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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

Slumdog Millionaires
2008-11-26 09:45
by Jon Weisman

Blindly noble, disingenuous or dumb?

"If you bring somebody in to play and pay them, pick a number, $30 million, does that seem a little weird to you?" Dodger president Jamie McCourt said to Dylan Hernandez of the Times and other reporters gathered at the Evergreen Recreation Center in East Los Angeles, where the Dodgers announced they would be building 42 more community ballfields to add to the eight they have already created. "That's what we're trying to figure out. We're really trying to see it through the eyes of our fans. We're really trying to understand, would they rather have the 50 fields?"

Well, it's certainly an interesting concept. The Dodgers could become the first professional sports franchise whose ownership and fans prioritize community service over on-field performance. Who could deny which is more important in the grand scheme of things?

Only one problem: Who's going to buy tickets to the community service?

If you're asking your fans, i.e., the people most invested in your team winning, it's pretty clear (unless you are blindly noble or dumb) what they're going to say. They're going to say you should get the best players, create a winning team, and then use the fruits of victory to help the community.

The Dodgers should know this and, assuming they do, certainly shouldn't pretend that they don't. And by the way - it's not like you actually put it up to the fans. You went out and committed to the 50 fields without actually giving them a chance to weigh in on what was more important. Were they really trying to understand, or were they vainly trying to justify a surrender in the free agent market with a guilt trip? "Sure, we could sign Manny Ramirez - but what about the children?"

You don't need to tell us that it's a tough economy. You don't need to tell us that children are more important than Manny Ramirez. But have the courage of your convictions. If you want to take a stand against high salaries, if you want to take a stand for the kids, don't cloak it in "what the fans want," especially when you betray ignorance of what the fans want. That's not intelligent public relations.

Now, it's entirely possible that this is making too much out of one isolated quote from the Dodger team president - although certainly, that's the one from Tuesday's press conference that's going to be remembered. So let's also look at what Frank McCourt had to say:

"It's not so much what we can and can't do so much as it's affecting what's appropriate," McCourt remarked (per Diamond Leung of the Press-Enterprise). "I don't think anyone knows. I feel things are a little different. We need to review our priorities a little bit."

It's fair. You're allowed to review your priorities. But shouldn't the McCourts be worried that Dodger ticket-buyers will be doing the same? Because I assure you, there are more efficient ways for the people of Los Angeles to help their fellow citizens or ride out the New Great Depression than by funneling money through the front office at Stadium Way.

If the McCourts want to make a real statement about what's appropriate in the economy, a statement that their fans will relate to and appreciate, then build some fields and cut ticket, food, concession and parking prices. If they want fans to tighten the belt of their expectations, then they need to tighten the belt of their revenue.

Otherwise, just focus on getting the best players, and leave the morality out of it. I'll root for an austere team in austere times, but I'll have a lot more trouble embracing hypocrisy.

* * *

By the way, Slumdog Millionaire is a wonderful movie - you should definitely try to see it.

Comments (260)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-11-26 09:51:35
1.   mattSD
It is really a fantastic movie.

It was second on my list of must sees for the season, and after I was thoroughly confused (but not quite so thoroughly disappointed) by Synecdoche, it was refreshing.

2008-11-26 10:00:21
2.   MC Safety
"Sure, we could sign Manny Ramirez - but what about the children?"

Rule 12+1.

2008-11-26 10:03:01
3.   Kuo-fax
Well put, as always. In times of outrageous claims by the Dodgers, it is such a pleasure to come here and see how Weisman gives eloquence to our concerns.
2008-11-26 10:03:18
4.   fiddlestick
I think the best solution for all parties given Jamie McCourts feelings on guaranteed contracts is for the McCourts to buy an NFL team to play in LA and sell the Dodgers to Mark Cuban who will still charge a hundred bucks a ticket for spring training, but along with promotional items and a hot dog, you get a stock tip with your ticket.
2008-11-26 10:03:27
5.   MC Safety
What an ace post, Jon.
2008-11-26 10:09:30
6.   Harold M Johnson
Taken in sum, the two McCourts statements are really awful. The implications for me as a season ticket holder is that I need to sacrifice on behalf of them and their priorities.
2008-11-26 10:11:42
7.   cargill06
Got LAT'd

Let's take a loot at the teams production as a whole last year that managed to outscore it's opponents 700-648. Where could this team reasonably improve with either in house options or lower tier FA's? (assuming a payroll cut for next year.)

C- .276/.376/.391 (103 OPS+)
1B- .292/.344/.458 (109 OPS+) -1 defense
2B- .281/.340/.419 (98 OPS+) -12 defense
SS- .244/.310/.367 (77 OPS+) +6 defense
3B- .245/.321/.376 (83 OPS+) +10 defense
LF- .300/.371/.445 (113 OPS+) -5 defense
CF- .236/.301/.358 (73 OPS+) -2 defense
RF- .315/.373/.537 (136 OPS+) -18 defense

I think it's safe to assume C, 1B are pretty sure bets to be better this year. 3B is I think at worst the same with a lot of real upside possibility assuming DeWitt gets the job. Our OF trio last year combined for a line of .284/.348/.448 (OPS+ 108) and -25 on defense. If we don't sign an OF'er Andruw Jones could be the make or break point of the season, if he's right, could that trio match that line of 108 OPS+ or come close? Probably, and it's reasonable to expect the OF defense to be much much better. Now, to adress our other holes SS and 2B. A full season of Hu, would be better the +7 number on defense. He should destroy that number, just a question if he can come close to the 77 OPS+ number. Now to 2B, sign Orlando Hudson maybe? If you do that's a massive upgrade at 2B, his offense will probably be better than the 98 OPS+ number and his defense would probably be at least 20 plays better than what we had last year. So, with signing just Orlando Hudson there is a very real possibility to expect a team to score more runs and play better defense than last year.

2008-11-26 10:11:43
8.   regfairfield
If you don't renew you're season tickets, you are an inhuman monster who hates children.

Now that's marketing.

2008-11-26 10:15:22
9.   D4P
And you shouldn't support ticket price reduction because you'd be taking money out of starving mouths.
2008-11-26 10:15:43
10.   KG16
8 - if/when I run for office, you are my communications director.

To the point of the post: I think McCourt is stumbling through this whole thing. He's a fan with a lot of money who really didn't understand the economics of baseball, or professional sports in general, and now he's trying to learn on the job. He's also worried about public perception because, rightly, he sees the Dodgers as one of baseball's true storied franchises. That said, my patience is starting to wear thin.

2008-11-26 10:20:47
11.   JoeyP
How many games would this team win:

C- Martin
3b- Dewitt
1b- Loney
LF- Ethier
RF- Kemp
CF -Jones
2b- DeJesus
SS -Berroa

Billingsley, Kuroda, Kershaw, McDonald, Byrd

75 wins if none of the stars are signed this offseason?

2008-11-26 10:22:15
12.   Andrew Shimmin
Was it last year or the year before when the Dodgers sent out a press release about giving out 100 turkeys (donated by some supermarket) for Thanksgiving. That one was funnier, I think, but still not strong. Maybe their PR agency takes the whole week of Thanksgiving off every year. Next year the McCourts should, too.
2008-11-26 10:22:39
13.   JoeyP
And you shouldn't support ticket price reduction because you'd be taking money out of starving mouths.

If only more baseball fields were built in Africa, starvation & disease would dwindle.

2008-11-26 10:23:58
14.   regfairfield
And think of the boost we'd get in international scouting!
2008-11-26 10:24:00
15.   overkill94
11 75-80 would be my guess with the development of Kershaw and McDonald accounting for the 5-game swing.

I saw Slumdog Millionaire last night and it was excellent; very intense, well-acted, and far from your typical underdog story.

2008-11-26 10:24:04
16.   Kevin Lewis

Think of the potential commercials.

Great post, Jon, and happy birthday!

I hope to see Slumdog this weekend. I give it a 5% chance of happening

2008-11-26 10:24:34
17.   DBrim
11 - I say 70. But I've never been the optimistic type.

It looks like the Angels are about to make an offer to Sabathia. If we're going to make a move on him, I would expect that we'd make it sooner rather than later.

2008-11-26 10:26:35
18.   Harold M Johnson
11 72 wins. But that's not going to be the lineup. Even if McCourt goes the "cheap" route, you know they'll sign some sort of veterany guy on a one-year deal such as a Renteria, Cabrera or a Randy Johnson.
2008-11-26 10:29:22
19.   Jon Weisman
Baseball + charity in the new blogad on the sidebar.
2008-11-26 10:31:11
20.   das411
New Great Depression?
2008-11-26 10:32:42
21.   cargill06
7 You'd think with that defensive line-up you'd make about 50+ plays more than last year. If that transalates to saving about 25 runs, would that make up the difference between Lowe and James McDonald?
2008-11-26 10:33:11
22.   Jon Weisman
20 - Is it not new, great and depressing?
2008-11-26 10:40:31
23.   JoeyP
7- I think replacing Manny's production & not knowing if Ethier can sustain his are big question marks.

