Dodger Thoughts

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

The trauma of potential

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Silly me – when I described the yin and yang of Clayton Kershaw in Arizona on Friday somehow I left off the third rail. (Or maybe I included the first and third rails but left off the second.) Read more about that – as well as Vin Scully’s latest moment of ethereal insight – in my latest piece for Los Angeles Magazine’s CityThink blog.



Kershaw CXXXIV: Kershawn Golden Pond


Lineup of the Gods chat


  1. foul tip

    Wonder if Jon keeps stats on which commenters get LATd most.  I’d think I’m a contender for the dubious honor.  So….


    Also a link to a Will Carroll piece trying to find similarity between
    Lincecum’s struggles and Koufax’s demise.  Maybe it shouldn’t have, but
    the piece made my eyes glaze over.

    Carroll says Koufax was the model for Chris Linceum in constructing
    his son’s delivery. I’d never heard that.  I had heard he was adamant at
    every level that no one try to change Tim’s delivery, which  makes more
    sense in that light, I suppose.

    Says Koufax was the elder Lincecum’s hero.  If so, not out of the
    question that maybe he hoped Tim would wear the Blue instead of the

  2. pretty sweet Mr. Weisman. 

  3. the VODF persona is clearly a poor fit for Dodger chatrooms. But M Tink sure seems out of place here. but i get the sense that Tinker is out of place anywhere he goes.

    • foul tip

      Taking a risk here, but my impression is you came to DT with a bit of a shoulder chip, looking to take exception or be confrontational.

      Why?  This place has existed a good while as a far better community than many sports sites.

      No way to know what happened other places–from your comments I’ll surmise you got beat over the head with stats by misinformed souls who think they are ALL there is to a player–but your experiences here will be good if you’ll allow them to be.

      Yes, there are occasional childish posts (and a few from jerks with the occasional troll mixed in).  But only rarely do the regulars drop to that level, tho some of us do have our quirks.  The ill-advised comments tend to come in game comments when someone spouts off negatively and emotionally, usually with no basis in fact.  Those are best ignored, taken for what they are. 

      You seem to expect to be banned.  Jon is loath to ban anyone.  But it has happened.  There is such a thing as a self-fulfilling prophecy.  ;-])

      • Anonymous

        I could be wrong but I got the impression from something he posted that he came here in search of disagreement, that is adversarial debate, that he finds it entertaining. If I am wrong, i apologize for my misconception.

        • quix·ot·ic/kwikˈsätik/
          Adjective:Exceedingly idealistic; unrealistic and impractical: “a vast and quixotic project”.

      • in any event i don’t expect to be around long. hopefully underdog’s predictions at other sites that i’ll be banned soon comes true for his sake. but if you were to look at the last few days of posts i think you’d find few that were confrontational. could be you find posts that you disagree with. but i thought that’s allowed. for example the uribe post. just a viewpoint. never said he got hits or was going to be a valuable asset. merely stated he’s made an adjustment. jon disagreed. and i made an obvious non confrontational joke. sometimes the confrontation is in your own mind. having said that people like Tink are allowed to be confrontational without comment. but that’s ok with me. i’m only in this world for a short time.

        • Anonymous

          Twice in this topic you’ve insulted another person here, while claiming to not be confrontational yourself…

          • reading comprehension is an important thing in these kinds of discussions. no where did i claim not to be confrontational. don’t feed the troll and he will be gone soon enough. 

        • foul tip

           If you’re not around long it won’t be anyone else’s responsibility.

          If I disagree with you or you with me, fine. Part of the attraction here
          is that people can and often do disagree–but without being
          disagreeable.  I don’t recall much problem with what you’ve said but do
          recall HOW you’ve said some things.

          I’ve seen Underdog’s posts for years.  It won’t bring him joy if you’re banned.  He’d probably be sad, since you do have something to say when not preemptively chippy about riling up statheads or about something else. I feel confident Underdog was saying what he thought likely based on what he’d seen, not rooting for it.

          This is a site with quite a few who find stats very important.  But I don’t believe for a minute that they lie in wait ready to ridicule anyone for not weighing them as heavily.  You seem to expect them to, and fire off preemptive shots accordingly.  It comes across almost as insulting to those who do rely heavily on them.  You seem to intend it defensively, but it’s taken offensively.  I think that seems to be the main issue.

          Also, I don’t know if this is the case, but something said in person can be nuanced, said with humor or a smile, and come off quite differently than by itself in writing.  Maybe that’s a factor.

          No, the confrontation is not in my own mind.  If you’d been around a while you’d know that Tink has had tiffs with a few here.  But a balance has seemed to settle in. 

