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Saturday, October 29, 2005

L.A. Times: DePodesta on the Way Out

They buried Paul…

On the heels of a fourth-place finish and in the midst of a managerial search, the Dodgers are expected to fire General Manager Paul DePodesta, perhaps as early as this weekend, highly placed sources in the organization said Friday.

Barring a change of heart by Frank McCourt, all that is left is for the Dodger owner to meet with DePodesta and make an announcement. DePodesta did not speak with McCourt as of late Friday, although the owner and his wife, team President Jamie McCourt, were in their offices into the early evening.

Thanks to Bob T

Repoz Posted: October 29, 2005 at 01:02 PM | 285 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers

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   101. base ball chick Posted: October 29, 2005 at 07:35 PM (#1710709)
well i'm no dodgers fan but it was MORE than obvious that the local media HATED the mccourts and HATED depo before they even did anything

i can't remember exactly how plaschke said it but his complaint about depo is that he has zits and an ivy league education? what? and i guess that he is a nerd?

this is BEFORE anything went down.

seems to me that they ragged on his (forget) for a bunch of stuff even BEFORE trading loduca to get the pitcher they really needed. i mean they DID need a pitcher

i can hear them talking about kim ng

ohmigawd - this new gm is only 5' tall and looks like a grrrl. and throws like one too. and she NEVER wore the jock neither. and looky here - i done seen here with one of them calculators. burn her at the stake!!!

on the other hand, who knows what goes on behind closed doors, but fer SHER depo didn't try to figger out right quick how to find some friends there in LA and do the politics you need to do in order to do the modern gm job.

on the other hand, i'm not sure why final word so down on someone who went to college - that's a weird sort of attitude. i mean, most gms went to college. gms HAFTA know stats because arbitration happens, contracts happen and they hafta get some kind of argument against the other side and sayin that mr ballplayer ain't doin enough commercials don't cut it. so complaining that the gms know stats is just dumb.

now you might could say to me, how would you like a team full of brandon backes and i'd just say YEAH baby YEAH, i'll, um, handle em all. hehhehheh

which is probably why they won't make me gm...


which also reminds me - seems to me i recollect that orel hershiser don't have NO front office experience and has been a pitching coach. he might could be real good with the kissup media, but he got other things he need to do as gm besides (perform sexual act with lips) on simers and plashke
   102. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 07:39 PM (#1710714)
It would've made a difference PR-wise. If you're going to let a star walk, then it's probably a good idea to have some viable replacement in his stead.

This is absurd. Belre clearly had a fluke year, and keeping him around wasn't going to help the team--he would have tied up a lot of money for poor production, and the Dodgers have a number of players in the low minors doing well who can play third, so all he needed was a babysitter at 3B. DePo had no reason to keep Beltre around other than PR reasons, and you don't let PR affect your roster like that. And clearly, DePo felt that Valentin could be a viable replacement in the short term--which he was until he got hurt.
   103. DCW3 Posted: October 29, 2005 at 07:44 PM (#1710725)
I have the strangest feeling that the Dodgers are going to make the playoffs next season on the back of a monster season by J.D. Drew, and the new GM will be hailed for "turning the team around."
   104. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 07:46 PM (#1710727)
DCW3, I can't say I don't agree. Having a full season of Gagne will be crucial too.
   105. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 07:50 PM (#1710731)
Valentin could be a viable replacement in the short term--which he was until he got hurt.

Valentin was declining steadily, 35 years old, and out of position.
   106. BFFB Posted: October 29, 2005 at 07:51 PM (#1710734)
Do I think...

firing DePodesta is warranted based on performance? No.
firing DePodesta unexpected? No.

There are two major parts to being a GM. Firstly, making roster moves. This is, arguably, the singularly most important function and is certainly the most visible way of judging performance. In this area DePodesta has been reasonable. He's made some good moves, some bad moves and some moves which are yet to be decided. The other part of the job is the "management" part. Managing the front office, the media and all the other ancillary functions which are hard to judge other than anecdotally. In this area I think DePodesta has given the impression, judging on what has floated around, of this being an area of weakness. Part of this is the realisation that all moves don't occur in a bubble. They have other affects, E.g. trading LoDuca is not just a straight "do I get more performance value by trading him?" you also have to consider what effect it will have on reputation, the business, PR, etc. these are all things which have to be factored into value to make a decision. I'm not convinced he has done this added value all that well, "goodwill" if you will.

Additionally, there has been so much ill feeling and bad publicity around the McCourt sale / DePodesta hiring that McCourt may have felt he had to make the move, if for no other reason than to consolidate his own position. From this angle it actually makes some sense.

Of course most of this is just idle speculation on my part, based on the various pieces of anecdotal ecidence and opinion that has surfaces over his 18 months in charge. As such take it with a huge grain of salt.

2cents.
   107. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 07:51 PM (#1710736)
I have the strangest feeling that the Dodgers are going to make the playoffs next season on the back of a monster season by J.D. Drew, and the new GM will be hailed for "turning the team around."

