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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Great Comeback, Anguishing Loss
2008-08-06 06:15
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The Just Get the Out Rule:

Use your best reliever in a tight situation whenever it comes up. If you need an out - give yourself the best chance of getting the out. Worry about the rest later. Rest pitchers when they need to rest - not because you've rendered them irrelevant by using lesser pitchers.
Luck and misfortune, good performances and lesser ones, sent the Dodgers into extra innings Tuesday. For the second time this season, rain short-circuited the outing of the team's best starting pitcher, Chad Billingsley. Joe Beimel hit Rick Ankiel with an 0-2 fastball with the bases loaded. James Loney hit into two double plays ... yet his weakest grounder of the ninth kept alive a four-run, game-tying, ninth-inning rally initiated by Andruw Jones' third home run this season.

Andre Ethier, Russell Martin and Jeff Kent also had key hits in that ninth and Casey Blake a sacrifice fly, while Manny Ramirez showed great discipline in taking a walk when the Cardinals were almost-but-not-quite pitching around him. (Jason Isringhausen blew the save, but that doesn't change the dancing quality of the pitches he threw to the Dodgers' new cleanup hitter.) Matt Kemp and Ethier then added singles in the 10th ... yet Martin had one of his poorest at-bats of the season, hacking away at the first three pitches before capping it with a hopeless swing at a pitch in the dirt.

Cory Wade pitched admirably in relief (and even drew a walk in his first career plate appearance after being down 0-2), handling the ninth and 10th innings and reinforcing what an unsung hero he has been to the bullpen this season ... yet the game ended with the Dodgers sending Jason Johnson, who had thrown 87 pitches 56 hours earlier, instead of Jonathan Broxton, who was available, to face the Cardinals' best hitters in the bottom of the 11th. (Hong-Chih Kuo was declared unavailable, which was understandable.)

The manager's rationale for saving Broxton is that he is the closer, and you don't want to rely on Johnson to protect a lead. This is like worrying about who will guard the safe in the morning after you've left it unlocked overnight. It gets tiresome to repeat this, but when you know one run will cost you the game, you should be using your best pitcher. The alternative is a) you get to use a lesser pitcher when there's more margin for error after your team has scored runs, or b) you get to use a lesser pitcher with no margin for error, but at least you know you gave the game your best shot.

Now, that argument places Broxton in the game even earlier, which I'm fine with - it could have easily minimized the deficit the Dodgers had to overcome. From the article linked above ... The Reliever Reciprocity Rule, or Triple R, or RRR:

If you would use a reliever in a given moment in a game with a lead of X, you should use him with a deficit of X. ... Close games are winnable, whether you are in the lead or trailing. If the reliever is available to work with a lead, he is available to work without a lead. If he needs to rest that game, he needs to rest no matter what.
In other words, using Broxton sooner in a game won't make him any more overworked than using him later. If you know you're in a close game now, you don't need to try to guess whether you'll be in a close game the next day.

The other rationale for using Johnson is that with the pitcher's spot having just passed by, you're hoping he'll be able to pitch until that spot comes up again. But the odds of getting that much work out of Johnson were slim - and in any case, the only pinch-hitters left on the Dodger bench were Danny Ardoin and Kuo. So that justification becomes rather irrelevant.

Tuesday's game was a big stew of good and bad - I didn't even mention that Mark Sweeney hit a solid line drive in the ninth that could have given the Dodgers the lead had the ball found its way past Albert Pujols. It's no fun watching the team hit into three double plays or fail to handle a few groundball plays competently. But that's all part of playing the game.

But a manager shouldn't have to be so ignorant of which is a more crucial, pressure-packed situation - the situation that truly requires a pitcher to close down the opposition - pitching in a tie game, or pitching with a lead. It's really rather remarkable that baseball conventional wisdom considers falling near the cliff more dangerous than falling over it.

* * *

Tony Jackson of the Daily News talked to Martin and Torre about Martin's 10th-inning at-bat:

Martin said opposing pitchers don't appear to be attacking him any differently with Ramirez behind him than they were before.

"It's tough to say, but I haven't really noticed anything major yet," he said. "Guys are trying to get you out the way they always try to get you out. It's a game of adjustments. (In the 10th), I was just trying to get a ball in the air, trying to drive it to the outfield. I really wish I could have that at-bat back, but there is nothing you can really do."

Cardinals reliever Ryan Franklin struck Martin out on a 2-2 pitch in the dirt, a sign Martin might be over-adjusting with Ramirez on deck.

"Sometimes, it works against you," Dodgers manager Joe Torre said. "I think Russell got a little aggressive there. If you think having Manny behind you means you're going to get a pitch to hit, maybe you're not as selective. ... But again, he was aggressive, and I don't want to take that away from him."

The last thing I mean to do is come down on Martin, who is still tremendous. It was a noteworthy at-bat, but it was one at-bat.

Comments (159)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-08-06 07:02:30
1.   D4P
It's really rather remarkable that baseball conventional wisdom considers falling near the cliff more dangerous than falling over it.

That reminds me of this (or vice versa):

(Torre, on having Manny in the lineup): "I don't think it's the home run; it's the threat of hitting the home run," Torre said. "It's going to put the opposing pitcher on notice that you're going to have to work hard to get through this."

