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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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What Is the Power of Autographs?
2008-04-10 01:22
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

I can remember my dad coming home from a business trip and giving me a piece of yellow note paper with Lynn Swann's signature on it. I can remember pinning next to that autograph on my bulletin board a folded piece of white ruled notebook paper with Earl Campbell's handwriting, procured while he filmed a Skoal commercial on our school's football field in 1980 - though I don't have the actual memory of him signing it.

I can remember being solicited for an autograph at an airport in my early 20s by a young boy, remember signing my name in confusion and then taking in the look of disappointment on the boy's face as he realized I wasn't who he thought I was. He never told me whom he thought he had, and to this day I don't know.

In my entire lifetime, I don't think I've ever sought an autograph of my own more than once or twice. It just hasn't been my thing - perhaps it's shyness. As a boy, I collected many things - baseball cards, ticket stubs - but never autographs. Yet I recognize that for many people, they are treasured things - and I'm not talking about the business of selling them. As mere keepsakes, they have power.

But I can't say I'm not perplexed by this power. Is the source of it evidence of an encounter with greatness or celebrity? If so, how does that power transfer with the autograph - how does it retain its significance after you've passed it on? Is it somehow greater than a photograph of or with a celebrity? Is it somehow greater than pure, unadulterated memory? At their core, what makes autographs special?

These questions arise because of a controversy at Dodger Stadium, chronicled by T.J. Simers of the Times, about people - or more to the point, kids - finding dramatically reduced access to autographs this year. There's a lot of anger circling the issue. I'm not surprised by it, but I can't say I share it, because I still don't really quite comprehend autographs. They're simply not a part of the ballgame experience that I care about. In contrast to my desire for a foul ball, for example - I'd surely be up in arms if I got one this weekend and the Dodgers suddenly decreed I needed to throw it back, as in olden times - I'm dispassionate about them.

Perhaps what I wonder most about autographs is about children's interest. Nature or nurture: Do kids instinctively want autographs, or is the desire coached from elders?

I guess if someone handed me a bonafide autograph of Abraham Lincoln, I'd think that was pretty jaw-dropping. But I don't find myself needing Russell Martin's autograph, or Manny Mota's autograph. On the other hand, I find myself kind of wanting R.J. Reynolds, or Roy Campanella, or Zack Wheat. Not that I'd ever ask anyone for them. It's a very idiosyncratic, strange thing.

I hope this issue resolves itself properly, but mostly for the sake of peace in our times and happiness for our young ones and all that. It's probably my own flaw, but I'm not sure I'm in step with the majority position that there's an intrinsic need or right to get autographs at a baseball game. I don't contest it; I just don't share it.

Comments (359)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-04-10 02:24:04
1.   Sospiro0
When I was around six or seven I believe I attended a Lakers game at the forum. I brought with me a few cards, the most notable being James Worthy's. After the game my mom stood with me as we waited for some of the players to come out. This was a common thing...not considered a big deal. Anyway, my mom and I walked around a bend and found James Worthy's limo in a small alleyway. He was just climbing in and his bodyguard (though in retrospect it may have been his driver) came up to us and pushed us away. "Mr. Worthy!" I shouted. "May I have your autograph?" The bodyguard pushed us away and said Worthy wasn't doing autographs. But Big Game got out of the limo and said, "Come on over here, kid, sure." And he signed my basketball card and I thanked him.
2008-04-10 03:43:54
2.   Suffering Bruin
Anybody keeping you up at night? :)

Jon's thoughtful piece is in marked contrast to the purposely contentious trash printed by Simers. The man has made a career of making much ado about nothing and outrageously slanting his arguments by any means necessary, up to and including partial quotes, misquotes and his favorite--quoting out of context. Simers as a journalist is a piece of slime. If that sounds harsh, it also has the benefit of being true.

If this issue is to be resolved for the best of all parties involved, you can bet TJ Simers isn't interested in the slightest. He's interested in banging a drum and any drum will do.

2008-04-10 05:03:41
3.   D4P
Let The Masters begin!
2008-04-10 05:46:49
4.   fordprefect
Jon, I share your puzzlement with autograph-seeking. Nothing about it concerns me in the slightest.

-D4P, no flamebait, but I feel exactly the same way about golf.

2008-04-10 05:48:20
5.   fordprefect
Brockian Ultra-Cricket, now there's a game....
2008-04-10 05:58:20
6.   Ken Noe
After Bobby Valentine mangled his leg, I wrote him a letter, and he sent me an autographed photo. I still have it. But then I never again tried to get another sports autograph. I think I was too shy as well.
2008-04-10 06:09:17
7.   Marty
At the first Dodger game I ever attended, in 1964, my dad bought me a souvenir ball with the whole team's autographs on it. Even though it obviously wasn't real, I still considered it special and had it on my bookshelf.

Until we ran out of baseballs for over the line.

2008-04-10 06:16:01
8.   D4P
7
My uncle gave me an authentic ball signed by some Dodger team from the late 50s, I believe. Most of the big names (e.g. Koufax, Drysdale, etc.) are on it.
2008-04-10 06:22:55
9.   D4P
After a 1-hour fog delay, The Masters has begun!
2008-04-10 06:43:28
10.   Ali Nagib
I think there are three main reasons for the popularity of autographs: how easy they are to do, how easy they are to transfer and their unique quirkiness. It's obviously easier to sign a piece of paper than take a picture, especially in large numbers, but even just in airports and restaurants, and it's a relatively non-intrusive process in public places. As you mentioned, you can give an autograph to someone else, whereas you can't give someone else a picture of themselves with the person in question. And pictures just seem sort of obvious and common, something everyone does all the time with family, friends and strangers. From a young age, people are taught that "signatures" are more important other types of writing, so it elevates autographs a little (although I don't think any court has ever found an autographed baseball to be a legally binding contract of anything).
2008-04-10 06:52:05
11.   Ken Noe
I used to collect baseball cards until one day at a show I heard one dealer tell another, "you don't have to know anything about baseball to make money on baseball cards." It had become just another business with the fun sucked out. My problem with autographs is the same. It was great for kids and even older guys until it became just another business at both ends. E-Bay has only made it worse. In my field, we're dealing increasingly with E-Bay inspired grave robbing as ghouls look for Civil War era buttons and the like to sell.
2008-04-10 06:55:00
12.   D4P
I got Jose Canseco's autograph at a card show prior to the 1988 season. I used to have a card signed by Eric Davis, which I traded to a friend. I also have a "Beckett Baseball Cardly Monthly" signed by Mark McGwire.

Kinda funny to think how big those names once were and how far they've fallen from grace.

2008-04-10 06:55:57
13.   Daniel Zappala
I have a ball autographed by Tommy John, Jimmy Wynn, Steve Yeager, and other 70s stars. It means a lot to mean, but mainly because it is the only memorabilia I have of my early years as a Dodger fan. In a sense it proves I've been rooting for them a long time. But I'm like Jon -- I don't get the power of autographs. If I instead had a picture of myself when I was 8 years old, standing next to these Dodger stars, I would cherish that a lot more, since it would have something of me in it too.
2008-04-10 06:57:03
14.   Daniel Zappala
In my field, we're dealing increasingly with E-Bay inspired grave robbing as ghouls look for Civil War era buttons and the like to sell.

That is truly sad.

2008-04-10 06:57:36
15.   Josh Wilker
Great stuff, Jon. It makes me realize I have a few autograph stories, if only a couple of autographs. It also makes me recall that many of these stories have wrapped up in them a weird sense of shame over accosting this person, who really is no better nor worse than me, for a little piece of themselves. But when I was a kid this element wasn't a part of it and it was only joy at touching that heightened world, so I certainly can't begrudge kids wanting to get autographs.
2008-04-10 07:01:36
16.   D4P
Ugh. I never read Plaschke's (stuff), but I made the mistake of clicking on his Tiger Woods-related article in this morning's LA Times. I stopped reading after roughly 8 sentagraphs, when I struck comedy gold:

Tiger Woods showed up here this week reiterating his understandable belief that he can win this summer's golf Grand Slam.

Then his opponents -- exasperated gasp -- agreed with him.

"He has already won four majors in a row, so it's not an impossible feat," Phil Mickelson said this week. "I think it's doable."

Doable? Lefty, are you that dork-able?

2008-04-10 07:02:43
17.   StolenMonkey86
epic matchup of former dodgers tonight - Odalis Perez vs Mark Hendrickson.
2008-04-10 07:08:01
18.   JoeyP
Plaschke's an idiot at apparently all sports.

I dont find a problem with Mickelson's quote.

Plaschke's apparent uneasiness with golfers acknowledging the greatness of Tiger Woods though is a problem.

2008-04-10 07:09:34
19.   D4P
If players were talking trash about Tiger and acting like they could beat him, Plaschke'd be mocking their arrogance.

He tries too hard to be edgy and controversial, and fails miserably in the process.

2008-04-10 07:09:54
20.   3upn3down
In 1986, I was 9 and my brother was 6. We went with my mom to the Houston Intercontinental Airport to see my dad off on a business trip.

While there, my dad handed me a sheet of paper and told my brother and me to go over to that man sitting a few yards away and ask for an autograph.

I took my brother with me, approached the older man, and asked if we could have his autograph.

He took the sheet of paper, and asked me for my name. I said "Greg and Todd," but in a rumbled voice he said, "no only one at a time. What is yours." He began working on my autograph, and asked me to go get another sheet of paper for my brother. I did, came back, and he was still working on mine.

He spent what seemed to be about 10-15 minutes writing a phrase, picture, date, and signature for both my brother and I.

After he completed his work, he asked my brother and me for hugs, and gave us both big bear hugs at the same time.

That wonderfully calm, sensitive, beautiful man, who I came to love adore, admire, and respect more for this encounter than for anything he did athletically or politically?

Muhammad Ali.

"Service to others is the rent we pay for our place in Heaven" - Muhammad Ali 8/3/86.

2008-04-10 07:13:27
21.   Daniel Zappala
"sentagraphs". I like it.
2008-04-10 07:15:28
22.   LAT
I have not yet read the Simers story (nor am I am not a Simers hater) but reduced access to autographs is just another sign that the Stadium experience is not what it used to be. As recently as four or five years ago it was a pleasure to take your kid down the third base line before the game and watch them hang over the rail with ball and pen in hand. It was that way when I was a kid. It was a game to see who you could get to sign and once you got that signiture that player held a special place for you. This was an important step in your development as a young fan. One more experience that tied you to your favorite team and player. More recently, as those third base seats have become extra-exclusive the usher shoos the kids away like pidgons.
2008-04-10 07:16:57
23.   Disabled List
I remember being blown away when I was a kid when my dad showed my some autographs he had collected when he was growing up in Queens: Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella. It bothers me that I haven't been able to find those autographs since he passed away.

That said, I've never been much for seeking autographs myself. However, when I was in Vero Beach last month, I happened to show up on autograph day. So I got my program signed by LaRoche, Kent, Schmidt, Andruw, and Kemp. It's cool to have, but I honestly felt a little silly. I'm a grown man, and I shouldn't be asking other grown men for their signatures. But I figured, it's all part of the Dodgertown experience, so why not? Maybe some day I'll be able to impress my own kid with an authentic Matt Kemp autograph.

2008-04-10 07:22:30
24.   BruceR
2 So I take it you're not interested in an original, autographed T. J. Simers' article?
2008-04-10 07:24:47
25.   LeeLacy
Great piece, Jon. I too have often wondered what accounts for the zeal that many have for collecting autographs. Having said that, I've collected a few autographs in my time. Even as I type, I'm looking at an autographed picture of me with Tommy Lasorda. (I'm guessing more than a few of you immediately had that quote from Fletch immediately spring to mind.)

One thing I absolutely cannot understand, though, is how anyone would ever pay top dollar to obtain an autograph on eBay or from a sports memorabilia store. The FBI investigated the problem of forged memorabilia during the late 90's and early 00's and found that well over half of athletes' and celebrities' autographed memorabilia is forged (and the actual percentage is probably significantly above 50 percent). The only autographs I'll ever collect are those I personally obtain from the athlete or celebrity.

2008-04-10 07:39:24
26.   D4P
Baseball Prospectus gives the Dbacks a 55% probability of making the playoffs, and the Dodgers 21%.

That seems like a pretty big gap for this early in the season.

2008-04-10 07:40:44
27.   Branch Rickey
Really interesting topic. When I was a kid I collected autographs with great passion. It meant so much to me. Now I couldn't care less. I often wonder if it's that I grew out of it or if it was just my particular experience that wiped the desire away. I have no understanding of adults who want autographs. I truly don't judge it; I used to really want them myself. It's just that now I can't remember for the life of me why I did. Perhaps autographs are a proxy for cool memories and once you have cool enough memories, the autograph becomes obsolete.
2008-04-10 07:40:58
28.   regfairfield
26 The PECOTA version has it at 42-32.
2008-04-10 07:44:31
29.   D4P
28
The ELO version has it 52-19.
2008-04-10 07:44:59
30.   Michael Green
My Dad was a casino dealer here in Las Vegas and a couple of times brought home autographs from players. Each time he did, that player was traded soon afterward. If he were still working, maybe he could get me an autograph from Juan Pierre?

Anyway, the first game I went to in 1974 as a nine-year-old--always to be remembered as The Night I Met Vinnie--I went down to the box seats for autographs. It was well before game time, so none of the snobs who want the riff-raff kept out now were there. By the dugout, Davey Lopes was talking with a pair of blondes. I walked up, waited for a pause, and asked for his autograph. He said, "Sorry, but Alston has us going in for a meeting." I thought I understood. More than half an hour later, I looked. He was still taking with the same two blondes.

