Saturday, December 29, 2007

Camille Johnston Is a Real Trouper

Dodgers executive Camille Johnston shows off a star covered with hundreds of glued-on corn seeds to be used on the [Dodgers' Rose Parade] float.

photo by Ben Platt/

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas from Sons of Steve Garvey

Monday, December 24, 2007

A Delino Christmas Gift to All....

Now, I could post the relevant and surprisingly topical Simpsons' 'Talkin' Softball" as my cheap non-denominational holiday gift. But instead, here's a clip that makes me laugh every time I even think about it.

Happy Holidays. Enjoy the bowl games and egg nog, and if anybody wants to buy my Rose bowl tickets, let me know. (USC vs. Illinois - really, who gives a S--t)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Merry &$*%!#@ Christmas, Dave Kingman

In the spirit of the season, we present an uncensored transcript of Tommy Lasorda's infamous response to reporter Paul Olden's seemingly innocuous question, "What's your opinion of Kingman's performance?"

"What's my opinion of Kingman's performance? What the fuck do you think is my opinion of it? I think it was fucking horseshit! Put that in, I don't fucking—opinion of his performance? Jesus Christ, he beat us with three fucking home runs! What the fuck do you mean what is my opinion of his performance? How can you ask me a question like that, what is my opinion of his performance? Jesus Christ, he hit three home runs! Jesus Christ! I'm fucking pissed off to lose the fucking game, and you ask me my opinion of his performance? Jesus Christ! That's a tough question to ask me, isn't it? What is my opinion of his performance?...Well, I didn't give you a good answer because I'm mad, but I mean, that's a tough question to ask me right now, what is my opinion of his performance? I mean, you want me to tell you what my opinion of his performance is....That's right! Jesus Christ! Guy hits three home runs against us. Shit, I mean I don't want to, I don't mean to get pissed off or anything like that but, you know, you ask me my opinion. I mean, he put on a hell of a show, he hit three home runs, he drove in, what, seven runs?...Eight runs! So what the hell more can you say about it? I didn't mean to get mad or anything like that but god damn, you ask me my opinion of his performance."

December 23, 2006: Merry &$*%!#@ Christmas, Dave Kingman

photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


Strange but true fact of the day. SoSG's Delino DeShields and the (slightly more) real Delino DeShields are both from Delaware! (As is Judge Reinhold) Both went to college in Philadelphia! And both brought more frustration than glory to Dodgers nation!

I'm amazed it took me so long to discover this fact, especially since most people from Delaware have been in my house... all at once. In fact, Delino is the 37th native Delawarean to play in the majors. Other notable Blue Hen/tax free shopping MLB stars include Ken Szotkiewicz (one season, .107 BA), some guy named Happy Townsend, and legit current player Ian Snell. You can read about it here at a site called, but I'm guessing you won't.


I was enjoying my Pumpkin Patch health shake at Jamba Juice when a young man entered like a cold breeze. He looked me in the eyes and asked, "Are you a Dodgers fan?" Several answers rushed through my head - "Not since they left Brooklyn," "Only players under 26 years old," "What is this Baseballs?" "I only carry small bills." But honesty prevailed, as I hid my Treo from his intense yet reassuring gaze. "Yes, yes I am. I'm actually a writer for...." Then I stopped myself: What if this guy was a spy sent by Steve Sax?

Turns out, this industrious whippersnapper was part of a team going door-to-door in Los Feliz with the Dodgers deal of the century.

$40 for six "2-for-1" vouchers AND a pair of free tickets. I did the math, and came up with a savings of $200 to $300. My wife did the same math, and came up with a net gain of -$40.

So if you should see a trio that looks like Jehovah's Witnesses, rest assured. They've been sent by the Dodger gods to get your butts in the seats and save you money. Either that, or I just lost my beer money for the month.

P.S. - Contest. What does my seemingly nonsensical title refer to?

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Don Sutton. Match Game.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Everybody Sing Along!

LA Times: Kuroda expects to feel pressure

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Howie Clark: 3*

Because not every player in the Mitchell Report is a household name...

Creative inspiration from's "I Feel Bad" ad.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Kuroda Chooses Dodgers. Youth Movement Saved

Source: Pitcher Kuroda, Dodgers agree to 3-year deal (

earlier: Kuroda Chooses Dodgers? Youth Movement Saved?

Front Office Turmoil Continues

From Tony Jackson:

Camille Johnston, the Dodgers senior vice president for communications and chief spokesperson for the past two years, said on Friday that she is leaving the organization....

Johnston's departure, which is officially being termed a resignation, comes just two weeks after the club named Charles Steinberg as executive vice president for public relations and marketing. Steinberg's hiring effectively inserted an additional bureaucratic layer between Johnston and Dodgers owners Frank and Jamie McCourt that hadn't previously existed since Johnston joined the organization in October 2005....

Despite Johnston's claim that she is resigning, multiple sources within the organization confirmed that she is being forced out....

After bringing in Johnston, the McCourts seemed, presumably on Johnston's advice, to fade into the background. The result was that they avoided much of the public criticism that had plagued their first year and a half after buying the club from NewsCorp in February 2004.

But the McCourts have long coveted Steinberg, a longtime Boston Red Sox executive who has worked for the Dodgers as a consultant since April. Johnston's departure makes her the fourth communications chief to resign or be dismissed while the McCourts have owned the team.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Diamondbacks Upgrade

From "D-backs bolster pitching corps, acquire Haren; Send Valverde to Houston" at

The Oakland A's sent All-Star Dan Haren and prospect Connor Robertson to the Arizona Diamondbacks on Friday for pitchers Brett Anderson, Dana Eveland and Greg Smith, infielder Chris Carter and outfielders Aaron Cunningham and Carlos Gonzalez.

Haren will join a talented pitching corps that already includes Cy Young Award winner Brandon Webb and starters Doug Davis and Livan Hernandez that helped carry the D-backs to the 2007 National League Championship Series....

In a separate deal Friday, Arizona traded major league saves leader Jose Valverde to Houston for reliever Chad Qualls, infielder Chris Burke and right-hander Juan Gutierrez from the Astros.

