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About Jon
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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
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7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
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Chad! Chad! Chad!
2007-07-23 19:30
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

What a shame about the lost shutout on the final batter, but still, a complete game from Chad Billingsley - just what the Dodgers needed.

Update: Russell Martin on Billingsley, via Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:

"Today, even when he fell behind, he got quick outs," said Martin. "He'd throw a good cutter and they'd pop it up. The adjustment he's made is throwing his offspeed when he's behind in counts and getting outs. Normally he gets swing and misses, and that tends to run up the pitch count. Now he's pitching more to contact. When he needs a punchout, he gets it. He's becoming, slowly, one of the best pitchers in the league -- 7-0, not many guys doing that."

* * *

Upon the news Sunday of Mike Coolbaugh's death from a line drive that struck him while he was coaching first base for Tulsa, ex-Times columnist Mike Downey of the Chicago Tribune immediately called Vin Scully:

Vin Scully has been saying it on TV for years. Telling it to deaf ears. Preaching, pleading, appealing to baseball to please listen before it is too late.

Monday morning, when word reached him that a first-base coach had been killed by a line drive, the mellifluous Hall of Fame voice of Dodgers baseball was on a phone line to the commissioner's office.

Bud Selig wasn't in.

"I spoke with a woman there," Scully said. "I said, 'Do me a favor. Please, please ask Bud to use all of his power to do something to make sure that a thing like this can never happen again.' " ...

"I've said it so often on the air," Scully said Monday from his California home, "a lot of viewers and listeners must want to scream."

He is no I-told-you-so.

Scully is genuinely heartsick. This is a day he has been dreading. For more than half of the 57 years he has been a narrator of this game, by Scully's own reckoning, he has harped on this topic ... and this is not a gentleman known to harp.

"I suppose I've been saying it for at least 30 years," he said. "My best platform came when I was doing the 'Game of the Week.' I mentioned it once during every game. ...

Thanks to Dodger Thoughts commenter Underdog for the link.

Comments (179)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-07-23 19:39:07
1.   Indiana Jon
He's looked awful good in three out of his last five starts.
2007-07-23 19:39:42
2.   Marty
Just a great game. Sure, Houston isn't that good right now, but still just what the doctor ordered.
2007-07-23 19:39:53
3.   xaphor
Chad Chad he's our man, if he can't do it no one can.
2007-07-23 19:40:02
4.   Ricardo
1. Padres, Giants and Astros. Isn´t it?
2007-07-23 19:40:18
5.   Bob Timmermann
Great game by Chad despite his 0 for 5?

Which Dodger pitcher had 10 plate appearances in one game?

2007-07-23 19:40:26
6.   bhsportsguy
I think Eric Hull will get his chance soon enough.

Now for Harry Potter talk.

2007-07-23 19:40:42
7.   Connector
Chad made 109 pitches in 9 IP. Very impressive.
2007-07-23 19:40:53
8.   NorCal-Dodger
Hope this pitching and hitting continues. Now Hendy to come up big for us tommorow.
2007-07-23 19:41:29
9.   Indiana Jon
4 Yes
2007-07-23 19:42:03
10.   Curtis Lowe
he started to look really good the last couple of innings too bad about the shutout but what can you do.

2 days in a row Loney failed to convert in the 9th. Not that it means anything at all just an observation and a place to vent my no more shutout frustrations.

2007-07-23 19:42:24
11.   Indiana Jon
5 I'll guess Don Newcombe.
2007-07-23 19:42:47
12.   bhsportsguy
Frank "Grimey" Grimes is on.
2007-07-23 19:43:10
13.   Bob Timmermann
10
Failed to convert? What was Loney failing to convert? Were the Dodgers lining up for a PAT?
2007-07-23 19:43:26
14.   bluegold
An ace is born?
2007-07-23 19:44:08
15.   Bob Timmermann
11
Hint: It's a trick question.
2007-07-23 19:44:08
16.   Gen3Blue
5 possibly Drysdale?
2007-07-23 19:44:55
17.   Bluebleeder87
the ball was exploding off of Bills even in that last inning, great work Bills!
2007-07-23 19:45:43
18.   El Lay Dave
15 Jeff Hamilton?
2007-07-23 19:47:25
19.   oswald
5 robin ventura?
2007-07-23 19:47:33
20.   Bob Timmermann
18
Yes.

When I looked, I forgot to specify "only as a pitcher."

The only other pitcher to have 5 ABs in a game this year is:

Russ Ortiz!

2007-07-23 19:47:41
21.   El Lay Dave
Man, that is Billingsley coming up HUGE when the entire pitching staff needed it most.

14 I think aces aren't born; it's a metamorphasis, like the butterfly emerging from the cocoon.

2007-07-23 19:48:07
22.   El Lay Dave
20 Yessssssssssssssssssssss.
2007-07-23 19:48:58
23.   scareduck
13 - in keeping with the Dodgers in Israel subthread above, I'll volunteer: the Jews?
2007-07-23 19:49:17
24.   oswald
20 when did that happen?
2007-07-23 19:50:13
25.   Bluebleeder87
i guess the Dodgers will go with closer by commety until Saito returns.
2007-07-23 19:50:46
26.   still bevens
Wow Aaron Harang did Billingsley one better and went 10 against the Brewers and gave up only one run. He also gave up 7 hits, struck out 10 and walked. However, he did not get the CG or the win since it went 12.
2007-07-23 19:51:46
27.   El Lay Dave
24 June 30, 1989.
http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/HOU/HOU198906030.shtml

I remember watching this game and rooting for an improbable pitching win for a position player. To his credit, Hamilton did make it 1 2/3 innings.

