Tuesday, October 31, 2006

You Gotta Beleve!

Monday, October 30, 2006

What It's Like Watching the World Series with My Wife

(footage of Derek Jeter and Ryan Howard receiving the Hank Aaron Award)
WIFE: It's more like the award is for being good-looking.
ME: The only reason Jeter is considered attractive is because of his talent and wealth.
WIFE: You are so wrong. He has great eyes. And a great smile.

(shot of Sean Casey in the dugout)
WIFE: Hey, when did Russell Crowe start playing baseball?

(shot of Yadier Molina)
WIFE: He has very feminine eyes.

(shot of Curtis Granderson)
WIFE: He's so cute. He looks like the guy from West Wing...Dulé Hill.

(shot of Jered Weaver in the stands)
WIFE: I bet he has a hot date. Is he married?
ME: How should I know?
WIFE: What's the use of watching with you if you don't have the scoop?

(shot of Adam Wainwright)
WIFE: There's a little Nicolas Cage in him.

(the Cardinals win)
WIFE: By just making the World Series, at least the Tigers have helped Detroit's economy some.
ME: Where did you hear that?
WIFE: I just made it up.
ME: I said exactly the same thing two games ago.
WIFE: Hey, I quote from the best.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Why David Eckstein Wears A Hat

Need I say more. Look, I'm all for 5-foot 7-inch guys winning the World Series MVP award, but this is a painful 'do.

Don't Even Think About It, Ned

Did you see it? If you blinked, you would have missed the reference buried deep in the following Associated Press article on Barry Bonds' free agency:

"Bonds will likely be interested in gauging the interest of the Los Angeles Angels and Dodgers. He lives in Southern California in Beverly Hills."

If Ned Colletti jumps on yet another potential ex-Giant, the earth may stop spinning on its axis. Three years ago, even in my deep hatred of Bonds, I would have been open to taking him if he was available. But now, there's no chance he would be welcomed in Chavez Ravine--not by the reporters (who hate him), or the players (who wouldn't be able to fit his recliner and three-locker BS requirement), or the fans (who will break attendance records next year at the Stadium irrespective of whether a team member needs 22 home runs to break the all-time home run record). Heck, the fans will show up even if the Dodgers aren't winning (which is a whole other story).

As for Ned's track record at adding former Giants, Brett Tomko may have been a push at best during 2006 (good start, lousy end), and Ramon Martinez isn't even worth mentioning--but adding a cancer like Bonds would lead to Chavez Ravine opening up and swallowing the stadium into a giant timewarp sinkhole. (Which just might allow the McCourts to finally get their football stadium / retail center of their dreams...but again, that's another story.)

Please, Ned, don't sign Barry. Let Bill Stoneman take him. (The thought of Barry caught in traffic on I-5 is worth the Angels' signing alone.) And if the Southern California options don't work out for Barry, might I suggest Toronto?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

10 Burning World Series Questions

1. Who at Fox thought reviving "Scooter" was a good idea?

1a. How much crap will Jeff Suppan get for his "Scooter" imitation?

2. Is Fox the only network with the uncanny ability to cut to people with homemade signs just as they're setting them down?

3. Why are telestrator lines sometimes white and sometimes yellow?

4. Am I the only one who finds those extreme close-ups of pitchers' faces unsettling?

5. Do players who favor rakishly tilted caps find the untiltability of batting helmets annoying?

6. Why do so many players have their back pockets sticking out, as if they were frantically searching for their car keys during the walk from the on-deck circle to the batting box?

7. How many times can they show the same black guy in the stands at St. Louis?

8. Whatever happened to stadiums full of fans frantically clapping ThunderStix? (Not a complaint, by the way.)

9. Can you believe we live in a world where Craig Counsell and David Eckstein have two World Series rings? Each?

10. Does Joe Buck wear a rug?

Friday, October 27, 2006

Random World Series 2006 Thoughts

1. At first, I wasn't sure if that was Jeff or Jared Weaver that we were watching pitch for the Cardinals, but after watching Game 5 and Fox's omnipresent crowd shots, I suppose that was indeed Shaggy on the mound. Unbelievable performance from yet another former Dodger--but I have to admit it was a lot easier to stomach Weaver than it would have been seeing the Green/Lo Duca/Valentin triumverate grab the title.

