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About Jon
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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
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11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Team Tipping Point
2006-09-21 09:45
by Jon Weisman

Pirates65-87.42814Dodgers79-73.52013 1/2
Last three games between them:
Pirates 2, Dodgers 1Dodgers 2, Mets 1

The better team doesn't always win. It's why we play the games, and why there's hope for the underdog and fear for the overdog. It's why the 1988 World Series was possible. And almost universally, the sports world has chosen not to honor the better team, but to honor the winning team.

The Dodgers are in between great and bad; the chances of them losing to a doormat and defeating a potential champion are about equal. They offer nothing if not suspense. Will the 3-2 pitch be hit or missed, will the ball travel 380 feet or 400? They are log-rolling on a see-saw.

* * *

I see two schools of thought on the current bullpen crisis. One is to ride it out, because like all things with the Dodgers this season, it's probably cyclical, and the relievers will regroup. Brett Tomko, for example, isn't a sub-3.00 ERA pitcher, nor is he a plus-9.00 ERA pitcher.

The other choice is to try some rested arms that people haven't seen in a while, no matter how shaky their credentials might be. Call up Franquelis Osoria, despite an inconsistent year. Move Eric Gagne to the 60-day disabled list and add Mark Alexander from Jacksonville, even though he struggled in Las Vegas. Wish upon a shooting star named Greg Miller. If you can't beat 'em with moxie, beat 'em with mystery. Exploit matchups if there's an opportunity.

The way I see it, these schools can merge. Without knowing how much the minor leaguers have been working out since their season ended, I'd build up the bullpen. Even if the experiment were to fail in one game, you buy an extra day's rest for the beleaguered veterans. But this race is too close now not to have all hands on deck, however clumsy they might turn out to be.

* * *

Adding to those who have wrapped up the First Game of the Century better than I have is Dave Studeman of The Hardball Times, who merges game events with reader comments from Dodger Thoughts and Ducksnorts to give a multidimensional reprise of that magical night.

* * *

The Final 10 (Plus One)
DayDateSan Diego (79-72)Los Angeles (79-73)Philadelphia (79-73)
ThursdaySeptember 21vs. Arizonavs. Pittsburghoff
FridaySeptember 22vs. Pittsburghvs. Arizonavs. Florida
SaturdaySeptember 23vs. Pittsburghvs. Arizona vs. Florida
SundaySeptember 24vs. Pittsburghvs. Arizona vs. Florida
MondaySeptember 25at St. Louisoff vs. Houston
TuesdaySeptember 26at St. Louisat Coloradoat Washington
WednesdaySeptember 27at St. Louisat Colorado at Washington
ThursdaySeptember 28at Arizonaat Colorado at Washington
FridaySeptember 29at Arizonaat San Franciscoat Florida
SaturdaySeptember 30at Arizonaat San Francisco at Florida
SundayOctober 1at Arizonaat San Francisco at Florida

If Philadelphia finishes ahead of a tied Los Angeles and San Diego, there would be a tiebreaker game for the National League West title in Los Angeles on October 2.

If San Diego finishes ahead of a tied Los Angeles and Philadelphia, there would be a tiebreaker game for the NL Wild Card in Philadelphia on October 2.

If Los Angeles finishes ahead of a tied San Diego and Philadelphia, there would be a tiebreaker game for the NL Wild Card in Philadelphia on October 2.

If San Diego and Los Angeles finish tied ahead of Philadelphia, San Diego would be the NL West champion and Los Angeles the NL Wild Card.

Update: If all three teams finish tied, San Diego would play at Los Angeles to decide the NL West champion October 2, and the loser of that game would go to Philadelphia to decide the wild card October 3.

Comments (202)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-09-21 09:59:12
1.   Bob Timmermann
And a three-way tie among LA, SD, and Philadelphia would be decided this way:
10/2 - SD at LA
10/3 - Loser of 10/2 at PHI
2006-09-21 10:01:38
2.   Jon Weisman
Oh yeah - forgot about that.
2006-09-21 10:08:00
3.   Bluebleeder87
i'm just happy we're in the thick of it all, unlike '05.
2006-09-21 10:08:40
4.   Bluebleeder87
i like our chances against Phillie.
2006-09-21 10:12:24
5.   Bluebleeder87
but i rather win the west
2006-09-21 10:15:20
6.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers still have better odds of making the playoffs than the Philies according to BP: 63% to 53%.
2006-09-21 10:16:17
7.   Greg S
I don't believe that we would bring up the likes of a Greg Miller or Mark Alexander. The problem isn't that they would definitely fail (how much worse could they really do?).
The issue is that their failure could be a huge setback to their career. I don't know if I actually believe this but this sort of thinking has always been mentioned by Major League teams. Early failure on a big stage is a permanent blow to the ego. Do you believe that? Does Colletti?
2006-09-21 10:19:32
8.   Bob Timmermann
The Pirates vs. the NL West

Padres - 1-2
Dodgers - 4-5
Giants - 6-1
DBacks - 1-5
Rockies - 3-3

2006-09-21 10:20:05
9.   Bluebleeder87

Tomko just does not give me confidence, i don't know but i'm with Jon's thinking on this.Alexander specialy.

2006-09-21 10:21:17
10.   Jon Weisman
7 - Solomon Torres obviously comes to mind, but on a team that is throwing Hong-Chih Kuo or Chad Billingsley out there twice a week, I don't know that this is an overriding fear.

If the Dodgers go down this year, it won't be blamed on one of the guys I'm talking about - short of them coming in and blowing a big lead on clinch day. There will be plenty of other blame to go around.

By the way, I'm not feeling 100 percent sure about this idea - I just think it might help.

2006-09-21 10:21:36
11.   Bluebleeder87
Giants - 6-1

who knew, i like it

2006-09-21 10:24:50
12.   caseybarker

I agree with your point in paragraph two. Maybe it's just the intensity with which I watch these games, but it seems like the margin of error has been razor thin.

Loney came about five eet from tying it up last night. The night before, Marlon came up five feet short of saving four runs.

I don't know. Maybe the margin is as thin as it's always been, but I think it might be even thinner this year.

2006-09-21 10:25:29
13.   goblue1
DFA Sele, Gio, Hamulack.
2006-09-21 10:28:53
14.   Telemachos
We're right in the middle of a slump; where the other team's squib hits fall just fair, where our drives to deep center field fall just short of the wall, where our batters can't quite seem to catch a break, where a poorly thrown pitch is blasted rather than merely fouled off.

We're mediocre, but thrillingly mediocre.

I'm trying to take a Scully-esque approach: sit back and watch, and shake your head in amazement (either in wonder at some miraculous play or in disbelief when the team finds another way to lose).

At the beginning of the year, though, I suspect that if most of us were offered the possibility of the Dodgers being a half-game out of first and tied for the wild-card, we'd take it.

