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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

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

Pondering the Next Step of Dodger Thoughts
2008-07-07 12:52
by Jon Weisman

Let me first begin with a quick progress report on my book, 100 Things Dodger Fans Should Know and Do Before They Die. I'm roughly two-thirds done with the first draft, which is something of an achievement, yet doesn't leave me a whole lot of cushion for the October 1 copy deadline. Next week's In(law)vasion 2008 will eliminate about 10 days of writing, and then I'll be gunning to finish the rest of Draft 1 by September 1, so that I can have a month for revisions, which are critical.

It's been exceedingly enjoyable to work on, except for the time pressure. Discovering new tids and tidbits about subjects I thought knew inside and out, or finding great quotes buried in the archives, has been as much a pleasure as getting a Dodger Dog grilled just right. But the labor of sitting down almost daily to start researching a new topic turns me into something of a zombie from time to time. The pattern has been to stay up well past midnight every other night (knowing that the kids start rising about 6:30 a.m.), then try to recoup some sleep in between.

I've actually developed an idea for a second book along the way, something less fragmented than the current project, although I don't know if I should be trying to dive back into long-form writing immediately. In fact, when I'm not obsessing over 100 Things, I have been wondering what my next move should be. I've had one question that I finally decided to throw out to you all. Is there some level of content for Dodger Thoughts that would encourage you to commit to a donation, something equivalent to the cost of a hardcover book?

I have no plans to take this site behind a subscription wall; donations would still remain voluntary. I know that people like things online to be free. Plus, there are several other Dodger blogs out there with worthwhile content – I'm just one of the gang now. Still, I'm wondering if there's anything readers would pay for. More frequent posts? More game wrap-ups? More minor-league coverage? More coverage of other baseball teams or other Los Angeles sports teams? More historical pieces? More commenter-oriented activities? More updated content on the sidebar (for once)? Or would "more" anything just be overkill?

My thinking is this: As you can imagine, I only get a small fraction of gross revenue from each book sold. But as the owner of Dodger Thoughts, to put it bluntly, I would get it all. That would justify a greater investment of my time in the site. Heck, if there were enough interest, I could even start paying a fraction for guest pieces – maybe even start building a real live sports section — but we're getting ahead of ourselves. Essentially, Dodger Thoughts has the potential of surpassing a book as a much more rewarding business model – for everyone. I earn enough money to stop the site from being a financial sinkhole, I don't quite have to stop exercising for the rest of my life to make ends meet, and you not only don't have to wait 6-12 months to read my work in print form, but you get more Dodger Thoughts than before.

Anyway, just thinking out loud here. As you know, I've never been in this site for the money. I've always wanted the money, but I've never expected it. At the core, I do enjoy writing about the Dodgers. If you enjoy reading, let me know what you think about trying make even more of this site. Is this the limit, or a platform? You can tell me if Dodger Thoughts will always remain free to be, you and me.

(If you're not a commenter but would like to e-mail me on this subject, please do.)

Comments (269)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-07-07 13:31:36
1.   bablue
Okay I'm gonna repost this from the last thread, I don't know if I'm allowed to do that but I just got NPUT'd.

88 (from previous thread),

I find it really perplexing that people keep supporting playing Dewitt. He's had 271 PA to show what he's got, and he's shown he's not ready. One little spot of the season excepted, he's been awful. Not to mention Laroche has shown in the minors that he is a MUCH better player. In a tight race for the division we can't afford to let Dewitt keep hurting us, as that could cost us our season. Dewitt had his chance, now please let it be Andy's turn and let Dewitt develop in the minors.

2008-07-07 13:32:51
2.   blue22
1 - Okay I'm gonna repost this from the last thread, I don't know if I'm allowed to do that but I just got NPUT'd.

Sure, you can repost it, but that'll be $10. Just click that little paypal link to the right.

2008-07-07 13:36:14
3.   bablue

Oh, can't find it. Sorry... :)

2008-07-07 13:38:16
4.   ToyCannon
I thought the Toaster itself should be a paying site. Just make you sure it can be done via Paypal. You have some of the best writers on the internet already. I'd prune some of them and try to bring others in.

Not sure if I'd pay just for Dodger Thoughts. I spend a good amount of time reading the Griddle, Cardboard Gods, and Bronx Banter. As it stands I'd do a pay model just for access to the big 4. Has to be some other top talent running around that would like to join the toaster community. Joe Posnanski for example.

2008-07-07 13:40:09
5.   Marty
If you leave donations voluntary, I don't see how you can trust that you will make more money for the extra effort. If you force people to pay than you risk losing readers to other, free sites.

Maybe we need to come up with ideas on how to get more advertisers onto the site?

2008-07-07 13:41:57
6.   adrian beltre
I'd love to pay for Dodger Thoughts/ the Toaster, especially if it means continued great coverage and discussion, but I messed up my paypal account a few years ago and have yet to be able to access it. Are there other ways to pay?
2008-07-07 13:43:18
7.   Bob Timmermann
The first person who wants to pay for Griddle content, should contact me directly so I can let them in on some other fine business opportunities. Many of these involve Nigeria.
2008-07-07 13:43:30
8.   Jon Weisman
5 - Well, I have also had the idea of hiring someone (preferably a reader) on commission to sell ads. That's a less attractive option aesthetically, but I'm open to it if anyone's interested.
2008-07-07 13:44:26
9.   Jon Weisman
6 - Opening another PayPal account? :)

I should be clear that I didn't consult anyone else on the Toaster about making the above post.

2008-07-07 13:45:13
10.   blue22
5 - Jon's already got the Google. Other than getting a Toaster sales team, or rolling up to some larger media entity (like Gawker) there probably isn't a lot that can be done by way of advertisers.
2008-07-07 13:45:28
11.   Xeifrank
My two suggestions would be...

1) Sell more t-shirts. Perhaps have more options of designs and colors and give yourself a little mark-up. Cafe-Press allows this.

2) A couple of times a year, maybe once a quarter have a donation drive. They do this over at USSM at various times and for different occasions.

Personally, I don't and wouldn't join any pay per view sites on the internet.

vr, Xei

2008-07-07 13:46:39
12.   Gilberto Reyes
1 I couldn't agree more. Thank you Blake for playing so well in April and especially in May. But LaRoche is healthy and should be the full-time Dodger third baseman until her proves he is not the top prospect that all the scouts think he is.
2008-07-07 13:51:04
13.   Paul S
I visit fairly frequently, read only your commentary, and move on. I've never noticed the donation button before.
I think your work deserves compensation, yes. Sometimes I wish you wrote for the Times, but recent experience tells me you'd have to leave your thoughtful analysis at the door.
2008-07-07 13:53:20
14.   bhsportsguy
11 Would it be okay to have Jon interrupt a game thread by asking for donations. Perhaps post a best of collection or audience favorites.

I say this as someone who does contribute to NPR (both local stations) but somehow has never found it as compelling to do so for PBS stations.

2008-07-07 13:55:19
15.   bablue

Agreed. When there's so much free content, I simply won't pay for what can be read for free elsewhere. That said this is a great site and obviously its not up to me, just my 2 cents. Keep up the good work Jon!


Exactly. Give Laroche a shot for crying out loud. Lets not be Joe Torre, and give someone the starting job because he "looks like a ballplayer".

2008-07-07 13:55:39
16.   Jon Weisman
11 - Well, the bulk of this post is directed at suggestion #2, except that I would do it annually. Or bi-annually if people prefered that. I know it's a turnoff to some to ask for donations.

But like I said above, I'm not talking about going pay-per-view.

2008-07-07 13:56:17
17.   schoffle

Along the lines of what Marty is mentioning, other sites, salon for example, make you see a 10 second ad before being granted access, and although I find it annoying it does not cause me to change my viewing habits and I would assume that this sort of ad pays a much higher preimum than ones along the side bar (which I can say I never notice).

2008-07-07 14:00:58
18.   Bob Hendley
I like Xeifrank's suggestions (I actually wasn't aware of the possibility of a donation). In terms of additional content, I would like to see more game wrap ups, as well a minor league stuff.
2008-07-07 14:01:03
19.   bhsportsguy
15 Nothing is free, it might not cost money, but it does cost time and effort that could be used for more other productive things like sleep or being a good dad, husband or friend.

And sure, there are probably other good websites about the Dodgers and maybe some of them would be destinations if this site charged some type of subscription fee, but do not lump them all together and say they provide the same content and community.

2008-07-07 14:02:19
20.   Bob Hendley
19 - Hear, hear!
2008-07-07 14:03:17
21.   blue22
17 - Salon has a large sales team supporting their advertising initiatives. Simply allowing advertising on your site doesn't mean the advertisers (and money) start rolling in.

I think the best chance here is to leverage the power of the community that has been established here, and the best way to do that is by way of focused pledge drives or pushing product.

2008-07-07 14:03:54
22.   ToyCannon
I don't know how many hits you get but as Marty suggested maybe you and the Toaster need to be more aggressive in the advertising area.

As I mentioned before I'd rather pay a subscription fee for a bundle of writers then just one no matter how good the one writer was. How the income would be distributed would be an interesting task.

Bob you sell yourself short. Many of us read everything you post and your stuff is a great example of how someone with imagination can take todays sports stories and do something creative with them using the internet as the tool.

