Thursday, January 31, 2008

Coliseum Tickets Go on Sale Saturday


Tickets for the exhibition game vs. the Boston Red Sox on March 29 at the L.A. Coliseum will go on sale this Saturday, February 2 at 10:00 a.m. PT.

Single game tickets for all Dodger Spring Training home games played in Vero Beach, FL will also be available for purchase beginning this Saturday at 7:00 a.m. PT.

Grab your tickets early! Because I hear the Coliseum only holds like 1,700 people or something.

Dodger Parking Solved - Look to the Air!

According to "Curbed Los Angeles," LA city officials are going to solve the Dodger Stadium traffic by creating an air tram system which would travel between Chinatown and Chavez Ravine. Sounds great - can you imagine the view from the tram? But I am sure that McCourt and company will charge $10 bucks for this special access.

The Adventures of Dodger Duck: Episode 1 / Paris

Introducing Dodger Duck, a Dodger fan whose mission it is to spread the fanaticism of the Dodgers (and Sons of Steve Garvey) across the globe. We'll endeavor to bring you continuing features on his traveling exploits.

Today's episode comes from Paris, France. What better place to trumpet the Dodgers' upcoming victorious season, than the Arc de Triomphe! Dodger Duck stopped many a passersby on the Champs Elysees before realizing his French was a little, how do you say, rusty? Where is Eric Gagne when you need him? (Oh yeah, in Milwaukee, fresh and rested after winning a World Series ring.)

After a long night on the town, and the sudden realization how little the dollar gets in exchange against the Euro, Dodger Dog passed out. Tune in for the next episode of The Adventures of Dodger Duck!

Movie Censorer Needs to Buy Mirror, Use Said Mirror

To paraphrase the late 20th-century poet Ice Cube, "come on and check yo self before you wreck yo self."

According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Daniel Thompson, who formerly operated Clean Flix, a business in Orem, Utah, that edited feature films to remove or alter conduct deemed inappropriate for children or discriminating movie viewers, was recently arrested on suspicion of having sex with two 14-year old girls. The Clean Flix store closed in December after threats of legal action from Hollywood studios. Now, it seems he'll have other legal action on his hands.

When the girls arrived at the Flix Club, 908 S. State St., Thompson accompanied them to the back of the store and asked if they were of legal age. The teens said they were 18, performed oral sex on Thompson and left the store with [Isaac] Lifferth, who paid them a total of $20 for the deed, the documents state.

Police said the scheme was exposed when one of the girls' mothers found a $20 bill and asked where she got the money.

Thompson and Lifferth were booked into the Utah County jail on suspicion of sexual abuse and unlawful sex with a 14-year-old. Lifferth also admitted to having sex with the teenagers' 16-year-old friend on multiple occasions, according to the documents. [...]

The booking documents state Thompson told the 14-year-olds that his film sanitizing business was a cover for a pornography studio. He asked the girls if they would participate in making a porn movie, but they refused, the documents state.

Police found a "large quantity" of pornographic movies inside the business, along with a keg of beer, painkillers and two cameras hooked up to a television. Thompson told police he didn't know the teenagers were under 18 or that they were paid for sex. He said pornography found at the business was for "personal use," according to the documents.


Another Perspective on Gini

earlier: I Dream of Gini

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Someone Might Want to Tell Russell Martin That Shia LaBeouf Is a Dude

"Hands off, Smurfette! He's mine!"

Transformers Day at SoSG continues! From a Russell Martin interview at the Montreal Canadiens website:

In a Vanity Fair article Shia LaBoeuf, the star of Transformers and the next Indiana Jones mentioned that she had one of your autographed jerseys, that you were her favorite player and that you were going to be a superstar. Quite the compliment, isn’t it? What’s it like to have your very own Hollywood groupies?

This is the first I’ve heard of it. It’s really funny that in a town full of stars I can have my own fans. It really hasn’t sunk in yet.

(Thanks to DT poster "underdog" for the link!)

photo from

Transformers: Destroys Dodger Stadium Infield, Confuses Sax

So I'm a little late to view Transformers, last summer's blockbuster movie. And I'm already biased against the movie since they have a meteor-like object (which turns out to be a friendly robot, but still) land right in the middle of Dodger Stadium, disrupting the pristine field (luckily, no game appeared to be in progress, but the stadium lights were on for no apparent reason (maybe Frank McCourt was taking BP?)).

But I don't understand, when Optimus Prime is recounting the tale of his home planet Cybertron becoming overrun by Megatron and other evil transforming robots, didn't it ever strike him that a group called "the Decepticons," with robots named "Devastator" and "Bonecrusher", might not share his outlook of peaceful coexistence on planet Cybertron? It might have merited a thought, before they overran his planet and forced him and the rest of the Autobots to flee.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

When you're Romo, you get Jessica. When you're Shane.. get a shout out in the WWE. Earlier this week at the Comcast Center, formerly the Wachovia Center, CoreStates Center, and First Union Center (aka The F.U. Center), Shane Victorino got an honor that makes rounding third with Alyssa Milano pale in comparison. In front of the smartest one percent of this country (aka a horde of screaming Philly wrestling fans), the Phillies outfielder made his sports entertainment debut.

Philadelphia is the known as the City of Brotherly Love. And if any place in the world would give Jillian's singing a warm response, it would be Philly. Right? Guess again. Led by Philadelphia Phillies' ballplayer Shane Victorino, the Wachovia Center fans gave the wanna-be songbird a serenade of their own.

Subscribers to WWE Mobile on AT&T had a front row seat for the musical interlude. If you are not a subscriber to WWE Mobile, you missed seeing the exclusive footage first.

DAMN YOU VERIZON!!! YOU ROBBED ME AGAIN!!! Not realy sure who this Jillian is, but Shane really showed her!

Mets Win Santana Derby

From "Mets agree to Santana deal, pending extension agreement" at

The Mets have agreed to a trade with the Minnesota Twins to acquire Johan Santana for four prospects, pending the left-hander passing a physical and working out an extension with New York.

The Mets have been granted a 48- to 72-hour window to work out a new contract with Santana.

If New York can work out a contract agreement with Minnesota, the Mets will send outfielder Carlos Gomez and pitchers Phil Humber, Deolis Guerra and Kevin Mulvey to the Twins.

SoSG Passes 200K Hit Mark

200,000 hits, in just over a year. This should make us eligible for the Hall of Fame, right?

A big thank you to all of our readers and commenters. We're always open to feedback--you know how to reach us!

I Dream of Gini

Once again, please bear with me on this one, as sometimes it's necessary to endure a tedious first half to fully understand the more interesting second half. Those of you who've seen 'Cloverfield' know what I'm talking about.

