Wednesday, March 31, 2010

STGT: SS vs. Reds, 7p

Nick Green greets Argenis Reyes in yesterday's game.


While [today's earlier split-squad] game is ongoing, another squad of Dodgers will fly to Las Vegas, where it will play the Cincinnati Reds in a 7:05 p.m. PT start. Pitching in that game will be four pitchers fighting for jobs -- Josh Towers, Carlos Monasterios, Ramon Ortiz and Justin Miller. Manager Joe Torre will accompany the squad to Las Vegas.

photo by Ed Andrieski/AP

Championship Round, 1st Half: Comment-Time!

Mr Customer's got Josh S, Curious Gene's got Jason. It's on.

Hate Starts with the Young

Meanwhile, I've got to get a mini-season plan to even put this shirt to use!

* Picture courtesy of Quaker super-fan Jon T

Last Call for March Notes

Josh Lindblom pitches in yesterday's game.
  • Mark of is developing quite a relationship with Logan White. Logan White Interview
  • Goodbye, Stults & Repko. From @DodgertownUSA:
    Eric Stults and Jason Repko have been officially placed on release waivers by the #Dodgers
  • Howard of has a pee story to share with you. No really, it's worth a read.

photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

STGT: SS vs. Giants, 1p

Matt Kemp dives during Monday's game.


The Dodgers break camp Wednesday with split-squad games in two states. In the afternoon, they play the final game of the spring at Camelback Ranch-Glendale against the Giants, with Opening Day starter Vicente Padilla pitching for the Dodgers, followed by fifth-starter candidate Russ Ortiz.

photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

Double, double toil and trouble...

Fire burn, 'cause here COME PUZZLES!*

*new season begins April 6. More details Friday.

Grand Opening Announcement!*

For all who've been tossed out of your home by your family, significant other, roommate, or house pet for abandoning them in favor of hovering over your keyboard waiting for the next Comment-time post: SoSG announces the grand opening of the Run Batted Inn! Featuring budget-minded accommodations and located down the street from a popular local watering hole, The Run Batted Inn's amenities include continental breakfast, wireless internet, and free HBO.

Now accepting reservations!

And in related news, it's a 1 vs 3 championship matchup, Josh S vs FvD champ Jason!:

So gear up for the championship round, starting as early as 1 minute ago, while you were busy reading this instead of hitting refresh.

*this is not a comment-time post

The Dream Lives On

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Plaschke, You Don't Know How Bad It Could Be

Vicente Padilla may not be the most inspired opening day choice the Dodgers have ever had. But hey, it could be a lot worse. From USA Today this morning, "Pitchers on mend get opening-day starts" (no link)

Spring training numbers say right-handers Ben Sheets [17.28 ERA over 8 1/3 innings for Oakland this spring], Jake Westbrook [19 hits and 9 BB in his first 16 2/3 spring innings for Cleveland], and Shaun Marcum [8.10 ERA through 10 spring innings for Toronto] aren't where they would like to be after missing 2009 with wrist and elbow injuries. But each will be precisely where he wants to be Monday--pitching as his team's opening-day starter.

"I've had a bad spring," said Sheets, who signed a one-year, $10M contract with the Oakland Athletics as a free agent. "But I ain't fretting about it."

And we ain't fretting, either! Battletoad Padilla is clearly better than any of these questionable opening day options. And though we won't face any of these guys all regular season (save for the rare fluky interleague exception), so we can't take advantage of the opportunity--it's a nice reminder that sometimes the grass isn't greener over on the other side.

But their opening day pitchers sure seem greener, however.

STGT: @ Rockies, 1p


The Dodgers make their final trip to Tucson and Hi Corbett Field Tuesday to play the Rockies, with fifth starter candidate Eric Stults pretty much pitching for his Dodgers future. Also scheduled to pitch are Ramon Troncoso and Josh Lindblom. The lineup will be filled with reserves, with the exception of first baseman James Loney, who did not play in Goodyear.

UPDATE: Stults to Japan imminent, teammates say (Ken Gurnick,

photo by Jon SooHoo

Delino DeShields - Master of the East

My lousiest bracket ever has already been covered here. And you mocked. And drove me to the bottle.

But after a week long bender, I discovered a lone bright spot in one of my brackets. And not too surprising, it came from the east.

Even a broken watch is right twice a day.

Final Four, 2nd Half: Comment-Time!

The halftime scores:

  • (3) Jason leads (4) Dusty by 0:01
  • (1) Josh S leads (3) J Steve by 0:38

The bets:

  • Dusty Baker: MLASF, Brazilian Dodger Fan, Fred's Brim, Meaniebeanie, rbnlaw, Keven C
  • Josh S: Mr Customer
  • J Steve: Mr F
  • Jason: Curious Gene

More Gammons Quotage

From "Six Teams To Watch" on

2. Dodgers

"I look at the Dodgers, think about [Rafael] Furcal leading off, [Matt] Kemp, Manny [Ramirez] and [Andre] Ethier 3-4-5, see [Clayton] Kershaw, [Chad] Billingsley and [Jonathan] Broxton and see a lot of star-quality players," says one GM.

Kemp and Ethier are exploding into superstardom, with the character to boot.

Torre says, "This will be James Loney's breakout season. It is all coming together." As Don Mattingly points out, Loney is already a very good situational hitter who's knocked in 90 runs two years in a row, "but while he's very good hitting in the gaps, there's a lot more as he learns."

Russell Martin put his weight back on, says, "I have my legs back and can drive the ball again," which means he can be a 50-doubles hitter at any time.

Even if Ramirez is somewhere between what he was in 2008 and what he was when he came back, 25-30 homers and a .900 OPS in Dodger Stadium will do just fine. He did get paid the remainder of his 2009 contract this year, but how happy he'll be knowing his 2010 salary is deferred could be an issue, although this is a contract season.

Blake is a leader and consummate professional, Blake DeWitt can hit and is improving at second, and the players are thrilled with what GM Ned Colletti got for virtually nothing in Reed Johnson, Garret Anderson, Ronnie Belliard, Brad Ausmus and the ever-undervalued Jamey Carroll to give Torre a solid veteran bench.

The issues over the long haul will be pitching depth. Kershaw, Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda, Vincente Padilla and either Russ or Ramon Ortiz are the starters. How Kuroda and Padilla hold up will be interesting, and with Ronald Belisario unable to get into the U.S., and Hong-Chih Kuo on the DL, there will be more pressure on George Sherrill and Broxton.

In time, Chris Withrow and Josh Lindblom could come out of the Minors to help down the stretch. Withrow, two years off injury and Steve Blass-like control problems, was one of the most impressive young pitchers in Arizona.

The Dodgers are really good, and like the Rockies, the soul of the team -- Kemp, Ethier, Kershaw -- are coming into their primes. They just can't afford to have holes to fill come the Trade Deadline.

Better get ready, Mr. Loney. Gammons thinks you're about to be even more freed...


  • Do Dodger fans have a reputation? From "Answer Man: Padres' Heath Bell talks toys, conspiracies and Pez" by David Brown at Big League Stew:
    DB: What's the bullpen atmosphere like at Dodger Stadium?

    Bell: We get thrown a lot of beer in that little area. The fans over there do a good job of rattling us. It's their territory. You just want to tiptoe. You don't want to dig your feet into L.A. You just want to tiptoe in, play the game, tiptoe out. Don't tick anybody off.

  • Confirmation, straight from the horse's mouth. From "Timm's Two Cents: Five Minutes with Peter Gammons" at Nice interview, Robert!
    On the East Coast bias…
    • "Yeah, it’s absolutely true. With west coast games starting so late, and New York being the media hub that it is, the East takes all the headlines."

Monday, March 29, 2010

STGT: @ Cleveland, 7p

"Dear Ronald: Where were you? We waited and waited but finally decided that..."


The Dodgers play a night game at Goodyear against Cleveland, with Chad Billingsley getting the start. Jonathan Broxton and Jeff Weaver also are scheduled to pitch, but George Sherrill has been scratched to continue working on his mechanics in bullpen sessions. Position players that start this game will not make the final trip to Tucson, Ariz., on Tuesday and a game with Colorado. Hiroki Kuroda will pitch in a Minor League game at Camelback Ranch-Glendale on Monday, with Russell Martin catching.

photo via @DodgertownUSA

Final Four, 1st Half: Comment-Time!


The bets:

  • Dusty Baker: MLASF, Brazilian Dodger Fan, Fred's Brim, Meaniebeanie, rbnlaw, Keven C
  • Josh S: Mr Customer
  • J Steve: Mr F
  • Jason: Curious Gene

Petros Papadakis Rails on McCourts

I know Petros Papadakis, the USC football player turned sports radio pundit, is kind of a blowhard. His whole shtick revolves around a manic enthusiasm and amplified vocal excitability which has listeners hoping that his studios have waterproof microphones, as to prevent an awful short-circuit accident. Personally, I started turning the volume down on Petros after hearing the jingoistic and protectionist tones of his Chevrolet radio ads last year, which I didn't believe were fit for a culturally diverse and sophisticated population like we have in Los Angeles.

All that said, I couldn't help but be fascinated by Papadakis' rant this morning, as a guest on the Kevin and Bean show (KROQ 106.7 FM). Tossed a softball by the KROQ hosts, who asked Papadakis for his thoughts about the McCourt divorce circus and how it has sullied and economically paralyzed the Dodgers, Papadakis pulled no punches in stating his distaste for the owners' poor public handling of this unfortunate situation.

In summary, Papadakis' beef wasn't about the fact that Frank and Jamie McCourt are divorcing, which can happen to anyone. Rather, he begrudged the two of them for their inability to handle the information and media surrounding their divorce, and how they've aired their laundry in the press without regard for the team itself (including announcing the divorce on the eve of the 2009 NLCS, a classy move). And then there's Jamie's stratospheric claims for spousal support of $1M a month to retain her lifestyle; I don't know if I feel worse for Jamie for thinking this Marie Antoinette move would resonate with public opinion, or Frank for having the family's financial shenanigans out in the open. It's just a mess, and it's a mess that is devoting more time to Jamie and Frank than Rihanna and Matt.

The fact that the Dodgers have had their financial coffers closed as a result of this divorce is one thing (Papadakis brought up the common soundbite that the Dodgers' active payroll is lower than the Minnesota Twins' payroll, which is indeed gut-wrenching to hear as a Dodgers fan). But Papadakis was more infuriated with how the Dodgers' brand has been destroyed by the McCourts' catfighting, and how the "chowderheads'" whole nouveau-riche facade, which they exuded upon coming to Los Angeles not too long ago, has given way to an embarrassing shadow which infects the Dodgers' pristine franchise glow. "Jerry Buss went through a divorce in the mid-80's," Papadakis claimed, "and he was able to keep it out of the press. Not the McCourts."

Papadakis is easily excitable, to be sure. But when I reflect upon the past six months and off-season, I agree that the McCourts' actions haven't allowed me to be as proud to support my team as I have been in the past couple of years. Unlike Petros, I'm having a slightly tougher time getting past the fact that the team has cut back on payroll spending, leaving a number of big "ifs" lingering over the team this season (with our only hope resting in the fact that the rest of the NL West didn't improve all that much, either). The McCourts, to their credit, have made decent investments into payroll in prior years, and these investments have been rewarded by the team's postseason results.

But, like Papadakis, I'm struggling with how the Dodgers, in six months' time, have degraded into a comedy of a franchise and the butt of jokes rather than a shining paragon of quality management among sports franchises, let alone MLB. Shouldn't the Dodgers' management stand for class and nobility? Doesn't the Dodger Way mean anything anymore? Isn't $1M/month for living expenses a slight bit excessive (as one SoSG reader commented, "think of all the baseball fields that could build in inner-city communities!")?

Maybe, as some have suggested, the McCourts' clumsiness in team management and public relations aptitude was there all along, and it just didn't publicly manifest itself until this divorce reared its ugly head(s). To be fair, under the McCourts, we did get to the postseason three times in the last four years, and we got playoff series victories in 2008 and 2009 for the first time in two decades. The McCourt era, as pungent as it may smell right now, definitely deserves commendation and credit for those great playoff memories as well.

Maybe this divorce can get resolved quickly, and the luster on the Dodgers' franchise will be restored. I sure hope so, even if I know it isn't all that likely to be quick at all. But I'd sure like to be more proud to be a faithful Dodger fan. I just wish this media circus didn't make it so difficult.

Spells Like Team Spirit

Dodgers fans at Camelback Ranch this weekend.


Dodgers fans, August, 2008.

1: Tony Dejak/AP; 2: Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

Buster Olney Has Dodgers Finishing Second In NL West

Insider only (no link), but Olney goes through the divisions and our Dodgers aren't atop the NL West:

NL West

1. Colorado Rockies
2. Los Angeles Dodgers
3. San Francisco Giants
4. Arizona Diamondbacks
5. San Diego Padres

Thoughts: The Dodgers' lineup is formidable, with its core of rising young stars, and the bullpen should be great again. But the starting pitching is very thin, and we cannot expect with any confidence that the Dodgers will be as aggressive as they probably will need to be in making a midsummer deal. Meanwhile, the Rockies have as much position-player depth as any team in the majors, and Jeff Francis is back.

What? The Dodgers' starting pitching looks thin? You don't say.

ESPN's Neyer Predicts Haeger Will Snag Fifth Starter Spot

Good news, Charlie Haegar:'s Rob Neyer thinks you've got a leg up on anyone else named Ortiz, among others, for the fifth slot:

My guess is that [Carlos] Monasterios winds up in the bullpen, because 1) he's got exactly seven and one-third innings of professional experience above Class A, but 2) he's a Rule 5 guy, so the Dodgers can't send him to the minors without offering him back to the Phillies.

So that leaves Russ and Ramon [Ortizes], the latter of whom has struck out 19 hitters and walked only four in 14 innings. Of course, he's the same guy who got hammered in Japan in 2008 and pitched in the Pacific Coast League last season, and pitched well but never got the call from the Giants. Same guy whose ERA was 5.47 over his last three seasons in the majors (2005-2007).

I'd take my chances with Haeger, but then I'm not exactly objective on this subject.

Who's the last non-Wakefield knuckleballer to break camp with a spot in the starting rotation? Probably Steve Sparks, who started the Diamondbacks' fifth game in 2004 (and came out of the bullpen for two innings just four days later). Sparks held that No. 5 slot until late July, when he lost it to rookie Lance Cormier (who lost it, two weeks later, to Steve Randolph).

Here's what I like about Charlie Haeger: as knuckleballers go, he's still a baby. Sparks was nearly 30 when he reached the majors. Dennis Springer was 30. Jared Fernandez was 29. Haeger reached the majors at 22. Granted, that was four years ago and he's still looking to earn his first extended shot. Considering his relative youth and his Triple-A numbers, I like his chances. But managers of contending teams don't typically have a great deal of patience, and Haeger might not pitch 200 innings in a season until he finds a lousy team.

The fact that we're picking over Charlie Haegar and a couple of Ortizes for the fifth slot is pathetic, especially when we've got reports that the Red Sox have their top five starters locked and Dice-K isn't even one of them. But here we are, having made no big play for a starter this off-season and having watched Randy Wolf walk away, and we're picking over these guys for 15-20% of our games. Yay.

One Week to Opening Day

Thanks to YouTube user Azul3155 for the Vin compilation!

Mientkiewicz Wishes to be a Free-Man

Mr. M has described his current situation with the Dodgers Brass thusly:

So I'm not bitter or pouting, but I feel like the Shawshank Redemption. Let me go. No place I'd rather be than with the Los Angeles Dodgers. But I'm not one of the 25. I'm OK with that. I get it. Then, why hold onto me?

In other words...

I've always had a soft spot for the man whose name we dare not spell. Great defensive first baseman. Tried to hold on to the curse-lifting Red Sox ball to cover his "retirement fund." (cause baseball players need the cash). Had his worst hitting season with the Mets, as all veterans do. And I think he's friends or something with my brother-in-law's sister-in-law. So wherever he lands, I wish him all the best.

And "Remember, (former) Red (Sock), hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies. I will be hoping that this letter finds you, and finds you well. Your friend. (Delino)"

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Eye Chart Released From Dodgers

Garret Anderson, congratulations on becoming the 2010 Dodgers' left-handed pinch hitter:

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Doug Mientkiewicz said his request to be released was denied by the Dodgers, who retain control over the veteran until his opt-out clause takes effect on Friday.

Mientkiewicz said he left camp Friday after manager Joe Torre told him he would not make the Opening Day roster, believing he would be released. Mientkiewicz was offered a coaching position, but said he told Torre that he wanted to keep playing and that Torre told him the club would do "everything we can to help you find a job."

"But the only way to find a team is to get my release," Mientkiewicz said. "They gave Eric Gagne and Angel Berroa their releases. But they won't give me mine because they say if Garret Anderson blows out his hamstring, I'm the pinch-hitter."

Anderson apparently beat out Mientkiewicz for the left-handed pinch-hitter role, although Torre hasn't officially announced that. Mientkiewicz, who signed a Minor League contract, said he accepts having lost the competition.

"I'm not upset at that decision. I'm upset with what's transpired since then," said Mientkiewicz, who batted .292 this spring but whose injured throwing shoulder was a factor in the club's thinking.

With Mientkiewicz' departure, so goes an awesome nickname. Dodgers spell-checkers rejoice.

Is It Curtains for Jylan?

In what Dylan Hernandez is calling his last video segment, he and Josh Suchon discuss the nature of Dodger fans. Also, Jill Arrington talks Frank McCourt and the NFL:

STGT: 1p @ Reds

Andre Ethier hit his third spring training homer yesterday.

Casey Blake, still beardless. Le sigh.

Raffy tags Figgy.


Clayton Kershaw makes his final Arizona Spring Training start Sunday in Goodyear against the Cincinnati Reds. Ramon Troncoso, who has struggled, also will pitch. Russell Martin wants to catch in the game, but left after his workout Saturday saying he had not been told if he will be included on the travel squad.

photos by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

Notes for a Sunday Morning

Saturday, March 27, 2010

STGT: vs. Mariners, 1p


Ron Cey throws out the first pitch yesterday.

Who's the man, Matt Kemp?


Charlie Haeger, the apparent front-runner in the murky competition for fifth starter, gets the call Saturday for the Dodgers against Ian Snell and the Mariners at Camelback Ranch. As a knuckleballer, Haeger could almost fill two roles, starting every five days, while coming out of the bullpen once or twice between starts. That versatility is one of the reasons he seems to be highly regarded by management. Haeger will be followed by Russ Ortiz, another contender for the fifth starter spot.

How Many Lives Does Kuo's Elbow Have?

Dodgers shut down Kuo with sore elbow (Ken Gurnick,

And here we thought Russell Martin would be the first official casualty of spring training. Hong-Chih Kuo is already in mid-season form, with the Dodgers shutting him down after he pitched a total of only two spring training innings. With the mileage on that arm, it's difficult to envision Kuo returning and making an impact — but if the Dodgers' training staff were to bet on one guy, it'd be him. Is there another season in that elbow?

Dodger Photo Essay in the LA Business Journal

Mrs. Cora alerted me to this nice photo essay by Ringo H.W. Chiu in the Los Angeles Business Journal (March 22-28, 2010, Vol. 32, Number 12). The picture of the pictures far from do them any justice (especially the 2 page spread stadium picture) so if you have a chance to pick up a copy, check them out.

Big Blue: Diamond Polishing. The team is at its spring training site in Arizona until March 31. But workers at Chavez Ravine have been busy getting Dodger Stadium ready for the season. The Dodgers, perhaps L.A.'s best-known business, employ about 200 people who work in the office and maintain the grounds. They're sprucing up the field, printing tickets, helping fans book seats and rolling fresh paint wherever it's needed. All so that everything will be ready for an April 1 exhibition game and the April 13 home opener.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Worst Bracket Ever Gets Worster

SoSG March Madness - Final Four Set!

Looks like there will be no repeat champ. Nor will there be a Quad vs Loney Fan matchup. What there will be, however, are a lot of J's in the Final Four. Here's the updated bracket:

And here are the bets still in play:

  • Dusty Baker: MLASF, Brazilian Dodger Fan, Fred's Brim, Meaniebeanie, rbnlaw, Keven C
  • Josh S: Mr Customer
  • J Steve: Mr F
  • Jason: Curious Gene

So I'd just like to note that we're down to four guys who, in the last half-round, took an average of 1 minute to comment. And since we don't have a second hand in our timestamps, here are the very-possibly-relevant tie-breaker rules:

  • The timestamp of two adversaries who comment in the same minute will be treated as identical, regardless of which came first, except in the case where the two comment in the same minute in both halves, and the same adversary was first both times. In that case, that player wins.
  • If the net difference in a matchup is zero, there will be a third OT comment-time post (i.e., "Final Four, Overtime: Comment-Time!"), relevant only to those that tied. It will be posted sometime within the same or the following day of the previous comment-time post. Whichever adversary comments first will win.

I think that takes care of tiebreaker possiblities. If not, or if unclear, ask here. Otherwise, relax over the weekend, then be back to hovering mode Monday!

Jylan on...Boxing?

STGT: vs. Royals, 1p

Joe Torre shows Don Newcombe some love.

Manny feels pretty, oh so pretty.

Ronnie Belliard and Chin-lung Hu play hot cross bats.

RBI men.

Is Blake DeWitt sliding into the starting 2B job?


Vicente Padilla, just announced as the Dodgers' Opening Day starter, gets a tuneup start on Friday at 1:05 PT against the Royals at Camelback Ranch-Glendale. Padilla has pitched well this spring, despite revealing on Thursday that he has dealt with some forearm stiffness, as he did last spring with Texas. Jeff Weaver, who will probably retain his job from last year as swing man, is also scheduled to pitch.

photos by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

Elite Eight, 2nd Half: Comment-Time!

Ok, all bets are in so the second half is ready to begin!

Here are the halftime scores:

  • (4) Dusty leads (3) S Dittmore by 1:38
  • (3) Jason leads (1) Quad by 0:16
  • (3) J Steve leads (4) Loney Fan by 0:39
  • (1) Josh S leads (2) Neeebs by 0:01

And here are the bets in play:

  • Dusty Baker: MLASF, Brazilian Dodger Fan, Fred's Brim, Meaniebeanie, rbnlaw, Keven C
  • Josh S: Mr Customer
  • J Steve: Mr F
  • Steve Dittmore: Greg Photo
  • QuadSevens: Gagne's Lucky Glasses
  • Neeebs: Betsy
  • Jason: Curious Gene
  • Loney Fan: Loney Fan

Comment away!

Happy Friday Notes

photo by Paul Connors/AP

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jylan's Back

Jill & Dylan on Andre Ethier, Hong-Chih Kuo, and "no respect":

Henry Schulman of the SF Chronicle joins Dylan for a chat about the Giants and Rockies:

Vin Scully, on Bill Veeck and 'Colored Only'

Bill Veeck and Larry Doby.

Work and/or TiVo glitches sometimes prevent us from passing along Vin's best stories, so if you feel like adding to the SoSG Vin Scully Repository, give us a heads-up and send your transcriptions in!

Today we have a fine spring training history lesson from Vin. True thanks to the trusty transcribing trio of Dusty Baker, Mrs. Dusty and MDIL for bringing us these words from Vin's first broadcast of 2010:

Second inning, no score in the ballgame from Camelback Ranch here in Glendale, Arizona. Dodger and the Indians. This is the only time that we will see the Indians this year and of course we don’t broadcast an Indians game during the regular season. But the more I got to thinking about this game today, the more I realized there’s a lot more to it than at first glance. It’s kind of a convoluted story and yet I think you’ll find it rather interesting. Although it does begin with an experience that I had comparable to Bill Veeck.

When I was in the Navy, took boot camp Camp Peary, Virgina. And I was then going to be sent to Washington, DC and I was gonna take the train. And they put me in the train station in Williamsburg, Virginia, to go to Washington.

That’ll do it for Kearns.

Anyway, when I got there, place was crowded waiting for the train but there was a small room and I looked over and I thought, wow, it’s empty. I’m going to go over there. I got a chance to sit down and relax. So I took my sea bag over and I stretched out on the bench. Pulled my little sailor hat down over my eyes. And I’m there about ten minutes and I get a whack on the shoes. And I look up and there’s an S.P…sailor… standing over me and he said, “Sailor can’t you read?” And I looked up and he pointed to a wall behind me. I turned and looked over on the wall and there was a sign and it said “Colored Only.” And he said, “You gotta get outta here.” Well I’m a kid from New York. I’d never heard of “Colored Only.” But, like a good sailor, I get outta there. Okay.

Bill Veeck, who went on to own the Cleveland Indians…way back, maybe the same time in the late 40s, middle 40s when I was in the service. Bill Veeck owned the minor league team in Milwaukee Brewers and the Milwaukee Brewers trained in Ocala, Florida. And one day, like today a lazy exhibition game, and Bill came out of the rickety old clubhouse for a minor league team, and he just went into the nearby bleachers. And there are a lot of black fans in the bleachers and Bill is sittin’ there havin’ fun, talkin’ to them about the ballgame. A policeman comes over to Bill Veeck and said “You can’t sit here.” And Bill said, “What are you talkin’ about?” And he said “No, no, this is ‘Colored only.’ You’ve gotta get out of here.”

Ground ball to third, tricky hop. Nice stab by Nick Green and that’ll do it for Rodriguez.

Anyway, Bill Veeck said, “No way. I’m stayin’ here.” So the policemen goes and he gets a sergeant, a captain, sheriff. Sheriff comes over and says, “Mr. Veeck you’re gonna have to leave. He said “I’m not leaving.” The mayor came…now here’s…here’s this white man sitting amongst a lot of black fans and the mayor of Ocala, Florida, comes and says, “You’ve gotta leave.” And Bill Veeck said, to his credit, “You make me leave and I take my team out of Ocala, Florida.”

Fly ball to left…late start by Garret Anderson, but he’s right there and he will put it away and a 1-2-3 inning.

So….they chased Bill Veeck from the “colored” bleachers. More on the story comin’ up, but at the end of an inning and a half, no score.

[Commercial break]

Bottom of the second inning, no score in the ballgame. Garret Anderson having a look at Jake Westbrook’s pitch for ball one. One and oh the count.

Anyway, there’s more to just looking at Cleveland versus the Dodgers.

The one-oh pitch – Garret promptly lines it into right field. So a lead-off single and the next batter will be the DH, Ronnie Belliard.

Well we told you that, uh, Bill Veeck warned the mayor that he would pull his team out of Ocala, Florida, if they pulled him out of the segregated bleachers in Florida. Couple of years go by and Bill now becomes the owner of the Cleveland Indians. And in his mind, he never forgot that unfortunate incident in Ocala. And so deep in his mind, Veeck kept thinking, “I’m not sure I want my big club training here because the Dodgers had signed Jackie Robinson and Cleveland had signed the number two black player, Larry Doby. And he was worried about how Florida would treat Larry Doby.

Shot to first…short-hopped on the bag. That takes one out, now they have to get a tag and they do, so it’s a 3-6 double play and, just like that, two down.

So anyway, once Bill Veeck gets to own the Cleveland Indians, he convinces the San Francisco – then the New York Giants – to move to Arizona…leave Florida because of a possible racial problem. And they do. The Indians come over here. The Giants come over here. That kind of opens up the floodgates. Other major league teams had always trained in Florida…suddenly came to explore Spring Training in Arizona.

That’s a strike. Oh and one to Nick Green.

And so here they are today, the Cleveland Indians, who moved to Arizona for racial reasons – Larry Dobie etcetera and fears about it would be in Florida. The Dodgers, who signed the first black player, who really eased all of the tensions in Florida, Jackie Robinson and the Dodgers, and now today, in Arizona, these two teams meet, in what is just an exhibition game. But as we said, not really, at second glance.

Nice chopper to third. Good play there by Rodriguez. That will do it by Green. Story time is over. And at the end of two, Indians nothing and the Dodgers nothing.

AP photo

STGT: vs. Brewers, 1p

GA and Matt Kemp in the dugout before yesterday's game.

Andre Ethier flashes the form that made him a St. Mary's legend.

James Loney fields a sticky wicket. (Yes, it's an inexact analogy.)

