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Tag Archives: Chad Billingsley

We need a major-league second baseman now!

delino

We need a proven major-league closer now!

baez

We need a major-league top-of-the-rotation ace pitcher now!

schmidt

We need a major-league centerfielder now!

pierre

No really, we need a major-league centerfielder now!

jones

From the top:

– RHP Pedro Martinez traded for 2B Delino DeShields. Pedro went on to win three Cy Young awards.

– RHP Edwin Jackson and LHP Chuck Tiffany traded for RHP Danys Baez and RHP Lance Carter. Edwin Jackson won 14 games for Tampa, and was a 2008 All-Star for Detroit.

– RHP Jason Schmidt, signed 3 years/$47 million in 2006. Has pitched a total of eight games and 33.2 innings since arriving in L.A.

– OF Juan Pierre, signed 5 years/$44 million in 2006. Mediocre in 2007, and relegated to the bench since 2008.

– OF Andruw Jones, signed 2 years/$36 million in 2008. Had a historically bad year in 2008, was replaced by Manny Ramirez, and bought out of his contract in 2009.

There’s something to be said about staying with the one you brought to the dance. Chad Billingsley may not be the sexiest top-of-the-rotation starter out there, but that’s more an indictment of the ridiculous east-coast bias of the media. Cole Hamels can start the year off miserably, but not have his ability questioned. Billingsley can start with guns blazing, go through a slump, and he’s basically garbage after that.

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The Good: Matt Kemp, James Loney, and Andre Ethier all had a great series against the Padres. Eric Stults getting another chance to start.

The Bad: Russell Martin, Manny Ramirez, Rafael Furcal, and Orlando Hudson didn’t. Hiroki Kuroda getting injured.

The Ugly: Good grief! I know young pitchers struggle with their control, but to see Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, and James McDonald do what they did three games in a row was excruciating. Granted, I figure Billingsley will get it going sooner or later. But as for Kershaw and McDonald? Not the greatest way to start the season.

At some point, both of these guys simply need to trust their ability to pitch and not worry so much. McDonald’s body language belied that of a confident pitcher. He was fidgety, and his mechanics appeared off after he loaded the bases the first time. At some point, you wish Brad Ausmus would’ve gone out there to tell him to slow down, go back to a windup, and just pitch. After all, isn’t his handling of pitchers the reason the Dodgers went with him and not Danny Ardoin as a backup catcher?

It was nice to be able to actually see all of this week’s games, less the the two we missed while on the road. I love it when DirecTV offers a free preview of MLB Extra Innings, and I love it even more when they don’t block you from recording any of the preview games, as they did last year.

Things to look forward to — or should I say, eventual eBay purchases?

How about a Russell Martin MacFarlane figure, and a Manny Ramirez bobblehead.

martin

mannyEven though Manny’s been here less than a year, and probably won’t be here longer than a year and a half, clearly he would get his own bobblehead — not just from the Dodgers but from the Albuquerque Isotopes as well. But Casey Blake? Really, the Dodgers marketing department thought better of giving Blake a bobblehead before, I don’t know, Billingsley, Kemp, Ethier, or Broxton?

Finally, thoughts and prayers to the Adenhart family and the Anaheim Angels. What made that particular tragedy strike particularly close to home was the fact that I had traveled that particular intersection (where Adenhart’s vehicle was struck) many, many times at that same hour, and I still have family in the area that do as well.

Hundreds, if not thousands (sadly) of people die yearly at the hands of such wildly irresponsible drivers such as Andrew Gallo, and we never hear about it. It’s sad and unfortunate that it takes a (semi) celebrity to die for us to even consider talking about the senselessness of not only drunk driving, but a legal system powerless to do anything more than slap a repeat offender on the wrist — which ultimately, what license suspension amounts to.

How ought we fix it? I don’t know, but I wish it didn’t require innocent people dying for the issue to come to the forefront.

These three beauties were among the many other surprises left by my postman this afternoon.

2005 Prime Patches Hideo Nomo

nomo_pp

This card is so awesome, so beautiful, so much better than any other GU card of Nomo that I currently have. It took a long time to finally hammer out a deal to acquire this, but it’s now mine.

2006 SP Authentic By the Letter Chad Billingsley

billingsley

For some reason, I can never find Chad Billingsley BTL patches at a reasonable price on eBay. So when the opportunity came to divest myself of a totally unwanted gold refractor autograph in exchange for these cards and others, I had to capitalize!

For what it’s worth, I doubt I’ll be finding Matt Kemp’s 08 SPa BTL patches at any better of a rate. I did manage, however, to acquire “LAROCHE,” with most of them costing less than 10 dollars.

2006 SPx Rookie Signatures Chad  Billingsley

billingsley_spx

Add another autograph card to my collection. Only James Loney, Clayton Kershaw, and Blake DeWitt remain of the Dodgers’ young stars that I don’t have an autograph card.

