Categorized | Mark Timmons


Andre Ethier absolutely gave the Dodgers a Home team Discount.  Had he continued his productive season, he could have commanded a contract that was maybe $20-25 million larger than the one he signed with the Dodgers.  However, two things come into play:

  1. The Jody Reed Factor (i.e., turning down a good contract only to find the market has changed and having to sign a much smaller one); and
  2. Andre wants to be a Dodger.  Always has!

The deal got done.  Yes, it’s $85 million, but it’s a good deal for both sides.  Now, the Dodgers have a Big Three (count ‘em 3):  Kemp, Ethier and Gordon to build around.  One more power bat is needed.  Ned will be trolling as we near the deadline.  This team is built to win as soon as now.  I know some of you think these guys are going to play .500 ball the rest of the way.  Not Happening!  In 2011, you saw the real Dodger team the second half of the season and you are seeing the real Dodger team now.  They are a lot better than many of you give them credit.

Last night was a classic example.  Behind most of the game, the Dodgers  rallied to tie and then won with Rivera’s 3-Run homer in the 8th.  Rivera drove in 4 of the 5 runs and Kenley Jansen bounced back to save the game.  Junkyard Dogs, all!

Tony Jackson of ESPN/ had this to say about Rivera:

Barely a week removed from an almost month-long stint on the disabled list because of a left-hamstring strain, Rivera drove in a season-high four runs for the Dodgers, the final three of them on a no-doubt, first-pitch homer that broke a 2-2 tie with two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning against a tiring Jerome Williams.

That gave the Dodgers all the offense they needed against the team with which Rivera spent six seasons before being traded to the Toronto Blue Jays and, a half-season later, to the Dodgers at last year’s All-Star break.

Since that trade, the Dodgers are 81-51.

It is difficult to pinpoint exactly how, or even if, Rivera’s sudden presence has directly contributed to that figure. In his time with the Dodgers, Rivera’s offensive numbers aren’t exactly the stuff that makes your eyes pop out of your head. He is hitting .265, with eight homers and 65 RBIs in 95 games and 325 at-bats. Over a full 162 games, that prorates out to a pedestrian 14 homers and a stellar 110 RBIs, but on a team where two or three starts get the vast majority of the attention, Rivera’s performance has gone mostly unnoticed, which seems to fit perfectly with his reserved personality.

But what Rivera did when he arrived last year was give the Dodgers an additional power threat in the middle of the order. And sometimes, in some ways, a power threat can be as valuable as power itself, because it can change how an opposing team goes about trying to beat you. That is essentially what Rivera did for the Dodgers last season, all while hitting .274 with five homers and 46 RBIs. He forced other teams to pitch to Kemp and Ethier, at least more than they did before.

This year, it was much the same for Rivera, or at least it was before he got hurt. His DL stint began before the first of Kemp’s two DL stints, so when he returned on June 4, it marked the first time this season that Rivera was active at a time Kemp wasn’t. That meant that the Dodgers would rely on Rivera in a way they never had before, and Rivera responded by going 4-for-20 with no extra-base hits and two RBIs in his first seven games.

Let’s Throw Capuano Under the Bus

This guy isn’t that good.  I just knew it.  His ERA is nearly up to 3.00.  I knew he was a bum.  He’s never been any good.  He’s had two bad starts in a row.  He’s done.  I want him to implode.  I won’t be able to stand it if Timmons was right and he wins 20 games.  This can’t be happening.  He has to be a bum because I said he was.  OMG, could I be wrong?  No way!  I’m right!  Capuano is a bum…. he won’t win 20…. will he?  Will he?  I hope he doesn’t.  I love to be miserable.  Don’t deprive me of my misery.

Yeah, you are the same guys who wanted Dee Gordon out as SS.  Haters all!  This Dodger team has the best damn record in all of baseball.  Quit crying!  Chris Capuano is on track to be an All-Star… again.  What is wrong with you?

The guy is 8-2 with a 2.87 ERA.  Do you get that?

Capuano has already been an All-Star.  Harang and Capuano have been awesome for the Dodgers this year.  Why do some of you feel the need to throw him under the bus?  He  has allowed just 61 hits in 78 innings.  If Tim Linecum pitched for the Dodgers you would probably assassinate him on the mound.