2007-07-23 19:52:06
28.   Curtis Lowe
13 - Failed to convert the ball in play into a third and final out.

Kind of like when Lindsay Lohan failed to convert driving home drunk into getting home safely.

2007-07-23 19:53:55
29.   Bob Timmermann
In the 1989 marathon against the Astros, John Shelby went 0 for 10. He came in batting .163 and left batting .153.

I forgot how bad John Shelby was in 1989. His OPS+ that season was 36.

2007-07-23 19:54:17
30.   still bevens
Tony Jackson referred to the Astros lineup as 'pretty good'. I respectfully disagree.
2007-07-23 19:56:08
31.   Greg Brock
Frank Grimes really got a raw deal.
2007-07-23 19:56:22
32.   oswald
the upcoming schedule is really soft. i feel a hot streak coming on!
2007-07-23 19:56:53
33.   Jon Weisman
I think it would be a real missing-the-point event to quibble over what the quality of the Houston lineup was. Billingsley gave the Dodger bullpen a day off and did the job he needed to do at an A level. Everything else is beside the point.
2007-07-23 19:58:03
34.   Indiana Jon
ESPN just said Chad started despite a blister on his right hand.
2007-07-23 19:59:29
35.   Jon Weisman
Game scores: Harang 84, Billingsley 72.

Billingsley's game score would have been 84 had he not given up the two hits in the ninth.

2007-07-23 20:00:09
36.   Jon Weisman
84 is a top-10 game score this year in the NL.

http://scores.espn.go.com/mlb/stats/bestgames

2007-07-23 20:01:22
37.   Jon Weisman
34 - So did I in my Fungoes piece about 12 hours ago :)
2007-07-23 20:02:12
38.   Gen3Blue
What did Loney do. I didn't see and I am interested.
2007-07-23 20:03:52
39.   El Lay Dave
Billingsley GB/FB was 7/13. Not too surprising one might finally get out in that undersized ballpark.
2007-07-23 20:05:32
40.   xaphor
34. Don't let that baby heal. From now on Hernandez's role on the team is to "help" Chad relieve himself.

A little nod to the old adage. :)

2007-07-23 20:09:58
41.   Jon Weisman
In their past 162 games, the Dodgers are 97-65.
2007-07-23 20:09:59
42.   jujibee
Looks like the Red ox are in the hunt for a CF. There's one that comes to mind. I'd package him (Pierre) and Hu for young man named Clay in the Red Sox org. in a second. Somehow, I don't think they'd go for it, but it would fill their need at 2 positions (Lugo), gives them a great clubhouse guy and a good chance at signing D-train in the offseason.
2007-07-23 20:16:51
43.   Bob Timmermann
Why did I reserve a flight leaving at 8 am tomorrow?

Ugh.

2007-07-23 20:18:07
44.   Nagman
Matt Holliday! Brand new ballgame in Colorado.
2007-07-23 20:21:26
45.   Andrew Shimmin
What do you think would be necessary to get ESPN to cancel it's Who's Now series? Like, if Stuart Scott happened to get kidnapped, and the ransom note said they had to discontinue it, do you think they would? Hypothetically? What if the ransom note had Scott's pinky toe in it?
2007-07-23 20:23:21
46.   NorCalDodger
Wow, I can't believe I didn't notice this earlier, but the Rockies lineup is scary... even with Helton having an "off-year" power-wise.
2007-07-23 20:23:21
47.   Andrew Shimmin
Number of apostrophes in 45: 3
Number of apostrophes in 45 used correctly: 2
2007-07-23 20:25:03
48.   NorCalDodger
BRAD HAWPE!!
2007-07-23 20:25:20
49.   Nagman
Padre bullpen is doing that 'regressing to the mean' thing.
2007-07-23 20:25:53
50.   Sam in SC
colorado leads the padres 7-5 on a two run home run in the 8th.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-07-23 20:26:32
51.   Icaros
Good job, Rockies.

I made it home without dying. DT Day was so fun it kind of made me sad.

2007-07-23 20:26:40
52.   Gen3Blue
42I'm sort of a Red Sox fan too, but as a D's fan that looks like a ridiculous trade.
Hu could be a future all-star.
2007-07-23 20:26:41
53.   NorCalDodger
Well they need to do more regressing when the boys play them.

The Rockies could do some regressing as well next series... With what they are doing to the Pad's bullpen...

2007-07-23 20:27:46
54.   Gen3Blue
43 Optimism?
2007-07-23 20:28:57
55.   natepurcell
52

i would do that trade in a heartbeat. Clay Buccholz is legit.

2007-07-23 20:31:37
56.   Who Is Karim Garcia
Jon- the shutout was actually lost on the next to last batter.

The post up top says it was lost on the final batter.

2007-07-23 20:32:27
57.   NorCal-Dodger
40. xaphor
34. Don't let that baby heal. From now on Hernandez's role on the team is to "help" Chad relieve himself.

