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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

2007-01-07 10:25
by Jon Weisman

There's something greater in sports than winning a game, or even a championship. There's winning history.

Boise State proved it on the football field Monday night, with its spectacular hook-and-ladder and Statue of Liberty plays to take the Fiesta Bowl from Oklahoma. The Broncos won't win the national title (save your BCS catcalls for the college football page), but barring any greater excitement in this week's BCS title game between Ohio State and Florida, it is the Boise State moments, more than any others from this season, that people will relive again and again, in highlight packages on television, on the Internet and in our memories.

As for baseball, with its long, perhaps unrivaled history in sport, the challenge of carving something indelible into the history books couldn't be truer than for any other sport. We think we're rooting for our team to win a championship, but deep down, the most rewarding thing is to have a game – or even a play – that we're still talking about years later. It just happens that in a championship setting, where the importance of everything is magnified, the chances for great and permanent memories grow exponentially.

When a St. Louis Cardinals team that struggles during the season wins the World Series, that's a good story. But in doing so without much drama, the excitement ends with Cardinal fans. Many are still reveling in their euphoria, but everyone else is moving on.

As it came time to review highlights of the 2006 season, most passed over the Cardinals in favor of such memories as the game - cited by SI's Tom Verducci as baseball's game of the year and by others as the game of the young century - in which the Dodgers hit four consecutive home runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to tie San Diego and a fifth homer in the 10th inning to defeat the Padres. Though it might be heretical to suggest it, I'm not sure how many fans would trade partisan interest in the 4+1 game for a World Series that generated much less excitement, that everyone else will have forgotten by May, that will never be replayed as a classic moment. (Dodger fans might be quicker to give up Jeff Kent and J.D. Drew being thrown out at the plate on the same play, though that has a certain glorious mystique all its own.)

This is not to belittle the Cardinals' accomplishment. They proved a lot of naysayers wrong in the 2006 postseason, including me, and even though they were not baseball's best team in the regular season, they played great when it counted. There is no reason that an American sports culture that celebrates March Madness runs by basketball teams from North Carolina State to George Mason should turn around and slam an October mad dash by St. Louis.

That being said, a huge part of the fun of sports is having others tip their cap to you -- and keep tipping it. And that can come with or without a title.

Ideally, a team wins it all while taking your breath away. Bill Mazeroski, Kirk Gibson, Jack Morris, Joe Carter: Those names, among others, evoke everlasting memories for anyone who witnessed their roles in history, regardless of whether they were rooting for them at the time or agnostic.

Short of hitting that winning-with-style exacta, there's a valid debate over what's more important – the moment or the title. Take your pick, folks, between the Cincinnati Reds' 1975 World Series title or Carlton Fisk waving his Game 6 home run fair before his Boston Red Sox team lost Game 7. Or between having Bobby Thomson's "Shot Heard 'Round the World" or the 1951 World Series title to cherish. It's Fisk and Thomson, hands down. How many, outside of New York, even care who won the '51 Series?

Kelly Leak got thrown out at the plate, and still the Bad News Bears are our favorite misfits.

In this beboppin'-and-scatin'-all-over-the-place offseason, with team after team spending money fast as they can in pursuit of a 2007 championship, an amazing fact remains. In the past 30 years, the Florida Marlins, a top-five team for apathy or derision, have won as many World Series as any other major-league team except the New York Yankees. By the conventional standards of measuring success, Florida is among the best National League franchise since 1976.

The Marlins boast as many memories of ultimate triumph than any other NL team during that period. On top of that, one of Florida's World Series titles ended in a fashion so memorable one hardly needs to be reminded: Edgar Renteria's bottom-of-the-11th RBI single to win Game 7 of the 1997 Series. As recently as this past season, the Marlins provided baseball with an exciting group of young players, highlighted by 22-year-old Anibal Sanchez, who leapt into the spotlight with a no-hitter.

But again, though no slight is intended to any Florida fans - their diehards have all my respect - the Marlins' life story proves that World Series titles alone don't define success. Amid a run of losing seasons and general misery punctuated by fire sales, the idea of Florida as the NL's bellwether does not settle in easily. Certainly, you can argue that it's better to win the big one and lose the rest of the time than never win the big one at all, but at a minimum, it doesn't seem like a fun way to live.

Magic matters. Of course, you can't guarantee magic, any more you can guarantee finding a bottle with a genie in it. Instead, you make the moves, long-term and short-term, that give you the best chance of generating magic - often in the form of a championship, but not always.

Comments (164)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-01-07 10:47:22
1.   DXMachina
The Dodgers have also won two World Series since 1976 as well, and one of those Series had a pretty special moment, too.
2007-01-07 10:51:23
2.   Jon Weisman
Sorry - I meant to say Florida has won "as many" WS ...
2007-01-07 10:59:21
3.   Bob Timmermann
Is the ultimate "moment" winning a championship on the last play of the game and coming from behind to do it. Those are pretty rare events.

Some moments that you would think would resonate more would be Francisco Cabrera's game winning hit in the 1992 NLCS, but outside of Atlanta and Pittsburgh, it's largely forgotten.

Football gets more of these moments because of the way the game is structured. Although a game-winning TD to end a game is better than a game-winning FG.

2007-01-07 11:01:59
4.   D4P
I would think a 60-yd game-winning FG might be "better" than a 1-yd game-winning TD.
2007-01-07 11:06:51
5.   Bob Timmermann
I don't know if it's better. It's just rarer.
2007-01-07 12:16:08
6.   still bevens
Does anyone know the status of the Red Sox signing JD Drew? It seems like its been on hold for an awfully long time...
2007-01-07 12:26:34
7.   3upn3down
Nice piece. I envy your ability to say your peace so eloquently.

