Friday, November 24, 2006

Monday, February 13, 2006

Goodbye Loyal Readers (both of you)

All good things must come to an end...and so must this blog.

I recently was asked to write a weekly column for a small local paper called The Midvalley News. The first column is basically a rehash of what I have said here. After that, fresh new material. I also recently became an Assistant Principal at the high school I work at. In addition I am coaching baseball at the high school, getting my Masters done and chasing my 7 month old around. Needless to say, I'll be short of time and if something must go, it shall be this blog.

What started as frustration over the firing of Paul Depodesta became a fun little outlet for me to get my opinions on the Dodgers out there. Hopefully, you'll check out the column and frequent the links I have posted on this site (all approved by myself...I'm sure you can rest easy now).

So thanks to everyone who participated here and hopefully I'll get a chance to talk to you soon.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Seattle 27
Pittsburgh 17

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Baez Beware

The Dodgers traded promising young starters Edwin Jackson and Chuck Tiffany to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays today for relievers Danys Baez and Lance Carter.

Immediately, many will be enamored with Baez's 41 saves last year without realizing that all it takes to save a game is to pitch one inning without giving up one or two runs. His secondary numbers are nothing special, as he averaged 6 K/3.75 BB/9 IP with an usually low 8 HA/9 IP for someone who doesn't blow hitters away. These numbers suggets to me that Baez has been very fortunate and is likely headed for a reversal of fortune.

I campaigned last week to plug Edwin Jackson into the departed Duaner Sanchez's role and feel he could produce what Baez is now expected to. He just doesn't have the sexy track record that DB does. Giving Jackson a shot to do this, though, would just give Dodger fans a reason to grimace that "the farm system hasn't produced any pitching in a long time". This ignores the fact that from a logical standpoint it doesn't mean it cannot or will not happen. The Braves system didn't produce a solid major league pitcher for a long stretch until along came Glavine, Smoltz, Schmidt, etc. I feel Jackson could have contributed roughly what Baez would, but that's just me.

If this trade was a poker hand, Baez is pocket jacks while Jackson/Tiffany is King-Queen suited. Baez is better now, but Jackson and Tiffany carry many more possibilities to win out in the long run. Ned's in the lead now, but he has to dodge the flop, turn and river in order to win and that's a lot of bullets to weave through. Of course, when you have a lot of chips (prospects), you can gamble on marginal hands. It will be interesting to see if Baez, who surely doesn't want to set-up heading into his FA year, even stays in a Dodger uniform come spring training.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Lull talk

With no free agents left and a trade seemingly unlikely, it looks like the Dodgers we have now are the Dodgers we are going to get, more or less.

I don't think they're the class of the NL, but who really can make that claim right now? Cardinals have lost some key pieces and past Carpenter, they are very suspect pitchingwise. They can afford even less now to take the hit of losing one of the big 3.

No one in the East or Central looks overwhelming in any way. The playoffs look like a true crapshoot, so getting there will be a big part of the battle. Of course, no one saw the White Sox coming last who knows.

Do we really have to wait 2 1/2 more months???

Sunday, January 08, 2006

I hate Tweener Time

Tweener Time that period between the end of the regular football season and the beginning of baseball season. I will watch the NFL playoffs with passing interest (I chose to go see "Munich" last night instead of watching New England take on was a slaughter televised worldwide and one was a movie directed by Steven Spielberg).

I perused my roster for my keeper fantasy baseball league and it just reminded me that there was still about 3 months until the beginning of the regular season. I'm reading the poker books I got for Christmas, but haven't had the occasion to get away to the Bike and apply whatever new knowledge I think I have.

But hey, today is Jeff Weaver Day (what, you didn't have your calendar marked?), so at least something baseball will or won't happen today.

Speaking of calendars, I'm looking up at my 2006 Dodger one now and January is adorned by...Milton Bradley. Jose Valentin, Jeff Weaver and Jason Phillips also adorn the pages of it, which makes me wonder whether the people who put these out know that some of these guys had one year contracts or were soon to be free agents. Was there something wrong with Oscar Robles, Dioner Navarro or Hee Seop Choi? (Insert joke here that Tracy's last Dodger responsibility was putting the 2006 calendar together).

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Calling my shot

USC 44
Texas 31

So Long Dirty Sanchez

Looking upon the Sanchez/Schmoll for Seo/Hamulack deal, my thought is positive indifference (meaning I'm fine with the move, but it doesn't swing me toward excitement or disappointment) . Here's my positive and negative checklist:


-Personally, I'd rather have a guy who throws 6-7 innings than a guy who throws 1, sometimes 2. Starters are harder to come by than relievers generally and while I like Sanchez's upside, this move allows LA to be more patient with Billingsley, Miller, Jackson, et al. Houlton moves to the pen as the "swing man", even though I would have been more than fine with him as the 5th starter.

-The move makes them deeper at SP rather than relying on a Scott Erickson type to win the 5th starter's job. Lowe, Perez,Penny, Tomko and Seo give the Dodgers a set rotation with Houlton, Jackson, Billingsley all capable of stepping in. This is all before the spring training invites are sent out. This depth is important, given the fragile nature of pitchers in general. Also, if you are comfortable with the young guys taking a slot in the rotation, you should be comfortable with them taking relief roles as well.

-Picking up Hamuluck makes it less likely that the injury prone Kuo will be rushed. Just don't leave him in Vegas, where pitch counts are more apt to go through the roof.

-Jeff Weaver won't be getting a $9-10 million dollar paycheck from the Dodgers for the next 3 to 4 seasons, allowing for resources to be used elsewhere, if need be. In turn, LA receives compensation picks.

-I think Edwin Jackson, in the pen, can do what Sanchez does and is more capable of throwing 2 innings an outing than Sanchez is. It doesn't close the door on him starting and it gives him a chance to find some success at the major league level. If he has a bad game, he doesn't have to sit around for 4 days thinking about it. And really, why send him back to Jacksonville (where he's more than proven himself) or Las Vegas (which is a hell hole for pitchers)?

-Hee Seop has a buddy. Because all South Koreans automatically get along...right?


-Sanchez and Schmoll have upside. But which Sanchez is real? The one who came on near the end or the seemingly erratic aloof hurler who seemingly found the most inopportune times to melt down at times last year. His rising K rate makes me want to believe he's for real. I think people are afraid that he will turn into a dominant closer type and bite the Dodgers in the behind, but with Billy Wagner in front of him, the chance to do so won't be present.

-I have an affinity for submariners.

-Duaner Sanchez signed my then 5-year old cousin's baseball when we took her to her first Dodger game. Would Franquelis Osoria do that? Well...would he? And would she be able to read/say his name even if he did???

All the money seems to cancel out, except Sanchez will get to arbitration quicker...but that's still a couple seasons off. I'm more than happy with a Gagne/Braz/Jackson/Brox/Osoria/Wunsch/Houlton bullpen and see this as a low-risk/decent reward type of move.

If Seo doesn't work out as a 5th starter, what's really been lost? I see Sanchez doing fine for the Mets and Seo working out for LA. Hopefully, if this happens, fans don't consture this as a bad trade, as the mindset generally seems to be that unless one side rips the other off, it's not a worthwhile move. I see this helping both sides.

God speed, Steve Schmoll.