If you just want to increase donations then I'd suggest the following. Only those who have donated can have a screen name. Everyone else is a guest. They can read, they can post, but the post would be done with a guest login. For those who really want to be part of the community they will need to buy a beer to sit on their stool.

I really don't follow the logic of Xiefrank and those who will not pay for internet content. If they pay for the paper, magazines, and cable, they are paying for content, why should it matter if it comes via the internet?

2008-07-07 14:06:29
23.   natepurcell
If we get Jack Wilson, does that mean we have to play Nomar somewhere else?
2008-07-07 14:08:31
24.   Lexinthedena
I think a bi-annual fund drive is the way to go. This blog is the most frequently updated Dodger blog that I know of, plus it provides far and away the most fulfilling baseball discussions. So I have no suggestions in regards to jazzing up the DT experience.

Fund drives might be a drag to do, but they work, and allow for business as usual during the majority of operation.

2008-07-07 14:09:54
25.   bhsportsguy
23 It would signal the end of the Angel Berroa experiment but it could also and more likely jettison DeWitt or LaRoche over to AAA (Because Nomar would start at 3B), but since Andy has played and started at 2B and SS, DeWitt would probably go back.
2008-07-07 14:09:59
26.   Bob Hendley
22 - I don't agree with Xeifrank on that score either, but I am aware that there are many that feel the same way, so the donation campaign route might be a good thing to pilot first.
2008-07-07 14:10:36
27.   Howard Fox
22 I agree with you. Members have full access, non-members have limited access and "guest" status.
2008-07-07 14:10:56
28.   okdodge
I like ToyCannon's idea. As long as it was a reasonable price, I'd pay to keep my name, nobody wants to be a souless guest. If that were the case with the Dodgers then Berrora wouldn't get his name on the back of his jersey.
2008-07-07 14:11:25
29.   Marty
I have no problem with a donation drive. As many of commenters may remember, I've been doing a matching offer the last couple of holiday seasons and I plan on continuing that for as long as I can afford it.
2008-07-07 14:11:45
30.   natepurcell

Can we end the Angel Berroa experiment either way?

2008-07-07 14:11:59
31.   Howard Fox
23 by the time Wilson gets here, Nomar will be back on the DL, so it's a moot point as to who must go
2008-07-07 14:13:48
32.   Howard Fox
so if I become a full paying member, I get to keep my screen name?
2008-07-07 14:14:23
33.   bablue
Oh wow. I should probably actually read post too, I was just so anxious to copy my comment from the last thread.

I am probably different from most people in that I haven't been a Dodger fan long and I come here just to read about the current Dodgers. I don't care about other sports or teams (outside of MLB) and I don't care for any historical pieces (probably not many agree on that one though). I just want to read about baseball. The more of that the better.

To me it would be good if you analyzed more stuff around the league or maybe set up a post for us to talk about it. For example CC being traded, you could post your thoughts and if you like the trade or not, and if you would have supported a Dodgers trade for him. And then we could have said our bit and debated. That to me is really enjoyable rather than a post about a film or basketball team or something, but I don't know how others feel about that.

Also, yeah there should be more active donation things or more visible, or have donation drives like Xeifrank said. Because honestly I don't even see the link to donate to the site when I'm on here.

But once again Jon I just want to say this is a really great site and you do an awesome job. Your work is very much appreciated.

2008-07-07 14:15:08
34.   blue22
If Howard Fox chooses not to pay, can I have his screen name?
2008-07-07 14:15:39
35.   Bob Hendley
Maybe we can start fining people for breaking the rules. ;-)
2008-07-07 14:15:42
36.   Howard Fox
34 only if you agree to pay the bills that go along with it
2008-07-07 14:15:42
37.   RELX

1. Since I work in publishing, I want to correct a misconception. The publisher actually does not make--or take--most of the money when a book is published. Books are sold to bookstores at a discount, usually around 50%, so if your book costs $20.00, for example, the publisher loses $10.00 right off the bat. If your publisher has to go through an outside distributor, they will lose another 25% or so. The remaining money covers author royalties, pays for printing costs, and for whatever advertising campaign is run on behalf of the book. Plus, if the author was paid a large advance, the publisher has to hope the author earns out that advance out, or they will have to cover that cost as well. I know that this was not the major point of your piece, but it is just something that nags at me, since I run my own press, and people often assume that I am making most of the $ from the cost of a book.

2. To the main point of your post, paying for DT. The primary reason I come here is for the online camaraderie of my fellow posters. To me, the most fun part of being a baseball fan is talking baseball with other knowledgeable fans, and as far as I am concerned, DT has the best fans I have ever "met" in my life. Is there a way to determine the monetary value of that?

2008-07-07 14:16:48
38.   CodyS
Any solution that involves pay or don't read would destroy the site, I think. The collective of posters here is what I find very valuable and anything that reduced that group would be devastating. Access for pay has a known disastrous effect on readership numbers, so I think that is kind of a non-starter.

What would be good, although I don't know your personal ambitions Jon, would be to harness the collective power of the group to get you (or someone) a press pass or a columnist job.

You could make money on this site selling merchandise. (Get more stuff, get better stuff). You could make money on this site running a ticket exchange, or just buying in bulk and reselling. You could hold a dinner, get a Dodger player to speak or something. Etc....

What you have here that is valuable is a community. Don't do anything to diminish the community. Do make money for yourself by harnessing the power of the community, providing something the community wants. If all goes well, you can change the world. (Or at least change how the fans of Los Angeles think about the Dodgers, which will affect how the Dodgers run themselves, which is what we really want.)

To sum up:
Create website with 1000 comments per day. check.
Use power of group to further goals of group.
Parade in your honor.
City Council.

2008-07-07 14:17:14
39.   DaveP
I'd suggest a quarterly donation request. I read DodgerThoughts obsessively, even though I never post.

Considering that actions speak louder than words, I just made a small donation and would encourage others to do so now. How can we not support "ShiftyJ" :)

2008-07-07 14:18:02
40.   blue22
35 - So if/when Matt Kemp is traded, can I just send Jon a $20 and really let it fly in the comments?
2008-07-07 14:20:08
41.   bhsportsguy
39 Good for you, I just donated a $1 per win so far, I figure DT is worth that.

(Though its real worth is probably after each loss)

2008-07-07 14:20:12
42.   Jon Weisman
37 - You're right. When I said publisher, I really meant "people that don't include me." Thanks for the correction.
2008-07-07 14:21:09
43.   sporky
40 If that happens, I'm going to have to donate $2,000.
2008-07-07 14:21:21
44.   bablue
Yeah I wrote that poorly. I feel this is the best Dodgers site out there, but I just refuse to pay to read something on the internet no matter what it is. I don't mean to bash DT at all.


I would be okay with that setup, what I'm really here for is to read other's opinions anyway. But I don't pay for the paper or magazines, and TV is way different, so I'm not sure your analogy works.

2008-07-07 14:21:42
45.   fanerman
I like Xeifrank's suggestions. And I bet he'll be donating a large chunk of money to DT if the Rays win it all this year (150:1 baby!).
2008-07-07 14:22:38
46.   Jon Weisman
38 - Again, "Pay or don't read" isn't an option on the table, so you don't need to worry about that.

I can get a press pass now if I want. My ability and inclination to use it depends almost entirely on it being financially worthwhile.

41 - Dang it, Falkenborg cost me two Jack in tbe Box tacos!

2008-07-07 14:23:13
47.   Physics DR
Agreed. I think Toaster should be a paying site. Some really good writers. (However they need more Physics writers! :) )

In fact if several Toaster Web sites started charging I would just stop reading.

NO Ads. (except for the ACLU)

2008-07-07 14:24:47
48.   sporky
As a short term fix, you might want to make the Paypal logo a bit larger. I only noticed it when I was actively looking for the link to make a donation.
2008-07-07 14:25:12
49.   Ken Noe
Jon, I cut my net teeth on, a Virginia Tech site. Over the years, owner Will Stewart tried all sorts of things: donations, memberships, etc. What he eventually settled on was a two-tier site. The free side has several message boards and limited content available. The pay side has more exclusive message boards and expanded content. I pay $50 a year--it's worth it just to escape the free board's inanity after a bad game, but the in depth articles and recruiting coverage are added plusses.
2008-07-07 14:26:34
50.   Bob Timmermann
I have a good friend who has a Ph.D. in plasma physics. Should I get him to write stuff?

I also have a sister-in-law who is an organic chemistry Ph.D. Perhaps she and Johnny Nucleo can get together and write up something.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-07-07 14:26:53
51.   Bob Hendley
40 - And if Lincecum is throwing a no-no against us one day, we can all jinx him with impunity, if we are willing to pay.
2008-07-07 14:27:03
52.   ToyCannon
That would be my first suggestion. Get a new Paypal account called Dodger Thoughts. ShiftyJ is cute but not good business sense.
You could also have levels of donations.
Annual Fee
19.99 gets you a screen name
50.00 gets you a screen name and a T-Shirt
75.00 gets you a screen name a T-Shirt, and an autographed copy of Best of Dodger Thoughts
99.00 gets you a screen name, a T-Shirt, an autographed copy of Best of Dodger Thoughts, and the right to break rule 1 once a month between 10:00PM - 05:00 AM
2008-07-07 14:27:55
53.   bablue
I don't even know if I have $50. Heh.
2008-07-07 14:28:46
54.   Jacob L
I've got a best of DT book, and a t shirt. Still, I don't do nearly enough to support Jon and this forum that he's created for us. I think the casual "the donation link is there should you feel so moved" approach is obviously not enough. A pay for content approach is, in my opinion, too much. To be quite frank, on-line reading and posting is something I do to waste time at work. I can barely justify it as it is. Add in a cost to participate, and no matter how reasonable in financial terms, I can't make the leap.

