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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

Football, the Drug?
2007-01-19 09:30
by Jon Weisman

A hundred years ago, because of the severity of on-field injuries and game-related deaths, organized football's existence was threatened with bans unless it imposed safety restrictions upon itself. Which it did.

Today, it's become clear that the sport is held to a different standard than baseball. While use of performance-enhancing drugs by baseball players enrages much of the sport's fan and media base, to say nothing of the government, football seems to police such matters dispassionately. This is not news.

Aside from the effect drugs may have on the integrity of the sport and its participants, a major reason the baseball world recoils at player drug use is because of the potential unhealthy influence it has on the uninitiated, encouraging them to risk their future well-being in order to preserve a competitive edge. People debate how strong this connection is, whether it is correlation or causation, but there's no doubt that it's on people's minds. Again, with football, there seems to be less hand-wringing – it's almost as if baseball is the gentleman's game, and football is a sport where if you choose it, you sow the seeds of your own destruction.

That leads me to the question – and it is a question, a conversation-starter rather than a conclusion – that I have today. Thursday, I read the following description by Alan Schwarz in the New York Times of the November 2006 suicide of 44-year-old former defensive back Andrew Waters:

... after examining remains of Mr. Waters's brain, a neuropathologist in Pittsburgh is claiming that Mr. Waters had sustained brain damage from playing football and he says that led to his depression and ultimate death.

The neuropathologist, Dr. Bennet Omalu of the University of Pittsburgh, a leading expert in forensic pathology, determined that Mr. Waters's brain tissue had degenerated into that of an 85-year-old man with similar characteristics as those of early-stage Alzheimer's victims. Dr. Omalu said he believed that the damage was either caused or drastically expedited by successive concussions Mr. Waters, 44, had sustained playing football. ...

He added that although he planned further investigation, the depression that family members recalled Mr. Waters exhibiting in his final years was almost certainly exacerbated, if not caused, by the state of his brain — and that if he had lived, within 10 or 15 years "Andre Waters would have been fully incapaci-tated."

Dr. Omalu's claims of Mr. Waters's brain deterioration — which have not been corroborated or reviewed — add to the mounting scientific debate over whether victims of multiple concussions, and specifically longtime N.F.L. players who may or may not know their full history of brain trauma, are at heightened risk of depression, dementia and suicide as early as midlife. ...

In a survey of more than 2,500 former players, the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes found that those who had sustained three or more concussions were three times more likely to experience "significant memory problems" and five times more likely to develop earlier onset of Alzheimer's disease. A new study, to be published later this year, finds a similar relationship between sustaining three or more con-cussions and clinical depression.

Having read several of these stories – and they come around every year it makes me wonder whether the number of football-related health problems (even just those independent from drug use, if one can separate the two) is greater than the number of health problems caused by drugs in baseball and their potential influence on kids.

I'm not trying to be melodramatic, and I'm hoping that I'm just overreacting. I'm not trying to minimize the steroid issue. But it makes me wonder, if we're going to be angry about something, what should we be more angry about? Which is the more dangerous drug? Steroids, or football?

Comments (382)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-01-19 10:38:30
1.   Vishal
no!! jon! i... do not think... you are... overacting! certainly... not in... the same league... as william shatner.
2007-01-19 10:39:48
2.   Vishal
ahem, seriously though, i think it's pretty clear that the years spent hurling their 300 pound masses at increasingly high speed at one another utterly destroys the bodies of many football players, and i'm not surprised it's destroying their minds too.
2007-01-19 10:55:00
3.   Jon Weisman
1 - Yikes! Thanks. :)
2007-01-19 10:58:05
4.   Blaine
Jon, can we also look at the example of Muhammed Ali who has been all over TV the past couple of days as another example of this problem. Ali spent years getting his head bludgeoned in the boxing ring. Could his Alzheimers be related to this?
2007-01-19 10:59:16
5.   bhsportsguy
I believe there are studies that show that of all the major sports, football players have continuing health issues long after they have played the game.

I also think that there is a mentality that baseball is just a kid's game with no physical contact, some old fat guy (Ruth)is their greatest player, its played at a slow pace. While football is a physical war, with game plans and strategies, where offense meets defense on the field of battle. Everyone remembers the video of the player spinning in the air after he was hit or Theisman getting his leg broken by LT.

I also think that there is a certain elitism when it comes to covering the sport, baseball has generally been treated with a reverence reserved for God and country while football is beer, loud music and cheerleaders. Hence, I think there was a greater revolt when steroids finally came in the open in baseball while football had its drug issues in the public many years earlier.

Finally, while there have been high profile players in the NFL who have had their share of drug issues, none of them did something like break a major record like McGwire and Bonds.

2007-01-19 11:04:31
6.   bhsportsguy
1 GET A LIFE, will you people? I mean, for crying out loud, it's just a TV show! I mean, look at you, look at the way you're dressed! You've turned an enjoyable little job, that I did as a lark for a few years, into a COLOSSAL WASTE OF TIME!

[ a crowd of shocked and dismayed Trekkies.... ]

I mean, how old are you people? What have you done with yourselves?

[ to "Ears" ] You, you must be almost 30... have you ever kissed a girl?

[ "Ears" hangs his head ]

I didn't think so! There's a whole world out there! When I was your age, I didn't watch television! I LIVED! So... move out of your parent's basements! And get your own apartments and GROW THE HELL UP! I mean, it's just a TV show dammit, IT'S JUST A TV SHOW!

2007-01-19 11:07:33
7.   Jon Weisman
4 - Correct me if I'm wrong, but I've always understood Ali not to have Parkinson's Disease, but Parkinson's Syndrome - in other words, it's explicit that his symptoms of Parkinson's were caused by an outside punishment.
2007-01-19 11:07:50
8.   Jon Weisman
6 - Yeah, that was classic.
2007-01-19 11:13:40
9.   dianagramr
But it makes me wonder, if we're going to be angry about something, what should we be more angry about? Which is the more dangerous drug? Steroids, or football?


How about football players using steroids, and still getting to go to the Pro Bowl?

(but yeah ... I hear ya')

A few years ago, SI had a photo essay on retired football players, showing all their crooked fingers, mangled torsos and knees, etc.

Football is just a slightly safer form of boxing.

2007-01-19 11:15:00
10.   Vishal
[3] hehe, i was worried that wouldn't come across well in text. :)

[5] i agree with you to some extent. football is a brute game played by two groups of men exerting brute force on each other. (of course it's also a lot more to it than that, but there's definitely that element to it on a basic level). even the kicker is usually quite athletic and well-built. baseball is more of a skill game, where a guy like greg maddux or pedro martinez can absolutely own a hulking behemoth slugger like adam dunn 8 or 9 times out of 10. where even david "the little shorstop that could" eckstein can smack a homer from time to time. a little round ball and a little round stick and only 90 feet to first. the thought of steroids upsets that image somehow, moreso than football.

2007-01-19 11:20:35
11.   Bob Timmermann
From the Parkinson's Disease website:

Parkinson's Syndrome, Atypical Parkinson's, or Parkinsonism:
Parkinson's disease is also called primary parkinsonism or idiopathic Parkinson's disease. (Idiopathic is the term for a disorder for which no cause has yet been identified).

In the other forms of parkinsonism, either the cause is known or suspected, or the disorder occurs as a secondary effect of another, primary neurological disorder that may have both primary and secondary symptoms of Parkinson's disease. These disorders, described as Parkinson's Syndrome, Atypical Parkinson's, or simply parkinsonism, may include:

* tumors in the brain

* repeated head trauma

* drug-induced parkinsonism - prolonged use of tranquilizing drugs, such as the phenothiazines, butyrophenones, reserpine, and the commonly used drug, metaclopramide for stomach upset

* toxin-induced parkinsonism - manganese and carbon monoxide poisoning

* postencephalitic parkinsonism - a viral disease that causes "sleeping sickness"

* striatonigral degeneration - the substantia nigra of the brain is only mildly affected, while other areas of the brain show more severe damage

* parkinsonism that accompanies other neurological conditions - such as Shy-Drager syndrome (multiple system atrophy), progressive supranuclear palsy, Wilson's disease, Huntington's disease, Hallervorden-Spatz syndrome, Alzheimer's disease, Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, olivopontocerebellar atrophy, and post-traumatic encephalopathy

2007-01-19 11:22:08
12.   Bob Timmermann
Sorry, that looked shorter the first time I read it.
2007-01-19 11:52:29
13.   D4P
if we're going to be angry about something, what should we be more angry about? Which is the more dangerous drug? Steroids, or football?

I hadn't gotten the impression that the anger directed at steroids in baseball was really about players' health, but rather about protecting the "integrity" of "the game" and its historic records.

In other words, steroids inspire anger not so much because they're dangerous, but because they seem "unfair."

2007-01-19 11:54:26
14.   Bob Timmermann
In football, steroids are unconsidered unhealthy. But in baseball, they are considered unfair.


I don't know. You do the math.

2007-01-19 12:00:08
15.   D4P
I did the math, but I got an error message.
2007-01-19 12:03:50
16.   tomjedrz
Some thoughts ...

There has been lots of recent talk about the advancements in pads and other protective gear. Does anyone think that this might reduce the issue for current and future players?

Ali is a poster child for this phenomenon in Boxing, but I am not familiar with any others. Is this problem prevalent in that world?

I seem to recall reading somewhere that serious, high level basketball players have substantially shorter lifespans and a higher than typical experience with heart problems. Would this be a similar issue?

2007-01-19 12:09:27
17.   Shaun P
Football is far more dangerous. Unless it was his only chance to have a better life - which admittedly is true for some NFL players - I would not want my son to play football. The risk of concussions alone, plus the league's seemingly ambivalence, perhaps outright ignorance, about them are enough for me. And then to see how retired players are treated re: medical issues and benefits sickens me. Read some of Dr. Z's writing on that stuff and see if you can avoid wanting to throw up.

One of the reasons so many media folks/Congresspeople get up in arms about steroids in baseball is because its (allegedly) setting a bad example for children. Just listen to Mr. Hooten who lost his baseball-playing son to steroids.

That's terrible, but where is the football equivalent of Mr. Hooten? If I'm an teenager who wants to be a pro football player, I'd bet steroids/hGh/and the like are on my mind a lot. Especially if I'm already in college at a decent program. Football is all about biggest, faster, stronger - those are the in-demand guys. They aren't just paid the most, they are among the most-hyped and the most famous.

Hmm, bigger, faster, stronger . . . aren't those exactly the same traits that PEDs are supposed to provide, if used 'properly' along with a rigorous workout regimen?

If college football wasn't such a big deal (and a huge moneymaker for so many schools and media outlets), and if pro football wasn't such a huge deal (and a huge moneymaker for so many owners and media outlets, to say nothing of how much money is gambled on it), I think football would receive a lot more scrutiny. Its a very cynical statement, but I'm afraid there's a lot of truth in it. And as a baseball fan, it ticks me off.

2007-01-19 12:13:30
18.   Jon Weisman
16 - One of the reasons I wrote this piece is because I do believe the NFL is trying to find the best equipment, but I'm not confident about how much it will help.
2007-01-19 12:17:13
19.   Bob Timmermann
I believe a recent study done with Penn State players where accelerometers (I think that's what they were called) showed that most collisions in football were about as forceful as an average car accident.
2007-01-19 12:33:14
20.   Andrew Shimmin
Hula Hoop Crisis: Averted!

And a Choi shall lead them:

"I really appreciate your question.
Unfortunately, I was on vacation when this event took place but after asking my UTLA Chair, the hula hoop stood for, "We are tired of running through hooks!" Isn't that clever?
I liked it. Well, I hope I have answered your question. Have a wonderful day."

Presumably jumping through hoops, or, at least, I'm willing to presume that. And so, there we have it. Thank you Leonard Choi!

2007-01-19 12:33:19
21.   dzzrtRatt
I recall some years ago the animal rights activists being up in arms because football helmets were being tested on chimpanzees (or some other member of the monkey family). It was considered inhumane to subject these creatures to the impact of being hit on the head repeatedly in order to find out whether the helmets were safe and able to prevent injury.

The irony seemed lost on the reporters covering the story. We're willing to let human beings -- children! -- take these blows to the head, but not chimpanzees. I realize the chimps had no choice, and that's an ethical distinction from the kids who choose to play football. But how many kids who make that choice are really making an informed choice? How many Andre Waters are there out there who never played a pro game, whose names nobody outside their families knows, who received their three concussions on a high school or minor college football field?

