Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Post-Game 56 Thread: An Offensive Juggernaut


The Dodgers offense has suddenly morphed into a juggernaut, and if the Dodgers go on to make a run for the playoffs, you Cain Marko this date, the third game in a row in which the Dodgers scored seven or more runs, as the one which made fans begin to hope. The Dodgers are 7-1 when scoring seven or more runs and this includes the last three games, each of which resulted in a win.

Ted Lilly went seven tonight and gave up two ER (including a solo shot to Ty Wigginton) and had 8 Ks. Rubby De La Rosa breezed through the eighth, and gave up a two-out double in the ninth, but got Todd Helton to fly out to left and end the game.

On the offensive side, Matt Kemp had four RBI, including a two-run HR in the first, and Casey Blake added a three-run shot in the seventh, scoring Jay Gibbons and Jamey Carroll. Heck, even Aaron Miles, who cost the Dodgers a run in the third inning after catching an over-the-shoulder, short fly out to right (cutting off Andre Ethier, who could have easily made the play and had momentum homeward to hold the runner) and allowing Chris Nelson to tag and score from third, had a run-scoring double of his own. Every Dodger position starter reached at least first base, even 0-for-3 Dioner Navarro.

And so it is, these Dodgers are rolling and unstoppable. One might call it...uncanny.

UPDATE 6/1 9:35a: You know what else is uncanny? Check out the LATimes' Steve Dilbeck's headline. UNCANNY. (Except I had spelled "juggernaut" correctly (check his story's link.)

Game 56 Thread: May 31 vs. Rox, 7p

Where non-Kershaw Claytons go to die.

Ted Lilly (3-4, 4.41) vs. Clayton Mortensen (1-2, 2.83).

The NL West has gone Clayton-crazy! The Dodgers have Clayton Kershaw. The Padres have Clayton Richard. The Giants have Clayton Tanner. And the Rockies have Clayton Mortensen, who has never faced the Dodgers before. And you know what that means. Oh, you don't? Okay, it means the Dodger bats might disappear again, as the team seems to have trouble against unfamiliar pitchers. (Familiar pitchers, too, but that's beside the point.) Then again, the Rockies aren't exactly afire, and the Dodgers are on a mini-roll. Are two straight series wins in the offing? Let's find out!

Indy 505G: Race Day 2 Results

Holy Crap, Dusty blinked, allowing Paul to take sole possession of the lead!

And don't look now, but Milka, er, Karina is making a big move, rocketing past Steve K, Lonely Fan, Jason, and Spank, to go from #9 to #5.

Here are current cumulative standings through day 2, with car # and point totals (please verify...remember today's laps were worth 6 points, last week's only 5. And today we had only 13 laps):

    1. #5 Paul (148 pts)
    2. #9 Dusty Baker (142 pts)
    3. #1 Josh S (131 pts)
    4. #12 Mr F (126 pts)
    5. #10 Karina (106 pts)
    6. #4 Steve K (103 pts)
    7. #3 Spank (87 pts)
    8. #8 Jason (81 pts)
    9. #11 MLASC (63 pts)
    10. #7 Lonely Fan (56 pts)
    T-11. #2 rbnlaw (20 pts)
    T-11. #6 Dusto Mag (20 pts)

Visual coming soon...

Next Race Day Tomorrow, 8am! Remember, each subsequent day is worth more than the previous day, so catching up is possible. Also please note Race Day 4 will be postponed from Thursday to next Monday.

PCS Season IV Puzzle #3 Aftermath: To A Victor Goes A Spoil

So last week, I ran PCS Season IV Puzzle #3, and I totally botched the hints, making the solution much less climactic than envisioned. And even still, we had six people enter with correct answers: ubragg, Mr Customer, Josh S, Steve K, Quadsevens, and Jason.

Tonight's Rockies @ Dodgers game will see which of those six fine fellows wins a 2011 Dodgers Magnet Schedule. We're going to take number of pitches thrown by all Dodger pitchers this evening, in aggregate, and divide that total by six. Warmup pitches and pickoff throws do not count; we'll be taking mlb.com Gameday's box score as the offical number.

