Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Links

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Primer: Advanced Stats

If you're like me, you're a handsome devil. But you're also occasionally overwhelmed by the plethora of advanced statistics that have cropped up recently, with new formulas seemingly being created every season. But fear not, because the gurusphere has got you covered. The good folk at True Blue LA and Big League Stew have put together a series of explanatory posts for Joe Blogfans like us.

True Blue LA

Big League Stew

Friday, January 29, 2010

Bruins vs. Trojans @ Dodger Stadium

From "Dodger Stadium to host college games" by Ken Gurnick at Dodgers.com:

The Dodgers and the Dodgers Dream Foundation have announced the inaugural Dodgertown Classic, two collegiate games that this year will include a matchup of cross-town rivals USC and UCLA.

The games are scheduled to be played at Dodger Stadium on Sunday, Feb. 28. The first game, beginning at 10 a.m. PT, will feature Vanderbilt against Oklahoma State. USC and UCLA will play at 2 p.m.

I figured now would be a good time to figure out where our readers' college sympathies lie:

Who are you rooting for in the Dodgertown Classic?
UCLA!
USC!
  
pollcode.com free polls

Arizona 15, Florida 15

Call the Dodgers avant-garde, or at worst, symptomatic of the trend of major league baseball teams moving spring training to Arizona. As the NYTimes reported today, the Cubs' recent failed courtship by Florida exemplifies Arizona's advantaged financial position:

The yearlong tug of war over the Cubs underscored how difficult it has been for Florida to keep and recruit teams. Since 1998, six major league clubs have moved to Arizona, enticed by sweetheart stadium deals, drier weather and closer proximity to other teams. The biggest departure came last year, when the Los Angeles Dodgers left Vero Beach after more than a half-century. There are now 15 clubs in each state, which creates scheduling challenges because of the odd number of teams.

No teams have moved east since the Cleveland Indians in 1993. They moved back to Arizona in 2009. Cities in Arizona have aggressively courted teams using, among other things, a permanent tax on car rentals to finance stadiums.

By contrast, cities in Florida have tapped a total of $150 million in state subsidies to refurbish their stadiums. But legislators have been reluctant to replenish that fund and cash-strapped cities have had trouble persuading voters that their tax dollars should be spent on privately owned teams. Some voters have also been skeptical of the economic benefits promised by supporters of publicly funded stadium projects.

''In today's economy, it would be tough'' for Florida to attract a team from Arizona, said Philip Porter, professor of economics at the University of South Florida.

He added, ''Florida is not going to win if Arizona is willing to spend $84 million on a spring training stadium.''

I never made it out to Vero Beach, and I regret that. However, I'm looking forward to jetting over to Arizona to see the Dodgers in Spring training, hopefully this year. It's sad to lose the tradition of Vero Beach, but the relative convenience of Camelback Ranch is hard to beat.

Dodger Taiwan Games Sell Out, Crash System

According to the Agence France Presse (no link), the remainder of the tickets for the Dodgers' two games in Taiwan this spring training sold out in six hours:

Tickets for two exhibition games featuring the Los Angeles Dodgers in Taiwan in March sold out in just six hours, an organiser said Friday.

Fans swamped the Internet for 20,000 tickets priced from 500 to 5,000 Taiwan dollars (15 to 156 US) which went on sale Thursday, causing the ticketing system to go down temporarily, said organiser Bros Sports Marketing Inc.

Taiwan is counting on the star power of the Major League outfit to lift fans' spirits after the island's favourite sport was hit by a string of match-fixing scandals. [...]

Taiwanese authorities last year launched an investigation into the latest match-fixing allegations, resulting in the arrest of six bookies and former players.

Prosecutors have declined to say how many players are suspected of involvement in the alleged scam but so far more than 20 have been questioned in the ongoing probe.

Earlier: Dodgers Demand in Taiwan Looks Strong

Your SoSG Graph of the Day

Full disclosure: Corey used the term "frothy" in a comment on this post. But the powerful god Google says that Orel charted new territory for SoSG this morning.

Rap Renaissance

Young MC's frothy rap song "Bust a Move" was released in 1989, and twenty years later it's still paying dividends. In 2009 alone, the song was featured in:

  • "Glee" (as covered by Broadway star Matthew Morrison — see above)
  • "The Blind Side" (as covered by Quinton Aaron and that little kid who ruins the entire movie)
  • "Up in the Air" (in which Young MC himself makes a cameo, performing to an audience that includes George Clooney, Vera Farmiga and Anna Kendrick)

So start writing that hit single! If it's catchy enough, you'll be set for life. Or at least for pocket change.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

PECOTA Picks Dodgers To Win NL West; Why Even Play The Games At This Point

According to Baseball Prospectus' wacky PECOTA projection machines, the Dodgers will win the 2010 NL West with a 87-75 record, two games ahead of the Diamondbacks. The Snakes will tie with the Braves for the Wild Card. The NL West's Giants will finish third at .500, with the Rockies and Padres behind them in order.