Adam Kennedy almost lost the game for the Dodgers single-handedly.  Juan Rivera paid the Angels back and won the game single-handedly!  Yeah, Dee Gordon got the error – he should have caught the throw from Kennedy, but the play was to 1B.  That was a bone-headed play by a guy who should know better.

Jared Massey’s Minor League Report – 6/12/12

About Mark Timmons

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

42 Responses to “HOME TEAM DISCOUNT”

  1. Mike Dixon says:

    Jesus Mark, nobody threw Capuano under the bus…..the poster just said he has struggled the last 2 games and maybe he will start pitching like a #5 which he provably is…..I guess if anybody here has a different opinion from you he is a so called “hater”……..

  2. Badger says:

    You sound like my dad. I’ll tell you the same thing I told him… stop yelling at me!

    Just to play the devil’s advocate here, dad, let me point out a few things to you. Jerry Hairston Jr is hitting .343 with an OPS over .900. The Dodgers currently have 5 players hitting over .300. The Dodgers currently have 4 players with an OPS over .900. Do you know how many teams had 4 players with an OPS over .900 last year? None. I could go on… but I think you get the point.

    The reality is screaming that these numbers MUST go down. We are now 5th in hitting and 9th in runs scored. Do you believer that at the end of the year a. we will stay that high and b. will that be good enough to win the penant? For the record, I will say no and no.

    I’ll say it again, what is going to keep us in games the rest of the way is our pitching. If we continue to get it, we can stay close, and Donnie has these guys believing they can win this thing. I am beginning to believe it myself. But as for the Dodgers being the best team in baseball? eh, don’t see that.

    And, though I am happy to see Ethier get locked up, I don’t know that I agree he is worth $20-25 million you suggest he is. He, like Beltre before him, has had one really good year. His six year averages are 130 games played (not great) with 17 HR’s and 72 RBI’s. That isn’t worth $20 million to me. But, you 1% can be more liberal with your spending. ;)

    We still need a couple of holes patched to carry this to the finish line. We need a serioius upgrade at 3b, and though we have had production from lf, I would like to just have a platoon out there or go get somebody like a Carlos Gonzalez, or better yet a Michael Bourne for CF, to play every game. We get that and I am fine with Loney and Ellis to play the right side of the infield. We get that, and we could compete for a title.

    Still a long way to go Mark.

    • Dodger66 says:

      Hey Badger, I know Mark does not need anyone to speak for him, but he was saying we got a home discount as Eithier’s contract is about 17 million a year. Mark thinks he may have got 20-25 million as a free agent.

  3. ken says:

    I am still ok with the Dodgers playing .500 ball for the next two months if everyone plays and therefore their true abilities are seen, the bad players are replaced, and platonning is the major tactic to win the World Series just like the 1950 Yankees.

    Ethier got more than he is worth considering his injuries, his head, and his reputation. In 5 years if he has no injuries, his head is on straight, and his reputation is changed for the better then we can all cry with him regarding his “home town discount”.

    Rivera Tommyhawked a pitch that most players would never swing at and if they did, like Gordon, they would miss the pitch 90% of the time. Good teams just seem to be lucky too.

    And Mark never said that if Gordon did not improve that he should go back to AAA for a while?

    It does not matter whether or not Kennedy’s throw should have gone to 1st base, the problem with Gordon is that he assumed that the play would be to first, he did not run at full speed to second base, he tried to wave off Kennedy while Kennedy was throwing the ball to him, he could not catch a low throw when the runner was still 10 feet away, and then he did the typical facial long-micro expression that “it was not my fault”. Gordon has an attitude problem and until he changes his attitide he will never reach his “potential”.

    The three biggest problems with the Dodgers are still SS, 3B, and 1B; in that order, and who Donnie plays at those positions each game.

  4. Kevin says:

    Nice to see that Gordon is finally figuring it out. He’s finally taking some walks and hitting the ball on the ground. I bet his batting average is up to .280 by the end of the year.

    I hope I’m wrong but I see a big second half regression on the horizon for Capuano.

