Categorized | Mark Timmons

Bring On The Excuses

Bring On The Excuses

I have taken a lot of flack about my weak stomach for Jon Broxton.

I really don’t dislike the guy.

Stats show he’s pretty good, but stats don’t look into his eyes and see – A LOSER!

If you need a win in a really – I mean a really, really big game, he will blow it.

Count on it!  Book it!

I have been telling you that for 3 years.

You still probably don’t believe me.

You’ll learn!

Jon Broxton will break your heart.

Sell high, Ned.

There are teams who will give you a Kings’s Ransom for him (teams that fall in love with his stats, like all the stat geeks).

TAKE IT!

While we are at it…

Except for the Yankees, lots of teams have lots of issues right about now.  Some teams will be able to solve their problems and some teams won’t.  The Dodgers are in a position to add payroll because they didn’t offer arbitration to either Wolf (7-8/4.56 ERA ) or Hudson (.300/4 HR/25 RBI – difference maker?  HA!).  The question is:  Will they?

They have some issues, the least of which is the slump of Matt Kemp or Russ Martin’s proclivity to pull.  Of bigger proportions is that it is becoming apparent that Manny can no longer be counted to on play, getting a 5th starter and finding a LF who can hit for power.  I was TOTALLY against signing Manny and now you know why.  You asked for it and you got it.  Now, what do you do?  Manny can be traded to a team like the Rays or the Yankees, bit the Dodgers will have to eat about 50% of the remainder of his salary.  Don’t hesitate Ned, just do it.

I’m not going to guess who might go where, but a trade of Manny for a prospect or two whom the Dodgers could flip for a LF and/or starter could benefit the team.

If  Broxton has to be part of that deal, then call up Jansen and close by committee.

How about a deal in which Jon Broxton goes home to the Braves, Chris Withrow goes to the Astros, Ethan Martin, Ivan DeJesus and AJ Ellis are part of a deal that nets the Dodgers Roy Oswalt?   Then Manny goes to TB for a prospect.

Here’s the biggest difference this year:

Pitchers 2009 ERA 2010 ERA
Beliasario 2.04 3.79
Sherrill 0.65 7.17
Troncoso 2.72 5.15
Long Relief Mota 3.44 Miller 4.44

About Mark Timmons

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

29 Responses to “Bring On The Excuses”

  1. Bobby says:

    haha its funny, i was in the gym when padilla’s double put us up 1-0. and i told myself: this is a game brox will have a gigantic impact on, and it will be a crushing defeat or a lucky escape of a win.

    i’m guessing its a quiet flight back to la

  2. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Mark,

    I don’t see quite the same thing as you with Broxton. I didn’t see today’s game because it wasn’t on Extra Innings, and for some reason I was unable to get the game on MLB.tv (by the way, their tech support people are morons).

    Broxton has always had a fastball that was straight as an arrow, but he was able to compensate with a sharp, devastating slider that he was able to throw for strikes. What I’ve noticed over the past couple of years is less bite on the slider and a tendency to hang it too often. As a result, I believe he’s lost confidence in that pitch, and consequently throws fastball after fastball. We all know that big league hitters can hit a fastball at 100 mph if it’s straight and they pretty much knows it’s coming. Also, I’ve noticed a reluctance to pitch inside. He also doesn’t pitch upstairs often enough given his stuff, and hitters seem to be able to zero in on the lower half of the plate, middle and out. Broxton could definitely use a third pitch, be it a change or splitter. But if his slider could return to its former effectiveness, a third pitch would be less of an issue.

    So when I look into Broxton’s eyes, I don’t see a loser, but instead a pitcher with an incomplete arsenal. I don’t know how much of that is Broxton or the coaching. I’ve already expressed my lack of confidence in our hitting coaches in a previous post. Well the same can probably be said of Honeycutt. Not only has Broxton regressed, but the same can also be said of Billingsley. A lot of this may just be lousy coaching.

    Regarding Billingsley. I think he has the ability to be a very good starting pitcher, but I also think he could be dynamite out of the pen. As I’ve noted in the past, I still have visions of Billingsley coming out of the pen in 2007 throwing 97 mph heat. I also think that he may well be better suited to shorter stints in which he throws harder, and is able to focus on just getting outs for an inning or two at the most.

    As for trading Broxton. I’m not against it if the return is substantial. But I am otherwise. Closers are not easy to come by, trading Broxton would definitely leave a gaping hole at the back end of the pen. Perhaps Kenley Jansen could fill that hole. However, what the Dodgers have been missing since Broxton became the closer is a dependable 8th inning guy. Cheryl wasn’t the answer, and Kuo is too fragile to be dependable in that spot on a regular basis. If we keep Broxton, I could see Jansen taking on that role (the sooner the better). If Broxton is dealt, then we would need at least another pithcer able to pitch the 8th or 9th.

