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Old 11-09-2007, 05:03 PM   #201 (permalink)
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Breaking News: MLB owners vote to contract two teams

Nov. 6, 2001

As one Canadian team celebrates a World Series championship, another could be on the chopping block.

At their quarterly meeting in Chicago today, baseball owners voted 28-2 to contract, fold or buyout two of the league's 30 teams before the start of the 2002 season. The teams are yet to be determined, but it is believed the leading candidates are the Montreal Expos and Minnesota Twins.

The Toronto Blue Jays just finished off the San Francisco Giants in six games for the World Series title. The Expos won the NL East by a game over the Atlanta Braves but were swept by the Giants in the NLDS. Despite the success of this year's team, baseball interest has steadily faded in Montreal since the strike of 1994. Montreal provided one of the two dissenting votes in today's owners meeting.

The Major League Baseball Players' Association is expected to quickly file a grievance claiming that the owners' vote to contract two teams violates the current collective bargaining agreement.

Stay tuned as more information on this story develops...
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:39 AM   #202 (permalink)
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Andrew Zarzour woke up on Dec. 29, 2001 — the morning of his 21st birthday — in his own bed in Bunn, N.C. He had just had the strangest dream.

In his dream, Zarzour was on the mound warming up for a game with catcher Mike Piazza, like he had so many times the past few seasons. Only he noticed Piazza wasn't wearing his customary LA Dodgers gear. His uniform was red and white. No royal blue to be found anywhere.

Zarzour stopping throwing and just stared at his teammate, forcing Piazza to come out to the mound to see what was going on.

"You OK, Z? You don't look so good."

"Mike, you're wearing a red hat. Since when do the Dodgers wear red hats?"

Piazza just laughed. "Dodgers? We're not with the Dodgers anymore, remember? You know, the big trade -- you and me for all those prospects going to LA. It was all over ESPN."

Zarzour started to panic because he didn't remember. He then pulled off his own cap and stared at it. Amazingly, it was his favorite baseball hat of all time -- the well-worn Phillies' cap he had since middle school. As he pondered what it all meant, he overheard the stadium announcer: "Now pitching for your Philadelphia Phillies -- Andrew 'Big Z' Zarzour!"

It was at this point that Drew woke up. It had been a dream but it seemed so real. Maybe God was preparing him for something...

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Old 11-12-2007, 03:09 PM   #203 (permalink)
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Don't send Big Z to Philly! Keep him with the Dodgers!
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Old 11-12-2007, 08:16 PM   #204 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AZTarHeel View Post
Andrew Zarzour woke up on Dec. 29, 2001 — the morning of his 21st birthday — in his own bed in Bunn, N.C. He had just had the strangest dream.
Sounds like he had a boring 21st birthday. I got to say waking up the morning of my 21st birthday was pretty tough and I may or may not have been in my own bed.
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:58 AM   #205 (permalink)
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Mike Piazza is from the Philly area (Norristown, if I remember correctly).

Is it wrong to get excited about a fictitious trade sending a make-believe character to my favorite sports franchise?
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Old 11-13-2007, 10:44 AM   #206 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by kreitena View Post
Sounds like he had a boring 21st birthday. I got to say waking up the morning of my 21st birthday was pretty tough and I may or may not have been in my own bed.
Hey, the whole day (and night) is still ahead of him ;-)
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Old 11-13-2007, 02:22 PM   #207 (permalink)
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Hey, the whole day (and night) is still ahead of him ;-)
My theory is you got to start at midnight.
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Old 11-13-2007, 11:02 PM   #208 (permalink)
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2001 Dodgers Stats, Etc.

