Saturday, March 31, 2012

Preseason Game Something Thread: March Something @ Some Other Team, Sometime

[Insert Game Thread Here]

Friday, March 30, 2012

Matt Kemp Looking to Quadruple His Fortune

Preseason Games 27/28 Thread: March 30 vs. Lake Michigan Adjacent, 1p

Hooray, another split squad game! As I understand it, a genetically engineered amalgam of Chris Capuano and Fernando Nieve takes on the secret love child of Francisco Rodriguez and Ryan Dempster somewhere in Arizona.

Is it opening day yet?

Championship Game, Second Half: Comment Time!

9 minutes separate Jason from going 2-for-2 in Stubbs competitions! SLAP!

Magic Johnson... On Broadway?!?!?

Yep, Magic is everywhere. Including BROADWAY. From the "MagicBirdBroadway" website:

At the heart of one of the fiercest rivalries in sports, two of the greatest athletes of all-time battled for multiple championships and the future of their sport. Hall of Famers Earvin "Magic" Johnson and Larry Bird could not have been more different; one black, one white; one an urbanite with a big smile and Hollywood appeal, and the other a quiet small town guy. Johnson and Bird, went head to head, electrified the nation, reinvigorated the NBA, and turned their rivalry into the greatest and most famous friendships in professional sports. With classic NBA footage prominently designed throughout, Magic/Bird transports the audience into the heart of their matchup. From Draft to Olympic Dream Team, the show with a six member cast will premiere at the Longacre Theatre on Broadway, New York City, March 21, 2012.

Brought to you by the Producers and Creators of Lombardi on Broadway, this new play was crafted through conversations with Magic and Bird. Running Time: 90 Minutes ~ No Intermission.

Does this mean the Hogan/Sheik musical is coming around the bend? (Dusty - I know you got my back on this one!)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

This Is Brilliant

Report: Rachel Robinson to join Dodger board of directors (Dodger Thoughts)

photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

Championship Game, First Half: Comment Time!

Here it is! The match-up so exciting, I couldn't even concentrate enough to finish the graphic bracket! That, and I forgot my flash drive containing my SoSG content. Quad vs. Jason in a Louisa May Alcott/FDR slap fight!


Preseason Game 27 Thread: March 29 vs. White Sox, 1p

Another game against our cubicle mates. Wheeeee!

Harang vs. Sale (Our favorite word right now!)


The Hardest Working Blogger in the Biz

A few days ago Eric Stephen of True Blue LA tweeted:

I found out today that I was approved for a full regular season credential by the Dodgers. The journey continues...

Congrats to Eric for being one of the few (only?) Dodger bloggers to have spent enough time covering the Dodgers to warrant being issued a press pass. He combines an encyclopedic knowledge of the Dodgers with a fine sense of humor to create fresh and original takes on our favorite team. I always thought if there were one Dodger blogger who could make the jump to full-time reporting, it could be Eric. Now he's one step closer.

Dear New Owners: Please...

1. Long-term Clayton Kershaw. Self-explanatory.

2. Figure out Andre Ethier. Can he remain healthy enough to bat next to Matt Kemp? Was that Gold Glove a true indicator of his defensive talent? Can his dickishness be overlooked? If yes to all three, lock him up.

3. Put Ned Colletti on notice. He may have been handcuffed lately, but that doesn't excuse poor signings like Jason Schmidt, Andruw Jones, Juan Pierre, Juan Uribe, etc. Logan White, Kim Ng and/or De Jon Watson are waiting in the wings.

4. Find us a catcher. It's arguable if Russell Martin is the one that got away, but it's less arguable that A.J. Ellis is the long-term solution. Ever since the Carlos Santana debacle (which was preceded by the Mike Piazza debacle), the backstop position has been a source of great inconsistency.

5. Sign some free agents. Cole Hamels and Matt Cain will be free agents after this season, and Joey Votto will be after 2013. Just some names to consider.

6. Beef up Dodger Stadium security, unobtrusively and consistently. When Frank McCourt did it, it seemed reactionary. When you do it, it'll seem responsible.

7. Restore international scouting and player development. The Dodgers were once forerunners in this field, and it's time for them to return there.

8. Make Magic the public face of the franchise. We love Magic, have you noticed?

9. Get players out in the community. To be fair, the Dodgers did a good job of this under the McCourt regime, but it's more important for guys like Kemp and Kershaw to show their faces around town than, say, forcing new signees to make donations to ThinkCure.

