Sunday, August 31, 2008

Post-Game 137 Thread

Kent's Career Probably Over

Kent to have surgery on left knee, not ruled out for season (AP/

Earlier: Jon Weisman Puts Jeff Kent in Perspective

Colletti's Man-Crush on Giants Targets Yet Another Veteran

It has been no secret that Ned Colletti loves the San Francisco Giants as much as Frank McCourt loves the Red Sox. Colletti chased Jason Schmidt when other teams had concerns on his declining velocity; he has used every chance possible to get Ramon Martinez playing time in Dodger Blue; he has made Dodger fans suffer through the gopher-ball pitching of Brett Tomko; and he insists upon employing "pinch-hitting specialist" Mark Sweeney despite his microscopic batting average and no power.

And now, the recent injury to Jeff Kent brings even more insanity to Crazy Neddie's penchant for Giants retreads, as Colletti apparently covets 95-year old shortstop with no bat Omar Vizquel as the latest "intriguing fit":

PHOENIX -- The Dodgers were planning to announce a diagnosis on Jeff Kent's left knee after Sunday night's game with the D-backs, Kent's MRI apparently delayed from Saturday's original schedule.

The Dodgers also are hoping to acquire a middle infielder by Sunday night's trading deadline, but that will be harder to pull off than a Kent diagnosis. For a player to be eligible for postseason play, he must be in the organization by 9 p.m. PT Aug. 31.

The club is expecting Kent to return from suspected cartilage damage, not that he doesn't need surgery to fix it. But having played in pain at age 40, Kent is not likely to cut short what could be his final season by a month. Even if his knee rules out playing defense, he could remain an asset as a late-inning pinch-hitter. The club also expects Rafael Furcal to return in September from back surgery, but neither is expected back within the next week.

So the front office spent part of Sunday trying to make a waiver deal for a middle infielder. One intriguing fit could be San Francisco's Omar Vizquel, particularly because of Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti's relationship with San Francisco GM Brian Sabean. Colletti was Sabean's assistant for 12 years.

It is notable that Vizquel is mentioned as an intriguing fit without any mention of his statistical credentials (he's batting .186 this year with a pathetic Sweeney-like .250 OBP, and has 1 error in 63 games at short). Vizquel is only a fit because he wears orange and black. Which should be exactly the reason why he shouldn't fit the bill for Dodger Blue!

Look, Ned: the only "intriguing fit" you should be considering is a size 32 pair of Sevens jeans. Don't bring us another offensive black hole in Vizquel. Please.

Game 137 Thread: Aug 31 @ Snakes, 5p

Derek Lowe (10-11, 3.81) vs. Brandon Webb (19-5, 2.96).

COMMENTS: The Dodgers ended their Michael Phelpsian 8-game losing streak achievement last night, powered by two home runs from ManRam and a rare offensive outburst. Don't expect that kind of fireworks for the Dodgers tonight, as we face the D-backs' stopper in Brandon Webb, which means Derek Lowe once again will get no run support and small margin for error. A 1-9 roadtrip seems almost inevitable, right?

D'backs Eck-block Halos

D-backs acquire David Eckstein from Blue Jays (

Second-Place Dodgers Win First Place in Dayn Perry's Most Disappointing of 2008

"Plenty of blame to go around for Dodger debacle" by Dayn Perry at

Jon Weisman Puts Jeff Kent in Perspective

And it's a better perspective than you would think. From Dodger Thoughts:

Jeff Kent, whose Dodger career began at age 37, is the greatest-hitting second baseman in Los Angeles Dodger history. [...]

If you go back to include Brooklyn days, only Jackie Robinson surpasses Kent offensively. [...]

Often he could seem as much a problem as a solution. But before he goes, understand that when it comes to second basemen, Los Angeles fans have not seen a hitter like Jeff Kent.

AP photo

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Rocco Baldelli Feel-Good Story Continues

Baldelli sends Rays to walk-off win (

Game 136 Thread: August 30 @ Snakes, 5p

Chad Billingsley (12-10, 3.15) vs. It Doesn't Really Matter Since We're Going to Lose Anyway (14-6, 3.10).

