Thursday, May 31, 2012

Post-Game 51 Thread: Double Play Mania


The Dodgers needed to bounce back in a big way after the latest Matt Kemp disappointment. They needed Chad Billingsley to come up big. They needed to stop hitting into so many freakin' double plays.

Bills labored for all six innings he pitched, throwing 116 pitches and allowing four earned runs. The Dodgers got thirteen hits but hit into three double plays. They've hit into eight double plays in their past three games.

For the first time ever, the Brewers sweep the Dodgers in a series (!). The idle Giants move to five games back. The Dodgers fly to Colorado tonight to start a ten-game road trip against the Rockies, Phillies and Mariners.

Gonna be a long month.

The One Bright Spot of Today

Episode II of "Between Two Palm Trees!"

Kemp Injury Worsens; Out at Least a Month

First Look: Eric Karros Bobblehead

Game 51 Thread: May 31 vs. Brewers, 7p

Chad Billingsley (2-3, 3.88) vs. Zack Greinke (5-2, 3.66).

There is some dignity in salvaging the final game of a three-game series. But the final game of a four-game series? A little like kissing your sister who happens to be queen and your incestuous bastard becomes king. Anyhoo, it's obviously not just the Dodgers' first three-game skid of the year weighing on their psyche, but the imminent departure of heretofore hardy Matt Kemp to Disabledlististan.

But sometimes the crows bring good news. Reinforcements are on the way in the person of Triple-A stud Alex Castellanos, and Brewers starter Greinke was lit up by the Diamondbacks in his last start. Plus, I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night. Booyah! Cutting-edge humor!

The Dodgers are still MLB-best at 32-18 (16-7 in April and 16-11 so far in May), but it feels like we've already dodged a season's worth of arrows in going 9-5 during Kemp's first sojourn. Can the Boys in Blue bear down for another assault on their record? Gird your loins.

Dodgers Call Up Alexis Castle

With Matt Kemp likely headed for the DL, the Dodgers called Alexis Castle, daughter of author Richard Castle.

It's a curious move, considering Alexis is female, not a baseball player, and completely fictional.

Then again, she'll probably contribute more than Loney.

McCourt's Dodgers Leadership Not Off The Hook Just Yet

Bill Shaikin of the LAT reported that a federal grand jury is investigating financial improprieties that may have occurred during Frank McCourt's ownership of the Dodgers. The LA Daily Journal broke the story.

A federal grand jury is investigating possible criminal financial misconduct of the Dodgers and related entities during the ownership of Frank and Jamie McCourt, a person familiar with the matter told The Times.

Authorities have requested documents from representatives of each of the McCourts, the person said. The investigation started early last year and appears to be focused on the accounting and propriety of Dodgers spending, the person said.

The Los Angeles Daily Journal first reported the investigation.

The McCourt divorce proceedings and the Dodgers' subsequent bankruptcy filing led to revelations about how team money had been diverted for the personal use of the McCourts. In a Bankruptcy Court filing, Major League Baseball alleged McCourt had "looted" $189 million from the Dodgers for personal use, a claim attorneys for McCourt called inflammatory and unsupportable.

We Sons have talked many an evening over how Frank McCourt never got his karmic retribution, a topic of which we're fond of speaking. (Trust me.) After all of his shenanigans, he walked away with a princely sum indeed.

So now that the feds talk in maths, with the buzzing (like a fridge) heating up: will Frankie continue to be a detuned radio?

Oh, and Steve Dilbeck reports that the firm that represented Frank McCourt in bankruptcy going bankrupt. This guy's like a black widow. Or maybe an asphalt widow.

Lost Weekend Part III - Bobble On, Wayne.

Memorial Day weekend. A beautiful Sunday day game with highs under 80.

A Tuesday night game... with Free Infield Bobbleheads!
Who am I to judge? I was there too, for my third game in three days. DelinO 2.0 was by my side, anxiously looking for his next hot dog fix.
The last time we randomly went to a game, the ticket office gave us two tickets for the price of one. No such luck on Tuesday, especially since the stadium was almost sold out. And I even did something that few DeShields have ever dared to attempt in the past - I paid for parking. Cause $10 is such a deal compared to $15. Okay, it's still a rip off, but now at least it feels like I got a kiss on the back of the head afterwards.
Alas, most of the excitement came from free chachkees. Two for one golf in Palm Springs!
Free glimpse of our favorite meteorologist.
Thanks to Ethier's RBI in the bottom of the sixth, FREE WINGS!
During rush hour today, I'd be lying if I said I didn't consider adding an hour to my commute just to get my six free wings.
CRAP. As I write this, the clock's struck 12:01am, so my Wingstop and Subway offers both expired. There's truly nothing more expensive in this world... than regret.
The game was a solid pitchers' duel, though I had to listen to the last two innings since SOMEBODY had to go to bed. (lame). Fortunately, I had DAD and three of my mini neck-impaired best friends to keep me company.
After 72 hours of baseball, I'm ready to turn my attention to more important things: my family, my job, my country and that Dolph Lundgren movie where he plays a drummer who saves all of Russia.

