Categorized | Mark Timmons

Rant & Rave Sunday

  •  The Dodgers keep winning and it’s with pitching and defense as Badger pointed out.  If you have pitching and defense, you can win an awful lot.  It may look awful at times, but Just Win Baby!
  • By the Way – the Dodgers are now in posession of the Best Record in Baseball.
  • I have said it before and I will say it again.  The divorce and bankruptcy proceedings definitely had an effect on the team the first half of 2011.  In the second half of 2011, we saw one of the best teams in baseball.  Add Capuano and Harnag to that team (remember Ted Lilly was awesome in September?), a healthy Ethier and Uribe and you have another hot team, even though Gordon has been a flop (so far).  The Ellis twins have made a distinct impact – with both being near the top at their positions so far.
  • Gordon doesn’t need to go down… yet.  Lopes, Wills, Mattingly and others need to get in his grill, build him up, tell him how great he can be and then tell him he is blowing it and needs to sit for a 3 or 4 games to think about it.
  • Andre Ethier heats up as Matt Kemp cools down equals status quo (almost).  That’s the way it needs to be.   I also can’t stress enough that Andre Ethier has changed his attitude from a surly self-absorbed crybaby to a team leader who hustles all the time.  That in itself, is a big reason for the Dodgers success.  Andre is in a position to lead baseball in RBI!
  • Suddenly, Aaron Harang (2-2, 4.46 ERA doesn’t look so bad as a #5 starter).  He pitched 8 great innings last night.
  • If Tony “Star of the Game” Gwynn, Jr. can keep up his .272 BA and .333 OB% he will be a very nice 4th outfielder.
  • How long before Aaron Miles takes Adam Kennedy’s place?
  • Prediction:  Matt Kemp will have less than 20 steals.
  • Todd Coffey is on a short leash – he needs to produce and soon or he will be on the same boat MacDougal is on.
  • TJ Simers of The LA Times has a conference call with Dodgers ownership and is seeking questions from fans that they want answered.  This should be good.  He’s asking questions like these:  “Magic has said that he owns more than 3% of the team. Are we talking semantics again? Someone else has said he put nothing in. I’m told he was given a small piece of the team in exchange for being used as the face of the franchise.”
  • Jared Massey’s Minor League Report – 5/12/12
  • Badger said that I am like that “annoying little brother that just won’t listen to you, but you have to love him because he is family.”  Look at the above picture and tell me who looks like the “annoying little brother.”  I rest my case.  ;)  You can click on the photo to enlarge.

I thought it would cool to share a couple of songs I find interesting.

You have to watch AND listen to this one by the Decemberists (great story-telling):

This one is just a good listen (though profound):

About Mark Timmons

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

28 Responses to “Rant & Rave Sunday”

  1. DodgerDude says:

    Dude,

    I love both of those groups, but you are too old to like music like that. You are my dad’s age and he’s not that hip. How old are you anyway?

  2. Badger says:

    So the annoying little brother is 6’4″ and weighs in the neighborhood of New Jersey. Look how he brutally treats his loveable older brother. As I recall, all I said right before that happened was “Mark, I support your right to gay marriage.”

    What is Magic’s official position in this new regime? Is it just PR? If it is, it’s working. But it won’t continue to work if the Dodgers don’t win. They are winning now and Magic looks good standing up there doesn’t he. Better than the Frankenjamie Freak Show, that’s for sure.

    I still leave Gordon where he is and hope he learns from guys like Lopes and Wills.

    I am not going to say anything about my prediction of what was going to happen to the Dodgers after I read about the divorce. Does no good to go back to that point in this site’s history. Yes, it is true that I was absolutely accurate with what would happen, but why say that now? It would be egotistical and counterproductive to do so. I’ll take the high road.

    I was rather unpleasantly surprised that Frankie could walk away with more than he had coming in (which wasn’t much). Something terribly unsettling about that.

    Maybe it’s the good karma of McUnctuous being gone, but things are going right for the Dodgers now. Every team has positive stretches. I am waiting to see how everyone responds to the rough times – and you know they are coming.

  3. Mark_Timmons says:

    Dude and Badger,

    For the record, I am 58 but don’t act my age.

    I am only 6′ 3-1/2″ and am down to 245, on my way to 220 (from 265).

    I have nearly cut out beer in my diet (I still enjoy an occasional one) and eat a mostly Mediterranean Diet:

    http://oldwayspt.org/sites/default/files/images/M

    I feel 35!

  4. Badger says:

    I’m 64. But I am very immature for my age.

    Mediterranean diet. An assortment of exotic olives, roasted garlic, feta cheese, tomatoes, basil, oregano, garlic, lemon juice… getting hungry just thinking about it.

