Is Don Mattingly Trying to Build the “Dodgers East” in Miami?

In case you haven’t noticed, the Miami Marlins, led on the field by former Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, have a bad case of “L.A. creep”, and are quietly transforming into the Dodgers East.

When Mattingly and the Dodgers parted ways, one of the first things he tried to do was bring his L.A. coaching staff along with him to Florida. I get that.

Plenty of relocating managers try to coax their coaching staffs to join them in the new digs. Of course they do. The coaching staff has already bought into the manager’s style and agenda, and who doesn’t like working with trusted, familiar faces?

It’s also a good move for the coaches, who are usually let go along with the manager, as part of an entire regime change.

Mattingly wanted to take pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, bench coach Tim Wallach, and base coach Lorenzo Bundy with him to Miami. He got two of three, as Honeycutt remained with the Dodgers.`

When he took over the Marlins, Mattingly was reunited with former Dodger Dee Gordon, who was traded away in a three team deal that brought Howie Kendrick (among others) to L.A.

Since then the Marlins have signed ex-Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis to a one-year deal. The Dodgers East now had a membership of five and they were looking for more.  Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen was on the market as a free agent, and the Marlins were definitely in the hunt. What are the odds ol’ Don had at least one phone call trying to convince Jansen to ditch the Dodgers and don some new duds?

The Marlins missed out on the elite closer, but they did manage to sign yet another former Dodger, Javy Guerra, to a minor league deal, with an invitation to Spring Training 2017.

Are the Marlins trying to turn Dodger Blue?

When Mattingly was manager in Los Angeles it was understood that the Dodgers’ front office had a heavy hand in game day decisions. Don Mattingly was the face in the dugout, but he met with his bosses before every game, and they told him what he was allowed to do, and what players he was required to start. I’m sure that wasn’t what he had in mind when he took the job as the Dodgers’ skipper. The Marlins have given Mattingly more autonomy, and he seems to be very interested in continuing to work with the talent that is coming out of Chavez Ravine.

I found plenty of fault with his managing decisions when he ran the Dodgers, but I’m confident the man wanted to win here. I’m equally confident he wants to win in Miami – and if the Marlins have to look like a Frankenstein-version of the Dodgers for that to happen, so be it.

I just hope he’s not on the phone trying to convince Vin Scully to spend his golden years in Florida – as the Marlins’ new play-by-play man.

 

Oscar Martinez

Oscar Martinez

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium and immediately drenched in Dodger Blue. Chavez Ravine is my baseball cathedral, Vin Scully was the golden voice of summer all my life, and Tommy Lasorda remains the greatest Dodgers manager ever. My favorite things are coffee, beer, and the Dodgers beating the Giants. I also blog about my baseball card hobby at All Trade Bait, All the Time.

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221 thoughts on “Is Don Mattingly Trying to Build the “Dodgers East” in Miami?

    1. Maybe they should be called Dodgers Least instead of east with Bundy, Guerra, and Ellis there. Don’t kill AJ fans. I like him too. Just a joke.

  1. 1. Catchers get hurt.
    2. Catchers get tired.
    3. Catchers primary duty is to call a game, slow the other teams’ running game, play defense.

    Therefore, catchers that are a major part of a team’s offense are more likely to leave a hole in that offense especially if they are hitting in the 3, 4, 5, or 6 spots.

    I prefer a great defensive catcher that hits 8th and would trade Grandal to get a young righty bat at second.

    1. If we traded Grandal. who would be our #1 catcher? Barnes? Who would be his backup?? What young right handed bat would play 2B? I don’t think so.

      1. I made my case. You proposed a solid alternative.

        BTW, Barnes fits into the catcher role I said I liked. Would I prefer Johnny Bench or Roy Campanella? Yes. But Grandal is prone to nagging injuries and slumps and strike outs and his home runs against righties are a luxury that is not appropriate for a team that has two weaknesses–second base and insufficient righty hitters.

        The Dodgers will still have plenty of OPS against righties without Grandal in Gonzales, Pederson, Seager, Turner, Ethier, Toles plus Verdugo and Calhoun and Bellinger next year if not sooner.

        1. Is Farmer any good defensively?

          I agree with your take about catcher being a defensive position. Grandal will never draw comparisons to Molina, but he seems to impress enough batting .230 to keep him in the lineup. His projections remain “blind squirrel” only for fewer games.

          What’s the holdup on Dozier? They want 3 top prospects. We gave that for less last year, right? If you believe the 42 home runs then match the Hill offer and get it done.

          1. I am okay for a De Leon for Dozier trade straight up but if Dodgers have to give up more, then I want a younger, faster, controllable second baseman in return.

            Grandal, De Leon, Puig for Swansby. I hope I gave up enough there to reduce the number of commenters from saying Swansby in untouchable.

        2. I think Grandal is more susceptible to injuries, because of his framing skills.

          Because he is trying to keep his mitt in the best position, to get a strike, or have as little movement as possible.

          I rather he hit above 250 and hit twenty HRs, then hit 27 HRs, and not hit over 230.

          I think he and Hill, are going to have to learn to work together better, to keep runners close at first.

          Because Hill throws so many curves, it makes it easier for runners, to steal second.

          Grandal needs to work on making his throws more cleanly, when he throws to second, because he doubled clutched to many throws, in the latter part of the season.

          1. Grandal had 390 at-bats last year, and 89 hits. If he had hit .250, he would have had 97 hits. So you’d trade 7 HR for 8 singles? How many of those singles would have been with the bases empty and how many more LOBs would we have accrued?

      1. Wondering

        It isn’t just him getting eight more hits, if he changes his approach, and made better contact, he might not be such a hole in the line up, at times when he isn’t hot.

        He may not only get eight more hits, he may have ten more sac flys, and make more productive outs, because strike outs, are not productive outs.

        And those eight more hits, actually might be more then just eight singles, there might be doubles.

        But I know you were just being conservative with the eight singles.

        I like Grandal I just would like to see him do a little better at the plate, and see him make better throws.

  2. I think a team like the Twins are going to ask for to much, because Dozier is probably there best player.

    And we will only get Dozier for two years.

