Sunday, September 30, 2012

Post-Game 159 Thread: Two-Run Homers For Everyone!

Subjugated! Nice.


Today was Fan Appreciation Day, and the Dodgers thought it was only appropriate that the fans in the bleachers get some free baseballs to take home. Matt Kemp, two-run homer in the fourth. Luis Cruuuuuuz, two-run homer, also in the fourth. A.J. Ellis, two-run homer in the sixth. (Oh yeah, and Hanley had an RBI single, too.) Dodgers complete the sweep of the Rockies AND take the season series from them.

The Cardinals weren't feeling quite as generous, as they beat Washington and reduced the Dodgers' tragic number to 2. We're still going to need a miracle and a half to get into the WC game, but you can't say the Dodgers aren't doing their part.

The Giants come in to town tomorrow for a series that's not quite as important as it once could have been, but it's still going to be intense.


Game 159 Thread: Sept. 30 vs. Rockies, 1p

Josh Beckett (6-14, 4.76) vs Jorge De La Rosa (0-1, 9.45).

Beckett hasn't received enough run support in his tenure as a Dodger, but things should be different today as the NewLook™ Dodger Offense looks to do some damage against De La Rosa, newly recovered from Tommy John surgery. The Cards play the Nats starting at 11:15 PT, so there'll be some scoreboard watching prior to this game. Playoffs? PLAYOFFS!

Nosebleed Seats Over Dodger Stadium

Mrs Cora kindly bought a helicopter ride over Los Angeles for our anniversary.  We made sure the pilots flew over Dodger Stadium in order to get some pictures (Click on pic to enlarge).  Here's what we saw at about 4:15 pm, before yesterday's Dodgers vs. Rockies game.  Go Blue!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Game 158 Thread: Sept 29 vs. Rockies, 6p

Joe Blanton (1-4, 5.57) vs. Tyler Chatwood (5-5, 5.49).

Blanton got his first Dodger win in his last outing, seven days ago. We're down by three games with five for both us and the Cardinals to play. That gives us a tragic number of 3 out of the ten possible relevant outcomes that could happen. So it's not like the season rests on the shoulders of Joe Blanton, right? Right?!

(The print edition of the LA Times already laid claim to the pun Dodgers behind the eight ball, referring to the Dodgers scoring eight runs the last three games. But tonight, will eight be enough?)

Our SoSG Softball Army Attacks (?)

It's 3pm and I have not heard from Orel or Stubbs yet on the Dodger Blogger Softball Tournament results. This either means we have been annihilated beyond the point of communication, or we are drunk. I'm betting on the latter.

Good luck, guys!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Post-Game 157 Thread: We Already Eight, Thanks


For the third night in a row the Dodgers defeated a division rival by scoring eight runs. The charge tonight was led by #8 Shane Victorino, who hit a three-run home run in the second inning. Unfortunately, the Cards thumped the Nats, so the Dodgers remain three back in the second wild card race. We do it all again tomorrow!

Oh, and make sure you catch the defensive play of the game. Clayton Kershaw, prepare for your second Gold Glove:

Game 157 Thread: Sept. 28 vs. Rockies, 7p

"Uma Thurman in 'Kill Bill'? Totally stole my costume."

Clayton Kershaw (12-9, 2.68) vs. Jeff Francis (5-6, 5.54).

"The journey of six games begins with a single pitch," Lao Tzu is often credited with saying, and if the Dodgers are going to make a thing of this, that pitch will be coming from the left hand of Clayton Kershaw. Along with Matt Kemp, Kershaw has demonstrated he will put his body on the line as long as the Dodgers have a chance, and for that we should be thankful.

Unfortunately, the Rockies have a pocketful of the Dodgers' Kryptonite — soft-tossing lefties. Don't let those numbers fool you: last time Jeff Francis faced the Dodgers, it was ugly. The Dodger bats have been super for their past two games, resulting in eight runs per game. What happens when super meets Kryptonite?

Regarding The Last Two Days Of Dodger Victories


I had this weird dream where the Dodgers' 2013 bats came back in time to September 2012 and started going nuts, wreaking havoc (at least on the Wild Card race not to mention Dodger fans' hearts).