Chad is a grown-up now. I'm sure he knows how to relieve himself

2007-07-23 20:32:34
58.   Disabled List
No way a GM like Theo Epstein would take Pierre off our hands.
2007-07-23 20:34:14
59.   Sam in SC
the crowd in colorado murmurs nervously . . .
2007-07-23 20:34:49
60.   dkminnick
51 - DT Day or not dying?
2007-07-23 20:35:14
61.   oswald
58 why not? he took lugo and drew.
2007-07-23 20:35:44
62.   Gen3Blue
55 The temptation to do a trade involving jp is huge. What is this Clay good at.
2007-07-23 20:35:51
63.   Andrew Shimmin
I hope no Dodger ever does anything so important that the ESPN2 crew brings Plaschke in to comment on it.
2007-07-23 20:35:55
64.   Sam in SC
rockies win. nice wrap up to the night.
2007-07-23 20:36:35
65.   oswald
dl, i'm just being snide. no way he'd make that trade, but i think it's more because of the contract than the player.
2007-07-23 20:37:11
66.   dkminnick
51 - Where's home, Icaros?
2007-07-23 20:37:31
67.   Eric Stephen
Can't say enough about Chad's performance tonight. I was on about an hour delay, so I avoided DT like the plague. Some quick notes (I haven't checked the game thread yet so I apologize if this was already discussed):

Jim Deshaies is awesome as a color analyst. He is very perceptive to new ideas, has a good sense of humor, and at various times in the game had the following observations:

a) He called Pierre's sac bunt in the first inning "questionable strategy" for playing for one run so early
b) When Kent was on first base after a single in the first inning, JD said Kent said more to Lance Berkman at first base than he did during his entire Astros tenure
c) He was lobbying for OPS to be shown during the broadcast rather than the "old school" Avg-HR-RBI rubric.

I was looking over the last few Dodger complete games, and from 2004-2007 the pitchers were Lowe (six times), Weaver (thrice), Penny, Billingsley, and Kaz Ishii chimed in with two shutouts in 2004!

2007-07-23 20:39:25
68.   Vishal
[62] pitching: http://web.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Clay%20Buchholz&pos=P&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=453329
2007-07-23 20:40:29
69.   Icaros
66

The heart of enemy territory: SF, CA.

2007-07-23 20:41:14
70.   Casilda
42 - Hee! Very funny, good joke.
Oh. You were serious? Um, no. Coco Crisp (our current center fielder) has woken up and is hitting .333/.405/.576 in July and was also good in June. Our top position player prospect is one Jacoby Ellsbury, who plays (yes) CF. Buchholtz is probably completely untouchable unless you're offering us Johan Santana or Miguel Cabrera. And we have zero use for Pierre. And why on earth would we be trying to sign the D-Train in the off-season? I happen to love Dontrelle, but pitching in the NL East ain't pitching in the AL East.
2007-07-23 20:42:43
71.   natepurcell
from a Goldstein chat that really amused me....

Mike (Utica,NY): Do you see any top prospects being moved at the trade deadline?

Kevin Goldstein: Actually, no. The trade talk is really, really dead. It looks like all of the teams asking for starting pitchers are asking the world, and it's going to be a slow final ten days. I did see a rumor of Chin-Lung Hu to the Royals for Odalis Perez, which would be absolute highway robbery for the Royals.

He probably means Dotel because I don't think there is any way Odalis is coming back.

2007-07-23 20:43:26
72.   Eric Stephen
69 Icaros, I forgot to ask you on Saturday, did you drive down day of game? Either way, that was a long trip.

If you'll excuse me, I'll go back to reading the Elmer Dessens entry in my 2007 Dodger media guide.

2007-07-23 20:44:11
73.   Vishal
[56] luke scott would've been the final out of the shutout.
2007-07-23 20:44:14
74.   PDH5204
I'm waiting for Loney to approach the official scorer and say, "my bad". It won't save the lost shutout but it will bring the ERA down to 0.00.

46 Will be truly "scary" if Atkins starts to hit like he did last year. If that happens, Hurdle would be stupid not to then have Taveras hit leadoff, Helton next, followed by Holliday, Atkins, Hawpe, Tulowitzi, Matsui, Torrealba and the pitcher. Then Hurdle finally allows Hawpe to hit more against lefties [he'll never learn how to unless he has that chance]. Moving Helton up to the 2-hole seems the obvious move given his woeful power drop while still retaining the ability to get on base with the walk, but Clint seems stuck on that righty, lefty, righty, lefty thing, and my lineup would mean lefty, righty, righty, lefty. And, yes, it was nice, in real life and in fantasy, to have Hawpe homer there with Corpas picking up the save [and who would have thought a month ago that my two best closers would now be Jonathan Broxton and Manny Corpas].

2007-07-23 20:44:15
75.   Jon Weisman
56 - It would have been the last batter had he gotten him out. He needed one more out.
2007-07-23 20:44:16
76.   NorCalDodger
Alright, now its time to cheer for Florida.
2007-07-23 20:44:23
77.   dkminnick
69 - Oh! Glad you made it down on Saturday. NIce to meetcha. You too, Eric S... and you and you and you, et al.

It is sad that DT Day is past. Can't wait until the next one. But I sure have had fun bragging about our day to all my friends and family.

2007-07-23 20:44:38
78.   MMSMikey
71

i just vomited in my mouth.

2007-07-23 20:45:44
79.   jujibee
58. Maybe we have to throw in some cash as well. Pierre would probably do a lot better playing at Fenway. He'd be able to hit the monster and double rather than fly out like he does here. Plus, Willis and him are best friends which might make it more appealing. Even so, the Sox are said to looking at Keilty who has injury issues and a career OPS that is 30 or so points higher than Pierre in a fraction of the at bats. Anyway, one can dream.
2007-07-23 20:49:01
80.   oswald
i'd really like dotel. does anyone know what the royals are asking?
2007-07-23 20:49:42
81.   Eric Stephen
Dontrelle won't be a free agent until after 2009.
2007-07-23 20:53:51
82.   Icaros
72

No. I drove the day before. I moved away two years ago, so I still have friends down there that I try to see at least once a year or so.

