Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Everybody's Picking Sides

Larry King joins group to buy Dodgers (

Henry Aaron in Dodgers bidding? He says no (Steve Dilbeck, LAT)

Meanwhile, the Giants don't expect to hit many home runs to right next year. Either that, or Pablo Sandoval now prefers showers to baths.

Congratulations, Red Sox Bobby Valentine gets Red Sox job

UPDATE 12:23p:: Source: Bobby Valentine not favored? ( has more:

"They're going to have a mess on their hands," the source said when asked what would happen if Valentine, who at that time was just one of several candidates, was hired.

ESPN The Magazine's Buster Olney had heard similar rumblings, citing sources Wednesday saying that "some Red Sox players have been upset" that Valentine had emerged as a candidate and have been "grumbling to each other, through texts and phone calls."

This is going to be a delightful train wreck to (continue to) watch.

I Hope He Wears Number 47

No more Jamey Carroll or Aaron Miles? No problem. Let's get ready to welcome our new MSB.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Grumpy Old Canadians

Apparently 40 years did nothing to heal the wounds of a CFL cheap shot. Payback's a real be-yatch. (Even at a special Grey Cup banquet)

Who says Canadian Football Players don't know how to party.

Happy Birthday, Vincent Edward Scully

Happy 84th to the man whose high school yearbook notes achievement in elocution, dramatics and spring dance planning (Tom Hoffarth, Daily News)

Brox To Rox?

Dodger fallen star Jonathan Broxton is in the mix with a lot of teams, but the leading suitor for Broxton's meltdowny goodness appears to the be the division rival* Colorado Rockies. From two separate MLB Trade Rumors posts:

2:05pm: Broxton is down to a small handful of teams and will choose before the Winter Meetings next week, says ESPN's Jerry Crasnick in a series of tweets. Crasnick says Broxton seeks a one-year deal to re-establish value, and about a dozen teams requested his medical records. The Rangers were in on him before signing Joe Nathan, and the Rockies discussed him as an option if they trade Huston Street. Crasnick thinks the Rays, Marlins, Red Sox, Twins, and Reds could be in the mix.

MONDAY, 12:13pm: A friend of Broxton tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post that all things being equal, the reliever wants to be close to his Georgia home. Sherman finds the Braves unlikely, but thinks the Marlins or Rays make sense. Abbott told Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times this morning that a tentative deal should be reached in the next few days, but his client won't be returning to the Dodgers.


The Rockies have called to inquire on free agents LaTroy Hawkins and Jonathan Broxton, Renck writes. Broxton will likely decide on his next team soon and Hawkins is drawing interest from multiple teams, according to Renck.

I really wanted Jonathan Broxton to replicate his breakout early performances, but it became more and more clear that this wasn't going to happen for him, at least not as a Dodger. The psychological scarring along the way was just too much to disregard, definitely from a fan's perspective and probably from Broxton's perspective as well. We'll keep you posted.

UPDATE 8:38a: Broxton signs a one-year deal with the Royals; $4M guaranteed plus incentives. At least he is closer to barbecue now.

(*) I'm not sure if the Rockies have moved to the AL West or not. Frankly, this realignment stuff has me really confused.

Monday, November 28, 2011

SoSG Mystery, Part I

Hope y'all had a wonderfully relaxing Thanksgiving weekend. Over here at the SoSG Worldwide Offices, we wanted to get something pretty important off our here we go.

Let the speculation and rumor-mongering commence.

Colletti Sticking with Loney in 2012

From @MelAntonen:

#Dodgers GM Ned Colletti says on MLB Network Radio that James Loney will be at 1B for LA next season. Says 20-25 HRs possible.

Not a real stunner — just more of a confirmation there will be no big free-agent signings for us this off-season. Still, 20-25 HRs? Hasn't that been possible for Loney since he was freed?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

SoSG FF Playoffs: Round 1, Week 1

From Marla:

It seems like yesterday the regular season had just begun. But now, the playoffs are in full swing, with eight teams competing for the grand prize: a trip to beautiful Cleveland, Ohio! Hah, not really. But here are the four match-ups that will be competing the next two weeks:

  • #1 Dusty Baker vs. #8 Fernie V
  • #4 Jason vs. #5 Josh S.
  • #3 Steve K vs. #6 NicJ
  • #2 Prof. Dittmore vs. #7 Karina

There is a consolation ladder for those not competing for the title, but there's still more for you lovable losers as well! The remaining ten players can pick who they think will win it all. That's right, you get a prize just by hitching your wagon to someone superior; it's like how Ryan Theriot won a World Series ring! Pick your favorite by e-mailing me before the clock on Monday Night Football's Saints/Giants game hits three zeros, and you will be entered to win a fabulous prize*! If multiple losers are attached to the final two, the winner will be chosen in a process to be determined.