I admit it; I am a football fan. I'm in New Orleans right now and the excitement about the Saints is contagious. But if I am perfectly honest with myself, I am being entertained watching a bunch of men, in Jon's words, sow the seeds of their own destruction.

2007-01-19 12:42:55
22.   Benaiah
16 - I imagine you could make a case that shorter life spans and greater amounts of heart issues among NBA might have other explanations. For one thing, it might be unhealthy to be 6-10 or taller and perhaps being that tall strains the heart. Also, the things that cause someone to be extremely tall (genetic freak accidents or pituitary conditions) might also complicate the health of an individual.

Would anyone be surprised to find out that Offensive Lineman in the NFL have lower life expectancy and huge heart risks? Also, apparently being an OL in the NFL essentially guarantees serious knee problems or losing the ability to walk later in life. The body just isn't built for that kind of abuse.

2007-01-19 12:50:24
23.   Icaros
Would anyone be surprised to find out that Offensive Lineman in the NFL have lower life expectancy and huge heart risks?

Not at all, as most NFL linemen are basically obese.

2007-01-19 12:51:45
24.   Benaiah
23 - Sorry, should have combined both paragraphs. My point was, there is a physical strain on the bodies just from being that size in both cases.
2007-01-19 12:52:07
25.   Sam DC
20 Take a bow, Andrew.
2007-01-19 12:57:14
26.   Bob Timmermann
I hate running through hooks.
2007-01-19 12:58:04
27.   Icaros
Is Andrew patenting the Hula Hook?
2007-01-19 13:00:40
28.   Andrew Shimmin
27- I saw the first part of an HBO special on that, once; they were dudes. I changed the channel.
2007-01-19 13:03:15
29.   Chyll Will
I suspect that the reason that many people are up-in-arms about steroids in Baseball versus use in football is directly related to economics. Baseball salaries for average players versus salaries for footballers with comparable athletic abilities is noticibly higher, not to mention that the chances of a football player finishing out a high-salary, long-term contract are considerably lower than in baseball for many health and financial reasons. Steroid use in baseball may be perceived as ultimately a long-term financial decision that has more impact on the player's price on their contract, compared to football, where a player is trying to survive to their next contract intact.

I'm not saying this is excusable, I'm postulating this as a probable motivating factor.

2007-01-19 13:04:12
30.   Marty
28 Was it Hula Hook Confessions?
2007-01-19 13:05:20
31.   Vishal
[26] that sounds awfully painful.
2007-01-19 13:06:33
32.   Vishal
[29] does anyone really care how much money mark mcgwire made in his career?
2007-01-19 13:07:57
33.   Benaiah
29 - I think that may factor in, but only in a minor way. I think that steroids are perceived as a problem in baseball because of home run records and because baseball is seen as more of an individual game than football. Most of the players on the football field are ignored, and the player that everyone notices, the quarterback, probably wouldn't benefit that much for steroids. Those two factors together mean that steroids in baseball are seen as changing the eternal nature of the game, which is inviolate, meanwhile the NFL changes the on the field rules every year anyway.
2007-01-19 13:15:35
34.   Xeifrank
Football was the only mainstream sport that didn't require ice that I didn't play at an organized level as a kid. I loved to play in neighborhood pickup games though. I'm kind of glad I never put my body through that punishment and instead stuck with baseball, soccer, basketball, tennis and golf while growing up. vr, Xei

14. I'd say they are unfair in football too.

2007-01-19 13:16:58
35.   robohobo
16. 22. I heard once from a trainer that sports with lots of sprinting can be bad for the heart as the heart is forces to beat rapidly above the healthy aerobic heart rate for short periods of time, slowing down in between. This can make the heart tissue leathery over time.
2007-01-19 13:18:44
36.   dianagramr

If you run through hoops with scissors, then the hoops can becomes hooks ...

But if run with scissors .... well, you know the rest ...

2007-01-19 13:23:23
37.   robohobo
29. I think people care about steroids in baseball in part because the common fan feels a bit betrayed. Baseball wasn't doing so good until Mcgwire and Sosa started threatening home run records. The fan that got excited about baseball again because of that is going to feel betrayed that it may have all been because of cheating.
2007-01-19 13:27:38
38.   Xeifrank
37. ding-ding-ding-ding-ding... we have a winner. Or atleast a point that I was about to make. :)
vr, Xei
2007-01-19 13:32:42
39.   Jon Weisman
So is it that the football fan simply accepts cheating as part of the sport?
2007-01-19 13:37:44
40.   Benaiah
39 - I think that we have reached a point where sports media content dictates fan outrage. Consider TO, if ESPN didn't follow him around and over-analyze every time he went to the bathroom, then no one would care either way about him and he probably would still be on the Eagles. No one really talks about steroids as a problem in the NFL, so most fans probably assume it isn't a big deal. If ESPN got on their high horse and talked about how Meriman used steroids in a year where he was considered one of the best defenders in the NFL, then suddenly fans would know about the "steroid problem" in the NFL.
2007-01-19 13:38:43
41.   robohobo
39. I think that if it came out that guys like LT, Peyton Manning, Big Ben, Reggie Sanders, and other NFL record breaking stars all suddenly changed their appearance drastically (gained muscle weight) and suddenly started to perform better at the same time leading to their record breaking performances, people would feel betrayed and angry.

Another way to say it is that no one cares that Jason Grimsley took PEDS. People only care that he may have given them to good players.

2007-01-19 13:41:17
42.   Jon Weisman
Do people believe that elite football players are all clean?
2007-01-19 13:41:34
43.   Icaros
I think the Dodgers should sign Barry Sanders to play left field :-)
2007-01-19 13:44:11
44.   dianagramr

makes sense ... given that they'll undoubtedly be offering "Colonel Sanders" in that all-you-can-eat section out there ...

2007-01-19 13:46:16
45.   robohobo
43. DOH
2007-01-19 13:51:43
46.   Andrew Shimmin
42- I don't. Look at their necks! How does anybody go about getting a neck like that, legitimately? What kind of neck weightlifting programs are there? I'm not a football fan, so, I don't know why football fans give the game a pass, but it does seem like they do. Who was that guy from OSU who was caught boarding a plane with a Wizzinator, or whatever? That's a funny story, in football. In baseball there'd be a commission to investigate it, lead by former senator George Mitchell.
2007-01-19 13:51:57
47.   Sam DC
Nats blogger briefly comments on "Luis Gonzalez + Juan Pierre = JD Drew + Kenny Lofton".
2007-01-19 13:57:32
48.   El Lay Dave
The risks of football are one of the reasons I'm not surprising that Jeff Samardzija signed to play baseball exclusively. The NFL plays an exteremely violent game that leaves almost all players somewhat debilitated and offers smaller dollars in non-guaranteed contracts. If you have the skills for baseball to offer you $10 million, you ought to take it - few NFL players ever earn that much.
2007-01-19 13:57:43
49.   Xeifrank
To tell you the truth I don't even know what the drug policy is in baseball, football, hockey, basketball, tennis, golf or any other sport for that matter. I doubt very many casual fans do know. I don't think the casual fan even wants to have to be concerned about those things. Myself, I just love the game, whatever sport it happens to be. I just want there to be a strong drug policy in place and not have to worry about such things. I don't think football fans accept cheating in the sport, especially when they don't even know the drug policy rules. vr, Xei
2007-01-19 13:59:38
50.   Xeifrank
All this talk about the Giants walking away from the Bonds 1 year deal lead me to see what the lineup analyzer had to say about a Bonds and No-Bonds lineup. The most efficient lineup with Bonds in it, had them at 802 runs and the most efficient lineup without Bonds (replaced by Linden) had them at 726 runs. That said, the Giants better have a (remarkable) trade lined up if they don't resign Bonds. vr, Xei
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-01-19 13:59:56
51.   Frip
Steroids are seen as worse in baseball than in football because:

1. People are sympathetic to football's strength demands, which are more explicit than baseball's. Football is hand-to-hand combat. Baseball is tennis.

2. People feel sorry for old football players having to match strength and quickness with young players. Diminished strength in baseball means lower stats. In football it means unemployment.

3. Football players are freakishly large to begin with, and further obscured by padding. So the muscular obscenity isn't in-yer-face, as with baseball.

4. We watch football to see a war of savage beasts. To see people NOT like us...outlandish. Baseball players are expected to be at least humanly athletic. Excessive bulk appears out of place and brutish.

5. Football's alleged brain damage issues, while sensational, are not at all pervasive. Further, there is no established adverse direct causal link, as with steroid use.

6. In baseball you can see a man's face and look into his eyes. This fosters an expectation of honesty.

7. TV image of baseball game: Vast numbers of impressionable boys & girls eating pink cotton candy.

TV image of football game: Mean men fist pumping in rhythm with their mustard breathed obscenities.

We half believe the later deserve what they get. The former do not.

2007-01-19 14:00:49
52.   Xeifrank
48. Good point, how long would it take him to make $10mil in the NFL? vr, Xei
2007-01-19 14:01:16
53.   scareduck
51 - I like that.
2007-01-19 14:02:13
54.   Xeifrank
51. Not sure I agree with the premise.
vr, Xei
2007-01-19 14:09:41
55.   Steve
47 -- who says that? Tom Malthus? Paul Ehrlich? Droopy Dog? Forrest Gump?
2007-01-19 14:18:53
56.   ToyCannon
While I have no opinion on Jon's column I've never understood why the American Athlete has choosen football or basketball over baseball given the money and health factors. The money is better, the chances for employment are better, the chances of a life altering injury is small, and you get laid more because your on the road more. What more could a 18-25 year male ask for who was raised in the United States?
2007-01-19 14:20:29
57.   El Lay Dave
55 Jon Heyman at, who is increasingly deserving of being grouped those esteemed induhviduals.
2007-01-19 14:26:46
58.   Jon Weisman
51 - I don't know. I agree with you in part, but I don't think it entirely speaks to the double standard.

Point 2: Diminished physical ability in baseball also means unemployment, and I think people are aware of that.

Point 3: I don't think the bulk of baseball fans were offended by the looks of Sosa, McGwire, Palmeiro. Is there any evidence that they were? Even in the case of Bonds, I think that it's his personality more than his appearance that alienates.

Point 4: I think people watch football for excitement - maybe savage excitement, but excitment nonetheless. I think people treasure the excitement more than the brutishness, and would be content if no players weighed 300 pounds or looked like Tex Cobb in Raising Arizona.

Point 5: I think that when asked to think about it, the bulk of people believe that the physicality of football causes long-term injury, and that the causal link is at least as strong as that of steroids. But people care as much about the danger of football as they did about steroids in '98.

Point 6: Um, maybe. In general, I concede this reflects what may be an acceptance that football has drug use. But it still doesn't explain the acceptance once confronted with it.

Point 7: More football fans use drugs than baseball fans? :)

I find myself here in 2007 seeing people wondering how the media ignored the steroids problem in baseball 10 years ago. In 2017, we may well find the same 10-years-later sentiment toward football.

2007-01-19 14:28:21
59.   Jon Weisman
56 - Because they don't grow up playing baseball as much anymore? So it's really a choice they make around the time they're in Pop Warner or playing pickup hoops at their elementary school?
2007-01-19 14:31:43
60.   Daniel Zappala
It is possible to become too strict with testing and punishments; see Floyd Landis and countless other cycling, running, and other athletes participating in international competitions subject to the USADA. The LA Times had a great article on this a little while ago.
2007-01-19 14:33:21
61.   Andrew Shimmin
5. Football's alleged brain damage issues, while sensational, are not at all pervasive.

If that's true, it's because the brain isn't usually the first body part to give out. But there's no way to know whether it's true, today. The studies are just starting, and it's going to be a long time before there's enough evidence to know what the cost of having one's head bashed in every Sunday, all winter, is.

Even then, even once these promised studies come to fruition, most of the numbers are going to be soft because you're going to be depending an ex-football players to tell you if they're sad.

2007-01-19 14:35:51
62.   Marty
I need to change my screen name to "Jim Otto's Knees" for this thread.
2007-01-19 14:40:06
63.   Marty
This blog seems right up Bob's alley:

2007-01-19 14:48:41
64.   El Lay Dave
52 Hard to say, of course, but as points of comparison, since Samardzija was project as mid-first round: In 2002, Ashley Lelie and Javon Walker were the 19th and 20th picks in the first round, respectively. Walker has turned out to be the better player; Lelie's best paydays are likely behind him already. Note that large %s are in front-loaded signing bonuses. Source: USA Today database.