A Dodger win is a good thing. A Dodger win in the NLCS is even better. What isn’t any good is the ridiculous posturing, chest-thumping, and finger-pointing in last night’s game. Listen guys, I understand. Somebody throws a pitch that hits you, you get a little upset. Somebody buzzes you out of the batter’s box, you get a little upset. But you know what, it’s part of the game. Man up and take it instead of sniping at your teammates through Bill Freakin’ Plaschke of all people.

If Chad Billingsley’s teammates are upset that he didn’t buzz any Phillies hitters, then his teammates are a bunch of maroons. Hey guys, did you happen to notice he had trouble even retiring apparent Silver Slugger candidate Brett Myers? In the midst of one of his worst outings this year, you wanted Billingsley to uncork a pitch and put somebody else on base?

Worst yet was Joe Buck and Tim McCarver — and it is a stretch to juxtapose the phrase “worst yet” and Buck and McCarver’s names — continuously rehashing the incident as though there were any redeeming social value to it. They were continuously reinforcing the meme that Billingsley let down his teammates. Well, he did in that he couldn’t retire Brett Myers, not because he didn’t — whether or not he refused to is unknown — partake in the insanity of throwing beanballs. McCarver and Buck kept picking at the scab of an idea that perhaps there was more to come of this, and when Clay Condrey hit nailed Russell Martin again, you could almost see the wheels-a-turnin’ in their heads.

Not surprisingly, ESPN was all over this nonsense. Forgetting that Hiroki Kuroda snapped off a gem last night, and that the Dodgers finally had their offense firing on all cylinders, all the media could focus on was this nonsense. Even Shane Victorino, Kuroda’s would-be victim, seemed to be imploring the media hacks to cut it out. “It’s squashed,” he said. But do you really trust a media hack to leave well enough alone? I’m sure the brushback meme will continue to be discussed repeatedly later tonight.

This is the guy the beat the Dodgers last night, almost single-    handedly at that? Brett Myers? This guy accounted for five of the Phillies’ eight runs?

DUDE! Chad Billingsley, I know everyone has and off-game from time-to-time, but if you can’t figure out how to pitch to Brett Freakin’ Myers, you deserve to lose. If you had managed to keep Brett Freakin’ Myers off the basepaths, the Dodgers would’ve won 5-3. It wouldn’t have mattered that once again, Citizens Bank Park and its crazy walls robbed the Dodgers of home runs.

If there’s any positive coming from losing these two games, it’s that the Dodgers were never completely out of the games. Losing 3-2 to the opposing team’s ace is hardly a sound defeat, and it’s clear the Dodgers had chances to win even last night.

They get to play in front of their own fans on Sunday and Monday, and hopefully that’ll be the elixir to their malaise thus far.

I believe that the most effective way to score runs is to get on base and hit for power. Take for example yesterday’s game against the Cubs. The Dodgers wasted a good outing from Chad Billingsley (6IP, 4H, 2R, 7K). Billingsley’s only mistake — a two-run blast to Derrek Lee, preceded by a walk to Ryan Theriot. But there you see the fundamentals of scoring runs — Theriot gets on base, Lee makes Billingsley pay with a home run.

Later in the game, Aramis Ramirez added a solo shot off of Scott Proctor, who continues to struggle this year. Two months into the season, and he’s still not looking very sharp. According to the broadcast, more than half the hits he’s given up this year have gone for extra bases. Perhaps he needs more innings, but it’s hard to argue in favor of it given his rather unsightly opponents’ OPS to date.

The Cubs won this game, despite good pitching from the Dodgers’ starter, by getting on base and hitting for power. I don’t think that could be any clearer to the Dodgers. Nonetheless, I should note that the Dodgers did just fine getting on base yesterday, racking up 10 hits and four walks. Fourteen baserunners, and only one run. Did they hit for power? Matt Kemp doubled twice, and Andre Ethier added one of his own. Other than that, just a bunch of little singles here and there. No power.

The Dodgers clearly lack power. Andruw Jones, their power-hitting messiah, has instead been a power-hitting void. Jeff Kent looks every bit of his 40 years. Meanwhile, developing hitters Ethier and Kemp are within reach of their career slugging percentages. Russell Martin and James Loney are a little further back of their career SLG, but still within striking distance.

According to the Dodgers (Joe Torre, anyway), inexperience is the problem. Inexperience, and not batting Mark Sweeeney (.100/.196/.125) fifth behind Jeff Kent (.242/.287/.373) is the problem. Meanwhile, I hear Andy LaRoche is getting PT at 1B. Why? You can never tell with Ned Colletti (improving LaRoche’s trade value/trading Loney/FINALLY DFA-ing Sweeney), but if it means he gets to LA faster (a la Jonathans Meloan and Broxton in the bullpen), then so be it. You’d think given Kent’s apparent to everyone but Bob Brenly and Joe Torre rustiness, that LaRoche would start taking grounders at 2B.

And speaking of Bob Brenly, I won’t even touch the very thinly-veiled disdain for Kemp. The guy must be a dear friend to Luis Gonzalez.