Saturday, June 30, 2007

Game 81 Thread: June 30 vs. Padres, 7.10p

Dodgers start Brad Penny, RHP (10-1, 2.04) vs. Jake Peavy, RHP (9-2, 2.14).

Dodgers: 45-35 (3rd place NL West, 1.0 GB, L1)
Padres: 45-33 (1st place NL West, 0.5 GA, W3)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Penny took over the National League lead in wins and ERA by beating the D-backs on Monday, allowing one run over seven innings. His fastball was clocked as high as 101 mph on the Chase Field radar gun and was consistently around 95 mph. The Dodgers are 14-2 in Penny's starts this year and he's allowed only two home runs. He has yet to face the Padres this year.

Padres: Peavy missed becoming the National League's first 10-game winner in his last start, losing an Interleague matchup with Red Sox ace Josh Beckett. Peavy wasn't hit especially hard in the game, but a shaky third inning, in which he yielded three runs on five hits, led to the 4-2 defeat. He had three strikeouts and one walk in the game and his command wasn't as sharp as it has been recently, as several balls drifted up in the strike zone.

From Inside the Dodgers, the lineup:

Furcal, SS (.324 with RISP) Pierre, CF (on pace for 59 steals, the most since Lopes' 64 in '76)
Martin, C (finds out tomorrow about AS results)
Kent, 2B (was awesome at the WIN clinic today)
Gonzo, LF (must see TV)
Nomar, 3B (hitting .336 at home)
Loney, 1B (eight-game hitting streak)
Ethier, RF (signed autographs for fans today in Whittier)
Penny, P (.241 batting average, 2.04 ERA)

Tall Pitcher Karma Theory Still Going Strong

When we first reported on the Tall Pitcher Karma Theory, it was a little-known concept familiar only amongst SoSGers, sabermetric geeks, and people who use words like 'amongst'. But, as anyone who read the minutes of last week's Fed meeting knows, the theory has since gone mainstream. Almost a month later, the results on the field continue to lend support to the theory's validity:

April 2 - May 4: The Karma starts the season with Hendrickson. Randy Johnson spends opening day on the DL, then promptly gives up 13 earned runs in his first 3 starts after coming off it. Meanwhile, Hendrickson holds opponents to 0 or 1 earned runs in each of his first 6 outings.

May 5 - June 10: Unit swipes the Karma from Lurch. Johnson goes 4-0 over his next 6 starts. Meanwhile, Lurch starts sucking, as I'm sure you all remember.

June 11 - present: Karma back to Lurch. Johnson returns to the DL on June 11 with a torn unit, and upon his return, he again gets hit hard (by the Dodgers!). In the meantime, Hendrickson has quietly held opponents to 0 or 1 earned runs in each of his last 6 outings.

If you weren't initially a believer in the theory, don't be ashamed - after all, people once thought Columbus' round earth theory was crazytalk. But keep an eye on Unit's next start, scheduled for Monday vs St Louis, and hope for a shelling.

ESPN Supports Voixing Pour Le Russell

WIth the All-Star Game voting results announced tomorrow (July 1), all we can do is hope our voting for Dodger Russell Martin paid off with a deserved starting slot on the NL team. In the meantime, supports Martin's candidacy. also votes for Padre Jake Peavy as the NL starting pitcher, over Dodger Brad Penny. Since the two go head-to-head at the Ravine tonight, we'll see who is the bigger gun this evening....

Thanks for the Memories, Merlin


The Dodgers activated reliever Chin-hui Tsao before Friday night's game against the Padres after the pitcher had a successful outing at Triple-A Las Vegas on Wednesday....

In order to make room for Tsao on the roster, the Dodgers were forced to designate Marlon Anderson for assignment. Anderson will have a 10-day period in which he will either be traded, released or clear waivers.

photo by Jill Weisleder/Dodgers

Friday, June 29, 2007

Game 80 Thread: June 29 vs. Padres, 7.40p

Dodgers start Hong-Chih Kuo, LHP (1-3, 6.33) vs. Chris Young, RHP (7-3, 2.08).

Dodgers: 45-34 (T-1st place NL West, W1)
Padres: 44-33 (T-1st place NL West, W2)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: There's no way to know what you'll get out of Kuo from start to start. He can be dominating, as he was against San Diego and the Mets earlier in the month, or he can't get anybody out, as he showed in Toronto. With the opponent in this game being the Padres, the Dodgers are hopeful he duplicates his June 7 start in San Diego, when he allowed one run on three hits over six innings.

Padres: Young is coming off one of his best starts of the season on June 23 when he limited the Red Sox to one hit over seven scoreless innings with 11 strikeouts and two walks. Young peppered the strike zone, throwing 74 of his 110 pitches for strikes. Better still, it wasn't just the life on his fastball that got the better of the Red Sox, as he mixed in a devastating slider and curveball that tied hitters in knots.

UPDATE, 3.49p:

From Inside the Dodgers, the lineup:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Martin, C
Kent, 2B
Gonzo, LF
Nomar, 3B
Loney, 1B
Kemp, RF
Kuo, P

Can Hardly Wait to Surf SoSG on the iPhone...

Jayson Werth Beset by More Wrist Action

Jayson Werth hits the Phillies DL with a bad wrist. This guy needs some bionic joints, fast.

PHILADELPHIA -- Outfielder Jayson Werth was placed on the 15-day disabled list by the Philadelphia Phillies because of a sprained left wrist after Thursday night's win against the Cincinnati Reds.

The move was one of four by the Phillies, who begin a pivotal four-game series with the NL East-leading New York Mets on Friday.

Werth said he injured the wrist playing catch during the Phillies series in Cleveland from June 18-20. He said the injury had nothing to do with his previous wrist ailment that sidelined for most of the past two seasons.

Werth was hitting .235 with three homers and 10 RBIs in 85 at-bats.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Post-Game 79 Thread: Johnson Yanked Early (Dodgers 9, Snakes 5)


The Dodgers got to Randy Johnson early and often Thursday evening in Arizona, starting with a two-run Russell Martin HR in the first and ending with two more runs in the third frame. Johnson exited before the bottom of the third having given up 6 H, 3 ER, and 69 pitches. Not a nice welcome back from his herniated disk-catalyzed respite.

Martin and Jeff Kent had two RBI each and Freed James Loney and Tony Abreu had one RBI each. Every starter except Luis Gonzalez got a hit, including Randy Wolf who went 2-for-4 from the plate and also pitched six innings of three-run ball (two runs of which were charged to Wolf but stimulated by Brett Tomko, who then calmed down to get out of the sixth inning).

Nomar Garciaparra took the day off. Wilson Betemit was a late-game substitute and came very close to hitting one out in deep center--still, he is batting sub-.200 on the year.

Takashi Saito came in for the save when Tomko was on fumes in the ninth. He now has 42 strikeouts and 3 walks on the year, for an impressive 14:1 ratio. That is crazy talk. Saito got the last two outs to preserve the victory.

The 3-1 series win over the Snakes gave the Dodgers a 6-4 roadtrip. Now they face the Padres, Braves, and Marlins at home in a 10-day, 10-game homestand. No rest for the weary! Especially with a first-place showdown on the line against the friars...

UPDATE 6/29 9.28a: I want to shout out to True Blue LA for a hilarious line about the game that I wish I had read beforehand:

I may be having a bad day. But at least my team isn't starting Augie Ojeda at short. Brings back memories of Augie Doggie from the Hanna-Barbera cartoons!

Padres to Acquire Milton Bradley?

Padres acquire outfielder Milton Bradley (San Diego Union-Tribune)

(Hat tip to DT poster "Nagman.")

James Loney Rips Door Off Hinges, Shreds It to Pieces

"General manager Ned Colletti would rather make a prospect kick down the door than simply throw the door open and watch the poor kid trip stepping over the threshold."

—Jerry Crasnick,

Don't even think about it, Ned.

AP photo/Paul Connors

Game 79 Thread: June 28 @ Diamondbacks, 3.40p

Dodgers start Randy Wolf, LHP (8-6, 4.32) vs. Randy Johnson, LHP (4-2, 3.52).

