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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

Amends
2005-06-18 15:07
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Tonight's Game

Remember when El Slumpola was all Elmer Dessens' fault. Now he comes back, the wolf in sheepish clothing, trying to make it all right.

Another story from the past with increasing relevance to the 2005 National League West: "The Stooge Division."

The talk is that it might take only 85 victories to win the National League Western Division in 2004 (and that it might take even less to win the American League Central). Certainly, there are many of fans out there who think this is their best hope.

Ultimately, this might just be talk. Given the unbalanced schedule in which teams play more games inside their division than outside, chances are still good that a 90-win team will emerge, even if that team isn't a truly great team.

Since baseball went to a three-division format, however, several teams have won divisions with fewer than 90 victories. Houston took the NL Central in 1997 with as few as 84 wins.

Furthermore, a sub-.500 champion is possible. In fact, it was only 10 years ago that we had one. ...

Comments (247)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-06-18 15:16:16
1.   Jon Weisman
Bob Timmermann's Random Dodger game callback

June 18, 1949

Over 32,000 fans came to Wrigley Field on a Saturday afternoon to watch one of the least remembered of the "Boys of Summer", Rex Barney, shut out the Cubs 2-0. Barney held the Cubs to just five hits while striking out seven. The loss was the seventh straight for the Cubs and their eighth straight loss to Brooklyn. The Dodgers improved to 35-22 and stayed 2 games in front of second place St. Louis.

1949 would be one of the most written about seasons in baseball history. There were exciting pennant races in both leagues. The Dodgers and Cardinals would be close all season and the Dodgers would not clinch until the last day of the season. The Dodgers were 97-57. In the AL, the Yankees won two straight games from the Red Sox to end the season to win the pennant by one game also.

1949 was Jackie Robinson's MVP season. He led the league in hitting at .342 and in stolen bases with 37. Robinson also hit 16 home runs and drove in 124, a mark no second baseman in baseball would top until Jeff Kent drove in 128 in 1998.

The Dodgers also had the National League Rookie of the Year in pitcher Don Newcombe, who went 17-8 with a 3.17 ERA. Newcombe would eventually add an MVP and a Cy Young Award to his credit in 1956,

But the pitching ace on June 18 was Barney. The young right-hander had made his major league debut at age 18 in 1943. He moved into the Dodgers rotation fulltime in 1948. Barney threw hard but was plagued with wildness in his career. In 1949 Barney would go 9-8 and walk 89 batters and strike out 80 in 140 2/3 innings. His wildness would get only worse and after 1950, Barney was out of the majors. He would later go on to greater fame as the public address announcer for the Baltimore Orioles with a trademark "Thank yooouuuu!" after most announcements and also saying, "Give that fan a contract!" after a fan made a nice catch of a foul ball. Barney passed away in 1997.

The Dodgers had the best offense in the National League in 1949, scoring 879 runs, but they were only able to scratch out two against Cubs veteran Dutch Leonard. A pair of infield hits by Gil Hodges contributed to both runs.

In the second, Hodges squirted a ball that Leonard couldn't come up with cleanly and reached with a hit. Carl Furillo singled him to third and Hodges came home on a force out by backup catcher Bruce Edwards.

In the third, Pee Wee Reese led off with a single and went to second a ground out and third on a wild pitch. Duke Snider then grounded to Cub first baseman Herman Reich who threw out Reese at the plate. Robinson singled Snider to third and Snider scored when Hodges hit a bouncer that Cub third baseman Andy Pafko couldn't make a play on. After that, neither team was able to put together any sort of threat. The normally wild Barney walked only two batters.

In the World Series, the Dodgers faced the Yankees for the third time in the 1940s. The Dodgers lost Game 1 at Yankee Stadium, 1-0 on a 9th inning homer by Tommy Heinrich against Newcombe, but bounced back to win Game 2, 1-0 on a shutout from Preacher Roe. The Yankees closed out the series at Ebbets Field, winning 4-3, 6-4, and 10-6, with Barney losing the finale. It was the second World Series loss for Dodgers manager Burt Shotton in 3 years. Shotton was the last manager of the Dodgers who did not dress in a uniform while on the job.

The Dodgers were solidly established as the dominant team in the National League, but the next two years were going to end even more unhappily than 1949 did.

Thanks to the New York Times, BaseballReference.com and Retrosheet

2005-06-18 15:32:33
2.   The Cheat
So far this season,
NL West vs. AL Central: 16-33
2005-06-18 15:57:33
3.   Linkmeister
Halberstam wrote a good book about that season:

http://tinyurl.com/e3k4r

(Yankees-Red Sox)-centric, as usual with the literary types, but it's still a good book.

2005-06-18 16:03:17
4.   Jim Hitchcock
This is your cat on catnip:

http://tinyurl.com/cy7d3

2005-06-18 16:09:34
5.   Steve
The Scene: A young Philo T. Farnsworth hard at work with his young assistant, Timmy, putting the finishing touches on his brand new invention, the television:

PTF: "Timmy, what do you think of our new invention?"

T: "Golly Gee Whillikers, Mr. Farnsworth, it's neat-o, but there's only one problem."

PTF: "What's that, Timmy?"

T: "Well, sir, when I try to watch Chicago's American League baseball club, there are always these two idiots destroying my enjoyment of the game."

PTF: "What do you propose we do about it, Timmy?"

T: "Gee, sir. Wouldn't it be swell if there was a button that would allow you to watch what was going on but not have to hear the chimpanzees in the broadcasting booth?"

PTF: "By gosh, Timmy, that's a wonderful idea. We'll call it a mute button, and we will be remembered always as those who saved the public from Hawk Harrelson."

T: "Hooray!"

And so they were remembered, the beautiful saviors of eardrums and common sense that are our friends, Philo and Timmy.

2005-06-18 16:12:24
6.   Jim Hitchcock
Remember the other Philo Farnsworth, Steve? Hint: he was a character in two movies.

Hope the exams went well. Picked out a powdered wig yet?

