Dodger Thoughts

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

Home unfree

The Dodgers began the season hot at home and cold on the road. Now they are cold at home and hot on the road.

Here are the explanations:

  • Through player transactions, the team has evolved from one more suited to playing at home to the opposite (possibility: 15 percent)
  • Coincidence (possibility: 80 percent)
  • Tides (possibility: 5 percent)
  • Anything else (possibility: <0.5 percent)

* * *

Stephen Fife has a 6.05 ERA with Triple-A Albuquerque since being sent back down, largely because he allowed nine runs in 4 2/3 innings on August 16. He has two quality starts in his other outings. In 19 1/3 innings, he has the same number of strikeouts (nine) as homers (three) and walks (six) combined.

I’m still comfortable with the idea that Joe Blanton – as disappointing as he’s been – was a better bet than Fife. Perhaps the tides will allow Rubby De La Rosa to be better still.

* * *

Elsewhere …

  • On his 36th birthday, former Dodger Randy Wolf has been released by the Brewers. Wolf had a 5.69 ERA, 1.574 WHIP and 6.13 strikeouts per nine innings this season. Milwaukee will swallow the remainder of his $9.5 million salary for 2012 and a $1.5 million buyout of his 2013 option.
  • A few people wrote Tuesday about what impending free agent Nick Swisher of the Yankees will be worth on the open market; Dave Cameron of Fangraphs used Andre Ethier as a comparison.
  • Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports devotes his column to the Matt Kemp-Tim Lincecum at-bat with the bases loaded Tuesday.
  • The double-shot of 10-strikeout, no-walk performances by Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw on Monday marked only the third time since 1920 such a feat happened in the same game, according to Elias Sports Bureau.
  • Former Dodger Jon Link has a 0.75 ERA in a comeback-from-release attempt with the Marlins’ New Orleans affiliate, writes Christopher Jackson of Albuquerque Baseball Examiner.

    … Link was cut (by Norfolk) on June 12 and was still unemployed going into July.

    “A month without a paycheck and a baby on the way is not the best situation to be in,” he said. …

  • Carson Cistulli of Fangraphs has fun with an 1887 newspaper baseball clipping.
  • Umpire Jim Joyce performed life-saving CPR on an Arizona Diamondbacks employee Monday.
  • Best wishes to MLB players union chief Michael Weiner, who is being treated for a brain tumor.


Sufferin’ succotash


Andre Ethier in the crosshairs


  1. Anonymous

    >> I’m still comfortable with the idea that Joe Blanton – as disappointing as he’s been – was a better bet than Fife. Perhaps the tides will allow Rubby De La Rosa to be better still.

    Oh please please please…  :)

    • Anonymous

      Yep.  But I doubt we will see Rubby starting a game in 2012.  Bodes well for 2013 though.

  2. Anonymous

    >> The double-shot of 10-strikeout, no-walk performances by Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw on Monday marked only the third time since 1920 such a feat happened in the same game, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

    Got link?

  3. Anonymous

    So it looks as if the team will continue to play short-handed until rosters expand.

  4. Anonymous

    I’d take Wolf over Blanton at this point.

    • Last night on the radio they said that Wolf leads MLB in hits allowed. Blanton was 10 behind in 9th place. So Blanton may have a chance to win something at least!

      • Anonymous

        It’s a close call. At least he was pretty good when he was a Dodger, ha. 

  5. Sat at field level right next to the bullpen last night. Fans all around me
    and in the pavilian were heckling Victorino all night! !?!?! He turned around to
    tell the jeerers to “simmer down” on about 10 occasions. A heckler went so far
    as to call him out when he was getting water in the bullpen during a pitcher

    Can someone please tell me how that helps our team win????

    I live about 3 hours north of LA and don’t get to many games a year. PLEASE

    •  That’s lame – they were definitely Dodger fans?

      • Dressed in Dodger apparel yes. Fans? Not my kind of fan. What bummed me out the most was that I could see them getting to Shane. Not a good chemistry builder to say the least.

    • Anonymous

      It doesn’t and it is part of the reason the rest of us have to pay $10.50 for beers.

      • Anonymous

        Everybody thinks his team’s fans are like the children in Lake Wobegon. 