Forgot to post this earlier ... Some final numbers from the 2001 season

The Pitching Staff
Code:
Player	#	Role	Birthday	Bats	Throws	ERA	W	L	S	WHIP	 
STARTERS	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 
Ted Lilly	46	SP	1/4/1976	Left	Left	4.44	15	7	0	1.31	 
Andrew Zarzour	19	SP	12/29/1980	Right	Left	4.10	17	7	0	1.16	 
Ramon Martinez	62	SP	3/22/1968	Right	Right	3.49	15	12	0	1.28	 
Darren Dreifort	84	SP	5/3/1972	Right	Right	4.73	12	13	0	1.53	 
Dan Smith	92	SP	9/15/1975	Right	Right	4.02	9	9	0	1.45	 
RELIEVERS	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 
Kazuhiro Sasaki	5	MR	2/22/1968	Right	Right	1.85	3	0	1	1.04	 
Trevor Hoffman	14	CL	10/13/1967	Right	Right	1.21	5	6	41	0.83	 
Alan Embree	43	MR	1/23/1970	Left	Left	3.05	5	0	0	1.23	 
Scott Sauerbeck	72	MR	11/9/1971	Right	Left	3.99	3	4	1	1.55	 
Ricardo Rincon	50	MR	4/13/1970	Left	Left	3.92	4	2	2	1.59	 
Jeff Tam	57	MR	8/19/1970	Right	Right	4.69	1	3	0	1.54	 
Damaso Marte	63	MR	2/14/1975	Left	Left	3.18	2	1	0	1.06
I just never worried about Sasaki and Hoffman in their setup and closer roles. The rest of the bullpen was hit-and-miss at times ...


The Position Players
Code:
Player	#	Pos	Birthday	Bats	Throws	AVG	HR	RBI	SB	OPS	 

CATCHERS	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	  
Mike Piazza	28	C	9/4/1968	Right	Right	.299	34	120	0	.918	 
Paul Lo Duca	26	C	4/12/1972	Right	Right	.335	11	74	4	.888	 

INFIELDERS 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 
Kurt Abbott	6	SS	6/2/1969	Right	Right	.209	2	21	0	.526	 
Alex Rodriguez	90	SS	7/27/1975	Right	Right	.300	31	116	14	.853	 
Jeff Cirillo	71	3B	9/23/1969	Right	Right	.264	12	55	5	.756	 
Damion Easley	78	2B	11/11/1969	Right	Right	.263	23	67	8	.819	 
Todd Zeile	91	3B	9/9/1965	Right	Right	.257	1	19	0	.665	 

OUTFIELDERS 
Rod Lindsey	57	CF	1/28/1976	Right	Right	.291	3	25	0	.799	 
Raul Mondesi	17	RF	3/12/1971	Right	Right	.263	20	59	22	.785	 
Josh Hamilton	33	LF	5/21/1981	Left	Left	.267	7	44	23	.686	 
Johnny Damon	32	CF	11/5/1973	Left	Left	.300	18	64	24	.844	 
Craig Wilson	32	RF	11/30/1976	Right	Right	.341	14	33	3	1.009	 
Albert Pujols	39	LF	1/16/1980	Right	Right	.350	20	84	0	1.045
Pujols made a nice debut ... Josh Hamilton slumped some as the season wore on ... Raul Mondesi had a solid power year but rookie Craig Wilson beat him out for time in RF by the last few months ... A-Rod was kind of quiet in this mix ... I felt like Cirillo and Easley underachieved at times. I haven't had much luck getting 2Bs and 3Bs since I've taken over the Dodgers...


Top Prospects
Code:
Batters
# 	Name	Age	Pos	Hits	Homeruns	Walks	Speed	Range	Level	AVG	HR	RBI
2 	Rod Lindsey	25	CF	Brilliant	Average	Fair	A	C	Majors	.291	3	25
3 	Mike Young	25	2B	Good	Average	Fair	C	A	AAA	.292	1	12
4 	Albert Pujols	21	LF	Average	Fair	Brilliant	E	C	Majors	.350	20	84
5 	Craig Wilson	24	RF	Good	Average	Average	D	E	Majors	.341	14	33
8 	Jason Dellaero	24	3B	Average	Fair	Fair	E	B	A	.340	13	55
9 	Adam Everett	24	SS	Poor	Fair	Brilliant	B	A	A	.322	3	43
10 	Angel Santos	22	2B	Poor	Poor	Brilliant	E	A	A	.335	4	53
Pitchers
# 	Name	Age	Role	Hits	Homers	Walks	K's	Level	Rec	ERA	IP	HA	BB	K
1 	Randy Keisler	25	SP	Brilliant	Good	Average	Brilliant	AAA	12-4	2.83	120.2	92	46	206
6 	Bronson Arroyo	24	SP	Good	Fair	Average	Average	AAA	3-6	4.27	65.1	68	25	58
7 	Victor Santos	25	MR	Brilliant	Good	Poor	Good	AAA	1-2	2.86	50.1	30	28	48

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Old 11-15-2007, 12:19 PM   #209 (permalink)
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Dodgers wheel and deal in off-season...



