Categorized | Mark Timmons

Things We Don’t Know

Things We Don’t Know

As you may know, I live in Indianapolis (probably the only Dodger fan in Indiana, except for Mattingly and Carroll) and a local Sports Talk Radio host (and ESPN Basketball Analyst) is Dan Dakich.  Dan’s claim to fame was his

Double D

stellar defense against Michael Jordan in the 1984 East NCAA Basketball Regional Semifinal.   After being informed by coach Bob Knight that he would be defending Jordan, Dakich threw up in his hotel room.   Michael Jordan then went on to score 13 points, and  fouled out after playing just 26 minutes. He missed eight of his 14 field goal attempts, and his college career ended with a 72-68 loss to Indiana in the NCAA Tournament regional semifinal.

Dan says that hustle beats talent when talent doesn’t hustle.  But I digress…

For a couple of years Dan had been saying that the Cincinnati Reds had excellent talent but if they were going to go to the next level, they had to get rid of Adam Dunn and Ken Griffey who were both players that (according to him) just were disruptive to team chemistry.  He said that many other players didn’t like playing with them and that they needed to move on before the Reds would realize any success.  Well, it turns out he was right, and I have two questions:  (1) Do the Dodgers have players who need to “move along” before they can realize success? and (2) Do the Dodgers need a guy like Dunn who can’t play LF or 1B?

We don’t know what we don’t know…

About Mark Timmons

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

14 Responses to “Things We Don’t Know”

  1. Roger Dodger says:

    Off topic. Saw in the NY Times:

    ESPN Breaks Up ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ Team
    By RICHARD SANDOMIR

    ESPN ended its 20-year association with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan as the voices of “Sunday Night Baseball” on Monday. They declined to renew Morgan’s contract and have asked Miller if he wants to stay on as the radio voice of the Sunday night games. Discussions are continuing.

    “We’ve decided to make a change and introduce new voices and new perspective,” said Norby Williamson, an executive vice president of ESPN. He added: “Twenty-one years is an eternity in this business. And today is about acknowledging the contributions they made to the franchise.”

    Each announcer is a Hall of Famer. Morgan entered as a player in 1990 and Miller received the Ford C. Frick Award from the Hall earlier this year in recognition of broadcasting excellence.

    It is nearly certain that Miller will be replaced by Dan Shulman, who will be joined by Orel Hershiser, whom ESPN added to “Sunday Night” last season. Bobby Valentine may be the third voice if he does not get a managing job. Williamson declined to talk about the new team.

    Miller is the lead play-by-play voice for the San Francisco Giants, calling games on radio and TV. He could take ESPN’s offer and shift to radio (where he has been calling the postseason for years) or increase his workload on Giants games. Miller’s decision could be delayed because he is on vacation.

    Ron Shapiro, Miller’s agent, said: “Jon is away. We’ve talked briefly. ESPN has offered him a radio package with some breadth to it, and he’ll think things over. He just has to think it through.”

    In his acceptance speech at the Hall of Fame, Miller said that the seminal moment of his life came at age 10 when his father and godfather took him to his first Giants game at Candlestick Park. He was pleasantly amused to see through his binoculars that the visiting team’s announcer was munching on big handfuls of French fries during the play-by-play.

    “And as a 10-year,” he said, “I sat there and said, ‘That is the life for me.’ ”

    THAT WAS FOLLOWED UP WITH THIS ARTICLE:

    A NOT-SO-FOND FAREWELL FOR ESPN’S BASEBALL TEAM

    By RICHARD SANDOMIR
    Published: November 11, 2010

    In early 2002, when the John Madden-Pat Summerall team called its final N.F.L. game together, they celebrated and reminisced about a 21-season partnership that began at CBS and ended at Fox. Madden was off to ABC’s “Monday Night Football” and Summerall stayed at Fox for one more full season.

    The end of Jon Miller and Joe Morgan’s 21-season run on ESPN’s “Sunday Night Baseball” came Monday, more than a month after their final televised game. There was no news release or tribute to them, just Norby Williamson, an ESPN executive vice president, talking to a few reporters.

    It was time for a change, he said, time for new perspective, yet time to appreciate Miller and Morgan’s contributions to building the “Sunday Night” franchise. Still, in conveying its appreciation, ESPN was saying that Morgan was no longer welcome, but if Miller wants to shift to radio, he’s aces.

    If it’s any consolation to Morgan, he stuck around longer than the FireJoeMorgan.com Web site.