DT Day was the centerpiece of my trip.

2007-07-23 20:54:27
83.   Icaros
80

They supposedly asked for Matt Kemp first.

2007-07-23 20:57:33
84.   oswald
83 do people think we're stupid? honestly ... i'm actually getting tired of this nonsense. this is mlb negotiating? he sounds more like ed belfour trying to get out of a traffic ticket.
2007-07-23 20:58:10
85.   natepurcell
I want Ian Snell!
2007-07-23 20:59:18
86.   oswald
snell rhymes with purcell!
2007-07-23 21:00:29
87.   Bob Timmermann
Ian Snell, a Delaware corporation.
2007-07-23 21:01:43
88.   NorCalDodger
Joe Kennedy anyone? I don't think so, but if anyone can justify it, go for it.
2007-07-23 21:01:59
89.   Bob Timmermann
Chad Gaudin with 100 pitches in 3 2/3 IP tonight.
2007-07-23 21:04:26
90.   PDH5204
My nomination for worst pitching performance of today, in context: Chad Gaudin. The weakly A's score 4-1-1-3 and poor Chad can't even finish the 4th and is replaced by Calero with 2 out and the bases juiced. Got staked to 9 runs there Chad but no win for you.
2007-07-23 21:07:30
91.   PDH5204
89 Bob, in one fantasy league I had both Chads going today. I wasn't really expecting Loney to cop to that error there in the 9th, but what with the other Chad's performance I need the 9 IP with a 0.00 ERA to help out with the 3.2 IP with a 12.27 ERA. I guess my Chads don't mix well.
2007-07-23 21:08:53
92.   oswald
what about joel pineiro? no, i'm not kidding. he was just dfa'd. i know he's not great, but he could eat some innings. he's better than tomko for sure.
2007-07-23 21:08:59
93.   jujibee
84. I hope it's a joke, but we have traded a stud hitter for a relief pitcher before. Konerko anyone.
2007-07-23 21:10:54
94.   Sam in SC
gagne in the ninth against seattle tonight; 3 R on 4 H, 0 K, 0 BB, 1 HR.
2007-07-23 21:13:41
95.   Gen3Blue
79 I'm afraid since a D's fan is shocked at the sacrifice, and a few Boston fans are horrified about giving up Buchholtz, and no spelling of his name at MiLB.com yields anything and I don't know his strengths, I doubt this trade could ever be made.
2007-07-23 21:13:45
96.   oswald
nate, what prompted the snell comment? the pirates wouldn't actually trade him would they?
2007-07-23 21:14:14
97.   Bob Timmermann
The A's have scored in each of the first five innings in Anaheim.

Someone alert Ken!

2007-07-23 21:15:27
98.   PDH5204
89 Chad update no. 2: The A's have scored 2 more in the top half of the 5th, so that would be 11 runs in support had Chad G. ever decided to throw a strike.
2007-07-23 21:19:17
99.   natepurcell
96

earlier today baseballprospectus has some trade deadline talk and Pirates have looked to acquire a bat in exchange for Snell. They mentioned Salty of the Braves and Kemp and Ethier of the Dodgers.

Hu, Josh Bell and Delwyn Young. My final offer Pittsburgh.

2007-07-23 21:22:10
100.   natepurcell
wow, don't look now but Kent is closing in on the 900 OPS benchmark.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-07-23 21:23:38
101.   Gen3Blue
84,93 I'm beginning to get conspiracy paranoid. The small market teams and god knows who else need to get the prospects from the D's and some other W division teams!
2007-07-23 21:24:14
102.   natepurcell
oops my bad, i didn't realize his totals from today were already computer. hes only at 863.
2007-07-23 21:24:40
103.   Gen3Blue
99 No Hu,please!
2007-07-23 21:26:12
104.   silverwidow
I was SO bummed when Chad lost the shutout. Would've been the best game of his career hands down. It's at least top 3, with 7/1/07 vs. SD and 8/15/06 vs. FLA being the others.
2007-07-23 21:26:56
105.   oswald
i wish the dodgers would call up young, if only so he could get some at-bats to showcase him for the league. i get the distinct feeling that other teams don't view him as a prospect because the dodgers don't. but his numbers are good.
2007-07-23 21:26:56
106.   oswald
i wish the dodgers would call up young, if only so he could get some at-bats to showcase him for the league. i get the distinct feeling that other teams don't view him as a prospect because the dodgers don't. but his numbers are good.
2007-07-23 21:29:20
107.   Ken Arneson
97 I am aware of the situation. I couldn't bear to watch Gaudin miss the strike zone on 90 gazillion consecutive pitches with a seven run lead, so I stopped watching. The only thing that kept things from being worse is that Vlad and Garret swung at six of the 90 gazillion balls and both struck out. I'm not sure which of those sins is worse, but it's all rather pathetic.
2007-07-23 21:29:48
108.   natepurcell
106

i agree in the sense that I think other teams are really weary of "prospects" that the Dodgers are willing to give up in trades. I mean, we haven't really given up anyone of significance over the last 3-4 years. Shane Victorino looks to be one of the few that Dodgers should have regrets about and they didn't even trade him away.

