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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
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12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Quietude, Dude
2006-10-20 09:09
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

It's not as if there's nothing to say about the Dodger offseason, but there just seems to be so much time to say it - whereas in recent Octobers, there was a team to buy or a Beltre to render judgment upon or a manager and general manager to hire.

I'm enjoying the relative peace, whatever battles the future may hold. And, I enjoyed Thursday's random stat thread. Today, for equal time purposes, how about we volunteer completely statless Dodger thoughts.

Here's one: The passed ball that Dioner Navarro allowed in Houston early this season had a greater impact than just about any other Dodger passed ball that I can think of, triggering transactions that impacted both the team's pitching and catching. Navarro's later injury enabled the callup of Russell Martin, but it was this passed ball that seemed to define his value to the Dodgers and their willingness to unload him.

By the way, why was the ball that got away from Mickey Owen in the '41 World Series ruled an error and not a passed ball?

* * *

At Screen Jam: threads about trying to do something original on TV, as well as this week's episodes of Lost and The Office ... with open chat welcome.

Comments (143)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-10-20 09:33:50
1.   bhsportsguy
Jason Repko's attempt to climb the wall may have forever relegated Repko to 4th/5th outfielder status and ultimately led to Andre the Great and even a little Matt Kemp.
2006-10-20 09:46:22
2.   Robert Fiore
Oh, I think 4th outfielder was about all that Repko could hope for in life anyway, unless he was with the Devil Rays or something like that.*

*Though of course if you're tradeable and on the Dodgers Devil Ray is a likely fate.

2006-10-20 09:51:36
3.   KG16
Jayson Werth's inability to play this year shaped the Dodger outfield for this year, and may well have done so for years to come.

I would not be surprised to learn that Werth (who I really liked) will be moved as part of a package, though I don't know who for.

2006-10-20 09:53:49
4.   old dodger fan
I enjoyed watching Oliver Perez last night. This is the same guy who pitched for the Pirates in Dodger Stadium back in June and got hammered for 7 runs in 3+ innings, had a 2-10 record and an ERA around 7. It looked like his career had just about hit bottom. Obviously somebody in the Met organization saw something worth pursuing and rescued him. I saw him about a month later playing AAA ball and he pitched 8 innings of 1-hit ball. I don't know what changed but he was a different pitcher. He is a great example of not giving up on young guys.

That June game in DS was also Izturis first game back from the DL.

2006-10-20 10:09:46
5.   scareduck
Eric Gone-yay. And not in the "Yay" sense, just the phonetic one. Game Over, over.

Unloading a 22-year-old starting catcher for a piece of junk like Hendrickson. Generally, a starting rotation that will have to be patched together with bailing wire. The road to the Dodgers' postseason berth was paved on trades of some useful pieces, and it's not clear that their value was maximized.

2006-10-20 10:10:45
6.   scareduck
4 - http://www.doubledogmusic.com/baseball/2006-06-23_Pirates@Dodgers/4.html

How did he look so much better in the postseason?

2006-10-20 10:14:59
7.   bhsportsguy
1 Though he may never achieve the career path of Todd Hollandsworh, I recall that Todd was always one injury away from everyday playing and then something would happen to him so he could never get that chance to play.
2006-10-20 10:39:41
8.   D4P
This from an ESPN Page2 article:

Fueled by a dramatic, game-winning home run by Kirk Gibson in Game 1, the Los Angeles Dodgers knock off the Oakland A's in five games. Despite the excitement of his Game 1 homer, Gibson lost a lot of respect around baseball for showing up the A's with a ridiculously slow trot around the bases.

First of all, I had never heard this "lost a lot of respect" bit. Had you...?

Second, gee, I wonder why he was trotting so slowly...

2006-10-20 10:42:43
9.   Jon Weisman
8 - Is that for real? That ridiculously slow trot was a sprint considering how badly he was injured.

I'm not buying that lost-respect thing. If any of it's true, shame on those people.

2006-10-20 10:42:46
10.   Bob Timmermann
Dropped third strikes that allowed batters to reach were ruled errors back in the 1940s and prior to that. I don't think the scoring rule changed until the 1950s or 1960s.

By 1941, the dropped third strike was becoming increasingly rare, but it was quite common in the 19th century and it is one of baseball's oldest rules. For a while, the batter would be out if the catcher caught the ball on one bounce for the third strike. But this was in the day when there weren't gloves, masks, or chest protectors. But a lot of them were missed and were subsequently charged as errors and it took a while for the Powers That Be to realize that it didn't make much sense to rule them as errors.

2006-10-20 10:48:02
11.   Rocc
2- Sorry guys, but we probably have our OF spots and 4OF spots(seeing as we've got 2 options with Dukes: Play him in the majors or trade him) locked up for awhile.

Repko would have to learn to play SS and play that outrageously great to make the team.

Poor kid, not even the Rays want/need him....