2006-09-21 10:30:19
15.   Greg S
10. You may very well be right. We've relied on rookies all year. Although the other guys have had all year to prove themselves worthy. But I'd also like to believe that these guys (even the AAA guys) are strong enough to overcome adversity. What could it hurt? We need someone who can not give the game away in innings 6 and 7. Desperately.
2006-09-21 10:30:45
16.   natepurcell
the hardballtimes link was pretty neat. thanks jon. now back to studying for 2 midterms in 2 hours!
2006-09-21 10:31:55
17.   caseybarker
...Or pitch more than five innings.
2006-09-21 10:34:07
18.   scooplew
The Dodgers have returned to what used to be the bullpen mentality a generation ago. Put the failed starters there -- e.g. Tomko and Sele -- but give them no defined roles. Little's management of pitchers has been disappointing. Clearly, his handling of Pedro against the Yankees in the playoffs was not an aberration.
2006-09-21 10:34:12
19.   Greg S
17. Right. But apparenlyt that's not going to come around this year.
2006-09-21 10:34:58
20.   still bevens
During last night's game I had to remind myself that I had no special playoff designs on this season, that it would be a good year of experience for Martin, Kemp, Loney, etc. This season has worked out pretty well on both fronts but its nice to level yourself every now and again.
2006-09-21 10:37:08
21.   Sam DC
I'm sad my Zork link only got one response (thank you Diane!).

I was looking for a wellspring of emotion.

Could I be lamer even than I thought?

2006-09-21 10:38:42
22.   Greg S
18 How would you manage Tomko, Carter, Baez, Dessens, Hamulack, Sele, Gio...?

Who would you have put in there instead of Pedro?

This talk of Grady doing a bad job with the pitching ignores the fact that the pitching is bad.

2006-09-21 10:40:09
23.   Disabled List
The DT-Ducksnorts comment comparison at Hardball Times is hysterical.

For the 2nd time since Monday, I was reminded of Fever Pitch. I really should re-read that book again.

2006-09-21 10:40:10
24.   Bluebleeder87
I'm trying to take a Scully-esque approach: sit back and watch, and shake your head in amazement (either in wonder at some miraculous play or in disbelief when the team finds another way to lose).

yelling at the tube is good for the body as well.

2006-09-21 10:42:59
25.   Disabled List
22 Agreed. You can't have Saito and Broxton relieve every time.

As Dept. of Defense GM Donald Rumsfeld once said, you go to war with the bullpen you have.

2006-09-21 10:44:31
26.   Bluebleeder87

i'm still wondering why there blog is called "Ducksnorts" & not something different like Padre talk or something

2006-09-21 10:45:32
27.   Bob Timmermann
I'm afraid that might be the case Sam.

I'm surprised no one has compared Josh Bard to a D&D character.

2006-09-21 10:45:37
28.   Bluebleeder87

then call me Benedict Arnold. (jk)

2006-09-21 10:46:25
29.   blue22
22 - Wasn't Pedro's fatal error that day giving up a blooper to center that was just out of reach of CFer Bernie Williams?

I think Tomko may have slipped behind Dessens in terms of who's after Saito and Broxton (maybe Beimel if the matchups justify), but I'd still throw him out there. Like it or not, he'll be needed.

2006-09-21 10:46:30
30.   Bob Timmermann
From the Ducksnorts FAQ:
# What's a "ducksnort"?
A ducksnort is a bloop hit that falls untouched between the infielders and outfielders.
# Why "Ducksnorts"?
I heard Ken Harrelson and Tom Paciorek use the term during a White Sox telecast on WGN some years ago and thought it sounded funny. Also, it fit well with my vision of a web site providing information that fell between the cracks of mainstream media outlets.
# But Ducksnorts is a blog about the Padres; what's up with that?
Ducksnorts didn't begin as a Padres-centric web site. That focus evolved over time.
# Why the Padres?
Because anyone can be a Yankees fan. It takes a little effort to love the Padres.
2006-09-21 10:46:41
31.   Greg S
And just to follow up on Grady's use of pitchers, it was Grady who took a guy out of the minor leagues, let him pitch middle relief, then set up and eventually relied on him to close. And found a rookie to set up. This was what he did to deal with losing Gagne and Brazoban and finding his back ups, Baez and Carter, to be unreliable. I think he's done a masterful job of working with what he had.
2006-09-21 10:47:14
32.   Bob Timmermann
That was Pedro's problem! He had the Yankees CF playing in disguise for him!
2006-09-21 10:49:56
33.   caseybarker
I do like the way Little's managed the season. I would like to see a little more of Loney--especially in the later innings.
2006-09-21 10:50:02
34.   blue22
32 - It was in about 2003 that Bernie became a centerfielder in name only.

I was delighted the other night when I saw Bernie fling that desperate throw home to try to get the game-ending run. I have a better arm than a major league outfielder!

2006-09-21 10:51:22
35.   regfairfield
The problem there was that Grady was given a direct order from the front office to pull Pedro after 105 pitches. Had Grady not defied his boss, he probably doesn't get fired, no matter how bad the move was.
2006-09-21 10:51:59
36.   Greg S
34 Read 32 carefully, pause, think. It can happen to any of us.
2006-09-21 10:52:04
37.   Bob Timmermann
But you wrote this

Wasn't Pedro's fatal error that day giving up a blooper to center that was just out of reach of CFer Bernie Williams?

Think about it again.

2006-09-21 10:53:56
38.   Nagman
I think Bob mentioned this a few days ago, Brandon Webb is pitching tonight against the Padres (so he'll miss the Dodgers), which means he is scheduled to pitch the regular season finale against the Padres, which could be huge for the Dodgers.

That is if the Dbacks don't shut him down due to the elbow problems earlier... but since he's contending for the Cy Young, let's hope not.

2006-09-21 10:54:39
39.   blue22
Ah ha. Gotcha. Wow. Nevermind. Getting back to work.

Dodgers back in first tonight.

2006-09-21 10:55:15
40.   Bob Timmermann
If Webb is hurt, he isn't showing it. He's thrown two straight complete games and given up 1 run in 18 innings.

The Padres should also catch Carpenter in St. Louis.

2006-09-21 11:00:15
41.   Nagman
40 - Well, we had to face Shawn Chacon, so it all evens out.
2006-09-21 11:00:51
42.   KG16
Ok, so do we want the division title or the wild card?

I've been mulling the possibilities and it's most likely that as the division winner the Bums will get the Red Birds (I like using alternate names for teams, they should all have uniforms with alternate names). The only way that doesn't happen is if the Dodgers pass the Cards in the standings and the Phillies win the WC.

Otherwise, the WC will give the Dodgers the Mets. And leaves the Priests and Birds to battle.

I like seeing the Mets first. I don't like either possible match up in the NLCS though.

What's everyone think? Or am I looking too far ahead?

2006-09-21 11:05:13
43.   caseybarker
Do you think Little would throw Kuo and maybe Stults in a short series with the Mets? Lowe, Kuo, Maddux, and maybe Penny/Stults.
2006-09-21 11:06:41
44.   KG16
The key to beating the Mets seems to be left handed starting pitchers.
2006-09-21 11:07:25
45.   Bluebleeder87

give me the Mets any day.

2006-09-21 11:07:27
46.   hedgemytickets
42. We desperately want either.
2006-09-21 11:08:13
47.   regfairfield
43 Kuo maybe, Stults, no way. If Stults loses, its a fireable offense. Running your eighth starter out there in an important game just wouldn't fly.
2006-09-21 11:09:18
48.   Bluebleeder87

the Cards will be really really tough, but playing the Padres would just flat out be awesome!

