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Searching for Mr. Loney

Lj59iwnc OK, so actually we know where he is, it's just hard to recognize him. At least, the Dodgers faithful hope it is.

Truth be told, he's looking awfully familiar. A little too much like the mysterious James Loney everyone watched the final two months of last season.

Loney is batting .159 on the new season (seven for 44). Now, it's easy to write that off as one of those early season things. They happen. The best hitter in the game, Albert Pujols, was hitting .150 only two days ago.

Trouble is, it's continuing a pattern. Add the first two weeks of the season to his numbers since July 30, and Loney is batting .207. And before that, he had been hitting .292.

Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly did not start Loney on Wednesday against the Giants in San Francisco, saying he thought Loney was "anxious" and that the Dodgers were working with Loney on something to do with his hands.

Hope somebody is working on something. Loney simply isn't driving the ball. Usually a smooth-looking hitter, he appears to be oddly uncomfortable at the plate. He has two extra-base hits (.256 slugging percentage).

Loney is so easy-going that he can be hard to read, but when you're essentially slumping for 2½ months, it has to wear on you.

Since Loney lacks power, particularly for a first baseman, his trouble collecting hits only becomes more magnified. A long season awaits, but he's making it a nervous beginning.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Photo: Dodgers' James Loney during the game against the San Francisco Giants at Dodgers Stadium April 4, 2011. Credit: Katie Falkenberg/For The Times

Comments () | Archives (26)

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It looks like Loney will be one of the extrie players for awhile, dont think
they can send him down now, without consent ? Its sad because
we expected so much from James !

I really struggled with buying the MLB Extra Innings package this year at a cool 180.00 (over 4 months) to watch the Ds here in Philly. So far, it has been a real snooze fest. No team looks good when they don't hit/win, but this whole team seems out of whack. Yes, (thank goodness) Kemp is off to an All-Star start and Kershaw should keep us in most games, but this has the makings of a classic .500 team in the making!

Ned brought in Lopes as a personal coach for Kemp, maybe he can bring in Barry Bonds as a personal hitting coach for Loney.

Loney is a looney-tuney, & a bigger doooooooosh & waste then Bilz.........
2 gawd-awful 1st-round piX, along w/lefty ebert!!!!
(& current minor league righty's Withrow & Martin also 2 complete wastes!!!)

hard to fathom such total failures re: #1 draft piX!!!

however, last yr's #1 Lee had a stellar outing last eve, as did righty-Rubby (though he not a draft pick at all), so these 2 look promising for future ro-ta-shun, & along w/Clay-"K" (presuming "duds" have enuf sense-&-cents to sign him!), give the "duds" three-fifths of future starting pitching "staph"......

butt "duds" complete FOOLS to ever waste a #1 pick on a first-baseman, as virtually anyone can play there!!!!...........basic rule is NEVA waste a top pick on a corner infielder or corner outfielder, it's that plain & simple......
what a terrible & foolish organiza-shun the "duds" have evolved into!!!!

The simple answer is he is not that good of a hitter. Loney may be the most overrated first baseman in Dodgers history. I do not think there is more than maybe 2 or 3 other teams in the league he would be starting for. The Dodgers have made a big mistake by just handing him the job 5 years ago and never finding anyone to push him competetively. He has gotten complacent and knows there is nobody behind him that can take his job. Those are the big problems.

How would Prince Fielder or Adam Dunn look at first base and how would that change the dynamic of this team? But of course McCrap and Ned would never spend the kind of money it would of taken to get them here in the off season. As always we are left wondering what could of been.

I suppose if he cared, it would make a difference in his performance. But he sure doesn't look like he cares, does it? Nonchalance doesn't cut it.

"the Dodgers were working with Loney on something to do with his hands."

- probably trying to remove them from his ears. mattingly, pentland, hansen, Manny M... did we leave anyone out? Perhaps loney isn't receiving enough input from the dudgers coaching cast of thousands...

Loney is what he is. More the Mark Grace and not the Prince Fielder. He always hit for average in the minors and I believe still does have gap power. On this team that would be fine, assuming there are runners on base, which in the early going has been the case. If he hit closer to .300 than .200 again, we would all let up about the home runs or lack of power. I know I would!

Loney has always been a joke.

He will be traded in July along with Broxton. Those two will bring in a solid bat at 3rd base and a power hitter in left field.

To the drunk and rambling guy below: how was Billingsley a "god-awful" draft pick?

Oh, and did the Rays "waste" a first-round pick on a corner infielder when they drafted Evan Longoria? Rangers with Teixeira, etc.?

Loney just sucks. Not really sure what the mystery is. He's never been good, and never will be, but complacent Dodgers management and complacent fans just let this turdfest continue unabated.

Major disappointment. Another "regressive" like Martin? Don't want to think that, but he could be. I'd say give him until the All Star before we dump him, but who can we replace him with? McCourt will not spring for Prince Fielder, and please, NO Adam Dunn.
Anybody remember Greg Brock, the guy who was going to make us forget Garvey?
Thank you, Fred Claire.
Welcome to the world of .500 ball .......... if we're lucky.