          This next does NOT apply to you.  But Tink does not suffer foolish comments gladly, and he may let people know quickly if what they say isn’t factual or if they violate Jon’s guidelines.  After all, it’s Jon’s house.  We’re his guests and should act like it.

          This isn’t intended as some discourse where I have to get the last word, so this will be mine for now. 

          Just trying to suggest how to blend in, be welcome, and make a clear contribution, which I believe you can and do.  Just taking off the chippy edge will be all it takes, I think.  ;-])

    • Veryolddodgerfan – Yep, I have to say, you really seem have a desire for people to react negatively to you.

      • Anonymous

         Actually, I would say that was the case with IsotopeLoney, who never knew when to let up (though I feel the same way about Uribe as he does about Loney, I try to polish my language).

  4. foul tip

    Jon, IMO this piece is one of your best.

  5. I was strangely blase’ about last nights loss, even though I mentally always chalk up Kershaw starts as wins beforehand. I have been guilty of “micro-observance” of Kershaw’s pitching this year…as guilty as anyone. So, with that in mind I look at the big picture and realize that bad innings and and bad games come and go for every pitcher…and I let it go. He appears to be throwing well…there has been no mysterious loss of velocity that always raises a red flag…it’s just that his command is not as pinpoint deadly as it was the latter part of last year. I can live with it.

    I can even live with the bad AB’s we had with runners in scoring position. The reality is that we are relying on the Adam Kennedys, the Jerry Hairstons, the Elian Herreras, the James Loneys, the Tony Gwynn, Jr.’s, and the Luis Cruz’s of the world…and they are performing pretty much as you would expect them to. Without Kemp…and to a lesser extent, Ethier…this is our team. But…they are coming back, and soon our bench will go back to being what it’s supposed to be: a bench, not a starting lineup. There are better days ahead…

    • well i saw a pitcher that dominated for five innings despite a little lack of sharpness around the edges. in the sixth it appeared to me he just ran out of gas. it could of been as simple as walking around the 110 degree temps of downtown phoenix for a couple days. he could of come out a couple hitters sooner but he’s a cy young pitcher and i tink there might have been a left hand hitter involved. the fact that jamie w didn’t have his usual command made it worse than it had to be.

      and for all the horrible lineups people keep referring too. they’re in first place mostly without Kemp. in other cultures they would be writing and singing songs about the players like the kennedy’s, hairsonts, herreras et all.

      • the thing that struck me most about the team seeing it close up was the utter futility in the speed department.

    • Have you checked their record without him?

  6. Rock Well

    Something has been bothering me about Kershaw’s delivery this season. I’m certainly no expert on pitching mechanics but it seems to me he is doing something different at the start of his delivery (he is raising his hands much higher than last year.) and his follow through with seems to have him more to the first base side….

    Anyone else notice something funky?


    • well yes when he’s in a stretch he does do that. but i think he’s trying to get quicker to the plate with men on base. you see the slow exaggerated movement, then quick slide step. but i haven’t seen any correlation between that and any performance problem. to me last night he just got tired.

  7. How sore do you think Kershaw’s left foot is and do you think it is effecting his pitching this year?

  8. I have trouble believing Kershaw’s foot isn’t some kind of issue.

    • Anonymous

      But that’s dangerous because it can alter his delivery and ….oh man :(

  9. Anonymous

    In Vinny’s monologue last night he mentioned another player with high expectations. But my mind is blank right now. Who was the player?

    • James Truschel

      Justin Upton?

      • Anonymous

        He was talking about Upton but he also mentioned Garrett Anderson. I just couldn’t remember.

  10. Anonymous

    I agree with Vinny in that labeling players as the next “?” is wrong. Let’s just enjoy them, especially on those days where everything goes right. Or in the case of Uribe when he actually gets a hit!

    • Anonymous

       Let’s hope nobody ever gets labeled the “next Uribe.”

  11. Anonymous

    Has Elbert ever been a starter in the minors? That called third strike in Thursday’s game was very Kershawesque.

    • Anonymous

      Elbert’s a former 1st rd. pick who failed as a starter.

    • foul tip

      He was converted to a reliever.  He was a starter in the minors as recently as 2010, IIRC.

  12. Anonymous

    As long as the Dodgers hold onto to their division lead going into the ASG, I’m contented with the first half of the season.

  13. Anonymous

    We ought to trade for Justin Upton. Not only because he is probably going to be a great player, but also because Vin Sculley thinks so highly of him. What would he cost? Would they take Loney because he hits so well there? Probably not but with Upton in the outfield we could afford Loney.

    • Anonymous

      I hope you are kidding. 

    • Anonymous

      I woulnd’t mind seeing him in Mattingly’s lineup this evening.

