Thursday, March 31, 2011

Post-Game 1 Thread: So This Is How It's Going to Be

Clayton Kershaw: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 9 K.

DODGERS 2, GIANTS 1

I usually prefer slugfests to a pitching duels, but today's showdown between Kershaw and Tim Lincecum was eminently watchable. The Dodgers managed nothing but weak singles off Lincecum for the first five innings, but the real highlight was Kershaw's mastery. He just kept mowing Giants down, donating $900 to Arise Africa in the process.

Davey Lopes' impact on the team could be felt &mdash not on Juan Uribe's awkwardly unsuccessful attempt to stretch a single into a double in the second, but when Tony Gwynn Jr. took advantage of a Pat Burrell bobble to do it right in the third.

I think the sixth inning will give us a feel for how this year's offense is going to flow:

  • Ethier K
  • Kemp BB
  • Tejada error, Loney to 1st, Kemp to 3rd
  • Uribe HBP, bases loaded
  • Posey Oyster Pubes throwing error, Kemp scores
  • Barajas lines out to Sandoval
  • Carroll IBB
  • Kershaw grounds out

Speaking of Kemp, he went 1-for-1, with 3 walks (a career high, according to @dylanohernandez) and a stolen base. I like this version of the Bison. James Loney left five men on base BUT also drove in what turned out to be the game-winning RBI, driving in Kemp with a double in the eighth. Some will hate on Loney, but he sure shook off a rough start at the plate.

Oh, and speaking of rough starts? Will Jonathan Broxton ever throw another 1-2-3 inning in his career? Burrell touched him for a solo homer in the ninth, but Brox still managed to put away the side to get the save. As we say around here, we'll take it.

Credit also to Hong-Chih Kuo for a 22-pitch (ouch!) hold. And congratulations to Don Mattingly on his first victory as a manager!

photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

New Gameday = OMG

Game 1 Thread: March 31 vs. Giants, 5p

Clayton Kershaw (-, -.--) vs. Tim Lincecum (-, -.--).

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IT'S TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL!

No really — it's time for Dodger baseball. Wake up! Opening Day is here! That hangover you've been nursing since November 1 of last year is over. No more wallowing in self-pity, Dodger fans — it's a new season, spring training stats don't count for squat, and there are Doyer Dogs to be had.

What's that? Loney Fan is demanding the mike? Take it away!

I was talking with two friends yesterday. One of them a SoSG follower and one of them a Red Sox fan. We all noticed that this time of year, Dodger fans become the most cynical, pessimistic group around. Our Red Sox following friend may have a lot more going for him at the start of the 2011 season, but I have seen him this elated every year. My Dodger friend and I were going through the annals of SoSG history to research this phenomenon and came across one of our favorite, must uplifting videos posted on SoSG and we thought we would share.

So if you are feeling down and worried about the Dodgers chances this year remember that we have been worried the last three years at this time and watch this video.

Opening Day? Check.
Vin Scully? Check.
Good-luck boobies? Check. The very first time that joke has been made on the internet!

GO BLUE!


T-Minus Five Hours...

T-Minus Eight Hours...

T-Minus Eleven Hours...

Read all about today's game! From a Dodgers press release:

Opening Day will be televised nationally on ESPN as the network’s first Thursday Night Baseball game of the season. PRIME TICKET will deliver a special one-hour pre-game show from Dodger Stadium beginning at 4:00 p.m.

Individual game tickets to Opening Day are sold out, but fans can still get tickets to Thursday’s game by purchasing a mini plan or season seats. More information can be found at www.dodgers.com/tickets.

Auto and stadium gates will both open early on Opening Day and fans are encouraged to carpool and arrive early, as auto gates will open at 1:00 p.m. and stadium gates will open at 1:30 p.m. Fans can also take the free Dodgertown Express Bus Service from Union Station to Dodger Stadium, as they can for every game this season. More information about the bus service and parking are available at www.dodgers.com/parking.

The first 50,000 fans at Thursday’s game will receive Magnet Schedules presented by Automobile Club of Southern California.

[Pl├ícido] Domingo who performed as one of the Three Tenors at Dodger Stadium in 1994 and is a 12-time Grammy Award-winner, will perform the National Anthem. His humanitarian work has earned honors ranging from the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Honorary Knight of the British Empire and many more. He currently serves as the General Director of the Los Angeles Opera and the Washington National Opera and lives by the motto “If I rest, I rust.”

