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1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
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A Happier 9/11
2007-09-11 01:32
by Jon Weisman

Originally published September 11, 2003

Twenty years ago today, Dodger Stadium hosted its greatest game.

It began swathed in bright blue skies and triple-digit temperatures. When it ended, 228 crazy brilliant minutes later, shadows palmed most of the playing field, and every Dodger fan who witnessed the spectacle found themselves near joyous collapse.

The game was between the Dodgers of Steve Sax and Pedro Guerrero, of Greg Brock and Mike Marshall ... and the Braves of Dale Murphy, of Bruce Benedict, of Brad Komminsk.

In the end, however, it came down to one man. A rookie named R.J. Reynolds.

A Brave Battle
Los Angeles entered the game with a two-game lead in the National League Western Division over Atlanta. Their battle for the division crown came a year after a near-epic contest in which the Dodgers rallied from a 10 1/2-game deficit to the Braves in 12 days and took the lead, only to falter and have a home run by the Giants' Joe Morgan off Terry Forster knock them out on the final day of the season.

On September 11, 1983, coming off an extra-inning loss to Atlanta the night before, Los Angeles took the field behind starting pitcher Rick Honeycutt, making his fifth start for the team since being acquired from Texas in exchange for Dave Stewart, a player to be named later and $200,000. (Supplementary information in this article courtesy of Retrosheet.)

After a scoreless first inning, the Dodgers tallied two runs in the second off Braves starter Len Barker. With two out, catcher Jack Fimple, near the height of his brief but shining heyday as a fan favorite, doubled home Brock and Marshall.

Murphy brickwalled the Dodger momentum in the next inning, displaying the form that left his contemporaries certain he would become a Hall of Famer. In the top of the inning, Murphy hit a three-run home run, his 32nd of the season. In the bottom of the inning, he crashed into the center-field wall, glove extended above and beyond it, to rob Guerrero of a two-run homer.

Stunned at the end of the third, the crowd had no idea that the frenzy was only beginning.

Four on the Floor
With the kind of mathematical symmetry normally found in Schoolhouse Rock cartoons, the Dodgers used four pitchers in the fourth.

Honeycutt got the first two batters out in the top of the fourth, but then gave up back-to-back singles to Jerry Royster and Rafael Ramirez. Having seen his starting pitcher allow seven hits, two walks and a hit batsman in 3 2/3 innings, and with Murphy again at the plate, Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda brought in Pat Zachry.

Ramirez stole second base, and then Zachry walked Murphy.

With the bases loaded, Lasorda made another move, bringing lefthander Rich Rodas - in his second major league game - to face Chris Chambliss with the bases loaded.

Rodas walked Chambliss to force in the Braves' fourth run, then allowed a two-run single to Komminsk that made the score 6-2 Braves.

The fourth Dodger pitcher of the inning came in ... a young, young-looking guy by the name of Orel Hershiser. Compared to Rodas, Hershiser was a veteran. This was the Bulldog-to-be's third major-league game. To the naked eye, Lasorda was trying to win the way Buttermaker relied on Ogilvie and Miguel in The Bad News Bears.

Hershiser loaded the bases again with a walk to Benedict. The ninth batter of the inning, third baseman (no-not-that) Randy Johnson, came up with a chance to bury the Dodgers, but popped out to his hot corner counterpart Guerrero to end the top of the fourth.

The score stayed at 6-2 for two more innings. Marshall and Brock, who combined to reach base seven times in this game, led off the bottom of the fourth with singles. Reynolds, however, grounded into a double play. Fimple followed with a walk off Barker, but future Braves hero Sid Bream grounded out batting for Hershiser.

Burt Hooton, a longtime Dodger starter who went to the bullpen shortly after the acquisition of Honeycutt, became the team's fifth pitcher in the fifth. The teams gave the fans a breather with an uneventful inning, and Hooton retired the Braves in order in the top of the sixth.

Then the surreal moment arrived.

No, You're Not Even Warm
After Marshall flew out to open the bottom of the sixth, Brock walked, Reynolds singled him to second, and the Midas behind the recent Yankee dynasty, Atlanta manager Joe Torre, replaced Barker with Tommy Boggs.

Rick Monday, his heroic days behind him, batted for Fimple and was called out on strikes for the second out. But Ken Landreaux, the Dodgers' regular center fielder, pinch-hit for Hooton and walked to load the bases.

Torre went to the mound and signaled for a pitcher to replace Boggs. None other than Terry Forster - the fall guy of 1982 - emerged from the right-field bullpen.

But then a strange thing happened. Torre signaled again - for a right-handed pitcher.

The strange thing was not that Torre wanted a righty to face Sax. It was that he wanted a righty when none had been warming up.

On the telecast, Vin Scully reported that Tony Brizzolara had warmed up earlier in the game, but in this inning, it had clearly been Forster who was backing up Boggs. Brizzolara had been cooling off for some time.

As a puzzled Forster stood on the edge of the warning track and the outfield grass, looking back and forth between the mound and the bullpen, Torre insisted that Brizzolara come in to face Sax.

In Brizzolara came. He threw four pitches to Sax - in the dirt, low, low and high. In the Dodgers' third run came, and out went Torre to replace Brizzolara with Forster.

Atlanta was rattled, a thespian who had forgotten his lines on Broadway, but Los Angeles got the minimum out of the comedy, as shortstop Bill Russell struck out against Forster and left the bases loaded.

Joe Beckwith, the losing pitcher in the previous night's game, laid anchor for the Dodger bullpen, throwing three innings and scattering two singles and a walk. Meanwhile, the mythic Donnie Moore provided a dose of calm for the Braves, retiring the Dodger side in order in the seventh and the eighth.

And then came the bottom of the ninth.

With a Flick of the Wrists, It Begins
Jose Morales, 38 years and 116 pinch hits old, led off, batting for Beckwith. Against a change from Moore, Morales' off-balance swing, arms well behind his hips, wrists trailing his arms, presaged Kirk Gibson's flick at the backdoor slider from Dennis Eckersley five years and one month later. Morales' ball flew into the left-field corner, and Morales easily won a battle of his old legs and Brett Butler's weak arm, cruising into second with a stand-up double, and giving the master improvisationalist, Scully, his modest opening line ...

He just kind of felt for the ball.

Dave Anderson entered the game to run for Morales. As Sax batted (with S. Sax on the back of his uniform, to distinguish himself from his brother Dave for the easily confused), the television camera found a much-in-need-of-SlimFast Lasorda, sitting near Dodger coach Monty Basgall.

Lasorda, Basgall dying a little bit in the Dodger dugout. Tommy's not feeling well anyway. He's got a cold for about a month.

Gene Garber, sporting the kind of beard you just don't see ballplayers wear anymore, was warming up in the bullpen as Moore went 3-1 to Sax. One inside pitch later, Torre was out of the dugout with a hook for Moore. As Moore, the victim of a devastating playoff home run in October 1986, left the game, Tom Niedenfuer, his October 1983 counterpart, began warming up for in the Dodger bullpen for the 10th inning.

Russell, sporting the kind of physique you just don't see ballplayers compete with anymore, then struck out in his second consecutive critical at-bat.

Dusty Baker, in his last season with the Dodgers before his acrimonious departure, was the batter with one out and two on. Even Baker, with more than 200 career home runs, was thin back then.

Baker swung and missed at Garber's sidearm delivery, then took one low and outside. On the 1-1 pitch, Baker hit a pop fly that fell between second baseman Royster and right-fielder Claudell Washington, a defensive replacement for Komminsk. The bases were loaded with the tying runs.

This crowd is on its feet and pleading. They're all getting up. It is that time of day. Never mind the seventh-inning stretch. This is the wire.

Cecil Espy came in to run for Baker, and Guerrero came up to the plate. His at-bat took more than six minutes.

'This Is Hanging Time'
Guerrero swung and missed at the first pitch, took one low and outside, then hit a grounder just foul.

Boy, what an exhausting finish to a long afternoon at the ballpark. Well, it figured the Dodgers and the Braves are gonna put you through the ringer, right down to the last day. So naturally, they do it right down to the last minute.

Guerrero took one low, evening the count, 2-2. Then he grounded one by third base, just foul.

The table is set and the big man is in the chair.

Pitch No. 6 of the at-bat was six inches off the ground, outside - and still fouled off by Guerrero.

Boy, he was late. He just did get a piece of that. After you get that palmball trickery of Garber ... it was almost in Benedict's mitt.

No. 7: another grounder, just foul.

And the tension remains ...

With Garber about to throw the eighth pitch, Guerrero stepped out at the last moment and called time. Vinny, laughing:

Oh yeah, these are tough to take, I tell you what. Guerrero just had to back out. I mean, this is hanging time. Woo!

Garber bounced the resin bag back and forth on the front and back of his right hand. Guerrero stepped back in, and Garber threw. Low - ball three.

It is almost too much to take ...

Guerrero went back in for the ninth pitch of the at-bat, then called time again.

You can just imagine the pressure - you'd have to be a block of wood not to feel it.

Here came the pitch. Two feet outside. Guerrero flung the bat away backhanded and strutted to first base.

Anderson scored the first run of the inning, cutting the Braves' lead to 6-4. The ballpark shadows have just reached Garber. Third-base coach Joe Amalfitano counseled the next batter, Marshall.

Garber slipped on his right foot in delivering the first pitch outside for ball one. The next pitch was outside as well.

