Look, Chad Billingsley pitched well enough to win yesterday. The offense let him down, but much like Jon Broxton, I expect much more from Chad Billingsley. For the past few days I have been castigated all over the blogosphere because of my criticism of Jon Broxton. I can take it – it’s no big deal – I just happen to think you need to bloom where you are planted – no excuses! So, Broxton blew saves when he was a setup man. They shouldn’t count (sniff). You should only count blown saves in the ninth inning (sniff, sniff). These are the same guys who tell their kids soccer team who just got beat 21-0, “You are winners. You did great!” A Blown Save is a Blown Save and to call it otherwise is also BS! No excuses! Take no hostages! As usual the stat nerds get hung up on the stat, and not the deed behind it. Broxton Has Blown Lots of Saves, but they don’t count when there’s not as much pressure as in the 9th inning? BS! Use your eyes! Adversity doesn’t make character, so much as it reveals it!
You must unlearn what you have learned. Size matters not. Look at me. Judge me by my size, do you? Hmm? Hmm. And well you should not. For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes. Even between the land and the ship.
No. Try not. Do… or do not. There is no try.
Infidels, will you try and refute the great Yoda? JB needs to get tougher and so does Chad Billingsley, however their problems may emanate from the same source. I did a little research on C-Bill and here’s what I found (2009 stats):
- 1st Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – .283
- 2nd Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – .205
- 3rd Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – .205
- 4th Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – .181
- 5th Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – .111
- 6th Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – .310
- 7th Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – .324
- 8th Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – .364
- 9th Inning Batting Average Against Billingsley – 1.000
It’s not unusual for a starter to begin slowly, and Billingsley is no different, as the league is hitting .283 against him in the first inning. However, their batting average drops to .205 in the 2nd and 3rd innings and drops even more to .181 in the 4th inning. Then, in the fifth inning, it becomes a microscopic .111. It’s not always pitch count, because he has frequently been in the 70′s at the start of the 6th, and he’s been over a 100 in the 5th. It more than that!
It’s not a pattern. In 2008, the league hit .200 against him in the 6th inning, and in 2007, the league hit .177 in the 7th inning against Billingsley. After that, the league hits over .300, which is not unusual for starters, but the pattern this year has been that in the 6th inning, Chad Billingsley gets lit up! He’s done after 5.
I think there are multiple issues at work here: #1 – Endurance and/or training is an issue and I think that the Dodgers need to focus more on lower body strengthening issues (more running); #2 – I think it takes two seasons to really come back from a broken bone or surgery and I believe fatigue from that is a factor; and finally, #3 – I think it’s a mental thing (not easy to fix-same as Brox, but fixable). This is something that starts in the off-season, but in the meantime, Joe Torre has to pull Bills after 5. End of story, because when you watch him in the 5th, you think he’s Cy Young (.111 BA), but them in the 6th, he pitches like Chris Young (the outfielder, not the pitcher). Joe just needs to plan to have McDonald or Weaver finish Billingsley’s games. This is fixable folks, and I am not wanting to throw the baby out with the bathwater. When I suggested that Brox serve as setup man (WHICH DID HAPPEN BY THE WAY), I didn’t mean that he should be DFA’ed. Geeezzzzz!
RANTS & RAVES
- Don’t lament the Dodgers not signing Smoltz (5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 9 K’s) – no way Honeycutt could pull of what Dave Duncan did with Smoltz! Duncan is a genius.
- These are the “dog days” and nobody is “dogging it” more than Manny. He truly needs to sit. His head is not in the game and he is not hustling.
- Matt Kemp should have been backing Manny up – that’s a blemish on him! WAKE UP MATT! These may be dog days, but you can’t dog it!
- Colorado activated Matt Herges (in Aaron Cook’s place) and Jason Giambi. OK – I’m scared now!
- Say what you will, but after 125 games, the Dodgers still sit atop ALL OF MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL with a 3.53 ERA! Our hitting is what is hurting us, not our pitching! (We are first in Fielding and 3rd in Hitting, trailing inly the Yankees and Angels in BA).
- It’s a good time for an off day tomorrow and then it’s off to Colorado as our Ace tries to shut-down the Rockies.
- Robert Timm of Dodger Dugout says that our ace is Chad Kershawolf.
- Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts has a great breakdown of the Rockie/Dodger series (he’s a stat “geek”, not a “nerd”).
- Mike Schmidt weighs in on Pete Rose and writes the best argument for his re-instatement as anyone ever has:
It’s been 20 years since Pete Rose was banned for life from baseball by then-commissioner Bart Giamatti. Recently the subject came back to life, recycling the same old issues, without attention to some interesting elements that should be mentioned on the 20th anniversary.
An interesting question was posed to me in a recent interview: Do you think things would have been different if Mr. Giamatti was still alive?
Bart Giamatti, the commissioner on duty in 1989, was in possession of strong evidence that Pete had indeed placed bets on his team. Pete insisted he was being set up and that it could not be factually proven. Armed with secret information from an in-depth investigation, Giamatti diplomatically offered Pete a deal — if Pete would agree to a lifetime ban, baseball would not expose its evidence and Pete could go away quietly.
First, from Pete’s perspective as one of baseball’s superstars, almost to the point of believing he could beat anything from a traffic ticket to armed robbery, he saw that the agreement offered him an out, the right to apply for reinstatement every year. Why else would he have signed it, why else would he agree to a lifetime ban under any circumstances?
Yes, you, I, and he know he was living a lie at the time. But assuming that burden would eventually get too heavy for him, and then he could appeal to Giamatti. From my perspective looking back, Giamatti was a compassionate man who would have eventually met with him, laid out a lifestyle plan that Pete would follow, and today he’d be a forgiven member of baseball’s family. Sounds simple, and it could have been with the right people driving it, led by Giamatti.
From baseball’s perspective, putting this to bed was paramount. No telling what would ensue if it was to dig deeper. Arguably its biggest star compromised the integrity of the game. The guy that made the sprint to first on a walk, the headfirst slide, the leader of the Big Red Machine, the ’80 Phillies, he played in more winning games than any player in history, he was the all-time hits leader, one of the biggest faces in baseball, and he was now considered a baseball outcast. How dare anyone test the poster hanging on the clubhouse wall, the one warning against gambling? This needed to go away, and it seemed like Mr. Giamatti had a good plan.
No one, however, anticipated the untimely passing of commissioner Giamatti, especially Pete. Before Pete could ever meet with him, appeal to him, come clean and apply for reinstatement, Mr. Giamatti passed away from a heart attack. Baseball lost a great ambassador for sure, and as unimportant as it was at the time, Pete’s fate now was in the hands of his successor, Fay Vincent.
Vincent was close to Giamatti and felt Pete’s case helped apply immense stress and was a factor in his friend’s death. Vincent subsequently upheld the ban with even more fervor. Enter Bud Selig, another passionate baseball man, who inherited the Rose case, and for years refused to take calls on the subject. It was always “under advisement.”
OK, we all know the story from here on. Pete admitted to Selig he lied and asked for forgiveness, baseball was slow to act, Pete’s book came out early and stepped on the Hall of Fame unveiling of Paul Molitor and Dennis Eckersley in early 2004, and the private admission to Selig went public via the book, not from the commissioner’s office. To Bud Selig, it reeked of sleaze and money, and that image has never left his brain.
Pete’s attempt to appeal and apply after 14 years initially seemed to be a success. However, as time went on, it was bungled from all sides. Pete remains in baseball purgatory.
Now you’re current, so here’s my first question: Did Pete Rose, in fact, knowingly compromise the integrity of baseball? And second, did/do the players who used steroids knowingly compromise the integrity of baseball?
Pete bet on the Reds to win, never to lose. He never managed with the intention of not winning. Do you believe for one second the gambling underworld was tuned into Pete’s betting habits? Pete never bet big or long enough to sway the gambling line. This has all been dressing to make it clear where gambling can lead. I’m not trying to say it’s not serious — it is — but I’m asking you to compare its impact on the game to steroid use.
Steroid players knowingly ingested chemicals that gave them an unfair advantage over clean players. Not only were they compromising the game’s integrity, they were jeopardizing the long term for short-term financial gain, confusing baseball history. And, oh yes, some might’ve broken the law.
