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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

Bummer of a Birthmark, Hal
2008-04-09 15:48
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

In the middle of today's game, I found myself hoping to write ...

See, it wasn't so bad. The Dodgers just split six games on the road against two contenders for the division title.
Instead, the team sprung a leak in Phoenix - an error by James Loney (who did homer) in the fourth, and Hiroki Kuroda finally wearing down in the sixth helped Arizona complete its sweep - and it's going to take a little longer to turn this ship around.

Comments (166)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-04-09 15:50:31
1.   Retire 55
:(
2008-04-09 15:51:29
2.   fanerman
It's okay. It's a long season. I'm not gonna get bummed about the Dodgers in April.
2008-04-09 15:51:36
3.   Jon Weisman
Xei - isn't it tough to call Kuroda a goat when he allowed no earned runs in the first five innings, and two over six?
2008-04-09 15:52:18
4.   Xeifrank
I didn't watch the game, but others commented that the error on Loney wasn't all his fault. Friday night, Peavy vs Penny. It doesn't get any easier, but atleast the team heads home. vr, Xei
2008-04-09 15:52:30
5.   GobiasIndustries
What is a fair amount of time to gauge Andruw Jones' feeble attempts at hitting before enough is enough and people stop saying, "he'll come around, it's early."
Watching him right now is worse than watching Shawn Green the year he went downhill. What has happened to him, seriously? Is there any plausible explanation?
2008-04-09 15:52:31
6.   El Lay Dave
Boy, I can't wait for Tony Jackson's DN article.
2008-04-09 15:53:10
7.   Xeifrank
3. I was basing it off WPA. He had the worst for the whole game. I understand your point though and I don't argue against it.
vr, Xei
2008-04-09 15:54:18
8.   cargill06
i have no idea why andruw is now one of the worst starting hitters in the NL it makes no sense.
2008-04-09 15:54:32
9.   Kevin Lewis
What a day. I feel like we all just need to have a beer and play some bocce ball.
2008-04-09 15:54:59
10.   LogikReader
8

I guess that's why they call us the Blue :)

2008-04-09 15:55:36
11.   Xeifrank
8. Perhaps because he is out of shape??
vr, Xei
2008-04-09 15:56:26
12.   madmac
5 Martin hasn't exactly been Golden. It's still early for him though, right?
2008-04-09 15:56:30
13.   cargill06
11 supposedly he was in great shape last year...
2008-04-09 15:57:13
14.   GMac In The 909
11 Don't worry. He'll make his free throws when it cou... Oh wait, you are talking about that other fat guy.
2008-04-09 15:57:21
15.   cargill06
maybe someone needs to take him to the eye doctor, it just makes no sense at all.
2008-04-09 15:58:04
16.   silverwidow
I wouldn't be surprised if Ned gets fired in-season.
2008-04-09 15:58:37
17.   GobiasIndustries
12
Martin didn't struggle like Jones did all last year. Apples and oranges IMO. It just appears to me that Andruw has lost all ability to recognize a pitch. Why or how is what I'm wondering.
2008-04-09 15:58:56
18.   GMac In The 909
12 But Martin isn't coming off a year in which he stunk it up either.
2008-04-09 15:59:23
19.   natepurcell
16

That would be interesting.

2008-04-09 15:59:55
20.   Ken Noe
On a happier note, Sutton and Grace don't do Dodger games.
2008-04-09 16:01:27
21.   Icaros
Andruw just likes pissing you all off. That's why he's always smiling.
2008-04-09 16:02:32
22.   fanerman
Hm. Maybe Russell should have taken 2 day off, then he could have gotten 2 straight days off.
2008-04-09 16:03:59
23.   Jonny6
Rationally, I fully comprehend that were only 9 games in and it's waaaay too early to start to panic about Jones' ineptitude. But he really looks awful at the plate.

I don't think I've seen him hit the ball hard yet, fair, foul, or otherwise.

Oh well, at least we've always got Pierre as our Plan B. Anyone for a Repko, plan C?

2008-04-09 16:04:55
24.   Icaros
Jones could K every time he bats the rest of the year and I'd still take him in CF over Pierre.
2008-04-09 16:05:19
25.   GobiasIndustries
21
He's always smiling because he's forever thinking about the 12 pounds of food that he's gonna wolf down for his next meal.
2008-04-09 16:05:52
26.   Icaros
25

Fat jokes are hilarious. Tell more.