Dodgers: 44-34 (3rd place NL West, 0.5 GB, L1)
Diamondbacks: 45-34 (T-1st place NL West, 0.5 GA, W1)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Other than home runs in the first and seventh innings by Akinori Iwamura and Dioner Navarro, Wolf had a solid outing on Friday against the Rays. His strikeouts were back up to five and walks down to two. But the home runs were crushing as well as out of character, as he'd allowed only two in his previous nine starts. In Wolf's only start against the D-backs this year, he allowed six runs in 5 2/3 innings and was the loser.

Diamondbacks: Randy Johnson will make his return from a herniated disc in his back in the series finale against the Dodgers. The big lefty will pitch with pain, but it's uncertain if it will affect him like it did last year when he recorded 5.01 ERA, the worst of his 20-year career. Johnson had been pitching his best ball of the season before his stint on the disabled list. He outdueled Boston?s Daisuke Matsuzaka June 10, allowing one run on four hits in six innings while striking out nine to move past Roger Clemens for second on the all-time strikeout list for the second time this season. He's 4-0 with a 1.52 ERA in his last five starts, twice giving up one hit in six shutout innings.


I posted this Game Thread (TM) early not only to prepare for the early start time, but also to deliver the news that Nomar is indeed sitting out today's game. He needs a rest, as we posted yesterday. Get some sleep, Nomar, you'll be back soon.

Meanwhile, Kemp gets the start ahead of Ethier, and Freed James Loney is batting a cool .500 for the year. The lineup (2.41p), acc to Inside the Dodgers (MLB):
Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Last Day To Voix Pour Le Russell, C
Kent, 2B
Gonzalez, LF
Kemp, RF
Loney, 1B (batting .500 on the year - 19-for-38)
Abreu, 3B
Wolf, P

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Pitcher of the Moment

J.D. Durbin will be making his debut as a Philthy this weekend, and is poised for a historic statistical improvement. Thus far this season, his line is...

One game (for the Twins)

0.2 Innings

7 Hits

7 Runs

One Walk

One Strikeout

And an ERA of...

Post-Game 78 Thread: Following Nomar's Lead, Dodgers Go From First to Third

This has not been a good series for Nomar Garciaparra. Anyone who has watched him struggle can see, he's not in form. But the stats don't lie, either.

  • On Monday's blowout 8-1 win, Nomar batted third in the order and went 0-for-5. Team LOB: 4.
  • On Tuesday's narrow 6-5 victory, Nomar moved to third base, batted sixth in the order, and still went 0-for-5. Team LOB: 10. Dodgers retake first place in the NL West.
  • Tonight, losing 2-0 against a quality pitcher, Nomar again started at third, batted seventh in the order, and went 0-for-4. Team LOB: 13. Dodgers fall from first place to third place in the blink of an eye.

There's not many other places we can hide Nomar in the lineup. And I don't recall this strategy, of sending a slumping veteran hero down into the abyss of the bottom of the lineup, of having any healing or restorative powers (I may be wrong, but in the case of Sammy Sosa and the Cubs, it led to Dusty's dismissal and Sammy's smashed boombox). It's time to give Nomar a rest and let him recharge his batteries.

Now, Nomar's aggregate 0-for-14 is not only to blame for tonight's loss and two nights of untimely hitting. Rafael Furcal has gone 2-for-15 in the series, with one run and 9 LOB. Juan Pierre is a modestly better 2-for-14 in the series and has scored one run with 5 LOB. But Nomar looks uncommonly awful up there at the plate, swinging at bad pitches and hesitating at the good ones, and it seems logical to give him a rest before this slump gets into his head any further. Furcal and Pierre could also use a rest, but the latter has a consecutive-games-played streak that probably weighs against logic, at least in Grady's head.

But leaving all these men on base is worrisome, as the Dodgers seem to amass double-digit team LOB numbers relatively frequently (AZ has had 5, 8, and 8 LOB in the three games). This speaks to not only the poor quality of the individual batters, but also the aggregate makeup of the lineup. Grady needs to shake up this lineup further, since the hitting we do have (we've outhit the Snakes all three games) does not seem to be timely, or, in tonight's case, run-producing. And this has to stop.

But let's give Nomar a break. His performance last year as a Dodger, and his overall grit and class as a player and human, merit giving him a couple days' rest. And having newborn twins at home can't help any.

A win tomorrow against Johnson would be key. First pitch at 3.40p, so let's get out of work early and catch the game at a bar.

Game 78 Thread: June 27 @ Diamondbacks, 6.40p

Dodgers start Derek Lowe, RHP (8-6, 3.14) vs. Brandon Webb, RHP (7-5, 3.24).

Dodgers: 44-33 (1st place NL West, 0.5 GA, W2)
Diamondbacks: 44-34 (T-2nd place NL West, 0.5 GB, L2)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Lowe celebrated his anniversary of 10 years of Major League service on Friday in style. He continued his recent dominant trend on the hill and held the Rays to one hit, a double in the third, through his first 4 1/3 innings of work. The righty also fanned five and walked one for his eighth win of the season. Lowe is now 3-1 with a 2.64 ERA in June.

Diamondbacks: Webb has allowed three earned runs or fewer in each of his past six starts. He brought what he called "some of the better stuff I've had probably all year" into his last outing, on Friday against the Orioles. A three-error second inning, however, contributed to a seven-run night over five innings, his season high when counting unearned runs. Webb had seven strikeouts and seven groundouts to one flyout in the outing, so he still had good stuff. In seven innings of a victory on April 30 against the Dodgers, he yielded just one run.


  • After two wins in two games versus the Snakes, including last night's remarkable game-winning extra-inning first-major-league HR from Dodger rookie Tony Abreu, the Dodgers finally meet the heart of the Arizona starting lineup in Brandon Webb, followed by an equally daunting Randy Johnson Thursday. We'll definitely need the continued help of SoSG fave James Loney, who stroked three hits, including a 2-run HR and a double, accounting for three of the Dodgers' six RBI.
  • On the other hand, we could use less of the albatross of Nomar Garciaparra, whose 0-for-5 night and 8 LOB exemplify how sad his struggles have become. When you intentionally walk Luis Gonzalez in the ninth inning to bring up a bases-loaded situation for Nomar, that is a sad sad state. When Nomar strikes out for the third out, it's an even sadder state. Let's hope Nomar can break out of his funk soon and return to form.

UPDATE 4.38p: The lineup, from Tony "Action" Jackson:

SS Furcal
CF Pierre
C Martin
2B Kent
LF Gonzo
1B Loney
3B Nomar
RF Ethier
RH Lowe

Yikes, Nomar is in the seven-hole. I feel bad for him. Grady acknowledged that he is struggling, but I don't recall this sort of move working for Dusty with Sammy Sosa, either.

In other news, the Padres beat the Giants in an afternoon game, so technically we are tied for first going into tonight's game vs. the Snakes.

Caption Contest

Nomar: So that's what a home run looks like! I'd forgotten!
Olmedo: Post-game team spread, here I come!
Kent: I wonder where my truck is parked.

photo: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Delino vs.

Some things happen on the web that are acts of passion. Such is the case with the Delino after a particularly aggravating loss. One cleverly misspelled ("fawk," "Sheet") hyphenated post later, and the Delino was cast off all message boards. But, after spending millions on, I have decided to fight against my MLB red flag. If Paris Hilton is allowed to return to her "oldest profession" tendencies, then the Delino deserves his freedom of speech. I'm not asking you to campaign on my behalf, yet. Hopefully my not particularly well-written letter will do the trick. Stay tuned.


I have paid for three seasons of MLB.TV (even did the premium this year). My request is rather simple. I was locked out of the message boards some time ago. I think I've shown myself to be a loyal customer, and have paid you guys a lot of money over the years. I'm not even sure why I was kicked out... but I'd like to be able to access the message boards again. I promise to behave!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Game 77 Thread: June 26 @ Diamondbacks, 6.40p

Dodgers start Chad Billingsley, RHP (4-0, 3.26) vs. Edgar Gonzalez, RHP (3-2, 4.35).