    For some, Morgan’s end is a time to celebrate. He became cranky, often intransigent, frequently humorless and a grim listen — the Grumpy Old Analyst. I’ve always felt that he was, even at his best, too impervious to Miller’s lightheartedness, that he just didn’t get his partner’s wit.

    Morgan issued a terse response that was far from an “I want to thank ESPN for the opportunity” statement. “I was not surprised by ESPN’s decision,” he said. “They have been taking ‘Sunday Night Baseball’ in a different direction the last two years, and I was not comfortable with that direction.”

    Without elaboration, we are left to believe that Morgan disliked sharing the booth with a second analyst: Steve Phillips in 2009 and Orel Hershiser, who replaced Phillips, in 2010.

    “It’s a dramatic change in the direction and structure of the booth,” Phillips said in a telephone interview Thursday. “After 19 years, it’s understandable that he felt that way. A third man changes the flow, the rhythm and the topics; it could not have been subtle change for him.”

    But Phillips said Morgan did not air his frustrations to him.

    “And if he listened to outside criticism about him, I don’t think he cared about it,” Phillips added.

    ESPN waited until Miller and Morgan’s contracts were up to make the change; soon enough, it will announce that Dan Shulman and Bobby Valentine will join Hershiser for 2011 and beyond.

    But ESPN did not make its decision based on the anti-Morgan howls from critics, bloggers and fans. It waited years to react. Why it felt a need to dispatch Miller, too, is a mystery. But in parting ways with him, it did not ultimately matter that less than four months ago, he had taken his place among other honored voices in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Just bad timing on the road to change.

    Or maybe it was the day off Miller took from calling a game to accept the Ford C. Frick Award on induction Sunday in Cooperstown that cinched ESPN’s decision.

    James Andrew Miller, a co-author of the forthcoming book “Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN,” said in an interview that the Bristol empire had often stuck with announcers in the face of criticism and replaced them on its own timetable.

    “It wasn’t like the criticism of Joe started last week, and they decided to pull the plug,” Miller said. “They hung in for quite some time with him.” He added: “But ESPN is not afraid to make changes. Ask Joe Theismann. Ask Tony Kornheiser. Ask Mike Patrick.”

    Theismann and Patrick lasted a long time on “Sunday Night Football.” When ESPN swapped Sunday nights for Monday nights, it substituted Mike Tirico for Patrick. Theismann joined Tirico for a season on “Monday Night Football” until Theismann was traded in for Ron Jaworksi. Kornheiser, an unconventional choice whom ESPN was very happy with, lasted three seasons until a conventional option, Jon Gruden, took over.

    Theismann and Kornheiser were the focus of considerable outside criticism for various reasons. But ESPN waited, moving the talent around on its own schedule.

    Miller, the author, said he wondered, “What is the tipping point” that cues the start of musical chairs?

    ESPN has chosen not to comment any further than Williamson did Monday.

    Telling sportscasters that they are no longer wanted — or that it is time for a change — is not a simple task. Mel Allen never really got over being fired from the Yankees when he was just 51. As announcers head into their 60s, their errors sometimes mount, their eyesight falters and their preparation decreases. Yet some older announcers, like Vin Scully, Bob Uecker or the late Ernie Harwell, grow more beloved as they move into their 70s and 80s as icons of their franchises.

    Jon Miller, 59, is the radio and TV voice of the San Francisco Giants. Morgan is 67, with various business interests including an advisory role with the Cincinnati Reds that began last season.

    Networks march on. Shulman will be an excellent replacement for Miller. Hershiser showed himself quite capable last season, but Valentine’s loquaciousness might create a battle for airtime.

    Who knows when Fox will decide to dismantle its lead baseball announcing team of Joe Buck, who is 41, and Tim McCarver, who is 69. Their time will almost certainly come. It’s called change.

  2. Badger says:

    Don’t like Morgan, never did. Same with McCarver.

    I have never read Dunn was a problem with teammates. In fact, most of what I read sounded like this – “Off the field, Adam was a hit with teammates. They liked his sharp sense of humor, modesty and intensity.” Could it be the Reds needed to get rid of those two players to free up enough money to sign others? Could it be the Dodgers need to do the same thing?

    http://www.whatifsports.com/beyondtheboxscore/default.asp?article=2010MLB_AllBudgetTeam

    Bargains exist. Go get ‘em Jedly.

