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About Jon
Thank You For Not ...

1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Could Kent Follow Kobe's Path to (Relative) Contentment?
2007-12-23 07:15
by Jon Weisman

Four-letter word, proper noun, starts with a K, seethes when crossed.

Reading Howard Beck's article on Kobe Bryant in the New York Times this morning, my thoughts turned somewhat unexpectedly to Jeff Kent.

It was unexpected because of the many differences between the Laker superstar and the Dodger 2014 Hall of Famer, but suddenly I found a fairly straight line between the two veterans' disenchantment with young players in their last full seasons - and wondered if Bryant's re-enchantment with his Laker teammates could presage something similar with Kent.

Seven months ago, Kobe Bryant's powerful hands were outstretched and cocked, poised to slam the figurative big red button that would blow up the Los Angeles Lakers, end an era and reorder the N.B.A. universe. Last week, those capable hands were flinging passes to Andrew Bynum, clasping the shoulders of Jordan Farmar, diagramming sets to Vladimir Radmanovic and holding up the foundation of the franchise that Bryant so badly wanted to leave.

The Lakers (16-10) arrived in New York on Saturday, tied with New Orleans for the fifth-best record in the Western Conference. They have won seven of their last nine games, including victories against San Antonio, Denver and Golden State. This season, they have also beaten Phoenix, Detroit and Utah. They are averaging 106.3 points a game, third best in the league.

And Bryant, the fabulously talented star with a penchant for drama, wore an expression of pure contentment.

"I'm very happy," Bryant said Saturday after the Lakers practiced at a Manhattan health club. They play the Knicks on Sunday. "I'm happy because we have a very close-knit group here. We're like brothers. We all get along, so the chemistry is great." ...

Again, I don't want to take this analogy too far. Bryant is different from Kent, the Lakers are different from the Dodgers (in part because Kent was hardly the only Dodger wailing to the press at the end of last season) and basketball is different from baseball.

But ultimately, even the worst interpretation of the Dodger clubhouse requires only that a) everyone gives even the appearance of growing up a little and b) the team wins more than it loses in a given month for rainbows to fill the skies.

For a time last spring, Bryant could hardly contain his feelings. He was anguished over a first-round playoff loss to the Suns, who also ousted the Lakers in 2006. He was seething at management's failure to upgrade the roster, which had only one other certified star, Lamar Odom, and too many unproven young players.

It had been three years since the Lakers won a playoff series, and Bryant's window for winning a fourth title was shrinking. He is only 29, but he just began his 12th N.B.A. season (and has logged 131 games in the playoffs). He can ill afford to wait for prospects like Bynum to develop.

At the height of his rage, Bryant was surreptitiously captured on video, in a parking lot, cursing General Manager Mitch Kupchak for failing to trade Bynum for Jason Kidd of the Nets. Bryant said his comments were not so much meant as a knock on Bynum as they were a strong desire to play with Kidd. Bryant maintains that his concerns have to do with the front office, not the locker room.

Happily for Bryant and the Lakers, the 20-year-old Bynum is starting to blossom at center. After Friday's games, he ranked 13th in the N.B.A. in rebounding (10.1 a game), 9th in blocked shots (2.1) and 3rd in field-goal percentage (.606). He was also averaging 11.9 points.

"He's been a big, big boost for us," Bryant said during a later interview in Harlem, where he joined 100 neighborhood children for a round of bowling. "Bynum's development has been remarkable, from last season until now. He just needs to continue to work, and continue to get better. He can be a big threat for us." ...

Could Matt Kemp, already an impact player yet still young in baseball years, rehabilitate himself in Kent's eyes the way Bynum has in Bryant's?

And could the rest of the kids - led, remember, by perhaps the most mature Dodger of all, Russell Martin, win over win-now teammates like Derek Lowe?

Some growth is necessary. As of Wednesday, the Lakers were the third-youngest team in the N.B.A., with an average age of 25.49 (behind Portland and Seattle, which are rebuilding). They are built on the veterans Bryant (26.3 points a game), Odom (14.2) and Fisher (12.1), who rejoined the team after a three-year absence. But the Lakers are also receiving contributions from Bynum, the 21-year-old Farmar and 23-year-old Sasha Vujacic.

Suddenly, the Lakers do not look so callow — or unworthy of Bryant's presence.

I mean, James Loney and Chad Billingsley are better than Farmar and Vujacic.

Ultimately, I don't believe the Dodgers have to get along to win. I believe they might have to win to get along (just as Byrant's Laker rapprochement will last only as long as the Lakers are winning). But there's a lot of talent on the Dodger team to make that happen.

The Dodgers need to come to International Spring Training 2008 with a clear understanding that their enemies are the pitching staffs of their National League West rivals, not the guys putting the Dodger uniform on each day.

* * *

Old friend Cody Ross gets the spotlight at The Play Index Stat of the Day.

* * *

First it was Tower Records on Sunset closing, now the Virgin Megastore at Sunset and Crescent Heights. Will my kids even know what it was like to browse a record store?

Comments (165)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-12-23 07:33:48
1.   D4P
What'd Ned get in return for Cody Ross again...?

Hard to believe Juan Pierre is worth $45 million and Ross is worth nothing.

2007-12-23 07:40:51
2.   therickdaddy
I don't think many felt Ross was worth anything. Same with the CF on Philly at the time.
2007-12-23 07:41:29
3.   LAT
They both start with "K".
They both have four letter names.
They both shoot their mouth off.
They both disrupt their team.
They both want to win.

