Monday, October 31, 2011

USC/Stanford Fans Greet ESPN With Anagramming Flair

Via Deadspin, an awesome subtle-but-not-that-subtle homemade sign from this weekend's revelry:

Bye Bye, Barajas?

Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times reports that the Dodgers, beset with ten free agentss (the most in baseball, mind you), will likely not re-sign catcher Rod Barajas and instead will try and "go young" behind the plate:

Of the Dodgers’ 10 free agents, only one –- catcher Rod Barajas -– is thought to project as a Type B free agent, which could provide a team a supplemental draft pick if the Dodgers offer arbitration.

Of course, what the Dodgers can do financially is the great unknown. The team remains tied up in bankruptcy court. The team and Major League Baseball are reportedly working on a settlement. Their trial is currently scheduled to start Nov. 29.

Barajas, 36, earned $3.25 million last season with a one-year contract. The Dodgers are looking at going young behind the plate and not expected to offer him arbitration.

I suppose we're going to see that Tim Federowicz guy hell or highwater. After giving away Trayvon Robinson to get him, I'm not all that surprised I suppose.

Congratulations, Sue Falsone

Sue Falsone doing yoga at Dodger Stadium in 2009.

First Kim Ng, now Sue Falsone. From "Sources: Sue Falsone to join Dodgers" at

The Los Angeles Dodgers are expected to announce early next week the hiring of Sue Falsone as their new head physical therapist/athletic trainer, sources told

Falsone will become the first woman to serve as head athletic trainer or physical therapist of a team in any of the four major U.S. professional sports leagues. [...]

ESPN baseball analyst Curt Schilling rehabbed with Falsone when he was pitching for the Boston Red Sox.

"I can't imagine anyone more equipped to get that position, both from an intelligence perspective and the makeup of her personality," Schilling said when told of Falsone's impending hire with the Dodgers. "She was destined for this." [...]

Stan Conte, the team's current director of medical services, is expected to remain with the organization.

Wonder if this has anything to do with the Dodgers' injury-ravaged 2011? Looking forward to seeing if Falsone's work can bring us a healthier 2012.

Dodgers photo

Happy Halloween from SoSG!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Dodger Pumped Up Kicks

Seen at Philippe's, October 30, 2011.

SoSG FF: Week 8 Smack Thread

If his critics are to be believed, isn't every pass Tim Tebow throws a Hail Mary pass? And shouldn't he make every two-point conversion?

AP photo

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Double the Pain for Rangers Fans

One strike away from a World Series victory in Game 6...twice? Losing two consecutive World Series, both to underdog teams? I can't quite relate to your pain, Rangers fans, but it must be harsh. Have another drink.

AP photo

Friday, October 28, 2011

World Series Game 7 Thread: Rangers @ Cardinals, 5p

"Keep pulling! There's a soft chewy center somewhere in there!"

Matt Harrison (1-1, 5.02) vs. probably Chris Carpenter (3-0, 3.30).

Holy smokes! It's the first World Series Game 7 in SoSG history! I have to say, I was pulling for the Rangers, but after last night's stunning Game 6, I just want another incredible game no matter the outcome. Is that too much to ask before baseball goes into deep freeze?

photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

Let's Blame The Guy In A Coma

According to Dodgers attorneys, Dodgers parking lot beating victim Bryan Stow shouldn't have been tangoing around in the first place, according to the Dodgers. Or something like that:

An attorney representing the Dodgers and owner Frank McCourt filed a civil complaint against the two men charged in the Opening Day beating of San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow in Los Angeles Superior Court last week, arguing that they should be held liable for the attack, not McCourt, the team or other parties named in the suit filed by Stow's family in May.

"One of the things the jury will be asked to do is to determine what percentage of fault various individuals have for this event," McCourt's attorney Jerome Jackson told

"You're saying to the jury, 'They (the Stow family) are saying we're 100 percent liable. But does that mean (Marvin) Norwood and (Louis) Sanchez, who beat this guy up, have no liability? And, does it mean Mr. Stow himself has no liability?' "

Jackson said that if the case goes to a jury trial, he will ask jurors to assign percentages of liability to the Dodgers, McCourt, Norwood, Sanchez, Stow and the other entities named in the original suit. If financial damages are awarded, they would be paid out at those percentages.

"I've been doing these cases for 23 years and I have never seen one yet in which it didn't take at least two people to tango," he said, referring to the notion that jurors could decide Stow bears some liability in the attack. "So stay tuned and stand by."

In other news, Arthur Murray class enrollments plummeted yesterday.

Clearly, MLB Does Not Know Frank McCourt's Track Record Very Well

The bankruptcy trial that would help determine the fate of the Dodgers and finally bring clarity to this ownership circus nightmare...has been postponed for another month. And this is supposed to be so the McCourt can explore a possible settlement.

