Monday, February 28, 2011

A Witty Comment Thread Worth Reading

I've always been impressed with our readership's sarcastic wit, which usually feeds on itself like an avalanche, picking up more and more debris along the way. You know, kind of like Katamari Damacy, except funnier.

Via Deadspin, here's a brilliant and witty comment thread worth reading. We need to step up our game, boys and girls! (That's what Spring Training Game Threads are all about!)

Camelback Ranch Photos (Feb 27, 2011)

SoSG regular Nancy Bea was kind enough to send these photos, taken at Camelback Ranch yesterday. Boy, does that look like a beautiful setting! I'm jealous...

Ely on the mound.

Don Mattingly and Tommy Lasorda during the anthem.

Casey Blake and Rafael Furcal in the on-deck circle.

Writes Nancy Bea, "It was pretty awesome!!!! Davey Lopes threw me a ball after the 1st inning!!!" Nancy Bea really like exclamation points!!!! Given how close her seats were, why am I not surprised she caught a ball?

Thanks for sending these in, Nancy Bea!

STGT: Feb. 28 vs. White Sox, 12n

It's time for Donnie Baseball!

photo by Harry How/Getty Images

Now This Is a Son of Steve Garvey

Ryan Garvey, Steve Garvey's 17-year-old son, in action during the fifth annual Southern California Invitational Showcase held by the Major League Baseball Scouting Bureau at the MLB Urban Youth Academy in Compton a few weeks ago.

Garvey and Trevor Gretzky, Wayne's son.

AP photos

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dodgers Lose Sir Duke

He had an iconic name, wore an iconic number, and was a rare slugger among the pitching greats in the pantheon of Dodgers retired numbers. Duke Snider was truly Dodgers royalty, and he passed away this morning at the age of 84.

The Dodgers released this statement by Vin Scully:

“He was an extremely gifted talent and his defensive abilities were often overlooked because of playing in a small ballpark, Ebbets Field. When he had a chance to run and move defensively, he had the grace and the abilities of DiMaggio and Mays and of course, he was a World Series hero that will forever be remembered in the borough of Brooklyn. Although it’s ironic to say it, we have lost a giant. He’s joining a great Dodger team that has moved on and I extend my sympathies to his entire family, especially to Bev.”

Can't say it better than that. Our thoughts are with the Snider family and the Dodgers organization.

2011 Academy Awards GT (Feb 27 @ 5p)

That's right, it's the 2011 Oscars! Will the early front-runner The Social Network connect with Academy voters, or will the late surge of The King's Speech prove to be more eloquent? Did Natalie Portman's crass comments at the Golden Globes give Annette Bening the opening she needed to strike gold? Does Anne Hathaway have a funny bone in her? Does James Franco have any bones left beyond the wrist?

STGT: Feb 27 vs. Angels, 12n

Holy smokage, it's BASEBALL. On TELEVISION (Prime Ticket / MLB Network). In the glorious AFTERNOON. With a 20% chance of RAIN. Oh well, three out of four ain't bad.

What better way to get ready for the Oscars than to watch the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the Los Angels Angels?

Those of you hoping to watch Jon Garland in action, however, will be disappointed; Dodgers pitching coach Rick Honeycutt is skipping Garland ("It's not a red flag," says Honeycutt) and John "Lincoln Lawyer" Ely will take Garland's place instead.

photo swiped from here

Introducing TiqIQ

It's said that Dodger fans buy tickets rain or shine, win or lose. And we know that going to Dodger Stadium isn't necessarily a financial walk in the park. That's where our new partner TiqIQ can come in handy — they aggregate ticket information from multiple sources (including StubHub and eBay) and pass along updated availability and pricing info.

You can check out their widgety widget thing in our sidebar or check out their multi-event page.

But don't just take our word for it. Here's what TiqIQ has to say about themselves:

1. Aggregated Listings: They aggregate all major sellers in the market so you can find the best deal.

2. TiqZone Categorization: They break each venue up into TiqZones, which are groupings of sections that we’ve determined are comparable in value.

3. TiqIQ Statistics: They provide ticket-level buying intelligence through their IQ rating and TiqIQ Statistics.

4. E-Ticket Filter: Want tickets last minute? You can find all the available e-tickets so you can print your tickets from home or the office.

5. All-in Pricing Option: Before you complete your sale you'll be able to tell exactly how much your tickets will cost including all service and shipping fees.

A Band-Aid for a Shotgun Blast

MLB has officially stepped in and FLOATED the Mets $25 Million.

