Categorized | Mark Timmons

Is the Whole Greater Than the Sum of the Parts?

Is the Whole Greater Than the Sum of the Parts?

OK,  unless the unexpected happens, the Dodgers pitching should place them into the upper echelon of the National League pitching staffs – I’ll go out on a limb and say that the Dodgers should be in the TOP THREE in ERA in the N.L.

Feel free to disagree – have a take , but do not suck!

The question marks are on offense.

I have to question any lineup that could include Juan Uribe, Rafael Furcal, Jay Gibbons, Tony Gwynn, Jr., Casey Blake, James Loney, Marcus Thames, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Dionaro Navarro, Rod Barajas, AJ Ellis or Gabe Kapler.  They could hit .400 – if you added the sum of their batting averages COMBINED!

That was a sad group.

Or, is it?

That’s the conventional wisdom, but conventional wisdom is usually wrong.

This is a group that greatly under-performed as a whole.

Is that an indicator of future performance, or not?

You pick!

See, here’s the cool thing about baseball:

All those guys that underperformed last season (and it was almost everyone), could just as likely have “career years” next year.

You just never know.

Tell me one Giants fan who thought they would win the Wold Series in 2010 and I’ll show you a person who needs to be institutionalized!

I have a feeling that this season could be a special one if the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.

That’s why I’m a fan!

About Mark Timmons

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

15 Responses to “Is the Whole Greater Than the Sum of the Parts?”

  1. DodgerDude says:

    It’s my opinion that we will see several players bounce back this year.

    I agree that in baseball, or for any sport for that matter, you never know!

    These guys are capable!

  2. Idaho al says:

    Either, Kemp, Furcal, and Looney must have a good year for the Dodgers to be successful. The other starters could have a good year, but they cannot carry the team. The pitching will be ok. The defense will be adequate.

  3. RogerCraig says:

    The defense will hinge upon who plays CF and LF. If Gwynn plays CF and Kemp moves to RF and Ethier to LF, it will be very, very good. If they have statues of Thames and Gibbons in LF, look out!

    The infield defense should be pretty respectable.

  4. Jaydavis says:

    This is our year! We are going all the way. Just need that mid-season trade for an OF, 3B

  5. SpokaneBob says:

    We won’t need that mid-season trade if we get a healthy Chavez and Gwynn can hit 270. I agree with Roger Craig about the defense. In my mind this is so important to the pitching staff. A two out texas leaguer falling in front of Thames with men in scoring position can change the outcome of a game and demoralize the pitchers. I believe we gain more by an airtight defense than an occational home run by Thames or Gibbons. Thats not to say I wouldn’t want those guys coming off the bench to pinch hit late in the game.

  6. ken says:

    IF is the longest word in the dictionary.

    Offense, Defense, and Pitching is probably described in Green’s new book on baseball metaphysics as Rock, Paper, Scissors or Rochambeau. What hand qesters usually win the World Series?

    The Whole is only greater than the sum of the parts when the Manager is super glue. Obviously not an option for the 2010 Dodgers. If the Dodger have a winning percentage above .550 in 2011 than Torre should not ever be elected in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

    Sign Chavez and get working on player development. Oh, and maybe a new owner like Carlos Slim!!!

    • ken says:

      “The famous Slim thrift – he used to show up for business meetings wearing a cheap calculator watch – extends across the entire company. Years ago he wrote “official principles” for Grupo Carso, his industrial conglomerate, which are distributed annually to all employees. One tenet translates into English as follows: “Maintain austerity in prosperous times (in times when the cow is fat with milk); it accelerates corporate development and avoids the need for drastic change in times of crisis.” So, for example, TelMex’s net debt equals Ebitda, or earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, a statistic that’s unheard-of in its industry, where debt is typically three times cash flow. América Móvil actually has less debt than Ebitda. “They’re rabid about costs,” says New York-based Citi investment research analyst Patrick Grenham. “They borrow as little as possible and very carefully.” “

  7. GrantFox says:

    Great post, Mark. I think the presence of Davey Lopes will also make more of an impact than many expect. I’m also thrilled about Timmy Wallach’s ability of working with the younger guys. Despite Mattingly’s inexperience, he has some great minds around him. The coaching staff alone will make a huge difference!

