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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

Score :)
2006-01-23 11:02
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Not everyone can be Kobe, but here's my story ...

Our living room has no furniture; it hasn't since we bought our house 18 months ago. With two itty-bitty children, it didn't really make sense to build a salon in a room best used as a play area, and anyway, once we moved in, we didn't have much money left to go that route.

This didn't stop my wife last year from dropping hints the size of Stonehenge about her "push present." (Guys, if you don't know what that is, I'm not gonna be the one to break it to you.) After weeks of unseemly negotiations, I gave in to her desires but extracted an Andre Ethier-like concession, meaningful to me if perhaps no one else. On a wall in our living room, despite it being the first thing that other moms, dignitaries or the paparazzi would see upon crossing our threshold, I would be allowed to hang a Nerf basketball hoop.

The living room is actually almost as perfect a setup for a modest Nerf halfcourt as you could want. A loft, housing our little home office, hangs over the room, and the hoop is installed low on the front of the overhang, about eight feet off the ground. It's a good height to make dunks challenging but not too challenging, and it also means that you can run through your layup or dunk into the empty space under the overhang, instead of banging into a wall like Pete Reiser.

The floor is hardwood, probably installed around the time that Kareem was bringing home the Lakers' first NBA championship won in Boston Garden. And thanks to the lack of furniture, if you can avoid the toys here, there and everywhere, there is ample room for all kinds of outside shots.

Saturday night, guarded from in front by a children's play tent and from above by the sloping roof of the house, using the same small, tattered Nerf basketball I played with in my childhood room in Woodland Hills when Magic did his Game 6 1980 tour de force in Philadelphia, on my second try ever from this distance, I swished a shot from 18 feet. And exulted. The whole family was in the room at the time; none of them saw it, none of them appreciated it. Eventually, my wife smiled one of those "My husband's a little boy - maybe too much of a little boy, but I'll go with it" smiles. All this happened, and my arms were still up in the air in triumph for another 5 or 10 seconds. Eighteen feet at home - that's gotta be like double on a real court.

Had they given it any thought, no one would have thought I could do it. But that wouldn't have phased me. Why, it was only six hours earlier that for the first time, I took my 1-year-old and 3-year-old to a UCLA basketball game at Pauley Pavilion, which wouldn't have been the least bit noteworthy except that I did it solo, while my wife worked. For 48 hours leading up to the event, she, my parents and anyone else who knew me revealed their true lack of faith in my fatherly abilities, puzzled that I would even attempt such a quest and pessimistic about its success.

I have to admit, their doomsday fears started to get to me, especially after the kids had a meltdown while teeth were being brushed two hours before gametime. I had thoughts of calling the experiment off. But I wanted to see if I could do it.

As it turned out, it went fine. Now, you have to understand that I never intended to stay the whole game, because it started at 12:45 p.m. and naps needed to begin back home by 2 or 2:30. So, the fact that we made it to our seats before the National Anthem, that my daughter enjoyed the players and the cheerleaders and that my son even watched in between the squirms of a kid who just wants to run everywhere, was another triumph, allowing me to leave with head held high even though there were still more than nine minutes to go in the first half.

Sunday brought a similar victory. If the last one seemed modest, this one will, too - but you have to understand that my wife and I were both born with some serious laziness and paranoia in our DNA, the combination of which often makes us shy away from the unfamiliar or untested, however much we want to assay it. Nevertheless, we made it down south of Pico Boulevard to the beach, where we rented bicycles with baby seats and rode for nearly an hour with the kids strapped in behind us. We had fun, and no one got hurt (although there were a couple of slippery enough moments to keep us humble).

All in all, a good weekend, one that allows me to greet an otherwise unwanted Monday morning with more pleasure than pain. It comes almost as a footnote that I have begun to freelance for SI.com, a semi-fulfillment of a dream I had two decades ago. Back in college, I had set my career goal as being a columnist for Sports Illustrated, the magazine. And while this isn't that, while this isn't 81 points in a game, while it might not even be an 18-foot Nerf swish, it's somewhat rewarding for me, and I hope you don't mind the egotism of me pointing it out. (Thanks are also due to SI freelancer Alex Belth of Bronx Banter, who endorsed me to our now mutual editor.)

If nothing else, my first piece itself should be of some interest. It's an early look at whether the National League West can regain its self-esteem in 2006; feel free to comment about it below. (And I guess it's worth noting that I'm no longer the Phantom of the Opera, my visage hidden from view in the bowels of the Internet.)

If none of this is to your taste, well, there's always NATPE.

Comments (146)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-01-23 11:21:22
1.   Disabled List
Awesome! Congratulations, Jon. (Nice picture, too.)
2006-01-23 11:24:54
2.   Bob Timmermann
Congratulations on the spot. And you got a very nice picture to boot.
2006-01-23 11:25:57
3.   Bob Timmermann
But the Variety article ain't free!
2006-01-23 11:29:07
4.   Linkmeister
You're now a small cog in the ever-grinding wheels of Big Media!

Seriously, that's a pretty big deal. Congratulations, Jon. (Now, can you do something about the three issues I haven't gotten?) ;)

(It occurs to me that if someone were to develop a new media-related board game on the lines of Monopoly, my first sentence would fit on one of the squares, along with the instructions to "Collect $50."

2006-01-23 11:31:10
5.   Jon Weisman
3 - Thanks. I guess I'm the faultline for the tectonics of Internet economic models.
2006-01-23 11:31:25
6.   fanerman
Nice article (and pic, too), and nice use of "fancy" statistics.

Your stories of triumph with the nerf basketball bring back some great memories. Some of my brother and I's (that sounds wrong) most hardfought brotherly rivalries (and best memories) came on the nerf basketball "court."

