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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

Surviving the Winter Doldrums
2006-01-07 21:43
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

I'm at a point in the offseason where I'm just desperate for some games. It's not for lack of topics to write about on Dodger Thoughts - my To Do list is as long as ever - but I'm numbed by the "what-if" chit chat and so eager for the real thing.

I haven't stopped caring, but right now the non-baseball world is much more interesting to me than the baseball world. The newspapers, magazines, books and videos on and about by nightstand siren-song me much more than Jeff Weaver Decision Day. And I've been bombarded with Meaning of Life messages in recent weeks - relatives falling ill, weird nightmares and daymares. Last week, I started the new Sam Cooke biography, and in the past three days, two figures in the opening chapters of his life, Lou Rawls and the Pilgrim Baptist Church in Chicago have met their demise. I don't need to be told to cherish every moment with my family - I just need more moments.

It's been a weird week. Nights that I would normally spend on the DT To Do list, I'm spending on my other To Do list. I started gathering figures for my 2006 taxes, for crying out loud. I'm eager to get on top of things, get some good stuff and necessary evil stuff in my rearview mirror, so that when Play Ball finally comes, I can sit back on the couch and let it engulf me.

I'd be lying on the couch right now, reading about Sam and the Soul Stirrers, but I've got two freelance stories due Sunday that I have to continue working on as soon as I've finished this confession. In the morning, we're taking the family to meet a friend of mine and her two kids at the park. Her husband won't be there - he's working on the road until March. Life doesn't stop. Which is good - I don't want it to stop. But life overwhelms, and that's not so good. Days and nights like this, I dream of moving somewhere closer to nowhere, to a land of slower pace. But even there, I'd still need work that pays and still need DT, too. I'd still have taxes and concern for my family; I'd still have books and newspapers piling up, and an entire world of wonders outside the window without the time to explore it. And I'm pretty sure that appliances break and sprinklers leak in the middle of nowhere, too.

I've long felt I love baseball because I'm so invested in its characters and its history. But do I love it also because when the games are on, I'm so involved that time and life do slow down? Baseball has a hold on me that pushes me to push things aside, to procrastinate things that I probably shouldn't. I've often mused about the time I've wasted watching baseball games when I could be doing other, more productive things. But maybe that's been a salvation all along. Baseball isn't life and death, baseball isn't family, but maybe baseball's pastoral timelessness, like a glimpse of sun in an Alaskan winter, is nutrient to my mind, body and soul.

I crave things that make me feel. And for whatever reason, baseball makes me feel. Baseball doesn't matter, and yet somehow, undeniably, it matters.

Comments (109)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-01-07 22:08:35
1.   Xeifrank
wow, that was like reading poetry. We all love baseball and an escape from the every day stresses of life and baseball is a great way to escape. Good luck with everything going on, whatever it may be.
best, Xei
2006-01-07 22:41:27
2.   SiGeg
Beautifully said. So many of us are right there with you.
2006-01-07 23:38:02
3.   caseybarker
Baseball provides me with two seemingly irreconcilable things: the opportunity to witness a "miracle" or find a hero, and an outlet for my mind. I still tear when I see Kirk Gibson golf that shot to left in 1988, and I enjoy evaluating players, playing GM in my mind during the offseason, and analyzing in-game strategies. There's just nothing like baseball.
2006-01-07 23:44:10
4.   Suffering Bruin
I've got a massive amount of work due tomorrow. I have to have it done before Monday morning or the people who count on me--my students--and the people who try to help me professionally do not look at me with concern. Yeah, I've been doing some procrastinating this vacation.

I think since I started to teaching, my DT posts have been reduced to one a week instead of one an hour (how I sometimes miss being a full-time dad) and yet I know that with a little more effort, I'll be happy with my new career. But my dedication to DT and the Dodgers... well, that's going to change, at least a little. No, it doesn't matter compared to family and career but it matters a little, right?

So I'll be up most of the night working and I'll be happy that I'm not the only one (good luck with those freelance pieces, Jon). And I'll take comfort in one of the finest pieces of writing I've seen in my lifetime--a piece that seems to speak directly to me--that will help me carry on through a long night and an even longer Spring.

And bring on that Spring, baby. Bring it on soon...

