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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

Giddy Up
2008-09-25 00:02
by Jon Weisman

And I mean, giddy up.

It was practically a carnival at Dodger Stadium Wednesday night - putting aside the fact that the team was down after 3 1/2 innings and still nursing a slim lead through 7 1/2.

But Arizona once again released some of the pressure with an early evening defeat, and then the Dodgers went pachinko all over the place. By the end of the game, Nomar Garciaparra and Manny Ramirez had homers (Ramirez amazingly tying Matt Kemp for second on the team), and Garciaparra, Casey Blake, Chin-Lung Hu and James Loney had doubles (the latter giving the Dodgers three players with 35 or more doubles in a season for the first time ever).

And, the Dodgers had 25 baserunners in all.

And, Jeff Kent made his first appearance since surgery and singled.

And, Rafael Furcal resurfaced from an absence so long that the Dodger Stadium scoreboard forgot he was hitting .366, instead listing him at .000, and just missed doubling before striking out against knuckleballer Charlie Haeger.

And, Furcal played an inning of defense and walked off the field under his own power.

And, I almost forgot to tell you:

The Dodgers are in first place, and will remain there for the rest of the year with one more victory or Diamondback defeat.

Those same Dodgers who have lost consecutive 1-0 extra-inning Sunday games have also scored ...

  • 10 or more runs in three of their past four contests
  • eight or more runs in five of their past nine contests
  • seven or more runs in seven of their past 13 contests
  • 5.8 runs per game in a 16-5 September.

    This won't mean anything starting next week, when the Dodgers have one guaranteed game, but it sure beats the alternative, don't it?

    This kind of pleasure can be fleeting, so for now, let's revel in the possible. There's nothing like playing past Game No. 162, and that's where the Dodgers are headed.

    * * *

    Despite appearances this week, Loney and Garciaparra are not in a strict platoon, Joe Torre said, according to Ken Gurnick of

    Torre insisted before and after the game that Loney is his first baseman and he doesn't have a platoon, but the manager doesn't apologize for going with the hot hand, as Garciaparra is 9-for-19 with four doubles, two homers and six RBIs.

    "I don't want to get into that," Torre said. "I'm trying to nurse Nomar. I don't want to fall into that trap where we overuse him. He's a nice weapon to have."

    * * *

    Brad Penny's 2008 season, if not his Dodger career, are done. Penny was placed on the 60-day disabled list so that Furcal could bound off of it.

  • Comments (78)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2008-09-25 00:32:09
    1.   trainwreck
    No one on the corner got swagger like us.
    2008-09-25 01:05:56
    2.   bryanf
    A great post following a great game.

    This sounds silly, but I'm looking forward to reading Jon's posts and everyone's comments here during the postseason at least as much as I am looking forward to seeing the Dodgers play during it.

    2008-09-25 01:21:22
    4.   jasonungar07
    I feel your happyness
    2008-09-25 02:18:48
    5.   Alex41592
    "La Russa said the three big guns in the middle of his lineup -- Pujols, Ryan Ludwick and Troy Glaus -- would play the final four games after all three got a breather on Wednesday."

    11:15 a.m.

    2008-09-25 02:28:11
    6.   overkill94
    Just got around to reading Plaschke's article and while I feel his heart is in the right place, he really botched the nexus of his argument. First of all, this team is much different than the team that got swept in 2006 and the team that squeaked out a win in 2004. Those may be recent examples, but most of the main players this year had nothing to do with those teams.

    Plus, none of the Dodger playoff teams since the 1988 World Series win were expected to do a whole lot. It was a lot easier to perform in the playoffs pre-1994 because there were less playoff series to worry about. Going even further back, just winning the NL meant you got to go the World Series. I understand Newcombe trying to rally the troops, but the fact is that just making the playoffs doesn't mean what it used to. Nowadays you don't even have to be one of the four best teams (record-wise) in the league to make the playoffs, so harping on playoff record is practically meaningless. Dodger teams of the past may have had a better post-season record, but not only did they have to face less teams in the regular season, they had to win less post-season series as well.

