Tuesday, August 31, 2004

GOP convention day 2 transcripts

Was jogging but had my Sony Walkman radio on to hear the speeches.

The Arnold's speech really pumped up the crowd. His immigrant story, his explaination of what Republicans are about and his humor was all right on target. Will people start pushing for an amendment to the Constitution? Like the Mayor the night before, he has a stage presence that is impossible to ignore.

The bit with Jenna and Barbara was a little hokey. Their humor at times seems a little forced and they seemed a little antsy. But, afterall, they are twenty-two years old and have hardly been on the national stage so I'm not going to nit-pick them any more. I'm sure after the campaign is over they will return to trying to live out of the spotlight and go onto relatively normal lives. I will say the litany of how they were trying to find a role in the WH and campaign but ran into various people was cute and did underscore a serious point: Bush has assembled an incredible team around him.

The First Lady's speech was earnest and a bit longer on policy than I expected. Mrs. Bush quickly listed off some of the accomplishments of the first term and then moved into the very moving part about 9/11 and the war on the terrorists. She put a very human face on the issue by citing stories from real life people the Bush's have met. I don't know how it looked on tv but on radio Mrs. Bush comes across as quite sincere though not the smoothest speaker.

UPDATE:
Bevan at RCP seems to feel similarly though he is much harder on the Jenna and Barbara. I think his being on the convention floor heightened the different reactions to Arnold and Mrs. Bush. Clearly, the Govenator was there to fire up the crowd and to appeal to the small percentage of undecided voters who haven't decided in TV land. I'm sure on the floor the reaction difference to him and Mrs. Bush would be extremely obvious. I could sense it over the radio too. However, Mrs. Bush's job wasn't to rally the troops. I think her job was to re-assure wavering Bush supporters and to reach women undecideds as such she didn't have to give a rah-rah bring them to their feet kind of speech.

Monday, August 30, 2004

McCain and the Mayor

Caught parts of the two headliner speeches at the GOP Convention in New York.

The transcript for McCain's speech.

Excerpts:

It's a fight between a just regard for human dignity and a malevolent force that defiles an honorable religion by disputing God's love for every soul on earth. It's a fight between right and wrong, good and evil.

And my friends, should our enemies acquire for their arsenal the chemical, biological and nuclear weapons they seek, this war will become a much bigger thing.

So it is, whether we wished it or not, that we have come to the test of our generation, to our rendezvous with destiny. And much is expected of us.
................
My friends in the Democratic Party -- and I'm fortunate to call many of them my friends -- assure us they share the conviction that winning the war against terrorism is our government's most important obligation. I don't doubt their sincerity.

They emphasize that military action alone won't protect us, that this war has many fronts: in courts, financial institutions, in the shadowy world of intelligence, and in diplomacy.

They stress that America needs the help of her friends to combat an evil that threatens us all, that our alliances are as important to victory as are our armies.

We agree.

And, as we've been a good friend to other countries in moments of shared perils, so we have good reason to expect their solidarity with us in this struggle.

That is what the president believes. And thanks to his efforts, we have received valuable assistance from many good friends around the globe, even if we have, at times, been disappointed with the reactions of some.

I don't doubt the sincerity of my Democratic friends. And they should not doubt ours.
..............
Whether or not Saddam possessed the terrible weapons he once had and used, freed from international pressure and the threat of military action, he would have acquired them again.

My friends, the central security concern of our time is to keep such devastating weapons beyond the reach of terrorists who can't be dissuaded from using them by the threat of mutual destruction.

We couldn't afford the risk posed by an unconstrained Saddam in these dangerous times. By destroying his regime, we gave hope to people long oppressed, that if they have the courage to fight for it, they may live in peace and freedom.

Most importantly -- most importantly, our efforts may encourage the people of a region, that has never known peace or freedom or lasting stability, that they may someday possess these rights.

I believe as strongly today as ever, the mission was necessary, achievable and noble.
.................
We are Americans first, Americans last, and Americans always.

Let us argue -- let us argue our differences, but remember we are not enemies, but comrades in a war against a real enemy, and take courage from the knowledge that our military superiority is matched only by the superiority of our ideals and our unconquerable love for them.

