Monday, December 31, 2012

In Which We Pound Sterling

...for hiring monkeys to create his newspaper advertisements. From the print edition of today's LA Times (the ad measures 10"x7"):

That's some vintage Donald Sterling copy right there. Confusingly unhyphenated terms? Check. Redundant $/dollar use? Check. Baffling conflation of condominium and apartment? Check.

And the kicker: Too cheap to purchase rights to a stock photo? Check.

Happy New Year!

New Dodgers Owner Brings his 'Magic' to Chavez Ravine

Here's an article about ticket trends from our ticket partners at TiqIQ:
From 2010 to 2011, the Dodgers fell from third to 11th in the league in ticket sales, despite winning more games in the latter season. Revenue fell by an estimated $27 million dollars. With even fewer people showing up to the stadium than those buying tickets. In just one year, average attendance at Dodger Stadium had dropped from 43,979 to 36,236; the largest decline in baseball and lowest such figure for the team since 2000.

This past season, Dodgers tickets on the secondary market jumped in average-- from $45 to $49. Although there was no real improvement in the win column-- attendance bounced back up to fifth across baseball. This still pales in comparison to basketball in Los Angeles. At the start of the season, Lakers tickets averaged $362, while Clippers tickets averaged $123.

While some of the improvement in attendance can be chalked up to Dodgers playoff hopes lasting longer into the season as a result of the addition of a second wildcard spot, the real draw may have been something completely unrelated to baseball itself. Just as the 2012 season began, Guggenheim Baseball Partners closed on the purchase of the Dodgers for an unprecedented $2.15 billion dollars—the most expensive franchise sale in the history of pro sports. Among the partners is none other than Los Angeles legend, Magic Johnson.

A good barometer by which to judge Magic’s impact on the Dodgers would be to look at the A.L. team with which the Dodgers share their city. Despite the buzz around Pujols and young star Mike Trout, Angels attendance fell for the third consecutive season in 2012, and sixth time in the past seven years.

According to TiqIQ, the average Angels tickets on opening day last year cost $59 dollars. Currently, the average Angels ticket for opening day this year will cost $55 dollars. Conversely, the average Dodgers opening day ticket price has increased tremendously, from $49 to $77 dollars.

It becomes apparent that Magic in the owner’s box means more to L.A. fans than Hamilton in the outfield.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

GAME. OF. THE. YEAR.

Cause most of you have gifts to return, I'll keep it short. Last night, at 1am, I watched the 4th Quarter of the New Mexico Bowl. (Yes, it was played weeks ago, but you didn't know that either. It was the most exciting "I couldn't give a s--t" game I've witnessed in years.

Even though the only thing I know about New Mexico is they love crystal meth...

..And I think Gildan manufactures t-shirts or some crap...

... when it comes to a football shootout like this, the teams and the field don't matter a dang. A snapshot of just the scoring plays from the 4th Quarter gives you a sense of the game's madness:

Onside kick. TWO touchdowns in 46 seconds. Oye, vut a game. I'm sure it will re-air on ESPN6 at 3am. Pop open a Red Bull & Espresso cocktail and give it a watch.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

All Andruw Jones wants for Christmas...

... is a good lawyer.

Sounds like SoSG's favorite punching (meat) bag has been a naughty boy this Christmas. From NY Post:

ATLANTA -- Jail records show that former Yankees center fielder Andruw Jones is free on bond after being arrested in suburban Atlanta on a battery charge.

Gwinnett County Detention Center records say Jones was booked into the county jail around 3:45 a.m. Tuesday and had been released on $2,400 bond by 11 a.m.

No one was available at the Gwinnett County sheriff's office to give details about the circumstances surrounding his Christmas Day arrest. Once one of the premier players in the big leagues, Jones broke into the majors with the Atlanta Braves in 1996 and won 10 consecutive Gold Gloves from 1998-07 as their center fielder. He has 434 career home runs over 17 seasons in the majors. Jones played the past two seasons with the Yankees as a reserve.

Jones signed a $3.5 million, one-year contract with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan's Pacific League earlier this month

It's a shame this didn't happen during his time with the Dodgers - he would have missed whoever he swung at by a mile. Hey-O.

