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Unhold That Thought
2004-06-16 08:13
by Jon Weisman

It's Adaptation, Dodger-style. It's a view into the process. Dodger screenwriter Jim Tracy and his doppleganger, Jim Colborn, simultaenously supporting and counfounding themselves.

Usually, Dodger fans see only the end of the inner management conversation - a decision to hire someone, to fire someone, to start someone, to bench someone.

With the Untitled Hideo Nomo Project, we've entered the collective Dodger mind in messy, uncompleted thought.

Back and forth Tracy and Colborn go, writing over each other's dialogue, acutely aware that Nomo is not performing and unsure how to proceed. From the Times, the Daily News and, you can piece together the different forces pulling at the Dodger manager and pitching coach.

Let me take the writers away from the script and try to act as therapist.

Tracy and Colborn say that you don't give up on a guy who has pitched so well over the past two seasons, figuring he will come around. Consider a middle ground, however. Consider, as we've said before, a move out of the starting rotation, so that Nomo can enter a game at less meaningful point and prove that he can piece together two solid innings, then three solid innings, then four solid innings, then five solid innings. However long it takes.

Tracy and Colborn say that they have few other options to replace Nomo with. Consider that you only need one option to succeed. Consider that Edwin Jackson can certainly produce an ERA lower than Nomo's 7.56. Consider that however concerned you are with the development and psyche of the 20-year-old Jackson, you were willing to test those by placing him in the starting rotation in March. Replacing the obviously ailing Nomo offers considerably less pressure.

A therapist doesn't dictate how a client should act. A therapist helps a client see more clearly so that the client can better choose how to act.

Provided they are not backed into a stubborn, defensive corner, Tracy and Colborn know what to do. The next act is already in their heads. They just need to let it out. Right now, we're watching the journey.

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