Odds & Ends: Smoltz, D’Backs, Kemp, Howard

Links for Wednesday, as the Brewers wonder how to fix Trevor Hoffman


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72 Comments on "Odds & Ends: Smoltz, D’Backs, Kemp, Howard"


lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

Colletti is SO dumb… attack the young hitter who is tied for the MLB league in HRs and RBIs. He is hitting 294 on the year. And what does he expect out of Kemp defensively? Sorry, Kemp isnt going to catch a ball that is over Ethier’s head down the RF line.. he isnt that fast.

If Colletti had a brain, he’d comment on guys like Sherrill, who has a 2.35 WHIP. But then he realizes that he traded a top prospect and a BOR starter for Sherrill and he cant admit anything is his fault.

One final point. Colletti is ripping the players, especially the homegrown ones. However, where would he be without these homegrown players? Out of a job…

TwinsVet
5 years 4 months ago

Kemp has huge expectations. He’s expected to be a plus-everything guy.

Colletti is, most likely, just trying to light a fire under his ass. Kemp is a young kid, dating a pop diva, and living in LA. Reasonable to think he’s getting a bit full of himself, or slacking on the “small stuff” on the field. A GM calling out a kid can provide a reality-check.

Don’t rip Colletti. He’s right. Kemp is not only slumping, but his defense and baserunning have been well below his capabilities.

Ferrariman
5 years 4 months ago

just a guess, but maybe he is trying to pull every pitch he sees. he is currently tied for the NL lead in HR’s. just a thought.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

Almost every homerun has been to RCF… he isnt pulling anything, he had a bad road trip, thats all

dire straits
5 years 4 months ago

Fail!

ivdown
5 years 4 months ago

Luckily that is not the problem. All but 1 homerun this year has been to CF or right center. About 75% of his hr last year were to CF last year too. He’s damn good at that.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

If you have seen Kemp, youd know that all he does is train. Litterally within a week of the season ending, he was starting his offseason program. He was at Camelback and Dodger Stadium all the time in the offseason, working on his game, and even with the prospects(he seems to be very good friends with Dee Gordon).

Kemp had a poor road trip with the average, and is hitting a horrible 294/354/588/942, with 7 homeruns(leading the majors), 20 RBIs(leading the majors) and 20 runs(leading the majors). He is having a historic month in dodger history… I believe the 3rd dodger to have a 20 RBI/20 Run April ever… There are better people to call out.

And there is a difference to calling out a guy and trying to embarrass him. If you wanna light a fire, talk to him in private. Dont go on the damn radio and rip your star… yea, thats gonna be really good for the Dodgers in a couple years when we wanna sign him long term.

Defense cannot be graded on 20 games. It cant be rated on one season, really. UZR is too flexible. Yea, he has been caught 5 times trying to steal… however, at least 2 of those are busted hit and runs more than straight steals..

The only thing the Dodgers should do it put him in the two hole and wait for Manny to come back

5 years 4 months ago

You know Paul Konerko is leading the league with 8 Home Runs right?

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

I was going off of baseball reference… I wonder if it is still bolded because he leads the NL.. either way, it doesnt change my point that he is the LAST guy Colletti should have chosen to rip..

5 years 4 months ago

Ok, I’d agree with you.

ThinkBlue10
5 years 4 months ago

honestly, kemp is not the last guy he should criticize. kemp has been playing poorly lately and he needs to know that those little mistakes he makes, he shouldnt be making them. You need to understand he is our best player so he needs to act like it and lead the way and be a leader.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

Kemp is absolutely the last guy he should be commenting about, in public at least. Take him to the side with Torre and say “your defense and baserunning has been sub-par and we expect more”. Dont go to the damn radio and say its cause of lack of work ethnic, his new girlfriend or his new contract. To a professional, thats a kick to the nuts…

________________________________

jdub220
5 years 4 months ago

So is Kelly Johnson! Bet the Braves aren’t too happy with that.

Just_MLB
5 years 4 months ago

At some point, people are going to have to hold Terry Pendleton accountable. its not a coincidence that Francour looks like a completely different hitter, right now he is due to hit .278…with 22 HR…44 2B, 7 triples, 68 BB, and 88 RBI out of the 7 hole.
He already has 9 walks…last year he had 11 …the year before he had 12…

give Omar credit where credit is due…

TwinsVet
5 years 4 months ago

Look. I’m not over here dogging on kemp. But you don’t need 3 seasons of UZR to conclude his defense has been subpar lately. And all the season totals don’t add up to a single HR or RBI in his last 7.