The Dodgers gush over how well Loney performs during batting practice as if BP will carry over into the real game...News flash, it doesn't for Loney!

Mattingly should fine each & every player on the team $1k everytime they hit a homerun during BP. None of these scrub with warning-track power should be swinging for the fences during BP! All it does is promote false hope & bad habits...

Are Boston Blackie, Charlie Chan and Bulldog Drummond "searching" for Loney, also. Throw in a search for Frank while they are at it.

Yes the season is young..however Bottom line Loney is NOT Cutting it. Three years ago he hit 15 homers in 83 games. He is a good contact hitter and will get you doubles. The home run ball he won't produce. Ned needs to keep a close eye on JL nad look for a trade for Prince Feilder. We need proven power hitters in this line up... not pretending power hitters.

First we were worried about his lack of power, now he's not hitting at all. After his home run, I thought, "Oh Wow", now I'm hoping he goes back to the way he was and leave the long ball hitting to somebody else.

Every time they play that melodramatic Dodgers commercial that ends with Loney saying, "It's time," I find myself saying back, "Sure is."

I hope they can get him back on track.

Those that say Loney "sucks", etc. just don't know baseball!

As I wrote the other night, Loney is & always will be a Grace-type player - gaps, doubles, ribbies & very solid defensively. Those that think otherwise, must have thought Garvey was a good glove man at 1B! Garvey could not turn the first to second doubleplay, whereas Loney can & he's just an overall really good first baseman.

No, over his major league career, he is averaging .285 & 91 ribbies a season, yet when Dread, McDork & Don, as well as the media & fans call for him to hit for power, he has struggled & it is only 12 games in! Leave him alone re: the power stats as he hit all of 36 dingers, total, in his 6 minor league seasons & had 11 one season, the most he had in the minor league season!

And for the person that said he would only start on 2-3 teams, is dead wrong; there are many a manager & quality GM that would like a great glove, .285 ave & 91 ribbies season in - season out!

If Dread could have signed a Dunn, I stick him in LF as at least we'd have a true slugger out there & sure, if we could get Fielder, but as long as McDork & Dread are running this team, I dont see it happening.

Lay off Loney as his #'s & defense prove my point! Trust me, he is the least of this version of the blue crew! Our SP's, across the board, are adequate at best, we have a suspect BP & we have no true Closer. We have an aging IF that can't play more than a few days in a row, we have a LF by committee - thanks Dread & McDork.

Once Loney starts to hit & he will, I'll remind you guys about him.

Oh how I wish MLB would force McCork out & he can take Dread(170 Mil for nothing) with him!

I think from all I've read about Loney is he is a good guy. It could be a case of the Dodgers in trying to increase his power have domed him and screwed up his mechanics to the point of failure. Now he is lost in the ether somewhere looking for a swing he thinks he can remember but wonders if it is real or an illusion, a trick of his mind.
I hoe for him he finds his stroke again and he can remain a Dodger. But I sense he would be better off away from a team that really has not helped him a bit.

Very good, StanL. ,remembering The Coasters. Too bad Loney's lack of "young blood" has effected his hitting. Maybe he should try to "get a job" somewhere else. I think he's got "poison ivy." Well, enough of this "yakkety yak." Looks like I'm really showing my age!

okay, someone has to call out donnie on tonight's lineup. why in the world would he start hoffman over thames on a night when he is also resting barajas? the bottom five in the order are a cakewalk for garcia. uribe at .135, loney at 159, hoffman, a rookie at .000, ellis at .200 or something like that, and then the worst hitting pitcher in all of baseball, kuroda. why not rest loney against the lefty? barajas and thames kill lefties and they are not in the lineup? what's up with that? come on don! quit fooling around with the lineup and give us a chance to win!

Dallas: **Those that think otherwise, must have thought Garvey was a good glove man at 1B! Garvey could not turn the first to second doubleplay, whereas Loney can & he's just an overall really good first baseman.**

Last time I checked "really good" Firstbasemen don't receive Gold gloves, let alone FOUR! and how many WS rings does Loney have? The list of Garvey accomplishments goes on & on & on & on & on, and on. poor choice of comparison.

While looking at Loney struggle I noticed two things that he is doing wrong. First his ready to hit stance has his hips opened, which is a big no no, because it slows down your bat speed and power. Second he begins his swing with his hands opposed to his hips which is a double whammy given stance problems.

1207 I disagree, as good as Garvey was at some things, he sucked at throwing to 2B - so many ended in LF, at both Russell's & Lopes' feet! I was there, I SAW it first hand!

And like Kemp, her was a sucker for the slider down & away - so many potential great innings ended in the dirt of catcher's glove as he could now, would not lay off that pitch!

As far as WS goes, that is so weak - shame on you as you should know better than that - a WS team is just that, a team & what McDork & Dread confetti have put together is anything but a WS team & at this point, if it was Prince, Ryan, etc., it would matter not as they screwed up their chance when Loney, Ethier,. Kemp were 3-4 years younger.


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