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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
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11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Fun, Thrilling and Safe at Home
2005-04-12 23:11
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

paraRound about 5:30 p.m., I walked in the door and replayed the final at-bat of the game. And my little girl caught a glimpse, and shouted "Dodgers!" and "Baseball game!" and asked to go outside to play catch.

So I think I'm locked into the elation that Milton Bradley and the Dodgers felt today. Dogpile on Jonny - it's five hours later and I'm still beaming.

And Dodger fans, they know what it's like to be Tiger Woods' golf ball on the 16th. Together, the assembled stood along the fringes of the grass, victory an impossibility although not quite, a long, curving path taking us right to the precipice, breath baited, before dropping us home.

Never thought the Dodgers were out of this one. Thought the Dodgers might lose, with Jeff Weaver dishing singles like a dealer at five-card draw, but never thought they were out. Against Jason Schmidt or Jake Peavy, perhaps. Not against the staff the Giants threw out there today.

Perhaps more impressive, through the hundreds of comments posted this afternoon, it appears few of you thought the Dodgers were out of it either. Ill turns in the game were greeted with disappointment at worst and sardonic good humor quite often. It's as if a realization has spread: those Dodgers, they're so incorrigible, but doggone it if they don't find a way out of their messes. Like a team with Dennis the Menace at short and Beaver Cleaver at second. Sitcom baseball - we'll have some fun, maybe catch a talkin'-to, but everyone's happy at the end.

This being Opening Day, the field was adorned with balloons, not the least of which was the thought balloon many brought from the offseason that said that the Giants are the sound, mature and cohesive leaders of the West and the Dodgers are a bumbling, misanthropic, inchoate mess. Those balloons are now punctured and spinning in curly-cue formation around the parachutists and doves and stealth bombers flying through the air. We yet don't know which team will win the National League West - if either of them - but those who thought the writing was on the wall before the season began got this as a response: "Tear down that wall!"

* * *

There was good and bad in the changes to Dodger Stadium, or at least stuff I could live with and stuff that I would rather not. The new seats change the feel of the stadium - it's like building an add-on to your house which is totally functional, totally works, but makes the yard feels a little smaller. Because it is. To me, the distance between the bases, which I assume remains 90 feet, had the optical illusion of appearing greater than in previous years because the adjacent territory between the bases and the dugout had shrunk. But it's all well and good. The ribbon scoreboard, even if it is mostly dedicated to advertising, is fine as well (as long as it's not blocking the view of people sitting below it.)

The problem with the outfield wall isn't just that advertisements have replaced the annual homages to Dodger greats (which themselves were a relatively new tradition), but that the advertisements were slapped on without any kind of panache. The wall is completely unapologetic - not that I mean that the Dodgers should apologize for pursuing ad revenue. But the wall is not even trying to make the advertising palatable. I don't want to trade Ricky Ledee for an outfield wall free of ads - not after his ninth-inning double - but I would like to see some finesse, some imagination, some class. Dodger Stadium was a stroke of genius and beauty that earned its owners lots of money. The concepts are compatible. But no one appears to have tried to reconcile them on the outfield wall today. Further, the yellow stripes (across the bullpen gates) advertising a shipping company that isn't Federal Express are a blight in themselves. I'm not going to moralize about these ads - they are just ugly, and I'm not convinced they have to be.

One could go on and on. Credit-card usage at the food stands is a big plus, and my hot dog was wonderfully charred. If Nancy Bea had more of a presence today, I didn't really notice. That's because the sound system remains antiquated: If you put your speakers in two different locations even when you live in a one-room apartment, someone tell me why it makes sense to have speakers in one location in a 56,000-seat stadium.

It's still a great stadium. It feels a little more modern, a little more cluttered, but it remains a great place to be.

* * *

Barry Bonds liked it. Craving as many boos as he could get, he thrust his arms in the air when the public address announcer introduced him before the game, his split personality happening to alight on the seven pin today instead of the 10. The only other player fans really booed at all during the introductions was poor Hee Seop Choi, who caught a smattering and then was stuck with it, on camera, while the announcer seemed to lose his place.

In general, Dodgers other than Choi received three kinds of receptions during the introductions. These might best be explained by imagining you had gone to a play at your child's elementary school - the difference between clapping for your kid, clapping for your friend's kid, and clapping for someone's kid just because he goes to the school and you're being nice. In Opening Day-ese, this translates to 1) outright adulation, reserved for award-winners like Eric Gagne, 2) polite applause, which went to players who were anonymous to most in the crowd but at least wore the right uniform, and 3) a warm welcome for those who weren't All-Stars but had done the uniform proud. Jayson Werth was among those in this group, illustrating once again how quickly the fans can bond with the players even within the first year. Jose Lima, thank you again - but by May, no one's going to be missing you. It's nothing personal - people just like to bond with who's in front of them.

I think I'm starting to develop some commandments.

1) Spring Training doesn't matter.

2) Winning breeds chemistry, not the other way around.

3) No matter how little time you've been with the team, if you help us win, you're one of us.

* * *

Did I stay to the end of the game? Well, we had to pick my daughter up from the sitter by 4:30 p.m. So, no. I didn't leave because I wasn't enjoying myself, or because I didn't want to stay, or because I had lost faith. I left because I'm a father to a daughter. You want to knock us for it - we'd be happy to have you babysit. Really. You think I'm kidding, but I'm tempted to tell you what time to put the kids to bed... Anyway, old readers of Dodger Thoughts know that I'm not as militant about leaving early as so many are. I respect your dedication and envy your ability to prevent the outside world from intruding. But it wasn't in the cards today.

That being said, we would have stayed until the end if not for something truly unfortunate and brainless the Dodgers in 2004 began doing periodically in their parking lots.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the drive inside Dodger Stadium, the main components are an inner ring going one direction around the ballpark and an outer ring going the opposite, with occasional links between the two. One of those links emerges from Lot 6, where we park. For years and years, we could stay until the end of the game, fast-walk to our cars, cross from the inner ring to the outer and, by knowing which lane to be in, be down to the freeway entrance in almost nothing flat.

But in 2004, the Dodgers began closing off that link. What this succeeds in doing is preventing our car - and many cars like us - from achieving a quick exit. Consquently, this forces our car - and many cars like us - to stay in the inner ring longer, thereby adding to the already saturated postgame traffic. You might as well close off the San Diego Freeway and force people to go from Northridge to Westwood via the Hollywood Freeway. Forget about explaining the speaker system - how on earth can traffic flow improve when you close off routes? It's not as if keeping us from going to the outer ring eliminates congestion - it only funnels that congestion into an area, the Elysian Park Avenue exit, that already has more than it can handle.

Generally, I try to be humble, but it's safe to say that over the years I have taken Dodger Stadium traffic navigation to such an art form, it should be the first line of my resume. But the parking people have torn up my canvas. I hope to paint again, but today was not the day, not with the babysitter on the clock.

* * *

So the Dodgers are 5-2, with three four-run final innings in seven games. In their past two ninth innings at Dodger Stadium, the Giants have gotten three outs and allowed 11 runs. Elation.

On Opening Day six years ago, in a game started by Randy Johnson, Raul Mondesi hit home runs to tie the game in the ninth and win it in the 11th - and I don't know if today's game tops that game or not. But I'm fairly certain that there has never been an Opening Week - games 1 through 7 - to match this one. It feels so good, I just want to wake my daughter up and go have another catch with the whiffle ball.

On the other hand, you gotta sleep while you can. Brand new game tomorrow. Last while it's fun.