2005-06-18 16:14:21
7.   Jim Hitchcock
Whoops, scratch that. The character was Philo Beddoe. What an idiot.
2005-06-18 16:15:48
8.   Jim Hitchcock
We scored in the first. Imagine that.
2005-06-18 16:17:27
9.   Steve
Test isn't until next month. I'm taking some time off tonight because I've been wrestling with remedies all day. So what do I find out? No Extra Innings, I'm stuck with the White Sox's Cheech and Chong.
2005-06-18 16:18:02
10.   Steve
Choi walks! Stop the presses!
2005-06-18 16:23:00
11.   Steve
My closed captioning just informed me of [crowd booing].
2005-06-18 16:24:55
12.   Linkmeister
This is a weird lineup. Why is Perez DH instead of 3b, I wonder?
2005-06-18 16:26:07
13.   LAT
We finally take an early lead but I still feel lousy cause we shudda had much more.
2005-06-18 16:26:21
14.   Linkmeister
And for that matter, why isn't Saenz DHing?
2005-06-18 16:26:51
15.   adg
Trying not to break Saenz.
2005-06-18 16:27:18
16.   Steve
At least Robles is hitting ninth. Any port in a storm.
2005-06-18 16:28:08
17.   LAT
Welcome back indeed.
2005-06-18 16:28:09
18.   adg
Is there any MLB player that commands respect and is also named Elmer?
2005-06-18 16:28:58
19.   rageon
Anyone else watching on WGN? Is there a reason that half of the on-screen graphics have an early 1980's look to them? I'd have guessed they were going with the retro look until I saw the FOX Sports-like bar across the top of the screen. So the question is, just how low is the production budget for WGN?
2005-06-18 16:29:30
20.   adg
I'm not going to post what I just said about Dessens again for fear of a double post, but where DID my post go?
2005-06-18 16:29:36
21.   LAT
If we are wearing throw back uniforms why are Elmer's pants so long.
2005-06-18 16:30:13
22.   adg
And there it is...
2005-06-18 16:30:21
23.   rageon
Amen to wondering why Perez is DH'ing. We should take advantage of the chance to get him in the lineup as a DH; not use it as a chance to get Robles some time at SS.
2005-06-18 16:30:26
24.   Linkmeister
40 pitches in the first for Garcia? Wow. What's the WhiteSox bullpen look like, I wonder? Any of our friends from SoxTalk here yet?
2005-06-18 16:31:17
25.   LAT
ADG, Your post is there. Elmer Fudd Elmer Gentry. These are the only two I know of never mind an athelete.
2005-06-18 16:31:19
26.   Steve
You can't stop Elmer, you can only hope to contain him.
2005-06-18 16:32:40
27.   rageon
Is the Steve of #26 the same Steve I keep reading about as studying for the bar?
2005-06-18 16:34:27
28.   Steve
It is I.

Five walks for Garcia. How about we, uh, score some runs.

2005-06-18 16:34:50
29.   adg
Will Freddy even make it out of this inning? I say a good even odds he doesn't.
2005-06-18 16:35:48
30.   Jim Hitchcock
See what you mean, rageon...graphics brought to you by Commodore 64.
2005-06-18 16:36:08
31.   Jim Hitchcock
Cue Steve.
2005-06-18 16:36:10
32.   LAT
Steve have you started studying community property yet and realized just how screwed you are in CA.
2005-06-18 16:36:23
33.   rageon
As am I. I'm doing the BarBri review for Minnesota right now. Someone's comment to you caught my attention a few days ago because it mentioned the rule against perpetuities, which is what I had just finished studying at the time.
2005-06-18 16:37:02
34.   adg
Words alone cannont my display contain, Force is weak in Tracy.
2005-06-18 16:37:31
35.   Jim Hitchcock
Steve is in Utah. Women can't own property there :)
2005-06-18 16:37:46
36.   rageon
What CAN Robles do well?
2005-06-18 16:37:55
37.   Steve
Memo to Chicago White Sox Fans:

Dear CWS Fans,

You may not keep up with the National League West, so let me just fill you in. Getting twenty straight outs against the Rockies isn't quite the feat it used to be.

Sincerely,

Steve

Also Memo To Jim Tracy:

Dear Jim Tracy,

Why in the world are you getting Oscar Robles thrown out when this guy can't throw a strike to save his life? Why are you getting him thrown out by five feet? Are you stupid? Are you drunk? And why would you give Harrelson a reason to say "He gone," which annoys me EVEN WHEN I'M ONLY READING IT ON MY CLOSED CAPTIONING!

Thank you for blowing up this inning. I still have 50 multiple choice questions to do tonight anyway.

Also Very Sincerely,

Steve

2005-06-18 16:38:19
38.   adg
Dismay, dismay, dismay...
2005-06-18 16:39:11
39.   LAT
#32 I meant the second "you" as the preverbial "we"
2005-06-18 16:40:34
40.   Steve
I haven't done Community Property yet, but let's just say I hope that doesn't become a personal issue. We did a three-day mini-lecture in class on the subject, since there are always 20-25 from every class who go to CP states -- all I remember is that what's mine is hers and what's hers is hers.
2005-06-18 16:42:06
41.   LAT
#40 You got it. Youre ready for the CP questions.

We realy are an AAA team

2005-06-18 16:42:25
42.   Jim Hitchcock
Steve, is Harrelson the one who sounds like he has a cleft nasal?
2005-06-18 16:42:58
43.   adg
I was afraid the top of the 2nd might have unnerved Dessens... But he seems OK. If Tracy inspires anguish in us fans, imagine how the team must feel as the carpet is pulled out from under their feet.
2005-06-18 16:43:43
44.   Steve
If Elmer Dessens keeps Harrelson from saying "Put it on the board...YES!" tonight (sorry, I know that's like fingernails on a blackboard), I will have a new favorite Dodger.
2005-06-18 16:43:59
45.   LAT
Words I thought I'd never type:
Elmer looks pretty good.
2005-06-18 16:46:47
46.   adg
Maybe Tracy was trying to get Garcia even MORE wild by making him deal with a runner trying to steal, but unfortunately, Pierzynski is cool as ice in that department.
2005-06-18 16:46:58
47.   Steve
An e-mail I just got from a friend of mine -- a Cardinal fan:

"what is robles doing? Caught stealing when freddy is walking everyone, then the next guy swings on 3-1? What the hell?"

I suspect he is watching because Freddy is pitching for his fantasy team.

The answer to your question is yes. Remember Kramer and Mary Hart's voice?