  5. Roger Dodger says:

    The key hit (for me) in last nights game was Ethier’s single to tie the game. There were 2 outs, and if he had made the third out then — inning over, no possible HR.

    Agree, Jansen needs another pitch.

  6. Bill Russell says:

    I agree with Mark on this one. The play is always made at 1st base with two out and the bases loaded. The runners are in motion and why risk a bang bang play at 2nd with the pitcher running anyway? If Kennedy can’t throw the ball to 1st base on a routine ball hit to 2nd, then he doesn’t belong in the major leagues. The exception maybe a ball hit between SS and 3rd base where the better play to could made at 3rd base. That’s my take and it doesn’t have anything to do with gangs or the attitude of Dee Gordon.
    On another note, great win last night and we must get it done again today so we can keep the Angel fans traps shut. Peace

  7. Bill Russell says:

    where the better play could be made at third. Edit button please

  8. Kevin says:

    Capuanos first 7 starts = 10 ER, 43.2 IP, ERA = 2.08
    Capuanos last 6 starts = 15 ER, 34.2 IP, ERA = 3.95

    Which one will we see for the rest of the season?

  9. Mark_Timmons says:

    I watched the replay of the Kennedy throw that Gordon dropped. When Kennedy got the ball the runner was about 15-18 feet from home plate. The runner on first was about 20-25 feet from second. It would have been a close play. The out would have been made, but it would have been close. With two out, Gordon shouldn\’t even be going to second. He was incredulous that Kennedy threw to 2B. He should have caught it, no doubt, but that ball should have went to first and Kennedy was dead wrong. He is not an asset to this team.

    Capuano says he feels stronger than he ever has. He has had control difficulty the last two games, but he has 8 quality starts (Kershaw leads the team with 9) and pitchers have ups and downs throughout the season. His ERA is only slightly higher than Clayton\’s. I see no reason to be pessimistic.

    • Kris says:

      Maybe Kennedy thought there was only 1 out and was going for the DP? Too bad, it lost Harang a well deserved W.

  10. Bobby says:

    Huge game today. The big FA signing vs. our kid. Eovaldi has, to me, shown big time stuff. Stuff good enough to be a #3 at least. There is no way I’d trade him for 3 months of old Ryan Dempster. That’s not a pressing need.

    I agree that it’s easy to criticize this team, despite MLB’s best record. It’s easy to ask for better players at multiple positions. However, shortstop is not one of those needs. We have a super exciting kid playing out there who looks like he’s actually improving! He won’t be an all star this year, but I’m guessing within 2-3 years he will be. He looks like he’s continuing to improve (granted bunting needs work and hopefully that’s a skill he’s working on). But his defense has improved. His eye has improved. He’s hitting the ball smarter now. Let the kid learn.

    Our problems are 1b, where the current guy is way below average, and 3b, where the current guy is the worst in baseball. Put 1 legit player at either 1b or 3b, and things dramatically change. (any chance Saeger signs and starts at 3b the next day? :)

    Good article by Tony Jackson on Rivera. That’s the type of impact I wish Loney would have (that 14hr but 110 rbi potential).

    Just win today, and we’ll take 2 of 3 from one of baseball’s most talented teams.

  11. Badger says:

    I think Loney is coming around. .281 in June, over .300 the last 7 days. I am fine with him if we can find a thumper somewhere else – 3b or LF. I think Abreu is a good PH and back-up/platoon OFer, as is Rivera, but a real upgrade out there is where I would look. Having said that, if we can find a taker and get something equal in return, I am ok with sending Loney back to Texas – or wherever. As bad as he has been, he is still a career .286 hitter, with a .772 OPS. Not great, but, he still projects as a +WAR player and if we lose that, what do we replace it with?

  12. Dusto says:

    He’ll never live up to the contract.

  13. ken says:

    All baseball players should accept joint and severable liability regarding bad plays without becoming codependent.

    Proposed lineup for today with BA against LHP
    1. Herrera SS .314
    2. Hairston 2B .429
    3. Ethier RF .281
    4. Abreu LF .357
    5. Ellis C .316
    6. Rivera 1B .271
    7. Kennedy 3B .333
    8. Gwynn CF .265

  14. Kevin says:

    You are gonna put Abreu hitting clean up against a lefty and Rivera in the 6 hole? Also, I assume Kennedy hitting 7th is a joke? I’d also play Gordon, he needs to be in there everday regardless of who is pitching.