By the way, I had to look up what a "push present" was. That doesn't look like much fun.

2006-01-23 11:44:50
7.   JJoeScott
A photo AND an archive. Stay classy, Jon!
2006-01-23 11:46:59
8.   Ken Arneson
Awesome, Jon! Many congrats. I'm very happy for you.

And next time I'm in LA, I hereby challenge you to a game of Nerf H-O-R-S-E. If they ever have a world championship for shooting at a 7-foot-high Nerfhoop under an 8-foot ceiling, I think I could contend. It may be my single most advanced athletic skill.

2006-01-23 11:49:41
9.   Curtis Lowe
Congrats. Nice piece and I hope you enjoy your posh new column.
2006-01-23 11:56:43
10.   Jon Weisman
8 - I would assume I would lose, then - but I was just on fire this weekend. We'll see if it's a fluke.
2006-01-23 11:58:11
11.   Midwest Blue
A great opportunity, Jon. Make the most of it!

BTW, my favorite line from the article (appropriately describing the 2005 LADs):

"Practically eating themselves alive like some deranged underworld beast"

2006-01-23 11:58:43
12.   Rainman
Jon,
Congrats on the new gig! It's about time mainstream media starting recognizing talents like yours, and bring new, fresh perspectives to the same ol' online fluff. I'll be an avid reader - thanks for all you do!
2006-01-23 11:59:46
13.   BlueMamma
COngratulations on your kids' first big game! My daughters have all been born during the summer, so I've brought them to Dodger games as tiny infants (including one memorable game with a 3-week-old). Now I have a son, born in November, who has to wait until he's almost six months old for his first big game. Oh well, the little Dodger suit I've got should fit him by Opening Day, anyway!

So, have they gone to any Dodger games yet?

2006-01-23 12:00:45
14.   dagwich
Contrats Jon!! All your alums at Collier St. Elementary can bask a little in the glow of the spotlight.

Here's hoping this cup of coffee turns into a regular big league gig.

2006-01-23 12:01:58
15.   Blue Thrue and Thrue
OK, enough already! Those who haven't bought "The Best of Dodger Thoughts," kick in so Jon can get a new Nerf ball. (My copy arrived a few days ago, and it's even better than my high hopes allowed for.)

As for your trip to Pauley, it reminds me of my son's first trip to DS. He was 5 months old, bouncing around and having a great time. But every time the applause got loud, he just broke down. It scared the hell out of him. And this was Piazza's first weekend in DS as a Met, so the applause was loud and often.

Anyway, great piece Jon. Congrats on the gig, and the 18-foot swish. You want no part of me in a game or Horse, though. ;)

2006-01-23 12:02:29
16.   Daniel Zappala
Congrats, Jon. Loved the "deranged underworld beast" line too -- surely they'll be better this year.

If "push presents" were a tradition in Utah, the entire state would be bankrupt.

2006-01-23 12:04:03
17.   Rich Lederer
Congrats on the SI.com gig, Jon. Much deserved. The magazine is next.
2006-01-23 12:05:33
18.   Andrew Shimmin
Okay, okay, you're in SI, congratulations and all. But, c'mon. 18 feet? With a nerf ball? And we're all just supposed to believe that? Sounds like another Big Media tall tale, to me. Oh, the whole family was in the room but somehow missed this? Sure, guy; sure.

Congrats Jon, on all aspects of this post (if the nerf shot thing is actually true; if it isn't, congrats only on the true stuff).

2006-01-23 12:13:04
19.   Jon Weisman
13 - They've been to several Dodger games, but always with both parents.

14 - Dagwich, are you a Collier alum in disguise?

15 - Loud music over the speakers is by far the scariest aspect of ballgames for the kids.

2006-01-23 12:23:28
20.   Colorado Blue
Great article Jon. Nice smile too! My favorite was your mention of last year's 1st base production. So a big sore spot here that it seemed almost understated in the SI article (that is how it should be though in an obviously unbiased article). It seems no matter how much work you get, Dodger Thoughts will always be a huge passion for you; thank goodness!

Coincidentally, I just order The Best of Dodger Thoughts... I finally finished Bruce Feiler's 'Walking the Bible'. Great book. I didn't want to start yours until I finished that one. That time has finally arrived and I can't wait to read your book.

2006-01-23 12:27:57
21.   dagwich
19 -- not in disguise. I wear it proudly! You and I once discussed the orange grove that borders the (now retired) school. Like many people, I attended but did not graduate -- we moved from Woodland Hills to North Hollywood after my 3rd grade experience with Miss Tigger (at least that's how I remember her name. Who knows what it really is/was).
2006-01-23 12:28:37
22.   Daniel Zappala
Incidentally, Jon -- and this should make your stomach squirm given your childhood memories posted last week -- my biggest triumph a few years back was starting a weekly ritual of taking my 2, 3, and 5-year-olds grocery shopping on Saturdays while mom had some time home alone. They actually liked it, especially if we got one of those shopping carts that looks like a race car. Now they've mostly grown out of it, even with the temptation of being able to get a free cookie from the bakery department.
2006-01-23 12:30:01
23.   Johnson
Nice job, Jon! Like Colorado Blue in 20 I also liked the subtle, factual mention of the effectiveness of the Choi/Saenz platoon last year. Be sure to keep us informed whenever you have a new piece up; I'm sure I'm not the only one around here who doesn't peruse SI.com too often.
2006-01-23 12:30:45
24.   Jon Weisman
21 - Oh yeah - I remember now.

20 - Thanks to you and others who taken the opportunity to buy the book.

2006-01-23 12:31:14
25.   Derek Smart
Super-duper congrats, Jon! There's no doubt you deserve it.

