Dodger Thoughts

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

Twenty examples of Dodger grit in five minutes

1) A.J. Ellis worked his way from fringe prospect to one of the top catchers in the National League, and hasn’t let up at all.

2) Adrian Gonzalez, rather than mailing it in, has gone all-out to carry the Dodgers, even with neck issues.

3) Carl Crawford, probably not 100 percent but essentially the same story as Gonzalez.

4) Nick Punto, scrappy like a cliche, but the cliche fits. The Boston guys are not the problem.

5) Mark Ellis takes a licking and keeps on ticking.

6) Matt Kemp is clearly trying. His struggle is lost mechanics and lost strength, due to his labrum injury. It is not an issue of effort.

7) Luis Cruz can be accused of a lot of things, but not going through the motions. He is a grinder.

8 ) Scott Van Slyke, cast off by the Dodgers only months ago, took it upon himself to take it to another level and resurrect his career.

9) Hanley Ramirez’s biggest sin this year — wanting to play as much baseball as he can, regardless of what his body says.

10) Justin Sellers will literally run through a wall for you.

11) Zack Greinke will literally put a rod through his shoulders for you.

12) Kenley Jansen will literally put his heart on the line for you.

13) The Dodgers would have been happy to pay Ted Lilly to camp out on the disabled list, and Lilly repeatedly refused.

14) Chad Billingsley wanted to pitch through a tendon injury rather than take the year off.

15) Chris Capuano, no prima donna, will take any role you give him and take no offense.

16) Jerry Hairston never met a position he won’t play.

17) Andre Ethier is a pit bull. Don’t know what’s going on between him and Don Mattingly, but he is not taking things lying down. He may be still figuring out how to channel his will to succeed.

18) Matt Magill, Stephen Fife, Shawn Tolleson, Tim Federowicz, etc., etc. – all they want to do is contribute.

19) Hyun-Jin Ryu embraces the challenges of new kid on the continent.

20) Clayton Edward Kershaw.

I could have come up with more examples if I allowed myself more time. But I kept a strict timer on drafting this. Five minutes to write it, five minutes to edit.

There might well be a talent deficit on the Dodgers, especially with injuries and players like Kemp and Ethier struggling to find themselves. But the narrative of the Dodgers failing because they’re a team of all-ego individualists is a false narrative.

Update: Holy cow, I forgot Uribear, reinventing his career.

* * *

Joe Blanton starts for the Angels tonight against the Dodgers. Last time he pitched in Dodger Stadium, on September 29, Blanton threw six shutout innings and Kemp hit two home runs. So you know what to expect.

Angels at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.

Carl Crawford, LF
Mark Ellis, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Andre Ethier, RF
Matt Kemp, CF
A.J. Ellis, C
Juan Uribe, 3B
Luis Cruz, SS
Hyun-Jin Ryu, P





Ryu Flu sends Angels to bed with 3-0 shutout


  1. Guest


  2. Anonymous

    With more time you could have rated the grit like they do with sandpaper.

  3. Holy cow, I forgot Uribear.

    • Anonymous

      Thinkin’ the same. At which point can we start speculating on whether he is resigned or not.

      • Anonymous

        Benefitting from low expectations, but I want him to return to the Gnats.

    • I’m waiting for Lyons or somebody else to pick up on Uribear like they did with Bison.

  4. Anonymous

    You have rekindled my flame of hope. Thank you.

  5. Spencer Steel

    I am no professional ballplayer, but threw left-handed and hard enough (85-86) to get some looks from smaller colleges and played rec until I was 40, when my labrum and rotator cuff gave out. I had the surgery done by one of the 2-3 guys every baseball fan has heard of, and rehabbed it with the trainer of my city’s MLB franchise. Never got the velo back – not even close – and the whole ordeal gave me an appreciation for what these guys put themselves through. When your therapist is bending your arm back, stretching your surgically repaired tendon to its limits trying to get one more degree of range-of-motion, I don’t care how big your contract is. It’s Mother Nature that drives the Matt Kemp narrative, not #grit. Same for Chris Capuano, who has TWICE had the UCL in his pitching elbow surgically transplanted.

    These men are more focused and better at what they do by a factor of a hundred than any of us will ever be at anything we ever do in our lives. Thing is, so are the guys they’re playing against, and if the other guys are better, or healthier, then they’re going to lose more than they win. That may not make for fun storytelling, but it’s how it is.

    • Anonymous

      “These men are more focused and better at what they do by a factor of a hundred than any of us will ever be at anything we ever do in our lives.” All right then.

    • Anonymous

      You haven’t seen me take a nap.

    • Jason Ungar

      Great Post.

    • jonathanv_00

      Yeah, great post. “Factor of a hundred” is great.

  6. Anonymous

    Yes, but are the Dodgers are a TEAM team?

  7. Anonymous

    Jon, I’ve missed your eternal hope and clear-headed analysis. Thanks for coming back to write for us . . . occasionally. I feel better.

