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Dodger Thoughts in March Madness
2006-03-13 08:26
by Jon Weisman

If you'd like, fill out an NCAA men's hoop bracket at and join the "Dodger Thoughts" group I've set up there.

Also, for those of you who were offline this weekend, be sure to catch up on the most recent Dodger Thoughts posts:

Showtime May Revive Hee Seop Choi
Best Dodger Quote of 2006

Comments (55)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-03-13 08:57:46
1.   Bob Timmermann
I'm in. After years to trying to study this issue, I've adopted a Malcolm Gladwell "Blink" approach.

Life's too short to sweat figuring out who's going to win a game between Utah State and Washington.

2006-03-13 09:01:02
2.   Jon Weisman
I used a similar approach in 2005 and did almost as well as I've ever done.

On the other hand, I carefully researched my 2005 Oscar picks and won that pool.

But this year I didn't enter an Oscar pool, and will probably try to do my NCAA picks in 63 seconds.

2006-03-13 09:41:28
3.   bigcpa
From the Wikipedia entry for "March Madness":

"Brent Musburger is generally regarded as the individual who first used the phrase in conjunction with the college tournament, using it during CBS Sports' coverage of the tourney back in 1982."

"March Madness or Big Dance refers to the frenzy these tournaments ignite among sports fans and, at least at the college level, sports gamblers."

"In England, the phrase March Madness may refer to wasteful spending at the end of a budget year."

2006-03-13 09:43:09
4.   Sam DC
How did we end up with 65 teams in the tournament?
2006-03-13 09:52:55
5.   Bob Timmermann
I'm highly skeptical of Brent Musburger being the source for anything original.

One day though Billy Packer will not be calling college basketball. That day has not come yet. When it does, there will be great rejoicing in the land.

2006-03-13 09:54:31
6.   Bob Timmermann
The Powers That Be decreed that there will always be 34 at large teams in the NCAA men's tournament. Once the 31st conference got Division I status, the "play-in" game was created.

John Feinstein considers that game to be demeaning and wants it abolished. I would settle for the abolition of Feinstein writing any more books.

2006-03-13 09:54:37
7.   Ali Nagib
To give you the short version, without all the details, the NCAA rules guaranteed at least 34 At-large teams, plus any auto-bids. Up until around 2001, there were only 30 conferences giving out auto-bids, so there were 64 teams in. Around that time, a 31st conference (don't ask me which one) got added and ended up with an auto-bid. They couldn't decrease the number of at-larges, so they had to add the Play-in game on the Tuesday before the tourney for the worst 2 teams. It's been played in Dayton every year that they've had it, fwiw.
2006-03-13 09:57:29
8.   Sam DC
6 Hee-Seop Choi runs the NCAA tournament?
2006-03-13 09:58:21
9.   Steve
That would be Bob's favoritest conference in the world, the Mountain West.
2006-03-13 10:03:13
10.   Bob Timmermann

Go Air Force! Show those doubters you belong!

2006-03-13 10:03:40
11.   Jon Weisman
Today's Dodger lineup at Inside the Dodgers features Pedro Martinez at second base - thus resolving both the Lucille II problem and the DeShields trade.
2006-03-13 10:04:40
12.   Bob Timmermann
Dayton, Ohio:

Site of the place where the peace accords for Bosnia and Serbia were signed and home of the NCAA tournament play-in game.

What more can a city offer?

2006-03-13 10:07:33
13.   Jon Weisman
12 - It's my wonderful boss's hometown.
2006-03-13 10:20:45
14.   Marty
I dated a woman from Dayton. She was without doubt the weirdest person I've ever gone out with.
2006-03-13 10:25:21
15.   Gilgamesh
In regards to 'Bonds still a Hall of Famer'

ESPN has obtained an inter-club memmorandum from the commissioners office banning all illegal drugs from MLB and specifically names steroids. The memo is dated June 7, 1991 and can be found here:

Some highlights:
The basic drug policy for the game is simply stated: There is no place for illegal drug use in baseball.

The possession, sale or use of any illegal drug of controlled substance by Major League players and personnel is strictly prohibited.

players or personnel involved in the ... use of any illegal drug ... are subject to discipline by the Commissioner and risk permanent expulsion from the game.

This prohibition applies to all illegal drugs and controlled substances, including steroids or prescription drugs for which an individual in possession of the drug does not have a prescription.

2006-03-13 10:29:01
16.   da bums

I saw that as well and I wondered to myself if his toe was well enough to turn to the bag to start the DP.