10. No nepotism, no Vladimir Shpunt, no "perquisites." Thank goodness you dudes are already loaded, because the McCourts' nouveau riche act wore thin really fast.

11. Lower beer and parking prices. Show Arte Moreno who owns L.A.!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

It Looks Good On Him!

Magic Johnson on WhoSay

No Trophy Owner He least not yet. Thanks to SoSG reader Orlando Zepeda for this:

Preseason Game 26 Thread: March 28 @ Giants, 1p

Oh hey, there's a game today too! Feel free to discuss Dodgers/Giants here, or keep talking about the sale. Anything goes, baby!


Producer Peter Guber, responsible for some of Hollywood's Greatest Flicks!

And a couple of other smaller films you might have missed.

Not to mention one of the coolest theme songs ever!

Let's Hope the Season Goes Better Than THIS...

From the short-lived Magic Hour. Skip to 3:30 to hear Howard Stern and the Losers perform "Wipeout." Featuring lots and lots of farts. (I guess that's a warning too)

The horror. The horror.

But seriously folks. MAGIC. IS. PERFECT. He's the right mix of everything. Class. Business accumen (his movie theaters and Starbucks make money hand over fist!).

He understands what people want and knows how to provide it. In short, AWESOME. Welcome aboard, Mr. Johnson.

And does this mean we get to hang with him at the next Blogger Night?

Magically Delicious

Dodger fans, meet your new owners:

Earvin "Magic" Johnson

Mark R. Walter, controlling partner
Peter Guber, partner
Stan Kasten, partner
Bobby Patton, partner
Todd Boehly, partner

It's hard to believe Frank McCourt didn't screw Dodger fans over one last time on his way out the door, so I'm still wrapping my head around one of Los Angeles' most beloved sporting figures owning one of Los Angeles' most beloved sports teams. Sure, there are technicalities and the fates of the parking lots (Star Wars title?) to iron out, but let's enjoy this post-announcement honeymoon period while we can. Oh, and get ready for every conceivable Magic-related pun (which already makes the sale worth it, because nothing rhymes with Kroenke).

photo by Jon SooHoo

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Believe in Magic!

McCourt agrees to sell to Magic Johnson-led group for TWO BILLION DOLLARS.



Links and updates forthcoming.

UPDATE 8:32pm: Magic Johnson-led group is picked as Dodgers' next owner (Bill Shaikin)

UPDATE 2 9:55pm: Just go read Bill Shaikin's Twitter feed. He's been THE MAN through the whole process, and is rocking it again tonight.

Final Four, Second Half: Comment Time!

Great Opening Day Seats Still Available...

...if you feel like overpaying. I'm not even talking about brokers, either. Check out the single-ticket prices for the home opener, on sale now through Ticketmaster:

Top Deck

Left Field Pavilion

Lower Reserve

Those pictures are a tad misleading, because the prices pictured include some of the Ticketmaster fees. Set those aside, and you have:

  • $30 for Top Deck, a 200% markup on the $10 base price.
  • $35 for the LFP, a roughly 100% markup on the $17 base price.
  • $45 for Lower Reserve, a 125% markup on the $20 base price.

That's NUTS. Is this new for 2012? The last Opening Day I bought individual tickets for was 2010, and those were priced the same as any other game. Is it common across baseball to gouge for Opening Day? Is this one last money grab for Frank on his way out the door?

It's also pretty sad that we're just a couple weeks away and there are still this many tickets available. The last thing this team's image needs is empty seats on Opening Day.

Preseason Game 25 Thread: March 27 @ Padres, 1pm

The Dodgers head to confusingly-named Peoria, Arizona to face the Fathers. Don Mattingly, apparently as bored with Spring Training as we are, hasn't even named a starter for today's game, as of this writing. (It might be Jamey Wright. I could be rong.)

It's a good old fashioned bullpen game! That just means we don't have to wait until the 8th for things to get ugly.

Can we have Opening Day now, please?

Pretty please?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Final Four, First Half: Comment Time!