Marshall then hit a long drive to right. Washington, with his glove on his right hand, went toward the wall with his back to the right-field stands. But the ball was slicing behind him, and Washington turned his body 180 degrees to try to find and catch the ball in the late-afternoon sun.

It didn't take. The drive landed right at the base of the wall. Murphy, coming over to back up the play, nearly collided with Washington as the latter threw the ball back. Two runs scored on Marshall's double - tying the game at 6 - but Guerrero was held at third. On-deck hitter Brock stood near home plate, raising his hands behind his head like he thought Guerrero could have scored, but the replay showed that Amalfitano probably was wise to hold Guerrero.

With the winning run on third and first base open, Brock was walked intentionally - the first wide one barely snagged by a staggering Benedict.

The batter will be the kid, R.J. Reynolds, with a chance to win it.

Holding Back to the Last Second
Reynolds stood at home, looking at Amalfitano, and stretched the bat over both his shoulders.

And now, with the bases loaded, the infield is up, the outfield looks like a softball game, and the batter is R.J. Reynolds.

The first pitch is outside. Reynolds looked at Amalfitano again.

Gene Garber is battling to stay afloat.

If this was a game of Bad News Bears moments, this was Ahmad's.

Reynolds didn't give it away. In slow motion, the bat doesn't even start to come off Reynolds' shoulder until Garber's pitching arm is all the way back.

But then ... Reynolds' left hand finds the barrel of the bat. He lays the bat forward, relaxedly, at a slight downward diagonal pointing below his waist, then corrects it to a straight horizontal line to meet the ball.

Reynolds pauses a millisecond to watch. Garber's follow-through carries him toward the third-base side of the mound, but the bunt rolls toward the first base side.

The SQUEEZE! And here comes the run!!

By the time Garber reverses field and lunges for the ball, Guerrero is 15 feet away from home plate. Before Garber is even upright, Guerrero touches home, banging his hands together in exultation.

He squeezed it in!

Backs of jerseys from our past - Yeager, Thomas, Maldonado, Landestoy, Rivera - come out to rain congratulations on Guerrero. Lasorda risks smothering Reynolds in a headlock.

By the way, if you are keeping score in this madhouse, not only did R.J. squeeze, he got a base hit and an RBI. And Guerrero brought the winning run home. BEDLAM at Dodger Stadium.

Replays and images of celebrations pass in front of us for several seconds, without comentary - you know this is Vinny's way, to let the moment be the moment. We catch Ross Porter, in short-sleeved shirt and tie, is in the dugout to prepare to interview Reynolds.

Finally, Vin is ready to speak again.

The pictures told it all. There isn't any way I could improve on the picture. What a story. The squeeze in the ninth. The Dodgers score four times and pull it out and beat the Braves, 7 to 6. They show the squeeze on Diamond Vision and the crowd, EUPHORIC in its joy, roars again.

R.J. Reynolds has put the Dodgers in the right direction.

And so he had. The victory put the Dodgers three games up in the NL West, and three games up in the NL West is how the Dodgers finished the 1983 season.

Reynolds was a hero. A baseball hero, at least.

And a game for the ages, a game worth remembering, I hope, even on the saddest of anniversaries, was over.

Comments (270)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-09-11 08:08:21
1.   Sushirabbit
Thanks, Jon. That was great.

I always resepected the Braves. Sometimes not so much the slightly younger than me crowd that fancied themselves as Braves "fans" but that didn't know what Beaneater meant or why as a Dodger fan I knew something about the Braves.

2007-09-11 08:27:55
2.   Eric Stephen
As a long-time basher of "Sarah's Take", I must admit her most recent column is one of her best. I don't agree with her take that the Dodgers "deserve" to make the playoffs, but the article is decently well reasoned.

Oh yeah, thanks again Jon for the memories of this game. I never saw it, as I was 7 at the time and didn't start to follow the team until 1985 in full force. This paints a picture well.

2007-09-11 08:36:43
3.   dkminnick
Thanks, Jon. I was at that game, but had forgotten everything except the squeeze and the celebration. Thanks for giving it all back to me.
2007-09-11 09:31:44
4.   JoeyP
Slow day for comments....
2007-09-11 09:34:54
5.   Daniel Zappala
What a great writeup of a great game. I don't even remember this game -- somehow that's missing from the pantheon of great moments I remember from when I was a kid. I've seen this writeup a couple times now, though, so for me this one is best remembered as "that great 9/11 game Jon wrote about."
2007-09-11 09:51:41
6.   das411
This post gets better and better every time Jon...

Phila Inquirer notes:

Manager Charlie Manuel said that even with Victorino and Bourn available, he plans to keep playing Jayson Werth, who has hit .384 with three home runs and 26 RBIs in 36 games since July 30.
Manuel said he likely would play Werth against lefthanded pitchers.

Werth entered the season with three years, 102 days of big-league service time, which is not enough to qualify for free agency. He will be back next season unless the Phillies are not interested. They most likely will be interested.

General manager Pat "Gillick always liked him," Manuel said. "I've always liked his talent. Where he is right now . . . I think he definitely has a future for us. I don't think we brought him here for just one year."

2007-09-11 09:56:05
8.   old dodger fan
Dayn Perry on the Dodgers:

Nomar Garciaparra is back from the DL, but that doesn't change the fact that he hasn't hit all season. James Loney and Matt Kemp continue to produce, and Esteban Loaiza has already been an asset. Also, Chad Billingsley has notched four straight quality starts and lowered his ERA to 3.22 in the process. What's working against the Dodgers right now, however, is the schedule: they're about to play 16 straight against the Padres, Diamondbacks and Rockies. With a stretch like that ahead, it's going to be difficult to make up the necessary ground.

2007-09-11 10:03:42
9.   Bob Timmermann
BPro has the Dodgers with a 21% of making the playoffs. 8% for the division, 13% for the wild card.

It's getting close to the equivalent of trying to draw on an inside straight.

2007-09-11 10:06:21
10.   old dodger fan
8 Perry's comments on the players seem accurate enough although I was surpised he didn't mention Wells. It seems to me that his assessment that the schedule makes it difficult to make up games is wrong. What better way to make up games on the teams ahead of you than to play them?
2007-09-11 10:07:23
11.   Icaros

That doesn't make sense. Playing SD, AZ, and CO head on is the easiest way to make up ground. Win and you're in.

Better than having to root for teams like Cincy and Florida to help out.

2007-09-11 10:07:49
12.   old dodger fan
9 Sportsclubstats says 14.4%
2007-09-11 10:08:55
13.   Bob Timmermann
I guess it's a good thing the Dodgers don't have to play the team in last place in the division any more at their park.
2007-09-11 10:09:03
14.   blue22
9/12 - The voice in my head says 100%!
2007-09-11 10:10:41
15.   old dodger fan
14 The voice in my heart says 100%. I stopped listening to my head in SF.
2007-09-11 10:19:47
16.   dkminnick
From today's LA Times: "But the team's veterans, Manager Grady Little and General Manager Ned Colletti warned against putting too much emphasis on the upcoming six games.

"The games that are the most important are the games that will put you on the verge of elimination," second baseman Jeff Kent said. "I don't think that that's coming this week. It frustrates me that it gets amped so much like that.

"It's going to be important for us to play consistent baseball without being emotionally involved."

This kind of talk frustrates me. The old veteran adage of "don't get too high, don't get too low" may apply over the course of a long season, but not now.

Right, Jeff. Let's wait until we are on the verge of elimination before we consider the games important.

It's time to get pumped and stay pumped for the rest of the season. We drop the next two series - we're pretty much done.

2007-09-11 10:26:20
17.   BlueCrew Bruin
Question to anyone smarter than me (i.e. all of you)...what kind of record are we looking at for the Dodgers to make the playoffs? Will 2 out of 3 in every series from here on out do it or will it likely require some sweeps in the head to head matchups with 'Zona and SD?
2007-09-11 10:31:58
18.   Bob Timmermann
I think the Dodgers could split six with Arizona, win 2 of 3 against the Padres, but if they don't win at least 5 of the 7 against the Rockies, the Dodgers will sleep with the fishes.
2007-09-11 10:34:29
19.   blue22
17 - If SD goes .500 the rest of the way, they finish with 87 wins.

LA would have to go 12-7 to tie.

Philly would have to 11-8 to tie.

2007-09-11 10:39:51
20.   Bob Timmermann
I thought for a second I had gotten an email at work from commenter "trainwreck", but instead it was someone on my staff who was actually in a train wreck today.

She's OK. Someone else isn't.

2007-09-11 10:43:12
21.   KG16
9 - 8% is drawing to an inside straight. 18% is a flush draw, and I'd feel a lot better if we had the ace in our hand.

16 - "I don't think that's coming this week"... um, Jeff, you have three against the Padres and three against the Diamondbacks. Anything less than a 4-2 run this week and you are likely out of the playoffs. I would say this is being on the verge of elimination.

2007-09-11 10:44:37
22.   Zak
17 Sportsclubstats says that if we go 12-7, we will make the playoffs almost 50% of the time. If we go 13-6, we'll make it 78% of the time, and ig we go 11-8, the percentage goes down to 20% (approx what it is now).
2007-09-11 10:47:20
23.   Zak
21 I'm guessing Bob is a Hold'em guy and was probably calculating his odds on the flop, with two cards to come, giving him roughly 16%. At least I will give him the benefit of the doubt.

Our odds right now, in Hold'em terms, are like holding pocket nines and being all in preflop against pocket aces.

