Dodger Thoughts

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

In case you missed it: The smokejumper quest continues

By Jon Weisman

Anthony Castrovince of Sports on Earth looks at whether MLB might slowly be stop being slaves to the closer mentality, embracing what I’ve long called the smokejumper concept.

“A weapon is a weapon, no matter what inning it is,” Indians closer Cody Allen said. “You just have to use that weapon to the best advantage of your ballclub.”

The more teams and relievers who subscribe to that theory, the better.

Another approach I offered, almost exactly 10 years ago (the names in the examples stick out), was as the Reliever Reciprocity Rule …

It’s very simple:

If you would use a reliever in a given moment in a game with a lead of X, you should use him with a deficit of X.


  • If you would use Yhency Brazoban in a given inning with a two-run lead, you should use him in the same inning with a two-run deficit.
  • If you would use Eric Gagne in a given inning with a one-run lead, you should use him in the same inning with a one-run deficit.

Close games are winnable, whether you are in the lead or trailing. If the reliever is available to work with a lead, he is available to work without a lead. If he needs to rest that game, he needs to rest no matter what.

This goes with the Just Get the Out Rule: Use your best reliever in a tight situation whenever it comes up. If you need an out – give yourself the best chance of getting the out. Worry about the rest later. Rest pitchers when they need to rest – not because you’ve rendered them irrelevant by using lesser pitchers.

The RRR. The Just Get the Out. Learn it. Know it. Live it.

A decade later, my feelings haven’t changed. We’ll see …

Here’s what else is happening in the Dodger world:

  • With Yasmani Grandal embarking on his first season in Los Angeles, the history of switch-hitting Dodger catchers is mined by at True Blue L.A. by Eric Stephen.
  • Dodgers Digest wraps up its 100-deep prospect writeups with the top 10, by Dustin Nosler.
  • Joe Black’s daughter, Martha Jo Black, has co-authored a biography about the former Dodger reliever. Barry M. Bloom interviews her about her dad at
  • Dodger owner Magic Johnson took some swings on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”


Chat wrap: Farhan Zaidi on @Dodgers


The politics of fandom


  1. oldbrooklynfan

    I once experimented with keeping a record of pitchers who come in in relief while the team is behind and not permitting the opponent to score more runs, giving them credit and calling it a “Stop” instead of a “hold” to distinguish the difference.

  2. A little late to fix the disaster of game 1 last year. Baez over Jansen. I still can’t believe the person who made that decision is still a major league manager.

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