    I rather they find someone else that doesn’t require that much.

    The combination of Dozier being the Twins best player, and every team thinking the Dodgers have so many good young players, is probably causing the Twins to ask for to much.

    When we traded for Howie that first time, did we give the Angels, only that good young pitcher, or did we give more then that?

    I know Dozier is better then Howie is right now, but when we first traded for Howie, he was considered a pretty good player.

  3. Sub-freezing temperature last night, MJ, my water froze up. It’ll thaw in a couple of hours… Not as cold as Colorado, thank goodness.

    1. Wondering

      It was cold here last night, but it was a little warmer during the day yesterday.

      This might be a stupid question, but how did you know that your water freezed up?

      1. When you turn the faucet handle on the sink and nothing comes out, it usually means the pipes are frozen, especially if its 29 degrees or so outside. Actually the water runs until the water lines and the water heater are empty, then nothing. Easy problem to fix, it only freezes in the little pipe that runs from the holding tank to the ground, a 3-4 inch nub. If I wrapped it with insulation, or even threw a handful of hay over it, no more problems… It only happens 4 or 5 times a year.

  4. “When Mattingly was manager in Los Angeles it was understood that the Dodgers’ front office had a heavy hand in game day decisions. Don Mattingly was the face in the dugout, but he met with his bosses before every game, and they told him what he was allowed to do, and what players he was required to start.”

    Anyone ever hear about that old rumor about Richard Gere and the gerbil? No, I won’t go into details. suffice it to say, it’s what you call and urban legend; a falsehood that gets repeated until it’s considered accepted fact.

    I’m not suggesting that this narrative about the Dodger manager being a front office sock puppet. There is a possibility that it’s true. I doubt it, but it’s a possibility. The issue I have with this is that it’s a repeated narrative that has no foundation on evidence. Fans and commenters here and elsewhere construct this belief that the front office, because of an embrace of advanced metrics and more contemporary ways of constructing lineups, has somehow neutered the traditional manager and rendered him into some figurehead who simply claps his hands and says, “thatta boy” a lot. I don’t think this is reality.

    1. I was going to say the same thing, well something along the same lines, but then I’d be going after a third recent post on this blog.

      I agree, the idea that grouping some fired coaches and an aging catcher is reconstituting the Dodgers is a pretty flimsy one.

    2. I assume that the Dodgers’ Braintrust would hire a manager who is generally simpatico with its philosophy of game management and player useage. This isn’t unique to this front office – generally all front offices work the same way, although when a very experienced manager with a long track record is hired (say Dusty Baker or Bruce Bochy), you have to assume that the front office hires him with the understanding that he has a certain way of doing things, which he will continue to do. So I assume that Dave Roberts and the Braintrust share the same philosophy and that Roberts gets advice and suggestions and manages accordingly, but I doubt that he is being told what to do directly.

      The thing about the Braintrust is that it, like many front offices, is so statistically oriented that the assumption is that instead of allowing a manager to manage with his hunches, there will be more direction given based on the statistical information available.

      The reason that this offends (perhaps too strong a word) older, more traditional baseball fans is that historically, field managers have been given leeway to manage based on their experience, philosophy and “gut” and based in part on what scouts tell them and baseball tradition. Now, someone with no baseball experience armed with a computer is giving advice to a person with many decades of actual baseball playing, coaching, scouting and management experience on how to manage a baseball team playing a baseball game. It would be like a non-lawyer telling me (an attorney of more than 30 years experience) how to try a case. You can see how a traditional baseball fan would take exception to this type of franchise management, which is, I think, one of the many reasons why many posters here are not fans of the current manangment.

      1. In my opinion,

        Dodgerrick’s post would have been 1000x better (and more conversation driving) as a blog post than the one imagining a Dodger East in Florida.

        1. Bluto, although you said you didn’t want to ” be going after a third recent post on this blog”, it seems you couldn’t resist and did so anyway.
          I’m not the kind of guy who would argue whether a post written by someone else is 1,000 x better than one I wrote, as all criticism is subjective, and I would be biased anyway – but I do want to point out one small thing about your criticism of my post.
          The piece was meant to be light and enjoyable reading. It was what writers call “tongue in cheek”.
          I wasn’t trying to be dead serious about the Marlins, although some points about Mattingly were based in fact.
          I’m pretty sure he wasn’t really calling Vin Scully.

      2. I would assume that Roberts knew he would not get the job unless he agreed with FAZ’s philosophy and gave them the impression that he would be very cooperative. And none of that would be unexpected, it’s the way the world works, but we don’t have to like it.

        1. I agree Wonder. The nerds are just running the numbers and handing them to Roberts. The whole idea of running those numbers is to come up with what will give you better odds to win. Now I wasn’t always a boss, but when I was I drank Dos Equis. No wait, that just came out, what I meant was when I was working, in charge or not, when the boss did make a suggestion it was damn near always followed. The reasons why are obvious, especially for anyone who did it differently than the boss suggested and it didn’t work.

          Bluto, the theme of the thread generated Rick’s post. I don’t see 1,000 responses to that post.

          And Rick, regarding your experience, I suggested to our defense lawyer he should just tell the truth about who our son is and what actually happened that night and he said no, we have to tell a different story. The different story was so bad it actually caused precedent to be set. I’ll spare you the details, but instead of the probation and fine he set as a goal our son got 96 years. 35C will be teed up after appeal and we hope to expose that incompetent bastard. He’s got 20 years in law. So, experience as a lawyer don’t mean sh*t.

          1. Rick, not if they tell you to do something stupid that ends your career. Not that ending a career is equal to a life sentence in prison, but, it is something final.

            Bluto, factor of 1,000 is a lot to expect. 1 is a start. Good luck with the next 999.

      3. I’ll skip to your last paragraph…I think that culture is changing. That was a side plot in Moneyball- both the book and the movie, and apparently Art Howe objected to being portrayed as such an obstructionist jerk. Apparently, Scioscia is still a grumpy old school manager if you read about the infighting that got their GM fired.

