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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

Starting Pitching Will Recover
2008-05-10 08:15
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

So, suddenly the starting pitching is collapsing, right? Or is it?

"In 16 of their 35 games this season, Dodgers starters haven't pitched past the fifth inning," Ken Gurnick writes at MLB.com. That's ugly and true, but things were actually looking better until this week began. Here's the ledger for the top four starting pitchers since the woebegone Atlanta series:

  • April 21 at Cincinnati: Brad Penny - six innings, one run, 114 pitches.
  • April 23 vs. Arizona: Derek Lowe - five innings, one run, 67 pitches.
  • April 24 vs. Arizona: Chad Billingsley - six innings, five runs, 109 pitches
  • April 25 vs. Colorado: Hiroki Huroda - six innings, five runs, 95 pitches
  • April 26 vs. Colorado: Penny - seven innings, three runs, 107 pitches
  • April 29 at Florida: Lowe - five innings, six runs (three earned), 90 pitches
  • April 30 at Florida: Billingsley - seven innings, one run, 107 pitches
  • May 1 at Florida: Kuroda - seven innings, one run, 85 pitches
  • May 2 at Colorado: Penny - five innings, three runs, 79 pitches
  • May 4 at Colorado: Lowe - five innings, five runs, 112 pitches
  • May 5 vs. New York: Billingsley - six innings, one run, 96 pitches
  • May 6 vs. New York: Kuroda - 3 2/3 innings, four runs (two earned), 80 pitches
  • May 7 vs. New York: Penny - 4 2/3 innings, 10 runs, 112 pitches
  • May 9 vs. Houston: Lowe - 5 1/3 innings, six runs, 76 pitches

    The first thing to notice is that until four days ago, the front four were holding their own as far as innings, reaching five innings in 11 consecutive games. I also might argue that a five-inning start in Colorado is at least the equivalent of a six-inning start elsewhere. If you're willing to grant that, the front four made it to six innings or more in nine of 11 games. Now, six innings isn't seven and seven isn't eight, but when you're carrying a seven-man bullpen and have off days, the endurance of the starting pitching really isn't as much of a crisis as you might initially think.

    In addition, Joe Torre is as responsible as anyone for the fact that Dodger starters haven't pitched as deeply in games as people would like. Four times, Torre brought the hook when the pitcher was holding down the opposition and hadn't reached 100 pitches yet. I'm not saying he was wrong to do so each time - this includes Torre pinch-hitting for Penny in the top of the sixth at Colorado on May 2 during the seven-run rally from a 3-0 deficit, for example - but it's a factor in evaluating how long the starters have pitched.

    Now, I've left the No. 5 starter out of the conversation to this point. It's not that he doesn't matter, but I just don't know how you judge Esteban Loaiza and Hong-Chih Kuo on innings pitched when neither has been given the opportunity to build up innings. Kuo has had six outings of three innings or more, three as a starter, three as a reliever. Add up those appearances, and you get 21 2/3 innings, 17 hits, eight walks and 28 strikeouts. Torre has a bonafide starting pitching candidate here, and he has chosen to keep him in the bullpen. Maybe he's right to do it, but when you make that kind of choice, your starting pitching misses an opportunity to be effective.

    Look, Lowe and Kuroda have been in slumps, and Penny just had one of the worst outings of his career and has a declining strikeout rate that recalls Odalis Perez, and some people are always uptight about Billingsley. As far as the Dodger starting pitching is concerned, this isn't 1965. But every member of the rotation is capable of doing better, and that's even before you look into the minors at Clayton Kershaw (33 1/3 innings, 1.09 ERA, 37 strikeouts). I'm not convinced there's a major concern here. Either Torre needs to learn to let his starters run longer when they're pitching efficiently, or he needs to learn to stop worrying and love his middle relief.

  • Comments (131)
    Show/Hide Comments 1-50
    2008-05-10 08:42:01
    1.   MollyKnight
    Plaschke this morning:

    Gasol, a novice in these deeper waters, proved he also can sink.

    Handed its first real test of June-worthiness, that great basketball brain flunked.

    Faced with its first playoff adversity, that gentle smile became a whine.

    Jarred for the first time with playoff desperation, those beautiful passes were junked.
    ----------

    I swear it's like mad libs.

    2008-05-10 08:54:24
    2.   twerp
    It's been reported that Penny, enamored of Maddux, incorporated some of the Maddux style of pitching to contact, not trying to blow batters away. To whatever degree this is so, it could account for some of Penny's declining K rate.