Of course, now that I put it that way, our odds don't seem very good at all.

2007-09-11 10:50:15
24.   ToyCannon
He's just trying to take some pressure off the kids. Just play within yourself and good things will happen. I'm actually glad that Kent is showing some leadership. From a fans point these are do or die games but a player can't be so pumped that he's unable to perform, this isn't football where you can just channel that energy into physicality and knock the snot out of someone. Baseball is more elevated then that, it takes a relaxed energy.JMO

That really sound moronic to me regarding the schedule.

2007-09-11 10:51:26
25.   KG16
23 - you don't like odds of 12:1? That's like 9%! As for when calculating the odds, yeah, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt as well, he's obviously the smartest commenter here, so he gets the benefit of the doubt. I was just trying to give the fish a little more hope.

I'd say the Dodgers chances, given the remaining schedule, are a little bit closer to having a flush draw and a gut shot straight draw - about 24% or so. Not great, but just enough to call the bet on the flop.

2007-09-11 10:52:34
26.   old dodger fan
Padres are done with AZ and have 8 games left outside the division. They have 4 at home against the Pirates next week and finish the year with 4 at the Brewers. I sure hope those games matter to the Brewers. Pads have no days off. We have 2 days off but we have a doubleheader in Denver.
2007-09-11 10:52:49
27.   KG16
25 - d'oh that should be 11:1 - as in one out of twelve. No wonder I haven't been winning lately, I can't even remember how bad of a dog I am when I go in with the worse hand.
2007-09-11 10:56:49
28.   Disabled List
I like that 78% chance of making the playoffs if we go 13-6 the rest of the way, provided the bulk of those 13 wins come in the nine games left against D-Backs and Padres.

In a way, we sort of control our own destiny. If the Dodgers sweep those nine games, who wouldn't like our chances to see October?

Dayn Perry: Usually smart. Not this time.

2007-09-11 10:57:03
29.   bhsportsguy
I have said before that last year after the 4+1 game, I called my mom and she was telling me how my parents were watching the game and how exciting it was and the only game she remembers as exciting was this one, September 11, 1983.

Of course, all she recalls was that it was hot and that we moved back under the shade (we were sitting first base side field level) for the latter innings of the game.

2007-09-11 11:01:16
30.   Zak
28 If the Dodgers sweep those nine games, it would take a miracle for the Dodgers to not make the playoffs.

Of course, it would take a bigger miracle to sweep those nine games.

All this veteran talk and all... for the Dodgers to have a realistic chance, they need to go something like 6-3 in these nine games, or it is going to be tough to make it.

2007-09-11 11:05:23
31.   old dodger fan
If we sweep SD all those percentages skyrocket. If we take 2 they improve but still a lot of work to do. If we win 1 better call Jeff Kent and let him know we are on the verge.
2007-09-11 11:05:27
32.   dkminnick
24 - Yes, I get that - and maybe it'll work. But I believe there is a place for emotion in baseball.

I just wonder what Kirk Gibson and Mickey Hatcher would say right about now. I've got a soft spot for the kind of leadership they provided.

2007-09-11 11:08:54
33.   KG16
32 - I believe it would go something like this:

Gibson: $#^&@^$ win, @#&$(&# NOW!

Hatcher: $#@(&$ win, @($&%# stop whining.

Gibson: @*$&%(# eye black!

2007-09-11 11:10:08
34.   regfairfield
24 Agreed, if we were playing anyone else the next few days, I'd figure the season was over. This way, we control our own destiny still.
2007-09-11 11:14:31
35.   jasonungar07
Well we are 27-26 vs the NL west so I think Perry was just being realistic. Like all of a sudden were gonna sweep the two teams above us? It can happen but very wishful thinking.
2007-09-11 11:14:41
36.   ToyCannon
Some games feels like just yesterday, even though they took place in the 20th century. Others like the one Jon recalls, really do feel like they took place 20 years ago. I remember the squeeze and the pennant race and nothing more. It was a fuzzy time for me, things became more clear when 1988 rolled around.
2007-09-11 11:17:40
37.   ToyCannon
Sure, but it has to be a controlled emotion that gets unleashed when you've succeeded.
I'm not saying I want a clubhouse of stoic Jeff Kent's, I just don't want them thinking every at bat is going to make or break the season.
2007-09-11 11:22:57
38.   Bob Timmermann
As someone once said or somebody claimed that somebody said about baseball, "This isn't football, we do this every day."
2007-09-11 11:30:35
39.   dkminnick
37, 38 - Right, but now they only have to do it every day for 16 more days.

My sense is that championship teams pick it up when it counts. Obviously, they shouldn't be so tight that they can't perform, but at the same time the circumstances now are undeniably different than the average June game.

I like the rah-rah. Now or never, boys. Time to face it and achieve.

2007-09-11 11:34:38
40.   Nagman
Thought I should prepare everybody... the San Diego Union Tribune, in their daily pitching matchup, lists who "owns" the starting pitcher and vice versa... apparently Shea Hillenbrand "owns" Jake Peavy (and Jake "owns" Russ Martin).
2007-09-11 11:35:47
41.   ToyCannon
It worked for Lima in 2004:) Sometimes emotion trumps talent.
2007-09-11 11:37:10
42.   dkminnick
40 41 - Exactly! Go Shea!
2007-09-11 11:39:55
43.   Curtis Lowe
40 - Oh Shea!

I was hoping on seeing LaRoche get a chance to "own" Peavy.

2007-09-11 11:41:23
44.   Linkmeister
38 That was Roger Angell quoting somebody, probably in "Five Seasons."

Jon, that writeup makes me wish I was in the habit of keeping daily journals so I'd know whether I watched any part of that game. I know where I worked and I know that TBS was available on the tube there, and I know that my boss was as much a Dodgers fan as I was, so I'd like to think we sat on the couch in the bar at the Honolulu Club in disbelief watching all that transpire, but I just don't remember.

What a game, anyway, and what a good job of memorializing it.

2007-09-11 11:43:26
45.   jasonungar07
I just hope the dodgers can play pritty, pritty good over the next 9 games!!
2007-09-11 11:44:39
46.   ToyCannon
Limited at bats but he does own him.
2007-09-11 11:48:52
47.   underdog
8, 11 - Belated reaction but, yeah, Dayn Perry's observation was one of the funniest and dumbest I've seen in a long time. Sure, the Dodgers could completely fall out of it if they farely poorly in those games, but they could also quickly make up ground. I mean, what the heck is he talking about? It would make sense if they were playing interleague games vs. the Yankees, Tigers and Red Sox, or the Mets and company, teams they aren't directly trying to catch. Hellooooooo??

43 Is "Shea!" the new curse word?

2007-09-11 11:52:55
48.   ToyCannon
Aren't these guys a dime a dozen? Just seems that guys like McDonald should be playing for the minimum every year.

McDonald, Blue Jays agree to $3.8 million, 2-year extension

September 11, 2007

TORONTO (AP) -- Shortstop John McDonald and the Toronto Blue Jays agreed Tuesday to a $3.8 million, two-year contract extension through the 2009 season.

McDonald began Tuesday with a .252 batting average, 16 doubles and 28 RBIs, and his .985 fielding percentage led AL shortstop who had played 100 or more innings.

He has a $750,000 base salary this season, earned $25,000 in performance bonuses and entered Tuesday needing five more starts to get another $25,000. He would have been eligible for free agency after the World Series.

2007-09-11 12:00:52
49.   blue22
48 - The weirdest thing about that deal is he's already 33 years old (this month). It's not like he's going to get better.
2007-09-11 12:08:10
50.   caseybarker
He was also on Web Gems last night:)
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-09-11 12:09:23
51.   KG16
48 - 2 years 3.8 million, that's 1.9 per year, a little more than double the minimum. Sounds about right for a 9 year journeyman.
2007-09-11 12:09:29
52.   old dodger fan
Anyone know the median MLB salary for players once they are arbitration eligible?
2007-09-11 12:09:40
53.   Eric Enders
I think McDonald is pretty widely considered one of the best, if not the best, defensive shortstops in the league. I wouldn't want him myself, but $1.9 mil doesn't seem all that far out of line.

The "this ain't football" quote is generally attributed to Earl Weaver.

2007-09-11 12:18:57
54.   Eric Enders
Here's some pretty sweet news that I missed yesterday:

"I am pleased to announce that we will be launching in the first half of October.'s initial focus will be on men's college basketball. We have been able to secure some of the top names in the industry to participate in the project, including Ken Pomeroy, proprietor of and creator of the Pomeroy College Basketball Ratings."

Ken Pomeroy and Prospectus combined? Sign me up.

2007-09-11 12:24:27
55.   Bob Timmermann
Red Alert for David Murphy in Detroit.

This is a Red Alert.

2007-09-11 12:27:13
56.   Eric Enders
I'm not sure I even know who David Murphy is. Was he one of the guys in the Gagne trade?
2007-09-11 12:28:02
57.   jelmendorf
See I'm not the only poker player here.

Looked at those odds for the first time today, and realized this is one of the least interesting stretch runs in quite a while, league-wide.

In the AL, only Detroit has a puncher's chance of knocking out any of the current playoff leaders, and they could really only take out the Yanks.

In the NL, the D-backs and Mets are near locks, leaving essentially two races that are realistically competitive--the Cubs/Brewers fight, and the wild card, which the Padres are looking very good to win, with the Phils and then Dodgers hoping and praying. Seems possible the last two weeks of baseball could be playing out the string for everyone outside of Milwaukee and Chicago.

