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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

The Naked Truth
2006-04-06 20:58
by Jon Weisman

Back about 10 years ago, I had a friend and former boss who was writing for The Naked Truth, which once upon a time was the most anticipated sitcom of the upcoming television season. That's right - even bigger than Caroline in the City. Starring Tea Leoni, it was going to be sexy. It was going to be funny. It was going to perform.

As it happened, the show didn't live up to expectations. Not even close. It was painful. In fact, so many things went awry with the production that my friend later commented to me that it was as if the entire thing had been shot atop a Native American burial ground.

The people involved with this pseudo-debacle, of course, got paid and moved on to their next challenge, but that didn't make their professional lives, their passions, their desire to do good work, much more tolerable. And that's where we are with the Dodgers, now that Game Over: The Eric Gagne Show has been put on hiatus.

Though our collective frustration with the Dodger injuries makes it tempting to take a shot at the Dodger medical staff, I'm going to hold off, since I really have no way of knowing whether its work is good or bad. (At best, we can once again know not to trust any soothing medical news coming from Chavez Ravine.) But you have to shudder to consider what the Dodger injury report would look like if the trainers and doctors could possibly do a worse job. For years, now, they have appeared powerless to prevent injuries and powerless to accelerate any recovery. There is one recent exception to this pattern in Cesar Izturis (due back from Tommy John surgery in well under a year), an exception that compels you to suggest that the day the Dodgers think Izturis is healthy, that's the day he should be sealed inside a glass vitrine for at least another month for his own protection.

While we wait to gather evidence on the medical staff, we turn to Gagne. Now, I love Gagne to death and feel bad kicking him when he's down, but the wheel in Gagne's brain is missing a spoke. His occasional mindless comments about how much the team needs to spend to win and his own need for respect through salary payments are the least of it. Barely a year ago, Gagne blundered into the cardinal sin of pitchers, altering his mechanics to compensate for an injury he suffered playing pepper, and soon found himself needing surgery. (This alteration, rather than the erroneous accusations that he was overworked in the second half of 2004, was the most probable cause.) Tonight, we learn from Dodger trainer Stan Johnston (via The Associated Press) that Gagne only revealed Wednesday that he had been pitching in pain all spring.

Mon dieu! What does it take to teach Gagne that his macho act serves no one? Pitching in pain? In March?! I'm telling you, I want to slap him.

Here's an idea for teams that sign pitchers to long-term contracts. Insert a clause that says that if the player doesn't acknowledge he's pitching in pain, the contract is void. And if a team forces a pitcher to pitch in pain and he gets hurt, the contract's salary is doubled. I'm only being partly facetious. These wise, wise old baseball men, they need someone to protect them from themselves.

Tell me I never played the game all you want. Baseball people are dumb. I love 'em, but they're dumb. That's the naked truth.

* * *

Some more details from Ken Gurnick at about the injury and what Gagne faces:

Club officials said doctors will remove the same sensory nerve in Gagne's forearm that was entrapped by scar tissue and released through surgery last June.

The club said no timetable for his return could be determined until the surgery is performed, but it is believed an optimistic forecast (Editor's note - sound alarm bells) would be four to six weeks. He will be placed on the 15-day disabled list and replaced in the bullpen by Japanese right-hander Takashi Saito, whose contract was purchased from Triple-A Las Vegas. ...

Johnston explained that doctors will remove the nerve that runs just under the skin along the forearm and crosses the elbow. Doctors isolated the nerve as the problem by numbing it Wednesday night and having Gagne throw a ball. The fact that the pain disappeared indicated that the nerve, and not scar tissue, was the cause of the pain.

Doctors released that nerve and relocated it in a 90-minute procedure last year, but according to Johnston, "That didn't calm it down well enough to pitch." Gagne underwent Tommy John elbow reconstruction in 1997.

He sprained his knee during the first week of spring workouts last year and rushed back to the mound four weeks later, pitching with an awkward hop to protect his leg. At the end of Spring Training, he suffered a sprained elbow ligament, although he insisted it had nothing to do with his knee injury. It is believed, however, that scar tissue formed from the elbow sprain and entrapped the nerve.

* * *

Update: Will Carroll checks in at Baseball Prospectus:

In about 20% of cases (according to a 1992 Kerlan-Jobe study), elbow reconstruction patients have problems with the ulnar nerve, but in this case, it is a sensory nerve crossing the elbow that is trapped. Some patients have pain when scarring entraps the nerve, while others have parasthesias--pain, numbness or tingling in the affected enervations. The ulnar nerve handles the pinkie finger and outside of the hand, something that would greatly affect Gagne when he grips his changeup. This sensory nerve appears to control feeling in the forearm.

There's no real track record for this type of surgery (excision) for a baseball pitcher, giving us little to go on for an estimate of recovery. The Dodgers have said he'll miss 4-6 weeks, though I think his season's in jeopardy.

Comments (169)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-04-06 23:11:56
1.   rageon
Jon, I feel exactly the same way. Players never seem to learn that playing through pain usually ends up hurting the team. There are exceptions, but most of the time, it only leads to either decreased production, delaying recovery, or causing further damage.
2006-04-06 23:13:37
2.   Eric L
I think there should be something added..

I'm going to be nitpicky and I apologize..

Almost all baseball players have pain when they throw. It's when the pain is abnormal or unbearable that it becomes a problem.

That being said, there is a difference between the normal nagging thing and the "holy crap, my arm isn't working the right way" kind of pain.

2006-04-06 23:15:37
3.   Bob Timmermann
You don't want the naked truth because deep down in topics you don't talk about on blogs, you want Gagne in that pen, you need Gagne in that pen. We use words like guts, heart, stupidity. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a baseball, and go warm up.
2006-04-06 23:15:47
4.   Steve
Thank goodness spinner arrows don't have joints.
2006-04-06 23:17:17
5.   Eric L
Oops.. I meant to add something else..