COMMENTS: The Dodgers are now 0-8 on arguably their most important roadtrip of the year. We've been swept in Philadelphia by a team who cares about the postseason, swept in Washington D.C. to a team that has nothing for which to play, and now we've rolled over and played dead against the one team we need to overtake. The good news, though, is that if we can post a win tonight and tomorrow, we can end our roadtrip with a .200 percentage, which is still fifty-odd points ahead of Mark Sweeney's batting average. So no more throwing ground balls into the outfield, Nomar! No more 0-for-whatever evenings, Jeff Kent (which is assured given your impending MRI, I suppose)! And no more cynicism from the Sons of Steve Garvey--it's all happy times from here!

For Better or For Worse

The Dodgers are suffering their annual swoon, and Dodger fans have been searching for the cause of this year's collapse. Injuries are certainly a factor, as have been inconsistent performances on both sides of the plate. A new manager learning the team hasn't helped. But when SoSG Sax e-mailed me this article, I finally understood why the Dodgers are playing as if it's the end of the world.

Because it is the end of the world—for Elly and John Patterson. For their kids Michael, Lizard Breath and April. And yes, even for Farley and Edgar. "For Better or For Worse" is ending (although creator Lynn Johnston will repurpose old strips*) and clearly the Dodgers see no point in continuing in a world without fresh FBoFW strips.

While we Dodger fans can feel our team's pain, we would be well-served to heed the final words of FBoFW's final weekday strip. And if we can't learn from the immortal wisdom of Grandmother Iris, then truly we deserve second place.

Or worse.

*Hmmm, anything to do with her impending divorce?

Earlier: Elizabeth Patterson Puts the Smackdown on Mtigwaki Paul

Even Manny Isn't This Colorful

From "Bengals wide receiver changes last name to Ocho Cinco" (AP/

Maybe receiver Chad Johnson can go by the name that his head coach hates.

The Cincinnati Bengals receiver has legally changed his name to Chad Javon Ocho Cinco in Broward County, Fla., a switch that became official this week.

Neeebs, Burn the Damn Magic Gloves

It's clearly not breaking the losing curse....New puzzle on September 4 at 7a, anyway.


Neeebs attempts to break the losing curse again...apparently at gunpoint:

Earlier: Neeebs and the Magic Glove

Friday, August 29, 2008

Game 135 Thread: August 29 @ D'backs, 6.40p

Hiroki Kuroda (7-9, 3.87) vs. Doug Davis (5-8, 4.63).

To quote Bob Hope....

Just wanted to remind you guys what you're fighting for.

We're only one sweep away from being a half game back!

P.S. - Tomorrow on SoSG, a boob-free Saturday.

A Look Back at Abes vs Babes

Remember Abes vs Babes? Likely not, I understand. So to recap, last year the Maxim Hot 100 so embarrassed the US Presidents, 18-5-2, that the mercy rule was triggered and the contest was called off this year.

Well, seeking distraction from the Dodgers' recent misfortunes, I decided to take a look at how the showdown would have been shaping up this year. And lo and behold, despite the addition of the mighty Evan Longoria to the Babes' roster, the Abes would be leading the Babes 5 categories to 4:

Cumulative Stats thru 8/28/08:
The Abes The Babes
Avg 0.263 0.249
Runs 434 413
HRs 64 90
RBIs 407 381
SBs 49 31
ERA 4.20 4.03
Wins 71 85
Saves 88 3
Ks 1013 1084
Total 5 4

Conor Jackson (12 HRs, 68 RBIs), Brian Wilson (36 saves), and Randy Johnson (10 Ws, 148 Ks) have been the big dogs for the Abes.

*statistics normalized by AB/IPs.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

James Loney Feels Our Pain

From Diamond:

Asked if he felt snakebitten by the Dodgers' recent woes. here's James Loney at his finest...

"I've never been bit by a snake, but this might feel a little bit worse."