Career earnings (not including 2006), signing bonus, 2005 earnings, full contract value (from AP) all in millions of $:
Lelie: 6.4, 4.4, 0.575, 7.1
Walker: 6.05, 4.3, 0.515, ? (just under 7?)

Lelie had a lousy 2006 with his second team and his future earnings prospects seem dim. Walker parlayed some strong seasons into a new contract extension before the start of 2006. Details hard to find, but reportedly the total value could be $40 million. Assuming a substantial signing bonus as is typical in the NFL, Walker probably earns his $10 million the next time he steps on the field.

A significant percentage of mid first round picks wash out and never get a second contract.

2007-01-19 15:08:42
65.   ToyCannon
From BP chat with Nate Silver:
Mike (Michigan): Wow Nate, Pecota LOVES Matt Kemp. Why? His pitch recognition seems pretty bad.

Nate Silver: PECOTA actually does think that Kemp's plate discipline problems will constrain his growth a little bit. We have him at a .286 EqA at age 22, but that only grows to a .293 EqA at age 26. That's just a 7-point gain, when ordinarily you'd expect a gain more on the order of 15 points.

With that said, Kemp is already very good. The numbers he put up in Jacksonville and Las Vegas last year were HUGE, and remember that he was seeing each of those leagues for the first time. And there were things to like about what he did in the majors too. Plus he's got excellent athleticism to round out his power, so if the plate discipline DOES come around, watch out

2007-01-19 15:15:52
66.   El Lay Dave
52 In the 2006 NFL draft, the first WR taken was at #25 in the first round, Santonio Holmes. His contract is reportedly 5-years, $8.1 million. No further details, but typically, he'll a large majority of that in the first two years.

I can think of a few guys who tried BB, couldn't hack it, then tried FB (e.g. Drew Henson), but vice-versa? I don't think Bo Jackson and Deion Sanders count, because they didn't give up FB; they had two-sport aspirations.

2007-01-19 15:19:04
67.   Sushirabbit
All I know is that the non-pleasant effects of steroids use often don't take long to become apparent, and often coming off them for teenagers and 20 somethings can be particulary emotionally nasty. I'm fairly certain some athletes I knew in the 80s were using steroids and these were multisport guys trying and getting to the next level, either in college or minors. A guy I worked with that played football told me that having his knee destroyed as junior in HS was the best thing that happened because he no longer had any incentive to do 'roids. A martial arts friend has about destroyed his marriage because of the issues he's had in quitting... started in HS. So yeah, it's not "alleged". I'm not sure the blame lies squarley or only at the feet of respective professional sports, but it's bad, bad stuff. In my experience only Oxycontin is worse ... causing the suicide at least partially of two friends.
2007-01-19 15:22:16
68.   Xeifrank
So if there were a "professional sports playing" spectrum how would it be constructed?


With it easier to move from the left to the right on the spectrum? Or is it impossible to construct one.
vr, Xei

2007-01-19 15:23:51
69.   Andrew Shimmin
Also from the BP chat--

theguag (Louisville): Why does PECOTA forecast only 164 IP for Derek Lowe?

Nate Silver: Because he's 34 and doesn't strike people out. I realize that his strengths lie elsewhere but the attrition rate for this type of pitcher is very high.

2007-01-19 15:24:57
70.   Jonny6
Good topic and insights, Jon. I've wondered about this myself, many times, especially this year. Consider the juxtaposition of the current steroids situation in football and baseball: Shawn Merriman, more than just a current player but a rising NFL star, actually tested positive during this season for steroids and still earned a slew of NFL honors; meanwhile, Mark McGwire is buried in seclusion somewhere behind his Orange County gated community and hasn't picked up a bat in years. But when it comes to the steroid discussion what's the hot topic? McGuire while the Merriman situation is hardly discussed.

When it comes to baseball, I think the concern for steroids really comes down to protecting the integrity of the game and the statistical records that are such an integral part of the sport. The whole side topic about protecting the children from the ravages of steroids is completely disingenous. If MLB had protecting children as one of their top priorities, they would ban the use of tobacco by all players and managers. No other sport, besides maybe bullriding, has done as much to promote and glorify chewing tobacco, which I would guess has killed a lot more people than steroids (yea, I know one is legal and the other isn't, whatever).

So to echo quite a few comments here, baseball's problem with steroids stems from concerns over fairness and integrity, especially when it concerns some of the hallowed records like home run leaders. Football statistics are nearly meaningless, it's all about winning (just look at recent Hall of Fame inductee Troy Aikman and the constant gushing over Tom Brady).

There are some obvious fairness issues concerning steroid use in football, since no one believes that all of the players are taking illegal supplements. But it's such an inherently dangerous game, and the players are all such freaks of nature (whether it was achieved "naturally" or not)that the safety issue just hasn't found any traction.

2007-01-19 15:29:54
71.   natepurcell
what was last years pecota projection for derek lowe?
2007-01-19 15:31:43
72.   El Lay Dave
65 Kemp plays his way in this season, Ethier moves to LF and LuGo II becomes a high-priced PH. Next season we start, left to right, Ethier, Jean Pedro (unfortunately), and Kemp.
2007-01-19 15:33:38
73.   robohobo
66. Old friend Brian Jordan. Of course he was pretty good at football. He made a good choice to give it up. Wasn't Preston Mattingly primarily a football player in high school?
2007-01-19 15:44:54
74.   Andrew Shimmin

2006 PECOTA 11-12 (30 starts, 195.1 IP), 5.39 K/9, 1.86 K/BB, 21.2 VORP

2007-01-19 15:57:38
75.   Steve
"Sportswriter" Writes Stupid Things. News at 11.
2007-01-19 16:01:30
76.   Greg Brock
Baseball fans takes steroids more seriously than football fans because the numbers mean more. Nobody cares about football records.

Also, baseball fans are generally smarter than football fans, and generally have higher moral standards.

What? I felt like a massive set of generalizations on a Friday.

2007-01-19 16:02:17
77.   Xeifrank
ZIPS has Lowe throwing 214 innings in 2007. ZIPS was the most accurate projection system last year for pitching, PECOTA for hitting. Of course, that's just one year. Pitching is alot harder to project than hitting. The R-squared for all pitching projections was well under .5 and the best hitting projection systems had an R-squared around .73
vr, Xei
2007-01-19 16:11:54
78.   robohobo
76. Ironic that most baseball players are lucky to have a high school education. I'm sure that the 3-5 years touring small towns across our great country do wonders for their education.

Football players generally have at least two years of college, even if someone else is doing their homework for them. They have to memorize extremely complicated play books.

I was getting free SI for a couple weeks and in the 'Pop Culture' table, athletes are asked things like, favorite books. Most athletes seemed to answer, "I don't read"

2007-01-19 16:13:26
79.   Bob Timmermann
Baseball players who read books are considered very strange.
2007-01-19 16:14:37
80.   Greg Brock
78 Players and fans are very different things.

Most football fans like to scream and do silly white guy high fives.

2007-01-19 16:16:11
81.   Bob Timmermann
Denny Doherty, the last surviving "Papa" from the Mamas and the Papas, passed away.

I guess Michelle Philipps gets the tonteen.

2007-01-19 16:16:24
82.   robohobo
80. Hence the irony. (or am I not using that term correctly, Bob?)
2007-01-19 16:17:10
83.   Greg Brock
Also, baseball fans are smart enough to realize that nobody cares about/wants to hear about their fantasy team.

Football fans don't seem to grasp this concept.

2007-01-19 16:18:15
84.   Bob Timmermann
I don't decide what's ironic. There's a multinational commission that decides it.
2007-01-19 16:18:42
85.   Greg Brock
82 I was reinforcing your point. Plus, I wanted to disparage the white guy high five.
2007-01-19 16:24:36
86.   Jon Weisman
82 - It's slightly ironic, but not sufficiently ironic to merit being called ironic. How's that?
2007-01-19 16:25:39
87.   robohobo
84. I remember hearing about an English professor of some sort reviewing the items in the song "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette. I don't think most of them were actually ironic. I only mention it because ever since I have a fear of being called out on something I thought was ironic, when it actually is an oxymoron or a metaphor or only slightly ironic but not sufficiently ironic to merit being called ironic.
2007-01-19 16:26:58
88.   robohobo
85. Don't forget he Milli Vanilli chest bump and barking noises.
2007-01-19 16:40:26
89.   Jon Weisman
87 - Doesn't everyone live with that fear? Your professor was right.
2007-01-19 16:42:25
90.   Marty
We've already had a whole ironic thread a while back, including Alanis Morissette too!
2007-01-19 16:43:15
91.   Marty
Most people confuse ironic with interesting or coincidental.
2007-01-19 16:52:41
92.   oswald
i think it's actually pretty obvious why the two sports are viewed so differently in terms of steroids: the numbers.

basbeball is so numbers intensive that its records are a major part of the game. its the only sport the hall of fame discussion begins almost entirely with numbers (as in, does this player have the numbers to get in?). 3000 hits, 500 homers, 300 wins, etc. and you know exactly what i'm talking about when i say 755, 73 (or 61 for that matter), 56, 714, 660, 4256, etc.

football doesn't have that. what's the record for most passing yards? did anyone really care when emmitt smith got the rushing record (yeah, people forced themselves to care, but did it compare with the home run chase of '98?). fantasy football is only reason people pay attention to football's numbers.

so when someone cheats, maybe it affects the game, but it's easy to disregard the result of one game, or even a championship team (notice how no one talks about stripping the a's of the 1989 world series or canseco of his mvp). but a record broken by a "cheater" scars the game until someone can break the "cheater's" record. and with steroids, who knows if it's humanly possible to do that.

as for the harm caused to the players, i don't think people in this country really care about what happens to these players when they stop playing. generally, we expect our entertainers to push themselves to the brink, live fast, and break down out of our sights. it's sad, but it's true.

2007-01-19 16:55:39
93.   bigcpa
91 And many people pronounce "interesting" with 4 syllables which annoys me.
2007-01-19 16:56:25
94.   Greg Brock
Nice to see you around oswald. Good points.
2007-01-19 16:59:28
95.   Andrew Shimmin
Speaking of breaking down out of sight, did everybody know that Darren Daulton was nuts? I didn't remember why he'd quit playing relatively young, so I looked him up.

2007-01-19 17:00:39
96.   Greg Brock
95 He's not nuts. Dimensional travel and time travel are perfectly acceptable beliefs.

Also, he's nuts.

2007-01-19 17:04:46
97.   dzzrtRatt
This "why baseball steroids are bad but football steroids are ignored" discussion was probably best elucidated by George Carlin:

For those who don't want to click over, here are a few sample lines:

*In football the specialist comes in to kick.
In baseball the specialist comes in to relieve somebody.

Football has hitting, clipping, spearing, piling on, personal fouls, late hitting and unnecessary roughness.
Baseball has the sacrifice.

Baseball has the seventh inning stretch.
Football has the two minute warning.

Baseball has no time limit: we don't know when it's gonna end - might have extra innings.
Football is rigidly timed, and it will end even if we've got to go to sudden death.*

2007-01-19 17:07:25
98.   Jon Weisman
92 - I agree with what you're saying, although I think a good many football fans do care about the numbers. Reading your post made me think of "273," which is still bizarrely significant to me somehow. Anyone else? 2105? 554? I poured over these numbers as a kid. Still, baseball does of course have a richer relationship with numbers.

But I think your "i don't think people in this country really care about what happens to these players when they stop playing. generally, we expect our entertainers to push themselves to the brink, live fast, and break down out of our sights. it's sad, but it's true." is all too apt. If the fundamental reason for the double-standard between baseball and football is a different regard for numbers, that really is a sad state of affairs.

2007-01-19 17:09:34
99.   Bob Timmermann
Set your calendar, the UCLA-USC football game for the 2007 season has been moved to December 1. It orginally was scheduled for 11/24.

USC will now play ASU in Tempe on Thanksgiving Day (11/22) and UCLA will host Oregon on 11/24.

2007-01-19 17:09:44
100.   Andrew Shimmin
Thomas Boswell's 99 Reasons Baseball is Better Than Football runs some of the same shtick:

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-01-19 17:15:29
101.   dzzrtRatt
98 I think I'd care more about football players if I knew more about what happened to them. Except for big stars, when players' careers end, there is seldom an announcement. In baseball, the end of a regular starting player's career is usually worth at least a press release, and stars like Koufax, Mays, Mantle, Ryan, Valenzuela, etc. remain public figures if they so choose long after retirement.