That stupid playing through pain thing is pushed on most athletes when they are growing up. I remember one time that I got spiked during a practice during winter ball (instructional, games don't count league). I only had one stitch, but it still kind of hurt. I decided to skip the game that weekend. I figured it was winter ball and no way in heck was I going to let the wound get infected or anything over a stupid game that didn't count.

I was in high school at the time and my fellow teamates called me a you know what (female cat) for skipping the game. Of course, these same guys would skip games because they wanted to go to the beach or hang out with chicks..

2006-04-06 23:17:17
6.   Eric L
Oops.. I meant to add something else..

That stupid playing through pain thing is pushed on most athletes when they are growing up. I remember one time that I got spiked during a practice during winter ball (instructional, games don't count league). I only had one stitch, but it still kind of hurt. I decided to skip the game that weekend. I figured it was winter ball and no way in heck was I going to let the wound get infected or anything over a stupid game that didn't count.

I was in high school at the time and my fellow teamates called me a you know what (female cat) for skipping the game. Of course, these same guys would skip games because they wanted to go to the beach or hang out with chicks..

2006-04-06 23:22:02
7.   Ryan Jerz
Bob, I just want the truth.
2006-04-06 23:23:19
8.   regfairfield
Personal playing through pain anecdote:

While running cross country, I turned my knee running down a hill, nothing major, but it was discovered that I was slightly favoring my other leg.

Weeks later, whenever I would start running, I would have a noticable limp, but I was fine once I took a few strides. A little bit after that, the pain wouldn't wear off after the initial start, and I could barely move.

Turns out I had a massive stress fracture and I was out for the season. It all started when I was favoring that leg from a minor leg turn. After this, I learned my lesson about "being a man" through injuries. You'd think with millions on the line, Gagne would too.

2006-04-06 23:24:08
9.   Bob Timmermann

I think you can handle it.

2006-04-06 23:25:34
10.   trainwreck
I watched the entire series of the Naked Truth a number of times. USA used to show in the morning on the weekdays and I would watch it while on summer break.
2006-04-06 23:26:50
11.   Uncle Miltie
Ned must let Gagne and Baez walk. We don't need a "proven closer". Broxton or Kuo can do the job. The money would be better spent acquiring a power hitting LF or a quality center fielder. I don't trust Ned and I fear that Juan Pierre will be his number one target this offseason. We already dodged that bullet once...
2006-04-06 23:31:31
12.   Uncle Miltie
8- I ran cross country, definitely not my sport. I was much better running shorter distances, like sprinting in track. One time during a race, I got a pretty bad sprain in the middle of it, but I decided to finish out the race. It took me 26 minutes. I didn't truly feel the pain until about 15 minutes after the race was over. I ended up missing about a week and a half of practice.
2006-04-06 23:34:09
13.   Bob Timmermann
This is pretty sad:

I wouldn't think many 28-year old women in good shape just drop dead suddenly.

2006-04-06 23:35:22
14.   JeffinTokyo
Can someone explain why they didn't remove the nerve in first place? Is there some value to keeping it in there? Apparently not, since it is about to be cut out.

I'm hoping (perhaps against hope) that the fact that the nerve is close to th skin will make the surgery less invasive and shorten the recovery time.

Finally, Frank Jobe is a legend and a pioneer. But, it must be said, he is also pushing it in years. Surely, he has lost a step or two on his fastball. It might be time for him to move into the coaching ranks.

2006-04-06 23:35:36
15.   Brendan
I was in high school at the time and my fellow teamates called me a you know what (female cat) for skipping the game

They called you a Queen? what were you wearing?

2006-04-06 23:37:21
16.   Eric L
13 That is sad Bob...

This line was confusing though...

"Army was Dixon's her first head coaching job."

2006-04-06 23:39:04
17.   Eric L
15 Well, a boy cat is a called a tom.. the other is called a word I can't write here...

If you must ask, I was wearing my tiara.. I tried to keep that part out of the story!

2006-04-06 23:42:00
18.   natepurcell
lol my friend just texted me and apparently hes playing poker with jerry buss right now.

what a high roller!

2006-04-06 23:42:33
19.   Bob Timmermann
But female cats (that are fertile) are queens.
2006-04-06 23:42:57
20.   Eric L
18 Tell him he needs to win Jerry's hair piece in a high stakes game!
2006-04-06 23:43:54
21.   Eric L
19 Gotcha. Darn it.. queen or the other word, still is just about the same thing.
2006-04-06 23:45:46
22.   trainwreck
That is terrible news. Has not even hit major networks yet. Really sad to see someone with so much ahead of them lose their life suddenly.
2006-04-06 23:46:27
23.   trainwreck
That kid must be loaded.
2006-04-06 23:46:35
24.   Bob Timmermann
Weirdly, the terms used for dogs (that can breed) are "dog" and the word that starts with "b".
2006-04-06 23:49:54
25.   natepurcell

actually hes not rich but hes a damn good poker player. I think buss probably isnt playing very high stakes right now.

2006-04-06 23:51:11
26.   natepurcell
okay hes playing 500 buy in NL at Barrona.

interesting. i havent played 500 NL before. the highest ive played is 100.

