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Pavlov’s Dog and The Cost of RBI’s

Pavlov’s Dog and The Cost of RBI’s

Russell Martin?

Pavolv had this dog who heard a bell ring and he proceeded to salivate all over himself. That sometimes happens when you see an young attractive lady walking down the street too.  In the instant case, I think that Russell Martin is “Pavlov’s Dog.”

Jeff Pentland, Joe Torre and Don Mattingly work with him, and work with him, and work with him about “going the other way,” but when he sees a fastball, it’s like a bell goes off in his head and he salivates all over himself to pull the pitch.  Pavlov’s Dog – that’s what he is!

The cost of RBI’s for 1B is pretty steep these days.

Ryan Howard – $19 mil – 65 RBI

Albert Pujols –  $16 mil – 64 RBI

James Loney –  $3.1 mil – 63 RBI

I’m just sayin’….

Forget all the stats – James Loney IS the Dodgers MVP for the first half of the season. James Loney is 2 RBI’s away from being tied with the league leader.  He has accomplished that from mostly the 5th or 6th spot, whereas the leaders have mostly been #3 or #4 hitters.  I’d like to see James Loney hit more HR and I do think he will, but he’s pretty good right now.

The Dodgers  had another first basemen discover his power later and that would be Steve Garvey.  Through 2,159 AB’s, James Loney (Age 26) has 51 HR’s.  Through 2,424 AB’s Steve Garvey (Age 26) had 64 HR’s and he hit 37 of those at age 25 and 26.  You saw the HR James hit yesterday.  As he gets a little older, he’ll have more power and more ability to recognize when he can pull.

While Matt Kemp has been better lately, his base-running, fielding and lack of hitting has hurt his ability to be considered for MVP.  Andre Ethier and Manny have been injured too much.  Truth be known, Rafael Furcal is right up there too.

Right here, right now, if there are runners on 2B and 3B and you need an RBI, there’s no one on the Dodgers I’d rather see up there than James Loney!  Give him his props!

Congrats to the Dodgers All-Stars:

  • Jon Broxton
  • Andre Ethier
  • Rafael Furcal
  • Hong-chih Kuo

Make us proud!

Next blog post:  Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

About Mark Timmons

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

9 Responses to “Pavlov’s Dog and The Cost of RBI’s”

  1. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Any thought I had earlier this year of making a deal to get a power hitting first baseman (I, Ugh, suggested Prince Fielder) was clearly the product of not stopping to think it all through. I was wrong, wrong, wrong,….

    I do believe that Loney will eventually hit for more power, but his current combination of run production and defense is fine with me. I would like to see more power, but it can be added in the outfield and perhaps at 3B. Maybe not now, but, perhaps, during the offseason.

    I think the same applies to Blake DeWitt. I’ve read comments criticizing him for his lack of power, which he clearly hasn’t exhibited this year. He has, however, exhibited decent power in the past, and there is no reason to believe that as he gets more comfortable and continues to mature, he too, will begin to produce more power. In the meantime, he’s hitting OK, and appears to be growing more comfortable around 2B. I’m satisfied with DeWitt at 2B, and see the outfield and 3B as positions that need to be upgraded. Manny will be gone after this year, and the outfield will definitely have to be addressed in the offseason. Kemp can play any of the three outfield positions, and Ethier can play either corner. Therefore, I don’t think it matters much what outfield position is upgraded. And I certainly hope that the Dodgers address the need for an upgrade at 3B, be it via trade or free agency.

    Russell Martin????? There are times that I think that maybe he’s starting to get it, and then he reverts back to over-swinging and attempting to pull. Russell, you would a big run producer if you just accepted the fact that you’re better off going up the middle. Do that, and you will naturally pull pitches inside, and go to right field on outside pitches. Even a dog could probably figure that out.

  2. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Correction above. “and there is no reason to believe that as he gets more comfortable and continues to mature, he too, will begin to produce more power” should have been “…he too, will NOT begin to produce more power.”

  3. Harold says:

    Colletti’s hope isn’t without historical precedent. Over his first 2,031 at-bats, Rafael Palmeiro had 47 homers. Jeff Bagwell had 53 in 1,675, Steve Garvey 46 in 1,606. Loney has 50 in 1,943. Power can develop later in a player’s career.

    I agree Mark – James is our first half MVP. That 11 pitch AB against Dan Haran in their last meeting, took Haran out of the game one inning earlier than he othersiwe would have gone. We beat the D’Backs relievers. James’ HR last night sealed the Cub’s fate as Padilla was throwing too well to give up a three run lead.

    Earlier in the season Russell was having some success to centre and right field. I hate those grounders to the left side. Maybe a few days off will get the bell ringing out of his ears.


  4. Brooklyn Dodger says:


    You might want to remove Palmeiro from your post above, given that he clearly had some chemical help after those first 47 dingers. But it is clear that power often takes time to develop, and faster in some than in others.

    Martin has always had success when he just tries to make contact, and takes what he’s given. It’s when he forces the issue that he gets into trouble. But I’m not so sure that a few days off is what he needs. He’s had those days in the past, but continues to act as if he’s clueless (maybe he is). His over-swinging, etc. has been going on for two years. He’s had days off, and offseasons to think about it and get it corrected. With some players it takes a long time, and some never get it. I can’t get into Russell Martin’s head (and I doubt if I want to), so I have no clue as to his thought process (if he has one). All I know is that he still hasn’t corrected the problem. Will he? It’s anybody’s guess. Maybe he needs to be benched for a while to get his attention, or perhaps he needs a new voice in his ear, or any other of a thousand variables. Whatever Martin needs he apparently hasn’t found yet. We all only hope he does.

  5. Harold says:

    I thought about Palmeiro and his little helpers. It wasn’t really my list. It came from Jon Weisman’s Dodger Thoughts. I would like James to hit a few more homers, just so he is seen to be more of a threat for the long ball. Hopefully that will come with a dozen dingers in the second half. If not I will gladly accept his RBI contributions.

    I really don’t understand it with Russell. Can’t he see James has all kinds of RBI’s with few homers, because he is somewhat patient at the plate and hits to all fields as the pitch dictates? I guess not.


  6. lawdog says:

    Who cares if a player can drive in runs unless the hit which drives the runners home is a thing of beauty! A long fly deep into the upper decks. The type of hit that demoralizes the opposing pitcher and turns the game into a laugher.

    Simply driving in key runs in clutch situations is worth doodly squat if the hitter manages this feat with bloopers, seeing eye grounders or a well placed spin shot off the end of the bat that drops in front of the opposite fielder?

    That kind of performance doesn’t put butts in the seat in Hollywood! Loney is way overpaid for the puny hits he drops in. Who cares if he’s second in the league in rbis. How many homers is projected to hit? About 12? That’s not going to make the nut! Trade him for a 67 year old geezer who used to be pretty good while he still has any value at all.

    That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it. ;)

  7. Mark Timmons says:

    Get off the drugs, Lawdog!

  8. Harold says:

    Lawdog – you the man.


  9. Bill Russell says:

    Law don’t go around here Lawdog. You’re a daisy if you do.


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