Monday, November 23, 2015

Welcome Back, Mr. Roberts

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Our Short National Nightmare Is Over

...and SoSG Sax does a happy dance.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hot Stove Thread

UPDATE: Welcome back, Brett Anderson!

Let's get this party started:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Saturday, November 07, 2015

Molly & Larry to Join Charley in Peoria

Thanks to the eagle-eyed Steve Dittmore for this find. First of all, did you know Charley Steiner has a university department named after him? It's the The Charley Steiner School of Sports Communication at Bradley University (Steiner's alma mater) in Peoria, IL.

Second, the Inaugural Charley Steiner Symposium is occurring there from Nov. 9-12 and some SoSG favorites, as well as Larry King, will be participating:

Monday November 9

  • 11am-11:50am Charley Steiner and Larry King visit Com 220 Introduction to Advertising/Public Relations: GCC 214
  • 1pm-2pm Visit Day Live Broadcast: A Conversation with Charley Steiner and Larry King: Marty Theatre

Wednesday November 11

  • 11am-Noon Panel: Sports Reporting: Issues and Challenges: Charley Steiner (moderator), Jane Leavy, Jeff Passan, Molly Knight and Dave Kindred: Marty Theatre
  • Noon-1pm Panel: Women in Sports Media: Opportunities and Obstacles Dr. Dunja Antunovic (moderator), Julie DiCaro, Jane Leavy, Molly Knight: Marty Theatre
  • 2:00pm-3:00pm Panel: Recognizing the Sports Story Charley Steiner (moderator), Jane Leavy, Jeff Passan, Molly Knight and Dave Kindred: Marty Theatre

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

And So It Begins: Dodgers Vegas Favorites To Win 2016 World Series

Not a lineup move has been made, but the Dodgers are already the Las Vegas favorites to win next season's World Series:

The Dodgers are 8-1 at the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook, followed by the Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, Toronto Blue Jays and Washington Nationals, who are all 10-1.

The Giants are 20-1; the Padres and Diamondbacks are 60-1; and the Rockies are 150-1 (second-worst odds, to the Phillies who are 300-1).

Sunday, November 01, 2015

World Series Game 5 Thread: Nov. 1, Royals vs. Mets, 5p

That's life (that's life), that's what all the people say

You're singlehandedly destroying the Dodgers and Cubs in the playoffs

Shot down in World Series Game 4

Each time I find myself flat on my face
I wonder how much not using two hands will cost me in free agency

Edinson Volquez (13-9, 3.55) vs. Matt Harvey (13-8, 2.71).

Friday, October 30, 2015

World Series Game 3 Thread: Oct. 30, Royals vs. Mets, 5p

Yordano Ventura (13-8, 4.08) vs. Noah Syndergaard (9-7, 3.24).

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

World Series Game 2 Thread: Oct. 28, Mets vs. Royals, 5p

Jacob deGrom (14-8, 2.54) vs. Johnny Cueto (11-13, 3.44).

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

World Series Game 1 Thread: Oct. 27, Mets vs. Royals, 5p

Matt Harvey (13-8, 2.71) vs. Edinson Volquez (13-9, 3.55).

Wait, there's still baseball? I thought the season ended two weeks ago. Have at it, you gluttons.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Gone Mattingly

MLBTR: Don Mattingly Won’t Return As Dodgers Manager

(I don't have much to add to the conversation. I just REALLY wanted to use that headline.)

I will say, speaking personally, that Donnie was never as bad as his most vocal detractors claimed (Three straight NL West titles!), but never as good as I'd hoped he'd be. (PEDRO BAEZ?!! C'mon, man, I'm trying to defend you here!)

So, the search begins for a new skipper. Any volunteers?

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Palate Cleanser: New Star Wars Poster

Conte Resigns, Disappointed To Finish Second In DL Rankings

Dodgers head trainer Stan Conte resigned yesterday, having come up short in his bid to lead the league in days spent on the disabled list with the Dodgers in 2015 (bold emphasis mine):

LOS ANGELES -- Stan Conte resigned on Saturday as the Dodgers vice president of medical services and head athletic trainer, effective immediately.

"I want to thank the Dodger organization and specifically each and every one of the dedicated medical staff for their support these last nine seasons in Los Angeles," Conte said in a club release. "My resignation will allow me to focus on my research in baseball injury analytics as I remain committed to determining the causes and effects of various baseball injuries."

Translation: "I want to figure out how I can cause more injuries to other teams, applying reprehensible therapeutic tecnhiques.

Conte was hired by former general manager Ned Colletti, the pair having worked together in San Francisco. He is the first departure since the Dodgers were eliminated by the Mets on Thursday in the National League Division Series.

