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Monthly Archives: September 2008

More good news

Jill had another echocardiogram today, and the results were super! Her ejection fraction (a measure of her heart’s strength and efficiency) was between 55 and 60 — exactly what a normal, healthy heart should be.

We had a scare four weeks ago when her EF was measured at 45. So the cardiologist has reason to believe that her diagnosis (cardiomyopathy) was caused by the pregnancy. Now that the baby is here, we are hopeful that Jill will be as good as new in a few weeks.

We are blessed to have such good news on the heels of the good news we received last week.  🙂

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The Cubs obviously have many advantages over the Dodgers in their first-round playoff series. Here’s another one: Hong-Chih Kuo is injured and will not be on the roster for L.A.

Kuo arguably has been baseball’s best middle reliever in 2008. More than 90 strikeouts in 80 innings and just a handful of walks all year long. The guy just overwhelms hitters — whether they bat right-handed or left-handed. There just aren’t that many lefty pitchers who throw in the mid- to upper-90s, and Kuo has pinpoint control and a hard-to-pick-up release point to go along with that power fastball.

But Kuo has a long history of arm woes, including four elbow surgeries. He currently is battling a circulation problem in his arm and fingers, so he’ll be forced to sit at least until the NLCS.

The Dodgers have had an extremely dependable bullpen this year, and Kuo was the biggest reason.

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Our pride and joy

This baby girl has changed our lives in every way — all for the better.

Maisa Clare and mommy are doing well. They’re relaxing on the recliner as I type this.

She has been such a good baby since her Friday birth. She doesn’t cry much, she eats good and fills up her diapers regularly. 

I’ll try to keep this blog baseball-centric, but with little Maisa around, it’s gonna be harder to focus on wins, losses, balls, strikes, extra-base hits and pitch counts. She’s the center of my world now. 🙂

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I think it’s going to be really fun to play the Cubs in the opening round of the NL playoffs. The Cubs are one of the rare teams that I have no ill will toward. So many of my friends and family members are Cub fans, and I wish that team nothing but the best.

Obviously I’ll be rooting against the Cubs in the first round, but if the Dodgers have to lose to someone (and I’m absolutely positive L.A. will lose the series), I would choose the Cubs.

So let’s have a fun, competitive series. I hope it goes five games, win or lose.

I would say, “May the best team win,” but that’s not exactly what I’m hoping for this time. Hahaha.

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More than a few people have asked about the name Maisa. A couple FYIs…

  • It’s pronounced “MAY-suh” — like Mesa, Arizona.
  • Jill and I heard a woman call her little girl by that name a few years ago in an airport. We thought it was a really cute name for a girl, so we always remembered it.
  • We didn’t want to spell it like the city in Arizona, and we settled on the spelling of Maisa.
  • We think it’s a really, really unique name — without being too “weird.”
 
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Posted by on September 29, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

It’s official: Dodgers win the West

What a pleasant surprise in St. Louis this week: The Cardinals won three of four against Arizona, and today’s Cardinals victory gave the Dodgers the National League West championship.

I’m happy — giddy is a more accurate word — to report that I was wrong about this 2008 Dodgers team. I never thought they had what it took to win the division. Even after last night’s win over San Diego cut the magic number to one, I had visions of Arizona forcing a one-game playoff to determine a West champ.

We were a .500 team until Manny Ramirez arrived, and rarely has one player made such a big difference for a team. I knew we had good starting pitching and a great bullpen, and I always thought a big power bat would make us a contender. I was right about that, but I still felt like we were missing the “it” factor.

Now, on to the playoffs where hopefully we can do some damage.

 
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Posted by on September 25, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Magic number down to 3

Special thanks to the St. Louis Cardinals for last night’s win over Arizona.

 
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Posted by on September 24, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

It’s gonna get interesting

Zona wins in St. Lou tonight to cut the Bums’ lead to two games. Both teams have six games remaining.

I agree with my friend Al — this race appears headed to a draw, which would force a one-game playoff at Chavez Ravine next Monday.

Mercy!

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

If it wasn’t Sunday…

… I’d swear the Dodgers don’t like to score runs on the Sabbath.

We’ve lost 1-0 the last two Sundays — both times in extra innings, no less.

The season pretty much comes down to Arizona’s four games in St. Louis, starting today. The Dodgers have stopped hitting for the year, so we need the D-backs to lose some games. Otherwise, we’re toast.

Our magic number remains 5, but the D-backs could be 2 games out of first place if they win tonight. Go Cardinals.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2008 in Uncategorized

 

Mid-game post

I’m typing this post in the bottom of the 8th inning. Manny Ramirez just hit his second homer of the night and the Dodgers appear headed to a victory over San Francisco. It’s 9-5 as I type.

If we hold on, Los Angeles’ magic number drops to five. Arizona won tonight at Colorado.

The Giants had chances to break the game open in the early innings, but left a lot of runners on base — thank goodness.

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Iowa and Iowa State both lost their football games today. No big surprise, really considering both teams were playing decent opponents on the road.

Iowa has a good, old-fashioned quarterback controversy on its hands. And this time, it actually IS a controversy (as opposed to a competition or a simple platoon) because Hawkeye fans are livid over Kirk Ferentz’s decision to bench Rick Stanzi today.

It did seem odd to leave Jake Christensen in the game for the entire second half. He’s not very good, and the offense needed a boost that he is generally unable to provide.

I think Stanzi upset the coaches by not running out the clock at the end of the first half. Instead, he chose to pass the ball.

I suspect Iowa’s quarterback problems will prevent the team from being very good this year. They’ll be fortunate to have a winning record, in my opinion.

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2008 in Uncategorized