        I think the modern relationship is more collaborative. It has to be. There is a newer way of grading talent, making acquisitions and setting lineups. I really believe that Roberts has bought in, and instead of being simply instructed as to what to do, he actually meets with the FO and they discuss strategy and all come to a mutual agreement. I think Roberts still has a great deal of autonomy: he sets the lineup based in part on the more general input up the chain, and he makes pitching changes at his discretion. Rather than the traditional manager’s position being usurped by geeks, I think in a functional organization the manager’s position is, for the most part, augmented through a collaborative effort between the manager on the field and the front office and stat guys. Everyone has as discrete role, but there is a degree of healthy overlap and venn diagram cooperation.

        I think people should read this book. https://www.amazon.com/Big-Data-Baseball-Miracles-20-Year/dp/B00WZXBCV6

        They go into detail into Clint Hurdle’s change as a manager, and how he embraced more advanced analytics and worked with the front office and the stat guys.

        1. Smart post. I think your analysis is spot on.

          Stat geeks are giving more nuanced up to date information on a daily basis and Roberts, a smart guy who played this game at a high level recently, knows how to apply it.

          It’s much more detailed information, but it’s still baseball. You want to be strong up the middle on defense, fundamentals must be drilled and mistakes minimized. The biggest difference that I see are the incessant match-ups. Drives me nuts. I don’t care that Ethier has trouble against left handers. In a clutch game I want him in there. I want to see hitters hit.

          1. I agree Badgerr about both.

            But last year, the platoons were not effective when they are last in offense, in all of baseball, for the entire year.

    3. Dodger patch

      I think the front office passes the info, and discuss the info with Roberts and his bench coach.

      But I think Roberts and his bench coach, made the final game time decisions.

      Mattingly was treated the same way.

      But I also think Roberts and his bench coach, can be influenced, from what there bosses bring up to them.

      And I am not talking about just the numbers.

      I think Roberts does make some of his moves, with his boss’s in mind too.

      That is just being human.

      Mattingly was a good example why really good players, shouldn’t be managers.

      He wasn’t given the job on merit, and he needed the staff to do his job.

      So that didn’t suprised me, that he wanted all of his staff, to join him with the Marlins.

      I just hope we don’t let the Marlins beat us, like they did last year.

      Because those were two pathetic series, that we played against the Marlins.

      1. If some didn’t think Mattingly was the one that was managing, after he brought in Baez to get Wright out, I don’t know what to say.

        Because Baez had a terrible stats, when he came in a game, to face his first hitter.

        If we know anything about the front office, we know they are good with numbers.

        There was no way that the front office told Mattingly to bring Baez into that game, to face Wright!

          1. Wondering

            Because the numbers said don’t bring Baez in to face his first hitter, especially with people on base.

        1. Dodger rick

          I didn’t say that good players don’t ever make good managers.

          I know it is a lot easier for you to take that point, because there are almost always exceptions to any rule, but once again, I never said never!

          You were the only one that said never.

          But I would say that really good players, almost never make good managers.

          And that is why that is an old baseball adage!

          And the reason for that, is a lot of pretty good players, don’t know how hard the game is for other players to play.

          So they are unable to put themselves, in other player’s positions.

          And a manager winning manager of the year, is not always based on who managed the best.

          A lot of managers that won manager of the year, had much better players, on there teams, then other managers.

          And if they won there league, they were more likely to win manager of the year.

          The fact that Roberts had to fight his way, to be a major league player, and to stay a major league player, makes him a better manager.

          Because he can put himself in other players positions, and he can get to more players this way too.

          He also can use his info, to help players, make that next step, or how to handle different situations.

    4. (This is in response to Dodgerpatch about 15 comments above. Unfortunately, the comment program dropped my reply this far down the thread)
      On the contrary, there is evidence to back up what I said. I’m not speaking for everyone else and whatever constructs they were fronting, just my own post.
      About two/three weeks (not sure the exact date) before the end of the 2015 season, Don Mattingly admitted on a local radio sports show that prior to every game he had a meeting with F. Zaidi who instructed him, as I said on daily personnel moves and strategies.
      When asked by the radio host if that meant he was not free to make his own decisions and if would have done things differently, Mattingly answered diplomatically (probably because he still wanted to manage elsewhere after LA), but basically agreed with the host.

    1. Wondering

      I was reading comments at Dodger Digest, and one of there followers had the name AJ is a fing squealer, or another word for a rat.

      1. If you can read the comments at Dodger Digest or TrueBlueLA or places like that, you have a much tougher constitution than I do. I would nuke those comment sections…

          1. I can’t believe anyone who had ever read the comments on those blogs would complain about what anyone here does, we’re all rocket scientists by comparison…

  5. Recently in a FanGraphs chat:

    Spa City: Do you think Willie Calhoun can handle 2B well enough to hold a major league job? If not do you think he could handle a corner outfield position? He seems like a legitimate major league prospect as a hitter.
    Eric A Longenhagen: DH for me

    baek: why are you higher on yadier alvarez than other scout? no other list seems to have him higher than bellinger or verdugo

    Eric A Longenhagen: He has the same FV as Bellinger so you’re splitting hairs there. I don’t know of any other Dodgers list that has come out so no idea where others have him. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen more of Alvarez, Bellinger, Verdugo and that entire system than anyone else writing about it (just because I live in AZ) and feel comfortable with where I have those guys.

    1. Bluto

      Calhoun has only played two years
      of pro baseball.

      That isn’t to long, so he might just get better defensively.

      If he wants to get better and puts the work in, he can get better.

      He is only working on his defense in the off season.

      1. Hi MJ,

        I think you probably know more about is than I do, but Logenhagen writes and researches baseball for a living.

        His (Logenhagen’s) conclusion is not only that Calhoun can’t make it at 2nd. But that he can’t even cut it in the field as a LEFT-FIELDER.

        That’s a pretty strong indictment.

        He could be wrong, but my point is:

        Calhoun is barely a prospect at 2nd.
        Dozier is an impact player at 2nd.

        I’d rather the former.

        But about the cost….