Settle? Does Frank McCourt ever settle? I mean, there's that $130M settlement to ex-wife Jamie, but it seems to me Frank is pretty comfortable in the courtroom environment. That said, hope never dies:

The Dodgers' bankruptcy trial has been postponed for one month so Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and Major League Baseball can explore a possible settlement under which McCourt would agree to sell the team, multiple people familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

McCourt discussed a potential settlement with league officials Monday and Tuesday, said the people, none of whom were authorized to comment on the confidential talks. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kevin Gross announced the postponement in a one-sentence order on Wednesday, without citing a reason for the delay.

The four-day trial had been set to start Monday. Gross postponed the trial to Nov. 29.

Neither the Dodgers nor the league would comment Wednesday, according to their respective spokesmen.

However, the settlement talks hit a snag when the league declined to guarantee McCourt a specific return for selling the team, one of the people said. The league, which already has loaned McCourt $150 million in bankruptcy financing, is not willing to subsidize his exit should the team sell for less than whatever figure he might ask MLB to guarantee, the person said.

In court papers this week, attorneys for McCourt estimated the value of the Dodgers, their stadium and the surrounding land at "in excess of $1 billion." Forbes valued the assets at $800 million last March.

Considering that $200M delta could mean the difference between ownership of five versus ten houses, you know that Frank is going to fight tooth and nail to scrap those pennies together. Well, what's another month between...very angry people?

From Yips To Snips

The Dodgers' Taiwanese phenom Hong-Chih Kuo, an All-Star in 2010 but ineffective and plagued by the yips in 2011, is now slated for another round of surgery.

LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers reliever Hong-Chih Kuo will undergo a fifth operation on his left elbow on Friday.

Kuo, an All-Star in 2010 but plagued by anxiety disorder in 2011, will have a loose body removed arthroscopically by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. It is estimated that he will be able to resume throwing in six to eight weeks.

Kuo developed soreness this week just before he was scheduled to leave and pitch for the Taiwan National Team in a five-game exhibition series against a Major League All-Star team.

The injury is just the latest in the saga of the 30-year-old, who has been in the organization longer than anyone else on the roster. He's survived five Dodgers managers, five general managers and two owners.

Signed out of Taiwan at age 17, he struck out seven of the first 10 batters in his professional debut and also blew out his elbow, leading to the first of two Tommy John operations. After his second operation, he had to be talked out of retirement by teammates Darren Dreifort and Eric Gagne and Acey Kohrogi, executive director of Asian operations. His most recent operation was in 2007 for bone chips.

Good luck, Hunchy!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

World Series Game 6 Thread: Rangers @ Cardinals, 5p

"Motte? You mean, spelled 'L-Y-N-N'? Got it."

Colby Lewis (0-0, 1.35) vs. Jaime Garcia (0-0, 0.00).

All I have to say is, those bullpen phones at Busch Stadium had better be fucking working tonight. Texas takes its 3-2 series lead into the lion's den, with its first of two chances to win one game. Will Colby bring the good cheese?

Return Of The Penguin

Not that Penguin.

What's it take to get the Penguin, Ron Cey, in the press during this World Series? A WSJ article on the cleanup spot, which strangely is not the place in the batting order that has generated the most WS MVPs:

A guy who hits eighth is on the verge of becoming World Series MVP. Which, given the inscrutable history of the award, sounds about right.

From No. 8-hitting Bobby Richardson in 1960 to (potentially) Mike Napoli this year, World Series MVPs have historically come from all over the batting order. Edgar Renteria won it last year with the Giants while predominantly hitting eighth. Scott Brosius—at the height of the Yankees' dynasty in 1998—won the MVP while hitting seventh and sixth.

Granted, Napoli, the Texas Rangers' slugging catcher, is obviously not a typical bottom-third-of-the-order hitter. He hit 30 home runs this season and had a 1.046 OPS (on-base plus slugging percentage), best on the team among regulars. [...]

Because anyone can get a handful of key hits over a few games, MVPs have come from every possible spot—even position players who bat ninth. Bucky Dent hit last for the Yankees throughout the 1978 World Series, which was played with the designated-hitter rule in effect for every game.

One of the few positions in the batting order that World Series MVPs have not come from lately is, of all places, the cleanup spot. Although Reggie Jackson made his name as a two-time Series MVP cleanup hitter, no No. 4 batter has won the award since the Dodgers' Ron Cey split it with Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager in 1981—and Cey spent half that series batting fifth.

To be fair, cleanup isn't all that far behind the position-player leaders, the three-hole and the five-hole, with six WS MVP occurrences each. Cleanup is tied for third with four occurrences, along with the seven-hole and eight-hole.

