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About Jon
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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
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12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with

Happy 2003!
2008-01-02 10:27
by Jon Weisman

Five years ago, I kicked off my return to Dodger Thoughts (after the birth of my daughter sidelined me) with a look at the projected Dodger lineup. Take a trip down memory lane:

1. L Dave Roberts, CF .718 OPS
----Solid, and did well enough against LHP to deserve full-time chance
2. R Paul Lo Duca, C .731 OPS
----Had a more demanding, less productive year than in 2001.
3. L Shawn Green, RF .944 OPS
----So streaky: Barry Bonds one day, Barry Williams the next
4. R Brian Jordan, LF .807 OPS
----His whole season was in September: 30 RBI, .967 OPS
5. L Fred McGriff, 1B .858 OPS
----Had .946 OPS, 28 HR vs. RHP; .620 OPS, 2 HR vs. LHP in 2002
6. R Adrian Beltre, 3B .729 OPS
----Most promising Dodger since Mondesi Ð can he avoid being bigger disappointment?
7. L Joe Thurston, 2B .967 OPS
----196 hits in minors last year, but will he get half that in majors this year?
8. S Alex Cora, SS .805 OPS
----Surprisingly useful at plate, but Dodgers may still go with Cesar Izturis (.556)

The best thing about this lineup is the mix of lefties and righties - it's a really good balance. I do think first base will be an improvement over last year, if the Dodgers platoon McGriff with Mike Kinkade (1.083 OPS, 1.219 OPS vs. LHP).

But Green is still the only hitter in this lineup that scares you, and he only scares you during his hot streaks. Similarly, Jordan and Beltre are each good for a couple of streaks of their own each year, but have been inconsistent. The other five players, even at their best, aren't going to kill you. There is room for improvement across-the-board - no one in this lineup exceeded their potential last year - but with the exception of Beltre and Green, it would be more likely that the players would see a dropoff. That's what's scary.

The biggest question mark is Thurston, who has only 15 career plate appearances. There's nothing to suggest he won't have some struggles - unless you think the Dodgers are due for some luck.

A few days later, I looked at the starting rotation:


Here are the projected starters:

Odalis Perez, LHP, 15-10, 3.00 ERA
----25 years old and outstanding last year; opponents had OPS of only .605
Hideo Nomo, RHP, 16-6, 3.39 ERA
----Fortunately, team eased off after he threw 254 pitches in two early Sept. starts
Kevin Brown, RHP, 3-4, 4.81 ERA
----Anyone's guess whether he has a good year left
Andy Ashby, RHP, 9-13, 3.91 ERA
----Was very good before All-Star Break in 2002, declined thereafter
Kazuhisa Ishii, LHP, 14-10, 4.27 ERA
----Wasn't even that good when he was good

The story with the rotation is simple. The Dodgers have depth in the sense they have six starting pitchers, including Darren Dreifort, but four of them had injury-plagued seasons in 2002 and the other two have had serious arm troubles in the past.

Dreifort is said to be 100 percent now, but of the six, he's best suited to work out of the bullpen, so I'm putting him there for now. But no doubt, even if he doesn't begin the season in the rotation, he will find himself there at some point, much as Omar Daal did last year.

I would say that each member of this rotation has the talent to win 12-15 games - and if they all do that, the Dodgers will contend. But this is definitely not a staff like an Oakland or Atlanta, where you can count on the good guys being good and the great guys being great. If Brown is done, and if Ashby is done, and if Ishii and Dreifort don't recover and improve, and if Nomo and Perez tail off ... look out.

You can see how things ended up here. Joe Thurston did not get 98 hits, but the pitching was sure a pleasant surprise, wasn't it?

Comments (184)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-01-02 10:39:41
1.   Bob Timmermann
But what about the bullpen? Who's going to be the closer for the 2003 Dodgers?
2008-01-02 10:42:31
2.   Eric Enders
Oh, man. We are totally not going to score any runs this year.

On the upside, we will have what is almost certainly the best bullpen in baseball history.

2008-01-02 10:43:04
3.   D4P
I'm guessing the offense outperforms the pitching.
2008-01-02 10:43:36
4.   Humma Kavula
1 I think Gagne did OK last year. He had 52 saves! Let's stick with Gagne!

But, um, let's keep him away from Paul Lo Duca.

2008-01-02 10:43:41
5.   Jon Weisman
I should have known I couldn't get away with leaving that out.

2008-01-02 10:44:14
6.   fanerman
In 2003 I had never heard of Dodger Thoughts.
2008-01-02 10:45:25
7.   MC Safety
I miss Ron Coomer.
2008-01-02 10:45:30
8.   Humma Kavula
6 And now, you have prime real estate: quoted on the sidebar.
2008-01-02 10:48:10
9.   D4P
I was gonna say "In 2003 I had never heard of TiVo"
2008-01-02 10:49:44
10.   Sagehen
Was that only 5 years ago? It seems like more than a decade ago, but I suppose multiple rebuildings would make it feel that way.

Except for the bullpen -- that bullpen I remember like it was yesterday.

Was that the best bullpen the Dodgers have ever had?

