Saturday, December 8, 2007

So Like, Andruw Jones Puts the Dodgers in Good Shape, Right?

Michael Ventre doesn't think so.

[The] Dodgers overpaid for [Andruw Jones], although it’s only for two years, and besides, it’s not my money.

Right off the bat, I'll clarify my standpoint on this. Yes, Jones was overpaid for. He's not worth $18M/season even in this market. It is only two years, however, and the Dodgers are in a spot such that a major improvement at one position could easily be the difference between winning the division and losing.

The Jones move is also beneficial because it gives the team some options. Besides adding another much-needed stick to their odd assemblage of geezers and punks, it creates a positive logjam in the outfield. Jones will play center field, which will move Juan Pierre to left, leaving youngsters Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier to fight it out for right field.

How is that positive? Explain to me how moving Juan Pierre to left field is in any way beneficial for your team. Pierre was a dismal CF, won't be an awesome LF or anything (speed doesn't equal good left-fielder....see also: Podsednik, Scott). In a perfect world, the Dodgers swallow their pride, bench/trade Pierre, and allow younger, better, non-awful Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier to start every day.

Or alternatively, slop that .331 OBP and .353 SLG in left. Those are good numbers at a key offensive position (especially in the NL) right?

It may not be much of a bout. The Dodgers’ most pressing need, even beyond a bat, is starting pitching.

Wrong. Go ahead and prove to me why you're wrong by mentioning good people who start games for the Dodgers.

Their rotation of Brad Penny

The very good pitcher who allowed 9 HR in 208 IP last year.

Derek Lowe

The very good pitcher whose season ERA has not been higher than 3.9 for the last 3 years.

Chad Billingsley

The 3rd year 23-year old who posted a 3.31 ERA and struck out 141 guys in 147 IP last year.

Jason Schmidt

The veteran who prior to last year's injury-destroyed season put up consecutive WHIPs of 1.19, 0.95 (!!!), 1.08, 1.42, and 1.26. This is your 4th starter.

plus whatever retread, fill-in or promising kid they decide to toss into the fray

Apparently you've never heard of Esteban Loaiza, who the Dodgers have, and is a perfectly capable 5th starter on a contending team. And just think, this is who the Dodgers start if no "promising kid" breaks out in the spring.

is not good enough to get them to the World Series. It may not be good enough to win the division.

Holy shit. Be more blatantly wrong please.

Let me get this straight. That rotation might not be good enough to win the division. Only teams with rotations like Brandon Webb, Doug Davis, Livan Hernandez, Micah Owings, and some combination of Yusmeiro Petit, Edgar Gonzalez and the ghost of Randy Johnson, can win the division (with a much, MUCH worse supporting offense than the Dodgers).

That rotation can't go to the World Series, you need one of the great all-time staffs to do something like that! A staff like Jeff Francis, Aaron Cook, Josh Fogg, Jason Hirsh, and some combination of Ubdalo Jimenez, Rodrigo Lopez, and Franklin Morales. The Dodgers don't have a fucking chance!

(Before the pro-Rockies faction of FireJay jumps down my throat, I'm not bashing the Rockies, just illustrating how ridiculous it is for Ventre to rule out the Dodgers from the WS with their rotation.)

Even though the $18.1 mil is a lot of dough per season to pay a guy who is coming off a disappointing year, Jones has the talent to rebound, and more significantly, he has the incentive to do so.

Why is incentive more significant than talent? Every fucking major league baseball player has the incentive to rebound from a bad season. It could be for money, for personal pride, or desire to win the World Series, but every fucking player has the incentive to rebound from a bad year. Don't feed people this bullshit.

From the moment he puts his Jown Hancock on his new contract, Jones will be working hard in preparation for the next one.

1) The "W" is nowhere near the "H" on the keyboard. I have no idea how you fucked that up.

2) This point is totally unique to Andruw Jones, and no other player in baseball is faced with this situation.