But that is where the similarirties end. One is the best player on his team if not in the league. The other is not even the second best player on his team. One is in his prime and the other is closer to social security benifits than his rookie year. I hope Kend's bat holds up like last year. But at age I'm afraid the odds are much against it.

2007-12-23 07:55:54
4.   derrelthomas
FWIW, I ran into the Bison at Bob Hope Airport on this past Monday. Most of the folks in the terminal didn't recognize him so I got to take my son and chat with him for a good 10 minutes. He couldn't have been nicer though his demeanor felt alot more like a teen than a twenty-something. He introduced him to my son with a simple, "Hi, I'm Matt." My somewhat audacious father had the nerve to ask him, "Is Jeff Kent gonna show you young guys more patience this year, or what?" Bison just smiled sheepishly and said, "hope so." Wanting to end the conversation happily, I added, "Don't worry Matt, the real dodger fans know where the future lies..." to which he added an audible chuckle.

Not sure if I contributed to the clubhouse divide or not with this chat, but it was fun nonetheless. I even got a great photo out of the encounter which I'll gladly bore any of you with if you want visual proof of this encounter.


2007-12-23 08:01:52
5.   Gen3Blue
I can't remember what we got for Ross, so it couldn't have been much. I think we traded him soon after one of his amazing outbursts, when whatever value he had should have been up. It seems kind of shabby to me to trade the guy when he was helping us, for nothing,
mainly because he didn't look like a ball player. Its the kind of move that often seems to bite you down the line.
I know we probably needed his roster spot, but with a few of the guys on the roster then (and at least one even now), I'm inclined to be sentimental.
2007-12-23 08:06:19
6.   Choi1
4. I'd love to see that picture. I'm totally jealous you got to meet him.
2007-12-23 08:10:10
7.   derrelthomas
Choi1 - shoot me your email;
2007-12-23 08:11:16
8.   Jon Weisman
4 - Thanks for that story, and love your screen name.
2007-12-23 08:11:36
9.   D4P
U.C.L.A. vs. B.Y.U:

With Karl Dorrell, Bruins win.

Without Karl Dorrell, Bruins lose.


2007-12-23 08:14:12
10.   derrelthomas
8. - You're welcome. And for the record, I've been lurking w/ DT since pre-toaster days. Thanks for upping the IQ of dodger fandom Jon!


2007-12-23 08:38:47
11.   regfairfield
We got Ben Kozlowski for Ross. I had no idea he was that good this season.
2007-12-23 08:48:45
12.   bhsportsguy
I understand where Jon is going but like LAT, I do think there are a lot of differences. From reading through the all the stuff, for the Dodgers, there was frustration from the following: the front office not making moves to acquire anyone at the break and also labeling the younger guys as "untouchable"; Grady's lineups; lack of acknowledgemet of veternaness and the work habits of the younger guys. For Kobe, his frustration was with Jerry Buss and Mitch Kupchak's failed attempts or non-attempts of getting him talented player to win a title. Now he had a YouTube moment with Bynum but he's been pretty consistent in recognizing that the Lakers are a young team.

Also, I don't think Kent ever failed to recognize the talent of younger guys.

In the end, if the Dodgers compete for the NL title, you will hear lots of things on how Joe got them all to work together. Whether or not its true, that will be the party line.

2007-12-23 08:51:53
13.   bhsportsguy
I wonder if the Reds lament losing Cody Ross too?
2007-12-23 08:53:28
14.   Bluebleeder87
First it was Tower Records on Sunset closing, now the Virgin Megastore at Sunset and Crescent Heights. Will my kids even know what it was like to browse a record store?

I here you Jon, the Tower record store near my house has closed down (it is now a walgreens) there disappearing before our eyes...

2007-12-23 08:54:57
15.   Vishal
kent, even if content, is not going to befriend or even engage with the young players. he's not going to devote his time to helping them develop. he's a grumpy old man.

kobe is competitive as heck, but he's not grumpy or old.

2007-12-23 08:59:23
16.   Vishal
9 they may have won with dorrell, but they were a mere inch or two from winning without him as well.
2007-12-23 09:00:52
17.   Marty
Your kids won't care Jon. It'll be like trying to tell them about rotary dials, pay phones. transistor radios, etc.
2007-12-23 09:03:37
18.   Bumsrap
Jon, thanks for finding a way to talk Dodgers when nothing is going on.
2007-12-23 09:06:07
19.   madmac
15 true, but does it matter if he befriends the young guys. I don't really care if he is grumpy. Kirk Gibson was pretty grumpy.

While this isn't the point of the post, however it was mentioned. The Blazers aren't really rebuilding. They are ready now. Winners of 10 in a row. Only 1/2 game out of first behind Denver whom they have beaten twice.

2007-12-23 09:06:10
20.   Bumsrap
Who might have been Torre's Pierre last year? Sort of a: Torre was to X as Little was to Pierre.
2007-12-23 09:08:23
21.   Bob Timmermann
Last night, I had a dream that Al Golden was named UCLA's new coach. I knew it before other people because Dan Guerrero made me go buy the man's favorite ice cream for a reception for him at UCLA.

The ice cream had apples in it.

But when the coach was named, there wasn't just one guy in the room. There were the three main candidates and it was announced as if they were giving out an Oscar.