So have at thee, playoff contenders!

*Disclaimer: Prize may not be fabulous

Friday, November 25, 2011

Banner Ad

From last Friday's LA Times:

I was hoping to post matching Cy Young and MVP ads, but alas, that can't happen.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Day of the Turkey

"Super Turkey: Lifesaver" by Bill Carman/Boise Weekly

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Kemp: "Y'all Created A Moon Stare"

Kemp: "Y'all Created A Monasterios"

photo: Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images

Kemp: "Y'all Created A Muenster"

hat tip to Mr. C

Kemp: "Y'all Created a Munster"

More Hard-Hitting Reporting From ESPN

Via Yahoo Sports:

We Gotta Start Running Polls Like This

Wired had an awesome post on some curious polls of late:

(There's more of these, by the way.)

Make sure you vote!

Kemp: "Y'all Created A Monster"

How sweet is this: while showing chivalry and poise in congratulating NL MVP winner Ryan Braun, Matt Kemp also turned around and used his runner-up status as motivation for 2012:

Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp came tantalizingly close in 2011 to winning a Triple Crown and joining baseball's rare 40-40 club before falling short on both. Tuesday, Kemp fell short in his pursuit of the National League Most Valuable Player award, finishing second to Milwaukee Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun.

So, less than two hours after learning he wasn't the MVP and a year after predicting he would go 40-40 in 2011 -- he finished just short of that goal by hitting 39 homers and stealing 40 bases -- Kemp, armed with a new, eight-year, $160 million contract extension he signed last week, made an even bolder prediction for 2012.

"I'm going to go 50-50 next year," he said. "I'm telling you, y'all created a monster. I'm about to get back in the weight room super tough so I can be as strong as I was last year. … Forty-forty is tough, so 50-50 will be even tougher, but anything can happen. I have to set my limits high so I can try to get to them as much as I can. I'm going to try for 50-50, which has never been done.

"I'm serious. If I don't [get there], it means I let y'all down and lied to you, and I don't like being a liar. I know y'all are over there thinking I'm crazy, but hey, I'm trying to take it to another level."

Kemp spoke on a conference call with a handful of Los Angeles-area media members in the wake of the announcement that Braun had won the award. Kemp would have been the Dodgers' first MVP since Kirk Gibson in 1988.

Take it to another level, Matty! We're right there with you!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Braun Wins NL MVP; Kemp Finishes Second


NEW YORK -- Milwaukee's Ryan Braun has won the NL Most Valuable Player Award after helping lead the Brewers to their first division title in nearly 30 years.

Braun earned the MVP on Tuesday, receiving 20 of 32 first-place votes and 388 points in voting announced by the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Los Angeles center fielder Matt Kemp, who came close to winning the Triple Crown, received 10 first-place votes and finished with 332 points. Braun's teammate Prince Fielder finished third with 229 points, and Arizona's Justin Upton finished fourth with 214 points.

Brutal. More later.

Ten Dodgers Bobbleheads To Be Given Away Next Year

So let me count here: Frank McCourt, Jamie McCourt, Drew McCourt, Steven Soboroff, Howard Sunkin,... hmm, I've still got five more "greats" to select.

Oh wait, scratch that. We're starting the Dodger Stadium Greats Bobblehead Series starts with Sandy Koufax:

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers have upped their Bobblehead giveaways for 2012 to 10 as part of the Dodger Stadium Greats Bobblehead Series, highlighted by the inclusion of Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax on Aug. 7 against Atlanta.

Marking the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium, the club will implement the Greats Series. The names and dates of the other Dodgers legends to be honored with Bobblehead giveaways will be unveiled leading up to the home opener, which will be April 10 against Pittsburgh.

The Dodgers will play at home for five holidays in 2012, with a promotion scheduled for each -- a tote bag on Mother's Day (May 13), $1 Dodger Dogs on Memorial Day (May 28) and Labor Day (Sept. 3), a sports bag and postgame catch on Father's Day (June 17) and fireworks on Independence Day (July 4).

