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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Los Angeles Dodgers

Acquired OF Milton Bradley from the Cleveland Indians for OF Franklin Gutierrez.

The Dodgers needed a hitter, so that’s what they went out and got.  Bradley’s not Bonds material, but the Dodgers offense was so bad last year that marginal offensive runs have nifty value and it’s not like Juan E’s arrival was going to be a huge help.

The Indians didn’t come out of this empty-handed, far from it, despite their announcement that they had to trade Milton before the season started.  Gutierrez is a very interesting prospect with a lot of talent.  282/345/513 isn’t jaw-dropping, but a 20-year-old doing that in Vero Beach is mighty impressive.  He had a great cup of coffee in AA ball and should start there this year.  Young outfield depth is a plus for the Indians, so they won’t surh him.

Dan Szymborski Posted: April 04, 2004 at 09:07 PM | 21 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Edmundo Posted: November 12, 2001 at 06:08 PM (#551833)
Daal is a pretty good sign that the Phillies are going to continue their small market pretense.
   2. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: November 15, 2001 at 01:07 AM (#551836)
This really isn't that bad of a deal for Philly, assuming the re-invest the 5 mil in offensive upgrades. Daal is, as Dan points out, thoroughly mediocre, and isn't likely to outpitch Brandon Duckworth or Dave Coggin next year. That leaves the Phils with a #5 hole to fill with Figeroa or Myers or whomever, and an extra $5 mil to through at a real CF.

If they re-invest the savings.
   3. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 20, 2001 at 01:50 PM (#551839)
Park also walks a lot of batters and hasn't been a very good pitcher at all outside Dodger Stadium, with a career home/road split larger than that of the average Coors Field pitcher.
   4. Repoz Posted: January 31, 2002 at 02:42 AM (#553667)
Count Bichette as another victim of "wait til you see what he does with the Green Monster"effect.....I remember when the Sox picked up Don Dementer in 1966 and the damage he was going to do to the Green Monster and......
   5. Dan Szymborski Posted: January 31, 2002 at 03:00 AM (#553668)
It's sort of too bad that Bichette's nearing the end of his run; he's one of my favorite players to pick on, even over the protestations of Dante's brother Maurice.
   6. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: January 31, 2002 at 09:15 AM (#553670)
Poor Kevin Reimer.
   7. J. Lowenstein Apathy Club Posted: January 31, 2002 at 04:34 PM (#553671)
And here I was thinking the Dodgers has inked Dante Hicks...

("Are you open?")
   8. Bob T Posted: January 31, 2002 at 08:11 PM (#553676)
Dodger Stadium's outfield isn't all that big. It's not like Coors Field or Pac Bell.

There is a lot of foul ground however, but even the best corner outfielders can't chase down a lot of the foul balls that bounce on the rubberized warning track.

Except for the year when the Dodgers had Darren Lewis playing left field.

Years of intensive therapy have tried to remove that from my memory.
   9. jwb Posted: January 31, 2002 at 08:18 PM (#553678)
When Ron Schueler retired as the White Sox GM, his two assistants were Dan Evans and Kenny Williams. Looks like we may be arguing about this one for a long time.
   10. Repoz Posted: February 01, 2002 at 03:04 PM (#553684)
Yet another Chris Singleton sighting.....I wish he'd cover this much ground in the outfield.
   11. SnowBoy Posted: February 02, 2002 at 11:10 PM (#553686)
Contending for what? "Most Salary Dollars Spent Per Win (National League Category)"???
   12. Kurt Posted: February 09, 2002 at 03:40 AM (#554144)
Wasn't he comparable to Nomo in Japan?
   13. Steve Treder Posted: February 09, 2002 at 08:25 PM (#554146)
I think the time is past for us to shrug our shoulders and say we have no idea how good any Japanese player might be until we see him play here. I think there's mounting evidence that the gap between Japanese ball and MLB is not as great as that between MLB and AAA. I think the performance of a number of recent Japanese players in MLB -- Suzuki, Sasaki, Shinjo chief among them -- suggests that their Japanese statistics are pretty darn reliable indicators of how well they'll do in the US.

Based on all this, I don't think there's any reason NOT to expect that Ishii (barring injury, of course) will be a very solid major league starter. One can question the wisdom of signing any pitcher to a 4-year deal, but I simply don't see why we can't say that this guy is a good addition to the Dodgers' rotation in 2002.
   14. Floyd Thursby Posted: February 09, 2002 at 10:23 PM (#554147)
Looking quickly at Japanese hitting stats, it seems to me that the base on balls isn't as valued as it is over here. It looks to be harder to walk a guy.

That said, I'd be wary of Ishii's BB/9. If he was wild in Japan, where hitters take a walk reluctantly, I'm curious to see how that'll translate over here.
   15. Steve Treder Posted: February 11, 2002 at 05:30 PM (#554151)
"... there's not much evidence that the draft has balanced competition in MLB anyway."

