Categorized | Mark Timmons

The Truth, The Whole Truth

The Truth, The Whole Truth

… and nothing but the truth!  That’s why you come here, because I am going to tell you the truth.  God knows it’s not because I’m a writer.  At any rate, let’s consider the following and see if what is happening is true or false.

True or False:  Ned Colletti, Frank McCourt and Dennis Mannion have all been “singing out of the same hymnbook” that it’s business as usual for the Dodgers”?

Answer:  True and False!    It’s true that it is “business as usual,” but the “business model” has been changed, so that’s false.  Let me explain.  Ned has made some acquisitions the past few years which have not proven to be (how should I say it?) prudent (how’s that?).   Now, under some circumstances, he might be fired, but not in this case because Frank McCourt, as the new owner of the Dodgers was trying to make an impact and the signings of Pierre (I love Juan Pierre, but he was a bad signing),  Schmidt, Jones and Manny were all approved  (or even “pushed”) by Frank.  So, Ned does not bear all the culpability for those bad deals, and Frank and Ned have come to an understanding:  Frank will be an owner and Ned will be the GM.  Frank has also assured Ned that if he needs more funds to sign a player, he can feel free to come to Frank for more money.  Frank wants to keep the payroll at around $100,000,000 this year, but after the May hearing, he will have a better idea if the Dodgers can be buyers in August and he thinks they can. 

The truth is that the Dodgers have a very good team this year. Maybe it has escaped some of you, but they have some extremely good young players who have gotten better (much better) the past three years.  Even our oft-maligned catcher is rated 4th to 7th in most Fantasy Leagues.  If you can’t have Joe Mauer, the 4th to 7th best Catcher ain’t so bad!   We have some young pitchers who are suddenly just going to “get it.”  BANG!  Our aces-in-waiting will become our aces.  None of  this is lost on savvy baseball people, but it is lost on some of you. 

Forget the TOP 100 or TOP 50 Baseball Prospects.  Ethan Martin is in the Top 50, but I think we have 4 or 5 others who are better than him- Aaron Miller, Chris Withrow, Garrett Gould, Josh Lindblom, Alan Webster and Nate Eavoldi may be among them.   Think Andrew Lambo’s stock has dropped?  Keep thinking that!  Watch him rake this year.  Dee Gordon?  This kid has “star”written all over him! 

What about the big club?  Why did we sign Jamey Carroll only to sign Ronnie Belliard a few weeks later?  Simple – Ned had to make sure we had a veteran second-baseman, and Lopez, Belliard and Hudson were asking Big Bux.  Ned signed Jamey to make sure he had a fallback plan. Plan A is to give Blake DeWitt the opportunity to win the job (forget his season last year, as he bounced around like a yo-yo from the Ravine to Albaquacky 9 times).  The year before, he hit over .300 for 2 months and he has some decent power.  Unless he tanks, the job is his.  Carroll will be a “Dave Hansen Type” Pinch Hitter and Belly will be Belly. 

You naysayers are in for a surprise.  This team isn’t just “good”  – IT’S VERY GOOD! 

Dodger fans – you are in for the ride of your life, and in August, the Dodgers will probably be buyers because they haven’t blown their budget. 

 Like Dave Ramsey says “Live like no one else now, so you can live like no one else later.”

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

26 Responses to “The Truth, The Whole Truth”

  1. Rory says:

    So, let me get this straight – business as usual is a brand new paradigm, similar to the first model (moneyball) but different in that instead of young guys with decent numbers and potential, we get old guys with decent numbers whose best years are clearly behind them.

    OK.

    Now that we know the nature of this “usual” model, I wonder what might be next.

    Forget the top 50 prospects. OK, forgotten. Except I know 2 of the current top 15 are Giants and one of them is a pitcher who, if he wins the 5th spot, will rival Kershaw’s numbers, and possibly right away – but our guys? no problemo, erased from my memory banks.

    Thanks for that tip. I feel better.

    Dodger fans – you are in for the ride of your life.

    So is Frankie.

  2. ken says:

    You are just blamimng Franks for the bad player siginings in order to help him in the divorce case because the portion of the value of the Dodgers that Beans is assigned is partially based upon the productivity of Franks’ time (time is a marital asset) as oppossed to any other person’s time when evaluating what caused the value of the Dodgers to increas during the marriage. Through Franks’ labor or his staff’s labor?