2006-03-13 10:29:52
17.   Jon Weisman
15 - Ah, it had been such a nice, peaceful morning.

This has been discussed before. By the accounts I've seen, this memo wasn't approved by the players association and was left to fester. I have previously published a quote from Fay Vincent:

"The memo I sent was an attempt to be on record that if we controlled the whole thing, this is what we would do," said Vincent. "And we did it, but only for the people that were not covered by the Collective Bargaining Agreement. ..."

2006-03-13 10:33:45
18.   Jon Weisman
Highlights from the first inning, courtesy of a play-by-play at the message boards.

With two out, Ethier swung at the first pitch and reached base on an error, but Guzman grounded out.

D.J. Houlton sandwiched a single between two strikeouts, then pushed two called strikes past Manny Ramirez, then got him to fly to right. Houlton appears to be facing much of Boston's regular lineup.

2006-03-13 10:34:01
19.   da bums

Marty - datin' in Dayton.

2006-03-13 10:35:29
20.   Jon Weisman
Aybar (GO), Repko (K), Guzman (GO), Kemp (GO), Loney (K) and Martin (K) fail to get the ball out of the infield against Matt Clement in two innings.
2006-03-13 10:38:13
21.   Marty
From an earlier thread, a Sopranos question:

One thing I don't remember from last season is how did Janice end up with a baby? The show was off long enough for her to get pregnant and give birth. Is that the exlanation? or did I miss something?

2006-03-13 10:39:14
22.   Jon Weisman
21 - Yes, it was something close to a two-year gap.
2006-03-13 10:44:27
23.   dodger58
The only March madness I have is waiting for opening day.
2006-03-13 10:44:30
24.   Marty
So all that happened off-screen, so to speak.
2006-03-13 10:49:09
25.   Jon Weisman
Here's the play-by-play link:

2006-03-13 10:51:38
26.   Bob Timmermann
Current friend alert:

Odalis Perez starting for the Dominican Republic today in San Juan (in a few minutes on ESPN I believe) against Cuba.

2006-03-13 10:52:56
27.   Marty
Over at the Pirates blogs everyone is hoping that the Knight-Ridder/McClatchy deal will mean Kevin McClatchy sells the Pirates. I doubt it.
2006-03-13 10:53:01
28.   Bob Timmermann
Why did David Chase have the Raymond Curto character lurking in the background for five seasons as an informer and then have him die before he ever did much of anything?
2006-03-13 10:56:01
29.   Jon Weisman
28 - That's life?

I remember during the first season how hard it was to keep track of the entire Sopranos universe. I think there's a finite number of characters you can explore, and some are just fodder to move the plot along.

2006-03-13 11:02:24
30.   Jon Weisman
Alex Gonzalez I or II homered off Saito. Looks like Aybar might have saved two more runs with a diving stop at third. Can't tell from the description.
2006-03-13 11:03:56
31.   Marty
28 Which one was he? The one who keeled over at the start or the one who hung himself (quite realistically I might add) at the end?
2006-03-13 11:05:58
32.   Jon Weisman
This certainly demands mention:

2006-03-13 11:10:41
33.   Marty
32 That is some post. I'll always love the conga line.
2006-03-13 11:13:00
34.   Bob Timmermann
He was the older guy who had a stroke.
2006-03-13 11:32:58
35.   Marty
Bonds weighs in on the WBC umpire controversy:

"Dude, that guy tagged up,"

2006-03-13 11:33:00
36.   Jon Weisman
Robles stole second on a busted 3-1 hit and run with Ramon Martinez.

Later, Ethier draws a four-pitch bases-loaded walk to tie the game.

2006-03-13 11:35:07
37.   Colorado Blue
28 - So that the other character that lurked for at least 2 seasons could become the informer and then commit suicide.
2006-03-13 11:35:55
38.   D4P
Ethier draws a four-pitch bases-loaded walk to tie the game.

He failed to swing at a 3-0 pitch...

2006-03-13 11:44:46
39.   Johnson
Martin nails a pinch runner trying to steal third. Coming into today, our catchers were 4-8 in throwing out runners. Not bad.
2006-03-13 11:53:44
40.   D4P
Lucille II with a II-run single.


2006-03-13 12:48:08
41.   Terry A
If this has been discussed in an earlier topic's comments, please let me know where:

Anybody dismayed at Grady Little's comments in today's Times regarding Russell Martin? I'm not bothered that it appears Martin will start in Vegas, but I'm annoyed that Little got Martin to bow out of the WBC by telling him the catcher's job was a "coin flip."