    Penny does have one of if not the best W-L records in the league over the last couple years, so something is working--except for very recent outings. IIRC, his usual second-half decline wasn't as bad last year.

    Question: a recent story said Penny "let" Maddux call one of his 2006 starts by looking into the dugout and getting pitch calls by Maddux's looking at different parts of the park. The results were good.

    Exactly how would this have worked? IIRC, the catcher calls the game...maybe Martin was the one looking in at Maddux. Or maybe Penny's not above blowing a bit of smoke?

    2008-05-10 08:55:19
    3.   Eric Stephen
    Apparently 3 games is enough to fork over millions of dollars. From Tony Jackson's blog:

    "This simply isn't the same team without Furcal -- a fact Frank McCourt and Ned Colletti might want to keep in mind heading into the winter, when the shortstop will be a free agent."

    2008-05-10 08:59:08
    4.   ChicagoDodger
    Since when is 5 innings 6 runs, 5 innings 5 runs, and 5 1/3 innings 6 runs a slump? Are we absolutely sure this is really a slump for Lowe? And how do we know that Kuroda is in a slump? What evidence do we have that he is merely in a slump?

    Don't get me wrong, I understand what you are saying, but I'm not completely sure this is all just a slump and things will simply just get better.

    I think more correctly, we are hoping these are just slumps. No?

    2008-05-10 09:01:12
    5.   Suffering Bruin
    1 LOL, hard. "Mad libs" is classic.

    Plaschke got national sportswriter of the year from the AP, IIRC. Sad.

    2008-05-10 09:05:28
    6.   Eric Stephen
    4
    In the case of Lowe, his ERA+ the last 3 years is 118, 124, 114. Unless he's hurt, he's probably going to be somewhere around there again.

    Also, looking at his Fielding Independent Pitching (from Hardball Times, the expected ERA given his peripherals):

    2005: 4.10
    2006: 3.72
    2007: 3.97
    2008: 3.71

    He'll be fine (even though his LD% is a little higher this year) once those baseballs start finding gloves.

    2008-05-10 09:15:04
    7.   Eric Stephen
    NL Strikeout Leaders
    Peavy 52
    Volquez 52
    Hamels 48
    Harang 47
    Santana 47
    Lincecum 45
    Billingsley 44

    Santana, Lincecum, and Billingsley all pitch today. Let's see how far Chad can climb the list.

    2008-05-10 09:16:24
    8.   Marty
    I'm predicting a Pierre-Jones-Ethier outfield tonight.
    2008-05-10 09:17:36
    9.   ChicagoDodger
    6 Well, he will be 35 in a couple of weeks, and players do decline.

    I guess what I should have asked is, if it is just a slump now, when would it stop being a slump? For instance, if he gives up 5 in 5 innings on Wednesday against Milwaukee, is it still a slump? How many poor performances in a row before it stops being a slump?

    I just find it far too convenient to blame poor performance as being merely a slump. Again, players do decline.

    2008-05-10 09:30:33
    10.   regfairfield
    9 Three games definitely isn't a slump. Every year Lowe has had a bad month for us and managed to bounce back.

    Heck Penny generally manages to be bad for the entire second half, then comes back fine next year. If Lowe is still getting bombed at the end of June I might worry. Heck, even if he is, what are you going to do about it? You can't replace everyone in the rotation with Kershaw.

    2008-05-10 09:31:27
    11.   immouch
    9
    great point.
    slump is an odd idea. am i in a slump by working 12 hours and not, technically, making more money? (kinda but it's a life-long thing) is kemp in a slump by being a super young dude who has gone 0 for 8? (nope) is lowe in a slump by stinking it up for a few starts at age 35? ... i'm with you; the answer is "maybe." the guy has always been more sneaky good than overwhelming. now the sneak might be gone. if it is, we're not sunk, just troubled. i'd argue we bring up old/young mcdonald before kershaw, if only because the stakes are lower and the goal - to replace the no. 3 pitcher - isn't so high.... now, is a. jones in a "slump" or is he cooked? that's a bigger question. and while i'm well aware of the calendar, jones' problems look bigger than "slump" to me. he looks scary horrific.... atlanta isn't a stupid organization, and they rarely let folk go who should be kept. (i know, guys like j.d. drew and even odalis, for a bit, sort of put the lie to that, but generally speaking...)... my point is, slump wise, the bigger question is in CF, not the mound.
    2008-05-10 09:33:57
    12.   underdog
    Thanks for the perspective check, as always, Jon!

