April 16, 2014

Five Tweets with…Jon Weisman of ESPN LA’s Dodger Thoughts

Four days ago, the gates of Camelback Ranch swung open for the first time this year, and the Dodgers started their final preparations for the 2010 season.  We’re also finishing our annal tweaks for the dodgerfan.net site, and part of that involves a commitment to social media.  Many of you already follow us on Twitter (@dodgerfan_net), but we’re taking that one step further this year with a new (hopefully weekly) feature that will run through the upcoming season.  It’s called “Five Tweets with…”  Let me explain:

“Five Tweets With…” is designed to be an entertaining way to learn a little more about the people that play, cover, work with, tweet about and cheer on professional baseball teams, with an emphasis on the Dodgers.

“Five Tweets With…” was inspired by reading the Proust Questionnaire (originally developed by the French writer Marcel Proust), along with subsequent versions that appear regularly in Vanity Fair and on the “Inside the Actor’s Studio” television program.

Our “interview” features five short questions.  The questions will not change.  Each week, we’ll select one person from the world of Major League Baseball and then beg, bribe, cajole and/or twist their arm until they participate.  They will then tweet their responses back to us and we’ll post ‘em here.  Of course, if they want to email us longer responses, we’ll take that too!

We’ve got a few exciting people already on board for later in the year, but we couldn’t imagine starting this program off with anyone other than Jon Weisman of the esteemed Dodger Thoughts blog.  Jon began blogging about the Dodgers way back in 2002, and his knowledge, wisdom, insight and opinions are respected not only by us, but by many of you as well.  Ok, enough with the set-up.  Alex and I hope you enjoy the series and let us know what you think!

Five Tweets with…Jon Weisman of ESPN Los Angeles’ Dodger Thoughts

1. What excites you the most about this season?

Just seeing the gang on the field again. Kershaw, Kemp, Billingsley, Broxton, Ethier, Loney, Martin (yes, even Martin), and so on. I’ve been having so much fun watching their careers develop, and can’t wait to see the next steps.

2. What is your biggest concern about this season?

On the field, I am concerned about the older guys in the rotation: Kuroda and Padilla. Off the field, I’m concerned that many fans and media are out for blood – ready to take out their frustration about the McCourts and about the twin NLCS disappointments out at a moment’s notice. It’s going to be a long year if we have to spend each day talking about how cheap the McCourts are. No one likes losing – I certainly don’t – but my hope is that the talent base of this team reminds people that baseball is meant to be fun.

3. What is your earliest baseball memory?

Watching Hank Aaron’s 715th home run on TV while on vacation with my family in Arizona.

4. What is your favorite baseball memory?

That’s just so hard to choose. You know, I was in college during the ’88 season, so I wasn’t at the Kirk Gibson game. I wasn’t at the R.J. Reynolds “Squeeze!” game. I wasn’t at the 4+1 game. I saw them all on TV, but I don’t think I can pick as my favorite memory something I didn’t see in person. I might go with the time when I was a kid that I yelled out in the bottom of the ninth inning to a struggling Rick Monday, “Monday – a homer or your life!” and he hit a game-winning blast. Also, being at Fernando’s no-hitter was something special.

5. Why do you love the game?

I really don’t know. I just got invested in the characters at a young age and I haven’t been able to shake it. I’m not sure why. I do know I enjoy sharing baseball with my dad, and that I want to enjoy that as long as I can.

Congratulations to Jon Weisman!

Some of the big news in the Dodger blogosphere today didn’t have any anything to do with the team itself.  Instead, the big news involved one of our own: Jon Weisman, founder of the influential Dodger Thoughts, is taking his blog from the Los Angeles Times (its home for the past year) and moving over to the new ESPN Los Angeles site, starting on Monday.  Tony Jackson will continue on as the Dodger beat writer for the site.

The move has been rumored for some time, and we’re thrilled to see Jon take his column to the next level.  No news yet on who is taking over to the LA Times’ blogger slot for the Dodgers.

Dodger Blogger Gets Called Up

Ok, so this news has been around for a few days, but it’s not often that one of our own gets called up to the majors, but that’s exactly what’s happened to Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts who is taking his excellent writing and thoughtful opinions over to the Los Angeles Times as their official Dodger blogger.  Here’s a sample of Jon’s last entry over at the “old” Dodger Thoughts location:

One summer day in 2002, with fulfilling this dream being the farthest thing from my mind, I started talking in a tiny room to almost no one in particular. Talking to myself, mainly. Over the next year, I’d see people on the street and nod a hello, sharing a conversation every few weeks or so. I started to know folks around the block.

In 2004, I moved shop to a bigger neighborhood and, in a sense, opened the doors. One by one, visitors started to make their presence known. It was a time when a handful of guests still seemed like riches, and under no illusions that we amounted to anything significant, you could feel a warmth. At the end of July that year, those of us who were there bonded over what for us was a cataclysmic event. We bonded over a mutual, natural belief in seeing the light during an uncertain time.

The following year, I joined a smaller band of shopowners in yet another neighborhood, that to me has always felt a little less urban, a little more pastoral. A colony. It wasn’t that life slowed down – if anything, it became exponentially busier. But we really flourished here. It has been a fecund setting, with utterly unexpected growth. Deep, personal friendships have sprung from conversations reminiscent of a endless late-night college dorm room, reminiscent of the bar of one’s dreams.

And I’m not just a regular. I’m Sam Malone. It might seem arrogant for me to write that, but believe me, it feels humbling. Because without the good grace of my customers, I’d still be the guy talking to himself in the tiny room.

Perhaps it could be like this forever. I don’t know. Part of me remains curious to find out. But there’s another part of me that’s ambitious. The part of me that has wanted things when I could only dream about them, now has a chance to go grab one of them.

Now to be fair, calling Jon “one of our own” isn’t really accurate, as Jon is informally known as the dean of all Dodger bloggers and respected by all during his years covering the team and building a fantastic community of fellow fans.  Congratulations Jon, and the Dodgerfan guys look forward to continuing to join in the conversation over at the Times!

Oh, and if you can’t get enough of Dodger Thoughts, be sure and pick up Jon’s new book, 100 Things Dodgers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die at Amazon.  It’s coming out in April, and should be a great companion piece as we open another season of Dodger baseball.