Jon Weisman, keeper of my favorite Dodgers blog and blogging community, is leaving the indie ranks and moving Dodger Thoughts to LATimes.com. He starts there immediately and will be replacing Andrew and Brian Kamenetzky as the Times' official Dodger blogger. Unlike them, Weisman won't be posting a lot from the press box. He has a day job on the television beat at Variety and says he'll stay there. He breaks the news to readers:
The dive bar is headed for CityWalk, and I can understand where a regular might find that notion disappointing or dispiriting. Dodger Thoughts was more than words, and even more than a community. Thanks to Baseball Toaster, Dodger Thoughts was a place.
But there's also something to be excited about, because for all that we might sacrifice in intimacy, we stand to gain something very important. Blogs have come a long way in the past seven years, from being something that nearly no one had heard of, to being a dirty word, to slowly being considered part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
The Times, for all its many struggles....is still the biggest stage in Los Angeles, in California, in the West, and one of the biggest in the U.S. And I am eager for Dodger Thoughts to be on that stage, to bring something positive there....
The bottom line is that I'll be writing about the Dodgers for the Times, and though it's a different Times than when I first had that dream 25 years ago, it's still meaningful to me.
It appears to be part of an LAT if you can't beat 'em join 'em strategy to absorb selected blogs and acquire their traffic. This also means the end for The Griddle, the witty baseball-and-more blog from Los Angeles by Bob Timmermann. The Baseball Toaster host where both blogs called home has decided to shut down with Weisman's exit. Timmermann posts: "I'll still be complaining about Russ Ortiz, Notre Dame, and the New York Times' irritating use of extraneous periods. It's just that most of you won't hear it."
Joe Torre's book: The Dodgers manager has shocked a lot of baseball insiders by putting his name on a tell-most book about his years with the Yankees. The LAT's David Ulin actually reviews the book — and actually likes it: "an unexpectedly thoughtful, even nuanced, history not only of Torre's 12 years as manager of the Yankees but of Major League Baseball during that time. It's a period ripe for just this sort of overview: the steroid era, the rise of moneyball."
And in real baseball: The Dodgers last night made a new, one-year offer to Manny Ramirez that is reportedly for $25 million.