I’m just saying its not uncommon for young pro athletes to get full of themselves. Or front offices to call out underperforming players.

Matt’s a big boy. He doesn’t need you defending him from perceived disrespect.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

Im not denying his defense has been bad, but it’s been 20 games.. talk about small sample size..

With the offense, baseball is a game of streaks. He was hot at home, hitting, I believe, 5 homeruns in like 6 games. Then he goes on a homerless streak for 7 games, and we rip him? Part of the struggle of RBIs lately is the whole team isnt scoring. Since Manny went down, our offense has struggled.

With him being full of himself, he isnt. Simply put, he is very liked in the clubhouse and is a gymrat. My point is it isnt wise for the FO to call out the corner of the franchise after 7 games w/o a Hr or RBI..

Encarnacion's Parrot
5 years 4 months ago

You also do know that Miguel Cabrera is leading the league in RBI’s with 24? Jorge Cantu has 22 and Chris Young has 21? Cabrera has been leading for a couple days now. Time to switch to fangraphs.

I understand your frustrations, but it may be wise to not blindly rage on forums.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

Is it really blingly raging on forums when I go onto a usually-reliable site, one that this very site links to in every post, and look up the numbers? Id say it wasnt blindly raging, but rather using a website that just hadnt been updated..

Encarnacion's Parrot
5 years 4 months ago

I kinda edited my comment to add the last 2 sentences in the first paragraph, and deleted the second. Guess it didn’t like all my editing. Just exclude the second paragraph and that’s how my comment rests.

dire straits
5 years 4 months ago

It can either provide him a reality check or it can bruise his inflated ego. I hope it’s not the latter. A guy who is full of himself, as Kemp might be, would be very proud to re-sign with a team that questions his integrity. I really do think he was trying light a fire under his ass, but wondering on record if it had anything to do with the newly-signed deal is playing with fire.

5 years 4 months ago

Is that why Ned Colletti further implied that Matt Kemp was getting lazy due to his new contract? Just throw personal attacks in there for no reason just to give a little tough love? Really? Hmm…

So Colletti only wanted to be honest in this matter, but when later pushed as to whether or not he believed Kemp’s work ethic was poor in the off-season, he dodged the question better than Muhammad Ali dodged punches. Hilarious. So Colletti wants to be honest when it might take the heat off his back, but not when it comes to substantiating his BS claims against players. Cool.

Do you think this was about motivating Kemp, or do you think Ned Colletti’s simply acting like a little petulant child that isn’t getting his way again? He did this in the second week of the season as well on the same radio station, but about the pitching staff instead.

But hey, anything to absolve himself of responsibility for the Dodgers current situation, right? It couldn’t have been his fault, he was only the one that put the team together, after all.

http://www.mikesciosciastragicillness.com/2010/04/28/why-the-dodgers-are-in-last-place/

http://www.memoriesofkevinmalone.com/2010/04/when-in-doubt-blame-players.html

http://www.memoriesofkevinmalone.com/2010/04/in-few-years-matt-kemp-will-be-new-york.html

markjsunz
5 years 4 months ago

Probably the same place as without them last place.

TwinsVet
5 years 4 months ago

Tim, I eagerly await my tweet from Roto on Hoffman’s replacement…

Ferrariman
5 years 4 months ago

thats an easy one. latroy hawkins.

TwinsVet
5 years 4 months ago

Sure, he’s probably the front-runner… but how long is Hoffman’s leash?

Ferrariman
5 years 4 months ago

if i were to guess, after he gets his 600th save. i think he is 3 away.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

you think they’d take Hoffman out of the closers role right after he got 600? Damn, thats like letting the guy break the HR record and then bench him

Yankees420
5 years 4 months ago

Except Hoffman already has the saves record.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

yea, I know. Im just saying that letting the guy reach a place no one has gone, 600 saves and immediately pulling the plug, no matter how bad he has been, wont be taken well by the fans and media, IMO

5 years 4 months ago

Luke will be all over it on @closernews if Macha says anything. Pirates may be a little frustrated with Dotel, too.

