Thursday, December 31, 2009

Can Colletti Corral the Bison?

From "Dodgers, Kemp Talk Multi-year" by Ken Gurnick on's Hot Stove Blog:

The Dodgers have opened discussions on a multi-year contract with Matt Kemp, but his agent said Kemp might prefer to go year to year.

"We've only talked about it a little bit, so who knows where it's going to go?" said former Dodgers pitcher Dave Stewart, who represents Kemp and pitcher Chad Billingsley.

When long-terming youngsters became all the vogue a few years ago, the Dodgers stood as an example of a big-budget, large-market team that could afford to go to arbitration on a regular basis. The Diamondbacks' ill-conceived six-year extension for Chris Young (2009: .212/.311/.400) seemed to reinforce the Dodgers' thinking.

Then three interesting things happened:

  1. Russell Martin, previously a prime candidate for an extension, wasn't interested, then changed his mind, then had a bad year — further making the Dodgers look smart,
  2. Matt Kemp exploded, and
  3. the belt-tightening began in earnest.

Given the Dodgers' uncertain financial future, locking up Kemp makes more sense than ever. But will Kemp and Stewart want to play ball? That talks have even begun is a positive sign, but never expect a player to do a team any favors. Still, locking up the Bison would be a great way to enter the 2010 season.

photo by Harry How/Getty Images

1,000,000 + 100 = Thank You

Three-plus years, a million page loads and a hundred followers ago, we were just a bunch of Dodger fans scattered around the country. Now, we're a bunch of Dodger fans scattered around the country — with a blog! Although we've been lucky enough to see the Dodgers make the playoffs for three of the four years of our existence, I'm most thankful for the community of readers that has grown on this site. We haven't coined the "SoSG Bar" nickname for nothing — this truly feels like the Dodger blog where everybody knows your name. So thank you, readers — commenters and lurkers alike — for joining us. Here's to more cheering, cursing, yuks, arcane references and general madness in 2010. Sláinte!

SoSG 2009 Record (For Posterity)

SoSG 2009 Record: 21-10

4/13 (AC, Sax): W, 11-1

4/17 (Sax): W, 4-3

4/18 (AC): W, 9-5

5/4 (AC, Lasorda, Sax): W, 7-2

5/6 (AC, Orel, Sax): W, 10-3

5/20 (Orel): W, 2-1

5/21 (AC): L, 3-1

6/3 (Orel): W, 1-0

6/5 (Delino): W, 4-3

6/9 (Sax): W, 6-4

6/18 (AC): W, 3-2

6/30 (AC): L, 3-0

7/1 (Orel): W, 1-0

7/16 (Delino): L, 3-0

7/18 (Orel): W, 5-2

7/20 (Lasorda): W, 7-5

7/21 (AC): W, 12-3

7/25 (Sax): W, 4-3

8/5 (Orel): L, 4-1

8/18 (Sax): W, 7-3

8/19 (AC): L, 3-2

8/23 (Sax): L, 3-1

8/31 (AC, Delino): L, 5-3 (10)

9/1 (Lasorda): W, 4-3

9/16 (AC): W, 3-1

9/18 (Sax): L, 8-4

10/2 (Delino): L, 4-3

10/3 (AC): W, 5-0

10/7 NLDS G1 (Sax): W, 5-3

10/15 NLCS G1 (Sax): L, 8-6

10/16 NLCS G2 (AC, Delino, Orel, Sax): W, 2-1

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Five Heroic Liquids

...presented without comment:

5. WD-40
4. Sampar Prodigal Pen
3. Goo Gone
2. Astroglide
1. Scotch

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Holiday Dead Zone Reading

Is it me or has this off-season been especially dead? (It must be me.) I wonder if the manic energy we expended in supporting the Dodgers' best season in decades has sapped some of our off-season zeal. Or maybe it's just the holiday blues. Regardless, don't worry — our hibernation is merely temporary. Anyhoo, forthwith with the linkage:

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Xmas from SoSG

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Mannion Continues Proud McCourt Head-in-Sand Tradition

Kudos to Bill Shaikin for asking the tough questions to Dodgers President Dennis Mannion. Get ready to hear more about "portable concession stands":

Dodgers President Dennis Mannion addresses state of the club (LA Times)

Dodger Thoughts and True Blue LA have already picked this turkey clean:

And Jeff Fuller isn't the only former Dodger employee making a splash overseas:

Raul Mondesi is a rising star again -- in Dominican Republic politics (LA Times)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

After-Party Reading

The scene at this year's SoSG holiday party. (We had to scale it back a bit due to the recession). What, you didn't get your invitation?

Sorry for the lack of recent postage, folks. The Sons are currently fulfilling their holiday obligations across the globe. I hope I get upgraded on my flight to the North Pole, because I don't want my sciatica flaring up.

Meanwhile, in Dodgertown:

And among the bloggerati:

Ho ho ho!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Go Crenshaw!