(And yes, we already had a Dolph label)

And Here's The Sports Illustrated Curse, In Action

May 28: Sports Illustrated issue releases (to be accurate, the cover image broke May 23)

May 28: Kemp excited to be back in lineup

May 30: Kemp re-aggravates hamstring, exits early

Shit. Next they're going to tell us Magic Johnson has HIV or something.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Post-Game 50 Thread: Isotopes Season-Ticket Sales About to Explode


The gods of baseball have frowned upon Matt Kemp.
—Vin Scully
Matt Kemp re-aggravated his left hamstring. MRI tomorrow. Clayton Kershaw gave up five earned over 5 2/3 innings. Not himself. James Loney continues to be terrible. Dodgers hit into four double plays. Lose three straight for the first time this season. In position to be swept tomorrow.

Tough road trip and interleague play await.

Well, at least the Kings won.

Game 50 Thread: May 30 vs. Brewers, 7p

Clayton Kershaw (4-2, 1.97) vs. Yovani Gallardo (3-4, 4.19).

Drowning at the hand of Brewers? Surprisingly, it could happen. And that's what the Dodgers face tonight, having dropped the first two games of the series to a 21-28 team who sits seven games behind a team helmed by Dusty Baker. The Dodgers scored two runs on Monday, and then (even with the return of Matt Kemp), mustered only a single run last night.

Offensive woes be damned; we've got Kershaw dealing tonight. Leave it to Clayton to get us back on track, avoid our first three-game losing streak of the year*, and watch us overcome the best the Brewers can muster.

(*) For the second time this week

DelinO Lost Weekend Part Deux

Technically, my two days of baseball wound up being three days. And none of it took place in the Valley. But damn, Charlize was frikkin' hot.

Memorial Day brought me down to that other LA baseball team. Call yourself Los Angeles all you want, Angels. You're still Orange County through and through.

And now my car smells like an Angels fan - self-righteous and polished with a touch of Pujols regret.

Speaking of, how about that Pujols Plush?

I've already designed an Andre Ethier action figure which I'll be selling from my trunk.

There was also a rare Johnny Utah sighting.

Plenty of fruit.

And one of the most ridiculous baseball games I've seen in years.

Weaver went down with a back injury after a half dozen miserable pitches. The Angels defense treated the ball like it was covered in lard. (Or, for you Thai food fans, LARB.) But it helps when you're playing Phil T-Ball Hughes. One walk off homer later, I was enjoying the fireworks from the parking lot.

Just when I was ready to tip my hat to Anaheim, my car's gas light went on, and I found an exit with zero gas stations. I pulled in with one mile - literally, one mile - to spare.

All the fruit and plush Pujols didn't make up for that agita! But if they keep beating the Yankoffs, all is forgiven.

Coming Soon: DelinO Lost Weekend Part Shalosh (that's Hebrew) - Bobble Booyah!

The New Face of the Dodgers

Super Fan circa 2008.

Super Fan circa 2012.

The dark side of success - JUGGALOS!

Dodger Fans Spelling the Hell Out of It

From last night's game:

From June 6, 2009:

From August 4, 2008:

From June 7, 2009:

From April 15, 2010:

2, 3 & 4: Jon SooHoo/Dodgers; 5: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Cameras Can Be So Cruel

First win as a pitcher.

First hit.

First homer.

But all we'll remember of Jeremy Hefner's big night is his Fire Marshall Bill pose.

Vin Scully, on Big Bats

Roberto Clemente, Matty Alou, Willie Stargell and Manny Mota.

Vin Scully, from last night's game:

Before the game, I was talking to Ryan Braun, along with coach John Shelby, about Braun's bat. And it caught my eye, sitting up here. It seemed to be a longer bat than usual used by other players.

A throw to first and Morgan back on the bag.

And so I asked Ryan, Just how long is your bat? And he said, Thirty-five inches. Which is a little bit longer than the average. The average bat's thirty-four, maybe a rare thirty-four and a half.

But I knew I had seen bigger bats.

The first pitch is swung on, hit in the air to right field. Ethier going back to the bullpen gate, at the box seat, it is gone! A long bat and a long home run the other way, and just like that, the Brewers lead, two to nothing.