However, president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman has been aggressively remaking the baseball side in recent months, replacing roughly 40 scouts and Minor League staff, and the Major League medical staff figured to be scrutinized.

This season, the Dodgers had 20 listed disabled list stints, which included four hamstring strains, two for Yasiel Puig. Their 1,196 games missed were second-highest in the National League to, coincidentally, the Mets' 1,332 games.

The list also includes Bronson Arroyo, who was already injured when acquired, but doesn't include Paco Rodriguez, who was on the disabled list when traded away, or Jose Peraza, who injured a hamstring in September and wasn't placed on the DL.

Conte was named director of medical services and head athletic trainer in October 2006, following 15 seasons with the San Francisco Giants, including the last seven as head athletic trainer/physical therapist. He was promoted to senior director, medical services in 2011 and vice president, medical services prior to the 2013 campaign.

Under Stan Conte, the Dodgers were second in the entire major leagues in days spent on the DL (2010-2014) and days lost to the DL (2012-2014). Only the Padres were worse. I'm not going to explicitly reference the names of Nazi criminal doctors--but let's be clear, Stan Conte didn't help the Dodgers stay healthy during his tenure. The statistics speak for themselves.

I'm sure Conte is disappointed to not get to #1 with the Dodgers. Perhaps he can go injure some other team with his analytic research.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

NLDS Game 5 Thread: Oct. 15 vs. Mets, 5p

Forever dreamy...
(Thanks again to @ThkBleu for capturing the defining image of this season.)

Donald Zachary "Spongeworthy" Greinke (19-3, 1.66) vs. Jacob "Cut yer hair, hippie!" deGrom (14-8, 2.54)

Well, everyone, we made it through Game 4. Rallying cries were answered, narratives were destroyed, pants were shat. But guess what? We get to do it allllll over again tonight.

Last time, we turned to The Bard for some inspiration. This time, we turn to the man who carries our hopes and dreams with him to the mound, Mr. Zack Greinke. I combed through Molly Knight's excellent tale of the last two Dodgers seasons, "The Best Team Money Can Buy", to find a moving and powerful quote from our beloved co-ace:
“Some of you guys have been doing the number two and not washing your hands. It’s not good. I noticed it even happening earlier today. So if you guys could just be better about it, that would be great.”
Thank you, sir! A more rousing speech has never been uttered anywhere. Victory is within our reach. Let's make sure we have clean hands when we grab it.


OK, OK, if you're in need of genuine inspiration, you might want to note that today is the 27th anniversary of something pretty good...


I'll end this GT with a brief personal aside. On Tuesday night, after the Dodgers survived to fight another day, my wife and I were listening to songs by the seminal '70s/'80s L.A. band Sparks. Their song "All You Ever Think About is Sex" came on, and I screamed when I heard the following verse:
Say, do you remember
The Dodgers and the Mets?
Fifty thousand people
Saw us and turned red
Dodgers and the Mets? 50,000 people? Turned red? Like Red Turn? Justin Turner? Huh? Huh?

I don't really believe in signs, but if I did...

Interesting Observation About The Upcoming LCS / World Series

No matter who wins today's Dodgers-Mets game, all of the remaining 2015 MLB games will have a lot of the color blue on the field and in the stands.

Do not adjust your television set.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Other League LDS Games 5 Thread

The Texas @ Toronto game is going nuts. Blue Jays up 6-3 in the eighth, with two benches-clearing events and the Rangers giving up the lead by allowing three errors in one inning.

Houston @ Kansas City later tonight: Collin McHugh vs. Johnny Cueto. Said Cueto, poignantly:

"Obviously this is the deciding game," Cueto said through a translator after the Royals worked out Tuesday afternoon. "We either win and stay or you go home."

Uh, yeah.

Both are winner-take-all games. It's crazy out there!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

NLDS Game 4 Thread: Oct. 13 @ Mets, 5pm

Clayton Kershaw (16-7, 2.13) vs. Steven Matz (4-0, 2.27)

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our Dodger injured.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nostril wide,
Hold hard the breath and bend up every spirit
To his full height. On, on, you noblest Dodgers.
Whose blood is fet from fathers of war-proof!
Fathers that, like so many Sandys,
Have in these parts from morn till even fought
And sheathed their swords for lack of argument:
Dishonour not your mothers; now attest
That those whom you call'd fathers did beget you.
Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in Chavez Ravine, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes.
I see you stand like greyhounds in the slips,
Straining upon the start. The game's afoot:
Follow your spirit, and upon this charge
Cry 'God for Clayton, Los Angeles, and Saint Vin!'

tl;dr version: LET'S DO THIS!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Reports of Violence outside Dodger Stadium

From the LA Times:
Los Angeles police are looking for the people involved in a fight outside Dodger Stadium after Friday's playoff game that sent one fan to the hospital with critical injuries.