When they made the playoffs in 2004, Plaschke wrote a column about how it was Dan Evans who made it all happen.
   108. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: October 29, 2005 at 07:53 PM (#1710741)
When they made the playoffs in 2004, Plaschke wrote a column about how it was Dan Evans who made it all happen.

Well, it was true, wasn;t it?
   109. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 07:55 PM (#1710745)
Valentin was declining steadily, 35 years old, and out of position.

He was also on a one year contract and prior to getting hurt was hitting better than Beltre. The top 3B options last year were Beltre, Glaus, and Randa. Yuck.
   110. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:05 PM (#1710755)
The top 3B options last year were Beltre, Glaus, and Randa. Yuck.

The top three free agent options, maybe. But there are other means of acquisition. He could have traded for a Polanco, Aaron Boone, Sean Burroughs.... I think he needed to go after a dependable two-year solution, especially with a fragile outfield already threatening to chew through the roster. And maybe the solution was teaching Perez how to play defense, and sticking through his troubles....
   111. Len Lansford, Carney Barker Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:06 PM (#1710757)
Mr. McCourt, there's a Ted Stepien for you on line one.
   112. Robert S. Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:07 PM (#1710759)
The Dodgers have been a mess for a long time; now it's clear there's no timetable for that to change. Personally, I couldn't care less about PR couldashouldawouldas or leadership speculation: DePodesta didn't trade away anything that makes the difference between the postseason or not, the guys he did let go were all wildly overpaid in '05 (not like that actually matters to everyone who isn't McCourt), and he added at least two All-Star players who didn't fall apart on the field.

Helluva weekend for Snakes fans. In completely unrelated news, I heard a handful of rumors:

1. Matt Cain is a cannibal
2. Sandy Alderson sells babies on the internet
3. Jake Peavy is a coke mule
4. Ian Stewart hates American beer

Of course, I take no responsibility for their accuracy. Still, it's the perfect time to clean out any problems.
   113. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:11 PM (#1710764)
Polanco would have been a one year option as well, and an expensive one (he got $4.6M in arb). Aaron Boone isn't any better than Valetin. San Diego isn't going to help the Dodgers out.
   114. WillieMays Haze Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:11 PM (#1710765)
I saw that when a few people mention JD Drew, they mention how he has a history of getting injured or whatever, so maybe it wasn't a very good signing because there is alot of risk involved.
Well, I agree that there is a pretty substantial risk of injury with Drew, based on his past. But, for anyone who forgot what happened to him this year: he didn't pull a hammy or hurt his shoulder swinging or anything like that, he got hit right on his wrist by a fastball up and in that was pretty hard to get away from. At the time he was batting .286/.412/.520 with 51 BBs/50 Ks. The injury that knocked him out for the season (and maybe cost DePo his job and the Dodgers their season) was a fluke that could've happened to anyone, regardless of their injury history.
   115. DCW3 Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:16 PM (#1710775)
San Diego isn't going to help the Dodgers out.

Not to mention that Sean Burroughs blows. He can't pitch, either.
   116. greenback calls it soccer Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:18 PM (#1710777)
Polanco was a free agent. And, yes, you do make moves for PR purposes. I wouldn't have signed Beltre if I had been DePo, but he'd still have a job right now if he had.
   117. RP Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:20 PM (#1710779)
San Diego isn't going to help the Dodgers out.

I don't know...trading the Dodgers Sean Burroughs wouldn't have been much help.
   118. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:21 PM (#1710780)
Polanco would have been a one year option as well, and an expensive one (he got $4.6M in arb).

Definitely. Why pay $4.6MM to Polanco, when you can sign Jose Valentin for $3.5MM? Yes, I realize that you have to trade for Placido, but come on.
   119. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:22 PM (#1710781)
Boone was better than Valentin, in that A) 3B was his position, and he played it pretty well, B) he was 32, not 35, C) his offense wasn't in the midst of a five-year decline.

As for Polanco being expensive, he cost $1.1 million more than Valentin.
   120. base ball chick Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:24 PM (#1710784)
well if depo HAD signed beltre and he put up the nubers he had in seattle, dontchu think that the la media all over his a** for a dumb signing and he don't know how to pick em

i mean, if the media HATES you before you even get there, unless you phil garner smooth, you cooked
   121. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:24 PM (#1710785)
Polanco was a free agent.

Polanco accepted arbitration from the Phillies prior to DePo signing Valentin.

And, yes, you do make moves for PR purposes.

If you make moves because of fans, you'll be one before you know it.

I wouldn't have signed Beltre if I had been DePo, but he'd still have a job right now if he had.

I highly doubt it, because the Dodgers still would have been a bad team in 2005, and thus still would have gotten bad press. And the mediots would have written that DePo made a mistake in locking up Beltre long term.

You don't understand. It doesn't matter what DePo does or did, the LA media was going to hate him regardless.
   122. RP Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:25 PM (#1710786)
Boone was better than Valentin, in that A) 3B was his position, and he played it pretty well, B) he was 32, not 35, C) his offense wasn't in the midst of a five-year decline.

He was also coming off an injury that cost him all of 2004.
   123. Krakens Love Bat Hats Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:25 PM (#1710788)
And, yes, you do make moves for PR purposes. I wouldn't have signed Beltre if I had been DePo, but he'd still have a job right now if he had.