I wish him well in his treatment for prostate cancer. But pardon me if I think of him as a miserable excuse for a human being.

2008-04-10 07:46:38
31.   regfairfield
29 The PECOTA one works best because it acknowledges the Dodgers are a good team rather than assuming everyone will go .500 at this point in the season.
2008-04-10 07:50:25
33.   D4P
31
Woah, PECOTA is really different.
2008-04-10 07:57:06
34.   Izzy
Autographs and baseball cards have become a little bit ruined by the money side of it all. Somtimes, the passion you see people have, is really just their passion for money. Now you have little kids getting autographs so they can sell them, or someone paying or using the kids to get autographs so they, in turn, can sell them. That is just human nature, the bad part.

On the other hand, autographs are fun, because they are a physical reminder, of an event, or conversation with a certain player or coach. It is an opportunity for kids to meet someone who does what they do, at a very high level, and often talk with the player, which at times, can be inspiring to young kids. For my son, going to Vero Beach and meeting players has helped instill a drive in him to work harder than other kids, and put in the time to become the best player he can be. To me, that is a life lesson, not a baseball lesson. It will stay with him long after he is done playing ball in college, or maybe even the pros. Baseball is generational, and a useful tool in raising young boys to become men. It has always been that way.

2008-04-10 07:59:48
35.   Penarol1916
The only autograph I ever got was Betty Crocker's in her cookbook at a food show when I was 8. Imagine my surprise years when I went to the same food show and decided to pick up an autographed cookbook for my wife for mother's day and it was a different Betty Crocker, that was the day I realized I've always been a sucker and that I probably didn't meet the real Tony the Tiger either.
2008-04-10 08:16:45
36.   DodgerBlueBruce
25 I usually request the ballplayer to sign it "To Bruce...". That way when I display my collection you know I didn't buy them. I don't care about the loss in value, that wasn't my reason for seeking the autograph in the first place.

30 What should I do with my Grady Little autographed ball?

2008-04-10 08:19:22
37.   LogikReader
What should I do with my Grady Little autographed ball?

Bench it for a proven veteran ball.

2008-04-10 08:20:34
38.   fanerman
I never got into autographs either. I collected cards for awhile but I hardly ever went to games as a kid so I never saw athletes. I think personal autographs on cards or baseballs or bats or some actual item is worth the fuss. It enhances the value (I mean personal value, not monetary value) of the item. I don't really understand autographs on random pieces of paper.
2008-04-10 08:29:07
39.   overkill94
When I was younger I was big on getting autographs both because it was another thing to collect and because they had perceived value. I even bought the book with all the players' addresses in it and send some SASE's away to certain players. The only ones I remember getting back are Cory Snyder, Shawon Dunston, and BJ Surhoff. In retrospect, getting those autographs was both impersonal and somewhat pathetic, but then again I was 10 years old.

Other early autograph memories come from waiting outside the ballpark after the game for the players to go to their cars. My success in that area was fairly limited - the ones I can remember are Dave Anderson, Brian Holton, Shawn Hillegas, and Tim Leary. It was nice to meet the players, but also very frustrating and time-consuming trying to get my favorite players to come over and sign my card out of all the other people trying for the same thing.

Since then my dad always asks if I want so-and-so's autograph when famous players are at his little league tournaments, but I always politely decline.

My most rewarding autograph experience was last spring when I went to Florida for a week. Getting the autographs of all the youngsters was cool and all, but it was more fun talking to the player for a few minutes, getting an idea of what kind of personality they have, asking them a question or two. Those are memories that will stay with me for a long time since they weren't just some guy writing on a ball.

2008-04-10 08:29:22
40.   madmac
don't recall if I've ever requested ones autograph, but I think I do have a couple. I have an autographed Joe Montanna from the Upper Deck heroes series done with Joe Namath and Joe Montanna. 2500 cards in the series had the actual autograph on them. I got #25/2500.

When I was going to Biola they always took the incomming students to a Dodger game. Well back then Todd Worrel was the closer for the Dodgers and he happens to be a Biola alum. Well some of us got to go to the game well before the gates opened and go on the field and dugout while the players were stretching. Got to shake hands with Todd and have our picture taken with him. While I really would have loved some autographs, I didn't ask. Piazza and Karros were just feet away.

2008-04-10 08:29:48
41.   Billy Buck
Back in 1978 or so, when i was around 13, I wrote to Jack Youngblood. I sent him a card, asking him to autograph it, and also requested a photo of him.
I was in awe when the card and photo was mailed back to me, both autographed. I still have them. I understand the power of an autograph. When you're a kid, and a person you regard as a hero takes a minute of time to do something for you alone, that's an incredible feeling. Youngblood was arguably the best defensive end in the NFL when he took a couple minutes to answer a favor for a kid in north-central Pennsylvania, something he didn't have to do. That meant a lot.
With that said, I don't collect autographs anymore, at least not from a generation that is now half my age- doesn't seem appropriate for a 43 year old man to ask a 25 year old man for his signature. But if I had the opportunity to get a signature or picture with one of the heroes of my youth, I would still do it.
2008-04-10 08:29:51
42.   JoeyP
What did Pecota predict for Andruw Jones this year?
2008-04-10 08:48:50
43.   Bumsrap
I have never asked for an autograph and I have never wanted one. Not only that, if I saw someone well known anywhere, at best, I might take a few galnces toward them to see how they handled themselves and then ignored them. I do this partly to give them space and freedom and mostly because I would rather do my thing than watch or interrupt someone else do their thing.

And, I assumed my kids would do the same especially if I shared my philosophy with them. But, they seemed to get distracted when near someone well known and recognizable and if they were to get a chance they would ask for an autograph much to my chagrin.

My kids are older now and I don't think they ever saved any of the autographs they obtained or ever looked at them again once they got them. With them it was the process, that and something else I still don't understand. Ah, something to explore with them....

2008-04-10 08:51:57
44.   Kevin Lewis
7

My Dad got a ball autographed by Tommy at an Italian restaurant. It too sat on my shelf until I needed a ball to play catch with.

When Boston was in town for the Coliseum game, they were staying at the Westin in Pasadena. I know an acquaintance who took his sons to get some autographs. All the main players signed for the adults in line but walked right past the 6 year old and the 8 year old. The kids were pretty bummed after that.

OT: I picked up Rock Band, and it is awesome. I am amazed at how fun it is to sing in that game

2008-04-10 08:53:35
45.   Bumsrap
I don't take a lot of pictures either. It feels like I miss the moment when I take a picture instead of just fully absorbing the feeling and vision before me without looking through a lens.
2008-04-10 08:56:09
46.   Bumsrap
44 - I think it would be interesting for a kid to be in the hotel where a team were staying and watch and observe the players in the lobby. It could have been a good memory if it were not spoiled by wanting something they might not ever get.
2008-04-10 09:06:01
47.   Bumsrap
So, who is the most well known person anyone has ever had a meaningful contact with, a handshake with?
2008-04-10 09:06:03
48.   regfairfield
42 .257/.342/.487
2008-04-10 09:07:36
49.   D4P
47
I brushed shoulders on the street with Bill Clinton
2008-04-10 09:17:21
50.   okdodge
47 i met henry kissinger when i was 8. i had no idea who he was at the time, but my dad told he was important so i needed to be polite.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-04-10 09:17:33
51.   Noel
I covered Bill Clinton first when he was governor and then when he was a presidential candidate. Not surprisingly, my contact with him was more meaningful when he was governor.
2008-04-10 09:18:02
52.   Kevin Lewis
46

I agree. They just happened to be walking by and had their gloves in the car. So, they grabbed them and ran over to the line where the players were signing things.

2008-04-10 09:19:29
53.   Kevin Lewis
47

I am pretty sure I had dinner with Mickey Mantle at my Grandfather's country club in Pebble Beach. But, due to the warping of my mind with television, I don't trust a lot of my childhood memories :)

2008-04-10 09:20:04
54.   Kevin Lewis
I'm like Frank from "Scrooged"
2008-04-10 09:20:39
55.   Noel
I also had lunch with Goose Gossage once, around the time his book came out. A mutual acquaintance thought I was this super baseball fan who would appreciate it more than most people. I guess I did. Mr. Gossage was pleasantly down to earth. I was impressed. His book was a good read, too.
2008-04-10 09:20:46
56.   Marty
I've met Vin Scully and Jerry Doggett a few times in the 70's. I also was at a party with a lot of the 1974 team. I know a local weatherman here, Fritz Coleman. I've had conversations with Todd Hundley. I was in a popcorn line with Sally Kellerman.
2008-04-10 09:23:08
57.   Bumsrap
I have been in business meetings with a couple of Governors as well as Colombia Sportswear's Owner (Mom as they call her in the ads) but perhaps the best known person I have spent time with was Phil Donahue.
2008-04-10 09:24:27
58.   Marty
Oh, I've had beers with most of the members of X. Billy Zoom kept to himself.
2008-04-10 09:25:45
59.   Bumsrap
I rode an elevator with Vin Scully at Dodger Stadium and had dinner with Wilt Chamberlain. OK, Wilt was at a table next to mine and our eyes never met.
2008-04-10 09:27:51
60.   madmac
47 I should hands with George Bush Sr and Barb hugged me during their campaign for the presidency (when he actually won. I'll never forget his "Thanks for your support"
2008-04-10 09:28:05
61.   madmac
should = shook
2008-04-10 09:31:50
62.   Eric Stephen
39
I had that same book with addresses. When I was 12 I sent Kirk Gibson some cards to sign with a note written on an index card. It said something like "Sign these two cards, and this too." It was a very curt note with nary a "please" to be found. When I found it about ten years after the fact I was ashamed that I was so rude. Also, since the 1989 cards had not yet come out yet, the cards I had Gibson sign were all Tigers cards.

My brother once saw Rod Carew in the Mall of Orange in 1986, and Carew signed a napkin for me (it was all my brother had for him to sign). The signature ends with "Rod Carew 3053", signifying his career hit total.

I'm not sure when I lost the craving for autographs. I was probably in high school or so. Ever since then, the experience of meeting a sports star is the rush rather than have their name signed on a ball or piece of paper.

I still however proudly display a baseball signed by Eddie Murray, my favorite player of all time. It was a gift for my 21st birthday, and he even signed it "Happy Birthday No. 21" before his name.

47
For me, probably the most meaningful handshake was with Cal Ripken. I met him this year when he spoke at our company's national conference. That was very cool.

2008-04-10 09:34:25
63.   FirstMohican
I have two autographs I've ever cared about. While there was a small line for Pedro and Ramon Martinez signing autographs near where the player parking lot was, I was getting cuts on my arm climbing and leaning over a fence to hand Darryl Strawberry a ball to sign. A couple (or more?) years later I walked down near the field and Mondesi signed a ball. He later hit a HR to lead the Dodgers 1-0 over the Astros.

I couldn't care less about autographs now, but I remember being impressed when my friend told me he had Lasorda's.

2008-04-10 09:34:55
64.   Doctor
9 games, 9 different lineups.
Myabe consistency doesn't matter, but why not try that if were going to try everything else?
Hitters just not clicking yet.
2008-04-10 09:35:35
65.   MC Safety
I have autographed balls from Rickey Henderson and Cal Ripken Jr. I also have a Mike Piazza on a piece of paper that I got at one of the classic MTV Rock and Jock softball games at Blair Field. I believe Carmen Electra may be on it, too. Since Blair was the home field of my Wilson Bruins, the frosh/soph team got to get the field ready and mingle a bit with the stars. I got the Henderson one at Angel Stadium, face to face. Doug DeCinces gave the Ripken Jr. one to me as a gift at a family wedding.

Although I was never really into the whole autograph thing, it hurt when my favorite player, Frank Thomas, shot me down. I had the 1990 Topps Frank Thomas misprint rookie card in hand ready to be signed, but no. Not too long after, a friend came and rubbed an autographed Bo Jackson (2nd favorite player) in my face. That was the end of me caring about autographs.

2008-04-10 09:37:39
66.   underdog
I once met Shirley MacLaine. Though I was actually working for a film she was doing for a few days so it's not like bumping into her on the street. (I fetched Thai food for her while she was fighting the flu. How exciting.) And Jason Alexander. Well, I worked in "Hollywood" for a few years so celebrity run-in stories aren't quite the same. I did run into James Woods once in Santa Barbara. Steve Martin once almost ran me over there, too.

I have a Sandy Koufax autographed card, the autograph coming because my mom had some sort of connection to his wife once a long time ago, and that card is still one of my prized possessions. My whole baseball card collection is, no matter what it's worth monetarily it's worth more sentimentally. I don't quite get the excitement about autographs either, but I know that meeting, even if briefly, a larger than life ballplayer when you're a little kid can be magical. Or, when it's Don Stanhouse on autograph night and you're a 10 yr old kid and he says "no," it can also be heartbreaking. Until you later realize he's a jerk and a crummy pitcher and who needs him anyway. (Yes, that happened to me.)

2008-04-10 09:37:53
67.   FirstMohican
59 - By that standard, I had dinner with Ed Helms last night.

Which reminds me, I DID want Ron Popeil's autograph a fry bag when I saw him at LAX In 'n' Out. (He was with his family eating so I left him alone.)

2008-04-10 09:38:47
68.   Jon Weisman
Sandra Day O'Connor is probably mine. But we also have a Bob Hope story. My brother wrote about it after Hope died:

When I was a kid, my grandparents lived in Palm Springs. My brother and sister and I had been staying with them (without our parents), but it was time to head home to L.A.

