Friday, May 06, 2005

Beane Count

Hey Kari and the Tin Canners ...

Have you seen this?

I've only had a vague awareness of the "moneyball" stat hound approach of Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland As. I've become more aware of the concept now that one of his assistants, Paul DePodesta, is now the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

I heard one stat they really like is the "OBP," the on-base percentage. And according to the web page I've linked above, the home run and walks gained by the offense and given up by the pitching staff are also key numbers they like to look at.

Anything else I should know now that my team has a "Beane Counter" for a GM?

Anyway, one key trade by DePodesta was getting Hee-Seop Choi. I heard when the deal was made that Choi was a prime example of a classic underpriced good "moneyball" player. At the end of last year and early this year, the consensus on post-game Dodger Talk was that Hee-Seop Choi would be gone by the All-Star break. But he has perked up of late and the fans are changing their tune. In fact, when I was at the stadium last Sunday, the crowd, the full panoply of Los Angeles cultures were cheering as one, HEE SEOP CHOI ... HEE SEOP CHOI ... HEE SEOP CHOI. Tonight, he went 3-4, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 3R and 1BB.

Of the big name moves by DePodesta that appear to be working out are Jeff Kent, Brad Penny (hope his arm holds up!) and Derek Lowe. DePodesta also has to be credited with some lesser light pick ups that have done well such as Jason Philips, Rickey Ledee and Jason Repko. Ledee and Repko have been filling in for Werth at LF who should be back in a couple of weeks. The side-armers of the bullpen Wunsch and Schmoll have been pleasant surprises.

J.D. Drew was another big budget pickup and he is warming up after a slow start but so far remains not quite up to the price tag. Valentin had the tough job of taking over for Beltre at 3B and unfortunately wrecked his knee in a collision at home plate this past week and will be out for a couple of months. The Dodgers look to platoon at 3B with some bench players who don't have a lot of experience at third.

Go Dodgers!

Rene

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