    I'll take myself off the ledge now. ;-)

    Anyway, what reg said.

    Lowe has definitely been eminently hittable his last few outings, but he does go through stretches like that. I bet he corrects it; at least he will when his agent reminds him of his "walk year." Maybe Penny will be reversing his usual trend; bad first half great second half. But I can't imagine him being worse than the last outing.

    Hopefully Bills can continue his upward trend tonight, he's been our best starter the past 2 weeks.

    8 If Furcal is back, I predict a Ethier-Jones-Kemp outfield.

    2008-05-10 09:40:26
    13.   Jon Weisman
    9 - Certainly, players decline, and there's no reason to think that Lowe is exempt. But is there reason to think that Lowe won't continue to have an ERA of 8 as he has had in his past few starts? I think so.

    One thing I didn't put in the main post is that Lowe sure could have used some better infield defense behind him last night.

    I can't predict the future any more than anyone else. All I'm saying is not enough has happened up to now to freak out over the starting pitching.

    2008-05-10 09:45:24
    14.   ChicagoDodger
    10 Heck, even if he is, what are you going to do about it?

    What am I going to do about it? I? I can't do anything! Obviously!

    But, I won't keep believing it's just a slump.

    Simply put, he is pitching poorly. The fact he does this every year is more a statement of his overall ability as a pitcher rather then a signal that things will soon miraculously change.

    2008-05-10 09:51:40
    15.   ChicagoDodger
    13 All I'm saying is not enough has happened up to now to freak out over the starting pitching.

    I agree with you Jon. Though, I am not all that enamored with Penny & Lowe anyway, so I guess I am not completely surprised by their struggles. Again, the fact they both seem to do it every year is more a statement of their overall abilities as pitchers.

    2008-05-10 09:54:29
    16.   regfairfield
    14 Derek Lowe has been a very good pitcher for us in the last three years. Is there any pitcher out there except the true elite that doesn't go through struggles?
    2008-05-10 10:03:08
    17.   D4P
    Not to be redundant, but ya gotta admit:

    It's truly remarkable that Jones only has 4 RBIs thus far. I mean, Kemp had 5 RBIs in one inning, for Ch-i's sake.

    2008-05-10 10:04:58
    18.   ChicagoDodger
    16 He may have been a good pitcher for the Dodgers but he is not a #2 starter. Now, true enough it's not his fault he is not a #2, but that is what the Dodgers have tabbed him.
    2008-05-10 10:09:27
    19.   D4P
    Using the free version of Baseball-Reference, I looked at RBIs (in ascending order) for players with 100 or more PAs.

    The free version only lets me see 1 name, to wit: Andruw Jones.

    2008-05-10 10:09:36
    20.   Jon Weisman
    D4P needs validation for his observation that Jones is having a poor season. Can anyone confirm?
    2008-05-10 10:13:32
    21.   D4P
    I'm not even trying to say he's having a bad season. I'm just trying to point how how amazing his RBI total is.
    2008-05-10 10:16:54
    22.   underdog
    20 I'm shocked, shocked! to find that Jones has been struggling so far.

    (And to find that gambling has been going on here.)

    2008-05-10 10:17:30
    23.   Jon Weisman
    21 - Sorry, my bad.
    2008-05-10 10:17:49
    24.   D4P
    Again: this is not about struggling. It's about an amazing statistic.

    COME ON!

    2008-05-10 10:24:24
    25.   Bob Timmermann
    Willy Taveras has 127 PAs (one more than Andruew Jones) and also has just 4 RBI.
    2008-05-10 10:26:24
    26.   underdog
    It is an amazing statistic about struggling. Or maybe it's less amazing then it is just depressing, maybe that's more the point. It makes me want to cry.

    Speaking of which, time to give kitty her pill again.

    2008-05-10 10:27:16
    27.   D4P
    I guess it's not as remarkable as I thought, though, to be fair, Taveras bats leadoff.
    2008-05-10 10:32:28
    28.   Icaros
    26

    "Don't forget to bring a towel!"

    -Towelie

    2008-05-10 10:36:28
    29.   D4P
    26
    You should get some "pill pockets" from your vet or some place like PetSmart. They work great.
    2008-05-10 10:37:32
    30.   Bob Timmermann
    I think it's equally amazing that Troy Tulowitzki started off far worse than Andruw Jones and had more RBI. Before he got injured, Tulowitzki had an OPS+ of 17.
    2008-05-10 10:39:35
    31.   jasonungar07
    Not to validate D4P's "amazing statistic" but the guy was brought in for 25hr and 100 rbi's just like Baez was brought in for 30+ saves and Nomar for 90 rbi and juan for 200 hits and 50 steals.
    2008-05-10 10:41:03
    32.   underdog
    28 - I learned that from Douglas Adams.

