Thursday, June 30, 2011

Last Chance To Vote Kemp

Just voted 50 more times for the Bison. Get going, people! Voting closes in two and a half hours!

By the way, the Giants lost in extra innings today in Chicago, after taking a lead in the top of the 13th and taking Geovany Soto to a 3-2 count with two on and two out. And Soto crushed a walk-off three-run HR.

P&A Magazine #33 Releases Saturday, July 2 (7a PT)

You all know the drill. Though we just missed the top ten for issue #32, we have a shot at the next issue, which releases on Saturday July 2 at 7a PT. The bad news is, it's a holiday weekend...and I for one will be away at a resort so I am not sure how much time I'll have to puzzle during the day. A quick poll of some of the regulars indicates interest, but spotty coverage--so we could use the help.

And, since we got nasty-gram comments from random non-SoSG readers complaining that our real-time solving thread was too easily found via search engines (if you dont want it spoiled next time, then don't click through to read the answers, idiot), we will be using a googledocs spreadsheet for solving (which is suboptimal for tracking conversations, but can get by).

For those of you who participated in issue #32, you'll find you already have access to a new googledocs file for issue #33. For those of you who want to join the team, please post a comment in this thread AND send us an email, and we will try and add you to the exclusive, private file (and teach you the secret handshake, of course).

Hope to see you this weekend!

Miguel Tejada Is Slow

You realize, of course, this means Ned Colletti is going to sign him next year.

Kemp Closing In on Holliday (Not the Relaxing Kind)

From "ASG spots up for grabs as voting nears close" at

NL outfield: Which Matt will it be?
Dodgers Triple Crown candidate Matt Kemp is making a serious run at Matt Holliday of the Cardinals in the race to join Ryan Braun of the Brewers and Lance Berkman of the Cardinals in the NL starting outfield. Holliday had 2,935,965 votes to Kemp's 2,743,927 on Monday, and considering that Kemp received 81 more votes than him in the past 72 hours, that gap looks like a slight edge right now.

A small sign of encouragement: the last-place Dodgers will have more than just a token representative at the All-Star Game this year. An early congrats to Kemp and Clayton Kershaw!

UPDATE: Today is the last day to vote!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Urine Getting Flushed?

Thanks to ASCC for the tip: the San Jose Mercury News reported today that Dodgers Mendoza line lover Juan Uribe might be coveted by his old team, the Giants? Oh, how sweet this would be:

This information comes to me secondhand, but there’s talk among industry folks that the Dodgers and Giants have discussed a trade that would bring Juan Uribe back to San Francisco.

Uribe has been a bust with the Dodgers thus far, hitting .206 with four home runs in 214 at-bats after signing a three-year, $21 million contract. It’s worth remembering that the Giants were offering very similar numbers and willing to go to a third year before Uribe accepted the Dodgers’ take-it-or-leave-it contract.

Now, of course, the Dodgers are baseball’s biggest mess and owner/charlatan Frank McCourt might not be able to make payroll.

The Giants need an experienced second baseman with Freddy Sanchez’s health situation still up in the air. Although a determination will be made after a couple more weeks of rest and rehab, the Giants have to plan as if Sanchez won’t play again this season.

Mike Fontenot, a left-handed hitter, is coming back soon. But it doesn’t look as if management has much confidence in Bill Hall to form the right-handed portion of a platoon at second base.

Would Uribe be worth the $8 million he’s owed in 2012, and the $7 million he’ll get in 2013? Would the Dodgers defray some of the cost? All good questions. But I have to imagine the Dodgers aren’t in position to demand much in the way of talent in return.

The post is updated to say that Brian Sabean called up to the press box to shoot down the rumor. I have a feeling the Giants' team chef had had a heart attack just hearing the news of Uribe's potential return.

Post-Game 82 Thread: Starting The Second Half Limp


Rubby De La Rosa went an admirable seven innings (take note, Ted Lilly!) and only gave up a single run (take note, Ted Lilly!), but that was more than enough for the Twins. Minnesota starter Scott Baker had 9 Ks on the day to hold the Dodgers in check; Andre Ethier was the worst offender, going 0-for-4 with 3 Ks. Even worse, however, is the fact that Juan Uribe (1-for-4), Marcus Thames (1-for-3), and Dioner Navarro (1-for-4) aggregated for 5 LOB and yet all three of them raised their batting averages. Criminy.

For a series that started with such a flourish, it's depressing (but not altogether surprising) to go down so meekly in the finale.


SoSG - specifically Saxy MF and moi - have a long history of all things Oates and Hall.

Game 82 Thread: June 29 @ Twins, 10a

Rubby De La Rosa (3-2, 5.26) vs. Scott Baker (5-5, 3.39).

"Good morning, baseball!" cried the mitt after waking up. "Good, morning baseball!" cried the Dodgers fan who can't wait to see the team play. It's not exactly a marquee matchup: the tied-for-last-place Dodgers conclude their brief Midwestern jaunt with a rubber match against the next-to-last-place Twins in a battle for your attention while you settle in for a day of work or a late breakfast. But baseball is baseball, so enjoy the early tilt.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Post-Game 81 Thread: Take Your Pick: 25 (Hits), Or 6 To 4 (Loss)


One night after the Dodgers stroke a MLB season-best 25 hits, they lose 6-4 to the Twins.

