Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Friedman and Zaidi Pick Up Where Colletti Left Off; Sign DFAd Pitcher Nicasio, In Hopes He Might Someday Start Again

Yay, another big bold move from the Dodgers' new brass: Juan Nicasio. Pardon me while I temper my excitement.

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers acquired pitcher Juan Nicasio from the Colorado Rockies for a player to be named or cash, the team announced Monday, continuing a trend of stockpiling young, inexpensive pitchers who could compete this spring to be the team's fifth starter or an extra bullpen arm.

Nicasio, 28, went 6-6 with a 5.38 ERA for the Rockies last season pitching in both relief and as a starter, but in his first three seasons in the big leagues he was exclusively a starter. Nicasio is 21-22 with a 5.03 ERA in 88 major league games.

Many people wondered what the Dodgers' new front office would do in its first offseason, and it certainly appears new team president Andrew Friedman and general manager Farhan Zaidi won't spend money the way outgoing GM Ned Colletti did in his last few seasons on the job.

Nicasio, who made $2.025 million last season, is eligible for arbitration. The Rockies had designated him for assignment.

Last week, the Dodgers acquired Mike Bolsinger from the Arizona Diamondbacks for cash. It appears Friedman and Zaidi are hoping that moving Nicasio and Bolsinger from Coors and Chase fields, two of the extreme hitters' parks in baseball, to spacious Dodger Stadium will change their fortunes.

HanRam to Boston...Where 3B Is Now Occupied By Fat Guy

Dodgers shortstop (and I use that loosely) Hanley Ramirez is off to the Red Sox, for four years / $88M:

The Boston Red Sox agreed with Hanley Ramirez on Monday on a four-year, $88 million deal with a vesting fifth year for an additional $22 million, according to a major league source.

Ramirez, who will turn 31 on Dec. 23, has primarily played shortstop throughout his 10-year career but has also told teams he would be willing to change positions.

Ramirez was originally projected as a fall-back plan for the Red Sox in the event they were unable to sign the switch-hitting Pablo Sandoval. Sandoval reached agreement with the Red Sox on Monday, sources told ESPN, after choosing among offers from Boston, the San Francisco Giants and San Diego Padres. All three offers were believed to be for five years and at least $90 million.

Ramirez rejected the Los Angeles Dodgers' $15.3 million qualifying offer earlier this month to become a free agent. Ramirez won the 2009 batting title and led the NL with a 1.040 OPS in 2013 (among hitters with at least 300 plate appearances).

According to Keith Law, the Dodgers get a draft pick but not the Sox' first-round draft pick (insider only):

The Dodgers get a compensation pick for losing Ramirez; Boston's first-round pick, at No. 7 overall, is protected, so they lose their second-rounder for the signing. Los Angeles is still short a shortstop at this point (although keeping Ramirez wouldn't have necessarily solved that problem). There also isn't much out there for them in free agency or the trade market. Their internal options are glove-only guys in Erisbel Arruebarrena or Miguel Rojas, so they could try a one-year deal with Stephen Drew to see if he has anything left after his self-immolating 2014, with the glovemen as backup options. But that's probably more downside risk than they'd like to take on.

Oh, and the Red Sox also picked up Giants 3B Pablo Sandoval: allegedly for five years / $90M, and possibly not far off from the offer from the team in Birdshit Park; Sandoval must have been tired of the poop. Understandable.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Oscar Hopeful Taps into Crosstown Rivalry

An ad for the movie "Birdman" in the sports section of today's LA Times.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Dodgers Thank Kershaw in Dying Medium

From today's LA Times sports section (click to enlarge).

Thursday, November 13, 2014

BREAKING: Water Wet, Sky Blue, Kershaw Amazing


Clayton Edward Kershaw is YOUR 2014 NL Most Valuable Player AND NL Cy Young Award winner. Not too shabby. Kid K becomes the first NL pitcher to accomplish the feat since Bob Gibson in 1968 (a mere twenty years before Clayton was born).

Congratulations, Clayton. We know this year did not end the way you wanted, but we bet you still have room on that lovely mantel behind you for a World Series MVP trophy, which should be coming along any old time now.

Graphic Artists Working Overtime on Kershaw MVP Art





Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Legendary Dodgers at Historic Dodgertown

Vero Beach community leader Bud Holman, Tommy Lasorda and Peter O’Malley at Florida Heritage Landmark ceremony Monday at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla.

