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Brown and Green All Over
2005-01-04 10:02
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Sincerely no offense to Ross Newhan, but what the Times has unleashed by making Tim Brown its national baseball columnist is equivalent to Adrian Beltre waking up and discovering the joys of hitting the ball the opposite way.

Whole new worlds of insight and enjoyment have opened up.

Presley Green is on the telephone, or near enough so her soft sobs are audible.

"What is it, honey?" her dad whispers.

Sniff.

"Want to watch TV?"

Then she is gone, padding away, maybe in those little pajamas with the feet in them, her worries smothered by dad's gentle voice.

"Sorry," Shawn Green says into the phone, a small laugh follows, and he resumes a conversation more complicated, a decision unsolved by simple distraction.

Is there news in the lead to Brown's column this morning? Perhaps not literally. Yet I find it more informative and compelling than anything else I've read on Green. This is him.

Want analysis? Here's Green, in a paragraph.

He is a good man whose price got too high, whose swing got too measured, whose bat got too unpredictable. The best players in the game, Beltre, for one, were getting $13 million a year, and Green, sadly for everyone, hasn't been one of them for a while.

Want to know where things stand?

He has a contract to negotiate, his only option being to trudge back to the Dodgers, hold them to an agreement reached a few general managers ago, and play in a uniform being measured for somebody else.

It's not great leverage; it's all he has.

And then, the conclusion - summing up the situation, art disguised as news.

So, the question comes, dressed in blue, decorated in opening-day bunting: What became of happily-ever-after?

"Don't write me off like I'm already gone," he says, "but I so appreciate the people who supported me in L.A. Maybe that'll continue. Maybe it won't. Time will tell."

Behind him, through the telephone, there is laughter.

"OK," Shawn Green says, a little weary now. "I'll see ya."

And then he is gone.

This column isn't just a grand slam - it's the surge you feel with the bases loaded and the ball in the air and you know it's going out, and you just want to milk the sweet moment as long as you can. It's great writing, and everyone involved deserves credit for bringing it to us this morning.

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