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About Jon
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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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That's a Paddlin'
2006-05-25 10:26
by Jon Weisman

Fifteen wins, three losses.

Runs scored: 120. Runs allowed: 57.

The last time I waxed about a Dodger hot streak was right when the team was 12-2 last year, and we know what happened after that. Still, other than the possibility that it might have been a jinx, there isn't much I really need to disavow about that post, which didn't suggest that the team would maintain such a ridiculous pace (though neither did I gather that the team would collapse under the weight of injuries and Jim Tracy-Paul DePodesta conflict). Mostly, it was about enjoying the long moment.

Good teams and bad can go on 12-2 runs during a season, but for me, there's an aura to being 12-2. And since J.D. Drew homered in the eighth inning to tie the game and since Jose Valentin tripled in the 10th inning to win it, I haven't stopped shaking my head.

Winning breeds chemistry. You can see it in the elation of Valentin, Odalis Perez, Milton Bradley, Duaner Sanchez - those are just a few of the people I saw jumping up and down in the dugout after the Dodgers took their first lead of the game. You can hear it in the fascination in the voice of Vin Scully, "privileged" to be one of the announcers for the all-time great Dodger team of 1955 and amazed that a group of guys thrown together in 2005 could challenge the camaraderie of their predecessors of exactly 50 years ago. And you can feel it in your own skin - that tingle that makes you so jumpy, you can't sit down. It's not life or death, it's just fun.

That list of names in the last paragraph shows you how fleeting happiness can be, huh? That's Cautionary Tale No. 1.

Cautionary Tale No. 2 is that the Dodgers' current run of 15 wins in 18 games has only served to put the team in second place in the National League West and tied for wild-card position with Cincinnati. So in a sense, they've only just begun … to contend. More from last April:

Yes, the Dodgers will hit their rough spot. Last season, the team started 22-10 and built an eight-game lead over the Giants, only to go 15-25 and let San Francisco back in.

But I've made this point during the previous two seasons - in 2003 when the Dodgers trailed the Giants early, and 2004 when they led them. The beauty of a cushion is that you can lose it. You have some breathing room. You can regroup. And if a team catches you by making up a lot of ground, odds are that team spent its best run and is due to fall back.

So much for the cautionary tales. Now, for some bridled enthusiasm.

I've said it often enough that I'm already tired of it, but my mantra all year has been that because it was becoming time for prospects to mature, the Dodgers would get better as the season progressed. That didn't take into account Aaron Sele somehow fooling major league hitters with his 84-mile-per-hour-or-less stuff, but I still have the faith. As Rob McMillin points out at 6-4-2, "It does appear that the Dodgers' streak lately has been fueled by a fair amount of luck on batted balls, but not overly so."

This year's Dodgers are in a good group. Thirteen teams in Los Angeles Dodger history have had an 18-game run of 15 wins or more, according to Six of those teams finished in first place and six more finished in second (including the 1962 and 1980 teams that lost in pre-postseason playoffs). Nine of the teams won at least 90 games, and only the 1993 team won fewer than 88.

Year18-Game RunSeason RecordNL (West) Finish

Not bad. But the best sign for the Dodgers right now is the domination they've shown during the current run, OPSing an astonishing .894 (including a team on-base percentage of .400) vs. an opponents' OPS of .642 (according to Baseball Musings). They might not have a cushion in the standings, but they do have a cushion in terms of how they've been overwhelming their opponents. Only in 1965 and 2004 have the Los Angeles Dodgers doubled up their opponents scoring over an 18-game period (different times in '65, when the scoring in one stretch was 58-27). Think about this: For the entire season, the team has either won or held at least a three-run lead in 72 percent of its games this year.

The NL West hasn't given up its fight yet, and the Dodgers will stop playing .833 ball any day now. A .331 batting average with men on first base, a .332 batting average with men in scoring position - no, I don't think numbers like those will hold. That doesn't mean there aren't reasons to be excited.

Comments (130)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-05-25 10:48:18
1.   Bob Timmermann
Is this Jon Weisman's version of Alan Greenspan warning us against "Irrational Exuberance"?

Or is Jon more like the new guy, Ben Bernanke, and he'll just leak info to Maria Bartiromo at a party?

2006-05-25 10:52:21
2.   ToyCannon
One earned run in the last 41 innings for the starters according to the Daily News.

With Furcal heating up it seems that Nomar, JD, Kent, and even Aybar always have someone on base when they bat. I love watching the rabbits run and the heavy hitters knock them in. I was very giddy after the 12-2 start so I could be in for a rude awakening but I do like watching this team play.

2006-05-25 10:57:20
3.   Jon Weisman
1 - Considering there hasn't been much irrational exuberance on this site, aside from Bluetahoe, I was trying to encourage as much as discourage.

I think some of Bluetahoe's posts have been over-the-top, but there's nothing wrong with his excitement.

