Wednesday, November 09, 2005

 

Late Night Potpourri


The Nightmare, AKA the LA Mets

No GM, no manager, no coaching staff ...

Getting drowsy......
*yawn*
Zzzzzzzzzz......
.....
Floating through a dimly lit corridor, a door opens and a press conference appears...


"Mr. Phillips, what is your vision-"
"Call me Steve, please."
"Alright Steve, what is your vision for the Dodgers as the new GM?"
"My job is to immediately return the Dodgers to its rightful place among the elite. As such, I would like to announce our first moves of this offseason. Ladies and gentlemen, you may know this guy. The Dodgers have just signed Mike Piazza to a 3 year contract. Welcome home, Mike."
// camera flash all around, a roar amongst the press //
"In addition, the Dodgers have just acquired Adrian Beltre from Seattle in a six player trade -"
// a collective gasp //
"Steve, can we get the exact details involved in that trade?"
"Sure, just give me a sec." // whispers to Lasorda and smiles // "We acquired Belly and Eddie Guardado in exchange for some minor leaguers. Seattle will also be chipping in about $4 million a year for the next 4 years, which we think-"
"Who are the prospects that went to Seattle?"
"Uh," // pulls out some memos //" Chad Billingsley, Russell Martin, Andy LaRoche, and a player-to-be-named-later. We feel that this trade helps us win right now, and the money offset from Seattle gives us the financial flexibility to..."
.....

"AHHHHH!!!"

A nightmare. Cold sweat. TV still on.


Damn, I must have fallen asleep while watching ESPN... What's this? A press conference with Steve Phillips as the GM? What kind of a sick joke is this?

Wait, the scrolling words at the bottom...it's fake. So that must have caused my nightmare...


The Mets a few seasons ago were an overshadowed, second-class team that often made transactions in short-sighted desperation. (Steve Reed for Jason Bay!) Here in LA, the Angels are making all the headlines, and surely the PR-sensitive McCourts surely will demand immediate improvement from the new GM.

Even though the salaries of Dreifort and Green finally came off the books, the freed-up payroll might not be wisely spent; the free agent market is thin. LA may also be outbid by those teams with deeper pockets, like the Mets. The alternate way to acquire proven talent would be to trade away the prospects that Evans and DePodesta were loath to give up. This is especially possible if the new GM is from outside the organization. The mandate from McCourt seems clear:

Fix this mess right now, otherwise you'll be outta here faster than you can say "DePodesta"!

An outside GM would have fewer qualms burning up the farm system, as he would be on a short leash AND would have zero ties to the players. I don't like this scenario at all - as I've said before, it's a return to the days of FOX without the dinero.

It may be preferrable if all the outside candidates turn down the job, and Kim Ng gets promoted by default. As for bringing in "experience" and "Dodger tradition", why not hire a senior advisor to the GM who has ties to the organization? Would Dave Wallce be interested in returning to his old club?

Needed: Korean Translator

Here are some recent Korean articles on Hee Seop Choi. It looks as if he's taking instructions from former hitting coach Reggie Smith. Can anybody translate?

OT: Two Time Killers

1) For those who like popping bubble wrap... (Edit: Pretend that each bubble is a GM prospect who says no.)

2) This is a bit more challenging. Use the various items lying around to advance to the next room.

Comments:
"It may be preferrable if all the outside candidates turn down the job, and Kim Ng gets promoted by default."

Agreed. Especially if the outside choice is Bowden. But as much crap as the stats-inclined Dodger fans have given him, he did take Towers to the cleaner on the Castilla / Lawrence trade.
 
According to Choi Central (the comments section), Choi's been working on his swing with some people. The details are in the comments, but the results look encouraging.
 
translation for the article you asked...

Choi will train during winter with all his heart, to play as if next season is his last in majors.
he understands if he performs below the expectations, he can forever lose the oppotunity to become a true major leaguer.

Q: What's it like to be coached by Reggie Smith and Leon Lee?

C: I did not get my lower body involved in my swing before. I would lose my balance easily because of that habit. I will do my best to incorporate my lower body to my swing during winter with their coaching.

Q: the team seems to be in chaos.

C: I'm truly sorry to see Paul Depodesta go. He believed in me.
i will find my best form baseball ise. I matured alot since being traded twice in three years.

Q: PLans to train in Korea?

C: maybe, but I need the coaching from Reggie and Leon.

Q: You are Arbitration eligible?

C: I don't care about money right now. baseball is first.

Q: how do you see your season overall?