2006-09-21 11:09:19
49.   ToyCannon
Talk about a miserable streak of games I've attended.
Sunday - lose a heartbreaker
Monday - left early and missed the greatest comeback in team history
Tuesday - got clobbered
Wednesday - good game, same result

I won't be going tonight so I can regroup for this weekend.

2006-09-21 11:13:16
50.   Bluebleeder87
Monday - left early and missed the greatest comeback in team history

i wonder what was going thrue you're head when you were driving home, did you atleast hear it in the radio?

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-09-21 11:13:59
51.   caseybarker
47 I'm still ambiguous on Stults. Would he have another great game against the Mets, or was it a fluke. Probably a fluke.

But I do wonder about Little's willingness to get creative with the rotation during a playoff run.

2006-09-21 11:14:38
52.   Greg S
42. I would be joyously happy to take either. As for the Mets, I would agree that starting Kuo is a definite yes, Stults no. Kuo has pretty much proven himself worthy of the rotation and left handers kill the Mets. Stults has not proven himself. It's not just that Kuo has two more good outing and Stults has one bad one. It's the whole picture. Kuo takes Billingsley's spot at #4. Nobody takes the spot of Penny, Lowe, or Maddux.
2006-09-21 11:15:42
53.   bhsportsguy
Baseball America ranks top prospects in Gulf Coast League (Rookie):
Number one prospect, Clayton Kershaw, number nine, Jhonny Nunez (since traded for Marlon Anderson), and number 11, Preston Mattingly.

Here's a little chat re Nunez, is Sam masquerading as Robert from DC, inquiring minds want to know.

Q: Robert from DC asks:
What is Jhonny Nunez' upside and could he be a guy that moves up quickly in the Washington farm system given his age?

A: Alan Matthews: It's too early to tell. He might be a starter, but he needs to improve his command. What stood out to me about his season was how well he pitched for the Dodgers late in the season and in the playoffs. He was dynamite against the Red Sox in the playoffs. I like the fact he got better as the season went on.

At first, I was really surprised the Dodgers let him loose for Marlon Anderson. Considering how well Anderson has played for the Dodgers the last two weeks, their MLB scouts deserve some credit, though. Clearly, Nunez is a long ways off, but he could be an arm the Dodgers miss

2006-09-21 11:16:52
54.   caseybarker
48 Has there been an NLCS with two teams from the Western Division?
2006-09-21 11:22:13
55.   ToyCannon
No, I have no radio which probably saved my life.
2006-09-21 11:22:40
56.   bhsportsguy
Thanks to Rob at 6-4-2, here's interesting take from someone close yet so far of the Dodgers. - Will the Angels go after a major F/A bat in the off-season, the bat that seemed to be missing this year.....The lack of protection for Vladimir Guerrero seems to be a major concern.

A: Tim Mead - Suffice to say, our offense has been inconsistent the last 3 years despite the making the playoffs two out of the last 3 years. The bat would have helped this year, though you can argue Kendrick and Rivera became a bat this year, but our defense really hurt this club this year. A bat is going to be our focal point in the offseason. We went after Konerko in the offseason and went after Lee, Tejada and Soriano at the trade deadline and fell short in a deal.

Frustration should be if you don't try, but Stoneman did try. Who made a difference that was traded at the deadline? Abreu? Maybe, but the Yankees were already solid offensively, Maddox, he helped the Dodgers rotation, but after that who else? I can't think of anyone that made a deal that turned their pennant run around besides the Dodgers.

We could have signed Frank Thomas -- the A's gambled and won -- but we've been down that road with the Eddie Murray's of free agency before.

2006-09-21 11:22:52
57.   Xeifrank
Very cool piece put together by The Hardball Times in Jon's link. I managed to get two of my late inning posts into the piece. I will be signing autographs in the Applebees parking lot from 4-5pm today.
vr, Xei
2006-09-21 11:24:14
58.   bhsportsguy
All I can say is that this team better make the playoffs or watching those home runs are going to leave a bad taste in my mouth. And this is from someone who was there and rode that high for as long as anyone.
2006-09-21 11:24:48
59.   Bluebleeder87
At first, I was really surprised the Dodgers let him loose for Marlon Anderson. Considering how well Anderson has played for the Dodgers the last two weeks, their MLB scouts deserve some credit, though. Clearly, Nunez is a long ways off, but he could be an arm the Dodgers miss

i knew nothing about the guy, but now i'm starting to wonder, Anderson has played really well for 2 weeks though.

2006-09-21 11:25:34
60.   caseybarker
54 NLCS in 1997 and 1999 were all Eastern Division affairs, 2004 and 2005 were both all Central series.

Let's join the party NL West.

2006-09-21 11:26:16
61.   Bob Timmermann

The NL West has been the wild card in 1996 (Dodgers) and 2002 (Giants). The Dodgers lost in the DS and the Giants beat the Cardinals in the NLCS after beating Arizona in the DS.

2006-09-21 11:29:09
62.   caseybarker
I was going to wait for Bob, but I decided to look it up myself.
2006-09-21 11:30:28
63.   Bluebleeder87
is Vishal still in China? i heard him say he was gonna be out there.
2006-09-21 11:32:17
64.   bhsportsguy
57 The thing is that while I was watching all that happen in front of me, and the post entries do a good job of capturing the emotions that were going through me throughout the game, I was disappointed that I could not add my comments to DT while it was going on.

You can't take away the emotion and community feeling one gets at a live event but I did miss my fellow DT members while it was going on.

2006-09-21 11:34:28
65.   bhsportsguy
Don't want to interupt your studying but do you agree with Alan Matthews analysis that while Andrew Miller will reach the majors faster than Kershaw, Kershaw has a higher ceiling.
2006-09-21 11:36:20
66.   caseybarker
64 Man, it was so much FUN to be at that game, though.
2006-09-21 11:42:21
67.   JoeyP
Can anyone recall the largest September playoff lead that the Dodgers have blown in the past 15 years?

On September 3rd, the Dodgers were 4 games up on the Padres, so the playoff lead was at least 4 games.

I'm thinking in September 2002, the Dodgers had a lead in the WC that was lost, but I dont think it ever was 4 games.

2006-09-21 11:44:24
68.   Greg S
64/66 I agree. While I was at the game, with all of it's twists and turns, I thougt a lot about what must be getting posted here. But I'll say this, from the time that Malon hit #4 and on I wasn't thinking about DT or about anything else at all. I just had my eyes wide and my jaw dropped and thought I don't believe what I just saw.
2006-09-21 11:46:26
69.   caseybarker
in 1996, it was four games with four to play. I guess it doesn't count because the Dodgers made the playoffs.
2006-09-21 11:49:43
70.   bhsportsguy
68 Generally, my thoughts about what is getting posted comes at two times, pitching decisions and bunting situations.

An example would be the bottom of the 8th when Betemit was on first with no outs down by a run and Saenz comes up, while I understood the move, I did wonder if there was anyone thought we should bunt (when I looked through thread, I saw it did not come up).