I know I care a lot about what's going on with Joe Namath, for example. He was a huge hero for me as a kid, kind of a tragic, flawed hero as his career unfolded, and I've been following his ups and downs ever since he was unceremoniously cut by the Rams. I couldn't care less about movie star substance abuse problems, but Joe's fight against alcoholism arouses much sympathy in me.

Maybe football's PR people try to suppress this kind of interest out of potential embarassment. Pete Rozelle was, after all, an ace PR guy before he was commish. This might be long-standing policy, to keep a lid on the sad end of old players.

2007-01-19 17:18:23
102.   Andrew Shimmin
If the fundamental reason for the double-standard between baseball and football is a different regard for numbers, that really is a sad state of affairs.

I'm not sure how much I'm supposed to care about Baseball players as people. I don't care very much when they divorce their wives for better looking women. As a human being, I think that's a crappy thing to do, but I don't think it's my business. Not caring about what comes after their playing days can be of a piece with that. Ike Turner is a miserable person, but I can listen to his music without feeling bad about it.

This is different insofar as the personal immorality is directly relevant to the performance. Saul Bellow's sordid personal life must have informed some of his writing, and I don't feel bad for liking that, either. But, I'm not a very good person, so, maybe that's the problem.

2007-01-19 17:24:17
103.   Bob Timmermann
The AP says that a Red Sox deal with Drew "is near".

What's the latest count on how many times this announcement has been made?

2007-01-19 17:35:51
104.   D4P
Oswald is more fun when she's providing insight and explication than when she's instigating baseball-related double entendres
2007-01-19 17:38:54
105.   oswald

i don't think you can reasonably compare the feeling people have for the numbers of baseball to those for football. yes, a fan may spend time learning numbers in football, but that pales in comparison to the iconic status baseball's records hold. point of fact, i like football but i have no idea what the numbers you cited represent or who holds them. and given how much emphasis this website places on a sabermetric approach, i think it's odd to argue that any sport's reliance on numbers compares to baseball.

also, it is sad that people care so little about athletes who have retired. but let's be honest, baseball is not important. it's enjoyable and the entertainment value is substantial. and certain moments can change you forever (gibson's home run had a role in making me the optimist i am today).

but it will have no impact on my life if the dodgers win the world series or if bonds is allowed to break aaron's record or if peyton manning never wins a super bowl. it will affect me if there is another terrorist attack, if the economy slows, if my first boyfriend dies in iraq, if the air is too filthy for my grandchildren to breathe, or if we suffocate ourselves with carbon gases.

let's keep some perspective: if America's biggest problem is that we don't care if athletes voluntarily engage in behavior that makes them famous, wealthy, and loved when they're young, but diseased and dicrepit when they are old, then we are doing quite well.

(btw, jon, nothing in this post is designed to be snide. i know how much you care about this, and i admire men with passion. this is just my view and i respect your intelligence enough to state it)

2007-01-19 17:43:24
106.   Jon Weisman
105 - As I said in 98: "Still, baseball does of course have a richer relationship with numbers." I was just responding to your statement that football fans don't really care about numbers.

Beyond that, I never said or even implied that this was America's biggest problem. So I'm not sure where that part of your comment is coming from. On the contrary, I feel it has always been clear on this site that sports are not the most important thing in the world.

2007-01-19 17:53:57
107.   Andrew Shimmin
Do you think old baseball players sit around wishing that the people who cared about them when they were playing, still did? Other than attractive young women, I mean. In thirty years, will Hee Seop Ch-i care that I don't care about him any more?
2007-01-19 18:07:41
108.   Sam DC
but it will have no impact on my life if the dodgers win the world series or if bonds is allowed to break aaron's record or if peyton manning never wins a super bowl.

I certainly agree with your big picture point, but I don't agree with this. If the Dodgers win the World Series this year, it will have an impact on my life. It will be something I share with the people I love; it will probably give me a reason to reach out to some old friends; and it would no doubt have happened through a series of events and personalities and little stories that will teach me things, that will inspire me a little, and certainly that will matter to me.

I realize I may be reading more into your words than you intended, but I think people are often to quick to dismiss sports as frivolous.

2007-01-19 18:09:28
109.   oswald

i was commenting on this part of your earlier post: "If the fundamental reason for the double-standard between baseball and football is a different regard for numbers, that really is a sad state of affairs."

that's all. i took that to be a comment on the attitudes of our culture. my reference to things bigger than baseball was not directed at you or this site, necessarily. the basic question driving this post is what makes people not care about the damage done to these athletes. my answer is simple: because they care about themselves. once they get the entertainment out of spectating, there's little reason to care about someone they don't know.

but i was not criticizing you or this site and i certainly was not suggesting that you don't have perspective.

2007-01-19 18:30:15
110.   Jon Weisman
109 - No hard feelings at all, but I just feel that regarding "that really is a sad state of affairs," in this context, I didn't need to spell out that this wasn't sadder than a terrorist attack - especially since I never said otherwise.

Whereas since 105 told the reader to "keep some perspective," it seems to explicitly state that I wasn't.

Otherwise, I was really on board with your points.

2007-01-19 18:56:27
111.   Disabled List
104 Oswald is more fun when she's providing insight and explication than when she's instigating baseball-related double entendres

I highly disagree.

Not that I have any problem with her insight and explication, mind you, but baseball-related double entendres are way more fun.

2007-01-19 19:01:04
112.   Gagne55
Off topic, but the Padres just signed David Wells. And the Dodgers playoff chances just took a major hit.
2007-01-19 19:04:39
113.   natepurcell
And the Dodgers playoff chances just took a major hit.

I cant tell if that was serious or sarcastic.

2007-01-19 19:06:11
114.   Steve
We certainly can't be serious about saving brains in this country or we would ban sportswriting before anything else.
2007-01-19 19:08:31
115.   regfairfield
The various candidates for fifth starter on the Padres, with ZIPS projections:

David Wells (4.76)
Mike Thompson (4.65)
Tim Stauffer (4.74)

It gives the Padres more depth, but that's about it.

2007-01-19 19:11:35
116.   Marty
It gives the Padres more girth.
2007-01-19 19:31:06
117.   Gen3Blue
I really don't like revealing personal stuff. Several years ago I managed to get two and possibly more minor concussions in one summer ( it was totally coincidental, and had nothing to do with my occupation).
When I mentiond this to my Doctor, he was horrified, and told me that the affects of minor concussions were incredibally cumulative.
I used to be a hockey fan before the nil year a few years back. Since then I have ignored hockey. However, when I was interested, it was true that hockey players who had several concussions had to take time off, and I remember several who didn't admit to having several and never played well again.
I believe it may be important.
2007-01-19 19:34:53
118.   Andrew Shimmin
How to make a quarter of a million dollars the least pleasant possible way.

2007-01-19 19:50:10
119.   Blaine
118 aaahhhhh! (runs away screaming)
2007-01-19 19:53:05
120.   Xeifrank
118. Probably is not work friendly. It's not obscene but it probably isn't something you want somebody at work to see on your screen.
vr, Xei
2007-01-19 19:54:16
121.   Xeifrank
I don't see the Wells signing helping the Padres that much either. Like the earlier person mentioned, it just helps their depth. Just like Wolf and Tomko help? ours.
vr, Xei
2007-01-19 20:02:26
122.   Robert Fiore
There are two basic points of view on drugs. One point of view looks at them primarily as a health problem; people with this point of view see nothing inherently wrong with getting high but concede that you have to discourage it because of the negative health consequences of overuse. The other point of view is that there's something horribly immoral about the wish to get high with anything other than alcohol (smoking tobacco of course is never thought of as getting high), and that there's something horribly immoral about breaking the law, regardless of the law's merits. While the first point of view is dispassionate and somewhat ambivalent about the whole project of drug prohibition, the latter is passionate and deeply committed to the idea of eradicating illegal drug use, and willing to pursue the prohibition project even if it seems futile or more destructive than what it's trying to prevent.

The steroid issue is similar. One point of view has no great moral opposition to steroids, but believes they have to be banned because if one player is allowed to take the risk every other player will eventually be forced to do so as well in order to compete. The other point of view sees any artificial enhancement beyond God-given talent is immoral and renders the results corrupt and illegitimate. Again, the latter point of view is far more passionate. There is also an element of ignorance in the latter point of view; people seem to believe that steroids somehow increase your ability (aside from your ability to pack on muscle), and don't seem to realize that they were not against the rules until very recently. Because the whole thrust of Jon's post is utilitarian and health-oriented, from the latter point of view he is begging the question. It's like discussion of the death penalty. Often you will hear it argued as if in order to be justified it would have to have some practical good -- deterring future murders, mollifying victims -- and if it doesn't then it's wrong. To advocates of the death penalty the question is not whether it is beneficial, but whether it is justice. When you don't discuss the question of justice then people often are just talking past each other.

I remember during the home run binge sportswriters were constantly speculating about the balls being juiced but hardly ever considering the possibility that it was the players who were juiced. Individual players would be suspected or accused, but -- correct me if I'm wrong -- I can't remember ever reading someone coming out and theorizing that the increase in home runs was a result of steroids. My memory may be faulty, but it seems to me that every possible explanation was getting more attention than the one that was staring us right in the face. I think part of the reason was that all of us grew up comparing contemporary baseball with the inflated statistics of the 1930s which made it look as if giants once strode the earth, and we wanted to believe that there were giants in these days too, that another great golden age has dawned. When you looked at a player like Barry Bonds when we didn't think his achievements were due to anything but greatness, it almost seemed as though the history baseball existed for the sole purpose of providing a context to demonstrate his brilliance. What's really sad about what's happened is that it makes that feeling seem illegitimate.

2007-01-19 20:09:23
123.   LAT
118 = justifiable homicide.
2007-01-19 20:10:27
124.   Robert Fiore
As to the baseball/football double standard, I think that football players are looked on as behemoths who are scarcely natural to begin with, so unnatural enhancement doesn't seem like such a transgression. I think when football fans think of football players using steroids they imagine linemen taking them to grow even bigger, and don't see them as something that could improve performance in the skill positions. Linemen are seen as slabs of meat, and the skill position players are the ones the fans relate to as human.
2007-01-19 20:10:34
125.   Andrew Shimmin
The link in 118 is to a news story (admittedly a British tabloid) that contains the proper name of the anatomical feature most closely associated with reproduction in male mammals. It is not sexually suggestive, the picture is not at all explicit (just a stock photo of an operation where the victim, er, patient, is fully draped), and the article contains no profanity. I think it's pushing it to think that requires an NSFW tag.
2007-01-19 20:15:04
126.   Xeifrank
If word p---- that is in the html title of that website could possibly raise a red flag on some worksite servers that monitor workers use of the internet closely. I for one wouldn't want to open that site at my place of work. I wouldn't get in trouble for it, but it could easily raise a red flag and then some other sites would be looked at, and then "what the heck does this guy do on DT all day". :)
vr, Xei
2007-01-19 20:26:41
127.   Andrew Shimmin
Another news story with p---- in the html title: (NSFW!)

2007-01-19 20:32:12
128.   Andrew Shimmin
Moneyball author Michael Lewis explaining what made me think it was a good idea to link the original p---- article, in the first place. And suggesting that, should Xei wind up in dutch for having clicked that link, he'll have company:

2007-01-19 20:35:38
129.   Xeifrank
So this thread has now denigrated to p---- talk? No need for 2007 Best of DT to visit this thread.
vr, Xei
2007-01-19 20:46:32
130.   Bob Timmermann

vr, Bob

2007-01-19 20:52:51
131.   Xeifrank
130. You spelled p---- wrong.
vr, Xei
2007-01-19 20:54:35
132.   Bob Timmermann
That explains my lack of success with women.
2007-01-19 20:56:18
133.   D4P
Define "success"
2007-01-19 20:58:32
134.   Xeifrank
132. With that xmas gift exchange program you had setup, I'd say you are doing just fine. :)
vr, Xei
2007-01-19 20:59:30
135.   Greg Brock
81 The and Mamas and the Papas and Beatles prove that members of great bands don't die in order of talent.