2008-08-06 07:06:58
2.   Disabled List
I can't tell you how unimpressed I've been with Joe Torre this season. I've been just as upset at some of the moves/decisions he's made this year as I was with Grady Little previously.
2008-08-06 07:11:02
3.   Bob Timmermann
Jim Tracy is tanned, rested, and ready.
2008-08-06 07:11:06
4.   Travis08
"(Jason Isringhausen blew the save, but that doesn't change the dancing quality of the pitches he threw to the Dodgers' new cleanup hitter.)"

Technically, Ryan Franklin blew the save for allowing the tying sacrifice fly. Isringhausen got a hold for his 1/3 IP, 3 R, 5 baserunner performance.

2008-08-06 07:16:34
5.   Bob Timmermann
Cardinals fans are, to put it mildly, fed up with Isringhausen. Cardinals GM John Mozeliak is promising changes in the bullpen.
http://tinyurl.com/552sjb
>>General manager John Mozeliak was less circumspect, suggesting there would be a meeting with La Russa and pitching coach Dave Duncan.

"Tony, Dunc' and I will talk about what just happened. We can't keep giving games away," Mozeliak said. "We've been very supportive of Izzy. At some point you have to get results." <<

2008-08-06 07:17:52
6.   Doctor
Furthermore The Borg had no business in that game in the 6th down 1. You knew it was going to be close in the end, why put in a guy who might not make another team?
2008-08-06 07:20:38
7.   Jon Weisman
3 - I know. Torre is no worse than his predecessors. The other guys did this stuff all the time.
2008-08-06 07:22:39
8.   D4P
7
Seems to me the point is that "Torre is no better than his predecessors."
2008-08-06 07:24:43
9.   larry slimfast
Play for the tie at home and the win on the road. Play for the tie at home and the win on the road. Play for the tie at home and the win on the road. Play for the tie at home and the win on the road. Play for the tie at home and the win on the road. Play for the tie at home and the win on the road.

Continue repeating until your hair falls out and you constantly compare your players to late 90's Yankees players.

Only then will you understand the true genius that is Joseph Paul Torre.

2008-08-06 07:35:02
10.   Jon Weisman
8 - That's a valid point but a different one.
2008-08-06 07:37:29
11.   JoeyP
I havent even read through the game thread, but here are my thoughts from witnessing it 1st hand:

#1. Blake Dewitt should be traded to the Cardinals. There were a ton of Blake Dewitt jerseys at the ballpark last night. I'm not sure if he still gets a ticket allottment with being in the minors, but it seems like all of his town was there last nite cheering him on in spirit (since he wasnt there). Cory Wade was also very popular. He probably signed more autographs before the game than any Dodger.

#2. Between the rain delays,--> Loney, Ethier, Kemp all came out on the field to stretch and get ready. Even Juan Pierre did bc he was going to pinch hit. Blake/Berroa also came out to stretch. Manny/Kent never come out to the field unless its game time. When we got to the game, I seen Ethier getting stretched out & figured he was in the lineup. It was a pleasant surprise to see Torre play the best lineup of the year, only then for the Dodgers to go scoreless for 8 innings. Thats baseball I guess.

#3. Cardinal fans hate Isringhausen. They were boo'ing before he even came in. We were getting ready to leave after the 8th inning, but we figured to stay just in case the Cards brought him in. The rocket off Andruw Jones bat was the biggest surprise of the night though it was off Villone.

#4. Its kinda fitting that since the last game I saw the Dodgers play in St. Louis, Loney hit a homer to win the game. This game, he was dreadful. 2 DPs, left the bases loaded (though he made pretty good contact on a low liner to LF), and that squib in the 9th. He also should have been given the error on Berroa's throw for failing to dig it. Berroa actually made a nice stop to get to it, although it probably evens out since there was another play hit at Berroa that was scored a hit but should have been an error. Casey Blake made some nice stops at 3b. His metrics may say he sucks, but last night he was very good in the field. Manny did fine in LF. I didnt see him loaf around much. Kent has no range.

#5. All the home runs last night were no doubters off the bat. Its amazing that you can tell they are gone literally split seconds from the crack of the bat to midway up its trajectory.

#6. We were waiting for either Broxton or Kuo to come in & they never did. I figured Broxton must be hurt or something, but no reason for Kuo to not come in. It was going to be hard for Jason Johnson to go through the middle of the Cards order.

#7. The Cardinal ushers are really strange. They began kicking out most of the unruly fans from their sections. But they did not kick them out of the game. They just kicked them out of their section & told them to go to other sections.

#8. Izturis either has a weak arm, or he knows just exactly what to put on each throw to get the baserunner out. Adam Kennedy probably had the best game of anyone last night, spraying line drives all over.

If Manny continues to hit .600 or better, I think the Dodgers make the playoffs.

2008-08-06 07:45:08
12.   MollyKnight
Last night I was posting in a days old thread, not even realizing it and thinking everyone was crazy for having gone to bed.
2008-08-06 08:00:33
13.   Gen3Blue
11 Thanks for the "live report.