2007-07-23 21:33:26
109.   Ken Arneson
The good news for A's fans: if an AL GM wanted to wait and see if Mike Piazza was healthy enough before trading for him, they can stop waiting. Dude can still rake. Fork over your prospects now, my friends.
2007-07-23 21:34:13
110.   oswald
108 i agree, but you have to take into consideration that the dodgers haven't produced many prospects over the last 5 years. our farm system was broken until 2003, and it's only now that some kids are coming up. but if you compare young's stats to the kemp's, loney's, laroche's, ethier's and martin's at the same level, they're actually better.
2007-07-23 21:34:25
111.   underdog
I don't know why I bother to watch Baseball Tonight, but I wanted to see their highlights of the Dodgers game - which was a fun 20 seconds coming on the heels of yet another cut away to watch Barry Bonds ground out to 2nd base. And then several more minutes of blather about Bonds, and should commissioner Selig attend the games, and John Smoltz is a cagey veteran, and yadda yadda.

But they did show the clip of Kent licking his bat - I hope everyone saw that so you know I wasn't hallucinating back in the other thread. Kruk mentioned something about how dirty the ends of bats are.

2007-07-23 21:36:32
112.   Gen3Blue
Allright. I admit that neither Hu or Buchholtz is on their teams 40 man roster.
So possibly Buchholtz > Hu-Pierre . Still I doubt it could get done.
2007-07-23 21:36:35
113.   Bob Timmermann
Mark Ellis keeps hope alive for the A's to become the first AL team to score in all 9 half innings of a game.
2007-07-23 21:38:01
114.   ToyCannon
107
The A's got more out of Gaudin this year then they had any right to expect.
2007-07-23 21:38:20
115.   Gen3Blue
111 They didn't show Loney's late 3-run homer, did they? I didn't see it.
2007-07-23 21:38:46
116.   underdog
109 He's having a helluva night. Can he still catch at all or is he strictly DH material at this point? I'm assuming the latter, which means strictly AL teams, and I wonder what the A's are asking for?

--

Mark Sweeney just tied Manny Mota's for 2nd in all time pinch hits with #150. No!

2007-07-23 21:39:30
117.   underdog
115 They didn't. They showed like 2 or 3 angles of Martin throwing out the runner at 2nd, however.
2007-07-23 21:41:14
118.   jujibee
112. It was more of a dream than anything. The pieces fit, but the slaries, and to some level talents, don't match up.
2007-07-23 21:45:32
119.   Bob Timmermann
The A's and Angels have now scored in 10 of the 12 half innings.

The AL record is 14 half innings scored in. It hasn't been done since June!

2007-07-23 21:49:06
120.   Gen3Blue
106,108 You guys are right, because D.Young may not even be in our plans, but is a dream for some small market team that has a super vet they can't afford. He is good.
2007-07-23 21:51:16
121.   bryanf
Jon called it. Chad will take us home down the stretch. Thankfully I started him this week on my fantasy team. :)
2007-07-23 21:52:19
122.   Gen3Blue
121 Amen.
2007-07-23 22:00:32
123.   underdog
More from Mike Downey, and Vin Scully, on the death of 3rd base coach Coolbaugh:

http://tinyurl.com/2wqwxu

2007-07-23 22:01:02
124.   Ken Arneson
116 Piazza's shoulder is still too hurt to throw, so he probably won't be able to catch for another month.
2007-07-23 22:07:03
125.   Daniel Zappala
I remember when I used to judge the lineup by batting average. Here is the lineup used tonight (after the game):

.286
.286
.301
.292
.293
.283
.358
.297

You gotta admit, that still gives you a nice warm feeling.

2007-07-23 22:08:56
126.   Daniel Zappala
It really stinks that Colon can't pitch this year.
2007-07-23 22:09:23
127.   oswald
just throwing this out there (this might be really dumb because i'm pretty tired): young, pierre, and either kuo/hu for bronson arroyo and ken griffey?

griffey takes over cf until kemp is ready to take over that position, we get rid of pierre's contract, and get a solid 4/5 pitcher for this year's stretch run.

starting lineup would look like this: furcal, martin, griffey, kent, gonzalez, garciaparra, loney, kemp. and the 2008 starting lineup is: furcal, martin, griffey, kemp, loney, kent, ethier, laroche.

2007-07-23 22:10:45
128.   Eric Enders
Well, that was a very enjoyable game tonight. Lots more Dodger fans at the ballyard than I thought there would be. I took a tour of the Juice Box before the game and quite literally bumped into Fernando in the narrow press box hallway. In the ninth I turned to my Astros-fan uncle, explained who James Loney is, and said "he's going to hit a home run right here." Boom.

Bummer about Luke Scott.

Tony Jackson is going to have to dig a little deeper to come up with his obligatory negative comments about Billingsley for tomorrow's paper. My guess is he'll harp on the 9th inning homer.

2007-07-23 22:16:51
129.   bryanf
123 Great, great, great article.
2007-07-23 22:23:27
130.   Jon Weisman
128 - Tony seems to very much live in the moment. It's very common for him to look at a game in the fourth inning and blog, "This one is over." In fact, here's a quote from yesterday:

"Within minutes of me informing Aram Tolegian, who is covering the game for us today, that the Dodgers were about to take their first two-game lead in the NL West since May 19, the Dodgers blew the lead in the ninth, another example of how Jonathan Broxton might not be ready for the closer role."

I mean, come on.

This also is indicative of his judgment on players. When Chad is great, he'll say Chad was great. But Chad has alternated great and mediocre starts, and therefore Chad's value alternates accordingly. There is very little past or future with Tony.

Quote from Tony from tonight: "This could be the start of something very special for Billingsley."

It's like Plaschke's column a few weeks back in which he basically discovered Matt Kemp and James Loney had potential. They don't even try to project ahead.

Meanwhile, Whatever you bumped Fernando with, I hope you're not washing again.