Three things:

1) There has in fact been much greater MLB competitive balance in the 35 years since the amateur free agent draft was introduced than in the 35 years previously.

2) The cause-and-effect relationship there is definitely debatable.

3) My main point: competitive balance was NOT MLB's overriding objective with the free agent draft; rather it was to control the costs associated with bidding wars for top prospects -- remember "Bonus Babies?"

The only conceivable way many minor leagues will go back to operating as independents is if they can be profitable in doing so. I really doubt that there's a market for them to do so.
   16. Steve Treder Posted: February 13, 2002 at 10:43 PM (#554311)
Of all baseball skills, pitching is the least predictable. I defy anyone to honestly say they saw Giovanni Carrara's effectiveness coming.

So, you're right, Olperfesser, that these Swamp Thing relievers just do seem to appear from time to time without warning. I remember one that appeared on the Giants' roster in the mid-1980s, a lefthander named Joe Price. The guy had been nothing special for years, and then one day he showed up just throwing the hell out of the ball, blowing everybody away. This lasted for about a half a season, and then he immediately reverted to being nothing special again. It was as though his body had been inhabited by the spirit of Lefty Grove for a few months.
   17. RJ in TO Posted: February 14, 2002 at 01:25 AM (#554313)
Aah, Doug Jones, the world's most baffling closer. You really have to wonder what about the guy made him so damn inconsistent, and also why he's not still kicking around. Looking at his 2000 numbers, you have ask why Beane didn't bring him back for another tour. Or did he just have some condition like Hough where his hip gave out due to age? Anybody?
   18. Ken Arneson Posted: February 14, 2002 at 09:03 AM (#554315)
I think I remember Beane saying he thought Doug Jones had another year in him, but Jones decided to hang 'em up.

Too bad. I missed watching him pitch those agonizingly slow pitches and see the hitters screw themselves into the ground trying to wait on them. The fact that Jones could be successful for so long is why baseball is so great: there's more than just athleticism to this sport, there's a definite art to it.
   19. Repoz Posted: February 14, 2002 at 03:12 PM (#554316)
When Doug Jones retired late in 2000 he stated "I was ready to hang'em up last year.....or 5 years ago"

I'm sure if I check hard enough I'll find his name in an independent league somewhere this season unless his trap door circle change has gone......well..full circle.
   20. Bob T Posted: February 27, 2002 at 07:47 AM (#555057)
Lo Duca (which I believe is two words) is one of the few Dodgers with any sense of plate discipline since Sheffield was dealt away.

On the other hand, Dodger games should finish faster now since there will be fewer pitches thrown.

Lo Duca would be a pretty short first baseman. He's only listed at 5'9" and seems shorter. He might migrate to the outfield, although I don't know if he will hit with enough power.
   21. Sean Forman Posted: February 27, 2002 at 03:59 PM (#555059)
I hate this move and I hated the Sabathia move. Why should teams give up all the leverage they have over young players based on one good season?

LoDuca is going to be 30 and while the number of major league games caught is low, how many minor league, college, high school games has he caught? I would let him play out his arbitration years and then walk in free agency because he is probably as likely to be mediocre next year as he is to keep up this level of performance.

What if he does regress? You are stuck with him for three years. Not at big money, but not a whole lot less than he would get through his first two arb years. They are paying $7.25m for this year and his first two arb years. Posada made $5.5m during those same three years.

As for Sabathia, what about Kerry Wood? The Indians have the hammer the first two years and are essentially paying him $9m for his first two arb years. Pettitte made $10m those two years, but the Yanks weren't tied to it if he bombed out. Didn't they learn anything from Jaret Wright?
   22. Walt Davis Posted: February 27, 2002 at 06:40 PM (#555061)
shoot man, Berkman was one of my keepers from 2000. And Javier Vazquez too. I oughta be head of player development somewhere I tell ya. :-) Unfortunately looks like the league is folding (it started as one of those free random leagues, so none of us know each other, so it's not that surprising that it's not lasting)

I checked LoDuca's minor league stats yesterday when I read about this and he doesn't seem to have been used too heavily in the minors, less than 700 games there plus 200 in the majors is 900 games over 9 years. I don't know if that was due to injury (he does have some low game totals in some seasons) nor do I know if all games were at C.

The homers are new, but he always hit lots of doubles in the minors. I know Albuquerque is a hitters park and Las Vegas probably is too, but still his career AAA OPS is 894 with a slug of 481, so I suppose we should continue to expect decent power for a C with a high OBP.

I agree with Sean that I really don't understand some of these recent deals from the team's perspective (incl Sabathia and even Berkman to an extent). I know they gain some cost certainty, but the risk doesn't seem worth it.
   23. Bob T Posted: February 27, 2002 at 11:47 PM (#555065)
It's an interesting switch when a Dodgers thread gets hijacked into an Astros thread.