Our adversaries are weaker than us in arms and men, but weaker still in causes. They fight to express -- they fight to express a hatred for all that is good in humanity. We fight for love of freedom and justice, a love that is invincible.

Keep that faith. Keep your courage. Stick together. Stay strong. Do not yield. Do not flinch. Stand up. Stand up with our president and fight.

We're Americans. We're Americans, and we'll never surrender. They will.

Honestly, McCain as a public speaker is not overwhelming. Obama at the Democratic Convention had such great rythm and cadence while McCain doesn't. Other speakers have an easy charm while McCain comes across at times a little stiff. But there is always one thing that comes across with McCain, a seriousness and a sense he is speaking what he truly believes. McCain's speech put it on the table: there is one big issue and this is what we are up against in this war on terrorists.

Also, because of his status as a war hero and an independent voice, he has credibility when he speaks about putting the partisan sniping into the bigger perspective of who the real enemies are.

Here is the transcript from Mayor Giuliani's speech.

Excerpts:

And it was here in 2001, in the same lower Manhattan, that President George W. Bush stood amid the fallen towers of the World Trade Center, and he said to the barbaric terrorists who attacked us, "They will hear from us."

Well, they heard from us.

They heard from us in Afghanistan and we removed the Taliban.

They heard from us in Iraq, and we ended Saddam Hussein's reign of terror.

And we put him where he belongs, in jail.

They heard from us in Libya, and without firing a shot Gadhafi abandoned his weapons of mass destruction.

They are hearing from us in nations that are now more reluctant to sponsor terrorists or terrorism.

So long as George Bush is our president, is there any doubt they will continue to hear from us until we defeat global terrorism?
................
On September 20, 2001, President Bush stood before a joint session of Congress, a still grieving and shocked nation and a confused world, and he changed the direction of our ship of state.

He dedicated America, under his leadership, to destroying global terrorism.

The president announced the Bush Doctrine, when he said, "Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated. Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists."

And since September 11, President Bush has remained rock solid.

It doesn't matter to him how he is demonized. It doesn't matter what the media does to ridicule him or misinterpret him or defeat him.

They ridiculed Winston Churchill. They belittled Ronald Reagan. But like President Bush, they were optimists. Leaders need to be optimists. Their vision is beyond the present, and it's set on a future of real peace and security.

Some call it stubbornness. I call it principled leadership.

President Bush has the courage of his convictions.

In choosing a president, we really don't choose just a Republican or Democrat, a conservative or a liberal. We choose a leader.

And in times of war and danger, as we're now in, Americans should put leadership at the core of their decision.

There are many qualities that make a great leader. But having strong beliefs, being able to stick with them through popular and unpopular times, is the most important characteristic of a great leader.

One of my heroes, Winston Churchill, saw the dangers of Hitler while his opponents characterized him as a warmongering gadfly.

Another one of my heroes, Ronald Reagan, saw and described the Soviet Union as "the evil empire," while world opinion accepted it as inevitable and even belittled Ronald Reagan's intelligence.

President Bush sees world terrorism for the evil that it is.

John Kerry has no such clear, precise and consistent vision. This is not a personal criticism of John Kerry. I respect him for his service to our nation.

But it is important and critical to see the contrast in approach between the two men: President Bush, a leader who is willing to stick with difficult decisions even as public opinion shifts and goes back and forth; and John Kerry, whose record in elected office suggests a man who changes his position often, even on important issues.
..................
In any plan to destroy global terrorism, removing Saddam Hussein needed to be removed.

Frankly, I believed then and I believe now that Saddam Hussein, who supported global terrorism, slaughtered thousands and thousands of his own people, permitted horrific atrocities against women, and used weapons of mass destruction -- he was himself a weapon of mass destruction.

But the reasons for removing Saddam Hussein were based on issues even broader than just the presence of weapons of mass destruction.

To liberate people, give them a chance for accountable, decent government and to rid the world of a pillar of support for global terrorism is nothing to be defensive about.