Russell Martin Wins Yet Another Award. And Is Not in the Mitchell Report

"This smile is all-natural, baby!"

Martin wins Tip O'Neill Award (

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Japanese Pitcher Still Hasn't Chosen Suitor from Kuroda-d Field

The one reporter-slash-blogger most positive on the Dodgers' signing of Hiroki Kuroda, Tony Jackson, now reports that it is still up in the air (even if Kuroda's plane landed early this morning).

All indications are that free-agent pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, a veteran right-hander for the Hiroshima Carp who is seeking to come to the United States, has decided to sign with the Dodgers after being pursued at various times this winter by as many as 20 major-league clubs. But if Kuroda has made such a decision, that is news to Dodgers officials.

General manager Ned Colletti said early Wednesday evening that the club still hadn't received word from either Kuroda or his San Diego-based agent, Steve Hilliard, that a decision had been made. But Kuroda's arrival in Los Angeles from Tokyo on Wednesday morning, along with a slew of media reports out of Japan, all point toward Kuroda accepting what is believed to be a three-year, $30 million offer from the Dodgers.

"His agent resides out here, so (the trip) shouldn't be interpreted as anything other than him meeting with his representatives here in the U.S.," Colletti said at a news conference to formally introduce Andruw Jones, the Dodgers' newly signed center fielder.

Besides that of the Dodgers, the most valiant efforts to land Kuroda came from Seattle, Arizona and Kansas City. But Kuroda, 32, strongly prefers the West Coast. His ultimate decision to go with the Dodgers over the Mariners -- assuming that widely reported decision has actually been made -- apparently was the result of several factors, not the least of which were Los Angeles' vast Asian population, more lucrative endorsement opportunities and Kuroda's longtime friendship with Dodgers closer Takashi Saito.

I'm sure that Takashi has said hello once or twice (during negotiations)," Colletti said. "Maybe more, I don't know."

In fact, Saito actually joined Dodgers Asian operations director Acey Kohrogi and Japan-based scout Keiichi Kojima at a face-to-face meeting with Kuroda last month in Hiroshima.

So what do we know about this situation? First, Colletti's Japanese isn't that good. And second, either Colletti (or Tony Jackson) hasn't heard the adage "don't count your chickens before they're hatched." Let's just cross our fingers that Jackson is right, or we'll be seeing a lot more of Esteban Loaiza next year.

And let's hope that Kuroda hasn't seen video of that 2002 game with Kaz Ishii on the mound at Dodger Stadium. Yeech, that video gives me the creeps.

Your All-Mitchell Report Dodger Lineup

You may have noticed several ex-Dodgers named in the Mitchell Report. Almost enough, in fact, to field a starting lineup:

  • C Paul Lo Duca
  • 1B Todd Hundley
  • 2B Adam Riggs
  • 3B Phil Hiatt
  • SS ?
  • LF Gary Sheffield
  • CF Larry Bigbie (spring training invitee)
  • RF F.P. Santangelo
  • SP Kevin Brown
  • SP Ismael Valdez
  • RP Matt Herges
  • RP Eric Gagne

I will put this All-Mitchell Report Dodger Lineup against any other team's All-Mitchell Report Lineup any day!


I just wasted almost 15 minutes meticulously reading and re-reading every one of the 409 pages of the just-released Mitchell Report. As a service to our loyal readers, I'm saving you the trouble by summarizing the relative guilt of key players via the infallible metric of how many times their names appear in the report. Here goes (former Dodgers in bold):

  • Jose Canseco: 105
  • Barry Bonds: 104
  • Roger Clemens: 83
  • Jason Giambi: 53
  • Mark McGwire: 46
  • Paul Lo Duca: 37
  • Andy Pettitte: 37
  • Miguel Tejada: 36
  • Rafael Palmeiro: 31
  • Kevin Brown: 20
  • Eric Gagné: 20
  • Gary Matthews, Jr: 17
  • Todd Hundley: 15
  • Adam Riggs: 14
  • Alyssa Milano: 4
  • Sammy Sosa: 1
  • Adrian Beltre: 0

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Giants' Plans for Off-Season Frugality Summarily Rowand

The Giants just signed Aaron Rowand to be their centerfielder for the next five years, at a cost of $60M. As I type this, I am giggling.

Rowand agreed to a $60 million, five-year contract with the Giants on Wednesday, giving the club a Gold Glove winner without having to trade either of its top young pitchers: Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum

The 30-year-old Rowand is expected to bat fifth for San Francisco after spending the past two seasons with the Philadelphia Phillies. Before that, he helped the Chicago White Sox win the 2005 World Series.

"Bottom line, I wanted to get in a spot where I would be long term," said Rowand, who noted he weighed four or five similar multiyear offers. "In this day of free agency, that's not commonplace. That's really the thing I was looking forward to most."

He is coming off his best season yet, earning his first Gold Glove award and All-Star selection while helping the Phillies to the NL East title. Rowand batted .309 with 27 home runs and career bests of 89 RBIs, 105 runs, 189 hits and 45 doubles in 161 games.

Like the Dodgers, the Giants now have the tough task of moving a light-hitting, speedy, small, and by-all-accounts-good guy over to left field (in their case, Dave Roberts). But unlike the Dodgers, the Giants' signing of Rowand (a 30-year old, like Andruw Jones) comes off Rowand's best season, when he hit 27 HR and 89 RBI. Jones, off arguably his worst season, still had 26 HR and 94 RBI.

And the Giants have Rowand for five years, three years longer than Jones' contract--at a rate of $12M/year rather than $18M/year. Wow. I mean, I know that your Bonds-less lineup has been said to be the worst in the majors (even worse than the Dodgers', if you can believe it). But for my money, I'd take the shorter-term deal with the guy who has something to prove--and hits for just as much power in an off-year.

Gotta love the Giants' attempt to keep up with the Joneses.

Kuroda Chooses Dodgers? Youth Movement Saved?