Comments (144)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-04-12 23:38:04
1.   Eric Enders
"The only other player fans really booed at all during the introductions was poor Hee Seop Choi"
-------

I don't get the pre-game shows, so I didn't know that before. That stinks.

Thanks, Plaschke.

2005-04-12 23:39:26
2.   Bob Timmermann
I assume Jon is a little tired because in the last two 9th innings at Dodger Stadium, the Giants have given up four runs and gotten five outs.

The Dodgers clinched in Game 161. The Giants won 10-0 in Game 162. With Kevin Correia retiring Tom Wilson for the last out.

2005-04-12 23:41:41
3.   Eric Enders
This was a terrific read, Jon. Thanks.
2005-04-12 23:43:24
4.   Robert Fiore
I've always thought the objections to advertisements in ballparks was a bit hypocritical (or something like that) seeing as how back when It Was A Game and The Grass Was Real and the players were The Glory of Their Times (and for some people Only the Ball Was White), the outfield walls were covered with ads. Though I must say old fart that I am I preferred it when the only advertising was the two Union 76 signs (no Coca-Cola please) and they put the players' names on the uniforms.

As I've said before, my idea about advertising and stadium ambience generally is that they ought to make the place a shrine to Jet Age L.A., and the graphic styles of all advertisements should follow that.

There are two kinds of chemistry: everybody-getting-along chemistry and chemistry that comes when players' skills are of the sort that work together to score runs. Either the Dodgers are going through an unusually hot streak or they've put together these kinds of skills on the roster. It doesn't hurt that Tracy is the sort of manager who knows how to use all the cards he's given.

2005-04-12 23:52:54
5.   bigcpa
OK Jon you're forgiven for leaving early. I'll call off the boycott.
2005-04-12 23:56:21
6.   Eric Enders
"I've always thought the objections to advertisements in ballparks was a bit hypocritical (or something like that) seeing as how back when It Was A Game and The Grass Was Real and the players were The Glory of Their Times (and for some people Only the Ball Was White), the outfield walls were covered with ads."
----------

This is a particular pet peeve/special interest of mine.

While it's true that the ads have always existed, there are at least least 10-20 times more of them in ballparks nowadays than, say, back in the 1920s. (Especially when you consider audio ads.)

Not sure why disliking something that's intensely annoying would be considered hypocritical. This leads me to suspect you might not understand the definition of the word.

One of the nicest things about going to a game at Wrigley Field is there are NO display ads anywhere in the ballpark, and only about 5 or 6 audio ads per game.

2005-04-13 00:07:28
7.   LAT
Jon,

Great perspective on the day. I whole heartly agree about the ads. The worst is the yellow crime scene tape around the bullpen. Although today the Giant's bullpen was the scene of a crime. A couple of other observations: (1) Looked like a lot of those high priced dug out seats that the Dodgers said were selling well were empty--espicially the new ones behind the dugouts. (2) Its seems unfair to boo Choi but not Drew; (3) enough with the stupid beach balls and blow-up katsup bottles(4) Jamie McCourt had on a very small tight dress. I hate to admit it looked good. I have to go gouge my eyes out now.

2005-04-13 00:09:24
8.   Jim Hitchcock
The outfield wall was made pretty special when it was first changed to reflect Dodger greats. After the first (second?) year, when they added
advertising...at least it blended in. Now it's just crass, at best, and intensely annoying, at least.

They really do need to give a stereo spread on the speakers. Maybe mount them to the light stsndards (like the one behind Diamond Vision?

2005-04-13 00:14:02
9.   Smirk
Great post, Jon.

Bummer that Choi was booed.

As far as the ads go, I always liked that "hit it here, win a free suit" ad that was in some old ballpark (can't remember at this moment). It would be nice for the outfiled ads to achieve that same sort of creativity, advertising while not ruining the moment.

2005-04-13 00:17:54
10.   Eric Enders
"(2) Its seems unfair to boo Choi but not Drew;"
-------------

It seems to me that they're not really booing Choi but DePo, and for better or worse, Choi will always be seen as DePo's representative in spikes.

2005-04-13 00:21:12
11.   bigcpa
What irks me most about the OF wall is the new navy blue color. Didn't Lon Rosen and company realize the old wall was actually "Dodger" blue?
2005-04-13 00:24:02
12.   Eric Enders
BTW, there seems to be an article on ESPN.com that needs updating...

http://espn.go.com/mlb/s/2003/0717/1581988.html

2005-04-13 00:24:22
13.   Smirk
"It seems to me that they're not really booing Choi but DePo"

I agree, Eric. Although, to Choi, the boos hurt either way. The fans are booing Depo for signing a player that they think sucks.

2005-04-13 00:25:46
14.   Robert Fiore
"Hypocritical" only in those who characterize advertisements on the walls as some sort of novel commercialization of the game. Look at ballpark pictures from the 30s and 40s; the walls are covered.

Selling naming rights to sports facilities seems to me to be much more of an encroachment.

2005-04-13 00:26:01
15.   Jim Hitchcock
But that's the thing...they did it for contrast, to make the ads stand out more. Thank
the ad agency, I'd say.
2005-04-13 00:29:25
16.   Icaros
Those lousy booing fans are lucky Choi didn't melt them with his radioactive eye-beams, or tears.
2005-04-13 00:29:40
17.   Smirk
BTW, I'm cashing in. From now on my posts will be under the name "Home Depot Smirk"
2005-04-13 00:31:37
18.   Jim Hitchcock
I'd check with Smuckers first, Smirk.
2005-04-13 00:35:11
19.   Smirk
"Those lousy booing fans are lucky Choi didn't melt them with his radioactive eye-beams, or tears."

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha.

2005-04-13 00:35:58
20.   Smirk
It's funny because it's true.
2005-04-13 00:36:42
21.   Bob Timmermann
Those weren't ketchup bottles. Those were balloons in the shape of medicine bottles and they said "ROIDS" on them.

I hate the 99 Cent Stores for selling beach balls. There needs to be a confiscatory (is that a word?) tax on beach balls to keep people from bringing them to the stadium.

Yes, I am an intellectual snob in this area and I consider people with beach balls my inferiors.

I'm their better! Don't they know that by now?

2005-04-13 00:37:32
22.   LAT
Its unfair that Choi has become the symbolic lightning rod of Depo's management philosphy. Both Depo and Plashke are to blame for putting Choi in this untennable posiiton. The reason Drew is not booed is becaue we all know he will break out of this slump--and probably in dramatic fashion. Choi is not that kind of player, even if he puts up the kind of numbers Depo wants from here on in, he will still be veiwed as the poster boy for what is wrong with the new Dodgers. The best he can hope for is to not be booed. He will never be cheered. I know its only the first week but being he is only an average player at best, I don't see Choi catching a break from the fans anytime soon.
2005-04-13 00:41:39
23.   Jim Hitchcock
Yes, but they have bigger, uh, families...

Picture in the Times had one that said `Balco' on one side...must be the one Bob's talking about.

2005-04-13 00:48:35
24.   Icaros
He will never be cheered.

If he hits a home run tomorrow night, I guarantee you he'll be cheered.

[H]e will still be viewed as the poster boy for what is wrong with the new Dodgers.

If the team keeps winning games, especially in such dramatic fashion, I think the general consensus will be that there is nothing wrong with the new Dodgers.

2005-04-13 00:50:43
25.   Eric Enders
Sometimes I think the Dodgers must have a colossal underground storage vault for storing all the beach balls they confiscate, something akin to the big warehouse in the final shot of "Raiders of the Lost Ark."

