Mar 30

Marching toward April

Feeling Opening Day excitement and the writing bug late on a Saturday …

• I’m reasonably excited about this year’s Dodger team, but part of that is a perverse excitement about just how bad on offense that left side of the infield might be, at least while Hanley Ramirez is out. That makes the decision to go with Justin Sellers fun for kicks, however dubious. Still, I have always liked the idea of emphasizing defense where offense isn’t an option.

• It only just now occurred to me that I was in the stands last year at the game in which Sellers was hurt and the one in which Dee Gordon was hurt.

• Do you realize this will no doubt be the fourth consecutive year that Kenley Jansen isn’t the Opening Day closer but eventually moves into that role?

• One thing I don’t miss about baseball season is the whining whenever a save gets blown, as if it should never happen. Heaven knows, though, it will happen.

• Carl Crawford has me excited. Truly didn’t think he’d be ready this fast, but this is the one case where I’m allowing myself to be swept away by past success and heady Spring Training numbers.

• I think lingering effects of his labrum injury will keep Matt Kemp below 25 home runs this year, but that doesn’t mean he won’t be productive.

• At first, I thought that with no true right-handed outfielder in reserve, the Dodgers would need to keep Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier spaced out in their lineup, or lefty relievers will just crush the team. But Gonzalez has had success against left-handers, so that helps. It’s still not necessarily a bad idea to insert a right-hander between them, though – as long as it’s a decent one.

• My initial plan for any free writing time that emerged this spring was that I would spend it offline on a long-term project. I did begin work on that project early this month, but with baseball season starting, I’m wavering. What might happen is a mix, where I post on Dodger Thoughts not infrequently, but not comprehensively. The risk is feeling like I’m doing both things halfway.

• Another intervening factor in my life is that Youngest Master Weisman, now 5, is six days away from his first T-ball season, and he is raring to go. (His team: the Tigers.) After playing with a pretend ball inside the house several times, we made it out to the park for the first time, and he was knocking balls through the infield and reaching the grass. Also in the past day, I’ve begun trying to teach him how to scoop balls on defense. It’s crazy.

• Older brother Young Master Weisman, now 8 1/2, took a few swings, but piano is his game. He’s composing his own material for his May recital performance. Young Miss Weisman, a whopping 10 1/2, is also wonderful on the keys.

Jan 20

Exclusive: Interview with my kids

Longtime Dodger Thoughts readers might remember the visit of Young Miss Weisman to the comments section a couple of years ago. Tonight, I am privileged to offer this exclusive interview not only with 8-year-old Young Miss Weisman but also her oldest brother, 6-year-old Young Master Weisman.

They will be typing their own responses.  Unless they start to misbehave terribly. (Do I make myself clear?)

Because this is a Dodger website, we’ll start off with a Dodger question or two before we move on to other topics of the day.

Me: How much do you like the Dodgers?

Young Master Weisman: A lot, I love them.

Young Miss Weisman: A- wait, are you ready? You might need some earplugs. Okay, here goes: A LOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Me: Oh, that pleases me.  But sometimes at the games it doesn’t seem like you love being there. What’s your favorite part about going to a Dodger game?

Young Master Weisman: Er-wait, are you ready? Cover your ears.  THEY WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Young Miss Weisman: I like looking at the score board and learning what all the things mean. And I like the food. I’m done. P.S. Young Master Weisman is a copycat.

Young Master Weisman: I hate when Young Miss Weisman calls me a copycat. Stop Young Miss Weisman.

Young Miss Weisman: Fine.

Me: Ah, I wish all our disputes were settled so amicably. Now, what is your favorite sport to watch and your favorite sport to play?

Young Master Weisman: I love to watch baseball and swim.

Young Miss Weisman: I like to watch baseball and basketball and I like to swim and ice skate.

Me: You both are playing basketball this winter.  How do you feel when you’re out on the court?  Is it fun? Strange? Exciting? Confusing?

Young Master Weisman: It is fun.  It is exciting.  It is very confusing.

Young Miss Weisman: I feel BIG on defense and small on offense.

Me: What would you do if you were sitting at Dodger Stadium eating a hot dog or cheeseburger and a foul ball came toward you?

Young Master Weisman: I would reach and try to catch. That would be AWESOME.

Young Miss Weisman: I would put down my cheeseburger (that’s right, I don’t like hot dogs), reach out, and catch the ball.

Me: And to think I thought you’d say, “Duck!!!!!”  OK, it’s your brother’s bedtime, so we’d better wrap this up for now. What would you like to say to the readers of Dodger Thoughts before you go get in your pajamas?

Young Master Weisman: Have a good time reading, I hope you like it.

Young Miss Weisman: Just keep doing what you’re doing and you will be (and are) great Dodger Thoughts readers!