And I commend your bravery on taking the kids to the basketball game. I, myself, would not take my singular, non-plural, near-two-year-old kid to any sporting event that did not afford her ample opportunity to run around, so your daring deeds of toddler entertainment in a somewhat physically restrictive setting are exceptionally impressive to me.

2006-01-23 12:36:27
26.   CT Bum
Let me add to the kudos Jon, both for SI.com, and the 18 footer!

How you ever got your wife to concede to that Nerf hoop in the living room is beyond me...I'll have to call you in for my next "negotiation session". Would a box seat to the game of your choice be a reasonable fee?

Once again, congrats.

2006-01-23 12:36:52
27.   Jeromy
Swoosh! He shoots, he scores. Congrats, Jon! I can relate to several points in the post, but particularly to looks your wife gives you and the challenge of taking little kids (solo) on excursions into big crowds. Foolishly, I once did this with all four, ages 8, 4, 2, and six months! Heck, taking all of them to the grocery store by myself is enough of a challenge.
2006-01-23 12:44:27
28.   Colorado Blue
You ain't lived until you've single-handedly taken your then-6, 4, and 3 year old to the local indoor pool ;)
I score big points with the wife with this one. It is easier now that they are year older and the two oldest can swim enough to be trusted in water that is shallower than they are tall.
Also, we like going to Coors Field as a family, but there are spontaneous moments when I want to go to a game and I'll let my wife off the hook and take the kiddos. Yeah, they squirm a lot but the promise of 7th Inning Stretch ice cream gives them something to look forward to.
2006-01-23 12:50:12
29.   Bob Timmermann
Jerry Crasnick pens a mash note column about Grady Little in ESPN insider today.

Colletti describes Little as a "street-smart manager who grew up in the country."

I describe myself as an "avenue-smart librarian who grew up in the suburbs."

2006-01-23 12:55:29
30.   Terry A
Congratulations, Jon. It's well deserved and highly overdue.

And since we're waxing nostaligic about playing Nerfball as kids...

... Can I have Dodger Thoughts when you move out? :-)

-- Terry Austin

2006-01-23 12:57:04
31.   Mark
30 posts and nobody has spouted the letters "MSM" yet. There may be hope for us all...
2006-01-23 13:04:37
32.   SMY
29 Well, as long as the beat writers thought he was competent. That's the most important thing in LA, right?
2006-01-23 13:05:36
33.   Woody
Nice article, Jon. I can't imagine that there won't be many more for you in the future as your reputation becomes more widespread.

Your nerf basketball story reminded me of my own misspent youth. Since I'm about 20 years older than you, I don't remember having nerf stuff back in the late 50s. I first got interested in NBA basketball in 1957 (same year as I became a Dodger fan) after my uncle took me to a Knicks game at the old Madison Square Garden which was on 48th street and 8th Ave.. I immediately became a rabid Knicks fan and made a cardboard basket which I scotch-taped to top of the door-jam in our living room. I used a pair of rolled-up socks for a ball, and ran around in my boxer shorts and a "wife-beater" undershirt on which I had written "Knicks" in crayon.

It was great fun for a kid on those gray winter days in New Jersey. The Knicks of the late 50s and early 60s were just as bad as they are now, but I loved them anyway.

2006-01-23 13:05:46
34.   Shmueli4
Jon,

Loved the article. How often can we expect these pieces?

2006-01-23 13:15:24
35.   ToyCannon
Long ago in a different lifetime I used to play nerf baseball in the living room of my brothers house. We were in our 20's, married and still very much little boys. I can remember taking out the whole fireplace mantle with one glorious Toy Cannon swing leaving nothing in my wake but broken candles and shattered picture frames. My brothers wife and children looked at me with horror but the game continued after a quick cleanup but I think that was the last time we ever played nerf baseball.
2006-01-23 13:17:48
36.   ToyCannon
Congratulations on the SI gig and taking the kids to the game. Furniture is overrated, were we any more comfortable then we when we were slumped in our bean bags with the floor as our table?
2006-01-23 13:19:01
37.   Bob Timmermann
"Nerf" as in the foam rubber ball came into use in 1970.

"nerf" is also a drag racing term for bumping another car.

"nerf" also is a very old word meaning tendon (sort of like "nerve") but has disappeared from the English language after the 17th century.

So speaketh the Oxford English Dictionary.

2006-01-23 13:22:18
38.   Marty
Nice article Jon. SI is lucky to have you.

Also, as a fellow homeowner, I hope you survived the windstorm last night better than I did. A 100-foot section of fence blew down in my back yard. I'm now in the insurance death spiral :)

2006-01-23 13:28:34
39.   FirstMohican
Wow. Congrats, and, while I'm no Sports Analyst Analyst, I say it's well deserved.
2006-01-23 13:34:13
40.   Bob Timmermann
You mean people own homes? Is that allowed under American law?

I really hate to think that I've been wasting all my time working for the lord of manor.

2006-01-23 13:35:19
41.   gvette
Jon, Best of luck with SI.com.

Having perenially been subjected to the same parental "doomsday fears", I really appreciate (and have shared) your feelings of triumph for your adventures with your kids.

2006-01-23 13:35:57
42.   Curtis Lowe
Jon,

What are the majority of your articles going to be about? Are there any restrictions or limitations to your body of work? Or are you free to comment on anything you like at anytime? As I do with any new venture, I hope and your wife take the time for a well earned celebratory night out.