        1. Badger and Wondering,

          What I don’t understand, is when people on this site get upset, when someone questions the front office, or gets upset if Scott does.

          I just don’t understand why they don’t go to one of those other blogs.

          Because almost every other site, the people who run the sites, and there commentors, all back any move that the front office makes.

          This is the only site, that allows everyone to voice there opinion.

          1. I can’t add anything to that MJ. I like the differences in opinions. Most are able to express these differences with a level of intelligence and humor. Most. Clearly not all. I’ve been advised to ignore the discourtesy. Not always easy to do.

          2. I’m actually surprised by the comments on DD. Nosler is such a sharp and insightful baseball analyst, the level of barely adolescent sounding drivel that comes from that motley collection seem incongruous.

        2. Bluto

          I don’t have a problem with your opinion at all.

          I understand where you are coming from.

          And I agree Dozier is better bet, and that is what you want.

          I just don’t think you should label a young player, that wants to get better, or give up on them, so soon.

          I am not saying he would be ready to play second defensively this year.

          The Dodgers will have to see what they have with Calhoun defensively, in spring training.

          But there isn’t a lot of players in the Dodgers minor league system, that scouts think, could be major league ready when it comes to hitting.

          I have seen questions about Bellingers hitting too.

      1. Over the years we have seen some pretty bad defense out of a number of players. I’ve never seen Calhoun up close so what do I know. But, he’s young, he must have some atleticism or he wouldn’t have gotten this far and he sure as hell has good hand eye coordination or he couldn’t hit. As I posted yesterday the defensive metrics are already improving and I hear he’s been working on defense and will be all winter. Anyone who says he can’t do it is talking out their ass and anyone who is willing to give up on him this early in a career should just be ignored.

        1. Badger

          I haven’t seen a lot of Calhoun either, but I just don’t think you give up on a young player, that wants to work to get better, especially with a good bat.

          I didn’t even realize that he has only played two years of pro ball, and that isn’t a lot.

          1. That’s what I’ve been reading. He sounds like a young man who cares and is willing to work hard to prove himself. I look for improvement this coming year.

          2. Last I heard, Calhoun needs to fix his footwork around the base. He should be able to do that. If he doesn’t have soft hands, I would think that is harder to fix.

  6. I haven’t seen Calhoun play so can only go on what I’ve read, but for those who say that all young players can make it if they try hard enough I again repeat the names of 2 players who all Dodger fans should remember:
    Jose Offerman
    Mariano Duncan

      1. Badger

        That is what I told Rick the first time, when he mentioned those players.

        Some players don’t want to get better defensively.

        And because of that, they don’t put the work in, get to better.

      1. I had a soft spot for Mariano Duncan. I have to admit. He was a nice surprise when he came up, but not a whole lot after that.

        1. I remember his first major league at bat vs Nolan Ryan in the Astrodome….fast ball, fast ball, curve ball. Vinny shouted “welcome to the big leagues!”

  7. MJ, why do you want to keep the DH?

    1. I don’t like watching pitchers try to hit.
    2. Even Little League has the DH. In fact only the NL does not have the DH.
    3. Anybody like watching Kershaw slide his left hand toward the barrel of the bat and bunt?
    4. If a player hasn’t hit in 5 years prior to joining a NL team, how does he expect to hit or not be hit?
    5. Keeps one less player from griping about not playing if used as the DH.
    6. Watching the Manager strategize over pinch hitters for the pitcher is like watching paint dry.
    7. Gives Ethier and SVS something to do and keeps them sharp for when they are used as a pinch hitter.

    What do you have MJ?

    1. Bum, I’ll give it a go. I believe if you aren’t good enough to play in the field you shouldn’t be more than a pinch hitter. I think baseball is a game of 9 players in the game at a time not 10. I prefer the strategy of the NL which include more roster utilization. I also think when a team has a good hitting pitcher they have a big advantage. A few years ago when the Dodgers rotation was Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, Haren, and Beckett they could handle the bat and I’m not just talking about hitting. Cripes, Anderson can’t even bunt. I enjoy seeing a competitor like Greinke and Bumgrabber get to hit. Not so much MB so let’s say Thor. Frankly, I don’t think guys who can’t play in the field anymore should be taking spots from young talented players trying to crack the big leagues. Don Newcombe, Don Drysdale, Rick Rhoden, Fernando, Orel and his butcher boy were all entertaining. I would love to see the DH gone, but I’ve grown to think the differences between the two leagues is just fine although I hate interleague play. I’m not saying I’m correct, but I think that is how most who don’t want the DH feel. I also would never vote for Edgar Martinez for the Hall of Fame. The Hall is supposed to be for great player and if your defense is so bad that they couldn’t find a spot for you then you weren’t a great player. Dave Parker always comes to mind too. He came up a RF with a cannon of an arm. At the end a DH who should be playing in an old man’s soft ball league.

      1. Hawkeye

        It is pretty obvious that the DH wasn’t meant for baseball, when most players, can’t be a good DH.

        And there hasn’t been many good DHs in baseball, since it was adapted by the American League.

      2. Hawkeye–“I believe if you aren’t good enough to play in the field you shouldn’t be more than a pinch hitter. ” — If that is true then if a pitcher isn’t good enough to be a hitter they shouldn’t play in the field. Isn’t that the same logic?

        Hawkeye, if you enjoy watching pitchers that can hit such as Greinke then it stands that you don’t like watching pitchers that can’t hit, such as Anderson. That leaves you disliking 90% of the plate appearances of pitchers.

        I will give up watching pitchers taking feeble swings in exchange for watching someone like Ethier get more swings. If the DH is not someone like Pappy or Edgar Martinez then that spot in the lineup would probably have more pinch hitters used.

        Anybody who has played a sport knows they want to play and not just be on a team. The DH allows more teammates to play instead of just watching.

        I am okay if a DH has to play something like 12 innings of defense a month to qualify for DH beginning in the second month of the season.

        1. Bum, I didn’t think I would change your mind. We will just agree to disagree especially about more players being used. Because there is so much division these days is why I’ve come to accept the two leagues being different is okay.