Post-Game 134 Thread: Nope Still Springs Eternal

Little did I know how much more relevant this two-month-old post would become:

When opportunity knocks, the Dodgers always seem to be out on the back porch frying burgers with the radio on too loud. Observe:

May 9-11: The then-MLB-best D-backs face the Cubs juggernaut and get swept out of the windy city for their first 3-game losing streak of the season. Finally the Dodgers will gain some ground, right? Nope. The Dodgers suffer their own sweep via the jugger-not Astros and actually lose ground after their subsequent loss to Milwaukee.

May 26-30: The mighty Diamondbacks get swept by the lowly Giants and lose the opener to the even-lowly-er Nationals to cap their first 5-game losing streak. At least now the Dodgers will pick up a few games here. Nope. Dodgers get swept by the Cubs after losing 2 of 3 to St Louis, then lose 3 of 4 to the Mets. Again they lose ground.

June 2-4: D-backs get swept by Milwaukee. While it may be too little too late, at least the Dodgers can make a move here, no? Nope. Dodgers match Arizona's 3-game losing streak at the hands of the Rockies and Cubs.

June 13-15: D-backs win the first game (barely) but still manage to lose the series to Kansas City of all teams. Surely the Dodg- Nope. Dodgers get swept by Detroit to cap a 5-game losing streak and lose ground.

Thus has been the Dodgers' 2008. After the D-backs' scorching 27-15 start, they proceeded to go 13-23. But over that same time, the Dodgers went 14-21, picking up a mere 1.5 games. Put another way: since May 22, the D-backs have lost 18 times on a day the Dodgers also played a game. In the Dodgers' corresponding 18 games, they've come away with 4 wins. If we'd just played 0.500 ball during those games, we'd be leading the division by a game. Now, I probably put less stock in the specific timing of wins and losses than anyone I know, but even I find this frustrating.

Well, I assume you know where this is going...

August 24-28: The D-backs lose the rubber game against Florida, then miraculously get swept by the then-48-82 Padres to go 0-4 over that period, just as we go up against the even-worse Nationals. NOPE! NOPE! NOPE! WE CAN'T EVEN STAY EVEN!!! After the Phillies finish their sweep of us, we conveniently remain in the bent-over position on the bus down to DC. 0-5, loss of a half game over that same span (and I'm not even counting the preceding two losses to Philly).

Neeebs And The Magic Glove

Argh! As of this writing, we are down 5-2 to the Nationals in the middle of the fourth inning, with (of course) Mark Sweeney striking out with two on to end the threat in the fourth. (Don't believe the Dodgers' propaganda over Mark Sweeney's supposed recent improvement--he is still batting .141.)

We need to break the curse! And our prize-winner neeebs just sent us this picture, having recently received the priceless Shawn Green Batting Glove Replica:

Looks like it's not quite one-size-fits-all (Yep, it's a child-size glove).

Breaketh ye, o' Dodgers curse of six straight defeats!

Game 134 Thread: August 28 @ Nationals, 4p

Clayton Kershaw (2-4, 4.11) vs. John Lannan (7-12, 3.95).

COMMENTS: Sometimes ya just gotta laugh. What, did we say that already? Well, you know who else is laughing? Diamondbacks fans. Sure, the Dodgers are in position to get swept by the league-worst Nationals, but the Diamondbacks just got swept by the third-worst Padres. Suckitude for all!

Jeff Kent Determined To Prove TJ Simers Wrong

Okay Orel, I'll see your laudatory post on youngster Matt Kemp, and raise you one critical post on veteran Jeff Kent....

August 17: TJ Simers gets into it with ornery veteran Jeff Kent about how Kent's batting average had skyrocketed since he started batting third ahead of Manny Ramirez:

"[Vin] Scully is making the same point everyone else is making," I said. "He says the stats indicate you are having success hitting behind Ramirez -- tell me that isn't the case."

"See my answer to the first question," said Kent, and sometimes you wonder if he sleeps with his bed against a wall forcing him to always wake up on the wrong side. "Listen, I'm so tired of talking about this stuff. It diminishes my whole career and all the hard work. I take it as an insult.

"I'm 40. You don't get better when you are 40."