The Cardinals will end the year with the best record, two games ahead of the Dodgers and one game ahead of the NL East-winning Phillies...which means we would face the Phillies in the playoffs yet again, this time in the first round.

Way to go out on a limb there on the NL, Mr. Pecota!

The Rays, Twins, and A's will win their divisions, with the Red Sox snagging the AL Wild Card.

Thanks to Big League Stew for the link.

You Call It "Focused." We Call It "Snoring."

"...the 2010 WHAT???" Baseball season? Winter Olympics? Head of the Charles Regatta? Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Entry Form? American Idol winner?

Former Dodger and intestinal-fortitude-challenged individual Chan Ho Park may be on the cover of the latest issue of KoreAm magazine. But shhhhhhhh! Don't wake him! As Park dreams of a new team to sign him for this season, he says he's still reminiscing about last year's postseason ailments:

Though Park was ill during the Series—infected with swine flu, no less—he was able to maintain his focus while pitching on baseball’s grandest stage. His opponents: the greatest postseason performers in the sport’s history, the New York Yankees.

“I had the swine flu during the World Series, [but] it didn’t matter,” Park recalls. “Sometimes, when you’re not feeling good, mentally you get stronger and you’re able to focus.”

Park used that focus to bounce back during Games 4 to 6, adding to his bulldog mentality and displaying the L-O-V-E he’s generated from his fans and supporters.

Somebody get the Sharpie before he wakes up! I want to make sure he's aware of the L-O-V-E.

DT: LAT --> ESPN

A year ago, Dodger Thoughts moved from the now-defunct Baseball Toaster to the LA Times. Jon Weisman gained new readers, but he also gained the headaches associated with the Times' clunky commenting interface.

Now Jon is shufflin' on again, this time taking DT to ESPNLosAngeles.com, which has already snagged Tony Jackson as their Dodgers beat writer. (Also landing at ESPNLosAngeles: J.A. Adande (formerly of the LA Times), the Bros. Kamenetzky (formerly of the Times' Lakers blog), Ramona Shelburne (formerly of the Daily News) and Arash Markazi (formerly of SI.com)).

Congratulations, Jon, on the latest leg of your adventure. We look forward to seeing you in your new digs — and surmising who the next LA Times Dodger blogger will be. Guess away!

For The Record, We're Not Really Sons of Steve Garvey

Not that we really have any material assets that could be claimed, either (short of the mounds of gold bullion in blog revenue). But if Robert Snell of the Detroit News is right, our "father", the real Steve Garvey (along with his wife) owes about a half a million dollars in back taxes:

What's owed:

  • The state of California filed an $80,533 lien against the couple on Nov. 18, 2009, with the Riverside County (Calif.) Recorder of Deeds.
  • The state of California filed a $98,837 lien against the couple on Nov. 16, 2009, with the Los Angeles County Recorder of Deeds.
  • The IRS filed a $155,867 lien against them on June 26, 2008, in Riverside.
  • The state of California filed a $20,945 lien against the couple on Jan.. 16, 2008, in Riverside.
  • The IRS filed a $122,362 lien against them on Aug. 2, 2007, in Riverside.
  • The state of Utah filed a $13,961 lien against them on May 8, 2006, with the Salt Lake District Court.

Their side:

Garvey and his wife could not be reached for comment. His management company's lawyer also did not return an e-mail seeking comment.

Really, we're not related. Don't seize our assets! (Signed, Steve Sax)

Playing The Role of Jason Schmidt...Noah Lowry?

That's right, the Dodgers' fascination with questionable former San Francisco Giants arms continues, as Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com broke yesterday (1/26 8:41a ET) that Noah Lowry will be working out for the Dodgers and other scouts next Tuesday:

Free agent pitcher Noah Lowry will hold a private workout for interested teams next Tuesday in Phoenix, according to ESPN.com's Jerry Crasnick. About 15 clubs are expected to attend.

Lowry, 29, has a 40-31 record with a 4.03 ERA in parts of four seasons with San Francisco. He has missed the past two seasons with thoracic outlet syndrome, a circulatory problem that previously befell pitchers Kenny Rogers and Jeremy Bonderman and infielder Hank Blalock. He underwent surgery to correct the problem in May.