A couple of observations from the telecast:

- The Dodgers are going celebricam this year. We got an extended shot of Tom Hanks and Jon Lovitz, unremarked upon by Scully of course.

- In what I think is a smart move, they have a new mobile camera roaming the stands and concourse, showing fans buying hot dogs and engaging in other ballpark frivolities. It's a good way to get across how fun the ballpark experience can be.

2005-04-13 00:54:48
26.   Smirk
I wonder if that mobile camera will show the huge line of people waiting to use the ATM machine.
2005-04-13 01:04:09
27.   LAT
Icaros, I agree that if the Dodgers keep winning people will get on board with the new Dodgers. My point about Choi is that he will never get the same respect as others, even if he puts up similiar numbers. He has become too controversial. If he hits a HR tomorrow, people's repsonse will be "Its about time" or "I bet he won't do it again." Choi was brought in at the seeming expense of fan favorites LaDuca and Mota. He replaced Green, a fan favorite to many, at first. Plashke and Simmers made him Exhibit A of what they believe is wrong with the new manangement. Depo left Choi exposed to all this. (Although I'm not sure how he could have avoided it). If Choi was going to have Beltre, Sheffield or Bonds moments of grandure, he could overcome this perception, but he's not that kind of player and even if he has an April like 2004, it won't be good enough for most fans. Moreover, IMO, all this eventually catches up with him psychologically, if it hasn't already. Seems unfair to him.
2005-04-13 01:07:45
28.   KAYVMON
I was goin to wait for a post on Tracy for this but I think its fair to ask, is there a connection between Tracy and the Dodgers ability to come back? If I had to guess, I think it would have to do with that clap that Tracy does when things go good. Tracy's clap is really polite and does not fit a manager, its more like how a dad would clap at a little league game (am I just saying that because Jon used that analogy). Any thoughts?
2005-04-13 01:17:18
29.   Jim Hitchcock
Well, Tracy's actually been showing some real emotion lately. In the past week, I've seen him throw up both arms in the air (ala Beltre in San Diego last year) twice, plus he was the first to go out and hug Bradley today. I do think his lineup manipulation has been a strength, and leads, in maybe a perverse way, to his players feeling a sense of loyalty to the man.
2005-04-13 01:18:06
30.   Eric Enders
Does Jim Tracy clap like a Little League coach? Well, there are certainly indications to the effect that might well be the case.
2005-04-13 01:21:11
31.   Eric Enders
"I do think his lineup manipulation has been a strength, and leads, in maybe a perverse way, to his players feeling a sense of loyalty to the man. "
----------

Is Tracy a genius at platooning? Based on everything we've seen about him over the past three years, all the indications would seem to point to the fact that the answer might be yes.

OK, OK, I'll stop now. But I think Jim makes a great point -- moreso than any other manager I've ever seen, Tracy has a knack for knowing how to use role players in situations where they can succeed.

2005-04-13 01:26:04
32.   KAYVMON
Thats funny Eric but it could have easily been the president answering a question about the state of the economy.
2005-04-13 01:51:51
33.   Eric Enders
Just finished re-playing the Bradley at-bat for the fourth time... and I am happy to report that the Dodgers still win!
2005-04-13 02:44:19
34.   JD in Milan
Jeff Kent is great ... he's Charles Barkley-like. He tells you what everybody else is thinking ... which is refreshing. Here's what he said last night:

"I thought we were always in the game. We just played them. We know who's in their bullpen"

Which is so much better than hearing: "we just go out there every day and fight the good fight," or "our team never gives up, we have heart." Or some other variation of the canned answer that espn seems to love.

2005-04-13 02:57:07
35.   Jim Hitchcock
Totally agree, JD...thoughtful, no nonsense response to questions, rather than following the `Bull Durham' scripto methodical.
2005-04-13 03:55:31
36.   Albert in Hong Kong
you know, i still cant get over ellison slamming that ball down and probably denting the new dirt warning track.
2005-04-13 03:59:14
37.   Jim Hitchcock
You think he was trying to break it?
2005-04-13 04:18:47
38.   T Money
Agreed on Kent. For years, I've heard all the malcontent/clubhouse cancer stories, and assumed them to be true. And, hey, maybe they are, we're only a week into the season. But at this point, the guy seems downright Presidential.

And, yes, I do mean that in a good way.

Plus, he's got a hell of a sweet 'stache.

2005-04-13 04:52:20
39.   Langhorne
Thanks Jon, I can't wait to get out to the ballpark. I'll miss the pictures on the outfield wall. They haven't been around that long but I thought they were cool and classy. The advertising is annoying but it doesn't surprise me. Of course, I may not deal with change that well. I still scoff at people that buy Subway sandwiches and pizza hut at ball games. And why get soft serve ice cream when you can get a rock hard, wooden spoon breaking, chocolate malt? That's baseball!
I think the booing of Choi is classless. The Dodger "fans" that were doing it belong in the same cell as the ones who bring beachballs and the people that call me dawg. But I don't really think it's a blanket condemnation of DePo so much as the voicing of the opinion that he shouldn't be playing regularly. If he were to start hitting I think he'd be cheered loudly. But I would never boo anyone in a Dodger uniform. I don't think Choi is a good player. I never have. If he proves me wrong I'll be thrilled. In fact, if the rest of the team can continue supplying enough offense I'd be inclined to start him every game for a couple of weeks and see if he can get something going.
2005-04-13 05:11:13
40.   ryu
1. Jon, "Tear down that wall!" more accurately describes the way I feel about the outfield wall.
2. I can't get over the fact that Weaver goes eight shutout innings for a win up in SF, but lasts only three innings at home. Hope he is more consistent from here on out.
2005-04-13 05:13:24
41.   Dr Love
You gotta love how Bradley held up the part of his jersey that says "Dodgers." I'm not sure he does that if they were playing anyone but the Giants.
2005-04-13 05:50:21
42.   Albert in Hong Kong
I was thinking Weaver was overconfident, kept on raving on about how he has 40 friends at the game watching him. I sure do hope he looks more like that game up in SF from here on.

Yup, I loved Bradley's reaction at the end there. I really do hope his troubles are behind him. Tracy said it was all about the team, and that the players' names are not needed, but I really feel an empty gap everytime I look at just a number back there. When Gagne gets back, it will look really awkward seeing a lonely '38' without the 'Gagne'' on top.

2005-04-13 06:35:31
43.   jeongers
Man, the local news highlights (I don't have cable) here in Oregon basically showed all the Giant runs, and then superimposed the final score over Pedro Feliz's slow-motion home run trot in the fourth inning. I paraphrase the sportscaster: "But, the Dodgers came back to win it in the ninth." The highlight didn't even show the game-winner. I guess most of the transplants up here in Eugene are from the Bay Area.

Anyway, I'm jazzed. The Dodgers are on ESPN 2 tonight, which means the local bar will have it. Barkeep's a SoCal transplant as well, so maybe he'll give me a drink on the house if the Dodgers win.

On the subject of the advertisements, I don't mind them if it helps McCourt keep the team's payroll respectable. Of course, I also follow soccer and cycling, so obviously my tolerance for commercialism in sports is quite high.