I think something following the model of public broadcasting would work best. You're left alone most of the year, but when its time to ask for support, they don't hold back. And there's a bunch of goodies if you pony up. For starters, I'd suggest that the DT picnic (is that still happening?) should have a door charge.

2008-07-07 14:28:58
55.   fanerman
52 $30.01 for a t-shirt?
2008-07-07 14:30:03
56.   Bob Timmermann
It's 100% cotton!
2008-07-07 14:30:45
57.   overkill94
Having more pledge drives should do the trick. Like most people, I'm prone to only going into action when prodded so having an occasional poke in the back to pony up some cash would work.

As for the additional content, I would like to see more in-depth analysis on the minor leaguers. It's pretty easy to keep up with the major league team since I get to watch them just about every day, but even when I look up the box scores for all the youngsters it doesn't quite give you the full picture. Having some interviews with De Jon Watson or Logan White would be great.

2008-07-07 14:30:55
58.   sporky
And cheaper than NPR!
2008-07-07 14:31:32
59.   Bob Timmermann
And you don't have to listen to Ruth Seymour!
2008-07-07 14:32:47
60.   Jon Weisman
52 - I have no problem changing the e-mail address, but is that the reason people aren't donating?
2008-07-07 14:32:49
61.   jujibee
In exchange for keeping him out of subject bashing and humility, maybe JP can be convinced to donate $20 for every weak ground out/pop out that he's a part off. We will do nothing but praise him in this case, which might help him hit better.
2008-07-07 14:34:02
62.   Physics DR
I will send Jon a bunch of money if he would agree to a:

100% positive (24 hours) -- Jeff Kent Day

2008-07-07 14:35:35
63.   Eric Enders
The Jacksonville game is now in the 15th inning. The new pitchers are Jacksonville's starting second baseman and Mobile's starting catcher. Each just threw a scoreless inning.
2008-07-07 14:36:58
64.   sporky
62 Didn't that coincide with Wild Bird Day?
2008-07-07 14:36:59
65.   Eric Enders
And as soon as I post that, Brian Byrne hits a walk-off homer.

It is now up to Bob to find the last professional game in which both pitchers who got a decision were position players.

2008-07-07 14:37:11
66.   Jon Weisman
63 - Wow.

62 - I think Kent has hardly gotten any grief for the past couple of weeks or so. But I guess that's the difference between 99% and 100%.

2008-07-07 14:37:33
67.   Jon Weisman
65 - "It is now up to Bob to find the last professional game in which both pitchers who got a decision were position players."

For free!

2008-07-07 14:41:50
68.   DaveP
60 - that's not the reason.

The reason is that the donation link is not prominent and there is really no stimulus to get the donations flowing.

As an example, I have now donated 3 or 4 times. The first two or three were the only donation drives I can recall and then again today when the subject came up. I read the site every day so I don't think I've missed other donation requests.

You're going to have to not be shy to ask for donations. You provide the best Dodger coverage and should reap financial rewards.

I'd suggest that you set up a quarterly donation request and really put it out there. Put it on a calendar and make it an official donation drive when the time comes. It's not like people have to donate every time, but some of us would gladly do so.

2008-07-07 14:44:17
69.   DaveP
and for a little added fun, I'm going to donate $5 for every Billingsley victory the rest of the season.

I was going to go with BH's $1 per win the rest of the way, but I figured $5 per Billingsley victory might end up being better.

2008-07-07 14:46:10
70.   Jon Weisman
FYI, T-shirt interest generally has been very low.
2008-07-07 14:46:21
71.   Johnny Nucleo
50 Given most people's feelings about organic chemistry, I think people here would pay to NOT have me write about the joys of synthesizing fungal metabolites.
2008-07-07 14:46:24
72.   Physics DR

Sometime you need a break! :) You did make a comment about Kent not getting to a ball in a recent Giants game.

How about a baseball signed by my team on the LDC project(THE LARGE HADRON COLLIDER)
That way you can have a baseball and money.

2008-07-07 14:50:29
73.   Xeifrank
70. Well, I have a few ideas why that is...
vr, Xei
2008-07-07 14:51:19
74.   Bob Hendley
72 - Jeez, all he said was that any other second baseman in the universe would have at least touched the ball. ;-)
2008-07-07 14:51:34
75.   Howard Fox
73 we are sure you
2008-07-07 14:51:46
76.   Marty
72 You are the one who is going to create the black hole that will destroy the earth?
2008-07-07 14:51:49
77.   Johnny Nucleo
72 you work on the Large Hadron Collider? That's awesome! Can I have your autograph?

Given the way your field works, if it's signed by your entire team, I don't think there will be enough room on the baseball for me to read your autograph without a magnifying glass. Weren't there about 400 people on the top quark paper?

2008-07-07 14:54:03
78.   Jon Weisman
73 - I don't think it's access. I would like to switch to an order-at-will system, but the fact is, the window for ordering T-shirts has been considerable, and the history is that there's an inital spurt, then no activity, than another spurt at the deadline - none of it adding up to much. I'm sure I can do better, but I have doubts about how significantly.
2008-07-07 14:54:12
79.   JoeyP
I think the best way to make money in this environment with this community is to sell ads on the site. With the site-traffic that this site does, I think it could be very beneficial, especially during the season where you get routinely 500-600 comments per game.
2008-07-07 14:55:15
80.   Eric Enders
Sam DC... or whoever... does anyone remember any outstanding games played in Washington, DC this year? I have a project which requires me to identify the most notable game played so far at Nationals Park other than Zimmerman's opening day walk-off.
2008-07-07 14:55:18
81.   okdodge
I'll donate later today when I'm not at work. For all the websites that they restrict at my work, DT is not one of them and thank the heavens for that, but PayPal is.
2008-07-07 14:55:38
82.   Bob Timmermann
I'm too busy dealing with the way with CC Sabathia punctuates his name.
2008-07-07 14:57:19
83.   okdodge
Agreed, give in to the corporations, allow ads on the site. We can all put up with them knowing the risk/reward of them.

I gotta be honest, I just didn't like the design of the latest DT shirt.

2008-07-07 14:57:26
84.   Branch Rickey
I think the crowd has spoken with some wisdom.
1) PBS like drive 2-3 times per year (maybe have an automated message at the end of each of your post for 3 days).
2) Anyone who donates becomes a "full member". Doesn't need to lead to anything other than maybe name in red (or blue). Just something that creates a little social pressure to be one of the group.
3) You can sell merchandise but give it free at level of donations. Perhaps people can donate unused tickets as drive incentives.
I think that most of us would donate at least $15-20. Those that can't or won't can still participate.
2008-07-07 14:59:07
85.   Physics DR

My little group is around 20 people. It all magnets.

THe top quark people are still wishing.

After 20 years we should launch this year.

2008-07-07 14:59:14
86.   Marty
Somebody better run this whole membership idea by Ken. He'll be the one doing the programming.
2008-07-07 15:00:52
87.   ToyCannon
As far as content goes, it sure would be cool if you could get someone like John Sickels or Deric Mckamey or Jim Callis to do chats with us. You have enough pull that they would probably love to do it with your readers so they could plug their books.
2008-07-07 15:04:11
88.   Jon Weisman
Before I forget, I just want to thank you all - this has been very useful to me.
2008-07-07 15:08:26
89.   regfairfield
I think the best solution is to do what USS Mariner does with the "buy the author a beer" link at the end of each post. If you liked the post, toss a dollar Jon's way. I think people would be more willing to do that than donate a large sum from an out of the way box.

Blog gear really doesn't do it for me. No offense to Jon, or any other blogger, but there's no way I'd wear something that's obviously Internet related in public. The Ghame Over shirt or the Gaslamp Ball retired numbers shirt I'd consider, because they just look like normal shirts, but I don't think they serve the advertizing purpose that you'd want.

2008-07-07 15:09:53
90.   Jon Weisman
89 - Is that like tipping at Starbucks? :)
2008-07-07 15:10:32
91.   natepurcell

pshhhh, I wear my blue DT t-shirt out to bars all the time.

2008-07-07 15:11:45
92.   regfairfield
91 I'm not a stone cold fox like you.
2008-07-07 15:12:58
93.   Marty
Cougars dig the blue shirt.
2008-07-07 15:13:43
94.   Xeifrank
78. Well, t-shirts aren't exactly a growth industry. I would suggest, using a more friendly ordering method like CafePress, and then perhaps having more designs and colors (you can also keep the current design if you are married to it). You could even put the logo on bumper stickers, coffee mugs, what have you. You could then come out with a new DT-shirt design every year. You could also have a few in-season t-shirts for situations like Ghame Over, Bison, Minotaur or what have you. If you marked up the gear a little bit and maybe gave a 25% cut to your designer for their time and the designs were nice etc..., it could surely do much better than now. It won't make you rich, but could do better. You get out of it, what you are willing to put into it, in terms of business savvy. You may also need to move your "Support of DT" items a little higher on the sidebar. In the end it's up to you how you want to balance journalistic professionalism with asking for donations/selling stuff. I think you are too shy and perhaps lacking creativity on how to ask for donations. DT is great, you deserve some rewards from it. I would guess you landed some/most/if not all of your baseball freelance work based off of your work at DT. vr, Xei
2008-07-07 15:13:59
95.   natepurcell

"Blogging" is the new, cute "in" thing with the ladies. You should try and rep truebluela sometimes and see if it works.

