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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
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11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Tonight, One Night
2008-10-15 06:30
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

The idea that Chad Billingsley has something to prove tonight, that his pride or manhood or dignity are on the line, is nauseating to me.

The idea - with the circus of brushback pitches now behind us - that if Billingsley doesn't pitch well, it will stigmatize him for the entire offseason if not beyond, is contemptible.

I believe Billingsley will do well tonight. I know he will try. I'm sure he learned something from his last start, though I'm not sure precisely what the lessons were. But he's a great young pitcher who had a fine season, and even if he had something to apologize for in his last start, that chapter should be closed.

Billingsley, and the Dodgers as a whole, are not seeking redemption tonight. They are seeking to win a game and earn the right to play another. Though many no doubt will, fans and the media should not look at tonight's game as one that will decide this team's legacy. The Dodgers' legacy is what they do, not what they fail to do.

Don't make this game into something it's not. Don't even give one night the potential to destroy what was accomplished over an entire season. Tonight's game is not about character. It's simply about hoping to experience that joy of victory at least one more time before the sun sets on 2008 and, like 28 other teams, you try to do better next year.

Comments (53)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-10-15 06:44:26
1.   D4P
I don't even think Billingsley pitched poorly last game. He seemed to have good stuff, didn't give up any HRs, and struck out a lot of hitters. He mostly just gave up a bunch of singles.

The bottom line with pitching is that somedays batted balls will find holes and gaps, and somedays they won't. This distinction doesn't necessarily reflect the quality of the pitcher's performance one way or another.

2008-10-15 06:58:33
2.   DodgerBlueBruce
389 Today is a day to rejoice that we are one of the 4 teams, well into autumn, that can still dream of what is possible and that is what I will be doing at 8:22PM local time.

That needed repeating.

We should enjoy every sandwich.

2008-10-15 07:09:13
3.   JoeyP
Don't even give one night the potential to destroy what was accomplished over an entire season.

What was accomplished?

2008-10-15 07:20:03
4.   Bob Timmermann
I apologize. My enjoyment of this season was misplaced. I will never do so again. Comment 3 has pointed out the folly of my ways.

I will clear any future enjoyment of a baseball season in advance.

2008-10-15 07:27:08
5.   JoeyP
Arent accomplishment & enjoyment two different things? Sometimes, not even tied to each other, especially in baseball.
2008-10-15 07:27:37
6.   Humma Kavula
Tonight, tonight
There's only Chad tonight
What he is, what he does, what he says

I hope that tonight the world is wild and bright, going mad, shooting sparks into space.

2008-10-15 07:29:15
7.   Bob Timmermann
5
If the Dodgers won the World Series, you would write it up as a fluke and not worthy of regard. You'd file it alongside the 2006 Cardinals championship.

So the deck is stacked in advance against them.

2008-10-15 07:33:25
8.   Rainman
7.Agreed. 60 days ago if anyone had told us that our team would be playing in Game 5 of the NLCS, they'd have locked 'em up. This is a flawed team who has willed themselves to be where they are by an improbable winning streak and an upset of the NL's best team by a bunch of kids with no playoff experience. I agree that our standard should be excellence, but take some time to enjoy the journey as well.
2008-10-15 07:34:58
9.   fracule
I find the idea of a season without folly, without villains, without almost as many loses as victories, I find that idea to be quite boring, unsatisfying, and frankly worthless. If we have nothing to look at, nothing to analyze, no yin to our yang, then what will we have to look forward to. I can think of a million ways that this season could have gone better, but I'm glad it has gone the way it has. Even if Chad gets pummeled tonight, which is just so unlikely, I will go to sleep dreaming of the heroes that will make up next year's cast of characters. How many wins and loses we will accumulate, how many game winning home runs or clutch hits we will get to witness, because after October it is not over, like a kid before Christmas, I'll spend the next 5 months contemplating what I want out of the Sears catalog, and knowing that I will see baseball again come the first beautiful days of April.
2008-10-15 07:35:30
10.   Dodger Dawg
One of the reasons for my frustration over the last loss is that this is as close to the World Series as the Dodgers have been in 20 years. There are no guarantees they'll be this close in the next 20 years.I just hope they come out tonight and give it all they have, they can beat Philly, they beat them 4 in a row this year and it's entirely possible they can do it again.
2008-10-15 07:37:41
11.   Eric Stephen
ToyCannon, going back to last thread, I was more taken aback because that is the first time I have seen Martin's attitude or character questioned in the media. Obviously some of these reports are to be taken with a heaping pile of salt, but that's more the angle I was getting at.
2008-10-15 07:40:17
12.   Jon Weisman
3 - If baseball is truly a win the World Series or bust endeavor for you, that's your choice. If you think the Dodgers' accomplishments and the Mariners' accomplishments were equal, go right ahead. But for most of us, the difference is too obvious to explain.
2008-10-15 07:44:23
13.   JoeyP
No of course its not.
However, I dont think winning 84 regular season games is that worthy of note as an accomplishment.

