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90's Dodgers, Wasted Talent: Why? How? Who?

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  • 90's Dodgers, Wasted Talent: Why? How? Who?

    The Dodgers had a lot of young guys with serious talent or potential for it. Then pissed it all away.

    5 straight RoY's: Karros, Piazza, Mondesi, Nomo, Hollandsworth

    Top guys: Piazza, Pedro and Ramon Martinez, Konerko, Mondesi [seems like an idiot, but talented, maybe unteachable], Karros

    There were solid young complementary players too like Offerman, Daal, Astacio, Ismael Valdez, Dreifort [hurt a lot], Hollandsworth, Park, Nomo

    Guys who come up through the system. That's how you want to build a team. But it seems like they couldn't develop them and/or make the pieces fit.

    Why did this happen?
    Last edited by bluesky5; 01-22-2013, 10:06 PM.
    "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

  • #2
    I wouldn't call Ramon Martinez a "solid young complementary player". Ramon was an ace early on.
    Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

    Comment


    • #3
      The two main contributors:

      Sticking with Karros instead of trading him and giving Konerko a serious chance at the job.

      I realize it was late in the decade, but the Piazza trade was a disaster. The Marlins were clearly unloading, and didn't need Piazza to let the Dodgers have Sheffield and Bonilla. Just imagine a '99 team with Piazza AND Sheffield AND Konerko AND Mondesi AND Bonilla. Possibly they couldn't have afforded to spend so much on pitching, but with that lineup they might not have needed it as badly.

      The Pedro trade was obviously a disaster, but at the time it made a bit of sense. The Dodgers had no way of knowing DeShields would be such a poor fit.
      Found in a fortune cookie On Thursday, August 18th, 2005: "Hard words break no bones, Kind words butter no parsnips."

      1955 1959 1963 1965 1981 1988 2017?

      Comment


      • #4
        Oh, and Hollandsworth was never much of a player, really. He mainly won that RoY award because a) everybody looked to the Dodgers first because the second run of awards made great copy; and b) they had to give it to someone and there weren't a lot of great rookies that year. Way too injury-prone.

        Mondesi was the Pedro Guerrero of the 90s- all the talent in the world, but undisciplined. Still, he had some great years and was a true 5-point player.
        Found in a fortune cookie On Thursday, August 18th, 2005: "Hard words break no bones, Kind words butter no parsnips."

        1955 1959 1963 1965 1981 1988 2017?

        Comment


        • #5
          I didn't want to be too harsh on LA but it perplexes me that they suddenly began dropping the ball after decades of excellence. I was young [born in '88] so I'm glad my notions on Mondesi and some of the other guys [with the exception of underrating Ramon Martinez] were correct.

          What would the ideal lineup have been? Late 90's:

          1. Offerman - SS
          2. Mondesi - CF
          3. Sheffield - RF
          4. Piazza - C [probably right, doesn't need traded to FLA]
          5. Paul Konerko - 1B
          6. Adrian Beltre - 3B
          7. Eric Young - 2B
          8. Hollandsworth - LF

          Bench: Bonilla, Lo Duca, Wilton Guerrero, Roger Cedeno, Karros!!!

          Rotation - Pedro, Ramon Martinez, Valdez, Daal, Nomo, Park

          Konerko may not have been totally ready yet but maybe he could have played LF so Karros stays at first. Beltre is only 20-21 at the oldest in '99. Still, hell of a lineup.
          Last edited by bluesky5; 01-22-2013, 10:25 PM.
          "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

          Comment


          • #6
            Would have been so awesome to have Dodger v. Yankee WS in the late 90's and early 2000's!!
            "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

            Comment


            • #7
              Another aspect that stymied the Dodgers is that from 1997-04 the SF Giants had a great run as well. The 2000, 2002, and 2003 Giants teams were legitimate World Series caliber teams.
              Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                Another aspect that stymied the Dodgers is that from 1997-04 the SF Giants had a great run as well. The 2000, 2002, and 2003 Giants teams were legitimate World Series caliber teams.
                Those teams had a lot of power.
                "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by bluesky5 View Post
                  Those teams had a lot of power.
                  They had power and pitching. The 2002 Giants scored 925 runs. Only the 1930 Giants scored more runs since 1900. If you take out the 19th century teams this how those late 1990s-early 2000 Giants teams rank all time in runs scored (in franchise history).

                  2002- #2 all time
                  1999- #5 all time
                  2004- #9 all time
                  1998- #10 all-time

                  Ironically, the 2002 World Series team (#20) and the 2003 team (#31) that won 100 games didn't score as much but they allowed far fewer runs. I have been a Brian Sabean critic for years but I have to give him credit for building a consistent playoff contender from 1997-2004. The Giants contended every year during this eight season run. Their worst season was 86-76 W-L and they had seasons with 100, 97, 95, 91, and 90 wins twice.
                  Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Yeah, those Giants teams were pretty good at stacking runs up on the board! They had the greatest hitter of his (any?) generation who blew up into the greatest power hitter of all time (not to mention all those half dozen or so cap sizes he blew through then as well), alongside a middle INF that would combine for 40-50 HR a year (Aurillia and Kent), and other veteran players that contributed to that solid offense either as starters or off the bench: Burks, Santiago, Dunston, Galarraga, Bell, Davis, Lofton, etc. Snow was an on base machine after his power outage at 1B too.

