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About Jon
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Fill in the Blank
2004-01-11 07:01
by Jon Weisman

Yeah, I'm here.

I've heard. I heard Saturday night. I read articles on the Internet and IMed my baseball-loving cousin until 11:30 last night, well past my father-of-the-toddler bedtime.

I'm thinking, right as you read this.

There's a place in my mind waiting for a productive thought to come. Sort of like there's a place in the Dodger lineup waiting for a productive outfielder to come.

Last night, as midnight approached, with my wakeup call under six hours away, my head and sleep fought each other. A small part of me savored Stanford's victory over Arizona - a much smaller part than was savoring it hours before. The rest was wondering when the Dodgers became like the Stanford I knew most of my undergraduate years, unable to close out a meaningful victory. (Actually, Stanford's program-defining victory over a then-No. 1 Arizona came only about 10 weeks after the 1988 World Series ended.)

You don't care about Stanford. But you might understand my need to find something positive to write about.

Vladimir Guerrero, if the unnamed sources talking to Times are true about him going to the Angels (and I hold out naive hope that they're somehow wrong), is not so much the girl that got away. Many of us who have loved and lost will love again.

It's that we can't get the girl, period. Once we were The Bachelor; now we've become Average Joe.

Right now, it could be Dan Evans' bad-date banter or Frank McCourt wanting to go dutch on the check. It doesn't matter. We've got the money, but we ain't got the goods.

The prom is coming up, and we're going to need a fix-up. We're looking at guys like Paul Konerko or Darin Erstad - overpaid, underproductive hitters. We're looking at Ivan Rodriguez, who helps us at the position that is our second-strongest, even if Paul LoDuca never hits 10 home runs in a season again, while leaving us bereft in half the lineup. (Lo Duca's trade value is being overrated.)

Is Todd Helton still on the block? Jim Edmonds?

Hell, we may end up going to the prom stag. Sweet sixteen and never been kissed, indeed.

I've said it before. I love the game. And, in my somewhat pathological way, I love the Dodgers. I will go to the prom no matter what, and hope there's a lonely companion who's been ignored too long.

But this is embarrassing. It's disheartening. And most of all, it's disturbing. The ownership transition is not an excuse. If this absence of activity is to be the Dodger offseason (and you know me, I'll give Dan Evans until April 4 to make something happen), then this is the clearest sign you need that the McCourt ownership bid is abhorrent.

I haven't felt this pessimistic about the Dodgers' future since Kevin Malone. I remind myself about the promise of Edwin Jackson and Greg Miller and James Loney, but it's not helping much. This organization has mad cow disease and someone needs to step in and save it, not spread it.

I suppose it's not their place, but I wish the people at the Times would do more than report the cloud of McCourt's prospective ownership. I wish they'd step up and fight it.

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