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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Impending
2008-01-08 08:45
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Normally, January finds me all too eager for the offseason to end and Spring Training to begin. But right now, the thought of the 2008 Dodger season brings me a strange feeling of burden.

As excited as I am about Matt Kemp, James Loney, Chad Billingsley, Russell Martin, Jonathan Broxton, Andre Ethier and Andy LaRoche – it really is a long list, isn't it – I fear the upcoming microanalysis of their performance. I want these players to be allowed to slump, to make mistakes, to breathe.

Martin, of course, is on the safest ground – an All-Star catcher whom everyone likes. But even Martin is subject to questions about whether he is getting enough rest. It's not that the questions aren't legitimate; it's that they grow tiresome over the course of an entire season.

Billingsley and Loney took over starting spots in midseason, took them by the throat. But if they aren't gangbusters at the start of 2008, a number of people will question whether they are flukes.

No matter how many one-two-three eighth innings he pitches, Broxton will face the silly questions about whether he has a closer's makeup. LaRoche will always be looking over his shoulder when he starts – if he starts. (In that respect, it's almost a relief that the third base job is Nomar Garciaparra's to lose.)

A conversation about Ethier implies a conversation about Juan Pierre. What could be more exasperating than that … except for a conversation about Kemp's maturity and demeanor?

With all this talent coming together, I should feel nothing but excitement and anticipation. If I could have one wish come true for the Dodgers in 2008, it's that their fan and media base feel the same thing – rather than looking at the players as something to claw and tear at, each and every misstep.

My sense is that a lot of fans share my attitude, but I also gather that the impatience for a champion, underscored by this being the 20th anniversary of the team's last World Series triumph, will make for a bumpy ride.

Comments (233)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-01-08 10:18:35
1.   Neal Pollack
I don't think it's any different than what any team has to endure during the season in these days of readily available microcommentary and the 24-hour sports news cycle. We care about that stuff a lot more than the players do.
2008-01-08 10:18:54
2.   bigcpa
I'm interested to see how Torre figures into all of the above. Will he set his lineups according to every 2-12 "skid" or 4-12 "streak." If LaRoche and/or Ethier have torrid springs could they grab full-time jobs?
2008-01-08 10:19:36
3.   Disabled List
I know the feeling. I have so much emotionally invested in these guys, that if they don't succeed, or if the whole ends up being less than the sum of its parts, it's going to feel like a personal failure.

It's not enough now for them to just "get a chance to play." They gotta make some hay with that chance.

2008-01-08 10:19:39
4.   Neal Pollack
That said, I would really prefer not to have a conversation about Juan Pierre ever, for the rest of my life. But here I go again...
2008-01-08 10:21:11
5.   kinbote
I'm hoping Kuo/Brazoban/Meloan all make the bullpen.
2008-01-08 10:27:57
6.   paranoidandroid
I'm anxious for the spring, to see what the bullpen will look like and to see Schmidt, Brazoban, and perhaps Kuo in action again.

I liked Grady, no doubt I would have liked to see if work out for him and the team. However, I am very hopeful that Torre will settle and smooth over all of these questions Jon brought up and give the guys who are playing the support they need to be in a position to succeed. Grady found a way to make very few happy about his line-up shuffles (except perhaps his centerfielder). I think Torre will avoid this, at least I'm hopeful he gives us that stablity and sense of leadership.

I'm also very curious to see if Andruw will bounce back. Atlanta not offering arbitration makes me wonder if they know something...

2008-01-08 10:34:17
7.   Eric Enders
I liked Grady's personality a lot, but it was really hard to like the way he let the veterans walk all over him. Instead of the best man winning the job, it was all about showing so-called "respect" to old guys who couldn't play anymore. If nothing else, I hope Torre changes that.
2008-01-08 10:38:30
8.   bigcpa
7 Let us not forget Marlon Anderson DH'ing a week before being DFA'd and Ramon Martinez pinch-hitting for Loney with the bases loaded at Shea. Disgusting!
2008-01-08 10:39:33
9.   Robert Fiore
It's funny, I have the opposite feeling. I'm eager to see what's in the box.
2008-01-08 10:39:34
10.   Eric Enders
I also hope Kuo/Meloan/Brazoban all make the bullpen, but since they are the three most injury-prone pitchers in the organization, I'm not holding my breath.
2008-01-08 10:45:44
11.   silverwidow
10 I don't know how you could list Meloan before Greg Miller when it comes to injury prone pitchers.
2008-01-08 10:48:35
12.   Penarol1916
11. Or Schmidt, and even possibly Loaiza and Morris.
2008-01-08 10:56:11
13.   kinbote
10 I like the top 4 of our pen [Saito/Broxton/Beimel/Proctor], but I worry about who's going to fill the other three spots. I'm willing to live with a long man such as Stults, Houlton, or Loaiza [if Schmidt is healthy], but I still see the need for at least one other power arm. If Kuo and Brazoban are ready for opening day, I could see us stashing Meloan at AAA. However, as you said, that's a big if.

I see Torre using 12 pitchers, leaving the other 13 spots pretty well accounted for. Probably the biggest omission on my proposed roster is Repko [who could easily take Pierre's spot in case J.P. is dumped onto Baltimore].

I have Ethier, Jones, Kemp, Pierre, & Young in the OF (5) and Martin, Loney, Kent, Furcal, Nomar/LaRoche, Abreu, & Bennet in the IF (8).

The biggest question in that group is whether LaRoche would still make the team if Nomar wins the starting 3B job. Nomar is a great fit on the bench; Laroche would likely be better off playing everyday at AAA.

If Nomar wins the job and LaRoche is sent down, that leaves a bench job open for a Sweeney-type addition.

What are your thoughts about LaRoche on the bench?

2008-01-08 11:01:24
14.   Eric Enders
Meloan has had a torn ACL, ulnar nerve problems, has been shut down with random elbow soreness, and his delivery has been called a "ticking time bomb" by Baseball America. And as far as I know he's the only pitcher in the organization who isn't allowed to pitch back-to-back days due to injury concerns (although that rule was bent occasionally during the latter half of this season).
2008-01-08 11:02:24
15.   gpellamjr
Typo, Jon. Penultimate paragraph.
2008-01-08 11:08:38
16.   Dodgers49
>> With all this talent coming together, I should feel nothing but excitement and anticipation. <<

That's my attitude and I'm sticking to it! :-)

2008-01-08 11:10:43
17.   Eric Enders
I think LaRoche belongs on the roster, whether at third or on the bench. At least if he's on the bench, he's around when Nomar needs the occasional day off, or just starts to suck. LaRoche has spent good portions of two years in AAA and is going to turn 24 this year; he is probably as developed as he's going to get. He's got the best plate discipline on the team already and his defense is MLB-ready.

Repko does seem like the odd man out WRT the 25-man roster, but if the Dodgers were planning on sending him back to the minors, why did they tender him a major league contract at the arbitration deadline? As I understand it (and I may well be wrong), they can't even option him down without DFAing and losing him (and therefore wasting the arb money). Which leads me to believe that there will be a spring training death match between Repko and Young for the last roster spot, with the loser being cast off the island. There seems a decent chance that Repko will be his scrappy spring training self and force Ned to get rid of Young.

2008-01-08 11:13:15
18.   Dodgers49
Speaking of Nomar as a supersub, how about this scenario:

Nomar plays some 2nd base during spring training. Then if LaRoche wins the 3rd base job Nomar (who will be on the team regardless) backs up the entire infield while Hu and Abreu play everyday at Las Vegas.

2008-01-08 11:14:24
19.   Eric Enders
Tim Raines 24.3%. Shameful.
2008-01-08 11:14:51
20.   Linkmeister
"I fear the upcoming microanalysis of their performance. I want these players to be allowed to slump, to make mistakes, to breathe."

