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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Letting Go
2008-11-16 22:33
by Jon Weisman

Two primary situations cause me to yell at my kids.

The first is fear of them getting hurt. Saturday, for example, while my wife worked, I took advantage of an invitation to a Staples Center suite and brought my kids there. The Clippers happened to be playing, but that wasn't why I was going. The reasons were to spend time with the friend who invited me, and to be in a confined space where I could patrol all three of my children.

Except you realize once you get there that the space isn't entirely confined. The Plexiglas in front of the suite is so low, a dachshund could see over it. That consterned me throughout the game, which I was hardly able to pay any attention to, though for the most part the kids were good.

Then, in the fourth quarter, while I held the baby, while my daughter gabbed with her schoolmate, my 4-year-old stood on the ledge to the right of the second row of seats, with a smile. And I could read his mind. He was going to try to jump and land on the ledge right in front of the first row of the suite, fronted only by that low window of Plexiglas. And if he didn't stick the landing, if he stumbled forward, he was going to tumble right out of the suite down to the level below.

I yelled his name. I screamed, "No! No! NO!!!" He took off in the air, and he landed on his two feet.

I practically dropped the baby - I laid him down with such haste that his head knocked against the base of a chair. I scrambled over the seats and grabbed my elder son before he got any other ideas.

I lectured him, sternly, emotionally, angrily, almost tearfully but most of all, hopelessly. I lectured him that he had to listen, that the word "No" was a no-holds-barred stop sign that he had to obey. It's a lecture that I've given him on a different scale hundreds of times now, over matters much less perilous, precisely because I wanted him to make sure he listened to me when it really mattered.

It doesn't work. I keep doing it, but it doesn't work. I don't remember ignoring my father hardly ever in my lifetime, but my son does it a number of times each day. After I finished with him, exasperated, I went to the back of the suite, trying to collect myself - and kicked a cabinet. (Even at a Clipper game, where exasperation is par for the course, this gets noticed.)

The frustration is getting to me. I know he's only 4. I know. I'm trying to do what the books and the sage and my head all tell me, with timeouts and 1-2-3 and not getting emotional. But this kid nearly leaped out of a suite without a net; before that he nearly rode his trike into a street. He's a wonderful boy, but he's got a mind of his own and then some. He has to have what he wants and do what he wants to do. And the fear that it churns inside me makes me lose it and yell at him, because nothing is working and I don't want him to end up in the hospital or worse.

The second reason I yell at my kids is out of impatience. If the previous scenario can at least in part be excused as selfless concern, this second situation is more selfish. Yes, I want the kids to brush their teeth the first time I ask, so that they get to bed on time and get enough sleep for the next school day, but I also want them to do it so that I can get to the things I need to do - like Dodger Thoughts, for example.

If I surrender to the kids, if I turn off the clock and just let the pace dictate the pace, it makes a huge difference. If I do all that, I relax. But it's not automatic. The baby is up by 6 a.m., and with that I'm on the clock, either at home or at work, until my 6-year-old daughter turns out her light at 8 or 8:15 p.m. That doesn't leave me much time to attend to the rest of my life. The pressure builds, and I have to make a conscious decision how to deal with it. Sometimes, it's hard to convince myself to surrender. One day it can feel so easy, and the next it feels so difficult.

Either way, I've already yelled at my kids more than my parents ever yelled at me. In that respect, I'm 180 degrees from the dad I want to be. I can't tell you how ashamed I am of this. I want these kids to be good people, but I have to be more willing to let them make more mistakes. I'm too demanding, too proactive, too protective, too paranoid. I need to toughen up, by letting go.

Over the past few years, I think I've already achieved this with the Dodgers. It takes the extreme to make me angry. I offer my opinion, I react, but mostly it's live and let live, hoping for the best, often settling for something less. Before I started this website, I think Dodger lows got to me more than the highs. Now, it's the reverse. The good moments truly elate me, the bad stuff goes away.

It's not a coincidence that since 2002, the year that Dodger Thoughts and my first child were both born, my kids became the real pennant race. But I have to accept that winning and losing are both inevitable. I don't want to be the brat kicking dirt at the umpire. I want to be the guy who accepts defeat with grace and calm and looks straight ahead to the next game.

Comments (414)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-11-16 23:00:10
1.   Eric Stephen
Jon, you have set a high standard here at Dodger Thoughts. Your best work seems to be when you pour your heart out, like this post.
2008-11-16 23:03:39
2.   Jacob Burch
This is the Hour of Lead —
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow —
First — Chill — then Stupor — then the letting go.

Unrelated to the post content, but it's a top five favorite poem (and the inspiration of one of the more important albums of my life).

2008-11-16 23:05:34
3.   TellMeTheScoreRickMonday
Great writing Jon. I'll be at a suite Monday, sans kids (after reading your article). Glad to hear he's okay--I'm listening to you, too.
2008-11-16 23:08:13
4.   milkshakeballa
Deep...great post Jon. This post and the post about your 40th bday last year are some of the most moving pieces I have read on the internet.

Thank you.

If any of my Dodger brothers are in interested in some Oakley sunglasses I was able to pick up quite a few today. Over 50-60% off, never been worn. Just email me @

2008-11-16 23:30:10
5.   Dave G
Jon, thanks so much for the wonderful thoughts.

My grandmother passed away this morning. Her last thoughts, communicated to my mother last night, were simply: "my children have all been so good. Don't cry--be happy." This comes from the 90 year-old mother of 5 girls and 1 boy, who herself grew up in Karachi in what's now Pakistan, lost everything and moved to Delhi in 1948, and lived the last 15 years of her life here in LA--and all of her kids grew up to do great things themselves, and all of their kids (if I do say so) have done pretty well too. Her entire focus was not on her own imminent passing, but pride in her children and concern for their happiness.

So that's grandma. My dad passed away last year at 85, after a similarly full life. He was particularly interesting because he was an incredibly successful professional and bragged about his kids all the time to those outside the family--yet we were constantly berated at home because it seemed like every time we did something that was the slightest bit not HIS WAY, we'd get yelled at. Now, he was certainly a control freak and had insecurity issues, but it did mean that despite his incredible love for us, he was very hard to live with. It really doesn't sound like you're on this level, but his need for control really affected his relationships with the people closest to him.

I'm 25 and single, so I have no knowledge of parenting except for my experience. But I do know that for whatever reason, I cried more for my grandmother today than for my father last year.

2008-11-16 23:38:37
6.   bhsportsguy
5 I'm sorry for both of your losses, I hope your memories of their love and best wishes for your future sustain you at this time.
2008-11-16 23:42:20
7.   trainwreck
Thanks for letting us into your personal thoughts and issues, Jon.

I saw the movie Joshua this weekend. Between that and Jon's story, I am thinking I will not be ready for kids until I am 40.

2008-11-16 23:47:57
8.   milkshakeballa
I feel the same way train!

Good news: I'm hearing Moser to UCLA along with a few other people!!

2008-11-16 23:51:42
9.   trainwreck
The fact that he all of a sudden was willing to commit during the early signing period after his visit to UCLA was a good sign.
2008-11-17 00:40:38
10.   Daniel Zappala
Jon, a couple thoughts. You are probably not doing as badly as you think. You're there for your kids, and you love them, and that's incredibly important. If you think you are being too harsh, you can change. I used to be a yeller when I was a new dad, but I decided I didn't want to be that way and (I think) I am much better at staying calm now. You will get more time to yourself as your kids get older, and then you will miss reading bedtime stories to them, when they instead want to talk to their friends on the phone.

I was talking to a friend yesterday, who had one docile child and two strong-willed ones. She is now grateful for the ones who were disobedient at an early age, because they ended up being very open with their feelings, so she is on really good terms with them. The one who was "easy", who always went along with what she said, is now realizing he wants to be his own person and takes no advice at all. Sometimes you don't know your blessings until much later in life.

Finally, I have learned that I can't do everything I want to do. If I try to do the most important things each day, then I can go to bed knowing that, although I let some stuff slide, it wasn't the most important things to me.

2008-11-17 00:52:04
11.   jasonungar07
Yeah mine already walks away (sometimes) after thinking about it and he is 11 months. I have decided to embrace it. Keep up the good work Jon. I am sure you are doing great and it's going to be awesome to read what all the dads will be saying regarding this post. There is nothing for me to add other than I appreciate a glimpse into your life and this site is top notch and I love it.
2008-11-17 02:16:35
12.   Eric Enders
Stuff like this is why I read Dodger Thoughts.
2008-11-17 03:55:41
13.   adamclyde
In my recollection, my father raised his voice only twice at me. It was well deserved. The fact that I've done that untold times at my kids is deeply disturbing. I don't want to. And, like you mentioned, it's really disappointing and embarrassing.

Then, I asked my dad recently how he was able to stay calm so much when we were kids. He was kind of amused because in his estimation, he yelled too much at us when we were kids.

thankfully, my recollection was different than his. So I'm hopeful that if I can improve, my children's recollection of their relationship with me will be equally positive.

I guess what I'm saying is that I think if we are generally trying to be restrained, our kids remember the positive and seem to forget the negative. Or at least that's how I comfort myself in my parenting mediocrity... Thanks for your words and example...

2008-11-17 06:13:54
14.   D4P
This post highlights some of the reasons why I don't want to have kids in the first place.

I know people with kids usually say that the benefits are worth the costs. While I am sure that some people really feel that way, I also tend to think that some people say that because they don't want to face and/or admit the alternative. They love their kids and realize they can't undo having them, but some part of them kinda wonders what it would have been like if they had chosen a different path in life.

Knowing myself as well as I do, I am quite comfortable believing that the costs would outweigh the benefits, and that I place too much value on my autonomy and freedom (especially with respect to how I spend my time) to be happy giving that up in exchange for having a kid or kids to take care of. Plus, I tend to feel like I get many of the benefits of having kids from animals instead, which is particularly true because I like animals more than kids. (And when the cats are being annoying, I can just put them outside, something you can't really do with a kid).

On a related note: my wife and I have spent the past 5 or so years watching all of our friends have kids, and pretty much losing our friendships in the process. It hasn't been fun.

2008-11-17 06:26:59
15.   Penarol1916
Your 4-year old sound a lot like my youngest who is now 3. Yelling was pretty much the worst thing to do with him as he would hide face and refuse to listen. I think I get my yelling from my mother, who used to yell all of the time. Frankly, the kid who is the hardest to keep from yelling at is my 11-year old daughter. Part of it is just the fact that I feel she is being spoiled by my wife and mother-in-law and it just feels.

14. I believe that you are right that some people do regret having kids because of the the loss of autonomy, and I think for some people it just wasn't the right time, or they just don't have the type personality for which it would ever have been the right time. I think the key is to know yourself well enough to make a good decision and to be comfortable with what you decide no matter what. As for losing your friends, I had the opposite situation. I had kids about 5-years before any of my other friends did, and lost them all at once. I wonder which one is harder, the dripping away of one set of friends at a time, or the ripping off the band-aid of losing them all at once.

2008-11-17 06:33:22
16.   D4P
I had kids about 5-years before any of my other friends did, and lost them all at once

Did you end up making friends with other people (especially, other people with kids), or did you just not have any friends at all?

2008-11-17 06:38:21
17.   CanuckDodger
14 -- I have found that if you don't have kids, and don't want them, it is best not to say anything about kids unless you are quite sure you aren't being heard or read by anybody who does have kids. It's just begging for trouble, really.
2008-11-17 06:39:09
18.   Penarol1916
16. My wife had a lot of already parent friends, since she was already a parent when I met her, and I spend some time with them, but frankly, I'm not friends with them. I'm really bad at making friends, so I'd say I don't really have friends at all. Which is okay, because frankly, I'm not sure where I would fit them into my schedule, because I really enjoy the stuff I do with my kids and I wouldn't want to cut any of it out for friends.
2008-11-17 06:44:48
19.   D4P
I know what you mean. It's a very sensitive subject. In my field (land use and environmental planning), it seems pretty clear that just about every problem we're trying to solve is exacerbated by increases in population, such that "the best thing" one can probably do from the standpoint of protecting the environment, avoiding climate change, etc. etc. etc. is to not have kids.

But that's a message most people (including many people who are otherwise committed to "green" causes) don't want to hear, and it's a message that has a good chance of bringing about much harm to the messenger.

Most of the world (including the US) looks at the decision to have as many kids as you want as a personal, private decision over which other people should have no influence.

2008-11-17 06:55:35
20.   CanuckDodger
19 -- A "sensitive subject?" Oh, that is an understatement. Just saying "I don't want kids" will make some people hate you, especially mothers. And unless it is praise, nobody wants to hear anything from other people about THEIR kids. And NEVER offer parenting advice if you don't have kids yourself. You could be right, but nobody wants to hear it -- not from you.
2008-11-17 07:03:27
21.   D4P
All true. I never offer parenting advice, and can't really imagine a scenario in which I would. For one thing, no one ever asks me for it, for which I'm grateful. I think the notion that there's a "right way" to parent such that problems will either be avoided or eliminated when they arise is probably misguided anyway.

Not unlike marriage, parenting is not something to be mastered, but rather something to just work through, one day at a time, with much need for patience, tolerance, and grace.

2008-11-17 07:04:23
22.   OhioBlues12
Great post Jon! I can really identify with the struggle you are having with yourself. I have a 10 yr old stepdaughter and I, too, feel that I may raise my voice too often and it is something that makes me wonder why I do it.

My dad was the same way with me, often yelling at me in frustration. His tones were more of exasperation rather than anger and now I find myself using those same tones with my stepdaughter. I used to tell myself that I wouldn't be that way with my children, but the reaction is so instinctive that I do it without even thinking. My stepdaughter is great in many ways but her tendancy to move at her own pace without regard to time or schedules infuriates me to no end. I really wonder what it is that goes through her mind in the mornings as she meanders through the same routine to get ready for school as if it is the first time she has ever done it. Her disregard for her possessions also gets me going as she is apt to leaving socks and shoes just lying about knowing full well that we have a dog that loves to chew up such things.

I wonder sometimes if my approach would be different with my own son or daughter as opposed to my stepdaughter and it will certainly be something that I will have to be cognizant of if we happen to have another child. As a stepfather I feel that I ride a fine line, though that line is disappearing with time, and that I am depowered sometimes as my wife trumps me in certain situations. I am already preparing for the day when she says that she doesn't have to listen to me because I am not her father. I have supported everthing she has done and pushed her to try to do things the right way since she was 4 years old and it will be crushing to hear those words.

This is why I love coming here to read the posts, it is more than just a mutual affection for a baseball team. It is the realization that others are facing the same struggles that I face and a reminder that I should try even harder to break bad habits that I let myself fall into.

2008-11-17 07:06:33
23.   fernst2937
(14) With our friends who made the same decision you made we made an effort not to talk about the kids all the time.

Our friends also seem to understand that having a family changed the demands on our time, and they adjusted to our situation

The friendships have changed but continue to endure.