Position players have won the WS MVP award 31 times, to pitchers winning the award 27 times.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Behold The Awesome Power Of Google

So you all use google for internet searching stuff (not to mention the infrastructure supporting this very site), right? You fools. This Louisiana music teacher figured out how to harness the power of google to win $1M involving a sport that he didn't even follow: baseball.

The year in baseball is winding toward its thrilling close, and when all is said and written about 2011, one of the most amazing stories will have been about a music teacher.

He knew nothing about the game, unless you consider this: "I knew a home run was a point."

Brian Kingrey of Hammond, La., bought a copy of the MLB2K11 video game from 2K Sports when it came out last spring, and he played it like a music madman around the clock. His mission was to learn about baseball and to be the first to throw a perfect game and win $1 million.

"I have never, ever, ever heard him say the word 'baseball' before," one of his students said.

"He's just a music teacher," said another. "Mr. Kingrey."

Just a music teacher? Didn't all of you whippersnappers see Shine (I didn't, but that didn't stop me from mocking the shit out of that outstretched-arms Geoffrey Rush pose back in the mid-90's)?

But wait, here's the best part: the GOOGLING.

Kingrey had two weeks to learn and practice playing. He used Google to do research and learn all about baseball and statistics. Through his research, he discovered that his best chance of winning would be with Phillies ace Roy Halladay, who had thrown a real perfect game a year earlier.

And that, my friends, is crack google research. Way to use the internet to discover something that the majority of America already knows! What sleuthing! I'm sure the google guys are so proud, they'll commemorate this moment a decade from now with one of those title-page logo cartoony things!

The article continues:

Ironically, Kingrey used Halladay to beat the Astros, the Major League Baseball team closest to him geographically. He became a Phillies fan as a result.

Oh sure, I'm sure the choice of the Astros, far and away the majors' worst team this year, was simple irony. No googling done here, nosiree!

No World Series Baseball Today

Tonight's game has been postponed due to rain ( link here). I have to think this helps St. Louis, especially if it goes to game 7, right?

Readers Write In

"The sty's the limit with Matt Kemp!"

photo by Rajah Bose/New York Times

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Kemp Wins 2011 Hank Aaron Award

As Orel mentioned last week, Matt Kemp won the 2011 Hank Aaron Award as the most outstanding offensive performer of the year. Yesterday, MLB made it official:

ARLINGTON -- Jose Bautista of the Blue Jays joined Alex Rodriguez and Barry Bonds as the only players to repeat a Hank Aaron Award, accepting his trophy Monday along with National League recipient Matt Kemp of the Dodgers in a ceremony before Game 5 of the World Series.

The awards for outstanding offensive performers, established in 1999 to honor the 25th anniversary of Aaron breaking Babe Ruth's home run record, each went to a slugger who led his league in homers during this regular season. Bautista topped the Majors with 43, and Kemp led the NL with 39.

"I congratulate Jose Bautista and Matt Kemp on being this year's recipients of the 2011 Hank Aaron Award, named for one of the true pillars of our game," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "Jose has repeated as the American League winner after another brilliant season at the plate, leading Major League Baseball in home runs, slugging and walks. Matt enjoyed an extraordinary year, vying for the National League Triple Crown in the season's final days and stealing 40 bases on the year.

"The best is yet to come for both of these young men. I look forward to watching Jose and Matt continue to emulate Hank's example in the years ahead."

Hammerin' Hank was unable to travel for his annual appearance at this World Series event, due to knee replacement surgery. The Hall of Famer said in a statement:

"It is a real privilege to have my name on the award that recognizes the most outstanding offensive performer in each league. I want to congratulate Jose and Matt on their fantastic seasons and express my gratitude to the Hall of Famers and fans who helped select this year's winners."

Fans voted for the award on, and for the second straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Aaron joined fans in voting. The Hall of Fame panel included two new members personally selected by Aaron: Roberto Alomar and Joe Morgan. They joined panelists from last year, including Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Willie McCovey, Billy Williams and Robin Yount. That panel was comprised of some of the greatest offensive players of all-time who combined for 23,536 hits, 11,445 RBIs and 2,800 home runs. [...]

Kemp made one of the best Triple Crown bids in recent years, falling just short. In addition to leading the NL in homers and RBIs (126), he finished third in batting behind Jose Reyes and Ryan Braun, at .324. Kemp also led the NL in runs (115) and total bases (353). The 2011 NL All-Star also finished among league leaders in multihit games (57, tied for first), hits (195, second), slugging percentage (.586, second), extra-base hits (76, second), stolen bases (40, tied for second), on-base percentage (.399, fourth) and walks (74, tied for eighth).

Kemp became the seventh player in Major League history to finish the season ranked in the top three in homers, batting average, RBIs and stolen bases in their respective league, joining Hall of Famers Ty Cobb (1907, '09-11), Honus Wagner (1908), George Sisler ('20), Chuck Klein ('32), Willie Mays ('55) and Aaron ('63). In addition, the sixth-round selection in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft was the first Dodger to lead the NL in home runs and RBIs since Dolph Camilli in 1941, and the first Dodger in history to lead the NL in homers, RBIs and runs scored.

