Saturday, October 29, 2005

Saturday Afternoon Baseball

Big news for L.A. Dodgers fans today -- General Manager Paul DePodesta is apparently on his way out the door. That is bad news for his fans but good news for people like me who have been unhappy with DePodesta since the day he sent Paul LoDuca packing.

Baseball Analysts has the interesting theory that former Dodger pitching hero Orel Hershiser will not end up managing the team, but become the new G.M.

More at Dodger Thoughts and 6-4-2.


Blogger Ugly Naked Guy said...

You still haven't read Moneyball have you. I think you may have been willing to give DePodesta some time if you knew more about what he is all about. I can't believe they gave up on him already. If I were a Dodger fan I would be outraged.

9:09 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I've actually started it this summer! But have not finished yet :). (I tend to read a lot of books at once.)

The writers at Dodger Thoughts and 6-4-2 are sure outraged. I think the "Moneyball" ideas are interesting but for me baseball is about more than numbers -- I love the history, the continuity, the people. DePodesta and his computer were too cold for me. Call me crazy, I would have been happier with a team with LoDuca and Mota that finished second than the division pennant winners we ended up with that year...once he dealt away Shawn Green and Adrian Beltre my interest was lost this year. All that he needed to do to finish off the destruction of the team was deal Gagne...who unfortunately left the picture long-term for other reasons.

Fun talking about it, though! Did you ever read Bob Costas's book
The Fan's Case for Baseball? He talks about the finances of the game, it was very interesting.

9:29 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

Bad link on that Costas book. If you input it at Amazon you'll find it. :)

9:30 PM  
Blogger Ugly Naked Guy said...

I haven't looked at Costa's book. It looks like DePodesta made the right move with Beltre. He stunk at Seattle this year so you can be glad the Dodgers didn't blow a lot of money to resign him.

10:51 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

I can't help wondering if Beltre had stayed put in L.A. (not changed leagues, new park, etc.) if he would have had another good year here. One of those "Guess we'll never know" wonderings :).

11:09 PM  
Blogger Jon said...

Hi Laura -

Thanks for reading my stuff. I just wanted to say that the implication that because I (or anyone else) like numbers means that we don't value the history, the continuity, the people of baseball could not be more wrong.

How did you come to like Green, Beltre, Lo Duca and Mota in the first place? Would you have liked them if they had never been statistically talented players? If so, there are plenty more people like that around for you to grow attachments to.

Numbers have been a part of baseball's history and character for 100 years. DePodesta was no different from any other GM in trying to use those numbers to find people we could grow attached to for another generation.

8:54 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

Hi Jon,

Thanks so much not only for stopping by but for taking the time to share your thoughts here. Your website is a regular read for me and I respect your opinion very much, even though there are times I don't agree :).

Appreciate you expanding on your thoughts about numbers vs. tradition, etc. You have a valid point about LoDuca, et al., earning the fans' loyalty due to numbers. Of course you're right, numbers are as integral to the game as the other issues I raised.

I think my problem with DePodesta is that he didn't find the *balance* between these issues that I as a decades-long fan (since I was a kid in the '70s) was looking for. My dad (another big fan) in particular encouraged me to look to the positives about DePodesta's moves. He pointed out, as you do, that teams have always brought in new blood (i.e., Kirk Gibson) and so on.

But for me, *how* this was done was a big part of the problem. Taking apart the team in mid-2004 (rather than, say, making big moves in the offseason) was really hard for my entire family. Choi and Penny?! When Green and Beltre left, they weren't replaced with anyone who could stir the fans' interest and loyalty. Instead it had the tinge of a fire sale. Sigh.

Know Plaschke isn't always the most popular writer in town (grin) but I think he makes some good points in today's paper. (Although I think the idea that DePodesta should have asked to talk to Scioscia is unrealistic.)

Thanks again for taking the time to visit. I'll be checking out your blog daily to follow developments! Best wishes -- Laura

12:48 PM  

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