2006-04-06 23:53:50
27.   Andrew Shimmin
The biggest problem with the word to which Mr. L. is referring is that it's spelled just the way the adjective for pus is, rendering that word unusable in writting. Even with contextual cues, you really can't get away with it. Or, at least, I've never been able to. And it's a shame. An adjective for pus is a terrible thing to waste.
2006-04-07 00:03:21
28.   Andrew Shimmin
In addition to being unpleasant, Crash is also very silly. If I'd seen this in a theater, I'd have been thrown out for laughing at the scene with the little girl (not to give anything away). Now every story line is turning ludicrous (ha ha) at the speed of sound. Did the writers ever so much as visit the planet earth, while researching this movie?
2006-04-07 00:04:19
29.   Bob Timmermann
"Crash" is going to be made into a weekly TV series according to wire service reports today.
2006-04-07 00:11:51
30.   Andrew Shimmin
I hope they develop the chop shop owner/human trafficker character. He has a real universality about him. . .
2006-04-07 00:13:20
31.   Brendan
eric L, I knew what you meant but thought it was my one chance ever to show that I knew a female cat was called a queen. I'm sorry I had to use you to accomplish it but I was desperate. ;)


I share your opinion of that movie

2006-04-07 00:18:44
32.   Andrew Shimmin
If only they'd invent stratomatic movie game, so that I could stop watching movies, too.
2006-04-07 00:20:23
33.   Eric L
31 I knew wheere you coming from. I can't blame you.

I don't share the opinion of the movie. I thought it was pretty good (not great, best picture). It was worth a watch and some of the character sketches were interesting, but the redemptions just seemed to come way to easy.

2006-04-07 00:21:53
34.   Eric L
33 And I shouldn't type anything when it's past my bedtime.. ugh!
2006-04-07 00:27:35
35.   al bundy
A closer loses his nerve. Ugh.
2006-04-07 00:39:48
36.   Uncle Miltie
I loved Crash. Did it win any academy awards?
2006-04-07 00:45:07
37.   natepurcell
i think it won best picture.
2006-04-07 00:50:59
38.   Andrew Shimmin
Three oscars: Best Picture, Best Writing, Best Editing. Maybe the editing was good, I couldn't really tell. . .
2006-04-07 01:17:25
39.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Back to Jon's original point, I think the training staff has been a disaster for years. But the only way to create change is to bring attention to the problem. (Hopefully, a MSM beat writer will read what Jon wrote and the light bulb will turn on.) And to focus attention, it helps to have evidence.
To that end, here's a quick list of Dodger injury problems - not injuries themselves because (stuff) happens, but examples of mishandled medical situations.
Dreifort! Dreifort! Dreifort! Darren will forever be remember as injury-prone, but how much of that was the fault of his body and how much was the fault of his body's caretakers?
Werth's wrist.
Penny. Heads should've rolled the moment he threw that abortive warm-up toss after his initial biceps strain.
Odalis Perez. Not just an injury, but one that created clubhouse ill will. Remember late in the '03 season when he complained nobody believed he was hurt?
Gagne. His pitching while favoring his knee last spring, woo. Has the term "injury cascade" ever been heard in Chavez Ravine?
I recall Kevin Brown had a stretch where nagging injuries kept him sidelined.
Todd Hundley. Damaged goods when LA got him, but couldn't they have issused a pre-trade warning his elbow was toast?
That's all I can think of.
Good night.
2006-04-07 02:43:34
40.   Louis in SF
39, Great list, however when I see this list I also ask myself, what some of the management decisions were on these folks. Was it a question of, "damaged only slightly and easily repairable" I think we will never know. Jon's question which is great on paper can't translate 100% to a an easy solution.

How long did Koufax pitch in pain successfully, in my mind based on my readings at least a year. However, he would have had a perfect right to retire at least a year or two early...Kirk Gibson, played in pain throughout the playoffs and World Series. He would have been complety justified to say no to being on the WS roster in 1988 ....While I don't see any quick fix to this great question and don't know how much the additional conditioning will help other Dodgers, I hope mnagement looks at this as an opportunity to really be creative and smart with its talent. I question the call-up to replace Gagne right now, but perhaps management is waiting for a better look at the other candidates in Las Vegas. This in my mind is a year to error on the side of being aggressive-bring them up earlier, rather than waiting a year.

2006-04-07 05:51:18
41.   bluetahoe
This is TERRIBLE news about Eric Gagne. Just TERRIBLE. Thank the heavens that Ned foresaw such an occurence and made the Tampa Bay trade.

Look at our bullpen without Ned's foresight.
1) Brazoban (struggled last season)
2) Kuo (rookie)
3) Osorio (rookie)
4) Saito (rookie)
5) Hamulak (rookie)
6) ?????
7) ?????

Thanks to Ned's foresight, Baez and Carter make up for those question marks.

My initial reaction to the news was depression. But I've got my bearings back.

Look for Ned to weave more of his magic and make a trade to bolster our bullpen. Ned's already improved our offense tenfold. This is no time to panic. I have confidence Ned's a GM who can deal with the injury bug. We'll be alright.

2006-04-07 06:32:10
42.   Gen3Blue
I've heard some people say that pus is reserved for a word for the fluid found in infections such as boils and thefore puss should be used for a cat.
2006-04-07 07:04:37
43.   SMY
Tony Jackson's got a Tomko puff piece today...and I notice that the term "innings-eater" has been thrown around in the media a lot regarding mediocre pitchers. How long has this been considered a positive attribute? I don't really remember hearing about it until fairly recently.
2006-04-07 07:47:14
44.   Sam DC
Pittsburgh Pirates, the only 0-4 team in the majors.
2006-04-07 07:54:23
45.   underdog
I echo Jon's comments above, took the words right out of my keyboard. I also don't know more than diddly and squat when it comes to sports team medical and training staffs so I don't think it'd be right to judge the quality of the Dodgers' - only to reflect on what seems more than just a series of unfortunate events.

I do know these things:
1) I, too, am thankful Colletti traded for Baez.
2) I know someone else, also an athlete (not a pro) who had similar nerve surgery - also a nerve near the surface of the arm and she was back to playing softball less than two months later. That said, this wasn't Gagne we're talking about here and the question for me isn't will he be able to pitch again and relatively soon, because I think the answer is yes to both, but how effectively?