Kemp is also the first Dodger to win the Aaron Award, though Manny Ramirez and Andruw Jones are both prior recipients (just not as Dodgers).

photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The Joy of Fantasy Football

My recently streaking team, The Compton Crotchness, was dealt a major blow. Or two. Or three.

All Kinds Of Halloween Awesome

Via Gawker, you've gotta check out this Halloween light show. Yikes.

Dodgers Season Ticket Holders: "Come Back In 2012 For Similar Mediocre Product, Now At Lower Prices"

From a Dodgers press release this morning:

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers are lowering pricing and adding new benefits for season ticket holders in the Field, Loge, Club, Reserve, Left Field Pavilion, Right Field Pavilion and Top Deck sections of the stadium for the 2012 season.

Dodger season tickets remain one of the best values in Los Angeles and all of sports. Lower pricing and related benefits will be available for 96% of the seats in Dodger Stadium. More than 35,000 seats will be available for $20 or less on a season ticket basis.

The Dodgers currently offer one of the lowest entry points in all of Major League Baseball for season ticket holders at $5 per seat. The $5 Top Deck option reflects pricing that was in place two decades ago. The $16 Preferred Field Box offering is the lowest in 10 years, the $10 Preferred Loge Box plan is the lowest in 16 years and the $6 Reserve option is the lowest in 24 years.

Several exciting new benefits will be offered in 2012 adding exceptional value to being a Dodger season ticket holder including the opportunity to enter the stadium one hour before the general public to watch Dodger batting practice. Season ticket holders will also be able to play catch on the field with friends and family after select games.

Additional amenities include access to all levels of the ballpark, from the Top Deck to the Field level. MVP and VIP Field Level season ticket holders will also receive a complimentary Stadium Club membership to use throughout the season.

Indeed, a look at the Dodgers' new season tickets webpage does indicate some new programs:

NEW for 2012:

  • Early entry to parking and stadium with exclusive access to watch Dodger batting practice
  • Play catch on the field after select games throughout the season
  • Complimentary Stadium Club membership included with Field Level VIP & MVP season tickets
  • Improved access throughout the stadium
  • All-Star Game viewing party on the field
  • 50% off home exhibition games to commemorate Dodger Stadium's 50th Anniversary

The "early entry thing" ("premature entry", perhaps?) is going to be an interesting enforcement challenge, as they will basically be turning non-season ticket holders away for early admission. That sounds like a logistical nightmare to me.

As does "improved access throughout the stadium", which I imagine is a hallpass that allows you to access other levels of the Stadium that had been forbidden in recent seasons (leading to a caste system of sorts among Dodgers fans). I'd long hoped that the Dodgers would give access to the Stadium to all fans, but also put ushers at every aisle to check tickets of people heading to seats (of course, they'd also have to stop people from just idly standing behind the back rows of sections to watch the game, too; they seem to have stopped enforcing this rule ever since the field level was renovated).

But maybe now they will give season ticket holders a pass to travel to all levels like a nomad? With attendance as sparse as it was in 2011, that seems like a perfect formula for an individual to buy a top-deck season ticket package, and then travel down to the field level after entering the Stadium, to poach better seats on the sly. We'll see how this works.

Monday, October 24, 2011

World Series Game 5 Thread: Cardinals @ Rangers, 5p

Chris Carpenter (3-0, 3.52) vs. C.J. Wilson (0-3, 7.17).

We're getting (at least) a Game 6! Derek Holland's heroic performance yesterday leaves the series tied at two and ensures a return trip to St. Louis. And we've got an ace-versus-ace matchup to determine who will have a happy flight. It's almost last call for baseball in 2011 — enjoy!

AP photo

How Bad Were the Raiders?!?!

The Chiefs' Matt Cassel was the passing leader on the day. With these numbers.

In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. And blind sums up the Raiders QBs perfectly.

Trojans Representing!

Dream Team

From @MLB_PR:

Zooey Deschanel, who sang last night's National Anthem, with Ken Griffey Jr., who received the Commissioner's Historic Achievement Award.

More Zooey:


2&3: AP; 4: Getty Images

Sunday, October 23, 2011

World Series Game 4 Thread: Cardinals @ Rangers, 5p

Edwin Jackson (1-0, 5.84). vs. Derek Holland (1-0, 5.27).

