End of another year

The Dodgers got close again in 2016, but they were beaten by what appeared to be the season’s Team of Destiny, the Cubs, in the NLCS. It was frustrating at the time, but I can appreciate the effort more now, and I can look back at the wonder that was Game Five of the NLDS against the Nationals and smile with delight.

Jon Weisman has some thoughts about remembering the little things, although I don’t think he’d classify that game as little.

Hau’oli Makahiki Hou to all my favorite Dodger fans. Pitchers and catchers report in less than two months.

  • scooplew

    Steve:

    Thanks for this last post of 2016 and for all your posts throughout so many seasons. Your tireless efforts are greatly appreciated. This site has been so special and helped me navigate troubled Dodgers waters while also sharing the joys with likeminded people.

    A very Happy New Year to you and yours in 2017.

    I am going to try to make it to spring training in Arizona this year for the first time in several seasons. Do you ever go?

    Lewis

    • I never thought much about it when they were in Vero Beach, but I’ve given it some thought now that they’ve moved to Scottsdale/Glendale/Tempe/Mesa whichever-suburb-of-Phoenix-it-is. I had family there until a few years ago when they sensibly moved north to Portland.

  • Bob_Hendley

    Can still feel the excitement of that game sitting above the bullpen with a great view of Joc’s dinger in the seventh to tie it, and seeing Kenley start warming up as we scored 4. And then watching as Klayton warming up to go in during the ninth to nail it down!

  • RBI

    Happy New Year to you, Link, aka Steve. I’m already champing at the bit for more baseball. Thank you for all you do to make the experience so communal, not to mention educational! RBI, aka Tinker

  • WBBsAs

    Meanwhile, baseball has crossed the Finnish line: https://twitter.com/BaseballFinland/status/815577834525773824

  • foul tip

    From Dodi’s recap of human rain delay Pedro Baez:

    “If Baez had an official song played when called from the bullpen, it would be the annoying dial-up internet sound”

    Quotes a source noting the average time between pitches was 22.7 seconds. Baez was slowest, averaging 30.2 seconds. In the postseason, he slowed down even more.

    http://dodgersdigest.com/2017/01/01/2016-dodgers-in-review-rp-pedro-baez/

    • Bob_Hendley

      Wonder whose cap he will wear.

    • WBBsAs

      Thanks, McCourt…

  • Hey, I just saw this story about the Federal DOJ suing AT&T-Direct TV in November for colluding with Charter and Cox to keep Time Warner Cable from playing one cable company against another to get Dodger games televised.

    Evidence reviewed by the Justice Department allegedly showed
    DirecTV’s chief content officer, Daniel York, intentionally trading
    information with Cox and Charter in an attempt to drive down the price
    that the TV providers would need to pay to carry the channel on their
    networks.

    Internal communications between DirecTV executives
    showed chief executive Mike White understood the implications of a pact,
    saying the companies “may have more leverage if we all stick together,”
    according to the suit. To this day, the Dodgers Channel is still
    unavailable on AT&T, DirecTV and Cox.

    • Bob_Hendley

      Guessing we were distracted.

  • foul tip

    For Dodger prospect hounds, first of a 3-part series on a 20-and-under-Dodger-team.

    It’s long but very informative. Bring lunch.;)

    http://www.thinkbluela.com/2017/01/the-2017-dodgers-20-and-under-team/

  • Bob_Hendley

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/article.php?articleid=30910
    A thoughtful article , with math, on why we don’t see the use of best relievers in earlier innings with high leverage situations during the regular season.

    • foul tip

      Behind paywall. Summarize, please? 😉

      • Bob_Hendley

        Dang! And it’s a fun article to read, but I will try to do it justice. Focus is on what it would take to ensure that your closer is on the mound for the highest leverage situation, given that time is linear. Data crunch indicates that the 7th innings is the highest leverage point 53% of the time from that point forward, using a minimum leverage index of 1.5. So, basically a coin toss. Moreover, in 75% of the cases, the index is still below 1.5 three batters into the inning. So, when the manager has to make a decision on getting his closer to warm up, there is a 75% chance that there is not going to be a high leverage situation and there is a 50% chance that it would not be the game’s highest leverage situation. This of course is the regular season, so it is on average and does not take into account where one might be in the order and assumes your pen and reliever roles are structured in the traditional way. In the playoffs, all this goes out the window, when you ask you closer to go more innings, because you suddenly lose trust in your other relievers.