RIP Denny

2007-01-19 21:01:20
136.   Robert Fiore
"Anybody else feel like a giggle when I mention my fwend, Biggusss . . . Dickusss . . ."
2007-01-19 21:04:20
137.   overkill94
127 I guess there's a reason Australia started off as a penal colony
2007-01-19 21:04:59
138.   overkill94
136 I'm still waiting for History of the World Part 2
2007-01-19 21:16:58
139.   Andrew Shimmin
136- "Biggusss. . . D-------. . ." please.
2007-01-19 21:20:55
140.   Bob Timmermann
All the leaves are brown,

And the sky is gray.

2007-01-19 21:23:28
141.   D4P
I thought The Bangles sang that...
2007-01-19 21:25:22
142.   overkill94
141 You're thinking of "Hazy Shade of Winter"
2007-01-19 21:27:25
143.   D4P
Oh yeah. Let me try that again:

I thought The Beach Boys sang that

2007-01-19 21:28:37
144.   Greg Brock
You gotta go where you wanna go,
Do what you wanna do
2007-01-19 21:30:20
145.   El Lay Dave
135 After thorough analysis, I conclude that bands in general, irrespective of greatness, have somewhere between 1.67% - 8.33% chance of dying in order of talent, ignoring highest-lowest, lowest-highest as a distinguishing factor.
2007-01-19 21:32:35
146.   overkill94
143 Close enough
2007-01-19 21:32:52
147.   Bob Timmermann
Michelle Phillips had a very low VOROS (value over replacement ornamental singer).
2007-01-19 21:33:23
148.   Greg Brock
In ten years, Michelle Phillips, Ringo, and Mike Love will all go on tour together, and I will ready my sniper rifle.

Somebody has to save the music

2007-01-19 21:34:38
149.   D4P
I'm rooting for Kim Clijsters to win the Aussie Open
2007-01-19 21:36:25
150.   Bob Timmermann
Why would they all come to our concert just to boo us?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-01-19 21:37:05
151.   Bob Timmermann
I believe last year you were upset when Clijsters beat Sharapova at the US Open.
2007-01-19 21:39:13
152.   Greg Brock
Who would boo "The Ken Landreaux Experience featuring Bob Timmermann?"

Nobody, that's who.

2007-01-19 21:39:20
153.   overkill94
148 Thanks to Full House, I grew up thinking Mike Love was the brains behind the Beach Boys. Stupid Jessie Gotzapolous.
2007-01-19 21:39:22
154.   D4P
That wouldn't have been me. I megaloathe Sharapova, and always have.
2007-01-19 21:42:15
155.   Bob Timmermann
Well upon further review, Clijsters didn't play in the US Open last year. That was in 2005.
2007-01-19 21:45:12
156.   Andrew Shimmin
Puppet, CGI, or just creepy makeup?

2007-01-19 21:47:12
157.   D4P
Saw that on "Best Week Ever" tonight. Thought it was stupid.
2007-01-19 21:53:15
158.   Bob Timmermann
Icaros is the Sharapova fan.
2007-01-19 21:56:02
159.   El Lay Dave
148 Mike Love and John Phillips co-wrote "Kokomo", with Scott McKenzie and Terry Melcher. For what it's worth.

I wonder what days of the week the three late Mamas & Papas members died on.

2007-01-19 21:56:05
160.   D4P
Greg likes/loves her too.

I don't know whom to root for on the men's side. I guess Federer.

2007-01-19 21:57:52
161.   El Lay Dave
147 Maybe it was high - given the actual circumstances?
2007-01-19 22:01:39
162.   Greg Brock
160 I'm not a huge Sharapova fan. I just don't get what's so makes her so unlikeable.

As a general rule, good looking six foot blonde women are okay by me.

2007-01-19 22:02:24
163.   Andrew Shimmin
161- Well, she was a good clubhouse presence, but that wasn't worth much to people who weren't sleeping wi. . . on the team.
2007-01-19 22:02:45
164.   Bob Timmermann


2007-01-19 22:04:32
165.   Greg Brock
Denny Loved Michelle
Michelle loved Denny and John
Cass loved Denny

I'm pretty sure everybody thought Cass was a nice person.

2007-01-19 22:07:29
166.   D4P
And then there's Carnie Wilson...

This from her Wikipedia page:

She confessed, "I was with a woman when I was about 15 to 16 years old, I was really horny and I would fantasize about boobs."

2007-01-19 22:08:38
167.   Greg Brock
I'll take "Things I never needed to know about Carnie Wilson" for $500.
2007-01-19 22:11:35
168.   Bob Timmermann

Everybody knew who was the most talented one in that group. Yet, people still make fun of Cass Elliott years after her death because she was heavy.

2007-01-19 22:14:05
169.   LAT
The next logical link from Andrew? A site about Orville Redenbacher's penis, of course.
2007-01-19 22:14:16
170.   Greg Brock
168 There is no female singer in the 1960's with a better voice than Cass Elliot. The ham sandwich jokes were/are also ridiculous.
2007-01-19 22:15:03
171.   Greg Brock
You'll find no bigger Cass Elliot fan than I.
2007-01-19 22:16:19
172.   D4P
Who's Cass Elliot...?
2007-01-19 22:18:39
173.   Bob Timmermann
She was on "Hollywood Squares" from time to time.
2007-01-19 22:20:41
174.   LAT
162. As a general rule, good looking six foot blonde women are okay by me.

Of course, there are exceptions:

2007-01-19 22:22:17
175.   Andrew Shimmin
170- Now there's a rule six violation. Mama Cass had a very nice voice, but she was no Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Tina Turner, or Aretha Franklin.
2007-01-19 22:24:23
176.   Blaine
That Orville Redenbacher commercial floating around right now is the creepiest thing I have seen for quite a while.
2007-01-19 22:24:41
177.   D4P
I'm guessing 171 was a rule 6 violation as well.
2007-01-19 22:25:06
178.   Greg Brock
175 I'm referring to the decade in which they became most well known. Tina Turner is overrated. Aretha Franklin is a fine choice.

Etta James and Ella are not exactly products of the 1960's.

2007-01-19 22:25:23
179.   D4P
Was Greg the Ana Ivanovic fan? Regardless, she just lost.
2007-01-19 22:26:20
180.   Andrew Shimmin
176- It's definitely up there. Pimping out Audrey Hepburn to sell jeans was pretty horrendous.
2007-01-19 22:26:39
181.   Icaros
I think Sharapova looks good, but I don't really follow women's tennis. It hasn't been the same since the Chris Evert-Lloyd days.
2007-01-19 22:27:35
182.   Greg Brock
I thought putting Jesus Christ in the Mr. Coffee adds was way over the top.
2007-01-19 22:28:36
183.   LAT
Is it just me or does the Australian Open feel like its been going on for a month now.
2007-01-19 22:35:29
184.   LAT
Icaros you are way to young to pine for the Chris Evert days.

I actually thought Stephie Graf was sexy ugly. Her body was rock solid. I would take her over Sharapova. Ever see the SI bathing suit issue with her in it? Also, for me I like the idea of someone who is actually more attractive than the media would have us believe (Graf) then someone (Sharapova) the media sells as beautiful who really isn't. Not that any of this matters for quality of play.

2007-01-19 22:36:38
185.   D4P
Women's tennis was pretty good during the Graf-Sabatini-Seles days as well.
2007-01-19 22:38:16
186.   D4P
Also, for me I like the idea of someone who is actually more attractive than the media would have us believe (Graf) then someone (Sharapova) the media sells as beautiful who really isn't

AMEN! I hate being told by the media who's beautiful and who isn't. Drives me crazy.

I never thought Steffi was attractive during her playing days, but I've seen her on TV a few times over the past year, and thought she looked really good.

2007-01-19 22:41:04
187.   Greg Brock
173 All "Hollywood Squares" discussions must include Paul Lynde

Peter Marshall: Promethius was tied to the top of a mountain by the gods because he had given something to man. What did he give us?
Paul Lynde: I don't know what you got, but I got a sports shirt.

Peter Marshall: In "Alice in Wonderland", who kept crying "I'm late, I'm late?"
Paul Lynde: Alice, and her mother is sick about it.

2007-01-19 22:44:27
188.   Andrew Shimmin
178- I'm having feelings about this comment, but it's the kind of feelings I know what to do with: rage and fury. Tina Turner is not overrated. People who say she was should have their p----es removed and cut into chunks. Have you ever even heard Shake Your Tail Feather?

How was Etta James not a singer in the 60's? At Last was released in 1961. Something's Got a Hold On Me was 1962. I'd Rather Go Blind was 1968. Ella was alive and better than Cass, even if the 60's weren't her most productive period.

2007-01-19 22:46:22
189.   Bob Timmermann
The IMDB lists just two "Hollywood Squares" appearances for Cass Elliott. Her last TV appearance in the US was on "Celebrity Sweepstakes", hosted by the immortal Jim McKrell.

I suppose that no one has compulsively cataloged who all the guest stars on the show were. Perhaps I have a mission in life.

I'll be back in a couple of years...

2007-01-19 22:49:06
190.   Xeifrank
Oh man, I can't wait for baseball season to start! vr, Xei
2007-01-19 22:49:22
191.   SoSG Orel
51. "6. In baseball you can see a man's face and look into his eyes. This fosters an expectation of honesty."

Nicely put.

Back to Hollywood Squares talk.

2007-01-19 22:49:30
192.   Greg Brock
188 Not a Tina Turner fan. Sorry. Etta James became well known in the 1950's. She had a #1 R&B song in 1955. Ella was great, better than Cass Elliot, but she's not a product of the 1960's. That's the decade to which I was referring. Again, I'm just talking about singers who became famous in that decade.

But hey, thanks for the wang threat.

2007-01-19 22:53:29
193.   Bob Timmermann
51. "6. In Hollywood Squares you can see a man's face and look into his eyes. This fosters an expectation of honesty."

Yet, Paul Lynde would still bluff!

2007-01-19 22:59:12
194.   LAT
Next stop Uncle Arthur. Dr. Bombay can't be far behind.
2007-01-19 23:02:53
195.   Icaros

That's why I specified the Chris Evert-Lloyd period ('79-'87). Those were my pre-teen years.

2007-01-19 23:09:31
196.   LAT
You must have been drinking a lot of Lipton Iced Tea in those days.
2007-01-19 23:15:27
197.   Icaros
I was more of an apple juice fan in those days.
2007-01-19 23:18:03
198.   Andrew Shimmin
192- Not a threat; just fair warning: when the revolution comes, people who think Tina Turner is overrated are going to be drawing the Romanian urologists.
2007-01-19 23:19:02
199.   SoSG Orel
193. Ha! You guys are killing me.
2007-01-19 23:19:35
200.   Bob Timmermann
Speaking of Romanian doctors...
I highly recommend the "Death of Mr. Lazarescu."
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-01-19 23:30:08
201.   Ken Arneson
Must be Paul Lynde day. I was just reading about him on some other blog earlier today.

Q: Who stays pregnant for a longer period of time, your wife or your elephant?

Paul Lynde: Who told you about my elephant?

2007-01-19 23:33:42
202.   Greg Brock
Paul Lynde was once named Hollywood's most eligible bachelor.

It was a simpler time back then...

2007-01-19 23:34:52
203.   Andrew Shimmin
By request, from an interview with Augusten Burroughs (author of Running with Scissors): "On your website it says that you've seen Orville Redenbacher's p[----], so I just have to ask—how and why?"

2007-01-19 23:37:59
204.   SoSG Orel
Were Hollywood Squares, um, squares allowed to preview questions?
2007-01-19 23:40:34
205.   Greg Brock
204 Yes, but I believe Paul Lynde wrote all his own material.

I don't think Nanette Fabray did.

2007-01-19 23:46:50
206.   Bob Timmermann
Yes, there was a disclaimer read either before or after each show in accordance with network standards and practices. Peter Marshall would tell you also.

Of course, Peter Marshall was the father of former big leaguer Pete LaCock, which ties up all the loose ends of the various threads quite nicely doesn't it?

2007-01-19 23:47:13
207.   Steve
One of my personal favorites:

PM:If you want to know if a plastic surgeon is really qualified, who should you check with?

PL: Tony Randall.

2007-01-19 23:48:10
208.   LAT
203. I'll be damned. I knew if it existed you'd find it.

202. Rock Hudson was also Hollywood's most eligible bachelor at one time. And he was--just not for members of the opposite sex.