In all honestly, do you think thoughts in the same poetic manner, or does this take work on your part?

What is the process for writing a post like that? How many drafts? Does it start kind of choppy and get massaged into something that is fluid, or do you sit down and this is what comes out?


2007-01-07 12:27:10
8.   Greg Brock
6 Last I heard, JD Drew failed his physical.

2007-01-07 12:34:55
9.   Bob Timmermann
This is from a Peter Gammons Boston Globe chat on January 4. I am not the Bob asking the question.

Bob Is J.D. Drew going to play for the Sox? What is going on, it's been a month!
Peter_Gammons First, Scott Boras was otherwise occupied and then Theo was away. The disagreement is simply over language, and the Red Sox need to be protected, but I would be shocked if he were not there on Opening Day.

2007-01-07 12:44:11
10.   still bevens
I have a ton of friends who are either from Boston or have Boston roots so it will be very odd to have to watch our boy JD play for the Sox for the next couple of seasons.

Its also kinda remarkable to see the kind of lineups that will be trotted out in the AL East next season. Its just too bad we wont get to see any of them in person because of the absolutely ridiculous interleague schedule we inherited. I was looking forward to seeing the Yankees or Sox roll through Chavez Ravine, but instead I will be treated to Jays and Rays. Oh my.

2007-01-07 12:54:14
11.   Bob Timmermann
Sorry, the only D-Ray you'll see at Dodger Stadium this year is Mark Hendrickson. The only AL teams the Dodgers host are the Angels and Blue Jays. They have 9 road AL games and 6 at home.

The last team to make a trip into Dodger Stadium will be Washington in late August. The Dodgers won't go to Wrigley until September.

2007-01-07 12:56:38
12.   still bevens
Perhaps I will file a formal complaint with MLB. How is the interleague schedule determined anyway?
2007-01-07 13:00:43
13.   D4P
It occurred to me earlier today that, of the 5 D-Rays Ned acquired last year, only one has a chance to be with the team for an entire calendar year.
2007-01-07 13:03:38
14.   Bob Timmermann
The interleague schedule is supposed to rotate divisions, but some teams have designated rivals they always play: Dodgers-Angels, Yankees-Mets, Rangers-Astros, Athletics-Giants.

But since the divisions in each league don't have equal numbers some teams get dropped off of the rotation. The Rangers and Astros really mess things up.

Teams will ask for certain games if they feel they will get better crowds. The Reds like to play Cleveland, but they aren't guaranteed to play them every year.

The Devil Rays have not played in L.A., St. Louis, or Milwaukee.

The Dodgers have not played a regular season game at Yankee Stadium.

2007-01-07 13:11:13
15.   D4P
Are the Dodgers ever going to play the Yankees again? Was the 81 Series the last time they faced each other?
2007-01-07 13:13:21
16.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers played the Yankees in 2004 and won 2 of 3 with Jose Lima winning an exiciting Sunday night game against Jose Contreras.
2007-01-07 13:15:10
17.   Bob Timmermann
Memories, from the corner of my mind ...

2007-01-07 13:18:16
18.   D4P
Oh yeah. Lima time!
2007-01-07 13:22:25
19.   Greg Brock
Beeleeb it!
2007-01-07 13:28:35
20.   D4P
Did I mention that I hate the Patriots?
2007-01-07 13:29:33
21.   Bumsrap
2007-01-07 10:25by Jon Weisman

In the latter years of the 19th century, Joseph Pulitzer stood out as the very embodiment of American journalism. Hungarian-born, a visionary who richly endowed his profession.

In 1997, the 150th anniversary of Pulitzer's birth, the Pulitzer Board recognized the growing importance of work being done by newspapers in online journalism. Beginning with the 1999 competition, the board sanctioned the submission by newspapers of online presentations as supplements to print exhibits in the Public Service category. The board left open the distinct possibility of further inclusions in the Pulitzer process of online journalism as the electronic medium developed. Thus, with the 2006 competition, the Board allowed online content in all 14 of its journalism categories and said it will continue to monitor the field.

I stopped short of learning what the 14 categories are to make sure I didn't find a reason to not make this post.

2007-01-07 13:35:56
22.   Bumsrap
7--I am guessing that the best writing is what is sometimes called automatic. After letting a subject percolate in the mind for a while a person can just start writing without thinking. If that person begins to get in the way, the flow will stop.

There is always some or alot of cleaning up to do after something is automatically written and the writer will sometimes be surprized as to where it all came from as it was not consciously pre-thought.

I am waiting for Jon's answer to your question with you. But I am going to guess that the words just flowed into his pen/keyboard.

2007-01-07 13:40:06
23.   Bumsrap
First Sheffield and then Randy. Good things happen when the madman steps aside. If King George was still inserting himself I think Bonds would have been a Yankee next year.
2007-01-07 13:41:59
24.   still bevens
17 Roberts and Izturis batting 1 & 2? Guh. You are not missed, Jim Tracy.
2007-01-07 13:46:18
25.   Bumsrap
Let's not forget to mention the Willie Mays catch as a World Series moment.

Does anybody remember the name Chuck Essigian or do you need the name to be spelled correctly if I messed it up?

Dick Ninn?

Mickey Owens?

Bill Buckner?

Don Larsen?

2007-01-07 13:58:50
26.   Bob Timmermann


2007-01-07 14:10:20
27.   Jon Weisman
17 -

7/22 - Thanks for the compliments. For a long time, I've been thinking about the Marlins vs. the Dodgers - the fact that they have very different resumes yet the same number of titles. Also, I had been thinking about the different reactions St. Louis and George Mason got. Then, when the Boise State thing happened, I just sort of connected them all.