2008-01-02 11:00:38
11.   Eric Enders
10 It was the best bullpen in the history of the game by most objective measurements. So, yeah, it was probably also the best bullpen the Dodgers have had.
2008-01-02 11:03:58
12.   Eric Enders
Odalis Perez probably pines for the days when people were describing him as "25 years old and outstanding."
2008-01-02 11:08:42
13.   MC Safety
"25 and outstanding" sounds much better than "trash."
2008-01-02 11:10:41
14.   Daniel Zappala
In the previous thread, 184 was perhaps Andrew's first rant that I completely agreed with. Perhaps 2008 will bring about a brave new world.
2008-01-02 11:12:12
15.   Yankee Fan In Boston
7 we all miss ron coomer.
2008-01-02 11:13:39
16.   Bob Timmermann
If you agree with it, it's not a rant! Then it's speaking truth to power or something like that.
2008-01-02 11:15:31
17.   Daniel Zappala
On the other hand, Mike Kinkade did indeed destroy left-handed pitchers.
2008-01-02 11:16:35
18.   Daniel Zappala
16 I just wanna know if we have enough for a cabal now.
2008-01-02 11:17:25
19.   wronghanded
Yuck! In looking at that roster, only one word comes to mind for '03 Dodger fans--- loyalty. I don't know how I convinced myself that this team had a shot (unfortunately I did, much like every year since '88). Damn you blind allegiance!
2008-01-02 11:17:45
20.   Jacob L
Boy, the "what went wrong" analysis here is pretty easy. McGriff got hurt. Green got hurt, and didn't tell anybody. Everybody else stunk the joint up. If given the choice between playing ca. 2003 Thurston, and ca. 2003 Iztuis, I'm honestly not sure which I'd choose.
2008-01-02 11:20:18
21.   Marty
All that team needed was Juan Pierre.
2008-01-02 11:20:46
22.   LAT
Whatever we do, don't trade that Edwin Jackson kid. He is going to be huge.
2008-01-02 11:22:15
23.   regfairfield
20 At least Izturis could catch.
2008-01-02 11:23:42
24.   Penarol1916
14. How could you agree with a rant that claims to embrace regionalism and then claim that the lack of a game between a team from Indiana and one from LA would be unexeptable?
2008-01-02 11:24:53
25.   Daniel Zappala
Jolbert Cabrera should have gotten way more playing time.
2008-01-02 11:25:34
26.   Daniel Zappala
24 I'm grading on a curve today.
2008-01-02 11:27:38
27.   Eric Enders
I really enjoyed watching this team play, much as one might enjoy owning a three-legged dog. Cora and Izturis were so much fun to watch in the field, and yet so abominably awful at the plate.

In my opinion this team had both the best Dodger pitching staff of all time, and the best Dodger defense of all time (by a country mile). The fact that they still managed to not win anything tells you a lot about how bad the hitting was.

2008-01-02 11:27:47
28.   LAT
156 From the last thread. Thanks paranoidandroid. Very helpful stuff. Especially the gelato tin advice. Rome may be one of the most beautiful cities in the world but what's the point without fresh gelato.
2008-01-02 11:28:15
29.   silverwidow
Look out for that 18-year-old Greg Miller kid; he might be dominant at season's end.
2008-01-02 11:30:43
30.   Andrew Shimmin
24- Notre Dame doesn't count. Notre Dame has to play BC, too, and Navy. They should have their own Bowl game, too, just so they don't pollute anybody else's. This year, the Notre Dame Bowl should have been the home team vs. Army, in hopes of a service Academy sweep. I would have watched!
2008-01-02 11:31:16
31.   Eric Enders
Speaking of the best Dodger defense of all time, might 2008 become a candidate? There will be Gold Glove caliber defenders at first base, shortstop, center field, and catcher; a center fielder playing left field; presumably above average defenders in LaRoche and Kemp; and a butcher at second base who will get filled in for by the above-average Abreu.
2008-01-02 11:37:29
32.   LAT
Is Furcal really a Gold Glove caliber defender? I think of him as slightly above average but not elite. My sense is he makes a fair amount of brilliant plays but also gaffs many easy ones. Seems like he sometimes has trowing problems too. But this is just my impression no research or stats. I like as a SS who can hit and even has some power.
2008-01-02 11:38:50
33.   Eric Enders
This year's Ogden Raptors are going to be awesome! Third baseman Russell Martin, second baseman Andy LaRoche, and shortstop Chin-Lung Hu all appear to have potential. Plus this Billingsley kid on the mound.
2008-01-02 11:43:38
34.   Eric Enders
Win Shares rated Furcal as the second-best defensive shortstop in baseball in 2007 (behind Tulowitzki), and the fifth-best defensive player at any position in the National League. In 2006, Win Shares rated him the fifth-best SS in baseball and second-best in the NL.
2008-01-02 11:45:44
35.   Daniel Zappala
I'm going to have to move to Utah a year early so I can see some Raptors games.
2008-01-02 11:47:06
36.   D4P
I'm going to have to move to Utah a year early so I can see some Raptors games

Moving with 9 kids must be a hassle.