Report: Dodgers sign RHP Kuroda (Rotoworld)

earlier: New SoSG Mantra: Sign Kuroda, Trade Pierre


Nicht so schnell! Source: Kuroda to travel to USA to mull MLB offers (

Jeff Kent Returning; Dodger Youth Quaking

Jeff Kent decides to return to the Dodgers (Press-Enterprise)

Monday, December 10, 2007

Good Thing There Are Horse Racing Tracks in Nearby Maryland

Former Dodger Paul Lo Duca agreed to terms on a one-year deal with the Washington Nationals.

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals agreed to terms with Paul Lo Duca on a one-year deal on Monday, according to a baseball official. The deal will not be announced until after a physical has been completed.

Lo Duca played with the Mets the last two years. In 2007, Lo Duca hit .272 with nine home runs and 54 RBIs. He also helped guide New York to the National League Championship Series against the Cardinals.

Lo Duca, 34, will be the everyday catcher, while Jesus Flores most likely will be the backup.

For the first time in his career, LoDuca gets to play in a brand-spanking new ballpark. That is, unless he's spending all his time at Pimlico (a Preakness weakness, perhaps?).

Chicago Sun-Times Goes Where Tribune Fears to Tread

I don't see why the Chicago Tribune, sister publication of the Los Angeles Times, can't post stories like this. Here's the Sun-Times with an interesting option for Ken Williams, Chicago White Sox GM: Sign Juan Pierre. Brilliant!

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ken Williams was among the first wave of general managers to escape the confusing maze of lobbies at the Opryland Resort today, choosing to cancel his daily briefing with reporters. [...]

There still is time for Williams to salvage his offseason.

When center fielder Andruw Jones agreed to a two-year, $36.2 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, that limited the destinations for former Sox center fielder Aaron Rowand. Losing the leverage of having the Dodgers in the picture could lessen Rowand’s demands for a five-year deal and stoke talks with the Sox.

Acquiring Jones also allows the Dodgers to entertain offers for speedy center fielder Juan Pierre, the former Cub whom Guillen adores from their days together with the Marlins. The Sox are still in need of a legit leadoff hitter, and Pierre would team well at the top of the Sox’ lineup with newly acquired shortstop Orlando Cabrera — Williams’ lone bright spot this offseason — in the No. 2 spot. Say what you will about Pierre, but he would be an improvement over current leadoff favorite Jerry Owens.

And adding Pierre might make more sense than re-acquiring Rowand.

The Sox are still weighed down by an aging, slow middle lineup. Rowand, 30, will provide pop — and better defense in center field — but Pierre would add the speed element Guillen has been craving.

Hey, Ken! Juan Pierre has the Signature Quickness that you're looking for! You remember how loved he was with the Cubs. And he shows up to play every day and works really hard and is by all accounts a great guy. Did we mention the Signature Quickness?

As for Ethier and Kemp, these are not the droids you're looking for.

Over-Under on 2008 CF Putouts?

Picked up this tidbit of information about Andruw Jones from the Augusta Chronicle (no link, I don't want to go through the registration process):

Jones' agent, Scott Boras, reached his agreement with Los Angeles late Wednesday night. The Dodgers had 379 putouts in center field this year, the fewest in the NL, and their 129 homers ranked 15th among the 16 NL teams. Not exactly what new manager Joe Torre is looking for in his first season with the Dodgers.

I have to think we'll have more than 379 putouts in center field next year--and who knows, maybe an assist or two!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Old Friends Re-Re-Relocating

Free-agent reliever Gagne agrees to 1-year, $10M deal with Brewers (AP/

Rangers to ink outfielder Bradley to one-year contract (

"The deal was first reported by" When did sports websites start crediting each other? Seems a more generous mentality than at the sports television networks, which routinely obscure logos of rival networks during highlights.

Friday, December 07, 2007

It's Too Bad Ned Colletti Never Reads Blogs, As He Will Never See This

Click/mouse over picture to see what Ned's missing! (Warning: mildly NSFW!)

From Diamond Leung:

Asked if it was the salary that was driving up expectations about Pierre, Colletti said, "Check it out on some blog, I don't know." Colletti later claimed never to have read a single blog entry in his lifetime.


To be fair, Josh Rawitch offers his perspective:

As for the comments about Ned reading the blog (or any blog), I can assure you that he was joking around with our beat writers at the winter meetings and it came off as flippant. Since three of our regular papers now have blogs, that topic came up and everyone was joking about it, which was when Ned made the comment he made. As someone who sees just how insanely busy his schedule is, it's safe to assume that he doesn't do much reading of media coverage or blogs and I'm fairly certain that he's not alone in that area when it comes to big league GMs. That doesn't mean they don't care about what fans think - it's just that they have to rely on their scouts and baseball people for opinions and then make a decision rather than reading every website out there for input.

Hallmark Hits New Low with ESPN Ornament

I generally like the whole Hallmark ornament thing; in fact, I have a sweet X-Wing fighter ornament that plugs right into the light strand so the x-wing's engines light up red (and in my case, blink off and on). By the way, my tree is already up this year, and the x-wing is working great. But if anyone ever got this ESPN SportsCenter ornament for me, I'd be pissed off, and it would be up on ebay immediately:

Channel his inner sports guy with this very clever TV ornament tuned to ESPN's SportsCenter. When he presses the button, the screen lights up, and he'll hear the sweet strains of the SportsCenter theme song.

I happened to be at a Hallmark Gold Crown store the other day and went in to check this puppy out. For $15, you get a plastic ornament that looks like a flat screen, and then when you push the button on the side, the translucent "screen" is backlit and the SportsCenter theme plays in an obnoxious tinny sound. Not exactly as it is described on the product page, which used words like "clever" and "sweet" rather than "annoying" and "cacophonous."

Somewhere, ESPN's licensing division thinks it is clever and sweet. It is not.