2005-04-13 06:55:30
44.   Jon Weisman
Uh, yeah, what Bob said (#2).
2005-04-13 07:14:10
45.   Sam DC
Yup, Dodgers on ESPN2 tonight and it looks like Jeongers and I at least will be watching for that clever gal or fella who manages to get their www.dodgerthoughts.com sign broadcast on national tv. Heck, I'll put in $10 bucks for a bounty to be donated to the Dodger Dream Foundation if someone can pull it off (clever signs only, nuth'n 'bnoxious, requisite weaving in of references to ESPN OK). Anyone else wanna kick in -- we may need something to watch for after it's 9-0 Dodgers in the 3rd?
2005-04-13 08:19:48
46.   chumsferd
It seems to me that weaver should only pitch at night. Maybe the heavier night air helps his balls sink a bit more.

Day 5.26 ERA
Night 3.96 ERA

the last 3 years. Then again, I don't know if these stats are relevant since I have not compared them to league average difference in day/night splits.

2005-04-13 08:26:33
47.   Eric Enders
Given the vast differences between Dodger Stadium during the day and Dodger Stadium at night, I'd guess that most L.A. pitchers are likely to have a similar split. Most other ballparks don't have nearly the difference between day and night games that Dodger Stadium does.
2005-04-13 08:27:34
48.   Colorado Blue
I'm sorry I missed such a great game... I went out drinking with the boys last night and had to settle for a little of the D'backs-Rockies game...

The game is on ESPN2 tonight? Oh, I sure hope Joe Morgan is on the broadcast. He's my favorite! So smart and insightful...

BTW: It sounds like a lot of credit is due the middle-relief of the bullpen. Gets a bit lost in the excitement of Bottom-of-9th heroics. Kudos to Gio, Buddy, and DJ!

2005-04-13 08:49:03
49.   Suffering Bruin
Jon, that made for a wonderful read. The whole thing was great. What I noticed was that if it stopped at...

"It's still a great stadium. It feels a little more modern, a little more cluttered, but it remains a great place to be."

... it's at perfect column length. Now, if we compare such a column to that produced by Simers' infatuation with, well, himself and Plaschke's schizophrenic musings... well, I won't compare it because after yesterday I'm feeling very positive about things.

For what it's worth, I thought this post was as good as anything I've read about the Dodgers in the last twenty years.

2005-04-13 09:00:09
50.   Bob Timmermann
For "Dodgerthoughts.com", Jon could just get 18 people to paint their chests with the words. One person has to have a period on their chest.

On Diamondvision, there was a shot of seven young women in tank tops that spelled out Dodgers. At least I think there were letters on the tank topics.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-04-13 09:02:24
51.   mcrawford
Agreed, great write-up, Jon. This is why I keep coming back to your site.
2005-04-13 09:05:27
52.   bayareadodger
I was great to be here in downtown sf, at a resturant bar for the first inning listening to giant fans clap with each single during my lunch. I would have killed to be there for the ninth but work called, I'm still chuckling inside.
2005-04-13 09:10:08
53.   Dodgerkid
Eric--

hypocritical, adj.

professing feelings one does not have

Actually I think that pretty much sums up a lot of your pseudo indignation Eric. The ads back in the day on outfield walls were for tobacco and probably cocaine too when it was legal. We've taken a step forward, get over it.

2005-04-13 09:11:16
54.   Vishal
re: fiore (#4)

i would LOVE a googie-themed redesign of the dodger stadium ads and fixtures. that would be absolutely brilliant.

the outfield wall doesn't bother me really, though i do wish it was a closer shade to dodger blue. the ads themselves, i don't really care about one way or another. the bullpen tape does look tacky though. i was in inner reserve, so i couldn't really tell they were ads anyway. i just thought it was caution tape or something.

re: choi booing. i missed it, but i did cheer loudly for him when he came up to bat. people who boo this kid are indeed totally classless. he's young, he's in a totally strange country, he's trying his damnedest to do well, and he's being booed for his efforts. have a heart, people. it's not his fault he got traded for the guys he got traded for. now he's one of us, so the least you could do is give him some support.

2005-04-13 09:19:55
55.   Eric Enders
Dodgerkid,
Your post #53 is so ludicrous and out of line that I'm not even going to bother refuting the specific points. My only response: Screw you.

Sorry for bringing such hostility onto your site, Jon, but honestly, I'm being kind -- that post deserves a lot worse.

2005-04-13 09:24:11
56.   Dr Love
"Sometimes I think the Dodgers must have a colossal underground storage vault for storing all the beach balls they confiscate, something akin to the big warehouse in the final shot of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." "

First off, that made me think of the deleted scene with Christopher Guest from Best in Show.

Secondly, having been down in the bowels of Dodger Stadium, I can honestly say I wouldn't be surprized. I've seen boxes of progam inserts featuring Brett Butler and Greg Gagne sitting out in the hallways, among other things, so a room full of beach balls wouldn't be out of line.

2005-04-13 09:39:17
57.   Bob Timmermann
The beach balls that end up on the field usually go in to one of the two bullpens. Odalis Perez seemed to be on beachball storage duty yesterday. He kept shoving them in between some pipes or bars in the bullpen.

Ones that go in to centerfield get picked up by a security officer. Presumably that guy does what Dodger Stadium ushers have done for years when they get a beach ball in their hands. I.e., it gets deflated with an official Dodger Beach Ball Deflating Tool (It was one of Danny Goodman's less successful giveaways). That is, they usually stick a pen into it and deflate it and then throw it in a local trash can.

Once, way back in the 1970s, Vin said they gave them to orphanages.

Perhaps the Dodgers can have ads for Dr. Miasma's Liver Pills or something like that as a compromise.

2005-04-13 09:41:13
58.   Jon Weisman
Well, let's nip this in the bud, or what's left of the bud, Eric and Dodgerkid. I definitely think you should have stopped #55 after the first sentence, at most, or rephrased it entirely. Let's agree to disagree and move on...
2005-04-13 09:43:07
59.   Eric Enders
Sounds good to me.
2005-04-13 09:48:40
60.   Bob Timmermann
OK, but the people at Dr. Miasma were eager to buy that ad space when I talked to them.
2005-04-13 09:58:02
61.   In Enemy Country
For those of you who like to read things that get you angry (like me) read Steve Philips article on ESPN.com. He runs down the managers and GMs that are on the hotseat. Tracy and DePodesta are both on it for the simple reason that Philips doesn't like thge moves DePo made. This from a guy who gave out a multi-million dollar, multi year deals to Mo Vaughn and Cliff Floyd and traded Jason Isringhausen for Billy Taylor. There's a reason he's announcing games, I just don't think he's realized it yet. Serenity now.
2005-04-13 10:04:34
62.   Eric Enders
While I have no doubt both DePo and Tracy are on Steve Phillips' personal hot seat, I very seriously doubt either is on the actual hot seat, i.e, in danger of getting fired.
2005-04-13 10:10:43
63.   Steve
In Enemy Country, you deserve a Purple Heart for taking that bullet and sparing the rest of us. Steve Phillips' column is truly enemy territory. The jealousy drips like poison.
2005-04-13 10:13:04
64.   Eric Enders
Fortunately, I have spent the past few years building up an immunity to Steve Phillips' poison.
2005-04-13 10:16:55
65.   Dr Love
I would rather watch bars and tone than watch Steve Phillips offer his opinion.
2005-04-13 10:27:30
66.   In Enemy Country
I think he's just jealous too. He didn't have the cojones to do what needed to be done with the Mets and he knows it. Now he sees in DePodesta everything he's not as a GM; Bold, visionary and most of all, smart. It must burn. I almost feel sorry for him.
2005-04-13 10:31:55
67.   Steve
By the way, Jon, my jealousy drips like poison because you were at Opening Day. Last year, we had to leave early from a Padres game where the Dodgers came back in the bottom of the eighth (Encarnacion doubled, Otsuka threw away a bunt, most of you probably remember the exact day and game) because we had taken our three year old, and she just wasn't going to last. It happens. I also remember when I was kid driving home from a certain game when R.J. Reynolds laid down a certain two-out squeeze bunt with the bases loaded. I know you're familiar with that game.
2005-04-13 10:40:46
68.   LAT
Hard to believe Tracy is on the hot seat. While not perfect he has done a pretty darn good job this year. His line-up and pinch-hitting moves have been nearly perfect. It not like he put a "defenseive replacement" in left field in the 9th inning. . .