2. I didn't get a chance to see many of this year's World Series games on television given my travel schedule, but I did catch a lot of them on ESPN Radio with Jon Miller and Joe Morgan. I have never liked Jon Miller calling a game. Though most of that was due to the fact that he is the voice of the Giants, I found his idiosyncrasies (random pronunciations of every Latin American last name, late calls on bang-bang plays, etc.) utterly grating. But after listening to games 3 and 4 on radio (during my commute home), I found another annoying habit of Miller--his need to call the type of EVERY SINGLE PITCH, even if his description of the pitch intrudes on his ability to call the play at hand. There were a couple of plays where he had led into the pitch, and then you heard the crack of the bat and roar of the crowd, and while you were wondering "what the hell is going on out there?", he returns to say "fastball." It was worse than Chris Roberts (who calls a fine UCLA football game) calling a UCLA basketball game; you feel like you're lost in the space/time continuum while the crowd hears everything. Man, it's too bad Vinny doesn't do the postseason anymore.

3. Could someone please get Bill Plaschke some wool socks and a space heater? Here in Los Angeles, some of the crack World Series coverage included a two-page whine from Plaschke about how cold the World Series is, and how that's anathema to baseball. Perhaps he forgets that the World Series is always played in October (Reggie Jackson sure hasn't). And unless we move spring training to February, or play twenty double-headers per team per year, the only other option is to have West Coast teams win their respective league pennants (a la 2002). Or maybe Brad Penny can just snuggle up next to Bill for warmth. ("Those aren't two pillows!")

4. For all the recent stories about Pujols slowly morphing into Bonds given his frostiness with the press--Pujols is no Bonds. After all, he's got a ring.

Congratulations to the St. Louis Cardinals, 2006 World Champions.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Wrong Hair, Right Now

I blame Ashton Kutcher.

Thanks in part to "That 70's Show," big hair is back. And not just long hair, but coiffures that make pro athletes look like they're auditioning for an all-drag version of "Charlie's Angels."

I noticed this trend when Angels pitcher John Lackey appeared on television with flowing locks, hardly looking like the clean-cut Texas boy who had memorably shut down the Giants in Game 7 of the 2002 World Series. Then suddenly Shawn Green looked shaggier out there in right field for the Diamondbacks. At one point his former teammate Royce Clayton sported dreadlocks that would have made a Predator green(er) with envy.

The Weaver brothers, Leonardo and Donatello, let their blonde manes reach surf-tastic lengths. In the NFL, Troy Polamalu's hair made the cover of Sports Illustrated; now it seems no football team is complete without a player whose hair mockingly escapes the confines of his helmet. It's gotten to the point that a guy like J.D. Drew or Kenny Lofton looks like a modern-day Johnny Unitas ("Now, Johnny Unitas...there's a haircut you could set your watch to!" --Abe Simpson).

But this year's post-season baseball has brought the Hair Issue to critical mass. Magglio Ordonez has applied the playoff beard concept to the other side of his head and apparently Little Orphan Annie now plays right for the Tigers. Not to be undone, the Cardinals' Ronnie Belliard spent the one-day break between the ALCS and World Series liberating his Afro from its braids, channeling Oscar Gamble into the 21st century.

In a sport where an ironed hat bill and striped kneesocks are considered a fashion statement (not to mention the NFL's stringent on-field dress code), it's not surprising that athletes have tried to grow some individuality. But as with the NBA and tattoos, soon the non-conformists will become the norm.

But at least hair can be cut.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Hey, Car Wrecks Are "Exciting" Too

From Ken Gurnick's "mailbag" at dodgers.com:

"Manager Grady Little likes to play Matt Kemp in center field, although his routes to balls in the gaps are exciting and he needs to cut down on his strikeouts to play anywhere."

The Cost to Make The Playoffs: Priceless

Looking at the total payrolls for each team in 2006, and the total number of wins each team achieved in the year, revealed some interesting tidbits:

--Against the metric of "$ per win", the Yankees spent over $2M in payroll alone per win (97 wins total). The Marlins spent just under $200K per win (78 wins total).

--The Dodgers at $1.13M per win were second behind the YankMes, even outspending the Mets ($1.04 per win). 14 of the 30 teams ended up spending over $1M in payroll per win.

--The Red Sox had MLB's second-highest payroll but didn't make the playoffs; they spent $1.40M per win. But strangely, that wasn't even the highest amount on a per-win basis--that was the Cubs, with $1.44M per win.