2006-01-08 00:09:27
5.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Here's a glimmer of hope: College ball at Arizona State starts in 19 days; for Stanford, USC and Long Beach's Dirtbags it's the week after that.
2006-01-08 00:12:18
6.   caseybarker
Go Beavers!
2006-01-08 00:16:31
7.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/college/top25/060105top25.html
Oregon State is ranked eighth?
2006-01-08 00:17:31
8.   Bob Timmermann
Oregon State went to Omaha last year and they bring back a lot of people.
2006-01-08 00:20:13
9.   caseybarker
Great pitching staff. Two of the three starters had sub-2.00 ERA's last year--in the PAC-10. There is concern about the offense, though, they lost Jacoby Ellsbury, Andy Jenkins, and a couple of other seniors.
2006-01-08 00:20:57
10.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
I'm still stuck in the Six-Pac South/North mindset.
As of last year, so was Jon:
"I loved the Six-Pac (that's how I spelled it). And the idea that a team outside the old Six-Pac (OSU) is leading the conference is what surprises me so. Hard to teach a young-but-aging dog new tricks."
http://dodgerthoughts.baseballtoaster.com/archives/180646.html
2006-01-08 00:28:11
11.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
The Pac-10 (actually, it's the Pac-9) has four teams ranked in BA's top 25:
8 - OSU
16 - ASU
17 - USC
25 - Cal
SEC placed seven in the rankings. It's faster to name who isn't there: Vandy, Kentucky, Georgia and the Alabama schools.
ACC has five teams ranked, with three in the top 10: Clemson, GA Tech and UNC.
A surprise: Miami is nowhere to be seen.
2006-01-08 00:30:35
12.   caseybarker
Then Miami will be there when it's over. I love the unpredictability of college baseball.
2006-01-08 02:29:19
13.   sactofan
It does matter, Jon. In fact, I envy your investment in the game.

I loved baseball as a kid. I dreamt of playing in the big leagues, idolizing the likes of Johnny Bench, George Brett and Steve Garvey. I thought I would make my fortune with baseball cards and eagerly awaited the next Beckett price guide. I loved playing baseball or even playing catch.

In high school, when I stopped playing the game, my interest faded. It did not translate beyond childhood. From 1986 to 2002, I was completely indifferent. Players I once knew finished their careers without my notice or attention.

Now I am an an internet-enabled baseball fan. I started listening to ball games on MLB.com in the background during work. The cadence of the game stoked a genuine interest. Soon, I was reading baseball sights (like DT) over my lunch hour. Now I love baseball again.

Now I have regret.

Attempting to catch what I once ignored, I have downloaded classic games to watch such as the 1988 WS Game 1. Chills. Incredible. How could I have missed that? If asked in November 1988 who had just won the world series, I wouldn't have known.

If asked now what I remember of fall 1988, I couldn't say anything specific. I was a junior in high school. I remember, but there is no timeline. I bet you remember, specifically, October 1988.

I regret my baseball lapse because it isn't just baseball. When you care, when baseball is great, you not only remember the game. You remember where you were, what you were doing.

It isn't time wasted, it is time spent finding a marker.

2006-01-08 07:01:03
14.   Sushirabbit
Good stuff, Jon, I think having a toddler really contributes to being 'overwhelmed'. In my case, it also cuts down on my ability to talk and relate with my wife, which in turn makes everything else more stressful.

Sacto, wow, nice writing, too. I went through a similar thing, only it was with the Dodgers. I ended up too busy to care about any baseball but the local Knoxville Jays, which I saw alot of from say '83-96. But my poetry mentor was a baseball fan from San Fran, he was also my best friend in '88 and he basically said "you're an idiot, if you don't come watch the WS with me"-- and so a wonderful marker was scribed into the road of my life. And it's as valuable as any other marker to me. Amidst all the girlfriend and job turmoil, I had a good friend that shared some passions. He's still the one guy I can always count on to understand me.

2006-01-08 09:20:15
15.   Sam DC
To close out what had already been a long 2005, New Years Eve brought emergency surgery for my wife. She's fine now, though recovery from her second major surgery this past year will be long, and the house of cards that was our work/family/school balance has been completely scrambled. So I readily join the "had enough reminders that every moment counts" crowd.