2006-10-20 10:48:03
12.   D4P
9
Upon second reading, I'm not sure if it's for real or not. The article recaps recent World Series, but seems to mix fact with fantasy. In some cases, it's not totally clear which is which...

http://tinyurl.com/ydfwob

2006-10-20 10:48:04
13.   Eric Stephen
8,9 The quote was from an ESPN Page 2 "funny" article by DJ Gallo. Actually some of the article is pretty funny. He basically mockingly recaps every World Series since 1980.
2006-10-20 10:49:22
14.   Jon Weisman
13 - That makes more sense.
2006-10-20 10:50:08
15.   bhsportsguy
13 I thought that too, though like I noted in last night's thread, Bill Simmon's running diary of the game was really funny.
2006-10-20 10:50:14
16.   Rocc
Although the luster of Dioneer's Uber-prospect glimmer has dimmed down, Toby Hall is nearing 30 and not that useful when he's not hitting HRs.

I'm happy that he allowed as past ball against Houston, myself.

2006-10-20 10:51:11
17.   bhsportsguy
11 Who is to say that someday, Repko could have is Taguchi moment in the spotlight.
2006-10-20 10:52:24
18.   still bevens
2 Yeah I think you have the wrong Florida team. You want the Marlins, who constantly started Reggie Abercrombie and Cody Ross. You could have a fine outfield of former Dodger 4th/5th outfielders.
2006-10-20 10:53:03
19.   ToyCannon
Having watched Dodger baseball for 35 odd years Furcal's turnaround from worse SS in baseball to almost the best SS in baseball was one of the more amazing things I've seen. I've seen players turn it around offensively but his was an offensive and defensive turnaround of amazing proportions. Of course once you learn that it was injuries that were the culprit of his complete Offerman like performance in the field the turnaround isn't as interesting a story.

Navarro's injury might have been the best thing to happen to the team but Penny not getting hurt enough to not pitch but being hurt enough to be one of the worse pitchers in the 2nd half certainly didn't help the Dodgers. Pitching or playing with injuries that effect production enough that a replacement player would be better in no ways helps a team. Why it continues to happen is beyond me. The Dodgers would have been better off in April with Furcal on the DL rehabbing and Martinez playing SS then the negative production we got from Furcal during the time he was hurt and anyone could have been more productive then Penny in the 2nd half and maybe if had rehabbed whatever his ailment was(back) he could have pitched in Sept/Oct and been a difference maker. Of course Nomar also belongs here as his 2nd half numbers alude to a multitude of injuries that would have been better served with rest instead of continuing to reaggravate the injuries. His walk off home runs were great but maybe if a healthy Loney had put up a 280/340/450 line during the 2nd half instead of what we got from Nomar we wouldn't have had to have two walk off home runs to win those games, we might have won them in regular fashion since Nomar was a non factor in both those games until his home runs.

2006-10-20 10:53:54
20.   Rocc
Even though I've got no connections to the Devil Rays front office, just yet(A man can dream), do you guys consider any dodger prospects that are deemable(sp?) as "blocked" or "tradeable"?
2006-10-20 10:55:33
21.   Rocc
17- So true
2006-10-20 10:56:23
22.   scareduck
8 - care to give us a link to that story?
2006-10-20 10:56:45
23.   Kyle S
Statless Thought the First:

Before the 2006 season started, if you were to tell me that we'd deal 4 of our biggest chips -- Guzman, Tiffany, Jackson, Aybar -- I would've said there'd be a slugger or ace on the staff.

Statless Thought the Second:

Devil Rays shall never be allowed to don a Dodger uniform again!

2006-10-20 10:58:20
24.   atg12
I know that Owens is considered the goat of the 1941 series, but I read an interview (I think in one of Lawrence Ritter's books) by Tommy Henrich, the the player who was batting during Owen's passed ball. He said that it was by far the most ridiculously good curveball Hugh Casey had ever thown and he didn't think any catcher could have held on to it.
2006-10-20 10:58:30
25.   atg12
I know that Owens is considered the goat of the 1941 series, but I read an interview (I think in one of Lawrence Ritter's books) by Tommy Henrich, the the player who was batting during Owen's passed ball. He said that it was by far the most ridiculously good curveball Hugh Casey had ever thown and he didn't think any catcher could have held on to it.
2006-10-20 10:58:55
26.   scareduck
22 - never mind.
2006-10-20 10:59:33
27.   D4P
care to give us a link to that story?

The link is in 12

2006-10-20 10:59:47
28.   scareduck
25 - but could any team have kept the police off the field?
2006-10-20 11:02:50
29.   popup
My non stat Dodger highlight for 2006 was listening to Vin being interviewed on a Mariner pre-game show about his broadcasting career. He mentioned that his very first broadcast for the Dodgers was an exhibition game between Brooklyn and the Philadelphia A's, and that Connie Mack was the A's manager at that time. Just thinking about that is amazing. Connie Mack and Vin Scully just about encompass the entire history of major league baseball and they were together for an otherwise meaningless spring training game in Vero Beach, Florida.

I mentioned this in a previous post and I will repeat it here: I wish there was some way for the Dodgers to be playing the Tigers in this World Series and for Vin and Ernie Harwell to be behind the microphone to call it by themselves; no color commentators, just those two. If that were to happen I think I would be rooting more for a seven game series than a Dodger victory.