We were flying. A short flight, a small plane. We got to preboard, because we were unaccompanied minors. One other guy got to pre-board. Bob Hope . Cuz, well... cuz he was Bob Hope .

My grandmother, Sue Weisman -- who is now a healthy 93 years old -- approached Mr. Hope and without hesitation asked him to watch over her three grandchildren during the flight. Keep in mind this was about three decades ago. Bob Hope was a HUGE star. I have no idea what he thought of the request, but he was very gracious and agreed.

The plane had two seats on either side of the aisle. So my younger siblings, Robyn and Jon, sat next to each other in the front row to the right of the aisle. I have no memory of who got the window seat and who got the aisle seat between them. But I know where I sat. I sat in the front row aisle seat across from them. (I was the oldest, so I was the one sitting alone.) Sitting next to me was Bob Hope . Now, this was a night time flight. And not crowded. I remember very clearly that I was kinda annoyed by the seating arrangements. I had flown before, but I had never flown at night and I was young enough to think I'd have a better look at the stars and the moon. So I had really, really wanted a window seat. I also can't imagine that Bob Hope 's first choice would have been to sit next to a bunch of kids.

But we both made the best of it. I told him that I had actually seen him on tv twice the previous day. (Again, remember, he was a huge star then, so this was not unusual.) His golf tournament was during the day, and he had been on a Dean Martin Roast the previous night. He explained to me that the Roast had been recorded weeks before.

That's about all I remember. And I'm sure in the next few days you'll see and read a bunch of much more efficacious and worthwhile tributes to the man. There are a couple movies of his, "The Lemon-Drop Kid" in particular, that I truly cherish. And his work with the USO is unparalleled.

But I just thought I'd add this: He was a man that my grandmother could trust with her grandkids. And I think that's saying something.

2008-04-10 09:38:48
69.   Eric Stephen
64
Batting order doesn't really matter; what matters is that the right players play. For the most part, the first 9 games have been remarkably consistent in that regard. 5 players have started all 9 games, and Martin and Jones have only not started once (they later appeared in their non starts). The only players to switch in and out have been Kemp (5 starts) and Pierre (4).
2008-04-10 09:40:20
70.   Noel
This is fun. I met the director Michael Moore once, too. Brief but I hope funny story. Our governor had been indicted, he was vacationing in Colorado and was scheduled to be at some conference of governors in Aspen. Moore, meanwhile, was on this odyssey for his old television series to give every governor a hug. When I got to Aspen, our governor was a no-show and I had no story or at least not much of one until I encountered Moore in a courtyard outside the hotel. We chatted because, at the moment, neither of us had anything to do. When I told him the travails of our governor, Moore mused that he probably needed a hug more than most. I used that comment in the lede or close to the lede of my story.
2008-04-10 09:40:30
71.   kinbote
Frank Sinatra once told me never to name-drop.
2008-04-10 09:42:05
72.   Eric Stephen
71
I get a kick out of that one.
2008-04-10 09:44:00
73.   Eric Stephen
68
I lived 13 years in Palm Springs and I never flew in or out of the Palm Springs airport. Who knew what I was missing?
2008-04-10 09:45:04
74.   LogikReader
73

Just how far is Palm Springs from Los Angeles? I always envisioned it as a 30 minute drive, or like a trip to Anaheim. That must be a short, short flight.

2008-04-10 09:45:44
75.   Doctor
69

If it doesn't matter what's the point of changing it every day?
With so many young players and a rotating door of coaches and managers lately a little consistency might help the team feel a little sense of identity.

2008-04-10 09:46:10
76.   LogikReader
74

Google maps sets me straight; its a good 2 hours from LA, or what I drive to get from Santa Barbara to tonight's Clippers/Lakers game.

2008-04-10 09:46:18
77.   NoHoDodger
I remember getting a few autographs as a kid. Don't know why it was important, but I think it was the thing to do.

I have two baseballs from those days with autographs. They include Don Sutton and Manny Mota on one ball (the only foul ball I ever got-1971), but the other have some un-notables such as Rich Auerbach, Von Joshua, and (if I remember correctly) Somebody Solomon.

The balls are sitting in a box in my garage. I don't know what to do with them.

2008-04-10 09:47:44
78.   Eric Stephen
74
It's two hours without traffic, which means it's a good 2.5 to 3 hour trek.
2008-04-10 09:48:32
79.   regfairfield
75 I'd like to think that with all it takes to actually get to the bigs, most players can handle batting two spots down in the lineup.
2008-04-10 09:48:37
80.   Marty
I have a friend with a good Bob Hope story.

My friend was playing at Lakeside Country Club and had hit a nice drive down the fairway. As he was walking towards his ball, this guy in a golf cart drove up to it got out and hit it. Now for my friend, that's the worst possible thing that you can do on a golf course, hit someone else's ball. So he started running down the fairway screaming at the guy only to be pulled back and told "that's Bob Hope". Hope was in his late 80's I think then and apparently he just liked to drive around the course and hit random balls.

My friend ended up having his picture taken with him.

2008-04-10 09:50:14
81.   Jon Weisman
78 - It's not an unreasonable drive - unless you're four years old. Then it gets tiring trying to see over the steering wheel.

I will say that I once flew from San Diego to Los Angeles. That's a short flight for sure.

2008-04-10 09:51:34
82.   LeeLacy
47 I have shaken hands with both George W. Bush and Jimmy Carter.

And I've been on an elevator with Bo Derek (though not in an Aerosmith sort of way).

2008-04-10 09:51:43
83.   Eric Stephen
75
The players' sense of identity is helped by being in the lineup, not necessarily where they hit.

I missed that Kent also missed a start, but I stand by my point that outside of Kemp/Pierre the lineup has been remarkably consistent regardless of order.

2008-04-10 09:54:33
84.   JeffinTokyo
I have never cared about autographs either, and I suspect that most kids do it at their parent's prompting. But, is that really the point? For me the point is that the Dodgers are practicing segregation. They are not banning autographs, just limiting it to those fortunate enough to be able to afford the most expensive tickets. I guess the Dodgers learned something from their trip to China.
2008-04-10 09:54:51
85.   Eric Stephen
81
I flew from SD to LA once a few years ago, as part of my flight to Vero Beach. The first leg of the flight was SD to LA on a little puddle jumper, followed by a red eye LA to Ft. Lauderdale flight. I was so happy (to be going to Vero) on the flight that it didn't matter that (a) I couldn't sleep, (b) I was turning 30, or (c) the guy next to me took of his shirt as he was trying to sleep!
2008-04-10 09:55:18
86.   bhsportsguy
74 Its not that close but it would be a short flight.

Back in 1992, I was working on a volunteer committee for a dinner here in L.A. and one of our honorees was Kristi Yamaguchi, who had just won the Gold Medal.

As the dinner is about to begin, I see all of these little girls, all hoping to meet her and take pictures, get her autograph and I am thinking, there is no way, she is even going to be around long enough meet all of them. I picture tens of children being disappointed.

Not only did she take every picture, sign every autograph (not just with little girls either), she was the last person to leave the event, as I walked out I told her mother that it was really great for her to this and she told me how much her daughter understood the role she has and her responsibility to uphold it.

2008-04-10 09:56:31
87.   Sagehen
My understanding is that the problem results not just from the autograph seeking but from the rudeness that goes with it. When I was a kid seeking autographs at games, I would never dream of climbing over where someone was sitting or of taking my hotdog wrapper down with me or of pushing my way through. Perhaps that's why I never got many autographs, at least not of "name" players. Would there be a problem if the autograph-seekers weren't being rude to the people sitting there? When did autograph seeking become a right rather than a privledge?

That said -- I have Tommy John's autograph on my dresser. My brother got it for me when he saw him doing a book signing. I cherish that autograph, not because of who it is but because my big brother remembered me and took the time to get it for me.

2008-04-10 09:56:33
88.   bhsportsguy
BTW - I see Tony Jackson has declared the season over after nine games since no one comes back 3 games down on April 10th.
2008-04-10 09:56:34
89.   Eric Stephen
With Peavy on the hill for the Padres tomorrow, will Kemp sit again against a "tough" righty?
2008-04-10 09:57:13
90.   deburns
Because of my time in government and politics, I've known a number of well-known people, but the most memorable occasion when I and my colleagues in the Jerry Brown Administration met Gerry Ford right after Squeaky Fromm (sp?)tried to shoot him on the Capitol lawn in Sacramento. He was cool as a cucumber, and all the rest of us knew is that the Secret Service guys were running around drawing shades and listening to their earpods. Governor Brown introduced a number of us by reference to our class year at Yale Law School. That was rather odd, under the circumstances.
2008-04-10 09:59:36
91.   Humma Kavula
I also work in Hollywood, so I have a few of those stories, too. But this one, when I first moved to L.A., I always liked, because it's one of the few times that I thought of a funny thing to say at exactly the right moment.

It is 1997. The new hit show is "Dharma & Greg." This will be important to remember later.

Long-term-girlfriend of Kavula and I are in line at the post office, where there has been a SNAFU. Many, many people are there to pick up pacakages that the post office is holding behind the counter. There must be 25 of us, all trying to get packages. And it is unclear which line you need to be in if you want a package. It turns out -- only by chance, that LTGoK and I are in the correct line. On the other side of the post office, in an incorrect line, is Joel Murray.

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0615063/

LTGoK points him out. "Look," she says. "It's the best friend from 'Dharma & Greg.'"

The postal clerk begins to read names of people looking for packages. One of these names is Mr. Murray's. He doesn't hear, and the clerk moves on to the next name. Then, through reading names, she disappears. A few moments later, Mr. Murray approaches us.

"Is this the line to get packages?" he asks me.

"Yes," I say. Then I say, "She already called your name."

There's a long beat as the guy realizes how I know that she already called his name.

"...thanks," he mumbles, clearly unhappy.

"Hey, price of fame," I say, and walk away to pick up my package.

2008-04-10 09:59:40
92.   Doctor
I think we should issue Marriano Duncan masks to everyone sitting behind home plate Friday.
2008-04-10 10:00:32
93.   Jon Weisman
89 - I predict it will be Kemp-Jones-Ethier on Friday.
2008-04-10 10:00:37
94.   old dodger fan
My wife got on a plane quite a few years ago and Johnny Cochrane was sitting in the seat behind her. She didn't ask for an autograph.
2008-04-10 10:01:18
95.   MC Safety
I got to hang out with Todd Rundgren for a bit backstage after the New Cars show he did at the Gibson last year. What an awesome musician. My girlfriend has met David Bowie and a bunch of other english rockers numerous times. I ran a few errands for Victoria Beckham at a Rock and Republic fashion show. She was really nice, and even talked a little footie. But man, is she skinny. Most recently, I shook hands with Seth Rogen at customs in Dublin last summer. He's a pretty big guy.

58 Marty's punk rock?

2008-04-10 10:05:17
96.   KG16
When I was younger and collected baseball cards, autographs were something else I went after. I remember going to Dodger and Angel games long before batting practice, hoping that I'd be able to get the autograph of some player as they were walking in the front door.

The first bad experience I had with a professional athlete was Reggie Jackson. My sister and I were maybe 6 and 8 respectively. My mom tells my sister as a hoard of kids surround Mr. October, "Here, stand in front so he'll sign your flag." Jackson turned to my mom and said, "And if I don't?" No sarcasm whatsoever.

Now, I'll admit to having a couple of autographed items... a Tommy Lasorda baseball, an Ali poster (him standing over Liston), and maybe one or two other items I've kept along the way.

But why I have them, and why I'll seek out others on occasion is because it's sort of a piece of the athlete. There's not much more personal than a signature. It supplements the memories, verifies the history.

2008-04-10 10:05:29
97.   fanerman
89 Now that M. Bison no longer looks lost at the plate, I predict he will be playing tomorrow and Psycho Crushing balls to all fields.
2008-04-10 10:07:13
98.   skybluestoday
Re: 47

1) Robert Altman
2) Gregory Peck
3) Charlton Heston
4) László Kovács
5) Haskell Wexler
6) Susan George
7) Richard Rush
8) Lauren Bacall

2008-04-10 10:09:21
99.   Bob Timmermann
Once you've helped Weird Al Yankovic at the library, it's all downhill.

The Central Library is a good place for celebrity sightings. The list is very long. Most celebrities who visit public libraries are nice because they are the type of people who want to know stuff and do the work themselves and not send an assistant.

Assistants to celebrities are a whole other thing.

2008-04-10 10:10:28
100.   jasonungar07
Great Story Marty..
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-04-10 10:10:50
101.   Marty
95 Yep. The Sex Pistols changed my life.
2008-04-10 10:11:50
102.   Eric Stephen
99
Once you've helped Weird Al Yankovic at the library, it's all downhill.

I know there was no sarcasm in that statement at all. How could there be?

2008-04-10 10:12:03
103.   Daniel Zappala
Greatest moment for me was getting to meet Gordon B. Hinckley. This would be the equivalent of Bob getting to meet the Pope.
2008-04-10 10:14:25
104.   El Lay Dave
58 Of course he did, but did Billy Zoom stand in one position and grin the entire time?
2008-04-10 10:15:08
105.   Eric Stephen
The real reason Kobe is MVP: :)

https://www.kb24.com/news/article/577.html

2008-04-10 10:16:47
106.   El Lay Dave
I met Tenzing Norgay once when I was 11. He didn't speak that much English, but we new he was living history standing in front of us.
2008-04-10 10:19:41
107.   Kevin Lewis
I know it probably wouldn't hurt his pitching approach, but had Kuroda pitched many day games before yesterday?
2008-04-10 10:19:54
108.   LogikReader
99

...and on that note, welcome back Bob! Not sure when you got back, but how was your trip to Kauai? Was it everything you hoped it would be? Did you go to any other islands?