Ted Lilly gets behind in the score 3-0 and 4-1, only to see the Dodgers improbably rally to tie the game in the top of the fifth inning that included an unlikely Aaron Miles HR. And then Lilly promptly goes out in the bottom of the fifth and can't even complete the bottom of that frame, yielding a two-run HR to Luke Hughes that proved the difference in the game. Dodgers drop to nine games below .500 at the halfway point of the season.

That video sure has a lot of horns.

Congratulations Paul!

Congratulations Paul for edging out omni-present Dusty to claim undisputed Indy 505G victory a few weeks ago. Here is your prize:

Send us your mailing address via email and we'll see it gets to you. Congrats again!

Buster Olney Predicts Years Of Dodgers Cleanup, Possibly, Maybe

There's a lot of qualifiers in Buster Olney's video blog about the Dodgers' mess, most of which come down to a depleted farm system and how long it would take to rebuild, the potential that Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier might want out of the McCourt circus, and the chances that the Dodgers could sign a Jose Reyes or C.C. Sabathia in the offseason.

But the most interesting factoid comes late in the video, when Olney claims that the other 29 MLB teams, in aggregate, are up 200K in attendance this year, but the Dodgers are down 375K cumulative. Yikes.

Game 81 Thread: June 28 @ Twins, 5p

Ted Lilly (5-7, 4.63) vs. Brian Duensing (4-7, 4.54).

Here we are, at the halfway point of the season. And it already seems like an eternity, thanks to the gut-wrenching escapades of Frank and Jamie McCourt and their unbridled avarice and selfishness. But why be dour, particularly when playing in a ballpark where the Dodgers are averaging 15 runs and 25 hits per game (all-time)? And after the fine hospitality that the fine folks from Target Field showed us yesterday, here's hoping I won't be Duensing-ing the praises of the Twins' pitching staff after today's game.

A Reply From Frank McCourt To The Rash Of Open Letters To Frank McCourt

I've always found the device of "an open letter" to be a fairly hackneyed journalistic ploy, allowing a reporter to shed his or her veil of objectivity in exchange for a rant of opinions ungrounded in fact. It's not necessarily that the opinions aren't well-founded; it's the whole idea of the construct of packaging these opinions in the form of a private letter, which was not really intended to be private in the first place (since it's running as an article or blogpost).

And who the hell writes letters, anyway? And who thinks Frank McCourt actually reads anything besides legal briefs, let alone correspondence?

But, hey, if a writer can be arrogant enough to think that his or her personal-yet-not-intimate letter should merit publication, then why can't we take that device to the next logical step, and just speak on behalf of the recipient himself? And so, in response to a number of letters (some more cliched than others), here is a reply letter from Frank McCourt himself. (Sort of.)

Dear Steve, Tony, Patrick, Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky and Mike,

I really appreciate the letters that you all have written to "me." Before Steve Soboroff up and left me, I had him read your words out loud to me, speaking very slowly so I would understand your opinions and sentiments.

I know you want me to sell the Dodgers, to let MLB take over and for me to pack up my bags and quietly walk away, like Manny Ramirez did when he left the Tampa Rays this year. You insinuate that my, leadership of this franchise has been corrosive. And that the pride and tradition of the organization merits that I withdraw from their stage once and for all, for the good of the Dodgers franchise.

This is not about the Dodgers. This has not ever been about the Dodgers.

This is about me, Frank McCourt.

As you probably recall, although I tried to clarify my comments later, I believe that the McCourts are the brand, and the Dodgers are only the product. And when I say product, I mean "commodity that serves to enrich the value (and lives) of the brand." Like packaged baloney or toilet paper. Because that's all the Dodgers are, and always have been, to me: a by-product of a way for me to generate my own wealth.

And I'm not going to let that wealth be taken from me just because you think it's the right thing to do. When I look at the Dodgers, I see the leaps forward in progress that my reign has brought.

I've given the Dodgers and their fans four playoff appearances in seven years (or four appearances in eight years, if you're counting this one), as well as the first winning post-season series since 1988. I've given you a completely renovated field level concourse, complete with secret rooms of environmentally-sound, flush-free urinals. I've added Baseline Clubs and Club Seats and an All You Can Eat Pavilion. I've added fan-friendly traditions like Don't Stop Believing and God Bless America (okay, maybe both of those have run their course, but at one point people liked singing along to these).

I've retained Vin Scully. I've kept Nancy Bea Hefley. I even get Kirk Gibson to come back and visit regularly (true, as the manager of the Diamondbacks, but still).

Heck, I even hired someone dedicated to and focused on improving the fan experience. And that would have been his only priority, had he not been pulled in other directions.

I've heard that there have been some issues in the Dodgers parking lot, but really, I don't know much about them. In fact, ever since I implemented the new parking system that completely hijacked opening day, I've been staying out of parking-related issues. In fact, my style is just to shrink from controversy altogether, and just grab the spotlight when I'm bringing good tidings.