If you replace "accomplishment" with enjoyment, I agree. One game shouldnt alter the perceptions of the previous 169 games.

2008-10-15 07:47:32
14.   Humma Kavula
I think tonight's game will be the most enjoyable game of the year.

In a sense, the Dodgers have almost nothing riding on it tonight. The Dodgers' chances of advancing are not nonexistent, but are very small indeed.

Ah, but there it is: not nonexistent. We can relax enough to enjoy the game, but while that flame of hope still burns, the rewards for a win are very, very high.

Jon has talked in the past about losers (and winners) dividend games. This is something else. It's not that it doesn't matter who wins or loses. But it is like those games in that we can divest ourselves from whatever happens a bit and celebrate the team.

I'm gonna have fun watching this one, and I'm excited and glad that we've locked in our tickets for 2009.

2008-10-15 07:49:02
15.   Bob Timmermann
I think the management of the Angels, Cubs, White Sox, and Brewers all thought the Dodgers have accomplished more than their respective teams.
2008-10-15 07:49:58
16.   Brent is a Dodger Fan
Today, I'll try to think mostly good Dodger thoughts.
2008-10-15 07:51:46
17.   Jacob Burch
13 Before this year, the Dodgers were a team of twenty years of post season futility, a year of no October success or accomplishment.

We Swept the Cubs. We didn't fall into the playoffs, we took it by the throat. Yes, it only took 84 wins, but we got there after having an injury stricken year.

Yes, you enjoyed this team, but to not be proud of them (which is what I'd term as a team with accomplishment), in any degree, is to me equally confusing.

2008-10-15 07:53:56
18.   Jacob Burch
While I look forward to possibly splitting half or a quarter of the season with someone next year (Which reminds me to call BH sometime over the next few weeeks...), I look forward to the day, after a possible stay of leave away from LA, to be able to say "our seats."

An odd thing maybe, but hopefully one day.

2008-10-15 08:01:22
19.   cargill06
What can be made of this?

Billingsley vs. RHB .271 BABIP
Billingsley vs. LHB .347 BABIP

2008-10-15 08:03:24
20.   Jon Weisman
I think it's an accomplishment to give enjoyment.
2008-10-15 08:03:56
21.   FirstMohican
I absolutely do not get - if you really believe the Dodgers had to retaliate after Myers' pitch behind Manny's head - how Billingsley was supposed to waste a pitch on intimidating a Phillie. The guy gave up 7 in 2 1/3 innings, walking 3, and he was supposed to get behind in the count, or waste a pitchers count? The idea is absurd to me, but I'm absolutely not surprised Kennedy or McCarver totally neglected to put Billingsley's "lack of standing up for his team" in context.
2008-10-15 08:13:07
22.   bagg4
I abandoned ship in August after that horrible road trip. The playoffs are bonus time for a team that has overachieved at this point. There is a good collection of young talent that has gotten a chance to taste the playoffs. I'd like them to go all the way, but I'm not going to be sharpening any knives if they don't. It's not too early to be looking at what needs to be fixed....A closer, a 4th starter, a healthier bench. Can we afford Manny and Casey? I like DeWitt at second. Hope the boys can win 3 more this year, but it was an interesting ride. Finally, let's be glad that we get another year with Vin.
2008-10-15 08:13:13
23.   fracule
20 How else would measure a career in 'entertainment'?
2008-10-15 08:13:30
24.   eusmus
It's gonna be interesting to see which Dodger youngster is thrown under the bus if the Dodgers don't win Game 5.
2008-10-15 08:13:44
25.   Rob M
19 I suspect the line drive rate with LHB is commensurately higher.
2008-10-15 08:14:17
26.   Eric Stephen
21
The only opportunity, if any, was in the first inning, right after Manny was thrown behind. Using the same protocol as the Kuroda/Victorino skirmish (2 outs, nobody on, next immediate inning), Utley was the target in game 2. However, Billingsley's control with his fastball was off, and not being able to hit Utley was a harbinger of things to come. Curveball was awesome that day, but the fastball was a mystery.
2008-10-15 08:14:29
27.   fracule
21 Totally agreed. I'm beginning to believe that they are, at times, trying to be caustic.
2008-10-15 08:18:01
28.   cargill06
25 That's probably a pretty safe assumption. I just want someone to tell me that's very flukey, because with Philly having 6 of 9 LHB in the line-up tonight.
2008-10-15 08:19:38
29.   jasonungar07
The media just blows this stuff up because it's there. The players felt that way. I felt that way. McCarver etc can talk all they want. When someone hit Gretzky I expected McSorely and fast. Same goes with Manny. You throw behind Manny and the very next pitch we throw has to flatten whoever is up to bat, no matter what the situation and you move on.
2008-10-15 08:21:23
30.   old dodger fan
If Billingsley was going to retaliate he had 2 opportunites. The ball behind Manny was in the top of the 1st