It's funny because we are considering reorganizing to have a slower, more-balanced pace, so your reflections (and cautions) on the subject are very timey and welcome for me.

On your main topic, I have found my transformation over the past couple of years -- driven almost completely by this web site -- from an in-season fan to a year-round fan to be a real source of satisfaction and fun. Certainly, there's nothing like the real thing and I sure can't wait til Spring. But I have been finding this new level of fan intensity, and the greater understanding of the game and the teams it has brought, to be a real -- and very welcome -- joy of its own.

2006-01-08 09:39:03
16.   RunninRebel
First time poster, and a lurker since October. I echo 15's statement, I've become a year-round fan now by checking this site daily. Someone mentions a player's name and I immediately run for the nearest Web site to check the player's stats. Maybe its a way to pass the time between the NFL, where my Chargers missed the playoffs, and spring training, either way its fun and helps me feel closer to the major obsession in my life - the Dodgers. Thank you Jon and to all the regular posters.
2006-01-08 09:48:10
17.   walbers
this is why i read this site every single day. thanks, Jon! rgds, will
2006-01-08 10:20:19
18.   Linkmeister
" appliances break and sprinklers leak in the middle of nowhere, too."

Have you been looking over my shoulder? Within the past month we've replaced a switch on our range ($107), replaced a ceiling fan ($154), and had to have a kitchen sink unclogged ($85).

Didn't Vinnie call baseball the toy store? I'm ready for some toys!

2006-01-08 10:52:12
19.   Bob Timmermann
It's odder that I think I've become a more engaged fan, yet I have no desire to renew my mini season ticket plan for Dodger Stadium.
2006-01-08 11:18:05
20.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
Is anyone else filling the off-season gap by going to the World Baseball Classic? I just bought two tickets to the Anaheim portion. $135 gets you a decent seat to three 2nd-round games.

Maybe I'm supposed to look down on this event, but I'm excited about it.

2006-01-08 11:27:18
21.   molokai
Great stuff Jon and Sactofan. Must be wierd to be able to go back and check out games you have no idea how it turned out. Jon, don't feel guilty about neglecting DT for some time with your family. Plenty of posters here can keep a thread going forever while you recharge whenever you need it.

I was very bummed to hear about the murders of the singer for "House of Freaks" and his family in Richmond. One of my favorite bands from the 80's who I haven't listened to in years. The murder of the whole family just left me in rage.

2006-01-08 11:54:52
22.   bill cox
Nice post Jon.Baseball so matters.When I look back on life there are obviously bigger events,but baseball has been a continuous narrative full of new episodes every April.Great elation like Orel and Gibson's homer in 1988,Tom Neidenfuhr kicking us in the teeth in 1985 and on and on.
I listened to Bob Gibson dueling Mickey Lolich over Armed Forces radio sitting on a bunker in Firebase Keene in Hau Nghia province in Viet Nam in 1968 and it might have been the only thing that convinced me America was still alive and well.
This last summer,loaded down with important tasks I shined them all on and went and watched the Suns play my localAA team.
Baseball ,this American's pastime.
2006-01-08 12:24:43
23.   Eric Enders
Wow, that was a heck of a post.
2006-01-08 13:11:51
24.   Bob Timmermann
Just skip the taxes, the IRS doesn't get all worked up about them anyway I hear.
2006-01-08 14:22:05
25.   Jon Weisman
Thanks for the nice comments. I just noticed that every paragraph in this post started with the letter I.
2006-01-08 14:25:42
26.   Bill Crain
Jon: Thanks for the warm welcome (invitation?) you posted on Bob's site, re: my post on Jay Seo. I got us a new chant: He's Jay So, He's Jay So… What? What? So What? So What? Yeah, okay, needs more work.

Of course I would post here--and today seems opportune--cause your daily messages are the basic source for Dodger Thinkers and I open your page first before the Times or even the more prestigious Daily News. It's the first word. Period. But, like you, I find myself 'numbed by the "what-if" chit chat' to the point that I haven't always got the patience to read all the way through 400 comments before adding something that may well have been said thrice before and debunked twice, and… there's that Thrice thing again… Where was I? Stuck inside of Mobile? Oh, yeah, overwhelmed by the sheer volume of voices, is what I meant to say. And thinking Bob's place, for the time being, may be better for this sort of ranting. You're the victim of your own successes.

