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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Manic Monday - Part 2
2004-05-10 10:40
by Jon Weisman

by Christian Ruzich

It's nice to see Jon talk about how the Cubs are his #2 team over on The Cub Reporter, but I can't return the favor. Living in the Bay Area for six years, and marrying a Giants fan, has made me a Dodger-disliker by proxy. Not a Dodger-hater, exactly, since it's hard to hate a team that's as inoffensive as this one (though trading for Milton Bradley certainly helps), but definitely a team I root against.
But my mom taught me that if you don't have anything nice to say, you shouldn't say anything at all. So instead of handing Jon a blank column today, I will admit that there are some things worth liking on this team.
First and foremost, there's Adrian Beltre. Jon has written eloquently about him, and it's been really exciting to watch him turn a corner and become the player that people thought (or at least hoped) he could be. We've got a long-time high-potential third baseman of our own on the Cubs, and I see a lot of similarities between the two. I don't know if either is going to become the cream of the third base crop, but I can see both of them making their share of All-Star appearances alongside Mike Lowell and Scott Rolen.
Another Dodger I really like is Paul LoDuca. More than anything, the thing that put him on my Good Guy list was a catch he made a couple of years back. I'm sure the readers of Dodger Thoughts know exactly which catch I'm talking about, but if you don't, it was a low foul pop that LoDuca took off after and ended up catching after sliding, on a dead run, down three steps and into the dugout. It was a great, great catch, an all-out play that gave me a little glimpse of how LoDuca played the game, and I've been a fan ever since. I like him, too, because he's a catcher who can (and has) led off, which is a pretty rare beast.
Then, of course, there's Eric Gagne. In the same way that Cub fans should respect Albert Pujols, or Dodger fans Barry Bonds, there is no way to get around the fact that Eric Gagne is a great player. We can talk all we want about what a save means, and its importance (or lack thereof) as a stat, but the plain fact is that Eric Gagne has come into games in a save situation 73 times in a row without giving up the lead. When The Lovely Wife and I are watching a Giants-Dodgers game, and Gagne comes in, all she can do is say, "awww, crap" and leave the room. That's respect, hard-earned and well-deserved.
So there you go. Three things I like on the Dodgers, even though I don't like the team. There are others, too: Bradley is an exciting young player, Robin Ventura is a rare ex-White Sox I like, and Shawn Green is, according to some of my friends, Good For the Jews. Contrary to some people's opinions, I don't spend all of my baseball-watching time obsessing over pitch counts and on-base percentage. Baseball is played by people, and interesting people make for interesting stories, no matter what team they play on. Besides, when I know more about the opposition, it makes it all the sweeter when my Cubs beat them.

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