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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

And This Year's Scott Erickson Scholarship Goes To ...
2007-02-06 13:50
by Jon Weisman

... Joe Mays!

Yes, Joe Mays, who has pitched 206 2/3 innings since 2003, allowing 147 earned runs while striking out 74 batters. Joe Mays, you have earned yourself an all-expenses-and-then-some trip to Vero Beach!

* * *

Grady Little chatted on today and mentioned that the signing of Luis Gonzalez threw the chances of Rafael Furcal batting third "out the window." He likes Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Kent and Gonzalez at 3-4-5, though I'd expect Gonzalez to slide out of the fifth spot as the season progresses.

Little also implied that Jason Repko and James Loney are likely to make the Opening Day roster and that Nomar Garciaparra would not play any third base.

As expected, Little has penciled in the first four starting pitchers, with the fifth slot subject to a competition that will include Chad Billingsley, Hong-Chih Kuo, Mark Hendrickson, Brett Tomko and Eric Stults. (And Joe Mays, I guess.) The news here mostly is that Hendrickson and Tomko would contend for a starting role, instead of being locked into the bullpen.

One thing I am decidedly not going to worry about, though, is preseason speculation about who the No. 5 starter will be in April. Yes, it's possible the Dodgers will start the year by choosing a veteran for the wrong reasons. But if both Billingsley and Kuo, for example, start the season in the bullpen, is that really going to be so bad? Well, maybe, but at least their arms will be rested for the long, hot summer. The only thing that can seriously go wrong in March or April (besides injuries) would be for the Dodgers to trade a prospect for rubbish.

And ultimately, the Hendrickson and Tomko talk might just be to have them be in a positive frame of mind heading into Spring Training. Little is the same manager who took Hendrickson and Tomko out of the rotation last year (slowly but surely). He's not the one who acquired them - it's only right that he treat them with respect. After the season's underway, the worrying can begin.

(Rob, sincerely, you're completely right - sometimes I should be more cranky. I promise - the thought of Hendrickson or Tomko over Billingsley or Kuo eats at me - but I just can't say that out loud!)

* * * hero Sean Forman was interviewed by John Donovan of today, which prompted me to take a closer look at the Baseball-Reference Wiki.

It's a great project, but one thing I can objectively say it is missing is input from Dodger Thoughts readers. I would love to see some of the people here jump on. If, for example, anyone were to feed the R.J. Reynolds or the tres Pedros (Pedro Astacio, Pedro Guerrero, Pedro Martinez) pages with some DT-inspired background, I'd be tickled blue.

Comments (193)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-02-06 20:39:53
1.   saltcreek
Joe Mays is so bad that its an insult to Erickson to be mentioned in breath as him.
2007-02-06 20:43:57
2.   Jon Weisman
No, I'm confident Joe Mays could outpitch Scott Erickson this year.
2007-02-06 20:47:14
3.   saltcreek
1. just glanced over at Ericksons career stats....i would like to retract my previous statement
2007-02-06 20:47:20
4.   Suffering Bruin
2 OHH! SNAP! Oh, no you did not! You did not just dis two pitcha's in one sentence! You go...

Yeah, I've been hanging out with my students too much.

If ever there is a contest for least popular Dodger within the history of DT (going back to 2002), Scott Erickson might win. He'd get my vote.

2007-02-06 20:48:34
5.   Jon Weisman
Scott Erickson was a uniter.
2007-02-06 20:48:55
6.   Marty
Gonzo in the 5 spot, or for that matter in the lineup, worries me very much.
2007-02-06 20:50:07
7.   D4P
"Gonzo" is too affectionate. Try "LuGo" instead.
2007-02-06 20:50:30
8.   Jon Weisman
6 - I really think it's gonna be like Fred McGriff (without as much power). I don't think he's gonna last the year in the starting lineup.
2007-02-06 20:51:27
9.   Marty
A black hole is a black hole. We are just talking length of time.
2007-02-06 20:55:03
10.   trainwreck
I completely agree about that one.
2007-02-06 20:55:56
11.   trainwreck
I think Juan Pierre has won that award without even getting an at bat.
2007-02-06 20:56:20
12.   Greg Brock
I like Jon's even keel style. I'm a total reactionary, so it helps. Plus, I can go to FJM and Deadspin and Rob's site and SoSG and Cats that look like Hitler if I need some cranktasticness.
2007-02-06 20:56:37
13.   Marty
I had a very bad day at work. The thought of Luis Gonzales irks me more than usual.
2007-02-06 21:01:11
14.   das411
1 - 3 is one of the funniest things I have seen on DT in a long time.

THen again, so is the NRI to Joe Mays.

2007-02-06 21:01:20
15.   D4P
My research indicates that, among players with at least 52 doubles in a single season, only one player (Grudzielanek, 1997, .384) had a lower SLG than LuGo did last year.
2007-02-06 21:01:57
16.   Jon Weisman
13 - Sorry, Marty. No one should have to think about problematic No. 5 hitters when they've had a bad day.
2007-02-06 21:04:01
17.   Bumsrap
If Grady and Ned are going to go with the vets I would rather see the prospects together in Vegas. This includes Bills, Kuo, Loney, and even Ethier.

Let the young guys play and win together and then move them up more or less together.