Discounting the remainder of the series in batter-friendly Colorado, Jeff Kent's lines since then:

Aug 22 @PHI, 0-for-4
Aug 23 @PHI, 0-for-4, 2K
Aug 24 @PHI, 3-for-5, but 1 GIDP
Aug 25 @PHI, 1-for-5, 2K
Aug 26 @WAS, 1-for-4
Aug 27 @WAS, 0-for-5, K
6-game total: 5-for-27, .185 BA, 5Ks, 1 GIDP

You show him, Jeffy! Don't concede that point to Simers, and continue to phone it in from the three-hole!

Own a Piece of SH--

Fill in the blank as you see fit. With the Mets currently in the throes of their newest late-season collapse (maybe), the team's finding ways to pay off the hefty salary of Hometown Buffet starter Mo Vaughn.

Now loyal fans (and Yankee haters) can own a piece of history. All you have to do is click HERE... and plop down $869. Ironically, it's even more if you live in New York.

So this all got me thinking - if/when Dodger Stadium goes off to that scrapheap in the sky, what piece would you like to own? I'm torn between Gordon Biersch...

and HER:

Finally a Dodger Player Takes Responsibility

...and it's Matt Kemp! From "Dodgers can't find a way to win against Nationals" by Bill Shaikin at the LA Times:

Matt Kemp pointed the finger -- at himself. The Dodgers can't drive in a runner from second base to save their season, and yet Kemp had his own take on his team's offensive disaster.

"I blame it on myself," he said. "The damn leadoff hitter needs to step up and do something." [...]

"My job is to get on base," he said. "I feel like I'm one of the main reasons our offense isn't going."

How's this for a character arc? At the start of the season, Kemp was being labeled on national television as callow and immature. Now, at season's end, we have certain veterans claiming "I'm not a wizard" in response to their defensive inadequacies, while certain youngsters are accepting responsibility and protecting their teammates from further criticism. I love it.

Penny Turning Up in 2009?

Hey, man. In reviewing 12 players with option clauses at season's end, Jon Heyman of thinks Brad Penny will be a Dodger next year:

Brad Penny, Dodgers pitcher ($9.25 million option, $2-million buyout): That $9.25-million figure isn't sky-high, but Penny's shoulder's been hurting most of this year, making it an extremely tough call. The call: The Dodgers deliberate but wind up picking it up, as veteran pitchers are hard to find.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Post-Game 133 Thread: Sometimes Ya Just Gotta Laugh

...and this is one of those times. Again.

(Contains NSFW language.)

Blake's Back

Not Casey, but DeWitt. From Diamond:

Dodgers recall DeWitt

The Dodgers recalled infielder Blake DeWitt and designated infielder Pablo Ozuna for assignment. DeWitt was hitting well at Class AAA Las Vegas and learning to play second base, and he takes over for Ozuna as Jeff Kent's backup.

Game 133 Thread: August 27 @ Nationals, 4p

Greg Maddux (6-10, 4.25) vs. Tim Redding (8-8, 4.54).

COMMENTS: Is there even a point in discussing these pitchers? Just yesterday we were talking about sweeping the Nationals. Today we're wondering if the Dodgers will be the ones getting swept. By the worst team in the Majors. Yesterday's game seemed so snake-bitten it made you wonder if things can possibly get any worse for the Dodgers. Can they? Check back this evening.

"The ninth inning was the smile on the Mona Lisa."

Kansas City Star sports columnist and ridiculously good writer Joe Posnanski has been picked up by He likes Greg Maddux. Find out why:

The Master. July 2, 1997 by Joe Posnanski at

GIDP By NL Team, 8/26/08

1 Washington, 128
2 Los Angeles, 125
3 Atlanta, 118

Inside Juan Pierre's Locker

Okay, Juan, we get the point. Matt Kemp has 0-fered in three of his last five games. He hasn't scored a run in the last five games. His 0-for-5 performance last night included swinging at the first pitch twice, grounding into a double play once, and a strikeout.

But come on, your voodoo doll is now affecting everyone else. Andre Ethier had an 0-for-5 day in the two slot. Jeff Kent, Russell Martin, and James Loney could all muster only one hit each.