I begin by introducing the Gini Index. Developed in the early 1900's by Italian mathematician Corrado Gini, the Gini Index is a statistic oft cited by the UN and other such organizations to measure the inequality of income distribution in countries around the world. It's calculated by taking everybody in a given society, lining them up from left to right in order of increasing income, cumulating their income as you go down the line, and measuring how much this running total differs from what the running total would be if the society's collective income were evenly distributed among all members. The end result is a value between 0 and 100, where 0 is perfect equality (everybody has exactly the same income) and 100 is perfect inequality (the collective income of the entire society belongs to only one member - everybody else makes zero). If you want more details on calculating the Gini Index, click here.

For those readers who don't use the Gini Index on a day-to-day basis (what rock do you live under?), below is a sampling of the Gini values for income from selected countries:

Country: Gini Index:
Denmark 24.7 (lowest in world)
India 32.5
United States 40.8
China 44.7
Brazil 58.0
Namibia 74.3 (highest in world)

So Denmark is the country with the most evenly distributed earning power among its citizens. Namibia on the other hand has the largest imbalance, with huge amounts of wealth concentrated among very few citizens. The United States lies somewhere in the middle.

Now that your Gini value processor is somewhat calibrated, let's employ the Gini Index to things it was never intended to be used for, such as the home run distribution of baseball teams. If we treated baseball teams as countries and home runs as income, we could quantify how much of a team's power is concentrated among the few or how evenly it is spread across the lineup.

Here are the 30 MLB teams, ranked in order from most evenly distributed to least evenly distributed (most concentrated) home run hitting. I've also added a column "HR Total Rank" to indicate how the teams ranked in terms of total home runs hit:

HR Distribution Rank: Team HR Total Rank: HR Distribution (Gini Index): Similar to Income Distribution of:
1 (most distributed) Texas 8 30.8 Netherlands
2 Atlanta 12 36.0 Italy
3 Baltimore 23 37.2 Vietnam
4 Seattle 20 37.8 Latvia
5 Oakland 13 37.9 Jamaica
6 Detroit 13 38.2 Portugal
7 Boston 18 39.1 Israel
8 Kansas City 30 (fewest HRs) 39.4 Burkina Faso
9 Pittsburgh 22 39.5 Morocco
10 LA Dodgers 26 40.3 Trinidad and Tobago
11 Cleveland 9 41.1 United States
12 San Diego 14 41.6 Senegal
13 Arizona 15 41.9 Thailand
14 Tampa Bay 7 42.8 Iran
15 NY Yankees 4 43.4 Hong Kong
16 Milwaukee 1 (most HRs) 44.2 Venezuela
17 Cincinnati 3 44.3 Camaroon
18 Washington 27 44.4 Ivory Coast
19 Toronto 19 44.6 China
20 NY Mets 11 45.6 Rwanda
21 St Louis 24 46.4 Philippines
22 Florida 5 47.6 Mexico
23 Colorado 16 48.0 Madagascar
24 San Francisco 25 48.5 Malaysia
25 LA Angels 28 50.3 Gambia
26 Houston 17 50.4 Malawi
27 Philadelphia 2 50.7 Niger
28 Chicago Cubs 21 52.5 Argentina
29 Chicago White Sox 21 53.4 Chile
30 (least distributed) Minnesota 29 62.5 Sierra Leone

So the Texas Rangers are the Denmark of Major League baseball (although statistically they are closer to the Netherlands), topping the list of most evenly distributed HR production. Their top 6 players account for just over half of the team's home runs. Contrast that with Minnesota, where it takes only their top 2 guys (Torii Hunter and Justin Morneau) to account for half. The Dodgers rank 10th on the list, with nobody demonstrating great power but with 7 guys producing moderate power. They boast the distinction of being the Trinidad and Tobago of baseball.

Another thing to note is that there's no obvious correlation between HR frequency and HR distribution. While Minnesota ranked at or near the bottom in both categories, many of both the best and worst power teams (Milwaukee, Cincinnati, NY Yankees and Washington, LA Dodgers, Kansas City) congregated around the middle of the HR distribution rankings, as Orel pointed out.

Well that's all the insight I have for now...if you have any, please share. Thanks for reading through.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bus Lines Back at Dodger Stadium for 2008?

Thanks to LA City Councilman Ed Reyes for reviving the issue of public transportation to Dodger Stadium. I am sure that Frank McCourt isn't thrilled at the prospect of losing $15 per car, but it seems to me that the Stadium needs a viable public transportation solution, like most other big cities' MLB parks, if we aspire to make the Dodgers a team for the people of Los Angeles (breaking attendance records in the process, btw). From the 1/14 LA Business Journal:

The City's Dept of Transportation and the county Metropolitan Transportation Authority will consider restoring public transit to the stadium by opening day. Councilman Ed Reyes presented a resolution asking transportation authroties to study the feasibility of modifying existing bus routes or developing new ones to the stadium and the surrounding Elysian Park area during baseball season. The council adopted the resolution last month.

Regular bus service served the stadium until the mid 1990's when the Rapid Transit District canceled the route. In 2003 and 2004, the Doidgers worked with the MTA to provide weekend shuttle service to the stadium from Union Station. That service was canceled because hardly anyone used it.

Dodger execs and city officials know that it's difficult if not impossible for people who don't have cars to attend games. Traffic's an issue too.

"It is an element that we need to introduce again to lessen the congestion and creat an environment that is compatibel for the neighborhood," Reyes said.

In 2007, the Dodgers paid over $1 million to the city of Los Angeles for overtime related to traffic policing and its costs are expected to be about the same in 2008.

Special props to my sister for finding this article. Thanks, Sis!

Sexylegs Colletti Rocks the Pitch

Celebrity Soccer Challenge scores big (

photo by Juan Ocampo/Dodgers

Lieberthal Says "SHABBAT SHALOM"

You heard it here first. Unless you read the LA Times or most other publications. Mike Lieberthal is retiring.

Mike Lieberthal declared himself retired Saturday, ending a 14-year career as a major league catcher that included two trips to the All-Star game. Lieberthal, 36, spent last season with the Dodgers, playing sparingly behind Russell Martin.

"I'm done," Lieberthal said at the Home Depot Center in Carson, where he played in the Celebrity Soccer Challenge hosted by retired soccer star Mia Hamm and her husband, Dodgers third baseman Nomar Garciaparra.

"I didn't want to go anywhere else," Lieberthal said. "Being in a backup role, you don't get the same satisfaction. The money's great still, but I'm not at a point where I need money for my family."

Lieberthal played in only 38 games for the Dodgers last season, hitting .234 in 77 at-bats.

And with that, the Semitic slugging records set by Hank Greenberg are safe for another year.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Let's Play 'Guess The Criteria'!

