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July 15, 4:00 PM ET
Chat with Tony Jackson

Tony Jackson
  (4:02 PM)

Good afternoon, everyone, from sweltering Busch Stadium in St. Louis. The Gateway Arch is shimmering in the midday heat, and the Dodgers are presently holding a mandatory workout. Yes, you read that correctly. So if they appear a little sluggish tonight, well ... On to your questions.

Rob (LA)

Reading Moneyball gave me a new outlook on Paul De Podesta, whom I previously despised. Why do you think he failed so miserably here?

Tony Jackson
  (4:05 PM)

Rob, I think Paul made two primary mistakes. One he was TOO wedded to the Moneyball concept, where his mentor, Billy Bean in Oakland, seemed to strike a certain balance between Moneyball philosophy and the old-school, scouting-based approach. Secondly, what we had here was a failure to communicate. From everything I have been told, Paul simply didn't keep the lines of communication open with a lot of the people in the organization who weren't around every day, ie., scouts, etc., and that was frustrating for a lot of them. My understanding is that was one of the key factors that led to his ouster. ... It was too bad, really, because he is a brilliant guy, and I really liked him, respected him and liked working with him. But I don't think he's really a GM, and the role he currently has with the Padres is probably better suited to him.

ben (los angeles)

T-I see the judge suggested selling the Dodgers to pay for the McCourt fiasco.....is this a foreboding of things to come?

Tony Jackson
  (4:06 PM)

Ben, my guess is yes. I'm not saying any judge is ever going to force Frank to sell the team. But I do think the eventual end result of this whole thing is that Frank is going to sell the team, a year or two down the road. Just hard to envision him making this work once the dust settles.

Collin (Decatur, AL)

What are the Odds of the Dodgers winning the World Series

Tony Jackson
  (4:07 PM)

I don't know, but I'm sure they're pretty long. I did see odds the other day that had them at 10-1 to win the National League pennant.

sacramento (tustin,ca)

is there anyone specifically the dodgers are targeting on the trade or free agent market?

Tony Jackson
  (4:09 PM)

Roy Oswalt is at the top of their list, from what I understand, but there is no way they can take him unless the Astros are willing to pick up a large chunk of what is left on his contract, which is close to $25 million. Right now, it doesn't even sound like the Astros are willing to even move him, but that's probably just poker-face stuff in advance of the deadline. I also know Ted Lilly is no higher than third or fourth on their wish list, but he seems to me like he might be a good fit. Hard to say that, though, when I dont' really know who is between Oswalt and Lilly on the list.

Tony Jackson
  (4:09 PM)

Roy Oswalt is at the top of their list, from what I understand, but there is no way they can take him unless the Astros are willing to pick up a large chunk of what is left on his contract, which is close to $25 million. Right now, it doesn't even sound like the Astros are willing to even move him, but that's probably just poker-face stuff in advance of the deadline. I also know Ted Lilly is no higher than third or fourth on their wish list, but he seems to me like he might be a good fit. Hard to say that, though, when I dont' really know who is between Oswalt and Lilly on the list.

Sam (Fullerton)

Frank McCourt needs to sell the team for the Dodgers to be able to win a championship in the next 3 years. Do you agree?

Tony Jackson
  (4:09 PM)

Sam, not necessarily. I think he probably needs to sell it for the team to be able to contend year in and year out for years to come. But the Dodgers are certainly competitive this year, and they have a lot of these players locked up for next year.

Kathy (Raleigh)

How do you think the Phils look in the 2nd half? Can they rebound and make the playoffs?

Tony Jackson
  (4:12 PM)

Kathy, sure they CAN. But they probably better do it quickly. If the Braves are allowed to keep building their lead, they're going to be tough to catch, and to hear their players talk at the All-Star Game, they are feeling supremely confident. That is a good team, and there is nothing to suggest they are ever going to collapse. The Phillies are just going to have to catch them, and that means every head-to-head game from here on out will be monumentally important.

SprungOnSports (Long Island)

What players do you will be most important in bringing the Dodgers a division title in the second half and why? Thanks.

Tony Jackson
  (4:15 PM)

Start with Chad Billingsley. I think we know exactly what to expect from Clayton Kershaw, but Bills struggled down the stretch last year. That can't happen again, and I don't think it will. Also, Kuroda and Padilla have to stay healthy, because even if the Dodgers DO land another starter, they can't afford to lose one. Offensively, I think they're fine, but it would be helpful if Russell Martin would finally get back on track offensively.

Ryan (San Diego)

Tony...does Ned have any tricks up his sleeve this time around or is this pretty much the roster we're gonna see for the 2nd half of the season? Do you see any of the core "young" guys getting traded?