Preseason Game 24 Thread: March 26 vs. White Sox, 1p

Are we all getting anxiety for the end of Spring Training yet? The games may not count, but it's still baseball, so put your brain in neutral, grab a snack, and just enjoy the simple pleasure of watching Chad square off against Danks.
Presented Without Comment

Image: Google Maps

Somehow Dodgers Escape This List of Ten Worst Contracts

Probably because everyone's on two-year deals, but it's still surprising.

Bargain of the Day

Those geniuses at TravelZoo have done it again.

$26 Box Seats at Dodgers Games vs. LA Angels, Reg. $80!!!

Come for the garlic fries. Stay for the DelinO (two Loge MVP seats for under $30 each. Vut a deal!)

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Preseason Game 23 Thread: March 25 @ Brewers, 1p

"Yeah, I'm still gratuitous. What of it?"

In progress. Clayton Kershaw: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HR.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Preseason Game 22 Thread: March 24 vs. Indians, 1pm

This is the official I've-been-running-around-all-morning-and-just-realized-we needed-a-game-thread-but-can't-post-pictures-from-my-iDevice-or-find-anything-witty-in-a-timely-manner Game Thread.

Gratuitous picture of my dog

This is NOT an SoSG March Madness Comment Post

Just a quick update on the SoSG March Madness Schedule. The Final Four round will run on Monday and Tuesday, and the Championship Match will be Thursday and Friday.

Friday, March 23, 2012

And Then There Were Three

From "Dodgers bidders cut to Cohen, Magic, Kroenke" by Bill Shaikin at the LA Times:

The field of Dodgers bidders was cut to three on Friday, and a winner could be identified as soon as next week.

The three finalists: a group led by hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen and Los Angeles billionaire and philanthropist Patrick Soon-Shiong; a group led by Magic Johnson and veteran baseball executive Stan Kasten; and St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke.

The parties eliminated: a partnership between Memphis Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley and Los Angeles investor Tony Ressler; and a bid by Stanley Gold and the family of the late Roy Disney.

Maybe you've read how Cohen's bid includes the threat of Tony La Russa in an executive capacity, which would presumably scare away progressive-minded management. Which is why it's disappointing Lakers minority shareholder Soon-Shiong partnered with Cohen and not Magic. With Cohen the frontrunner, we can't expect Frank McCourt to do the right thing for the city of Los Angeles and choose Magic...but we can hope.

Preseason Simultaneous Games 20/21 Thread: March 23 vs. White Sox / @ Royals, 1pm

Two, two, two games at once!

The Dodgers split squads play The White Sox in Tucson, in a benefit for Tucson shooting victims (Nathan Eovaldi starts); and the Royals in Surprise (Aaron Harang starts).

Double-post away!

Dodger Stadium Express Returns

From a Dodgers press release:

The Los Angeles Dodgers and Metro will once again offer Dodger Stadium Express bus service from Union Station to Dodger Stadium this season through a grant approved by the Mobile Source Air Pollution Reduction Review Committee (MSRC). Service will begin on April 3 before the Dodgers’ exhibition game against the Angels and continue throughout the season. [...]

The Dodger Stadium Express will pick up fans at the Patsaouras Bus Plaza adjacent to the east portal of Union Station and continue to Dodger Stadium via Sunset Blvd. and Cesar Chavez Avenue. Passengers will be dropped off and picked up in Dodger Stadium’s parking lot G in center field. Service will start 90 minutes prior to the beginning of the games and will end 45 minutes after the end of the game. Shuttles will run every 10 minutes before the game and run approximately every 30 minutes after the game starts.

Dodger Stadium Express (

SoSG Achieves Print Legitimacy

We got a note from writer Josh Pahigian:

I just wanted to let you know that the new 2012 edition of The Ultimate Baseball Road-Trip is now available and it includes a tip of the cap to your excellent blog in the LA Dodgers chapter. It is in the Cyber Super Fans section (page 426) toward the end of the chapter.

Thanks, Josh! After all, if it's in ink, it must be true.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Preseason Game 19 Thread: March 21 vs. Padres, 1p

Ted Lilly (2-1, 5.00) vs. Tim Stauffer (0-1, 12.15).

Tomorrow is an off-day, the only off-day in the Dodgers' spring schedule. All the reason we need to go absolutely balls-out in this spring training game, our penultimate contest with the division rival Padres prior to their home opener on March 5. That's what spring training is all about, right? Total effort? Leaving it all on the field? 110%?

SoSG March Madness Elite 8: Second Half Comment Time!