2008-11-17 07:09:37
24.   Penarol1916
20. I think most people don't want to hear parenting advise from other people regardless of whether or not the person giving the advise is a parent. I think D4P is right in that parenting is like marriage in that each relationship is very complex and difficult to assess from outside when one is not intimately familiar with both personality and their dynamic. That is why I refuse to give advise on either even when asked.
2008-11-17 07:14:15
25.   OhioBlues12
D4P - I used to have very similar feelings regarding kids, in that I never pictured myself having any and I certainly wasn't very "kid-friendly". The personal journey that I have been through after dating and subsequently marrying a woman with a child has been great for me. I am not saying that it is for everyone but it really allowed me to grow as a person and I have benefitted tremendously. Though, I will say that my stepdaughter is probably the only child that could've melted my icy exterior toward children at the time. She is just charming that way.
2008-11-17 07:14:34
26.   Ken Noe
0 Jon, expect a big change anytime now. My independent handful of a four-year-old turned into the most fun five-year-old on earth. He's now the coolest 21 year-old Dodger fan on earth.

FWIW, we raised quite a few eyebrows in the family stopping at one child. Someone's always there to disapprove, whatever the choice.

2008-11-17 07:15:19
27.   D4P
I think our friends with kids do make some effort to talk about other things, but part of the problem is that when we're together, their kids dominate the encounter whether the parents intend for them to or not. If the kids are awake, they're running around making noise and being distracting. Or, one or both of the parents is involved in feeding them. If it's time for the kids to go to bed, one or both of the parents is involved in bathing them, reading bedtime stories, etc. Plus, the kids don't fall asleep right away, so one or both of the parents has to go in and be with the kid for long periods of time. It makes it difficult to really engage in conversations and such.

We feel like our friends our pretty much gone, and have been replaced by other people that we don't have nearly as much in common with anymore. They have been transformed from bright, intelligent, thoughtful people to virtual slaves who don't really have lives of their own. It's probably not fair for me to feel this way, but I kind of feel betrayed by them and a little resentful.

2008-11-17 07:16:12
28.   Penarol1916
22. You sound a lot like me with my daughter, of course, since her father was never in the picture I ended up adopting her so I at least have the legal papers to refute that claim. But since I was not there from the beginning, there is a lot that I am overruled on when it comes to her that is not the case with my two sons, it makes things somewhat awkward.
2008-11-17 07:21:23
29.   Penarol1916
27. They can't do a night with a sitter? My biggest problem with my friends is that most of them live far away and I just can't travel to DC, San Francisco, or New York on a whim without the kids and I don't really want to subject my friends to my kids or my kids to my friends who don't really care for kids. It's not fair for either person. On those rare occassions that I am able to get together with them, it's usually just for a lunch while they're in town and it's a lot of fun, but I really don't think that it's enough to keep the friendships going.
2008-11-17 07:25:01
30.   D4P
They can't do a night with a sitter?

Two of our friends in particular can't bear to be apart from their kids. The mother is especially unable to cut the cord, even for an hour or so.

2008-11-17 07:27:25
31.   Penarol1916
My wife was like that for a while, but I think that the bigger problem was that our sitter is either her mom or one of her sisters and she always felt guilty using them or for being gone for more than an hour or two (which has really hurt when we've gone to weddings), and she is just now starting to trust other sitters to watch the kids.
2008-11-17 07:30:18
32.   CanuckDodger
27 -- "They have been transformed from bright, intelligent, thoughtful people to virtual slaves who don't really have lives of their own."

Absolutely. I have seen it often. People with university degrees in literature all of a sudden never have time to read a book that isn't a "children's book." People who used to see serious films and follows good TV series, and could talk engagingly about them, one day don't know anything outside of Sesame Street and SpongeBob SquarePants, or whatever its called. It's like the people you thought you knew were, out of the blue, replaced by pod people from Invasion Of The Body Snatchers.

2008-11-17 07:33:37
33.   Ken Arneson
Jon, I can totally empathize.

20 One thing I've learned from parenting that I didn't know before I became a parent is that it's the child that dictates what kind of parent you're going to be, far more than the other way around. Your parenting philosophies go out the window once that reality hits you. That's why outside parenting advice usually isn't welcome. Whatever you think the parent is doing wrong, well, the parent would probably rather not be doing it that way, either.

My first kid is straight out of the textbooks--you scold her in a calm voice with a rational explanation, and she feels guilty and stops doing whatever she was doing. Oh, this parenting thing is easy, I thought.

My second kid was the complete opposite. Calm, rational explanations are utterly useless--they flow off her like water off a duck's back. She's a creature of emotion, very empathic, and if I want a lesson like "don't jump off ledges" to sink in with her, I have to get angry with her. She needs that transfer of emotion, to know that I'm angry, before she gets it.

People who see me getting angry with her are often surprised--I am usually the calmest person in any room I'm in. But that's what works, so that's the role I play. Believe me, I'd prefer the rational expanation path any day of the week.

Now I've got a third kid, and I'm figuring out a completely new set of rules about what works and what doesn't. Parenting is the ultimate improv class.

2008-11-17 07:35:17
34.   Jon Weisman
27 - I see very little of my pre-kid friends, but that the fault is mutual. It's hard for us to give our friends our full attention, much harder for us to go out rather than stay in, but I found that my friends really struggled to meet us halfway. Whatever effort I made to keep the connection, they made less. They're good people, but they were in effect more insistent on keeping the friendship going on their terms. It's a two-way street.

I may be speaking out of turn here, but is your resentment something they sense, that exacerbates the problem?

2008-11-17 07:36:31
35.   Jon Weisman
29 - For some of us, a sitter is a very expensive treat.
2008-11-17 07:40:47
36.   Jon Weisman
I do have one good friend who has stuck with us. We used to go out all the time - now he has been coming to our house regularly for dinner for the past six years. He hangs out with us while we put the kids to bed, and then we spend the rest of the night talking politics, etc.
2008-11-17 07:41:50
37.   D4P
People with university degrees in literature all of a sudden never have time to read a book that isn't a "children's book."

Ironically, one of our male friends with 2 new kids is getting a PhD in English Lit at Duke, and the female has a law degree. But now if seems like their brains are wasting away. The female (who instigated the having kids thing) shocked us recently when she said that she had nothing going on in her life.

2008-11-17 07:41:56
38.   Bob Timmermann
I think Jon should hire the Timmermann/Shimmin Babysitting Agency.

There would be pleated pants, C-SPAN, and bemused looks all around.

2008-11-17 07:47:10
39.   D4P
I may be speaking out of turn here, but is your resentment something they sense, that exacerbates the problem?

I'm not 100% sure, but I think they couldn't have helped but sensed a change in our attitude toward them. Like you, they typically stay in now instead of going out, which means that our interactions are almost always us going to their house. We never initiate these interactions, in part because we want to let them work out their own schedules and don't want to pressure them. But it's also true that we don't enjoy being around them as much as we used to.

I agree with you that there's a 2-way street involved, and I willingly accept some of the blame. But the thing is: I don't really care whether we're friends with them or not anymore, so I don't feel like putting out much effort.

2008-11-17 07:55:51
40.   Bob Hendley
I grew up in a family of eight children, top of the bottom four (top four claimed that they were part of a normal family until we came along). With my dad away often fighting wars and what not, and my mom working as well, we basically used the prison/military system for keeping control and raising our siblings. My eldest sister, Mitchell, bore the brunt of the active parenting, but kept the rest of us in line. As noted, I was in charge of the bottom four. My parents' time was precious and had to be reserved for one-on-one cuddling and the such, with my father threatening to "lower the boom" occasionally, to keep everything running smoothly. So, for example, if my younger brother had a problem, I needed to resolve it and only if I couldn't was it moved up the chain of command. Needless to say, we all ended up having only children, but they have a lot of aunts and uncles who are active in helping to raise them.
2008-11-17 07:56:38
41.   adrian beltre
jon, what an amazing post. i believe the reason that my girlfriend and family members who aren't die-hard fans have become addicted to this site as i did previously, is because of posts like that. of course, it doesn't take long to love the dodgers when you always put them in context so eloquently. i'm checking in front buenos aires, argentina, and i wanted to get to a computer to send my thoughts to those affected bye the fires, to check in on the hot stove happenings, and of course, because i have no choice, i feel a distinct need for dodger thoughts in my daily life.
2008-11-17 07:57:52
42.   Penarol1916
35. For us it is more psychologically expensive than monetarily.
2008-11-17 07:58:24
43.   Disabled List
I have nothing to add to this discussion, other than to caution Jon against admitting publicly that he exposed his young children to the Clippers.

That might get the attention of Child Protective Services.

2008-11-17 08:00:06
44.   Sushirabbit
I'm right there with Ken. First one listens (except when you tell him to get dressed: put on shirt, put on pants, etc, etc) Second one is the one with mind of his own. It doesn't help that the wife seems to take openess to the extreme and allows him to do all sorts of things. I've found him with a pairing knife in his hands, and the exasperation in my voice is really with her. I had a similar, though less scary, incident as yours. And I'm guessing you also feel bad about taking the 5 seconds it took to actively engage your friend. It seems sometimes that they wait till your fully engaged with someone else to "make their move". I suspect that this is part of their exploration of independence. And that out kids are pretty attuned to us, so when they get the chance to "fly" they take it.

My wife gets mad because I sometimes say Ben, will be the death of me. But I really think he'll give me a heart attack one day. I just hope it's a long time from now.

2008-11-17 08:00:51
45.   CanuckDodger
And really, friendships withering because of children isn't the whole story. If you are single, the friendship often dies before the married couple has children. The marriage itself may be the friendship's death knell. I'm single, and have had friends who have gotten married and then started socializing only on the "couples level," excluding old friends who aren't married. And usually it is the wife who wants it that way and the husband just goes along.
2008-11-17 08:03:36
46.   Penarol1916
37. It is also possible that she does have something going on their life but since it is kid-centric, she knows that you see no value in it and sees no point in bringing it up with you. When you have kids, your brain doesn't waste away, it just becomes focused on different things, and they are mostly things that won't interest anyone else, but that does not mean that your brain is mush. I don't think spending this weekend with my 5-year old son figuring out how we would live if the family moved to Russia like he wants was a brain dead or boring activity, but I certainly know that noone else would really want to hear about it or spend the time to do it.
2008-11-17 08:09:09
47.   CanuckDodger
46 -- Your 5-year-old wants to live in Russia, and you have to spend time dealing with that? You see, this is why I could never be a parent. I'd be gouging out my eyes if I were in your shoes.:)
2008-11-17 08:11:23
48.   D4P
I agree with what you say, but in this case, she was really expressing that her life was pretty dull and depressing. Which annoyed us, because she was the one who wanted to have kids in the first place. It's tempting to be petty in those situations, and think "You got what you wanted, so be happy with it."
2008-11-17 08:11:45
49.   fordprefect
Jon, I feel for you, I always feel guilty for yelling at mine (now 15). But don't forget sometimes they need that klaxon call to bring them back from the brink of self-destruction!
And the need for that kind of yelling seems to have decreased (at least in my case). Take heart! In time, real conversations will take place and that independent streak in your 4-yr-old may blossom into a strong young mind.
2008-11-17 08:13:06
50.   Penarol1916
47. But the thing is, it let me do something I really enjoy doing, exploring the way other people live. We went to the library to check out books and a movie about Russia and reading them. Frankly, I love to explain and explore things with people, it's just a lot of fun to me. But I'm just strange like that, because that same project would make my wife gouge out her eyes too.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-11-17 08:16:30
51.   Penarol1916
48. It could be that she got into parenting without realizing what it really entailed. It goes back to your point about parenting and marriage. Some people get married thinking about the romance, but not the day-to-day issues of living with someone else. This friend seems to have wanted to become a parent based on the "romance" of parenting. Or it could just be post-partum depression, what do I know?
2008-11-17 08:18:06
52.   ryu
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the SEC has charged Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban with insider trading.
2008-11-17 08:18:07
53.   Marty
I spent about a quarter of my life as a child grounded for some crime or another I committed. But there was a lot of temptation in my house.

One example was my dad was a hunter and liked to reload his shotgun shells rather than buy new ones so the garage always had kegs of gunpowder lying around. My brother and I used to amuse ourselves by trailing it up and down the driveway and then setting it on fire, usually ending in a conflagration of melting army men.

I got yelled at a lot and threatened a lot but always felt loved.

2008-11-17 08:20:24
54.   CanuckDodger
I should also say that I think people who have children fall under the heading of "Life's Optimists." I have too strong a sense of all the things that could possibly go wrong to roll the dice that way -- you know, if I were married, or could reproduce like an amoeba.
2008-11-17 08:22:40
55.   Penarol1916
54. Too true, to me, the rational choice is to not have children and having children is far and away the most irrational thing I have done, while sober anyway.
2008-11-17 08:23:56
56.   D4P
I definitely think she didn't know what she was getting into, but even that really bothers me, because I think the downsides of having kids are so obvious and predictable that (in my mind) there's really no excuse for being surprised by them.

It may be a character flaw, but as a general rule, I have a hard time sympathizing with people who voluntarily do things that will bring about predictable hardships, when they could have just as easily not done those things. If you're going to make your bed, you can't complain about having to lie in it. But maybe I'm wrong.

2008-11-17 08:24:44
57.   Jon Weisman
46 - Yes.

48 - I suspect that there are many Ph. D candidates who find their lives dull and depressing at some point during their studies.

In the end, there are no guarantees of happiness, but just because you're depressed at one point doesn't mean it was a mistake.

2008-11-17 08:28:44
58.   Jon Weisman
56 - You seemed to choose to be a baseball and Dodger fan, and yet you complain all the time :)
2008-11-17 08:29:04
59.   D4P
I agree. I don't mean to imply that pursuing an "intellectual" career and not having kids will necessarily bring about a "better", happier life than the alternative.
2008-11-17 08:30:07
60.   D4P
2008-11-17 08:30:39
61.   Andrew Shimmin
38- I was at Disneyland a few months ago and saw several children tethered to their guardians. If that system can be adapted--tying the kid to a wall, or support pillar, say--I would totally be up for babysitting. I've still never held a baby, and am disinclined to break that streak, but we could get a little division of labor going and you could tend to Satchel.
2008-11-17 08:33:06
62.   Bob Timmermann
I have two sisters-in-law who became tenured professors AFTER they had kids. I don't think that this is an either/or decision.
2008-11-17 08:37:09
63.   Bill Simms
Jon, I can completely relate to your situation. I am one of the most calm and diplomatic people around, but when my children were younger, I yelled a lot. I look back and feel bad sometimes. I guess I just wasn't very good at dealing with the kind of frustration they caused me. For me, the yelling has decreased to very little these days (they're now 15 & 16). I think about the yelling and I'm confident that, while it might have been better had I been calmer, I was involved in all aspects of their lives (good and bad). I don't think they ever questioned my love and commitment.
2008-11-17 08:37:13
64.   D4P
If that system can be adapted--tying the kid to a wall, or support pillar, say

The Shimmerman Shackle! I like it.

2008-11-17 08:37:35
65.   Kevin Lewis
Wow, this is a great, honest conversation that can be so touchy sometimes. My wife and I mourned our loss of autonomy and plans for about 2 months when we found out we were having a child. Those first few days were really hard, and there were many tears. It's not that we did not want to have kids, but we were not planning on it right now, and it even lead me to put off some career choices for now. That being said, we cannot imagine our life without him. I know it is cliche, but it is true. We are grateful for his laughter and smile every single day. This is not without hardship. If anything, it is amazing to me how tried my patience can become when I wake up every night at 4am for a feeding time, or when he is not feeling well.

