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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
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4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
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Superman, Then and Now
2007-08-21 22:15
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The subject of my first feature story after becoming a full-time sports reporter was this piece I did for the Daily News on a Kennedy High School shooting guard named Garret Anderson. It ran on December 12, 1989, nearly 18 years before the 10-RBI game Anderson had tonight for the Angels.

A BIRD? A PLANE?
ANDERSON COMES TO KENNEDY'S RESCUE

By JON WEISMAN

Quick, Jimmy. Get Lois Lane. I think we're onto something here.

There's this guy who goes around Kennedy High School. Calls himself Garret Anderson. But he may be hiding something. Kennedy basketball coach Y. Shimuzu, for one, has noticed him.

"He's very nice, kind of mild-mannered," Shimuzu said. "He's softspoken. He's on the quiet side. If he wore glasses he might be Clark Kent."

Well, Garret Anderson doesn't wear glasses. But lately, he has been playing like Superman.

Anderson, the same Anderson who hit a game-winning, three-run home run in the City 4-A baseball semifinals in May, ducked into a phone booth on the Kennedy campus and came out as a basketball scoring machine.

The 6-foot-3 guard from Granada Hills is averaging 26.2 points per game, including 30 against Thousand Oaks and 41 against Capistrano Valley, going into today's 4 p.m. home game against Fairfax.

His average has almost doubled over last season, in which he notched 14.1 points per game in league play.

"I didn't really know what to expect (this season)," Anderson said. "I thought that I was going to do what I did last year. Our offense is designed for more than one person. I'm surprised that I am scoring as much as I am."

What has happened is the Cougars have had to rely on Anderson more than they originally expected. A team that was already top-heavy with underclassmen also suffered some losses because of academic ineligibility.

"We need someone to take control," Kennedy senior center Juan Segura said. "(Garret) has been doing the job lately. He's been doing a hell of a job."

Anderson may have a secret identity, but there's no secret to his success.

"He knows the game of basketball," Shimuzu said. "That would be his strength."

As long as he keeps hitting his trademark shots from the perimeter, Segura has no complaints.

"We've been willing to give him the ball," Segura said, "since he's been doing a good job. He's been getting the shots he wants. ... If he's hot, we give him the ball."

Anderson still would like to spread the points around, however.

"I would like to get everyone more involved," Anderson said. "I don't like to play on a one-man team because it's easy to stop that team. It'd be better to have five starters averaging in double figures."

Kennedy is off to a 3-2 start, so there's no real need to complain. But Anderson thinks the Cougars can come together more.

"I think we'll do pretty good," he said. "As a team we need to work a little harder. Coach tells us we play in peaks and valleys. We need to stay out of the valleys."

When it comes to peaks and valleys, Anderson is your tour guide. He caught a glimpse of Death Valley when he missed a last-second shot against San Fernando that would have won the game.

And one afternoon in May, he stood on top of Mount Everest.

"Sometimes it's hard to believe it really happened," Anderson said. "It all happened so quick."

Kennedy was trailing Sylmar 7-5 in the bottom of the sixth inning when Anderson lashed an 0-1 fastball over the right-field wall. Two men scored ahead of him and the Cougars went on to win the 4-A championship the next day.

"It wasn't really pressure," Anderson recalled. "I was nervous ... (but) I just wanted to hit the ball hard because there were men on base. All I wanted to do was tie the game."

Anderson wasn't trying to hit a home run then, and he isn't trying to be a big scorer now. What might happen if he tried specializing on one sport?

Anderson isn't trying to answer that yet.

"I want to keep my mind open in high school as long as I can," he said. ''I wouldn't mind playing baseball and basketball in college, too."

Said Shimuzu: "I don't know if he concentrated on one or another how much it would benefit him at the high school level. I think if a kid can play more than one sport ... it's better for him as a person."

It hasn't been a super season for the 35-year-old Anderson, who was OPSing only .713 entering tonight's game before getting a two-run double in the first, an RBI double in the second, a three-run homer in the third and a grand slam in the sixth, but I've always had reason to root for him, and I'm happy for him tonight.

Comments
2007-08-21 22:22:53
1.   Jon Weisman
It's 18-5 Angels in the ninth as I write this - Marcus Gwyn pitching for the save!
2007-08-21 22:27:13
2.   LAT
Dang I did it again. LATed myself.

Wilson B. 3 run HR.

2007-08-21 22:28:32
3.   El Lay Dave
... to bring it within 10 !

One run will be unearned thanks to an Orlando Cabrera fielding error.