Has there been a point since the invention of the wild card when this few teams have been really battling for a playoff spot?

2007-09-11 12:28:42
58.   Bob Timmermann
David Murphy is the outfielder on Texas, who used to be on Boston. Donnie Murphy is the infielder on Oakland and probably much of the time, Oakland fans wish he weren't playing so much.
2007-09-11 12:29:54
59.   Bob Timmermann
The Rangers will need to get one batter to the plate in the ninth to give Murphy another swing. It will all be in the hands of Yorman Bazardo.
2007-09-11 12:32:18
60.   Bob Timmermann
Alternatively, the Tigers could score 11 runs in the next two innings to force extras.
2007-09-11 12:33:58
61.   Eric Enders
"The Rangers will need to get one batter to the plate in the ninth"

This must be harder than it sounds.

2007-09-11 12:34:50
62.   Bob Timmermann
The Rangers will need to get one batter to FIRST in the ninth.
2007-09-11 12:35:25
63.   trainwreck
Nice. Ken has really interesting research. Though, I went against his predictions and defensive stats and picked UCLA to beat Kansas, which ended up being the right choice.

Even if all the stats said to pick Kansas to win the national title, I still can't see Bill Self leading a team to the championship.

2007-09-11 12:40:05
64.   old dodger fan
57 I think the AL is pretty well set but if SD goes just 10-10 the NL could be pretty interesting.
2007-09-11 12:42:42
65.   Eric Enders
Detroit is starting to make 60 look like a possibility.
2007-09-11 12:43:06
66.   Sam DC
Screen Jam intrusion:

We appear to have a Wild and Crazy Kennedy Center Honoree:

And also one Who Doesn't Live Here Anymore.

2007-09-11 12:43:26
67.   LogikReader
15 minutes ago

Rangers 11, Tigers 0


Rangers 11, Tigers 5

all right, who signed Paul Shuey??

2007-09-11 12:43:36
68.   Bob Timmermann
One would think the Cubs would be happier finishing their season in Cincinnati while Milwaukee has to play the Padres.
2007-09-11 12:47:44
69.   Bob Timmermann
Murphy will get a swing in the 9th. The leadoff batter homered. The 7th Rangers homer of the day.
2007-09-11 12:47:50
70.   Eric Enders
Murphy will get his shot.
2007-09-11 12:48:22
71.   Bob Timmermann
Freddy Guzman now has a 5.000 OPS for the season.
2007-09-11 12:48:59
72.   LogikReader
If Murphy hits a home run, should he stop at 1st and declare a single?
2007-09-11 12:49:42
73.   Bob Timmermann
Murphy's biggest problem now is that he's facing a really bad pitcher who could walk him.
2007-09-11 12:51:53
74.   Bob Timmermann
Alert canceled.

Stand down.

2007-09-11 12:51:57
75.   Daniel Zappala
Stand down.
2007-09-11 12:52:06
76.   Humma Kavula
So disappointed!
2007-09-11 12:52:15
77.   Eric Enders
73 What makes you say Rapada is a bad pitcher? Is it just because his entire major league career consists of five batters faced:

Home Run
Home Run
Wild Pitch

2007-09-11 12:52:31
78.   Daniel Zappala
I'm wondering what you get if you get a walk, single, double, triple, and homer.
2007-09-11 12:53:43
79.   bhsportsguy
Quickest to figure out poker odds after the flop.

From Phil Gordon, Rule of 4s and 2s.

If you need 1 card for a flush and there 9 live cards, then you have a 36% chance to draw the card in the next 2 cards. However if you miss on the turn, you only have an 18% chance to draw on the river (approximately).

So if you are drawing to an inside straight (4 live cards) then you only have a 1 in 6 chance on the last two cards and less than a 1 in 10 chance on the river.

Of course sometimes you can have flush, straight and even better pair draws that can take you to extremly good odds to draw a better hand. Flush draw (9 cards), open ended straight (6 cards), high pair (if you have two overcards, 6 more cards, that is 21 potential cards to draw a better hand.

That situation rarely happens and you can still lose but remember the rule of 4 and 2 for those quick calculations.

2007-09-11 12:53:48
80.   Eric Enders
78 In this organization, probably a plane ticket to Las Vegas.
2007-09-11 12:55:42
81.   LogikReader
IF you are under the age of 30
2007-09-11 12:58:03
82.   KG16
79 - heh, that's actually what I was relying on when I mentioned the odds earlier.
2007-09-11 12:58:31
83.   Eric Enders
Update on Clay Rapada's major league career so far:

Home Run
Home Run
Wild Pitch
Wild Pitch

2007-09-11 13:02:04
84.   KG16
since this is predominantly a PAC 10 group, I have a hypo for everyone: if the PAC 10 were to expand to 12 teams (as seems to be the trend in most of the major conferences), who would the two teams be?

Just wondering really, I would hope the conference isn't taken by the idea of a football conference championship game like all the other conferences have.

2007-09-11 13:03:09
85.   trainwreck
Colorado and UNLV.
2007-09-11 13:03:27
86.   Eric Enders
To keep up the easily paired road trips, it would probably have to be Utah and BYU.
2007-09-11 13:03:42
87.   El Lay Dave
72 Jay Johnstone might approve of such a strategy.
2007-09-11 13:06:00
88.   trainwreck
Colorado is already have discussions behind the table with Pac-10 officials and UNLV has so much money that I think the Pac-10 would see no risk in taking them.
2007-09-11 13:06:03
89.   KG16
85 - You think Colorado would leave the Big 12?

86 - probably the best football and basketball programs available, makes sense.

2007-09-11 13:07:43
90.   trainwreck
I mean, under the table.
2007-09-11 13:07:46
91.   Eric Enders
Colorado can't even hack it in the Big 12. As a Big 12 fan, I would be happy to get rid of them and I also wonder why they were even invited in the first place.
2007-09-11 13:10:09
92.   caseybarker
2007-09-11 13:10:16
93.   trainwreck
Yes, because soon we will only have a few major conferences that control everything and the Pac-10 will grab the top schools that are in the west.
2007-09-11 13:10:36
94.   Daniel Zappala
BYU and Utah. And I would then be in heaven.
2007-09-11 13:11:00
95.   King of the Hobos
58 Oakland fans really should appreciate Donnie Murphy. His .227/.296/.464 line is far better than Bobby Crosby's .226/.278/.341.
2007-09-11 13:11:54
96.   Linkmeister
84 Here's a vote for Hawai'i. Tired of the WAC, I am.
2007-09-11 13:12:30
97.   KG16
93 - I get that, it's part of the reason I asked the question. But Colorado is already in one of those big conferences that control everything.
2007-09-11 13:12:36
98.   caseybarker
Good, Hawaii and Fresno State.
2007-09-11 13:13:15
99.   KG16
92/96 - how are their basketball programs? Could either compete in the Pac-10?
2007-09-11 13:14:07
100.   caseybarker
Fresno State could go 6-5 in the PAC-10 right now.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-09-11 13:14:43
101.   Disabled List
Colorado does not belong in the Pac-10. There's nothing Pacific about Colorado. At least Arizona is on Pacific time half the year.

I could see Hawaii or BYU getting invited to join. Not UNLV, though.

2007-09-11 13:15:24
102.   El Lay Dave
96 Not while swap meets get the prime time slot at the stadium!
2007-09-11 13:15:44
103.   caseybarker
Oh, basketball?

Fresno State has been in the NIT recently. They are also a decent baseball school.

2007-09-11 13:15:58
104.   Eric Enders
99 Middling on both counts. Hawai'i has spent the last 20 or so years with Riley Wallace, where a good year was an NIT bid. Now that he's gone, the new coach will need to raise the level of the program a bit.

Fresno State has been ravaged by scandal in both basketball programs, even moreso after Tarkanian left than when he was there.

2007-09-11 13:16:58
105.   trainwreck
Basketball does not drive this at all. It is all about football, that is where the money is.
2007-09-11 13:17:21
106.   Daniel Zappala
I can see why BYU and Utah would want in -- BCS access and a better TV contract. But why would the Pac-10 want to add anyone?
2007-09-11 13:17:36
107.   Disabled List
I guarantee Fresno State will never be invited to join the Pac-10. Santa Monica City College has a better chance.
2007-09-11 13:17:56
108.   trainwreck
I am getting this all from insider info and he says that Big 12 would not care if they lose Colorado, because they make get Arkansas.
2007-09-11 13:18:16
109.   caseybarker
2007-09-11 13:18:49
110.   screwballin
25 he's obviously the smartest commenter here

For some of us, our intelligence is far more subtle. So subtle, in fact, that it's apparent only to ourselves.

33 Hatcher's would be more like "Why are you &^&%## taking so many %$@^%$#&%^$ pitches??

2007-09-11 13:19:25
111.   El Lay Dave
106 The conference would have to add at least two schools if they wanted two divisions and a football championship game. Not sure if Pac-10 sees that as a goal, short or long term.
2007-09-11 13:20:05
112.   ssjames
106 The reason the Pac-10 would want to be the Pac-12 is that 12 teams allows for a conference championship game and all of the money that comes along with it.

Under NCAA rules you cannot have a conference championship game with anything less than 12 teams for football.

2007-09-11 13:20:16
113.   Eric Enders
The Mountain West really screwed up by splintering off from the WAC rather than trying to form a new BCS league by assimilating all the best teams in the region.