--The giants, by the way, spent $1.20 per win, which was the third-highest spending per win for a non-playoff team.

The data:

Rank Team Payroll Wins $M-per-win Playoffs?
1 Yankees $198.7 97 $2.05 YES
2 Red Sox $120.1 86 $1.40 NO
3 Angels $103.6 89 $1.16 NO
4 White Sox $102.9 90 $1.14 NO
5 Mets $100.9 97 $1.04 YES
6 Dodgers $99.2 88 $1.13 YES
7 Cubs $94.8 66 $1.44 NO
8 Astros $92.6 82 $1.13 NO
9 Braves $92.5 79 $1.17 NO
10 giants $90.9 76 $1.20 NO
11 Cardinals $88.4 83 $1.07 YES
12 Mariners $88.3 78 $1.13 NO
13 Phillies $88.3 85 $1.04 NO
14 Tigers $82.3 95 $0.87 YES
15 Orioles $72.6 70 $1.04 NO
16 Blue Jays $71.9 87 $0.83 NO
17 Padres $69.7 88 $0.79 YES
18 Rangers $65.5 80 $0.82 NO
19 Twins $63.8 96 $0.66 YES
20 Nationals $63.3 71 $0.89 NO
21 Athletics $62.3 93 $0.67 YES
22 Reds $59.5 80 $0.74 NO
23 D'backs $59.2 76 $0.78 NO
24 Indians $56.8 78 $0.73 NO
25 Brewers $56.8 75 $0.76 NO
26 Royals $47.3 62 $0.76 NO
27 Pirates $46.9 67 $0.70 NO
28 Rockies $41.1 76 $0.54 NO
29 Devil Rays $35.4 61 $0.58 NO
30 Marlins $15.0 78 $0.19 NO

Addendum: I forgot to mention that the r-squared for payroll dollars vs. # of wins is a low 27%. Still, I'd rather us spending more than less...are you listening, Frank McCourt?

K. Rogers v. P. Tar

Kenny Rogers already seems to have been found guilty in the court of internet opinion.

An interesting piece of anti-outrage appeared in Jon Heyman's SI.com column in which he quotes an anonymous bullpen coach: "I bet Tony La Russa's pitchers are mad at him for saying anything, because a lot of guys do it, and I'd be surprise [sic] if there's a whole staff of guys who don't do it."

So the question is: Should we care? Or is this just part of the Wacky Game We Know and Love?

Leftover NLCS Thoughts, cont'd

BRAIN: Well, since the Cardinals have more World Series championships than the Dodgers, we should have rooted for the Mets.

HEART: Ha ha, suck it, Mets!

BRAIN: Hey, Paul Lo Duca and Shawn Green and Pedro Martinez and Duaner Sanchez didn't want to be traded from the Dodgers. The Dodgers got rid of them.

HEART: Ha ha, suck it, Mets!

BRAIN: But we have friends who are Mets fans. We should have at least congratulated them on beating the Dodgers.

HEART: Ha ha, suck it, Mets!

BRAIN: It doesn't matter anyway. The NLCS winner is going to get crushed by the Tigers.

HEART: Ha ha, suck it, Mets!

Resign Nomar?

Ok, Nomar's contract is up. Had a great first half of the season, but the injury bug continued to hamper him after the All-Star break. Of course, he did come up with some HUGE hits down the stretch (which by the way is what he needs to do more of in the off season - stretch, man, stretch!). Is Loney a good enough replacement? Or do we go after Soriano for 2nd base, and switch Kent to 1st?

Leftover NLCS Thoughts

LEIA: Aren't you a little thin to be a cleanup hitter?

JUAN ENCARNACION: What? Oh...the uniform. I'm Juan Encarnacion. I'm here to rescue you.

LEIA: You're who?

JUAN ENCARNACION: I'm here to rescue you. I've got your RBI unit. I'm here with Albert Pujols.

LEIA: Albert Pujols is here! Where is he?


Put Me In, Coach, I'm Ready to Blog

Welcome to SoSG! (Pronounced "sausage.")

Friday, October 20, 2006

Be Afraid. Be Very Afraid.

This is the first post of Sons of Steve Garvey. We are a group of die-hard Dodger fans scattered across the country, posting on everything about the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Dodger fans, beware.