As for the actual writing, I don't write the same way on every piece, but on this one I revised both as I went along and then again after I reached the end. On pretty much anything I write of 100 words or more, revision is involved. But on the blog, sometimes time constraints prevent me from revising as much as I'd like.

The first actual words I wrote on the first draft of this piece was something I ripped off from Seinfeld, and those ended up staying in, though they were moved down. People who have seen every episode 100 times might be able to pick it out.

2007-01-07 14:16:57
28.   Bob Timmermann
In this beboppin'-and-scatin'-all-over-the-place offseason,
2007-01-07 14:20:12
29.   D4P
I wondered where the heck that came from
2007-01-07 14:24:44
30.   Bob Timmermann
2007-01-07 14:28:28
31.   D4P
In addition to the Annoying Corrections mantle, I think Bob should accept the Explaining Allusions mantle.
2007-01-07 14:28:36
32.   Sam DC
Hey Bob, watch your tinyurl. Rule 1, you know.
2007-01-07 14:34:06
33.   Bob Timmermann
I almost emailed a Boston Globe article to someone until I realized that I had logged in with a bugmenot ID and my email address was ... not the kindest of words.
2007-01-07 14:35:04
34.   Greg Brock
Philadelphia vs. New York. How in the world do you choose in that contest?

I guess I'm rooting for New York. Philadelphia sports fans are slightly worse than New Yorkers.

2007-01-07 14:38:08
35.   Bob Timmermann
If the Giants win, maybe we'll eventually get a Colts-Giants Super Bowl. Then we can find out that Peyton and Eli Manning are....


And their father was an NFL quarterback too!

Did you know that?

2007-01-07 14:42:58
36.   D4P
Waaahhh...? How come no one ever told me that before?

See, that's what's wrong with the mainstream media these days. They never cover the interesting stories...

2007-01-07 14:49:22
37.   popup
I am not an NFL fan at all these days, but at least a Giants/Colts Superbowl would have some history behind it. The title game in 1958 was as memorable a football game as I can recall seeing.

Stan from Tacoma

2007-01-07 14:51:06
38.   Greg Brock
I thought I heard something about that. I kept turning it to ESPN to get more information on this Manning/Brother relationship, but every time I tuned in there was an interview with Tony Romo on instead.
2007-01-07 14:53:49
39.   Bob Timmermann
I am pretty sure that we will be spared looking at grainy newsreel films of Alan Ameche and Johnny Unitas.

If a #6 seed, 8-8 team makes it to the Super Bowl, there will be some explaining to do.

2007-01-07 14:56:43
40.   Greg Brock
I'm guessing that many fans are rooting for a San Diego/New Orleans Super Bowl. Many storylines. Katrina, Drew Brees facing the Chargers, Marty Schottenheimer playoff redemption.

I just think it would be the most exciting game.

2007-01-07 15:00:15
41.   Bob Timmermann
Oh, it'll probably be the Patriots and Bears in an exciting rematch of their last Super Bowl!

Except the Patriots wouldn't have Tony Eason as their QB this time. Instead they would have The Smartest Coach in the NFL™ and The Clutchest QB in the NFL™ while the Bears would be led by the Tony Eason of the 21st Century in Rex Grossman.

2007-01-07 15:14:14
42.   trainwreck
Any USC fans know much about your assistant head coach, Steve Sarkisian?
2007-01-07 15:16:07
43.   D4P
Do da' Bears have any appliance-theme-nicknamed players this year...?
2007-01-07 15:35:32
44.   Icaros

They have a whole bunch of guys who could be called "The Juicer."

2007-01-07 15:36:18
45.   D4P
None of whom are getting my Hall of Fame Vote
2007-01-07 15:38:05
46.   Marty
42 Not much. I know he was quarterbacks coach for the Raiders before and they like to hire people who've worked for them before.
2007-01-07 15:38:48
47.   Marty
Rex "the mandoline" Grossman
2007-01-07 15:41:01
48.   Marty
Brian "the candy thermometer" Erlacher
2007-01-07 15:42:21
49.   Paul Scott
43 "The Fridge" is interesting in a few regards. The most striking to me being that his weight (his official weight anyway) of 325. At the time he played, from 21-10 years ago, he was much larger than any of his contemporaries. Not so today, which seams to me remarkable given the short time that has passed.
2007-01-07 15:42:22
50.   Marty
Devin "the zester" Hester
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-01-07 15:44:48
51.   D4P
Wow, incredibly stupid play by the Giants there
2007-01-07 15:52:55
52.   trainwreck
Bruce Campbell in a commercial!
2007-01-07 16:15:19
53.   D4P
Randy Johnson agreed Sunday to a $26 million, two-year contract with Arizona
2007-01-07 16:16:51
54.   Jon Weisman
Buzzer-beater by Stanford to defeat Virginia! Pac-10 fans unite in celebration!
2007-01-07 16:26:25
55.   ToyCannon
Great column Jon, I would dare to say you have magic in your pen. Sports for me is all about the magic.
2007-01-07 16:37:53
56.   Greg Brock
54 Congrats to the Cardinal!

Virginia beat Arizona
Stanford beat Virginia
Stanford is better than Arizona!