    2008-09-25 04:50:48
    7.   Marty
    I'll be back in LA today so I'll get to see the Dodgers hopefully clinch tonight.
    2008-09-25 05:16:09
    8.   Dodger Dawg
    I was one of the guys that thought Nomar was finished, but I was wrong. He's only finished as an everyday starter. That said I wouldn't mind if the Dodgers resign him for next year as long as it's with the understanding that he will be a bench player with an occasional start. Nomar's a class act and will do whatever the team asks of him without complaining. The Dodgers could do a lot worse than having Nomar on the bench.
    2008-09-25 05:44:11
    9.   Bluebleeder87
    it'll be cool if the Dodgers clitch today that way the regulars can get some much needed R&R.
    2008-09-25 05:52:14
    10.   Bluebleeder87
    from Dodgers dot Com As for Kershaw, this was his last regular-season start and he made it 5 2/3 innings, leaving with a one-run lead, enough to even his record to 5-5. The 20-year-old is 3-0 in his past five starts, which probably is good enough to get him on the postseason staff, although it's not clear for a five-game series if he will break into a rotation that figures to include Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley and Hiroki Kuroda, if not Greg Maddux.

    [ ]

    2008-09-25 06:12:20
    11.   Bluebleeder87
    Reading Diamond Leung's blog entry, I didn't realize we had 3 players with 35 doubles or more a 1st in franchise history
    2008-09-25 06:20:55
    12.   MrCourt123
    A quick check on tells me that since both leagues went to a 162 game schedule in 1962, 6 teams with less than 90 regular season wins have played in the World Series. 4 of those 6 teams have come after the advent of the Wild Card. Half of the 6 have won the big prize; the '87 Twins with 85 wins, '00 Yankees with 87 wins, and the '06 Cardinals with 83 wins. The 3 that didn't pull out a victory were the '73 Mets with 82 wins, the '97 Indians with 86 wins, and the '05 Astros with 89 wins.

    If my recent memory serves me correctly I think some comparisons can be drawn between the 2008 Dodgers and the 2006 Cardinals. Plagued with injury most of the season, a huge bat in the middle of the line-up, good young catcher, a middle infield that hits for almost no power, solid starting pitching, and most importantly, both of these teams pulled their act together at the end of the season when it counts most. I'm sure more similarities (and plenty of differences) can be found, but these are some off the top of my head.

    Bottom line is I'm incredibly excited for post season play this year, as I'm sure everyone else around here is. I don't want to get ahead of myself, but you can't deny your thinking some of the same things, like how likely is it that the Dodgers make a splash this year. Well, it would be pretty flawed to think that just because a team did or didn't do it in the past with a similar record that it will have any bearing on this year's Dodgers. But that's the great thing about baseball, we can always look to the past to try and predict the future.

    I hope we can clinch tonight and celebrate in true fashion after our win!

    2008-09-25 06:33:07
    13.   Bob Hendley
    I hope we "clinch" tonight just so I can stop hearing that word, until next September. It makes me clench.
    2008-09-25 06:33:08
    14.   Ken Noe
    First of all, I'm pretty giddy myself.

    Am I right to read Ned's comments simply as the beginning of the Manny negotiation?

    2008-09-25 06:38:31
    15.   Bluebleeder87
    my stand outs for 2008:

    Andre Ethier
    Cory Wade
    Joe Beimel


    Dodgers I felt would have good seasons (or at least contribute) but didn't aither because of injury or what not:

    Brad Penny
    Furcal (as all might know WAS having a good season)

    2008-09-25 06:42:02
    16.   Bluebleeder87

    I read that too but reading the whole thing makes me think it ain't gonna happen, we shall wait & see a guess.

    2008-09-25 06:49:55
    17.   Bob Hendley
    15 - Going by expectations coming out of ST, my hero for 2008 has to be Ahn Hell (it was not the complete disaster I thought it would be) and my goat, Penny (OK, he was injured, but still..)
    2008-09-25 06:59:28
    18.   Eric Stephen
    Does anyone remember if Scully traveled east during the 2006 playoffs? I remember listening to part of Game 1 on the radio, but can't remember if he was doing the game.

