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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

Two-Corner Offense
2009-01-18 09:20
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.


One hundred and thirteen miles apart as the GPS flies, Dodger executives Ned Colletti and Frank McCourt waxed about the current state of their negotiations with Scott Boras toward a deal with Manny Ramirez, and though much of it was posturing, it did leave me with the feeling that a deal is going to get done.

Speaking at the Bakersfield College Baseball Hot Stove Dinner (which was also attended by Clayton Kershaw and Blake DeWitt), Colletti gave an update on Ramirez without even being asked, according to Zach Ewing of the Bakersfield Californian:

"There's no question we're trying to re-sign Manny (Ramirez). We made the highest offer in the history of the franchise, what would have made him the highest-paid outfielder in the history of baseball. So we didn't start out low. ... All indications are he wants to play here, and hopefully in the next couple weeks we can have some strong dialogue with his representatives and get him in uniform."

At the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation fete at the Hyatt Century Plaza Hotel, McCourt asserted that the proverbial ball was in Boras' court, and that the Dodgers' last offer to Ramirez wouldn't be their final one, reports Diamond Leung of the Press-Enterprise.

"Everyone knows we want to have Manny back. We've tried to make it very clear," McCourt said. "I certainly hope that message has been delivered to the player by now."

As for the parameters of the offer, McCourt said, "I always feel there's room for discussion."

For all the impatience that fans might have toward the Dodger approach, the imminent start of Spring Training works in their favor, whether with Ramirez, Adam Dunn or any other outfielder or pitcher they seek to sign. In this game of chicken, the Dodgers have the luxury of being able to move forward as an organization (public relations challenge or not), but the unsigned players on the free agent market are stuck on the sidelines. Unless a New York Yankee suddenly tears an ACL, the opportunities for a player to find a lucrative contract aren't expanding.

And for that matter, with the Manny vs. Dreamfields debacle fading ever so slightly in the past, with few options lining up for Ramirez, the Dodgers are reclaiming a public posture that is valid. There is consensus in the baseball world that a long contract for Ramirez from a National League team is risky if not ludicrous, and no American League team (save for a 11th-hour change-of-heart from an organization like the Angels) seems interested. Boras might say Ramirez deserves five years, but my mother thought I should have started on my eighth-grade flag football team - until someone in power agrees, it ain't reality. Honestly, I doubt Boras has hopes of getting more than four years for Ramirez at this point, which makes three years (or two plus an option) a logical compromise - even shorter than I suggested back in November when questioning why everyone was acting as if the Dodgers were making a mockery of the negotiations.

The Dodgers aren't guaranteed to get Ramirez, but I'd be very surprised if they didn't get someone of value for the outfield. As for pitching, there are some good and not-so-good names still out there, so I would only worry that the Dodgers will make the wrong choice, rather than make no choice at all.

* * *

In New York today, they are mourning Bronx Banter contributor Todd Drew, the sensitive, community-focused writer who passed away from cancer last week at age 41. Alex Belth will read Drew's Yankee Stadium Memory at the service. My sincere condolences to Drew's family and friends.

"Todd was a gentle, compassionate man, but no pushover," Belth wrote. He loved sports writing, loved baseball, and was an unyielding optimist."

Comments (184)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2009-01-18 09:32:25
1.   silverwidow
• There will be no competition at third base this spring. Andy LaRoche, barring an unforeseen event, will be the starter. "We're going to give Andy a chance," Huntington said. LaRoche sounds ready: "I'm grateful that they believe in me."

Pedro Alvarez says hi.

2009-01-18 10:09:28
2.   Eric Stephen
1
Pedro Alvarez says hi

Alvarez has yet to play a professional game. I know he has superstar hitting ability (to paraphrase both Baseball America and John Sickels), but it seems a stretch to think Alvarez would be in the big leagues right away.

My guess is he doesn't sniff Pittsburgh until mid-summer at the earliest, and perhaps not even until September.

Plus, the Pirates are now concerned with Alvarez's conditioning, as he showed up to their mini-camp out of shape and with knee problems (related to the extra weight).

I thought this quote was telling:

But the original cause of Alvarez's problems might have been his extended contract dispute last summer. The Pirates were assured all through those three months by Alvarez's side that he was working out, but team officials confirmed this week that he has not been in peak shape since signing the contract -- four years with a $6 million bonus -- in late September

http://tinyurl.com/9kuvzs

I agree that long term Alvarez might be the man at 3B. But he could just as easily move to first if Andy LaRoche finally breaks out this year. Or Andy could move to first (or maybe second) to replace his brother Adam since he'll be a free agent after 2009.

2009-01-18 10:18:02
3.   underdog
OT, but interesting story for college hoops fans: Whatever happened to (WV's) Kevin Pittsnogle?

http://rivals.yahoo.com/ncaa/basketball/blog/the_dagger/post/Finally-an-answer-to-Whatever-happened-to-Kevi?urn=ncaab,134910

2009-01-18 10:18:10
4.   D4P
Kris Benson will work out for the Dodgers, Diamondbacks, Rangers, and Cubs next Saturday

Seems like a prime candidate for an incentive-based contract, though the Dodgers would no doubt give him 3/50 guaranteed.