2007-01-07 16:49:27
57.   ToyCannon
I'd like to thank the DT poster a while back who recommended the LA Dodger World Series DVD. I'd seen the 65 series in reel to reel in 69 at a Coca Cola factory field trip in DC but later when I'd viewed old WS tapes I was always disapointed with the quality.
Man, the quality on these new DVD's of the 59 and 63 is awesome. That 59 team was no great shakes compared to the 63 team that swept the series. Things I loved so far about the DVD.
1. Seeing the coliseum converted to baseball and 93,000 fans watching a world series game.
2. Everyone still wearing hats, men and women but no baseball hats.
3. Duke Sniker playing CF
4. The Chuck Essigian pinch hit home runs.
5. Why didn't Charlie Neal win the MVP
6. The big Klu and his blasts into RF
1. Reiser coaching 3rd base was my 1st glimpse ever of what could have been the greatest Dodger ever.
2. Talk about Magic and you have to discuss game 1 in the 63 series when Koufax broke the K record at Yankee Stadium setting the tone for the rest of the series.
3. Gilliam, Wills, Tommy and Willie Davis were great to see again but my highlight was seeing Frank Howard who was my 1st baseball hero living in DC in 69.
4. Podres still showing mastery over the Yankee's 8 years after the biggest victory in Brooklyn Dodger history.
5. Gentleman Al Downing as a hard throwing lefty and Jim Ball Four Bouton as a hard throwing righty.

Anyone who is a Dodger fan should pick up this DVD from Amazon.

2007-01-07 17:03:30
58.   Blue Crew
Bit of a side note here: Does anyone have any openings in their fantasy baseball league? If so, please let me know.


BC (Tim)

2007-01-07 17:08:25
59.   Vishal
my favorite sports story of the last couple days is caltech men's basketball ending a 207-game NCAA losing streak:

2007-01-07 17:17:05
60.   Vishal
[58] there's usually an unofficial dodger thoughts league that starts up here around spring training-ish. it's not a fancy keeper league or anything, unfortunately, just a normal yahoo! league, but it's fun. keep an eye out in the comments section, i'm sure someone will put it together again this year.
2007-01-07 17:24:49
61.   Blue Crew
Thanks Vishal for the info.


2007-01-07 17:35:00
62.   Marty
I think it's Xei Frank who runs that league
2007-01-07 17:40:49
63.   Vishal
btw jon, i enjoyed the piece, but how could you write an article about sports magic, TITLED "magic", and not mention, you know... magic:

ps. no problem, bc!

2007-01-07 17:43:16
64.   Jon Weisman
63 - Implied?
2007-01-07 17:45:25
65.   D4P
Weird ending to The Simpsons tonight.
2007-01-07 17:51:59
66.   Vishal
[64] hah, clever! fair enough, then.
2007-01-07 17:55:34
67.   regfairfield
58 I might have an opening, someone probably will fill it, but if you give me your contact infromation I'll keep you in mind.

Only problem would be you would be inheriting a team in complete ruin.

2007-01-07 18:05:44
68.   3upn3down
42 He went to West Torrance HS, and was a senior there in 1991-1992. He transfered there after playing at Carson high for a few years.

He threw for 300+ yards in a loosing effort against Palos Verdes Peninsula HS in the 91 season, primarily throwing out passes and WR screens, which racked up yards, but not first downs. His 300+ yard effort was a record against PVPHS until at least the 1994 season.

He went on to play QB with a good deal of success at El Camino JC after transferring there from USC where he played baseball before transferring to BYU (USC > ECJC > BYU) where he played under Norm Chow. He put up a bunch of yards at BYU (who doesn't) but could only turn it in to a professional gig in the Canadian Football League. Not sure what team, but Calgary or Saskachewan (some team out west) come to mind. He came to SC after coaching at ELJC. Left to coach QBs for the Raiders, then came back to SC before the '05 season to share Offensive Coordinator roles with Lane Kiffin and to coach the QBs again.

He is a HUGE fan of the WR screen and out pass. SC ran it all season, and he made a modest career of it as a player.

This is all from memory, but you can get the real scoop here. I'm sure there is a factual error up above.

2007-01-07 18:08:56
69.   Vishal
[67] if it's a keeper league, i might be interested as well. i've been wanting to do one of those.
2007-01-07 18:13:31
70.   gpellamjr
65 I didn't watch it. But this weekend I bought the season 7 DVD to relive the year when I fell in love with the show. They were definitely at their peak that year. Some of my favorite lines of all time:

"He can talk! He can talk! He can talk!" "I can sing!"

"Hey! My taxes paid for that horn!"

"I just got over my Chester A. Arthuritis." "haha... you had arthritis?"

2007-01-07 18:18:37
71.   D4P
Marge had a memorable line tonight. Though, come to think of it, I've forgotten exactly how it went...But I remember the gist...
2007-01-07 18:22:42
72.   gpellamjr
71 And you're not going to tell me??
2007-01-07 18:24:37
73.   trainwreck
Petrino is going to coach the Falcons.

Sigh. No chance of getting rid of Karl Dorrell now.

2007-01-07 18:25:32
74.   D4P
Well, I don't want to spoil it for the West Coasters...
2007-01-07 18:29:40
75.   gpellamjr
74 You know my email address. But, as my mom would say: "Great! Now I know where I stand. In the gutter!"
2007-01-07 18:36:09
76.   D4P
The problem is, I can't remember exactly what she said, and I wouldn't do it justice if I couldn't get it exactly right. Maybe someone else can do us a favor and post it later.

What did Marge call the merry-go-round horse when she was a young girl...?

2007-01-07 18:51:40
77.   gpellamjr
76 This is getting more and more enticing by the minute...
2007-01-07 19:07:14
78.   Andrew Shimmin
"Simpsons ist tot." --Nietzsche
2007-01-07 19:08:00
79.   gpellamjr
78 I was wondering when Nietzsche would be brought into this.
2007-01-07 19:10:18
80.   D4P
"Nietzsche ist tot"
2007-01-07 19:15:00
81.   Blue Crew
I've run a league in the past and now looking to take a break and just run my own team instead.

