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


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 (

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.)


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!


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
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

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.

...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