12 I've been there, and it drives one nuts.

2008-08-06 08:06:15
14.   Paul Scott
7 , 8 Both are wrong. Even if you view Torre as "no worse" or "no better" on the field, Torre is worse by a minimum of $3.4M. That savings would have meant, at a minimum, not sending away Santana. Torre has really hurt this team this year in more ways than one.
2008-08-06 08:06:53
15.   D4P
Given that Torre is the highest paid manager in the league, and given that we had a ton of (junk) foisted down our throats when he was hired about his rings, his winningness, his ability to control the clubhouse, get respect from players, resolve inter-generational issues, etc., I don't see any reason to give him any degree of credit whatsoever for not being worse than other managers. That's completely irrelevant.
2008-08-06 08:10:18
16.   Xeifrank
The save statistic has ruined the way managers use their best relief pitchers. Managers shouldn't manage towards the save statistic, they should manage towards the win statistic. Winning is more important than making sure a certain pitcher gets a save. A three run, three out save situation begins with a win expectancy of something like 97% fyi.
vr, Xei
2008-08-06 08:13:42
17.   Disabled List
15 IAWTP. The Joe Torre hype was (and still is) suffocating, and it's very obvious now that the emperor has no clothes.
2008-08-06 08:13:46
18.   D4P
The win statistic probably has a negative influence on the way managers use their starters, too. Trying to get the starter 5 innings has no doubt led managers to keep starters in too long at various times in the past.

If a reliever can get a "Win" for recording one out, there's no reason a starter should have to record 15 outs.*

*That being said, the Win statistic should be abolished anyway.

2008-08-06 08:15:59
19.   JoeyP
Last night's loss I guess was "anguishing", in that it sucks to make a big comeback and lose. But the Dodgers were never really in control of the game or dominating the game. The Cardinals had all of the scoring chances up until the 9th.

The Pujols K, throw the runner out at 3b play was huge (and surprising). Kemp also made a nice catch on the Izturis blooper with the bases loaded. It was bad baserunning by the guy at 3b. He should have tagged bc Kemp was way off balance to make a good throw to the plate.

2008-08-06 08:17:57
20.   delias man
19 Molina would have been dead at the plate if he tried it.
2008-08-06 08:17:58
21.   Penarol1916
12. That post just gave me a nice little smile this morning after last night's immensely frustrating game.
2008-08-06 08:25:57
22.   Jon Weisman
15 - I didn't give him credit. I made an observation.

14 works for me.

2008-08-06 08:26:56
23.   Ken Noe
Torre has been pretty much exactly what Yankee fans promised us he would be just before he was hired--PVL happy, prone to playing favorites far too long, often inscrutable in game decision making. Aside from JP, they all do seem to be one big happy family these days, but I think that has more to do with being in a race than anything else.
2008-08-06 08:27:01
24.   D4P
22
What was the point of the observation?
2008-08-06 08:30:22
25.   ToyCannon
From JoeyP
"#7. The Cardinal ushers are really strange. They began kicking out most of the unruly fans from their sections. But they did not kick them out of the game. They just kicked them out of their section & told them to go to other sections."

I love that. Kind of what we do with the homeless. In reality they probably just didn't have tickets for that section and were told to move. The key to seat hopping is not to draw attention to yourself.

2008-08-06 08:34:19
26.   berkowit28
18 I suspect that by "the win statistic" xf meant the team winning, not a particular pitcher winning.
2008-08-06 08:38:39
27.   D4P
26
I know, but I was just expanding upon his point. Trying to get wins and saves for individual pitchers is not always the best thing to do from the team's standpoint.
2008-08-06 08:39:00
28.   still bevens
That blurb about Martin overadjusting is spot on. He had a couple pitches last night that he took huge rips on because he assumed he would be getting a fastball with Manny behind him. He ended up getting badly fooled.
2008-08-06 08:39:34
29.   Eric Stephen
24
Why are you so antagonistic?

Not every single post has to have some deep meaning, as I've proven on several occasions.

We get it. You think Joe Torre is overpaid. You think its silly to pay a manager $4m since for the most part they are all similar. We got it after your first 500 posts on the subject.

2008-08-06 08:41:37
30.   D4P
29
I'm not trying to be antagonistic: I'm asking what the point of Jon's observation was, if not to give credit to Torre for not being worse than other managers. To me, that seemed to be the point. Jon said it wasn't.
2008-08-06 08:48:56
31.   Jon Weisman
30 - The point was that Joe Torre's flaws do not make Grady Little or Jim Tracy any better.
2008-08-06 08:51:44
32.   overkill94
0 Jones' homer was against lefty Ron Villone but his 2nd homer of the season was against righty Ben Sheets. His first homer was against lefty Chuck James.
2008-08-06 08:55:00
33.   Jon Weisman
32 - Oops - thanks.
2008-08-06 08:57:08
34.   D4P
31
Which is another way of saying that Torre is not worse than the other managers. I guess that's fine, but it doesn't seem to be the correct standard, at least not if we're trying to evaluate Torre being our manager, and doing so under his current contract. I don't think we're trying to evaluate whether to bring back Tracy or Grittle.

But I'm not mad and not trying to argue.

Look at the pretty flowers and butterflies and stuff. "Tra la la la la..."

2008-08-06 09:10:45
35.   Jon Weisman
34-My comment was in direct response to comments about Little and Tracy.

Considering that I criticized Torre today and in the past and questioned his hiring, it does feel you're being argumentative. It's like you're looking for the most positive interpretation of my comments just so you can critique them, although I appreciate you being in a good mood.