  14. foul tip

    After Cain’s recent perfecto Jon posted a link to the top 10 pitching scores of all time, which Cain had just joined.

    If anyone here now has access to whatever site has this, what was the game score for Harvey Haddix’s 12 perfect inning, 13 inning loss in 1959? 

    This is regarded by many as the greatest game ever pitched, yet it didn’t make this top list.  Is that because it wasn’t a 9-inning game, or what happened in the 13th took the score down, or what?

    In a sign of the times, both Haddix and opposing  hurler Lew Burdette went all 13.

    • Anonymous

      >> This is regarded by many as the greatest game ever pitched

      That perfecto of Sandy’s was pretty darn great too, for both starters.  Total hits by both teams: 1.

  15. Anonymous

    While swatting Gnats from the mound, old friend James McDonald has also just scored the go-ahead run in Pittsburgh on a double by Neal Walker.

  16. Youkilis just hit ANOTHER home run for the White Sox. Seems like he may have been able to help these Dodgers after all…

    • Anonymous

      3 HR’s, 13 RBI in 12 games for the Sox so far.

    • Siiiiigh. I keep telling myself he wouldn’t have fared as well in the NL and Dodger Stadium etc. But man, he still would’ve helped.  I don’t know the details of how much the Dodgers tried to get him, and all that, so not sure if it’s  something I can blame it on someone. But would’ve been nice.

      • Anonymous

        Well, considering the White Sox aquired Youklis for next to nothing, I find it hard to believe the Dodgers could not have offered up something slightly more attractive than what the Red Sox ultimately accepted from the White Sox.

        • Anonymous

           Agreed, the Red Sox didn’t get much for him.

          • Anonymous

            Biting my lip

          • always looks easier after the fact. at the moment of transaction he looked a little scary. in my opinion according to the player stats ely/sellers was a comparable comp. so throw in a replacement for sellers as he was hurt and add gould and you get him. but at the time he looked broken down, was batting at the mendoza line, was beginning to be a problem in the clubhouse. not so easy then.

  17. Anonymous

    Michael McKenry has homered off Gnat Vogelsong to give the Corsarios a 2-0 lead through four in Pittsburgh.

    • I’m finding some solace in the stupid MacDonald-Dotel trade if James keeps pitching well against the Giants.  Not a lot of solace mind you, but some.

  18. I addressed IsotopeLoney in the last thread.

  19. Anonymous

    Pedro Alvarez, who has been coming into his own, doubles in a run off the inexplicably lucky Vogelsong, giving JMac a 3-1 lead (with 10 Ks) in the bottom of the seventh.

    • Pedro Alvarez went to the High school where I teach — he was this incredible outlier on a prep school  varsity team in NYC.  It was fun (when they were still using aluminum bats) to see him take out the wooden bat and put on a show for the scouts when he was a senior.  We’re rooting hard for him to figure it out.  He has had some crazy/streaky ups and downs thus far and has surely benefitted from being on a team that has been patient with him — talking about your trauma of potential, I think there’s a good chance that a NY or LA team would have given up on him already (given the depths of  last year and the early part of this year).

  20. Anonymous

    Wow – I feel out of the loop – I knew McDonald was doing well with the Bucs but I didn’t realize just how well until today. He even hits good for a pitcher.

    • The stat that jumps out at me for JMac: after today’s performance, he has given up 76 hits in 110 innings — Wowser!

  21. Anonymous

    Wow… You guys are “all over the map” today…
    Jon Weisman:  Have you ever actually had to ban anybody from DT? If so, what was the offense?

  22. Anonymous

    Giants lose, 3-1.

  23. Anonymous

    Thanks to the Gnats’ loss on the Monongahela, the Dodgers can clinch first place heading into the All-Star break by winning tonight. That would satisfy me, for the time being.

  24. VODF wrote: “and for all the horrible lineups people keep referring too. they’re in first place mostly without Kemp. in other cultures they would be writing and singing songs about the players like the kennedy’s, hairsonts, herreras et all”….

    Ummm…have you checked their record without Kemp? They are in first place because of what they did when he was playing. I don’t know what other culture would be singing songs about the Hairstons and the Herreras, but probably it would be one that is both tone deaf and baseball challenged.

    •  I think he means something like this:

      oendan plays a different song for each Swallows batter,
      and most fans clap plastic megaphones along with the
      music. If you want to join in, all you need to know is
      the basic katobase cheer.
      it’s nearly impossible to literally translate
      “katobase,” most people say it means “get
      or hit” or “let’s go.”