If Depo had to make moves with the objective of keeping his job rather than doing the best job, then the Dodgers are awfully screwed up.
   124. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:27 PM (#1710789)
trading the Dodgers Sean Burroughs wouldn't have been much help.

I'll take a 24-year-old coming off OPS+s of 105 and 92 any day over a 35-year-old SS in offensive free-fall coming off an 88. Especially when the youngun makes less than half the salary. I don't know if Burroughs will ever be particularly good, but what the Dodgers needed for 2005-06 was someone who could play competently, especially on defense, and not get hurt.
   125. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:28 PM (#1710790)
Definitely. Why pay $4.6MM to Polanco, when you can sign Jose Valentin for $3.5MM? Yes, I realize that you have to trade for Placido, but come on.

I thought that Valentin made less than that. Knowing that, I agree he should have gone after Polanco.
   126. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:30 PM (#1710792)
I'll take a 24-year-old coming off OPS+s of 105 and 92 any day over a 35-year-old SS in offensive free-fall coming off an 88.

You're ignoring that San Diego wouldn't have helped the Dodgers out. Trading for Burroughs was an unrealistic option.
   127. 1k5v3L Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:30 PM (#1710793)
Wow, things are looking up for the Dbacks in the NL west. Who woulda thunk it...

Now we need Tommy LaSorda as the new GM in LA...
   128. RP Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:31 PM (#1710794)
Yeah...I'd rather have Burroughs than Valentin, but would the upgrade be worth the prospects SD would have demanded?
   129. greenback calls it soccer Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:32 PM (#1710795)
Polanco accepted arbitration from the Phillies prior to DePo signing Valentin.

So? He was a free agent prior to that.

If you make moves because of fans, you'll be one before you know it.

The point of making moves is to sell tickets. Yeah, it's a bad idea to do everything the fans want, but you have to pick your battles.

If Depo had to make moves with the objective of keeping his job rather than doing the best job, then the Dodgers are awfully screwed up.

Isn't it pretty obvious that the Dodgers, specifically the McCourts, are awfully screwed up?
   130. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:34 PM (#1710798)
if depo HAD signed beltre and he put up the nubers he had in seattle, dontchu think that the la media all over his a** for a dumb signing and he don't know how to pick em

Actually, no. Plaschke et al still think he should have kept Finley, and that the Angels were smart to sign him. What counts in their world seems to be loyalty to guys they like, especially anyone with ties (even imaginary) to the '88 club. LoDuca was seen as the next Kirk Gibson, Tommy knows best, and Orel should *definitely* manage the team (just ask Hugh Hewitt!).

Agreed that DePo would have still been the goat, for signing Drew and ignoring Chemistry. They may have even blamed Beltre tanking on that.
   131. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:35 PM (#1710800)
The point of making moves is to sell tickets.

Fans want to see a winning product above all else. Keeping Adrian Beltre doesn't accomplish that.
   132. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:37 PM (#1710801)
Yeah...I'd rather have Burroughs than Valentin, but would the upgrade be worth the prospects SD would have demanded?

Even Randa would have been a better move. Or, as I said earlier, teaching Perez D & sticking by him. But I don't think Valentin and the Six Dwarves was a good solution. Nor was wearing the evil charm necklace that injured Izturis, Gagne and Ledee.
   133. Krakens Love Bat Hats Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:38 PM (#1710803)
Isn't it pretty obvious that the Dodgers, specifically the McCourts, are awfully screwed up?

Yes, but is that any reason to blame Depodesta for not making stupid signings?
   134. VoiceOfUnreason Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:38 PM (#1710804)
So the lame duck GM was allowed to dismiss the manager? Or did I miss an episode?
   135. greenback calls it soccer Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:40 PM (#1710805)
Fans want to see a winning product above all else.

They want to see a winning product with their players.

Keeping Adrian Beltre doesn't accomplish that.

Neither did letting him go. Completely damned if you do, mostly damned if you don't. Not an easy choice, but I think I take the latter.
   136. Krakens Love Bat Hats Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:41 PM (#1710807)
Or, as I said earlier, teaching Perez D & sticking by him.

Thats a Tracy & co. failing, not a Depo failing. I think its pretty obvious that Depo didn't have much say in who got the most playing time, not with Jason Phillips playing first late in the season.
   137. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:41 PM (#1710808)
So? He was a free agent prior to that.

And for all we know, Polanco was content to accept arbitration from the Phillies and get a lofty paycheck for 2005 and then try his luck at being an everyday player somewhere rather than be a stopgap for a season or two.
   138. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:43 PM (#1710809)
Thats a Tracy & co. failing, not a Depo failing.

Tracy worked for DePo. In fact, DePo re-signed him after 2004. It's his responsibility.
   139. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:44 PM (#1710811)
They want to see a winning product with their players.

They don't get to choose what players their team gets to win with. So tough #### for them.

Neither did letting him go. Completely damned if you do, mostly damned if you don't. Not an easy choice, but I think I take the latter.