Major League Baseball tossed the financially flagging Mets a $25 million lifeline late last year in a bid to shore up the cash-strapped team as it faces claims from Bernard Madoff victims, sources told The Post. "We did receive a loan from Major League Baseball in November," the team admitted in a statement yesterday. "Beyond that, we will not discuss the matter any further."

Sources inside MLB said the value of the loan was $25 million. The situation has gotten so bad that the Mets are now willing to sell up to a 49 percent stake in the franchise -- double what the owners had previously indicated.

Sources said the Mets had desperately reached out to MLB after its beleaguered owner Fred Wilpon was told by the trustee charged with clawing back ill-gotten Madoff gains that the team could be on the hook for as much as $1 billion. Trustee Irving Picard later filed suit against the Mets, saying its owners should have known that Madoff's inflated returns were too good to be true.

Thank you MLB! $25 Million should cover another whole season and a half of Carlos Beltran looking at Strike Three.

Donald Trump was attempting to throw his "hair" in the ring to bail out the Mets, but may I suggest an even more reliable businessman than Trump or Madoff?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Dodgers Split Squads, Lose Both Games

Like Madrox the Multiple Man, the Dodgers split squads today and may have lost focus and conviction as a result. We lost against the Giants 8-3 with Don Mattingly at the helm, as well as against the Angels 4-1 with Lorenzo Bundy managing the team.

Tomorrow, the squads recombine. Will the sum be more than the parts?

STGT: Feb 26 SS @ Angels/Giants, 12n

Split Squad @ Angels, 12p
Split Squad @ Giants, 12p (on KABC radio)

2011 Dodgers Spring Training Schedule (

COMMENTS: It's tiiiiimmme for Dodger baseball! Meaningless, half-speed Dodger baseball, but Dodger baseball nonetheless!

From @truebluela:

Dodgers are playing two split squad games Saturday; Don Mattingly will manage vs Giants, Lorenzo Bundy will manage vs Angels

From @dylanohernandez:

Source: Josh Suchon of DodgerTalk on his way to AZ. Will be here for first show of the year, which will follow broadcast of [today's] game.

Random thought from SoSG Sax: They should totally broadcast live play-by-play from both games simultaneously, just for kicks.

Saturday Notes

Friday, February 25, 2011

Dodgers Smack Dab In The Middle Of WSJ Offseason Analysis

SoSG EK, you're gonna love this.

The WSJ ran a graph yesterday that mapped teams relative to their offseason moves, along two dimensions: on the x-axis, the volume of moves made (players gained + players lost); and on the y-axis, the quality of those moves (measuring WAR gained - WAR lost). It's an interesting exercise, albeit deceiving. First, the graph:

And you can clearly see the Dodgers, right in the middle. The only team close to us on the "quality of moves" scale is the Diamondbacks, with San Francisco right on the midpoint line. The Rockies are hiding behind the Reds, at a -2 net WAR, while the Padres are way down in the bottom right quadrant, doing the largest volume of moves, but diminishing their net WAR by almost -6.

The Orioles "won" the offseason, by virtue of WAR-accumulating moves like picking up Derrek Lee (+3.5 WAR) and JJ Hardy (+2.9) while only losing Kevin Millwood (-1.9). The Orioles' net WAR was an MLB-high +9.0. Said the WSJ, "While other teams made bigger splashes, the Orioles quietly reinvented heir infield. The changes should help them do much better than 66-96." Which would be true, except for the fact that the Orioles are in the AL East. I'm not buying this methodology.

In fact, here's what Scott Cacciola and Jared Diamond have to say about the Dodgers (no link):

14. L.A. Dodgers (+0.1) Key acquisitions: SP Jon Garland (1.4), 2B Juan Uribe (2.1) Key loss: C Russell Martin (2.9) Outlook: A case of quantity over quality. The Dodgers' nine additions probably won't help them improve on a sub-.500 season.

(Russell Martin's departure is probably overstated as a -2.9 net WAR move, right?)

So the Dodgers are still stuck right there in the middle. One can't use this graph to prognosticate 2011 results, since the data doesn't take into account the team's starting WAR. For example, the Orioles might have gained 9.0 WAR, but given their 66-96 finish last year, the incremental 75-87 record would have put them...still in fifth place in the division (fourth-place Toronto lost (-4.9) WAR this offseason but still would have finished 81-81).