    Considering the Dodgers' potential road games in round 1 would be in Chicago, Philly, or NY I was just wondering if Scully would be there. (I would guess so).

    2008-09-25 07:04:19
    19.   Ken Noe
    I'm also assuming a very short leash on Maddux tonight.
    2008-09-25 07:25:31
    20.   Jon Weisman
    11 - I pointed out that it was two weeks ago and up top in this post.
    2008-09-25 07:34:27
    21.   East Coast Dodger
    0 Jon, your post brings a smile to my face. Thanks once again. I know this site is for you to deal psychologically with the Dodgers, but it's your endless optimism that keeps me coming back.

    18 Do you know of a way I can hear Scully do the playoff games out here on the East Coast?

    2008-09-25 07:42:05
    22.   bhsportsguy
    18 Vin did travel for the playoffs, I believe if the Dodgers play the Phillies, it would be his first visit to their ballpark.
    2008-09-25 07:42:25
    23.   oshea2002
    Just read the Penny update in the Times. I've never been a fan, and now I just want him gone.
    2008-09-25 07:44:04
    24.   LAT
    Brad Penny's 2008 season, if not his Dodger career, are done.

    And if true would end the last vestige of "The Trade."

    2008-09-25 07:45:34
    25.   Jon Weisman
    21 - Endless optimism is something I do not have. What I have are limits to both my optimism and my pessimism.
    2008-09-25 07:58:36
    26.   bhsportsguy
    21 It would be available on Gameday Audio(subscription) and XM Satellite Radio(subscription).
    2008-09-25 08:00:34
    27.   cargill06
    Kershaw got 100 K's in 106.2 IP this year, not bad, not bad at all. Let's just work on shaving that 4.3 BB/9IP to the mid 3's next year.
    2008-09-25 08:00:40
    28.   Eric Stephen
    Do you know of a way I can hear Scully do the playoff games out here on the East Coast?

    MLB Gameday Audio is one of the best deals going. It's $14.95 for the entire season and you can listen to any broadcast of every game, even the Spanish language broadcast if you are so inclined.

    Plus, if you sign up now you can get 14 free issues of Sports Illustrated.

    2008-09-25 08:02:50
    29.   Frip
    2 This sounds silly, but I'm looking forward to reading Jon's posts and everyone's comments here during the postseason at least as much as I am looking forward to seeing the Dodgers play during it.

    What a sweet young man. If I were a grandmother I'd bake you some cookies.

    2008-09-25 08:03:15
    30.   John Hale
    I am sure will take your money in order to hear the teams actual radio broadcasts. I would guess it would not be close to synced up with the game if you are watching on TV so it would not be great for simulcasting. But Scully off sync > name goes here
    2008-09-25 08:03:21
    31.   Eric Stephen
    I know Kershaw is ahead of Billingsley in terms of advancement at his age, but here's Chadwick's BB/9 numbers:

    Age 21(½) - 5.8 BB/9
    Age 22(½) - 3.9 BB/9
    Age 23(½) - 3.6 BB/9

    2008-09-25 08:06:33
    32.   Disabled List
    BP's current postseason odds:

    Dodgers 99.86315%
    D-backs 00.13685%

    These last two days were EXACTLY what my nerves needed.

    2008-09-25 08:14:26
    33.   cargill06
    If you assume the 1 game playoff is a 50/50 proposition Xei's simulator has us at a 99.1% chance of winning the divison...

    Underdog still not celebrating.

    2008-09-25 08:16:05
    34.   Ken Noe
    25 To paraphrase Christopher Lasch (I can't find the exact quotation), I am not optimistic but I am hopeful. Optimism, growing from past successes, wilts in the face of adversity. Hope, growing from past loss, transcends adversity.
    2008-09-25 08:17:26
    35.   cargill06
    33 My mistake I forgot to add in today's games...99.85%
    2008-09-25 08:22:21
    36.   jasonungar07
    I'd love to celebrate a pennant tonight at the My Morning Jacket concert in San Diego. To bad it wasn't in San Francisco or Arizona. LOL
    2008-09-25 08:22:31
    37.   MC Safety
    1 No!!! Trainwreck's an MIA fan! Bummer...
    2008-09-25 08:29:50
    38.   Jonny6
    The most insufferable person of the day award is a tight race between Plaschke and Penny. Can't these blowhards just keep their mouths shut so I can actually enjoy the division title for a moment.