No, they didn't win letting him go. But they wouldn't have won with him either, and now they don't have a shitty hitter at a key position making more than he should for the next five years, and that's a good thing.
   140. Human Papelbon Virus Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:45 PM (#1710812)
Neither did letting him go. Completely damned if you do, mostly damned if you don't. Not an easy choice, but I think I take the latter.

Beltre sucked. They were extremely smart not to resign him, especially for the price they would have paid. Maybe they didn't have an immediate replacement, but they did create the flexibility to bring in a long-term replacement.
   141. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:45 PM (#1710814)
Tracy worked for DePo. In fact, DePo re-signed him after 2004. It's his responsibility.

And DePo booted him when he didn't do what he wanted, so how is it DePo's fault?
   142. greenback calls it soccer Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:49 PM (#1710816)
Yes, but is that any reason to blame Depodesta for not making stupid signings?

I'm not blaming him for stupid signings, as he should've gone after Polanco. DePodesta did pick an even worse alternative than Beltre though.
   143. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:51 PM (#1710817)
so how is it DePo's fault?

Um, maybe he shouldn't have re-signed the manager who didn't agree with him about player development?
   144. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:53 PM (#1710821)
Maybe they didn't have an immediate replacement, but they did create the flexibility to bring in a long-term replacement.

Having no "immediate replacement" in the starting lineup is unacceptable for a high-payroll team that aims to contend. The "long-term" replacement is in the minors; all he needed was a credible short-term replacement, but he didn't get one.
   145. VegasRobb Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:54 PM (#1710822)
Two years seems really short. Is that even enough time for a GM to change over organizational philosophies?

FIVE hour dinner with Orel, Tommy and McCourt? That's crazy.
   146. greenback calls it soccer Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:55 PM (#1710823)
And for all we know, Polanco was content to accept arbitration from the Phillies and get a lofty paycheck for 2005 and then try his luck at being an everyday player somewhere rather than be a stopgap for a season or two.

I believe the Phillies made it clear to Polanco that they really didn't want him. The bigger problem was that his agent had some, er, communication issues. Suddenly things make sense.

So tough #### for them.

I suspect that's DePodesta's mentality. Beane's gotten away with it, DePo evidently didn't.

but they did create the flexibility to bring in a long-term replacement.

Who?
   147. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 08:59 PM (#1710829)
I believe the Phillies made it clear to Polanco that they really didn't want him. The bigger problem was that his agent had some, er, communication issues. Suddenly things make sense.

Which has little to no impact on whether or not Polanco would rather take a big paycheck in 2005 and then test the market again. Polanco had a lot of friends in the Phillies clubhouse, I doubt he gave a crap if Ed Wade didn't want him, so it wasn't like it was a terrible situation for him to go back to. He knew he was going to be traded, and he knew that he could find a job this time next year as well if he didn't want to stay on whatever team he was going to finish the season with.
   148. Krakens Love Bat Hats Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:01 PM (#1710832)
DePodesta did pick an even worse alternative than Beltre though.

Except that the money for Beltre would have come at the expense of Drew, Lowe, or Kent, each of whom was much better than Beltre. So it isn't Beltre v. Valentin, its Beltre and Cora v. Kent and Valentin or something along those lines. Depo should have gotten Polanco, but not throwing money away on Beltre was a terrific move.
   149. base ball chick Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:03 PM (#1710836)
matt

i'm missing something here

they hated depo BEFORE he got here why? because he got zits? or did plashke already hate billy beans and anybody who ever worked for him and nothing depo did woulda been ok?.

it's not like he bumped out their buddy. or was it? did lasorda really stand a chance of being gm? did he do ok when he WAS?
'
and they like finley WHY? i mean, he sucked on the Other Team in the AL so i'm not getting how he was supposed to help the angels.
   150. TJR Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:06 PM (#1710838)
so, does DePo end up somewhere else next season?
   151. Jesse Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:08 PM (#1710839)
From way upthread:

Was there anything he could do to stop Plaschke and Simmers from bashing him? They started as soon as he was hired. They were prejudiced and didn't use rational arguments.


Yeah, that happens a lot these days. Do you think that the New York Post sticks to rational arguments? How about the Philadelphia papers?

DePodesta might have been a good architect of a baseball team, although the evidence is pretty unclear at this point. I'd hate to play against him in a strat league, if I played in one. He didn't handle people well, though, and that's just as important (if not more important) for a GM. It didn't help that the media's representatives hated him from the get-go.

For what it's worth, when I read that DePodesta wanted to hire Terry Collins, I just started feeling like maybe he wasn't enough of a people person to be a general manager. You get the feeling that he hasn't quite grasped that baseball is played by people and written about by people and watched by people. It's a cliche, but it seems to be true in his case.

I wouldn't have fired him this year, and I was surprised that he was fired, but the shine wore off him pretty quickly. I would be surprised if he's hired anywhere else any time soon.

As a Dodger fan, I think the franchise is going to go back to mediocrity pretty quickly.
   152. Jesse Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:12 PM (#1710841)
<blockquote>but [the Dodgers] did create the flexibility to bring in a long-term replacement [for Beltre].


