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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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The Dodger Thoughts 2008 Postseason Guide - NLCS Update
2008-10-08 21:30
by Jon Weisman

It's Official: Kuo On, Saito Off
Hong Chih-Kuo has officially replaced Takashi Saito on the Dodger roster for the NCLS, the team announced Thursday morning.
Previously: The Dodger Thoughts 2008 Postseason Guide

Has it only been a week since our last playoff series opener? I think we've lived half a lifetime in those seven-plus days. In any case, here are some news and views on the Dodgers heading into Thursday's National League Championship Series opener against Philadelphia.

Catchers (2): Russell Martin, Danny Ardoin

Martin seemed rejuvenated in the NL Division Series – a likely cause being the off days he received heading in. In the past 14 days, Martin has played 38 innings of baseball. That doesn't guarantee anything, but Dodger fans will embrace his rest. In six career postseason games, Martin has a .930 OPS, and he'll bat cleanup in Game 1. Ardoin remains an emergency catcher.

Infielders (8): James Loney, Blake DeWitt, Rafael Furcal, Casey Blake, Nomar Garciaparra, Angel Berroa, Jeff Kent, Pablo Ozuna

Loney had three hits in the NLDS, but two of them were game-winning blasts. It seemed like he might be benched against a left-handed starter like Cole Hamels, but he has been given the start in Game 1. (Hamels' career numbers are actually worse against lefties.) The same rationale will also help keep DeWitt in the lineup and an eager Kent on the bench, though you could see Kent appear in a game in a double-switch.

On the left side of the infield, Furcal made his case for Comeback Player of the Week honors by reaching 7 out of 15 times in the NLDS after seeing first base only three times since May 5. He's a huge presence at the top of the lineup, but who among us isn't still holding their breath with every move he makes. (Side note: That RBI bunt single in Chicago was the kind of thing a lesser player would have been vilified for attempting - let's hear it for execution.) His mate at third base, Blake, had a fairly quiet NLDS - three singles, no walks – but as someone who slugged .531 on the road this year, he might have a home run lurking inside him for Philly.

Garciaparra wasn't needed at all in the NLDS, but he'll have his chances off the bench this time around. One wonders if a rested Garciaparra might be the first choice as a backup to Furcal, but if recent form holds, Berroa will be the first infielder off the bench defensively. Ozuna stands by.

Outfielders (4): Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Juan Pierre

There might be a good amount of early series chatter about the struggles Ramirez has had at Citizen's Bank Park: .264 on-base percentage, .647 OPS - and whether Phillies skipper Charlie Manuel, who managed Ramirez in AAA, has some unique hold on him. All three of Ramirez's career homers at the ballpark came in 2005. My guess is that Ramirez's Citizen numbers relate to small sample size, but it will certainly be a story if the Phils can hold him down. (It's not that Manuel is fearless - he did walk Ramirez intentionally four times this year.)

Neither Kemp nor Ethier earned any Star of the Game honors against Chicago, but as quiet series go, they made some noise. Ethier went 1 for 10 but walked four times, seeing 62 pitches (4.4 per at bat). His discipline in Game 1 set up Loney's series-seizing grand slam, and his long fly to right with two on in Game 3 came close to being the capper on the NLDS itself. In the first minute of the post-series celebration, Torre gave Ethier an unmistakably encouraging pep talk, hands on both cheeks like a father boosting a son. Despite his .100 batting average, Ethier did not fade in the NLDS, and a rebound seems more than plausible in the coming week.

Kemp only reached base twice in the NLDS, both times hitting doubles. He struck out five times, and made hearts skip when a Game 3 flyball nearly went over his head. It was not a good series for him. But how many times has he looked bad and then quickly stunned you with a huge game? For those of you who care about Ramirez's sub-par showing against Philadelphia this year, Kemp OPSed .908 against the Phillies in 2008.

Pierre was 0 for 1 against Chicago and doesn't figure to get much more playing time, barring the unfortunate. A homer-happy park like the Phillies play doesn't help Pierre at all, whose warning track is the infield dirt. But there's still potential pinch-running heroism in his future.

Pitchers (11 of these 12): Derek Lowe, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Clayton Kershaw, Jonathan Broxton, Joe Beimel, Cory Wade, Chan Ho Park, James McDonald, Greg Maddux, Takashi Saito, Hong-Chih Kuo

Lowe has assumed the role of staff ace even though Billingsley had the better overall year. No one's complaining, as Lowe has been superb since August 6: a 1.41 ERA including the postseason. In that time, Lowe has also gotten better fielding than usual - he hasn't allowed an unearned run. That's critical to his success. It's hard to imagine a scenario in which a healthy Lowe does not start Game 4 on three days' rest, setting himself up for a potential Game 7 start on regular rest - except for the unlikely prospect of the Dodgers being up 3-0. But be prepared: If CC Sabathia can have a bad game against the Phillies, so can Lowe.

Should the Dodgers hold Lowe out for Game 5, that would set up their Game 2 starter, the 24-year-old Billingsley, to start Game 6 as well. The Eyes-on-the-Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio answered questions about his October physical and mental makeup with outstanding work in Game 2 against Chicago. Billingsley has thrown only 119 pitches in the past two weeks, so odds are good he'll continue his postseason second wind.

Kuroda has gotten swept up in the post-NLDS praise for Dodger starting pitching. If he was a bit underrated heading into that series, perhaps he has been a bit overrated coming out of it. He was often in trouble against Chicago, particularly because of his difficulties in closing out hitters with two strikes. The Phillies don't figure to let him off the hook so easily. That being said, Kuroda did leave with a shutout intact and will benefit from pitching the upcoming Game 3 once more in front of a fervently supportive Dodger Stadium crowd.

As close followers of the Dodgers know by now, the fate of lefty Kuo will affect the fate of lefty Kershaw. Kuo seems to have the green light to pitch against the Phillies but won't be used on back-to-back days - meaning that means Kershaw will be on call in relief in at least one of the opening two games of the series. That doesn't preclude him from starting Game 4, but again, you have to ask yourself, do the Dodgers put a 20-year-old who has at this point not pitched in a game since September 28 into a start when they could use Lowe? It would potentially be the stuff of legend, but the Dodgers will be blessed if they haven't needed to make the most out of Kershaw in relief before then.

Torre has shown some interest in making Maddux the third right-handed reliever, setting up Wade and Broxton, especially if Saito is left off the roster. But given the probability that Beimel and Kershaw or Kuo will help shoulder much of the bullpen work for the Dodgers (with McDonald and Park as the long relievers should events go badly or long), it wouldn't be a surprise for Torre to hold Maddux back for a Dodger Stadium Game 4.

A final word about Saito: It's my feeling that reports of his demise as first-choice Dodger closer have been exaggerated. Yes, if his health or mechanics are bothering him and the team decides he can't pitch, that's one thing. But too much has been made about the results of his Game 2 outing in Chicago. He entered the game with a 10-1 lead in the ninth inning, meaning he had one principal mission on each pitch: throw a strike. On eight of 13 pitches, he succeeded. Yes, three of those pitches were ripped for hits - by the Cubs' No. 3, 4 and 5 hitters. But it's only because Saito's health is a concern that this was even an issue.

In the next game, Broxton, who followed Saito in Game 2 by allowing a walk and a line-drive out before striking out the final two batters - closed out the series with tremendous authority, striking out three of four. And suddenly, the man whom for two months I had to repeatedly defend against questioning that he could be a closer was declared by the whole world to be one.

I couldn't be more gratified or happier for Broxton. But I don't see this changing of the guard here to be any different than what we saw two months ago. In my opinion, if Saito were to be 100 percent in the NLCS, then Broxton pitches the eighth and Saito pitches the ninth (except in a situation like we had Saturday, when Broxton breezed through his portion of the eighth and there was no reason to take him out). Or to put it another way: As thrilling as Broxton was in Game 3, he's still going to have outings like he had in Game 2. That being the case, would he still be the closer over a healthy Saito? Seems unlikely.

Of course, in the end most of this is irrelevant for me. I'm no fan of the closer title to begin with. The beauty of the Dodger bullpen is that in a given situation, a healthy Kuo might be better than any of these guys. My point is that with Broxton and Saito, there's been a lot of bandwagon hopping, in both directions. The fact is that most of the time, these guys are great but fallible relievers. Injuries will dictate their usage, but if they're healthy, the Dodgers should be comfortable with any of them.

But enough about the bullpen ...


I continue to be struck, if not slightly haunted, by how easily the postseason could have been different. If the Cubs bring in left-handed reliever Sean Marshall to face James Loney in the fifth inning of Game 1 ... if you take away just one of their errors in Game 2 ... if Martin is out by a hair instead of safe in the first inning of Game 3 ... that's how easily the Dodgers could have been sweptees instead of sweptors. (For another example, consider what might have happened had the Angels made one fewer mistake in any of their Boston games.) The Dodgers truly did dominate the Cubs and I don't think what I'm saying takes anything away from that, but you don't have to work hard to play a game of "what if" and come up with an opposite result.

The Phillies and Dodgers each have huge weapons. There is easily a scenario in which all four games are close, the teams are practically even - and yet one team sweeps all four. That's how it went in Los Angeles in August, with the Dodgers winning four games in a row - two in the bottom of the ninth - by a combined six runs. The Phillies' sweep later in the month came more handily, though one of Philadelphia's wins required runs in the bottom of the ninth and 11th innings.