Hardly Virgin Territory

On a recent long-haul flight, I had the rare opportunity to watch 'Hitch' and 'The 40-Year-Old Virgin' back-to-back. Upon doing so, I came to realize they are basically the same movie:

Thursday, December 06, 2007

The Onion Explores Ned's Softer, More Romantic Side

"I come to you today with no worldly possessions—save only my dreams. But to obtain the one you call Johan, I would happily toss a lasso 'round the moon and pull it down for you, or set a ladder amongst the stars and pluck them one by one from the night sky," Colletti shouted up to Twins GM Bill Smith, who stood on the balcony of the Opryland Hotel. "And should you not be satisfied with our package of the moon at night, the stars so bright, the sun that lights your days, and all that sparkles and shines in Heaven and on Earth, we may be willing to part with first baseman James Loney."

New SoSG Mantra: Sign Kuroda, Trade Pierre

Andruw Jones on a two-year contract? Nice work, Ned. But now you have an expendable outfielder and you're still looking for a starting pitcher. Matt Kemp or Andre Ethier could be flipped for a good starter (Bedard? Haren? Sheets?), but here's a better suggestion: Sign the best free-agent pitcher available (Hiroki Kuroda) and trade Juan Pierre, leaving us with an outfield of Kemp-Jones-Ethier.

Ah, but trade Pierre for what? Here are some suggestions:

a bucket of baseballs

a two-year subscription to Cat Fancy magazine

a Dyson DC21 Stowaway canister vacuum

Rock Band (Special Edition)

boot-shaped beer stein

You tell us!

What should Ned Colletti trade Juan Pierre for?
a bucket of baseballs
a two-year subscription to Cat Fancy magazine
a Dyson DC21 Stowaway canister vacuum
Rock Band (Special Edition)
boot-shaped beer stein
Free polls from

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Colletti Coaxes Andruw Jones Into Dodger Bluw

The beauty of low expectations is that when a story like this breaks, you can't help but be shocked. LA Times reports that the Dodgers signed Andruw Jones to a two-year deal worth $36M. All I can say is, wow. I didn't expect this one.

NASHVILLE -- The Dodgers agreed to terms with free-agent center fielder Andruw Jones on a two-year guaranteed contract worth $36.2 million on Wednesday evening, according to multiple baseball sources. The deal is pending a physical.

By acquiring Jones on the night before the winter meetings end, the Dodgers filled two of their off-season needs -- a middle-of-the-order bat and a defensive upgrade in center field.

Jones, 30, hit 26 home runs and drove in 94 runs last season for the Atlanta Braves. He hit at least 25 home runs and won a Gold Glove for the 10th consecutive season.

The Dodgers are expected to move weak-armed Juan Pierre to left field, leaving Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier for right. The surplus of outfielders could make either Kemp or Ethier expendable and the Dodgers are believed to have been asked for Kemp in trade discussions for several available pitchers, including left-hander Erik Bedard of the Baltimore Orioles.

Okay, let's start with the positive. In one fell swoop (swup?), Colletti added a big bat, filled the cavernous defensive void in center field, and addressed arguably his biggest mistake from last season, the signing of Juan Pierre to a five-year, $45M deal. The Dodgers improve dramatically offensively and defensively, and that is HUGE.

Of course, it is an expensive deal (the story goes on to say that Jones' average annual salary of $18.1 million is the highest ever awarded by the Dodgers and is fifth-highest in major league history, and is surpassed only by Roger Clemens, A-Rod, Man-Ram, and Derek Jeter; that's pretty good company for a guy coming off an "off year"). But the coup here is that, so far, we haven't traded any of our prized prospects away. WOW. Nice job, Ned.

But now the bad news (potentially): who goes? Who is the fourth outfielder voted off the Ravine? Is Matt Kemp, who showed signs of offensive greatness, really tradable? Or is the odd man out Andre Ethier, who may have less offensive upside but has also has less defensive downside, as well as a longer track record? Or can we cajole anyone to take Juan Pierre, or at least consider moving him from Center Field to Left Out rather than Left Field?

My stomach is churning as I think about seeing Kemp or Ethier in another uniform. (Pierre, not so much.) But we know Ned wants another someone's shoe is about to drop...

UPDATE: MSTI ended with the exact same "shoe to drop" reference, making my post look entirely unoriginal. Sorry about that, MSTI; I hadn't seen your post first. I'd like to change my last sentence to a different cliche, as follows: "But we know Ned wants another Kemp, unwillingly and illogically, might be about to walk the plank of SS Colletti..."

Deciphering The Dodgers' Cryptic Off-Season Strategy

Boy, those Dodgers really are cryptic this offseason, huh? Makes me wonder what the heck is going on here.

All answers in the grid are two-word answers, using standard cryptic crossword rules. Shaded letters will anagram to the team's apparent off-season strategy (2,6).

First one to post the final answer in the comment section of this post gets our undying love and a special mention on the blog, plus I'll throw in a 2007 Dodgers schedule magnet if you want it. Whoo hoo!

ACROSS CLUES (in no particular order)

  • Cycle hitter wears perk loosely.
  • Doctor, initially, only holds floor fabric, says new coach.
  • Confused male enjoys freed first baseman.
  • Angered, her horse riles bulldog.

DOWN CLUES (in no particular order)

  • Joan's poker upset man with foot injury.
  • In a line up, elder sis sorted out fall classic.
  • A thousand at the start, plus a thousand more, add electromagnetic pulse to power hitter.
  • Mean ego erupted into chaos when Gibson hit his fateful home run.

Kent: Tuck In Your Mothertucking Shirt, Rook

"In your face, Kent!"

From Diamond Leung:

Regarding last year's clubhouse troubles, Colletti said, "I know why it occurred. It's been addressed." Speaking of which, a source today recounted an incident between Jeff Kent and James Loney after a September loss last season that underscores the divide. Loney untucked his jersey after the game in the near-empty dugout, and Kent ordered him to tuck his shirt back in. Loney was in the middle of something and said alright, he'd do it. Kent shook his head and walked off in a huff and later let Loney know how unprofessional the kid was being. It was at the end of the series that Kent criticized the team's young players.

