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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

That's the Spirit
2008-02-26 16:59
by Jon Weisman

From James Loney's chat at

dodgerblue1538: Hey James, my fantasy draft is tomorrow. What kind of numbers do you expect to have this year?

Loney: I expect big numbers, so pick me!

* * *

On a less heady note, Jason Schmidt had his first ... well, not exactly a setback, but less-than-ideal moment, according to Ken Gurnick at

Schmidt, recovering from major right shoulder surgery, reported no pain, but said he took longer to loosen up and didn't feel adequately loose until near the end of his 53-pitch session.

"I've always been that way, even in games, which is why I've had such high pitch counts," said Schmidt. "Maybe I've hit a fatigue stage. I'm trying not to get frustrated and not put myself under the microscope. I've been through rehab before and I know you don't always feel better each and every time. It's just been going so good, you want it to just keep going all spring. But I know to expect to have dips like this."

Schmidt was not satisfied with the life or command of his fastball or his slider but said he's always had difficulty working on a slider without a batter at the plate. His curveball, however, had sharp break.

"He's going through a little period -- not hurting -- but maybe he doesn't have the life in his arm he had earlier," said manager Joe Torre. "That's normal for a pitcher. He has no physical problem."

Update: From Diamond Leung of the Press-Enterprise:

(Jason) Repko used an example of a reporter throwing only 40 MPH, and the reporter began to balk at the projected velocity. Juan Pierre, criticized for his arm strength, jumped in with impeccable timing, noting. "Now you see how it feels."

2008-02-26 17:15:54
1.   LAT
Welcome to Six Flags newest attraction. It goes forward, backward, up, down, loops and no one knows how long it will last or where it ends. We call it the "Jason Schmidt." Strap yourself in. The ride is just beginning.
2008-02-26 17:16:16
2.   Bob Timmermann
Off topic:

At dinner, ESPN announced more people in its Top 25 college basketball players of all time.

Indiana Jon's choice of Larry Bird won't get the #1 slot. He came in at #9. Wilt Chamberlain was #10. Michael Jordan was around #15.

I'm thinking the top 5 will likely have some combo of Alcindor, Walton, and Robertson in it.

2008-02-26 17:19:13
3.   trainwreck
With Russell and Maravich.
2008-02-26 17:20:42
4.   bhsportsguy
1 and 2 I was going to suggest heading down on March 22nd to see UCLA and Long Beach State play a doubleheader at Blair Field, UCLA should be playing their 2nd round game that day but if you guys are interested, lets check it out.
2008-02-26 17:23:57
5.   trainwreck
UCSB plays UCLA tomorrow!
2008-02-26 17:27:09
6.   bhsportsguy
3 In 2005, ESPNU named Maravich the greatest college basketball player of all-time.

I wonder what their criteria was for that honor.

2008-02-26 17:35:13
7.   Dodgers49
From previous thread:

290 Non-Firefox users, well, copy and paste is good enough for them.

Thanks, Andrew. I feel a lot better knowing that. :-)

2008-02-26 17:46:37
8.   Andrew Shimmin
7- I suspect the only reason it's not allowed natively is that it's an enticement to spammers. And nobody wants that. Bad enough that we have to wade through [commenter of your choice]'s dross.

My favorite question from the chat was "I always see you visiting kids at hospitals and things. Do you enjoy going out into the community and bringing a little joy to these kids?"

Ethier would have said he didn't care about them, that the only thing in his life that brought him joy was sitting prostrate in an unlit room, listening to Sarah Mclaughlin.