    29 - Hmm, never heard of that. Sounds good, though the hiding it in wet food trick works just fine. She'll eat anything from a can.

    2008-05-10 10:43:03
    33.   D4P
    though the hiding it in wet food trick works just fine

    Yeah, it's pretty much the same idea.

    2008-05-10 10:44:37
    34.   Neal Pollack
    I don't understand why Torre would consider starting Park over Kuo. It doesn't really seem like much of a decision to me. But he is the baseball genius, and we're just getting moldy in our armchairs...
    2008-05-10 10:48:14
    35.   MollyKnight
    D4P-I noticed Jones' RBI was shockingly low, too. Even lower than one would expect. Of course, it could also be party because he has guys like Kemp hitting in front of him who regularly clear the bases.
    2008-05-10 10:49:48
    36.   D4P
    Of course, it could also be party because he has guys like Kemp hitting in front of him who regularly clear the bases

    Not to mention:

    w/runners on: .080/.193/.080/.273
    w/RISP: .038/.219/.038/.257

    2008-05-10 10:50:45
    37.   natepurcell
    so guys, I'm graduating college in 6 days...what's the real world like? Scary?
    2008-05-10 10:53:18
    38.   Bob Timmermann
    37
    Every single day you get beaten upside the head by life. It's an unending series of disappointments. After a week, you'll be like most of us and just curled up in the fetal position hiding under your bed and subsisting on Cheetos and Red Bull.
    2008-05-10 10:53:52
    39.   Icaros
    37

    Cold and pointless.

    2008-05-10 10:56:06
    40.   D4P
    what's the real world like?

    Well, there's this bike messenger named "Puck" who likes to cause a lot of trouble...

    2008-05-10 11:03:23
    41.   natepurcell
    38 and 39 are not very comforting thoughts.
    2008-05-10 11:04:25
    42.   Reddog
    I seem to remember speculation that A. Jones' tailoff last season was attributed to the fact that he had been using steroids and with all the scrutiny he stopped taking them last season. So he's kinda like how Gagne is now. In other words, he's finished.

    Plus he's so much bigger now than he used to be - which brings to mind how Bonds' appearance altered over time.

    2008-05-10 11:04:29
    43.   delias man
    37 Trust me, do something you love, even if it means leaving money on the table at this early stage of your life. You can make it up later.

    Anyhow, I firmly believe if Schmidt or Kershaw is able to fill a hole in the rotation in July, Lowe should be traded. I do not think he has been great in his Dodger career, but he has been steady/durable.

    2008-05-10 11:04:46
    44.   regfairfield
    18 Who is a number two starter then?

    37 Get used to the phrase "I can't, I have work tomorrow".

    2008-05-10 11:07:19
    45.   Sammy Maudlin
    Andruw Jones has 9 times more strikeouts than rbi. 36/4. During Michael Jordan minor league season, he had 2.2 times more stikeouts than rbi 114/51.
    2008-05-10 11:10:07
    46.   Bob Timmermann
    More than 100 Ks in a season with 25 or fewer RBI:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/shareit/tNCs

    2008-05-10 11:13:19
    47.   Daniel Zappala
    what's the real world like?

    I don't know. I'm still in academia.

    2008-05-10 11:14:15
    48.   underdog
    Nate, the real world can be fun, and you have more control over what you do, and it can be scary, and it can get you down, and it can get you up, and, and... well, basically find a job in something you like, or working towards a goal, and you will have a head start on a lot of people. Do what you love and good things will follow. Get a job in baseball. Get an internship somewhere. Try different experiences. Join social/activity clubs to meet new people.

    42 I don't think steroids has much to do with it. He's pressing at the plate and his bat speed is slower. Don't see how steroids affects that.

    43 I wouldn't trade Lowe unless the Dodgers are out of the race by then, which is quite unlikely. He's been steady for sure, much steadier than almost any other pitcher in baseball over the past 4 seasons. If he continues to look awful, then maybe some decisions have to be made but I don't see it happening.