Based on the remainders, the winner will be as follows:

  • Remainder = 0: ubragg
  • Remainder = 1: Mr Customer
  • Remainder = 2: Josh S
  • Remainder = 3: Steve K
  • Remainder = 4: Quadsevens
  • Remainder = 5: Jason
  • Remainder = 43: SoSG Lasorda

We will then pay for postage of this magnet schedule to a US mailing address. Good luck, you guys! Go Dodgers!

From the Sons To Yous

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

At Game Recap: Dodgers vs Fish

I went to two games in the last two week, one with Sax and one with Mrs. Cora. Both were a blast and it was great to see the ballpark for the first time this year. Plus, I scored me a sweet Kershaw bobblehead. Sax already reviewed the bobblehead game, but I found some pictures from that game (iphone 4 quality) that I thought you would enjoy.

Fashion police! Ethier sports his own "name" Dodger jacket.

Kuroda with the K.

As for the Dodgers vs Marlins game, we got there early and got to meet Lee Lacy out at Autograph alley. What a nice guy. He took time to say everyone's name and especially took time out with the kids to take pictures and personally sign each item. Great job Lee! Garland had a solid game - man is he an innings eater and it was great to see Beard Mode back at third base. It was also neat to see De La Rosa for the first time. He has some serious heat and the radar gun was increasing with every inning. I think he hit 98 that last inning. One of the great moments was when Loney went deep and I guess the team gave him the mock cold shoulder when he returned to the dugout. After a while they all congratulated him, but the funny thing was that we could see Matt Kemp on the railing smiling and yelling "That's how we do it baby!" to Loney. Nice team chemistry. And of course there was the end of the game with Navarro coming in to scorch a line drive past SIX Marlin infielders. The dogpile at the end was great. It is kinda hard getting psyched up for this year's team, but these last two game renewed some of my passion for the Dodgers. Come on Blue, only 5.5 games back! Go Blue!

Lee Lacy taking time with the kids.

I think that was Man vs Wild adventure guy Bear Grylls with Miles before the game.

Emo Juan on the railing all by himself. Poor Juan.

DSB man is BACK!!!!

I've never seen this in person before. SIX infielders!

Navarro before the big hit. Wow what a game!

Dodgers Have The Eighth-Most Worked Bullpen In MLB

From ESPN.com (insider only), Buster Olney looked at the majors' bullpens to see who was overworked the most. Atlanta topped the list, and the Padres are third, but the Dodger ranked eighth:

Today, we rank the bullpen usage in the National League -- from the most heavily used to the bullpens that are in the best shape moving forward, through the prism of the respective teams' most important relievers. (For some relievers listed below, career highs are appropriate, given their longer service time; for some, it's not.) [...]

8. Los Angeles Dodgers

The Dodgers have had injury issues with their prime relievers, so their outlook is a bit skewed.

Matt Guerrier
25 games, 25.1 innings
On pace for: 75 games, 76 innings
Career highs: 79 games, 88 innings

Mike MacDougal
23 games, 18.2 innings
On pace for: 70 games, 55.2 innings
68 games, 70.1 innings

Kenley Jansen (who just went on the disabled list Sunday)
20 games, 21 innings
On pace for: 60 games, 63 innings

Suddenly, The Insurance Fraud Theory Doesn't Seem That Ridiculous Anymore

Buried inside the LA Times' Metro Extra section was this tidbit about a SECOND fire at Dodger Stadium this weekend:

A second small fire broke out Monday morning in the same Dodger Stadium storage shed that caught fire Saturday night during a baseball game, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.

The latest fire was reported around 5 a.m. and was put out within a few minutes, the LAFD said. The cause of the blaze was not immediately clear.

On Saturday night, it took firefighters about 20 minutes to put out a fire involving paper products in a storage room at the stadium. That fire occurred while the Dodgers were playing the Florida Marlins.

Come on, Frank. Arson? Surely you haven't sunk this low. (Though maybe there's an interesting rope ladder promotional giveaway opportunity (only for the first 15,000 fans 350 lbs or lighter (likely to be set, by Drew McCourt, to coincide with half-price food and drink day))...)

Make sure you know your escape routes, Dodger fans!