Tomko can have the fifth spot. If Repko has a good spring, then let him have right. But come June 1, please clean up your mess Ned.

2007-02-06 21:04:36
18.   Bob Timmermann
That should be FORMER ALL-STAR Joe Mays.
2007-02-06 21:05:41
19.   D4P
BTW: Not sure if anyone noted this, but Grittle's lineup comments would seem to suggest that Martin will probably be batting 8th, at least to start the season.


2007-02-06 21:07:23
20.   Bob Timmermann
In the 2001 All-Star Game in Seattle, Mays retired Larry Walker, Mike Piazza, and Chipper Jones in order in his only innning of work.
2007-02-06 21:07:29
21.   Marty
16 the big scheme, what really is the definition of bad day? But still, Luis Gonzales for Pete's sake :)
2007-02-06 21:09:09
22.   D4P
That should be FORMER ALL-STAR Joe Mays

Which makes Mays this year's Lance Carter.

2007-02-06 21:10:16
23.   Bumsrap
Is it Conte that is the new trainer? Did Ned tell him what he was signing up for? The clubhouse is going to smell like Koufax was there.
2007-02-06 21:22:31
24.   underdog
It could be Ethier, Martin and then Betemit in the line-up. I'm fine with any of those guys anywhere - the Dodgers will have a stronger than average bottom of the order, versus a weaker than average middle of the order.

I liked Grady's comments in his chat today, overall (except for being worriedly in love with Gonzo, but I doubt that will last long). But otherwise I like what he had to say.

2007-02-06 21:24:44
25.   underdog
The difference this year is that Joe Mays has very little chance of making the team because it has much more depth in both starting pitching and the bullpen already built in. I really wouldn't worry about him too much.
2007-02-06 21:33:15
26.   twerp
"The clubhouse is going to smell like Koufax was there."


2007-02-06 21:38:06
27.   Bob Timmermann
Koufax used a lot of liniment and some sort of concoction made out of capsicum, aka the stuff that makes Mexican food hot.
2007-02-06 22:10:00
28.   D4P
7 X 4
2007-02-06 23:52:20
29.   Disabled List
I endorse the idea of an increased DT influence on B-R's Wiki. The following topics in particular need to have that special touch that only a DT denizen can provide:

Hee-Seop Choi
Juan Pierre
Milton Bradley
Beach Balls
Olmedo Saenz
Dodger Dogs
Paul DePodesta
J.D. Drew
Rick Monday
Jason Grabowski
Ramon Martinez
Joe Beimel
Ned Colletti
Mark Hendrickson
Jim Tracy
Wade-Giles vs. Pinyin transliteration systems

2007-02-07 00:06:09
30.   trainwreck
If somebody has a transcript of Vin's tirade this past season on beach balls has to put that on B-R's Wiki. That was so hilarious.
2007-02-07 04:10:10
31.   Wayne Wei-siang Hsieh
Jon, don't ever concede anything on the cranky front (and this post is NOT a criticism of 6-4-2, which I actually like very much)--one of the best things about your blog is how self-aware and reasonable it is. So much of modern sports media is driven by a mix of overemotional cliche and outrage, and the reasonable tone of your blog (like Vin Sculley's game calling) stands out in the current sports climate. And as bad as the mainstream sports media coverage can be, I think blogs are frequently the most guilty of frothing at the mouth controversialism--a sort of more humorous and much more clever version of sports talk radio, but not necessarily all that different on an emotional level.


2007-02-07 04:34:40
32.   Vishal
did he explain WHY nomar will not play any third base?
2007-02-07 04:35:53
33.   Vishal
ps. seriously, joe mays??? i can accept jose lima, scott erickson, aaron sele, sure, but joe mays??? he's not even good enough to be a royal.
2007-02-07 04:36:32
34.   Vishal
i propose that the three question marks be added permanently to mays' name.
2007-02-07 06:21:52
35.   ToyCannon
Completely agree, we have enough cranky posters that we don't need our host feeding the beast.
2007-02-07 07:55:27
36.   Marty
In the Times' story today on the Dodger caravan I chortled when I found out Ned's brother is a statistician
2007-02-07 08:07:58
37.   ToyCannon
Here are a couple of interesting comments from a BP chat yesterday:

DanBudreika (Haymarket, VA): Dan, While I can appreciate all of your work on base running, I do find it very deep and well researched, how much significance do you think it actually has on the game itself as a whole? After reading some of your articles I sometimes have myself wondering if the metrics you have derived will really make a big difference in the game itself..

Dan Fox: Your observation in that last sentence is exactly why I started down the road of putting these metrics together. As with fielding, I think if you asked a range of people inside and outside the game how much difference baserunning makes in the big picture, your answers would fall all over the spectrum from "hardly at all" to 10 games or more in the standings.

It turns out that in the aggregate really good baserunners:

a) don't garner enough opportunities in a single season in specific situations such as the chance to advance from first to third on a single and
b) don't take enough extra bases relative to average baserunners to separate themselves from the pack and therefore contribute a large number of additional runs.

So if the 5 best baserunners in baseball advance from first to third on a single 42% of the time (as they did from 2000-2005) and the five worst do so 22% of the time, then if those runners each get 40 opportunities per season, the elite baserunner gets to third 8 more times a season than the very worst runner. And then when you consider that getting to third raises your probability of scoring but doesn't guarantee it (in other words you only pick up incremental advantages with each advancement), you can see how quickly the advantage dissipates.