If you look at the head-to-head results in the regular season, the situation resembles that of the Dodgers' subtle advantage against the Cubs - when Los Angeles lost, it lost close games; when it won, it won more easily. In other words, Philadelphia was the better regular-season team. Combine that with their home-field advantage in the NLCS, and they deserve favorite status.

But two counterpoints remain in the Dodgers' favor. First, the return of Furcal. Second, the possibility that the Dodgers can pitch much better than the 5.48 ERA they allowed against the Phillies during the regular season.

The Dodgers have room for improvement against Philadelphia. Will they improve? And will that improvement be more than any improvement the Phillies might have? We'll have to play the games to find out.

As for Game 1, I do feel the pressure is more on Philadelphia. The cost to the Phillies of losing with Hamels at home is greater than the cost to the Dodgers of losing to Hamels on the road. No doubt the Dodgers want to get a victory at the first opportunity, but they know that if they come home with a split, they'll be thrilled, and the Phillies will be worried.

The eyes of baseball will be on the Dodgers and Phillies starting Thursday, and the hearts of the teams' fans will be in their throats. For the Phillies, the real pressure starts immediately; for the Dodgers, it doesn't come until Friday at the earliest. But when it comes ... watch out.

Comments (307)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-10-08 21:36:49
1.   Tripon
Got LAT'ed...

"He gives us, God forbid, a long guy," said Torre. "He or Maddux, but I prefer Maddux as an option later on. [James] McDonald would be another option."

Going back to this quote, Torre has to be talking about long relief, otherwise why mention McDonald? He's is definitely not a candidate to start game 4.

2008-10-08 21:39:30
2.   Tripon
(Side note: That RBI bunt single in Chicago was the kind of thing a lesser player would have been vilified for.)

Only if said player failed at the execution. (See Erick Aybar: 2008 ALDS game 3) Although its true we would have written it off to rust etc. if Furcal couldn't execute.

2008-10-08 21:48:10
3.   Gagne55
So when is the roster officially going to get announced?
2008-10-08 21:49:37
4.   LAbits
TWO posts ago - about the level of brutish behavior allowed by Dodger Stadium security - I'll spare you to whole story about me and my neighbor ... eleven of us incl our wives and kids... becoming collateral damage to the crowd's ire & projectiles towards a couple of well behaved Giants fans... not to mention Mr. Bluestreak vs. Barry Bonds' ancestry - his profanity even made his girlfriend white as a sheet. That was my LAST visit to Left Field Pavillion... sorry to say so, since I saw Singer's no hitter there for my birthday as a kid.
2008-10-08 21:50:12
5.   Jon Weisman
1 - You haven't gotten LATed if I haven't announced a new post before your comment.
2008-10-08 21:51:32
6.   Tripon
5 Bah! Details, details...
2008-10-08 21:53:19
7.   Jon Weisman
1 - You're still ignoring the "but." He's clearly preferring Maddux as an option for something besides long relief. And he's saying McDonald is being considered for the same option as Maddux.

I'm not saying McDonald is a real candidate to start. But this is not just a conversation about the back of the bullpen.

2 - You should reread what I wrote.

3 - Thursday morning.

2008-10-08 21:57:19
8.   68elcamino427
Lowe - Billingsley - Kuroda
Wade - Biemel - Kuo - Broxton

Pitching ... Pitching ... Pitching
The Key to the short series.

2008-10-08 21:58:35
9.   Jon Weisman
A movie on Lasorda being made by Miramax? With Michelle Pfeiffer as his wife? Ah, Liz Smith, you tickle me.
2008-10-08 22:00:34
10.   silverwidow
Hey guys, remember last Friday when I said I met Cory Wade at Rubio's in Pasadena?

Well, check this out (from Plaschke):

*He still remembers when nobody was watching, so much that he was startled five days ago when somebody recognized him at a taco restaurant.

"The woman at the counter called my first name with my order, and somebody said, 'Cory Wade, is that you?' " he said.*


2008-10-08 22:02:45
11.   Jon Weisman
10 - Awesome!
2008-10-08 22:03:24
12.   Eric Stephen
Very nice! You are probably the 2nd person here to be the subject of a Plaschke article. I'm counting Jon as part of the "bloggers" that "downright brutalized" Pierre, even if he didn't actually do so.
2008-10-08 22:07:00
13.   njr
Just got to NYC. Can't wait to go to Philly tomorrow. Will I be the only dt'er at tomorrow's pregame who was also at the picnic this year? Sadly we won't have any whiffle ball tomorrow. But oh yeah- we'll get to see the dodgers in the nlcs! I can take some pictures and post them on my iPhone if no one else has a camera. I hope all dt'ers in Philly come to the bar tomorrow. Remember- safety in numbers!
2008-10-08 22:07:13
14.   njr
Just got to NYC. Can't wait to go to Philly tomorrow. Will I be the only dt'er at tomorrow's pregame who was also at the picnic this year? Sadly we won't have any whiffle ball tomorrow. But oh yeah- we'll get to see the dodgers in the nlcs! I can take some pictures and post them on my iPhone if no one else has a camera. I hope all dt'ers in Philly come to the bar tomorrow. Remember- safety in numbers!
2008-10-08 22:07:14
15.   njr
Just got to NYC. Can't wait to go to Philly tomorrow. Will I be the only dt'er at tomorrow's pregame who was also at the picnic this year? Sadly we won't have any whiffle ball tomorrow. But oh yeah- we'll get to see the dodgers in the nlcs! I can take some pictures and post them on my iPhone if no one else has a camera. I hope all dt'ers in Philly come to the bar tomorrow. Remember- safety in numbers!
2008-10-08 22:07:15
16.   Jon Weisman
Has Wade really been driving a rental car for six months?
2008-10-08 22:08:12
17.   Jon Weisman
13-15: "Safety in numbers."

You said it!

2008-10-08 22:08:29
18.   Bilshaw
Chan Ho Park is good for nothing
2008-10-08 22:09:32
19.   njr
Sorry. iPhone troubles...
2008-10-08 22:10:07
20.   Eric Stephen
Why I think the Dodgers are slight favorites (sort of a repost from yesterday):

This offense can be broken into segments:

MVP Furcal: Mar 31 - May 5
Dead Zone: May 6 - July 31
MVP Manny: Aug 1 - Sep 28

During the "dead zone", the Dodger offense hit .244/.303/.359, and averaged 3.66 runs/game over 76 games (36-40 record).

During the "functioning offense" periods, the Dodgers hit .282/.358/.433, and averaged 4.91 runs/game over 86 games (48-38 record).

2008-10-08 22:14:22
21.   Tripon
Does the Manny trade happen without Furcal getting injured?
2008-10-08 22:17:00
22.   silverwidow
Not to nitpick, but...

I actually said "Hey, Cory Wade!" Not, "Cory Wade, is that you?"

Still amazing to be a tiny, tiny part of this article.

2008-10-08 22:20:03
23.   KG16
21 - yes. The Red Sox wanted to move Manny, they needed trading partners. The Diamondbacks probably still get Dunn and the Dodgers would need to react. Plus, the LaRoche angle still plays out like it did, the Dodgers probably still get Blake which allows them to move LaRoche
2008-10-08 22:20:38
24.   JJ42
13 From wiffle ball to this, that is awesome. This postseason is what many of us were hoping for at the picnic, but it feels so much better to be here now.
2008-10-08 22:22:45
25.   Jon Weisman
21 - maybe not, although the outfield and power would have had the same issues.
2008-10-08 22:26:22
26.   njr
:) :) :)

I know. I remember when I thought whiffle ball might be the highlight of the season.

2008-10-08 22:36:09
27.   Jacob Burch
I still think my Manny-esque laughable defense is a highlight!

23 Dunn happened after the deadline, so no "reaction" would be needed. I still think it would get done, unless the Furcal continued his torrid streak and gave us a bigger cushion in the NL West.

I'm looking to get a bite to eat Sunday before Game 3. I'm getting my haircut around 11am in the Silverlake area, and would be up for anything around then--possibly finding a cheap lot to carpool from to the Game. Email me at jacobburch at gmail dot com if you're interested! No promises, but I'd like to get something done.

2008-10-08 22:39:29
28.   Eric Stephen
Most Runs in a 4-Game Stretch, Dodger Postseason History*
24: 1981 WS Gms 3-6
24: 1956 WS Gms 1-4
23: 1955 WS Gms 1-4 OR Gms 2-5
23: 1978 NLCS Gms 2-4 & WS Gm 1 OR NLCS Gms 3-4 & WS Gms 1-2
22: 1988 NLCS Gms 2-5
22: 1977 NLCS Gms 1-4
21: 1978 NLCS Gms 1-4
21: 1977 WS Gms 2-5
21: 1947 WS Gms 3-6
20: 1974 NLCS Gms 1-4
20: 1953 WS Gms 3-6

*single years only

The Dodgers have scored 20 runs in their 3 playoff games this year thus far.

2008-10-08 22:40:09
29.   LogikReader
I get the impression that it's pretty easy to get to Philadelphia from NYC. I made my own trip to NY back in July and was so, so tempted to go to a Phillies game on top of the Yankees and Mets games. Is there some light rail train that gets the job done, or is it up to Amtrak?
2008-10-08 22:47:46
30.   LU Dodger
I am soooo sorry if this has already been shared, but how funny is this story about the Cub's players breaking a water pipe in the visiting dugout at Dodger Stadium, and Jim Hendry having to foot the bill!