I'm not normally a follower of high school football, but as soon as I heard about this matchup, I knew who I was rooting for. From "CIF Bowl Open Division preview: No. 16 nationally Crenshaw versus De La Salle" at MaxPreps:

This is a dream matchup really. Old school versus the newcomer. Private school versus public. Ultimate suburb versus inner city.

De La Salle and all its tradition and reputation, a six-time mythical national champion and the only school to be selected to a State Bowl game all four years – no one else has been picked more than twice – against a Los Angeles City team far more known for its basketball prowess.

There's a load of Division I talent on both squads.

They truly saved the best for last - the final game in the country to be played in 2009.

Crenshaw is the first Los Angeles City school to be picked into the bowl game and after a 34-14 victory over Narbonne the team was overcome with emotion. The season has been that satisfying for the Cougars (14-0).

Yes, Crenshaw is the alma mater of Darryl Strawberry. Want another Dodger connection? Snoop Dogg: Dodger fan, Crenshaw benefactor.

The game is tomorrow, Saturday, at 8 p.m. at the Home Depot Center in Carson. It will be broadcast on Comcast SportsNet California and Comcast SportsNet Plus, webcast at and on the radio at KFRC 1550. Go Cougars!

More Cougar links:

The Next Feeding Frenzy

From "Chapman unveils 97 mph fastball for suitors" by Jeff Passan at Yahoo! Sports:

For the dozens of baseball men wondering whether Aroldis Chapman’s official unveiling was worth the trip, the left-hander had an emphatic, 97-mph answer with his final pitch.

Sure was.

Executives and scouts came out of Tuesday’s 30-or-so-pitch bullpen session in Houston raving about the 21-year-old who defected from Cuba in July and will command big dollars on the free-agent market. [...]

The usual suspects for such high-priced talent attended the workout: The Yankees sent a scout, and the Boston Red Sox’s international scouting director, Craig Shipley, was there. Others from lower-revenue teams joined in the fray: Houston Astros general manager Ed Wade, Washington Nationals GM Mike Rizzo, Florida Marlins assistant GMs Jim Fleming and Dan Jennings, Oakland A’s assistant GM David Forst and Baltimore Orioles international scouting director John Stockstill. [...]

[Chapman's agents] The Hendricks brothers spent Tuesday afternoon in meetings with some of the teams at the workout. The two sources in attendance expect bids to start coming in soon – and higher than Boston’s $15.5 million offer first reported by One official said he believes Chapman will sign in early January.

Remember the Matsuzaka brouhaha? Looks like we're going to get more of that kind of action next month. The Dodgers obviously won't be involved — too rich for Ned's blood! — but at least it'll be fun to watch other teams throw around mountains of $$$. Make it rain, GMs!

Other tidbits:

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Flo vs Deltalina: Jason and the Deltalines* Triumph!

"Not in my house!"

Congratulations Jason! You and your rapid fingers flattened a valiant Keven C and Team Flo in the FvD Finals. Hang tight, as we may take a week or two to announce your prize (not that we're waiting 'til after the holidays to see what we could re-gift...). Hope you all enjoyed Flo vs Deltalina!

*we accept either 'Deltalinian' or 'Deltaline' as a grammatically correct way to refer to someone on Team Deltalina.

Welcoming Jamey Carroll With Eyes Wide, Open

I don't know all that much about Jamey Carroll besides what I've read in the general news articles. He's got a lifetime OBP of .351 over eight seasons, more than Orlando Hudson (.348, also over eight seasons) and Ronnie Belliard (.339, over 12). And of course, he's much less expensive (even at two years / $3.85M) than either Hudson or Belliard would have been.

According to the LA Times article today,

In 93 games for the Cleveland Indians last season, Carroll batted .276 with two home runs and 26 runs batted in. His best season was in 2006, when he hit .300 with five home runs and 36 RBIs in a career-high 136 games for the Colorado Rockies.

An eight-year veteran, Carroll has a career average of .273 with 12 home runs and 174 RBIs.

Carroll seems like he'll give us a decently productive hitter, though we won't be able to count on him going yard that often. (Neither did Juan Pierre, for that matter. Or Alex Cora.) And Carroll provides insurance for Blake DeWitt at second base, and is said to be able to cover for Casey Blake at third occasionally.

But what we Sons find really remarkable about Carroll is the width between his eyes. That is some serious real estate. Dude, check this out!

We were talking about this over in the SoSG Staff Room, and I think this may even beat Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, as well as all the others that SoSG Orel found over at The Top Five People Whose Eyes Are Shockingly Far Apart. This has got to be the widest distance between eyes of any Dodger on the roster, perhaps even all-time! It must make for some wicked sweet depth perception, which must be advantageous as a batter. Cool.

Welcome, Jamey!

Star Wars Kicks

I'm a Star Wars geek and even I don't know how to feel about this official Star Wars/adidas collaboration (click on pictures for larger versions):

Fantastic concept but so-so execution. Good thing I'm not a sneakerhead.

Happy Holidays, Ladies

From Matt Kemp's Twitter:

Flo vs Deltalina: Final Round Begins (and Bonus Rule)!