Who?</blockquote>

Well, they haven't brought him in yet. Probably Joel Guzman, unless Tommy Lasorda trades him for shiny beads. Maybe he can sign Paul Konerko while he's at it.
   153. Jesse Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:12 PM (#1710842)
I guess you can't nest blockquotes. It looked good in the preview window.
   154. Human Papelbon Virus Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:14 PM (#1710844)
Having no "immediate replacement" in the starting lineup is unacceptable for a high-payroll team that aims to contend. The "long-term" replacement is in the minors; all he needed was a credible short-term replacement, but he didn't get one.

Having a player of the Beltre 2005 caliber is also unacceptable for a high-payroll team that aims to contend, especially at the price they would have paid. Atlanta, another high-payroll team hoping to contend, did not find an immediate replacement for Drew, yet somehow managed to find the right combo of players to fill in adequately. When it works out, Cox et al are praised, when it fails, DePo et al are criticized.
   155. Spivey Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:17 PM (#1710847)
The point of making moves is to sell tickets. Yeah, it's a bad idea to do everything the fans want, but you have to pick your battles.

And whether or not you want to resign a 3B for top-dollar money when he's not worth it is a battle you have to pick. You agree as much yourself in saying that you wouldn't have resigned him, so what's your point?

They want to see a winning product with their players.

Some fans might not want a team full of mercenaries, but a lot wouldn't mind if the team won. Obviously you're not going to have all 25 players on your roster from your own organization, so all fans I think expect FA changes.

Also, I don't think you can discuss Polanco. mgl said STL offered Polanco a solid deal (IIRC, 3yrs, 15 million). He didn't even know he got the deal. His agent screwed him, and was later fired. So, the fact is, I don't see how you can consider Polanco an option. In fact, for all you know, they did try to sign Polanco.
   156. Spivey Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:20 PM (#1710853)
Probably Joel Guzman, unless Tommy Lasorda trades him for shiny beads. Maybe he can sign Paul Konerko while he's at it.

I think LaRoche is a better long-term candidate for LAD 3b. Guzman might end up moving to the OF, I think (which of course, kills his value).
   157. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:21 PM (#1710854)
baseball chick -- my condolences, by the way.

As for "why," well ... there's no way to say it without being speculative & insulting, but basically they're conservative to the point of being reactionary. They yearn for anything that remotely smells like their version of "The Dodger Way," which usually has far less to do with the creative genius of Branch Rickey, and far more to do with whatever O'Malley-era gasbag talked to them last. Lasorda, the biggest gasser of 'em all, was a terrible GM, who traded a 22-year-old Paul Konerko for a guy who retired in 2001. And Finley was just someone they personally liked, which is more important than actually playing well.

That, and the LAT guys write as if *they* should be GM, demanding trades and signings with abandon, and rarely admitting it when they change positions 180 degrees. They run everybody out of town, then write weepy features one year later about their Underappreciated Genius or whatever.
   158. greenback calls it soccer Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:21 PM (#1710857)
Which has little to no impact on whether or not Polanco would rather take a big paycheck in 2005 and then test the market again.

Of course it has impact. If he didn't get traded, then he couldn't expect a better paycheck a year later.

Except that the money for Beltre would have come at the expense of Drew, Lowe, or Kent, each of whom was much better than Beltre.

I don't buy the general idea that teams have some fixed payroll ceiling. Even if there is such a thing, I hope the 2005 Dodgers weren't anywhere close to it. Signing Beltre certainly would've been a waste of Mr. McCourt's money, but my point is I believe DePo would still be employed now if he done it. Yes, that's stupid. That's also the way Dodgers apparently work. Maybe DePo's better off having departed the scene.

DePo must really feel like Howard Roark now. He even has an Ellsworth Toohey.
   159. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:23 PM (#1710859)
Atlanta, another high-payroll team hoping to contend, did not find an immediate replacement for Drew, yet somehow managed to find the right combo of players to fill in adequately.

You mean Raul Mondesi (.211/.271/.359) and Brian Jordan (.247/.295/.338)?
   160. Human Papelbon Virus Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:25 PM (#1710861)
You mean Raul Mondesi (.211/.271/.359) and Brian Jordan (.247/.295/.338)?

Yes. I was referring specifically to them.
   161. Spivey Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:25 PM (#1710862)
DePo must really feel like Howard Roark now.


Well he *is* a crypto-fascist.
   162. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:26 PM (#1710864)
Of course it has impact. If he didn't get traded, then he couldn't expect a better paycheck a year later.

Where did I say anything about getting a better paycheck the next year? I didn't. I said that accepting arb would give him a nice salary for 2005 and then he could test the market again. And has already been mentioned, he was offered at least one contract that he never knew of because his agent was a moron.

I don't buy the general idea that teams have some fixed payroll ceiling. Even if there is such a thing, I hope the 2005 Dodgers weren't anywhere close to it.

Considering all the speculation about McCourt's unstable finances, it is very possible that the Dodgers have a payroll ceiling. And if they did, you'd have no idea what that ceiling is, and thus no idea if they were anywhere close to it.
   163. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:26 PM (#1710865)
Atlanta, another high-payroll team hoping to contend, did not find an immediate replacement for Drew, yet somehow managed to find the right combo of players to fill in adequately.

