Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Baseball Primer Newsblog > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

LA Times: Plaschke - Truth Be Told, Dodger Trade Wasn’t Worth a Penny (RR)

Like clockwork….

Two seasons after joining the Dodgers in one of the most controversial trades in club history, Brad Penny was the starting pitcher for the National League All-Star team. And the truth is, the trade still stinks.

Stunk then. Stinks now. Smells forever.

On this muggy night in Pittsburgh, you see, the truth was not only on the mound.

The truth was also behind the plate, in the presence of catcher Paul LoDuca, whose leadership the trade eliminated.
The truth was also in the bullpen, in the absence of Eric Gagne, whose career the trade may have ruined.
And the truth is in the standings, the Dodgers requiring a giant effort simply to reach mediocrity in a division where, two years ago, the stage was set for dominance.

NTNgod Posted: July 12, 2006 at 06:32 AM | 100 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: dodgers

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: July 12, 2006 at 06:42 AM (#2096496)
Plaschke is one of those people that if I heard he got his nuts bitten off by a pitbull, it would make me smile ear to ear.
   2. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 12, 2006 at 06:44 AM (#2096497)
Wait; is this moron saying Gagne may be done because LoDuca is in NY? I still don't understand how he can talk about this legendary leadership quality he brought to the team, since the Dodgers didn't reach the postseason in all the years he was there. And when they made this supposedly franchise-altering trade, they STILL made the postseason.
   3. Raskolnikov Posted: July 12, 2006 at 06:46 AM (#2096498)
Wow, am I ever glad that Plaschke doesn't ply his dreck in New York. This is the most ridiculous spin job/hatchet job/vindictive piece I've read yet. Did Depo sleep with Plaschke's wife or something?
   4. NTNgod Posted: July 12, 2006 at 06:46 AM (#2096499)
is this moron saying Gagne may be done because LoDuca is in NY?

No, because Mota went to FLA in the deal.
(He says that Tracy started to overuse Gagne as a result)
   5. DCW3 Posted: July 12, 2006 at 06:47 AM (#2096500)
Two days after the trade, [Gagne] pitched three innings. That is not a misprint.

Oh, dear God, three innings? I'm amazed he's still alive!
   6. Gaelan Posted: July 12, 2006 at 06:50 AM (#2096503)
#### Plaschke and his children. A horrible writer and a worse human being.
   7. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 12, 2006 at 06:58 AM (#2096504)
Does it not matter how bad Mota's been since leaving LA? Were he still there, he's not someone I'd think of using to bridge a gap. This guy's just ignorant to the Dodgers being in a great position to be a contending team for years to come with all of their great prospects.
   8. NTNgod Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:01 AM (#2096506)
Oh, dear God, three innings? I'm amazed he's still alive!

The next game the Dodgers played, Gagne DID give up two runs to the Pirates... some relievers might consider that worse than death :P

(actually, he threw almost as many pitches in one inning - 29 - as he did the game before in three - 37)

For the record, Gagne's pitch count that week was 37/NG/29/14/0/29/3
   9. Optimus_Primate Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:03 AM (#2096507)
In 2004, he pitched 82 1/3 innings. In the two seasons since, he has pitched 17 1/3 innings.

He should be noted that Gagne threw exactly 82 1/3 innings the previous two seasons.
   10. Optimus_Primate Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:05 AM (#2096508)
Er, it should be noted...
   11. DCW3 Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:24 AM (#2096511)
This guy's just ignorant to the Dodgers being in a great position to be a contending team for years to come with all of their great prospects.

And of course, the Dodgers are in a nice position to contend even this year, currently leading the Wild Card race. Let's take a look at the 2006 performances of the players impacted by the trade (assuming they wouldn't have resigned Encarnacion):

Players the Dodgers lost:

Lo Duca - 2006 VORP: 10.5
Mota - 2006 VORP: -1.0
And, if we accept Plaschke's contention that the trade destroyed Gagne - let's take half of his average VORP from 2002 to 2004: 16.2

That's a total VORP of 25.7.

Players the Dodgers gained:

Penny - 2006 VORP: 41.5
   12. Dr. Vaux Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:27 AM (#2096512)
I very much doubt that Plaschke has a wife, or ever had one. Of course, it also seems unlikely that he had a mother.

I mean, for God's sake (capitalized for you, Gagne_55), the Dodgers traded a freaking banjo-hitting catcher and a setup man who's no longer active for the guy who just started the all-star game! And he's still saying it was a bad trade? Because it made Gagne get hurt? Even if it had, and it's obvious that it didn't, since it didn't make him pitch any more innings than he had in the previous two seasons, IT STILL WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD TRADE. LoDuca and Gagne for Penny would have been a win for the Dodgers, because 200 innings of 110 ERA+ is much more valuable than 80 innings of whatever Gagne's ERA+ was. LoDuca and Mota are total ciphers.
   13. DCW3 Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:30 AM (#2096513)
I very much doubt that Plaschke has a wife, or ever had one.

Well, that would explain all the doodles reading "Mrs. Bill Lo Duca" on the cover of his notebook...
   14. Morph Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:31 AM (#2096514)
The truth was also behind the plate, in the presence of catcher Paul LoDuca, whose leadership the trade eliminated.
The truth was also in the bullpen, in the absence of Eric Gagne, whose career the trade may have ruined.
And the truth is in the standings, the Dodgers requiring a giant effort simply to reach mediocrity in a division where, two years ago, the stage was set for dominance.


Hey, and this coming from a guy who wasn't a fan of DePo [ I hold the Hee Seop Choi, Jose Valentin, Jason Phillips, Jason Repko/Werth card against him when it comes to roster construction] but this is garbage. Absolute Bull. You know, there is alot of terrible sports writing out there. And I'm not even joking around, I'm dead serious. I mean... one could make an argument that the field is just awful, mired in absolute dreck. For every Gammons or Verducci, there seems to be ten Lupicas and Plaschkes. At least it seems that way, because I hate them so much. De Po will get another chance and stick it to his harshest critic at some point, because while Karma can be cruel, it can also be cool.
   15. npurcell Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:32 AM (#2096516)
I'll give someone 10 bucks if they can get Plaschke fired.
   16. NTNgod Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:35 AM (#2096518)
the Dodgers traded a freaking banjo-hitting catcher and a setup man who's no longer active for the guy who just started the all-star game

As I mentioned briefly in the ASG chatter, there is a problem with using Penny's start in the 2006 ASG as an example either way for the LoDuca trade - the Dodgers only traded for Penny's rights through 2005.