With Druw having 2 really bad years in a row, I dont see much hope in him bouncing back. He might just be done.

2008-11-26 10:43:05
24.   cargill06
23 But look at the outfield as a whole. The entire year it posted a .284/.348/.448 with awful defense. If Jones loses weight and can math the Bill James projection that OF can come close to matching or even exceed the offensive production while playing much better defense.
2008-11-26 10:43:55
25.   Andrew Shimmin
It's traditional to wait until the GDP drops off by 10%, instead of .5% before calling it a depression. But those are the same kind of people who wait until Christmas day to open their presents. Alone. And the "present" is the water bill.
2008-11-26 10:44:59
26.   rockmrete

I would rather have Hu, or Izturiz at SS than Berroa, besides I think he will cost more than Izturiz.

2008-11-26 10:47:05
27.   Bob Timmermann
"Depression" was popularized by Hoover because "Panic" sounded too "panicky."

And now "depression" is too "panicky" so we should use "recession" and instead we need a euphemism for "recession." I say we that the United States economy is in a state of "negative petting of puppies."

2008-11-26 10:50:35
28.   underdog
Oh good lord. Did anyone post or try this one yet?

Hope no one's trying to work today.

2008-11-26 10:51:27
29.   underdog
15 I agree, it's terrific. And definitely far from the typical me story. :-)
2008-11-26 10:52:54
30.   Jon Weisman
28 - You're way behind on the Sporcle Panic.
2008-11-26 10:57:33
31.   scareduck
30 - I would blame sporky, but only because her nick sorta rhymes.
2008-11-26 10:58:50
32.   El Lay Dave
31 I already squeed at sporcle!
2008-11-26 10:58:55
33.   Bob Timmermann
I only got 12 of the 28 in this test:

Which means that all of my life that has been wasted watching TV was truly wasted because I couldn't even answer these questions.

2008-11-26 11:00:53
34.   D4P
Has Bob ever considered a career in spermology...?
2008-11-26 11:02:50
35.   goofus
I've decided I don't want them to sign Manny to some ridiculous dollar contract. No way does he perform for a whole season like he did for 2 months. And 4 or 5 years??? Don't be ridiculous. Try it this way:
Trade for Beltre; maybe Pierre and half the money he is owed. More on Pierre later.
Trade Broxton for Peavy and Green. Add prospects as needed as long as they aren't name Lambo. Broxton doesn't have confidence in himself as a closer, therefore he will never be that effective. Let DeWitt, Abreu, and De Jesus handle second base and the bench. There is no way in Heaven we can trade Andruw, so let's play him and hope that pride or the knowledge that it is a contract year for him will spur him to his best effort. I think Torre might not want to trade Pierre; with Furcal gone, Torre will want a classic lead-off guy like Pierre. If there's any room in the budget now after stocking the bullpen, go for CC. Seven years, $140 million broken down this way: $10 million in 2009 because we got a budget crunch. Maybe. Years 2010 through 2013 are $25 million each. Years 2014 and 2015 are $15 million each which would make him more tradeable if need be. Works for me.
2008-11-26 11:08:51
36.   regfairfield
And then we could trade Blake DeWitt and Xavier Paul for Albert Pujols.
2008-11-26 11:10:08
37.   Jacob L
I have not been moved to post at Dodger Thoughts much lately. Its been a combination of hangover from the season, reluctance to start obsessing about hot stove, and increasing demands on my time.

So I want to thank the McCourts for driving me back here to share in some communal outrage. What a load of garbage.

2008-11-26 11:10:17
38.   jasonungar07
We could get Paul in that deal?


So Franks yapping, by design or are they that clueless. Why not say nothing if you have nothing good to say?

2008-11-26 11:11:13
39.   jasonungar07
Oh I read that wrong. Giving up Paul is too much. lol
2008-11-26 11:11:38
40.   scareduck
Don't know if this was already linked, but SOSG has a related post linking to a Forbes study indicating the Dodgers and Mets are the two teams most vulnerable to an economic downturn, as measured by the highest ticket price increases times the worst regional economic forecasts:
2008-11-26 11:14:17
41.   ToyCannon
I could live with that team with minor adjustments. I'd be much more comfortable giving SS to Hu/DeJesus and building a punchy 2nd baseman platoon with the LHH component being Vazquez/Durham/Lopez with Loretta manning the RHH side. Loretta is not a full time player but he does hit LHP extremely well, while the other three 2nd baseman mentioned all tee off on RHH relative to what teeing off is for a 2nd baseman.

Grundy of course would simply be a full time possibility and his defense would be welcome.

Or if Abreu is healhty you simply go with Hu/Abreu/DeJesus and hope for the best. Any of those options are better then paying Berroa to play SS.

We are stuck with A Jones and while we can't count on him to rebound he will get 1st crack but I expect the leash to be short with Pierre waiting by the side.

Anyway I still think we can be a competitive team but not a championship team with that lineup but I sure wouldn't mind watching it.

Who knows, maybe the McCourts are going to follow a new model where they plan on adding malcontent players for prospects in July and riding them to the playoffs.

2008-11-26 11:22:12
42.   KG16
11 - honestly, I could see the range of wins being anywhere between 72 and 92.
2008-11-26 11:22:36
43.   underdog
30 I realized panicking about Sporcle was not a new thing here; was panicking about that specific Dodgers quiz! There's a new tortuously addictive quiz there every hour it seems. I need to block myself out of that site at least for the day so I can finish work.
2008-11-26 11:24:05
44.   Howard Fox
great post Jon, exactly what I was saying to my wife this morning as I read the article...
2008-11-26 11:24:43
45.   Howard Fox
with that lineup, we will be neck and neck with the Padres
2008-11-26 11:25:34
46.   JRSarno
Jon, you took those totally bizarre quotes and pretty much summed it up perfectly.
2008-11-26 11:26:44
47.   El Lay Dave
43 Amidst the craze, I linked that one as the easiest one for DT.
2008-11-26 11:29:37
48.   bhsportsguy
I aree with Jon on this point, I think it is making too much out of one comment.
2008-11-26 11:31:04
49.   bhsportsguy
48 I agree with Jon on that this is making way too much out of one comment.
2008-11-26 11:34:01
50.   underdog
47 Easier than the Best Supporting Actress one, that's for sure! I did okay on the more recent ones, but pre-1960, fuhgedaboutit. I got 3 of those, two on guesses.

Anyway... back to work!

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-11-26 11:36:39
51.   Ken Noe
Thank you Jon.
2008-11-26 11:40:41
52.   Ken Noe
By the way, it also occurs to me that to counteract the bad PR of today, the Dodgers will soon make a bad free agent signing or trade just to prove they will spend money on players.
2008-11-26 11:40:52
53.   El Lay Dave
I thought there was one additional interesting quote used by both Dylan Hernandez and Diamond Leung in their articles (this particular excerpt is from the Times - underlining is mine):

"We wanted to move quickly during that exclusive window to do something that we felt was very aggressive and very bold, particularly in light of the economy, to see if we could wrap it up very quickly while we had the exclusive right to do so," Frank McCourt said.

"The ball's in their court. I would add, though, that there's nothing that's gotten better in the economy since that period of time. Interpret that how you'd like."

To me, that's the real prepping Frank McCourt is doing, setting the stage to indicate to the fan base that the current economy could have noticeable impacts on the Dodgers' budgets for the upcoming season.

2008-11-26 11:40:53
54.   Kevin Lewis
With all the talk of the Angels offering something big to CC, I don't see us following suit. I think it is pretty likely that Manny will end up with us for 3 years/70 million, unless there is some other team out there pushing for him.

This will be an interesting off-season, and I look forward to the meetings. Vegas trip anyone?

2008-11-26 11:41:59
55.   Kevin Lewis

Which I am okay with. Let's just put out a homegrown team and not waste money of the chaff.

2008-11-26 11:42:56
56.   scareduck
48 - I aree with Jon on this point, I think it is making too much out of one comment.

I don't. Here's why: it exposes McCourt's fatal flaw in that he always, always, ALWAYS places PR ahead of building a good team. If the two coincide (as the Manny trade), great; but if not, oh well. The Dodgers' corporate contributions to charity are irrelevant to whether the team signs Manny; their first responsibility is to field a good team. Squirting octopus ink about the negative consequences of signing Manny just shows he's intellectually cornered by his own cowardice.

2008-11-26 11:44:49
57.   El Lay Dave
Rhett Bollinger of, covering the same story strictly as a charity article, used this quote:

"Jamie and I have been focused on three things as stewards of the Dodgers," Frank McCourt said. "One is putting a great team out there, the other is giving the fans a great experience and third is giving back to this great community."

So Frank can claim that he said he is still committed to winning baseball as well.