"The Cardinals and Rangers have scored a total of eight runs in their first two games. Expect them to exceed that in Game 3 alone," I wrote yesterday. Game 3's total runs? 23. Herewith:


1. Um, fewer than twenty-three total runs. Pujols fewer than three homers. Going out on a limb here.

2. A former Dodger (Jackson? Furcal? Theriot? Beltre?) does something productive, annoying Dodger fans everywhere.

3. Shot of Nolan Ryan with MASSIVE TENSION HEADACHE.

4. Yadier Molina signs an endorsement deal with Maybelline eyeliner.

5. Ogando vs. Craig (Part 4) settled by arm wrestling.

photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Who Needs the Lakers?!?!

As long as we have college football. PLAY OF THE YEAR

It's the sport of kings, better than diamond rings.

Congratulations to Bill Shaikin

LA Times baseball reporter Bill Shaikin has become the go-to source for all news bankruptcy- and McCourt-related. Good to see him reaping some benefits for his diligence. From

Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times was elected president at the BBWAA's World Series meeting Saturday, succeeding Ken Davidoff of Newsday, and [the San Francisco Chronicle's Susan] Slusser was voted vice president. The vice president traditionally serves one year before becoming president.

Congrats, Bill!

SoSG FF: Week 7 Smack Thread

Saturday, October 22, 2011

World Series Game 3 Thread: Cardinals @ Rangers, 5p

"Okay guys, I'm finally ready to talk about Game 2. Any questions?...Really? Nobody has a single question...?"

Kyle Lohse (0-2, 7.45) vs. Matt Harrison (1-0, 4.22).

Nice to see the Rangers tie the series up with some genuine AL-style offense: bloop singles, stolen bases and sac flies. If the opening rounds of the playoffs were all about power, then the World Series has been about pitching — until tonight. The Cardinals and Rangers have scored a total of eight runs in their first two games. Expect them to exceed that in Game 3 alone.

DeJon: De Gone?

From Tony Jackson on

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have granted the Baltimore Orioles permission to interview DeJon Watson, the Dodgers assistant general manager for player development, for the Orioles' vacant general-manager position, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed Friday night on the condition of anonymity.

It isn't immediately clear when or if that interview will take place. Watson didn't immediately respond to a text message from Both Watson and Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti declined to comment on the matter.

Watson previously interviewed for the GM position with the Arizona Diamondbacks, as did fellow Dodgers assistant GM Logan White, late in the 2010 season before that job eventually went to Kevin Towers, who had appeared to be the favorite from the beginning.

PCS Season IV Prize!

O-Dogg poster? Check. Rafael Furcal bobblehead? Check. Dodgers iPhone cover? Check. Dodgers Rubik's Cube? Check. Authorship of a PCS puzzle? Check. Each of the Sons' first born? Check.

And Mr C isn't exactly running a prize deficit with the Sons either. He's collected a 2009 Dodger Media guide, as well as a few puzzles of his own.

So what is left to offer up here guys for landing the top two spots once again in PCS IV? Well, Sax has arranged a free subscription to a subscription to P&A magazine if you want it, uBragg. And if you don't, we have a PCS V puzzle waiting for you.

  • Sax's note: Actually, I already bought uBragg the P&A magazine subscription, so it's too late now...

    Let us know in the comments or via email which one you want ubragg, and congratulations again to both of you!

  • Orel's note: Actually, I already sent uBragg my firstborn, so it's too late now...

    Let us know in the comments or via email which one you want ubragg, and congratulations again to all three of you!

Friday, October 21, 2011

We're Branching Out

(Thanks to Mrs. Orel for the find!)

And the Hardware Starts Rolling In

  • From a press release:
    Warren Spahn Award organizers announced today that Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers is the 2011 Spahn Award winner.

    The Spahn Award is presented annually to the best left-handed pitcher in Major League Baseball and is based on a pitcher's wins, strikeouts and earned run average. Kershaw led in all categories with 21 wins, 248 strikeouts and a 2.28 ERA.

    "It is a genuine honor to have my named mentioned alongside one of the greatest lefties in the history of the game," Kershaw said. "Mr. Spahn accomplished so much both in baseball and in his life off the field. I am truly humbled by this award. Thank you."

    Greg Spahn, son of the late Warren Spahn, said this is the first time an award winner has placed first in every category since Randy Johnson won in the late 1990s.

    "Congratulations to Clayton Kershaw on an incredible season, leading all lefties with a 2.28 ERA," Spahn said. "In fact, he led in each category of the Warren Spahn Award, with the Dodgers a third place club in the National League West. I look forward to handing him the award."

  • From "Matt Kemp Wins 2011 NL Hank Aaron Award" by Eric Stephen at True Blue LA:
    Matt Kemp needs to clear more space on his mantel. The Dodgers center fielder is the winner of the 2011 National League Hank Aaron Award. Kemp is the first Dodger to win the award.

    The award has been given annually to the top offensive performer in each league since 1999, and is voted upon by members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame as well as fans. The panel of Hall of Famers this year included Aaron, Roberto Alomar, Joe Morgan, Tony Gwynn, Paul Molitor, Willie McCovey, Billy Williams and Robin Yount.