2009-01-18 10:32:00
5.   silverwidow
Speaking of Pedro Alvarez, this is a hilarious clip. Some guy is chanting "over-rated, clap-clap-clapclapclap" and then Alvarez proceeds to hit a MONSTER shot literally seconds later.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zlhTPNr-_DM

2009-01-18 10:33:57
6.   D4P
5
Why was his entire team waiting for him at home plate?
2009-01-18 10:34:30
7.   silverwidow
6 That's what they do in college.
2009-01-18 10:37:42
8.   D4P
7
Bob must hate that.
2009-01-18 10:49:47
9.   Eric Stephen
4
though the Dodgers would no doubt give him 3/50 guaranteed

Yep, no doubt. [is there an emoticon for an eye roll?]

2009-01-18 10:55:33
10.   berkowit28
9 How about Ω ?
2009-01-18 10:58:21
11.   Tripon
http://www.mysanantonio.com/sports/nba/The_truth_bout_T-Mac_one_mans_view.html

Yao Ming and Tracy McGrady hates each other.

2009-01-18 11:10:53
12.   Ken Noe
The other outfielder waiting on Manny: Juan Pierre.
2009-01-18 11:22:54
13.   Tripon
Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Orioles have traded Garrett Olson and Class-A righthander Henry Williamson to the Cubs in exchange for Felix Pie.

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/9097924/Sources:-Cubs-trade-CF-Pie-to-Orioles

2009-01-18 11:25:55
14.   kngoworld
11 Sounds like the Shaq-Kobe Saga except the out of shape player is the smaller one. Very similar minus the success and championships, that is.

Poor Ron Artest. Ω

2009-01-18 11:27:17
15.   Eric Stephen
Does anyone look as healthy and vibrant at age 86 as Rachel Robinson? She was interviewed as part of a story on Outside the Lines regarding sports playing a role in social change.
2009-01-18 11:29:04
16.   D4P
13
Funny that the team trading the $4 million Fangraphs Value player (in exchange for the negative $300k player) is the one that has to include the extra player.
2009-01-18 11:29:25
17.   Eric Stephen
13
The key to that article is this:

The Padres wanted Olson as part of a three-team trade for Jake Peavy earlier this off-season, and could ask for him again from the Cubs if those talks revive

If the Cubs' sale goes through in the next month or so, Peavy to the Cubs is going to happen.

2009-01-18 11:30:11
18.   Eric Stephen
16
Similar perhaps to the Dodgers trading Milton Bradley AND Antonio Perez for Andre Ethier.
2009-01-18 11:32:25
19.   Tripon
17 Why wouldn't the Padres not want Pie himself? His upside has to be higher than any outfielder the Padres already have.
2009-01-18 11:32:35
20.   Eric Stephen
16
I'm trying to figure out how someone with a 6.65 ERA in 132.2 IP was above replacement level.
2009-01-18 11:34:25
21.   still bevens
Don't the O's already have Adam Jones (I think thats right - the dude in the Bedard trade) manning CF?

Still have no idea what Pie did to any of the management in Chicago to convince them to never give him a decent shot.

2009-01-18 11:35:19
22.   Tripon
Lou Pinella hates young players. Unfortunately, Lou Pinella also hates Kouske Fukudome, so I don't know what they're going to do there.
2009-01-18 11:36:03
23.   Eric Stephen
19
They wanted, among other things, a pitcher and a hitter that can be impact players. The hitter will be Josh Vitters, and Olson will be the pitcher.
2009-01-18 11:38:09
24.   D4P
20
You should probably start by reading through Fangraphs's detailed descriptions of how they calculate value, something I haven't taken the time to do.
2009-01-18 11:40:57
25.   Eric Stephen
22
The Cubs OF appears to be:

LF - Soriano
CF - Bradley
RF - Fukudome / Reed Johnson

It's not so much that Lou Piniella hates young players, but perhaps he just likes Jake Peavy more than Felix Pie.

2009-01-18 11:45:47
26.   silverwidow
We should've offered Stults for Pie.
2009-01-18 11:46:08
27.   Eric Stephen
There is now a commercial supporting high fructose corn syrup.
2009-01-18 11:48:00
28.   D4P
We should've offered Stults for Pie

I'd rather have Pie-rre.

2009-01-18 11:49:35
29.   regfairfield
20 And yet the average reliever was below. I think the problem is in the formula.
2009-01-18 11:52:56
30.   regfairfield
For example, the the formula is linear. Even if that is how teams pay, it's not a good assessment of a player's actual value.
2009-01-18 11:53:05
31.   The Trolley Dodger
28 Now that takes the cake.
2009-01-18 11:58:18
32.   Eric Stephen
20 ,29
The reason Olson is above replacement level is because of two things:

1) Fangraphs uses FIP instead of ERA or RA to calculate win value (Olson's 2008 FIP was 5.13)
2) The replacement level FIP for an AL starter was 5.63 in 2008

More explanation as part of a series here:

http://tinyurl.com/8cysz5

2009-01-18 11:59:01
33.   Eric Stephen
31
Awesome.
2009-01-18 12:02:50
34.   regfairfield
It seems like a players value should be based on what actually happened instead of what should have happened, then again, it penalizes a pitcher for having bad defense behind them. I'm torn.
2009-01-18 12:02:57
35.   Sam DC
People can say what they want, but I think we have an awesome national anthem.
2009-01-18 12:03:11
36.   Tripon
32 I understand why a person might want to use FIP, but it seems to have reached the wrong conclusion. Why wouldn't you want to calculate how an fielder helps pitchers' abilities to get outs?
2009-01-18 12:03:41
37.   Alex41592
Might want to check out HBO right now before the games. It's a tremendous visual.
2009-01-18 12:09:02
38.   Eric Stephen
30
Even if that is how teams pay, it's not a good assessment of a player's actual value

For instance, an 8-win player is worth much more than two 4-win players, right?