Friday Night Fireworks also returns in 2012. A Matt Kemp replica jersey will be given away on Sept. 4, and Viva Los Dodgers will be a season-long celebration each Sunday, culminating in La Gran Fiesta on Sept. 29.

I also count:

  • 13 Friday Night Fireworks nights (they will also have fireworks on July 4th),
  • two $1 Dodger Dogs days (Memorial and Labor Day),
  • two fleece item giveaways (no detail besides "item"; knowing my luck, it will be a fingernail warmer),
  • eight "specialty" items (including a Mother's Day Tote Bag, Father's Day Sports Bag, and Hello Kitty Giveaway),
  • three kids items (including a Kids Jackie Robinson Sweatband, which I hope has sweat from the Dodgers legend absorbed into it),
  • and a whole crapload of Viva Los Dodgers Days that occur in the parking lot prior to the game.

Give it away, now!

Monday, November 21, 2011

ESPN Pundits Predict Kemp To Win NL MVP By A Hair

Wow, this is close:

At least Orel Hershiser voted for Kemp. Atta boy, Bulldog!

Hello Old Friend

"I'm having a ball. Get it? Ha ha!"

Thanks to Mr. F for the Smonk update:

It's a pic of Smonk pleased about the Matt Kemp signing. I caught this ball on Star Wars night! Matt Kemp threw it between innings into the stands and I guessed where it would land and beat out some slower, poorer guessing fans (possibly intoxicated). Anyway, I was happy, Smonk was happy, we're all happy!

Who knew Smonk would be such a harbinger of happiness?

Survey Says: Five Things That Blow About Online Surveys

Hey, it's an email in your inbox from a business or media conglomerate asking your opinion! Finally, a chance for the consumer's voice to be heard! But why do I always end up regretting doing online surveys? Some suggestions for the surveyors:

1. Define your terms. You folks at DirecTV work know Hulu from Vudu from Roku from Boxee from Veoh. I don't. You know the differences between content delivery media technology and ad-supported on-demand streaming video. I don't. Give me arrow-hover or drill-down descriptions of the companies and services you want me to rate. And a "never heard of" option.

2. Tell me what's coming. "Now we're going to ask you to rate an aspect of our company you thought you already rated in a previous question because it was too vague and you didn't know we'd be going in this direction." How about some sort of survey road map in addition to that percentage-completed bar?

3. Don't change the terms. "On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being worst and 10 being best." "On a scale of 5 to 1, 1 meaning most likely and 5 meaning least likely." "On a scale of quark to flurb, quark meaning slightly less spectaculous and flurb connoting a higher degree of blobbyness." All in the same survey!

4. I've got maybe five minutes. "This survey will only take you twenty minutes to complete." Sorry, that's like a year of online time. Of course, I can be persuaded into lingering — kudos to Amazon for the $10 bribe.

5. No cheap tricks. Not online survey-related, but still relevant: hey Toshiba, don't make your CSR ask me to rate the quality of her service to her face. First, I need time to mentally process the call. And I contacted you to get my laptop fixed, not to tell some young woman eight thousand miles away she needs to work on her idiomatic English. Counting on the niceness of your customers to jack up ratings is dirty pool.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Congratulations, LA Galaxy

Galaxy 1, Dynamo 0


From @pgammo:

If A's cannot move to San Jose, when the Dodgers have a real owner, don't be surprised if Billy Beane ends up in L.A.

Ford 400 GameThread

It's the Chase for the Sprint Cup Finale. Carl Edwards leads Tony Stewart by a field goal.

THIS is what we've all been waiting for.

SoSG FF: Week 11 Smack Thread

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Oh, What A BCS Upset Night

With one more top-ten team still in play, the top-ten loss scoreboard looks like this:

Iowa State 37, #2 Oklahoma State 31 (2 OT) (Friday)

USC 38, #4 Oregon 35

Baylor 45, #5 Oklahoma 38

N Carolina State 37, #7 Clemson 13

Pretty magnificent day for those of you rooting for chaos. Like, for example, this guy:

USC/Oregon photo: AP/Don Ryan

One Big Happy Family

Frank McCourt, Matt Kemp, Ned Colletti, Dave Stewart. Not pictured: Larry Bowa, Bob Schaefer.

photo by Jon SooHoo/Dodgers

Friday, November 18, 2011

Kemp Signing Official

"Ken Rosenthal is my homeboy!"

Dodgers finalize Kemp's eight-year deal (

AP photo

Scenes from a Coronation

"These baseball cards are huge."

