Changes at ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball: Curt Schilling moves to Monday Night Baseball, John Kruk goes back to Baseball Tonight, and Jessica Mendoza and Aaron Boone move into the chairs next to Dan Shulman for the Sunday game.

Monte Irvin has died at 96. He joined the NY Giants from the Negro League Newark Eagles in 1949 (the second black player on the team behind Hank Thompson) and played left field next to Willie Mays. In the 1951 World Series those three men formed the first all-black starting outfield in World Series history. Jay Jaffe has more.

146 thoughts on “Milestones

  1. Throughout Dodger history, until the disastrous Fox years and the ensuing McCourt debacle, the team’s strength was always a deep farm system that produced a steady stream of quality position players and pitchers – remember the Garvey-Lopes-Russell-Cey IF? What we are witnessing now is a long-overdue reconstruction and restoration.

    • The concept here you speak of is 100% – “Right-On-The-Money” in my opinion….
      However, I believe that with the forward-thinking Campanis and the Dodgers’ self-made connections in the Dominican Republic… they seemed to revolutionize scouting, player development, and team building from within …. back in the day.
      These days, every team projects this type of international ‘footprint’ and has astute baseball people working behind the scenes…. Thus, the true difference seems to fall back on the ‘ intangibles ‘ with the players. Our boys have made a habit of winning the division and then falling flat on their faces in the playoffs…. Only time will tell, I guess…. 🙂

  2. Well, you guys are sure interesting to watch…. The banter here lately seems to be a mixture of informative links and doses of squabbling… 🙂 … This season better start soon !
    Anyways, I have been listening to the ‘propaganda’ on the radio 570AM Dodger Talk and also, reading on,, and also….. obviously here at EF….
    Bottom Line – ( Barring some big trade………….. Gotta throw that in there first….. )
    This team is going to be pretty ” mediocre-to-above-average” in 2016…..

    Sure… All the ” Internal Talk ” within Dodger Fandom – which always over-rates it’s own talent – is that the prospects, along with the existing veterans are going to make for this team in 2016 that will be a contender… meanwhile, the Dodger ” Brain Trust ” will be hard at work fortifying all tiers of the organization….

    Look… I’m going to love the 2016 Dodgers and look forward each evening to watching them just as I have each and every season since I was a kid in the ’70’s…. However, unless they have some really shrewd trade in mind, I would…………. (to be continued as a comment)

    • I think they’re going to be even harder to watch this year than they were last. The pitching is likely worse and the offense certainly no better.

    • 1. Trade Adrian Gonzalez and just go ahead and groom Corey Seager at 1B…
      He’s too big… and, to me… he plays ‘too big’ to play SS long term… Not A-Rod nor Ripken-like. However, I feel he could be the a fine 1B … Love his bat.

      2. Pick the very best C – prospect in baseball… and trade for him… Yesterday !

      3. Jettison Yasiel Puig ! – Favorable contract or not…. he’s been soooo over-rated.
      Not to mention…. being a self-centered clubhouse cancer… Now all of MLB knows…

      4. Give both Farhan and Friedman ‘ 100 lashes ‘ (kidding) for ever trading Dee Gordon. I lost a lot of respect for their powers of evaluation with this one.

      5. Just surrender to the fact that the group of veterans – Ryu (portly, oft-injured) , Ethier (oft. inujured, never been a super-star), Utley (Eons past prime.. just gives fans in other cities another reason to chant “Beat LA”), Gonzalez (trade while he still has value to AL) Anderson (of course he took the qual. offer), Crawford (not enough room on page to even begin to comment), Grandal ( PED use…), Turner (nice numbers, but…..) …. are simply not that exciting ! I’m getting ‘ old and impatient’ in my 40’s :-)… Ha.
      I would never specifically buy a ticket to watch any of these guys play if it were just based on their baseball abilities….. Just one man’s opinion here in January … 🙂

      • Seager has barely had a shot at shortstop, and he did fine there in the month or so he did play the position. They’ve talked about moving him to 3rd if his size begins to hinder him, not 1st. Adrian’s got at least one more reasonably good year in him, I think. His slash line (BA/OBP/Slugging) last season was
        .275/.350.480 with 28 HRs and 90 RBI, which was virtually the same as in 2014, when he hit .276/.335/.482 with 27 HRs and 116 RBI.

        Grandal served his time for the PED use and has been clean since. Ryu lost a year to injury, the first injury he’s ever suffered. Most pitchers nowadays seem to lose at least half a season. Ethier has been steady, and he can’t be traded without eating a bunch of money. Neither can Crawford. Turner has been a pleasant surprise. If he can stay healthy he may be a good third baseman for several years. I agree Utley is a mistake, and if it were me I’d offer Kendrick a 3-year deal to come back. Puig is a mystery. I think he wants to be a good teammate and a great player, but he needs to be taught.

