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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

Cardinals React to Kershaw
2008-05-25 21:30
by Jon Weisman

Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the St. Louis Cardinals' review of Clayton Kershaw's debut:

"I thought he had good stuff. He came at you pretty much. I think it's fair to say he can have success at this level," first baseman Albert Pujols said. ...

The Cardinals had no video of Kershaw (ed. note: not even one pitch?), working solely off written reports. One hitter described it as "flying blind."

Said hitting coach Hal McRae, "We heard he had some issues with command. I thought he would have trouble getting the breaking ball over. But for the most part, it was there. He threw strikes. He made quite an impression." ...

"Impressive," said right fielder Ryan Ludwick, whose four-strikeout game began with two against Kershaw. Ludwick described Kershaw's curveball as "kind of like (former American League Cy Young Award winner Barry) Zito's. It's big."

Cardinals manager Tony La Russa said, "We had a report on him. Some of our guys had seen him. Like I said, he's legitimate." ...

"Some guys just poke around in there without being serious," McRae said. "This kid is serious."

Strauss' game story mentions that the 16 strikeouts today (in 10 innings) by Dodger pitching were the most by a Cardinal opponent since 2001. "Cardinals outfielders struck out 10 times."

* * *

More neutral-site reaction: Via The Hardball Times, Kyle Boddy of Driveline Mechanics offers an enthusiastic evaluation of Kershaw's form.

And finally, here's what the Dodger side had to say, courtesy of Kevin Baxter and the Times.

Comments (93)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-05-25 21:49:39
1.   dontraiseplz
lol I just posted a link to driveline mechanics.

hopefully he does a chapter on C-Bills like I requested.

2008-05-25 21:51:42
2.   Greg Brock
Albert Pujols: I'm Albert Pujols, and I'm not impressed.

Everybody who isn't the best hitter in 40 years had a different opinion.

2008-05-25 21:54:34
3.   silverwidow
I've seen nearly every inning of Chad's Dodger career. To my knowledge, he's hit 97 MPH once (vs. San Diego, April 2007 in relief). Kershaw broke that today, alone.
2008-05-25 21:56:59
4.   Jon Weisman
2 - Am I misreading you, or are you misreading Albert?
2008-05-25 21:57:58
5.   Greg Brock
I reread the Pujols quote. Nevermind.

That's actually a really nice quote from a great hitter on an opposing team.

2008-05-25 21:59:21
6.   Greg Brock
4 I misread it.
2008-05-25 22:00:55
7.   CanuckDodger
Nate, I replied to your question about Hicks and Melville in the last thread. Comment #722.
2008-05-25 22:03:07
8.   CanuckDodger
Was it Hal McRae who, as a manager, tore up his own office on camera because he didn't like the questions he was getting from the press after a loss?
2008-05-25 22:03:31
9.   Bob Timmermann
The game story says Tiffee's hit was his first major league hit.

Except for the previous 54 hits he got with the Twins.

2008-05-25 22:06:25
10.   Bob Timmermann
On 9/10/1989, the Cardinals struck out 18 times in 9 innings against the immortal quartet of Cub hurlers of Steve Wilson, Scott Sanderson, Paul Assenmacher, and Mitch Williams.

2008-05-25 22:06:50
11.   Greg Brock
8 Yes, including have quite a battle with a plugged-in office phone.
2008-05-25 22:08:25
12.   Greg Brock
2008-05-25 22:11:08
13.   natepurcell
Canuck, I saw it.

Yes, I want Hicks or Melville. They both carry risks. But I like the "reward" half of the risk/reward equation with those guys.

Where did you see video on Ordorizzi? I remember Melville from the AFLAC game last year and I really like his mechanics also; they have a Phill Hughes/Roger Clemens vibe to them like you said.

I still can't get over the inconsistency he has shown this spring though. He has attributed it to the weather and the lack of long tossing he has done but it still makes me skeptical. If i were to choose between the two though, I would take Melville over Hicks.

What are your thoughts on Brett Lawrie? It seems like his bat plays, and plays big. Zach Collier too.