2008-01-02 11:53:16
37.   Penarol1916
30. Nope, regionalism is what is best of for the game. Just like how USC should never have played Alabama in the 60's and destroyed them in order to usher in integration for the SEC.
No team should ever be allowed to cross the Rockies, the Mississippi River or the Mason-Dixon Line (East of the Mississippi), in either direction.
2008-01-02 11:53:52
38.   fanerman
Third baseman Russell Martin

That just sounds so odd.

2008-01-02 11:55:05
39.   Who Is Karim Garcia
I still say they should have played Kinkade more.
2008-01-02 12:02:44
40.   GoBears
10 I had the same impression. I can't believe that as only 5 years ago. Dreifort?

Happy New Year, everyone. I did not expect to be this satisfied with the off-season at this point. No news is good news when it comes to Trader Ned.

Stay the course. 1000 points of light. Wouldn't be prudent at this juncture.

2008-01-02 12:02:46
41.   Ken Noe
Obviously Charles Tiffany and Cory Vanallen are future major leaguers, but keep your eyes on this Matt Kemp kid we drafted out of Oklahoma. I once saw him heave a trash can from third to first. With his shirttail out.
2008-01-02 12:03:22
42.   GoBears
er, "that WAS only 5 years ago."
2008-01-02 12:04:58
43.   Andrew Shimmin
I thought I'd been fiendishly clever in disguising the "travel back in time and undermine the Civil Rights Movement" part of my college football plan. And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it weren't for that lousy Penarol!
2008-01-02 12:09:51
44.   Daniel Zappala
36 We just load up two SUVs, pull an RV, and camp at Walmarts along the way.
2008-01-02 12:13:57
45.   D4P
If you get tired of Walmart, you might want to check out "Henrickson's Home Plus" in the Sandy area.
2008-01-02 12:14:57
46.   gpellamjr
But salvation was to come, in the person of Robin Ventura!
2008-01-02 12:15:43
47.   eekrock
32 - i agree a bit. as much as i love Raffy (I mean come'on, he said playing in the World Series was "the best", which should most likely be pronounced "the bayst"), I think he puts a little extra powder in the cannon from time to time.

and in response to, I believe it was Marty's comment made last Friday, There Will Be Blood did not happen at the ArcLight. When the wyf wants to see National Treasure 2 on the local screen...well, you know the rest. It was purty good for a popcorn movie.

2008-01-02 12:18:48
48.   MC Safety
41 I heard he got thrown out because he was smiling while he was running the bases too.
2008-01-02 12:22:17
49.   Eric Enders
Man, I hate the Giants. I think I'd stop being a Dodger fan if we ever acquired Jeff Kent or Barry Bonds.
2008-01-02 12:23:36
50.   Penarol1916
43. Oh please, you just really wanted to make sure that the SEC was relegated to a second rate status by the 70's and would the slow plodding conference of the the '90's. Your anti-SEC bias rings loud and clear.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-01-02 12:24:35
51.   eekrock
49 don't even jinx us with that Barry name.

Even though there are countless rational reasons not to bring Barry in (and countless more irrational ones), there's always a little SF devil on Ned's shoulder, I think.

2008-01-02 12:26:41
52.   wronghanded
34 Really??? Furcal was rated better than Rollins? That seems odd as they are both speedy but Rollins had a much better Fielding %.
2008-01-02 12:33:32
53.   Andrew Shimmin
50- I hate the ACC more, if it's any consolation.
2008-01-02 12:42:45
54.   Eric Enders
52 Just based on watching them, Furcal appears to me to be significantly faster than Rollins. Rollins is somewhat fast, but steals a lot of bases more through cleverness than sheer speed.

Anyway, fielding percentage means bupkus. Shortstops who make a large number of errors tend to be the most underrated defensive players, because people relying on eyewitness observation tend to remember the screwups on the easy plays but forget all the balls the guy reaches that other shortstops don't. Furcal is basically the poster boy for this. Think of all the plays where he makes a spectacular stop and then throws it away, allowing the batter to go to second. Furcal gets an error where other shortstops wouldn't, because they'd never have reached the ball in the first place.

2008-01-02 12:51:11
55.   regfairfield
I remember that when we got Furcal, Jon pointed out that he had almost the same +/- as Izturis and they were the second and third best shortstops in the league at the time. Furcal wasn't notable defensively this year according to +/-, but is still at +36 since 2005 so he was one of the best shortstops in baseball in 2005 and 2006.
2008-01-02 12:53:56
56.   larry slimfast
51 i have to say i'd prefer to see barry for 3 PA's a night in left field and on the bench for day games over any of our current left field options.
2008-01-02 12:55:16
57.   Penarol1916
53. Oh good, I can add hatred of the ACC along with the defense of pleated pants to the things we have in common. As a Big East person, there is nothing lower than the ACC to me.
2008-01-02 13:07:16
58.   D4P
Hey wait a second: I'm in the ACC...!
2008-01-02 13:07:45
59.   Eric Enders
I am an equal opportunity hater with nothing but disdain for the SEC, ACC, Big East, and Big Ten, as all of them get far more TV time than their quality of play indicates they should. I really don't need to watch Wake Forest or Vanderbilt games on national TV all season long.
2008-01-02 13:10:51
60.   larry slimfast
vanderbilt is, after all, 'the harvard of the south'
2008-01-02 13:14:27
61.   Eric Enders
If I'm going to root for a school named after a crooked nineteenth-century industrialist, it's going to be Stanford.
2008-01-02 13:20:25
62.   Lexinthedena
2003 was the culmination of a decade of expecting the Dodgers to hit into double plays with runners on and less than two out...2003 was the caricature....