It goes against the stated rules of making all threads about the Mets and Red Sox. I believe this particular thread may be a statistical outlier.
   24. Walt Davis Posted: February 28, 2002 at 05:58 PM (#555070)
Don't get me wrong, I think Berkman is a great player (hence why I kept him a couple years back) and is "worth" the money. But my memory is that they basically bought out his first 2 arbitration years for $11 million and I'm not sure that there's any significant cost savings for the team there. Balance that against the injury risk, and on a strict financial basis I don't know that this was a good deal for the Astros. What I can't opine about is whether treating Berkman well now will give them an advantage over other teams when he does approach free agency -- if it does, then it's probably worth the gamble.

Now contracts that tie a young guy up for a couple arbitration years and 1-2 years of FA are an excellent idea (depending on the player and the $$ of course).
   25. Sean Forman Posted: February 28, 2002 at 06:10 PM (#555071)
C.C.

I'm not arguing that LoDuca and Sabathia are bad players or are even likely to be bad players for the money. I just don't see the need to buy out the arbitration years at something less than a significant discount. If you are going to tie up a player for four years (when you don't have to in order to keep them), then you should be able to save more than $3m or so.

Perhaps I'm underestimating just how much these guys will make in arbitration.
   26. Lujack Posted: February 28, 2002 at 09:18 PM (#555073)
My best fantasy trade ever was Jose Lima for Todd Helton right after the draft in 2000. It was right after Lima came out of nowhere to win 21 and Helton had just started to establish himself. Lima went on to go 7-16 and Helton had an MVP type year. Good times, good times.
   27. Voros McCracken Posted: March 01, 2002 at 08:49 PM (#555076)
I have Berkman and LoDuca in my DMB league team too, interestingly enough. I got Berkman in the second round of our draft just after his debut season ended. I was surprised he was available that late, but it looked like he had nowhere to play.

Credit goes to Dierker for making sure he did play.

LoDuca I traded a bunch for this offseason simply because I can't catch a damn break at catcher (imagine going through last year with Gregg Zaun and Ramon Castro on your roster), and decided to try and solve the problem once and for all, AND I look like I can make a run at the whole enchilada this year and being a replay league, I get to use LoDuca's 2001 numbers this year.

If he hits like Geno Petralli next year it won't look so great, but my hand was forced.

My record as a DMB GM after three seasons in the league. Trades have been okay (with one unthinkable steal and one bad brain cramp), but the Draft has really helped me a ton. I have a good team right now, and five of mine 9 position starters were draft picks and three of my five starting pitchers were draft picks, and I've only had four drafts (including the one I just did).

I wonder if that would be the standard stathead profile in such a league: so-so trading, very good drafting...
   28. Walt Davis Posted: March 01, 2002 at 10:37 PM (#555077)
is it mostly other statheads in the league? From hanging out on this site, seems like there's still plenty of disagreement amongst statheads over prospects/young players, but folks are in a lot of agreement over more established players. As such, I'd think it'd be hard to pull off many "good" or "bad" trades in such a league because folks are working from the same info base and with similar opinions.

Plus the problem I have in fantasy trading is I keep overrating the other GM. I think up a deal and think "god, nobody in their right mind would go for that" and so I sweeten the pot before offering. I don't think I've ever seriously ripped anyone off.

Anyway, since we're on the topic, I would love to get into a serious league or two, preferably Diamond Mind (since I already own it), but I'd be open to other options. So if folks have openings in their leagues, please let me know.
   29. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 04, 2002 at 07:27 PM (#555078)
How about we start a b.p. private league on sandbox? Anybody here be interested in that?

I'd tend to lean toward 10 team, slow live draft, fantasy point, but I could be persuaded by force of dissenting opinion.
   30. Voros McCracken Posted: March 05, 2002 at 08:04 PM (#555080)
Walt,

One of the things I noticed about DMB leagues is that there are three types of owners:

1. The guys who just enjoy baseball and all things baseball and are happy to play a game with such a strong relationship to the game itself. For guys who are a little older, it keeps them abreast of the current players and who to watch out for. They might get the most out of the league but generally do the worst of the three groups.

2. The used car salesman. This guy doesn't look and doesn't care who the top prospects are unless they happen to be from the city he lives in so he knows about them. But what this guy can do is work up these trades where absolutely nobody but him knows exactly what was going on: three-way trades, four-way trades, five-way trades, all involving 10 or more players. The idea is that if a trade of player A for player B is a clear rip off, start adding all sorts of extraneous and meaningless garbage to the deal in order to confuse everybody so it no longer looks like a rip-off. Short-term, _all_ of these guys do well. They tend to not stick in a league all that long since after about four years the middle of the pack guys at this wind up with a team roughly resembling the Baltimore Orioles. Old and not good. But the best of this group can rip people off ad infinitem and are a real pain in the ass to beat.