Indy 505G: Race Day 2

Oops! - I scheduled this to post at 11am PT by mistake (time zones confuse me) and didn't catch it until 8:31am PT. So the 1st 8am - 8:30am segment is eliminated. Only 13 segments to comment in today. Sorry!

Here are the current standings:

    1. #9 Dusty Baker (70 pts)
    1. #5 Paul (70 pts)
    3. #1 Josh S (65 pts)
    4. #12 Mr F (60 pts)
    5. #4 Steve K (55 pts)
    6. #7 Lonely Fan (50 pts)
    7. #3 Spank (45 pts)
    7. #8 Jason (45 pts)
    9. #10 Karina (40 pts)
    10. #2 rbnlaw (20 pts)
    10. #6 Dusto Mag (20 pts)
    12. #11 MLASC (15 pts)

And here again are the rules.


Vin Scully, on Getting Tossed

Jocko Conlan and Leo Durocher.

Thank you and cheers to loyal SoSG reader, Beastie Boys aficionado and dispenser of masterful insight Dusty Baker for this transcription of Vin Scully from Sunday's telecast:

[Speaking re: Matt Kemp getting tossed from the game] I was thinking that was a long-distance toss by plate umpire Ron Kulpa. He was at least ninety feet...maybe a hundred feet away from Matt Kemp when he kicked him out. I believe it was all about that second pitch that was called a strike to Matt. And then of course it complicated matters when he hits into a double play.

Course, we've seen some really terrific kick-outs, but the best one I think ever, I mean the one I'll never forget, was in the Coliseum. Leo Durocher was coaching for the Dodgers and Jocko Conlan was the plate umpire. And Leo disagreed, and Leo liked to kick dirt on home plate. Far better than Lou Piniella. I mean, Leo really knew how to do it.

That's gonna go just fair...down the line into the corner. Stanton in pursuit and the Dodgers will have runners at second and third with one out. So Navarro, who had hit Nolasco in the past, is in there with good numbers against him, and he goes two-for-three today. So we have second and third, one out, and Jamey Carroll comin' up.

Anyway what Leo wanted to do was kick the dirt on home plate. And when he kicked, his spikes bounced off home plate and hit Jocko Conlan in the shins. Well Conlan — and he was Irish — he got furious, so he kicked Leo Durocher in the shins. And then Leo kicked Conlan in the shins, and here were two grown men...

They're gonna walk Jamey Carroll.

So two grown men are standing at home plate kicking each other in the shins. And [Vin chuckles] then Conlan threw Leo out. Well the payoff was Durocher realized when he cooled off, "Am I crazy? He's kicking me in the shins and I'm kicking him, but he's got shin guards under his pants." And there was Leo battered, bruised, and kicked out.

So, for Matt Kemp, it was a long-distance chase, and, at least that was that. Although they did have to restrain him. But that one was one for the history books.

Meanwhile, Carroll walks, the bases are loaded with one out, and here comes Clayton Kershaw, two-for-two.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Post-Game 55 Thread: Who Are These Dodgers?


First inning: Matt Kemp guns down Carlos Gonzalez at the plate. That didn't surprise me.

Third inning: Dodgers load the bases. That didn't surprise me. They end up scoring four in the inning. My eyebrows: raised.

Fifth inning: Jamey Carroll triples. Okay, that's...unusual. After an Andre Ethier single and RBI, James Loney homers! At home! And he pulled it! Whaaa?????

Seventh inning: Chad Billingsley completes his day with a bases-loaded, inning-ending double play by Dodger killer Troy Tulowitzki. What is...going on?

Vin Scully, "In Flanders Fields"

From today's broadcast: Vin Scully recites parts of the poems "In Flanders Fields" by John McCrae and "We Shall Keep the Faith" by Moina Michael. This gave me chills. Enjoy it while you can. Happy Memorial Day, all.

You Never Forget Your First Time

For days, I've only had one goal. My first badge. Daniel Murphy got a double, and I wasn't logged in. Furcal went to second on the throw, and my display case stayed as empty as... well... my trophy display case back home.

But then, like a beacon of light, it appeared. A HANK CONGER pog badge.

After you've done it once, the next time is easier, sooner, and lasts longer.