Actually once Kent hit the first homer, those next 5-6 minutes was a blur. And then the 10th inning was just daze.

2006-09-21 11:52:36
71.   bigcpa
56 Gotta love how the Angels sift through the wreckage of their lost season while they finish with a better record than 3 playoff teams! Meanwhile Colletti & Little got a few gallons of ink in early September for cleverly piecing together a winner built of hanging-on vets and just ripened-rookies. Then last night the press box scrambles to explain Maddux coming off a near no-no to get beat by the Pirates. Not an easy job writing about baseball everyday. At least (like today) Jon finds a way to do it without grasping for a simple storyline to complex or just plain unexplainable outcomes.
2006-09-21 11:56:50
72.   Midwest Blue
In order to lighten up the moment, from Deadspin:

Darryl Strawberry Can Teach Your Kids A Few Tricks

We know that Darryl Strawberry has made considerable strides toward cleaning up his life in recent years, and for that we applaud him: Not everyone can be Dwight Gooden, after all. But we still find it somewhat, eh, curious by this auction currently up for bid at

"This auction features the opportunity to have Darryl Strawberry come to YOUR school! The winning bidder of this auction will have the chance to have New York Legend Darryl Strawberry attend your school for a special appearance for up to an hour. Strawberry will also give a short speech to your school on valubable life lessons. Don't miss out on this rare opportunity to have a super star like Daryl Strawberry come to YOUR school!"
(We hope Darryl's first comment is, "It's two 'R's, you dope.'")

The current bid is $250, and the auction ends Saturday; only schools in the New York City tri-state area need apply. While we hope the kids are able to resist the temptation to taunt with "DAR-RYLLLLLL!" repeatedly, we do enjoy that the auction includes the addendum: "This item has an MLB Hologram affixed to guarantee the item is 100% authentic" and stipulates that there is a $10 shipping fee. (Oh, and you can't ship to P.O. Boxes.) In other words, you can't tattoo Darryl and mail him somewhere, which is good, because, really, hasn't Darryl suffered enough?

2006-09-21 11:58:40
73.   Bob Timmermann
In 1996, the Dodgers led by 2.5 games with four to play. The Padres had just three games left at the time. When the final series started, the Dodgers led by 2 with 3 games left, so they just needed to win one game to clinch the division.
2006-09-21 12:03:29
74.   caseybarker
Oh. For some reason, I thought it was a four game series (but even then the lead would've been 3.5 and not 4). It probably felt like a four game series at the time.
2006-09-21 12:13:15
75.   Bob Timmermann
The Astros had a 3-game lead over the Dodgers with 3 left at Dodger Stadium in 1980 and the Dodgers forced a tie.

In 1982 the Brewers led the Orioles by three games with four left, lost the first three to fall into a tie and won Game 162.

In 2004, the Dodgers led the Giants by three games with three left.

2006-09-21 12:21:05
76.   bigcpa
75 What I remember from 2004 (with a peek at b-ref) is after taking the first 2 of 3 from STL at home on 9/11 we were up 6 gms on SF and 7 in the loss column with 21 to play. We proceeded to go 9-9 heading into the final weekend with SF going 11-5. And that included 3 miracle 1-run wins vs. Colorado. 9-9 sounds pretty good right now!!
2006-09-21 12:24:10
77.   underdog
Darn, if I'd known I was going to be quoted in Hardball Times (albeit anonymously as a commenter) I would have tried to be more clever. Oh well, at least my touchy feely comment at the end of that game made it in.


Also, I agree with Jon to a point - I don't see what it could hurt to call up one or two more young arms for the bullpen right now. I'd vote for Greg Miller, if I had to choose. Bring him in for an inning here or there - he can't do worse than Tomko and I don't think it would be that bad for his psyche if he struggled, just getting the experience would be a good thing. And again, I think he might help, which would be the reason to do it of course.

2006-09-21 12:29:18
78.   Telemachos
My HB Times comment comes off as some sort of wild scream. Hardly the erudite and witty quotes from many of the other DT mentions. Heh.
2006-09-21 12:30:34
79.   popup
Regarding the pen, it has been questionable all year. Saito has done a good job and Broxton and even Tomko have had some moments of effectiveness. I saw Alexander pitch for Vegas and he did not look like a major league pitcher to me. If the Dodgers have someone on the farm who has a major league arm and who is on the 40 man roster, I would bring him up. LaSorda did that with Fernando back in 1980 and it almost got the Dodgers to postseason. I would not worry at all about a young kid being ruined by a bad outing. If a kid can't bounce back from that, I figure he is not going to be a major league player anyway.

Stan from Tacoma

2006-09-21 12:33:59
80.   Bluebleeder87

i can only imagine my comments during that roller coaster ride. i wear my imotions on my sleeve i'll leave it at that.

2006-09-21 12:35:40
81.   Bluebleeder87

i never seen Alexander pitch at all, but i heard he had a good run in the middle of the season. I heard Greg Miller is really wild/can't find the strike zone.

2006-09-21 12:36:42
82.   Daniel Zappala

I was just revisiting the links on your sidebar and noticed your great article on Blues Clues and what makes it such a good show for kids. Like a lot of parents, my kids watched that show a lot when they were that age and loved it.

My new favorite kids show is Fetch! with Ruff Ruffman. Great way to use TV as a medium for education.

2006-09-21 12:37:36
83.   Xeifrank
63. We exchanged emails after my trip to China. He mentioned something about attending Tsinghua University this year and I assume classes have already started. I haven't heard from him the past 4-5 months, so I don't really know if he is there or not. I have his email address.
vr, Xei
2006-09-21 12:43:03
84.   bhsportsguy
I know we really need to move on past Monday night but Jayson Stark unearthed some great stats, here are two, the first is expected, the second is just cool

1. In the 12 years Bochy has managed Hoffman, the Padres have held a 4 run lead 94 times and were 94-0 until that night.

2. Courtesy of SABR home run historian David Vincent: Not only had no team ever hit back-to-back-to-back-to-back homers to tie a game in the ninth (or any other) inning, no team had ever even hit three in a row to tie a game late. Not in the ninth inning. Not in the eighth inning. Not in any extra inning, 10th through 26th.

2006-09-21 12:46:10
85.   Linkmeister
71 "Not an easy job writing about baseball everyday."

Could be worse. You could have to come up with a new reason for the DJIA/NASDAQ's moves each day.

I'm always amused by my local newscaster's rote reading of some Bloomberg or AP blurb: "The Dow rose x points on the feeling that the Fed won't raise rates."

Next day: "The Dow fell y points as the price of a barrel of oil rose $1.31."

I always want to say "Gary! Get creative! You can make it up as well as they can!"

2006-09-21 12:48:08
86.   Bob Timmermann
Vishal recently left a comment on the Griddle.
2006-09-21 12:49:47
87.   Bob Timmermann
Wait till you have to write prep football capsule stories. I could probably write one of those in my sleep. I doubt I wrote anything creative in one of those stories after 1997.
2006-09-21 12:58:08
88.   Xeifrank
87. Speaking of prep football capsules, I am still waiting for my Oaks Christian vs St Bonaventure entry on the Griddle. :)
vr, Xei
2006-09-21 13:02:58
89.   Sam DC
I don't understand.