It brings to mind the classic Buzzie Bavasi quote that he could replace the 16-14 Nolan Ryan with two 8-7 pitchers.

2009-01-18 12:11:17
39.   Sam DC
Inaugural concert webcast: http://www.hbo.com/weareone/webcast/index.html
2009-01-18 12:12:10
40.   Eric Stephen
36
They're trying to isolate what the pitcher is actually responsible for.

From another part of the Fangraphs explanation:

But when confronted with a choice of including way too many non-pitcher inputs or leaving out a few minor actual pitcher inputs, the latter was the better choice. You will get more accurate win values for a pitcher using FIP than you will ERA or RA

http://tinyurl.com/6tkkef

2009-01-18 12:13:50
41.   Tripon
40 What about ground ball pitchers?
2009-01-18 12:13:50
42.   regfairfield
Yep. The way I see it, you should get paid based on how irreplaceable you are. Since it's almost impossible to go out and find another eight win player, that player is near invaluable.

Plus, I think the biggest thing that kills a team is too much mediocrity. If you've filled all your available positions with 3-4 win players, getting an extra win is going to cost what it takes to get a five win player. If you have an 8 and a 0 win player, getting better just takes a one win player.

2009-01-18 12:16:40
43.   KG16
3 - it's funny how we watch guys in college and just expect them to keep playing, wherever they can - maybe because so many of us would believe that we'd do whatever we could to keep the dream alive - and then there are guys who just go and teach at a jr high. Though it sounds like he wants to get back in the game.
2009-01-18 12:19:43
44.   Eric Stephen
39
Sam, who opened the concert? I missed the first 10 minutes or so.
2009-01-18 12:20:37
45.   KG16
42 - i'm confused, I thought balance was a good thing. Obviously having all 4 win players isn't as good as having a bunch of 3 or 4 win guys and a couple of 8 win guys. But wouldn't the outcome of a team with half 8 win guys and half 0 or 1 win guys be worse (theoretically) than a team full of 4 win guys?
2009-01-18 12:24:40
46.   Eric Stephen
45
The point is 1-2 win players are easy to find, to replace the 0 win players.

Whereas 5-win players are much more rare and much more expensive to replace the 3-4 win players if we need to improve.

2009-01-18 12:25:46
47.   Sam DC
Me too -- and my computer is crashing on the webcast now.

National Anthem by a military baritone. Denzel read. Bruce and Mary J already played. I've given up trying to get it to work alas.

2009-01-18 12:26:35
48.   D4P
Since it's almost impossible to go out and find another eight win player, that player is near invaluable

Except that wins themselves are not invaluable. If a win is worth X, an eight win player's value in terms of wins is simply 8X.

2009-01-18 12:29:36
49.   D4P
It seems like a players value should be based on what actually happened instead of what should have happened

Seems to me that this kind of thinking leads people to value stats like Wins and Losses. It's one thing to say that a player's value in a previous season was based on what happened, but if we're going to predict a player's value in the future, we're probably better off using what "should have happened".

2009-01-18 12:32:04
50.   KG16
46 - ok, i get that it's easier to replace a 0 win player than it is a 3-4 win player (if only because there are more options available to improve) but I guess what I'm looking at is slightly different. I'm more interested in how to construct a team, and I would think - long term - a balanced team would be better than an unbalanced team. After all, replacing a 0 win player with a 1 or 2 win player on a team with a lot of high win players would effectively create more balance as it would raise the average win per player, no?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2009-01-18 12:32:50
51.   Eric Stephen
47
Do you have HBO? If not, you can order it today since it will be on again at 10pm EST.
2009-01-18 12:35:43
52.   silverwidow
How 'bout this guy for our 5th starter spot?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40t_caBnV3c

2009-01-18 12:35:58
53.   Tripon
49 But then you get results where the variation between what should have happened vs. what actually happened is a noticeable gap.

Take Bimel's FIP and his x-FIP. His x-FIP was a full run higher the past two years over his actual FIP. Is that just luck, or is there something that x-FIP can't pick up about Bimel?

2009-01-18 12:36:18
54.   KG16
49 - how do we determine what "should have happened"? Past performance is an indication of future success, so you have to look at what actually happened. What should have happened is irrelevant because 1. it didn't happen, and 2. it is entirely speculative. As an example, Gibson should have struck out. Or as another example, Giambi should have scored on Jeter's "flip play".
2009-01-18 12:36:18
55.   Alex41592
51 - This inauguration special is free of charge so long as you have cable. Even if you don't subscribe to HBO it'll be there. They unblocked the channel like they did for Comic Relief. That's very cool.
2009-01-18 12:37:00
56.   regfairfield
48 Right, but the purpose is to build the best team possible. If you have Pujols at first, you have the most production you can possibly get out of that position, and anything you do at first will make your team will get worse. If you're pairing him with Adam Kennedy at second, all you have to do is replace Kennedy with Mark Grudzielanek (a 4ish million dollar investment) to get better.