But when you try and come at me for trying to maximize my own wealth, especially when I'm just following the American way--then I'm going to fight back. My story, the story of a Boston parking lot owner turned failed Boston Red Sox buyer turned failed Anaheim Angels buyer turned failed Tampa Bay Buccaneers buyer turned opportune Los Angeles Dodgers owner, is a true Horatio Alger story rooted in the American way. I've risen from cracked asphalt to lush green fields, from the Back Bay to Hollywood.

And like red-blooded Americans, I am litigious by nature; we file lawsuits at almost 3x the rate of the UK. It's what we do here.

And you know another thing we do here? We lever up, well beyond the bounds of what is fiscally responsible. This is no different from you rolling over your credit card debt from month to month; I just have a much larger line of credit. And all those shell holding companies that I've created? This is just financial engineering to increase my ability to increase debt, a mechanism which the rich use all the time.

Taxes are for the common people. Not for me.

It's not my fault that my wife decided to have an (alleged) affair, causing me to air all of our family's dirty laundry in a grotesquely public trial, which I ultimately lost. (I'm still pursuing legal channels on that one, too.) It's not my fault that MLB attendance measures tickets sold, allowing me to obfuscate how severe the dropoff in attendance truly is (that is, until the gaping holes in stadium sections, natural for a fourth-place team ten games off the division lead, became glaringly clear). It's not my fault that awful tragedies happened in the parking lot earlier this year, shining a light on my budget cutbacks made in the security department.

No, those are all the problems of the Dodgers. Not of Frank McCourt. I've still got legions of attorneys ready to deploy and amass billable hours (which I will charge back to the team, of course), bankruptcy declarations to file, and banks willing to finance my short-term liquidity needs (albeit at ridiculous interest rates).

And I've got an array of palatial houses from which I can order my peons, as I shield myself from public derision. Let Selig eat cake.

Meanwhile, in order to get mine today, I am totally comfortable salting the hallowed ground of Dodger Stadium for all future owners to have to deal, sticking them with obligations too onerous to inherit. I care not about the future of this team. I'll be lounging in luxury while others pick through the discarded carcass of a once-proud franchise.

So it's kind of you journalist types, the guys who work an honest living and actually have a creative craft, to write me "personal" letters of appeal. But you've got it all wrong. I don't care about the Dodgers. I never did.

Appealing to a "higher cause" to try and motivate me to more altruistic actions is irrelevant, because in my mind, the team itself is totally irrelevant. The Dodgers are but a tangential means to the end of McCourt personal gain. I just want my money.

And I'll bring the whole sacred house of baseball down before I let anyone else take it away. So save your ink and column inches for someone who cares.



Macho Man - REBORN

As we all brace ourselves for $19 beers to compensate for Bankruptcy, at least one young man is finding a way to move forward. For my son has brought back Randy Savage...

Part Macho Man

Part Robot

Ohhh Yeeeaaahhhh

Women's World Cup Thread: US vs. North Korea, 9:15a

Though we've played them many times before, the North Koreans are described as always mysterious, a simplistic stereotype which can only make me assume that our future games against Colombia and Sweden will be characterized as "drug-induced" and "meatball-like," respectively. A win here in our opening match would set us up well in Group C, dubbed the Group of Near-Death (Group of Death status goes to Group A).

Gamecast here.

Is that apostrophe placed correctly in the headline? I don't know.

Culture Lessons with Vin Scully

Thanks to SoSG reader John Hendry for this Vin tidbit:

Just another Vin Scully-ism from Wednesday's dozing off summer weekday day game with the Tigers.

The camera shows two kids--playing behind the home plate screen--and Vin remarks "it's Penrod and Sam". I'm on my computer--so I go to "Penrod and Sam"--and it's a Booth Tarkington novel from 1914--and Penrod and Sam are Tarkington's take on a Tom Sawyer-like childhood.

You need a computer when you listen--not just because of the new "statistics"--but because of the old "classicism" of Vin Scully.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Post-Game 80 Thread: Dodgers All Over These Twins


Chad Billingsley did his best out there tonight, going six innings with 4 H, 0 ER, 4 Ks and 2 BBs, just trying to give the Dodgers' offense enough time to try and eke out a run or two.

Which they did in the first inning, when they scored twice off of an Andre Ethier reach-off-an-error, scoring Tony Gwynn. And again that inning, when Ethier scored after Matt Kemp doubled.

And again in the third, when James Loney singled to right to score Ethier.

And again two times in the fourth, both when Trent Oeltjen (who tonight almost became the first Australian-born Dodger to hit for the cycle) hit a solo HR, as well as when Casey Blake singled to score Gwynn a second time.

And again three separate times in the fifth, off of an AJ Ellis single (scoring Juan Uribe), a Dee Gordon single (scoring Oeltjen), and a wild pitch (scoring Ellis).

And again two times in the sixth, off a Uribe single (scoring Kemp) and a Oeltjen sac fly (scoring Loney).

And again twice in the seventh, off of solo shots from Blake and Kemp (his league-leading 22nd).

And again three times in the eighth, off of a Gordon double (scoring Oeltjen), a Gwynn single (scoring Ellis), and a Dioner Navarro sac fly (scoring Gordon).