2008-04-09 16:06:13
27.   madmac
17 18 I understand that and am not saying we should panicking on Martin. I just find it interesting how some are willing to be as patient as necessary for some, but are calling for heads after 1 week with others.
2008-04-09 16:06:14
28.   fanerman
I bet Andruw really does just want to spite everybody on this board.
2008-04-09 16:06:48
29.   wronghanded
Kuroda obviously wasn't as sharp today but I'm not totally discouraged. That WHIP needs to come down though, you're not gonna win too many games at 2.12. Despite his 2-3 effort today, I really hope that Pierre doesn't get more playing time at the expense of Kemp or Ethier...Andruw...maybe. Arizona is gonna be tough this year, can anybody run numbers on their OBP for the series? I'm gonna guess .455.
2008-04-09 16:07:15
30.   GobiasIndustries
24
I disagree. At least Pierre makes contact and there is an outside chance a fielder can make an error and Juan can get aboard. Jones can't even make contact. It's sad really.
2008-04-09 16:07:16
31.   El Lay Dave
Tex Loney has a nine-game hitting streak to start the season.

.364 / .421 / .515 / .936

2008-04-09 16:08:22
32.   Icaros
30

But Jones can actually play CF. Pierre cannot.

2008-04-09 16:08:48
33.   madmac
I really don't think Druw looks that bad (size wise). I think everyone is use to seeing Pierre in center, so of course that make Jones looke huge.
2008-04-09 16:10:27
34.   madmac
that's it. I will call Loney - LoneStar from now on.
2008-04-09 16:11:29
35.   Eric Stephen
One of the classic Far Sides, Jon! Very nice.
2008-04-09 16:11:34
36.   GobiasIndustries
27
I'm not calling for anyones head. I was just asking in my first post, how much time should pass before everyone is on the same page in regards to Jones' hitting, or lack thereof. I'm all for giving a guy a chance to beat a slump.
2008-04-09 16:13:06
37.   GobiasIndustries
32
Well then you're talking about what you value more, offense or defense. In this case, with the offense going the way it's going now, I'm all for Pierre (gack!). That left a bad taste in my mouth. Sorry.
2008-04-09 16:13:18
38.   ucladodger
29

The 3 innings i saw Kuroda looked great. not sure what happened after, but obviously the Loney/Furcal error had something to do with the downturn of his outing. Could have been a DP or at least 1 out, which led to many more extra pitches, 2 runs, and 2 extra hits. I think he'll be really good this year.

2008-04-09 16:13:28
39.   El Lay Dave
29 I got .423 (52/123). They had either 11 or 12 hits each game of the series.
2008-04-09 16:14:31
40.   Xeifrank
33. That's what I thought until I saw AJones in person at the Colliseum game. He looked bloated and could barely get down the line to first base on a ground ball. It could've been that he wasn't trying. AJones has always struck out a lot (correct me if I'm wrong) and has always looked bad chasing bad pitches (breaking balls out of the zone) ever since his rookie days. It's looking more and more like last year was not a fluke for AJones, but his new benchmark. vr, Xei
2008-04-09 16:15:34
41.   trainwreck
Is anyone else a little annoyed with how much the Mets new stadium is tied to the Brooklyn Dodgers? It is made to look like Ebbets on the outside and inside. They also have a whole area dedicated to Jackie Robinson.

It's not even the same area.
2008-04-09 16:16:03
42.   El Lay Dave
38 He also got lucky that a runner was put out on a wild pitch that simply didn't get far enough away. That inning could have been worse too.
2008-04-09 16:16:48
43.   madmac
36 sorry, I didn't really mean to imply you were. actually there was/is nothing wrong with the question. It related though to what I wanted to say and I linked it. sorry, wasn't an attack on your post. I was thinking about everyone, not just Druw. Penny had a terrible 1st inning, so did Loaiza, and then so did Bills. Only Loaiza's bad start envoked such a "fire Ned, cut Loaiza" response.
2008-04-09 16:17:31
44.   wronghanded
39 Thanks and wow, our pitching didn't do too well but how much of that is Arizona's explosive offense? I really underestimated this team coming into the season, I know that most people thought they'd be good but this good? Afterall their '07 team numbers were atrocious.
2008-04-09 16:18:46
45.   goofus
On another subject... My sister in Las Vegas knows someone who gambles a lot there, like every night. According to this guy, he frequently sees Orel Hershiser win or lose $60,000, $70,000 a night, and has a 26 year old cocktail waitress girlfriend. Apparently he is divorced or separated. Not being critical, it's just that this isn't the way I've always thought of him. What do you think, true or made up story?
2008-04-09 16:18:47
46.   El Lay Dave
40 Jones has triple-digits in strikeouts in every year he played except his first season, with only 31 games.
2008-04-09 16:19:28
47.   oshea2002
22 - maybe he needs the matt kemp 3 days off plan
2008-04-09 16:19:43
48.   Jon Weisman
Half a week ago, Matt Kemp looked like he had lost all ability to recognize a pitch.