"We winners gotta stick together."

Cy Youngsters: Fernando, Newk and Kershaw.

From "Clayton Kershaw's Cy Young is a connection to Dodgers tradition" by Bill Plaschke at the LA Times:

Clayton Kershaw was preparing to walk across the diamond and into Dodgers history Thursday afternoon when he spotted a man standing alone, staring at him like a father would stare at a son.

It was Dodgers scouting boss Logan White, tossing his phone from hand to hand, rocking on his heels, trying to act composed, failing miserably.

"What are you doing over there?" Kershaw shouted. "You need to hug me!"

On the infield dirt they embraced, the new Cy Young Award winner and the man who was responsible for scouting, drafting and signing him.

"Thank you, thank you," whispered Kershaw.

"A great day, a great day," whispered White.

If you understand baseball scouts, you will understand why White views Kershaw as his child.

You will also understand why, after they hugged for a long minute, White's sunglasses could not hide a long trickle of tears.

"It's like watching somebody grow up," said White. "What a wonderful day."

1&2: AP; 3: @Dodgers

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Take a Bow, Clayton

Kershaw is the winner of NL Cy Young Award (

photo by Jon SooHoo/Juan Ocampo/Dodgers

Thursday Notes

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Trainer News

Thanks to Dusty for the link to this interview with Dodgers head athletic trainer Sue Falsone at the Huffington Post. An excerpt:

What is the most surprising part of your job? I think people would be surprised to know the amount of education it takes to become a physical therapist and an athletic trainer. The requirements have changed over the years, but it is now about seven years of schooling (including PT school) and thousands of hours of continuing education throughout an individual's career.

Athletic training and physical therapy are both unbelievable independent, individual careers and synergistic careers at the same time. To be great at both takes a lifetime of dedication and passion. I am constantly studying and reading, trying to become a better clinician so I can better help the athletes I work with. There is no "top" to this profession. It is a constant attempt to better yourself as a person and professional.

Dear Sue: please keep Matt Kemp healthy for, oh, the next eight years or so. Thanks!

Treanor News

Following in the tradition of Nomar Garciaparra & Mia Hamm, the Dodgers announced the signing of Mr. Misty May (a.k.a. Matt Treanor) yesterday. Per Ken Gurnick:

The Dodgers continued their aggressive roster makeover Tuesday, confirming the signing of backup catcher Matt Treanor only hours after the signing of second baseman Mark Ellis -- with confirmation of Matt Kemp's megabucks extension expected to be confirmed "before Thanksgiving," according to general manager Ned Colletti. [...]

Treanor will receive a guaranteed one-year contract for $850,000 plus an option for 2013 or buyout of $150,000. The Dodgers were looking for a replacement for Rod Barajas, who left last week for a $4 million deal with Pittsburgh and had inquired about free agent Ryan Doumit, but never made an offer after hearing his asking price.

Treanor is a defensive-oriented catcher who Colletti said would serve as a veteran backstop, as well as a mentor, to second-year catcher A.J. Ellis and rookie Tim Federowicz. Treanor will be 36 in March.

"We want to continue to go strong up the middle defensively," said Colletti. "When you look at the two offensive catchers [presumably Barajas and Doumit], one is overpaid and the other you're not sure where you come out on him. Treanor is a catch-and-throw type who can help our two young catchers.

"I met with him a week ago in Manhattan Beach, and he reminded me a lot of Brad [Ausmus]. He has a good feel for leading a pitching staff and the priorities of defense in catching. I see him catching 50 games, with A.J. starting the season for us and Federowicz at Triple-A, although you never know what happens in the spring. That's how we see it right now."

Treanor hit .214 with three homers and 22 RBIs this year in 72 games between the Royals and Rangers. He threw out 25 percent of attempted basestealers. He earned $850,000 last year.

So "strong up the middle defensively" means a second baseman, shortstop and catcher with no power? I sure hope Juan Uribe hits the Slim Fast and Andre Ethier's knee heals, because Matt Kemp can't carry the offense by himself.

No Fielder, No Pujols, No Surprise

From "Dodgers not likely to add big bat in off-season" by Dylan Hernandez at the LA Times:

The notion that the Dodgers had entered a new big-money era was dispelled Tuesday when General Manager Ned Colletti acknowledged the team was unlikely to make a run at top-line free agents such as Prince Fielder or Albert Pujols.