Fifteen runs, fifteen separate scoring plays. 25 hits, tying a club record and setting a MLB-season high. And a shutout, thanks to Bills and company (including a pair of sweet defensive plays anchored by Dee Gordon (who did make one error as well), including a strike to nail Alexi Casilla at the plate, as well as an unconventional double play tag following a deflection off of Billingsley's glove (shoot, go check out the highlight, which is easier to watch than for me to try to explain)). On a day of disastrous Dodgers downers in the news, this was a nice capper. Thanks, boys.

New PCS Rankings

(500 possible points)

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

Others receiving votes: spank 50, dusty baker 40, mrlasc 40, steve dittmore 40, rbnlaw 30, erin 20, sharon 20, mr f 20, mr doctor 10, the 10, matt 10, karina 10, neeebs 10, marla world peace 10.

Next puzzle, this Monday, 7/11, 7am, from Mr C!

Game 80 Thread: June 27 @ Twins, 5p

"Do the Twins have a worse record than the Dodgers?"
"You're lying!"

Chad Billingsley (6-6, 4.48) vs. Nick Blackburn (6-5, 3.15).

Hunky Joe is correct: shockingly, the Twins are 32-44 while the Dodgers are 35-44. But this is interleague, where NL dreams go to die. To wit: who will be the Dodgers' DH today? Jay Gibbons? Nope, in the minors. Rod Barajas? Nope, on the DL. Marcus Thames? Possibly, but he's day-to-day. Here's an idea: Clayton Kershaw! Why not? His .297 BA is loads better than most of the Dodger hitters.

To The Dodgers' Telemarketer "Chris" Who Just Left Me A Message Inquiring About My Interest In Buying $15 Tickets To Upcoming Bobblehead Nights



EXCLUSIVE Video - McCourt's Declaration of Bankruptcy

... as recreated by Michael Scott.

McCourt Bankrupt; Also Has No Money

A Frank McCourt quote from "Dodgers file for bankruptcy protection: News release" at Dodgers Blog:

"I simply cannot allow the Commissioner to knowingly and intentionally be in a position to expose the Dodgers to financial risk any longer."

UPDATE: From @SteveRushin:

As Dodgers file for bankruptcy, I'm picturing back of Manny Mota's jersey, with CHAPTER instead of MOTA above the 11.

From @molly_knight:

Source: Jamie McCourt "exasperated" by bankruptcy filing. Wants team sold and this all to end so everyone can move on. More on

From @BillShaikin:

McCourt got $150m in interim financing from a unit of JP Morgan Chase. Interesting: another JP Morgan Chase unit works w MLB on club sales.

Via @DodgerDivorce:

If You're Still Reading This Blog, You'll Like This Article

Yes, it's possible to support the Dodgers and not Frank McCourt, although it'll make your head hurt if you think too much about it. In his article, Markazi does a fine job of speaking for the disenfranchised Dodgers fan.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mattingly! Celery! Together At Last!

Two of the great bobbleheads of the modern era.

Who'll be the next to join them on my mantle?

Post-Game 79 Thread: It's Time for Dodger Dry Humping


Game 79 Thread: June 26 vs. Angels, 1p

A rare misstep: Matt Kemp argues after being tossed yesterday. Which means he should be extra rested for today.

Clayton Kershaw (7-3, 3.01) vs. Jered Weaver (9-4, 2.01).

What a weird time. The Dodgers, playing some of their worst baseball in years, are days away from major ownership turmoil. Everything seems uncertain, except this: The Dodgers' best pitcher is going against the Angels' best pitcher today. Who cares that the Angels are going for the series sweep? Except the Angels. They probably care.

photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Post-Game 78 Thread: Kemp Tossed, Guerrier Bossed (Around)

Hiroki Kuroda allowed two runs over five innings but was pulled for pinch hitter Casey Blake with the bases loaded in the fifth. Blake hit into a double play.


Matt Kemp got ejected yapping at the home plate ump in the fifth inning, and Matt Guerrier allowed a three-run bomb to Vernon Wells (!) in the eighth. The Dodgers got their usual run and are now ten games under .500.

Soboroff Reign Lasts Two Months

From @BillShaikin:

Soboroff resigns as #Dodgers vice chairman.

Details to follow.

UPDATE: Steve Soboroff steps down as Dodgers vice chairman (Bill Shaikin, Dodgers Blog)

Game 78 Thread: June 25 vs. Angels, 1p

Hiroki Kuroda (5-8, 3.07) vs. Tyler Chatwood (4-4, 3.84).

LOL, who is Tyler Chatroom? The rookie starter was good enough to shut out the Mets over seven innings his last time out, and the Dodgers will likely have their share of difficulty getting used to an unseen pitcher. Chatroom doesn't strike out a lot of guys (4.7 K/9) and induces about as many groundouts as flyouts (1.13 GO/AO). Will he master the Dodgers, or will the Dodgers make him say OMFG? BRb1

Friday, June 24, 2011

Blue Rock and/or Roll

Delaware is not known for much. Except for...

And the DelinO. Both regular and unleaded (SoSG). After a week of Dunkin Donuts, Tastykakes and Yuengling, the DelinO and his elder child journeyed to Frawley Stadium - named after our former Mayor and his recurring DUIs - to catch the Single A Wilmington Blue Rocks."Tomorrow's KC Royals Free Agency Pick Ups TODAY!"


