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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
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Johnny Podres, The Man Who Brought Next Year, Dies
2008-01-14 07:08
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

October 4, 1955

Bottom of the 9th, Yankees batting, behind 0-2, Johnny Podres facing 6-7-8
B Skowron: Groundout: P-1B (P)
B Cerv: Flyball: LF
E Howard: Groundout: SS-1B
0 runs, 0 hits, 0 errors, 0 LOB. Dodgers 2, Yankees 0.

Most won't remember, but Podres pitched eight seasons in Los Angeles, including eight innings of shutout ball in Game 3 of the 1963 World Series.

Rest in peace.

Comments (98)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-01-14 07:39:48
1.   Eric Stephen
I love the picture of Podres and Campanella in the Times' story. Podres was also the first World Series MVP. I did not know that.
2008-01-14 08:12:56
2.   scareduck
And here I just started "The Boys of Summer".
2008-01-14 08:27:08
3.   das411
Farewell, Pods. Thanks for turning Curt Schilling into one of the best ever, and for getting everything you could out of that '93 Phillies staff for that one spectacular season.
2008-01-14 08:40:43
4.   berkowit28
The Times (online edition - too late for this morning's paper, at least the edition we get in Santa Barbara) is using an AP report for Podres' death. I wonder if the Times will have its own, longer, obituary by the time tomorrow's paper comes out.
2008-01-14 08:49:31
5.   Jon Weisman
4 - I'm sure they will, maybe with a Ross Newhan byline. Maybe even a Roger Kahn sidebar.
2008-01-14 08:55:22
6.   Bob Timmermann
Johnny Podres started the first game for the Padres that they played against the Dodgers.

Podres didn't have much left in 1969 and he retired during the season.

2008-01-14 09:08:49
7.   Disabled List
Not to be morbid, but how many members of the 1955 team are still with us? Snider, Koufax, Erskine, Lasorda...
2008-01-14 09:11:34
8.   Bob Timmermann
I believe Gene Hermanski is still alive.
2008-01-14 09:15:43
9.   Charenton
Did Podres pitch while injured in the 55 WS?

In the BB ref link up above there are no 1956 stats for him: did it it take him a year and a half to recover from the experience ?

2008-01-14 09:18:17
10.   Bob Timmermann
I believe Podres was 4-F for the military and after the World Series heroics, he was reclassified (no doubt by Mr. Potter) and he had to do some military service.
2008-01-14 10:15:11
11.   Ken Noe
"As the story goes, Podres told his teammates to get him just one run and the Dodgers would win Game 7....Years later, Podres was uncertain he made such a brash statement. "I don't know if I said it or not. That's what they said I said. Probably young and dumb -- something like that would haunt you your whole life. ... You put on a big league uniform, you've got to think you're pretty good."

Kent would have put him in his place. Rookie.

Rest in peace, my mom thanks you for '55.

2008-01-14 10:20:48
12.   Ripper
Gene Hermanski was not on the 1955 Dodgers. Surviving 1955 Dodgers - Roger Craig, Carl Erskine, Duke Snider, Don Zimmer, George Shuba, Ed Roebuck, Billy Loes, Don Newcombe.
2008-01-14 10:21:25
13.   Ripper
Oops, I left off Sandy Koufax
2008-01-14 10:22:27
14.   Ripper
Podres went into the Navy after the 1955 season. He returned for the final season in Brooklyn 1957 and was the ERA champion.
2008-01-14 10:25:13
15.   Disabled List
Clicking on the B-R link above, I noticed something weird about how the Dodgers scored their second run. In the top of the 6th, Pee Wee Reese led off with a single, and for some reason, Duke Snider bunted. How ridiculous is it to have a 40-HR slugger bunting? Snider ended up at first thanks to an error by the first baseman.

If that wasn't bad enough, with runners at first and second and nobody out, and the heart of the order (Campanella, Furillo and Hodges) due up, Campanella bunted also! Was Walt Alston channeling Ozzie Guillen? Back-to-back bunts by two of the top sluggers of the decade, unbelievable. Smallball paid off with one lousy run in what should've been a big inning.

All the more props to Johnny for coming up huge that day.

