Dodger Thoughts

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

Back in the U.S. of A.

Thanks so much to Bob Timmermann for providing such rich content during my absence at the Toronto International Film Festival. He did a wonderful job.

You can read my Toronto writings at my Variety blog The Vote, and see the edited interviews I conducted with filmmakers and actors here.


Another dry day in the desert for the Dodgers


September 12 game chat


  1. LAT’d
    From 1965 through 1968 in particular, the Sixties were a decade of extreme pitching, for a variety of reasons. That meant that strategies such as the bunt, the hit and run, and the stolen base were vital. Back then, if you were Maury Wills or Lou Brock, you could get by with a 65% successful steal percentage, because the big inning was highly unlikely. Particularly in the orginal configuration of Dodger Stadium, which was essentially an airport.
    Today, the run scoring rate is much higher, which lessens the efficacy of playing for one run. This means that if a guy isn’t stealing at at least a 75% clip, he’s probably hurting you by burning outs. Same thing for the sac bunt…one run meant a lot more in those days.
    While run scoring has declined from the 90’s and the early part of this decade, it is still FAR more hitter friendly today than in the 1960’s. And the tactics have thus changed. If you tried to play today the way they did in 1965 (particularly in the NL of that time), sacrificing early and often, stealing with impunity, burning outs…you’d guarantee yourself loss after loss. In 1966, Maury Wills was successful on only 61% of his SB tries, had an OPS+ of 81…and was considered a good leadoff hitter and offensive player. Different world, different time, different game. What would we be saying about him on DT with those stats today, I wonder?

    • Anonymous

      In 1962, Maury was successful 104 times, thrown out 13 if I recall correctly, and that was with the Gnats watering down the infield around first base to slow him down. Somebody with those skills would be equally successful today.

      • Anonymous

        Wills was never that successful as a base stealer again after 1962. Pitchers and catchers began to adjust better to the stolen base threat. 
        That’s true even more so today. Dee Gordon is obviously the fastest Dodger. But, he had no chance to steal last night against Brad Ziegler, who did a good job of holding him on.

        Some pitchers don’t care at all about stopping the running game, such as Kenley Jansen and Ted Lilly. Others are very good at preventing steals, like Chris Capuano.

        • Anonymous

          Maury got really banged up in the 1962 season but, even then, he had some good SB seasons after that. Brock and Henderson followed his lead, but proved more durable than Maury. Gordon’s SB percentage is pretty good this year, but Everth Cabrera’s is extraordinary.

          We might add that Kershaw is pretty good at preventing steals as well. I would say that Lilly cares, but is clueless as to how go about it.

      • 1962 was the exception…his other great year, 1965, he stole 75%,,,very good for the time but borderline marginal today, with an OPS+ of 93. I’m not knocking Maury Wills, who was one of my favorites, but I am saying that the game and its tactics change and what worked in one era will not work in another. Conversely, if you were the Dodgers of 1965 and waited for the big inning…well, you’d of been waiting a looooong time….

  2. Anonymous

    Bob’s performance far exceeded the Dodger’s performance during your absense.  Thanks BT.

    • Yes, Bob has a flair for writing (as Jon does)

    • Anonymous

      Bob did an excellent job, and the sound of Vin’s voice was a treat after 3 days without it yesterday. Then the offense came to the plate and ruined it.

  3. Anonymous

    I really like the new schedule for next year.  In particular, the 20 interleague games are spread out among way more teams, so the unfairness is reduced.  (For example, only 4 games vs the Angels instead of 6.)  And those who complain that the Dodgers play the Sox too often (even though they’re only the sixth AL team in total regular-season appearances vs the Blue) will be happy that they don’t play the Sox next year.

    • Anonymous

      Although they are still playing a team called the Sox.  

      • Anonymous

         The Dodger play the Sox but not the Sawx, as I understand it.

  4. Anonymous

    Thanks Bob for keeping us updated. Great job!

  5. Thanks again Bob!! 

  6. Tycho

    Jon did you like anything about Cloud Atlas?  I’m a 1/4 into the book and loving it, but your review gives me pause.  If I take the wife to a genre buster of a movie it better be good, or I’ll be in the movie dog house for a few months being dragged to exclusive chick flicks.

    PS – Bob you did good, even though I had to refrain from breaking Rule 1 during the week.

    • Anonymous

      Others did not refrain from breaking Rule 1 sadly.

    • I didn’t read the book and wouldn’t assume that I wouldn’t like the book. 

      I will say that I liked Cloud Atlas more than “Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close.” There are some good moments in the movie, but they’re not worth the trouble in my view (which is a minority viewpoint, I think). 

  7. Anonymous

    Since it’s Wednesday, the Cardinals and Padres will be starting soon and should be done before the Dodgers start playing tonight. Lohse vs Richard down south.

    • Anonymous

      I flew into Denver today.  I thought about going to cheer on the Rockies, but decided that I’d rather go out for a nice dinner.

  8. Anonymous

    The Phillies won again. They are presently 3 1/2 out of the wild card pending the Cardinals game going on right now.

  9. Anonymous

    Cueto, Lohse, Dickey or Gonzalez for NL Cy Young?

    • Anonymous

      Dickey or Gonzalez. 

      • Anonymous

        I’d have to agree unless Cueto really catches fire.  Lohse has had a nice year, but not in the rarified air as the other three.

      • Anonymous

         Sentimentally, I’d like a knuckleballer to win it.

        • Anonymous

          Neither Cueto nor Lohse is in the top 10 in Ks, which makes it pretty hard to win the Cy Young Award. Presently, Dickey is tied for 2nd (with Strasburg) behind Kershaw. Gonzalez is 4th in Ks, so he has a chance to make up ground. However, Gonzalez will suffer from being Not Steven Strasburg, even though he will likely end up with a better season.

  10. Anonymous

    Well, the impossible has happened.  Mattingly finally though to tinker with the lineup.  Kemp’s back in the 3 hole.  For tonight at least, I will enjoy the return to offensive glory that the move will surely spark, and will save gripes about, say, who’s batting second for another day. 

    • Anonymous

       It was a truly bold move. Donnie has become a risk-taker.

  11. KT

    A belated Thanks BT for making the last few days following the Dodgers somewhat bearable

  12. KT

    Well the Pods are doing their part by beating the Birds 3-2…Come on Dodgers

  13. Anonymous

    Welcome back, Jon – and yes, I agree with the rest, btimmer did a great job filling in.
    Now, can the Dodgers please score a run already?
    There is still time to turn this around, but it sure would be nice to start the winning streak tonight.

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