Blockbuster deal
Cy Young winner traded to Dodgers for All-Star catcher


Jan. 7, 2002

Hipolito Pichardo was successful but unhappy in Cincinnati. Mike Piazza was successful and happy in Los Angeles, but deemed by management as too expensive to keep around.

The result was one of the biggest trades of baseball's Hot Stove period. Piazza and third baseman Jose Macias were sent to the Reds yesterday in exchange for Pichardo (the 2001 Cy Young Award winner for the National League), reliever Danny Graves and cash considerations.

Neither player could be reached for comment. Piazza's agent said in a statement that his player — who had been with the Dodgers for nine full seasons — was "disappointed by the move" but understood that "baseball is first and foremost about business."

Piazza, 33, batted .299 for Los Angeles this past season with 34 homers and 120 RBIs. Paul Lo Duca, who started his MLB career as Piazza's back-up but moved to first base the past couple of seasons, is expected to become LA's No. 1 backstop. Albert Pujols, who played in left field most of 2001, will take over at first base, leaving Josh Hamilton as the starter in left.

The deal has saved the Dodgers upwards of $8 million in payroll. Piazza's salary topped the $11 million mark. Pichardo's is just over $3 million, though he will be a free agent at season's end (and will likely command a lot more with a Cy Young under his belt).

Pichardo has been a new and improved pitcher since overcoming the injury problems that plagued his early career. He went 23-10 last season with a 2.92 ERA. He was 16-8 in 2000 and 19-12 in 1999. Pichardo's career record is 104-77. It's expected he'll be the Dodgers' Opening Day starter and should give LA's rotation a huge lift along with Ramon Martinez, Darren Driefort and rising stars Andrew Zarzour and Dan Smith.

Zarzour, who turned 21 in late December, led LA with 17 wins a year ago.

Graves is a quality reliever, who went 2-4 last season with a sterling 1.53 ERA in 88 innings of work. He had two saves for the Reds.

Macias, 29, hit .343 for the Dodgers' Triple A club in Las Vegas last season and could break into the Bigs this year.

The Dodgers will use some of its newfound cash to help pay for new hitting coach Richard Willie and new pitching coach Johnny Smith. Both were offered contracts at well over $1 million per year. Smith is considered legendary at his craft and will have a nice stable of arms to work with as the Dodgers try to get over the hump of post-season losses and into the World Series...

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Personal note: I'm surprised this deal went through. It was pretty one-sided, money-wise, in the Dodgers' favor. Hated to part with Piazza but LA lost a lot of $$ last season and didn't have anything to pay for coaches and free agents this year. I think it will work well with Lo Duca behind the plate, Pujols at first and Hamilton in left. I've got other guys (A-Rod, Craig Wilson, Rod Lindsey) who have nice power.

Another note: As I've progressed into the new season, Zarzour's ratings have taken a significant dip. The "star" system now has him as a 2-star guy (ouch). Not sure what caused that as he was 4-star last season and started off as a 4.5 star guy. The trade I just made may have pushed Big Z out of the rotation, if those ratings pan out as true. Hopefully the new and improved pitching coach can bring out the best in Big Z. If not, it's on to Plan B (or C or D) with this dynasty story.

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Old 11-15-2007, 12:31 PM   #210 (permalink)
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Forgot to mention: The "dream" that Zarzour had about being traded to the Phillies was the result of something stupid I almost did.

I was messing around with the trade screens, and wanted to see what kind of value a Piazza/Zarzour trade might have. I was tinkering with the Dodgers and Phillies (can't remember even who the Phillies players were, maybe Schilling). Anyways, instead of exiting out of the trade screen, I incidentally hit "complete trade". Yikes!