2007-12-23 09:25:56
22.   Andrew Shimmin
The Yankees had five hitters (at any point) as bad or worse than Pierre, last year. They combined for 152 at bats. Torre didn't have a Pierre last year.
2007-12-23 09:34:01
23.   regfairfield
20 The only thing I can think of is letting Minky get first crack at first base instead of Josh Phelps, but that worked out for him.
2007-12-23 09:35:59
24.   regfairfield
And it's not like the Yankees needed more offense anyway, so the decision is probably justifiable.
2007-12-23 10:15:37
25.   Suffering Bruin
15 wrote what I would've written, in far fewer words.

Now, about that criticism of Arcade Fire...

2007-12-23 10:22:50
26.   Izzy
I know I am not in the main stream on Kent here. But I have said all along that Kent was just the one who said something, and that I thought good would come of it. Maybe he didn't handle it the best way, but sometimes ANYWAY is better than no way at all, in life. He had the huevos to say something. I still believe that, and for that he will get an amount of respect from me. I refuse to take part in the constant Kent, and or Pierre belittling. Thank you for an article that tries to move on, Jon.
2007-12-23 10:28:35
27.   silverwidow
The Jaguars are a TOUGH team. If there's one team in the AFC with a shot at beating the Pats or Colts, it's certainly them.
2007-12-23 10:29:34
28.   silverwidow
2007-12-23 10:30:17
29.   D4P
Kent was just the one who said something

You seem to be assuming that

1. There was a real problem
2. Kent was on the "right" side of the problem

I'm not sure I accept both of those. Either there was no problem (and people started nit-picking (see, for example, the trash can incident) because the team was losing), or there was a problem, and the vets (Kent, Lowe, LuGo) played a big part in it.

2007-12-23 10:31:43
30.   Bob Timmermann
The Bears-Packers game is more fun to watch as it is hellaciously windy in Chicago today. I thought there were snow flurries, but it may just be garbage blowing around.
2007-12-23 10:36:37
31.   D4P
I've always thought of Chicago as a windy city.
2007-12-23 10:37:54
32.   D4P
In other news, Andrew Bynum has dramatically cut down on his fouls in the past few weeks.
2007-12-23 10:42:03
33.   Bob Timmermann
But Oregon lost to Oakland in basketball. When my brother spoke to some people at Oakland before an appearance in the NCAA tournament, their athletic director said the best thing about their school was that all the parking was free.
2007-12-23 10:46:56
34.   D4P
Oregon is not nearly as good this year as they were last year, nor was it reasonable to expect them to be. Whatever they added this year was unlikely to offset the loss of Aaron Brooks.

They're only ranked because of last year's team. They haven't done anything this season to warrant national respect.

2007-12-23 10:49:33
35.   Bob Timmermann
Oregon will be fine until trainwreck asks for their removal from the Pac-10 after another loss.
2007-12-23 10:59:42
36.   Andrew Shimmin
Nothing is usually the right thing to do. Sometimes there's something that would be better than nothing, but there's never any time when anything would be.

Sloth is the most underrated of the seven deadly sins.

2007-12-23 11:08:14
37.   Bluebleeder87

I remember going to the corner market & playing arcade games, you just don't see that anymore.

2007-12-23 11:09:30
38.   Bluebleeder87
37 was meant to Marty's 17 , oopsy!
2007-12-23 11:13:50
39.   dzzrtRatt
30 My main interest in pro football these days is watching games being played in bad weather.

Although watching Fred Taylor make Oakland's defense look like they were all on Ambien was entertaining.

2007-12-23 11:16:51
40.   Bob Timmermann
I think those are snow flurries in Chicago after all. Mixed in with garbage.
2007-12-23 11:18:26
41.   D4P
The last time I looked, the Lakers were up by 22 points. Now they're up by 6.
2007-12-23 11:26:08
42.   trainwreck
I will gladly take a losing Oregon team in the Pac-10.
2007-12-23 11:27:37
43.   D4P
That's what the Beavers are for.
2007-12-23 11:44:53
44.   Bob Timmermann
Move along. Nothing to see.
2007-12-23 11:47:06
45.   Bob Timmermann
All the Pac-10 teams still have winning records. Oregon State is 6-5.
2007-12-23 11:47:52
46.   Marty
39 That is exactly how I feel about the NFL too.
2007-12-23 11:59:02
47.   dzzrtRatt
Jeff Kent's "role" as upholder of baseball's dignity has been usurped by Joe Torre.

I wouldn't want to be Kent's dog or his motorcycle next season, but I don't think he'll have the same ability to mess up the Dodger clubhouse as he did in '07.

2007-12-23 12:05:19
48.   Howard Fox
nice article by Dayn Perry on FoxSports website...he loves Andy LaRoche...
2007-12-23 12:22:36
49.   natepurcell

He also like Kuroda.

2007-12-23 13:23:43
50.   Bob Timmermann
The Raiders should have gone for 40 after their last TD.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-12-23 13:31:42
51.   trainwreck
Is that when if you do not convert, then someone has to die?
2007-12-23 13:35:04
52.   ET90210
Off topic, but interesting.

Came upon this article on the "All-Overpaid Team" for current players it seems. Pretty solid list.

2007-12-23 13:51:07
53.   Penarol1916
30. Don't forget about the subzero windchill. That is especially nasty with 50 mph gusts. The worst is that all the doors on my car were frozen shut since the temperature dropped from 40 to 18 in about an hour this morning.
2007-12-23 13:58:53
54.   Bluebleeder87

the 2 sides of Daybe Perry. There is the cool one here [ ] & this one [ ]

2007-12-23 14:15:41
55.   Vishal
52 what? no pierre?