If instead of Kennedy and Pujols you had Prince Fielder and Dan Uggla, to make your team better you'd have to go get someone like Kinsler or Morneau, a far, far more costly investment.

Pujols provides extra value beyond those eight wins with the ability to make easier upgrades elsewhere on the field.

2009-01-18 12:37:41
57.   KG16
wow, interception on a tip followed by a fumble recovered by the offense. That's one way to get an extra first down.
2009-01-18 12:37:42
58.   Tripon
52 Whoa. I heard about the Shake, but it litterally does look like a knuckleball moving like a curve. And how does it get it moving over 90 MPH?
2009-01-18 12:38:41
59.   Eric Stephen
50
I agree with the point about balance, as we often witnessed the destructive effects of the black holes at the bottom of the Dodger lineup in 2008 with Berroa/Pierre/Bennett, et al.

However, an 8-win player will be an 8-win player regardless of the team he's on. At least that's the point of measuring these win values.

If you have a lineup of eight 4-win players, that's all well and good, but it's expensive to upgrade.

If you have a lineup of four 8-win players and four 0-win players, simply finding four 1 win players (at a cheap cost) would create a 36-win lineup at a cost not much higher than the 32-win lineup.

I think I'm getting lost in the analogies here though. :)

2009-01-18 12:38:48
60.   silverwidow
58 That's km, not MPH. It's actually going 55 MPH.
2009-01-18 12:39:56
61.   KG16
56 - ok, I think I get where you're going.
2009-01-18 12:45:42
62.   Eric Stephen
You know, I was just thinking the other day, if I could pick only one person to sign both "American Pie" and "Shout," it has to be Garth Brooks!
2009-01-18 12:47:45
63.   KG16
62 - you were obviously not sober when you had that thought.
2009-01-18 12:51:53
64.   Icaros
Dang it, I missed Larry Fitzgerald! Stupid Babyface...
2009-01-18 12:54:47
65.   Eric Stephen
64
You mean Usher?

And Stevie Wonder is still awesome.

2009-01-18 12:54:55
66.   Icaros
The current Kurt Warner resurgence reminds me a bit of the Randall Cunningham resurgence with Minnesota about 10 years ago, with Fitzgerald and Boldin playing the roles of Randy Moss and Chris Carter.
2009-01-18 12:55:22
67.   Icaros
65

Oops. Yes, Usher.

2009-01-18 13:01:54
68.   Eric Stephen
I sincerely hope Bono doesn't have to look at the teleprompter to remember the lyrics to "Pride (In the Name of Love)."

Although it was nice to see him correct the timeliness of MLK's assassination by changing "early morning" to "early evening." That has bugged me for years.

2009-01-18 13:02:23
69.   KG16
The Eagles strategy of scoring field goals after the Cardinals score touchdowns does not appear to be a good one.
2009-01-18 13:04:53
70.   Icaros
There's a part of me that would laugh if Bono were deported.
2009-01-18 13:09:43
71.   Eric Stephen
I was secretly hoping for a Mars Attacks doves moment there with the bald eagle.
2009-01-18 13:11:51
72.   Alex41592
Oh, that's just three TD's for Fitzgerald.
2009-01-18 13:12:36
73.   trainwreck
The Cardinals making the Super Bowl is another sign of the apocalypse.

Well, it is inevitable now.

2009-01-18 13:12:41
74.   Tripon
It will be fun seeing Matt Lineart screw up this offense next year.
2009-01-18 13:15:36
75.   KG16
74 - believe it or not, Plaschke has a nice column about how Lineart has matured this year as a back up. I think he's going to be fine next year
2009-01-18 13:15:42
76.   bhsportsguy
BTW if anyone asks, I'm the one in the black ski cap and black coat in that crowd. Look, I'm going to jump and wave right now.
2009-01-18 13:17:53
77.   trainwreck
Matt Leinart won't be running this team next year.

They aren't going to get rid of Warner if he takes them to a Super Bowl.

2009-01-18 13:18:14
78.   KG16
That should be the Cardinals' ball. And that should be a challengable play because that was a terrible call.
2009-01-18 13:18:55
79.   KG16
77 - If the Cardinals win the Super Bowl, Warner is going to retire,
2009-01-18 13:22:08
80.   Tripon
75 Just like Andruw Jones put on weight so he could hit for more power.
2009-01-18 13:39:51
81.   berkowit28
62 That shakes the (American) cake.
2009-01-18 14:24:12
82.   Daniel Zappala
52 Here's an interesting article on the shake:

http://www.npbtracker.com/2008/08/30/

2009-01-18 14:27:15
83.   Eric Stephen
Going back to last thread, I was listening to the USC-Arizona game on the radio on my drive home yesterday, and Rory Markas didn't really explain just how stupid Jamelle Horne's foul of Daniel Hackett was with 1.2 seconds left.