Below are the 30 MLB teams listed in order from first to last according to something. Can you deduce what that something is? (hint: it's related to offense):

1. Texas
2. Atlanta
3. Baltimore
4. Seattle
5. Oakland
6. Detroit
7. Boston
8. Kansas City
9. Pittsburgh
10. LA Dodgers
11. Cleveland
12. San Diego
13. Arizona
14. Tampa Bay
15. NY Yankees
16. Milwaukee
17. Cincinnati
18. Washington
19. Toronto
20. NY Mets
21. St Louis
22. Florida
23. Colorado
24. San Francisco
25. LA Angels
26. Houston
27. Philadelphia
28. Chicago Cubs
29. Chicago White Sox
30. Minnesota

Answer coming soon...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

New Poll Up at

(Scroll to bottom left of the home page to vote.)

Why Doesn't the Hall of Fame Recognize Scouts?

From "Scouts hold fifth annual fundraiser" at

In an event that has evolved into a successful mixture of show business, star power and scouting, The Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation Fifth Annual "In the Spirit of the Game" dinner and World's Largest Auction of Sports Memorabilia was held Saturday night at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles.

The fundraiser, which has become a winter tradition in the baseball world, raises money to help scouts who have fallen on hard times. Many longtime scouts, especially elderly ones, lack basic needs such as health care and savings, and sometimes get less support from the teams to which they were devoted for several years.

On another level, the Baseball Hall of Fame does not recognize baseball scouts in an official capacity, so the PBSF has honored scouts who the Hall of Fame has not.

Even the Oscars recognize many below-the-line workers. Baseball scouts have been contributing to the game since forever. So why no love?

From a 2003 USA Today column by Jon Saraceno:

The Hall is composed of 256 men, including 191 major-leaguers, 18 Negro Leaguers, 23 executives, 16 managers and eight umpires.

It has zero scouts.

It has special wings dedicated to broadcasters and writers. Despite [scout Phil] Pote's aggressiveness, induction for scouts is highly unlikely. There's some debate in baseball whether any non-players should be admitted to the highly exclusive club.

The Hall is in the process of expanding a scouts' exhibit that began in 1994 to make it more comprehensive in an effort to detail the trials and tribulations of the most under-appreciated group in baseball.

Seems like a pretty glaring omission to this baseball fan.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Dodgers' Outfield Continues to Merit Crowd Control Measures

BUMPED as I unfortunately didn't think of this picture the first time I posted this. (Originally posted 1/23)

Ken Gurnick's position-by-position profile made its way to the outfield today, with an article jump asserting "Four won't be a crowd in Dodgers outfield."

At first, I thought, "Oh I get it, they'll put Juan Pierre in short center field, giving Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp a chance to play every day, while allowing Pierre a chance to throw it to home on two bounces or fewer! And Pierre can shade to his left to back up Jeff Kent's increasingly minimalist defensive range at second!" But then I read on, only to find that no decisions have been made yet and all four outfielders (with starting CF Andruw Jones) will battle it out next year. On Slappy:

As for the corners, Pierre has become perhaps the most polarizing Dodger in recent memory. Fans either are excited by his base-stealing capabilities or dismayed at his defensive shortcomings and one-dimensional speed offense.

But general manager Ned Colletti doesn't seem to share the desire of detractors to dump Pierre. He said he's "fine with the outfield as it is," meaning Pierre and Ethier are more likely to open camp with Jones and Kemp than for one of them to be traded away. He said it wasn't out of "the realm of possibility" that Ethier could start ahead of Pierre.

Torre has said that sorting out the outfield will be a spring priority.

"I know there are more bodies than positions," he said. "I had a conversation with Juan. He was curious. I basically said what I said to Bernie Williams when [the Yankees] signed Kenny Lofton. We'll do what's best for the team. We'll leave for Spring Training with three guys to give it their best shot."

Torre downplayed the shortcomings of Pierre's throwing arm, saying the speed with which an outfielder reaches a ball is more important, citing Johnny Damon as an example. But he also stressed the importance of defense if pitching is the strength of the team, as he believes is the case with the Dodgers.

Yeah, the speed to the ball is important, but if the baserunner can still make it to second on a single before the throw reaches the infield, does speed to the ball matter? Anyone?

Thursday, January 24, 2008

"Only (Trot) Nixon Could Go to China"

The MLB is heading to China! In an attempt to bolster baseball's image amongst future Olympic committees, MLB is sending the two most beloved teams of all time to Beijing.

BEIJING, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Major League Baseball's first games in China in March will help prove that baseball is a global sport and deserves a place in the Olympics, MLB senior vice president Paul Archey said on Thursday. The Los Angeles Dodgers and San Diego Padres will play exhibition games on March 15 and 16 at the 12,000-seat Wukesong field, the venue in August for what could be the last Olympic baseball competition.

I thought "The Bad News Bears Go to Japan" would turn all of Asia off baseball forever. According to one source (me), MLB's decision was made possible by the Dodgers blockbuster deal with Panda Express!

If X Games 12 Falls in the Forest,...

...but no one is there to watch it, does it make a sound?

Winter X Games 12 starts today. Yawn.

Each year about this time (just as I do every summer), I have to laugh at how desperately ESPN attempts to push the X Games upon sports fans who just don't care. If not for the forced placement of X Games across all of the ESPN/Disney banners (I'm sure Gretchen Bleiler, who graces the cover of this week's ESPN the Magazine, merits more public attention than that other fly-by-night sporting event next weekend), I don't think anyone would even know that the event existed. Sports Illustrated doesn't even whisper its name. Newspapers barely mention it, and those that do only do so because the event is local (i.e., the Los Angeles Times) or they feel somehow like they are missing out on a key niche sport.

But here's the dirty little secret of the X Games: No one, not even the target demographic, really cares. But advertisers, desperate to shill their wares to this demo, think it's a goldmine. So they come, and they fund the to ESPN, it's cost-less.

Sure, kids today like to skateboard and snowboard, and the feats of athletic prowess in the X Games demonstrate a whole heck of a lot of skill. But the failure of extreme sports' ability to perform more than two times a year (other tours have cut back or gone bankrupt) are just one reflection of the overall lack of resonance or interest. Heck, even Disney on Ice and Ringling Brothers can do a national tour. X Games can't.

The microscopic television ratings are another key barometer. Tricks on a skateboard ramp or halfpipe are far less interesting to watch than Australian rules football or even billiards, a fact underscored by the events' pathetic television ratings (ESPN boosted viewership statistics by putting it on sister network ABC about six years ago; last August's Summer X Games rankings placed the ABC telecasts with 0.8 and 1.1 ratings, well behind other coverage of the PGA, MLB, NASCAR, and even the meaningless NFL Hall of Fame Game--2007's X Games barely beat out beach volleyball and the LPGA). Today, the few press releases highlighting X Games television viewership are carefully-worded statistical cuts on niche demographics, or obfuscations about streaming video traffic on the unknown site).

