Monday, August 31, 2009

Post-Game 132 Thread: Thome Now Our Homie; Dodgers Hang Garland


Dodgers Acquire Jim Thome (MLB Trade Rumors)

Dodgers Acquire Jon Garland (MLB Trade Rumors)

Game 132 Thread: August 31 vs. Serpientes, 7p

Randy Wolf (9-6, 3.25) vs. Doug Davis (7-11, 3.75).

COMMENTS: The Dodgers have won three series in a row. But they lost two of three games to Arizona before that streak. But the Snakes' last loss to the Dodgers kicked off a string of seven straight losses for them. And the Dodgers dodge a bullet in missing Dan Haren. But the D-bax are coming off a sweep of Houston. But the Dodgers have their most reliable starter in Wolf going tonight. And Arizona is without Jon Rauch (traded to the Twins) and Chad Qualls (injured yesterday). Ergo, if the Dodgers can knock Davis out early and get to the soft underbelly of AZ's bullpen, they can tread all over the Snakes.

Zombie Remaking Blob; Giants Sign Penny

Rob Zombie to remake 'The Blob' (Variety)

Giants add Penny for pitching depth (

UPDATE: Rockies Acquire Jose Contreras (MLB Trade Rumors)

(Thanks to SoSG readers Dusty Baker and Bryan for the Penny tip!)

Boosting The Bison

Jon Weisman over at Dodger Thoughts did a great job at highlighting Bill Plaschke's recent valentine to Matt Kemp, which reflects a change of heart from his earlier rips on Kemp. Writes Jon:

Well, Plaschke's new column for Monday's editions of The Times shows he has come to appreciate Kemp's value – as have presumably Kemp's earlier detractors – although not without a few parting shots. "His infamous baserunning blunders? He deals with them." [...]

Not every prospect pans out. Some seem to pan out and then disappoint you later. On the other hand, not every prospect is Joel Guzman or Chuck Tiffany. The Kemp example reminds us how careful you need to be before you give up on prospects – how carefully you need to evaluate them – as well as the danger of buying into a convenient story line at the expense of a meaningful one.

One of the great things about Weisman's DT work is that there's a body of work long enough to track longitudinal changes, both in a player's development and skill advancement, as well as a columnist's opinions. I imagine that exposing Plaschke's turnabout (as well as suffering through his template-driven writing style), must be a delicate operation for a LATimes-associated (and funded) blog; meanwhile, other Dodger blogs (namely MSTI and ourselves, for starters) can point out the logical flaws and irrational "reasoning" with scrutiny and vitriol. Weisman does a nice job at putting down a smackdown in a polite, courteous fashion.

But back to the subject: Kemp is indeed worthy of a valentine from his local paper's columnist, and I'm glad he got it. I was also pleased to see the Kemp montage inserted into Fox's Saturday broadcast of the Dodgers/Reds game, giving him some national (regional?) publicity. Kemp leads the team in batting average and OBP, is second in HR and RBI, and third in OPS.

Sure, he still makes baserunning gaffes, like getting picked off second base Saturday to squelch a sixth-inning rally (in a game the Dodgers went on to romp anyway, partially fueled by a Kemp three-run HR in the seventh). Without Kemp and Andre Ethier pacing the team through all of its ups and downs, there is no way we'd be leading the league, let alone the division (a point to which Peter Gammons refers in his most recent column, in the course of pointing out that Manny Ramirez's post-suspension play has been akin to the period where Gammons thinks he "quit" prior to leaving the Red Sox).

Let's take a second to praise the Bison, and at least celebrate the fact that this Bison isn't an endangered species any longer for the Dodgers.

ESPN Swears They Watch West Coast Games, Yet Forget To Mention League-Leading Dodgers' Arms

Steve Berthiaume of Baseball Tonight focuses today's column on the west coast, protesting that the BBTN staff over at Bristol do in fact stay up to watch the west coast games:

There's always the East Coast bias conspiracy theory, which states that we don't pay enough attention to West Coast teams. For those out there who subscribe to that theory, this one's for you.

We here at "Baseball Tonight" watch every West Coast game. In fact, we don't leave for the night until the last out is recorded in the last game. So I dedicated this week strictly to some of the best and perhaps most unheralded West Coast arms I've watched this season.

Let's start with the A's Michael Wuertz...

Cue sound effect of car slamming on brakes. What? Michael Wuertz, whose team is over 20 games off the divisional pace (though to be fair, only 19 games off the wild card)?

Berthiaume goes on to mention arms from the Mariners, Rockies, and Giants. No mention of Randy Wolf. Or Chad Billingsley. Or Clayton Kershaw. Or Jonathan Broxton. None. Nah, let's leave off the Dodgers; why devote time to them when we can cover the Yankees and Red Sox?

Look, I believe that the BBTN staff stays up to watch west coast on Sunday August 30, when all the games ended before 7p ET.

Stay Classy, NBC LA

Two firefighters have lost their lives. Hundreds are evacuating. Fires are raging. And NBC LA's there, providing us with the hard-hitting coverage we need.

Hope all you SoSG-maniacs are out of harm's way, and getting your important news from any other channel or website than NBC-LAme.

And for the record, the Delino is officially not bored with Kristin Stewart stripping.

Manny Proves To Be Adequate Fill In For Pierre

Saturday marked Manny's 50th game since his return from suspension. How did those 50 games stack up against JP's 50 games during the suspension?:

Juan Pierre1
Manny Ramirez2

150-game period during Manny's suspension (5/7 - 7/1)
250-game period following suspension (7/3 - 8/29)

It's debatable whose numbers are better, but is Juan Pierre suddenly looking like a relative bargain? Interestingly, both Manny and Juan seem to suffer from the same 20-game letdown phenomenon. We showed you JP's 20/30 game splits. Let's take a look at Manny's.

Manny Ramirez's first 50 post-suspension games:

Games 1-20
Games 21-50

Hopefully he'll soon revert to his pre-suspension production levels. Stay tuned...

Mystery Competition Revealed: The Assassins' Circle

If you were brave (fool?) enough to sign up for our latest mystery competition, you are hereby initiated into "The Assassins' Circle".

(pause to allow gravity of situation to sink in)

If you hope to survive, I strongly suggest you read the following carefully...but if it's just too many words, skip down to the bottom "In Summary" for the Cliffs Notes version:

(click image to enlarge)

General Concept

  • Find yourself in the circle above. Make note of the person to whom your arrow is pointing. He/she is your 'Kill Target.' The person whose arrow is pointing at you is your 'Stalker' and is trying to kill you.
  • Your objective is to eliminate your Kill Target while avoiding elimination from your Stalker.
  • If you eliminate your Target, in the following round that person's Target is your new Target.
  • For example, Fred's Brim is targeting rbnlaw, who is targeting Dr. Geek. If Fred's Brim successfully knocks off rbnlaw, his new Target for the following round is Dr. Geek (assuming Dr. Geek wasn't also eliminated, in which case Fred Brim's new Target would be SoSG Karros).
  • After every round, the Assassins' Circle will be updated by removing the eliminated players.

How to Kill Your Kill Target

  • Starting tomorrow and on each subsequent weekday (excluding Labor Day), an Assassins' Circle "Kill Thread" will be posted at 9:00am PT. That post will be in play until 3:00pm PT.
  • You kill your target by making a comment in the Kill Thread immediately following the comment of your target. If there are any 'live' comments (defined 2 bullets below) in between yours and that of your Target, no kill has taken place.
  • In a given round, each player can eliminate only his/her target and can thus make at most one kill per round.
  • With the exception of 'The Initiator' (explained below), only the first comment in a given day by a given player is a 'live' comment. All subsequent comments will be factored out of the game (ignored) when I tally up the bloodshed at the end of the day.
  • Similarly, any comments made by those not playing, by those already eliminated, or those made after 3pm are not considered 'live' comments and also will be factored out. For clarification: 3:00pm comments are accepted. 3:01 is too late.
  • No posting under usernames similar to your own to decoy your competitors (the "Dr. Geek Rule").
  • New Rule for 2010 onward: No making side-deals or alliances with your stalker/target such as agreeing not to kill them in return for a shield (the "Faberuben" rule, named after Fred's Brim and rbnlaw who used this strategy brilliantly last year)
  • Remaining competitors cannot delete their own comments. Incidentally, we can see who deleted their own comments, so we can still score correctly, but it adds administrative tedium.
  • Any player who does not comment in the Kill Thread by 3:00pm PT is eliminated.

The Initiator

  • Because the first comment in a given thread cannot kill anyone, and thus one would be sacrificing their ability to kill if they commented first, whoever comments first is given a 2nd comment he/she can use to kill his target. This person is dubbed 'The Initiator' for that round, and his 2nd comment is called his 'kill comment'.
  • The Initiator himself cannot be killed via his 'kill comment'. In other words, The Initiator's Stalker kills him by commenting immediately following The Initiator's initial comment, not his subsequent kill comment.
  • Even if The Initiator is killed in a given round, he still gets his kill comment for that round and can try to take his Kill Target down with him (presumably out of spite).
  • The Initiator's kill comment can shield others, but it cannot shield The Initiator himself.
  • A new Initiator is determined each round by whoever comments first.

The Endgame

  • Throughout the rounds, players are eliminated either by being killed by their Stalkers, or by failing to comment by 3pm.
  • In addition to tracking who is eliminated, we will also track how many kills each player makes.
  • Kills are only awarded for explicit kills. If someone is eliminated because they failed to comment by 3pm, their Stalker is not awarded a kill.
  • If the last round eliminates all but 1 player, the game ends and that last player is declared the winner.
  • If the last round eliminates all but 2 players, the game ends. Of the two remaining players, the one who has made the most kills throughout the game will be declared the winner (if they're tied, well, we'll cross that bridge if we get to it). Thus, to win the game, you cannot just sit back and hope others are eliminated via the 3pm rule.
  • If the last round eliminates all players, the last one to die in that round wins.

To illustrate, let's look at a few example scenarios with only 4 players. Here's Example 1:

Given this configuration, let's walk through the following sample Kill Thread:

  • 9:30am - Player C comments - Because he commented first, C is The Initiator. He cannot kill anyone with this comment (as there is no preceding comment), but will has a 2nd comment (his 'kill comment') he can later use to kill his target.
  • 1:00pm - D comments - This comment is harmless because it immediately follows C, and C is not D's target. And in fact, with his comment, D has just protected C from being eliminated that round.
  • 2:15pm - B comments - This comment is also harmless because D is not B's target. B has just protected D from getting eliminated that round.
  • 2:30pm - C comments - This comment is also harmless, and C has just protected B from getting eliminated that round.
  • 3:00pm - B comments - Although B's comment immediately follows his target C, it is a harmless comment as well because it is B's 2nd comment, and only his 1st comment counts.
  • 3:01pm - A comment - It is after 3pm, too late. A is eliminated, although nobody is credited with the kill.
  • Result of Round: A is eliminated and removed from the circle, although nobody gets a kill. For the subsequent round, D's new target is B.

Example 2 (using same sample configuration):

  • 9:30am - A comments - A is now The Initiator. He gets a 2nd comment he can use to kill his target.
  • 2:00pm - B comments - This comment is harmless because it immediately followed A, and A is not B's target.
  • 2:15pm - A comments - A, who is The Initiator, uses his kill comment. It immediately follows his target B, so A has eliminated B. A is credited with a kill.
  • 2:30pm - D comments - D's comment immediately follows his target A. However it is harmless because it was A's kill comment, not his initial comment, and The Initiator can only be killed through his initial comment.
  • 3:30pm - C comments - Although C's comment immediately followed his target D, it came too late (after 3pm), and thus C is eliminated, although nobody is credited with a kill.
  • Result of Round: B and C are eliminated. Only two players remain, A and D, and A had more kills (1) than D (0), and is thus declared the winner.

In summary: It may seem complicated, but you really just need to remember 3 things: 1) comment in each day's Kill Thread on or before 3pm, 2) hope that your Stalker doesn't make a comment immediately after yours, and 3) try to comment immediately after your target so you can get credited with a kill, which you will eventually need to win the game.

Hey, we told you it was highly experimental. We do not guarantee the complete absence of rule loopholes, so please let us know if you think you see one (or if you have any questions in general). I expect the game to become self-explanatory after the first round or two. And just FYI, I'm a little scared of what I've gotten myself into administration-wise.

Anyhow, the game starts tomorrow with the first Kill Thread to be posted tomorrow, 9am PT!

New Advertising Hot Spot: Bus Benches

First, District 9 took the advertising route normally favored by local real estate agents:

Now, "Cougar Town" returns the bus bench ad to its roots — but in a national, meta sort of way:

No idea what happens when you call those numbers. Anyone want to waste 30 seconds of their day to find out?

Earlier advertising content at SoSG: Three Random Thoughts While Driving To Work Today

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pick Me A Winner

Phillies relief pitcher Scott Eyre demonstrating the world's oldest pre-appearance ritual:

Hope you found what you're looking for, Scott. And considering that he went on with runners at first and second, no outs, and allowed nobody to score, I suppose he did.

Please Identify This Piece of Classical Music

...that starts at 0:53 of this video:


Dodgers acquire Belliard from Nationals (

Take it away, SoSG readers!

JuanLove said...
idk if it was posted in the GT, but Dodgers acquired Ronnie Belliard for A-ball Pitcher Luis Garcia and a PTBNL

Nic j said...
Two belli's on the team now?

Dusty Baker said...
Three bellies if you count Broxton's.

Hell Yeah Post-Games 130 & 131 Thread: *burp*

Yesterday: DODGERS 11, REDS 4

Today: DODGERS 3, REDS 2 (12)

After feasting on Cincy pitching yesterday, the Dodger bats played like they consumed one too many servings of Skyline Chili today. The Dodgers stranded nine runners after tying the game at two in the fifth inning, including grounding into double plays in the ninth and tenth innings. But they managed to push a run across in the 12th inning after an unexpected Juan Castro double and a Matt Kemp sacrifice fly.

Jonathan Broxton pitched another tightrope inning (BB - K - PB - BB - K - K) for his 29th save.

Look out, Ray Wolf: Clayton Kershaw was great again (7.0 IP, 2 ER, 11K; 1-for-2 at the plate with an RBI), but gets his 12th ND, one behind Wolf's 13.

Player of the series: Kemp: 5-for-13, 2 HR, 5 RBIs.

Last Call!

So we have one last open spot for the upcoming SoSG Mystery Competition. First one to comment gets the spot.

Tomorrow I'll reveal what the competition is, and Tuesday it begins. Stay tuned. And here's who's filling the other 29 spots:

  1. Fred’s Brim
  2. rbnlaw
  3. Dr. Geek
  4. SoSG EK
  5. J Steve
  6. Loney Fan
  7. QuadSevens
  8. Mr. Customer
  9. John G
  10. Josh S
  11. Dusty Baker
  12. Gagne’s lucky glasses
  13. Lauro
  14. neeebs
  15. karina
  16. Wicks
  17. Paul
  18. Keven C
  19. drewdez
  20. Dusto
  21. SoSG Orel
  22. Matt
  23. Danielle
  24. SoSG Sax
  25. djansson
  26. MLASF
  27. Felix Pardalis
  28. UBragg
  29. BruceAlmighty

Game 131 Thread: August 30 @ Cincy, 10a

Skyline Chili, a Cincy favorite.

Clayton Kershaw (8-7, 2.96) vs. Bronson Arroyo (11-12, 4.43).

COMMENTS: "I love these bounce back wins, but I also get leery at scoring so many in one game," wrote SoSG reader rbnlaw, and he has a point: Every time the Dodgers have scored at least nine runs in a game this month, they've followed up by losing the next day. It's happened four times, most memorably when the Dodgers outscored the Brewers 23-14 in a series — and lost two of the three games. Now that takes some skill.

Kershaw may have a winning record, but he's winless in his past seven starts. Arroyo may have a losing record, but he has a 1.89 ERA in his past five starts. So the Dodgers are battling a few negative trends today. Let's hope the Rockies and Giants continue to beat each other up, and the Boys in Blue can outleg the Small Red Machine.

Oh, and if you've actually had Skyline Chili, please describe the experience in the comments section. I can feel my arteries thickening just by looking at that picture...but I'm strangely attracted at the same time.

I Smell Pulitzer

Jon Wilhite throws out the first pitch before yesterday's Angels-A's game.

photo by Chris Carlson/AP

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Recommended Reading

We're spoiled with Vin Scully, but it's good to know there are other inspiring MLB announcers out there:

Tampa Bay's Enrique Oliu has a great ear for color (Kevin Baxter, LA Times)

Game 130 Thread: August 29 @ Commies, 1p

Charlie Haeger (1-1, 1.93) vs. Matt Maloney (0-2, 6.11).

COMMENTS: After yesterday's disappointing effort, in which the Dodger bats decided not to show up until the ninth inning, while Chad Billingsley exited before the sixth, the Dodgers try to stop the Big Red Machine from rolling toward a sixth straight victory (not bad for a 56-71 team). Come on, let's stop Keaton ourselves; we should be pounding this team into the ground.

Haeger goes for his second Dodger victory and tries to demonstrate why he Warrens a place in the rotation, Sorvino up some more knuckleball specials. Meanwhile, Rafael Furcal looks to build off two straight promising games at the plate and further raise his Beatty average from the ~.250 doldrums unfit for a leadoff hitter. Let's get a victory today over the commie rats at the Great American Ballpark.

How Many Mascots Does One Team Need?

Mr. Redlegs. On a nightmare scale from 1 to D. Baxter: 6.

Rosie Red: No relation to Rosie Palm.

Mr. Red: A solid 9 on the nightmare scale. Those eyes!

Gapper: Orbit wannabe.

Earlier at SoSG: Could This Be Love?

Rosie photo by Just Above Sunset Photography; Gapper photo by Steve Feitl/

Friday, August 28, 2009

LA News Leaves Delino Dazed, Confused, and (see pull-down menu)

Sometimes, I need to actually get news from the LA News Websites. Like tonight, when I can breathe smoke just by stepping out of my house and have to decide "Hey, maybe the Delinos should get away from the fire-covered mountain." And what does my wandering eye see on the NBC LA site?

Does this story make me sad? Actually... it makes me FURIOUS. Fortunately, that's an option in the f-ing PULL-DOWN MENU.

I'm not alone, however, because...

Ooo. Scratch that. While I'm writing this, LA has apparently turned its attention to much more pressing matters:

I try not to be a dreaded "East Coast Snob." Actually, I don't try that hard. But I do expect my city's news service to be a half-step more legit than my own reporting on all things Cookie Puss, Man-E-Faces, and Living Dead. And on a night like tonight, when the local news sites spend more space covering Jacko's anesthetic habits than possible evacuation instructions, I'm reminded of the fine words of Steve Martin...

Look! I have to maintain my dignity. People have to believe what I say. This is news! This is truth! (WEATHER REPORT BEGINS) Hey, it's time for the wac-wac-Wacky Weekend Weather! Let's look at our weather map. There's a low coming in over Pasedna... that's Pasadena, here, no, there...There were clouds here but the Council decided against it, so there's no rain in Beverly Hills. We'll just have some sun, and snow is what we'll have. And now the car phone report. Sunspot activity is at a minimum, so there will be little interference. So make that big important call. You probably won't be disconnected."

Post-Game 129 Thread: Homer Shuts Us Down


The Dodgers left everything they had on the playing field yesterday, which can be the only explanation to why they showed up only in gesture today in Cincinnati, losing 4-2. Leadoff singles from Rafael Furcal in the sixth and eighth inning--a great sign, since Raffy went 3-for-5 coming off of yesterday's GWRBI--went for naught as the Dodgers squandered almost every scoring opportunity.

Andre Ethier went 0-for-4 and narrowly missed making the last out of the game after he reached after a dropped strike three; Ethier left that honor to Ramirez, who went 1-for-5 and took a called strike three to end the game with the tying run in scoring position. Chad Billingsley had nothing, giving up 4 ER over 5.0 IP and 99 pitches. James Loney homered in the ninth but went 1-for-4. The Dodgers made a champ out of Homer Bailey, who went 8.0 IP and had 115 pitches, unusual marks for a guy who often can't get out of the sixth inning. Reds win their fifth in a row.

Well, at least we can save our vitriol for the Rockies @ Giants game. Ubaldo Jimenez and Tim Lincecum are tied through two, and Eric Young Jr. just singled with two out in the top of the third to break up the no-hitter. I suppose we want to root for the Giants now. But only after those two teams go through 25 innings of play.

Han Solo Visits Dodger Stadium

...but was Randy Wolf informed?

photo: Dodgers

Game 129 Thread: August 28 @ Natti, 4p

Chad Billingsley (12-7, 3.73) vs. Homer Bailey (3-4, 6.82).

COMMENTS: "Billingsley is 3-1 with a 1.40 ERA lifetime against the Reds and 1-1 with a 1.59 ERA at Great American Ball Park," writes Ken Gurnick at "Scary moment: Manny Ramirez got plunked on the left hand by an errant Homer Bailey pitch in the the third inning," I wrote in July. Manny still seems to be suffering the after-effects of that HBP, so let's pay Bailey back the best way we can — by shelling him back to the Stone Age.

By the way, the day Manny got hit on the hand, the Dodgers were 26 games over .500. They enter today's game 24 games over. It may not be progress, but it's still respectable.

Oh Boy, It's a Boy, Boyee!

One of the best things about this season — besides all the winning! — has been the community of readers that participates in our comment sections (see the Top Commenters widget in our sidebar). So I was happy and flattered when reader Josh S. shared the good news with us:

Hey SoSG! Wifi is really spotty in this new room, but baby Lucas S. was born at 7:02 pm Pacific last night. Mom and baby are doing great. He already asked me why Torre didn't use Broxton on Tuesday.

Congrats, Josh and Mrs. Josh! We wish you a lifetime of references filled with these three:

The Force Is with 60% of SoSG Readers

Sign Up Here For More Ridiculousness!

...yup, we're at it again. We're now recruiting for the next great-but-highly experimental SoSG mystery competition. The details will be disclosed soon, but you need to sign up to play. So let us know in the comments if you want to participate, and once we have enough players we'll let you know what you've just signed up for (this one won't be too time-consuming).

But as usual, there are stringent entry requirements which will be strictly enforced, itemized here:

  1. You must know how to post comments.

We need to keep out the riff-raff, so if you lack any of the above qualifications, don't bother signing up. NO EXCEPTIONS!

Note to AC, Delino, Orel, Sax, Pedro, & Lasorda: SoSG writers will have no advantage, so you guys are welcome to play too!

The Price of Recycling?

Lisa: If we don't get to the convention soon, all the good comics will be gone!

Bart: Ah, what do you care about good comics? All you every buy is Casper the Wimpy Ghost.

Lisa: I think it's sad that you equate friendliness with wimpiness, and I hope it'll keep you from ever achieving true popularity.

Bart: Well, you know what I think? I think Casper is the ghost of Richie Rich. [shows comics of Casper and Richie Rich]

Lisa: Hey, they do look alike!

Bart: Wonder how Richie died.

Lisa: Perhaps he realized how hollow the pursuit of money really is and took his own life.

Marge: Kids, could you lighten up a little?

Earlier at SoSG: The Price of Victory?

ESPN Zone Update feat. Tommy Davis

From Formula PR:

ESPN Zone at L.A. Live will host a Dodgers Watch Party this Friday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. as Manny and Co. travel to Cincinnati to face the Reds.

Fans in attendance will have a chance to meet Dodger great Tommy Davis, who finished third in the MVP voting in 1962 and still holds the franchise record for RBI in a season with 153. Davis will sign autographs and join fans at ESPN Zone’s all-you-can-eat Dodger Dogs buffet for $10.

Dodgers fans will be able to watch the game on any of ESPN Zone's 150-plus HD screens, including a 25-foot HD big screen or during bathroom breaks on TVs above the urinals in the men's room.

Official links:

Thursday, August 27, 2009

If I May...

I know we sometimes give the news coverage in LA a hard time.

And if I could find a clip of Steve Martin from L.A. Story ("Snow and 72 Degrees"), it'd be here. But my opinion was changed by NBC LA's website, which covered the still-blazing fires all around LA with the depth and detail a potentially life-threatening story deserves:

Hey, Let's Spend The Evening Scoreboard Watching (August 27)

Yusmeiro Petit (2-8, 6.06) vs. Joe Martinez (3-1, 5.73).

This game just started in San Francisco, who hosts the Diamondbacks. The Giants are 6.5 games behind the Dodgers, but only two and a half games out of the Wild Card. A win tonight by SF would further intensify the weekend Rockies @ Giants series!

Post-Game 128 Thread: Brox Blox Rox


In a tense matinee game at Coors Field, the Dodgers walked a tightrope but held off the Rockies to win the game, win the series, crush the Rockies, and push our NL West divisional lead back to four whole games. Vicente Padilla gave just enough in his Dodgers debut to get the win (5.0 IP, 6H, 2 ER), and Joe Torre used his arsenal of arms (Hong-Chih Kuo, Ramon Troncoso, George Sherrill, and Big Jonathan Broxton) to ice the Rockies over the last four innings, allowing the Dodgers' three runs (a Matt Kemp two-run HR in the first, and a Rafael Furcal single to plate Orlando Hudson in the sixth) to hold up for the win.

The Dodgers left 11 on base, with 0-fers from Andre Ethier, Brad Ausmus, and Casey Blake, and had a number of opportunities squelched and leadoff batters fail to score. But the outstanding performance of our relief corps, as well as the unconventional approach to using them today (i.e., pitching changes were made when situations dictated it, not when innings provided breakpoints), led to a tense but satisfying outcome for the good guys. Broxton's 100+ mph heat in the ninth inning was absolutely terrifying to behold. I love it.

Off we go to Cincinnati for a weekend series, while Colorado goes on to fight Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain this weekend in San Francisco. Everybody exhale! (And then drink.)

The Price of Victory? UPDATED w/COOKIE PUSS

Over $15 Million... if you do Schmidt math. $47-Million contract. Three Years. Three Wins. And he's out of here.

DENVER -- Jason Schmidt's time as a Dodger, and probably as a player, effectively ran out Thursday when he was shifted from the 15-day disabled list to the 60-day list to make room on the 40-man roster for Thursday's starting pitcher, Vicente Padilla. Schmidt -- plagued by shoulder problems from the start of the $47 million contract he signed during the 2006 Winter Meetings -- won three games and underwent two shoulder operations in three seasons with the Dodgers.

While considering being shut down while rehabbing in Arizona in July, he instead was activated almost out of desperation as the Dodgers ran out of fifth-starter candidates. He went 2-2 in four starts with a 5.60 ERA but waved the white flag when faced with pitching in pain. "When he left [Aug. 7], I told him he may win a game for us in September, and he sort of nodded," manager Joe Torre said. "He was probably surprised when he came back. He had a couple wins, but it's been a frustrating time for him. Even though he was a shell of what he once was, you could still see the competitiveness, even if he was searching for how to get it done."

Speaking of other dogs named Dollar, I just came across this similarity. Creepy.

And in honor of all you talkbackers...

As a Pre-Meltdown Britney Would Say...

After a tour of the Nation's smallest states (Rhode Island and Delaware), old-school Brooklyn, and the nicest AAA stadium I've ever seen (Citi Field), the Delino is BACK IN LOS ANGELES. And back to work. Some of you loyal SoSG-maniacs may remember the last time I spent $40 to get a boatload of Dodger tickets. Well, the fine people of (no link w/o cash) got me to shell out $50 for an even greater deal.

TWO pairs of free (weekday) tickets!!!

SIX two-for-one vouchers!!!

And as you can see from today's pic, I've still got one or two vouchers left:

Look for the Delino at Dodger Stadium... apparently EVERY SINGLE DAY FOR THE REST OF THE SEASON. Note: Could someone tell me why the September 15 Tuesday-night batting practice (a.k.a. The Pittsburgh Pirates) is blacked out?

Game 128 Thread: August 27 @ Roxette, 12n

Vicente Padilla (8-6, 4.92--but not with us) vs. Jorge De La Rosa (12-8, 4.76).

COMMENTS: Well don't bore us, get to the chorus!, make that the rubber match, of what everyone has told us is "the most important series of the season (so far)". And we're sending out Hiroki Kuroda's replacement, a late-season pickup dumped by the Texas Rangers. Did I mention Padilla recently tested positive for swine flu? Hold on tight! You know he's a little bit dangerous!

Taking this game and sticking the Rockies with the big L would leave them fading like a flower, four games back. Listen to your heart, Dodger fans. We've got the look. And I say, nah nah nah nah nah. (And as for you, Rafael Furcal: start walking like a man, hitting like a hammer.)

As an aside, who was that celebrity that Orel mentioned in a post yesterday? Oh, well. It's over now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Post-Game 127 Thread: James Loney, Freed At Last


The Dodgers took a game back from the Rockies tonight in Colorado, on the backs of Randy Wolf (7.1 IP, 5H, 1 ER, 2BB, 5 Ks), Andre Ethier (3-for-4 with a pair of home runs in the first and fourth innings), and James Loney (2-for-4 with a dagger three-run HR that scored Manny Ramirez and Casey Blake).

George Sherill and Jonathan Broxton, both well-rested after sitting idly by in last night's debacle, came in for the final 1.2 innings of no-run ball. The Dodgers stretch their divisional lead back to three games and ensure that we'll leave Colorado after tomorrow's matinee with sole possession of the NL West lead. Everybody drink (but not too much; day game tomorrow has a 12n start)!

George Sherrill's Absence from Yesterday's Game, Explained

MRI negative on Sherrill's oblique (

Game 127 Thread: August 26 @ Rox, 5.30p

Randy Wolf (8-6, 3.34) vs. Josh Fogg (0-1, 2.25).

COMMENTS: Can you say "must-win"? Okay, it's not even September, but suffice it to say if the Dodgers don't win today's game, a great many Dodger fans (including some of our SoSG stalwarts) will be ready to write off our post-season chances. It's time for a statement game, and it's time to set us up for a chance to take this series. To that end, rotation mainstay Wolf puts his hot streak — arm and bat — on the line against reliever-turned-starter Fogg. The Dodgers dodge a bullet in missing the injured Aaron Cook, but it won't mean a thing if they can't knock Fogg around the world in eighty pitches. Let's leave Colorado with the Dodgers still in sole possession of first place!

artwork by derSheltie

How To Use Comic Books As Detergent


DENVER, Colorado (CNN) -- Investigators in Colorado say they have broken up a massive methamphetamine ring in the Denver area that distributed pounds of the dangerous drug every week and laundered the profits using collectible comic books.

"To launder the money you have to use something that is quick and convenient," Colorado Attorney General John Suthers said at a news conference Monday. "And in this case, they used classic comic books."

While arresting the alleged ringleaders, brothers Aaron and Alfonzo Castro, law enforcement officers seized about 100 boxes of first-edition collectible comic books. Investigators say one title alone is worth $3,500 and the total collection of comics is worth half a million dollars.

No mention in the article about whether the comic books were Marvel or DC. I am excited, however, that the comic book collectible market is still relevant.

More Thoughts On The Dodgers' State

When it gets cold outside and you got nobody to love
You'll understand what I mean when I say
There's no way we're gonna give up
And like a little girl cries in the face of a monster that lives in her dreams
Is there anyone out there cause it's getting harder and harder to breathe
Is there anyone out there cause it's getting harder and harder to breathe

Look, there are other great Dodger blogs out there that discourage Dodger fans from fretting, from whining, from venting their frustrations. We are not that site. I understand why one should sleep on it sometimes rather than fly off the handle. But if you're waking up the next day and you still have a bitter taste in your mouth about a loss, then venting is totally appropriate. I know, our postseason odds only declined less than one percentage point such that we're still a 97.7% chance to make the playoffs, and an 80% chance of winning the NL West. I can still be bitter, and voice my concerns over unrequited losses.

It is therapeutic and some might argue cathartic to be able to voice anger, displeasure, confusion, bewilderment, angst about the team we love so much--just as we all heralded joy and hearts and flowers when the team was pulling off come-from-behind, one-run, walk-off victories with ease and frequency earlier this year.

It's a rollercoaster of a season. That's what happens over the course of a 162-game season. That's what happens in the game of inches that is baseball. So come, and vent, and howl at the moon. We'll keep serving drinks here at the SoSG bar to help fuel the fire.

And now, back to your regularly scheduled sarcasm.

Two-game lead, Dodgers. Now would be a nice time to show some moxie, or for starters at least show up in the first place (that means you, Rafael Furcal, Russell Martin, and James Loney).

Updated PCS Rankings: She Owns You

"I'm coming after you next, Josh S and Keven C!"

The succubus mistress is in complete control, and she knows it.

BWrightson is the latest contender to fall under her spell. Despite a +50 for solving the Dead Sailors Puzzle, his point total went nowhere as the succubus drained him of the 50 points he gained from the Countdown Puzzle. Fortunately for him, she abused UBragg even more - despite also solving the latest puzzle, UBragg's point total actually dropped by 50 points. And #3 Josh S gained on both of them. So the gaps at the top are closing.

Resistance is futile. One way or another, she'll suck you dry.

Here are the full rankings:

(750 possible points)

PCS Tour
josh s
mr customer
keven c
j steve

Others receiving votes: berkowit28 206, erin 185, wicks 150, neeebs 135, rbnlaw 135, m.l.a.s.f. 134, loney fan 120, ll cool l 100, karina 65, m.s.t.i. 60, matt 60, danielle 50, midnightdrive 50, dunkhawk 50, dangarion 20, dusto magnifico 10.

Love, You Confuse Us

Jennifer Love Hewitt and Jamie Kennedy, Citizens Bank Park, May 12, 2009 (that's a Phillies cap she's wearing).

Jamie Kennedy and Jennifer Love Hewitt, Dodger Stadium, August 22, 2009.

1: The 700 Level; 2 & 3: Dodgers

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Post-Game 126 Thread: Rockies Have A Flair For The Dramatic


One night after a five-run bottom of the 14th inning that caused pundits everywhere to extol the virtues of the red-hot Rockies (under the leadership of the cucumber-cool Jim Tracy, former Dodger manager), the Rockies go out and pull off another walk-off victory against the Dodgers. After dispatching of the Dodgers quickly in the tenth without a ball leaving the infield (thank you, Orlando Hudson, for that well-placed leadoff bunt attempt that went nowhere), James Loney caps an 0-for-5 evening with a throwing error, which was one extra out more than poor James MacDonald could handle tonight. Troy Tulowitzki, with his fear-inspiring .276 average, singles home the winning run with one out and the bases juiced.

In the ninth, Manny Ramirez's clutch single to plate Rafael Furcal, on an 0-2 count, was simply a stay of execution, a feint to have the Dodgers think we were in this game and could take the lead. We weren't, and we didn't. The two-run frame for the Dodgers, led by PH extraordinaire Juan Pierre with a single, followed by a surprise double from formerly 0-for-4 Rafael Furcal, and then a Matt Kemp sacrifice to bring the game within one, was huge. Ramirez's single, followed by James Loney's two-base error popup, made it interesting. But Tracy gave Casey Blake (who had homered earlier) a free pass to load the bases, and Russell Martin flied weakly to center to end the threat and strand three.

The fact that Tracy, aided by former Dodger reliever and hand-slashing late-night drinker Joe Beimel, as well as former Dodger reliever Matt Herges, all combined efforts like the Super Friends to defeat the Dodgers tonight, made the loss sting even more. It was really like getting beaten by Zan, Jayna, and Aquaman.

Sure, we're still a scant two games ahead of the Rockies and on the verge of ending up Thursday tied for the division lead. But if the Rockies are the Super Friends, then I'm feeling like Gleek the goddamn blue powerless monkey right now. And I just want to vomit.

Rockies Pick Up Giambi; Denver Hair Salons Rejoice

We knew Jason Giambi was going somewhere. Why not Colorado?

DENVER (AP) - The Colorado Rockies signed former AL MVP Jason Giambi to a minor league contract Monday.

The 38-year-old Giambi will report to Triple-A Colorado Springs, hoping for a September call-up to help the Rockies with their pennant push. Colorado went into Monday's game against San Francisco with a three-game lead in the NL wild-card race.

"He's a veteran guy that understands this point and time of the season, that's been there and done that," Rockies manager Jim Tracy said. "To add him to your clubhouse with the character and makeup he brings, that's a tremendous plus for us."

A .193 average in Oakland probably translates to a .358 average in Colorado, especially since he hasn't played in the allegedly easier National League. Knowing the Dodgers' luck, he'll be yet another sparkplug to an already streaking Rockies squad.

Game 126 Thread: August 25 @ Dingers, 5.30p

Clayton Kershaw (8-7, 2.96) vs. Jason Hammel (8-7, 4.54).

COMMENTS: 48 hours of hemming and hawing about this game comes to a merciful end today with our Minotaur on the mound. Despite the Dodgers' 10-2 record against the Rockies this year, including a sweep at Coors Field in May, everyone is forecasting the imminent downfall of the Dodgers. Accuscore gives the Rockies a 54% chance of winning (58% as of WSJ's press run last night, so at least our trajectory is improving), the LATimes' Helene Elliott takes a break from following the Kings and Galaxy to slash the tires of the Dodgers' bandwagon, and the only guy we seem to have on our side is Steve Phillips, an omen which portends doom like a circling vulture.

Tonight, we put this yippin' and yappin' to rest. Kershaw hasn't had a win since July 18 but is 1-1 with 1 ND against Colorado this year. Hammel is 0-1 against the Dodgers with 1 ND, and has gotten three wins in his last four starts (reflecting the Rockies' recent streak). Assuming Clayton can come out strong and our rested bullpen can hold up, what I'm really hoping to see tonight is a breakout performance by James Loney (he is 2-for-5 lifetime against Hammel with a 1.600 OPS, and his OPS+ of 143 against the Rockies is the highest among all NL West opponents), assuming Loney has recovered from the flu. It would also be nice to see Manny Ramirez get his OPS back up over 1.000 (Ramirez is 0-for-5 lifetime against Hammel). Heck, Coors Field is the place for all of the Dodgers to get out of their offensive funk.

And we need to play a full nine, or even 14, innings here guys. It is Coors Field, after all. Let's not pull a Merkin. {In the meantime, we're going back to two GT superstitions, rather than the overloaded three that didn't seem to work out so well on Sunday.)

Three Random Thoughts While Driving To Work Today

I don't think I've been this distracted by a billboard since the bus poster for Elisha Cuthbert's "The Girl Next Door."

Since when did Famke Janssen change her name?

Why is the best part missing?