D4P, I appreciate your opinion on this topic, and I think it is quite valid. We had 4 couples have kids a few years before us, and it changed a lot of things for us as friends. I think I learned from that experience quite a bit. Now the majority of people that we spend time with do not have kids. This isn't intentional, but it just sort of happened. If anything, these are the people who have more flexibility to spend time together. We do make a point of going to their homes as well as having them over to ours. But, I must say the easiest part about it has been their willingness to take part in the kid activities...reading books, playing with him, feeding, changing diapers, etc. I am surprised at how eager they have been to do this, and it has made it quite wonderful for all of us involved.

2008-11-17 08:39:32
66.   CanuckDodger
58 -- I know you weren't addressing me, Jon, but I don't really feel like I "chose" to be a baseball fan or a Dodger fan. But then I'm a Calvinist, so I disavow the possibility of free will and credit/blame an omnipotent deity for things like salvation, damnation and Dodger fandom.
2008-11-17 08:42:16
67.   kinbote
0 Great post. I especially can relate to the "on the clock" aspect of parenthood/adulthood. From 5:30am to 7:30pm every single day, I have the same responsibilities, even more on weekends! Even though I complain--a lot--it's my choice and the reason I spend so much time with my family is that I'm the father, the protector. I am "manning up" in the most profound and important way possible. Old school dads think I'm too involved, but times have changed; most wives have jobs of their own.

Finally, as to the debate of whether to have kids or not, it's 100% a personal choice. There is not a single cell in my entire body that regrets my son. He is by far the greatest thing that's ever happened to me and it's not even close. People who don't have kids can never truly understand the bond that forms when you've cared for someone from the first second they were alive--even before. I still consider the day I heard my son's heartbeat to be the first day of being a parent.

2008-11-17 08:42:25
68.   Penarol1916
62. That was my mother too. She started for PhD. after we first three started school, and had number 4 in the middle of doing her dissertation. She just got her full professorship this year.
2008-11-17 08:43:32
69.   Andrew Shimmin
64- That you and Canuck are both so anti-kid is the best argument I know of to want them. Loathe as I am to pass along my DNA, it still makes me want to (or at least want to want to) be a father. I've heard that older foster kids are the most difficult to place--now I just have to find a woman willing to go that route. Which would be tough enough; adding on the criterion that she'd have to take me in the bargain makes it geometrically more complicated.
2008-11-17 08:44:36
70.   dianagramr
Fantastic post Jon .... thanks for sharing!


There are many people out there who don't have kids of their own, but love to be honorary "aunt" or "uncle" to their friend's kids. I am one such person, and I absolutely ADORE my best friends two kids (I'm "Aunt Diane"). That being said, I know I don't have the temperment to be a full-time, 24/7 mom.

2008-11-17 08:45:06
71.   Jon Weisman
66 - I think I might be with you on that!
2008-11-17 08:46:17
72.   D4P
I advocate adopting someone who is older than you, and preferably wealthy.
2008-11-17 08:47:54
73.   Kevin Lewis


T- Total commitment to Dodger fandom
U- Unconditional angst
L- Limited patience for GM moves
I- Irresistible call to the ball park
P- Preservation of the possibility for success the next year.

2008-11-17 08:47:55
74.   Penarol1916
67. While I love the bond I have with my kids, I also don't believe that everyone has it, or that it great enough for everyone that it makes them not regret anything that they are missing out on. Just like each kid is different, each person who could potentially be a parent is different, some will love it, and some will not. I think that it is a good thing for people who recognize that there is a good chance that they would not love it to decide to not have kids. Sure there is the chance that having a child and the bond will completely change them, but how much of a chance is it, really? I have no idea.
2008-11-17 08:48:46
75.   Jacob Burch
You all are making me feel young. My mind can't figure out if that's a good thing

I have a hard time sympathizing with people who voluntarily do things that will bring about predictable hardships, when they could have just as easily not done those things.

I think that's fairly common, but I had an discussion/argument with a friend over it--in this case, the hardships of going to school without a lot of money.

I think that while it's a fairly common trend, it should be met with a bit of suspect--many of life's decisions come with highs and lows, and if a person is relating a low, there is a certain degree of sympathy or understanding to greet it with. It's not as though the person is saying "This entire part of my life is a bad thing," but that it's going through a bad phase, something we all have in common.

2008-11-17 08:48:58
76.   Kevin Lewis

And believe me, you are appreciated for it!

2008-11-17 08:49:26
77.   Bob Timmermann
Your state's laws may vary, but in California you can adopt a person as a child or an adult.

There was that really weird case in San Francisco a few years back where a woman was killed by a dog, which was owned by two criminal defense attorneys who had adopted one of their former clients, who was doing life in Pelican Bay, as their child.

2008-11-17 08:50:40
78.   Bill Simms
D4P, I really love your statement:

"Not unlike marriage, parenting is not something to be mastered, but rather something to just work through, one day at a time, with much need for patience, tolerance, and grace."

It's a great observation, especially from someone who doesn't have children. I agree that no one wants your advice, but I also agree that they probably don't want advice from other parents either. I've seen my wife and I turn into hypocrites more than once on a parenting issue that we didn't fully understand until it happened to us.

2008-11-17 08:50:51
79.   Penarol1916
65. I think that it is a testament to the strength of civility in this community that this discussion has not devolved into a series of posts calling each side, "mindless breeders" and "soulless harpies."
2008-11-17 08:52:14
80.   CanuckDodger
69 -- DP4 is your nemesis so on him I understand where you're coming from, but what did ol' Canuck do -- apart from just refering to himself in the third person, which I already hate myself for?
2008-11-17 09:01:13
81.   scareduck
14 - we are in approximately the same situation. For a long time, I thought I wanted children, and it almost caused my marriage to come unglued. I realized that my marriage was more important to me than having kids, and that was that.
2008-11-17 09:02:55
82.   underdog
Jon, I may save this post, if you don't mind, for if I do have kids, and about three years in when I totally lose it and need to be reminded that others go through the same thing. I can see feeling the same way as you do and struggling with it, with change. Kids are each so different, that is the blessing that sometimes seems a curse. A certain amount of zen is required, I'm sure, but easier said than done.
2008-11-17 09:03:34
83.   scareduck
14 - also, we have been fortunate that most of our circle of friends isn't having kids, and wasn't going to, though there is a decent subset that has and still manages to get out anyway.
2008-11-17 09:03:44
84.   Harold M Johnson
I have two kids, ages 5 and 1.5. I rarely yell anymore-- one thing I have learned from a neighbor of mine is that if you do yell and threaten, you MUST follow through. You need to have that one look or tone of voice that the kid knows there are very serious consequences for ignoring.

When my oldest was only 3, I used to yell a lot and threaten various punishments that never materialized. Now if I only threaten things I am prepared to actually do, but I do it less, and it seems to work.

2008-11-17 09:05:21
85.   Andrew Shimmin
80- I never got over the "silky" thing. . .

By the way, if anyone's having fertility issues, I'd recommend heading up to San Jose. The place is lousy with kids. At breakfast yesterday, there was a stroller at each table within a thirty foot radius of mine. We were near a farmers' market, too, which I thought was very clever--bring your kids to a farmers' market and the most trouble they can get into is stealing a vegetable.

2008-11-17 09:05:39
86.   regfairfield
I just plan on making my kid run laps and do squat thrusts whenever he steps out of line. How could that possibly go wrong?
2008-11-17 09:07:01
87.   Jon Weisman
81 - I would have chosen a no-kids marriage over the alternative. I have no issue at all with someone not having kids. I hope that's stating the obvious.
2008-11-17 09:09:00
88.   D4P
We were near a farmers' market


2008-11-17 09:10:57
89.   Andrew Shimmin
88- Royal we; that ruddy Canadian infected me with his pronoun confusion.
2008-11-17 09:12:32
90.   Eric Stephen
The Raiders could draft him after a pretty good college career at USC.
2008-11-17 09:12:33
91.   Marty
70 I was "Uncle Marty" to all my friends kids. One of them is a senior in College now. I feel old every time I see her.
2008-11-17 09:13:01
92.   D4P
Ah. I thought maybe you were referring to your pens.
2008-11-17 09:16:57
93.   Daniel Zappala
I would like to think that I have become more engaging and interesting the older I have gotten, regardless of how many kids I've had. I don't think having kids necessarily has to turn your life into 24-hour Spongebob. 50 is a great example.

The surest way to keep a friend who has kids is to take an active interest in their kids. It's pretty easy to do, too, since the minute things become difficult (e.g. they start crying), the responsibility is on the parents to comfort them.

69 Being a foster parent is an amazing thing to do for a child in need, and I hope to do it myself some day.

2008-11-17 09:17:04
94.   Eric Stephen
I'm the young uncle (all my brothers and sisters are older than me by a decent amount), and I have four nieces currently in college of whom I used to changed diapers. It's kind of weird.
2008-11-17 09:18:24
95.   Bob Timmermann
It would be weirder if you STILL changed their diapers while they were at college.
2008-11-17 09:20:20
96.   D4P
Mark Cuban accused of insider trading, which I'm sure happens all the time.
2008-11-17 09:20:41
97.   Eric Stephen
That's true. That would be perhaps the most needlessly elaborate scheme ever to try to get into a female college dorm hall.*

*However, in this case, all four nieces live at home. :)

2008-11-17 09:21:47
98.   underdog
Is it possible to have kids, enjoy their infancy, and then hand them off to someone from ages 2-3, and then take them back? And then maybe again ages 12-15. Just wondering. Then I'd really be into this idea. Especially if Eric can come over and change their diapers in the 0-1 years.
2008-11-17 09:23:39
99.   Daniel Zappala
I never understood the negative connotations of changing a child's diapers, provided that child is yours. It's a wonderful bonding experience.
2008-11-17 09:24:03
100.   Jon Weisman
Gurnick mailbag:

In a recent interview with a local radio show, Colletti was asked about Andruw Jones showing up to camp out of shape in 2008. Colletti stated the Dodgers have a personal trainer currently with Jones in his home in Atlanta and his 2008 shape was basically unacceptable. He also stated Jones signed his name to a contract that states he must be in top physical shape. In 2008, he obviously wasn't in peak shape. If he shows up in 2009 looking very similar, is there anything the team can do to penalize him, such as suing him or voiding the contract?
-- Steve S., Los Angeles

(Gurnick:) Paragraph 3.(a) of the uniform players contract states that the player must "keep himself in first-class physical condition." If the club attempted to void the contract for that reason, it would be fought tenaciously by the Players Association, which has proved over the years to be extremely successful defending the players. That doesn't mean it won't happen with so much money at stake. If your scenario plays out, the club could choose to release Jones, rather than go through a repeat of the 2008 disaster, and/or attempt to fight the player for the remaining $21.2 million on the contract.

(Weisman:) I still don't see any chance of Jones losing on these grounds.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-11-17 09:24:49
101.   Jon Weisman
97 - I smell a hit summer movie!
2008-11-17 09:25:03
102.   Jon Weisman
99 - I smell a hit summer movie!
2008-11-17 09:25:25
103.   underdog
Btw, my stepdad and my mom went through something similar in that he wanted kids, being 10 years younger and not having had them, and my mom was very over that. (We were already teenagers by the time they were together.) Eventually he realized their marriage was the most important thing, and he of course had great stepchildren ;-) but also fulfilled some of his longings by becoming a Big Brother to a couple of boys who really needed father figures. It was a great thing he did, great for him and great for those boys (and great for my mom).
2008-11-17 09:25:26
104.   kinbote
Let's all raise a glass [of orange juice] to the mentors, foster parents, older siblings, grandparents, and honorary aunts and uncles out there. And anyone else I forgot.

On a related note, I find the non-traditional bonds depicted on "The Wire" among the most moving in screen history: Michael's care for his younger brother, Bug; Cutty's attachment to his boxing disciples; Colvin's taking in of Nayman, etc. In terms of raising kids, it doesn't matter how it gets done as long as it gets done.

2008-11-17 09:27:04
105.   dianagramr

perhaps we can call it
Diaper Dandies (with a cameo from Dick Vitale)

2008-11-17 09:27:08
106.   underdog
99 I'll be printing that out and saving it as well, for when the day comes, as a reminder that someone once said that. Hopefully that, and a clothespin on my nose will get me through it. I guess it's like changing the cat's litter box, in that if they're your cats and once you get used to it, it's not so bad, except 100 times more foul (from my brief experience with it).
2008-11-17 09:29:07
107.   D4P
Paragraph 3.(a) of the uniform players contract states that the player must "keep himself in first-class physical condition."

Unless they identify tangible ways to measure condition, that clause seems pointless. It's particularly meaningless if Andruw Jones didn't violate it.

2008-11-17 09:29:14
108.   underdog
100 As much a chance of him losing those pounds?
2008-11-17 09:30:34
109.   kinbote
98 But 3.5 is the best age [no Ethier jokes]. You get to have a little person walking around the house discoursing on every topic under the sun. The acquisition and application of language is one of life's great joys to witness. (But I don't need to tell you that.)
2008-11-17 09:31:52
110.   Kevin Lewis

This is definitely in the category of "it has to be yours".

I was grossed out by the thought before, but now that it is my own child, it doesn't bother me at all...same with spit up.

2008-11-17 09:32:13
111.   Eric Stephen
I didn't mind doing it, but my concern was always the tightness of the diaper. On one hand, I wanted the diaper to stay on, to avoid any messy situations around the house. On the other hand, I didn't want to make the diaper so tight as to restrict the child. I probably worried about this way too much.

Last weekend, I saw a friend I've known since junior high school and he has two kids (2 & 4). He actually changed the diaper of his 2-year old while the kid was standing. My jaw was agape. He prefers the upright style because it minimizes the fussiness of his kid, and yet the structural integrity of the diaper was sound! I had never seen this majestic move before. Is this common nowadays?

2008-11-17 09:33:58
112.   underdog
109 Okay, how about just age two then? (I'm just kidding of course, once it's my kid I'm not letting them go, but just from watching other friends and my cousins raise their kids, 2 seemed generally the hardest.)


Back to baseball for a sec, so now the Giants are interested in Joe Beimel, too? How many Dodgers will they try to sign this off-season?

2008-11-17 09:35:12
113.   Bob Timmermann
Collecting former Dodgers is the key to victory. Ask the 2006 Mets!
2008-11-17 09:35:19
114.   Eric Stephen
I was thinking of using the title, "Huggies and Kisses," but I like yours!
2008-11-17 09:37:24
115.   old dodger fan
Years ago I read where someone said, "I was an expert on raising children until my 1st child was born". It is indeed a learning experience and we all make mistakes along the way but thankfully kids are resilient.

My wife and I got married later in life than most and while that has a lot of advantages, fertility is not one of them. We did manage to have one wonderful daughter, who has just entered high school, before finally accepting the fact that she would be our only child.

When single and pre-child most of my friends we about my age. As my daughter began getting involved in sports and art and other age related activities we gained many new friends, most of whom are 10-15 years younger than I am. Which is OK except they know nothing about 60's culture.

I love my wife deeply and we would have a great life without our daughter. Having said that, having her has brought both of us joy that we never would have experienced. I wouldn't trade a minute of it.

Jon, I understood your fear at Staples. When my daughter was 10 I almost lost her to a bicycle/auto accident in China. She was 15 feet from me and I could not do a thing to help her. It turned out OK, she wasn't hit, but I was a mess for a couple of days and I can still see that moment.