I assumed it was on a shot or something, so when I finally saw the replays I was stunned that the foul was so far away from the basket, in a tie game.

Horne is not having the smartest year on the basketball court, that's for sure.

2009-01-18 14:28:11
84.   delias man
This David Faustino show on crackle.com is a must see for Married... fans. Only 5 minutes and hilarious.
2009-01-18 14:32:54
85.   I Love LA
And the stupid cardinals are choking this game away, its no wonder this franchise is a loser.
2009-01-18 14:34:20
86.   MC Safety
Looks like the fix is in.
2009-01-18 14:35:47
87.   Alex41592
Eagles defense has finally found itself.
2009-01-18 14:36:06
88.   Eric Stephen
If you'll excuse me, I have some unhatched chickens to count.
2009-01-18 14:39:29
89.   Alex41592
Arizona's O Line is choking when Warner needs them.
2009-01-18 14:40:55
90.   I Love LA
wow this got to be one of the biggest choke job in an NFC conference game, tales of two half. In the first they looked destined, this half they look like more pathetic than the Rams.
2009-01-18 14:44:29
91.   Eric Stephen
Wow, that was a cool play. Yay Pac-10!
2009-01-18 14:45:05
92.   MC Safety
GET IN!!!
2009-01-18 14:46:09
93.   Alex41592
That was an amazing sequence. One point ballgame.
2009-01-18 14:47:13
94.   I Love LA
Arizona is now the most pathetic franchise after today, they choked worse than the blazer in 2000.
2009-01-18 14:48:17
95.   Alex41592
Akers' missed PAT looms very large for now.
2009-01-18 14:54:32
96.   Andrew Shimmin
Arizona should throw it to the guy with the hair. He seems to be really good at football.
2009-01-18 14:54:46
97.   Andrew Shimmin
I should be a football coach.
2009-01-18 14:57:37
98.   Eric Stephen
Great moments in being completely wrong: I was convinced Mike Williams would be a better NFL receiver than Mr. Fitzgerald.
2009-01-18 14:58:54
99.   Andrew Shimmin
Where did Mr. Fitzgerald play in college? I'd never heard of him before today.
2009-01-18 14:59:30
100.   Alex41592
Best NFC title game since last season.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2009-01-18 14:59:44
101.   I Love LA
96 - Looks like they finally got the memo and they are finally moving the ball instead of sending in the guy who kicks the ball to deSean jackson
2009-01-18 15:00:27
102.   I Love LA
99 - Pittsburgh
2009-01-18 15:02:39
103.   Alex41592
All this game needs is overtime.
2009-01-18 15:04:08
104.   I Love LA
103 - It probably will happen given the way McNabb is moving the offense, if that 2 point didn't go in Philly wins for sure. The clock is not even an issue, Arizona has no defense to stop Mcnabb, Desean, Curtis or Westbrook.
2009-01-18 15:05:34
105.   Alex41592
Could come down to a coin flip. Or Arizona's defense could step up and end it now.
2009-01-18 15:11:31
106.   I Love LA
Arizona has to hope McNabb makes a mistake because their defense has not looked good in the 2nd half. if it comes down to the coin flip, Arizona better pray that they win it.
2009-01-18 15:12:46
107.   Alex41592
And the Arizona Cardinals prevail.
2009-01-18 15:13:44
108.   Eric Stephen
94 ,104
Sometimes it's best to wait until the game is over before making absolute proclamations.
2009-01-18 15:14:12
109.   goofus
68 That depends on where you were; it was early morning on the east coast, England, etc....
2009-01-18 15:15:29
110.   KG16
Heck of a game, this. Wonder what it would be like if LA/OC had its own team(s)
2009-01-18 15:18:41
111.   Andrew Shimmin
The best thing about this game is that it might take a little of the wind out of das411's sails. First the World Series, then the women's volleyball championship; it was just too much.
2009-01-18 15:22:37
112.   KG16
Oh, don't play We Are the Champions yet, you've got another game. At least they aren't playing "of the world"
2009-01-18 15:27:52
113.   Gen3Blue
Is there love here for The Arizona/St Lou Football team? Just curious.
2009-01-18 15:28:49
114.   I Love LA
108 - I don't think Arizona's D stopped them per say, McNabb threw some bad passes which means he did make some midtakes. Its not like McNabb had no time making throws, they were all behind the receivers, arizona corners didn't deflect the ball. Sometimes, think before you go and talk about other people's post.
2009-01-18 15:31:07
115.   I Love LA
112 - it has been 47 years for that team and everybody thought they were losing to Atlanta in the WC game, any other team would probably just get the NFC championship but they will relish this in their memory. With that said they do have one game left to win...I am sure they will go in as the underdog but the world has been doubting them before the playoffs even began.
2009-01-18 15:31:37
116.   Alex41592
Bradshaw starts the day in studio in Los Angeles and finishes on the field in Glendale, AZ.
2009-01-18 15:33:39
117.   Alex41592
Matt Leinart is one step closer to a Super Bowl ring.
2009-01-18 15:34:18
118.   NWdodger
116.

Private jets are nice, huh.