Before the National Anthem, the Dodgers will observe a moment of silence for those whose lives were lost as a result of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) have joined together to contribute $500,000 toward earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Japan to UNICEF. Dodger pitcher Hiroki Kuroda has made a personal donation to the cause and the Dodgers will also collect donations for UNICEF at locations throughout the stadium.

[Davis] Gaines will sing God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch. He is best known for his role as the Phantom in The Phantom of the Opera and remains Los Angeles’ longest-running phantom.

Continuing with the 1981 theme of Opening Day, former Dodger Bill Russell will sign autographs for fans in Autograph Alley. Russell won a World Series with the Dodgers in 1981, as well as in 1988, and was a member of the Dodgers’ record-setting infield. Autograph Alley will feature stars of ’81 throughout the Dodgers’ opening homestand.

Approximately 136 members of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, National Guard, Coast Guard, LAPD and LAFD will unfurl a giant flag on the day during pre-game ceremonies. A Joint Services Color Guard will present the colors and pre-game ceremonies will conclude with a flyover by a B-2 from Whiteman Air Force Base.

The Dodgers will also honor their first Veteran of the Game on Thursday, as they will at every home game this season. Second Lieutenant in the US Army Steven Hole will be the first honoree, as he won the home run hitting contest at the Military Batting practice the Dodgers hosted on Veteran’s Day in November. Hole played football at West Point and is a third-year medical student at USC.

traffic photo by Malingering/LAist

A (Pete) Rose by Any Other Name

To get us all ready for THE START OF THE REGULAR SEASON, I present some 11 Points' List of the GREATEST BASEBALL NICKNAMES EVER. Some of which are due for a comeback or re-branding. You can read the full article here:

1. Bob "Death to Flying Things" Ferguson

2. Lou "Biscuit Pants" Gehrig - As Humpty Hump said, just grab 'em in the biscuits

3. Pud "The Little Steam Engine" Galvin

4. Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown - Who, non-ironically enough, only did have three fingers

5. "Gentleman" George Decker - "Caballero" Carlos Zambrano

6. Hugh "Losing Pitcher" Mulcahy - Barry Zito's already dusting this name off

7. Frank "The Piano Mover" Smith

8. George "High Pockets" Kelly

9. Burleigh "Ol' Stubblebeard" Grimes - Not to be confused with Los Feliz's famed sloshery "Ye Olde Rustic Inn"

10. William Van Winkle "Chicken" Wolf

11. George "Twinkletoes" Selkirk - I dare anyone to call Milton Bradley this

Suddenly, WWE nicknames seem a little less assy. (Speaking of, I was always partial to Lanny Poffo, who went by "Leaping" and then reinvented himself as "The Genius.")

Loyal (and Cheating) Readers - Any suggestions for nicknames for our current roster? Throw them in the comments.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

STGT: March 30 vs. Mariners, 7p

The Mariners are coming! The Mariners are coming! And if you care, you'd better get your fill tonight because they ain't coming back this year. Unless the Dodgers and Seattle make the World Series.

In other words, they ain't coming back.

The last time the Dodgers wrangled with the Seamen was 2006 2009, when Seattle took two of three at Dodger Stadium. But that was before those bah-stads stole Ken Levine from us! So consider tonight's matchup payback. But if the Mariners win, we're still keeping Josh Suchon.

Final Four, 2nd Half: Comment Time!

Where Do You Get Those Wonderful Toys?

Thanks to Dusty for this link: Wired has listed some of the coolest apps and gadgets you can stock up on for the upcoming season. There's more than just MLB.TV!

UPDATE: Dusty chimes in again! First glimpse of MLB's revamped iPad app (Macworld)

Chip on Ethier's Shoulder Threatening to Crush His Common Sense

From "Andre Ethier in last season with LA?" by Tony Jackson at ESPNLosAngeles.com:

Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Andre Ethier on Tuesday stood behind comments he made to The Associated Press after Monday night's exhibition game in which he said this could be his final season with the club because, "a lot of signs are pointing that way."

Ethier is entering the final season of a two-year, $15.25 million contract that will pay him $9.25 million this year, and if he has even a decent season in 2011, he will receive a significant raise in 2012. But he won't be eligible for free agency until after 2012 because he won't have six years of big league service time at the end of this season. However, teams can choose to non-tender their arbitration-eligible players, making them free agents.