2008-11-26 11:45:22
58.   Jon Weisman
56 - I think what's interesting is the McCourts clearly prize PR, but they're so often tone-deaf about what good PR is. It's the worst of both worlds.
2008-11-26 11:45:42
59.   Linkmeister
From the birthday thread:

I hit 50+8 three weeks ago, so forgive me if my sympathy is muted. ;)

Happy Birthday, Jon!

2008-11-26 11:45:56
60.   El Lay Dave
2008-11-26 11:47:48
61.   JoeyP
If the Dodgers want to increase revenue streams, I think the last thing they'd want to do was to field a boring, non competitive team.

Now if they just want to constrain their current costs bc they just cant meet them, then I understand not signing many of the big name free agents.

2008-11-26 11:48:29
62.   trainwreck
We should have kept Andy LaRoche. ; P
2008-11-26 11:49:26
63.   El Lay Dave
Oh, I almost forgot - happy birthday Jon. It's my experience so far that the 40s aren't so bad, and I'll be 80% through them next week. Continuing enjoying your lovely family, because that's the most important thing, right?
2008-11-26 11:50:47
64.   Kevin Lewis

This is the most baffling thing to me

2008-11-26 11:51:23
65.   trainwreck
If we sign a bunch of cruddy, old, ex-Giants it would kinda be like charity.
2008-11-26 11:54:07
66.   cargill06

Check out this Omar Vizquel video.

2008-11-26 11:59:28
67.   Formerly R
If the McCourts are so worried about local charities in these tough times, then how about this: All Dodger fans should take their disposable income that they would normally spend on tickets, Dodger Dogs, parking, and beer, and donate it to the local charity of their choice.

Then the McCourts wouldn't have to feel so guilty about spending all that money on high player salaries.

Easy-peasy. Problem solved.

2008-11-26 12:04:30
68.   Tripon
The Dodgers still could sign a lesser free-agent bat, trade for Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano and piece together their pitching. But now is not the time for a high-revenue team to fret over baseball economics, not when Sabathia is there for the taking and Boras is ready to play ball.

2008-11-26 12:06:12
69.   Kevin Lewis

I just wrote easy-peasy for the first time today (before this).


He would be a classic Ned signing

2008-11-26 12:07:57
70.   trainwreck
Just say no to Robinson Cano.
2008-11-26 12:08:53
71.   bhsportsguy
67 Perhaps they should, I give to charities all the time.
2008-11-26 12:09:26
72.   Harold M Johnson
67 This highlights exactly why of the three options Jon presented, I'll choose disingenuous.
2008-11-26 12:09:43
73.   Kevin Lewis

If CC and Manny both go to the Angels, I will be watching more of channel 13

2008-11-26 12:10:31
74.   Andrew Shimmin
71- Do you send out a press release every time you do? To me, that's more irritating than the quote. Giving their money away is their affair. It's terrific to be nice to poor kids, but I don't need to be informed of it every time it occurs to them to be.
2008-11-26 12:12:21
75.   LogikReader

I got 16 out of 28.

"The Love Boat" is a sitcom?!

2008-11-26 12:12:32
76.   trainwreck
I agree. Charity should not be about PR, even though that is usually the case with the rich.
2008-11-26 12:14:22
77.   Kevin Lewis
My Theological education paid off on this one:

2008-11-26 12:14:26
78.   Formerly R
72--the term 'disingenuous' deserves better.
2008-11-26 12:15:42
79.   Kevin Lewis
I will be starring in a trash talk you tube video tonight. My neighbor is creating a video to send to his final opponent in fantasy football. I will be playing an ESPN type host. Any good lines I should use?
2008-11-26 12:15:58
80.   bhsportsguy
74 I am sure that their corporate partner wanted the publicity as much as the Dodgers did, as did the local government officials who were there too.

What's wrong with the press conference, if you are going to make up to a $10 million investment in the Parks and Recreation facilities in the largest county in the country, than you should be able to tell people about it.

Again, as I think what happens in most of these instances, their is this sense of distrust that overrides this particular story.

The story by itself should not have any bearing in what will happen in the next few months in term of player personnel, Frank McCourt said as much in the story.

2008-11-26 12:18:27
81.   Jon Weisman
I don't have any trouble with the McCourts publicizing the Dodgers' charitable works. I think it's great.
2008-11-26 12:22:28
82.   ToyCannon
Donald Sterling does, that real slumlord always has full page ad's in the LA Times when he does something noteworthy with his foundation. I find it strange that he can funnel millions into his charitable foundations but not spend the money to give some of clients proper housing.

Anyway Joey, I don't find a home grown team boring or non competitive. If the Dodgers want to skip the 2008/2009 free agent wars while they see how their home grown talent matures in conjunction with the end of Ned's short term free agent signings, I can live with it. Other then the big name free agents and many times even with them, the production does not match up with cost.

My problem would be if they don't sign CC or Manny for that 20-25 million and then spend 20-25 million on veteran filler unless that filler is very very very short term.

2008-11-26 12:26:38
83.   ToyCannon
This 50 thing is a breeze.
2008-11-26 12:27:01
84.   trainwreck
I hope the Giants do not make a bunch of good moves. They could actually win the division. Come on, Renteria!
2008-11-26 12:30:46
85.   fanerman
82 Wikipedia sez:

Sterling is currently embroiled in a mock controversy over the ugliness of his ubiquitous full-page ads in the Los Angeles Times.

2008-11-26 12:30:51
86.   Formerly R
Of course it's OK to publicize giving to charity.

But don't ever suggest giving to charities and paying players is an either/or proposition. Even if it's just an offhand, passing comment. Don't make it. Ever.

It's as classless as it gets.

2008-11-26 12:31:50
87.   Harold M Johnson
The worst type of charity-bragging is when the oil companies spend $2m to restore some wetlands, then launch a $50m ad campaign to tell everyone about it.
2008-11-26 12:34:15
88.   Brent Knapp
15 Overkill, did you live on Gayley at UCLA?
2008-11-26 12:35:44
89.   Bob Timmermann
I did in 1985-86!

In my final year of school, I lived on Levering.

2008-11-26 12:36:54
90.   Andrew Shimmin
I think wedding registries are tacky, too.
2008-11-26 12:37:34
91.   Jon Weisman
90 - Not this one:

2008-11-26 12:39:29
92.   Jon Weisman
They're getting married on my birthday!

2008-11-26 12:41:20
93.   Harold M Johnson
91 that's hilarious. I like this couple so so much more than Jim & Pam, who I'm completely sick of.
2008-11-26 12:42:33
94.   Tripon
85 I remember reading that Sterling personally spends hours on the ads because he loves making them.
2008-11-26 12:46:54
95.   Daniel Zappala
That brings up a question I was asking my wife the other day -- how many people actually go to all these different web sites associated with "The Office"? Well, how many of you do?
2008-11-26 12:49:05
96.   Jon Weisman
95 - I RSS OfficeTally.
2008-11-26 12:51:21
97.   Andrew Shimmin
Turns out it is illegal to goad a teenager into killing herself. But not as illegal as it might have been.

2008-11-26 12:51:28
98.   Brent Knapp
89 I was on Gayley from 2001-2003...then also did Midvale and Roebling.

I agree that the McCourts are terrible at PR and generally tacky. However, one real benefit to publicizing charitable gifts is that it causes other people to donate as well.

2008-11-26 12:55:00
99.   Bob Timmermann
I think it's time that everybody did what was necessary to make the Dodgers into a winner.

That is: tithing to the Church of Jamie and Frank McCourt.

2008-11-26 12:56:44
100.   Andrew Shimmin
one real benefit to publicizing charitable gifts is that it causes other people to donate as well.

So that they can be cool, like the McCourts? I'm skeptical. I think it's mostly good for getting invited to fancy civic awards benefit dinners. Which is fine, but not terribly impressive.

99- Sure, it's not tax deductible, but you'll feel so good about yourself that it's worth it. Don't you want to feel good about yourself? Go ahead; you deserve it. . .

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-11-26 13:03:57
101.   Brent Knapp
100 No. Not to be cool. When I read one of Simers columns in which he describes how various athletes or other people are donating money to the UCLA children's hospital it makes me want to donate. If the publicity didn't exist it may not have crossed my mind. While I consider myself a nice person I don't walk around thinking about all the people or charities I should give money to. But, when I see publicity regarding a charitable donation or a true benefit from a donation it does make me want to give. Am I that different than everyone/anyone else?
2008-11-26 13:09:11
102.   Andrew Shimmin
I budget it out ahead of time, like everything else. Maybe I'm the weird one. The only impulse giving I do is Salvation Army kettles at Christmas. And even that, I more or less account for in advance.
2008-11-26 13:12:42
103.   D4P
Where did the jeans fit in your budget...?
2008-11-26 13:13:28
104.   fanerman
I need to donate to charities more =(.
2008-11-26 13:17:10
105.   Andrew Shimmin
103- Charitable donation. I have pretty loose accounting standards.
2008-11-26 13:17:16
106.   trainwreck
If you have no money like me, just give away old stuff or things you do not use.
2008-11-26 13:28:11
107.   Howard Fox
my thoughts, for what they are worth:

first, it's our money that has funded the Dodger Dream Foundation by our buying everything from soup to nuts from the Dodgers, so lets not overdo the "aren't the McCourts so community minded" chatter

and, if the economy is so bad that they are "doing it for the fans" by not spending too much on free agents, when does it pass thru to the fans who buy the tickets and the souvenirs and food, that we get to save money too?