In the bottom of the 1st Rollins struck out and Victorino flew out. Utley was next. With 2 out and none on that was his 1st chance. Instead he walked him.

In the bottom of the 2nd Burrell and Werth both struck out and Dobbs came up with none on and 2 out. That was his 2nd chance. Dobbs singled.

Whether he should have or not is a different question; he could have thrown behind him or over his head or whatever, but he did have 2 instances of bases empty and 2 out which is the time to do it.

2008-10-15 08:21:32
31.   jasonungar07
Chad will be dealing tonight. I can't wait. A bunch of zeros is the best thing he could do to "man up"
2008-10-15 08:27:47
32.   cargill06
Let's hope the law of averages even out tonight, fot that to happen...

LHB vs. Billingsley tonight 2-12 BABIP(.353 BABIP in series)
RHB vs. Billingsley tonight 0-9 BABIP (.286 BABIP in series)

Billingsley's line 8 IP, 2 hits, 2 BB, 5 K's

2008-10-15 08:32:20
33.   FirstMohican
30 - He was down 3-0 to Utley, a lefty, with Howard, a lefty, on deck. You can disagree all you want, but with Philly's lineup, that is NOT an opportunity to hit (or brush back) Utley. With Dobbs, he was down 1-0, then 1-1. If that was an opportunity, then yeah, retaliate by hitting the centerpiece of the Philly lineup, Greg "146 OPS+ in 27 ABs in 2006" Dobbs.
2008-10-15 08:34:30
34.   Kevin Lewis
I'm ditching the softball game and going to the game tonight. I intend to enjoy myself no matter what and to not have any voice tomorrow!
2008-10-15 08:37:36
35.   MC Safety
I'm trying to round up some tix for me and my girl for tonight's game. I am not going out like that, Matt Stairs.
2008-10-15 08:41:18
36.   Eric Stephen
34
Yes! You will receive karmic reward for being the family man during the Cubs series.
2008-10-15 08:42:03
37.   MC Safety
People are still talking about the 7 Year Beanball War?
2008-10-15 08:42:24
38.   Harold M Johnson
So excited to go to tonight's game. It might be the last one at the stadium this year, and it's been a great year.

Personally, the only # of wins a team has to have for me to feel they accomplished something is the # it takes to get to the playoffs. Anything above that is gravy.

2008-10-15 08:45:02
39.   Jon Weisman
35 - Plenty of nice ticket offers in recent DT threads.
2008-10-15 08:46:42
40.   Jim Hitchcock
Finally, let's be glad that we get another year with Vin.

The salient point.

2008-10-15 08:47:52
41.   MC Safety
39 Thanks for the heads up, Jon.
2008-10-15 08:50:29
42.   CanuckDodger
Most of us know that the media doesn't just report the facts, they sell the public a "narrative," and the narrative that is forming around the Dodgers in this LCS series is so revolting and wrong-headed it really makes me wonder if it would have been best for the Dodgers to not even make the post-season. We have been hearing all about the Dodgers' young players wilting under the pressure or succumbing to their lack of experience, and it will be said even more often and at higher volume if the Dodgers do anything but win the World Series.
2008-10-15 08:51:25
43.   GiantturnedDodger
I went to the game on Monday night and had a tremendous time even as I felt all night that our inability to bust the game open early would come back to haunt us. I don't think I have ever been this emotionally involved with a Dodger team so the loss was difficult. I tossed and turned all night sleeping little and almost missed my 7AM flight out of LA the next morning. I learned a long time ago, coaching my boys in youth baseball, that every team, except one, will eventually lose. You know it going in but sometimes you don't accept it. In coaching my boys there was so much joy and it's easier with kids to 'wait until next year'. I guess it's the 20 year drought with the Dodgers and the fact that I really felt like they could win this series. I was hoping for the Red Sox in the next round as I felt they were more flawed this year then the Dodgers. The post season has been a joy this year. The texting and phone calls from my 3 kids from all over the country during games making it extra special. My oldest called after we beat the Cubs, very emotional. My wife blames me for getting the kids too involved in this but that's the beauty of sports. It was/is a special time. Have the Dodgers turned the corner as an organization so we can expect to compete every year? I don't know the answer to that question. I do know that this was a special year and I will watch tonights game, in a sports bar in Denver with my blackberry in hand tracking Dodger Thoughts, with hope and a better sense of just enjoying the game. Thanks Jon for this outstanding place to further the enjoyment of Dodger baseball.
2008-10-15 08:51:39
44.   scareduck
0 - The Dodgers' legacy is what they do, not what they fail to do.