They resigned him early last year to a multiyear extension, after he threatened to test free agency if he wasn't reupped by mid-season. Now if you want to use the ASG start to illustrate the wisdom of the extension...
   17. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:38 AM (#2096520)
Because it made Gagne get hurt?

As if Gagne didn't have an injury history before (ie Tommy John). I'm sure that Plascke can blame it on DePo (cause he did), but he can't have it both ways.
   18. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:39 AM (#2096521)
If they hadn't traded for him they couldn't have extended him. Sure, he could have been signed as a free agent, if he hadn't been traded to another team. And, of course, they would have had to compete with other teams on the free agent market to get him.
   19. npurcell Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:40 AM (#2096522)
after he threatened to test free agency if he wasn't reupped by mid-season.


That's not really true. He stated that he would like to remain in LA and the Dodgers had two free agents to be in weaver and penny. Depo had to make a choice because it was doubtful he could have kept both. I guess he made the right choice.
   20. Ivan Grushenko of Hong Kong Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:44 AM (#2096523)
Everyone here seems to hate Plashke. Is he popular in LA? With any crowd?
   21. NTNgod Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:46 AM (#2096525)
If they hadn't traded for him they couldn't have extended him. Sure, he could have been signed as a free agent, if he hadn't been traded to another team. And, of course, they would have had to compete with other teams on the free agent market to get him.

You've got that paragraph all set up as a macro in case the Yankees end up trading prospects for a FA-to-be before the deadline, I take it :)
   22. if nature called, ladodger34 would listen Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:48 AM (#2096526)
Everyone here seems to hate Plashke. Is he popular in LA? With any crowd?

I have family members that have repeated his BS to me hook line and sinker, so yes, I do think he is popular for the uniformed. Not that my family members will read this board, but they were the type that thought that DePo should have resigned guys like Lima just because the Dodgers won a playoff game with him.
   23. npurcell Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:48 AM (#2096527)
Everyone here seems to hate Plashke. Is he popular in LA? With any crowd?


Well, I live in Southern California and I hate his soul.
   24. npurcell Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:55 AM (#2096529)
I also find it humorous that whenever he is around the horn he spews out statistics and thinks he is hot stuff. And then he goes on and bashes people (depo) who uses better, more accurate statistics that he just doesn't understand. It's like he feels threatened by them or something. Stick him a diaper, slap a bib on him and listen for the "wahhh, wahhh wahhh" because that's exactly what Plaschke sounds like whenever he prints off his "articles."
   25. NTNgod Posted: July 12, 2006 at 08:00 AM (#2096532)
That's not really true. He stated that he would like to remain in LA and the Dodgers had two free agents to be in weaver and penny.

Minor point either way, but I knew I had the 'sign me by midseason' kicking around my memory banks from somewhere, and I found it:
Penny in talks: Pitcher Brad Penny said his agent has had preliminary discussions with the Dodgers regarding a contract extension. He added that if an agreement is not reached by midseason, he would likely test the free-agent market. Penny earns $5.1 million this year.

<a href="http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/news/article.jsp?ymd=20050529&c>MLB.com from May 2005</a>
   26. npurcell Posted: July 12, 2006 at 08:02 AM (#2096534)
When you think about it, Penny basically signed a below market deal as well. After the pretty decent season he has last year and only being 27/28, a 3 yr 26 mil deal or so is pretty minscule compared to the other pitcher contracts thrown out this winter.
   27. NTNgod Posted: July 12, 2006 at 08:07 AM (#2096535)
Penny was coming off being shut down at the end of 2004, and having missed much of the beginning of 2005 due to injury.

He gave up some cash, and the Dodgers assumed some risk, given his health issues in the then-recent past.
   28. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 12, 2006 at 08:28 AM (#2096541)
He stated that he would like to remain in LA

The Alyssa Milano factor?
   29. JPWF13 Posted: July 12, 2006 at 10:55 AM (#2096549)
in recent weeks there have been a few small comments from the nonstathead media that maybe the loduca/penny trade wasn't so bad at alli guess this is the reaction to such revisoinism
   30. Chris Dial Posted: July 12, 2006 at 11:47 AM (#2096556)
the Dodgers only traded for Penny's rights through 2005.

They resigned him early last year to a multiyear extension, after he threatened to test free agency if he wasn't reupped by mid-season. Now if you want to use the ASG start to illustrate the wisdom of the extension...


The Dodgers also got exclusive negotiation rights, and worked them, so they did trade for more than just that.

It's not a small factor. the team trading for a player signs that guy a lot. I don't think it was as "unknown" where Penny would be.
   31. Spahn Insane Posted: July 12, 2006 at 11:51 AM (#2096557)
Well, that would explain all the doodles reading "Mrs. Bill Lo Duca" on the cover of his notebook...

BURN!!!

</Kelso>
   32. Russ Posted: July 12, 2006 at 11:53 AM (#2096558)
The Alyssa Milano factor?

You'd think LA would have more sports championships based on this factor alone...
   33. Spahn Insane Posted: July 12, 2006 at 11:53 AM (#2096559)
I do think he is popular for the uniformed.

You saying our soldiers and police are ignorant enough to buy Plaschke's schtick?
   34. Spahn Insane Posted: July 12, 2006 at 11:56 AM (#2096561)
LoDuca and Gagne for Penny would have been a win for the Dodgers, because 200 innings of 110 ERA+ is much more valuable than 80 innings of whatever Gagne's ERA+ was. LoDuca and Mota are total ciphers.