As she has gotten older I have to turn her loose more and more. It's not always easy but I have to trust that what we have instilled in her over the years will lead her to do the right things and that she will make good decisions. So far so good and she has better judgement at her age than I did at 10 years older, mostly thanks to her mom.

Thanks for a great post and for all those who have added their thoughts and experiences.

2008-11-17 09:38:23
116.   Jon Weisman
111 - I've done it that way a few times. But you know, there are pullup diapers that eliminate your worry about how tight to close it.
2008-11-17 09:38:27
117.   Gary Smith
Jon, I too need to cut back on my strong parenting practices. In your defense though it should be noted from what you descride, what you did was out of love and the safety of your kids not anger. Kids need and desire structure and it's only in the absence of structure that they think for themselves, which can easily turn into what I call stinkin thinkin !! Remember, our job as parents is to teach our kids about being safe when their young and to be model citizens as they grow up. Being their friend should not be the guiding light, only the result of all the hard work.
2008-11-17 09:40:38
118.   Eric Stephen
Underdog, one of the joys of diaperdom is the sport of the disposal of said diaper. If there are family or friends around, you can experience the glee of threatening to throw the diaper at them. Or, at the very least toss a well-wrapped package to them to throw away, if only to see the abject fear in their eyes as an object of doom hurls toward them. :)
2008-11-17 09:41:04
119.   Daniel Zappala
106 Cleaning up when they're sick isn't covered under that clause. Changing diapers involves smiling, laughing, and bonding. Changing the linens in the middle of the night when your child has thrown up all over them involves worry, frustration and suppressing your gag reflex.

OK, back to your orange juice now.

2008-11-17 09:43:17
120.   Eric Stephen
No pullups for me! I'm old school. :)

But not too old school to be horrified when I learned some years ago that I was raised wearing cloth diapers. That whole concept seems really gross to me. Imagine my anxiety trying to close a cloth diaper!

2008-11-17 09:43:43
121.   kinbote
So who's going to win the NL MVP today?
2008-11-17 09:46:47
122.   Eric Stephen
I think Pujols will win a close vote over Howard. Manny will finish much too high.
2008-11-17 09:48:40
123.   Eric Stephen
Oh yeah, and I wonder if CC will fare better in MVP voting than he did in CYA voting. Some of the in-season arguments for CC seemed to favor him for MVP rather than CYA, regardless of logic.
2008-11-17 09:50:38
124.   kinbote
123 Ditto K-Rod, again regardless of logic.
2008-11-17 09:52:14
125.   Eric Stephen
Plus the AL MVP seems up in the air. I wonder how many different players will get 1st place votes.
2008-11-17 09:53:56
126.   Bob Hendley
84 - Good advice, otherwise yelling is just yelling. There has to be a negative consequence associated with it. Needs to be paired with the positive signifier as well (can't actually give them ice cream every time, either).
2008-11-17 09:54:38
127.   regfairfield
Manny was the second VORPiest position player on a playoff team this year. There's a not terrible argument for him winning.
2008-11-17 09:54:46
128.   MC Safety
This thread really hits home for me. My Mom and Dad divorced before I turned two, and my Mom was pretty much non existent. My Dad was pretty much your ideal single Dad until I turned about 10 or 11. Then all of the sudden he started smoking crack and completely changed. It's pretty hard to explain, but he was able to keep it hidden from most everyone around us, until I figured out what he was doing in like 10th grade. And that's right when everything was starting to fall apart. He has gotten better, but because of all the things that happened in the past, I can't for the life of me look him in the eye. And it sucks. It's so hard watching friends plan weddings with their parents and stuff like that. My Nana on my Mom's side, and my girlfriend's mom (and DT) is pretty much all I've got for advice on life. To top that off, my Nana had a stroke last week. I've had to roll with quite a few punches in my life, but lately they have been hitting me like haymakers.
2008-11-17 09:54:55
129.   Kevin Lewis

This has not happened to me yet, but I will be the one in charge of that, and I will probably have to clean up the vomit from my wife, since she can't handle it.

2008-11-17 09:55:30
130.   Eric Stephen
Eight different players received a 1st place vote for MVP in 1979. I'm not sure if that is the record.

Keith Hernandez had 10 first place votes, compared to only 4 for Willie Stargell, yet they shared the award.

2008-11-17 09:56:08
131.   BlueMamma
Jon, you needn't worry about how to make your children into a certain kind of person. It's both terrifying and consoling to bear in mind that your children already are the kind of person they're going to be. You can keep them alive and healthy (to a certain extent), try to teach them manners and convey your values, but that's about it. If you love them deeply, and they know it, the rest will be fine.

I love your writing. Thanks so much.

2008-11-17 09:56:13
132.   Eric Stephen
Wow, that's pretty amazing.
2008-11-17 10:00:11
133.   Gilberto Reyes
Jon - I have a 5 year old boy and an 18 month old boy and I can definitley sympathize. But I don't believe that you are being too demanding, too proactive, too protective, or too paranoid. My dad yelled at us and I turned out fine. Also, the kids will continue to make mistakes and hopefully learn from them no matter how hard you try to prevent them from happening. You can't watch them all the time, especially when they get to school. I am beginning to believe that most boys just don't listen. It has sometimes been very frustrating for my wife and I, but we wouldn't trade the overall experience for the world.
2008-11-17 10:00:24
134.   BlueMamma
129 She'll learn. I did. Took me a few years, but eventually I was able to handle that particular aspect of parenting without calling my husband home from work.
2008-11-17 10:03:20
135.   Eric Stephen
For some reason I read that comment as "2nd VORPiest position player in the league". Manny was 12th in the NL overall. Still amazing, but not quite as such.
2008-11-17 10:05:09
136.   Eric Stephen
Underdog (and anyone else out of the LA market), the Bulls-Lakers game was voted as the "Fan Night" game to be televised on NBA TV tomorrow night.
2008-11-17 10:07:34
137.   Bob Timmermann
The BBWAA must be in a recount for the NL MVP. Usually they have the result announced exactly at 10 am.
2008-11-17 10:07:51
138.   Neal Pollack
As a professional father, I can assure you that yelling at your kids is natural and inevitable. Kids can be fracking annoying. We're tired and we're only human. But your lost temper moments are more than balanced by the moments of wisdom, love, and patience that I'm sure you exhibit every day. Tell me what those are like. I wouldn't know myself. But I've seen other dads have them.
2008-11-17 10:08:54
139.   Eric Stephen
I thought it was supposed to be at 11am? Haven't all the other awards been announced at 11?
2008-11-17 10:08:55
140.   Bob Timmermann
Except that they announce it at 11 am... Never mind...
2008-11-17 10:14:12
141.   Jon Weisman
This morning, my son sang a song to me that he made up - the lyrics basically were that he is right about everything, and I am wrong about everything. He's just taunting me now.
2008-11-17 10:18:04
142.   Bob Timmermann
At least he didn't greet you with:

Woke up this morning,
Got myself a gun ...

2008-11-17 10:18:09
143.   D4P
Record him singing the song on video and then show it the first time he has a girlfriend over. (Or boyfriend, as the case might be).
2008-11-17 10:22:47
144.   MC Safety
142 Your not supposed to let your kids listen to Nas and watch The Soprano's?
2008-11-17 10:23:05
145.   Harold M Johnson
141 I smell a #1 pop song!
2008-11-17 10:27:15
146.   Bob Hendley
128 - MC, that would be a pretty strange thing to say about a sports blog, but you are right. This is a group of pretty solid citizens with a large variety of life experiences that Jon has disciplined well, so that exchanges here are to learn from, not only vis-a-vis the Dodgers, but in a wide range of issues. When allowed, we even seem to do politics in a fairly constructive way.
2008-11-17 10:29:28
147.   Harold M Johnson
128 Hang in there, man. It will get better.
2008-11-17 10:29:59
148.   cargill06
141 Did you flag him for 15 yards?
2008-11-17 10:30:14
149.   Eric L
119 I don't mind the diapers that much. Some of them are pretty stinky, especially since the little guy is eating veggies now.

Diapers are rough some times, but I really hate the snappy pajamas.

2008-11-17 10:31:04
150.   Jon Weisman
128 - MC, I sincerely wish better things for you going forward.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-11-17 10:34:31
151.   Bob Hendley
What I have learned from this site is that whenever faced with one of life's little problems, all I have to do is call the local library.
2008-11-17 10:35:10
152.   Ken Arneson
102 It's already a hit poem:

2008-11-17 10:37:28
153.   ssjames
149 I have a 4 1/2 month old daughter at home and the one thing that my wife and I both agree on most of all is no more snappy pajamas. They have to have zippers or we won't buy them.

As a new father reading this discussion, it really is fascinating to see all of the viewpoints and note potential traps.

2008-11-17 10:38:27
154.   Bob Timmermann
Nothing but pain and heartache awaits you there.
2008-11-17 10:42:07
155.   dianagramr

were you intending on using the word "smell" there? :-)

2008-11-17 10:52:24
156.   underdog
118 The key word here is "hurl."

But that does sound like fun, I'll admit.

And thanks for the tip in 136 . My ballot box stuffing worked!


MC, my sympathies to you and my admiration for sticking things out. The people around you who are stable and supportive and familial are the ones that become all the more valuable in situations like that. Makes you appreciate them all the more.

2008-11-17 10:55:51
157.   underdog
Btw, very belated response to 5 , but I'm very sorry for your loss, Dave. I lost all three of my remaining grandparents in the past four years. (About one per year, very depressing. But they each had wonderfully long lives mostly healthy except for the very end. But I miss them each dearly. I especially missed my grandfather during this past election, as some of you already know, since he was so politically engaged.) We'll always have memories! Very trite, but true.
2008-11-17 10:58:36
158.   Jon Weisman
5, 157 - Oh, I meant to reply to Dave's post too. I'm very sorry about your grandmother.
2008-11-17 10:59:24
159.   Zak
Jon, I have an almost 4 year old son and a 1 year old daughter. I feel horrible when I catch myself yelling at my son. He is usually good at listening and reasoning, but his big "issue" is that he will deiliberately try to bother or hurt his sister. I understand the whole wanting-attention thing, but it is hard to be patient when he tries to use her as a bendy-doll or something.

One thing that does work with him, and I wanted to put this out there in case it helps any parents of toddlers is I have this system of counting to three and he has to listen to what I am saying or he goes and spends time in his sister's crib (which he loathes, but won't dare climb out by himself). So, if he is clutching his sister's arm tight and won't let go, I have to say "1.." and he will let go. I've had to punich him once or twice by putting him in the crib and I could see that he was miserable, which made me sad too. But I'm glad it works because sometimes it is late at night and he is procrastinating going to bed or brushing his teeth, it's a useful tool that gets him moving. Two caveats though, it does not work with my wife. He will ignore her, but I think this is because she has not always followed through. Second, I have to restrain myself sometimes so I don't overuse it, but that can be harder than expected.

One last note, since there was a lot of "people get kids because they don't understand themselves or the greater good" or "people willingly ruin their lives so they can have kids" posts, I love having kids. It has changed me so much as a person. I don't read as much as I used to, and I play less online poker than before and we've gone down to about 4 TV shows that we watch now. But, I love spending time with my kids. I love talking to my son watching his mind work. I see my daughter starting to walk. And I wouldn't change my choices for anything. Sure, there are friends we have lost that I wish I still had. And travelling I wish I could do sometimes, like go for a hike in New Zealand which will have to wait. But I still have a good career, still read, still play online poker, watch sports on TV and I've never felt about any of these things like I do when I play baseball with my son, or play a Diego game on the computer with him or even stand next to my daughter on the carousel. But I understand that my argument is the un-cooler one, and it is more sexy to say ah, environmentally it is better not to pro-create and my friends have lost millions of brain cells because they had kids.

2008-11-17 10:59:34
160.   bigcpa
Despite playing 162 games, Howard was 30th in the NL in VORP behind Cristian Guzman, Ryan Doumit and Mark DeRosa. Try explaining that to 3/4 of the BBWAA.
2008-11-17 11:01:49
161.   Eric Stephen
Manny finished 4th.
2008-11-17 11:02:18
162.   Zak
In 159 , when I say "punich", I meant "punish" and not "punch". I could see how that could change that whole sentence.
2008-11-17 11:02:20
163.   Eric Stephen
161 the MVP voting.
2008-11-17 11:02:47
164.   underdog
This is apropos of nothing, but I was just reminded that I'm in for another long college basketball season of frustration unless Comcast finally gets their act together and adds ESPNU. Very aggravating. I have to miss the UNC-UCSB affair on Friday, for one. (Sure, it'll be lopsided, but still fun to watch.)
2008-11-17 11:03:19
165.   Kevin P
Jon, your way with words is astounding. Thank you for doing what you do.
2008-11-17 11:04:06
166.   Bob Hendley
153 - The sound of snappy pjs actually snapping is akin to the pleasure of the sound of popping those bubbles in wrapping paper. But the same level of frustration when they don't, with a wiggly impatient baby to boot. I guess velcro wouldn't be a good alternative to zippers.
2008-11-17 11:04:20
167.   bigcpa
2 first place votes for Lidge. One 7th place vote for Pujols. I want to see those ballots.
2008-11-17 11:05:59
168.   regfairfield
I want to see the guy who gave a vote to Jose Valverde.
2008-11-17 11:14:02
169.   ucladodger
Threads like these are why I, and so many others, love this place. I'm only 21 (no kids), but it is so interesting to read everyone's thoughts on a subject like this. For the record, I absolutely adore kids and being a father will be the best thing I'll ever do. Heck, I've already taken a surrogate brother role to three different kids (my boss' kid who i've seen every week since he was born, and the two kids my girlfriend nannies for), and the feelings I have for them are relatively unmatched by anything else. True, i get the easy part (all play, no work), but the whole experience is something I am truly looking forward to.
2008-11-17 11:20:21
170.   Bob Timmermann
I got an email from a friend with the subject line "Smoky Monday."

And since I use Gmail, on the side I have the suggestion "Add to calendar: Monday, November 17, Smoky"

2008-11-17 11:21:56
171.   blue22
Cool post, Jon. I have two boys, 4 and 2, and I find myself having these same internal struggles regarding how I parent and how my kids will eventually view me.

All in all, I think I'm doing a good job, and I have no doubt that you are doing at least as well Jon.

2008-11-17 11:22:12
172.   Bumsrap
I have three boys ages x, x-4, and x-10.

Before x-10 came along my wife and I were constantly being asked for advise or asked what we were doing to get perfect kids. We tried to answer the best we could feeling confident we really were the reason our kids were perfect.

I think the reason x-10 came along was to humor us. We now laugh at ourselves for actually thinking we knew how to be great parents. Regardless of the gene pool kids come from there is a unique soul that seems to to be the big player in our lives, attitudes, and how we play out our earliest years.

And while x was very easy to raise, he is now 33, he has had his moments. Jon, your son jumping toward a ledge reminded me of this, thank you. When my two oldest boys were 8 and 4 they asked if they could throw rocks into the river while I opened our tent trailer at Jedidiah Smith State Redwoods Park near Creasant City.

