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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Dancing Homer Becomes a Dodger
2008-09-30 06:37
by Jon Weisman

In this column and this blog post, Tom Hoffarth of the Daily News writes about how Emmy-winning writer Ken Levine and his partner David Isaacs made up the nickname "Isotopes" for a Simpsons episode - a nickname that Albuquerque's minor league franchise adopted to replace its old nickname of "Dukes."

This year, Levine became the Dodgers' current talkradio co-host, and just recently, Albuquerque reaffiliated with the Dodgers. Now, to borrow from another show, it's all in the family:

You think the Albuquerque Isotopes is a funny name? So does the guy who helped make it up. He's right up there in the Dodger Stadium press box with the radioactive grin.

Funny thing is, in a system where Hollywood scriptwriters base a lot of their survival on residual checks, Ken Levine will probably never see a cut of the phenomenal merchandise sales the Dodgers' new Triple-A affiliate has generated since it came into existence in 2003.

Doh, as Homer Simpson would say.

"We never thought anyone would really name a team the Isotopes - we did it as a joke," Levine said of himself and writing partner David Isaacs, who penned an episode of "The Simpsons" that aired way back in its second season, 1990, called "Dancing Homer." ...

Now it's full circle for Levine, a Valley native who grew up embracing the Albuquerque Dukes as the farm team of his beloved Dodgers. And he'll get to talk about them nightly during the season the radio.

"I look forward next year on the Dodgers post-game show to talk about how the minor-league teams have been doing, and then say, ' 'Topes win!'" said Levine. ...

I actually bought an Albuquerque Isotopes T-shirt years ago. I'll be wearing it with even more pride going forward.

Update: Josh Rawitch has made the Dodgers' official postseason media guide available at Inside the Dodgers.

Comments (71)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-09-30 06:52:43
1.   Ken Noe
0 When I was in college, we played a lot of APBA baseball. I kept all my extra players in an envelope labeled "Albuquerque."
2008-09-30 07:06:25
2.   Marty
It's funny. Until the recent talk about it, I didn't remember the Springfield team name. But I always chuckle when I think of the Shelbyville Shelbyvillians.
2008-09-30 07:10:19
3.   MollyKnight
Bart Simpson and I used to be the same age.
2008-09-30 07:38:36
4.   MollyKnight
Do we have a playoff roster yet?
2008-09-30 08:20:31
5.   Humma Kavula
Go Topes.
2008-09-30 08:31:17
6.   Jon Weisman
Josh Rawitch has made the Dodgers' official postseason media guide available at Inside the Dodgers.

2008-09-30 08:39:14
7.   Andrew Shimmin
Pretty sure that the most recent Chicago Manual of Style requires that any post or comment linking to Inside the Dodgers must contain the closing: "Go Dodgers!!![!!]"

The last two exclamation points are optional, but encouraged.

2008-09-30 08:50:52
8.   underdog
4 Sounds like playoff rosters aren't due officially until tomorrow morning.

I am pretty sure the only thing we're still unsure of is the last position player -- will it be Delwyn? (I hope so.) Or will it be Sweeney or Ozuna or someone like that...? I'm going to say Pee Wee has about a 75% chance of being the one, the others splitting the remaining chance.

Assuming Maddux and Kershaw both make it, then I think pitching is set, too.

2008-09-30 09:00:13
9.   bhsportsguy
8 Sorry to disagree with you underdog but I think you have it reversed. I think it will be Ozuna (80%)/Sweeney (15%) or Young (5%).
2008-09-30 09:04:26
10.   underdog
9 Really? Do you have inside info or based on the looks they were giving Ozuna this weekend? You may be right, but I hope not.
2008-09-30 09:04:55
11.   D4P
Torrietti will want someone who's "been there before*".

*Whether they actually have or not.

2008-09-30 09:12:49
12.   MollyKnight
I enjoy all the different languages in which Dodger fans wrote "No Sweeney" in the ITD comments this morning.
2008-09-30 09:14:42
13.   D4P
Hard to comprehend why Ned would keep Sweeney for the entire season only to exclude him from the playoff roster.
2008-09-30 09:17:00
14.   old dodger fan
12 Sweeney-bu yao
2008-09-30 09:17:37
15.   Kevin Lewis

Sadly, I can see this being a valid reason for Torre and Ned.

2008-09-30 09:17:52
16.   Jon Weisman
13 - I'm not saying it will happen, but until tomorrow, infielders Loney, Blake, Furcal, Garciaparra, DeWitt, Berroa and Kent have never been on the same 25-man roster. Four of those guys can play first base. So there is objectively less room or reason for Sweeney than there was all season.
2008-09-30 09:19:38
17.   underdog
11 Ozuna has one game of post-season experience. Though I guess that's one more than Delwyn.

At any rate, I've decided I'm not gonna get my undies all in a bunch over the last roster spot. I like the players we have overall going into the post-season and am excited to watch these games this week.

2008-09-30 09:22:43
18.   underdog
Bleed Cubbie Blue looks at the games the Cubs and Dodgers played vs. each other earlier this season, which, as they note, included a Dodger team very different than the one they have now. (Though I don't think they emphasize enough just how different they are.)

