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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Three Million Eggs, One Basket
2004-10-06 10:25
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

You could feel the yolk of every Dodger fan hit the ground with a gelatinous slap Tuesday when St. Louis started knocking the wicker out of Odalis Perez.

If it were summer, the heat would have fried us and been done with us. But fall has arrived, and so we just sat there, laid out on the pavement, defenseless against being stepped on, run over or washed away.

The best defense in baseball, or at least outside of St. Louis, never had a chance. Baseballs flew over Dodger heads, one after another. Milton Bradley probably would have loved a chance to field anything - even a bottle. The Dodgers didn't mean to put all their eggs in one basket, but in Perez's basket is where they all ended up, and they were smashed.

No mystery about what this means for Game 2. If Jeff Weaver is more solid, and if he gives his defense a chance to help him out, there's no reason the Dodgers can't beat even mighty St. Louis, despite the widespread declarations of the Cardinals by the end of the third inning Tuesday as the runaway winner of this playoff series.

Rob McMillin will come in and tell me I'm wasting my time looking at these possibilities - that it's over. It's not that he's wrong from a prediction standpoint, it's just that the prediction, while relevant I suppose from a pre-event betting standpoint, is pointless once the players take the field.

It's hard enough to predict performance over 162 games. When you're talking about five games, or a single game, you absolutely never know what will happen. And the unpredicted alteration of behavior in the smallest areas can make a world of difference. The Dodger offense, for example, is as moribund as it has been since Ron Coomer graced us with his presence, but with something as simple as a good day at the plate by Shawn Green, that all changes.

And think how one victory would alter the perspective of the series: the Dodgers return to Los Angeles 1-1 in the best-of-five, the playoff losing streak off their backs, with proof they can beat the Cardinals in October, and suddenly with a chance to clinch at home behind a Dodger Stadium-loving Jose Lima and an atoning Perez.

That being said, I won't sugarcoat things - the Dodgers need to improve dramatically on offense and on the mound. They have to find a way to get the big hit - and don't you love when writers say things like this, as if the big hit was just another egg hidden in the yard on Easter Sunday - and they have to pitch with relentless focus.

In publishing, some errors are forgivable, but a certain mistake by one person can undermine an entire project. You have to be perfect to be safe. You need a cushion. Perhaps something similar is true in your field of endeavor; it's certainly true in baseball. There can never be a moment for the Dodgers, at the plate, on the mound or in the field, where they lose sight of the fact that the moment counts.

Pressure? You bet. But to win, you deal with it. Your basket needs to be strong. You need some wicked wicker.

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