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Saturday, February 14, 2004

Please Jesus, No

All that is holy in the world, if there is any good left in you my lord, even though we killed your son, please do not allow Pat Gillick to be hired as the GM of the Dodgers. The LA Times is reporting that Gillick is in the running for the GM spot. This is the worst possible news imagineable. Anyone who knows anything about stats, and who is not a Dodger fan, right now they are laughing at us. If McCourt takes on "Stand" Pat, we are doomed. I know that he has led the Orioles and the Mariners to the playoffs, and the Blue Jays to two World Series, and I think he'll probably be a step up over Evans. But if you noticed during his tenure in the AL West, how he fared against a sabremetrician GM, you'll notice he got his ass kicked. Gillick is a competent old fashioned GM. He'll make good decisions, he knows what his team needs, but he'll also make mistakes. And he can't make good midseason acquisitions, like Evans. That's critical in this day and age. Sabean, and Garagiola, the GMs of the Giants and Diamondbacks respectively, are jackals, and will take every advantage possible. Please God, give us Podesta, and not this over the hill, past his prime, asshole.

That's all the updates until Tuesday or Wednesday. See ya!

Friday, February 13, 2004

Who's staying home on a Friday night?

I am, I am! I won't be updating this blog until Tuesday at the earliest, more realistically Wednesday, because I'm going out of town for a drug deal. I'm adding some things, updating the links, and I put a fancy 40 man roster on the side. As you can see the team is in shambles, due to a complete lack of decision making at the top because of the new ownership (unless Todd Hundley can close games, and is our new clean up hitter).
News Update

I'm watching the Southern California Sports report on Fox Sports West right now. Bill Plaschke and J.A. Adande, and Carolyn Hughes (has anyone noticed how big her mouth is? It's fucking huge!) are all spitting out the latest rumors and innuendo on the sports scene, but some interesting news came up in their conversations. You can tell that Plaschke is so pleased he's on television, he's sporting a fake tan, and being way more honest than he's allowed to be in the newspapers. His take on the Depodesta hiring: It's already a done deal. McCourt and Gammons are evidentally close friends, and when Gammons spilled the news in typical Gammons betrayal style, it was the truth. Plaschke also jumped on the Selig rumor, which is that Selig forced the Dodgers to be bought by McCourt so that overall payroll comes down in baseball, with one less big budget team. I basically agree with this rumor, and wouldn't put it past Selig to not only ruin his team, but ruin the game of baseball as a whole.

Carolyn Hughes went on to talk about the Lakers, and as usual had no idea what was going on, as do most women when it comes to professional sports. Her brilliant take was that the Kobe was an "unpopular" player in LA. In fact, Kobe is widely considered the best Laker by the people of LA. J.A. Adande and the entire round table passed around typical sports writer bullshit on how the Lakers don't really need this guy, or that guy etc. etc. ad nauseum. Phil Jackson, and Kobe are both up for new contracts. Kobe wants to be a free agent, so does Phil. Who to go with? Quite frankly, neither. The people don't come to games to see Phil shoot around, they come to see Kobe and Shaq. With Kobe, it's wait and see, wait and see whether he's in jail by the end of the season, then let's talk about contracts again.
Farmer Dan

There's been a lot of hooing, and hawing, concerning how amazing the Dodger farm system is. I'm not impressed.

ESPN.com has a review of the Dodgers' farm system here. Virtually all publications that rank farm systems have ours at least in the top 10, many in the top five.

Unfortunately that analysis is flawed. Most of the people who write about farm systems are scouts, or wannabe scouts, and analyze players in traditional scouting methods. I.E. they use superlatives. "So and so, is the next Bob Gibson. So and so, is the next Babe Ruth. So and so is the next coming of Christ." And so on.

Our farm system is loaded supposedly with pitching talent. That means NOTHING. Most of those arms will never make the majors because of injury. Most people can't pitch a major league career because they'll blow out their arm, or another body part. Look at how many pitchers who have had major league careers, how many have had shortened careers or missed seasons from injury. Pedro will probably never pitch enough innings to be considered for a Cy Young again. Kevin Brown has been on the DL at least once the last three years, and missed most of the first two seasons of that three years. Kaz Ishii ended the season early with knee problems for '03, Nomo had offseason surgery, Dreifort exploded, Ashby went down with Tommy John surgery, Shuey had offseason hip surgery, Tom Martin and Wilson Alvarez aren't strangers to the surgeon's knife either. Neither is Gagne or Odalis.

Our highly touted prospect, Greg Miller, has not pitched ONE game in the majors, and his shoulder has already been acting up. Edwin Jackson, was totally unheard of as a pitcher before last year, BECAUSE HE WASN'T A PITCHER, until last year. That means he's an enormous injury risk. His arm is untested to the stresses that pitching brings. And virtually every scout around compares him to Doc Gooden. Ridiculous.

All of the pitchers that Evans drafted are from high school. So are most of the highly touted positition players. People bag on Beane for drafting out of college, but if you think of college as a AA level game, with players you don't have to pay for, the idea of using it as a talent pool is genious. One of the reasons why college players aren't as highly touted as high school players, is because predictions concerning the former are far more realistic, and not absurd when it comes to high school players. The college players have shown what they're capable of, and more importantly, they've shown that they're injury proof (or not).

And Dan Evans drafting of high school players is also stupid because it means years of Dodger money being used to train players in Rookie, A, and AA ball. Personally, I think there shouldn't A, or AA ball. Baseball has an anti-trust exemption, so it could use colleges like talent pools, and drop their A and AA affiliates. Players would lose out on salaries, but they'd get a college education.