Not to mention that the Dodgers got Hee Seop Choi, who should've provided a lot more value to the team than he did (thank you, Jim Tracy). Even if Choi wasn't a potential star, he deserved better than to get benched against righthanders in favor of Jason Freaking Phillips.
   35. 1k5v3L Posted: July 12, 2006 at 12:27 PM (#2096565)
The Dodgers, the Dodgers fans, and Plaschke absolutely deserve each other. Carry on, Bill. You rock.
   36. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: July 12, 2006 at 12:37 PM (#2096570)
Everyone here seems to hate Plashke. Is he popular in LA? With any crowd?


I never read the guy, but that won't stop me from adding a couple of thoughts.

1.) I think that it was the Definitely Immoral One (Eric Enders) who said that Plaschke was good when it came to human interest stories, but that was his only strength.

2.) Having print guys on TV and radio is not a good thing. It can only make them worse, IMO. Time that they could have spent working on stories and columns (this might not matter for some of these guys) is diverted towards appearing (courtesy of the Onstar Hotline) on radio or, worse, shows like "Around The Horn". It's the McLaughlinization of sports media. Who do these guys talk sports with? Each other. It's very insular.

Personally, I blame the sports editors, not the writers.
   37. AROM Posted: July 12, 2006 at 12:54 PM (#2096574)
Still no mention of Russ Martin?

If the Dodgers had kept Lo Duca, they wouldn't be playing a better young catcher right now.

Trade didn't hurt in 2004 - team made the playoffs. Didn't hurt in 2005 - Even having Pujols wouldn't have brought last year's squad to .500. Sure looks good in 2006.

If Colletti is on the same page as this idiot, I'm sure the Dodgers could get Lo Duca back, along with a middle reliever, for Martin and Penny.
   38. We don't have dahlians at the Palace of Wisdom Posted: July 12, 2006 at 01:14 PM (#2096580)
It's obvious that the only person who would have been equal value for LoDuca is Podsednik. That trade would have made everyone happy.
   39. Starlin of the Slipstream (TRHN) Posted: July 12, 2006 at 01:15 PM (#2096582)
Although I think the "McLaughlinization" of sports media is a problem, I don't think it's the explanation for articles like this. I think the the media's desire for a narrative creates articles where the narrative arc is more important than the facts. The narrative--Computer boy ignores heart and soul for raw numbers and in so doing dismantles a championship caliber club--is much more compelling (and easy) than an actual analysis of Depodesta's successes and failures. The story being told does the work of the actual analysis.

I see the same thing in political media. The stories the media wants to tell about John McCain or Al Gore don't always accord well with the facts, yet the narrative wins nonetheless.
   40. Jon W Posted: July 12, 2006 at 01:38 PM (#2096593)
   41. Jon W Posted: July 12, 2006 at 01:50 PM (#2096601)
Also, Plaschke's statement that the Dodgers had "decent starting pitching" is a falsehood that glossses over the key to the trade. Here are the <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/teams/pitching?team=lad&seas>2004 Dodger starting pitching stats</a>. Three guys (before Penny) with an ERA below 4.50.
   42. Comic Strip Person Posted: July 12, 2006 at 02:08 PM (#2096623)
Still no mention of Russ Martin?


Plaschke mentioned that Martin is looking good, and that he will allow the franchise to eventually overcome the loss of LoDuca.

My favorite part of the logic was that Eric Gagne is ruined because Jim Tracy overused him, and Jim Tracy admitted to overusing him, and so the person to be blamed is...not Jim Tracy. In fact, the article is still bemoaning the loss of the great Jim Tracy, who is now leading the Pittsburgh Pirates to glory behind veteran leadership like Jeromy Burnitz and Joe Randa...
   43. Gainsay Posted: July 12, 2006 at 02:09 PM (#2096624)
I agree with Thomas, the desire by sports writers to make the story fit a particular narrative really drives most of their reporting. It's evident in almost all of the stories that talk about "computer nerds". It's also evident in all of the coverage of whether ARod is a choker. Those stories usually follow that narrative, or if he makes a clutch play the story isn't the play, but the fact that it runs counter to the established narrative.

It makes most of the sports section easy to skip.
   44. Mister High Standards Posted: July 12, 2006 at 02:13 PM (#2096629)

Not to mention that the Dodgers got Hee Seop Choi, who should've provided a lot more value to the team than he did (thank you, Jim Tracy).


Is it Jim Tracey fault the Choi can't hit AAA pitching too?

The guy isn't a good ball player, its time to get off the bandwagon folks.
   45. JPWF13 Posted: July 12, 2006 at 02:19 PM (#2096632)
And the truth is in the standings, the Dodgers requiring a giant effort simply to reach mediocrity in a division where, two years ago, the stage was set for dominance.


Let's see:
Dodgers before trade:
Adrián Béltre
Paul Lo Duca
José Hernández
César Izturis
Olmedo Sáenz
Milton Bradley
Shawn Green
Álex Cora
Jayson Werth
Dave Roberts
Elmer Dessens
Duaner Sánchez
Edwin Jackson
Jose Flores
Robin Ventura
Juan Encarnación
Antonio Pérez
Jason Grabowski
Jeff Weaver
José Lima
Brent Mayne
Joe Thurston
David Ross
Wilson Álvarez
Kazuhisa Ishii
Tom Wilson
Hideo Nomo
Odalis Pérez
Guillermo Mota
Mike Venafro
Yhency Brazobán
Darren Dreifort
Eric Gagne
Chin-Feng Chen
Tom Martin
Rodney Myers
Masao Kida
Scott Stewart
Giovanni Carrara
Brian Falkenborg

(might have made amistake or two...)
Let's see- how would that team have done in 2005/06?????
Dominance?
The 2004 team was driven by:
1: An honest to goodness MVP caliber season from Beltre- also one of the greatest fluke seasons n baseball history.
2: A 102 era+ from Lima, a pitcher with a career era+ of 85, and in 2005/06 historically wretched.
3: A healthy Gagne- which I doubt we'll ever see again, and the trade did not injure him
4: A last terrific half season from Mota befire he turned back into a pumpkin
5: Izturis began hitting enough to justify playing everday
6: Alex Cora- career ops+ of 77, put up a 99
7: Jason werth 326PA at an ops+ of 115- think we'll ever see either # again?
8: 597 PA from Milton Bradley
9: a .289/.370/.540 line in 95 games from Jose Hernandez
10: The 4 sp with the most IP were Weaver, Ishii, Perez & Lima- respectable in 2004- would have been the worst starting rotation out of all 30 team sin either 2005 or 2006.

