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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Manic Monday
2004-05-10 09:25
by Jon Weisman

Dear Dodger Thoughts,

You've been hijacked. But just for a day, and just by a couple of harmless Cubs fans. Since Jon has steered his pen Cub-Reporter-ways for the day, I'm jotting down a couple Dodgerish thoughts during the brief breath before the Cubs and Dodgers face off Tuesday.

I've lived in Brooklyn for a shade over five years now, so I guess I'm supposed to have some sort of affinity for your boys in blue. But truth be told, I'm fairly indifferent; I was born a couple decades after the Dodgers moved west, and didn't arrive in Brooklyn for another 23 years, so any claims to have loyalty to the franchise would just be cloying attempts at pleasing my audience. Sure, I own a Brooklyn Dodgers hat, but that's all about borough pride and my distaste for the current New York teams. Hey, if I don't live in Chicago and I gotta root for a team in the city where I live, I might as well root for a team that no longer exists...

My earliest Dodger memories: Valenzuela's rookie card was the first valuable baseball card I ever owned. I'm sure I wishcast the card as being in "mint" condition, just because I knew that was the best condition possible, but it was as beat up as the rest of my collection -- a near worthless piece of cardboard, corners frayed and picture creased. I was a bit too young to really understand Fernandomania, but I knew he was one of the league's best pitchers, so his card was reserved for my "special sheet" of nine favorite baseball cards.

Steve Sax was another matter altogether. When he came up I rooted for him to do poorly, but my dislike was based entirely in an irrational fear that Sax might turn out to be a better player than Ryne Sandberg. Both second sackers were enormously popular, both were very good, and both were charismatic in their own distinct ways: Sandberg was quiet, stoic, and handsome -- Sax was fiesty, energetic, and a looker as well. Looking back, there was little cause for alarm -- why couldn't they both be good? -- but such are the delusions of youth. After forgetting about Sax altogether for several years, he's recently scored some points with me for being one of few ballplayers to openly take a stand against homophobia in sports.

The Dodgers haven't really created much heartbreak for the Cubs while I've been around. It's your division rivals, those cuddly Padres (#^&*$ you, Garvey) and fuzzy Giants (!@#$@% you, too, Clark) that have contributed more to our storied angst. I wish the Dodgers no ill will, and am in fact very intrigued by the direction the franchise will take under DePodesta. It'll be interesting to see how Mr. Paul morphs his college-heavy draft approach with the recent success of high-school maven Logan White in this summer's amateur draft.

The Dodgers and Cubs enter their series on winning notes, and L.A. boasts the best record in the N.L. While I think Green's Team is playing a bit over its collective head, L.A.'s hot start will likely be enough to keep them in the hunt all season -- and I expect at least one more big move to help out the offense. Why does everyone assume Vidro is a Yankee-in-waiting, when the Dodgers are a perfect fit?

The matchups:

Tuesday, 7:10 PT
Wood (3-2, 2.53, 50 K/13 BB) vs. Weaver (1-4, 5.40, 29/13)

Wednesday, 7:10 PT
Clement (5-1, 2.29, 41/17) vs. Ishii (5-1, 3.76, 16/20)

Thursday, 12:10 PT
Zambrano (3-1, 2.18, 35/11) vs. Nomo (3-3, 6.00, 18/14)

Thanks for letting me chime in on this crazy off-day.

XOXO, Cubs win two of three,

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