Dodgers: 43-33 (2nd place NL West, 0.5 GB, W1)
Diamondbacks: 44-33 (1st place NL West, 0.5 GA, L1)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: In his first start as Jason Schmidt's replacement, Billingsley looked a lot more like last year's rookie starter than this year's efficient reliever. He walked three and used up 70 pitches in only 3 2/3 innings. But he wasn't easy to hit, allowing only two runs on two hits and coming away with a no-decision. Because he had pitched no more than three innings in any outing this year, the Dodgers weren't expecting much more from him in this start, but he'll need to build up his endurance and limit his pitch counts.

Diamondbacks: Gonzalez will likely get another spot start in place of the injured Randy Johnson, who manager Bob Melvin ruled out for this start despite it being on the day he is eligible to return from the disabled list and his original target date. Melvin said Gonzalez will "probably" get the call depending on if the D-backs need him before then. Johnson's current return date is not set, but this could be Gonzalez's last start. He filled in capably June 16 against the Orioles, giving up one run on two hits in five innings to get the win despite pitching on two-days' rest. He also earned a victory filling in for Johnson on May 25 against the Astros, giving up a run on four hits in five innings.

UPDATE 3.11p: The lineup, from Diamond-Leung's P-E blog, has Garciaparra starting at third, and three youngsters in the lineup (no Kemp start tonight):

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Martin, C
Kent, 2B
Gonzalez, LF
Garciaparra, 3B
Loney, 1B
Ethier, RF
Billingsley, P

Dodger Outfielder Mentioned for Statistical Fluke (Part 2)

One day after finding out about another Juan Pierre statistical mention (a five-hit day in which he outhit the rest of his team), I found this from The Washington Post (published on 6/23; no link due to registration issues). With Miguel Tejada's recent trip to the DL, ending Tejada's streak of consecutive games played at 1,152, Juan Pierre is now the active leader:

Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Juan Pierre is now baseball's active leader, having played in 345 straight games, including last night's [this streak is now at 348 as of this morning]. To match Tejada's streak, he would have to play every game until 92 games into the 2012 season. To match Ripken's, he would have to play until the middle of the 2021 season; Pierre would be 44.

Is this possible, that Pierre is the active leader? I can't seem to find any more backup on this, but it seems rather remarkable given the lonlg list of issues oft cited on Pierre both offensively and defensively. Wow.

A Future Blue Dye?

LA Times sister paper The Chicago Tribune reports Jermaine Dye could be part of the Chicago White Sox' dismantling efforts, and the Dodgers are in the hunt:

Jermaine Dye could be dealt shortly after he returns. Several teams, including the Dodgers, have scouted him recently and are believed to be in the market for a slugger of Dye's caliber.

Dye has missed a number of games due to a strained quadriceps suffered in a game on Monday June 18. He has played in 65 games this year and is batting .230 with a .708 OPS and 11 HR. Not exactly the power bat that I was considering...

Waiting in the Tunnel for Brad Penny...

From Tony Jackson's ITD blog comes this tidbit about Brad Penny after yesterday's game:

Actress Eliza Dushku greeted the National League's first 10-game winner, who also happens to be her boyfriend, with a huge smile in a service tunnel outside the Dodgers clubhouse. Some guys have all the luck.

Man, I wish I had 10 wins too.

Note: Photo not taken in Chase Field service tunnel. Use as directed.

One Final All-Star Game Push

With three days left in voting for the 2007 All-Star Game, the Voix Pour Le Russell Campaign has done a great job to vault Dodger catcher Russell Martin to the lead for the NL Catcher spot, a spot which Martin truly deserves. His ~210K vote lead over former Dodger and current Met Paul Lo Duca appears pretty safe, though stranger things have happened; Tony Jackson's blog reports that this lead may be down to 110K votes, but that's still a pretty sizable gap. If this plays out to form, Martin will be joined by Brad Penny.

Jeff Kent is in second place for his 2B slot, which would make for some great comedy if he is also is called up to the 2007 All-Star Game in San Francisco. Nomar Garciaparra and Rafael Furcal are both safely back in third place in their respective races, and it should come as little surprise that there is no Dodger outfielder in the hunt for a slot.

I confess that I've done my part to Voix Pour Le Russell, going through all 25 slots on the online ballot before the system blocks any further voting. And I have to say, it's a fine process, and it's fun, and not even all that time-consuming--but it is not the same. It's not the same as when I was seven years old and sitting in the stands of Dodger stadium frantically punching away at the paper all-star ballots so I could stuff them in the box back in the concourse aisle. It's not the same as seeing the floor in front of your seat covered in discarded peanut shells, malt lids, and chads (back in the day when one didn't even know "chad" was a word and not a boys' name). It's not the same as seeing a friendly usher laugh and tousle your hair as he hands you yet another stack of pure ballots, with Dodgers' names just waiting to garner the votes of a well-placed ballpoint pen tip.

But the All-Star Game still remains the only All-Star Game in American sport worth watching--and the home-field advantage gimmick has nothing to do with it. It's still an honor bestowed by the fans on its favorite players (often on players endeared by name value and image rather than on-field play), and the players always seem to be appreciative of receiving such honors (except for that surly Giant outfielder, who despite being fourth in this year's outfield vote is sure to make the squad given the location of the game).

And though the online voting element does take away some of the old voting mystique, when used wisely it is a pretty effective tool to further stoke the fans' interest. Last year's "Final Vote" campaign to get Nomar Garciaparra the final All-Star Game roster slot was a fun one--I must have voted about 300 times for Nomar, who ended up getting 4,000,000 votes to win it. To put it in perspective, Carlos Beltran currently leads NL voting with 1.7M votes--so clearly the Final Vote campaign is well-received by the fans.

It would be sweet to have some Dodgers both in the All-Star Game and performing well in the All-Star Game. Voix Pour Le Russell, if you haven't already.

And throw in a write-in vote for James Loney too while you're at it!

Grady Little Lights Foot on Fire, Feels Pain Three Months Later

Reading between the lines of today's LA Times Dodgers Report, I found this quote from Grady Little (three paragraphs down):

Nomar Garciaparra is moving across the infield at the request of Manager Grady Little to accommodate hot-hitting first baseman James Loney and to displace disappointing third basemen Wilson Betemit and Tony Abreu. Garciaparra took ground balls at third base for the first time Monday afternoon and could play there as soon as Friday, when the Dodgers open a three-game series against San Diego.

"Whatever's best for the team to help us win, that's really what it's about," Garciaparra said. "Everyone out there with this uniform on feels the exact same way I do, and that's what I love about this team."

Little said he had been contemplating the move for about a week, explaining that it could help the Dodgers "get in a position where we can be the best we can be."

Contemplating this move for a WEEK? When Sons of Steve Garvey's Free James Loney campaign has been going strong since March 31? Come on, Grady, get your finger on (someone else's) pulse. This move was well overdue, and we're looking forward to the change (as well as appreciative that Garciaparra was cool enough not only to make the move, but also to say all the right things to the press about the move).

If word gets out about Grady's slow-firing synapses, he may be taken off those Jiffy Lube commercials (since Jiffy Lube wouldn't want to be known as just "Lube").

Monday, June 25, 2007

Game 76 Thread: June 25 @ Diamondbacks, 6.40p

Dodgers start Brad Penny, RHP (9-1, 2.12) vs. Micah Owings, RHP (5-1, 4.06).

Dodgers: 42-33 (3rd place NL West, 1.5 GB, L2)
Diamondbacks: 44-32 (1st place NL West, 1.0 GA, W2)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Penny continued on his first-half roll in Toronto, allowing only one run in seven innings while striking out five and walking only one. All but two of his 15 appearances have been quality starts and he's been unable to complete at least six innings only once. He's allowed only two home runs in 97 2/3 innings and the Dodgers are 13-2 when he starts. He was the All-Star Game starting pitcher last year (10-2, 2.91), but his first half this year has been even better.