Merry Christmas, SoSG Fans

It's been a pretty quiet holiday here at SoSG HQ. Have a safe Christmas, and here's hoping Santa brought you something better and more fashionable than these horrific uniforms, which look like F-League practice jerseys (I have a feeling they're reversible too in case the players pick new teams in the second half).

photo: Gary A. Vasquez/USA TODAY Sports

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas with SoSG

Looking for that perfect, cheap-ass last second gift? Official SoSG-approved Philadelphia soul artists HALL & OATES are $1.99.

Now you can share our theme music from multiple baseball road trips. Along with this litte ditty...

Making a Smonkery of the Holidays

Thanks to Mr. F for this holiday update on our favorite sock monkey!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Third Base!

Happy Holidays, all you SoSG-maniacs.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Farewell, John Ely


The Elymania era in Los Angeles has come to a close.

Astros Aquire John Ely (mlbtraderumors.com)

We'll always have 2010. And Matthew McConaughey jokes.

And what of Rob Rasmussen, the guy we got for Ely? Well, at 5'10", he stands a good chance of becoming one of the few pitchers to qualify for MSB status.

UPDATE: Rasmussen, a former starter for UCLA, seems pretty stoked to be coming back to L.A. (Though, likely by way of ABQ.)


Image: milb.com

In Appreciation of Dale Murphy

Via Deadspin comes this cool doodle by Tyson Murphy, son of former Brave Dale Murphy, who is on the Hall of Fame ballot for what is likely the last time this year:

Awesome. I remember Dale Murphy being one of the Dodgers' foils growing up, and although I'm not sure if he's a Hall of Famer, I'm sure he's in the hall of fame for one of his most important fans. That's much cooler, in my book.

I'm in the Christmas spirit, peoples!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Dodgers' Money Madness Now Includes Pork Belly Futures

Not Juan Uribe, in case you're wondering

Just when you thought the Dodgers had had enough of complex financial transactions and derivatives, now they're getting into pork belly futures. Which is why the Dodgers are distributing holiday hams this evening rimshot!:

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers Dream Foundation will conduct its eighth annual Holiday Ham Giveaway at Dodger Stadium Parking Lot F on Tuesday from 5-7 p.m. PT.

Hall of Fame manager and special advisor to the Dodgers' chairman Tommy Lasorda and Dodgers alumni Bobby Castillo, "Sweet" Lou Johnson and Paul Lo Duca will represent the club.

The event -- during which 300 hams, fixings and reusable bags will be distributed to local families in need -- will be conducted in partnership with Farmer John, Ralphs/Food 4 Less, Los Angeles City Councilmembers Ed P. Reyes, Eric Garcetti, the Citizen's Committee to Save Elysian Park (CCSEP), Greater Echo Park Elysian Neighborhood Council (GEPENC) and the Echo Park Improvement Association (EPIA).

Minor aside: if it's a ham, isn't it safe to call it a Christmas ham rather than the non-denominational alternative? Not to diss the kwanzaa folk or anything, that is. I'm just asking.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Today's Infographic: Stubbs Is Old

As the least venerable of all the Sons, my claims of decrepitude are spurious at best, but during what can be construed as my "tenure" as a Dodger fan, the team has experienced five distinct cycles of success and failure. With so many variables that affect wins and losses, I don't pretend these represent a true boom-and-bust cycle, but it's similar enough to give us all some perspective.

Dodgers' Winning Percentage by year
The first thing that stands out is that the last few years don't appear to be quite as volatile is they felt while we were living through them. From 1983 to 1993, the Dodgers' had three of the four best regular season records and three of the worst, seemingly caroming from excellent to poor, including our one foray into the truly abysmal (yeah, screw you too, 1992).

The second thing that gets my attention was the realization that as awful as the last few years have been, the product on the field was not really comparable to the truly terrible teams of the last 30 years. On-the-field performance is not the only standard that we should be judging the health of the franchise against, but it's a fairly good indicator. The depth of malaise in the last few years says as much about us as fans than it does about our favorite franchise.

Perhaps I don't look at the game the same way I once did. Perhaps it's just that we're all paying much closer attention these days. Or just maybe it's that the last losing season always feels like it was the worst, and the ownership transition has dampened the normal rebound to which we are accustomed.

Now, get off my goddamn lawn!

Dodgers' Profligate Spending, Justified

As a Dodger fan, the Guggenheim Group's rampant spending over the past six months has been exhilarating. But like BASE jumping, another exhilarating activity, there's a slight emotion of fear as we pick up speed here (hopefully not resulting in a splatter on the ground).