Substitute the word "candidates" for "players" and you've got the American election year in a nutshell.

2008-01-08 11:16:58
21.   Eric Enders
18 A year ago I'd have said that was a good idea. However, Nomar looked very awkward at both first and third last year, so I doubt his ability to play the two tougher positions with any degree of competence.
2008-01-08 11:17:51
22.   cargill06
Ned Schmidt has a, "50-50" chance of making the opening day roster, my gut is that it is 25 % he will. As much as I'm excited about the prospect of James McDonald or Clayton Kershaw, I hope they don't get rushed into the rotation. Although, I'm not crazy about Loaiza this is what they got him for. He could be a very servicable #5.
2008-01-08 11:20:12
23.   Jon Weisman
19 - How is Raines even a borderline case? Can't believe he did that poorly.
2008-01-08 11:34:35
24.   overkill94
I think that with Torre at the helm, there will be less pressure from the peanut gallery (Plaschke, et al.) when a younger player starts to slump. The only question is whether Torre himself will have enough confidence in said youngsters that he'll stick with them through the tough times.
2008-01-08 11:44:21
25.   bhsportsguy
17 The fact that Repko was not non-tendered has no affect on his option status.

If Repko had 5 years of MLB service, he could not be assigned to a minor league team without his consent (see Jason Giambi from a few years back).

But since he only has 3 years of service time, he can still be optioned without any consequence.

2008-01-08 11:44:37
26.   overkill94
I love the people who get random HoF votes. Travis Fryman? Really? 2 people seriously thought he deserves a spot in the hall?
2008-01-08 11:46:09
27.   overkill94
26 Ugh, my tense is off in that last sentence, I'll go ahead and correct myself before gpellam comes in and rips me a new one :)

"seriously thinks he deserves a spot in the hall?"

2008-01-08 11:48:25
28.   fanerman
27 Your conjugation is off. "2 people" and "thinks."
2008-01-08 11:51:25
29.   bhsportsguy
25 That all being said, I do think that there will be a battle between Repko and Young but if the Dodgers are set on carrying Kemp, Ethier, Jones and Pierre, that actually helps Young because he switch-hits and he would never clear waivers while Repko's value as a defensive sub is negated by the other 4 outfielders and he does not have the upside as bat off the bench like Young does.

Combine that with Young's out of option status and throw in Repko's injury history, I think Delwyn has the edge of making the team.

2008-01-08 11:53:32
30.   Jon Weisman
17 - Why can't the Dodgers option Repko? Seems logical. He has an option left, if I'm not mistaken, and it's not as if his salary precludes it for the depth-minded Colletti.
2008-01-08 11:57:20
31.   Eric Enders
I know the arbitration offer doesn't affect the options, I just thought Repko was out of options already. Guess not. That's good.
2008-01-08 11:59:25
32.   dzzrtRatt
Funny, but after reading your last post, about the trial and error process that led to the 70s successes, I'm ready for pretty much anything. Yep, these new guys might not all succeed. They could also get injured. A lot of bad things could happen, but so could a lot of good things. I'm excited, but my expectations are that we're heading into unexplored territory, and we don't know for sure what we'll see there. I don't think the Dodgers are guaranteeing anything. But they're committing to youth really for the first time since the early '70s, and it's about time they tried that approach again -- whether it works or not.

We can always go back to how the Dodgers have been doing things the past 20 years. Just hope we don't have to.

2008-01-08 12:00:25
33.   GoBears
I was glad to see Gossage get in. Idiot Steve Phillips wanted to know why Lee Smith didn't get there first, and non-idiot Joe Sheehan countered that Sutter has now set the bar pretty low for relief pitchers. Billy Wagner, HOFer?

Raines and especially Blyleven are baffling. Trammel should be in too. I'm fine with relegating Rice to the "Hall of Very Good along with Dale Murphy.

2008-01-08 12:02:26
34.   Jon Weisman
Voting trend chart from BaseballCrank via Baseball Musings:

http://baseballcrank.com/archives2/2008/01/baseball_the_ha_3.php

2008-01-08 12:02:59
35.   GoBears
33. Probably obvious, but I should have specified that the Phillips-Sheehan exchange was on ESPNews.
2008-01-08 12:04:05
36.   gpellamjr
27 I think "Two people thought he deserves..." is fine. The present tense in the oratio obliqua gives the sense that his being worthy is continual-- i.e., he didn't stop being worthy after they voted, and will continue to be worthy.
2008-01-08 12:09:46
37.   Bob Timmermann
36
Gpellamjr is always so accusative!
2008-01-08 12:11:03
38.   gpellamjr
37 It's better than being accusatory, like you, Bob. Like you!
2008-01-08 12:11:40
39.   bigcpa
Tim Raines has Lou Brock's resume without the 3,000 hits. Raines had 400 more BB's in 115 fewer games. Brock got caught stealing twice as much. No wonder Raines has become a sabermetric litmus test.
2008-01-08 12:12:21
40.   Bob Timmermann
38
Good thing gpellamjr is married so he doesn't have to be in a dative mood.
2008-01-08 12:12:45
41.   Bob Timmermann
40
Work with me on that one people. I know it's a case and not a mood.
2008-01-08 12:16:27
42.   cargill06
Off topic, I'm assuming it's safe to say that the team can compile at least a .500 record in games Kuroda, and Loaiza/Schmidt start. Anyone know what the Dodger's record was in games which Penny/Lowe/Billingsley didn't start.
2008-01-08 12:20:14
43.   overkill94
36 How could I have forgotten the oratio obliqua?
2008-01-08 12:21:02
44.   CanuckDodger
I'm wondering when Rudy Seanez will make a decision about what team he wants to sign with, since we are known to have made him an offer.

Do we want Seanez to pick the Dodgers? My fear is that Ned has decided that if we don't bring back Seanez he feels obligated to make a trade to get another PVL reliever, and if that's the case, we better get Seanez back. But if Ned is content to do nothing if Seanez says no, then it will be a spring training battle between Brazoban, Kuo, Houlton, Stults, Meloan, Hull, and (from among the NRI's) Mike Koplove. If Schmidt proves himself healthy in spring training, I doubt putting Loaiza in the bullpen is an option, with his veteran, high-paid starter status, so I think Ned would shop him in trade.

I'm assuming we will at least start the season with seven relievers, and my choices to round out the pen after the Top Four are Brazoban, Kuo, and Hull. I really want to see Hull get a fair shot in the majors, after such a great season in Vegas last year.

2008-01-08 12:21:42
45.   silverwidow
Is it fair to assume that Torre has never seen Kemp, Ethier or Young play?
2008-01-08 12:33:00
46.   regfairfield
18 Nomar was arguably the worst defensive first baseman in basbeall last year. There's no way he could play a middle infield position.
2008-01-08 12:35:07
47.   Dodgers49
Dodgers' Garciaparra should be on third watch

>> Garciaparra admits there was a time when the team seemed to have lost its focus, but the vets-vs.-youngsters feud was overblown.

"At no point was there any anger in the clubhouse," he said. "It's not like we don't like the young guys, don't respect the young guys. And it's not like the young guys don't like or respect us.

"We lost sight. Everybody was like, `Veterans and the young guys,' rather than saying this is the Los Angeles Dodgers."

Garciaparra said Kent met with the young players and the issue was actually resolved quickly.

"He told them, `We respect the game of baseball. We want to see it flourish, want to see it get better. It's going to get better, it's going to evolve. And we want to help young kids. The more we help, the more we win. We here to win.'

"I think internally that stuff was dealt with in a day. It was done." <<

http://www.dailybreeze.com/ci_7908155

2008-01-08 12:36:19
48.   ToyCannon
9
I'm with you and not just because of the Dodgers. The West is going to be fun.