Stan from Tacoma

2006-10-20 11:09:25
30.   Rocc
23-

C'mon, give us "bottomfeeders" a second-chance...

We did give you Toby Hall and a 2nd year of Mark Hendrickson.

2006-10-20 11:12:12
31.   Bob Timmermann
The other problem in 1941 was that neither Owen nor Durocher came out to try to calm down Casey after the mistake. Instead, Casey, an emotional Odalis Perez type of his day, just imploded on the mound.

Casey later killed himself.

2006-10-20 11:23:16
32.   Eric Stephen
29 I had the pleasure of hearing Ernie Harwell only the past few years (as a radio broadcaster for the playoffs, ESPN?), and hearing him made me wish I had heard him before. He's just a wonderful storyteller that I could listen to all day.

My favorite Ernie Harwell moment came when he was a guest announcer with Chris Berman in the ESPN booth. After a failed bunt, Berman tried to lead Harwell with the "I guess they don't bunt like the old days, huh?" (he may have thrown in a tired nickname or an Eagles reference, I'm not sure). Harwell said "nah, they were saying that 50 years ago, too!"

Great stuff.

2006-10-20 11:33:20
33.   Jon Weisman
10 - So the passed ball was invented about 50 years ago or so?
2006-10-20 11:37:48
34.   popup
29 Ernie was a broadcaster for the Dodgers. He was I do believe the only broadcaster ever involved in a trade. The minor league Atlanta Crackers traded him to Brooklyn for a journeyman minor league catcher. If I recall correctly the catcher was named Cliff Drapper. Ernie came to Brooklyn because Red Barber became ill during the summer with an ulcer. When Ernie left Brooklyn to broadcast for the Giants, he was replaced by Vin.

Stan from Tacoma

2006-10-20 11:56:48
35.   Daniel Zappala
My favorite from the Page2 piece:

2001: Yankees closer Mariano Rivera blows a ninth-inning lead in Game 7 and the Arizona Diamondbacks rally to win their first World Series title. The blown save would be the only blemish on the postseason resume of Rivera, who is indisputably the greatest postseason reliever of all time. Well, it would be the only blemish until he would also blow Game 4 of the 2004 ALCS against the Red Sox. But other than those two times he blew saves in series-clinching games, Mariano Rivera is absolutely unhittable in the postseason. To say anything else is lunacy.

2006-10-20 12:49:02
36.   Gagne55
35 Haha, nice satire. Finally somebody acknowledges Rivera as the choke artist he is.
2006-10-20 12:56:45
37.   gibsonhobbs88
8 - That article better have been done "tongue in cheek" cause otherwise it would have been in bad taste and untruthful. I mean two bad hamstrings, one in each leg and you expect him to get around the bases like Carl Lewis.:)

Last night, I just really enjoyed watching what turned out to be a classic 7th game of a LCS series. That Endy Chavez catch was amazing and clutch. Of course, if our Dodgers were in a 7th game like that, I among several other DT posters would all be in hospitals now recuperating from cardiac episodes. That 9th inning would have pretty much ended me (I was thinking that while I watched the bottom of the 9th). It would have been complete torture!!

2006-10-20 13:02:09
38.   franklin
I'm enjoying the gradual changes that signify the true end of the FOX era. Some of these signs include the stream of productive farm talent, a recognition and inclusion of dodger alumni such as the 81 team (I'll overlook Ross P. here--shame), and the knowledge that management may actually be interested in team performance not just the financials of a TV contract. There are negatives too, but the mood of the thread opener seemed more of a call to optimism about the direction of the club. Go Blue!
2006-10-20 13:02:25
39.   D4P
That article better have been done "tongue in cheek

I'm pretty sure now that it was. When I first read it, I went straight to 1988 and didn't read any other years. Without the surrounding context, I didn't get the "gist" of the article...

2006-10-20 13:11:36
40.   Linkmeister
37 I had a lot of empathy for Mets fans in that bottom of the 9th. I even found myself asking "how the hell do you take a called third strike with two outs, the bases loaded, and the game on the line in the bottom of the 9th?"
2006-10-20 13:17:32
41.   Linkmeister
I've now read the ESPN article, and I like the prediction for the 2007 WS. A-Rod plays for the Cubs and goes 19-for-19 with nine home runs as they sweep the Series.
2006-10-20 13:23:11
42.   scareduck
31 - Casey killed himself, but not over that play; it was a paternity suit in which he claimed innocence. Creepy factoid: his ex-wife was on the phone when he pulled the trigger on the shotgun.
2006-10-20 13:33:13
43.   Doug N
23 I agree with your first statless thought.

Though the time has certainly come for these prospects to pan out or be moved (which isn't to say that good prospects should never be traded) I remain optimistic that spring training may be bring the most complete and stable 25-man roster in the last decade.

Seeing the future come together over this season was defnently the highlight for me.