Ryan Braun, the MVP last year, hits his fourteenth home run. It gives him thirty-six runs batted in, as he takes young Eovaldi to right field.

Anyway, in talking about bats, I decided I know Matty Alou from years ago had a long bat. He played with the Pirates. So I called Manny Mota — as we watch the home run go out on replay — and Manny said, Oh, yes. He said, We had several guys on the club, thirty-seven-inch bats.

The first pitch is swung on by Ramirez, popped up on the right side. Loney will back off and let De Jesus make the catch, and we have two down.

So anyway, in talking to Manny Mota, we found out that Roberto Clemente used the thirty-seven-inch bat. So did Manny Sanguillen, the catcher, Matty Alou, Jose Pagan.

But what's really interesting, in talking about bats: Manny Mota said, One time we were going up against Bob Gibson, who was a flamethrower. And would you believe, Matty Alou, who was the smallest of the three Alous, had a thirty-seven-inch, forty-ounce bat. And he used it against Bob Gibson.

Anyway, that's the story on bats. Here's Taylor Green, hitting two twenty-two....

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Post-Game 49 Thread: Fiers Burns Dodgers



Nathan Eovaldi was hot, allowing only a two-run home run to a classless douche over seven innings. But Brewers starter Michael Fiers (pronounced \ˈfī(-ə)rs\) was hotter, muzzling the Dodgers for a measly run over those same seven. All-around nice guy Matt Kemp went 1 for 4 in his return from the DL, including a deep fly ball that died at the right-field warning track. DAMMIT

The Dodgers had a look in the ninth when John Axford hit Andre Ethier after allowing a Kemp double, but Jerry Hairston Jr. (.394/.474/.530) inexplicably tried to bunt the runners over. The count went to two strikes and he proceeded to hit into a double play. James Loney was next up, so you know what happened there. DAMMIT

Dodgers drop to 32-17, Brewers improve to 21-28. That's right, we just dropped two straight to a team that's 10-15 on the road. DAMMIT

DelinO's Got the Whole Infield in His Hands

Game 49 Thread: May 29 vs. Brewers, 7p

Nathan Eovaldi (0-0, -.--) vs. Michael Fiers (0-0, -.--).

I received excutive orders (from SoSG Orel) to scribe this evening's Game Thread. Of course, this is a tricky GT to write, since both pitchers are spot-starters called up from AAA, with limited MLB stats from which to glean insights. 22-year-old Nathan Eovaldi makes his 2012 debut for the Dodgers this evening, filling in for injured Ted Lilly. Eovaldi appeared in 10 games last year and went 1-2 with a 3.63 ERA and a 102 ERA+ (about league average).

Fiers has only appeared in two major league games to date, spanning a whopping two innings with a spotless ERA (2 H, 2 Ks, 3 BB). And the Dodgers don't tend to do well seeing opposing pitchers for the first time, so there's a clear and present danger that we could be in trouble tonight, against a team who already took the opening game of the series. Not to mention there's that guy on the Brewers who litigated his way to retain his NL MVP award, won under suspicious circumstances, without remorse.

Will the Dodgers stumble again against the Brewers, as we progress on our hunt for (red) October? Or will Matt Kemp's return to the lineup help knock out the Brewers' starter early, so tonight won't be the sum of all Fiers?

First Look: Vin Scully Bobblehead

From @Dodgers:

Arizona Diamondbacks @ Los Angeles Dodgers, Thursday, Aug 30, 2012 (TiqIQ)

DelinO Lost Weekend

Actually, it was just a weekend of baseball. A whole lot of baseball. And though it might not had the luster of the Clippers - Kings - Lakers triumvirate, it included a walk off homer, Field Level Row A seating and the single greatest game giveaway EVER.

Sunday at Dodger Stadium saw a leadoff triple and all of one other hit from the bottom dwelling Astros. Led by a never-better Jerry Hairston (five hits), the Dodgers showed why they're LA's best non-Hockey team. But you wouldn't know it from the attendance.

Thanks to my father-in-law's curious connection, the family DeShields sat in style. Close enough for the dugout to smell my son's Dodger dog addiction.

Close enough to see the Treanor family.

Close enough to watch Bobby warmup for a stellar six pitch at bat, where he didn't swing once and yet went from 0-2 to a walk (told you he'd be a legit pick-up!):

Even if there was a reminder that this Row A seat - before the "improvements" to Dodgers Stadium - was a real Row A.

Only Andre Ethier's resemblance to a mere human could bring down an otherwise stellar game on a stellar day with my stellar family. And friend of SoSG Todd.

(The actual Todd's neck. I've got a picture of his face, but it'll cost you.)

Coming later. Part 2: One Night in Anaheim.