Triteon
5 years 4 months ago

Eye-opening article by Posnanski. Nice find.

mattinglyfan
5 years 4 months ago

Note to Ned: Probably NOT a good idea to call out your players in public. How about telling Kemp directly, or have Joe Torre tell him about his fundamental baseball woes?

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

Agree 100%. Why piss off the guy you have to negotiate a contract with in, what, a year and a half? Sigh..

markjsunz
5 years 4 months ago

If little Matts feelings are hurt he can take his ball and play elsewhere. Poor little boy.
He is a pro, and Coletti has a right to call him out if he wants, his fielding and baserunning have been horse s**t. He has been in the majors long enough to know the fundementals of baserunning. And if being called out about it causes him not to resign with the Dodgers good riddence.

5 years 4 months ago

No, not good riddance. You say that now, but I doubt you’ll be happy with another Juan Pierre type out there in center just because he was willing to sign with the team and work hard and Ned Colletti likes him.

That’s the reason they actually signed Juan Pierre in the first place, and how did that contract work out?

Easy to say “good riddance” now, but I bet you would be the first person complaining about Matt Kemp’s replacement not producing enough.

nhsox
5 years 4 months ago

People in Boston haven’t really missed Manny. I wouldn’t be so quick to say Dodgers fans would miss him if his conduct slips too far.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

But Kemp has not started any problems. He is loved in the clubhouse. He is loved by the fans. Oh, and he is arguably the best CF in the game right now… but, lets trade him because he is pissed his GM called him out in public, most likely before actually talking to him one on one? Youd be pissed if your boss sent an email, including you, that said you are horrible at every aspect of your job, right? Its the same thing, except worse. That email would go to a couple of dozen people… this is heard by MILLIONS of people

markjsunz
5 years 4 months ago

If a player is that much of a prima donna what do you think is going to happen when you give him a giant contract. A General Manager wants to call out a player in the press who is playing like crap after they talked about it in private without any change he has that right. Phil Jackson has been doing it for years and his players have responded to 10 championships.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

Comments like this make people question why you call yourself a Dodger fan. You expect every player to come up and produce like their potential. You get pissed when players struggle. Hell, you are pissed when a player IS producing. If you think his defense has slipped because of 20 games into the year, you are insane. Defense cant be correctly graded after a whole year, but lets grade him after 20 games?

And you say that we should just let Kemp walk? And who do you want to replace him? Andruw Jones? Juan Pierre? Those are the guys we’d be signing.. didnt you love them the first time around?

markjsunz
5 years 4 months ago

I am going to freely express my opinion if the boy idiot does not like it to bad. I see yesterday you pissed off two more people. How many is it this week 7 or 8?. Put your teeth back in your mouth you are like a pitbull at feeding time.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

You call me a boy idiot and within 5 words, you misuse the word too. Haha, yea, I’m the idiot.

And most of the people that I piss off are fans like you, that overreact when something goes wrong and pretend they were right when things correct themselves.

markjsunz
5 years 4 months ago

Just so you know any future reply from you will be unread and deleted. I am not interested in what you have to say.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

My life will be so incomplete without you though…

vtadave
5 years 4 months ago

My rant for Rotowire.com today:

Matt Kemp won the NL Gold Glove award last year, a year in which he batted .297/.352/.490 with great counting stats – 26 HR, 101 RBI, 34 SB. As we’ve seen over the years, offense does matter in the minds of myopic Gold Glove voters, and that was certainly the case in this voting where Mike Cameron and Aaron Rowand were better defenders by most measures, including UZR/150 and the Fielding Bible awards.

Fast forward to 2010 and it’s apparent to anyone who has watched Kemp regularly this year (raises hand) that he’s struggling out there in center. Misplaying balls, taking poor routes, and not throwing to the correct base have all been more frequent occurences so far this year. Is it a slow start? Poor work ethic? The money? Rhianna? Only Kemp and the Dodgers “know”, but what Ned Colletti did on Tuesday is grounds for firing (just add it to that ever-expanding list).

In a radio interview, Colletti, understandably frustrated with the product HE and Frank McCourt have put out on the field had these things to say about his best player:

In referring to his poor defense:

“Why is it? Because he got a new deal?” Colletti said in reference to Kemp’s new two-year, $10.95 million contract.

“If this is the last day of the season and people are voting for the Gold Glove, his name is not even on the ballot. It’s a shame that he would go from where he was a year ago to revert back to when the ball goes up in the air and you’re not sure where it’s going, or if it’s going to get caught.”