2008-05-25 22:18:04
14.   popup
#10, Bob, is that the same Steve Wilson of Dodger fame? I have not seen Kershaw but I heard him today. I heard him loud and clear with Vin. Thank God for that.

Stan from Tacoma

2008-05-25 22:22:08
15.   Bob Timmermann
Indeed it was old friend Steve Wilson.
2008-05-25 22:30:39
16.   CanuckDodger's draft site has draft reports with brief videos. I just went and took another look at Odorizzi's video. It's not that I don't like him. He has a good arm, but his delivery is "all arm." It is like he does not use, or know what to do with, his body, when he is pitching. That can be corrected, I'm sure. I just don't see him as mid-first round material. But I love Melville's video. He looks like a pro on the mound.

I really like Collier. I rank him third after Hicks and Melville for my choice at #15. Lawrie, I don't know. No set position. He's Canadian, so he is bound to be pretty raw. He could be another Kyle Orr, who hasn't looked good in two seasons in the pros.

2008-05-25 22:41:41
17.   Marty
I rarely get LAT'd but I did this time. I think it's worth re-posting. You may disagree:

691 Charles Wright has been getting significant playing time on my iPod the last few months.

Tom, let me say I love reading your stuff, and I'm glad you've been commenting so often lately. It really increases the class of this already first-class site. Thanks.

2008-05-25 22:45:24
18.   Marty
Martin called Kershaw's curve a "snap-dragon" curve. I like that.
2008-05-25 22:55:09
19.   silverwidow
18 Forget the "snap" part - Dragon Curve sounds pretty darn cool.
2008-05-25 22:56:00
20.   Bob Timmermann
How can a curve ball be like a snapdragon?
2008-05-25 22:56:47
21.   Greg Brock
Snapdragon isn't new. Snapdragon, hammer, uncle charlie, firecracker, deuce, bender, hook...

You get the idea.

2008-05-25 23:01:02
22.   68elcamino427
What a great day, for a moment I am content.
The video of the interview on the Times link is outstanding. A twenty year old so composed and well spoken, so poised.
Kershaw knows that he is great at getting batters out and he knows how to stay within himself. He can control where a 97 mph fastball will be on the inside corner of the plate and he is more than at ease talking to a horde of media people.

It was fun watching Kershaw warm up in the bull pen before the game today. When it was time to exit the pen and go to the dugout all of the pitchers in the bull pen lined up and gave Kershaw high fives as he pssed by on his way out the gate, followed by Martin and Honeycutt. The three of them stayed in single file all the way down the line and down the dugout steps.

I got the feeling that Kershaw was startled by the second base umpire asking him for the ball after his first strikeout. It looked like the ump had to request the ball of him more than one time. The celebration that followed was memorable. I don't remember ever giving a pitcher a standing ovation for getting a strikeout for the first out of a game before.

2008-05-25 23:01:17
23.   Bob Timmermann

2008-05-25 23:01:45
24.   Andrew Shimmin
If snapdragons were more like curveballs, flowers would be less boring.
2008-05-25 23:03:39
25.   Lexinthedena
21 Public Enemy #1
2008-05-25 23:07:06
26.   Greg Brock
Snapdragons are great flowers. Pinch the sides, and they open and close like little mouths. And they really add to a garden. Among my favorite annuals.

Yeah, I like flowers. Wanna fight about it? I didn't think so.

2008-05-25 23:07:28
27.   68elcamino427
Maybe this refers to a snappy dragon that is in a bad mood and is coming to get you?
2008-05-25 23:08:03
28.   scareduck
I actually have photos, and am busy trying to navigate the maze of iPhoto and .mac to figure out how best to post them. (This was Helen's laptop before it was mine, and a lot of the prefs are still set up for her.) I probably missed the best play of the game, but oh well.
2008-05-25 23:09:57
29.   gibsonhobbs88
I was at the game. Kershaw was probably a little too amped up in the first inning and over threw those pitches to Barton which was his main mistake in that inning more than the double to Albert. Innings 2-5 he was awesome and was in control. I was impressed with his overall demeanor and poise considering all the expectations the fans of the Blue(Including yours truly) have thrown his way. I wish him nothing but the best. A little bit better defense behind him in the 6th and he comes away with a win.