The athletes themselves don't make for compelling drama, either, again despite ESPN's omnipresent cross-promotions. Scott Willoughby of the Denver Post wrote: Among the more disturbing revelations...was word from ESPN's Chris Stiepock, general manager of the X Games, that professional bowling outranked a recently released HD documentary about Kelly Slater's quest for an unprecedented eighth world surfing title by something like eight viewers to one on ESPN2.

Look, I've been to both Summer and Winter X Games before; I saw Mike Metzger pull off consecutive backflips on his motorcycle in Philadelphia in 2002, which was an amazing trick. Admittedly, the events are marginally more compelling in person. But, short of that poor soul who plummeted 40 feet at Staples Center during last year's event, can you remember any other highlights or accomplishments from that X Games? And if all we can recall is disaster rather than achievement, isn't it more of a circus than a sporting event (see fourth paragraph, above).

For all those potential advertisers considering sponsorship, I've thrown together the following graph. (Click on the picture for legible text.)

X Games 12 is here. Which means, four more days before I can watch my favorite sports highlights again, without the unnecessary and irrelevant noise.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Short on Cash, Red Sox Find New Ways to Sell Out

The Red Sox announced they will wear corporate advertising on their uniforms for four games, including their season-opening series versus the A's in Japan. Hat tip, the Griddle (who also snarked, "Because nothing says data storage more than 'Boston Red Sox'.").

Data storage provider EMC Corp. announced Wednesday that it will be an official sponsor of Major League Baseball Japan in support of the 2008 season-opening series between the Boston Red Sox and the Oakland Athletics in Japan.

Hopkinton, Massachusetts-based EMC, a leader in information infrastructure solutions, has had a relationship with the Red Sox for several years and is looking to build its brand in Japan. [...]

As part of the agreement, the Red Sox will wear sleeve patches featuring the EMC and "Japan 2008" logos for the four games in Japan.

MLB teams are not permitted to wear corporate logos on their uniforms but the rule will be lifted for the four games the Red Sox will play in Japan.

I wonder what EMC competitor and Japan-headquartered Hitachi thinks of this sponsorship development, given the games will be played on their home turf. If I were in the front office of the Athletics (besides trying to find Billy Beane's latest secret statistical methodologies), my first step would be to find out if Hitachi wants to sponsor the A's. This way, we can turn MLB's 2008 Opening Day into "The Battle For Data Storage Supremacy"! Gentlemen, start your enterprise storage products and optical drives!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Don't Look for Donnie Baseball in the Dodgers' Dugout

From Inside the Dodgers:

The Los Angeles Dodgers today named former National League All-Star Mike Easler as the hitting coach for the 2008 season. Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement. Easler will replace Don Mattingly on Joe Torre’s staff, as Mattingly will shift to the role of Major League Special Assignment Coach for the 2008 season due to family reasons.

Russell Martin vs. Joe Mauer: It's On

Tim Kurkjian is fielding the debate right now in a live chat debating the best young catcher in baseball. The set up:

Who is the best young catcher in baseball, Joe Mauer or Russell Martin? Can we please have both of them, then just alternate the two between catcher and DH? They're both that good.

The case for Mauer: He is 24 years old, and is a lifetime .313 hitter. He also has more walks (208) than strikeouts (183) in his career, which is sensational for a player his age. In 2006, he became the second catcher ever to lead his league in hitting (.347), and the first catcher ever to lead the major leagues in hitting.

"His swing is perfect," one scout said. "He'll be a great hitter for years to come."

Mauer is an above-average receiver who has thrown out 44.7 percent (a fabulous percentage) of potential base stealers over the last two years. And, he is a tremendous athlete, which allows him to make adjustments, and makes him a good runner for a catcher -- he has 29 steals in 34 tries in his career. The only downside is that he hasn't been as durable as a catcher needs to be. He got hurt his rookie year in 2004, and last season he was limited to 109 games.

The case for Martin: Over the last two years, he has been out-hit by Mauer, .324-.288, but Martin has more home runs (29-20), more RBIs (152-144) and more steals (31-15). Plus, Martin has been amazingly durable, playing 262 games to Mauer's 211. Several years ago, soon after Martin was moved from third base to catcher, one instructor in the Dodger minor league system suggested in an organizational meeting that Martin was the best player in the Dodgers' system. The remark was greeted with great surprise. "You watch," the instructor said.

Martin can hit, and his defense is equally good. "He catches and throws as well as anyone in the game," said former Dodgers third base coach Rich Donnelly. Plus, he runs a game very well, and is very vocal with pitchers, which is what leaders do.

Martin plays with a fire that few players have these days. "If he was a boxer, the guy in the other corner would look across at him and say, 'Oh, no, not him,'" Donnelly said. "Before every game, in his catching gear, he runs the length of the dugout. He is so ready. I've never seen him have an off-day. He might go 0-for-4, but mentally, he never has an off night."

So Mauer is better at hitting and throwing out runners (the latter of which is admittedly not great for Russell, who is streaky at best). Martin is clearly more durable, hits for more power, steals bases, and is a better leader. Sounds like a slam dunk for Martin, right?

UPDATE 12:28P PST: Well, Martin seemed to get more of the commendations from both Kurkjian and the chatters. Specifically, Kurkjian thinks Martin manages a pitching staff better (but could show "even more leadership", a reference to the vets-vs.-youth schism last year), is capable of "25 homes, 100 RBIs, and a .300 average", and "the fire that burns inside this guy is a little hotter than in most players." Martin "will be the face of the Dodgers." (No pressure, Russell.) There was no comment from Kurkjian if this potential could be attained while Alyssa Milano drags him down like an albatross.

On the flipside, Kurkjian did agree with a Minnesota chatter's question that Mauer "has the sweetest sideburuns in the pros."

Jamie McCourt Could Teach Her Husband a Thing or Two

And not just on the topic of leadership; how about skillful management of public relations?

Today's Financial Times had a nice piece on how Dodger President Jamie McCourt created and teaches a UCLA Anderson School MBA course on the pursuit of leadership from a female perspective. While Frank focuses on getting his picture in press opportunities that are supposed to be focused on team additions (see galleries on Kuroda, Andruw, Torre), Jamie has focused on making some substantive and meaningful contributions to the community:

Ms McCourt says she designed the class to help young women understand and appreciate that their “voices matter”. “I feel like there are a lot of voices that need to be counted,” she says. “There’s a tendency [among women] to defer a lot and I wanted this class to be a reminder to women themselves that they can make a difference.”

Ms McCourt had long wanted to teach a graduate level course on leadership for women. A few years ago, she became serious about the idea: she read all the current literature, attended seminars and conferences, wrote a syllabus and brought it to Anderson’s dean. By the following winter, she was on the faculty.

The seminar-style course includes units on how female stereotypes have evolved, how women communicate in the office and examines ways in which US businesses might stem the female brain drain. It also includes units on female entrepreneurs, female sports executives and female politicians.