Other fun facts:

  • The last time the Dodgers had scored eight or more runs? August 29, vs. Colorado (a victory).
  • The Dodgers are 20-0 when scoring eight or more runs.

Ned Gettin' Testy?

From a Q&A between's Barry Bloom and Ned Colletti: So there was a little blowup in the clubhouse after Tuesday night's loss here. We heard that was you.

Colletti: I had a passionate exchange in the coach's room. What was the message?

Colletti: Were you invited? No, but I wish I was.

Colletti: It was just a bit of an evaluation.

Frankly I'm surprised he hasn't lost his mind already, but it's a testament to the frustration of this season that the usually even-keeled Ned got a wee bit defensive in that conversation.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Post-Game 156 Thread: Dodgers Finally Show Up...and No One Cares


In case you haven't noticed, the Dodgers have won their past two series, taking two of three from both the playoff-bound Reds the decidedly-staying-at-home Padres. Tonight's win puts the Dodgers three games behind the idle Cards for the second wild card spot. Six games remain: three each against the Rockies and Giants, all at Dodger Stadium. Will anyone show up?

Game 156 Thread: Sept 27 @ Padres, 7p

Chris Capuano (11-11, 3.74) vs. Casey Kelly (2-2, 5.55).

Although we've come, to the end of the road (trips), still I can't, let, go. And not just because Michael McCary won't reunite with the rest of the band. No, it's because the Dodgers keep stringing us fans along this season, clinging to a slim tragic number of four with 13 outcomes left in the season.

Could the Dodgers go 6-1 while the Cards go 2-4? It's possible, given the Cards play the Nationals and the Reds, since we're facing a rookie pitcher with just 24 innings under his belt (on the other hand, Capuano hasn't had a win since August 12, eight starts ago). But it's unlikely (listed a 0.9% chance). And I don't know if it's worse to just get this elimination thing over with now, rather than have to face getting knocked out by the Giants at home next week. Can I see what's behind curtain #3 instead?

Gagne + Math Proves Chin-Feng Chen Very Probably Juiced

Former Dodger Eric Gagne claims 80 percent of his teammates were juicing. Then today, Adrian Beltre, Robin Ventura, and Edwin Jackson commented that they aren't in the 80%:

"He should have mentioned names," Beltre said. "I know for sure I'm not one of them. I haven't read the book. I'm not interested in it. He should have come up with names instead of a percentage."

Beltre, teammates with Gagne when the pitcher won the Cy Young in 2003, said he doesn't have any interest in reading the book, especially when informed it's in French.

"My French is not too good," Beltre said. "Everybody has the right to say whatever they say. If they feel the need to write a book about it, what can I say?"

Gagne first admitted publicly to using HGH in 2010.

In the book, Gagne does not provide any names of players he says used PEDs. Baseball began stricter testing in the spring of 2006. Players are subject to HGH testing during spring training and in the offseason, but not during the season.

Beltre was not the only one to respond to Gagne's claims. Chicago White Sox manager Robin Ventura finished his 16-year career with the Dodgers in 2003-04, playing in a total of 151 games.

"Apparently, I'm the 20 percent," Ventura told "I don't, I mean, I was never around it. So it's just one of those (things) that maybe he knows something I don't."

Doing a very cursory glance at the 2003 and 2004 Dodgers squad, I'm counting 66 players, including Gagne:

  • Paul Lo Duca
  • Fred McGriff
  • Shawn Green
  • Alex Cora
  • Cesar Izturis
  • Adrian Beltre
  • Jeromy Burnitz
  • Jayson Werth
  • Milton Bradley
  • Juan Encarnacion
  • Jolbert Cabrera
  • Mike Kinkade
  • Brian Jordan
  • Ron Coomer
  • Rickey Henderson
  • Wilkin Raun
  • Todd Hundley
  • Larry Barnes
  • Jason Romano
  • Chad Hermenson
  • Bubba Crosby
  • Koyie Hill
  • Daryle Ward
  • Dave Roberts
  • Steve Finley
  • Jose Hernandez
  • Jason Grabowski
  • David Ross
  • Robin Ventura
  • Olmedo Saenz
  • Brent Mayne
  • Hee-Seop Choi
  • Joe Thurston
  • Antonio Perez
  • Chin-Feng Chen
  • Kevin Brown
  • Wilson Alvarez
  • Andy Ashby
  • Paul Shuey
  • Paul Quantrill
  • Scott Mullen
  • Steve Colyer
  • Troy Brohawn
  • Victor Alvarez
  • Tom Wilson
  • Jose Flores
  • Jeff Weaver
  • Odalis Perez
  • Kazuhisa Ishii
  • Jose Lima
  • Hideo Nomo
  • Edwin Jackson
  • Guillermo Mota
  • Duaner Sanchez
  • Brad Penny
  • Elmer Dessens
  • Eric Gagne
  • Brian Falkenborg
  • Giovanni Carrara
  • Yhency Brazoban
  • Darren Dreifort
  • Tom Martin
  • Rodney Myers
  • Mike Venafro
  • Masao Kida
  • Scott Stewart

If you take Gagne out, that leaves 65 players, 52 of whom are juicing. We now can put three of the 65 in the "non-juicing" category. This means of the 62 players left, if 52 of them are juicing, it's now up to an 84% chance that a remaining name is an offender.

I think from this math, we can safely assume that Chin-Feng Chen was juicing. And that probably explains how he popped from a career .000 average in his first three years to a .250 average in his final year (2005). Now I understand.

Someone check my math on this, please.

Drought On The Farm Due To Colletti?

LA Observed's Phil Wallace isn't impressed with Dodgers GM Ned Colletti's moves, not one bit:

The Dodgers meanwhile have been in contention for most of the year. Their ambitious new owners pulled the trigger on expensive trades for big name players like Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, and Carl Crawford. Yet, it seems like the Dodgers have gotten worse after each deal, and now it will take a miracle for them to win the second wild card.

How could this happen? Don't the teams that spend the most money win all the time? In short, the answer is "no". Any baseball analyst who tells you that payroll equals wins is a complete idiot.

This year, the teams with the second, third, and fourth highest payrolls (Phillies, Red Sox, Angels) all are likely to miss the playoffs. Of the teams that began 2012 with the ten highest payrolls, only four are likely to make the playoffs (Yankees, Rangers, Giants, Cardinals). Teams that are already in the playoffs include the Washington Nationals (No. 20 payroll), the Cincinnati Reds (No. 17 payroll), and the Atlanta Braves (No. 16 payroll). Low payroll teams like the Oakland A's (No. 29) and the Baltimore Orioles (No. 19) would both be in the postseason if it started today.

This not an anomaly unique to 2012. Virtually every year on LAObserved I point to 4-5 mid and low-level teams that make playoffs, and multiple high payroll teams that miss it. This is a trend that's been going on for much of the past decade. If payroll did equal wins, then the Yankees would have 10 World Series titles in the past 10 years. Instead, they have one.

So why can't teams buy wins? Because typically with a high payroll, you're paying for past performance, not future performance.

Sure, Albert Pujols has had 10 terrific years in pro baseball. But will he have 10 more great years? Well, the Angels are paying him $254 million for those years, whether they're good or not. In the meantime, baseball's unique salary structure - which allows teams to pay whatever they want for a player's first three years and then still own him for three more - means the Angels are paying a bargain price many of Mike Trout's best years. The fact is, nearly half of all $100+ million MLB contracts are considered busts by the time they're over.

That doesn't mean spending money is bad. I'm thrilled that the Dodgers have new owners who are aggressive and willing to go after good players. It means that they have a greater margin for error and it gives them an avenue towards improvement that they didn't have under Frank McCourt. But if the Dodgers are going to be successful, then they need to run a smarter organization that does a better job of developing its own players. Baseball history shows that building from within provides a much better opportunity for sustainable success than by bringing players from the outside.