Few details were available Monday, including the gender or age of the person who was injured. LAPD Officer Matthew Ludwig said the person remained hospitalized Monday in critical but stable condition.

The fight broke out in a parking lot about 10:30 p.m., after the Dodgers dropped the opening game of the National League Division Series to the New York Mets, 3-1. Ludwig said a verbal argument between fans escalated into the physical confrontation.

It was not clear whether the fans were from rival teams, Ludwig said.
From ABC7's Facebook:
Attacked at Dodger Stadium. The LAPD is investigating a Friday night fight that left a Mets fan hospitalized with serious injuries after the NLDS playoff opener.

The fight, which occurred in the stadium parking lot, resulted in the victim having a portion of his skull removed, and has some fans drawing comparisons to the 2011 attack of Giants fan Brian Stow.
From KTLA:
An argument escalated into a physical altercation about 10:30 p.m. Friday outside Dodger Stadium in one of the parking lots, Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Officer Mike Lopez said. [...]

The victim, whom Lopez described as “younger” but not a juvenile, was transported to a hospital in critical but stable condition, the officer said.
No one was arrested, Lopez said.
Lopez did not know if the fight occurred between fans of opposing teams or fans of the same team, and, if so, which team.

A witness to a fight that occurred around that time said an altercation took place in Lot L of the Dodger Stadium parking lot. A fight broke out and a Mets fan threatened to shoot a Dodgers fan, whose mother began to scream at the Mets fan to get away, the witness said.
[Editor's note: More facts are out there, so let's wait for them. -D]

NLDS Game 3 Thread: Oct. 12 @ Mets, 5:30p

Brett Anderson (10-9, 3.69; 180.1 IP (prev. career high 175.1 in 2009))
Matt Harvey (13.8, 2.71; 189.1 IP (prev. career high 178.1 in 2013)).

Dodgers. Mets. NLDS. 2006. Remember that? 2006 was a shitty playoffs year. First there was Joe Beimel. Joe Fuckin' Beimel. That's right, we're not afraid to bring him up because he's a symbol of the Dodgers' haunted playoff history against the Mets — a history that can get purged today.

Then there was the infamous home-plate double play, starring Paul "Fuck the Dodgers" Lo Duca. That's right, same year! The Dodgers' most humiliating playoff moment of the aughts still stings nine years later.

But...things are different now. The Dodgers, playing like zombies until, oh, the seventh inning of Game 2, are now the most hated team in the playoffs.

And in the center of the storm is one Chase Utley, until recently firmly in the Jim Thome school of "Legends for Other Teams with a Few Meaningless Innings as a Dodger."

If the Dodgers can step on the Mets' throat today, reveling in the boos and inevitable HBPs, and come away with a huge Game 3 win, we'll look back at the "Chase Utley moment" that started it all. Go make history, Boys in Blue!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Torre Pulls Goodell-Like Bullshit; Suspends Key .202 BA Dodger For Two NLDS Games

Joe Torre climbed back down the mountain after seeking wisdom from the oracle, doffed his robe, and then suspended Dodger Chase Utley for two games for his legal, but now called "violating", slide:

Torre said: "I recognize that there has been much commentary and many questions regarding the unfortunate play in last night's game in which Ruben Tejada was injured. As I said after the game, the determination of whether a baserunner has intentionally interfered with a player attempting to turn a double play is left to the judgment of the Umpire on the field, and that judgment call is not subject to review. I should add that determining where to draw the line between an illegal slide and a legitimate hard play is an extremely difficult call for our Umpires.

"However, after thoroughly reviewing the play from all conceivable angles, I have concluded that Mr. Utley's action warrants discipline. While I sincerely believe that Mr. Utley had no intention of injuring Ruben Tejada, and was attempting to help his Club in a critical situation, I believe his slide was in violation of Official Baseball Rule 5.09 (a)(13), which is designed to protect fielders from precisely this type of rolling block that occurs away from the base.

Yep, MLB decides to Chase Utley now, after years of him pulling this same shit, because Joe Torre gets some heat. Unbelievable how capricious this is.

Utley, who had PH in both games, now will not be able to bring his .202 batting average to the plate in those key situations. I'm sure Don Mattingly is calling Eugenio Velez right now to see if he's available.

Meanwhile, Utley will appeal the "ruling."