Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Post-Game 78 Thread: Giants Felled, Chardonnay Ruined

DODGERS 8, GIANTS 2

Giants fans rolled out of bed early this morning, only to find a black fly in their chardonnay. Isn't it ironic? The Dodgers wrap up a 4-11 interleague schedule, get destroyed by an epic Yankees comeback, and roll into town with their tails between their legs...only to leave San Francisco with a clean sweep and things seemingly back on track.

Vicente Padilla matched the seven innings that John Ely pulled off the day before (Padilla went 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 Ks), giving our overworked bullpen a bit of rest. Rafael Furcal (4-for-5) busted out a three-run HR in the fifth, and Kemp (making his first start in four games) went 3-for-4 with a solo shot of his own. Jamey Carroll went 2-for-2 with 2 BB and 3 R.

On the negative side (if there is a negative side of pounding your archrivals in the coda of a three-game sweep), Garret Anderson went 0-for-5 with four, count 'em, FOUR strikeouts, dropping his batting average to a putrid .180. Oh, and George Sherrill entered in the ninth with a seven-run lead and gave up hits to two of his three batters faced, elevating his ERA to 6.98, and needing Justin Miller for the rescue. Anytime you want to pull the ripcord on Anderson or Sherrill, Joe, be my guest.

Game 78 Thread: June 30 @ Giants, 12.45p

Vicente Padilla (1-2, 5.82) vs. Jonathan Sanchez (6-5, 3.03).

COMMENTS: This rare early afternoon matchup in San Francisco raises a cornucopia of intriguing questions. Like whether the chant of "Beat LA", unoriginal and untrue (given we haven't had a losing record against the Giants since 2005, when we finished 20 games below .500), resonates as loudly in the crisp morning air. Or whether the chardonnay will be chilled in time for the first pitch. Or whether Kung Fu Panda is as potent from the plate with only seven meals in his belly.

What is NOT in question, however, is James Loney's ability to knock in RBIs. He seems to get 'em in bunches — he had three last night — and leads the Dodgers with 51 for the season. Or Matt Kemp's potential to be a force when focused — he had two hits and two fine defensive plays last night. If the Dodgers sweep the Giants today, especially since Manny Ramirez will be sitting with a tweaked hamstring, Loney and/or Kemp will contribute in a major way. You can book it.

In fact, I'll go out on a limb here and predict a 4-2 victory, so we can have deja deja vu vu.

this GT is a joint effort from Sax and Orel. We endorse this GT.

Happy Six Month Anniversary, Smonkstakes!

Just acknowledging the milestone to those looking for the Smonkster.

(this is not the Smonkstakes thread. Click here to continue on to there).

Wednesday Notes

Eric has traded his shades & beanie for a respectable sports jacket.

  • SB Nation has started SB Nation Los Angeles, and guess who's the site's editor? That's right, none other than Eric Stephen. Congrats, Eric! Now we have the pleasure of reading Eric's writing about the Dodgers, Angels, Lakers, UCLA, USC....
  • Apparently there was all kinds of choking going on at Dodger Stadium on Sunday. Thanks to SoSG reader MeanieBreanie for forwarding this TMZ nugget: Lawyer Gets Clutch Save at Dodgers Game.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Post-Game 77 Thread: Deja Vu

DODGERS 4, GIANTS 2

It was deja vu all over again for the Dodgers tonight. We beat the Giants, 4-2. We pick up a game on the Padres. We saw Matt Kemp benched to start the game (though he entered in the first when Manny Ramirez left the game after pulling a hamstring roudning second base; Ramirez is day-to-day (aren't we all)). We watched Pablo Sandoval get tagged out foolishly on the basepaths again to end a Giants rally. We watched Buster Posey enter the game for the Giants in the ninth as a pinch-hitter, and record an out in an ineffective at bat. Speaking of ineffective, we watched Jonathan Broxton sit in the bullpen unused, as our threadbare bullpen eked out a victory.

We can't expect John Ely to go seven innings each start (5 H, 1 ER, 5 Ks and 3 BB in the win), so we had better find some middle relievers, stat. I mean, we can't expect all of this to repeat itself again. Can we?

Dykstra: "I Was Steroids Pioneer"

On top of being a car wash pioneer. And a bankruptcy pioneer.

A new book about Lenny Dykstra's financial history reportedly includes the former Mets center fielder's first admission that he used steroids while in the major leagues.

"I was like a pioneer for that stuff ... The juice. I was like the very first to do that. Me and [Jose] Canseco," Dykstra says in the book "The Zeroes: My Misadventures in the Decade Wall Street Went Insane," written by Randall Lane.

Philly.com reports Dykstra, who won a World Series with the Mets in 1986, started using performance enhancers during his time with the Phillies. He confessed to Lane while watching Roger Clemens' testimony to Congress in 2008.

"At first it wasn't even illegal. Then, after a few years, I had to go to a doctor, and get a prescription," Dykstra says in a book excerpt. "You know how I got my stuff? Just walking into a pharmacy, bro. It was as simple as that."After helping the Phillies to the 1993 World Series, where they lost to the Blue Jays, Dykstra signed a four-year, $24.9 million contract extension, the Philly.com report says. He did not play another full season after that.

Dykstra, now under scrutiny for a stock picking scandal, told Lane, "So I needed to do anything I could to protect my job, take care of my family. Do you have any idea how much money was at stake? Do you?" Lane concludes: "What Lenny Dykstra really did, by his own admission, was steal $25 million. He had duped the Phillies into that contract based on a completely manufactured performance. But he didn’t view it that way."

I think in the year 2010, there are few things more shocking than a player admitting he took steroids. A publishing pioneer he ain't. Way to be ahead of the curve, Nails.

Game 77 Thread: June 29 @ Giants, 7p

John Ely (3-5, 3.86) vs. Matt Cain (6-6, 2.72).

COMMENTS: Which way, L.A.? Sunday's Yankees debacle felt like a turning point in the Dodgers' 2010 season — problem is, I can't tell if it's a spark plug or a white flag. (Hold on a sec while I put another quarter in the metaphor generator.) If last night's Bearded Bombadil is any indication, though, the Dodgers may still have some fight in them yet. (Great timing, too, as a visit to the Bay Area without at least a token victory would have been deflating indeed.) If the Dodgers are to take this series tonight — welcome to Elymania, San Francisco! — they'll have to do it without the services of Jonathan Broxton. And since Hong Chih-Kuo closed it out last night, whence the bullpen? Never a dull moment, people!

aniGIF from McCovey Chronicles

QuadSevens Gets His Lakers Shirt Prize

Again, just to prove that we actually do give away stuff here at SoSG, here's QuadSevens with the Lakers t-shirt he won during our NBA Finals contest:

Writes QuadSevens: "Also pictured are a Dodgers fleece blanket from this year, and a Dodgers lunch bag from a couple years ago [actually, I can't see either item, but okay]....Thanks for the shirt and for running a great site guys."

You're welcome, Q7. Stay tuned for more SoSG giveaways!

Dodgers' Draft Pick Happy Not To Volunteer

The Knoxville News-Sentinel did a profile piece today on Matt Kirkland, the Dodgers' 12th-round draft pick and recent signee, who is spurning the University of Tennessee (and a career selling livestock) to join the Dodgers' system:

Nevertheless, the 6-foot-2, 205-pound third baseman wasn't a professional yet. The Knoxville product was still a University of Tennessee signee who, with his powerful swing and dependable glove, had caught the Dodgers' eye in workouts.