2008-10-08 22:58:38
31.   DBrim
29 - Greyhound is cheap if you book in advance. Megabus is REALLY cheap. $1 if you book a few months in advance.
2008-10-08 22:59:11
32.   DBrim
31 - Er, I'm thinking of Boltbus. I'm getting my strange discount bus companies mixed up. They're legit, though, I've gone from Boston to NYC on them a few times.
2008-10-08 23:07:03
33.   popup
Terrific writing the last few days Jon.

Stan from Tacoma

2008-10-08 23:24:44
34.   milkshakeballa
Jacob...has anybody bought your ticket yet?
2008-10-08 23:25:12
35.   68elcamino427
Martin - Loney - Kemp
2008-10-08 23:28:44
36.   Frip
22 I actually said "Hey, Cory Wade!" Not, "Cory Wade, is that you?"

Yeah, ha, I thought the "Cory Wade, is that you?" sounded a little off. As if you dramatically rose up from your chair having recognized your long lost brother or something.

2008-10-08 23:30:50
37.   68elcamino427

Weisman - Scully

2008-10-08 23:46:05
38.   milkshakeballa
Also Jon, Bills will go game 2 and game 5, not game six I believe.
2008-10-08 23:48:16
39.   Tripon
Its shaping up to be.


Bright side is that if Lowe has to pitch 3 times this series, and we win the series, Bills get to pitch game one of the world series!

2008-10-08 23:48:28
40.   Bob Hendley
0 - Jon, I could have swore that during the post-game conference Torre said that he didn't pinch hit for Kuroda because he wanted at least another inning out of him due to doubts about Sammy. Moreover, that he was going to pick spots during the Phillies series(implying low-leverage ones)in order to get Sammy back on track. If this is the case, I am surprised that Proctor is not being brought back into the mix. Without Proctor, doesn't Torre run the risk of not having the Maddux/Clayton option for game 4 in his pocket if both Sammy and Kuo don't pan out and he has to Maddux/Clayton in relief. I guess there is always Park, but am I missing something (I mean, besides my hearing)?
2008-10-08 23:59:52
41.   heyblue
0 - I think the summary is very apt and something to keep in mind. Just because it was a sweep doesn't mean it wasn't a close series that couldn't have gone either way.
2008-10-09 00:00:19
42.   heyblue
The 2005 World Series is the greatest example, to me, of a sweep that was really much, much closer than the results appeared. Every game was a nail-biter where one pitch could have swung the momentum toward Houston. Even the very last pitch of the 4th and final game, there was a runner on 2nd of a 1-0 game and the throw beat Palmeiro at the bag by less than 1/2 a step. That was an incredibly close World Series, but history will probably remember it as a lop-sided affair.
2008-10-09 00:04:57
43.   still bevens
29 Chinatown bus is a decent alternative. I've heard about some wild things going on but the bus isnt exactly known for its serenity. My trip to Philly from NYC was ok.
2008-10-09 00:14:38
44.   Tripon

Joe Sheehan responds to the latest Tim McCarver's Manny spiels.

2008-10-09 00:43:13
45.   milkshakeballa
"On the West Coast, I think when I went to the games we arrived at the third inning and left by the eighth," Hamels said. "You had to wake up the next morning to see if the team won, versus the East Coast, they're here. They'll be after the game cheering you on. I think that's been great for what I've experienced and great for a player. And that's something you want to play in front of.
"So it's just something where I love the West Coast, don't get me wrong," Hamels added with a smile. "I hope they don't kill me now. They're never going to invite me back. It's just something that the East Coast, they're more passionate and more involved, and I think that just brings the love of the game a little bit more."
2008-10-09 00:47:49
46.   DougS
42 With all of the wailing and gnashing of teeth over Cub incompetence, I think the importance of Loney's grand slam in Game 1 has been overlooked. Without it, the game looks very different, and quite possibly the rest of the series. One AB — one pitch — made all the difference.
2008-10-09 01:39:25
47.   overkill94
45 Oh it's on now, Cole!

He's just trying to get the Dodgers riled up. I doubt he believes a word he says.

2008-10-09 04:57:15
48.   regfairfield
I've only been to Wrigley Field, but the crowd there was way more lively during a total blowout than I've ever seen at Dodger Stadium during a regular season game.
2008-10-09 05:13:04
49.   Marty
Chicago has been serene since I got here.
No playoffs to worry about seems to suit them.
2008-10-09 05:19:53
50.   Marty
I hope Xei gets back for the Boston-Rays series. That should be a fun one.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-10-09 05:23:06
51.   Marty
It seems ESPN is MannyVison all the time now. Plus everyone seems to be picking the Dodgers. We aren't under the radar any more.
2008-10-09 05:42:25
52.   MollyKnight
The Chinatown bus is $20 roundtrip and the Bolt Bus is like $30. Bolt Bus is nicer, but the problem is it takes reservations and the times aren't as good. Last week we took the Chinatown bus to Philly 'cause there simply weren't any Bolt buses that would take us home after 9 pm.

The Chinatown bus can get interesting, but the trip to Philly is only an hour and 50 minutes, so it's pretty tolerable. DC or Boston, on the other hand, is a bit of a nightmare. Sometimes the bus driver stops in random truck stops to let people on and off. Oh, and the bus back from Philly didn't have heat, so we were freezing.

Still! $20 round trip!

2008-10-09 06:09:57
53.   Jon Weisman
38 - I wrote, "Should the Dodgers hold Lowe out for Game 5, that would set up their Game 2 starter, the 24-year-old Billingsley, to start Game 6 as well."

If Lowe goes in Game 4, then it's Chad in Game 5.

2008-10-09 06:10:08
54.   DBrim
52 - I tempted fate on the Fung Wah between Boston and NYC. Never again.
2008-10-09 06:45:40
55.   LU Dodger

DAYAMMNN! That pretty much shuts every door to McCarver's statement. Too bad the rebuttal won't be on the headlines of every major sports news outlet like McCarver's. The only solace is that everyone know's McCarver is a moron.

2008-10-09 06:58:42
56.   Sam PHL
Amtrak is expensive, but you can take other trains from NYC: NJ Transit from Penn Station to Trenton and SEPTA from Trenton to Philly.

I think it could be a bit longer than the bus, but then you're not subject to traffic delays.

2008-10-09 07:02:49
57.   Penarol1916
48. The reason they are so lively during a blowout is because so many of the fans don't even realize who is playing against the Cubs, much less what the score is. There are a lot of fans who are just there to get drunk and call their friends and tell them they are skipping work and at Wrigley. The only good times are when you are sitting in one of those sections that has primarily old-school fans as opposed to Lincoln Park residents.
2008-10-09 07:14:34
58.   das411
Did I miss "It's confirmed, Kuo is/not on the NLCS roster" thoughts?
2008-10-09 07:16:13
59.   Jon Weisman
Just got the e-mail from the Dodgers: Kuo officially on the roster, Saito officially off.
2008-10-09 07:18:30
60.   bhsportsguy
44 Reading Boston's site, it wasn't until July 17th when there was a story about ownership saying that they were disappointed in Manny's statements that the Red Sox were not being straightforward with him.

The two games in question that he sat out occurred between July 23 (last day of road trip in Seattle, Boston completed a 3 game sweep, and the first game of a homestand against the Yankees, where Boston lost 1-0). There was an off-day in between.

On July 27th, Manny gave quotes saying that he would approve a trade, the Red Sox say nothing but by then newspapers were running polls asking if Manny should be dealt.

Here's the thing I have always thought about this, the Red Sox knew that this was probably their best shot at dealing Manny and getting something in return. If they don't pick up his option, all they would get is draft picks which wouldn't help them in 2009.

Tom Singer wrote on July 31st that the surprising thing was that anything that Manny had done over the previous 2 weeks was not really any different than what he had done for 7 1/2 years.

2008-10-09 07:24:23
61.   JoeyP
I'm suprised the Dodgers wouldnt keep Saito over at least Park.

McDonald/Kershaw/Maddux can all be long guys.

If the team needs 1 right handed pitcher for 1 inning, I think I'd still put more faith in a struggling Saito than Park.

2008-10-09 07:28:32
62.   Jon Weisman
Bad omen: Dodger killer Jim Eisenreich will throw out the first pitch in Game 2.

2008-10-09 07:28:54
63.   Jon Weisman
He was a great story, but man, did he wear us out.
2008-10-09 07:30:09
64.   JoeyP
Gammons/McCarver need to lay off Manny. The Red Sox ended up getting younger, less expensive & likely more production (with Manny entering decline phase & Bay still in his prime) through this deal.

It was a win for all sides.
Boston got what they wanted.
The Dodgers got what they wanted.
The Pirates got what they wanted.

2008-10-09 07:30:59
65.   Bob Timmermann
Jim Eisenreich did more damage to the Dodgers by playing for them.
2008-10-09 07:31:53
66.   das411

62 - AWESOME!!!!!!