Hindsight is 20/20 (well not for Plaschke...)- it's prety clear now (if you bother to look) that the 2004 Dodgers were not a good team- they were a bad team that by (random chance?) had many key performers play at the top or near the top (or in the case of Beltre- way way over) of their abilities at the same time.

Go back and look at old Plaschke columns- reverse the trades he didn't like- make the moves he wanted instead- look at the "team" that would result- we're atlking 100+ losses easy.
   46. B-RUDD Posted: July 12, 2006 at 02:22 PM (#2096636)
Here's an email my buddy sent to Plashcke today, hope he gets a response.

Bill,
this article "wasn't worth a penny". Your opinion/assesment of the trade was awful (you couldn't even find a source in your article that agreed with your assessment, like Ng). Ng probably thought you were an idiot when your were asking her these questions.

Even if you don't believe Penny is a true star-quality #1 starter, you should understand the value (and the scarcity) of a top 20 MLB starter. His value is much greater than that of LoDuca's, who is vastly overrated as a hitter. Most teams would not value "a great signal caller/game manager over an All-Star game starting pitcher". If you think they do why don't you go back and look at the first few rounds of the draft every year. Teams aren't looking primarily for a great defensive catcher.

You called Mota "proven veteran 8th inning" guy. He wasn't that proven (he did it for 1 year in LA, a pitcher's park), and he hasn't succeded nor pithced in the 8th inning well since. How you tied this into Gagne's injury (past success) was ridiculous as well. We all know why Gagne has had injuries (elbow, knee, back) the last few years..

Every GM in baseball would now agree that DePo made a great trade, it is comedy that you would even contest this.
   47. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 12, 2006 at 02:27 PM (#2096640)
The guy isn't a good ball player, its time to get off the bandwagon folks.

Nice job using one post in a long thread to attack your windmill.
   48. Bob T Posted: July 12, 2006 at 02:44 PM (#2096663)
The former sports editor of the LA Times told me in an e-mail that he thinks Plaschke is one of the most astute writers about baseball that he had ever worked with.

Whether or not the current sports editor believes this is up in the air, but I would be inclined to think that Randy Harvey is a Plaschke supporter.
   49. Bob T Posted: July 12, 2006 at 02:46 PM (#2096667)
And if you don't have a true leader behind the plate, the pitchers will throw the ball the wrong direction.
   50. We don't have dahlians at the Palace of Wisdom Posted: July 12, 2006 at 02:51 PM (#2096675)
The guy isn't a good ball player, its time to get off the bandwagon folks.

Nice job using one post in a long thread to attack your windmill.


In Rauseo's defense, which almost pains me to say, this entire thread is about the LoDuca-Penny trade. I think Choi's merits as a player post-trade are germane to the conversation.
   51. JPWF13 Posted: July 12, 2006 at 02:52 PM (#2096680)
Nice job using one post in a long thread to attack your windmill.


You got to give him credit though, I mean Plaschke's pretty indefensible, but he did find somthing to swipe at.
   52. AROM Posted: July 12, 2006 at 02:59 PM (#2096685)
this entire thread is about the LoDuca-Penny trade. I think Choi's merits as a player post-trade are germane to the conversation.

Choi's a pretty minor point, like Mota. Neither one is a quality major league player right now, so the trade really does come down to Lo Duca for Penny.
   53. Sam M. Posted: July 12, 2006 at 03:03 PM (#2096691)
Well, I will say this much: Plaschke has ONE good point: Tracy and DePodesta did not trust one another, and that was an unworkable situation. And Tracy probably did respond to the trade by using Gagne incorrectly -- not that this was responsible for his subsequent breakdowns, mind you, but he did begin to use him for longer stints instead of using other pitchers to fill the innings. Of course, that was Tracy's problem, not DePo's nor a problem with the trade itself.

So many stories you could write looking back after last night. How Penny is now doing what they envisioned what he could do when they traded for him . . . but too late for DePo and Tracy. How maybe Plaschke was wrong at the time and looking back sees things differently (hah!). Maybe how, if they'd known at the time what would happen, what they'd have done differently -- e.g., would DePo have done another deal for another reliever, knowing how Tracy was going to use Gagne in Mota's absence? Would Tracy have used Gagne differently, on the chance that maybe the usage back then DID contribute to his breakdowns?

Those would be interesting columns. I guess Plaschke doesn't write those.
   54. Raskolnikov Posted: July 12, 2006 at 03:03 PM (#2096693)
The former sports editor of the LA Times told me in an e-mail that he thinks Plaschke is one of the most astute writers about baseball that he had ever worked with.

Whether or not the current sports editor believes this is up in the air, but I would be inclined to think that Randy Harvey is a Plaschke supporter.


Considering how much voice and influence such people have in the sports media world, what you just wrote really saddens me. Plaschke is to baseball writing what Lima is to pitching. And my understanding is that it is difficult and takes a lot of hard work to get into the sports journalism business, very sad.
   55. JPWF13 Posted: July 12, 2006 at 03:05 PM (#2096697)
I think Choi's merits as a player post-trade are germane to the conversation.


Let's see LoDuca:
2004: .258/.314/.376 (post trade)
2005: .283/.334/.380
2006: .302/.343/.409

Encarnacion:
2004: .238/.320/.381
2005: .287/.349/.447
2006: .274/.303/.449

Mota:
2004: 4.81
2005: 4.70
2006: 5.94

Penny:
2004: 3.09 (11.667 ip)
2005: 3.90
2006: 2.91

Choi:
2004: .161/.289/.242 (just 62 ab- but yikes)
2005: .253/.336/.453
2006: hitting .200 in AAA

Ok- let's say that Mota/Choi is a wash
Encarnacion was decent in 2005, but both in 2004 and 2006 he's a below average ft player

that leaves LoDuca v. Penny

I've see a lot of LoDuca this year, he is a decent player, but the drooling fascination some have with him is just baffling- I can not for teh life of me see that he's significantly better than Ramon Castro (who comes close to the definition of freely available talent)- he's not nearly worth a #1/2 starting pitcher.
   56. JPWF13 Posted: July 12, 2006 at 03:13 PM (#2096705)
The former sports editor of the LA Times told me in an e-mail that he thinks Plaschke is one of the most astute writers about baseball that he had ever worked with.