Diamondbacks: Owings sparkled through the first four innings Wednesday against Tampa Bay before struggling at the end of his start. He gave up four runs on seven hits in the final 1 2/3 of his outing after allowing just one hit through the first four scoreless innings, when he recorded all seven of his strikeouts. Overall, Owings' four earned runs marked only the second time he has allowed that many this season. He keeps the D-backs in the game every time out. Including his Minor League statistics last year, when he combined to go 16-2 at Double-A and Triple-A, Owings has lost just once since May 23, 2006.


  • Orel may be telling us not to panic, but panic indeed is what the Dodgers should be doing after rolling over and playing dead the last two games of the Tampa Bay series. Saturday, the Dodgers left a mind-boggling 15 men on base, including multiple bases-loaded-no-out situations that resulted in no runs. The game ended when Dodger outcast Dioner Navarro punched a home run, the difference in a one-run game, effectively kicking Ned Colletti in the nuts. The Dodgers followed their LOB nightmare with a Joe Beimel nightmare in Sunday's matchup, as Beimel gave up five in the bottom of the seventh without recording an out. Way to get the team up against the AL, Grady!
  • But on to other disasters. We open a four game set against NL West leader Arizona tonight, and over the course of the series LA will see Brandon Webb Wednesday and Livan "Humungo" Hernandez on Thursday. We will leave Arizona either back in the race, or left for dead. The way the Dodgers played against the Rays, you know what the odds-on favorite is.
  • Nomar is feeling a little less "sniffly." I kid you not, that's the word used by Nice.

The lineup, from ITD/MLB:
Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Nomar, 1B
Kent, 2B
Gonzalez, LF
Martin, C
Ethier, RF
Abreu, 3B
Penny, P

15 men LOB? Let's keep the same damn lineup. Brilliant.

I Have a Bad Feeling About This

From Inside the Dodgers: interesting piece of news coming shortly. Hate to leave you hanging like that, but stay tuned.

UPDATE, 4.49p:

From ItD:

As promised, here's a little more info. Grady just let the beat writers and other media know that Nomar is going to start taking some ground balls and working out at third base in the next few days, as there's a chance he'll start playing there. And as you can imagine, Nomar seems totally fine with it. He played there with the Cubs briefly and a little in high school and I truly believe him when he says "whatever's best for the team."

Phew! Whaddaya know, some good(ish) news for once. PHASE II of the FREE JAMES LONEY campaign commences!

Another Reason to Dislike Matt Herges

Former Dodger Matt Herges always seemed like a nice enough guy when he was on the Dodgers (1999-2001); decent enough ERA (in the low- to mid-3s in his final two years), and he had that whole brother-in-law of (former Dodger ROY) Todd Hollandsworth thing working for him. And then he became a Giant, which made me dislike him (thought the 5.23 ERA and 8 blown saves in 2004 definitely helped me like him again).

And then he goes out and says something like this to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which makes me dislike him even further. Herges, as it turns out, is not only pulling for Barry Bonds from his post with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox--he is also making sure the press knows he's cheering for Bonds, too:

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Barry Bonds will pass Hank Aaron in the next few months to become baseball's career home run king. And when he does, at least one person outside of Bonds' family will be happy for him.

Matt Herges was Bonds' teammate with the San Francisco Giants in 2004 and 2005. He said Bonds was a great teammate and he's pulling for him to break the record. Bonds is seven homers from tying Aaron's record of 755.

"Absolutely," said Herges, now with the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. "To me, he was a good guy. He treated me well."

Herges, a 37-year-old right-handed pitcher with nine years of major league experience, has another reason to pull for Bonds. He is part of the legacy, as one of 441 pitchers against whom Bonds has homered.

On July 21, 2000, Bonds took Herges deep to right field for No. 477 while Herges was in his second season with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Herges. Rhymes with "dirges."

More Love for the One We Love

At 24, Martin 'poised beyond his years' (

AP photo/Jeff Lewis

Tell Me That's Not Epic

Mets' Lo Duca suspended, fined for epic tirade (

AP photo/Ed Betz

Dodgers Outfielder Mentioned for Statistical Fluke

When you think "hit machine," there is one Dodgers outfielder who would not come to mind. (It might jog one's memory if the term was "slap-hitting machine", "out machine", or "why the f' is he hitting fly balls to try and get on base machine". Or "penguin-armed". But I digress.)

Jayson Stark's blog, however, cited Dodger Juan Pierre, who is in the record books for one of his unusual hitting performances:

Dustin Pedroia had a five-hit game for the Red Sox last weekend. So what was so unusual about that (aside from the fact that, at one point in April, Pedroia got five hits in three weeks)? Well, as loyal reader Revo Somersille observed, Pedroia got more hits that night than all his teammates combined. (The rest of them went 4 for 28.) So who's the last man to have a five-hit game and get more hits than the rest of the roster? According to the fabulous Play Index, it was Juan Pierre, on May 8, 2005, in a really bizarre Marlins-Rockies game in which the rest of the guys in his starting lineup got just one hit (but the bench crew got three more).

And I Thought We Lost Because We Suck on the Road

From the LA Times...

Hotel isn't one of their favorite haunts
By Kevin Baxter, Times Staff

PETERSBURG, FLA. — For decades stories have circulated that the elegant Renaissance Vinoy Resort, where major league teams stay while in St. Petersburg, is populated by ghosts. Scott Akasaki, the Dodgers' traveling secretary, doesn't buy it."Those are just urban legends," said Akasaki, who booked the team into the hotel for the weekend.

But at least two Dodgers aren't so sure. After listening to teammates talk endlessly about the haunted hotel, young pitchers Chad Billingsley and Jonathan Broxton said they experienced weird occurrences in their rooms that couldn't be explained. However, neither would discuss the episodes Sunday.

"It's stupid," said Billingsley, who reportedly heard his toilet flush numerous times while he was in another room. "It's not worth talking about."

Other major leaguers and former major leaguers who have been spooked at the Vinoy include Jim Fregosi, Cito Gaston, Billy Koch, Gerald Perry, Scott Williamson, Jay Gibbons and Brian Roberts. Some Pittsburgh players were so frightened that they checked out of the hotel and stayed with a teammate's family when the Pirates were in town four years ago.

But the Vinoy isn't the only big league hotel that is supposedly haunted. At the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco, the spirits of actors John Barrymore, Fatty Arbuckle and Al Jolson are said to roam the hallways. And similar stories have been told about the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, where former Dodger Adrian Beltre once insisted on sleeping with a bat for protection after he had a brush with a ghost.The Dodgers no longer stay at either place.

AvB 12: Jackson Wins, Abes Lose

On January 14, 2006, the Dodgers traded Edwin Jackson and a man named Tiffany to Tampa Bay for a guy who can't quite spell 'Danny' (Danys Baez) and a guy named after both a Backstreet Boy AND an N'Sync member (Lance Carter).

On June 24, 2007, Jackson got his sweet revenge. He tamed the fearsome Dodger offense and earned his first win in almost 2 years. Damn. All the future headines I had planned (sample: "E-Jax E-Sux") now go in the trash heap next to Billy Ashley's Hall of Fame induction speech.

In spite of Jackson's day of vindication, his Abes still fell mightily to the Babes, failing to win a single category:

Week 12 Only:
The Abes The Babes
Avg 0.207 0.272
Runs 10 18
HRs 0 3
RBIs 6 18
SBs 1 4
ERA 6.75 4.64
Wins 2 2
Saves 0 0
Ks 21 45
Total 0 7
The Abes The Babes
Avg 0.242 0.266
Runs 251 233
HRs 37 42
RBIs 210 228
SBs 17 40
ERA< 4.92 4.30
Wins 13 23
Saves 0 0
Ks 282 371
Total 1 7

The Babes lead the Abes in Weeks Won 8-2-2

The Babes' Carl Crawford (0.500, 5R, 9RBI, 2SB's) wins his 4th Player of the Week award. If he keeps it up, I'm gonna run out of photos of Cindy Crawford.

