Friday, December 7, 2007

Bill Plaschke Spins Some Nonsense

Bill Plaschke likes the Andruw Jones signing for a bunch of reasons. Let’s take a look:

Folks will complain because Jones, 30, is coming off the worst full season of his career, but every question has an answer.

I can’t argue with that. Was the Jones signing a good one? Probably not terrible since it's only for two years. Will Bill Plaschke have some good reasons? Probably not. Do I like Jello Pudding? Absolutely.

You say he had a bad summer? I say he still would have led the Dodgers in home runs (26) and runs batted in (94).

And he would have finished 9th in OPS+ among all Dodger hitters. That’s behind Wilson Betemit.

You say he's overpaid? I say that by giving him only a two-year deal, he's going to feel underpaid, and you know how hungry those guys get.

Last year he was so hungry that in his big-time, have-a-monster-year-and-get-huge-contract season of 2007 he turned in his worst performance to date. So that logic sucks.

You say he won't be any better than the combination of Kemp and Andre Ethier? I say, in a post-steroid-era season in 2006, he hit 41 homers with 129 RBIs, so get real.

So we’re not going to address how good Kemp will be? Just that Jones had a good year in 2006? How’d he do in 2007? Matt Kemp had an OPS of .894 last year, Jones had an OPS of .894 in the aforementioned 2006 season. Last year? Jones was at .724. Matt Kemp made about $400K. Ethier didn’t show Kemp’s potential but was still better than a league average hitter last year, Jones was not.

Since when is “so get real” an actual fucking point in a real argument?

You say that Lebron James is better than Kobe Bryant? Well Kobe Bryant scored 81 points in a game, so get real! What grade are we in?

You say it's silly to bring a power hitter to Dodger Stadium? OK, well, how about bringing a perennial Gold Glove winner to Dodger Stadium?

I say both statements are silly. The point that you made up (and then didn’t address) and the point you brought up. Yes, Jones is a good fielder. If that’s what you care about, trade for Coco Crisp.

In acquiring Jones, the Dodgers are actually acquiring four players.

This is going to make a ton of sense. Four players worth of salary maybe. But based on last year, he represents pretty much one average player.

His power allows them to give Andy LaRoche a long-awaited chance to win the job at third base.

Ahhhh I see…so having Andruw Jones allows the Dodgers to play Andy LaRoche over power hitting Nomar Garciaparra, who’ll have to take his 7 HR’s and 78 OPS+ to the bench. Andruw Jones should have nothing to do with third base.

His pedigree probably convinces Jeff Kent to return for one more run at a championship.

Now we are onto the hardcore evidence. Jones’ pedigree will convince Jeff Kent, who is “good”, not great, and is about 40 years old and proved to be clubhouse poison again last year to stick around (which is mildly odd because I thought LA had a club option on him).

His position lets Juan Pierre become Juan Pierre.

Yes, Jones playing CF instead of Juan Pierre is a big upgrade on many fronts, because Juan Pierre is an out-machine with a little girl arm. But, Bill, what the hell are you saying here? I don’t think it’s “lets Juan Pierre become Juan Pierre, bench player”, and that’s a problem.

No, no, the Dodgers will not and should not trade the short-armed center fielder. Just because he was overpaid doesn't mean he lacked value. Did everybody somehow miss that he was second in the league in stolen bases and led the league in sacrifice bunts?

That might be the most terrible paragraph (well, a Plaschke paragraph) of baseball analysis I’ve read in a while. How can you ever say a team shouldn’t trade a bad player with a bad contract? I mean, if they could give him away, they should. Nobody would want him though, because he LACKS VALUE. You try to trade him Bill, and tell me what kind of “value” you get back.

The other NL leaders in sacrifice hits were John Maine, Omar Vizquel, Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Kyle Lohse, Wandy Rodriguez, and Ian Snell. Do you notice anything about the hitting prowess of these players? They are not good hitters (all but one is a pitcher). They sacrifice bunt a lot because their managers would rather them give up an out than give it the old college try. The fact that Juan Pierre led the league in sacrifices is not impressive and including that point as a positive is the ultimate in reaching for an argument. I mean, it’s a hitting category that he beat a bunch of pitchers in and that should tell you something.

The Dodgers need to keep Pierre's speed and bunting ability at the top of the order. Goodness, it's one of the reasons Jones agreed to play here. But at least now, Pierre can move to a safer left field and be viewed for what he is -- a complementary player.

The Dodgers don’t need to keep out-machine Juan Pierre at the top of the order for a variety of reasons, two of them being that he sucks and Rafael Furcal is also on the team at the top of the order, who was sort of inept last year too.

"I never said Juan Pierre is a franchise player," Colletti said. "He's a very good player on a winning team."

That statement makes zero sense. He’s only a good player on a winning team? So he’s only good if he’s surrounded by a ton of other good players? I suspect that’s Colletti’s perception, but he doesn’t realize that it’s the winning team that masks how bad Pierre is.

Four players in, one player out, and that player is either Kemp or Ethier, who are overcrowding right field.

If you’re keeping track. This is a summary of the math:

IN (+):
- Andruw Jones (duh) at $18 million per.
- Andy LaRoche (because now they can safely sit HR machine Nomar Garciapparra out, which we still don’t know if they’ll do. This should happen completely independent of who was in CF anyway.)
- Jeff Kent (because of Andruw Jones’ pedigree or some nonsense)
- Juan Pierre (he’s in somehow, even though Jones’ is taking his place in CF).

OUT (-):
Solid young player Andre Ethier or potential stud Matt Kemp, who have the nerve to overcrowd RF.

= Good signing. That's one loony equation. Andruw Jones for two years at that pay is a bit much, to me, but given Hunter's contract I think it's not a bad move for the Dodgers. But who would dig up these arguments? Bill Plaschke, that's who.

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