      Swallows catcher Atsuya Furuta comes to bat. The oendan will play his
      song, and fans will chant (in seven beats),
      “Ka-to-ba-se Fu-ru-ta.” If foreign slugger Dwayne Hosey comes to bat, fans may chant,
      “Home-run, Home-run Ho-o-sey.” And if a player
      has a longer name, like first baseman Takahiro Kobayakawa, the chant becomes, “Ka-to-ba-se

      • yes Paul I do. but haters going to hate.

        • Anonymous


          • In English? sorry what i meant  was I liked paul’s song reference. it does refer to a type of fan that roots for a team rather than constantly rants on them if things aren’t going well even if they are in first place. while this might not be a direct trickle down from my own post I appreciate it none the less. but haters going to hate anyway.

          • It is possible and actually normal that a fan roots hard for a team, yet makes an effort to understand its shortcomings. My original comment…long long ago in this thread, was that I was rather sanguine about this loss because even Kershaw can’t be expected to be perfect every time, and because our bench players (who are now starting) cannot be expected to be better than it has been proven that they are. If that’s a rant…well, the world’s a lot more tin skinned than it used to be.

          • Anonymous

             Hate what?

      •  Here’s a player chant, and Nori’s 200th hit, a HR, with the PA starting at or around the 2:50 mark:

        By the way, he should be the team’s starting LF, but instead the team picked up recycled trash. 

    • is this from Terry Pruett what you would consider a chippy edge foultip?

      • It was not meant to be chippy. Yes…the Dodgers are in first place…but no, the Dodgers are not in first place because of the various bench players and mediocrities that are starting. They are in first place because:

        A. They got off to a terrific April start, fueled by Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.
        B. They had a good 2 week stretch the first time Kemp was hurt.
        C. The Division does not contain anyone resembling the 1927 Yankees.

        This past month, the Dodger replacements have been almost uniformly lousy. To credit them for the team’s presence in first is like crediting any ambulatory adult for walking any random 3 steps without falling down and hurting himself.

  25. Anonymous

    There hasn’t been a good song about a Kennedy since Jimmy Dean released “PT-109.”

    • Anonymous

       How ‘ bout “Abraham, Martin and John?”

      • Anonymous

        I stand by my original assertion.

        • Anonymous

          Neither of them is a very good song. Try instead the Byrds’ “He Was a Friend of Mine” or Son House’s “President Kennedy.”

    • Anonymous

      Well “Sympathy for the Devil” doesn’t quailfy as “as a song about a Kennedy” but always loved the lyrics and tune :

      I watched the glee
      While your kings and queens
      Fought for ten decades
      For the Gods they made
      I shouted out”Who killed the Kennedys?”
      Well after all
      It was you and me
      Let me please introduce myself
      I’m a man of wealth and taste
      And I laid traps for troubadours
      Who get killed before they reached Bombay

      Pleased to meet you
      Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
      But what’s puzzling you
      Is the nature of my game, oh yeah

  26. Anonymous

    I’m just sad because I’ve learned that I’m not a good fan because I haven’t composed an epic poem dedicated to Elian Herrera. I did write four different sonnets. But that wasn’t enough to show my undying respect for someone I didn’t even know existed before the Dodgers called him up.

    • sonnets would have been good enough for me. don’t know who the unreasonable person was. tink?

    • Anonymous


      There was an old man named Uribe,

      • Anonymous

         Any poetry  with such a name in it is by definition blank verse.

        • Anonymous

          Or, it’s lame – by both definitions of the word.

      • There was an old man named Uribe
        Whose swing looked like it was bought on ebay
        When the pitcher did huck it
        He’d step in the bucket
        And they’s smile up north in the East Bay

  27. Anonymous

    Given how many trips to the disabled list have already been taken this year, I’d like to express the hope that henceforth we have fewer topics with the word “trauma” in the title.  :)

  28. Bob, try a team song, something like this:

    By the way, next time you’re in Nippon, well, even though she’s now married and has a new baby boy, if you see Miki Fujimoto, you can borrow her words and tell her that Paul says that her fine image excites as well.  Let me leave you and the rest with Def Diva [sorry, no translation for this one]:

  29. Anonymous

    Pretty funny – Greinke was tossed out of the game after four pitches, and scouts from at least six teams were in the stands to check him out as a trade target.

  30. There was an old man named Uribe
    Whose swing looked like it was bought on ebay
    When the pitcher did huck it
    He’d step in the bucket
    And they’d smile up north in the East Bay

  31. Anonymous

    CK is currently #4 in the NL in whip, BTW:

    IIRC, not many second-guessed Ned when we let McDonald go, incidentally.  He was a fine pitcher for the dodgers today.

  32. KT did anyone congratulate the dodgers’ lousy lineup last night for its 13 hits?

  33. Jack Dawkins

    Vin has quite the sunburn tonight.  Forgot his sunscreen today.

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