2008-04-10 10:21:03
109.   Jacob L
Pete Sampras was my neighbor/classmate growing up. That's the most obvious one. The coolest one, I think, is that, on several occasions, I hung out (possibly consuming illicit substances) with Ranking Roger of English Beat/General Public fame. Nicest guy in the world. So was Sampras for that matter.
2008-04-10 10:21:59
110.   LogikReader
105

Geez louise! I loved it, but there was an opportunity for another busted ankle if I ever saw one.

and...

How'd that car get all the way up there?

2008-04-10 10:22:27
111.   MC Safety
101 I too, have some punk ties. A friend of a friend goes out with Don Bolles from the Germs. Are you a Minutemen/Watt fan?
2008-04-10 10:22:45
112.   LogikReader
109

Maybe so with the substances, but if you "saved it for later," you did all right!

2008-04-10 10:22:52
113.   skybluestoday
(And I had my chin chucked by Warren Beatty at the Geffen Playhouse while he was attending the premiere of his wife's lead role in Ibsen's "Hedda Gabler." This would be far less embarrassing if it weren't for the fact that I was 31 at the time. Getting your chin chucked by icon Clyde Barrow/John McCabe/George Roundy is profoundly humiliating [mixed with an ambivalent sense of delight, of course] and it made me wonder why I had bothered to go to film school.)
2008-04-10 10:23:31
114.   wronghanded
Earlier this year I flew from LAX to John Wayne on the way back from my honeymoon in Hawaii. I yawned and we were already descending.
2008-04-10 10:25:56
115.   Eric Stephen
110
It's probably not real. I saw the link from ESPN's TrueHoop, and Henry Abbott was pretty adamant that it was fake.
2008-04-10 10:27:31
116.   bhsportsguy
114 For those not familiar with the area, on a good day (and rare day) that's about 30 minute drive.
2008-04-10 10:27:36
117.   old dodger fan
There is a Chinese woman named Xiao Min who has written over 1,000 hymns despite being illiterate (she sings them into a tape recorder and someone transcribes them). Few people in America know her but she is probably the most famous person in the House Church movement in China.

I met her in 2004. My Chinese is bad and she doesn't speak any English so it wasn't much of a meeting but it was pretty exciting for me.

2008-04-10 10:27:57
118.   Marty
I was/am a huge fan of the Minutemen. Double Nickels on the Dime is one of my favorite albums. Unfortunately, I never got a chance to see them. I did see Watt and George Hurley play at the Music Machine when they were in Firehose. That was a fun show. Blackbird with the Kinman Brothers opened.
2008-04-10 10:27:58
119.   Physics DR
Serveral thoughts:
1.) In 1955 my father got his PhD from MIT and the department give him tickets to the Dodger-Yankee World Series game 4. Dodgers win and Campanella, Hodges, and SNIDER hit homeruns. The Yankee pitcher was some loser named Larsen. I was five. I have the autographs and pictures with the Dodgers that day before the game. I got to run around center field and DUKE SNIDER give me ride on his shoulders. I REMEMBER NONE of this but I swear I can still smell the grass.
2.) In 1964/1965 I was a senate page and have autographs from all the great senators during that time.
3.) Since I got my PhD and have meet most of the Science heavywights and several Presidents in the last 26 years. No autographs.

Maybe if people like Jon and others who have daily access to these autograph candiates it is not important.

However autographs and pictures from the middle 50's still give me some warm thoughts about sometime I did with my father and mother and the ball players who were kind to them.

2008-04-10 10:27:59
120.   Ken Noe
In Atlanta I once asked Jimmy Carter why he was the only president since Taft not to throw out an opening day ball. Not realizing that he was the only one, he actually became rather upset, and spent the next ten minutes teling me about all the game balls he had thrown out. This discussion required him to tell a staffer to tell Michael Jackson that he'd be there shortly.
2008-04-10 10:29:11
121.   Suffering Bruin
I was on a date with a girl who said she used to go out with Kieth Richards.

That was a very short date.

2008-04-10 10:30:12
122.   Ken Noe
By the way, I just realized that the Dodgers and Yankees have the same record.
2008-04-10 10:32:27
123.   Eric Stephen
88
Wow, that Tony Jackson article seems negative, even for him.

"Owings (2-0) did [come through], but that was hardly a monumental feat considering the team he was facing. Brandon Lyon retired the Dodgers in the ninth, in order of course, for his second save"

Emphasis mine.

2008-04-10 10:33:44
124.   Disabled List
Somewhere, someplace there exists a picture of me shaking hands with Eliot Spitzer.

I was working (tangentially) on his gubernatorial campaign, and I thought there was no way this guy wasn't going to be President someday.

2008-04-10 10:35:34
125.   Jacob L
121 An ex-girlfriend of mine claimed that she spent the night in a hotel room with Adam Ant, and that they played Monopoly the whole time.
2008-04-10 10:36:41
126.   ToyCannon
I own two autographs. One by Mr Weisman and the other from Lee Lacy. Mr Weisman because he wrote a book and was the 2nd author I'd ever met. I have Lee Lacy's autograph because I didn't want to embarrass him and say no when he offered a ball with his name on it after we had shared a conversation in a bar. The other author was someone who worked for me so it seemed strange to ask for her autograph.
http://tinyurl.com/5boncl

I understand getting someone to autograph their own work, or autographing something that symbolizes what they do such as a bat, baseball, or glove but I've never understood why anyone would want an autograph on a piece of paper.

Since most of the autograph world is just a business now where kids and adults take advantage of free autographs to hawk them on Ebay I fail to see why anyone would bother to make time to give an autograph. Attending games at the AFL I saw and heard this in action enough that I'm totally on the side of the player if they do not want to give autographs.

When confronted with Rachel Robinson the other day, we didn't know what to do but after some discussion we decided to just thank her. We looked her in the eyes and shook her hand and thanked her for being such a part of history. It was worth more then watching her scribble something on some piece of paper.

2008-04-10 10:44:31
127.   Andrew Shimmin
Grover Cleveland spanked me on two non-consecutive occasions.
2008-04-10 10:46:24
128.   Eric Stephen
The new splits on Baseball-Reference.com are great. They have added, among other things, splits as starter or sub, and also have split late & close situations into low, medium, and high leverage situations.

For instance, in 2007 James Loney hit .388/.469/.612 in high leverage, close & late situations (81 PA).

http://tinyurl.com/57hhtl

2008-04-10 10:47:26
129.   ToyCannon
E Jackson might be pitching the best game he's pitched since his debut.
http://tinyurl.com/4qcmr5

If he was to start to grow as a pitcher the Ray's will be even more loaded since he is not even being counted on for the future.

2008-04-10 10:48:50
130.   ToyCannon
Talk about a Jinx, not more then 10 seconds after the post about E Jackson, Sexson goes deep. I'm sorry Edwin, really I am.
2008-04-10 10:49:48
131.   ucladodger
I actually do work at a baseball card shop and we've had many a famous person walk in. Spike Lee, Larry King, Barry Zito, Michael Eisner, tim Robbins. I have to say my favorite was Spike. He had me look through a box to find some Patrick Ewing cards and i happened to see a stack of Reggie Miller cards. I put those on the counter and he just laughed. Really nice guy.

As for autographs, i think most of you guys will appreciate this one that i got a few months ago.
http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y165/FromKoufaxtoEdwin/100_0449_00.jpg

2008-04-10 10:50:38
132.   ucladodger
130

Not sure what you're talking about, but Sexson didnt go deep. Hinske did and the Rays are up 1-0.

2008-04-10 10:50:52
133.   bigcpa
In June '98 my wife gave me a birthday card with a slip of paper inside reading "Happy Birthday Brian, Gary Sheffield #10". Story was she was at Tony Romas's in Beverly Hills with 2 other girls a few weeks earlier - only days after THE TRADE. It was a game day and Sheffield was eating lunch alone. The impressive thing was (a) that my wife recognized him and (b) that she confirmed it was him because he had a World Series ring on. Kind of a neat moment in time: a lonely player in a new town after a cross-country move.
2008-04-10 10:51:06
134.   Eric Stephen
129
Jinx!
2008-04-10 10:51:47
135.   Eric Stephen
132
Yahoo Sports says Sexson HR'd.
2008-04-10 10:52:27
136.   wronghanded
I still see 1-0 Mariners with Hinske going deep off Batista is my feed that slow?
2008-04-10 10:53:29
137.   wronghanded
136 nevermind
2008-04-10 10:53:38
138.   cargill06
espn.com has 1-0 tb all other sites has 1-0 sea
2008-04-10 10:53:49
139.   ucladodger
{132}

Sexson GIDP in the 4th with 2 on and no out. 1-0 Rays after 4.

2008-04-10 10:53:55
140.   Jon Weisman
127 - Okay, that really made me laugh.
2008-04-10 10:53:59
141.   Eric Stephen
136
Unless Yahoo identified the wrong #5 batter, it's 1-0 Seattle on a Sexson HR, top 4.
2008-04-10 10:55:22
142.   wronghanded
sportsline has 1-0 TB thru 4
2008-04-10 10:55:28
143.   Jon Weisman
Either way, Jackson is still pitching well. His ERA is lower than Andruw Jones batting average (if you ignore the decimal point placement.)
2008-04-10 10:56:46
144.   regfairfield
140 Would you be upset if I told you it was a Simpsons reference?
2008-04-10 10:57:01
145.   bhsportsguy
How come no one hear said yet that they had a sitdown with Frank McCourt?

Okay seriously, I have waved at Vin Scully as he rode an escalator at Dodger Stadium, spoke to Chick Hearn on Laker line and rode an elevator with Dan Patrick.

I have met two Los Angeles mayors, both before and during their terms, Tom Bradley and Antonio Villegarosa. Shook hands with lots of congress memebers, both CA senators, council members, police chiefs, etc.

I have met and have autographed books by David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell and Sandra Tsing Loh.

Being in L.A. for as long as I have, you have to try pretty hard not to meet a celebrity now and then, some are memorable like Michael J. Fox, others are just in passing like Courtney Cox. I don't count those I met through work (though I did once get to meet a certain Vegas headliner who could not have been nicer and I also once hung up the phone on the late Chuck Heston).

And I once held the door open for John Wooden as he walked into a Winchell's donuts, I just wished I bought the man his donut.

2008-04-10 10:57:29
146.   Eric Stephen
Jackson still is only 24. I hope he has a great career.
2008-04-10 10:57:43
147.   preacherroe
I met George McGovern in Buffalo, Dr. Benjamin Spock in Denver, boxer Ernie Shavers in Tucson, Buck Johnson of the Houston Rockets and Ralph Sampson in Alabama , Loney, Kemp, Laroche, Martin, etc. at a couple Suns games and proudest of all Captain Joe Marm in New York. Marm won the Congressional Medal of Honor for the battle of the Ia Drang valley in Viet Nam. It is chronicled in "We were Soldiers"
2008-04-10 10:57:55
148.   Jon Weisman
I guess Dan Rather still won't be throwing out the first pitch at CBS anytime soon:

Justice Ira Gammerman of the Supreme Court of the State of New York today dismissed the majority of claims filed by Dan Rather in his September 2007 lawsuit against CBS and other defendants.

CBS issued the following statement in response to the judge's decision:

"We are gratified that the court has dismissed the vast majority of Mr. Rather's claims, including the spurious claims against Mr. Redstone, Mr. Moonves and Mr. Heyward, as well as the false charges of fraud, tortuous interference with prospective business relations, breach of good faith and fair dealing. With respect to the few remaining claims, relevant to his contract, there are no facts to support them, and we expect them to be dismissed when the discovery process is complete."

2008-04-10 10:57:57
149.   ToyCannon
Nothing like a little controversy about a box score in the 4th inning.
2008-04-10 10:59:12
150.   Eric Stephen
145
Love the Chuck Heston reference.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-04-10 10:59:16
151.   regfairfield
USS Mariner thinks it's 1-0 Rays, so I'm going with that.
2008-04-10 10:59:35
152.   wronghanded
He just struck out Ichiro looking, thats pretty impressive.
2008-04-10 11:00:05
153.   Eric Stephen
I turned on the game on MLB Audio, and it's 1-0 Rays, so E-Jax is still spinning the shutout and ToyCannon is not a jinx!
2008-04-10 11:01:58
154.   Jon Weisman
144 - Oh yeah, you're right. Well, it worked again.
2008-04-10 11:04:40
155.   wronghanded
I remember seeing here sometime ago that an Arrested Development movie is in the works? Is that true?
2008-04-10 11:04:47
156.   bhsportsguy
150 He actually said on the phone, "This is Charlton Heston and I am calling from my dressing room in London." I was supposed to transfer him to his attorney but instead sent him to a wrong number, panicked and disconnected him.

He called back and told me to have his attorney call him back...right now.

2008-04-10 11:06:37
157.   MC Safety
118 Mike Watt was a huge influence in me picking up a bass. That guy has played with everybody. He played with Kira Roessler as Dos at my friend's compound in Long Beach the other night.
2008-04-10 11:07:30
158.   D4P
I remember seeing here sometime ago that an Arrested Development movie is in the works?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPHDUyN5W6k

2008-04-10 11:08:39
159.   Eric Stephen
Here are Edwin Jackson's 47 career starts before today, ranked by game score:

http://www.bb-ref.com/pi/shareit/mZR6

His lone career shutout, last August at Texas, stands atop the list. The showdown with The Unit on his 20th birthday (one day before Johnson's 40th) ranks 3rd.