2008-08-06 09:11:36
36.   StolenMonkey86
I'm sure some folks over at BB might have read the post and laughed. It's no surprise that Torre would do this - I believe the term for it is Jeff Weaver Syndrome, a la Game 4 of the 2003 World Series.

You can't teach an old dog new tricks.

2008-08-06 09:17:02
37.   Bob Timmermann
My pants are now intact.

That is all.

2008-08-06 09:22:16
38.   BlueCrew Bruin
37 I sense there is a fascinating backstory to this that I've missed out on. I hope, at least.
2008-08-06 09:22:51
39.   Eric Stephen
Since winning the clincher in St. Louis in the 2004 World Series, Derek Lowe has pitched in Mound City thrice. The Dodgers have lost by at least five runs in each game:

5/12/05: 10-3 Cards; Lowe 5 IP, 10 H, 6 R, 2 ER
7/14/06: 5-0 Cards; Lowe 6 IP, 11 H, 4 R
8/11/07: 6-1 Cards; Lowe 6 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 3 ER

Hopefully the new park will provide a different result for Lowe and the Dodgers.

2008-08-06 09:23:16
40.   Eric Stephen
38
I'm guessing Lisa Bonet was involved.
2008-08-06 09:26:02
41.   Bob Timmermann
40
The story is far more prosaic.
2008-08-06 09:29:24
42.   underdog
Not bringing in Broxton yesterday was dumb, plain and simple. Of course, we still might have ended up bringing JJJ at some point and still might have lost the game (and I often feel like games in St Louis are cursed no matter what happens, rain delays make it even more cursed), but you have to bring in your best reliever at some point to give you the best chance to win. Lots of managers make the same mistake Torre made but that doesn't make it right.

That said, I've said it before and I'll say it again, Torre is a better manager than Jim Tracy and Grady Little, and Bill Russell. And Glenn Hoffman. Period. YES, he's overpaid, I agree with D4P on that (separate from the issue of how overpaid many players are). And YES that manager bar is set pretty low, absolutely. (In fact, I sort of cringe when I type those names above.) Yes, he does stupid things - though last night I didn't not disagree with any of his moves, EXCEPT the Broxton no-show, which could be a crucial one. The fact that he sometimes goes 2-3 games, imho, without making any noticeably stupid decisions, is not really the strongest defense in the world, but again compared to the daily frustrations I felt with his predecessors, maybe I'm just resigned to accept his occasional stupidities.

I agree we could have a cheaper manager who could be no worse, and maybe even better (though Ron Gardenhire is unavailable at the moment). Maybe Don Mattingly would/will be better.

And I have no problem criticizing specific wrongheaded, or debatably wrongheaded, decisions by Torre. It's just the misty-eyed reevaluation of the people behind him that drives me bonkers. They were not as "good" (again, not a high bar) as Torre. And we can definitely do better. That's just mho.

2008-08-06 09:30:21
43.   underdog
Didn't disagree, minus that errant "not" above. Where'd that come from? I need coffee.

I hope we see Broxton today - for the save.

2008-08-06 09:31:02
44.   Eric Stephen
This is more relevant for tomorrow, but here are the pitchers 20 or younger to have 2 or more straight games with at least 6 shutout innings, since 1956:

3 Games
Fernando
Dwight Gooden
Ed Correa (!!)

2 Games
Dwight Gooden (3 times; twice as a 19-year old, once as a 20-year old)
Clayton Kershaw (last two starts)
Bert Blyleven
Bret Saberhagen
Don Gullett

2008-08-06 09:31:14
45.   Bob Timmermann
Ron Gardenhire likes to play Nick Punto whenever he can.

I think Punto brings "energy" to the team.

2008-08-06 09:33:22
46.   underdog
Actually, I'm curious. Who would people like to see manage the Dodgers down the road? Torre's not going anywhere this year and probably next, barring something dramatic. But after that... who would likely be available and that you feel would be a better manager?

Mattingly?
(Two of my faves will likely not be available but you never know, they could be enticed, Gardenhire and Scioscia)
Logan White? (j/k)
Terry Collins?
Trimph the Dog?

2008-08-06 09:34:03
47.   underdog
45 - See? Even managers we/I think are great make questionable decisions and/or play favorites.

The grass is always greener.

2008-08-06 09:35:11
48.   Eric Stephen
46
I'd like to see the triumphant return of the player/manager. Although I don't think Russell Martin (the obvious choice) would give himself any days off. :)
2008-08-06 09:36:27
49.   TheBloodyGlove
Torre needs to be considered a bad signing, just as Loiza, Schmitt, Jones, and Pierre are. How can a manager in a pennant race give Andruw Jones 200 at bats when a player like Ethier is sitting. Torre now has Jones as the right handed pinch hitter and Sweeney as the left handed pinch hitter. These hitters have a combined average of .149. There must be players in double a or triple a who can hit .150.
2008-08-06 09:38:08
50.   Doctor
The fact that he sometimes goes 2-3 games, imho, without making any noticeably stupid decisions

How about writing Pierre not Ethier down on paper before almost every game? If we lose the NL west by 2 games thats going to be real tough to take.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-08-06 09:41:24
51.   underdog
How about the fact that his ingenious general manager signed Pierre and then Jones to those ludicrous contracts in the first place? Jones or Pierre had to play, at least one of them, for a good chunk of the season. I'm not gonna defend his use of Pierre over Ethier, it drives me crazy (at least Ethier started last night and proved - preaching to the choir here - that he should start) but over the course of this season I think blame for the outfield morass should start on the GM's desk. Hey, I just ripped Torre on Tony Jackson's blog, and I'll do it again, by gum. I just think perspective check and some blame-spreading is in order.
2008-08-06 09:41:59
52.   KG16
18 - I fully disagree with the win stat being a bad thing. I think what's hurt a lot of teams is the middle reliever and the dogmatic approach that certain managers show: starting pitcher comes out after six; seventh inning pitched by "middle reliever"; eighth inning pitched by "set up man"; ninth inning pitched by "closer".