Colletti No Gambler, But Knows When to Hold

From the LA Times today, Trader Ned is surprisingly still staying pat, and Dylan Hernandez' interview evidences that it's not just because he's asleep at the wheel (we hope):

But General Manager Ned Colletti said that his inability to trade for a middle-of-the-lineup bat or a top-of-the-rotation arm over the first two days of the winter meetings has given him a greater appreciation for his team's young talent.

Colletti says he believes that top prospect Clayton Kershaw and 23-year-old right-hander Chad Billingsley will develop into the kind of pitchers that he is chasing today.

The Dodgers are being asked for multiple young players on their major league roster for top-of-the-line pitching, and Colletti said, "That could be us in two or three years, not that we would be in the same mode to deal. But that shows you the value of it. And if we believe in our scouts and our player-development people and you listen to how they talk about Clayton Kershaw, two years down the road, he might be the same guy."

So what's the worst that can happen? We start next year with a weak #2 hitter, an abyss in center field (sorry to be redundant), no power bat in the lineup, a hole at third base, and a continued dependence on Mark Hendrickson every fifth day?

Holy smokes, that sounds awful. I mean, I don't want to trade the youngsters either, but come on here, we've got to address these gaps somewhere, somehow. I don't know if a Hendickson-for-Scott Rolen trade has been suggested, but we should at least try.

And in the same article, remember this quote when the McCourts try to justify increased ticket/parking prices by touting the "new-look, Torre-enhanced" Dodgers:

"Everything's in the same boat, the same position," Colletti said. "Only thing that changed is the day on the calendar."

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Dodgers and Angels Lose Out on Cabrera

From "Marlins sending Cabrera, Willis to Tigers" by Robothal at

The Marlins and Tigers have made the first blockbuster splash of the Winter Meetings.

Florida and Detroit have reached a preliminary agreement that will send star third baseman Miguel Cabrera and left-hander Dontrelle Willis to Detroit for a package of young players headlined by outfielder Cameron Maybin and left-hander Andrew Miller, according to major-league sources.

The Tigers will also send four other prospects to the Marlins as part of the deal.

Better Get Used to Juan Pierre, Dodger Fans

Hurrah, as Ned Colletti has resigned us to yet another year of misery, living with our weak-armed center fielder with below-average OBP:

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti, having made unsuccessful runs at free-agent center fielders Andruw Jones and Aaron Rowand, is shifting to more modest ways of improving his roster at the Winter Meetings. Colletti was hoping to land one of the outfielders with a short-term deal, but said the demands of Jones and Rowand exceeded his appetite both in dollars and years. He never made offers and said the players would need to drop their demands for the Dodgers to be involved.

"Right now, we don't have anywhere else to go," Colletti said.

"I had the intention of making an offer," he said regarding Jones, until hearing what the 10-time Gold Glove winner sought. "It would have been foolish to do so."

Ned, you should have thought of this when you signed Juan Pierre to a frickin' five-year deal, knowing that Jones and Torii Hunter would both be up for bid in a year's time. This had better be one of your negotiating tactics, or we're bound to see even more opponents' singles stretched into triples next year.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Walter O'Malley Elected to Hall of Fame

Veterans elect O'Malley to Hall of Fame (

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Mmmm...Sandwich Pick

From MLB Trade Rumors:

The Red Sox plan on offering arbitration to Type B Eric Gagne. Worst case scenario, they hang onto him for one more year. Best case, they get a sandwich pick.


Again from MLBTR:

The Red Sox get a delicious sandwich pick for their dalliance with Gagne.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Casting (for) Bonds' Shadow

According to "," the book "Game of Shadows" by Lance Williams and Mark Fainaru-Wada was picked up by HBO and is planning to turn it into a movie. I remember reading the book a couple of years ago, and thought the most telling portion was the increase in Bonds' hat and jersey size statistics. Which makes you think, who would play the "before" and "after" Barry? Chris Rock and Michael Clarke Duncan? How about Emmanuel Lewis during the Webster days and Emmanuel Lewis during the VH1 days?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Unwatchable! Mortifying! Galling!


Now with functional video!

a.k.a. 4:55 of satiny hell

From AOL Fanhouse ("The Musical Skeleton in Hershiser's Closet") via Can't Stop the Bleeding ("Conclusive Proof Baseball’s Cocaine Problem Was Out Of Control In The ’80’s") comes this awful, awful video featuring—I think, because I don't have the stomach to watch the whole thing—Orel Hershiser (I may have to renounce my username!), Mariano Duncan, Jerry Reuss, Pedro Guerrero and Mike Scioscia. Brace yourselves.

Happy Birthday, Vin Scully

Thanks to Jon Heyman at for pointing out the following:

Vin Scully, a marvel and the best in the business for 58 years running, turns 80 today.

By all accounts Vin is a modest and retiring man, so I don't know what (if anything) I would say if I were to meet him. So I'll say it from the anonymous safety of this blog: Thank you, Vin Scully. There aren't many things in life which are consistently wonderful. You are one of them. Happy birthday!


Jon Weisman notes that Vin shares a birthday with Ross Porter. So, happy birthday, Ross! We miss you! Notice there is no DT poster named TellMeTheScoreRossPorter!

Delino Returns with.... A Legitimate Sports Article!!!

First off, a big shout out to all the Delinomaniacs who have been flooding the SoSG offices (aka Sax's garage) with mail, begging for my return. I'll admit it - USC losing to Stanford took away most of my willpower, belief in a higher power, and ability to type. But after reading comments made by Mr. McCourt-on-BLEW in the Boston Globe, I had to put quill to parchment and return to the hallowed halls of SoSG. From the right-leaning FOXSPORTS:

After signing Torii Hunter and trading for Jon Garland, the Angels are pushing hard to acquire Miguel Cabrera. The Dodgers?

Their off-season might have been over before it began, judging from comments by owner Frank McCourt in Sunday's Boston Globe. "I think we're in good position right now," McCourt said. "We don't have to make a deal. We made the biggest move we needed to make in signing Joe." Well, Joe's not enough.

The lowly Reds, for goodness sake, are not content with the hiring of a big-name manager, Dusty Baker. They're trying to sustain their momentum and build a better team. Signing free-agent closer Francisco Cordero to a four-year, $46 million contract doesn't exactly qualify as shrewd, but at least it demonstrates commitment.