2007-08-21 22:28:52
4.   LAT
In one game GA went from 40 RBI to 50. A 25%increase. Not bad.
2007-08-21 22:28:53
5.   trainwreck
Has anyone seen how he looks at shortstop?
2007-08-21 22:31:10
6.   LAT
A Rod gets another HR. Gwen having a though time. I can only think of one other pitcher who probably could'nt protect 13 run lead.
2007-08-21 22:32:48
7.   King of the Hobos
4 That just barely beats Lucille II's 20% increase on Sunday (15->18)
2007-08-21 22:34:37
8.   trainwreck
6
Come on, we got more than one guy who can do the job.
2007-08-21 22:35:06
9.   El Lay Dave
ARod's HR also an unearned run.

Final is 18-9, so they needed all of GA's RBI!

2007-08-21 22:42:23
10.   King of the Hobos
The Orioles signed another Indians castoff to let Mazzone tinker with, namely Fernando Cabrera. He did a good job with Guthrie, so I'm sure Cabrera will be an all star closer in no time.

Why do we sign castoffs like Hillenbrand and Roberto, and not Cabrera? I'm sure Cabrera could do just as well as Roberto, plus he has a great arm, is young, and still has tons of potential if he can ever settle down (10+ Ks/9 in 130 major league innings and 25 years old).

2007-08-21 22:45:17
11.   scooplew
Jon: Fine story. Clever lead. Say, who won that Kennedy-Fairfax game? I went to Fairfax, only more than a few years earlier...
2007-08-21 22:46:01
12.   Bob Timmermann
11
Without looking it up, I would bet on Fairfax.
2007-08-21 22:55:47
13.   dzzrtRatt
Worst way to experience a Dodger game. Driving around in the desert, barely getting a signal from 920 AM out of Palm Springs, but sometimes I can hear it for a few minutes before it cuts out.

I know I can't follow all the action. All I want is the score and the inning.

But Rick Monday is calling the game, so I will get everything but.

Arrghh! But thank God for broadband. I might not be able to get any radio out here, but I can follow along with Dodger Thoughts.

2007-08-21 23:13:15
14.   Xeifrank
13. Remember the year that the NFL (was it MNF?) decided to televise a game with no announcers? I think the Dodgers should do the same thing with one of their radio broadcasts. I often get the feeling while listening to the Dodgers radio crew (Monday, Steiner, Ruess) that I get more out of it from listening to the sound of the crowd or the ball hitting the catchers mit than I get from them. Sometimes, I wish they would be quiet so I could hear the crowd noise, so I can determine if something good or bad happened to the Dodgers. Perhaps, they could morse code the score at the end of each inning. Other than that, voice-silence.
vr, Xei
2007-08-21 23:14:24
15.   ToyCannon
I've always been a big GA fan. Wish I had been at the game.

Boom Boom goes the Betemit. Who will end up with more home runs? Kent or Martin or Betemit playing part time with the Yankee's?

I thought he made a nice play up the middle to get GA the last time GA was up.

2007-08-21 23:21:54
16.   Bob Timmermann
14
NBC did the no announcer game on a Saturday afternoon.

The CBC did some CFL games without an announcer 1-2 years ago, but that was because of a strike.

2007-08-21 23:30:01
17.   trainwreck
I believe ESPN did a game where you could watch the game with announcers on ESPN or with no announcers on ESPN2.
2007-08-21 23:30:40
18.   trainwreck
That might have been NBA though.
2007-08-21 23:56:17
19.   underdog
I didn't expect the Dodgers to win tonight with Tomko pitching in Philly, but when they got out of that bases loaded jam without much damage, I still held out hope. Not to be. I'd love it if they could take the next two - and without a hundred rain delays.

In other news, Rescue Dawn is a fine movie, if not the action movie the name implies. It's Werner Herzog, after all, so expect a lot of people going crazy in the jungle, but it's well done.

2007-08-22 00:02:44
20.   natepurcell
I'm pretty impressed by the k/bb ratios of our two positional players drafted in the top 5 rounds this year. Both are showing an excellent understanding of the strike zone and with both of their builds, it seems that the power is not If, but when.

The Loons should be pretty good next year:
Lambo
Gallagher
Ortiz
Withrow
Watt
Danielson
jaime pedroza

Mattingly will probably repeat and maybe Bryan Morris starts off there too.

2007-08-22 00:04:25
21.   natepurcell
of course, adding a Blair would make it that much more kick ass but....boooo.
2007-08-22 00:05:57
22.   underdog
Lambo seems like a real steal already. Gallagher, too. Yeah, that Great Lakes team should be mighty good - for at least two months before some of those guys move up.
2007-08-22 00:08:36
23.   natepurcell
22

I forgot Kyle Smit, who should start with the Loons next year although he is already there now. He seems like a sleeper depending on if he can add weight to his frame.