The Dodgers went that route with former All-Star catcher Russell Martin over the winter, and Ethier hinted that a similar fate could be in store for him.

"My salary is increasing each year," Ethier said. "I would say the likeliness of me being here beyond this year, it's not just my decision. ... I have been kind of lucky to be in one spot in baseball for as long as I have been, for six years now. That is a long time to be in one city playing for one team. There is no inclination now other than to go out and play this year and see what we've got.

"If I don't play well, we have seen them non-tender guys here. If you do play well, sometimes they don't offer those guys arbitration because their salaries are too high."

Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he wasn't aware of Ethier's remarks, either from Monday night or Tuesday afternoon, and he initially seemed taken aback by them.

"You will have to address that with him," Colletti said. "I don't have any comment on that at all."

But on the day the Dodgers finalized a three-year, $35 million contract extension for pitcher Chad Billingsley, Colletti did reveal that he had preliminary discussions during spring training with Nez Balelo, Ethier's Los Angeles-based agent, on a possible extension for Ethier, but that those discussions died fairly quickly.

Ethier insisted he was unaware that those talks had even begun between Colletti and Balelo, so he couldn't have been aware that they had been quickly abandoned.

"I guess they didn't get far enough for it to get to me," Ethier said. "I guess that shows you how serious they were."

Whatever motivates you, Andre, but you're training a klieg light on the dimmest of possibilities. Maybe you're bitter about the Dodgers releasing Russell Martin, but at some point it's unbecoming as well as unprofessional to degrade your talent (and the hopes of Dodger fans) to fuel your pride. And you passed that point a long time ago.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Trojan - Fight On!

Now we know why they cover their Tommy.

From London's "The Daily Mail."

College officials 'appalled' as fratboy and his girl are caught having sex on the roof of USC building... in front of hundreds of people.

An inquiry has been launched after a couple were caught apparently having sex on the rooftop of a USC building - allegedly in front of hundreds of people. Officials at the university were outraged as photographs of the couple - many of which were too graphic to be shown here - quickly went viral.

The images apparently show the man, who is a student at the university, and a woman cavorting in a variety of sexual positions on top of the school's 12-storey Waite Phillips Hall in Los Angeles on Saturday.

I've seen these tawdry pics. And as a proud Trojan alum, I'm glad to see my donation dollars are being well spent on sex-ed and calisthenics. Hopefully Dean Wormer chokeslams them with double secret probation.

Oh, the link to the article. Well, it's got some somewhat NOT SAFE FOR WORK pictures (with USC Trojan logos strategically placed). But if you're feeling a little naughty, here ye go.

STGT: March 29 @ Angels, 7p

It's times like these that the baseball fan in me does war with the Dodger fan in me. Am I looking forward to baseball? Hell yeah. Sadly, I may not have made it to a Dodger game last season, but part of me just feels more complete when baseball is being played.

The other part? That's the Dodger fan who can't quite get psyched about this year's patchwork squad. Of course there are bright spots, such as Kemp and Kershaw, and potential rookie surprises, like Gordon and DeJesus. But overall this doesn't feel like a winning team. Certainly not a playoff-bound one.

But that's when the baseball fan in me jumps up (pulling a hammy in the process) and says, It's the journey, not the destination. Only one team of thirty wins it all, so either, say, the Yankees or Red Sox will also be disappointed come October.

And as for the small chance the Dodgers exceed expectations? As they say, that's why they play the games. So let's enjoy them!

Final Four, 1st Half: Comment-Time!

(click bracket to enlarge)

Results:

  1. Erin leads Dusto Magnifico by 0:12
  2. Dr Geek leads Neeebs by 0:10

Chad Dealingsley is Official; Quotes Fly

From "Dodgers, Billingsley agree on extension" by Ken Gurnick at Dodgers.com:

The Dodgers and right-hander Chad Billingsley have reached a preliminary agreement on a three-year contract extension, with an option on a fourth year, worth approximately $35 million, according to a baseball source.

The deal would lock up Billingsley for two years after he would be eligible for free agency. He is earning $6.275 million this year.

"This is the organization I came up with and the one I'd like to be with," said Billingsley, who had no other comment before the Dodgers faced the Angels on Monday night.

Ned Colletti offered up a similarly non-sizzling quote in a Dodgers press release:

"Through his professional career Chad has shown that he is very capable of winning games and taking the ball," said Colletti. "His won-loss record speaks to that as well as his innings pitched totals."