    86 wins!

    Lambo will top out at AAA because he is not an athlete. He is just another great high school baseball player with a glass ceiling.

    There is a direct relationship to DeWitt’s incredibly shrinking batting average and his attempts to pull pitches and hit home runs.

  3. Evan says:

    I think that you hit it on the nose. The young players aren’t young anymore, and are only going to get better! good job!!!! I think alot of people are under estimating the Dodgers.

  4. Jaydavis says:

    Ned needs to take this team to the next level and it’s not getting done Yes we have a good team but to win the pennant—
    In the pass the dodgers accomplished what had to be done In 24 playoffs appearances 22 of those the Dodgers went on to the WS The last 4 appearances 0 WS. This could mean one thing for the Dodgers this year

  5. lawdog says:

    Perfectly has put the Dodgers on his back burner probably for the next couple of years while he withdraws the absolute maximum possible for his own uses. If he hasn’t already violated some of the regs which determine how much an owner can skim off the top of a franchise, I’m sure he’s probably considering it right now.

    You can ascertain his true intentions from observing his conduct.

    What he does speaks so loudly I can’t hear a word that he says.

    When he let our best pitcher walk away, as well as our all-star second baseman, he pretty much showed us where he was at. Plug the major holes with stop gap geezers who are cheap as hell juntil the divorce is over and the new cable deal kicks in.

    The SOB wouldn’t even offer arebitration to those two which would have had no downside even if they accepted. O-Rod wouldn’t have accepted in a million lifertimes because of the way he was treated and Wolfman signed with another club so fast and for so much it made the head spin. Even if they accepted the arbtration offer the Dogsd would have had the option not to sign the player at the awarded level and let them walk.

    But what did Perfectly do? He didn’t offer them arbitration which cost us 4 picks before the second round in the draft. Those picks would have most certainly helped rebuild our failing farm system. Why did Perfectly choose this route? Because the SOB didn’t want to pay to sign those picks. They’d have cost him over a million a piece and that kind of chump change would cut into his flying time around Europe and going out for lunch at 5 star restaurants half way around the world whenev er he felt like it.

    Face it, our owner is a scumbag bottom feeder who just knocked the team down a notch from where we were last year. Last year we were one ace pitcher away from playing in the series.

    What’s that tell you about the current state of the Dogs and our prospects for success in the next couple of years. For us to be better this year than last we’ll have to see huge improvements in virtually all our young players and a true step up from the minor league level to star level in the majors by at least 2 or 3 pitchers who have not so far succeeded at the major league level in their careers.

    I suppose it could happen, but how likely? I’d expect to see gaggles of pigs flying like geese before witnessing such a surge in the level of quality in our youngsters. I expect they’ll all be a little better and maybe one or two break out. But it still won’t make the nut with Perfectly Cheap running the show. Expect a club that wins 81-85 games and finishes out of the playoffs and you won’t be disappointed.

  6. Andrew Wagner says:

    Lawdog…sounds like you are typing with razor blades and cyanide on hand. That is one of the most overly negative rants ive read in years. You said,”Even if they accepted the arbtration offer the Dogsd would have had the option not to sign the player at the awarded level and let them walk.” Incorrect. If you offer a player arbitration and he accepts, that gaurantees him at least a one year deal with the offering team. You can’t just decide after that not to sign him. That is why there is risk in offering arbitration. Our best pitcher should have been offered arbitration, absolutely, because he would not have signed knowing he could get multiple years elsewhere. Our All-Star second basemen was and is overrated. Don’t get me wrong, I love O-Dogg but he’s only good on popups, doesn’t move well laterally, and couldn’t hit after the all-star break. Why risk paying the guy 9 or 10 million in arbitration? You can’t KNOW for a fact he wouldn’t accept, especially now when he would be lucky to get 5 mill per. Blake Dewitt/Carroll/Belliard will put up the same numbers offensively as O-Dogg for a fraction of the cost. You really believe we need to see HUGE IMPROVEMENTS from all of our young players and 2 or 3 players need to go from Minor-league level to star-level just to be as good as we were last year? Thats lunacy. Slight improvements from Loney, Martin, Billinsley…and repeat performances from Kemp, Ethier, Kershaw already make this team just as good as last year. We lost 9 homeruns and a 280 batting average from 2B(Already replaced). We lost 215 innings at a 3.25 era…well factor in a gauranteed bounceback from Billingsley (just based on the fact that he was statistically unlucky last year) plus a full year of Padilla in the NL West (3.2era in the NL last year) also assume that Kuroda doesn’t suffer freak non-arm related injuries and this staff is just as good or better as last year. The doomsday predictions are getting old. Back it up with facts or change the tune.