2007-08-22 00:21:43
24.   CanuckDodger
I said before that I didn't think the Dodgers felt any pressure to add Blair to the system because as it stands they already have a whole lot of viable candidates to be in the 2008 Loons' rotation:

Morris
Withrow
Watt
Smit
Rondon
Danielson
Contreras
Miller, J.
Dutton
Thompson

Since the Loons can't have a 10-man rotation, and none of these guys should be relegated to bullpen duty at this point, I'd put the top five in Great Lakes and the bottom five in Ogden.

2007-08-22 00:29:36
25.   natepurcell
24

is that on the assumption Sexton starts off in Inland Empire?

Inland Empire
Adkins
Wall
Steven Johnson
Sexton
Cody White?

depending on how Morris looks in the offseason, maybe the dodgers start him off in high A. He'd be at his age 21 season next year i think.

2007-08-22 00:44:07
26.   CanuckDodger
Morris is coming off TJ surgery, so I am expecting a lot of rough edges in his 2008 performance -- especially control-wise -- so I think keeping him in low A and out of the California League will be best for him.

Adkins, Wall, and Johnson should be locks for the San Berdoo rotation. An argument could be made that both White and Guerra should start the year still in high A. I think their spring trainings will determine if they go to Jacksonville. Sexton hasn't pitched enough in the pros yet for me to get a handle on his true level of ability at this point, so he is a wildcard right now. Another guy I kind of want to see in the rotation at high A is Robert Blevins, a college senior who seems to be the only starter in Ogden doing well

2007-08-22 01:03:39
27.   Eric Enders
Jacksonville could have an all-world rotation at the start of 2008 with a top three of Kershaw, Elbert, and McDonald. Of course, one or all of those guys could start the year in Vegas, too, although I think for each of them Jacksonville is the likelier destination.
2007-08-22 01:24:35
28.   CanuckDodger
27 -- Oh, I can't see McDonald being sent back to Jacksonville after this year. He has nothing more to prove there. Heck, Tony Jackson seems to be lobbying to get him to the majors by Sunday. Elbert and Kershaw should be locks for the Jacksonville rotation in 2008. Jesus Castillo, Marlon Arias, and Alberto Bastardo are good bets to fill out the rest of the rotation, but Cody White and Javy Guerra could get consideration too if it is determined that they don't need to return to high A.

As for Triple A, well, McDonald and Orenduff should be in the rotation for sure. Houlton and Stults will probably be there. Miller, Hammes, and Norrito will be in Triple A, but I am not sure if they will be starters or relievers. Mike Megrew is injured now and I have no idea if the Dodgers think he has done enough to get out of Double A. The odds are Colletti would want to sign a couple of washed-up major league starters and stick them in Triple A too.

2007-08-22 02:43:33
29.   bhsportsguy
Players that will need to be added to the 40 man roster by the 2007 Rule 5 draft include:

P James McDonald (Jax), signed in 2003;
SS Chin-Lung Hu (LV), signed in 2003;
OF Xavier Paul (Jax), signed in 2003;
P Wesley Wright (Jax), signed in 2003;
C Lucas May (IE), signed in 2003;
IF Travis Denker (IE), signed in 2003;
P Justin Orenduff (Jax), signed in 2004;
1B Cory Dunlap (Jax), signed in 2004;
P Cory Wade (Jax), signed in 2004

McDonald, Hu and Paul are locks to be on the 40 man roster, of the remaining 6 players, Orenduff would be the best bet as a another player that they would protect.

Right now, Wesley Wright and Cory Wade are middle relievers, Lucas May is a project at catcher, Travis Denker has only advanced to High A ball in 5 years and Cory Dunlap has not anything this year in AA to suggest that anyone should worry about leaving him unprotected.

2007-08-22 03:46:24
30.   CanuckDodger
29 -- Orenduff will be protected. The Dodgers aren't going to lose somebody in the Rule 5 draft whom they gave a $1 million signing bonus. I also think they will protect Wright. He's a real prospect, a lefty reliever who throws in the low 90's. The Dodgers will also need to protect Ramon Troncoso, our second best reliever prospect after Meloan.

I think it is significant that in last night's Suns game, with Colletti and McCourt watching, and with the Suns losing the game, the pitchers who followed McDonald were Miller, Troncoso (the team closer), and Wright. Troncoso and Wright are relievers who are usually only brought in to protect a lead. Colletti wanted to see the real prospects pitch, not roster-filler relievers, regardless of the game's score, because roster decisions are going to have to be made about Wright and Troncoso after the season. With the Dodgers needing a big league starter better than Tomko right now, and with Joel Hanrahan doing a good job in Washington's rotation, I wouldn't be surprised if people in the front office are kicking themselves over failing to put Hanrahan on the 40-man roster, which is all that would have been necessary to keep him in the organization. I don't think Colletti wants to make a similar mistake with guys like Troncoso and Wright this off-season.

