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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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Docu Chat: Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts Of Flatbush
2007-07-11 15:58
by Jon Weisman

HBO premieres Brooklyn Dodgers: The Ghosts Of Flatbush tonight. Depending on how you get your programming, you might be able to begin watching as soon as 5 p.m. Pacific time, so consider this the equivalent of an open game chat thread. (The nominal West Coast premiere time is 8 p.m.)

Guess what: Spoilers permitted. The Dodgers do leave Brooklyn in the end.

Here's hoping that the special goes beyond the sappy and illuminates people who think the Dodgers' move to Los Angeles boils down to "Walter O'Malley is evil."

This is also a good night to make yourself acquainted with, if you haven't already.

Update: Bob Timmermann of The Griddle has a review. And here's my 2003 review of Michael Shapiro's The Last Good Season.

Comments (175)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-07-11 16:22:51
1.   Bob Timmermann
Ultimately, we will learn that the person to blame for the Dodgers move to Los Angeles is Juan Pierre.
2007-07-11 16:43:12
2.   Eric Stephen
I haven't quenched my Liev Schreiber narration thirst for quite some time.
2007-07-11 16:45:17
3.   silverwidow
This would be my ideal 2008 position player lineup:

1B Loney
2B Abreu
SS Furcal
3B LaRoche
LF Fukudome
CF Kemp
RF Ethier

2007-07-11 16:46:15
4.   silverwidow
3-And Martin, obviously.
2007-07-11 16:54:53
5.   regfairfield
Travis Hafner just got paid. Four year, 57 million dollar extension.
2007-07-11 16:54:53
6.   Bob Timmermann
Think of what Naomi Watts has to put up with every night. Every time she asks the guy how his day went, he gets very dramatic and the story takes about 90 minutes.
2007-07-11 16:58:18
7.   trainwreck
Wow, this is 2 hours.
2007-07-11 17:04:04
8.   berkowit28
I am restraining myself until 8:00 so I can see it in HD instead of watching it on HBOE in SD now. I even did that with the Sopranos (that is, for the short time I've had an HD TV, just since the last 3 weeks or so of the Sopranos). Self-control is good for me. I think.
2007-07-11 17:08:31
9.   Xeifrank
My TV for the 3rd night in a row will remain in the "off" state. vr, Xei
2007-07-11 17:08:43
10.   Jim Hitchcock
2nd spoiler alert: Liev Schreiber gets shot at the end.

Oh, wait, no...

2007-07-11 17:09:34
11.   Jon Weisman
Michael Shapiro appears seven minutes in - a good sign.
2007-07-11 17:16:41
12.   Jon Weisman
Though there are little details here and there you might not know, and some cool footage, the story just feels so familiar. Waiting for something groundbreaking.
2007-07-11 17:16:52
13.   trainwreck
Nice to see Pat Cooper talking without flipping people off.
2007-07-11 17:19:28
14.   Eric Stephen
I like Shapiro's book, "The Last Good Season". It didn't take sides in the leaving Brooklyn issue, and gave a seemingly fair portrayal of both sides (mostly Robert Moses v. Walter O'Malley), all while relating it to the pennant race.

I'm waiting until 8pm as well to watch in HD.

2007-07-11 17:22:41
15.   Andrew Shimmin
If somebody had thought to vandalize the wikipedia entry on Isotopes, two minutes ago, they could have tricked the ESPN2 commentator into saying something stupid.
2007-07-11 17:55:57
16.   Eric Enders
A couple of weeks ago I edited Matt Kemp's wikipedia entry to include his "Bison" nickname. Within a couple of hours, somebody had deleted it.
2007-07-11 18:04:53
17.   Jon Weisman
This stuff about Hodges being benched seems pertinent somehow.
2007-07-11 18:06:06
18.   Jon Weisman
16 - How lame.
2007-07-11 18:30:47
19.   Andrew Shimmin
16- Looks like it was actually only up for seven minutes.

If you want to get him back, the guy who did it is the sole author of the Spike Lundberg page.

2007-07-11 18:35:45
20.   Indiana Jon
16 When I go there, I see it still shows the line about "Bison." Or did someone just now add it back?
2007-07-11 18:43:23
21.   Andrew Shimmin
20- Looks like there's a DTer with a taste for justice who works in El Segundo.
2007-07-11 18:46:18
22.   Icaros
The day Vin Scully calls Kemp "Bison" is the day we claim victory.
2007-07-11 18:48:20
23.   D4P
The day Vin Scully calls Kemp "Bison"

He'll probably want to interview me or something

2007-07-11 18:50:13
24.   Marty
I see The Bison line.

Someone needs to put up a Dodger Thoughts Wickipedia page.

2007-07-11 18:53:14
25.   still bevens
Delwyn Young got put into LF during the AAA All Star game on ESPN2. I don' think he'll get another AB within the next 1/2 inning but for those of you starved for baseball there's something to watch.
2007-07-11 18:56:04
26.   Icaros
Nice catch, Delwyn.
2007-07-11 18:56:24
27.   Andrew Shimmin
Wikipedia says Bison are sometimes referred to as Prairie Cows. Motion to consider renaming Kemp, Prairie Cow.
2007-07-11 18:57:16
28.   D4P
Motion to consider renaming Kemp, Prairie Cow

That doesn't seem very PC. Or does it...

2007-07-11 18:57:42
29.   Icaros

That'll be his wife's name.