        • foul tip

          Thanks, Bob!

  • Bob_Hendley

    Passed balls generate a bit of discussion on this site from time to time, if only because Grandal is typically among catchers with a lot. At the extreme, Dave thinks that balls that get by the catcher when no one is on base should be measured in some way, if only because Grandal can appear to be lackadaisical in this regards and needs to be accountable. For his part, Bum thinks that higher rates of passed balls are a by-product of better framing, which seems like a reasonable conclusion. (He also think that it might account for Grandal high rate of injury). In any event, Baseball Prospectus has come up with a measure of runs allowed because of PB that they seem happy with (it’s behind they wall, otherwise I would have attached). Grandal’ performance isn’t presented, but the range of good to bad ranges from positive 3.5 to -5.4 (Gattis) annually over the 2010-16 period used in the crunch. As regards trade offs, Grandal is credited with 26 runs saved in 2016 because of his framing.

    • WinnipegDave

      Nice framing of the PB topic Bob! As I think about it now, it’s not that I need there to be a record of passed balls (or wild pitches for that matter) with no runners on base – although I certainly wouldn’t mind that to happen. It’s more that I am suprised/curious/aware that in a sport that tracks everything, this scenario remains unaccounted for…

      • Bob_Hendley

        I guess I should just let this pass, but beyond whether they are balls or strikes, these pitchs account for nothing. The fact that the catcher can’t be bothered to block them suggests as much. Every bit helps, but the analysis above suggests that even in the case of runners on base, the difference between the best and the worst in blocking capabilities is about one win over the course of a season.

        • WinnipegDave

          “I guess I should just let it pass…” Nice one! Perhaps I was wildly off the mark in suggesting it in the first place.

  • Turner’s return to the Dodgers was more pre-ordained than we knew.

  • WinnipegDave

    So it sounds like no trade with the Twins for Dozier. Who do you want playing second? Ian Kinsley? Logan Forsythe?

    Another thought is go low level on 2B with Hernandez or Micah Johnson and try to supercharge left field with someone like McCutchen or Batista. Although we already have about a dozen left-fielders as it stands right now.

    I am disappointed about not getting Dozier. But perhaps it is for the best. We have traded young pitchers for second basemen before with less than stellar results.

    • Bob_Hendley

      The Micah option seems unlikely as he just got DFAed.

      • WinnipegDave

        So true. I posted my comment and then saw the news about Johnson.

        • Bob_Hendley

          He might still come back, of course, but not on the 40 man.

  • foul tip

    Mike P projects Dodgers as on par with Cubs, possibly even best in MLB at 95 wins. Cubs at 94, Red Sox, 93.

    http://m.mlb.com/news/article/212922916/dodgers-project-to-be-as-good-as-cubs-in-2017/

  • foul tip

    Something I’ve not seen mentioned in the Dozier talk. The Dodgers have a glut of starters, widely expected to be thinned out by season start. Would Kazmir, a proven veteran who admittedly didn’t do so well last year, interest them? Would the Twins bite on him and a big part of his salary and/or another starter not likely to figure in Dodger plans, and some of his salary? Is that an overpay? Or OK in light of thinning the starter herd and being able to keep JDL? Or are the Twins fixated on JDL and young pitchers only? Thoughts?

    • Bob_Hendley

      Always understood that Twins wanted to go young and JDL was prime target and that obstacle is that they want him and more young hurlers to boot from the Dodgers.

    • WBBsAs

      The Twinkies are not close to contention. Kazmir has no value to them.

  • Second base thoughts from Howard Cole.

  • WBBsAs

    Even with sunrise at 9:12 and sunset at 3:46, the Finns are getting ready for the season: https://twitter.com/BaseballFinland/status/819852518637375489

  • WBBsAs

    In Patagonia, it’s already baseball season! https://twitter.com/rawsonbeisbol/status/820230821298765825