2006-05-25 11:01:08
4.   Sam DC
Wow -- the Inside the Dodgers guy (diplomatically) lays into TJ Simers today.
2006-05-25 11:02:11
5.   DougS
One of the nuggests of wisdom that I took from my time of reading Bill James religiously is that really good teams don't really give a hoot about 1-run games; they win by larger margins than that. So I take Jon's point about the Dodgers not only winning, but winning by pretty decent margins to be a good indicator.
2006-05-25 11:03:05
6.   Humma Kavula
I know that I'm still feeling burned by going over the moon for this team a year ago... watching them go 12-2 earned my love, and then, going 59-89 the rest of the way was very, very frustrating for me.

My enthusiasm is bridled at the moment. I'm keeping one eye on all the reasons why this might fall apart -- all the things you mentioned...

...but I'm only keeping one eye on that stuff. The other eye is starting to go googly with love for the team.

2006-05-25 11:13:05
7.   Marty
I have to say, I was very skeptical about Nomar and Lofton. Those two are very pleasant surprises to me, especially Mr. Hamm. This has been a very fun team to watch and here's hoping it continues.
2006-05-25 11:13:31
8.   GoBears
5 Yeah, one way to hide your bullpen and ride out Gagne's injury is to win every game by 5 runs. Shows again how spending $14M on two "closers" is kinda dumb.

I didn't read it, but from the paraphrase offered here, it sounds like Plaschke was right (for the wrong reasons) about the 2006 Dodgers resembling the 2002 Angels. No HRs, lots of "long-sequence" innings. Last night: 11 singles, 1 double.

The one thing these Dodgers add to the formula is walks. Which is a good thing. The only other way to do it is to have everyone in the lineup hitting .300 (which those Angels did for a while) and that requires insane amounts of luck on BABIP. So the walks are quite nice.

2006-05-25 11:14:40
9.   Sam DC
Nationals up 7-1 on Andy Pettite. Looks like it will be a clash of the hot and the supernova in DC this weekend.

Here's a link to the NOAA's DC weather page: Chance of rain friday, small chance saturday, sunday looks impossibly beautiful.

2006-05-25 11:18:10
10.   Sam DC
The Mets run Jeremi Gonzales out to face division rivals Philadelphia and Randy Meyers. So far this year, Gonzales has given up 14 hits and 9 ER in 8 innings. Only 3 walks though.
2006-05-25 11:36:38
11.   Daniel
I've waited two years to finally see Vegas play in Round Rock. I should get to see Billingsly pitch tonight and hopefully some good hitting from Loney, Guzman and Young. RR pitching has had their number with two shutouts in a row.
2006-05-25 11:37:05
12.   NPB
I've seen a lot of Dodgers ups and downs over the years, and the last time I can remember dominance like this was at somepoint midsummer of 1988, when it became clear that, for some reason, the Dodgers were going to the playoffs. I believe it was a Franklin Stubbs grand-slam against the Cardinals that persuaded me. Anyway, this team, in terms of pure talent, is way better than that one. And this is definitely the best crop of rookies to show up in more than a decade.

Any number of things can go wrong still, but I, for one, am glad I've got tickets locked up for a few late-season games. Now all we need is a self-flagellating albino.

2006-05-25 11:43:23
13.   Bob Timmermann
The Royals scored six runs in the first inning against the Tigers and KO'd Mike Maroth. They hit three home runs!

The heroic trio of Graffanino, Berroa, and Mientkiewicz went back-to-back.

I'm really curious to see how the Royals will blow this game.

That team is truly dreadful. I feel very sorry for Royals fans.

2006-05-25 11:45:47
14.   bhsportsguy
5-1 in a span of 9 games against the Rockies may not seem like much but I think that does bode well for this team.

Also, the one predictible thing about Grady is his unpredictability regarding his bullpen usage. No time or energy to do this but I cannot recall Tracy having his relievers throw 2 innings on a consistent basis. In this homestand, Baez did it once, Broxton twice and I think Beimel did it once. And these were in games where most of the time the Dodgers had a grand slam proof lead.

Right now, the latest Grady pecking order in the bullpen in order of preference must be Saito, Baez, Broxton, Beimel, Hamaluck, Carter. Odalis is in own separate place. Would be surprised if they DFAed anyone, more likely Carter or Hamaluck get sent down when Gagne returns.

Last night, "A" Martinez said that Odalis has been a good guy about his situation but he has also rightly said that the Dodgers can't keep 9MM on the bench forever.

I believe it was Rob Neyer or Jayson Stark on that said that he would not be surprised to see Odalis (and Jose Cruz, Jr.) in pinstripes (always slimming Odalis) in June.

I'm sure some here would take a couple slices of John's pizza in return for that deal.

2006-05-25 11:50:21
15.   bluetahoe
The Dodgers are on FIRE!!! GO BLUE!!

What I'm most excited about is the fact our pitching has come around. Our starters are in a GROOVE. Our bullpen is finally getting its act straight. JBrox is reminding me a lot of Mota. When Gagne comes back, the nickname of our bullpen should be "THE FAB FIVE", featuring Gagne, Saito and the "B" Boys (pronounced bo-eeez)The B Boys of course being Broxy, Beimel, and Baez.