But fear not, say the pundits! Everything is going to be okay, says Bill Shaikin of the LAT (in a front-page column one piece):

Guggenheim Baseball bought the Dodgers this year for $2 billion, more than twice the amount ever spent on a baseball team. The new owners have not stopped spending.

Just last weekend, the team committed more than $200 million to two pitchers, one of whom never has thrown a pitch in a major league game. The projected player payroll next year stands at about $225 million, which means the Dodgers would dethrone the New York Yankees as the biggest spenders in baseball history.

In all, the Dodgers' new owners have invested close to $1 billion in player contracts, stadium renovations and the purchase of controlling interest in the stadium parking lots.

Is this the folly of novice owners, or a shrewd business model?

Sports business analysts run the numbers, and they see red. Marc Ganis, a sports business consultant, said the Dodgers have to keep the payroll in line, attract more fans and corporate sponsors, and get them to pay more.

"They need a lot of things to happen right," Ganis said.

Todd Boehly, one of the owners, said he has no doubt that Guggenheim will profit from the Dodgers. The ownership is poised to negotiate a record-setting local television contract that could bring three times what Guggenheim paid for the team.

When the local television windfall is added to the team's share of the league's national broadcast and Internet sales revenue, the Dodgers might be able to cover much of their payroll — perhaps all of it — without selling a single ticket, hot dog or beer.

Not that the Dodgers will give up selling beer, I hope! But Mark Saxon of ESPN agrees, citing Ned Colletti in saying that the spending isn't "reckless":

The excess, Colletti argued, is a result of artificially low payrolls in the final seasons under Frank McCourt, the previous owner.

"Our payroll a year ago was $90 [million]," Colletti said in an interview on ESPNLA 710. "We're up over $200 [million] now. If you added it all up, it might be up over 300 [million] over two years. Had we been at 150 last year and 150 this year, nobody would be saying a word, right?

"If we were at $180 [million] last year, which is probably more conducive to our market size and how many people we draw, and we were at $210 [million] or $215 million this year, are people going to say, 'My goodness?' No. What has jostled the whole situation is we were coming from so far below the $100 million mark that it's startling to see all the changes, but that's the mindset of our owners."

Colletti said the team should have enough money left over to keep homegrown pitching star Clayton Kershaw, who will be a free agent after the 2014 season. Colletti hopes to sit down with Kershaw's agent, who also represents Greinke, shortly after New Year's Day.

To be fair, Saxon had just posted three days prior the counter-argument, "What if it doesn't work? But let's not be thinking about that scenario right now, right? No reason to pull the ripcord just yet.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Crosstown Rival Grabs Headline Of Its Own: Hamilton To Angels

Josh Hamilton: five years, $125M.

Josh Hamilton is going from the Texas Rangers to the rival Los Angeles Angels.

Rangers general manager Jon Daniels confirmed Thursday that Hamilton agreed to a contract with the Angels. Multiple sources have confirmed to ESPN that the deal is worth $125 million over five years.

The Angels have not officially confirmed the signing. A baseball source said Hamilton will take a physical exam Friday, and that the contract is likely to be announced Saturday.

Hamilton, 31, has yet to complete his physical with the Angels, sources told ESPN. His medical records have been a concern for teams other than the Angels, according to sources.

Speaking Thursday after a Rangers holiday luncheon, Daniels said, "That's accurate," when asked whether Hamilton had joined the Angels, claiming he had been informed of the decision by the slugger's agent, Mike Moye.

Early punditry seems split: it still might not make the Angels a playoff team, though it's an upgrade over Torii Hunter, says David Schoenfield. And those fourth and fifth years look dicey, according to Keith Law (insider only).

Anyway, it at least cements SoCal, which is surprisingly not on the east coast, as the center of the baseball universe. That in itself is cool.

Dodgers Not Only Spending Money, They're Receiving Money

Adrian Gonzalez (and his friends Josh Beckett, Carl Crawford, and Nick Punto) may be the gift that keeps on giving: Boston will send us another $11.7M, to boot:

LOS ANGELES -- The blockbuster trade that sent Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett and Carl Crawford from Boston to the Dodgers last August will wrap up with the Red Sox paying $11.7 million to Los Angeles over the next three years.

The Red Sox will make identical payments of $3.9 million in 2013, 2014 and 2015 as part of the cash component of the trade.

Boston also sent infielder Nick Punto to Los Angeles in the nine-player trade that was the biggest in Dodgers history.

Free* money? We'll take it!