3. The micro-manager. He's got plans upon plans upon plans for late round draft picks, free agent pick-ups, and such. They generally tear apart their club with trades and what have you when they first get it, in order to get it heading in the direction they want. After that they don't trade so much. They tend to get out of control scouting prospects since it brings the most interesting way to add to the club. It _can_ get them in trouble if they're not careful. Almost all of the statheads (myself included) fit this category.

Interestingly, all three groups understand the basics of sabermetrics, since most used sims (Strat and DMB) reward this knowledge: walks and on-base percentage and such. So survival is predicated upon figuring out that walks help.

You have to look out for leagues where the commissioner is a little more interested in winning than running a good league. When the commissioner's team wins 110 games three years in a row, and executes trade after trade where he robs somebody and that person leaves the league quickly thereafter...

I think the leagues tend to be more statistically aware than the average fan simply because the games have such a heavy statistical element to them. Even Gary, who wants no part of being called a stathead, is far more statistically aware than the average fan. You don't have to be a stathead to know OBP is important.
   31. Bob T Posted: March 24, 2002 at 02:49 AM (#555577)
Herges wasn't that great of a reliever last year and he has Dodger Stadium to thank for a lot of his "ability".

Toward the end of last season, Herges wasn't getting batted around pretty hard.
   32. Tracy Posted: March 24, 2002 at 06:43 AM (#555579)
One story I saw said that Gagne may be the new closer for LA. Are the Dodgers that deep in starters?
   33. John Posted: March 24, 2002 at 10:46 AM (#555593)
Yeah, it was Coors, and he couldn't REALLY run, but check out the lines from 1995-6! I'll miss him just for the discussions on the Coors effect....
   34. Christopher Posted: March 24, 2002 at 05:50 PM (#555594)
Its an interesting dilema whether to give Bichette credit for his numbers at altitude. Sure his numbers must be translated, but I wonder if any other player has ever taken advantage of the enviornment he played in as much as Bichette did.
   35. Bob T Posted: March 24, 2002 at 08:56 PM (#555582)
Herges said in the LA Times today that he wanted to be like Eric Karros and play his entire career in a Dodgers uniform.

Not a great role model in my opinion. Besides, Herges was 32 so just how many seasons was he expecting to play for the Dodgers. 7 or 8 would have been optimistic.

But stories in the papers today are mentioning how the Dodgers will miss Herges' "clubhouse leadership" and "good chemistry."

Eric Gagne has the inside track to be the closer, but Carrarra and Quantrill will also help out.

Lots 'o Canadians in that pen.
   36. Christopher Posted: March 24, 2002 at 10:37 PM (#555596)
OK compare Bichette to his teammates then:

Rockies 1993-1999 (minus Bichette)
   37. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: March 25, 2002 at 09:53 PM (#555584)
Just thought I'd mention it, since no-one else has: Mota was originally drafted as a position player (I believe a shortstop, but I'm on the road and can't check easily). We all know how well _those_ usually work out.

From where I'm sitting, Montreal got the only really useful player in the deal, so thumbs up to them.
   38. Bob T Posted: March 26, 2002 at 08:44 PM (#555587)
Matt Herges is, by all accounts, a very nice guy and popular with his teammates (even though he isn't a member of MLBPA I believe).

Nevertheless, he showed last year that you can't get out hitters by being popular.
   39. Dan Szymborski Posted: March 26, 2002 at 10:24 PM (#555588)
I still don't see where you're coming from; hitters have hit 249/317/346 and 259/347/390 off of him the last two years.

You also say that Herges was hit hard at the end of last season, but May and July were his worst months and August and September were right around his season averages.
   40. Bob T Posted: March 26, 2002 at 11:30 PM (#555589)
Upon reviewing his stats, I think I am remembering more how Herges did against lefties which was 280/399/446.

And the 7 blown save opportunities did rankle those of us in LA a bit, although Jeff Shaw was trying to corner the market in that department.
   41. Joel Barrett Posted: March 27, 2002 at 06:32 AM (#555590)
"Mota was originally drafted as a position player (I believe a shortstop). We all know how well _those_ usually work out."

Trevor Hoffman was also converted from shortstop, so it's not exactly like it never works.
   42. Joel Barrett Posted: March 27, 2002 at 08:15 AM (#555591)
To those who think that this trade is a slam-dunk win for the Expos:

Mota is more than 3 years younger than Herges, he has more velocity, and he has a better than league average career ERA+. Using similarity scores, the pitcher most similar to Mota by age is Heathcliff Slocumb (Slocumb posted an ERA+ of 157 over his next three seasons).

Mota was very effective the first three months of last season, before he came down with a sore shoulder. He was also good in 1999 and the second half of 2000, though he was terrible in the first half of 2000. Mota's road ERA and opposing batting average were better than Herges last season, and his career road numbers are also better.

The biggest concern with Mota (aside from lacking a consistent second pitch) would seem to be that he did have a sore shoulder last season. His ERA after he returned from the DL was 10.57. He has looked good so far this spring (6 scoreless appearances), so perhaps he is healthy.