2008-10-09 07:37:41
67.   Jon Weisman
65 - It's a clever line and he did stink with the Dodgers, but I'd still rather have him eating up a roster spot than OPSing 1.087 against us.
2008-10-09 07:46:35
68.   CodyS
Jim Eisenreich should have a color commentator job. That would be awesome.
2008-10-09 07:49:03
69.   Bob Timmermann
If the Phillies were to beat the Dodgers and Werth and Victorino were to have good series, there would be an entirely different set of "I told so you" people than there were in 2006.
2008-10-09 07:49:24
70.   Fish
Olney's making a lot of noise about the Phillies (probably Myers) buzzing Manny inside to throw him off. Think Chad should push Utley or Howard back if that happens?
2008-10-09 07:53:04
71.   bhsportsguy
Jon does not to give any bulletin board material to the latest entry in Phillies blog "Phillies Nation," though I believe everything Jon says is how he feels right now about the upcoming series.

The commenters take issue with TJ Simers but then what is new about that.

2008-10-09 08:05:58
72.   Terry A
The mini-mystery surrounding Kershaw's role in the NLCS makes me unreasonably panicky. I'm reminded of the beginning of the end for Rick Ankiel v1.0 -- when LaRussa kept everybody in the dark before suddenly throwing Ankiel into a pressure-packed playoff situation.

I did say "unreasonably panicky." I'm just finding things to worry about in addition to these:

1) Manny and the SI cover jinx;
2) Everybody but Jason Stark picking the Dodgers;
3) Game broadcast conflicts with "The Office;"
4) Eisenreich throwing out the first twitch;
5) The curse of Rudy Seanez.

2008-10-09 08:07:42
73.   MC Safety
You gotta love TJ Simers ability to turn a simple baseball conversation into an American history lesson.
2008-10-09 08:29:07
74.   Lake Fred
Jon, nice write up. As a jump over viewer from Beerleaguer, it's good to read a sane review of this series. I think the national media that only sees superficial things were enamored with the Cubs and were shocked when they not only were beaten, but swept. Now they see the Dodgers as unbeatable. I think the reality is that this NLCS has two hot teams that are going to duke it out game by bloody game. Good pitchers will get racked up with runs while some lesser lights will pitch stretches of scoreless innings. Maybe, Manny and Ryan Howard will get into a home run hitting contest, but I doubt it. It should be an interesting series.
2008-10-09 09:03:49
75.   cargill06
Keith Law's prediction.

The Phillies had the better season and might be the better team, but this is a bad matchup for them unless their starters behind Hamels step it up -- or the Dodgers' bats are as cold in this series as they were hot against Chicago. A Maddux start in Game 4 might make this pick too aggressive, but assuming it's either Lowe on short rest or Kershaw on a short leash, I'll go with the Dodgers in five.

2008-10-09 09:06:03
76.   kinbote
KNBR was doing a very funny bit this morning about Cole Hamels. They were comparing him to James Spader and playing audio clips from a Spader performance (I didn't recognize it) in which Spader talks about finger sandwiches with cucumbers and sliced red onions, and also cracked crab, etc. Evidently, Hamels once liked a hotel bed so much he bought it. They were just getting to the part about whom he's dating when I pulled into work. Eat the rich!
2008-10-09 09:06:19
77.   cargill06
3 posts in the last hour on the morning of game 1 of the NLCS, did I miss a NPUT?
2008-10-09 09:10:35
78.   Eric Stephen
1) Manny and the SI cover jinx

A few notable SI Cover Dodger jinx I could find:

Ramon on the cover, Dodgers up by 2 games on Atlanta the Thursday prior (when most people get the magazine). Lost division by a game a week later

Bill Russell and Claude Osteen on the cover, Dodgers up by 2.5 games. LA finished 19-21 and lost the division to the Reds.

2008-10-09 09:14:09
79.   Eric Stephen
Those are from other Toasterites.
2008-10-09 09:15:17
80.   overkill94
Anybody else dream about Game 1 last night? My premonition had us winning 6-4 although the details were a bit strange. Even though Lowe had only given up 1 run, he was pulled after something like 2 1/3 IP because he looked shaky. The only other detail I remember is that Beimel was allowed to finish a 6-2 game even though he gave up 2 more runs in the process.
2008-10-09 09:15:30
81.   cargill06 is telling me today and tomorrow in Philidelphia is sunny in the 70's. Looks like it should be good weather for the series.
2008-10-09 09:18:27
82.   Eric Stephen
You must have old school manager blood in your veins. Just as black and whispery as the rain, on the streets of Philadephia.
2008-10-09 09:18:51
83.   Eric Stephen
It's always sunny in Philadelphia.
2008-10-09 09:18:55
84.   cargill06
JD Drew is now on ESPN radio saying the reason he opted out of his contrach with LA is because the young guys were so good he was scared of becoming trade bait... gag me.
2008-10-09 09:21:03
85.   mwhite06
70 Yes, I think he should. Though (and this is not a dig on Chad as much as Torre) nothing suggests that he would do that.
2008-10-09 09:26:22
86.   Bob Timmermann
I had a dream last night involving Rich Garces, Rudy Seanez, and 12 cases of barbecue sauce.
2008-10-09 09:31:24
87.   Jon Weisman
I dreamed about Ray Charles last night, and he could see just fine.
2008-10-09 09:31:57
88.   das411
I have one more thread to catch up on, but did anybody mention the Bob Ford article in the Inquirer about Mr. Ned?

"[T]here were four competing newspapers in the city not that long ago, with the Journal playing the role of the painted clown. Some of the writers who put on the makeup, the funny nose and the floppy shoes were tremendous talents, some were just along for the ride, and at least one was headed for the penitentiary.

Only one turned out to be the general manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, however..."

2008-10-09 09:38:52
89.   Kevin Lewis

I had a dream about a close play at the plate last night, but I think it had more to do with the ejection that took place at our softball game last night.

2008-10-09 09:39:12
90.   MC Safety
80 I had a dream James McDonald and I went on a cruise, and I missed the boat and got left behind. No joke. It was mad weird.
2008-10-09 09:42:28
91.   Eric Stephen
Colletti: ""The paper had folded; my wife and I had a newborn son. I had been making $18,000 a year at the paper, and I had a $750-a-month mortgage in Lansdowne, with 18 percent interest. The Cubs offered me $14,000 a year, and I thought about it for a week and thought about my dad, and I took it."

Wow, interest rates really sucked in 1981.

2008-10-09 09:43:04
92.   Bob Timmermann
When I was in college, I had a dream where Tip O'Neil and I conspired to keep Jim Wright off of a cruise ship by stealing his passport and then pretending not to know him.
2008-10-09 09:45:13
93.   bhsportsguy
I dreamed that I was library investigator and no one had any Folgers Crystals.
2008-10-09 09:47:32
94.   bhsportsguy
Scott Boras must have know some good real estate agents in Pasadena, Drew lived there and in the SI story, Boras told Manny that he could live in Pasadena and no one would bother him.
2008-10-09 09:48:30
95.   Eric Stephen
Especially since Kevin Lewis won't kick down with the name of the street! :)
2008-10-09 09:49:03
96.   KG16
83 - I watched part of that show last night for the first time in, well, ever. I was not impressed, seemed like forced comedy.

I didn't really dream last night because I didn't really sleep. My lack of sleep had nothing to do with the NLCS, though.

2008-10-09 09:50:15
97.   bhsportsguy
I guess I blocked all this out after the Dodgers won the whole thing.

2008-10-09 09:53:17
98.   Eric Stephen
Cool, that means tomorrow is the 20 year anniversary of the improbable Scioscia HR off Doc.
2008-10-09 09:54:26
99.   underdog
Beerleague Blog (Phillies Phans) commenters are getting hot and bothered by TJ Simers' article. I posted there telling them they're wasting their time even reading him, yet alone making something out of it.
2008-10-09 09:56:54
100.   Jim Hitchcock
22 That is just great, silverwidow!
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-10-09 09:57:02
101.   Eric Stephen
Underdog, you are like the advance scout of Dodger Thoughts.
2008-10-09 10:00:23
102.   old dodger fan
91 In 1981 I knew a guy who worked for a real estate company that sold hundreds of houses every year. In the summer of 81 they sold 3. At least in those days you could assume a low interest rate loan.
2008-10-09 10:01:41
103.   Jon Weisman
99 - I'm having a similar discussion with someone at Phillies Nation.
2008-10-09 10:04:38
104.   kinbote
I had a [waking] dream that Broxton loaded the bases full with no outs in the 9th inning of Game 1. Kuo came in and struck out the side on nine pitches, the only pitches he would throw in the postseason.
2008-10-09 10:04:49
105.   Penarol1916
80. I dreamt we lost 17-7. That doesn't even seem feasible, but of course my philosophy in sports rooting is to expect the worst and be pleasantly surprised when something better happens. To me, the Dodgers have already won by landing their plane safely in Philadelphia.
2008-10-09 10:06:50
106.   underdog
101 I just can't help myself. Plus, they can talk smack all they want, that's part of the fun, but I hate when opposing fans get the wrong impression about a team, or fans, or whatever, based on something idiotic/errant. But as fun as scouting is... I should get to work.
2008-10-09 10:07:38
107.   cargill06
Just took a good look at Blanton and Moyer's #'s this year. What a soft underbelly of that staff, if we split in Philly I really like our chances of taking 2 of 3 in LA.
2008-10-09 10:07:38
108.   Jim Hitchcock
46 Overlooked? It was a Gibsonian moment!
2008-10-09 10:07:50
109.   underdog
105 Did we turn the ball over too much? Sounds like our defense was okay at least, except for that last touchdown.
2008-10-09 10:08:03
110.   Bob Timmermann
If we didn't have stereotypes and misperceptions about people what would we have left?
2008-10-09 10:10:05
111.   ucladodger

Jim Eisenreich will always have a special place in my heart. I was diagnosed with Tourette's Syndrome as a kid, and he was really the only professional athlete I knew that suffered from it also (the former Chris Jackson in basketball also does, but he was out of the picture). For me, it was awesome when Jim got traded to the Dodgers. It was even better to be set up by my best friends dad and get to go down to the field and meet the man I shared so much with. For him to take the time to meet with me as an 11 year old is something I'll never forget. He was a huge inspiration to me not only in my baseball career, but in life. Unfortunately I wasn't able to join the ranks of professional baseball playing Tourette's sufferers because of injury, but I still draw back on that day when faced with a challenge. No matter how many home runs my new favorite players hit or how many World Series they win, Jim Eisenreich will always stand above them all in my mind.