The bullpen was unbelievable...what an agonizing year...I remember my girlfriend at the time convincing herself that the only explanation for Shawn Green's dropoff was that he had an illness and was going to die soon.....

2008-01-02 13:23:02
63.   Bob Timmermann
The Dodgers are very bad at hitting into double plays with two outs.
2008-01-02 13:30:16
64.   Jason in Canada
I can't wait to see Fred McGriff hit that 500th homer in Dodger blue! Woo Hoo!!
2008-01-02 13:32:47
65.   Penarol1916
59. Is it really those conferences' fault that the Pac-10 was stupid enough to have their television deal with FoxSportsNet?
2008-01-02 13:37:06
66.   Eric Enders
62 My brother still reminds me about how during that season I had half-convinced myself that Shawn Green had the rapidly degenerating physique characterized by Lou Gehrig's disease.
2008-01-02 13:37:36
67.   Eric Enders
characteristic of, rather.
2008-01-02 13:38:21
68.   old dodger fan
How can you hate "Mr Jefferson's University" or UVA to all you West Coasters.
2008-01-02 13:39:06
69.   FirstMohican
63 - I thought they were league average at it.
2008-01-02 13:43:03
70.   Bob Timmermann
ESPN is showing quite a few Pac-10 basketball games this year.

The conference tournament will be on Fox Sports with the final on CBS, I believe. But not many people get excited about the Pac-10 Tournament.

And I go to it every year.

2008-01-02 13:43:41
71.   Daniel Zappala
59 By process of elimination, you're OK with the MWC and their putrid TV contract that has kept them on a Comcast station that no one gets.

61 crooked nineteenth-century industrialist

Whaa? That's not what they told us at Stanford. All I remember is Leland Stanford Junior dying of typhoid fever in Florence before he turned 16. The university was named after him, not his dad. His dad built railroads that connected this great country, and was just a simple man mourning the loss of his son. He did what any of us would do in that situation -- create a university.

2008-01-02 13:44:39
72.   El Lay Dave
Does anybody know anything about that Shane Victorino kid that was lost in the Rule 5 draft?

Reacquiring Todd Hundley and signing Daryle Ward sure gives us some nice bench sticks!

2008-01-02 13:45:26
73.   Eric Enders
Who was Leland Stanford Jr. named after, though?
2008-01-02 13:46:05
74.   Penarol1916
70. Are you sure that Eric was talking basketball and not football?
2008-01-02 13:47:00
75.   Bob Timmermann
I miss the days when the railroads owned the California Legislature. That's when things got done in this state!

Like building railroads.

2008-01-02 13:47:26
76.   Eric Enders
To the extent that I care about football, I hate those conferences in that too. Particularly the SEC. But it can usually be safely assumed that I'm talking about basketball.
2008-01-02 13:48:33
77.   Bob Timmermann
I thought it was basketball since I don't think any Vanderbilt football games were shown on ESPN this year. I don't recall CBS showing any either.

Who would watch a Vandy football game except Buster Olney?

But Vandy basketball is fun to watch because of the funky arena.

2008-01-02 13:50:37
78.   Penarol1916
76. Oh then, you've completely lost me. I've seen far too much Big 12 basketball in my life to ever want to watch any game not involving Texas or kansas ever again.
2008-01-02 13:52:12
79.   Andrew Shimmin
68- If you don't want your entire conference hated, better not let Miami and Florida State be in it. For me, it's all guilt by association.
2008-01-02 13:54:39
80.   Penarol1916
79. For me it's BC and the Virginia schools, plus the Tobacco Road basketball thing and stealing teams from the Big East. Of course, now I'm just hoping that when the basketball and football schools split, that the basketball schools get to keep the name and Madison Square Garden for the tournament.
2008-01-02 14:01:56
81.   old dodger fan
79 For decades the ACC was a BB conference with an occasionally good FB team (usually GA Tech or Clemson). Then they added FSU and the ACC became "FSU and the 7 Dwarfs" as FSU dominated the conference in FB.

Recently the ACC added Miami, VA Tech and BC which upgraded the FB program but to old ACCers (of which I am not one) it is still a BB conference.

I like UVA and VA Tech because I live in VA although I did not attend either university. I like PAC - 10 schools because I grew up just outside LA.

I dislike FSU football and UNC BB but I reserve my hate for the Yankees.

ACCer's always believe that the ACC has the best BB in the country and always have an excuse when ACC teams get hammered in the 2nd and 3 rounds of the NCAA tournament. It is a way of life here.

2008-01-02 14:02:31
82.   Daniel Zappala
73 My attempt at humor failed.
2008-01-02 14:05:07
83.   Eric Enders
82 If it makes you feel any better, about ten seconds after I posted that, I said to myself, oh, wait, he's joking.

Speaking of hoping people are joking, Jamaal Charles' bid for the 2008 Heisman Trophy has been cut short by him declaring for the NFL draft.