Welcome to the FvD Superbowl! In one corner we have Jason from Team Deltalina, in the other Keven C from Team Flo. Here's a recap of the rules, and here below is the scoreboard:

Keven C
(all times Pacific)

So there it is folks. Good luck Keven C and Jason. Wait for the bell, and fire away!


Oh, wait, hang on...I promised you a little additional information, didn't I? Hmmm, let me think of something good. Oh, I got it: You see in the above scoreboard, how each of the five magic minutes has the word "Group" or "Indiv" under them? Well, sort of like in the reality shows where they bring back previously eliminated contestants, for the 2nd and 4th minutes labeled "Group", any member of Team Flo or Team Deltalina can comment to support their respective Finals representative, and their comments will count in the scoring (please follow the commenting convention of starting your comment with an 'F' or 'D'). It'll be just like Round I-C! For the 1st, 3rd, and 5th minutes labeled "Indiv", only Keven C and Jason's comments will count.

So there you have it. Come back out and support your Team! Play on!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Dodgers Shore Up Infield With Jamey Carroll

Breaking news from

Veteran infielder Jamey Carroll has agreed to a two-year deal for just under $4 million with the Los Angeles Dodgers, major league sources told ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney on Wednesday.

The deal is pending a physical exam.

The Dodgers, Indians and Athletics had expressed interest in Carroll, who has played seven seasons in the majors. He played 93 games for the Indians last season with a .276 batting average.

Carroll, rather than Ronnie Belliard or Orlando Hudson (both of whom would likely have been pricier, obviously)? Hmm. Poor Blake DeWitt.

Doubleheaders of Note

APRIL 13, 2010

  • Dodgers' home opener vs. Diamondbacks, time TBD
  • 9 p.m.: "Glee" resumes its first season with episode #14 (thanks to Josh S. for noting this epic coincidence)

MAY 25-30, 2010

  • Dodgers start six-game road trip against the Cubs and Rockies
  • Frank vs. Jamie will officially be in full swing. Batter up!

Flo vs Deltalina: Round 4 Rules

Apparently nobody is above a shameless attempt to get on TV...

Anyhow, so here we are! Down to the final two - Keven C, representing Team Flo, and Jason, representing Team Deltalina. (Most of) the rules are stated below, and it all happens tomorrow. But today the two finalists once again have a small task: they must decide on segments of time tomorrow during which they will both be free. We will need 5 'magic minutes' (to be clear: 5 separate 1-minute periods), which can be bunched together or spread throughout the day, or however you guys agree. But they must occur tomorrow between 10am PT and 4pm PT.

Please discuss this in the comments - you can either pick specific 5 minute periods or just state the blocks of time you each are (or are not) available, and by the end of the day I will pick the 5 minutes from that.

Once we have the 5 separate minutes established, the rules are basically the same as Round I-C, except only Keven C and Jason play. To review:

  • Tomorrow at 8am PT, a post titled "Flo vs Deltalina: Final Round Begins!" will appear.
  • During each of the 5 to-be-determined-by-the-end-of-today 'magic minutes,' Keven C and Jason must comment as many times as possible.
  • Whoever comments more times wins the minute. Whoever wins more minutes wins the tournament!
  • As before, please begin your comment with letter 'F' or 'D', depending if you are on 'F'lo (Keven C) or 'D'eltalina (Jason). Capital or lower case are accepted. And if you want to comment more than the single letter, please follow the 'F' or 'D' by a space before continuing with the rest of your comment.

So there you have it. Keven C, Jason, please discuss when you are available tomorrow and we can go from there! (PS I will be out of touch today after about 2pm PT-9pm PT, but I will check in before the day is over and pick the 5 minutes if you haven't picked them yourselves.

Oh, and one more thing. In tomorrow morning's thread, there will be one more little bit of info regarding the FvD Finals. I suggest you all read might be of interest to some of you. Until then!

Juan Pierre, Dodger: Another Retrospective

It may be easy enough for Orel to say "Godspeed" to former Dodger and new White Sock Juan Pierre. But heck, MSTI needed two separate posts, so I'm going to chime in with my thoughts as well. What's Juan more post, after all?

Juan Pierre's three-year Dodger career began just about the time this blog was birthed, so we have followed every step of his ignominious Dodger career, from the second the five-year, $45M deal was signed. We had just started blogging, so when the news broke in November that Juan Pierre had been signed (along with Randy Wolf, who was introduced as a Dodger at the same press conference), we Sons were desperate to "have a take." But developing a perspective on JP required wrestling with competing forces that clouded logic and tugged on heartstrings.

First, a preamble. Since I am not a Cubs fan, I didn't know much about the noodle-armed slap-happy centerfielder that we were about to acquire from Chicago. But one of my good friends is a Cubs fan, and he told me this sage advice at the time of our signing:

"Juan Pierre is going to drive you crazy. You will want to like him. You will try to like him. But he will do nothing but disappoint.