(*) Look, I know it's not free, but it's still awesome.

Holiday Blues

Luis Cruz and Adrian Gonzalez earn their keep in the Dodgers' season-ticket office.

"Quick, Luis! To the Helmet Cruizzzzzer!"

Luis and Adrian join Fernando at the Dodgers' Annual Children's Holiday Party.

In Team Mexico gear.

Paul Lo Duca shows his holiday cheer to Tommy Lasorda.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Mr. Schu Is Coming to the Dodgers

Mike Petriello broke the news: Utility man Skip Schumaker is coming to the Dodgers. Read all about it:

photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Silence of the Stubbs

It's been too long, bloggerers (ers?)!

I think I have nicely internalized all my anger over the events of the 2012 season. All that bottled-up rage will no doubt cause me to stab Dusty in the ear at a nebulous future date, and the night terrors haven't stopped yet, but I found myself intentionally checking MLBTR this morning, so perhaps it's safe to get back in the water.

Let's see if I have anything productive to say about baseball.

(For a change. Hey-o!)

$183 Million of Arms in Blue

1: @Dodgers; 2: @Dodgers

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Dodgers Ink Hyun-Jin Ryu

Thought we would go with Ryu from Street Fighter? THINK AGAIN!


UPDATE:

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Dodgers Ink Zack Greinke

Tiny-headed Zack Greinke

Zack Greinke is a Dodger, per multiple and now confirmed reports tonight. He'll be getting a shitpot of money to say the least. Who can't like the sound of a one-two punch with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, with Billingsley and Beckett backing them up and Capuano/Harang rounding out the rotation?

Current Dodgers are already weighing in:





I could get use to this whole Dodgers-being-rich-thing. On this first night of Hanukkah, mazel tov to the Dodgers organization for making this deal happen and improving the team!

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Tornado Bobble!

Well, clearly I was rather excited about THIS announcement yesterday...

This will be Nomo's second bobblehead. He sported #10 in the one from 2002. Hopefully, this one will bear his original #16.

I was thinking maybe we could start a tradition of having meetups at SoSG-related bobblehead nights. (BobbleStubbs in 2014!)

Sadly, this is, at the time of this writing, the biggest Dodger news to come out of the Winter Meetings.

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Now We Can All Get Back to Hating Victorino

According to MLB.com:
The Winter Meetings continue to be a productive exercise for the Red Sox. A day after they got the slugger they coveted in Mike Napoli, Boston has agreed to a three-year deal for outfielder Shane Victorino, a source confirmed to MLB.com.

The Red Sox have not confirmed the deal, which is pending a physical, and reportedly worth $39 million.

"I can confirm that we're trying to add an outfielder and that we're optimistic we're making some progress," said Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington.

While the 32-year-old Victorino has been a center fielder for most of his career, he would likely shift to right field for the Red Sox, at least for 2013.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Offseason Starting to Heat Up a Bit (or I'm Just Bored)

Couple of notes from Dylan Hernandez that don't involve Hank Schulman.
The Dodgers met with Zack Greinke this week, according to a person familiar with the situation who wasn’t authorized to comment on the matter.
Greinke is the top starting pitcher on the free-agent market and is expected to sign a nine-figure contract, something the Dodgers have the wherewithal to offer him.

The Dodgers are also interested in Anibal Sanchez.
Doesn't it feel good to have articles written in the offseason about expensive prospective signings? Let's bask in it for a moment.

And:
...the team is planning to tender contracts for next season to both of their arbitration-eligible players, catcher A.J. Ellis and reliever Ronald Belisario
AJ2NY! Nomo, get on the Twitters!

UPDATE: Zack Greinke has a tiny head

Friday, November 30, 2012

Pirates Drop One Former Dodgers Catcher, Sign Another

Dodger fans are going to see more of Russell Martin next season after he left the Yankees to sign a two-year, $17-million deal with the Pirates. The Pirates had earlier declined their option on Rod Barajas.

So much for Martin having trouble in this free-agent market. Guess it helps when you're in the best shape of your life!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Vin Scully!

Happy birthday to the man who makes being a Dodger fan worth it!

Also:


The SoSG Vin Scully Respository

Let's Send an SoSG Reader to the MLB Fan Cave

By now you've probably heard of the MLB Fan Cave, that place in New York City where two diehard baseball fans eat, sleep and drink baseball. Baseball players and musical acts drop by; it's all very social-media friendly.