Asked of the possibility of adding a big bat, Colletti said, "As of today, it looks less realistic."

The concession was made only a day after the Dodgers finalized an eight-year, $160-million contract with Matt Kemp and departing owner Frank McCourt said Colletti was free to pursue the likes of Fielder and Pujols.

The Dodgers went into the winter with Fielder atop their wish list, but Colletti said he wasn't scheduled to meet the power-hitting first baseman's agent at the general managers meetings in Milwaukee this week.

The Dodgers are expecting to reduce payroll next season because of their bankruptcy and impending sale, according to a person familiar with the team's off-season plans. The Dodgers' payroll was at around $110 million last season, including deferred payments to players who were no longer on the team.

Not that this news comes as anything of a shock, but I wonder if the front office timed it to emerge after leaking news of Kemp's contract. Because it worked — I'm so relieved that Kemp is (unofficially) locked up that not pursuing an overpriced first baseman right now is no disappointment.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Finally, One for the Fans

The last homegrown Dodger player to enter the Hall of Fame was Don Sutton — he was inducted thirteen years ago. The next homegrown Dodger players to enter the Hall of Fame will be Mike Piazza and Pedro Martinez (and possibly Adrian Beltre, if he keeps mashing). None will be wearing a Dodgers hat.

(The consolation prizes for losing those players? Gary Sheffield & Kevin Brown, Delino DeShields and...Wilson Betemit? Semi-stars Eric Karros, Raul Mondesi and Shawn Green helped tide us over into the new millennium.)

All of a sudden, the current Dodger roster boasts two players with Hall of Fame potential: Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw. And it looks like we're going to get to enjoy Kemp in his prime.

What an odd feeling for Dodger fans: to watch the farm system develop an elite five-tool* prospect, to watch him blossom into a superstar, and to watch the team lock him up. In fact, it's not just odd; it's unprecedented.

If this is Frank McCourt trying to make things right, I say thanks...and it's a good start. Kershaw awaits.

*(1) hits for average, (2) hits for power, (3) great defense, (4) dazzling smile, (5) dates starlets

AP photo

Ellis In; Kuroda Needs Convincing

The Dodgers may have been given the Heisman by Ryan Doumit (is Mr. Misty Mays next?), but Ned Colletti has signed second baseman Mark Ellis to a two-year, $8.75 million contract that includes a team option for 2014. "Ellis, 34, hit .248/.288/.346 in 519 plate appearances for the Athletics and Rockies this year," MLBTR tells us.

Meanwhile, Ken Gurnick at brings us this interesting Hiroki Kuroda tidbit:

Kuroda told the club that he will re-sign only if he feels the team has a chance to win the World Series. Otherwise he will consider other Major League clubs.

What changed between the trading deadline and now, I wonder?

McCourt Trying to Exit With Class?

Some Frank McCourt quotes from Ramona Shelburne at

"I know the last couple years were very, very difficult and I'm very, very sorry about that. But we're going to move forward and handle the situation in the most professional way possible and make sure that the baton is passed in a classy way."

"It got to a point where it became very, very clear to me that it was the right decision. The decision wasn't my first choice, but I'm comfortable with it and I'm very very focused on making sure that I pass the baton in a way here that's professional and that I hand off this franchise in better shape than I found it."

It all sounds so reasonable now, but a few levelheaded quotes won't dispel the miles of mud McCourt dragged the franchise through over the past few years. Of course, the inevitable Matt Kemp signing is truly the best way for McCourt to say sorry — in addition to meaning what he said above.

photo by Nick Ut/AP

Manning Math



Monday, November 14, 2011

Something's Coming

Kemp, Dodgers On Verge Of Eight-Year Extension (MLBTR)

Twitter scuttlebutt is that Matt Kemp and Frank McCourt are supposed to attend a 1 p.m. youth field dedication today. Announcement forthcoming?

Frank McCourt Will Be a Billionaire, Albeit Briefly

"My preciousssss."

From "Economists: $1B for Dodgers is realistic" by Arash Markazi at

A record price tag of $1 billion can be expected for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Dodger Stadium and the surrounding real estate, according to several sports economists following the team's upcoming sale.

"If you're talking about the asset value of the Dodgers franchise, the stadium, the parking lots and the surrounding acreage, I think a number in neighborhood of $1 billion is reasonable," Andrew Zimbalist, a professor of economics at Smith College, said last week. "I believe the reasonable or final offer will be $900 million to $1 billion."