    Jon, are you going to have time to give us your thoughts on the anticipated playoff roster? I'm always interested in the machinations behind those decisions, but this time it's especially intriguing because we have so many question marks with the uncertain health status of Kuo, Saito, Kent, and Furcal.

    2008-09-25 08:34:37
    39.   GiantturnedDodger
    Spent last night in a sports bar in the Denver area watching on two screens the end of the AZ game and all of the Dodgers game. A great night indeed. Only negative was DT hung on my blackberry at comment 26. I love keeping tabs on the DT while traveling. It truly is a great way to enjoy Dodger baseball.
    2008-09-25 08:36:17
    40.   oshea2002
    38 - I'm not a Plaschke fan, but I think he meant well here. I will reserve thoughts on Penny so as not to violate any rules.
    2008-09-25 08:38:25
    41.   underdog
    33 Naw, I'm celebrating. :-) Though official celebration will wait til it's, you know, official. Again, I would have loved to see them celebrate in person tomorrow night in SF but would rather them just get it over with today and not chance it.
    2008-09-25 08:38:41
    42.   Jon Weisman
    38 - If and when they clinch...
    2008-09-25 08:39:48
    43.   Bluebleeder87
    From what I read the other day Saito is gonna be eased back into the closer roll.
    2008-09-25 08:40:58
    44.   MC Safety
    The championship game in xeifrank's baseball league is two weeks long! Who does that? I thought I had the first week in the bag 7-3, only to check the league and find out I'm barely grasping onto a 6-4 lead. And Kershaw and Wainwright's starts were wasted on the bench cuz I thought it was over!


    2008-09-25 08:40:59
    45.   underdog
    Huh, I wonder if I should head to SFO with my camera. Anyone see this from Tony Jackson:

    >>What I DID learn after the game is that division title or no, the annual rookie hazing will go on as scheduled for tomorrow night's flight to San Francisco. I'm sworn to secrecy on what the costumes are going to be, but let's just say it's an eclectic mix. The veterans found a costume rental place in South Pas that was going out of business, so they loaded up.<<

    2008-09-25 08:42:32
    46.   cargill06
    41 Weird as it is, I'm kind of rooting for Arizona to win. It would be cool to get a chance to clinch in front of the fans and see the crowds reaction after the final out.
    2008-09-25 08:44:11
    47.   Bob Timmermann
    I know that costume rental place!

    I wonder how they stayed in business.

    They had just about everything.

    2008-09-25 08:46:47
    48.   Jim Hitchcock
    Okay, I've removed the curse on Tony La Russa.
    Stephen King assures me he's contacted the gypsy.
    2008-09-25 08:50:57
    49.   Disabled List
    46 Let's just wrap this thing up ASAP. I don't want to have to sacrifice any more goats at the office. I was getting weird looks from my co-workers yesterday.

    Go Cards!

    2008-09-25 08:55:12
    50.   Bluebleeder87
    Billingsley IP'd by year including ERA+

    '06 90.0 ERA+ 118
    '07 147.0 ERA+ 138
    '08 198.7 ERA+ 140

    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2008-09-25 09:02:18
    51.   Jonny6
    My guess at the playoff roster

    Field/Bench (14):
    C: Martin
    1B: Loney
    2B: DeWitt
    SS: Berroa
    3B: Blake
    RF: Ethier
    CF: Kemp
    LF: Ramirez
    Garciaparra, Ardoin, Pierre, Kent, Furcal, (Young or Repko or Sweeney or Ozuna or Hu)

    Starters (4):
    Lowe, Billingsley, Kuroda (on the roster even though he may not start in a short series), Kershaw (same caveat as Kuroda)

    Bullpen (7):
    Broxton, Saito, Beimel, Wade, Park, Kuo (replace with Elbert if injured), Proctor (replace with Maddux if you're sentimental)

    I have a feeling that both Furcal and Kent will make the playoff roster. If that's the case, we may actually see Ozuna on the roster because he's the most versatile (can play 2nd, short, ph, bunt, and run).