Pete bet on his team to win and has been banished from baseball for life. Manny Ramirez, Alex Rodriguezet al, bet that they would get bigger, stronger and have a distinct advantage over everyone and that they wouldn’t get caught. Which is worse? Does the penalty fit the crime?
Pete’s banned for life, he sells his autograph to pay bills. Ramirez and his cronies apologize, are forgiven and get $20 million a year. They giggle all the way to the bank and could end up in the Hall of Fame. Is this the way Bart Giamatti would have wanted it 20 years later?
Recently, Pete’s case was given a new life by the great Hank Aaron, who said Pete had served a sufficient penalty time, deserved to be reinstated and considered for the Hall. All of us thought this was a new life for Pete, as Aaron is close to commissioner Selig and could sway fellow members.
Not so, as Mr. Selig went back to his favorite “under advisement” stance. He has his reasons, which I may disagree with but respect.
Even if Pete were to get by the commissioner, I feel it would take serious massaging of the members by Aaron, Joe Morgan and myself to get him the needed 75 percent quorum on a vote of Hall of Famers for election, and that may not be enough.
Pete is Pete and always will be. To know him is to love him. He has a wonderful heart, but has never adjusted his lifestyle to the degree needed to impress the current administration. No one would disagree with that, but everyone must consider baseball’s inconsistency in dealing with those players who have compromised the game.
Twenty years have passed, isn’t that enough?
I am of the opinion (as is Hank Aaron, Joe Morgan and Mike Schmidt, among others) that Pete Rose should be re-instated. I am NOT a fan of Pete, but it’s time! I listened to John Dowd (The Dowd Report) on Mike & Mike this AM, and while he wasn’t asked directly, he acts like he believes Pete should be re-instated. In fact, he said that MLB had a deal for Rose, which would have also saved him jail as well, but his attorney, Ruben Katz, rejected it. Dowd said that Bart Giammati was a very kind-hearted man and would haveprobably let Pete back in after a period of time (in fact, that seems to have been implicit in their unwritten agreement). Dowd said that he likeed Pete and Pete liked him, and feels that it’s a trajedy! As he described it, the entire deal was botched by Rose’s legal team.
Minor League Recap – 8/23/09 by Jared of http://thinkbluela.blogspot.com/
Albuquerque lost 6-5
Chin Lung Hu – 1 for 3, RBI, R (.288 BA)
Jamie Hoffman – 0 for 4, E (.291 BA)
Scott Elbert – 4 IP, 5 Hits, 2 R (1 ER), BB, 6 K’s (4.40 ERA)
Chattanooga won 2-1
Trayvon Robinson – 2 for 4, R, SB (.227 BA)
Andrew Lambo – 1 for 3, 2B, R, OF Assist, HBP (.256 BA)
Lucas May – 0 for 2, RBI, BB, 2 K’s (.287 BA)
Inland Empire lost 5-0
Scott Van Slyke – 1 for 3, BB, K (.288 BA)
Preston Mattingly – 0 for 3, BB, 2 K’s, SB (.235 BA)
Great Lakes won 3-2
Dee Gordon – 1 for 2, R, BB, K, SB, CS, E (.303 BA)
Jaime Pedroza – 2 for 4, HR (12), RBI, 2 R, K (.259 BA)
Kyle Russell – 1 for 4, 2 RBI, K, SB (.275 BA)
Jerry Sands – 0 for 4, 2 K’s (.242 BA)
Alfredo Silverio – 0 for 4, K (.275 BA)
Cole St Clair – 1 IP, Hit, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K’s (2.87 ERA)
Ogden won 3-2
BCG – 2 for 4, 2B, 2 RBI (.335 BA)
JT Wise – 0 for 3, E (.296 BA)
Javier Solano – 2 IP, 0 Hits, 0 R, 0 BB, K (4.44 ERA)
AZL did not play
Player of the day – Brian Cavazos-Galvez, OF
Galvez’ league leading 27th double resulting in the game-tying and game-winning runs scoring in the 8th inning, giving the Raptors their 11th win of the second half. BCG is tied for 7th in BA, 3rd in SLG and 6th in OPS. The only downside is his lack of walks; he’s drawn just 7 in 56 games. If Brian can learn to show a little patience, he’ll establish himself as more than a Pioneer league star.