And by the way, Joe Beimel is apparently the new Jackson. Here's Beimel's line yesterday compared to Jackson's 12 days ago:

Pitcher, Date IP H R ER
Edwin Jackson, 6/13/07 0.1 5 5 5
Joe Beimel, 6/24/07 0.0 4 5 5

Anyhow, congratulations Edwin for finally getting a W. I bagged on you during the bad times, and I owe you props now. Time to find another crappy ex-Dodger with an 8.00+ ERA to pick on. Watch your back, Jeff Weaver.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Post-Game 75 Thread: DON'T PANIC


So the Dodgers just dropped two of three to one of the worst teams in the league. So the Dodgers are in Operation Comfort-a-Former-Dodger mode. This doesn't mean Ned should trade for some rent-a-bat who won't help us get past the first round of the playoffs—if we make it at all.

Especially since Andy LaRoche just went on the DL, Ned might be tempted to trade one of our other coveted youngsters for, say, Adam Dunn or Troy Glaus. Instead, Grady should do whatever he needs to do to keep James Loney and Matt Kemp in the lineup. I want to see these guys play every day, even at the expense of post-season play this year.

Game 75 Thread: June 24 @ Devil Rays, 10.40a

Dodgers start Hong-Chih Kuo, LHP (1-2, 6.65) vs. Edwin Jackson, RHP (0-8, 7.85).

Dodgers: 42-32 (3rd place NL West, 0.5 GB (of SD and AZ), L1)
Devil Rays: 32-40 (4th place AL East, 14.5 GB, W1)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: In Toronto on Wednesday, Kuo followed one of the best games of his brief career with his worst, allowing eight runs without being able to get out of the second inning. When he wasn't wild high, he was grooving pitches to Frank Thomas, who slugged a grand slam and a double in the same inning. Kuo was throwing 90-mph fastballs, or one might have thought there was something physically wrong.

Devil Rays: Jackson recovered well from a poor outing by going 4 2/3 innings in his last start against the Diamondbacks, before having to leave the game one strike away from going the necessary five innings to possibly earn his first win of the season. But the right-hander suffered cramping and fatigue in his right index finger tendon. Jackson is listed as day-to-day. If he can't go, the Rays may likely insert right-hander Jason Hammel in the slot.


  • First place, we hardly knew ye. We're now back in third place behind SD (who plays Boston) and AZ (who plays Baltimore). Since we drew at least as easy a card as Arizona, could we at least get a win today and win the series?
  • Giving up a home run to Dioner Navarro, who raised his average to .172 with the homerun, is positively embarrassing. Voix Pour Le Russell, get angry, and get revenge today.

UPDATE, 10.11a:

From Inside the Dodgers:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Martin, DH
Gonzo, LF
Loney, 1B
Kemp, RF
Betemit, 3B
Lieberthal, C
Abreu, 2B
Kuo, P

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Post-Game 74 Thread: Dodgers Strand More Men Than Black Hawk Down

15, to be exact.


Then again, James Loney and Matt Kemp went a combined 3-for-7 with Kemp drawing a clutch walk in the ninth with two out and two strikes against him. We want more of these guys!

Game 74 Thread: June 23 @ Devil Rays, 4.10p

Dodgers start Randy Wolf, LHP (8-5, 4.24) vs. Scott Kazmir, LHP (5-3, 4.10).

Dodgers: 42-31 (1st place NL West, 0.5 GA (of SD and AZ), W2)
Devil Rays: 31-40 (T-4th/last place AL East, 15.5 GB, L3)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Wolf had more strikeouts than innings pitched going into Saturday and his most recent start, but he struck out only one Angel over five innings, a sign that he wasn't on his game. Wolf was solid over the first two months of the season, but his June ERA is 6.86 in four starts.

Devil Rays: Kazmir gave the Rays a quality start at Colorado on Sunday, allowing three runs on six hits while walking four and striking out five over six innings. Kazmir continues to have explosive stuff, but he struggles to keep his pitch count down -- he threw 113 pitches against the Rockies. This will be his first career start against the Dodgers.


We're in first place again! Let's try and stay there, guys, okay?

UPDATE, 2.46p:

From Inside the Dodgers:

It's turn back the clock night and everyone will be wearing Brooklyn jerseys that will be auctioned off later for charity. They're very cool looking jerseys and as far as I know, it's only the second time we've ever worn uniforms with Brooklyn across the chest since moving to Los Angeles. The only other time was in LA two years ago when we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1955 World Championship. Don Zimmer will be honored, Duke Snider, Johnny Podres and Carl Erskine will be here to sign autographs and all sorts of cool things are planned, so if you happen to be in Tampa Bay, be sure to get over here.

And, if you're in Jacksonville, head to the Suns game tonight and get a Matt Kemp Bobblehead. I'd post a photo but again, this system isn't working correctly so you'll have to go to their site.

Here's tonight's lineup:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Martin, C
Kent, 2B
Saenz, DH
Loney, 1B
Kemp, RF
Ethier, LF
Abreu, 3B
Wolf, P

The Onion Knocks Another One Out of the Park

From The Onion:

Report: Another Baseball Team Almost Does Something As Interesting As Yankees, Red Sox

NOT BOSTON OR NEW YORK—Something nearly worth reporting occurred either Saturday or Sunday—although no written records of the event exist, analysts claim it was the same day the Yankees beat the Mets to take the Subway Series—when the Minnesota Twins squandered a large late-game lead to the Brewers, but then won the game when Jason [sic] Morneau hit a walkoff home run in a manner eerily reminiscent of Red Sox slugger David Ortiz. "Manny Ramirez has really started heating up at the plate as of late, and you know what that means—opposing pitchers had better watch out," ESPN's Sean McAdam said when asked about Corey Hart's eighth-inning homer that cut the Twins' lead to two. "But if the Yankees rotation stays healthy and Abreu keeps swinging a big stick, it will be a tight race down the stretch. Should be a fun summer." Prince Fielder, Torii Hunter, Jeff Suppan, and Joe Nathan were unavailable for comment, as they are not Derek Jeter, Curt Schilling, Johnny Damon, or Alex Rodriguez.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Game 73 Thread: June 22 @ Devil Rays, 4.10p

Dodgers start Derek Lowe, RHP (7-6, 3.08) vs. Andy Sonnanstine, RHP (1-1, 7.11).

Dodgers: 41-31 (3rd place NL West, 0.5 GB, W1)
Devil Rays: 31-39 (4th place AL East, 14.5 GB, L2)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: He threw another gem at the loaded Angels lineup, striking out a career-high 11. He's pitching this game on a week's rest, pushed back so he wouldn't have to pitch in Toronto, where he's 1-6, so he could go in Tropicana Field, where he's 4-2. Lowe's on a pretty nice roll of late, going 3-1 with a 1.75 ERA over his last five starts and batters are hitting only .228 against him this year.

Devil Rays: Sonnanstine never recovered from a bad start Saturday night in Denver, when he walked the Rockies' first batter -- which was the first walk he issued in his Major League career -- the Rockies loaded the bases, and he surrendered a grand slam to Brad Hawpe. The right-hander allowed two more home runs before leaving after five innings worked with the Rays trailing, 7-5. Sonnanstine does not throw hard, but he uses different arm angles, changes speeds and is always around the strike zone.

The lineup, courtesy of Inside the Dodgers:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Martin, C
Kent, 2B
Gonzo, DH
Loney, 1B
Kemp, RF
Ethier, RF
Abreu, 3B
Lowe, P

Thursday, June 21, 2007

A Peek at the Competition

Ever Wonder What Happened to Kaz Ishii?

Well, he's playing videogames. Just like you and me.

From Kotaku:

What better way to promote the Xbox 360 in Japan, that Xbox Night at Yakult Swallows Jingu Stadium....

Off the field, former big leaguer and funny guy Kasuhisa Ishii was given a free Xbox 360 as well. He was also given games like Blue Dragon, Gears of War and the ubiquitous THE iDOLM@STER. Ishii said he likes shooting games, so Gears should let him shoot stuff.

Game 72 Thread: June 21 @ Blue Jays, 4.07p

Dodgers start Chad Billingsley, RHP (4-0, 3.09) vs. Shaun Marcum, RHP (4-2, 3.41).