Also: Why did they call up Saito? They think Broxton's not quite ready, or wouldn't pitch enough, I'm guessing? Saito's more of a "veteran"? Not necessarily criticizing the move, just wondering aloud...

Anyway, here's to an injury free weekend. Otherwise, this is starting to seem like an Agatha Christie movie.

2006-04-07 07:57:16
46.   Howard Fox
I only have a moment, but I feel the urge to weigh (no pun intended) in here about Gagne.

At Friday night's Angel game, my wife commented how much thinner he looked than the last couple of years. Isn't that what everyone has been doing when comparing pictures of Bonds before and after?

Cowherd on ESPNRadio has been going off this morning about Gagne and steroids, and how the problem can't be confined to just hitters. He is more often than not a blowhard, but its hard to argue with him on this.

I think, although he will never say it, Coletti saw the writing on the wall. That is why we have a new closer.

2006-04-07 08:02:38
47.   underdog
44 I hope they win 1 or 2 before the Dodgers play them next week - then they'd be overdue, make me nervous...

46 It may be true NC saw the writing on the wall about Gagne, but not about steroids, about his health in general. It's easy right now to make assumptions because of the steroid obsession and it's certainly possible this affected Gagne somehow, but there's plenty of evidence to the contrary, or to that it's a coincidence. The guy's body seemed less steroid-driven and more porkchop-formed. The decline in zip in his fastball is likely due to all the arm problems and pain. I still say they should have given him a bionic arm a year ago when they had the chance.

2006-04-07 08:04:33
48.   Jesse
i've been in and out for a while, and forgive me if this was already covered, but bluetahoe is ned colletti, right?

anyhow- "bluetahoe" ;)

we really do appreciate your nostradomus like forecast in getting solid bodied relievers baez and carter. after their aquisition, i was kind of secretly hoping gagne would go down. i'd also like to thank you for your wisdom in backing up other injury prone position with capable able bodied iron men like olmedo saenz, sandy alomar jr., ramon part deux, cody ross, and jason repko.

in humble gratitude,


2006-04-07 08:05:45
49.   screwballin
Curious how many of us who are dismayed about Gagne silently pitching in pain have also dogged JD for not playing in pain? I've seen more than a little of the latter on this board.

Maybe Gagne pitched in pain because of the enormous pressure and derision from the media, fellow players, coaches, and even intelligent fans such as those found here.

2006-04-07 08:10:22
50.   Vishal
"bluetahoe" is ned colletti, right?


i'm sure it's not mr. ned. ned doesn't use computers, remember?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-04-07 08:13:29
51.   Jesse
good you brought that up screwballin'. i heard from a very good source that gagne would regularly check dodgerthoughts for medical advise. i also heard he was on steroids. and that he sniffed glue. and that he'd killed a hobo.
2006-04-07 08:16:20
52.   Howard Fox
51 it wasn't a hobo, it was the neighbor's dog
2006-04-07 08:22:27
53.   Gen3Blue
49 an interesting observation. I am perhaps a bit guilty in this respect.

BTW has Ramon II begun wearing #18. In the 4/5 photo gallery there is an unnamed Dodger apparently playing 2nd wearing #18 who I don't recognize ( at this point in the season it would be unusual for me to recognize more than a handful).

2006-04-07 08:24:28
54.   Steve
When was Eric Gagne ever in Reno?
2006-04-07 08:26:28
55.   Penarol1916
49. I'd say that this board was actually much more forgiving of Drew sitting out than most fans or media outlets.

I have a question about the minor league line-ups yesterday. Isn't Corey Dunlap one of our 1B prospects? Was injured and that's why he didn't play or did we get rid of him sometime this off-season?

2006-04-07 08:28:42
56.   Gen3Blue
Also--#'s become very important when there is no name. It's an interesting coincidence that we gave up names for two years of total roster churning. We may have saved big bucks!
2006-04-07 08:36:04
57.   D4P
The guy's body seemed less steroid-driven and more porkchop-formed.

I'm no expert, but I think the belief that "If you use steroids, you will be buff" is a myth. In order to be buff, I think you probably also need to work out. Steroids without working out, however, nevertheless aid recovery and recuperation, which is critical for closers who pitch almost every day.

2006-04-07 08:36:07
58.   natepurcell
I have a question about the minor league line-ups yesterday. Isn't Corey Dunlap one of our 1B prospects? Was injured and that's why he didn't play or did we get rid of him sometime this off-season?

he came into camp way out of shape and is too fat to play baseball so he is in extended spring training.

2006-04-07 08:41:44
59.   Gen3Blue
he came into camp way out of shape and is too fat to play baseball so he is in extended spring training.

He is on the roster at Vero Beach but they didn't roll him out to play yesterday-pun intended!

2006-04-07 08:42:29
60.   Penarol1916
58. I knew I could count on you to have the information.
2006-04-07 08:44:32
61.   Gen3Blue
I've got 1/2 of it. How do you hi-lite the bit you drag in from another post? Any help appreciated.
2006-04-07 08:47:54
62.   screwballin
55 I'd say that this board was actually much more forgiving of Drew sitting out than most fans or media outlets.

So would I. But that's not saying much, since the typical opinion elsewhere is that nothing short of arterial spray should keep a player off the field.

Shawn Green changed me for good on this when he revealed, after struggling all season in 2003, that he'd been playing with a sore shoulder. A few weeks off might have made a big difference.

2006-04-07 08:49:41
63.   screwballin
How do you hi-lite the bit you drag in from another post?

Asterisks at the beginning and end of the passage.

2006-04-07 08:58:10
64.   Steve
Adrian Beltre and Brett Tomko have the same birthday. After tonight, they may have the same OPS.
2006-04-07 09:00:20
65.   natepurcell
over/under on number of homeruns given up by tomko tonight?

lets start the betting line at 2.

2006-04-07 09:04:22
66.   still bevens

Isnt that line pretty much consistent with every game so far this season?