    1. Gordon SS L
    2. Herrera 3B S
    3. Ethier RF L
    4. Rivera 1B R
    5. Abreu LF L
    6. Hairston 2B R
    7. Ellis C R
    8. Gwynn CF L

  15. Bill Russell says:

    I don’t have anthing against Ken because he is a huge asset to this site however I’m going with Kevin’s lineup for tonight.

  16. Bill Russell says:

    I wonder if we won’t have locked up Ethier, how some of the na sayers would have felt? The chance of losing another very good player off the team and I say we had no to little chance at signing Josh Hamilton anyway. I don’t think we would want Josh’s long term contract on the books either. 5 years is just about right for Andre and I like the deal.

  17. Kevin says:

    I have nothing against Ken either he is a huge contributor to this site. Just a difference of opinion that’s all!

  18. Bobby says:

    Let’s say Andre isn’t worth $85 mil over 5 years. Let’s assume he’s really going to be worth $70 million over these 5 years. In that case, we overpaid, so maybe it’s a bad deal. We could have saved $3 mil a year over 5 years.

    However, with this ownership, we can overpay for very good players, and not skip a beat. It’s the beauty of being rich. We should be happy we have our 2nd best player (not including pitchers), for 5 more years.

    I highly doubt this limits us in pursuing another big bat to go behind Andre.

  19. Roger Dodger says:

    IF – they did not sign Ethier — who else is going to play in his spot and lead the league in RBIs?

    So if Hamilton is signed, Kemp plays, and Ethier walks — still have to get another outfielder. No to Gwynn, Rivera, Sands, SVS, etc. Still have to pay someone.

    Andre is the right guy. Now I would go after a centerfielder unless they want Hamilton at the big bucks.

  20. Kevin says:

    I like Michael Bourn. He would look good in blue patrolling CF and hitting 2nd behind Dee. Then we could put Kemp in RF where he should be and Ethier in LF where he should be with that pop gun arm.

  21. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “Gordon has an attitude problem and until he changes his attitude he will never reach his “potential”.”

    What attitude problem? From everything I’ve observed, he works hard, and is a model citizen. I heard a lot of the same nonsense about Kemp, and never bought it. In fact, having observed Kemp close up in spring training, he seemed to me to be a genuinely nice person. And still does.

    Gordon started taking baseball seriously in his senior year of high school. No matter how hard he works, he’s not going to figure it out overnight. He’s getting better all the time, but it will likely be a while longer before we see a fully polished player. The talent is unmistakable, and Gordon’s attitude, in my opinion, is exemplary.

    The Dodgers definitely need a bat at 3B, could use another everyday outfielder, and could use an improvement at 1B, although I could iive with Loney if improvements are made elsewhere. Without Mark Ellis, 2B is somewhat of a problem, but a combination of Hairston and others is likely OK, again, as long as the offense is upgraded elsewhere.

    Badger, did you mean this the way it came out?

    “I would like to just have a platoon out there or go get somebody like a Carlos Gonzalez, or better yet a Michael Bourne for CF, to play every game.”

    Michael Bourne would help the Dodgers, but he’s not “better yet” in relation to Carlos Gonzalez. Unless, of course, you think Carlos Gonzalez cannot hit outside of Coors.

  22. DRomo says:

    1st of all Carlos Gonzales is not going anywhere he is locked up for a while in Colorado. Who started this rumor? Why don’t we just trade for Tulo too? Right? Then after we Aquire CC Sabathia. Think people!

    Adam Kennedy is killing us! Why is he out there? I mean really why? Free Herrera!! This dude can play. Not a superstar but he can play!! He hits he plays everywhere leave him in!

    I see the Cubbies may want to move LaHair. He would be an upgrade from Loney and he can pick it at 1B too! You all have read about Ned pining for Dempster. I say Dempster & LaHair for ? Loney, Castellanos, & mid level prospect? Castellanos may be too much to give up but it would be attractive to Theo…maybe?