    2008-05-10 11:15:53
    49.   underdog
    My least favorite part of the real world is bills. Having to pay them, basically.
    2008-05-10 11:20:42
    50.   Reddog
    Jones apparently was seen commenting last night after hitting a double that he should have hit it out. To me, it looks like his home run power is just not there anymore.
    Show/Hide Comments 51-100
    2008-05-10 11:25:40
    51.   Icaros
    51

    I saw him saying that last night, but he seemed to be referring to the idea that his mechanics were the cause. The one home run he hit this year was a bomb. I really don't think a decline in strength is the problem.

    2008-05-10 11:30:20
    52.   68elcamino427
    42
    Discussing PEDS these days seems to be somewhat out af favor, but I agree with your assesment. Players could use that stuff to bulk up and get really big and strong, enhancing "explosive" strength, as in getting the hands/bat to the pitched ball.
    Another way that players have used that stuff was to maintain there bodies and enhance recovery time. Pitchers could take lower doses and speed up their bodies ability to mend between starts.
    Tell tale signs of use - torn tendons, muscles tearing away from tendons. How long has it been since we've heard of a case of patellar tendonitis?
    Sudden drop-offs in performance over the past 24 months, especially in players over 30 years old might indicate in some cases that there is something they they have used in the past that they can't use now.
    Oh my! I'm not suggesting that anyone is doing it now! Neither am I suggesting that every player that has had a drop off in their performance was a user in the past. There is a pattern to be observed though.
    I am looking for years of service for players to go decline, on average, as compared to say, the past ten years.
    2008-05-10 11:36:17
    53.   D4P
    Jones is pretty much the exact kinda player I would avoid as a GM in this "post-roid" era.
    2008-05-10 11:37:02
    54.   JoeyP
    37--The real world is better than college because you can still do college like things, but instead of having to remember useless facts and study for tests---you make money from 9-5 and then go home.

    If you're leaving your college town and moving to a totally different place where you wont know anyone--yeah that could take awhile to get adjusted. But I definitely thinking making money at a job>>>>>>>broke college student.

    2008-05-10 11:39:55
    55.   JoeyP
    43--I wouldnt trade Lowe either because you'd be giving up a draft pick if you did. He's the perfect guy to offer arbitration to next year bc he wont take it and he should qualify as an "A" list free agent. Dodgers should get a 1st rounder for him.
    2008-05-10 11:40:40
    56.   bhsportsguy
    Nate - the real world isn't much different than college life, you know hanging with the crew, picking college girls and then heading back to the crib for beer bongs and hot tubs.

    Of course you have to be QB of the Arizona Cardinals to have that type of life.

    Now you are a pretty young dude so don't hung up on finding your career the day after graduation, its more than likely what you think your job will be right now won't be what you'll be doing 5 years from now.

    2008-05-10 11:46:45
    57.   Linkmeister
    One other technique for pets and pills (at least for Tigger): peanut butter. Smother the pill(s) in that and no worries, mate.

    Tigger's been on antibiotics for a month and that's what works for her.

    2008-05-10 11:50:22
    58.   natepurcell
    54 56

    Well I already have this job offer that I am planning on accepting soon in Scottsdale. There is a comfort level there because 2 people I know pretty well are also going on board with them as a new college grad like me.

    I don't plan to start until August though. I plan to make this summer awesome.

    2008-05-10 11:58:02
    59.   Reddog
    Just enjoy your 20's, meet as many women as you can, travel a lot, wait until your 30's to do things like settle down and have a family and work 9-5. And if possible, find a way to not work 9-5.
    2008-05-10 12:04:53
    60.   natepurcell
    Hey Canuck, you want to tag-team Sickels Mock Draft this year?
    2008-05-10 12:07:12
    61.   Kevin Lewis
    53

    I just read the chapter on age and decline in "Baseball Between the Numbers". Now I am really sad about the Pierre, Nomar, and Jones signings. Although, at least Jones was for only two years.

    2008-05-10 12:11:18
    62.   Marty
    My lab takes his pills out of my hand. It's amazing.
    2008-05-10 12:12:14
    63.   Eric Enders
    37 If I could offer you only one tip for the future, it would be: wear sunscreen.
    2008-05-10 12:12:21
    64.   CanuckDodger
    60 -- I don't have a problem with you handling it alone. Truth be told, I hardly check out that site anymore. It doesn't seem the same since the switch to SBN.
    2008-05-10 12:12:44
    65.   Daniel Zappala
    49 Life is always much more enjoyable if you spend less than you take in and save some for the future. This may seem contradictory -- you might imagine someone having a lot of fun, running up a credit card to do a lot of traveling or whatever. But in the end, those bills and the interest come due, and it is no fun working to pay off interest.