2006-04-07 09:09:30
67.   Gen3Blue
63 Thanx
2006-04-07 09:10:35
68.   natepurcell
Know what game im watching tonight? As vs mariners. King Felix on the hill!
2006-04-07 09:11:57
69.   Bob Timmermann
I was more surprised to find out that Ramon Martinez II is from Philadelphia. I just assumed he was from the Dominican Republic like Ramon I.

Does anyone have photographic proof that Kenny Lofton indeed wears 6 in a Dodgers uniform?

2006-04-07 09:19:37
70.   Gen3Blue
69 Dodger Photo Gallery--3/26 II
2006-04-07 09:28:07
71.   Daniel Zappala
2006-04-07 09:34:16
72.   Nolan

It seems clear that he'll lose some sensation in two of his fingers...

2006-04-07 09:34:50
73.   Nolan

It seems clear that he'll lose some sensation in two of his fingers...

2006-04-07 09:36:58
74.   gvette
Once witnessed "The Naked Truth" star Tea Leoni,her husband Mr. X Files, and their entourage jump the line at a restaurant for breakfast. Typical LA behavior, but still pretty classless to the other people waiting in line half an hour for a table. After that I can't say I'm particularly interested in her career prospects.

As for Gagne, clearly he wasn't right all spring, capped off by his poor outing in the Freeway Series. Even without this latest problem,he was going to have to be brought along slowly this year anyway.

Baez gets a lot of grief on this site, perhaps because many commenters prefer the lure of the potential of minor leaguers.

But despite his perceived flaws, the guy saved a lot of games for a garbage team, and has the added incentive of his walk year. We'll just have to wait and see.

2006-04-07 09:39:13
75.   natepurcell
re 73

if it is his ulnar nerve, but stan johnson the trainer said it was just a "sensory nerve" just under the skin. we'll see though.

2006-04-07 09:41:23
76.   Jon Weisman
Thanks, Nolan. Just noticed that Will Carroll's article today is up at BP.

2006-04-07 09:45:56
77.   Bob Timmermann
So Kenny Lofton really does exist? Wow.

Will uses yet another spelling of Baez's first name. He uses Danny.

I need standardization!

2006-04-07 09:45:59
78.   Jon Weisman
I posted an excerpt in the main post above.
2006-04-07 09:52:51
79.   still bevens

I have no love for Tea Leoni. I also remember The Naked Truth being like the 3rd sitcom on the 3rd network functioning as Leoni's star vehicle and she flared out every single time. I still have no idea what H'Wood sees in her. Casting couch might have something to do with it.

2006-04-07 09:59:11
80.   ElysianPark62
Once witnessed "The Naked Truth" star Tea Leoni,her husband Mr. X Files, and their entourage jump the line at a restaurant for breakfast. Typical LA behavior, but still pretty classless to the other people waiting in line half an hour for a table.

Typical "Hollywood celebrity behavior," probably, but please don't generalize to all people in Los Angeles. There are far more regular joes here. I am really tired of the stereotypes.

On to baseball--I agree with Jon that a lot of the responsibility lies with Gagne. I've doubted the medical staff and their brimming optimism for a few years now.

But the player also has to communicate when he's hurting, and Gagne is a fiery competitor, which is also his weakness. He pushed himself to get out there last spring on a bad knee. Colborn, Tracy, and the rest of the staff let him, which was inexcusable to me, as well as unbelievable. The hopping around was the starkest communication you could get, and it was discounted--more stupidity. I will never understand why they wouldn't give the knee a little more time to heal, even if it meant not being ready for the season, rather than risking more serious injury. We can never prove the theory that the knee injury caused the elbow problems, but it is entirely reasonable to believe it did.

2006-04-07 10:00:47
81.   jystakes
Gagne was pitching in pain all spring training to the detriment of his arm, the team and all of us. We are all upset because of it since had he been honest, he would have sat out and perhaps had surgery performed on his arm earlier. I get all of that. However, to view it a different way, where do you draw the line between a player needing to be honest with the team with his injuries and (for lack of a better word) a player being a brittle wuss? I've seen JD Drew, for example, get abused for being too brittle, afraid to play through pain, and not being a "gamer". Maybe Gagne was just proving he's a "warrior"? I think definitely not in this case (also considering it was just spring training), but in my opinion, it raises an interesting question and places players in a difficult position.
2006-04-07 10:01:31
82.   Blu2
50 Actually 'bluetahoe' is really Kevin Spacey...
2006-04-07 10:03:53
83.   Bob Timmermann
I wonder if Gagne's past experiences with hockey have given him somewhat of a Black Knight "Oh, it's just a scratch" sort of attitude about injuries.
2006-04-07 10:05:25
84.   Jon Weisman
81 - That's why when a player says he can't play, you need to give him the benefit of the doubt. I've always said this.
2006-04-07 10:10:06
85.   jasonungar05
I think playing in pain and playing through injury are totally different things.
2006-04-07 10:11:08
86.   underdog
83 I was thinking the exact same thing - really - hockey can do that to people. Gagne's got the hockey warrior mentality and it can be a plus in game situations and a detriment in situations like this.

And not to be too pollyanna-ish, but for anyone who is fretting about the Dodgers this early in the year, just a reminder:
Record to start 2005: 12 and 2.

As for tonight, I predict Tomko gives up one home run (tough lineup to keep homer-less), but the game is close.