Dodgers CEO Stan Kasten should know this as well as anyone. When he was president of the Atlanta Braves, the organization was the gold standard for player development and won a record 14 consecutive division titles. When he was President of the Nationals, the organization built much of the foundation that has put them in the playoffs this year.

But the Dodgers do have a ways to go in order to build a successful farm system. I outlined much of what they can do earlier this year.

Yet, I'm disappointed when I read a line from a Dylan Hernandez "news" story that says:

Though the Dodgers' farm system has produced several major league players in recent seasons, it is currently short on top-tier talent because spending on amateur players was curbed during Frank McCourt's ownership. That statement is treated as fact, but it could just as easily say: "The Dodgers farm system is currently short on top-tier talent because they have done a poor job of developing players since DeJon Watson took over as head of player development."

Or it could have said: "The Dodgers farm system is currently short on top-tier talent because the team has had several disappointing drafts under scouting director Logan White."

It's easy to blame Frank McCourt for everything that's gone wrong, and I'm no fan of him either. But the Dodgers were not in an impossible scouting and player development situation under him. They still have plenty of bad misses in the draft and it's easy to question the quality of instruction their prospects are receiving.

Either way, the new MLB collective bargaining agreement restricts every team's ability to spend in the draft, forcing teams to do a better job of scouting and player development. At some point, Ned Colletti and his staff to be held accountable for the organization's sub-par farm system. Despite the fact that Colletti has proven unable to build a quality minor league system on a budget, he was rewarded with a long-term contract earlier this month.

If the Dodgers do want to spend more money on player development, then here's a great idea. Earlier this year, Matt Kemp had to do a rehab assignment with the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. As is tradition for MLBers on rehab stints, Kemp had to pick up the check for dinner in the clubhouse. While there, he said:

"It's tough being in the minor leagues with the money they get. I was eating Taco Bell and Kentucky Fried Chicken every day (in the minors), so I'm going to feed them well," Kemp said. "I like to eat, so I'm going to eat good too. I don't want to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches at night."

Here's a question... why are the Dodgers minor leaguers eating KFC and Taco Bell? Why wouldn't the Dodgers want to hire a chef in Rancho Cucamonga to give their prospects proper nutrition? If I owned a MLB team, then I would want all of my prospects at all levels eating right, especially considering everything we now know about the link between nutrition and performance.

Spending $100 million on Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford is great. But just as important, if not more so, is spending money on the best scouts, the best minor league instructors, and the most advanced computer systems that can analyze a player's swing or a pitcher's delivery so a prospect can become a legitimate major leaguer. Investing in minor leaguers is investing in the future of an organization. You wouldn't want to feed your children garbage fast food, and you wouldn't want your top prospects eating fast food either.

If I were to characterize Ned Colletti's style as a general manger in one sentence, then I would say he's a man who tenaciously pursues every recognizable name available. With a seemingly unlimited payroll this year, Colletti has done just that, acquiring plenty of recognizable names. But recognizable players don't win championships. Good players do. Recognizable names cost money. Good players don't necessarily.

Colletti went out of his way to acquire Shane Victorino, a recognizable name whose best days are obviously behind him. Colletti gave up a useful relief pitcher in Josh Lindblom and a former first round draft pick in Ethan Martin. He also agreed to pay the remaining millions left on Victorino's contract. It's the rare combination where a team both gives up prospects and takes on money. Normally it's one or the other, but in trades for Victorino, Hanely Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez and others, it's been both prospects and money.

Recognizable name Victorino has rewarded the Dodgers by hitting .227 with a pitiful .302 OBP and a .304 slugging percentage while wearing Dodger Blue. In the meantime, the Oakland A's may very well be playoff bound despite receiving over 80 starts from rookie pitchers. That's from unrecognizable names like Jarrod Parker, Tommy Milone, and A.J. Griffin.

There's a whole lot of pent-up frustration there. In that sense, I think Wallace speaks for all Dodger fans.

Softball Schedule Includes Morning Doubleheader

(click to enlarge)

The softball schedule has been released...and we're playing at least FOUR games! All this actual playing time threatens to impinge upon our beer-drinking, but I'm sure we'll figure something out.