25 okay, recommend me some arcade fire songs. i'm open minded enough to give them a second chance.

2007-12-23 14:16:36
56.   gpellamjr
The other night, my wife and I were driving and talking about artists who shamelessly imitate Bob Dylan. Then came on the radio an interview with John C. Reilly. He played a song from the movie "Walk Hard" called "Royal Jelly". Let me tell you, absolutely hilarious. It's a must for any Dylan fan. I bought the album and have listened to it a million times.

"Let me touch you, let me touch you, let me touch you, let me toooooouuuch you where the rooyyyyallll jelly gets made."

2007-12-23 14:23:26
57.   gpellamjr
56 Oh yeah, and at the end he yells "You're a liar!"
2007-12-23 14:23:59
58.   D4P
The other night, my wife and I were driving and talking about artists who shamelessly imitate Bob Dylan

Weird Al's "Bob" is worth a listen.

2007-12-23 15:18:40
59.   Humma Kavula
56 I also like the Dylanesque parody "Dear Mr. President."

The funny (or apropos) thing is that the Dylanesque stuff for Walk Hard was written by songwriter Dan Bern, who is one of those artists that sounds a lot like Dylan (on his original stuff).

My personal favorite songs on the Walk Hard soundtrack are "Let's Duet," of course, and "Guilty as Charged."

2007-12-23 15:49:39
60.   Andrew Shimmin
Hmm. I guess we'll see how powerful the neo-cons really are. Bill Kristol picked the Nats to win the NL East in 2008.
2007-12-23 16:00:44
61.   El Lay Dave
60 I'll have what he's having.
2007-12-23 16:01:05
62.   D4P
He probably just likes their name. No doubt he picked the Patriots to win the Super Bowl.

So transparent.

2007-12-23 17:12:26
63.   Sam DC
It appears in the NY Times, but, yes, the writer is a regular for Slate.

Against Wheelaboards!

2007-12-23 17:22:10
64.   Eric Enders
My favorite Dylan impersonations...

Joan Baez
(skip forward to 9:30 mark)

Loudon Wainwright:

Josh Ritter:

2007-12-23 17:22:17
65.   Bob Timmermann
Which writer are you referring to?
2007-12-23 17:31:04
66.   Bluebleeder87
If any of you are interested there showing a really nice documentary about "the 7 ages of rock" on VH1Classic right now.
2007-12-23 17:39:20
67.   Eric Enders
Did anyone see the Wiffle Ball article over at Baseball Prospectus? They ran an experiment to see if a major league batting champ would also be a dominant Wiffle Ball hitter. They matched up Freddy Sanchez against one of the best Wiffle Ball pitchers in the country.

Sanchez went 1-for-19 with a double and 18 strikeouts.

2007-12-23 17:47:38
68.   Bob Timmermann
I read that article. Freddy Sanchez's high school coach sits in front of me at the Rose Bowl for UCLA football. He speaks highly of him. But I guess he didn't do enough wiffle ball practice.

However, I still can't find the NYT article.

2007-12-23 17:49:30
69.   Joe Pierre
I think every player has individual stats they'd like to acchieve, especially the young and less experienced. But what a team needs is for everyone to want the team to win.
2007-12-23 17:49:44
70.   Joe Pierre
I think every player has individual stats they'd like to acchieve, especially the young and less experienced. But what a team needs is for everyone to want the team to win.
2007-12-23 18:00:12
71.   Bluebleeder87
I'm anti-whiffle ball, play the real thing darn it!
2007-12-23 18:02:34
72.   Humma Kavula
I also like Paul Simon's Dylan impersonation, "A Simple Desultory Philippic." Simon doesn't exactly impersonate Dylan so much as write a Dylan song and then perform it...

Here's the version with the original lyrics. I been Walt Disney'd, Diz Disley'd...

2007-12-23 18:14:41
73.   Andrew Shimmin
Seems noteworthy:

2007-12-23 18:16:22
74.   Bob Timmermann
Yes, it was ...
2007-12-23 18:19:04
75.   Andrew Shimmin
I checked the Griddle first! How did I miss it?

Oh. I have flashblock, so I didn't see the screencap; the title should have been enough.

2007-12-23 18:20:40
76.   Bob Timmermann
My operatives will be visiting you soon. There will be three men who look like James Taylor knocking on your door soon.
2007-12-23 18:36:04
77.   Sam DC
Somewhere up I there I forgot this link.

2007-12-23 18:37:59
78.   Andrew Shimmin
So, James Taylor, Philip Roth, and Michael Gross? I think I could take them.

I learned today that I could take 23 five year olds. Though that seems low, to me.