2006-04-07 10:12:00
87.   Andrew Shimmin
So, when they deadened up his screwy nerve, and he was able to pitch without pain, they had a radar gun handy, right?
2006-04-07 10:19:10
88.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
84 - Only if it fits within an established narrative, Jon.
"Paging Mr. Drew. Mr J.D. Drew, please come to the white paging phone."
2006-04-07 10:20:43
89.   jystakes
85 - how could you be playing through pain without some form of injury to your body? Unless you're pointing out the exceptions of perhaps playing with the flu or food poisoning?
2006-04-07 10:23:36
90.   natepurcell
a little off topic, but im looking at the free agent class for next year and man, it looks really weak.

some notables:
aubrey huff
derrek lee
alphonso soriano
melvin mora
carlos lee
milton bradley
juan pierre
jose gullien
jason schmidt
kerry wood (cubs will buy him out)
kelvim escobar
andy pettitte
mark mulder
barry zito

Derrek Lee is probably the class of the bunch, and i dont see him leaving the cubs.

2006-04-07 10:31:34
91.   fawnkyj
I read somewhere that Jim Edmonds might be a free agent after this year too.
2006-04-07 10:34:04
92.   jystakes
Wow, tempting to go after Lee. Triple crown threat gold glover in his prime. Doesn't he have ties to LA?
2006-04-07 10:34:48
93.   natepurcell
the cardinals hold a 10 mil club option on edmonds. I personally think they will exercise.
2006-04-07 10:48:52
94.   Daniel Zappala
The Dodgers don't want Edmonds anyway. The Cardinals were brilliant to make that trade with the Angels (Kennedy and Bottenfield), but he is way past his prime. Even the Cardinals, I think, will be leery of keeping him on. The last thing the Dodgers need is another aging star.
2006-04-07 10:49:21
95.   underdog
Yeah the two Lees are the only appealing names on that list to me, although I wouldn't mind Mulder on the Dodgers (but he's beyond exorbitant at this point)
2006-04-07 10:50:34
96.   bigcpa
Billingsley's AAA debut at home vs. Fresno:

5ip, 4h, 2er, 2bb, 3k, 1hr, 7-2 WIN
73 pitches (48/25)

Jacksonville picked up where they left off with a 2-0 win on a Brad Cresse walkoff 2-run HR. 5ip, 4k, 1bb for starter Danny Muegge. LaRoche 1-4. Top of the order is Abreu, Hu, Kemp, LaRoche.

2006-04-07 10:51:46
97.   underdog
PS: What, no "Milton Bradley is a free agent?!" comments? ;-)
2006-04-07 10:52:45
98.   underdog
Muegge was one of the guys they got in the Shawn Green trade right?
2006-04-07 10:53:12
99.   gvette
80--I know there are a lot of "regular Joes' in LA (I was born,raised and live here) because all of us were sitting together watching C-list celebrity Leoni steal our tables.
2006-04-07 10:59:46
100.   Daniel Zappala
97 Maybe the Angels can pick him up. They'll need someone to replace Erstad and/or Anderson.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-04-07 11:02:10
101.   Marty
Isn't jumping ahead in the table line prohibited in Scientology?
2006-04-07 11:02:14
102.   Eric Enders
"Yeah the two Lees are the only appealing names on that list to me, although I wouldn't mind Mulder on the Dodgers (but he's beyond exorbitant at this point)"

Mulder appears to be midway through a total collapse; his acquisition would almost certainly be disastrous.

To me, the two most appealing names on that list are Derrek Lee and, I hate to say it, Milton Bradley. Also, Melvin Mora could be a good pickup. He's one of the 10 best hitters in baseball, can play multiple positions, and would likely come relatively cheaply since he's nowhere near as famous as players of his caliber usually are.

Unfortunately, Colletti so far seems much more interested in a player's reputation than in his actual performance on the field. (Read: Garciaparra)

2006-04-07 11:05:15
103.   jasonungar05
From Todays Denver Post:

The sellout crowd was ready to erupt in the eighth inning. Closer Brian Fuentes jogged in to the intimidating riff of, um, Village People's "YMCA."

"Oh, I heard it. I was waiting for my song to come on, then crickets. It was disappointing," Fuentes said before Wednesday's game. "There's definitely a big difference when you come in and it's 'YMCA' instead of my song being played loud. That gets the adrenaline going and the crowd into it."

Beginning last season, Fuentes has entered to Staind's "For You," a much harder rocking tune.

A mini-controversy bubbled in New York on Tuesday, with talk-radio callers angry that the Mets' Billy Wagner had the audacity to enter to Metallica's "Enter Sandman," a song for years identified with Yankees' legend Mariano Rivera.

Rivera said he didn't mind if Wagner continued using the tune, and Metallica's manager offered his blessing.

So, back to the issue at hand, what is Baez gonna enter with?

2006-04-07 11:10:21
104.   Vishal
[103] i vote for don ho's "tiny bubbles".
2006-04-07 11:12:55
105.   D4P
So, back to the issue at hand, what is Baez gonna enter with?

And even though we ain't got money, I'm so in love with ya honey,
And everything will bring a chain of love.
And in the morning when I rise, you bring a tear of joy to my eyes,
And tell me everything is gonna be alright.

2006-04-07 11:13:12
106.   Kayaker7
104 about Lionel Richie's "All Night Long."
2006-04-07 11:13:41
107.   underdog
102 True - perhaps I should have said "overpriced" re Mulder because he does appear on the downswing, though I'm not convinced it's for good. But decidedly not worth his asking price.

I like Mora, too. Would LA want to invest in a 3rd baseman, when they already signed Mueller through next year and have LaRoche (and Blake DeWitt). Probably not, unless they want to do what they're doing with others - move him to another position. Could certainly use his power...

2006-04-07 11:13:43
108.   Andrew Shimmin
103- Love the One You're With
2006-04-07 11:13:59
109.   Marty
103 "I'm a (c)loser"
2006-04-07 11:14:26
110.   heato
103 - Why Can't We Be Friends (to rip off the Simpsons)
2006-04-07 11:15:28
111.   Bob Timmermann
"Guantamera" should be Baez's theme song.

Yo soy un hombre sincero
de donde cresce
la palma
y antes morir me quiero
echar mi versos de l'alma.