2006-01-23 13:39:59
43.   DXMachina
Congrats on the new gig. I look at SI.com's baseball coverage quite a bit anyway, and now I have another reason.
2006-01-23 13:42:57
44.   Bob Timmermann
From Ken Gurnick's mailbag on Dodgers.com:

I read that Danys Baez will be a free agent after this season. Doesn't he have one more year of team controlled arbitration eligibility left?
--Andrew S., Los Angeles
At the end of the 2006 season, Baez will have five years and 102 days of Major League service. Under ordinary circumstances, he would not qualify for free agency. However, after being released by Cleveland following the 2003 season, without even enough service time to qualify for arbitration he signed an unusual free agent contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays that guaranteed him $6 million for two years with a club option for 2006 at $4 million. The contract also allowed Baez to declare free agency after the 2006 season if the Devil Rays picked up the option, which they did. So, unless the Dodgers agree to an extension, Baez will be a free agent after the season.

Andrew S.?
THE Andrew S.
Wow!

2006-01-23 13:56:18
45.   Steve
Whoever Andrew S. is, he can't leave well enough alone.
2006-01-23 13:59:43
46.   Bradley Strong
Jon-
Congrats on the SI accomplishment. I only hope this leads to bigger opportunities for you. There are certain things that we cannot wait for our children to experience along with us. For me, it was taking my two to their first Dodger game last summer. As long as your expectations of your kids are in check, don't let anyone discourage you from enjoying those "Proud Dad Moments." That is what it is all about. Lastly, I don't know what is more surprising, the fact that you still have your original Nerf hoop or that your wife allows you to hang it. I bought one for my son, not realizing that our doors were taller than regulation. Needless to say, it wasn't as fun as I remember. If you need any other vintage toys to go along with your Nerf hoop, I do have my original Atari 2600 in the box with all games and Coleco football game.
2006-01-23 13:59:44
47.   Jon Weisman
42 - Thanks again, everyone. My primary subject will be baseball west of Chicago, but I am allowed to venture to the east if necessary. Hopefully, I'll have one every couple of weeks until they get wise to me.
2006-01-23 14:07:04
48.   das411
47 - You mean until they realize you can (and do) post that kind of quality almost daily? :)

Congratulations Jon, and good luck!

37 - Hey Bob, does the OED list "nerf herder," circa 1980?

2006-01-23 14:07:49
49.   trainwreck
Congratulations Jon.

Can we start a Nerf basketball league in your house?

2006-01-23 14:14:02
50.   Slipstream
Congratulations, Jon. I knew it was just a matter of time before you hit the big time. I hope, during your transformation into a sports-media superstar (destined no doubt eventually to be sparring with Tony Kornheiser on ESPN, or some other gig), that you don't forget your loyal readers who were there at the beginning.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-01-23 14:15:45
51.   Strike4
Jon, great use of koan, had to look it up.

Regarding kids' first games and planned early departures, there's the risk that the game is a meaningful one. I decided that a great birthday present for my one year old twins would be attending their first Dodger afternoon game back on July 28, 1991. My wife gamely agreed to participate... anything to see other adults. We lasted for 75 minutes when both twins started to stir. One big problem. Dennis Martinez was perfect through four! We were out of the stadium at the end of the sixth, before full meltdown arrived. My disbelief that I could walk out early on baseball history was offset by realizing my family had two new true Dodger fans, upset and tearful as a perfect game unfolded against their team.

2006-01-23 14:21:37
52.   Mark
37 Screw that. Baseball already has too much coverage east of the Mississippi. I vote that every single one of your articles deals with a team which plays within 50 miles of the Pacific. (Portland Marlins, here we come!)
2006-01-23 14:21:59
53.   Mark
Er, my post is in reference to 47, not 37.
2006-01-23 14:30:58
54.   T Money
Mixed feelings. Simultaneously thrilled for Jon, and appalled by this "push present" business.

I was at a Phillies/Dodgers night game last season and, in the primo seats directly in front of me, were a thirtysomething couple and their two young children. Looked like Norman Rockwell for a moment, but then it turned sad. Dad SO clearly wanted to share his love of baseball with the kids, but the cotton candy ran out before the National Anthem was over, and the little ones turned squirmy. Mom wanted to leave immediately, but Dad insisted on seeing at least part of the game. And he did. He saw exactly one at-bat, and then they packed up and took off.

Suffice to say, I moved down to their seats.

2006-01-23 14:37:51
55.   Sushirabbit
Wow! Congrats indeed, I could never score a nerf basket in the living room! That is a major accomplishment. Seriously, though, wives and kids trump alot of work stuff for me. Still, here's to the larger audience, I think they are catching a lucky break.
2006-01-23 14:46:27
56.   das411
If anybody else hasn't looked up the whole "push present" thing:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,99962,00.html or http://tinyurl.com/qx74

2006-01-23 14:49:28
57.   Marty
Somehow I doubt my father gave my mother any push presents. He was from the "drop em off at the hospital, pick em up when the baby's there" school.
2006-01-23 14:51:10
58.   dagwich
How people handled kids was so different when my parents took us to the Coliseum and the new Dodger Stadium. I'm not saying it was right, but the outcome was good. My folks were big believers in Dramamine, at least in half-doses for kids. I know it is so wrong on so many levels, but:
--They got to see the whole game
--We all still love baseball

I may not have connected all the dots on other unintended consequences, however...

2006-01-23 14:51:54
59.   Jon Weisman
50 - In many ways, Dodger Thoughts readers have changed my life, so I couldn't possibly forget you/them.

I should issue some membership cards, though, like "Reader since 2003."

2006-01-23 15:01:46
60.   Jon Weisman
46 - I had Mattel Electronic football, Brad. I still don't know how I lost it.
2006-01-23 15:06:25
61.   D4P
Congrats, Jon. Your journey into Hollywood Mediumwigdom is now complete.
2006-01-23 15:09:11
62.   jystakes
Congratulations. Hard work and passion has paid off. Not like the column alone validates it, but is further evidence of it. If you never need legal eye looking over your agreements, feel free to ask!
2006-01-23 15:12:41
63.   Jacob L
My memories of nerf hoop are, frankly, of getting pretty beat up. Is it just me, or is nerf hoop 10 times more physical than a regular basketball game? There are 3 possible reasons for this, that I can think of:
1. played in confined space, like brother's bedroom or basement (Jon's new regulation size court would be a good test for this theory)
2. relative impossiblity of dribbling/finesse game makes going strong to the bucket/defending said bucket of premium importance
3. played primarily against siblings.