So the Dodgers treaded water this offseason. The Padres lost (-6.5) in WAR, San Francisco lost almost a full win of WAR (-0.8), the Rockies lost -3.0, and the Diamondbacks gained 0.2. Bolt those stats onto our 2010 final standings, ladies and gentlemen, and we're still in fourth place in the division; maybe tied for third.


graphic by Alberto Cervantes / WSJ

Satiny Goodness Woefully Short on Actual Satin

From "Dodgers to wear throwbacks for six games" by Ken Gurnick at

Though the original uniform worn in the 1940s was made of a reflective satin to make it more visible under the lights for night games, the throwback jerseys will maintain a similar feel as those worn by the Dodgers throughout the 2011 season.

Translation: Your dream of seeing Vicente Padilla wearing reflective satin just went down the drain. Sorry!

1&2: @LADDesignGuy; 3&4: Dodgers

MLB At Bat 2011 Arrives, Quickly Steals $15 From SoSG Sax's Wallet

All right, I took the plunge, for the hefty fee. I can't wait to see the new functionality from this app, which released this week:

The mobile app At Bat is back for the 2011 season. Fans can get a free preview of live streaming video for At Bat 11 on Apple devices starting on Saturday. At Bat 11, which is available now for the iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android devices, and BlackBerry devices, introduces a new favorite club home screen customization setting.

At Bat 11 gives baseball fans complete coverage of Grapefruit and Cactus League games with access to live spring training games. Fans will get radio feeds, as well as in-progress game stats. Features for spring training include a customizable home screen, the ability to watch live streaming of about 150 spring training games, the ability to listen to radio broadcasts for spring training games, and an enhanced video library archive that's searchable by player or team. The app is available for a one-time fee of $14.99 for the entire 2011 season.

This site says the app is already #1 in its niche.

Baseball Prospectus Predicts Dodgers 2nd In NL West Behind Giants

Can't believe I missed this story, but Christina Kahrl of Baseball Prospectus ran the PECOTA projections and put the Dodgers second in the NL West, three games back of San Francisco (link insider only). Here's her writeup on the Dodgers:

Los Angeles Dodgers 87-75

Why they might win: Relatively quietly, the Dodgers assembled a rotation to contend by re-upping Ted Lilly and Hiroki Kuroda and adding reliable innings-eater Jon Garland. Their bullpen is deeper, younger and better than the Giants', which contributes to an initial projection for the league's best run prevention.

Why they might not win: Just three teams in the league are projected to post lower OBPs than the Dodgers' .322. Signing or re-signing all that pitching left few dollars for the lineup, and most of those were invested in Juan Uribe -- another low-OBP regular. If the Dodgers suffer yet another injury-plagued season from leadoff man Rafael Furcal, this bad situation could become grave overnight.

Player who could surprise: Closer Jonathan Broxton had an awful season in 2010, protecting the leads he was handed just 78 percent of the time. But thank Joe Torre for some of that: After a 48-pitch blown game against the Yankees on June 27, Broxton gave up almost two baserunners per inning and seven runs per nine for the remainder to the year. PECOTA is projecting a comeback with a 2.70 ERA, but we'll see how rookie skipper Don Mattingly handles his young closer's first setback.

Player who could disappoint: Depending on how you look at it, Matt Kemp could, at least relative to expectations of superstardom, by slugging .449 and belting 21 homers. James Loney will, but that's because he'll continue to be one of the worst-hitting regulars at first base, projected to hit just .276/.340/.399.

BP also projected the Rockies in third with an 83-79 record, the Padres in fourth and the D'backs in the cellar. Not all hope is lost, however; the Dodgers have a shot at the Wild Card, too; looking across the NL, a 87-75 record would be tied with the Braves, projected to be second in the NL East to the Phillies. BP picked the NL Central-leading Cardinals to win with a similar 87-75 record.

Friday Notes

  • Here's to a Dodger Blue birthday for Nancy Bea Hefley! Happy Birthday Nancy! (Blue Heaven)
  • The Dodgers will be playing a spring training game to benefit the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Fund. Sources: Dodgers to play benefit game (Tony Jackson,
  • Who wants a job? From a Dodgers press release:

    WHAT: The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Dodgers Dream Foundation will host the 16th Annual Community Job Fair this Saturday, February 26. Job seekers are invited to join more than 100 companies from the public and private sector, including Amtrak, El Super, Excel Paving, Kaiser Permanente, Los Angeles Fire and Police Departments, Levy Restaurants, Los Angeles Unified School District, Pacific Asian Consortium & Employment, Southern California Gas Company, University of Southern California, United States Secret Service, W Hollywood Hotel and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Last year, more than 10,000 participants gathered at Dodger Stadium for the Community Job Fair and approximately 1,500 found employment as a result of the event.