2006-10-20 13:33:43
44.   PlayTwo
29: Great post re Scully. Thanks.
2006-10-20 13:33:56
45.   Eric Enders
33 I think what Bob is saying is that passed balls existed before then, but that the very small minority of passed balls that resulted in a struck-out batter reaching first were counted as errors instead. I assume this was because the third strike was a putout for the catcher, and therefore (unlike a normal pitch) could be considered a fielding chance on which he could potentially make an error.
2006-10-20 15:05:24
46.   paranoidandroid
Isn't Repko a converted infielder? His bat was hot before the ankle injury. I wish he didn't go that hard for a ball he couldn't catch, but I like the attitude.

Cody Ross was given away in order to keep Repko on the major leagur roster, even though Repko had options left. I don't think you give him away, he can cover the outfield and perhaps take some grounders and be a utility guy. If he is packaged up, that is different. But he isn't a give away or release guy like we did with Ross. Ross might have stuck around if he didn't get picked off third by Vizquel in April.

As far as a series or season changing play that keeps going through my mind, I find it ironic that Shawn Green gets exposed in the NLCS series as a defensive liability but it is Green who played Martin's ball off the wall in game one of the NLDS that set in motion the Dodgers getting swept.

I wonder if we got to game four and faced Perez if the series would have gone back to NY for game 5? Or if Maddux could have stopped the bleeding or if Eithier doesn't hit for Maddux and Grady lets Maddux bunt or if Kent get a good jump or if Kent stops at third or.... if I can just accept that with a break or two, or Green not playing that ball perfectly, it could us waiting for game one of the big series tomorrow....

2006-10-20 15:53:10
47.   dodgriz
I heard that the union list of arbitration eligible players was released. Anyone have a link to this list? More importantly to the Dodger players?
2006-10-20 16:04:08
48.   underdog
Boy this Cleveland columnist sure doesn't think much of the National League, does he?
http://tinyurl.com/y6yxg8

A lot of truth in there, of course, but a little over the top. Not a fan of Kenny Lofton, I take it.

2006-10-20 16:06:23
49.   underdog
47 I believe it's Beimel, Hall and Hendrickson of the Dodgers.

According to this, too:
http://www.mlb4u.com/arb.php?order=team

2006-10-20 16:17:43
50.   dzzrtRatt
I guess this [http://tinyurl.com/upcja] means no more Fred Roggin on the radio, which means no more Ross Porter subbing for Fred Roggin.

Why doesn't KNBC bring back Porter to do sports reports, say on weekends?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-10-20 16:20:11
51.   dodgriz
Is werth up for Arbitration? Does the 60 Day DL count as Major League Exp.? If it does, he is over 3 yrs.
2006-10-20 16:31:39
52.   27indigo
50 Well, Mario Solis and Bill Seward, their normal weekend guys, are presumably under contract.

As much as I'd like the idea of Porter doing sports though, something tells me that he wouldn't really fit in the current landscape of local TV sports guys.

2006-10-20 17:58:11
53.   bhsportsguy
46 Ethier hit a bullet that found the glove of the LH pitcher he was facing or else the Dodgers tie up the game right there against the Mets.

We will never know how much two injuries, Beimel for the Dodgers and Mark Ellis's for the A's hurt their teams chances for advancing but fortunately for the Tigers and Cardinals, Casey's injury has not impacted them at all and Eckstein and Rolen while not performing at their best did do something to help get to the Series.

2006-10-20 19:12:50
54.   saltcreek
8
from the same article
2002: The Anaheim Angels defeat the San Francisco Giants, four games to three. While the championship was celebrated wildly in Anaheim and Orange County, Los Angeles residents did not take part in the merriment, as they would not be informed for three more years that the Angels were their hometown team, too.
2006-10-20 19:26:29
55.   JoeyP
Wow, anyone that can post about baseball year-round is a trooper.

Seeing Yadier Molina hit .350, Chris Duncan sit the bench while Juan Encarnacion and Preston Wilson play...eh thats enough to put the thoughts of baseball away until next March.

Watching bad players capitalize in short series makes me ill. I guess thats why I like basketball and football better than baseball. It seems to be that the best team wins more often in those sports, than in baseball where anything can happen in a short amount of time.

A team with a clean-up hitter of Juan Encarnacion...in the World Series no-less...

Wake me in April.

2006-10-20 19:33:47
56.   D4P
It is kinda weird to play a 162-game season to figure out which team is best, then play 5 and 7 games series to find out which team is best. You'd think the 162 games should get more weight than simply determining who gets in the playoffs and who gets home field advantage...
2006-10-20 19:56:56
57.   Orly Yarly NoWai
Re: passed balls and errors

When Jack Chesboro had his crazy 41 win year in 1904, he threw a wild pitch in the last game of the season, ultimately losing the pennant for the Highlanders to Boston. According to "Baseball: More Than 150 Years" his widow spent the rest of her life trying to have that ruling changed from WP to passed ball. Would this just be to an error on the catcher? Is my source wrong?