  3. Michael says:

    I bit my lip but knew as soon as Joe summoned Broxton in the 8th inning, it wasn’t a good thing. Hopefully after 44 pitches today he won’t be available to ignite anymore fires in the immediate future. Instead of raring back and challenging the batters he aiming his pitches on this occasion.

  4. lawdog says:

    The only wild card this team is going to see is the whole package of jokers which make up their roster.

  5. Idaho al says:

    I did not see the game because it was not on extra innings. I think we have a coaching problem. Billingsley has been a starter for four years. He is very unreliable. I have seen no improvement is these four years. He has great stuff, but unreliable. Broxton is the same way. He has great stuff, but you cannot trust him. Kuo is about the only one you can trust coming out of the bullpen. The bullpen is a mess. The entire pitching staff is a mess. I have not seen any improvement in Broxton or Billingsley is the past few years.

    I am afraid we are going to trade Billingsley and Broxton and they are going to become very successful with another team because they are not being coached now by Honeycutt.

    I commented on this early his spring about the lack of confidence in Honeycutt. I do not know what the answer is, but Honeycutt is not the answer. Joe is very loyal to his coaches. I do not see a change until Joe is gone. This is sad, because I like Joe.

  6. LADODGERDAVE says:

    could not agree with Mark anymore…

    Anyone that has common sense can see he is A GAURANTEED blown save in ANY type of big situation….

    I AM DONE WITH BROXTON…….ACTUALLY, I HAVE BEEN, this just reinforced it….Mark, you made a great point….you can just see it in a guys eyes, when he just “doesn’t have it”, when “he even knows he will blow it”…forget stats….this guy is not a primetime closer, its a shame…..

  7. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I think the “eyes” thing is pure nonsense. You will see what you want to see, or will let the results dictate your perception of what you see. If Broxton gets the hitter out he’s a bulldog. If he doesn’t, he’s a wimp. There is no middle ground. And what you see in someone’s eyes does not necessarity mirror what’s in their brain.

    I explain Broxton’s problems by the pitches I see. Before Matt Stairs hit the homer, I distinctly remember hoping that Broxton would not throw him a fastball. I had seen Stairs enough times before to know that he was a dead fastball hitter, no matter what the velocity. Fact is, as I pointed out above, Broxton’s fastball has always been straight as an arrow, which is perfect for a hitter like Stairs.

    Broxton’s problem, if it’s in his head, has more to do about his secondary stuff. His slider no longer has the bite it used to have, and it appears that he’s lost confidence in it. And as we all know, he doesn’t have a third pitch. Broxton’s meltdowns have nothing to do with his head, and all to do with the fact that big league hitters have no problems with sraight fastballs that lack movement, no matter how hard they’re thrown. If a hitter feels reasonably sure that Broxton won’t throw anything else, then that hitter is sitting in a huge comfort zone. Broxton also needs to pitch inside more often, and use the high fastball with greater frequency. He has simply become too predictable with both pitch selection and location.

    So, while Broxton is definitely culpable in his own right, so too is Honeycutt, Howell, etc. And I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Billingsley, good stuff and all, also has issues. But then again, I’m sure there are people who will choose to find their evidence in his eyes as well.

  8. Michael says:

    Mark is right. Ox’s eyes are between his ears! I am not reveling in the in the outcome. I really wanted and thought we had this one, but it indeed became the Lost Weekend. How’d that song go, sweep me in saint louis or was it Free Falling.

  9. Mark-i would be willing to deal Broxton at this point. Why not? Ned even said he won’t pay alot for his closer, so he will be gone one way or another over the next year or so. I think it is time LA brings up Jansen to see what he can do in the 7th inning NOW, so we know what we have going into 2011. Should he pitch well, he could close next season.

  10. Badger says:

    Back home. Good trip. Tall mountain.

    I heard the game on the radio while on the road today and this is what I have to say about Broxton – he faced 10 batters, and didn’t strike out any though he touched 100 mph more than once. Why no K’s? Read Brooklyn’s post above about being a one dimensional pitcher. These batters know what’s coming and can catch up with it because he has NO OFF SPEED PITCH! Until he gets one, we will see more of this.

    So, back to the “arbitration” issue again hey Mark? The Dodgers can “add payroll” because they didn’t offer arbitration to two guys who helped us get to the NLCS last year. Well, we could re-hash that argument but why bother? I find it laughable on more than one level, but, who knows, maybe they actually will add payroll. I doubt it, but, we’ll see. And why would you post Hudson’s RBI’s and not his runs scored? Oh, never mind. I know why.