Tracy was the worst in this regard, the starter could have thrown 60 pitches through six innings and still be pulled because it was time to go to whomever. Torre is frustrating because we know exactly who he's going to go to, and what the likely result will be. As much as I hate to admit it, Grady was the best of the last three when it came to bullpen management.

Unfortunately, I didn't see all of last night's game, and I suspect that the rain delays had a major effect on the use of the pen; but the late inning usage was incredibly poor.

2008-08-06 09:42:21
53.   underdog
48 How about Mattingly? He can probably outhit Sweeney even now!

Or Greg Maddux?

2008-08-06 09:43:26
54.   underdog
52 "As much as I hate to admit it, Grady was the best of the last three when it came to bullpen management."

Seriously?

I guess I saw too many games in person over the previous two seasons where t hat wasn't the case so maybe my results/beliefs in that regard are skewed unfairly...

2008-08-06 09:44:29
55.   KG16
I'd be down for Maddux as either a player/manager or just a manager. I'd also take Hershiser as a manager (only because I don't think he could pitch any more)
2008-08-06 09:44:30
56.   underdog
Ah well, I need to work. That'll get my mind off the frustrations of last night's game. A win tonight would also ease the pain somewhat.
2008-08-06 09:45:37
57.   D4P
I fully disagree with the win stat being a bad thing

Farbeit from me to argue with you. I will assimilate.

2008-08-06 09:46:46
58.   dodgerkramer1
I have no statistical analysis to back up my words, but it feels like the lineup needs a bit of tinkering.

I suspect Martin is starting to wear down because of all the catching he does. His at-bats over the last week or so don't seem like the Russell Martin he all know and love. So I propose...

1. Kemp CF
2. Ethier RF
3. Blake 3B
4. Manny LF
5. Loney 1B
6. Martin C
7. Kent 2B
8. Berroa SS

Basically the same as it was last night, just flip-flopping Blake and Martin. I think logic would say that Martin is a better April/May hitter than Blake, while Blake is probably going to be a better Aug/Sept hitter than Russ.

2008-08-06 09:47:22
59.   MollyKnight
21-Happy to oblige.

I was YESSSSing and NOOOOOOing all by my lonesome. I think I even said I'd buy Andruw Jones a DT t-shirt for that home run.

2008-08-06 09:48:11
60.   underdog
57 - Hey, we already have on Borg on the team!
2008-08-06 09:48:29
61.   underdog
One, not on. Sheezus, I need coffee.
2008-08-06 09:49:08
62.   GMac In The 909
46 I vote for the Golden God as player/manager.

He'd recognize his mistakes -- like his at-bat in the last inning -- and work not to repeat them. Torre, not so much.

2008-08-06 09:50:18
63.   KG16
57 - don't get me wrong, I appreciate your criticism, and I think our points of view are two sides of the same coin.
2008-08-06 09:50:20
64.   Jon Weisman
57 - Does wondering why someone you're in agreement with is arguing with you imply a call for assimilation?
2008-08-06 09:51:27
65.   Bob Timmermann
Rule 14 - Complaining that people agree with you too much.
2008-08-06 09:51:48
66.   D4P
I suspect Martin is starting to wear down because of all the catching he does

I don't know whether Martin is wearing down because of all the catching he does or not. But I do know this:

OPS by Month in 2008:

April: 926
May: 851
June: 803
July: 738
August: 513

I make no claims about what these numbers mean.

2008-08-06 09:52:30
67.   delias man
Why can't Manny hit 3rd? Bonds did it for a long time. They need all the at-bats they can get from him during this rental period. I guess you could go back with Kent after him. But that is not too appealing either.
2008-08-06 09:55:14
68.   cargill06
66 INSIJS
2008-08-06 09:57:22
69.   Jon Weisman
65 - Rule 14 is still the ban against saying "Is it just me" or "Am I the only one?" Like a constitutional amendment, even in repeal, it retains its number.
2008-08-06 10:02:35
70.   Deuce
16 Totally agree. It drives me nuts that managers will use their 3rd or 4th best reliever in a tie game in the 7th (for example) and save their best one to get three outs in the ninth with no one on base. I guess some of it is contract/money driven. Agents can sell their guy as having 45 saves or as being the "closer." IMO, you have to use your best to stay in the game as long as possible, not piss it away and have your horse still in the barn. Another thing that is funny is how closers have "theme songs" now. The Padres will run Trevor out there forever so the fans will come to the park to hear Hell's Bells and see fire on the scoreboard.
2008-08-06 10:04:06
71.   Marty
Am I the only one who can't see rule 14?
2008-08-06 10:04:36
72.   Tripon
Torre isn't as good or as bad as any other manager. Except for Grady Little. He's better than Grady, Torre did get the guy fired twice. I'm sure if they ever meet face to face. Grady Little would hide his face in shame.