2007-01-19 23:51:04
209.   Andrew Shimmin
Rock Hudson and Paul Lynde in the same thread. I guess the other blogger who wrote about them, saying that you wouldn't get it anywhere else, underestimated DT! I'm going to send this link to and see if they're still so gung ho to bring the fibber aboard.
2007-01-19 23:52:24
210.   Greg Brock
209 Are you talking about Andrew Sullivan?
2007-01-19 23:53:53
211.   Andrew Shimmin
Yeah. I assume that's to whom Ken was referring. Although, it's also possible that there's just a spate of Paul Lynde blogging going down, today.
2007-01-19 23:58:32
212.   Steve
Please God all of those Malthus and Ehrlich references were painful enough without bringing Andrew Sullivan into it.
2007-01-20 00:01:59
213.   Greg Brock
Penn and Teller are debunking the importance of recycling.

This is something I can get behind.

2007-01-20 00:03:42
214.   Andrew Shimmin
212- Christianist.
2007-01-20 00:08:41
215.   Andrew Shimmin
OH! I forgot, he also has problems with Mormons, independent of their presumed Christianism. The underwear thing. Alright, I'll stop.
2007-01-20 00:30:47
216.   Greg Brock
Sweet. I'm not recycling anymore. I'm selling the cans, but everything else go garbage.

Life made simple...Thanks Penn and Teller!

2007-01-20 00:45:07
217.   overkill94
213 I saw that one and it made a lot of sense. Then again, so does Communism.
2007-01-20 01:52:18
218.   Andrew Shimmin
The Indians got Trot Nixon for one year, three million dollars.

2007 Zips: .272/.371/.415

PECOTA has him a little worse, but still better than Juan Pierre. For less money. And only one year.

2007-01-20 01:53:53
219.   Andrew Shimmin
Okay, this isn't my fault. The first Griddle post I saw today was about Samardzija; I thought it was the first post of the day. I really do read the Griddle.
2007-01-20 04:27:23
220.   Marty
I don't think Mama Cass is in the same ballpark as Barbra Streisand or Julie Andrews, as far as singing goes.
2007-01-20 04:29:24
221.   Sam DC
I guess someone's going to have to tell Andrew about Juan Pierre.
2007-01-20 05:18:38
222.   Sam DC
While it may reek of shooting fish in a barrel, this column by Post TV Columnist Lisa de Moraes on the Pussycat Dolls press event is pretty darn funny.

2007-01-20 06:02:00
223.   Sam DC
And completig my morning nothing-to-do-with-baseball rounds, this is like a line from an obituary of generations past:

A Los Angeles native, Edgren was born Sept. 11, 1923, to a mason and his wife.

2007-01-20 06:36:44
224.   Midwest Blue
I just read Cub Town's description of the 3-day Cub Convention, which led me to ask "When is the Dodgers Convention?" I 've never heard it discussed here before. Is there one?
2007-01-20 06:42:23
225.   D4P
People who say she was should have their p----es removed and cut into chunks

"Everybody wang chunk tonight"

2007-01-20 06:54:52
226.   Bumsrap
I think after reading some of the posts in this thread that we all have a concussion along our way and the consequenses may not be leading to where they led Andre Waters, but perhaps to chunky posting instead.
2007-01-20 06:56:03
227.   Bumsrap
Jon, we desperately need a new subject.
2007-01-20 06:58:15
228.   Bumsrap
Elbert invited to spring training.

After disapearing from winter ball Kemp is hot in the playoffs as is Abreu.

2007-01-20 07:36:44
229.   Greg Brock
Also invited to ST are Jonathan Meloan, infielders Tony Abreu and Chin-Lung Hu, and catcher A.J. Ellis.
2007-01-20 07:59:33
230.   Bob Timmermann
How do you appropriately RSVP to a spring training invite?
2007-01-20 08:01:44
231.   Greg Brock
Digger Phelps was on ESPN for three seconds this morning before he mentioned breaking the 88 game streak.

Literally three seconds. I rewound it and timed it. Ugh.

2007-01-20 08:04:28
232.   Bob Timmermann
Digger is not on my "Dead to Me" list because that presupposes that he is a living being.
2007-01-20 08:31:21
233.   Sam DC
In the SI article about the Saints this week, Dr. James Andrews says of Drew Brees shoulder injury last year: "one of the most unique injuries of any athlete I've ever treated."

That's certainly saying something coming from that guy.

2007-01-20 08:45:59
234.   Bob Timmermann
Did you cut out the MRI of Drew Brees's shoulder and put it in your son's lunchbox?
2007-01-20 08:46:41
235.   Greg Brock
Am I insane, or is Buster Olney saying that Bert Blyleven doesn't belong in the Hall of Fame because he was only in the top 5 of several pitching stats instead of the top three? If so, that's just so stupid that it's stoopid:

In his analysis, Rich shifts the season-by-season standards to show how many times Blyleven ranked in the top five in categories in his league, rather than in the top three. Well, that's the crux of the problem: If a pitcher is going to be considered among the greatest of all time, it's reasonable to expect that he was consistently rubbing shoulders with the Seavers, the Gibsons; he should be in the top three a lot.

2007-01-20 08:51:15
236.   Bob Timmermann
For some reason, there are a lot of smart, reasonable, rational people who just don't think Bert Blyleven was all that good and their reasons for it range from flimsy to paper-thin.
2007-01-20 08:56:42
237.   Greg Brock
That's just really weird. "See, he was only in the top 3% in his league, but not the top 2%." It's the last grasp of a dying argument, and so intellectually flawed I'd be embarrassed to write it.

How do you even write that without taking a step back and saying "Wow, that's a pretty lame argument. I better cherry pick something else."

2007-01-20 09:38:11
238.   Bob Timmermann
I hear that Digger Phelps and Buster Olney are friends.

They are all part of the Tommy Craggs Marching and Chowder Society.

2007-01-20 10:40:25
239.   Greg Brock
Rovers 2, City 0.

Seriously, is Man City ever going to be good? Ever?

2007-01-20 10:52:32
240.   Bob Timmermann
The US Soccer Hall of Fame ballots are out. And a sort of Dodger is a certainty to make it as Mia Hamm is on the ballot.

Hamm, along with Julie Foudy and Joy Fawcett, are expected to be unanimous selections which would fill the Hall's quota for this year.

Thomas Dooley will have to wait another year.

2007-01-20 10:55:27
241.   Greg Brock
Your brother has a vote, does he not?
2007-01-20 10:56:20
242.   Bob Timmermann
Yes, do you want to send him a link to your website for Steve Trittschuh?
2007-01-20 11:01:57
243.   Greg Brock
Paul Caligiuri was my guy on the '90 team.
2007-01-20 11:03:55
244.   Bob Timmermann
Caligiui, class of 2004 at the National Soccer Hall of Fame.
2007-01-20 11:04:54
245.   Greg Brock
244 And a Bruin national champ.
2007-01-20 11:06:02
246.   Bob Timmermann
David Vanole, who passed away this week at age 43, is on the veterans ballot.

That's a really, really, really long ballot.

2007-01-20 11:12:24
247.   Greg Brock
Final: Rovers 3, City 0.

Sheesh. Blue Moon indeed.

2007-01-20 11:13:17
248.   saltcreek
Any one have an idea why Mark Alexander wasnt invited to spring training but a guy with absolutly no shot of making the team like Chin-Lung Hu was?
2007-01-20 11:21:22
249.   Bob Timmermann
Maybe they used e-vites and Alexander's spamblocker prevented it from getting through.
2007-01-20 11:22:28
250.   Greg S
I hate when I'm late to the party only to find out it's a great party. Jon, this is one of my favorite posts in the 8 months or so I've been around here. Of course I found it after it's run it's course! Time magazine did a cover story about "Why we worry about the wrong things" ( I think you have found a great example. I've often thought about how weird it is that we "indulge" in the brutality of football or boxing while we fret like new mothers over the dangers of stimulants or steroids to the people who we watch participate in a sport. Not saying we should ignore it but it is a ridiculous double standard that is right in front of our eyes and rarely seen.
Next up... why do Universities get to run a gigantic industry that has nothing to do with their mandate and not pay the workers any wages at all (and in fact not allow them to even make money on their own). Blasphemy!
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-01-20 11:52:07
251.   Andrew Shimmin
why do Universities get to run a gigantic industry that has nothing to do with their mandate and not pay the workers any wages at all (and in fact not allow them to even make money on their own).

Isn't it bad enough that teenage girls have money enough to force the culture to cater to their taste? Do we really want to find out how bad music and t.v. would be if grad students had disposable cash?

2007-01-20 12:03:46
252.   overkill94
I have a question out there for anyone who has been to Vero Beach for ST or at least knows the area well:

My dad and I are making a trip for a week of spring training and were wondering if there is a specific hotel that's recommended, where the best seats are at the stadium, any good restaurants, etc. If you'd rather discuss it through e-mail, I'm at karl.hungus at

2007-01-20 12:19:16
253.   Bob Timmermann
I have bought my all sessions package for the Pac-10 basketball tournament and I will be griddling away through my forced march of nine games in four days!

Strangely, it was cheaper to get a ticket on Ticketmaster than Stubhub. People seem to think the championship game will be very popular although I got a very good seat for it.

Granted, I won't be talking to anybody for four days.

2007-01-20 12:26:01
254.   Greg S
252 There are not a lot of choices. They don't call it "Zero Beach" for nothin' (and they do call it that). No Hilton's or anything like that. Just grab your nearest Holliday Inn and enjoy it. Not much for food. There's one steakhouse where the ballplayers often show up (Rick Monday is there every night) but I can't think of the name right now.
2007-01-20 12:27:40
255.   Greg S
252. Oh and for seats, you pretty much can't go wrong. Tiny ballpark. Some big games sell out ahead of time so just make sure you have some seat and you'll be fine.
2007-01-20 12:30:27
256.   overkill94
Thanks Greg, looks like it'll be pretty easy to figure out what to do. It was mostly my dad that was worrying about this stuff, I'm just doing this to appease him.
2007-01-20 12:33:13
257.   Greg S
257. For a real baseball fan, going to spring training at least once is a must-do lifetime event. For anyone who follows their team to the point of knowing the prospects, it's even better. Enjoy!
2007-01-20 12:56:09
258.   Greg Brock
Congrats to the Lady Bruins.
2007-01-20 12:58:52
259.   trainwreck
Where are the Wildcat fans to talk trash?
2007-01-20 13:02:06
260.   trainwreck
The Prince is out! Poop!
2007-01-20 13:13:33
261.   trainwreck
Where is the story about who was invited to spring training?
2007-01-20 13:16:05
262.   Greg Brock
That's it. Lorenzo Mata is "On Notice"
2007-01-20 13:19:41
263.   D4P
Do you have multiple lists too...?
2007-01-20 13:21:57
264.   Greg Brock
263 I have one long list.

How long? It has addendums.

2007-01-20 13:26:03
265.   Curtis Lowe
David Wells has resigned with the Padres

2007-01-20 13:30:20
266.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh

Any one have an idea why Mark Alexander wasnt invited to spring training but a guy with absolutly no shot of making the team like Chin-Lung Hu was?

Because ST invites are frequently as much about letting the big league coaching staff get a look at legitimate prospects as it is a tryout for actually making the team. Hu certainly isn't ready for the big leagues, but despite his questionable bat, his glove makes him a legit prospect, and I suppose Grady et al will want to get a look at him. It's also a good way of giving kids some exposure (however diluted) to major league play.


2007-01-20 13:40:04
267.   Frip
Andrew Shimmin: "Thomas Boswell's 99 Reasons Baseball is Better Than Football runs some of the same shtick [as George Carlin's list]."

Shtick is right. I always thought Boswell's list was pretty lame. And the most often quoted line is THE lamest.

"It's never fourth and one in baseball". what. Sounds snappy, but means nothing. It's never 2 out in the bottom of the 3rd in football either. Big deal.

2007-01-20 13:49:17
268.   Andrew Shimmin
The only Dodger relievers with a PECOTA eqERA lower than Alexander's are Broxton and Saito (and Kuo, if you choose to count him that way). If he doesn't have any chance of making the team, maybe he should.
2007-01-20 13:55:48
269.   Greg Brock
268 We need to keep those roster spots open for Hendrickson and Tomko.