    I echo the overall sentiment to do something you love, and to try to make a contribution to the world, or a difference in someone's life. Failing that, at least bring in enough money that you can relax at night and enjoy the weekends.

    2008-05-10 12:17:17
    66.   Daniel Zappala
    59 There's also the advantage of finding a woman you love in your 20s and enjoying an extra 10 years with her by your side. Waiting till your 30s isn't always all its cracked up to be, and marriage doesn't have to be equivalent to "settling down". Lots of people get married and continue to have fun before deciding to have kids later on.
    2008-05-10 12:18:24
    67.   D4P
    Lots of people get married and continue to have fun before deciding to have kids later on

    ...at which time, the fun stops.

    2008-05-10 12:21:26
    68.   natepurcell
    66

    Well I want a horde of little minions to battle your horde. So I would probably have to start soon.

    2008-05-10 12:22:32
    69.   gibsonhobbs88
    To Poster Eric Stephen in his post no. 1 from yesterday: Please never do that again!! Never presume we will have a winning series based on the matchups of the pitchers going in! It is folly with this team! We all thought the same thing going into Atlanta not having to face Smoltz or Hudson and look at the results. Baseball is too fickle a game and you can never underestimate an opponent or overestimate your own players. This game will humble you too fast. Saying this was looking like a very winnable series was basically akin to the Coreolone "Kiss of Death" for this series. Please refrain from this in the future. It will save us all from great heartache and gnashing of teeth.
    2008-05-10 12:27:56
    70.   Daniel Zappala
    67 Or starts all over again. Depending on how you look at it.

    68 Have at it. If you wait too long, your minions will have to also deal with my grand-minions.

    2008-05-10 12:28:43
    71.   Daniel Zappala
    69 Don't blame him, blame the guy who bet the $50.
    2008-05-10 12:33:24
    72.   Greg Brock
    If Marty or anybody else hasn't posted it, a great map of America by baseball fandome.

    http://tinyurl.com/5lq3hx

    2008-05-10 12:35:34
    73.   Greg Brock
    Wow, Nate is graduating. Our little baby is all growns up.
    2008-05-10 12:36:03
    74.   MollyKnight
    66, 68-

    And lots of people fall in love and then wait a very long time before exchanging vows for a variety of practical reasons, not the least of which includes learning more about yourself each year of your 20's than you ever thought possible.

    Travel a lot. Stay out late. And love love love love love. Even if it blows up in your face.

    2008-05-10 12:37:19
    75.   MollyKnight
    Oh, and try to pay off your CC bill every month. Ignore than whole "minimum payment" thing. And if you ever have to charge a bagel, stop going on trips to Belgium.
    2008-05-10 12:39:51
    76.   Ken Noe
    37 47 I left academia for the real world just long enough to learn a great truth: there is no real world. Just another crazy place, only without semester breaks.

    43 55 I advocated trading Lowe last August. But at this point, I'd take the draft pick.

    2008-05-10 12:42:12
    77.   Greg Brock
    76 Except you can be fired in the private sector.

    Come and get me, jerks!

    2008-05-10 12:45:21
    78.   D4P
    Except you can be fired in the private sector

    Though, it's much easier to hired in the first place...

    2008-05-10 12:47:18
    79.   Daniel Zappala
    Even better than credit cards -- take out a wad of cash each month, and spend that. When it's done, you're done spending. Really teaches you to be thrifty.
    2008-05-10 12:48:03
    80.   Daniel Zappala
    78 And you don't have to be stuck on Saturdays writing two papers that are due on Monday.
    2008-05-10 12:52:03
    81.   Bob Timmermann
    79
    I would go one step further. You can finance yourself pretty well by the occasional liquor store holdup along with a few well-timed white collar crimes.
    2008-05-10 12:53:07
    82.   Ken Noe
    61 The team's new PR slogan: "Think Only Two Years."
    2008-05-10 12:53:15
    83.   Andrew Shimmin
    If you follow Zappala's advice in 79, please let me know what day you'll do your wad of cash withdrawing, and whether you prefer to be beaten with a sack full of doorknobs, or a sack full of nickel rolls.
    2008-05-10 12:53:49
    84.   D4P
    80
    I'm nearing the completion of the draft for the 4th different paper from my dissertation. There was a point at which I worried whether I'd even be able to write 2, but I've learned a lot about how to "slice the salami", as the saying goes.
    2008-05-10 12:54:59
    85.   ryu
    Hey Nate, let me recommend a book to you: The "4-Hour Workweek" by Tim Ferris.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_hour_work_week

    I'm not claiming the book is good. Or even that I've read it. A friend recently told me about it.