Anyway, the question I have is do you think Joe Giradi(which was the Dodgers first pick, and the Yankees first pick) would be a better manager?

2008-08-06 10:05:28
73.   Marty
Torre's not even the worst manager on the team. Bowa is here too.
2008-08-06 10:09:02
74.   deburns
Totally OT, but we are hosting one of McCourt's sons next week for dinner(his girlfriend is a friend of ours).
She is a nice person, so I am not going to be the skunk at the picnic, but any ideas of a non-offensive question to ask him?
2008-08-06 10:11:17
75.   regfairfield
72 How was Grady any worse?
2008-08-06 10:11:32
76.   JoeyP
Is one of your friends Shannon Doherty?
2008-08-06 10:11:34
77.   TheBloodyGlove
{70}You are right, Torre doesn't use his bullpen correctly. As stated, he didn't use Broxton last night so he could use him to save the win. Unfortunately the Dodgers never got the lead and their best bullpen pitcher was never used in a close game. Makes no sense. And you suck at golf.
2008-08-06 10:11:40
78.   Physics DR
71

Agreed. I can not see rule 14 either

2008-08-06 10:12:52
79.   underdog
72 Yankee fans that I know (and from reading Bronx Banter it seems people are mixed in opinion on this), but ones I know had problems with Torre and now have problems with Girardi, particularly the latter's handling of pitching and occasionally baffling in-game moves. Don't know what that tells you exactly, except in my opinion I'd rather not have Girardi, either.
2008-08-06 10:13:21
80.   Ken Noe
74 So...how about that Ned Colletti?
2008-08-06 10:13:49
81.   Gen3Blue
Its wierd remembering how happy the atmosphere around here was when Jones and JP were both on the disabled list.
2008-08-06 10:13:54
82.   wronghanded
What is everybody's thoughts about offering Manny a 2-year $55 million contact? It seems like we have been overpaying on asking price for shorter contract duration lately, so would this deal cripple us in the next 2 seasons?
2008-08-06 10:16:08
83.   Eric Stephen
71 ,78
You can't see "Animal Style" on the menu at In N Out, but that doesn't make it any less available, or delicious.
2008-08-06 10:16:20
84.   D4P
Rules 13 and 14 are of the unwritten variety.
2008-08-06 10:16:39
85.   Marty
83 Don't get me started on In N Out
2008-08-06 10:17:27
86.   Marty
Was 71 that lame of an attempt at humor?
2008-08-06 10:19:20
87.   Jon Weisman
78 - I think Marty was just being cute in 71. Rules 14 and 15 were stricken down in a rare Dodger Thoughts bow to democracy.
2008-08-06 10:20:02
88.   Deuce
77 And you're at work...
2008-08-06 10:20:20
89.   Marty
Important news. You can buy a Fire Joe Morgan t-shirt now.
2008-08-06 10:21:04
90.   deburns
76 No. I am trying to be a little discreet. I'm not even sure who Shannen Doherty is (pardon if I'm hopelessly clueless on pop culture. It is a real handicap doing cross-word puzzles).
2008-08-06 10:22:00
91.   TheBloodyGlove
88 Yes, I have a 12 month job.
2008-08-06 10:22:16
92.   Eric Stephen
85
No love for In N Out? My giant safety pin mocks you!
2008-08-06 10:24:23
93.   Bob Timmermann
90
If Shannen Doherty showed up at your home, I would check to make sure your homeowner's insurance policy was paid up.
2008-08-06 10:24:48
94.   Greg Brock
If Marty dislikes In N Out, that's going to break my heart.
2008-08-06 10:25:15
95.   Bob Timmermann
David Ross Disease Team Alert:
Home runs in Tampa Bay today by Franklin Gutierrez AND Dioner Navarro.
2008-08-06 10:25:30
96.   Deuce
75 Probably wasn't. But Ned needed a scapegoat. The kids vs. vets battle gave him the ammo to spin that Grady couldn't control the clubhouse. When Torre became available that was a positive PR no-brainer.
2008-08-06 10:26:28
97.   Xeifrank
18. I guess I wasn't clear, but I was referring to the "team" win stat, not which pitcher gets the decision.
vr, Xei
2008-08-06 10:27:26
98.   D4P
97
I understood that, but I surreptitiously changed the subject.
2008-08-06 10:32:05
99.   Marty
Yes, I've never been a fan of In N Out. I don't actually hate it, it's just that within a half-mile of any In N Out, there's a better burger place.
2008-08-06 10:34:55
100.   Greg Brock
Well, that tears it.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-08-06 10:38:43
101.   Eric Stephen
99
I suppose the Islands Burgers across the street has better burgers, but I don't want to spend extra time at a sit down place today at lunch.
2008-08-06 10:39:29
102.   D4P
101
You just want to enter and leave as quickly as possible...?
2008-08-06 10:42:54
103.   silverwidow
McDizzle makes his Triple-A debut today at 5 p.m.
2008-08-06 10:43:08
104.   MollyKnight
I love Shannen Doherty so much. I have a list of people I'd like to interview before I die, and she's on it.
2008-08-06 10:46:33
105.   Jon Weisman
104 - I'll make a note of that.