    On the pitchers, I would be shocked if Kershaw doesn't make the roster. He's in close proximity to his suggested inning limits, and they're not going to shut him down now that we've made the playoffs. I would be mildly surprised if Maddux makes the roster. One thing I give Torre credit for is him being a realist. He may give veterans the benefit of the doubt early in the season, but once his conclusion about performance is reached he seems to stick to it. My guess is that Torre fully understands that Maddux is done as a starter and that things aren't going to magically change in the post-season; if he's not going to start, it's hard to envision a scenario where Maddux provides a better option out of the bullpen than our existing guys, so I'm betting that Maddux begins his bench coach career early.

    2008-09-25 09:07:22
    52.   cargill06
    Manny's entire '08 totals-
    2nd in VORP- 82.6
    3rd in OPS- 1.034 adn OPS+-165

    Amazing season for a 37 year old.

    2008-09-25 09:07:53
    53.   Jonny6
    I was a little too excited to wait, hence my two cents in 51.

    Are we technically in the playoffs already? In a one-game playoff scenario do they use the 25-man roster or can they use the current one loaded up with September call-ups.

    2008-09-25 09:13:52
    54.   Bob Timmermann
    Tiebreakers are regular season games. All hands on deck.

    Remember Brady Clark was playing for the Padres last year in their game.

    2008-09-25 09:28:11
    55.   RamMan
    Sorry if it's been posted already, but I thought this article was interesting and holds some truth.

    2008-09-25 09:32:37
    56.   underdog
    I know someone answered this before but I missed it -- what's the rule for a playoff roster if someone gets hurt? Can you replace them during that series with someone else on the 40 man, or do you have to wait 'til (if) you make the next series? i.e., if Furcal is put on the playoff roster and then in the first game, "Ow! My back!" and is disabled, can they replace him with someone else? Thanks, I'll take my answer off the air.
    2008-09-25 09:35:22
    57.   Jacob L
    Hi, everybody! This is my once-every-few-weeks post. Some coupla random thoughts -

    I'm wholeheartedly rooting for the Cards to finish things off this afternoon. Winning on the field, with the attendant jumping around and all that, is nice, but I think the fewer meaningful games we have this week, the better.
    That, and Maddux makes me nervous (to think I could say that about a Maddux not named Mike).

    Speaking of things that make me nervous, the reintegration of long-injured players in the final week is going to be tough to manage. Again, that's one of the reasons I want the practice games. At their bests, Furcal, Kent, and Saito obviously help, but who knows how good they'll actually be? And their returns may push some useful players to the bench or off the playoff roster.

    Finally, I'm sorry I haven't been able to participate more here lately (just been busy). While I've managed to watch most of the games, and I'm certainly excited, I feel quite a bit less involved and invested than in 04 or 06. That has a lot to do with not having the ability to hang on every word at DT.

    2008-09-25 09:38:05
    58.   fanerman
    I'm so tired. I was up all night knocking on wood to cover for everybody's premature celebrations.

    Everybody here needs to go outside, turn around three times, and spit, and curse, and do everything. Everything! Even if it's 25 degrees Fahrenheit outside, which it is not.

    2008-09-25 09:43:28
    59.   Jacob L
    I'm fairly certain you cannot make roster changes during a playoff series, but you can between series in the case of injury.
    2008-09-25 09:47:31
    60.   Marty
    The Dallas-Ft. Worth airport has really weak food offerings. At least in the American terminal.
    2008-09-25 09:52:19
    61.   Kevin Lewis

    Yea, we weren't able to replace Beimel, right?

    2008-09-25 09:54:30
    62.   cargill06
    An hour before the Dodgers would move to the brink of their first division title in four years, Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake sat side-by-side, watching the Cleveland Indians play the Boston Red Sox. On the only other television in the room, the Diamondbacks were falling two runs behind the St. Louis Cardinals, a game watched intently by nearly a dozen baseball writers. And closer Jonathan Broxton.;_ylt=Ap6lGbOnu77dsOUuwi8OK1gRvLYF?slug=ti-dodgers092408&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

    2008-09-25 09:55:19
    63.   Bumsrap
    From what I have been reading the Dodgers will have a different playoff roster for each of the three possible series. Kent might make the second roster but less likely the first.