Don't you sometimes feel something similar, moderating this cacophony? I suspect yes, based on your words today which indicate you have a life apart from the Game, unlike some of the rest of us. But, please, Mom, we're only dying. First game I saw with my Dad was Roy Campanella Night, sat so far in right field that we could just see Drysdale on the mound by leaning forward, but couldn't tell what the hitter was doing. And, no, we had no idea what we were getting into when we left for the Coliseum. But it's the Dodgers; it matters; you don't turn around and go home.

Seo, my point is: keep on truckin'. There are probably dozens of people waiting to see us play… No, I mean hundreds, maybe gazillions waiting for your daily input, reading religiously, thinking, not always joining the fray, not above it, more likely below it, but still obsessed with the way DePodesta was treated and reading Plaschke and doing spit-takes on the keyboard. (Did you see the Wikipedia entry on Plaschke before some neutral POV nerd got to it and took out all the good stuff? It's still there in the historical record, and no, I didn't write it, though I envy the ability to summon so much verbal venom, and no doubt the guy who did write it will be reading this post, so props and thank you's.) But I digress. . .

There are still guys on this site who would make the claim that Hee Seop Choi hit better in the number two spot because he needed "protection" from Drew or Kent. Hasn't that idiocy been yet given a decent burial, except maybe by Joe Morgan and his evil twin, the bald one? Bill James has spoken; why don't they listen.

So Jay Sew. Is he Mike Ramsey or Mike Deveraux or Rudy Law? Or Fernando? So, really, what I'm asking is, what if? What if? And Seo what?

2006-01-08 14:28:41
27.   Michael Green
In my classes, each March, I walk in and notice shirts and caps for NCAA basketball schools and say, "Who CARES about the NCAA playoffs. It's SPRING TRAINING!" No sport does more to combine athletic ability, intelligence, statistics, and history than baseball does, and as Ernie Harwell might say, that's what makes it America's game.

Now I'll contribute to that other aspect of baseball we all love, the whole notion of a hot stove league and second-guessing decisions. The following is from Joel Sherman, the baseball columnist for the otherwise despicable New York Post. I defer to those with far more expertise than I have. He listed five points about off-season maneuverings:

4. L.A. FLAW

Los Angeles spent $48.5 million on a new infield left side of shortstop Rafael Furcal and third baseman Bill Mueller that just happens to represent the two worst active hitters at Dodger Stadium. Both have .157 batting averages in Chavez Ravine; Furcal in 80 plate appearances, Mueller in 96. Furcal leaves Turner Field, where he hit .321 last year, ninth best at home in the NL.

2006-01-08 14:40:44
28.   Eric L
27 Sherman might have been on to something, but using the 80 and 96 plate appearances is hardly damning evidence that the moves were bad.

Furcal has 3649 PAs in his career. Mueller has 4760 PAs in his career. The amount of PAs they have at Dodger Stadium is a super small sample.

Sherman should have found another way to make his point that the signings were subpar.

2006-01-08 14:54:25
29.   Bob Timmermann
25
Thanks for the nice comments. I just noticed that every paragraph in this post started with the letter I.

Jon is just getting us ready to listen to Kenny Lofton being interviewed.

2006-01-08 14:58:46
30.   popup
I too look forward to the new baseball season. Baseball has the good fortune to begin its season in the spring, unlike the other sports. In the meantime there is the winter. I don't have quite the distaste for what I guess could be called the non baseball season as Rogers Hornsby, but I like his quote: "People ask me what I do in the winter when there is no baseball. I'll tell you what I do, I sit and stare out the window until it is spring."

Stan from Tacoma

2006-01-08 15:11:14
31.   Bob Timmermann
Rogers stared out the window when he wasn't at the race track blowing all of his salary.
2006-01-08 15:12:21
32.   Jon Weisman
He also didn't want to read, because he thought that would only ruin his batting eye, right?
2006-01-08 15:22:35
33.   Bob Timmermann
Or go to the movies.

He also believed that you needed to eat one steak and some ice cream every day.

Rogers was not one of baseball's more likeable superstars.

He also died of heart disease, but he did make it to age 66.