    I wonder what Wolf’s record would be if he was on the Dodgers? He would most definitely have a better ERA in Dodger Stadium, he would be happier, and he has pitched 122 innings so far. How many Dodgers have that many innings?

    Broxton, Withrow, DeJesus, Martin and Ellis for a couple of months of Oswalt? Uh… have you seen the number of zeroes on Oswalt’s contract? And, will one pitcher make THE difference on this team?

  11. Mark Timmons says:

    Badger, I know you have been gone, but go back and read what I posted about Wolf accepting arbitration. The inside scoop is that he absolutely would have.

    What didn’t I post Hudson’s runs scored? Because it depends upon who is hitting behind him, and the Dodgers don’t have Mauer and Mourneau, so it is not-germaine. That’s what you meant, right?

  12. Mark Timmons says:

    BTW, Wolf HATES Milwaukee!

  13. Mark Timmons says:

    If chickens had lips they would be people.

  14. Badger says:

    I did read it Mark. And I say once again…. he accepts……so what? We have a pitcher who is happy in L.A., leads the staff in innings pitched and likely has 9 wins and a 4. ERA. And that would be a bad thing – how exactly? The idea that a man with his numbers would have received $12 million is, in my opinion, silly. Of course he hates Milwaukee. I could have told him that. Milwaukee is in Wisconsin. For a Southern California boy, Wisconsin sucks. I know. I lived there 6 years.

    A decent raise would have been accepted, either by Wolf or by the arbiter. And Hudson was outta here because of the way he was treated and everyone knows that.

    The reason arbitration wasn’t offered has to do with the lack of money in the Dodger ownership suite – that is as clear as U.S. Water.

  15. Mark Timmons says:

    When you were gone, I posted info about a conversation I had with a Dodger insider (name withheld by request). He said that the Dodgers were absolutely convinced that Wolf would have accepted arbitration and that they believed he would have gotten somewhere around $12 mil and yes, Kim Ng was consulted (she’s not who told me that, for the record). They thought that Wolf would come back and have offered the Dodgers a 2 year deal for $18 to $20 mil. Two things:

    1. They thought that Wolf just had his carer year and it was likely that he would (a) decline tremendously; or (2) be injured; and
    2. This person said that Ned doesn’t “bluff” – He believes that when you offer arbitration, with REAL money, you had better be prepared to pay it. He said that while it seemed “unlikely” that O-Dog would have accepted, it was still possible.

    This we know: The Dodgers were trying to get Cliff Lee and had two scouts watching him every start until he was traded to Texas. Texas wanted Loney or Billingsley and that made no sense.

    If the Dodgers don’t acquire a significant starter, then you may be right, but I still contend they are trying to land one.

    The Dodgers Top 4 Starters are pretty good, but if the Dodgers could add a solid #2 thru #4 starter, they would be sitting in really good shape. Randy Wolf is not that guy. Roy Oswalt may be.

  16. Badger says:

    Like I said, I read that while on my friend’s computer in Napa.

    There is no evidence that he would have received $12 million. None whatsoever. OF COURSE the Dodgers are going to tell you that, so you can spread the manure here, and everyone will buy it because it came from an “inside source”. Well, I am not buying it. I could go over all the reasons why, but I have stated them repeatedly in here and I don’t want to continue to bore these posters. Wolf made $5 million last year, and his numbers last year were actually no where near his 3 year splits. If we had offered him 2 years at $9 mil per with incentives, nearly double what he made, he would have taken it to stay home. The Dodgers didn’t sign either of these guys because they already had millions strung out into the future, and McNonuts has …… limits on his ability to spend.

    BTW, Hudson has scored 52 runs – one more than our lead-off guy. The ODog is a great fit there in Minnesota.

  17. Badger says:

    one more thing….. the Dodgers were “still trying to get Cliff Lee”. What did I say about that? Didn’t I say if Texas really wanted him they would get him and that the Dodgers were not going to be players?

    When will you listen to the Badger? He knows from what he speaketh.

  18. SaMo Dodger says:

    If the Dodgers could have gotten Cliff Lee for James Loney, I say do it in a heartbeat. Cliff Lees come around once a decade. James Loney is a nice player, but the sixth-best first baseman in the NL is easily replaceable.

  19. Mark Timmons says:

    Badger,

    I you really think Wolf would have accepted that, you are higher than a kite. He might have taken 2 years at $18 mil, but only an idiot would leave that much money on the table. Look at Lackeys stats and what he got per year. In arb, you don’t go back for the career – it’s very narrowly defined and Wolf would have easily gotten $10 mil per year – if he asked for 12 and the Dodgers offered $6 mil, he would have gotten it. If the Dodgers offered $8 or 9 mil, he might not have gotten it. The arbitrator has to accept one side or the other. You submit your offers without the other party knowing. What he would have gotten depends upon what he asked and what the Dodgers offered. He probably would have asked for $12, but the Dodgers didn’t want to pay more than $5, so it was a no deal.