2007-07-23 22:27:09
131.   Eric Stephen
123 I miss Mike Downey from his days at the LA Times.
2007-07-23 22:33:08
132.   Robert Daeley
130 I blame deadlines. :)
2007-07-23 22:36:54
133.   Eric Enders
Watched the Dodgers take BP tonight. The two most notable things were:

1) James Loney hit 19 of every 20 pitches to the opposite field.

2) Matt Kemp just takes your breath away. Random Astros fans who probably never even heard of him stopped in their tracks to watch. Remember the Pujols shot off Lidge in the playoffs? Kemp hit probably 10 or 12 balls like that in BP.

2007-07-23 22:40:40
134.   Greg Brock
I had forgotten what a fine writer Mike Downey is.

And Vin Scully has probably never felt this sick for being right before. What a terrible thing.

2007-07-23 22:40:58
135.   Eric Enders
Also, I don't know if this was mentioned on the Dodger broadcast, but the last game Loney played at Minute Maid Park before tonight was in 2002, when he pitched a complete game one-hitter in the Texas high school playoffs.
2007-07-23 22:54:01
136.   Xeifrank
Sorry to hear about the Tulsa coach who was killed by a line drive, that's just awful. When I was a teenager I witnessed an adult, probably in his 20s, pitching batting practice get hit with a line drive up the middle in the head and die. If you are going to crusade for base coaches to wear helmets, why stop there, why not require it of pitchers too? I think pitchers are much more at risk than base coaches even with their gloves. vr, Xei
2007-07-23 23:00:28
137.   underdog
Thanks for reposting that article link above, Jon. It's a great piece - and it reminded me of how much I miss Mike Downey around these parts. Like Scully, I still feel kind of sick about this story, too.
2007-07-23 23:01:52
138.   underdog
136 I think pitchers are at risk, yes, but that glove does make a difference. Plus they are generally younger than coaches, quicker reflexes. And it has to be quite tough to pitch wearing a batting helmet. So at least there are reasons in that case. I can't see any good reason for base coaches to not wear one.
2007-07-23 23:11:42
139.   Who Is Karim Garcia
I'm supposed to be in Houston right now visiting my gal and taking in this series... but work got in the way.

I will be there in two weeks. Sigh. What could have been.

Someone more sober correct me" Did John Olerud where the helmet because he was hit with a ball that caused a seizure?

2007-07-23 23:14:33
140.   Greg Brock
Olerud had an aneurysm in college, if I recall correctly.
2007-07-23 23:15:56
141.   Greg Brock
From the Baseball Library:

Olerud showed promise early on at Washington State, where he was named Baseball America's NCAA Player of the Year in 1987 and '88. His senior year, he recovered from a frightening brain aneurysm in January to hit .359 with 30 RBIs in 27 games that spring. The scare would always be with him though, and he began wearing a batting helmet on the field for safety.

2007-07-23 23:19:11
142.   wronghanded
139 I'm pretty sure that Olerud was anemic (sp?) where bruises would continue to bleed and eventually clot under the skin. He wore the helmet because a hard strike to his head would have put his life in jeopardy.
2007-07-23 23:20:26
143.   wronghanded
Nevermind, I'm wrong, just found the Bio on him, good find Greg
2007-07-23 23:24:15
144.   Greg Brock
I'm imagining David Stern, flanked by three trusted aids, sitting in a dark room, lit only by the blazing fireplace to his right, watching hours of videotape on various playoff games. Think Big Lebowski scene.

"Tim Donaghy was forced to do this because, sir, he failed to achieve on a level playing field."

2007-07-23 23:39:58
145.   Xeifrank
138. Would be interesting to know how many pitchers have been hit with line drives / comebackers versus base coaches? I believe that Billingsley was hit with two or three comebackers in his home win against the Padres a few weeks back. Of course nothing life threatening but you tend to see pitchers hit more by batted balls than base coaches, even with the glove. They are much closer to the batter and many of today's pitchers have terrible follow throughs when it comes to finishing their delivery in the correct fielding position..., case in point K-ROD. vr, Xei
2007-07-23 23:58:00
146.   El Lay Dave
Gen3Blue: Buchholz is stellar.
http://tinyurl.com/27wjdh
2007-07-23 23:58:30
147.   NorCalDodger
126. Actually, its pretty nice that Colon can't pitch. All he is is a salary black hole for the darned The The Angels Angels of Anaheim. I'm eagerly awaiting the day the Mariners pass The The Angels Angels of Anaheim in the standings.
2007-07-24 00:03:41
148.   El Lay Dave
oswald: Pineiro is pretty awful. Maybe the Cards will take him because Dave Duncan will claim he can fix him.
2007-07-24 00:44:02
149.   bhsportsguy
I have driven by this establishment numerous times in my travels in Pasadena, Bob, Marty and other residents of the area, have you gone here, if you do, you could see our manager during his early morning rides.

http://tinyurl.com/3cwzm3

2007-07-24 00:55:21
150.   bojangles
130: On the money; Tony shares that trait with many big-city sports reporters. And, wow, (again, much company among peers) never four words when fourteen will do....yet another added bonus in the location where!
But, Great Ceasar's Ghost! I disagree about the 'formidable" pitching staff, Thought it had an outside chance to be one after Schmidt signing, if my gut turned out unreliable about his contris; very outside - too much fragility in collective history, too many questions re: the kids. Think it has done surprisingly well in spite of all - but would caution not to do a Tony J. on Chad - this was the Astros, after all (and first game home after road trip?). Realistically, he's probably somewhere between what he was at home vs. tough Phils, and on the road vs. not-so-tough 'Stros. Hard to project...
134. Well said. Two little ones, another on the way. Great (and, as too often with prophets, tragically wasted) foresight by Vin.
And I'm with Xei - think the technology is here for a reasonably comfortable/safe outfitting of pitchers. I saw the Herb Score
crash....
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-07-24 01:58:39
151.   xaphor
A pitcher could easily wear a rugby style helmet which would prove no hindrance to their movement. If you watched the Galaxy v. Chelsea match, this is the same headgear that Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech wears after suffering a head fracture that nearly cost him his life late last year.
2007-07-24 02:08:46
152.   Robert Daeley
http://www.kansascity.com/sports/royals/story/202131.html

"The Dodgers rebuffed interest in second baseman Tony Abreu, believed to be the Royals' top preference, because they view him as a long-term replacement for Jeff Kent.