    2. Bum

      I like the strategy of the game, and I think pitchers in the American League are used more, because managers have no fear of losing there pitchers, if they are batted for.

      And why does little league have the DH?

      Most pitchers and shortstop’s in little league, are usually the best players on a team, so they hit better then most kids do, so why is there a DH?

      I like the purity to stay in the game, because that is how baseball was made to be played.

      Most young players are not permanent DHs, and almost all players, hit better when they play on the field.

      And now I am more against the DH then ever, because two of my favorite people here, like the DH.

      And those to people are Bum and Wondering.

      1. MJ, I just learned the other day from watching MLB TV that the DH was used in Little League. It made me think and I concluded that Little League DH was awesome. One of the bad things about Little League is that half of the teams have a player that can overpower hitters and hit the ball the hardest. A Manager would have to choose between using him to strike out hitters or drive in runs.

        Interestingly, the Little League stud pitcher comes back to the pack when they move up to Pony League and the mound gets moved back from home plate and again when they move up to Colt League and pitch from the MLB 66 feet from home.

        1. Bum

          That best athlete, or best player on a team, shouldn’t have to do one thing or another, because there are kids on the team, that are not that good.

          Why should you penalize the best player on the team for being good?

          It isn’t there fault that not everyone on the team, plays baseball well.

          The kids that don’t shine in baseball, might be better in school, or band, or something else.

          And baseball might be the only place this one really good player shines at, so why take that away from someone?

          1. My thought is that Little Leaguers are age 10, 11, and 12 and it isn’t always the best athletic that dominates, but the biggest. Some grow faster than others and at that age, the differences can be large.

      2. MJ, don’t forget, as you have said before, it is hard for a player to hit well if he doesn’t get consistent at bats. Who knows how long Guerrero might have been able to stay hot a few years ago if Mattingly had left him in the lineup until he cooled off.

        Everybody makes the MLB because they can hit except for pitchers. Most of them couldn’t get out of A ball if they played other positions. Then only let them get in the pre-game batting cage on days they pitch and then only get 2 or 3 at bats every 5 games for starters and 0.15 at bats per month for relievers and the probability to get hurt hitting is greater than the probability of them getting a hit.

  8. Made it to LA in one piece. Flight was delayed and the flight was bumpy, but I made it. Nice and warm. No news today and do not expect much. Bucholz traded to the Phillies. Hmmmm. Guess Sale must be a pretty good pick up.

    1. Wondering

      Did you change yours, like you said you were going to do?

      We are almost past that day!

      We only have a few more days to go, and we will be home free, and it will be back to normal.

  9. I don’t like the DH. But I’m very aware that the common persona of the DH is an over the hill veteran who would be out of the game if it wasn’t for the DH: Dave Parker (mentioned above), Greg Luzinski, Mikey Piazza. Maybe that definition needs to change. Maybe it has already. Maybe it’s a thoroughly professional position.

    But remember one of the perks of the DH was the ability to sign those coveted aging FA’s to massive long term contracts and then move them from a position to DH. ARod, Pujols, yippee!

    1. Very good point. That makes the 32-34 year old sluggers that you don’t want to give a 4 year deal to, a possibility if you can move them to DH later.

      1. We could always move Turner to first.

        But about Turner, I am sure there were a lot of people that didn’t think Turner could hit well enough, to be a full time player.

        But I guess Turner has now proved, that those people were wrong.

  10. The fact that players can DH at the end of their career gives the AL an unfair advantage when signing free agents who are older. The AL get them all. That needs to change. Even A-Gon’s deal would be easier to swallow if he could DH.

    Calhoun is built funny. His upper body is regular size, but his legs are like short tree trunks and he has really poor speed and is not very agile. He is a hard-working enthusiastic kid who can overcome a lot. I used to like him and I still do as a human, but as he gets older, he gets slower and less agile. I can’t see him anywhere but DH. He might get better hands but his tree trunk legs are a problem. I do have to say that he has a very quick bat and good power – I just can’t see him playing defense.

    On FAZ telling Roberts “What to Do:” That’s silly. Of course they go over all the data before a game, but I seriously doubt they tell him what to do. If you are told that this batter swings at the first pitch every time, does someone really have to tell you not to throw him a pitch he can hit? It’s absurd and insulting to even think FAZ would tell Roberts what to do and even more so that he would automatically listen. People have jobs to do and communication and collaboration is important in any job.

    I meet with all of my managers three times a week and we discuss strategy, but I don’t tell them what to do. No one can micro-manage that much. You are giving FAZ too much credit.

    On Kazmir having a “chronic condition.” I have not heard that. Chapter and verse…

      1. Your thorasic spine is the part of your spine that is attached to your rib cage – it is below the cervical and above the lumbar.

        A lot of people have inflammation – it isn’t usually permanent unless there is permanent pathology that is causing it. I haven’t heard that Kazmir has some permanent condition.

    1. I think Roberts got the job because he said he wanted to use data to help him manage. A GM has to know that a Manager has to keep his team motivated, give them a mental and physical break, and nurse injuries. Players have to think that they get their playing time from the Manager but the Manager will use data to help him make those decisions.

      There are players that hit the ball hard and work the count but wind up with a low BABIP while others seem to get soft hits and have a high BABIP. Players need to know that the Manager is aware of that and an get appreciated for what they do that does not show up in a box score.

      i think Roberts does a great job of incorporating data without letting that data manage for him.

    1. Mark

      First I was one of the people that did say that Kershaw would be ok!

      I saw what Kazmir was diagnosed and looked it up, did you?

      And remember after Kamir was out a while, when he tried come back and pitch in his first game, he only lasted for seven pitches, and he had to leave the game, because he was hurting to much.

  11. I think Ethier and SVS would be a great DH platoon while also getting chances to play defense. In 2018, A few years Calhoun could be part of that DH platoon.

  12. “I used to like him and I still do as a human, but as he gets older, he gets slower and less agile. I can’t see him anywhere but DH. He might get better hands but his tree trunk legs are a problem.”

    I’m sure he’d be happy to hear you “like him as a human”.