    WHEN: Saturday, February 26, 2011 (rain or shine)
    Kick-off Event 9:30 a.m.
    Event 10 a.m. - 1 p.m.

    WHERE: Dodger Stadium
    Field Level Concourse
    Parking in Lot 6

    MISC: Parking at Dodger Stadium and admission to the job fair are free. Free shuttle service will also be provided into the stadium from the corner of Elysian Park Avenue / Sunset Blvd. and Elysian Park Avenue/Stadium Way. Participants are encouraged to dress in business attire and bring multiple copies of their current résumé. On-site interviews will occur and many companies will be hiring on site. Additionally, the Southeast Community Development Corporation will have their Mobile Technology Unit on site to provide assistance to the job seekers including formatting and printing their résumés.

    No word if Scott Podsednik will be attending.

The Ultimate Broheim: Loney Fan!

Congratulations Loney Fan on topping ex-Bro (Round 2) MLASC, Jason, Mr F, and Spank for the title of The Ultimate Broheim! In an ironic yet heartwarming twist, it was LF's old nemesis QuadSevens who pushed him across the finish line in Round 5. LF & Quad - Frenemies Forever!

(click image to enlarge)

But now for the fun part: statistical analysis. Interestingly, the four participants with the highest average rating - Karina, Paul, MB, and rbn - all ranked in the bottom quartile. And the folks with the lowest average ratings - Steve K and DB - fell in the middling-to-low.

You probably knew there was no way we'd get out of this without a graph somehow involved, and here it is, compiled from the cumulative 100 data points (20 players x 5 rounds):

(click image to enlarge)

The correlation between your rating and your broheim's rating is evident to the naked eye, as is to a lesser degree the correlation between your rating and the degree to which you trade up or down (highly desirable folks logically have less opportunity to trade up than less desirable folks). As far as the relationship between your rating and your score (which is based on the above two relationships) - it seems there's a downside to being rated either too highly or too poorly. The middle ratings seem to have the advantage. Interesting...

And finally, a bonus graph:

(click image to enlarge)

So as expected the poor 1s and 2s were often left out in the cold, and the 9s never went Broheimless. Yet the 10s - perhaps due to the intimidation factor - went dateless a quarter of the time!

Anyhow, thanks everyone for bravely taking part in the social experiment. Congrats again to Loney Fan and the other top finishers! (prize to be announced soon)

Padilla Reveals Mutant-Like Healing Factor

I didn't think Battletoad was a mutant. But on the other hand, a four-week recovery from arm surgery sounds pretty damn fast to me:

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Los Angeles Dodgers will begin the season without right-hander Vicente Padilla, but club officials are hopeful after Padilla underwent surgery on Thursday to free a nerve that was trapped by a muscle in his right forearm that he could begin playing catch before the end of spring training.

The surgery was performed in Los Angeles by team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. Steve Shin, who conveyed the results to Dodgers trainer Stan Conte at Camelback Ranch.

"Stan said it went well," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "[Padilla] is supposed to be back in Arizona sometime [on Friday], and he'll start the rehab process. What I got was that his best outlook is three or four weeks, then he'll start tossing."

Assuming "tossing" doesn't refer to a salad, or regurgitation, this is welcome news for the Dodgers!

This Weekend's Dodger-Related Movie Release: Hall Pass

photo credits: Blake photo from photography by Ruben's flickr page; Tony Gwynn Jr. shot from (Yes, that is a black man's head with a white man's hand. My photoshop skills suck.)

Postscript: By the way, I get the Farrelly brothers' premise and everything, but what the hell is Jason Sudeikis thinking? With Christina Applegate as your wife?


Dodger Bloggers Spread Wisdom, Genes

It's so seldom I can compare myself favorably to Alyssa Milano. But it looks like the two of us are Dodger cybergeeks, both helping to create future generations of bloggers.

Everyone at SoSG wishes Ms Milano all the best for an easy pregnancy and easier delivery, even if the father (CAA agent David Bugliari) only pitches at The IVY.

And further down the dial, the family DeShields welcomed Delino 3.0 earlier this month.

All parties involved are healthy and already working on old school Mattingly mustaches.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Broxton Channels Goldfish, Looks Swimmingly Toward 2011

There are days in writing this blog when I know I don't put out my best material. I usually feel it as soon as I hit the little orange "Publish Post" box in the lower left corner, but my fears are often re-affirmed by comments from readers which tell me I blew the blogpost.