"Chad places his recyclables in the correct blue bins and has not injured any infants, as far as I know," Colletti continued. "He is a true human being."

Asked for comment, Billingsley said, "My feelings on the Dodger organization."

UPDATE: From @dylanohernandez:

Billingsley's deal includes a limited no-trade clause. Can block trades to 10 teams.

Vin Already Sharp for 2011

Sure, he trips on a name now and again, but the Poet Laureate of Chavez Ravine still has his wits about him. From "It's time to pull up a chair and tune in to Vin Scully again" by T.J. Simers at the LA Times:

There's a touch of gray in the red hair, so I ask if he has colored his hair.

"Yeah, I had it colored gray; I was tired of looking so young," he says.

Foul Balls

I'm not sure why over $6 million of our tax dollars are being used to dismantle the cranially-endowed Bonds. But it might all be worth it just to read Bonds' ex-mistress's testimony.

Bonds' federal trial resumed Monday with nearly daylong testimony from his former mistress, who said the slugger attributed a 1999 elbow injury to steroids use. She also discussed how Bonds became verbally abusive and said that his physique changed, offering a lurid description of his shrinking testicles, back acne, scalp hair that fell out and chest hair that turned gray. Such mental and physical symptoms are associated with steroid use.

It's Time for Merciless Parody

Just heard from Militant Angeleno, a fellow L.A.-based anonymous blogger. Well met, brother! MA sums up his conflicted feelings about the forthcoming Dodgers season with the harsh-but-true Photoshop above, and this post, which concludes:

But baseball season is just about here, Los Angeles. Here we freaking go again.

Amen.

Doyer Dogs Debut at Dodger Stadium

Not an official Doyer Dog...merely a foreshadowing.

Two years ago, I had the divine pleasure of sampling a chili Dodger Dog at Dave's Diner, the commissary of the Vin Scully Press Box at Dodger Stadium. Well, someone in the Dodgers organization just put two and two together. From "Doyer Dogs Debut at Monday's Dodgers Game" at NBCLosAngeles.com:

Fans can experience the Doyer Dog Monday night when the Dodgers play the Angels in an exhibition game.

The new menu item is a grilled all-beef hot dog served with chili, nacho cheese, chopped tomatoes, onions and jalapenos. The name of the dog, borrowed from the Spanish-language pronounciation of Dodgers, is available at Camacho's stands.

Other food and beverage additions include the Dodgertown Deli. It will replace the Canter's Delicatessen that had been on the Field Level since 2008. Its menu includes a hot pastrami sandwich served on a French roll with pickle chips; a roast beef sandwich made with sliced over-roasted top sirloin on a French roll; and a barbecue roast beef sandwich made with sliced top sirloin on a hamburger bun.

The menu at the Healthy Plate Carts was expanded to include an arugula salad with toasted walnuts, goat cheese, pomegranate seeds and balsamic vinaigrette dressing and a "Farmer's Market" Greek salad.

Yeah, healthy whatever. This new Doyer Dog sounds like it could be a real winner, the source of gastric distress that is sooooo worth it even as it kicks your ass the next day. Did you have one last night? Report in!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Chad Extended Remix?

The rumors have been floating around for a few hours, but MLBTR finally picked it up, so here it is:

The Dodgers have agreed to a three-year extension with Chad Billingsley that will pay the right-hander over $30MM, according to Joe McDonnell of FoxSportsWest.com (Twitter link). Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles reports that the deal would cover the 2012-14 seasons and could include a 2015 option.

Billingsley will earn $6.275MM in 2011, his second of three seasons as an arbitration eligible player. The deal would buy out the 26-year-old's final year of arbitration eligibility and his first two free agent seasons.

Bills joins Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Jonathan Broxton as Dodgers signed to arbitration-avoiding multi-year deals. I have three immediate thoughts here:

  • Where's Clayton Kershaw's multi-year deal?
  • Remember when we were holding our breath for a multi-year deal for Russell Martin?
  • Billingsley is a Dave Stewart client; glad to see Stewart doesn't let clubhouse politics get in the way of getting business done for his clients.

UPDATE: From @dylanohernandez:

Source: Billingsley's three-year deal with the #Dodgers worth $35-36 million, including buyout of option for fourth year.