2008-01-14 10:29:26
16.   bhsportsguy
More 1955 World Series stuff.

After the final out was made in the seventh and deciding game, Scully simply but memorably said,

"Ladies and gentlemen, the Brooklyn Dodgers are the champions of the world."

Scully was later asked why he didn't provide a more dramatic, emotional or extended description of the Dodgers' long-sought breakthrough against their rival and longtime nemesis, the New York Yankees.

Scully answered that he would have broken down in tears if he tried to say anything more. (As seen on Ken Burns "Baseball" documentary among other places)

2008-01-14 10:29:47
17.   Ripper
#15 it was not ridiculous. Manager Alston decided to play small ball in spacious Yankee Stadium. Alston (never a great manager) managed brilliantly in 1955. He used 6 different pitchers to start 7 games.
2008-01-14 10:35:27
18.   berkowit28
12 Also, as Disabled said, Tommy Lasorda. According to Wikipedia (I haven't checked baseball ref), Lasorda came up from the Montreal Royals (Dodgers' AAA team) in August 1954 and played for the Dodgers through the 1955 season. He was traded to the Kansas City A's (!) for 1956, then to the Yankees (!!!) "in 1956" (presumably off-season) for 1957, who used him only in AAA, then back to the Dodgers organization "in 1957" (off-season again?) who put him back to Montreal for 1958.

So the question would be did the Dodgers trade him to Kansas before or after the WS in 1955. If it was before the trading deadline, I'm sure wiki would have said "1955" and not "1956". So he must have been part of the team, even if he didn't make a single pitch (?) in the 1955 WS. I suppose he could have been dropped from the active 25-man roster for the WS.

Bob, or someone, do have the details? (And funny how Tommy never mentions having been part of the A's or - ahem - Yankees organization. Through no choice of his own, of course. It might make for some interesting stories, however.)

2008-01-14 10:36:33
19.   Disabled List
Old Yankee Stadium was tough on right-handed hitters, but it had a short porch in right field that lefties loved gunning for, so I don't know why Snider was bunting. And Campy bunting with 2 on and nobody out is almost unforgivable.

It may have been the 6th inning, but the Dodgers still needed runs. The bottom of the 6th was when Sandy Amoros made his famous catch. If not for that (and the smallball nonsense in the top of the inning), the game probably would've been tied.

2008-01-14 10:50:19
20.   bhsportsguy
15 1955 Sacrifices by Dodger regulars

Pee Wee Reese 13
Jim Gilliam 11
Jackie Robinson 6
Roy Campanella 5
Duke Snider 4
Gil Hodges 3
Sandy Amoros 2
Carl Furillo 2

On a team that scored over 5.5 runs per game and had a team OPS of .803, they did do their share of bunting. Even Snider with and 170 OPS+, had 4 bunts.

2008-01-14 10:52:12
21.   Eric Enders
17 It most certainly was ridiculous. There is never any justification for bunting with (a) the best hitter in the league (Snider) and (b) the guy who won the MVP (Campy). With the possible exception of a squeeze bunt in the bottom of the ninth in a tie game, there is no sane way to justify bunting with players like that. It doesn't matter how big the ballpark is or anything else.
2008-01-14 10:56:49
22.   Eric Enders
Johnny Podres, incidentally, is responsible for me being a Dodger fan. In 1955 my dad, age 9, listened to Game 7 in the schoolyard of his Oakland elementary school. His (disliked) older brother was a Yankee fan, so he figured he should like any team that could beat the Yankees. He immediately became a Dodger fan for life, and 30 years later, passed it on to me. This how our family became Dodger fans despite never having lived anywhere near L.A. or Brooklyn.
2008-01-14 10:57:06
23.   Bob Timmermann
1. Lots of good hitters in the 1950s sacrificed. It was just the thing to do. Ralph Kiner was derided by Branch Rickey because he didn't bunt well.

2. Lasorda was part of the 0pening Day roster in 1955 which at the time was 28. A few weeks in, it was pared to 25. Lasorda was sent to the minors because Koufax couldn't be sent down because of a rule regarding the size of his signing bonus.

3. While Gene Hermanski did not play for the 1955 Dodgers, he is still alive. So my statement is still correct if not viewed in context.