Anyone going to tomorrows night game? I am. I'll be there for all 3. YIPPEEE.

I'll be seeing the "O"-Gang toeing the rubber to start each game.

brett tomk"O"
derek l"OWE"
and jae s"EO"

This post has been brought to you by a proud owner of a blue chevrolet tah"OE"

2006-05-25 11:51:07
16.   s choir
I've been trying to temper my enthusiasm over the Dodgers' recent performance by remembering the following:

1. They haven't played St. Louis
2. They haven't played New York
3. They've lost two of three to Atlanta
4. They split six games with Houston
5. They haven't played Philly
6. They've lost three of five to Arizona

Those six teams, along with the Dodgers, are the contenders in the NL. How the Dodgers play against them will be indicative of whether they will be able to beat anyone in the playoffs. They need to maintain at least a .500 record against these teams and beat up on the bad teams consistently. At this point, they are 6-8 against contenders. A small sample size, to be sure, which also means we don't know enough about this team yet to say whether it may be something special.

2006-05-25 11:51:56
17.   Bob Timmermann
Last night, they gave out a GMC SUV to somebody who had the shirt that represented the same color of the "car" that "won" the race on the scoreboard.

I had not seen that before.

2006-05-25 11:52:41
18.   regfairfield
I think my enthusiasm went something like this:

It's nice that the Dodgers are winning, but they haven't really played any good teams.

Wait, there are only four good teams in the NL.

2006-05-25 11:52:45
19.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers won 2 of 3 from the Phillies early in the year.
2006-05-25 11:56:42
20.   bhsportsguy
Last time I checked, the Red Sox and Yankees have taken advantage of beating up their division rivals for years, the Cards have dominated the Central, so while winning against the better teams has some merit, you better beat the teams below you to make sure you have some cushion.
2006-05-25 11:56:49
21.   s choir

My bad. So their record against contenders is 8-9.

2006-05-25 11:57:32
22.   ssjames

Which four teams are you talking about? Right now I only see three based upon record and run differential, Cardinals, Mets, Dodgers.

BTW, the Dodgers have the best run differential in baseball right now.

2006-05-25 11:58:51
23.   fanerman
14 - So when can we expect to see some Odalis + Cruz for A-Rod rumors?
2006-05-25 11:59:57
24.   Vishal
the dodgers happened to play the good teams early on while they were still hurting and generally struggling. i think they'd to better against some of them now that they are healthy and hitting well. they probably won't be dispensing the shellackings with such authority, but they'll still win their share.
2006-05-25 12:02:08
25.   regfairfield
22 Since I don't change my predictions based on performance until at least half the season is done, I'm sticking with my original choices: Atlanta, New York, Philadelphia and St. Louis.

When I said four good teams, I should have said four other good teams.

2006-05-25 12:04:26
26.   s choir
20 -

Of course you have to beat the teams below you. But the Sox and Yankees usually play each other evenly throughout the year. And they usually lose a few to the other divisions' contenders. They're usually around .500 against the good teams.

2006-05-25 12:08:21
27.   s choir
24 -

The Dodgers still haven't played either of the current division leaders, hurt and struggling or not.

I'm not saying that they won't perform well, it just remains to be seen how the Dodgers match up against the powerhouses. If they struggle against the Mets and Cards like they have in recent years, they're not going to go anywhere in the playoffs.

2006-05-25 12:09:54
28.   thinkblue0
Odalis and Cruz to NY...hmmm. That one actually does make sense because if any team is going to eat that contract it's going to be the Yankees. Of course, we wouldn't get anything back but it would open up a decent amount of money for a trade deadline move.
2006-05-25 12:10:56
29.   bhsportsguy
With the unbalanced schedule, it comes down to winning 60-65% against your division and doing well in interleague play. Oakland has dominated interleague play which is usually why they come on when June rolls around.

Atlanta has also done well in interleague play.

But if you can rack up 55-60 or so wins in your division and interleague, you have a pretty good shot at being there in September.

2006-05-25 12:16:24
30.   s choir
29 -

Being there in September is one thing. Being there in October is another. The Dodgers have one a total of one playoff game from 1989-present.

Maybe I'm being overly demanding, but what is the point of getting in the playoffs if you keep getting shoved right back out? At least the A's, even though they haven't won a series recently, have put up pretty good fights against the Yanks and Sox.

2006-05-25 12:16:29
31.   bhsportsguy
I think the Mets are set up to be the number one contender, a rejuvinated Glavine gives them a 1-2 combo, Duaner, Heilmann and Wagner are good for the back end, and Beltran, Delgado, Wright and Floyd are a solid middle of the lineup.

However, they are a little slight in their starters, they rely a lot on home runs and if they hold true about not trading Milledge, not sure what they can do at the deadline.

Willis or Zito would make them a prohibitive favorite.

2006-05-25 12:17:45
32.   Jacob L
For one thing, I'm bummed that the Dodgers are not going to win today.