  • Jason leads Eugenio's Streak by 0:14
  • Wicks leads EK by 3:56
  • Quad lead MLASC by 1:35
  • Nomo leads Spank by 0:14

Get Your Invective Ready: Dodger Stadium Naming Rights Back On The Table

One of the things with which I've got to credit Frank McCourt is the fact that, during his tenure as Dodgers owner, he hasn't sold naming rights to Dodger Stadium. According to Bill Shaikin of the LAT, however, that may all change soon.

At least one party bidding on the Dodgers has inquired about the possibility of selling naming rights to Dodger Stadium, according to records filed this week in U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

Dodger Stadium turns 50 this year. The iconic ballpark has never been known by another name.

However, with the Dodgers expected to sell for a record price for a North American sports franchise, the investment bank brokering the sale has included naming rights among what it calls the "value creation opportunities" — that is, money-making options — for a buyer, according to two people familiar with the sale process.

Bruce Bennett, the Dodgers' lead bankruptcy attorney, and Peter Cohen, the Blackstone Advisory Partners executive leading the sale team, discussed "naming rights and other bidder questions" in a telephone conference Feb. 22, according to court records.

It is uncertain whether the inquiries came from bidders still in contention and whether the questions reflected standard due diligence or a sincere interest in selling the Dodger Stadium naming rights. Dodgers spokeswoman Lyndsey Estin declined to comment.

I have to admit I'm split on this one. Calling Dodger Stadium "TCW Park" or something like that would be tough to swallow, sure. But on the flip side, if those naming rights help us secure a better on-field product (and a less leveraged owner), then maybe it's worth feeling the taste of vomit in one's throat every once in a while.

(I shudder to imagine Vin Scully calling Dodger Stadium by another name, however; I can't help but recall his difficulty saying "Feel the Mexcellence!" last year. (And is "Mexcellence" even capitalized in the first place?))

The piece ends with some thoughts from the other Hombre-ful team in Los Angeles:

The Angels played at Anaheim Stadium from 1966 to 1997, before the Walt Disney Co. sold naming rights to Southern California Edison.

"How does it harm you as a fan? It doesn't," Tony Tavares, then Disney Sports president, said at the time. "We've got to try to tap every source of revenue we can to keep these seats affordable."

Edison Field ceased to exist after the 2003 season, when the company canceled the deal. Arte Moreno, who had just bought the team from Disney, did not pursue another deal and opted to call the ballpark Angel Stadium.

"He's not selling the naming rights," Wagner said, "because he sees the value of the brand."

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Preseason Game 18 Thread: March 20 vs. Brewers, 1p

After losing 4-3, leaving the winning run in scoring position Monday, the Dodgers look to rebound with Chad Billingsley on the hill. The Brewers, as of this post's "press time," had no starter named, so we've gotta go with other forms of tomfoolery for this shapely thread. Parhaps we can just pick on our "royal thighness" instead? And hope that Chadley can squeeze, squeeze, squeeze his way to a shapely win?

Are You A Marvel Guy Or A DC Guy?

Depends on what you see here, I suppose. From Olly Moss, via io9:

Monday, March 19, 2012

They're Coming for DelinO

A screen shot of the Wireless Networks available in my house.

If it's legit, the Feds need some work on their undercover skills. And their spelling.

SoSG March Madness: Elite 8 Comment Time!

The MLASC-inclusive Elite 8 starts...NOW!

Mariners Cut Bait on Kuo

Bad news for an old friend. Here's hoping he catches on somewhere else.

UPDATE 7.06p (Sax): Kuo gets $81K for his troubles. That's a lot of yips.

Preseason Game 17 Thread: March 19 vs. Indians, 1p

Birthday boy Clayton Kershaw is on the bump today matching up against the Indians' Jeanmar Gomez. Our newly minted Cy Young winner has yet to allow his first earned run in spring training, and looks to continue that trend today. Will I see Kid K's name next to a "W" in the box score at the end of the day, or will it show me Jeanmar*?

*I know it's not pronounced that way, but the pun is too horrible to resist.

Gordon Inquisitive; Olney Fawning

Buster Olney likes the fact that Dee Gordon asks a lot of questions (link insider only):

Dee Gordon asks a lot of questions, something that Barry Larkin noticed the first time he worked with the Dodgers shortstop in the offseason. Precise questions, about how you hold the glove in making a play at the second base bag, about how you make sure you hit the ball on the ground when you want to, about your mental approach.

This curiosity is part of the reason Larkin came away from his conversations with Gordon believing that the son of former relief pitcher Tom Gordon will become a good player -- a really good player. "He's got the ability to be an All-Star -- and a perennial All-Star," Larkin said over the phone Friday, from Arizona.

As with all young players, there are flaws to be found in Gordon, who turns 24 in April. He hasn't drawn a high volume of walks in the minor leagues -- 40 in 133 games in 2010, for example. He hasn't hit for power, with seven homers in 1,814 plate appearances in the minors.

But what Gordon does have is game-changing speed -- he stole 24 bases in just 54 games with the Dodgers last year, and others in the Dodgers' organization will tell you Gordon has a very strong sense of who he is and what he must do to be successful. Play an efficient shortstop. Put the ball on the ground. Pressure the defense with his speed. Run.

And he asks all those questions, in his effort to get better. "I've always been that way," Gordon said. "I always felt like if I didn't know something, I'll ask. Just ask."

Gordon never had any precise instruction in base-stealing until he signed with the Dodgers, and early in his career, "I was kind of winging it," he said. But Crash McRay, a coach in the L.A. system, began to work with him, and over the last 14 months he's worked under the tutelage of Davey Lopes, who is regarded as arguably the best teacher of baserunning, and base-stealing, in the sport.

Lopes is intense in his manner of coaching -- so intense, Gordon said, "that he kind of scares you a little bit. ... But Davey's been one of the greatest at it."

So Gordon asks questions. A lot of questions. "I'm not perfect at base-stealing," he said. "It's not like I'm never getting caught. I need to get better in every category."

Larkin believes that Gordon's body will fill out and that he'll get stronger. "He's going to develop his man muscles," said Larkin, who is working with Cincinnati minor leaguers this spring. "Dee seems like a sponge -- a workaholic. I love his work ethic and attitude. He's passionate.

"He's really intuitive, and he's got great instincts -- and he's got athletic ability out the wazoo."

We need a big year from you, Dee! Keep asking questions!

More Olney: from the same column, this tidbit that spotlights two Dodgers:

It'll be interesting to see how the Rays handle Carlos Pena, whose OPS against lefties was 298 points lower against left-handers than right-handers. From Mark Simon of ESPN Research, here are the greatest differentials in OPS splits when the hitter's performance was weaker against left-handers in 2011.

Lower OPS vs LHP

  • 1. Andre Ethier -- 315 points
  • 2. Eric Hosmer -- 301
  • 3. Carlos Pena -- 298
  • 4. Ryan Howard -- 287
  • 5. Casey McGehee -- 276
  • 6. Adrian Gonzalez -- 259
  • 7. James Loney -- 255
  • 8. Prince Fielder -- 224
  • 9. Erick Aybar -- 200
  • 10. Nick Markakis -- 181

This Will Get You Fired Up for Baseball Season

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Fantasy Baseball Casting Call

This is a short notice call going out to any SoSG readers who are interested in participating in a fantasy baseball league in 2012. Legendary commenter and perpetual optimist Karina is organizing a head-to-head league and is looking for at least 3 more teams in her league. The draft is scheduled for tonight, so there's not much time to waste. Sign up here in the comments and we will e-mail you the League ID and Password if you're interested.

Preseason Game 16 Thread: March 18 vs. Angels, 1p

Didn't we already beat these douchebags 9-1 recently? How much more punishment do they want?

I believe some SoSG readers have been at some Spring Training games over the weekend. We'd love if you guys would weigh in with your thoughts and on-the-ground reports from Camelback Ranch.

As we all traipse around the Assassins' Circle Pub, drinking down the swill at the bottom of unfinished pints from last night, let's settle in for an afternoon of baseball, hair of the dog, March Madness, and overtime of the SoSG March Madness game. Your day is already planned!

Photo: Revhalofan from Halos Heaven

My FIrst Baseball Card Pack Of The Season

I got the new iPad on Friday, and kindly donated my old one to Mrs Dusty in Law. She, in turn, showed her appreciation yesterday by getting me my first pack of baseball cards for 2012. Vinny on the telly, the smell of new baseball cards -- what's not to love? I received two gems in the pack:

I almost (cried). What a great way to start the baseball card season!