2008-01-14 11:01:31
24.   Daniel Zappala
15 I'm a lot more upset that the refs didn't call a foul on Paul Seymour when he bumped Andy Phillip, costing Fort Wayne a chance to beat Syracuse in game 7 of the NBA finals that year.
2008-01-14 11:02:32
25.   Bob Timmermann
Then again sacrificing in Yankee Stadium in 1955 with the best left-handed power hitters on the team is puzzling. The RF line at Yankee Stadium at the time was under 300 feet I believe.
2008-01-14 11:03:45
26.   berkowit28
23 I see from Baseball Ref that Lasorda pitched only 4 innings (in 4 games) for Brooklyn in 1955. But it doesn't say which. Did you have to check line-ups of individual games to see when he was dropped from the roster? Or where do you find that info? (I know there's also somewhere with old minor league info, so presumably Lasorda's name starts appearing again for Montreal Royals sometime in 1955.)
2008-01-14 11:04:23
27.   Eric Enders
Arthur Daley, in his New York Times column the next day, did call the bunts "bizarre."
2008-01-14 11:06:03
28.   Bob Timmermann
24
Part of that Fort Wayne curse. The Pistons wouldn't win a championship until the 1980s.

The Nats tended to lose to the Minneapolis Lakers a lot.

2008-01-14 11:11:00
29.   Eric Stephen
17 Alston (never a great manager)

That seems a bit much, no? What does a manager have to do to be great?

2008-01-14 11:12:06
30.   Daniel Zappala
28 And who can forget Norm Van Brocklin throwing six (six!) interceptions against the Cleveland Browns to cost the Rams the NFL championship in 1955. Boy I wish we had that game back.
2008-01-14 11:13:38
31.   Bob Timmermann
1955 is beyond the reach of Retrosheet. And I'm using a Blackberry on a train somewhere in Bavaria.

Lasorda was dropped in early May when the rosters were pared. I think he may have been hurt too.

It wasn't unusual for pitchers to go long stretches without appearing in games back then. Starters went longer and the bullpens had not been La Russa-ized yet.

As for the NBA in 1955, it was amazing a foul wasn't called. That was the Golden Age of Fouling. All fouls away from the ball were one shot. So if you're behind, the math is easy to figure out.

2008-01-14 11:25:19
32.   bhsportsguy
25 Dimensions: Left field(foul line): 301 (1928); left side of bullpen gate in short left-center: 402 (1928); right side of bullpen gate: 415 (1937); deepest left-center: 457 (1937); left side of center-field screen: 466 (1937); center field: 461 (1937); deepest right-center: 407 (1937); left side of bullpen gate in short right-center: 367 (1937); right side of bullpen gate: 344 (1937); right field (foul line): 296 (1939)
2008-01-14 11:25:54
33.   Bob Timmermann
Few people when Alston managed thought he was any good. Except perhaps Walter O'Malley.

Lasorda hated coaching for him. Their personalities didn't mesh. Players found Alston somewhat aloof.

And yet the team won four World Series and seven NL pennants. Which is not an insignificant achievement.

However, managers like Leo Durocher are considered greater. Durocher won three pennants and one WS.

Alston is the most successful manager in NL history not named John McGraw.

Charlie Dressen, Alston's predecessor, considered himself to be the greatest mangerial mind ever. He wasn't. And if not for Bobby Thomson and Ralph Branca most people would forget him. Most people forget him now anyway.

Alston was believed to be on his way out nearly every year he managed and the Dodgers didn't win the WS.

2008-01-14 11:28:20
34.   Eric Enders
Lasorda likes to recall that he was dropped from the 1955 roster so they could add newly signed bonus baby Sandy Koufax to the team. Knowing Lasorda, this story is probably 100% false.
2008-01-14 11:30:20
35.   Eric Enders
I see Bob already covered that in 23 . I've been beaten to the punch by a man on a Bavarian train. (Which sounds like a Hitchcock premise.)
2008-01-14 11:31:16
36.   Humma Kavula
This gets to a question I've been thinking about for some time... and is coming to the fore now, too, with the Jim Rice/HOF discussion.

To what extent is it fair to criticize a player or a manager for a play that today we know is ineffective but at the time seemed just fine?