Steve Garvey and Sandy Koufax observe Maury Wills offering instruction at Dodgers Adult Baseball Camp Monday at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, Fla.

photos/captions: Historic Dodgertown – Vero Beach, Fla.

Thank You to Our Veterans

  • If you're in a giving mood, consider donating to Fisher House, an organization that provides "military families housing close to a loved one during hospitalization for an illness, disease or injury."
  • How cool is this? From a Dodgers press release:
    The Dodgers will host approximately 300 pre-selected active duty service members of our nation’s Armed Forces representing the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard along with veterans and their families for batting practice at Dodger Stadium [today], Veterans Day from 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

    “It’s an honor for the Dodgers to open our doors yearly to active duty members and veterans representing the various branches of the U.S. Armed Forces and host them for a day of baseball activities on the field,” said Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten. “The Dodgers are dedicated to paying tribute to those who selflessly serve our country year-round and we are grateful to each and every one of them for their service.”

    Dodger Alumni Wes Parker, Al Downing and Billy Ashley and Dodger Special Advisor Don Newcombe will be present to welcome the group of active duty military members and veterans. Dodger in-game host Dave Styles will serve as emcee. The Dodgers’ Veterans Day batting practice event is also supported by AMR, Anheuser Busch, Avita, Coca-Cola, and Levy Restaurants. Emily Benford, known as Emily B, a singer songwriter and vocal director who recently competed on Season 6 of “The Voice” will perform the national anthem. [...]

    The Dodgers honor military personnel and veterans year-round with initiatives including the Veteran of the Game presented by Bank of American on-field recognition that takes place during each Dodger home game. The Dodgers will launch an online form to nominate active duty, reserve or retired service members to be recognized as Veteran of the Game. Details can be found by visiting www.dodgers.com/VOTG.

    The Dodgers also pay tribute to service members on military holidays by including them in pre-game ceremonies. In addition, the Dodgers schedule visits to the VA Home in Westwood and on a case-by-case basis, send care packages to troops deployed overseas and retirement acknowledgement letters. The Dodgers also offer discounted tickets to military personnel with proper ID for regular season games. For details on military programs please visit www.dodgers.com/military.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

From Colletti to Zaidi: Front Office Gets Brainier





Monday, November 03, 2014

5 Thoughts on the Giants' Dynasty


1. That's right, I said dynasty. 10 of the last 15 World Series have been won by the 21st-century baseball powerhouses: the Yankees, Red Sox, Cardinals and Giants. Three World Series titles in five years isn't quite Yankees territory, but it's getting there, and the Giants may not even be done yet. What's worse, the Giants are pulling away from the Dodgers in terms of franchise championships: The Giants have eight and the Dodgers have been stuck at six for, oh, 26 years and counting....

2. The Giants are no longer a small- or mid-market team. Their $149-million payroll is the major league's sixth-highest, and it only figures to go up — as it should. It's good to see their management reinvest all that postseason money into their team. It's bad to see that they have fewer Jason Schmidt- or Andruw Jones-sized blunders in their free agent history, but that's an entirely different frustration.

3. Every team has bad fans. Remember Jonathan Denver, the Dodger fan (and the son of a Dodger security guard) killed by a Giants fan near AT&T Park in 2013? It turns out that Denver and his brother teamed up against the Giants fan, whom the SF District Attorney could not prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" did not act in self-defense. So if you detected some subtle anti-L.A. sentiment in the Giants' quotes about Bryan Stow participating in their pre-game World Series ceremonies, just remember that every team has bad fanseven the Giants.

4. 2014 was as unenjoyable as winning years get. The Dodgers' 42-8 streak in 2013 may have been an anomaly, but the 2014 Dodgers didn't even come close to making any kind of winning statement. Unlike, say, hockey, baseball rewards the team that gets hot at the right time, and the 2014 Dodgers never truly got hot, posting a winning streak of more than three games against above-.500 teams only once (in July, against Atlanta). Add to that the bullshit Time-Warner Cable situation (still unresolved, by the way!), and 2014 would be a year to forget — if you saw it in the first place.

5. Some fuck you's are in order. Fuck you, Chase Carey, for trading Mike Piazza. Fuck you, Frank McCourt, for costing us Vlad Guerrero. And speaking of Vlads: Fuck you, Vladimir Shpunt, for not doing your job.

OK, I feel a little better now.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Congratulations to the Royals, World Series Champions

The Royals celebrating after their Game 7 walkoff victory.

The MVP. What an inspiration.

World Series Game 7 Thread: Enemies in Orange vs. Brothers in Blue, 7p







@TheRealJGuts vs. Thud.

