Dodger Thoughts

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

‘If life seems jolly rotten, there’s something you’ve forgotten’


Dodgers recall Wall


Dodger blog end-of-season tournament is September 29


  1. On the bright side, at least the team plane didn’t crash.

  2. So after that performance, and with the Dodgers still needing fresh arms n the bullpen, does Wall get back on a plane to Albuquerque tonight? Who would take his place? I don’t think Guerra can be called back up yet. Maybe Paco Rodriguez?

    Ramon Troncoso is always available.

    • Anonymous

      I’d go for a Tron Tron Coors Special, the 4 inning save.

  3. Anonymous

    Nice. Well, I remember the Dodgers lost 8 in a row shortly after Manny joined the team, and then they jelled and won the division going away. No need to worry! Just one of those things…

    • I don’t think 84 – 78 will get it done in the West (or the wild cards) this year, but a 17-8 September would be nice. Dodgers Sept 2008 opponents look eerily similar to those of the Giants for 2012.

      • Anonymous

        BP odds puts SF, Atlanta and the Cards all around 90/91, with us and the Bucs around 86.

        The G’s do have a truly cushy schedule.  If we keep on losing to teams like the Rox, we’ll need the beat the giants twice and sweep them one of those times.

  4. Dilemma here.  I’ve attended 4 Dodger games in person this season (2 in Denver, 1 in LA, 1 in St. Louis).  The Dodgers are 0-4 in those games, outscored 35-7.  I have tickets for tonight’s game at Coors.  You know where I’m going with this.  Advice?

    • Anonymous

      You’re due.

      • Anonymous

        After going 1-5 so far this season, I have the same feeling as Bob’s advice.  So I one-upped and got tickets to two of the games in Cinci.

  5. Anonymous

    It’s one game.

    • Anonymous

      Yep – I think it’s a lot easier to get over a 10-0 shellacking than it would be if, say, the Dodgers were ahead the whole game, and then ended up losing 10-9 on a 9th inning walk-off bomb by the Rockies.
      Hopefully the Dodgers can come out to play tonight with some purpose.

  6. Anonymous

    One game is right…..
    Hey…I have a feeling that this thing will come down to the wire.
    The Giants will have a hard time keeping up their pace.
    Meanwhile, the Dodgers are like a Ferrari stuck in first gear.
    We’ll see.

    • Anonymous

      >> I have a feeling that this thing will come down to the wire.

      I have the same feeling, which is why I got tickets to two games in Cinci, risking the possibility that they will be meaningless if the Dodgers are out of it by then.

      • Anonymous

         Here’s to hoping that you get the chance to see two very meaningful Dodger wins!

  7. Anonymous

    I wonder why Uribe hasn’t been placed on waivers? According to MLBR, he hasn’t.
    If things don’t improve, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Mattingly replaced next year. Not that I’m advocating that, I think he has done as good a job as any other manager they have had or could have., but it’s easier to replace 1 manager than 25 players…  Ownership has certainly got the players, finally. Maybe the players are just too used to losing, they need shaking up. Everything points to lack of leadership but how can they correct that?

    • Anonymous

      I would assume Uribe, like nearly everybody on the roster, was placed on waivers. It’s just that nobody claimed him. There’s not a big incentive to take him.

    •  Mattingly isn’t going anywhere next year. In fact, the acquisition of the so-called clubhouse problems from Boston only reinforces his value in the eyes of ownership. It’s not like they’re going to find someone who can better navigate those waters. 

      When you’re writing things like “the players are just too used to losing,” you need to come up with another theory.

      • Anonymous

        I would posit that being a better personnel manager than Valentine is best filed under “Tall Midgets”.

        The question is whether the be-everyone’s-buddy model is as bad as the opposite extreme when it comes to getting 90 wins out of a half-billion in contracts.

        • I don’t necessarily believe that Mattingly fits the “everybody’s buddy” mold. He’s not a screamer, but from what I’ve seen he holds the players accountable. I remember when Loney had a good game earlier this year, and then, in typical Loney fashion, said that he’d “found it” or words to that effect. They asked Mattingly about it and he basically said: “Yes, we’ve heard all that before…let’s see what happens”. Not exactly warm and cuddly.

      • Anonymous

        Why can’t they find someone better at navigating those waters? Why the theory that Mattingly now looks even better suited for this team?