2006-01-08 15:29:31
34.   Marty
21 I saw House of Freaks a few times back in the 80s. They were always a good show. That murder was a big topic of conversation yesterday with my friends.
2006-01-08 15:49:59
35.   Steve
19 -- Funny that, because I was thinking about ending the boycott and buying a mini-plan.
2006-01-08 15:55:07
36.   Bob Timmermann
35
I mainly don't want to buy a mini-plan because I can't find someone to go with me most of the time, so it's easier to just buy a single when I have the time to go.
2006-01-08 18:53:22
37.   Sam DC
Hmmmm . . . Bob and Steve buy a mini-plan together . . . I feel a sitcom coming on.

Speaking of which, tonight watching a few mins of the Steelers win I learned that CBS is broadcasting a landmark episode of Cold Case in which the story is told through the songs of philosopher poet Bruce Springsteen.

Reminds of the time NBC promo'd "A Very Special Blossom." I mean, it's one thing to run a show like Blossom, but to hype an episode as "Very Special" is just a little too much for me. After seeing that spot, it has become a running joke in my house when something is trying way too hard to call it a "Very Special Blossom."

2006-01-08 18:55:04
38.   molokai
Deadwood is back. Something that trivial should not bring me so much joy. The ghetti is ready, let the spectacle begin.
2006-01-08 19:11:26
39.   Steve
Can midnight come soon enough?
2006-01-08 19:19:23
40.   Bob Timmermann
You only have to wait until 9 on the West Coast.
2006-01-08 19:21:16
41.   Steve
Who says there's west coast bias?
2006-01-08 19:32:56
42.   heato
This is wrong, right?

http://tinyurl.com/7cs3y

2006-01-08 19:44:02
43.   Bob Timmermann
Yeah, they put the wrong headline on the AP story.
2006-01-08 20:00:34
44.   Steve
Wrong in so many ways
2006-01-08 20:10:33
45.   LAT
Sam, hope your wife's recovery is a smooth one. Your comment "I have found my transformation over the past couple of years -- driven almost completely by this web site -- from an in-season fan to a year-round fan to be a real source of satisfaction and fun" is perfect. However, there is a certain curse that goes along with being a year-around fan. In particular it really makes these winter days drag. In fact, it has occurred to me a many times this off season how ironic the Dodger turmoil has been. On the one hand, there have been many obvious and serious problems. On the other, these problems have been entertaining and made for a shorter off season. If you are an Angel fan you are enduring a rather boring winter.

In any event, the dull days of winter baseball fodder are made enjoyable because of Jon and DT.

2006-01-08 20:14:08
46.   Jon Weisman
37 - With great anticipation, I have begun watching that Cold Case episode - only to find that their using the Springsteen songs to tell a story that mostly happened before those songs came out. Which wouldn't bother me except the characters were clearly shown to be listening to one of the songs on the radio in the opening scene.

The plot's fine so far, but the songs have been more distracting than useful in telling the story.

2006-01-08 20:18:33
47.   Jon Weisman
46 - "they're using," not "their using"
2006-01-08 20:18:39
48.   Bob Timmermann
Is someone getting a union card and a wedding coat for their 19th birthday in the episode?
2006-01-08 20:21:00
49.   Sam DC
I believe that happens in the wink of a young girl's eye.
2006-01-08 20:22:34
50.   Jon Weisman
I think the songs are all off "Born in the U.S.A.," so I expect someone to feel like a freight train is running through the middle of his or her head.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-01-08 20:34:25
51.   D4P
And the sheets soaking wet.
2006-01-08 20:34:38
52.   Jon Weisman
Oh, I was wrong - one from "The River." Cool choice.
2006-01-08 20:46:56
53.   Jon Weisman
And an alternate version of another "River" song. They did a lot better with these last two than the earlier choices.
2006-01-08 21:00:23
54.   Jon Weisman
I just read the blurb for CSI:NY at 9 p.m. - looks like it was based on the Dodger Stadium shooting incident from a couple years back.
2006-01-08 21:06:29
55.   D4P
I didn't realize that AD afficionados watched stuff like CSI.
2006-01-08 21:09:58
56.   Bob Timmermann
In the offseason, some people are forced to watch CSI spinoffs. I believe they are on TV all the time.
2006-01-08 21:11:08
57.   D4P
I'm still waiting for CSI:Dunsmuir.
2006-01-08 21:11:33
58.   Jon Weisman
55 - I don't. Never have.
2006-01-08 21:12:18
59.   Bob Timmermann
I'm still looking at the chimney outside Ned Colletti's office to see if white smoke is coming out to indicate that Jeff Weaver was re-signed.