Well, they're doing it again next year, and are currently accepting applications. Although the Sons are too busy with little details like providing for their families to apply, wouldn't it be cool if an SoSG reader stepped up to the plate and made it in?

Let's look at the requirements:

While participating in the MLB Fan Cave program

Each Winner will:
•Be a passionate baseball fan
•Have a fun and creative personality
•Be highly skilled on social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, etc.)
•Pass a background check to the satisfaction of MLB

Each Winner must:
•Reside in a location provided by MLB in New York City
•Participate in all aspects of MLB Fan Cave activities, including but not limited to, watching every game of the 2013 MLB season, taking part in media events, interviews, etc.
•Share thoughts regarding games and topics of MLB and pop culture interest via daily blogging, vlogging and through social media platforms
•Adhere to all policies and procedures as required by MLB
•Grant all rights in all aspects of his/her participation in the MLB Fan Cave program to MLB for MLB's use, worldwide, in all media, forever.
•Be twenty-one (21) years of age or older at the time of entry

Forced to blog! Is there any worse existence?

But don't get all confident just because you fit the bill. There's also the talent part of the competition:

Please address one of the following three questions in 400 words or less
a.Tell us why you would be the ideal fan to live out your baseball dreams at the MLB Fan Cave in 2013.
b.Tell us which MLB star you most want to meet, why, and describe the video idea you would want to film with this player.
c.What would you like to see the MLB Fan Cave program do that it hasn't yet?

Yeah, the questions make getting in a little tougher, but our readers are some of the best essay-writers out there. So how about it? Which SoSG reader is willing to put their life on hold and spend a year in a baseball-themed fishbowl?

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Managers and Coaches, Oh My

Tommy Lasorda, Rick Honeycutt, Mark McGwire and Don Mattingly pose at a recent organizational meeting held at Dodger Stadium. In the background on the left is longtime Dodger employee (current title: Advisor, Team Travel) Billy DeLury.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Curses, Curses Everywhere

The Madden and SI Curses expanded in 2012 as far as the eye can see. No cover nor poster was safe. (Except that F'ing SI Cover with Notre Dame on it).

This last one was from a while back, but it still haunts my dreams.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Guggenbros About to Get Paid?

From Nikki Finke at Deadline:
It seems strangely logical that the highest-priced sports team in the world is about to score the richest TV deal ever in pro sports history. Insiders tell me that Fox Sports is close to clinching the exclusive TV rights for the Los Angeles Dodgers by paying between $6 billion and $7 billion over 25 years to put the team on its regional sports network in Southern California and of course its national Fox Broadcasting Company. Fox already shows the games on its Prime Ticket local cable channel but also has Fox Sports West here.

The previous agreement expires at the end of next season, and saw Fox Sports paying only about $40 million per season for the Dodgers TV rights. There was speculation the final price would just go north tof $150 million per season. This new deal soars to $280 million per season (the average for the life of the contract). The huge outlay by News Corp demonstrates the increasing value of sports to its bottom line, while the huge payday for Guggenheim offsets the record-setting $2.15 billion price paid for the Dodgers.

If the Dodgers' TV rights do indeed sell for north of $6 billion — versus the team's $2.15 billion purchase price — then I want to borrow whatever crystal ball they're using at Guggenheim Baseball Management. I mean, they'll be richer than...Frank McCourt!

Collitch Football in LA: Where Do You Stand?


Picture in picture tonight, anyone? Who will win their respective games? How much hateHateHATE is there out there around LA tonight?

(8) Stanford at UCLA

(1) Notre Dame at USC

Image: These folks

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving, You Crazy Kids...

May all the SoSG-maniacs have much to be thankful for... and within arm's reach.

Thanks to Danny Silver for the assist.

You Maniacs! You Blew It Up!

Dodger Stadium renovation progress, via Patrick O'Neal:

I wonder if they're changing the seat color scheme again.

Am I crazy, or was there NO formal announcement of what's involved with these renovations? Admittedly, I have my head pretty firmly up Twitter's butt and don't check Dodgers.com a lot, but you think there would have been a press release retweeted a hundred times or something.

Blue Friday!

Yankees 100% More Evil with News Corp. Deal

Meg James at LA Times reports that Rupert Murdoch-controlled News Corp. has agreed to purchase a 49% stake in YES, the regional network that carries Yankees games to legions of northeasterners who want to watch that tripe.
In another sign that TV sports rights are the hottest game around, News Corp. has agreed to buy a 49% stake in a regional network that provides local broadcasts of New York Yankees games.