    I’ve heard some dumb sh*t in here but that is at the top of the list. Read up dude. Speed is determined by fast twitch muscle fiber, not the size and length of the tissue. Ask Spud Webb and Johhny Rodgers if they were slow because they were short.

    I’m not saying Calhoun is Webb or Rodgers, I’m just saying what you posted sounds like white man ignorance.

    Calhoun is my favorite Dodger as of this morning.

    1. I can’t understand why you wanted to take another shot at Mark. He merely made an observation that Calhoun has tree trunk legs but that has nothing do do with ethnicity. You are right that Calhoun is not a fast runner not so much because he has tree trunk legs but because he doesn’t have fast twitch muscles. Here are his scouting grades:

      Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Arm: 45 | Field: 40 | Overall: 55

      1. Bum

        I don’t think you are right about that.

        The point is you don’t want to crush anyone’s dream and there have been plenty of scouts, and other people in baseball, that have been wrong before.

        Turner is just one example of this, but he isn’t the only one.

        The Dodgers made a judgement like that, about Pedro Martinez.

        You don’t want to under estimate the human spirit.

        And I am suprised that Mark would do that, considering how well his own son has done, with his own drive and ambition.

        I don’t remember discussing Kazmir’s condition lately.

        But I wish someone would look up what he was diagnosed with, before making a judgment.

        I looked it up.

        I am not just making stuff up.

      2. Bumsrap says:
        December 21, 2016 at 7:49 am
        I can’t understand why you wanted to take another shot at Mark.

        Because that’s what they do. They have special feelings for each other that the rest of us don’t have or understand, you’re not the only one. I wonder if they’re related to the Hatfields and McCoys?

      3. He likes him as a human being Bum. You don’t see anything in that? Maybe it’s just a disconnect, but I’ve seen it too often from him. I find it very insensitive.

        Willie Calhoun. #87 MLB Top Prospects

        Scouting grades: Hit: 50 | Power: 55 | Run: 45 | Arm: 45 | Field: 40 | Overall: 55

        After going homerless as an Arizona freshman in 2014, Calhoun led all junior college players with 31 longballs after transferring to Yavapai (Ariz.) last spring. He continued to rake after signing as a fourth-round pick, hitting .316/.390/.519 with 11 homers in 73 games while reaching high Class A. He made the jump to Double-A for his first full pro season and challenged for the Texas League home run title.

        Though he’s just 5-foot-8, Calhoun is a legitimate power hitter. He has a very quick left-handed bat and the patience to wait for pitches to drive. He should hit for average as well because he doesn’t try to do too much at the plate, making consistent hard contact while controlling the strike zone.

        Calhoun’s bat allows him to profile at multiple positions, which helps his cause because he’s unlikely to stick at second base after making 18 errors in 65 games there during his debut. He lacks middle-infield actions and has fringy speed and arm strength, though he does work hard on his defense. He played the outfield and third base at Yavapai and probably fits best in left field.

        Maybe he plays 3b, becomes another Penguin. He couldn’t run. Or maybe he plays left field like another squatty likeable human being Kirby Puckett. Kirby had fringy speed and was a likeable human being (I met him in a hardware store in Wisconsin. Nice guy. Even Mark would have liked him)

        Go Willie. Show the 6’4″ 260 pound non believers what hard work can do for short people.

        btw, “quick bat” suggests fast twitch muscle. He may be faster than you think.

          1. Seems I remember Badger posting that he was 5’9″ tall. Mark would say ‘short’. Or ‘altitude challenged’ if he were feeling kindly that day…

          2. In my playing days 5’9″ 175. 275 bench, 4.5 40, 32″. vertical. All of that was years ago. Now I’m still 5’9″, 160, pounds, bench at the park feeding the birds, can still run 40 yards and do on occasion, and am 69″ horizontal.

            Mark made some reference about me being a little something. Forgot exactly what it was, but obviously it wasn’t flattering. It wasn’t that I was a likable human being, that’s for sure. Who cares.

        1. I interpreted Mark’s comment about Calhoun being a good human to mean that he likes his makeup. He just didn’t choose the politically correct word.

          Calhoun definitely has pop in his bat. He is an intriguing player. I like his confidence, determination, and work ethic. I wish he hit from the right side. What is it about all these right handed players only hitting from the left side?

      4. Bum

        How fast someone runs, doesn’t always determine how well someone moves laterally.

        The point is that Calhoun is a Dodger prospect, and we should all want him to do well.

        And we all know that there have been players before, that have been told they don’t have the tools to make it.

        And there have been plenty of players, that have made it, after being told that.

        1. And note the difference between ‘speed’ and ‘quickness’.

          Quickness is the athlete’s instant reaction and movement time when faced with an external stimuli. Think of an NFL cornerback eyeing the quarterback, and then making a lightning-fast decision to pursue a receiver to his left, rather than his right.

          Speed, meanwhile, is generally viewed as a less stimuli-driven skill. Think of a track runner or, with our previous example, the wide receiver. For each of these athletes, yes, they are responding to a stimuli – the starting gun or the quarterback’s snap – but in each case their routes are generally well-defined. It’s only when a stimuli is introduced that quickness, rather than speed, enters the equation.

          1. I remember Ditka once said Refrigerator Perry was the fastest on the team at 10 yards. Quick is very important in sports. Strong hands and quick feet. A high school coach of mine taught me that. I worked hard on both.

        2. Are you saying this because I said I could see Calhoun platoon at DH as soon as 2018 if the NL had the DH?

          I didn’t exclude him from playing on the field, just recognized that his tool set is tilted toward offense.

      5. How does someone grade overall of a ’55’ when their highest score in anyone particular category is a 55 and the other 4 categories are less than that. The mean is 47.5 with the median being 45.

        Must be that ‘new’ math.