"A possible alternative is shortstop Chin-Lung Hu, who is batting .349 with nine homers and 46 RBIs in 92 games this season at Class AAA Las Vegas and Class AA Jacksonville. Hu, 23, has always played shortstop, but scouts believe he could shift to second base.

"The Dodgers are similarly reluctant to surrender Hu, but they have veteran shortstop Rafael Furcal under contract through next season...."

2007-07-24 03:37:13
153.   overkill94
Greetings from London! (for now, flight for Bologna leaves in three hours)

Can anybody who pays more attention to world affairs than I do explain how the dollar's value can fluctuate so much from one week to the next? When I was in Europe a few weeks ago it was something like 1.34 dollars for every Euro, but when I got to the airport today it's all the way up to 1.95! Is this normal?

It's always nice to get off a plane to find out that not only did the Dodgers pull of a convincing win, but my boy Chad (who is also on my fantasy team) saved the bullpen from more carnage. Even his one mistake was imparted by another guy on my fantasy team (Scott).

2007-07-24 03:59:46
154.   overkill94
Upon further review, it seems that it's at 1.38 (according to Yahoo) which is only a slight raise from last time. Are the British trying to screw me or did I just read the conversion table wrong?
2007-07-24 04:11:54
155.   GIDP
Brits don't use Euros so you probably saw the exchange rate for pounds.
2007-07-24 04:42:37
156.   Charenton
there are all kinds of factors that go into conversion rates - some obvious, some quite mysterious.
*The interest rate policy of the Fed Reserve
*excessive govt spending in Iraq
*The amount of natl debt plays also plays a role.
Sometimes (but not always) the Fed tries to bring the dollar down when the strength of the dollar hurts American exports.
*Also the actions of billionaire currency speculators such as George Soros (he was involved in a collapse of the GB pound 6 to 7 yrs ago-hard to reconcile such behavior with his supposedly humanitarian efforts) can play an unexpected role in exchange rates.
----
In 2002,it took $.80to buy one €uro now it's over $1.30: hard to understand such a substantial change…
2007-07-24 05:39:44
157.   Andrew Shimmin
What's killing the dollar right now (to the extent that anybody actually knows; quotes from Wall Street Insiders often conform to reality about as much as quotes from Joe Morgan) is that everybody's decided that sub-prime loans are a crazy thing to invest nearly as much money in as has been invested. Many people think it's a house of cards and is going to come down, and that it'll be like the S&L scandal all over again, when it does.

The dollar's been falling for a while, probably in large part because of China. They pegged the Yuan to the Dollar for a long time, then, even after announcing they'd let it float, still appeared, to many, to be gaming it to keep their exports cheap. After a lot of puling and tooth gnashing, the US seemed to stop bothering to prevent the dollar's falling, perhaps as a way of trying to slap China hard enough to get them to knock it off. And, given the Yuan hit an all-time high, vs. the dollar last week, maybe it's working. The U.S. has signed many (more or less) free trade treaties, so they didn't have a lot of tools available. Plus, it only hurts you people with your fancy European vacations, so the rest of us are okay with it. You want a cheap vacation, go to Vegas. You can stay, a little ways off the strip, for forty bucks a night! And they've got that fake Paris thing that Charenton probably didn't even give a chance, before flitting off to the real Paris.

The alternate explanation, which could be given at great, great, great length by supporters of a current contender for his party's nomination for President is that, because the USD is fiat money, it's collapsing, which is one of the seven signs of the apocalypse. Or something.

2007-07-24 06:38:31
158.   Vishal
[157] hahah great comment andrew. there's something about the word "flit" that really entertains me. it's so rife with contempt :)

also... fiat money?

http://tinyurl.com/2lyeso

2007-07-24 06:53:23
159.   Penarol1916
157. Oh, the falling dollar compared to the Euro doesn't just hurt people on their fancy European vacation. It also makes it more expensive to eat their fancy European cheeses and drink their fancy European wines. Plus, the yuan going to all-time highs against the dollar makes all of the Chinese imports more expensive.

156. It's not really that hard to understand. You explained most of it, and Andrew explained the rest, because the Yuan was in a band against the dollar, all of the pressure on the dollar to fall went against the Euro and the Yen, so the dollar fell much more against these two currencies than it would have with a floating yuan.

153. You may have read it wrong, or it could be that the airport was trying to screw you. Most exchange places in airports are really bad in terms of the rates they give you because they know you want to exchange right away, especially if you are taking a cab. You should always exchange before you leave on the trip.

2007-07-24 07:19:31
160.   Andrew Shimmin
People still eat foreign cheese? I guess it's possible, but I just can't believe it. Who could be so snooty as to prefer anything else over American cheese?