The numbers alone could make the Pope weep. FREE PARKING. $40 for four box seats, four drinks, and four hot dogs.


In case I couldn't tell by the lack of sales tax, there were a few culinary reminders of where I was. (Look closely)

As advertised, the game was 90's Night.

Though there was no Zack Morris, a few familiar faces showed up.

Pre-meltdown Britney

Pre "Master of Disguise" Garth

Alas, their "Wayne" was lacking. If right now, you said "Party On" in your normal voice, you'd sound closer to Mike Myers than this guy. Not to mention he looked like he just got paroled.

Aside from being able to get Yuengling on tap, the real draw might have been the mascots. Rocky Moose, with his exceedingly friendly hands...

Even if my two-year-old's abject fear left the blue moose a shell of his former self.

Then, there was Celery. Yes, CELERY!

He showed up for every run scored... and is now the single greatest Bobblehead to grace my desk.

There was a game too against the Lynchburg Lemonades or whatever they're called. Seven innings of a 2-1 pitcher's duel turned into a 10-7 party. If you care, box score it up here.

As I braved the six minutes of traffic on the way out - with cash still in my wallet and a vegetable bobblehead bopping along - I wondered why we ever go broke in major league Chavez Ravine when we can live like minor league kings in Rancho Cucamonga or the Inland Empire.

Post-Game 77 Thread: Angels Beat Themselves, Dodgers


This one was weird at the beginning, than just frustrating (as usual) after that. The Angels ran into six outs on the basepaths (according to Vin, Dioner Navarro is the first catcher with two pickoffs and two caught stealings since the pickoff stat started being kept), while two Dodgers were thrown out at the plate.

Matt Kemp got the evening started off right with a home run with Andre Ethier on base. But Rubby De La Rosa couldn't make it stand up, allowing three homers and two more RBIs to dig a hole the Dodgers couldn't climb out of. Oh, and Marcus Thames came out of the game with a calf strain. Good, usual times!

UPDATE: Forgot to mention Angels catcher Jeff Mathis firing the ball to first Tony Gwynn stole second. How did we lose this game?

Game 77 Thread: June 24 vs. Angels, 7p

Rubby De La Rosa (3-1, 4.58) vs. Dan Haren (6-5, 2.96).

Crosstown rivalry! Freeway Series! Let the fireworks begin! The fourth-place Dodgers, eight games under .500 and with a -33 RS/RA differential, take on the third-place Angels, two games under .500 and with a -12 differential. This one's gonna be a barn-burner, folks! With virtually nothing on the line — not even pride (the Dodgers are all out of that) — these two teams will be competing to see who can embarrass themselves less. It's all on the line! And by "it," I mean "nothing"! The battle for Southern California baseball mediocrity begins tonight! Be here or be somewhere else!

Off-Day Puzzle #5: Solution

By golly, for once in his life Jason Repko is the answer.

There were two levels to the puzzle:

  1. First, the poem at the top hints that the title of the post is masked. If you hover over the title of the post or notice the url, you will see the hidden clue "Add "ORNKPKPPYIODHRJRYS" Down the Middle". This poem also tells you the following letters comprise a cryptogram.
  2. If you add the letters down the middle, you get:


  3. Next, notice the two outside columns of letters spell, reading upwards starting from the right column, "Ignore these words but not those inbetween". So, as hinted at by that message, you should ignore those words but not those inbetween.
  4. The middle three columns form a simple crytogram, wiht the underlined letters indicating the start of a new sentence. The cryptogram code is: A → F
    B → L
    C → K
    D → Y
    E → V
    F → W
    G → Q
    H → T
    I → S
    J → N
    K → A
    L → C
    M → G
    N → O
    O → I
    P → H
    Q → B
    R → E
    S → R
    T → U
    U → X
    V → Z
    W → M
    X → P
    Y → D
    Z → J
  5. Solve through horizontally and you'll get the message "Six seasons ago he had the third most hit by pitches on the Dodgers". That's Jason Repko!

Congratulations to BCCSweet, QuadSevens, Mr C, Jason, UBragg, and Steve K. Updated rankings to post soon.

Next Puzzle, July 11, from last season's runner-up Mr Customer.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Scoreboard Watching: June 23, 2011

The Dodgers are idle today, so why not spend lunchtime watching Twins @ Giants, where Tim Lincecum faces Brian Duensing? Let's hope Madison Bumgarner talked with Timmah last night to give him some pointers on how to best pitch to the Twins. And, tell him to wash his hair. A Twins victory would move us only 6.5 GB the second-place Giants!

Meanwhile, Seattle at Washington is a game of attrition in which neither team can score, going into the eighth inning ad I type this out. Yawn. Kinda reminds me of a Dodgers game, actually.

Off-Day Puzzle #5: A Bunch of Letters

"What's in a name?" someone once asked,
Depends on if the name is masked;
For if you forget how I'm so clever,
This cryptogram will take you for-ever:




Hint #1 (8:30am PT): By 'name', I mean 'title', which contains a hint.

Hint #2 (9:58am PT): Cryptogram part of the puzzle reads left to right.

Hint #3 (10:00am PT): You must make two alterations to the grid of letters before trying to solve it as a cryptogram.