I've always worried about D Young's ability to make a team based on spring training performance. During his minor league career he did his best work from July on. Still I have a hard time seeing D Young not making the team.

2008-01-08 12:40:31
49.   Disabled List
I'm glad to see Goose made it, I think it's a shame the writers made him wait this long. Next year, hopefully, we'll see Blyleven get his deserved enshrinement.

If I had a vote, those are the only two guys I'd have put on my ballot (dunno about McGwire). There's already too many mediocrities in the HOF. I believe in setting the bar high, and if you have to call someone a borderline case, then he probably doesn't belong.

2008-01-08 12:40:45
50.   Ken Noe
Second guessing is part of the game, especially these days. You should check out the Hokie site I frequent; we'll be parsing offensive play calling in the Orange Bowl for months. In comparison, I agree 24 that the Torre aura will provide the kids some cover, at least for awhile. And if things do go bad, it'll be Plaschke hammering Colletti for not getting Cabrera.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-01-08 12:44:00
51.   Eric Stephen
42 Anyone know what the Dodger's record was in games which Penny/Lowe/Billingsley didn't start?

Ahem:
http://tinyurl.com/39w3um

The Dodgers went 30-47 (.390) in games not started by Penny, Lowe, or Billingsley in 2007.

I wouldn't go so far as to say it's safe to assume a .500 record from Kuroda/Loaiza/Schmidt starts, but it should be better than .390, that's for sure.

2008-01-08 12:46:24
52.   cargill06
Could be very likely the Dodgers only carry 4 outfielders because of Pierre being able to play CF also, and Kemp and Ethier being able to play each corner. I have a hard time imagining Young will make the squad, I love the kid's swing though
2008-01-08 12:46:56
53.   Daniel Zappala
32 says it perfectly for me. I'm excited to see how these Dodgers turn out, which is a lot better than many past years.
2008-01-08 12:48:54
54.   cargill06
52 and the duribilty of Pierre and Jones would make a 5th OF very unlikely
2008-01-08 12:50:50
55.   Dodgers49
Dodger fan seeks $1 million over parking lot punch

>> Helenius was punched in the parking lot after the San Francisco Giants pulled out a dramatic, ninth-inning victory on July 17, 2005, before 47,000 spectators. <<

http://tinyurl.com/2y6esg

2008-01-08 12:52:04
56.   Jon Weisman
I wouldn't think of Young as an outfielder primarily. I would think of him as a bat off the bench who could play outfield - as well as infield on an emergency basis.
2008-01-08 12:52:22
57.   Bob Timmermann
55
Yeah, good luck with that one.
2008-01-08 12:53:58
58.   regfairfield
48 I think there's no way we just cut Delwyn. He'll make the team.
2008-01-08 12:55:33
59.   Jon Weisman
55 - This was the game.

http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/gameday/gd2005.html?2005_07_17_sfnmlb_lanmlb_1

2008-01-08 12:56:08
60.   Jon Weisman
Top 9TH B:0 S:0 O:0
Defensive Substitution: Mike Edwards remains in the game as the left fielder.

Top 9TH B:0 S:0 O:0
Defensive switch from left field to right field for Jayson Werth.

Top 9TH B:0 S:0 O:0
Pitcher Change: Yhency Brazoban replaces Duaner Sanchez, batting 9th.

Top 9TH B:1 S:0 O:1
Mike Matheny lines out to center fielder Jason Repko.

Top 9TH B:2 S:1 O:2
Pedro Feliz grounds out, shortstop Cesar Izturis to first baseman Hee-Seop Choi.

Top 9TH B:2 S:0 O:2
Jason Ellison hits a ground-rule double (17) on a fly ball to right field.

Top 9TH B:0 S:0 O:2
Offensive Substitution: Pinch hitter Alex Sanchez replaces Scott Eyre.

Top 9TH B:0 S:1 O:2
Alex Sanchez hit by pitch.

Top 9TH B:2 S:2 O:2
Michael Tucker homers (5) on a fly ball to right field. Jason Ellison scores. Alex Sanchez scores.

Top 9TH B:0 S:2 O:3
Omar Vizquel grounds out, shortstop Cesar Izturis to first baseman Hee-Seop Choi.

2008-01-08 12:58:23
61.   Disabled List
Ah, 2005. What pleasant memories.
2008-01-08 13:06:39
62.   CanuckDodger
52 -- Young is a certainty to make the team. I mean, really, I can't see how anybody is doubting it. A switch hitter who has hit for power and average wherever he has gone, including L.A., and he is out of options. But leaving Young's merits aside, I think you can infer the Dodgers intentions from what they did NOT do this off-season. The Dodgers made no effort to replace Saenz, or Sweeney, with a proven PH. And with Young out of options, the Dodgers would have tried hard to put him in a trade unless they had plans to use him themselves.
2008-01-08 13:11:42
63.   cargill06
62. if young doesn't make the opening day roster he becomes a free agent?
2008-01-08 13:13:35
64.   regfairfield
63 He gets put on waivers and someone will claim him.
2008-01-08 13:45:40
65.   bigcpa
On days when Ethier plays your bench would be Abreu, Pierre, Bennett, LaRoche/Nomar, Repko. There's really no need for a late-inning defensive sub this year. Gotta go with Delwyn over Repko.
2008-01-08 13:47:49
66.   Sam DC
Gary Bennett, Dodger, is not really jiving for me yet.
2008-01-08 14:12:56
67.   ToyCannon
If we ever say Russel Martin DL, it will be painful.
2008-01-08 14:18:53
68.   Eric Enders
"If we ever say Russel Martin DL, it will be painful."

Hey, if 550 of his descendants end up catching for the Dodgers, I won't complain. (Of course, I will have been dead for tens of thousands of years.)

2008-01-08 14:43:51
69.   kinbote
62 I'm excited about Young next year. I think there's a chance he could be a pinch-hitter/spot starter who produces so much he ends up getting 200+ at-bats. If that happens, he could put himself into the mix to take the LF job from Ethier in 2009. (By this time, Pierre will be electrifying the fans at Camden Yards with his 200 hits and daring baserunning.)
2008-01-08 14:45:51
70.   CanuckDodger
68 -- Roman numeral humor. Andrew Shimmin is no longer DT's most edgy commenter, I'd say.
2008-01-08 14:47:32
71.   KevinP78
Am I the only one that's annoyed by the fact that for the 2nd straight year it seems all the talking heads of sports (granted, they don't typically know what they're talking about.. i.e., Tracy Ringolsby's latest rant that MikeSciosciasTragicIllness ripped apart) have crowned the DBacks champions?? I know they're a good team and it's hard to argue with their record and their accomplishment's last year but seriously, THEY'RE NOT THAT GOOD! I believed this last year and I believe it again this year. Even with Haren. Am I way off here??
2008-01-08 14:50:02
72.   Eric Enders
I seem to remember that last year, just about every mainstream baseball preview magazine or article predicted the Dodgers to finish first.
2008-01-08 14:51:53
73.   CanuckDodger
71 -- No, you are not way off. In 2007, Dodger pitchers gave up fewer runs than Arizona pitchers, and Dodger hitters scored more runs than Arizona hitters. And I feel confident that we will be better, and possibly quite a bit better, in 2008 than we were in 2007.
2008-01-08 14:52:48
74.   regfairfield
I got a lot of crap for picking the D'Backs to finish first last year. The Dodgers were the huge favorites in the mainstream, you could have got the D'Backs at 60-1 in Vegas.
2008-01-08 14:52:54
75.   silverwidow
49ers hired Mike Martz to be their OC. This really damages Frank Gore's fantasy stock for 2008, although Alex Smith might get a small bump in his passing stats.
2008-01-08 14:53:45
76.   regfairfield
73 Of course, I'm also confident the D'Backs will be a lot better, at least pythagorean wise, than they were last year.
2008-01-08 14:53:47
77.   CanuckDodger
72 -- The preview magazines, yes, but not the on-line analysts, especially saber types -- like BP, Dayn Perry, etc.
2008-01-08 14:55:32
78.   ToyCannon
I think they are the team to beat in the division and I thought so last year. We can beat them but going into the season I see no reason why they shouldn't be rated as the favorite. The pythag was for last years team. This year they will have Haren and every one of their kids has another year under their belt. Should be fun to watch.
2008-01-08 14:56:28
79.   cargill06
what's wrong with .290, 200 hits, 65 sb's, and 96 runs?
2008-01-08 14:57:46
80.   cargill06
i'm not in love with pierre, and i understand he's overpaid. but he's not the worst OF in baseball that all baseball writers and dodger fans make him out to be
2008-01-08 14:59:32
81.   CanuckDodger
76 -- Yes, that goes without saying, but they haven't improved enough to make them division favorites. We might not be favorites either, and I am okay with that. I merely insist that we are not weaker than anybody else in our division. Whether or not we play up to our potential will depend a lot on things like whether Pierre is or isn't our everyday LF and we avoid injuries to key players.
2008-01-08 15:01:06
82.   regfairfield
81 I totally agree with you, I have us in a dead heat with Arizona right now.
2008-01-08 15:01:07
83.   Eric Enders
"All baseball writers" think Pierre's the worst outfielder in baseball? What publications are you reading exactly? Clearly not the L.A. Times or any other print newspaper.