Loved Steve Hensen's comparison of Kent to a bouncer with a clipboard. Perfect!

2005-04-13 10:47:01
69.   Dodgerkid
When Eric apologizes to me Robert Fiore, I'll be more than happy to move on.
2005-04-13 10:47:13
70.   Dodgerkid
Insert "and"
2005-04-13 10:55:18
71.   Jacob L
I had the worst seats and the worst parking I've had at the Stadium yesterday since the 1981 W.S. In fact from just about the same vantage point Tucker's drop in right reminded me of Reggie Jackson losing one in the sun on the fateful day . . .

but with the prospect of not getting out of the lot until past dinner time, and an 8 moths pregnant wife in tow, I'll cop to leaving at the end of the eighth. Got home quick enough to see the end on t.v.

I do think the overall stadium experience continues to change for the worse, but not so much more dramatically yesterday than in the past few years. Plus, its still too great to ever really ruin.

Finally, I left wondering if Felipe Alou really knows what he's doing. When we've got 8 right handed hitters in the lineup doesn't the first bullpen call have to be for a righty. Then, lets just say the lefty you bring in gives up a double to the first guy he faces, and narrowly escapes further trouble, would you really let said lefty hit for himself in the next inning. Still and all, Alou got a 3 run lead to his closer in the ninth. Usually, that's gonna work out.

2005-04-13 10:56:13
72.   ROC
Dear Mr. Drew McCourt,

Here's my suggestion for a new marketing campaign:

-
Dodger Baseball.
The best 9th inning in sports.
-

Add a little imagery of all the comebacks and Gagne and we're good to go.

Regards,
ROC

p.s. Please fully credential Jon, DT is far and away the best reporting/writing available from any media outlet.

2005-04-13 10:58:03
73.   Jacob L
Please ignore numerous grammatical errors in my post. I'm gonna start using that "preview comment" feature. The only one I care to correct is that my wife is 8 "months" pregnant, not pregnant with 8 "moths."
2005-04-13 11:01:39
74.   Rainman
Below is a conversation I had this morning with the great and powerful T.J. Simers via email. I read his garbage this morning and finally decided I'd had enough, so I fired off an email to him. Surprisingly, he responded, but not surprisingly, he acted like the juvenile he is. Thought I'd share it with fellow Dodger fans...

-----Original Message-----
To: t.j.simers@latimes.com
Sent: 4/13/2005 8:06 AM
Subject: Irritating

Do you consider it your job to wander around the L.A. area, intentionally irritating athletes and executives of the city's sports teams? I was under the impression that sportswriters were journalists, and were paid to report news and/or offer significant insight. You offer nothing more than an undisciplined 12-year-old boy could bring to the table, and I'm frankly amazed anyone would pay you for the consistently irritating drivel that you produce. How about writing a STORY every now and then, and skip the juvenile behavior for a change? Is it any wonder that every L.A. sports figure hates you?

-----Reply-----
From: "Simers, T.J."
Subject: RE: Irritating
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 16:16:26 +0000

journalists. reporting...what do you know---i'm a columnist and paid to offer opinions...you see, you should know how the business works before saying something silly---i wouldn't tell you how to run your business without knowing about it first----

-----Original Message-----
To: Simers, T.J.
Sent: 4/13/2005 9:22 AM
Subject: RE: Irritating

I know plenty, considering I work in sports and in journalism. I also know enough about "shock jocks" to know that newspapers and radio stations use cheap low blows from dispicable characters like yourself to generate ratings and sales. But that doesn't make it any less irritating or sad, or any less painful to wade through your garbage. The LA Times is really hurting for credibility right now when it comes to reporting on the Dodgers, as evidenced by their hot start despite your staff's chicken little approach to every little piece of minutia that comes across the wire related to the Dodgers.

You may, in fact, be doing the job the LA Times asks you to do. But that doesn't make it any less irritating or reputable. I, for one, think much less of the rag with your garbage a part of it.

-----Reply-----
From: "Simers, T.J."
Subject: RE: Irritating
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 16:34:26 +0000

and they just gave me a nother raise---

-----Original Message-----
To: Simers, T.J.
Sent: 4/13/2005 10:43 AM
Subject: RE: Irritating

Could you possibly be any less professional?

-----Reply-----
From: "Simers, T.J."
Subject: RE: Irritating
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 17:48:31 +0000

well, yes.

-----------------
I'm tempted to reply, but it's just not worth it, and is getting tiresome.

2005-04-13 11:01:39
75.   Eric Enders
Yes, I should apologize to Robert Fiore; my post to him (#6) was not intended to be rude in the slightest, but it's hard to convey tone on a message board. Looking back on it, I suppose it could be interpreted that way. I was merely trying to get across the point that "hypocrisy" is one of the most frequently misused words in the English language; most of the people who use it use it improperly. I am glad that Robert is not one of those people.

I certainly did not intend to be rude to Robert, and based on his post #14, in which he did not take offense, I assume he understands that.

2005-04-13 11:10:46
76.   Eric Enders
"When we've got 8 right handed hitters in the lineup doesn't the first bullpen call have to be for a righty."
------

That's a good point, but I think the problem there is that Scott Eyre is probably the only semi-reliable reliever the Giants have, and happens to be left-handed. Alou's bullpen is lousy enough to where he probably has to worry about just bringing in the best pitcher regardless of handedness.

2005-04-13 11:15:36
77.   fernandomania
Wow, what an awful human being Simers is. I have absolutely no respect for him.
2005-04-13 11:22:14
78.   BillyBallSouth
I'm just wondering; is there any way we can get the McCourts to ck out dodgerthoughts? do we have an email for the wunderkind marketing son? i've been lurking all offseason and been impressed not only with Jon's work but the quality of commentary from the posters here. I've got to believe that anyone with an ounce of common sense would appreciate the window into their customer base that this site provides.... Jon's point about advertising not having to be ugly is well-taken and something which can be addressed over time.
2005-04-13 11:24:57
79.   Steve
-----Original Message-----
To: Simers, T.J.
Sent: 4/13/2005 10:43 AM
Subject: RE: Irritating

Could you possibly be any less professional?

-----Reply-----
From: "Simers, T.J."
Subject: RE: Irritating
Date: Wed, 13 Apr 2005 17:48:31 +0000

well, yes.

That was Simers's "e-mail of the day." Unfortunately, you just provided him with copy for tomorrow.

2005-04-13 11:28:26
80.   bigcpa
Scheduling oddity of the day...

The Dodgers are in a 9-game stretch against SF (2), SD (5) and Milwaukee (2) where they won't face Schmidt, Peavy or Sheets. They could have faced all three but miss each of them by 1 day.