2005-06-18 16:48:23
48.   Steve
And he refers to the White Sox as the "good guys," as in "At the end of 6, good guys 3, Braves 3." I hate that so much.
2005-06-18 16:48:51
49.   Linkmeister
I sent this to Jon, but too late for inclusion in the game thread:

Koufax remembers 1959 WS against CWS:

http://tinyurl.com/7mcn4

It's the Mercury News, so you may have to register. What the heck is Sandy doing living in Pennsylvania?

2005-06-18 16:49:55
50.   LAT
Are we trying to set a record for erasing our own runners
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-06-18 16:53:17
51.   Steve
Alex Cora would have made that play, then climbed up into the booth and strangled Harrelson with his bare hands.
2005-06-18 16:55:32
52.   LAT
Kent giveth two and taketh one away
2005-06-18 16:58:22
53.   Jim Hitchcock
Steiner: Pickoff move!...and he picks off...Crede...but to Jeff Kent.
2005-06-18 16:59:14
54.   Nick Iyengar
I'm listening to the CWS announcers on MLB.TV, and it's almost impossible to tolerate. These guys are such homers -- I guess we get spoiled listening to Vin.
2005-06-18 16:59:47
55.   rageon
Wow, now I remember why I refuse to watch White Sox games. Everything about the presentation, from the production to the ridiculous announcers, makes it nearly unwatchable.
2005-06-18 17:00:23
56.   rageon
Nice timing. I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks this way.
2005-06-18 17:00:36
57.   Steve
Correct me if I'm wrong because I'm going off of snippets from the closed captioning that appears on the screen when I mute, but were the WS announcer/cretins just arguing that Joe Crede should be stealing more bases?
2005-06-18 17:01:19
58.   ddger
does anyone know what the batting averages for RISP for each team is. the dodgers must have one of the lowest?
2005-06-18 17:02:28
59.   rageon
Nope, you heard correctly. They were quite adament in their belief that Crede could EASILY have stolen third, and that he should have.
2005-06-18 17:04:24
60.   Linkmeister
Yahoo doesn't have those stats.
2005-06-18 17:04:48
61.   LAT
Damn I missed Phillips running. Its amazing how his legs move but he doesn't go anywhere.
2005-06-18 17:05:14
62.   Steve
Just as a sort of science project, I actually did try to watch some of the games they were calling with the Angels.

That was true survival.

2005-06-18 17:05:14
63.   Nick Iyengar
The Sox announcers were arguing that it was a great time for Crede to steal 3rd base...which didn't make sense to me, since a base hit knocks him in anyway.

They also urged Iguchi's fly ball to "stretch" to clear the wall.

They also refer to Sox players by their first names. That bugs me a lot, although I think Vin does it sometimes too.

2005-06-18 17:06:51
64.   ddger
i'm worried that this game is not going too well even though we're leading. way too may runners left on base. can't any dodger get a hit with runners in scoring position without hitting a homerun. there no advancing runners other than walks and no hits except homeruns.
2005-06-18 17:07:38
65.   Linkmeister
I take it back. Looks like Yahoo does. If I'm reading it right we're middle of the pack.

http://tinyurl.com/79c6u

2005-06-18 17:07:41
66.   Steve
You probably wouldn't notice as much if he wasn't so bad doing everything else. He could recite the alphabet or the phone book and I'd want to gouge my eardrums out.
2005-06-18 17:07:57
67.   Nick Iyengar
How do you walk Oscar Robles? Grabowski principle anyone?
2005-06-18 17:09:00
68.   LAT
Stiner: "How often do you see a pitcher throw more balls than strikes in a game?"

Oh I don't know Charlie, how about every time Scotty E pitches.

2005-06-18 17:10:26
69.   ddger
thanks alot, linkmeister. it sure seems that dodgers are so much worse. maybe all those stats were built up early in the season. we must have the most solo homers percentage
2005-06-18 17:10:40
70.   LAT
OMG we SUCK!!!!

Did I say AAA, make that little league.

2005-06-18 17:11:40
71.   Linkmeister
What's happening? Yahoo's stuck on Phillip's AB.
2005-06-18 17:13:22
72.   Nick Iyengar
4 hits, 6 walks, 2 wild pitches...

= 2 runs

2005-06-18 17:16:08
73.   ddger
unless we hit more homers I don't think we can hold this lead
2005-06-18 17:16:43
74.   ddger
we can't seem to score any other way besides hitting homeruns
2005-06-18 17:18:32
75.   Linkmeister
Bases loaded, one out, and no runs? Aaaargh!

I just went to MLB.com; Yahoo didn't show me a bit of the top of the 4th.

2005-06-18 17:20:49
76.   Linkmeister
A 2-6-3 double play on Konerko's ball? Somebody please explain what happened there.
2005-06-18 17:21:32
77.   Nick Iyengar
well, Elmer is doing a nice job. would be nice if offense could pick him up a little bit.
2005-06-18 17:22:23
78.   Nick Iyengar
Konerko hits a chopper off the plate -- fair ball, but Konerko thinks it's foul, so he doesn't run. Phillips goes to Robles (almost throws it away), who turns it without a problem because Konerko is still standing at home plate.
2005-06-18 17:22:46
79.   ddger
dessens is pitching a great game so far. hope he can give us 1 more inning and then Tracy better pull him out. I hope his teammates can score more for him. We're going to need few more runs.
2005-06-18 17:22:59
80.   Jim Hitchcock
Konerko bounced one in front of the plate...fair ball. Phillips grabbed it on the bounce and started the dbl play. Kornerko never left the batter's box.
2005-06-18 17:24:23
81.   ddger
perez is really struggling at bat and also on the field. he is DH today so he should do better SITUATIONAL HITTING (like advancing runners)
2005-06-18 17:24:32
82.   Langhorne
Why do we continue to carry 12 pitchers? Especially since one of them (Erickson) should be pitching in Newark and another (Thompson) is, apparently, injured. What this means is that our bench today consists of Rose, Repko and Saenz. And Saenz won't play, unless they are desperate for a PH, because of a bad foot. That leaves two bench players. Shouldn't this have been remedied before we went to AL parks where we use an extra player as a DH.
2005-06-18 17:24:49
83.   Linkmeister
Thanks, guys. No wonder we traded Konerko. ;)
2005-06-18 17:26:25
84.   Linkmeister
Did Garcia just throw a five-pitch inning? After walking six guys we swung at first pitches? Oy, Choi!
2005-06-18 17:27:17
85.   ddger
#82 I AGREE. we are wasting 2 spots on our roster by carrying Erickson and Thompson (if he is injured, we should either put him on injured list or send him down). it really doesn't make any sense. can someone explain?
2005-06-18 17:28:29
86.   ddger
maybe we've reached our limit of AAA players on our roster and can't bring up anymore bench players
2005-06-18 17:31:19
87.   ddger
it looks like that we missed our chance to get more runs off Garcia and he is settling down. I hope we get some runs this inning.
2005-06-18 17:32:08
88.   A Slo
Who is this guy doing the game with Steiner? I just moved back to LA (temporarily) and turned on the Dodger game to these sounds. I'm not big on Steiner, but PLEASE tell me this other guy isn't one of our regular announcers. PLEASE. PLEASE.
2005-06-18 17:34:40
89.   Heads22
Yo guys.