Dodgers: 40-31 (3rd place NL West, 1.5 GB, L1)
Blue Jays: 34-36 (3rd place AL East, 11.5 GB, W1)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: He steps into the spot vacated by Jason Schmidt, but it?s not like he?s never done this before. Billingsley has been the Dodgers? best pitching prospect for several years and was 6-4 with a 3.34 ERA last year in 16 starts. His area of concern is pitch efficiency: a high pitch count leading to early exits and strain on the bullpen. He?s improved in that area out of the bullpen this year.

Blue Jays: In his last outing, Marcum improved to 3-0 with a 2.38 ERA in seven starts with the Jays after shutting down the Nationals. The right-hander struck out a career-high seven batters, allowed three hits, and walked three in the seven-inning performance. As a member of the rotation, Marcum has tallied 39 strikeouts versus 15 walks in 41 2/3 innings. On June 9, Marcum held the Dodgers scoreless for 6 2/3 innings en route to his second win as a starter, and his only career outing against L.A.


  • ATTENTION EVERYBODY: Billingsley is on strict pitch count tonight. 60-65 pitches. Did you hear that, Blue Jays? You might want to take a few pitches.

The lineup, via Inside the Dodgers:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Nomar, 1B
Kent, 2B
Gonzo, LF
Martin, C (keep voting)
Anderson, DH
Ethier, RF
Abreu, 3B
Billingsley, P


A's Release Bradley, Ruin Upcoming Catfish Stew Post

Oregon State, Not Doing the Pac-10 Any PR Favors

The collective educational pedigrees of the Sons of Steve Garvey include stints at four Pac-10 schools. As you can probably tell by the fine level of journalistic quality (not to mention perfect penmanship), Oregon State is not one of those four schools. Spelling always counts.

Here's a crowd shot of an Oregon State fan attending this year's College World Series (hat tip to Deadspin):

When Stanford won the CWS, there weren't signs like this. Belive it, or not.

Here's One Power Bat Over Which We Passed...

Congratulations to Sammy Sosa for becoming only the fifth person in major league history to hit 600 home runs. In the fifth inning, Sammy took a Jason Marquis pitch out, helping lead his Rnagers to a 7-3 victory over Sammy's old team, the Chicago Cubs. Sosa joins Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth, Willie Mays, and some other guy as the only players to have hit 600 or more homers.

And no matter how you slice it, this is a pretty significant achievement for old Corky. Once one of the faces that captivated baseball's attention, Sosa's accomplishment last night eclipses some, if not all, of the less savory episodes surrounding Sosa--leaving the Cubs' clubhouse early, leading to a pummeling of Sosa's boombox by a teammate; slumping at the plate and moping as he was dropped in the lineup by Dusty Baker, who never met a player he didn't defend; cratering in a brief stint in Baltimore where he continued his cancerous clubhouse ways.

But in a season where the Dodgers are in desperate need of a power bat, let's consider this:

  • Sosa has 12 HR this season. That's three more than Dodgers' team leader Jeff Kent (9), or a 33% premium.
  • Sosa now has 52 RBI. That's nine more than Dodgers' team leader Russell Martin (43).
  • Sammy was picked up by the Rangers for a one-year deal for $500,000. We could have picked up 98 Sosas for one Schmidt.

Apologies for the C+C Music Factory Reference, but this is clearly a thing that makes you go hmmmmmm.

Congrats, Sammy.

photo illustration by

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Jason Schmidt Continues Proud Dodger Tradition of Overpaid Pitching Blowouts

From Tony Jackson:

Schmidt done for the year

Jason Schmidt had a torn labrum, scarring of the bursa and a frayed biceps tendon. He won't throw for three or four months, but they're hopeful he'll be ready by the start of spring training. At first glance, this would appear to be devastating news. But as GM Ned Colletti correctly pointed out in the most relevant quote of the day, "With all due respect, he wasn't throwing well. It's not as if he were on the way to a Cy Young season and suddenly you lose him."

From Diamond Leung:

Schmidt done for the year

Jason Schmidt underwent season-ending surgery in Los Angeles today, and it wasn't just the bursa that needed to be cleaned up. Schmidt also learned that his labrum was completely detached and needed to be repaired. Furthermore, his biceps tendon was frayed and needed repairing.

Schmidt won't be able to throw a ball for three to four months. The hope is he will be ready to go by spring training.

Game 71 Thread: June 20 @ Blue Jays, 4.07p

Dodgers start Hong-Chih Kuo, LHP (1-1, 3.60) vs. Roy Halladay, RHP (7-2, 4.37).

Dodgers: 40-30 (T-2nd place NL West, 1.5 GB, W1)
Blue Jays: 33-36 (3rd place AL East, 11.5 GB, L2)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Kuo tipped his hand with six solid innings in a no-decision against the Padres last week and did even better against the Mets, allowing one run on five hits over seven innings. It was his second Major League victory and he punctuated it by hitting his first home run. He struck out four and walked only one pitching exclusively out of the stretch in his third Dodgers start of the season.

Blue Jays: Halladay seems to have gotten over a rough stretch that saw him allow 10 runs in four innings over a two-game span against the Rays and Dodgers. Since that time, Halladay has allowed just three earned runs over 13 1/3 innings and is now a perfect 3-0 with a 4.38 ERA since returning from an emergency appendectomy on May 31. Against the Nationals in his previous start, Halladay allowed just two runs on seven hits while striking out six over 7 1/3 innings. His only mistake of the game came in the eighth inning when he allowed a two-run homer left fielder Ryan Langerhans. Halladay is 2-0 with a 1.69 ERA in two career starts against the Dodgers.

From Inside the Dodgers, the lineup:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Nomar, 1B
Kent, 2B
Gonzalez, LF
Martin, C
Saenz, DH
Betemit, 3B
Ethier, RF
Kuo, P

Poll: Who Else Besides Me Wants to do This?

Okay, okay don't everyone push ... Get in an orderly line behind the SoSG, Andrew Bynum, Lamar Odom, Mitch Kupchak, Shaquille O'Neal...

Poll: What's in a Name?

An anagram is a word or phrase whose letters can be re-arranged to form another word or phrase. Anagrams are not often the subject of sports blogs. But if you still talk about the day you discovered the letters in "Presbyterians" also spell "Britney Spears," AND you're a Dodger fan, then you should enjoy this one:

Which is your favorite Dodger anagram?
Eddie Murray = Rude Mid-year
Last week was the 2nd time he's been fired during the season.
Jose Offerman = Major Offense
Must be a reference to his repulsive fielding, not his 57 career HRs.
Darren Dreifort = Drafted in Error
Yeah, I couldn't believe it either. But feel free to verify.
Lasorda = LA's A-Rod?
They're tied 1-1 in Page Six sex scandals.
Olmedo S. Saenz = Dozens o' Meals
No commentary necessary.
Free polls from

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Game 70 Thread: June 19 @ Blue Jays, 4.07p

Dodgers start Brad Penny, RHP (8-1, 2.18) vs. Dustin McGowan, RHP (3-2, 4.78).

Dodgers: 39-30 (3rd place NL West, 1.5 GB, L2)
Blue Jays: 33-35 (3rd place AL East, 11.0 GB, L1)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Penny allowed a two-out run in the first inning, then turned his game up a notch and shut down the Mets over the next seven innings to complete a series sweep. Although he was the All-Star Game starting pitcher last year, his first half this year has been even better. He has one more win and a lower ERA than at this time a year ago and he's allowed only two home runs.

Blue Jays: After a rough start to the season, McGowan has been lights out for the Jays. The 25-year-old fireballer is 3-1 with a 3.20 ERA over his last five starts. In each of those outings, McGowan lasted at least six innings and didn't allow more than three earned runs. In his last start against the Giants, McGowan picked up his third win of the season by allowing just two earned runs on seven hits while striking out six over six innings of work. McGowan faced the Dodgers on June 8 and got no decision despite allowing just two earned runs over seven innings.

The lineup, from Inside the Dodgers:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Garciaparra, 1B
Kent, 2B
Gonzo, LF
Martin, C
Anderson, DH
Abreu, 3B
Ethier, RF
Penny, P

Schmidt to Go Under Knife; Billingsley to Go Under Microscope

From AP/

TORONTO -- Los Angeles Dodgers right-hander Jason Schmidt will have shoulder surgery in Los Angeles on Wednesday and his return date is uncertain.