    Gearing up for my yearly jaunt with the group of yahoos I connect with every year. Last year it was Mt. Elbert, tallest mountain in Colorado. This year…. no peaks, going to do several national parks in Utah. Wanted to get down from 185 to 175, but only made it to 178. Feeling good, except for arthritic knees. And rotator cuff issues. Degnerating discs in C-4 & 5, as well as T-4. Got snapped in the leg by a scorpion when I was trimming my junipers, and that still hurts. Was diagnosed with GERD. Losing my hair.

    geez… I feel like crap.

  5. RogerCraig says:

    Not only are the Dodgers 2nd in Pitching and Fielding but they are actually 4th in hitting. Add all that together and it is a formula for the postseason.

  6. Reggie says:

    I have noticed that things are heating up on this board. Lots of knowledgeable Dodger fans are here. This is my favorite although I don’t post much due to working two jobs and raising three kids.

  7. jerry says:

    i think matts.hamstring mybe still bothering him..he hit into a double play last night .and it look like he was not running very good..he was out by a long ways , and if that is true .then he could pull it big time..and be out for a long time.

  8. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    I think Ethier’s hustle might have something to do with the fact that he’s hitting and running on a healthy right knee. Hard to hustle when you’re in pain, which I think was the case with Andre since he hurt the knee, which I believe goes back to 2010, when he was also dealing with the pinky. I believe a decision was made in the offseason after 2010 to rehab the knee instead of doing surgery. Clearly a bad decision.

    Kemp may be in a slump, but he just missed hitting a pair out last night. Got under the first one, and hit the second one off the end of the bat. Maybe he’s getting close to coming out of his recent funk.

    “Gordon doesn’t need to go down… yet. Lopes, Wills, Mattingly and others need to get in his grill, build him up, tell him how great he can be and then tell him he is blowing it and needs to sit for a 3 or 4 games to think about it.”

    I can’t disagree with that. In any case, I’m still confident that sooner or later (hopefully sooner) we’re going to see him breakout. I was somewhat encouraged last night when he backed off (albeit at the last second) on a couple of popups, and let the leftfielder handle them. It seemed as if, in each case, he suddenly remembered what the coaching staff has probably been telling him. Old habits die hard, and I’m guessing that’s what happened in these instances.

    Gordon’s a work in progress. Give it time, and I believe that everyone will be pleased.

    I was never in love with Coffey before he came to the Dodgers. Actually I was, since I always looked forward to seeing him come into games against the Dodgers when he was with the Reds. I didn’t like MacDougal, and I agree that Coffey may well be sharing that boat with MacDougal. He could be replaced by Tolleson, or even Eovaldi. And there’s always other possibilities, e.g., a trade. But I agree that he’s probably on a short lease with the Dodgers.

  9. Roger Dodger says:

    From MLB Trade R:
    “Team president and CEO Stan Kasten held a team meeting yesterday to assure players that the new ownership group is committed to “building a first-class organization,” writes Gurnick. Kasten said they aim to acquire players that will improve the club, among other things.”

    Bet ‘ya, some of the players at that team meeting — looked around the room and wondered just which players in that room would not be there by Sept 1, 2012.

  10. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Took some notes before posting above, and then left out some of it. So here it is.

    With Ethier hitting behind him, I see no reason for Kemp to risk injury by stealing too often. And until his balky hamstring is completely healed, I don’t see him going at all. For me, losing Rivera was not a bad thing (maybe even a good thing) since it opened the door for SVS. Losing Kemp for a protracted period of time would be a whole other story. And by the way, since he’s been called up, I would actually like to see SVS in the lineup. Abreu has done a nice job since coming to the Dodgers, but he’s definitely not an everyday solution, and also not a long term solution. Surprised SVS wasn’t in the lineup vs. Moyer, but maybe Mattingly didn’t want to screw him up facing the crafty lefty. Or maybe he just wants SVS to be around a while before inserting him in the lineup. Who knows? Whatever the case, I’d like to see SVS in the lineup soon.

    Aaron Miles is probably the most logical replacement for Kennedy. If it happens, it probably won’t be until he gets enough playing time under his belt in ALBQ. Or maybe Miles is just insurance, and there is other stuff in the works.

  11. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Roger,

    I believe that Kasten addressed the issue that moves to improve the team would also result in players currently on the team being elsewhere. Actually, I think that’s a given, since there can only be 25 players active on the roster at any time, and therefore, addition also means subtraction.

  12. Bill Russell says:

    I’m glad to see we are all one happy family again both on the field and in this blog. Winning does wonders. Go Dodgers.

  13. DRomo says:

    Kennedy must go! Aaron Miles was great last year (In his role. Also can we stop looking at Furcals stats. He is a great player. I loved him as a Dodger. He can be great. But he is fragile. He had spurts of greatness here but somehow his body always let him down. His heart can never be questioned and I am glad he won a ring and is productive for now in St. Louis. But it was time to move on. Gordon is not polished and is going to make ALOT of mistakes. But the great ones do. Matt Kemp provided plenty of frustration before he grew into his talent. Gordon must be allowed to learn at this level. The reward will be years of an exciting SS in our near future.