Example one -- the Snider/Campy bunts notwithstanding, it was more common for good hitters to bunt in 1955 than today. To what extent is it fair to criticize a manager from 1955 for being ineffective, even if it was common practice at the time?

Example two -- Jim Rice, at the time he was playing, was viewed as an extremely good hitter. Today, as we look back, we dock him points, and for good reason -- we know much more about walks, about home/road park effects, etc. To what extent is it fair to judge Rice by today's methods vs. methods at the time?

For me, personally, I think you have to use every tool in your arsenal, even if that tool was not around at the time.

Does this comment make sense at all? If not, let me know, and I'll try to rephrase.

2008-01-14 11:33:22
37.   Eric Enders
Tommy is actually on the level on this one.

"The Dodgers released Tom La Sorda outright to their Montreal International League affiliate in order to create room for Sandy Koufax, who had been on the disabled list with a broken ankle. Both are southpaw pitchers."
- New York Times, June 9, 1955

2008-01-14 11:33:55
38.   Bob Timmermann
There's a guy named Bruno on this train and he's creeping me out.
2008-01-14 11:34:52
39.   Humma Kavula
38

Crisscross!

2008-01-14 11:36:02
40.   berkowit28
35 But Bob's no stranger...
2008-01-14 11:40:06
41.   Bob Timmermann
All I need now is a floozy wife who works in a record store refuse to give me a divorce.

Such a premise does not work under California law.

2008-01-14 11:42:06
42.   Eric Enders
"Example one -- the Snider/Campy bunts notwithstanding, it was more common for good hitters to bunt in 1955 than today. To what extent is it fair to criticize a manager from 1955 for being ineffective, even if it was common practice at the time?"

But it wasn't common practice at the time to bunt with your best power hitters. It wasn't completely unheard of, as it is today, but it wasn't common either. It was weird even then.

The Jim Rice thing is an entirely different ball of wax. The Dodgers bunting and things like that are strategic issues, which I think are probably best judged by the wisdom of the day. (Although noting that many great baseball men, like Branch Rickey, Earl Weaver, and Billy Beane, were great specifically because they threw the wisdom of the day out the window.)

Rice and the Hall of Fame is a performance issue however, not a strategic one. I think Rice's Hall of Fame case depends on his performance, his actual value to his team, and it behooves us to use all the best tools available to us to evaluate that performance. The fact that people in 1982 didn't know Rice sucked doesn't change the fact that he did suck. (And yes, I am overstating the case; he didn't suck. But he wasn't within a mile of being a Hall of Famer, either.)

2008-01-14 11:42:15
43.   berkowit28
So Lasorda was traded from the Royals to Kansas City. Something that would look like a misprint nowadays.
2008-01-14 11:45:43
44.   Eric Enders
"Strangers on a Train" is actually only the fourth-best Hitchcock train movie. I put it behind North By Northwest, Shadow of a Doubt (both of which only tangentially involve trains), and The Lady Vanishes, which takes place entirely on an Eastern European train and is the film I was actually referring to.
2008-01-14 11:47:55
45.   Bob Timmermann
Myths dispelled on this trip:

1. German trains run on time all the time. The train I'm on will be 10 minutes late! Then again it started in Italy, but it lost time in Germany.

2. Germans never jaywalk. German pedestrians cross wherever and whenever they can.

2008-01-14 11:48:25
46.   berkowit28
44 And Bob's no lady either. That's my wife. Oops, no; cross reference. (Did someone say "Crisscross"?)
2008-01-14 11:53:11
47.   Humma Kavula
42 Thanks, and good point. But it brings up another question for me: how easy is it to separate strategy from performance? That is, if the 1982 Red Sox had had today's tools, they might have known that Rice wasn't as effective as he seemed. He might have been asked to bat in a different spot in the lineup, or traded, or asked to work on the on-base aspect of his game.

Of course, if Rice had batted (say) sixth, or was traded, his HOF would likely have looked even worse. And who knows how he'd have responded if he'd have been asked to walk more.

I know that all we can do is judge based on what he did. But he did what he did in the context of his time.

Ultimately, I don't know how far I want to take this, because I really do agree with you. Just wondering if I might be wrong to a certain extent.