Yes, WGN is going retro today.

Our bullpen has been solid.

Solidness (from least to most)

Shingo
Vizcaino
Marte
Cotts
Hermanson
Politte

2005-06-18 17:35:42
90.   Steve
Antonio Perez is spelled -- O F F E R M A N
2005-06-18 17:36:16
91.   ddger
well, it looks like our bullpen will have to hold this 1 run lead next 4 innings.
2005-06-18 17:36:21
92.   LAT
Slo-Its Al Downing of 715 fame
2005-06-18 17:37:06
93.   Steve
Can we go retro to a pre-senility Harrelson too?
2005-06-18 17:37:57
94.   ddger
#90 I agree. Perez is one of the worst baserunners, unreliable on defense, decent on offense but no power. And we were counting on him to be our savior. OFFERMAN is good comparison.
2005-06-18 17:38:12
95.   Steve
By the way, let's ask White Sox fan. Do you agree with your announcers that Joe Crede should be stealing more bases?
2005-06-18 17:39:53
96.   Christina
Evening all - just got back from the As game, which was a nice 2-1 win over the Phillies. Unfortunately, I'm sunburned, but seeing that the Dodgers are up 2-1 helps that considerably. (Hey, if the As could pull it off, against the red-hot Phillies, I insist the Dodgers can and will tonight.) Plus, finally a game that I can watch on TV rather than following online. Yay! Try not to make me ill, Blue.
2005-06-18 17:40:45
97.   mrboma
Fudd is pitching well. Too many long fly balls, but as long as they're being caught it's ok.
2005-06-18 17:40:58
98.   Steve
96 -- well, on mute anyway.
2005-06-18 17:41:07
99.   ddger
i think Dessens is running out of gas. he's giving up long fly balls. i hope he can make it through this inning. Tracy better not leave him in too long as has been his habit of running an excellent outing by SP by going 1 inning too long. the bullpen is well rested but PLEASE do not use Carrera.
2005-06-18 17:41:25
100.   LAT
Great pitch to get Thomas
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-06-18 17:42:56
101.   Heads22
No. "Wheels" Crede is about as fast as Wilson Alvarez.....

alright, maybe not that slow....but you get the picture.

2005-06-18 17:43:38
102.   Landonkk
Anybody else feel like a one run lead isn't enough for our pen? Especially since it looks like it will be Carrara?

Oy.

2005-06-18 17:43:39
103.   Steve
A 75 pitch Dessens, or a fresh Sanchez/etc.?

Hmmm...

Too close to call.

2005-06-18 17:43:41
104.   LAT
Christina, The part you can't see is we have left a couple dozen runners on base and the score should be 7-0
2005-06-18 17:44:26
105.   ddger
dessens gave up great outing. let's hope the relievers will not blow this one. it would help if batters can get extra run or two to relieve some pressure
2005-06-18 17:45:40
106.   LAT
Just don't use Gio now that Christina is here.
2005-06-18 17:46:01
107.   Christina
You're just trying to kill my mood, LAT. ;)

Steve, I have the closed captioning on, but for me the announcers are kind of a MST3K thing. I love snarking.

2005-06-18 17:46:10
108.   Linkmeister
Boy, Garcia is one of those "get him early or forget it" pitchers, seems like.
2005-06-18 17:46:17
109.   Steve
101 -- Oh no! The Hawkster and DJ assured us in no uncertain terms that Joe could get a 45 foot lead and waltz into third unobstructed. Are you not getting Ozzie Guillen's smallball talking points before the games start?

If it's Carrara, then under no terms should Dessens come out.

Weird bounce, but I think the blue got it right.

2005-06-18 17:46:55
110.   Christina
Actually, LAT, you have it backwards - Gio pitches well when I'm watching him, Sanchez implodes.

If Sanchez comes in, I promise to turn off the TV until he's finished.

2005-06-18 17:47:14
111.   molokai
Don't have the paper in front of me anymore but when I added up the record for each team in the NL West for the last 10 games we are a combined 17-33. I think most of that was accomplished playing against the supposedly weak AL Central.
So what we have is a very bad division and a team that is in 3rd place in this very bad division. It will be very hard to be an arrogant Dodger fan this year.
2005-06-18 17:47:33
112.   LAT
Sorry Christina its just that I'm not used to leading and it gets me nervous. :)
2005-06-18 17:47:39
113.   ddger
sanchez in 7th with wunsch standing by and brazoban in 8th if needed. we really need this one bad and we should use brazoban if runners get on base instead of waiting to pitch him only on 9th
2005-06-18 17:48:02
114.   Steve
Sanchez is the only possible upgrade from Dessens here. Bringing in Carrara would be very, very stupid.
2005-06-18 17:49:08
115.   Steve
Didn't Carrara pitch yesterday?
2005-06-18 17:49:37
116.   LAT
Sorry again Christine, I thought it was Gio, now I remember its Duaner. If we give up a run I will turn it off regardless of who is throwing.
2005-06-18 17:50:21
117.   Steve
107 -- you probably missed the part where they wanted Joe Crede to steal third with two outs. It was the kind of idiocy you yearn to hear if you're into that sort of thing.
2005-06-18 17:51:18
118.   ddger
brazoban hasn't pitched in 5 days. he should be able to go 2 if needed today
2005-06-18 17:51:40
119.   Christina
I was at the As game last night too - was following the Dodgers game on the scoreboard, and getting quite annoyed that my cellphone was acting up and wouldn't let me call up the game log online.