        Every team has good fans and bad fans. Even the supposed best fans in the world (in St. Louis) are sometimes lousy fans.  

        • Anonymous

          I agree.  But it is these types (and those is St. Louis, etc..) that leave a lasting impression.  My point was that excessive drinking helps out these buffoons and high alcohol prices are are of the ways which team combat that issue.  General poor behavior will always exist, but I fail to understand how heckling a player on the team you root for has any benefit.

          • Anonymous

            The high prices are from greed, nothing else. Ushers and unruly fan ejection are the only thing that will make them clean up their act. If the club really cared, they wouldn’t sell beer at all. Victorino will be a free agent this winter and will not resign here, he wants to play centerfield and that ain’t going to happen here. I’m thinking he’s a Giant-in-waiting…

          • Anonymous

            I don’t know that beer prices have anything to do with behavior.  They are a function of supply and demand. If people are going to get hammered and act like idiots, they’re going to do it regardless of what the beer costs.  Nothing stops anyone from getting lit before they arrive at the ballpark and continuing their bender inside the gates.

          • Anonymous

            And if they were in the bleachers they don’t even sell beer out there anymore

    • Anonymous

      Though tasteless I don’t think we should assume it gets to Victorino. After all he did play in Philly and many road games in NY. Still inexcusable fan behavior.

      • After gesturing politely to the hecklers to relax about 10 times, during a pitcher change he goes into the bullpen to get a drink of water. Now in closer proximity to some of the hecklers, they begin to give him hell again. He responds with “You need to shut your mouth!”, tosses the remaining water out and returns to the field.
        It’s different when it’s your own teams fans that are heckling…

    • I heckled Mike Trombley at a 2001 Dodger game, but I generally do not heckle Dodger players.

  6. A very readable Simers piece on Matt Kemp

  7. Anonymous

    Plaschke suggests the way to solve traffic woes at Dodger Stadium is to reduce the number of seats, and hence the number of cars.  Can’t wait for his column a few years down the road when he complains that the ticket prices have gone up to justify the decrease in number of seats.  

    • Anonymous

      >> Plaschke suggests the way to solve traffic woes at Dodger Stadium is to reduce the number of seats, and hence the number of cars.

      He probably misses Frank McCourt’s ownership, and its corresponding relatively poor attendance at games.  Poor performance on the field has a tendency to solve traffic woes.

    • Anonymous

      I guess people are attracted to his column just to see how off-the-wall he can be.  Now that Boswell in the Wapo doesn’t have to devote every other article to attacking Angelos (not without reason) he is having a grand time with the Natz pennant run and making the case for bestowing Davey Johnson with sainthood.

  8. Anonymous

    Even if we salvage a win tonight to avoid a sweep, these two losses have ruined my week.  I love baseball’s stretch run.

  9.  Former Angels P Bartolo Colon suspended 50 games (testosterone).

    • Anonymous

      Bums me out a whole lot more the last week’s.

      • Anonymous

        Rick Sutcliffe starts preparing another deportation hearing now I guess.

  10. KT

    Does anyone know who is broadcasting the game tonight….It’s not showing up on Directv anywhere

    • Anonymous

      Kcal I do thinks

      • KT

        Thanks and the Gnats aren’t broadcasting so I have no eyes or ears
        I guess that’s alright since I haven’t been a good positive re-enforcement poster as of the last 2 days.
        I was going just watch and not post tonight but since I have to watch the ESPN stickmen then I might have to ask for clarifcation on some plays

    •  Channel 21 (KOLO) in Reno.

      • KT

        Thanks but i don’t think i can get that channel in San Diego

      • Anonymous

        You get local Dodger games in Reno or is that a Giant’s broadcast?

        •  When the Dodgers play the Giants (or the A’s) the Dodger broadcasts are blacked out on Directv. Therefore I get no Vinny (just Krukow and Kuiper) for 18 games a year.
          Including the 3 games to close out the season, darnit.

  11. Anonymous

    Long time….No DT!… for me, anyways.  :-/
    1.  I think the Dodgers’ play speaks for itself… no need for me to get on here and criticize.