You could have a conference made up of:

New Mexico
Boise State
Fresno State

which could probably be competitive as a BCS league.

2007-09-11 13:20:27
114.   El Lay Dave
108 Why would Arkansas want to demote itself out of the SEC?
2007-09-11 13:20:33
115.   ToyCannon
Probably because they have the best city outside of Austin in the big 12 and the fact they have been in the Big 12 Championship game in
2001/2002 - Won
2002/2003 - Lost
2004/2005 - Lost
2005/2006 - Lost

unless the Buffalo web site is full of hooey.

2007-09-11 13:21:11
116.   KG16
106 - the only reason I could think of would be to have one of those silly conference championship football games. Otherwise, I couldn't think of a reason.

105 - basketball drives the Pac-10 and ACC more than any other conferences.

2007-09-11 13:23:33
117.   trainwreck
Because they can make more money in the Big 12, because they are a bigger power in that conference.

Actually, before the SEC came to power, the Pac-10 and Big 12 were the top dogs in football. Pac-10 has plenty of power in football.

Basketball in general, is just not worth the same money as football.

2007-09-11 13:24:00
118.   Daniel Zappala
113 Absolutely true, in hindsight. Not sure whether this was obvious at the time.

So if the Pac-10 added BYU and Utah, what would the divisions be?

LA-Arizona-Utah vs NoCal-Oregon-Washington?

2007-09-11 13:25:47
119.   trainwreck
The ACC and Big East are the conferences that may be in trouble, when the dominoes start to fall.
2007-09-11 13:26:02
120.   KG16
117 - I know the Pac-10 has long been a power in football, but I would think they would consider the impact on basketball as well. Right now, each team places the other 9 teams twice (home and home) in basketball, adding teams would alter that, meaning fewer UCLA-USC games, UCLA-Arizona, Arizona-Stanford (when Stanford rebounds), etc...
2007-09-11 13:26:51
121.   Linkmeister
102 Hey, UH doesn't play basketball at the stadium!

It actually has a 10,000-seat on-campus arena. The average crowd is probably around 5,000 for games against other WAC opponents, and since the Mountain West formed UH lost its most hated rival (BYU), not too many WAC teams are big draws.

It has one of the premier b-ball tournaments (Rainbow Classic).

Wallace gave way (was pushed out, a little) to Bob Nash, who was a member of the Fabulous Five teams of the early 1970s and has been an assistant coach at UH for 15 or 20 years.

I'm in favor of it joining the PAC-10 because travel would be so much simpler than it is now.

2007-09-11 13:26:57
122.   Eric Enders
118 Not sure about football, but those would be seriously unbalanced divisions basketball-wise, unless Washington State becomes a permanent hoops power.
2007-09-11 13:27:06
123.   KG16
119 - which means another raid of Conference USA
2007-09-11 13:27:45
124.   Penarol1916
114. They have historical ties to the Texas Schools through the old SWC, there have also been grumblings from the athletic department that they are treated like outsiders by the old SEC schools. All that said I still doubt that they would leave there for the Big 12, which financially is not really a demotion. There is also the problem that Arkansas would want to be in the Southern Division, while none there would want to be bumped up to the Northern Division to replace Colorado.
Also, there is the chance that if the Big 10 finally accepts that Notre Dame will never join a football conference, they may poach Missouri to have a conference championship game
2007-09-11 13:29:19
125.   trainwreck
I have been told Washington State could get the boot from the Pac-10, because they make no money.
2007-09-11 13:30:42
126.   KG16
124 - would the Big 10 get a new name?
2007-09-11 13:31:53
127.   trainwreck
They already have 11 schools and they kept the name Big-10.
2007-09-11 13:32:22
128.   Daniel Zappala
118 Yeah, but how do you make divisions that separate the LA and Arizona schools? I suppose you could cut down the middle, Solomon style:


Arizona State-UCLA-Cal-Oregon State-Washington State-BYU

2007-09-11 13:33:17
129.   Disabled List
How about a Pac-14 conference?

Ricky Neuheisel Division
Washington St.
Oregon St.

Bruce Snyder Division
Arizona St.

2007-09-11 13:34:23
130.   Penarol1916
119. The ACC should be fine regardless. The only school that would leave for the SEC would be Virginia Tech (if Clemson didn't leave during the last expansion, then they sure won't now) and they would be easily replacable with some team from the Big East, either Louisville, West Viriginia, or if they want New York, Rutgers. That would be fine, as long as the basketball schools in the Big East get to keep the name when they split the conference.
2007-09-11 13:34:48
131.   Eric Enders
126 The only appropriate new name is already taken. Plus, would they change their name right after launching a station called the "Big Ten Network"?
2007-09-11 13:37:04
132.   Eric Enders
The Big East is definitely a train headed full speed toward a cliff. That conference is absolutely untenable in the long run. I'll be surprised if the split doesn't happen in the next year or two.
2007-09-11 13:37:12
133.   trainwreck
Actually, I heard Florida State may leave to go to SEC.
2007-09-11 13:38:09
134.   trainwreck
It is really not advantageous for the Pac-10 to add Hawaii, BYU, or Utah. Those schools do not have large fan bases and do not make lots of money.
2007-09-11 13:38:12
135.   old dodger fan
119 I don't know what dominoes you are refering to but I think the ACC is doing just fine.

Except for the Florida schools and maybe VA Tech (which got pounded this past weekend) it is a BB conference. For most ACC folks football is something to pass the time until BB starts.

2007-09-11 13:39:43
136.   Eric Enders
134 I'm guessing they have larger fan bases and make more money than Oregon State or Washington State.
2007-09-11 13:39:44
137.   old dodger fan
130 I don't think VA Tech would leave the ACC becuuse of the rivalry with UVA.
2007-09-11 13:42:06
138.   trainwreck
I did say that Washington State could get the boot. From what I was told, Oregon State makes money for the conference.
2007-09-11 13:43:28
139.   Penarol1916
132. I think that it is 3 more years before anything can happen to the Big East without severe financial penalties.

133. Florida State won't make the move, primarily because the SEC won't want them. Virginia Tech makes the most logical fit.

2007-09-11 13:45:19
140.   trainwreck
The dominoes are when then Pac-10, Big 12, Big 10, and SEC bring in new schools. The ACC and Big East would probably end up basketball conferences.
2007-09-11 13:46:12
141.   trainwreck
SEC has courted Florida State in the past. They want them.
2007-09-11 13:47:59
142.   Penarol1916
137. No, the governor of Virginia had to twist UVA's administration to be in favor of the inclusion of VaTech, who only wanted in the conference because they feared for their future in the Big East.
I'm of the opinion, that in many of these states with large in-state rivalries, they want to keep the other school out of conference, otherwise, Louisville would make more sense for the SEC than anyone else.
2007-09-11 13:50:48
143.   Penarol1916
141. Most of my information is from someone who works at the Kentucky athletic department on these matters, and while interested in the past, FSU's athletic budget is fairly low compared to the SEC conference teams (I think only Vandy and Arkansas are lower).
2007-09-11 13:54:26
144.   trainwreck
That just seems odd, because they have a huge, rabid fan base. They generate a lot of money and their football staff is made up of hired guns that get paid a lot. I would assume they have a big budget.
2007-09-11 13:57:42
145.   gibsonhobbs88
Saw the column at lunch! Great post John. I watched this game on TV, depressed in the middle innings, in despair through the 8th, then stunned, disbelieving and euphoric at the end. I truly remember R.J. fondly for that one at bat.
2007-09-11 14:03:07
146.   Eric Enders
I was going to post this at Screen Jam, but it seems a little too frivolous for the current open thread.

So I just got my Season 3 DVD of The Office. I've only seen a couple of episodes therein, both of which were almost totally ruined by the presence of Ed Helms. Is this whole season going to completely suck?

2007-09-11 14:04:19
147.   Dodgers49
From previous thread:

18. The bidding on Beltre between teams was not a back-and-forth, can-you-top-this contest, according to DePodesta, but more of a blind auction. DePodesta told Boras to contact him when he was ready for their offer, and so he did. And ultimately, the Beltre camp liked Seattle's offer better.

Is it possible that there was a conflict of interest here between Boras and one of his clients (Beltre)? Beltre claims he desperately wanted to remain with the Dodgers and that after receiving Seattle's offer he waited for a counter offer from the Dodgers that never came. DePo claims there was no back-and-forth, that Boras received offers from each team and a decision was made between those two offers. Assuming both are telling the truth, isn't it possible that Boras' agenda was different than Beltre's. What if it was in his best interest to get the most money possible for both of his clients (and thus more money in Scott's pocket). The Dodgers were willing to sign either Beltre or Drew but not both. So the question is, if the Dodgers had signed Beltre was there another team out there ready to offer J.D. Drew $55 million at that time?

2007-09-11 14:06:26
148.   bhsportsguy
146 But he does a "classic" Rainbow Connection for Pam.
2007-09-11 14:09:53
149.   KG16
147 - it's an interesting point about Boras' agenda. I've often wondered how much he's followed his fiduciary duty to his clients. But I don't really know.
2007-09-11 14:10:23
150.   trainwreck
The title on the first track on Kanye West's new CD is Barry Bonds.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-09-11 14:10:56
151.   trainwreck
*The title of...
2007-09-11 14:11:43
152.   Eric Enders
147 That possibility was definitely discussed on this site at the time. Yes, there's absolutely a conflict of interest there, but whether that's the reason things worked out the way they did, we'll probably never know.
2007-09-11 14:13:08
153.   King of the Hobos
146 Sorry if this spoils anything, but since you asked in a roundabout manner, Helms is not in every episode. I didn't think the season sucked, and I didn't like the Helms character whatsoever.
2007-09-11 14:14:02
154.   Terry A
146 - I just bought Season 3 last night. I think Ed Helms will grow on you as the season progresses, but if not, take solace in the fact that he's not in every episode.