                    They had decent to outstanding starting pitching (Schmidt, Hernandez, Reuter, Ortiz, among others) and a solid BP with closers Nen and Worrell working with set up guys Rodriguez and Nathan. Good teams during that time for sure. That couldn't be the only reason for the Dodgers futility though, but they were sure a huge obstacle in that NL West.

                    Was it the management of the Dodgers that kept them from excelling? LaSorda retired at some point in the mid (?) 90s, and Russell didn't last long as his replacement. To be honest, I never really followed the Dodgers closely during that decade and spent the last half of it stationed in Europe and on a couple deployments, so I typically only saw box scores in the Stars and Stripes newspaper. Therefore I can't speak to the management of the team on the field and am wondering if that held back some talented teams?
                    "It ain't braggin' if you can do it." Dizzy Dean

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      The 1994-96 Dodgers were solid. Though they were only 58-56 when the strike hit in 1994, the Dodgers were in first place. Perhaps sans the strike they get hot and finish with 86-87 wins. They won the NL West in 1995 (78-66 W-L) and were the Wildcard in 1996 (90-72 W-L). Both years the Dodgers were swept 3-0 in the NLDS. They finished second in 1997, two game behind a Giants team that was outscored during the regular season.
                      Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by toomanyhatz View Post
                        The two main contributors:

                        Sticking with Karros instead of trading him and giving Konerko a serious chance at the job.

                        I realize it was late in the decade, but the Piazza trade was a disaster. The Marlins were clearly unloading, and didn't need Piazza to let the Dodgers have Sheffield and Bonilla. Just imagine a '99 team with Piazza AND Sheffield AND Konerko AND Mondesi AND Bonilla. Possibly they couldn't have afforded to spend so much on pitching, but with that lineup they might not have needed it as badly.

                        The Pedro trade was obviously a disaster, but at the time it made a bit of sense. The Dodgers had no way of knowing DeShields would be such a poor fit.
                        Was Dodgers management that in love with Karros? I seem to remember Konerko didn't really get much of a chance in LA. I checked and he only got 166 career PA's with the Dodgers. Konerko tore up AAA, hitting .334/.415/.615 in 868 PA's. Granted, this was the PCL but you would think the Dodger scouts would have a solid handle on Konerko's overall skillset.
                        Strikeouts are boring! Besides that, they're fascist. Throw some ground balls - it's more democratic.-Crash Davis

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          In a nutshell Al Campanis made some racist comments on TV that led to Fred Claire being appointed GM. He got the pieces for '88, acquired Strawberry and traded John Wetteland and Pedro. Then Fox bought the team and traded Piazza behind his back.

                          After the Campanis fiasco it seems talent development went downhill. Don't know if Claire made changes within the organization or not.
                          "No matter how great you were once upon a time — the years go by, and men forget,” - W. A. Phelon in Baseball Magazine in 1915. “Ross Barnes, forty years ago, was as great as Cobb or Wagner ever dared to be. Had scores been kept then as now, he would have seemed incomparably marvelous.”

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Honus Wagner Rules View Post
                            Was Dodgers management that in love with Karros? I seem to remember Konerko didn't really get much of a chance in LA. I checked and he only got 166 career PA's with the Dodgers. Konerko tore up AAA, hitting .334/.415/.615 in 868 PA's. Granted, this was the PCL but you would think the Dodger scouts would have a solid handle on Konerko's overall skillset.
                            And did something truly amazing for a power hitter- had a better than 1-to-1 BB/K ratio. He only hit .220 or so for the Dodgers, but that was very few plate appearances, as you said, and under extreme pressure to prove himself.

                            To be fair Karros had some good years for the Dodgers, and I do get why all the potential in the world may not look as good as what they saw as a guaranteed 35/100/.290 from Karros. But Karros didn't keep up that pace for much longer while Konerko pretty much became a star.

                            What's confusing to me is why, when the middle of your lineup has Piazza and Karros in it, you'd want to jettison the former and hold on to the latter way too long. But part of Fox's set up required trading Piazza to set up the 'new regime'. Rumor has it when Sheffield was told he was being traded to the Dodgers his first thought was "me and Mike Piazza in the same lineup? That'll be fun" before being told, no he was being traded for Piazza. They could've- should've- had both. Then maybe Konerko going on to excel for the White Sox wouldn't have been such a big deal.
                            Last edited by toomanyhatz; 01-24-2013, 12:43 AM.
                            Found in a fortune cookie On Thursday, August 18th, 2005: "Hard words break no bones, Kind words butter no parsnips."

                            1955 1959 1963 1965 1981 1988 2017?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Nobody mentioned trading Pedro for DeShields?

                              Comment

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