So to summarize: Mota is younger and (arguably) has the higher ceiling. Mota is also probably the greater injury risk. Herges has been more consistent, but some of his seeming statistical superiority can be attributed to his home park.

Herges is more valuable if they both pitch exactly like they did last season and would seem the safer bet, but Mota is the better break-out candidate. I'm not sure who won this trade, but I think that the widespread assumption that LA got snookered is premature.
   43. RJ in TO Posted: March 27, 2002 at 09:09 AM (#555592)
Dave Steib was drafted as an OF, so it's occasionally worth the risk of converting a guy.
   44. Bob Koo Posted: April 10, 2002 at 06:52 PM (#555841)
Word! Baseball Stars on the old NES is one of the best games of all-time.
   45. Dan Szymborski Posted: April 10, 2002 at 09:51 PM (#555850)
It's still the only baseball game I play other than Diamond Mind, which is obviously a different type of game.
   46. bob mong Posted: April 10, 2002 at 10:24 PM (#555852)
Baseball Stars is by far the best baseball video game I have ever played...I remember when I was laid up on crutches and me and my brother played that game all day for like a week straight...
   47. bob mong Posted: April 10, 2002 at 10:27 PM (#555853)
Actually, another cool baseball game for NES is BaseWars, where you use robots (instead of people) and to tag someone out you have to tag them, then defeat them in robot-to-robot combat. (force outs were normal.) Kind of a baseball/street fighter combination. lots of fun, and you could power up your robots too, buying them better guns or bigger engines (to run faster).
   48. Floyd Thursby Posted: April 10, 2002 at 11:48 PM (#555856)
My band's name is Lucky 7 Fight. If we're in town, come see us. You might not care for the music, but at least you'll know the lead singer/guitar player is a baseball nerd.

It is a fine day.
   49. Dan Szymborski Posted: April 10, 2002 at 11:54 PM (#555857)
Going back to Nick's comment, Baseball Stars would delete games even if you were very, very careful to turn it off by holding the reset button and then hitting power. My friend Alan would go into a loud yelling fit when he'd turn on his NES and he's see the blank option selections, which meant that the battery had been reset.
   50. Shredder Posted: April 11, 2002 at 04:04 AM (#555859)
Man, what a sweet game that was. WE used to play seasons in the dorms during my freshman year, and we had enough diversity of "talent" that the crappiest guy could take the best team and vice versa, and we'd all still be competitive. I always ended up with the Ghastly Monsters. Good pitching and defense, a little speed, but absolutely no power. Somehow my buddy used to always swindle us out of the Ninja Warriors, even though he was pretty good. It used to keep individual stats for you, too. There was some guy on my team who could barely hit it out of the infield, but he always seemed to go 2 for 4 by dinking over the third baseman's head. Good Times.

The other great SNK baseball game was Little League. Pretty much the same game engine as baseball stars, but the skills of the players were dumbed down a bit. Still my favorite video game to this day. For some reason Canada was awesome in that game. RBI was great too, but only the first one where the players were fat. Plus, it had the '86 Angels
   51. Dan Szymborski Posted: April 11, 2002 at 03:15 PM (#555864)
The RBI Baseball players weren't just fat; they made David Wells circa 2001 look like Kate Moss.

Personally, I prefer Tecmo *Super* Bowl to Tecmo Bowl.

I too know of the existence of emulators and ROMs, but as I've seen elsewhere, things of this nature of dubious legality lead to massive threads containing piracy flame wars.
   52. bob mong Posted: April 11, 2002 at 09:13 PM (#555868)
Wasn't Tecmo Super Bowl for the Super Nintendo, not the NES? I remember playing the super nintendo tecmo bowl game (whatever it was called) and not liking it as much as the NES one.

Of course, the All-Time Best Sports Video Game Ever is NBA Jams for the Sega Genesis. I have never laughed so hard while playing a video game. Plus me and my college roommate once scored 200 points in one game. I think we won 200-12 or something like that.
   53. Dan Szymborski Posted: April 12, 2002 at 02:43 AM (#555869)
Nope, Tecmo Super Bowl was for NES, the sequel to Tecmo Bowl. Same controls and everything but you could customize your playbooks and it had all the teams with full season play, stat tracking and backup players. Also had a full number of players on the field. 2 years later, they made Tecmo Super Bowl for SNES (and eventually made II and III for SNES). Thankfully, Tecmo didn't follow the naming convention of most NES ports by simply adding "Super" to the title, resulting in Super Tecmo Super Bowl.
   54. Dunn Deal Posted: April 14, 2002 at 01:13 AM (#555871)
2 comments:

First, my SNK friend ALWAYS took the American Dreams (he would beat on me if I tried to take them, and since I was a dork I had no way out). I was the Ninja Blacksox, and after the games were over, he would hit me because I infuriated him with my basepath antics.