This is a terrible misreading of the situation. The Cubs have turned into this sort of a franchise. Don't blink; it could happen to the Dodgers, too.

2008-10-15 08:53:29
45.   scareduck
22 - I abandoned ship in August after that horrible road trip. The playoffs are bonus time for a team that has overachieved at this point. There is a good collection of young talent that has gotten a chance to taste the playoffs. I'd like them to go all the way, but I'm not going to be sharpening any knives if they don't.

Agreed.

2008-10-15 08:53:58
46.   ToyCannon
35
From last thread lots of DT people were offering tickets.

Any DT people in the Loge, we will be in our normal spot. I blame myself for Mondays loss. I gave my tickets to my niece after going 2 - 0 in the playoffs and her karma was not able to deliver the goods. While some of you still think we can win the series, I think this crowd will be more about thanking the Dodgers for a great season and for breaking the 20 year postseason blues. It could be the last time we see Manny in Blue.

Are we expecting Jeff Kent to be playing 2nd base tonight? I am.

2008-10-15 08:54:16
47.   MC Safety
377 in the last thread made me laugh.
2008-10-15 08:58:08
48.   Jon Weisman
44 - No one's pointed out the possibility that the Dodgers could be the next Cubs more than me.

But the Dodgers will have the same moves to make regardless of how this season ends. Focusing on the team's so-called failings in 2008 will not make the team better in 2009 and beyond. In fact, quite possibly, it could make the team worse.

The moves that need to be made, need to be made regardless of this team's legacy.

2008-10-15 08:58:38
49.   Bumsrap
I was away for a couple of days so I am late with comments.

Billingsley should have thrown the first pitch of the second inning behind the hitter.

I turned off the TV at the end of 7 innings because Torre was over managing and I saw no good coming from it. Glad I did. Got to enjoy 7 innings and sleep well.

So far the Phillies have been better managed than the Dodgers in this series.

Before we talk about what was or was not accomplished this season, lets wait to see whether or not the Dodgers become World Champions. That might make a difference.

2008-10-15 08:58:51
50.   Jon Weisman
46 - Torre said yesterday DeWitt would start. Kemp for Pierre is the only lineup changed he said would happen.

NPUT

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-10-15 09:06:56
51.   Kevin Lewis
36

You're correct! It is almost not fair for me to attend tonight's game. Get ready for your comeuppance Phillies.

Side note: I never knew "comeuppance" was one word until now.

2008-10-15 09:15:45
52.   gibsonhobbs88
If this is truly the last game tonight, let us toast this team on their perserverance through a plethora of injuries that would have buried most teams in fourth or last place depending on the division you are in. The fact tht they got here despite not fiedling their best team for pretty much the full season when you include the fact that Andruw Jones was a bust, Ethier started then was benched even though he was hitting well, Furcal was hurt in May along with our 3rd basemen, Penny, our closer and a host of other injuries. The team hovered at, under or just above the .500 mark through August and then caught fire through September to win the division. We swept the Cubs winning our first postseason series in 20 years. We have accomplished something this year and our young talent has received a big dose of playoff pressure, that even if we do fall short this week in the NLCS, will serve them well when they get to this spot again, and they will! I am optimistic they will find a way to sign Manny provided he really wants to play here and is comfortable playing in LA. If anything, he makes our lineup something to be reckoned with when he is there batting third. For Mr. McCourt's consideration, Manny also put a lot of extra butts in the seats, meaning extra parking, concessions, ect.. instead of tickets sold but empty unused seats for a team that had no buzz prior to Manny's arrival. I will be there tonight, rooting them on to win on the 20th anniversary of Gibby's HR so we can extend this back to Philly and maybe, who knows? I want to thank all of the regular posters, especially the ones I met at the BBQ luncheon in August for a great year talking Dodger baseball.
Let's go Blue! Billingsley should not be judged on this one night! He is still young and will learn from what was a bad outing!
2008-10-15 09:16:41
53.   regfairfield
Teams that would have less playoff success than the Dodgers since 1988 if not for this years run:

Kansas City, Washington

We'd be tied with the Brewers and the Rangers with one playoff win. That alone is reason to celebrate.

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