    • ken says:

      AW – Not correct. You can cancel a contract accepted by a player eligible for arbitration by rescinding the contract during certain weeks of spring training.

      • Andrew Wagner says:

        I stand corrected. If that is the case, then why aren’t all players offered arbitration since the team will either, A. Get the picks if he refuses or, B. Rescind his contract and be in the same position as not offering Arb in the first place. Seems like a broken system.

  7. Andrew Wagner says:

    Rory…I’d take a step back from the Bumgarner-Kershaw comparison. Madison’s velo dropped 3-4 mph towards the end of the year. He looked decent in his small sample size but nowhere near overpowering. To think he will put up 180′ks and a 2.79 era in his rookie year is wishful thinking for Giants fans, and downright reaching for a Dodger fan. Buster Posey looked absolutely overmatched in his stint with the Giants last year. He will probably be a great player in the bigs, Bumgarner as well, but they will not put that team over the edge this year. The reason why they are in the top 15 and the Dodgers prospects aren’t…..Proximity to the majors. Our young guns are all in A or AA..Most prospect lists weight heavily a players ability to contribute in the bigs in the near future(that season). I would put my money on Santana being better than Posey (in CLE system, but still a product of DeJon Watson) and Withrow/Martin/Miller all having similar or better ability to Bumgarner.

  8. lawdog says:

    That’s not what the rules say unless they were changed very recently and I missed it. Not that many years ago an aging slugger went through the arbitration process and was awarded a big contract even though his average for the season past was near the Mendoza line. His club rejected the deal and they were not bound by it. The player signed with someone else at a much lower level of salary a few weeks later. If I recall correctly, the team has something like 45 days to accept or reject the arbitrator’s award.

    Be that as it may, it was clear both players were not interested in arbitration and the Dogs knew it. Perfectly Cheap just wanted to save some of his play money and isn’t interested in winning this year, as long as the team isn’t embarrassing. And he doesn’t give a hoot about the future of the farm system because he knows he’s going to plunder the team and sell the shell to some rube.

    • Andrew Wagner says:

      I apologize. Ken brought that to my attention as well. See my comment above. As far as McCourt…you are reaching….Owners dont have the ability to do that to their organization, at least not for long. Look at what just happened to the Marlins. Selig and the MLB would step in ahead of time if he attempted to plunder the team and skim all the profits off the top. 90 mill payroll is one thing. If he attempted to drop it to 75-80 there would be a full-scale investigation. The only way he ruins this team is by trading the farm or signing the Jones/Scmidts of the game to long-term deals. The Dodgers will never have a small market payroll.

  9. lawdog says:

    We’ve lost our number 1 pitcher from last year, our all star second baseman, and a fading Manny is another year older and doesn’t have the ‘roid option available this year as they’ll probably test him early in the season. We have no replacements except geezers to pick up the slack. And we were almost good enough to go all the way to the show, but not quite last year. This year we will not be as good as we were last year. That’s a given if you have eyes to see my friend. The only way we’re better is if all the is play substantially better than last year to pick up the slack. Think Blake will play well in September? Think again. He’s washed up and being paid a king’s ransom. We have no one who isn’t a AAA failure or a geezer to play second. We have no ace, just 3 or 4 number 3s and we need to have two rookies with no success at the major league level to step up and pitch like #2s.

    Meanwhile, the Cards and the Phillies get better. And the Yanks are at the end of the trail.

    If you really think we’ll do better than win 80-85 games, there’s a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you–CHEAP!