2008-11-26 13:28:21
108.   scareduck
58 - it's almost like the kid caught with his hands in the cookie jar claiming he's doing for his younger brother. He's still doing something appalling, and his transparent self-interest is only more starkly highlighted by his blatant lying.

72 - put me down for "disingenuous", too.

2008-11-26 13:37:17
109.   Eric Enders
This shouldn't really surprise anyone given that even before the recession (or whatever euphemism you want to give it), the Dodgers were acting like they didn't have any money. Hence the sales of Carlos Santana and Andy LaRoche in exchange for cash.
2008-11-26 13:37:53
110.   Howard Fox
81 the problem is not that the charitable works are being publicized, I am and always have been strongly in favor of everyone giving, sometimes even beyond their means

for me it is that the issue of free agents even would come up

they made it seem like an either or proposition in their statements...either we can spend all your hard earned money on undeserving overpriced athletes, or we can do good for the community...

2008-11-26 13:38:24
111.   Eric Enders
Wake me up when the McCourts say something that's not disingenuous. That will be news.
2008-11-26 13:38:27
112.   Kevin Lewis

I like the deadbolt bathroom lock


I think that is the best point of Jon's post. I can understand the current market hampering the McCourt's spending. But if they want to reduce their overall cost, they should pass that on to the fans and show that they understand we are all hurting financially too.

$15 for parking does not cut it in this economy. Will they still be able to afford the parking attendant that stands there and does nothing?

2008-11-26 13:39:01
113.   El Lay Dave
102 I wouldn't have figured you for donations to a religion of which you aren't a member. (Are you?) And you are the weird one; our entire economy is apparently dependent upon wild, unbudgeted, and likely defecit, spending by the vast majority.
2008-11-26 13:42:40
114.   El Lay Dave
109 I don't think LaRoche counts there; he and Morris were the prospects that Pittsburgh wanted in order to give Bay to Boston. LA's leverage to get the "Manny manna" from the Red Sox was to not participate in the deal at all.
2008-11-26 13:45:14
117.   Improbable88
One of your finest posts, Jon. Really great stuff.
2008-11-26 13:47:24
118.   trainwreck
The list of longest running sitcoms was quite surprising.
2008-11-26 13:47:43
119.   El Lay Dave
I have no problem with press conferences for large donations to charities, provided the donors have the good taste to attempt at the very least to put the focus on the good work of the charity and away from the goodness of their gift.

What bothers me more is the constant haranguing from corporate bosses like mine for their employees to give to the corporate employees charity slush fund and keep metrics of percentage of employees participating per department. No thanks, I'll choose exactly the charities to which I'll donate.

2008-11-26 13:49:07
120.   scareduck
100 - Charity events tend to be headaches, especially dinners, partly because of the IRS rules regarding them, and partly because of the likelihood of encountering self-aggrandizing pompous jerks.

111 - Hah! So true.

115 - there's a Rule 5 violation in there involving Sarah Palin, but that's as close as I'll get.

2008-11-26 13:51:19
123.   bhsportsguy
Evidence has showed that the Dodgers don't have reduce ticket prices, concession and parking to continue to draw substanial numbers to Dodger Stadium.

In the end, people show up, whether its the Clippers, the Kings, UCLA Football, those same fans buy their tickets.

Now, its true that many tickets go unused, which is true for both the Dodgers and the Angels. A 2007 article said that the average is probably 10 - 12 thousand per game. Of course there are games when everybody shows up and that creates incredible havoc unless you plan ahead.

2008-11-26 13:51:29
124.   Eric Enders
The main problem I have with corporate charities is that the corporations invariably use the existence of these charities as a come-on to do business with them -- "buy from us, you'll be helping a good cause!" Then when the donations are made, it's the company that takes all the credit for the gift (not to mention all the tax benefits) when really they're doing little more than acting as an elaborate middleman.
2008-11-26 13:52:41
125.   Howard Fox
124 how jaded you are...
2008-11-26 13:53:12
126.   trainwreck
I like this ad for baseball fan gear that shows a close up of a woman's butt.
2008-11-26 13:55:01
127.   scareduck
109 - This shouldn't really surprise anyone given that even before the recession (or whatever euphemism you want to give it), the Dodgers were acting like they didn't have any money. Hence the sales of Carlos Santana and Andy LaRoche in exchange for cash.

But then there was Frank McCourt's purchase of the LA Marathon. This led me to conclude that the Dodgers may have been on a tight leash, but not because of any problem Frank McCourt had with finances.

2008-11-26 13:55:04
128.   Eric Enders
125 I guess I've got to plead guilty to that. I see corporate charities, including those of the Dodgers, as purely a business strategy, nothing more. If it didn't help the bottom line, they wouldn't do it. Period.
2008-11-26 13:55:19
129.   Andrew Shimmin
113- I'm a sucker for brass bands and people associated with brass bands. Even though I'm not religious, I don't object to religion, or religious people. Are they're any good agnostic charities? I don't really care about trees or suing people to get the word Ch-i scratched out of monuments.
2008-11-26 13:55:34
130.   bhsportsguy
109 Everything I have seen re the Manny deal was that the Red Sox offered to pay his salary to get a deal moving, its pretty doubtful that the Pirates were going to trade Bay for just Moss and Hansen, I don't think Morris alone from the Dodgers would have got it done anyway.
2008-11-26 13:57:16
131.   Howard Fox
128 I am not disagreeing with you. I guess jaded may have been the wrong word, more like a realist...or as my friends think of me...a cynic...that is of course if I had any friends
2008-11-26 13:57:45
132.   scareduck
126 - aren't ALL ads for sportswear about women's butts (and other curves)? For a long time, beer ads were, too.
2008-11-26 13:58:27
133.   Howard Fox
129 Are they're any good agnostic charities?

yes, they are called political action committees

2008-11-26 13:59:31
134.   scareduck
122 - by Godwin's Law, you just lost this argument, though I confess I don't know what it is you're arguing. :-)
2008-11-26 13:59:57
135.   mwhite06
123 I don't pretend to be an expert on the economics of owning a professional sports team, but I would think the number of games and the size of the stadium makes it much more challenging in baseball then it is in basketball and hockey. Moreover, the Kings and Clippers have the added benefit of sharing a building with the Lakers. Corporate suites are sold by the year to all events at Staples Center, and the Kings and Clippers get their peice of the pie. UCLA football has the benefit of only having to sell tickets for 6-7 games a year. 81 home games, in which some games are held on Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, must be much more difficult.
2008-11-26 14:01:21
136.   trainwreck
How about the word skeptic?
2008-11-26 14:01:56
137.   bhsportsguy
Where I work only as one campaign for a recognized charity that provide a matching gift for, also they have a fund to provide matching gifts to your charity of choice.

I speak as someone who served on a non-profit board for over 14 years (and also worked in non-profit for 3 years) and raising money at any time is difficult and if the person/company wants to publicize their gift, it was always fine with us.

Also, that experience makes me appreciate anyone who supports their community.

So if my posts today have a slight edge to them, that is my reason.

Also, again the fact that McCourt said that their support to this endeavor comes from a different source of money. And also, from what I can tell, the Dodger Foundation is the recipient of all the charitable events that the Dodgers do throughout the year, so while its possible, that whatever money the McCourts have personally put in to the foundation has come from the revenue gained from baseball operation, I don't think it makes up a large percentage of it.

2008-11-26 14:02:22
138.   trainwreck
Yes, but this one was a woman in jeans trying to illustrate she had money left in her pocket.

I just found it funny.