He's either:
1: Lying because he likes Plaschke personally
2: Likes Plaschke personally and can't view his work objectively
3: As an editor he like's Plaschke's work because- well people read it and comment on it
(I mean Ann Coulter's publisher undoubtedly knows her work is complete crap- but hell it sells, If I was her publisher I'd love her)
4: He's an idiot.
5: Lying because you always protect one of your own against outsiders
6: The quality of sportwriting is so bad that Plaschke really is one of the most astute (uh nope, that's an insult to every hack writer in existence, the overall quality of newspaper sportwriting is bad these days, but its not that bad- if Mike and the MadDog penned a column- it would be better than teh typical Plaschke column.
   57. Charles S. will not yield to this monkey court Posted: July 12, 2006 at 03:17 PM (#2096709)
not that this was responsible for his subsequent breakdowns, mind you, but he did begin to use him for longer stints instead of using other pitchers to fill the innings. Of course, that was Tracy's problem, not DePo's nor a problem with the trade itself.

There may have been some overuse, but I thought the conventional wisdom for Gagne's monster success and subsequent failure/injury was steroids and HGH. Does that get brought up at all in LA? Here in fly-over land, that's what everyone assumes.
   58. JPWF13 Posted: July 12, 2006 at 03:23 PM (#2096714)
Here in fly-over land, that's what everyone assumes.


It's also what's assumed here on the east coast

isn't this just a bit unfair? I mean a player moves from SP to RP does great and dominates, then get hurt- oh it must be PEDs

havn't some players been doing this for ever?
   59. Stately, Plump Buck Mulligan Posted: July 12, 2006 at 03:24 PM (#2096717)
"Nice job using one post in a long thread to attack your windmill."

Choi isn't a windmill. Unfortunately for his defenders, he also isn't much of a ballplayer.
   60. Grumbledook Posted: July 12, 2006 at 04:28 PM (#2096784)
LoDuca is so overrated that less than 18 months later, the Mets decided to trade Gaby Hernandez for him, thus giving up one of their top prospects (albeit at A ball) for a player with a career OPS+ of 102. Now Hernandez is doing well with the Jupiter Hammerheads; in the meantime, Mike Piazza is having a somewhat better year than Loduca (VORP of 16.3 vs. Loduca's VORP of 10.2), which means that the Mets gave up a prospect in order to downgrade at the catcher's position (not to mention take on more salary; I'm not sure how much either player is making this year, but presumably LoDuca is making at least as much as he made last year ($4.6 million) while Piazza signed a relatively cheap contract with the Padres ($2 million plus an option for next year with a buyout, if memory serves). If I were their GM, I would send LoDuca and his dowry of intangibles packing; since everyone seems to overrate him, hopefully I'd get something nice and shiny in return.
   61. Walks Clog Up the Bases Posted: July 12, 2006 at 04:50 PM (#2096810)
The Gagne portion is amusing, since Plaschke acts like Gagne had to suddenly take on so many more innings. At a glance, he pitched roughly 82 innings in 2004. In 2003, he pitched roughly 82 innings. And in 2002, he pitched roughly...82 innings. Oh, the horror!
   62. JPWF13 Posted: July 12, 2006 at 04:55 PM (#2096815)
If I were their GM, I would send LoDuca and his dowry of intangibles packing; since everyone seems to overrate him, hopefully I'd get something nice and shiny in return.


Well pre all star break for his career he's at: .307/.359/.446
and post he's at: .257/.312/.375

That's not being driven by one or two big halves- he's done that every year except 1- 2005 and in 2005 he had a poor stretch right before the asb and a hot streak right after got hurt missed some time and hit .191/.233/.309 in September.

So he's a valuable player pre asb, and Castro should get the majority of the catching duties from here on out.
   63. Spahn Insane Posted: July 12, 2006 at 04:58 PM (#2096818)
Is it Jim Tracey fault the Choi can't hit AAA pitching too?

The guy isn't a good ball player, its time to get off the bandwagon folks.


Way to miss the point, Rauseo.
   64. Steve Treder Posted: July 12, 2006 at 04:58 PM (#2096819)
Is it Jim Tracey fault the Choi can't hit AAA pitching too?

Choi might be having a really bad year this year and will soon rebound, or he might have suddenly lost it for some reason. But whatever's happening with him now, this statement:

The guy isn't a good ball player

doesn't stand up to scrutiny at all.

In 1,086 major league PAs at ages 23 thru 26, he put up an OPS+ of 107, an EqA of .275. That's obviously not great for a first baseman, but it isn't bad. It certainly gave reason to think he was worth acquiring.

Tracy's deployment of him was stupifyingly wrong-headed. But at least until this year, Choi could hit.
   65. JPWF13 Posted: July 12, 2006 at 05:20 PM (#2096838)
But at least until this year, Choi could hit.


Actually this year in AAA Choi is the player his detractors always said he was.

Anyway, a lot of people looked at Choi and saw someone who they thought would be a star (Camp A)
other people looked at him and said, are you kidding me, he can't run throw or hit, he doesn't belong in the MLB

So Camp A said Choi could one day hit .275/.375/.550 and when Choi actually hit .240/.349/.437, they said, "see he can hit, just stop jerking him in and out of the lineup"

Camp B said Choi couldn't play and that he'd hit .225/.300/.390 if given the chance, and when he actually hit .240/.349/.437 they said, see, he blows, if he played everyday he'd just get worse.

