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Off Base
Prepare to Panic

May 4 , 2006

Remember a couple weeks ago, when I said “this is no time to panic?” I might’ve also said something about there really being no reason to panic until I give the order to panic, that the order to panic would be preceded by an order to prepare to panic, and that for the time being, all is right with the world, so just sit tight.

Well, sound the order. General quarters! All hands on deck!! The whole nine yards. Prepare to panic!!!

Sure, it might just be that the Dodgers are going through a 28 game funk, highlighted by an especially bad four game super funk, which was bound to happen at some point in the 162 game long baseball season. And since all the Padres needed to cure their considerable ills was for the Dodgers to come along, it just might be that some other poor bunch of saps will come along and do the same thing for the Dodgers.

Yeah, and all Lance Carter needed was to take in a coupla shows while vacationing in Las Vegas. He’ll be back on his way to hero status and the National League Cy Young Award in about a week.

Or, it might very well be that this is the full-of-warts 2006 club, playing to its capability, and that’s with the old guys and J.D. Drew actually playing. So look out below.

All I know is that the letters to the editor aren’t fit to print in a family publication like this one. And the writers are taking it out on me. Like, it’s my fault.

And what really strikes me, and this goes to everything I’ve been saying about baseball in Los Angeles, for the last two years especially, is that with the Dodgers and the Angels sucking equally, it’s the end of the world for the Dodgers, and California might as well break apart and slip into the sea. There’s no point going on. Meanwhile, the Angels hideousness isn't a topic of conversation. They just don't matter. No one cares.

On the bright side, Ricky Ledee is out with a hamstring. Oohh, there’s a surprise. Pull the sheet over that guy. And tell me Odalis Perez doesn’t have Baltimore Orioles written all over him. If there’s a pitching coach alive who can make something of Perez, it’s Leo Mazzone, don’t you think? I say let’s oblige the two of them. Perez to the O’s for a minor leaguer, a stack of Edgar Allen Poes, and a chance to meet Cal Ripken, Jr. in person.

Yeah, Kris Benson would be better. Anna Benson would be better, but give the Birds a little credit.

Speaking of Anna Benson. You’ll love this transition, trust me.

In a 1990 episode of “Thirtysomething,” called “Good Sex, Bad Sex, What Sex, No Sex,” Nancy finds Playboy magazines under Ethan’s bed, and sends Eliot in to save the day. Dad tells son it’s natural to have those kinds of feelings about girls, and assures the boy that if he has any questions, it’s really OK. Go right ahead and ask Dad.

After initially demurring, Ethan finally chimes in with, “Dad, what’s 69?” After a long pause, Eliot answers, “That’s the year the Mets won the World Series.” One of the best lines in television history…

Trivia Question: You no doubt recall or just plain know that Nolan Ryan was a skinny, pimply-faced reliever on the Miracle Mets before going on to become the Nolan Ryan who would one day give nuggies to Robin Ventura. And you may remember Tug McGraw being a key member of the Amazin’s pen that season. In fact, another pitcher lead the club in saves in 1969. Who was he?

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Memo to the Lakers: Stop sexually assulting women.

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Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues. Please Vote “Yes on 32.” And tell a friend…

Trivia Answer: Ron Taylor finished 44 ball games for the ’69 Mets, recording 13 saves, plus one in the World Series, and a 2.72 ERA.

Remember, glove conquers all….




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