2008-09-30 09:24:07
19.   natepurcell
2nd or 3rd base if Furcal is signed to a long term deal. DeJesus may be ready by mid-2009, but it won't hurt the Dodgers or DeJesus to stash him until 2010 where a spot might be open for him. If DeWitt stays at 2nd, the Dodgers should really try to take at look at DeJesus at 3rd. He's 5'11", the same height as DeWitt is, and if he can play SS, he can field 3rd base as well.

Dejesus would provide sub .400 slugging....I dont want that at 3b sorry.

2008-09-30 09:27:52
20.   Bob Timmermann
Don't forget Mark Sweeney's .357 BA in postseason play. Including a big 2 for 3 for the 2005 Padres.
2008-09-30 09:32:32
21.   D4P
ESPN tells me that Sweeney's postseason BA is .273...
2008-09-30 09:34:55
22.   Tripon
19 He also has a post .400 OBP this year. And in past years, he's been clipped around .380. DeJesus just knows how to get on base. And while he wouldn't be a prototypical 3rd baseman, he'll be our own Chone Figgins, a guy who really should be at another position but is playing 3rd base out of necessity. And he went on a tear during the second half this year. He might not produce 20 homers, but he'll get on base for guys like Ethier, Kemp, and (hopefully) Manny.
2008-09-30 09:38:28
23.   Bob Timmermann
Sweeney is 5 for 14 in the postseason.
2008-09-30 09:40:52
24.   D4P
ESPN says that Sweeney is 3 for 14 in the postseason.
2008-09-30 09:41:49
25.   D4P
BR says 5 for 14.
2008-09-30 09:41:52
26.   underdog
There are quite a few guys with great post-season numbers who are dead now. Maybe the Dodgers could look at Mickey Mantle or the late Kirby Puckett to fill that last spot.
2008-09-30 09:44:50
27.   KG16
26 - I'd prefer DiMaggio.
2008-09-30 09:49:35
28.   old dodger fan
25 ESPN left out his 1998 WS stats (not that I remember them-but that's the difference between the 2).
2008-09-30 09:51:10
29.   natepurcell

I have no problem with a Dejesus/Dewitt middle infield combo coming...2010 or so. I would like to re-sign furcal for next year and have Ivan smack the ball around in AAA for a while before bringing him up.

2008-09-30 09:51:32
30.   Bob Timmermann
Joe Dimaggio batted .271 in the World Series.

So, he's no Mark Sweeney. He did hit 8 home runs, but none at Yankee Stadium.

2008-09-30 09:54:00
31.   Kevin Lewis
I think I already know the answer to this, but there is no place to watch the games online, correct?

[Hangs head in sadness]

2008-09-30 09:55:04
32.   KG16
30 - well, luckily, the world series won't be at Yankee Stadium (in any configuration) this year.
2008-09-30 09:55:11
33.   Bob Timmermann
How about if I turn the TV on at my place, turn my computer around and face the webcam toward the screen?
2008-09-30 09:57:23
34.   Blue in SF
I love that Billz was born in Defiance but resides in Surprise.....
2008-09-30 09:58:19
35.   Bob Timmermann
So in the old days, did pirates give interviews?

2008-09-30 09:58:38
36.   D4P
This website might work. You'll have to click the "Live Sports" link at the top around the time the game starts to see if it's listed.

2008-09-30 10:01:19
37.   Jon Weisman
Will MLB Gameday also lack the video clips in their boxscores, then?

I am debating whether or not to take leave of work before 3:30 tomorrow.

2008-09-30 10:01:34
38.   KG16
35 - I want to know what the interview process is for the position "Pirates' spokesman". And I have to wonder if that's actually were Brock has been lately.
2008-09-30 10:05:03
39.   Bob Timmermann
The nationally televised games haven't appeared as Gameday clips all year, so I doubt they would change.
2008-09-30 10:07:24
40.   cargill06
Joe Dimaggio batted .271 in the World Series.

So, he's no Mark Sweeney. He did hit 8 home runs, but none at Yankee Stadium.


2008-09-30 10:10:41
41.   cargill06
Lohse got 4 years 48 mil???

Thank goodness Ned never got a chance to get in on that.

2008-09-30 10:12:07
42.   D4P
$12 million/year appears to be the going rate for mediocre/crappy starters.
2008-09-30 10:15:39
43.   Harold M Johnson
Eat Birria on Wednesday:
2008-09-30 10:19:19
44.   old dodger fan
Lohse recent history

2008 200 IP; 113 ERA+
2007 193 IP; 100 ERA+
2006 127 IP; 78 ERA+
2005 179 IP 106 ERA+

I wouldn't call that crappy but it seems like a lot of money, even for baseball.

2008-09-30 10:21:35
45.   overkill94
34 I was bummed that my suggestion of "Prize Winner" never took off for Billingsley, but luckily someone came up with His Royal Thighness - which is even better.
2008-09-30 10:24:01
46.   old dodger fan
Derek Lowe same period

2008 211 IP; 136 ERA+
2007 199 IP; 118 ERA+
2006 218 IP; 124 ERA+
2005 222 IP 114 ERA+

I wonder what he will get?