He isn't the worst outfielder in baseball, of course. But he's in the worst 10 percent, and is the sort of player that is not good enough to start on a team that expects to contend for the postseason.

2008-01-08 15:02:19
84.   cargill06
FYI- mysportsbook.com has the NL West like this...
Arizona 9-5
SD 11-4
Col 11-4
LA 3-1
SF 30-1
2008-01-08 15:03:51
85.   cargill06
83. Hate to break it to Dodger fans, we're still not going to finish in the top half of the NL in HR's we need guy's like Furcal and Pierre to create runs themselves, he's very valuable to our type of line-up. I don't want to hear about his OBP either because he gets on base enough to score 96 runs last year.
2008-01-08 15:03:52
86.   KevinP78
72- I was refering to what CanuckDodger says in 77. I remember reading soooo many articles (and they're endless this year) last year before the season began and as the season was underway. People wouldn't shut up about their young guys like Stephen Drew! The guy is an average player. Chris Young has pop but it's rain or shine. I don't know, it seems to me our young guys were/are far more well rounded and Hu could've put up at least equivilant numbers to Drew. Every article I read that has the Dodgers finishing 3rd and Dbacks 1st in 2008 are killing me!
2008-01-08 15:04:05
87.   ToyCannon
81 You think Colorado is the favorite? I will enjoy watching them fight San Diego for 3rd place. As much as everything went right for them in Sept, it will go wrong with them in 2008 and by July they will be trading Holliday since they stand no chance of retaining him.
2008-01-08 15:05:08
88.   overkill94
79

- .290 BA is good, but a .330 OBP is baaaad
- 200 hits is good, but 33 walks is baaaad
- 65 SB's is good, but it's only one extra base and doesn't substitute for getting on base more
- 96 runs should be a given for anyone hitting in the 1 or 2 hole with 600+ at-bats

2008-01-08 15:05:28
89.   regfairfield
80 Of course he's not, Gary Matthews Jr. is much worse.

Number two is up for grabs though.

84 I'd take us at 3-1 in a heartbeat.

2008-01-08 15:06:26
90.   KevinP78
84- I love that they have us finishing 4th but we have 3-1 odds.
2008-01-08 15:07:16
91.   cargill06
i love to 30-1 number for SF LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOSERS
2008-01-08 15:08:59
92.   regfairfield
85 Average leadoff hitter in baseball: 110.56 runs.

Average number two hitter: 104.4 runs

Juan Pierre scores less runs than the average player at the top of the order.

2008-01-08 15:09:11
93.   Jon Weisman
86 - So, the analysts (that you speak of, since my memory is more like Eric's) were all high on Arizona last year ... and Arizona won the division. I don't see why those analysts should be forced to pick against Arizona this year.
2008-01-08 15:10:05
94.   overkill94
85 To put things in perspective, Pierre had the 3rd most plate appearances from any batter in the NL last year yet finished 19th in runs scored. Anyone can rack up counting stats when they play in every game and hit at the top of the line-up.
2008-01-08 15:11:17
95.   CanuckDodger
87 -- How did I imply that I think Colorado is the favorite in the NL West? I honestly don't think there is one.
2008-01-08 15:11:49
96.   Xeifrank
92,94. This is why we need a Juan Pierre FAQ. Who was suppose to be working on that?
vr, Xei
2008-01-08 15:12:20
97.   cargill06
92. Had no idea, the average number 2 hitter scored that many runs. Thought it was more in the mid to low 90's range... where did you get those numbers?
2008-01-08 15:14:25
98.   regfairfield
97 League wide splits from Baseball Reference by lineup position. Take the total presented and divide by 30.
2008-01-08 15:15:19
99.   ToyCannon
95
Deduction. You said you didn't think Arizona had improved enough to be favorites but that you weren't sure we should be the favorites either. Someone has to be the favorite so I assumed you meant Colorado. Are you saying there is no favorite?
2008-01-08 15:17:06
100.   ToyCannon
If I was Jon right now I'd be beaming with pride.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-01-08 15:18:07
101.   KevinP78
93- I suppose you're right. They won last year + Haren + another year for the youngsters = Favorites. Simple formula I guess. I just can't bring myself to thinking of them as a powerhouse team. They won, so I guess I should. But they look awfully weak to me.

Snyder or Martin?
Jackson or Loney?
Hudson or Kent?
Drew or Furcal (healthy)?
Reynolds or LaRoche (healthy)?
Byrnes or Ethier?
Young or Jones?
Upton or Kemp?

I take Dodgers in atleast 6 of those positions. I know AZ have a solid 1-2 with their starters but it's not like Penny and Bills don't match up. We also have a better set up man in Broxton and Saito beats any of the 3 they're looking at to close.

My opinion on this, anyway.

2008-01-08 15:22:03
102.   CanuckDodger
99 -- I said, in #95, that I don't think there is a favorite. Why does there HAVE to be a favorite? I've never heard of such an idea. The Giants look like the only team that does not have a shot to win the NL West next year. Colorado's home-grown rotation impresses me, a lot, and San Diego has a most annoying knack for performing better than they look on paper.
2008-01-08 15:22:39
103.   Johnson
96 I don't know, but it would probably benefit from having a list of R/PA for starting leadoff and #2 hitters.
2008-01-08 15:26:58
104.   Jon Weisman
100 - How come?
2008-01-08 15:27:31
105.   cargill06
I think if you were to tell every analyst that Jason Schmidt would throw 165 innings this year and have a fastball consistantly in the 89-91 range I think we would be picked by most experts to win the divison and probably be favored in our divison.
2008-01-08 15:30:04
106.   ToyCannon
102
No need.
I can make arguements for Colorado or Arizona beating us this year but if we finish behind San Diego then I will be shocked and irritated.
2008-01-08 15:32:41
107.   ToyCannon
104
I thought how DT handled the Juan Pierre question was outstanding given how it has handled it in the past.
2008-01-08 15:34:31
108.   ToyCannon
105
If you were to tell every analyst that Randy Johnson was healthy and that he would be the best number 3 pitcher in baseball, Arizona would still be favored to win the division.

The truth is that neither pitcher will be a factor for either team.