A year or two ago, Jeff Kent went something like 3 for May. Now he's 40 and still hitting.

Yes, player careers wind down. And maybe he does need glasses, or to get in better shape. Certainly, some adjustment is in order. But some of you guys are acting as if Jones suddenly came down with Lou Gehrig's disease. No, not even I will give him an endless period to turn it around, but it's April 9!

2008-04-09 16:19:51
49.   madmac
45 I don't believe it
2008-04-09 16:20:58
50.   madmac
48 there's that voice of reason I was looking for.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-04-09 16:21:26
51.   still bevens
44 Their defense also carried the game early on. We were hitting Owings hard but didnt have much to show for it because of some huge defensive plays.
2008-04-09 16:22:26
52.   Xeifrank
45. it's not the same guy who said Derek Lowe hates Vin Scully is it?
vr, Xei
2008-04-09 16:23:50
53.   Marty
Well, we do know that Hershiser loves to play poker.
2008-04-09 16:24:41
54.   oshea2002
48 - I'll argue that Martin looks equally as inept right now as Jones, and I'm pretty sure we KNOW that he hasn't "lost it", so that gives us hope for Jones.

The adjustment part is what I worry about, I know a lot of Braves fans and that's what they harp on - the league started pitching him a bit differently, the Braves tried to get him to make changes, and he wouldn't. Granted this comes from other fans, but it's not something I've only heard once or twice.

2008-04-09 16:26:10
55.   GMac In The 909
45 My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Orel with his 26-year-old girlfriend at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious.
2008-04-09 16:27:02
56.   the2pin
My disdain for Juan Pierre is at all-time levels.
2008-04-09 16:28:40
57.   Louis in SF
In watching the came from the 4th inning on, the error by Loney, it was not a good throw and Furcal had little opportunity to do much else, once Loney made the great short hop as he was going towards 2nd base. That inning took alot out of Kuroda, but he was still getting first pitch strikes.

The Jones thing is just ugly, he seems to strike and miss pitches outside and is looking at strikes over the plate. Don't know what to say other than he did hit some hommers in the Spring. Ethier and Loney continue to have great at bats and Furcal is healthy-sad to say that I am hoping for Nomar to find new life, but that is all one can do at the moment.

2008-04-09 16:30:28
58.   Kevin Lewis
55

The best part about that quote is that I read it in the voice of the girl from the show.

2008-04-09 16:30:31
59.   oshea2002
57 - I was just about to say hope is on the horizon - Nomar!!! I refuse to ever underestimate anyone in a contract year.
2008-04-09 16:31:23
60.   Daniel Zappala
Looking on the bright side: I will be attending my first Dodger game in 11 years next week, and this will surely turn around the team. After all, they still have 93 more wins to go this season.
2008-04-09 16:32:26
61.   madmac
56 going 2-3 today really upset you huh?

so looks like TJ is leaving Stanford for LSU. http://sports.espn.go.com/ncb/news/story?id=3338164

2008-04-09 16:33:02
62.   MC Safety
55 I haven't heard Baskin Robbins called 31 Flavors for some time. Thanks for the memories!
2008-04-09 16:33:44
63.   El Lay Dave
If Orel Hershiser is divorced or separated, it's been kept pretty darn quiet.

59 You'd have been pretty disappointed by the 2007 model of Andruw Jones then.

2008-04-09 16:34:19
64.   Kevin Lewis
62

Have they started their dollar Tuesdays yet?

2008-04-09 16:35:07
65.   the2pin
61 Egad man! Yes!
2008-04-09 16:35:12
66.   El Lay Dave
61 Did anyone hear that Mike Montgomery is going to Cal? ;)
2008-04-09 16:39:40
67.   Daniel Zappala
66 I was just going to say, this means Stanford lost out on their chance to bring back Mike Montgomery. :-)
2008-04-09 16:40:10
68.   fanerman
55 My old college roommate's brother's girlfriend's cousin's best friend's fiance's sister-in-law's nephew's godfather's high school sweetheart's third cousin twice removed said that Andre Ethier donates over half of his salary to charity and spends his off-season volunteering for Habitat for Humanity (besides working out, practicing his swing, becoming a better baseball player). He also said that Andre Ethier drives a Prius, eats only organic food, uses his fame to speak for small local causes that don't get any press, and spends part of everyday getting to know one of his fans. He said that Andre Ethier told him the next thing he was going to do was help Andruw Jones fix his swing because he had just finished working with Matt Kemp. Andre told him this as Andre was writing a diet and fitness guide he was going to hand to Andruw Jones. He also said that Andre Ethier is a big Danica McKellar, Arrested Development, and Bruce Springsteen fan.
2008-04-09 16:40:17
69.   MC Safety
Not sure, but I'd like to find out. Jamocha almond fudge is so good.
2008-04-09 16:40:18
70.   MC Safety
Not sure, but I'd like to find out. Jamocha almond fudge is so good.
2008-04-09 16:40:19
71.   madmac
66 well I soooo deserved that if it was already mentioned. Very nice ELD.
2008-04-09 16:40:21
72.   Xeifrank
Detroit yet to score after two innings.
vr, Xei
2008-04-09 16:41:54
73.   Xeifrank
68. Sounded like a nice guy until the last sentence. :)
vr, Xei
2008-04-09 16:42:12
74.   MC Safety
Whoa, sorry. And that was directed at 64 .