2008-04-10 11:08:42
160.   Eric Enders
The appeal of autographs is pretty obvious: it's a physical connection to someone who is probably a hero when you're a kid. It's tangible proof of a connection, however remote, to that person. I spent much of my childhood writing letters to players for autographs, which added kind of a pen-pal aspect to it. I received replies from, among others, Fernando Valenzuela, Kirk Gibson, Pedro Guerrero, Hank Aaron, Sandy Koufax, Joe DiMaggio, Stan Musial, and Cool Papa Bell. It was thrilling at the time.

Another autographed item I have is a ball signed by every member of the 1974 world champion A's. My grandfather used to run security at the Oakland Coliseum and he gave me the ball when I was about 12. I cherish it far more for the memory of my grandfather than for for the autographs themselves.

As an adult I've had jobs where I interact with celebrities occasionally, and I long since stopped getting starstruck. Autographs no longer hold any appeal, at least in most cases. In the last fifteen years, I've acquired exactly four autographs. The row of four baseballs on my shelf are autographed by Rachel Robinson, Spike Lee, John Sayles, and Teresa Wright (a delightful lady whom I had the opportunity to strike up a little friendship with a few years ago).

2008-04-10 11:09:45
161.   Eric Stephen
156
I thought he offended you or something and you slammed the phone down in disgust! Your addendum has crushed the story for me. :)
2008-04-10 11:10:07
162.   wronghanded
158 Thanks and thats awesome!
2008-04-10 11:12:46
163.   Johnny Nucleo
119 Science is a small world. From being a graduate student I was able to sit down for lunch with a number of very prominent professors in my field, including two Nobel Prize winners. Those lunches have been some of the biggest intellectual thrills of my life. No autographs, but many great conversations and some chemical drawings on napkins I kept.
My grandfather was given a hockey stick signed by the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs just after the Leafs won the 1951 Stanley Cup. There are at least 8 Hall of Famers' signatures on that stick. That's pretty much the only item of sports memorabilia we have, but it's a good one.
2008-04-10 11:16:00
164.   Jon Weisman
Teresa Wright. Awesome.
2008-04-10 11:20:21
165.   bhsportsguy
Gordon Edes says that Boston fans forgave Buckner long ago.

http://tinyurl.com/3h7xy4

160 Very nice, Teresa Wright, we have talked about her here before.

2008-04-10 11:20:57
166.   Jon Weisman
If Dodger Thoughts existed 60 years ago, Teresa Wright might have held the Danica McKellar slot.
2008-04-10 11:21:09
167.   bhsportsguy
161 If I only knew what political causes he would take up later.
2008-04-10 11:24:42
168.   guy clinch
I shook hands w/ Mikhail Gorbachev. He gave a speech when I was in college. I was on the student greeting committee. That was a bit intimidating, but I realized he shakes thousands of hands each year. My sweaty little palm was nearly anonymous to him.
2008-04-10 11:26:07
169.   Eric Enders
164 ,165 - I only knew her for about three days, but she continued to send me lovely Christmas cards every year until she died. Possibly the nicest person I've ever met.
2008-04-10 11:28:27
170.   LOB
Autograph story: My uncle was Mayor of New York for two terms in the 60's, and fairly high profile. One year I attended the Presidential Classroom for Young Americans (ugh, I know, and to make matters worse Nixon was in office).

High School students came from all over the country. One girl got wind of my "famous" uncle - I had been dropping names, no doubt, to gain favor - and she asked for an autograph. MY autograph.

"Why?" I asked. I don't remember her reply, but I signed her little book, and have felt faintly embarrassed about it ever since.

Recent actor sighting story: My writing partner dropped his keys down a rain gutter opposite my house the other week. There's a local market across from my house, and the heroic manager found a small tool, opened the manhole next to the gutter, climbed down into the muck, and rescued the keys. Great gratitude and celebration ensued.

All of this was observed by a man standing on the sidewalk, smoking and scowling, occasionally muttering into his cell phone.

My friend and I returned to my office to work. We sat. After a moment, he looked over at me.

"Kiefer not happy," he said.

2008-04-10 11:30:44
171.   bhsportsguy
DT's version of Danica McKellar through the years.

1940's - Teresa Wright
1950's - Natalie Wood
1960's - Sandra Dee
1970's - open
1980's - Heather Locklear
1990's - Danica McKellar
2000's - Jenna Fischer

I'm not sure about the age ranges for this list and it is subjective for Jon anyway.

2008-04-10 11:31:48
172.   Eric Stephen
Seven scoreless for Edwin. I have his unofficial game score at 75 right now.
2008-04-10 11:36:37
173.   Branch Rickey
Another autographed item I have is a ball signed by every member of the 1974 world champion A's

The bad news: your autographs are likely fakes.
The good news: They were likely forged by MC Hammer so you sort of have his autograph!

2008-04-10 11:37:49
174.   Jon Weisman
171 - You've missed on the '60s and '80s.

I still associate Jenna more with Screen Jam, even though that site is dormant.

2008-04-10 11:39:40
175.   underdog
I couldn't take it anymore and posted something on Tony Jax blog after his last post. Just couldn't resist. Nice to hear about another Jackson doing well today, though - Edwin. (But, man, the Mariners' offense sure stinks so far. Too bad they don't have Adam Jones to insert in the lineup.)
2008-04-10 11:43:13
176.   LogikReader
171

Ahem, Farah Fawcett?

2008-04-10 11:43:47
177.   Marty
170 Your uncle was John Lindsay?
2008-04-10 11:44:53
178.   Physics DR
163. Science people always want to talk and eat!
In 1986 I was having lunch with Richard Feynman. We talked about string theory for 60 seconds and the Challenger disaster for 60 seconds.
We spend most of the rest of the two hours comparing strip joints in the Caltech area, to the Princeton area, to certain areas in Europe. He had very good knowledge for 68 year old dieing college professor who helped build the bomb and was one of fathers of Quantum Physics.
2008-04-10 11:46:17
179.   Eric Stephen
Justin Ruggiano drew a pinch bases loaded walk for TB in the 7th. Does he qualify as an old friend since even though he never played in the majors for LA? Maybe in the Sid Fernandez category?
2008-04-10 11:46:19
180.   Jon Weisman
171 -

1980s - Phoebe Cates/Diane Lane/Jan Smithers

I'll work on the others.

2008-04-10 11:50:11
181.   LOB
177

Yes.

2008-04-10 11:51:07
182.   underdog
181 Well, that's hard to top!
2008-04-10 11:51:58
183.   Jon Weisman
181 - I'm sorry, but I can't help but offer congrats on his recent hitting streak with Las Vegas.

176 - For me, it'd be Jaclyn Smith over Farrah.

2008-04-10 11:52:30
184.   D4P
182
I have an uncle named Michael Jordan...
2008-04-10 11:52:46
185.   Marty
181 Wow. I think I remember seeing him on Carson. I also remember they always talked about him making a run for President.
2008-04-10 11:56:41
186.   Eric Enders
Do they let Edwin finish the game? 99 pitches through 8 shutout innings, with two hits allowed. He's still ripping off 96 mph fastballs.
2008-04-10 11:56:57
187.   madmac
184 I have an uncle named Jerry McGuire
2008-04-10 11:57:04
188.   bhsportsguy
182 Oh yeah, I was once put in a chokehold by one of Richard Dawson's sons in junior high.

Top that, Mr. Nephew of the Mayor of the Greatest City of the World.

183 I almost put Jaclyn Smith for the '70s. Somehow I get the feeling Jon is a fan of darker haired version of the fairer sex.

2008-04-10 11:59:14
189.   Jon Weisman
188 - It's not a rule.
2008-04-10 12:02:36
190.   Eric Enders
Joe Maddon's answer to 186 : No.
2008-04-10 12:03:19
191.   LOB
185

He did run for President, briefly, and was about as successful at it as the current ex-NYC-mayor. Maybe not even. It was an unmitigated disaster.

But he was a really wonderful man, and never lost his sense of humor, (or good looks), even when felled by multiple strokes before he died.

182 Niece, actually. I'm one of the few chromosomal variants on this site, mostly in a lurking capacity.

2008-04-10 12:03:21
192.   Doctor
From ESPN- solve for the Xs.

"Rob (Colorado Springs CO): Why can't the [team X] just release some of their higher paid veterans? Is there some sort of rule against that? I would prefer not to pay [player X] to play elsewhere but it would be an improvement. If we are going to be a bottom dweller this year, we should at least do it with the kids, not the re-treads that [gm X] signed....

Keith Law: It's a refusal to admit that those signings were colossal and foreseeable mistakes. If [gm X] releases those players, how can [owner(s) X] stand there and say they still want [gm X] as his GM? With all of those stiffs - seriously, watch [player X] play 2b and see if you can come up with a better word than "stiff" - on the roster, they can at least pretend they didn't screw up...."

2008-04-10 12:05:58
193.   ucladodger
Edwin was great today. those 4 walks could have easily been 2 as he got squeezed a few times. His fastball was just explosive and his slider was nasty. I think there were only 2 or 3 hard hit balls all game.
2008-04-10 12:08:37
194.   Humma Kavula
1970s -- Jenny Agutter?
2008-04-10 12:11:49
195.   underdog
191 Cool, welcome and thanks for sharing.
2008-04-10 12:11:52
196.   Humma Kavula
In other news... the only major leaguer that my alma mater ever produced, Nelson Figueroa, has the start for the Mets on Friday.

I root for Nelson Figueroa, but we'll see.

2008-04-10 12:11:55
197.   Eric Stephen
So Edwin ends up with a game score of 80? Awesome.
2008-04-10 12:14:34
198.   rowleyball
A long and probably long-winded autograph story that hopefully someone will find interesting...

After the '88 series, my sister and I (she was in middle school, I was five) sent a letter to Tommy Lasorda. She wrote a letter and I drew a picture of him running out onto the field after the Dodgers won the series - that memorable trot he made while pumping his fists in the air. Apparently he enjoyed the letter and picture, so he invited us to some event where he was speaking at a country club in our home town.

We had dinner with him, and we all got our picture with him, which he then signed. I was even wearing a Dodger uniform my parents had gotten me for a Halloween costume that year. My autographed photo said "To a future Dodger," and it was framed on my wall through high school.

The story my dad likes telling everybody is that he wanted to talk baseball with Tommy, to impress him with being more than an average fan. The Dodgers had just signed Eddie Murray as a free agent, so my dad asked him what he thought about "new first baseman Eddie Murphy." He just looked at him weird and walked away.

2008-04-10 12:17:44
199.   Vaudeville Villain
Didn't Edwin also pitch pretty well against the Yankees? He might finally be coming around.
2008-04-10 12:18:11
200.   Eric Stephen
198
The Dodgers' new 1B in 1989 liked to party all the time.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-04-10 12:21:32
201.   Eric Enders
192 Trying to think of a team that has a lot of old stiffs including a second baseman... Washington comes to mind. Also the Mets and Giants.
2008-04-10 12:26:49
202.   Eric L
I'm kind of in the middle with the autographs thing. I have a few that I really cherish. My Fernando ball is my favorite. I got Clemens to sign at a golf tournament last year, but it has kind of lost its luster. I have Feller, Ted Williams, and Stan Musial as well, but I haven't really displayed them for a while.

My second favorite is from Bulldog. Many, many years ago he and RJ Reynolds were at a Vons or Safeway grand opening in Arcadia. I still have both guys, but only Bulldog is framed.

2008-04-10 12:28:41
203.   cargill06
192 the giants, why guess when i can just look it up?
2008-04-10 12:29:51
204.   cargill06
zach johnson needs to be careful -3 through 13 and he leads, he needs a bogey soon.
2008-04-10 12:31:11
205.   Lexinthedena
I had a really good conversation with the progressive sports writer Dave Zirin, and he gave me acopy of his book and signed it, that was cool in that it was sort of a personalized gift, but I've never asked for an autograph, and it feels degrading to do so. I get why kids do it, and they should be allowed access to the players, but when I see a grown man clamour for a signature it makes me uncomfortable.

192 Has to be the Giants right?

2008-04-10 12:33:33
206.   old dodger fan
Atlanta @ Colorado- PPD-Snow.
2008-04-10 12:35:38
207.   Lexinthedena
To follow up...I've interviewed a few famous people on the radio show, and because they are famous it causes one to be more observant of their personality, and more gaurded of your own. If you are successful in creating a solid dynamic then the last thing you want to do is ask for an autograph.
2008-04-10 12:38:00
208.   Johnny Nucleo
178 That sounds great. Feynman would be pretty much at the top of my "scientists to eat lunch with" list.
2008-04-10 12:40:28
209.   old dodger fan
204 Mickelson opens birdie-birdie.
2008-04-10 12:41:00
210.   LOB
183

I just got it! A little slow today. I'm sure our new hitter is why I have Uncle J. on the brain so much lately.

Okay, back to lurk-err-working.

2008-04-10 12:46:45
211.   Daniel Zappala
206 We had that storm through here yesterday. Kind of fun having snow in April.
2008-04-10 13:03:12
212.   LogikReader
Sorry to interrupt Autograph Thoughts but

Has anyone tried parking at Dodger Stadium this year without a preferred parking pass? The last 5 times I went out there last year I had preferred parking. Anyway, how's the system working out these days? Is it any better than last year?

Lets say I decided to go to a Monday game vs the Pirates...

2008-04-10 13:10:52
213.   Daniel Zappala
212 Or a Tuesday game ...
2008-04-10 13:12:04
214.   D4P
Tiger just chipped in for eagle on 15 to get back to even par.
2008-04-10 13:12:17
215.   scareduck
130 - Nobody went deep off Edwin Jackson; he finished the day with a 3-hit shutout over eight innings and six strikeouts. Rays 7, Mariners 0.
2008-04-10 13:13:08
216.   bhsportsguy
212 I never have a preferred pass, I park in Lot 1 off the Sunset Blvd. entrance for my Reserved Level seats.