Personally I think both sides were wrong, Choi was never going to be the player his supporters hoped for, but I think he was better than his detarctors said, and could have been better than .240/.349/.437 if handled better- one detractor once posted that he only hit that well because his managers used him so well- that's absurd- it looks for all the world that Dusty and Tracey were trying to make him fail. Among other things remove his PH numbers and his numbers are .253/.361/.463 and his OPS+ pops up to about 115.
   66. Boots Day Posted: July 12, 2006 at 05:23 PM (#2096842)
Has any manager's stock ever fallen as fast as Jim Tracy's? Two years ago he was considered one of the very best managers in the game.
   67. mgl Posted: July 12, 2006 at 05:30 PM (#2096847)
Actually, Choi's MLE so far this year, by my count, is an OPS of .729 (OPS+ of 96). Given that it is in only 218 PA, that is emminently commensurate with the rest of his career. One standard deviation of OPS in 218 PA is around 90 points of OPS (a quick way of figuring SD for OPS or for SA is to use the binomial formula for figuring SD in X number of PA and then double it for SA dnd triple it for OPS). There are several teams that could use a DH or 1B like him - IOW, he would be an upgrade. There are several other teams that would take a small hit in performance (using Choi as a 1B or DH) and they would save millions of dollars.
   68. OCF Posted: July 12, 2006 at 05:31 PM (#2096848)
Minor nitpick on those tallying up the value of "the trade": you do have to include the value of Juan Encarnacion, who had a surprisingly good 2005.

None of which changes the the fact that Plaschke is a moronic slimeball, and that's not limited to just baseball.
   69. JPWF13 Posted: July 12, 2006 at 05:31 PM (#2096850)
Has any manager's stock ever fallen as fast as Jim Tracy's? Two years ago he was considered one of the very best managers in the game.


There are still some who think he good.

What on earth happened to him?

His last year (year and a half) in LA can be explained as the result of a power struggle with his GM, but in Pitt? He's just another hack managing a bad team. (The team's losing? It's not my fault, it's my player's fault, they suck, waaa, waaa...)
   70. Steve Treder Posted: July 12, 2006 at 05:36 PM (#2096858)
There are several teams that could use a DH or 1B like him - IOW, he would be an upgrade.

The San Francisco Giants, for instance.

Not that this frustrates me, or anything.
   71. Grumbledook Posted: July 12, 2006 at 05:44 PM (#2096876)
Minor nitpick on those tallying up the value of "the trade": you do have to include the value of Juan Encarnacion, who had a surprisingly good 2005.

None of which changes the the fact that Plaschke is a moronic slimeball, and that's not limited to just baseball.


Correct, and the inclusion of Encarnacion probably tipped the scales against DePodesta for this trade - he gave up too much, at least as far as the short term value of the trade was concerned. I think the rationale behind the trade was that although the Dodgers were in first place, they didn't have enough pitching to win the division, much less make a run in the playoffs. But Penny missed most of the remainder of the year with injuries, and to date Choi hasn't lived up to expectations. The trade didn't help them in 2004.

Now that Penny is an All Star, the trade looks much better. But look at it this way: even if DePo got taken on this trade, it's not like he traded Pedro Martinez for Delino DeShields. They lost a catcher who plays slightly above replacement level, which shouldn't be difficult for a team with the resources of the Dodgers to acquire. [In fact, they seemed to have one with Navarro, but they traded him as well.]
   72. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 12, 2006 at 05:47 PM (#2096880)
1.) I think that it was the Definitely Immoral One (Eric Enders) who said that Plaschke was good when it came to human interest stories, but that was his only strength.

This is true - his story on The Standells reforming to play "Dirty Water" at Fenway Park during the 2004 World Series was excellent. It was a million times better than anything he's ever written about baseball...
   73. Eraser-X is emphatically dominating teh site!!! Posted: July 12, 2006 at 05:51 PM (#2096884)
Plaschke is to baseball writing what Lima is to pitching.


Yes, except for neither good-natured or amusing and without the giant breasted wife.
   74. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 12, 2006 at 05:53 PM (#2096886)
But Penny missed most of the remainder of the year with injuries, and to date Choi hasn't lived up to expectations. The trade didn't help them in 2004.

Now that Penny is an All Star, the trade looks much better.


The thing is, if you look at the trade at the time, Choi had value. If you look at the trade in hindsight, then Choi had little value, but Penny's an ace pitcher. Plaschke wants to have it both ways - Choi having no value, Penny having less value, and Mota's loss injuring Gagne for some retarded reason.
   75. zonk Posted: July 12, 2006 at 05:55 PM (#2096889)
Everyone seems to be forgetting that Paul LoDuca was also Head of Arthoscopic Surgery at UCLA, and Mota his promsing chief resident, before they were sent packing... so yes - I can see Plaschke's point.
   76. Dan Szymborski Posted: July 12, 2006 at 05:56 PM (#2096891)
#### Plaschke and his children. A horrible writer and a worse human being.

Actually, his children should be praised, having to go through life with some of the genetic material of that ####### ####### ########## assclown ############ #######.
   77. Jon W Posted: July 12, 2006 at 06:21 PM (#2096911)
The cost of the trade of LoDuca for DePodesta is principally that it ignited the full-fledged popular revolt against him. That meant DePodesta had to win and had to keep winning. Combined with a backbone-deprived owner, it meant that DePodesta had zero insurance against a downturn in Dodger fortunes. And when that happened, he lost his job.

The whole thing was so political, they could have done a "West Wing" episode about it.
   78. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: July 12, 2006 at 06:34 PM (#2096924)
The cost of the trade of LoDuca for DePodesta is principally that it ignited the full-fledged popular revolt against him.

Really? Dodger fans liked Paul LoDuca that much? He seems like a pretty mediocre ballplayer to me.
   79. Bob T Posted: July 12, 2006 at 06:41 PM (#2096931)
We're not a very discerning lot out here in Los Angeles. It saddens me to admit that, but the average Dodger fan is a little bit below average. And the conventional wisdom among Dodger fans only makes sense if it's 1965 and Sandy Koufax and Don Drysdale are pitching.
   80. MM1f Posted: July 12, 2006 at 06:45 PM (#2096935)
"Choi isn't a windmill."

His swing resembles one though
   81. JPWF13 Posted: July 12, 2006 at 06:46 PM (#2096938)
Really? Dodger fans liked Paul LoDuca that much? He seems like a pretty mediocre ballplayer to me.