Fortunately, I had everything backed up to that point and just hit "restore" to bring Z and Piazza back to the Dodgers (only to trade Piazza away later on when I came back to the game)... For now, Z will stay in LA...
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Old 11-16-2007, 11:23 AM   #211 (permalink)
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From: "Brandon Weaver" DreamWeaverAtUNC@gmail.net
Sent: February 2, 2002 9:45 PM
To: "Andrew Zarzour" AZarzour72@earthlink.net
Subject: Spring can't get here soon enough...

Hey Andrew, your old pal Brandon here writing from the hallowed grounds of Chapel Hill, N.C. Well, it's not so hallowed this year as the Tar Heels are having the worst basketball season in like forever. It's a good thing you didn't end up playing hoops here. You would have been miserable. We may not win 10 games. Matt Doherty is falling on his face as a head coach (we lost to Hampton for goodness sakes!), and it appears he's lost a lot of his players.

There are some pretty solid recruits (we hope) coming in next year who can turn this thing around. What do you know about Raymond Felton, Sean May and Rashad McCants?

Well, I guess you're about ready to report to Spring Training down in Fla, eh? Robbie and I are going to try and come down for a few days and watch some games. We'll let you know when we plan to buzz in.

I imagine it will be strange this year not having Mike Piazza around as your catcher. What do you know about that Hippo Pichardo guy? Are you worried about losing a spot in the rotation? How's your shoulder feeling? I told you not to play so much pick-up basketball over at Bunn High during the holidays.

It's good to hear that plans to contract the Expos and Twins are on hold for awhile. How can Major League Baseball actually own a franchise? Isn't there a conflict of interest somewhere? I imagine the 'Spos will be moving at some point since they only opted to lease Olympic Stadium for like another year or so. Rumor in these parts is that a North Carolina ownership group may be interested in trying to land the Montreal franchise should it move. Imagine that - pro baseball in our backyard. Also heard Washington, D.C. and Northern Virginia are interested.

As for me, life is pretty good at Carolina and here at The Daily Tar Heel sports desk (minus the Heels' hoops woes of course). I've gotten a pretty good internship for this summer, working for a magazine that covers the Boston Red Sox. It's strange - the magazine itself is based out of Durham, N.C. but all the writers and photogs, etc. work out of Boston. I guess our office edits everything and puts the actual publication together. I'll be doing lots of reading and grunt work, but should be fun to be around the "Bigs." Hopefully they'll let me write something.

Best wishes for the season ahead and keep up the good work. And before I forget, congrats on the big raise. The arbitration hearing was pretty good to you and Josh Hamilton both. I can't believe my fishing buddy and former Little League teammate is really going to be making $2 million plus at age 21. Nice job, my friend. Remember your old poor sports writing friend, OK?

Take care,
Brandon

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Old 11-16-2007, 12:50 PM   #212 (permalink)
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Always good to get caught up on Big Z's story.

Did Z's ratings actually drop, or are his stars the only things that changed? If I recall, the stars are measures of how a player compares with others at his position. I watched Pat O'Farrell's stars drop from 4 to 2.5 once when he was young, as a couple of good second basemen moved from the NL to the AL. Pat then went on a tear, gained his stars back, and went on to a .368/.477/.533 season.

Hopefully you won't have to explain the sudden demise of a young star, although I'm sure you'd make the story a great read.
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Old 11-17-2007, 10:56 PM   #213 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Six View Post
Always good to get caught up on Big Z's story.

Did Z's ratings actually drop, or are his stars the only things that changed? If I recall, the stars are measures of how a player compares with others at his position. I watched Pat O'Farrell's stars drop from 4 to 2.5 once when he was young, as a couple of good second basemen moved from the NL to the AL. Pat then went on a tear, gained his stars back, and went on to a .368/.477/.533 season.

Hopefully you won't have to explain the sudden demise of a young star, although I'm sure you'd make the story a great read.
Hey Big Six, actually both dropped, though honestly I hadn't realized what the stars measured until I read your comments. I still think he's got pretty good stuff, though we'll find out when he hits the field for the 2002 season. I've got a few story lines developing in my head if Big Z's playing career turns south...
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Old 11-19-2007, 11:27 AM   #214 (permalink)
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On to 2002!