And this is against the Nationals, for pete's sake.

Unstick your pins and stop drinking the Haterade, Juan.

UPDATE 8/27 3p: Well, at least Kemp's day wasn't as bad as A-Rod's. Even Tiger Woods couldn't stick around to watch...

Don't Look Now But...

...over the past month Mark Sweeney is batting 0.417 with a 0.588 on-base %. There go his chances of making history

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Dodger Offense Weak as Kittens

"Back-to-back jacks, comin' right up."

first five games of current road trip (four games @ PHI, one game @ WSH)
men left on base: 47
runs scored: 6

Instant Replay Will Save the Dodgers' Season!

MLB approves replay in series that start Thursday (AP/

Loney Does Manny

Game 132 Thread: August 26 @ Nationals, 4p

Derek Lowe (10-10, 3.89) vs. Collin Balester (2-6, 4.99).

COMMENTS: The Dodgers: one game under .500, three games out of first place. The Nationals: 39 games under .500, worst record in the Major Leagues.

A sweep of the Nationals: necessary.

Lowe: Glad to see Maddux? Balester: how SoSG Sax probably refers to Christian Bale.

A Call for More Karma: Off-Day Puzzle Prize #1 Revealed

So we've talked before about how the Dodgers have been in need of some karma before, and you know what, it worked; following The Great SoSG Dodger Ticket Giveaway (TM), the Dodgers pulled off four wins in a row (completing a five-game win streak). It seems that when we give stuff away here at SoSG, good things happen for the Dodgers. So it's time to get the Dodgers karma going again, on the heels of a crushing four-game sweep in Philadelphia...

The winner of the Puzzle Participation Lottery, having participated in the Nostradamus puzzle, was none other than neeebs. And neeebs, here is your prize:

That's right, it's a pair of Shawn Green Dodger batting gloves (child size)! These gloves are already en route to you, as we speak. Congratulations and thank you for participating, and let's all hope that this pays off for the boys in blue (who are playing Washington tonight, so at least we've got that going).

(By the way, for those of you who won tickets in The Great SoSG Dodger Ticket Giveaway, we'd love to get your notes and/or pictures so we can recap your day at Dodger Stadium... except you, LoneyFan; don't jeopardize your finals!)

Next puzzle, Thursday September 4!

SoSG not responsible for items lost in the mail.

The Text from Vin Scully's Coliseum Plaque


Vin Scully is the enduring voice of summer in Los Angeles.

Scully joined the Dodgers as a play-by-play announcer in 1950, when he was 22. In 1958, he moved from Brooklyn to Los Angeles with the team. Those first four seasons in California, the Dodgers' home was the Coliseum, and Scully was there for all of them, serving as our eyes and ears, bringing a team into our homes and hearts. His words embroidered the Dodgers irrevocably into the fabric of Los Angeles.

Scully's tenure with the Dodgers is the longest of any broadcaster with a single club in professional sports history. On television or radio he has called 28 World Series, more than any broadcaster. He was inducted into the broadcasters' wing of the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982, the Radio Hall of Fame in 1996, voted Broadcaster of the Century by the American Sportscasters Association in 2000, and named baseball's all-time best broadcaster in 2005.

For more than a half century, Vin Scully has bridged the cultural and generational divide. His voice has connected us to each other, young to old, black to white, Latino to Asian. His voice is our common thread.

The games are ephemeral, the scores are forgotten, the players come and go, but the emotions endure, and the contributions of Vincent Edward Scully to Los Angeles will last forever.

That's how I read it from a picture on Dodgers Magazine, anyway. Scully was actually inducted into the Radio Hall of Fame in 1995. Is there much of a market for ceremonial plaque text fact-checkers (say that five times fast)?

photo by Branimir Kvartuc/AP

Monday, August 25, 2008

Post-Game 131 Thread


Why We're Not Covering Joe Torre's Blog

Joe Torre (supposedly) has a blog. And we don't care. Why? Because baseball players treat blogs like new girlfriends: lots of attention at first, then nothing. To wit:

player blog first post latest post
Chad Billingsley Chad Billingsley Aug. 30, 2007 Sept. 22, 2007
Andruw Jones Roaming Center with Andruw March 13, 2008 March 16, 2008
Andre Ethier Dining with 'Dre June 5, 2008 July 5, 2008

In fairness, Tommy Lasorda—or his overworked, underpaid personal assistant—updates his blog regularly. And Takashi Saito's "Challenge Blog" seems well-maintained...if you read Japanese.