In addition, Ms McCourt brings in guest speakers in different fields and industries. Past speakers have included Gloria Steinem, the noted feminist writer, Sherry Lansing, former chairman and chief executive of Paramount, as well as film producers and local politicians.

“These guests talk about decision points in their lives, what propelled them, what held them back, and what they wished they’d done differently,” says Ms McCourt. “It becomes a very personal class. The rule of the day is: what’s said here, stays here.”

Kudos to Jamie and the Dodgers. Unlike Jamie (MBA from Sloan/MIT), it doesn't appear that Frank has an MBA...perhaps he can take notes (literally)?

Oscar Gamble: Academy Award Nominations Announced; Norbit Honored

PICTURE Atonement, Juno, Michael Clayton, No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood

ACTOR George Clooney, Michael Clayton; Daniel Day-Lewis, There Will Be Blood; Johnny Depp, Sweeney Todd; Tommy Lee Jones, In the Valley of Elah; Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises

ACTRESS Cate Blanchett, Elizabeth: The Golden Age; Julie Christie, Away from Her; Marion Cotillard, La Vie en Rose; Laura Linney, The Savages; Ellen Page, Juno

SUPPORTING ACTOR Casey Affleck, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; Javier Bardem, No Country for Old Men; Philip Seymour Hoffman, Charlie Wilson’s War; Hal Holbrook, Into the Wild; Tom Wilkinson, Michael Clayton

SUPPORTING ACTRESS Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There; Ruby Dee, American Gangster; Saoirse Ronan, Atonement; Amy Ryan, Gone Baby Gone; Tilda Swinton, Michael Clayton

DIRECTOR Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Jason Reitman, Juno; Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton; Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men; Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAYDiablo Cody, Juno; Nancy Oliver, Lars and the Real Girl; Tony Gilroy, Michael Clayton; Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird, Ratatouille; Tamara Jenkins, The Savages

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY Christopher Hampton, Atonement; Sarah Polley, Away from Her; Ronald Harwood, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men; Paul Thomas Anderson, There Will Be Blood

ANIMATED FEATURE Persepolis, Ratatouille, Surf's Up

ART DIRECTION Arthur Max (art direction), Beth A. Rubino (set decoration), American Gangster; Sarah Greenwood (art direction), Katie Spencer (set decoration), Atonement; Dennis Gassner (art direction), Anna Pinnock (set decoration), The Golden Compass; Dante Ferretti (art direction), Francesca Lo Schiavo (set decoration), Sweeney Todd; Jack Fisk (art direction), Jim Erickson (set decoration), There Will Be Blood

CINEMATOGRAPHY Roger Deakins, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford; Seamus McGarvey, Atonement; Janusz Kaminski, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Roger Deakins, No Country for Old Men; Robert Elswit, There Will Be Blood

COSTUME DESIGN Albert Wolsky, Across the Universe; Jacqueline Durran, Atonement; Alexandra Byrne, Elizabeth: The Golden Age; Marit Allen, La Vie en Rose; Colleen Atwood, Sweeney Todd

DOCUMENTARY No End in Sight, Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, Sicko, Taxi to the Dark Side, War/Dance

DOCUMENTARY SHORT "Freeheld," "La Corona (The Crown)," "Salim Baba," "Sari’s Mother"

FILM EDITING Christopher Rouse, The Bourne Ultimatum; Juliette Welfling, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Jay Cassidy, Into the Wild; Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, No Country for Old Men; Dylan Tichenor, There Will Be Blood

FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM Beaufort, The Counterfeiters, Katyń, Mongol, 12

MAKEUP Didier Lavergne, Jan Archibald, La Vie en Rose; Rick Baker, Kazuhiro Tsuji, Norbit; Ve Neill, Martin Samuel, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

ORIGINAL SCORE Dario Marianelli, Atonement; Alberto Iglesias, The Kite Runner; James Newton Howard, Michael Clayton; Michael Giacchino, Ratatouille; Marco Beltrami, 3:10 to Yuma

ORIGINAL SONG "Falling Slowly" from Once, Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova; "Happy Working Song" from Enchanted, Music by Alan Menken, Lyric by Stephen Schwartz; "Raise It Up" from August Rush; "So Close" from Enchanted, Music by Alan Menken, Lyric by Stephen Schwartz; "That’s How You Know" from Enchanted, Music by Alan Menken, Lyric by Stephen Schwartz

ANIMATED SHORT "I Met the Walrus," "Madame Tutli-Putli," "Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)," "My Love (Moya Lyubov)," "Peter & the Wolf"

LIVE ACTION SHORT "At Night," "Il Supplente (The Substitute)," "Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)," "Tanghi Argentini," "The Tonto Woman"

SOUND EDITING Karen Baker Landers, Per Hallberg, The Bourne Ultimatum; Skip Lievsay, No Country for Old Men; Randy Thom, Michael Silvers, Ratatouille; Matthew Wood, There Will Be Blood; Ethan Van der Ryn, Mike Hopkins, Transformers

SOUND MIXING Scott Millan, David Parker, Kirk Francis, The Bourne Ultimatum; Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff, Peter Kurland, No Country for Old Men; Randy Thom, Michael Semanick, Doc Kane, Ratatouille; Paul Massey, David Giammarco, Jim Stuebe, 3:10 to Yuma; Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell, Peter J. Devlin, Transformers

VISUAL EFFECTS Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris, Trevor Wood, The Golden Compass; John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson, John Frazier, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End; Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl, John Frazier, Transformers

Eddie Murphy = Nostradamus

Now if only he had the same luck predicting his lovelife, he could have avoided that recent one week marriage.

Congrats to Delino DeShields (who was one Michelob Ultra away from a stroke) and the rest of Giants Nation for the ugly win. Next stop: flattening Tom Brady, his supposed gimpy foot, and his fully functional anatomy!

Kansas City Unveils Architectural Tribute to Julia Schultz' Anatomy

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Julia Schultz Moving to Kansas City

Royals Sign Tomko (MLB Trade Rumors)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Friday, January 18, 2008

Dodgers and Padres to Square Off in China

Hey, I guess walking around Shanghai with a Dodgers/Sons of Steve Garvey sandwich board advertisement paid dividends! The Dodgers will announce next week that they will play the Padres in China this preseason:

BEIJING (AP) - New Dodgers manager Joe Torre and Padres Hall of Famer Dave Winfield are scheduled to appear at a reception on Jan. 24 to announce Major League Baseball's first games in China, exhibitions between Los Angeles and San Diego on March 15-16.

MLB also is opening its season in Japan for the third time when the World Series champion Boston Red Sox play the Oakland Athletics at the Tokyo Dome on March 25-26.

Sure, this puts even more screws to poor Vero Beach. But I can just picture Rick Monday salivating to make this call: "Kemp goes back, way back, to the wall, to the GREAT wall...".