In looking at whether this run means anything, its pretty clear that most all of our key players are hot right now. The question is, how many of them are playing above their heads and are likely to backslide. I figure like this -

Furcal - not playing above his head
Cruz - no
Lofton - probably, but not by much
Nomar - ????
Drew - no
Kent - no
Ethier - yes
Aybar - yes
Martin - yes

Penny - no
Lowe - yes, maybe
Tomko - yes
Seo - no
Sele - ya think?

Baez - no
Saito - probably
Beimel - yes
Brox - no
Hamaluck - no
Carter, Perez - does it matter?

Bottom line. The pitching is probably not this good. They're riding good runs from some unlikely guys (Sele, Beimel, Saito). Gagne could change the equation.

Lowe's a question mark due to his mercurial history. Its possible he could pitch this well all year.

Nomar is the one that I really don't know what to do with. His recent display does reflect the level he established in his hey day, so maybe he can keep it up. In the back of my mind, I keep thinking Griffey, Jr. (flashes of the the former brilliance interrupted by frequent breakdowns).

The rookies are bound to struggle eventually, and for the most part, weren't even this good in the minors.

My prediction. We will not go 142-20.

2006-05-25 12:19:32
33.   Fallout
5 DougS
One of the nuggests of wisdom that I took from my time of reading Bill James religiously is that really good teams don't really give a hoot about 1-run games; they win by larger margins than that.

Don't take everything you read by that guy as the only truth. A team that is built on pitching and defense will be involved in more one run games than a team that is built around hitters and what ever else that they can put together. I do not know the statistics, but the Yankees last year tried to out hit their mediocre pitching. My guess is that in the games they won it was by a large margin but so were their loses.

2006-05-25 12:22:40
34.   Steve
The Yankees were 27-16 in one-run games last year.
2006-05-25 12:24:29
35.   Sam DC
Nationals giving the game back to Houston. Now 7-5 with bases loaded no outs. Gigantor has pitched the top of the seventh. One run in so far. He's given up two walks, two singles, a wild pitch, and backup catcher matt lecroy made a throwing error and has now left the game (not sure why) and been replaced by backup to the backup Robert Fick.
2006-05-25 12:25:21
36.   bhsportsguy
To win in the playoffs is so difficult to predict because of two unpredictable things, health and (this sounds so stupid) luck.

In the past 10 years, only the 1998 Yankees or whatever team won 110+ games, rolled into the postseason and took it all.

I think all you can do is work to get there and then once you are in, it is all matchups.

If Rivera doesn't blow two saves, the Yankees could have 2 more championships. If the Giants could have gotten 9 more outs, they beat the Angels, Bartman in Chicago, Mike Scioscia hitting a 2 run homer against Dwight Gooden, etc. In 1983, the Dodgers beat the Phillies 10 or 11 times out of 12, lost in 4, in 1988, the Mets beat the Dodgers 11 out of 12, Dodgers in 7.

Are all of these selective to make a point, yes. But lets get there first, maybe the tipping point will be Chad or Joel or Kemp or a trade that will give the Dodgers a boost, but at least we have something to look forward too, instead of seeing if Mike Edwards is playing 3B or LF today.

2006-05-25 12:27:28
37.   Fallout
34 Steve

That's pretty good. Rivera makes a difference. But, anyway you get my point.

2006-05-25 12:27:41
38.   bhsportsguy
34 - How many of those were caused by the bullpen giving up big leads forcing Rivera to get a lot of 1+ inning saves last year.
2006-05-25 12:27:48
39.   Sam DC
Detroit closes to 5-6. Shocking.
2006-05-25 12:30:24
40.   Sam DC
And Rauch hangs on -- after loading the bases with no outs and one run in, he goes strikeout, popout, groundout to end the inning. Nationals still up 7-5 and building confidence for their showdown with the streaking boys in blue.
2006-05-25 12:31:54
41.   Jon Weisman
Okay, here's the column lead (by Steve Bisheff):

"One general manager sat on his hands. The other slept by his phone. One GM was inactive. The other was hyperactive. One went after a targeted player and lost him. The other targeted so many players, he couldn't lose them all."

Now, guess the year and whether praise or criticism for the Dodgers follows.

I'm still mystified by attempts to make value judgments on activity vs. inactivity. Success does not depend on how busy you are, but rather on the quality of your decisions, no matter how many.

2006-05-25 12:33:33
42.   GoBears
33 Well, before we say that Bill James is wrong, I think we ought to realize that a team built on pitching and defense is probably not what he had in mind by "really good team." A Really Good Team can hit a lot too. And a team that can do it all probably doesn't play too many 1-run games, sorta like the Dodgers lately.

Look at the 2003 Dodgers. Best in baseball at pitching and defense (best EVER on the pitching side, no?), but worst in baseball on offense. Result: mediocrity.

2006-05-25 12:35:15
43.   Jon Weisman
Meanwhile, Dejan Kovacevic's latest Pirates' story begins:

Faltering in the first inning, falling just short in the ninth, unable to hit in the clutch, incapable of winning on the road, if not for this, if not for that, one-run loss after one-run loss, blah, blah, blah ...

Dejan isn't really buying what Jim Tracy is trying to sell him later in the story.

