Exciting news, everyone! Today is Clayton Kershaw’s birthday … which is the perfect release date for the one of the best audiobooks possible – an audiobook version of Brothers in Arms: Koufax, Kershaw and the Dodgers’ Extraordinary Pitching Tradition. The talented James Patrick Cronin reads my words out loud.
Monday, I ordered a salad for lunch, because I wanted to eat something healthy.
I know when I do this, there are choices. I can ask for light dressing or dressing on the side, in order to combat the otherwise nearly inevitable flooding. That’s what most civilized people are forced to do.
Every so often, however, I test the better angels of my nature and order a salad without any specifics on the dressing, to see if a place can achieve what should be a simple equilibrium on its own. Monday was another try. Sure enough, the salad came with so much dressing that not only was each piece within just soaked, there was a thin liquid layer at the bottom of the To Go container. (Carry-out places should be particularly wary of this issue.)
But why do I have to do this? Why do stores and restaurants err so often on the side of too much, when you can’t remove dressing, instead of too little, when you can always add dressing?
While slurping my leafy lunch, I put a poll on Twitter: For salad orders where you don’t give instructions on the dressing, which is more common?
Too much dressing
Not enough dressing
I expect the results to rally America into solving this problem in the food services industry once and for all. Instead came this abomination …
In 2018, Austin Barnes had a .409 OBP through May 21, but .278 thereafter. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)
All along, 2019 was supposed to be the season of Austin Barnes. The year that Yasmani Grandal would leave the Dodgers as a free agent was perfectly timed for Barnes to complete his journey from the minors to the major-league bench and finally the starting lineup of a title contender.
When the Dodgers signed 29-year-old speedy singles hitter Juan Pierre to a five-year, $44 million contract in November 2006, I was upset. Pierre couldn’t have been a nicer human being, and down the road, in the wake of Manny Ramirez’s 2009 suspension, he became a redeemed folk hero not entirely unlike Juan Uribe.
From the day Pierre signed, however, the contract seemed like a waste of Dodger payroll at a time that Dodger payroll was precious. Given that he didn’t walk, throw, hit for power or succeed on enough on his stolen-base attempts, Pierre did not bring the Dodgers closer to ending their two-decade World Series drought.
Over time, especially since the end of the McCourt era, less and less has angered me since. I’ve changed, and the Dodgers have changed. This front office’s thinking aligns much better with mine, plus there is more money to spend. I also have realized that most things in baseball just aren’t worth getting that riled up about.
So when the news came Thursday that the Dodgers’ final interest in Bryce Harper had fallen short of a deal, I was pretty deeply disappointed, but I wasn’t angry. I’m willing to see what happens. It puts much more pressure on players like A.J. Pollock, Joc Pederson and Alex Verdugo, but I’m hopeful. I’m curious.
Still, though signing Harper might have turned badly for the Dodgers, I believe it was worth the risk.
Let’s address three common misconceptions about Harper and long-term contracts.
Thank You For Not ...
1) using profanity or any euphemisms for profanity
2) personally attacking other commenters
3) baiting other commenters
4) arguing for the sake of arguing
5) discussing politics
6) using hyperbole when something less will suffice
7) using sarcasm in a way that can be misinterpreted negatively
8) making the same point over and over again
9) typing "no-hitter" or "perfect game" to describe either in progress
10) being annoyed by the existence of this list
11) commenting under the obvious influence
12) claiming your opinion isn't allowed when it's just being disagreed with
Dodgers at home: 1,028-812 (.558695)
When Jon attended: 338-267 (.558677)*
When Jon didn’t: 695-554 (.556)
* includes road games attended
Dodgers at home: 51-35 (.593)
When Jon attended: 5-2 (.714)
When Jon didn’t: 46-33 (.582)
Note: I got so busy working for the Dodgers that in 2014, I stopped keeping track, much to my regret.