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Tag Archives: Paul DePodesta

I can’t say that I’ve ever thought highly of Derek Lowe, his brilliant signing notwithstanding. As dependable as he’s been the four years he’s been here, there’s just something about the guy that I just don’t like. Nonetheless, he’s been arguably the Dodgers’ best free-agent signing of recent note. He signed a four-year, $32 million deal after being unceremoniously jettisoned by the 2004 WS Champion Red Sox — this after pitching well in the clinching games of the ALDS, ALCS, and World Series.

Former GM Paul DePodesta was 100% right about Lowe — this groundball specialist would thrive at Dodger Stadium, and even signed him to a very modest contract to boot.

Lots to love about Lowe, statistically speaking. Outside the lines, he’s been a grade-A scumbag. He divorced the mother of his children, whom he left behind on the east coast, so that he could continue his affair with former FSN West reporter Carolyn Hughes, and bemoaned (along with Jeff Kent and Luis Gonzalez) management’s choice to hold on to the “kids” in 2007 in lieu of trading them away for a trade-deadline rental.

Haven’t heard much of Lowe this year, which incidentally, is a contract year for him. Either he’s happy that so many of his 2004 Red Sox teammates are now Dodgers (Nomar, Manny, advisor to the GM Bill Mueller), or he knows he needs to keep his trap shut and avoid controversy considering he’s old (2009 will be his 36-year-old season) and probably still wants another multi-year deal.

That said, given the Dodgers’ offensive malaise — whole lot of change Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake did for the team — it’s surprising that he was so forgiving of the their inability to score recently. After yesterday’s loss to the 39 games under .500 Nationals, Lowe had this to say:

“I think, in this game, trying harder normally doesn’t get you anywhere, and I think that’s such a hard thing to fight,” he said. “You can’t give 110 percent. I think that’s where we are. There’s no lack of preparation, there’s no such thing as guys not trying. I think, as a collective group, sometimes you’ve got to try less to get more.

Knowing how quick everyone involved with the Dodgers has been willing to betray and blame Ethier/Kemp/Loney/Martin … I mean, their teammates for everything under the sun, it’s a little refreshing to hear Lowe not blame anyone.

In the end though, blame falls squarely on the shoulders of Ned Colletti. There’s a reason why the Dodgers are a singles-hitting team that relies heavily on a high BABIP, and will be in for epic failure when their BABIP falls as it has recently. That reason is Ned Colletti. Ned spent $57 million on Andruw Jones, Juan Pierre, Nomar, Jason Schmidt, and Rafael Furcal. The only one of that bunch that’s doing anything remotely productive is Andruw, and that’s solely because he’s been banished to Triple-A and not wasting a roster spot. (Okay, neither are Furcal and Schmidt).

Pierre and Nomar (not to mention Mark Sweeney, Pablo Ozuna, and Angel Berroa) continue to soak up valuable playing time, thus further delaying the advancement of players such as Delwyn Young, Chin-Lung Hu, and Ivan DeJesus — players who may actual be useful for the Dodgers.

Rather than use the money (or their minor leaguers) to acquire useful players such as Manny, or Adam Dunn, whom the Reds essentially gave away, the Dodgers waste their “stock” on retreads such as Casey Blake and Greg Maddux.

And then they cobble together a roster that has no punch aside from Kemp, Ethier, and Manny. So is it any surprise that a singles-hitting team can’t do anything other than hit singles?


I love the Dodgers. I love baseball. But what I hate is the archaic, stuck-in-the-mud thinking that permeates baseball management. My baseball philosophy is much more in line with forward-thinking, statistically-inclined people such as Billy Beane, Paul DePodesta, Bill James, and is featured on websites such as Baseball Prospectus, The Hardball Times, and Dodger Thoughts, among many others. Essentially, I enjoy looking for a reasonable explanation for the innumerable vagaries of baseball. I enjoy reading about those who attempt to theorize why baseball is as exciting as it is for us.

As to the title, one of my favorite ballplayers, Andy LaRoche, is currently stuck in exile in Las Vegas (the Dodgers’ Triple-A team). He was sent there on a rehab assignment after he was injured in spring training. Halfway through that rehab, the Dodgers activated him, and then optioned him to the minors, wasting 10 days of rehab and an option year for LaRoche. Meanwhile, LaRoche, one of their best power-hitting minor league prospects languishes in Triple-A while the likes of Mark Sweeney, Andruw Jones, and Jeff Kent continue to feebly hit ground balls to NL infielders. All the while, Dodger management bemoans the lack of production on the major league club.

It would seem a very simple fix. No power hitters? Call up a power hitter. Of course, Blake DeWitt’s emergence has made this less simple (DeWitt and LaRoche are both third basemen). But if you can find time to play Kent/Sweeney/Jones, then you can cut bait on any of the three and find time to play LaRoche.