2008-07-07 15:15:48
96.   natepurcell

I would be so down with a DT affiliated nickname shirt.

Bison, Minotaur, Golden God, His Royal Thighness, 3.5, Wild Bird...The Borg!

In 20 years these things will be collectors items.

2008-07-07 15:15:59
97.   Eric Stephen
Upon further review, more ads and more sponsorship reminders/drives seem the best course of action.

Maybe more t-shirts like the Ghame Over and Team Depo shirts would be cool.

Semi-related...I was at a mini family reunion last week, and during our softball game on Wednesday I wore my Dodger T-shirt with Pierre #9 on the back. I plan on wearing said shirt to the DT picnic as well.

2008-07-07 15:16:52
98.   natepurcell
I'm sure we have some graphic design people that could create some cool concept shirts.
2008-07-07 15:17:25
99.   Xeifrank
97. Did you go 1 for 5 with four groundouts?
vr, Xei
2008-07-07 15:18:17
100.   Xeifrank
98. Yes, it was tried with old management.
vr, Xei
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-07-07 15:18:44
101.   Bob Timmermann
He showed up earlier than everybody else for the reunion. And he worked really hard during it.
2008-07-07 15:18:49
102.   fanerman
99 I'm sure he popped up at least once or twice.
2008-07-07 15:19:09
103.   natepurcell
If someone made a "Juan for 5" DT shirt...I'd probably buy it and rep it every chance I get.
2008-07-07 15:19:13
104.   Eric Stephen
Are you going to the picnic? If so, what is your shirt size...I might have something for you.
2008-07-07 15:20:57
105.   CodyS
Go for ads. I have adblock plus. :-)

Selling tickets to off-season dinner & discussion series with Logan White, Kim Ng, Tony Jackson, etc... would make you a lot of money and not affect daily usage of the site.

2008-07-07 15:22:39
106.   bhsportsguy
101 Now that is funny.
2008-07-07 15:25:30
107.   regfairfield
95 Hey babe, I'm famous on the Internet. Never thought to give that one a try.
2008-07-07 15:25:44
108.   Xeifrank
Vegas has the Dodgers as 55.6% favorites and AccuScore as 53% favorites. My simulator keeps spitting out the Braves as 54.8% favorites, a large difference that I often don't see. After further review the Braves pitcher Jorge Campillo has put up some rather nice numbers. His HR rate is only 0.75%, he has the 3rd best K/BB ratio in the National League. By the way, Guo has the 2nd best K/BB ratio (>50 ip) and the 3rd best HR% in the NL. Campillo has a modest K/9 ratio of 6.59 and is doing all this without the aid of much luck (.281 BABIP). It will be interesting to see which prediction holds true.
vr, Xei
2008-07-07 15:28:25
109.   natepurcell
Thinking about it, If Sabathia finishes the year strong, I bet he gets a contract bigger than Santana's due to the competition factor. The Mets were not negotiating against any other team.

28 years old, most likely 6 yr 140mil?

So much money.

2008-07-07 15:28:32
110.   Xeifrank
104. I might go. If put in charge of organizing the softball tournament I'd be more likely to go. XL for my Juan Pierre jersey. :)
vr, Xei
2008-07-07 15:28:36
111.   mintxcore
I would love to see more shirts like the Ghame Over or Team DePo shirts. Maybe a "The Solution" shirt? Or some Bison reference. I'm thinking (and forgive the embarrassing comparison) kinda like the song-based t-shirts sold in the parking lots of Phish and Grateful Dead concerts.

Simple, funny, inside joke-y shirts. Not sure how profitable it would be a good incentive for donations/memberships as well.

2008-07-07 15:31:05
112.   mintxcore the time it took me to post my comment, others had already said what I was saying! gosh darn proof reading!
2008-07-07 15:31:49
114.   Bob Timmermann
You broke Dodger Thoughts!
2008-07-07 15:32:48
115.   Sam DC
Eric -- does it need to be memorable for the home team.

This game v. the Os had a 12 inning walk off -

There was a game v. Atlanta early where the Nationals ended a double digit losing streak.

Still thinking . . .

2008-07-07 15:33:43
116.   fanerman
113 , meet cargill06. cargill06, meet
2008-07-07 15:34:07
117.   cargill06
111 i've never got and answer, but matt kemp's wikipedia page says the nickname "bison" orginated from do sutton on may 29, 2006. is this true?

the popular theroy here is it orginated here

2008-07-07 15:34:56
118.   cargill06
114 oh no what happened?
2008-07-07 15:38:27
119.   Eric Stephen
It did originate here, via interpreting Don Sutton's broadcast calling Kemp a buffalo.

Look at comments 108 through 116.

2008-07-07 15:38:37
120.   Sam DC
This one was pretty good:
2008-07-07 15:39:56
121.   Icaros
And a long time DTer did the Wiki entry. We own Bison. Officially. He even hit a home run for us last year.
2008-07-07 15:43:20
122.   Hanley
The three best options are:

1) As described in 22 (pay for your screen name). I'd also add that you should have to re-up your name 1-2 times a year. Otherwise you'll only see an initial surge and a small trickle after that.

2) As described in 49 (pay for another tier). You can link this to #1. Pay more for your screen name, and you get access to another tier. I'd definitely pay for this tier if you had press creds and could get us some questions answered/ask some tough questions that we don't get anywhere else. An occassional player or front office staff interview would be great. This certainly would not need to be every night or even close to it. This would make the tier unique and worthwhile.

3) Color-coded screen names (e.g. red for the normal tier and blue for full access). The way people are about their "e-penis" would surely ad incentive for larger (no pun intended) donations.

Some of the other ideas -- like more game wraps and minor league reports -- won't have a significant impact, in my opinion. You can get pretty good ones elsewhere for free.

Also, yes, definitely make the donate feature more prominent and have "donation drives" a few times a year. A Dallas Cowboy blog that I frequent solicits donations before training camp each year to send the owner of the site there for more detailed coverage. Do something similar, and then get your press credentials. Then tease us with tier two content before making in pay-per-view.

2008-07-07 15:46:10
123.   Johnny Nucleo
I think that with a strong community like this one, peer pressure is the best way to go. Some kind of (colour-coded? symbol beside nickname?) way of denoting who has donated a predetermined amount such that there is a tier structure among commenters. The occasional commenters and lurkers wouldn't feel much pressure to contribute, but the regular posters would.
2008-07-07 15:47:47
124.   Hanley
87 also a great idea for tier two.
2008-07-07 15:48:06
125.   Bob Timmermann
Reposting 113 from cargill06
i'm still waiting for the dodgerthoughts myspace page,

you can get players like kemp, loney to join (look real to me)

2008-07-07 15:49:43
126.   Bob Hendley
123 - Bob is peerless.
2008-07-07 15:50:47
127.   Eric Stephen
Per ItD:

Kemp, RF (chat with him tomorrow at at 2 p.m. PT)
Ethier, LF
Martin, C
Kent, 2B
Loney, 1B
Jones, CF
Nomar, SS
DeWitt, 3B
Kuroda, P

2008-07-07 15:51:40
128.   natepurcell

nice lineup.

2008-07-07 15:55:28
129.   bhsportsguy
127 Nice plan by Torre, as Andruw is about to be booed after his at bat, the boos will be drowned out by wild cheers, with the strains of "Low Rider" playing on the sound system, for Nomar.
2008-07-07 15:55:28
130.   underdog
119 Man, if only this wish had come true:
(a trade proposal from that thread)

"Dodgers Trade SS Cesar Izturis to Toronto for 3B/1B Shea Hillenbrand and then trade Hillenbrand to the Angels for P Joe Saunders."

2008-07-07 15:56:21
131.   Bob Timmermann
I prefer to serve in the Commons.
2008-07-07 15:56:36
132.   Eric Stephen
My favorite moment from that thread was GSfRB's "She just smiled and gave me a Betemit sandwich."
2008-07-07 15:57:14
133.   Jon Weisman
Thanks again for the ideas. One thing that seems to keep getting lost in translation is the issue of press credentials. I'm not having trouble getting press credentials. The issue is that I have a job. Unless you can free me from that job, the press credentials become pretty meaningless except on a few occasions per year - which I've already been doing.
2008-07-07 16:02:48
134.   KG16
1 - since I'm tired of the DeWitt/LaRoche argument, I'm going to leave it at this:

if LaRoche were to have put up the exact same numbers as DeWitt to date - a great April/May followed by a dismal June - we would be hearing nothing but "patience, patience, patience". All I ask is that people give DeWitt the same latitude that they would have given LaRoche.

271 ABs do not, a career, make. The fact is, we've seen him be very good for a month and very bad for a month, how about giving him a little more time to see which one he actually is right now?

With that said, I'm over the fight. Done. And am going to sit back and enjoy the ride, regardless of who the Dodgers' starting third baseman is.

2008-07-07 16:04:25
135.   ibleedbloo
There are two sure fire ways to make money on the internet:

1. Porn! But since I don't think many would be interested in seeing a Bob Timmermann centerfold, we'll have to go with number 2.