  • From @Dodgers:
    Congrats @skinnyswag9 on being selected as the shortstop on @BaseballAmerica's All-Rookie Team!

Softball Signup

Registration is open and details are up for the softball tournament being organized by Mike of (click on link for registration form):


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Location: Big League Dreams in West Covina

Cost: $35 per Player

This tournament is open to EVERYONE who wants to play.

Included are the following:

  • 3-Game Guarantee on Major League Baseball Replica Fields
  • Single elimination Playoff Games (for qualifying teams)
  • Tournament Director
  • Umpires
  • Softballs
  • Bracketing for all teams.
  • 1st Place trophy
  • 2nd Place plaque
  • 3 Large pizzas and 4 pitchers of soda per team.

And some notes of our own:

  • The following readers piped up in our initial interest thread: IN (Josh S. (+1?), Dusty Baker's Toothpick, Johnny Blanchard, QuadSevens, John G, Mr. C, Dusty Baker, el montanero, rbnlaw, Paul, Karina, Gagne's lucky glasses (+1?), Bryan), MAYBE (Pistol Pete Reiser, Steve K, Neeebs, Jason, MeanieBreanie).
  • SoSG will subsidize the entry fee for any readers flying in from out of town.
  • If you register, let us know in this thread.
  • Someone please remind me to create a link to this post on the sidebar.

Now, who's ready for three large pizzas and four pitchers of soda followed by running the bases?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

World Series Game 2 Thread: Rangers @ Cardinals, 5p

"One! Singular sensation!"

Colby Lewis (1-1, 3.86) vs. Jaime Garcia (0-2, 5.74).

So where's all that vaunted offense? I didn't swallow all that hype about Pujols and Hamilton and Freese and Cruz just to watch six solid innings from each starter and largely effective bullpens. I want to see slugging and stolen bases and weeping pitchers. Hit it!

AP photo

Brewers Already Preparing For Post-Prince Period

I'm still biased toward Albert Pujols, but if we're going to get a new first baseman, Prince Fielder wouldn't be such a bad choice either. And the Brewers are already getting mentally prepared for his loss:

MILWAUKEE (AP)—Milwaukee Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said it’s hard for any team to improve on a franchise-record 96-win season and an NL Central title. It will be even harder if they lose Prince Fielder(notes) in free agency.

“It was a special year for all of us, a special year for a lot of the players, too,” Melvin said Wednesday. “There wasn’t a whole lot of people that picked us to go to the World Series or to even win our division.”

Milwaukee lost to St. Louis in the NL championship series on Sunday night, finishing with two error-filled flops after being within two games of reaching the World Series.

“I’m not going to feel lousy about two or three bad games,” Melvin said. “I feel disappointed, but I’m not going to feel lousy about it.”

Melvin declined to answer most questions about Fielder and potential negotiations with the soon-to-be free agent because his staff is still in the process of evaluating the season. Melvin said he hasn’t had any conversations yet with Fielder’s agent, Scott Boras.

The Brewers will have an exclusive window of five days after the World Series ends to negotiate with Fielder, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’ll immediately make an offer.

Melvin said he plans to meet with principal owner Mark Attanasio and manager Ron Roenicke in a few weeks in Los Angeles to map out a strategy. Attanasio has said the Brewers will be part of the “sweepstakes” to sign the 27-year-old first baseman.

Hmm. Melvin will be out in LA "mapping out a strategy" for Fielder? Let's hope Fielder isn't on the same flight out west (or at least has a concealing set of sunglasses and a good disguise).

Colletti Has No Idea How Much He Can Spend, If Any At All

Well, this isn't a good sign as we enter a critical off-season: GM Ned Colletti has no idea what his budget is. How can you shop for goods if you don't know how much money is in your wallet?

Three weeks after saying he had been given a player-payroll budget for next year and hinting that budget might be more than it was in 2011, Los Angeles Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti conceded on Wednesday that figure could change in the wake of a divorce settlement reached earlier this week by Dodgers owner Frank McCourt and his estranged wife, former Dodger chief executive officer Jamie McCourt.

Under terms of the settlement, Jamie McCourt disavows any claim to ownership of the club and Frank McCourt must pay her $130 million.

"I don't think (the budget) is ever really set in stone,'' said Colletti, who was watching several of the Dodgers' top prospects compete in the Arizona Fall League. "You start out with a basic idea to get you started and adjust as need be. I have a basic idea, always knowing that it could be adjusted either way.''

Colletti didn't specifically address potential ways, if any, in which the budget could be directly impacted by either the settlement or a bankruptcy court hearing scheduled to begin on Oct. 31 that could determine Frank McCourt's ability to maintain ownership of the franchise.