2006-05-25 12:36:15
44.   GoBears
Success does not depend on how busy you are, but rather on the quality of your decisions, no matter how many.

Straight out of the John Wooden canon. "Never mistake activity for achievement."

I tend to cite this whenever a student complains that they wrote a whole page for an exam answer, but got zero points.

2006-05-25 12:38:42
45.   Sam DC
Pujols-like? Come on. I think there's a lot of room to argue that Colletti has done a good job or a poor job or something in between. But Pujols-like? Give me a break.
2006-05-25 12:39:40
46.   Jon Weisman
44 - The fact that the same lead could be used to bash Paul DePodesta in 2005 or praise Ned Colletti in 2006 says it all.
2006-05-25 12:40:52
47.   gcrl
looks like the astros were running wild on lecroy. maybe that factored into his getting pulled from the game.
2006-05-25 12:42:05
48.   Sam DC
45 Hmmmm. Feeling cranky today apparently.
2006-05-25 12:43:25
49.   Fallout
42 GoBears

Maybe the quote was out of context. All I'm saying is that the blanket statement does not cover very well.

2006-05-25 12:44:40
50.   dsfan
Regarding the playoffs:

Keep going to them, then see how it plays out. I know that hasn't worked for the Athletics, but they've been a load of fun to follow. If the Red Sox and Yankees can make going to the playoffs a habit, why shouldn't the Dodgers?

For the first time in many, many years the Dodgers seemingly have a realistic chance of sustaining success -- I'm not talking about sustaining the current pace of winning, of course, but keeping the summers interesting and challenging for the playoffs on a consistent basis.

I'm not saying that's how it will play out, but it's been quite some time since the chances were this favorable. Nor is it difficult to envision the Diamondbacks, who could be very entertaining, turning this into a spirited rivalry the next few years.

For me, the whole story so far this year is the franchise's organizational depth, which has allowed the club to offset several injuries, win at a nice clip yet also buy vital development time for the likes of Billingsley and Kemp while reducing the built-in temptation to rush Gagne back.
Sele, in particular, has already returned full value on his $500,000 salary.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-05-25 12:44:50
51.   Jon Weisman
48 - I didn't think anything was wrong with your comment.
2006-05-25 12:45:20
52.   Sam DC
The Esteban Strikes Back. KC extends to 7-5 on a Esteban German home run.

Right, Esteban German.

2006-05-25 12:49:06
53.   GoBears
45. Huh? I musta missed the referent. To what were you responding, there, Sam?
2006-05-25 12:49:22
54.   Linkmeister
51 I think Sam's just acquiring that sense of impending doom that most fans have when saddled with a team (the Nats) which finds ways to lose.

Or maybe it's starting to get hot and humid there where he is; DC summers are awful. ;)

2006-05-25 12:51:18
55.   Jon Weisman
Esteban appears to be the KC Willy Aybar - sort of - batting .406 after 69 at-bats.
2006-05-25 12:51:39
56.   ToyCannon
Running wild is an understatement.
2006-05-25 12:51:54
57.   Sam DC
54, 53, 48, 45 -- The article Jon linked says that Colletti is off to a Pujols-like start. That's the reference. I think my "give me a break" was a little pissy for this forum, but I appreciate that it was not a big deal.

Weather here is great actually -- check the link in 9 -- though not Hawai'i great. Hasn't heated or humided up yet.

2006-05-25 12:55:39
58.   Sam DC
47, 56 -- my gosh, hadn't noticed that. Saith gameday: "SB: Ensberg (1, 2nd base off Rauch/LeCroy), Bruntlett 2 (2, 2nd base off Armas/LeCroy, 3rd base off Armas/LeCroy), Taveras (6, 2nd base off Rivera, S/LeCroy), Wilson 2 (5, 2nd base off Armas/LeCroy, 3rd base off Armas/LeCroy), Burke (3, 2nd base off Rivera, S/LeCroy)."
2006-05-25 12:55:41
59.   s choir
50 -

The A's have been fun to follow because they have won games in the playoffs. They put quite a scare into whoever they're playing, every single year. On the other hand, the Dodgers have been dominated in the playoffs whenever they make it. I don't mind my team losing in the playoffs. I would just appreciate them putting up a decent fight.

2006-05-25 12:55:50
60.   GoBears
Sele, in particular, has already returned full value on his $500,000 salary.

Only if (1) continues doing well, or (2) quits while he's ahead. If he tanks his next 4 starts, then maybe, maybe not.

At this point, yeah, he's been a huge bargain. I say we sell him to the Yankees before reality rears its head.