I would be up for a keeper league if someone wants to run it. There could be a live draft (in person) or one done via Instant Messanger (which I've done and it's not too bad).

This could be a good way to get together and have a draft.

Keep me in mind.


2007-01-07 19:18:07
82.   Daniel Zappala
More on Sarkisian:

One in a line of great BYU QBs.

2007-01-07 19:29:53
83.   trainwreck
Sarkisian may get hired as Raiders coach so I just want to see if he really is worthy of being a NFL head coach.
2007-01-07 19:33:13
84.   Daniel Zappala
He's mostly been a QB coach, so I would be really surprised if he was hired as an NFL head coach.
2007-01-07 20:02:37
85.   trainwreck
Not like the Raiders are the most logical franchise.
2007-01-07 20:07:07
86.   Xeifrank
Yeah, I will run another "Friends Of Dodger Thoughts" fantasy baseball league this spring. I didn't do too well in that league last year, and didn't do too well in the FODT fantasy football league either. If people are interested in making it a keeper league (with simple keeper rules) then we can try that. Otherwise, just the basic stuff that everyone can play (or perhaps both?).
vr, Xei
2007-01-07 20:39:36
87.   regfairfield
If your signifigant other brings four seasons of Highlander home, your quality of life is about to take a huge downturn.
2007-01-07 20:50:54
88.   Andrew Shimmin
If you're not watching the Laker game, you might think about turning it on. I don't watch, or care about, pro basketball, but this is at least as exciting as the Stanford/Virginia game. Although it may be over, now.
2007-01-07 20:54:53
89.   Xeifrank
wow, pretty exciting finish to the Laker game. Sasha was shooting lights out. The Lakers sure seemed to get all of the calls in the last 2 minutes to help with the comeback. Kobe got to the line on every drive and Dallas couldn't get a call when their player drove to the hoop and got raked by Smush. Oh well, atleast we won. I get a good feeling just knowing Mark Cuban is pissed off right about now.
vr, Xei
2007-01-07 20:55:28
90.   D4P
Good win for the Lakers. Nice to see the scoring spread around.
2007-01-07 20:58:15
91.   saltcreek
great win for the lakers....that block by smush was amazing
2007-01-07 21:10:25
92.   Uncle Miltie
great win for the lakers....that block by smush was amazing
Yea, it was amazing how slapped Terry's hand and it was called a block.

Home court advantage, I guess.

2007-01-07 21:15:43
93.   Xeifrank
What's amazing to me... is how the Lakers continue to win with Odom and Kwame both out. It really shows how basketball is a team sport and it also doesn't hurt to have alot of depth. It's amazing how all the cat-calls for Kupchack to be fired have mysteriously gone away. vr, Xei
2007-01-07 21:17:27
94.   D4P
Andrew Bynum could really help Kupchack's track record
2007-01-07 21:19:42
95.   Berkeley Doug
Beautiful writing Jon. Each day I am reminded how fortunate I am to have found DT a few years ago.
2007-01-07 21:21:59
96.   popup
#57, I agree. The one thing I would have liked to have seen added to the DVD was Vin's locker room interviews after the 1963 and 1965 World Series. They were classic. Oddly, Vin did not do a particularly good job after the 59 World Series. However, the excellence of the 63 and 65 interviews more than make up for any drawbacks from the interviews after the 59 World Series.

Stan from Tacoma

2007-01-07 21:39:20
97.   popup
By the way, let me add my appreciation for Jon's post today. When I discovered Dodger Thoughts a few years ago, I was immediately impressed by the quality of the writing. I am a former subscriber to SI; if Jon was doing feature pieces for the magazine today, I would have my check in the mail to re-subscribe.

Stan from Tacoma

2007-01-07 21:43:17
98.   bhsportsguy
One of the reasons that the Dodgers making the playoffs was important to me, it made the 4+1 game something that I always remember as part of a magic September. Like 9/11/83, games like that remain memorable when your team reaches the post-season.
2007-01-07 22:07:38
99.   trainwreck
Jim Buss was the one that decided to draft Andrew Bynum. I am not sure how much control Mitch Kupchak actually has anymore.
2007-01-07 22:20:59
100.   Xeifrank
A quick glance at the Dodgers 2007 ZIPS shows Ethier with the highest OBP and Olmedo with the highest SLG with Kemp a close 2nd. Good thing we got Pierre (for 5 years).
vr, Xei
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-01-07 22:35:11
101.   bhsportsguy
Rule 7 warning, Rule 7 warning, Rule 7 warning

Maybe we just shouldn't play the next five years if Juan Pierre is going to be in CF?

2007-01-07 22:37:32
102.   Steve
There must be less drastic ways to keep Juan Pierre from playing centerfield for the next five years, but if not -- well, in for a dime in for a dollar.
2007-01-07 22:42:54
103.   saltcreek
100. A quick glance at the zips also shows that no dodger is projected to hit over 19 homeruns, or drive in more than 85 runs.
2007-01-07 22:56:53
104.   das411
Jon, excellent writing, as always, but did you consider other more-or-less magical moments? I mean, just to use the Marlins v Dodgers comparison, sure both have the same number of championships since '76 but they both also have the same number of 88+ loss seasons...and who has had more no-hitters?