2008-01-14 11:57:45
48.   Daniel Zappala
If you were picking statistical Hall of Fame criteria for a batter, what would they be? And if they included OPS+, what would the minimum qualifying OPS+ be?
2008-01-14 11:58:07
49.   Humma Kavula
46 Oh, also --

wasn't completely unheard of

Jim Tracy, here's mud in your eye. As in some literal mud.

2008-01-14 11:59:27
50.   bhsportsguy
45 Here's some thoughts on Myth No. 1:

http://tinyurl.com/yttcgc

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-01-14 11:59:54
51.   Humma Kavula
49 should be referenced to 42 .
2008-01-14 12:00:17
52.   Jon Weisman
Posts on The Wire ...

http://weblogs.variety.com/on_the_air/2008/01/the-wire-a-rook.html

... and Friday Night Lights ...

http://weblogs.variety.com/season_pass/2008/01/friday-night-li.html

2008-01-14 12:05:31
53.   Eric Enders
48 Picking hard and fast criteria seems a good way to get into trouble, because there are other factors to consider. Which of the following right fielders would you rather have?

19-year career. OPS+ed 160 for the first seven years, 105 over the last 12. 124 career OPS+.
10-year career, OPS+ed 155.
22-year career, OPS+ed 119.

(These are not real players, by the way; just wondering what people would consider to be better.)

2008-01-14 12:09:09
54.   Disabled List
45 What about the David Hasselhoff thing?
2008-01-14 12:09:57
55.   JimBilly4
42 I am a big believer that one needs to take the time the player played into account. Not just in comparison to other players of their era, which OPS+ and ERA+ do, but to the common wisdom of the day.

If at every level of baseball a player is told that it is # of hits and batting average that matter and that walks are a sign of lack of aggressiveness, won't that player adjust his game to be less selective? I am not saying don't apply modern stat analysis, but I think if someone was among the best in stats everyone cared about at the time, that should count for something.

However, my thinking on this may not be trustworthy as it is probably driven by my need to justify my appreciation for Steve Garvey, who became my favorite player at the age of 9 and is therefore immune to all further analysis.

2008-01-14 12:16:13
56.   Eric Stephen
I'm watching the 1959 World Series video right now (which I hadn't yet watched), and a few things I noticed were:

1) The film is narrated by one "Vince Scully"

2) When White Sox CF Jim Landis was HBP in Game 6, Scully's highlight narration included the phrase "another batter thankful for a helmet." This brings to mind many of Vin's pleas today for on-field coaches to wear helmets.

3) The video ends with a few highlights shown with the following message in large white text across the screen: "See a ball game often. It's fun and excitement for the entire family!"

4) I wonder when the first real on-field World Series celebration was. It seems every time I see an old MLB video, a championship ends with a hearty handshake and some low level excitement.

Incidentally, aside from Charlie Neal's 1 game at SS in 1959, here are the Dodgers' 1959 shortstops:

Don Zimmer: 88 games, .165/.274/.249, 37 OPS+
Maury Wills: 82 games, .260/.298/.298, 55 OPS+
Bob Lillis: 20 games, .229/.275/.271, 42 OPS+

As a comparison, fellow Dodger championship SS Alfredo Griffin hit .199/.259/.253, for a 50 OPS+

2008-01-14 12:21:30
57.   delias man
Don't get me started on Rice. People can go back and forth all day about his stats. The bottom line for me, is he one of the greatest LF of all time? No.

In that 59 Video, i wondered the same thing about "Vince"

Was Podres left off of the 65 WS Roster?

2008-01-14 12:21:58
58.   Michael Green
A sad day for us Dodger lovers. A couple of notes about it.

First, about Lasorda. I think it was Joe Black who was quoted in Jane Leavy's magnificent book on Sandy Koufax as saying that Koufax was better right-handed than Lasorda was left-handed. She quotes Lasorda's story--that Buzzie Bavasi asked him who to send out and he said, "Koufax," and Bavasi hasn't denied it, so far as I know.

Lasorda said once that after he was sent out, he was heading north listening to the Dodger broadcast and Vin said something like, "Tommy Lasorda has been optioned to Montreal. Every time he crosses the Jacques Cartier Bridge, he feels like he's going home."