When I saw the score really get out of whack, I ended up being grateful for my cellphone malfunction.

Oops, Sanchez is warming up - turning off TV. Sigh.

2005-06-18 17:52:46
120.   Linkmeister
Duaner's picture on Gameday needs to be updated. Didn't he cut the dreads off?
2005-06-18 17:53:15
121.   ddger
why can't any of our big 3 high paid SP (Penny, Lowe, Weaver) give us an outing of over 7 innings and 1 or less runs. Dessens was great (6IP, no earned runs). I think Depo invested too much money on the big 3 when they can't be dominating even once.
2005-06-18 17:53:30
122.   LAT
NL West Update:

AZ 1 - Cle 3 Top 7
SF 2 - Det 6 Bot 5
SD 3 - Min 1 Top 7
Col - Who cares

2005-06-18 17:55:15
123.   mrboma
Duaner's lookin' good (for once).
2005-06-18 17:55:51
124.   Christina
Steve, that reminds me, there were a few "gems" of bunting calls made by the Phillies manager in these last two games. Complete idiocy.

Of course, last night the Phillies had Macha's "shift" to help hand them the game anyway.

And that reminds me, I was watching Zito dealing last night and thinking that I really would love to see him in Dodger blue this season. (I love the As, but I love the Dodgers more. Besides, this may be hard to believe for those who don't follow the As closely, but Zito would actually get more run support from the Dodgers.) Only problem is I worry JT wouldn't pay attention to Zito's 100 pitch ceiling, just like Macha doesn't.

2005-06-18 17:56:52
125.   joekings
i'd say striking out the side is not too shabby.
2005-06-18 17:57:05
126.   mrboma
Wow... stikes out the side.
2005-06-18 17:59:49
127.   mrboma
I think that was foul.
2005-06-18 18:00:18
128.   bokonon42
90-I think Goodwin's law should be expanded to include comparing anyone to Offerman.

How 'bout Elmer and Duaner tonight? Maybe the season isn't over. . .

2005-06-18 18:00:28
129.   CanuckDodger
Zito giving up six walks is "dealing?" Zito's basically Jeff Weaver, and it just goes to show that for many Ddoger fans the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side of the fence.
2005-06-18 18:00:43
130.   Linkmeister
Speaking of 100-pitch ceilings, if we had Pedro would Tracy pay attention to it then?
2005-06-18 18:01:08
131.   Christina
So far, my theory that Sanchez pitches just fine when I'm not watching him remains solid.
2005-06-18 18:01:11
132.   ddger
finally, a dodger advances a runner
2005-06-18 18:02:20
133.   joekings
I'll take them anyway I can get them!
2005-06-18 18:02:38
134.   mrboma
Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good...
2005-06-18 18:02:40
135.   ddger
WOW, dodgers score without hitting homerun
2005-06-18 18:03:16
136.   LAT
That's a nice insurance run but I would like a policy with higher limits. Let's get another.
2005-06-18 18:03:37
137.   ddger
i wonder if they keep track of advancing runners for each batter
2005-06-18 18:03:46
138.   Christina
129 - Zito had a no-hitter going through the 5th, when Kotsay got a very tough fly ball that he couldn't catch. (Ironically, Kots went on to catch one today that was exactly the same, and then helped throw out a guy at home. We gave him a standing ovation when he came in at the half.)

Then in the sixth he went over 100 pitches, with the usual predictable results and finally the hook, but it was Calero who really let the inning and the game get completely out of control.

2005-06-18 18:04:45
139.   ddger
how much does Zito make. is he worth it?
2005-06-18 18:05:08
140.   mrboma
A pro catcher who can't block pitches in the dirt is like a pro basketball player who can't shoot free throws. They shouldn't exist, yet there are tons of them.
2005-06-18 18:05:40
141.   Christina
Oops, correct that, it was the 7th that Zito went over 100 pitches. Before that, the game was just fine.

The 7th, by the way, was much like the Three Stooges were out there. Some weird, weird plays.

2005-06-18 18:07:27
142.   joekings
no TV for you for another inning Christina.
2005-06-18 18:07:58
143.   LAT
#140 I bet Shaq could block more pitches than he makes free throws.
2005-06-18 18:09:08
144.   ddger
Sanchez needs to step up because he is going to be the guy to get to Brazoban from now on. He is doing great so far.
2005-06-18 18:09:54
145.   LAT
We better win. Now 5-1 SD top 7
2005-06-18 18:11:03
146.   Christina
139 - Zito's 2005 salary is 5.6 million, and has the 4th lowest run support. I'd take him over Weaver and our ever-rotating 5th starter easily.

An important factor to consider is that Zito has no history of injuries.

Sanchez is up again, so off goes the TV again...

2005-06-18 18:11:03
147.   ddger
if sanchez allows another baserunner, we should bring in Braz
2005-06-18 18:11:26
148.   joekings
Close! But good call blue!
2005-06-18 18:11:40
149.   ddger
whew, that was close at second. 1 more inning to go
2005-06-18 18:11:48
150.   LAT
OK Christina you can turn it on now.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2005-06-18 18:12:32
151.   mrboma
Boy, LA's getting all the calls. I thought Podsednik was safe. I need to see a replay to tell for sure, but he looked safe to me.
2005-06-18 18:12:37
152.   ddger
#146 thanks. but who do we have to give up to get Zito, that will be interesting
2005-06-18 18:13:37
153.   Nagman
We should be wearing the '03 unis (names on the back and all) instead of these "throwbacks" (they aren't any different than their regular road ones are they?)... tonight's game is much resembling that team.
2005-06-18 18:16:58
154.   LAT
Twins have bases loaded and Cuddyer strikes out on three pitches to end the inning.
2005-06-18 18:18:30
155.   Christina
Thanks, LAT.

152 - that's a good question, since unlike many I don't think that Beane and Podesta's prior relationship will make either inclined to cut the other a sweetheart deal.