He was a fan favorite, but not to teh degree he became after the trade- what happened was that the LA Sports mediots just went completely apesh*t bonkers after that trade-

I work witha few dodgers fans, their initial reation was, "why did we have to give up Mota?"- they weren't that hurt to lose LoDuca- a lot of them were irrationally high on Dave Ross (which they won't admit now)

What happened was that 90% of the LA SportsMedia immediately began shrieking, "Hey you can't disrupt a team like this in the middle of a race!!! My God, without Mota who will bridge the gap to Gagne!!! loDuca is the HEART AND SOUL of the Dodgers!!!!

One Dodger fan told me, a week after the trade, "I always liked LoDuca but I didn't realize he was such a leader for the team, maybe they shouldn't have traded him"

The media's reaction was so hysterically overdone that it did swing/push public opinion to a great degree. The casual fan might think, "all these writers think this is the worst trade since Ruth was traded for Broadway production seed money, ok, they are exagerrating, but gee it must be a really bad trade..."
   82. Bob T Posted: July 12, 2006 at 06:59 PM (#2096950)
Lo Duca was a fan favorite, but more importantly, Vin Scully liked him. And if Vin Scully likes you, you've won over a significant portion of the fan base. However, Scully doesn't mention players who left the team much at all unless they are playing the Dodgers.

Presently, Vin's favorite player on the Dodgers is Andre Ethier.

Other more unusual players Vin Scully has had a fondness for are:
Mike Lieberthal
Pedro Feliz
Jack Wilson
   83. Grumbledook Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:05 PM (#2096953)
The other thing that annoys me about Plaschke - like a well-oiled propaganda machine, he can shift positions on a dime.

From his May 21st column:

"They [the Dodgers] have become, almost overnight, brainy and balanced contenders."

Today:

"And the truth is in the standings, the Dodgers requiring a giant effort simply to reach mediocrity in a division where, two years ago, the stage was set for dominance.

The trade cleared that stage. It cost the Dodgers a manager, a general manager, and perhaps three years of legitimate championship contention."

Two months ago, the Dodgers had surged back into contention, thanks to the genius of Ned Colletti. Now, they are treading water in a mediocre NL West, and it's all the fault of DePo and that bloody trade. Colletti gets a pass because DePo ruined the team for three years, so we can't start blaming him for the team's underachieving until 2007 or 2008.

"We have always been at war with Eastasia."
   84. BeQC Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:10 PM (#2096958)
In regards to the trade, you should note that Bill Murphy was also a part of that trade, who in turned was flipped to Arizona with C Koyie Hill (who subsequently washed out) and OF Reggie Abercrombie, who now at nearly 26 doesn't appear to have a great chance of being anything more than a benchwarming OF, for Steve Finley. Finley was good (not great) for the rest of '04 with Los Angeles, plus he hit the grand slam to win the division. That should be considered when evaluating the LA/FLA trade...
   85. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:11 PM (#2096959)
I saw Choi play multiple times in the minor leagues. I don't know what's happened since because his major league appearances are so sporadic but the Choi of yesteryear could hit. Period. Ok at first base and the big target was a plus.

While I don't KNOW this for a fact it seems pretty likely to me that Paul is very media savvy. He certainly does and say the things you associate with a player who is VERY aware of the power of perception. His antics in NY are strong indicators to me that Lo Duca knows how to play the press quite effectively. If so then the "other" Paul had no chance in a public setting given his alleged lack of skills in relating to people with pens/microphones.

Jim Tracy is worse then a hack. Talk to any Pirates fan and Tracy's behavior as manager has been reprehensible. Multiple times he has thrown his entire team under the bus and pretty much given himself a free pass on the team's lack of performance. The last six weeks the local press has turned against him which is pretty incredible given the VERY forgiving nature of the Pittsburgh media. This is the town that gave Lloyd two plus years before suggesting that the guy was clueless.

(I almost wrote "calling a -----, a ------. Good grief. Now THAT would have gotten this board rolling. Wow. I was reading my post and something nagged at me. So I paused. And then it hit me. Phew)
   86. Mefisto Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:12 PM (#2096961)
There may have been some overuse, but I thought the conventional wisdom for Gagne's monster success and subsequent failure/injury was steroids and HGH. Does that get brought up at all in LA? Here in fly-over land, that's what everyone assumes.

I know a couple of Dodgers fans who admit this privately, but none will say so in public that I've seen.
   87. JPWF13 Posted: July 12, 2006 at 07:25 PM (#2096973)
That should be considered when evaluating the LA/FLA trade...


no No No!!!
The same mediots who hated DePo tended to like Finley and thought he should have been re-upped- thereore it is FORBIDDEN to suggest that DePo played any role in bringing him to the Dodgers for the pennant drive in 2004.
   88. bigcpa Posted: July 12, 2006 at 08:07 PM (#2097010)
With Penny contributing exactly 1 Quality Start the Dodgers went 17-11 in Aug 04 after the "clubhouse destruction" occurred. In September the pain of losing LoDuca finally set in and the team hobbled to the finish line at 16-15.

A healthy Penny might have pushed them into the NLCS that year, especially considering the Dodgers narrowly missed drawing Atlanta in round 1.

And what about the CW that Penny was only valuable as a trading chip for Randy Johnson? How does that position hold up now?
   89. JPWF13 Posted: July 12, 2006 at 08:16 PM (#2097022)
And what about the CW that Penny was only valuable as a trading chip for Randy Johnson? How does that position hold up now?


I'm sure the Yankees would be willing to trade RJ to LaLa for Penny.
   90. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: July 12, 2006 at 08:16 PM (#2097023)
Oh god a Choi thread.
   91. Daryn Posted: July 12, 2006 at 08:22 PM (#2097030)
a quick way of figuring SD for OPS or for SA is to use the binomial formula for figuring SD in X number of PA and then double it for SA and triple it for OPS

Well, duh.
   92. Raskolnikov Posted: July 13, 2006 at 04:02 AM (#2097291)
One Dodger fan told me, a week after the trade, "I always liked LoDuca but I didn't realize he was such a leader for the team, maybe they shouldn't have traded him"

The media's reaction was so hysterically overdone that it did swing/push public opinion to a great degree.