Enjoyed the photo day. Kemp acknowledged and seemed to enjoy hearing his Bison nickname being called out. I also told Delwyn that he had a sweet swing and I wish he can get more AB's to prove it and he said "Yeah, tell em about it" with a half smirk. He also thanked me for the vote of confidence. Andre was so popular he never made it to our area before the time was out. Russell came in the same group with Nomar, so I kind of got boxed out from shaking Russell's hand and showing my appreciation to him, darn it. It was a great two days at the stadium from the 60's luncheon yesterday through the game today. I had a blast!! My wife deserves Kudos for being with me at the stadium for most of the past 36 hours at the ball park.

2008-05-25 23:10:29
30.   Marty
Is Children of Men as depressing as it looks to be?
2008-05-25 23:13:44
31.   Greg Brock
30 It's terrible. There's one broad who's pregnant, and forty minutes of explosions, and Julianne Moore dies, and the whole thing sucks.

I didn't spoil anything, because the entire third act is so obvious it doesn't need spoiling.

2008-05-25 23:15:31
32.   Andrew Shimmin
30- Yes. And it's as boring as a flower garden.
2008-05-25 23:15:34
33.   Eric Enders
Jon, going back to the last thread, right-handers are expected to throw harder than left-handers simply because of their respective percentages in the population.

There are simply many, many more right-handers than left-handers who are physically able to throw a baseball 95+ mph. If pitchers were distributed by their ratio in the population, only 10% of major league pitchers would be lefties. But of course, there are many more than that. Not to get all Rule 5 here, but baseball has affirmative action of sorts for left-handed pitchers.

The soft-tossing lefty can have a major league career, while the soft-tossing righty usually cannot. The right-handed equivalents of Jamie Moyer and Ted Lilly and Dennys Reyes, for the most part, never reach the major leagues. Therefore, the average major league right-hander throws much harder than the average major league left-hander.

This is not to say that lefties like Kershaw, Koufax, or Randy Johnson can't be outliers and throw as hard as any right-hander does. It's just that there will be nine times more right-handers who can throw that hard.

2008-05-25 23:17:09
34.   Jon Weisman
30 - It's depressing, but I'd say it was a good enough movie not to have someone spoil!
2008-05-25 23:21:38
35.   Eric Enders
It's depressing, but I thought it was a hell of a good movie.
2008-05-25 23:22:08
36.   Greg Brock
Children of Men is about the end of humanity.

Obviously, humanity doesn't die. Nobody would ever see that movie. That's not a spoiler. It's uplifting. It's a happy movie.

Despite the fact that the whole thing makes you want to kill yourself.

I kind of rooted for infertility.

2008-05-25 23:23:47
37.   LA Native
Am I the only one who thinks we can cut Sweeney now and bring up Lindsay. Still have D Young as a left handed bat off the bench... I think they were waiting for Nomar to come back before cutting Sweeney, but that may be a while. Meanwhile we are looking at him going under 100. At least Jones' average looks good compared to him.
2008-05-25 23:25:08
38.   Jon Weisman
33 - But that same logic should apply to hitters too, shouldn't it?

Let me try to get this straight.

There are more righties than lefties in the world. Check.

Therefore, there are more righty hitters than lefty hitters in baseball. Check.

The lefty hitters who do make it get to feast on the overabundance of righty pitching. Check.

Somehow, this translates into the need for lefty pitchers of even dubious quality. I guess this is because while righty hitters are more used to facing righty pitchers, lefty hitters are less used to facing lefty pitchers.
But wouldn't righty pitchers be more used to facing lefty pitchers? I guess I don't understand why lefty pitchers are so much more necessary.