News Corp. did not divulge financial details of the arrangement. However, analysts estimated the media giant controlled by Rupert Murdoch will pay roughly $1.47 billion for the stake in the YankeesEntertainment and Sports Network.

The YES network also agreed to an extension of a TV rights deal that will keep the Bronx Bombers' baseball games on the network through 2042 at substantially higher rates, which could bode well for the Dodgers, who are poised to negotiate a new TV rights deal.
That last sentence is important, leading to this point:
“Now that this deal is complete, the next loudest cheers are probably coming from the Dodgers ownership,” Chase said. “It’s no secret that the Dodgers’ media rights deal is coming up for renewal next year, and you have Fox out there, and Time Warner Cable circling. This now sets the market for what these sports rights deals are worth."
Over-priced pitching busts, here we come! Hell, with that kind of money we could even afford to sign Kevin Brown to do nothing at all. Or to build some more stadium urinals.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Karabell Predicts Beckett Blossoms in 2013

ESPN.com fantasy jock Eric Karabell went through all 30 teams with "bold pitching predictions," and his take on the Dodgers is all about Josh Beckett (with a dig at Brandon League): (link insider only)

Los Angeles Dodgers: A rejuvenated Josh Beckett wins 16 games with a sub-3.00 ERA and 180 strikeouts. Enjoy that home ballpark, fella. And Kenley Jansen saves 40 games. Brandon League for three years? Really? Come on!

A rejuvenated Beckett sounds good to me, too. Our starting pitching could certainly use it.

The Real Reason the Steelers Wear The Stripes

I love throwback jerseys as much as the next guy... especially if they brought back the old noseguards.

But I think many of the SoSG-maniacs out there know why the Steelers have been donning the stripes.

One only has to look back to the 80s for the inspiration.

The Iron Sheik for one is less than thrilled about it, as this VERY NOT SAFE FOR WORK interview stresses.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

What Curse?

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Hint, Hint, Santa

Friday, November 16, 2012

Dodgers Grounds Crew Visits Pasadena Home

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Dodgers Actually Miss Out On Aging Free Agent Outfielder This Time; Hunter To Tigers

Two years, $26M for the amiable 37-year-old Torii Hunter:

Free-agent outfielder Torii Hunter has reached agreement on a two-year, $26 million deal with the Detroit Tigers pending a physical exam, a baseball source said Wednesday.

Hunter, 37, is a .277 hitter with 297 home runs and nine Gold Gloves in 14 seasons with the Minnesota Twins and Los Angeles Angels.

He hit .313 with the Angels in 2012, but his five-year, $90 million contract expired after the season, and the Angels declined to make him a $13.3 million qualifying offer. That means the Tigers are not obligated to give the Angels draft-pick compensation in exchange for signing Hunter.

2012 IBWAA Awards: How I Voted


Through some bizarre mix of witchcraft and happenstance, I recently became SoSG's lone member of the IBWAA. Thus, I had a vote in this year's baseball awards. I figure it's only fair I give you a peek at my ballot.

We were asked to rank ten players for MVP, five for Cy Young, and three for the rest. I'm only sharing my number ones, but I will tell you I threw a tenth-place vote to Luis Cruz for NL MVP. So there.

AL MVP: Mike Trout
NL MVP: Ryan Braun

AL Cy Young: Justin Verlander
NL Cy Young: Clayton Kershaw

AL Rookie of the Year: Mike Trout
NL Rookie of the Year: Bryce Harper

AL Manager of the Year: Bob Melvin
NL Manager of the Year: Davey Johnson

AL Reliever of the Year: Jim Johnson
NL Reliever of the Year: Craig Kimbrel

So, a slight variation from the eventual winners. I'm honestly surprised that our group did not elect Mike Trout MVP, considering how vocal some of us were about why he deserves it.

My bias is showing a bit with the NL MVP and Cy awards. I'll admit. I voted for Braun because he put up similar numbers to last year, even without Prince. Voting against him this year flies in the face of all the arguments FOR Kemp last year. Yes, I was able to set aside the PED allegations. We'll see if I look stupid later. Uh, I mean more than usual.

Earlier at SOSG: The IBWAA Results Are In

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dodgers' Reign as Blockbuster Trade Kings Lasted 2 1/2 Months


The IBWAA Votes Are In

And here they are....
AL ROY
1st Place: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (unanimous)
2nd Place: Yoenis C├ęspedes, Oakland Athletics
3rd Place: Yu Darvish, Texas Rangers

NL ROY
1st Place: Bryce Harper, Washington Nationals
2nd Place: Wade Miley, Arizona Diamondbacks
3rd Place: Todd Frazier, Cincinnati Reds

AL Manager
1st Place: Buck Showalter, Baltimore Orioles
2nd Place: Bob Melvin, Oakland Athletics
3rd Place: Joe Maddon, Tampa Bay Rays

NL Manager
1st Place: Davey Johnson, Washington Nationals
2nd Place: Bruce Bochy, San Francisco Giants
3rd Place: Dusty Baker, Cincinnati Reds

AL Relief Pitcher
1st Place: Fernando Rodney, Tampa Bay Rays
2nd Place: Jim Johnson, Baltimore Orioles
3rd Place: Rafael Soriano, New York Yankees

NL Relief Pitcher
1st Place: Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta Braves
2nd Place: Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati Reds
3rd Place: Jason Motte, St. Louis Cardinals

AL Cy
1st Place: David Price, Tampa Bay Rays
2nd Place: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
3rd Place: Jered Weaver, Los Angeles of Anaheim
4th Place: Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners
5th Place: Chris Sale, Chicago White Sox

NL Cy
1st Place: R.A. Dickey, New York Mets
2nd Place: Gio Gonzalez, Washington Nationals
3rd Place: Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers
4th Place: Johnny Cueto, Cincinnati Reds
5th Place: Matt Cain, San Francisco Giants

AL MVP
1st Place: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
2nd Place: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
3rd Place: Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers
4th Place: Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers
5th Place: Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
6th Place: Adam Jones, Baltimore Orioles
7th Place: Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers
8th Place: Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers
9th Place: Edwin Encarnaci├│n, Toronto Blue Jays
10th Place: Derek Jeter, New York Yankees

NL MVP
1st Place: Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants
2nd Place: Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers
3rd Place: Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates
4th Place: Yadier Molina, St. Louis Cardinals
5th Place: Chase Headley, San Diego Padres
6th Place: David Wright, New York Mets
7th Place: Adam LaRoche, Washington Nationals
8th Place: Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds
9th Place: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
10th Place: Matt Holliday, St. Louis Cardinals

The IBWAA was established July 4, 2009 by Howard Cole, editor of BaseballSavvy.com, to organize and promote the growing online baseball media, and to serve as a digital alternative to the BBWAA.

Among others, IBWAA members include Barry Bloom, MLB.com; Tim Brown, Yahoo Sports; Fred Claire, former General Manager, Los Angeles Dodgers; Joe McDonnell, FoxSportsWest.com; Ramona Shelburne, ESPNLA.com; Tom Hoffarth, J.P. Hoornstra and Jill Painter, Los Angeles Daily News; Kevin Baxter, Los Angeles Times; and prominent baseball authors Paul Dickson, Peter Golenbock, Josh Pahigian and Dan Schlossberg.

Association membership is open to any and all Internet baseball writers, with a yearly fee of $10, or $20 lifetime. Discounts for groups and scholarships are available.

For more information please go to www.ibwaa.com.

This Is a Little Weird...

...but I could get used to it.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Even Better Than Cool-A-Coos

Is Veterans Day Ned Colletti's Favorite Holiday?


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dad's Hanging Out with Tillman Again

We got a note from Judy at Natural Balance:

Steve Garvey along with former Dodgers Steve Yeager and Bill Russell will be signing autographs at the Jersey Mike’s Subs Granada Hills, CA location tomorrow from 11am to 1pm. They will be there with Natural Balance Pet Foods filming for reality show Who Let the Dogs Out featuring Tillman, the skateboarding bulldog. Also, the first 200 people will get free subs!

We have also posted on our Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/NaturalBalanceFan/posts/10151105566836638

If you go, send us pictures!

Friday, November 09, 2012

A Bold New Era in L.A. Sports?

Expectations — and payrolls — are high, and the Lakers aren't messing around. It makes you wonder if the Dodgers, currently flashing a fat wallet at the GM meetings, are taking notice.

Earlier at SoSG: Hollywood Beginnings

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Jamey Carroll Grabbed A Write-In Vote (Sort Of)

Sorry about that headline. Clearly, it's a trap.

Earlier content here.