And that sort of sums up my conflicted affair with Juan Pierre. At core, it was a struggle between the heart and mind. The heart saw a player who came to the stadium early for batting practice and left late after a game. Who hustled to first base even when his slap hit didn't leave the infield. Who didn't offer all that much complaining about his role, even when Trader Ned tried to rectify his 2006-2007 offseason mistake by signing Andruw Jones in the next offseason, and then tried again the following offseason to rectify his mistake by signing Manny Ramirez.

But the statistics appealed to the analytic side, by clearly demonstrating that Pierre's performance was not up to stuff, that the heart was playing tricks on the mind. One could not justify Pierre's horrible throwing arm (which shortstop Rafael Furcal would cut off halfway into the outfield) by Pierre's diminutive physique. One could not rationalize away Pierre's position among the league leaders in "outs created" simply because he batted leadoff. One could not look at Manny Ramirez' presence in the lineup and make any sort of coherent argument that Pierre should have a starting role.

If Juan Pierre was measured by his contract value alone, it made no sense why we were paying a replacement player such an absurd amount of cash. Would you rather have one year of Juan Pierre? Or three Andre Ethiers? Or 18 Jason Repkos? Or 19 Matt Kemps?

Even with all of the numbers in black and white, it came down to the emotional struggle between heart and mind, between what the data says and what your gut wants you to try and believe. Juan Pierre is not going to end up on a police blotter for a late-night DUI after partying, or for throwing fireworks at fans in a parking lot. He's trying, to the best of his abilities. Surely, that must count for something, right?

This is exactly why it's difficult to fire the employee whose heart may be in the right place and who is putting in effort and staying late, but can't get the basic job responsibilities done. You can compensate for the weakness on your team on your own behalf, staying a couple of extra hours one night a week to clean up his mess and fix his errors; and, over time, you can deceive yourself to thinking that this is a sustainable way to operate. But eventually you recognize this isn't a mutual fit, that there is personal opportunity cost to your compensating for his shortcomings--and doing the right thing means severing the relationship. This is not easy, because effort and good intentions try and fool the heart. But in business--which is what baseball is--non-productive assets don't have a place in a top-performing, functional organization.

Life is not AYSO soccer; everybody doesn't get a chance to play, particularly if his contributions to the whole are at the cost of another who could likely contribute more. This may be harsh and unfair, but it's life. We simply can't play Pierre as a regular starter, ahead of Manny, Kemp, and Ethier, each of whom has greater offensive upside, defensive ability (I'm counting Ramirez' lackadaisical attitude and Pierre's wimpy arm as a wash), and future potential than JP. So if there isn't a fit for an expensive bench player, the Dodgers need to move the albatross; and getting a package that includes a minor leaguer, the lead character in the Legend of Zelda series, and some cash in return, is all gravy.

I will miss the jaunty caps and artful limerick lines ("Is he Latin? Or French?"). But one can't get distracted into the David Eckstein deathtrap (TM) that insidiously converts perceived-effort-per-pound into a mythical and meaningless "scappiness" quotient (Eckstein, by the way, has an identical .348 lifetime OBP over one fewer season than Pierre; Ramirez' career OBP is .411 and it was .489 with the Dodgers in 2008).

"Beast Mode" and "Juanpierrewood" may make funny t-shirt slogans; heck, while we're on the topic, I also like "May the Mass Times Acceleration Be With You" as well as "6 out of 7 dwarfs [sic] are not happy". But slogan t-shirts alone won't take us to a championship, not with a gaping hole in the leadoff spot, playing a guy who needs to get on base with regularity (especially since he doesn't hit home runs). (And for all those who coveted Pierre's speed, might I remind you that it is useless if he doesn't get on base, or if he refuses to run the ball in from left field instead of throwing it.)

When Pierre was pressed into regular service in May 2009, I tried to root for him to succeed--and if you're a Dodger fan, why wouldn't you?--but hoping and wishing is far different from expecting an outcome that wasn't likely to happen in the first place. I started to realize that I was setting my expectations so low, just so I wouldn't be disappointed by another Juan-for-four night (and there were 13 in 2009, by cursory glance). And shouldn't we Dodger fans be aspiring for greatness rather than hoping for mediocrity?

I suppose this is the struggle: Heart versus mind. What you know to be true vs. what you feel you want to be true. Thinking you're going to get back together with that girl that dumped you, vs. what actually happens. Effort invested vs. results achieved.

Three years after he had forewarned me, my Cubs friend was right (he was also right about the 2008 NLDS result, by the way). I tried to like Juan Pierre, and I definitely rooted for him when he played. Maybe I saw a bit of myself in him as I tried to consider how my sorry baseball abilities might play out should I ever get the opportunity to suit up for the Dodgers. I appreciate Pierre's admirable job filling in for Ramirez during his 2009 suspension, and trying to play to the best of his limited abilities. I don't begrudge JP for the contract he signed (that's Colletti's fault), nor for the casual fans he fooled into thinking he should be the team's 2009 MVP.

But Pierre did indeed drive me crazy. Wanting to like someone is different from getting good results. And even with all of his efforts and extra hours at the ballpark, Pierre represented missed opportunities for which his performance could not compensate. And his contract represented money that was not worth the utility value, and could have been better spent elsewhere to get another starting pitcher, or a cheaper backup outfielder, or even renovations to the loge and reserved level of the stadium. I'm glad, that after three years of service, that we've finally moved on; there's a place for Beast Mode somewhere, but it's not in the Dodgers' stacked outfield corps.

Thank you again, Juan Pierre, for your three years as a Dodger, for not being a clubhouse cancer, for accepting your role as a paid-like-a-starter-but-played-like-a-reserve with humor, humility, and poise. Thanks for giving it all you had, even if it wasn't enough. And good luck with the White Sox; go out and show the south side what Beast Mode is all about.

And now, let's go, Dodgers.

Godspeed, Beast Mode

The Trolley Dodger nailed it: Juan Pierre was "One of the most polarizing Dodgers since Gary Sheffield." Which doesn't quite make sense: Why would a hard-working fan-favorite who hits for average and steals bases be controversial?

Because you don't play baseball in a vacuum. You play baseball surrounded by teammates of varying abilities who get paid varying amounts of money. In Pierre's case, he shared an outfield with more talented players, two of whom got paid much, much less than he did.

The Juan Pierre trade is as close to a win-win situation you'll find in baseball transactions: Ned Colletti gets to undo his blunder of a contract, the Dodgers lose the albatross of an overpaid bench player and gain two pitching prospects, and the White Sox become the team where bad contracts go to die.

We at SoSG liked to give Beast Mode a hard time for his noodle arm and ultra-serious attitude. But the truth is the Dodgers just lost a solid player and a good citizen. And we couldn't be happier.

photo by Rhona Wise/EPA

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The Slappy McPopup Era Comes To A Close in LA

Juan Pierre's days as a Dodger are no more, as he has been traded to the Chicago White Sox for cash and two minor leaguers. Oh, and the Dodgers are footing the bill for the majority of his salary, go-forward:

The Chicago White Sox acquired outfielder Juan Pierre from the Los Angeles Dodgers for two minor leaguers and cash.

Of the $18.5 million left on Pierre's contract, the White Sox will pay $3 million in 2010 and $5 million in 2011, sources said.

The Dodgers will select two pitching prospects from a list furnished by the White Sox, a source told's Jayson Stark. The names on the list are all pitchers who could reach the big leagues by 2010, the source said.

Beast Mode goes East Mode. Thanks for the memories, Juan!


Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hears that John Ely and Jon Link are heading to the Dodgers.

Flo vs Deltalina: Round 4 Begins!

Ok, each team has decided upon the following time slots:

Team Timeslots (PT) Timeslot Score Final Score
Jason &
Keven C
14 (winner!)
Wicks &

And here again are the rules. Good luck gentlemen!

Can You Say Todd Helton?

From "Cards Offer Most Lucrative Deal In Team History To Holliday" at MLBTR:

The Cardinals have offered Matt Holliday a deal which would pay him $16MM per year and could extend through eight seasons, writes Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

$16 million a year for eight seasons? For a player who will be 30 years old at the beginning of next season? This is insanity, I tells ya! Complain all you want about Ned Colletti's shackles, but at least he isn't (still) making offers that could hamstring his team well into the next decade.

On the plus side, here's a major deal the Yankees, Red Sox, Mets or Phillies aren't involved in. Oh, and congrats to Holliday — guess that one error doesn't hurt so much now, does it?

photo by Danny Moloshok/Reuters

Monday, December 14, 2009

Blockbuster Deals Heat Up Hot Stove

...but the Dodgers are still out in the cold:

Phils, Ms, Blue Jays Agree On Halladay-Cliff Lee Blockbuster (MLBTR)

Red Sox, John Lackey Reach Agreement (MLBTR)

Are the Phillies the Yankees of the NL? Or is it folly to trade Cliff Lee for the older, playoff experience-lacking Halladay?

UPDATE: The Angels make a little noise:

Angels, Hideki Matsui Reach Agreement (MLBTR)

Flo vs Deltalina: Round 4 Rules

Before we move on to Round 4, I'd like to note an odd oddity: despite the last bullet point in the Round 3 Rules stating that "being a #1 or #2 seed doesn't matter," the four victors of the round - Jason, Keven C*, Wicks, and rbnlaw - were indeed the four #1 seeds.

*feels goose bumps crawl up spine*

Anyhow, about Round 4: It takes place tomorrow, and will have Jason and Keven C teaming up and going against the team of Wicks and rbnlaw. And today each team has a small task to complete:

  • Each participant must agree with his teammate on two separate 2-minute timeslots tomorrow (a total of four minutes per team) during which both team-members will be available.
  • The times chosen must be between 10am and 4pm PT (tomorrow).
  • Use today's comments section to discuss with your teammate.
  • The two timeslots chosen by each team can be completely different than the timeslots chosen by the other team. For example, Jason and Keven C may choose 10:31-10:32am and 2:15-2:16pm, while Wicks and rbnlaw might choose 12:30-12:31pm and 12:45-12:46pm.

So discuss here with your teammate when you'll each be available tomorrow. And when tomorrow comes, here are the rules:

  • Tomorrow at 8:30am, a thread will appear titled "Flo vs Deltalina: Round 4 Begins!".
  • During each of a team's two chosen 2-minute timeslots, the two members must alternate comments in the thread. The object is to have as many alternating comments during each 2-minute timeslot as possible.
  • Any comments not made by the two teammates are ignored, as well as any comments not made during any of the four relevant timeslots.
  • Once a given 2-minute timeslot has ended, the number of alternating comments are counted.
  • =Iif one member accidentally comments twice consecutively (i.e., without a comment from his teammate in between), that team's comment count ends right there. So for example if Jason/Keven C's comment sequence goes Jason, Keven C, Jason, Keven C, Jason, Keven C, Keven C, Jason, then their team scores 6 points in that timeslot, because on the 7th comment, Keven C screwed up the sequence. Good job, Keven C.
  • It doesn't matter which team-member begins the sequence, as long as subsequent comments alternate. But you might also want to discuss beforehand with your teammate who will begin each sequence.
  • As mentioned, each team has selected two timeslots. The higher score of the two timeslots (not the sum of the two timeslots) will be the team's final score.
  • Whichever team wins moves on to the Finals (at which point they will be forced to turn against each other...).

Ok, gentlemen. Discuss with your teammate your two timeslots (by the end of the discussion please be definitive about your selected times so I am not left unsure), and if you have any questions ask here. Then be sure to check back here tomorrow at 8:30am!

P.S. I will be without internet access until approximately noon PT, but any questions I will answer after then.

*only remaining Flo-ite

Karros on Ice

Eric Karros and Kings players during the national anthem on Dodgers Night with the LA Kings at Staples Center last Saturday.

The Kings Ice Crew sporting Dodger Blue.

UPDATE: A Monumental Dodgers Night at the Kings Game (Blue Heaven)

photos by Juan Ocampo/Dodgers

Sunday, December 13, 2009

More Mascots Behaving Badly

Man who plays Patriots mascot arrested in prostitution sting (

Earlier at SoSG: Diamondbacks Mascot Wreaking Havoc in Traffic, Children's Dreams

photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images

Saturday, December 12, 2009

A Rose Grows in Center Field

Matt Kemp's latest tattoo...

Still got to finish it but it's a start. (mattkemp27)

Non-Tendered Players Hit the Market

The Dodgers signed Josh Towers to a minor-league contract, and you can bet Ned Colletti is salivating over the bargain bin filled with non-tendered players. According to MLBTR, those players include:

  • P Chien-Ming Wang (formerly with the Yankees)
  • 2B Kelly Johnson and RF Ryan Church (Braves)
  • 3B Garrett Atkins (!) (Rockies)
  • SP Seth McClung (Brewers)
  • SP Scott Olsen (Nationals)
  • CF Alfredo Amezaga (Marlins)
  • LF Jonny Gomes (Reds)
  • RP Neal Cotts (Cubs)
  • RP Brian Bass (Orioles)
  • SP D.J. Carrasco (White Sox)
  • RP Mike MacDougal (Nationals)
  • DH Jack Cust (A's)
  • RF Brian Anderson (Red Sox)
  • CF Cory Sullivan (Mets)
  • SP Tim Redding (Mets)
  • LF Jeremy Reed (Mets)
  • RP Lance Broadway (Mets)
  • RP Mark DiFelice (Brewers)
  • C Mike Rivera (Brewers)
  • LF Ryan Langerhans (Mariners)
  • RF Gabe Gross (Rays)
  • C Shawn Riggans (Rays)
  • RP Mark Worrell (Padres)
  • P Jackson Quezada (Padres)
  • John Buck (Royals)
  • Josh Anderson (Royals)
  • Raul Chavez (Blue Jays)
  • Matt Capps (Pirates)
  • Phil Dumatrait (Pirates)
  • Adam Miller (Indians)
  • Anthony Reyes (Indians)
  • Jose Veras (Indians)
  • Josh Whitesell (Diamondbacks)
  • Clay Condrey (Phillies)
  • Ryan Garko (Giants)
  • Jose Arredondo (Angels)
  • Matt Brown (Angels)
  • Dustin Moseley (Angels)

We'll update this list as more names become available.

UPDATE: Padres re-sign Correia for one year (

Friday, December 11, 2009

Tony Jackson Lands on His Feet

From the Twitter feed of's Jon Heyman:

dont usually like to tout the competition but espn LA hiring tony jackson is a great move.

Congratulations, Tony!

In Other News, This Real Estate Bubble Will Not Last

Barry Bonds' agent has just realized that the career of the 45-year-old slugger is pretty much over. You don't say.

Barry Bonds still has yet to formally retire from baseball. But the career of the major leagues' reigning home run king is over, his agent says, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Bonds has insisted he won't retire, leaving open the possibility that he might yet catch on with another team. But that hasn't happened, and his agent doubts that it ever will, according to the report.

"It's two years since he played his last game, and if there was any chance he'd be back in a major-league uniform, it would have happened by now," his agent, Jeff Borris, said Wednesday, according to the report.

I have this picture of Borris sitting by a red batphone covered in cobwebs and dust. Guess MLB doesn't have to worry about triggering production on that plus-size baseball cap line, after all.

Flo vs Deltalina: Round 3 Begins! (and Rules)

Welcome to the SoSG Casino! Grab a drink and come on in! And tonight we have a special event - the SoSG Casino has been chosen as the site of Round 3 of the 1st Annual International Flo vs Deltalina Championships.

The eight contestants are Jason, TD, Keven C, Dusty Baker, Wicks, djansson, rbnlaw, and Scott. And Round 3 is basically a game of blackjack. Only it's "18 Blackjack," not 21. Here's how it works:

  • Today, in this thread, between 10am and 1pm PT is when the game is played.
  • All are welcome to comment as they please, but only comments with all of the following characteristics count:
    • It is made by one of the eight contestants
    • It is made in this thread between the hours of 10am and 1pm PT (inclusive), and
    • The first word in the comment is "HIT" (please use all caps).
  • After 1pm, the last digit of each contestant's such comments are added up, and just like blackjack, the contestants are trying to get as close to 18 as you can without busting.
  • A last digit of 0 is a 10.
  • Sometime before 1pm (it may even be before 10am), your dealer (pictured above) will HIT once, so you can see her first card.
  • There is no double-ing down, insurance, splitting, or anything like that
  • At 1:01pm, all play is off.
  • Sometime after 1pm, the dealer will continue to play her hand, HIT-ting or not. When she comments "STAY" (or when she busts) then she is done.
  • Some players will beat the dealer, some will lose. The object is to get the field of 8 down to 4.
  • Dealer must hit on 14
  • If more than 4 lose, then the remaining players that won move on and those that lost play another hand next week to see who among them moves on.
  • If more than 4 win, then those winning players play another hand next week to see who among them moves on (and the losing players are eliminated).
  • Tie-ing the dealer counts higher than losing but not as high as winning.
  • FYI, being a #1 or #2 seed doesn't matter.

Got it? Good, because I'm not sure I do (most of this was devised and written between the time I got to work (9am ET) and now (9:23am), and I gotta run to a meeting. In fact I have back-to-back-to-back meetings almost all day, so I'm leaving you in Deltalina's hands. I'll try to check in when I can. In anycase, wait 'til 10am and HIT away!


Player 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th Tot Result
Jason* 1 8 9 18 W
TD 5 6 3 14 L
Keven C* 4 3 2 1 6 16 W
Dusty Baker 8 7 15 T
Wicks* 4 3 2 7 16 W
djansson 3 7 9 Bust L
rbnlaw* 10 6 16 W
Scott 8 8 L
Deltalina 1 6 8 15

*moving on to 4th round

Please confirm above scores. If they stand, well, what do you know? It looks like we have our four winners: Jason, Keven C, Wicks, and rbnlaw. But please correct me if wrong. Round 4 on Monday!

Ned Colletti Photographed At The 2009 Winter Meetings

What, no moves whatsoever by the Dodgers at the 2009 Winter Meetings?

After seeing this picture of Ned Colletti from earlier this week (right after he spoke with Frank McCourt (or was it Jamie?)), I can't imagine why.

Thanks to Orel for the photoshop. (I'm an idea guy.)

Buster Olney Sounds Positively Bullish On The Dodgers

Olney's recap on our favorite team's inertia at Winter Meetings (insider only for the full article):

And then there were the Dodgers.

There were trades and more than a dozen signings here. New Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos impressed his peers with the way he is preparing for a trade of Roy Halladay. Almost 200 free agents are looking for jobs. But the Dodgers are really the biggest story of these winter meetings, by doing nothing. "It's incredible that you have one of the most storied franchises in all of baseball, and they're not even involved in talk for the best free agents," one agent said wistfully.

Imagine Bill Clinton going into a conference on health care and saying nothing. Imagine Al Gore going to a summit on global warming and uttering no words. Imagine George W. Bush at a roundtable on terrorism and remaining silent.

That's the Dodgers at these winter meetings: frozen in inaction.

Dodgers executives have been saying that in spite of the on-going divorce proceedings between Frank and Jamie McCourt, it's business as usual. They really can't say anything else publicly; they have to maintain that posture. But executives with rival teams and agents just assume that the Dodgers' baseball operations are essentially locked down.

Back when I was in high school, if you just signed your name on the exam sheet, and didn't fill in a single circle on the SAT, you still got 400 of a possible 1600 points. Maybe Colletti was trying that approach, and hoping for a bottom-quartile player to fall into his lap?