  3. lawdog says:

    Don’t let the door hit you in the ass when you leave Joe. Good Riddance to Mr. Dodger-hater. :shock:

  4. lawdog says:

    Dunn solves the outfield problem. Who do we get to play 3rd base? If that Japanese player has a gun for an arm, maybe he makes the nut for us. He hit .350 in Japan. If not, find somebody who can hit for power and field his position. Dump Casey at the Blake.

  5. Dusto says:

    Who said Dunn can’t play first base? After last year its pretty clear that the guy shouldn’t be in the outfield. But he most certainly isn’t as bad at first than we all think.

  6. lawdog says:

    Do you think Dunn would be worse than “Manny” in left? I think not. I don’t want to discard Looney as our 1st baseman.

  7. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    This from Keith Law on that “Japanese player”.

    “Tsuyoshi Nishioka: Nishioka has reportedly asked his NPB club, Chiba Lotte Marines, to post him this offseason, and I can see why, as he’s coming off a career year driven by an unusual and probably unsustainable spike in his batting average on balls in play. Nishioka has that Ichiro-style, half-out-of-the-box, no-leverage swing, but isn’t the same kind of runner Ichiro is and can’t use that swing to generate a bunch of extra ground ball hits. He has below-average power and struggles with fastballs over about 92 mph, and he may have to move to second base when he comes over. He has posted very good walk rates in Japan, however, and if that translates over here he can be valuable as an everyday guy on a second-division club.”

    The .346 he hit this past year was a large spike in his BA over previous years. If Law’s analysis is correct (and he isn’t always), then I have my doubts that this guy would be worth a large investment. The money invested in him could likely be used to add one of the other pieces we need, and it may well be that De Jesus could handle 2B just as well (or nearly as well, or even better) as Nishioka. Obviously, I’ve never seen the player, so anything I say is based only on what I hear. And what I hear up to now tells me to pass on this one, and better use the money elsewhere. And he definitely doesn’t sound like a candidate for 3B.

  8. Michael says:

    I’m sure everyone here can read but I just seen where some Japenese website is reporting that Kuroda is coming back on a 1 year deal for $8 mil.[Source MLB trade rumors] Hiroki is the man and taking one for the team because he obviously could had received more years and a higher salary.
    P.S. Also seen where the Tribe is looking for a 3rd baseman. The Beard back home would be a nice story.

    • Badger says:

      I read the tweet and it said reports are 1 bn yen. Just checked the exchange rate – and that is actually about $12 million. Here, read it for yourselves:

      米大リーグのドジャースとの3年契約が終了し、フリーエージェント(FA)となった黒田博樹投手(35)が、チームに残留する方向で最終調整に入っていることが12日、分かった。日米の球界関係者が明らかにした。

       黒田が希望する1年契約で、総額は10億円程度とみられる。早ければ週明けにも合意する見通し

      The Dodgers have $12 million? Uh, ok. How long will that be stretched out?

      Something doesn’t sound right.

  9. Mark Timmons says:

    Let’s take up a collection. I’ll throw in $100 dollars to give the Tribe to take him. Step right up and take your turn…

  10. Mark Timmons says:

    That’s my final offer

  11. Roger Dodger says:

    Well now, there have been stories, rumors, and such of almost every team in the majors — and the interest they all have in this or that player.

    Unless the Dodgers want to pony up big on two or three players with money or trades — I really do not expect much to happen in “stars” being added to the 40 man roster by Spring Training.

    I hope I am wrong. Yes, Crawford would be nice, Lee would be dandy, Werth or Dunn or Uggla, or Victorf Maretinez or or or or . . .

    So, surprise me.

  12. Badger says:

    I don’t think you are wrong Roger. From what I have been reading, in the papers and all over the blogosphere, (but ‘cept here of course) Mc’nCourt and his pet cougar are up to their gluteals in debt, lawyers and uncertainty. They have been exposed and it ain’t pretty. Where do they get the money to “raise payroll”? Who would want to work with them under these circumstances?

    This is of course the time of year where there is a lot of barking and very little biting. The Phillies want a quick answer from Werth. Yeah, right. He is a Bora$ client. Kuroda is ready to give the Dodgers a massive discount to stay in L.A.. Sure he is. If he wants to stay in L.A., a better fit would be to move down to Anaheim and pitch for the Angels. They would give him full price.

    The Yankees, Red Sox, Angels, Tigers, Rangers, Cubs are the real players in the free agent market. I would be very surprised to see any of the talent land anywhere before making sure there isn’t an offer coming from those organizations.

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