2007-01-20 13:59:32
270.   D4P
The No-Talent A-Clown is on the golf channel right now
2007-01-20 14:00:46
271.   D4P
Heh heh. The A-Clown hit it in the water, and the announcer quipped, "That ball 'Said I loved you, but I lied'"
2007-01-20 14:17:18
272.   Bob Timmermann
Can I get a 10-word summary of the UCLA-UA game so far?
2007-01-20 14:20:48
273.   Greg Brock
272 Not really. I'll try.

Bruins defense good. Shots falling. Zona turnovers. Buddinger albino.

That's like nine words.

2007-01-20 14:21:11
274.   Andrew Shimmin
272- No. But in seventeen syllables:

Mata bricks free-throws.
'Zona defense is shoddy.
Who is that white guy?

2007-01-20 14:21:25
275.   D4P
Both teams lost to the Oregon Ducks earlier this season
2007-01-20 14:23:09
276.   Bob Timmermann
When I checked in at one point, Arizona was leading 25-15.

Then what happened?

2007-01-20 14:25:23
277.   Andrew Shimmin
The Bruins were up six at half time. Most of what happened was Afflalo.
2007-01-20 14:26:19
278.   Greg Brock
276 The Bruins defense stepped up, and they've done a better job on the boards. Roll started to hit a few threes, and Arizona has gotten a little sloppy.

It's still a relatively close game.

2007-01-20 14:28:05
279.   Bob Timmermann
Vanderbilt beat Kentucky. That should make Buster Olney happy.
2007-01-20 14:28:47
280.   Greg Brock
Olney went to Vandy? Geez, you'd think he'd have mentioned it.
2007-01-20 14:28:50
281.   Bob Timmermann
I've also lost track of who our current UA student is. All of you people under 40 all sound alike.
2007-01-20 14:30:15
282.   Andrew Shimmin
Do free throws and layups just not come up in practice? What's the deal with that. Collison is the worst, but that little run behind the basket thing was pretty dumb, too.
2007-01-20 14:30:36
283.   Greg Brock
Never trust anyone over 30...
2007-01-20 14:30:55
284.   Andrew Shimmin
281- It's Nate.
2007-01-20 14:34:39
285.   Midwest Blue
I'll try again since no one bothered to address it (too busy fixating on p------: Does anyone know if the Dodgers have a fan convention?
2007-01-20 14:36:08
286.   Bob Timmermann
A fan convention? Like a political convention? With delegates and funny hats and balloons? No.

The Dodgers offseason promotions tend to be relatively low key events.

2007-01-20 14:40:12
287.   Andrew Shimmin
This clock killing business is no good. I guess it worked out on Thursday, but there're still six minutes left.
2007-01-20 14:43:27
288.   Midwest Blue
That's a shame. Adirty, rotten, Juan Pierre-like shame.
2007-01-20 14:52:27
289.   Andrew Shimmin
Well. Shows what I know.
2007-01-20 15:00:16
290.   Sushirabbit
I don't know, varsity sports offer a vastly different education than what you're going to get from most of the teachers at a university. Just ask Devon Sherwood. Not that there aren't losers and jokers in both sectors of higher education.

I probably had 8 really good teachers out of the roughly 50 total in college, certainly there were more that were crap. I got just as much if not more from my friends and my own Insomnia.

If it's just that steroid use isn't as damaging as what football playing promotes, I guess I disagree. That's sort of like saying, why worry about ear-protection when we're just promoting "gun culture" by letting kids participate in skeet. One, I don't agree with the "promitng gun culture" idea, and, two, even if that's the case, repeated exposure to shotgun blasts without ear protection will permanently damage your hearing.

I get the point about the injuries of football, but really where will it end? We've all seen horrific injuries in baseball right? Well if you didn't have kids thinking it was a big deal to hit a ball that hard, then they wouldn't be catching line drives to their face and sustaining permanent eye-injury. I played soccer and contrary to popular believe it's not exactly free from violence or injury risk.

Our culture is results/success/winning driven. Combine that with ambivalence about drug use and the Major leagues turning a blind eye to steroids and you get what we had in the 80s.

I had one friend out of many that had the natural talent to make it into the Indians organization. Pretty much everyone else was clawing by any means they had to make it to get in the minors or into a good baseball school. Rightly or wrongly in the 80s I think they assumed that others were using and so they had to use also in order to compete.

Having some direct experience with someone that used steroids, I can safely say that I'd rather get hit by LT or Sapp than take steroids.

Sorry, for long winded soap-box-stand, but as you can see, I have strong opinions on the matter. The environment's definitely changed in 20 years; it is just a shame it took that long. I think what you learn about yourself playing sports is just as important as the concepts promoted at universities, too. And most collegiate athletes don't go to high dollar careers after school, so whatever they get there helps them along the way.

2007-01-20 15:05:36
291.   Greg Brock
I went to school with four friends/acquaintances who made the bigs. Three are still playing. None of them juiced. It's a poor excuse.
2007-01-20 15:05:57
292.   Bob Timmermann
Did Alfred Aboya really make the last two free throws for UCLA because the box score shows him with five fouls?
2007-01-20 15:13:41
293.   Andrew Shimmin
I'd take acne and temporarily shrunken t----- over a head injury. Both are bad and steroids are probably more likely to lead to death (they're associated with elevated risk of prostate cancer), but head injuries are bad news. We understand much better what steroids do, than how head injuries work, but that doesn't mean the one we don't understand well isn't worse.

Although I may be unduly swayed by Yellow Dog.

Link is SFW, but the book certainly isn't.

2007-01-20 15:37:11
294.   Greg S
And most collegiate athletes don't go to high dollar careers after school, so whatever they get there helps them along the way.
What they should get are the same type of multi-million dollar contracts that their "pro" counterparts get because, of course, the only thing that differntiates what they do from what the pros do is that they aren't paid for it. Somehow they should be happy with some odd little education. Should Barry Zito be happy for the growth experience he'll get as a member of the Giants?
2007-01-20 15:43:47
295.   Bob Timmermann
So, Washington isn't very good in basketball this year are they?
2007-01-20 15:49:44
296.   Greg S
David Wells has resigned with the Padres
So he's not going to be with them any longer?
2007-01-20 17:51:32
297.   Bob Timmermann
So far the sturdy Golden Bear is looking down from the sky and looking down upon his colors in Eugene and smiling...
2007-01-20 17:57:17
298.   D4P
Oregon was out-rebounded 12-6 in the first half.
2007-01-20 17:59:29
299.   Bob Timmermann
But there were 23 missed shots in the game.
2007-01-20 18:07:12
300.   D4P
Both teams shot well from the field, thus the low number of total rebounds. But Oregon got doubled up on the boards.

I really don't know how they've managed to win so many games without being able to rebound and with no shot-blocking presence whatsoever.

Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2007-01-20 18:22:29
301.   D4P
Woah, I just checked the score for the first time since the half and Oregon is ahead by 5.
2007-01-20 18:24:12
302.   Andrew Shimmin
So, the other five missed shots went out of bounds? That seems like a lot.
2007-01-20 18:24:58
303.   D4P
Oregon with a 24-8 run to start the 2nd half
2007-01-20 18:52:05
304.   Bob Timmermann
Every missed shot in basketball has a rebound credited to someone. Even if you miss the first of two free throws.
2007-01-20 18:56:04
305.   CanuckDodger
The names of the players who received non-roster invitations to the major league team's spring training suggests that the purpose of the invites is to give Grady and Ned looks at players who might have a future with the big club. Even a guy like A.J. Ellis, with his good defense, could be a Dodger in future, though only as a back-up catcher. I think Mark Alexander not getting an invitation tells us that the Dodgers don't consider him to be somebody with any possible future with the big league club. I have seem many minor league relievers just like Alexander never get a shot at the majors. Excellent stats, a great breaking ball, but a mid-80's fastball. Scouts simply don't believe in non-major leaguers whose fastballs are below-average like that, reagardless of their minor league stats.
2007-01-20 19:06:15
306.   Bob Timmermann
Today's useless statkeeping lesson:

In the UCLA-Arizona game, Arizona missed 37 shots (34 FG attempts and 3 FTs) and UCLA missed 36 (38 FG and 8 FT). There were 73 missed shots.

Arizona had 37 rebounds and UCLA had 33. Arizona also had 2 dead ball rebounds and UCLA had 1, which don't count in to the team totals, but get added in to make the scorebook balance.

2007-01-20 19:08:17
307.   arnold
92-84 Hope you Pac10 fans enjoyed it.

Canuck-I followed you here because I enjoy your posts.

Go Dodgers/Go Ducks

2007-01-20 19:08:26
308.   Bob Timmermann
Arizona is now in seventh place in the Pac-10.
2007-01-20 19:21:33
309.   Greg Brock
Arizona went from #2 RPI to #7 in the Pacific Ten.

Wow, what a conference.

2007-01-20 19:21:38
310.   CanuckDodger
307 -- What was your nickname on the board?
2007-01-20 19:27:18
311.   Bob Timmermann
What about ASU's quest to go 0-18 in the Pac-10? I don't think they will do it, although they already got beat by Oregon State at home. The Sun Devils don't seem that bad.

Arizona is, I believe, the only team to go 1-17 in the Pac-10 and the Wildcats didn't win until the last game of the year. That was back in 1983 when Ben Lindsey was the coach.

He was fired and Lute Olson was brought in. UCLA beat Arizona by 5 in Tucson that year and then managed to edge the Wildcats by 53 at Pauley.

2007-01-20 19:29:45
312.   Andrew Shimmin
I'm only going to actually care about Alexander if I have to see Lance Carter at any point this year. Hendrickson and Tomko I've made something like my peace with. But I'm going to lose my mind if Lance Carter so much as sits on the bench in the bullpen after March.
2007-01-20 19:31:30
313.   Greg Brock
311 I'm conflicted about ASU. I don't want them to go winless, because that's just sad. But I don't like either of the Arizona schools, because I don't believe they belong in the Pacific Coast Conference.
2007-01-20 19:34:51
314.   D4P
I keep waiting for the Ducks to collapse, and they just keep winning. It's really quite shocking.
2007-01-20 19:36:17
315.   Bob Timmermann
You won't be seeing Lance Carter unless you hop on a plane and fly to Japan.
2007-01-20 19:38:36
316.   Bob Timmermann
Ahh, an originalist! You want to go back to the days of the Pac-8. Get rid of the conference tournament and have UCLA play a home-and-home series every year against Notre Dame. Then you can reanimate the corpse of Kelly Tripucka.
2007-01-20 19:39:12
317.   Andrew Shimmin
Oh yeah? How did I miss that? What happy news!
2007-01-20 19:40:25
318.   D4P
The cameltoed-one lost tonight.
2007-01-20 19:43:34
319.   Greg Brock
316 You got it.

318 Please, she's "The Future Ex-Mrs. Brock"

2007-01-20 19:48:29
320.   D4P
How about "The Cameltoed Future Ex-Mrs. Brock"...?

BTW: Are you expecting to sign a pre-nup?

2007-01-20 19:50:35
321.   Greg Brock
True love doesn't need a pre-nup.

So yes.

2007-01-20 19:52:56
322.   Sam DC
Dodger Thoughts After Dark has always had a somewhat odd sensibility.
2007-01-20 19:54:50
323.   Greg Brock
322 LOL...
2007-01-20 19:56:57
324.   D4P
Sounds like you just can't wait to get inside her box.

What? The box where friends and family sit and watch at the stadium. Geez, you guys have dirty minds.

2007-01-20 20:02:26
325.   Greg Brock
Ricky Hatton boxes right now. Manchester City finally has a chance to win something this decade.

They're even playing "Blue Moon"

2007-01-20 20:20:41
326.   Andrew Shimmin
More third wave feminism, in the spirit of the Pussy Cat Dolls (altogether unsafe for work):

I just hope AARP doesn't adopt the strategy.

2007-01-20 20:27:18
327.   Greg Brock
326 That went a little farther than I thought it would.

Not that I'm complaining. I'm a huge advocate of whatever it is she cares about.

What was it again?

2007-01-20 20:27:48
328.   Frip
Are Dodger dogs a cheap marketing gimmick, or are they actuallly something special?


They are a cheap gimick.

Unless a hot dog is grilled, along with the bun, then it's crap.

I'm a serious hot dog freak. A hot dog prick, if you will. And I've had the famed Dodger Dog. And I can say with some authority...the Dodger Dog is a frigin myth!

2007-01-20 20:28:56
329.   D4P
Hah. Loved the "Distinguished citizens and fellow citizens". Classic.

I gotta say: I love animals, but I also eat them. Does that make me a hypocrite?