Luckily, however, I'm able to put all of that behind me and come out blogging the following day. Call it resilience, or call it obliviousness; here I am the next day, ready for glory but also ready for more punishment. Let's get it on.

Similarly, Dodger closer Jonathan Broxton is looking to close the book on 2010, especially a disastrous second half, and get back to business in 2011. Writes Dylan Hernandez of the LAT:

Can closer Jonathan Broxton recover from the worst three-month stretch of his career?

"I'll be fine this year," Broxton said. And Manager Don Mattingly, who has selected the two-time All-Star his closer, says the same. But neither player nor coach can identify a reason for Broxton's late-2010 slump.

Broxton, 26, has chosen an anti-intellectual — or is it actually uber-intellectual? — approach to solving his problems, as has long been his custom. As a closer, he says he's been conditioned to forget about a blown save. He won't change just because there were seven of them last year.

The soft-spoken but hard-throwing Georgian says he never bothered to examine what went wrong over his last 31 appearances, when he had a 7.58 earned-run average and was temporarily displaced as the Dodgers' closer.

He dismisses radar-gun readings that indicated he had lost a couple of ticks off his fastball by questioning the accuracy of the speed-measuring devices. He says he "might have gotten into some bad habits," but claims to not know what they were. The closest he comes to acknowledging that conditioning might have been an issue is by revealing that this year he started running a month earlier than usual.

"Get my legs under me a little more," he said.

Asked how he can have so much faith that everything will return to the way it used to be without the benefit of logic or the examination of empirical evidence, Broxton replies, "I don't know. Maybe it's instinct. You played your whole life. You know how to throw."

I don't know. Maybe it's instinct. Maybe it's being able to type 80 wpm. You write your whole life. You know how to blog.

James Loney, New And Improved With More Bat Speed

James Loney has been industrious since the end of last season, working with Dodgers hitting coach Jeff Pentland throughout the off-season to re-tool his swing. Will this suddenly give him the home run power for which we all are yearning to see? Well, after last year's second-half offensive swoon, I'd even settle for some consistent production--but at least Tony Jackson's article gives me hope:

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- There are two schools of thought when it comes to Los Angeles Dodgers first baseman James Loney: one school that asks why doesn't he hit more home runs, and another school that asks why can't the Dodgers just let him be who he is.

Loney is hoping this is the year when he can bring the two camps together.

"The thing is, I'm still with this team, so they obviously think there is more I can do, even though what I have done has been pretty good through the years," Loney said. "I want to get better. The key to making your game better is driving the ball. My job isn't necessarily to hit more homers. … People who know baseball say hitting home runs is really all about getting bat speed and catching the ball in just the right spot."

And it is precisely that -- not getting the ball to leave the yard, but getting Loney's bat into the relatively small hitting zone more quickly -- that Loney and Dodgers hitting coach Jeff Pentland have been working on not only since the start of spring training, but basically since the end of last season. Loney flew to Phoenix from his home in Houston twice this winter for extra work with Pentland at the team's Camelback Ranch facility.

"In order to hit the ball in that certain area, it's really difficult," Pentland said. "James probably isn't as consistent as he needs to be at getting his bat to that spot. What he needs to do is put the bat head in a better position so we can add some sharpness to the ball. I never tell guys to swing for the fence. I want guys to hit the ball hard consistently. If they do that, there are going to be times where they catch it just right and it's going to go out of the ballpark."

Loney has always had strong hand-eye coordination, and he admits that has allowed him to adjust mid-swing and make contact at times even when his mechanics haven't been completely sound. But after working and talking so much with Pentland, he is feeling a comfort level he has never felt before.

"It's a totally new feeling," Loney said. "I think I might have had it a few times [in the past] without knowing it. But this is more of a new feeling. … It's just [a result of] trying to do things the right way and trying to take that perfect practice approach so that eventually, you make that muscle memory take over."

We're pulling for you, King James!