68 Does Andre Ethier play the Hot Wheels game?

2008-04-09 16:42:16
75.   Gen3Blue
Kuroda was more than OK tonight. That Loney Furcal play was a little of each. Its baseball, and things aren't going our way right now. No big Deal yet.
2008-04-09 16:43:36
76.   Bluebleeder87
It's still very early but I already have an almost Padre'esk hatred for the Snakes in the early goings...
2008-04-09 16:44:10
77.   fanerman
74 Andre Ethier told Andy LaRoche about the Hot Wheels game to help him rehab his thumb. Andre Ethier played the game for awhile but then he could make bigger contributions to the world. This is according to my source.
2008-04-09 16:44:33
78.   fanerman
77 realize he*
2008-04-09 16:46:06
79.   oshea2002
61 - in all seriousness someone asked me that today.
2008-04-09 16:48:07
80.   Xeifrank
Duke, N.Carolina and UCLA are listed as the top three favorites to win the NCAA tourney next year. College basketball has to be a tough sport to handicap futures on, with all the turnover that goes on. vr, Xei
2008-04-09 16:49:03
81.   GMac In The 909
77 Is Andre going to also watch the return of The Office?
2008-04-09 16:49:07
82.   fanerman
Making up a happy rumor didn't do much to cheer me up. Shucks.
2008-04-09 16:49:41
83.   MC Safety
77 Jon's quite the trendsetter.
2008-04-09 16:52:24
84.   Kevin Lewis
74

Mmmmm, good choice on the jamocha almond. I am partial to peanut butter and chocolate. I just love how stressed out the workers are on the Tuesday dollar scoop nights. I imagine you must rank low on the totem pole to be scheduled for that night.

2008-04-09 16:54:01
85.   oshea2002
80 - if the defection rumors are true, there's no way ucla is winning the title. I'd say UNC, likely losing no one and brining in 3 studs is gonna be #1. Texas maybe, but I bet Augustin bolts.
2008-04-09 16:54:57
86.   dan reines
it's like they have a giant target on their furry bellies.
2008-04-09 16:57:36
87.   madmac
79 ?
2008-04-09 16:59:27
88.   madmac
84 that must have been what prepared the "ice cream scooper" guy on Survivor.
2008-04-09 16:59:46
89.   oshea2002
87 - oops - meant 66 (commenting on your post). A Stanford buddy of mine got all excited thinking they'd bring Monty back, I had to explain to him he found gainful employment elsewhere last week.
2008-04-09 17:00:46
90.   bhsportsguy
Up until their late July swoon into August, the Dodgers, Padres and D-Backs exchanged leads of as high 4-5 games on each other so the fact that they are 3 games down today does not mean they could not be up by 3 games in 2 weeks.
2008-04-09 17:12:22
91.   Izzy
57. RE: Jones complete lack of pitch recognition. I had heard that years ago Duke Snider couldn't tell a strike from a ball. They put him in the batters box and never allowed him to swing. All he got to do everyday was stand there and call the pitches. I don't remember how long it took, but it seems like he had to do that for weeks, until he could finally tell a strike from a ball. I will add that a couple of these umpires recently have been flat out bad, so that only compounds AJ's problems.
2008-04-09 17:15:55
92.   Johnny Nucleo
0 I remember the Far Side cartoon. Two days ago, it felt like it should have been drawn with a Bison with the bulls-eye on him. Now Druw is the target. It's pretty early folks. I can pretty much guarantee everyone that Druw will not hit .129 this season.
2008-04-09 17:23:50
93.   bhsportsguy
How soon we forget

Tonight
Bryan Morris at Great Lakes, too many hits but lots of groundball singles, only pitched 4 innings, gave up 3 runs but remember its only his second start since 2006,

James McDonald is pitching tonight for the Suns (which means a certain Minotaur will be pitching tomorrow afternoon (4:15 PDT). He's ahead 1-0 going into the 4th, Lucas May hit a solo homer in the top of 4th for the early lead.

