Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

St. Bobby

On this Valentine’s Day, Josh Wilker makes Bobby Valentine the subject of his Cardboard Gods offering, linking to a 1971 Spokane Daily Chronicle story in which Valentine declares, “I intend to be the Dodger shortstop for many years.” But Valentine, the 1970 Pacific Coast League MVP, had already suffered the injury that derailed his playing career.

But wait, there’s more …

  • In the second part of Bronx Banter’s series on Hiroki Kuroda, William Juliano runs a statistical analysis on the former Dodger righty.
  • Steve Dilbeck of Dodgers Now celebrates, for good reason, getting a phone call at home from Vin Scully.
  • Dodger Stadium will once again host a college baseball doubleheader, this time on March 13. UC Irvine will play Pepperdine at 2 p.m., followed by UCLA-USC at 6:30. Advanced tickets are $7 ($5 for students). Gates open at 1 p.m., parking is free and concessions are discounted. Details here.
  • Tony Gwynn (Sr.) is having more cancer surgery, reports The Associated Press.
  • From Chad Moriyama: “The article I didn’t want to write: Jeremy Lin and racism.”
  • Hey, it’s not as if I’m immune to the charms of Kate Upton, but thanks to Big League Stew for finding the link from Upton’s MLB 2K12 ad to George Plimpton’s Mattel Intellivision spot.
  • Update: Adding this last bit from Mike Newman at Fangraphs

    … Before scouting Dodgers Rubby De La Rosa in person, a running joke with scouting contacts was that my radar gun must be broken because it had never registered a velocity above 96 MPH in a season and a half of lugging it around. I headed to Chattanooga knowing De La Rosa threw hard enough to surpass 96 MPH, but was not prepared for just how much harder he threw. Seeing a “seven” on the gun was impressive, but when he popped the mitt at “eight” and “nine” in succession, it became obvious De La Rosa’s fastball was in a different league than any I’d seen previously. (For those who are wondering, when a pitcher throws in the 90+ MPH range, scouts will drop the nine and refer to the pitch by its second digit.) And while I generally ignore stadium guns at all cost, seeing 101 MPH flash on the scoreboard was a first, and left onlookers buzzing in the stands.

    And while De La Rosa lacked command in the upper registers, the one 98 MPH fastball he located belt high on the inner half is seared into my scouting mind as it bored down and in on a right handed hitter to devastating effect. It was the single most dominant pitch I’ve seen live …


The Emerald City prepares for Hong-Chih Kuo


Save the date?


  1. Happy Valentine’s Day to you and yours!
    This kind of says it all:

  2. Anonymous

    I still have my Bobby Valentine autograph, one of only two I own (the other being Ken “the Snake” Norman.) Bobby V sent it to me after I wrote him a letter about his terrible injury with the Angels.  I just hope some clubhouse guy didn’t sign it.

  3. A new Whit Stillman movie comes in April – been too long.

  4. What are we hoping for from a post-TJ De La Rosa, 94MPH? Sad news about Tony Gwynn. He was one of my favorites growing up!

  5. Anonymous

    There were odds posted for the Westminster Kennel Club Show. But they were for entertainment purposes only. They weren’t taking action on it. 
    The show finishes tonight. The Pekingese was the favorite at 6 to 1 and it won Best in Group last night.

    • Anonymous

      Mrs HJ makes me watch it, I enjoy it far more than I let on

      I do love the Dogs

      • Anonymous

        Our cat leaves the room when we turn it on. But we will miss the finale tonight for Valentine’s Day dinner.

    • Anonymous

       I got to go to Madison Square Garden for the show last year, and even got a snuffle and lick afterwards at a reception, from the very charismatic winning Scottish Deerhound. He was a rock star of a hound. I was there because my Dad , who at 85 was the longest-living member of the WKC and still very involved, got an award from them – called The Sensation award, named after the original dog in the Westminster logo. Anyway, I just lost my Dad to Parkinson’s-related pneumonia in January, and am watching in his honor…and also because I LOVE watching this show. My parents had kennel and bred Bassets and Bloodhounds (I learned to crawl amidst litters of puppies). They showed all over the country, and my Mom was a big-time judge, so I basically grew up smack dab in middle of the world of “Best in Show” which is not, I repeat not, satire. I promise you, that movie reflects reality (well, I never met a man with two actual left feet.) Anyway, I’m really pleased to see we have a few WKC fans here. I got teary last night watching the show. My Mom actually judged Best In Show there many years ago, and, in a big upset, picked a Peke to win it all. So I’m also rooting for the Peke.

  6. Anonymous

    Thanks John for linking the interesting article by Chad.  My daughter has had many negative asian comments/jokes directed towards her at school; even though she has more Caucausian genes (~75%) than Japanese (25%)(My ex is mostly of Norwegian descent).  She really doesn’t even look very asian, she has darker skin than me, but larger eyes.  Its funny how people tend to emphasize a person’s minority race more. 

    •  I’m sorry for your daughter. The pockets of stupidity in the world are pretty amazing. 

      • Anonymous

         Thanks Jon!   More of them came in the form of jokes and she views situation as people being ignorant more than malicious.  She finds it more annoying than upsetting.  There is definitely a  lot more racism here in this small community in Kern County, the school is probably about 97% Caucasian.  Very different from where I grew up in Oxnard which had a lot of racial diversity.  It was a little bit of a culture shock for me when I went UC Davis in the mid 80s because the school didn’t have a lot of racial diversity at that time.  But I never had any negative racially based experiences there, I think people viewed me more as Caucasian than anything else.

        • Anonymous

          My wife is happa – Asians see her as white, and others see her as Asian.  

          Strangely enough, she is just my wife to me

          • Anonymous

             Yeah, I’ve had that experience as well.  I’ve always disliked the racial categories in applications, which category do I choose?  Most of the time, I check other and (if available) write in Ameriasian.  The funny thing is that when I travel in Latin America, people sometimes view me as Hispanic until I start talking!

          • Anonymous

            Same with my wife!  

  7. It’s been interesting talking to my 7-year-old as this subject has come up. You realize what a clean slate the kids have. 

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