Sam, just so you don't think I am ignoring you, re: 46 in the last thread...CBP is nice but I definitely see where you are coming from. Reading the criticisms of Dodger Stadium the other day and then thinking about our shiny new ballpark really made me appreciate what I once saw someone say about HOK Sports: that "they are the company that designed Camden Yards and then made every other ballpark in the majors look exactly like it except slightly misshaped."

And Bob gets an evil glare for 135 in that thread, since I will be at that does Brock for 34 above. Hmph.

Back to all thoughts Dodgers, 103 - wasn't that what they said about the '88 team too?

2007-01-07 23:05:36
105.   Jon Weisman
104 - The '88 Dodgers had Pedro Guerrero coming off a 27-HR, 85-RBI season, so no, that wasn't what they said. Moreover, 19 HR and 85 RBI meant more in those days. Guerrero's OPS+ in 1987 was 155. The top 2006 OPS+ among projected starters on the current Dodger roster, I believe, is Garciaparra's 120.

In answer to your first question, I guess there were a lot of other things I could have considered, but I don't know what that would have added to my overall point.

2007-01-07 23:18:46
106.   Xeifrank
I wonder how many teams can say that their two players with the highest ZIPS Slugging Percentage are bench players (Olmedo, Kemp). I will try to keep the sarcasm out of this post, as I don't want to get tattled on again, but that just seems like quite a waste.
vr, Xei
2007-01-07 23:36:10
107.   Greg Brock
106 Xeifrank has the gall to insult the Los Angeles Sportsperson of the year. Ned is doing things you just don't understand. You, sitting there with your ZIPS and VORP and OPS, and you presume to judge Ned. You, with your silly computer programs and mathematical equations.

I'm tired of you people and your quantifiable statistics. Shame on you. Shame on all of you.

2007-01-07 23:36:19
108.   Bob Timmermann
You mean the best way to market the NHL on TV is to show a game featuring a team with the worst record?

Should ESPN just show Kansas City vs. Tampa Bay on Sunday Night Baseball all the time?

2007-01-08 00:02:38
109.   bhsportsguy
Hey the sarcasm warning was for my comment. :)

107 I actually meant to get in to that a little bit, I love all the stats and analysis and Ned is an interesting study because he occasionally talks the talk but his signings tend to fall into the old school category of going with proven vets (albeit those with some success) and only letting the young kids play out of sheer necessity. But he also tends leave Grady alone so when Grady decides to not play guys like Seo, Odalis, or Carter, Ned moved them out.

2007-01-08 07:38:52
110.   Bumsrap
109 But he also tends leave Grady alone so when Grady decides to not play guys like Seo, Odalis, or Carter, Ned moved them out.

It will be interesting to see who does not play in 2007 and what Ned does as a result.

2007-01-08 08:13:56
111.   D4P
Marge's line from The Simpsons last night:

She was visiting "Barnacle Bay", a former idyllic island get away that she used to visit as a kid. It is now in shambles. She finds the merry-go-round, and walks up to the sea horse she used to ride as a young girl.

"This was my favorite sea horse. I called him 'Mr. Funny Good Feeling'"

2007-01-08 08:27:14
112.   D4P
Marge also had a nice global warming related line. She and Lisa enter the Barnacle Bay Oceanographic Institute and make their way to a global warming exhibit. The exhibit consists of a model city within a glass case. The exhibit says "Press button to see what global warming will do in the next 3 years." Lisa presses the button. The tank fills with water, completely covering up the city. Small corpses float on top of the water.

Marge, with a smile of relief: "Three years is a loooonngg ways away..."

2007-01-08 08:32:23
113.   Bumsrap
112 Al would be proud.
2007-01-08 09:30:07
114.   old dodger fan
BOSTON -- Red Sox GM Theo Epstein had nothing new to report on the contract status of outfielder J.D. Drew.

"Nothing really knew there," Epstein said on Sunday during the "Hot Stove, Cool Music" event. "See what happens this week."

I don't ever recall a free agent contract that took so long to work out. Very odd.

2007-01-08 09:54:18
115.   Jon Weisman
114 - Maybe they're saving the signing for February sweeps. "Lost" is still on hiatus, after all.
2007-01-08 10:00:16
116.   Marty
11 I just nearly did a spit-take
2007-01-08 10:00:50
117.   ToyCannon
I know I'd tune in to watch Gordon, Butler, Hochevar, Dejesus, Teahen, D Young, BJ Upton, Longoria, Crawford, Baldelli, and Kazmir but then those are my two favorite AL teams at the moment.
2007-01-08 10:04:01
118.   ToyCannon
From BP Free Stuff
Player Team W L E(W) E(L) LUCK
Jae Seo TBA 1 8 5.3 5.8 -6.55
Jarrod Washburn SEA 8 14 11.1 10.7 -6.37
Jamie Moyer SEA 6 12 9.5 9.1 -6.37
Tim Corcoran TBA 5 9 5.6 5.3 -5.31
Mark Hendrickson TBA 4 8 5.3 4.5 -4.85

Seo was the unluckiest pitcher in the AL last year and the guy he was traded for was the 5th unluckiest. So Hendrickson was the 8th best southpaw in the AL while also being the 5th unluckiest. Anyone notice that TB had 3 of the 5 unluckiest pitchers?

2007-01-08 10:23:03
119.   Marty
that should have been 111
2007-01-08 10:30:10
120.   D4P
I figured as much. Don't get me wrong: Bob's a funny guy and all, but 11 didn't exactly showcase his comedy stylings...
2007-01-08 10:34:27
121.   Sam DC

Manny (L.A.): Andruw Jones to the Dodgers?????