I can still picture a BH90210 commercial that shows her crying, I think right after some bad bedroom experience. I didn't see the episode itself, but I think it was maybe about her going all the way too soon or something? Anyway, then I compare it to the Gossip Girl ads of today - quite a change.

2008-08-06 10:49:33
106.   Eric Stephen
102
No, more that the time it takes at In N Out, if I go in and sit down to eat, is far less than the time spent at Islands.

That said, I might do drive through while running other errands.

Fast Food Thoughts!

2008-08-06 10:51:32
107.   bhsportsguy
104 From "Charmed" or afternoon 90210 reruns?
2008-08-06 10:51:46
108.   regfairfield
95 I think being traded for another member of the team cancels out your membership.
2008-08-06 10:53:11
109.   Greg Brock
within a half-mile of any In N Out, there's a better burger place.

There is no emoticon for how I am feeling right now.

2008-08-06 10:55:20
110.   bhsportsguy
99 Okay within a half mile of the location in Pasadena is a Burger King and Super Burger 458 N Altadena Dr, Pasadena, CA.
2008-08-06 10:56:13
111.   Kevin Lewis
I sort of agree with Marty here. Don't get me wrong, I like In 'n Out, but I think they are lacking in meat quality. They have great toppings and buns, but if they could have a patty like Fat Burger, than it might just be one of the better burgers around.
2008-08-06 10:57:30
112.   kinbote
Has Underdog had his coffee yet? I have to know!
2008-08-06 10:57:40
114.   LogikReader
111

Quality or quantity? I think the quality of the meat itself is amazing! but... their patty size usually leaves much to be desired.

but that's why they invented the 3x3!

2008-08-06 11:01:40
115.   Kevin Lewis
114

probably more towards quantity, but a flame grill would be nice

I just miss the curly fries from Amy's

2008-08-06 11:01:41
116.   Greg Brock
111 Fat Burger is better than In N Out. Had one yesterday, as a matter of fact.
2008-08-06 11:04:25
117.   Kevin Lewis
mmmmm Fat Burger with skinny fries. I grew up near the one on PCH
2008-08-06 11:04:38
118.   Eric Stephen
99
At the In N Out I used to work at (Thousand Palms, CA), the closest burger joint one could reasonably claim was better is Red Robin, which is 1.8 miles away. Ha! :)
2008-08-06 11:04:49
119.   LogikReader
116

Fat Burger vs In n Out. THAT is a problem I like to have.

In Santa Barbara, I have In N Out, Fat Burger, and the Habit. For sit down restaurants, there's a place called the Paradise Cafe that serves the best hamburger I've ever had. It's so meaty, grilled on a mesquite flame broiler, and topped with freshly grilled onions and a cheese of your choice.

The Santa Barbara Brewing Company has great burgers too. Did I miss any?

2008-08-06 11:05:19
120.   Greg Brock
117 That would be the one. PV Drive and PCH.
2008-08-06 11:06:04
121.   Bob Timmermann
I helped a person in the library yesterday who had some sort of blood feud against Arby's. He wanted to know the names of corporate officers.

There could be a class action suit here.

2008-08-06 11:07:28
122.   Humma Kavula
Don't get me wrong... I love me some burgers...

...but as long as we're on fast food thoughts, here's a shoutout to current fave-rave Chick-Fil-A. Mmm, love me some Chick-Fil-A.

2008-08-06 11:07:39
123.   Marty
Spitting distance from the In N Out in Pasadena is Top's. Much better burger joint.

Kevin, are you referring to the Amy's on Walnut that closed this year?

2008-08-06 11:07:52
124.   Eric Stephen
121
"I'm so hungry I could even eat Arby's"

[groans and shrieks]

It had to be done.

2008-08-06 11:08:01
125.   underdog
112 Yep! :-) And a multi-vitamin. I'm raring to go! Let me at that site content! Have a DVD needing a review? Let me at it! I aim to please! Yessirree! I'm all ready to g...

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz....

2008-08-06 11:08:49
126.   Marty
120 I used to live a few minutes from that Fat Burger in the late 80's/early 90's
2008-08-06 11:10:05
127.   Greg Brock
Big Kahuna Burger...That Hawaiian burger joint.

My girlfriend is a vegetarian, which pretty much makes me a vegetarian too.

2008-08-06 11:10:45
128.   underdog
119 Oh... my... you had to remind me of the Paradise Cafe, right when I'm getting hungry. Every time I go home to SB I make sure I go back there. Fantastic burgers, and if the weather's good (and there's no fires nearby) sitting on that patio, eating a burger and their tasty fries, it doesn't get any better than that. Of course, I stopped eating red meat awhile back now, but they also make a good turkey burger if I recall. Great Cobb salad, too.

The Habit and FatBurger were also two of my favorites, back in the day. That and Super Rica, of course.

Now I'm really hungry. Who cares about the Dodgers? I need a turkey burger and fries.

2008-08-06 11:10:58
129.   Deuce
116 No doubt. I kind of miss the Fuddrucker's/Flakey Jakes concept. Load up your own.
2008-08-06 11:11:23
130.   Marty
Mmmm...that is a tasty burger.
2008-08-06 11:11:54
131.   bhsportsguy
121 Can't you just point them to your computer room and say two words, google and arby's.
2008-08-06 11:13:01
132.   D4P
127
Since when do you have a girlfriend, and why hadn't we been apprised?
2008-08-06 11:14:35
133.   Greg Brock
130 I can't stay mad at you.