I know the As wouldn't ask for Izzy or for one of our minor league 3B prospects because they've got Chavvy and Crosby. They need bullpen help, and they could use an upgrade in the outfield.

2005-06-18 18:19:09
156.   ddger
i think Perez needs to sit on the bench for next game. Hope Izturis is ready for tomorrow.
2005-06-18 18:19:33
157.   Christina
"HE GONE!" My eyes just rolled to the back of my head, where I fear they are permanently stuck.
2005-06-18 18:19:48
158.   joekings
The hit and run is most successful when the batter actually hits.
2005-06-18 18:19:57
159.   Linkmeister
Another CS for Robles????? Why are they sending him?
2005-06-18 18:21:28
160.   Nagman
JT must've gotten tired of giving the bunt sign, he has a new favorite now.
2005-06-18 18:21:59
161.   mrboma
Robles CS twice in this game... commentators think both were hit and run. That makes it Tracy's fault. Can we trade him for Zito?

Or maybe the deal I suggested the other night: Tracy for a bat boy and Gatorade cooler.

2005-06-18 18:23:00
162.   joekings
How much patience do we exercise with Mr. Werth?
2005-06-18 18:23:28
163.   Nagman
At what point is Werth's spring training over?
2005-06-18 18:23:41
164.   ddger
perez can't bunt, can't hit and run but he hits okay if there is no play on. maybe, that's why he has been in minors so long. well, let's hope Braz can hold it
2005-06-18 18:27:31
165.   joekings
Not a good way to start the inning.
2005-06-18 18:28:19
166.   Christina
I love how whoever's typing the captions puts an exclamation point after every other sentence the Sux announcers say.
2005-06-18 18:28:48
167.   mrboma
Good thing Thomas is slow.
2005-06-18 18:29:31
168.   mrboma
Uh-oh... Robles hurt?
2005-06-18 18:31:37
169.   Linkmeister
The guy leading off the inning walks, and the next two guys swing at the first pitch they see? Hmm.
2005-06-18 18:33:19
170.   Christina
"That's why the fans do not leave the ballpark early here."

We all knew that was coming.

2005-06-18 18:33:39
171.   joekings
This is a bad time for catcher indifference.
2005-06-18 18:33:59
172.   mrboma
Pinch runner comes in and they don't throw over to first even once?
2005-06-18 18:35:05
173.   ddger
Braz is making this too exciting. He might be rusty after so many days off.
2005-06-18 18:36:19
174.   joekings
This is unbelievable.
2005-06-18 18:36:37
175.   Nagman
Welcome to LAG (Life After Gagne)...
2005-06-18 18:36:48
176.   mrboma
Could Robles have gotten to that if his leg wasn't hurt? Doubtful.
2005-06-18 18:37:00
177.   ddger
boy, all that hard work by Dessens and Sanchez gone
2005-06-18 18:37:15
178.   joekings
Maybe they'll pay attention to the guy at first this time.
2005-06-18 18:37:25
179.   Heads22
We have no business in a tie game.
2005-06-18 18:38:07
180.   ddger
walk, 2 hits score 2 runs. all those baserunners we left on might come back to haunt us.
2005-06-18 18:38:19
181.   Christina
176 - I don't think so. It really was right on the line to and through second base.

I replayed it just now because I wasn't crazy about the way Kent kind of jogged towards it, but on my rewatch I concluded he couldn't have reached it at full speed, and that he knew it and slowed down.

2005-06-18 18:38:26
182.   LAT
We deserve this. When you leave a gizillion men on base in the first three innings this is what happens.

It must be killing Gagne. Its killing me.

2005-06-18 18:38:27
183.   LAT
We deserve this. When you leave a gizillion men on base in the first three innings this is what happens.

It must be killing Gagne. Its killing me.

2005-06-18 18:38:28
184.   joekings
179 - All those bases loaded opportunities wasted, this team is very frustrating.
2005-06-18 18:39:19
185.   LAT
Apparently, I'm so frustrated I had to say it twice
2005-06-18 18:39:36
186.   joekings
Who's left in the pen?
2005-06-18 18:41:19
187.   ddger
i guess that last out is hard to come by. how often have our pitchers given up runs with 2 outs
2005-06-18 18:41:49
188.   Christina
Wow, way to throw a tantrum with the bat.
2005-06-18 18:42:16
189.   joekings
This sucks.
2005-06-18 18:43:27
190.   mrboma
AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHH!!!!
2005-06-18 18:43:29
191.   joekings
Nice flip of the bat.
2005-06-18 18:43:33
192.   Christina
And of course AJ hits a home run on the very next pitch. Ugh. He's such a temperamental jerk.
2005-06-18 18:43:48
193.   Linkmeister
I'm going to start rooting for the Nationals.
2005-06-18 18:44:30
194.   ddger
i think i'm going to be sick
2005-06-18 18:44:30
195.   LAT
Its all Choi's fault for not being 6' 10" on that foul ball.
2005-06-18 18:44:59
196.   Vishal
man, i hate pierzynski
2005-06-18 18:45:29
197.   Vishal
oh yeah, and the dodgers too, right now.
2005-06-18 18:45:31
198.   joekings
Plenty of blame to go around for today's loss.
2005-06-18 18:45:52
199.   ddger
I think the dodgers are cooked. This is a devastating loss.
2005-06-18 18:47:28
200.   mrboma
joekings: Plenty of blame to go around for today's loss.

I blame Tracy. A team reflects the personality of the manager. Tracy has no personality, hence the team has no character.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2005-06-18 18:48:51
201.   Heads22
Wow. No way we should have won. No F-in way.
2005-06-18 18:48:55
202.   joekings
Some dumb sitcom is on and I can't even bring myself to change the channel.
2005-06-18 18:49:12
203.   mrboma
I am now going to root for the Dodgers to tank so that Tracy gets fired and DePo trades the dead weight.
2005-06-18 18:49:16
204.   ddger
It would have been better to lose by 10 runs than like today.
2005-06-18 18:49:40
205.   Linkmeister
Oh boy. Tomorrow night national TV for this hospital ward of a team.
2005-06-18 18:50:51
206.   ddger
If this is the beginning of After Gagne Era, we are in real trouble.
2005-06-18 18:51:03
207.   Nagman
#204, there's always tomorrow... on national television in prime time.
2005-06-18 18:51:10
208.   dzzrtRatt
Well, not to break the mood of gloom, but this isn't the Dodgers. Of the 9 starters, four belonged on the field: Drew, Kent, Choi and Phillips. Werth isn't ready, Perez, Edwards and Robles shouldn't even be on the team, and we lucked out with the game Dessens pitched. If these are "your Los Angeles Dodgers" for the rest of the year, we'll finish last. But fortunately, that's not who these fellows are.
2005-06-18 18:52:15
209.   ddger
#203 I agree. Something has to be done. It may not be all Tracy's fault but we can't trade the whole team so manager might have to be changed. I don't think Depo will get fired soon.
2005-06-18 18:55:17
210.   Christina
208 - thank you for the injection of a moderate tone and some common sense.