Tony Jackson
  (4:16 PM)

Ryan, it would be hard for me to imagine any of the ''core" guys leaving, unless the Dodgers were able to get a package of major league ready players that included at least one major league ready starting pitcher. Very doubtful this would happen. They could have had Cliff Lee if they had been willing to trade Loney, after all.

Tony Jackson
  (4:16 PM)

Sam, I accidentally deleted your question while trying to post it. You asked if Clayton Kershaw could be a darkhorse Cy Young candidate in the year of the pitcher. My guess is no, unless Jimenez suffers a second-half collapse. But we'll see.

Tony Jackson
  (4:18 PM)

Sam, no, I still think it was a good deal for the Dodgers in the short term -- and I still don't think they make it as far as they did the past two years without Blake.

Sam (Fullerton)

Tony. Do you regret the Casey Blake for Carlos Santana deal like I do? I mean, Blake has been a solid player but Santana is looking like he can be a real difference maker and I'm not sure Blake has much left in the tank

Tony Jackson
  (4:18 PM)

Wrong sequence again, sorry

Dane (San Pedro)

What bullpen help is out there that the Dodgers could be looking at?

Tony Jackson
  (4:20 PM)

To be honest, Dane, I'm not even sure who is on that list. I wouldn't look for them to land another closer and use him as a setup guy, as they did last year with Sherrill, cause they already have the best setup guy in the league. If they get a reliever, it's probably a middle innings guy

Ben (los angeles)

T-what is your take on Colletti? I think generally he has done a good job.

Tony Jackson
  (4:21 PM)

I agree Ben. He has made some mistakes, some expensive ones -- Jones, Schmidt, Pierre -- but you can't argue with success.

Sam (Fullerton)

Are there any prospects in the minors that can give this team a jolt as they start the second half? Also, is John Ely's magic carpet ride officially over? Will we see him back in the majors any time soon?

Tony Jackson
  (4:25 PM)

Assuming J-Mac is the guy called up for the fifth spot, he could have an impact. And Ely could come back and have an impact -- and I think he will definitely be a key for them in 2011. Another guy who I think will be called up at some point this year is Kenley Jansen. He throws 95 and appears to be major league ready. He could be a big addition to the pen if the Dodgers don't find one somewhere else

Sam (Fullerton)

Is Mattingly going to manage the Dodgers when Torre decides to call it a career? Will Larry Bowa even get some consideration?

Tony Jackson
  (4:26 PM)

Sam, the plan is for Mattingly. No chance for Bowa. But I hope they give at least some consideration to Tim Wallach. He deserves at least that.

Matt (Omaha)

Any news of the plan for Xavier Paul this week? How about the future of Jerry Sands?

Tony Jackson
  (4:27 PM)

Matt, I'm guessing X will be optioned today to clear a spot for Manny. And I wouldn't look for Sands anytime this year, but he should warrant a big league camp invite next spring.

Sam (Fullerton)

What about Trayvon Robinson? Will he get a look sometime this year?

Tony Jackson
  (4:31 PM)

Not likely, simply because there wouldn't be anyplace for him to play. Although I wouldn't be that surprised if he got a September callup just because he's on the 40-man. He got off to a slow start but has come on strong lately, and he definitely has a future with the Dodgers.

mark (boca raton, florida)

Tony, will McCourts mercifully agree to sell team to an owner worthy of owning the Dodgers? Do you think this team is an ace and solid middle reliever away from being a serious World Series candidate? Thank you.

Tony Jackson
  (4:33 PM)

Mark, first part of your question: if Frank sells the team, he'll be looking for a worthy BUYER ($$$), not a worthy owner. He won't care what happens to the team once his hands are washed of it. As for the second part, I think as bad as the Natoinal League is, this team is a WS candidate NOW. But they're probably a player or two away from having any chance of winning it once they get there.

Sam (Fullerton)

Do you agree with Jon Weisman that health and not a lack of talent is what would hold the Dodgers back from winning the NL West?

Tony Jackson
  (4:34 PM)

Somewhat. But you can have all the talent in the world and be healthy and still not win. I do think for the most part, though, this team has a lot of character, so I don't think it's the sort of team that will implode on itself the way, say, the 2007 Dodgers did.

Sam (Fullerton)

How much longer will the Dodgers leave the corpse of Garret Anderson out on the field before they waive him?

Tony Jackson
  (4:38 PM)

That's a good question, Sam, but I get the sense they're not going to wait much longer, unless Garret suddenly gets hot. I do think Torre and the coaching staff likes having him around for what he brings to the clubhouse. He lockers next to Matt Kemp at home, and I think they think he has been a good influence. So it may come down to how long the front office is willing to go along with the wishes of the staff.

Tony Jackson
  (4:41 PM)

Looks like we have run out of questions, and the clubhouse is about to open, so this would seem to be a good stopping point. I'll see you all next week from Dodger Stadium. Thanks for the questions.