2008-11-26 14:05:11
139.   Bob Loblaw
If McCourt is determined to cut payroll, I'm alright with letting Hu & DeJesus compete for SS since Raffy seems to be leaning toward the bay area anyway. Just stop the Wilson/Cabrera/Renteria rumors if we lose Raffy. Sabathia is a worthy target since, especially since he apparently wants to be here and we need a front-line starter. Manny makes sense on a short-term deal considering his popularity, our need for his offensive prowess, and the fact that his market appears to be squeezed due to his antics in Boston. Of course, we're stuck with Jones (like a yacht that won't float) so maybe hitting in front of Manny could help cure him. With Furcal gone, Torre would want to keep Pierre to bat lead-off...unless DeJesus proves in ST that he can handle lead-off. We're still going to have to get someone for 2B or 3B. Abreu can't be counted on with his injury history. If Manny re-signs I think Colletti may feel a need to trade Kemp from his crowded outfield (assuming there's no market for Jones & Pierre) for someone like Beltre. The good news is Jones & Schmidt coming off the payroll at the end of next season.
2008-11-26 14:05:56
140.   68elcamino427
Jon - What a wonderful post. Thanks.
Happy Birthday.
Happy Thanksgiving to all.
2008-11-26 14:06:22
141.   goofus
80 Sorry, Los Angeles County isn't the largest county in the country. Or even the state. North Slope Borough in Alaska is the largest, San Bernardino County is the largest in the lower 48, a county in northern Arizona bordering Grand Canyon is second and Nye County, Nevada, west of Las Vegas is third. Funny how all three are so close together.
2008-11-26 14:06:24
142.   Marty
Bad situation in Mumbai.
2008-11-26 14:06:50
143.   CanuckDodger
I would be very happy if the Dodgers sign nobody and make no trades at all this off season -- with the sole exception of bringing in two infielders to be bench players, and those guys could be brought in on non-roster minor league deals with spring training invites. Here is the team I would like in 2009:





Regular Position Players:

C -- Martin
1B -- Loney
2B -- Abreu
3B -- DeWitt
SS -- Hu
CF -- Jones
RF -- Kemp
LF -- Ethier

Bench Players:

C -- Ellis
OF -- Pierre
OF -- Young
INF --Free Agent
INF -- Free Agent

I would love that team. It would easily be my favorite Dodger team of the decade. It is a better, more talented team than quite a few we have had, including the 2003 team that won 85 games. It could absolutely win the NL West. Sure, it could also win 75 games (four more than DePo's team won in 2005), but so what? I have said for years that the Dodgers absolutely SHOULD have a rebuilding year, a year in which the payroll is dramatically scaled back and we play as many young players possible. A year in which we still have Jones and Schmidt sucking up $35 million of payroll is the perfect year to say, "Screw it, we're are going to go young and prepare for the next season while also getting our young players more experience." The thing is that our young players have so much talent, and the NL West is so weak, that that rebuilding-year team could also be a playoff team.

2008-11-26 14:08:52
144.   bhsportsguy
141 By population.
2008-11-26 14:09:10
145.   Eric Enders
141 It seems pretty obvious that he meant largest by population.
2008-11-26 14:09:20
146.   ToyCannon
I agree, they could simply have acted as a sponsor for the City of Hope instead of becoming the focal point of the whole Think Cure campaign. The money still ends up with the City Of Hope but the Dodgers get all the credit. The only benefit of ThinkCure is that they get to decide who to dole the money to.

I'd rather make that decision myself.

Throw your business as usual stats out the window. What were the Dodgers drawing back in 1970/1971, and 1982 compared to the years around them. Maybe this is all overblown but our in house guys are expecting unemployment to hit some levels not seen since many of you became adults, and LA in particular. At some point common sense will intervene and the walk up fan will say, I just can't afford plus 180.00 to take my two kids to the game and sit in crappy seats.
Gas - 10.00 - 20.00
Parking - 15.00
Tickets - 100.00 (outer loge)
Food - 60.00

It already happened this summer when the walkup fan became scarce and the McCourts were complaining about ticket sales until Manny showed up.

2008-11-26 14:09:33
147.   mwhite06
141 Los Angeles is the most populous county in the US.
2008-11-26 14:09:38
148.   Eric Enders
Um, yeah. What he said.
2008-11-26 14:09:44
149.   Howard Fox
137 I agree with you, I too spent 14 years on the board of, and as president of, a religious organization, as well as being involved in numerous others as well...

so anything helping charity or people or the community gets an "A" in my book...

I just don't like the liberty being taken to toss out the 'community first, money grubbing athletes last' insinuations...

2008-11-26 14:12:23
150.   68elcamino427
What is the status of Abreu?
Is he playing anywhere? If so how is he doing?
He resumes his role as a talented low paid key to the upcoming season.
I vote for finding a way to give Abreu and Young 200 uninterrupted at bats in the MLB ASAP!

Jus' gett'in down wit da new ree-al-it-ee :)

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-11-26 14:12:25
151.   trainwreck
Sadly, it will probably only get worse on both sides.
2008-11-26 14:14:27
152.   Kevin Lewis

I would pay tickets to see that team.

Sign Nomar for one slot?

2008-11-26 14:14:44
153.   Kevin Lewis
pay for tickets*
2008-11-26 14:15:06
154.   Ken Noe
143 Fine by me except I think we'd be better off with Pee Wee in the outfield than Jones. But my guess is that McCourt will allow Ned to acquire some overpaid but still relatively cheap stiffs just to prove his commitment to excellence. Ned's wanted Wilson, for example, almost as long as he wanted Blake.
2008-11-26 14:15:47
155.   68elcamino427


2008-11-26 14:16:02
156.   ToyCannon
Yeah, I could totally live with that team for 2009. This is a good year to lower expectations because of the economy and the terrible contracts. A little rollback in prices for the walk up fan would also be nice. They have room to do it as there is about a 20% markup between the season ticket price and walk up price. Give the walkup the season ticket price as a marketing tool to make it seem they are giving something back by scaling back the budget for 2009.

I would however sign several AAAA type pitchers to fill out the depth. I'm not that interested in rushing Elbert/Lindblom into the rotation until they are ready. Schmidt is one fallback, I'd like two more.

2008-11-26 14:19:18
157.   Alex41592
My best friend's mother is in the Oberoi hotel in Mumbai on business. She's ok and unharmed from the initial attack.

My friend is in town for Thanksgiving from Washington and we're all taking this in for the past few hours. It's just surreal this whole situation.

2008-11-26 14:19:49
158.   bhsportsguy
156 I think they do have those avenues through their various promotions they offer throughout the year but I think your idea would be a painless and easy way to administrate for 2009. Plus you can advertise a "decrease" and then when times get better, raise up to "2008" ticket prices later.
2008-11-26 14:21:25
159.   trainwreck
I do not know how many people outside of DT would be happy with that team.
2008-11-26 14:28:53
160.   Ken Noe
159 But will Paul Byrd, Jack Wilson or Orlando Cabrera, and Pierre in left make the average fan any happier? Now hearing Vin say "O-Dog" a lot would be fun, I admit.
2008-11-26 14:30:57
161.   trainwreck
Probably not, but a lot of people were happy when we signed Pierre, so I guess it is possible.

I think people would be happy about Pettitte or Randy Johnson.

2008-11-26 14:31:23
162.   ToyCannon
Glad she's okay.

True enough about the promotions. We had a lot this year, I wonder how they worked in getting the butts into the seats. Remember they were geared to people with internet access which I guess is common enough these days that not many fans are left out of that loop. I actually have no idea what the numbers are for internet access for all strata's of the population.

2008-11-26 14:33:30
163.   CanuckDodger
159 -- Should the Dodgers care about that, though? I say no. The people who go to Dodger games will still go, and it is not like they don't already complain about things anyway. Even if attendance drops, who cares? The loss in attendence revenue would still be less than the savings from slashing the payroll budget so dramatically. And people who stopped going initially would no doubt return when they saw that the team I propose would win games. The bottom line though is that baseball decisions should be divorced completely from PR.
2008-11-26 14:34:29
164.   silverwidow
Kemp, in his age 24 season, just may explode for 30+ jacks.
2008-11-26 14:38:18
165.   trainwreck
The McCourts seemingly do everything for PR reasons and Ned will want to do something to make it look like he is active in trying to better the team.

I would prefer to go with all the youngsters, but I just do not see it happening.

2008-11-26 14:42:28
166.   oshea2002
159 - not a lot. fans will see that you had an NLCS team, had a superstar they could get behind, and that the organization decided to save money over winning. I don't think they'll understand that if there was to be a transition year, then this is likely a good year to have it. Like a lot of us feel, sitting this year out is fine, but don't insult the fans with false justifications.

163 - they have to care. It's not a 1 year deal where they can slash payroll so fans slash interest for a year. That will carry over into 2010. I personally will still go, and if the economy or whatever precludes them from spending money, then fine, it's probably a good idea in the long run to sit this offseason out. But their ridiculously disingenuous attempt to justify it is going to backfire I think with some fans that would have given them the benefit of the doubt.

2008-11-26 14:43:21
167.   regfairfield
Gotta say I wouldn't be a fan of that team, especially once the injuries start hitting.
2008-11-26 14:44:58
168.   ToyCannon
Not many but I agree with 160 in that those names will also not make a difference. Right now I think only Manny or CC would make an impact on how the average fan thinks. The media would be buzzing the McCourts all year if they go with the 143 team which is why they won't. They won't be signing the crappy veterans for the fans but for the media because they will think Cabrera is better then Hu, that Garland is better then Stults and that anyone who costs money is better then someone who doesn't. That is my negative take today. My respect for the talking radio heads and writers is at a low ebb right now.