2008-04-09 17:24:28
94.   wronghanded
93 How about .229?
2008-04-09 17:24:54
95.   wronghanded
oops I meant 92
2008-04-09 17:26:27
96.   scareduck
92 - no, but if he hits .192 you can be sure the boos will be mighty loud. And frankly I don't think that's out of the question.
2008-04-09 17:26:57
97.   bhsportsguy
Gurnick reports that when Nomar Garciaparra is ready, Blake Dewitt will probably head back to the minors since the team is plannng to carry 12 pitchers for a while.
2008-04-09 17:29:08
98.   scareduck
96 - and to answer Jon's 48 , there was all of last year that Ned chose to ignore.
2008-04-09 17:34:23
99.   88Dodger
I think the problem is pitching. Look, we're getting the runs in. The bullpen has just been atrocious.
2008-04-09 17:35:26
100.   regfairfield
Hitting by Pitching
2008-04-07 15:15 by Jon Weisman

ToyCannon at True Blue L.A. brings up the struggles of some National League West closers during the season's first week. To that, I add this: Check out what NL bullpens did during Week 1. The Dodger bullpen is tops with a 0.98 ERA and an opponent OPS of .467 in 18 1/3 innings.

In overall pitching, the Dodgers lead the league with a 1.70 ERA and .536 opponent OPS. However bad the Dodgers' hitting looked last week, their rivals' hitting was usually worse.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-04-09 17:36:29
101.   El Lay Dave
97 I was wondering who was considered the backup 3B (DeWitt has played every inning there), because I thought the Dodgers had said the Hu 3B experiment was over, but that article says:
Torre indicated Chin-lung Hu would continue as the utility infielder because he can play three positions, particularly shortstop.

I think Hu played one ST game at third and the D. Young at 3B notion never got further than practice drills or something.

2008-04-09 17:37:13
102.   88Dodger
100

I see the numbers but I just cant belive it.

2008-04-09 17:39:36
103.   spacebrother
When is it that we play the Tigers this year?
2008-04-09 17:41:57
104.   88Dodger
we dont
2008-04-09 17:42:46
105.   88Dodger
june 13, 14, 15 sorry
2008-04-09 17:43:03
106.   trainwreck
85
3 studs? Larry Drew is very overrated. He is not ready to play yet. I also think Ed Davis is a bit too raw to get much playing time when UNC has Hansbrough, Thompson, and Stephenson. UNC has to really worry about Lawson leaving. That would hurt them a lot.
2008-04-09 17:45:04
107.   El Lay Dave
102 Proctor got rocked in one of his appearances with LA already down two. Troncoso took a beating yesterday, with the Dodgers down three. Ignoring that bizarre rainy game where Bills and Loaiza each relieved and yielded a combined two runs in three IP, the bullpen, outside of potential overuse has not been an issue.
2008-04-09 17:56:52
108.   Humma Kavula
Detroit --

15 runs scored -- worst in baseball
.234 BA -- 24th place
.308 OBP -- 23rd place
.332 SLG -- 29th place
.640 OPS -- 29th place

pitching:

44 Runs Allowed -- 28th place
5.20 ERA -- 27th place
33 BB -- 27th place
41 K -- 23rd place
.278 BAA -- 27th place

2008-04-09 17:59:38
109.   Humma Kavula
Of course, they just scored four times to take a 4-2 lead.
2008-04-09 18:00:21
110.   El Lay Dave
Primarily because of those two rough outings from the pen mentioned in 107 that add 8 runs in only 2 IP, the numbers have gone up since week 1. To date, the Dodgers pen:
30 1/3 IP
3.56 ERA
Opponent's batting line: .243 / .331 / .405 / .736
2008-04-09 18:21:10
111.   Bluebleeder87
91

You can't teach an old dog new tricks. Man, who ever said Jones needs glasses is my new hero, I only wish I'd read it in real time.

2008-04-09 18:27:50
112.   Bluebleeder87
Troncoso took a beating yesterday, with the Dodgers down three.

From what I remember of the game, Connor Jackson hit a ball real hard on the ground & it bounced real high & that's the only thing they did to him really, I thought he did o.k. except for that stupid weird hit...