Vin also said that after announcing the victory and going to the commercial, he stood up to leave. Mel Allen asked him if he planned to say goodbye to the viewers before he left! He also recalled that that night, he went to the victory party and had to park at least a mile from the hotel and walk down the street, and everybody was cheering.

Now to a cute one. His date that night was a young woman named Joan Ganz Cooney, who later created Sesame Street for Public Broadcasting. A few years ago, the Dodger affiliate here in Las Vegas broadcast a mike check Vin did for the radio network, reciting numbers--"1, 2, 3, 4, 5. 5, 4, 3, 2, 1." The host said it was Vin's audition tape for Sesame Street! That was fun.

2008-01-14 12:23:15
59.   regfairfield
55 Hey, switching to stats made me realize that Eric Karros was pretty terrible except for two years, doesn't mean I don't love him.
2008-01-14 12:23:44
60.   Eric Enders
52 Oh, Jon. The syntax of that first url made me think I was about to get really mad at you. ;)

I'm glad you're on board, and that you were able to jump in midstream, but I do hope you'll go back and watch the other seasons. I think of The Wire as great literature, and like a powerful novel, you won't get the full emotional and intellectual impact by reading only the last one-fifth of it.

I agree with your analysis of the newsroom scenes, and I do think this subplot looks primed to become the worst of the many hundreds of subplots the show has explored in the last five seasons. (Although I too am a big fan of Homicide and Clark Johnson -- who, as I suspect you know, also directed the pilot of The Wire.)

(Spoiler alert)
I think the "rearrangement" of the crime scene in episode 2 would have been the scene that really affected you emotionally if you'd been watching the show from the beginning, because that character is one whom viewers have fallen in love with over the years as he tries to obey the better angels of his nature. It was really a heartbreaking scene.

In the end, it's the breadth and the scope of the show that's really most amazing. In the most recent episode there were plotlines that tie all the way back to the first and second seasons, and in ways that seem not at all forced. The Wire actually has more emotional resonance than any show I've ever seen, and those moments are more well-earned than those on other shows because they have been set up so meticulously and perfectly over time. I agree that the first two episodes have been somewhat lacking in those moments, but I also think there were such moments in the first two episodes that you may have missed due to lack of backstory.

2008-01-14 12:24:14
61.   Ripper
Podres was not left off the 1965 WS roster. He did not pitch in that Series but went 7-6 in the regular season.
2008-01-14 12:33:51
62.   Humma Kavula
53

I know they weren't real players, but:

Player Two might be Albert Belle. The voters have decided that this player is not a Hall of Famer. I'd vote for him, recognizing that he's borderline.

Player Three might be Luis Gonzalez, and it might be Robin Yount. To consider this player, position and context matter greatly.

Player One is the toughest to find a comp for, mostly because that's a pretty severe cliff after his peak. You might imagine a fake Frank Thomas that stayed healthy but became an average ballplayer in 2000 or so. Is that dude a HOF? I think so, because it's think kind of player that can lead a team to the WS during those up years and he's not hurting his team during the down years.

2008-01-14 12:34:18
63.   Ripper
I noticed the Yanks had a threat in the bottom of the 8th. Men on 1st and 3rd with one out. Yogi flies to short right and respecting Furillo's arm the guy on 3rd (Rizzuto) holds up. The next batter Hank Bauer strikes out.
2008-01-14 12:37:42
64.   Eric Enders
62 I know I said they were all right fielders, but with Player 1 I was going for Ernie Banks.
2008-01-14 12:42:50
65.   Humma Kavula
64 Which brings up the question: If Robin Yount had moved to RF instead of CF, would he have been a HOFer?

And I have a follow up: if my grandmother had wheels, would she be a trolley-car?

2008-01-14 12:43:23
66.   Jon Weisman
60 - LOL.
2008-01-14 12:45:32
67.   Humma Kavula
64 In short:

For player #1, I'd look at MVPs, post-seasons, and other extra-credit stuff, but assuming I could put together that case, sure, I'd vote for him.

For player #2, I'd vote for him, but most wouldn't. He'd be borderline at best and likely wouldn't be elected.

I would not vote for player #3.