It's something for which all those involved, from President Bush to the brave men of our armed services, should be proud. They did something wonderful. They did something that history will give them great credit for.
............
Have faith in the power of freedom. People who live in freedom always prevail over people who live in oppression.

That's the story of the Old Testament.

That's the story of World War II and the Cold War.

That's the story of the firefighters and police officers and rescue workers who courageously saved thousands of lives on September 11, 2001.
..............
The war on terrorism will not be won in a single battle. There will be no dramatic surrender. There will be no crumbling of a massive wall.

But we will know it. We'll know it as accountable governments continue to develop in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.

We'll know it as terrorist attacks throughout the world decrease and then end and we save lives. And then, God willing, we'll all be able on a future anniversary of September 11 to return to Ground Zero, or to the Pentagon, or to Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and to say to our fallen brothers and sisters, to our heroes of the worst attack in our history and to our heroes who have sacrificed their lives in the war on terror, we will be able to say to them that we have done all that we could with our lives that were spared to make your sacrifices build a world of real peace and true freedom.

We will make certain, in the words of President Bush, that they have heard from us, that they've heard from us a message of peace through free, accountable, lawful and decent governments giving people hope for a future for themselves and their children.

God bless each one we have lost, every soul, every single person, here and abroad, and their families. God bless all those who are currently at risk and in harm's way defending our freedom. And God bless America.

Giuliani is a more effective speaker than McCain stylistically. At times his speech was conversational and anecdotal. McCain kept to the big picture and supporting Bush. Giuliani had the big picture and supported Bush and he also sliced up John Kerry for his changing views on the big issues of the campaign. Yet, because of his stature as the heroic mayor New York amidst the chaos of 9/11, he critiques of Kerry don't come across as petty.

Two solid speeches.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Friday, August 27, 2004

A Tale of Two Teams

1-0 was the final score as the Iraqi soccer team came up short in the dream of an Olympic Bronze medal.

89-81 was the final score as the USA "Dream" team lost in the semis in basketball and now will play for bronze tomorrow.

One team had so many obstacles to overcome rose to the occasion and gave us all and especially their nation so much excitement.

One team had everything going for them failed to realize it was a team game and flopped on the world stage and even fans in the USA were either rooting for their defeat or indifferent to the outcome.

When the USA went to the NBA player in 1992, it was no contest but sports analysts were saying it would just be a matter of time before that wouldn't be enough to gain the Gold in basketball. Well, that day arrived a mere 12 years later.

To be honest, if we sent over a college team that played a team game with some heart and lost, I wouldn't feel badly.

It will be interesting what kind of team will be sent in 2008 and for that matter in international competitions prior to that.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

the marriage gap in voting

Here is an item on voting patterns. For so long, people spoke of the gender gap in voting, i.e. women vote democrat instead of republican. But here is an article that says the marriage gap dwarfs it, i.e. married women vote republican and single women vote democrat.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Does Military Service Matter in Presidents?

The news seems to have parallel universes though the blogosphere got the jump on the "mainstream" media on the inconsistencies in Kerry's recollections of his military service. Now, the mainstream media is starting to look more closely. Here is an item in of all places, Business Week Online, that takes one of the more balanced looks at Kerry's war time record. The article also discusses the President who led the USA during the Vietnam War, LBJ, and brings some historical perspective I haven't heard before.

Hat tip to Professor Bainbridge.

My take:
(1) Combat military service by itself doesn't tell us much. I'm told FDR didn't see combat yet he is regarded as one of the major presidents of the 20th Century. Democrats love Bill Clinton and he didn't serve at all. People who don't like Clinton may cite his avoidance of military service but usually the complaints are on political matters.
(2) Certainly, Eisenhower benefitted from his military hero status and his WWII role as the leader of the military coalition in D-day and afterward. These roles provided him with valuable political experience to prepare him for the Presidency.
(3) In most cases though, military service if any, is part of a candidate's life that affects them to various degrees; thus, one needs more data to make an assessment of the aspirant of the White House.

