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Little Things

The latest at regarding the four outfielders

Ned Colletti chats about the team. The 100 stolen bases from Furcal/Pierre and 20 home runs from Kemp/Ethier kind of tips which way he's thinking the outfield will play out which is a bit contrary to our poll results. My own feeling is that eventually Kemp and Jones will own RF and CF and that Torre will make a decision on Ethier and Pierre and whoever wins will get traded. This may may not happen for a while but I don't see a scenario where Pierre/Ethier are on the roster all season.

Jon Weisman breaks down the Mattingley saga

ESPN does a chat in which Martin and Mauer are compared and Martin comes out shining like a rose. That is an insider chat so here are some quotes from the chat:
Several years ago, soon after Martin was moved from third base to catcher, one instructor in the Dodger minor league system suggested in an organizational meeting that Martin was the best player in the Dodgers' system. The remark was greeted with great surprise. "You watch," the instructor said.
Martin can hit, and his defense is equally good. "He catches and throws as well as anyone in the game," said former Dodgers third base coach Rich Donnelly. Plus, he runs a game very well, and is very vocal with pitchers, which is what leaders do. Martin plays with a fire that few players have these days. "If he was a boxer, the guy in the other corner would look across at him and say, 'Oh, no, not him,'" Donnelly said. "Before every game, in his catching gear, he runs the length of the dugout. He is so ready. I've never seen him have an off-day. He might go 0-for-4, but mentally, he never has an off night."

Brendan (Baldwinsville, New York): Would you agree that Martin resembles Jason Varitek in some ways?
Tim Kurkjian: I think he's got some Varitek in him when it comes to strength and toughness and leadership, but with all due respect to Varitek, Martin is a better athlete and has greater potential long-term. Someone in the Dodgers system told me that someday, Martin will be one of the best catchers of all time. I said 'Of all time?' and he said, 'Yes, of all time'.

Jon Weisman shows all the Dodger winter moves

Can't wait to do the LA Dodger catcher breakdown. My hypothesis is that the LA Dodgers have had the best group of catchers in the last 50 years. It will be interesting to see if that holds up. Roseboro, Haller, Sims, Yeagar, Ferguson, Scoscia, Piazza, Hundley, LaDuca, and now Martin. Before you start snearing at Hundley just be aware that in 2000 his 144 OPS+ was the 2nd best in the NL and was only eclipsed by Piazza. It also was the highest OPS+ for any LA Dodger catcher not named Piazza in the last 50 years.

In non Dodger news Baseball Prospectus runs a freebie which partially explains why I'm such a huge Carl Crawford and BJ Upton fan.