2. Sell stuff. For sale are some of my Dodger tickets. I have available 4 tickets in RES 31 Row M. Tickets are $10ea (my cost). Email me at amurvine at hotmail dot com to make sure the game you want is still available. Every penny will go to Dodgerthoughts.

Games available: 7/8, 7/9, 7/13, 7/26, 7/27, 7/29 (more to come)

2008-07-07 16:06:56
136.   regfairfield
134 I don't think anyone is saying DeWitt is done. The point is that right now, LaRoche deserves the chance over DeWitt. No one would have argued for DeWitt in March, and there's no reason to think that things have changed.

And for DeWitt it's been bad April, great first half of May, terrible since. We're not talking about one bad month here, it's over 200 PA of well below replacement level baseball. Why does DeWitt get a pass for this when you don't give one to Andy?

2008-07-07 16:08:27
137.   Lexinthedena
134 I don't think people are being impatient with DeWitt. It's just that Laroche's minor league track record indicates that he is a much better hitter, and would represent a vast increase in power for this lineup. I like DeWitt, and don't think he deserves to be benched, but no promising rookie should ever sit the day after hitting a home run.
2008-07-07 16:09:44
138.   fanerman
134 The reason they're not getting the same latitude is their minor league record. LaRoche has shown over his minor league career that he's as ready as he'll ever be. He's hit very well in the minors and he's done it in over a thousand plate appearances in AA and AAA.

DeWitt has had only 300 PA's in AA. It's not much of a stretch to think that he could use some more time in AAA. Especially if he's playing 2B.

2008-07-07 16:11:08
139.   KG16
136 - I have no problem giving LaRoche an opportunity. I really don't. And I don't think I'm giving DeWitt a pass where I'm not giving LaRoche one. If LaRoche had played the whole season and had DeWitt's numbers, I would be saying the same about Andy that I have about Blake. If I recall, I was firmly in the LaRoche camp when it was LaRoche v Nomar.
2008-07-07 16:11:46
140.   Physics DR
A short story.
10 years I was contacting for ___ and I got a badge that allowed access to certain areas. However I could not access some areas I needed to.

If I had a press credential I could access some of those areas.

English and Journalism majors will drive you insane! :)

2008-07-07 16:12:38
141.   Bob Hendley
80 - The April 27, 4 hit shutout of the Cubs, which allowed them to take 2-3 and started a four game winning streak. The won 8 of 11 during that home stand.
2008-07-07 16:12:47
142.   Eric Enders
134 The difference is, LaRoche has a four-year track record which shows that he is extremely likely -- almost certain, in fact -- to be a capable major league hitter. DeWitt has a three-year track record which, so far at least, shows that he is unlikely to be a capable major league hitter. So there is a very good reason that people would preach patience with LaRoche and not DeWitt. Patience with LaRoche is likely to lead to great rewards. Patience with DeWitt, in 2008, is likely to lead to a batting average beginning with ".1"

LaRoche is a finished product. DeWitt is a developing player who, at this point, is not capable of adequate major league performance. He may be someday, but he isn't now.

2008-07-07 16:14:20
143.   tethier
I read this site frequently - pretty much every day and post only occasionally.

I agree that the contribute to DT section could be featured more prominently to make it easier for people to contribute. As much as I would not like to see an NPR type format where you are asking for donations, I think it would be preferable to a paid site - tiered or otherwise. With that in mind, I made a donation tonight as I clearly value DT and am willing to pay to support it.

On the matter of the Dodgers for the rest of this year, it seems that the key to the season in the second half is Andruw Jones. I think Furcal is done for the year and maybe even as a Dodger. Whether we get Jack Wilson or not probably won't be that significant to the season - at least not as much as a true power hitting outfielder. All of the other hitters are pretty much known quanities - I think we'll see more of the same from the 'kids" - Kemp, Ethier, Loney, Martin, Bills. I think they will do just fine. It seems to me that the key from here on out is Jones - if he produces the Dodgers can do something - if he doesn't, the Dodgers are also rans.

2008-07-07 16:15:09
144.   Jon Weisman
SF Chronicle columnist Tim Goodman on the Giants' telecasts.

2008-07-07 16:22:11
145.   Brent is a Dodger Fan

Re: pledge drives. I'm late to the conversation in voicing my support, and now, having read so many comments on same, I'd like to share a couple of thoughts:

Do you know what your pledge drive goal would be?

Twice a year, This American Life podcast does a pledge drive, and puts it simply: "we need $400,000 to pay for the bandwidth for the podcast so our host public radio station doesn't take a hit." Ira Glass points out that if everyone who downloads the podcast donated just $1, they'd be awash with money, so if YOU donate $5, you are paying for you and four others. I end up putting up $25 or something just because I like the show so much and it doesn't seem too much for me, though I'd be loathe to have spent $50 as a subscription for some reason.

Hence, how much of a donation per reader would cover that goal?

Here is where I'm wondering about the effectiveness of the donation solution. True, it may be the best from a revenue perspective over any other method, but virtual goods (e.g. different colored screen names) or special, paid-content items/events could be too. I just think it would pay to step back and assess if the readership of Dodger Thoughts could feasibly pay enough to make whatever goal you set, regardless of the method of extracting some revenue, and then see which method or methods seem the most promising in meeting that goal.

Originally, I took your post to be a brainstorm on what kind of evolution to DT would people like to see, and might be willing to pay for -- instead, it seems you are getting a lot of ideas to monetize DT as it stands (which, if I were in your shoes, I'd take as a ringing endorsement of what you do, given the paucity of expression of unmet needs/desires).

2008-07-07 16:22:54
146.   Bob Hendley
144 - So, it wasn't just us.
2008-07-07 16:23:14
147.   Greg Brock
Xeifrank is right on the t-shirt front. Cafe Press is definitely the way to go, with more designs and flexibility.

I love this site and all the folks who populate it. If there were a second feature, like Fark has with TotalFark (extra stuff and what not), I'd gladly pay it.

2008-07-07 16:23:47
148.   still bevens
144 Must be frustrating for Giants fans to have to alternate between John Miller and those two clowns.

I was also wondering what some lady's "eliminate this fool" sign meant when I saw it near the backstop the other day. Now I know.

2008-07-07 16:25:57
149.   Eric Enders
The column is pretty much right on. The Giants broadcasts would be great if they only took Krukow's telestrator away and concentrated on baseball. There are too many moments -- on all team broadcasts but the Dodgers', actually -- where the focus is on anything except the game happening on the field. One of the great things about Vin Scully that nobody really talks about is how great he is on focusing on the game at hand, and keeping the extraneous stuff just that -- extraneous.

The Giants' announcers are good but the production is horrific. Waaaay too many crowd shots. They feel the need to have a sideline reporter although the reporter never -- and I mean never -- actually reports anything. It's just an excuse to cut away and talk about the latest ad campaign or promotional event, usually while missing an at-bat. The turnover among their sideline reporters is extraordinary. I think they change literally every year. It always used to be an ex-jock who could barely speak in complete sentences (i.e. Bip Roberts), but in recent years it's been a hot female who doesn't know baseball. Either way, it's unnecessary and annoying.

2008-07-07 16:30:31
150.   Bob Hendley
The thing about is that it helps me to really appreciate what we have. Let's charge the Giants for resolving their broadcast problems.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-07-07 16:31:30
151.   blue22
148 - Krukow's "Eliminate Me" thing is just another in the series of local color guy's ever-increasing personal schtick. Circle-Me-Bert (Blyleven) and Mike Blowers' Rally Fries come to mind too. Just a cheap/lame way to get on TV.

But I do really like Kruk and Kuip (especially Duane Kuiper, considering he's a former player, is a terrific play-by-play guy). I agree with Eric, the problem is really the guys in the truck.

2008-07-07 16:31:39
152.   bhsportsguy
149 One thing I have never tried to figure out but perhaps I will this week, how many times does Vin mention his name after his introduction.

Part of it is that he remains probably the only baseball broadcaster (and probably including the other 2 major sports and maybe even BCS conference football and basketball) that does the games solo.

2008-07-07 16:31:57
153.   Lexinthedena
Broadcasts are aimed at casual fans, which is lame, because even "casual" fans want to hear about what's happening in the game. In fact, they need a more descriptive play-by-play than the baseball junkies. So stop trying to make a ballgame what it isn't!

Also Dude, John Madden's shtick only works with John Madden. John Kruk shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a studio...and what happened to one guy calling the game? you'd think that these frugal owners would be more than happy to pay fewer people to call the game. It makes me sad.

2008-07-07 16:33:38
154.   Bob Hendley
"Do you know what your pledge drive goal would be?"

Great idea. However, let's not ask underdog, who would presumably say "a hundred billion."

2008-07-07 16:33:46
155.   Eric L
144 My uncle got married this weekend in the Fresno area and I happened to catch part of the Friday game on the Giants station in our hotel room. I couldn't believe that one of the "old school" franchises was relying on shtick to spice up it's broadcast. Eliminating fans was especially lame.

145 I was actually going to suggest something similar. I sort of like the approach that Ira Glass takes with the pledge drive. He kind of makes you feel like you need to donate but doesn't make you feel guilty about not donating.

It's much better than the crap that the PBS stations usually pull with programming that usually isn't on the station(s).