2007-07-11 18:57:51
30.   Sam DC

But a Dodger Thoughts wiki could solve the FAQ problem.

And Greg Brock would fill it all in anyhow.

And deleting The Bison from Matt Kemp's wiki page is wrong in a thousand different ways.

2007-07-11 18:58:47
31.   El Lay Dave
21 Although the company associated with that IP address no longer exists, at least by that name.

I see that there's now a reference in the Matt Kemp Wikipedia article to Jon's article where he used "Bison".

24 The Wikipedia powers-that-be try to cull out entries that solely call out blogs; however, there is a Jon Weisman article that mentions DT.

2007-07-11 19:00:28
32.   El Lay Dave
27 Should a male bison be a prairie bull? Kemp IS from Oklahoma....
2007-07-11 19:01:12
33.   trainwreck
I call him M. Bison, but hey I like to go against the grain.
2007-07-11 19:04:41
34.   Icaros

During Kemp's first seven-homer binge last year, I referred to him as M. Bison more than once, but could never get others to comply.

2007-07-11 19:05:12
35.   trainwreck
While watching the documentary, Moses reminded me of that evil old man in Poltergeist II.
2007-07-11 19:07:54
36.   trainwreck
With fanerman, we got three people on the M. Bison bandwagon.
2007-07-11 19:09:40
37.   Icaros

Funny how we're all part of the Bay Area contingent as well. Maybe Street Fighter II was especially popular up here.

2007-07-11 19:13:09
38.   xaphor
I will not endorse any nickname that insinuates Kemp could be beaten by Van Damme in a beret.
2007-07-11 19:16:18
39.   El Lay Dave
He said it: "What's different [from last year] is that we've now seen most of these top prospects play at the big-league level, and from what we've seen, it's tougher to trade them." -- Colletti

Gurnick included this quote in his article today.

2007-07-11 19:19:12
40.   trainwreck
Wow, you choose to remember that movie exists?
2007-07-11 19:20:06
41.   El Lay Dave
I took the quote in 39 from his midseason report card article, but he also use that in an article today titled, "Colletti may rely on current pieces"

"If we can do something we will, but I won't make a trade to say, 'I made a trade,'" he said. "Unless we definitively can help the organization, we won't go down that path. Right now, the names available aren't going to help."

2007-07-11 19:21:29
42.   Andrew Shimmin
31- I interpret that to mean that somebody has gone back in time to correct the Kemp page. And probably have adventures. Can't be sure about that, but I figure if I was going back in time, I'd want to have adventures.
2007-07-11 19:22:31
43.   El Lay Dave
37 38 That's funny. I interpreted "M. Bison" to be some sort of play on Hwang's play "M. Butterfly".
2007-07-11 19:25:15
44.   natepurcell

I like that lineup but for that to happen, something must happen to Nomar and Pierre this offseason and I dunno if thet is likely but that is a pretty interesting lineup. Id probably bat them like this

ss furcal
C martin
1b loney
cf kemp
lf fukudome
3b laroche
rf ethier
2b abreu

that would be so fun to watch.

2007-07-11 19:25:20
45.   trainwreck
Well saying it is one thing, but at least I am more optimistic now that he said that.
2007-07-11 19:25:39
46.   Bob Timmermann
Andrew always dreamed of a role on "Sliders."
2007-07-11 19:25:39
47.   Bluebleeder87

yeah i read that too it was pretty comforting reading that, hopefully it wasn't tongue & cheek

2007-07-11 19:26:34
48.   El Lay Dave has probable starters this weekend as Billingsley, Billingsley, Lowe. Now that can't be right. Or maybe Barbara has talents beyond speaking jive.

2007-07-11 19:26:57
49.   Bluebleeder87
oops, my 47 was to El Lay Daves 39
2007-07-11 19:30:10
50.   natepurcell
Gallagher hit his first professional homerun and is batting .312
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-07-11 19:30:33
51.   El Lay Dave
44 Based solely on the scouting report in the last thread, courtesy of ToyCannon, wouldn't Fukudome's "rifle arm" be played in RF, with Ethier in left? Or maybe Fukudome's is more of a CF than Kemp?
2007-07-11 19:31:49
52.   natepurcell

that works too as long as the outfield doesn't have Pierre in it.

2007-07-11 19:33:07
53.   El Lay Dave
50 And entertains his teammates in the clubhouse by using his bats to smash watermelons.
2007-07-11 19:33:43
54.   Icaros
Is this Fukudome fellow actually going to be available this offseason?
2007-07-11 19:33:47
55.   natepurcell

did i miss something?

2007-07-11 19:34:05
56.   natepurcell

yea, hes going to be a free agent.

2007-07-11 19:34:47
57.   Icaros
The funny part is that when Nate first asked about Fukudome, I thought he was referring to a stadium.
2007-07-11 19:37:21
58.   Icaros

Are we going to have to pay $50+ million just to offer him another $50+ million?

2007-07-11 19:39:54
59.   natepurcell

no, hes a unrestricted free agent, no posting fee.

2007-07-11 19:41:01
60.   natepurcell
dbacks copy dodgers, fire hitting coach..