Its fine for me and I like the fact that once I am out of the lot, I am seconds away of being out of the lot.

Oh, I just saw another shot that Nike Golf will love as Tiger chips in for eagle to go back to even on 15.

2008-04-10 13:13:43
217.   bhsportsguy
213 A few other DTers will be there on Tuesday.
2008-04-10 13:15:28
218.   Eric Stephen
215
There were some issues with the boxscores on Yahoo and some other sites.
2008-04-10 13:20:23
219.   scareduck
218 - MLB.com also shows 7-0 Rays.

http://tinyurl.com/4sk8nd

2008-04-10 13:24:36
220.   Bluebleeder87
212 Smooth sailing for me when I've gone...
2008-04-10 13:24:44
221.   Daniel Zappala
217 I will be at in Section 144, Row L, for anyone who wants to stop by. Look for the family with three kids 8-12 years old.
2008-04-10 13:27:45
222.   Eric Enders
215 Nobody got a third hit off him either.
2008-04-10 13:31:17
223.   Frip
When I attended Cleveland State, Albert Bell lived at the same dorm. I didn't get his autograph. But when he left mid semester, by chance I was transferred to his old room.

I immediately bought one of those sticky lint rollers and began rolling it around the mattress near the headboard. Sure enough in about 15 seconds the roller was full of kinky little hairs. I keep the roller in an acrylic display box in the game room.

The Simer's column was all gripe and no reason. The impression I got was that the autograph seekers are annoying because they make the box seats crowded, and they leave trash behind. But since they are only annoying to supposedly "rich people" we're not supposed care. Simer's won't even dignify their complaint with more than a glancing, sarcastic mention.

The "rich" fans are fans too, and deserve a pleasant day at the park no less than anyone else. Heck they deserve it more, since they shelled out for it more. If I could afford it I'd pay too to get away from the riff raff. Let them fight, curse and spit in their own section if they want.

But then I'm into this mad glorification of children thing, so maybe I'm biased. Besides, I don't see it any kind of Right of Passage for kids. If I were a parent I'd be instilling in my kid a love of the game, and yes, they'd naturally admire the athletes as well. But encouraging autographs turns admiration into star worship. It's a weird fetish. I mean c'mon. No reason to glorify it in terms of "tradition" or being "part of the game." It's not part of the game, it's part of the side show, like mascots and air-raid sirens.

I'd tell my kid, "hey you see those kids down there thrashing about like a bunch of caged monkeys? Glad you're not one of them. Then she'd smile and say "yeah...idiots."

We can reach that point. Let's start.

(Kidding about the lint roller. But I did take over his room and bed.)

2008-04-10 13:34:28
224.   scareduck
Yeah, don't know how I got three. Maybe that was the error early.
2008-04-10 13:37:57
225.   cargill06
good way to start the first 10 days of the season

.538/.567/.731

2008-04-10 13:41:13
226.   gpellamjr
225 That is a good way to start a season. Who are you talking about?
2008-04-10 13:43:52
227.   regfairfield
226 Jason Kendall I think.
2008-04-10 13:45:39
228.   cargill06
oh ya, kendall i'm sorry.
2008-04-10 13:50:54
229.   berkowit28
I met the Queen Mother of England (and associated Commonwealth countries) when I was 11 or 12. We were taught not to turn our backs on royalty, but to back up facing her after meeting her. They presented us in order of age and I was first, so I had no one to follow. I goofed and backed up back to where I had come from instead of to the opposite side of the room, as I was meant to. So I had to go through again at the end. She said "I believe we've met before?".
2008-04-10 14:01:26
230.   Jon Weisman
229 - Great story.
2008-04-10 14:01:50
231.   JoeyP
David Ortiz is 3/33 to start the season.
2008-04-10 14:03:33
232.   Humma Kavula
231 Maybe the Boston fans can boo him, and then invite him back in 22 years to cheer him.
2008-04-10 14:09:25
233.   Jacob L
198 I was wondering if anyone here has not met Tommy Lasorda?
2008-04-10 14:23:49
234.   godvls
I'll admit that I've collected a few autographs over the years. I was never a serious collector, but I enjoyed getting them when I was a kid and even pursued a few in adulthood. A couple of autograph stories from my teenage years:

I've never been a hockey fan, with the exception of the 1974-75 season. One of my best friends was a hockey fan and he was the first guy in our circle of friend to get his driver's license. This combination led me to attend eight or ten Kings games that season. One night we went down to the Forum and, as usual, parked in a nearby residential neighborhood as we couldn't afford to pay for parking. After enjoying an evening of watching Rogie and the guys we returned to the car to find that my friend had locked his keys in the car. After he had repeated the phrase, "I am such an idiot" about a dozen times we started going door to door asking for a coat hanger. Most people wouldn't answer the door. Suffice it to say that we finally got a hanger, but still couldn't unlock the car door. Finally, my friend gave in and called his mom in Woodland Hills and told her the story. She said she be there as soon as she could to bail us out. In the meantime, we headed back to the Forum and found the exit where the players came out and got a bunch of autographs including my hero (for a year) Rogie Vachon. My Kings media guide filled with autographs when we headed back to my friend's car. His mom arrived a short time later decked out in a robe and curlers. It was the one and only time I ever met his mom.

From the late 60's through the late 70's my life was defined by being an Oakland Raiders fan. It wasn't easy being a Raider fan in Los Angeles in that era. I rarely got to see my favorite team play live and local newspaper coverage of the Raiders was sparse. During high school I subscribed by mail to the San Francisco Chronicle and the Oakland Tribune to keep up with the team. I had only been to the mecca known as the Oakland Alameda County Coliseum once to see the Raiders (an exhibition game in 1970 vs. Pittsburgh). In 1974, as I started my first year of high school, I decided I had to go to a game in Oakland that year. I declared to my mom that I would have a garage sale and sell enough stuff to take a Greyhound bus (by myself) to Oakland for a game. My mom pretty much laughed that one off, but several days later she asked me if I'd like to go to a Raider game as a birthday present. That led to the first of three annual fall trips to Oakland. My mom drove my best friend and me to Oakland each of my three years of high school. The games were fun, the fans were great and more authentic than the costume-wearing bozos that pass themselves off as Raider fans today, but what I remember the most are the post-games "waiting for autographs" as we called. All three years we waited around for the players to come out. I got autographs of most of my childhood favorites: Kenny Stabler, Jim Otto, Fred Biletnikoff, Cliff Branch, Mark van Eeghen, Art Shell, Clarence Davis, Otis Sistrunk, John Madden and on and on and on. One year I got Johnny Unitas' autograph……he was covering the game on television (CBS?). Each year I got something different autographed…the first year it was 3x5 index cards, the next year it was Baron Wolman's photo book on the Raiders, ironically titled "The Good Guys", the last year it was a large poster board. That last year was the first time I saw Al Davis come out that exit. I approached him for an autograph and he was a willing signer. Then he noticed my home-made Raider hard hat and told me how much he liked it. Liked it so much that he wanted me to visit the Raider offices the next day and visit Jim Otto (who was now retired) to see about marketing it. Alas…..we had to drive home to Los Angeles that night. Who knows, I might have been the Raiders Director of Marketing by now!

Anyway, I still have all the autographs I mentioned, but it's the memories of those times that mean much more than the autographs themselves.

Today, the only autographs I try to get are former Sun Devil baseball players. I try to get them to write Go Devils or Go ASU on the ball for kicks. So far my collection consists of three such balls…..Hubie Brooks, Andre Ethier and Paul LoDuca with a Jason Urquidez on the way soon

2008-04-10 14:25:21
235.   RELX
When I was in college, I used to work at Shea Stadium as a vendor, selling beer and hot dogs, etc. We had to get to the park several hours before the game started, before the gates even opened. The players were usually doing running and fielding drills at that time. As employees, we could pretty much go anywhere in the stadium we wanted, so getting autographs was easy. While there were some people who were obsessed with getting the autographs of every single player, I never had any interest. The only autograph I ever got was Kevin Elster, on my work identification badge, and that was just because girls used to come up to my counter and say he was really hot, and they were impressed that I had his autograph.
2008-04-10 14:25:32
236.   Xeifrank
Late to the autograph chat party. As a small child (less than 10 years old), I liked to get autographs. I was not crazy about them but back in the days the Dodgers would often have two or three different players signing autographs before games in the stadium at a table somewhere. I got Tommy John's autograph among a few others. When I got older, I had no interest in them and when i became an adult I actually had a disdain for them. I didn't like putting celebrities/atheletes on a pedestal and didn't think they deserved to be treated any different than your average car mechanic or bus driver. I've seen famous people and atheletes at parks and restaraunts but never actually once felt the need to interrupt their private life. The only famous person that I have said something to was Brian Shaw when we were on the same Southwest Airlines flight from LA to Oakland, I talked to him at the baggage claim area in Oakland. Nobody else recognized him, he was playing with Orlando at the time. I only said something to him because we went to the same college at the same time and actually had a history class together. The problem nowadays with autographs, is that most of them are sold for a profit, whether they be on a baseball, poster, bat or baseball card. Who wants to sign something that is going to be sold for profit, and who wants to actually pay to get an autograph? I'd rather have my dad's or grandfather's autograph than any famous athelete or celebrity, those are my real heroes. vr, Xei
2008-04-10 14:26:31
237.   trainwreck
I am feeling pretty good about staying on the Edwin Jackson bandwagon.
2008-04-10 14:27:39
238.   MC Safety
231 232 I wonder if it's that knee problem that conveniently surfaced in the playoffs when the Indians were giving the RSN a little scare.
2008-04-10 14:27:49
239.   Sac Town Dodger Fan
I'd rather have my dad's or grandfather's autograph than any famous athelete or celebrity, those are my real heroes. vr, Xei

Couldnt have said it better myself. Although a conversation with Vin would be something special. Well said Xei!

2008-04-10 14:28:18
240.   natepurcell
235

speaking of the Mets, I know that they got rickrolled but is that now the official 8th inning song?

2008-04-10 14:29:56
241.   wronghanded
rickrolled? I keep seeing that, what does it mean?
2008-04-10 14:32:36
242.   Eric Enders
I think I remember hearing somewhere that Mike Marshall (the pitcher) and Bill Russell (the center) both refused to sign autographs because they didn't think athletes should be placed on a pedestal. Although I suspect that if you looked hard enough you could find their signatures for sale somewhere.
2008-04-10 14:33:15
243.   RELX
236. I feel the same way. While I have met quite a few celebrities in my life, I have no desire for them to write their name for me on a piece of paper. Also, unless there is a business reason for me to talk to a celebrity, I have no desire to walk up to them and say, "I really liked your (movie, album, three-run homer.)

One time, I turned a blind corner in Soho in Manhattan and almost collided with Nicole Kidman, who was walking by herself to a waiting taxi.

2008-04-10 14:33:46
244.   KingKopitar
240 No, they played the finalists in the 8th inning to have fan applause at the stadium declare the winner. It got booed, so I doubt it'll win.
2008-04-10 14:39:22
245.   natepurcell
241

http://tinyurl.com/37ws8e

2008-04-10 14:39:57
246.   natepurcell
244

Pity, general public does not appreciate greatness when they come across it.

2008-04-10 14:45:43
247.   D4P
237
Me too. He was too young and too talented to give up on.

PS: Fedor over Sylvia by armbar

2008-04-10 14:46:58
248.   kinbote
Nate--Who do you like in tonight's Denver/Golden St. game? I don't follow the NBA very closely, but I can't get over the discrepancy between the East and West records.
2008-04-10 14:47:37
249.   godvls
58 - Who's going to see X tonight?
2008-04-10 14:48:31
250.   godvls
Speaking of autographs and X, I have to admit that I got John Doe's autograph after a show at Safari Sam's last year.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-04-10 14:48:51
251.   LogikReader
231

Don't remind me, he's on my fantasy team

2008-04-10 14:50:05
252.   Frip
RE Plaschke:

I hate to give him any credit, but he IS right on this:

*"He has already won four majors in a row, so it's not an impossible feat," Phil Mickelson said this week. "I think it's doable."

...You're Woods' biggest rival, yet you're going to concede him the entire World Series even before the season's first pitch?"*

He's right, especially with Mickleson. Phil IS his only "real" rival, and he basically admits that "yeah, Tiger can beat me in four straight majors."

I single out Phil, because he's never been tough enough, either on or off the links. Especially in interviews. I don't know what kind of new age guff his psychiatrist is feeding him, but 1. it's not working And 2, it's been phoney for too long now.

To the Tiger 4 majors questions, Phil should be saying something like, "not if I can help it."

You think a guy like Nicholas would concede so easily?

There have been worse columns by Plaschkie to single out. He's right, golfers ARE, generally speaking, the only "athletes" so willing to lie down verbally like this.

2008-04-10 14:50:07
253.   Sac Town Dodger Fan
249 Well, I am seeing Eddie Vedder tonight at the Arlington tonight in SB.
2008-04-10 14:51:31
254.   natepurcell
248

Golden ST!

2008-04-10 14:53:36
255.   godvls
253 - Should be a good show.
2008-04-10 14:56:21
256.   Frip
253 Well, I am seeing Eddie Vedder tonight at the Arlington tonight in SB.

Maybe he'll sign his own arm for you.