"It's very discouraging," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said before Tuesday's game in Toronto.

Right-hander Chad Billingsley (4-0) will start in Schmidt's place against Toronto on Thursday.

Schmidt, who signed a $47 million, three-year contract as a free agent during the offseason, was placed on the disabled list in April with bursitis in his shoulder after going 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA in three starts.

Following a 45-game absence, Schmidt returned June 5 and threw six shutout innings in San Diego, consistently reaching 89 mph and topping out at 91 mph.

But the 34-year-old right-hander didn't perform nearly as well in his last two starts, and his velocity was down. He allowed three runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings against the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday, walking four and striking out two. He is 1-4 with a 6.31 ERA.

Schmidt admitted after Saturday's game that he was still not at full strength.

"I just haven't felt like myself," he said.

Schmidt was placed on the disabled list and utilityman Marlon Anderson was activated from the disabled list to take his place on the roster.


From Diamond Leung:

Yhency Brazoban has a torn labrum and will undergo surgery to repair his shoulder Friday. He is out a minimum of 6-8 weeks, and that's only if it's found that the tear is a small one. He would be lost for the season if the labrum was completely detached.

Dodgers Bat Void Echoed by Angels, Padres

Jon Heyman over at says that all three SoCal teams are desperate for a power bat. However, given Ned Colletti at the helm, expect some wheeling and dealing to occur for the Dodgers:

If the Angels have the best minor-league talent, the Dodgers possess the best prospects already at the big-league level. Matt Kemp is seen as a "future star" and a "Dave Winfield clone" by two competing execs. First baseman James Loney (who's currently playing out of position and suffered a knee injury on Sunday crashing into the outfield wall) has been squeezed out by Nomar Garciaparra's two-year contract, though certainly not by Garciaparra's one home run in 247 at-bats. When I was in L.A. last week and saw Garciaparra giving batting tips to Posh Spice, I was tempted to yell, "Shouldn't she be the one giving you the tips?" but thought better of it.

Dodgers management's first idea was to fire hitting coach Eddie Murray, making it twice that Murray has been canned in-season and raising the thought that maybe it isn't only sportswriters whom he couldn't communicate with. However, that's not the whole solution. GM Ned Colletti has known that he needed power since the winter. Wonders one skeptical competitor, "Are [Jeff] Kent, Garciaparra and [Luis] Gonzalez going to be the trio to get the Dodgers to the playoffs?"

The guess here is that the Dodgers won't have to find out if those three aging veterans will have to carry the home-run load. "Colletti seems to prefer veterans," one competitor notes. Colletti's trading netted Greg Maddux and others last year, and he has plenty to offer, including infielder Tony Abreu, pitcher Chad Billingsley, minor-league pitchers Clayton Kershaw and Jon Meloan and minor-league shortstop Chin-Lung Hu.

Last year's pick up of Maddux was indeed a coup and helped the Dodgers sneak into the playoff wildcard spot. With the series of questionable pickups in this offseason, however (Schmidt, Pierre, Gonzalez, Clark), is it fair to have a whole lot of worry about Colletti's ability to find us a true offensive talent, particularly if we're forced to leverage one or more future stars?

Going to Chi-town Anytime Soon?

From Eric Pincus at (and

Lakers: Video - Bryant Frustrated

Recently Basketball News was approached with the opportunity to purchase video footage featuring Los Angeles Lakers All-Star Kobe Bryant. In what was apparently a chance encounter outside of a Newport Beach deli, Bryant spoke openly about his frustration with the team's personnel decisions.

It is outside of our journalistic ethics to obtain a video for money. However, the owners of the clip are committed to making the content public.

Having turned away a lucrative offer (by an unknown party) to destroy the tape, the group has put the video on the market to the highest bidder.

Whether they make a little bit, or as one of the gentlemen indicated, "more than a little bit," eventually it will make headlines.

I have seen the video. Bryant is wearing a red shirt and sunglasses. Apparently the videographer and Bryant frequent the same establishment and are on general speaking terms.

While the conversation was purported to have lasted approximately 15 minutes, the video is brief. It was taken with a digital camera and leaves no doubt that it is in fact Bryant.

Interspersed with numerous cuss words, Bryant discusses the Lakers' decision not to trade Andrew Bynum to the New Jersey Nets at the trade deadline in February.

"Ship his [rear end] out. We're talking Jason Kidd," said Bryant. "They didn't want to do that. That's why we're in this [messed up] position."

The footage was shot in early June, close to the date when Bryant went on numerous radio stations to express his unhappiness in the team's direction . . . and ultimately demand a trade.

In addition to the video the group has an audio clip captured on a cell phone on June 10th.

Bryant is approached with the query, "Please tell us you're staying!"

His response: "Get a [Chicago] Bulls uniform fellas."

The "Kobe Video Guys", as they wish to be called, feel the "public has a right to know." Justifying their individual pursuit, they feel Bryant has no reasonable expectation of privacy. He was speaking openly in front of a camera without any request of confidentiality.

This is a difficult subject to breach as I'm not a fan of sensationalist journalism. The bottom line is that these quotes (and/or clips) will end up on sites like and within a week's time.

Laker spokesman John Black declined comment Sunday.

Having covered the Los Angeles Lakers for some time now, there is no question that it is Bryant on the video.

While an audio clip can be doctored, based on my experience interviewing Bryant numerous times . . . I am confident it is his voice.

In the meantime, the administrator of his website ( is under explicit instructions from Bryant to keep the Laker All-Star's "farewell" message current. The Associated Press recently reported it as a new statement, but it was just Bryant reiterating his commitment to leaving the Lakers.

Team owner Dr. Jerry Buss recently met with Kobe in Barcelona to discuss Bryant's future. As reported by Basketball News on Saturday, Bryant has not backed off his trade demand.

It's difficult to tell how Buss will respond to Bryant's request or if this new information will have any impact on that decision.

Ultimately the team has Bryant under contract until at least 2009. While he can use the media to pressure the team, he cannot force the Lakers to deal him.

Buss reportedly plans on meeting again with Bryant, but with the NBA Draft approaching quickly, decisions need to be made . . . and soon.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Kuoing To Taiwan Anytime Soon?

Then you'll want to pick up a limited-edition Hong-Chih Kuo bobblehead doll, exclusive to the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi department store in Taipei, Taiwan (story from the Central News Agency--sorry this posts so late but translating this back into English was challenkink):

Taipei, June 3 (CNA) A set of limited edition Wang Chien-ming and Kuo Hong-chih bobblehead dolls will be put up for sale islandwide beginning June 9 at 13 branches of the nation's largest retailer, the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store.

A spokesman for the department store chain said Sunday that Shin Kong Mitsukoshi has gained permission from U.S. Major League Baseball Properties to sell the dolls of Taiwan-born New York Yankees pitcher Wang and Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Kuo in Taiwan.

A total of 1,000 special-edition Wang dolls and 1,000 Kuo dolls will be available in Taiwan, with another 6,500 Wang dolls and 4,000 Kuo dolls to be sold in other countries around the world, the spokesman added.

He also noted that sales of the dolls will be limited to one of each type per customer, adding that payment must be made in advance of June 9 and that the dolls will be delivered to customers in July.

He added that anyone hoping to get either doll with the serial number 1 will have to head to the Hsinyi New Life Square at the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi's Hsinyi branch for the chance of being the lucky customer, the spokesman said.

Schmidt Back on DL

Schmidt heads back to disabled list (

AvB 11: Edin Jackson Still Without a W

The alternative title I considered for this week's update was "Anything You Can Suck at I Can Suck at Better". Consider: the Babes had zero home runs; the Abes had a 7.25 ERA; the Abes batted 0.212 and won that category. But in the end, both teams sucked the same amount, and Week 11 ended in another sister-kissing tie.