2007-07-11 19:44:13
61.   Bob Timmermann
Also known as the third story from the top over on the sidebar.
2007-07-11 19:45:08
62.   Bob Timmermann
There used to be a stadium called the Fukuoka Dome. Because it's in Fukuoka. However, it's now called the Yahoo! Dome.
2007-07-11 19:45:15
63.   Bluebleeder87
Here is Fukudome in action -
2007-07-11 19:45:28
64.   Curtis Lowe
Did anybody see that allstar game? It was pretty much the best ending to any game I've ever seen.
2007-07-11 19:45:37
65.   Daniel Zappala
I started writing a Dodger Thoughts Wikipedia entry earlier this year, and then I realized how big the job was and I stopped. It ended up in the same place as Bob's San Francisco diatribe.
2007-07-11 19:49:04
66.   Daniel Zappala
63 That whole bat-drop thing after a homer isn't going to work in the major leagues. Somebody might get mad at him.
2007-07-11 19:52:14
67.   Daniel Zappala
This home run by Fukidome in the WBC against Korea has a much more excited announcing team.

2007-07-11 19:52:38
68.   Icaros

Holy cripes! That clip was awesome.

He looks familiar. I assume he played in the WBC last year, yes?

2007-07-11 19:53:44
69.   Icaros

And the answer is yes.

2007-07-11 19:58:55
70.   El Lay Dave
55 Just a very cheap reference to a performer - some claim comedian - most known for smashing fruit with an oversized mallet.
2007-07-11 19:59:16
71.   natepurcell
I love his bat flip.
2007-07-11 20:01:28
72.   Bob Timmermann
Fukudome was 4 for 22 in the WBC last year, but hit two home runs.

That's pretty much indicative of nothing.

2007-07-11 20:02:46
73.   natepurcell
Im going up to San Fran tomorrow morning for the weekend. what are some hot spots to check out for the night life. I don't know if i could convince my friends to go to the dodgers hard is it to get tickets?
2007-07-11 20:03:08
74.   Icaros

Me too. It's no worse than what a million other guys do, and at least he puts his head down and starts running instead of standing there watching it go out.

2007-07-11 20:03:45
75.   Bluebleeder87

it sounds like an Exorcism of some kind.

2007-07-11 20:05:34
76.   Icaros

Try Craigslist for tickets. I'm sitting in season seats for Billingsley-Cain!

2007-07-11 20:05:42
77.   natepurcell
anyone have his current stats in Japan for this year? (Bob?)
2007-07-11 20:08:22
78.   xaphor
2007-07-11 20:08:51
79.   still bevens
73 For daytime activities you should check out Zeitgeist in the Mission. Fantastic outdoor patio area, lots of old sst hardcore stuff in the jukebox and lots of beers on tap. If you get a burger at the counter make sure you tip, lest you get yelled at by the staff.
2007-07-11 20:14:59
80.   Bob Timmermann
Outside the Fukuoka Dome, home of the Hawks:

Interior shot:

2007-07-11 20:26:26
81.   heato
I don't know if it was mentioned already, but DeWitt played 3B for Jacksonville today. He was 2-4 with a double.
2007-07-11 20:31:22
82.   Eric Enders
So I haven't been paying much attention to things the last few days but I notice Hu, DeWitt and McDonald have all been promoted. Anyone else? Kershaw/Meloan?
2007-07-11 20:42:37
83.   trainwreck
Zeitgeist is interesting. Bikers and indie hipsters.
2007-07-11 20:43:16
84.   trainwreck
Wait, is it Zeitergeist?
2007-07-11 20:44:03
85.   Jon Weisman
This documentary was worth watching if only for the footage of Moses dismissing O'Malley.

I got happy when they showed the Dodgers winning in '55, but this was the meat.

2007-07-11 20:49:07
86.   Jon Weisman
No mention of Robinson's Life magazine story, though they do mention Chock Full o' Nuts.
2007-07-11 20:49:53
87.   still bevens
84 As far as I know just Zeitgeist. The scene isn't exclusively bikers and hipsters from what I've seen. I only go when I visit which is 2-3 times a year but everytime I go its a mixed crowd and is always some of the best time I spend in SF. I also had someone roll the largest joint I have ever seen in my life right next to me last time I was there.. So it has that going for it.
2007-07-11 20:53:18
88.   El Lay Dave
Greg Miller pitched a 3-inning save today for Jacksonville. It was 1-0 when he entered; the Suns scored 3 in the bottom of the 8th. But his line was:
3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 R, 4 BB, 1 K

Guess we're still on control watch.

2007-07-11 21:01:56
89.   Jon Weisman
They still act like he was the only one to leave Brooklyn, as if none of the residents did.
2007-07-11 21:20:22
90.   Greg Brock
I watched the documentary, but almost nothing was new. And if people would like to blame O'Malley for leaving a thoroughly untenable situation, then that's fine. Keep him out of the Hall of Fame? If that makes people feel good. Ignore demographic shifts and make it about one guy. My heart weeps for the people of Brooklyn (who were living on Long Island at the time).

It's still the single most successful franchise move in sports history. And baseball is the better for it.

2007-07-11 21:51:35
91.   Andrew Shimmin
I liked the picture of I5 (during the part about O'Malley site shopping in LA) with six cars on it.
2007-07-11 21:52:26
92.   bhsportsguy
90 The basketball team from the land of ten thousand lakes didn't do too bad either.

Baseball's Original 16
Boston Red Sox
Chicago White Sox
Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
New York Yankees
Philadelphia A's/KC/Oakland
St. Louis Browns/Baltimore Orioles
Washington Senators/Minnesota Twins

Boston Braves/Milwaukee/Atlanta
Brooklyn Dodgers/Los Angeles
Chicago Cubs
Cincinnati Reds
New York Giants/San Francisco
Philadelphia Phillies
Pittsburgh Pirates
St. Louis Cardinals

10 of the 16 are still where they were 100 years ago.