      • I like Links response below but maybe a compromise would be to wait until July to trade Agon. Seager can play short and Turner can play third but in a couple of years Seager may very well be moved to third and Turner may become a free agent or traded. The pitchers will be different in only one year and again in two years.

        If Grandal can stay healthy I think he is an asset for the next couple of years and if he continues to get banged up, I would think about including him with Agon in a July trade. A lot depends on how well the Dodgers do in the first half on 2016.

  3. These are terrible times for baseball fans. Why doesn’t someone organize a league for teams in the tropics who could televise to a baseball hungry America in the winter? There has to be a fortune there for somebody. I can see one or two teams in Puerto Rico, two or three in Cuba, a couple in the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico City and maybe some others. There’s a market waiting…

    • ESPN Deportes usually carries the Serie del Caribe. This year it take place Feb 1-7 in the Dominican Republic and apart from the host features teams from Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela.

      • I’m sure most of them will violently disagree with you. I know you are referring to most of them being on one or the other of the America’s continents. End of dialogue…

    • Is winter-league baseball still played in South and Central America? If so, MLB Network ought to pick up the rights and show some of those games.

      Ah. There are several leagues (Mexico, Venezuela, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Arizona and Australian), but all but John’s Aussie league end their season before New Year’s.

  4. I wish I were wealthy enough for people to call me “eccentric” instead of just “crazy”.

  5. Hey fellas ! – Just chekin’ in and saying howdy.
    Been following you all here @ EF …..
    I love it when you guys send links ….. as it’s the quickest, easiest way for me to keep up with
    our Dodgers.
    Have a great night.

  6. MLB TV package settlement reached.

    the settlement allows fans to watch the visiting team’s television feed
    when they play “in-market” teams, as long as that fan is an authorized
    cable subscriber to the Regional Sports Network that carries the
    “in-market” team’s games.

    I’ll await further explanation before I cheer. I don’t think that makes a lick of difference to me in Hawai’i, but it might for fans in Northern California or elsewhere on the West Coast.l

    • It stinks. Those of us who have cut the cable with scammers like Comcast are still stuck without coverage, unless we want to do something technically illegal.

    • My interpretation on the scant information available is that there will be fewer blackouts than before and MLB-TV is a little cheaper. I have decided to break the Dish and go to streaming TV from a Roku. I don’t know whether or not any Dodgers games can be had that way… Que sera, sera.

    • Hard for me to imagine that the change at SS/2nd is a wash like he does. The combo of Rollins/Kendrick provided WAR 1.0 over the entire season. In a month of playing time Seager/Utley together provided 2.7. If they can provide a little more than that over an entire season it would be triple the impact, not even counting what Quique might provide.

      • How is WAR calibrated? I mean, it is a statistical compilation, not just some “expert’s” opinion, right?

          • What is a ‘base running run’? Or a ”fielding run’? ‘Replacement run”? ‘Positional adjustment’? I’m getting the impression there’s a lot of opinion involved here…

          • There are “opinions” involved in the form of assumptions as to what it takes to score a run or prevent a run in the various equations used. These assumptions are tested in the model using the accumulated data of years of stats. The fit of the model is likely to benefit from the new availability of big data, particularly as regards fielding runs. The concept of replacement provides a means for attaching some monetary values and is meant to approximate what the contribution would be for a theoretical replacement player and his MLB minimum salary. Currently, the cost of WAR 1 in the market is around $7 million.

          • So there is disagreement about how many WAR a player is worth? So it reverts to the old way of doing things, one person likes this player better, another prefers a different player. Same old, same old. Just new (additional) statistics to add to the old ones to use in arguments…

          • No problem. You, and a lot of others like to use it and you certainly have the right. I choose to consider the sabermetrics as simply additional statistical data to evaluate players, along with the old standards (some of which we know to be flawed and of little value). The biggest fly in the whole ointment is that we are trying to evaluate humans as if they were repeatable machines instead of people who vary from day to day and even minute to minute. It’s still a guessing game trying to predict a player’s performance…

          • I agree with you. When humans are involved, much of the calculations are subjective and in the eyes of the person doing the evaluating.

            But devotees will tell you these metrics stand the test of time and prove themselves out.

          • Ballplayers have always been defined by the numbers they put up. A hit is a hit. There maybe some subjectivity involved at times with the official scorer, but to say that much is subjective seems overboard. Sabremetrics is an attempt to improve upon the measuring of contributions by ballplayers.