    • Andrew Wagner says:

      You exaggerate everything. Our number 1 pitcher from last year had a fluke season. What makes you think Kershaw and Billinsley wont put up the same or better seasons as Wolf did? Manny was Manny after the suspension until getting hit on his wrist, which he favored the rest of the way. All the players dont have to be SUBSTANTIALLY better to pick up the slack for losing 11 wins 3.25 era and 280/9/60. Losing Hudson wont hurt this team at all. Blake had the best year of his career last year and a bad playoff run. That makes him washed up? 6mill is a kings ranson? DeWitt is a AAA failure because he had a rough season after being called up and sent down 7 times? Kershaw and Billinsley and Kuroda are all number 3′s? You’re out of your mind. What rookies with no success at the major league level are you referring to? We have 6 spots in the rotation now? The Cardinals didnt get better. They had Holliday and still got swept. The Phillies upgraded a bit from Lee to Halladay, but Polanco doesn’t do anything. You think this is a potentially sub-500 team? haha. Can’t wait to see you eat your words.

  10. lawdog says:

    That should have read “all the youngsters play better to pick up the slack.” Sorry.

  11. Mark Timmons says:

    Andrew,

    Lawdog does his taxes from the bottom up to. He filled-in 81 win at the bottoms and then justifies everything with “circular thinking.” That post is flawed on so many levels, I don’t know where to begin. How about here?

    “This year we will not be as good as we were last year. That’s a given if you have eyes to see my friend.”

    I haven’t talked to many true baseball people who even lean that direction. They consistently rank the Dodgers Power Ratings at #5 to #8. That’s Lawdogs’ opinion, but not mine, and not most baseball people’s opinion.

    On arbitration, the rule is that if the player is cut within 16 days before the season begins, he is entitled only to 30 days’ termination pay. If the player is cut during spring training but after the 16th day before the season begins, he is entitled only to 45 days’ termination pay.

    If McCourt were the Scumbag that Lawdog thinks, why wouldn’t he do that? Answer, because the MLBPA frowns on that immensely and a team that exercises that right would probably get screwed later. To do that is “dirty pool” even though the rules allow it.

    There may be a case where this happend, but I am not aware of it. Maybe Lawdog can cite the case, because I have never heard of it.

    Here’s the neat thing: The season will start in April and end in Septemeber and we will see who is right.

  12. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I haven’t had time to post much recently, and probably won’t have much time to respond to the people who rip me apart after this post.

    I don’t agree with everything that Mark says, but I do agree with his fundamental thesis, that this team has a solid core of young maturing players who have been around a few years, have gained valuable experience, and are on the verge of breaking out with big years. There are no guarantees, and I understand that there is no cookie cutter formula, and that some of my expectations may never be realized. But that said, here’s a breakdown.

    Martin – Martin is a question mark to a certain degree. However, if he finally gets his head on straight and stops trying to pull and hit everything out of the ballpark, he could return to being the player we knew not long ago. Perhaps better. He could hit .250, 10 HRs, or he could hit .280 – .320, 20 HRs. In any case, he’ll give us solid defense behind the plate, and stacks up well in comparison to most other catchers.

    Loney – Will turn 26 this year, the same age that Ethier was when he hit 20. I expect the same out of Loney, maybe some more (perhaps 20-30). And he will hit for average and play his usual stellar defense. Could be that the average goes up when some of his former warning track shots clear the fence this year.

    DeWitt – No doubt there are questions. But he has a nice swing, and patience at the plate. For arguments sake, let’s say .260 – .280 with more than adequate power. I believe he has 15 -25 HR potential, but don’t know how many at bats he will get this year, and how many good pitches he will see if he hits 8th. I expect that Belliard will platoon at 2B more than Carroll, but in either case, each is a capable hitter, with more pop obviously coming from Belliard.

    Furcal – This is his second year following back surgery. These things often take more than a year for full recovery, and I expect that might be the case for Raffy. He had a better second half last year, and I am confident that he will bounce back with a solid year. I’m not worried about his stolen bases falling off. He still has the speed to take an extra base, and really, all I want from him is to be on base for Kemp, Ethier, Manny, etc.