Hint #4 (11:25am PT): To be more specific about Hint #3 - step 1 is to add some letters, and step 2 is to remove others. Only then can you solve the cryptogram...

Hint #5 (11:39am PT): Last word of cryptogram is "Dodgers".

Hint #6 (1:25pm PT): Of the 72 letters in the grid, half are part of the cryptogram. The other half are part of a separate, non-cryptogram message.

Note #1 (12:37pm PT): Hmmm...I was just notified that in Firefox, a helpful part might not be visible (underlining in the gaps). Use Chrome or IE if possible. In the meanwhile I'll see if I can fix. UPDATE (12:40pm PT): Problem fixed.

Puzzle Rules: The solution to the puzzle is a fairly-recent Dodger. Comment freely in the thread, but if you have the solution, please don't give it away to everyone in the comments section. Instead, do the following:

  • Email us the first and last name of the players, along with your reasoning. Submitted answers without the reasoning, or those submitted with the incorrect reasoning, will count for participation only, even if the answer itself is correct. And please include your screen name somewhere in the email; and
  • Post a comment simply saying you have emailed your solution attempt. We may not be able to reply to your original email promptly, so please be patient and check back on the comment thread for the latest news; we may confirm correct answers there.

You have until midnight PT tonight to submit your answer. Answer will be posted tomorrow morning. Good luck!

Not familiar with SoSG's off-day puzzle competition? Read up here. And join the fun!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Coming Soon: The Delino Goes to Delaware

Later tonight, I'll be in attendance for the Wilmington Blue Rocks (a ROYALS farm team!). Not sure what Zack Morris has to do with it... so many possibilities! All thrilling. Stay tuned.

Post-Game 76 Thread: Late Dinner Includes No Dessert


Dioner Navarro was up with two out in the ninth and rancho ardiendo, but the .184 hitter couldn't get the job done, flying out to ninth-inning defensive replacement CF Austin Jackson to end the game. We could blame "Dinner" for his lack of late-inning, late-afternoon heroics; we could also blame PH Casey Blake for coming up just prior to Navarro and promptly striking out on four pitches.

But the real blame for this loss should lie with Dodgers starter Ted Lilly, who gave up five runs (four of which derived from three HR) to the Tigers in the first three innings, lasting only 4.2 IP with 6 ER despite 8 Ks, as his early problems put the Dodgers back on their heels from the get-go.

James Loney went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI to keep his average rising (now at .274); Matt Kemp was 3-for-3 and Andre Ethier 2-for-5, each with one RBI. (Marcus Thames had the other RBI.) But the Dodgers drop the last game of the series and are now 3-6 on the homestand with three home games against the Angels starting Friday. What are the team's chances of getting back to .500 for our longest homestand of the year? Pretty please, with a cherry on top?

Staying Loyal To Your Team

Yesterday's WSJ also had an article on the health benefits of staying loyal, and the sidebar had a couple of interesting questions and answers about staying loyal to one's team:

Q: You move from a city with a second-rate sports team to a new city. Do you stay loyal to your old team? Or root for the team in your new home?

A: Most people stay loyal to their hometown team. It helps them keep a sense of identity in a new place and connection in their hometown.

Well, duh. But how about this one:

Q: How do sports fans continue to root for teams that lose year after year?

A: Putting down the other team (or its fans) helps. So does recalling past events inaccurately (e.g., the good times were better than they were). Or take pride in your ability to be loyal and hope to look smart someday.

All right then! We Sons deliver on all three of those points (except we look smart NOW).

Unraveling The Tangled McCourt Web

The lead article on section 2 of yesterday's WSJ was about MLB's rejection of the Fox deal for the Dodgers, and since it is the WSJ, it also detailed a little bit about the complex financial structure Frank McCourt has constructed around the Dodgers, likely in order to obfuscate his money-siphoning plans (no link):

If Mr. Selig moves to seize full control of the team it could lead to a lengthy and complex court battle because Mr. McCourt, who made his fortune in real estate, has divided the assets connected to the franchise into a series of separate companies.

For example, when Mr. McCourt bought the Dodgers and its assets from News Corp. in 2004 for $430 million, the transaction was separated into two deals. Mr. McCourt paid $330 million for the team and $100 million for Dodger Stadium and 250 acres of land surrounding the building.

The team was put into a holding company known as The McCourt Broderick Limited Partnership. The stadium is held by an entity known as LA Real Estate LLC. The land is held by Blue Landco LLC. Dodgers Tickets LLC controls the team's ticket-selling operations. The latter company made two deals in 2005 and 2007 to borrow a total of $367 million against future ticket sales. The first $10 million in ticket sales each year goes to pay down debt on the interest-only loans, with Mr. McCourt using the additional ticket revenues to pay for team expenses.

A person familiar with Mr. McCourt's thinking said he plans to argue that Major League Baseball can only make a claim on the team itself, and not on his other properties or companies connected to the franchise.

However, while Major League Baseball signed off on these deals, including the $367 million loan against ticket sales, another person familiar with the agreements said all of the entities are subject to the governance of Major League Baseball, which can move to take control of each of them.

Even the ticket-selling entity is highly-leveraged! Egad.