Kirkland's life eventually took an alternate route Monday night when the former South-Doyle High School standout signed his contract with the Dodgers.

He will leave Wednesday to begin his minor league career in either Utah or Arizona. He'll find out which locale today, he said.

"It's the real world now," said Kirkland. "I've never had to clock in to work. I've kind of had my own little (livestock) business going. Now, I'm actually clocking in Wednesday for my new job.

"It's a thrill. My family is excited. The community is excited. I got a lot of support. I think it's good for the community. I plan to represent my family and community as best as possible."

That he bypassed playing for Tennessee to turn professional came as no shock. Kirkland spoke on his draft day about how he was ready to start his days in the minor leagues.

Then, he thought a deal would be ironed out in a matter of days.

That timeline extended only marginally to ensure all financial numbers appeased both parties. Kirkland didn't disclose those figures.

"Let's just say, the deal I got, it beats selling goats and chickens for a living," he said. "That was my business. It beats selling livestock."

That it does, young Mr. Kirkland. That it does.

photo: Amy Smotherman Burgess

At-Game Recap: Dodgers Debacle (June 27)

I have tried to block this game out of my system after quite a bell-ringer of a hangover. But like facebook with ex-girlfriends, the pictures will always be there.

And as unfortunate and depressing as this game's ending was, the truth of the matter was that AC and I had a pretty fun and enjoyable time at the game, that is until our four-run lead burst into a fiery explosion of death and dismemberment and charred skin falling off the bodies of naked children running down the street screaming in vain for their parents who have been destroyed in the blast.

Aside from that minor speedbump, it was a great time.

The partially-obscured guy in the black-and-white shirt, standing next to James Loney, is Kenny Lofton (who was up on Diamondvision later in the game). Don't worry, my celebrity shots improve from here.

video

Who is our opponent again? Oh, yeah. (Admittedly this is not the best video in the world. Steven Spielberg is not interested.)

Kershaw takes the mound, kids take the field.

Are there weak advertising campaigns at baseball games? Think about it.

The crowd was so entranced by the game itself, a beachball lay untouched and unwanted on the ground. Awesome.

Belliard after his home run.

Yasmin, you may be my destiny...

...but this girl still has my heart. Alyssa Milano, ladies and gentlemen.

And speaking of public figures, who is that with the cute date and big-ass arm tattoo?

That's right, it's Mr. Britney Spears, Kevin Federline!

And lucky for him, K-Fed was able to find jerseys numbered appropriately for his waistline size!

Unlike K-Fed, some people can even tuck in their jersey, debuting a look that is sure to sweep the nation. AND, these people can wear an iPhone belt clip, too. Take that, Schneider.

Ronnie Belliard, and the smirkiest close-up photo Diamondvision has ever seen.

--------------

And now, a little bit of seriousness. There are some readers who have inquired a lot about us Sons, through comments and emails. Who are the Sons? Are they multiple people, or just one person with multiple personalities? Do they even exist?

Given we're in the fourth year of our blog, we figured it's time to take down some of our walls of secrecy and let people have some peeks behind the curtain. So without further ado, here's AC and Sax (in no particular order), from Sunday's game.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Post-Game 76 Thread: Beard Bomb

DODGERS 4, GIANTS 2

The Dodgers turn five double plays against the Giants tonight, tying a Los Angeles Dodgers record for the 11th time, allowing us to get out of jams right and left. As Vin pointed out as we cut back to the bottom of the ninth, the five DPs included a hilarious fly out to right field by Edgar Renteria, allowing right fielder Andre Ethier to hold pinch-runner Aaron Rowand at third while throwing home on a low strike, which was cut off and thrown to Rafael Furcal to nail a very slow-moving Pablo Sandoval in no man's land between first and second. Rowand doesn't even score from third when, on the next batter, Casey Blake makes a fine play on Bengie Molina's dribbler to third, and the Dodgers escape the seventh clinging to a 2-2 tie.

The Giants, by the way, were non-plussed by KFP's gaffe.

Blake promptly came out in the eighth and hit a two-run jack to left field to put the Dodgers up 4-2. And with Jonathan Broxton surprisingly unavailable (he only threw 48 pitches last night), Hong-Chih Kuo came out to walk a highwire, letting the tying run aboard, but get the save.

Chad Billingsley comes off the DL to pitch an impresive six innings of two-run ball, Manny Ramirez goes 3-for-3 with a RBI, and Andre Ethier gets a sacrifice fly RBI of his own. The Dodgers needed this win to recover from all the AL beat-downs. And now, please excuse me as I hope for Jackie Johnson (who looks like she's not on KCAL9 news this evening...sigh).

Game 76 Thread: June 28 @ Giants, 7p

Chad Billingsley (6-4, 4.34) vs. Barry Zito (7-4, 3.45).

COMMENTS: How am I supposed to write a GT after last night's crapfest? And we're playing the Giants? In SF? With Bills coming off the DL and Zito having a comeback year? Really, just shoot me.

Thoughts from the Morning Afternoon After

I've been quiet today because I've been absolutely furious. I slept poorly. And my blood has been boiling all day. Honestly. I mean, my body temperature has been higher all day and I can feel myself sweating a little bit, even in my air-conditioned office, which means either I'm having a heart attack or I'm still really, really pissed off about last night. I'm sorry that these thoughts are coming so late in the day, but really I've been spouting obscenities for the past 16 hours like Tim Howard on Saturday evening, and I haven't been able to compose my thoughts into paragraphs.

I was there, with AC (sorry for the confusion in the GameThread; my bad). We laughed as Andy Pettitte and Alex Rodriguez failed to field bunts. We reveled as the Dodgers took a 6-2 lead into the ninth inning. We had a gay old time watching A-Rod prance around like a dancer in the ballet scene from Top Secret.

We were even polite to mini-Jeter, the little kid in front of us wearing some Yankee's jersey (I'd never heard of the guy, but he did pretty well last night and may have a future in this game). Every kid's gotta have a hero, right? So who am I to tell this kid that his hero plays for the Anti-Christ? It's bad karma to insult the defenseless.

But watching the Dodgers implode in the ninth and tenth innings yesterday, I felt like I needed this kid's pacifier. Viewing the end of this game was an eviscerating experience rivaling the end of Braveheart. As a Dodger fan, it was just horrible to watch, especially since this trainwreck was clearly evident to everyone in attendance, and still NOTHING was done to stop it. It was like the wreck was happening in slow motion, right in front of us, but everyone was too weighed down by their Victory Knots to stand up and save someone from destruction.

I blame Jonathan Broxton, even though a more thoughtful Jon Weisman tells me not to. Maybe it was because he'd been trotted out there too frequently of late, including a four-out save the night before. But I mean, come on, it was a four-run lead; I haven't seen stats on this but a closer keeps the victory 96% of the time when given a three-run lead. To give up four runs is pathetic no matter how overworked you are, if you're a closer.

I blame Joe Torre, for not doing anything besides watching Broxton squirm out there, hanging him out to dry like a side of beef. 48 pitches by the Brox? If the argument is that we shouldn't take out Broxton too early as to ruin his confidence, I think the counterargument is that we've done enough damage now both mental (by letting him meltdown like that) as well as physical (he ain't pitching tonight against the Giants, that's for sure). So leaving him in, when he clearly had nothing in the tank and was fighting control (two BBs, 4 ER, and 4 first-pitch strikes in 9 batters faced), was useless. Everyone in the stadium groaned. But Joe didn't move.

I blame James Loney, despite having made a stellar double play to end the eighth, by not holding Curtis Granderson on third in the ninth after fielding the ball at first, allowing the tying run to score (while recording the inning's second out at first base). It was a bang-bang play, to be fair (I still love Loney), but his throw well wide to Russell Martin at the plate was a lost cause.

I blame Ramon Troncoso for coming out in the tenth and being useless.

I blame George Sherrill for being.

I blame Dodger Stadium's scoreboard operator by displaying "Insurance Run" when we scored our sixth run in the eighth off of Furcal's double. Fuck, it's not insurance if you know you're going to need that and more just to get three or six more outs.

I blame Garret Anderson (whom MSTI notes was in the game as a defensive replacement for Manny Ramirez, a ridiculously comedic note in itself) for his useless at bat in the bottom of the ninth, working a 3-0 count only to fly to left field. He was thrown out moments later, but unfortunately the .191 hitter was only thrown out of this game, not off the team.

I blame Russell Martin for going 0-for-4 with 3 Ks, for whining about a called strike in the bottom of the tenth, getting him tossed as well. You're batting .241. Until that average improves (and I think it will, but not yet), you don't get the opportunity to whine in extras (and you don't get the opportunity to whine when you overrun second inning earlier in the week and lose us the game, either).

I blame Matt Kemp, who sat in favor of Reed Johnson and was smiling and laughing in the dugout before the game like he was shopping with Rihanna for an iPhone. I want you to be mad, Kemp, that you're not starting. I want you to be furious. And I want you to channel that energy back into the excellent performance on the field of which I know you're capable.

I blame Vladimir Shpunt, speaking of lack of channeling.

I credit those Yankee fans, about a quarter of them that I saw, who stuck around to the end to watch the comeback. The Yankees fans sitting in front of me bailed in the seventh. Those Yankees fans who stayed deserved the reward.

But the Dodgers fans who stayed deserved a bigger reward--just a frickin' run-of-the-mill win, which would have given us a series victory. And we failed miserably, in what even Charley Steiner called "a devastating blow". And this particular hangover is gonna stick.

So F' this, I'm taking tonight's Game Thread and kicking it out another half hour so I can stew. I'm pissed off. We Dodger fans deserve better than this crap. And now that we're playing National League teams again (and divisional rivals, no less), we'd better fucking show up for nine innings this time.

photo from this blog

Something to Cheer You Up...

Hey all. Sorry I missed out on Dodgers "Bring the Pain" night. Was at the Hollywood Bowl rocking out to Goldfrapp. Though I did periodically check the score until I saw it was 6-2 in the ninth. Then didn't look at the score until after the game. Yep, yep, yep. Don't think even my customary 227 post would have helped.

Seems like you've all taken it well.

Since 96% of y'all are also Star Wars nerds addicts, I thought this might put a much-needed smile on your faces. Enjoy.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Post-Game 75 Thread: Numb

YANKEES 8, DODGERS 6 (10)

That was the worst Dodger game I've attended as far as I can remember. Absolutely pathetic. I hate everybody.

Post-Game 75 Thread

YANKEES 8, DODGERS 6 (10)

Game 75 Thread: June 27 vs. Derek Jeter, 5p

Clayton Kershaw (7-4, 3.24) vs. Andy Pettitte (9-2, 2.48).

COMMENTS: Derek Sanderson Jeter (pronounced /ˈdʒiːtər/; born June 26, 1974) is an American professional baseball player. He is a Major League Baseball (MLB) shortstop who has played his entire career for the New York Yankees. He has served as the Yankees' team captain since 2003. Jeter's presence in the Yankees' lineup, highlighted by his hitting prowess, played an instrumental role in the team's late 1990s dynasty. Jeter debuted in the Major Leagues in 1995, and the following year he won the Rookie of the Year Award and helped the Yankees win the 1996 World Series. Jeter was also a member of championship-winning teams in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2009. In 2000, Jeter became the only player to win both the All-Star Game MVP Award and the World Series MVP Award in the same year. He has been selected as an All-Star ten times, and he has won the Silver Slugger and Gold Glove awards on four occasions. He is regarded as a consummate professional, by teammates and opponents alike, and has a reputation as a reliable contributor in the postseason. Jeter is considered to be one of the best players of his generation. He is the all-time hits leader among shortstops and his .317 career batting average through the 2009 season ranks as the fifth-highest among active players. He has been among the American League (AL) leaders in hits and runs scored for the past ten years. He is the all-time Yankees hit leader, passing Hall of Fame member Lou Gehrig in 2009. Jeter was born at Chilton Memorial Hospital in Pequannock Township, New Jersey, in 1974. His father, Dr. Sanderson Charles Jeter, a substance abuse counselor, is African American; his mother, Dorothy, is Caucasian and of Irish/German descent. Charles and Dorothy met while serving in the United States Army in Germany. His father played shortstop at Fisk University in Tennessee. Derek has one sister, Sharlee, who is five years younger and was a softball star in high school. The family lived in North Arlington, New Jersey, before moving to Kalamazoo, Michigan, when he was four years old. As a child, Jeter and his sister would spend summers with their grandparents in New Jersey, who took them to Yankees games, making him a passionate fan of his future team. Jeter was inspired to play baseball by Hall of Famer Dave Winfield. In high school, Jeter was a star baseball player at Kalamazoo Central High School, where he also played basketball, earning an All-State honorable mention. Years later in 2003, Jeter was inducted into the Kalamazoo Central High School Athletic Hall of Fame. Jeter had batting averages of .557 as a sophomore and .508 as a junior. As a senior, he batted .508; had 23 runs batted in, 21 walks, four home runs, and 12 stolen bases (in 12 attempts); and struck out only once. Jeter collected many awards at season's end, including the Kalamazoo Area B'nai B'rith Award for Scholar Athlete, the 1992 High School Player of the Year by the American Baseball Coaches Association, the 1992 Gatorade High School Player of the Year award, and USA Today's High School Player of the Year. Jeter was discovered professionally by Hal Newhouser, who was working for the Houston Astros as a scout. Newhouser advocated his selection with the first pick of the 1992 Major League Baseball Draft to Astros' management, convinced that Jeter would anchor a winning team. However, Jeter received a baseball scholarship to attend the University of Michigan, and the speculation was that he would insist on a salary bonus of $1 million or more to sign. The Astros passed on Jeter in the draft, choosing Cal-State Fullerton outfielder Phil Nevin, who signed for $700,000. Newhouser felt so strongly about Jeter's potential that he quit his job after the Astros passed on him. Jeter was drafted by the New York Yankees with the sixth overall pick, and he chose to turn professional. In 2004, he said that he intends to attend college in the future. Jeter spent four years in the minor leagues, beginning in the rookie-level Gulf Coast League before advancing to the Class-A Greensboro Hornets in 1992. Jeter struggled in 1992, batting .202. In 1993, playing in Greensboro, Jeter collected various awards, including Most Outstanding Major League Prospect of the South Atlantic League. He was disappointed in himself for committing 56 errors in 1993, requiring an extra focus on his fielding. Despite this, Jeter was also voted the South Atlantic League's Best Defensive Shortstop, Most Exciting Player, and Best Infield Arm by Baseball America. In 1994, Jeter played for the Class-A Advanced Tampa Yankees, the Double-A Albany-Colonie Yankees, and the Triple-A Columbus Clippers, hitting .344 with five home runs, 68 runs batted in, and 50 stolen bases combined. He was honored with the Minor League Player of the Year Award by Baseball America, The Sporting News, USA Today, and Topps/NAPBL. He was also named the MVP of the Florida State League. The Yankees had projected Jeter as their starting shortstop for the 1995 season, but when he suffered a minor injury in the Arizona Fall League, the Yankees signed Tony Fernández to a two-year contract to play shortstop and kept Jeter in Triple-A. The Yankees reportedly offered Jeter the opportunity to work out with the replacement players in Spring Training prior to the 1995 season, but he declined to cross the picket line. On May 29, 1995, Jeter made his debut in the major leagues due to injuries to Fernández and Pat Kelly. Jeter batted .234 and committed two errors in 13 games before being demoted to Columbus. Despite the presence of Fernández on the roster, new Yankees manager Joe Torre announced that Jeter would be the starting shortstop in 1996. He started on Opening Day of the 1996 season as the starting shortstop (the first Yankee rookie since Tom Tresh in 1962 to do so) and hit his first major-league home run on that day. Jeter's home run was called by one of his Yankee predecessors at shortstop, broadcaster Phil Rizzuto. Jeter played his way to a successful rookie season, hitting for a .314 batting average, with 10 home runs, 104 runs scored, and 78 runs batted in. He subsequently earned Rookie of the Year honors. Jeter batted .361 in the playoffs, as the Yankees defeated the Atlanta Braves to win their first World Series championship since 1978. During the 1996 American League Championship Series, Jeter was involved in what has become a memorable moment in postseason history. During game one, with the Yankees trailing the Baltimore Orioles 4–3 in the 8th inning, Jeter hit a fly ball to right field. As right fielder Tony Tarasco moved to make a play on the ball near the fence, appearing to have a chance to catch the ball, 12-year-old Jeffrey Maier reached over the wall and caught the ball, pulling it back into the stands. Despite Tarasco's protest, the umpires convened and ruled the ball a home run. Replays conclusively showed that, had Maier not interfered, the ball would have fallen in front of the fence and potentially into Tarasco's glove for an out. The Yankees would go on to win in 11 innings and would eventually win the series, 4 games to 1. The ruling made for the first home run of Jeter's postseason career. In 1997, Jeter batted .291. However, the Yankees lost to the Cleveland Indians in the American League Division Series. In 1998, Jeter batted .324, with a league-leading 127 runs, 19 home runs, and 84 runs batted in, for a team that won 114 games during the regular season and is widely considered to be one of the greatest of all time. In the playoffs, Jeter hit only .176 in the Division and League Championship Series, but he excelled in the World Series, batting .353, as the Yankees went on to beat the San Diego Padres in four games. In 1999, Jeter led the American League in hits (219) and was second in the league in batting average (.349) and runs scored (134). Jeter (who, for part of the year, batted third in the lineup) also drove in 102 runs, becoming only the second Yankee shortstop ever to do so (Lyn Lary had driven in 107 runs in 1931). His season totals in batting average, runs, hits, runs batted in, doubles (37), triples (9), home runs (24), slugging percentage (.552), and on-base percentage (.438) are all personal bests. Jeter batted .455 in the 1999 American League Division Series, .350 in the 1999 American League Championship Series, and .353 in the 1999 World Series, as the Yankees defeated the Braves to win another championship. During the 1999 season, Jeter had a confrontation with a teammate. Teammate Chad Curtis, an outspoken Christian, approached him about discussing his faith, but Jeter declined. When Curtis approached Jeter again, he became offended. Later in the season, a mid-game bench-clearing brawl with the Seattle Mariners occurred. After the brawl ended, Jeter was seen engaged in friendly chatter with his good friend (and future Yankee teammate) Alex Rodriguez, who then played for the Mariners. Upon returning to the dugout, Curtis chastized Jeter for being friendly with an opponent during a bench-clearing brawl, which violated an unwritten rule of baseball. After the game, Curtis approached Jeter in the clubhouse, with beat writers present. Jeter commented that this was not an appropriate time for a confrontation. Curtis later apologized. During the 1999–2000 offseason, the Yankees negotiated with Jeter, tentatively agreeing to a $118.5 million, seven-year contract. However, Yankee owner George Steinbrenner did not want to set a salary record, delaying until the acceptance of a $143 million, eight-year contract extension between the Detroit Tigers and Juan González. When that proposed deal fell through, Jeter's tentative deal fell through, and he agreed to a one-year deal for $10 million. Jeter batted .339, with 15 home runs, 73 runs batted in, 119 runs scored, and 22 stolen bases in 2000. He batted only .211 in the Division Series but rebounded to bat .318 against the Seattle Mariners in the Championship Series and .409, with two home runs, a triple, and two doubles in a five-game series against the New York Mets in the World Series, the first Subway Series since 1956. In 2000, Jeter became the first player ever to win the All-Star Game MVP award and the World Series MVP Award in the same year. Jeter became the first Yankee since Yogi Berra, in 1959, to hit a home run in the All Star Game. Before the 2001 season, with one year remaining until he would become eligible for free agency, Jeter signed a $189 million, ten-year contract to remain with the Yankees, making him the second highest paid athlete, trailing only Rodriguez. Rodriguez signed his deal earlier than Jeter, setting a higher market for Jeter's negotiations. During the season, Jeter batted .311, with 21 home runs, 74 runs batted in, 110 runs scored, and 27 stolen bases. In the postseason, Jeter made a notable play in game 3 of the 2001 American League Division Series against the Oakland Athletics. With Jeremy Giambi on first base, Oakland right fielder Terrence Long hit a double off Yankees pitcher Mike Mussina into the right-field corner. As Giambi rounded third base and headed for home, Yankees right fielder Shane Spencer retrieved the ball and made a wild throw intended for Yankees catcher Jorge Posada. Instead, the errant throw missed cutoff man Tino Martinez and dribbled up the first-base line. Jeter came from shortstop to grab the ball and flipped it to Posada, who tagged Giambi on the leg just before he crossed home plate for the out. Facing elimination, the Yankees went on to win the game, as well as the series. The play was later voted #7 in Baseball Weekly's 10 Most Amazing Plays of all time. After the September 11 terrorist attacks, the baseball season was put on hold. As a result, the start of the playoffs was delayed, and game 4 of the 2001 World Series was played on October 31. The game went into the tenth inning tied at 3–3. At midnight, the scoreboard in center field read "Attention Fans, Welcome to NOVEMBER BASEBALL." This was the first time that any non-exhibition MLB game had been played in the month of November. Moments after this message was displayed on the board, Jeter sent a 3–2 pitch from Byung-Hyun Kim over the right-field stands. A fan in the stands held up a sign with the words "Mr. November," a reference to Reggie Jackson's nickname, "Mr. October". Michael Kay, who called the walk-off home run, called Jeter by this name, referencing the sign. Despite the nickname, Jeter was 3 for 12 (.250) in November baseball that season, as the Yankees lost the World Series in seven games to the Arizona Diamondbacks (the home team won all seven games of the World Series). In 2002, Jeter batted .297, with 18 home runs, 75 runs batted in, 124 runs scored, and a career-best 32 stolen bases. He led the majors in stolen base percentage (91.4%), getting caught only three times. Jeter connects for a hit against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. In 2003, Jeter dislocated his left shoulder on opening day when he collided with Blue Jays catcher Ken Huckaby at third base. Jeter, who had never played fewer than 148 games in the prior seven full seasons, was subsequently on the disabled list for six weeks, missing 36 games. Jeter returned to bat .324, losing the batting title to Bill Mueller, who batted .326. Steinbrenner named Jeter the 11th recognized captain in Yankees history on June 3, 2003, following eight seasons without a captain after the retirement of Don Mattingly in 1995. Dispute over the true count has been noted. The beginning of the 2004 season saw Jeter mired in a slump; on May 25, he was hitting only .189. This included a personal career record 0-for-32 skid in April. In June, however, Jeter broke out of his slump. He hit nearly .400 for the month and set a personal best with 9 home runs. He finished the season with a .292 average; 23 home runs, the 2nd most of his career; 78 runs batted in; 111 runs scored; and 44 doubles, a career best. During a July 1, 2004, game against the rival Boston Red Sox, Jeter made a play that furthered his reputation as a clutch player. In the top of the 12th inning, with the score tied at 3, the Red Sox had runners on second and third with 2 outs and right fielder Trot Nixon up at bat. Nixon hit a pop fly down the left field line. Jeter ran from his position at shortshop and made an over-the-shoulder catch. In dramatic fashion, he launched himself over the third-base side railing, landing three rows into the left-field seats, and lacerating his chin and bruising his face in the process. Jeter was later taken out of the game. This catch ended the inning, and later the Yankees went on to win the game in the bottom of the 13th inning. The "Dive" was awarded Play Of The Year in the This Year In Baseball awards competition, as voted on by fans at MLB.com. In 2005, Jeter was second in the AL in both runs scored (122) and batting average on balls in play (.394), and was third in the league in both at bats (654) and hits (202). Jeter won his second-consecutive Gold Glove in 2005, as his low range factor rose to 4.76 and ranked 2nd among AL shortstops. In 2006, Jeter was second in the AL in both batting average (.343) and runs scored (118); was third in hits (214), stolen base success percentage (87.2), and batting average with runners in scoring position (.381); and was fifth in infield hits (26). He finished second in American League Most Valuable Player Award voting to Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins (320 points to 306 points). Jeter has finished in the top 10 in the MVP balloting 6 times in his 11 full seasons through 2006 (including also a third-place finish in 1998). In 2007, Jeter was third in the AL in hits (203), his sixth season and third-consecutive season with 200 hits, tying Lou Gehrig. He was also fourth in both at-bats (639) and plate appearances (714), sixth in times on base (276), and ninth in batting average (.322). In the field, he was involved in a career-high 104 double plays. In 2008, Jeter's slugging percentage was .410, his lowest since 1997. One possible cause was a prolonged slump that he suffered after being hit by a pitch on his wrist. Before the injury, Jeter was hitting .324 with a .774 on-base plus slugging (OPS). After the injury, his batting average dipped to as low as .269 by the end of the month. His offense took an upward turn after May as he hit .322 with a .824 OPS after June 1. Jeter was elected to his ninth All-Star game as the starting shortstop. Jeter tied Lou Gehrig for the most hits at Yankee Stadium (1,269) with a home run off Tampa Bay Rays pitcher David Price on September 14, 2008. On September 16, he went on to break the record off of Chicago White Sox pitcher Gavin Floyd. In 2009, Jeter was named #8 on the Sporting News' list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball by a panel of 100 baseball people, many of them members of the Baseball Hall of Fame and winners of major baseball awards. For the 2009 season, Yankees manager Joe Girardi switched Jeter and Johnny Damon in the batting order, with Damon moving to second and Jeter becoming the leadoff hitter, based on the rationale that Jeter has a higher on base percentage than Damon, but grounds into double plays more often. Jeter batted .334 (third in the AL), with a .406 on-base percentage, 18 home runs, 30 stolen bases (caught only 5 times), 107 runs scored (in the top 10 in MLB), and 212 hits (second in MLB). On August 16, 2009, against the Seattle Mariners, Jeter doubled down the right-field line for his 2,675th hit as a shortstop, breaking Luis Aparicio's previous record for the most hits by a shortstop in major league history. Jeter became the all-time hits leader as a member of the Yankees (2,722), passing Lou Gehrig on September 11, 2009. The hit was a single off Baltimore Orioles pitcher Chris Tillman in the 3rd inning. In the 2009 postseason, Jeter batted .355, including .407 in the 2009 World Series, as he won his fifth World Series championship. He was named Sportsman of the Year for 2009 by Sports Illustrated magazine. Jeter also finished third in the AL MVP voting, behind the Minnesota's Joe Mauer and teammate Mark Teixeira. Jeter was the starting shortstop for the USA team in the 2006 World Baseball Classic. He hit .450 (9-for-20) for Team USA and scored five runs in six games. Only Ken Griffey, Jr. (.524) and Cuba's Yoandy Garlobo (.480) had a higher batting average with a minimum of 20 at bats. Jeter's play earned him recognition as the shortstop selection on the All-Tournament Team. Jeter was also the starting shortstop for Team USA in the 2009 World Baseball Classic. At the start of the tournament, he was named captain of Team USA by manager Davey Johnson. With Team USA, Jeter faced the Yankees at Steinbrenner Field in an exhibition game, the first time he played against the Yankees. Jeter is noted for his very consistent postseason performances: he has a career .309 postseason batting average, with 18 home runs and 50 RBIs. Except for 2008, the Yankees have been to the playoffs every year since Jeter joined the team. He has a Major League Baseball record 175 career postseason hits, at-bats (559), runs scored (99), and strikeouts (107). Despite winning four Gold Glove awards, Jeter's defense has been the subject of criticism from a number of sabermetricians, including Rob Neyer and the publication Baseball Prospectus. The book The Fielding Bible by John Dewan contains an essay by James in which he concludes that Jeter "was probably the most ineffective defensive player in the major leagues, at any position." A 2008 study by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania found that, from 2002 through 2005, Jeter was the worst defensive shortstop in the Major Leagues. Jeter responded to this criticism by saying "I play in New York, man. Criticism is part of the game, you take criticism as a challenge." During the 2008 offseason, Jeter embarked on a rigorous training program to combat the effects of age, by focusing on lateral movement and first-step quickness. As a result, many baseball writers noted that Jeter had a strong defensive season in 2009, improving his mobility and reducing errors. Jeter maintains an apartment in Manhattan's Trump World Tower and homes in Marlboro, New Jersey, Greenwood Lake, New York, and the Davis Islands neighborhood of Tampa, Florida. Jeter's personal life has been a frequent topic in gossip columns and celebrity magazines since his rookie year in 1996. He had a well-publicized relationship with pop diva Mariah Carey from 1997 to 1998. Jeter also dated former Miss Universe Lara Dutta, singer Joy Enriquez and actress Jordana Brewster. He is rumored to have dated actresses Scarlett Johansson, Gabrielle Union, and Jessica Alba. Rumors also circulated that he was dating supermodel Tyra Banks after the two were spotted sitting next to each other at a New York Knicks game, but it turned out to be a coincidence; Jeter was attending the game with his father. Jeter also had an on-and-off relationship with television personality Vanessa Minillo from late 2003 until early 2006. From November 2006 to January 2007, Jeter was romantically involved with actress Jessica Biel. He has recently been connected to Friday Night Lights actress Minka Kelly. In December 2002, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner criticized Jeter for staying out until 3 a.m. at a birthday party during the 2002 season, saying that his star shortstop "wasn't totally focused" and that "it didn't sit well" with him. In May 2003, the two appeared in a VISA commercial together where they went club-hopping, mocking the incident in a fashion similar to how Steinbrenner and former Yankees manager Billy Martin had mocked their feud in a Miller Lite commercial during the 1970s. In 2008, Jeter settled a tax dispute with the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance. New York State alleged that Jeter should have paid state income tax from 2001 to 2003, as Jeter bought a Manhattan apartment in 2001; however, Jeter established his residence in Tampa, Florida, in 1994 and claimed that he was still a resident of Florida at the time, where there is no state income tax. Jeter is a close personal friend of Yankees catcher Jorge Posada and served as best man at Posada's wedding. Jeter began the Turn 2 Foundation, a charity organization, in 1996. The Foundation was established to help children and teenagers avoid drug and alcohol addiction, and to reward those who show high academic achievement. The organization's name derives from the baseball double play (where "turning two" refers to making two outs on one play) and indicates the goal of the Foundation to give youths a place to "turn to" instead of drugs and alcohol. During the 2009 season, Jeter and Mets star David Wright represented their foundations in a competition sponsored by Delta Air Lines; the player with the highest batting average received $100,000 for their foundation from Delta, while the runner-up's foundation received $50,000. Wright's group, the David Wright Foundation, focuses on multiple sclerosis. Jeter is also involved in Weplay, a website designed to encourage children to get involved in sports. Jeter has appeared in national ad campaigns for Nike, Gatorade, Fleet Bank, Discover Card, Florsheim, VISA (with Yankees owner George Steinbrenner), Skippy, Ford, and XM Satellite Radio. He endorses a cologne named Driven, designed in collaboration with and distributed by Avon. Jeter is one of only three athletes to have their own Jumpman shoe and has replaced Thierry Henry in the American market for Gillette Fusion commercials along with Tiger Woods and Roger Federer. In 2006, Jeter was the second-highest paid endorser in baseball, having earned $7 million in endorsements. Also, he was ranked as the most marketable player in baseball according to a 2005 Sports Business Survey. Derek Jeter was the cover athlete for 2K's MLB 2K5, MLB 2K6, and MLB 2K7. He was also the cover athlete for Acclaim Entertainment's All-Star Baseball series of video games. Jeter is currently the cover athlete for Gameloft's wireless phone baseball game, Derek Jeter Pro Baseball 2008. He has appeared on television in Seinfeld and as a host on Saturday Night Live. Jeter will be appearing in the upcoming comedy film The Other Guys, which is set to be released in August 2010. Jeter's likeness was seen briefly on The Simpsons during the eighth episode of season 19, titled "Funeral for a Fiend," in which he was parodied as a guest starring on Sesame Street. Jeter was the subject of a 2005 segment on the TV news magazine 60 Minutes. There is a wax figure of Jeter at the Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in New York.

thanks, Wikipedia!

PS (from Sax): Alex Cora and I will be representing the Sons tonight, field level third base side. Hope to see you there too; drop a line if you want to grab a beer!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Post-Game 74 Thread: Fox Forced to Swallow Dodgers Victory

DODGERS 9, YANKEES 4

On a day where Ghana depressingly dispatched Team USA again, 2-1, for the second straight World Cup, the Dodgers redeemed the evening by overcoming an early lead (similar to what the Americans faced in the World Cup all tournament long), driving the evil Yankees back to Hades (or the Bronx) and allowing Americans to fully rejoice in victory. Rafael Furcal went 3-for-5, James Loney went 2-for-4 with 4 RBI, and four relievers combined to keep the Yankees scoreless (giving up only one hit over 3.2 IP). Americans nationwide, thanks to the Fox Saturday Game of the Week, were able to witness this glorious spectacle and unleash all the patriotic splendor they had bottled from this afternoon.

Except for those few Yankee fans, I suppose. It was probably a bad day for them.

Game 74 Thread: June 26 vs. Yank-Mes, 4p

Hiroki Kuroda (6-5, 3.06) vs. A.J. Burnett (6-6, 4.83).

COMMENTS: It's starting to feel like Groundhog Day with the Dodgers and interleague play, as we carry our 3-10 record into what is thankfully the first of our final two interleague games of the year. Remember, we were in first place on June 11, when we started our second tour of interleague duty, and then dropped back to second as the Angels swept us. We got a respite against Cincinnati while the 28 other teams dueled interleague-style, which got us back to first place. And since then, our next seven interleague games have yielded one dismal win, dropping us back to fourth place in the division. It seems like the AL brings out the worst in the Dodgers--offensive impotence (like last night's game, where we were shutout for the last eight innings), baserunning blunders (in Wednesday's and Thursday's Angels games), and absences from Matt Kemp and Russell Martin (whose 0-fers last night have them batting .257 and .245, respectively).

Someone has got to tell the Dodgers that "interleague" does not mean "exhibition". These games count, and if Erin's transcontinental return to Dodger Stadium (see comments from last night's GameThread) isn't enough to inspire you, we'll have to resort to more destructive means, like punching holes in walls (not that we haven't already tried that (repeatedly)). Until then, I feel like I'm watching the same disastrous day over and over again. Someone run me a bath while I hold this toaster.

At-Game Recap: Pictures from the Dodgers / Angels Game (June 24)

Got these pictures from a SoSG reader ("Bob") who was at Thursday night's game in Anaheim. By his own admission, he got closer and closer to the field as the game took longer and longer to play (the seventh inning power outage delay didn't help any).

"Carroll doesn't like the call, the umpire says "what can ya do", and a portly batboy breaks up the visit." (reader's words, not mine)

Yippee-ki-yay, Mini Sirloin Burgers! Man, Carroll is short. (my words, not reader's)

Broxton comes in to mop up. At this stage, the reader was taking shots from the field itself.

Thanks for the pictures, Bob!

World Cup Thread: USA vs. Ghana, June 26, 11.30a

90 minutes of putzing around (okay, maybe it was a little bit more than that), followed by one glorious minute of productivity, vaulted USA into the second round against Ghana. And today we see if our boys can follow the five-point blueprint to success and advance to the quarterfinals, where we would meet the winner of this morning's Uruguay / South Korea match.

GO USA!

photo: Sohn/AP

Friday, June 25, 2010

Game 73 Thread; June 25 vs. Yankees, 7p

Vicente Padilla (1-1, 6.67) vs. Carsten Charles Sabathia (8-3, 3.68).

You may not have heard much about this, but apparently there's another MLB team in New York (besides the Mets). And this lesser-known, fledgling squad is coming by our stadium for a visit this weekend, a fact that the Dodgers marketing team has kept under the radar. But since they don't come out to Dodger Stadium often, they must not be anyone of note, right? Otherwise we might have heard about this somewhere? Maybe?

So game 1 against this club is tonight, and there may be a couple of extra people interested in seeing this other team (they're starting a pitcher named Carsten! How cute!), but frankly I'm finding out about this contest so late that I don't know what to expect. Hopefully this visiting squad at least knows the rules of baseball.

Odds of Witnessing Baseball Milestones

Also from the June 28, 2010 ESPN the Magazine was an interesting statistical analysis indicating odds of witnessing key MLB milestones:

Extra innings: 1 in 11

Triple play: 1 in 326

Hit for the cycle: 1 in 702

No-hitter: 1 in 806

Six-plus hits in a nine-inning game: 1 in 2,610

Perfect game: 1 in 10,287

Unassisted triple play: 1 in 12,492

Four-HR game: 1 in 13,453

Besides the obvious extra innings, I know I saw the cycle (Hudson, 2009 Dodgers home opener). I'm not sure if I've seen the six-plus hits in a nine-inning game, but i don't recall it. And you?

Dodgers Clubhouse Tunage

The June 28 2010 issue of ESPN the Magazine had a cool illustration (by Chris Dent) and article interviewing the Dodgers players about their clubhouse music preferences. If you're an insider, you can see the whole article here; if not, here are some snippet highlights:

Bobby Cox has long had a policy: If music is to be played in the Braves' clubhouse, it's going to be played through headphones. Hard to argue with the rules of one of baseball's all-time winningest managers, but when it comes to locker room tunage, he's in the minority -- and, considering his team's recent postseason slump, he might want to reconsider the stance. Just listen to what propelled the Dodgers from playoff outsiders to two straight NLCS appearances. "When I got here in 2008, music wasn't allowed in the clubhouse before games," says LA third baseman Casey Blake. "That changed with Manny. And we started to win." [...]

How do the Dodgers keep harmony in the clubhouse? We'll let them tell you.

Rafael Furcal Shortstop

Manny often plays his own thing down at our end. After games, it's great to hear Miley -- it means we won. If I hear it and it's not after we've won, I don't like it.

Russell Martin Catcher

Whoever gets to the iPod dock first picks the music. Seeing that Matt's locker is next to it, it's usually him. I have no clue how we got started on Miley. My guess is Casey Blake. He has three daughters and probably likes the song more than they do.

Manny Ramirez Leftfield

No comment. [...]

James Loney First base

I'm the best deejay here. My iPod has everything. It goes from John Legend to T.I. to Stevie Wonder. The weight room has a bit of different feel. We'll rock out a little harder there.

Hong-Chih Kuo Pitcher

The music ... is good.

Justin Miller and Jeff Weaver are also cool with Miley's "Party in the USA". Carlos Monasterios wants more hip-hop. Casey Blake wants more Mettalica, which Weaver would also support. And Garret Anderson said he "really [doesn't] care." That's the team spirit, Garret! Enjoy that .193 BA!

Even A Puff Piece on Joe Torre Can Illuminate The Obvious

You may not have heard about this, but apparently the Dodgers are hosting the Yankees this weekend at the Stadium. The New York Times, recently alerted to this news, opted to publish a nice profile of former Yankee and current Dodger manager Joe Torre earlier this week. And check out what anecdote the feature article uses for its lead:

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Joe Torre had a flashback during the seventh inning Tuesday night at Angel Stadium. His Los Angeles Dodgers were losing — again — when his left fielder, Garret Anderson, misplayed a ball in the corner during the Angels’ go-ahead rally.

“I thought that was pretty ironic,” Torre said later, laughing softly in the visiting manager’s office. “He didn’t do that against me in the playoffs, I can tell you that.”

Eight years before, as an Angel, Anderson had sprinted to that same corner to rob Derek Jeter of an extra-base hit, a play Torre has always believed was pivotal to the Yankees’ first-round knockout that October. Anderson was in his prime then, and now he is fading, struggling to hit .200. But he was Torre’s No. 5 hitter on Tuesday.

Even a newspaper 3000 miles away, with a reporter who hasn't profiled the Dodgers all year, can tell you that Garret Anderson does not belong in left field or the starting lineup of the Dodgers. So why is it so hard for the people who can remedy this issue to understand this point?

Love This

From "National Defense" by Hampton Sides in the New Yorker:

[The surprise 1-0 victory by the U.S. over England in the 1950 World Cup] came to be regarded as the greatest upset in the history of World Cup soccer—the so-called Miracle on Grass—and was the subject of a 1996 book by Geoffrey Douglas, "The Game of Their Lives." The English could not quite grasp what had happened. Newspaper editors in London, certain the score that came in over the wires was a typing error, posted the result as "10-1, England."

Post-Game 72 Thread: Dodgers Dominate, Angels Suck

DODGERS 10, ANGELS 6

That's right, Angels fans--SUCK IT. The Dodgers wiped your sorry 41-34, second-place asses tonight, destroying you in a game that wasn't even in question except in the first, second, third, fifth, sixth, and ninth innings. We move into third place thanks to losses from all other NL West teams; we watch Russell Martin's 0-for-2 night drop his batting average to .248; we only have to use six bullpen pitchers (leaving us in great shape with an upcoming series against the AL-leading Yankees this weekend); and we improve our interleague record to an imposing 3-9, and 1-5 against you turkeys. And what's more, we are playing a piano onstage wearing nothing but a bandana and white shorts. Take that.

So suck on that, rally monkeyers. How do you feel now?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Game 72 Thread: Dodgers @ Angels, 7p

Charlie Haeger (0-4, 8.53) vs. Scott Kazmir (7-5, 5.08).

A phoenix, even one that's "falling falling falling falling" like the Dodgers (six-game losing streak; 2-9 record in interleague play so far), still can rise from the ashes, right? After last night's multiple bonehead debacle, it doesn't seem likely to happen tonight--and us trotting out a starting pitcher with an 8.53 ERA doesn't inspire any more confidence.

This Dodger team is obstinate in its refusal to beat the cross-town Angels, and given our ineffectiveness against Kazmir earlier this month, why should we expect anything different in tonight's series finale? Going into a "rivalry renewed" series with the Yankees with a seven-game losing streak seems highly plausible.

Oh, and here's a note for you stat-hounds: When Garret Anderson plays, the Dodgers are 26-31, including losses in the last eight games in which he's played. And he's batting .193, by the way. Coincidence? I think not.

art by Adam Hughes of course

Come Often, Come Early

From a Dodgers press release:

The Los Angeles Dodgers will play a much anticipated series against the defending World Champion New York Yankees starting this Friday at 7:10 p.m. In order to alleviate traffic congestion, offer fans the opportunity to watch the Dodgers and Yankees take batting practice and meet Dodger legends in Autograph Alley ticketholders will be able to enter Dodger Stadium earlier this weekend.
  • Friday, June 25
    Game Time: 7:10 p.m.
    Auto Gates: 4:40 pm
    Early Batting Practice Gates: 4:40 p.m.
    Stadium Gates: 5:10 p.m.
    Autograph Alley: Bill Russell
  • Saturday, June 26
    Game Time: 4:10 p.m.
    Auto Gates: 1:40 p.m.
    Early Batting Practice Gates: 1:40 p.m.
    Stadium Gates: 2:10 p.m.
    Autograph Alley: Matt Luke
  • Sunday, June 27
    Game Time: 5:00 p.m.
    Auto Gates: 2:40 p.m.
    Early Batting Practice Gates: 2:40 p.m.
    Stadium Gates: 3:10 p.m.
    Autograph Alley: Steve Yeager

Fans are encouraged to arrive early, carpool and take the Dodger Stadium Express shuttle from Union Station to help alleviate parking congestion. The Dodger Stadium Express picks up fans at the Patsaouras Bus Plaza adjacent to the east portal of Union Station and drops them off in the parking lot behind left/center field.

Dodger tickets will be honored as fare. Service is provided starting 90 minutes prior to the beginning of the games and will end 45 minutes after the end of the game. The Dodger Stadium Express runs every 10 minutes prior to the start of the game and run approximately every 30 minutes throughout the game.

Cartoon Bear Porn

Just for you, KB:

Viagogo Contest Winner

I'm sorry, you are not the winner of the Yankees tickets. Unless your name is Susana de la Torre! Congratulations, Susana! You will be contacted by Viagogo directly. And you non-winners — technically, there are billions of you — can visit Viagogo for all your ticketing needs. Except traffic tickets, I don't think they do those.

The Truth Hurts

From "The L.A. Lakers as a unifying principle" by Chris Erskine at the LA Times:

"It's the only thing the people can trust," Magic Johnson explained to me the other day. "They trust the Lakers.

"When I first got here, it was a Dodger town," Magic said. "We went on that incredible run, and the town changed and they fell in love.

"Now, when you think about it, all those young fans are parents now, and so we have a second generation of Laker fans.... And we owe it all to Dr. Buss."

Oh man, thanks for the reminder, Magic.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Post-Game 71 Thread: Get'cha Head In The Game, Dodgers

ANGELS 2, DODGERS 1

Since early May, we have watched Matt Kemp spiral down from his otherworldly start this year toward a decidedly mortal coil. His OBP has gone from .405 on April 22 to .315 today; his batting average has sunk from .333 to .258, and his home run last night in a losing cause was his first in 17 games (giving him 12 total on the year). And yes, he had the Dodgers' only run of the night; yes, he's got prodigious power and tons of potential; yes, he's dating Rihanna.

But getting picked off second base, in the ninth inning, representing the game-tying run with one out (and a man on first), is simply inexcusable. And then, after Russell Martin walked to put men and first and second with two out, Jamey Carroll hits a single to right which would have rightfully scored Reed Johnson from second--except for the fact that Russell Martin--0-for-3 and batting .250--inexplicably turned wide on second base and was tagged out before Johnson could cross the plate. With the tying run INCHES away from home, Martin absolutely blew it. Just as Kemp had blown it minutes earlier.

We've now lost five of five games to the Angels, we slip to four games behind the Padres in a TIE for third place, and the season looks hopeless once again as we are absolutely pathetic when the game is on the line. I know we've got a young team, and that young teams are prone to errors. But Joe Torre sure as hell had better be making the team run windsprints and suicides all night long, until they're puking up rally monkeys, after this performance.

Me, I'm just getting drunk.

Game 71 Thread: June 23 @ Angels, 7p

John Ely (3-4, 4.15) vs. Joel Pineiro (6-6, 4.45).

COMMENTS: Losing to the Angels sucks. Losing five in a row sucks. Losing eight straight interleague games sucks. Watching your rookie pitching sensation fall back to earth sucks. Seeing a team below us in the standings beat the AL team that just swept us sucks. But being a Dodger fan? Still doesn't suck. No matter how bad the losses sting, and for all the bitching we do, somehow we're back for the next game. Why? I don't know. But it beats suffering alone. Game on!

Only Suckers Pay Retail

Just saw this in the latest AAA mailing:

Automobile Club of Southern California members get $5 off tickets for select Dodgers regular season home games, Monday through Thursday, for Field Box, Infield Reserve, and Lower Reserve seats. Members need to show their valid membership card at the stadium box office to receive the discount (limit six tickets per Auto Club card; certain blackout dates and restrictions apply).

Ironic Poll

Which of the following most closely reflects the proper definition of 'ironic'?
Winning the lottery and dying the next day
A death row pardon 2 minutes too late
A free ride when you've already paid
A no-smoking sign on your cigarette break
Ten thousand spoons when all you need is a knife
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Yes, none of them is correct. But which is closest? This is a serious question.

Speaking of Major League 3...

Actually, only I was speaking about it (four articles below).

As proof that prayer can work, a NEW Major League movie is in the works. And similar to Halloween - H20, they'll act like the inferior sequels never happened (though I would argue that Halloween 4 is pretty killer).

Bob Uecker let the cat out of the bag last year, announcing at a sports game (well, of course!) that a new "Major League" movie was in the works. David S.Ward, the writer/director of the hit 1989 movie today who backed up Uecker's comments, confirmed that there is indeed a new film in the works - and unlike the last sequel (the poorly-received "Major League : Back in the Minors'' that Ward wasn't involved with), it'll reunite the original cast.

"It's 20 years later, and Wild Thing comes out of retirement to work with this 19-year-old player", Ward says of the storyline. "We've actually got three new characters in the new film. And if the new film is popular, they could carry the franchise on".

Though Ward, whose other credits include the Oscar Winner "The Sting'' and "Sleepless in Seattle'', hopes to get Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen and even, Wesley Snipes* back for "Major League 3'', he's so far only spoken to Charlie Sheen about it. "He's excited to do it if and when it happens", says Ward. "But he can't shoot it this year, because he's back doing Two-and-a-Half Men, but we could potentially shoot it next year - in his hiatus from the show".

If Charlie Sheen can chain down his inner-Wild Thing and stay out of jail, we might be onto something. I just hope they can afford a never hotter Corbin Bernsen.

USA Advances To Round 2!

Holy cow. Landon Donovan takes the rebound off a Jozy Altidore shot / Clint Dempsey touch off the Algerian goalkeeper, and drills it home, in extra time, to send the US team onward to the second round. I can't believe it.

You can hear the cheers from Bristol CT all the way out here in Los Angeles. I'm sure the ESPN brass is stoked beyond belief.

photo: AP

Final PCS III First-Half Rankings!

How many readers spotted the other hidden images in yesterday's Puzzle?

UBragg withstands the intense pressure from Mr C to barely hang on at the top and win the 1st half (by 6 points)! Jason comes in a close 3rd. Ironically, if this puzzle had been worth 150 pts as were previous Grand Slam Puzzle, Mr Customer would have won.

Here's the traditional final rankings graph:

Here are the final rankings:

(720 possible points)

Current
Rank
Previous
Rank
Player
PCS Tour
Points
1
1
UBragg
573
2
3
Mr Customer
566
3
2
Jason
510
T-4
T-4
Drewdez
354
T-4
T-4
J Steve
354
6
6
Keven C
353
7
7
Mr F
339
8
8
QuadSevens
318
9
9
golem
253
10
10
Greg Finley
245

Others receiving votes: matt 242, josh s 235, mlasf 232, krusty baker 232, nicholas 224, llcooll 220, dunkhawk 189, steve dittmore 184, curious gene 170, dusto magnifico 152, loney fan 135, lauro 123, berkowit28 120, wicks 104, jose 100, the trite fantastic 100, bryan 100, rbnlaw 92, bwrightson 91, midnight drive 60, neeebs 55, danielle 50, erin 30, fred's brim 22, karina 20.

Congratulations UBragg, Mr C, Jason, and the rest of the Top 10. UBragg, let us know which prize you fancy. And Mr C, enjoy the leftovers. Everyone else, prepare for the 2nd half, starting July 12. And don't forget...for the first time this season, she's coming...