2008-10-09 10:11:43
112.   ucladodger
And also I'll be in class all day (from 11-8) and I'll be missing the game (but following from a computer), so I expect everybody to root a little harder to pick up the slack!
2008-10-09 10:13:17
113.   underdog
103 Yeah, good discussion over there, "Weismann." ;-) (They must have combined you and Timmermann to make a new uber-blogger.)
2008-10-09 10:16:10
114.   Eric Stephen
108 ,46
I think Loney's HR is more along the lines of Mickey Hatcher or maybe Mike Scioscia if you want to get charitable, nowhere near Gibsonian.

I think Nomar is setting himself up to be the Gibson on 2008.

2008-10-09 10:17:27
115.   Eric Stephen
That's a great story.
2008-10-09 10:18:05
116.   Jim Hitchcock
114 I meant that in the sense that it seemed to take all the wind out of the Cubbies sails, much as Gibbies did for the A's.
2008-10-09 10:19:14
117.   Kevin Lewis

I thought about it, but I figured he would rather not have people stalking him.

2008-10-09 10:21:44
118.   Eric Stephen
First no stereotyping and now no stalking? I swear, Dodger Thoughts is getting less and less fun by the minute! :)
2008-10-09 10:26:56
119.   cargill06
The Dodgers didn't have a pitcher give up more than 14 HR's this year. Those who are good using B-R, when was the last team to do this? When was the last Dodger team to do this?
2008-10-09 10:27:11
120.   underdog
118 Luke Walton has one he can loan to us.
2008-10-09 10:31:26
121.   Harold M Johnson
116 That's the amazing thing about baseball, one swing can completely change not just a game, but a series. You're right about '88. Despite how good the A's team was, that loss, after putting their very best effort into it (Grand slam by Canseco, etc) finished them off after one game. I agree that the same thing happened with Loney. You could feel it in the air. It doesn't compare in terms of overall significance or drama, or any of those other things, but you're right there is a similarity.
2008-10-09 10:32:24
122.   Frip
Gibson's home run is more along the lines of the second moon landing.
2008-10-09 10:35:17
123.   Bob Timmermann
They were both faked?
2008-10-09 10:35:21
124.   Eric Stephen
The last Dodger team to have no pitcher give up 15 HR was 1984.

From 1947-present, the only other years of this were 1981 (strike year) and 1968 ("the year of the pitcher").

2008-10-09 10:38:58
125.   tjdub
I'm a bit of a contrarian at times so I have an odd unsung favorite memory from '88. Remember game 3 of the WS when McGwire hit the game winner? It always cracks me up that he had second thoughts on its potential for reaching the seats. He raised his arms in triumph only to realize it might not make it, then dropped them to run hard in case he needed to reach 2nd. I was so confident after 2 games that the loss didn't even bother me. I hated McGwire and that made me laugh - still does.
2008-10-09 10:45:15
126.   Frip
123 No, they were both big, but not Earth shattering, as far as the nation as a whole was concerned.
2008-10-09 10:45:33
127.   cargill06
96 That's a very good discription for it, I have to agree with you. I can think of another show that "forced comedy" comes to mind. No comment what show it is though or I'll be banned from DT.
2008-10-09 10:48:00
128.   overkill94
96 Last week's two-parter would be a bad introduction to the show - it really was one of their worst episodes. If you want to see where the magic really happened, check out the DVDs from the first two seasons.
2008-10-09 10:49:41
129.   Eric Stephen
Not the best of postseasons for Jay Howell up to that point. He came into 3 games through Game 4:

NLCS 1: Blew Hershiser's lead, lost game
NLCS 3: Got ejected and suspended for pine tar after allowing his one batter to reach
WS 3: Gave up GW HR to McGwire.

Luckily, he did have an old school save the next night, getting the final seven outs of the 2-1 victory, in the game Costas (correctly) mentioned the Dodgers might have the worst lineup in WS history.

2008-10-09 10:50:47
130.   Branch Rickey
22 That's awesome. When I read the article this morning the first though I has was "I don't think I would recognize Cory Wade on the street-- how many people could?-- wonder if that was the guy who posted the story on DT?"
My next thought was "I bet he didn't say Cory Wade, is that you?".
2008-10-09 10:51:42
131.   Eric Stephen
No comment what show it is though or I'll be banned from DT.

I'm guessing The Office or Arrested Development.

I highly doubt you'd be banned, but a good shunning might be in order.

2008-10-09 10:55:27
132.   Icaros
Resume shunning.
2008-10-09 10:55:46
133.   herchyzer
I haven't read through all the posts, but has anyone suggested Joe Pesci as Lasorda? That's who I'd nominate. Remember when Lasorda would greet a batter who'd homered and he'd throw his arms in the air as though jumping, but his feet wouldn't leave the ground? Joe Pesci could do that, I think. He's got Lasorda's kind of scary energy, but also comical.
2008-10-09 11:03:28
134.   Preston Bannard
Too lazy to read through all the old comments to find it - when and where is the "safety in numbers" Philly get together? And will people be staying or actually going to the game? I can't say that I budgeted dropping a few hundred bucks on the chance that the Dodgers would actually be playing in Philly in the playoffs.
2008-10-09 11:06:08
135.   Eric Stephen
Paul Sorvino would be my choice for Tommy.

James Spader as John Tudor.
John Leguizamo as Bobby Castillo.
Steve Yeager would play Steve Yeager.
Ed Begley Jr. as Jerry Reuss

2008-10-09 11:12:28
136.   regfairfield
128 By worst, you mean best right?
2008-10-09 11:14:26
137.   bhsportsguy
134 Per Molly Knight


We will be in the bar area (there are tables there, too) from 5:30ish to 730ish barring a Chinatown bus disaster.

It will be fun to gather with as many of you and your friends as possible, so please stop by! And for gosh sakes someone bring a camera 'cause I dropped mine at Cellular Field and murdered it.

2008-10-09 11:17:15
138.   Eric Stephen
2008-10-09 11:20:44
139.   fanerman
137 By tomorrow, you mean, today?
2008-10-09 11:26:42
140.   bhsportsguy
139 Yes.
2008-10-09 11:27:00
141.   Jim Hitchcock
135 Sorvino already played Joe Torre.
2008-10-09 11:29:51
142.   Im So Blue
134 There was a guy on the previous thread that was offering a ticket at face to tonight's game in Philly. Look for the last comment here:

2008-10-09 11:30:10
143.   Eric Stephen
And the manager in Mr. 3000!
2008-10-09 11:35:54
144.   Lexinthedena
89 He was blocking the plate!
2008-10-09 11:40:20
145.   Frip
There's nothing funny about Pacino, he's preturnaturally dramatic. Very heavy. That kind of pathos precludes humor. Pesci and Lasorda are both aggressive, but Pesci is squidly about it. A punk. Far removed from Lasorda's manly, deep toned anger. And Pesci's face is all wrong. Tiny tight and unkind. It'd have to be an actor with a big drooping avuncular face. Pesci could play Bowa.

With real life icons, it works best when unkown actors play them. Less of a distraction. More believable. There's got to be plenty of Tommy Lasorda looking actors in New York. They used to drive taxi cabs.

2008-10-09 11:46:51
146.   Lexinthedena

Pesci would be a great Larry fact, I might start calling Bowa "Joe Pesci"...

2008-10-09 11:49:15
147.   cargill06
This simulation likes the Dodgers a lot more the BP. Having us win 62% of the simulations.

2008-10-09 11:51:06
148.   Disabled List
The ESPN writers all picked the Dodgers to win the series, and now the writers did too, by a 5-3 margin. They also picked the Rays by a 6-2 margin.

AccuScore has the Phillies' chance of winning tonight at 57%. Still waiting for word from Xeifrank's simulator.

2008-10-09 11:55:02
149.   Branch Rickey
135 Perhaps a young Rob Reiner could play Joe Ferguson? I don't believe there is a place for Joe Torre in the life story of Tommy Lasorda. Maybe during the closing credits montage.
2008-10-09 11:55:09
150.   Lexinthedena
I've met Corey Wade.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-10-09 11:56:43
151.   underdog
2008-10-09 12:01:54
152.   Jim Hitchcock
151 Is that, like, your Al Gore during the '00 debate impersonation?
2008-10-09 12:03:37
153.   dzzrtRatt
I have to think the '88 situation had more to do with the A's emotional fragility (perhaps an early sign of steroid poisoning) than merely the Gibson home run.