I didn’t get to listen to the full interview, but apparently there were no references to any of the following:

– Vicente Padilla being given $5 million and then predictably laying an egg and getting hurt

– Not offering Randy Wolf arbitration

– The horrendous job Rick Honeycutt has done with the pitching staff

– The fact that the Dodgers broke camp with two pitchers with the last name of Oritz.

– Colletti’s own egregious decisions that have resulted in $14 million of McCourts money being paid to Juan Pierre, Andruw Jones, Jason Schmidt, and yes, Nomar Garciaparra tihs year. Tell me that doesn’t impact the 2010 payroll and the quality of the product on the field. Can’t do it.

Calling out your best player is supposed to help motivate a flawed team with a good offense and a pitching staff with more holes than Jon Gosselin’s argument that he’s a good guy? Look in the mirror Ned. You may have done irreparable harm to the relationship with your franchise player. Dodgers fans just have to hope that the team is sold prior to Kemp’s contract being up. Oh for the days of Fred Claire…

Thank you for your time. Rant over.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

I dont think Honeycutt is to blame for the pitching. If anything, he found out what was wrong with Billz(not standing up throughout his windup) and seemed to fix it.. or maybe he read Kensai’s MOKM story 😉

chaifetz10
5 years 4 months ago

Well if you really wanted to give the Gold Glove to the best outfielders, Cameron and Rowand aren’t the choices. Try Colby Rasmus and Nyjer Morgan. This year those two should be on track to pick up their first GG’s.

Triteon
5 years 4 months ago

Rasmus will get his in due time. And then again, and again, and…

Triteon
5 years 4 months ago

Let’s just say it for what it is: Rihanna is the Jessica Simpson of baseball.

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

Kemp hit most of his HRs in front of Rihanna… He did better when she was there

TwinsVet
5 years 4 months ago

Man, you guys are protective of Kemp!

Look at what Colletti said. He acknowledged (as everyone does) that Kemp is struggling with some fundamentals when he’s not in the batter’s box. He said he doesn’t know why. That’s it!

I can’t think of anybody in the Majors who should be immune to having a GM acknowledge they’re struggling (when they are in fact struggling), and admit they don’t know the reason why.

vtadave
5 years 4 months ago

Agree to a point, but why do it publicly? There’s a time and a place for this kind of stuff and it’s not on a radio interview. Kemp has certainly had some mental lapses, but he’s 25 and I would assume he’s a franchise cornerstone. Why lob insults in the media when you can have the manager take him in his office and address this stuff quietly?

TwinsVet
5 years 4 months ago

Maybe they’ve already tried it privately, and he wasn’t receptive?

Either way, I just can’t find the indignation over a GM saying “yes, this guy is struggling, and I’m not sure why”.

goldenglove002
5 years 4 months ago

Sure hope Smoltz is retired. I’m enjoying listening to him call the Braves games.

5 years 4 months ago

The Dodgers should just release Matt Kemp outright. For four years now they’ve tried ignoring his talent, benching him in favor $9-million singles hitters, then batting him 7th and 8th when he wouldn’t cooperate and insisted on becoming the best hitter on their team, much to Bobblened Coletti’s bizarre, vindictive chagrin. Ned knows that empty batting average guys (the Bill Muellers, the Garciaparras and so forth of the world) win championships, but rebellious Matt Kemp keeps thumbing his nose at Colletti’s sacred stupid formula by producing in all facets of the game. Colletti’s done everything he can to waste the epic talent that was handed to him, and if Kemp keeps thwarting him by putting up these 950 OPS’s, Colletti should show him what for by trading him for a bag of balls. Make this improving All Star talent someone else’s difference-making headache. Colletti’s the man, you know.

God, what an idiot.

markjsunz
5 years 4 months ago

Kemp is hitting pitches he never did in prior years, he is hitting that outside strike out pitch to right field. The critisim of his fielding, and baserunning is fair, Kemp was a gold glove centerfielder last year and it does look like he has lost his concentration. I am sure he is smart enough to step up his game. Coletti may be under fire from McCourt because the team stinks, but McCourt did not want to sign wolf, and you are not going to catch lighting twice in a row by selecting garbage pitching from the trash heap. By the time the McCourts get thru with this team I am sure The play of matt kemp will be the least of there problems.