2008-04-09 18:36:57
113.   Lexinthedena
112 That's the thing. The Snakes got almost all of the breaks this series....lots of weird hits, opponents line drives being hit right at people, and Billingsly's weird meltdown. AZ is an established entity, the Dodgers still finding themselves. Andruw Jones not withstanding, I am not worried.
2008-04-09 18:42:03
114.   MC Safety
The Established Entity sounds like a good nickname for Andre Ethier.
2008-04-09 19:18:12
115.   oshea2002
106 - realized the Drew mistake when I posted that, and I see your point on Davis, but his athleticism and length can really help on the boards. Either way, I'm much more sold on Carolina based on them returning everyone while no one else does. I think Lawson is coming back, and I think guys like Ellington can still really improve - same with the 2 L.A. bigs.
2008-04-09 19:21:42
116.   trainwreck
115
If Lawson stays, they would have to choke the National Championship away.
2008-04-09 19:28:34
117.   LAT
My concern is not that Andruw Jones is not hitting. If he were making contact or swinging at good pitches I would write it off to a slow start but he is totally lost out there. He swings early. He swings late. He swings at letter high pitches. He swings at pitches in the dirt. The only pitches he doesn't swing at are the ones over the plate.

He needs to be told to stop pulling the ball. If he doesn't stop then he should be sat down until he does. I don't care about his weight or his smile, but he needs to do what his manager and hitting coach tell him.

If he continues to be a disappointment it won't be a total loss. Eventally we will have the entertainment of Kent laying into him.

2008-04-09 19:35:44
118.   trainwreck
117
Jones has always been like that. I think he had the bat speed to make up for it before, but now that he is getting older he can no longer get by on pure talent.

It is probably too late in his career for him to change his approach at the plate, plus, you have to question his work ethic.

2008-04-09 19:37:59
119.   oshea2002
116 - yup. I've heard alot of Alex Stepheson rumors about coming back to So Cal - either of the LA schools - we'll have to see on that one.

Mayo announced he's leaving - no shock. If we can bring back Davon and Taj I think we're a Top 10 team with Derozan and Washington coming on board, plus a healthy Hackett and Diarra. Outside shooting will be a bit of a weakness unless j's improve and Smith is the shooter they claim. Should be the deepest and most talented SC team in a long time (01 went Elite 8 but underachieved IMO in the regular season).

I really think Westbrook should come back, and Shipp and Mbah A Moute are out of their minds if they leave.

2008-04-09 19:39:03
120.   Ricardo
117. I read once that Andruw never listened to what his hitting coaches had to say. If that´s true I hope it changes, because Easler will certainly help him.
2008-04-09 19:46:17
121.   spacebrother
103

Actually, I was joking. I thought there might be at least a chance for a sweep somewhere down the line :)

Look out, but Detroit is about to win its first game.

2008-04-09 19:46:17
122.   scareduck
115 - hard to imagine, since he's been dead almost 34 years --

http://tinyurl.com/3uec6v

2008-04-09 19:47:47
123.   scareduck
testing
2008-04-09 19:52:46
124.   trainwreck
119
There were rumors during season about Stephenson, but he backed-off them and seemed committed to staying at UNC.

I am surprised Gibson may stay, because he is getting pretty old. Derozan is going to need to improve on the defensive end to keep up with USC's style of defense. You guys also need him to get better by facing Jefferson in practice everyday.

Shipp and Luc are staying, unless they are that desperate to leave. I would not even care if Shipp left. His defense has become a complete liability and he is no longer making up for it on the offensive end. We will really need Westbrook. Howland is on the attack trying to keep Westbrook. Today he said that Westbrook would be the starting PG, regardless if Collison came back.

2008-04-09 20:01:19
125.   neuroboy002
And we now have the same record as the World Champion Red Sox, the NL East Champion Phillies, the AL Central Champion Indians and the NY Yankees.

Perhaps some players from each league just need a change of scenery to get their teams going. Lets start with Juan Pierre for Grady Sizemore.
Deal?

2008-04-09 20:07:08
126.   Johnny Nucleo
Some other notable early-season strugglers:

D. Ortiz 29 AB 1 HR 103 AVG/257 OBP/138 SLG
M Teixera 32 AB 2 HR 156/229/375
C Crawford 36 AB 0 HR 167/189/167
A Soriano 32 AB 1 HR 094/147/188
R Howard 32 AB 1 HR 188/308/313

A JONES 31 AB 0 HR 129/206/161

2008-04-09 20:10:30
127.   Johnny Nucleo
126 I keep forgetting there are five vowels in Teixeira.
2008-04-09 20:14:30
128.   El Lay Dave
112 Yeah, bad-hop triple, but it was single, walk, walk, to load the bases immediately before that.
2008-04-09 20:14:57
129.   El Lay Dave
127 But not all five, as in "Aurelio".
2008-04-09 20:17:08
130.   El Lay Dave
126 But none of those other are carrying the stench of a lousy 2007 into their early-season slump.
2008-04-09 20:21:27
131.   Gagne55
127 i before e except after c
2008-04-09 20:29:30
132.   Michael D
We have the same record as the Yankee's right now and they haven't played a team that will finish above 3rd place yet. Although we should have won today it's far too early to panic.
2008-04-09 20:35:49
133.   oshea2002
124 - Gibson needs to get a bit stronger, and develop a mid range game to have any prayer in the NBA. That plus the difference in strength b/t the 08 and 09 draft is what I'm guessing has him leaning toward staying. Where we'll miss OJ the most as opposed to Demar is on the defensive end - although Demar is a good enough athlete to figure it out - hopefully.