    You can come back to let me know if it changes your life. :)

    2008-05-10 12:56:22
    86.   Bob Timmermann
    There is a yellow alert for Carlos Delgado in New York.

    Yellow alert.

    2008-05-10 12:56:25
    87.   JJ42
    Welcome to the "Meaning of Life" Thoughts
    2008-05-10 12:59:00
    88.   Bob Timmermann
    Zach Miner of the Tigers introduced his teammate Curtis Granderson as "the hardest working man in baseball."

    I thought that was Juan Pierre's sobriquet? They both can't be the hardest working. Something has to give.

    2008-05-10 12:59:52
    89.   Bob Hendley
    69 - Erik has special powers that should be respected.
    2008-05-10 13:10:30
    90.   68elcamino427
    88
    What if there are others who are working even harder, but we don't hear much about because they are on small market teams?
    Doesn't this call for an investigation of some kind?
    2008-05-10 13:12:41
    91.   D4P
    What if there are others who are working even harder, but we don't hear much about because they are on small market teams?

    Or we don't hear much about because they are good enough that we can compliment them regarding things that actually matter?

    2008-05-10 13:15:34
    92.   Greg Brock
    But the Dodgers' hardest working man has a ring.

    A. RING.

    2008-05-10 13:23:02
    93.   Bob Timmermann
    92
    Like Frodo?
    2008-05-10 13:24:04
    94.   Bob Timmermann
    Cycle alert canceled in New York.

    Stand down.

    2008-05-10 13:25:04
    95.   RELX
    Don't know if anyone has mentioned this today or last night, but Lowe has not been seem since the guy he left after five innings with that elbow injury. Coincidence?
    2008-05-10 13:26:08
    96.   RELX
    95. And the grammar I can't write--since the GAME!
    2008-05-10 13:33:11
    97.   68elcamino427
    95
    Didn't he have some trouble with his right hip in the second half last season? Hey, he'll only be 35 on June 1.
    2008-05-10 13:34:52
    98.   gibsonhobbs88
    89 - But even he should know to respect the game of baseball and not anger the forces that control it. Even "Annie Savoy" knew that.
    2008-05-10 13:38:57
    99.   Lexinthedena
    95 Anyone with a brain knows that it's because he badmouthed our fair City Of Angels, which sits on the same latitude as the Holy Land thus angering the Gods...err God.
    2008-05-10 13:48:18
    100.   RELX
    99 . That was my second choice.
    Show/Hide Comments 101-150
    2008-05-10 13:56:38
    101.   old dodger fan
    Wilson Betemit pulls a hamstring running out a double.
    2008-05-10 14:01:37
    102.   old dodger fan
    Nate
    Don't compromise your values; treat everyone with respect; work hard, enjoy your life and don't EVER become a Yankee fan.
    2008-05-10 14:01:55
    103.   Bob Hendley
    0 - I for one noticed right away that it isn't 1965, otherwise Don LeJohn would be getting playing time at third. I voiced a concern the other day about the starting four, in the context of al of the concern for the fifth starter. Great Post, Jon.
    2008-05-10 14:03:36
    104.   scareduck
    81 - c.f. Halliburton.
    2008-05-10 14:39:37
    105.   DXMachina
    81 ,104 - Don't steal.

    But if you do steal, make sure you steal a LOT of money.

    2008-05-10 14:41:41
    106.   Greg Brock
    Nate, invest in the market at a young age. In companies like Halliburton.
    2008-05-10 14:52:38
    107.   gpellamjr
    Don't listen to these jerks, Nate. Go to grad school. That's the life.
    2008-05-10 14:55:48
    108.   Jon Weisman
    I'm pretty sure I wrote a post at one time about how I was living life backwards, at least financially. I've spent most of my career doing what I wanted, and now I'm paying the price for it.

    I guess my advice would be to do what you love, but try to love fewer than four different things. And have some backbone. Otherwise, you might find it hard to have the salary you want/need when you want/need it.

    Or, don't be as spoiled as I am.