They had the long-term replacement (Francouer) WAY more ready than the Dodgers', and when they couldn't squeeze enough production out of the short-term guy (Jordan), they brought up the kid, and he raked. That's a little different than a Plan B involving Nakamura, Perez, Robles, Mike freakin' Edwards, gimpy Saenz, and a Triple-A guy with a .419 SLG in the PCL.
   164. greenback calls it soccer Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:27 PM (#1710866)
You agree as much yourself in saying that you wouldn't have resigned him, so what's your point?

My point is he'd still have a job.

In fact, for all you know, they did try to sign Polanco.

For all I know, the whole Polanco mess was DePo's fault. Thus my "suddenly things make sense" comment.


Probably Joel Guzman

Guzman was at AA this season. That's a long time to leave 3B a decrepit hole.
   165. s.zielinski Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:27 PM (#1710868)
On life in the bizzaro world:

Again, the data on DePodesta says "give him more time." But, maybe he was just perceived as an arrogant jerk ,an due to that, couldn't afford a bad year.


And:

I think this is sign that we'll see Bobby Valentine as the next manager of the LA Dodgers. Lasorda is on record saying he's the guy who should get the job, talks about him like the dream candidate. Valentine is on record as saying he'd love the job and it would be a challenge of a lifetime, but that he probably wouldn't mesh too well with the current leadership. He has an out in is contract with Lotte for the Dodgers job.


So, it now looks as though DePodesta will be fired because he's thought to be arrogant and lacking in people skills. Yet, DePodesta's firing might provide the Dodgers with an opportunity to hire Bobby Valentine, a man who surely is arrogant and has had run-ins with numerous players, colleagues, superiors, etc. The latter possibility passes with out comment.
   166. base ball chick Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:29 PM (#1710873)
thank you matt

i am wearing my black stros shirt and my black stros cap and have dark thoughts bout pasting that old RIP article from the june 1 chronicle on it. and i am writing angry hostile things bout phil F. garner that i will hafta edit before i post. but it feels good to write them

sayyyyyyy

maybe the problem with yalls writers is they don't edit before they post

and speaking of writing and posting when you gonna get some serious heavy size 12s out and kick some lazy NTA ass and get that boy writing???

but i hafta laugh about the latest gasbag - one of our local writers here sayin how we should extend phil's contract (NO GAWD, PLEASE) because of the way he's accessible to the media and talks and talks and talks, unlike jimy willaims
   167. greenback calls it soccer Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:30 PM (#1710875)
Where did I say anything about getting a better paycheck the next year? I didn't. I said that accepting arb would give him a nice salary for 2005 and then he could test the market again.

Which is the same thing as he would've gotten with the Dodgers, no??

Considering all the speculation about McCourt's unstable finances, it is very possible that the Dodgers have a payroll ceiling.

The Dodgers aren't the Royals. The way to make money with big-market teams is to win lots of ballgames. You can quote MGL on that too.

And if they did, you'd have no idea what that ceiling is, and thus no idea if they were anywhere close to it.

You wouldn't know it either, so what's your point?
   168. Human Papelbon Virus Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:30 PM (#1710876)
They had the long-term replacement (Francouer) WAY more ready than the Dodgers', and when they couldn't squeeze enough production out of the short-term guy (Jordan), they brought up the kid, and he raked. That's a little different than a Plan B involving Nakamura, Perez, Robles, Mike freakin' Edwards, gimpy Saenz, and a Triple-A guy with a .419 SLG in the PCL.

But they also utilized guys like Kelly Johnson and Ryan Langerhans, players who weren't really expected to contribute at all. I'm not trying to say the two teams had exactly the same resources to deal with the departed player, but I am trying to point out that a contending team does not necessarily have to enter the season with a good interim replacement in order to win.
   169. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:32 PM (#1710877)
now they don't have a shitty hitter at a key position making more than he should for the next five years, and that's a good thing.

So you know how Beltre's gonna hit for the next four years? I admire your omniscience. For what it's worth, and I think it's worth something, Beltre's best two comps before the 2004 season were Eddie Mathews and Ron Santo. And it's still Ron Santo going into his age-27 2006. I'd take that bet over a 30-year-old corner OF with at least three chronic medical conditions & an opt-out, but I don't want to have that argument again.
   170. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:32 PM (#1710878)
One thing that everyone has forgotten is the ratings that this firing is going to have. Can you imagine Donald Trump walking into Dodger Stadium, and telling DePodesta, "YOU ARE FIRED!"? Man, that would be totally awesome.
   171. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:34 PM (#1710880)
They had the long-term replacement (Francouer) WAY more ready than the Dodgers', and when they couldn't squeeze enough production out of the short-term guy (Jordan), they brought up the kid, and he raked.

That's not accurate. Ryan Langerhans was getting regular playing time all season and Kelly Johnson was called up over a month before Francouer was and also got regular playing time. They called Francouer only when Jordan was put on the DL, not because he wasn't producing. Langerhans and Johnson were getting ABs because Jordan and Mondesi weren't producing.
   172. Spivey Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:34 PM (#1710881)
For all I know, the whole Polanco mess was DePo's fault. Thus my "suddenly things make sense" comment.

I figured as much. I wasn't directly responding to you. Other people had brought up Polanco as well, so I just felt like commenting on it broadly.