Agree on Shipp - who cares. When his shot isn't dropping he's worthless. Bring back Westbrook and Luc, and I still really like Ucla's team next year.

Speaking of no D - Foxsports has Taylor King down to USC, Gonzaga, and Nova. Now that is someone who I don't see capable of playing defense for us, although I wouldn't mind him standing out on the 3 point line.

2008-04-09 20:47:48
134.   trainwreck
133
He is the ultimate Gonzaga player. Unathletic white guy that cannot play any defense, is soft, can't create for himself, but can shoot.
2008-04-09 21:11:00
135.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
This is A. Jones' PECOTA projection:

257/345/487

EqA 281

Yes, he's been awful, but I really think it's too early to say anything beyond that he's in a dreadful slump right now.

WWSH

2008-04-09 21:23:42
136.   StolenMonkey86
74 - Great, I was going to write my paper, but now I'm goint to play the hot wheels game.

At least it isn't due until 4:30pm tomorrow, but that's Eastern Time!

2008-04-09 21:27:03
137.   ucladodger
133

Taj's body isnt going to change that much. He's 23 and will be 24 by next year. As for Demar, he isnt close to OJ offensively. OJ, as much flak as he got, was a really solid offensive player that was asked to play point. Demar has ridiculous athleticism, but he isnt close to being the all-around player Mayo was. Jrue Holiday destroyed Demar defensively when they played against each other.

As for us, if Russ, luc, and Alf come back I'm not worried. Thats would be a really good squad and a really fun team to watch.

2008-04-09 21:39:31
138.   Joe Pierre
I thought this way at the start of the post season last year and still do.
We are not in the same class as the D'Backs.
Their offense is, at this time, tremendously superior to our.
The Rockies, once they get started are another team that have much smarter hitters then us.
We actually put up a great fight and did very well, because of our strong pitching.
2008-04-09 21:41:15
139.   regfairfield
138 And their pitching after their one and two is about 30 steps below ours. It's a pretty even fight.
2008-04-09 21:50:22
140.   caseybarker
All,

I have two tickets, infield reserve
sec. 44, row U, seats 3 and 4 for April 23, against the D'backs. Please email if you're interested: benzinger@mad.scientist.com

2008-04-09 21:52:50
141.   jasonungar07
The Dodgers IMO lack an identity.
2008-04-09 21:55:15
142.   Eric Enders
It's going to be fun keeping track of how many games the Padres lose this year because they think Jim Edmonds can still play center field.

Add one to the total tonight.

2008-04-09 21:55:34
143.   trainwreck
The Giants win another game.
2008-04-09 21:57:51
144.   ucladodger
I don't think the Pads are going to be close to where they have been the last few years. Their lineup isn't good and after Peavy and TCY, they dont throw anything out there above-average. Add to that Hoffman is a shell of himself, and they might be looking squarely at a 4th place finish.
2008-04-09 21:59:46
145.   LAT
141. Who are the Dodgers?
2008-04-09 22:01:10
146.   Reddog
If anyone here ever needs money, bet someone you know $20 that they can't correctly spell the town in New Mexico where Georgia O'Keefe lived. Give them 20 tries. It is pronounced "a" (as in sam) "bi" (as in bit) cue - "abicue". The correct spelling is ...... "Abiquiu".
2008-04-09 22:05:03
147.   silverwidow
Greg Miller is having another good relief outing. On the season, he's currently at 6.1 IP with ONLY 3 walks (which is great in his case). He has 10 Ks and a .182 BA against.
2008-04-09 22:05:42
148.   Daniel Zappala
Can't resist including this tidbit from the Times story on the Angels win today:

With Napoli hitting a grand slam today and Torii Hunter hitting one in the series opener Monday, the Angels hit two slams in one series for the first time since David Eckstein hit two himself, on consecutive days against the Toronto Blue Jays in April 2002.

2008-04-09 22:06:50
149.   Eric Enders
144 If I had to bet money on one specific team to finish in a specific spot in the standings, I'd pick the Padres and fourth place. They're much better than the Giants and much worse than the other three teams.
2008-04-09 22:07:35
150.   Daniel Zappala
146 I've been to her museum in Santa Fe. Wonderful place to visit.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-04-09 22:10:31
151.   bhsportsguy
149 I don't know if Edmonds realized that the CFs in the NL West are huge places to cover.