I might never catch up to SoSG Sax, the Wilt Chamberlain of the badge pog world. But I've got the youth advantage and a new MacBook which can handle having EVERY SINGLE GAMEDAY OPEN AT THE SAME TIME, ALL THE TIME.

Game 55 Thread: May 30 vs. Rox, 5p

Chad Billingsley (3-4, 3.69) vs. Jason Hammel (3-4, 3.20).

It's Dollar Dodger Dog Day at Dodger Stadium, and if that's not amazing enough, how about the Dodgers' surprising shocking series win over the second-place Marlins? Today the once-hot Rockies come into town, having been cooled off to under .500 by a series loss to the Cardinals. Do the Dodgers have a little momentum, or is this just an anomaly in a season of failure? Time to find out.

Memorial Day

The Los Angeles National Cemetery in Westwood.

Earlier at SoSG: Vin Scully, on Memorial Day

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Post-Game 54 Thread: Anchored By Kershaw, The Dodgers Win A Series


Clayton Kershaw had a great day and Ricky Nolasco had a bad day, and the Dodgers surprisingly took the series from the second-place team in the NL East. Kershaw fanned 10 and had his second career CG shutout; he also went 2-for-4 with two runs and an RBI (his fourth career RBI). Nolasco ceded a franchise-high 15 hits through five innings, and was left out to dry given the Marlins' use of five pitchers the night prior. Rafael Furcal had a two-run HR and went 3-for-5 with 3 RBI; Andre Ethier and Jay Gibbons also had three-hit games.

Matt Kemp and Don Mattingly were thrown out in the fourth inning after squandering a bases-loaded, one out situation, but hey, why focus on the bad? The Dodgers Won A Series! I'll take it!

Welcome to the Machines

Judgment Day was only postponed. Gameday is becoming self-aware.

New PCS Rankings!

Lots of flip-flopping in the top 10 after Sax's puzzle #3. UBragg re-takes the top spot from Lonely with Mr C rising as well. Here's the full rankings:

(300 possible points)

PCS Tour
Lonely Fan
Mr C
Steve K
Dusto Magnifico
Josh S
Greg Finley

Others receiving votes: spank 30, rbnlaw 30, dusty baker 20, mrlasc 20, erin 20, steve dittmore 20, sharon 20, mr f 20, mr doctor 10, the 10, matt 10, karina 10.

Next puzzle Thursday, June 16, 7am!


Game 54 Thread: May 29 vs. Phish, 1p

Ricky Nolasco (4-0, 3.04) vs. Clayton Kershaw (5-3, 2.96).

The way the punchless Dodgers are going, Trey Anastasio and the boys could outhit them right now. In fact, it's something of a miracle the Dodgers are even in a position to take this series. And if they do, they'll be led by their ace Kershaw, currently enjoying the highest K/9 rate of his career: 9.99. And if they don't, it'll just be another phailure in a season full of them.

photo from Flickr user ctankcycles

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Post-Game 53 Thread: With Fewer Fans To Evacuate, Frank McCourt's Insurance Fraud Plan Takes Root


From a MLB.com story following the game:

LOS ANGELES -- A section of the Dodger Stadium Reserve Deck was evacuated during the fifth inning of Saturday night's 6-1 loss to the Marlins because of a minor fire that broke out in a food vendor warehouse.

Fans were ordered out of the section above first base and down the right-field line as smoke wafted over the playing field. Meanwhile, the game continued with the Marlins leading, 3-1.

After the top of the sixth inning, a public-address announcement informed fans of the fire, calling it "small" in a "contained area" and "under control" by the Los Angeles Fire Department, assuring fans there was no need for further evacuations.

Not too difficult to contain an emergency situation when no large crowds are on hand in the first place! Meanwhile, Frank McCourt's latest plan for cash creation through insurance claims reflects new ownership lows.

Of course, I'm just kidding about the insurance fraud by means of starting fires in an empty storage room on an abandoned reserve level over a holiday weekend when fire departments are short-staffed. But just in case...shouldn't you remind yourself where the nearest exit is at the Stadium?

Game 53 Thread: May 28 vs. Fish, 7p

Hiroki Kuroda (5-4, 3.11) vs. Brian Sanches (3-1. 1.52).

