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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 Gagne News
2006-07-06 21:32
by Jon Weisman

I'm spent. There's nothing to say.

Get well soon?

Get well someday.

2006-07-06 21:41:22
1.   dzzrtRatt probably means the Dodgers can keep him next season if they want to offer him arbitration. Gagne will go into the off-season with approximately zero leverage.

Just trying to think of upsides. Game Over seems almost as distant as Fernandomania.

2006-07-06 21:45:58
2.   Suffering Bruin
I have a Terrel Davis jersey. It was a gift from my brother and I really like it. I put it on every now and again.

Gagne = Terrel Davis. God, I hope I'm wrong.

2006-07-06 22:03:05
3.   Greg Brock
Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
2006-07-06 22:23:14
4.   Sam DC
Ken's tank post is wonderful; and the comments, while few, are pretty good too.
2006-07-06 22:23:47
5.   Uncle Miltie
I hope he invested wisely
2006-07-06 22:36:02
6.   Icaros
Who's Gagne?
2006-07-06 22:56:24
7.   yankee23
I feel for you guys. Pavano (aka Meat) has been out for pretty much the duration of his contract. It's way worse for you guys though, since Gagne was great before he went MIA.
2006-07-06 22:57:33
8.   yankee23
Perhaps it's better to have pitched and dl'd than never to have pitched at all.
2006-07-07 00:37:02
9.   MMSMikey
im sorry to say it, but with gagne. everything points to steriods.
2006-07-07 01:27:13
10.   A Slo
Maybe he did steroids, maybe he didn't. But certainly a herniated disk in his back is not going to tip any of us one way or another. There just seems to be no need for that to come up on this day.
2006-07-07 07:29:03
11.   blutomania

Please define Ken's tank post...

2006-07-07 08:06:39
12.   Jon Weisman
11 -
2006-07-07 09:02:47
13.   Howard Fox
9 I agree, I've been saying that for a while. His body is breaking down.
2006-07-07 11:09:52
14.   screwballin
To me, speculating about someone's steroid use is like speculating about his sexuality. You shouldn't even mention such accusations until you have proof, because the label can be so damaging.
2006-07-07 12:35:02
15.   JJoeScott
14 You forgot to add, "Not that there's anything wrong with that."
2006-07-07 12:50:06
16.   gibsonhobbs88
1- That is definitely looking at a glass half full, but for this season, the glass is completely empty now! The last two years have been such a medical disaster for Mr. Game Over, he should seek federal funding from FEMA, Wait that agency was run into the ground by the present administration. Never mind!!
On a serious note, would the Dodgers even bother investing in Gagne for next season, when they possibly could use that money elsewhere, like a legit front of the rotation starter and a younger big bat like a Crawford that can hit for power and steal, We all know J.D. Drew will break down at some point, e can put Crawford in left and Ethier in right and Matt Kemp can man center with Repko when he comes back!
2006-07-07 12:52:38
17.   Sushirabbit
Uh, I can pretty safely say you can have disk issues without using steroids, even at a younger age (say less than 30). It's actually fairly common among certain athletes (tennis, golf). The injury, while not the end of the world, is not good news. On the other hand, I thought recently that I would be unable to do things like ski, swing a bat, etc, but have since been told not to worry about that, that if I continue to progress, I may be able to once again do things like that but there will be some extra risk (obviously).
2006-07-07 13:43:12
18.   MMSMikey
c'mon, almost all roid heads get back problems eventually. canseco, mcgwire, camminetti, sosa. We just all need to accept the fact gagne was juicing.
2006-07-07 13:57:28
19.   philmc78
Unfortunately, gentlemen, I'm gonna have to side with MMS on this one and conclude that Gagne was a roider. While it's true that there's no evidence to speak of, I'm also not going to sit back and pretend to be stupid. Lets analyze Gagne's career real quick...
• Skinny starting pitcher without an "out" pitch and a mediocre fastball
• Gets sent back down to the minors after unsuccessful stints in the show
• Comes back twice as big throwing in the mid 90s and, all of a sudden, has two filthy offspeed pitches to complement the newfound fastball
• The Game Over Era takes place over three years
• Arm injuries prevent Gagne from pitching for 22+ months
• Now a random back injury

I love Gagne, and I hope that it's not true, but lets look at things objectively for once. Hopefully, he'll come back, but I wouldn't count on it.

2006-07-07 14:14:38
20.   Jon Weisman
19 - The funny thing about your post is that even if we knew Gagne were a steroid user, several of your bullet points have nothing to do with that.

Gains weight? Doesn't stick in majors on first try? Develops an offspeed pitch? Has arm injuries? Has random back injury? Those indicate steroid use? We could probably add "watches wrestling" to the list.

I won't be blind to the possiblity that Gagne used something, but if all those things can be used as evidence to "conclude Gagne was a roider," we're in big trouble.

Is it so much to ask that we leave it as a "maybe" until there's real proof one way or another, rather than take random pieces of information and conclude, as 9 says, "everything points to steroids." Is it so important to pretend to know when we really don't know?