(Obscure reference for when he broke out a black Sharpie during their Mtv Unplugged concert and wrote "Pro-Choice" on his arm. The dorkiest, look-at-me moment in rock history.

2008-04-10 14:58:54
257.   Marty
249 Yeah, I saw that they were playing, but I won't make it to the show.
2008-04-10 15:00:19
258.   wronghanded
241 Nice! If thats a rickroll sign me up! So is it like an internet prank where you get duped into watching a quality '80's video with some killer dance moves? Or is it just the song in general?
2008-04-10 15:05:01
259.   natepurcell
258

Where you get pranked to watch that specific video by Rick Astley.

2008-04-10 15:07:16
260.   MC Safety
258 Sushi spots all across Queens are scrambling to capitalize on the phenomenon.
2008-04-10 15:07:55
261.   silverwidow
The Minotaur will be throwing fireballs in about an hour.
2008-04-10 15:08:13
262.   trainwreck
247
Fedor by whatever he wants.

245
Man, that song has so many hits. I am sure Family Guy has a lot to do with that. Though, Its Always Sunny In Philadelphia did it way better.

2008-04-10 15:11:29
263.   Jacob L
252 Tiger's a freak, and if the best golfers of his generation talk like they're not in his class, and can't aspire to the same level of accomplishment, its because they're right. I'm no Phil fan, and not winning a major until he was almost 40 must have been frustrating, but I'll take his career any day. It stacks up to some of the all-time greats. Just not Tiger. Plus, you don't want to give Tiger any bulletin board material.

Tiger reminds me of Sampras or Federer, but even more he's like Alexander Karelin or that Turkish weightlifter guy (the Pocket Hercules). Your choice as a competitor is to try to sneak in an occasional win, or to become demoralized.

2008-04-10 15:15:07
264.   bhsportsguy
One of the more amazing stats re Tiger's dominance in golf. Since he started in September 1996, he has won the tournament 29% of the time (64/220).

Phil Mickelson has won 24 times in that same span and he has a little better than 10% chance to win any tournament he enters (24/236).

In majors, Tiger does almost the same, 13/44 for 30%.

2008-04-10 15:18:40
265.   Linkmeister
A year and a half ago I picked up a library copy of Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman's collaborative book "Good Omens." When I opened it up I found an inscription:

http://www.linkmeister.com/blog/archives/002034.html

I was astonished.

2008-04-10 15:21:04
266.   bhsportsguy
264 Nicklaus's run from 1962-1978, he won 68 tournaments in 344 starts, so rounded up to 20% of the time. That is great and since he still had Arnie, Billy Casper and Gary Player for a little while and then great golfers like Trevino, Miller, Watson, plus Ray Floyd, Hale Irwin, you have to think that for Nicklaus to still win at that pace, he was pretty good.

Tiger has yet to have a consistent rival like Nicklaus but in the end, he will own all the records and will get them in a dominant manner.

2008-04-10 15:21:48
267.   Frip
263 -264

You guys are thinking like analysts. Phil is supposed to think like a champion.

Tiger is not "a freak", he is a man. Freaks don't have 2 year slumps.

2008-04-10 15:31:45
268.   Jacob L
O.K., Tiger may be a "man," as you say, but he's a way better golfer than Phil Mickelson, who in turn is pretty darn good. Plus, Phil seems like a pretty confident, if not cocky, player. He probably could go around saying, "I'm the guy to take down Tiger," but he might find it detrminental to his results. A better course of action might be to take fewer chances on the course, and to make more putts.
2008-04-10 15:35:31
269.   Bumsrap
I once flew from Ontario to LA and interestingly, we had to wait on the runway until we were admitted into the landing queue at LAX
2008-04-10 15:37:02
270.   Frip
268

I'm not some macho fratboy ok. I love a down-to-earth civilized athlete. But you listen to Phil and he always comes off like a wuss. That's all I'm saying.

2008-04-10 15:40:49
271.   Humma Kavula
270 Speaking as a wuss, I can tell you that that's not what wusses sound like.
2008-04-10 15:42:53
272.   bhsportsguy
Last night I saw highlights of the 1986 Masters and they showed Nicklaus just before teeing up on 16 and then a fresh-faced Jim Nantz who was covering that hole asked former British Open champion and multiple-second place finisher at the Masters, Tom Weiskopf, what he thought Nicklaus was thinking at that moment. Weiskopf quickly replied, if he knew how Nicklaus thought, he would have won this tournament.

There was a chuckle at that comment but you could tell that he sincerely meant it. Even at the highest level of sport, there is a separation between great and very good and sometimes to their own detriment, some athletes will always defer to it.

2008-04-10 15:43:20
273.   Jacob L
270 Yeah, I see what you're saying. I almost think he's got something of a split personality. A lot of times he sounds really cocky. Plus, the decisions he makes on the course are symptomatic of someone who thinks a bit too highly of his own abilities. But then, he has that "aw shucks" thing, too, which I suspect is a cultivated image.
2008-04-10 15:47:05
274.   Jacob L
272 That's a classic exchange, and I was watching last night as well. Such an unbelievable tournament. Its not just the Nicklaus back 9 charge, but the convergence of every star player of that time (or slightly before or after). Ballesteros, Price, Kite, Norman, Watson, Pavin.

Sorry about Golf Thoughts. I suspect a small number of us are boring everybody else.

2008-04-10 15:48:13
275.   haskell
Eddie's tour bus is on Victoria right now.
2008-04-10 15:48:14
276.   Frip
273 Well thought.

271 Please do not attempt to out-wuss me. You will lose. I've yet to meet a girl that didn't question my sexuality sooner or later. Typically sooner. I think it has something to do with my decorative ability. People come into my house and think I must live with my mother. I really need to muss things up a bit. (See I use words like muss. I'm a chick I'm telling you).

2008-04-10 15:49:58
277.   cargill06
274 talk about whatever you like, there are only a few people here that like to belittle people for not talking about what they think they should be, and those people can go sit on a pole.
2008-04-10 15:50:24
278.   Bluebleeder87
I worked at LAX for 6 years & saw plenty of crazy behind the scene things (incuding planes on fire,drunk pilots a & many many more crazy things) I manifested cargo flights 6 years to many...
2008-04-10 15:50:39
279.   scareduck
274 -- snock -- wwwhut? huh? Oh, pardon me, I was taking a nap.
2008-04-10 15:50:45
280.   Eric Stephen
What hole was it in 1986 (16?) where Nicklaus teed off, and his son said "Be the right club." To which Nicklaus replied, "It is."

The Verne Lundquist call of one of Nicklaus's putts ("Maybe...YES SIR!!!") is one of my favorite sports calls ever. I also enjoyed Lundquist's work in Happy Gilmore.

2008-04-10 15:51:14
281.   Sac Town Dodger Fan
275 - i live on victoria, im going to go check that out. Thanks for the tip!
2008-04-10 15:53:08
282.   Jacob L
277 I'm just getting a little amped up about golf, and its not just the Masters. My wife is taking our 2 kids (both under 3) out of town at the end of the month for 10 days. I'm actually going to get to play! More than once!
2008-04-10 15:54:42
283.   kent
An autograph is like shaking hands with fame every time you look at it. My collection includes Koufax, Mays, Williams, DiMaggio & Scully and I feel closer to the history of the game whenever I notice them.

My wife has an album signed by Elvis.

2008-04-10 15:57:23
284.   D4P
Gotta love ExxonMobil commercials where they claim to be protecting the environment.
2008-04-10 15:58:01
285.   Kevin Lewis
278

Ummmm....are there any airlines I should avoid in your opinion?

2008-04-10 15:58:48
286.   bhsportsguy
280 It probably was 16. Also, the now-vanquished Ben Wright (rightfully so I add) said "Yes sir" when Nicklaus made the eagle on 15 but the birdie on 17 is the one people remember because you see Nicklaus, the ball rolling in and his arms going up just as Yes sir is being uttered.

Lantz throws out his best attempt at a line when he says the Bear is out of hibernation but it never stuck.

2008-04-10 15:59:53
287.   bhsportsguy
285 I think as a general rule, the least you know about things like airports, fast food restaurants and meat and poulty plants, the better.
2008-04-10 16:00:35
288.   Kevin Lewis
284

Do they claim to be protecting it or working on a better future? I am not trying to be snide, I promise. I always look at those commercials as a reminder that we are the ones in charge of taking up that task. If the public truly wanted cleaner alternatives, than we would be willing to sacrifice our comforts to make it happen by not buying the products that continue the pattern of pollution.

I realize your comment wasn't implying any of the above, just making a statement.

2008-04-10 16:01:23
289.   Kevin Lewis
287

Agreed about the food, but a big plane on fire makes me want to know more.

2008-04-10 16:01:46
290.   scareduck
276 - we recently bought a house and bought curtains for four windows, which required extensive installation. The guy our decorator used (and had used on several other jobs prior to ours) absolutely pegged my gaydar, and yet he apparently was happily married and was not, in fact gay, or if he was closeted he was fooling nobody but himself.
2008-04-10 16:02:00
291.   Eric Enders
284 They haven't even paid their court-ordered Exxon Valdez damages yet, and it's been 19 years.
2008-04-10 16:03:04
292.   scareduck
288 - yes, exactly. There are limits on how green people are willing to be. Can't afford the $20k it would cost to cover your roof with solar panels? Not green enough!
2008-04-10 16:03:26
293.   Eric Enders
290 Sounds like you need to buy your gaydar machine from someone other than Jim Halpert.
2008-04-10 16:05:00
294.   Jacob L
Is there any way the Dodgers could play today? I hate off days when we're on a losing streak almost as much as off days when we're on a winning streak.
2008-04-10 16:05:15
295.   Eric Stephen
293
Speaking of which, The Office returns tonight! And the Dodgers were nice enough to have a scheduled off day.

Also, Eric, that was a cool photo of Jackie Robinson you linked in the Cardboard Gods thread.

2008-04-10 16:06:03
296.   haskell
haha. First new episode tonight!
2008-04-10 16:08:37
297.   D4P
They haven't even paid their court-ordered Exxon Valdez damages yet, and it's been 19 years

Yeah, despite enjoying record profits. Hard to believe they can get away with not paying. Makes you wonder about our "justice" system.

2008-04-10 16:09:11
298.   Bluebleeder87
285 dont worry Lewis Im sure the passenger Dept. Has WAY stricter rules, plus I worked there post/before 9-11 so I'm sure there more stricter now.
2008-04-10 16:15:30
299.   ToyCannon
Wuss Thoughts?
2008-04-10 16:17:42
300.   Kevin Lewis
297

There are far too many things that make me wonder about our "justice" system.

Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2008-04-10 16:20:50
301.   ToyCannon
My brother who worked for Lockheed, then Douglas, and then Boeing for 25 years refuses to fly because of all the corners they made him cut.
2008-04-10 16:22:03
302.   fanerman
299 Where's Bob Timmermann when you need him?
2008-04-10 16:23:46
303.   Jacob L
299 Great idea, and I can actually turn Wuss Thoughts back to the original topic of this thread. Several years back, I went to see a Jonathan Richman show at the old Alligator Lounge in Santa Monica. A friend and I were walking around out on Pico an hour or so before the gig, and we ran into Jonathan Richman, who was taking a walk by himself. We said hi, and all 3 of us sort of shrugged, and went on our ways.
2008-04-10 16:28:50
304.   ToyCannon
291
Really? Do you have link or is that an urban myth?
If it is true could a lawyer explain to us how that is possible.
I've known companies who have had to file Chapter 11 to get out from under litigation that was to onerous for them to remain in business so I'm curious how this is working for Exxon, that they simply have refused to pay the damages.

Somehow I think there is more to the story as the NRDC has some of the best environmental litigation lawyers in the country and I would think they would make sure this didn't happen.

I'm very curious to know what loophole that Exxon is using or is this simply the case of appeal after appeal?

2008-04-10 16:32:07
305.   D4P
Baker vs. Exxon, an Anchorage jury awarded $287 million for actual damages and $5 billion for punitive damages. The punitive damages amount was equal to a single year's profit by Exxon at that time.

Exxon appealed the ruling, and the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordered the original judge, Russel Holland, to reduce the punitive damages. On December 6, 2002, the judge announced that he had reduced the damages to $4 billion, which he concluded was justified by the facts of the case and was not grossly excessive. Exxon appealed again and the case returned to court to be considered in light of a recent Supreme Court ruling in a similar case, which caused Judge Holland to increase the punitive damages to $4.5 billion, plus interest.

After more appeals, and oral arguments heard by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on 27 January 2006, the damages award was cut to $2.5 billion on 22 December 2006. The court cited recent Supreme Court rulings relative to limits on punitive damages.

Exxon appealed again. On 23 May 2007, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals denied ExxonMobil's request for a third hearing and let stand its ruling that Exxon owes $2.5 billion in punitive damages. Exxon then appealed to the Supreme Court, which agreed to hear the case.13 On February 27, 2008, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments for 90 minutes. A decision is expected before the court's term ends in July.

2008-04-10 16:33:13
306.   caseybarker
One of my first in person autographs was Gene Larkin. I got him when he played for Visalia in 1985.
2008-04-10 16:36:38
307.   caseybarker
I also got a guy named JR Coleman who is now a UPS driver in Visalia.
2008-04-10 16:37:08
308.   Eric Enders
A rough first inning for our hero:

Fastball called strike one
Fastball ball one
Groundout on a diving stop by the 2B. One out.

Fastball called strike.
Fastball fouled, strike 2.
Ball one, low. 1-2.
Curveball, fouled. Still 1-2.
Another foul ball, still 1-2.
Another foul.
Ball inside. 2-2.
Fastball outside at 93 mph. 3-2.
Low, ball four.