Good luck on the new gig, Jon. I hope this isn't the beginning of the end for DT. I think I go pretty far back on that "reader since . . " list.

2006-01-23 15:15:33
64.   Sam DC
What a wonderful dose of Monday afternoon good news -- congratulations Jon on a marvelous accomplishment.

And nice job on the si.com thing too.

The photo's good, but I'm afraid to me you'll always be the guy at Spring Training in the big big shades and the faded Camden Yards T.

My (not nearly so impressive) parenting ballgame achievement was when I woke up one Monday morning and saw that the Dodgers were in Philadelphia for a day game that day and ended up getting a front row single seat and taking my 10 month old -- on the train to Philly, to the subway to the game, and then back after, with a nap mixed in. And now he can say he's been to the Vet. And even heard booing!

2006-01-23 15:16:02
65.   Bob Timmermann
Nerf basketball doesn't have dribbling, so the primary way of getting to the basket is to run through someone.

Also there is a dearth of qualified referees for Nerf basketball.

It's one of the few non-structured games kids get to play today. It's not like you have to schedule time for Nerf basketball after school.

2006-01-23 15:20:53
66.   Jon Weisman
64 - Wow, now that really is impressive.

63 - It isn't the beginning of the end for DT. I'm not sure it's even the end of the beginning.

2006-01-23 15:24:18
67.   Bob Timmermann
66

Thanks, Mr. Churchill.

2006-01-23 15:29:30
68.   ToyCannon
I look forward to the day when I click on the SI Jon Weisman archive and find a page full of stories. ERA+, OPS+ are you trying to ruin the game:)
2006-01-23 15:42:20
69.   Bob Timmermann
I want to click on a Jon Weisman column ranking his 10 favorite episodes of "Becker".
2006-01-23 15:46:07
70.   D4P
69
What if they're all tied for last?
2006-01-23 15:52:26
71.   Bob Timmermann
Jon can compare and contrast the Terry Farrell and Nancy Travis eras of the show.
2006-01-23 15:54:20
72.   D4P
Ted Danson's post-Cheers "look" kinda freaked me out for some reason. I couldn't look at the guy.
2006-01-23 15:56:30
73.   Bob Timmermann
Jon hates "Becker" so much that he may expunge these comments.

I think "Becker" is akin to dropping an f-bomb.

2006-01-23 15:59:38
74.   D4P
I never cared for Boris Becker when he played, but I think I'd appreciate him more now if he were still around.
2006-01-23 16:01:53
75.   Curtis Lowe
72- Since seeing Saving Private Ryan, I kept hoping that for the sake of Ted Dansens career he would do more war movies. He did not however he has been pretty funny on CYE.
2006-01-23 16:04:52
76.   Andrew Shimmin
44, 45- Andrew S. was trying to ask the question in as few words as possible, without being a jerk. Rejected alternate wordings were, "The Dodgers aren't really going to be stuck with an extra year of Baez, right? RIGHT?!" and "If Baez were a rotted tooth in need of a root canal, would he be a one-visit front tooth, or a mutli-visit back tooth?"

My idealogical purity is unsullied. Unsullied, I tells ya.

2006-01-23 16:09:36
77.   Bob Timmermann
76

Apparently, I was the only person who could see through the devilish disguise Ken Gurnick gave you.

2006-01-23 16:13:11
78.   Andrew Shimmin
77- I didn't know it was up till you pointed it out. I end up at the Dodgers main site once in awhile, but usually only when Jon, or somebody else here points me to it.
2006-01-23 16:14:27
79.   Bob Timmermann
Screwball Google newsfeeds turn up just about anything I've learned.

Like Guamanian papers.

Or propaganda from Cuba.

2006-01-23 16:21:50
80.   Daniel Zappala
Have taken the kids to games several times, always with my wife. She is enough of a baseball fan that she wouldn't stay home for a game. The main thing I have noticed -- they don't care whether we have third row, first base seats or are in the bleachers. Their only metric is how much food and trinkets dad is willing to buy. It is fun when your 8-year-old asks how to keep score, but unless you have a really unusual child they don't stick with it and prefer to eat cotton candy.
2006-01-23 16:23:25
81.   Daniel Zappala
Google is one of the few truly multilingual sites. Go into Firefox and set your language preferences -- go ahead, put Yiddish at the top. Yep, Google has a page for that too,
and it runs from right to left.
2006-01-23 16:24:12
82.   Steve
"If Baez were a rotted tooth in need of a root canal, would he be a one-visit front tooth, or a mutli-visit back tooth?"

He would be Bea Arthur's dentures.

2006-01-23 16:28:09
83.   Andrew Shimmin
Gurnick's response to the Izzy letter has news (at least to me) in it:

"[Izzy's] injury is somewhat different in that it is a side effect of an arthritic condition on the opposite side of the elbow. Compensating for the pain from the arthritis, Izturis put undue strain on the ligament and it stretched out of shape. Because of the arthritis component, and because arthritis is generally permanent, it is not clear to what degree Izturis will recover."

I sure didn't know that.