2008-01-02 14:05:19
84.   Daniel Zappala
75 Railroads are the lifeblood of the economy! Ask anyone who has played TransAmerica. Or Ticket to Ride. Or 1829. Or Empire Builder.
2008-01-02 14:06:59
85.   Daniel Zappala
83 This is what life is like at my house. Dozens of kids pausing, waiting 10 seconds, then saying, "you're joking dad, right?"
2008-01-02 14:09:51
86.   D4P
I have at least seven living or dead relatives who work/worked for the railroad.
2008-01-02 14:12:53
87.   Jon Weisman
86 - All the live-long day?
2008-01-02 14:13:23
88.   eekrock
56 most of me hopes barry would have the dignity of an SF player to retire before playing for the Doyars, but expecting anything from that guy is dressing up for the let down. Also, I'd much rather have Kemp or Ethier in LF. Even if it was 2003...

barry in Dodger Blue & White makes me want to throw up. I'd have serious problems watching the Dodgers, I think, and may even have to cancel the family/friend holiday we celebrate yearly on Opening Day (home).

2008-01-02 14:14:35
89.   Eric Enders
You people in other states always get the lyrics to that song wrong.
2008-01-02 14:17:21
90.   Jacob L
75 I'm going to assume that, as a librarian, you were required to read Kevin Starr's book.
2008-01-02 14:17:27
91.   D4P
All the live-long day?

Either that, or they're out makin' love to Dinah.

2008-01-02 14:17:29
92.   fanerman
89 Is that sung to the tune of the railroad song?
2008-01-02 14:19:18
93.   Daniel Zappala
91 I hope there is more than one Dinah.
2008-01-02 14:19:27
94.   Bob Timmermann
I just read Kevin Starr's books on my own. But not all of them.

I also took a class at UCLA on the history of California and a seminar on the history of Los Angeles.

2008-01-02 14:19:43
95.   Penarol1916
89. I used to spend my Saturdays at a Texas-Ex's bar on the Northside of Chicago in the early part of this decade and learned that version of the song well. The most fun I ever had there was watching them watch the Texas-Oklahoma game of 2001.
2008-01-02 14:21:44
96.   Eric Enders
92 yep.
2008-01-02 14:23:17
97.   fanerman
96 The intimidation factor of the tune does not match the intimidation factor of the lyrics.
2008-01-02 14:25:37
98.   eekrock
89 As a big fan of chanting at sporting events (nothing better than English chanting/singing at a footie match!), I can respect the fact that you can get a crowd to do that in America. Too bad not much other than UCLA Basketball stirs interest in me, collegiate-wise.
2008-01-02 14:25:57
99.   Dodgers49
Worst risk for the buck (hitter division)

2) I know it's softened some by the fact that the contract is for only two years -- softened, hell, this signing is absolutely saved by that fact -- but I still wonder about the Dodgers' wisdom of giving Andruw Jones $18.1 million a year. Don't be surprised if his numbers are worse next year, in spacious Dodger Stadium, than they were in Atlanta in '07.

2008-01-02 14:26:30
100.   Humma Kavula
84 Or Railroad Tycoon, if you have a really, really big table.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-01-02 14:29:47
101.   fanerman
99 Because Dodger Stadium is more spacious than Turner Field.
2008-01-02 14:30:30
102.   eekrock
100 don't they make a version of that for the com-pooter these days? also, anyone played that?

i enjoy a casual sim-building game from time to time.

2008-01-02 14:32:48
103.   Chuck Churn
Re #71: I am a Stanford alum, Class of 72'. When the "Indian" mascot was eliminated, we tried to change the team name to either "Thunder Chickens" or "Robber Barons" but the alumni association wouldn't go along with the idea. Too bad. Now they are saddled with the meaningless "Cardinal."
2008-01-02 14:34:20
104.   Humma Kavula
Let me see if I have this straight.

Some dude works on the railroad, presumably to make money to have a nice home with a nice kitchen for his wife, Dinah. And all the live-long day, the captain's shouting, and he just wants to hear his wife, Dinah, blow her horn, because then he knows it's time to come home.

So he comes home, and what does he find there? Someone he knows, in the kitchen with her -- "strummin' her banjo," if you know what I mean.

Right there in the kitchen! Where they eat! After he's been working all the live-long day to provide said kitchen and the food in it!

That song is very, very sad.

Maybe Dinah can make up for it by providing some fried chicken.

2008-01-02 14:35:04
105.   regfairfield
99 So, how many more years until people figure out that Dodger Stadium is a slight hitters park?
2008-01-02 14:35:46
106.   Humma Kavula
102 Indeed, the board game is based on the computer game. I have not played the computer game. I have played a lot of board games, and I can say, in my opinion, the Railroad Tycoon board game is very, very good.

It also requires an extraordinarily large table.

2008-01-02 14:36:08
107.   Jacob L
94 Lucky for you. As State Librarian, Starr has sweeping powers to coerce loyalty.
2008-01-02 14:37:06
108.   Lexinthedena
105- I always thought it was a hitter's park by day, pitchers park by night...?
2008-01-02 14:39:23
109.   Bob Timmermann
The State Librarian for California is Susan Hildreth.

Starr is State Librarian Emeritus. I believe he was given some bowties as a parting gift.