2008-05-25 23:25:22
39.   Longhorn Bill
Does anyone know what Schmidt's ETA is? Hopefully he will be able to return to form at some point this year, however, with Kershaw available as a fifth starter there is no reason for the Dodgers to rush him back.
2008-05-25 23:28:55
40.   Greg Brock
38 I thought we were talking about why lefties can't drop and drive, and why there aren't more pitchers who can touch 95 mph.
2008-05-25 23:29:03
41.   Bob Timmermann
A right-handed hitter can become a left-handed hitter with a lot less effort than it takes for a right-handed pitcher to become a left-handed pitcher.

It's nearly impossible to change your handedness for throwing. But batters have switched sides for a long time.

2008-05-25 23:31:43
42.   Longhorn Bill
In addition, it will be interesting to watch how the Dodgers handle Kershaw and how many innings he pitches. If Schmidt does successfully return, I wonder if they will try him out in the bullpen.

The idea of Schmidt coming out of the bullpen is intriguing to me because such a move has potential to be very useful for a team whose starters have not consistently pitched deep into games. One of the team's biggest assests this year has been its ability to bring Kuo out of the bullpen for multiple innings when the starter only pitches 4-5 innings. Perhaps Schmidt could be used in a similar manner.

2008-05-25 23:33:56
43.   Eric Enders
38 I think the difference is that random right-handed pitchers can't just decide to suddenly start throwing with their left arm, whereas any right-handed person can try to become a left-handed hitter, and many do, successfully. So top-end hitting talent is more equally distributed between left and right than pitching talent is. And not only that, but these left-handed hitters have a built-in advantage in being closer to first base.

So about 40 percent of the plate appearances in the NL this year have been by people batting left-handed. That means there are 40 percent of PAs in which a left-handed pitcher is desirable. But pitchers just can't start pitching left-handed willy-nilly, so teams have to scrape the bottom of the barrel for people like Tom Martin.

2008-05-25 23:35:59
44.   Jon Weisman
Okay, thanks.
2008-05-25 23:38:27
45.   Eric Enders
And if Paul Shuey is reading, I didn't mean to use your buddy as a punching bag, he was just the first name that came to mind.
2008-05-25 23:50:28
46.   Greg Brock
Watching There Will Be Blood, I can't believe Jon was luke warm on the movie, even if it was just the third act he had problems with.

The whole thing is brilliant.

2008-05-25 23:51:02
47.   Vishal
unrelated, but ken tremendous at fire joe morgan has just written pretty much his funniest paragraph to date in their latest post. just look for the word "bra".
2008-05-25 23:54:23
48.   Greg Brock
It's probably time to put Daniel Day Lewis along side Laurence Olivier and Marlon Brando.
2008-05-25 23:55:12
49.   Bob Timmermann
I didn't care much for the third act either.

And I don't like the films of Wes Anderson either.

I am heading up Greg Brock's proscription list.

2008-05-25 23:59:58
50.   Marty
46 Took you long enough.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-05-26 00:00:37
51.   Jacob Burch
46 Added to it, the third act took it from A to B+/A- territory. It didn't help that I watched it a day after my third viewing of No Country, which I view as a near flawless movie.

I doubt that changed Jon's reasoning, as I thought he was A-minus-y about NCFOM.

And I really liked Children of Men, for what its worth. The last act's predictability was offset but a great deal of the sound work, in my mind (ears?)

2008-05-26 00:02:34
52.   Greg Brock
49 When the revolution comes, you'll get special dispensation.

Shimmin, however, won't be so lucky.

2008-05-26 00:05:31
53.   Greg Brock
No matter what, I think we can all agree that the score is amazing.
2008-05-26 00:07:52
54.   Greg Brock
Outside of the motel scene, I thought No Country was incredibly overrated. Not even in the Coen's top five.

I fell asleep in the theater.

2008-05-26 00:11:14
55.   Bob Timmermann
I will concur in that.
2008-05-26 00:11:21
56.   KG16
41 - I don't think that's so true. I trained myself to throw left handed, I didn't necessarily have the strength and/or control that I did right handed, but it wasn't that hard to learn. Playing water polo (throwing motion essentially the same as baseball) I could pass pretty efficiently left handed, but hadn't developed a left handed shot. I think with a few months extra work, I could have developed a pretty good shot.