2006-10-20 20:03:19
58.   bigcpa
56 And coincidentally the last time the 2 best regular season teams were ensured of a WS appearance was the Cards/Tigers in '68. The Schuerholz Braves probably would have won 5 WS if they were around pre-'69.
2006-10-20 20:11:49
59.   bhsportsguy
55 Any playoff system has flaws, football with byes and home field advantage tries to give as much advantage to the teams with the best records but even then there is always a chance of someone sneaking in.

To me, its hard to define what makes a team the best, just having the best record does not necessarily mean your team is the best and while it is more likely that the team with the best record gets to the finals, that does not mean you are going to win the title.

Now, the one thing that is true about the NBA and to some extent, the NFL, if you have the best player or two and you make to the championship round or game, your team does have a better chance of winning against a scrappy team filled with overachievers. For in the NBA or NFL, the Jordans, Magic, Birds or Montana, Brady and yes even Elways give your team a distinct advantage whereas in baseball, usually one great player cannot carry a team.

2006-10-20 20:13:23
60.   Orly Yarly NoWai
59 Paragraph one- See: Steelers, Pittsburgh.
2006-10-20 20:21:38
61.   JoeyP
I think generally the best NFL team almost always gets to the Super Bowl, or wins the Super Bowl.

Has a (9-7) WC team in the NFL ever made the Super Bowl? I dont think so. Thats what I equate the 06' Cardinals too.

Very rarely does a fluke team make it to the Super Bowl or NBA Finals. In baseball, seems like it happens every other year.

2006-10-20 20:27:05
62.   bigcpa
61 But baseball has the best offseason! You can't measure that in Nielsen ratings.
2006-10-20 20:29:12
63.   popup
44 You are welcome. I went back to check the career of Connie Mack on retrosheet. His first year in the major leagues was in 1886. That is ten years after the National League was formed, which is considered the birth of major league baseball. Two men, Connie Mack and Vin Scully, encompass the entire history of the major leagues, except for the first ten years. Amazing. Vin, if you are somehow reading this, I tip my cap to you.

Stan from Tacoma

2006-10-20 20:31:02
64.   StolenMonkey86
61 - It only takes two weeks to get from the end of the regular season to the postseason in baseball, which is shorter than either of the other sports.
2006-10-20 20:33:35
65.   JoeyP
62--

Good point.
Would Nielson ratings improve in October if the wild card was done away with?

I miss pre-wild card playoff baseball.

2006-10-20 20:44:37
66.   bigcpa
65 I remember that first Dodgers/Reds series in '95 opened in front of a less-than-capacity crowd (44,200 I see). We drew 54,000 a week earlier for a Weds game vs. Colorado. The WC series are definitely watered down. Winning the 6-team West used to really pump the city up. But all things considered I still think the WC is good for baseball. To have 7-8 NL teams still in it in Sept is a lot better than 2-3.
2006-10-20 21:46:25
67.   heato
kind of random, but . . .

Has anyone heard anything about Derek Thompson? Has he started a rehab program? He seemed like a decent pitcher (albeit in limited action) while he was with the team.

2006-10-20 22:32:59
68.   das411
Even more random...does Rule #5 apply to US politics only?

If not, sorry but this is still too good not to share with you guys:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYkGThMYmbk&eurl

2006-10-20 23:16:19
69.   Gagne55
Personally, I think the NFL has the best playoff system. If a team that barely sneaks in wins (i.e. the Steelers) then it is because they overcame a nearly impossible road to get their.

I think the problem with baseball is that weaker teams win more often than in other sports.

2006-10-21 00:23:16
70.   franklin
I'm probably not the first person to suggest this playoff idea but I don't know who to attribute it to. If good pitching beats good hitting then add a wild card in each league, have the wild cards play a best of three (days in a row at ballpark of wc with better record) while the division winners rest their pitchers. This forces the winning wild card to use at least two starters going into division play and should give some advantage to the division opponent.
2006-10-21 00:39:25
71.   Strike4
61 It's not clear why a football system that requires a champion to win 3 or 4 playoff games is perceived superior to the baseball system that requires 11 wins. And this after a one-tenth long regular season against a schedule of once and twice opponents comprising a fraction of the league.
2006-10-21 01:37:40
72.   franklin
71 I'm not sure there is a superior system. The argument seems to revolve around individual preference for predictability in the outcome of a playoff matchup. How often should the favored team win? Some people might prefer almost all the time (80%) vs. most of the time (60%). If the favored team won all the time then what's the point of playing? With the wild card in baseball, the last few years have seemed like the favored team wins just sometimes (~50%) making a prediction of the expected outcome difficult. I don't follow football or basketball enough to know how often favored playoff teams win games or series but would expect them to be more predictable than baseball given the prior comments. Perhaps a preference for playoff predictability just reflects how much of a control freak each fan is.
2006-10-21 01:43:19
73.   GIDP
61

If the best baseball team had made it to the World Series every year since 1995, we'd have seen the Yankees six times and the Braves seven (with the Cardinals making it three times). The AL would have seen 5 different teams make it to the series in 12 years, the NL 4. If you like to watch monolithic dynasties vanquish all opponents, I guess this would be fun.