2008-01-08 15:34:55
109.   Jon Weisman
107 - Oh, yes. Knock on wood.
2008-01-08 15:35:05
110.   Lexinthedena
I loved the AZ trusted their youth last year, and let the team find an identity and play good team baseball....I'm not at all impressed with Stephen Drew...Chris Jackson has great power, and plays great D, the rest of his game will improve...Byrnes is well rounded, Mark Reynolds will be exposed by major league pitchers this year IMO...he get's blown away by good fastballs, and has "holes in his swing"...I would rather have Hudson than Kent at this point...better D, and a decent hitter...They are average at catcher...I have no idea what to expect from Connor Jackson or Justin Upton....In my opnion the Dodgers are better in CF, RF, 1B, C, and SS...I expect Billingsly to have a better year than haren, and I think that there is no one on our staff who compares to Brandon Webb, who is along with Peavy are the only true aces in the division....

I will be picking L.A first, and AZ second...if I was a d'back fan, I'm sure it would be the other way around....

2008-01-08 15:39:38
111.   CanuckDodger
106 -- Yeah, I'll be shocked and irritated too if that happens, but I can't believe San Diego finished ahead of us in 2007 either. Their line-up just looked so weak. Chris Young shouldn't be as good as he is, and they always get great performances from no-name pitchers. It's Petco magic.
2008-01-08 15:41:18
112.   cargill06
108- You're probably right, just let me dream. I'm still heart broken over how his season/ career ended last year after seeing the world beater he was in SF for so long.
2008-01-08 15:44:26
113.   Xeifrank
111. Their line-up just looked so weak

How much of that perception is attributable to the pitchers park they play in? Their lineup looks weak to me too, but I try to keep in mind that their home ballpark deflates their stats somewhat.

vr, Xei

2008-01-08 15:44:53
114.   bhsportsguy
109 Frankly, I am just too tired to even talk about it.
2008-01-08 15:47:20
115.   ToyCannon
111
I wonder how well the Petcomagic will hold up with Giles/Edmunds/Hairston manning the outfield. The last metric I saw showed Giles to be the worse defensive outfielder in baseball last year. Combine that with a comatose Edmunds instead of Cameron and Hairston in left and that could be a dreadful outfield defense.
2008-01-08 15:53:40
116.   regfairfield
115 The guy admitted that he wasn't using play by play data in that study, so I wouldn't put too much stock in that data. It looks like a slightly below average outfield defensively to me.
2008-01-08 15:53:58
117.   Lexinthedena
115- It's going to be a frustrating year for Pads fanse unless Chase Headly takes to left field and lives up to his skilll-set and amazing swing...
2008-01-08 16:00:10
118.   Eric Stephen
113
Without looking it up, I think I remember seeing that the Padres were 4th in the NL in runs scored on the road last year.

Of course, every other team's road stats get deflated a little by playing at Petco, so there you go. But I remember seeing that the Padres scored more runs than the Rockies in games away from both Petco and Coors.

2008-01-08 16:07:56
119.   Humma Kavula
In other contrarian news:

Voros McCracken -- yes, THAT Voros McCracken -- is on BBTF.org taking the position that Jackie Robinson is a "borderline Hall-of-Famer," based on his playing.

McCracken does admit that Robinson deserves to be in the Hall due to his contributions to the game.

2008-01-08 16:08:33
120.   Eric Stephen
Slate must be having a job fair soon.
2008-01-08 16:32:28
121.   KevinP78
120.- Perfect!!
2008-01-08 16:38:53
122.   bhsportsguy
118 Padres did finish fourth in the NL in runs scored on the road.

113 Padres' splits:
Home - 323 runs/72 HR/.688 OPS (81 games)
Away - 418 runs/99 HR/.772 OPS (82 games)

2008-01-08 16:40:04
123.   Eric Enders
119 You could actually make a non-insane argument against Robinson if you tried hard enough. However, it would have to involve (a) no consideration whatsoever for seasons lost to racism, (b) an extreme preference for career length over peak value, and (c) completely dismissing secondary factors like intangibles, leadership, and postseason performance.

If you were to make that case, you'd have to argue against Roy Campanella and Sandy Koufax as Hall of Famers, too.

2008-01-08 16:43:43
124.   regfairfield
123 This is probably blasphemy, but I do think Koufax is a borderline Hall of Famer at best. I think if he's in then the Albert Belles of the world at least deserve more consideration.
2008-01-08 16:45:53
125.   scareduck
89 - according to Win Shares, Gary Matthews, Jr. (15) was just slightly ahead of Juan Pierre (13).

http://tinyurl.com/2zluaz

Both were well and far away from being what you'd consider truly good players, yet surprisingly they had some value (albeit not nearly as much as they were paid). What really shocked me was to see how similar Andre Ethier and Garret Anderson were (14 WS apiece in about the same number of PA's).

2008-01-08 16:48:18
126.   regfairfield
125 How does win shares feel about their relative defense? Doesn't Juan Pierre get hurt by the system because he's on a worse team?
2008-01-08 16:50:02
127.   Eric Enders
I never thought about it before, but Ethier and Garret Anderson are really similar types of players, and Anderson's career is probably about what Ethier's will look like in a best-case scenario.
2008-01-08 16:51:08
128.   Eric Enders
Except, I guess, that Ethier will draw a handful more walks and therefore probably sport a slightly higher OBP.
2008-01-08 16:51:52
129.   scareduck
119 - That's an interesting but ever-so-wrong argument. I like Matt Welch's commentary (echoing Bill James) that, if anything, Robinson was underrated as a ballplayer:

http://tinyurl.com/yvjxtj

2008-01-08 17:06:01
130.   bhsportsguy
123 I liked what Bill James wrote back in his first historical abstract, when he talked about career and peak value.

He said that in peak value, only Joe Morgan and Rogers Hornsby had a higher value than Jackie Robinson while in career value, Robinson would probably rank very low.

But he had a 10 year career where he won the inagural ROY, an MVP, played on 6 pennant winners and 2 other teams that lost the pennant on the final day of the season.

He was one of the original tell me where you want me to play players (1B, 2B, 3B, LF) and as James later wrote in his updated historical digest, he played well above league norms at any position he played. 5 time All-Star, he was also named on the MVP ballot 8 times (in 10 seasons), 4 times in the top 10.

Oh, and he posted lifetime numbers (.311 BA, .893 OPS) and he did a lot (past 30) when players at that time generally declined (outside of the Ted Williams and Stan Musials).

And he did have some type of historical societal impact too.

2008-01-08 17:06:27
131.   regfairfield
127 I think it's a bit too optimistic to put Ethier down for Anderson's power, even in the best case.
2008-01-08 17:10:34
132.   Eric Enders
131 You may be right. But five seasons of over 20 HR and one season over 30 HR don't exactly make Anderson Babe Ruth.
2008-01-08 17:19:00
133.   Joe Pierre
I think everybody has negative feelings when you look ahead. Not everybody will have a good year. Will the injured bounce back? The 50th anniversary in Los Angeles has to bring on tension just like 20 years since a World Championship or even being in a World Series. Will Joe Torre streak of getting to the post season come to an end. There never was a season when nobody went on the DL. Some people can think of a dozen more negative thoughts. You know why we have them? I think it's because we are true fans.
2008-01-08 17:23:45
134.   Eric Enders
Why does the 50th anniversary in Los Angeles bring on tension? Is it that much more important than the 50th season in Los Angeles, which we just finished? I don't think team anniversaries exactly make the list of world's top tension-causers.
2008-01-08 17:26:14
135.   Humma Kavula
124 I suppose it's how highly one rates peak.

But I also like Albert Belle's HOF case and would vote for him if I had a vote.

Which I do not.

Perhaps with good reason, evidenced by this post.