STGT: March 28 vs. Angels, 7p

You know it's getting close to Opening Day when spring training games move to "real MLB stadia," as SoSG Sax would say. And you know another SoSG meme has died on the vine when the Dodgers get thumped by Cleveland 6-1 in their 2011 Camelback swan song. Sorry, Scary Spice!

Dodger Stadium opens its gates tonight as it hosts two of the Dodgers' final three spring training games: tonight versus the Angels and Wednesday versus the Mariners. The Angels seem to be facing as many on-field issues as the Dodgers, so tonight's game will clarify exactly nothing. Play meaningless ball!

Another Goliath Slain

March Madness ain't got nuttin' on the far more exciting and unpredictable world of competitive Donkey Kong.(If you've never seen the documentary "The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters" go to netflix and stream it RIGHT NOW!)

And the saga continues as the VCU-ish Hank Chien has taken down Jayhawk-like Billy Mitchell.

There has been a lot of action over the past few months. In August, Billy Mitchell beat the Donkey Kong high score with 1,062,800 points — 1,100 points more than the previous record score. Mitchell reportedly quit his Donkey Kong game (still in progress). Asked why, Mitchell said: “Some say I’m being cocky. Some say I’m being lazy. I say, I’m being Billy Mitchell.”

Later that month, Steve Wiebe reclaimed the Donkey Kong World Record with a score of 1,064,500 points. Weibe recorded his championship game on August 30th 2010 for submission to Twin Galaxies. But now neither Billy nor Steve hold the record high score.

Twin Galaxies has officially counted plastic surgeon Hank Chien‘s 1,068,000 point high score, and have named Chien the current record holder. Sadface. The attempt took two hours and forty five minutes. Chien was the record holder when Mitchell reclaimed the title in August.

I never imagined a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than Billy Mitchell, the bad boy of Donkey Kong. The King is Dead. Long Live the King.

Wrapping Camelback

Clayton kickin' it.


Dioner Navarro: have lizard, will travel.


Matt Kemp gives a shout-out to Juan Pierre.


Davey, Newk and the Bison.


Who is that masked man?

photos by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

New Jerseys a Symptom of East Coast Bias

From Tom Verducci at SI.com:

Yo, West Coast, anybody home?

Major League Baseball and the union this week released the list of the 20 most popular jerseys, according to Majestic's 2010 sales. Only two of the top 20 replicas are for players with West Coast teams, and both of them are Giants: Tim Lincecum (ranking number 10) and Buster Posey (19).

Twelve of the top 20 jerseys, including six of the top nine, play in the center of the baseball universe: the I-95 corridor between Philadelphia and Boston. I'll repeat what I've been saying: baseball is a top-heavy game. The Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies are the engine to the business of baseball, and the other 27 clubs are boxcars along for the ride.

The Yankees, Red Sox and Phillies account for half of the top 18 jerseys: Derek Jeter (1), Alex Rodriguez (9) and Mark Teixiera (11) of the Yankees, Dustin Pedroia (8) and Jacoby Ellsbury (16) of the Red Sox and Roy Halladay (3), Chase Utley (4), Cliff Lee (5) and Ryan Howard (18) of the Phillies.

Actually, I can respect the West Coast vibe that wearing a jersey with someone else's name on it (adult sizes, anyway) might not be considered all that. But there are a couple of other issues the top 20 jersey list brings to mind:

• The West Coast has no sluggers. Of the top 30 players ranked by OPS last year, only one plays for a West Coast team this year: Aubrey Huff of the Giants, who was 18th.

• The NL is dead in its three largest markets. The New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs all had losing seasons last year -- the first time the three biggest NL markets had losing teams in the same season since 1992. None of the players from the NL teams in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago show up in the top 20 list -- yet there at number 16 is Ellsbury, a .291 hitter with 20 career home runs who never has been selected to an All-Star game and who played just 18 games last year.

Retiring the SoSG 2010 Record (9-8)

I suppose it's time to retire the 2010 SoSG record from the sidebar. A 5-2 record down the stretch helped get us a winning record by the skin of our teeth, 9-8. Somehow I don't feel like celebrating last season, however.