More likely, though, given the tendency of major league players to bear down and produce when they know there’s a pot of gold waiting for them

Like Andruw Jones, the very guy you're talking about, did in 2007.

2008 and 2009 could turn out to be career years for Jones.

For completely dissimilar reasons to those you stated, yes.

He’s never been a great hitter for average. He has only hit over .300 once; that was in the 2000 season, when he hit .303.

You don’t get Andruw Jones to hit for average. You get him to patrol center field and to drive in runs.

You forgot walking. He's very good at walking, and it's a very important difference between him and this guy, known for his negative VORP in 2006 despite driving in 100+ runs. Did I mention driving in runs is a stupid way to evaluate Andruw Jones?

With the Dodgers, he’ll be batting behind Rafael Furcal and Pierre, who presumably will do their parts and get on base.

Our friend Michael has turned delusional and is now presuming that Juan Pierre, the perpetual MVP of the MLB Out-Star Game, is going to contribute by ::gasp:: getting on base!

Does the signing of Jones make up for the lack of desire in pursuit of Alex Rodriguez? Serious Dodger watchers knew that A-Rod was more likely to sign with the Kansas City Royals than he was to don the Blue.

The Kansas City Royals wear an equal amount of blue as the Los Angeles Dodgers.

It was a plausible scenario only if you were a fantasy league geek living in your parents’ basement.

Nice. While Ventre goes ahead and alienates the basement-dwelling, Pop-Tart-chomping, Sega Genesis-playing faction of his readers, I'm going to ask legitimate questions.

1) When was there some sort of stereotype that fantasy league geeks, people who presumably have no life but to study up on facts/numbers and understand how baseball works, believe in wild and crazy places for big-ticket stars like A-Rod to land?

2) No professional writer or "baseball man" thought that A-Rod had a shot at going to the Dodgers? Really? There wasn't anything written about him going there and following in Torre's footsteps? There was never a fucking week in which people didn't talk about anything but "A-Rod to the Dodgers?"

Nah, must just be some fantasy geek pipe dream. I have never seen such an out-of-context and unnecessary geek/parents' basement reference.

Anyone else notice how super-personally I'm taking this? My mom even came downstairs because of the noise from how ferociously I was typing! I really hope she brings Teddy Grahams next time.....

And does it help them keep pace with their area rivals to the south, the Los Angeles Angels, who also nabbed a high-profile center fielder in Torii Hunter?

Doesn't matter. The Angels do not play in the same league as the Dodgers.

But if the Dodgers don’t use Jones as a first step in the process of building a World Series contender, it’ll be a waste of money.

For crissake Ventre, Jones works perfectly fine as the last step in the process of building a World Series contender. The Dodgers as-is are well poised to compete and win the division. There's no magic formula for a "World Series team", you just have to get fucking lucky in the playoffs. Thinking the Dodgers can win the division = thinking the Dodgers can make it to the World Series. And I don't think there's an idiot out there that doesn't think that this Dodgers team has a legitimate shot at the NL West title.


Qwerty said...

Well, the 'h' and 'w' are about as far apart when typing Jown as the 'e' and 'u' are when typing Andruw, so maybe his fingers just got a little ahead of his brain (not a big assumption, I think). However, as a serious Dodger Hater, I can only hope that each and every move that they make blows up in their face as much as this one has the potential to do.

Anonymous said...

I believe "Jown" is meant to mock how Andruw spells his name.

pnoles said...

That's a theory, but kind of a stretch if you ask me (both stretch on believability as well as a stretch on Ventre trying to displace the 'w' with an 'h' as a joke)

Tonus said...

What is the deal with sportswriters assuming that teams give ballplayers expensive contracts just to match another team in the region?

I'm sure Dodger fans are beside themselves with joy at the thought that their team didn't sit back and do nothing when the Angels overpaid for Torii Hunter. No sir, they went out and overpaid for Andruw Jones!

And that, people, is how you keep those fans nice and loyal.