        • Anonymous

          Because (a) most people think he’s pretty good, and (b) there’s a good possibility that anyone else could be significantly worse.

          I don’t understand the antipathy for Mattingly.  I think he’s done well with what he’s been given – last year being Exhibit A, this year’s book not yet closed.

          I was not in favor of his being given the manager job – at the time I thought Tim Wallach deserved it more – but in hindsight, I’m pleased with how well he’s done.

          • Anonymous

            A .521 record with teams like the Pads and Rox to beat on and 8th in nl manager voting sounds like “pretty good”.

            This is where it really becomes his team.  Most of the starting 9 in any given game weren’t Dodgers as of April.  His job is making them into a team.  These days, a bright teenager could spend fifteen minutes with a
            computer and come up with appropriate splits and a good lineup card, and probably make good enough bullpen and pinch moves in the late game.

          • Anonymous

            I have no problem with Donnie B for the most part. However to think the expectations with the current high priced model are the same as with Gordon, TG III, and Uribe is strange. To think that management is worried about making things worse by changing managers after all the player movement is very strange. Saying there is no one better is very very strange.

    • Vail Beach

      Which players are “too used to losing?”  The long-time members of the team like Kemp, Kershaw, Billingsley and Ethier all played on teams that made it to the NL Playoffs.  This year’s team had a great start, stumbled in the absence of its two best (at the time) hitters, but has managed to stay in contention, in first place as recently as two weeks ago.  Did you wander here from a Cubs’ site?

    • Anonymous

      Who’s “too used to losing”?  Are you referring to the team that won 4 of its last 5 series?

    • Anonymous

      The Dodgers, since they have more money than Scrooge McDuck, if they were trying to find a manager, would try to find a “big name” manager. They wouldn’t get rid of Mattingly (who has pretty high name recognition) and replace him with Tim Wallach.

      They would have to bring in someone who had instant name recognition and celebrity cache. They could try to lure Scioscia away from the Angels, but Moreno seems to be giving no indication that they are going to get rid of their manager. And Moreno wouldn’t want the Dodgers to get that PR coup unless extracted a pound of flesh along with several million dollars.
      The other big name manager who is available is one Terry Francona. And he would not be the right guy to manage a team that has three guys on it who stopped listening to him last year.

      • Anonymous

        Isn’t that they tried that once before the reason Mike’s in Not LA anyway?

      • Anonymous

        Mattingly is not going anywhere.

        But I’m surprised you didn’t mention LaRussa. He’s the biggest name out there, and he’s there for the asking.

        • Anonymous

          He seemed to enjoy the ASG, but also seemed to genuinely be in a retirement mindset.  Of course, he may start to itch for the competition again in a year or two.

          I don’t know if he’s a fan of LA – he seems pretty comfy up in the bay.

          • Anonymous

            I think La Russa would only want to get back in the game in the front office.

  8. Anonymous

    Beckett wasn’t the reason they lost, but he’s proving to be exactly the pitcher I suspected.  The Dodgers’ site says he was “solid” in his debut.  Apparently the definition of solid includes a 4.76 ERA (3 runs in 5.2 innings).

    You can say it was Coors Field, so three runs is pretty good. I say he was pitching against a AAA lineup that lacked Todd Helton, Dexter Fowler, and Troy Tulowitzki, so three runs to the likes of DJ LeMahieu is pretty weak.

    Of course, the Dodgers would have lost even if Beckett never gave up a hit after the 1st inning.  But I didn’t say anything last night to change my mind about him.

    • Anonymous

      1 game = small data

      • Anonymous

        Undoubtedly.  I’m just saying it’s absolutely consistent with what he’s done over a longer period of data (4.38 ERA over the past three seasons).  No reason to expect better (or worse, if you want to look on the bright side of life).

    • To some extent, I agree…but in general I think he threw well…he toughed 93 with his fastball, and seemed to have good break on his hard curve. He caught too much of the plate on a couple of occasions, though. We’ll see…

      • Anonymous

        I thought he threw the ball well overall. The second run scored on a 27 hopper up the middle when Hanley was positioned WAY over in the hole. Did not see the third 1 live but the glimpse I saw on SC it looked like a flair to CF. If you score zero runs, you are going to lose every game.

        •  true Pismo on both counts. I didn’t see the first run myself but saw those two. I turned it off when Kemp hit into that double play and went to the gym which was a great call by me. That was worse than Beckett’s performance. Ahead in the count, anything but that and he puts the ball on the ground to the left side no less.