My hope is that McCourt is really having financial trouble and if he can't sign the big boys just skips the whole process completely. Of course that probably screws us in the long run.

The McCourts have proven time and time again that PR decisions trump good baseball decisions. Asking for something that can't exist is pointless.

2008-11-26 14:47:22
169.   Humma Kavula
143 159 160

A number of thoughts --

1. Regardless of whether that team should happen, that team won't happen. Who was it that said that Ned's move had one unifying quality: that they were designed to save Ned's job? That's correct. Making no moves except for picking up two backup infielders would -- if the team won 75 games -- get Ned fired.

2. This is a tricky year for the Dodgers. Many on DT think that the pieces are not in place for a playoff run this year (that is, the team has too many holes), and I'd be inclined to agree. On the other hand, if you believe that the NL West is likely to be very weak again, isn't there an argument that the team should double down after their NLCS run in 2008? And since many fans expect the team to build on their success this year...

3. Let's say that we do get the team in 143 . Here's a possible scenario: Ethier, Kemp, Loney, and Martin all have 2009 seasons similar to their 2008 seasons -- that is, all prove to be useful contributors at their positions, with Ethier and Martin verging on all-star quality (I know, I know, there's quibbling about whether Loney can be called a useful contributor). So AFTER the rebuilding year, what then? What prospects will be ready to join the big club? Who are the superstar free agents available between 2009 and 2010? Between 2010 and 2011? With additional years for the Dodger kids under their belts, it will become clear(er) who will stay and who will go, and the Dodgers are going to go in this direction, they should have their eyes on (a) prospects that could be ready in the future and (b) superstars who will be available when the rebuilding is over.

2008-11-26 14:48:29
170.   ToyCannon
It is thin but underneath the thin veneer you have Nomar to backup Loney, Nomar to backup DeWitt, Nomar to backup Hu. Oh wait that probably won't work.
2008-11-26 14:50:15
171.   CanuckDodger
168 -- Pointless? It is not like Dodger fans here and elsewhere don't ask for things that have no chance of happening, as JoeyP asking for Loney to be replaced by Teixeira every few days proves.:)
2008-11-26 14:50:27
172.   scareduck
143 - the major problem I have with that team is it doesn't show the sixth and seventh starters in Vegas, especially considering the bullpen doesn't really have anyone you could consider a swingman (Wade in a stretch, but he hasn't made a significant number of starts since single-A Columbus). In fact, by putting Brazoban, Proctor, and Kuo on that list, you're looking at maybe five pitching slots you can count on 15-day DL stints, and maybe a significant number of days beyond that, too. Who would back that up?
2008-11-26 14:54:57
173.   KG16
I just can't get excited about the hot stove. Probably because there's just been so little talk of anything. Maybe when the winter meetings roll around, and there's actually talk and evidence of something slightly concrete...
2008-11-26 14:57:22
174.   KG16
also, the team in 143 is a bit of a double edged sword. If they perform above expectations, somebody is getting moved for a rental down the stretch. If they under perform, then the Columnist Who Shall Not Be Named will be leading a band of pitchforks and torches on Stadium Way.
2008-11-26 14:58:39
175.   trainwreck
D-Backs apparently fired 31 employees because they are feeling the crunch too. At least they may be in the same boat as us.
2008-11-26 14:59:34
176.   ToyCannon
I've often pointed out the Teixeira scenarios were pointless based on geographic preference and cost.

But you are asking for McCourt to change his spots. When has that happened? If he goes with the low cost team it will be because he can't afford anything else not because he has decided to make better baseball decisions while forgetting about PR.

2008-11-26 15:04:22
177.   ToyCannon
I think you have to consider Schmidt for some games in 2009, Elbert to either be in the rotation or bullpen, and probably the same for Lindbloom.
The AAA rotation will be filled with probably 2-3 NRI's. Jesus Castillo is also probably ready to throw some innings in 2009. Victor Garate or Adkins might be filling the loogy role by August.

Just because Canuck didn't show us the depth doesn't mean he didn't plan for it. We can afford a bunch of NRI's.

2008-11-26 15:04:23
178.   CanuckDodger
172 -- That's why teams sign about 15 non-roster spring training invitees to minor league deals every year, usually in January when players with major league experience find that nobody wants to use a 40-man roster spot on them. This time last year, who saw Chan-Ho Park, Jason Johnson, and Brian Falkenborg pitching for us in 2008? These are the types of guys you rely on for depth. And we will have a few of our own minor league pitching prospects in AAA, like Jesus Castillo and Orenduff. James McDonald wasn't that much more successful in AA as a starter than Castillo last year, and McDonald certainly proved he could over-match MLB hitters. And I disagree with the idea that you can automatically pencil in Kuo and Proctor for DL stints, but you may have a point with Brazoban. But again, you can get somebody to take his place from older guys brought in on minor league deals. That's how we got Saito. That's how we got Beimel. That's how we got Park.
2008-11-26 15:05:56
179.   68elcamino427
"Low Cost" team till the All-Star break and then see what the competitive and economic landscape looks like?

Seem like what I would do given the circumstances.

2008-11-26 15:15:14
180.   Harold M Johnson
I'm afraid I just don't see the point in "standing pat". I understand the desire to not break the bank on CC or Manny, but why not pay Furcal or Sheets or Burnett or anyone else who's going to be in the $10-14m per year range? That's not a significant amount of payroll. I do think 4 years is too long for Furcal, but if you're not going to do much of anything else, why not sign Furcal, even if it is 1 year too long?
2008-11-26 15:16:16
181.   trainwreck
I am guessing most players are looking for as many years as possible, which may be our biggest problem.
2008-11-26 15:21:30
182.   Daniel Zappala
By the way, Slumdog Millionaire is a wonderful movie - you should definitely try to see it.

Says you. It's not playing anywhere in the state of Utah.

2008-11-26 15:21:38
183.   trainwreck
I am already tired of the LeBron to NY talk.
2008-11-26 15:25:30
184.   trainwreck
You can see it on Dec 19, when it gets released there. : )
2008-11-26 15:41:43
185.   Zak
The Mumbai situation has me deeply bummed seeing how I was born and raised there. I've spent the last few hours thinking about my cousins and watching surreal footage on Indian television.

In relatively meaningless, but intensely-to-be-discussed news,;_ylt=Aq3TiNeLfb8MQmZKjWPx7T8RvLYF?slug=li-balcotestimonyrelease112608&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

2008-11-26 15:44:24
186.   ToyCannon
Because from the McCourt point of view everyone of those players has the potential of taking their money and not giving anything back. I'm a little shocked that Beane after watching Crosby get hurt every year is willing to spend big money on Furcal. Who was the last big free agent the A's purchased? Have they ever in the Beane era? No one comes to mind off the top of my head.
2008-11-26 15:53:44
187.   trainwreck
Esteban Loaiza.
2008-11-26 15:54:58
188.   El Lay Dave
185 I hope your family and anyone else you know there are all right.
2008-11-26 15:56:59
189.   trainwreck
Piazza and Frank Thomas probably do not count.
2008-11-26 16:16:17
190.   Zak
188 Thank you. I can't believe that it is still going on.
2008-11-26 16:17:16
191.   Eric Enders
180 "I'm afraid I just don't see the point in "standing pat". I understand the desire to not break the bank on CC or Manny, but why not pay Furcal or Sheets or Burnett or anyone else who's going to be in the $10-14m per year range?"

Non-superstar free agents are the biggest sucker's bet in baseball. If you're going to spend money on a free agent, it SHOULD be CC or Manny. Elite players carry almost no long-term risk. It's the signings of slightly above average players like Burnett and Zito and Hunter that are likely to come back and bite whoever makes them.

Either sign the really big-name free agents or don't sign anybody at all. Trying to play the middle never works.

That said, I'd consider Sheets and Furcal to be considerably better than your average free agent and I'd certainly like to see the Dodgers make a run at them.

2008-11-26 16:27:08
192.   oshea2002
Wow, Lavin's calling the game on espn 2. No hair gel, and it looks like he's stopped taking Just For Men. An interesting look for him.
2008-11-26 16:28:00
193.   scareduck
186 - trading for Jason Kendall comes about as close as you're going to get in this era.
2008-11-26 16:55:47
194.   trainwreck
Loaiza really was a big free agent get for A's at the time. They went after him early and Beane even said it was the first time during free agency where they could really go after someone.
2008-11-26 17:01:40
195.   trainwreck
A story on Weiss trying to recruit Pryor.

Bob ought to like this.

2008-11-26 17:13:29
196.   Bob Timmermann
Now I feel just sad...
2008-11-26 17:18:52
197.   D4P
Can you convert that into number of unpetted puppies?
2008-11-26 17:29:20
198.   Icaros
The past few years, the holidays have put me at around a -30 on the Petted Puppies Index.
2008-11-26 17:40:06
199.   Marty
I still like Thanksgiving.