206 - we were without Gagne for the 12-2 start, too. Yes, Yhency blew the save tonight. But that does happen, even to the best closers, and especially when a pitcher is rusty.

Personally, I'm looking on the bright side. Yeah, this loss sucked. But we nearly beat a team that's a division leader, and lost because our closer blew the save, although I realize that we left too many men on base, etc. etc. But we were still up 3-1 when Yhency came in.

2005-06-18 18:58:06
211.   Nagman
The only bright side I see is that we play in the NL West.
2005-06-18 18:59:50
212.   joekings
211 - Even that won't help us much longer, someone is going to have to go on another streak and it surely doesn't look like it's going to be us.
2005-06-18 19:00:26
213.   Steve
We are toast. We already were before, but they confirm it every day in every way.
2005-06-18 19:03:26
214.   Steve
The only way that loss could have been worse is if with the score 3-3, Joe Crede had doubled, stolen third, then scored on a Scott Podsednik squeeze bunt.
2005-06-18 19:03:36
215.   dzzrtRatt
The 12-2 team also had Izturis and Bradley, who were significant catalysts. We can't win without them unless they're replaced with equivalents.

But I'll admit I'm having painful flashbacks to the struggles in the 80s and 90s to identify a quality third baseman, and being forced to put our hopes into Mike Blowers or Jeff Hamilton. I'm a broken record in hoping DePo is talking to Tampa Bay about Aubrey Huff, who plays a lot of positions; third is one of them.

2005-06-18 19:05:09
216.   Jonny6
re: #210
There is no bright side to this loss.

I am starting to develop the same kind of irrational hatred for Jim Tracy that I have for Russ Ortiz and Bobby Valentine. Even his facial expressions (or lack thereof) piss me off at this point.

The only good thing to come out of all of this is that my yard is going to look much better this summer, because I don't think I can watch much more of this. Radio might be a better, less frustrating way to follow these 2005 Dodgers.

2005-06-18 19:06:26
217.   Steve
Werth is the New Grabowski.
2005-06-18 19:07:26
218.   Steve
216 -- Whatever he was doing with Robles in the ninth inning may have been the single worst managerial decision in the history of baseball.
2005-06-18 19:13:35
219.   Christina
215 - I know that. I'm just pointing out that if we're talking about an After Gagne Era, well, Gagne doesn't affect the hitting. He affects closing a game out. And Yhency did just fine as closer the last time we were without Gagne. Today? Yhency didn't have it today. It sucks, but it happens.
2005-06-18 19:18:21
220.   joekings
219 - It seems to happen to us a lot lately. It's hard to be positive after a game like tonight. We're only 3.5 out but it feels more like 35.
2005-06-18 19:19:15
221.   Nagman
I could take this loss if the 4 games that preceded it didn't happen. Heck, I could take it if we had just split those four. Heck, I could take it if we hadn't lost to Jose Lima, but that may have been an omen if we've ever seen one. Okay, not an omen since we're all scientific here, but an indicator.
2005-06-18 19:26:58
222.   dzzrtRatt
Christina, true enough. And I guess the Sox are for real. Over the years, they've been a pathetic franchise, a ball of bad karma, whiny players, crushed expectations and dumb fans. I figured they'd crater soon, so why not this weekend? But maybe the situation's really changed over there.
2005-06-18 19:36:47
223.   oldbear
I agree with Christina. I liked what Houlton did last nite. Duaner was great tonite. Dessens was great tonite.

Werth is still in spring training mode, but he'll get it together.

Milton, Choi, Drew, Kent, Phillips, Antonio need to be in their on a consistent basis.

Once Ledee is back we and play the 3 hottest OF'ers and bench the struggling one.

We're not that far off from winning the NL West. Take 3 of 4 from the Pads next week, and most will be forgiven.

2005-06-18 19:46:28
224.   dzzrtRatt
#223 I don't even want to set up that expectation. THIS team can't beat the Angels and Pads consistently. But we'll still be in the race even if we lose a lot more games in the next week. We still have many chances to catch up, with a healthier team boosted by a smart trade or two, which I think is inevitable.
2005-06-18 19:47:00
225.   Robert Fiore
"It's not the despair that kills you, it's the hope!"
2005-06-18 19:58:57
226.   dzzrtRatt
Speaking of the Angels, they have ripped the guts out of the Florida Marlins the last two days. They aren't even playing particularly well, other than their pitching, but they've got a stiletto instinct.
2005-06-18 20:00:22
227.   oldbear
When I was younger, I'd get more upset about losses. But as time goes by, you realize baseball is a long season.

As long as were within 5-6 games, I never go into panic mode.

Look at it this way. We are DUE to beat the Padres. After we lose tomorrow, we'll have lost 6 in a row.

Only one way to go is up after that.

2005-06-18 20:33:53
228.   the OZ
Tomorrow, Weaver starts for the Dodgers.

Scott Podsednik has not hit a hopme run or triple yet this season.

Scott Podsednik will hit both his first HR and first triple of the season tomorrow.

Any other ChiSox players without a HR yet this year? TOmorrow's their lucky day!

2005-06-18 20:59:33
229.   Midwest Blue
OH MY GOD!!

I just slogged back in from the game. Thanks, Ghame Over for truly ending a memorable night for me and my daughter. It was her first game. Way to introduce the Dodgers to the next generation.