One of the biggest reasons for the Dodgers' value is all the undeveloped real estate surrounding Dodger Stadium, which sits on 275 acres of land that is largely used for parking.

Three years ago, Dodgers owner Frank McCourt outlined a $500 million project around the stadium that would include parking structures, a Dodgers museum and a plaza behind center field with year-round shops and restaurants. Such a sweeping project could add more revenue streams for the future owners and potentially raise the price of the team.

"As a comparison, the Chicago Cubs went for $845 million two years ago, and I think most people looking at the revenue streams between the Dodgers and Cubs would have them being pretty comparable," said Victor Matheson, a sports economist and an associate professor of economics at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, Mass.

"It's probably more in favor of the Dodgers because they have such a huge area that could also be redeveloped. The Cubs' deal includes Wrigley Field, but that's tied into the city grid there so there's only so much you can do. The Dodgers really do have space there for other projects."

Think Jamie regrets settling for a measly $131 million?

photo by Brian Vander Brug/LA Times

Sunday, November 13, 2011

SoSG FF: Week 10 Smack Thread

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen, Your Miami Marlins

Hanley Ramirez.

Anibal Sanchez.

Logan Morrison.

Omar Infante.

Dodgers Lose Two Starters in Two Days

First Rod Barajas (85 starts at catcher in 2011) bolts for the Pirates. Now the Twins have signed Jamey Carroll (111 starts between second and short) to a two-year deal. "It's not general manager Ned Colletti's style to go into Spring Training without a veteran option at virtually every position," writes Ken Gurnick at, so bring on the old guys!

You Gotta Look Sharp When Collecting Gold

Gold Glove ceremony pictures from @TheRealMattKemp:

Matt, Andre, Clayton.

Kemp and Dave Winfield.

Brandon Phillips and Kemp.

Kemp and actor Dennis Haysbert.

Friday, November 11, 2011

O'Malley Returns to Dodgertown

From a press release:

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Minor League Baseball™ announced today the formation of a new entity to operate Vero Beach Sports Village (VBSV), formerly known as Dodgertown. In addition to MiLB, the participants include former Dodger President Peter O'Malley, his sister, Terry Seidler, and former Dodger star pitchers Chan Ho Park and Hideo Nomo.

MiLB will submit the proposed transfer of its VBSV lease to officials of Indian River County, which owns the facility, for approval.

Each of the five participants would have an equal ownership share in the new entity. O'Malley would be the Chairman and CEO, MiLB President Pat O'Conner President and COO and Craig Callan will continue in his current role in the operation of VBSV. Callan has worked for 33 years at the historic facility.

The VBSV grounds are where the Dodgers held their spring training camp dating back to 1948, before relocating to Arizona in 2009. [...]

"I embrace this wonderful opportunity to use this iconic facility that my family has cherished for decades to promote baseball," said O'Malley. "Vero Beach Sports Village should always be an asset and a jewel to the citizens of Vero Beach and Indian River Countyand I look forward to adding further luster to its rich history.

"We know the Dodgers have a long-term spring training commitment with the community of Glendale, Arizona, and our endeavor in Vero Beach in no way impacts that relationship.

"I am very happy longtime friends Chan Ho Park and Hideo Nomo have joined me in this opportunity – it's exciting. Dodgertown will always be a treasure for the good people in Vero Beach and throughout baseball and anything I can do to help Dodgertown flourish is high on my list of things to do." [...]

Minor League Baseball began operating VBSV in 2009. Since then, the 67-acre sports complex and conference center facility has hosted several international teams, including the Chinese National and Italian National Baseball teams on two occasions. The Chinese National Boxing Team has also trained at VBSV.

The SK Wyverns, a South Korean Professional Baseball Team, are the latest international team to train at VBSV. They arrived on November 1 and will hold their winter camp at the facility through the end of the month. [...]

Over the last two years, VBSV has also hosted events such as the Minor League Baseball Youth Leadership Academy, a six-day event that combines the history, principles and structure of the game of baseball to provide an opportunity for at-risk youth to develop and master leadership and life skills; spring training for high school and college baseball teams; the University of South Florida’s football training camp; the Washington Freedom professional women’s soccer team’s training camp; and various other baseball, football, soccer and lacrosse camps.

Beginning in January 2012, VBSV will also be home to The Umpire School, a 28-day state of Florida accredited school operated by Minor League Baseball that trains umpires in the latest techniques, theories and interpretations.