C: lots of good memories, wallk off homerun, grandslam, homerun derby at the allstars... but regrets too.
 
thanks to the anonymous commenter for the translation. is that for all 4 articles that i linked or just the first?
 
the last one. didn't have time for translating all four. I'll get round that for you over the next couple of days.
 
the first article-

hee seop choi of the los angeles dodgers has started his training to become 30 HR hitter since the 5th of this month at the Reggie Smith Baseball center at Encino, California. His tutors are Reggie Smith, former dodger switch hitter, and Leon Lee, former Chicago Cubs' asian area scout who signed Choi out of Korea University.
the training will focus on choi's balance, which he lost last season, to maximize his power as well as contact. Leon and Reggie has been analyzing videos from last season's choi's batting stance.
The first problem they identified is that he was too close to the catcher at the plate, and second problem is that his right foot was moving toward the homeplate and body leaned forward right before making contact with baseball. those two bad habits amplfy each other.
Both Leon and Reggie pointed out that outside breaking balls appeared to him farther than they were, making his back arch forward without even knowing, causing him to not only miss the contact, but unable to put much weight on it. "Choi wooried too much on inside pitches last season, which is his weakness, that he lost his strength which is outside pitches" said Reggie Smith. "it was very hard to be in a groove since not playing on a consistant basis, to hit without thinking I gotta show something big when I did get my chance, trying too hard to impress coaches, and started developing bad habits" said Choi.
Choi's workout is intensely focused around keeping his stance still regardless of the location of the pitch, and letting his lower body come through with the swing. For this, Reggie has corrected Choi's stance by turning his right toes more toward 3B, and let his lowerbody turn all the way around. also, not to be too close to the catcher and rather stay parellel to the homeplate.
After practicing for a few days of his new corrected swing, choi feels that he has improved his balance and power. "I will go back to Korea in the winter time only after I feel I mastered this swing" Choi said.
According to Leon Lee, "Since He has a great fundamentals to begin with, once he can master and stick to his swing for a whole season, I believe he can hit out 40+ long balls"
 
Interesting stuff. Sounds like he will do really well for Oakland or whatever other team swipes him from the next Dodger GM.
 
Second article is non-baseball related.

Choi feels LA is his home. Since joining big league, he has resided in chicago, miami, and now LA.
Many Koreans he never met before recognises him and give encouragement and support. Many Korean restorants welcome him, and he feels the love from community trnslate over to the field when fans of Korean ethnicity fills in big portion of the dodger stadium to see him play. There are many korean born players in national league west, from ex dodger ChanHo park in San Diego, to Sunny Kim and BK Kim at Colorado.
Choi feels loved in the club house as well. Even infamously fickle Jeff Kent gives Choi many tips on hitting, and Ricky Ledee is his best buddy in the dugout.

Choi admits he wants to go clubing.
since becoming a pro baseball player in US, he has never really had any fun time outside of baseball. He likes fishing and singing at karaokes, but hasn't done much of that in years. "every now and then I think about going to a club"

Choi is still single. not even a girl friend yet. " they say I don't have the look to be popular among women" He feels baseball is the most important part of his life, and marriage can wait.

If he is not watching video tapes of his games, there isnt much he does at home. since his sister went back to korea not so long ago, now hw has to cook for himself. when asked what he cooks, he replied "top noodles, that's about it."

Choi lives a humble life. He still drives the first car he bought in 99, a red honda passport. He doesn't drive anywhere other than from home to the ballpark, so the total mileage is around 40000 miles Even though he is due to get paid more this upcoming season, he has no plan to buy a house. he says LA real estate is much much for him to even think about purchasing.
 
the third article is pretty much the same as the first and the last articles. only new stuff in there is Reggie Smith saying "Choi must deviate from general instruction of cookie cutter swing to find his old form. Not new, we are not reinventing here, but rather getting back to his best form of swing which was his swing from AAA days"

bytheway, how can i get a username without making my own blog? I write a lot of stuff, I think its time for me to have a name, but dont want to have to maintain a blog site.
 
i don't think you don't have to keep a blog. just sign up for an account and you get a username.

and thanks for the translations.
 
Thanks for the translations. I don't have a blog but I'm registered.

God I hope the Dodgers keep Choi. The power hitter they need is standing right there....
 
hey, I hope you guys enjoyed my crude Korean translation. as a by-product of it, I ended up making a blog for myself while so that I could have an identity rather than being "anonymous" all the time...
well, thanks guys. I'll appreciate some comments on my blog as well
at dodgerfool.blogspot

go dodgers!!!

and hope we never trade Joel Guzman away, ever!
 
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