2008-01-02 14:40:26
110.   regfairfield
108 Nope, park factor of 104 the last three years. Unless it's a better hitters park than Coors Field in the day, it's a hitter's park all the time.
2008-01-02 14:40:30
111.   Jason in Canada
In 2003 David Ortiz made $1,250,000. A bit less than Daryle Ward at $1,350,000.

One of these two has improved a great deal.

2008-01-02 14:40:37
112.   Jon Weisman
108 - Just like "Angel" - which was filmed at my high school!

High School Honor Student by Day. Hollywood Hooker by Night.

2008-01-02 14:44:19
113.   Hythloday
104 According to the song it is the backdoor man that eats more chicken than any man every seen. I believe Dinah's husband's dinner would be pork and beans.
2008-01-02 14:46:19
114.   Daniel Zappala
It also requires an extraordinarily large table.

We've got that.

2008-01-02 14:49:58
115.   Marty
Apropos of nothing, I just heard a story from a friend about his in-law who got knocked out when a portable stripper's pole fell over and hit her on the head. When she woke up she had forgotten the last 20 years of her life.
2008-01-02 14:51:18
116.   Penarol1916
115. Did she wonder why she was in the vicinity of a stripper's pole?
2008-01-02 14:52:31
117.   Daniel Zappala
115 Is her name Samantha?
2008-01-02 14:52:39
118.   Marty
it was a portable one her daughter was using in the garage for exercise. Apparently, using a stripper's pole for a workout is quite popular now.
2008-01-02 14:52:51
119.   Joe Pierre
Looking back at 2003, I am so happy I never buy shirts or jerseys with players names on the back.
2008-01-02 14:54:14
120.   Eric Enders
Is there really any difference between a stripper's pole and a fireman's pole?
2008-01-02 14:54:59
121.   Marty
120 The stories the pole can tell.
2008-01-02 15:00:04
122.   paranoidandroid
119 I have a Shawn Green jersey and a Gagne jersey from that era. Since then, I have a Russell Martin tee shirt and some batting practices jerseys.
2008-01-02 15:02:10
123.   Bob Timmermann
So can she not make new memories? Does she have to write a lot of notes to herself and tattoo facts about herself on to her person? Does she stay at a cheap motel where the front desk guy rents her multiple rooms because she can't remember which one she rented to begin with?
2008-01-02 15:02:57
124.   Jon Weisman
If you look at Variety's Season Pass blog, my latest posting has a link to a different sort of pole mishap.

2008-01-02 15:07:42
125.   Marty
123 Yes, and she's distrustful of Joe Pantoliano for some reason.
2008-01-02 15:07:45
126.   paranoidandroid
The wife and I walked through Patpong in Bangkok one night. We strolled into a safe place for a show (Fydor's recommended) and a banana was shot just past my wife's head from the lady's "you know" and it hit the wall and landed on the bench next to her. Another performer came and picked it up with a smile (they always smile in Thailand). We left a big tip on the table and got out of there with a good story to tell. I am glad there were no injuries to report.
2008-01-02 15:07:58
127.   Eric Enders
Bob is not allowed to watch Guy Pearce movies anymore.
2008-01-02 15:09:47
128.   paranoidandroid
123 125 If either of you are incapable of making new memories, will you scorch the earth to find the criminal Juan P?
2008-01-02 15:10:13
129.   Bob Timmermann
My tattoo says that I've seen "Memento" 10 times.

And that an Eric E. killed my family.

2008-01-02 15:12:47
130.   Jon Weisman
129 - Inigo Montoya has been exonerated!
2008-01-02 15:13:00
131.   D4P
2008 marks the 20th anniversary of the Dodgers' magical 1988 season.

Anyone got a stripper pole handy...?

2008-01-02 15:14:09
132.   paranoidandroid
Regarding Jon's post, if Ned had been in charge of that team, he'd have added some crafty veterans to help out. Guys like Robin Ventura and Rickie Henderson.

Was 2003 the year that Tracy didn't use Gagne in the 8th inning in the Arizona series in September, or so the claim was that Gagne wasn't used enough?

2008-01-02 15:16:12
133.   Bob Timmermann
September 10, 2003 - L.A. at Arizona.

Mr. Finley meet Mr. Quantrill.

2008-01-02 15:16:40
134.   paranoidandroid
131 Stripper pole? Mike Davis has his from 1988 if you want to borrow it. He used it in his 287 at-bats.
2008-01-02 15:19:29
135.   paranoidandroid
133 I think Paul Shuey's buddy Tom Martin got the rally started and wasn't around to use against Finley.

Did you see the heart of the AZ line-up from that day? Gonzo, Mondesi, and Shea.

Webb versus Ishii were the starting pitchers.

2008-01-02 15:20:22
136.   Eric Enders
It's not my fault that Erik Estrada killed your family. That TV will rot your brain.
2008-01-02 15:20:56
137.   Bob Timmermann
The Griddle hit a yearlong record for hits yesterday.
2008-01-02 15:23:03
138.   D4P
The Grittle's a veritable Juan Pierre.
2008-01-02 15:41:31
139.   Eric Enders
It's off base an awful lot?
2008-01-02 16:02:05
140.   paranoidandroid

I'll be at Clips game tonight, heading out soon. If you're going, give me a call. I'm in sec 111, row 10, seats 3-4.