First game starts at 9AM. See you bright and early!

Your Morning Dose Of Statistics

James Loney with Boston:

  • 25 games
  • 21 hits
  • 1 HR
  • .247 BA
  • .587 OPS
  • 57 OPS+

Adrian Gonzalez with the Dodgers:

  • 28 games
  • 30 hits
  • 3 HR
  • .263 BA
  • .744 OPS
  • 103 OPS+

Below expectations, sure. But better than the alternative? Discuss.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Post-Game 155 Thread: Where Have These Dodgers Been All September?


Matt Kemp, 4-for-5 with 4 RBI and a HR (his 20th). Adrian Gonzalez, 2-for-5 with 2 RBI. Hanley Ramirez, 2-for-5 with 1 RBI. THIS is how we expected our 3-4-5 hitters to perform all month. And now, it's too little too late, but it's still good enough to leave a hopeful taste for 2013.

Even Juan Rivera even got a HR. Nick Punto, in the two-hole, went 3-for-5 with 4 runs (he reached in the sixth on a FC). The only frustrated Dodger today (besides Juan Uribe, who ran out of mayonnaise at the spread) was Elian Herrera, who went 0-for-5 with 2 Ks as the leadoff hitter. But the Dodgers scored early and often, and at least maintained a tragic number of 4 pending the Cardinals' outcome (they are currently down 2-0 @ Houston in the bottom of the sixth).

Game 155 Thread: Sept. 26 @ Pads, 3:30p

Aaron Harang (9-10, 3.80) vs. Clayton Richard (14-12, 3.81).

blah blah no chance something something PLAYOFFS la de da we suck blah blah blah

Softball T-Shirts Are Here

Thanks again to tireless impresario John G. and designer extraordinaire Verdilak for making our team uniform a reality once again.

It's not too late to throw your mitt in the ring and claim your very own piece of SoSG swag in the process! Click here to sign up!

We hope to have the tournament schedule soon and will post it as soon as it comes through. Stay tuned!

Dope, Dope, Dope: Dope-a, Gagne Style

Eric Gagne has largely stayed out of the spotlight since he was linked to HGH usage during his record-setting Dodgers days. But now he's back with a tell-all book, and he's saying he wasn't alone in using performance-enhancing drugs:

Former Cy Young closer Eric Gagne alleges in his new biography that 80 percent of his Los Angeles Dodgers teammates were using performance-enhancing drugs.

Gagne, who set a major league record while converting 84 consecutive save chances, admits that he used human growth hormone over five cycles in a three-year period toward the end of his career.

"It was sufficient to ruin my health, tarnish my reputation and throw a shadow over the extraordinary performances of my career," Gagne says in the French-language book, titled, "Game Over: The Story of Eric Gagne."

Gagne won the 2004 Cy Young while converting all 67 of his save opportunities and posting a 1.20 ERA. He had elbow surgery in 2005 and signed as a free agent with the Texas Rangers before the 2006 season. Gagne signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers in 2010, but was released during spring training and hasn't pitched in the major leagues since 2008.

Gagne first admitted publicly to using HGH in 2010.

In the book, Gagne does not provide any names of players he says used PEDs. Baseball began stricter testing in the spring of 2006. Players are subject to HGH testing during spring training and in the offseason, but not during the season.

With the Dodgers flailing down the stretch, this is the equivalent of having Gagne kick my dog, too. Why couldn't Game Over just remain Over?

But I do know this: perhaps 80% of the 2006 Dodgers were juicing, maybe. But 100% of the San Francisco Giants' Melky Cabrera and Guillermo Mota are juicing. Definitely.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Post-Game 154 Thread: Shane Victorino Hates The Dodgers

Shane Victorino, stayin' alive. Dodgers, not so much.


Shane Victorino was nailed at home in the second inning, failing to score from second on a single to left fielder Chris Denorfia. Oh sure, Victorino yipped at Everth Cabrera after the seventh inning when Cabrera played dirty trying to break up an inning-ending double play at second. But yipping at an opponent is not going to redeem his sorry .225 BA as a Dodger. Nor will Victorino's two-out, two-on fly ball to right in the eighth, ending that inning's threat.