  13. On a slow baseball week, since Christmas is just around the corner, a couple of thoughts. First, I think it is time for the National League to adopt the DH. I have a couple of thoughts on this and what it boils down to is this. It is time to level the playing field. Most fans appreciate a great pitching performance, but what they love is offense. Having a guy like David Ortiz scaring the bejesus out of opposing pitchers is fun. And I have finally reached the point where I am really tired of inept pitchers with lumber in their paws. There are some, Mad Bum, Kersh, Grienke, who actually can handle a bat. But watching guys like Scott Kazmir and Ballet Brett is painful. Give them the 26th roster spot and make it unanimous. There has also been a lot of talk, especially on the MLB network, about an automated strike zone. Well, I still think you need the human element, but I also think that the umpires need the tools and training to make better calls on balls and strikes. I saw so many bad strike zones last year, and it became a real bone of contention for me. I think umps who consistently miss calls like they should either be trained to recognize the zone better or fired. I also think that some of the umps need a little lesson in anger management and not having such thin skin a lot of the time. I have seen some guys thrown from a game for simply giving the ump a dirty look. There is not one way to make the strike calls perfect. And I heard somewhere that home plate umps get almost 95 % of their calls right. But it is that 5 % late in the game that give the hitter, or the pitcher for that matter a break that win or lose ball games. It has happened to Kershaw in the playoffs a couple of times. Most notably, just before Adams took him deep. Lets make the game better, decrease controversy, and make it fun to watch. Offense is fun!

    1. I want the electronic umps

      I am sick of umps making themselves more important then the game, especially in the post season.

      There will still be an human ump at home, even with the electronic ump.

        1. I agree Bluto. The umpires union would fight that tooth and nail, but I also think the game is better with less controversial umps, and calls. Angel Hernandez should have been fired years ago, He is the worst ump in the game,

      1. I should just let MJ do all my talking. We agree on 95% of things I would say. I’m with you and I think the umpire union could be brought along if it created a new job instead of replacing a job.

    2. Ortiz can do that by playing 1st base too and if he’s poor at it then it should be exposed. That’s baseball. I remember as a kid when we played pickup games. If someone wanted to join in they had to play the field first.

      I find the DH to be a gimmick. These days In every sport we seem to keep ruining the integrity of the games for more scoring.

      Someone earlier mentioned they use the DH in Little league. I coach 12 year olds. Granted its travel ball and not Little League(same age though) but there are 3 different ways you can use your team. A nine man lineup, hitting your entire team, or 1 extra hitter.

        1. True and at that age they should all be heating and not getting DH’d for. On the team that I coach, we hit our entire lineup. At least we have at 8-11. They need to play and not be sitting on the bench at that age. Confidence is more than half the battle. This year we may hit them all on Saturday games and hit 9 on Sundays. I will advocate for hitting them all still.

    1. Bluto

      That was one pathetic draft by the Dodgers.

      I don’t know how they didn’t draft Goldy in that draft.

      They drafted him out of high school, and he went to college instead.

      But he was still available in the late 900s in this draft in 2010.

          1. The 57 is the Orange Crush, runs from Anaheim to Santa Ana/Tustin area; The 71 Runs from Pomona to Corona at the 91 Fwy…

  14. Here is another suggestion from Marty Leap from Fansided about our current 2nd base situation.
    He says the Pirates should trade Harrison and Tony Watson to LA for Kazmir. It’s a 2 for one deal but no mention of any cash changing hands, Which I’m sure would have to happen.

  15. Josh Harrison contract: 2/$18MM+ team option of $10.5MM or $ 1MM buyout for 2019. 2020- $11.5MM or $500K buyout.
    Tony Watson- 2016 Salary- $3.45MM; 2017-Arb for 2017.
    Scott Kazmir- 2/$35.3MM.

    1. Personally I don’t think we need Watson because of Liberatore, Avilan, Dayton, perhaps Wood too.
      If the Pirates insisted we could take Watson and the flip him to a team that needs LHRP.

  16. I am surprised by nothing Badger says anymore. He has trolled me for over 15 years. He lives to disagree with me. Let me set one thing straight: When I said Badger was a “little man”, I was not talking about his stature.

    He wrote:

    “I used to like him and I still do as a human, but as he gets older, he gets slower and less agile. I can’t see him anywhere but DH. He might get better hands but his tree trunk legs are a problem.”

    I’m sure he’d be happy to hear you “like him as a human”.

    I’ve heard some dumb sh*t in here but that is at the top of the list. Read up dude. Speed is determined by fast twitch muscle fiber, not the size and length of the tissue. Ask Spud Webb and Johhny Rodgers if they were slow because they were short.

    I’m not saying Calhoun is Webb or Rodgers, I’m just saying what you posted sounds like white man ignorance.

    Calhoun is my favorite Dodger as of this morning.

    See, even Ray Charles can see through him. I said the man has tree trunk legs and no speed and it somehow ends up being racist! Typical Badger, little man that he is! He also has a reading comprehension problem. He says I say Calhoun is slow because he is short. No, I say he is slow because he has “tree trunk legs.” They are HUGE – no one with those tree trunks can be fast… or quick.

    That’s all I have about Badger – if I dwell on it too long, I’ll get as dumb as he is.

    MJ,

    My son was All-City, All Conference, All -State and Defensive MVP and did it with “want to.” He had his first concussion in the State Championship game and now has decided not to play college football. I am fine with that… if that is truly what he wants.

    I hope Willie Calhoun makes it big and makes me eat my words, but I gave my opinion (no vitriol) and then out of the clear blue, here comes Badger and calls me stupid and a racist. This is how it has always been – he calls me a name and when I call him one back he cries foul, because he is an insignificant little man.

    My main reason to start up LAdodgerTalk again is to block him so that I don’t have to get any stupider. God, I need to do that soon!!

  17. By the way, I didn’t call you stupid. You call yourself that though. You just did in fact. I said your comment was stupid. And it is. Everyone is capable of saying something stupid. Some more than others.

    And saying you like someone as a “human” kinda sounds like counting someone as 3/5 of a person. Not everyone is capable of being that impassive, but…… perhaps I went too far. For that I may owe an apology. Maybe I should give you the benefit of doubt? Do you even want it?

    1. My wife is Filipino, my best friend is black. We have had a homeless Jamaican couple we found on the street live with us for 8 months. We have had Korean, Mexicans and Russians live with us. I don’t see race, but I know tree trunks when I see them. I don’t think that is stupid but you are entitled to you opinion. You went way too far on that.

