Many people on this board like to speculate who Ned is and what he's thinking or going to do. Right now, on Dodger Thoughts, there's an excellent interview that covers his plans for the upcoming season -- including thoughts on Andy LaRoche v. Nomar, Ethier v. Pierre, Hu and Abreu's position on the team, Kuo and Greg Miller, Clayton Kershaw, and much much more. You can check it all out here: http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/archives/897243.html
Or, I can give you some extended excerpts:
"Andy and Nomar give us two good options at third base....We're gonna let them figure it out. I think (Andy) is on the verge of being where (James) Loney and (Matt) Kemp were a year ago, where (Andre) Ethier and (Russell) Martin were two years ago. It's time to give him an opportunity to stick with the club and play as much as he earns....Nomar's got the versatility to play some first base as well. James is gonna need a day off here or there....It's probably the first Spring Training where (Andy) has had more than a legitimate chance to make this club. Most of the time a player has to make the club. He's almost gonna have to not make the club. It's a pretty good spot to be in." (interesting here, also, is that he refers to Ethier as being in the class of players like Martin, Kemp and Loney. it's, of course, completely untrue from a talent perspective, but it might suggest that Ethier's not going to be relegated to the bench by Pierre.)
"[I]n LaRoche's case, if he can be productive even part-time, I'd be willing to give him an opportunity to stay. Abreu, due to his versatility in the infield, perhaps the same. ... I think both players may have an opportunity to be here less than full-time."
"We need somebody with Abreu's versatility. We need somebody with (Chin-Lung) Hu's versatility - at least one or the other, if not both"
asked about the possibility of an Ethier-Jones-Kemp outfield (i.e., sitting Pierre): "It's a Joe Torre question, but it's not out of the realm of possibility....I like the competition of it. Nothing wrong with competition. When you have competition, you have a chance to be a better club. Just like at third base. Let the players decide who's gonna play and how often they're gonna play."
On Kershaw: "He's not somebody that we're going to delay his arrival... He may be here before he's completely ready, depending on injuries. But there's still some refinement for him, still some of the finer points of the art of pitching that he's still learning. He's not 20 years old yet. But he's got tremendous ability.""
On Kuo (then Greg Miller): "We had the same hope a year ago, after how he pitched at the end of the '06 season. He's another one that feels fine right now, but we'll have to wait and see. We could use him. We don't have many left-handed pitchers. Greg Miller's another one, another lefthander that's got a chance to make this club."
DeJon Watson on Miller: "He was in Arizona Fall League, and he's healthy. The velocity was back last year - he was anywhere from 92 to 97 (mph) the entire year. The command was the thing we were really trying to harness through the course of the year."
There's also info on Schmidt's recovery, Kershaw talking about his plans to refine his change-up this year (and also discussing command issues), a little talk about the possibility of Kershaw being promoted to the bullpen, and a little more talk on Delwyn Young and Hu making the team.
Anyway, this diary is already pretty massive. But it's a lot of "news." And spring is in the air! Can you feel it?