2005-04-13 11:36:16
81.   Jim Hitchcock
Yeah, I agree with Steve, Rainman...Simers feeds on this kind of stuff, considers it his `schtick'. Kind of like a cheap knockoff of Howard Stern, (if that's possible).
2005-04-13 11:39:12
82.   Eric Enders
"The Dodgers are in a 9-game stretch against SF (2), SD (5) and Milwaukee (2) where they won't face Schmidt, Peavy or Sheets."
--------

Wow, that's pretty cool. I guess if the Dodgers go on a big hot streak for the next 2 weeks, we should get excited, but not TOO excited.

2005-04-13 11:39:26
83.   In Enemy Country
Up until recently we in the Bay Area had a columnist just like Simers. Glenn Dickey was his name (he retired) and the sole reason he existed was to irritate Giants fans. Personally I loved him because he was always ripping them shreds. People would e-mail him nasty comments and he'd print them, just like Simers does. Calling them juvenile and unprofessional is exactly what these guys want. Just do what I do when I read a Plashke, Simers or Bruce Jenkins (another Chronicle hack who at the moment is my #1 most hated columnist) article, go to dodgers.com and replay that Steve Finley walk off. It works every time.
2005-04-13 11:40:04
84.   Jon Weisman
That's pretty huge, Big. Good point.
2005-04-13 11:42:26
85.   molokai
I'm not cheap but I no longer park in the parking lots. I can leave when the game ends walk to my car and quickly leave. The walk is shorter then some of the lots and is downhill after the game when you need it. Yesterday if I had been parked in the lot I would have left with us down by 3 and Benetiz coming in. Knowing I would not be stuck in traffic I stuck around and witnessed the greatest Dodger comeback I've ever seen. All the drunken idiots around me who I quickly grew to despise during the game all the sudden became my best friends. Baseball is a great thing when good things happen.

Hate the wall, I heard the Ribbon is very annoying at night but not so much during the day. Will find out tonight.

Repko-I'm amazed, expected nothing, getting everything. We really do have 3 center fielders when he's in LF. In that sense Spring Training meant everything because I don't think he had a snowball's chance in hell coming into ST on making the club.

FYI-Shaun Livingston is going to be very very very good

2005-04-13 11:42:28
86.   Eric Enders
Too bad we still have to face Cy, uh, Brian Lawrence.
2005-04-13 11:45:11
87.   In Enemy Country
Good point about Repko's fielding. He held Alphonso to a single on a ball off the wall and got a perfect jump on a ball that looked headed for the wall.
2005-04-13 11:49:07
88.   Jon Weisman
Yes, by observation, Repko's fielding is top-notch, especially on protecting the alleys. I actually feel the ball hit to Ellison took a tricky path and wasn't as easy a play to make as some have said it was. But I will say that in the short time that I have watched him, Repko seems to get great reads on balls. The Dodgers have fine outfield defense.
2005-04-13 11:50:25
89.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers didn't fare too well against Adam Eaton last year. Especially at Dodger Stadium. They did hit him well in one game at PETCO, which was the day of "The Trade".
2005-04-13 11:52:01
90.   dzzrtRatt
In my too many years on this planet, I have never been to opening day of any sport til yesterday. Here is what I learned:

1) You should arrive really really early. This is not a good day to gallantly help your wife with something first.

2) You don't have to park at Dodger Stadium to attend a Dodger game. By the time I arrived, the lot was "sold out." I found a spot in Elysian Park near Angels Point where you can park, hike down a rutted dirt road, enter the parking lot on foot near the Golden State Freeway exit, and I tried to figure out what was going on as I crossed the lot by measuring the cheers against the groans. If you do as I did, you can save money and you get to enjoy nature. Just bring water, and if you're going to try it at night, bring a flashlight.

3) At sold-out games, the fact that a concession stand advertises that it has Dodger Dogs doesn't necessarily mean it has any on hand at that particular moment. If it's a hot dog you really want, you might be advised politely to return the next day. This is not a good reason to rant at the vendors, who, after all, just had their pay cut by their boss.

4) If, by the time you sit down, the Dodgers are already losing 8-3, you had to stand in two lines to get a hot dog, and you had to park in an adjacent forest, don't let it get you down. Your travails will be cosmically rewarded.

5) People who leave a Dodger game early hurt no one but themselves.

2005-04-13 11:55:50
91.   In Enemy Country
Eaton looks good this year too. I have him on his fantasy team so I've watched both his starts. He gave up some runs at Coors, but they were late and it was Coors. Against the Cubs, he was dominant. Mid 90's fastball with movement, nasty.
2005-04-13 11:59:15
92.   Bob Timmermann
Are the Rockies as bad as they look on TV? They seem to have some bad (by Rockies standards) pitching and outside of Todd Helton, the offense doesn't strike fear in most people's hearts.

Does anyone think Arizona is any good or are they just benefiting from some home games and games with the Rockies. They did win 2 of 3 from the Cubs.

2005-04-13 12:01:30
93.   In Enemy Country
Todd Helton looks like a beaten man. How good would he look in Dodger Blue? They'd never trade him to a division foe but a guy can dream can't he? The Rockies are a AAA team....at best
2005-04-13 12:16:06
94.   dzzrtRatt
I could see Helton being dealt to the Angels, however, for a package that might include Casey Kotchman, Robb Quinlan, Jeff DaVanon and a lower-minors prospect. The Angels have a surplus at several positions, but no one proven yet; they're really only set at the three outfield positions, SS and Catcher. Helton at first would allow the McPherson experiment some time to work, allow Darin Erstad to play his natural position (on the bench), while making the possible later recriminations for trading Kotchman tolerable.
2005-04-13 12:16:29
95.   Eric Enders
"Todd Helton looks like a beaten man. How good would he look in Dodger Blue?"

Honestly, about as good as Daryle Ward. It's not that Helton's a bad player; he's great. But his contract is a true albatross, arguably the worst contract in professional sports history -- 11 years, $145 million. And soon to be 31, he's at exactly the age where his best years are behind him rather than ahead of him. His contract calls for a salary of more than $20 million in 2012, at which time he'll be 39.

He also has a history of chronic back trouble.

2005-04-13 12:18:23
96.   Mark
Uh, not to be on Simers side at all, but it is very, very uncool to post a private e-mail on a public site, regardless of how much you may hate the man.

If the LA Times were a lawsuit-happy organization, Jon might just receive a notice in the mail.

2005-04-13 12:18:29
97.   fernandomania
What Eric said.
2005-04-13 12:26:51
98.   Rainman
Mark, there's no issue with posting that here. How is that any different than Simers using emails from people to him in his column every days? The Times has every right to print correspondence, and there's nothing litigious about doing so. If you don't want an email printed, you simply don't send it.
2005-04-13 12:28:57
99.   LAT
Bob T, having been forced by my daughter to watch nearly every AZ game this season (even on TiVo) the D'Backs have a lot of offense and thier starting rotation is not that bad. The problem, like the Giants and Rocks, is a very unreliable bullpen. If they stay healthy and make a few moves before the break, I could see them making a run at second place, although more likly third.
2005-04-13 12:29:00
100.   Dr Love
My lord has today been bad for me. A win tonight would really lift my spirits.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-04-13 12:29:22
101.   Eric Enders
"If the LA Times were a lawsuit-happy organization, Jon might just receive a notice in the mail."
-----

I'm no lawyer, but I find it extraordinarily difficult to believe that publishing an e-mail voluntarily sent by someone is something that's legally actionable, unless you're a doctor who publishes your patient's e-mails or something like that. The publication of e-mails like that should legally be no different from what Simers himself does in publishing e-mails from fans. (Although maybe that's not the case unless he identifies the sender by their full name.)