2008-01-08 17:29:26
136.   CanuckDodger
131 -- In his age 24 and age 25 seasons, Anderson had slugging percentages of .405 and .409 respectively. So Ethier already has more power than Anderson had at an equivalent point in their careers, and he has a much better walk rate. But if Ethier does end up ONLY as good as Anderson, so what? We're talking about an All-Star outfielder at his peak. I'm amazed that some people still call Ethier a 4th outfielder. Even the nick-name "3.5" is an unwarranted insult. I think a lot of people at DT were really wrong about Ethier, and a lot of it stemmed simply from Ned being the guy who made the deal to acquire him, plus the giving up of Bradley in the trade, with Bradley remaining popular with some long after their tolerance of his baggage should have been exhausted.
2008-01-08 17:36:30
137.   bhsportsguy
134 BTW, not that any of you go to the S.F. Giants MLB site, but they too have the 50th anniversary logo embedded on their site. I would think never winning a World Series in San Francisco would have a bigger negative than just going 20 years since winning their 5th L.A. title.
2008-01-08 17:37:34
138.   Bob Timmermann
There was Slate.com bashing here and I wasn't invited.

Rats.

2008-01-08 17:47:36
139.   ToyCannon
Wow, this thread took a turn for the bizarre. Jackie and Sandy don't belong in the HOF!!! Ack Ack Ack, I need to cough up a furball.

Andrew I'd love to see your arguement on Sandy. I assume it wouldn't include his postseason heroics and that your setting the bar much higher then it currently is.

I'd rather have a high peak like Sandy who was the reason his team was in the world series multiple times then a long above average career like Sutton.

2008-01-08 17:52:43
140.   GoBears
136 Even the nick-name "3.5" is an unwarranted insult.

Funny, I thought irony was a staple of Canadian humor. That our Canadian commenter fails to see the irony is, well, ironic.

Unless Canuck's own statement was intended to be ironic.

Ouch, my head hurts.

2008-01-08 17:55:16
141.   GoBears
134 I don't think team anniversaries exactly make the list of world's top tension-causers.

Especially for players in their 20s. For many of them, their parents had not been born yet when the Dodgers moved out here (and for most of 'em they weren't living in LA anyway).

Probably only Vin Scully appreciates the importance of the 50th anniversary.

2008-01-08 17:58:57
142.   Bob Timmermann
141
And IIRC, Vin mentioned in an interview that he thought the 50th season was a bigger deal than a 50th anniversary and he doesn't understand why people can't do the math correctly.
2008-01-08 18:06:13
143.   bhsportsguy
138 Shouldn't you be getting shots or at least packing electrical adapters?
2008-01-08 18:07:19
144.   Gen3Blue
Without having time to fully peruse all the comments to this point, I would say( and fervently hope) that you are being a bit paranoid about most fans reactions to these young players. The young players in Colorado and Arizona have been given ample time to play through some very "rough" times. If there turns out to be a number of critical "win now" fans, or some LA media(like Plashke) extremests, I think it is the job of a bunch of us passionate fans to shout them down!
2008-01-08 18:08:21
145.   CanuckDodger
140 -- I thought the "3.5" nick-name was championed by those on the fence about whether Ethier was a legitimate starting OF or a 4th outfielder. If I am not remembering their intentions correctly, my apologies to them.
2008-01-08 18:11:58
146.   Bob Timmermann
143
I'm not leaving until Thursday. And I bought adapters.

What sort of shots do I need for Germany? Yellow fever? Dengue fever? Ebola virus?

2008-01-08 18:15:26
147.   trainwreck
146
Munchhausen.
2008-01-08 18:16:04
148.   Bob Timmermann
I really wish people didn't ascribe Bill Plaschke as much power and influence people seem to think he has.

I sincerely believe that the McCourts can make stupid and impulsive decisions without Plaschke's advice. It's not like he's Max Mercy.

2008-01-08 18:16:43
149.   tjshere
145 I can only speak for myself, but I started using the 3.5 moniker only after Ethier began proving he was a very solid everyday player. It was definitely intended as irony.

Of course, I hardly ever post so you probably weren't even aware I had used the name.

2008-01-08 18:18:05
150.   Bob Timmermann
147
Since I'm terrified of going to the doctor, I have anti-Munchausen syndrome.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-01-08 18:23:58
151.   bhsportsguy
150 No shots, just kidding.

I am trying to remember, do you get a better conversion rate here, at the airport in Germany, at a local bank, or just use debit/credit cards.

Any thoughts on this matter.

2008-01-08 18:27:28
152.   bhsportsguy
144 Ample time - Colorado yes, for most. Arizona, if you call a little over a season (and they won) ample time.

But the fans mostly stayed away until September and they did not sell out their playoff games until the games were played.

I don't think you can compare markets, attendance and expectations to those cases and the Dodgers.

Nevertheless, outside of the 4 outfielders for 3 spots and LaRoche/Garciaparra battle for 3B, I don't have a any fear that Loney, Billingsley, Broxton, Martin, Kemp, Ethier have to look over their shoulder after a few bad games.

2008-01-08 18:33:00
153.   Bob Timmermann
151
I just debit cards and get cash out of ATMs if it all possible. But with the value of the dollar against the Euro, it's not exactly a great value anywhere. $1 = 0.67 Euros

I will also have to get some Czech Koruna. And some Slovak Koruna.

2008-01-08 18:52:43
154.   Eric Stephen
138
Bob, if it makes you feel better, my Slate bashing was done in your honor.
2008-01-08 18:56:59
155.   Bob Timmermann
154
Sniff.... That's the nicest thing that anyone has done for me in a long time....

Thoughts like that will keep me warm on my sojourn to Central Europe.

Where it really isn't all that cold.

2008-01-08 19:02:00
156.   scareduck
148 - and yet it does seem (cf Paul DePodesta) that he gets his way far too often.
2008-01-08 19:07:17
157.   Bob Timmermann
156
But is there a direct cause and effect? Or is it just coincidence? I think that Plaschke just reflects opinions and rarely tries to change opinions.
2008-01-08 19:13:43
158.   Eric Enders
I do think Plaschke (and other writers) have more than a little influence on the McCourts. Both McCourts have shown that they are not only highly aware of how they're portrayed in the press, but also extremely sensitive about it. The supposedly media-unfriendly DePodesta was fired and replaced with an ex-sportswriter who makes nice with the Times guys, who, in turn, write about him in glowing terms. McCourt then calls it the best decision he ever made, even though Colletti's Dodgers have enjoyed less success on the field than DePodesta's Dodgers did.
2008-01-08 19:14:49
159.   neuroboy002
Just venting - I really don't enjoy listening to commentary/analysis by Steve Phillips. Right behind him is Joe Morgan.

I brought this up because I just watched a video on the espn.com site and he unexpectedly popped up.

2008-01-08 19:23:22
160.   Bob Timmermann
158
Couldn't that just as easily be explained by the fact that Frank McCourt just isn't very bright?
2008-01-08 19:30:03
161.   Daniel Zappala
Does it really matter who wins the New Hampshire Democratic primary? Aren't the delegates awarded proportionally? Since it is so close, won't Obama and Clinton both get roughly equal numbers of delegates out of this?
2008-01-08 19:35:11
162.   Bob Timmermann
161
Lyndon Johnson would tell you otherwise.

It's all about expectations.

2008-01-08 19:37:24
163.   CanuckDodger
158 -- DePo's Dodgers, 164 wins in the regular season over two years. Colletti's Dodgers, 170 wins in the regular season over two years. Each GM got the Dodgers to the playoffs once in two years. You are putting a lot of stock in the Dodgers getting ONE playoff win under Depo. DePo led the Dodgers during their worst season since 1992. That is going to outweigh one single playoff win.
2008-01-08 19:44:57
164.   GoBears
162. Yup. That's why Romney is, so far, a story of failure, despite the fact that he's leading the delegate count.

Stupid media. I say we go back to smoke-filled rooms and party machines. Much more interesting.