Or it could be some other type of smoke.

2006-01-08 21:21:22
60.   King of the Hobos
Yahoo says nothing happened

Jeff Weaver, who went 14-11 with a 4.22 ERA for the Dodgers last year, did not reach an agreement with Los Angeles before the midnight EST deadline.

http://tinyurl.com/atnd8

2006-01-08 21:27:41
61.   natepurcell
I'm still looking at the chimney outside Ned Colletti's office to see if white smoke is coming out to indicate that Jeff Weaver was re-signed.

hahaha. LOLOLOL.

thats a lifetime DT quote right there.

2006-01-08 21:28:21
62.   Warren
60

Yeah the AP is carrying that. I liked watching Jeff and he did have a boatload of quality starts. But all things considered I like our staff just fine without him. I just hope Colletti doesn't panic and trade a top prospect and Brazoban for a year of David Wells.

2006-01-08 21:31:17
63.   Bob Timmermann
Time for Pedro Astacio's triumphant return!
2006-01-08 21:36:36
64.   Jon Weisman
63 - Always and forever.
2006-01-08 21:50:15
65.   Bob Timmermann
Good thing that episode of "Cold Case" had good music, because it had one of its weaker stories. Not that most of the Jerry Bruckheimer series have the greatest writing to begin with.
2006-01-08 21:52:21
66.   D4P
Anybody watch the two Scrubs episodes on Tuesday? I didn't think they were all that great. I also thought last season was the weakest. Has it run its course?
2006-01-08 21:59:18
67.   Bob Timmermann
I also wondered why Christine Elise was chosen to play one of the "after" characters since I still think of her as the insane girlfriend on "90210".

Then I checked her bio on IMDB and she's a few months older than me and she's the right age for the character.

When did I become the "after" photo?

2006-01-08 22:03:44
68.   Jon Weisman
66- They were B, B+ episodes. I don't think the series has run its course.
2006-01-08 22:06:00
69.   D4P
68
I read somewhere (possibly in your interview...?) that John McGinley thought this season has 2 B+ episodes and the rest A+. I hope those first two were the B plusses.
2006-01-08 22:10:27
70.   Jon Weisman
It's possible Johnny C. had a slightly higher opinion of the season in the interview than you might.

The worst things about the premiere were the POV shots from the new intern. Once they let that go, they were fine.

2006-01-08 22:12:20
71.   Jon Weisman
Has "Grey's Anatomy" set a record for earliest clip show ever? They've got one tonight; it's their 22nd episode.
2006-01-08 22:16:39
72.   Bob Timmermann
I think "Lost" had a clip show last year and has another one this week.
2006-01-08 22:21:36
73.   D4P
70
Yeah, I didn't care for the POV shots either. I also felt like most of the cast wasn't really "into it".

Last season, I felt like JD had gone from being humorously girly to overly gay, kinda like Tobias has done. Not that there's anything wrong with that (i.e. being gay), but it's just not as funny.

2006-01-08 22:22:27
74.   Jon Weisman
Hmm, I guess. Somehow, I think Lost is entitled, though. Grey's Anatomy isn't that hard to keep up with.
2006-01-08 22:26:35
75.   Jon Weisman
"I felt like JD had gone from being humorously girly to overly gay, kinda like Tobias has done"

Wow. J.D. is miles from Tobias. There isn't even a comparison. J.D. isn't close to being a gay character, and Tobias always has been from the start. The closest comparison to Tobias, frankly, is the Todd.

2006-01-08 22:33:11
76.   D4P
I don't think JD is actually gay, but I felt like his girliness has came across more as gayness as the series has progressed.

BTW: The "Elliot working at another hospital" story line sure didn't last long. I never thought that it would really work out, but I thought they'd at least try it for longer than 2 episodes.