2008-09-30 10:24:17
47.   Louis in SF
Given the Lohse contract is it safe to say that Lowe who my guess is looking for at least 3 years should easily be able to get 3 years at 45 million?
2008-09-30 10:27:15
48.   ToyCannon
I have to agree with BH, I think Torre goes for the multi dimensional speed factor of Osuna over the one dimensional Sweeney. Osuna can suck at multiple things while Sweeney can only suck at hitting RHP.

If Nomar starts against LHP then Loney is on the bench as your late inning LHH. If Loney plays Kent can hit either arm. If Kent starts then DeWitt is your LHH. No matter how you cut it, Sweeney is expendable.

2008-09-30 10:29:06
49.   Jim Hitchcock
So the only guy on ESPN backing the Dodgers over the Cubbies is Peter Gammons.

Just goes to show how far a little brain salad surgery can go in clarifying one's thinking!

2008-09-30 10:29:33
50.   ToyCannon
Sounds right. He'd be just what the Dodger Rays need in 2009 with the solid infield defense. He has to stay away from NY with a middle infield defense of Jeter/Cano and Boston doesn't need him.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-09-30 10:29:38
51.   D4P
No matter how you cut it, Sweeney is expendable

...and has been all season. Yet, he's still here.

2008-09-30 10:30:17
52.   Jim Hitchcock
37 Jon, you have to!
2008-09-30 10:32:34
53.   ToyCannon
How many are hoping we just win some games and don't really expect us to beat the Cubs since they have the home field advantage? We haven't won a road postseason game in 20 years and this team hasn't exactly earned the right to consider themselves road warriors against quality teams.
2008-09-30 10:35:56
54.   old dodger fan
53 I'll be disppointed with anything less than a WS Championship. I expect us to beat the Cubs.
2008-09-30 10:37:03
55.   delias man
53 But they only need one in Chicago!
2008-09-30 10:38:02
56.   Jim Hitchcock
53 TC is going all `Que Sera, Sera' on us...
2008-09-30 10:38:42
57.   Bob Timmermann
I would be happy if the Dodgers lost eight games in the postseason.
2008-09-30 10:40:52
58.   Daniel Zappala
Count me as someone who expects the Dodgers to beat the Cubs. I'm also grateful I'm on the East Coast, because that means a 6:30pm start for me tomorrow.
2008-09-30 10:40:53
59.   Eric Stephen
The logic of my brain tells me it will be tough to beat the Cubs, but if we don't win at least one series I will probably be emotionally crushed.

I have a good feeling about this team, and I've emotionally put all my chips to the center of the table. Hopefully, the Dodgers' pair of aces will win the day*.

*The poker analogy would have worked better against the team from Queens.

2008-09-30 10:41:57
60.   Eric Stephen
But...if they lose...8 games...hey, wait a minute! Woo hoo!
2008-09-30 10:42:55
61.   D4P
What about zero? One? Two?
2008-09-30 10:43:30
62.   Bob Timmermann
I want to be edgy and root for eight losses.
2008-09-30 10:45:21
63.   underdog
58 Either Utah moved to the east coast, or you did. Or you're traveling?

I'm going to "work at home" tomorrow afternoon. My coworkers can ping me via IM, which I'll ignore most of the time and claim I was busy. Actually, they'll know what I'm watching.

2008-09-30 10:51:02
64.   Daniel Zappala
63 Utah did indeed move east to Atlanta on Sunday. It will return to it's normal place on Thursday. Since this move is temporary, we're expecting no lasting effect on the National Park system.
2008-09-30 10:59:29
65.   Tripon
One of the NFL's most contentious relationships ended Tuesday. Raiders owner Al Davis fired Lane Kiffin, who was 5-15 during his tenure in Oakland. Tom Cable could replace him, a source said.

Looks like the Raiders dodged the Paul Hackett bullet.

2008-09-30 11:02:45
66.   underdog
65 I was going to say poor Kiffin, but he's probably relieved. Cable eh? {insert joke about Comcast here}
2008-09-30 11:03:18
67.   bhsportsguy
65 Also, the story makes a clear that Davis must be asserting some violation of Kiffin's contract because the story I saw said he was firing him with no pay.

Torre said as much over the weekend if he has Nomar and Kent available off the bench, the right/left situational hitting role becomes less important.

2008-09-30 11:04:12
68.   Eric Stephen
Paul Hackett is on my short list (with Brady Quinn) of people that would make me suspend my Raider fandom. I already went through Hackett at USC; I don't want him again with one of my teams.
2008-09-30 11:05:34
69.   Eric Stephen
I don't think Al needs a reason to not pay people, in his mind. He pulled the same move with Shanahan.
2008-09-30 11:06:59
70.   Jon Weisman
2008-09-30 11:07:21
71.   underdog
Yeah and I think Shanahan is still trying to sue Davis to get that missing pay. Which will happen over Al's dead body, I guess. Which could be soon. Or never.

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