2006-01-23 16:32:24
84.   Andrew Shimmin
If Bea Arthur has a four million dollar set of dentures, then maybe communism really isn't so bad.
2006-01-23 16:38:44
85.   Blue in SF
Re: Kids and Dodger games:

Has anyone found a source for infant Dodger caps? The MLB site has a pretty cool onesie and romper and pretty lame beanie here: http://tinyurl.com/dmvgp, but I want a Dodger cap (or alternatively, a cool (i.e. Dodger Blue) beanie) for my little guy to wear to Dodger games up here in SF (he will be 6 mos. when the Dodgers make their first trip to SBC.

Not even Giants fans would dare to give a 6-month-old hell for wearing Dodger blue, will they???

2006-01-23 16:40:54
86.   Bob Timmermann
You are going to end up like Michael on "Lost" when you go to (Insert Corporate Name Here) Park. I hope your son's name isn't Walllllllllllllllltttttttttttttttttttt!
2006-01-23 16:44:59
87.   scareduck
56 - yow. Glad my wife and I don't have kids.

Great piece Jon, and congratulations on landing the SI giglet.

2006-01-23 16:47:42
88.   Andrew Shimmin
85- This is some sort of experimental punishment, you're working up? My dad used to threaten that he'd make me go to school in a dress if I didn't keep my fingernails clipped more regularly. What did your kid do to deserve SBC in an infant-sized bullseye?
2006-01-23 16:48:13
89.   Xeifrank
Jon, congrats on the SI gig, hope it doesn't cut into your DT time. I hope you are well aware that DT must be your top journalistic priority! :) Also, congrats on the UCLA bball expedition, as the father of an 18 month old, I am impressed. Nap times are difficult enough to schedule lunch around, let alone a trip to the bathroom, let alone a trip to Pauly Pav. As far as the nerf shot, that's a great start. You have to step it up, and try to make shots while partially standing in other rooms. I was addicted to nerf basketball, neft football or just about nerf anything as a kid. After making long shots from the corner of the room, my friends and I would then step out the door and try to make shots from the hallway, or bank them off two walls, or whatever could challenge us. We eventually, moved outside and started throwing nerf football into an outside 10 foot high basketball hoop. I think my record was about a 40 yard throw over a tall pine tree in the neighbors yard into the hoop. It was all luck of course, but it sent myself into a frenzie. I just recently bought my 18 month old a nerf football, well actually I get the most use out of it right now. I hope to one day live my nerf glory through my 18 month old. Unless of course, my wife has her way and piano lessons and dance classes are in the mix. Afterall, she is a girl. :) Do they make nerf pianos? vr, Xei
2006-01-23 17:11:18
90.   bayareadodger
great job, congrats to you, a lot of hard work that is well deserved, SI will be lucky to have you
2006-01-23 17:29:07
91.   Steve
communism really isn't so bad.

Finally, a theory that explains the Baez trade.

2006-01-23 17:35:08
92.   Andrew Shimmin
Any inside tips on the Canadian elections tonight?
2006-01-23 17:48:27
93.   das411
Yep, don't bet on the Liberals as Canada rejoins the rest of the world.

France is next.

TONS of info you can link to here: http://tinyurl.com/8stmk

2006-01-23 17:52:56
94.   popup
As a former subscriber to Sports Iluustrated, I can say I would not be a former subscriber if you were doing the baseball writing there.

Stan from Tacoma

2006-01-23 18:08:07
95.   Sam DC
Well, it turns out that estimable is a compliment . . . (see Bad Altitude) . . . but then not as big a compliment as inestimable, which makes sense in inflammable land, I guess.

66 Well, it was an impressive trip when it occurred, but I've since learned that the second kid requires squaring the chaos and complexity, not merely doubling. So hats still off to your Pauley trip.

2006-01-23 18:32:09
96.   Bob Timmermann
C-SPAN usually runs CBC coverage of Canadian elections.

In Canada, the Liberals are red and the Conservatives are blue.

And up is down and black is white.

The last Conservative PM was Kim Campbell, back in 1993. If you blinked, you would have missed her. But that was back when the party was called the Progressive Conservative Party. When Campbell stood for election, the Progressive Conservatives got wiped out. Literally. They lost so many seats that the party disappeared.

The present Conservative Party is a bit different.

2006-01-23 18:38:41
97.   Steve
If you blinked, you would have missed her.

But you would have been grateful that you blinked.

2006-01-23 18:40:37
98.   Bob Timmermann
The Conservatives picked up 2 seats in Atlantic Canada.

It's really hard to say "Newfoundland" in a Canadian accent. The accent is on "land".

2006-01-23 18:46:38
99.   Bob Timmermann
You know in Canada, during an election, people just mark a paper ballot, they count almost all of them by hand and they have the results in a few hours.

Granted it's a smaller country than the U.S., but there's something to be said for at least getting an answer in short order.

Ahh, the soothing voice of Peter Mansbridge!

2006-01-23 19:03:02
100.   Eric Enders
It's been a long time since I played Nerf, since my ceilings are way too low for that sort of thing. But I did make the mistake a couple days ago of playing a front yard 2-on-2 game and setting a hard pick on my star-college-athlete brother. You can guess who won that one. Now I need a new pair of glasses.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-01-23 19:03:05
101.   Bob Timmermann
Nothing like a discussion of Canadian parliamentary elections to kill any discussion.

All for the best. I would hate for DT to get into a heated debate between NDPers and BQers.

2006-01-23 19:09:07
102.   Bob Timmermann
And the CBC has already called the election.

Say hello to new Canadian PM: Steven Harper, who will head a minority government.

Now I can go watch a rerun of "The Rockford Files".

2006-01-23 19:09:49
103.   Andrew Shimmin
I'm Bloc Quebecois all the way. What could be funnier than a seperatist group getting a parlimentary majority? A 2.1% popular vote taking 16.9% of the seats is pretty good, though. But I guess they won't get many votes in the western provinces.