2009-01-18 15:35:38
119.   KG16
115 - it's bad karma to play "We Are the Champions" when you've still got games to play. Yes, I know they are the NFC Champs, but you don't hear "We Are the Champions" when a baseball team wins the LCS, even though they are the league champion.

Don't underestimate the power of karma in sports.

2009-01-18 15:36:34
120.   I Love LA
117 - So if Kurt Warner throws 3 INT's in the first half and the game is still very low scoring, could we see Leinart take over? How will Leinart do in the Superbowl if that was the case?
2009-01-18 15:36:48
121.   KG16
117 - I had this feeling going into this game that Warner would get hurt and Leinart would lead the Cardinals to the Super Bowl. I still have this feeling that it could happen in the Super Bowl.
2009-01-18 15:38:23
122.   I Love LA
119 - Trust me I of all people believe in karmar, I am just saying I understand why they did it. I don't agree with it but I understand. I think the Warriors celebrating on the court after eliminating the Mavs was more ridiculous. The players and Fans were jumping all over one another for 3 freaking hours in a 1st round win. If anything, that franchise deserves some more karma.
2009-01-18 15:40:34
123.   Alex41592
120 - No chance and I'm done predicting things. Arizona is in the Super Bowl. Crazy times.
2009-01-18 15:45:07
124.   NWdodger
Some people in Arizona are going to win some serious money in Vegas if they win the Superbowl 40-1 odds.
2009-01-18 16:05:18
125.   underdog
Huh, for a "loser franchise" the Cardinals sure came through when it counted. Congrats to them on their Super Bowl appearance. Never thought I'd see the day.

No offense, because I know some of you are USC fans and all (so I can definitely understand rooting for him), but why talk about Matt Leinart today? He has zero to do with them getting to the SB; Warner has a huge deal to do with it though, and many people, including myself, who thought he was done awhile back should tip our hats to the guy.

Meanwhile, it was fun explaining to my girlfriend, a rare football watcher, how the Cardinals used to play in St Louis (like the baseball team), but then moved to Arizona. And soon after were replaced in St Louis by the Rams. And soon after that those St Louis Rams made the Super Bowl, guided by the same QB who is now guiding the Cardinals, formerly of St Louis, to the Super Bowl. {exhale}

2009-01-18 16:06:24
126.   KG16
two thoughts:

1. Baltimore's players seem to have a hard time catching the ball.

2. Chase Daniel should be a pretty good pro quarterback.

Additional thought:

3. Pittsburgh's secondary doesn't seem to have trouble catching the ball.

2009-01-18 16:07:38
127.   KG16
125 - I don't like Kurt Warner.
2009-01-18 16:09:23
128.   underdog
Btw, what did happen to Mike Williams, Eric? 98 Why was he such a disappointment? I wasn't sure he'd be greatness incarnate, but thought he'd have a pretty good career. Go figure.
2009-01-18 16:10:14
129.   underdog
127 - Ah. Well, I don't think of him as someone I'd love to have over for dinner, either, but that aside, still give him kudos.
2009-01-18 16:11:17
130.   D4P
Kurt Warner is just about unambiguously the Rams's all-time greatest hero.
2009-01-18 16:13:19
131.   KG16
129 - I'll say this, he's got (in my mind) better Hall of Fame credentials than McNabb, but Barry Bonds has better Hall of Fame credentials than just about anyone ever (except maybe Cy Young and Babe Ruth), and I don't like him either.
2009-01-18 16:14:02
132.   Jon Weisman
130 - I'm going to pray you mean St. Louis only.
2009-01-18 16:14:20
133.   KG16
That is a catch by Holmes, even if it came loose, he recovered it.
2009-01-18 16:14:52
134.   KG16
132 - I was kind of thinking that too, Jack Youngblood might have something to say about it.
2009-01-18 16:16:41
135.   KG16
Did the NFL hire old NBA refs this year?
2009-01-18 16:17:09
136.   D4P
The Rams (LA or otherwise) have won exactly 1 Super Bowl. Non Super Bowl-related heroism isn't particularly meaningful in this context.

There may have been better players, but none with a more heroic story than Kurt Warner's.

2009-01-18 16:18:15
137.   underdog
Santonio Holmes is going to need therapy after this quarter is over. But he should also stop whining so much.
2009-01-18 16:18:45
138.   KG16
Jack Youngblood played a conference championship game with a broken leg. the Rams won that game, in no small part because of Youngblood.

Warner threw some passes.

2009-01-18 16:19:14
139.   underdog
133 Yeah what happened to the "ground can't cause a fumble" rule? Seemed like he had possession and then lost it when he hit the ground. Should've been at the goal line for Pitt.
2009-01-18 16:19:17
140.   Jon Weisman
136 - The Rams predate the Super Bowl.
2009-01-18 16:20:49
141.   I Love LA
Underdog - yes I must admit the Cardinals proved everyone wrong including myself as I have doubted them from the get go. I doubted them again when the Eagles were coming back and I thought they were done when DeSean jackson caught that TD bomb. Props to Kurt Warner, he won that ring 10 years ago and who would have thought 10 years later he has an opportunity to win another one with a different team.
2009-01-18 16:21:45
142.   D4P
140
In that case, I'll confine my comment to the "Super Bowl era".
2009-01-18 16:22:38
143.   Linkmeister
15 Coming in way late, but yes. If you happen to see the Inaugural Concert "We Are One" on HBO tonight (it's streamed live if your cable company doesn't take HBO's lead and offer it free), take a look at 89-year-old Pete Seeger, leading a quarter-million people including Bruce Springsteen on guitar in singing "This Land is Your Land." He looks a little frail, and no banjo, but he can still move and sing.
2009-01-18 16:24:20
144.   underdog
141 - Indeed. I'm as surprised as anyone they're in the Super Bowl, especially with their erratic defense (late in the regular season). But just goes to show ya (or shows to go ya), you never know 'til it's over. 'tain't easy getting that far or doing what they did vs. a very hot Eagles team.