2008-01-08 19:49:47
165.   Jon Weisman
Diamond Leung has a link to a long video, "The Legend of Joe Beimel."
2008-01-08 19:59:37
166.   Eric Enders
163
DePodesta: One fourth place finish, one division title, one playoff win.
Colletti: One fourth place finish, one wild card, zero playoff wins.

DePodesta's slightly ahead, unless you're the type who cares about differentiating between fourth place finishes. But really their track records are essentially the same.

2008-01-08 20:05:53
167.   Eric Enders
Is that Elvis telling the Legend of Joe Beimel? He's got the accent, the sideburns, and the snazzy white pants.

Today is the King's birthday, by the way. If you have a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich, throw it to the sky.

2008-01-08 20:12:04
168.   Jon Weisman
166 - If you're looking at a single season in a vacuum, I'd certainly distinguish between being in the race in September vs. being out of it in August. The former was more fun.

However, if you're judging GMs, you have to factor in how much more developed the farm system was in 2007. On the other hand, it was a weaker division in 2005.

2008-01-08 20:12:22
169.   Andrew Shimmin
I guess we know who's got Zappala's vote. By the way, Californians still have a couple more weeks to register for the primary (forms have to be postmarked by January 22, 2008). Or re-register, if you happen to think the party you affiliated yourself with, last time, should be set on fire and have its ashes composted.

Can you compost ashes?

2008-01-08 20:13:36
170.   Eric Enders
If you've ever had nightmares about having your pants pulled down by four midgets wearing Kaz Ishii jerseys, this is the video for you.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyjwlHkkBr8&feature=related
2008-01-08 20:15:31
171.   Andrew Shimmin
Colletti's an uglier man. But DePo looks like he might ever have written a poem.
2008-01-08 20:15:59
172.   ToyCannon
It is strange to be voting in a primary that actually counts. This may be a 1st for me.

168
I say we call it a draw, fire Ned on impulse and start a new regime with Dave Stewart getting the call. He can hire George Foster and we can make fun of the squeaky voices when we tire of making fun of their moves.

2008-01-08 20:16:57
173.   Eric Enders
I guess another thing to consider is that DePo was working with a handicap; he never got to hire a manager, while Colletti in the same amount of time got to hire two.
2008-01-08 20:18:56
174.   Daniel Zappala
169 My vote is about the most irrelevant you can have, given the state I live in.

If popular vote is what matters (since that's how you win the general election), then why do states award delegates proportionally?

2008-01-08 20:22:53
175.   Andrew Shimmin
174- So that the candidates who know they won't win, don't skip the state.
2008-01-08 20:25:20
176.   D4P
My vote is about the most irrelevant you can have, given the state I live in

Hmmm. Either you vote with the overwhelming majority, or against the overwhelming majority.

2008-01-08 20:31:11
177.   Andrew Shimmin
If I were a tiny little man, I would seriously consider burglarizing Dick Morris's house, just to steal his suits.
2008-01-08 20:35:11
178.   D4P
177
Then I'll assume they're double-breasted, with pleats.
2008-01-08 20:39:42
179.   Andrew Shimmin
178- I always think about going double breasted, but I haven't. Ever. Maybe some day, if I win the lottery and buy a yacht, for some reason. I wonder how much cocaine it would take to make a yacht to seem like a good idea. A lot, I expect.
2008-01-08 20:45:31
180.   Eric Enders
But don't you need the yacht to get the cocaine into the country in the first place?
2008-01-08 20:47:55
181.   Andrew Shimmin
How did chicken/egg ever beat out cocaine/yacht as for that spot in the cliche?
2008-01-08 20:49:23
182.   Andrew Shimmin
How did chicken/egg ever beat out cocaine/yacht for that spot in the cliche?

I'd let it go, but I'm not sure it makes sense with that superfluous "as."

2008-01-08 20:52:25
183.   Bob Timmermann
179
I own a double-breasted suit. I haven't worn it in a while. I'm just a jacket and tie guy now.
2008-01-08 20:53:00
184.   Greg Brock
Say what you will about New Hampshire, it's always entertaining.
2008-01-08 20:57:33
185.   Daniel Zappala
169 You wouldn't compost ashes, but you could use them as a soil amendment, depending on what your soil needs. Ashes are a good source of potassium. They also raise PH. If your soil already has plenty of potassium and tends to be alkaline (as is most Utah soil), then the ashes are worthless.
2008-01-08 20:58:04
186.   Daniel Zappala
176 What, you can't figure it out?
2008-01-08 21:00:57
187.   Daniel Zappala
Seriously, though. I don't get why the media makes a big deal of the winner if both Obama and Clinton are sitting at 9 delegates, and even Edwards got four. Is there really some advantage to "winning" the state's popular vote, or is it all just media hype? You have to bear with me, I'm one of those science and math nerds who never really paid attention to civics.
2008-01-08 21:02:30
188.   D4P
What, you can't figure it out?

No. I'm undecided.

Factors that lead me in one direction:

1. Your religion, and associated state of residence
2. Your huge nuclear family

Factors that lead me in the other direction:

1. Your choice of occupation
2. Your scientific orientation
3. Your intelligence
4. Certain comments you've made here

2008-01-08 21:03:58
189.   Greg Brock
187 Wait until tomorrow, read what the WaPo and NY Times say, then ape it. Everybody will think you're smart, and you'll be a full-fledged pundit.

We all have theories, but they're just as bunk as the next guy's.

2008-01-08 21:06:03
190.   Jon Weisman
Revealing or trying to guess someone's political affiliation is a Rule 5 violation.
2008-01-08 21:12:10
191.   overkill94
170 Am I the only person who actually watched that? What kind of fetish does this guy have that his family is sporting five mediocre Dodger lefty t-shirt jerseys?
2008-01-08 21:15:04
192.   Indiana Jon
191 No, I watched it too. I thought it was an old video at first, but it was labeled 2008! Might as well have had a Tom Martin jersey thrown in there.
2008-01-08 21:15:21
193.   Daniel Zappala
189 Excellent. These are the papers I read already, so I'm well prepared.
2008-01-08 21:16:21
194.   Daniel Zappala
188 If you're really curious, shoot me an email, so we stay on the right side of the law.
2008-01-08 21:17:24
195.   Daniel Zappala
Holy cow, the Lakers won again. They're beating teams they "should" beat this year, so does this mean they're going to have a fighting shot in the playoffs?
2008-01-08 21:21:27
196.   Sam DC
I'll stack my jurisdiction up against Zappala's on predetermindness of outcome anyday.
2008-01-08 21:21:38
197.   Jon Weisman
The Lakers are 1 1/2 games out of the Western Conference lead.

Golden State, the No. 8 team, is 4 1/2 games out.

2008-01-08 21:23:17
198.   Greg Brock
Predetermindness of outcome? Try being a member of a political party that hasn't existed for 150 years.
2008-01-08 21:25:10
199.   Xeifrank
Where are all the Jim Buss/Mitch Kupchack bashers at, now that the Lakers are 1.5 games from having the best record in the Western Conference. Sure glad they didn't trade Bynum.
vr, Xei
2008-01-08 21:27:35
200.   Icaros
The Lakers have helped me pretend that there was no NFL season this year.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-01-08 21:30:47
201.   D4P
The Lakers have helped me pretend that there was no NFL season this year

But, there was no NFL season this year...

2008-01-08 21:34:46
202.   Greg Brock
I like to think of the NFL regular season as one big tournament designed to set up the best part of professional football...

The NFL Draft

2008-01-08 21:37:01
203.   Bob Timmermann
198
Time to take down your "Clay-Frelinghuysen in '44" lawn signs, Brock.

But what is your stance on Oregon?

2008-01-08 21:38:45
204.   Bob Timmermann
202
I wish I had the NFL Network so I could watch hours and hours of the NFL Scouting Combine.