2007-12-23 19:07:09
79.   overkill94
Before any of you guys start making fun of Freddy Sanchez for getting dominated by a whiffle ball pitcher, watch this video:
2007-12-23 19:09:54
80.   overkill94
78 Dang, apparently I can only take 19 5-year-olds. I think my lack of fighting experience hurt me on that one.
2007-12-23 19:18:24
81.   Andrew Shimmin
80- On the bright side, 19 is a more easily tested hypothesis. Stupid class size reduction, making it much harder for me to find out how many 5 year olds I could take in a fight.
2007-12-23 19:20:07
82.   Indiana Jon
78 I can take 25 five year olds. Must be my long arms. More importantly, I got a great laugh for the night. Doesn't take much to amuse me.
2007-12-23 19:31:40
83.   Vishal
82 they gave me a 30, 'cause i fight dirty.
2007-12-23 19:38:40
84.   Bluebleeder87
I'm worse then 81 & 82 I can only fight 17 5 year olds.
2007-12-23 20:06:04
85.   Gen3Blue
52 "All overpaid Team". Outrageous Reality.
And it is so satisfying because the Red Sox are paying the worthless Lugo and J.D.Drew amazing amounts while Baez gets multi millions for years. It manages to be absolutely hilarious without even including Pierre's contract. It actually makes the Dodgers front office look smart.
2007-12-23 20:41:20
86.   Xeifrank
Record and video stores, that's so 80s.
vr, Xei
2007-12-23 21:15:31
87.   neuroboy002
52 Decent list but still lots of problematic specifics with that article. For one, the Atlanta Braves should not be on the hook for Mike Hampton's contract. Secondly, Denny Neagle should be on there. Also of note is Bobby Bonilla who apparently will still be paid by the Mets until 2035 -
2007-12-23 21:16:46
88.   dzzrtRatt
86 Record stores, that's so 20s, 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and even 90s.

I managed to get through this entire Christmas buying season without even stepping into a Borders or Barnes & Noble. The only time I went to malls was to help my mother.

Viva Amazon!

2007-12-23 21:24:42
89.   tjshere
I learned 2 things tonight -

1) Be nice to people because I can only beat up 15 5 year olds.

2) Never play whiffle ball with college kids.

2007-12-23 21:49:08
90.   Strike4
89 Any of us could take an infinite number of five year olds as long as there's enough supply of sour worms to distract them. Don't agree to take over their Sunday School class without the worms. It took me a number of painful weeks to learn this lesson.
2007-12-23 22:00:52
91.   Xeifrank
88. Yes, thank goodness for Amazon dot com and free shipping. Our new LCD TV bought on Amazon dot com with free shipping arrived last week and was $150-$200 cheaper than what all the local electronic stores were selling it for. vr, Xei
2007-12-24 00:08:41
92.   Greg Brock
Wiffle Ball might be the greatest game ever invented.
2007-12-24 01:28:04
93.   Lee Corbett
christmas eve here in Australia.

Merry christmas to all the DT'ers, and thanks Jon for such a great site.

2007-12-24 02:08:38
94.   Suffering Bruin
92 Hear, hear.

A 44-year old man is rocking out to M.I.A's "Kala" at 2:06am PST. He is hours away from a marathon skateboarding session with four young kids who know how to skateboard which is more than can be said for him and he has to prepare a family meal.

Will someone slap him in the head, very hard?

Thank you. And Happy Holidays to the greatest group of commentators on the net.

2007-12-24 05:54:51
95.   Matt Conroy
Jon, there are plenty of good record stores out there that put big chains like Virgin and Tower to shame. Take your kids to Amoeba Records in Hollywood - fantastic store and you won't get ripped off.
2007-12-24 08:08:50
96.   Indiana Jon
92 I agree. I hadn't played in about 15 years until this summer when I joined a game with my neighbors kids. It's still a great game.
2007-12-24 09:13:19
97.   27indigo
95 Fair enough, but then you'd have to deal with the disapproving glares from their rather insufferable employees.
2007-12-24 09:15:19
98.   Penarol1916
97. It's those kinds of people that put me off music for a long time.
2007-12-24 09:53:47
99.   Andrew Shimmin
I never worked in a record store, but I like to keep alive the tradition of publicly disdaining people's rotten taste in music on an amateur basis. Nobody listening to music made by white people who weren't dead before the Civil War is safe.
2007-12-24 09:54:10
100.   Suffering Bruin
95 97 98 I hate those people. I hate them with the heat of a thousand suns. Last time I was being "helped" by the jazz jerk, I gave him a penny tip and told him that's what he was worth.

I'm not easily ticked off but those Amoeba guys are punks with a capital "p" and yes, it's a great record store.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-12-24 09:59:00
101.   Bob Timmermann
A taste of Oregon just arrived for me from UPS. A Harry & David gift box!

Although the box was shipped from Medford, OR, the label indicates that the fruit was grown in our beloved Tulare County.

2007-12-24 09:59:39
102.   Andrew Shimmin
100- I remember looking through your eMusic lists a while back--your taste seemed pretty clean to me. A little useless baby boomer nostalgia maybe, but mostly good.
2007-12-24 10:00:04
103.   Greg Brock
99 No special dispensation for the British invasion?

And what about Steve Winwood? Does he count as white? Blind Faith gets some sort of special white people exception.

2007-12-24 10:00:10
104.   Bob Timmermann
A friend of mine told me that it's better being a jazz fan than a classical music fan because jazz fans aren't as pretentious.


2007-12-24 10:12:36
105.   Andrew Shimmin
103- Yeah, Herman's Hermit's totally rock!
2007-12-24 10:12:53
106.   Andrew Shimmin
Hermits. Shoot.
2007-12-24 10:15:28
107.   Penarol1916
103. Why do you care what dispensations Shimmin has? Does Shimmin have some kind of special insight into music that makes you feel better if he were to agree with your opinion about white guys who play the blues?
2007-12-24 10:17:49
108.   Vishal
99 what about guys like stravinsky, shostakovich, rimksy-korsakov, prokofiev, rachmaninoff, et al.?

i guess i'm asking for a russian exception clause.