If O'Malley doesn't end up taking over the Dodgers, at least he'll still be busy with Dodger-related activities. But it does beg the question: what happens to Camelback Ranch after the Dodgers are sold?

Thank You to Our Veterans

MLB honors the troops on Veterans Day (

Dodgers' Future Shouldn't Echo The Distant Past

Those halcyon days of Fred Claire and Peter O'Malley should be left in the past, as baseball (and what it takes to succeed in baseball) has moved on, says Ramona Shelburne of

At long last Frank McCourt has opened up the path for the Los Angeles Dodgers to move out of the purgatory his destructive divorce and financial mismanagement subjected the team to these past two years. Away from the scandal, embarrassment and uncertainty he created by pursuing his best interests instead of the teams'.

But moving on is different than moving forward. Changing hands is different than changing directions.

While it's worthwhile to consider Peter O'Malley's offer to lead the Dodgers, L.A. needs to look forward, not necessarily turn back the clock. It might sound like a subtle point, but if baseball misses the distinction, the Dodgers miss out on their best chance to become relevant again in both this city and this sport.

It's easy to forget all these years later, and after all that has happened, how things really were in sunnier days. Before the McCourts, before Fox, before Peter O'Malley and his family decided to put the Dodgers up for sale.

Time seems to squeeze out the unremarkable, unsavory parts of our memories and embellish the people and places we were fondest of. Emotion resonates through the years, details blur.

But the Dodgers were not a healthy team when O'Malley sold them on Jan. 6, 1997. Their way of life was becoming extinct.

"I think family ownership of sports today is probably a dying breed," O'Malley said at a news conference that day. "I think if you look at all sports, it's a high-risk business. ... I think you need a broader base than an individual family to carry you through the storms. I think that groups and corporations are probably the wave of the future."

Glory days, man. They'll pass you by.

Softball Tourney: Pay to Play

So M. Brown of needs to put a deposit down on the field, and it's due by the end of the month. Time to pay our entry fees!

The team so far:

  • 1. Josh S.
  • 2. Dusty Baker
  • 3. Dusty Baker's Toothpick
  • 4. Mr. Customer
  • 5. Johnny Blanchard
  • 6. el montanero
  • 7. John G
  • 8. Neeebs
  • 9. Central Valley Fan
  • 10. rbnlaw

Notes and stuff:

  • Don't let the entry fee discourage you from joining us. Email us if we can help you out.
  • "I note a lack of Sons on the roster. por que?" asks rbnlaw. No worries — we just don't know if we're free on 2/11/12 yet. But hopefully a few Sons will be present to help drag the team down.
  • Hey ladies! We need at least two of you to make our team whole.
  • Um, so who has a softball bat?

Earlier at SoSG:

Still Holding Out For Pujols

Yes, I'm still dreaming. As Jayson Stark of ESPN says, however, the Dodgers landing Albert Pujols might be within some realm of possibility:

There's also the Franchise Changer sales pitch. If you're just looking at signing Albert Pujols the baseball player, you might not give this man eight or 10 years at age 32, no matter how great a player he is. But say you're a team like the Marlins, trying to put your franchise on the map as you move into a new ballpark. Or say you're the Dodgers, desperate to restore the luster of the franchise. Then signing The Best Player in Baseball becomes more than just a baseball transaction. "If I was running the Dodgers, I'd sign Albert Pujols in a heartbeat," one veteran agent said. "He could enhance the value of the franchise by $200-250 million. I know that sounds high, but you have to look at the ability to market [the player], the ability to raise prices. The TV contract alone would go up at least 20 percent. This isn't just another player we're talking about. This is Albert Pujols."

Thursday, November 10, 2011

It's FedEx Time

Or at least Ellis Island time, as Rod Barajas has signed with the Pirates (one year, $4M)

PITTSBURGH -- The Pittsburgh Pirates and veteran catcher Rod Barajas have agreed to a one-year deal with a club option for 2013.

Barajas will make $4 million in 2012 and the club holds a $3.5 million option for the 2013 season. If Barajas is traded, it becomes a mutual option. The 36-year-old hit .230 with 16 home runs and 47 RBIs last season while playing for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

You will be missed, Rod. Good luck in Pittsburgh!

A Note of Optimism

From "Matt Kemp's agent optimistic for deal" by Tony Jackson at

The agent for Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder and National League Most Valuable Player candidate Matt Kemp said Wednesday that talks on a long-term contract extension for his client are moving in a positive direction and that he is optimistic an agreement will be reached.

Dave Stewart, Kemp's San Diego-based agent and himself a former Dodgers pitcher, said his discussions with Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti have been positive and productive.

"I don't think that it's going to be difficult, I really don't," Stewart said. "I think we should be able to come to something. I have talked with Ned on a few occasions. We have covered some ground, and hopefully, we will be able to put this thing to bed soon."

Colletti also characterized the negotiations as moving forward.

"We have had some constructive conversations," Colletti said. "Those conversations have been a little more substantive of late."

Of course, the very next line of the article basically says don't hold your breath for a deal just yet. Still, it's a nugget to grasp on to while we bob around in pre-auction limbo.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Notes of Caution

From "Dodgers' would-be saviors need to talk" by Ramona Shelburne at

Bidding against each other serves only Frank McCourt and his creditors. Worse, it could leave whichever group wins the auction with a sales bill that would hinder their efforts to quickly rejuvenate the franchise with upgrades to Dodger Stadium or investments in payroll.

"If this thing gets out of hand, the costs eventually get passed back to the fans," one source connected with a potential ownership group said. "That's the last thing that should happen."

It is for this reason Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has kept a cautious distance so far. He's interested in the team, but only if the price makes sense.

And from "McCourt could ignore Kemp before selling Dodgers" by Tim Brown at Yahoo! Sports:

Let’s consider this: Every dollar McCourt spends between now and the time he hands the keys to the next guy could come out of his pocket, taken right off the top of the sale price. This is why teams up for sale are so routinely stripped down first. New owners generally don’t like big debt, or a future of big debt. If someone’s going to hamstring the club for years, they’d rather it be them. Something like that.

So, while Dodgers fans delight over McCourt’s departure and their hand in it, they also might consider McCourt’s absence of motivation to grant them a competitive team in the short term.

Thank you, Mr. & Mrs. Buzzkill. Yeah, I suppose it's time to get over the initial thrill of McCourt's cold, dead hands loosening their grip on the Dodgers and face the reality of everything that could go wrong when a $1.2-billion franchise changes hands. But can't I bury my head in the sand for another couple of weeks?

Monday, November 07, 2011

Thank You and Farewell from EK

The time has come, I’m sad to say,
For me to pack my things away;
My heart and soul from four great years,
Into a chest they disappear.

First I box up two icons,
For whom we all were merely pawns,
In proper sequence off they go:
Deltalina after Flo.

The next four items to be packed,
Are fit into a corner stack;
Tic-Tac-Toe, C4, Yahtzee,
And my perfecto (0-for-3).

Everything from PCS
Is next to go into the chest,
Sailors, chess, the Cub’s used tent,
Venn diagrams and “answer sent.”

And any space left in the bin,
I fill with random odds and ends,
Abes and Babes, Jimbo and Vma
And Broheims mackin' on Neeebs' mom.

To Pedro, Lasorda, AC, D-line:
We bros sure had an awesome time,
Which never would have come to pass
Without the tireless Orel and Sax.

And for you all in cyberspace,
A great big bro-hug from EK;
My deepest thanks I do express,
For loving the ridiculous.

So as I leave I sadly toast,
All at the bar (each one a ghost?),
We may be trained to kill Kill KILL,
But miss you all I will will will.

Yes folks, I'm very sad to say I will be going on hiatus (though I will surely still hang out as a reader/commenter). Thank you everyone, Readers and Brothers alike, for a fantastic ride. I will indeed miss everyone and everything very much. But fear not, I assure you, you are left in very good hands (stay tuned)...

JoePo Has a Crazy Idea

From "Play. Win. Game." by Joe Posnanski at
And that’s why I am now going to introduce my fully-operational intentional walk idea. This is playing off Bill James’ ideas and some thoughts I’ve had on the subject before. Now I have a rule I feel good about it. The rule would be simply this:

• If you are walked on four pitches, you have the right to DECLINE the walk.

That’s the whole rule. I think this is not just fair, it also fits into the larger fabric and history of the game. Walks were created to impress upon the pitcher the importance of pitching the ball in the strike zone — in other words, the importance of giving the hitter a fair opportunity to hit the ball.

Hey, that's kinda nuts. But of course it's more a point of discussion than an actual possibility, so what do you think? Can't say I love the idea, although I wouldn't mind seeing it tried out in, say, spring training.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

SoSG FF: Week 9 Smacks Thread