    2008-05-10 15:04:35
    109.   CanuckDodger
    108 -- "Paying the price?" I would have thought working for Variety would be a nice job. Of course I say that having no idea what it pays, or what you need to pay your bills. I guess it depends on your expectations, and family responsibilities. Having kids isn't cheap, I suppose.
    2008-05-10 15:10:18
    110.   Bob Timmermann
    Jon's kids so far have proven to be unable to pull their weight when it come to paying the mortgage or buying groceries.
    2008-05-10 15:13:09
    111.   Alex41592
    Cubs put up a six on the D'Backs bullpen (Qualls and Medders) to take a 7-2 lead in the top of the eighth!
    2008-05-10 15:23:29
    112.   Andrew Shimmin
    Qualls threw 15 2/3 innings in April without allowing an earned run. He's allowed 9 runs, six of them earned in his last four innings.
    2008-05-10 15:35:26
    113.   Benjamin Miracord
    Basement dwellers giving Nate advice on how to live his life . . . too funny.

    Oops, gotta go! My mom is calling me and it's a long ways up that dark staircase. :-)

    2008-05-10 15:39:52
    114.   lab rat
    Just saw over at BP that DeWitt ranks 3rd in MLB among third basemen in Win Shares:

    http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/article/ten-things-i-didnt-know-last-week47/

    "...the other LA third baseman, DeWitt, is third including 1.4 fielding Win Shares. DeWitt has an above-average Revised Zone Rating at third, plus he has racked up 62 assists in just 211 innings at the position, the highest pace of any NL hot-sacker."

    2008-05-10 15:41:58
    115.   lab rat
    114 -- Correction. Hardball Times.
    2008-05-10 16:23:00
    116.   CanuckDodger
    110 -- Hmmm, how old are they? Remember the song in Fiddler On The Roof? "At three I went to Hebrew school/ At four I learned a trade..."
    2008-05-10 16:38:29
    117.   Andrew Shimmin
    At three I started Hebrew school
    At ten I learned a trade.
    2008-05-10 16:44:56
    118.   CanuckDodger
    117 -- Really? Ten? Been a long time since I saw the movie, clearly.
    2008-05-10 16:47:06
    119.   Andrew Shimmin
    118- I never get to do this, so I'm totally going to bigfoot you on this: I saw it in London, with Topol playing Tevye.
    2008-05-10 17:05:01
    120.   Gr-ool
    37 No more homework, hoorah! Seriously, that's one of the best parts of leaving school, and starting in on your career. Your evenings and weekends tend to be much more your own.
    2008-05-10 17:11:16
    121.   Bob Timmermann
    119
    And Jon's oldest is a girl and she is being taught to mend and fix and preparing to marry whomever Papa picks.
    2008-05-10 17:13:30
    122.   Bob Timmermann
    And you thought giving a dog a pill was tough:

    http://tinyurl.com/5ch2zz

    2008-05-10 17:30:56
    123.   Gr-ool
    Ugh, still no Furcal again tonight. Per Diamond Leung:

    http://tinyurl.com/5wk933

    2008-05-10 17:37:37
    124.   Andrew Shimmin
    I saw Saito shaking hands with the Mayor, on the news last night. He's unavailable (with flu-like symptoms) for the second straight night.

    I'd say, "You do the math," except I sincerely suspect foul play.

    2008-05-10 17:39:55
    125.   LoneStar7
    dang no sammy or raffy tonight? Again, tonight would be a great time for a win with chicago beating zona again..
    2008-05-10 18:06:14
    126.   heato
    Per ItD . . .

    Pierre, LF
    DeWitt, 3B
    Kemp, RF
    Kent, 2B
    Martin, C
    Loney, 1B
    Jones, CF
    Hu, SS
    Billingsley, P

    2008-05-10 18:06:41
    127.   Gr-ool
    Tonight's lineup, from Inside the Dodgers:

    Pierre, LF

    DeWitt, 3B

    Kemp, RF

    Kent, 2B

    Martin, C

    Loney, 1B

    Jones, CF

    Hu, SS

    Billingsley, P

    2008-05-10 18:07:17
    128.   Gr-ool
    DeWitt batting second, whoa!
    2008-05-10 18:07:57
    129.   lab rat
    Dept of Small Samples...but unfortunate nonetheless...

    Current Dodger roster is 7 for 29, 0 BB vs. Chris Sampson.

    Kent (3 for 3)
    Furcal (2 for 3)
    Nomar (1 for 3)
    Juan for 5.

    2008-05-10 18:10:26
    130.   Jon Weisman
    NPUT
    2008-05-10 18:11:39
    131.   El Lay Dave
    122 That's for when folks crumple up and thrown onto the ground Plaschke's column.

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