After clearly laying out the rules I reluctantly agreed. Like I said earlier, these guys followed rules. How big do you think the lump in my throat was when I checked on them a few minutes later and I saw my youngest dog paddling and the oldest breath stroking across a deep and quiet part of the Smith River.

I didn't want to put a damper on what was to be a great vacation before it started so I kept my cool. Dodging a bullet seemed enough for the moment. But I still squirm at the memory.

2008-11-17 11:28:12
173.   BlueMamma
Another thought on the "have kids/live your own life" discussion...

Yes, having kids changes everything. Yes, it's hard. Yes, it can alter, weaken, or even destroy your relationship with your spouse if you don't make the extra effort to preserve that. And yes, it's worth all that. This is something I did not fully understand until I lost my 2 and a half year old son - he would have been 3 today. The pain is every bit as huge as you think it might be, but I wouldn't trade it in. I'm glad I had that son! I rejoice that he was ever a part of my life.

Every choice you make in your life changes everything that comes after. Whatever choices you've made will leave you, later in life, looking back and wondering what would have happened if you'd chosen otherwise. Every choice leaves the door open to regret - you can walk through that door or not in every case.

2008-11-17 11:29:35
174.   jasonungar07
1. Those who choose to not have kids...That's fabulous. Live your life the way you want to. I think every person is different. I always knew I wanted to be a dad and that might be because of how tight I am with my dad.

2. I regret not having my child sooner. I am 37 with a 11 month old. But by not having him sooner, I feel the time was best for me to give him my 1000 percent. I just wish i had him sooner because the bond is so tight already. I think now that at my dads age I had already moved from AYSO to Club. Made a baseball all star team that traveled. I felt so grown up then. My take about having to give up my former life (if u will) is GOOD! But then again I was ready far in advance to embrace that change. If you were to say to me 5 years ago that in 6 years it would have been one year since you last golfed or drank to excess I would have thought you were nuts..but deep down, even that stuff was growing tiresome.

3. I'm a stay at home dad. Primary guy, that's my job. Mom works because she has better job and better healthcare. Were able to afford one of us home. We wouldnt't want it any other way.

4. This job is harder than any job I have ever had. This will be my only break today until about 6:30. I have been up since 6:30 and fathers/mothers know, it's on. No reading an e-mail before making the dreary cold call. This is also the only job I ever loved. The only thing besides sports as a kid that I want to do all day long. When he is asleep I want him to wake up. Likewise when he is awake sometimes I want him to go to sleep!

5. I don't read book but love to hear advice and how others do things. Those books have agendas to me. How to make my, not our life easier. I treat my 11 month old as an equal. I might regret it but I don't care. I am always trying to think from his perspective.

2008-11-17 11:31:30
175.   Bill Crain
It's easy for me to talk, now, 'cause my youngest kid is filling out college applications. The hard stuff is over; nothing left to do but write checks.

From that prospective, I'd say don't sweat it; they are what they're gonna be. Don't beat them, encourage them to read and to think for themselves, otherwise stay out of their way. Probably they'll be just fine.

The "probably" makes it stressful, of course. But take solace from the knowledge that, in the long run, almost nothing you can do will make any difference.

2008-11-17 11:31:36
176.   BlueMamma
Side note: when did "consterned" become a word?
2008-11-17 11:33:28
177.   blue22
174 - I had my first when I was 27, and even then I had regrets about not having kids younger (my parents were 22 when I came along).

And I always wanted to be a dad too, but I think it had to do with me not being so close with my dad.

Whew, did it get dusty in here all of a sudden?

2008-11-17 11:35:53
178.   jasonungar07
So yeah...Too Furcal or not?


Kinzer added that the A's level of interest is on par with that of the Giants, noting that he talked to Oakland officials last Thursday and Friday. "The A's have been [interested] all along, and it's been very strong on their part, too," Kinzer said, adding that Furcal, the top shortstop on the open market, might agree to a deal before the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas, Dec. 8-11.

"It could be fairly soon," Kinzer said. "We're hoping to narrow it down to three teams here pretty soon and see where [Furcal] wants to go from there." Kinzer, who called reports that his client is looking for at least four years at $10 million per season "in the ballpark," listed security and "where Rafael feels comfortable" as the top factors in negotiations.

2008-11-17 11:37:15
179.   Andrew Shimmin
November 8th, 2003.

2008-11-17 11:37:40
180.   Bob Hendley
There is letting go, and then there is letting go. Perhaps the most difficult part of raising a child comes when they are young adults and establishing themselves as individuals. The are never what you "wanted" them to be (they never took those piano lessons that you yourself always avoided as a child). And now they are actively involved in making life decisions. How to effectively counsel them based on one's own like experience without squashing them or turning them off to what you have to say is a tough task.
2008-11-17 11:38:27
181.   underdog
So basically Furcal is not returning to the Dodgers, does that part seem fair to say at this point?
2008-11-17 11:39:10
182.   Andrew Shimmin
179- I don't see anything in that link that might be consternating, but using UD at work may not be a great idea.
2008-11-17 11:39:38
183.   BlueMamma
179 Yeah, I looked it up there too. Telling, though, that you can only find it there, not in a more... um... traditional dictionary. Just wondering when it's first usage dates from, etc.
2008-11-17 11:39:56
184.   ChicagoDodger

I don't understand the embarassment or concern regarding yelling. I think that at times yelling is a very valuable tool in raising a kid.

The important part is follow-up. Yelling without follow-up is just yelling. If you sit down and discuss with your kid after a period of time for the yelling and the corresponding punishment to have passed, and help them understand the reason behind the yelling, I think the child learns the reasoning and then the lesson.

Children need to learn there are things you just can't do. A 4-year-old is not going to have the capacity to understand why they shouldn't be doing something, and a loud no and punishment is the tool to get them not to do those things until they reach an age where they can understand.

As for the yelling that comes out of frustration because of seemingly being pulled from all angles and not having any "me" time if you will. That only means you are human. And again, if you can understand you are doing that and explain that to your children and also work at it, then you are doing your best.

All of us are different in how we handle different things. I wouldn't compare yourself to your dad and then think you are a failure. You are just different.

Also, remember you and your children are different too, so what may have seemed to work for your father with you won't necessarily work for you and your children, because your "different".

2008-11-17 11:40:54
185.   Eric Stephen
I don't know, $10m per sounds a lot more palatable than "more than $13m" which is what I had assumed previously.
2008-11-17 11:41:59
186.   Jon Weisman
176 - I was waiting for that. The answer is, last night - and it was wholly intentional.
2008-11-17 11:42:22
187.   jasonungar07
181 I would think. But we might be the third team. Like go explore, we want you back, when you have offers your ready give us a chance to talk type thing. Coletti would give him 4 at 40 I think.
2008-11-17 11:42:47
188.   Jon Weisman
179 - Oh, well - I thought I made it up.
2008-11-17 11:42:49
189.   Zak
174 I love your post. I totally agree about wanting my son awake when he is asleep and sometimes wanting him asleep when he is awake. I also kind of agree about the books thing. For example, the Ferber method about leaving your child alone for spells so he could learn to sleep by himself and ignorning the crying. I see a lot of value in that, but we were never able to do that with our son. But it did end up making our lives a little tougher than it had to be. But now he's 4, sleeps by himself and usually through the night, so it shows that no matter what path you choose as a parent, as long as you're good intentioned, it will work out well.
2008-11-17 11:43:09
190.   Harold M Johnson
I always loved Furcal but 4 years seems too much much given what happened the past few years.
2008-11-17 11:45:15
191.   jasonungar07
184 The important part is follow-up. Yelling without follow-up is just yelling. If you sit down and discuss with your kid after a period of time for the yelling and the corresponding punishment to have passed, and help them understand the reason behind the yelling, I think the child learns the reasoning and then the lesson.


Oh man that is my guiding principle. I hope it works. After that I may hit the books.

2008-11-17 11:47:59
192.   Eric Stephen
Perhaps this post title is appropriate. :)

On a side note, when I first saw the title of this post, I thought this was going to be some post about some Dodger free agents.

2008-11-17 11:48:17
193.   ChicagoDodger
180 And now they are actively involved in making life decisions. How to effectively counsel them based on one's own like experience without squashing them or turning them off to what you have to say is a tough task.

I think it has to have started at a very young age and been developed. I can't really say yet how things will turn out, but my son of 15 and I still have a very strong bond and love for each other, and I like to think the example I have set for him as he has grown up will stick with him as he begins to make those decisions you speak of.

But you are so correct, it is a tough task. And I am more worried now then I ever was when he was 4, and trust me, I was quite worried then too.

2008-11-17 11:50:12
194.   Daniel Zappala
Take pleasure in the small things you are able to pass on to your children. Today I consider myself a perfect dad because all my kids love to eat vegetables and fruit. The other day I was a perfect dad because my middle child has finally discovered that he loves to read.
2008-11-17 11:50:51
195.   dzzrtRatt
Wow, what a great post. I come here for Jon's great writing and the subsequent discussions, whether they involve baseball or not.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned is the theory/old spouse's tale that little children tend to be more compliant in odd-numbered years, and more rebellious and limit-testing in even-numbered years. Your son is 4. Was he any easier when he was 3? This was certainly the case for my son and stepson, and it tracks what experts say is the course of their personality development. Both my kids did frightening things at those ages, thinking my safety warnings were just the perfect time to perfect their James Dean/Marlon Brando impressions.

The impatience is something else again. While your kids will eventually stop risking their lives as frequently, they will never stop trying your patience. Those of you (younger?) commenters who don't have kids and don't want them but for one reason or another will become parents anyway (when you let yourself fall in love with a woman, they can be very persuasive on the baby issue) you will find reservoirs of patience that you never knew you had. And it still won't be enough.

2008-11-17 11:52:39
196.   Daniel Zappala
This doesn't apply to yelling when your child is about to hurt himself, but if you want your kids to grow up to be a certain way, the best you can do is to be a good example. If you want your kids to learn to be loving, let them see you be loving to your spouse and to them.
2008-11-17 11:54:17
197.   Bob Hendley
Adios Rafi? I understood when we got Sr. Snipes Sr., that we were expecting Furcal to come back earlier, and with Hu and the eye problems it was a stop gap move. But then, even after it became clear that Rafi was not coming back soon, Joe did not give Hu the looks (ouch) at SS he could of to at least make me feel more comfortable going into next season. But, I am the least of the worries here, its Ned that is likely not to trust Hu and to go shopping in a very thin market to shore up the infield. He could as well, accept Hu, with Ivan Jr,. in the wings at SS and spend the money at 2nd or 3rd. Isn't Hudson in the same 4 year $10m per range as Rafi? How should we spent our (their) money?
2008-11-17 11:55:25
198.   bhsportsguy
One thing is for sure, I am absolutely positive that kids are asked to learn more at an earlier age than I was when I attended elementary school.

Back in those prehistoric days of film stips and these types of films to promote learning:

2008-11-17 11:57:56
199.   bhsportsguy
196 In certain cultures, showing any emotions was sign of weakness.

Yes, I grew up on Vulcan until I was accepted in a Earth/Vulcan cultural exchange program, unfortunately I never was sent back because the program was cancelled due to poor ratings.

2008-11-17 12:00:47
200.   Jon Weisman
195 - 2 and 4 have actually been pretty tough years for my girl, but she's been a pretty great 6-year-old.

4 has definitely been my son's toughest year.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-11-17 12:01:05
201.   dzzrtRatt
Oh, and one more thing. Some of what your kids are doing to you is karmic payback.

When I was about 13 and my next youngest brother was 12, my family went to Grand Canyon. We'd take our car to a view spot to take pictures and appreciate the majesty. There was usually a rail to fence you in so you couldn't come too close to the edge, but my brother and I wanted to explore the edge -- it's a canyon for gosh sakes, it's made for looking down -- so we would go over the fence to do that. My mother would shriek at us, we were scaring her to death! So what did we do after that? We made sure to go even farther at the next stop. We'd dangle one leg over the chasm, or stand with our toes hanging over it. If we could do it safely, we'd even pretend to fall into the canyon. It was so much fun to freak her out. Finally, it got to the point where every time we came to a new view spot, she would just stay in the car. Combined with my father's terrible driving -- speeding on windy roads, passing other cars on curves, and driving right up to the edge of steep drops -- our antics ruined my mother's vacation. What a couple of bastards we were! So, Jon, you might want to inventory your childhood. Perhaps your kids are merely punishing you for similar sins.

2008-11-17 12:01:18
202.   MC Safety
I appreciate the nice words.

Regarding Furcal, wasn't there a reason he only got a three year deal with the Dodgers? Was he coming off an injury with the Braves?

2008-11-17 12:02:38
203.   Bob Hendley
Or, of course Hu/Ivan Jr at second, but as someone has said 4 years with Rafi is a long time. And there is Blake in the possible mix as well, probably wanting at least two years.
2008-11-17 12:02:58
204.   Jon Weisman
194 - All I'll say is that my kids eat more vegetables than I did at their age.
2008-11-17 12:05:29
205.   LogikReader
I'm guessing the fires are affecting it, but it is so hot for November. I'm so ready for cold weather now... but it won't come.

Here's a chart of average temperatures throughout the year in Los Angeles:

According to the chart, it should be about 72 degrees today, maybe less. Instead its 90 degrees. What gives? I might consider moving out east where there are blizzards and freeze watches as we speak. I'm not mentally prepared to deal with summer in November.

2008-11-17 12:07:23
206.   dzzrtRatt
Re: Furcal's three-year deal. It was more of a strategic move by Ned. Bid his annual pay way up, but for less years. For the Dodgers, it limited their exposure in terms of years. For Furcal, it meant he would have another chance at FA gold while still in his prime.

The way it worked out was probably the worst-case scenario for both Furcal and the Dodgers. I read up the thread he's considering 4 year offers at $10 million a year. Imagine what he could command if he'd had three seasons like his first one -- maybe twice that.

2008-11-17 12:08:12
207.   kinbote
205 It's the Hot Stove!
2008-11-17 12:08:29
208.   JoeyP
The marriage itself may be the friendship's death knell.

This is true. Ever since my wife & me got married, we spend less & less time with our friends. No children yet, but its definitely the marriage part that tends to kill friendships I think moreso than children. The dynamic of a married couple going out with the single friends just doesnt work.

2008-11-17 12:09:31
209.   bhsportsguy
Albert also picked up $200K MVP bonus from the Cardinals today.
2008-11-17 12:13:58
210.   bhsportsguy
I wonder which team pays Manny his $75K bonus for finishing 4th, I guess it would be the Dodgers but maybe the Red Sox have to pay any compensation from his contract.
2008-11-17 12:17:41
211.   JRSarno
The prospect of having children very soon in my life seems both rewarding and frightening. Rather like being single and thinking about dating a hot girl with mental problems.
2008-11-17 12:17:49
212.   underdog
I just don't want Raffy going to the Giants. That's gonna bum me out. Partially because I know when he is healthy, he's great, and partially because I'd still like to root for him and can't do that if he's on the Halloween-Colored Hated Ones.

I was hoping he'd take a 3 yr deal with LA but understand why if he can get more he'll take it. Still, I'd rather have an infield of DeWitt, Furcal, Hu/DeJesus and Loney next year than Dewitt, ?, ? and Loney. And if it comes down to it would rather take a chance with Furcal than with Hudson for similar money.