Anyway, higher prices for Chinese goods just means the manufacturing jobs will come back, and everything will go back to being good, like it was in the old days. When everything was good.

2007-07-24 07:42:26
161.   Disabled List
Currency Market Thoughts this early in the morning? You guys are weird.

According to Yahoo Finance, it's 2.063 pounds to the dollar today, so 155 is correct, accounting for the crummy rates airport exchanges offer.

2007-07-24 07:47:31
162.   Marty
149 I've been to Pie n Burger maybe 1000 times. Great, if over-priced, burgers. Pretty decent breakfasts too. But I've found my new favorite and its only 2 minutes from my house. Hawkin's House of Burgers. In my opinion, best burger in L.A. county.

Also, I respectfully have to complain. Don't use "fine writer" and Mike Downey in the same sentence.

2007-07-24 07:52:35
163.   Who Is Karim Garcia
Marty, I agree P&B is a great joint for a burger and fine milkshake, but how about Father's Office in Santa Monica?

I think they easily take the prize for best burger, even though a vanilla man such as myself can't see how anyone can improve a double double.

Have fun in Italy, Overkill94!

2007-07-24 07:55:41
164.   Andrew Shimmin
162- It's the soft bigotry of low expectations.
2007-07-24 07:56:24
165.   Benaiah
160 - Don't turn the lights out just yet Detroit!

I highly recommend vacationing in South America instead of Europe if you are trying to get some bang for your (devalued) buck. I am going to Buenos Aires in October and everything costs about 1/3 what it would here (about 1/4 what it would cost in Europe). Plus, the wine in South America (especially Chile and Argentina) is phenomenal.

2007-07-24 08:05:58
166.   Penarol1916
165. The problem with going to Buenos Aires is that you have to put up with the portenos. They are a combination of the New Yorkers and Parisians, x10. If I were allowed to punch everyone in that city in the face, it would be my favorite place in the world.

160. You are a funny fellow.

2007-07-24 08:10:58
167.   Marty
Father's Office is on my pay no mind list. They refuse any substitution. They are the burger nazis of LA.
2007-07-24 08:18:36
168.   Marty
Dept. of no surprise: Lindsey Lohan arrested for DUI again. She also had Coke on her.
2007-07-24 08:24:20
169.   Hythloday
168 - Was that to wash down the coke? I imagine a coke and Coke is like a 7 & 7, but with a bit more kick. Sorry, I'm just being a smartass.
2007-07-24 08:37:43
170.   Marty
I just discovered over at Baseball Analysts why I was doomed to never being a big-leaguer. I'm a lefty who bats righty.
2007-07-24 08:54:50
171.   underdog
Oops, I'm sorry. I thought this was DodgerThoughts. But I see that it's DollarThoughts. I'll just head back down to the information booth. Carry on.

Hey, someone explain this to me (from SportsTicker article on game last night): "The right-hander continued to climb the charts in Dodgers pitching lure, becoming the first pitcher to begin the season 7-0 since Matt Herges started 8-0 in 2000."

Pitching lure? Is that like a fishing lure?

2007-07-24 09:02:25
172.   Hythloday
It could also be pitching lore, but that doesn't make any sense. When I think of past Dodgers pitchers I think of fishing.
2007-07-24 09:09:51
173.   underdog
Wow, Gary Radnich (on KNBR radio in SF) was just calling out Giants fans who left after Bonds got a single last night (to put a tying run on base) in what was his last at bat. He even said, "People make fun of Dodger fans for leaving early but Giants fans do the same thing." But then he defended it a bit by saying "sometimes people have babysitters they have to get back to and so on" and if a team's not very good, people are going to be more excited about the player pursuing the record... Anyway, at least he mentioned it. I was kinda astonished to see that last night when watching on TV.
2007-07-24 09:10:40
174.   underdog
172 I'm sure they meant "lore" too, but you're right, that doesn't make much more sense. Chad Billingsly, Dodgers bait and tackle.
2007-07-24 09:19:30
175.   Jon Weisman
173 - Only San Francisco fans use babysitters. Down in Los Angeles, our toddlers toddle the streets, while we leave ballgames early to sit in our cars and shoot at each other on the freeways.
2007-07-24 09:20:01
176.   Jon Weisman
173/175 - Seriously, though, it's nice to see someone point out the obvious for once.
2007-07-24 09:24:17
177.   underdog
175- Heh. Yeah, I really think he meant all fans at ballparks, not just Giants fans. Oddly, he also brought up Royals fans, when George Brett was trying to hit .400 years ago, as behaving similar to Giants fans now with Bonds.

When I went to Giants Dodgers game coupla weeks ago and Giants fans left after Bonds last at bat, I was a little surprised then, too, though then the Dodgers blew it open in the next half inning so I guess they knew something. (Like, how awful the Giants bullpen is.)

2007-07-24 09:32:48
178.   Jonny6
Just noticed in Jackson's blog that the Dodgers were six games under .500 at this point in the season last year. Funny how I already put all of last year's teeth gnashing about our chances of making the playoffs out of my mind; I'm glad we don't have to endure the debate about playing for this season or future seasons(not that we're guaranteed to make the playoffs this year just that no one is going to advocate anything but a full-fledged push toward the post-season).

Interesting side note about Stults and Hull. Apparently, they are best friends and roommates, but they still haven't had a chance to play in the big leagues together. Instead of ships passing in the night, this time they were planes passing in mid-air as Hull flew in for his call-up while Stults got optioned back to Vegas. With the depleted state of our pitching ranks, I'm guessing they will get to see each other in LA sometime this season.

2007-07-24 09:41:23
179.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.

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