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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

My Undisgusted, Unappalled Readership
2003-09-23 09:28
by Jon Weisman

Disappointed or disgusted by the Dodger finish this season? Two responses to this query of mine Monday came in:

The first, from Bill Simms:

I am, like you, disappointed but not disgusted. The team has teased us this year, like the last two, but I had modest expectations going in. It's been far more entertaining than some years past and I'd rather been in it until the last week, than done in August. While the win total will not increase from last year, at least it's second and not third place.

There is absolutely long term hope. The budget improves over the next three years and I'm pretty confident that if Evans is still in charge, the Dodgers will be the best in the division when the Brown/Dreifort deals come off the books. It will be a shame if Evans loses his job because he made the best (long term) decision to keep the top prospects. While I question the preponderance of high school draftees, the commitment to developing through the system and planning for the long term is something we haven't seen since that fateful night in 1987 when the downfall of the Dodgers started.
All the mistakes will be forgiven if they pull off the miracle.
On another topic, the reported Tracy/Evans friction is disappointing. I like both of them, but I would choose Evans if it came to one or the other. I can see anyone blaming Tracy for the poor offense, because he seems to choose defense over offense almost exclusively when he has the choice (having both Cora and Izturis in the lineup is a huge handicap). But, I don't think that you can criticize the lack of run scoring without balancing it with the tremendous run prevention. The team ERA isn't all because of the pitching. I hope the new ownership keeps the management in place (if they can get along). I'd rather bring in a new manager if the relationship is really strained. The two need to be working together.

The second, from Terry Austin:

Hello Jon,

Seems the only place to get a balanced opinion on the Dodgers these days is your blog. And I thank you. I’m looking forward to your coverage of the hot-stove league.

I, “two,” am puzzled as to the alleged reports of friction between Tracy and Evans. Perhaps Gammons meant that upon the filing of his column there were now “two” reports about this alleged friction (Nightengale’s and Gammons’). Who knows?

Regardless, since I don’t work for the LA Times, I guess I’m lacking any sort of hidden agenda or burning desire to see Evans and Tracy fired. Tracy again managed a mediocre team to the brink of playoff qualification. He didn’t have the horses, as they say. The man whose job it is to get the horses didn’t have the resources to do so because some of the studs already in the barn are grossly overpaid. This still goes back to Kevin Malone, and it will continue to do so until the Brown, Dreifort and (to a lesser extent) Green contracts are off the books (after the 2037 season, I believe). Evans and Tracy are still playing the crappy hands they were dealt. (If you’re scoring at home, that’s one paragraph with “two” many clichéd metaphors – horses and cards. And don’t forget about “scoring at home.”)

Couldn’t agree more on Odalis Perez. This guy was put in a no-win situation (and I’m not talking about the outcome of last night’s game). If he skipped another start, he was likely to replace Carlos as the least popular Perez in Dodger history. (Yorkis wasn’t around long enough to qualify.) So he would have started last night’s game even if he’d just returned from an appendectomy in the Dominican Republic. While I’m puzzled by the treatment he received from Tracy, I’m left to wonder if anyone really thinks this is part of some grand conspiracy theory to make it easier to trade Perez this offseason. The Dodgers want to use him as bait, so they sacrifice their wildcard hopes while simultaneously driving down his trade value? It must be true – I’m hearing “two” many reports on this one…

Yes, there are many positives from this season that point to a solid 2004 campaign if – IF – the offense is buttressed. And yes, the Green-Cora-LoDuca play was a highlight. The question now is how many of those guys will be in the position to make a similar play next year? At this point, only Lo Duca’s position seems secure. The Green-to-first campaign has already begun anew, and even though Cora has gotten some nice PR in the Gold Glove race, the Dodgers most certainly will make a run at replacing him next year. (Matsui? Castillo? Larkin? Alomar? Walker?)

Throughout this first full year of Dodger Thoughts, I have received sporadic letters. The quality of discussion has been high, and the quality of manners in each and every one has been impeccable and really gratifying. For both of these things, I truly, truly thank you.

Normally, when I run letters on this site, I edit out the praise of Dodger Thoughts and publish only the actual Dodger thoughts, if you get the idea. I figure that no one but me really needs to have my ego stroked. (Make no mistake, each stroke is wonderful.)

Today, I left in Terry's praise, for a reason. I did not receive any "disgusted" e-mails overnight - and in fact, with the notable exception of my loyal reader, "BigCPA," almost every letter I have received this year has agreed in large part with my position. And although BigCPA and I have disagreed on how important it is to have a balanced team, our debate has been completely collegial.

At the same time, despite increased exposure throughout the year on different websites, and a positive review in the Times (hopefully not the last time the paper would pay kindness or even attention to me, despite my recurring criticism of its baseball coverage this summer), my readership has not increased by any significant measure.

I'm coming to think that on Dodger Thoughts, I am simply preaching to the converted - and not converting. I get the feeling that when other members of the Dodger faithful come across this site, they do a little read, objectively dismiss me as an amateur quack, and move on with their lives. Just like I do with callers on talk radio. Completely fair, but certainly I'd like to see these readers stick around, even if they don't agree with me.

So anyway, I'm going to ask again, if you disgusted readers are out there, write me. I'm all for having my views endorsed and my insecurities soothed, but there's a reason they call healthy debate, well, "healthy debate."

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