Personally, I like the unpredictability of the baseball post-season. Perhaps the Wild Card teams should have a tougher road, but otherwise I have no problem with the best regular season team missing out. If the playoffs were a forgone conclusion, why watch? What's wrong with unexpected story lines and democratic competition?

2006-10-21 01:51:13
74.   GIDP
I should hasten to add we DID see the Yankees six times, so the system isn't as out of whack as all that.
2006-10-21 05:03:33
75.   Bob Timmermann
A playoff system that is both interesting and equitable doesn't exist for baseball.

What is the matter with a player who didn't perform well during the regular season peforming well in the playoffs? Is it inherently wrong?

There have been bad players who have had great Super Bowls (see Smith, Timmy). The Super Bowl has also had some pretty bad teams make it. When the LA Rams made it at 9-7, they were not very good. The first New England team to make it wasn't very good and got run over by the Bears.

The NBA probably has the fewest upsets in the playoffs because the best team usually has one of the best players and he can take over the action more so than other sports. (See Wade, Dwayne).

You can make a playoff system that is an interesting academic exercise that will determine the best team, but who would necessarily want to watch?

I will be enjoying the World Series. The fact that JoeyP wishes to sit it out because the sight of Yadier Molina hitting a game-winning home run disgusts him makes it all the more enjoyable.

2006-10-21 05:48:09
76.   old dodger fan
One of the ironies of baseball is that it is the only major sport lacking an effective equalizer such as payroll cap but it has its own built in equalizer in that you can buy a playoff team like the Yankees have but no matter how much you spend you still have to deal with the short playoff series where anything can happen. Until baseball establishes a payroll cap I love the idea of giving the teams that sneak in as much chance to beat the big payroll teams as possible.
2006-10-21 07:24:28
77.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
I think the playoff system as it stands is just fine.

One of the charms for me about baseball is its inherent unpredictability. That's what makes sabermetrics so interesting to me--a sustained attempt to reduce that uncertainty as much as possible, and to define what is really random and uncertain, and what can in fact be actually explained.

Furthermore, one of the reasons I watch baseball is that it is a stylized and overdramatized version of my very boring daily life. On the field, I can see success, failure, fortune, misfortune, and just about everything in between. It'd be a shame if I could use the Pythagorean standings every years to wipe away all that on the field uncertainty--the same sort of uncertainty and randomness that fills so much of the average person's life.

WWSH

2006-10-21 09:22:48
78.   PlayTwo
The great thing about baseball is that it looks for the weakest link--a nervous, struggling Wainwright or some guy from the River City Rascals. In football and basketball you can almost always put the ball in the hands of the guy who was the star in high school, college and the pros when the game and season are on the line. In baseball it's all about the Davids. I say let it be.
2006-10-21 10:00:42
79.   KG16
I have two changes that I would make to the playoff system- first, make the LDS a seven game series. As a general rule, the best team wins a seven game series. The second change that I would make is getting rid of the 2-3-2 format and going back to the 2-2-1-1-1 format - mainly because of the importance of Game 5 in a seven game series.
2006-10-21 10:24:38
80.   popup
79 Way too much travel in what you propose. I don't want to watch jet lagged players deciding the final games of a seven game series.

I have no problem with the current playoff system. I would prefer the division series be best of seven, for symetry as much as a burning desire to see the best team advance. The "best team" is largely a myth anyway. An old baseball truism is that during the season the best teams will lose 60, the worst teams will win 60, and it's what you do in the other 42 that count. Get good pitching, play good defense, and any team can win. If the "best" team makes mistakes (Dodger baserunning against the Mets, the Twins inability to catch the ball against the A's) the inferior team can win. That is the charm of baseball, not its flaw. The Kansas City Royals swept the Tigers at home to end the season. I like the fact that that can happen in baseball. If it could not, I doubt I would bother to watch.

Stan from Tacoma

2006-10-21 10:46:26
81.   JoeyP
I think the World Series is a great event. It should showcase the two best teams each year (hopefully). Its my opinion that the WC waters down the playoffs in general.

Instead of the current playoff format, I would eliminate the WC but still keep the 3 divisions. I'd just give a bye into the NL/AL CS's to the best team of each league.

I think that would sufficiently reward the teams who've been the best over 162 games. The current system just doesnt do that IMO.

2006-10-21 10:52:12
82.   overkill94
Looks like the Lugo deal is going to look terrible after all:

http://tinyurl.com/v7drz

2006-10-21 10:58:20
83.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 82

I would think that any changes to the free agent draft compensation system would be phased in over time.