    2.  This is psychological.  The Giants just lost their highest-achieving player… They’re like a wounded animal.  Defensive, Aggressive….. They’re out to show, not only the Dodgers and the league, but also….’themselves’ that they can compete for this division without Cabrera.  The Dodgers may have the big names, but to me…it’s the Giants who are showing more ‘heart’ in this series.
    Just look at their faces… It’s so easy to see.  Conversely, look at Andre Ethier throwing a ‘mini tantrum’ with his bat at home plate last night when he guessed wrong for strike 2.  Not Strike 3…. Strike 2. 
    If they can sweep this series…the Giants will get a boost moving onward….
    And, the Dodgers (whether they would ever admit it or not) will have had a ‘little black and orange seed’ planted in each of their heads as well. 
    No time to panic.
    And, I’m not trying to convince any of you of anything. 
    It’s just my opinion…plain and simple.  :-)

    • Anonymous

      Agreed. The Dodgers have bounced back from losing three in a row to the Giants before; they’re capable of doing it again.  They’ve already scored more in this series than the last sweep.

      • Anonymous

        Exactly, back-to-back losses to an inferior team are no reason to panic. It happens to everyone.

    • Anonymous

      All my Bums got heart, Dre included.

  12. Anonymous

    The Dodgers play 17 of their last 31 at home.  IF their current trend continues, this is a bad omen.

  13. Anonymous

    With the of day Thursday, the Dodgers will only need a fifth starter once more before rosters expand (Tuesday in Colorado).  Why not send Blanton down (does he have options left?) or move him to the pen and send a reliever down so they can recall Herrera?  Blanton could benefit from an inning out of the pen, and the bench sorely needs another bat.

    • i think the here today gone tomorrow offense is more of the problem than blanton

      re: leading the league in grounding into double plays

      • Anonymous

        110 second is 99
        almost 1 GIDP per game
        Loney 16
        Rivera 13
        AJ E   12
        Ethier  10
        Kemp  8

        • wow Mike our current 1b platoon has 29 double plays combined (I realize Rivera also has played OF) and they have 10 homeruns and 73 rbi combined.

      • Anonymous

        You’re not going to win many games when your offense only scores one run.

    • uribe. the thickness of don baseball’s head is intact on this issue.

  14. To whoever it was that said PED’s lead to a more fit physique regarding Melky Cabrera, I give you Exhibit A: Bartolo Colon.

    • the guy’s 39 trying to finish off a career, make some more big money before he can’t any more. it’s a risk many people would take. no real penalty other than you can’t play anymore. and he fesses up. 

      the whole ped formula/risk-reward/once in a lifetime op is out of whack. people are going to keep trying to beat the system forever. why wouldn’t they?

      • I was just commenting on how Melky’s 20lb weight loss was being attributed to PED’s. I could care less why players are doing it really. If MLB doesn’t toughen up on penalties it isn’t going to change.

        • just for discussion sake: what penalty could you possibly impose on colon that would stop him from breaking the ped rule in his case?

          • For Colon? It doesn’t matter unless he plans to pitch next year. But as I’ve read many others suggest a one year ban after your first failed test sounds right. And a life time ban after your second.

            Edit: Or allow teams to put clauses in contracts that if a player fails a drug test they can void the deal and recoup some salary. I don’t think the MLBPA would ever let that happen but it would certainly stop somebody like Colon from doing it.

          • well i think the second option you suggest could possibly do the trick. but the players union is way too strong in the business equation for that to ever happen.

          • Anonymous

            They do recover some salary, in the sense that violators do not get paid during their suspension. Not that that’s sufficient.

          • How about if you are caught PEDing your team has no chance at post season play

          • Anonymous

             But only if it is team policy to administer PEDs to its players or the team knowingly allows PED use.

          • Fine him.  Big.

        • Anonymous

          MLB can tighten down to the point of testing between innings if they want, but without union support, nothing is going to come of it.  With the union backing the absurd protocol complaint used by Braun, this battle is currently one sided.

          • Anonymous

            people I greatly respect did not think the Braun claims absurd
            Chad Moriyama is one who wrote extensively on the subject and there were others
            I had no interest but you may wish to review your opinion if you have not studied the chemistry and biology.