Second, in RBI baseball, Mike Scott is EVIL for Houston. He can throw the "change-up drop" well into the 7th inning. The most difficult thing to do in RBI is to determine whether or not the change-up is going to drop. I have nightmares of the shaking pitch, followed by me swinging just as I see the dirt fly. YMMV...
   55. Eugene Freedman Posted: April 14, 2002 at 02:18 AM (#555872)
Buy a rookie with a high total point possiblity, then play the Lovely Ladies for a few games, since they gave you the most money- everyone wanted to see the Ladies play. Then make him a stud.

It was just as Vinay said about the code, but then you had to select something by going up, down, left, right, down, down, up. At least I think that was the order.

Then you started with a team comparable to the Dreams that you could build to be even better.
   56. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: April 14, 2002 at 07:33 AM (#555873)
Second, in RBI baseball, Mike Scott is EVIL for Houston. He can throw the "change-up drop" well into the 7th inning. The most difficult thing to do in RBI is to determine whether or not the change-up is going to drop. I have nightmares of the shaking pitch, followed by me swinging just as I see the dirt fly. YMMV...

Yes! I used to play RBI baseball; I can't remember which version...it had the 1992 teams. My brother and I played almost an entire season; he was the 92 Twins and I was the Padres. We logged our stats by hand after every game. Sheffield homered every third at bat on average. Anyway, I would always bring in Pat Clements in relief, the all-time dirt-ball king. He was unhittable.

I loved that game. You could block line drives with your players' faces and they would catch the ball on the rebound.
   57. bob mong Posted: April 15, 2002 at 08:20 PM (#555875)
The sports game that probably most impacted me was NHL (the original one) for the Genesis. I still play that on my emulator from time to time.

Is that the game featured in the movie Swingers?

My brother bought that game at a pawnshop because of Swingers. :)
   58. Dan 'The Boy' Werr Posted: April 15, 2002 at 10:19 PM (#555876)
Is that the game featured in the movie Swingers?

Yeah. Electronic Arts NHL Hockey... definitely a great game. I'm not sure which version they're using, but they complain that they can't fight like they could in older verions:

Trent: I wish they still had fights in this game so I could #####-slap Wayne.
   59. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 27, 2002 at 06:16 PM (#556821)
My nominee for the dumbest team name:

The Amarillo Dillas, of the Texas-Louisianna League (Independent)
   60. Devin has a deep burning passion for fuzzy socks Posted: May 28, 2002 at 03:43 PM (#556827)
There's always the minor league hockey team, the Macon Whoopee. In addition to being a horrible pun, it's gotta be hard on the players. "I'm a Whoopee." "I'm on the Whoopee". I haven't figured out whether or not I like the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies yet. Nice idea, but it may just be too long.
   61. Greg Franklin Posted: May 28, 2002 at 06:33 PM (#556830)
Albuquerque's new minor league team will be the Isotopes!?

http://www.abqjournal.com/paperboy/text/sports/693477sports05-26-02.htm
   62. MattB Posted: May 28, 2002 at 07:11 PM (#556831)
Speaking of dumb ECHL names, what the heck is the Pee Dee Pride. I mean, where is Pee Dee? And what is it Proud of? The team is in South Carolina, I think, in a city that is not named Pee Dee, South Carolina.
   63. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 29, 2002 at 01:26 AM (#556834)
Mmm... three-eyed fish sandwich and a Duff's.

I have a question about names. It's traditional at a school to have the boys' team be the Whatevers and the girls' team be the Lady Whatevers. So, if there's a word that means the same thing as "Lady Whatevers", why don't schools use that instead?

I went to Fox Chapel High School, and the girls' teams were the 'Lady Foxes' (as opposed to the 'Vixens'). I've seen schools with the 'Lady Cowboys', 'Lady Blue Demons', and 'Lady Mustangs', and I'm sure there are others. Why is this the case?
   64. Bob T Posted: May 29, 2002 at 02:42 AM (#556835)
Because "vixen" has a negative connotation when it comes to women.

Do you think teams that are called "Bulldogs" will call their women's teams "#######"?
   65. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 29, 2002 at 02:47 PM (#556837)
Vixen, as applied to women, means "a malicious fierce-tempered woman" according to Dictionary.com, which lists "harpy" and "hellcat" as possible synonyms. It's a threatening term, sort of like all the men's teams that are named after carnivores (Lions, Tigers, Bears, oh my!) or displays of naked aggression (Minutemen, Fighters, Bullets) or natural disasters (Hurricanes, Cyclones, Red Storm). Since women are (in general) more into emotional conflict than physical conflict, I think vixens would work just fine, though that's really beside the point.

In cases where there's _nothing_ wrong with the word (I'm not talking about obvious outliers like Georgia here :P), why don't schools/teams use it?
   66. Bob T Posted: May 29, 2002 at 04:08 PM (#556838)
My personal preference is that a women's team attached to a school should just use the same nickname as the men's team. Why does there have to be a difference?