WWSH

2006-10-21 11:21:50
84.   Daniel Zappala
I would bet Colletti didn't make the deal for Lugo thinking -- "Hey, if he stinks, at least I'll get draft pick compensation when he leaves!" He probably thought he would actually help this year.
2006-10-21 11:28:38
85.   overkill94
83I thought it would too, but Rotoworld's analysis makes it seem like it will be an immediate change.
2006-10-21 11:48:49
86.   Rocc
82-

Well, I'll be damned. Rays fans are now eating their words about hating that we traded Lugo, seeing as we now wouldn't get compensation picks for Hall, Lugo or Huff

2006-10-21 12:06:11
87.   ToyCannon
I'll take the peace of another 4 year deal over our compensation picks but I still feel it won't be implemented this year. We will see when the final package gets signed. If true this could also work for us as we won't lose a 1st round pick if we sign anyone ourselves.
2006-10-21 12:22:48
88.   trainwreck
That still makes no sense at all for competitive balance.
2006-10-21 12:27:49
89.   D4P
Is "competitive balance" good for the league from a financial standpoint? I don't know the answer, but I would have to guess that the league would prefer that teams like the Yankees and Red Sox be in the playoffs every year than to mix it up with teams like Tampa Bay and Kansas City.
2006-10-21 12:30:26
90.   trainwreck
Well they are still going to be in the playoffs (at least the Yankees), but at least you want teams to not be complete garbage. This hurts Oakland badly.
2006-10-21 12:32:51
91.   trainwreck
Yeah!! Let's go Bruins!
2006-10-21 12:39:06
92.   D4P
at least you want teams to not be complete garbage

The cultural milieu these days seems to promote an "Every man for himself" kind of attitude. What's that you say? The New Yorks and Bostons have unfair advantages? Too bad, let the Tampas and KCs pull themselves up by their cleatstraps...

2006-10-21 12:42:33
93.   Daniel Zappala
A contrarian viewpoint -- Maybe the message is that the smaller market teams should try to sign their own free agents, rather than lose them without any compensation. Too many times in the past, some small market teams have sit back, collected the draft picks, and not even used the revenue sharing money to sign a free agent. Also, the small market teams can now sign a free agent (ahem, with that revenue shraing money) and not lose their top picks.

So this could also be seen as a good thing for small market teams.

2006-10-21 12:43:03
94.   trainwreck
I am going to miss seeing the Giants lose their first round picks to sign players like Michael Tucker.
2006-10-21 12:44:07
95.   Daniel Zappala
I hate it when teams like #5 Texas do everything they can to lose to a decent Nebraska team, then get a lucky fumble recovery in the closing minutes to pull out the victory. Especially when they then recover their own fumble a few plays later. Boo Texas.
2006-10-21 12:50:16
96.   trainwreck
Well that basically makes the Lugo deal a total failure. Waste of prospects and waste of money.
2006-10-21 12:53:21
97.   D4P
GoBears!
2006-10-21 12:53:51
98.   trainwreck
UCLA takes the lead 14-7.
2006-10-21 13:05:31
99.   popup
I don't think draft compensation favors the little guys. As I understand the current system, the Red Sox lose O. Cabrrara to the Angels, the Cardinals lose E. Renteria to the Red Sox, and as a result the Red Sox and Cardinals get compensation picks for losing their free agents at the expense of Tampa Bay and Kansas City.

Stan from Tacoma

2006-10-21 13:06:52
100.   JoeyP
I really like the "slot money" thing thats going to happen in the draft.
It presents cost certainty for the clubs.
I just wish they allowed MLB teams to trade those draft picks.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-10-21 13:22:41
101.   trainwreck
Bob should go to more UCLA away games.
2006-10-21 13:41:10
102.   PlayTwo
The over-under is the start of the 4th inning before the TV crew references 10/21/1975 in tonight's broadcast.
2006-10-21 13:42:45
103.   trainwreck
Got to go under on that.
2006-10-21 13:52:58
104.   PlayTwo
103: You're probably right. The guy/gal in the booth probably has the footage ready to roll if in fact they still use tape.
2006-10-21 15:06:12
105.   Andrew Shimmin
Looks like UCLA could really win this thing. But for the treachery of Greg Brock, the Pac 10 really would have gone 3-0 vs. ND, this year.
2006-10-21 15:06:31
106.   Linkmeister
I was on Kwajalein at the time, and we had no live TV. We got television via videotape. The only game of that World Series that we saw was that one, a few days later.
2006-10-21 15:10:14
107.   D4P
I don't like that play calling by UCLA.
2006-10-21 15:11:40
108.   Uncle Miltie
What the heck? You have to for the first down there!
2006-10-21 15:12:32
109.   Uncle Miltie
108- to go

Could NBC be more obviously one sided?