2006-05-25 12:57:33
61.   ToyCannon
Probably not a Pujols-like start but I'd classify it as a Nomar-like start :)
2006-05-25 12:58:51
62.   Jon Weisman
61 - Yeah, now that would have worked.
2006-05-25 12:59:02
63.   Steve
That must make Baez plantar fasciitis
2006-05-25 13:04:51
64.   ToyCannon
The fact that he even has value is even more amazing. Flip him Ned, flip him now. I've loved the Sele show, I have zero faith it will end up pretty unless he is moved ASAP. May is almost over and he will turn into the biggest pumpkin at midnight on May 31st.
2006-05-25 13:07:54
65.   Marty
Who's to say Sele won't win the Cy Young? :)
2006-05-25 13:12:31
66.   ToyCannon
How can he win the Cy Young when Tomko already has that sewn up:)
2006-05-25 13:14:17
67.   DougS
30 To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, there is only one thing worse than making the playoffs and losing in the first round, and that is not making the playoffs at all.
2006-05-25 13:14:42
68.   Marty
I forgot. He'll have to settle for MVP of the world series.
2006-05-25 13:16:04
69.   dsfan
How many times do skydivers use the same parachute?
I haven't a clue, but maybe it's analogous to Sele -- after 4-6 soft landings, you retire the chute.
2006-05-25 13:20:17
70.   DougS
33 Oh, I didn't buy into every argument that James made, but I valued his writing for his ability to make me challenge old assumptions. This particular argument made a certain amount of sense to me: Dominating teams tend to win games by more than 1 run, and when they lose, they don't lose by much. Whether it ought to be carved into stone or not, I think there is something to the argument. At the very least, GoBears is right, that big leads will really help you conceal weaknesses in your bullpen, or a bullpen on a cold streak.

It has occured to me, though, that James' view on this matter might have been colored by the fact that his home team is an AL team, and it agrees more with the AL style of ball than the NL.

"Paddlin' the school canoe? Oh, you better believe that's a paddlin'."

2006-05-25 13:24:01
71.   Uncle Miltie
66- Brett Tomko will win 1 Cy Young and 6 Brett Tomko's.
2006-05-25 13:25:25
72.   Mush
I'm going to Saturday and Sunday's games. I'm buying the cheap seats and hoping to move down (I sat in the 11th row at RFK last Friday against the Orioles). Let me know where you guys will be - I'd love to say hi.
2006-05-25 13:26:13
73.   Marty
But who will win the coveted, albeit muddy, Erstad award?
2006-05-25 13:27:55
74.   Jon Weisman
Joe Thurston sighting:

I'm sort of confused, though - the description makes it sound like Thurston went the other way with the ball but hit it to right field. Did he start batting righty?

2006-05-25 13:30:36
75.   Jon Weisman

"Red Baron fans know Joe Thurston as a slick-fielding second baseman with a reputation as an aggressive base runner.

But one day Thurston would like to be known as an ultra-hip disc jockey with a reputation for mixing some of the hottest dance tunes."

2006-05-25 13:46:56
76.   Bob Timmermann

Although the question about parachutes was rhetorical, I have learned that parachutes are now designed out of extremely sturdy types of nylon and are designed to be reused many, many, many times.

I don't have access to the mil spec for how many times it has to be.

2006-05-25 13:55:41
77.   Jon Weisman
The Royals' six-run lead is gone.
2006-05-25 14:03:58
78.   dsfan

Interesting. Probably more times than Sele should be used.

2006-05-25 14:04:36
79.   BruceR
76 I'm guessing that one could probably also be sold chutes of much lesser expense (read: quality). Not that I am coming anywhere near suggesting anyone else buy one of these; and neither will I be buying one myself.

On the other hand, I won't be buying one of Bob's high quality chutes either 'cuz I, for one, have never been given an adequate reason for jumping out of perectly good airplane that's going to be safely landing back right near where I parked my car in the first place.

[ slowly shakes head, mutters under breath, shuffles back to car ]

2006-05-25 14:08:22
80.   Underbruin
43 - Hmm... Good article on the Pirates. Anybody else notice this quote:

""We got behind, came back and put ourselves in position to win..."

Ahh, vintage Jim.

2006-05-25 14:10:52
81.   Underbruin
70 - Well, you could also make the argument that bad teams will lose a fair number of 1-run games, because they're just not quite good enough to get over the hump even when they play reasonably well (this comment prompted by said Pirates article from 43 in which it is noted that Pittsburgh is 4-14 in one-run games).
2006-05-25 14:12:00
82.   Bob Timmermann
I found some parachute companies that sold chutes in numerous varieties with a lot of pricing structures.

I didn't bother to examine them.

I don't plan on jumping out of an airplane unless I absolutely have to. I doubt I would be allowed to do it recreationally since I have a history of seizures.