Oh, Glenda. The Fish haven't been the same since you've left the Mermaids squad (as far as I can tell without violating my restraining order). And despite being only two games behind the Phillies for the NL East crown, the Marlins have now dropped the first of three games to a lowly Dodgers team who hasn't won a series in over a month (not counting the four-game series in Pittsburgh where game four was rained out). There's no way that these Fish can get hooked again, right?

Prior Glenda SoSG material can be referenced here.

McCourt Ownership Saga Will Extend Beyond May 31

According to Bill Shaikin and Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times, Frank McCourt has cobbled enough money to meet his payroll obligations for May 31. He's lucky that with all of those houses, there are plenty of sofa cushions under which to look! But for us Dodger fans looking for a merciful end to this purgatory, it looks like we'll have to wait at least until the next payroll, June 15, to see what happens:

Owner Frank McCourt has met the Dodgers' May 31 payroll, holding off a potential takeover of the team by the commissioner's office, two people familiar with the situation said Friday.

McCourt remains in search of funding to meet the team's June 15 payroll, according to one of the people, neither of whom was authorized to speak publicly. If McCourt were to fail to meet a payroll, the league would cover the expenses and would have the option to seize the Dodgers from him.

McCourt is trying to stay afloat until a June 22 court hearing, when he hopes for a ruling that his ex-wife, Jamie McCourt, has no standing to challenge a proposed television contract between the Dodgers and Fox. Even if Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon rules in Frank McCourt's favor, the deal could be vetoed by Commissioner Bud Selig.

But the two payroll dates in June loom large, however, as additional deferred payments to Manny Ramirez come due. Oh, the bitter irony of having the team's 2008 savior come back to haunt McCourt:

The amount of money needed to meet payroll will increase in June, when the Dodgers must pay Manny Ramirez more than $6 million in deferred compensation, according to two people familiar with the Ramirez contract. The payroll comes due on June 15 and 30, with the Ramirez payment slated for June 30, one of the people said.

Shaikin has been all over McCourt's financial situation and obligation dates--shoot, Tom Schieffer should hire Shaikin on his staff--but it's still hard to tell if McCourt is going to be able to make the deadlines each time. One might think that, if McCourt's leverage is indeed as great as everyone is saying, it's just a matter of time until his access to capital fully dries up. But in the meantime, there Frank is, accelerating payments and borrowing heavily against the future to get liquidity today.

If this IS just a matter of time, it would be nice to get this over soon and just move on. The waiting is the hardest part.

Gotta love those primary-colored '80s sets. And wow, Tom Petty is not a good-looking man.

Dry-Humping a Rarity This Season

Matt Kemp celebrates with Dioner Navarro after Navarro's walk-off single last night.

photo: AP

Off-Day Puzzle #3: Solution

As indicated by the sponsor "And 1," every picture represents an word which is one letter more than an anagram of a Dodger player's last name.

Picture 1:

  • VOWEL = LOWE + V
  • CARGO = CORA + G
  • AXES = SAX + E
  • CHOIR = CHOI + R

Picture 2:

  • PLANE = PENA + L

Picture 3:

  • SALAD = DAAL + S
  • NAVEL = AVEN + L
  • MOONS = NOMO + S

That gives you VOYAGER, SLOPED, and SCULLERS. But it's recursive, so using the same formula for those words gives you:


That's obviously three-fourths of the famous Dodger infield from 1973-1981, with the only one missing being the Penguin, Ron Cey. Who is a cool guy, I might add, having met him recently. This one's for you, Ron.

This one is NOT for Juan Castro, however, whose return stint with the 2011 Dodgers is so forgettable that I had blocked him out of my mind as a current Dodger...which he is (cries). So that, plus a degree of difficulty that was pretty high, contributed to a mess of a puzzle. My bad. Sorry if I frustrated people.

Congratulations to ubragg, Mr Customer, Josh S, Steve K, Quadsevens, and Jason for correct answers! Details on the magnet schedule randomization contest coming shortly.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Post-Game 52 Thread: Dioner With A PH Walk-Off Single, Just Like We Had Planned


Dioner Navarro, batting .184 and pinch-hitting, hits a no-out walkoff basehit to center in the ninth (against a five-Marlin infield) to win the game. Rubby De La Rosa, who went two innings with 1 ER, earns his first victory. James Loney leads off all the scoring with a solo HR, his first in 49 days and second of the season. Don't say we didn't tell you this was going to happen; this game was just like we had predicted.

I've heard of managers "getting the most out of their weakest players," but this is pretty ridiculous. I'll take it.

Game 52 Thread: May 27 vs. Fish, 7p

Jon Garland (1-4, 4.75) vs. Javier Vasquez (3-4, 6.41).

Don't overlook these Fish. The Marlins, second place in the NL East by a game, came into the NL West-leading Giants' house on Tuesday and not only swept their sorry San Francisco asses (including an epic extra-inning Wednesday game that saw the Marlins give up four runs in the bottom of the ninth, but then come back to win it in the 12th), but also squarely and cleanly knocked Giant catcher Oyster Pubes onto the DL--possibly for the whole season--with an violent leg-breaking, ankle ligament-tearing collision that ended up scoring that 12th inning go-ahead run.

It's a deep and unfortunate blow for the Giants to lose Pubes this early on, and our thoughts go out to him for a complete recovery. In the meantime, though, we've got to worry about the ravenous, deadly Fish in town this weekend, starting with tonight's game. Let's hope our day off Thursday gave us time to prepare for a big haul. Or at least apply some proper sunscreen.

I know, you expected Marlins Mermaids references in this GT. Keep it in the pants. We've still got two more games to go in this series.

Bison Celebrates Century Mark

From @TheRealMattKemp:

Off-Day Puzzle #3: Extension

Right about now (the funk soul brother), we'd normally be posting the answer to PCS Season IV Off-Day Puzzle #3. However, I realized late that I totally botched the hints, which may have sent people spinning....

Solution will go up tomorrow (5/28, 7a PT). In the meantime, I'm extending the deadline for another 24 hours to midnight Friday May 27. Comment on the original thread if you still want to submit an answer--many of you are close and I apologize if I sent you astray--and sorry for my error.

EK will never let me contribute a puzzle again!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bank of America Presents BARRY SIMMONS...

... and a Dodger. Matt something.

Thanks to Husker of Corn Todd, we had gotten wind of a special appearance by Matt Kemp at Bank of America months ago. But it was postponed and darkness reigned over the land. Until late last night.

There was internet chatter. Oh so much chatter. A Dodger will be at a bank. More news to come.

And come it did, in the form of MATT KEMP AT MY LOCAL BANK OF AMERICA! Win and win together again.

This morning, the Delino and a few dozen Kemp / Simmons fans waited outside patiently for convenient checking deposit and the five tool phenom.

And right on time, Kemp showed up in style.

The crowd roared like a lion as Kemp appeared. Soon, we were all ushered into the Bank, with plenty of mini baseballs and Cracker Jacks on hand...

...greeted by BofA's finest all in their Dodgers garb.

Best part, my Bank of America card meant I could skip ahead of the non-BofA plebeians and get one step closer to the man himself: BARRY SIMMONS

Who truly was the man since he gave me a signed Kemp baseball, which will become property of Delino Jr oh too soon.

Kemp was humble and friendly, listening to my sage advice on how to utilize all five of his tools. He signed one of of my, I mean my son's, Dodger Sundae Cups.

A great way to spend 25 minutes on a Thursday late morning. Thanks to Barry Simmons, Todd, Twitter, Matt Kemp and all the anonymous tipsters for getting me to such a great little event for the fans.

By the way, I have been a customer of Bank of America for over ten years. Just want that out there.

Indy 505G: Race Day 1 Results

Here are current standings through day 1, with car # and point totals (please verify):

    1. #9 Dusty Baker (70 pts)
    1. #5 Paul (70 pts)
    3. #1 Josh S (65 pts)
    4. #12 Mr F (60 pts)
    5. #4 Steve K (55 pts)
    6. #7 Lonely Fan (50 pts)
    7. #3 Spank (45 pts)
    7. #8 Jason (45 pts)
    9. #10 Karina (40 pts)
    10. #2 rbnlaw (20 pts)
    10. #6 Dusto Mag (20 pts)
    12. #11 MLASC (15 pts)

Dusty and Paul have (proudly, I'm sure) an unblemished record through the first day, but Josh and Mr F are on their tails. And then we have rbn, Dusto Mag, and MLASC bringing up the rear. Here's the updated track (not necessarily to scale):

(click image to enlarge)

Next Race Day on Tuesday!

Bark at the Park is Back!

This Saturday night is a chance for you and your favorite pooch to get your Dodgers on. Tickets / Rules can be found here (you need to get proof from your vet that your dog isn't diseased or a monster)

I went to this event last year with my two year old son, pregnant wife, and schnauzer/poodle/terrier/Tramp-looking pal Sharkie (who had one of her paws in a bandage).

Mixing a hungry dog, a toddler and all you can eat hot dogs was complicated to say the least. But well worth it.

Word to the wise: get there early. The line was brutal. Luckily, I did the oldest trick in the book: I just walked in as if I belonged there. Any time you sit in the All You Can Eat Pavillion, a battle can happen at any turn (over mustard, over the empty diet coke dispensers, etc).

But the more thuggy pit bulls didn't show up. Most importantly, to this day, my son still talks about "Sharkie at the baseball game."

McCourts Rank 30th of 30 MLB Owners

Jim Caple of ESPN.com ranked the 30 MLB owners, and guess where the Dodgers' first couple ended up? Dead last:

30. Frank and Jamie McCourt, Dodgers: The team has performed fairly well (two NLCS series), but then again, a lot of real estate portfolios performed well for a while, too. The McCourts paid an astrologer six figures to be a team consultant ("I sense big things for Juan Pierre in Dodger Stadium"). They're so over-leveraged they might not meet payroll, and even attendance is plummeting. It's so bad that Walter O'Malley would have a higher approval rating in Brooklyn now than the McCourts have in Los Angeles.

Hat tip to Jason for finding this yesterday. May 31 is only five days away.

Here's Your Chance To See Barry Simmons Live And In Person

DelinO already broke the news that Matt Kemp is spending his off-day today doing some appearances. But here's the oddly-worded press release on his tour:


Appearances Part of Bank’s National Program to Say Thank You to Customers Through its Major League Baseball® Sponsorships

To thank customers for their business in unexpected ways, Bank of America has invited Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp to surprise customers at select banking centers around the city on May 26. During his unannounced visits, Kemp will give away tickets to upcoming Dodgers games along with other baseball-themed items. His appearances are part of a larger, national program that uses Bank of America’s sponsorship of Major League Baseball to demonstrate its gratitude to customers who also share bank’s passion for America’s National Pastime.

As the Official Bank of the Los Angeles Dodgers and Major League Baseball, Bank of America has engaged with fans by bringing some of the most exciting and celebrated players in the game today into select banking centers across the country. In addition to Kemp’s appearance in Los Angeles, New York Yankee Nick Swisher, Boston Red Sox Clay Buchholz, Chicago Cub Ryan Dempster and San Francisco Giant Buster Posey made surprise visits at banking centers in their teams’ towns earlier this season.

Kemp, the Dodgers’ starting center fielder, is one of the team’s most popular players. Now in his sixth season with the team, Kemp won the Gold Glove and Silver Slugger awards in 2009 and finished tenth in the voting for the National League Most Valuable Player award that season. He led the team in home runs, runs and RBI last season.


  • Thursday, May 26, 2011, 9:30AM-Noon


  • 9:30-10:45 am: Hollywood: 6300 Sunset Blvd, LA, CA 90028
  • 11:15 am-Noon: Burbank: 142 East Olive Ave, Burbank, CA 91502


  • Matt Kemp, Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Barry Simmons, Regional Consumer Executive, Bank of America

I really hope DelinO comes back with a Barry Simmons autograph!


Matt Kemp's going to be in Burbank TODAY. RIGHT NOW. GO! From his twitter:

TheRealMattKemp Matt Kemp - I will also b at the B of A in Burbank at 11:15.142 East Olive Ave. Come hangout!!
Come meet the five tool gentleman. And at no extra charge, SoSG's Delino will be there too! Maybe I'll even give you a signed Delino card.

At-Game Recap: Protecting The Kershaw Bobblehead (May 17 vs. Brewers)

It takes a strong man to stomach two consecutive Dodger games with this 2011 Dodger squad. But since ol' Sax here (and SoSG Alex Cora, I might add) have intestinal linings hardened from years of Dodger Dog consumption, we were up to the task, even after watching the Dodgers' pathetic 2-1 loss to the same Brewers team the prior evening.

To be fair, though, there were two huge incentives: (1) an opportunity to pick up the first bobblehead of the 2011 season, the Clayton Kershaw bobblehead, and (2) a sweet scorage of tickets with Stadium Club access, which proved to be a godsend for an elitist pig like Sax. But more on that later.

The crowd for this rare 3-0 Dodgers victory (only their third shutout this year) was an underwhelming 42K seats sold--75% of capacity on the bobblehead giveaway night of your best player--so it wasn't exactly an electric atmosphere. But down on the field level, it was still pretty hyped up and crowded, especially in the first inning when Matt Kemp launched a 379-foot HR to right field to give the Dodgers a 2-0 lead. People were whooping it up with excitement.

I for one was just getting into my seat with the Dodger Dog and beer in hand, and as I waited for my part of four to slide in, I actually crouched down as to not block the view of the guy on the aisle behind us. "Don't worry, dude, it's cool," he said to me. "Nah, I don't want you to miss anything." WHACK. He was cracking up, I was cracking up, and the next thing we knew we were high-fiving each other in euphoria. It was a great way to start the game.

The view from my seats.

And then, the rain started a bit. It never got more than a light drizzle, not annoying by any means on an otherwise warm Los Angeles evening. But with a coveted bobblehead to protect, the patience for sitting in the rain became very different.

I remember sitting on the field level for Eric Gagne Bobblehead night in the pouring rain, May 4, 2003. At this game, I went with my mother, my wife, and my sister, and the latter two were aghast at how I refused to leave the game early AND how I made them huddle up with the bobbleheads under their jackets to keep their Gagne bobbleheads protected. (The article says that attendance for that game was 53.8K, almost 12K more than the Kershaw bobblehead game--and the Gagne bobblehead game was in the POURING rain.) Dodger Stadium has only had 20 or so rainouts, so I knew that there was no way this game was going to be called. But protecting the bobblehead had to be the priority.

Before I left, I took some more shots of DiamondVision:

All the Dodgers players are standing with arms crossed and a menacing look this year. What's with the grumpiness?

A better shot of the new Universal Studios logo above DiamondVision.

And then, just as I was coming up the aisle to seek shelter, there was SoSG regular Josh S.! I hadn't seen Josh since SoSG Fest 2010, and MAN! he was looking svelte. Here's a shot:

On top of that, right as I got to the spine of the Stadium to take the elevator up to the Stadium Club, I popped in on SoSG Dusty Baker, who was styling in a sweet behind-the-plate field level seat that he had scored for $22. Wow. Dusty was decked out as well:

And then, the Stadium Club. This isn't the all-you-can-eat Dugout Club behind home plate, nor is it one of the Baseline Clubs down the foul lines. This is the club up on the club level in right field, just past the final suite. It has a nice long bar, a bunch of buffet stations, and tables with big screen televisions that play the game and other sporting events (in this case, the Dallas-Thunder NBA playoff game was on the other feed).

I'd been here before but on a night like this with intermittent drizzles, it was a good idea to just hang out and chill inside. Here's some shots of the view from inside:

I also found it cool that on the wall by the hostess stand, there are replicas of all of the Dodgers' Sports Illustrated covers, decked out in a cool grid. I must have spent 10 minutes looking at each one in order and reminiscing with the ones I recalled.

The most recent SI cover prior to Manny Ramirez? Kevin Brown. Ugh.

Some of the more recent ones, including the Bulldog himself as Sportsman of the Year.

And I had to take a picture of this classic cover with our father. After all, not a day goes by that I don't ask myself, "Is Sons Of Steve Garvey Really Too Good To Be True?"

Sax gets his ledger back in the win column, AND bags a sweeeeeeeet Minotaur bobblehead to boot. It was a good evening.