    I can't imagine having more than one injury risk on the first series roster. I think Nomar will be that risk. Furcal needs a strong final four games to get out of that injury risk category. I would like to see Hu on the first roster.

    2008-09-25 09:57:53
    64.   Bumsrap
    Maddux would be a good person to have in the dugout for the playoffs.
    2008-09-25 09:59:24
    65.   underdog
    I agree, given the above, then I think it might be too risky to carry both Kent and Furcal (and Nomar on the roster). If all those guys are healthy the upside is of course huge, but if 1-2 of them get hurt the team is screwed and there won't be a second series anyway. Still, I, too, am one hoping they clinch today in part so they can give Furcal some more PT in less pressure-filled games, to see how healthy he looks. If he's just gonna sit on the bench in a playoff series they might as well keep him inactive. Kent seems unlikely to play in the field but would still be a boost to the bench, to the rather thin PH corps. Anyway, the next few days are big not just in hopes the Dodgers clinch playoff spot but in trying to figure out potential playoff roster. Will be doubly interesting.
    2008-09-25 10:00:08
    66.   underdog
    Yeah Maddux should be made active with the coaching staff, inactive on the player roster. :-)
    2008-09-25 10:02:14
    67.   briano
    First things first. I was wrong about this teams heart and my prediction that the season was over several weeks back. I love being wrong on something like this. Next, I agree with some of the others here that PLASCHKE's heart was in the right place. The Dodgers are THE Dodgers, and with that comes the great tradition of winning championships. Newc was right. Lastly, The Office starts its 5th season tonight, hopefully the Dodgers will have clinched early. I don't have Tivo so I still have to switch back and forth to keep an eye on both. I don't want to miss a thing. Jon, thanks also for a great beginning to today's festivities.
    2008-09-25 10:03:06
    68.   goofus
    51 Oh yeah, explain Sweeney.

    My guess (not my choice)
    Loney, Nomar, DeWitt, Berroa, Blake, Ozuna, Sweeney, Kent, Furcal, Manny, Kemp, Ethier, Pierre, Martin, Ardoin, Billingsly, Lowe, Kuroda, Saito, Broxton, Beimel, Wade, Maddux, Proctor, Park

    2008-09-25 10:05:43
    69.   underdog
    68 I have a feeling Ozuna's gonna be left off, barring an injury. Sweeney really is borderline, too, as hard as that is to believe. It really depends on Kent and Furcal. Since Nomar can play 1st (and so can Kent in a pinch) and all of then hit better than Sweeney, lefty or not I think he's on the bubble.
    2008-09-25 10:09:47
    70.   goofus
    69 You're missing the point; Colletti, and Torre, love old veterans, performance be damned. Hence, Sweeney, Maddux, and dare I say Troncoso, will be on the roster. Take it to the bank.
    2008-09-25 10:12:09
    71.   goofus
    Sorry about this, wish we could edit our posts. I'd gladly give up both Sweeney's and Maddux's spots to have D. Young instead.
    2008-09-25 10:15:16
    72.   silverwidow
    70 Troncoso is a rookie.
    2008-09-25 10:17:44
    73.   Jon Weisman
    2008-09-25 10:19:14
    74.   briano
    Sorry guys. What does NPUT mean?
    2008-09-25 10:20:37
    75.   Bluebleeder87

    honorable mention:

    Chan ho Park

    W 4 L 3
    IP'd 94
    BB 35
    Dingers 12
    K's 78
    ERA 3.06
    ERA+ 145

    2008-09-25 10:25:07
    76.   Dane Bramage
    74 NPUT = New Post Up Top...
    2008-09-25 10:25:57
    77.   mwhite06
    74 It means there is a new post up top.
    2008-09-25 10:29:05
    78.   briano
    2008-09-25 13:43:20
    79.   Jim Hitchcock
    Looking pretty good here.

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