2006-05-25 14:14:51
83.   Sam DC
Zumaya pitching in KC reminds of something I've wondered about before -- why don't they have pitch speeds on gameday?
2006-05-25 14:16:30
84.   Sam DC
from "The New York Mets today acquired lefthanded pitcher Dave Williams from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for minor league righthanded pitcher Robert Manuel."
2006-05-25 14:17:42
85.   bigcpa
On the 1-run game topic... last year May 25 the Padres were 27-18 after winning 11 straight 1-run contests. They were 13-3 in 1-run games, 14-15 in the rest. If you figured 14-15 was the "real thing" you would have expected them to play .480 the rest of the way. They went 55-62 (.470) thereafter. In other words- we're a lock for 97 wins- book it.
2006-05-25 14:21:41
86.   Robert Fiore
I remember last year we called this April.
2006-05-25 14:22:53
87.   Blu2
I assume it's OK to talk about LOST now, if not, just delete this. I love to watch that dang show but the longer you watch it, the more confusing it gets. What happened to the plan with Sayeed last night? I have no bad feelings about Walt but I hope Michael isn't written out of the show yet. I want to see him one more time, captured by canibals and slowly choking as he is roasted over a good fire. What he did was just unforgivable. And Libby? Apparently they're going to expand her role, make her part of the controlling agents, whoever, whatever, they are. I'll have trouble buying into that because her character was so stupid and insipid I won't be able to credit her with enough intelligence to be part of the control. But maybe sending Hurley back to his own people came about becaus of her influence??? Taking Jack, Kate, and Sawyer could be just depriving the group of its leadership. If so, why leave Sayeed? Or did they? I'm more confused than ever.
2006-05-25 14:23:10
88.   Sam DC
In Kansas City I believe they are calling it hell. 10-8 Detroit. Ninth Inning.
2006-05-25 14:25:31
89.   underdog
Poor Kansas City. Old friend Elmer Dessens just gave up two homers in that ninth inning.

I really am feeling sorry for them.

2006-05-25 14:26:56
90.   Bob Timmermann

I believe they could connect the pitch speeds, but it might slow down everything if they have more info to display.

2006-05-25 14:27:18
91.   underdog
Re: Lost - I have patience for one more season of this, but then that's it, I'll need resolution by then. The more the expand and stretch the show's plot threads out the more annoying it will be.
2006-05-25 14:29:22
92.   Humma Kavula
Kansas City is a very, very bad baseball team.
2006-05-25 14:31:01
93.   underdog
Maybe KC should change their nickname to the Serfs.
2006-05-25 14:31:03
94.   Jon Weisman
I hadn't seen hide nor hair of Marcus Thames since (if I recall correctly) he homered in his first at-bat off Randy Johnson. But he's doing well now.
2006-05-25 14:33:20
95.   Humma Kavula
Now 13-8 Detroit in KC. Man.
2006-05-25 14:33:58
96.   Sam DC
93 -- pretty good.

After getting swept by the Dodgers, the Nationals go to Philadelphia on Memorial Day. But it's a night game? Shouldn't monday holiday games be day games?

2006-05-25 14:34:03
97.   fanerman
87 - Ahh! Lost. Well, I guess I can't really complain. I haven't seen it yet though and since these conversations aren't threaded, I may be forced to read the comments very, very cautiously.
2006-05-25 14:34:27
98.   Jon Weisman
I assume it's OK to talk about LOST now, if not, just delete this.

I love to watch that dang show but the longer you watch it, the more confusing it gets. What happened to the plan with Sayeed last night?
--Michael led the group somewhere different from where he had told Jack they would be going. In other words, misdirection.

I have no bad feelings about Walt but I hope Michael isn't written out of the show yet. I want to see him one more time, captured by canibals and slowly choking as he is roasted over a good fire.

--I can't imagine that's the last of Michael.

What he did was just unforgivable. And Libby? Apparently they're going to expand her role, make her part of the controlling agents, whoever, whatever, they are. I'll have trouble buying into that because her character was so stupid and insipid I won't be able to credit her with enough intelligence to be part of the control.

--Libby's the one character I've thought from the start was playing dumb, but really part of things.

But maybe sending Hurley back to his own people came about becaus of her influence??? Taking Jack, Kate, and Sawyer could be just depriving the group of its leadership. If so, why leave Sayeed? Or did they? I'm more confused than ever.

--It's still a mystery (to me) what they want out of people - why they wanted Walt a year ago but were happy to be rid of him now. But clearly, The Others don't have all the answers - whatever their plan is, it's a work in progress.

I'm fascinated by the discussion in the Griddle thread of Pennyelope and Odysseusmond.

2006-05-25 14:37:41
99.   Jon Weisman
91 - There's certainly not going to be resolution by the end of season 3.

I continue to read nothing about the upcoming season, but with main characters like Jack in the hands of the Others, I suspect we'll learn more of their inner workings, just like we learned about the hatch(es) in season 2. I'm looking forward to it. And as Bob said, Michael Emerson is just fantastic as Henry Gale - the revelation about him last night was cool.

2006-05-25 14:41:18
100.   Bluebleeder87

I agree.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-05-25 14:46:10
101.   underdog
Yeah, Emerson's Gale creeps the heck out of me, very effective performance all throughout. I like the actor playing Desmond, too. I don't expect resolution by season 3, I'm just saying my personal interest in the show may wane by then. But who knows, for now I'm still hooked.
2006-05-25 14:52:49
102.   JoeyP
Playing the Giants-Rockies-Angels-Rockies-Nationals for 15 straight games can be a cure to many ills.
2006-05-25 14:55:34
103.   Bob Timmermann
The Tigers are on pace to win 114 games.

The Royals are on pace to win 36 games.