Objectively, even after losing game 1, the A's were still the better team with most of the advantages. Even going back to Oakland down 0-2 because of Hershiser, that A's team should have been able to make more of a Series out of it, especially knowing they were unlikely to see any more of Kirk Gibson.

Loney's blast was a statement that the Dodger offense was more than just Manny Ramirez, a fact they demonstrated repeatedly thereafter. It said this was not the "weak" Dodger team its record suggested. Whereas Gibson's homer was a shocking, improbable event that the A's should have been able to shake off and resume their dominant play.

The Cubs have nothing to be ashamed of. They lost to a better team. But the '88 A's? They choked.

2008-10-09 12:03:42
154.   bhsportsguy
151 Did you watch the Twilight Zone Big Wish episode. Just believe or it won't come true.

I think its more fun to have your dreams dashed then to suppress them so you don't get disappointed.

2008-10-09 12:04:04
155.   Eric Stephen
I like that one.

I also vote for Rob Morrow (or that guy from The Mentalist) to play DePo.
George Lopez as Fernando.

2008-10-09 12:10:54
156.   Eric Stephen
I really like the Genius feature on iTunes.
2008-10-09 12:13:59
157.   MC Safety
92 Cruise ship dreams are creepy. I've had a few, and they were all bad. And they all involve Jamaica somehow. I'm almost positive it's Steven Seagal's fault.
2008-10-09 12:17:34
158.   kachang
134 142 Not sure if I was the guy you were thinking of, but I do have 1 ticket available, but for Friday afternoon's game. I'm in the next seat and am looking hard for a fellow Dodger fan who wants the ticket. Its infield level and am asking for face value.

Email me at jaehyun.chang at for details.

Question: why do people spell their email addresses out?

2008-10-09 12:19:34
159.   bhsportsguy
Mike Scioscia remains a pretty classy guy.
2008-10-09 12:20:51
160.   Bob Timmermann
People spell out their email addresses because they feel that most parts of their anatomy are already big enough.
2008-10-09 12:24:50
161.   jujibee
Anyone see this story? Sounds like some of the Cubs, or at least one of them took the game #3 lose pretty hard. Any guesses on who it could've been? My vote goes to Big Z.,113546

2008-10-09 12:25:07
162.   arborial
158 seriously though, I believe it is to avoid having their email picked up by a bot on a public website and being sold to spammers and such.
2008-10-09 12:27:02
163.   Eric Stephen
Oldest Pitchers Facing the Dodgers in Postseason
Woodie Fryman (41 years, 185 days) - relieved for Montreal in the 8th & 9th innings of a 7-1 Dodger win in Game 4 of the 1981 NLCS
Ron Reed (40-340) - pitched 1.1 IP in the clinching game (4) of the 1983 NLCS for the Phillies
Ron Reed (40-337) - 3 days earlier, pitched the final two innings of the Dodgers' only win of the 1983 NLCS (Game 2)
Tom Glavine (40-194) - the only 40+ year old starter to face the Dodgers in the playoffs, he pitched 6 shutout innings in New York in Game 2 of the 2006 NLDS.

These four are the only 40-year olds to pitch against the Dodgers in their playoff history.

Jamie Moyer will be 45 years, 329 days old when he takes the mound Sunday at Dodger Stadium.

2008-10-09 12:28:45
164.   Eric Stephen
I think Soriano tried to take a swing at the water pipe, but since the pipe was low and outside of his reach, he missed it.
2008-10-09 12:36:59
165.   Lexinthedena
164 Zing!
2008-10-09 12:38:12
166.   Icaros
I just think it's cool the Cubs were passing around a water pipe instead of a joint.
2008-10-09 12:41:27
167.   kachang
160 162 Thanks...I could probably use bigger feet.

I'm on amtrak on my way to Citizens Bank Park! Stopped in Trenton, NJ. Its sunny, relatively warm and I have tickets to a Dodger playoff game! Other than the crumbling economy, life is pretty good.

2008-10-09 12:43:59
168.   Jim Hitchcock
Hmmm, the TicketLiquidator ad below is listing Dogers Game 2 Tickets.
2008-10-09 12:44:20
169.   trainwreck
I have new found respect for the Cubs.
2008-10-09 12:46:16
170.   old dodger fan
168 Who are the Dogers?
2008-10-09 12:47:30
171.   Kevin Lewis

That was awesome.

2008-10-09 12:48:59
172.   trainwreck
Awww, now I actually read the article.

Sigh. Nevermind. Screw the Cubs.

2008-10-09 12:48:59
173.   MC Safety
166 Lol. Outta towners can't expect to hang with the big boys going that route.
2008-10-09 12:51:38
174.   Jim Hitchcock
170 Parents of the Dogies?
2008-10-09 12:55:07
175.   LoneStar7
The Hamels comment is still pissing me off, makes sense he a loser bum from San Diego.

Anyway I was too nervous to go to class today, but I'm gathering everyone I know from LA here at SMU to get together and watch the game..

anyway best of luck to everyone in Citizens Bank, be as loud as you can and stay from cheesesteak!

2008-10-09 12:56:44
176.   Lexinthedena
171 Teams coming together....Adam P. is Ethier, Adam M. is Manny, Gerry is Furcal, Frank is Angel Pena, Jim is Casey Blake, Todd is Angel Berroa, Mike W. is DeWitt, Miguel is Loney, and your Jeff Kent:)
2008-10-09 13:01:12
177.   Lexinthedena
176 scratch that..Todd is Steve Sax.
2008-10-09 13:03:27
178.   arborial
176 whose Kemp?
2008-10-09 13:06:08
179.   arborial
176 your centerfielder last night looks solid defensively but doesn't quite have the pop in his bat :)
2008-10-09 13:06:50
180.   LoneStar7
also about this whole passionate fans thing, theres a video on talking about "nomar's redemption in LA" and the second highlight shows Nomar in his Boston days belting a home run into right field at Fenway, the outfield is about 1/4 full..
2008-10-09 13:08:30
181.   Lexinthedena
178 Me
2008-10-09 13:08:57
182.   old dodger fan
180 Fenway always sells out. Maybe everyone left early.
2008-10-09 13:09:04
183.   underdog
Darnit. I keep forgetting my soccer game tonight at 7:30 will mean I'll have to Tivo the 2nd half of the game and watch the conclusion later in the eve. Hopefully I won't already be in a bad mood before leaving to play.
2008-10-09 13:14:33
184.   trainwreck
You let these meaningless soccer games get in the way of too many things.
2008-10-09 13:14:57
185.   trainwreck
Like watching other slightly less meaningless sports.
2008-10-09 13:16:54
186.   madmac
72 4) Eisenreich throwing out the first twitch

wow, that is so bad.

2008-10-09 13:18:03
187.   Lexinthedena
Eisenreich lives in my nightmares. He is the Freddy Kueger of Dodger Killers.
2008-10-09 13:18:09
188.   Eric Stephen
Manny gets the A-Rod treatment from Eric Karros of all people:

"Manny is a threat in the lineup, but against the Cubs, he hit two home runs that I won't say were meaningless, but they didn't impact the victories."

2008-10-09 13:19:15
189.   Lexinthedena
Who would have thought that E.K would turn into such a blowhard.
2008-10-09 13:20:04
190.   underdog
185 I just figured I'd get more exercise on the pitch than I will pacing back and forth around my apartment, though it might be a close call actually. Then I can pretend the ball is Cole Hamels' head. Then I'll be in a better mood when I come home and watch the end of the game.
2008-10-09 13:20:43
191.   cargill06
188 What would you guess the % of HR's that "mean something". Literally if you win by 1 run, than your solo HR means something, I would guess maybe 20%?
2008-10-09 13:21:00
192.   DBrim
182 - Fenway has always sold out ... since they won a championship. Nomar left before they won.
2008-10-09 13:21:19
193.   underdog
188 That quote itself is true, though. It just shows they were capable of generating offense without depending entirely on him, which seems to be the stereotype. Not that his home runs didn't help give them a better cushion, but it was good they showed they could score in other ways with other players, too. But EK's still a blowhard.
2008-10-09 13:26:04
194.   Lexinthedena
190 So what did Hamels say?
2008-10-09 13:26:40
195.   trainwreck
Who needs exercise today with all them fancy pills and gadgets.
2008-10-09 13:29:08
196.   Kevin Lewis

I am offended by that

2008-10-09 13:31:58
197.   Lexinthedena
196 Ok, ok...your Nomar.
2008-10-09 13:32:37
198.   Bob Hendley
I'd like to see Buddy Hackett play the role of Lasorda (Jeez, one of my favorites and I don't know if he is still alive).
2008-10-09 13:33:07
199.   Eric Stephen

Same old east coasters are more passionate stuff.