How can I be the first person to mention The Office?

I don't even watch the Office.

Is everyone over at that new place, or what?

2006-09-21 13:03:57
90.   Bob Timmermann
You better keep on waiting...
2006-09-21 13:08:38
91.   LeeLacy
I recall in 1991 the Dodgers having a two-game lead over the Braves with 10 games to play. In fact, if I remember correctly, in the fourth-to-last game of the season with the Dodgers nursing a slender one-game lead over the Braves, the Dodgers lost to the Padres in a game where the Pads broke a tie by scoring, I believe, 6 runs in the 8th inning. And the most agonizing part of that inning was that nearly every hit was an infield single. I came close to heaving my Sony clock radio at the wall while listening to that one. So the Dodgers were tied with the Braves heading into the final series of the year, which was against Giants. The Dodgers lost their next 2; the Braves won their next 2; thus, the Braves won the first of 14 straight division crowns. That one still sticks in my craw (whatever a craw is; I think Dr. Katz once said it's located right next to your drothers).
2006-09-21 13:11:56
92.   bigcpa
Projected pitching matchups on final weekend...


Lowe would go Thurs 9/28 at Colorado. Final day could be a rematch of the Sunday night instant classic.

2006-09-21 13:25:03
93.   Bob Timmermann
You must mean "The Day The Worms Got Even"

HARRIS; On a bunt Azocar singled to shortstop; Roberts singled
to shortstop [Azocar to second]; On a bunt Howell singled to
third [Azocar to third, Roberts to second]; Jackson singled to
left [Azocar scored (unearned, but earned for the pitcher),
Roberts to third, Howell to second]; CANDELARIA REPLACED GROSS
(PITCHING); McGriff reached on an error by Murray [Roberts
scored (unearned, but earned for the pitcher), Howell to third,
Jackson to second, McGriff to first]; MCDOWELL REPLACED
CANDELARIA (PITCHING); Santiago singled [Howell scored
(unearned), Jackson to third, McGriff to second]; Teufel popped
to second; Howard grounded out (second to first) [Jackson scored
(unearned) (RBI), McGriff to third, Santiago to second]; Shipley
singled [McGriff scored (unearned), Santiago to third]; Azocar
singled [Santiago scored (unearned, but earned for the pitcher),
Shipley to third]; Roberts flied to left; 6 R, 7 H, 1 E, 2 LOB.
Padres 9, Dodgers 3.

That's Bip Roberts and Darrin Jackson if you're wondering.

2006-09-21 13:26:05
94.   Bluebleeder87
Maddux/Schmidt from 92

i like our chances, i just worry there gonna be the spoiler for us i hope not.

2006-09-21 13:27:28
95.   Bluebleeder87

looks like you remember very well also Bob.

2006-09-21 13:28:29
96.   ToyCannon
Hey, your using one of my favorite Dodgers handle. FYI-I met Lee around 10 years ago and he was very friendly and talked with me for about 20 minutes while at a bar in Palm Springs. His wife was with him and if I remember correctly she is an MD. It was nice to have one of your favorite ballplayers actually have a pleasant personality. I always expect the worse.
2006-09-21 13:33:36
97.   Bob Timmermann
That inning against the Padres was so infuriating to watch. The Padres did not hit the ball hard once during that inning and got six runs.
2006-09-21 13:34:09
98.   ToyCannon
"DJ drops 79.96 points as the status of the Dodger Bullpen has created a jittery market"
2006-09-21 13:37:48
99.   Bob Timmermann
Jack Wilson rushed for three runs and a stolen base as Pittsburgh won an interdivisional game, 6-4, at Los Angeles Tuesday night.
2006-09-21 13:38:55
100.   Bluebleeder87
when ever i watch the Nomar Hrun i always get chills watching the fan in the middle of everybody pointing to the sky & yelling his hart out. I love watching other Dodger fans feel the way i feel.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-09-21 13:41:52
101.   Xeifrank
90. Can I speak to your supervisor please!!?
vr, Xei
2006-09-21 13:42:22
102.   Jon Weisman
89 - Sure, mention it at the new place.

But I can't watch it until my wife gets home from work at around 10 p.m.

2006-09-21 13:45:13
103.   Telemachos
100 I think my favorite image from that crazy night is Russell Martin reacting to Marlon's homer. He's staggering in shock and delight, mouth wide open in a yell, a teammate wrapped around his back.

Even compared to the other images of Dodgers reacting/cheering, that one really stood out for me.

2006-09-21 13:51:13
104.   Bob Timmermann
Looking back at the Hardball Times article, I find it very funny that I thought the Dodgers rallying from a 4-0 deficit to Peavy to tie it at 4-4 was one of the most astounding things I had seen all year.
2006-09-21 13:53:16
105.   scooplew
22 How would you manage Tomko, Carter, Baez, Dessens, Hamulack, Sele, Gio...?
Who would you have put in there instead of Pedro?
This talk of Grady doing a bad job with the pitching ignores the fact that the pitching is bad. ]

I would have used Tomko and Sele in long relief, disposed of Carter and Baez (as the Dodgers did), gotten rid of Hamulack after he proved to be ineffective, and used Dessens and Gio as they have been used (in spots). I would have called up Miller and perhaps others and scanned the waiver wire for replacements. And, overall, I might not have done much better than Little, perhaps worse. I just would not have done the same thing repeatedly when it did not work -- Hamulack, Hendrickson and Tomo. It seems to me that Little is a slow learner when it comes to piching....Pedro had lost it. Miller and Morgan, broadcasting the game, were astonished that he wasn't removed. As to who I would have brought it, I don't have the Red Sox pitching roster at hand.

2006-09-21 13:55:30
106.   Daniel Zappala
Bob, it isn't just you, there are other comments there that are funny in hindsight. Yours was a whopper though. :-)
2006-09-21 13:55:34
107.   Bluebleeder87

have you seen the replay? when Nomar hit's it out & all the fans are rushing to try & get the ball? one fan is pointing to the sky & yelling as loud as he can! that moment is priceless to me.

2006-09-21 13:57:45
108.   dzzrtRatt
Here's what's running thru Grady's mind: "Tomko's not getting it done...sure would like to try that kid Miller...I know there's no scouting report on him worth a damn, so he can fool 'em....but what if he doesn't? What if he messes up and blows the game and the pennant? We'll never get that kid's confidence back up, never. The fans won't let us. Ah, screw it, I'm bringin' in Tomko..."
2006-09-21 13:59:29
109.   LeeLacy
After reading the gory play-by-play of that infamous inning, I experienced a nightmare flashback a la Frank Sinatra in The Manchurian Candidate (and, strangely, I suddenly feel compelled to pass the time playing some solitaire).
2006-09-21 14:00:25
110.   adraymond
Haven't seen that one but it sounds awesome. Do you have a link?
2006-09-21 14:02:26
111.   Daniel Zappala
Somehow I doubt Grady Little is worried about ruining Miller for the future, based on a possible loss of confidence. That's not his job. Managing is a short-term job, and he is going to be concerned primarily with winning this year. He may lobby Colletti to call up certain players he thinks can help, but his job is about using who he has, right now. I'm sure Little worries about Tomko, but he also has few other good choices and brings him in anyway.
2006-09-21 14:04:52
112.   Telemachos
105 Scouring the waiver wire is Ned's job (and Ng's, et al). Grady's job is to use the pieces he has. At this point, I can't fault him more than the players (both deserve equal blame, I think).

