trade nothing of any value for Wells.

    • Anonymous

      I’m still amazed that when he was traded, the Blue Jays got the Angels to agree to pay his full salary.  Oh, and speaking of that trade…

      >> Wells is no better than Rivera

      Well, apparently it would be safe to say he’s no better (and no worse) than Rivera and Mike Napoli.  :)

    • Anonymous

      Wells is no better than Rivera 

      Vernon’s better. How much? More than a little bit.

      • Anonymous

        It depends on whether you’re referring to Rivera’s 2011 with the Dodgers, vs this year.  :)

        • Anonymous

          I’m thinking career  but I know what you mean.

      • I’d be up for Morales for sure. Just have seen no indication Angels are willing to trade him — have you?

        Also still like the idea of trading relievers to the Mets for Daniel Murphy (to play 3rd). 

        • Anonymous

          Another corner IF with no power. No thanks

        • Anonymous

          Hunter has kinda changed everything. Says he’ll finish out his career in Anaheim………so, what does that mean?  Wells or Morales must go.  Kendrys is still under team control so should be easier to move.

          My guess is that Torii signs a two year deal to finish up with the Angels to DH and be the 4th outfielder in ’13-’14.  (Angels OF is set for the next dozen years or so with Trumbo/Bourjos/Trout, of course.)

      • Anonymous

        Where have you seen any indication That Morales is available? I think we’d all go for that…

  16. Anonymous

    Looks like the Quakes players are going to be happy to have Matt Kemp doing his rehab assignment there, based on this quote reported on Yahoo at :

    “I like to eat, so I’m going to eat good too. I don’t want to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at night.”
    – CF Matt Kemp, on buying the postgame meals for the clubhouse on his upcoming minor league rehab assignment at Class A Rancho Cucamonga.

    • Speaking of which! If anyone was thinking of going last minute… 
      Dylan Hernandez ‏@dylanohernandez:  Class-A Rancho Cucamonga’s game tomorrow is sold out in anticipation of Matt Kemp’s rehabilitation appearance.

      • I looked into tickets yesterday but all they had left was outfield “view” seats, didn’t think it was worth the drive.

        • Anonymous

          Wednesday the Quakes are at 66ers. Combine Kemp and a pretty good fireworks show, get there early.

    • Anonymous

      A little more detail from TBLA:
      The clubhouse postgame spreads for Rancho Cucamonga will be a step up from the normal fare for about a week, as the rehab assignments of Mark Ellis, Javy Guerra, and Matt Kemp will ensure at least one major leaguer with the Quakes for about a week, starting yesterday. Tradition dictates that any major league players on rehab assignments buy the postgame meal for the team, a practice Kemp enjoys.”It’s tough being in the minor leagues with the money they get. I was eating Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken every day (in the minors), so I’m going to feed them well,” Kemp said. “I like to eat, so I’m going to eat good too. I don’t want to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at night.”

  17. i’m going to repeat and say i think Josh Willingham is a vry sensible and realistic target. I think it better to strengthen a spot that needs strengthening when you can even if it’s not your biggest problem. there is a trickle down factor from putting a strong bat in left and platooning at first.

  18. Anonymous

    TBLA reporting Luis Cruz called up; Lilly to 60-day; Tolleson to AAA

    • Anonymous

      Sounds like this would be just for a few days, until Guerra gets back later this week, since we don’t normally go with six in the pen.  This move also shows concern over Dee’s issues.

  19. Anonymous

    The Dee Gordon era may be coming to an end:
    LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today selected the contract of infielder Luis Cruz from Triple-A Albuquerque and optioned right-hander Shawn Tolleson to Albuquerque. Cruz, 28, was selected to the Pacific Coast League All-Star team this season and is hitting .318 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 74 games with the Isotopes. The native of Mexico was hitting .390 (30-for-77) with runners in scoring position and batting .433 (39-for-90) against left-handers with Albuquerque.

    • The Dodgers aren’t going to give up on Dee yet, at least not for good. Cruz can definitely give him some days off, especially if the hammy is bothering him. But Cruz could also play at 2B and 3B I believe. 

      The more shocking news is that Lilly is going to the 60 day DL. Dodgers originally said he wouldn’t be out that long, I guess we know now why they are looking for starting pitching. 

    • Anonymous

      Your conclusion is unwarranted. If you were correct Gordon would be going to AAA; he is not going to be in MLB as a PR.

      • Anonymous

        1) I said “may,” not “is.”
        2) We’ll see.  They may not give up on Gordon for good just yet, but so far, he has not shown much improvement.  An extended rest may be just what he needs to see where he can improve his game.  It might also be nice to have a veteran SS presence from whom he can learn. The Dodgers haven’t really had somebody like that around the clubhouse. 

          • Anonymous

            I keep forgetting that Uribe was a shortstop for so long.  He certainly hits like one.  If he weren’t so damn fat, he could be the answer at short.

        • Anonymous

          even may goes too far based on current evidence; but thanks for the reply

  20. Tonights batting order:
    Herrera 8
    Ellis 2
    Hairston 4
    Rivera 9
    Loney 3
    Uribe 5
    Van Slyke 7
    Cruz 6
    Billingsley 1

    I have to say with Elian’s current hitting seeing him at the top doesn’t make me feel a whole lot better. But Cruz is in the line up right away.

    • Anonymous

      Wow. 2 career minor leaguers, a career utility guy, 3 mediocre veterans, and 2 rooks.

      • Anonymous

        So there’s hope then ;)

        • Anonymous

          and no roadrunner stealing bases

        • Anonymous

          Eternal hope of great glory..

          • Anonymous

            In this crazy season, anything could happen (maybe something like Bills getting our first HR for years – or something far out like that!!)

    • Anonymous

      Aint too many options at leadoff right now, so Herrera is the least worst available player. 

    • Anonymous

      What could go wrong?

  21. The Dodgers are not close to giving up on Dee Gordon for good. Not close. Not even “may.”
    Not that Gordon hasn’t struggled, but I’m sure it’s no coincidence that Cruz is coming up the day after Gordon had to leave the game because of injury.

    • Anonymous

      Speedy Gordon would have to commit a ton of errors, hit around .210 with a negative WAR, and get a big head for us to drop him.

      • Anonymous

        I agree, we cringe at his errors, but who else is going to steal 3 bases and create general havoc with his speed (and enthusiasm)

        • he’s not the worst offensive player in the league.

          • Anonymous

            Is he the worst defensive short stop in the league? As far as his errors go Vinny simply said “that’s a lot”. I’ll take that as code for he should be back in the minors.

  22. Anonymous

    Old farm hand Steve Johnson called up to O’s today.  Can’t remember what trade he was involved in. For minor leaguers, I guess.

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