It would make me run through a brick wall.

2006-04-07 11:15:56
112.   Bob Timmermann
I would also suggest folks read the new Cub Town post.
2006-04-07 11:16:00
113.   regfairfield
107 Mora's played a lot of outfield.
2006-04-07 11:16:24
114.   jystakes
103 - Hansen's "Mmm bop"?
2006-04-07 11:18:17
115.   Steve
103 -- "Runaround"
2006-04-07 11:18:27
116.   jasonungar05
feeling hot, hot, hot by Buster Poindexter
2006-04-07 11:19:11
117.   underdog
113 Ah hah! I'm sold. [g]
2006-04-07 11:24:24
118.   the count
103 - "Why do you build me up, buttercup?"
2006-04-07 11:25:39
119.   Bob Timmermann
If I were a baseball player, my "personal songs" would either be "Girl from the North Country" by Bob Dylan (or the Dylan-Cash version) or "Pictures at an Exhibition" by Mussorgsky.
2006-04-07 11:31:06
120.   screwballin
The Cubs broadcasters just said Derrek Lee is expected to sign a contract extension as soon as this weekend.

And then Lee goes deep...

2006-04-07 11:31:15
121.   Brendan

Your throat wouldn't survive the rubber ball assault if they played either song.

2006-04-07 11:32:13
122.   Steve
118 -- classic

Apparently Lee hit it into the wind.

2006-04-07 11:32:52
123.   screwballin
119 If I were a pitcher, I'd have to go with the Chili Peppers version of "Higher Ground."
2006-04-07 11:36:01
124.   jystakes
103 - "Hit me baby, one more time" Britney spears
2006-04-07 11:36:24
125.   bigcpa
I'm going with Pink Floyd's "Money" or "If I Were a Rich Man."
2006-04-07 11:37:50
126.   Humma Kavula

You say you're lookin' for someone
Who's never weak, but always strong
To protect you and defend you
Whether you are right or wrong
Someone to open each and every door...
But it ain't me, babe
No, no, no,
It ain't me, babe
It ain't me you're lookin' for babe.

2006-04-07 11:38:51
127.   Kayaker7
124 LOL..."Oops I Did It Again" works too.
2006-04-07 11:41:19
128.   Bob Timmermann
Can I use "Maggie's Farm" then?
2006-04-07 11:44:14
129.   Brendan

Oh, of course.

2006-04-07 11:45:04
130.   Inside Baseball
103 - "Blame Canada"
2006-04-07 11:45:15
131.   Marty
Since I'm a well-known Clash fan, I'd use Death or Glory.
2006-04-07 11:47:26
132.   underdog
I think it should be Defari's "405" song:

I wanna fly the world, like (??)
flies, to Is-rael, and like Ishmael Valdez
I pitch heat, lyrically
Over rugged beats under the ground, from the mainstream
See where I dwells, it's all about skills
This MC walk the walk when he talk, plus get on the wheels

But there's some explicitness - the PA folks wouldn't play it. Oh well!

2006-04-07 11:47:29
133.   fawnkyj
The beginning of Inna Gadd Da Vida is real cool for entrance song, as does Sunshine of Your Love. Seven Nation Army by the white strips, or anything from Public Enemy works too.
2006-04-07 11:48:41
134.   Steve
When I get me some Cubbies, I expect to get my Neifi Fix. This rookie who can hit is just completely unacceptable.
2006-04-07 11:48:54
135.   Buffalo Jones
"Bang a Gong" by T. Rex
2006-04-07 11:49:17
136.   fawnkyj
Wait a sec this is the perfect entrance:

The lights go out in the whole stadium, No Quarter by Led Zeppelin and cue the smog machine with flashing strobe lights. now thats an entrance!

2006-04-07 11:52:10
137.   Bob Timmermann
Of course if you turn off the lights at Dodger Stadium, they take about 20 minutes to go back on.
2006-04-07 11:54:44
138.   screwballin
137 Not to mention about 20 people get mugged in the bleachers...
2006-04-07 11:59:21
139.   regfairfield
If anyone's interested, Hacking Mass has started at BP.
2006-04-07 11:59:28
140.   Steve
Never mind, Neifi is hitting second.
2006-04-07 11:59:53
141.   Humma Kavula
138 And the loge, if you don't have any grey poupon to soothe the beasts.
2006-04-07 12:00:56
142.   fawnkyj
ok so a couple people get mugged, it happens in LA everyday anyways.
2006-04-07 12:11:20
143.   jasonungar05
Dylan is my favorite.

If goin with Dylan, how about changing of the guard?? Or

Don't fall apart on me tonight..
Don't think twice it's alright..
Drifters Escape..
Everything is broken
Going, Going
High Water (everywhere)
If not for you
It Hurts Me Too
It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry
It's All Over Now, Baby(Dodger) Blue
It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
Most Likely You Go Your Way and I'll Go Mine
Not Dark Yet
One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)
The Times They Are A-Changin'

2006-04-07 12:32:32
144.   Daniel Zappala
If we're going to use Guantanamera for Dennys Baez, then of course it must be sung by Joan Baez, from her Gracias A la Vida album.
2006-04-07 12:33:37
145.   Andrew Shimmin
Dylan's cover is okay, but It Hurts Me Too is Elmore James's song, and that's the end of the matter.
2006-04-07 12:39:59
146.   JimBilly4
Closers are all about marketing. The fans want to hear intimidation. I would suggest Motorhead's I'm So Bad (Baby I Don't Care).

I make love to mountain lions,
Sleep on red-hot branding irons,
When I walk the roadway shakes,
Bed's a mess of rattlesnakes,
Voodoo child, black cat bone,
Scratch your back, hear you moan,
Get me up, you go down, tall building, single bound,

War and peace, peace and love, say it if you dare,
Iron fist, velvet glove,
I'm so bad, baby I don't care,"

2006-04-07 12:46:37
147.   Daniel Zappala
Just read that Nomar is on the pre-season offensively-overated players (OOPs) team:

Old friend Paul LoDuca and longtime nemesis Darin Erstad also make appearances.