110 At a guess, any unedited replay of the 4 homers would have it. It went by pretty quickly... what stuck with me is that Russell looked just as stunned and delighted as what I was feeling.

2006-09-21 14:11:56
113.   caseybarker
112 No kidding it went by quickly. I remember thinking after Kent's home run that it would take a long inning to come all the way back.
2006-09-21 14:14:53
114.   Jon Weisman
Okay, there's an open chat thread at Screen Jam for entertainment talk if anyone's interested. Understandably, readership there is low right now, but feel free to be among the future original commenters.
2006-09-21 14:20:12
115.   LeeLacy
That's cool to hear that Lee Lacy is a genuinely nice guy. I usually expect the worst as well (a major exception being Dale Murphy, who is as genial and unpretentious as he's portrayed to be).

Lee Lacy became my favorite Dodger on a Saturday afternoon back in the late '70s while watching a saturday afternoon game on NBC between the Dodgers and Pirates. Though my dad had taken me to a number of Dodger games when I was a toddler, this was one of the first games I remember watching (I was about 7 at the time). With the Dodgers trailing by 2 in the 9th, Lacy was called on to pinch hit and proceeded to hit a homer. Though I remember the Dodgers still losing the game, Lacy became The Man, as far as I was concerned.

2006-09-21 14:30:14
116.   dzzrtRatt
OT, but not really: I just read a quote about sports fans that I thought was funny.

Frank Howard, the football coach at Clemson decades ago, once defined the college football fan as a 40 year old man who screams at a 20 year old for not completing a 50 yard pass, and after the game can't find his car in the parking lot.

2006-09-21 14:35:17
117.   dzzrtRatt
According to, if the Dodgers play the Phillies in a playoff for the wild card, or if they draw the Phils in the first round, they will face Cole Hamels.

Who, as I recall, has super powers?

2006-09-21 14:49:34
118.   Bluebleeder87
i'll take my chances against the phils any day.
2006-09-21 14:53:42
119.   caseybarker
Whole Camels has super powers. Cole is his alter-ego.

How many times did Ryan Howard burn us in 2005? Tomko should not be allowed to pitch to Howard in the playoffs.

2006-09-21 14:54:48
120.   StolenMonkey86
The Dodgers lost two games to the Phillies because of players currently on other teams:

1) Bobby Abreu hit a walkoff homer and he's a Yankee now
2) The Dodgers got Baezed in Gagne's return

2006-09-21 14:55:28
121.   Bluebleeder87

although watching Gagne against Howard was awesome.

2006-09-21 14:56:24
122.   Jon Weisman
This is worth reading:

I get it the whole chain aspect, I get that it's done elsewhere, but it's still hard for me to understand how someone not on staff at the Times can get a Times Staff Writer byline.

2006-09-21 14:56:43
123.   thinkingblue
Did anyone else think Billingsley was not healthy his last start? Or is the general opinon that he was rusty?
2006-09-21 14:57:16
124.   Sam DC
Angelina Jolie to star in film version of Atlas Shrugged.

When reached for comment, Paul DePodesta said "Ooooooooohhhhhhh yeaaahhhhh" in that voice from the Ferris Bueller song.

This Dodger Thoughts / Screen Jam crossover joke brought to you by Sam DC.

2006-09-21 14:58:59
125.   Jon Weisman
124 - Who's playing Charles Atlas?
2006-09-21 15:04:03
126.   caseybarker
Eric Gagne the closer certainly was not afraid to challenge anybody.
2006-09-21 15:06:25
127.   Sam DC
126 Not even when he was on the DL! Now that's heart.
2006-09-21 15:07:55
128.   caseybarker
I've seen him down there being mentally challenging!
2006-09-21 15:11:51
129.   underdog
Couldn't Eric Gagne now be as effective as Tomko - but more fun to watch? I mean he can throw with his left arm, what the heck!
2006-09-21 15:13:48
130.   Johnson
124 If Angelina Jolie is Dagny, who is John Galt?
2006-09-21 15:16:47
131.   natepurcell
Don't want to interupt your studying but do you agree with Alan Matthews analysis that while Andrew Miller will reach the majors faster than Kershaw, Kershaw has a higher ceiling.

yes i agree. I dont like Millers delivery. The way he throws across his body with that lower then normal arm angle scares me.

2006-09-21 15:17:42
132.   caseybarker
At least he'd be more fun to watch walking out of the bullpen. Tomko can just sneak in behind him.
2006-09-21 15:20:41
133.   underdog
131 You should tell my Tigers fan colleague that - he keeps bragging about how the Tigers' stole him in the draft when other teams passed on him. I actually agree he was a steal but not with him that Miller's the best pitcher in the draft. Can't wait to see Kershaw.
2006-09-21 15:20:50
134.   Sam DC
130 Gotta think the 100 page long speech is sort of a actionkiller.
2006-09-21 15:21:14
135.   regfairfield
131 Nate,

How often do players perform terribly at the lowest levels and go on to be productive? BA was talking about the GCL Dodgers and called Preston Mattingly a top ten prospect, despite the fact that he struck out a ton, barely walked, and hit for little power.

I realize that there's some sample size issues there, but it seems like if you are that talented, you should tear up rookie ball. How many bad years can a person have at the low levels before we give up on him?

2006-09-21 15:22:07
136.   underdog
Btw, Jon, I appreciated this sentiment for some reason:
"The better team doesn't always win. It's why we play the games, and why there's hope for the underdog and fear for the overdog."

I think in the cartoon it was "Overcat" actually but you weren't referring to the cartoon. I do think of the Padres as Simon Bar Sinister all of a sudden.

2006-09-21 15:25:51
137.   underdog
130 "If Angelina Jolie is Dagny, who is John Galt?"
I was going to type "Brad Pitt" as a joke and then discovered that it's... true.
2006-09-21 15:26:49
138.   natepurcell

its not uncommon for top prospects who are a bit raw but have a ton of tools to not perform that well in their first try of professional ball. If they keep not performing as they move up levels, then you should be concerned.

kemp GCL 270/298/346

mattingly GCL 290/322/403

2006-09-21 15:41:03
139.   Jon Weisman
Olmedo Saenz starting at first base tonight, batting third.
2006-09-21 15:42:07
140.   StolenMonkey86
yep, full lineup from ITD

Furcal, SS

Lofton, CF

Saenz, 1B

Kent, 2B

Drew, RF

Martin, C

Anderson, LF

Lugo, 3B

Billingsley, P

2006-09-21 15:42:59
141.   Vishal
[63] i am in china! i'll be here till january. don't forget to tip your waitress. :)
2006-09-21 15:43:04
142.   Bob Timmermann
Ol-Me-Do! Ol-Me-Do! Ol-Me-Do!
2006-09-21 15:44:01
143.   Bob Timmermann
You can either chant that Dodger Stadium style like "J! D! Drew!" or you can sing it like "Evita!"
2006-09-21 15:45:03
144.   Bob Timmermann
My quote of the day is appropriate... I think...