2007-01-20 20:30:49
330.   Andrew Shimmin
Since I was underselling my NSFW tagging, earlier, I should point out that I'm not, this time.
2007-01-20 20:35:49
331.   Greg Brock
As I watched that clip, just one thing went through my mind...

What will poor Xeifrank think?

2007-01-20 20:42:28
332.   Xeifrank
331. You guys enjoy your P---- talk. I will go find my sports chat elsewhere.
vr, Xei
2007-01-20 20:46:06
333.   Andrew Shimmin
332- You can be a real wet blanket, at times, Xei. Like appending a video of animal cruelty to the end of an amateur stripper performance.
2007-01-20 20:50:49
334.   Greg Brock
Yeah, you guys drop the wang bombs and the NSFW clips and the c-toe bombs and the box jokes...

And who does Xeifrank blame? Me.


2007-01-20 20:51:09
335.   Xeifrank
333. If being a "real wet blanket" is trying to uphold the integrity of this site, then yes I am one. Feel free to call me whatever names you want, I won't join in.
vr, Xei
2007-01-20 20:53:42
336.   D4P
You opened the floodgates with your "shag" joke.
2007-01-20 20:54:37
337.   Bob Timmermann
I would have to side with xeifrank on this one. Despite this being a Dodgers-themed site, there's no need to work blue.
2007-01-20 20:55:39
338.   Greg Brock
336 Oh nice try. I do believe the bar was raised (or lowered, as it were) long before that.

V is for victory, anyone?

2007-01-20 20:57:20
339.   Andrew Shimmin
335- Sorry about the name calling; it was mostly just a way of using the analogy. But, there's no "unless the analogy is good enough" modifier for rule two.

There was a night of porn talk, here, in the middle of the season last year. Or the one before, I forget which. I hope that the PETA link wasn't over the line, but, even if it was, I don't think the integrity of this site is in any danger.

2007-01-20 20:57:45
340.   D4P
I would have to side with xeifrank on this one


2007-01-20 20:59:06
341.   D4P
Might Andrew explain why he was watching PETA videos in the first place...?
2007-01-20 20:59:31
342.   Greg Brock
Straddling the line during Dodger Thoughts After Dark is funny.

Beating the line with a sack full of nickels is probably a bit much.

2007-01-20 21:08:28
343.   Greg Brock
Jim Lampley is acting like a real pro on HBO Boxing tonight, considering he beat the hell out of his girlfriend while baked and drunk.

You stay classy, Lamps.

2007-01-20 21:09:36
344.   D4P
I've never stood Jim Lampley. NBC had him on their golf coverage at some point in the 90s, and he was horrible.
2007-01-20 21:12:20
345.   Greg Brock
344 He's terrible. He and Larry Merchant are just terrible. HBO has Harold Lederman, Lennox Lewis and Max Kellerman, and they stick with this horrible team.
2007-01-20 21:21:25
346.   D4P
BTW: Is anyone familiar with the SopCast software? I just discovered it last night. I don't know much about it yet, but at the very least I know that it has a number of TV channels that you can watch for free. I've been watching the Australian Open live (well, maybe with a few minute lag). It's pretty cool. I don't know what else it has to offer, but there are a lot of channels.
2007-01-20 21:24:33
347.   Andrew Shimmin
341- I like to keep abreast of the doings across a broad speculu, er, spectrum.
2007-01-20 21:26:30
348.   D4P
What's going on at PETA these days? I don't know much about the organization, but I know a lot of people (even people who like animals) have major problems with it.
2007-01-20 21:28:27
349.   Greg Brock
Other than the fact that most PETA activists are crazy and ignorant, it's a great organization.
2007-01-20 21:29:59
350.   D4P
most PETA activists are crazy and ignorant

How so? I assume you mean more than just "They go to great lengths to advance their cause"...right?

Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2007-01-20 21:31:58
351.   Greg Brock
350 Animal activism is a great thing. Something I'm an advocate for.

Vandalizing property, assaulting people, and aligning yourself with terrorist groups like ELF is not cool.

2007-01-20 21:32:38
352.   Andrew Shimmin
348- Going Godwin's Law all over KFC will tend to do that. But, if you don't take seriously what they do, then it can be funny. Peta: all sizzle, no steak.
2007-01-20 21:39:50
353.   D4P
Do you believe they can achieve their goals without resorting to such means, or do you think they should forfeit their goals if they can only be achieved through such means?
2007-01-20 21:41:00
354.   Bob Timmermann
Lisa Simpson is a member of PETA.

I'm a Class 5 vegan. I won't eat anything that casts a shadow.

2007-01-20 21:45:20
355.   Greg Brock
It's a pretty simple premise. When you throw blood on people and funnel money to groups dedicated to destroying medical research facilities, you lose my support.

The most heinous and the most cruel crimes of which history has recorded have been committed under the cover of religion or equally noble motives.

That's Gandhi, baby.

2007-01-20 21:48:16
356.   D4P
When you throw blood on people and funnel money to groups dedicated to destroying medical research facilities, you lose my support

I'll assume you oppose war and the killing of people to achieve "noble" means.

2007-01-20 21:50:10
357.   Greg Brock
356 For the most part, yes. But getting into my beliefs about war would be getting into my political beliefs, and I don't do that.

Plus, I would have to quote Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine and it would get really complicated.

2007-01-20 21:52:33
358.   D4P
For the most part, yes

But there are exceptional times when you think bad means justify good ends...?

The question that always comes up is "What about really bad guys like Hitler?"

2007-01-20 21:53:13
359.   Bob Timmermann
How comes Augustine gets a "St." but not Thomas Aquinas?

Somebody at work asked me for "Confessions" in a recorded book format.

2007-01-20 21:57:16
360.   Andrew Shimmin
Thinking more about it, even though I find it funny, I'm pretty sure it wasn't a good idea to post the PETA video link. If Jon or Ken decide the comment should be deleted, I'll understand completely and I apologize for making extra work for either or both, in any event. Won't happen again.

And I'm done fighting with Xei, too. It was dumb to let the NSFW tag thing get under my skin, especially given that his real complaint is with any non-sports comment. Which is fine, as far as it goes, but I thought that was settled already. Anyway. There you go.

2007-01-20 21:57:28
361.   Greg Brock
358 Dude, my beliefs about war are very complex. I'm kind of a hawk, except for the fact that I'm a dove. I've studied a lot of military history and diplomacy, and my beliefs are all over the yard.

It would be very tough to explain on Dodger Thoughts After Dark. But I'm no pacifist.

2007-01-20 22:02:28
362.   D4P
I've studied a lot of military history and diplomacy

I haven't studied any, and I like hearing from people who know what they're talking about.

my beliefs are all over the yard

Do you mean you're still trying to figure out what you believe, or do you mean that you've already figured it out but it's just difficult to explain to someone else?

But I'm no pacifist

I like to think of myself as a pacifist, but I'm not completely sure what it means. I know for a fact that I prefer nonviolent activism (see: Ghandi et al.) over force, but I can't quite figure out where police force fits into it all.

2007-01-20 22:12:09
363.   Greg Brock
Okay, I'll answer you. I'm a firm believer that peace is not the absence of war, but the presence of liberty and justice. If you intervene militarily, do so on the side of representative governments and democratic ideals. That's not to say that I agreed witht the invasion of Iraq, but if you are going to intervene, do so with the most honorable of intentions.

I'm also a firm believer in total war. If you engage in military action, you have to devastate the opposition so completely that they have no alternative but to surrender totally. Part of the reason we have failed in Iraq is the fact that we didn't go in with 600,000 troops, occupy every inch of the country, dominate the people, crush any hopes of insurrection, and pretty much kill everything that deigns to move against. It's what we did in Germany and the Pacific. It's the only thing that works. It's terrible, it's brutal, but iron fists in the short term save lives in the long term.

That's why war should be a last resort. Because when you engage in it, you should be merciless. Iraq (again, I'm not saying I was for it or against it) proves that no military battle should be fought on the cheap.

2007-01-20 22:13:17
364.   Greg Brock
Colin Powell understood that.
2007-01-20 22:20:50
365.   D4P
I'm also a firm believer in total war

It's kinda funny how we seem to think that a "little" bit of bombing, killing, maiming, etc. at a time is morally OK, but that dropping one big bomb and getting it over with all at once is morally reprehensible.

For me, the bottom line is that once you've killed a single human being, you've lost any legitimate claim to moral high-ground and might as well just go ahead and start obliterating. Not that I advocate that approach, but it seems more logically consistent and less pretentious.

2007-01-20 22:29:31
366.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
This is Jon's site, and heck, I don't even participate that much in chat, but going from a questionable PETA clip to discussion on just war doctrine and total war strikes me as perhaps... unnecessary. I teach at the Naval Academy; by trade and training, I'm an academic historian of the nineteenth-century American army; but for all that, I'm not sure this is the place for this sort of discussion. In fact, the absence of a real threads systems strikes me as a reason why this is not the best venue for this sort of thing.

Just my two cents...


2007-01-20 22:30:45
367.   Greg Brock
366 I didn't want to talk about it. Somebody asked. I won't bring it up again.
2007-01-20 22:36:07
368.   D4P
I'm not sure this is the place for this sort of discussion

I understand what you're saying. At the same time, "this place" has attracted (what appears to be) a very educated and intelligent set of visitors, from whom I feel I can learn a lot (about baseball as well as other, less important issues in life...), and it seems a shame to miss out on such a great learning opportunity just because this is a "baseball" blog.

That being said, Jon can decided what we can talk about and what we can't, and I generally try to abide by his "Thank You For Not"s.

2007-01-20 22:37:54
369.   overkill94
That PETA link was surprisingly awesome even if that girl could use a few less veggie burritos or whatever vegitarians eat.

War, what is it good far? That's what I always say. Unless the other country deserves it, then bomb the crap out of 'em.

2007-01-20 22:41:16
370.   Greg Brock
For the record, I was just trying to answer my man D4P. I wasn't trying to advocate a political position, nor was I attempting to cause trouble. He asked, I answered.

I should have just talked some good television!

2007-01-20 22:44:26
371.   D4P
my man D4P

Let's face the facts about you and me, a love unspecified...

2007-01-20 22:46:56
372.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Re: 368

I can assure you that if we regularly talked about issues of "Total War" and Just War doctrine, the tone of this site would change--and I think that change would be part of the reason why Jon established the ground rules that he did. Remember the arguments over the JD Drew signing? And the sometimes heated debates over Choi and Depo and the like? That's just over baseball, which all of us realize on some certain profound level, doesn't really matter. Questions of war and peace really are issues of life and death, and they come with a certain unavoidable charge. Furthermore there are other ways of learning from each other through personal e-mail and the like.


2007-01-20 22:47:26
373.   Jon Weisman
My theory is that it's best to sacrifice what we can learn from each other in a political discussion for the sake of providing a respite from political discussion.

There actually is a topic I'd be eager to discuss with some people here, but I'd rather just keep the boundaries up.

2007-01-20 22:47:40
374.   Andrew Shimmin
370- I did something like that to Pellam, when he let slip that he'd been a card carrying member of the Communist Party. He gave me his email address, so that we could chat about it privately. D4P piggybacked on to the discussion, so I have his email address, too. Which, if you're curious, D4P, is how you came to be on the plus-size model employment mailing list.
2007-01-20 22:48:13
375.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
BTW, I have no desire to further this line of conversation, and will now promptly clam up.


2007-01-20 22:48:28
376.   Jon Weisman
372 says it well.

Oh, by the way, new post up top.

2007-01-20 22:53:43
377.   Greg Brock
Sorry gang. I was just answering D4P. I meant no offense.

It just reinforces my point...Never talk to D4P.

2007-01-20 22:55:25
378.   D4P
Never talk to D4P

Heh heh. Easier said than done. I'm simply irresistible.

2007-01-20 22:56:22
379.   Greg Brock
See what trouble you got me into?

Read stupid war books on your own time!

2007-01-20 22:57:21
380.   Andrew Shimmin
377- Yes! Exactly. If Jon ever gets tired of his current tag line, "Never talk to D4P," should be a strong contender for replacing it.
2007-01-20 22:58:56
381.   D4P
Read stupid war books on your own time!

Fine. And you find your own stupid Ashley Harkleroad photos.

2007-01-20 23:00:24
382.   Greg Brock
381 Hey, no need to stop with the goods...

I mean, we're just disagreeing here. No need to You're still my guy D4P!

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