I'm going to friends who host 3 families at least, every year. I'm making brussels sprouts. I just test-drove the recipe and it's great. You boil them in heavy cream and lots of garlic. Then add ground up toasted pecans and fresh basil at the end. It's really tasty and the vegetarians can eat it too.

2008-11-26 17:43:46
200.   D4P
Have you spent them alone?
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-11-26 18:08:38
201.   Sam DC
A few short reacts.

1. My understanding is that Pete Orr will be available from the Nationals org in the Rule 5. Can you have too many Canadian gamer types?

2. For all the talk of the money posturing in Ms. McCourt's comments, I really found the comment re those darn guaranteed contracts annoying. Can't quite put my finger on why; I guess it's because I view that rule as so important to even modest fairness towards the players in modern baseball. Also, I'm not a labor lawyer, but my spider sense sorta tingles when management starts talking about how it can't really pay that much for players and then lays the blame on a collectively bargained rule.

3. Top Chef Foo Fighters edition tonight!

4. Happy Thanksgiving all.

2008-11-26 18:22:45
202.   Ken Noe
CC? No. Furcal? No. Johnson? No. Pettitte? No. Wilson? Only if the Pirates pick up a big chunk of his salary. So who is Ned looking at? Rich Aurilia!

2008-11-26 18:34:53
203.   fanerman
Alright well I'm gonna fly off to SoCal tonight. I'm in the Official Boarding Group of Rafael Furcal (Boarding Group B), but unfortunately I'm flying Oakland to Ontario and Oakland to Burbank.
2008-11-26 18:39:03
204.   Bob Timmermann
My plan to walk a few blocks to get some dinner did not take into account than when I was done it had started raining like a cow pissing on a rock.

(The final Rule 1 skirting phrase is an homage to my father.)

2008-11-26 18:40:27
205.   trainwreck
That is a quality phrase. I am going to use that.
2008-11-26 18:42:54
206.   Bob Timmermann
The rest of my dad's catch phrases would be clear Rule 1 violations. He grew up on a farm. He was around a certain substance a lot.
2008-11-26 19:00:52
207.   underdog
Don't the Dodgers already have Aurelia in Nomar? Er I mean if they re-sign him: I'd prefer that to ohreally-ahh.

O well. Happy TGiving, folks!

2008-11-26 19:12:35
208.   Sam DC
(hamhanded product placement alert)
2008-11-26 19:56:31
209.   MollyKnight
How is everyone doing with sporcle? Do we love it? Hate it?
2008-11-26 19:58:00
210.   dzzrtRatt
Walking my dog in drizzling rain, one more thought about the McCourt article came to mind:

Who says it's even feasible to find 50 sites for 50 youth baseball facilities in Los Angeles? It's kind of an empty promise. Land-use regulation in LA is an expensive nightmare, and it is hardest on public-attracting projects like ballfields or schools. A nice new ballfield might look like a field of dreams to Frank and Jamie, but to its potential neighbors it looks like an "attractive nuisance" -- a magnet for traffic, noise, litter, vandalism and crime. They become convinced that their property values will take a huge hit if they have a ballfield nearby. You will hear all about people urinating in public -- every project that Angelenos want to stop has a public urination angle.

Even if the surrounding community wants the park, it costs money to get all the approvals from City Hall, and you have to pay people a lot of money to get those approvals for you. While I know they have contracts with top lobbying firms, those firms know as well as anyone that "We're Frank and Jamie and we love kids!" gets you nowhere in a planning commission meeting if the neighbors are riled up. You have to expend hundreds of billable hours to win over a community, which basically involves greasing a lot of palms, so there goes more money. I don't know this for a fact, but it's possible that each of those ballfields could cost over a million dollars.

Just one more way in which the McCourts' dichotomy is a false one.

I guess I'm a believer in the trickle-down theory of professional sports teams. Good teams can make money. Great teams can make more money. More money means more money to spend on salaries, vendors, paying taxes (which helps the parks department provide and maintain ballfields) and, sure, charity. Everybody benefits if the Dodgers do well. If the beancounters think Manny can be a profit center at $30 million a year for three years, based on what the baseball people think he'll produce in terms of more offense and more wins then the Dodgers must sign him. If they're right, he'll bring them closer to their alleged charitable goals than any of this posturing will do.

2008-11-26 20:02:39
211.   trainwreck
<3 it. Great way to use up some time, though it shows how cruddy my memory is.
2008-11-26 20:03:51
212.   Bob Timmermann
The taxpayers of Los Angeles want to have a word with Molly.
2008-11-26 20:07:45
213.   Marty
I missed Sutton on the retired numbers one. They shoulda retired his hair stylist.
2008-11-26 20:21:44
214.   Neal Pollack
Also, what does "this great community" really mean. Are they going to build 50 ballparks in Lincoln Heights and Echo Park? A ballfield in Long Beach benefits Long Beach, maybe, but it doesn't do anything for the "community" that surrounds Dodger Stadium. L.A.'s troubled neighborhoods need good schools and jobs. Finding places to play baseball is not really a major problem in Southern California.

This is some weird mirror-image "let them eat cake" stuff from the McCourts. I find the whole thing sickening.

2008-11-26 20:27:40
215.   rayg
why isn't anyone talking about the insolvency of the State of California?
2008-11-26 20:30:33
216.   Tripon
Jamie McCourt did an interview with Mason & Ireland today to try to run damage control. I caught the end of it, and she stammered on why she would make the comment of 50 fields or high priced free agents. She... well, didn't really have an answer under than it was suppose to be a flippant, and that it was the Times fault for making it into a story. I'm sure Dylan Hernadez will love that.

Anyway, she then went into a weird anogoly trying to tie her comments into leading the next wave of diversity. Tying Jackie Robinson, and the Dodgers into being the front of social change or something. And then ended it with herself and Kim Ng as part of leading that charge.

Personally, I think this is partly why Ned Coletti is still the Dodgers GM for at least this year. Frank McCourt loves Logan White, and Jamie McCourt loves Kim Ng. And they can't decide or agree who they want to be GM. So they kept Ned Coletti to punt the decision until next year.

So basically, we have InDecision 2009. Maybe the Daily Show can make a segment out of this.

2008-11-26 20:34:34
217.   Tripon
The Dodgers are not open to trading for shortstop Jack Wilson, at least not until the Pirates agree to swallow a huge chunk of that contract ($7.85 million guaranteed for 2009 season and the 2010 buyout) and Wilson agrees to hit again. They have the same issue with Andy Pettitte the Yankees have: He wants too much money for a pitcher who will be 37 in June and just posted his worst ERA in almost a decade, in large part because of a horrible second half. "A longshot," one Dodgers official called it. Another veteran left-hander the Dodgers aren't excited about: Randy Johnson. It's a maybe, at best, and only as a distant resort.

Well, I won't mind James McDonald as our 4th starter. We're going to need to find a 5th starter on the cheap though.

2008-11-26 20:40:26
218.   Bob Timmermann
Tends to run into Rule 5 territory however.

However, the state of California needs a lot of puppies to pet.

2008-11-26 20:51:05
219.   Icaros

All of California's puppy petters have been sent to the chicken farms, Shimmin would say.

2008-11-26 21:01:26
220.   Andrew Shimmin
Scarcity is a harsh mistress.

Do they still make rice cakes? I'm watching the Cosby Show and there are rice cakes. Can't remember the last time I saw one.

2008-11-26 21:07:00
221.   trainwreck
Yes, they do. They make soy cakes too.
2008-11-26 21:12:12
222.   Andrew Shimmin
My New Year's resolution is to bring back rice cake jokes.
2008-11-26 21:16:41
223.   Tripon
Your New Year's resolution isn't to steal people's pens and papers?
2008-11-26 21:17:56
224.   Andrew Shimmin
Well, not my public resolution, anyway.
2008-11-26 21:19:37
225.   Tripon
Well, as long as nobody's houses are burned down to the ground...
2008-11-26 21:21:51
226.   Tripon
Also, if we're acting like the Marlins for the next year or two. Why are we trying to trade for Jack wilson?
2008-11-26 21:45:23
227.   Bluebleeder87
I have to admit, I've been out of the loop for a while man, I'll just be indifferent/neutral about the whole thing until things develop... love the writing though Jon.

pass, amor y tolerancia...

2008-11-26 22:07:47
228.   underdog
209 "How is everyone doing with sporcle? Do we love it? Hate it? "

Molly: Yes.

Addicted to it, no longer a productive human being, also burning out on it now, which is good. All in all, good times.


226 Sounds like the Dodgers really aren't actively trying to acquire him, though. (Key word, actively.)

Btw, off subject, but I quite enjoyed the Woody Allen reference in this portion of MST3K's take on The Giant Spider Invasion. You can probably guess the joke if you've seen Annie Hall. But still funny.