          • On Base %…Runs Batted In…those I can see the importance of…much of the other measurement scenarios I am unclear as to what they really show. Just my simple mind at work here.

          • RBIs are as much a function of the batters in front of you getting on base as they are of your efficiency in driving them in. A more correct statistic would be your % efficiency in scoring possible runners from second and third base. And there is always a % of luck involved in everything that happens..

          • Ok, so I amend my thought to “on base %” and “RBIs as a % of RBI opportunities”. Get em on, get em over, get em in.

            To me, that is what is important in evaluating a batter.

          • You certainly are not obligated to read the link I posted below, which suggests that things aren’t all that simple so that the weakness of even % of successful rbi opportunities should be understood. A run might score with a runner on third with less than two outs from a fielder’s choice and the batter gets an rbi. Great, but apart from the runner getting on in the first place other contributions may have been at work. For example the next batter may have gotten him to second and into scoring position by getting on base himself or through a productive out (the Get em over part). Moreover, perhaps his speed or heads up base running got the runner to third. Otherwise, he doesn’t score on the fielder’s choice.

          • Fair enough, except it is sometimes that heads up baserunning that gets a runner thrown out when he might otherwise have gotten into scoring position.

            My personal opinion, and this is coming from someone who does numbers for a living, is that there is much more chance at play here than the metrics people like to give credit for. With human beings involved, with all their fallacies, luck plays a big part.

          • Seems like an argument for the metrics people to keep refining metrics to reduce the amount of luck being measured, say with rbis, no?

          • Perhaps, yes. But I am also an old fashioned guy who still believes in the “look” of a player, which includes a certain air of confidence about the player. Not sure if you get my meaning here. This is a big part of the luck factor. You know, I’d rather be lucky than good, but you have to be good to make your own luck, sort of thing?

          • Understood. Metrics are not meant to take that away and can actually help one appreciate players better for their actual contributions.

          • To use one Dodger player to point out how RBIs and all other statistics have to be taken with a grain of salt, note Adrian Gonzalez. His RBI total is affected by not only how many times a teammate gets on base in front of him but also how good/fast that runner is. And whoever hits behind him has a real difficult time driving him into score because of his (lack of) foot speed.

          • Except for one thing, when guys get on base in front of him, he does drive them in, while many many other batters are unable to accomplish this.

  7. All three of our major universities in Iowa have beaten a #1 team this season in basketball. UNI beat North Carolina, Iowa beat Michigan State, and now Iowa State beat Oklahoma tonight.

    • Australia are doing quite well, winning most of its matches, including currently leading a very strong Indian team 3-0 in a series of one day matches.
      In local news, my team Michelago Cricket Club (established 1897) are doing well ( I top scored for my team in the last 2 matches) 🙂

  8. I’m here, but the Dodgers are pretty quiet. Fortunately spring training begins in about a month, so then we’ll have something to talk about other than the constant feuding between WBBsAs and package.

    • Usually, no. I think WBBsAs and myself are the only ones who check in much and we’re hard put to say a civil word to each other, so this blog does its imitation of a funeral parlor…

      • It will happen soon. And I’m glad. It will happen because it increases job opportunities for players, especially those who hit well but have fielding problems. And they will cite pitcher injuries although I don’t think there is much of a connection, most pitchers simply prefer not to hit.

        • It helps provide big salaries for over-the-hill players. If you want to play an Edgar Martínez, you should have to live with his defensive shortcomings.

      • The world’s not fair, knew that a long time ago… My feelings are mixed; That’s more money than I made in my whole life, most other people too.

        • I try to avoid comparing things like professional baseball to my life as part of it’s charm is to provide a respite from the real world.

          • It’s part of the real world – just not the part most of us have access to. Unlike Powerball, though, baseball requires admirable skills.

      • I suppose he could look else where, but he would be one pitcher that I could see the Dodgers giving an extension to, even up to three years.

    • I don’t know about should but I don’t think they will. I THINK the game plan will be to identify his replacement from all the hard-throwing arms they’ve accumulated, then trade KJ or let him walk when he hits free agency.

  9. Hi, All. I love this site, and appreciate all posters therein, but not so much this seemingly constant off-season bickerfest. I shall return when Spring training commences! Until then, may the force (of civility) be with you. xxoo

  10. Dodgers have reached arbitration agreement with SVS (who participates in a different sort of Powerball).

  11. If I win the Powerball, I’ll buy cruise tickets for all our regular commenters. Adjoining cabins for Package and WBB, at the other end of the ship so we don’t have to hear them bicker… A good chance one of them may get lost in the Bermuda Triangle.