    Why do we care who owns what, What someone spent? Who cares? Quit craving drama!

    Mark, I know you are the curious sort and want all the answers right now. (Not judging, I just have learned how you are…)But dude, Magic is window dressing. Accept that. Stan Kasten is the brains behind it all. He has a proven track record. he has real skin in the game. He will make all the decisions that matter to us fans (player personnel, stadium upgrades, $$ into scouting and player development, etc.) Do we doubt his ability to do so?

    We can take our cues from TJ Simers and bitch and moan about everything or we can judge for ourselves. Wake up folks. Simers has made a carrer of bitching about everything from his family to what he had for breakfast. In fact the next thing he is happy about will be the first. This franchise is on an uptick and the future is bright. Make a choice now: Buy in or cash out. I am buying. it may no happen this year or next but I guarantee the next decade of Dodger baseball will have more happy times than sad and the McCourt era will be something we all laugh at in short order.

  14. Mark_Timmons says:

    Romo,

    I already know Magic is the front man, but there is something about the deal that just doesn’t pass the smell test. I’m not saying it is bad, but fans deserve to know. It may not bother you, but it bothers a lot of people and the fans aren’t exactly flocking to Dodger Stadium.

    I know this: they can’t stay in bed with McCourt. I’m sure they know it too. What is the plan? That’s all I want to know.

    I am on the bandwagon and I think Kasten is the perfect choice.

    Oh, and I don’t exactly march to the TJ Simers beat!

  15. DRomo says:

    I understand. I don’t completely get what and why the deal is structure the way it was. But u have faith enough to just wait and see.

    I didn’t accuse you of being like Slimers (for the record). I think many are though. We are jaded fans. Rightfully so. But I say let’s try and stay above the conspiracy theories and trust proven commodities in Kasten and PR man Magic.

    The stadium plan I am sure will come in time. Let’s not forget they are taking over mid stream here. Give them a yr to take in what they are dealing with exactly. In time we will know all we need to know.

  16. Ken says:

    Rest Kemp for a week. Gwynn can play CF and Abreu/SVS can platoon in LF.

    Not a big suprise that Lily threw his greatest number of pitches when Hillman was the manager.

    Oh and please hire a new trainer that has run fast once in their life and therefore might know how to deal with hamstrings.

    Belly is back!!!

  17. Mark_Timmons says:

    I am not certain that Gwynn shouldn\’t be the CF – PERIOD!

  18. Bobby says:

    Having Gwynn in CF is like having Loney at 1b; can’t have 2 defensive specialists out there! Maybe if we’re playing the ’85 Bears defense style it would work, but not in baseball!!

    I actually like what I’ve seen (all 3 at bats) of SVS. Let him get some time in LF/1b, and let’s see what he can do!!

    Nice job by Lilly finding himself after 4 quick singles to start the game. Great sweep, and now bring on the Dbacks !!

  19. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “I know this: they can’t stay in bed with McCourt. I’m sure they know it too.”

    If McCourt is just getting half the rent for the parking lots, and is an investor in the future development of the land, I see no reason he can’t stay in the picture. Given, of course, that he has no say or influence in how the Dodgers are run. Over time, if he’s just an investor with no influence on the operation of the Dodgers, he will mostly fade into the background, with his name surfacing on occasion to annoy the fans. And Mark, you may be right that the Guggenheim group has plans down the road to move the Dodgers into a new downtown LA facility (naming rights and all), and sell Dodger Stadium to McCourt. Certainly, the latter now has the money to make that purchase.

    Sometimes smart people do stupid things, but not always. So I’m relatively confident that Guggenheim went into this deal with their eyes wide open. And just like they haven’t revealed all the details of the current deal (and we all know that the devil is in the details), they certainly are going to keep their long range plans confidential. As with everything, only time will tell.

    I’m not ready to anoint SVS the regular leftfielder because he’s 2 for 2 with a walk. But to date he’s looked good, including today’s throw from rightfield. His first hit was a broken bat single to center off a not very impressive lefthander, and today’s hit was off a hanging slider on an 0-2 pitch following two borderline fastballs. But at the very least we know that he can hit a mistake. Not every hitter does. I was also impressed by the walk he drew, since he had the opportunity to go fishing on some low and away sliders, and didn’t. All in all, he was encouraging.

    Gwynn is without a doubt a better defensive centerfielder than Kemp. But if SVS can hit and play the outfield, then Gwynn simply doesn’t fit in a Dodger outfield that also includes Kemp and Ethier. And really, the Dodgers need all the offense they can get. I think Gwynn is best suited for the role he’s in, and that’s a spare outfielder who can hit some, and play great defense when needed. Besides, like a lot of hitters, if he plays regularly he’s likely to get exposed (and I don’t mean indecently-SMILE).