Keith Law: (1:24 PM ET ) Jones is a 10-and-5 guy who has said repeatedly that he doesn't want to be traded. I don't see it happening. I wouldn't be surprised to see Colletti make a late move for a right field bat; he seems to have a pretty strong pro-veteran bias.

2007-01-08 10:37:47
122.   D4P
Paging Darin Erstad...
2007-01-08 10:38:27
123.   Greg Brock
122 Don't even joke like that...
2007-01-08 10:47:27
124.   Sam DC
It's a full service chat:

Andrew (Toronto): Help me Kieth - I'm in English class right now and need to quickly decide on a book to do an analysis on. Which do you suggest: 1984 or Brave New World?? Thanks!

Keith Law: (1:43 PM ET ) I wrote a paper in high school comparing those two books, actually - specifically on the use of color and light to depict the dystopias differently (in 1984 everything is dark and bleak, while in BNW it's bright, sunny, etc.). 1984 is a bit richer for literary analysis, but BNW is a quicker, easier read.

2007-01-08 10:52:11
125.   Sam DC
Law has a severe response to the Chicago writer with the blank HOF ballot in that chat as well.
2007-01-08 11:11:44
126.   Bob Timmermann
Keith Law is funny, but he's also quite full of himself.
2007-01-08 11:25:06
127.   Bob Timmermann
I am fully expecting Law to point out where some of the dialog spoken by the Mayans in "Apocalypto" is incorrect.
2007-01-08 11:28:55
128.   Penarol1916
127. Isn't a decent amount of it incorrect?
2007-01-08 11:43:24
129.   Bumsrap
114 "Nothing really knew there," Epstein said on Sunday during the "Hot Stove, Cool Music" event.

Well, Theo, if you don't knew it we surely don't new it either.

2007-01-08 12:00:17
130.   Marty
128 I think you are correct. I think also its because it's a lost language and no one knows it.
2007-01-08 12:07:49
131.   Jon Weisman
Cliff: Here's a little known fact. Now most of you were probably under the assumption that basketball was invented in these United States, right?

(One of the barflies: "Yeah, James Naismith, Springfield University")

Cliff: I can see it's a good thing I showed up tonight. Basketball was invented thousands of years ago by the Mayans. They played it for centuries.

(Coach walks toward them.)

Cliff: Watch me stump the Coach on this one. Hey Coach, who invented basketball?

Coach: That's easy, the Mayans.

(someone asks, how did you know that?)

Coach: I don't know. A Mayan must have told me.

2007-01-08 12:17:50
132.   Jon Weisman
Duaner Sanchez will earn $850,000 this year - AP.
2007-01-08 12:21:47
133.   Benaiah
132 - Considering he has a very good chance to outperform "proven closer" Danny Baez for less than a fifth of the price, I would say that is a good deal. That is the sort of deal that rational teams should make when looking for late innings help.
2007-01-08 12:23:54
134.   Bob Timmermann
I thought it was the Aztecs?

Or maybe it was the Olmecs?

"Olmec, Maggie, Olmec!"

2007-01-08 12:25:17
135.   regfairfield
133 Not an entirely fair comparison since Baez is a free agent and Duaner is in his first year of arbitration, I believe.
2007-01-08 12:26:11
136.   D4P
Your choice of the word "earn" is interesting. It makes me wonder if there is a difference between "earn" and "receive"...
2007-01-08 12:32:13
137.   Bob Timmermann
I would assume a college graduate would know the difference between "earn" and "receive".
2007-01-08 12:33:44
138.   Penarol1916
130. That is exactly what I assumed.
2007-01-08 12:36:39
139.   D4P
I would assume so too.

Do you think it accurate to say, for example, that "Eric Gagne earned $10 million in 2006"...?

2007-01-08 12:46:56
140.   Jon Weisman
139 - It's completely contextual, but certainly you can't get away from it being accurate that Gagne earned that money from a contract based on his prior performance.

I can't say this enough, but Gagne's injuries were on-the-job injuries. The idea that his being on the sidelines implies that he didn't earn his money is really unfair, I feel.

2007-01-08 12:47:03
141.   Benaiah
135 - That explains things. I thought that maybe Duaner was just getting hosed. He probably would get ~$3-5 million a year on the open market I think.
2007-01-08 12:48:06
142.   Andrew Shimmin
Americans earn their money. The French win it. Germans bring it in (iirc). And cetera. It's idiomatic.

139- Do you hate rich people more than the Walmart going proles, or both about the same?

2007-01-08 12:50:08
143.   Hythloday
It would be accurate to say that Eric Gagne earned $19 million in 2004 and received $10 million of that in 2006.
2007-01-08 12:57:30
144.   blue22
124/125 - There's also this little nugget casually thrown out at the end of the chat:

Craig (PA): Does Milledge for a Dodger starter work?

Keith Law: I think Colletti wants a proven veteran bat, and a bigger power guy than Milledge. Billingsley can be had, though.

I know everyone "can be had" for the right price, I'm just curious as to why he mentioned that.

2007-01-08 13:02:02
145.   D4P
Your responses seem to indicate that you don't distinguish between "earn" and "receive," which is what I was getting at in 136.
2007-01-08 13:07:04
146.   Benaiah
144 - Billz can be had? That is absurd. I honestly don't think Billz can be had. Why trade him when a) there is no position that can reasonably be upgraded (RF and 3B are not particularly needy) b) there are far more tradable starters in front of him (Penny, Kuo). Unless Colleti is trading for A-Rod, why would Billz be shopped?
2007-01-08 13:09:09
147.   D4P
why would Billz be shopped?

Maybe Ned doesn't like his attitude.