Dodgers announce 25-man roster for Opening Day '02

SP Ted Lilly left off, Mondesi demoted in RF

Spring Training is in the books, and now the Los Angeles Dodgers are back West preparing for a season's opening series against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Dodgers have high hopes of an NL West pennant run and getting over the playoff hump into the World Series this season. While time will tell whether off-season moves are going to pay off, here is the line-up LA will take to Phoenix for its first game of the 2002 campaign.

Pitching Rotation
1. Hipolito Pichardo: Cy Young award winner went 23-10 in 2001, pitching for the Reds. Acquired by the Dodgers in the Mike Piazza blockbuster.
2. Ramon Martinez: 15-12 in 2001, in last year of his contract with LA
3. Darren Driefort: 12-13 in 2001, probably the most inconsistent starter.
4. Dan Smith: Dodgers are high on this youngster, in his second season in the Bigs; went 9-9 last season
5. Andrew Zarzour: Had a rough spring but coaches are confident the big left-hander, who won 17 games last year, will come around as the weather warms.

Bullpen
If the Dodgers can get to the eighth inning, expect them to close out a lot of games. Set-up man Kazuhiro Sasaki (3-0, 1.85 ERA in 77.2 innings last season) and closer Trevor Hoffman (41 saves, 1.21 ERA in 2001) are among the best in the biz. Brendan Donnelly has moved up from the minors and has a promising arm. Other relievers include Alan Embree, Demaso Marte, Scott Sauerbeck, Ricardo Rincon and Jeff Tam.

The notable starter missing is left-hander Ted Lilly. He's back in Las Vegas (AAA) working on mechanical issues, but he could be back up if there's an injury or if Zarzour falters early.

Position Players
C - Paul Lo Duca takes over behind the dish with Piazza now wearing Cincinnati red. He'll be backed up by Benji Molina. There is a big drop off between starter and back-up.

1B - Albert Pujols moves from left field, taking over for Lo Duca. The Dodgers most hope to get the huge bat that Pujols provided last year in his debut.

2B - LA can't seem to get a handle on this position. They signed David Bell in the off-season, and he and Damion Easley will platoon the position until one emerges as the top man. Neither had a sharp spring.

3B - Jeff Cirillo returns to man the hot corner. Bell can play here as well.

SS - Alex Rodriguez had a stellar spring, knocking the ball all over the place. He looks to be the leader of this year's Dodger crew. Bell will back-up this spot as well. A-Rod can play third in a pinch.

LF - Josh Hamilton, nudged out of a starting job last season by Pujols, is back being the every day starter. He handled last year's demotion maturely and stands ready to prove himself worthy of being back in the regular lineup. He was the Dodgers' star in spring training, batting close to .400.

CF - Johnny Damon and Rod Lindsey will platoon this position. Damon will lead off against righties. Lindsey will play against lefties and is more of a power guy. Keep an eye on Coco Crisp, who zoomed to Triple A last season after getting drafted by the Dodgers.

RF - Craig Wilson has beaten out veteran Raul Mondesi here for now. Mondesi has been vocal in his displeasure at losing his starting job, and that friction could create some clubhouse headaches for Dodgers' management if Raul doesn't pipe down. If someone leaves LA in the early part of the season, look for it to be Mondesi.

Down on the farm
The Dodgers had a lot of success with call-ups last season, getting major contributions from guys like Albert Pujols, Craig Wilson and Rod Lindsey in the latter months.

Keep an eye this year on CF Coco Crisp, 2B Mike Young, SP Randy Keisler, SP Rick Ankiel, MR David Riske. Ted Lilly, a starter for LA last season, may not linger long in Las Vegas if he gets his mechanical problems figured out...

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Old 02-15-2008, 10:29 AM   #215 (permalink)
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Baseball season is right around the corner, and I'm itching to get back into this story ... I took a little break to dive into Bowl Bound College Football, and for the past month or so I've been knee-deep in a huge photography project I'm doing (outside of my regular full-time job)... Hopefully things will calm down enough in a few weeks that I can get back to my full-time hobby of game playing and dynasty writing ... Now that I have a new laptop, I'd like to revive my Arizona League as well. Time is always the enemy but I have big dreams...