100 still thinking of an arcade fire rec for me? (55 )

2007-12-24 10:20:24
109.   Vishal
107 (we are humoring him. or else politely pointing out holes in his statement blanket)
2007-12-24 10:22:03
110.   Andrew Shimmin
The Russians kept making the same song over and over. It was a hundred years of Tchaikovsky cover bands.
2007-12-24 10:24:19
111.   Penarol1916
108. What holes? I don't see anything wrong with disliking Steve Winwood at all.
2007-12-24 10:26:24
112.   27indigo
101 H & D's distribution center, as you may have surmised, is here in Medford -- almost but not quite across the street from H & D Field. Which is a baseball stadium, not a fruit orchard.
2007-12-24 10:27:22
113.   Andrew Shimmin
111- Exactly. My taste is flawless!

My obedience to rule four is not flawless.

2007-12-24 10:28:05
114.   Bob Timmermann
My parents took the family to the Harry & David plant on a family vacation.

It's not very exciting when you're seven.

2007-12-24 10:29:35
115.   D4P
A taste of Oregon just arrived for me from UPS

Glad to see your taste has improved. Now we just need to work on Andrew.

2007-12-24 10:31:09
116.   regfairfield
Based on yesterdays experience, I can confirm that whiffle ball is less fun if you fail to hit a ball in front of you the whole game.
2007-12-24 10:31:23
117.   Penarol1916
114. Does it beat going the place where Sunsweet dehydrates their prunes, or the caves in the Ozarks where the Dairy Farmers of America keep their cheese in cold temperatures, or to a rice milling plant in Stockton, or going to Greece and spending pretty much all of your time touring olive farms? Oh wait, those were my family vacations.
2007-12-24 10:33:26
118.   Bob Timmermann
The first Oregon trip also involved a trip to a lumber mill and a cheese factory.

I did like the cheese factory.

Mmmm.... Cheese....

2007-12-24 10:35:25
119.   27indigo
114 I was there I think in 2006.

It's not exciting when you're twenty-seven, either.

2007-12-24 10:36:31
120.   Humma Kavula
102 I don't know if SB would agree, but in my opinion, the emusic experience has changed mightily in the last two years.

I joined in October 2005. I was immediately introduced to a lot of music that I didn't know was missing from my life. It was terrific.

Over the next year, just as I had picked over the most obvious choices, new labels like Drag City and New West joined up and I found bands that others had been longing for, gave 'em a shot, and was not surprised to dig. The rumors were that emusic would get even better -- indie giant Sub Pop was rumored to be joining.

But then, instead, Drag City and others disappeared. I'm now where I was a year ago, trying to find new music by giving unrecommended stuff a try. That's not bad at $0.25 per track -- if you don't like it, you're only out a quarter -- but it takes some more diligence. You have to seek out the stuff you think you'll like based on tenuous connections.

In recent weeks, customer service has taken a hit (a lot of reasons too obscure to go into). I haven't noticed it myself, because I'm two years into my membership, but service for new members -- if you believe the message boards -- has been poor. I'd ask SB -- knowing what you know today, would you recommend emusic to a new user, or would you advise them to wait until these problems are sorted out?

Of course, the problems might not get sorted out. The rumors are that the owners of the site want to sell the service... and if that's true, who knows what the new owners will do.

2007-12-24 10:42:23
121.   berkowit28
117 118 Roquefort caves in SW France are exciting. Also nice and cool in summer.
2007-12-24 10:42:29
122.   Andrew Shimmin
I join and de-join eMusic every once in a while when they send me the 50 free songs re-upping enticements. It's how I got the Hot Fives and Hot Sevens for something like ten dollars, instead of eighty. Same for the three disc set of The Soul Stirrers. But I don't keep the membership up since they don't have enough music that I'd like to make it worth paying every month.
2007-12-24 10:42:58
123.   Vishal
110 hah! that's a totally unfair statement. but very clever, though. :)
2007-12-24 10:48:29
124.   Humma Kavula
Via, here is an article from Baseball Digest Daily on our favorite left fielder:

In it, he implies* that Juan Pierre costs his team as many as 13 runs a year, compared to a "typical" team with the save BA, OBP, and SLG stats.

This might be as good a time as any to say peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

2007-12-24 10:49:04
125.   Humma Kavula
I meant to add my footnote:

*He notes it, but I don't think he actually thinks that Juan Pierre costs his team 13 runs per year.

2007-12-24 10:50:01
126.   Humma Kavula
Gah. Also, that should say...

"a 'typical' team with the same BA, OBP, and SLG stats."

2007-12-24 11:01:18
127.   herchyzer
97 . So they're all like Jack Black in the movie where John Cusack is the independent record store owner? Are they funny or just insufferable?
2007-12-24 11:08:17
128.   fanerman
124 Do you mean that... a team without Juan Pierre that had the same team BA/OBP/SLG stats as the Dodgers would score 13 more runs than the Dodgers? So the team doesn't have as bad an offensive player as Juan but has worse offensive players at other positions so the team average stays the same?
2007-12-24 11:10:34
129.   Humma Kavula
128 I don't know. The other thing he brings up is lineup function. We know that lineups aren't supposed to matter all that much, but the author goes out of his way to say that a typical team with the same BA/OBP/SLG as Juan's team scores 13 more runs per year than his actual teams did with him batting leadoff or second.
2007-12-24 11:12:35
130.   dzzrtRatt
122 the Hot Fives and Hot Sevens

As good as Mozart.

I've never had any problems with clerks in Amoeba. Even though I live in LA, I've visited the SF store just off Haight-Ashbury a few more times than the Hollywood store, and always enjoyed myself immensely, and never felt eyeballed.

Maybe I just have extraordinarily cool taste in music. (Which would be news to my son.)