Only one of the six teams to move has not won a title in their current address. The A's never won in KC but they have won 4 World Series titles in Oakland.

Of the teams that have moved, their World Series titles are:

Los Angeles Dodgers - 5
Oakland A's - 4
Baltimore Orioles - 3
Minnesota Twins - 2
Atlanta/Milwaukee Braves - 2

2007-07-11 21:55:37
93.   Greg Brock
92 I thought about the Lakers, but pro basketball is pro basketball. It wasn't even a really profitable enterprise until the 1980's. College basketball ruled the roost for decades before the NBA really caught on.

And getting baseball to the West Coast was so important.

2007-07-11 22:05:07
94.   Marty
The documentary is very good. Because, hell, I like to watch baseball history, whether it's about the team or about the business. Nothing much new revealed? That's ok. It's also an opportunity for any of our younger posters here to see some history of the Dodgers i they haven't already. In that light, I'd love to see a special on the 60's Dodgers, both on and off the field. Selfishly speaking, it always brings a tear to my eye to see some Dodger highlights from that era.
2007-07-11 22:07:06
95.   Daniel Zappala
My grandparents left the Bronx, but the Yankees stayed. They would have been very happy to have the Yankees move to Los Angeles, as they stayed Yankee fans for many years. I used to catch grief about being a Dodger fan from my grandfather. There is also a family story about my great-grandfather being a bricklayer and helping to build Yankee stadium. It's not the House that Ruth built, it's the House that Old Man Zappala built.
2007-07-11 22:10:32
96.   Greg Brock
94 I would love to see a documentary on the 1960's Dodgers. Koufax and Drysdale holding out, appearing on television shows. The Yom Kippur story. The opening of Dodgers Stadium. Maury Wills, Roseboro/Marichal, etc.

I would dig that very much.

2007-07-11 22:12:08
97.   Greg Brock
95 If the charcoal-making paisan had carbonara, What pasta dish did the bricklayers eat?
2007-07-11 22:14:03
98.   Daniel Zappala
97 They are one and the same. Immigrants tended to do a lot of odd jobs once they reached this country.
2007-07-11 22:25:21
99.   Greg Brock
98 My great grandfather opened a butcher shop when he came over. Mother Brock's side is Mayflower material, so I know not of these immigrant struggles.

But I remember when poor Vito Andolini go put in quarantine. Poor Vito. He had such a nice singing voice.

2007-07-11 22:28:19
100.   Marty
99 Ahh, you are really finally saying that you prefer Part II.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-07-11 22:32:23
101.   Greg Brock
100 I said no such thing, Martin. That is a total fabrication on your part, and I am offended by the assertion!

I love Godfather II. It's one of the finest films ever made. Lee Strasberg is unbelievable, and John Cazale (RIP) is at his finest. Not as good as The Godfather.

"I'm smaaat! Not like they say! Fredo go out and do this, Fredo go out and do that. I'm Smaat, and I want respect!"

2007-07-11 22:33:40
102.   bhsportsguy
101 You promised never to bring him up again. I thought he was dead to you.
2007-07-11 22:34:55
103.   underdog
73 Nate, welcome to SF. I'm trying to acquire tix for Friday night's game myself, from a guy on Craigslist, but haven't heard back. Email me at if you're interested, or if you find tix first! He had 4 in the bleachers. If anyone else wants to go, email me too. Maybe we can have Dodger Thoughts North. Friday's the only one I can go to.

Oh, and I second or third the recommendation of Zeitgeist. Used to live 2 blocks from there and loved hanging there. I like the Phoenix bar down the street on Valencia too. North Beach is great fun, too.

2007-07-11 22:42:35
104.   natepurcell
The Dodgers offered Lee a four-year contract last winter — the Giants offered seven years — before he signed with Houston, for six years and $100 million.

from latimes, something i didnt know.

2007-07-11 22:47:26
105.   Greg Brock
104 Just to rehash something that needn't be rehashed, I really wish the Dodgers would have bypassed the entire free agent market this year. I'm glad they didn't sign fatty Carlos Lee and his bum knee. I was OK with the Schmidt signing, but not thrilled.

Even the Mustache defenders have to admit that signing Schmidt and our CF, resigning Merchandise Nomar for two years, and blocking a few kids has been a debacle.

2007-07-11 22:52:15
106.   Greg Brock
As an aside, I've been hanging out with a friend of mine that pitched in the Devil Rays organization for five years. Injury problems derailed his career, and he's put in his retirement papers as a career minor leaguer, but he has some amazing stories about the Devil Rays organization, pitching against the original Jacksonville Five, hitting Russell Martin in the back with a fastball, rooming with Chuck Tiffany, and watching various DRays prospects smoke themselves silly. It's been a blast.

I don't want to play fast and loose with minor league stories, but it's hilarious to hear about Dukes, Young, Edwin, Jorge Cantu, and Chuck Tiffany. If my friend says it's okay, I'll pass a few stories along.

2007-07-11 22:52:19
107.   natepurcell

thanks. I'm driving up tomorrow morning probably leaving around 9...well I'm actually not driving my friend is. I'm trying to convince her to go to a dodger game but i don't know if that will be possible.