JoePo Reminds Us Why He Rocks

Many words have been written about the Blue Jays' amazing Jose Bautista, but few of them are more compelling than Joe Posnanski's. Check it out:

Game 76 Thread: June 22 vs. Tigers, 12n

"Cello Upon the Water" by deviantART user lilmissseven. Or as we like to call it, "Pour, Cello."*

*Yes, we know it's pronounced "por-SELL-oh." Yes, we're too lazy to find another picture.

Ted Lilly (5-6, 4.26) vs. Rick Porcello (6-5, 4.18).

The Dodgers, with a season record of 1-2 in their baby-blue vintage unis, look not only to balance their throwback books but to actually get a sweep. Against a winning team. Against a winning team from the AL! What in baby-blue blazes is going on here?

Newly minted 20-20 man Matt Kemp will lead the charge against Porcello, while Lilly (2-4, 4.63 lifetime against the Tigers) will hope the law of averages doesn't bite him in the ass — the Tigers, who have averaged 4.46 runs a game this year, have scored one run in two games against the Dodgers.

ubragg's Schedule Magnet, In Action

Here's proof that ubragg sent validating that he received his 2011 Dodgers schedule magnet, as a result of his entry in the PCS Season IV puzzle #3:

Thanks for the photo, ubragg! Next puzzle, Thursday June 23 (yikes, that's tomorrow!) at 7a!

Things You Can Buy With $30M (Part 1)

With Frank McCourt's upcoming $30M Dodgers payroll deadline only eight short days away, we wanted to take some time to consider other ways one could spend $30M. I mean, that's a lot of money that fearless Frankie is gonna have to find here! But what if you DID have $30M; would you spend it all to make an end-of-month payroll, or find other ways to use that cash? Here, then, is part 1 in a potential series, illustrating some other options for that amount of cash.

~3 replicas of Damien Hirst's The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (currently on loan at the NYC Met)

120 million Chicken McNuggets (at the current sale price of 20 McNuggets for $4.99, as per the radio commercial)

11,560 Ermenegildo Zegna Cool Effect wool suits (with check pattern on blue background; two buttons model with side vents; "Milano" fit) (though I have no idea if they have this suit in Frank's size).

More to come!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Post-Game 75 Thread: Tigers Stymied; Dodgers Win Third In A Row


11 more strikeouts for the Tigers tonight, except this time, instead of one Dodgers gun mowing down Detroiters, strikeouts came at the hands of many Dodgers: starter Chad Billingsley (6 Ks over 5.1 IP), Matt Guerrier (1 K), Hong-Chih Kuo (1 K), and Blake Hawksworth (3 Ks to strike out the side in the ninth). The Tigers were 1-for-8 with RISP and left seven on base.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers were just cagey enough to eke out runs in four of their right frames, two coming off the bat of slumping Andre Ethier (fifth inning HR with one on and one out). Dee Gordon, A.J. Ellis, Tony Gwynn Jr., and even PH Trent Oeltjen notched RBI, with Oeltjen's coming off a double that could have been a three-bagger had he not slipped while rounding second base.

Morning baseball tomorrow, ladies and gentlemen, so get a good night's sleep!

photo swiped from

Tonight's Schadenfreude Line: Madison Bumgarner

Madison Bumgarner: 0.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 8 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 0 HR.

The first eight batters all got basehits against Bumgarner tonight, and Ashley finally struck out Twins pitcher Carl Pavano for the first out of the inning, before yielding another double to the tenth batter, Ben Revere. Guillermo Mota came in to relieve Bumgarner, saw the next batter reach on a fielding error, and then Joe Mauer GIDP to end the inning. 8-0 Twins after 0.5 innings.

RIght now, it's 8-2 Twins, with two out in the ninth inning.

McCourt's Sacks Hanging Some Hairy, Albeit Shrunken, Meatballs

The McCourt vs. Selig brouhaha escalated further today, when McCourt, seemingly getting more testes with each passing hour, had one of his hired guns try to portray Frank McCourt as a victim to the press. Get a load of these bombastic, substance-free claims (bold emphasis mine):

LOS ANGELES -- Baseball commissioner Bud Selig hasn't acted in good faith by rejecting a proposed television deal involving the Los Angeles Dodgers and appeared determined to run Frank McCourt out of the sport, an attorney representing the embattled owner said Tuesday.

A day after Selig announced he wouldn't approve a Dodgers TV deal with Fox Sports -- reportedly worth up to $3 billion -- lawyer Robert Sacks questioned the commissioner's intentions and warned that any potential takeover of the team by Major League Baseball would be met with resistance.

"There seems to be a predetermined result to drive Frank out of baseball without a good faith basis," Sacks said. "This isn't going to go away quietly." [...]

"If the commissioner wasn't prepared to approve the transaction, he should have told Frank so he could pursue other avenues," Sacks said. "I think I would say the commissioner has put the team in a cash-flow bind and Frank is reviewing his options to address that situation as best he can given MLB's unwarranted action."