    • ken says:

      Herrera’s OBP is higher than his SLG. Who does that? Bat him first or second every game.

      The key to the Dodger’s ability to make trades this year is not just the amount of money that Ned has access too but whether or not Ned bought out the no trade clauses when he overpaid for these role players and gave then multi-year contracts.

      The balloon payments should not just be because McCheap could not afford these guys but hopefully also because he is overpaying the players in the year that their life is disrupted through a trade. Of course this means more cash or prospects go with the playeras part of the trade. We will soon find out.

      If Ned did not buy out their no trade clauses then he should be fired.

  23. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    “micro expressions”? Excuse my ignorance, but I don’t have a clue what that means. And besides, if you’re judging someone you don’t know by their expressions, then you’re way off base. Careful, you might get picked off. And if youthful expressions brought on by youthful immaturity are what lead you to determine that someone has an attitude, then you are even further off base. Every interview I’ve seen Gordon have has told me that he’s a respectful young man. And everything I’ve read indicates that he takes his craft seriously, and works hard at it. Everything I’ve observed tells me that Dee Gordon has his head screwed on straight. And furthermore, it appears to me that Mattingly is extremely pleased with Gordon’s attitude, and that in itself speaks volumes to me.

    Does Gordon exhibit youthful exuberance? He certainly does. And in the eyes of some, maybe that indicates an attitude. In the eyes of others it’s just an energetic young man exuberantly rejoicing in the moment.

  24. Kevin says:

    Dee having an attitude problem? What?! That is just a false statement, no other way to put it. Every coach raves about how great his attitude is and how hard of a worker he is. When he was put down in the 8 hole I remember him saying something to the effect of “this is on me, I have to get better. The coaches know what’s best for me and I’m going to listen to them. All I can do is work hard and continue to improve.” Geez Ken can you give us some examples of his “attitude problem” and/or “micro expressions?”

  25. Roger Dodger says:

    Gordon is just fine. But he cannot bunt for crap.

  26. Badger says:

    Brooklyn, what I meant was I would like to have a center fielder like Michael Bourne in between Kemp and Ethier. Bourne hits well, steals a lot of bases and has a couple of Gold Gloves. Last I looked he is FA next year, but I would be very surprised if the Braves let him go. As for the CarGo reference, who wouldn’t want a guy like him in left field? I know he isn’t going anywhere, but the point is, I would rather the Dodgers find somebody under 30 who has his best years in front of him, not guys in their mid 30′s whose best years are long ago. btw, in case you didn’t know it, Gonzalez signed a contract with the Rockies for 7 years and less money than what the Dodgers are paying Ethier in 5. Who would you rather have for the next 5 years – Ethier or Carlos Gonzalez? Just askin’.

  27. Kevin says:

    Badger I think we’d all much rather have Cargo but their situations were completely different. Ethier is gonna be a free agent and Cargo signed well before he was eligible to be a free agent for the financial security similiar to what Tulo and Pedroia did. He left $ on the table but also protected himself in case he got injured, etc.

    Roger you are so right man Dee is a bad bunter. He tries to get out of the box before he successfully puts the bunt down every time. He will need to figure that out sooner than later.

  28. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger, I wasn’t even thinking about what position they play, nor was I considering CarGo’s contract, and the fact that Colorado would want a king’s ransom for him. I was simply indicating which of the two players I would prefer to have. And for me, the answer is a no brainer. CarGo!!!!! He’s several years younger, has considerably more power, doesn’t run as fast as Bourn, but he’s fast nevertheless, and I’m guessing, if need be, he could even play CF. But even if he played a corner, I’d prefer him to Bourn. Plus, if memory serves, he’s got a strong arm, and Bourn doesn’t. Mind you, I’d like to have Bourn, but if he could be had (which isn’t likely), I’d prefer CarGo.

    And of course I wasn’t comparing Ethier to CarGo. I’d have to see CarGo everyday to tell you which one I’d prefer. And by the way, Michael Bourn will be 30 in December.

    Finally, I’m not all too concerned with getting a player in his early 30′s. I am confident that new ownership will be busy re-building the Dodger farm system, and that it won’t be all that long before the Dodgers are producing their own top young prospects. And in the immediate future, I suspect that money will be spent to sign impact free agents if and when they become available, to fill short term needs.