I had no Ed Helms opinion prior to this season, and I thought he was really funny.

2007-09-11 14:14:24
155.   Penarol1916
144. So does Arkansas. Most of the money in Florida goes to UF. FSU still has a huge budget for its athletic department, but the schools in the SEC are just at another level compared to almost everywhere (Out of the top 20 schools in the country, the 9 of the 10 schools in the SEC who are not Vandy or Arkansas are in there).
2007-09-11 14:15:59
156.   Eric Enders
I like Helms on the Daily Show. But what I've seen from him on The Office so far is just painfully bad.
2007-09-11 14:18:09
157.   King of the Hobos
147 However, if Beltre really wanted to be a Dodger, he wouldn't have hired Boras (or fired him before free agency). I can't believe the y had separate agenda, because if they did, Boras wouldn't have been his agent. Beltre was probably just making the same comments that every player makes, but ultimately, he was more interested in money than what team he played for.

And that was the offseason where Magglio received his 5 year, $75 mil deal, after a season far worse than Drew's, so I wouldn't be surprised if Drew had received $55 mil from someone else.

2007-09-11 14:21:26
158.   Eric Enders
I do think Boras clients, by this point, know the deal. They will accept the highest dollar offer, period, end of story. If they have any other considerations then they are best off hiring another agent.
2007-09-11 14:29:46
159.   KG16
158 - the problem is that as an agent, Boras has a legal obligation to do as he's told, not the other way around.
2007-09-11 14:30:44
160.   Sammy Maudlin
150 He should of named the song, "The King Has No Rings"
2007-09-11 14:33:03
161.   Terry A
156 - Keep in mind that The Office often intentionally inflicts pain on its viewers, i.e. the Michael/Oscar embrace.
2007-09-11 14:33:43
162.   Gen3Blue
I've got a trivia club game night to help kill time here on the east coast

Also, I'm beginning to think my intelligence must be extremely subtle.

2007-09-11 14:33:57
163.   Disabled List
158 I think the issue is, was Boras negligent in his fiduciary duty to Beltre by not soliciting a higher bid from the Dodgers after he recieved Seattle's bid?

This presumes, as 147 noted, that there were no other teams willing to offer Drew a similar contract to what he was getting from the Dodgers.

2007-09-11 14:34:45
164.   silverwidow
Helms is awesome in "Product Recall"
2007-09-11 14:36:24
165.   delias man
Where is the lineup.......
2007-09-11 14:37:17
166.   King of the Hobos
Ozzie Guillen will be the White Sox manager through 2012, at least in theory.
2007-09-11 14:40:48
167.   Terry A
166 - By 2012, Ozzie Guillen will be in prison for murdering someone. Probably an umpire. Or one of his pitchers.
2007-09-11 14:43:32
168.   bhsportsguy
Happy Birthday Virginia Madsen. I first saw her in the film "Electric Dreams" back in 1984. Very sweet and beautiful, though no one like that ever moved upstairs, downstairs or across the hall from me.

But if you have never seen the movie, go rent it, its very cute and sweet.

2007-09-11 14:43:52
169.   Vishal
i'd be cool with hawaii and utah in the pac-12.
2007-09-11 15:04:22
170.   regfairfield
53 Agreed, the McDonald contract is a pretty good one. He's been off the charts good defensively this year, and combine that with a below replacement level bat and he's probably close to league average. As long as the Jays don't just settle with him at short, he'll be more than worth it.
2007-09-11 15:14:20
171.   ToyCannon
DevilRays have won 13 of 17! If only we were that hot.
2007-09-11 15:14:35
172.   El Lay Dave
I remember the R. J. Reynolds game* and being amazed at Lasorda's audacity to squeeze in winning run with the young (only a year and one half older than me) rookie who was in only his eleventh major league game. At that time, I had just completed my fourth week in my first career-oriented, just out of my version of the minors, college. I was still groping around the corporate world, getting my feet wet and trying to find my bearings. My assignments were minor, writing small code segments for incorporation into some tool that a grizzled veteran engineer was building.

R. J. stepped to the plate in a crucial situation with the fate of his entire team seemingly in his hands, undertaking a risky procedure as dictated by his manager. And he succeeded. I continued to produce my little subroutines for inclusion into a product I didn't understand. Soon, I would be transferred to a different, younger team, replaced by an engineer with 15 years of software experience more suited to working with the lead to drive this project to closure. R. J., two years later, would find himself traded to a Pittsburgh team preparing to get younger (Bonds and Bonilla would appear as rookies the following season) for the 34-year old Bill Madlock who was more suited to provide proven veteran leadership and fill a need at third base, to help drive the Dodgers' 1985 season to semi-successful conclusion, first place in the NL West.

Ultimately, R.J. would have some average major league seasons and play in Japan and Mexico professionally. (Is he coaching somewhere now?) I plod along in my strange career, now one of those grizzled, veteran engineers, hoping that my team understands better the purpose of those subroutines they are writing for our product.

Well, this goes nowhere – but that's what the R. J. game got me thinking about. It was a great and memorable moment.

* But I don't remember if I watched or heard the game. Strange.

2007-09-11 15:24:44
173.   bhsportsguy
The Patriots may get sanctioned for alledgely taping defensive signs. The league has already confiscated a camera and since New England has been previously suspected of doing this, they could lose "several draft picks."

The league is also looking into their radio communication setup.

2007-09-11 15:37:56
174.   sporky
per ItD

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Loney, 1B
Kent, 2B
Gonzo, LF
Martin, C
Ethier, RF
Nomar, 3B
Loaiza, P

2007-09-11 15:40:12
175.   delias man
this lineup gives me no hope. kent, gonzo, nomar, all too slow with the bat for peavy.
2007-09-11 15:40:14
176.   Jon Weisman
New posts at Screen Jam and Season Pass.
2007-09-11 15:41:04
177.   trainwreck
I guess Grady does not think Kemp can hit Peavy.
2007-09-11 15:41:18
178.   sporky
At this point, I'm just glad Saenz isn't playing 1B.
2007-09-11 15:41:23
179.   dzzrtRatt
In The Office, Ed Helms' character is a nemesis to pretty much everyone, but especially to Dwight. Are you saying you think he's bad at playing an arrogant, butt-kissing, clumsily manipulative jerk? I thought he excelled in that role. Not to spoil anything, but the episode that begins with him showing off his new ring-tone, his own voice overdubbed to four-part harmony on "Rockin' Robin," is a riot.
2007-09-11 15:41:55
180.   LogikReader
That's some lineup... Good thing my Office DVDs arrived yesterday.
2007-09-11 15:43:05
181.   LogikReader

That was the highlight of the Andy character, in my mind.

2007-09-11 15:44:48
182.   still bevens
Hopefully Loaiza brings the same kinda mediocre stuff that seems to shut us down when we see it from the other end. SD is not exactly an offensive powerhouse. I cling to some hope that we win tonight.
2007-09-11 15:45:27
183.   Eric Enders
179 "Are you saying you think he's bad at playing an arrogant, butt-kissing, clumsily manipulative jerk?"

Yeah, I guess that's what I'm saying. It's like fingernails on the blackboard for me.

I thought Kemp had played his way into a regular gig. Instead we get the Old Farts 'R' Us lineup today. That's OK. I didn't really want to make the playoffs anyway.

2007-09-11 15:51:19
184.   Jon Weisman
Andy is "management" material. That's all I'm saying.
2007-09-11 15:51:35
185.   LogikReader
Hey if you're gonna lose, you might as well LOSE, am I right? Haha
2007-09-11 15:52:01
186.   LogikReader
-- that was an Andy reference, not a Dodgers one.
2007-09-11 15:52:42
187.   Eric Stephen
Kemp has started 6 straight games and 9 of 11. I would bet a sizable sum of money he starts each of the next two games, at least.
2007-09-11 15:52:45
188.   Bluebleeder87
the only hope I have tonight is that, maybe just maybe Peavy is still a little tired from his "3 day rest" experiment, we'll know soon enough right.
2007-09-11 15:54:24
189.   King of the Hobos
This lineup really isn't a surprise. It's very similar to the last Peavy lineup, except Loney and Ethier are switched, and Nomar is playing instead of Shea. Of course, that lineup managed 2 hits against Peavy, both belonging to Pierre.
2007-09-11 15:54:36
190.   ryu
175 Possibly agree with you on Gonzo and Nomar. But I believe Kent's the best we've got at 2B, offensively.
2007-09-11 15:56:45
191.   bhsportsguy
Just some notes about the lineup.

Kemp has never faced Peavy.

Gonzalez has great career numbers (over 1.00 OPS in nearly 60 PAs) but this year he is 2 for 12.

This year, Nomar is 5 for 9 with a homer and Pierre is 3 for 6.

No one on the Padres has faced Loaiza that much, Bard is 2 for 3 with a home run.