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Old 03-07-2008, 12:49 AM   #216 (permalink)
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What's going on with the big fella?

Andrew Zarzour struggling while rest of team sizzles

April 15, 2002

It’s hard to argue with much that the LA Dodgers are doing to start the new year.

Nine wins in 11 games. A 20-hit, 11-1 win over Arizona last week. Two wins each for the top three starting pitchers, Hipolito Pichardo, Ramon Martinez and Darren Driefort. A-Rod with four home runs and a .395 average. Josh Hamilton batting a cool .370.

But Andrew Zarzour’s first two starts from his No. 5 spot in the rotation have been the lone exception. His debut was dreadful, lasting just 2.1 innings. He gave up six runs and seven hits in a 9-1 drubbing by the Giants -- the Dodgers' first defeat.

The only reason Zarzour got the win in his second start is because the Brewers’ hurler was just as bad. It’s hard to get that excited about a ‘W’ when you give up seven more earned runs.

The early results leave Big Z with a Big ERA of 12.10. Yikes.

It’s obvious to us that Zarzour misses former catcher Mike Piazza. The two had shared a bond through Z’s first couple of years in the Bigs, and Piazza was like a big brother figure for the youngster. But now Piazza is in Cincinnati as part of the deal that brought Hippo to LA. Paul Lo Duca is doing a solid job at the dish but just hasn’t gotten on the same page as Zarzour.

It also seems that Zarzour’s throwing motion has changed somewhat. He doesn’t have the same velocity as last season, and something looks awkward -- almost like he’s trying to work around an injury or something. Anyways, it will be something to keep an eye on as we progress through the late spring and into summer.

Other than that, the Dodgers are red hot and looking ready to rule the NL West...

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Old 03-07-2008, 01:04 AM   #217 (permalink)
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Officially worried about Big Z



Dodgers pitcher shelled by former catcher

Piazza gets two hits (including HR) against Zarzour

April 19, 2002

The first time Andrew Zarzour ever pitched in the Big Leagues, his catcher -- Mike Piazza -- smashed a three-run homer in the bottom of the first to calm him down. Big Z went on to get the win.

Last night, Piazza stood in against Zarzour for the first time as an opposing batter -- and went yard on Zarzour in his first trip to the plate.

In what was the worst of three bad outings for Zarzour to start 2002, the Dodgers lost to the Cincinnati Reds 10-4. Piazza’s solo homer with two outs in the top of the first inning sailed nearly 400 feet. Piazza then singled off Zarzour in the second inning as the Reds took command 5-1.

Big Z didn’t last beyond the second frame. He gave up seven earned runs, including two homers. His ERA has now sky-lifted to 15.43. The chatter in the clubhouse is that one more poor performance and Zarzour could be on his way to Las Vegas for a stint in Triple A.

“I just can’t explain it,” Zarzour said after the latest horrific performance. “But I’m not going to get down on myself. There is still a lot of season left and time to get things turned around. If I have to go back to Triple A and rediscover what’s missing, I’ll do that. What hurts most is that we’re losing games. We want to win the World Series this year, and I’m not really helping that cause right now.”

Zarzour’s next scheduled start is April 23 against Colorado.

“Hey, at least the game isn’t going to be played at Coors Field,” Zarzour cracked at himself.
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:56 AM   #218 (permalink)
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Great to see that this is back!
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:41 AM   #219 (permalink)
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Birth Announcements

Edward William Scalfani Jr.
Marcie Scalfani of Brooklyn is proud to announce the birth of a son, Edward William Scalfani Junior.

"Little Ed" was born on March 28, 2002 at New York Methodist Hospital. He weighed nine pounds, 10 ounces.

Edward's father is "Big Ed" Scalfani, a Brooklyn firefighter who died in the Sept. 11 attacks.
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Old 03-07-2008, 11:55 AM   #220 (permalink)
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Great to see some new posts here!
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