So he gets Martin in camp with that little fib, then tells the Times today that it would be hard for Martin to go from AA to the majors?


2006-03-13 12:55:07
42.   Telemachos
I'm hardly a Grady apologist, but I don't see why the two comments are necessarily dubious. At the time of the original quote, he felt Martin had a chance to win a job in the starting roster, and now he thinks it's probably best if Martin starts the season in AAA. A guy's allowed to change his mind, right?
2006-03-13 13:02:12
43.   Daniel Zappala
Obvious statement of the spring: Looks like Brian Meadows is not cut out to be a closer.
2006-03-13 13:34:27
45.   Marty
Crikey. I have Kansas losing in the first round.
2006-03-13 13:40:37
46.   SMY
41 Also on things I didn't see discussed before, so forgive me if they were, did anyone see the speculation in the LA Daily News that Drew would hit 5th so they wouldn't have two LHB next to each other (with Lofton)? Aside from the obvious stupidity, who hits 3rd in this case? Nomar? Then you have two RHB (with Kent).
2006-03-13 13:49:58
47.   bigcpa
If Lofton is only starting vs RHP this is a non-issue. We get to go LEFT, LEFT, LEFT vs. RH starters. Then just hit for Lofton when the LOOGY comes in. Or do we not want to hurt his veteran feelings?
2006-03-13 13:51:03
48.   Terry A
42 - You may be right, Telemachos. But Martin has outhit and outplayed Dioner this spring. If the job were truly open, it would seem to be an odd time to be downgrading Martin's shot at it. And there's no doubt that Little's hardly a fan of the WBC.

46 - Bill Mueller. (Egad!)

2006-03-13 14:10:47
49.   screwballin
Only 20 bracket entries so far. Is everyone speed-reading "Blink" before they submit their picks?

Instead of the Blink method, I opted to keep my eyes fully closed when I filled mine out. Couldn't be any less effective than my usual method.

2006-03-13 14:14:43
50.   screwballin
48 But Martin has outhit and outplayed Dioner this spring.

There's a lot more to catching than meets the eye, so I'm assuming Martin is showing his lack of experience in some of the more subtle areas. What have you seen to say Martin has outplayed him this spring? (I ask sincerely, because I haven't laid eyes on either of them yet.)

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-03-13 14:57:22
51.   Sushirabbit
I'm in on the bracket, too. If I do well it'll be a miracle, especially since in the Battle of the Bruins I picked Belmont in the hopes that somehow some way UCLA is looking past them. I really doubt that will happen.

Did anyone else watch the Dubai F1 race? I'm convinced that Nico Rossberg is the future.

Does anyone know if Gagne has started throwing his curve? I misread the post awhile back, and thought he'd thrown one. Just curious. Also, curious, to see how long we keep Baez if Gagne is lights out after a month.

2006-03-13 15:03:43
52.   Andrew Shimmin
50- I'm assuming Martin was never going to make the 25 man roster. I further suspect that Grittle was only the messenger, that it was somebody else's soft anti-WBC edict. It would surprise me if he didn't agree with it, but the decision is above his pay grade. Whether it was McCourt or Flanders, somebody decided that players who could be threatened with their roster spots should be. Hooray for the communications revolution in the front office! Their all on the same page, and the title of the book is: Bully.
2006-03-13 15:25:28
53.   Andrew Shimmin
They're. Not their. I need a communications revolution of my own.
2006-03-13 15:53:22
54.   Johnson
51 At the risk of turning this site into F1 Thoughts...I saw the Dubai race. Rossberg had a really nice outing and with a better car might already be a serious contender. Raikonnen impressed me the most, overcoming his suspension failure in qualifying, and blasting by 18 cars to finish on the podium. I loved his quote to the effect of: "Vell, ve started from ta back so ve felt ve had a good chance of being in ta points." Basically acknowledging that it doesn't matter where he starts, if he doesn't break he finishes in the top eight, and probably better. I hate some of the new paint jobs, though. Midland and McLaren have too much red on them, making them hard to distinguish from a Ferrari from the wrong angles. Seems like only Renault is at-a-glimpse distinctive (at least on TV) anymore.
2006-03-14 06:37:40
55.   Sushirabbit
late follow up, but yeah, I've been a Kimi fan for a while. And I agree totally on the paint, I had a hard time and so did Varsha and Hobbs.
2006-04-30 14:55:48
56.   Eric Enders
*I*f you'll pa*r*don me I'm just testing something out here.

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