Lowry is now healthy and throwing bullpen sessions three times a week, and expects to go to spring training with no restrictions. Lowry and his agent, Damon Lapa, have been talking to a number of clubs about a one-year, incentive-laden deal that the pitcher can use as a springboard for free agency next winter.

As Lowry's last "truly effective" season was 2005, when he went 13-13 with a 3.78 ERA (113 ERA+) and a 1.314 WHIP. But it would be so-like-the-Dodgers to pick up an ineffective former Giant for our starting rotation. Let's hope that when we hear "Lowry" next year, all that comes to mind is prime rib and spinning salad.

Keith Law Rates Dodgers' Farm System 19th

Not exactly a ringing endorsement over at espn.com (insider only, no link):

19. Los Angeles Dodgers

They have almost nothing at the upper levels, but are overflowing with power arms below that. Possibly the best organization at converting players from one position to another, or from hitting to pitching, or vice versa.

The Rangers took the top slot, with the Braves (#5) the top NL team. The Astros, Cardinals, and White Sox took the last three spots (with the White Sox last at #30).

In the NL West, the Rockies are at #8 ("A solid mix of high-end arms like Tyler Matzek and Rex Brothers, tools prospects like Hector Gomez and Wilin Rosario, and safer college guys like Tim Wheeler"), Padres at #11 ("The Padres' low-A affiliate and extended spring rosters will be stacked with prospects between their 2009 draft class and their stable of young Latin American signings"), Giants at #20 ("The Giants still have two to four very high-ceiling guys, but the supporting cast is thinner than it looked a year ago"), and Snakes at #27 ("The system was all but barren before that draft, however, and it's going to take some time for that new talent to percolate on to the master ranking").

Our thin upper levels are mainly because all those guys are playing in the Show, but we've heard that excuse for three years now and it's time the next corps graduates and gets up there. Without Ned trading them away, that is.

Pads, Vans, Books and Stoves

Dreamier: Andre Ethier or iPad?

Stuff from around the stuffosphere:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Things I Don't Understand: The Dalmatians Canon

Today I saw this banner ad:

Sitting in the ad are images of 101 Dalmatians, 102 Dalmatians, and 101 Dalmatians 2.

Which raises the question: what name do we give the next sequel?

  • a) 101 Dalmatians 3
  • b) 102 Dalmatians 2
  • c) 103 Dalmatians
  • d) 103 1/3 Dalmatians: The Smell of Fear

I don't even know what the order is in the existing canon, so if anyone can explain that to me as well, that would be great.

Dawson, at Point of No Return, Has HOF Wishes Denied

I guess Gary Carter was lonely, because the Baseball Hall of Fame has told Andre Dawson he's entering the HOF as an Expo. Dawson, who wanted to be immortalized on his plaque as a Chicago Cub, is instead succumbing to the HOF's Expos fetish:

The hall announced its decision Wednesday. Dawson told WMVP-AM in Chicago that he thought hall officials would discuss the issue with him in detail before the decision was made. He said he wanted a chance to tell them "what really catapulted me to Hall of Fame status and pretty much what my preference was but I think their decision had been made. It was a little gut-wrenching for me to hear that but it's their decision."

"I'm disappointed," Dawson told the ESPN Radio affiliate. "I can proudly say that because Chicago was my preference."

Dawson's official statement issued by the hall was more circumspect.

"I respect the Hall of Fame's decision to put an Expos logo on my cap, and I understand their responsibility to make sure the logo represents the greatest impact in my career," Dawson said in Wednesday's statement. "Cubs fans will always be incredibly important in my heart, and I owe them so much for making my time in Chicago memorable, as did the fans in Montreal, Boston and South Florida, my home. But knowing that I'm on the Hall of Fame team is what's most important, as it is the highest honor I could imagine."

The induction ceremony in Cooperstown, N.Y., is July 25.

Dawson played his first 11 seasons with Montreal, batting .285 with 225 home runs and 838 RBIs. He was named an All-Star three times and won the National League Rookie of the Year Award in 1977. He played six seasons with the Cubs, where he won the 1987 NL MVP award after batting .287 with 49 home runs and 137 RBIs. He also played two years each for Boston and Florida before retiring in 1996.

Dawson told WMVP he thought he "would have a little bit more input or I would carry or merit some sort of weight" as to whether he would go into the hall as a Cub or Expo.

"It was to my understanding they would make the determination at the consent of sitting down and discussing it with you prior to making the determination and I just thought it would carry a little bit more weight than it did," he said.

Earlier this month, Hall president Jeff Idelson said "you want the logo to represent where this guy made his greatest impact. He was impactful in Montreal. He was impactful in Chicago, and to a much lesser extent Boston and Florida, but it's more of a case sitting down and collectively make a decision."

The hall noted that Dawson had 1,575 of his 2,774 hits as an Expo, won six of his eight Gold Glove awards in Montreal and led the Expos to their only postseason series win with a five-game victory over the Phillies in 1981. Idelson also said it's the museum's responsibility to "properly interpret the game's history."

Somewhere, Pedro Martinez weeps.

Hi, I'm a pad and I'm mlb

If you may remember I reviewed the mlb at bat 2009 iphone app last year and as you know I loved it. Condensed games, highlights, and full out of market games to watch were an absolute time waster for a baseball fan. Now apple has lured me with another device that they revealed today: the iPad. From the macworld live blog:

Extremely excited to make something for the iPad. Didn't just want to make their app biger, wanted to create whole new experience. Live game experience with data from last April. Navigate league scoreboard across the top. Shows you every throw. Tap any player to flip open baseball card. Show video highlights while this is going on. Across the bottom you can see box score, field, line up, summary. Watch live with your choice of home or away announceres. Enhance with live data from MLB.com while you watch.

Awesome. I just might have to lay down $500.

Garland Gone; Thome To Twins

News about two 2009 Dodgers, now departed:

We hardly knew either one, since both came to the Dodgers last season right before the August 31 trade deadline. Thome, as a DH, never had a real place on the Dodgers for a full season; Garland didn't even make our post-season roster.

Thanks for the memories, Jim and Jon!

Mini-Dodger Stadium Opens in Las Vegas

Former Dodger shortstop and manager Bill Russell was there for the christening of Big League Dreams, a collection of softball and youth baseball sports parks based on major league ballparks, that was unveiled this week in Las Vegas:

The Las Vegas Big League Dreams is the 10th such facility opened by [Jeff] Odekirk and his partners, who include Russell and baseball's Giambi brothers. Built on 35 acres, it comprises softball-diamond-sized, FieldTurf-covered replicas of Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, Angel Stadium, Dodger Stadium, Wrigley Field and old Crosley Field in Cincinnati -- a curious choice, considering those who have played there said "classic" would not be in the starting lineup of adjectives one would normally use in describing old Crosley Field. Even if it was the first big league ballpark to add lights in 1935. And even if it did feature a quirky sloping terrace in front of the outfield walls. [...]

In addition to the six ball fields, Big League Dreams includes two baseball-themed restaurants, an indoor soccer field, batting cages, playgrounds and areas for picnics and private parties. Everything, as they say in news releases and at NASA headquarters, is state of the art or cutting edge. The project is a partnership between Odekirk's people and the City of Las Vegas, with Big League Dreams maintaining the facility and the city sharing in the profits. The park cost $28.5 million to build.

No word as to if these fields will be serving Mini Sirloin Burgers at the concession stands. But a man can always dream.

photo: Jerry Henkel / Las Vegas Review-Journal

Thanks to All Who Didn't Vote

...for any of the remaining Sons. You know who you are! And don't worry about Pedro's last words. You know why? Because...

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Pedro: You Can Be Back...

... and not only in reruns. Years back, the Hulkster got kicked out of the WWE.

But soon afterwards, Mr America entered the arena. And nobody could tell the difference.

Look for SoSG's new correspondent "Jason Grabowski" any day now.

SoSG Pedro Guerrero Concedes With Grace, Tact, and Class

And there you have it, at 12:47p PT, conceded his spot as a Son with all the style you've come to expect from such a verbose individual:

"F y'all"...I think that's the same thing I said on August 26, 1988 when you fckrs traded me to St Louis and THEN won the world series....so maybe, you'll win in 2010?

The Dapper Dominican, ladies and gentlemen, was never one to beat around the bush.

Sidebar updated (updated again 1/27 9:30a). Farewell, Pedro, and thanks for all the memories!

Ausmus Returns; Dodgers Caught with Three Guys Behind the Plate

More boomerangs: Rafael Brad Ausmus to return (Dodger Thoughts)

Somewhere, A.J. Ellis slaps his head.

Belliard Returns; Dodgers Caught With Three Guys Standing On Second Base

Jon Weisman just broke the news that Ronnie Belliard has re-signed with the Dodgers for one year, $825K:

The Dodgers now find themselves with two right-handed-hitting infielders to share time at second base (and backing up Casey Blake at third base) with the lefty DeWitt. Belliard made $1.9 million in 2009. Though Joe Torre has had encouraging words about DeWitt, you wonder how quickly his late-2009 infatuation with Belliard will abate. Belliard could be the team's starting second baseman as the season unfolds (even if he's buried on the bench like Orlando Hudson when the season folds).

To my knowledge, Orlando Hudson is also swimming around there in unemployedsville. Why not pick Hudson up too, and have a full on tea party (along with DeWitt and Jamey Carroll) at second base?

Welcome back, Belliard!

UPDATE (Orel): Dodgers re-sign Ronnie Belliard, but want less belly (LA Times)

SoSG Campaign: The Polls Are Closed, The Results Are In...

...and you can rent 500 Days of Summer from Netflix today!

Oh yeah, and it looks like Pedro Guerrero has seen the end of his prolific tenure on Sons of Steve Garvey:

Final vote count (technically, the poll is still open, but this is what we're using with 116 votes counted, at 11:00a PT):

  • Pedro Guerrero: 57 votes for downsizing
  • Lasorda: 33
  • Delino DeShields: 23
  • Alex Cora: 7
  • Eric Karros: 6
  • Steve Sax: 5
  • Orel: 4

A concession speech from Pedro may be coming soon (depending on if he still remembers his blogger password). If not, we'll write something pithy for him. In the meantime, thank all of you for your votes, comments, and voting play-by-play--and for allowing the six remaining Sons to continue at their current salary (and expense account / lifestyle) levels.

A's Sew Up Sheets

Athletics Sign Ben Sheets To One-Year Deal (MLBTR)

So the Dodgers took a look but the eventual price tag of $10-plus million was too much for them in the end. While a few free-agent pitchers still remain, I'm preparing myself for another season of a hopefully healthy foursome (Kuroda, Billingsley, Kershaw, Padilla) plus a rotating fifth spot.

Our Next Brilliant Campaign

These two hunky men have already divided the nation, and turned this site into our own version of the Jack/Locke fight on Lost.

Two More Hours Of Voting

With just over two hours left in voting, the early results for the downsizing victim (107 voters total; multiple answers allowed) are:

  • Pedro Guerrero 52
  • Lasorda 30
  • Delino DeShields 19
  • Alex Cora 6
  • Eric Karros 5
  • Orel, Steve Sax 3 (tie)

Not looking good for Pedro, though anything can happen in baseball.

Remember to get in your votes here. Polls close at 10a today, or whenever I can out of my morning meetings.

Dodgers' Demand in Taiwan Looks Strong

According to the Central News Agency (no link), there was high demand for the first allotment of tickets to the Dodgers' two games to be played in Taipei and Kaohsiung, Taiwan this March:

Taipei, Jan. 24 (CNA) On-the-spot tickets for the much anticipated games between the U.S. Major League Baseball team, the Los Angeles Dodgers, and a local team sold like hot cakes in Taipei and Kaohsiung Sunday.

The Dodgers will be suiting up in Taiwan to play two exhibition games against a team from the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) in Taipei, northern Taiwan and in Kaohsiung in the south on March 13 and 14, respectively,

The two-game set will not be part of the Dodgers 2010 Spring Training schedule, and their CPBL opponent has not yet been identified.

Baseball fans queued up for long hours at the ticket window of the Tienmu Baseball Stadium in Taipei for tickets, which cost up to NT$ 5,000 (US$162). The tickets were sold out shortly after sales began at 2 p.m. [...]

Chang Che-chin, who is in charge of the Tienmu ticket window for the event, said that only 1,000 tickets were available on the spot in Taipei and each buyer was allowed only two tickets. Many fans who showed up late failed to obtain tickets.

In Kaohsiung, the situation was similar, as the 3,000 available on-the-spot tickets have been sold out.

Chang said online booking of seats, which total 7,000 for the Taipei game and 15,000 for the one in Kaohsiung, will be available from next week.

Of the six Taiwanese players to play in the majors, four (Hong-Chih Kuo, Chin-Feng Chen, Chin-Lung Hu and Chin-hui Tsao) have played for the Dodgers.

Monday, January 25, 2010

A Message to Those Who Tried to Poison and Destroy Me

Thanks to all those Delino-maniacs who clicked elsewhere. But to the rest of you...

I don't know who you are. I don't know what you want. If you are looking for ransom, I can tell you I don't have money. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go change your vote now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.

And I still got many a Delino DeShields card just waiting to be mailed out.

The Real Reason Favre Threw the Pick

The Artist Formerly Known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince was so inspired by the Vikings' use of purple that he penned a new fight song for the now relaxing/aching Vikings. The result: six turnovers and a whole bunch of extra fumbles for good measure.

Not sure about you guys, but I've never heard a tune that made me want to jump more into battle... or throw myself on my own sword. With this song, the entire A-Side of Purple Rain* has been permanently erased from my mind.

*Please note: An A-side is an allusion to an archaic form of music known as a vinyl record.

SoSG Downsizing: The Referendum

This is it: the moment of reckoning. Now I know how Jason Todd felt.

One week ago today, we opened the campaign for the Sons of Steve Garvey, with the end result being the downsizing of a SoSG staff member. SoSG readers would get the opportunity to pick which Son gets the axe.

When the week started with pure platform definition, I had hopes that this would be a clean campaign. But it was only a matter of time before it devolved into unabashed bribery, celebrity and fellow blogger endorsements, spirited debates, and "baby" kissing and flesh-pressing. At least one SoSG reader tried to save us from our descent into moral turpitude with some talented graphic design.

But now, it's time for judgment. Ask not what each Son can do for you. Ask what you can do to get rid of your least-favorite Son.

Which Son Should Be Downsized from the SoSG Staff?
Alex Cora
Delino DeShields
Eric Karros
Lasorda
Orel
Pedro Guerrero
Steve Sax
  
pollcode.com free polls

UPDATE 11:10a (Sax): Sorry, forgot to mention that as per the campaign rules, the poll will close at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, 1/26/10.

UPDATE 3:13p (Orel): Thanks to Dusty for the picture!

Go Colts!

I have never been to Indianapolis, but whenever I watch the Colts I am struck by the raw emotion infused throughout the team's very DNA, best personified by their gun-slinging quarterback with the short snap counts (I forget his name, but I think his brother is famous). It's not just that the city could use a boost after not enjoying a Super Bowl victory since all the way back to 2007. It's also the food--sweet corn: it's sweet, and it's corn (remember, 2007 was the Year of Corn!).

So good luck, Colts! May your next Super Bowl also be yet another methodical, robot-like Super Bowl win. And yet another boring Super Bowl game.

Go Saints!

My wife and I were lucky enough to spend some time in New Orleans last year, and we found ourselves rooting for the Saints in last night's NFC championship game. It's not just that the city could use a boost after Hurricane Katrina — the effects of which are still very much present. For me, it was the people: some of the friendliest I've met. Oh, and the food: Can you say BBQ Shrimp PoBoy? Oh yeah.

So good luck, Saints! May your first Super Bowl also be your first Super Bowl win.

po' boy photo from Off the Broiler

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thanks for the Memory

Veteran Loretta to announce retirement (Dodgers.com)

As far as many Dodger fans are concerned, Mark Loretta has exactly one highlight in his career — but it was a doozy. Way to go out on a high note, Mark. We loved your greatest hit.

UPDATE: Loretta retires to Padres' front office (Padres.com)

photo: Mark J. Terrill/AP

Taiwan! It's On!

The Dodgers traveled to China last spring training during spring training in 2008, and this year they're going to Taiwan:

Dodgers to play pair of exhibitions in Taiwan (Dodgers.com)

Looks like Jeff Fuller has been getting things done. Good job, Jeff!

Previously at SoSG: Dodgers, Padres Take Edict to "Establish Baseball Ties in China" a Bit Too Literally

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Greatest Non WWE Entrance Video EVER

I exhibited this in my post for salvation, but got my hands on a High Def version of the the UAF Nanook Hockey entrance vid. Without hyperbole, I promise it will change your world.

Astute reader/philosopher Daniel G points out that this is an alternate cut of the other vid...

First, the icebreaker that the nuclear polar bear chops in half is called the Seawolf, which I think is the name of the University of Alaska-Anchorage. And secondly, for some reason in the new version they blow up Miami of Ohio instead of Notre Dame.

This should come as no surprise to us College Ice Hockey Enthusiasts / Sarah Palin fetishists. The Miami of Ohio - Alaska rivalry dwarves Ohio St - Michigan in both intensity and lives lost. Now if someone can just explain what happened to the Polar Bear's brave wingmen during Operation: Annihilation Earth.

Weekend Browserama

Juan Pierre at this year's Sox Fest.

2010 Mets Hall of Fame inductees Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry.

AP photos

Friday, January 22, 2010

Orel's Sexy Bribe of the Day

The campaigning continues! I may have lost a looker, but I also gained some key endorsements. And despite the strong competition, I'm soldiering on. For the gents:

SofĂ­a Vergara. We just started watching "Modern Family" — now you have reasons to as well.

And ladies, don't let it be said I ignore suggestions; in fact, I can be quite observant and I also keep my promises:

2009 AL MVP Joe Mauer!


2009 AL MVP Joe Mauer in his catching gear!


2009 AL MVP Joe Mauer in a stripey sweater!

Albatrosses Flying Out of L.A.

First the Dodgers shed Juan Pierre, now the Angels have unloaded Gary Matthews Jr. From MLBTR:

The Mets will acquire Gary Matthews Jr. and cash from the Angels for Brian Stokes. Matthews, who receives $500K for being traded, is set to make $11MM in 2010 and $12MM in 2011. The Angels will pick up all but $2MM of the $23.5MM remaining on the deal.

To put this in perspective, the Dodgers are paying $10 million of the $18.5 million left on Juan Pierre's contract — and they received two pitching prospects for him. But that's what happens when your albatross produces more than the other guy's albatross.

photo by Jay Holcomb/IBRRC

Jason the FvD Winner Finally Gets Paid

And no, this isn't a bribe. Jason won the Flo vs. Deltalina competition fair and square, and I am proud to announce that his prize is finally on its way!

In the prize pack, Jason will receive:

  • two issues of the Dodgertown mini-magazine pamphlets;
  • two Dodgers magnet schedules;
  • one Dodgers LA logo bandana;
  • and one mint condition (if there is such a thing) Dodgers rally towel (from either the NLDS or NLCS, I can't recall which game).

Jason, thank you for your patience, and enjoy!

Seattle's Slew of Former L.A. Favorites

name L.A. team Seattle team
Adrian Beltre Dodgers (1998-2004) Mariners (2005-2009)
Chone Figgins Angels (2002-2009) Mariners (2010-?)
Pete Carroll USC (2001-2009) Seahawks (2010-?)

Okay, not quite a slew, but enough to call a trend. Or the start of a trend. A trendling, if you will. All I know is that if Matt Kemp or Clayton Kershaw ends up in Seattle, I'm loading the car up with pitchforks and torches and taking a road trip up north.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

SAVE DELINO - SAVE YOURSELVES!!! (REVISED FOR YOUR PLEASURE)

I thought defending why I write for this blog to my wife was difficult. But now, with my neck on the chopping block, I have to turn to you... our loyal hordes of SoSG-maniacs to keep the dream alive.

Do you remember the dark days of SoSG, before Delino?

Life at SoSG after the Delino, like a Steven Seagal film, has been a non-stop pulsating thrill ride.

For the Delino brings so much to the Sons of Steve Garvey landscape.

An East Coast perspective

• Constantly bringing you the best videos in the universe (enjoy the University of Alaska's Ice Hockey team exceedingly surreal and violent entrance video... courtesy of Cubs sufferer Daniel G)

• Acts of charity and nobility

• A Master of Photoshop

A knowledge of Judaica and all things Semitic

A vote for the Delino is not just a vote for liberty and freedom, it's a vote for yourself. For I promise that if you vote for me, I will PERSONALLY send you an autographed Delino DeShields card.*
* Signed by "SoSG's Delino"... for all I know, the real Delino wants me dead.

I recently came into over 200 Delino DeShields cards. (It's really amazing what $5 on ebay can get you). So vote for me, and I'll cover the 45 cent stamp, the envelope, and the cost of Sharpie ink.

Top that Lasorda!

PS... In case you doubt the impact of the Delino, let me remind you what you'll find when you google-image the name Delino DeShields (which MILLIONS do every day).

Orel's Adorable Bribe of the Day

Padilla? Padilla? That's All, Folks?

The Dodgers just re-signed midseason scrap heap pickup Vicente Padilla for one year, $5M:

The Dodgers finally completed their search for a fourth starter, re-signing Vicente Padilla to a one-year, $5.025 million contract after the veteran right-hander became a key member of their starting rotation down the stretch last season.

Padilla, 32, will join a rotation that includes fellow holdovers Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda and Clayton Kershaw.

The signing leaves lefties Eric Stults and Scott Elbert, knuckleballer Charlie Haeger, newcomer Carlos Monasterios and non-roster veteran Russ Ortiz to compete for the fifth spot.

The Dodgers signed Padilla on Aug. 19, shortly after the Texas Rangers released him. Padilla went 4-0 with a 3.20 ERA in eight appearances, seven of them starts. [...]

Padilla will receive a $4.025 million base salary in 2010 and a $1 million signing bonus payable in 2011.

Well, it sure as heck isn't Joel Pineiro (bagged by the Angels for two years, $16M). I thought Ned was in for someone bigger, given the chasm left by Randy Wolf. But at least it isn't Braden Looper, I suppose. I'll take it--especially since we've got one more big hole to fill.

Welcome back, Vicente!

I have been waiting for months to use that headline. For that alone, I'm excited for the signing!

Brian Baumgartner Is Focused; Jeanne Zelasko, Not So Much

Although it had been posted by Jon a couple of days ago, I was finally able to watch actor Brian Baumgartner's tour of the Dunder Mifflin Scranton branch office yesterday evening.

The video was funny and all, but what I couldn't get my head around was the lead-in video by Jeanne Zelasko. As I watched her read her lines, I kept wondering: How big is that cue card? Or is the guy holding the cue card running back and forth behind the camera? Man, watching her eyeballs go back and forth like she was watching a tennis match is awful distracting!

I'm feeling little seasick, myself.

SoSG Sax Nabs A Defector

Sorry I'm a little late to the fray this morning, gentlemen; last night ended up being kind of a long night... what's that? Why is my hair tousled? Shucks, I don't know.

No, I haven't seen the latest issue of FHM. But yeah, I think I may have picked up...another endorsement last night.

Okay, off to work, Sons!

P.S. Neeebs, this is for you.

SoSG Campaign: The Great Debate (Part 2)--The Questions

Thanks to all the SoSG readers who submitted questions. Due to space and time (continuum) constraints, we pulled one question from each submitter and here is the final list of questions. Sons, feel free to add your comments throughout the day; readers, feel free to opine on their responses or in general; the debate thread closes at midnight.

THE DEBATE QUESTIONS:

1. Dr. Geek: Zombies: fast, slow, or dancing?

2. Neeeebs: If you were on a desert island with Dusty (SOSG commentor), RBNLAW, Mr. Customer, and Neeebs, which one would you kill and eat if you were starving and there was no more food?

3. What Difference Does It Make: Two-part question; first: Ho w bad do you want to stay on; second, what lengths are you willing to go to keep it?

4. Loney Fan: If your significant other had Benjamin Button disease, at what age would you stop having sex with him/her?

5. Mr. Customer: Three-part question: 1) What is your name? 2) What is your quest? 3) What is your favourite colour?

6. Karina: will Harrison Ford and Joe Mauer make the front page again?

7. Paul: Favorite Manilow song?

8. Quadsevens: How do you order your scotch?

9. Jason: Ned calls and offers you the opportunity to put together a contract offer to a free agent. Within reasonable constraints, what is your offer and to whom?

10. Dusty Baker: Who is your favorite minor Simpsons character and why?

11. Mr. LA Sports Fan: You are trapped at the end of a tunnel. A horde of Giants fans are pursuing you. You find three weapons at your disposal: an Atlas of the country Tanzania, the lost memoirs of Rutherford B. Hayes, and a figure made out of fusilli pasta shaped like Jerry Seinfeld. What do you use to make your escape, and how?

12. Fanerman: Though you try to keep your lightsaber as a keepsake/lockpick, it is eventually confiscated from you. On what non-lightsaber weapon do you decide to spend your severance-package credits?

There you have it, Sons! Answer at will.

SoSG Alex Cora References His Skills

The Case for Orel

No, not what our wives and girlfriends hear every night. Ba-dum boom!

The endorsements are pouring in for the SoSG 2010 campaign! Let's go to the tape. (Hits oversized prop button*.)

  • First, a note from longtime SoSG reader Loney Fan:
    Orel because he is hilarious. EK because...I like his style of humor. Also, EK and Orel provide much smaller and more humorous posts....Those posts make the site more fun, especially in times when I only have a few minutes to browse and am looking for a laugh.

    (Don't know how those kind words about EK slipped by. Won't happen again.) Thanks, LF! Hottest avatar ever!

  • And now some completely unbiased words from the learned "Dusty Baker":
    Orel is one of my Best Friends in Whole Wide World. He should remain one of the Sons forever and ever and ever.

    A tip o' the Scotch glass to you, Dusty!

  • And our esteemed colleagues at Pitchers & Poets have cast their vote....
    PnP officialy endorses SOSG Orel in the vicious Sons of Steve Garvey Survivor Contest

    Vicious? Perhaps. Viscous? Definitely.

Thanks and congratulations to these brave souls, who chose...wisely. Feel free to declare your support for your favorite Son via comment, e-mail or skywriter

UPDATE: Chris from dodgerfan.net has thrown his weight behind the fastest horse. Good call!

*R.I.P. George Michael!