    Blake – Getting older, but still probably capable of giving us a solid year at 3B. .260-.270 with 18-25 HRs. Both DeWitt and Belliard should be capable of filling in on occasion at 3B to give Blake a breather.

    Manny – If anything, he looked overanxious after he got back, and I’m not sure he was physically ready either. He was swinging at pitches off the plate, something he never did before. And he was also swinging too hard. I kept hearing during the playoffs that he was getting beat inside. I have one word for that. NONSENSE. He wasn’t getting beat inside, he was simply swinging at pitches inside and off the plate, pitches that he normally takes. Given time to get himself in shape over the winter, get farther away from his drug dependency, and the chance to think about his approach and look at video, I expect that he will be more than ready to have a good year in 2010 (especially since he will be playing for another contract). The only thing that could hold him back would be a normal decline at 38. Barring that, Manny becomes a valuable addition to last years lineup.

    Kemp – I have no idea what to expect out of this guy, except to say that it will be better, probably a lot better, than last year. If he stays healthy, Matt Kemp is a super star in the making. I think 30 -40 HRs is not unreaaonable. He will hit for average, and probably far exceed last years 101 RBIs, just given the fact that we are not likely to see him hitting 7th or 8th again this year. As things currently stand, I would like to see him hitting second behind Furcal and in front of Ethier, Manny, Loney, etc. Not only do I believe that he would get pleny of RBI opportunities hitting there, but that he would also score a boatload of runs. And I love having his speed in front of the power coming up behind him. Nothing better than having a distracted pitcher throwing to Ethier, Manny, Loney, etc.

    Billingsley – tough second half probably had a lot to do with his hamstrng problems. And those hamstring problems could have been related (directly or indirectly) to his offseason leg fracture. I expect to see the Billingsley that finished 2008 16-6 and who was an All-Star in the first half last year. At 26 he should be coming into his prime.

    Kershaw – He’s beginning to get it, and I expect that the light will go on at least a bit brighter in 2010. If his command gets more consistent and the Dodgers score some more runs for him, the victories will pile up.

    Kuroda – This is the guy I worry about the most. At 35 I’m hoping that he fully recovers from his disc problems, and gives us a solid work in the final year of his contract.

    Padillia – If he gives us what he gave us after coming to LA last year, he will be more than a dependable #4 in the rotation.

    The Dodgers could still bring in another pitcher for the 5th spot, but I prefer than they choose from among the in-house candidates. I prefer that it be Elbert, since I think that McDonald and Lindblom (if he even makes the team) are better suited for the bullpen. Same goes for Troncoso. But the Dodger coaching staff has better insights than I, so at this time, I will simply trust their judgment.

    I have never seen Lambo play (except for a few at bats), so I’m not going to rush to judgment on his viablility as a prospect. Although he hit only .256 at AA, he was, in fact, one of the younger players in the league, playing the vast majority of the season at 20 years of age. I don’t have any stats in front of me, but I do believe, that if you look at the minor league records of some very good players (past and present) it would not be unusual to find an occasional (sometimes more than occasional) down year in the minors.

    As for Lambo not being an athlete, well, who cares. Albert Pujols is a great hitter, not a great athlete. He probably can’t play the outfield, and had to be moved from 3B to 1B, where the only gold glove he ever won was in 2006, and that was probably more for his bat than his glove. Manny’s a great hitter (at least he was), but not a great athlete. Need I mention Yogi Berra? It’s nice to have good athletes (e.g., Matt Kemp), but in baseball, being a great athlete doesn’t necessary make you a great hitter (and vice versa). Lambo is young, followed his disappointing 2009 season with a very good AFL season, and is also a first baseman learning to play the outfield. I’m willing to see more before I pass judgment.

    Finally, with all that I said above, I would still like to see a new owner with the willingness to invest in players, be they free agents or prospects. What worries me most is the unwillingness that this team has had over the past several years to invest in signing new amateur talent to keep the talent pipeline flowing. Logan White is a huge resource, and should be given what he needs to continue stocking our farm system with a plentiful supply of good talent, becuase as we all know, quantiity and quality are both important, since even the best propects don’t always pan out.