So to me, this is just another strike against Evans. Bill James and other sabremeticians have run countless analyses on how college players fare better than high school players. Yet Dan and other GMs use old fashioned methods and millions of dollars betting on something that will probably not come to pass. My only hope now is that McCourt has brains enough to hire someone like DePodesta, the assistant GM of the A's to bring about rational thinking to this Dodger front office. To borrow a phrase from Hitler and George Bush, it's time for a New World Order (without the hapless killing of minority groups across Europe, of course.) I just wish Danno's firing would have come during Spring Training, not before.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Found new blogs

The last few weeks I've found several new blogs, that are all pretty amazing. The first is called the Bench Coach, and it covers the Dodgers. See it here. It's more editorial in nature like my blog is, except without cuss words, and vile hate.

Another blog that's out there is 6-4-2 after a double play between the umpire, the manager, a hot chick above the dugout, and the first baseman. It's pretty rare, but I've seen it twice. This dude covers the Dodgers and the Angels. Until a few years ago, I would have blasted this writer for daring to compare those red colored bastards to the Dodgers, now I've thought of emailing him to stop him comparing the Dodgers to the mighty Angels. Very good blog.

And finally, this blog covers Dominican baseball, and Dominican players. That is AWESOME, and I plan on using the links he has to buy Dominican jerseys at some point. That blog is here. I hope it becomes a good source of what the players really feel, since they evidentally pour their hearts out on public radio, and have issues that we never read about in American papers, and it's always cool finding out which of your favorite players is a murderer, or wanted for tax evasion.

Also there's a blog that covers the payrolls of all the teams in the MLB. Fucking amazing. So far the payroll is at around 92 million, hardly the 100 million we were supposed to be at. The Mota signing has not yet been updated, but undoubtedly will be in the next few days. That link is here.

All of these blogs, in fact all of the blogs that I link to are better than mine. I have no idea why any of you read this blog; the subliminal messages I put in the text must be working.
So tired

Blogging is like nose picking, or taking heroin. I hate to do it, but I have to do it. I've been to a dead blog before, old ones still talking about taking a view from the top of the World Trade Center, going to watch the Kennedy parade in Dallas, buying a Brontosaurus at the local pet store. They look strange, and they're not updated. I swear on the eyes of my children, and my future fat wife's pregnant belly, that I will never stop updating this blog. Even after death.

I hate Kobe. He grins like George Bush. He's cocky, had everything given to him in life, and will escape criminal prosecution for all acts, big and small, just like Bush. But after last night's loss to the Rockets, I think we may need him.

Kobe and Shaq have missed a combined 28 games. And even with that, we're still in second in the Western conference. But it's not enough. Kobe needs to be healty. A bench, no matter how strong doesn't cut it. It's all about the stars. And the refs. The refs need to cheat for us, and call goal tending and flagrants on Yao. And never on Shaq.

This team can win it all, but it'll need a bit of luck. If our stars are healthy, we win. If not, it'll probably be the Kings. I bought a major stats guide to the NBA, and it should arrive in a couple of weeks. Expect more than just typical sports writer banter, and some kind of stats analysis after I read it. Until then, more BS.

I also didn't forget about analyzing the rest of the NL West. I spent the weekend hiding under my blankets, and thinking about women and baseball, so I came up with some good analysis. I've just been to lazy to commit it to the screen. It'll come, I promise.

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Trade Beltre

Yanks need a 3rd baseman? We got one. Trade Beltre. Yankees don't have anything we want? Find a 3rd team to make it happen, so we get a hitter for first base, or one of the corner outfield positions. How did I come to this conclusion?

For one thing, I'm smart. Smarter than you. Smarter than all of you put together. I read stats. I understand them. It's a skill that's going to help me get a job, a better job than the one I have selling air conditioning parts. It's the job that's going to get me out of my dungeon office in the back of a warehouse.

There's a lot of talk in baseball circles, (nerd circles actually), on how OPS is defective. Probably is, most baseball analysis is flawed anyway. I use OPS+. You see, by assigning a defective, but constant value to all hitters, I find their RELATIVE values, no matter how flawed the value, so long as it is constant.

When looking at a player, one season is rarely long enough to show a trend, but two or three seasons are perfect. Beltre's OPS+ the last three seasons? 93, 98, 89. And those are full, solid seasons with at least 550 plate appearances. 100 OPS+ represents an average player park adjusted offensively. That means for the last three years Beltre has been 93 percent, 98 percent, and 89 percent of a full player. That means he's been playing without some fingers and toes. That means he sucks.

Let's look at Robin Ventura. OPS+ for last three seasons? 106, 121, 99. Bill James calls Robin Ventura the best third baseman of the 90s in his Historical Abstract. And he's better defensively than Beltre. That 99 came with less than 500 plate appearances, so there's a possibility that he might have had a rebound with more playing time.

Lasorda most likely ruined Beltre by moving him up so fast as a youngster. Not only that, he had to deal with Giants' spy, Jack Clark as his hitting coach. Clark sure as shit couldn't ride a motorcycle let alone coach major league players. The damage is done.

This is Evan's big chance. Trade the Yankees, the team everyone hates, another A-bomb in the form of Beltre, and let's get what we can. Maybe a 3 player deal with the White Sox for Konerko? Maybe a Travis Lee acquisition? Who knows, but let's try and do something. At least publicly humiliate Lasorda for the incompetent front office fuck he was.

I'll be analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the rest of the NL West in the coming week. We know the weaknesses of this team, so I won't linger on those. At a cursory glance, the teams of the NL West are uniformly terrible, which might just give the Dodgers a chance this year.

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