ESPN Fantasy Wonk Positions Pierre as Kemp Roadblock

ESPN Fantasy Sports' Eric Karabell, who looks sort of like a young John Clayton, wrote today that Matt Kemp's fantasy numbers (i.e., 500 PAs) will likely be blocked by Joe Torre's insistence on playing Slappy Pierre: (insider only, so link may not work)

Matt Kemp, Dodgers: His minor league stats scream emerging superstar, and I think Kemp will likely get there. How can Joe Torre keep him out of the lineup? Well, he can. Kemp needs to have a good spring and produce like a middle-of-the-order hitter, or else Andre Ethier will steal at-bats. What about Juan Pierre, you ask? Look, the guy has a monster contract and while he isn't a good fielder or, for that matter, much of a hitter, what he does he does well, and I don't see Torre benching Pierre. He's going to bat second and steal his normal 50 bases. Andruw Jones is a nice comeback candidate, and starts regularly for his run production and defense. Kemp should beat out Ethier, or a trade will solve this situation, but the bottom line is unless I can project more than 500 plate appearances for Kemp, and right now I can't, I can't project the 25-90-15 season we'd all love.

God, I hope Torre is smarter than this, or I'll have to start spiking his green tea.

Happy 49 1/3th Birthday, Orel Hershiser!

Orel Hershiser's 49th birthday was such a seminal event in the sports world that the NFL is doing it again four months later. On Orel's birthday last year (Sept 16), New England destroyed San Diego 38-14 and Green Bay beat down the Giants 35-13. On January 21 of this year, the NFL is re-staging those matchups via the two Conference Championship Games. Is it coincidence that this year's Super Bowl lands on the day after Groundhog Day?

Anyhow, if this Sunday's matchups provide the same results, I guess the Chargers and Giants will be headed home. And if your Sept 16 was anything like mine, I guess you'll also watch the D-Backs beat the Dodgers 6-1, go catch a late afternoon showing of Mr. Woodcock, then, after getting denied admittance to Orel's birthday event, head crosstown and sneak into Ed Begley's Jr's 58th birthday gathering.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Commissioner Sticking Around

Love him or hate him, Bud Selig isn't going anywhere.

Selig given 3-year contract extension through 2012 (AP/Yahoo! Sports)

Bring on this Little S--T !

The Red Sox are coming to Los Angeles, in a one-time pre-season battle in the city's second worst sporting arena, and you can get your tickets here. (Note: We do not endorse the website Goldstar, and they sure as f--k don't sponsor us). I hope I can get my usual USC season tickets behind the endzone, so I can catch a towering Juan Pierre dinger.

I'm normally cautious of exhibition matches. In the WWF, it was a cheap way for the champ to lose and still keep his belt. But as Rocky Balboa showed us, an exhibition battle can lead to twelve rounds of blood, sweat, and slow motion montages.

I'm missing the old whining, martyr Boston fan. Hopefully this season will end their cocky veneers, FOREVER! And what better place to start than the same stadium where Raiders fans regularly pummeled everything they touched (including their chances of keeping a football team in this city).

97-Year Old Rejects Public's Affection, Also Wants You to Get Off His Lawn

Who the heck does John Wooden think he is? The LA Times reports today that UCLA officials have told fans they may no longer ask for the legendary coach's autograph at Pauley Pavilion. Apparently, he would prefer to watch the game uninterrupted, rather than address his line of 10-15 fans which runs continuously through games.

Before Wednesday's weekly media session began, spokesman Marc Dellins asked that the word be put out that fans won't be allowed to continuously walk up to the former coach during games and ask for autographs and that Wooden will no longer sign autographs during games at Pauley.

Wooden always finds it difficult to turn down requests and although most fans are pleasant and patient, it is not uncommon to see a line of 10 or 15 lined up in the narrow aisle at Pauley waiting for an autograph.

Dellins said the request came from Wooden's family. "He's coming to watch the game and enjoy the game," Dellins said.

It seems to me that if Wooden wanted to watch a UCLA basketball game interrupted, he should have stayed on as head coach, where no one could bother him. He made the choice to retire in 1975 (right before his tenth and final NCAA championship), and now, 33 years later, he's paying the consequences. What, we're supposed to respect your wishes just because you're the greatest college basketball coach in the history of the sport, a UCLA legend, and a wonderful man and role model? Come on.

I suppose, alongside his quotes of "Failing to prepare is preparing to fail" and "Intensity makes you stronger; emotionalism makes you weaker", we can add "Don't bother me during a basketball game (unless you're bringing me a churro and a coke)".

photo: Lori Shepler/LAT

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Derek Lowe Becomes Resident Team Giant

Mark Hendrickson was picked up by the Marlins in a one-year deal for $1.5M. I'm sure he'll pick up right where Dontrelle Willis left off.

In other news, the Dodgers' chances of a >4 game win streak have substantially improved.

Dodgers Mailbag Highlights: How To Say Something Without Saying Something

Ken Gurnick delicately slaloms his way through this week's Dodgers mailbag. But the last two questions of the mailbag demonstrate that Gurnick is clearly rapping the flags with his pole as he passes:

Some fans have been condemning Ned Colletti for signing Juan Pierre last year, placing a lot of blame on his throwing. Is there a stat to track how many runners actually did advance because of this throwing inability? --Pete L., Temecula, Calif.

Dan Fox of Baseball Prospectus recently wrote a column about a fielding computation system that ranked outfielders based on all-around defensive play, not just throwing arm, but also factoring in range, extra bases taken by runners, stadium variations and the like. Fox had Pierre ranked 21st and last among qualifying Major League center fielders. Andruw Jones was 10th, Aaron Rowand was 15th and Coco Crisp first. Andre Ethier was 11th among right fielders.

So what Gurnick is saying is, "yes, there is a statistic to measure defensive abilities, and yes, Pierre is dead last in the MLB at his position. Suck that, Neddie!"

Has Rich Donnelly landed anywhere? --Charles V., Las Vegas

Donnelly, the Dodgers' third-base coach the last two years, has been hired by the Pittsburgh Pirates to serve as a Minor League supervisor.

"Even the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates wouldn't dare put Donnelly in the third base coach's box."

Johan Santana, Now Available at Discount

...on Santana's wall cling, originally priced at $100, is now $40.

I am sad that there are no Dodgers players available.

I find it hilarious, though, that the only Giant (Barry Zito) is also half-price. And, unlike Santana, he's not rumored to be on the trading block, so it isn't just an obsolescence issue...or is it???

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Go Blue!

Two sets of blue critters are celebrating their 50th anniversary. A quick glance at the two groups:
Smurfs Dodgers
Color of choice: Blue Blue
Celebrating 50th anniversary of: Their creation Their move to Los Angeles
1965 triumph: Debut of B&W animated series in Belgium 4th World Series Title
1981 triumph: Debut of color animated series in US 5th World Series Title
1992 tragedy: Death of creator, Belgian cartoonist Peyo Worst record in baseball, 63-99
Typical unintelligible quote: "Let's go smurfing on the River Smurf!" "They have a tendency to do things you just can't believe, and turn around and do something you can't believe." - Grady Little, 8/22/07*
Female who services group: Smurfette Alyssa Milano

*thanks to for recording this quote

When Power Pellets Go Wild, Pt. 2

Pacman accused of punching woman at strip club (


Atlanta woman withdraws petition to arrest 'Pacman' for alleged assault (

Monday, January 14, 2008

Bud Light: False Advertising

Driving around Los Angeles this week, I spotted a Bud Light outdoor ad with the tagline: "Endless Refreshment / Superior Drinkability".

Now, I don't know how to refute "superior drinkability," given the latter term isn't even a word. Even if one defines "drinkability" as "the ability of the item to be drunk," the relative comparison gives Bud Light the excuse that it could be measured relative to some incredibly viscous substance, like tar for example.

But as for the former claim of "endless refreshment," I submit to you the following photo evidence:

"Endless" is a bit of stretch, don't you think? I think the refreshment ended precisely twenty seconds before this shot was taken. If not sooner.

Where to Eat Around Dodger Stadium: Philippe the Original

Ken Gurnick's post on recapped minor league mini-camp, a new addition to the Dodger winter regimen. Mini-camp consists of morning workouts and afternoon "classroom sessions" given by number of different guest speakers, ranging from organization representatives like Duke Snider, celebrities like John Wooden, and Jim Hill.

"The idea," said [Asst GM for Player Development De Jon] Watson, "is to bring in guys recently promoted to the 40-man roster and the core of our younger players who might reach the Major Leagues in 2008 or 2009 and get them prepared and accustomed to the surroundings -- where to go to eat, how to get into the ballpark. It can be overwhelming and intimidating the first time. We're trying to create a comfort level and make the transition easier."

I had to chuckle when reading "how to get into the ballpark" was "overwhelming and intimidating." Longtime SoSG readers know how dissatisfied we are with the convoluted and inefficient parking lot system introduced, to widespread derision, by Frank McCourt last year. I haven't seen any news that McCourt's Labyrinth (sounds like a Guillermo Del Toro movie) will be back for 2008, but I am not at all hopeful when I hear that the organization feels the need to hold a classroom training session to teach its own players how to navigate their way to the Stadium.

But rather than get (further) sidetracked on the parking point (like many a motorist at Dodger Stadium, I might add), I'd like to opine on my favorite pre-Dodger game eating establishment: Philippe the Original. In my family it was known as "Philippe's" and on those special occasions before Dodger games (which meant, if we made it to the stadium well ahead of time), my father would stop at the corner of Ord and Alameda and take us all in to get a French Dip sandwich from the birthplace of the French Dip.

All of the French Dip sandwiches are great, but I was always partial to the pork sandwich until I read a review stating the little-known secret was the lamb sandwich with the blue cheese sprinkled on top. That one is amazing too. Philippe has a long menu of assorted sides and a surprisingly long wine list (I seem to recall a Cakebread chardonnay and a Silver Oak cabernet are on the list, which is stunning). And it must be topped off with a slice of pie.

The food was always great--now that I'm older, I'm also especially fond of the 10-cent cups of coffee--but the real magic of Philippe is the proletarian nature of the whole joint, most reflected in the crowd of its diners. There, seated in rows of long communal tables and short stools, sit Los Angeles locals of all races, socioeconomic levels, backgrounds, professions, and ages. People at each table share the horseradish mustard, as well as conversation, usually about the Dodgers. And floors are littered with a fine layer of sawdust that has probably been there for generations. In fact, replace "sawdust" with "peanut shells", and what you've got is basically the crowd and environment at Dodger Stadium. There are no boundaries or divides among Dodger fans. And it's great.

Some day, I'll come with a hammer and chisel and try and etch out my name on one of the brick walls in one of the upstairs dining rooms. Like I would ever be that early for a Dodger game, right?

P.S. As I am always on the hunt for great eats, please comment with your own pre-Dodger game suggestions...

LaRoche Only Has One Veteran With Which to Compete

Scott Rolen was traded to the Blue Jays today for Troy Glaus. There, it's done, we can stop Rolen these rumors around. I was getting Glaussy-eyed just thinking about them.

It's your job to win, Andy!

Caption Contest: You Decide

What is Josh Rawitch telling these minor leaguers?

What is Josh Rawitch telling these minor leaguers?
"never untuck your shirt untill you are inside the clubhouse"
"If you grow a mustache Jeff Kent will like you more."
"Bob Harvey is a disgrace to the dodger brass"
"Just hold your hands like this and say 'Me? I didn't do nuthin'."
"Welcome to the benchwarmers meeting."
"Jeff Kent's range is about this big"
"So I says to him, 'HEY LAMA... how 'bout a little somethin', you know, for the trouble...' "
"If you're happy and you know it clap your hands . . ."
"No kidding. Takashi Saito...THIS BIG. I've seen it myself."
"...Sure enough, he missed my head by this much. And then Brownie took a swing at me, and I sucker-punched his ass into the watercooler."
Free polls from

photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

R.I.P., Johnny Podres

Brooklyn hero Podres dies at 75 (AP/

Friday, January 11, 2008

Caption Contest

What is Josh Rawitch telling these minor leaguers?

photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

SoSG Shouts Out to China Fanbase

...though the funny thing is, it can't hear us. The things you learn when you travel...

SoSG's own Steve Sax has spent the last week in China, both in Hong Kong and Shanghai, walking around the streets with a sandwich board in an attempt to drum up more readers for Sons of Steve Garvey. And as it turns out, one is blocked from SoSG (and assumedly all blogger blogs) in Shanghai, though Hong Kong readers can access our site without restriction.

This may affect how many Hong-Chih Kuo posts we write in 2008. Xeifrank, be forwarned. It's not like we're not trying to give the people what they want.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Winter Workout Wonderland

Wes Parker, James Loney, Don Mattingly

Andy LaRoche, Matt Kemp

Stan Conte, Andruw Jones

photos by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

A Belated Look at Other Dodger Employees in the Rose Parade

As much as we celebrate them, the Dodgers aren't all Vinny and Jaime and Tommy and Loney and Penny and Garvey. Thirteen longtime Dodger employees were selected to walk alongside the Dodger float in this year's Rose Parade:

name position years of service
Ray Alvarado usher captain 11
Cheryl Collins guest relations 7
Diana Darr usher captain 16
Earl Davidson usher captain 15
Eddie Gonzalez assistant manager 44!
Raul Gutierrez security and assistant manager 9
Sara Guzman usher captain 13
Anthony Lopez usher captain 29
Richard Montano security lead 26
Raul Rodriguez assistant manager 19
Jim Terminal usher captain 19
Al Garcia security 2
John Northcott security 2

Two lucky employees won the chance to ride on the float: Danny Telford, an electrician with 10 years of service, and Kevin Waters, a stadium utility worker with 25 years of service.

Congrats to all employees! So...did you get paid?


Check out Xeifrank's parade photos. Ernest at Blue Heaven has also scoured the internet for parade pictures.

photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

"But in my heart, I'm a DODGERS FAN"

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Chick Fight Could Cost Dodgers

From "Dodger fan seeks $1 million over parking lot punch" (reg.) at the LA Times:

Weeks before spring training, the Los Angeles Dodgers got an early workout this morning as jurors heard a woman claim she lost partial vision after an abusive, foul-mouthed fan hit her after a Sunday afternoon game against archrival San Francisco.

The central issue in the Los Angeles County Superior Court lawsuit is whether the Dodgers provided enough security at the ballpark in Chavez Ravine. Marta Parra Helenius, a 31-year-old nurse, claims the team didn't follow its own rules on how to handle unruly fans, leading to the assault and making her legally blind in one eye.

Helenius was punched in the parking lot after the San Francisco Giants pulled out a dramatic, ninth-inning victory on July 17, 2005, before 47,000 spectators. Denise Ordaz was charged with hitting Helenius, pleaded no contest and was sentenced to 270 days in jail last year.

Fans have been killed at Dodger Stadium and this piece of foxy boxing causes a lawsuit? We eagerly await the final decision.


Rob at 6-4-2 brings some perspective:

At first I thought this was just another silly lawsuit, but it looks like the woman involved has suffered serious physical injury. Since the assault seems to have taken place on the Dodger Stadium grounds, there's at least a whiff of culpability, though honestly it's not clear what Dodgers security could have done differently.

My reaction is to avoid going to Giants games altogether. It seems to draw the worst kind of morons into the stadium.


Dodgers cleared in stadium assault (LA Times (reg.)) (hat tip: 6-4-2)

James Loney Is Everywhere

James Loney is everywhere! In addition to riding on the Dodgers' Rose Parade Float, he's been a man about town. From Inside the Dodgers:

James Loney visited Mattel Children's Hospital and spent some time with the young patients there. He was in town for the Rose Parade and asked if he could go back to the hospital again, having visited it earlier this year, so it's great to see our young players getting involved in the community on their own.

He asked if he could go back to the hospital. He asked!

From the LA Times (reg.):

Dodgers first baseman James Loney attended practice and played a game of H-O-R-S-E with Sam Cassell.

Predictably, the basketball player trumped the baseball player.

"If he is out here shooting jumpers with you, then you have to try and hit a curveball with him," quipped Neil Olshey, the Clippers' director of player personnel.

James also attended Thursday's Lakers game. From Roman's Empire:

The most ridiculous moment of the night came when James Loney did an in game interview with Joel Myers and Stu Lantz. Either Loney is really, really soft spoken, or he was high as a kite. He must have said a total of 15 words in like 10 questions. The highlight was of course when he was asked to describe th adjustment between Houston (his hometown) and LA.

"Out here people try to get their hustle on," he said.

We hope James is more soft-spoken and less busy getting his hustle on. Glad to see he's got the Hollywood thing down by being seen all over town. Let's just hope he doesn't start spending time with Dr. Phil.

photo by Juan Ocampo/Dodgers

Sunday, January 06, 2008

SoSG Presents: Better Know a Blogger

In the dead of winter, there's not much baseball to talk about. So we turn our gaze upon ourselves. Longtime readers of SoSG—hi Mom!—may recognize the individual styles of my esteemed colleagues, but for those who don't, here's a SoSG primer:

STEVE SAX: Saxy is prolific and thoughtful, and a bit more fond of puns and puzzles than most. He's unafraid to be critical, but he's also probably the most die-hard Dodger fan of the Sons. After all, who else would have the connections to admit James Loney into the Free James Loney Society?

OREL: Me! I bring the random to our "random rantings and ravings." For Better or For Worse, Sammy Davis Jr., boot-shaped beer stein...nothing is too random. Shirt! I'm also proud to have helped bring Dodger fans pictures of rookie hazing (as well as of barely-SFW truly fine babes).

ERIC KARROS: EK doesn't post lightly. While Saxy and I are plastering the refrigerator with crayon drawings, EK is finishing the lava-spewing volcano model that will win first place at the science fair. Witness the inaugural Abes vs Babes campaign, EK's latest custom video and the sexiest graph you'll see.

DELINO DESHIELDS: The Delino blogs fearlessly where other Sons don't tread. Where else can you find so much Hebraic goodness commingled with classy entertainment the likes of Gymkata, Norman Fell and Zardoz? The Delino is also a Simpsons fan, which increases his virility.

LASORDA: SoSG's resident sabermetrician, Lasorda can be counted on for some good ol' number crunching. Lasorda is a busy fellow, but when he checks in you can also expect something insightful and amusing.

PEDRO GUERRERO: Pete is a man of few words—words such as DOMINICANO!, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! and Boring—but those words get your attention (comment #23). Also a rabid and knowledgeable Lakers fan, Pete has a love/hate relationship with Kobe Bryant (currently in loving mode, I'm guessing).

ALEX CORA: The most elusive Son! A post from AC is quite an event, but during the season he's quite active in the comments sections, especially in Game Threads. Some of our best humor can be found in AC's comments.

The Sons of Steve Garvey: a Mötley Crüe united by love for the Blue. Here's to a fun 2008!

The Days of Being Outraged by Kevin Brown's Private Jet Are Over

From "Baseball contracts check out the bonus room" (reg.) by Kevin Baxter at the LA Times:

Japanese players, meanwhile, have never been shy in requesting perks -- so much so that the size and breadth of those bonus packages have become a status symbol back home.

When pitcher Masahide Kobayashi negotiated his contract with the Cleveland Indians in early December, in addition to a $3-million annual base salary, the big league rookie got the club to agree to pay for eight round-trip business-class plane tickets between Japan and Cleveland, plus a translator, a personal trainer, a car and a moving allowance of up to $25,000.

He also got the team to promise not to demote him to the minors without his written consent.

So when Hiroki Kuroda signed with the Dodgers two weeks later, he made sure to one-up his countryman, asking for eight first-class tickets, an interpreter for his family as well as English lessons for himself, a personal trainer who doubles as a masseuse and a moving allowance of $30,000.

And the Dodgers, who will also pay Kuroda's visa fees, agreed that he, too, cannot be sent to the minors without written consent.

I guess we just got married to Kuroda, because we're stuck with him for better or for worse.