2006-01-08 22:39:07
77.   Bob Timmermann
"Lost" ran its clip show after episode #20.
2006-01-08 22:56:24
78.   LAT
What is a clip show and what is POV?
2006-01-08 23:19:10
79.   Eric Enders
Dodger-related college baseball news, from BA:

"Michael from Woodland Hills, CA asks:
I am shocked that you see Pepperdine as a top fifteen team. Top 25, fine, but in all seriousnous what is it that you see that makes this team a top team? Do you realistically see them making a run at Omaha this year?

A: Will Kimmey: Be shocked then. This team was a win away from winning a regional at Long Beach last year that included both LBSU and Southern California. It returns the WCC's pitcher of the year in Paul Coleman and best freshman arm in Barry Enright. The offense returns every key hitter aside from Steve Kleen, and replaces him with transfer Justin Tellam, who went boom 11 times at UNLV last year. Chad Tracy is the best hitter in the WCC and one of the nation's best as well. This is a talented, veteran team."

2006-01-08 23:21:19
80.   Eric Enders
Also, to bring this back full circle to TV, Kimmey says the #6 draft prospect in college baseball this year is LBSU dirtbag Evan Longoria.
2006-01-08 23:22:13
81.   Eric Enders
Actually, we have the #6 pick, don't we. Hmm...
2006-01-08 23:33:06
82.   Strike4
Given the incompleted negotiations, it looks like Jeff Weaver thinks the grass will be greener somewhere else.
2006-01-08 23:36:43
83.   Brendan
78

I didn't want to answer this but I can't leave you hanging, LAT.

POV is Point Of View. In this context I guess the episode was being told from the POV of an intern.

Clip show is clips from the entire season rolled into one episode to catch the viewers up to date if they haven't seen all the episodes.

2006-01-08 23:41:58
84.   Eric Enders
"Given the incompleted negotiations, it looks like Jeff Weaver thinks the grass will be greener somewhere else."

Or at least it'll have those little red hairs in it.

2006-01-08 23:49:55
85.   Eric L
84 Jeff seems more like the purple hair type.
2006-01-09 00:02:21
86.   Bob Timmermann
Dan Warthen will be the Dodgers bullpen coach.

I think I better line up early for playoff tickets.

2006-01-09 00:11:17
87.   Strike4
I guess we all know Jeff's recruiting pitch to other teams about how he's cleaned up his act:

Who do you love, I hope it's me...
I've been changing, as you can plainly see...
I felt the joy and I learned about the pain that my mama said...
If I should choose to make it part of me
Would surely strike me dead...

2006-01-09 00:56:10
88.   GoBears
Great post, Jon. Yet more proof that there's more to writing than mere literacy (or in some corners of the web, mere access to a keyboard). You're a WRITER, with a great ear and a very adroit touch.

I will differ with you on one substantive point, however. As much as I agree with your assessment of the role of baseball, and the games themselves, I really love the off-season too. Not the "hey, do you think Florida would give us Dontrelle and Cabrera for Repko, Schmoll, Wunsch and EJack?" kind of nonsense, but the anticipation, and the only real opportunity for major shifts in team quality.

Once the season starts, one joy of each game is that it is unpredictable, no matter how much we learn about player analysis, but over the medium term, it isn't random.

I see pre-season analysis as akin to astronomy. There's a whole more that we don't know and can't predict than there is that we do and can, but it's a much more interesting science now than it was when all we had to help us understand celestial matters was church doctrine. The off-season is the time for theoretical development and hypothesis generation. The season itself is the time for empirical testing.

But then again, that probably explains why I'm an academic, and you're a writer.

2006-01-09 01:44:43
89.   natepurcell
lets all celebrate, we dodged the weaver contract!

now, we need to root for teams like the angels or red sox to sign him, so we can get their first round pick.

no to mets, dbacks, nationals and O's. yes to angels, red sox, brewers, padres, phillies, or cardinals sign him.

not the mets. we would still get their 2nd round pick because wagner is rated higher.

2006-01-09 06:47:19
90.   dzzrtRatt
Reasons why I love DT, #1120:

Because everyone here seems to know what WHIP and OPS means, but at least one frequent poster can actually ask this:

What is a clip show and what is POV?