As far as whether the metrics will really make a difference in the game itself, my hope is that it helps us to put baserunning in perspective where we can confidently say that an elite baserunner is probably worth an additional 5 to 8 runs per season over an average runner and then factor that into our evaluations. So then when looking at a player we can say, for example, that 70% of his value lies in his offense, 20% in his defense, and 10% in his baserunning.

Being a good baserunner is also related in many cases to being a smart player or a good defender and so metrics like this can also help us tease out some of those relationships. There's still a long way to go but I'm glad the topic is getting some traction as evidenced by Bill James additional work in his Handbook this season.

TGisriel (Baltimore): I found your comment that "Older teams outperform younger ones" particularly interesting in light of what I perceive to be a tendency at BP to argue for the acquisition of younger unproven by talented players rather than established players. Some of this is based upon the different cost of the two of course. Do you perceive this tendency as well?

Dan Fox: I agree that BP falls more on the side of young talent.

What I'm seeing in my research thus far is that there is a sweet spot right at or above the normalized weighted mean age of the team (a formula that looks at pitcher innings and hitter plate appearances and league age) and both before and after that there is a drop off. Teams that go very young perform poorly as do those that go really old (generally speaking with the Yankees of 2003-2006 being an exception).

2007-02-07 08:41:30
38.   Benaiah
Jon, I posted this on screenjam too, but I was wondering if you had any info about the boost Scrubs and The Office received from the new Nielson ratings process? mentioned that Scrubs doubled its 18-25 demographics because college students are now included.
2007-02-07 08:45:07
39.   ToyCannon
I found this interesting in the Lew/Lou Burdette obit.

"Burdette hit 12 home runs, including two off Sandy Koufax. The Braves star especially enjoyed swinging at the Coliseum, where the Dodgers played from 1958-61. The reconfigured football stadium featured a left-field pole about 250 feet from home plate, along with a screen more than 40 feet high.

Burdette hit half of his career homers at the Coliseum, and lofted a fly ball over the screen for his only grand slam as part of two-homer, five-RBI game against the Dodgers in 1958. "

Not bad for a pitcher. I wonder if any other pitchers ever hit two home runs off of Koufax?

2007-02-07 08:53:54
40.   Jon Weisman
38 - Too busy to look now, but I know that Office has been doing well in 18-49.
2007-02-07 09:01:53
41.   Benaiah
40 - Cool, thanks.
2007-02-07 09:24:06
42.   JJ42
I was at the Dodgers caravan and Grady walked around and talked to the fans afterward. He answered every question quite honestly and candidly. As for his batting order, he said he would go:

1. Furcal or Pierre
2. Pierre or Furcal
3. Nomar
4. Kent
5. Gonzalez
6. Martin
7. ?
8. ?

2007-02-07 10:19:39
43.   adraymond
7. Tatis
8. Bigbie
2007-02-07 10:31:15
44.   kinbote
perhaps it's time to declare open competitions at 3b and rf: betemit vs. laroche & ethier vs kemp. (obviously, the incumbent comes in with certain advantages and must have his position forceably taken from him.)
2007-02-07 10:35:19
45.   JMK
Thought some of you might enjoy the following (forgive me if it's been linked already):

2007-02-07 10:41:08
46.   Jon Weisman
44 - I don't think that needs declaration. I think it's essentially true. Especially in RF. Betemit might get the benefit of the doubt at third, because of LaRoche having zero experience. Still, LaRoche will get a long look.
2007-02-07 10:45:29
47.   Sam DC
Greg -- I don't know if the story is getting this kind of play everywhere, but the Post had a huge profile of the murderous diaper astronaut situation today.

Here's how it begins:

She prepared for the 950-mile drive from Houston with the discipline of someone who had flown 13 days in space. The steel mallet, folding knife and rubber tube were all catalogued on a handwritten list, police say. She had maps, she had bus schedules and she had a disguise. Thinking like an astronaut, she brought diapers to avoid bathroom stops.

The world is just bizarre.

2007-02-07 10:46:08
48.   Sam DC
And I'm sure John McCain will be happy that the Post web page seems to be running his picture alongside this lovely tale.
2007-02-07 10:47:10
49.   ToyCannon
As if LuGo playing LF is not enough of an affront to the senses but to see him batting 5th just makes me shake my head. While I don't wish for any injury to Juan since the replacement doesn't exist, if LuGo was to go gently into the night like McGriff as Jon thinks he might, I would not be disapointed.
2007-02-07 10:48:27
50.   regfairfield
The 2003 Dodgers were probably the only team in history that could have been hurt by losing Fred McGriff.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-02-07 10:51:46
51.   D4P
While I don't wish for any injury to Juan since the replacement doesn't exist

One would be hard-pressed to convince me that Pierre is more valuable than Repko.

2007-02-07 10:52:01
52.   kinbote
it justs seems strange to me that someone who had such a stellar debut as ethier would not be guaranteed a starting job the following year. i guess this is where a lot of the anti-gonzo sentiment comes in [independent of his declining skills].

i agree that laroche is a longer shot than kemp to earn a starting nod by virtue of his not having any experience--in fact, i think a lot of collittle's [if i may] comments are aimed at lighting a fire under betemit.

whew. thank god we're close to spring training. i'm starting to lose it . . .