2008-01-02 16:06:28
141.   Andrew Shimmin
New evidence in the beauty queen kidnapper case. The question is: does this make her more or less likely to be the next Mrs. Greg Brock?

2008-01-02 16:14:23
142.   dzzrtRatt
Sadly, Juan Pierre would've improved the 2003 Dodger attack. I remember drooling over Shea Hillenbrand and Phil Nevin. Luis Gonzalez came from a superior race of beings. Barry Bonds was a nightmare in human form. The pitching was so incredible, it was almost a crime to not be able to give them a night off.
2008-01-02 16:34:00
143.   Jon Weisman
From AP:

Joe Torre won't pick sides between Roger Clemens and Brian McNamee, the former New York Yankees strength coach who accused the Rocket of using performance-enhancing drugs.

"You're not going to get me in that jackpot," the former Yankees manager said Wednesday. "I'd rather just stay away from making any in-depth comment about the whole steroid-HGH thing."

2008-01-02 16:37:27
144.   Bluebleeder87
Kazuhisa Ishii, LHP, 14-10, 4.27 ERA
----Wasn't even that good when he was good

Nailed it.

2008-01-02 16:41:04
145.   eekrock
119 I understand that sentiment, but it's hard to think of something that would make me regret getting a Martin jersey.

Just like I felt about Paul Lo...oh.

Go Dodgers!

2008-01-02 16:53:11
146.   Bob Timmermann
On the eve of the Iowa Caucuses, I got a phone call today from Rick Neuheisel.

I guess I was in the shower at the time. Rick and I had a lot of catching up to do.

2008-01-02 16:53:35
147.   Bluebleeder87

reading that reminded me of that horrible botched play Furcal made during crunch time in SF this past season (I think he made a HORRIBLE error for what should have been a double play) I know Jon remembers it cause he's mentioned it once before, it was just bad.

2008-01-02 16:56:15
148.   fanerman
147 I think I was at that game. With underdog, Icaros, and Louis in SF.
2008-01-02 16:57:41
149.   Jon Weisman
147 - I think it changed the season as much as any play all year.
2008-01-02 16:58:36
150.   Jacob L
131 2008 is also the 10th anniversary of the somewhat less memorable 1998 season. In fact, I can't remember a single thing about the 1998 season.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-01-02 17:06:54
151.   gpellamjr
150 I think there was a trade...
2008-01-02 17:11:57
152.   Bob Timmermann
You mean the Manuel Barrios trade?
2008-01-02 17:15:46
153.   KevinP78
I'm playing catch up over here... Just started reading (and laughing with, mind you) these comments. Some good stuff in here. Great post, too. I can't believe that I actually woke up on Sunday mornings (let alone drove out to the Ravine) believing that we actually had a shot at our division, our league, and, wait for it, - a ring!
2008-01-02 17:20:51
154.   Jon Weisman
Updated "2007 Film Honors To Date" at Screen Jam.
2008-01-02 17:25:50
155.   Jacob L
151 Yeah, now that you mention it, there were a couple. Which made me remember something else about 1998. Only triple play I've seen in person.
2008-01-02 17:39:12
156.   silverwidow
Everyone should check out Gurnick's new mailbag: He gives the most idiotic answer regarding 3rd base (i.e. Spring Training performance is the END ALL, BE ALL).

This guy is a complete dunce.

2008-01-02 17:57:04
157.   Andrew Shimmin
I still have trouble accepting that Gary Bennett is on the roster. Rooting for the D'backs instead of the Dodgers this year may turn out to be easier than I ever imagined. C'mon Flanders, go get Kyle Lohse; I double-dog dare you.
2008-01-02 18:36:21
158.   Lexinthedena
157- The D'Back fans who inhabit the ESPN message boards are such a smug and unlikeable group that I now associate all of their fans as such.....stay on board with the classy blue uniforms and even classier stadium...
2008-01-02 19:15:25
159.   LAT
I can't believe Jon's video in 124 didn't garner any comments. Its the roughest thing I've seen in a while. Just watching makes you want to ice the twig and berries.
2008-01-02 19:32:18
160.   das411
Last year I was at the new Target that opened near my grandparents' house in FLA, and my suitcase with all of my comp games was still stuck on another flight somewhere between there and Charlotte, so I went to look at the cheapie comp games. Railroad Tycoon III was in the cheapie $9.99 shelf, and once you get the hang of it, the computer version is ridiculously addictive, and apparently far more detailed and realistic than the new "Sid Meier's Railroads" that is ostensibly the next in that series.

151 - Would that be the trade when the Padres picked up an ace with a World Series ring for some young 1B prospect named Derrek Lee?

2008-01-02 19:41:45
161.   eekrock
160 sounds like Civ2, that's how I got hooked. Then Sim City 2. Now it's uber-complex, or else i just haven't spent enough time with either of those...
2008-01-02 19:48:15
162.   Andrew Shimmin
158- I'm only pretending to take this well. Truly, my heart is heavy. But I will not be a party to the affront to Ch-i, Man, and Baseball that I suspect the Colletti regime is plotting. I have one perfectly reasonable, considered, and obvious condition for continuing my fandom. If it cannot be met, c'est la guerre.
2008-01-02 20:13:30
163.   Jason in Canada
143 Has anyone else heard the interviews with C.J. Nitkowski the former teammate to Clemens and Pettite. He too was a client of McNamee and vouches for the guy. Apparently he was talked out of trying P.E.D's by McNamee.