I especially want to watch all the guys take the Wonderlic test.

2008-01-08 21:39:38
205.   Eric Enders
The best part of professional football is when it ends each January. Of course, as far as the Bristol folks are concerned, the ensuing seasons starts the very next day.
2008-01-08 21:42:55
206.   Bob Timmermann
205
The Super Bowl is in February now.
2008-01-08 21:45:35
207.   Greg Brock
203 Like you, I'm against it.
2008-01-08 22:13:53
208.   Eric Enders
There is no reason why Greg Brock should be the only one having fun as a member of a defunct political party. In fact, I daresay there are enough such parties for every DT poster to have his or her own. Here are some defunct North American parties to choose from.

I myself will lay claim to the Anti-Nebraska Party, which is convenient since William Jennings Bryan, Ward Bond, Doc Sadler, Lawrence Phillips, Darin Erstad and Willa Cather are already on my "Dead to Me" list.

Federalist Party (c.1789–c.1820)
Democratic-Republican Party (1792–c.1824)
Anti-Masonic Party (1826–1838)
Nullifier Party (1830–1839)
Whig Party (1833–1856)
Law and Order Party of Rhode Island (1840s)
Free Soil Party (1848–1855)
Anti-Nebraska Party (1854)
Know-Nothings (c.1854–1858)
Readjuster Party (1870-1885)
Greenback Party (1874–1884)
Anti-Monopoly Party (1884)
Silver Party (1892-1902)
Home Rule Party of Hawaii (1900–1912)
Bull Moose Party (1912–1914)
National Woman's Party (1913-1930)
Farmer-Labor Party (1918–1944)
Communist League of America (1928–1934)
Dixiecrat Party (1948)
Vegetarian Party (1948–1964)
Puerto Rican Socialist Party (1959–1993)
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (1964)
Looking Back Party (1984–1996)
New Party (1992 – 1998)
Mountain Party (2000-2007)
Guns and Dope Party
OWL Party (Washington State, 1976)
Straight Talking American Government (STAG) Party
Surprise Party
Parti de la souveraineté du Québec (1993-1996)
Christian Falangist Party of America (1985)
Expansionist Party
National Nihilist Party (1988)
Pacifist Party of America (2007)
Absolutely Absurd Party
Canadian Extreme Wrestling Party
Prince Edward Island Draft Beer Party
Rhinoceros Party of Canada
Anti-Confederate Party 1867
Ginger Group 1924-1932
McCarthyite Party 1896
Reconstruction Party of Canada 1935-1938
United Farmers of Alberta 1921-1935

2008-01-08 22:16:19
209.   Greg Brock
The Anti-Masons, Free Soilers, and Know-Nothings were all Whigs.

Don't be stealing my constituency, Eric Enders!

2008-01-08 22:19:13
210.   Greg Brock
Of those, TR's Bull-Moose Party is actually my favorite.
2008-01-08 22:22:04
211.   Dave
Okay. I got dibs on the Anti-Monopoly Party. I hate board games.
2008-01-08 22:23:12
212.   Greg Brock
I'm actually quite offended by the Guns and Dope Party. Having guns in your party name is terrible.
2008-01-08 22:28:18
213.   Dave
Straight Talking American Government Party! That's hilarious. It shouldn't be, but why can't I stop laughing?
2008-01-08 22:29:35
214.   trainwreck
212
I don't even like guns, but it sounds cool to me.
2008-01-08 22:31:08
215.   Greg Brock
The Populist Party is missing from that list, unless some group is using the name.

Somewhere William Jennings Bryan weeps. Presumably underground someplace.

2008-01-08 22:32:34
216.   Eric Enders
WJB is dead to me, remember? Besides, it wasn't a complete list, just a list of the cool kids.
2008-01-08 22:33:03
217.   Greg Brock
214 Hunter S. Thompson had to be involved with them somehow.
2008-01-08 22:34:55
218.   Eric Enders
217 There's the added bonus that his first name is "Hunter" and his last name is probably the most famous gun of all time.
2008-01-08 22:35:10
219.   trainwreck
217
Exactly.
2008-01-08 22:42:09
220.   Greg Brock
The Guns and Dope Party calls for an end to Tsarism. Finally, an idea I can really get behind.

An end to Tsarism!

2008-01-08 22:45:03
221.   Andrew Shimmin
Thompson was a loyal member (and candidate) of the Freak Power party.
2008-01-08 22:51:32
222.   Eric Enders
220 Fine, zen ve vill change ze spelling. Ve vill have czars!
2008-01-08 22:52:42
223.   Greg Brock
222 Or Kaisers!
2008-01-08 22:59:38
224.   GoBears
187 Seriously, though. I don't get why the media makes a big deal of the winner if both Obama and Clinton are sitting at 9 delegates, and even Edwards got four. Is there really some advantage to "winning" the state's popular vote, or is it all just media hype? You have to bear with me, I'm one of those science and math nerds who never really paid attention to civics.

Don't sweat it, DZ. I'm a political scientist, and I agree with you. It's inane media hype. Wolf Blitzer tonight predicted that "scholars would be talking about this New Hampshire primary (on the Dem side) for a long long time." Uh, no we won't Wolf. But you dipsticks will be doing so until the next datum (or other shiny object) appears.

2008-01-08 23:53:24
225.   underdog
Dibs on the Rhinoceros Party! I think that was Eugene Ionesco's affiliation.

Either that or I'll take the Woman's Party, just because, you know...

And don't forget the Silly Party.

---

204 Isn't the Wonderlic what Mel Kiper puts on his hair every spring?

2008-01-08 23:54:36
226.   underdog
I am going to try to sleep even though I just came home from seeing There Will Be Blood and my head is still spinning and I'll probably dream of drowning in oil or of being beaten up by Daniel Day Lewis. {shudder}
2008-01-08 23:55:39
227.   underdog
PS: Are you sure the Know Nothing party is obsolete? Er, better go to bed before I violate rule 5.

And what Jon said, in his post. From this morning.

2008-01-08 23:58:39
228.   Icaros
226

That film was great. And I liked going to the movies at Bloomingdales.

2008-01-09 05:02:04
229.   Ken Noe
215 While both the Democrats and the Populists nominated Bryan in 1896, he always considered himself a Democrat, so he would not weep. But his Populist VP running mate Tom Watson might.
2008-01-09 06:36:46
230.   Penarol1916
210. How could the Anti-Masonic party not be your favorite? They were against the political power of the Masons, but their Presidential candidate was actually a Mason. Or is the irony just a little too on the nose for you?
2008-01-09 10:42:49
231.   Blue in SF
74 Dbacks at 60-1 last year to do what?

You wouldn't have gotten 60-1 on them to win the NL pennant. Even the Giants this year are at 40-1. Oh, and even if you got 60-1 for them to win the NL pennant you would have lost that bet.

Giants are at 30-1 to win the NL West right now and D'back were certainly better odds to win the division last year.

2008-01-09 15:22:48
232.   KevinP78
This is not a Rule 5 violation because I am no longer registered with this party but it makes for a decent story. I was once having coffee with some friends when a man and woman (she was running for congress) came up to us and wouldn't leave us alone. She needed to gather enough signatures and people registered to her party (The Natural Law Party) to qualify for one thing or another. Anyway, they wouldn't leave us alone so we finally signed up to make them dissapear. We asked what they stood for and their party line was very convincing- "The Natural Law Party is for what works! If it works, we're for it. If it doesn't, we're not!"

See how easy life can be?!!

2008-01-09 15:27:24
233.   KevinP78
174.- If popular vote is what matters (since that's how you win the general election)

Popular vote doesn't win the general election. The electoral votes won through the states wins the election. Remember 2000? Gore won the popular vote, Bush won the electoral.

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