They had the long-term replacement (Francouer) WAY more ready than the Dodgers

Hindsight is 20/20, and I doubt you would have said Francouer was more ready at the start of the season than Joel Guzman. Note that I didn't think either were ready, but I fail to see what makes you think Francouer was ready, based on his minor league numbers.
   173. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:36 PM (#1710885)
I'm not trying to say the two teams had exactly the same resources to deal with the departed player, but I am trying to point out that a contending team does not necessarily have to enter the season with a good interim replacement in order to win.

No, but a contending team like Atlanta also didn't enter the season with a lot of injury prone players in their lineup like the Dodgers did.
   174. NoName Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:36 PM (#1710886)
Beltre is a good case in point of DePo's failings, whether you think Beltre should have been signed or no. When Beltre signed with Seattle, DePo's public comments weren't that, "we wish him luck but think the price was too high." The comments were to the effect that "we had no idea he was about to sign with Seattle and were prepared to go higher in our bids, though maybe Seattle would eventually have outbid us." This is incompetent public relations at best, incompetant general managing at worst.
   175. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:37 PM (#1710887)
So you know how Beltre's gonna hit for the next four years?

I have said all along that 2004 was a fluke year for Beltre, so yes, I fully expect him to continue to put up his usual 720-ish OPS and low 90s OPS+ hitting.
   176. John (You Can Call Me Grandma) Murphy Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:45 PM (#1710896)
Isn't it pretty obvious that the Dodgers, specifically the McCourts, are awfully screwed up?

Sounds like Dodger fans should wish that McCourt finds his Howie Spira so that he would be out of baseball for a few years.
   177. Krakens Love Bat Hats Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:46 PM (#1710898)
And it's still Ron Santo going into his age-27 2006.

The guy with the closest OPS+ is Ken Keltner.

The only reason Santo is up there is that Beltre has played in much better hitting environments.
   178. JMM Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:49 PM (#1710900)
Well, they haven't brought him in yet. Probably Joel Guzman, unless Tommy Lasorda trades him for shiny beads. Maybe he can sign Paul Konerko while he's at it.

Then Lasorda can trade Konerko (along with the new Dennys Reyes) for the new Jeff Shaw....

So you know how Beltre's gonna hit for the next four years?

Well, 3 of the past 4 years would give a pretty good indication.
   179. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:49 PM (#1710901)
Having a player of the Beltre 2005 caliber is also unacceptable for a high-payroll team that aims to contend.

Players on post-season teams who had higher salaries than Beltre while earning fewer Win Shares:
WS   SAL     NAME
00   $15.7   Kevin Brown
03   $18.0   Jeff Bagwell
04   $14.5   Curt Schilling
05   $11.6   Scott Rolen
06   $15.1   Mike Hampton
10   $19.0   Mike Mussina
11   $12.4   Bernie Williams
14   $12.7   Larry Walker
In general, I think it's a bigger sin to have a gaping hole in your roster, than it is to overpay for a player.
   180. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:51 PM (#1710904)
I fail to see what makes you think Francouer was ready, based on his minor league numbers.

I just assumed, since he's such an obvious physical talent. My bad, even though it turns out he indeed WAS ready.
   181. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 09:55 PM (#1710908)
That list isn't accurate, the Marlins were paying most of Hampton's salary this season, and the Rockies paid at least a couple of million of Walker's. Even still, 5 of those 8 players missed significant playing time in 05, hence their low WS total.
   182. Rear Admiral Piazza Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:00 PM (#1710912)
You know, McCourt's a nut and is throwing away his money. But I never saw any reason to be confident that DePo was on top of things. The new GM might want to consider finding a third baseman, for example.
   183. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:01 PM (#1710913)
Beltre's best two comps before the 2004 season were Eddie Mathews and Ron Santo. And it's still Ron Santo going into his age-27 2006.
As much as I respect the folks at Baseball Reference, I have no idea how that comp is viable. (It's so off, it makes me question the validity of ALL the comps.)
Santo's age/PA/OPS+
20/382/97
21/655/121
22/679/74
23/687/129
24/686/164
25/704/146
26/672/161

Beltre's age/PA/OPS+
19/214/74
20/614/100
21/575/116
22/515/93
23/635/98
24/608/89
25/657/163
26/650/90

Looks like one man's fluke season resulted in an OPS+ of 74; the other player's fluke was a 163.
   184. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:02 PM (#1710916)
That list isn't accurate

I didn't say who was paying the salary, and I just went off B-Ref.

5 of those 8 players missed significant playing time in 05, hence their low WS total.

I hear that old and/or injury-prone players tend to miss significantly more playing time than durable 26-year-olds.
   185. Krakens Love Bat Hats Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:03 PM (#1710917)
00 $15.7 Kevin Brown
03 $18.0 Jeff Bagwell
04 $14.5 Curt Schilling
05 $11.6 Scott Rolen
06 $15.1 Mike Hampton
10 $19.0 Mike Mussina
11 $12.4 Bernie Williams
14 $12.7 Larry Walker


None of these players was in the first year of their respective contracts.