Here's the 2010 record, in chronological order:


4/13: W, 9-5 (Delino, Sax)
4/14: L, 7-9 (AC)
5/5: L, 3-11 (Sax)
5/18: W, 7-3 (AC)
5/21: W, 4-1 (AC)
6/5: L, 3-9 (Sax)
6/27: L, 6-8 (AC, Sax)
7/5: L, 5-6 (Delino, Sax)
7/11: W, 7-0 (Sax)
7/20: L, 5-7 (AC)
7/22: W, 2-0 (Delino)
7/25: W, 1-0 (Delino)
8/17: W, 6-0 (AC, Sax)
8/19: W, 2-0 (Sax)
9/1: L, 1-5 (Sax)
9/18: L, 2-12 (Sax)
9/19: W, 7-6 (Sax)

Record by Son:

Delino 3-1
Sax 5-5
AC 3-3
Orel, EK, Lasorda: DNF
Pedro: DNS

Sunday, March 27, 2011

NCAA Tourney Open Thread: Elite Eight Day 2

The Jayhawks and their favorably-falling bracket face 11-seed VCU, dispatchers of USC an eternity ago, and vanquishers of Florida State in overtime last round. In the final game of the weekend, 4-seed Kentucky takes on 2-seed North Carolina. What's more, no more looking for truTV or TBS--it's all on CBS. Fire away.

STGT: March 27 vs. Indians, 1p

This marks the last exhibition game before the team returns to real MLB stadia (the Dodgers play the Angels at Dodger Stadium Monday, then the Angels down at the Big A on Tuesday, then have to travel all the way back to Dodger Stadium to host the Mariners Wednesday, before Thursday's Opening Day against the Giants). And, as per the Baby vs. Scary Spice Girl Showdown results, we're going with a picture of a pissed off Baby Spice to see if we can stretch the Spice Girl-themed streak to 4-0.

You wouldn't want to piss off Emma B. any more, would you, Dodgers? So close Camelback 2010 with a win, will you?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

NCAA Tourney Open Thread: Elite Eight Day 1

2010 Tournament runner-up and 8-seed Butler, who wiped Wisconsin off the map in the last round, takes on a formidable Florida squad that vanquished the Bruins in the round of 32. In the late game, Arizona looks to continue its roll after dominating Duke in the Sweet 16, now facing Kemba Walker and the UConn Huskies. Can UConn coach Jim Calhoun get a couple more games in before his suspension?

STGT: March 26 @ Pads, 1p

"You can't handle the boobth!"

So much for those spring training good-luck charms, boobs and Brit-boobs. The Dodgers dropped a deuce yesterday, with half the squad losing 6-3 to the D'backs and the other half losing 6-0 to the Mariners. And so we move to Plan C: a man, a plan, a cannoli — man-boobs!

Friday, March 25, 2011

SoSG NCAA Tournament Challenge: Sweet 16 Results

Josh Schippe is still in the lead with 580 points, with Jason second with 560 points and Quadsevens in third with 530. With three players (Dusty Baker, Fred's Brim, and Mr. Customer) at 520 points, though, anything can happen going into the Elite Eight weekend.

In other news, Sax's bracket is hanging tough at 560 points, good enough for what would be a tie for second place (had I joined the SoSG group in time):

For the hyper-competitive, President Barack Obama is at 650 points (99.7th percentile). However, Obama predicted all the 1-seeds to make the final four (only Kansas is left standing as of the Elite Eight). So there's a chance to catch up to Obama, too. And I believe those who catch up get a chance to set foreign policy for a day, right? Because I can't wait to address the situation in Vanuatu and how there are no direct flights there from LAX.

STGT: March 25, SS @ Mariners, 7p

No time for feel-good stories here. The Dodgers are tied for 12th place in the Cactus League, and more chilling is the fact that the Dodgers have the third-worst run differential in the league (at -27) and the fewest runs scored in the league (at 123). Can splitting the squad up today lead to double the goodness (this STGT was written the night before, prior to the afternoon game against the D'backs)?

Well, we know how clone sagas end. Poorly.

NCAA Tourney Open Thread: Sweet 16 Day 2

More NCAA Sweet 16 goodness today, as the UNC Tars face the Marquette Goldens, while the Jayhawks try to avoid Spider bites, in the set of early games. Later on, Kentucky and Ohio State have the elite battle, and 10-seed Florida State takes on 11-seed VCU in the Cinderella ball. Comment away, kiddies.

By the way, with half of the Sweet 16 complete, Josh S., Mr. Customer, and Jason are all in the lead of the SoSG NCAA Tournament Challenge--but only Josh S. has a bracket with a viable national champion...pending today's games, of course. The intrigue!