McCourt talks the talk, saying, "If there's a player or two out there that can make us better, I'm very interested."

But let's see him back up those words. The Dodgers failed to make a significant upgrade last July, discussing a major deal for A's right-hander Joe Blanton but ultimately settling for a Wilson Betemit-for-Scott Proctor exchange

That would be Joe Torre, who will neither hit nor pitch next season, but will earn more than $4 million as the Dodgers' new manager. "I don't anticipate any nonsense in that clubhouse," McCourt said. "(Torre) gives us instant credibility and we're thrilled to have him."

Perhaps Joe Torre's going to play every position. Maybe he'll use his magic dust to make the young guns and old farts to get along (he obviously kept A-Rod's ego in check).

Besides the fist-full of World Series rings, I for one have a very big reason to trust Torre becoming the Dodgers's savior: He was played by Paulie from GoodFellas in Joe Torre: Curveballs Along the Way, now available on ebay for one whole buck.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Consecutive-Vowel Fans Rejoice: No Torii, But Possible "Shuuto"?

Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times writes that the Dodgers are considering Japanese pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, whose arsenal contains the spell-checking program nightmare "shuuto" pitch:

With a shortage of quality arms among free agents and high asking prices for top-quality pitchers on the trade market, the 32-year-old Kuroda could be an affordable option to bolster their rotation. Visiting Kuroda with Saito to convey the Dodgers' interest were director of Asian operations Acey Kohrogi and scout Keiichi Kojima.

The right-hander is said to throw a mid-90s fastball, slider, forkball and "shuuto," which resembles a reverse slider. Kuroda has a 103-89 record with a 3.69 earned-run average in 11 seasons with the Hiroshima Carp. He had his best season in 2006, when he was 13-6 with a 1.85 ERA.

Kuroda, who is expected to receive at least a three-year deal worth up to $10 million a season, could be a fourth or fifth starter in a Dodgers' rotation with question marks. How Jason Schmidt will come back from season-ending shoulder surgery remains uncertain and late-season addition Esteban Loaiza was 1-4 with an 8.34 ERA in five starts.

But Kuroda has several suitors, including the Seattle Mariners and Kansas City Royals. The Arizona Diamondbacks confirmed Tuesday they had made an offer to the pitcher. Kuroda also hasn't ruled out staying with the Carp.

Come on, Kuroda. It's the Carp, not the Ham Fighters. Come to LA, we need the arms.

Seriously, I applaud the Dodgers' efforts to consider other teams for talent, including the Carp. Perhaps we can check out the AArdvark as well? That is, if Colletti isn't off skIIng this vacation. I'd like to vacUUm up all of these under-the-radar gems for our squad and have them ride in on a white eqUUS to save the day for the Dodgers. That is, except Kazuhisa IshII.

Okay, maybe that wasn't so serious after all. WhOOps.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Happy 40th, Jon Weisman

...from all your friends at Sons of Steve Garvey.

40 years ago...the Dodgers finished eighth in the National League. Out of ten teams. I suppose that's equivalent to last year's fourth-place finish of five teams in the NL West. Well, there's nowhere to go but up!

Apologies to the Dodgers' 50th logo, the underpinning for the latest SoSG photoshop hackjob. (Updated with the correct year: now 40% hackier!)

Monday, November 26, 2007

Coliseum Game to Be Played for Charity

The Dodgers' best marketing idea since the Olmedo Saenz All-You-Can-Eat Pavilion just gets better and better. Today, the Dodgers announced that the March 29 exhibition game against the Boston Red Sox (to be held at the Los Angeles Coliseum) will give all net proceeds to the Dodgers' charity, ThinkCure. This is very, very cool and Jamie McCourt deserves some serious props for this idea. Way to go, Dodgers!

The Coliseum game also has a kick-ass logo, I might add...I'll buy that t-shirt (just puh-leeeeeez, this one time, make it a small pocket logo on the front and a large logo on the back? Ideally on a grey shirt? With a blue ringer collar and sleeve? We don't need any more gaudy huge front logo shirts, which seem to be the sad default for other memorable Ddger events...Dodger fans have more style than that!).

A Belated Look at True Veterans

There's been a lot of talk about the role of veterans the in Dodgers' clubhouse, but it turns out we've overlooked veterans of an altogether different stripe. At Dodger Thoughts, "bobmac" posted the following:

The three Dodger blogs I read everyday, Dodger Thoughts for insight, Son's of Steve Garvey for humorous insight and True Blue LA for statistic insight all had one thing in common this Thanksgiving. All three posted Thanksgiving Day thoughts. On the other hand, on November 11 not one of the three gave thanks to our veterans on Veterans Day. Shame on you. It is not too late to do an article on Dodger Veterans, is it? Even Tommy Lasorda spend a couple years for his country. While not a Dodger player, as a Dodger Fan, I spent 20 years.

Bobmac, you're right. Thank you for (1) your service and (2) the suggestion.

From "Museum reunites veterans of war, baseball" (AP/

Lou Brissie and Morrie Martin shared much more than a uniform when their baseball careers briefly intersected in 1951 as teammates with the Philadelphia Athletics.

Before they were major leaguers, Brissie and Martin fought for their country during World War II. Both were wounded and nearly lost legs. Both beat long odds to play baseball again.

Brissie and Martin have kept in touch over the years, but they never traded war stories before they reunited this month at the National World War II Museum in New Orleans for the opening of a new exhibition, "When Baseball Went to War."

"You don't talk about the war in baseball," the 85-year-old Martin later explained during a telephone interview from his home in Washington, Mo....

Martin, who was 20 when he joined the Army in December 1942, had signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers before the war took him overseas, first to North Africa and later to Europe. Returning home in August 1945, he recovered from his wounds quickly enough to join the Dodgers for spring training in 1946.

It wasn't until 1949, however, that Martin made his major league debut with the Dodgers. His wounds had left the pitcher's left leg shorter than his right, altering his delivery. Plus, "Getting in shape took a little longer," he said.