"But baseball players have full-time jobs," you say. Hey, so do we. If you say baseball players have better things to do, you'll get no argument here. But then why start a blog in the first place?

Leave the blogging to us, Dodgers. You guys worry about breaking the hearts of Dodger fans everywhere.

I'm Right Here, Thanks For Asking

From the website: Where Are They Now? Steve Sax. In the piece is this nugget:

Sax, 48, has taken that approach to the business world as vice president and branch manager of the full-service securities firm RBC Wealth Management in Roseville, Calif., near Sacramento, essentially making him an estate planner.

The former second baseman always worked closely with his financial adviser during his Major League career in which he earned more than $18 million, making Sax's new position a natural fit.

"I love history, and that's what the stock market is, a lot of history," Sax said. "I love business and the way it works and the way things of the day either here or certainly globally affect what happens with our finances, and I just thought it was something I've always been fascinated with. I've been doing it for almost 10 years, and I love it."

So let me get this straight. Sax is an estate planner and financial adviser, and is quoted saying he does this line of work because of his love of history? What about all those comments about past performance not being a good indicator (or guarantee) of future returns? Yikes.

If 1983 is any indication, if Sax is going to miss the target, at least he'll miss high. Which is a good thing if he's managing your money, I suppose.

Sax also made no mention in the article of all of his hard work and time invested writing for the Sons of Steve Garvey blog. Imagine that.

Game 131 Thread: August 25 @ Phillies, 4p

Chad Billingsley (12-9, 3.10) vs. Brett Myers (6-10, 4.71).

COMMENTS: Having a four-game series roll over past the weekend into a late Monday game is like a bad hangover, particularly after getting drubbed in the first two games and then losing last night to a heartbreaking, walk-off, extra-inning homerun that included a closeup shot of Dodger "pitcher" Jason Johnson leaving the mound with an absolutely dispassionate and seemingly nonplussed visage. Did I mention the last two games have been on national television, allowing the entire country to see the Dodgers' flailing at the plate? Or that last night's come-from-ahead loss marked a return to .500 for both the Dodgers (65-65) and the Manny Ramirez era (11-11)? Or that Jonathan Broxton blew his second save in 12 chances since becoming the closer? Well, the good news is, this game is again against the Phillies and is again on national television (ESPN2). So our luck will surely change tonight. Right, Chad?

It Must Be Said: Russell Martin Needs More Rest

From Ken Gurnick's latest mailbag at

It seems like opposing teams are stealing bases against the Dodgers at an alarming rate. Is that true?
-- Ted R., Chatsworth, Calif.

Very true. It hasn't been pretty, as Dodgers catchers are erasing basestealers at a dreadful rate of 15.9 percent on the season, which is on target to be the worst for the franchise since 1996 (14.9 percent) when Mike Piazza was the catcher. With Gold Glove catcher Russell Martin getting the bulk of the action, much of it rests on him. He has thrown out runners at a 15.5 percent clip -- last in the league and barely half of his 29.3 percent last year. It's a wonder clubs aren't running more on the Dodgers to exploit the situation.

Orel Not So Sexy Anymore

Just FYI, here's what has bumped "orel sexy" from SoSG's top 5 search terms:


UPDATE (1:22pm PT): 'best ass poll' has moved up to a tie for our top search keyword! To whichever reader recently googled it then clicked on the SoSG link: a heartfelt thanks!

UPDATE #2 (2:41pm PT): Ok, so it turns out it was me who did that and I had forgotten. I'm sort of embarrassed and proud at the same time.

Mario Super Sluggers Invade Dodger Stadium, Put On Clinic

AC and I were lounging around SoSG Worldwide Headquarters when the phone rang.