2007-02-07 11:01:23
53.   ToyCannon
Beware the menopausal woman.
2007-02-07 11:02:41
54.   Benaiah
50 - McGriff's three year average for the years before 2003: .285/.371/.500, with 29 Home Runs and 104 RBI. His line in 2003: 249/.322/.428, 13 HR, 40 RBI. If he would have declined slightly, say to .277/.373/.452 (his last full year in Tampa Bay) then the 2003 Dodgers would have had two decent hitters (with Green's .280/.355/.460). That is such a heartbreaking team. The best bullpen of all time for my money.
2007-02-07 11:05:54
55.   ToyCannon
That seems like a strange comment. Care to elaborate?
2007-02-07 11:06:51
56.   Greg Brock
54 The Nasty Boys were pretty darn good. But that Dodger bullpen was great.
2007-02-07 11:13:02
57.   regfairfield
55 Forgot a key qualifier: 2003 Fred McGriff. I'm sure most teams could have found a replacement level first baseman instead of Daryl Ward.
2007-02-07 11:14:24
58.   Terry A
I wholeheartedly "harrumph!" (in the Blazing Saddles sense) comment 31.
2007-02-07 11:16:13
59.   kinbote
54--at least the 2003 season gave us the all-time jim tracy quote: "We didn't fail. We just didn't succeed as much as we'd have liked."
2007-02-07 11:19:52
60.   regfairfield
I think another side effect of 2003 is that it gave us the impression that Jim Tracy was great at managing a bullpen. That year, he could have just picked names at random and done fine. Even Tom Martin retired something like 80% of all inherited runners that year.
2007-02-07 11:22:12
61.   D4P
he could have just picked names at random

Who said he didn't...?

2007-02-07 12:16:30
62.   Benaiah
56 - Bullen Comparision of 1990 Reds versus 2003 Dodgers:

1990 Reds
CL *Randy Myers 2.08 ERA 86.7 IP 190 ERA+
RP Rob Dibble 1.74 ERA 98.0 IP 226 ERA+
RP Tim Layana 3.49 ERA 80.0 IP 113 ERA+
RP *Norm Charlton 2.85 ERA 53.7 IP 138 ERA+ (only used his relief appearances, he had 2.68 ERA in 100 IP as a starter)
RP *Tim Birtsas 3.86 ERA 51.3 IP 102 ERA+

2.66 ERA 369.3 IP 148 ERA+

2003 Dodgers
CL Eric Gagne 1.20 ERA 82.3 IP 335 ERA+
RP Paul Quantrill 1.75 ERA 77.3 IP 231 ERA+
RP *Tom Martin 3.53 ERA 51.0 IP 114 ERA+
RP Guillermo Mota 1.97 ERA 105.0 IP 204 ERA+
RP Paul Shuey 3.00 ERA 69.0 IP 134 ERA+

2.15 ERA 384.7 IP 187 ERA+

The Dodgers crush them, though the numbers would be closer if Charlton stayed in the bullpen. Then, Wilson Alverez had a 1.49 ERA in 24.1 IP in the pen before joining the rotation in 2003, so it kind of evens out. The 2003 team featured the best relief performance of all time, and two others that were great (Mota's 105 IP with a sub 2 ERA amazing). That was such a heartbreaking year.

2007-02-07 12:16:37
63.   bhsportsguy
47 D.L. Hughley made a good point this morning that no one seems to pick up on, what kind of car goes 900 miles without needing to get gas, if there is one, let him know. Maybe she has an aversion to public restrooms?
2007-02-07 12:20:53
64.   D4P
what kind of car goes 900 miles without needing to get gas

Bob's got his...

2007-02-07 12:41:51
65.   twerp
27 Thanks, Bob. Did anyone else ever try Koufax's formula? Did he ever use anything different? Koufax must have thought it did some good, or he wouldn't have kept using it...

Or did trainers send the Koufax koncoction to the same stinkin' place where Dr. Hook's Snake Oil Miracle Ointment, Dr. Felix's Celebrated Liver Pills, castor oil, milk of magnesia, and similiar goodies reside?

2007-02-07 14:07:08
66.   Sam DC
Interesting look at draft pick compensation and the new Supersized Supplemental Round.

2007-02-07 14:15:19
67.   Bob Timmermann
I think I can coax 500 miles on a full tank in a Prius, but that would make me very nervous as the gas gauge makes angry noises when the fuel level is low.
2007-02-07 14:33:22
68.   D4P
I think I can coax 500 miles on a full tank in a Prius

Highway, or in the city?

2007-02-07 14:42:39
69.   bhsportsguy
67 Better question, diaper or no diaper?
2007-02-07 14:52:29
70.   Greg Brock
I'm only going to take this besmirching of the lovely Mrs. Nowack for so long. Back off my woman, DT community.
2007-02-07 14:55:16
71.   Andrew Shimmin
Tied at three in the bottom of the ninth, Heber Gomez just got a lead off triple. Mexico is threatening to win this game, and not go winless through the Serie Del Caribe. Obviously, I'm hoping they fail.
2007-02-07 14:56:12
72.   Andrew Shimmin
Jose Luis Sandoval singles Gomez in. Mexico beats Venezuela. The world weeps.
2007-02-07 14:57:06
73.   trainwreck
Happy National LOI Signing Day everyone!!!
2007-02-07 15:00:46
74.   Jon Weisman
71 - What team are the schoolchildren of Borneo rooting for?
2007-02-07 15:01:34
75.   Samuel

Cheating on Ms. Harkleroad already??