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Bison's Bounty

Matt Kemp beams with delight during the Dodgers' annual Children's Holiday Party.

photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

Woulda Coulda Shoulda


ESPN's Buster Olney says Randy Wolf would've re-signed with the Dodgers for a two-year deal in the $14-16MM range.

We'll always have 2009, Randy.

Tales of Hoffmann

Check out Dodger Thoughts for all of today's Rule 5 action. In short, the Dodgers lost Jamie Hoffmann and James Tomlin, and gained Carlos Monasterios and Armando Zerpa.

Flo vs Deltalina: Penalty Kick Round Begin!

Here's the rules. And here's the matchups:

GROUP A  1   2   3   4   5  Tot  6 
TD O X O X X 3 X 4
Jason X X X X X 5
Matt X X X 0 0 3 0 3
GROUP B 1 2 3 4 5 Tot
Dusty Baker X X 0 0 X 3
Steve Dittmore X X 0 0 0 2
GROUP D 1 2 3 4 5 Tot
Scott 0 X X X 0 3
rbnlaw X X X 0 X 4

X = goal scored, 0 = missed goal

Wait 'til 9am and kick away!

UPDATE: Here are seeds of remaining eight:

  • GROUP A: #1 Jason, #2 TD
  • GROUP B: #1 Keven C, #2 Dusty Baker
  • GROUP C: #1 Wicks, #2 djansson
  • GROUP D: #1 rbnlaw, #2 Scott

It Bears Repeating

Thanks and kudos to SoSG reader Josh S. for this brilliant comment:

CLAYTON KERSHAW got your reward and you're just leaving, then?
    That's right, yeah. Got some old debts I gotta pay off with this stuff. Even if I didn't, you don't think I'd be fool enough to stick around here, do you? Why don't you come with me? You're pretty good in a game. We could use you.
    Come on. Why don't you take a look around. You know what's about to happen, what they're up against. They could use a good pitcher like you, you're turning your back on them.
    What good is a reward if you can't spend it on beer and brats? Besides, trying to win the World Series with this ownership is not my idea of courage. It's more like...suicide.
    Okay. Take care of yourself Randy. I guess that's what you're best at isn't it?
    Hey, Clay. May divorce be with you.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Flo vs Deltalina: Penalty Kicks

Here are the standings after the regulation 3 rounds. Please verify:

GROUP A overall
GROUP C overall
1. Fred's Brim
1. djansson
2. TD
2. Mr C
3. Jason
3. Wicks
4. Matt
4. J Steve
GROUP B overall
GROUP D overall
1. Keven C
1. Scott
2. Dusty Baker
2. fanerman
3. Steve Dittmore
3. rbnlaw
4. Greg
4. Bryan

If these standings hold, that means we have some ties to sort out! Tiebreaker rules will be posted here shortly...

Ok, here are our penalty kick matches:

  • GROUP A: TD vs Jason vs Matt
  • GROUP B: Dusty vs Steve Dittmore
  • GROUP D: Scott vs rbnlaw (epic rematch!) for #1 seed


The tiebreaking matchups take place tomorrow at 9am PT. And just like real soccer, they will consist of 5 penalty kick rounds, as follows:

  • Tomorrow at 8am, a thread will appear called "Flo vs Deltalina: Penalty Kick Rounds Begin!".
  • Between 9am and 12noon PT inclusive (note this time window is different from previous rounds), each participant involved in a shootout must post 5 comments.
  • This time, the last two digits of each comment is what matters.
  • I heard somewhere that penalty shooters hit around 75-76% of their shots. So any score 75 or lower will be considered a goal. Anything 76 or above is a miss.
  • At the end of the 5 rounds, whoever has the most goals wins.
  • If it's tied after 5 rounds, it goes to sudden death (each player gets a shot until one hits theirs and the other misses). The time window will be extended to 1pm PT for competitors involved in sudden death.
  • Regarding Group A: Well, having never experienced a three-way myself, I'm gonna have to take a stab at how it will work. I suppose if any two players (or all three) are tied at the end of the 5 shots (including a tie for 2nd place), those players continue in sudden death until one loses or wins.
  • Note that, unlike real soccer, the adversaries don't need to alternate turns in their shots, as this would be impossible to enforce. Scott can comment 5 times followed by rbnlaw's 5 comments an hour later. But be aware if your matchup goes to sudden death, as you will need additional comments.

Got it? Good luck tomorrow for those participating! I will also try to start Round 3 tomorrow afternoon (that's why the penalty kick round was moved up into the morning), but depends on my work schedule...

Five Ways Randy Wolf Can Spend His New $27M $29.75M Bounty

Action Figure
Est. $ value
# of figures $27M $29.75M can buy
Telescoping-Lightsaber Darth Vader
Vinyl Cape Jawa
Rocket-Firing Boba Fett
Tori Spelling Yak-Face
Blue Snaggletooth

Thanks to Orel for the idea; David Julian for the pictures and Reis O'Brien for the estimated values; and this guy for the background on these figs.