2007-07-11 23:08:25
108.   bhsportsguy
4+1 won the ESPY for the best finish of the year.
2007-07-11 23:29:57
109.   Xeifrank
108. Gameday seems to be broke! :)
vr, Xei
2007-07-11 23:30:26
110.   Xeifrank
Dodgers vs Giants on friday the 13th.
Hmmmmmm. vr, Xei
2007-07-11 23:35:06
111.   overkill94
Is Zeitgeist the place with all the wooden benches outside? I think I went there one night and remember them having an impressive heavy metal collection on their jukebox.
2007-07-12 00:11:21
112.   natepurcell
we got a vladdy in the org!

The Dodgers have signed two more teenagers from the Dominican Republic, including 16-year-old shortstop Vladimir Franco, a relative of Angels star Vladimir Guerrero, said Logan White, the Dodgers' assistant general manager of scouting.

Baker Fructuoso, 17, received a $100,000 signing bonus. He has recently been converted to a pitcher. The right-hander has thrown between 92 and 94 miles per hour at workouts.

2007-07-12 00:44:46
113.   Robert Fiore
The Vladimir Franco signing sheds light on an innovative Dodger strategy of signing players with the same first name as big league stars. When it's the same last name like a Barry Bonds or a Ken Griffey, Jr. everyone is on to it, so the price in signing bonuses is that much higher. In comparison Sandy Wilfong, Dazzy Garcia, Honus Wanderone and George Herman "Babe" Gloucester were real bargains, even if none of them have made it as far as AA yet. That Franco turned out to actually be related to Vladimir Guerrero is pure serendipity, and proof that the strategy is finally working.
2007-07-12 01:05:33
114.   alexx
I am also a dodger fan going to the game friday. I got pretty nice seats on craigs list for face value. The hardest part was picking them up on the other side of the bay, but everything worked out.
2007-07-12 05:20:30
115.   Raf
90 Untenable? How? According to Bill Veeck in "Veeck as in Wreck," O'Malley was angling to move the Dodgers when he saw how well Perini was doing in Milwaukee. The Dodgers had no problem drawing people.

Horace Stoneham, was in an untenable situation (though it would have been interesting to see Mays, McCovey, Cepeda, etc, etc, in the Polo Grounds), but O'Malley wasn't.

I do agree that it was an astute move by O'Malley, one that I can't blame him for making.

2007-07-12 07:05:59
116.   PlayTwo
Many years ago as a little kid, not knowing how things work, I wanted to be a bat boy. I wrote Walter O'Malley asking for the job. He wrote me back, in his own hand, telling me who to contact and when if I wanted to pursue it.
2007-07-12 07:29:27
117.   ToyCannon
Long before I came home to Los Angeles I disliked Walker O Malley because of the way he treated Jackie Robinson who was my baseball hero from the 1st time I heard about him but I'll always give him a pass for moving my favorite team to my home. I have plenty of empathy for the Brooklyn fans who endured all those bad teams until things turned after they integrated the team. They were the ones screwed by the political machinations by the powers that be. I felt the same loss when they took my Rams away thru no fault of the fans in Los Angeles. I don't follow the Rams or football anymore but in 1969 I could have named everyone on the 40 man roster. If they were to interview me about Frontiere I expect I would sound just like those bitter old Brooklyn fans. She made an economic move that has proved a boon for her fortunes but that doesn't mean I have to like it.
2007-07-12 07:39:45
118.   Penarol1916
90. How easily you dismiss the move of the Quebec Nordiques to Colorado.
2007-07-12 07:40:52
119.   Bob Timmermann
The move of the original AL Baltimore Orioles to New York before the 1904 season worked out pretty well too.
2007-07-12 07:43:21
120.   D4P
The move of the Minneapolis Lakers seems to Los Angeles have been successful.

The move of the San Diego Clippers to the same place? Not so much.

2007-07-12 07:44:21
121.   D4P
If you prefer 120 in English, I'll translate for you:

"The move of the Minneapolis Lakers to Los Angeles seems to have been successful."

2007-07-12 07:50:44
122.   ToyCannon
While the Clippers have never won they have been one of the most profitable franchises every year in the NBA.
2007-07-12 07:53:03
123.   D4P
I guess that's good for the owner.
2007-07-12 08:15:32
124.   Branch Rickey
94. Hey Marty, I'm not quite old enough to have watched Dodger baseball in the 60's (or at least to have remembered it). But I got to play golf with Maury Wills a couple of weeks ago and I can report that at 74 he is doing great and can easily break 90 (at golf and age as well). He is a super nice guy and seems to be loving life right now. Just a pleasure to be around him.
2007-07-12 08:32:34
125.   ToyCannon
Not being able to answer any of my wife's question about the "Polo Grounds" after the documentary last night I did some snooping around. Here are some interesting facts I thought you all might enjoy:

The phrase "Hot Dog" was coined by NY Journal sports cartoonist Tad Dorgan when he couldn't remember how to spell the word "dachshund" in describing the "red hot dachshund sausages" served at a game here in April 1901.

Second deck in right had 9-foot photographer's perch overhang, 60 feet from the foul pole out into right-center.

Bullpens in fair territory in left-center and right-center.

The Polo Grounds Towers (four 30-story apartment buildings) now stand where the field used to be. Willie Mays Field (an asphalt playground with 6 basketball backboards) is where center field used to be; a brass historical marker notes the spot.

There was no line on the 60-foot-high center-field clubhouse above which a ball would be a home run.

The outfield was slightly sunken. A manager, standing in his dugout, could see only the top half of his outfielders. At the wall, the field was 8 feet below the infield.