2007-02-07 15:07:50
76.   Greg Brock
75 Ha! Ashley is a doll, but Lisa beats her on a number of levels...

Wears diapers
Understands the value of rubber tubing
Doesn't want to stop every hour, unlike most gals
Committed to relationships
Owns a BB gun

2007-02-07 15:11:42
77.   trainwreck
Knows how to use pepper spray
2007-02-07 15:21:04
78.   still bevens
66 My lord look at all those supplemental picks the Padres get. That was some smart front office moves right there. However, werent some folks alleging malfeasance when it was going down? Did the Padres game the system?
2007-02-07 15:26:11
79.   Andrew Shimmin
74- Venezuela. Gregor Blanco's sorry team of Mexico-losers. Although, DR won the thing yesterday. So the children of Borneo, frontrunning fans as they are, switched over. Could be why the Venezuelans fell so far from grace.
2007-02-07 15:43:11
80.   Steve
I almost always agree with anything Wayne has to say, but 31 is way off. The "frothing-at-the-mouth controversialism" of the media is entirely fake, driven as it is by a paycheck delivered regardless of quality (See, e.g., Harold Reynolds' ESPN contract on Deadspin). Blogs of whatever stripe are preferable, and better at what they do, because they are sincere, regardless of the message the package comes in.

The blog "market" also caters to a wide diversity of tastes and choices, something that the now uniformly terrible sports media does not do.

2007-02-07 15:43:39
81.   Steve
...the package the message comes in...
2007-02-07 16:03:36
82.   Bob Timmermann
2007-02-07 17:23:38
83.   D4P
How many gallons does the tank hold?
2007-02-07 17:40:17
84.   dianagramr

wow .... and Grudz' SLG% was 60 points worse than anyone else's in history

2007-02-07 17:41:07
85.   twerp
Cincinnati GM Wayne Krivsky Feb. 1, on signing P Brian Meadows --

"He gives us some depth and another guy to compete for a spot on the team. He's a veteran who throws strikes and knows how to change speeds."

Quick, someone get Ned to call Wayne and see if he'll take Joe Mays back in exchange for Adam Dunn. Tell Wayne that Mays fits the Meadows criteria and is a former 17 game winning All-Star to boot. Add that he didn't really get a fair shot with the Reds last year.

Sounds like the perfect Krvisky deal to me...

2007-02-07 17:48:10
86.   dianagramr
Worst active pitchers with at least 997 IP (the "Joe Mays line")

1 Jose Lima 5.26 1567.2
2 Jamey Wright 5.14 1461.2
3 Scott Elarton 5.13 1013
4 Joe Mays 5.05 997
5 Eric Milton 5.01 1527.1

1 Brian Moehler 10.58 1146.1
2 Glendon Rusch 10.49 1375
3 LaTroy Hawkins 10.26 1016.2
4 Jose Lima 10.24 1567.2
5 Joe Mays 10.20 997

1 Joe Mays 4.62 997
2 Terry Mulholland 4.63 2575.2
3 Scott Erickson 4.77 2360.2
4 Jamey Wright 4.81 1461.2
5 Brian Moehler 4.88 1146.1

Fewest WINS W IP
1 Elmer Dessens 46 1056.2
2 Joe Mays 48 997
T3 Scott Elarton 54 1013
T3 LaTroy Hawkins 54 1016.2
T5 Jason Johnson 55 1327.2

2007-02-07 18:00:35
87.   dianagramr

Lowest single season slugging % by Dodger since 1969:

2007-02-07 18:00:45
88.   twerp
Shh...careful. You'll kill the deal...
2007-02-07 18:02:07
89.   Greg Brock
Mexico vs. USA! Feel the love! Watch the American flags get defacated upon! Hear the Osama chants...Fantastic!
2007-02-07 18:32:58
90.   Bob Timmermann
No defecation yet.

The good people of Phoenix won't allow that!

2007-02-07 18:34:43
91.   Greg Brock
Donovan...Shoot the ball you wimp!
2007-02-07 18:47:35
92.   trainwreck
Anyone else find it odd to have Bruce Arena doing commentary for a USA game? Especially with Wynalda who ripped him a new one.
2007-02-07 18:50:04
93.   Greg Brock
92 Yeah, I've been thinking about that all match. Wynalda just destroyed Arena after the Cup.

Also, you can tell this is an important match because Landon Donovan is completely invisible.

2007-02-07 18:58:06
94.   Andrew Shimmin
It's Lima Time in Carolina; he's got a three hit shutout through eight. It's a meaningless game, but who cares? At least it's not soccer.
2007-02-07 18:59:02
95.   Greg Brock
Ugh, why are Clint Dempsey and Pablo Mastroeni are the only two players that play consistently good footie...

I want Klinsmann!