      1. There is a lot that could be said here, but it’s time to let it go.

        My apologies to all on this board who may believe I went over the line. Let it be known I like most of you as human beings.

  18. From MLBTR:
    Talks between the Dodgers and Twins regarding second baseman Brian Dozier do not appear to be progressing, according to a report from Jon Heyman of Fan Rag. While the sides have (as previously suggested) agreed upon righty Jose De Leon as the centerpiece of a possible swap, they seem to be “at a standstill … if not an impasse” regarding the remaining pieces, per the report.

          1. Kiké has 290 career at bats against RH starters and has hit .221 against them. I’m not willing to judge his ability on such a small sample.

          2. Micah

            Was given the major league second base job, by the White Sox about two years ago, and he didn’t hit.

            And hitting was suppose to be his strength back then.

            They say he isn’t good on defense, either.

            But Mark watched him play in college and he didn’t think he was that bad.

          1. Bluto

            I mean in what we read and heard, about the pitching prospects.

            Stewart wasn’t even on the map, until last year.

            He made it to the majors like Toles did.

            That doesn’t happen to often.

          2. JDL sprained his ankle coming out of spring training the cane down with a sore shoulder after his 1st start or he would have come up prior to Urias and Stewart. Once he was ready there were other players that had been added to the 40 man roster.

  19. Fangraphs now predicts the Dodgers will be “runaways” for the NL West with 95 wins. Nice is you believe that sort of stuff.

    1. They still haven’t put Turner and Kenley on the forty man roster yet.

      I believe it is at 39 now.

      What the guys on the Dodger show said, was that they are still probably trying to trade someone, or they would have made Kenley and Turner official by now.

      They spectaclated that they might be still working on trading McCarthy and Kazmir.

    2. Richie

      Fangraphs had an article about Braun today.

      The only thing about Harrison is that he doesn’t have that much power.

      He hit 300 against lefties, but he only hit one HR off a leftie.

      And I believe he only hit 7 HRs all together last year.

      I think Solarte might be a better hitter, and he is cheaper then Harrison, and under team control for at least the next three years.

      1. MJ:
        Who says we need a power hitting 2nd baseman? Sure I’d love to have Dozier but I’d much rather have Villar and it seems it would take a lot less to get Harrison than Dozier or Villar.

      2. MJ: I forgot about Solarte in my reply to you below. I hate trading within my own division and what would we have to give up for him.
        I haven’t seen anything that ever remotely mentions we are interested in Solarte.

        1. Solarte probably wouldn’t cost as much, and he is under team control for at least three years, and since he is under team control, he is cheaper then Harrison.

  20. The Dodgers need to actively engage with Detroit, SD, Cincinnati, Tampa even if they don’t want those guys as much as Dozier. One to find out if a better deal can be done and also to get it out there that there are real alternatives to Dozier. The Twins recently leaked that other teams were interested in Dozier, but in reality they don’t have other true alternatives to the Dodgers. The Twins need to feel like the Dodgers have real alternatives to Dozier or they’re going to hold out for JDL, Alvarez, and one more piece.

    1. Hawkeye

      Yes I heard the Giants yesterday, and like you said even the guys on TV didn’t believe that one.

      They said it was the Twins did leak that rumor themselves.

      And that Adam Eaton deal didn’t help the market for the Dodgers.

      It was only that good, because Eaton was signed for another five years I believe.

  21. I would rather try for Harrison than Dozier. Kazmir, Hernandez and De Jong and maybe another prospect along with $10 million might get it done.

    Dozier for De Leon, I would do straight up, but I would rather keep JDL – I really feel he’s a RH Andrew Miller.

    Faz is not going to make a dope-fiend move on Dozier. Jeff Pickler of the Dodgers moved to Minnesota and maybe has inside info about certain players.

    Walker Buehler is a #3 at worst – he will be Ready THIS YEAR!

    1. We shouldn’t let a team like the Twins hold our feet to the fire
      I agree JDL for Dozier straight up or take JDL and some salary.

    2. Harrison and McCutchen

      For Ethier, DeLeon, Dejong, Wood, Calhoun and $10 million

      The Pirates need a 1 yr stop gap in LF until Meadows is ready to take over full time.

        1. Then he sits on the bench his contract year and gets jack shit on the market the following year. It’s a great ballpark in Pittsburgh.

          1. I agree. I love the ballparks on the rivers. I love the park in Cincinnati, I even like the Giants park. I like water…

    3. Bumsrap says:
      December 20, 2016 at 8:28 am
      I am okay for a De Leon for Dozier trade straight up but if Dodgers have to give up more, then I want a younger, faster, controllable second baseman in return.

    1. I don’t see other teams clamoring for Oaks yet. I just think we should slow down and hang on to these guys a little longer. Let’s see what other deals pop out of the woodwork

      1. If Oaks masters those three pitches talked about in the article he would be more like the type of pitcher Maddox was who excelled without a 92+ fastball.

    2. “Greg Maddox kind of showed me some stuff later on in the season, it was definitely being talked about,” Oaks added. “So I’m just trying different grips at this point, I just started throwing it (cutter). I had thrown it a little in college but I didn’t really understand it too much. So now I’m actually going to add it and try to make it going forward.”

      Greg Maddox teaching grips and spin to our young pitchers is music to my ears. Listen up kids.

    1. As a matter of fact, if anyone needs good sound starting pitching, it’s any team in the league.

      Fixed that for you, Mr. Charles.

      1. Thanks, and Bum, yes I have. I read all the reports I can find on Dodgers minor leaguer’s. A lot of it is pretty fluid with various opinions, they are still in the minor leagues however. Sometimes I am amazed at how much we are relying and expecting certain muscles and tendons in these guys shoulders and elbows to last and last and last.

        1. Bum

          Mr Charles told you!

          And yes that is the problem with depending on our young pitchers, over having a bunch of good position players, like some organizations have more of.

          But hopefully we will have both, and our front office will draft a few good right hand hitters, to balance it out.

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