"Hello! It's-a me, Mario!"

"Mario, you can drop the whole accent schtick. Some people find it offensive."

[pause] "Sorry about that. It's just that Nintendo is bustin' my balls, pushing the jolly Italian plumber thing. Just the other day I had to Roto-Rooter Shigeru Miyamoto's sewage pipes!"

"How can I help you, Mario?"

"Now they're making me play baseball. For this game, Mario Super Sluggers. I have to learn to hit home runs, and fast. Get some gabagool in dese guns, capiche?"

"Newsflash, Mario. The Sopranos is over."

"Try telling that to Nintendo."

"Anyway, don't you already know how to hit home runs? From your other baseball games?"

"Yeah, right. Let's just say Mario Small Ball didn't set any sales records."

"So what do you want?"

"I tried to order some steroids, but my dealer says no one will touch 'em now!"

"Imagine that."

"So my agent thought the next best thing would be to have the Dodgers show me how to hit home runs. The Dodgers hit a lot of home runs, right?"


"Great! I'll have Luigi pick you up in a Stretch Kart. Meet me at Dodger Stadium, Event Suite 2."

"Mario, just one question. Why is your moustache black and your hair brown?"

"What's that? You're breaking up—hey! Down, Yoshi! Bad dog! Or whatever you are! Princess, get Carlos Millan on the line—" Beep.

When we got to Dodger Stadium, it turned out Mario was way ahead of us. In fact, he had already assembled most of a starting lineup. And I couldn't help but notice the similarities between the Mario Super Sluggers and the Dodgers....



The franchise.

Bowser Jr.

Young and exuberant.


Sometimes bobbly but generally reliable.

Donkey Kong

Ox. Kong. 'Nuff said.


Did you really think I was going to compare a player to Princess Peach?


Wearer of jaunty cap/shell. Occasionally lays an egg.


Hero to some, villain to others.

Want to know more about Mario Super Sluggers gameplay? Check out AC's At-Game Recap!

(For gaming fans, it should be noted that while Event Suite 2 was hosting a Wii demonstration, Event Suite 1 had a 2K Sports kiosk complete with an Xbox 360 with the Red Ring of Death.)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Josh vs. Josh: The Verdict



Congratulations to everyone involved!

Earlier: There Can Be Only One Josh

Game 130 Thread: August 24 @ Phillies, 5p

Hiroki Kuroda (7-9, 3.97) vs. Joe Blanton (6-12, 4.87).


STAT OF THE DAY: Dodgers' record with Manny Ramirez: 11-10.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Josh vs. Josh Update: T-Minus 24 Hours


JOSH RAWITCH: $611.55 $810

Earlier: There Can Be Only One Josh

Game 129 Thread: August 23 @ Phillies, 1p

Clayton Kershaw (2-3, 3.59) vs. Cole Hamels (10-8, 3.22).

COMMENTS: Don't go grocery shopping when you're hungry, don't go calling exes when you've been drinking, and don't go writing a Game Thread after the Dodgers have gotten their butts kicked. Yet here I am, ready to bury this team, which is streakier than Morganna the Kissing Bandit. They lose when they should win, win when they should lose, and generally seem to be all about toying with their fans. Don't go breaking our hearts.

Anyway, didn't these young phenoms just face each other? Let's see if Uncle Maddux can teach young Clayton to become a stopper. After all, the Dodgers will have to stay within shouting distance of the Diamondbacks if they want to make those six remaining head-to-head games against them mean anything.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Josh vs. Josh Update: T-Minus 48 Hours


JOSH RAWITCH: $440 $611.55

This one's a lot closer than today's Dodgers game was, that's for sure.

Earlier: There Can Be Only One Josh

Closure for Karros

Achieving emotional closure is generally a myth, yet that doesn't stop even millionaire baseball players from craving it. Writer Jorge Martin interviewed Eric Karros for the latest issue of Dodgers Magazine and came up with an interesting perspective on the end of Karros' career.

Karros on the end of his playing days:

2004, it was interesting, because I was in Oakland. I was not having a good time in Oakland. I went and asked for my release. [...]

