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Monday, May 19, 2008

Pickoff Moves, Lunchtime Edition

Congratulations Jon Weisman On Your New Book (So Hurry Up And Finish It!)

Well, when it comes out anyway, 100 Things Dodger Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die. I had an e-mail conversation with Jon a month ago or so on this topic when he was all coy and stuff, so it's not like something like this was a big surprise, but I can't wait to see this.

Charlie Steiner Makes A Scary Yet Brilliant Point

I have hitherto used this space to slag on Dodgers broadcaster Charlie Steiner, mainly for his incomprehensible inability to assemble the syllables in the right order on the Spanish surname Encarnacion. Nevertheless, he has since done a few things to endear himself to me in the ensuing time, and one of them is his entertaining XM radio talk show, Baseball Beat. This latter consists primarily of interviews with sports journalists who cover the various teams; today, his interviewee was Yankees and Mets beat writer Bob Klapisch of the Bergen County Record and ESPN.

Steiner and Klapisch today discussed the state of the Yankees, who have made simultaneous and large bets on veterans (who are too often injured to play, viz. Jorge Posada and A-Rod, possibly Andy Pettitte later in the year) and on the kids as well (as any Angels follower can tell you, Ervin Santana's development has not been wine and roses, and neither has Ian Kennedy's or Phil Hughes'). At the end of this point, Steiner asked a question that occurred to me could have a direct impact on the Dodgers, namely, and this is a paraphrase, "Is Brian Cashman's relationship at a point with the Yankees like Joe Torre, where both sides want out of the marriage?" Klapisch allowed as how that was a very good analogy, because the Yanks aren't winning, and Cashman placed his bet on retaining the services of Kennedy and Hughes rather than using them as bargaining chips for Johan Santana.

Just how does this affect the Dodgers? Well, who will be the biggest name available in the GM market if, say, the Dodgers conclude the season with a losing record and Frank McCourt decides to give Colletti the axe?

Roster Notes

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Rob - if Cashman leaves the Yankees I expect to see him with the Mariners. Right now I think there's a better chance of Congress passing meaningful immigration reform legislation than there is for Bavasi to continue as GM of the Mariners. If Cashman leaves the Yankees he will likely become available at the same time the Mariners have an opening.

The Mariners are a staid baseball organization; although they don't entirely dismiss advanced quantitative methods, they aren't very comfortable with that type of analysis in baseball operations. When there's a variance between "squat" and "quant" (as Bavasi has phrased it) they almost always go with "squat". Which is a big reason why the Mariners perform like squat.

Even after the wreckage of this season, I can't see the Mariners ownership deciding their overall operating approach has been eclipsed by modern analysis and it's now time to drink extract of Beane and flush the organization. Which means Cashman is exactly the type of GM the Mariners' ownership would go for.
Trouble is, I think Cashman's philosophy is likely to work only in New York where the bank accounts are unrivaled.

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