2007-02-07 19:01:19
96.   trainwreck
I agree. I was less than thrilled when Bradley was hired. MLS is not exactly top notch competition. We are just terrible.
2007-02-07 19:06:06
97.   Sam DC
So, Greg, while flipping channels just now it looks as if that modern day Edward Murrow Nancy Grace is going to be running video of Ms. Nowack in space.
2007-02-07 19:08:11
98.   Sam DC
Also from flipping channels, I realize I can choose right now between watching the Mexican national soccer team and the Mexican national baseball team.

The Glory of 2007.

2007-02-07 19:08:34
99.   Steve
Tim Wallach. Ye Gods.
2007-02-07 19:09:02
100.   Greg Brock
97 Thanks, Sam. I'm watching!

Hmmm...She looks weightlesstastic!

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-02-07 19:14:13
101.   Andrew Shimmin
98- If you're watching the Mexico game, it is not en vivo!
2007-02-07 19:15:23
102.   Andrew Shimmin
With 110 pitches under his belt. Lima comes out for the ninth. He's the greatest entertainer in the history of sport.
2007-02-07 19:15:28
103.   Greg Brock
Well I would drive 900 miles
And I would drive 900 more
Just to be the astronaut who
Tries to kill you at the airport door

Sha la la la! Sha la la la!

2007-02-07 19:18:40
104.   Andrew Shimmin
Lima pulls a Byrnes, falling down on his follow through. Que entusiasmo!
2007-02-07 19:20:51
105.   Marty
There's some sort of basketball game tonight, right?
2007-02-07 19:21:14
106.   Bob Timmermann
El juego de beisbol no es vivo.

Pero el juego de futbol es vivo.

El juego de baloncesto entre los Osos de UCLA y los Troyanos de USC va a empezar a las siete y media en la noche.

2007-02-07 19:21:35
107.   D4P
My wife, who never watches sports, is really into the game.
2007-02-07 19:22:04
108.   Andrew Shimmin
105- Yup. In ten minutes. For now it's Lima battling the ghost of Juan Gonzalez.
2007-02-07 19:22:29
109.   Bob Timmermann
UCLA would hold on to the #1 seed in the Pac-10 even with a loss as they currently hold the tiebreaker edge over USC.
2007-02-07 19:23:16
110.   D4P
a las siete y media en la noche

o a las diez y media on la costa este

2007-02-07 19:25:37
111.   Marty
Los Ojos son muertos esta noche
2007-02-07 19:25:57
112.   Andrew Shimmin
El juego de beisbol, Republica Dominicana y Puerto Rico, es si vivo!

But Lima Time is no longer vivo. He got pulled after the GoJG singled, leaving two on, and one out. Still scoreless in the bottom of the ninth. Gameday says Arnie Munoz is in to face Javier Valentin, and Yadier Molina and Ruben Gotay, if necessary.

2007-02-07 19:27:19
113.   trainwreck
D4P, can you really feel its UNC Duke week down there?
2007-02-07 19:28:22
114.   trainwreck
Ha!! Laughable mang!
2007-02-07 19:29:11
115.   Andrew Shimmin
Que lástima! Valentin singles to spoil Lima's shutout and the DR's perfect record.
2007-02-07 19:31:54
116.   D4P
D4P, can you really feel its UNC Duke week down there?

Yeah, though I haven't gotten out much lately to witness all the spirit. But people really get into the rivalry here.

2007-02-07 19:33:15
117.   Bob Timmermann
My eyes are doing fine tonight.
2007-02-07 19:35:22
118.   trainwreck
I just saw fake Bill Plaschke. Flaschke.
2007-02-07 19:41:43
119.   Marty
Stop the game!
2007-02-07 19:42:15
120.   Marty
117 I knew I'd blow that
2007-02-07 19:42:22
121.   Greg Brock
Southern Cal won't hit everything all game.
2007-02-07 19:44:04
122.   trainwreck
Especially if they are guarded.
2007-02-07 19:44:36
123.   Marty
But USC might. Naw, they won't either. I'm going to go back to catching up on The Shield and remember the good times when it was 12-6 SC.
2007-02-07 19:47:59
124.   Greg Brock
Well, if Southern Cal is going to get nothing but layups, they'll win the game tonight.
2007-02-07 19:48:04
125.   D4P
UNC just took their first lead of the game, with 5:15 left
2007-02-07 20:07:09
126.   Bob Timmermann
Ben Howland does not like to save his timeouts.
2007-02-07 20:11:29
127.   D4P
No coach of any kind was worse with timeouts than Mike Martz when he coached the Rams.
2007-02-07 20:13:40
128.   Greg Brock
Saving timeouts in the first half is pretty pointless.

UCLA has played terrible basketball and is only down a few buckets. They should be down by 10.

2007-02-07 20:13:51
129.   D4P
The comment feature on The Griddle doesn't seem to be working correctly.
2007-02-07 20:14:01
130.   trainwreck
Very true.
2007-02-07 20:14:59
131.   Bob Timmermann
Timeouts in college basketball are less valuable than in the NBA since you don't get to use them to advance the ball to halfcourt.

And once there's less than a minute to go, the clock stops after every made field goal.

2007-02-07 20:16:21
132.   Bob Timmermann

Fixed that.