If the Dodger fan in you hates that the FH's are in the World Series again, then the baseball fan in you can at least appreciate tonight's Game 7, in which the home team has a decided advantage AND BETTER WIN IT DAMMIT GO BLUE

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

World Series Game 6 Thread: WhenWillThisEnd, 5p


Yordano Ventura (0-0, 3.38) vs. Jake Peavy (0-1, 7.20).

Let's just get this over with.

Logan's Run...ning to Padres

Looks like Andrew Friedman now has quite a "renewal! renewal!" on his hands, now that Logan White has left the Dodgers for the Padres:

LOS ANGELES -- The San Diego Padres have hired longtime Dodgers amateur scouting director Logan White to their front office, sources told ESPN on Monday.

The feeling around baseball when the Dodgers hired Andrew Friedman to be their president of baseball operations was that he would want to bring in his own people in key front-office positions. With White departing, he'll have at least three top positions to fill.

It is not clear which position White will fill with San Diego.

In Los Angeles, Friedman has vacancies at general manager, amateur scouting director and farm director. The Dodgers' previous general manager, Ned Colletti, was reassigned to an advisory role, and farm director DeJon Watson left before Friedman's hiring to work for Arizona Diamondbacks general manager Dave Stewart.

White was involved in drafting Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp, among others, and with the signing of Cuban defector Yasiel Puig two summers ago in Mexico, where he also found one of the Dodgers' top minor league prospects, pitcher Julio Urias. White leaves the Dodgers with three of baseball's top 20 prospects on his résumé -- Urias, outfielder Joc Pederson and infielder Corey Seager.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

World Series Game 5 Thread: Sluggerrr @ Lou Seal, 5p

The Dodgers' Twitter feed in late October (cries).

James Shields vs. Madison Bumgarner.

C'mon, Royals. Give us a shred of hope here. Don't give us another off-season of San Francisco hubris.

thanks to SoSG Dusty for the GT idea

Saturday, October 25, 2014

World Series Game 4 Thread: KC @ SF, 5p

Jason Vargas vs. Ryan Vogelsong.

The Royals have the 2-1 series advantage. The Giants have never trailed in a World Series since 2002...and we all know what happened then. Let's hope history repeats itself. Go Blue!

photo from @robotbraden via @EephusBlue

Friday, October 24, 2014

World Series Game 3 Thread: Royal Giants, 5p


Daily News: "Mets foreshadow World Series with Royal Giants uniforms."

Jeremy Guthrie vs. Tim Hudson

For the third time in five years, seagulls will shit all over the World Series. Hooray!

Image: Getty Images

Joe Maddon Quits Rays, But It, Like, Totally Doesn't Mean Anything


So...

But then...

And...

Nothing to see here! Move along! Everyone is assuredly telling the absolute truth, as is always the case in American sports.

UPDATE (12:24pm): Andrew Friedman released a statement through the Dodgers:
As I said last week, Joe and I enjoyed a tremendous relationship working together in Tampa Bay and I wish him nothing but the best, wherever his next stop will be. However, nothing has changed on our end. Don Mattingly will be our manager next season, and hopefully for a long time to come.
Definitive rumor-squashing, bold-faced lie, or gambling that Donnie will up and quit? You be the judge.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

World Series Game 2 Thread: Pumpkins vs. Crowns, 5p

Yordano Ventura (who cares) vs. Jake Peavy (who cares).

Enjoy, you masochists!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

World Series Game 1 Thread: NL West 2nd Place Finishers @ AL Central 2nd Place Finishers, 5p


James Shields (0-0, -.--) vs. Ashley Madison (0-0, -.--)

Whatever.

Really, how are Dodger fans supposed to be motivated to watch the third Giants World Series appearance in five years? What, are we supposed to cheer for the team in blue with the inept manager because it feels familiar? I guess. Not really that strong a motivator, given how we know in our heart of hearts that the baseball gods hate us, hate joy of any kind, and will OF COURSE allow the Giants to squash the feel-good story of the Royals.

At least if we don't watch, the streak of abysmal ratings for the Giants in the World Series will continue. There is a slight possibility there will be an uptick in ratings due to people tuning in to see if the Royals can go 12-0, but that would be immediately snuffed out by a Game 1 loss.

So yeah, we're still bitter. Maybe we'll hate-watch. Maybe we'll tune in to see if the "Ned Yost, Super Genius" story continues. Or maybe we'll just watch every Simpsons episode ever. I think I'll watch this one first: