I don't usually check company e-mail on weekends. But it's a good thing I did, because Josh Suchon, co-host of post-game DodgerTalk on KABC, was inviting me to appear as a guest on yesterday's show. Josh and his partner Ken Levine are planning on expanding their Sunday guest repertoire to include perspectives from bloggers and minor league affiliates. And guess who they wanted to bat leadoff? Quite an honor. (Boy, they won't make that mistake again!)
Seriously, kudos to Ken & Josh for helping to give us bloggers a bigger voice, and thanks to them for being great interviewers. Here's a transcript:
Ken Levine: ...gentlemen who is one of the blogmasters—that what we call ourselves, blogmasters?—of Sons of Steve Garvey dot com, this is Orel. Usually, it's in tribute to Orel Hershiser, but today since it's Easter, it's in tribute to Oral Roberts.
Josh Suchon: Okay.
Ken: Orel, welcome to KABC.
SoSG Orel: Hi guys, thanks for having me on.
Ken: How long have you had this blog?
Orel: We are in our third year, so in internet years I guess that makes us, you know, senior citizens.
Josh: Tell us—I love the name, by the way, "Sons of Steve Garvey"—who came up with the idea and have you ever met Steve?
Orel: Funny you should ask that. One of our bloggers, who goes under the name of Lasorda, came up with it—I think he was inspired by the Red Sox fansite Sons of Sam Horn. But it turns out that one of us has met Steve Garvey, and not only is Mr. Garvey aware of us, but it turns out also he has a pretty good sense of humor. I think he called us honorary sons, so it doesn't get any cooler than that.
Josh: Well, Mark Loretta used to have the bumper sticker that said "Steve Garvey is not my Padre."
Ken: And he is a good sport about it, because he'll show up at Dodger Stadium in the parking lot—invariably someone will yell "Dad!" So he is kind of used to it. Now how many of you are there?
Orel: There are seven of us, so we each took the name of, you know, an iconic Dodger, a beloved Dodger icon. Or in one of our cases, Delino DeShields, for some reason.
"If you took all the money that we have made from this blog, we could easily have a field day at Starbucks. Venti anything."
Josh: I would assume that this is a hobby, and it's probably none of my business to ask if you make any money off this, but I will in case anyone else is think of starting their own blog about the Dodgers, about anything. I would not think that this is a full-time job.
Orel: Well, frankly that's none of your business....
Josh: Well done.
Orel: No, I mean, if you took all the money that we have made from this blog, we could easily have a field day at Starbucks. Venti anything.
Ken: Lattes all around!
Ken: So how do you divvy it up? Does one person write every Tuesday? Does one person write on the weekends? How does it work?
Orel: Well, you know, our mission statement includes the phrase "random rantings and ravings." So that should pretty much give you an idea of the tone. We just kind of fire at will and if we step all over each other, so be it.
Josh: Nice, that's very nice. In terms of—some blogs are kind of dedicated to breaking down numbers, the sabermetricians, some are just about venting. Because there are seven different voices, is it almost like seven different blogs in one? Or what other types of things do you try to specialize in?
Orel: Well, we're saber-friendly. I wouldn't say we're saber-obsessed. You know, the blog has become a really good creative outlet for us, so we're not so much focused on the numbers as we are basically on mostly the on-field play and the front office. But, you know, especially during the season—we've got readers from all over, from Alaska to Venezuela to, you know, Turkey. So we just kind of want to make it like a local tavern where people can pull up a chair, have a cold one, and rant and rave about the Dodgers. Kind of like a place where, you know, everyone knows your name.
Josh: Awww, you know something about that, Ken.
Ken: Yes I do. We're talking with Orel, and that's not his name. He is one of the blogmasters of Sons of Steve Garvey dot com. So how often do you get people writing in that Josh and I are idiots?
Orel: Well, Josh, that's your e-mail, right? That you sent that under? So, a couple times a day.
Ken: Yeah, okay. Only a couple? We're not doing our job.
Josh: Yeah, we'll try harder. Orel, so I know that the Dodgers have been trying to embrace their bloggers a whole lot more lately, and they had a day last year where a lot of the bloggers came out and saw Dodger Stadium and got to talk with Ned Colletti. Were you part of that experience?
Orel: Yes. Big props to Josh Rawitch, actually your ex-nemesis, I guess.
Orel: He's the VP of Communications for the Dodgers and he was really savvy. He invited a bunch of us to have a suite for a game early in the season, and so we got to meet a lot of our fellow bloggers, who were thankfully a really diverse and kind of a—well, you know the whole stereotype about the bloggers and we all came into the suite and we were all actually like, Wow, it's a really cool bunch of people. And then in addition to picking our jaws off the ground from being in a suite, in comes Ned Colletti to talk to us about, you know, the plans for that season. That was followed by Frank McCourt and then the topper was having Tommy coming in and tell a few of his stories. And so it was just I think a really wise move on their part.
Ken: The other Lasorda.
Josh: Now let me follow up, because the whole idea of the blogs is we're not there every day, we don't have to be chummy with the players and the coaches and the executives so we can shoot from the hip and we can rip them more. I mean, did it change your perspective in terms of maybe giving people the benefit of the doubt more?
Orel: That's a really good question because, you know, we had always—it's kind of easy to sit in your mom's basement and rip on Frank McCourt and Jamie and whole organization, so it did give us the human side of it. But we had to also be careful to, you know, not let that affect—when we do have criticisms, we use publicly available information, and we present it in a fair manner and, you know, we provide a forum for feedback and, talk to our listeners—I mean, talk to our readers. So we try to really be—I hate to use this term, but fair and balanced.
Ken: No, fair and balanced?
Josh: That's not fair.
Ken: So when Ned came and spoke to all you guys, was the first thing he asked, "Which one of you is the blogmaster of Fire Ned Colletti?"
Orel: Fire Ned Colletti I don't believe was in operation at that point, but if we get the honor of coming back, he might pop that question.
"And then Randy Wolf today who, well, what's the opposite of gas? Coal? He threw coal?"
Josh: All right Orel, we're kind of running out of time here but: One week into the season, give us your thoughts about this Dodger team.
Orel: Well, you know, it was weird going into the season thinking that we were projected to have—our bats were projected to be stronger than our pitchers. But, you know, after that kind of heroic spot-start from Stults yesterday and then Randy Wolf today who, well, what's the opposite of gas? Coal? He threw coal? So, you know, it's too early to tell, I think, what the state of—you know, if you had given me the under/over before one of our starters went on the DL, I would have taken over one week. I think it's hard to tell with the pitching staff, but I've been really pleased with the defense, and especially guys like Kemp and Loney. Kemp seems more comfortable at the plate, he seems really comfortable in center field, taking great routes and getting great jumps, and Loney, I hope one day he's going to win a Gold Glove.
Ken: Okay, again the site is Sons of Steve Garvey dot com. Orel, thanks very much. Look forward to reading you all year long. And defend us once in a while, would ya, when they say we're morons over here?
Orel: Just put the check in the mail and we'll take care of it.
Ken: You got it.
Josh: Well done.