2007-01-08 13:10:39
148.   Jon Weisman
145 - Well, to be fair, I wasn't trying to be that precise in 132. I get the distinction, you're just overanalyzing. I wasn't making a serious "choice" in 132.
2007-01-08 13:10:48
149.   Hythloday
145 - I take it you attach a connotation of gift giving with receiving whereas earning has some measure of labor involved. If so what labor counts as earning. His labor prior to 2004 by which the Dodgers decided $19M was fair compensation or the the time spent pitching, going under the knife, and rehabbing during 05 & 06? The Dodgers didn't ask for any of the money back so presumably he earned it in his employer's eyes.
2007-01-08 13:12:06
150.   D4P
Yeah, no big deal. The word just set-off an alarm in my mind. "Earn" seems to contain an additional evaluative, judgmental component that goes beyond "make" or "receive."
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-01-08 13:12:13
151.   Jon Weisman
144 - I think it was a pretty senseless or at least pointless comment about Billingsley, and your initial reaction was the right one.
2007-01-08 13:12:41
152.   Benaiah
147 - If Ned traded Billingsley for anything less than a star I would have a lot of trouble watching the Dodgers. It is one thing to simply fail, but to shoot yourself in the foot with a world is flat strategy not only fails in the present, but also dooms the future. Now, Ned hasn't done that, but if he did...
2007-01-08 13:24:09
153.   D4P
It's interesting to consider Ned's apparent preference for veterans in light of his stated desire to trade surplus pitching for a "bat", and all the rumors about Penny being available.

Maybe Ned would prefer to keep the veteran (Penny) and trade the kids (e.g. Billingsley)...

2007-01-08 13:33:59
154.   Benaiah
153 - He has always maintained that he values the farm system, but simply prefers to have the kids "earn" their roster spots. While he has traded prospects in the past, he has never traded elite, majors ready studs and generally seems to sell when value is low. Trading Billz to protect Penny would be out of character, especially since he seems to want to get rid of anyone associated with Depo.
2007-01-08 13:35:39
155.   overkill94
I know Xeifrank's gonna throw a hissy ;), but old Screen Jam threads don't seem to get revisited very often.

That being said, I watched Little Children last night and I think it leap-frogged Little Miss Sunshine for my favorite movie of 2006. The acting is incredible, the characters expertly drawn, and the emotional drain substantial. Highly recommended to anyone who can stomach some fairly disturbing content.

2007-01-08 13:40:43
156.   Xeifrank
Interesting write-up by Rich Lederer.

He breaks down pitchers into four categories (or quadrants in his graph) based on GB% and K/BF rates. His groupings show that high GB% and K/BF rates are what pitchers should strive for. Lowe was in the high GB% and low K/BF quadrant, while Schmidt and Penny were in the low GB% and high K/BF quadrant. Tomko was in the worst quadrant. I didn't see any Dodger pitchers in the high GB% and high K/BF quadrant, but there was a 100 IP limit. Interesting read and will hopefully keep us off of a movie tangent. vr, Xei

2007-01-08 13:49:08
157.   gibsonhobbs88
152 - Yes. Ned's track record means bad news of fans of Kuo or Bills. I would prefer not trading either one of those for a RF bat, I'd rather keep the younger horses in our barn. I would go for Penny to be traded only if you can get an up and comer with upside like Rios. Of course, I would throw Penny, Kemp and Ethier if we could land a Miguel Cabrera but that is a total dream scenario.

89 - I was at the Laker game last night. If you only saw the last couple minutes, then you didn't see how many calls the Mavs got through most of the game. If the Lakers so much breathed in Nowitski's direction, the zebras were calling a foul while the Lakers for three periods got 1 chance at a basket made and a foul. Kobe was driving to the hole just as agressively as a Mav player but if Kobe had his head taken off, the Zebras were clapping for the Mavs great defensive play!! I thought Cuban must been courtside to pay off the refs, the way the game was being called. So, if the Lakers finally got a couple calls in the last 2 minutes, then it was about time.
Exciting game by the way, another Laker game nail-biter.

2007-01-08 13:54:12
158.   Xeifrank
157. Yeah, I only saw the last 4 or 5 minutes. The only part I need to watch, right? :)
vr, Xei
2007-01-08 14:00:50
159.   Andrew Shimmin
If Kuo had 100IP (of the same quality as the 59 2/3 he did pitch) his plot point would have been in the NE quadrant. He was 44.3%-GB% 27.5%-K/BF. Bills (same caveat but 90IP is closer to 100) would have been NW quadrant, with 48.2%-GB% 14.6-K/BF
2007-01-08 14:06:06
160.   gibsonhobbs88
158 - Probably right but if someone is going to make statements like the Lakers were getting all the calls based on the last 3 minutes of a game, then I contend it is my right to counter that perception. :)
2007-01-08 14:15:35
161.   trainwreck
I would be angry for sure, but I would still have to watch and root for the Dodgers. I mean I keep following UCLA football and the Raiders and no one can shoot themselves better than the Raiders.
2007-01-08 14:19:12
162.   Bob Timmermann
OED Man strikes:

earn, v.

1. trans. To render an equivalent in labour or service for (wages); hence, to obtain or deserve (money, praise, any advantage) as the reward of labour. In early use in wider sense: To deserve; to obtain as a recompense.

As for Eric Gagne the last two years, he earned his money in the same way that you get paid when you're sick from work. It's a negotiated benefit.

2007-01-08 14:20:49
163.   Bob Timmermann
I should say, that is if you have a job that comes with paid sick time. I'm sitting on a bank of 865 sick hours right now. I'm prepared for a nice case of plague.
2007-01-08 14:30:19
164.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.

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