          • Anonymous

            Got link?

          • Anonymous

            no link, nsx just go to his web-site or google his name and I feel pretty sure you will find what I mentioned.

      • This is a very good point. One more good payday…

        • Anonymous

          Olympic athletes can face extraordinarily harsh suspensions for using PEDs. Some can get banned for multiple years.

          And it still seems to happen.

          • Anonymous

            As long as there is a rule, there is a cheat trying to work around it.  Since medical science is always inventing new drugs, testing companies need to stay on top of being able to isolate them.  Sadly, it is a never ending cycle as long as competition exists.

  15. Anonymous

    Huh? 1st the Giants, and now the A’s?
    Who’d of thunk it.

    • As Bill Shaikin put it on twitter: “Melky Cabrera, Bartolo Colon, Guillermo Mota … you’d almost think the “BA” in “BALCO” stood for Bay Area. Oh, wait–it did.”

  16. Anonymous

    I wonder if ball clubs can sue suspended players to recover lost monies? But it probably gives the club a bad image.

    • Anonymous

      What do you mean, “lost monies”?  The player doesn’t get his salary while he’s suspended.

    • Anonymous

      Colon and Cabrera aren’t getting paid. The Giants and A’s are still making money off of everything else. 
      What damages did they suffer?

      If you let teams sue players for flunking drug tests, then the Dodgers can sue Juan Uribe for not being any good.But they can’t do it.

      All of this is collectively bargained anyway. Remember that it is a JOINT drug testing program by MLB and MLBPA.

      • Anonymous

        Im not saying teams are not making money. But is there a difference between what a team does earn and what it could have earned? If SF or Oakland doesn’t make the post season are they missing out on certain monies?

        • Anonymous

          How in the world could anyone prove that in court? You’d be tied up in litigation and arbitration for years?
          And who would pay out the money?
          Does Bartolo Colon have to cut a check for $10 million to Lew Wolff for flunking a drug test?Do you get off free if you flunk a drug test and you stink already, like Neifi Perez?

          • Anonymous

            I can’t prove it but a good legal team might. I would take pleasure in watching the defendant spend every dollar he made off the team on his legal fees.

  17. So…in pro football, a linebacker gets caught with PED’s, is suspended for 4 weeks, and returns with no fanfare, no recrimination, no loss of reputation. In baseball though, every suspension is met with a national display of naval-gazing and hand-wringing, and the players are turned into social lepers. Exactly what is the difference? Could it be that the national sports media is so deep in bed with the NFL, and so addicted to the revenue manna it brings that these things are just kind of…ignored? I’m shocked…SHOCKED.

    Anyway, the only thing a sport can do is continually and organically build a strong random testing program that stays on top of things from a scientific point of view. Test more often and more randomly. Fine.

    There will always be a percentage of players who choose to cheat, regardless of the penalty. These players, because they are MLB players rather than NFL players, when caught lose substantial monies, suffer public shaming and permanent loss of reputation. Exactly what more do you want to do?

    • Anonymous

      It’s the NFL. Nobody even cares much if players head to a premature death. Who cares? They’re not playing anymore. Everyone in the NFL is just a small cog in a giant money-making machine. Everyone can be replaced quickly and the machine just keeps going on.

      But make sure that the owners split all their profits evenly!

      • Exactly. Football is about getting the biggest, fastest, strongest guys and having them slam into one another every weekend. I don’t think fans even care if they are using PEDs.

  18. The main contenders in the NL are StL, Cin, Pgh, Wash, Atl and SF.  The Dodgers are 23-14 against these teams with 13 left to play (7 vs SF and 3 each v Wash and Cin).  The Dodgers are 44-43 against el resto del mundo – crazy.

  19. Anonymous

    Hmm, Buster Posey was in the original starting lineup for the Giants. But he’s been scratched.

  20. Anonymous

    Ted Lilly….. :-)

  21. So Adrian Gonzales is on waivers, chances Dodgers claim him (assuming another team doesn’t first)? And chances they’d actually be able to get him?

    • It depends on the tides :)  I’d say there’s a non-zero chance – I don’t think it’s crazy talk.

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