2007-09-11 15:58:59
192.   KG16
189 - no sense in changing what worked, right?
2007-09-11 16:01:12
193.   Eric Stephen
I think Grady just wants Nomar to overtake Betemit as the regular 3B on the 2007 Dodgers Baseball Reference page. About 6 more starts at 3B will allow Nomar to make up the 48 innings necessary to pass Betemit for the honor.
2007-09-11 16:01:13
194.   sporky
How many games do you think we've lost this year due to questionable lineup decisions?

(I'm not trying to bash Grady; I'm legitimately curious.)

2007-09-11 16:01:16
195.   regfairfield
My problem with Andy is that he's the only guy on the show that felt like he was playing a character. He still had his moments, but he's definitely the least likable person on the show.
2007-09-11 16:03:02
196.   El Lay Dave
175 (Small sample size alert.) This year, despite his stuggles overall, Nomar is 5-9 with one HR against Peavy. On the other hand, Kent is 0-10, 4 Ks.

LuGo has, by far, the most experience with Peavy 58 PAs, .353/.431/.686/1.117, 5 2B, 4HR, but his '07 contribution to that is 2-12, both singles.

2007-09-11 16:03:08
197.   Nagman
46 So they chose to ignore Hillenbrand's numbers against Peavy!
2007-09-11 16:04:39
198.   El Lay Dave
I'm far too slow for bhsportsguy, who, by the way, sponsors the R. J. Reynolds page. Good man.
2007-09-11 16:05:15
199.   Bluebleeder87
man, I'm just STOKED about this 6 game home stand, I'm sorry but IMO it's freaking HUGE.
2007-09-11 16:05:25
200.   FirstMohican
179 - The idea of Andy is funny I guess. And if The Office is trying to make me feel like Dwight and Jim are supposed to feel, it is succeeding. Either way, I think another actor could've played Andy and done a more entertaining job, but I've come to terms and am still obsessed with the show.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2007-09-11 16:06:30
201.   LogikReader
Anybody here who has good luck when attending Dodger games? Get out to the game tonight!
2007-09-11 16:06:42
202.   Bluebleeder87

they wanna spare us the bone head plays Hillenbrand makes, I'm actually very proud of Grady for that.

2007-09-11 16:07:49
203.   Xeifrank
194. Probably a couple of games by not starting the best players, and probably another game at most from poor lineup construction. Just a guess, no basis in facts. vr, Xei
2007-09-11 16:08:04
204.   El Lay Dave
197 Those numbers were accumulated when Hillenbrand was still an average major league hitter in '03 and '04 with the D-Backs. Didn't face Peavy this year, 0-5 in '06.
2007-09-11 16:09:24
205.   Eric Stephen
Speaking of Baseball Reference team pages, Kemp will be the 9th guy listed on offense, despite having the best OPS+ (among semi-regulars).

I looked through the archives at Phillies Thoughts, and in 1928 many of the commenters (including das411's grandfather, and Marty) felt similarly about a young 23-year-old named Chuck Klein, who couldn't crack the lineup regularly despite hitting .360/.396/.577 (a 148 OPS+). They were especially harsh on the manager for wearing a damn shirt & bow tie in the dugout!

2007-09-11 16:09:28
206.   D4P
The Dodgers are 3-0 at Dodger Stadium with me in attendance, outscoring the opposition 21-1. The only run the opposition has scored was on a solo HR by Bill Madlock off Bob Welch.
2007-09-11 16:11:06
207.   Bluebleeder87
It's actually pretty strange that Andy La Roche hasn't started a game since his windy city start, hopefully Grady gets him some at bats at least.
2007-09-11 16:11:25
208.   Sam DC
199 I'm with you. I don't think it's overdoing it to recognize that these are BIG games.
2007-09-11 16:11:40
209.   King of the Hobos
Have all the Office fans seen the promotional Summer Vacation bit?

2007-09-11 16:13:18
210.   Eric Stephen
206 1985?
2007-09-11 16:14:25
211.   D4P
Yes. And come to think of it, I had gotten up to use the trough when Madlock hit the jack, so in the 3 games I've attended at DS I never actually saw the opposition score.
2007-09-11 16:15:21
212.   King of the Hobos
Rockies up 1-0 in the first off a Tulo homer.
2007-09-11 16:15:56
213.   El Lay Dave
211 You might have seen scoring, but you are apparently not a foot-tapper.
2007-09-11 16:17:10
214.   Xeifrank
When Office Thoughts dies down, and the game actually starts, it will be interesting to see if Loaiza can keep his string of quality starts going. The Vegas oddsmakers are giving the Padres over a 58% chance of winning tonight's game. My simulator has the Dodgers as very slight favorites, but that was with Kemp and LaRoche in the lineup. It may have dropped to even money.
vr, Xei
2007-09-11 16:18:42
215.   bhsportsguy
205 Burt Shotton was the last manager to wear "street clothes" instead of a uniform in baseball.

The Dodgers' last game in 1950 ended after the Philadelphia Athletics finished playing so Shotton outlasted Connie Mack as the last man to not have to wear sanitary socks in the dugout.

2007-09-11 16:19:25
216.   BlueCrew Bruin
I'll be at the game tonight. I believe I'm 5-3 this year. But don't worry, if the Dodgers are down heading into the bottom of the 9th, I'll leave. That technique seemed to work well at the 4+1 game. {sob}
2007-09-11 16:19:59
217.   El Lay Dave
212 That is a weird series for us. I suppose as Dodger fans, we don't care how each game is decided, just that we prefer the series split. Or maybe Rockies winning three of four is ok, since the Dodgers need to win a lot as well and are ahead of Colorado (and behind Philadelphia)?
2007-09-11 16:26:25
218.   Xeifrank
217. Sports Club Stats says we want the Rockies to win tonight. vr, Xei

Dodgers 6.0 Padres -5.8
Phillies -0.8 Rockies 0.9
Giants 0.6 D-Backs -0.5

2007-09-11 16:27:00
219.   Eric Stephen
Completely meaningless stats designed to encourage Dodger fans tonight:

Since August 13, 2006 (including playoffs):
Peavy: 2.67 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, .677 Win%
Loaiza: 3.32 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, .727 Win%

2007-09-11 16:27:25
220.   Eric Enders
215 Alas, Art Howe, in a throwback game a few years ago, robbed Shotton of this distinction.
2007-09-11 16:29:04
221.   Bluebleeder87
Dodgers at home: 702-562 (.555)
Jon attended: 285-227 (.557)*
Jon didn't: 422-341 (.553)
*includes road games attended

We need Jon at the game tonight!

2007-09-11 16:29:57
222.   Xeifrank
219. Those stat lines may be meaningless, but I think you are correct in the sense that Loaiza is not being given much credit/respect in this pitching matchup. I see this as being at most a one run game either way when the bullpens take over for both teams. vr, Xei
2007-09-11 16:30:38
223.   Eric Stephen
221 Jon is actually 280-221 at home, .559, only 5-6 on the road.
2007-09-11 16:32:11
224.   Eric Stephen
222 I should have used "hand picked" instead of "completely meaningless". I actually like the Loaiza pickup, especially next year given the injury concerns of Schmidt, Kuo, Elbert, et al.
2007-09-11 16:33:21
225.   Eric Enders
I have a .000 lifetime winning percentage at Dodger Stadium.

Stupid Jack Clark.

2007-09-11 16:36:42
226.   D4P
One of my DS games was a 1-hit shutout by Orel.
2007-09-11 16:37:59
227.   Bluebleeder87
My Dodger Stadium #'s are o.k. I guess (3-2)

I was at the game were Saenz had his last HORRAH against the Blue Birds, 10 inning affair, I'm actually pretty humbled that I was there now that I think about it.

2007-09-11 16:39:03
228.   Eric Enders
Well, Saenz has also been humbled ever since.
2007-09-11 16:44:21
229.   King of the Hobos
I've never kept track of the Dodgers record when I attend, but I seem to recall them losing more often than winning. However, I know they won this game that I attended:

However, I was 7 and disliked baseball, so I could have cared less about them winning.

2007-09-11 16:45:08
230.   KG16
The first game I remember attending at Dodger Stadium was Jose Offerman's first game and homerun in his first major league at bat.

The last few years have been tough as they involved games against the Cardinals...

I'd guess my record is somewhere around .500, but I couldn't even begin to guess how many games it has been.

2007-09-11 16:47:17
231.   Daniel Zappala
I have no idea what my overall Dodger Stadium record is, since I never kept track. I do have a 1.000 winning percentage in Dodger playoff games attended. I will accept free tickets to any playoff games.
2007-09-11 16:50:12
232.   Bluebleeder87

You just sparked a memory, the first game I could remember attending was in '85 & I remember Duncan hurt him self on a foul ball right on the tarp, I think it was a playoff game no less! & like you I didn't care for baseball all that much then.

2007-09-11 16:54:03
233.   Daniel Zappala
What's the official rule on runners advancing from 1st on a ground rule double? Must they always stop at third? It seems like I always see cases where the runner would have easily scored but is stopped at third.
2007-09-11 16:56:27
234.   Bluebleeder87
Grady Little really needs to Ink in Andy La Roche for a start.
2007-09-11 16:58:40
235.   Curtis Lowe
234 - LaRoche is 2-14/2BB which pretty much means he's washed up.

Though his two hits were rally starting doubles.

2007-09-11 16:58:49
236.   Jim Hitchcock
231 I'm 0-1 at playoff games...the first game of the '88 playoffs, when Carter doubled home a run off Hershiser, who had just ended the season with, what, 53 scoreless innings?

I was crushed.