2007-08-22 05:54:14
31.   StolenMonkey86
To answer Jon in 276 from the previous thread, the homer was in the 2nd and the CS was in the 7th.

But really I'm not on the rest Russell bandwagon (just sayin if I was...). I don't get to go to a lot of Dodgers games, and the one I went to last year, Russell did not start. Of course the biggest obstacle to enjoying the game was that Tomko did start.

And to stay on topic, I've been wanting to see Orenduff for a while. I can't help but root for the CAA.

2007-08-22 05:55:31
32.   StolenMonkey86
er, SB. Either way, it's time to go to work
2007-08-22 06:14:33
33.   overkill94
30 So assuming they protect those six (McDonald, Orenduff, Paul, Troncoso, Wright, and Hu), who do we have to kick off the 40-man roster? I realize deadwood like Tomko, Hendrickson, Hillenbrand, etc. will be gone by then, but we'll still need replacements on the major league roster to take their place.

Basically, will there be much of a roster crunch to fit these guys in?

2007-08-22 06:17:54
34.   Ken Noe
From the Times:

"Nor, it seems, do they have a whole lot of solutions for Tomko's troubles.

"I don't know," Little shrugged. "He's got good stuff. Sometimes it amazes me that it gets hit."

But pitching coach Rick Honeycutt thinks he has the answer.

Execution.

Which may seem a little drastic until you realize Honeycutt isn't talking about Tomko. It's the right-hander's pitchers that need to be executed."

Darn it.

2007-08-22 06:42:21
35.   JoeyP
Mattingly will probably repeat

.217/.259/.309 with 20bbs/101ks in 346 Abs at low A.

Lambo seems like a real steal already

Great year in GCL:
.340/.442/.535

2007-08-22 07:00:25
36.   Sam DC
When it comes to peaks and valleys, Anderson is your tour guide. He caught a glimpse of Death Valley when he missed a last-second shot against San Fernando that would have won the game.

And one afternoon in May, he stood on top of Mount Everest.

It's Weismanesque!

Oh, wait . . .

2007-08-22 07:01:58
37.   Sam DC
Public Service Announcement: Nook Logan is hitting .349 since the All Star break.

He had FIVE hits last night. The last Natspo to do that -- Mark Grudziklklneeak in 1998.

That is all.

2007-08-22 07:09:22
38.   Bob Timmermann
The mysterious "Y. Shimizu" in the story above was Yutaka Shimizu, for those scoring at home.
2007-08-22 07:19:45
39.   CanuckDodger
33 -- I think we can fit the six in if we get rid of the veteran deadwood (Tomko, Hendrickson, Seanez, Hernandez, Saenz, Hillenbrand, Sweeney) and don't bring in any more. You say we need replacements for these guys, but the whole idea is to replace them with guys in our own organization. For instance, Young takes over Saenz's role. Hull and Stults take over for Tomko and Hendrickson. Or, if we decide Hull and Stults are not going to be major leaguers next year, it might be best to cut them loose, as they are already really old for "prospects," and it's time they either graduate to MLB or they move off the 40-man to make room for the younger prospects who may have real futures in Dodger Blue. The same decison also needs to be made about Houlton.
2007-08-22 07:28:57
40.   ToyCannon
Canuck have you heard any scouting reports on Silverio, Alfredo?
2007-08-22 07:49:58
41.   Sam DC
Jon's face of the franchise likely won't shock -- especially if you happened to read my prediction. ;)

But how he knew Shea Hillenbrand was coming aboard back in June, we'll never know.

2007-08-22 08:07:39
42.   Jon Weisman
41 - I finally put up a link to that - thanks for reminding me.
2007-08-22 08:22:54
43.   CanuckDodger
40 -- Sorry, I don't have any non-stat information about him.
2007-08-22 08:29:02
44.   underdog
34 I swear I got serious deja vu from those quotes on Tomko. I feel like I saw those several times before.
2007-08-22 08:42:41
45.   Daniel Zappala
40 The Dodgers Player Development guide, which you can find at:

http://tinyurl.com/23vqrt (PDF)

says that he signed with the Dodgers when he was 16 out of the Dominican Republic. He has played in the Dominican summer league for 3 years, with an OBP of only .309. This is his first year in the GCL, so he's really breaking out at age 20.

2007-08-22 10:12:26
46.   Gen3Blue
At the risk of revealing my ignorance, is there a way to read Jons whole piece at the ESPN site. Any help will be appreciated.

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