2006-05-25 14:57:07
104.   Jon Weisman
I don't know if Kansas City can rally from being 78 games out of first place in late September.
2006-05-25 15:00:26
105.   Telemachos
As long as LOST is remotely successful, the show will continue to be on the air.... and as long as it's on the air, rest assured they'll keep raising questions. Kudos should be due the writers, though, for answering questions as well, and more than they're often given credit for.

Slight quibbles about the Michael/Walt resolution aside (which won't be quibbles at all if those two characters are a part of season 3), I thought this finale was simply brilliant, and opened up a sense of a much larger "universe".

2006-05-25 15:16:34
106.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
KC fans need to storm the Bastille, so to speak.
2006-05-25 15:23:20
107.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
102 - Can be. But to be cured a team has to, you know, win.
2006-05-25 15:23:41
108.   Bob Timmermann
For the record, I have five toes on each foot.
2006-05-25 15:26:03
109.   Gold Star for Robot Boy
Here's the AP account of LeCroy's forgettable day:
"Tears of sadness streamed down both of Frank Robinson's cheeks, and his voice quivered, even in the aftermath of an 8-5 victory. The Washington Nationals manager had been cornered into a move rarely seen in baseball, the benching of a catcher in the middle of an inning."
2006-05-25 15:28:25
110.   Marty
I think the actor who plays Desmond also played the German agent on 24 who was "infiltrating" the beautiful centox dealer.
2006-05-25 15:31:49
111.   underdog
Here's AP's John Nadel's new piece on the Dodgers, "Dodgers on a roll after slow start":

2006-05-25 15:31:52
112.   Bob Timmermann
It was a big year for Mr. Cusick.
2006-05-25 15:36:09
113.   underdog
110 You are correct sir! He's previously been in mostly UK produced TV and film.
2006-05-25 16:29:22
114.   natepurcell

Bily Rowell homerun derby video.

he is a 6'4 200 lb SS prepster who is rising significantly up draft boards. I am starting to really like him at #7 if Kershaw is gone.

BA ranks him #3 best prep pure hitter, #2 best prep power hitter and #2 best prep strike zone judgement.

2006-05-25 16:30:54
115.   thinkblue0
KC is so bad that Im actually in favor of just dissolving the organization...
2006-05-25 16:39:19
116.   fanerman
I just realized KC has lost 13 in a row. That's amazing.
2006-05-25 16:43:35
117.   D4P
KC just hasn't been the same since Bo left.
2006-05-25 16:46:45
118.   bhsportsguy
Looks like the Mets are determined to get off the Odalis Perez trading partners list.

2006-05-25 16:48:33
119.   Bob Timmermann
The Royals lost 19 straight last year.

They went from 38-63 to 38-92.

2006-05-25 16:49:25
120.   Marty
Bo knows bad baseball.
2006-05-25 16:50:34
121.   underdog
38-82 you mean? Either way, it's beyond horrendous.

They shouldn't be abandoned completely just yet (this season yes, but in general, not yet) - because they have a bunch of young 'uns on the farm that are about a year away from helping.

2006-05-25 16:54:48
122.   D4P
I once saw a game involving Bo vs. the California Angels. Bo caught a flyball against the wall in left, then threw home. The catcher had to jump to catch the ball, which had traveled from the wall to the catcher in the air.
2006-05-25 16:55:07
123.   regfairfield
They could probably get better if you let them have an expansion draft.
2006-05-25 16:55:36
124.   regfairfield
They could probably get better if you let them have an expansion draft.
2006-05-25 16:55:45
125.   Jacob L
118 That move seems the very definition of pointless. Odalis still might find a home there.
2006-05-25 16:57:20
126.   Jon Weisman
Game thread is open up top :)
2006-05-25 16:58:12
127.   regfairfield
121 But really, how much are Huber, Gordon, and Butler going to help? They still can't pitch, and their arrival takes their two best hitters out of the lineup. It might take them from "laughing stock" to "really bad", but that organization needs a complete overall to get competitive again.
2006-05-25 17:00:02
128.   Jacob L
At least you can build a marketing campaign around "really bad."
2006-05-25 22:39:55
129.   jet
Just watched Tim Kurkjian carry on on Baseball Tonight about Frank Robinson being all about 'respect for the players' etc. Well, maybe in his dotage Frank is finding some compassion. He didn't have any for Steve Howe when some decades ago, while managing the Giants, he 'sniffed' the chalk on the first base line while Howe was warming up in Candlestick, precipitating a brawl with the Dodgers and an irate Tommy Lasorda, not to mention this run-on sentence.
2006-05-25 23:06:53
130.   Louis in SF
The best thing this year in comparison to last are the quality of players across the board who are available to the DOdgers from the minor leagues and given the crazy injury pattern the players who are also on the exisitng Dodger Roster.

Izzy is not real popular here, but in theroy when he comes of the DL, he will replace Robles which is a great upgrade. I hope Navarro replaces Alomar, but even if he doesn't he goes to Triple A, Alomar is a definite upgrade over Jason Phillips. Drew being healthy even if you think he is being codeled seems to be on track to being more productive.

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