Looks like the Libs are closing the gap. Only an eight seat spread, now.

2006-01-23 19:12:21
104.   Bob Timmermann
It's over. The CBC called it at 7:08 pm. The Conservatives do much better in the West anyway.
2006-01-23 19:16:26
105.   Just One of the LADz
Jon, really looking forward to reading your columns.

54, 80 I fully understand the cotton candy experience. I've taken my five year old a couple times to watch the Dodgers at Shea Stadium. The longest stay so far has been thru the fifth inning, and that was only because the wandering Cotton Candy Man took five innings to get to us. My son finished it in half an inning.

2006-01-23 19:18:02
106.   Andrew Shimmin
Yeah, should have refreshed before I posted. I'm just following on http://enr.elections.ca/ I'm going to continue refreshing, and pretend I don't already know.
2006-01-23 19:20:09
107.   Bob Timmermann
Peter Mansbridge is the polar opposite of Dan Rather when it comes to election coverage.

No homespun sayings. No histrionics. He's just smooth and professional. He's ... Canadian.

2006-01-23 19:43:00
108.   das411
107 - This sounds like the late great Peter Jennings :'(
2006-01-23 19:44:43
109.   Andrew Shimmin
So the independent is a radio shock jock? Is it the guy who tricked, then candidate, Bush in to thinking he was Canadian President Poutine? Or do they have more than one shock jock in Canada. I wonder if the phrase means the same thing in Canada. Or would the folks at KUSC be shock jocks, in Ottawa?
2006-01-23 19:51:35
110.   Scott Long
Congrats John on the SI deal. I really liked the Score:) piece a lot, as it gave me some insight into the real Jon Weisman.

As someone who only knows you from the Toaster, I pictured you as a pretty cautious guy. Man was I wrong. You are a Freaking madman. Taking 2 babies to a basketball game by yourself. I have a 2 year old daughter and just taking her to the grocery store is a major accomplishment. I'm guessing that your 2 children could have played better defense on West Virgina than UCLA did in the time you were at the game.

2006-01-23 20:04:12
111.   Bob Timmermann
The independent who won is named Andre Arthur and he represents a riding in Quebec City. He likes to make jokes about euthanizing mental patients.
2006-01-23 20:05:34
112.   Andrew Shimmin
Sounds like Michael Ignatieff won. More Harvard profs should run for office in Canada.
2006-01-23 20:07:58
113.   Andrew Shimmin
111- Ah. Well; that's pretty edgy. Not funny (maybe it's the way he says it?), but edgy.
2006-01-23 20:28:26
114.   Jon Weisman
110 - Thanks, Scott - and, yes, they could have. But at least UCLA didn't nap in the second half.
2006-01-23 20:51:20
115.   Colorado Blue
85 - Has anyone found a source for infant Dodger caps?

Well, we found really nice kiddo LA beanies at the Kids Footlocker at some obscure mall in South Denver... and they were only $5. Correct Dodger blue and all. My wife bought 3 of them on the spot. Of course the comparable Rockies beanies were like $10... I'm sure glad we're not Rockies fans.

2006-01-23 21:10:38
116.   Sam DC
In other news, the Nationals are pursuing old friend Daryle Ward. Another tidbit from the article is that, apparently the asking price for Joey Gathright is at the least higher than Bill Bray, the Nationals first year draft pick in 2004. Just saying.

http://tinyurl.com/b97yf

2006-01-23 21:25:33
117.   Steve
Ward and Sosa! Bowden is a genius (so he tells us)!
2006-01-23 21:31:32
118.   Andrew Shimmin
I wonder where Steve stands on using a first draft pick for a relief pitcher.
2006-01-23 21:33:27
119.   Steve
About the same as drafting a mascot in the first round. If you believe you need one, might as well get the best.
2006-01-23 21:37:24
120.   Steve
If in fact, you really believe that the best went to William & Mary.
2006-01-23 21:44:01
121.   Sam DC
Now, I realize it's not actually funny and I shouldn't make light of the human tragedy involved and etc., but boy this quote from that Nats article I linked above made me laugh: "Urbina, 31, is currently in a Venezuelan prison on attempted murder charges. The source said if Urbina is set free, he could be a good fit out of the bullpen for the Nationals."
2006-01-23 21:44:20
122.   das411
I thought Jose Guillen is the Nationals' mascot though? since Youppi! got traded to the Habs last winter.
2006-01-23 21:44:45
123.   Andrew Shimmin
I see the Marxist-Leninist party has slipped past the Marijuana Party, by 163 votes. The Communists have the Libertarians in a walk.
2006-01-23 21:51:22
124.   Steve
Hugo Chavez would make a good fit in the front office, too.
2006-01-23 21:56:09
125.   Andrew Shimmin
I just got an idea for a sitcom. Hugo Chavez and Tommy Lasorda are co-GMs for a minor league franchise. It'd be like I Love Lucy meets Celebrity Death Match.
2006-01-23 22:03:03
126.   Bob Timmermann
Some of my best friends in Canada are Libertarians.

They don't get very far in politics. But they are happy with tonight's results.

2006-01-23 22:11:40
127.   Andrew Shimmin
126- I was surprised, when I started paying any attention to our neighbors to the north, that the LP wasn't more popular. I think it's the beards that fooled me. Anybody with a beard like the one I picture most Canadians having, seems like he ought to be a Libertarian.
2006-01-23 22:13:28
128.   LAT
Jon, throw my congrats for the SI deal, the kids to the UCLA game and the Nerf shot, on top of the enormous heap.

I married a girl from Iowa. Thankfully, she had no idea what a push present was.

59. Will our membership card get us a discount at Motel 6.

83. A friend went to a breakfast last week where Ned was speaking to a group of real estate people, amung the things he had to say:

Doesn't know if Izzy will ever be able to play shortstop again. Looking like the 2b of the future.