Not that Edwin Jackson didn't do all he could to help the Abes lose. While some may think I pick on Jackson too much (read here), I think he again warrants our special attention given his start last Wed vs the Padres:

Pitcher IP H R ER HR
Edwin Jackson (L, 0-8) 0.1 5 5 5 2

Jackson (0-8, 8.20 ERA) - hereforeto be called "Edin Jackson" until he gets a W - has been so consistently crappy that he has not one but two outside chances at immortality:

  • Most losses without a win to start a season (13, Anthony Young)
  • Worst ERA for a pitcher with 15 or more decisions (8.25, Hideo Nomo)

But the bottom line is that the Babes performed so poorly that the Abes had a rare chance at victory - and blew it. In fact both teams were so bad that this week's Player of the Week award is about as meaningful as being named the most talented Baldwin brother. Nonetheless, the award goes to Ted Lilly (W, 8IP, 1ER, 3Ks).

Here are the Scoreboards (behold the difference Jackson makes):

Week 11 Only:
The Abes The Babes
Avg 0.212 0.211
Runs 18 16
HRs 3 0
RBIs 18 12
SBs 1 3
ERA 7.25 2.83
Wins 1 2
Saves 0 0
Ks 14 42
Total 4 4
The Abes The Babes
Avg 0.245 0.266
Runs 241 215
HRs 37 39
RBIs 204 210
SBs 16 36
Wins 11 21
Saves 0 0
Ks 261 326
Total 1 7
*ERA without Edin Jackson

The Babes lead the Abes in Weeks Won 7-2-2

With 15 weeks left in the regular season, there's still time for the Devil Rays to pull Jackson from the rotation and give the Abes a fighting chance. Because remember - you can't spell "Edwin Jackson" without "No Wins".

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dammit! Get Well Soon, James Loney

Does this qualify as irony? Our first baseman of the future is injured in the outfield while injury-prone Nomar Garciaparra has managed to avoid the DL.

Outfielder James Loney #7 of the Los Angeles Dodgers is driven off the field after colliding into the right field wall during the MLB game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim on June 17, 2007 at Dodger Stadiium in Los Angeles, California. (Yahoo! Sports)

From Dodger Thoughts:

Dodger outfielder James Loney lost his footing on the warning track chasing a long fly ball to right field in the eighth inning today, collided his right knee with the wall and crumpled at the base of it, not far from where Matt Kemp injured himself in April, sending a shiver through a crowd already dehydrated by the Angels' 8-3 lead over the Dodgers.

Gary Matthews, Jr. scored an inside-the-park home run on the play.

The training staff checked on the right knee of Loney, who was sitting up on the dirt looking not unlike a garage mechanic or a member of Our Gang. He smiled, but he was lifted onto a cart and did not leave the field under his own power.

(photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Game 69 Thread: June 17 vs. Angels, 1.10p

Dodgers start Randy Wolf, LHP (8-4, 4.06) vs. Kelvim Escobar, RHP (7-3, 2.89).

Dodgers: 39-29 (2nd place NL West, 0.5 GB, L1)
Angels: 43-26 (1st place AL West, 5.0 GA, W1)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Wolf encountered his usual first-inning struggles against the Mets, but he got back on track with his off-speed pitches and kept the Dodgers close enough to mount a comeback for a 5-3 victory. Signed on the rebound from Tommy John elbow surgery, Wolf has emerged as the best pick-up from the last off-season.

Angels: Escobar's run of superlative pitching continued with a career-high 14 strikeouts in six innings against the Reds on Tuesday night in Cincinnati. The Reds bunched three of their five hits in the fourth inning, producing three runs, and Escobar did not figure in the decision. He walked only one in his dominating performance, mixing his mid-90s fastball with a devastating splitter along with a curve, slider and change. Escobar beat the Dodgers with three shutout innings, giving up three hits, this year at Angel Stadium and is 2-1 with a 2.53 ERA in three career games against the Dodgers. He is making his Dodger Stadium debut.

From Inside the Dodgers, the lineup:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Nomar, 1B
Kent, 2B
Gonzo, LF
Betemit, 3B
Kemp, RF
Lieberthal, C
Wolf, P

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Post-Game 68 Thread: Dodgers Let Sleeping Bats Lie

Somewhere, Eddie Murray is smiling.


From Tony Jackson:

Maybe it wasn't Eddie Murray's fault, after all. In two game since he was fired, the Dodgers have scored two runs -- both of them on a single swing of the bat by Luis Gonzalez -- on 11 hits, and they have gone 2 for 11 w/RISP. Every time they play an American League team, they get exposed. Scary thing is, their next seven games are against A.L. clubs, six of them on the road, where they are 1-20 against A.L. clubs since the start of 2005.

(illustration from Shandara)

Game 68 Thread: June 16 vs. Angels, 12.55p

Dodgers start Jason Schmidt, RHP (1-3, 6.43) vs. Jered Weaver, RHP (5-3, 4.14).

Dodgers: 39-28 (1st place NL West, 0.5 GA, W4)
Angels: 42-26 (1st place AL West, 4.0 GA, L1)

From, the scouting report on the starters:

Dodgers: Coming off one of his best pitching performance of the season in San Diego, Schmidt struggled in his second start since being activated from the disabled list on Sunday against Toronto. He allowed six runs on nine hits while striking out three over just four innings. Schmidt was tagged for four extra-base hits, including a home run by Troy Glaus. The good news is Schmidt consistently hit 88 mph on the radar gun and reported no pain in his shoulder.

Angels: Weaver's lower back strain, which forced him out of his start in St. Louis on Sunday after just three innings, makes him questionable. It was a recurrence of a problem that has hindered him off and on for several weeks. Weaver wasn't sharp from the beginning against the Cards, yielding three earned runs on five hits and two walks. He beat the Dodgers in Anaheim on May 19, yielding two earned runs over 6 2/3 innings, and looks forward to facing his favorite boyhood team at Dodger Stadium for the first time. If he can't go, Joe Saunders -- 3-0 with a 2.22 ERA in four starts -- could be summoned from Triple-A Salt Lake.

The lineup, from Inside the Dodgers:

Furcal, SS
Pierre, CF
Loney, 1B
Gonzo, LF
Vote for Martin, C
Betemit, 3B
Abreu, 2B
Ethier, RF
Schmidt, P

Friday, June 15, 2007

If the Red Sox Jump Off a Cliff, I Guess the Dodgers Are Following

From Kevin Pearson at the Dodgers Blog (Diamond Leung's hangout):

This Ain't Boston!

Obviously stealing this from Boston -- the home of Dodgers owner Frank McCourt -- the Dodgers apparently have a new eighth-inning tradition.

The Red Sox always play Neil Diamond's Sweet Caroline in the middle of the eighth, and the Dodgers have no done so for consecutive games, first against the Mets on Wednesday and now against the Angels on Friday.

No telling if McCourt was the mastermind behind this -- a source says it may be another Boston person within the club -- but it's obvious this was not an original idea.

Maybe the Dodgers should stick to Van Morrison's Brown Eyed Girl, which includes a bouncing ball on the LA logo on the screen during the "La La La La La" section of that song.

Withrow Willthrow With Dodger Organization

From "Dodgers ink first-round pick Withrow" by Ken Gurnick at

LOS ANGELES -- First-round Draft pick Chris Withrow signed on Friday for a $1.35 million bonus and was a Dodger Stadium visitor, meeting players and touring the clubhouse.

Withrow, a right-handed pitcher out of Midland (Texas) Christian High School, was the 20th overall pick in the Draft, received as compensation from the Red Sox for the signing of free agent Julio Lugo.

Withrow is 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, and assistant general manager Logan White compared him to a young John Smoltz for his delivery and body type. Withrow's father, Mike, pitched in the White Sox Minor League system and was his pitching coach in school.

Withrow was 8-1 with a 1.32 ERA, recording 90 strikeouts and eight walks in his senior year. Last year's 20th overall pick, high school first baseman Chris Parmalee, was taken by Minnesota and signed quickly for a $1.5 million bonus.

Scouting director Tim Hallgren said the club has signed all of its picks in the first 17 rounds except supplemental first-round pick James Adkins, a left-handed pitcher from the University of Tennessee; fifth-rounder Kyle Blair, a right-handed pitcher from Los Gatos (Calif.) High School; and 14th-rounder Devin Fuller, a right-handed pitcher from Gilbert (Ariz.) High School.