          • I was sitting behind the Dodger dugout.  Beckett’s first pitch was a 90 fastball in the middle of the plate.  I said to myself “hope he doesn’t throw that pitch again”.  He did.  And that was the game.  But there were few, if any, other balls that were hit hard vs. Beckett the rest of the game.  The final run scored on a bloop that would be caught in most other parks.

        • Anonymous

          Well yes, but the reason the run scored on the 27-hopperwas that the previous batter hit one to the wall and was already on third. 

          Throwing well isn’t really the point.  Getting men out is the point, and Beckett didn’t do enough of that in my opinion.  We will indeed see, since he’s the only option the Dodgers have right now. 

    • A 4.76 ERA IS decent for a #4 starter, which is all I expect from Beckett at this point in his career.  It’s also much better than his season-to-date performance.  I thought he looked impressive at times last night.  Other times, not so much.  With the Dodgers new lineup, if he holds the opposition to 3 runs over 6 innings in the rest of his starts, the Dodgers will win most of those games.  If he can keep his ERA to under 5, that’ll be a success in my book.

    • He was one out away from a quality start at Coors Field. Not a bad Dodgers debut from the way I see it.

      • Anonymous

        You guys are easy graders.  A 4.76 ERA is indeed decent for a #4 starter.  Problem is, Becket is being paid like a #1 starter at $15.75 million per year.  That’s more than Kershaw, Capuano, and Harang combined. (Not for long, of course, as Kershaw will soon get paid his due).  

        The Dodgers 4-5 starters are earning $24.25 million this year combined.  It just seems to me there are more effective ways of getting wins than this.  Even if they do have an unlimited checkbook.  

        • It’s not my opinion, pitching 6 innings and giving up 3 earned runs or less is a “quality start”.

          • Anonymous

            They don’t use the term anymore, since pitching to a minimum 4.50 ERA hardly counts as quality.  Beckett didn’t even make it that far; had Randy Choate not thrown that wicked slider, the results could have been much worse for Mr. Surly. 

          • Who’s they? You may not agree with it but the stat is still used today.

        • I wasn’t factoring in his salary.  But the Dodgers aren’t the ones who gave him that contract.  Still, they’ll likely get more for the money they will be paying Beckett than they ever did from Jason Schmidt — and maybe even Kevin Brown, though I’d have to look at the numbers on that.

          • Anonymous

            The Dodgers were just as dumb as the Red Sox for eating the last 2 years of the deal.  Schmidt raked in $15,703,946, or less than either of Beckett’s remaining years, in the most expensive year of his deal.  But I’ll grant you that was an even stupider allocation of funds for a 34-year-old coming off injury. 

            Kevin Brown earned just under Beckett’s 15.75 million, but his numbers as a Dodger were excellent: 58-32 with a 2.83 ERA, 784 Ks (150+ per year) in the height of the steroid era.  I wasn’t here at the time, so I don’t have any baggage invested in it.  

  9. I am happy just to be in a pennant race based on our roster on April 1. I am happy the owners want to win based on what I saw out of McCourt ownership over the years when I felt we won a few of those years in spite of him. The dodgers may not be doing it right which is debatable of course but at least the effort is there and as a fan that’s what I want to see first and foremost. For some it seems they want them to fail just in order to be right on the internet.

    • Anonymous

      It certainly isn’t boring!  :)

      Remember how dull it was the second half of last year, when the team was winning but it didn’t matter?  Me neither!  :)

    • I think that knowledgeable fans of a normal team only ask for one thing: that the team do its level best to improve every year. No one expects total victory every year. And…if your team is like the Dodgers…a big market team with heavy resources and revenue…the reasonable fan only hopes that every year, when you leave Spring Training, your team has a fighting chance to contend to go to the Series. I think we’re going to get to that expectation in short order.

      • Anonymous

        I ask two things in particular of the Dodgers:

        1 – keep the Giants out of the playoffs
        2 – perform like a team with multiple championships and the far-superior location of the two clubs in the #2 market in the country

  10. Exactly! I mean of course we all wish we could have traded fro Mike Trout, David Wright, Ryan Braun, Felix Hernandez and David Price but that wasn’t gonna happen.  I do understand the don’t try to get better at all argument but I am glad they are trying to get better.

