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Category: Dr. Frank Jobe

Dodgers on the Web: Scouts dinner to honor several Dodgers

Jobe3The Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation is hosting its annual "Spirit of the Game" fundraising dinner and auction at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza on Saturday. Ticket information: 818-224-3906.

Several scouts and former players will be saluted, and here are a few stories written about the honorees in connection to the event:

-- The Times' Bill Shaikin has a nice overview of the reasons behind the dinner and the effect advanced baseball statistics have had on scouts.

-- Times columnist Bill Dwyre checks in with another honoree, Hall of Famer Johnny Bench, probably the greatest catcher ever.

-- Bob Nightengale of USA Today has an excellent piece on veteran Dodgers scout Carl Loewnstine, who is battling bone cancer but still at work.

-- Daily News columnist Tom Hoffarth has a story featuring ground-breaking orthopedic surgeon Frank Jobe, who pioneered the Tommy John ligament-replacement surgery and remains a special advisor to Frank McCourt.

-- Dodgers.com's Ken Gurnick looks at Tim Wallach's family, which also will receive an award.

-- Here's another general overview of the dinner at MLB.com, which is worth a look just to see the picture from last year's event that shows Commissioner Bud Selig with his arm around McCourt and foundation founder Dennis Gilbert, one of those who now wants to purchase the Dodgers.

Also on the Web:

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Steve Garvey, Tommy John and a closed Hall of Fame


They get another chance to enter now, though I’d still be surprised if they make it.

Both hung around on the Baseball Writers Assn. of America ballot for the maximum 15 years of voting, though falling significantly short each time.

Both are on the Hall of Fame veterans committee ballot. They’re on there with George Steinbrenner, Billy Martin, Marvin Miller, Pat Gillick and six other former players. Winners will be announced Dec. 6.

Certainly, it’s easy to make a case that both Steve Garvey and Tommy John deserve to be in the Hall.

Garvey was an All-Star 10 times, won four Gold Gloves, was a National League most valuable player, a two-time All-Star game MVP, a two-time NL Championship Series MVP, set the NL record for consecutive games played, had a career .294 batting average, had at least 200 hits in six seasons and was a winner with both the Dodgers and Padres.

John is 26th all-time in victories and shutouts, eighth in games started, 20th in innings pitched, 50th in strikeouts, was a four-time All-Star, had a career 3.34 earned-run average and was the NL comeback player of the year after he teamed with Dr. Frank Jobe on revolutionary elbow surgery that was named after John. He pitched for 26 seasons.

The problem for both, however, is that it wasn’t so difficult to make a case against them.

Argument against Garvey: He hit 272 career home runs, a respectable number, but not elite for someone who played a corner position. His career on-base percentage was only .329. His numbers were very good, but not truly exceptional.

Argument against John: His numbers were largely the product of his lengthy career. He’s 18th in career losses. Never won a Cy Young. Not really a dominant pitcher.

Whether you agree or disagree with either side, the larger problem for both is that frustrating moving line to determine who is truly Hall worthy and who is not.

As a BBWAA member, I voted for both. There were times early in their eligibility, however, when I did not. The problem often became, "Well, if I vote for him, then I have to vote this guy and that guy." And pretty soon your list is expanding to the point where it’s no longer an exclusive club.

Compare these career stats for first basemen:

Player                    Avg.   HR     RBI      Runs    Hits     SLG     OPS
Steve Garvey         .294    272   1308    1143   2599    .446    .329
Al Oliver                .303    219   1326    1189   2743    .451    .345
Don Mattingly        .307   222    1099   1007    2153    .471    .358
Orlando Cepeda      ,297   379    1365   1131    2351    .499    .350
Will Clark               .303   284    1205   1186    2176    .487    .384
Cecil Cooper           .298   241    1125   1012    2192    .466    .337
Edgar Martinez       .312   309    1261   1219    2247    .515    .418

Of these players, only Cepeda is in the Hall of Fame.

Cooper, Clark and Oliver never lasted past their first ballot. Martinez returns to the BBWAA ballot next January, and will be joined by John Olerud. Mattingly will be on for his 11th year. Oliver is on the veterans ballot along with Garvey.

If you vote in John, how can you not vote in Jim Kaat (283 wins, 3.45 ERA), Frank Tanana (240, 3.20), Jack Morris (254, 3.90) or Bert Blyleven (287, 3.31, fifth all-time strikeouts)?

Somewhere you have to step back. Somewhere you have to draw that vague line and determine how elite a player has to be.

And thus far, most determined that Garvey and John finished their careers just below that line.

-- Steve Dilbeck

Dodgers' Dr. Frank Jobe in good health after minor heart procedure

Good news for a great guy:

Dr. Frank Jobe said he is in good health after having a small defibrillator implanted in his chest.

"I was just in the pool for an hour," Jobe said.

Jobe served as the Dodgers’ orthopedic physician beginning in 1964. For the last three seasons he has been a special advisor to team owner Frank McCourt.

Jobe, 84, is best known as the surgeon who created the Tommy John procedure. In that operation, a tendon is removed from one arm to reconstruct an elbow ligament in the other. It has saved the careers of thousands of pitchers, players and other athletes.

Jobe said he had the defibrillator implanted almost two weeks ago. The device shocks the heart into beating if it suffers sudden cardiac arrest.

"It’s only about the size of a half dollar,’’ Jobe said.

Jobe performed the first Tommy John procedure 36 years ago. And as I wrote earlier, he deserves a place in baseball’s Hall of Fame.

-- Steve Dilbeck

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