While I don't KNOW this for a fact it seems pretty likely to me that Paul is very media savvy. He certainly does and say the things you associate with a player who is VERY aware of the power of perception. His antics in NY are strong indicators to me that Lo Duca knows how to play the press quite effectively. If so then the "other" Paul had no chance in a public setting given his alleged lack of skills in relating to people with pens/microphones.


I've noticed this Teflon phenomenon too with Lo Duca. It worries me for the future and whether the Mets will be able to cut the strings with him without taking a significant PR hit. It is quite remarkable, one day after the trade, the NY Times immediately came up with a puff piece on Lo Duca. Already, in a half a season, Lo Duca has created this image of a gritty, tough leader to the New York public, which frankly to me has no substance behind it. Being accredited as an All-Star now will only add to his reputation. It'll be interesting to learn how he manages to create this image whereever he goes.
   93. The Artist Posted: July 13, 2006 at 04:08 AM (#2097295)


The San Francisco Giants, for instance.

Not that this frustrates me, or anything.


Grr... I don't know if you visit MccoveyChronicles at all Steve, but I remember screaming loudly and often for the Giants to pick up one of Pena or Choi when they were on waivers - but no, we need proven ####### veteran Jose Vizcaino. Sabean's performance the last 3 years has been absofuckinglutely horrific.

Not that I'm bitter or anything.
   94. The Artist Posted: July 13, 2006 at 04:10 AM (#2097298)

Pedro Feliz


Keep talking Bob - Vin probably dislikes that Matt Kemp or Chad Billingsley fellow, doesn't he ?
   95. Steve Treder Posted: July 13, 2006 at 04:29 AM (#2097304)
Sabean's performance the last 3 years has been absofuckinglutely horrific.

It sure has, which is all the more frustrating in that up until that point his performance had been quite impressive. For the longest time he demonstrated quite a knack for picking up useful talent on the cheap: Jose Cruz Jr., David Bell, Reggie Sanders, Andres Galarraga, Felix Rodriguez, etc. He seems to have utterly lost any sense for it.

Just as players grow, peak, and decline, managers and GMs surely do too. And we Giants' fans are clearly being treated to Sabean's decline phase right now. Yuck.
   96. JPWF13 Posted: July 13, 2006 at 11:13 AM (#2097383)
but I remember screaming loudly and often for the Giants to pick up one of Pena or Choi when they were on waivers - but no, we need proven ####### veteran Jose Vizcaino.


well I read that he's looking for Sean Casey now :-)
   97. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: July 14, 2006 at 08:24 AM (#2098624)
Everyone here seems to hate Plashke. Is he popular in LA? With any crowd?

No, he's a disaster. A couple of times per year he'll write a decent human interest story. Otherwise, it's just hit-pieces or opinion columns (and he has been known to change his opinion mutliple times on the same issue, and has even bragged about this).
   98. Los Angeles Waterloo of Black Hawk Posted: July 14, 2006 at 08:35 AM (#2098627)
We're not a very discerning lot out here in Los Angeles. It saddens me to admit that, but the average Dodger fan is a little bit below average.

I agree with this; the Chavez Ravine fans fans on this site are well above the mean.

I had never heard any consideration of Gagne and PED before, FWIW ...

... as for Plaschke being an astute baseball writer, this is the guy who once wrote, with an apparently straight face, that there were statistical studies that proved Barry Bonds reached base more often than he came to bat.
   99. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: July 14, 2006 at 09:04 AM (#2098628)
but the average Dodger fan is a little bit below average.


Isn't that because they arrive late and leave early?

I hate watching Plaschke on that 'Around the Horn' show. He is such a tosser

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Dock Ellis on Acid
for his generous support.

Bookmarks

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogWhat's Wrong With Baseball?
(36 - 2:23pm, Aug 30)
Last: John Northey

NewsblogOT:  2014 College Football pre-season thread
(48 - 2:20pm, Aug 30)
Last: odds are meatwad is drunk

NewsblogOT: The Soccer Thread August, 2014
(883 - 2:20pm, Aug 30)
Last: Biff, highly-regarded young guy

NewsblogDavid Justice Says Put Barry Bonds in Baseball Hall of Fame Despite Steroid Use Late In Career
(160 - 2:06pm, Aug 30)
Last: The District Attorney

NewsblogDodgers Use Wall of Infielders
(9 - 1:57pm, Aug 30)
Last: Jose Can Still Seabiscuit

NewsblogFG (Zimmerman): Alex Gordon, UZR, and Bad Left Field Defense
(45 - 1:55pm, Aug 30)
Last: Barnaby Jones

NewsblogRockies' Troy Tulowitzki bent on playing shortstop: "I will retire before I move"
(29 - 1:55pm, Aug 30)
Last: puck

NewsblogOMNICHATTER 8-30-2014
(1 - 1:49pm, Aug 30)
Last: The District Attorney

NewsblogOT: Politics, August 2014: DNC criticizes Christie’s economic record with baseball video
(6245 - 1:36pm, Aug 30)
Last: Misirlou's been working for the drug squad

NewsblogOT: Monthly NBA Thread - August 2014
(377 - 1:16pm, Aug 30)
Last: kpelton

NewsblogThe First Hundred PAs: The Curious Case of Cubs Rookie Javier Baez
(10 - 1:16pm, Aug 30)
Last: Kiko Sakata

NewsblogIndians Sign Russell Branyan
(14 - 12:43pm, Aug 30)
Last: Jim (jimmuscomp)

NewsblogJesus Montero gets heckled by Mariners cross checker during rehab stint
(57 - 12:28pm, Aug 30)
Last: bookbook

Hall of MeritMost Meritorious Player: 1957 Ballot
(5 - 12:05pm, Aug 30)
Last: lieiam

NewsblogAdam Jones says he was joking about 'airport' comment at social media event
(17 - 12:02pm, Aug 30)
Last: BDC

Page rendered in 0.8011 seconds
52 querie(s) executed