Paid more than he wanted for Furcal but he would rather pay too much for a player he wants than get one he doesn't on the cheap. My buddy took this as a shot at the Drew deal. Although Ned acknowledged that Drew was key to the season, he did not seem too keen on him.

Hated to give up Tiffany. Didn't care about getting rid of EJ.

No interest in Benji. He is very high on Russ Martin. More so than any other prospect. Those present thought Dioner was on borrowed time.

2006-01-23 22:30:14
129.   Curtis Lowe
Way Way Off Topic:

I was watching 24 on fox and each commercial break there would be a plugin for Bones with the guy from buffy the vampire slayer, anyhow at the end of the plug he and the shows main character are driving through what I assume to be beverly hills, the main character keeps insisting to drive stating that she knows how to drive very well, at this time Angel from buffy turns to her while he is driving and says what I assume is supposed to be a witty retort "OKAY Rainman!" cue laughter. This would normaly make me laugh had it been the correct movie. Scent of a woman is the movie I believe the idiot writers were thinking of. Anyhow end rant.

2006-01-23 22:50:42
130.   Bob Timmermann
You can avoid any such conflict by not watching "Bones". It's pretty bad.
2006-01-23 22:54:05
131.   Jon Weisman
128 - Thanks, LAT. Is it me, or do real estate people get all the good gossip? I feel like I'm always hearing about team execs speaking to a group of real esate people and giving all the real dirt.
2006-01-23 23:06:49
132.   LAT
IIRC, in Rainman, Dustin Hoffman wants to drive the car and he and Tom Cruise get into an argument about it. Something to do with their father having let Hoffman drive the car while refusing Cruise. Of course, if the father knew Cruise was going to be the spokesmodel for a kool-aid drinking, Jonestown-like cult he would have disowned the irresponsible sawed-off little turd altogether.

(Sorry if "turd" violates the profanity rule. But for me Cruise = Becker on steroids)

2006-01-23 23:08:10
133.   LAT
131. That's cause real estate is where the money is. Not to mention, the boss is one of them.
2006-01-24 00:22:06
134.   LAT
My apologies if 132 offended anyone. Generally, I believe anyone should be able to believe in anything they want. I just have a problem with this particular "actor" using his celebrity status to proselytize and criticize and IMO he is irresponsible.
2006-01-24 00:43:37
135.   overkill94
129 Sorry Curtis, you're wrong. In Rain Man, Dustin Hoffman claims many times that he's an "excellent driver", the same quote that the girl from the commercial says - the writers got it right one this one.

On a related note, 24 was semi-boring tonight until the end when there were a lot of fireworks. Can't wait for next week's episode!

2006-01-24 01:37:19
136.   al bundy
I don't have time right now to go back and read the comments, but is there agreement that the term "push present" is one of the most nauseating things they've learned in recent weeks outside the political realm? Really it makes me feel a bit ill just to type the words. I think if my wife started negotiating with me for a push present I'd either push her out the front door or go to the backyard and hide out somewhere - like build a tree house maybe and contemplate moving to Bora Bora.

This in no way detracts from Jon's great accomplishment in getting hitched with si-dot-com. That's really cool and amazing how your blog has both blossomed and brought you happy new things. Inspirational! Congratulations.

2006-01-24 05:22:10
137.   Sam DC
Spoken like a true Al Bundy -- although I bet by the time 22 minutes goes by, Peg has her push present well in hand (and shoes won't do).
2006-01-24 06:04:55
138.   Jon Weisman
137 - LOL
2006-01-24 08:06:28
139.   Curtis Lowe
132,135- Hmmm thanks for the correction, I guess I was confused by the Pacino ferrari driving scene in Scent that I automaticly assumed they had written the wrong joke. Either way the show is still horrible.
2006-01-24 08:07:06
140.   Penarol1916
85. About 2-years ago I was able to buy infant and toddler sized dodger hats on lids.com, they were only 5-dollars a pop, the infant size was absolutely tiny and didn't fit that son or the next, my older son lost the toddler size on one of his many wagon trips to the park.

As for push presents, I guess I didn't have to get one since my wife did c-sections, although if I had been around for our daughter being born I would have had to owe her a big one since she did 12 hours of labor followed by an emergency c-section with no anesthesia (at least that's what she says).

2006-01-24 08:36:58
141.   ToyCannon
No push present for my brothers wife. All four babies were born in a bathtub with a midwife. The oldest graduated last year number one in her high school. Only in the US where consumption is king can the concept of a push present catch hold.
2006-01-24 08:36:59
142.   Marty
135 I was recording 24 and the power in my house went out for a couple minutes just before 10. So I have a 52 minute section and a 4 minute section of last night's episode. I hope I only missed some commercials

129 That reminds me of my favorite video store promotion. A store in Pasadena had a big banner on it's facade back in the early-mid 90's that said "Scent of a Woman guaranteed to be here". That cracked me up and I pictured a bunch of guys just milling about the store.

2006-01-24 09:07:25
143.   Bob Timmermann
Marty, I can fill you in on "24" if you want. Did you go from 9:00 to 9:52 and then 9:56-10?
2006-01-24 09:08:30
144.   Andrew Shimmin
141- Actually, one of the articles linked above noted that the phenomena had come to Americans by way of Europe. English men have been trained on this matter for years. The push present seems like a fair trade for British men's not having to wear a wedding ring. To me, anyway.
2006-01-24 09:09:35
145.   Marty
Bob, I'm not sure, I need to look at the recorder when I get home.
2006-01-24 09:36:11
146.   Bob Timmermann
Marty,
You need to check that recorder now! Or millions of people will die!

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