2006-07-07 15:54:39
21.   Robert Fiore
I suppose this means Dizzy Dean was juicing too. The trouble with these theories based on Gagne suddenly having a quantum leap in ability is that it's not true; as measured by statistics he pitched consistently well during his first time up as a starter. I remember a post about it, possibly here, that I hope someone knows how to link to.

It's not my money, but if I'm the Dodgers and there's any chance he's going to recover, I pick up the option year. Sure, it's 12 million dollars, but it's only one year. Imagine if before this season you had to choose between giving him a big multi-year contract and letting him go.

2006-07-07 16:16:59
22.   philmc78
John, you said exactly what you had to say there to maintain the credibility you've built with this website, and I completely understand. What I want to ask you (and I'm sure you won't answer because your journalistic instincts will prohibit you from doing so) is if you think, based on what you know, Gagne is/was a steroid user? Technically, we don't know if Barry Bonds is/was a steroid user. Sure, what we seem to know points us in a certain direction when it comes to Barry, but there is no clear-cut evidence that could prove it in a court of law. I'm not talking about a court of law, though, I'm talking about the court of common sense. I know, I's hard to take an actual stance that's not based on numbers or scientific evidence. But, as a baseball fan, I'm done being part of the mindless flock that believes all is well, especially when it comes to the home team. Here's an interesting idea for one of your up some scouts, general managers, or other baseball people and have them anonymously give their informed opinions about what really happened to Gagne (the sources, of course, will remain anonymous because it's become a regular practice in sports journalism now). I have a feeling they'll see things that regular fans refuse to believe or simply ignore.

And let me throw this out there...the previous comment said that he'd be OK with picking up Gagne's $12-million contract next season? I have a feeling that money could be better spent elsewhere, like, I dunno, extending Nomar and/or getting a functional starter. But that's just me again.

2006-07-07 16:24:10
23.   philmc78
I was just informed that Gagne has a player option on his contract for next season. I can't wait to do this all over again if that's the case.
2006-07-07 16:33:14
24.   JoeyP
Sudden weight gain and changes in velocity are signs he significantly enhanced himself over a very short period of time. I want to know how he did it, as would I think many other struggling ball players.
2006-07-07 17:55:41
25.   Jon Weisman
21 - Do you mean this?

22 - I know next to nothing, and I am most decidedly not an investigative journalist (if I were, I wouldn't have abandoned the newspaper business), so I'm not the one to answer the question. I don't believe all is well in the world or in baseball, but that doesn't mean I have to pick a player and be the one to assess truth when no one else has been able to. I also think the value of anonymous opinions in the context you're describing is nil. Anonymously, someone could say I was cheating at what I do, depending on what that someone's agenda was, and what recourse would I have to deny.

I wasn't adopting a posture in my previous comment. I truly believe that this urgency to assign guilt or innocence to Gagne is silly. Either be the investigator or wait for the investigators to give you information. What do you gain by doing otherwise? Nothing.

You want common sense? You want to avoid being part of the mindless flock? Common sense and mindfulness tell me that we do not know the answer.

23 - Gagne has the right to void his contract if the Dodgers pick it up, but he does not have a unilateral player option. Right now, his status is in the Dodgers' hands: $12 million option or $1 million buyout. Contract details on the Dodgers can be located through a link on the sidebar.

2006-07-07 18:00:19
26.   Jon Weisman
Oh, by the way, I wouldn't pick up Gagne's option. He's welcome to sign an incentive-based contract after the buyout, somewhat like Nomar's - that's what any other team will offer him. But no, you can't give him $12 million to a reliever with nerve and disk problems, no matter how much you like him.
2006-07-07 18:05:38
27.   underdog
2 Sob Bruin, you had to bring up Terrell Davis... It's a good analogy and as you say, hopefully not the exact same situation. As a Broncos fan, I really enjoyed TD's time and just get said when I think of how short his career was. Not atypical for football or running backs in particular, mind you, but said nonetheless.

As for Gagne, I am sad, too, because I naively held out hope that he'd be back this season at some point after his tease of an appearance awhile back, but suppose I shouldn't have been so optimistic. I can only hope he recovers well from this and that he can someday pitch as he once did, or even somewhere close to it. I hope it's for the Dodgers, too, but $12 mil does seem an awful lot to pay for someone who cannot prove health.

When does LA have to make a decision on him? If it's not until much later in the year then things could change. By then they could have a better sense whether he's back in form or not. Sigh...

As for steroids talk of Gagne, I refuse to slop around down there in the mud. It's a lot of conjecture and theorizing with little basis in fact. Pitcher's backs go on them all the time. Some power pitchers are particularly brittle and put a lot of stress on their upper body. If they gain weight (which can happen quickly from inactivity if one is injured) that puts even more stress on the back. The steroid witch hunting is sad in my estimation, with all the other things we could be talking about.

At any rate, I wish Gagne the best and do hope to see him pitch for LA again (if not, in the American league please. ;-) )

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