Who knows if we'll ever get a shred of truth about all this stuff. I'm not counting on it.

It's a good thing we have character guys like LoDuca on the team for 2003. We don't have to worry about stuff like that in L.A.

2008-01-02 20:56:15
164.   Who Is Karim Garcia
I think that Paul LoDuca is developing into the heart and soul of this team.
2008-01-02 21:06:30
165.   Kevin Lewis
My wife and I arrived tonight at LAX to find that Northwest Air lost our luggage on the return as well. It just gets better and better.
2008-01-02 21:47:46
166.   LAT
Maybe one of you can help. I am trying to figure out what day is 2008 Fan Appreciation Day. The last home game is Thursday, Sept. 25 v. Pods. The last Sunday home game is September 21 v. Giants.

I assume its the Sunday game but does anyone recall whether Fan Appreciation is always the last home game of the year or last home Sunday of the year? Thanks

2008-01-02 21:54:48
167.   Daniel Zappala
165 You deserve one free flight a year for the rest of your life.
2008-01-02 23:01:34
168.   underdog
Well I spent part of NYE and much of my birthday (new year's day) playing with my g/f's new Wii game and getting carpal tunnel system. Great fun that, though their sports games could use some work. The bowling is fun but the baseball game looks like preschool, with Weeble-like players. (Though it's fun to pitch.) Oh man, when we get the Simpsons game, I may not log on here for quite some time.

I picked my best films of the year over on my blog and on GC and have Mr Magorium's Wonder Emporium at #1. (But seriously folks.)

Ahhh, Joltin' Joe Thurston, he's gonna go places. Places, not necessarily major league baseball places, but places nonetheless.

Happy New Year everyone!

2008-01-02 23:02:49
169.   underdog
carpal tunnel syndrome, I meant.

and no need to sing me Happy Birthday - you'd just have to pay the licensee for the privilege.

162 All this because of the backup catcher?

2008-01-02 23:10:03
170.   trainwreck
Happy belated birthday, underdog.
2008-01-03 02:30:42
171.   Sagehen
Buried in the newswire section of this morning's L.A. Times: "The Dodgers have sold utility infielder Wilson Valdez to a team in Korea." I assume this means the Dodgers have finally committed to Abreu as the utility middle infielder with Hu the injury replacement sitting in the minors.
2008-01-03 06:07:44
172.   Sushirabbit
Am I going to start asking alot of rhetorical questions? Well that's a good question isn't it? I mean what would I do if someone started a blog out to get me? Can you tell me that?
2008-01-03 07:18:30
173.   Andrew Shimmin
162 All this because of the backup catcher?

No, no, no. The backup catcher is just an aggravating circumstance. It's all about the tiny-headed elephant in the room, and whether he gets playing time at a position for which he's uniquely unqualified. That's my line in the sand.

2008-01-03 07:27:28
174.   D4P
Meanwhile, the DBacks's centerfielder must have had one of the worst 32-HR seasons in history.
2008-01-03 07:49:56
175.   Andrew Shimmin
About as bad as Andruw Jones's 2001.

Three players have had lower OPS+es while hitting at least 32 home runs: Tony Armas (1983), Vinny Castilla (1999), and Tony Batista (2004).

2008-01-03 07:49:56
176.   ET90210
Is Hank Steinbrenner on sedatives? The things this guy comes out with sometimes....

2008-01-03 07:54:43
177.   D4P
Thanks. The free BR options only let me see Tony Batista as the worst.
2008-01-03 08:23:27
178.   Andrew Shimmin
177- When the season starts and I have to leave, Bob will have to do all of your gopher work. I'd start kissing up to him now, if I were you.
2008-01-03 08:27:39
179.   D4P
When the season starts and I have to leave

You're not going anywhere.

I'd start kissing up to him now

No need. Librarians can't resist little research requests. They like to look like know-it-alls.

2008-01-03 08:35:33
180.   D4P
I just found out (because he got fired) that the Dolphins's (now former) head coach is named Cam Cameron.
2008-01-03 08:54:51
181.   Kevin Lewis

They will receive a complaint letter from me. I will never fly them again, unless it is a free ticket, and I will only pack a carry on. The ridiculous thing is that my two cousins flew out to St. Louis on separate flights, and NWA lost their luggage too. And, my Father-in-law has a great story of how he flew from Alaska to Hawaii. He was the only passenger on the flight, but his luggage did not make it.

2008-01-03 08:55:33
182.   Jon Weisman
2008-01-03 09:38:18
183.   tsundstrom
Check me to be sure, but I don't think that one player on the 2003 roster is still in the organization. I think that's a pretty significant observation. Significant how? Not sure...but definitely significant.


2008-01-03 15:44:09
184.   El Lay Dave
183 I believe you are right. Wilken Ruan did return to the Dodgers as minor-league filler the last two seasons, but I think he's now a minor league free agent.

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