2008-07-07 16:33:46
156.   kinbote
0 Jon--I trust your judgment in whatever you decide to do, but I will say that you're entirely deserving of making some dough off this excellent site. In my brief time here, I've only bought a t-shirt. If you can come up with similar ways to offer a nominal product as a way to make a sort of donation, that would be great. Coming soon: the $30 Dodger Thoughts water bottle!

(Also, maybe charge $5 for every double post.)

2008-07-07 16:34:23
157.   bhsportsguy
151 He should crush their heads, its funnier.
2008-07-07 16:35:10
158.   Jon Weisman
145 - Yes, $400,000 is my goal. :)

Seriously, I actually am interested in both the future of DT content as well as the financial - "what kind of evolution to DT would people like to see, and might be willing to pay for" - though the conversation did drift mostly in one direction.

If I'm reading the stats correctly, an average $3 contribution from every unique visitor in a single given month would a gamechanger, something that could lead to a great evolution in what DT has to offer. I do think the content and fundraising questions go hand in hand.

2008-07-07 16:36:46
159.   Eric Stephen
Since Brad Penny's last start (in Detroit), Dodger starters have a 10-4 record and a 2.44 ERA over 20 starts. Starters have allowed more than 3 ER in only 4 of 20 games. The club record is 12-8 in that span.
2008-07-07 16:36:53
160.   silverwidow
Kemp, RF
Ethier, LF
Martin, C
Kent, 2B
Loney, 1B
Jones, CF
Nomar, SS
DeWitt, 3B
Kuroda, P

Will LaRoche EVER be able to get into a groove with this schizophrenic playing time?

2008-07-07 16:37:04
161.   blue22
158 - How many unique users and page views do you generate in a month (during baseball season)?
2008-07-07 16:37:09
162.   Jon Weisman
157 - At least it would be a properly aimed homage.
2008-07-07 16:37:45
163.   silverwidow
Sorry, missed 127

But my point still stands.

2008-07-07 16:40:08
164.   Bob Timmermann
I would have to say that Amy Gutierrez fails in the "hot female" category.
2008-07-07 16:40:53
165.   Bob Timmermann
I don't think "schizophrenic" is the word to describe LaRoche's playing time.
2008-07-07 16:41:03
166.   Eric Stephen
Jon, maybe you can use asterisks a la Joe Posnanski, but have the tangential interludes ask for pledges* like PBS. "If you enjoy quality Dodger Thoughts posts like this..." :)
2008-07-07 16:42:51
167.   tethier
159 That's a great stat. I knew they were doing well but that is some record. It also means the bullpen has a 2-4 record. Not so good. Hopefully that will not continue.
2008-07-07 16:45:14
168.   bhsportsguy
165 There is a probably a better term to use.
2008-07-07 16:45:46
169.   kinbote
158 In terms of content, you cover all the bases. I personally like a lot of minor league coverage, but that's an individual quirk. Your live-blog of Kershaw was exciting; perhaps similar "special" events could be given extra attention (draft, trade deadline, Winter Meetings, etc.). That would be one of the perks of the new premium site.
2008-07-07 16:46:12
170.   blue22
161 - I guess that question might be too intrusive. Nevermind...
2008-07-07 16:46:32
171.   kinbote
168 Torrible?
2008-07-07 16:47:25
172.   Greg Brock
Funding for Dodger Thoughts has been provided by JP Morgan Chase, Coca-Cola, and the Diller/Von-Furstenburg Foundation.

And by Bloomberg!

2008-07-07 16:49:47
173.   Jon Weisman
172 - Not the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation?

161 - Since April 1, I am averaging 512,000 page views per month.

2008-07-07 16:49:57
174.   Bob Timmermann
It's not like LaRoche or Torre are hearing voices in their heads.

At least I hope not.

Although I do think that sometimes we all look at the batting order each day and try to put together some pattern because a guy who looks like Ed Harris has told us to.

2008-07-07 16:51:05
175.   Tripon
Finding a shortstop could be tough for the Dodgers because there aren't many available, writes Tony Jackson. One possibility, in theory, could be the Jays' David Eckstein, who is available. (They could make a deal for the Padres' Khalil Greene, if not for the fact that the division rivals almost certainly could not put together a trade of that magnitude).

One more problem for the Dodgers as they consider trades is that officials in some other organizations believe that the depth of L.A.'s prospects -- which was envied by other clubs for years -- is in regression. Rival scouts rave about the likes of Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp and Chad Billingsley, but the stock of Dodgers' second level of prospects (third baseman Andy LaRoche, infielder Chin-Lung Hu, etc.) has dropped in the eyes of some talent evaluators. "They've had a lot of players go from prospect to question mark this year," said a general manager.


I took that from Buster Onley's current article. My only question at the moment is when does baseball players turn from prospects to regular players? Guys like Kemp, and Loney are talked as if they never played a baseball game in the majors, and they're currently in their 2nd year. They may not be totally proven, but they're certainly not 'prospects' anymore, or unproven commodities, we known roughly what Kemp, or Loney will do in the Major Leagues, why refer them simply as 'prospects'?

2008-07-07 16:51:28
176.   bhsportsguy
159 The four losses include the rain delay game that Kershaw started (Park gave up runs in his first inning of relief), the two Cleveland games Lee and CC dominated the Dodgers but eventually the game was tied and the Dodgers lost in extra innings, and Saturday's loss to the Giants.
2008-07-07 16:52:00
177.   Prescott Pete
If I was Frank McCourt, I'd purchase Dodger Thoughts. I'd keep Jon on as the top exec, I'd buy time on Prime Ticket for the "Dodger Thoughts Show" featuring your host (?) and a round table discussion group. The show would lead into the ballgames instead of the current bio shows.

I'd also make the show available for download on I would also produce LIVE radio-type shows featuring DT commentators and other Dodgers folks of interest. Available for podcast!

Of course, the powers-that-be at MLB might shoot my idea down. But I would trade my all-star game aspirations to Mr. Selig for my right to have my DT platforms.

2008-07-07 16:52:33
178.   scareduck
Forgive me if this has been aired previously: Dodgers allegedly pursuing Matt Kemp for Jack Wilson:

2008-07-07 16:53:06
179.   Eric Stephen
Over the same period (last 20 games), the bullpen has pitched well collectively, with a 3.52 ERA and 4 HR in 64 IP, and 8 saves.
2008-07-07 16:54:40
180.   bhsportsguy
175 Because it takes less time to explain it. Sometimes I think a prospect's highest value is before he ever plays an inning in the MLB.
2008-07-07 16:55:12
181.   KG16
177 - the round table discussion group would have to be made up of DT commenters.

And done Superfans-style.

2008-07-07 16:56:09
182.   Eric Stephen
The "new car" phenomenon? Prospects lose a chunk of their value once they're driven off the lot? :)
2008-07-07 16:56:18
183.   bhsportsguy
178 Yep, it has been and again, it only states what the Pirates are asking about not that Kemp is on any trading block.
2008-07-07 16:56:38
184.   regfairfield
"How about Kemp for Wilson"
"Come on..."
"I'll be your best freind"
"'re mean"
2008-07-07 16:57:24
185.   Eric Ferrari
178. Where are you getting that info from ?That just doesn't make any kind of sense in a straight up swap.
2008-07-07 16:58:08
186.   bhsportsguy
181 I would vote for the old Sports Reporters (Chicago Style) format, I want to be the cranky guy who wore a hat (but on that show, the only non-cranky guy was Rick Telander).
2008-07-07 16:58:45
187.   Eric Stephen
Rob aka scareduck didn't write the article; he merely linked to it. But you have the coolest last name of any Eric that posts here.
2008-07-07 16:58:49
188.   JJ42
172 , 173 I prefer "The California Endowment" myself. DT is good for one's health, at least mental health.
2008-07-07 16:58:51
189.   bhsportsguy
182 I almost wrote that down on my post. But yes, that is the general sense of what I was saying.
2008-07-07 16:59:18
190.   natepurcell
A Dodgers source indicated that Los Angeles might be willing to deal center fielder Matt Kemp. The 23-year-old right-handed hitter, who has both power and speed, is considered a potential superstar.

Bill Plaschke is not considered a Dodgers source, come on now.

2008-07-07 17:00:19
191.   Eric Stephen
181 ,186
We'd have to do it McLaughlin Group style with an homage to The Sinatra Group as well.
2008-07-07 17:03:22
192.   bhsportsguy
191 Rita Hayworth or Ava Gardner?

I wish I could type the rest of that bit but this is a family site.

2008-07-07 17:03:51
193.   sporky
184 Heh. I wonder how many GMs have had similar conversations with Ned.
2008-07-07 17:04:04
194.   Eric Ferrari

I don't know anything about as a credible news source but if this is true its sad see that the Dodgers front office wants for Furcal's days as a Dodger to be a thing of the past. They must really feel like his back is gonna be jacked up for a while.

2008-07-07 17:08:22
195.   bhsportsguy
194 I don't believe they want that. However, Furcal's recovery time is estimated for 8 weeks and generally, back injuries are not very predictable things so its more than likely he's out for the year and this being the last year of his contract, you cannot really count on him being on the club in 2009.
2008-07-07 17:09:19
196.   Lexinthedena
187 Coolest name of any Eric in the adult film industry.
2008-07-07 17:11:28
197.   Zak
With Ned, you have to be more worried, it's not like this

"How about Wilson for Kemp"
"Come on..."
"Whatever else you want"
"Wilson and Danys Baez for Kemp"
"But Baez doesn't even play for the Pira... OK, done."