Yes, it's the commissioner who has gotten the Dodgers into this cash-poor situation, suuuuuure. Unless Sacks is referring to Selig's decision to approve McCourt's ownership in the first place, I don't recall the commissioner siphoning $100M out of the franchise to fund his own lavish living habits, or getting in a public messy divorce squabble, or robbing the Dodgers to pay two of his sons exorbitant salaries in absentia, or leveraging future revenue streams just to get cash flow in the immediate term. Nope, that was all YOUR CLIENT, Sacks. Nice try.

photo swiped from here

Game 75 Thread: June 21 vs. Tigers, 7p

Brad Penny, Max Scherzer.

Chad Billingsley (5-6, 4.65) vs. Max Scherzer (9-2, 4.32).

Ah, interleague baseball. The only chance the Dodgers get to face such AL pitchers as...former Dodger Brad Penny? Former D'back Max Scherzer? Scherzer has faced the Dodgers six times in his career, including four starts, going 1-2 with a 3.14 ERA. He's also tied for the MLB lead with nine wins, so he's used to a lot of run support. Hear that, Chad? Don't be a wild thing tonight.

Friendly Reminder: Voix Pour le Bison

From "NL voting remains close as races approach wire" at

The league's top vote-getter and only player eclipsing the three million-vote mark, Brewers outfielder Ryan Braun (3,034,057), continues to head the way for the outfield spots ahead of the Cardinals duo of Lance Berkman (2,562,428) and Matt Holliday (2,390,118), though Los Angeles' Matt Kemp is closing in on the third spot with 2,062,667 votes.

Kemp was tied with Fielder for the league lead in home runs and was third in RBIs (57) on Monday morning. His teammate Andre Ethier is in the fifth spot with 1,889,298 votes.

If he's not voted in, Kemp seems sure to join Kershaw as All-Star managerial choices. Ethier would make it a nice trio. Make it so, Dodger fans!

photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

McCourt Might Open a Lemonade Stand

In other words, too little too late. From "Frank McCourt reportedly mulls sale of stake in Dodgers" by Steve Dilbeck at Dodgers Blog:

For months, Frank McCourt has maintained he is the victim of a double standard, that the Dodgers and New York Mets each are in a financial bind and Commissioner Bud Selig is lending a hand to the owners of the Mets but refusing to help the Dodgers.

The response from Major League Baseball usually starts with this: The Mets' owners were willing to sell a share of their team to raise cash, but McCourt preferred to pursue loans that would burden the Dodgers with additional debt.

However, McCourt told MLB recently that he would be willing to consider the sale of a minority share, according to a person familiar with the matter. It is doubtful that any such move could satisfy McCourt's immediate cash crunch, since MLB generally takes weeks or months to investigate the background of any potential minority investor.

McCourt has not provided any names of prospective minority owners to MLB so that they might be cleared to see the team’s financial data, the person said. Also, any sale of a stake in the team would be subject to MLB approval and would require him to establish sole ownership of the Dodgers or get the consent of ex-wife Jamie McCourt, who has asserted her right to half-ownership of the team under California community property law.

You mean McCourt is considering what he should have considered months ago? Let's face it: the next move coming from McCourt is a lawsuit. It'll be hitting any second now....

Dodgers Get a New TV Deal On... (UPDATE)

UPDATE: A Time slot is available on UHF immediately after the mid-afternoon movie.

Or if that's too radical for MLB, how about a cable deal? Such as...

Monday, June 20, 2011

Post-Game 74 Thread: AKM (Another Kershaw Masterpiece)


If you liked Clayton Kershaw's 116-pitch, two-hit, ten-strikeout complete-game shutout against Florida on May 29 (a game in which he also had two hits and an RBI), well, uh, you'll like his performance tonight equally as well, if not a little more. Because he did it again.

Tonight Kershaw threw a 112-pitch, two-hit, 11-strikeout complete-game shutout against Detroit (a game in which he also had a hit and two insurance RBIs). Juan Uribe's first-inning home run and Dioner Navarro's RBI-double in the sixth accounted for the other runs.

But tonight basically it's all hail Kershaw, who proved his mettle against AL talent.

photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Game 74 Thread: June 20 vs. Tigers, 7p

Clayton Kershaw (6-3, 3.28) vs. Brad Penny (5-5, 4.93).

Jabba the Hutt is a suitable metaphor for Penny, reflecting not only Penny's large girth but also his despicable behavior following his departure from the Dodgers, clearing out his locker early following an injury-plagued 2008 season (his last with the Dodgers), and firebombing relations with then-Dodgers coach Larry Bowa.

Penny came back in 2009 as a Giant and beat Chad Billingsley up in SF, but got hammered the following week in LA, lasting only 2.2 IP and giving up three HR..

Since then, Penny rolled on and off the DL (literally) for the Cardinals in 2010 (we missed seeing him that year, as a result), as well as got engaged to a Ukrainian ballroom dancer who posed for Playboy (May 2011), has two lateral chins, and a last name like a cheap vodka. And now Penny's a Tiger, with one win in his last five starts, making a rare interleague appearance against the Dodgers. (Accuscore has us as a 61% likely winner tonight.)

Hey look, it's Jackoff/Smirnoff! America! What a country!

But no, I'm not obsessing about seeing this guy again, salivating over the opportunity to get back at Penny in spades. Really, I should be more respectful of our two-time All-Star's return to Chavez Ravine, welcoming him with open arms and warm wishes. Looking forward to seeing you tonight, Brad!