I think that trend is taking over at a lot of colleges now.
   67. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: May 30, 2002 at 02:47 PM (#556842)
Way back when, the swastika was a symbol of good luck. There's still a Swastika Street in Pittsburgh, or at least there was as of ten years ago. Some of the residents were old enough to have lived Pre-WWII, and they didn't want to change anything just because of that young punk Hitler.
   68. Jon Daly Posted: May 30, 2002 at 05:26 PM (#556843)
The 51s, I believe, got their name from Area 51. Isn't there also a Roswell, NM team called the Greys?

I should have signed this as Fox Mulder.
   69. Bob T Posted: July 22, 2002 at 10:38 PM (#557858)
Thurston is probably being held back to be traded. He's one of the Dodgers few "prospects". He is always being rumored to being traded for some not very good reliever.

I don't see what hole Cabrera fills. Reboulet was put on the DL and should be ready to play when the 15 days are up. Kinkade was called up to replace him. The Dodgers already have three middle infielders they can mix and match.

I can't imagine that the Dodgers are thinking of trading Cora, whose bat has been possessed by aliens this year.
   70. David Nieporent (now, with children) Posted: July 23, 2002 at 04:36 AM (#557859)
See, small market teams like the As just can't compete with this.
   71. Stevis Posted: July 23, 2002 at 05:14 AM (#557860)
You're right, David. The A's were only able to add Asok and a PHBTBNL.
   72. Bob T Posted: July 23, 2002 at 05:33 AM (#557861)
Mike Kinkade's RBI single was HUGE tonight.

The Dodgers only lost by 3 because of it.
   73. Edmundo Posted: July 23, 2002 at 04:15 PM (#557863)
The Los Angeles Dodgers, who scored only 27 runs during an 11-game homestand, acquired infielder-outfielder Jolbert Cabrera from Cleveland for minor-league lefthander Lance Caraccioli.

Cabrera appeared in 38 games for the Indians this season, hitting .111 with seven RBIs.
   74. Bob T Posted: July 23, 2002 at 11:48 PM (#557864)
It looks like Cabrera is headed for Las Vegas. I think the Dodgers want to give Kinkade a longer look.

Right now, he couldn't do any worse than what they've got.
   75. Greg Franklin Posted: July 24, 2002 at 12:29 AM (#557865)
Heard on the radio: The Dodgers are planning to follow this up by acquiring Tyler Houston from the Brew Crew for ... something something.

If this deal goes down, the Giants are going to be a-skeered.
   76. Bob T Posted: July 24, 2002 at 02:08 AM (#557866)
It was Houston for Tyler Nance and Ben Diggins.

Again, I smell pennant!
   77. jwb Posted: July 24, 2002 at 03:22 PM (#557867)
And the Brewers have called up Izzy Alcantara.
   78. Roger McDowell spit on me! Posted: July 24, 2002 at 07:56 PM (#557907)
Diggins is a huge righty with a huge baseball, but can be very, very erratic.

That's what she said...
   79. bob mong Posted: July 24, 2002 at 09:15 PM (#557910)
Actually, Joe Thurston has a .334 AVG, a .370 OBP, and a .489 SLG.
   80. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: July 24, 2002 at 10:34 PM (#557912)
</i>Can't wait to see what Izzy can do - and can refrain from doing.</i>

Even though I have Kung-Fu in my DMB keeper league, I'm more looking forward to what he can't refrain from doing. :)
   81. Greg Franklin Posted: July 24, 2002 at 11:01 PM (#557913)
Tom, SLG is what you get when you take OPS and subtract OBP. Hope this helps!
   82. Jason Posted: July 24, 2002 at 11:41 PM (#557914)
Being a Crew fan the emergence of Houston as a decent player was rather surprising, but very real. Prior to coming to Milwaukee he was absolutely putrid being nothing more than a serviceable back-up catcher. In his first year he had a big power spike while working on 3rd base skills he followed it up with an abreviated campaign showing the same power. This year his power is down a bit but he's hit for some more average and is surprisingly good at bunt hitting. So yes he's a good stretch pickup
   83. Bob T Posted: July 25, 2002 at 05:39 AM (#557916)
So Tyler Houston is going to make Adrian Beltre expendable? That's the rosiest outlook I've heard yet.

What would Adrian Beltre fetch on the open market?
   84. Bob T Posted: July 25, 2002 at 09:37 PM (#557920)
While Karros is not good, he is pretty much untradeable. He has a no-trade clause for starters. He's a fan favorite and a media darling. He's the only player on the team who has been on the team for more than a week or two it seems.