55saveslives
5 years 4 months ago

We’d have to give Posey AND Bumgarner to get Gonzalez….but would be worth it…

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

I dont think they’d take Bumgarner. That package would be massive. Remember what they wanted from the Dodgers last year for Agon and Bell…

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Your right, it wouldn’t be worth it, for the Padres.

55saveslives
5 years 4 months ago

Padres can’t afford a large popcorn….you saying two top 10 prospects in all the MLB that are controllable for the next 5 or 6 years isn’t a good thing?

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

I think he is saying the Bumgarner has a lot to prove to be considered a top 10 prospect again

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Im saying the Padres could be better off letting Adrian play out his contact and taking the draft picks rather than getting anything less than a kings ransom. and.. IMO that (Posey/Bumgarner) is not quite enough. As lakersdodgersyankees4life points out below, Bumgarner has a lot to prove and while the Padres would love to improve their catching depth Hundley has been playing well and Posey also has questions regarding his defense. If there is a trade in the division ANY team in the West would seriously have to over pay, that would be a lot more than IMO two very talented players (Bumgarner/Posey) with still big question marks. Mind you, I like them both, its just not enough for Adrian considering trading in the same division no less, the Padres recent improvement in pitching depth and catching depth to go along with “them” not yet as proven commodity.

Guest
5 years 4 months ago

Dude.. Posey and Bumgarner are worth 10x than the 15-30 pick and 31-50 pick.

55saveslives
5 years 4 months ago

yeah I’m sure they’d HATE having Bumgarner.. (rolls eyes)

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

If he is still throwing 85 in July, no one will want Bumgarner. A guy who was getting by with his plus fastball all of a sudden doesnt have it… his secondary stuff is ‘meh’ at best. If he doesnt regain velocity, the Padres will laugh at the Giants…

55saveslives
5 years 4 months ago

Good thing for us he was clocked at 92-93 in his last start

lakersdodgersyankees4life
5 years 4 months ago

News to me… if he can regain his velocity over multiple starts, then its a different story

damnitsderek
5 years 4 months ago

You know, if the Orioles can go 4-16 without calling out Miguel Tejada for his defense, I think Coletti can sit down and shut up.

Just_MLB
5 years 4 months ago

just saw the dodgers play the mets and in 3 games there were a few times that u can plainly see Kemp AND others loafing. There was the double that Kemp jogged to in the OF that turned into a Jason Bay triple. There was the baserunning blunder when Kemp was thrown out advancing to 3B on a ball to the SS. ( more of a mental error than loafing ).

“Some guys, I guess, think that they’re better than they are. They think the opposition’s just going to roll over and get beat by them. That obviously doesn’t happen.”

Ned was talking about the whole team

5 years 4 months ago

I don’t think Prince, or many Giants fans, would want him to be on the Giants after the current mishaps that have happened in the past year.

brewersnrays
5 years 4 months ago

I think that the home run celebration and the two spring training plunkings Prince got are some of my favorite baseball memories. I love the Brewer’s swagger, but I also completely agree with him getting hit for that. Anyone else notice Braun runs the bases after hitting a home run these days? Tired of getting hit in the ribs, I’d imagine.

BigRedOne
5 years 4 months ago

You heard it here first:

Reds send Drew Stubbs, Yonder Alonso and Aaron Harang to the Dodgers for Matt Kemp.

GasLampGuru
5 years 4 months ago

If I were a Giants fan, I would not hold my breath on making a trade for Adrian Gonzalez. That, my friends, is a pipe dream. I just do not see Hoyer trading Gonzalez within the division. Thank god the deal with the Dodgers did not go through last year, what a nightmare.

I actually don’t believe the Padres will trade Gonzalez this year. Not because I think they can or win the division (although it is very winnable), but rather because I think Hoyer and Black will want to see how some of the kids mature over the course of the season. The best way to do that is to take pressure off of them by leaving Gonzalez in the lineup. We’ve already seen Headley and Venable make strides (Venable is going to be good), even Hundley is improving. Now they’re waiting on Blanks.

Gonzalez is under contract through this season with an option for 2011. THe team needs to keep him around as long as possible to keep the fans engaged. And, don’t look now, but they’re playing pretty good baseball. Adrian probably isn’t going anywhere until the 2011 deadline unless something goes drastically wrong.