    • What? You don’t believe that we could have packaged Jerry Sands, Loney, Van Slyke, and John Ely and gotten all of those guys? I mean they’re our boys…our kids…they’re all going to be superstars…all Loney needs is about another 6 years and he’ll be right as rain! :)

  11. Anonymous

    Hey Jon… is DT getting the band back together for the LFP Softball Tournament?

    •  Yeah – I keep forgetting to post that.  I mean, there can be a DT team, though I won’t be able to attend.

  12. Anonymous

    I thought Beckett pitched well, though giving up a run with 2 outs and no one on hurts.

  13. Anonymous

    By my calculations, if the Dodgers, Cardinals, and Giants all win tonight, the Astros are mathematically eliminated from the playoffs.

    • Anonymous

      Their WCE is 4:

      I think that means you are correct, a loss by them or a win by any of the 3 above subtracts a #.

      They should lose 110.

      • Anonymous

        Actually, they have probably already been eliminated.  It’s possible that they have not been eliminated vs any one particular team, but they have been when you take into account that the teams above them still play each other so they can’t ALL lose the rest of their games.  For example, the Astros could win the rest of their games and the Cards could lose the rest of their games, but that would mean the Dodgers win at least four games (because the Dodgers have four games remaining against the Cards). I’m guessing there’s no combination of wins and losses for ALL the remaining teams which allows the Astros to get a wild card slot.

        • Anonymous

          If the Astros lose tonight, they will have 89 losses, which maxes out their wins at 73. If the Cardinals win, they will have 72 and the Dodgers will have 70. Since the Dodgers and Cardinals play each other four times, it’s actually conceivable that the Dodgers could finish with 73 (beating the Cardinals three times and nobody else) and the Cardinals finish with 73 (one win against the Dodgers and nobody else). The Pirates only have one other game against the Cardinals after tonight, so they can be ignored.

          The Astros cannot be mathematically eliminated tonight after all.

    • Anonymous

      LOL!  Is that something anyone was wondering about?  :)

    • Anonymous

      I hope a Giants loss staves off Houston’s elimination.

  14. Anonymous

    Please oh please no:–mlb.html

    Scroll to the bottom to see the paragraph about whether the Dodgers would be dumb enough to eat A-Rod’s contract too.  Third base still doesn’t have an overpaid guy on the wrong side of 30. Whaddya say, Ned?  

    • Anonymous

      MLB Trade Rumors had a very similiar article, but concluded with the fact that the Dodgers had no interest in A-Rod.

    • Anonymous

      Keeping up with the ‘ants, who have had two players suspended this year for using PED’s?

      • Anonymous

        Today is supposed to be Guillermo Mota Melky Memorial Reinstatement Day.

    • Anonymous

      That’s the only trade that could possibly get me to forget where channel 38 is and think of the ravine as where the police academy is.

      •  You know even I have my limits, I agree. I can’t think of a player in any sport i’d want less on my team than him.

        • Anonymous

           Not just my least favorite athlete, probably my least favorite celebrity in general.

          • Anonymous

            I’m going with Joan Marichal on that one (even though he made up with Johnny Roseboro long ago). With runner-up status for Barry B*nds and the late Bobby Thomson.

            Expand it to all celebrities, including those in entertainment and those whose mention violates rule 5, and wow there are a lot of candidates.

          • Anonymous

             nsxtasy, Marichal should have been charged with and tried for felony assault.

  15. Anonymous

    For all of you who may still have a “thing” for Eric Bedard…..He’s just been released. 
    Let the Sweepstakes begin! Ha. 

  16. Anonymous

    Has there been any word on Bills status/injury?  Last I read, he said it was just like last time when he missed time.

  17. A small shake up in the batting order today, Mark Ellis will lead-off with Victorino in the two hole. Also, Kennedy is playing 3rd.

    • Anonymous

       Wow.  I don’t recall Ellis ever getting lead-off.  IIRC, Kendall usually got it in his glory days.

      • He led-off Friday night when Victorino was scratched, can’t remember if he hit first at any other times during the year though I feel like he might have.

        • Anonymous

           In any case, that’s awesome.

          A (probably) non-roider ’77 kid batting lead off on a club with a half-bill in contracts!

          Even though his busted pinky broke my heart 5 years ago, I’ve always been a fan.

        • Anonymous

          Started 4 games leading off.

    • Anonymous

      The good luck charm is back!  

  18. Anonymous

    I thought AK was supposed to hit fifth.

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