Thanks, JT, for proving that you truly are one of the dumber managers I have ever seen. From the line-up (Perez DH?!?) to the steals (Robles belongs back in Mexico) to pulling Duaner for Braz. How about taking a chance on either Elmer or Duaner pitching an extra inning? They were doing fantastic (Elmer holding Sox to two hits!)

Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is just pathetic. So this is life after Gagne?

Unfortunately. I'll be spending Father's Day with JT's terrible managing for my third day at the park. I'm tired of hearing from the Sox fans that my team sucks. Unfortunately, they're right.

2005-06-18 21:39:54
230.   gvette
That was a brutal loss;

BUT

Tomorrow is another day, and another game; Brazoban gave up big homeruns last year and bounced back; and with this bad division if the Dodgers are within 3 or 4 at the All Star break anything can happen.

Having used up all my optimism, the only thing left to say is that DePo better start dealing fast to keep this team above water.

2005-06-18 21:46:17
231.   fanerman91
That was HORRIBLE... Yeah. we need some outside help. Hopefully DePo will know what to do...
2005-06-18 22:39:21
232.   champion of choi
This team is under .500 in a crappy division.

Let's not blame the injuries. I think we all knew in our hearts at the beginning of the season they weren't going to be good.

Tracy has completely lost the team and his mind (Robles cs twice, Phillips at 1st, Perez at DH???)

Dodgers are done for '05

2005-06-18 23:05:33
233.   Bob Timmermann
Did I miss anything?

I guess I won't be having to name any pets Elmer.

2005-06-18 23:12:39
234.   Jon Weisman
"Let's not blame the injuries. I think we all knew in our hearts at the beginning of the season they weren't going to be good."

We did?

First of all, .500 is between good and bad, by definition. I don't know on which side of .500 they'll finish, but it's certainly in doubt. And certainly - again, by definition - the injuries have played some role. Just as they have with the Giants, just as they even have with the Cardinals, but more with the Dodgers than most teams.

Second of all, it's pretty evident that there was no agreement in March or April that the team would not be good.

Let's relax the rhetoric or invented hindsight, or at least not start speaking for everyone.

2005-06-18 23:15:44
235.   Jon Weisman
229 - be reasonable. A fresh Brazoban vs. a seventh inning of Dessens or a third inning of Sanchez is a reasonable decision. And he was one strike away from saving it.
2005-06-18 23:38:54
236.   Jim Hitchcock
233- Don't be so hasty, Bob...Elmer exceeding expectations by plenty. A bright spot in a dismal day.

Plus, Elmer really is a cool name for a pet. But what do I know. I named my parrot Seamus.

2005-06-18 23:42:12
237.   Bob Timmermann
But Elmer had to get the win as part of the deal. So I will wait.

If the Dodgers win tomorrow, I would name a cat Weaver. I don't think Jeff is a proper name for a cat.

Matt Herges was DFA'd today and Russ Ortiz was put on the DL.

2005-06-18 23:57:41
238.   Vishal
it's not elmer's fault he didn't win.

and in sort-of defense of robles, i think the caught stealing incidents tonight both looked like botched hit-and-run plays in which robles was hung out to dry. the first one, perez didn't swing because the pitch almost hit him, and on the second one, perez did swing, but he missed. so that's either bad luck or bad play calling. on the other hand, if robles had just beaten the throws he would've been safe, but that's a little harder to do when you're looking back for a hit.

2005-06-19 00:08:04
239.   Bob Timmermann
But I think I found an excuse for not having a pet named Elmer.

My present cat is named Emily, but I will let others guess the significance of that name.

2005-06-19 00:22:57
240.   Kilgore Trout
I'm not sure why people are blaming JT for things like Robles' poor performance.

Isn't DePo in charge of the roster?

Tracy can only use what he's given. If there's people who don't belong in the Major Leagues, it's not Jim Tracy's fault.

2005-06-19 03:00:47
241.   bokonon42
239- I'll bite. Emily Dickinson? Bronte?

But you're a librarian; I don't know you personally, but as a group you delight in the obscure. The esoteric. The, er, prissy. Could it be my favorite Emily? The very best Emily ever: Emily Post?

2005-06-19 04:56:17
242.   Langhorne
Bob, I'm hoping your cat was named after Emily Hartley.
2005-06-19 07:32:00
243.   Steve
If I might borrow the cliche, JT is on the hook for "putting Robles in position to fail."

Matt Herges has now been DFAed twice; Scott Erickson not at all. That is obscene.

2005-06-19 07:47:38
244.   Bob Timmermann
242 has it nailed!
2005-06-19 07:51:51
245.   Bob Timmermann
I would add that I share a birthday with Emily Dickinson, whom I know said that "hope is the thing with feathers."

Not that I read it, but Vin Scully quotes that line a lot.

And since her work is both short AND in the public domain:

"Hope" is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I've heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

2005-06-19 08:25:23
246.   Colorado Blue
Let's heed Jon's advice all and cool down a bit... it is a frustrating stretch, no doubt, but hardly can be said that it can't be overcome.

2004 Houston Astros were 34-32 as of 6/18.

They were 61-62 on 8/22.

Baseball is a long season and some funny things can happen along the way. I'm not sure I agree with all the capping on JT to this point, but a good portion of it is surely deserved. I think if we get healthy and DePo pulls a rabbit out of his hat, we stand as good a chance as anyone in the West (er, the NL West anyway).

2005-06-19 15:11:20
247.   champion of choi
234-Blind optimism? Unless Depo re-invents this team, I don't see how they can overcome a deficit in the bullpen, a lack of power at 3B and LF and shaky starting pitching, not to mention the revolving 5th starter.

Injuries have played a part. However, Ledee was not/is not going to the answer in the left. His return will provide the most modest return. O. Perez has been consistently mediorce throughout his career and his return will provide some stability but he is not the panacea.

Jose Valentin had cooled off significantly prior to his injury. To say, we would be markedly better with him is just speculation. The only person we are truly missing is Bradley and he cannot make-up said deficincies all by himself.

Basically, our injuries have to been to non-integral parts for the most part. What if Kent went down? JD? Phillips? Then, we could blame the injuries. Our hopes for this season did not rest on the Valetines and Ledee's. They rested on Lowe, Penny and to a lesser extent, Gagne.

This team has over-achieved since the start. It pains me to say this because I am a devout Dodger fan but I see a lot of denial and blind optimism lately.

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