Bush 41 was a WWII pilot and is regarded to have served honorably. He had many other items on his resume that probably inspired voters to give him their votes. Bush 43 served in the Air National Guard and in some circles that is viewed as a dodge. Quayle's service in the National Guard was also viewed as a dodge. In both case, there was quite a bit of buzz about that service. The mainstream media investigated it and eventually the issue faded away. In the end, it was other factors that led voters to support Bush 43 and in the end, people rarely vote for the vice-presidential nominee.

Now, the media is beginning to look into Kerry's record and it should. Kerry has cited his military service as formative to his views on foreign affairs. Thus, if questions are raised about his military service, it should be checked out.

I don't doubt that memory of events can get fuzzy in 30 years. Details and dates can get mixed up. The media should report what it finds and let the voting public look at the results. The people are wise enough to determine whether any variation in details and dates is the result of faded memories versus fabrication.

At this moment, from what I hear, criticism about his getting medals seem unfounded. Admittedly, his injuries were fairly modest compared to others, he seemed within the rules regarding them.

Regarding being in Cambodia, this could be a more substantive problem. Kerry has cited this as formative in his views on the relationship between political civilian and military leadership. So far, these recollections appear to be faulty and Kerry needs to clarify the discrepancies.

Finally, there has been criticism of Kerry's anti-war activities. He was free to express his opinion and some allowance for context is fair. However, questions about how he views his role in retrospect is also fair. He is now citing his Vietnam era service as a qualification for the Presidency. While in his youth he viewed Vietnam service much differently. People are allowed to change. He needs to talk about that transformation to clear it up for those who are upset by his testimony before Congress.

Dodger fans on edge

That is the thing about baseball: one game you think your team can make it to the Series then the next game you wonder if they will collapse again and break the hearts of the fans.

Heard the dramatic 3-2 win over the Braves on the radio on Friday. Saw parts of the win on Saturday on Fox. Went to the game on Sunday when the Braves got 8 runs in the second inning. Me and my friends more or less just chatted the rest of the game and only periodically paid attention to what was happening on the field.

Dodger fans are on the edge. The usually reliabe Alvarez get tagged in the 2nd inning on Sunday. He was hit hard in the first inning but fortunately right to the outfielders. Monday, Perez got tagged by the Expos and the Dodgers were down 7-1. They came back only to walk in the go ahead run in the bottom of the ninth losing 8-7.

Today, Ishii is on the mound and he has been blasted in many of his recent starts. But what can the Dodgers do? Penny still hasn't thrown a pitch and continues to rehab. Nomo wasn't sharp in his 2 Triple-A Las Vegas rehad stints. Jackson is still not ready yet. So Ishii is it.

Meanwhile, the bullpen is a shambles, with Mota and Martin traded away, the burden fell on Dreifort and his ACL blew out. Gagne has hit a bad patch suggesting fatigue has set in.

The good news is the offense. They are scoring runs.

Stay tuned today to see if the Dodgers can turn it around.

UPDATE: Gammons on ESPN Radio speculates that Gagne may be struggling because Lo Duca is gone. Pitchers often have a special bond to catchers and that chemistry is not easily re-established with a new catcher.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

Great day for Dodger fans!

I was telling a friend that if things don't change, people are going to have to talk Dodger fans "off the ledge."

And last night, at the top of the 9th, fans were edging closer when Gagne surrendered the lead for the third night in row.

With a 2-1 lead, the Braves went to Smoltz and I thought, one of two things is going to happen, he is going to strike out the side or one of the Dodgers is going to tag one to the bleachers. That is the drama of baseball, the hard throwing closer versus the big bat. Strike out or home run. Beltre hit one to the right field bleachers on a 3-2 count and I was going bananas. I must have been a sight to other drivers as I was inside my car hearing the call on the radio.

In the bottom of the eleventh, Beltre hit a 2-2 pitch to the right field pavillion and the Dodgers won 3-2. AMAZING!!!

To read the recap.

Meanwhile, the Angels beat the Yankees 5-0. So all was good in Southern California sports fandom!

I am a Dodger fan first but I am keeping the corner of my eye on the Angels and they are moving closer and are only 1 1/2 games out of the lead of the AL West and 1 game out of the wildcard.