2008-11-17 12:18:39
213.   Eric Stephen
I just realized that it is not out of the realm of possibility that LenDale White could play a key role on another undefeated regular season team, and then lose in the postseason due mostly to Vince Young.
2008-11-17 12:19:56
214.   LogikReader

Would they even consider bringing Young back after the way the Titans played without him?

2008-11-17 12:20:35
215.   JoeyP
You dont think the Titans are going to ride Kerry Collins till the very end?
2008-11-17 12:22:27
216.   Jon Weisman
"Context-Sensitive Free Agents"

2008-11-17 12:22:37
217.   Eric Stephen
214 ,215
An injury would have to happen.
2008-11-17 12:28:31
218.   underdog
I guess we don't have to worry about Joe Beimel becoming a Giant, as they just overpaid for Jeremy Affeldt.
2008-11-17 12:29:15
219.   Bumsrap
If Furcal thinks he is healthy he would try to get a one year $15MM contract and if he has doubts about his health he should try to get a 4 year $40MM contract.

What he asks for says alot about what he thinks about his health.

2008-11-17 12:30:35
220.   Eric Stephen
Side note: I made a bet with my brother a few years ago that Reggie Bush would finish with more career NFL rushing yards than LenDale White. It's not looking too good for me right now:

White: 1,824 rushing yards
Bush: 1,440

But this is more of a long-term play.

2008-11-17 12:32:13
221.   regfairfield
220 How do you get 1,824 yards stuffing it up the middle and gaining two?
2008-11-17 12:32:27
222.   underdog
I guess that Affeldt signing is a decent one, since he's been very solid for two straight years and the Giants 'pen has been very erratic. Still doesn't work me up into a frenzy of worry, though.
2008-11-17 12:32:31
223.   Eric Stephen
The Reds pick up a compensatory sandwich pick due to Affeldt's Type B status.
2008-11-17 12:33:29
224.   Eric Stephen
Every once in a while, mix in something like this:

2008-11-17 12:35:08
225.   cargill06
220 LenDale White will be way to fat to play RB by 2011. He'll be running 5.0 40's by than.
2008-11-17 12:36:29
226.   Eric Stephen
He'll be running 5.0 40's by than

How will he be able to increase his speed by then? :)

2008-11-17 12:38:59
227.   cargill06
224 I clocked him at 5.05 from the time he recieves the hand-off on his own 15 to the time he crosses the opponents 45 (40 yards). There was one cut made, but he also got a running head start. I don't know if he is a sub 5 guy.
2008-11-17 12:40:02
228.   bhsportsguy
220 Maurice Jones-Drew has more rushing yards than both of them and also has almost as many All-Purpose Yards (Returns, Rushing and Receiving) than both Bush and White combined.

Petros Papadakis has said many times that Drew would be a better pro than Reggie but since Petros also is biased against Reggie (and Matt Leinart), its hard to say that was an objective position to take.

2008-11-17 12:42:24
229.   Eric Stephen
David Cameron identified Affeldt as a free agent bargain about 3 weeks ago:

2008-11-17 12:45:47
230.   Bob Hendley
219 - Even if he does feel better, now, back injuries are normally nagging and debilitating even when minor. Assuming we get a front line starter, if we miss out on the Manny sweepstakes, we have all the more reason and $$$ to beef up the infield offensively, but the FA market seems full of risks.
2008-11-17 12:49:18
231.   regfairfield
Amazing numbers last year from a guy you've never heard of.

Clay Zevada: 35.1 IP, 54 K, 11 base runners allowed. The guy is 24 in A ball, but still, pretty amazing.

2008-11-17 12:58:12
232.   Jon Weisman
Lincecum finished a distant fifth among pitchers in the MVP voting.
2008-11-17 12:59:57
233.   katysdad
231 What I find even more amazing about Zavada is that his middle name is Pflibson.
2008-11-17 13:01:22
234.   underdog
231 He's a great story, too, hard not to root for him. Except that he's property of the DBacks.

2008-11-17 13:09:39
235.   silverwidow
16-year-old Japanese schoolgirl drafted by a pro team:

You think we might be scouting her? ;)

2008-11-17 13:10:20
236.   Ken Noe
I find letting the real Furcal and his bad back go easier than letting the ideal of Furcal leave town. I also find it hard to believe that Nedster will go with Hu, hence he will be playing with matches again.
2008-11-17 13:19:01
237.   delias man
228 How is Petros biased against them??
2008-11-17 13:24:10
238.   silverwidow
This is weird:

I don't believe a word of it, but it says Ryan Howard was "about to be shipped to L.A" for Loney & Kershaw last July.

2008-11-17 13:26:21
239.   Eric Stephen
On numerous occasions Petros has voiced his dislike for Leinart and Bush, mostly that they are/were prima donnas, jerks, etc.
2008-11-17 13:27:17
240.   Marty
Petros doesn't voice. He SHOUTS
2008-11-17 13:28:52
241.   Eric Stephen
True. I am not a Petros fan, because of his style (not because he doesn't like Leinart, etc). :)
2008-11-17 13:33:54
242.   delias man
I thought he loved everything SC. Guess not.
2008-11-17 13:35:59
243.   trainwreck
MC Safety, I applaud your ability to talk about that. I also had a tumultuous childhood and I cannot even really talk about it with my friends, because it is just too awkward for them. I can really only talk about it with my one friend who also had a rough childhood and we always had a bond, because of it.
2008-11-17 13:42:16
244.   trainwreck
Shaq is now saying he would be interested and open to returning to the Lakers as a free agent and says it was Phil Jackson's fault for his issues with Kobe.
2008-11-17 13:53:28
245.   trainwreck
RIP Pete Newell
2008-11-17 13:56:15
246.   Jon Weisman
245 - Wow. Farewell to a legend.
2008-11-17 13:57:38
247.   LAbits
Great post, thanks. I just transferred the 'home movie' of my youngest daughter's first birthday from vhs -> dvd -> ipod yesterday, so the topic goes along with my retrospective mood -- she is now 16.

On the whether to have children argument -- if you have commitment and a rational hope of doing a good job at parenting, it stands a chance of being a long term net gain for the world. One doesn't have to be perfect to get this outcome. Less is not always more in this equation.

On the concern about yelling -- many fine words on that by the commenters. The one thing I would add is, if you weren't examining it, it would be a problem; just the existence of it is not per se a bad thing.

2008-11-17 13:59:49
248.   Jon Weisman

I did not know:

1) he played minor-league ball for the Dodgers

2) he was the GM for the Lakers when they got Kareem.

2008-11-17 14:03:45
249.   cargill06
Ichiro Quotes of the Year
(courtesy of the Seattle Times' Larry Stone)

Icon SMI
• Third prize -- On his teammates' view of his, well, unique fashion sense:

"All my teammates don't think what I'm wearing is good fashion. A lot of times, they can't believe what I'm wearing. But if you ask me, what they're wearing is a crime."

• Second prize -- On the one-of-a-kind personality of his recently retired ex-teammate, Bret Boone:

"When I met him, he was kind of a human being that you would never meet in Japan. So whenever I was around him, I almost felt like I was witnessing a creature, not a human being."

• First prize -- On what it was like to listen to the boos in Seattle as the Mariners began to self-destruct in May:

"Playing on this team and seeing what is happening around me, I feel that something is beginning to fall apart. But, if I was not in this situation, and I was objectively watching what just happened this week, I would probably be drinking a lot of beers and booing. Usually, I enjoy Japanese beer, but given the situation, if I was objectively watching the game, I wouldn't care if it was Japanese beer, American beer or beer from Papua New Guinea."

2008-11-17 14:06:44
250.   kngoworld
244 Do you have a link or can point me in the direction you found that at?
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-11-17 14:08:39
251.   trainwreck
I just saw it on ESPNews. I will look for a link.
2008-11-17 14:12:03
252.   trainwreck
Someone posted the interview where he said it:

2008-11-17 14:16:14
253.   Zak
173 Wow. I am so sorry for your loss. Today must be a very difficult day for you. I cannot imagine any fear I have that is greater than what you have faced and I cannot imagine any pain deeper. Although it does inherently mean that there is no greater love. I hope you find some peace today. My son and I will pray for you and your son tonight.
2008-11-17 14:19:33
254.   underdog
So Shaq, the problem was the coach, and yet you'd happily come back and play for said coach, even if he and they now have no need for you? Ain't gonna happen.
2008-11-17 14:20:27
255.   kngoworld
252 Thanks trainwreck!
2008-11-17 14:39:34
256.   Eric Stephen
Maybe he's under the presumption that Phil will retire after this year (hopefully with championship #10 -- sorry fanerman!).
2008-11-17 14:42:01
257.   underdog
256 That could happen.

But even so, don't see a place for him on a team with young Bynum plus Gaisol. Fuhgedaboutit, Shaq.

2008-11-17 14:50:47
258.   trainwreck
It feels like UCLA football has had way too many bye weeks this year.
2008-11-17 14:52:39
259.   Jon Weisman
258 - Stanford's season ends Saturday. Little procrastination on our end.
2008-11-17 14:54:08
260.   DaDoughboy
Great post Jon! My wife and I just got married last month and are already trying for kids (granted, we have been together 6 years already, so it's to the point where=). A majority of our friends are married and have kids ranging from 6 months to 3 years, so we feel like we have a handle on what kind of parents we are going to strive to be. I suppose it shouldn't surprise me, but I take away a great deal from all of your comments and experiences here (baseball related or otherwise)..I woulda never thunk that when I stumbled across this site 8 months ago that I would be consistently coming here for life and baseball knowledge during the off season..:)
2008-11-17 14:58:47
261.   fanerman
256 It's okay, you qualified it with a "hopefully" =). I don't see a place for him either. I'd happily start Bynum or Gasol over him this year. When Shaq's a free agent, he'll be even older and Bynum ought to be even better (Ch-i willing). I don't see the Big Fella off the bench, but who knows.

It'd certainly be nice to see Kobe and Shaq make amends on the court.

2008-11-17 15:01:44
262.   Eric Stephen
I just need to qualify it since my 9-0 prediction went up in smoke the first game after I made it.

Also, some might say I got my USC-Stanford prediction wrong (45-3), but if you sound it out, I got it right: "Forty-five, two three". :)

Stanford is going the Big Ten route, ending its season so early.

2008-11-17 15:03:38
263.   Jon Weisman
262 - It used to be common for Big Game to come the last Saturday before Thanksgiving.
2008-11-17 15:10:24
264.   mwhite06
262 Didn't the Big 10 change its schedule this year? I know Michigan State had a bye week last week, as opposed to years past when the Big 10 wrapped up so early because there were no bye weeks.
2008-11-17 15:11:16
265.   Eric Stephen
I am digging the lack of "The" in the name. I had no idea that was the case. It's a nice counterbalance to the Buckeyes.
2008-11-17 15:13:11
266.   Eric Stephen
There are no Big Ten games scheduled beyond this Saturday.
2008-11-17 15:15:47
267.   John Hale
After sitting through all of the scintillating (not really) 27-7 win last Saturday I would say that even UCLA's wins are only slightly more entertaining then a BYE.
One good moment of that night. UW Husky marching band finishes their Monty Python themed half time show with "Always look on the bright side of life" Husky fans need to hum that each saturday.
2008-11-17 15:18:57
268.   bhsportsguy
266 There are no Mountain West Conference games scheduled after this week. If Colorado State and UNLV can win their games this week, the Mountain West Conference will have 6 bowl eligible teams, 1 more than the Pac-10.
2008-11-17 15:20:19
269.   Eric Stephen
Speaking of the Big Ten, their birth in the Rose Bowl will be determined thusly on Saturday:

Michigan at Ohio St, 9am
Michigan St at Penn St, 12:30pm

Penn State
Win and they're in

Ohio State
1) Beat Michigan
2) Michigan St beats Penn St

Michigan State
1) Michigan beats Ohio St
2) Beat Penn St

2008-11-17 15:22:59
270.   bhsportsguy
269 Sure it only appears like the Big Ten representative to play like a newly born child in the Rose Bowl, I do believe you meant "berth."
2008-11-17 15:24:29
271.   Eric Stephen
Ha! Perhaps I should have had more of a pregnant pause before hitting submit.
2008-11-17 15:25:08
272.   DaDoughboy
I've always wondered: is it berth? or birth? In the case of Michigan beating Ohio St, my father (a devout Wolverine fan) may actually give birth.
2008-11-17 15:26:36
273.   mwhite06
269 Interestingly Michigan State was hurt by Iowa beating Penn State. If Penn State was going into their game this weekend undefeated, all Michigan State would have had to do was beat Penn State, and there would have been a 3 team tie. In the Big Ten (and I think the Pac 10 as well but I'm not sure) if their was a 3 team tie between Ohio State, Michigan State and Penn State; Michigan State would have gone to the Rose Bowl since they would have had the longest Rose Bowl drought of the 3 teams.
2008-11-17 15:27:20
274.   trainwreck
ESPN has not talked about Pete Newell at all.

What a lack of respect.

2008-11-17 15:31:08
275.   Jon Weisman
274 - I almost predicted that when the news was first posted here, but then I thought to myself, "Surely Pete Newell will transcend the coastal divide."
2008-11-17 15:34:14
276.   Indiana Jon
245 Very sad news. Pete Newell was not only a great coach, but was probably even more important as a teacher of the game long after his couching days were finished. He was the coaching idol and mentor to Bob Knight and many others for years. That's a pretty good compliment when the coach who does it his way and listens to nobody lists you as his number one mentor and teacher. It's sad that Newell didn't get more credit for all the ways he's improved the game.
2008-11-17 15:36:38
277.   Indiana Jon
276 I guess he started his "couching" days after his "coaching" days were over. Preview Jon, preview.
2008-11-17 15:36:56
278.   trainwreck
You would think so. ESPN's own Bob Knight said he thought he was the best coach there was and completely underrated.
2008-11-17 15:37:23
279.   Bob Timmermann
Actually Michigan State would have won a 3-way tie with Penn State and Ohio State because they played 12 FBS opponents while the other two schools had one FCS opponent on the schedule.
2008-11-17 15:39:15
280.   Eric Stephen
Michigan State hasn't been to the Rose Bowl since beating USC, 20-17, in the 1988 Rose Bowl (1987 season). The Spartans have made four Rose Bowls in all, with the other three coming against UCLA (1954, 1956, 1966).

Penn State has been to two Rose Bowls, losing to USC, 14-3, in 1923, and beating Oregon in 1995. Penn State finished the 1994 season, only its second in the Beg Ten, undefeated but didn't win a national championship since it finished behind Nebraska in both polls.

Ohio State has made 13 Rose Bowls (winning 6), most recently in 1997 (defeating the "Jake the Snake"-led ASU squad). 7 of their 13 Rose Bowls have been against USC (including 5 from 1969-1980). Interestingly, Jim Tressel has played in 3 BCS title games in 7+ years at Ohio St but has never made it to the Rose Bowl.

2008-11-17 15:43:41
281.   ssjames
Hearing about Newell's death really bums me out. He was one of the classiest individuals in the way he carried himself and will be missed.
2008-11-17 15:49:25
282.   alwaysblue
Jon, you don't have a problem with others' decision not to have children. However, so many others don't think the same way. As a married woman without children and not planning to have any, I have been amazed at others' comments and questions about my and my husband's decision. Why is that anyone else's great concern? Neither of our families ask us about it. Why do strangers or mere acquaintances?