Fastball high, 1-0.
Foul ball. 1-1.
Swing and a miss. 1-2.
Swing and miss on a 93 mph fastball. Two outs.

Broken bat grounder gets past the third baseman, goes down the LF line for an RBI double.

Ball one, inside.
Ball two, high.
Swing and a miss. 2-1.
Chopper over second base for an RBI single.

Bunted down the 3B line for a bunt single. Runners on first and second, two outs.

Fastball, swing and a miss. 0-1.
Called strike. 0-2.
Curve in the dirt. 1-2.
Fastball high and away, swung on for strike three.

Two runs, three hits, no errors, 26 pitches. (He's on a pitch count of 75 according to J.P. Shadrich)

2008-04-10 16:39:25
309.   natepurcell
Bunted down the 3B line for a bunt single.

what a wuss.

2008-04-10 16:41:39
310.   Xeifrank
294. You can watch the Giants try to extend their winning streak to three games in a row tonight. How many games can they win in a row where they score two or less runs in regulation? A three game winning streak may be their longest of the year, so go watch history in the making. :)
vr, Xei
2008-04-10 16:43:52
311.   silverwidow
Minotaur with another K.
2008-04-10 16:45:09
312.   silverwidow
4 Ks for Kershaw
2008-04-10 16:46:30
313.   fiddlestick
Bernard Gilkey begged me to make him a margarita to go when he picked up his take-out order from me.

Luis Gonzalez showed up at the same neighborhood bar and grill me and some of my friends were at. He had a couple beers with us, ordered some food to take home to the family, gave the bartender two $100 bills and told him to keep our drinks coming until it ran out.

2008-04-10 16:49:09
314.   Eric Enders
Now the second inning is more like it.

Called strike one.
Fastball called strike two.
Public enemy #1, called strike three.

Ball one.
Called strike. 1-1.
Low. 2-1.
Fouled back. 2-2.
Fastball out of the zone, swinging strike three.

Inside, ball one.
Called strike. 1-1.
Low. 2-1.
Line drive single to center.

Low, ball one.
Fastball, called strike one.
Changeup, swing and a miss. 1-2.
Grounder to SS.

No runs, one hit, two strikeouts, 16 pitches.

2008-04-10 16:50:12
315.   Lexinthedena
313 Yeah, well he also called Matt Kemp a "Basketball player trying to be a baseball player" or something like that....at least I suspect it was him:)
2008-04-10 16:52:45
316.   Eric Enders
42 pitches through 2 innings.
28 strikes, 14 balls.
The 28 strikes are 20 swings and 8 called.
2008-04-10 17:00:21
317.   Eric Enders
Third inning:

Foul ball. 0-1.
Fastball fouled back. 0-2.
Foul pop to 3B, the LF makes a charging catch.

Called strike. 0-1.
Curveball hit to the RCF gap for a double.

Fastball low. 1-0.
Pop-up to shallow CF, falls in for a hit. Runners at first and third.

Broken bat grounder, DeJesus grabs it in the hole and turns it into a DP.

No runs, two hits, no strikeouts, 8 pitches. Kerhsaw now at 50 pitches through three innings.

2008-04-10 17:04:14
318.   Indiana Jon
I should have gone down to Tennessee. Kershaw against Jeff Samardzija is a game I would have liked to see.
2008-04-10 17:05:14
319.   Xeifrank
317. Thanks for the Kershaw updates, it's much better than sitting on a pole.
vr, Xei
2008-04-10 17:07:25
320.   silverwidow
Oooh, 2 more Ks for Kershaw. Now at 6.
2008-04-10 17:08:14
321.   silverwidow
Now at 7 Ks. Struck out the side in the 4th.
2008-04-10 17:08:31
322.   Indiana Jon
What does it mean about me if i would rather meet Weird Al than Bush or Clinton?
2008-04-10 17:08:56
323.   Eric Enders
Minotaur strikes out the side in the fourth.
2008-04-10 17:18:08
324.   Indiana Jon
Perez and Hendrickson are locked in a pitchers duel in the bottom of the 5th.
2008-04-10 17:23:20
325.   Eric Enders
My attention lapsed in the fifth.

WW - some sort of out.
Walk.
Swinging strikeout. Two out.
Double off the LF wall.
Fly ball. Three outs.

Kershaw's being pinch hit for. His final line: 5 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K.

2008-04-10 18:19:15
326.   Andrew Shimmin
144 - Teacher, teacher, you forgot to collect the homework!
2008-04-10 18:24:40
327.   Eric Enders
Jeez, when was the last time a whole hour went by during the daytime with nobody posting on DT? And The Office ain't even on yet.
2008-04-10 18:31:13
328.   Eric Enders
Some guy named Joe Simokaitis hit three doubles off Kershaw today. That's a game he's going to tell his grandkids about.
2008-04-10 18:43:34
329.   popup
I collected autographs as a kid and have gotten a few as an adult. In some ways it is a good way to talk to players--- I think players are more used to having people asking for their autograph than having someone just wanting to talk with them. I remember an outfielder who made the best catch I have ever seen--- Eric Fox in a Triple A game in Tacoma. I kept the ticket stub from the game and about a week later I motioned over Eric to ask him to sign the stub. Quite frankly I was not really interested in his signature but I did want to talk with him about the catch. Eric was and probably still is a friendly fellow and I enjoyed talking with him. I think he enjoyed hearing from some old guy who had seen Mays, Clemente and all the great names from the 60's telling him his catch was best he had ever seen.

Eric played briefly for the A's and I think he ended his baseball career in the Dodgers system.

Stan from Tacoma

2008-04-10 18:50:54
330.   Dodgers49
Ned Colletti's responses to your questions...

Posted on April 10, 2008 at 3:35 PM

http://insidethedodgers.mlblogs.com/

2008-04-10 18:58:35
331.   D4P
330
Ned: The stolen base provides great value to a team's success
2008-04-10 19:00:05
332.   Eric Enders
Colletti on Kershaw:
"The stress of 150-160 Major League innings far exceeds the stress of 150-160 innings in the minor leagues."

Is there any reason to believe that's actually true, or is Ned talking out of his you-know-what here?

2008-04-10 19:05:42
333.   Dodgers49
Apparently, Brito doesn't think Loaiza is all that good now:

>> Brito does not mince his words. He likes Loaiza as a pitcher. He's just doesn't love him. Loaiza is on Brito's list of great Mexican pitchers -- somewhere.

"Valenzuela was obviously the best from Mexico, but Higuera was better than Loaiza, too," Brito said. "I would even say Valdez was better. Francisco Cordova was a great one, too. Loaiza had some good years, especially when he played for the White Sox, but he has lost some of his velocity. There was a time when he was really good." <<

http://tinyurl.com/3m5d8d

2008-04-10 19:05:48
334.   Eric Enders
It's dollar beer night in Vegas. There may be people dancing naked in the stands by the time Meloan's night is finished.
2008-04-10 19:17:11
335.   Eric Stephen
330
DT regulars bigcpa and Jason Ungar got questions answered in that chat. Anyone else have their question answered by Ned?
2008-04-10 19:22:28
336.   regfairfield
352 I've heard Will Carroll mention that before, so there's probably some truth to it.
2008-04-10 19:24:03
337.   Eric Enders
Now I'll have to think up some wildly unbelievable rumor for post 352.
2008-04-10 19:38:19
338.   Johnny Nucleo
The most recent autograph I asked for was from natural historian C.W. Moeliker, who was delighted to sign my copy of his phenomenal paper "The First Case of Homosexual Necrophilia in the Mallard Duck" at last year's Ig Nobel prize ceremony.
http://tinyurl.com/3nu7c
2008-04-10 19:59:30
339.   El Lay Dave
332 The obvious guess is that in the majors one faces better hitters, so the pitcher faces more batters per inning (more reach) and possibly more pitches per batter (they foul off more pitches).
2008-04-10 20:08:44
340.   Jon Weisman
You can continue chatting here, but a TV chat thread is open up top.
2008-04-10 20:12:00
341.   CanuckDodger
338 -- How would he know that it was the "first case?" There could be a long tradition of homosexual necrophilia among mallard ducks, but they had always indulged their proclivities when nobody was looking, right?
2008-04-10 20:17:05
342.   El Lay Dave
335 I had one. I use a different pseudonym there because your ID is the e-mail address you sign up with (up with which you sign?) and it gets spammed out beyond belief.
2008-04-10 20:29:39
343.   Johnny Nucleo
341 True, true. He was just the first to blow the doors open on the mallard ducks' kinky secret traditions. The paper even has a diagram showing where it happened, and he had the duck stuffed for posterity (and even brought it to the ceremony). Ah, science.
2008-04-10 20:31:23
344.   Dodgers49
Not only is print news taking a hit but TV news may be in trouble also:

Local newscasts seem to be turning away from high-priced anchors

>> "Kids are getting their news from the Internet and their friends. They're not getting it from local news," added Goldner. "Families today are not sitting down to dinner and watching television." <<

http://tinyurl.com/4efd5d

2008-04-10 20:34:46
345.   Eric Enders
Okay, so kids are getting their news from their friends. Where are the friends getting it?
2008-04-10 20:38:19
346.   Eric Enders
Russ Langer just now on Jon Meloan: "He can throw that speedball by you and make you look like a fool."
2008-04-10 20:42:28
347.   El Lay Dave
343 Didn't that poor mallard get stuffed enough?
2008-04-10 20:45:11
348.   El Lay Dave
345 Naked News probably.
2008-04-10 20:48:47
349.   Marty
BhSportsguy, did you get my email response?
2008-04-10 20:55:49
350.   Dodgers49
Samardzija able to outduel Kershaw

>> "I was throwing the sinker early and often in the count," said the former Notre Dame All-American wide receiver. "I had good command and worked in some of my other pitches as the game went on." <<

http://tinyurl.com/5xpp27

Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2008-04-10 21:00:43
351.   herchyzer
281 I'm picturing Victoria as this beautiful, dark-haired, giant woman. I mean really giant, the size of a small continent, or maybe a large island in the southwest corner of British Columbia, and you all live on top of her. (She's lying down.)

OK. I have to go to bed now.

2008-04-10 21:02:04
352.   Bill Crain
Will Carrol has often claimed that mallard duck necrophilia is what caused Kevin Brown's sinker to break as much as it did.
2008-04-10 21:23:53
353.   Eric Enders
Meloan outdueled Victor Zambrano tonight. 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K. He'll get the win if his mates can hold the 6-1 lead.
2008-04-10 21:26:28
354.   LAT
Regarding autographs:

The best autograph I have is Sandy Koufax. My daughter and I and a friend and his son were at a sports charity event Sandy was at. I gave a ball to my daughter and told her to go ask Sandy for an autograph. He could not have been nicer. I immediatly took the ball from my daughter for safe keeping (its hers, of course but as you'll see its a good thing I did). My buddy did the same thing. Sandy signed for my friend's son but when my friend looked away his son took the ball up to Kobe Jones who was there and had him sign it too. Then he saw Robert Horry. Now my buddy's kid has what I believe is the only Snady Koufax, Kobe Jones, Robert Horry ball on the planet.

Someone above mentioned getting Daryl Strawberry's autograph. Back in 1988, I had just met my wife. She was living in NY and was a Strawberry fan. I saw Strawberry at a Clipper game and a bunch people were asking for autographs. He signed for a few minutes and then "his people" said no more. I was a mile away and yelled "hey Daryl I just started dating a girl from NY and I might get laid if I get your autograph for her." He laughed and told everyone to get out of the way and signed a personalized autograph for her. We still laugh about it. (My wife and I, not Daryl and me).

2008-04-10 21:34:55
355.   underdog
That's great news about Meloan.

Gosh, could he be on a faster track than Kershaw and McDonald now, to be the Candidate Most Likely to Succeed Esteban Loiaza in the rotation? At any rate, it's always good to have more young arms at the ready as the season progresses.

Okay, off to watch the Tivo'd Office and 30 Rock; can't yet comment on the TV thread above.

2008-04-10 21:44:27
356.   Dodgers49
I may have missed this if it was posted two weeks ago but the Dodgers have apparently placed Las Vegas on notice that a new stadium is needed there:

51s' new owners plan to change team name in '09

>> Las Vegas' affiliation deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers expires after this season, and a renewal could hinge on plans for a new stadium.

"The Dodgers were very clear with us," Stevens said. "The status of the stadium will be the most significant factor in their willingness to extend our affiliation."

While Stevens said "at some point we're going to need to have a new ballpark" and talked about it in terms of building a dome, he also said "it's still in the relatively early stages to do something like that" and getting a stadium built would take "a community effort." <<

http://www.lvrj.com/sports/16948556.html

2008-04-10 21:53:39
357.   Xeifrank
Giants win 5-1 and pull to within a half game of the Dodgers and Rockies. Clip the standings out of the paper or save a screenshot of the standings if you are a Giants fan, they may never have a three game winning streak the rest of the season.
vr, Xei
2008-04-10 21:59:21
358.   Dodgers49
Switch to PCL suits Tiffee

>> Tiffee was hoping to get a chance to play third base for the Dodgers when injuries left them short-handed at the position this spring, but Los Angeles handed the job to unproven Blake DeWitt, who skipped Triple A on his way to the majors.

"I thought I'd at least get a little more of a look at third base in camp," Tiffee said. "(But) you kind of get used to getting overlooked for organizational players who come up with them. <<

http://www.lvrj.com/sports/17415709.html

2008-04-10 22:27:38
359.   Jon Weisman
nput
2008-04-10 22:52:18
360.   caseybarker
Russ Langer can't come up with his own line?

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