2008-02-26 17:49:23
9.   Andrew Shimmin
Bad editing, there. Unless it actually is possible to sit prostrate. In which case, never mind.
2008-02-26 18:00:27
10.   Dodgers49
Meanwhile, another pitcher has reason to believe things will turn around in 2008:

David Wells waiting in the wings

>> But Wells has told Clifton that he feels much stronger than he did last season, because he feels like his body has adjusted better to the radical changes he made in his diet after being diagnosed with diabetes. <<

2008-02-26 18:09:21
11.   Gen3Blue
Knowing that sometimes I over do it on the pessimistic side, I've been restraining myself since yesterday. But now I have to say don't expect much from Schmidt. On the other hand I would love to see him progress beyond where he is. For major labrum problems he would be the first, and lead a rennaisance like Tommy John did.
2008-02-26 18:09:53
12.   Humma Kavula

Hope is the thing with feathers
That David Wells did eat
And sings the tune -- of chin music,
And never shall be beat,

And sweetest in the park is heard
And sore must be the bum
Of the dude that Wells knocks down
With pitches on the thumb,

I've heard it in the strangest parks,
From here to Milwaukee,
Yet David Wells' extremity
Ate the crumb from me.

2008-02-26 18:19:48
13.   Suffering Bruin
My prediction:

1. Lew Alcindor
2. Bill Walton
3. Bill Bradley (has anyone mentioned him?)
4. Bill Russell
5. Oscar Robertson

If you take an all-time team of players with the first name of "Bill" you'd do okay.

2008-02-26 18:21:20
14.   Indiana Jon
Actually Bird was only in my top 3, with Robertson and Maravich.

If there were ever 8 better college or pro players better than Bird, I sure would like to see them.

2008-02-26 18:28:11
15.   Bob Timmermann
You will soon find out who those 8 college players are!

At least Christian Laettner didn't rate above Larry Bird. I may have had to fly to Bristol and restore order.

2008-02-26 18:30:28
16.   Dodgers49
Good idea, Rafael. :-)

>> Furcal admitted to glancing over his shoulder between pitches to make sure he knew where Repko was <<

2008-02-26 18:36:06
17.   trainwreck
I am waiting for Deadspin to find out that Sean Salisbury is gone from ESPN.
2008-02-26 18:36:09
18.   Indiana Jon
15 I will find out who ESPN says they were.

I still have my doubts as to whether many of those 8 could take a non-competitive basketball program, with the great Bill Hodges coaching, and no other player I can even name even though they played less than an hour from my house, and lead them to an undefeated regular season and only one loss altogether.

2008-02-26 18:39:42
19.   Dodgers49
As has been pointed out here many times, Repko has a history of doing well in Spring Training. However, if he should carry that over into the season then we may not have heard the last of his father's system. :-)

Jason Repko's feeling fine, thanks

>> Repko said he entered camp prepared to hit because of the Time Right Batting Systems created by his father, Ed Repko Jr., which simulates real-time pitching speeds.

Ed made a chart detailing how far a pitcher should stand from home plate to re-create pitches of certain velocities based on how hard he could throw accurately. Because Jason wanted to face pitches from 88 to 95 miles per hour, his father, who throws 52 miles per hour, stood 29 to 32 feet away. <<

2008-02-26 18:39:52
20.   Gen3Blue
Although it is probably obvious that I know and care little for basketball, I must report that I saw Lou Alcinder play in an NBA game against the Buffalo Braves(I think).Yes, I saw the skyhook. Good seats too! The Braves had a good outside shooter, short with an Afro. Any ideas?
2008-02-26 18:49:17
21.   Eric Enders
Randy Smith was a short guy with an afro who led the Buffalo Braves (now the Clippers) in scoring twice and assists six times.
2008-02-26 18:50:50
22.   Gen3Blue
21 Could be----would 1972 fit?
2008-02-26 18:51:59
23.   Suffering Bruin
Eight players better than Indiana State's Larry Bird? Tough challenge, that.

Alcindor, Walton, Bradley, Russell, Robertson and Maravich are almost certainly on the list above Bird. That leaves two more.

I'm thinking... David Thompson has to be there, that's seven.

Thinking... Jerry West!


2008-02-26 18:55:16
24.   Jon Weisman
I think this might be Ken Gurnick's first attempt to use OPS.

2008-02-26 18:55:22
25.   Marty
Where's the love for Ernie Degregorio?
2008-02-26 19:03:08
26.   Eric Enders
22 Yep.