Concerning Nomar:

... we believe Garciaparra is no longer anywhere close to the hitter he was the first six years of his career...The writing is on the wall for this signing to look bad for all involved, as a healthy season could yield .290/.330/.440 production.

2006-04-07 13:00:33
148.   CT Bum
How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?

No really, since I'm a Bruce Tramp I'll go with the opening to Born To Run (although that sends the wrong message to the opposition doesn't it?) How about Ramrod then?

This sux. Our season is not even a week old, and it already seems like it's over.

This must be what it feels like to be a Royals fan.

2006-04-07 13:04:17
149.   Blu2
90 You left off some great names:


2006-04-07 13:07:57
150.   D4P
offensively-overated players

Is the accent in the first word on the first or second syllable...?

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-04-07 13:09:37
151.   rjc41276
Surgery is done, Gagne is out 2 months. (from
2006-04-07 13:14:57
152.   Sam DC
Neifi! appears to be 3-4 today.
2006-04-07 13:19:34
153.   regfairfield
I hope Ronny Cedeno enjoyed his three days at shortstop.
2006-04-07 13:23:01
154.   sanchez101
Bob Dylan for a closer intro song? How about Bob Denver or Mozart? Come on, its supposed to instill fear in the opposition and excite the crowd. Metallica songs are pretty cleche(sp?), but Ride the Lighting has a perfect intro for a closer.
2006-04-07 13:23:10
155.   Daniel Zappala
150 both syllables
2006-04-07 13:24:58
156.   Johnson
119 Good choice of Mussorgsky, Bob, but which movement of "Pictures"? "Great Gate of Kiev" might actually work, but "Ballet of the Unhatched Chickens" would probably be a bit consternating. I think I'd like to go with a selection from the B section of the second movement of Bernstein's Chichester Psalms. But then again, I'm weird.
2006-04-07 13:28:32
157.   Bob Timmermann
I'm afraid I went to the well too many times with my Mussorgsky joke there.

The link for the article is

So "two months" in Dodgers medical staff lingo translates to how many months/years/decades in real time?

2006-04-07 13:29:11
158.   T Money
There's a Philip Glass composition with, like, a minute and a half of silence in the middle. I think I'd use that. I have to figure that it would go over big with the bleacher crowd. They LOVE Philip Glass out there. Just love him.
2006-04-07 13:31:43
159.   Eric Enders
Molitor used to use "Born to Run" as his batting song. He and Ron Coomer once did what I'd like to do -- spend a whole winter riding around the country on motorcycles following Springsteen's tour around.

Barry Bonds, obviously, should be using Wilco's "A Shot in the Arm."

As for myself, I'd use one of these...
Rage Against the Machine's version of "Maggie's Farm"
Curtis Mayfield's "Superfly"
Springsteen's "Roulette"
Zevon's "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner"
Gil Scott-Heron's "Whitey on the Moon"

Something, in other words, that would make most of the fans in the stands wonder "What the &%$# is that all about?"

2006-04-07 13:33:12
160.   sanchez101
157. Well, initially it was 4-6 weeks, now its two months, at this rate Gagne wont even have a right arm by July:

Dr. Jobe: "Well, we had to amutate the arm, turns out its been hurting his whole life and he just never told any one about it. Luckily we didnt have to amutate the whole arm, we saved his tattoos. He'll be back by spring training."

2006-04-07 13:38:22
161.   King of the Hobos
Is it safe to assume that Saito's 40 man spot will be Gagne's spot after Gagne heads to the 60 day DL?
2006-04-07 13:45:16
162.   Johnson
158 Just use John Cage's "4:33". You could even play it on a loop throughout the ninth.
2006-04-07 13:46:20
163.   Johnson
157 Sorry I broke that for you. My apologies.
2006-04-07 13:49:00
164.   Andrew Shimmin
The Carroll article Jon linked says that there's "no real track record" for this surgery with pro pitchers. So, I can't see putting any credence in the Dodgers' ETA. Anybody want to offer odds on Godot coming back before Gagne?
2006-04-07 13:51:04
165.   Telemachos
My apologies if this was discussed in an earlier blog entry, but why Saito? Seems like a more obvious choice (at least in terms of filling a need) would be a position player or someone to help out in the setup area -- Broxton, perhaps.

Instead we get Saito?

2006-04-07 13:53:18
166.   Jon Weisman
Game chat thread is open early up top.

165 - I think they think that Broxton needs a bit more seasoning. But I wouldn't get too wrapped up in this. Things are going to be in flux for a while.

2006-04-07 14:00:12
167.   Telemachos
Agreed, Jon. This feels sort of like an extended spring training, with the results unfortunately counting in the win/loss column.
2006-04-07 14:12:45
168.   dsfan
I appreciate Jon's sense of fair play when he writes that he's unwilling to take a shot at the medical staff because he doesn't have enough knowledge of the Gagne dynamics.

However, it was evident that Gagne was hobbled by the knee injury when he faced several batters in a spring-training game last year. That was inexcusable. I'm not sure what the chain of command was, but it's safe to aassume that it begins with the training staff, then moves up to the manager, followed by the GM. Gagne should never have thrown one in-game pitch while hobbled by that knee injury. Until he showed he could dial it up in the bullpen, you simply exempt him from all games.

I also disagree with implications that his varied work routine down the stretch in 2004 didn't have a residual effect, but that's another debate for another day.

2006-04-07 14:14:56
169.   dsfan

Broxton needs more than seasoning. He needs to get in shape. He was grossly overweight entering spring training and according to some accounts his velocity was down.

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