Open Thread #8

The Dodgers’ prospects are not ALL young men of lily-white behavior. Two of them were just suspended for fifty games to start the season. For Robert Carson, that’s when Oklahoma City’s schedule is set; for Theo Alexander it’s Ogden’s schedule.

Comcast DC has a projection of the Dodgers’ season.

61 thoughts on “Open Thread #8

  1. Rumors have Shields’ signing salary dropping as low as 4 years for $50MM. Even 4 @ $60MM would be interesting to me and probably an improvement over our #4 and #5 now. Plus he wants a West Coast team. Add Greinke’s impending opt-out and it’s a no-brainer that we should be in that market.

  2. Congratulations, good number of positive value posts overnight. More participation like this will breed even more participation and diminish the flavor of negative posts. Let’s keep it up…

    • Need more commenters, too. There likely are lurkers who could contribute who haven’t created an account yet.

  3. Gurnick has a slightly different take on Greinke’s recent comments, nothing drastic.

    Also on the site is a piece about Greinke’s arsenal and how his change now plays a bigger role.

    And Kapler is very complimentary of AJ Ellis. Ordinarily wouldn’t quote this much, but this is all of it.

    “Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis is Gabe Kapler’s favorite player.

    “Kapler, who hit .268 during his 12-year career as an outfielder for the Red Sox, Rangers, Rays, Rockies, Tigers and Brewers, is Los Angeles’ new director of player development. He called Ellis, who has a .340 OBP in three years as the club’s everyday catcher, a “great teammate and exceptional human being.”

    “That’s why he stands out to me. He does a great job providing a platform for his teammates to be heard and appreciated. A.J. checks all of those boxes, and that’s why he’s my favorite player.’

  4. Following link is to LA Times piece in which Greinke was quoted about offseason moves.

    He also mentions his upcoming opt-out decision but adds this about the Dodgers….””I do know I have really enjoyed L.A. I don’t think you could get a better organization. The owners are amazing. Our front office is, by reputation, the best – or at least in the top three in the game. Our coaching staff is great too. There’s not really any better options anywhere besides here.”

  5. Zack Greinke wonders if the team got better in the offseason.

    Grant Brisbee of Gnat blog McCovey Chronicles reassures him with a piece of his usual fine writing. Brisbee of all people has no reason to puff up the Dodgers.

    Not the focus of the piece, but a good line about the rotation backend last year…

    “… a GM trying to assemble a collection of below-replacement starters probably wouldn’t have been as successful as the Dodgers last year.”

    Couple others: “Ramirez looked like he was playing shortstop wearing full catcher’s gear.”

    And “He (Kemp) moved like he was carrying around Hanley Ramirez wearing full catcher’s gear.”


  6. What the heck kind of sports fans are we that the Super Bowl hasn’t even been mentioned here?

    I’m of two minds. I’d like to see Brady win one more before he’s too old, but I’d like to see Wilson and Sherman and Chancellor and those guys start a dynasty too. I’d really like to see Marshawn Lynch win MVP in a losing cause and force Roger Goodell to hand him that trophy after fining him thousands of bucks for not speaking to the media.

    I’m going to a watch party this afternoon at the same place I’ve been going for 23 of the last 24 years, and I’m taking along a new batch of the same dip and crackers I’ve been taking since 2004.

    Spreadsheet of all the previous games’ results here. I was curious about the average point differential over time. It’s slightly over two touchdowns.

    • I did mention the SuperBowl on one reply post today. Afraid you only got two kind of posters here, those who want to complain about the FO, and those who want to complain about the complainers… You take what you can get, you could be ignored altogether…

      • Many of us that post here are refugees from Dodger Thoughts seeking a place where when can discuss the Dodgers without all the noise you find among the comments on other sites. We are very beholding to Link for trying to keep the little community alive.

    • Here’s my contribution, then: from this evening, no more handegg! Pitchers and catchers report in less than three weeks.

    • That was a crazy super bowl game. I had family here and was chasing toddlers part of the time, but what a final minute! I was rooting for Seattle, mildly. Heart breaking for them and their fans. But mostly, I can’t wait for opening day. Go Dodgers!!!!

  7. I think Greinke is a cinch to opt out, he’s passing up just too much money if he doesn’t. I’d hate to lose him. I would offer an extension (2016 through 2021) amounting to 6 years, $150MM total. Fair?

    • He’ll turn 32 in the midst of the playoffs/World Series this fall.

      I’m sure he’ll want a six-or-seven year contract. I’d be hesitant to go out that long for a guy in his early 30s. Pitchers may be able to go longer than everyday players (Hi, Jamie Moyers! Yo, Warren Spahn!), but one injury and they can be done for life.

    • Maybe. Conventional wisdom would be that he’ll opt out and leave since the
      Dodgers are unlikely to give a big contract to a pitcher that will go until his late 30s.