A Southern California Freeway Series has always been a fantasy and may still be but right now there is a buzz!

Go Dodgers and Go Angels!!!

Friday, August 20, 2004

Afghan Female Runner in Olympics

Gotta love this story.

Excerpts:
ATHENS, Greece – The greatest 100-meter dash of these Olympics took 14.14 seconds and a 108 years to complete.

As Robina Muqimyar crossed the finish line in her preliminary heat on Friday, she threw her hands toward the heavens. Her hair flapped in the breeze in a way that still isn't allowed on the streets of her native Afghanistan.

There was the crowd, cheering for her not because of her performance – Muqimyar finished a distant seventh – but because she performed at all; Muqimyar is one of two groundbreaking Afghani women who are representing their country and gender for the first time ever here in Athens. The modern Olympic Games resumed in 1896.


Read the full story to see what she had to overcome and still must overcome in the post-Taliban Afghanistan.

Getting nervous in Dodgertown

Penny winds up on the DL. Dreifort is done for the season. Gagne loses two games.

The last few seasons, Dodgers fans would hope only to see the team flounder as the season nears the end.

Is it happening again?

The starting rotation right now is Perez, Weaver, Lima, Alvarez and Ishii.

Perez has been hard luck all season with lots of good outings but little run support.

Weaver, after initially struggling, has settled into a pretty reliable starter.

Lima and Alvarez aren't power pitchers but they are hitting their spots and have done way better than expected.

Ishii has been going downhill for a few months now. Fans are clamoring for a change in the #5 spot. It might be time to bring in the middle relievers to tag team a start and have one of them go for 3-5 innings. Perhaps Carrara or Sanchez or Dessens.

Offensively, the Dodger bats are doing much more than last year. Finley has been a plus. But Penny remains to be seen as he is on the DL and Mota's departure has left the bullpen in a shambles. Prior to the trade, the bullpen hardly ever lost leads. Since the trade, the bullpen has lost more leads in the last month than the whole of the season prior.

Dreifort has struggled of late and the reason is now known, ACL. Poor guy, he has had so many injuries the last few years. He was supposed to take Mota's spot as the 8th inning guy. Now, he is done for the season and possibly for a career. Who gets the 8th inning set-up spot? Tracy should hand the ball to either wily vet Carrara or young fireballer Brazoban.

Gagne has lost two games. It just goes to show you how amazing the streak was. It takes so little for an inning to go wrong. In the loss the other night to the Marlins, he struggled but almost got out of the jam and was one strike and one out away from getting the save but then a hit to the gap cleared the bases. And last night, again, if there is no passed ball, maybe things are different? Callers to post-game Dodger talk are saying Gagne's velocity on the gun is down. It is now in the low-to mid-90s instead of the usual mid- to high-90s. It could be fatigue physically or psychologically or both.

DePodesta took a risk. He was hoping Finley would bring some extra offense and he has. Penny would be that extra starter and that remains to be seen. He was counting on the bullpen to have been deep enough to absorb the loss of Mota and that appears to have been a mistaken calculation.

If Penny comes back and is as advertized then that is two pluses versus one minus and the Dodgers have a better shot at the post-season and in the post-season. As it is now, it is a wash and maybe a net loss if the bullpen doesn't find a new combination of pitchers and roles.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Public speaking engagment

Do you like public speaking?

As an introvert, public speaking isn't something I naturally gravitate to. Yet, I enjoy teaching and thus, public speaking. But just as I have learned to be a "functional extrovert" for short periods of time, I find public speaking to be terrifying but fun at the same time.

Anyway, blogging will be non-existant for a handful of days as I prep for the talk.

The presentation is titled, "Explaining the Origins of Life: Evolution and Intelligent Design, Prospects and Problems."

UPDATE: Well, I think the talk went reasonably well. I managed to cover all the material in a little over one hour followed by about half an hour of questions and discussion.

At times, I felt I was talking like an auctioneer on too much caffeine! People liked the video and DVD clips I interspersed into the talk and I liked the break they gave me from talking! I recommend Snap Pro for obtaining clips from DVDs for usage in presentations. I used Keynote instead of MS Power Point.