Throughout his military service, Martin, a member of the 49th Combat Engineers, said he never picked up a baseball. The war took a toll on his career, but he doesn't have any regrets.

"None whatsoever," he said.

Visit The National World War II Museum site for "Duty, Honor, Country: When Baseball Went to War."

Le Russell Martin Apparaît à la Télévision Canadienne Française

Last night Russell Martin appeared on the French Canadian talk show Tout le monde en parle (which translates to "Everyone's talking about it"—Quebec's version of Politically Incorrect, according to Wikipedia). Not sure what Russell had to say; hopefully video will surface. And a translator.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Reliever Market Exploding

From "Source: Reds, closer Cordero have preliminary agreement" by Jerry Crasnick at

The Cincinnati Reds have reached preliminary agreement on a four-year, $46 million contract with closer Francisco Cordero, a baseball source confirmed to

Cordero is the third prominent reliever to sign as a free agent this offseason. Mariano Rivera will return to the New York Yankees on a three-year, $45 million contract, and Scott Linebrink has agreed to a four-year, $19 million deal with the Chicago White Sox pending a physical exam.

Just a year ago, the Dodgers lost a pre-Red Sox meltdown Eric Gagne over $2 million. Now top relievers are getting $12-15 million a year.

Is this market inevitability, or is Kevin Towers becoming the next Billy Beane? Towers is renowned for procuring effective relief pitching on the cheap, as well as causing journalists such as Tom Verducci to use the word "fungible" as it applies to the resource of relievers.

Cordero's deal also emphasizes the value of Takashi Saito to the Dodgers. Everyone's focus is on the Hot Stove right now, but the next big issue could be whether Ned Colletti decides to (1) give Saito a raise, (2) promote Jonathan Broxton to closer or (3) sign a free agent reliever.

photo by Timothy A. Clary/AFP

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Torii Hunter Off the Market

So much for the Dodgers' grand Torre! Torii! Tori! scheme. In a surprise move, the Angels snapped up Torii Hunter for $90 million over five years.

And the Angels' rookie GM, Tony Reagins, knows what to do with his garbage. From the article:

With [Vladimir] Guerrero in right and [Garret] Anderson in left, the move leaves no space in the starting outfield for [Gary] Matthews Jr. The Angels said the center fielder, who signed a $50 million, five-year deal as a free agent last offseason, could see time at designated hitter and spell the corner outfielders.

Of course, inheriting the bad Matthews contract (negotiated by Bill Stoneman) makes it easier for Reagins to essentially shelve that $50 million investment. But it's for the betterment of the team—something Ned Colletti will hopefully remember when deciding between his ego and the fate of Juan Pierre.


AP says $80 million.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Your SoSG Thanksgiving Turkey: Drew McCourt Attempts To Bend Laws of Time and Space

In honor of Thanksgiving, we at Sons of Steve Garvey want to show you the latest marketing mistake of bumbling Drew McCourt, son of Frank McCourt and nepotistically placed "Vice President of Business Development" of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Little Drew was also the "Director of Marketing" when he oversaw the stadium giveaway of a fleece blanket commemorating the Dodgers' six championships--then proceeded to stitch the wrong World Championship years into ~40,000 blankets (see 4/27/05).

So what other turkeys did Drew McCourt leave in his Marketing wake? Witness the 2006-2007 Dodgers team calendar, given away at the beginning of the season and sponsored by Panda Express. Here's the cover:

Now that we're at the end of 2007 and on the last page, I'm faced with the smiling mug of deposed Dodgers manager Grady Little:

But wait, Grady isn't even the biggest turkey associated with this calendar! Witness yet another breach in the time-space continuum, as Drew McCourt ends November on a Friday, and starts December on a Sunday:

What do we do with that Saturday, November 31st, Drew? Or is this just your way of getting an extra day of partying for New Year's Eve (now on a Tuesday, but just for you, Drew!). I realize printing team calendars may be tricky sometimes, but this just goes to show you: When Dodger Stadium marketing goes horribly awry, there's usually a turkey named Drew McCourt close by.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

Apparently the Guy in the Fat Suit Has an Attitude Problem

From Robothal:

The Marlins first showed heavy interest in [Matt] Kemp last spring, but at that time the Dodgers deemed him untouchable. It remains to be seen whether the availability of Cabrera — combined with questions about Kemp's attitude — will lead the Dodgers to alter their stance.

See the guy in the fat suit? The one playing along with this year's rookie hazing? "A potential 30-homer, 30-stolen base man," says Robothal, but also trade bait because of his "attitude."

Meanwhile, the San Jose Mercury News had this to say about the Dodgers' most tenured veteran, Jeff Kent:

[Rookie hazing] doesn't always work out well. Jeff Kent got a reputation as a spoilsport in the early 1990s when he didn't play along with the New York Mets' prank.

Kent is currently deciding whether the Dodgers should pay him $9 million next year.

I'm sick of hearing of supposed reasons why the Dodgers should get rid of Kemp. Of course he has flaws, but the Marlins want him because he's good, young and cheap.

Come to think of it, that's why we want him too.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Dodgers Searching for More "Type-A" Players in Taiwan?

The Dodgers are looking to extend their Asia spring training trip in March 2008 by playing games not only in China, but also a quick stop to play ball in Taiwan. Details haven't been made available, but I suppose since the Dodgers are already up a 16-hour flight, why not skip by Taipei as well and look for the next Chin-Lung Hu or Hong-Chih Kuo?

Immediately after the games on March 15-16 at the 12,000-seat Olympic baseball facility, the Dodgers are eyeing another pair of exhibition games in neighboring Taiwan on March 18-19, confirmed Bob DuPuy, Major League Baseball's president and chief operating officer.

"That's what they're looking at," said DuPuy, as two days of uneventful owners meetings wound down on Thursday morning.

The thing is, it won't be against the Padres, who are already planning on returning to Arizona to continue Spring Training immediately after their second exhibition game in Beijing, but against a still-to-be determined squad of Taiwanese nationals. [...]