What about the In N Out on Radford? Those are some good burgers.

The In N Out is on Camrose.

Those are some good burgers, Walter.

2008-08-06 11:15:19
134.   underdog
Anyone who chooses to eat at Arby's in this day and age deserves to get whatever food poisoning will befell them.

--
I had an ex-roomie who was a bit of a pothead and so he'd inevitably get the munchies, which I understand, but we lived in the Mission in San Francisco. When he wanted Mexican food he'd make a run for the border, the nearby Taco Bell instead of one of the many incredibly good taquerias. I couldn't believe it. "This isn't Colorado Springs, man, it's the Mission -- get it together!"

2008-08-06 11:15:39
135.   bhsportsguy
123 Google Maps says it is .5 miles away from the In N Out so Marty is correct at least in that instance.
2008-08-06 11:16:41
136.   underdog
130 Big Kahuna Burger. That's that Hawaiian burger joint? I hear they got some tasty burgers. I ain't never had one myself. How are they?
2008-08-06 11:16:51
137.   bhsportsguy
134 "It feels like an Arby's night."
2008-08-06 11:17:33
138.   underdog
I need a new movie-related poll idea. What's hot but not dumb?
2008-08-06 11:17:44
139.   bhsportsguy
134 Now if they still made the Bell Beef Burger or the Enchirito.
2008-08-06 11:18:37
140.   bhsportsguy
138 Best Pie references not featuring pie throwing.
2008-08-06 11:18:49
141.   Eric Stephen
138
Danica McKellar?
2008-08-06 11:20:11
142.   Greg Brock
Yoda and Taco Bell go together like peas and carrots.
2008-08-06 11:20:28
143.   Marty
Ah hon, ya got Arby's all over me.
2008-08-06 11:21:17
144.   Bob Timmermann
Yellow alert for Jhonny Peralta in St. Petersburg. This is a yellow alert.
2008-08-06 11:22:06
145.   underdog
Heh.

I had a "Best Will Ferrell comedy" poll this week that had this choice at the end: "I am sick to death of Will Ferrell comedies!" That one is winning by a wide margin.

2008-08-06 11:24:27
146.   D4P
I don't think I've ever seen a Will Ferrel comedy.

The only movie of his I've seen is "Blades of Glory."

2008-08-06 11:24:46
147.   bhsportsguy
145 Better all-time supporting actor, Claude Rains or Thomas Mitchell?
2008-08-06 11:24:57
148.   Eric Stephen
145
Best comedic movie duo. It allows you to use the hot Ferrell/Reilly combo and compare with the greats.
2008-08-06 11:25:38
149.   bhsportsguy
146 Is that a crack that Blades of Glory is not a comedy or do you consider Will Ferrell not a major component of that film?
2008-08-06 11:26:09
150.   D4P
I was a frequent Arby's customer in the mid-90s. They had a great value menu. Stuff like 5 sandwiches for $5, 99 cent Jamocha shakes, etc.

I don't think I've eaten there in the 2000s.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-08-06 11:27:23
151.   Jon Weisman
NPUT
2008-08-06 11:27:45
152.   D4P
149
Let me check something. "Comedy" implies "funny", right...?
2008-08-06 11:28:19
153.   underdog
Blades of Glory is easily my favorite Will Ferrell comedy. Though I am also hoping he starts branching out, away from making silly sports comedies.

Hmm, good suggestions.

Maybe I can do a best Morgan Freeman performance in honor of his recovery process.

2008-08-06 11:28:34
154.   Kevin Lewis
123

yep. it was weird. They opened one morning, and by lunch they were shut down

2008-08-06 11:28:49
155.   scareduck
104 - there's something about Shannen Dougherty's face that reminds me of Picasso.
2008-08-06 11:29:09
156.   bhsportsguy
148 1. Laurel & Hardy, Marx Bros. (tie)

Hope and Crosby, Martin and Lewis, Abbott and Costello were good but I am not sure it really translated well to film in terms as a comedy duo or team.

I think the new guys (Frat Pack) make movies together and some are really funny but I am not sure they are true duo or team.

2008-08-06 11:37:13
157.   MollyKnight
105--Tori Spelling is also on that list!!!
2008-08-06 11:57:34
158.   KennKid
JEFF KENT is HURTING Dodgers in field IMHO

in the 5-4 loss to the Cards last night Jeff Kent's lack of range showed twice...two grounders got by him, ones that others should have gotten to i believe...i like Jeff Kent, but being a middle infielder may be too much for him at this stage of his career...maybe 3rd base? 1st?

anyone disagree, or agree and see a better solution?

2008-08-06 12:55:46
159.   Joe Pierre
Nowerdays the closer is your closer and I think most managers prefer to wait until a closing situation comes up to use him.
As far as Martin goes he's been doing a magnificent job and you can't expect the same players to do well and carry the
load everytime.
This game showed that after Carpenter was out of the way, the Dodgers came back to rally to a tie in the ninth.
They lost to a great NL contender and they fought real hard to the end.
2008-08-06 13:22:36
160.   Bob Hendley
11 - Me thinks that the trainer will need to take a look at Weird Game to see if he received any 2nd degree burns from being under JoeyP's magnifying glass.

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