2008-01-14 12:48:54
68.   Bob Timmermann
66

I think the crime scene rearrangement somewhat parallels a scene from the first season when McNulty and Bunk recreate a crime scene on a case that had been closed or botched. They almost wordlessly (with the exception of a repeat Rule 1 violation) and it is a crucial crime to solve.

2008-01-14 12:49:15
69.   ToyCannon
53
I'd take option 2.
2008-01-14 12:53:46
70.   regfairfield
69 Same here. The other two players are too easily replaceable for a long stretch of their careers.
2008-01-14 12:59:45
71.   ToyCannon
Here is a list of players with an OPS+ > 150 and who have had least 3000 plate appearances sorted by ascending order of plate appearances.
Not many would meet Eric's criteria. Never even heard of Gavvy Cravath but Albert would fit the bell if he retired in 4 years.
2008-01-14 13:00:12
72.   ToyCannon
http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/shareit/ZTVk
2008-01-14 13:24:22
73.   Humma Kavula
70 Well, sure, Player #1 was easily replaced. But according to Eric's quick sketch of the player, he wasn't replaced. This player probably has 400+ home runs and/or 2,500+ hits.

In fact, there's only one reason to vote for player 2 but not player 1 -- three extra years of peak performance from player 2. Sure, Player 1 has many years of replaceable performance -- but Player 2 has zero.

If the reason you'd vote for 2 but not 1 is that you require a 10-year peak instead of a seven-year peak, then OK. But your quick post implies that 10+ years of league-average service is less valuable than what was contributed by a player that retired... that is, nothing. That doesn't make sense, so please correct me.

2008-01-14 13:24:48
74.   Marty
Albert would fill the bill too.
2008-01-14 13:32:58
75.   goofus
I watched the movie "A Perfect World" the other day. In the credits at the end, they listed "Cody Ross" as a stand-in for the kid in the picture. As it was filmed in Texas, what's chances it was "our Cody"?
2008-01-14 13:35:12
76.   regfairfield
73 I'm saying three years of outstanding contributions is more valuable than 12 years of average ones.

If player B just hung around and just accumulated counting stats for years without contributing more than a average player, it should barely, if at all, help his case for the hall.

2008-01-14 13:39:44
77.   Eric Enders
75 Probably slim, since the kid actor was 6 at the time and our Cody Ross was 12.
2008-01-14 13:40:40
78.   scareduck
56 - I recently saw those videos, and you're right, the 1959 one is particularly sad; it's scripted, and badly. Baseball was getting kind of desperate in those days, and really didn't realize how to market what the had; the NFL was really starting to siphon fans, and the majority of parks were still in areas far from their paying customers.
2008-01-14 13:43:05
79.   Humma Kavula
A Perfect World is highly underrated.
2008-01-14 13:44:05
80.   cargill06
sick of listening to my idiot friends, any football fans out there please give me some of your thoughts on Peyton Manning performance yesterday.
2008-01-14 13:52:45
81.   Marty
You want my opinion of his performance?
2008-01-14 13:56:24
82.   Daniel Zappala
53 I'm assuming Player 2 had his career cut short by injury. His 10 years are nearly identical to Player 1's first 9 years, so, all other factors the same, I say they both get in (or out), depending on the other factors. Why should you punish one guy for his career being ended by injury or the other guy for lasting a long time but being just better than average those extra years?

The reason I asked is because Jim Rice has a career OPS+ of 128, with 4 years above 140. I'm assuming the career numbers are too low for consideration? What is the minimum standard for career OPS+, if you're going to make one?

2008-01-14 13:58:09
83.   Xeifrank
Tough pill to swallow for Lakers fans with the Bynum news out today. I guess it could've been worse.
vr, Xei
2008-01-14 14:00:45
84.   El Lay Dave
I very much like the headline on this entry, "the man who brought next year". Excellent.
2008-01-14 14:01:07
85.   cargill06
81. if you watched the game, yes.
2008-01-14 14:04:26
86.   bhsportsguy
83 8 weeks is pretty tough though pretty difficult to believe the team can play at this level for that long.

We may start seeing 40+ games from Kobe again.