2007-02-07 20:23:52
133.   Bob Timmermann
EE.UU. dos
México sero
2007-02-07 20:24:20
134.   Greg Brock
USA 2, El Tri 0...

Our domination of the minor league affiliate known as CONCACAF continues...

2007-02-07 20:45:49
135.   capdodger
134 - Meh.... It means another couple of months of Mexican excuses for why they lose to the US in neutral/US sites.

And for the record: I'm calling this one a neutral site. I tried to adjust the settings on my TV so that the stands didn't look so green, but I ended up with a blue pitch as well. Someone needs to tell the American supporters to wear red.

2007-02-07 20:46:54
136.   trainwreck
Who cares about UNC Duke.

We got Kindergarten Cop at our game.

2007-02-07 20:51:31
137.   Greg Brock
135 USA never plays Mexico at a neutral site. our home games are road games. And nobody can win at the smog filled dump that is Azteca Stadium. Just be happy your team doesn't leave with a lung infection.
2007-02-07 20:53:36
138.   Bob Timmermann
Jeonju, Korea was a neutral site in 2002.
2007-02-07 20:56:13
139.   Greg Brock
138 I meant within CONCACAF play. I was mostly referring to the average fans that show up for friendlies and CONCACAF CUP stuff. But you are absolutely correct, they did play in Korea.
2007-02-07 20:59:35
140.   Bob Timmermann
US Soccer keeps trying to play the games in northern locales assuming that Mexican fans won't show up.

The folks at US Soccer are woefully ignorant of demographics I think.

2007-02-07 21:01:21
141.   Greg Brock
140 What was the last attempt? Playing in Columbus, Ohio? It was still 2/1 Mexicans to Americans.

We just don't pack the house for footie.

2007-02-07 21:02:49
142.   Bob Timmermann
Without checking, I'm guessing that there is still sizeable Mexican population within a fairly easy drive of Columbus, Ohio.
2007-02-07 21:09:55
143.   Greg Brock
Still, it's great to beat Mexico...again. Especially now that Hugo Sanchez is the coach for Mexico. To put it mildly, he is a nine letter word for a hygiene product that is predominantly liquid in nature.
2007-02-07 21:11:26
144.   Andrew Shimmin
143- Mouthwash?
2007-02-07 21:12:40
145.   Greg Brock
144 Oil of Olay
2007-02-07 21:13:43
146.   Bob Timmermann
Despite having "oil" in the name, I tab "Oil of Olay" as a solid.

I will defer to any chemists in the audience.

2007-02-07 21:14:46
147.   Andrew Shimmin
John Wooden has a date?
2007-02-07 21:16:07
148.   Bob Timmermann
Maybe he was inspired by reading the wedding announcement of the 97-year old man in the NY Times.
2007-02-07 21:16:42
149.   Greg Brock
146 Oh, first you wanna throw the USA/Mexico game in Korea at me, and now you want to debate the viscosity of Oil of Olay???

I just can't win sometimes.

2007-02-07 21:19:17
150.   Bob Timmermann
I thought they were supposed to shoot the free throws in the order the fouls occurred?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-02-07 21:20:03
151.   Steve
What in the world are you guys watching? Jai alai? CONCACAF sounds like a portfolio in Fidel Castro's cabinet.
2007-02-07 21:25:51
152.   trainwreck
He goes to games with his daughter. And she is old herself.
2007-02-07 21:28:09
153.   Bob Timmermann
Perusing the NCAA record book, the officials were correct. You shoot regular free throws after you adminster the technical.

Unless the foul is deemed to be flagrant.

2007-02-07 21:29:36
154.   Bob Timmermann
Most 96-year old men have old children. Unless Tony Randall was still alive.
2007-02-07 21:30:26
155.   Greg Brock
154 Or Anthony Quinn...
2007-02-07 21:31:42
156.   D4P
Or Abraham...
2007-02-07 21:33:22
157.   Greg Brock
157 But what about Martin and John???
2007-02-07 21:33:30
158.   Bob Timmermann
Little known fact that Abraham and Sarah conceived their child at a rest stop in Ur named "Isaac".
2007-02-07 21:34:48
159.   D4P
Kinky. I like it.
2007-02-07 21:35:48
160.   Bob Timmermann
However, I think Abraham and Sarah were living in Canaan at the time, so I blew the joke.
2007-02-07 21:37:15
161.   Bob Timmermann
I'm betting that there still will be a UCLA fan who thinks that the Bruins got shafted by the refs in this game.
2007-02-07 21:39:19
162.   Greg Brock
Southern Cal just threw up a three pointer from Pacoima...And it went in.

Seriously, enough with the making of the long shots.

2007-02-07 21:39:50
163.   D4P
I was waiting until the end of the game to point out the free throw disparity. At this point, it's 25-5 in favor of UCLA.
2007-02-07 21:41:46
164.   D4P
Final tally:


2007-02-07 21:45:02
165.   underdog
103 Was funny, Greg, but you've also now cruelly put the original version back in my head after I spent two long years getting it out of there. Yarrrgh! ;-)

Re: The US soccer victory today, despite the US Soccer fed. saying it won't affect it one way or the other, I wonder if they're any closer to hiring Bradley officially or if they're still flirting with foreign coaches.

Anyone know if they're gonna re-run the game on TV again this week?