But then I might bean outlier in that sense.

2008-05-26 00:16:30
57.   Andrew Shimmin
Wow. Children of Men was Jon's seventh favorite movie of 2006. Though, a whole lot of the movies on that list were awful. I only totally disagree with one of those movies ratings. Jon is the anti-Richard Roeper.

2008-05-26 00:16:58
58.   Greg Brock
I am a sinner. I am a sinner. I am sorry, Lord. I want the blood. I want the blood. I will never backslide. I've abandoned my child. I've abandoned my child.

That might be the best single scene in a very long time.

2008-05-26 00:20:19
59.   fanerman
53 Score to which movie?
2008-05-26 00:23:24
60.   Greg Brock
59 There Will Be Blood.
2008-05-26 00:24:27
61.   Bob Timmermann
If switching arms for pitching were easy, people would be doing it. But you only hear of very select few pitchers switching, such as Dennys Reyes who became a lefty after breaking his right arm when he was a kid.

A water polo ball is a lot bigger than a baseball and you don't have to try throw it 90 mph over a small target.

Over and over and over.

2008-05-26 00:26:36
62.   KG16
I think I've figured out the secret to understanding Plaschke. You have to have the same perspective as he does, which is history began with the sunrise this morning.

After the Lakers came back from 20 down in Game 1 he was ready to say the series was over. After the Lakers blew the Spurs out in Game 2, he was planning the parade route. After the Lakers lose by 20 in Game 3: the Lakers can't win if Odom continues to play like he has been.

This, I think, is important to keep in mind come July when he can only focus on the Dodgers or Angels.

2008-05-26 00:27:39
63.   fanerman
60 Johnny Greenwood!
2008-05-26 00:30:29
64.   KG16
61 - Agreed, it's not easy, and I suspect that's why most don't do it. Learning the mechanics isn't that hard... it's getting the repetitions in.
2008-05-26 00:35:02
65.   Eric Enders
Yeah, the fact that Jonny Greenwood not only didn't win the Oscar for that, but wasn't even nominated, pretty much throws the legitimacy of the music awards out the window.

48 Self-caricatures? Guys who will do anything if you pay them enough money?

2008-05-26 00:40:26
66.   Greg Brock
65 That's not really what you think of Laurence Olivier. It's a funny line, but you don't really think that.

I know that because you're not an idiot. You're Eric Enders, my guy. One of my top three guys here. So you don't think that of Olivier. Because that would be silly. And you're not silly.

2008-05-26 00:42:30
67.   PDH5204
Jon, thanks for the mechanics piece. Here's an example of the opposite, or injury waiting to happen:

2008-05-26 00:45:43
68.   Eric Enders
I think that of Olivier in his later years, sure. The Laurence Olivier who was in Clash of the Titans, for instance. On the whole, though, no.
2008-05-26 00:51:48
69.   Greg Brock
Olivier made some money. He deserved it.
2008-05-26 00:57:54
70.   Eric Enders
It just annoys me when a great, established actor who likely has no need for much more money sells out anyway. Olivier did it, Brando, Freeman, Hopkins, De Niro. That's five of the top ten actors right there.

There are only so many Morgan Freeman performances that are going to grace this world. Why do some of them have to be wasted on crap like Deep Impact?

2008-05-26 01:09:29
71.   Greg Brock
Olivier didn't have a ton of money. He directed the National Theater, did a Hitchcock flick, and made Boys from Brazil and Sleuth.

Lumping Olivier in with DeNiro and Pacino is unbelievably unfair. Those guys sold their soul. Olivier made a couple of really decent movies that aren't the greatest things ever.

I can't imagine how disappointed you're going to be when you see Righteous Kill.

2008-05-26 01:54:52
72.   Kevin P
I like the flower talk, guys. Reminds me of Adaptation. The scene when Ron Livingston replies to Cage's rant about wanting his script to be about flowers and how amazing they are... "Are they amazing?" I laugh every single time he says that.