So, what's the best basketball school that doesn't have one of the 25 players? Kentucky? Indiana (unless you count Bird for them)?

I guess Indiana's top candidate would be Scott May or Isiah. Kentucky's would be, what, Dan Issel? Alex Groza?

2008-02-26 19:04:20
27.   natepurcell

Ethier dismissed the importance of making a quick impression on a new manager and staff. He wants to start, and he believes he has shown he's a Major Leaguer with two productive seasons (.295 career average, .821 OBS), but he also can count.

what is OBS? :)

2008-02-26 19:05:40
28.   Gen3Blue
24 Yes indeed. but I notice he didn't slip in JP's OPS where it could be compared to Ethiers!
2008-02-26 19:07:59
29.   Eric Enders
"DePodesta loves Choi's OPS -- on-base plus slugging percentage. Or at least what Choi showed of it while playing for Florida last year."
--Gurnick, 3/11/05
2008-02-26 19:16:44
30.   Bob Timmermann
Of the 17 of the top 25 players now, each one comes from a different school:
Notre Dame
Wake Forest
Oklahoma A&M (now State)
La Salle
Michigan State
North Carolina
Ohio State
Indiana State

So far, no players from UCLA, Kentucky, or Indiana.

Jon is casting the lone vote for Hank Lusetti.

Or possibly Todd Lichti.

2008-02-26 19:20:33
31.   Jon Weisman
29 - Boom!

30 - Both!

But I won't campaign for Rich Kelley.

2008-02-26 19:26:09
32.   Gen3Blue
21 that sounds right! Randy Smith. I'll check with the Buffalo guy who took me.

27,24 he can count, which seems to be more than the OBS guys can do.

2008-02-26 19:30:05
33.   Bob Timmermann
There were really only two players in the history of the Buffalo Braves that anyone would remember and it would be Randy Smith and Bob McAdoo.

And the latter wasn't short.

Randy Smith was also a San Diego Clipper!

2008-02-26 19:45:08
34.   El Lay Dave
33 We Laker fans remember Jim McMillian, but of course that was before his Buffalo Braves days.

Weren't Adrian Dantley and the aforementioned Ernie D (25 ) both ROYs for Buffalo?

2008-02-26 19:49:05
35.   Jon Weisman
New post up top.
2008-02-26 19:52:55
36.   ChicagoDodger
In honor of this being the last season of "The Wire", and it coinciding with the Dodgers leaving Vero Beach, I am wondering if Jon could write a piece about the effects on the Vero Beach community. He could touch on the economic impacts and the effect on the homeless in Vero. You know, "the Dickensian aspect" of the move.

Jon, if you are too busy, perhaps you could get Scott from the Baltimore Sun to write the piece? Make sure you have Gus edit it though!

2008-02-26 19:54:17
37.   Izzy
While Repko has generally received alot of grief for runnning into Furcal, I believe the centerfielder/outfielder has the call at the major league level, because he can see it and it's in front of him. The shortstop being the "field general" dies somewhere around high school or college on that play. At least, that's my understanding. Aside from the fact that Repko bounces around the stadium like a ping pong ball, I would blame Furcal for that particular blunder.
2008-02-26 19:57:54
38.   El Lay Dave
0 (Update) Points for JP; that's a good one.

19 Diamond Leung (see Jon's link) says that Repko's dad want to patent his idea. Not to be too snarky, but can you patent basic physics formulas? Also, what he is simulating is reaction time, but his 52 MPH throw has only 57% of the momentum of a 90 MPH fastball, so it should feel different when hitting it. Mr. Repko might have better success inventing a gadget with a radar in it: set the distance, throw the ball, it displays the equivalent MPH from 60' 6".

2008-02-26 20:26:40
39.   Eric Enders
Mr. Repko must be quite the creative type. In 2006 for an article that never materialized, I asked a lot of the Dodgers about their intro music and why they picked it. Repko said his music was a song written by his father.

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