The left-field second-deck overhang meant that a homer to left was easier than a homer to right, even though the wall in left was 279 feet and the wall in right was 258. The overhang was 21 feet, but it effectively shortened the distance required for a pop-fly homer to the second deck in left to 250 feet because of the angle involved.
The overhangs here and at Detroit's Tiger Stadium and Philadelphia's Shibe Park have more significance than one might suspect, according to research published by the American Physical Society, the professional society for physicists. The batted ball's trajectory consists of two component vectors: horizontal and vertical. The vertical deceleration is constant over time because of gravity, but the horizontal deceleration increases over time because of wind resistance and atmospheric drag. Near the end of its flight, the ball comes down sharply rather than arcing down in the way that it arched up, as would occur in a vacuum. Therefore, many outfielders have watched helplessly as a ball they thought they could catch dropped into the second deck.

Hitter's background extended beyond the end of the bleacher wall, several feet into the clubhouse gap.

The field sloped in a "turtle back" shape just beyond the infield dirt. It sloped down 1½ feet to drains about 20 feet into the outfield, then back up again.
Right-center wall sloped gradually from 11 feet at pole to 12 feet at the bleachers.
Left-center wall sloped from 16 feet, 9.75 inches at the pole to 18 feet in left center, then abruptly fell to 16 feet and then to 14 feet and sloped gradually to 12 feet at the bleachers.

When billboards were removed in the 1940s, the abrupt changes in height in left-center disappeared.

Fred Merkle's blunder occurred here on September 23, 1908, resulting in the infamous Cubs-Giants October 8, 1908 replay of the game. The Cubs protested on September 23rd that Harry McCormick should not have been allowed to score from third base because Fred Merkle, who was on first, had not touched second base on Al Bridwell's game-winning single to center. Umpire Han O'Day had witnessed infielder Johnny Evers recover the game ball and stand on second base to record a force-out. Late that night, O'Day upheld the Cubs' protest, and NL president Harry Pilliam upheld O'Day's ruling. The game became, in effect, a National League pennant playoff because the teams were tied and the season was over. An estimated 250,000 people showed up, but only about a fifth that many could get in because of the limited number of seats. Pandemonium ensued as a mob of irate fans tried to storm their way into the stadium. Most of the people were dispersed, but about 40,000 remained throughout the game and watched from Coogan's Bluff and from the tops of telephone poles, trees and subway platforms. A fireman by the name of Henry T. McBride fell from a pillar on the elevated train platform and was killed.

2007-07-12 08:35:10
126.   ToyCannon
It seems that when Willie Mays patrolled CF for the Giants in NY the distance was over 450 feet. Is it any wonder then that he got the reputation as the greatest CF in history considering how much ground he had to cover?
How frustrating life must have been to hit 430 shots to CF for outs while dinky little 285 foot flyballs down the line were home runs.
2007-07-12 08:51:43
127.   D4P
On a somewhat related note, it's amazing to me that outfield dimensions were not standardized from day one. Why standardize infield dimensions, but not outfield dimensions? If you're not gonna standardize outfield dimensions, why standardize infield dimensions?
2007-07-12 08:54:43
128.   Bob Timmermann
Because infields are smaller.

Look at a house. It's easy to say "let's make sure it has an 8 foot ceiling." It's not so easy to say, "Let's make sure the whole lot the house sits on is 1500 square feet."

2007-07-12 09:08:18
129.   ToyCannon
I have to admit if all outfields were the same dimension it would take a little of the magic out of the game for me. After DS was built it seemed every new stadium built until Camden yards was a cookie cutter stadium and there was nothing interesting about them which is why they only lasted about 30 years.

Do all other stadiums use ramps and is DS is unique in that you enter at the level your sitting in?

2007-07-12 09:10:12
130.   D4P
Football fields are big, but they have standardized dimensions. Plus, most baseball stadiums have outfield seating, which means they presumably could have standardized the outfield dimensions if they had wanted to.

I'm just surprised the idea of non-standardized playing fields ever occurred to the powers that were. I would have thought the general, unspoken mentality would have been "Of COURSE the playing fields should be standardized."

2007-07-12 09:10:50
131.   Bob Timmermann
I don't know of any stadium that has as many separate entrances that led to discrete sections.

Dodger Stadium was unique in its terraced entrances and parking lots I believe.

2007-07-12 09:11:48
132.   Jon Weisman
129 - I agree.

Think how cool basketball would be if all the free-throw lanes were the same width, but the court itself had varying dimensions - maybe even was a trapezoid or rhombus. Football too.

Frankly, growing up playing pickup games, we ended up with some courts and fields like that.

2007-07-12 09:11:59
133.   D4P
I have to admit if all outfields were the same dimension it would take a little of the magic out of the game for me

Would basketball be more magical if some baskets were 8 feet, some 12, etc.? Would football be more magical if some fields were 70 yards long, some 130, etc.?

I just think a non-standardized playing field is weird.

2007-07-12 09:16:02
134.   Bob Timmermann
Baseball stadiums just sort of sprung up where there was open space. There weren't outfield fences for a while. Eventually they would just rope off the fans.

When the stadiums went into urban areas they were at the mercy of city planners and however they set up the blocks in the city.

That's why some stadiums had short left or right fields. A city block is usually rectangular. If they were square, it would be a lot easier.