2006-01-09 08:01:11
91.   molokai
I thought a Clip show was when a key member of the show was killed off or "clipped" to hyke ratings:) I'll stick to programming and leave the entertainment business to the pro's.
2006-01-09 08:05:34
92.   bagg4
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on baseball's place in life. It is an escape, a necessary speed bump if you will. I'm going to save this to share with people who don't get the rhythms of baseball.
2006-01-09 09:07:58
93.   LAT
Thanks Brendan and Ratt. For reasons I am not entirely sure of my TV time has been reduced to sports and movies. I have tried new shows but can't keep up with them, except for Encourage which I watch like a religion but there aren't enough episodes yet and the entire show is based on the 5 characters POV. I think clip shows and POV are relatively new. In the old days instead of a POV episode they just gave Chachi and Mork their own shows.

(Bringing Chachi's name up here. That must be some violation of the DT code of ethics. If not, it should be. What's next a Knightrider reference)

2006-01-09 09:11:54
94.   Jon Weisman
Since Chachi is now Bob Loblaw on Arrested Development, it's okay.
2006-01-09 09:12:58
95.   Marty
I have friends who actually liked "The A Team" and "Three's Company". They remain my friends regardless.
2006-01-09 09:14:57
96.   db1022
These recent examples don't seem like traditional "clip shows", rather a summary of the series to date. That way people new to the show can get up to speed on the storyline. Desperate Housewives did it last year.

When I think "clip show", I think of it as the writers' excuse to take a week off. The clips aren't necessarily a summary of events to date, just a flimsy excuse to film 3 minutes of new material and call it a show. The Seinfeld one comes on quite frequently in syndication and is probably the only episode I turn off right away.

Catfish Stew has an interesting thought on an A's-BoSox-Dodgers David Wells scenario (involving Duchscherer, Edwin, and Wells). It does not sound like Ned will give Boston what it wants straight up for Wells (Broxton +)

2006-01-09 09:17:30
97.   blue22
96 - Oops, how did I get into my old screenname? This feels better.
2006-01-09 09:18:44
98.   JJoeScott
Speaking of doing taxes ...

Does anyone have a recommendation as to what retailer has the best price on Turbo Tax? I usually end up buying at Sam's Club.

Thanks!

2006-01-09 09:23:18
99.   Jon Weisman
96 - Just because they aren't traditional clip shows doesn't mean they're not clip shows, serving the same purpose of giving writers a week off. It's really just the difference between a comedy clip show and a serialized drama clip show.
2006-01-09 09:27:16
100.   JJoeScott
95 - I think you can LOVE both Three's Company and AD. John Ritter ... Come on!
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-01-09 09:28:50
101.   blue22
99 - Oh yeah, they are certainly "clip shows". It just seems now they serve the dual purpose of getting people up to speed on "water cooler shows" where many viewers may have missed the first dozen or so episodes. That's what I thought when I saw the plug for Grey's Anatomy. Now these shows bring them up to date on the story. I don't remember old clip shows doing that. It's really a good idea, since I think many people are hesitant about jumping into a show mid-stream.
2006-01-09 09:32:03
102.   D4P
100
I loved Three's Company and I love AD. However, the former was John Ritter's pinnacle. It was all downhill from there.
2006-01-09 09:32:10
103.   Jon Weisman
101 - It doesn't do much good if the series doesn't promote the show as a catch-up episode. So did ABC do that? I don't know.
2006-01-09 09:54:59
104.   Jon Weisman
Michael Knisley has a Hall of Fame vote?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2273401

2006-01-09 10:35:23
105.   Berkeley Doug
re: Hall of Fame

Where is the love for the Cobra - Dave Parker. Who can forgot the "We Are Family" Pirates?

2006-01-09 11:12:12
106.   Linkmeister
104 That's not a typo? Although why Michael Kinsley (late of the LA Times editorial page and Slate) would have an HOF vote surpasses idiocy too.
2006-01-09 11:23:35
107.   gcrl
98

i got my copy at best buy in early december - they had a deal where the simpsons season 7 was only 9.99 if you bought turbotax at the same time. i don't recall the price of turbotax itself, but i do know it was the same as other big box retailers. most places will price match or give price adjustments after the fact, so i would recommend just checking the sunday flyers.

2006-01-09 11:30:15
108.   Bob Timmermann
That's Michael Knisley.

Or the guy pictured in this link:

http://forums.nyyfans.com/showthread.php?t=6146

2006-01-09 11:38:31
109.   Jon Weisman
Oh. Weird.

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