Kuroda lookin' badass.


While pitching staff candidates Ramon Ortiz and Josh Towers continue their tryouts for the Dodgers on Thursday at 1:05 p.m. PT on MLB.TV against the Brewers at Camelback Ranch-Glendale, attention will be diverted to a Minor League game against Texas in Surprise, where catcher Russell Martin will see his first game action since suffering a pulled groin muscle March 6. Martin was expected to miss four to six weeks, but he's vowed to be ready for Opening Day.

photos by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

Interpret My Peter Gammons Dream

Get out of my head, Peter Gammons!

I'm in a small airplane being piloted by Peter Gammons.

I think, Isn't he a bit old to be flying an airplane?

As if on cue, Gammons goes into Vomit Comet mode, dive-bombing the aircraft up and down. I close my eyes and try not to puke.

Eventually he settles down and the ride smooths out. I take a peek.

The view is beautiful. Sky and clouds and vapor trails.

As we land, we pass through a field of airplanes which are made entirely of clouds.

On the ground, I try to convince people of the planes made of clouds. No one believes me.

Earlier at SoSG: Interpret My Manny Dream

cloud photo from Humor at Why Be Normal?

Padilla Gets Opening Day Nod; Kershaw Slated For Home Opener

You heard it here second (after, of course): the Dodgers just announced that our own Battletoad will pitch Opening Day in Pittsburgh on Monday April 5:

PHOENIX -- Vicente Padilla, released just seven months ago by Texas, will be named the Dodgers Opening Day starter Thursday by manager Joe Torre, baseball sources told The club could not confirm Padilla's selection.

Padilla will start April 5 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh and be followed in the rotation by Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Hiroki Kuroda and an as-yet-unnamed fifth starter. Factoring in off-days, Kershaw is lined up to start the home opener at Dodger Stadium on April 13 against Arizona.

The chance to see the Minotaur for the home opener on Tuesday April 13? I'll (happily) take it!

Is Drew McCourt Moonlighting For The Padres?

How else to explain what are undoubtedly the greatest MLB magnet schedules of all time? Courtesy of the Padres blog Gaslamp Ball via Yahoo! Sports' Big League Stew, feast your eyes on the 2010 Padres magnet schedules, presented by The Pancake House in El Cajon:

Magnet schedule #1 has the Padres schedule against the panoramic backdrop of St. Louis, complete with the Gateway Arch:

Magnet schedule #2 has the Padres playing at Yankee Stadium, including the Yankees' logo on the field:

Magnet schedule #3 has the Padres playing at the Nationals' former home, RFK Stadium--a stadium that isn't even operational in 2010:

This is almost as embarrassing as Drew McCourt's misprinting of the Dodgers' World Series Championship years on 50,000 fleece blankets. I love it!

Can someone snag some of these collectors items for the Sons, please? In the meantime, I'm going to go start a Padres Magnet Schedule Errors blog and go report that news on that blog.

Thursday Bullet Points

photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

Make Your Pick

This is not a comment-time post. In fact it is for those not in the SoSG March Madness tournament.

So far, some of you have placed your bet (see rules here). The rest of you still have until 1pm PT today to pick the winner of SoSG March Madness 2010 Champ (comment in this thread). Here are the remaining eight contestants and their current situation:

  • (4) Dusty leads (3) S Dittmore by 1:38
  • (3) Jason leads (1) Quad by 0:16
  • (3) J Steve leads (4) Loney Fan by 0:39
  • (1) Josh S leads (2) Neeebs by 0:01

And here are the bets placed so far:

  • Dusty Baker: MLASF, Brazilian Dodger Fan, Fred's Brim, Meaniebeanie, rbnlaw, Keven C
  • Josh S: Mr Customer
  • J Steve: Mr F
  • Steve Dittmore: Greg Photo
  • QuadSevens: Gagne's Lucky Glasses
  • Neeebs: Betsy
  • Jason: Curious Gene
  • Loney Fan: Nobody

Remember, if you're the only one to pick the champ, you automatically win the prize. If you share the correct pick with others, you are all entered in a random lottery for the prize. Either way, it's riskless money (well, not money, but a prize worth more than any amount of money), so make your pick!