2008-01-14 14:04:55
87.   Eric Enders
That's kind of a tough question to ask him, isn't it?
2008-01-14 14:06:31
88.   JoeyP
83--Too bad for the Lakers. Their schedule gets much much harder beginning in about a week. They play pretty much all of February on the road.

6 teams in the West are separated by 2 games at the top.

Lakers should at least make the playoffs provided they dont completely tank without Bynum.

2008-01-14 14:08:42
89.   ToyCannon
83
Bad news, 8 weeks will make it tough to catch the Suns.

Shawn Livingston and Elton Brand send their regards.

2008-01-14 14:09:02
90.   Joe Pierre
I'm so happy and there is no way I can ever express it, that the Dodgers won at least one World Series in Brooklyn. Thanks alot to the great pitching of Johnny Podres. Many of us in New York who remember that day, when we won it all, will ever forget Johnny Podres. God rest his soul.
2008-01-14 14:10:57
91.   cargill06
what did everyone this on P. Manning's performance yesterday?
2008-01-14 14:11:19
92.   JoeyP
I'm definitely a Mitch basher---but I give him credit for not giving in to Kobe's trade demands, and for the Ariza for Cook/Evans deal.

Just getting rid of Smush had to be worth 5-6 wins.

2008-01-14 14:12:46
93.   cargill06
91. sorry doing 2 things at once, what did everyone think of p. mannings performence yesterday?
2008-01-14 14:15:57
94.   fanerman
Aside from the Kwame-Caron Butler trade, Mitch has actually done as great a job as anybody could have hoped (in my opinion). He was forced to trade Shaq and managed to re-build them into a potential contender in 3-4 years. That's pretty impressive if you ask me.

I think the Lakers will be okay. They'll get into the playoffs. Hopefully Kwame can stay healthy for 8 weeks anyway.

2008-01-14 14:22:42
95.   Jon Weisman
80, 85, 91, 93 - I think you've asked the question enough.
2008-01-14 14:28:26
96.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2008-01-14 16:35:27
97.   DougS
33 Excellent points. Isn't it a bit odd to think of a manager who could compile a track record like that as not terribly good at what he does? Could one credibly argue that the Dodgers over that 30-year period would have been a significantly more successful team under someone else? And if so, how many someone elses? And Alston's record seems all the more remarkable when you remember that he worked on a series of 1-year contracts, so that he was potentially on his way out each and every season.
2008-01-14 21:34:37
98.   Da Dodge
I was saddened by the news today by the death of man who brought Dodger fans next year and a man who was my friend when I worked inside the organization from 1988-1991. He was my pitching coach in 1989 for the Kissimmee Dodgers (managed by Jerry Royster; I was the Business Manager/Trav. Sec/Gopher).

Pods was a piece of work, a very funny man in his own way and always a New Yorker. Not only did he teach many Dodgers the devastating chage-up (Pedro!) but more importantly he taught me how to bet at the dog track with our "coin"--that being the daily allowance players and coaches received (not business managers!). So we played the puppies as he liked to say. He also knew where all the good Eye-talian places were to eat whether we were in Orlando, Tampa, or Tempe, AZ.

I don't think I ever saw him again after I drove him to the airport in Phoenix during the Dodgers winter meetings so he could catch a flight to Philly to interview for the pitching coach job. That year he had been a roving minor league instructor and I think he wanted a shot at the big time again. He asked me, "Eric what should should I do if they offer it to me?" "Pods," I replied, "you gotta take it. Think of all the coin you'll have for the track." I remember him laughing at that.

What a year he had in Philly two years later.

A few years later after I was out of baseball, out of the blue, I got a package in the mail from Glen Falls, NY. I opened it and there was a signed 8x10 glossy of Pods in his heyday to "My Friend Eric." That was the kind of guy Pods was. I dug that photo out tonight and showed my 11 year old son and told him a few stories about my buddy Pods and the laughs we had, including the lunch Pods and I ate one day in Kissimmee on the bleachers with HIS buddy Sandy.

And thus the cycle of history begins again as my 11 year old Dodger fan son, who's never seen a live Dodgers game, connects with a guy his Dad once knew and who played with Jackie and the Duke.

RIP Pods. Thanks for making my time in baseball memorable. And don't spend it all at the OTB in heaven.

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