2007-07-12 09:21:24
135.   ToyCannon
What you think of as weird I think of as enchanting.
2007-07-12 09:22:40
136.   Raf
127 I think it may be because city blocks weren't standardized?

129 Remember, they were cookie cutter multipurpose stadiums. They needed seating and sightlines for both baseball and football.

I think all stadiums use ramps, or at least they should, lest they not be in ADA compliance.

2007-07-12 09:25:58
137.   Bob Timmermann
But baseball has NEVER had standardized playing fields.


Soccer fields vary size although top flights ones are all the same size. Until the 1980s, there were NHL teams that used different sized rinks.

The only nonstandard sized football I've seen is at Marshall High in Los Feliz.

2007-07-12 09:26:29
138.   D4P
What you think of as weird I think of as enchanting

Are we talking about David Eckstein...?

2007-07-12 09:29:11
139.   D4P
But baseball has NEVER had standardized playing fields

Which I find weird. I'm surprised that when they first started out, they didn't agree upon a size for the field, and then require all stadiums to adhere to the agreed-upon dimensions. If a given location couldn't accommodate a stadium with those dimensions, then a suitable location would have to be found. (And as an aside, why not allow teams to choose their own infield dimensions as well? Wouldn't that only increase the Magic and Enchantment?)

I'm not so much saying that it should have been that way: I'm just surprised that it wasn't.

2007-07-12 09:34:32
140.   Jon Weisman
Home runs weren't a big deal when baseball began. Not too many 500-foot drives. I just don't think they thought it was that important.
2007-07-12 09:35:31
141.   underdog
Do soccer fields really vary that much - I mean, the fields themselves, vs. the distance of sidelines to the stands and so forth? Huh.

Funny that y'all mentioned the Polo Fields here. I'd never really thought much about that place until I saw some great archival photos recently, hadn't realized how ridiculous the dimensions of it were. Batters should have been given 2 runs for a home run hit to CF, and half a run for ones hit down the line.

I'd been looking for pictures of the original Kezar Stadium online when I found the above. Kezar was huge, compared to the new, modest size one they rebuilt a few years ago. I can't even picture it there in that neighborhood. Can see what it looked like if you watch the first Dirty Harry movie.

2007-07-12 09:37:04
142.   Bob Timmermann
Get yourself to the library and check out Peter Morris's book "Game of Inches" or his new one on groundskeepers.

"Level Playing Fields: How the Groundskeeping Murphy Brothers Shaped Baseball"

2007-07-12 09:38:57
143.   ToyCannon
You appear to be a bit naive about how baseball evolved from it's 1st days.
2007-07-12 09:39:23
144.   D4P
With all the hand-wringing over the devastation that steroids might have on the sanctity of baseball records, it's surprising that the hand-wringers so readily accept (or blissfully ignore) the implications of park factors. If it's not fair to compare the stats of roid users with non-roid users, why is it so fair to compare the stats of players who played primarily in hitter-friendly parks with those of players who played primarily in pitcher-friendly parks?
2007-07-12 09:40:17
145.   D4P
You appear to be a bit naive about how baseball evolved from it's 1st days

Appearances are sometimes not deceiving.

2007-07-12 09:53:32
146.   Bob Timmermann
How about players playing in an era where the pitcher stood 45 feet away? But had to throw underhand? And the batter could ask for a high or low pitch? And the fielders didn't wear gloves? And the umpire wore a top hat and tails and stood off to the side? And you were out if they caught a foul ball on the first bounce?
2007-07-12 09:55:05
147.   D4P
All good points. Stupid hand-wringers.
2007-07-12 10:06:09
148.   Raf
I guess steroids need better press...
2007-07-12 10:07:46
149.   Penarol1916
I'll stick up for you D4P. While it makes sense that the outfield dimensions weren't uniform when they didn't really matter, what doesn't makes sense is that at some point there wasn't some kind of movement to standardize the outfield dimensions. As to enchantment from the quirks of the fields, it is that kind of attitude that led to the abomination that is Minute Maid Field with the stupid hill and flagpole in the field of play, how can you not find that "enchanting"?
2007-07-12 10:20:03
150.   Bob Timmermann
As long as Fenway Park still stands, there will never be standardized dimensions.

You can't let the Red Sox have a weird shaped park and make the other 29 teams have symmetrical fields.

It's best to just let everybody figure out what's best.
I think Houston's stadium is bad, but it was approved by The Powers That Be.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-07-12 10:25:56
151.   Daniel Zappala
I'm afraid even a minion can't stand up for D4P on this one. Anyone who might have come up with the idea of standardizing outfield dimensions would immediately have seen the impracticality of it, at the least, since it would have meant demolishing some existing stadiums. Most right-thinking people would have discarded the idea much sooner, realizing that the individuality of stadiums is part of the drawing power of baseball.
2007-07-12 10:29:34
152.   D4P
But I'm talking about before stadiums even existed. Even so, though, it's not as if outfield walls in existing stadiums can't be moved at all.
2007-07-12 10:36:24
153.   Bob Timmermann
But at what point in the game's evolution would this standard distance have been created?

When the first concrete and steel stadiums were going up in the Deadball Era, the fences were being moved around all the time.

When Charles Comiskey built his eponymous park, he brought along his ace pitcher, Ed Walsh, for suggestions on where to put the fences. Walsh had them put back really far. When the park opened, center field was 420'. By 1927, center field was 455'!

It was 363' down the lines.