Kershaw looked great out there today. Now if only we could get Andy up here.

2008-05-26 02:03:43
73.   Jacob Burch
65 Not that I disagree with the credibility of the Oscars (love them as I do), The TWBB soundtrack was not nominated due to a substantial portion of it being previous/unoriginal material. There was an article on it shortly after the nominations were announced, which may or may not have been linked here or at screen jam--I can't remember where I saw it.
2008-05-26 02:14:13
74.   Eric Enders
Oh, I hadn't heard that. My bad, then.
2008-05-26 02:45:56
75.   xaphor
The dirty on TWBB's oscar intelligibility:
2008-05-26 02:49:29
76.   Eric Enders
The screwiest part, according to that link, is that they didn't disqualify it until after a lot of people had voted for it, thereby depriving those people of an actual vote.
2008-05-26 04:53:40
77.   Benjamin Miracord
"I think this was the second-happiest day of my life," Marianne [Kershaw] said. "The day he was born was the happiest. And the day my boy's dream came true is next."

Is there anything in the world quite like a mother's love? This quotation is so amazingly selfless. I think I'm happier for her than for her son.

2008-05-26 06:49:36
78.   Greg Brock
77 Passan is a very good writer.
2008-05-26 07:16:03
79.   Disabled List
Too bad I missed Movie Thoughts last night. I'll chime in to say that I thought Children of Men was excellent. Along with United 93, which I saw the same weekend, two of the most intense movies I've ever seen.
2008-05-26 08:36:10
80.   Daniel Zappala
The Great LP Digitization Project has begun. Most of my collection is 80s alternative. Bonus points to the first person who can name the artist, title, and year of this song:

2008-05-26 08:53:45
81.   D4P
It sounds a little bit like Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark, before their big hit from one of those Brat Pack movies.
2008-05-26 08:57:06
82.   Daniel Zappala
81 Nope, it's not OMD.
2008-05-26 09:00:31
83.   D4P
Is it Squeeze...?
2008-05-26 09:28:11
84.   tjdub
The name escapes me, but did Robin Sparkles open for them?
2008-05-26 09:30:25
85.   kngoworld

Pierre, LF
Ethier, RF
Martin, C
Kent, 2B
Sweeney, 1B
Kemp, CF
DeWitt, 3B
Maza, SS
Billingsley, P

2008-05-26 09:37:05
86.   berkowit28
I thought Tiffee was supposed to be able to play 1st (and 3rd) base "like Nomar". They're still sticking with Sweeney and his stellar OBP?
2008-05-26 09:38:05
87.   Bob Timmermann
I hope Billingsley is able to get a lot of popups to third. Because I don't trust the rest of the infield.
2008-05-26 09:40:28
88.   Jon Weisman
2008-05-26 09:41:07
89.   D4P
Seems pretty clear that Torre's not willing/able to "stand up" to Kent over his PT/spot in the lineup.
2008-05-26 09:43:01
90.   tethier
86 I just saw the lineup on ItD and thought the same thing. Why not throw Tiffee out there if you're going to give Loney a rest? I liked Maza at second yesterday - at short - not so much. Would Kent have had those two popups in short right yesterday?
2008-05-26 09:47:50
91.   LAT
70 There are only so many Morgan Freeman performances that are going to grace this world.

Really? Cause I thought there was only one and we keep seeing it over and over agin. But honestly, two or three more movies of the same role and I moght actually believe he is God.

2008-05-26 09:49:03
92.   LAT
And that's what I get for reading a whole tread without hitting refresh before posting.
2008-05-26 18:42:45
93.   Gen3Blue
I like the depth of our starting pitching. You have to face two who are good, Kershaw and Billingsley, then one who is consistant, Kuroda, then two who have long reputations, Penny and Lowe. And if one falters, you might have to face one that is great in the pair of Kuo and Park. Our second half offense should be good.

Sorry for the optimism, but I am trying to balance my cynical reputation.

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