About 4:45 into this clip:

(Speaking of procrastination tools...)

2008-11-26 22:24:56
229.   scareduck
200 - I recently got off the phone talking with a friend having Thanksgiving at his house. He somehow ended up with 17 people at his place thanks to his mother inviting a "few" extra people.
2008-11-26 22:26:17
230.   scareduck
216 - and I bet she reads every newspaper they put in front of her, too.
2008-11-26 22:44:30
231.   bhsportsguy
I feel better knowing that everyone else agrees with Bill Plashke.,0,5868275.column?page=3

Have a nice holiday with that thought.

2008-11-26 22:45:31
232.   scareduck
Jamie McCourt's interview on the Mason & Ireland show:

I'll work on a transcript on a blog.

2008-11-26 22:45:43
233.   scareduck
... on MY blog.
2008-11-26 22:52:10
234.   immouch
I don't follow the McCourts closely enough to comment as wisely as some earlier posts. But the quotes in today's bizarre LAT story have a smarminess that seem very much of a piece with what we've seen since Day 1. From firing old employees via fax, from having a relative in charge of botched in-stadium renovations, from charging huge money for Spring Training games... hiring Ned to undo a youth movement in favor of instant but short-term results... to today's lame attempt to hide behind charity as a way to say "hey, we don't have the dough to play big boy ownership..." the McCourts have struck me as people with more money than grace. And now, perhaps, they're outta both.
The only potential redemption I see is this: The era of tiny brain/big mouth power is waning. I predict the McCourts will sell sooner than we all once might've predicted.
Happy Turkey
2008-11-26 23:03:20
235.   Andrew Shimmin
231- Everybody else including Mrs. McCourt, apparently. It was all just a philosophical thought experiment that she absolutely declaims as a policy. Which sounds right. It had the air of an exercise in moral vanity about it.
2008-11-26 23:05:29
236.   trainwreck
Padma always looks good, but sometimes she wears something that makes her look even better.

This episode is one of those.

2008-11-26 23:15:44
237.   Bob Loblaw
If McCourt is afraid to spend $$$ and Jack Wilson's only asset is defense, why is Ned even considering throwing $$$ at him instead of letting Hu & DeJesus compete for the job in ST?
2008-11-27 00:29:30
238.   mintxcore
darn, forgot Top Chef was on tonight! Spent all day and all night baking pies and helping the fiancee prepare dishes for tomorrow. our fridge is jammed packed.

even worse, is there's more to do tomorrow and i need to find a few hours to sneak in a make-shift MST3k turkey day marathon!!

2008-11-27 01:12:57
239.   overkill94
88 This is probably way too late of an answer (damn you holiday traffic!), but my UCLA living experience went:

1999-2000 - Reiber dorms
2000-2002 - Sig Ep frat house on Gayley
2002-2003 - apartment at 507 Glenrock
2003-2004 - apartment at 516 Glenrock

so I'm not sure if I'm the guy you're remembering

2008-11-27 01:43:34
240.   scareduck

Hopefully I didn't screw anything up.

2008-11-27 01:44:08
241.   scareduck
She claims to have been quoted out of context, but fails to mention how.
2008-11-27 02:14:23
242.   overkill94
209 Considering I should have gone to bed about 2 hours ago, I'd say I'm loving it.

I thought I would be able to get all the Best Picture winners since 1970, but I totally whiffed on A Beautiful Mind and somehow couldn't spell Gandhi right (kept putting the "h" directly after the "G").

2008-11-27 05:20:00
243.   old dodger fan
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone and a special thanks to Molly for sporcle.

My 14 year old daughter has humbled me with her knowledge of geography. Who says they aren't teaching anything in the schools?

2008-11-27 06:27:40
244.   Ken Noe
Next Dodger PR move: a needless FA signing. Somebody old and relatively cheap. Aurilia sounds about right. As for Plaschke, I thought he was too easy on her.

Happy Thanksgiving.

2008-11-27 06:41:17
245.   D4P
Aurilia is prominent on the list of "Players whom Ned will almost inevitably acquire some day". I have no huge problem with signing Aurilia, as long as it's for 1 year and little money, and he doesn't take playing time away from better players. He's an upgrade on Sweeney, but that's not much of a standard.

I'm confused as to why Management would be so uninterested in Randy Johnson. Is he too young or something...?

2008-11-27 07:29:05
246.   NWdodger

I agree as long as they offer every player arbitration except for Kent and Maddux. That would net 7 additional picks before the second round (if you count Penny). There is nothing worse than not offering and having the player sign with another team for more than arbitration would have allowed the next week (Maddux several years ago).

2008-11-27 08:06:28
247.   Brent Knapp
239 I thought you were probably in Sig Ep because I saw you once say you were getting kicked out by, I think Zeta Psi, and I knew that was going on next door. I had a friend in that house who was constantly complaining that you guys wouldn't leave. I was in Sigma Nu. I'm taking pre-MBA classes because I'm trying to get into Anderson so I am up there all the time and I drive by that property. Do you know what they are going to do with it? It's got to be worth 3 or 4 million dollars, if not more.
2008-11-27 08:14:21
248.   Dodger Dawg
If 09 is a rebuilding year ,what makes anyone think 2010 will be any better? If Frank doesn't have the money now to improve the team, playing all the kids is not likely to make him any richer next year. It's true you'll have Schmidt and Andruw come off the books, but what makes anyone think they'll actually spend that money on field, they'll probably improve the restrooms, or something else to improve the Dodger experience. Also why pay Torre 4 mil to tutor kids? Makes no sense to me, but then hardly anything the McCourts do makes sense.
2008-11-27 08:24:14
249.   oshea2002
Plaschke didn't go far enough, but at least the title of his article was good.
2008-11-27 09:03:20
250.   Andrew Shimmin
240- Thanks for doing that. I think she makes an excellent point about how Sandy Koufax, "did his whole thing with religious prejudices." And the part where she says the fans are the real MVPs. That makes me feel special.
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-11-27 09:04:44
251.   Bob Timmermann
There's an Arrested Development marathon starting now on the cable channel G4.
2008-11-27 09:06:03
252.   Ken Noe
245 As a utility guy, as insurance, I'm actually okay with it too. Especially if prevents a trade for Jack Wilson.
2008-11-27 09:08:56
253.   D4P
I think I watched a lot of G4 when I visited my family this past summer. Is that the channel with the Ninja Warrior obstacle course show and the "Unbeatable Banzuke"?
2008-11-27 09:16:53
254.   Bob Timmermann
G4 certainly has enough ads it runs on the screen during the programming.
2008-11-27 09:22:42
255.   DBrim
Wow, the football options today are awful.
2008-11-27 09:26:54
256.   scareduck
248 - we believe the McCourts will spend the money on the field because that is what they have done. Actually, I should say that they spend the money near the field, because so much of it ends up on the DL.

255 - it's much easier if you don't care about football.

2008-11-27 09:31:55
257.   overkill94
247 They were supposed to tear it down about 3 1/2 years ago, but it still just sits there idle. Their reason for condemning it was that the foundation of the house above us was damaged when the tree fell on our house and needed to be repaired, but apparently it's still standing up fine. It's really a shame for a house with that kind of location to go unused.
2008-11-27 09:52:39
258.   Samhain
Anyone else surprised that (even though it's an unscientific poll) almost 36% responding to the L.A. Times click-poll would rather have money spent on fifty neighborhood baseball fields than a high priced like Manny Ramirez?

Going in, I would have guessed that position would garner 10-15%...

2008-11-27 09:59:38
259.   DBrim
The Lions aren't very good.
2008-11-27 10:04:02
260.   scareduck
258 - I might take that as a sign of progress, if the object of the signing is Manny at any of the rumored "bite" prices; at least it might indicate that people recognize Manny in seven years won't be worth a bucket of balls.
2008-11-27 10:16:13
261.   Samhain
The thing is, the way the poll question is structured is that spending the money is a given. As a Dodger fan, the neighborhood ballparks are of no value to me at all. Therefore any actual received value--even if it's only one good season--is better for the team than philanthropy.

Anyway, the poll asks about spending for an expensive free agent LIKE Manny. CC Sabathia would also qualify. And he is a better risk than Manny, probably...

2008-11-27 10:22:21
262.   Jon Weisman
2008-11-28 05:13:00
263.   gentega
I hate divisional class politics, but here I go. This statement from someone who very publicly bought two Beverly Hills lots to for a 20 plus million dollar home is pathetic. Should they sell the house and move into a dinky two million dollar house? That would pay for, what, half the fields? One thing I miss about Peter O'Malley's ownership was humility. The Dodgers have always been hugely present in community projects; they just did it with class.
2008-12-21 00:43:17
264.   Alex Katz
So basically, we have InDecision 2009. Maybe the Daily Show can make a segment out of this.

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