Colletti also said he has had a couple of conversations with Dave Stewart, the agent for Dodgers center fielder and National League Most Valuable Player candidate Matt Kemp, but that no serious talks are under way as of yet on a possible contract extension for Kemp, who could become a free agent after next season if the Dodgers don't lock him up with a long-term deal.

Criminy, Bud, pull the plug on this circus and get this right. If the Dodgers end up pissing away an opportunity to lock Matt Kemp (let alone get some bats back in the lineup), Dodger fans will do more than just stay away in droves, as they did this year. They'll come back...with torches and pitchforks.

SoSG Limps Over IA5 Finish Line

SoSG readers, I'm sure you're dying to know what happened with Intercoastal Altercations #5, the online puzzle competition in which a subset of us SoSGers competed starting Saturday morning, October 15. The first teams finished late that evening.

The Sons of Steve Garvey team, led by Mr. Customer and yours truly, finished yesterday evening, in 41st place. Considering that three of us on the team led the charge (the other three weren't able to contribute as much), I'm okay with that finish. However out of over 150 teams, it wasn't quite top-quartile, alas.

The puzzles had a baseball theme so I strongly encourage all of you to take a look if you're intrigued. In the meantime, thanks to Foggy Brume and crew for a great time, and thanks to Mr. Customer for forging us ahead!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Go Get 'Em, Kim

Kim NG to interview for (Angels) general manager position

ANAHEIM -- As promised, the Angels are doing their due diligence in identifying their next general manager. Kim Ng, former assistant GM of the Dodgers currently employed by Major League Baseball in international operations, is the latest to draw the interest of owner Arte Moreno's management team and will be interviewed, according to ESPN. Rangers assistant GM Thad Levine has caught the Angels' eye as a candidate, ESPN also reports.

"Wonder NG Power. ACTIVATE! Form of... A GM!"

Ng has extensive front-office experience. In addition to her nine seasons with the Dodgers, she also worked for the Yankees, as an assistant GM, and the White Sox. She would become the first woman to be hired as a Major League GM if she is the choice.

The Angels may be a faux-Los Angeles wannabe, but Kim Ng's the Real Deal.

World Series Game 1 Thread: Rangers @ Cardinals, 5p

In a surprise move, tonight's World Series game has been replaced by Manager Home Run Derby. Ratings are expected to soar.

C.J. Wilson (0-2, 8.04) vs. Chris Carpenter (2-0, 3.71).

Here we are, at the beginning of the end of the line. Well, it's all right, since there are no Giants, Phillies, Yankees or Red Sox in sight. Sure, the Rangers appeared in the World Series last year, and the Cardinals won it in 2006, but we're talking two teams outside the top ten in Opening Day payroll. Me, I'm pulling for the team in red.

AP photos

You Cannot Be Stealing Our Pun

You Cannot Be Siri-Ous (Jason Gay, in the 10.18.11 issue of the WSJ)

Why So Siri-Us? (Sons of Steve Garvey, 10.14.11 post)

Siri-ously, dude.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Matt Kemp Wins Baseball America's Player Of The Year Award

Keep the accolades rolling on in, Matty:

As measured by Baseball-Reference's adjusted OPS metric—which compares a player's OPS with the league average and then adjusts for home ballpark—Matt Kemp had the most productive offensive season by any center fielder in the last 30 years. Like Ken Griffey Jr. in 1997, Kemp led his league in homers, RBIs and runs scored.

The top 10 was culled from the pool of all center fielders to qualify for the batting title for the years 1981 through 2011 (minimum: 75 percent of games in center). Bold indicates a league-leading total.

Kemp's OPS+ of 171 tops the list. Ken Griffey 1993 (with the Mariners) is second, also with a 171. Griffey also has three of the top five spots on the list; Jim Edmonds (2004) is third.

Arkham City Day!

Oh, yeah. I'm surprised I'm even at work today.

No Worries, We Didn't Need That $21M Last Year Anyway

Frank and Jamie McCourt have apparently decided to cap their legal squabbling at the low low price of $20.6M in cumulative legal fees regarding their divorce. And that's just since July!

Frank and Jamie McCourt have reached a divorce settlement under which she would get about $130 million and relinquish any claim to a share of the Dodgers, multiple people familiar with the agreement told The Times.

The settlement would remove Jamie McCourt as an obstacle to Frank McCourt's plan to retain ownership of the team by selling the Dodgers' television rights in U.S. Bankruptcy Court. The agreement also would appear to set up a winner-take-all court showdown for the Dodgers between Frank McCourt and Commissioner Bud Selig.

The people familiar with the agreement spoke on condition of anonymity because the settlement has not been finalized. However, such a settlement would conclude what is believed to be the costliest divorce in California history.

The McCourts incurred $20.6 million in legal bills related to the divorce through July, according to Los Angeles Superior Court filings by each of the parties. To settle the outstanding dispute over whether the Dodgers were the sole property of Frank McCourt or community property could have added at least $14 million to those bills, based on estimates in a filing on behalf of Jamie McCourt.

Let's assume that half of that $20.6M is Frank's, right? So for just over $10M, he earned the right to pay his ex-wife $130M to get her out of the Dodgers. Sounds like a bargain! And this way, Frank can forge ahead and lose the Dodgers himself:

For two people presumably so good at business -- say what you will about how the McCourts managed the Dodgers, but they made enough money to put themselves in position to buy a Major League Baseball team and mansions all over the country -- it is amazing they each let pride and emotion cloud their judgment so badly.

There is no way this should have gotten to this place, no reason all the gory details of their opulent lives needed to be spilled in court filings for all the world to see and gag over.

Those details are why this has become more than a divorce case. They damaged the McCourts' businesses and brand, then exposed both of them to future risk -- Selig's intervention and public scrutiny of their finances.

This settlement should have been reached quietly years ago in a law office off Wilshire Boulevard, not in court rooms across America. It would have been the right thing to do for the Dodgers and the right thing to do for the McCourts. But more importantly, it would have been a good business decision.

There are sunk costs for both sides in every divorce, money and wealth earned that goes away in the process of dividing assets and can never be recovered. A smart businessman assumes the loss and moves on without making it worse.

But this was never about business. It was, in fact and metaphor, a modern day bonfire of the vanities. And now, perhaps fittingly, all that selfish pride and ego stand to cost each of them dearly. The details of the McCourts' extravagant lifestyle that should never have seen the light of day, let alone been read aloud in a public courtroom, will likely sink both of them.

Without their fight in divorce court, Bud Selig never would have received the ammunition to act in the best interests of baseball. Los Angeles never would have known the depths of the McCourts' financial depravity. The Dodgers never would have been cast into purgatory.

At the end of this month, a Delaware bankruptcy court will hear arguments and then render a final judgment on this sorry matter. The team will either be sold and a city will move on with a clean break, or Frank McCourt will come out the other side, his credibility battered and bruised. Neither option is palatable. Both of them were avoidable two years ago.

Prince Fielder earned $15.5M last year. Albert Pujols was at $14.5M. Both figures are less than $20.6M.

Monday, October 17, 2011

World Series 2011: Rangers vs. Cardinals

Congrats to both teams!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

St. Louis Furcals to Meet Texas Beltres in World Series

Congratulations, St. Louis. You made Blonde Brewers Babe bawl. Hope you're happy.


The lid may have changed, but the tears stay the same.

NLCS Game 6 Thread: Cardinals @ Brewers, 1 5p

"Thanks, Mike Scioscia!"

Edwin Jackson (1-0, 3.48) vs. Shaun Marcum (0-2, 12.46).

Who will face the Rangers in the World Series? The Brewers have lost only one game at home this postseason, but they'll have to win two straight to earn the right to face Texas. And Shaun Marcum, who had a solid regular season but who has been disastrous in the playoffs so far, has to show up today. Oh, and the defense can't make four errors. That kind of stuff kind of makes it harder to not lose.

SoSG FF: Week 6 Smack Thread

photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

ALCS Crowns Beltres: NL Opponent Awaits


Criminy, that was an ugly bottom of the third for Detroit. Texas returns to the World Series for the second straight year and awaits an NL Central opponent.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

ALCS Game 6 Thread: Tigers @ Rangers, 5p

"They call me Whiskers."

Max Scherzer (1-0, 2.70) vs. Derek Holland (1-0, 4.00).

ALCS Game 6 today and NLCS Game 6 tomorrow (and possibly ALCS Game 7). It's gonna be a good baseball weekend, so line up your beverages, sit back and enjoy!

AP photo

Friday, October 14, 2011

NLCS Game 5 Thread: Brewers @ Cardinals, 5p

Did someone say Beast Mode?

Zack Greinke (1-0, 8.18) vs. Jaime Garcia (0-2, 7.36).

The Brewers won yesterday, tying the series at two apiece and ensuring a return trip to Miller Park before this NLCS is over. Starter Zach Greinke gets a chance to back up his trash-talk, and the Cardinals get a chance to use ten billion relief pitchers in one game. photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Why So Siri, Us?

Hat tip to Q7 for this link. Good lunchtime reading for a Friday.

SoSG Puzzlers, We Need You

There's a online puzzle hunt this weekend called "Intercoastal Altercations", and we need to form a team. Mr. Customer and I are already working on the pre-clue puzzles--which have a baseball theme!--this week (we have four of seven done). But we could use your help.

If you're interested, go to this site and register to sign up. You can see the Sons of Steve Garvey team and apply to join; once you're in, you'll also have access to the googledocs site that we're using to track our progress.

Thanks in advance, braniacs--

PS. Please send us an email if you're waiting to join and you haven't been granted access yet...