      But Greinke has shown that he’s a very independent thinker. He has made some comments that make me wonder if he won’t stay in LA if he believes the Dodgers have a very good chance to win.

      JP Howell said one of the reasons he came to LA was Greinke’s thorough analysis of the Dodgers and how he liked their chances to win.

      Maybe this should be filed under wishful thinking because the Dodgers certainly would n’t be as good without vintage Greinke.

      But “just” money doesn’t seem like it matters most to him. Not that he or any other star player really needs more anyhow.

  8. It’s not much fun for the blog owner to see, as Howard Fox says, “every thread regress into FO bashing.”

    I have been hesitant to invoke Rule 8 for various reasons, but Jon wrote
    it for a reason. It’s real tiresome to me to read constant griping about
    things that are, like it or not, over and done with.

    The new people in the FO, for reasons they felt were good ones, traded away one
    of the team’s biggest stars whose defense was diminishing and another
    who’d had one good season at a new position and who’d slumped the last
    half of that season. They declined to offer a guy whose defense is
    generally agreed baseball-wide to be pretty bad at shortstop a huge
    lengthy contract they’d then be stuck with. They made other moves which
    don’t stand out as much but were significant, particularly in restocking
    the farm system.

    The point is, they made those decisions, and their boss Kasten seems to be on the same page with them. Some fans are unhappy, and I’m sure they’re aware of it. But nobody, whether in the team offices or out here watching, has a clue how those decisions will
    pan out until the games begin.

    After several months of grumbling, can’t we agree to disagree and wait for the season to start? There will be time enough then to conclude that the team is irretrievably junk and
    that the new President is trying to build himself up at the expense of the team’s performance?

    Frankly, at this point I’d rather they focus on getting Time Warner to lower its demands and get a deal done between it and all the carriers so the majority of the fans in the region can watch this new team play.

    • As time has passed since last season, I had forgotten that TW had not come to any agreements. To be honest, although I am a diehard Dodger fan, getting updates constantly on my phone, I got to the point where I did not miss watching TV 3 hours every single night. I have a sneaking suspicion that I am not alone in this. This would be a good thing for DirecTV not having come to a deal, and a bad thing for TW, with fans not planning their days around a TV show. Just my opinion.

      For me, it kind of became similar to the NBA, following along during the season, but watching the playoffs.

      • I’ve written my last words on that subject, I won’t even post, “I told you so…”.

    • Living in the Bay Area, I don’t have Time Warner problems, but all games with the Gnats get blacked out (we cut the Comcast cable last year).

  9. It’ll be great when spring training gets underway, if for no other reason than to give some commenters something else to talk about other than how awful this front office is. Not to personalize this, but reading that and little else most of the time gets old fast. Been old a while now.

    People have every right to disagree with FO player moves, apparent philosophy, whatever else. But the player moves are made. Over. Done. Not going to change. Star players no longer on the team for whatever reasons are not coming back. Rehashing it is pointless.

    What matters now is the future. Can we look forward to the new season and all the good things it may bring instead of dwelling on things past which we can do absolutely nothing about?

    Most knowledgeable baseball analysts seem to think the Dodgers are better overall than last year and are one of the WS favorites. Analysts aren’t on the Dodger payroll. They have no reason to write or say anything except what they believe to be factual.

    Let’s give the FO and its new approach a chance. Who knows–it might even pay off.

  10. Every thread here regresses into FO bashing.

    The changes made in the lineup and bench will have no effect on how far the bums go this year. I am not happy about losing Kemp and Ramirez from the lineup, but ultimately this will make no difference on how far we go.

    It all rests with the pitching, and specifically the bullpen. If the remade bullpen does well, we go to the World Series, if it doesn’t we don’t. Simple as that.

    • Quote: Every thread here regresses into FO bashing. True, most do. But, a very small number of people are starting threads, always the same ones, and that is their subject of choice. The few threads of other subjects started die a quick death. Where are the “sunshine fans”? Why don’t they start some interesting threads? Not relevant to our discussion,but do you know there are at least twice as many football fans today as there was 2 months ago, because today is SuperBowl Sunday? Some “fans” only follow in season; Some of us are fans 12 months a year and we’ll take our discussion subjects as we find them. The FO is responsible for signing players, as unpaid fans we have the right to talk about them, especially inasmuch as we can’t do anything about them. They can put me on the payroll and tell me to shut up if they like. Ownership isn’t fans like us, for them the bottom line is making as much money as possible. It remains to be seen whether a drab team that wins will put more tails in the seats than a flashy, star-studded team that almost wins. I have my opinion and preference on that. Also, it’s much better for the blog owner to have lots of posts anyway.

  11. Sadly, just about every organization has such problems. Neither of them figures to have any impact this season.