2007-12-24 11:12:50
131.   Jimi Shelter
99. & 103.

And Bix Beiderbecke, Bill Evans, Benny Goodman, Bob Dylan, Levon Helm, Bill Monroe, Peter Green, Mose Allison....

2007-12-24 11:13:59
132.   Humma Kavula
122 / 130 You've inspired me to listen right now.
2007-12-24 11:40:07
133.   Penarol1916
Thank goodness I'm leaving at 2 so I don't have to stay for Music Thoughts, one of only two genres in off-topic tangents that I really dislike here.
2007-12-24 11:46:05
134.   Andrew Shimmin
131- Ellington, Mingus, Basie, Monk, Parker, Coltrane, Wilson Pickett. . . There are a few white people who weren't objectively bad--but they were all inferior. They didn't even steal well. 8^)
2007-12-24 11:56:40
135.   Jimi Shelter
Happy Holidays!
2007-12-24 12:17:08
136.   dzzrtRatt
134 Interesting how this discussion has left out women entirely.

Aretha's got more soul than anybody, granted. But:

Janis Joplin
Dusty Springfield
Tracy Nelson
Peggy Lee
Amy Winehouse
Bonnie Bramlett
Annie Lennox name a few, got soul. All born in the 20th century.

And, jeez, what about Van Morrison?

2007-12-24 12:18:05
137.   Andrew Shimmin
Take the Temptations--they were over produced and basically a boy band precursor (even after Smokey Robinson left, they were still playing around with sound effects and sleepy time music, wasting David Ruffin, who didn't need any help in that department). White people followed the format and gave the world New Kids on the Block. So, (I Know) I'm Losing You or Hanging Tough?

People pretend that taste is subjective, but sometimes it isn't.

2007-12-24 12:19:01
138.   Marty
Check out Great Big Radio. They are focusing on 1967 music:

2007-12-24 12:19:18
139.   D4P
You forgot to put Dido in there...
2007-12-24 12:22:54
140.   Andrew Shimmin
Dusty Springfield is interesting (she only had one good song, but it was really good). And the band was (I'm pretty sure) all white, too. The Swampers are hard to figure.

Peggy Lee and Annie Lennox make me think you're arguing against yourself. But still: give me Aretha, Tina Turner, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James, Big Mama Thornton, Billie Holiday, and Koko Taylor, and you can keep Janis Joplin.

2007-12-24 12:24:20
141.   Marty
Andrew, give Ruth Brown a listen.
2007-12-24 12:34:55
142.   Jimi Shelter
137. Wow. I love black music, and have multiple albums by all of the artists you've named, and close to complete sets of some. As a matter of fact, I am certain you would find lots to love in my collection.'re resting your case on a Temptations/New Kids comparison? Sheesh...that's pretty narrow field. It would be like me using a Johnny Mathis/Bobby Hatfield comparison to prove white people have more soul.

Anyway, I'm going to bow out of this. It's all a matter of taste, not pigmentation.

RIP Oscar Peterson....

2007-12-24 13:19:46
143.   Sammy Maudlin
Great white people who made music: Steve Howe from Yes, Bob Welch guitarist for early FleetWood Mac, Steve Garvey bass player For The Buzzcocks, and Canadian folk singer Andre Ethier.
2007-12-24 14:07:06
144.   Greg Brock
As long as we all agree that Joe Cocker isn't white, we cool.
2007-12-24 14:07:10
145.   alexx
Sickels' top 20 Dodger prospect list is up:
2007-12-24 14:09:14
146.   trainwreck
Still in really good shape with all the promotions we had.
2007-12-24 14:13:58
147.   alexx
Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised McDonald ranked so highly. I can't believe what a good farm system the Yankees have all of a sudden, though.
2007-12-24 14:15:20
148.   Eric Enders
Sickels' list contains the exact same top 13 players as the True Blue L.A. consensus list, with most guys being rated about the same. The exception is Scott Elbert, who we liked a lot better than Sickels does, probably because we keep more up-to-date on his health status than Sickels does. (Sickels acknowledges that Elbert would be ranked a lot higher if healthy.) We also rated DeJesus a little better than Sickels does; I agree with Sickels on that one.
2007-12-24 14:16:19
149.   Eric Enders
147 Yeah, the other thing I forgot to mention is that Sickels hasn't drunk the Baseball America Kool-Aid regarding McDonald, which is nice.
2007-12-24 14:27:36
150.   trainwreck
Nice to see Withrow with a decent grade already.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-12-24 14:29:29
151.   Andrew Shimmin
142- I was being overly inflammatory for effect, running afoul of at least a couple of rules. It's been awhile since anybody accused Hee Seop Ch-i lovers of thinking he was as good as Albert Pujols, so I was trying to recapture the magic.

Also, while I don't have a theory of why white people stopped being good at music, I don't assume there's a biological reason for it. I don't assume the reason that nearly every good writer is/was a man is biological either. For a long time, I thought that the baby boomers were an aberration; that as soon as we were rid of them, maybe white people would get better at music. But I'm not so sure, now. I think they may have permanently ruined music. It's sad, really. Maybe nanotechnology will fix it, though, so, fingers crossed.

And now I'm done. Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

2007-12-24 14:44:19
152.   dzzrtRatt
Dusty Springfield is interesting (she only had one good song, but it was really good).

The entire Dusty in Memphis album is great. You're right, a lot of her backup musicians were white, many of them the same guys who backed up Aretha, Otis and Wilson.