2007-07-12 10:38:26
154.   Nagman
150 I wonder how they snuck the plans, with a flagpole in the field of play on a hill in centerfield, past the players union.
2007-07-12 10:39:21
155.   Bob Timmermann
The players union really has no say. They can file a grievance if they think the field is unsafe. I don't believe they have.
2007-07-12 10:45:26
156.   ToyCannon
One bad hill out of 28 ballparks does not change anything. I don't have to find every ballpark to my liking to think that the way baseball evolved is enchanting. If I'm drawing up a list of ballparks to visit, it is because of their uniqueness not because I want to see baseball. I can stay home and watch baseball at DS in a nice well dimensioned field.
2007-07-12 10:45:46
157.   Raf
154 I guess since the flagpole (and CF) was so deep, the union didn't have a problem with it?

On a related note, aren't playing dimensions somewhat standardized now? IOW, the new Yankee Stadium cannot be 297 down the line, like the original. Unless they petition the league, it has to be at minimum 330.

2007-07-12 10:46:47
158.   D4P
The players' union tried to take the flagpole out of the plans, but Rick Monday stopped them.
2007-07-12 10:46:54
159.   Nagman
So the size of the ice and the distance behind the goals is now standardized in the NHL?

I remember I was surprised when I found out that they did vary, I assumed they still did.

2007-07-12 10:48:16
160.   Bob Timmermann
From Rule 1.01

NOTE (a) Any Playing Field constructed by a professional club after June 1, 1958, shall provide a minimum distance of 325 feet from home base to the nearest fence, stand or other obstruction on the right and left field foul lines, and a minimum distance of 400 feet to the center field fence. (b) No existing playing field shall be remodeled after June 1, 1958, in such manner as to reduce the distance from home base to the foul poles and to the center field fence below the minimum specified in paragraph (a) above.

This rule is generally not observed as San Francisco and Houston both have short fences.

2007-07-12 10:52:25
161.   Bob Timmermann
Once Chicago Stadium and Boston Garden closed, I believe all the rinks in the NHL became the same size. The rules do allow a team to petition the NHL to change the size of the rink.

I know that bench areas vary. Some teams make the visitors bench smaller just because they can.

2007-07-12 10:53:40
162.   underdog
Ricky Henderson, your new Mets batting coach. Hmm. Interesting.
2007-07-12 10:54:32
163.   Jon Weisman
158 - LOL.

I have no problem with baseball fields taking their cue from miniature golf courses. I love the hill in Houston.

2007-07-12 10:54:48
164.   D4P
This rule is generally not observed as San Francisco and Houston both have short fences

Do you have to get variance from the league to deviate from the rule?

Also, is there anything to keep a field from being 325 feet to all outfield fences except centerfield, which would be 400 feet?

2007-07-12 10:54:57
165.   silverwidow
I have a feeling Kemp is headed to the DL. Hammy issues are not to be taken lightly.

Gives us a chance to see D Young in the Show, which is pretty cool, I guess.

2007-07-12 10:55:06
166.   underdog
Er, hitting coach. Though I like the ring of the other, too.

Hey, once more, if you want to go to the Dodgers-Giants game tomorrow (maybe the unlucky Friday the 13th date will counteract my unlucky presence at Dodgers' games)... let me know asap, as I may have 1-2 extra tickets.

2007-07-12 10:58:04
167.   ToyCannon
Did Kuo take get a MRI when he went on the DL? If so did the Dodgers report the results?
2007-07-12 10:58:40
168.   D4P
To clarify, I don't necessarily dislike weird field dimensions.

I do, however, think they're kinda cheesy, like miniature golf.

2007-07-12 11:01:27
169.   Bob Timmermann
Also, is there anything to keep a field from being 325 feet to all outfield fences except centerfield, which would be 400 feet?

That would be one weird looking fence.

2007-07-12 11:02:29
170.   Bob Timmermann
D4P wants to play golf on a course with 18 identical holes. They would all face the same direction so the wind wouldn't be an issue either.
2007-07-12 11:03:18
171.   Jon Weisman
2007-07-12 11:04:02
172.   Penarol1916
156. How is a field dimension a tourist attraction? Outside of the Green Monster I can't think of another part of a current ballpark that is interesting because of the distance of the fence from homeplate.
2007-07-12 11:11:29
173.   Robert Daeley
168 "...kinda cheesy, like miniature golf."

"He's having a go at the miniature golfers now!" (apologies to Life of Brian)

161 There's been talk for a while of changing to the international hockey dimensions (which would open up the game), but the retrofitting has been deemed too expensive.

Re the Polo Grounds, there was an edition of the MVP baseball video game with the Polo Grounds as a playable stadium (they never have Ebbets for some reason), and while I'm sure it wasn't entirely accurate, the gigantor outfield juxtaposed with the short left and right porches was amazing. That and the foul area that seemed bigger than the infield.

I wouldn't be surprised if more fans got home run balls than foul balls. ;)

2007-07-12 11:31:25
174.   Raf
173 I'm not too sure. Even though the Polo Grounds were short down the line, they had pretty deep power alleys; ~450 to LC/RC.
2007-07-12 11:35:39
175.   ToyCannon
Because the irregular dimensions mean that each game is played just a little bit differently. The angles of the outfield walls all make subtle differences in how the outfielders play the ball. For instance the Ichrio inside the park home run would not happen at any other park. That is the stuff I love, I'm sure for others they couldn't care less but I was strictly speaking for myself and didn't pretend to speak for a group.

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