We know better than anyone else why or why not we should have kids. So, again, why is it someone else's concern? It seems that people view it particularly odd that a woman would not have children. Some people think childless couples are selfish. How does that follow at all?
Most of the bias seems to come from other women and certainly mostly from married people.

The first time I met a particular neighbor, she immediately asked if we planned to have kids. Literally, it was the second thing she asked after telling me her name. I was stunned, but as usual when I am caught off guard, I felt compelled to avoid turning it back on the other person. (Perhaps I'm too tactful.) I said we probably wouldn't have kids, and she looked at me as if I suddenly had three heads.

Having children is arguably the greatest responsibility one can undertake. Having children because "you're suppposed to" is not a reason. Nor is it valid to argue, "You don't know what you're missing!" Well, yes, I think we do. It's no one's business.

People who directly ask us about our potential procreation possibly don't know how rude they are. I would not dream of approaching others and asking them, "So, do you plan to lose weight?" No one should approach another and tell him or her that they "need to" have a baby. That is absurd to me, yet people do it frequently. I am no less of a person or a woman because I don't have children.

Thanks for providing a chance to express my opinion. It's unexpected that I would find a forum for this topic on Dodgerthoughts! I really haven't been able to talk with many other people about this. I feel rather isolated by it, although we have many friends who have kids, and we love to visit them. It's just not something that gets discussed--anywhere, ever.

2008-11-17 15:50:25
283.   Harold M Johnson
280 I would have thought that Penn State had been to more then 2 Rose Bowls. I went to the 1995 game against Oregon. I remember getting to my seat slightly light, right in time to watch the opening kick-off returned for a touch down but not quite in time to understand exactly what was happening as I emerged from the tunnel about half-way through.
2008-11-17 15:51:43
284.   underdog
Oh well, at least the Newell obit is on's home page, if nothing else. (Though not particularly prominently.)
2008-11-17 15:52:57
285.   BlueCrew Bruin
Great post, Jon. Thanks for making this site about more than just Dodger baseball. I'm a new dad (daughter is 6 months old) and it's been awesome. Infants certainly come with their own unique set of difficulties but my real parenting worries focus more on when the time comes that I start receiving the "Daddy, why..." questions. I barely understand the world myself!

Thanks to all the commenters as well for your insightful thoughts.

Penn State has been to two Rose Bowls, losing to USC, 14-3, in 1923...

That was their first year under JoePa, right? :)

2008-11-17 15:54:04
286.   trainwreck
I totally agree.

My extended family thinks I am insane, because I say I do not know if I want to get married or have kids.

2008-11-17 15:55:41
287.   Eric Stephen
A Penn St - Oregon St or a USC - Ohio St Rose Bowl would feature a rematch of a regular season game.

I wonder how many regular season rematches there have been in Rose Bowl history. So far, I have found two:

1957 (1956 season): Iowa over Oregon St (twice)
1988: Michigan St over USC (twice)

2008-11-17 15:55:43
288.   mwhite06
283 Dont forget Penn State didn't join the Big Ten until 1993.
2008-11-17 15:56:41
289.   Eric Stephen
If it's any consolation, I think you're insane, but for other reasons. :)
2008-11-17 15:59:30
290.   trainwreck
My multiple personalities appreciate it.
2008-11-17 15:59:49
291.   Eric Stephen
UCLA also beat Michigan in the 1982 season and 1983 Rose Bowl (following a Michigan win in the 12/31/81 Bluebonnet Bowl).
2008-11-17 15:59:58
292.   Jon Weisman
282 - I think the kind of behavior that you're getting thrown at you is completely inappropriate. Ignore it as best as you can.
2008-11-17 16:00:40
293.   Bob Timmermann
The Penn State-USC Rose Bowl was the first one played in what is now called the Rose Bowl.

Penn State showed up late for the game and the USC and Penn State coaches almost got into a fight before the game.

2008-11-17 16:01:18
294.   bhsportsguy
290 It was too easy to say that UCLA football has had a bye for the 2009 season.

282 I agree with the sentiment, I do think that the "kid" topic is touchy one to talk about. I don't think either side holds any moral superiority against the other.

2008-11-17 16:01:37
295.   Bob Timmermann
UCLA lost to Ohio State in the 1975 regular season, but beat Ohio State in the 1976 Rose Bowl.
2008-11-17 16:01:51
296.   underdog
282 I'm sometimes in the same boat (though am open to having children, too, and have gotten the same, if seemingly "well-meaning" nosiness, and as Jon says the best thing to do is ignore it or say it's personal, and hopefully they'll have common sense to shut their yaps.
2008-11-17 16:02:03
297.   bhsportsguy
295 Dick Vermeil loved that team.
2008-11-17 16:03:04
298.   Eric Stephen
Courtesy of The Griddle, it appears Affeldt's contract is for 2 years, $8m.

Last week, Damaso Marte re-signed for 3/$12m with the Yankees.

Both men strikeout more hitters than Joe Beimel, but it appears the market is shaping up nicely for Troy from West Virginia's favorite player.

2008-11-17 16:04:59
299.   trainwreck
It sounds like Mike Moser may be headed to Oregon State.

UCLA is absolutely cursed when it comes to guards for the 09 class.

2008-11-17 16:07:36
300.   trainwreck
And I am going to blame it on Barack Obama.

Now he has to fix the country to make it up to me.

Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2008-11-17 16:14:30
301.   Bob Timmermann
Pete Newell went to a high school in L.A. that doesn't exist anymore: St. Agnes. It was at Adams and Vermont.

There is still a St. Agnes parish, but it hasn't had a high school attached to it for a long time.

2008-11-17 16:14:37
302.   Dodgers49
Andre Ethier gives credit to Simers (sort of): :-)

>> You could say it was our momentum from ending the season that helped us, but I've got to give some of the credit to T.J. Simers for reminding us everyday a month prior to the playoffs that "this organization had only won one playoff game in the last 20 years" (no pressure). <<

Also, for those planning trips to Spring Training, Andre will be reviewing Phoenix area restaurants:

## I will be starting soon a Spring Training review here in my hometown of Phoenix -- some of my fave spots in the desert to grab a good bite. ##

2008-11-17 16:16:03
303.   Bob Timmermann
Daily News blog headline:

"Feinstein calls for ant-scalping measure"

It requires the use of very small knives.

2008-11-17 16:27:12
304.   Jon Weisman
Times obit on Newell,0,2680335,full.story
2008-11-17 16:30:50
305.   Eric Stephen
If each of these teams win (or all lose) on Thursday (in two different basketball tourneys), Friday could see Duke/UCLA and USC/Memphis.
2008-11-17 16:32:06
306.   Dodgers49
Touchdown That Wasn't Created Havoc for Bettors

2008-11-17 16:35:53
307.   trainwreck
If those are the matchups, I would predict Duke and USC wins. I think UCLA will be better than Duke by the end of the year, but right now I would give them the edge.

I have not seen USC play, but I assume they are being smart and feeding Taj Gibson a lot, unlike last year.

2008-11-17 16:42:56
308.   Tripon drops MS Silverlight for Adobe's FLASH.

2008-11-17 16:50:05
309.   fanerman
308 Cool beans.
2008-11-17 16:52:25
310.   Kevin Lewis

I gotta say, I completely respect your decision not to have children. After having our first child, I can understand why some would choose not to, and this doesn't even bring up the difficulties or past experiences that might play into the decision. I immediately felt guilty for the way I viewed our childless neighbors as a teenager. I guess for me it was a stigma brought on by ignorance, and now I would never assume someone should have a child just because I do, so please know there are parents out there that respect and try to understand your position.

2008-11-17 16:57:35
311.   D4P
Some people think childless couples are selfish

I think you'll find this interesting, and encouraging.

2008-11-17 17:06:17
312.   Humma Kavula
282 310 I gotta say, I completely agree. My daughter celebrated her first birthday yesterday; it was a great time. A couple who are two of our best friends were there -- they are, and shall forever remain, childless (he's been snipped).

Because they are close friends, we've discussed with them why they don't want kids and why Bride of Kavula and I want (and now have) a kid. I think we all think both couples are making the right choices. Spawn of Kavula is one of the two best things that's ever happened to me (and when circumstances briefly appeared to be that she wouldn't be in the cards for us, it was devastating). That our friends choose not to have a kid isn't selfish or whatever -- it's just the only thing that's right for them.

There's a way of looking at this that's a bit depressing: whether you have kids or you don't, you're making a huge sacrifice. For both the Kavulas and our friends, it was immediately clear which sacrifice we'd prefer, and we're both immensely satisfied with our decisions.

2008-11-17 17:22:17
313.   Tripon
The chances for the Giants to make a play still aren't seen as great, not unless they can find a taker for Barry Zito, their free-agent mistake from two years ago. If the Giants can find someone to take a good portion of the remainder of Zito's $126-million, eight-year contract, their chances to play for one of the big three would improve significantly.

Its amusing to read the crap Heyman makes up when it involves other teams. Who in the hell is going to take a stinker like the Barry Zito contract?

2008-11-17 17:41:53
314.   gibsonhobbs88
Hello folks: I know I've taken a hiatus from this site for awhile. I actually got heavily involved in the Presidential campaign for reasons that would violate Rule #1 here. I want to send my prayers, condolences and well-wishes to all those involved in the recent fires, all of you, the victims, survivors, the lucky ones, and the brave firefighters who fought the overwhelming elements, you were all in my prayers in church yesterday.

As for the Dodgers - Manny it is a wait and see but I can't see shelling out for more than 3 premium years at maximum. After that, he will be a overpriced liability no longer able to play the OF! Furcal - I like him very much-however have concerns over his tender back though has me queasy over any long term deal.

Will need to get one starter if we don't land Manny! Otherwise, rest of team can stay where we are!

Otherwise, at least I believe I have hope for the Dodgers future and our country since "Caribou Barbie" is now back in Alaska! Sorry Jon! I had to let that one slip in! I hated her!

2008-11-17 17:46:47
315.   gibsonhobbs88
310 - Some couples like us-the decision wasn't always voluntary! We had tests that said we should be able to conceive. We did try AI but after 6-10 tries, we had no success. In vitro -too expensive-not covered by insurance-no guarantees. We are thinking about adoption but it would be an older child now that my wife and I are in our Mid to late 40's and a baby would not really work anymore. We are thinking starting schoolage 4-7 year olds as an age we would consider now adopting.
2008-11-17 17:56:01
316.   underdog
314 Heh. I think you meant "Rule 5" but maybe you also secretly meant Rule 1, too. ;-)

Welcome back!


So if my fantasy team can't get at least two points from Marshawn Lynch and Lee Evans combined tonight, they both go on my obelisk. Or at least my miniature Stonehenge statue.

2008-11-17 18:12:41
317.   trainwreck
Trent Edwards doing his best Kevin Craft impression.
2008-11-17 18:14:15
318.   scareduck
308 - possibly the best news to come out of MLBAM all year.
2008-11-17 18:17:00
319.   Tripon
8:04pm: Furcal is "shocked and excited" about possible interest from the Braves, though Yunel Escobar would have to be traded first. Furcal already has a three-year, $39MM offer on the table from an unknown team. Kinzer says it might be a few weeks before his client signs.

Somebody taking a page out of the Dodgers playbook?

2008-11-17 18:24:16
320.   underdog
Yeah, maybe I should put Trent Edwards on the obelisk instead. If I'd only thought to start Peyton Hillis and Jonathan Stewart at RB instead this week it wouldn't matter. What was I thinking.
2008-11-17 18:26:35
321.   trainwreck
Bills offensive coordinator is also a moron. 3rd and 1 and he calls a shotgun play with a QB that has already thrown 2 picks in the quarter.
2008-11-17 18:32:56
322.   LAbits
282 I can imagine your situation. I only once have been given the 'three heads' treatment (though in my case for having 3 children). I expect it comes more often to those that don't have children and I see it certainly has for you. I'm sorry people have no class.

Back to baseball, congrats to MLB for getting rid of SliverLite.

2008-11-17 18:57:51
323.   Bob Timmermann
Get your own obelisk!
2008-11-17 19:00:00
324.   Marty
FYI, I don't recommend having 4 crowns done at once.
2008-11-17 19:03:50
325.   underdog
Ah, thanks to Marshawn I can relax now. (Assuming he doesn't fumble several times.)

323 I've decided against an obelisk and instead I'm just using a small tree in which I carve the names of people on my List. It's just the size of a bonsai right now but I hope to someday grow it to at least Douglas Fir. Anyway, rest easy.

2008-11-17 19:13:04
326.   underdog
Why does Chris Berman and ESPN still think calling the NFC North the "Norris Division" is still funny? Was it ever funny? Rhetorical question, don't worry about answering.

Back to work.

2008-11-17 19:14:22
327.   BlueMamma
282 322 I know exactly what you're talking about. I'm disgusted by the numbers of people, usually complete strangers, who ask me questions like "Haven't you ever heard of birth control?" or better "You need to get cable." I have had five children so far. One time I was treated to a lecture from my dental hygienist, to which I was unable to respond because she had her hands in my mouth.

I've thought of a smart remark answer several times, but just decided to let it go.

2008-11-17 19:17:41
328.   trainwreck
Five is not even a lot, just ask Daniel.
2008-11-17 19:18:59
329.   Sushirabbit
This is for BlueMamma. The original publisher is long defunct, but if Jon wants he can remove it.


Because you've talked
about her, you waken
to her breathing in the bedroom
built before she left.

She's there, asleep,
her breathing as deep and regular
as the rush and catch of ocean
air around the house,

as insistent as your dream
of her heavy hair damp
on your neck as you rocked her
to sleep on the porch.

2008-11-17 19:42:22
330.   silverwidow
The Cubs are going to have a scary rotation next year w/Peavy. They are the last team standing according to Towers.

I would've been willing to deal anyone except Bills or Kershaw, but that's just me.

2008-11-17 20:01:55
331.   fanerman
330 They got Peavy?
2008-11-17 20:04:53
332.   Tripon
331 They're the last team in the Peavy race for the most part. Kevin Towers really screwed the pooch on this one, he waited too long to trade Peavy to the Braves because he wanted to draw in a sucker like the Dodgers in. Unfortunately for him, the Dodgers wouldn't bite, and raise the price of a Peavy trade, and the Braves knew they had the best deal, and walked away.
2008-11-17 20:18:07
333.   Marty
I'm a Cub owner and I doubt they do anything until they figure out who to sell to.
2008-11-17 20:28:12
334.   fanerman
333 You own the Cubs?
2008-11-17 20:30:33
335.   Tripon
The Padres are planning on adding Matt Bush to the 40-man roster in advance of the Rule 5 draft.

You know, even if the Padres did lose him via rule 5 draft, I don't think the Padres would really mind it. Talk about a bad draft choice.