ESPN Baseball Tonight's 2011 Dodgers Preview

Nice quickie video segment from the BBTN team previewing the 2011 Dodgers; you can watch the video, starring Karl Ravech, Tim Kurkjian, and John Kruk, below:

Alternatively, and considering that ESPN videos tend to self-destruct pretty quickly, here's the Cliff Notes version if you don't want to waste three minutes of your day:

  • Kurkjian contends the #1 question for the team is new manager Don Mattingly, but says he's off to "a terrific start", based on words from Andre Ethier that insinuate Mattingly is bringing a more revved-up attitude to a team that was somehwat complacent last year under Joe Torre;
  • Kurkjian's #2 question is Juan Uribe, though Kurkjian concedes the 24 HR Uribe hit last year dwarfs the 3 HR hit by Dodgers second basemen last year (that's not the only thing Uribe dwarfs, by the way (and I'm not talking about Uribe's .248 BA));
  • Ravech brings up left field as the abyss. "They'll hit and hope balls aren't hit to them." Yeah, that's inspiring;
  • Kruk's X-Factor is, unsurprisingly, Jonathan Broxton. You've heard the arguments before, nothing to see here, keep moving onward.

Thursday Notes

  • Could you watch every single game of the 2011 season? And then blog about it? Are you not ugly? If you answered yes to these questions, apply here. MLB Dreamjob (
  • Catching up in the Dodgerblogopshere: Kenny Shulsen is the new lead writer at Lasorda's Lair, and I've been meaning to mention Opinion of Kingman's Performance (h/t TBLA).
  • Attention, Facebook fanatics: Zigabid is giving away two tickets to Opening Day at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers Opening Day Contest (Zigabid/Facebook)
  • Can John Lindsey turn the feel-good story of 2010 into the miracle of 2011? Lindsey wants to stay in Majors (Ken Gurnick,

Pennant: Another Great Baseball-Related iPad Diversion

I don't have an iPad. Yet. But for all of you early adopters who jumped on the iPad bandwagon already, check out this find from SoSG Dusty Baker, who tipped me off to a new app called Pennant, which basically uses Retrosheet and a nifty graphical interface to recap every play of every game since 1951.

The app looks pretty sharp, especially for only $5. But rather than me try to describe the app and its functionality, let me let the video tell the story:

I was so impressed by this app, I reached out to the inventor, Steve Varga, for some commentary on how it was created. I had also asked him a question about why individual statistics aren't also included in the app. Here's what he was kind enough to write me back:

The app was originally created as my Masters' thesis project at Parsons the New School for Design [in New York City]. I love baseball and I need a year-long project, so I decided to make something that I would want for myself.

The development of the app initially took about 6 months of non-stop work, and then I recently took 2 more months to rewrite it. This was not continuous time per say, but on average probably about 5 hours a day. I also juggle a number of other projects so this has been more on the side.

It isn't sortable by player, with good reason. I don't know that it ever will be. What sets Pennant apart is that it is a history of the teams and games, not of any one person. Baseball has become extremely player-oriented, which was no more apparent then during the steroids era. There is enough stuff out there about players, so I wanted to make something about the teams that people follow year after year and how they performed as a unit.

I assume that Dusty is already all over this app. For the rest of you, what do you think? Steve asked for feedback, so fire away!

Mattingly Shows Firmness With Dazzling Weather Observations, Sharp Fashion Sense

I'm not sure if the Arizona Republic has started outsourcing its headline creation needs, but when I see articles titled, "Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly focused on setting firm tone", I didn't expect Bob McManaman's article to lead off like this:

If he had any first-day jitters as he prepared for his inaugural spring training as the new manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, Don Mattingly didn't show it in his eyes. They were hidden by a pair of dark designer sunglasses.

"Man, it's bright out here," Mattingly said as he settled into a chair on a veranda overlooking the stadium below him at Camelback Ranch. "Beautiful, but bright."

(Mc)Manaman, that's a bad headline; it has nothing to do with the meandering, point-lacking lead whatsoever. To be fair, the article itself doesn't do much on its own behalf to emphasize this "firm tone" point:

Dressed in fashionable jeans, a long-sleeved striped shirt and sporting an artistic collection of bracelets on his right wrist, Mattingly neatly fielded every question with a striking sense of confidence and conviction.

Right, because nothing says confidence like fashionable jeans, long-sleeved striped shirts, and bracelets! Just ask Morten Harket of a-ha:

Just think: February 27, we can start talking about action on a baseball diamond and stop these insipid feature stories. Three more days.

photo: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images Europe (July 27, 2009), swiped from here

Dodgers Individual Tickets Pre-Sale @ 10a

Sorry to bogart the Broheim thread, but I wanted to point out that tickets to individual Dodgers games, excluding Opening Day, go on sale today in a half hour (10a PT):

Starting today at 10am, click here and use NEWERA as the promotion code.

Tickets to 80 Dodger home games will be available including: six Bobblehead Nights, two Fleece Blanket giveaways, four specialty Dodger Caps, the Freeway Series, the return of Friday Night Fireworks and our all-new Half-Price Food & Drink Days. Opening Day tickets will not be available through this pre-sale; however, a limited number of Opening Day tickets will be available at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, February 26th. Indvidual tickets go on sale to the general public Saturday, February 26th at 10am PT.

Good luck!

Be My Broheim: Final Round 5!

It's a tight race among the top 3, as Mr F continues to hold off MLASC (interestingly both have averaged below-average ratings throughout the first 4 rounds). Loney Fan has jumped into contender status. Quad has leapt into the top 10 with his seduction of Karina yesterday.

Now, get ready to Tango for Cash (well, not actually cash), it's the final Round!


  1. Jason S & Josh S
  2. DB & MB
  3. Spank & Neeebs
  4. MLASC & Mr C
  5. Mr F & Pistol PR
  6. Loney Fan & QuadSevens
  7. Mr Dr & Paul

Andre Ethier, Budding Leader

USA Today posted that Andre Ethier wants to be a leader for the Dodgers in 2011; he's just not sure how to assume that role:

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Andre Ethier wants to be a leader for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He wants to be the kind of player who sets a good example and can bring a clubhouse together.

"He can be that guy," said new Dodgers manager Don Mattingly, who has already had conversations with the quiet, unassuming right fielder along those lines.

"He had confusion from the standpoint of, 'I don't know how to do it.' Those were his exact words. I explained he doesn't have to do anything but play the game hard. Every day," Mattingly added. "He works harder than anybody else. I just need him to do that every day. If he'll do that, he doesn't have to say a word."

Mattingly, a Yankees captain and then coach, mentioned Derek Jeter in New York as an example.

"You see this good-looking guy and you hear about Miss America and everybody else, and you think he's not tough," Mattingly said Monday. "This is the toughest guy I've ever been around. All he does is go out and play every day.

"And when your best player ... ," then Mattingly seemed to catch himself. "I'm not going to name Andre that, but when your best players play the hardest, that's leadership That's what Jeet did over the years. That's all Andre has to do."

First of all, I'm hoping that Mattingly isn't getting Ethier mixed up with the crazy Indian Bollywood movie full of love and loss and crime and dancing. Shouldn't it be "Jete"? Or does that word look too much like a ballet move?

In any event, I'd love to see Ethier become more of a leader for the Dodgers; I agree, he could be that guy. Mattingly said that he's leaning toward Ethier in the three-hole with Matt Kemp in cleanup and Rafael Furcal at leadoff (the #2 hitter hasn't been named yet). If Ethier can thrive as he did in the first half of 2010 and lead by example, I have a feeling his backbone will strengthen as well and he could assume that role.

Get out there, Andre, and lead!

Battletoad Towed

The first million is supposed to be the hardest, right? But given the news that Vicente Padilla is undergoing surgery that could knock him out of the first half of the 2011 season, that first-half of the $2M contract he signed might not come with game-day pressure:

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Vicente Padilla will undergo surgery on Thursday to free the troublesome nerve at the top of his right elbow, which an MRI exam showed was being trapped by a muscle in his forearm.

General manager Ned Colletti said the team expects Padilla to return during the first half of the season, but the team's medical staff could not be more specific since the condition is rather rare. The procedure, which will be performed in Los Angeles at the Kerlan-Jobe Clinic by team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. Steve Shin, is expected to finally resolve an issue that also landed Padilla on the disabled list for two months early last season.

Padilla, a free agent last winter, passed a physical examination before the Dodgers re-signed him to an incentive-laden, one-year contract with a $2 million base salary. Colletti said Padilla also reported early to spring training and has been throwing off a mound for about three weeks.

"[But] this came back when he started to increase his velocity the other day," Colletti said. "Rather than going through this all season long and wandering back and forth, back and forth, this was the best course of action knowing we still have a week to go in February."

Why is it the start of spring training, and we are "finally resolv[ing] an issue" that kept Padilla out for two months last season?

In any event, get well soon Vicente. I have a feeling we'll need you as soon as you're able to pitch again.

By the way, I was going to insert some snarky reference about the Cardinals being in deeper shit given Adam Wainwright's injury. And then I realized that Jon Weisman had beaten me to the punch. Sigh.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Be My Broheim Round 4 Results

rbnlaw and MeanieBreanie walk the red carpet

Let me bottom line Round 4 for you:

  • The two 10's hooked up
  • Quad did awfully good for himself

Fifth and final round tomorrow, 9am!