But what did he do tonight aside from getting thrown out at home?

{150] When is the Zappala family arriving in beautiful Southern California?

2008-04-09 22:13:57
152.   Daniel Zappala
151 Friday evening, after a 10-hour drive. We plan to sedate the kids with Harry Potter #6 on CDs.
2008-04-09 22:15:57
153.   Eric Enders
151 The walk-off hit for the Giants was a fly ball directly over Edmonds' head. Even though it was a high fly that hung in the air forever, he still couldn't get there in time and it bounced on the warning track to end the game.
2008-04-09 22:20:30
154.   regfairfield
Now the Padres, there's a team without an identity.
2008-04-09 22:29:55
155.   Eric Enders
154 Heck, they can't even decide what their team colors are. In the last fifteen years alone they've worn
a) mustard yellow & brown
b) navy blue & orange
c) navy blue, sky blue, and "sand"
d) every imaginable form of camouflage
2008-04-09 22:38:43
156.   StolenMonkey86
every time I play that hot wheels game I hate my mouse more. It never responds to clicks when I've got a dozen cars in there
2008-04-09 22:48:38
157.   Frip
134 He is the ultimate Gonzaga player. Unathletic white guy that cannot play any defense, is soft, can't create for himself, but can shoot.

And smart, don't forget smart. You know, being white guys and all.

2008-04-09 22:53:11
158.   Eric Enders
"He is the ultimate Gonzaga player. Unathletic white guy that cannot play any defense, is soft, can't create for himself, but can shoot."

Gonzaga's best player the last few years, Jeremy Pargo, is the polar opposite of every one of those characteristics. He's a black guy who plays good defense, is tough as nails, is perhaps the best in the nation at creating for himself, but can't shoot.

2008-04-09 23:01:09
159.   scareduck
148 - to make it to the World Series, they'll have to hope for an epic collapse by Boston.
2008-04-09 23:06:17
160.   Xeifrank
Any recent news on Jason Schmidt's progress/timetable for returning? Not that Loaiza is in jeopardy of losing his spot in the rotation but the depth chart for a 5th starter replacement at this point in time looks like...
1) CHP, 2) Guo, ... 3) Kershaw?

vr, Xei

2008-04-09 23:10:34
161.   dzzrtRatt
141 The Dodgers lack an identity because they are still in transition. I suspect the identity you seek will evolve over the 2008 and 2009 seasons, presumably the Jacksonville gang in charge, but not necessarily. I don't think this Dodger team should win anything this year, but the trajectory will be encouraging -- the opposite of last season.

Well, we could win. The NL doesn't have much of an identity either. Like last season, every NL team has at least one gaping flaw.

This season, the NL will greatly resemble "Dancing With the Stars." At least one amateur on each team, and the one who does better than expected, wins.

It's hard to believe, but we'll know the identity of the World Champion of 2008 before we'll know who the next president will be.

2008-04-09 23:12:48
162.   Eric Enders
I think the Dodgers will try the fifth starters in this order...

(before June 1)
1. Loaiza
2. Park
3. Kuo
4. Schmidt (if able)
5. McDonald
6. Kershaw

After June 1, switch Kershaw and McDonald.

2008-04-09 23:13:25
163.   Eric Enders
No team that has Russell Martin on it lacks identity.
2008-04-10 00:49:39
164.   dzzrtRatt
163 I didn't take 141 as referring to the lack of personalities on the team, or the lack of wonderful players. Cuz yeah, of course, Russell Martin is the favorite player of many fans. What I thought jasonungar07 was getting at was: "How is this team going to beat other teams?" What's that thing we have that scares other teams? Is it the top of the rotation (like the Dodgers of the 60s)? Or is it power (like the '70s team)? Intense, aggressive play (like the 50s team)? Or is it some kind of luck or magic (like '88 had)? At this point, it could be any of the above, but I couldn't predict in what area this Dodger team will dominate. It will unfold, hopefully.
2008-04-10 00:56:57
165.   Eric Enders
See, I don't think a team needs "identity" in that sense. It just needs good baseball players. We don't need a catchy slogan, just a good product. Fans may want an easily grasped "identity" to latch on to, but it doesn't really make any difference in terms of wins and losses.

That said, the DBacks announcers spent all week gushing about the middle of our order, and professing fear of it. Furcal-Martin-Kemp-Kent-Loney-Ethier-Jones is a pretty impressive group.

Our starting pitching, which has been sort of lousy so far, will almost assuredly be among the best in the league, so that could be an identity too.

Actually, this is looking like a really well-rounded team, now that I think about it. (A really well-rounded team that's 4-5, but still.)

2008-04-10 01:25:06
166.   Jon Weisman
NPUT

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