2008-10-09 13:35:01
200.   trainwreck
He's not.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-10-09 13:35:01
201.   Bob Hendley
45 - On Hamel's East Coast/West Coast take, seems that both guys taking the mound today have similar views.
2008-10-09 13:35:32
202.   KG16
156 - it's alright, but I want to know what happened to the recommendations in the iTunes store. I've got ten bucks burning a hole in my iTunes account and don't know how to spend it.
2008-10-09 13:36:00
203.   Bob Hendley
200 - Ouch, thanks.
2008-10-09 13:37:23
204.   Frip
I hate when I buy cool new light bulbs or night lights for my home and have to wait till nightfall before I can see their affect.
2008-10-09 13:38:19
205.   KG16
188 - there is some truth to that. Hitting a three run home run when you're down by two is more important than hitting a solo shot when you're up by six. I think the better way to say it would be that despite hitting two solo home runs, Manny really wasn't a factor in the NLDS against the Cubs.
2008-10-09 13:39:30
206.   Eric Stephen
You could buy classic Dodger broadcasts!
2008-10-09 13:46:41
207.   bhsportsguy
This may or may not have been raised in the last few weeks but I saw a note where Sandy Alderson e-mailed the Seattle PI paper and said that the Mariners would not be given peromission to interview Kevin Towers and/or Paul DePodesta for their GM position.

I can understand Kevin Towers since he is the current GM but I am surprised that DePodesta would not be given another opportunity.

Unless he is already in line for a job?

2008-10-09 13:48:39
208.   East Coast Dodger
206 Granted, I'm not the brightest bulb in the house (especially during the day, 204), but I could not find the classic Dodger clips on iTunes. Do you have a title for one?
2008-10-09 13:49:50
209.   trainwreck
It reminds me of the A's front office. Towers is the guy with the connections to other GMs and DePo along with others gives him all the data and tells him whom to go after. Then Towers goes out and tries to get it done.
2008-10-09 13:52:06
210.   underdog
Hah hah. Off topic, but given this has been a topic here in the past... A friend of mine just changed her Facebook status to:

"Comcast has recently updated their business model. They are now 100% focused on making me commit suicide."

2008-10-09 13:55:44
211.   ToyCannon
Every time Manny is walked he helps turn the lineup. That is the great side effect of a high OBP team is that they turn their lineup and get their best hitters an extra at bat. When he is walked they then have to bear down on Ethier and Ethier is a tough out.

Manny doesn't have to hit home runs to affect the outcome of a game.

2008-10-09 13:57:03
212.   Tangled Up in Blue
188 The king of the meaningless home run calls out Manny for his solo shots. That is hilarious. I guess it takes one to know one.
2008-10-09 13:57:32
213.   Tripon
207 DePo's in line for the San Diego job when Towers leaves.
2008-10-09 14:05:39
214.   bhsportsguy
213 Well, he is going to have to wait until 2011 since Towers signed a 2 year extension in last January.
2008-10-09 14:08:20
215.   kngoworld
I will be stuck at work during the today's game, does anyone know where/if fox might be broadcast streaming online like the TBS games were?
2008-10-09 14:13:58
216.   milkshakeballa
Today has been really really long. Wow I'm going to die. T - 3 hours 9 minutes until Furcal leads off with a dinger.
2008-10-09 14:15:34
217.   Tripon
214 DePo's getting paid half a million a year to wait around.
2008-10-09 14:26:47
218.   Lexinthedena
What is it with you all and jinxing!?
2008-10-09 14:30:07
219.   milkshakeballa
Predictions for post on today's gamethread?

I'll go ahead and say 1,367 post!

2008-10-09 14:30:10
220.   Tripon

Joe Sheehan has no idea how the NLCS will play out. But he'll have fun watching it.

2008-10-09 14:30:38
221.   underdog
218 Some of us have dutifully been knocking on wood all week so hopefully we're safe.
2008-10-09 14:33:08
222.   Jim Hitchcock
219 I don't have a computer at home (I'm a strict Luddite at home), but I'll be filing away a good 50-75 posts in my head.
2008-10-09 14:36:29
223.   Lexinthedena
It's hard for me to post during the playoffs, I'm too into the game.
2008-10-09 14:44:20
224.   dzzrtRatt
188 Karros of all people saying Manny's homers didn't have an impact!

I'm sure someone will haul out stats to disprove my impression, which is that Karros was the King of the Meaningless Late-Inning Home Run. Usually in a loss. Usually in a loss caused in part by his inability to drive in runners on base in crucial situations earlier in the game.

The reverse was also true. He would get a hit or two early in the game, but the Dodgers would be behind a run or two at the end drew near. Then he'd come up later in the game and fail. His attitude seemed to be, "hey, I got my hit."

I always hated to see Karros come up in crucial situations. He dined out on his one famous game-winning homer for years, as if that was his trademark. He made Steve Garvey look humble.

In looking at Karros' numbers, I've grudgingly conceded he had a few pretty good years at least on paper. He certainly kept track of his stats, and I suppose that motivated him from time to time. But that only goes to make him the best Dodger player for whom I have no respect.

/Karros rant I have to get off my chest once a year

2008-10-09 14:45:37
225.   Branch Rickey
220. My Aunt Sally also has no idea what will happen but will enjoy watching it.
Oh wait, I don't have an Aunt Sally and if I did, I doubt she'd have her own website.
2008-10-09 14:46:41
226.   Eric Stephen
I did a quick check, and only 90 of Karros's 270 Dodger homers came in a loss.
2008-10-09 14:53:39
227.   kinbote
224 But he has great hair.
2008-10-09 14:54:34
228.   Lexinthedena
I recall Karros having one year when he hit a lot of clutch home runs, and then the rest of his career he was "Mr. Crucial Double Play".....He was actually my favorite player as a kid...In high school my mom had a wealthy friend whose daughter went to school with Todd Hundley's daughter...long story short, I met a bunch of the Dodgers, and Karros came off very humble. He even drove off in a mid-90's Accord.
2008-10-09 14:57:14
229.   Tripon

Matt Kemp does not hang out with Barbara Streisand.

2008-10-09 15:09:11
230.   delias man
Despised EK in those days. Was a Mondesi guy.

In my High School, everyone called EK the "Pop-Up King"

2008-10-09 15:12:52
231.   milkshakeballa
1. Jimmy Rollins, SS
2. Shane Victorino, CF
3. Chase Utley, 2B
4. Ryan Howard, 1B
5. Pat Burrell, LF
6. Jayson Werth, RF
7. Pedro Feliz, 3B
8. Carlos Ruiz, C
9. Cole Hamels, P

Feliz is a defensive player along with Ruiz. Lowe just needs to keep his focus and those should be easy outs. Utley and Howard back to back.

2008-10-09 15:16:38
232.   trainwreck
Got to keep Rollins and Victorino off the base paths.
2008-10-09 15:16:58
233.   Lexinthedena
231 First you predict a Furcal leadoff home run, now you call Feliz an "easy out".....My knuckles are going to be splintered and bloody because of you.
2008-10-09 15:17:20
234.   blue22
Best thing about the 1st round of playoffs on Eric Karros.
2008-10-09 15:19:12
235.   milkshakeballa
Yes, if Lowe keeps his focus he should get those guys everytime...and don't worry...Furcal WILL lead of the game with a homer! :) trust me...
2008-10-09 15:19:35
236.   whodat807
I loved Karros as a kid - I have a plaque with his baseball card that I stupidly purchased at the stadium for 10 bucks - but yeah, he's a terrible commentator.
2008-10-09 15:26:54
237.   Jim Hitchcock
Is it too late to get David Cone to write an article describing the inherent superiority of the Phillies?
2008-10-09 15:29:44
238.   underdog
{shakes fist at milkshake for jinxing everything}
2008-10-09 15:31:23
239.   fanerman
238 Shaking your fist? You're wasting valuable wood-knocking time!
2008-10-09 15:31:44
240.   GiantturnedDodger
He doesn't drive an Accord any more. I see him occasionally in Manhattan Beach driving a 7 series BMW. I'll be representing the Blue in enemy territory (Phoenix) tonight. This day has been going so slow. I can't wait for the game.
2008-10-09 15:31:47
241.   Jim Hitchcock
Comment 8 tells a little of the story alluded to in 237 :

2008-10-09 15:33:02
242.   milkshakeballa such thing as jinxes guys. Dodgers have the better should be good enough...I believe Dodgers in 5 !!!
2008-10-09 15:33:39
243.   Sam DC
Off to watch the game with some Phillies fans. Go Blue!
2008-10-09 15:39:09
244.   Lexinthedena
This day is CRAWLING by!!!
2008-10-09 15:39:16
245.   Branch Rickey
Why are there so many seats left for this series? You can still get Reserve Section 8 for game 4! Come on people!
2008-10-09 15:41:22
246.   Lexinthedena
245 It's because there is so much to do on the West Coast. You see, I would get tickets to game 4, but I will be para-sailing instead.
2008-10-09 15:42:46
247.   milkshakeballa
Its because they didn't release all thew tickets at one time..
2008-10-09 15:43:07
248.   Jon Weisman
246 - LOL
2008-10-09 15:44:44
249.   Marty
but they didn't impact the game

Teeth get impacted. Games, no

2008-10-09 15:46:07
250.   Jim Hitchcock
My friend Jim at work today told me he became friends with Graig Nettles when they attended San Diego State. After they graduated, Nettles apparently went to Argentina to play ball for a year, and they lost touch.

Awhile later, Jim bought a tract home in a new development in San Diego. About a month later, his new neighbors moved in across the street, and it was Nettles and his wife!

It seems that Nettles, along with Goose Gossage, Thurmon Munson and Sparky Lyle were always up for an all night beer blast. Nettles was even kind enough to loan Jim his baseball uni and his gold glove for a Halloween party.

Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-10-09 15:46:19
251.   underdog
246 But how can you see the sea through all that smog and smug?
2008-10-09 15:47:38
252.   DodgerBakers
I liked both Karros and Mondesi growing up. In fact, in Spanish class, I picked the name "Raul" for my spanish name.
2008-10-09 15:52:31
253.   GMac In The 909
245 Thanks for the pep talk. I will be there will my high blue socks on.
2008-10-09 15:52:36
254.   cargill06
Good luck tonight to everyone.

Cole Hamels looks like a tool, let's light him up. Or should I say let's drop the hammer?

2008-10-09 15:53:00
255.   Bob Timmermann
Perhaps the market for tickets for the LCS is elastic. And consumers have all snapped in recent days.
2008-10-09 15:54:24
256.   Lexinthedena
I thought Raul was going to be one of the greatest of all time.
2008-10-09 15:57:45
257.   Bob Timmermann
The Rays will have 11 people who have had season tickets with them since the team's inception throw out the first pitch at Game 1 of the ALCS.


2008-10-09 15:59:37
258.   Harold M Johnson
We used to have seats near the foul pole and try to get Mondesi's attention, we had a certain way of saying "MONDESI" which is hard to explain in text, but was kind of like how a Shabba Ranks or some other sort of Jamaican dance hall artists might say it. He never looked over.

Then, the same group got some tickets for a game in Shea, also near the outfield. This time, he looked around! It was awesome, almost as good as the time when we finally got better seats, and got Todd Helton to remove his sunglasses as mocking him for wearing them on a cloudy day for 3 innings.

2008-10-09 16:00:51
259.   Branch Rickey
I actually remember this phenomenon in '88. First round was a harder ticket than 2nd round. WS is hardest of all. It's like everyone is so shocked to be in the Playoffs they rush to see it. After the first round win, everybody waits to see if we make it to the World Series. Can't explain it but I've seen it before.
2008-10-09 16:01:37
260.   ToyCannon
Evidently you think the economy is fundamentally sound and discretionary funds are available for everyone to waste on a baseball game.
2008-10-09 16:03:45
261.   Branch Rickey
260. Hmmm... that's what you got from my post? I think you read too much into it.
2008-10-09 16:04:33
262.   ToyCannon
I expected Lowe to best Dempsey. I hold no expectation for that tonight. If we win I expect it will be because Lowe kept it close and we did some damage late in the game.
2008-10-09 16:05:29
263.   Bob Timmermann
Lowe apparently benefited from a long count.
2008-10-09 16:07:11
264.   Jacob Burch
263 Dangit, Bob beat me to it.
2008-10-09 16:07:41
265.   Jim Hitchcock
260 Stock Market Collapses! Dodger Fans Cheer!

Film at 11.

2008-10-09 16:07:54
266.   Who Is Karim Garcia
after two days of fighting, my internet connection is back to normal and I can finally post here.

I can't wait for this game, guys. I'm pumped.

2008-10-09 16:08:14
267.   Jacob Burch
And as stated above, tickets have been trickling out at unexpected intervals. At yesterday's release, I did a "Best Available" for all three games and got Bullpen-fodder Reserve, so the section 8 have been put in since then.
2008-10-09 16:09:05
268.   Branch Rickey
260. And I wouldn't classify seeing the team you care about enough to be here at DT appear in the NLCS for the first time in 20 years as a "waste of money". It's a privilege to be sure but I don't think encouraging people to go is insensitive. Perhaps I'm wrong.
2008-10-09 16:09:42
269.   ToyCannon
I'm always happy to set you up for a good line.
2008-10-09 16:12:06
270.   Bob Timmermann
Two people! You're the gift that keeps on giving.
2008-10-09 16:26:39
271.   Eric Stephen
Best thing about the 1st round of playoffs on Eric Karros.

I don't have the heart to tell you all remaining Dodger games are on Fox, Karros and all.

2008-10-09 16:32:36
272.   Eric Stephen
Just so you all know, I am tempting fate by watching tonight's game at a location (Trophy's) where I witnessed:

1) Two Dodgers out at the plate in aught-six
2) The Lakers blow a 24-point lead in Game 4
3) USC lose to Oregon State

However, the alternative would be to watch the game at a location (my living room) where I witnessed the most crushing sports defeat of my lifetime.

Go Dodgers! I hope to see crowd shots of the various DTers on TV.

2008-10-09 16:34:53
273.   blue22
271 - Oh I know...I know.

Do we know who the announcers will be yet for this series?

2008-10-09 16:38:34
274.   Eric Stephen
Buck & McCarver.
2008-10-09 16:39:11
275.   Marty
I'm off to some faux Irish bar to watch the game.
2008-10-09 16:39:32
276.   Bob Timmermann
I know it will get lost amidst this game, but RIP Bruce Dal Canton.
2008-10-09 16:41:26
277.   blue22
274 - D'oh! Why aren't they doing the AL??? Aren't they Fox's A team?
2008-10-09 16:41:34
278.   Branch Rickey
Oh boy. Tim McCarver just called Manny's act "despicable".
Somebody grab the Gatorade cooler.
2008-10-09 16:42:12
279.   Eric Stephen
Funny, I would have thought I'd here a different phrase from you starting with "f" and ending in "Irish". :)
2008-10-09 16:43:00
280.   Eric Stephen
TBS has the AL.

But TBS has Chip Caray!!!

Nepotism has ruined baseball's playoffs! :)

2008-10-09 16:45:05
281.   Branch Rickey
278. Oh, sorry... guess that's literally yesterday's news.
2008-10-09 16:45:38
282.   Jim Hitchcock
Only 15 minutes to go before I can stop pacing in circles at work and get home!
2008-10-09 16:47:30
283.   Bob Timmermann
The game doesn't start until 5:22.
2008-10-09 16:47:30
284.   blue22
280 - Ah, thanks.
2008-10-09 16:50:02
285.   Jim Hitchcock
282 I know. It'll take me about 10 minutes to get home, which will leave me about 12 minute to pace in circles in my living room :)
2008-10-09 16:50:40
286.   Disabled List
I gotta say, I'm incredibly depressed to hear that tickets are still available to NLCS games at Dodger Stadium.

Maybe the Dodgers should take a page out of UCLA's book and try advertising in Philadelphia.

2008-10-09 16:52:00
287.   Bob Timmermann
Tickets are available because it's likely more have been released for sale that were reserved for other groups.
2008-10-09 16:53:13
288.   DBrim
286 - I'm just jealous. If I were in LA right now, my butt would be in a seat every game. As it is, to see the world series if it comes here (Boston), it'll cost $500+ for one game.
2008-10-09 16:59:12
289.   Bob Hendley
250 - Nettles to Argentina to play baseball? Must of been a lark (or involved a woman). Difficult to imagine much going on there in the early 1960s baseball-wise. They do have a national stadium, which they built when they hosted the Pan American Games in 1995 (they actually beat the US during one of the rounds that year). It sits idle by the airport.
2008-10-09 17:00:15
290.   bhsportsguy
Will Jon do a new post or will he just make this the game thread?
2008-10-09 17:02:47
291.   trainwreck
I am giddy with anticipation.
2008-10-09 17:03:55
292.   Rob M
286 There's no way that both games won't sell out. The last series against the Padres sold out.

I'm so freaking excited about this series. I saw the Dodgers play in 5 World Series in my first 20 years on the planet and I haven't seen them go back there in the second 20. It's been almost that long since their last NLCS - this is fun!

2008-10-09 17:04:25
293.   underdog
Three minutes in and I'm already annoyed by Fox.
2008-10-09 17:04:41
294.   Who Is Karim Garcia

I'm hoping for a new thread.

2008-10-09 17:05:31
295.   ToyCannon
Dogers Game 2 Tickets
Los Angeles Baseball Tickets. Check Our Prices. Save 10% Or More.

It was like ToyCannon was editing the ad.

2008-10-09 17:05:34
296.   trainwreck
Oh boy. More towels.
2008-10-09 17:06:11
297.   underdog
Oh here we go, Tim McCarver on Manny "Not a leader" Ramirez. Can't wait to hear him throughout this series.


2008-10-09 17:06:45
298.   Bob Hendley
So exciting that we are here. Unexpected, but not surprising. Go Bums!
2008-10-09 17:06:46
299.   Icaros
The reality of having to hear Buck and McCarver just hit me.
2008-10-09 17:07:56
300.   underdog
Sigh, if I didn't have to Tivo the 2nd half of this game I'd do the Vinny MLB audio synch thing throughout.
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2008-10-09 17:08:17
301.   Tripon
Tim McCarver is not a real man.
2008-10-09 17:09:10
302.   Jon Weisman
New post up top. Go for it, everyone.
2008-10-09 17:10:16
303.   ToyCannon
If we had a million pins and could stick them into a Joe Morgan doll everytime TimBuck says something worth rolling our eyes over, how long would it take to run out of pins?
2008-10-09 17:10:57
304.   LAT
Re Ticker Sales: I put four tickets, field level, behid home plate on EBay and am getting no action. These are scary economic times.
2008-10-09 17:21:01
305.   underdog
Small consolation: No Frank TV ads!
2008-10-09 17:28:37
306.   Rob M
2008-10-09 18:35:56
307.   seesdifferent
no way Kent gets that one.

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