2008-07-07 17:11:56
198.   Lexinthedena
The Dodger front office has been getting hammered in the media lately for what seems to me an unwillingness to trade their top young players. The nerve to inquire about trades without offering Kemp!

People saw Ned's earlier moves with the Rays and are now upset that they aren't getting a piece.

2008-07-07 17:12:21
199.   Eric Stephen
I wonder if

(a) the Dodgers would offer Furcal arbitration; and
(b) would Furcal accept it?

Furcal is making $13m this season, and the minimum he would make in arbitration is 80% of that, or $10.4m. I can see Furcal wanting to have a prove year to drive up his next contract.

I would also rather pay Furcal $10.4m than $7.85m to Jack Wilson (plus the cost of whomever would be sent to Pittsburgh.

2008-07-07 17:14:42
200.   Rainman
I once ran a subscription-based college sports site, and having done that, I know it's a tough road to hoe to convince people, even rabid fans, to pay for information of which acceptable substitutes are widely available. Not that your insight isn't the best out there about the Dodgers, Jon, because it is... I'm just, as a professional web designer and public relations person, advocating the business model of "free" for the web. If there are opportunities for advertising based on your hits, I'm not opposed to that, because the service you provide is a premium service and deserves to be compensated. I just make this observation as a sort-of cautionary tale, because I was once charged with taking great content and putting it behind a pay-for-play model, and the site ultimately faded into oblivion because I ran off our core audience. I don't mind seeing ads, but pay-for-play -- in my opinion -- just ain't the ticket.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-07-07 17:15:13
201.   scareduck
190 - that would be pretty funny: Bill Plaschke calls the Pirates' front office and then the Beaver County Times. Instant story!
2008-07-07 17:15:45
202.   KG16
199 - what shortstops will be on the market this off season? Besides Furcal and Nomar?
2008-07-07 17:16:28
203.   Eric Ferrari

A year ? Really ? For a herniated disk ? That seems really lengthy; especially for the non-invasive, corrective procedure that's generally performed in out patient fashion. I know the severity of that type of injury is variable but I haven't read anything that hinted to more then 4 months of recovery time.

2008-07-07 17:16:30
204.   Humma Kavula
A Dodgers source indicated that Los Angeles might be willing to deal center fielder Matt Kemp. The 23-year-old right-handed hitter, who has both power and speed, is considered a potential superstar.

Editor: Hm. Dele "might be," insert "would be out of their cotton-pickin' minds if they really are." And dele "a potential."

2008-07-07 17:17:42
205.   scareduck
194 - is the online arm of the Beaver County Times, a paper serving the cities northwest of Pittsburgh proper.
2008-07-07 17:18:57
206.   scareduck
200 - yes, but are you a very good driver?
2008-07-07 17:19:28
207.   berkowit28
"Kemp, RF (chat with him tomorrow at at 2 p.m. PT)" chat with Kemp, Loney on "Before the Bigs": these guys aren't going to be traded.

2008-07-07 17:21:17
208.   regfairfield
199 I said before that a big reason to get Wilson is so we don't get trapped next offseason. I can't see any scenario where we have an infield with two of Hu, DeWitt, DeJesus or Abreu so if Furcal bolts, we have to pay Hudson or Ellis some obscene amount of money, like it or not.

Wilson lets us stand pat if the market explodes for those two and we'd only be committed to him for one year.

2008-07-07 17:21:33
209.   Humma Kavula
Today's useless fact:

Beaver County, Pennsylvania has four parks: Raccoon Creek State Park, Brady's Run, Brush Creek, and -- my favorite -- Old Economy Park.

Yes, the Pittsburgh suburbs have a park that they have called "Old Economy Park."

Insert comment here.

2008-07-07 17:21:42
210.   natepurcell

Orlando Hudson can probably play shortstop.

JJ Hardy in a trade if the Brewers decide to go with Escobar.

2008-07-07 17:23:27
211.   regfairfield
202 Eckstein and Everett. There's a decent crop of second basemen out there though.
2008-07-07 17:23:43
212.   Humma Kavula
210 Orlando Hudson

Vinny would be so happy!

2008-07-07 17:24:40
213.   Dodgers49
68 60 - that's not the reason.

The reason is that the donation link is not prominent and there is really no stimulus to get the donations flowing.

True. For example, on my computer only the leftmost 1/3 of the sidebar is visible. I have to scroll to the right to see the remaining 2/3 (which I never do). As a result I spend hours on Dodger Thoughts and never even notice the sidebar. So even though the PayPal sign is far enough to the left that it's visible without scrolling if I were to look at it, when I'm reading comments I am oblivious to the sidebar (It, the sidebar, may as well not exist when I'm reading). So, believe it or not, I wasn't even aware that the PayPal sign was there until someone just mentioned it.

2008-07-07 17:24:47
214.   bhsportsguy
198 I don't want to launch into a discussion about the Tampa Bay trades but this less about the feeling that the Dodgers made deals like this already during Ned's time as GM and more along the feeling of surprise that this team has not made a big deal with their hyped set of prospects being the centerpieces of it.
2008-07-07 17:26:38
215.   bhsportsguy
208 Buster Olney brought up Jhonny Peralta (who despite his home runs, is not having a great year) but he is signed through 2010.
2008-07-07 17:26:57
216.   berkowit28
Nice to see Loney above Jones and Garciaparra. That was the bit that didn't make much sense on the weekend. Although absolute order doesn't usually matter much after the first inning, relative order (who comes after whom) sure does. This way there are more chances for cleanup.
2008-07-07 17:28:27
217.   Eric Ferrari

I figured that out after I posted. Like many crazy sports fanatics, I read allot different fish wraps. I just had never heard of that particular outlet. Thanks though.

2008-07-07 17:28:28
218.   Eric Enders
The Indians are trying to get rid of Peralta so they can make Asdrubal Cabrera, who's a Gold Glove shortstop but can't hit enough to hold the 2B job, to short.
2008-07-07 17:30:32
219.   Ken Noe
Just read some CC articles. More and more, I imagine Ken Rosenthal as Captain Queeg, rolling little baseballs in his hands and muttering "Matt Kemp stole the strawberries." His obsession with Dodger prospects that must be traded begins to border on the clinical.
2008-07-07 17:30:55
220.   underdog
154 What am I, Dr. Evil now? ;0)

Oh, and I agree with Eric E about the Giants broadcasters; I generally like Kuip and Krukow as I've said before, but, yeah, the main problem is the way those broadcasts are produced. I think they have a few gimmicky things they do and say but overall the guys themselves are fine. (Though their constantly calling Andy LaRoche "Adam" yesterday drove me bonkers. And did no one producing the broadcast know to correct them?)

2008-07-07 17:31:04
221.   Bob Timmermann
Orlando Hudson has never played shortstop in professional baseball. Just second and third.
2008-07-07 17:32:07
222.   underdog
Peralta? Wow. I'd take him.
2008-07-07 17:33:39
223.   Lexinthedena
210 Nate....Broxton, Young...and?....what are the Brewers missing in their system? Hardy as a Dodger is my current baseball fantasy....
2008-07-07 17:33:42
224.   Bob Hendley
188 - Would that make it tax deductable?
2008-07-07 17:33:56
225.   Jon Weisman
200 - From my post: "I have no plans to take this site behind a subscription wall; donations would still remain voluntary."
2008-07-07 17:34:18
226.   Bob Timmermann
Way before Andy LaRoche was called Adam, Vin Scully always called "Curt Ford" "Curt Flood."
2008-07-07 17:35:45
227.   Lexinthedena
212 A middle infield of Jack Wilson and the O-Dog would make Vin cry tears of joy.
2008-07-07 17:35:49
228.   bhsportsguy
223 I don't think they are moving Hardy during this season, even if they like their AA shortstop, I don't think they want to bring him up right now.
2008-07-07 17:36:18
229.   Bob Timmermann
Add Pedro Feliz to third and Vin would be on Cloud Nine.
2008-07-07 17:36:28
230.   Eric Ferrari

I like this, I would just flip Nomar and Andruw.

Kemp, RF
Ethier, LF
Martin, C
Kent, 2B
Loney, 1B
Jones, CF
Nomar, SS
DeWitt, 3B
Kuroda, P

2008-07-07 17:36:37
231.   natepurcell

With Sheets and Sabathia most likely leaving through free agency, they will be needing starting pitching.

2008-07-07 17:37:31
232.   natepurcell

Not the season but this offseason.

I could see them moving Hardy and/or Fielder this offseason.

2008-07-07 17:41:56
233.   Eric Enders
I could have seen them trading Fielder if they'd kept LaPorta. I don't see them trading both, though.
2008-07-07 17:43:22
234.   nofatmike
210 "JJ Hardy in a trade if the Brewers decide to go with Escobar."

I'd be curious enough to trade Saito for him, considering Kuo's emergence and the Brewers' god-awful bullpen, it might be a doable thing. Maybe Saito, Meloan, and Hu (when's he's finally healthy)?

2008-07-07 17:43:39
235.   natepurcell

What do they do with Gamel? He can't play 3b and their corners are filled with Hart and Braun.