2008-11-17 20:31:42
336.   Marty
Yes I do. But I don't have a lot of say in how they operate.
2008-11-17 20:32:34
337.   trainwreck
Chicago Tribune owns them and they own LA Times.
2008-11-17 20:35:43
338.   Marty
It's an employee-owned company, so you might say, in theory, I have a say in how everything is run. But it's not a good theory in practice.
2008-11-17 20:40:18
339.   CajunDodger
I tend to agree on that. This is a unique free agent class of pitchers that will allow teams with deep pockets (Yanks, Dodgers, Angels, Sox) to buy what they need. There are precious few teams that want to give up lots of prospects even for a guy like Peavy. Ultimately, I think that the Braves will get into it again, but I think that San Diego probably already blew off the best offer they were going to get.
2008-11-17 20:56:14
340.   underdog
Wow, for the first time that I can remember, UCSB has a 7'2" freshman. I watched their game vs Utah State tonight in part, via BigWestTV (which is free this month). They lost by two on a last second shot, after erasing a 12 point deficit to tie it. But anyway this kid played limited minutes but I saw 3 dunks, 3-4 blocks and a bunch of rebounds. That's got to be a good sign. Will Brew looks pretty good, too (and his brother will be there next year). Not sure they'll have any answer for UNC on Friday but they should be solid in the conference.
2008-11-17 21:18:46
341.   Kevin Lewis
Is anyone else surprised that Marty made it this far when his childhood playtime included gun powder?
2008-11-17 21:25:25
342.   68elcamino427
Dad takes three infants to suite at Staples Center for professional basketball game.

This is a great daddy.

Keep up the good work.

2008-11-17 21:26:23
343.   Eric Stephen
Jamie-Lynn Siegler is invading my shows. First Entourage, now How I Met Your Mother.
2008-11-17 21:27:52
344.   trainwreck
Her dating Turtle in real life gives hope to us all.
2008-11-17 21:45:31
345.   fanerman
What is a dating Turtle?
2008-11-17 21:47:03
346.   trainwreck
Turtle is a character's name on Entourage.
2008-11-17 21:47:10
347.   underdog
Um, a house exploded around the corner from me tonight.

I was thinking it was like straight out of "Breaking Bad" but it sounds like it may have been a gas heater explosion. Pretty scary. I thought there was a 1 second earthquake when it happened, but then went about my business. But then when a news chopper started circling overhead a little while ago, I finally checked the news.

Anyway... uh.. .as you were, carry on, etc.

2008-11-17 21:47:58
348.   underdog
I believe fanerman is playing his own game of Questions tonight - can only post in the form of a question?
2008-11-17 21:52:08
349.   Eric Stephen
A 2-year old with glass in his face?*

(*I'm trying to keep up the question thing)

2008-11-17 22:12:04
350.   LogikReader
Anybody catch the Mad Men reference on HIMYM tonight? I don't watch Mad Men, but I caught the one liner during the "conference call".
Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2008-11-17 22:14:08
351.   Bob Hendley
Cool beans?
2008-11-17 22:37:23
352.   Jon Weisman
350 - Sure, I caught it.

That show, more than ever, is all Neil Patrick Harris.

2008-11-17 22:49:15
353.   nofatmike
340 I was at that game tonight. I must say that was one of the most exciting games I've watched, even thought the Gauchos lost. I think UCSB could've won if it weren't for #10, Chris Devine I think. He had the most passive-aggressive defense I have ever seen, and kept taking low-percentage shots when other's were wide open. If he had knuckled-down on defense during the last 11 seconds of the game, UCSB would gone into overtime. If the Gauchos hope to have a chance against UNC, he needs to ride the bench.
2008-11-17 23:10:39
354.   trainwreck
Under ESPN headline:

The college hoops season doesn't start until we say it starts.

It already started so there, ESPN. You are not bigger than the sports you carry.

2008-11-17 23:18:43
355.   fanerman
354 ESPN != cool beans.
2008-11-17 23:27:07
356.   LAT

I have not read the thread (I will) but the post makes me think you are standing in my backyard looking into my house tonight. My 14 year old daughter has a substantial English test tomorrow. She has known about the test since last Tues. She only "mentioned" it to her mother yesterday. It is 11:00 pm and she is woefully ill-prepared. I am fairly confident she will fail. So I am left with the following options: I can yell and scream. I can be sarcastic and biting. I can stay up all night and help her cram or I can do the hardest thing of all: nothing. I have to go with the last option. Indeed, a large part of me actually hopes she fails. This appears to be the only way she will learn the lesson she should know by now. Maybe if I had let it happen sooner we wouldn't be facing this problem now (although I doubt it). Sorry to tell you Jon, it doesn't get any easier as they get older and while you don't want them to jump over the glass partition at Staples, you (I am projecting here) have to let them fail if they are to learn how to deal with it and move forward. (I wish I was truly as rational about it as I sound here. It takes all my control to keep my mouth shut.)

2008-11-17 23:45:08
357.   Bob Timmermann
The ubiquitous University of Phoenix ad is up on the site for me now. The picture has a caption that reads "I am a: Student."

But the woman looks like a college student. She certainly doesn't like someone who has a job.

2008-11-17 23:54:00
358.   Kevin Maxwell
Jon, ....late adding to this post. I was an unmarried family man of 2 sons ages 3&1yo at the age of 27. It took years of practice to land somewhere in between my two emotional speeds... 1. Gandhi 2. Godzilla :) I had a hard time with this. I read your post and it occurred to me how difficult those early years were. Dealing with my emotions as I tried to achieve and provide were hard enough, without and then being out numbered by the dynamic duo. I learned a few things along the way that helped: you mentioned allowing them to make mistakes. Allow this of yourself too - parenting isn't hard, it's long. Sometimes were just not gonna get it right and we'll feel crappy about it-they experience this too. I learned that by teaching my kids that I make mistakes I discussed it with them which included how by making amends for them I would actively try to change and improve on behaviors I wasn't proud of. This has taught them to do the same when many people use 'sorry' as a way to get the heat off, they use it as a way to improve relationships and take responsibility for their actions. They are now 21 and 19. I can now see that it was as a result of the so called 'failures' in my style and flashes of my Irish temperament that some of our strongest bonds were formed. Not because of the anguish caused by yet another over-reaction, but because we shared in the process of transparency, humility, and forgiveness, of a heartfelt apology and sincere effort to improve. We accomplished this together.
2008-11-18 00:08:52
359.   trainwreck
Life is a party when you to college online.
2008-11-18 00:36:50
360.   trainwreck
2008-11-18 01:00:25
361.   LAT
University of Phoenix ad? How timely for a 14 year old girl about to bomb an english exam.
2008-11-18 01:02:12
362.   trainwreck
Maybe your daughter is a better procrastinator and BSer than you think.
2008-11-18 06:08:23
363.   Marty
Do you have to guess how many triangles to get into the University of Phoenix?
2008-11-18 06:39:01
364.   D4P
No, you just have to know what a triangle is.

Guessing the number of triangles gets you into the honors program.

2008-11-18 06:49:41
365.   Disabled List
I don't think I could get into the University of Phoenix, since I still haven't figured out how many triangles there are. If I stare at it for more than 30 seconds, my eyes hurt. I just know there are a lot more than 35.
2008-11-18 07:23:53
366.   D4P
According to the New York Post, the Yankees "remain interested in" Andy Pettitte, but "aren't going to pay him the $16 million he earned last season." The newspaper quotes "a Yankee source" as saying that Pettitte's agent doesn't want him to accept a pay cut, but that seems unreasonable after he went 14-14 with a 4.54 ERA in 2008.


2008-11-18 08:15:55
367.   Tripon
Brandon Wood, the Angels' top prospect and a candidate to start in their infield next season, has been dismissed from his winter club because of poor performance.

Wood hit .167 for Estrellas in the Dominican winter league, with one home run and 16 strikeouts in 48 at-bats. The club sent him home after 13 games.

Ouch. Unrelated, but is the AFL season over?,0,6141888.story

2008-11-18 08:21:17
368.   Tripon
Former major league manager Jim Tracy has accepted the bench coach job with the Rockies, who have filled three of the four openings on their staff. Club officials declined to comment, saying they would announce all the hirings at the same time.

Hee, I can't wait for him to replace Clint Hurdle during the middle of the season.

2008-11-18 08:23:39
369.   D4P
If you can't manage a team, try coaching a bench.
2008-11-18 08:24:49
370.   cargill06
335 Why did they stop the pitching experiment? 16 k's in 7.2 IP seems like he has more potential there rather than as a hitter.
2008-11-18 08:26:37
371.   Tripon
The Dodgers, understandably, haven't given up on getting Larry Lucchino to go west and bring their business into the 21st century. Frank McCourt has tried to move the franchise past the Industrial Age, but it has been a difficult process.

2008-11-18 08:28:04
372.   Tripon
370 The Padres didn't. Matt Bush had to go under Tommy John surgery despite only pitching 15 innings. I'll be amazed if Bush makes it to Triple-A, much more the major leagues.
2008-11-18 08:30:10
373.   D4P
Interesting. James Loney was 2nd in the MLB in "most runners in scoring position" when he came to the plate.
2008-11-18 08:42:36
374.   Eric Stephen
Shocking that Gammons is promoting someone involved with the Red Sox.
2008-11-18 08:44:02
375.   Eric Stephen
Also from that article:

Brad Penny is so serious about his conditioning that, while he is off hunting in the Midwest, he has taken the trainer he hired from Athletes' Performance Institute with him

I wonder if Penny or the trainer have seen "Surviving the Game."

2008-11-18 08:44:31
376.   D4P
The top 5 "Most Runners In Scoring Position When Hitter Came To Bat" hitters in the MLB, along with their MLB RBI ranking.

1. Justin Morneau - 3
2. James Loney - 44
3. David Wright - 5
4. Carlos Beltran - 13
5. Ryan Howard - 1

I think we can officially declare Loney's 90 RBI total "Very unimpressive".

2008-11-18 08:46:26
377.   kinbote
368 Get ready for TracyBench! Think of it as TracyBall confined to the dugout area.
2008-11-18 08:47:08
378.   cargill06
376 Loney may have cost us a lot of runs last year.
2008-11-18 08:47:33
379.   D4P
Actually, Loney and Wright were tied for 2nd.
2008-11-18 08:50:23
380.   Eric Stephen
"Very unimpressive"

Isn't that the slogan for TBS?

2008-11-18 08:50:58
381.   Tripon
378 Kent slow legs may have cost us even more runs.
2008-11-18 08:52:01
382.   Tripon
374 At least Gammons is finally dropping the 'Dodgers moving Martin to 3rd/sign Veritek/trade Martin because they hate him' gossip.
2008-11-18 08:52:37
383.   cargill06
381 Ya, but Kent is no longer a concern to me. With Ned you never know though.
2008-11-18 08:53:56
384.   Tripon
Looks like Dempster is going to resign with the Cubs.

2008-11-18 08:58:04
385.   Bumsrap
90 RBIs are 90 RBIs. I will take 90 RBIs from a 24 year old as a sign of success or as a glass half full and continue to scoff at those who want to think of it as a glass half empty.
2008-11-18 08:58:58
386.   regfairfield
381 He did, but not by too much.
2008-11-18 08:59:51
387.   regfairfield
It's pretty easy to get RBIs when all you do is hit singles and get more RBI opportunities than anyone else.
2008-11-18 09:01:25
388.   Bumsrap
387 - Oh, is it now?
2008-11-18 09:02:57
389.   regfairfield
388 Yes?

If you're trying to make the argument that James Loney is better at baseball than me, I'll totally agree.

2008-11-18 09:04:01
390.   D4P
2008-11-18 09:08:34
391.   Jacob Burch
389 But if you're trying to say he's better at baseball than me, I have some witnesses of Wiffleball that, I'm sure, will make a very strong case for me.
2008-11-18 09:10:22
392.   jasonungar07
the prob isn't Loney. The prob is he was one of our better hitters.
2008-11-18 09:14:28
393.   Bob Timmermann
Frank McCourt has tried to move the franchise past the Industrial Age

Personally, I thought the Dodgers were still in the Iron Age.

2008-11-18 09:16:39
394.   Jacob Burch
393 McCourt later tried to order pancakes in the age of enlightment, but was grossly jilted.
2008-11-18 09:20:38
395.   El Lay Dave
393 Bronze Age - four third place finishes in the six seasons immediately prior to McCourt.
2008-11-18 09:20:59
396.   Eric Stephen
It looks like Dempster's contract will be 4/$50 or 4/$52, depending on either Fox Sports or the Chicago Sun-Times.

Somewhere Derek Lowe is rubbing his hands together while saying, "Excellent."

2008-11-18 09:22:13
397.   D4P
Somewhere Derek Lowe is rubbing (suntan lotion on a bimbo with) his hands together while saying, "Excellent."
2008-11-18 09:26:44
398.   arborial
What does the prevailing wisdom say regarding the AL MVP?
2008-11-18 09:26:49
399.   Eric Stephen
I will not have the good name of one Carolyn Hughes sullied in such a manner! Good day, sir.
2008-11-18 09:28:07
400.   Eric Stephen
Pedroia wins a close one. More neau than yes for the Twins 1B.
Show/Hide Comments 401-450
2008-11-18 09:28:34
401.   Jacob Burch
398 The probably undeserving second baseman out of Boston edges out in a clustered and confused vote. Reading the totals should be fun.
2008-11-18 09:31:33
402.   Eric Stephen
I haven't found a year with more players receiving first place votes than 1979 NL. Eight players got a first place vote that year.
2008-11-18 09:33:56
403.   fanerman
If Pedroia shouldn't win it, who should? (honest question)
2008-11-18 09:34:13
404.   Jacob Burch
402 I'm not sure if it'll beat that, but I think the ordering could be very well all over the place.

I'd place the O/U for first place vote earners at 6.5 and take the over slightly.

2008-11-18 09:36:51
405.   Jacob Burch
403 I'd give it to Youk.
2008-11-18 09:37:41
406.   Eric Stephen
I'd probably go Mauer, but it's really close.
2008-11-18 09:38:41
407.   Bob Timmermann
Sadly, today I get into the office just around 11, so by the time I post the AL MVP results on the Griddle around 11:15, it will be passe by then.
2008-11-18 09:38:41
408.   D4P
Why should Pedroia get the MVP over Youkilis...?
2008-11-18 09:41:32
409.   Jacob Burch
Mauer is another possibility if you wanted to throw positional dependencies into the mix.

Right now I have possible First placers:
Youk (The U-Crew!)
-- (actually deserves line)

2008-11-18 09:42:01
410.   D4P
You could always go in early....
2008-11-18 09:42:23
411.   Jacob Burch
408 Bean town likes the look in his eyes when he comes up to bat, is the best way I can sum it up.
2008-11-18 09:43:02
412.   Jon Weisman
2008-11-18 09:43:14
413.   Eric Stephen
AL VORP Leaders
1) A-Rod - 62.4
2) Sizemore - 60.7
3) Pedroia - 59.8
4) Mauer - 57.1
5) Bradley - 56.2
6) Hamilton - 55.9
7) Huff - 55.6
8) Kinsler - 53.7
9) Youkilis - 53.4
10) Quentin - 51.3
2008-11-18 09:45:05
414.   Bumsrap
My only case is that I really enjoy Loney and like watching young players evolve. When they do well at age 24 but not as well as players that have reached their primes, or not as well as a very select few future HOF players when they were 24, I find no reason to look for and embrace negatives.

On draft day Bill Wlash wanted to be aware of the 5 best plays a college kid has made to better understand his potential and used that information as part of his draft selection process.

As Dodger fans, I think we will enjoy the team more if we keep in mind players' best plays especially if their character is strong and keep the yea but thoughts on the back burner.

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