  8. Bobby says:

    i dont like relying on IF’s more than once or maybe twice in a lineup. We are hoping for gwynn, gibbons/thames, barajas/navarro/ellis to have good years.

    THEN, we’re hoping loney develops pop, or hits .330 with RISP. THEN, we’re hoping furcal can stay healthy. THEN, we’re hoping blake can be at least solid. THEN, we’re hoping uribe hits at least .250.

    I do feel that kemp and ethier will be fine. But thats just too many if’s right now.

  9. Corey says:

    I think our starters era will rank #4 behind, Phillies, Brewers (yes Brewers) and the Giants.
    I also would prefer to see Gwynn playing CF even if he only bats .240 and hits 5 HR’s. I think the runs he saves vs having Thames and Gibbons in LF would more than compensate for those two batting .275 with 25 HR’s. You give up the 20 HR’s, but as somebody posted earlier, wathcing a flare drop in to score 2 runs with two outs is going to happen more than a couple times with those two in LF. Not to mention the number of balls that get past them to the wall for a triple or double.

  10. RogerCraig says:

    Maybe since both are statues the Commissioner will let the Dodgers Play both in LF at the same time. How bad could that be?

    Pretty bad, maybe!

  11. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    As things stand now, I prefer going with defense in the outfield. I don’t know if Gwynn will hit or not, and it’s possible he won’t. Although Gwynn strikes out more than I would like for a player without much power, he does manage to do a good job getting on base relative to his batting average. Lifetime he’s a .244 hitter with a .323 OBP. The OBP isn’t very high, but actually quite good when compared to his BA. So if Gwynn could hit .260 to .270, he should get on base .330 to .350. In 2009 he hit .270 with a .350 OBP. So he’s definitely not hopeless with the bat.

    Gwynn’s defense in center field is not the only difference maker. His presence also allows Kemp and Ethier to move to their more natural positions in right and left. Kemp is anything but a natural centerfielder, but his cannon arm plays extremely well in right. Ethier is probably a substandard rightfielder. However, his good (but not great) arm plays extremely well in left. In my opinion, having Gwynn in center would have a ripple effect upon the entire Dodgers outfield defense. There is an opposite ripple effect if the slothful Thames/Gibbons combo is used in left and Kemp and Ethier remain in CF and RF, respectively. And if Davey Lopes was brought in to help the Dodger running game, it doesn’t hurt to have the speedy Gwynn in the lineup. Yes, baserunning is more than just speed, but speed is still definitely part of it. If the theme this year is speed and defense, I don’t believe it serves the Dodgers well to compromise on the defensive side of that theme.

    And if Gwynn doesn’t cut it with the bat, it may be possible to replace him with T. Rob or Jerry Sands in May, June or July. Maybe even a trade to bring in a good hitting, good fielding outfielder might also be possible as the season progresses. As things currently stand, I see Thames and Gibbons as having value off the bench, and as designated hitters during inter-league play in the AL park.

  12. Dusto says:

    well, in order for this offense to be successfull we NEED them to have career years. Because on paper they aren’t a good looking bunch.

  13. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    By the way, I meant PITCHING, SPEED and DEFENSE, not just speed and defense.

  14. lawdog says:

    The latest from Mr. Timmons:

    “…the Dodgers pitching should place them into the upper echelon of National League pitching staffs–I’ll go out on a limb and say that the Dodgers should be in the TOP THREE in ERA in the N.L.”

    And to think he has the temerity to accuse others of fuzzy thinking. When did those pigs start flying in the midnight skies over Indiana, Mark?

    But then when I glanced at the logic he used to argue his position, it became all too clear. Seems that the Dodger sucked big time as a whole last year. Since they all stunk up the place last year, it apparently stands to reason in the mind of Mr. Timmons that they’ll all have career years this time around and the Dodgers will win the world series.

    Straight forward enough. assemble the worst team i baseball and all those guys will have career years the year following and your favorite tram will go from last to first.

    Brilliant thinking there Timmons!

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