Looks like this will be another super bowl where I don't dislike either team but won't be able to root hard for either of 'em either.

2009-01-18 16:25:24
145.   underdog
143 - That was astonishing and touching. You go, Pete!

Okay, I'm sending myself to the showers. Nothing like midday soccer under a blazing January sun. Be good, people.

2009-01-18 16:27:38
146.   Eric Stephen
128
Btw, what did happen to Mike Williams, Eric?

First and foremost, he was lazy. He jumped on the Maurice Clarrett train and came out early even though it was still against the rules. That was some serious bad advice.

But in that year off, it is clear he didn't keep himself in good enough shape to be an NFL player, and his work ethic once he did enter the league left a lot to be desired. Hell, he wasn't good enough to play for the Raiders!!! :)

Mike Williams' failure in the NFL is a sad tale, but one of his own doing.

2009-01-18 16:28:38
147.   Eric Stephen
143
I didn't realize Seeger is 89! That was a very cool moment, and a pretty neat 90 minutes all around.
2009-01-18 16:28:48
148.   underdog
146 - Ugh, Maurice Clarrett. Don't remind me ;-) (Not Mike Shanahan's finest draft choice.) But anyway thanks, it's too bad.
2009-01-18 16:30:06
149.   Linkmeister
I'm not really injecting politics if I say this, I hope:

From my blog: Seeger: from the blacklist in the Fifties to performing at an Inaugural Concert in 2009. Times change.

2009-01-18 16:30:07
150.   Jon Weisman
Warner is a great story, and I'm biased because I was a fan during the Youngblood days and not after. So I may be underappreciating Warner.

That being said, the idea that you have to have won a Super Bowl to become the franchise's most heroic player strikes me as the kind of reasoning that keeps Bert Blyleven out of the Hall of Fame. Even if Warner's the best in the Super Bowl era, I don't think it's fair to confine the discussion to one year of Rams history.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2009-01-18 16:30:46
151.   Jon Weisman
149 - I read that Copeland's music was supposed to be played at an Eisenhower inaugration, but similar reasoning kept it out. So that's another nice reversal today.
2009-01-18 16:32:49
152.   Eric Stephen
151
So a Copeland was ousted by the Police?
2009-01-18 16:33:31
153.   das411
Don't think for a second that you actually snuck 111 by me, Shimmin...just think of all the free time we'll have now to plot our revenge on LA/USC/anyone else you root for...
2009-01-18 16:41:30
154.   Linkmeister
YouTube Seeger / Springsteen today: (and he did have a banjo!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-PCpRWqXv8

2009-01-18 16:54:42
155.   Andrew Shimmin
153- People who get everything they want are boring.
2009-01-18 16:57:36
156.   Andrew Shimmin
By the way (and I did check with the final arbiter of all human knowledge, first), there's no such thing as an Inaugural Concert. This is like being there the first time Hallmark tried to make Valentine's Day happen--don't fall for it!
2009-01-18 17:03:06
157.   Linkmeister
156 Piffle. Lots of good music, both Beyoncé and Shakira in skin-tight leather pants, Sheryl Crow looking a little like Stevie Nicks, Stevie Wonder looking like, well, Stevie Wonder. . .

I'll take it under whatever nomenclature they want.

2009-01-18 17:12:17
158.   Jon Weisman
157 - I thought it was a great event
2009-01-18 17:15:10
159.   Eric Stephen
That had to have been one of the louder outdoor Rule 1 chants in sports history, just now at Heinz Field.
2009-01-18 17:33:23
160.   NWdodger
That roughing the punter call was the worst call of the playoffs
2009-01-18 17:48:29
161.   berkowit28
147 I met Pete Seeger when I was 5, and that was 55 years ago. I was sick in bed and couldn't go to the summer family concert he was singing at, so he came to see me and sang to just me and whoever else was in the room.
2009-01-18 18:36:40
162.   Sam DC
161 I hope I meet him someday so I can tell him that, fifty-five years later, that kid still remembers.
2009-01-18 18:50:25
163.   The Dude Abides
The inaugural concert is being repeated again at 7PM Pacific on HBO and 830PM Pacific on HBOE. One more thing about today's performance of This Land is Your Land: they played the "forbidden verses," the verses that were too subversive (i.e. biting, almost socialistic commentary) for American kids to learn in elementary school. Woody Guthrie is smiling somewhere today.
2009-01-18 18:54:53
164.   D4P
they played the "forbidden verses," the verses that were too subversive (i.e. biting, almost socialistic commentary) for American kids to learn in elementary school

I remember learning

This land is my land,
This land ain't your land.
I got a shotgun,
And you ain't got one.
I'll blow your head off,
If you don't get off.
This land is private prop-er-ty.