Jamie McCourt, the Dodgers president and vice chairman, declined to comment on Thursday about the projected excursion. [...]

Beijing will host the Summer Olympics from next Aug. 8-24, and is staging what may be the final baseball medal competition of the summer games in two small ballparks outside the city. Demonstration games were already played there this past summer and the exhibition games between the Dodgers and Padres are slated for the larger of the two facilities, which holds 12,000 people. [...]

The delay in making that announcement has nothing to do at this point with MLB, DuPuy said, since the Padres, Dodgers and players union are all in agreement about going.

"It's getting the permits from the [Chinese] government," he said on Wednesday. "It's an administrative process and we want to be very sensitive to the needs and the protocols of the Chinese government. It's the first time we've ever done this and they're very busy with it being their Olympic year. They've been very supportive of it and we're hopeful of getting it done."

It may be too much to expect Frank McCourt to be cognizant of world events, given he's too busy figuring out how to justify another price increase through the Joe Torre signing. However, even a cursory read of world news would have highlighted that China and Taiwan aren't exactly on great terms right now, what with the smaller island country again taking steps toward asserting its independence from the larger mainland China government. So, if the MLB permits to (mainland) China haven't yet been issued, that Dodgers Taiwan trip may not have been something you'd want to publicize just yet.

Not to mention the fact that all this foreign travel gives a kick to the crotch of Vero Beach, which appears to be getting at best a split-squad visit this spring, in the Dodgers' final visit to Florida. No confirmation, as of yet, of the rumor that Juan Pierre is the only player currently named to the Florida split squad.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Graphs Gone Wild

It may look like a mess, but the 2007 Dodgers' "Performance/Salary Map" presented below is teeming with brilliant insight. So please bear with me (click on graph to enlarge):

Here are the basics of what's going on above:

  • The on-field performance* and annual salary** of each player on the 2007 Dodgers*** is plotted along the horizontal and vertical axes, respectively.
  • Blue is for hitters, red for pitchers.
  • The players' 2004 performance/salary is marked by the small dot.
  • The players' 2007 performance/salary is represented by the larger circle.
  • If a player was not in the majors in 2004, he has only the circle, not the dot
  • The size of the circle corresponds to the age of the player.
  • The players' 3-Year Trendline (2004 to 2007) is marked by the arrow connecting the dot and the circle.

*Measured by OPS for hitters and ERA for pitchers.
**From USA Today.
***Only players with at least 400 AB's or 80 IP's in 2007 are included, with Saito (64.1 IP) the only exception.

So what does this tell us? Well let's first look at the four primary quadrants, which players fall into each, and what it all means:

  • Upper-right quadrant (Stars) - This represents players who are paid well and perform accordingly. Jeff Kent and Brad Penny are the only players who fall into this category.
  • Lower-right quadrant (Bargains) - These guys have a relatively low salary yet put up strong numbers. Not surprisingly, all the players here in their 1st or 2nd year (Saito, Martin, Broxton, Ethier) and thus can still be gotten cheaply.
  • Lower-left quadrant (Role Players) - This quadrant is where 2nd-tier players with 2nd-tier salaries land. And sure enough, the two players in this category (Hendrickson and Tomko) personify 2nd tier.
  • Upper-left quadrant (Busts) - These guys signed handsome contracts yet aren't getting it done on the field. Sadly, this is also the most crowded quadrant on the Dodgers' Map, with Nomar, Wolf, Lowe, Furcal, and Pierre elbowing for position.

Even more can be culled from noting the direction in which the players' 3-Year Trendlines are pointing. Again, there are roughly four categories:

  • Up and to the Right (Approaching Prime) - Presumably players approaching or in their prime who show on-field improvement and receive a corresponding improvement in salary. Lowe and Penny are the two Dodgers in this category.
  • Down and to the Left (Past Prime) - Theoretically, a trendline in this direction would represent a player past their prime - i.e., one who is showing a decline in both output and salary. Gonzo and Nomar are the two Dodgers in this category, so I guess we can get rid of the word 'theoretically' above.
  • Down and to the Right (Players Getting Screwed by Their Ballclubs) - These players are getting a raw deal salary-wise from their team, as they are being paid less over the years despite putting up better numbers. Shockingly, there were no Dodgers in this group.
  • Up and to the Left (Players Screwing Their Ballclubs) - Players who have managed to get larger contracts from their current ballclub despite performance decreases. Alas, this is where the plurality of the '07 Dodgers fall, with Pierre, Furcal, Hendrickson, Wolf, and Tomko. Yikes.

So I guess it doesn't bode well that both least desirable quadrant and the least-desirable Trendline category have the most Dodgers. But I guess since I'm too lazy to create Performance/Salary Maps for other clubs for comparison purposes, I can't make any hard conclusions. But to put things in some perspective, let's see where A-Rod's would appear on this Map:

(click on graph to enlarge)

So A-Rod's performance and salary are literally "off-the-chart". That, my friends, is the brilliant insight I promised at the top.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Welcome Back, Rob Flippo!

Josh Rawitch says the Dodgers are expecting back bullpen catcher Rob Flippo. Who is Rob Flippo? Well, you can read his official Dodger biography here, but the reason he's beloved by this Dodger fan is because about ten years ago I was watching a Chan Ho Park bullpen session and Rob tossed me the ball afterward. I was too stunned to say thank you then, so I'm saying it now: Thank you, Rob Flippo!

2008 Coaching Staff Announced

From Inside the Dodgers:

In a short while, we'll be sending out the release on our coaching staff for next season. In addition to Bowa and Mattingly, Mariano Duncan will return as the first base coach, Rick Honeycutt returns as the pitching coach and Ken Howell will be promoted from Triple-A to serve as the bullpen coach. Bob Schaefer, who was the bench coach for Oakland last season, will take over that role for the Dodgers and Joe Torre next season.

So long, Rich Donnelly! Thanks for the memories!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A-Rod Off the Market

Report: A-Rod, Yankees agree on outline of $275 million, 10-year contract (AP/

Don't lose your head, Ned.

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

Bonds indicted on federal charges of perjury...