Its pretty common to overpay for the tail end of a contract, but nobody knowingly overpays for the entire contract.
   186. Andere Richtingen Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:07 PM (#1710922)
As much as I respect the folks at Baseball Reference, I have no idea how that comp is viable. (It's so off, it makes me question the validity of ALL the comps.)

I believe Baseball Reference comps are not meant to represent any kind of sabermetrically informed comparison.
   187. Rear Admiral Piazza Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:09 PM (#1710929)
You know, just because DePo was a "Moneyball" GM doesn't make him a good GM. I still haven't seen anyone mention a good move he's made. Just a lot of "he had no choice but to do this..." type moves.
   188. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:10 PM (#1710933)
I didn't say who was paying the salary, and I just went off B-Ref.

Well, you should. If the Braves are only paying Mike Hampton $5 million for a third of a season rather than $15 million (IIRC the Marlins are paying about $10M of his salary up to this year), then that's very different.
   189. Spivey Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:10 PM (#1710932)
The comparisons on BBREF I think include HR, runs, RBIs, BA, etc. Anyone who uses it as an argument you can feel free to ignore.
   190. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:10 PM (#1710934)
I still haven't seen anyone mention a good move he's made.
Good moves - Not bringing back Finley, Lima and Cora. Beltre, too, at least at the price he wanted (and got).
   191. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:11 PM (#1710935)
I think better comps for Beltre's pre-27 OPS+'s would be Bob Bailey and Buddy Bell. Both of whom, FWIW, hit much better 27-32 than 21-26.

I just think that players who are productive regulars by age 20 tend to have pretty good upside, and shouldn't be written off at 26. Three of Robin Yount's last four seasons looked pretty crappy going into 1980, but he turned out all right.
   192. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:12 PM (#1710936)
I believe Baseball Reference comps are not meant to represent any kind of sabermetrically informed comparison.

The comparisons on BBREF I think include HR, runs, RBIs, BA, etc. Anyone who uses it as an argument you can feel free to ignore.

Want to take another bash at it, Matt?
   193. base ball chick Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:13 PM (#1710939)
man i hate this "moneyball" nametag

when what it means is that
1- a guy used to work for billy beane
2- the guy went to college
3- the guy is younger than the writer
4- the guy never wore the jock
5- the guy can use a calculator

it's bad enuf the plaschkes of the world do it

why do WE hafta?
   194. The Matador Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:13 PM (#1710940)
2. Making Jason Phillips the starting catcher. Say what you want, LoDuca was a good player in 2004. What were the expectations for Phillips?


The expectations were that Jason would fill in for a few months, until Navarro was ready. Navarro was brought up in May, but Tracy wouldn't play him. Finally in the second half, he did and the 21 year old Navarro hit better than LoDuca. Phillips can't hit anything, so after that Tracy gave him Choi's starts at first base.

Everyone here seems to forget about Simer's first column about DePo. DePo mentioned he was taking up running to try to lose some weight, so Simers immediately dubbed him "the lightweight GM". Talk about a stacked deck.
   195. VegasRobb Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:16 PM (#1710943)
From the Yahoo article:

McCourt said he will consider ``leadership a very important characteristic'' for a new GM.

``He would have a keen eye for baseball talent and experience to do the job,'' McCourt said.
   196. Dr Love Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:18 PM (#1710945)
Three of Robin Yount's last four seasons looked pretty crappy going into 1980, but he turned out all right.

Another faulty comp. Yount didn't have his head completely in baseball at that time, when he did, he exploded. There is nothing in Beltre's history that indicates he's in a similar situation.
   197. DCW3 Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:32 PM (#1710959)
As much as I respect the folks at Baseball Reference, I have no idea how that comp is viable. (It's so off, it makes me question the validity of ALL the comps.)

Here's why they are listed as comparable players:

Through age 26:

G:
Beltre - 1122
Santo - 1053

AB:
Beltre - 4065
Santo - 3920

H:
Beltre - 1103
Santo - 1108

R:
Beltre - 525
Santo - 526

HR:
Beltre - 166
Santo - 167

RBI:
Beltre - 597
Santo - 618

Sim scores make no adjustments for era or park, and in my opinion put too little emphasis on BB and OBP (which happen to be the main areas of difference between Beltre and Santo). They're a fun little toy, but their predictive value is essentially nil.
   198. Ben Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:35 PM (#1710961)
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/columns/story?columnist=crasnick_jerry&id=2207818

I think it's this is a pretty good article. Seriously, when your manager and GM have a conflict, you can't fire both of them. And having 3 GMs in a 5 year period is horrible.
   199. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:39 PM (#1710964)
Sim scores explanation.
OBP isn't one of the stats compared.
   200. Matt Welch Posted: October 29, 2005 at 10:40 PM (#1710969)
Christ on a stick, tough crowd here.

1) I didn't realize the comp system was so crappy. Mea compa.
2) Please note the more accurate Bailey/Bell reference above.
3) My point in bringing up comps in the first place is ONLY to rebut the notion that we somehow know Beltre is going to be a "shitty hitter" for the next four years. I don't think we know that, because history suggests (to me, anyway) that productive 20-year-olds tend to hit better between the ages of 27 and 30.
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