And in any case, it's not even the first time that's been done on this site. Folks have published their banter back & forth with Plaschke, etc.

The ethics of the situation, though, are another matter entirely, on which I have no particular opinion.

2005-04-13 12:31:31
102.   Bob Timmermann
However, I think sending an email to a publicly printed email address to a well-known writer and reprinting isn't exactly a big breach of etiquette or privacy. If Simers wants to send a private email, he might very well have a separate account for that. I assume he's got an account that his family and friends can tell him stuff like "Pick up milk on the way home."

And it's not like we were running Susan Estrich's emails to Michael Kinsley.

2005-04-13 12:33:00
103.   Eric Enders
" his family and friends can tell him stuff like "Pick up milk on the way home."
---

Well, he could probably just get the grocery store bagger to bring the milk. ;)

2005-04-13 12:35:15
104.   In Enemy Country
Eric, I agree with everything you said, save for him being past his prime, but he's still one of the top three hitters in baseball. The fact that he's 31 doesn't scare me a bit. The number of players that are producing into their late thirties increases every year and he plays a low stress position.
2005-04-13 12:36:22
105.   In Enemy Country
Gold glove defense too.
2005-04-13 12:40:51
106.   Mark
"If you don't want an email printed, you simply don't send it."

Not true. Numerous lawsuits have created a precedent that unless otherwise specified or agreed upon, e-mails are meant as secure private conversations between two parties. If Simers is using email correspondance, in a public published medium, without getting the senders' permission (or without a disclaimer "all e-mails sent to this address may be used etc etc"), then those people have a valid case to bring suit against him.

I'm not saying that Simers is going to turn around and sue you for reprinting his e-mail on Jon's blog, but understand that he or the LA Times /could/ have a valid case.

epic.org has a lot of information on Internet privacy. I would strongly recommend checking it out.

2005-04-13 12:43:21
107.   Eric Enders
"The number of players that are producing into their late thirties increases every year and he plays a low stress position."
--------

While this is true, it doesn't quell my nightmares about the aching carcass of Mo Vaughn. Getting Helton could very well be a repeat of the Angels' mistake.

In any case, we're dreaming. This is exactly the kind of move DePo would never make in a million years.

And besides, if we're going to trade for a 1B, I'd rather it be Conor Jackson. ;)

2005-04-13 12:44:18
108.   Dr Love
re: In Enemy Country

Yeah, but 1B do drop off a cliff in their 30s, and it's not very predictable. Doesn't happen to everyone, but it happens. Considering the money, that's another big red flag with Helton. There's no reason, IMO, to aquire Helton... he's owed a ton, he's not going to get any better, and with Dreifort coming off the books after this season, there aren't any albatross contracts that the Dodgers can exchange to ease the payroll burden. I'd love to have Todd Helton on the team, but you don't aquire the player, you aquire his contract. And that, I wouldn't sniff.

http://kmbumb.people.wm.edu/06agency.html

Potential free agent 1B: Kevin Millar, Paul Konerko, and Dmitri Young. I imagine the Sox would re-sign Millar, ditto Young and the Tigers, but Konerko could be available. Of course, this is jumping the gun on Choi not panning out.

2005-04-13 12:46:55
109.   In Enemy Country
I never said we would get it or even that it would be a good baseball move. It was just wishful thinking, Helton plays ball the right way and it kills me to see him wasted on the Rockies. As long as we're throwing names out there, how about Derek Lee.
2005-04-13 12:47:24
110.   Mark
Hey, Julio Franco will be available!
2005-04-13 12:48:45
111.   Steve
I think Simers is going to have a hard time pressing this lawsuit since he puts an e-mail in the Times everyday. The cases Mark is referring to are likely centered on reliance issues that wouldn't be present here. In other words, since Rainman can assume that his e-mail is fair game for Simers to publish, Rainman can turn the tables. And this is why I don't send Simers e-mails.
2005-04-13 12:49:01
112.   Steve
And he's enbalmed!
2005-04-13 12:49:18
113.   Rainman
Well, then I ask how it is any different if he turns around and uses my email in his next column? I didn't agree to its' printing, and there's no disclaimer when I just send the email. And as someone who's worked as a network administrator, I can assure you that NO email is a "secure private conversation" whatsoever. Now, if it's used to defame a person, that's a different story, but I think that interpretation is not valid for this case. He didn't say anything that he wouldn't spew in his column anyway, and he voluntarily replied to me.

I posted this interaction only as a means of entertainment and to further illustrate how pointless it is to put much stock in his column. I apologize if I've offended anyone by posting something objectionable, even though there's no real basis for such. I'll refrain from posting such items in the future.

2005-04-13 12:52:38
114.   bigcpa
I'll try to put my last 3 letters to use here... in the final year he'd turn 38 mid-season and get $19.1M (~$14M in today's dollars). If Colorado was to pony up $5M per year from 06-11 that would take $78M off their books and put the avg annual value of Helton's deal at $12M to us. The debt relief alone has enough value that we shouldn't have to part with our best prospects.
2005-04-13 12:55:25
115.   In Enemy Country
If he brought us a title it'd be worth it. Again I stress the wishful part of my thinking.
2005-04-13 12:56:07
116.   Icaros
I'll refrain from posting such items in the future.

Please don't, this lawsuit talk is ridiculous.

2005-04-13 12:56:19
117.   Dr Love
"I never said we would get it or even that it would be a good baseball move. It was just wishful thinking, Helton plays ball the right way and it kills me to see him wasted on the Rockies. As long as we're throwing names out there, how about Derek Lee."

Derek Lee would a real nice pickup. Good bat, good power, underrated defense, and he's got a ring so maybe that will help to offset the dreck that the Chicago writers will write about him that Plaschke and Simers are sure to pick up.

2005-04-13 13:00:34
118.   Dr Love
"If he brought us a title it'd be worth it."

Agreed. Even if his play fell of the face of the earth after winning a WS, I would agree that it would be worth it. I'm of the sentiment that winning a title is worth having X amount of years of losing. But then again, I'm from Philly, it's been ingrained into my system.

2005-04-13 13:02:17
119.   bigcpa
On a totally unrelated note- MLB.com posts daily Defensive Efficiency rankings. We're at #13 at .710 based on 272 total chances. The A's are at #3 with .744. Most surprisingly StL is #30 at .624 despite only 2 errors. The Eckstein effect?
2005-04-13 13:18:50
120.   Dr Love
re: bigcpa

Sample size. The Reds are in the top 10, and they're a bad defensive team. In the bottom 10 are the Braves, Phillies, and Angels, teams that aren't bottom 10 defense teams. And besides, defensive stats are lacking.

2005-04-13 13:21:55
121.   Paul B
In re: Helton:
Granted this is all just pie in the sky talk, but don't forget that Helton's numbers are boosted substanially by Coors. Just looking at splits for the last three years:
AVG. OPB. SLG. OPS HR RBI
Home: .380 .482 .699 .1181 62 197
Road: .310 .422 .517 .939 33 125

Those road numbers are still very good (better, I'll admit, than I expected) but might attenuate your praise for him a bit.

2005-04-13 13:34:16
122.   In Enemy Country
Wow, that home OPS is, dare I say, Bonds like.
2005-04-13 13:47:26
123.   patsweetpat
"As long as we're throwing names out there, how about Derek Lee."

Heck, as long as we're really throwing out names, how 'bout Mark Teixiera? I got a man crush on that guy.