I don't think Houston can play the OF. He's only played three games there in his big league career.
   85. Klobedanz Posted: July 26, 2002 at 06:42 PM (#557922)
Tyler Houston has some pop and that's it. He would make a good fill-in off the bench in case of injuries to C,1B,3B. Although when he was with the Cubbies, I always thought he would have done a much better job than Scott Servais, but then I think Hector Villanueva could have done a better job than Servais too.
   86. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: July 29, 2002 at 02:50 PM (#558031)
Shuey better be good. If you move down the trade chain a bit, he also cost Duaner Sanchez and Adrian Burnside (Burnside with Fetters for Mulholland, Sanchez from Arizona for Fetters). That's a lot of cheap young arms for a bullpen guy, even if he is a solid one.
   87. Bob T Posted: July 29, 2002 at 06:25 PM (#558035)
"About to come down with a thud"?

You mean the 5-10 record coming out of the All-Star Break isn't a thud?

You mean getting no runners to second base off of Bobby Jones isn't a thud?

You mean thinking that Tyler Houston will save the team isn't a thud in its own right?

The Dodgers upcoming series in Cincinnati could tell the tale if the Dodgers will make the playoffs. The Dodgers in recent years have played very poorly against the Reds and they may actually put the Reds into position to grab the wild card lead.

And then we'll all have to learn what a managerial genius Bob Boone is.
   88. Bob T Posted: July 29, 2002 at 06:27 PM (#558036)
Also, doesn't it seem more likely that the Indians are just holding on to Mulholland to see if some other team desperate for a lefty tries to trade for him? I can't see why Cleveland would want to keep Mulholland for more than a couple of weeks.
   89. Veee Posted: July 29, 2002 at 07:00 PM (#558037)
What is Mulholland's contract status? Is he signed beyond this season?
   90. Bob T Posted: August 19, 2002 at 05:23 PM (#558465)
From what I've read about Magnante, he just wants to pitch a little bit more (most likely the rest of this season) and then retire in to his chosen profession of public school teacher.

Magnante was at UCLA when I was going there and when he first pitched, UCLA coach Gary Adams didn't know what his name was when asked about him.
   91. Bob T Posted: September 10, 2002 at 01:17 AM (#558832)
Baseball players, unlike football players, don't celebrate hits (in the physical kind) that knock players out of the game.
   92. User unknown in local recipient table (Craig B) Posted: September 10, 2002 at 02:41 AM (#558834)
No, Walt, he didn't. He looked shocked, like everyone else... he said after the game that he wished he could have lined into a double play instead.
   93. Bob T Posted: September 10, 2002 at 04:57 AM (#558836)
I'm sure that once Hunter heard the ball hit Ishii in the head, he was pretty sure that something awful had happened.
   94. Bob T Posted: September 10, 2002 at 05:04 PM (#558839)
Probably less than a second. How long does it take for a line drive off the bat to travel about 50 feet?
   95. Stevis Posted: December 04, 2002 at 01:16 AM (#559988)
For the Cubs, it's just getting "wait till' next year" started before New Year's. Ye Gods.
   96. Christian (ruz) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 01:21 AM (#559990)
"Stunnigly bad"? Only if Karros and Grudz actually, you know, play. Of course, that's a serious concern with Dusty Baker filling out the line-up card, but as long as Karros is there to pinch-hit and Grudz is there to, uh, I'm not sure what, then it's just a matter of the additional salary for this year ($7.5M), which is nearly balanced out by the $5M savings in '04 (assuming they don't pick up either guy's option).

Also, ESPN Radio in Chicago is reporting that this is the first leg of a multi-team trade that will eventually send Karros to Colorado, Bobby Hill to Montreal, and Denny Neagle, Jose Vidro, and others to the Cubs.

So, on its own, I say it's not a bad trade as long as the players are used correctly. As part of a bigger deal, it may actually turn out to be good.
   97. Christian (ruz) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 01:38 AM (#559992)
Well, I could do without Grudz in all of this, and I'm agnostic about Jimenez, but if all 3 deals go through, it would be a net positive for the Cubs.
   98. Christian (ruz) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 01:46 AM (#559996)
That lineup looks about right, though I think the money they take on puts them out of the running for Kent (who will probably end up in LA now).

But still, I say that even if the LA trade is the end of it, it's a net positive for the Cubs. I can't believe the Dodgers actually gave up two guys with all their limbs for Hundley.
   99. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 01:49 AM (#560000)
I'll believe those spinoff trades when I see 'em. Until then, this looks like a lousy trade for the Cubs.
   100. Christian (ruz) Posted: December 04, 2002 at 02:01 AM (#560007)
You're right, I'm not too excited about Jimenez, but I admit that's only due to ignorance.

In general, I'm not too excited about the concept of a closer. If Jimenez is a good pitcher (which it appears that he is), I'd be psyched to have him, but taking a good pitcher and artifically restricting his appearances to save situations is bad baseball.

Now, you're right, he's certainly an upgrade over Pulpo, and having him in the bullpen along with Remlinger would give the Cubs a really nice 1-2 punch.
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