I Just Want To Tell You How I'm Feeling; Gotta Make You Understand

This one's for you, SoSG Eric Karros. From WIN! (formerly Hacked IRL):

(click on image for magnified view)

Talkin' Shirt, Part 2 (Mets Fans, Unite)

For the record, I think Metsgrrl (in the post prior) is probably more worried about some of the bootleg Mets shirts being hawked on a new fansite, As picked up by the NYT:

The latest installment of this enduring tragicomedy comes from two fans who are selling blue T-shirts with “Madoff” printed on the front in orange script, evoking the “Mets” emblazoned on the team’s uniforms.

The shirt is an obvious reference to the troubles of the Wilpon and Katz families. The trustee representing the victims of the fraud orchestrated by Bernard L. Madoff has sued the Mets’ owners and is seeking $1 billion.

The uncertainty surrounding the lawsuit prompted the Mets to seek buyers for as much as 25 percent of the club. The potential sale has sent yet more shivers through Mets fans, who were already disheartened by the collapses in 2007 and 2008 and fourth-place finishes in 2009 and 2010.

The fans’ Web site,, went live Wednesday and the first few dozen shirts were quickly sold for $20 each. Several hundred more have been ordered.

The creators of the shirts are longtime Mets fans who asked not to be named because they did not want their professional reputations compromised and because they have friends who lost money in Madoff’s scheme. They created the shirts mostly as a way to laugh at the absurdity of the Mets’ situation.

Wait a minute, you mean to tell me there are some fans of a specific MLB team who set up their own blog anonymously, as to maintain their professional reputations? Sounds like an interesting idea.

Talkin' Shirt

From @metsgrrl (via @molly_knight) comes this idea for a rockin' T-shirt. Would you buy one? Would you wear it to the stadium?

UPDATE: Metsgrrl points us to the originator of this idea. "Would anybody buy one if I had them printed?" he asks. It's Time for Dodgers Baseblog!

UPDATE: Order here!

Be My Broheim: Round 4

Mr F has rocketed to the top! Followed closely by MLASC, then a bunch of other folks. Greg Hao's absence last round sent him all the way down to #11. Two more rounds to go, folks. Rules here. Now, go.

Confirmed broheims:

  1. Greg Hao & Loney Fan
  2. Neeebs & Paul
  3. Pistol PR & Spank
  4. rbnlaw & MB
  5. MLASC & Josh S
  6. QuadSevens & Karina
  7. Mr F & Mr Dr
  8. Jason & Mr C

Mario Meets GTA

Pretty creative stuff. I bet you will be whistling the Mario song later today.

Do Not Accuse the Cubs of Not Giving a Crap

From "Quade excited, but will romance last?" by Jon Paul Morosi at

To manage the Chicago Cubs is to hold one of the most coveted jobs in baseball. But the romance only lasts for so long. Dusty Baker will tell you that.

In 2003, he came within five outs of the World Series. In 2004, he narrowly missed the playoffs despite finishing with a better record than the season before.

In 2006, he was fired.

And losing his job wasn’t the worst insult. Not even close.

“At the very end, somebody took a dump right where I stood in the dugout every day,” Baker said Monday morning. “That was the low point. The grounds crew guy cleaned it up. He said, ‘Oh, I think it’s dog crap.’ I said, ‘No it ain’t. That’s human crap.’ ”

Wow, (non-SOSG) Dusty, that's harsh. Although I don't know what makes Baker an expert on distinguishing between human and canine fecal matter — a medical degree? Plumbing license? — one can never underestimate the potency of the dugout crap.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Bobblehead Giveaway of the Year!

Be My Broheim Round 3 Results

Hey, I know what you mean, I actually did the same thing: I didn't want to be rude, but I couldn't help but stare and wonder when Mr F walked into the restaurant with MeanieBreanie on his arm. What kind of arrangement do they have? Is Mr F really that loaded? Does he have some dirt on MB?

But with his impressive Culking of MB, Mr F lands the highest single-round score to date of 15. That pairing also saved MLASC & Paul a lot of behind-the-back whispering, as their scandalous 4-point differential landed MLASC 14 points.

And one thing I'll say - Mr C and Quad sure know how to pick a day off (and FB doesn't).

Next round is tomorrow at 9am - I'll send out the new ratings emails before then.

Go Justine!

Justine Siegal throwing BP for the Indians yesterday. She's scheduled to throw to the A's tomorrow.

photo: Getty Images