  8. Anonymous

    NIce work Jon must have been tough to cut it off at the 5 min mark…at what point does Yasiel Puig force a promotion if Kemp/Ethier keep struggling? Hanley back in the lineup is huge he looked prime for a big year I loved how he was going to CF/RF instead of being so pull happy and was walking a lot even in the WBC

    Pasty Rasta aka Kenny @ Lasorda’s Lair

  9. Ack! No Prime Ticket and ESPN is blacked out in Hawai’i. Obviously all of Hawai’i might fly over for tonight’s game and then fly back, and the Dodgers couldn’t have us staying home and watching it on TV instead. I got news for the Dodgers and MLB; this state leans heavily Giants these days.

    Fortunately (?) FSW is carrying it with the Angels’ announcers.

    • Anonymous

      When Dad was stationed at Hickam in Hawaii 40+ years ago, we would get Giant and Dodger radio broadcasts on the weekend. After listening to Vinny describe the games –basically my introduction to the national pastime — I have been a Dodger fan ever since!

      • We stopped getting Dodgers games on the radio about 25 years ago, but they had been on weekends sometimes before that. There was a guy named Gene Kaneshiro out here who owned two restaurants called Columbia Inn, one right next to the newspaper building; that one was basically Dodgers Central for the state. When he died and the restaurant changed hands the Dodgers lost their loudest and most visible fan out here.

      • Anonymous

        Lived at Hickam myself, but more like 55 years ago.

    • Anonymous

      Can’t you get MLBTV?

      • Nope. I even started to subscribe but once my zip code was entered I got this:

        The below-listed Club(s) is within the searched home television territory, and MLB.TV is subject to blackout for all regular season live games for these Club(s):

        Oakland Athletics
        Seattle Mariners
        San Francisco Giants
        San Diego Padres
        Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
        Los Angeles Dodgers

        Hawai’i is outta luck for watching any West Coast teams via MLB. ESPN never used to subject us to blackout, but starting late last season and now this one their games are verboten for us too. It’s annoying, to say the least. I’m glad I didn’t pay for MLB.TV.

        And the MLB network on TV is unavailable for the same teams.

        • Anonymous

          That’s incomprehensible, I simply don’t get it. Maybe you’ll have to move to Samoa.

  10. Anonymous


  11. Anonymous

    At least he didn’t strike out :)

  12. Anonymous

    Sorry for the big pic posting, but I took this shot on my cell phone as my 1-yr old daughter was probably thinking she could use the remote to change the score….
    Who’s kidding who? She’s trying to turn on cartoons… :-)

    • Anonymous

      Oh… I guess the pic didn’t go through…. It’s all good.

      … What a game yesterday!

  13. Anonymous

    So close.

  14. Anonymous

    After yesterday’s moonwalk, we’ve crashed back to 2013 Dodger baseball, AKA all tease, few runs.

  15. Anonymous

    Ryu is really looking the goods this year

  16. Anonymous

    good start Uribear!

  17. Anonymous

    Cruz!!!! ???????????

  18. Anonymous


  19. Anonymous

    WOW, have I been transported back to 2012?

    • Anonymous

      Some alternate reality, pitcher doubles, Cruz homers.

  20. Anonymous

    Ah, Blanton as we know him!

  21. Guest

    Gameday is drunk on 3-in-1

  22. Anonymous

    The Pirates beat the TIgers 1-0 in 11 innings on a Neil Walker homer. In the bottom of the 11th, Jason Grilli of the Pirates struck out Torii Hunter, Miguel Cabrera, and Prince Fielder.

    Jason Grilli is another example of how planning to create a good bullpen is a fool’s errand.

    • Anonymous

      A Gnat reject.

      • jonathanv_00

        And the son of a pitcher in the longest game ever played.

  23. foul tip

    Gameday is drunk on 3-in-1 oil, or something. Says Uribear singled….OK, maybe it’s just a bit tipsy.

    But then it says Cruz followed with a HR. That’s just too much. Gotta be plastered…..

    • Anonymous

      Wait to you hear that Matty doubled.

  24. Anonymous

    MaTTY! . . . I am soooo glad he was safe! Speed never slumps and he can still contribute with that!

  25. Anonymous


    -Did I hear the crowd chanting “Angels s**k!”?

  26. Anonymous


  27. Anonymous

    Matt taking the extra base made that happen.

  28. That inning almost brought tears to my eyes.

    • Anonymous

      Should have been running water in the sink while chopping your onions.

  29. The Dodgers are playing like @Jon_Weisman:disqus is live blogging this game.

  30. Anonymous

    KT: Belatedly, I wish you a full and speedy recovery. There are days when you and Jon are the key players in carrying this blog.

  31. Anonymous

    Great game Ryu!

  32. Anonymous

    with a game score of 90 on espn, it is the equal 7th best pitched game all season!

  33. Thank you anon, for doing this. And tonight was another example. :). Did you send this post to Jayson Stark and his unnamed rival exec? Those quotes still tick me off but you nailed it.

    Also nailing it? Ryu who was terrific against a lineup that had been red hot.

  34. Jack Rosenberg

    Was it my imagination, or did Ethier really seem to be busting it on the bases last night?

  35. Anonymous

    Who says there’s no such thing as clutchiness.

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