2007-02-07 21:46:02
166.   Johnson
164 It's probably only fair to point out how many of those free throws came when USC was intentionally fouling at the end of the game. What, maybe 10?
2007-02-07 21:47:49
167.   Greg Brock
165 If it makes you feel better, I put it in my own head...Funny post, big mistake.

Sha la la la!

2007-02-07 21:49:19
168.   D4P
How are everyone's ojos doing...?
2007-02-07 21:51:01
169.   Bob Timmermann
USC would have shot more free throws if it hadn't scored most of its points on 3-pointers and uncontested layups after UCLA turnovers.

The Trojans need more depth to beat teams like UCLA. UCLA can really wear down a team.

2007-02-07 21:55:07
170.   Bob Timmermann
Mis ojos están buenos, pero estoy un poquito miope.
2007-02-07 21:59:46
171.   D4P
miope = near-sighted...?
2007-02-07 22:04:08
172.   D4P
As per our discussion involving the modified Stableford scoring system in golf, The International tournament has been canceled, effective immediately.

2007-02-07 22:05:04
173.   Bob Timmermann
Pac-10 standings:

2) Washington State
3) Stanford
4) USC
5) Oregon
6) Arizona
7) Cal
8) Washington
9) Oregon State
10) Arizona State

2007-02-07 22:06:07
174.   Bob Timmermann
Yes, I had to look that one up. I had never come across that word before. I thought it would be something like "miopico".
2007-02-07 22:17:23
175.   D4P
I'm near-sighted too. I wonder if we (almost) have the same prescription...Like Gilbert and Judy...
2007-02-07 22:21:30
176.   Bob Timmermann
-.25 right
-1.00 left

I just wear glasses for driving.

Or for respect.

2007-02-07 22:23:08
177.   D4P
Um, I'm not really sure what my numbers are. I wear glasses for distance, the lower bound of which is from the couch to the TV. My right eye is worse than my left.
2007-02-07 22:25:28
178.   Bob Timmermann
I actually happened to have a copy of my prescription sitting on top of my coffee table.
2007-02-07 22:26:44
179.   D4P
There has been some mildly amusing banter between UNC and Duke supporters on my school listserve (a number of current UNC grad students were Duke undergrads, and are still allegiant to the darker blue).

This was my favorite comment (pardon the partially-censored French):

"UNC will open up about 12 cans of whoopa$$ on those b!tch-boy Dukie stiffs."

2007-02-07 22:27:12
180.   Greg Brock
176 We almost have the same prescription.

Except mine likes Notre Dame.

2007-02-07 22:31:20
181.   overkill94
175 That's a pretty damn obscure 80's sex romp reference you're throwing out there.

Although for some reason my mind immediately went to the Salute Your Shorts! episode where the nerdy guy and his date have the exact same inhaler and figure out the odds of it happening on their calculator watches instead.

2007-02-07 22:33:46
182.   D4P
That's a pretty damn obscure 80's sex romp reference you're throwing out there

ROTN is never far from my thoughts

2007-02-07 22:38:27
183.   StolenMonkey86
Anyone else notice Ethier looking a little scruffy in that first caravan photo?
2007-02-07 22:40:04
184.   D4P
Guys named "Andre" are always scruffy
2007-02-07 22:41:57
185.   StolenMonkey86
Yes, but it looks like he's starting to grow a beard.
2007-02-07 22:46:38
186.   Greg Brock
184 That reminds me of the film I made, "My Dinner with Scruffy"
2007-02-07 22:49:48
187.   trainwreck
Hard to beat a Salute Your Shorts reference.
2007-02-07 23:03:14
188.   Uncle Miltie
USC is only one ineligible (who would be admitted at SC and Oregon State among Pac 10 schools) star player away from being able to beat UCLA. We'll see if Tim Floyd can work his magic again, like he did with OJ Mayo and Taj Gibson.

How did Karl Dorrell "earn" a 1 year contract extension?

2007-02-07 23:05:04
189.   trainwreck
UCLA does it every year. Keep your job for a year, you get a roll over year.
2007-02-08 00:57:18
190.   overkill94
182 Nor will it ever be for me. I have definitely seen it more than 10 times which puts it in my comedy pantheon. Bonus points are given due to the fact that it was filmed at my parents' high school campus and they introduced me to the film (sans nude scenes).
2007-02-08 01:02:04
191.   overkill94
190 Actually it was their college (U of Arizona). I got the high school thing crossed up with Can't Buy Me Love, another one in the pantheon (though not nearly as high).
2007-02-08 08:17:14
192.   dagwich
Over at there is a nice discussion called "Blocked and loaded" about young players who are blocked by older mostly declining or lesser players. It looks like Pierre blocking Kemp is the most egregious case, even "criminal". The real cost in my opinion is not the $45 million (funny money to me anyway) but the opportunity cost of not having a better player in CF for 5 years.

Follow the "Baseball Analysts" link on the sidebar here to check it out.

2007-02-08 09:09:15
193.   twerp
After Juan P signed there was talk about the Dodgers being restricted from trading him right away. What's the rule on that?

Surely whatever rule affects this expires fairly soon? If so, unless JP has a no-trade clause (surely not), Ned could take care of the problem that way if Kemp blossoms.

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