    And Roger, Dee is definitely a work in progress with respect to his bunting. However, as I’ve mentioned before, I thought he was a terrible bunter last year, and just a bad bunter this year. He’s got a ways to go, but it’s better than it was, and will likely continue to get better. As it was for Kemp, patience is the watchword for Gordon.

  29. Mark_Timmons says:

    We had these same discussions about Matt Kemp several years ago. Many were convinced he would never amount to anything.

    I didn\’t used to be an Ethier fan when he was Mr. Softee. He will get better as he gets older.

    The signing will be a steal.

  30. Roger Dodger says:

    A bit more on Dee. I really like him. Watched him in minor league camp at Spring Training three years ago. Took several pictures up close.

    Tonight, on that first inning ground ball. He “hot-dogged” it all the way. One handed from the side. Do or die play. That was probably his easiest ground ball of the season so far. Heck, I used to play SS, and you go in for the ball a step or two, go with two hands and make the play. He just did not approach the ground ball the Dodger way.

    Give him the 100 ground ball treatment tomorrow.

  31. Badger says:

    I have always felt Ethier was a good enough hitter to eventually win a batting title. But, I don’t believe that anymore. Not the way he hits LH pitching(.246 .673) and the slumps he gets into. By now, all of that should be worked out. He might get better, but right now he is in the middle of his productive years (26-33). I think he is as good as he is going to be, which is good, but not great. I predicted he would be a consistent .300 hitter by this age, and he just isn’t.

    Brooklyn, I wasn’t going after you in any way, I was just explaining the point about which you asked. I prefer we find guys who are ready to have their break-out years, or are right in the middle of their most productive years. The outfielders we have trying out for left field are Gwynn, the right age but a career .249 hitter with a .645 OPS, Abreu 8-10 years past his prime, Jerry Sands, not ready for prime time, Juan Rivera 34 soon and obviously on the down side, Scott Van Slyke, see Jerry Sands…. who am leaving out? Not exactly everyday players out there. Like I have mentioned, and some agree, I would like to get a solid everyday center fielder – a guy LIKE Bourn, and put Kemp and Ethier on either side of him. We also need a serious upgrade at 3b. Where we find those guys? Iontkno, but if we upgraded those two positions, and get Ellis back to play solid defensive 2b and get some timely hits, we could compete with everything else staying the same. Sure I would love to have a legit thumper at 1b, but I view the other needs are more of a priority. Loney’s career 162 game averages are .286, 13 HR 84 RBI’s and .772 OPS. I could live with that IF we had guys like Wright and Bourn in our lineup. Guys LIKE them, I realize those particular guys are probably not available.

    Heck, we are in another 1-1 game tonight, and the team is currently 4 for 23. This is how it’s going to go against the quality teams in the league. With this lineup, I think it’s safe to expect pitching duels every night. This team needs more better offensive players to be serious contenders. That’s my opinion.

  32. Brooklyn Dodger says:

    Badger, never thought you were going after me. Just thought you misunderstood what I meant. And I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of the offense, which is in a word, offensive. And Mattingly has got to stop using Jansen back to back to back. He’s going to hurt the kid if he keeps it up. And besides, when he’s used like that Jansen begins to lose his effectiveness.

    But the underlying reason why Jansen, and the bullpen in general, get overworked comes down to the non-existent Dodgers offense. Low scoring, tight games are the norm with a team that both pitches well and struggles to score. This team needs a bat or two or three.

    Looked to me at the end of the game tonight that Uribe had a couple of good pitches to hit, and fouled them both off. A more controlled swing and there’s no telling what he might have done. But Uribe appears unable to stay out of the bucket. This is second guessing, but using Abreu to hit for Uribe might have been a good move.

  33. Badger says:

    I just looked at the wrap up and Jansen threw Aybar three straight cutters. He didn’t get the last one back. He threw 9 more cutters to Hester, but got him to fly out. And to his credit, he struck out Morales on a slider, so we know he has two pitches.

    And the Dodgers lose another tightly pitched game. Dodgers 5 for 30, with 6 total bases on the night.

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