"There is no fate that cannot be surmounted by scorn."

2006-09-21 15:48:16
145.   regfairfield
138 Cool. Thanks, Nate.
2006-09-21 15:48:48
146.   Xeifrank
141. Can you bring me home some jaozi, from master chef Guo.
vr, Xei
2006-09-21 15:53:38
147.   Jon Weisman
Ol-me-di, ol-me-do, life goes on, bro
2006-09-21 15:53:58
148.   jasonungar05
Gosh not having a computer at home is killing me. (hard drive crashed)

Going thru Sept/Oct ALONE is hard.

I need you guys..!!

But more than that, I need Chad to throw a complete game shutout tonight. Go Blue.

2006-09-21 15:56:46
149.   Tangled Up in Blue
Why does Little continue to bat Drew 5th in the order? To me it makes more sense to switch Saenz and Drew in the order.
2006-09-21 15:57:37
150.   50 years a Dodger Fan
Lugo again!!!! Is he Little's son in law or something? Why not Anderson at third and Ethier or Kemp or anyone else in the outfield? I didn't see the play well enough to critique it on Martin's throw past third base, but I did see a short glare on his face and Lugo looked like a dog I used to have who'd run chickens ever now and then. He looked guilty whether he was or not.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-09-21 15:58:09
151.   Daniel Zappala
Jon, I agree the move for the Times makes sense -- newspaper budgets are feeling the crunch and the memo from Harvey indicates this is the best way to get quality reporting on certain sports. But like you I'm confused as to why they give the reporter a Times byline instead of running the byline from the reporter's primary employer. I see articles in smaller newspapers with a NY Times byline all the time. It's shouldn't be embarrassing for the reverse to occur. In fact, it for me carries the sense that the newspaper is reaching out to any quality reporting anywhere and providing it in one format. Being a news aggregator at some level is no shame -- it is the business they are in!
2006-09-21 16:02:17
152.   Tangled Up in Blue
150 - I dont get it either. What has Lugo done to warrant this much playing time? At least he isnt hitting 3rd.
2006-09-21 16:04:52
153.   Bluebleeder87

i'm suprised Grady didn't use Saenz alot more during this series he kills the Pirates, any reason behind why he didn't use him?

2006-09-21 16:04:54
154.   regfairfield
152 Be a top 10 shortstop for the last few seasons.

Of course, if Grady is willing to look at a larger sample size, it doesn't explain why Ethier is no longer allowed to play.

2006-09-21 16:05:17
155.   caseybarker
I'd rather see Loney at first and Saenz at third, although the defense at third would suffer.

I was actually thinking Nomar should sit for a couple of days--maybe longer--althoug it seems blasphemous after all his great moments.

2006-09-21 16:06:39
156.   50 years a Dodger Fan
139 Simple: It would take playing time away from his buddy, Lugo.
2006-09-21 16:07:01
157.   dzzrtRatt
122 It's pathetic and cheesy that the Times is pretending these are staff writers.

To the reader, it doesn't matter. I've read lots of stuff in the Calendar section where the byline clearly shows its from the Baltimore Sun or some other paper in the chain. It hasn't deterred me. So why not just be honest about it? If the writers are good, people will follow them. In fact, they might click on the original website and read more of their coverage.

To the reporters, it's needlessly insulting. Journalists who have arrived at the Times feel like they've scaled the ladder. Now someone from a smaller paper gets to use the same byline?

2006-09-21 16:08:54
158.   Bluebleeder87

sounds really cool, i've never been any were that far. i can only imagine the culture change, what are you doing over there if you don't mind me asking?

2006-09-21 16:11:13
159.   Tangled Up in Blue
154 - Has he really been a top 10 shortstop the last few years? I thought his production this year (with Tampa Bay) was higher than normal.
2006-09-21 16:11:17
160.   Bluebleeder87

just buy & put in a new one in you're tower, it's very easy.

2006-09-21 16:13:31
161.   dzzrtRatt
At this point, playing Lugo is like tossing a coin that has turned up tails 10 times in a row. Little's got to figure that eventually it'll come up heads.

Plus Betemit is hitting .125 against lefties.

2006-09-21 16:15:08
162.   Xeifrank
141. In case he's not able to respond promptly, he is there at school/college.

Tonight's score:
Pirates: 3
Dodgers: 5
Hitting stars: Saenz & Kent.
vr, Xei

2006-09-21 16:17:08
163.   Bob Timmermann
The Tigers loss to Baltimore today has put Minnesota in first in the AL Central by .001 although the Twins play at Boston now.
2006-09-21 16:21:03
164.   JoeyP
Be a top 10 shortstop for the last few seasons.

Thats just it.
If he was being used at shortstop here, then its understandable why he's playing.
But putting Lugo at 3rd, 2nd, or in RF just isnt giving the team the best chance to win. He doesnt have the bat to play any of those positions, especially given how bad he's been.

125 ABs of .224/.293/.272 is enough.

I'm also surprised Little benches Drew more than Lofton. Is KLoft the only guy that can play CF on this team? Thats a scary thought.

2006-09-21 16:21:05
165.   Bluebleeder87

i was wondering what his major was, i hate/am embarassed that i didn't even finish high school, see the grittle on why.

2006-09-21 16:21:42
166.   Bluebleeder87
i'm still P.O'ed that Grady didn't start Saenz during this whole series!!
2006-09-21 16:25:22
167.   JoeyP
Saenz has only had like 11ABs this month, and the Dodgers have faced quite a few lefties.

I dont know either. I know Nomar is struggling, but he has crushed lefties this year. Why not stick Saenz at 3rd and keep Nomar in?

2006-09-21 16:25:44
168.   Tangled Up in Blue
At this point I would rather have Betemit and his .125 average against lefties than Lugo. All Lugo has done is play poorly, complain about playing time and make excuses. His attitude has really bothered me.

Of course, because he is in the lineup, I hope tonight goes down as "Julio Lugo Night".

2006-09-21 16:26:14
169.   caseybarker
Alright, it's time to begin our walkoff ten-game win streak.
2006-09-21 16:39:03
170.   bhsportsguy
Its hard to argue about Grady's decisions involving playing Drew, Drew really has had no real injury issues aside from his knee flareup in June after the Colorado series.

I really have never understood why people put the $11M figure out there when discussing Drew, he is just one of those guys that has to have a break and he is going to finish with over 140 games played and with 18 HRs and 90 RBI with 10 games to go.

I know must have feel that J.D. isn't going to opt out of $11M year contract since the chances of him making more ($33M for the next 3 years) seems to be pretty slim. But aside from Lance Berkman and Brad Haupe, the pickings in NL for rightfielders is pretty slim. Drew will turn 31 in November so we shall see what he and Boras decide what to do.

Like I said, there have been no indications that Drew will opt out, instead when he has said anything, it appears that he is happy and looking forward to playing here.