2006-10-21 15:12:54
110.   still bevens
Anyone know what Loney's doing in the Domincal Winter League? Granted he's apparently hitting home runs, but it seems weird that he's there. Kemp I understand. Loney, not so much.
2006-10-21 15:15:52
111.   Andrew Shimmin
So, that happened.
2006-10-21 15:15:54
112.   Uncle Miltie
Fire Dorrell Now!
2006-10-21 15:15:55
113.   D4P
Stupid UCLA...
2006-10-21 15:16:40
114.   D4P
And with that, Notre Dame wraps up yet another (undeserved) BCS bowl birth
2006-10-21 15:17:09
115.   Marty
Well, going into hibernation the last two series isn't such a good game plan for UCLA.
2006-10-21 15:18:39
116.   Andrew Shimmin
I hope the pre-game weapons screening was thorough. No telling what Bob might do, right now, if he were armed.
2006-10-21 15:18:54
117.   Uncle Miltie
I don't remember the last time I've been this angry about a sporting event...
2006-10-21 15:20:05
118.   D4P
115
Yeah. I guess a 4-point lead isn't insurmountable, after all...
2006-10-21 15:21:00
119.   Chris H
That was an embarrassing finish for UCLA. UCLA needs to fire Dorrell and get a real coach.
2006-10-21 15:21:02
120.   trainwreck
I hate Karl Dorrell.
2006-10-21 15:21:05
121.   Marty
They are my two least favorite schools, but I really wanted UCLA to win today.
2006-10-21 15:21:43
122.   trainwreck
I am going to be sick.
2006-10-21 15:22:48
123.   Marty
Is there a baseball game today?
2006-10-21 15:23:19
124.   Uncle Miltie
119- he's a bad coach, but he's not nearly as bad as Bob Toledo.
2006-10-21 15:23:41
125.   trainwreck
123
Apparently, but there is also a PRIDE PPV.
2006-10-21 15:26:51
126.   Slipstream
I just remembered why I don't watch UCLA football games on tv. That was a frustrating experience.
2006-10-21 15:27:33
127.   D4P
Do you think Bob was decked out in UCLA garb...?
2006-10-21 15:27:51
128.   the OZ
Fire Karl Dorrell? Whatever.

Of course his play-calling is to blame for his defense allowing a 3-play, 80-yard touchdown drive.

A tough loss, but let's avoid knee-jerk retardedness.

2006-10-21 15:28:11
129.   ImChuck
That sucked. That was all gift-wrapped for UCLA to win. Notre Dame looks like they just won the BCS championship, instead of surviving an unranked team.
2006-10-21 15:28:21
130.   trainwreck
Hopefully Bob did not have a heart attack or anything.
2006-10-21 15:29:08
131.   Chris H
124- You might be right, but is there any point in arguing whether that is the case or not?
2006-10-21 15:29:26
132.   trainwreck
128
The defense had to be on the field all game practically. They played their guts out. No way I am blaming them. Dorrell always plays to not lose. He is 0-9 against ranked teams on the road.
2006-10-21 15:30:08
133.   Uncle Miltie
I don't think Bob will be drinking Diet Pepsi tonight...
2006-10-21 15:35:05
134.   Chris H
"Fire Karl Dorrell? Whatever."

Dorrell deserves to be fired because he coaches not to lose. He needs to be coaching to win the game. What is the point of running Markey 3 times when ND is stacking the box with 10 players? How can that be defended? Why go 3 and out and let ND have a chance to win the game?

It is terrible, inexperienced coaching and UCLA needs to make a change.

2006-10-21 15:35:17
135.   Marty
Decent play calling might have kept the UCLA defense off the field.
2006-10-21 15:36:41
136.   Marty
And that's Mr. knee-jerk retard to you :-)
2006-10-21 15:47:42
137.   overkill94
I agree with the masses, Karl Dorrell really needs to be fired. That whole last 5 minutes where he'd just run the ball three times with absolutely no chance of getting a first down was pathetic. You have to know that with Quinn and Samarzdijia on the other team that you can't just sit back with a 4-point lead. I kept saying to my friends while we were watching that UCLA was going to lose because of the ultra-conservative play-calling. You can run a lot more time off the clock by getting first downs than going 3-and-out.
2006-10-21 15:50:12
138.   D4P
The probability of not getting the first down when you run 3 times is a lot higher than the probability of throwing an interception if you throw at least once, particularly when the defense has 10 guys on the line of scrimmage
2006-10-21 16:04:53
139.   trainwreck
Hopefully Vitor can win his fight tonight so I won't be completely dejected.
2006-10-21 16:10:50
140.   Greg Brock
I knew that Dorrell was incompetent. I knew he was timid. I did not know, until this very game, that he is a coward. Zero passes in the last five-plus minutes. One day, I will have a good football coach at UCLA. I have to believe that.

The players just have to be sick right now.

2006-10-21 16:20:43
141.   twerp
114
"And with that, Notre Dame wraps up yet another (undeserved) BCS bowl birth"

Maybe not the best time to try to lighten things a bit, but I bet the bowl birth was painful for ND... ;=)

2006-10-21 16:26:31
142.   ImChuck
Why would anyone still defend Dorrell? With the exception of cleaning up the program, he had one good season under his belt. And that's because of uber-athletes Maurice Drew and Mercedes Lewis.

Having lost 3 games already, the season's over for UCLA. Dorrell had one good season in Westwood. I haven't seen very many great games under Dorrell during his time here.

2006-10-21 16:28:23
143.   Greg Brock
Losing to Wyoming was pretty great. So is going 0-9 against ranked teams on the road. Getting beaten 19-66 by Southern Cal is pretty great.

Oh, by great, I mean painful.

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