    I know it wasn’t a pressure situation, but it was nice to see Guerra using his breaking ball today. If I remember correctly, I believe every out came on A breaking pitch. And he threw some others. If Guerra gets away from throwing fastball after fastball, I believe he can be effective. But I still like Jansen in the closer’s role.

    As for attendance, it may well take a significant trade/acquisition or two to peak the interest of the fans. But if the Dodgers keep winning, I think the fans will inevitably return, McCourt or no McCourt.

    Even if the Dodgers hit a skid somewhere down the road, I think their current lead in the standings gives them enough of a cushion that they will remain buyers between and now and trade deadline, and are therefore likely to pick up some significant pieces between now and then. And with SVS, maybe Sands, and Nate Eovaldi, the farm system has something to offer as well (unless some of those players are included in a deal to acquire a proven commodity or two).

  20. Reggie says:

    I am not a high roller, but I know McCourt is still part of this thing and I won’t go back to Dodger Stadium until he is gone. Maybe that’s just me or maybe it’s more than me.

  21. Mike Dixon says:

    Abreu should be the starting LF…and SVS should be at first….please make this happen….

  22. Badger says:

    Mark said:

    “but there is something about the deal that just doesn’t pass the smell test.”

    As you remember, I felt the exact same way about McCourt. But, in his case, the reasons why were obvious. What is it about this that has you worried?

    “I am not a high roller, but I know McCourt is still part of this thing and I won’t go back to Dodger Stadium until he is gone. Maybe that’s just me or maybe it’s more than me.”

    That is understandable Reggie. I kinda feel the same way. But, I won’t have to make that decision, living in Arizona. I already have box seats behind the dugout at Chase Field when the Dodgers come to town in July. I don’t like McCourt still being involved either. The idea that a greaseball like him can run the team into the sand, then make a billion without even walking away is… nauseating. But, at least he no longer runs the Dodgers. He’s just another uber rich scumbag that took advantage. We will never run out of them. In the mean time, I am back on board the Dodgermobile, and it feels grand.

    I always figured the Dodgers would find a way to get Kemp in right, and Ethier in left. Hasn’t happened yet. Don’t know it ever will, but I think it still needs to be done.

  23. Badger says:

    Just took a look at the box score for today and it doesn’t make any sense.

    8 for 30, 4 for 16 RISP, Kemp and Ethier a collective 0fer, and we score 11?

    10 walks helps.

    This tells me things are continuing to go right for the Dodgers. I’ll take it.

    Also checked MLB attendance. They are 6th in baseball, averaging 38.5. That ain’t bad. Keep winning, and the people will be back.

    Agree about Abreu. Why not? Even if he is our best bat off the bench. He is also our best bat in lf.

  24. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Abreu will wear out if he’s the starting anything. He’s best used in a platoon in LF, with SVS the other half of the platoon (assuming he continues to hit). If SVS works out, and over time Abreu begins to show his age, then perhaps SVS can step up as the everyday leftfielder.

    There are all sorts of possibilities at first base. SVS is one of them, and so is an acquisition. And if he puts it back together, even Sands becomes an alternative at 1B and LF. Who knows, maybe even Loney will start to pick it up. The possibilities are endless. And when the Dodgers hit interleague play, Abreu takes on value as a DH. And hopefully the Dodgers get to the World Series, where Abreu can do the same.

  25. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger,

    The 10 walks definitely helped. And 3 of the 4 hits with RISP drove in 8. Abreu’s double drove in 3, Ellis’ homer drove in 3, and Van Slyke’s double knocked in another 2. Add Kemp’s groundout that sent home 1, and you have 9 of the 11. There are days when the baseball gods are just with you. Just hope they’re with Kemp also, and he doesn’t have to miss more than a couple of weeks (I’m assuming that the Dodgers do not want a repeat of what just happened to Juan Rivera, and will DL Kemp, no matter how much he might protest). Besides, if Kemp is out a couple of weeks it could grant Mark his desire to see Gwynn in centerfield. It might also be good to have Kemp end his consecutive games streak. Wouldn’t hurt for him to have a day off every once in a while. And who knows, maybe Van Slyke steps in and plays himself into a regular job.

  26. Bobby says:

    ESPNLA reporting that Elian Herrera, SS/2b/OF from AAA will be called up tomorrow.

    That could mean Gordon gets sent down for a bit? Orrr, if Kemp needs to go on the DL, Gwynn could lead off and Gordon bat 8th for a while.

    Let’s see!

  27. Badger says:

    Elian Herrera? Have to admit, I don’t know him. But, looked him up and he deserves his shot. 27 year old that hung around A ball several years. But, now he is hitting .358 with an OPS over .900 at AAA. 9 SB. Who knows.

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