And while it still is too painful to talk about last weekend's series, I do feel justified in stating that S.F. broadcasts are muddy beyond all get out (thing early '80's VHS on very cheap tape), and furthermore have an orange cast to them. Ugly.

And if I hear Krukow say `meat' one more time, I will go vegan. Seriously. Spinach borne e-coli or no.

2007-09-11 16:59:25
237.   Bluebleeder87
Rox up on Philly 2-0 on a Helton four bagger.
2007-09-11 17:00:09
238.   das411
Helton launches one into Howard territory in the second deck of right field, 2-0 Rockies, top 4th.

157 - That 5/$75 deal for Magglio looks a whole lot better now though, doesn't it?

171 - So the Rays' relative hotness is not a function of the current Oriole nosedive? Coolio!

2007-09-11 17:00:30
239.   Jim Hitchcock
233 Two bases is all they get. Which is one reason the rubberized warning track at the stadium was so despised.
2007-09-11 17:00:47
240.   jasonungar07
I was gone for the cubs series, but didnt we win all the game LaRoche started?
2007-09-11 17:02:28
241.   Daniel Zappala
239 That's what I thought. This is the official start of my campaign to give the umpire discretion to decide the runner on third would have scored. I'm expecting Bob to join me on this one.
2007-09-11 17:02:40
242.   bhsportsguy
233 You may want me at Angel Playoff games, I am 3-1 (1979 1-1); 1982(1-0); 1986 (1-0*)

* Game 5 ALCS, I had a basketball game so my cousin took both tickets. By the top of the 9th inning, he had worked his way down from the View section to the lower level and was ready to rush the field when the Angels got that third out.

We all know how that turned out.

I have not been to an Angel playoff game since 1986. Last year was the first Dodger playoff game I attended since 1978.

2007-09-11 17:05:59
243.   Daniel Zappala
236 That was Strawberry who doubled off of Hershiser. Carter doubled off of Howell later in the inning.
2007-09-11 17:06:18
244.   Linkmeister
I have a memory of a game I attended which ended with a runner at first base being hit by a line drive, going down in a heap, and being called out. I think it was Glen Hubbard who got hit, and I think it was Hershiser pitching, but I can't be sure.

I have no idea how to find out if those players were involved; I do know that's what happened in the ninth inning.

'Course, I've seen clips of Armstrong stepping off the lander onto the moon so many times that I'm sure I saw it live, even though I was on Guam in 1969 and there was no television there at all, at all.

2007-09-11 17:07:40
245.   Bob Timmermann
On an automatic double, it's two bases for everybody no exception.

The umpires only have discretion in the case of fan interference.

2007-09-11 17:11:22
246.   Bob Timmermann
I would join the good professor's cause, but I think granting the umpires discretion on how many bases to award when the ball bounces over the fence would only lead to lots of arguments.
2007-09-11 17:12:03
247.   King of the Hobos
240 Along those lines, in September, when Laroche started, the Dodgers were 4-0, when Hillenbrand started, they were 1-2, and when Nomar started, they were 0-2. Coincidence?
2007-09-11 17:13:10
248.   Bob Timmermann
Oh look, the Angels are beating Baltimore.

There's a surprise.

The Angels are on a road trip to Baltimore and Chicago. They might be able to come home with a division title in their pocket.

Or at least a playoff spot.

2007-09-11 17:13:53
249.   D4P
But you can join my "Walk-off batted balls that would otherwise have been ground-rule doubles should be ruled ground-rule doubles" crusade without qualm.
2007-09-11 17:14:02
250.   Jim Hitchcock
243 Okay. So Hershiser was charged for the run, right?
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2007-09-11 17:14:05
251.   dkminnick
[233} - I'm a proponent of a rule change that on GR doubles, all runners should score.
2007-09-11 17:16:11
252.   bhsportsguy
Rob Neyer wrote these words in his chat today, "orc with a 18 wisdom."

First chuckle from a Neyer chat since his constance railing about Darin Erstad's contract.

2007-09-11 17:18:27
253.   Bluebleeder87

When you think about it it actually does make a lot of sense.

2007-09-11 17:22:33
254.   Zak
Maybe it should be like the old days when GR doubles counted as home runs.
2007-09-11 17:23:20
255.   Bob Timmermann
If you let all runners score on a ball that bounces over the wall, a high scoring team will move its fences in to make that happen more often so they can score even more runs.

But then again, you're only talking about the times when a time gets an automatic double with a runner on first. The rest of the time it doesn't matter.

2007-09-11 17:25:05
256.   Sam DC
Winston Abreu came in in the bottom of the third with the bases loaded and retired one batter. At that point, Nationals were down 5-2.

Nationals scored 5 in the top of the fourth (including a GS for callup Justin Maxwell's first major league hit) and Abreu was taken out for a PH.

Now Carpenter is talking, reasonably I suppose, about the possibility that if the Nationals hold on, the scorer may exercise his discretion to give some other pitcher the win.

2007-09-11 17:25:21
257.   Andrew Shimmin
First Mary Landrieu, now Virginia Madsen? Somebody has a type. . .
2007-09-11 17:26:04
258.   silverwidow
Make sure to check out the deleted scenes from "Initiation" -- hilarious stuff. BJ Novak at his best.
2007-09-11 17:26:45
259.   caseybarker

Good! Hang 'em.

2007-09-11 17:33:18
260.   Bluebleeder87

I just feel that if your at 1st or 2nd base you would have scored, I mean the ball is over the outfielders head for crying out loud! out side of David Wells, Jonathan Broxton & King you WOULD score.

2007-09-11 17:35:34
261.   Bluebleeder87
Santiago, Chile had an eclipse today.
2007-09-11 17:37:32
262.   Eric Stephen
I looked up my ticket stubs from Dodger games I can verify since 1985 (I have all ticket stubs from 1989 to present, and I remembered some games I was at prior), and here are my stats:

32-34 overall (including 2-3 in the playoffs)
Pythagorean record is also 32-34
22-14 at home (2-3 playoffs)
10-20 on the road (4 NL West teams + 1 Angel game)

Notable games I've attended
-1988 WS, Game 2 (Hershisher allows only 3 singles to Dave Parker, collects 3 hits himself)
-1995 division clincher in SD
-2006 playoff clincher in SF
-The Lima Game
-a 2000 pitchers' duel in Colorado won 16-11 by the Dodgers, featuring 2 HRs and a 2B off the wall for Alex Cora
-the game after the Dodgers gave up 9 in the 9th against Philly (Dodgers exacted revenge 3-2)
-Brad Penny's 1st game as a Dodger, where he allowed 2 hits over 8 shutout innings yet was booed when he struck out while batting

Things I Noticed Looking These Games Up
-Brian Bohanon was a surprisingly good pickup in July 1998...he only went 5-7 for LA but had a 2.40 ERA (162 ERA+) averaging nearly 7 IP/start
-Brad Penny has a 2.53 ERA as a Dodger in 5 starts with me in attendance, yet is only 1-3.
-Dodgers have been shut out in 8 of my 66 games in attendance (they have thrown 3 themselves)

The Padres are really my nemesis:
8-22 vs the Padres (10-20 pythag record)
current 9 game personal losing streak to SD
6-19 in San Diego

Maybe I should stop going to games against the Padres!!! Dodgers are 26-12 against non-Padre teams.

2007-09-11 17:38:02
263.   bhsportsguy
257 First, I was speaking about Ms. Madsen in 1984 (not that the 2007 version is that bad at all).

Second, you are probably right.

2007-09-11 17:38:48
264.   underdog
So, I actually dropped Dayn Perry a comment via his blog about his aforementioned note on the Dodgers' schedule. I pointed out that what he suggests makes little sense - that it's unfortunate they're playing the Padres and DBacks- because they need to gain ground on them to make the playoffs.

His response back?
"The overall point was that the Dodgers are going to play a bunch of games in a row against winning teams. Regardless of divisional affiliations, it's better this time of year to be playing lousy teams. Just ask the Cubs."

Um... yes, but they could sweep two series against lousy teams and still gain no ground because the other teams ahead of them were also doing likewise. Yeesh. I give up.

2007-09-11 17:40:19
265.   bhsportsguy
262 3-0 in my last three Padre games.
1. Maddux wins game 1 of the 4 game series last September.
2. 4+1
3. Jackie Robinson Day 2007
2007-09-11 17:40:23
266.   Eric Stephen
262 And to ease any fears, I will not be attending any games during this current 3-game series.
2007-09-11 17:41:29
267.   Sam DC
I'm down with that. I vote we play the Pirates and the Reds, and the Padres play the Red Sox and the Yankees.
2007-09-11 17:43:23
268.   Eric Stephen
265 Oh yeah, I was at the game on 4+1 Eve, the 7th of 9 straight losses to SD for me.
2007-09-11 17:43:37
269.   Jon Weisman
2007-09-11 17:43:55
270.   Dodgers49
163. 158 I think the issue is, was Boras negligent in his fiduciary duty to Beltre by not soliciting a higher bid from the Dodgers after he recieved Seattle's bid?

Correct. What I found so strange about what DePo said is that Boras is known for raising the bids for his free agents by getting GMs into bidding wars. Heck, he even got The Sheriff to bid against himself for Kevin Brown. So why would he not give DePo the opportunity to beat, or match, Seattle's best offer. I have my doubts that DePo would have matched it anyway. But that's beside the point. It's just seems odd that he wasn't given the opportunity.

2007-09-11 18:01:01
271.   underdog
267 That works better for me, yeah.

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