2009-01-18 19:14:02
165.   underdog
Wow, that was quite an awful collision. Scary to see Mcgahee down the ground and then carted off like that. Sometimes I hate football. Looks like he may just have a concussion and a neck bruise, hopefully.

These have been two very good Championship games today.

2009-01-18 19:42:03
166.   Gen3Blue
That was an incredible event in Washington D.C. along the mall. Seeing JT, Bruce, Bono and Stevie, as well as Mellanball and Crow wrapped with celebs, acters and pols whose names don't stick with me well was amazing.
But seeing old Pete Seeger, who we see quite a bit of around the Hudson river and western NE, at an inaugural, was beyond belief. I'm willing to hope for miracles.
2009-01-18 20:28:43
167.   underdog
>>Although the Dodgers have gone to great lengths to make their new spring training facility in Glendale, Ariz., the finest in all of baseball, it already has generated one mini-controversy. Rather than the traditional green screen or wall behind center field, the "batter's eye" at the main stadium will consist of a densely planted grove of mature Arizona pines.

Officials of the Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox are crossing their fingers in hopes that the trees will provide enough of a background and block out enough of the desert sunlight.

"That's a no comment right there," said Los Angeles catcher Russell Martin...

http://braves.scout.com/a.z?s=248&p=2&c=831412

(They have a contingency plan in place, which makes you wonder why they don't just cut to the chase and put the fence up, since it's almost guaranteed players won't like it.)

2009-01-18 20:56:58
168.   MyTummyHurts
Like I was there. From an observer's eye view [http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUQGN4X4RkY]
2009-01-18 21:03:01
169.   Eric Stephen
168
Very cool. Did you run into bhsportsguy? :)
2009-01-18 22:12:46
170.   John Hale
0
Tommy Lasorda is being farmed out to the junior college hot stove circuit up here in the Seattle area this week (Bellevue actually). I am tempted to go even though I know his short comings.

I didn't know this type of thing still went on. I met the leader of the Big Red Machine at a Hot Stove dinner in the home town of the real (memorable but obscure) John Hale in the mid 70's. This is very near by central valley standards to where Ned and the boys were hanging out for this shindig.

2009-01-18 22:40:38
171.   bhsportsguy
169 I know one thing, Greg Brock would have enjoyed "American Pie."
2009-01-18 23:20:29
172.   Eric Stephen
171
The original performer of that song easily my favorite Don M(a)cLean ever.
2009-01-19 07:40:31
173.   Bluebleeder87
somebody else mentioned this earlier so I thought I post the link [http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/] He is still a few years away but at least it gives La Roche peace of mind... it's gonna be interesting to see what he does this year.
2009-01-19 08:05:23
174.   silverwidow
King Felix settled for $3.8M.

So much for my bold predictions, LOL.

2009-01-19 08:06:24
175.   Tripon
Jeez, you would think that Boras would at least made sure Alverez kept in shape. Then again, he also allowed Andruw Jones to be out of shape as well after 2007.
2009-01-19 08:19:02
176.   Eric Stephen
174
At the very least it's a good comp for Billingsley's 2010 contract.

King Felix, after 3 years service time, has 39 wins (Chad has 35 with one fewer year) and a 114 ERA+ (Chad is 132).

Bills will make at least $4m in 2010.

2009-01-19 08:24:42
177.   Eric Stephen
174
So much for my bold predictions, LOL :)

I had to do it...here are some comments from December 22:

222. silverwidow
Felix Hernandez will make more than Russell Martin this year. That's pretty much his floor ($5M).

223. Eric Stephen
I think $5m is just about Felix's ceiling for 2009. My guess is he has a contract in the $4.5m range, which might still be more than Russell Martin.

So we both overshot :)

Since they settled for $3.8m, there's no way Felix even asked for $5m (because I doubt the Mariners were at $2.6m).

2009-01-19 08:39:52
178.   Daniel Zappala
I don't agree with the line of reasoning, but I do agree that Warner belongs near the top of the list when it comes to greatest Rams of all time. I'm really happy for him, getting a chance to go back to the Super Bowl again.
2009-01-19 09:08:04
179.   D4P
The MLB Rumors site is looking for a writer*.

*Paid position

2009-01-19 09:14:34
180.   underdog
Okay, but where were you guys in your Repko predictions? ;-)

(From Dylan Hernandez, LA Times:)

The Dodgers avoided arbitration with outfielder Jason Repko, signing him to a one-year, $500,000 contract. The deal includes $87,500 in incentives based on plate appearances.

Repko, 28, might figure into the Dodgers' plans if they fail to re-sign Manny Ramirez.

===

That last line made me laugh. Or cry.

2009-01-19 09:21:04
181.   Eric Stephen
180
I overshot Repko by $100k.
2009-01-19 09:21:45
182.   Jacob Burch
180 If Repko gets all the incentives, Eric would have been 12,500 off.
2009-01-19 09:22:00
183.   Jacob Burch
181 See 182!
2009-01-19 09:24:47
184.   Jon Weisman
NPUT

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