2005-04-13 14:11:14
124.   Paul B
Hope this isn't the wrong place to do it, but a couple thoughts on Simers/Plaschke:

1) Simers's response in the e-mails is a bit sophomoric. I sympathize with many of the sentiments expressed by Rainman. At the same time, the e-mails to Simers don't really seem like an attempt to engage in a discussion. It's not too surprising that the result is name-calling.

2) Something I've been wondering about for a while. What is a journalist? Perhaps a bit too metaphysical sounding, but it seems crucial to understanding why people get so animated over these guys at the LA Times. To get the ball rolling, I checked out what good ol' Merriam-Webster had to say, and it seemed to get at the heart of the matter:
Journalism:
2 a : writing designed for publication in a newspaper or magazine b : writing characterized by a direct presentation of facts or description of events without an attempt at interpretation c : writing designed to appeal to current popular taste or public interest

When I think journalism, I tend to think 2b. It seems others subscribe more to 2a or 2c. It's all a matter of opinion, of course, but it greatly affects one's take on "Plaschkers". I often find both of them insufferable and ignorant. But I don't think of what they do as an affront to journalistic standards, because I don't really see them as journalists. To me, they're columnists, guys who get paid to have a take and string some words together [as we've seen, sometimes they struggle mightily to do even that], and that just seems different to me. Yes, I imagine they have press passes, and maybe that puts them in a different category than Joe Q Blogger. But just as that little pass doesn't make them better or more insightful writers than Jon or the rest of the guys on the sidebar, I'm not sure it truly turns them into "journalists" either. Anyway, sorry for the long post. Just wanted to throw that out there.

2005-04-13 14:32:05
125.   bigcpa
re: Dr. Love
272 chances sounds like a big number. What's your preferred sample size?

Last year the Angels were #20 at .688 vs #24 this year at .692. Philly is at .699 this year vs. .704. Not much deviation there.

2005-04-13 15:10:31
126.   Doug N
If I missed it, I'm sorry, but I was scrolling through these comments looking for Tommy N's take on the first week...
2005-04-13 15:15:32
127.   tomA
i definitely remember growing up reading columnists that were leagues above what simers and plaschke offer up: jim murray, mike... downey? they at least wrote whole paragraphs.

my first time contributing, but jon, i've been reading you religiously for the past year. thanks...

2005-04-13 15:18:59
128.   alex 7
Quick opinion on Weaver yesterday, for those who only followed it online.

1.) He was up in the strike zone all day long. Many of the singles and the 3-run HR were belt high fastballs.

2.) He rarely threw fastballs. Perhaps because they were only around 88 mps (is that normal for him?), he ended up throwing what looked like 70% off speed pitches. The Giants did a very good job of sitting back and going the other way with outside off-speed pitches, while early on, the Dodgers pulled a few of those same off-speed Reuter pitches for easy outs.

3.) I don't remember Weaver's first game against the Giants, but how does someone who lacks strike out velocity or movement pitch a shutout in SF? Maybe it did have more to do with the Giants lineup that day and perfect location by Weaver than with his overall talent.

Sure hope Penny makes it back 100% soon. He seems like the only Dodger starter that can just power through a lineup. Lowe is close, though more due to his hard sinker than an explosive fastball.

2005-04-13 15:20:13
129.   alex 7
whoops, mph. I think I'd be thrilled if he threw 88 mps.
2005-04-13 15:38:25
130.   Jim Hitchcock
Be sorta tough on the catchers, though...think Spinal Tap drummers.
2005-04-13 15:43:55
131.   joekings
I can't believe it, Peter Gammons actually admitting to a rush to judgement from the media.

http://tinyurl.com/3q96j

2005-04-13 15:44:50
132.   Eric Enders
Hell, those guys are a dime a dozen anyway. Bako, Rose, Phillips... there's more where that came from.
2005-04-13 15:51:12
133.   Eric L
Re: The Gammons article..

I think the LA Times is more negative about DePo than they are about Kobe. Most of the talking heads on the sports talk stations seem to criticize DePo more than Kobe as well.

2005-04-13 16:01:15
134.   Jon Ericson
Let's see... that's just under 197 mph. But does it have any movement?
2005-04-13 16:03:46
135.   In Enemy Country
My take on Weaver. He was too excited. He's at his best when he's calm and I think the adrenaline of Opening Day affected his control. I think he went 0-2 to the first two hitters, then hit Durham and threw a cockshot to Vizquel. If he finishes those two off I think he settles down and has an effective outing. Besides, it wasn't like the Giants were pounding him. Everything they hit was right down the middle and the only extra base hit they got was the Feliz home run. When the relievers came in they pounded the corners and the real Giants offense showed up.
2005-04-13 16:13:46
136.   Jim Hitchcock
Jon E, I'm getting 316,800 mph.
2005-04-13 16:46:51
137.   Jon Ericson
It's the scientist in me that translates "mps" into "meters per second".
2005-04-13 17:00:40
138.   aloofman
I think the Dodgers' recent comeback tendencies can be explained by a few factors:

- better-than-average bullpen means the Dodgers are more likely to score in the later innings than the opponent.

- a shaky rotation in the last six weeks of last season and early this year causes them to fall behind early in games.

- offense has been inconsistent, so big innings are mixed with goose eggs, and some of those big innings turn out to be late in the game.

- plain old luck.

I hope we don't get too used to this and expect it all the time. Their luck is bound to change eventually because we know that a team's record in one-run games tends to be a matter of luck and not ability.

Or another way to look at it is that this balances out the times this season when they underachieve. And that will happen. I'm looking forward to finding out which it is!

2005-04-13 17:24:01
139.   alex 7
I would add that last year we had more holes in the lineup with guys like Encarnacion, Cora, Ventura, Roberts, and, at times, Shawn Green. I think Jon stated that putting together a lineup full of above average hitters is a simple way to stay out of slumps and put up big innings.

Sure some luck is involved too. Seems every pinch hitter has come through so far this year.

2005-04-13 17:24:37
140.   alex 7
Just remembered that walks have been a big part of many of these late inning rallies. Nice to have guys with high walk rates up and down the lineup.
2005-04-13 17:51:50
141.   Daniel B
Bob, I dislike beachballs to. But its not so much the beachball that bothers me, but the timing of the beachball.

Yesterday with bases loaded in the seventh inning, a beach ball flies on the field. Are these people serious? The fact that the Dodgers had the go-ahead run at the plate wasnt interesting enough? If playing with a beach ball is so entertaining, go to the beach and stay away from Dodger Stadium.

I got unlucky yesterday. my entire section was obsessed with beachballs. Luckily they had very few of their own, but when one was going, its like the game stopped in my section. Ridiculous.

2005-04-13 18:01:31
142.   Fearing Blue
Since we're discussing pie-in-the-sky trade proposals, I thought I would add one for my first post. How about we try to pry Ryan Howard from the Phillies. We have good high-level prospects, so we should be able to do a good-for-both-teams prospect swap.
2005-04-13 18:14:17
143.   cindylu
I had to be in class through the entire game (save for a ten minute break when I got to check the score). Thanks for the great recap.
2005-04-13 18:17:42
144.   Eric L
My brother made that point in the 9th, Daniel. Benitez was having a rough time throwing strikes as we all know.

A ball ended up on the field and my bro said "Great, that just broke up his rhythm"

I hate those cursed beach balls, too. And the wave. Though, I will give credit to the folks that had the prescription bottles with "Balco" and "Roids" written on them.

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