Professor Bainbridge marks some of his posts "Personal: relentless self-promotion" and so let me engage in some of that here with this offer: if your church or civic group would be interested in having me speak please feel free to contact me at rrblog_at_yahoo_dot_com.

Dodgers 8 Cubs 1

Good to see that Dreifort was able to bounce back and pitch an uneventful eighth inning in the victory today. It was an important outing as he was, at that time, protecting a 2-1 lead. The Dodgers pounded six runs against the hapless Cub bullpen in the top of the ninth. As such, Gagne gets to rest today so Brazoban got the call for the bottom of the ninth to mop up.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

LA Blogs: LA insight

LA Blogs has this survey item.

1. How long have you lived in Los Angeles?

36 out of 41 years. I was at UC Irvine for graduate school. Sorry OC, I still think of that as part of my LA life.

2. Were you born here?

Yes, in 1963.

3. How long did you plan on staying here originally?

Growing up, I couldn't imagine living anywhere else. I did live in DC from 1993-1997 and SF 1997-1998. I really enjoyed those town. They are soooooo different from LA. I could imagine someday not living in LA.

4. How long do you plan on staying here now?

Don't know. For now, I have no plans to move.

5. What keeps you here?

I have a decent job and my immediate family is here.

6. What makes you want to leave?

Smog and traffic. Growing up in LA, I didn't think it was so bad. But having lived elsewhere (SF and DC has its share of traffic but nothing like LA) and as for smog though LA has improved considerably, it is still quite a bit worse than SF or DC.

7. What is your biggest suprise about living here?

LA has this repuation for being a town of flaky and shallow people and the land of fruits and nuts). I find that isn't entirely true. I have wonderful friends who I adore who don't resemble that stereotype.

8. What is your biggest disappointment about living here?

DC has a big fireworks show on the National Mall for July 4. LA doesn't have "the place" to be on July 4th. SF has a lot of little neighborhood stores you can walk to. LA has some of that but not much. With SF you think of the Golden Gate Bridge. With DC you think of the Capitol. With LA, you think of ... ??? I suppose that is part of the LA atmosphere that LA isn't just one place? So that is both a disappointment and a charm of the city.

Dodgers miss Mota

Dodgers lose 6-5.

Reason: Dreifort had a bad outing in the 8th. He came in with the Dodgers up 5-3 and gave up a walk and a tying homer. Brazoban gave up the hit that allowed the go ahead run to score.

Box score with the dismal details.

Dreifort might simply not have enough good stuff or his body is wearing down. Brazoban throws hard enough but he doesn't have the experience. Don't know if Tracy will go with Sanchez as his 8th inning set-up guy. It might be set-up man by committee now that Mota is gone.

We are just sheep: in the mood for shopping

Don't use my hotmail account for too much. It is over-run with junk mail.

But I check in now and then.

And in the left features tab there was this article about the sneaky things stores do to get us to buy stuff.

Being a typical guy, shopping isn't nearly the social and sensual pleasure it is for some of my women friends.

When I shop alone, I go in there and get what I need and go. When I have shopped with women friends, I find it fascinating to watch them "go to work." It is delightful to watch their eyes light up as they find something they like and amusing to hear the running commentary they give as they browse. For those who think men and women are just the same except for plumbing haven't been shopping with someone of the opposite sex!

Nonetheless, it was informative to read the list of things that are at work in the stores. Here is the list:
1. Music makes you buy more
2. The sweet smell of success
3. The color of money
4. Location, location, location
5. The price is right
6. The power of touch
7. Getting personal
8. The shopping-cart strategy

Read the whole thing for an explaination for each item.

Happy shopping!

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

This enemy has no honor

I remember the first few stories of the terrorists beheading their captives. Eventually, it became "white noise" that I didn't pay attention to.

TGOM over at Drink this... has posted this item to remind us all of just how many people and from how many nations have faced the news of beheadings and kidnappings.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

Phillies 4 Dodgers 1

Dodgers lose on top of the bad news that Brad Penny left the game after 2/3rd an inning with a strained muscle.