2008-07-07 17:44:01
236.   68elcamino427
Re: Pondering
Jon, you are the Vin Scully of the Web Loggers. This is the platform. This is the launching pad.
This train of thought that you are expressing regarding your site came into my mind after the third day that I visited here last October 2007. What started off as a hobby for you is now growing into something great. Something great that has no limits. You now are having a visions of what can be.
Dream big and think big and start doing. All of the incremental positive actions will add together to create the goal, the dream that you envision.
Make it happen. Do it now.
Use your imagination and try some different things. Have fun.
You deserve to be rewarded for you talent.
2008-07-07 17:45:55
237.   nofatmike
235 Convert Hart into a centerfielder?
2008-07-07 17:47:46
238.   Dodgers49
There is no need to trade for a shortstop. Ramon is heating up in Vegas. :-)

Sky Sox rally in eighth inning to sink 51s

>> Ramon Martinez hit his first homer of the year, a two-run shot in the first, for the 51s. <<

2008-07-07 17:48:30
239.   Zak
229 To truly acheive Cloud Nine status, we need to sign Marquis Grissom to play CF.
2008-07-07 17:49:09
240.   Bob Hendley
230 - If we get to flip people, I'd flip Druw out of the line up and start my beloved Pee Wee.
2008-07-07 17:49:41
241.   regfairfield
237 It takes a lot to make the Brewers a worse defensive team.
2008-07-07 17:52:02
242.   Icaros
I don't understand why people here aren't complaining more about how lousy Jack Wilson is. His career OBP is .313. That is terrible, even for a SS. Plus he's already 30, so his best years have come and gone.

You really want this guy? I'd stick with Berroa, and that's saying something.

2008-07-07 17:53:26
243.   jasonungar07
There isn't a need to trade for a SS I agree with that 100 percent.
2008-07-07 17:53:29
244.   fanerman
242 Lucille II > Snipes Sr.
2008-07-07 17:54:37
245.   ssjames
FJM just nailed our gm/most famous la times writer Plolletti/Claschke with another one their classic writeups.
2008-07-07 17:54:40
246.   jasonungar07
No 242
2008-07-07 17:55:26
247.   MonkeyBlue
Is Hu doing fine after the eye problem he had?
2008-07-07 17:56:25
248.   Icaros

I'd go with Lucille II over acquiring Wilson as well. Funny how this discussion would be completely moot if not for the fact that there isn't a soul alive who believes Nomar can play the rest of the year without going back on the DL.

2008-07-07 18:00:26
249.   Andrew Shimmin
The fund raising drives would be good for letting people know the paypal button is there. Also, setting target donations would be helpful. I've never really known what to donate (i.e. how little I could send without insulting Jon). I'm not to hot for the idea about color coding user names; reading the BBTF thread about Sabathia (and about DeWitt/LaRoche) reminded me of the bad news arguments that stemmed from the Gameday fans vs. Real fans meme, a couple of years back, here.

I went looking for a paypal link at the Griddle, the last time I donated to Jon, but didn't see one. So I signed Bob up for the Pitted Fruit of the Month club.

He never sent me a thank you note.

2008-07-07 18:05:31
250.   fanerman
248 It also seems like getting an "everyday" shortstop is a little ridiculous if we have Nomar who can play most days (or some days, or whatever). It's like even management isn't expecting more than a dozen games from Nomar before he gets injured (please stay healthy Nomar).
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-07-07 18:07:39
251.   Eric Enders
All I want for Christmas is for Nomar to stay healthy until August 1. After that Matt Kemp won't clear waivers and we'll have nothing to worry about.

Well, relatively nothing. This is Colletti we're talking about.

2008-07-07 18:08:50
252.   fanerman
251 That's all I want, too. The next month is so crucial. Continuing the winning would also help abate these trade itches...
2008-07-07 18:10:50
253.   Icaros
Ned's fascination with comfort-food variety players really does not gel with my philosophy. The only average/mediocre players on the roster should be brought up from within, like mom's home cooking.

Trades and free-agents should be gourmet delicacies or nothing at all. It isn't worth the money or the players you have to give up if you aren't getting something really good in return.

Why do we have to go out and acquire space-fillers?

Ned strikes me as the type of guy who probably dated any average-looking, boring woman (or man) who came along just because the alternative was being alone for awhile, and she/he filled an empty space in both his heart and head, but sometimes you're better off with that empty space (in this case, Nomar/Hu/Berroa at SS).

For other examples of this, see Hendrickson, Mark and Tomko, Brett, et al.

2008-07-07 18:12:06
254.   overkill94
I'm only in favor of a Jack Wilson trade if the pieces going the other way are expendable. McDonald is the highest I'd go in a 1-for-1 deal, but I'd be willing to do something like Meloan and Hu as others have suggested. McDonald and Hu would be overpaying IMO and even having Kemp's name in the discussion is preposterous.
2008-07-07 18:12:08
255.   underdog
I've just found a magick ritual that is specifically designed to protect Nomar's health. I have the right candles, some dirt from a baseball field, an autographed picture of Mia Hamm, and some sage. Now all I need is eye of newt and a clipping of hair from Cal Ripken and we're all set!
2008-07-07 18:14:52
256.   berkowit28
250 The issue is that Nomar will surely (90%?) come down with some injury or other, quite possibly after the trade deadline when they can't do anything to replace him. So they want to get someone now, who can platoon with Nomar until Nomar inevitably succumbs.
2008-07-07 18:15:37
257.   berkowit28
256 Sorry - link should have been to 251, not 250. But you knew that.
2008-07-07 18:15:39
258.   Michael Green
Well, I'm getting in late, so here goes.

First, Jon, I'll go along with calling you the Vin Scully of the web. Maybe you could suggest a reasonable donation?

As to trading people, I wouldn't move any prospects. I worry that Kemp is a $40 million airport with a $3 control tower, but he's too good to move, especially when Ned sometimes reminds me of the joke about Calvin Griffith when he ran the Twins: he caught his entire allotment of walleyes and traded them for a package of Mrs. Paul's fish sticks.

Finally, my cross to bear in life is that my wife is a Giants fan. But I have found that if we don't get the game on TV, I will listen to Vin for the first three innings and shut it off, partly out of not thinking that highly of Steiner and Monday, partly out of protesting the firing of Ross Porter. But I like listening to the Giants broadcasters. Jon Miller (what is it with these Jons?) is probably second only to Vin. His #2, Dave Flemming, is good. Duane Kuiper and Greg Papa are OK, but they are so much more listenable than the non-Vin Dodgers airings that it's ridiculous.

2008-07-07 18:17:32
259.   Vaudeville Villain

I feel like people are overrating him based on defense. Would anyone here want Everett, even with his amazing glove, and have to put up with that anemic hitting?

Defense is important, but not at the expense of offensive competency.

2008-07-07 18:20:31
260.   Icaros
I'd be really bummed if I missed out on the chance to see a guy like McDonald develop into possibly a good-to-great pitcher just so we could get a 30-year-old SS who hits like Juan Pierre and isn't going to make one bit of difference in this likely going-nowhere season anyway.

I don't care if they lose every game the rest of the season. It isn't about this season. No trades, unless it is people like Kent, Lowe, etc.

2008-07-07 18:20:33
261.   LogikReader
Jon, I didn't even know I could make a donation to this website! I've been here now for about a year and a half. I just made a donation to your wonderful website.

It's the least I can do for all the analysis, humor, and great commentary we get every day. That goes for all the commenters too, yep that includes you! If I could make a donation to all of you.... well I'd like to but then I'd be broke.

Man so good to be here seeing greatness, even as other institutions get dismantled slowly (The Price is Right) or marginalized (The Sporting News).

I should tell you I'm going on my big trip to New York City tomorrow! I'll miss DT, but I'll be back soon enough.

2008-07-07 18:22:17
262.   ToyCannon
I feel safe in saying that for the first time since Nomar was resigned, the group effort is pulling for him to succeed and stay healthy. That would quickly change if we acquired a SS and Nomar was moved to 3rd base. Funny game this baseball.
2008-07-07 18:22:52
263.   Icaros
Plus we'd get Wilson, then Nomar would stay healthy, and we'd be stuck with both banjo bats in the lineup while the LaRoche/DeWitt battle morphs into who should be starting in Vegas and who belongs in Jacksonville.
2008-07-07 18:24:31
264.   berkowit28
"I should tell you I'm going on my big trip to New York City tomorrow! I'll miss DT, but I'll be back soon enough. "

No laptop, I guess? If it gets too much away from DT, there's an internet café every two blocks or so in Manhattan.

2008-07-07 18:25:18
265.   Jon Weisman
Thanks again, everyone.

New post up top.

2008-07-07 18:25:27
266.   Icaros

We agree more than you think. You just don't like the my attitude in general. I'm a bit of a punk, I'll admit, but my heart is in the right place (center of chest).

2008-07-07 18:25:43
267.   Vaudeville Villain

Yes. We have to hope that the broken man can stay healthy, and if he breaks, we can rebuild him. We have the technology.

2008-07-07 19:10:55
268.   Tripon
>>Yes. We have to hope that the broken man can stay healthy, and if he breaks, we can rebuild him. We have the technology.

Apparently, the technology hasn't been working since Nomar breaks down more often than PLASCHKE making up half crock rumors to write up a piece.

2008-07-07 19:25:45
269.   Hollywood Joe
For the list of 100

Attend the Dodgers Adult Fantasy Camp - best week of my life and I can't even think what comes second

Just go

2008-07-08 07:13:09
270.   Dodger Dawg
If I can say what I really want to about Pierre , and break rule 1, it would be worth any fine against me.

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