Peggy Lee and Annie Lennox are so cool, they can afford to look like albinos. I mean, come on, "Fever?" And as for Lennox, listen to "I've Tried Everything" from the Sopranos soundtrack. Or "Why," or "Would I Lie to You."

The reality of pop, blues, jazz, soul, country, rock and hip-hop is that they have represented a cultural hybrid from their beginnings. There is no pure black or white music. That's why the forms are so strong and have such global appeal. The influences play out in unexpected ways. Was Louis Armstrong a purely black artist? He grew up in New Orleans, the most culturally diverse city in America at the time. Duke Ellington? He was exposed to European classical music at an early age, and matured artistically in Harlem nightclubs from which blacks were excluded as patrons. Miles Davis learned from Charlie Parker but also from Debussy. And the biggest cultural crossroad figure of them all --Elvis Presley. He was no Pat Boone. He got inside those R&B tunes, mixed in a little of that Appalachian mountain lonesome and created a style that was heavily influenced by black singers who were in turn heavily influenced by him.

To be sure, there are white artists who seem to have less of a black influence than others -- the whole "indie rock" movement seems to be pretty much jazz, blues and soul-free -- but even Neil Young played in a band with Rick James, so you never know.

2007-12-24 15:56:55
153.   Marty
Well, I'm off to family for Christmas.

Happy Holidays to everyone.

2007-12-24 16:19:32
154.   Bluebleeder87

Be safe Marty & a happy & Merry Christmas to one & all.

2007-12-24 17:29:37
155.   Dodgers49

Holidays are special time for Loney

2007-12-24 17:47:08
156.   Dodgers49
Rockies owners ignored critics, stuck with homegrown plan

>> A turning point occurred during a meeting to decide the roster for the 2005 season. Longtime star Vinny Castilla had returned to the club in 2004 to drive in an NL-leading 131 runs. Sentiment abounded to re-sign him, but Atkins had been a standout in the Minors and needed his shot.

"I think the question was pointed at Clint, 'If we keep Vinny, then we've got to trade Garrett Atkins,'" Charlie Monfort said. "And he said, 'Well, I don't want him playing for another team.' So all of a sudden, Garrett Atkins is our third baseman." <<

## Such pitchers as Steve Trachsel, Esteban Loaiza, Matt Morris and Brett Tomko were available, if the Rockies were willing to give up their future. ##

%% "I go to these baseball meetings and it amazes me when you talk with some of the other people," Charlie Monfort said. "The decisions they make are because the media is going to kill them. You can't have the media making decisions for you." %%

2007-12-24 18:05:47
157.   overkill94
151 While I'll give you the sixties, I think the best music has mostly been written by white folk since then. Guys like Stevie Wonder seem to be more the exception to the rule than the norm.
2007-12-24 18:33:27
158.   Dodgers49
NL not ponying up for horse Santana

>> The absence of a serious NL option remains one of the ongoing mysteries in Minnesota's deliberate efforts to trade Johan Santana. The Twins surely would rather deal him to the Mets or Dodgers than to the Red Sox or Yankees —for that matter, anybody but the Red Sox or Yankees—but haven't been presented with a compelling offer. <<

2007-12-24 18:53:23
159.   dzzrtRatt
Merry Christmas, happy holidays, happy paid day off and happy pagan revelry to all my friends at Dodger Thoughts!
2007-12-24 19:36:37
160.   Da Dodge
Late on this thread but c'est la vie.

Re: Music and music stores: Today's kids care little about the context of the music to which they listen. Music removed from the stores, the album (yes, I said album) covers, the lyrics, the liner notes, the inside jokes and other crytpic comments, etc., takes so much away from the intent of the music. I invested hours devouring that context as a teenager. I wanted to understand what the hell Quadrophenia was about, not just listen to the symphony of Townshend et al.

But the digital age has killed off the learning and knowing of the context of the music. Ipods allow such ease of use and the internet provides those digital bullets that bring any music on demand right now. With such ease at our fingertips, what teenager is going to spend the time to understand context? They don't have the inclination to do it. They just want to hear it NOW, and move on to the next one NOW.

I fear this music issue is only a smaller metaphor for a cultural slide. It's how my students approach history. "Just give me what I need to know NOW so I can pass the exam and get an A."

I don't want my music only available digitally. It's so . . . pathetic!

2007-12-24 20:05:11
161.   Joe Pierre
Merry Christmas & Happy Holiday to everyone
2007-12-24 22:15:29
162.   deburns
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah (sp?), Kwanzaa, etc to DT all one all and all. Happy New Year and Happy Playoffs for LA.
But I have to say re Peggy Lee and "Fever", her white bread version has nothing on Little Willie Johns' version. Hers is a nice, pleasant romantic song; his is a pained, hurting plaint about a real fever.
Anyway, best to all. I'm really looking forward to a 2008 for my two avocations, politics (starting 1/3) and spring training. Anyone going to any of the LA/Bos games right before the season starts? I may come down to LA if there is a little get-together planned.
2007-12-24 22:23:32
163.   Suffering Bruin
Was there music talk earlier? Serves me right for not checking in more often.

On a sad musical note: Oscar Petersen passed away at 82. My wife and I brought a son into this world with the sounds of "Kind of Blue" and "Night Train." RIP, OP.

Merry Christmas, people.

2007-12-25 00:46:15
164.   Blaine
Merry Christmas to all of you DT people. I pray that you will all find true joy in this day. Blessings.

Blaine <

2007-12-25 01:44:13
165.   fanerman
Merry Christmas everybody!

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