    O-Dog? Again, do you think Minnesota would have signed him if they had to give up a pick? It’s less likely that he would have accepted, but getting offered arb changes everything.

  20. Mark Timmons says:

    SaMo,

    So you would trade the Dodger’s first half MVP for 3 months of Lee, knowing full well the Yanks will sign him after the season?

  21. Badger says:

    OK, you may be right. None of us know what is really going on, except for the fact this team is going to fall short. Again.

    But we would be a better team if we had Wolf in the rotation and ODog at second base. Of that, I am certain. Too bad money has to play into the Dodgers decisions. This should be a team that bends it like ‘brenner. Instead? We are chasing the Padres, Rockies and Giants and are falling in the Power Rankings.

    We were never serious players in the Lee sweepstakes, and we are not players for Oswalt. We might make a move, but it will be for a second tier player.

    How many here are ready to rebuild?

  22. DRomo says:

    Sell Ned sell! We are going nowhere even if we win the division or Wild Card. This team and orginization has huge holes and it starts with quality pitching. Broxton has value and it is dropping by the day. He might bring young pitching. Padilla has been greta since he came back. A real contender might take him for the stretch run. Casey Blake, Jamey Carroll both might bring something of value in return.
    The point here is that we have nothing coming down the pipline to help this year. We will be cash strapped going into next year. Cut the cost now and see if we can pick up young talent to go to battle in 2011. That is what the Padres did and they are doing fine with PITCHING!! The Rockies are doing well with PITCHING! We are only putting off the inevitable.
    Face it somebody from our core (Martin, Loney, Bills, Kershaw, Kemp, Broxton, & Ethier) will have to go soon. We wont be able to re-sign all of them. Lock some of them up and trade the others for young quality arms. Until the divorce is final or the TV deal comes we will be operating on a shoestring budget.

  23. Roger Dodger says:

    The hardest to replace from above, DRomo, will be Martin. Catchers do not grow on trees . . . I think we are stuck with him. What I do not know is, if there are some catchers that will be free agents over the winter . . .

    I just looked this up:

    Catchers
    Josh Bard SEA
    John Buck TOR
    Ramon Hernandez CIN *
    Gerald Laird DET
    Victor Martinez BOS
    Joe Mauer MIN
    Miguel Olivo COL *
    A.J. Pierzynski CWS
    David Ross ATL
    Yorvit Torrealba SD *
    Jason Varitek BOS
    Gregg Zaun MIL *

    Another list has:

    Joe Mauer will like re-sign with the Minnesota Twins but the likes of the Yankees will be throwing big money at the hitting stud. There are a couple of strong veterans available in Gerald Laird, A.J. Pierzynski and John Buck.

    Josh Bard BOS

    John Buck KC

    Ramon Hernandez CIN

    Gerald Laird DET

    Victor Martinez BOS

    Joe Mauer MIN

    Miguel Olivo KC

    A.J. Pierzynski CWS

    David Ross ATL

    Yorvit Torrealba COL

    Matt Treanor DET

    Jason Varitek BOS

    Gregg Zaun TB

  24. Badger says:

    Using the Padres as a possible model, they won Division Titles in ’05 and ’06 and tied for the WC in ’07 before John Moores got raked by his wife. It took them two years to rebuild.

    Of course, he sold the team. If McCourt will do that, we have a shot to rebuild quickly as this franchise is obviously a better money maker than are the Padres.

    If McNeutered will sell, then he and Jamie can disappear into the sunset and we can all get on with our lives. If he does not, we must root for the courts to ignore decades of California divorce law and give Jamie the shaft.

  25. Roger Dodger says:

    Badger, to get the McCourts attention — the “do not go out to the ball game” model would make them and the league and the commissioner think twice.

    Just think, 48,000 tickets sold, and only some 1,010 show up. The rest just did not attend.

  26. Badger says:

    Remember a few years ago when I advocated boycotting Opening Day?

    I am down with it. But, it will not happen. The Dodgers will draw 3 mil even if they finish last.

  27. Roger Dodger says:

    Hey, the Dodgers are doing pretty good tonight. 4th inning and only down 4 to nothing. It could be worse.

    This must be really hard on Vinny. He expects more.

  28. Badger says:

    Vinny is a realist. He no doubt hopes for more, but, if we can see the problems, he surely can.

    McDonald? Nope. Who’s next?

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