  13. Mark Timmons says:

    And Ken is correct that Andrew Lambo is not particularly athletic, but neither is James Loney or Kevin Youkilis, for that matter. The guy can rake and has increased his strike-zone recognition each year. He was extremely unlucky last year in that he often hit the ball on the screws right at people last year. He’s not yet 22 and will get much stronger. He COULD put it together pretty rapidly. I know that Logan White and DeJon Watson are very high on him.

  14. Rory says:

    “I love O-Dogg but he’s only good on popups, doesn’t move well laterally, and couldn’t hit after the all-star break.”

    Say what?! They don’t hand out Gold Gloves to guys who can only catch pop-ups. This guy is great up the middle and to his left. And FYI – Pre All Star he hit .283 Post All Star he hit .284. He had a stretch where he needed rest, but was ready to play and was never put back in. That’s a fact.

    And while it is true Bumgarner’s fastball went from 96 to 91, most scouts aren’t the least bit concerned about that. He was still striking people out. He is 6’4″ 215 pounds and will gain strength as he gets older. He is the real deal, get ready for it. And Posey is on everybody’s top 10 list. He went from rookie ball to AAA in two years and he tore it up everywhere he went. He has a .959 OPS in the minors, including .902 at AAA last year. He is leagues better than anyone we have in our system. Again, get ready, these guys are coming up and they will come up to stay.

    And let me go on record saying I agree with a lot of what lawdog says. I think he makes good points. We are NOT as good as we were last year. At least on paper we are not. I think that is obvious. With all the question marks we have, and the fact the teams in our division are all going to be better, 88 wins is not at all unreasonable. I already have 500 push-ups on under 95 wins.

    • Andrew Wagner says:

      Are you serious Rory? You so realize that Gold Gloves are the most overrated award in baseball. Derek Jeter won like 3 of them for god’s sake. And most baseball people agree that Utley should have won the award. I’m not saying Posey and Bumgarner won’t be good or great but to expect them to make an allstar impact as rookies is premature.

  15. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    After reading my post above, besides an edit or two, it occurred to me that I left out the bullpen and the bench.

    Although I believe we will have the making a of a very good (poaaibly outstanding), I also believe we back up that rotation with a very deep bullpen. Broxton, Troncoso, Belisario, Kuo, Sherill, McDonald (if he’s not starting), and Lindblom (maybe) constitute a talented and deep bullpen. There could be other names in the bullpen as the season progresses. Whatever happens, I expect the bullpen will be strength throughout the year.

    Assuming 12 pitchers, the bench will consist of 5 players. Among the possiblities (certainties in some cases) are: Ausmus, Belliard, Carroll, Paul (or a veteran outfielder like Frank Catalonatto), Mientkiewicz, Hu, Green, and anyone else I can’t think of now–or a surprise). Whatever the case, this should be at least an adequate bench.

    All in all, I think the Dodgers will be better than last year. I don’t know how many games they’ll win, but probably in the range of 90-100. That’s a contender, at the very least.

  16. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I could read my posts in the text entry box over and over, and at least something will get by me. Oh, what I would give for an edit/preview button.

  17. Mark Timmons says:

    90 to 100 win is also what I think. 92-94 is what I say right now and I’ll see your 500 Rory and raise you 500! Call!

    This team is too good to win in the 80′s.

  18. Bill Russell says:

    I have to agree with Badger/Rory on the O-Dog subject. Maybe A.W. was thinking of Jeff Kent from the previous few years. I attended several games and watched the rest on TV last year. Never in my wildest dreams would I say O-Dogs doesn’t move well laterally. If I was to say anything about O-Dog it would be that his bat cooled off in the second half and that he slaps too many other players on the butt.
    Now with that being said I would disagree with Badger on who is going into ST will the starting job at 2nd. In my mind Bellard is penciled in at 2nd with Carroll resting him 2 times a week. DeWitt is on the outside looking in and must ripe up the Spring if he has any chance of making the team. DeWitts best chance of making the team is to take balls at SS to become the backup infielder at all positions.
    I still would like to see one more starter fall into the Dodgers arms before the start of the season. Peace

  19. Mark Timmons says:

    Hudson was a GOOD defender last year, but prior to 2009, he was GREAT. It’s a decline. I saw it with my own eyes, but the stat geeks say the same thing.

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