2006-09-21 16:46:30
171.   bhsportsguy
It will take someone with more patience than me but I believe that if Minnesota takes over first place tonight, it will be the first time this season that it has held that position. Now maybe the Giants in 1951, the Cards in 1964 or the Yankees in 1978 also could claim that distinction but it has to be among the latest in the season that a team has ever made that climb to the top, if however briefly it may be.
2006-09-21 16:51:50
172.   Bob Timmermann
The 1951 Giants are the team that waited the longest to go into first place.

The Giants tied the Dodgers on 9/28/1951. Game 152.

They were ahead in first technically after Games 155 and 157 also.

The Red Sox are not cooperating tonight nor is Johan Santana helping himself.

2006-09-21 16:55:53
173.   Bob Timmermann
I remember seeing in the Sporting News record book who was the American League counterpart, but I can't place it now. I think it might be the 1995 Mariners.
2006-09-21 16:58:28
174.   bhsportsguy
172 Does that mean the Giants never held first place all to themselves until Russ Hodges started screaming? No wonder that game had such an impact.
2006-09-21 17:00:05
175.   bhsportsguy
172 I guess Minnesota wants to wait a while, there is still a chance that by Saturday night, all 4 spots in the AL will be set, but who will play whom won't be known for possibly another week.
2006-09-21 17:02:26
176.   bhsportsguy
By the way, even though you would think the Cards are way ahead but they still have reasons to play well, they are barely ahead of both the Padres and Dodgers and they like the Dodgers play a lot better at home. However the last time the Cards had a chance to make the Dodgers lives easier, they got swept by the Astros, who in turn took them to 7 games that year before the Cards prevailed.
2006-09-21 17:04:49
177.   Bob Timmermann
They were ahead after the first playoff game.
2006-09-21 17:06:33
178.   Bob Timmermann
The Twins play the Orioles, Royals, and then White Sox to finish the season, so they don't have a tough schedule.

The Tigers go KC, Toronto, KC

2006-09-21 17:09:02
179.   Bluebleeder87
i'm gonna live & die with this team for the last 10 games.
2006-09-21 17:09:57
180.   Bluebleeder87
i'm hoping Bills worked out the twiches from his last start.
2006-09-21 17:16:38
181.   bhsportsguy
175 As long as the Yankees beat out the A's record, they will host the wild card team this year during the first round of the playoffs. I am fairly sure of this, if the AL playoffs feature the Yankees, A's, Tigers and Twins, the Yankees payroll will be more then the combined payroll for the other three teams.
2006-09-21 17:20:44
182.   bhsportsguy
181 Based on some sites, the combined payrolls for the three teams is about 10M-12M more than the Yankees but those also include full salaries for Sean Casey and Phil Nevin, which those teams did not pay but also shows the salary for Abreu and Lidle that the Yankees did not pay.

But it is close.

2006-09-21 17:25:51
183.   Linkmeister

That's a story from NPR's All Things Considered on Tuesday about the LA Times and Tribune Corp.

Pull quote:

"According to a person knowledgeable about the Los Angeles Times' operations, Tribune is demanding that the paper increase its profits each year by 7 percent. Because revenues aren't growing, there's been a constant cycle of cuts.

A little more than two weeks ago, the Tribune Company's top newspaper executive, Scott Smith, delivered the latest: the Los Angeles Times had to eliminate an additional $10 million in costs before the end of the year. The paper was also told it had to pare back from 930 journalists to about 800."

I dunno, but if you're gonna cut nearly 20% of staff, the sports department seems to be a likely place to start. That would explain this odd arrangement of finding other sportswriters to cover sports the readers still want to know about.

2006-09-21 17:27:04
184.   bhsportsguy
As Pedro gives up runs to the Marlins, I have to wonder with maybe one more start next week and then a probable couple of innings over next weekend, will he be ready to pitch some pressure innings in the playoffs?
2006-09-21 17:29:10
185.   Bluebleeder87

that's just flat out creapy.IMO. NY ofcourse will spin there liking. sugar coat & so forth.

2006-09-21 17:30:21
186.   Jon Weisman
183 - They began cuts at the sports department long ago. L.A. Observed has tons of backstory on this.
2006-09-21 17:32:26
187.   Bluebleeder87
i didn't even know the times was having money issues. wow that's crazy.
2006-09-21 17:32:57
188.   bhsportsguy
More playoffs, the Twins need to win the Central division, in case of a tie and both teams are already qualified, the Tigers won the season series 11-8, so they would be the Division winner.

Somewhere, the Yankee gods are pleased since they don't worry about a double dose of Santana and Liriano.

2006-09-21 17:34:08
189.   Tangled Up in Blue
If Pedro continues to struggle, the Dodgers may be better off winning the wild card. I would rather play the Mets in a 5 game series and get to them before their pitching gets healthy.

We should probably focus on beating the Pirates first.

2006-09-21 17:34:23
190.   bhsportsguy
186 I also saw that after that memo went out, the Times have basically "drawn a line in the sand" saying no more personnel cuts.

Not saying that it will work, I have never known the line in the sand threat to be wholly persuasive.

2006-09-21 17:35:08
191.   bhsportsguy
189 True, just pointing out more and more that there are no superteams out there in the NL for sure.
2006-09-21 17:37:47
192.   Telemachos
Forget the Mets.... I'm worried about the Rockies and Giants on the road. The Dodgers play poorly away from home and both the Rocks and Giants play them tough.
2006-09-21 17:39:59
193.   Linkmeister
187 If you listen to that story, you'll discover that the Times is not having money troubles; it's making money at a healthy 20% clip (if I remember it right). The problem is that the Tribune Corp. wants it to make money at a 30% clip.

Further deponent sayeth not.

2006-09-21 17:40:29
194.   we are infinite
Glad to see the Giants are in the hole early in Milwaukee. Not a big hole, but a hole nonetheless.
2006-09-21 17:42:14
195.   Tangled Up in Blue
191 - Agreed, the Mets are not the juggernaut that many people thought they were.
2006-09-21 17:42:53
196.   Bluebleeder87

i learn something new every day, that makes sense. i get my paper delivered everyday but i just read it of the net.

2006-09-21 17:44:16
197.   Bluebleeder87

StLuis comes to mind

2006-09-21 17:46:08
198.   Tangled Up in Blue
192 - You're right, I am getting WAY ahead of myself. I am really frightened that the Giants will knock us out of the playoffs.
2006-09-21 17:50:05
199.   Jon Weisman
Game thread is open.
2006-09-21 17:50:08
200.   Bluebleeder87

the last days are gonna be awesome.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-09-21 17:53:41
201.   Tangled Up in Blue
193 - I heard the story as well. The investment funds that own a large share of the Tribune are looking for the Times to match the return that the Tribune has delivered in the recent past. I asked myself, why can't the Cubs win when the Tribune is making a 30% return? Then I remembered they have Dusty Baker.
2006-09-21 20:50:45
202.   Vishal
[158] i'm in grad school for international relations and public administration. i'm here to take some courses on china, make contacts, and learn chinese.

[146] i eat jiaozi (dumplings) pretty much every other day. it's glorious. i've had some pretty random food here as well though.

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