Carrara and Alvarez stepped in to keep the game close allowing only 1 run between them. Sanchez gave up 2 runs in the top of the ninth in 2 innings of work.

Dodgers finally broke through for one run in the bottom of the ninth but they were clearly dominated by superior pitching.

Fans are worried. If Penny is out then the pitching rotation is in a shambles. Also, CF Finley has been injured and hasn't seen much playing time. So far only Mayne and Choi have seen any regular playing time after giving up Roberts, Encarnacion, LoDuca, Mota and Martin.

The dog days of August are here. Will the Dodgers swoon or somehow hold it together?

Saturday, August 07, 2004

Maddux gets 300

The Story of the day. Period.

A class act. An amazing feat. Might not ever happen again. Can't say enough about the guy.

Dodgers Holding Firm So Far

After the big moves, the Dodgers swept the Pirates but you are supposed to do that. They dropped the first game against the Phillies but considering they were down 5-0 getting the game into overtime was quite an accomplishment.

Gagne got hit hard in his 2nd inning of work. You have to wonder if he was out of gas. He had 3 innings on Sunday then more work on Tuesday and Wednesday then Friday night they trotted him out there for an inning and then asked for another. On the other hand, if there wasn't a throwing error, the whole situation would have been different.

Tonight, the Dodgers took it to the Phillies *but* Brazoban gave up a run and then Dreifort gave up two and the call came for Gagne to get the last out. Without Mota, the bullpen *is* weaker and its showing already with an earlier in the week loss late in the game and Gagne running out of gas Friday night and tonight's 3 runs in 2 innings of work by the pen.

Meanwhile, what of Ishii? He has has several bad outings in a row and so beyond Perez, Weaver and Penny what do they have? So far Lima has been amazing and we can hope the wily vet can continue to do the amazing. Ishii may be the odd man out if the Dodgers can get Alvarez to spot start until Jackson or Nomo is back on line.

The 3rd game with the Phils is Sunday and I'm going to be there. Upper Reserve Section 25.

Go Dodgers!

Friday, August 06, 2004

Go Dodgers!

Well, you can't say that DePodesta played it safe. He has swung for the fences.

From a quick read of the ESPN.com comments they say the Dodgers were losers in the trade deadline shuffle.

Bringing in a starter was key. The question was how much would they give up to get one. He brought in hard throwing Penny but the price was pretty steep with LoDuca and Mota. However, in defense of DePodesta, LoDuca does tend to wear out in the 2nd half though he does provide the "intangibles" in terms of hustle and a good clubhouse presence and a calming influence on the pitchers. Mota as a set-up guy is tough to give up but to get someone you got to give up someone.

Losing Encarnacion is probably okay as the Dodgers have a solid outfield and Encarnacion has been hurt on and off so wasn't a key piece to the Dodger success so far.

Bringing in Finley was an interesting move which I suppose makes sense since the Dodgers also gave up OF Roberts so we needed at least one replacement outfielder. Getting Mayne was necessary since Ross would have been the only catcher. Losing Martin was okay as he is a situational lefty which sometimes I wonder just how important that role is. Alvarez now gets double duty as the situational lefty and the middle relief.

Anyway, the general feeling was that the Dodgers prior to the trade deadline was probably good enough to contend in the NL West but probably not good enough to go anywhere because the starting pitching is too shaky. Weaver and Perez were the only dominant pitchers. Ishii wins but his ERA is high. Lima has been amazing for an old guy but you just wonder when he will run out of gas. But the way he has been pitching with such economy, his old arm might just be enough in the 5th starter. Penny takes over for Alvarez as part of the core rotation (1 through 4).

The bullpen is going to be interesting. Gagne will close. I take it Driefort will take 8th inning set up. I'll be curious who is 7th inning set-up? Will it be Sanchez or the guy they are bringing up Brazoban?

Anyway, I suspect DePodesta felt the team they had going was barely enough to get the NL West so he figures toss the dice and retool big time to see if he can get the team further than that... something that hasn't happened since 1988.

I want to believe!