I had my agent talk to the Dodgers about whether I could come here and finish off. [...]

I would have liked to have finished here, I would have liked to have had the opportunity to finish as a Dodger, to retire as a Dodger, but it didn't happen.

Karros on being included in this year's Opening Day ceremonies:

Awesome. That was by far one of the best things that this organization has done during my playing days or non-playing days. [...]

But to actually be out there in the bullpen to wait for your name to be called and then to run in to have the fans show their appreciation, that experience is one of those things that I will never forget. [...]

That's probably the door that I needed shut that I was looking for in 2004 with this organization. [...]

I'm good with that. I guess I didn't have to come back in '04.

GT 128: AU 22 at PH, 4 PM

GM, RP (6-9, 3.99) vs KK, RP (10-7, 5.01).

COMMENTS: Sorry, there are no comments today due to my affliction with the following:

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Hello to Those Googling "Orel Sexy"

Are we everything you expected?

Post-Game Highlights: Dodgers vs. Rockies, August 20

Baseball and videogames have usually been a happy union. This blog has commented previously on the joys and addiction of the original RBI baseball for the Nintendo 8-bit system. My family used to joke: You know what is worse than playing RBI Baseball for 6 hours straight? Watching someone else play RBI Baseball for 6 hours straight. But how times have changed. On August 20th, the kind people at Nintendo invited some of the SoSG writers to attend a Dodger game in an event suite, eat Dodger Dogs, and try out the new Nintendo Mario Super Sluggers for the Wii coming out on August 25th. So there are TWO game experiences that I have to review.

First the Nintendo one. We had a quick demonstration by the Nintendo reps showing us how to use the Wii controller to hit, run, and pitch. There are different modes that you can play too. Of course the classic player-vs-player and even 2-vs-2 players against each other. There is also an ingenious one player mode in which you could go through the various kingdoms and learn the "special moves" as you battle various bosses. But, as everyone knows, the fun of the Wii is taking on your friends mode in a fierce battle of baseball. I guess I have to mention that Orel beat me 4-1, luckily we weren't playing for money. The game is fairly easy to pick up too which is the fun of pretty much all Wii games. One of the downsides of the game is that there is no online play, but you can't have everything. Overall, the graphics are crisp, the concept is great, and the game play is fun and would recommend the game for baseball fans that just want to have a great time playing with their friends (except watch out for Orel, he's good).

Now for the Dodger game experience. The Hollywood Event suite is, well, sweet. We were in the first suite next to the Stadium Club restaurant in right field. The first thing that catches your eye is the Dodger pool table complete with logo and Dodger blue and white light over the table. Over on the far wall there is a large print of the the Hollywood sign and the wall is decorated with various celebrity pictures, mostly from the Hollywood Stars Night games, as well as a 40" Sharp LCD TV that we used to play the game.

On the other walls there were bigger pictures of celebrities including one with Frank Sinatra in a Dodger hat. There were also two of those Dodger recliner chairs with drink holders that for some reason I couldn't get to recline all the way back. Comfy, but I couldn't see it in my living room. However, I did like the Dodger stools (that swivel!) and bar tables located throughout the room which looked shiny and new. And of course there were the 2 rows of seats outside with nice mesh chairs and a ledge to put your drinks. The game itself was pretty much a let down. Bills looked to be dealing early and the offense gave us a lead, but all of those errors by guys playing out of position just killed us. I think the experiment is over - if you are going to rest 'em Torre, just sit 'em. Orel and I also didn't understand why Ethier didn't come in at the end of the game and hit for Ardoin. Pierre had his obligatory one hit for the game (Juan for four right?). So take him and his weak arm out, move Martin to catcher, and have Ethier take Ardoin's place in the lineup for another chance at a walk-off. I guess Torre knew something that I didn't, but we still ended up with a loss.

Overall, it was a great experience, both gaming and Dodger-related. Thanks so much to Conor for his invitation to this event. I had a wonderful time - would have been better if the Dodgers won - but we can't have them all. Oh, and if the Dodgers need another bat, that Mario guy is pretty good.