Matt Kemp rounded third too far in the sixth inning, and when Chase Headley barehanded the dribbler to third too late to nail Hanley Ramirez at first, Headley wisely spun to Cabrera (SS covering third), who nailed Kemp, stuck somewhere in the last 90 feet. Clearly, Kemp doesn't read Deadspin, or he might of seen one of these articles. But one run wouldn't make a difference, right?

And so the Dodgers somnambulated, until the ninth inning when A.J. Ellis doubled in Luis Cruz (who led off with a single to left). AJellis was replaced by Dee Gordon, Nick Punto (who?) sacrificed Gordon to third with one out, and MEllis walked. But Andre Ethier whiffed meekly on a pitch down and away, and Kemp followed by chasing a high pitch and flying out to right.

Dodgers' tragic number reduced to four. My god, we are horrible.

Game 154 Thread: September 25 @ Padres, 7p

Pictured: The 2012 Dodgers' quest for the post-season.
Josh Becket (1-2, 3.45 ERA) vs. Edinson Volquez (10-11, 4.30 ERA)

The good news is that the Dodgers are still alive in the wild card race. The bad news is that time and tides are conspiring against us. If we're going to get this done, it's going to take some divine intervention.

Our patented noffense has shown sputtering signs of life, but it will be heading down to Petco Park tonight, a veritable temple to run suppression. It might take a miracle, but this is baseball! Weird shit happens every day, right?

One has only to look as far as the Padres recent late season collapses (Thanks for nothing in 2010 AGAIN, you assholes) to see exactly how strange the last few games of the season can get. So, let's do the only thing we can do: Win our remaining games, and hope the Cardinals clubhouse is blessed by a particularly infectious strain of the French pox.

Want to Join the IBWAA?


With voting for season awards in progress and the launching of a new website today, the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America (IBWAA) is encouraging new members to join.

While you don’t get anything special, you will be eligible to vote in the current election. The sooner the better, because you’ll have 10 ballots to fill out, including MVP, Cy, rookie, manager and relief pitcher awards for NL and AL. Join by the final day of the regular season, October 3, 2012, email your selections by 9:00 p.m. PST, and consider yourself a full-fledged member of the IBWAA.

All online baseball writers are welcome, from publications large and small, including those covering minor league and amateur ball, and those working full-time, part-time and as unpaid contributors.

Membership dues are $10 per year, or $20 lifetime. Group discounts and scholarships are available. Please do not hesitate to ask. Visit our JOIN page to sign up.

It's Been Over 24 Hours Since The Last Dodger Game

So here's some random stuff for you, to tide you over until the Dodgers' next step toward defeat.

Jeff Kent is not having a good time in Survivor.

Ewoks are harmonizing.

Gangnam Style is the most-liked youtube video of all time. Congratulations, Dusty, on that itchy trigger finger! Except, please make sure this meme doesn't get out of hand.

Jon Weisman Cuts And Runs Like A Coward

With nine games to go, the Dodgers are playing out this catastrophic armageddon of a season, trying to go through the motions though it looks like we'll run out of time well before our final series with the Giants.

We've lost Ted Lilly. We've lost Chad Billingsley. We've lost Clayton Kershaw. We've lost Matt Kemp. We never found Shane Victorino or Joe Blanton. Sightings of Adrian Gonzalez' bat may be premature. We've lost Hanley Ramirez' bat, and his glove may never have made it over from Miami. We never even got Carl Crawford in the first place.

And now, we've lost Jon Weisman, the Dodgers' longest-tenured blogger and the force behind Dodger Thoughts. Posted Weisman last week, in his farewell message:

Tonight, I’m more clear on what I’m putting aside – including a dream of doing Dodger Thoughts for 50 years or more. To this day, I still have enough arrogance about myself to be surprised that no one has ever wanted to pay me a living wage to do this full-time. But the marketplace spoke, and unless it changes its mind someday, I don’t have the luxury of ignoring it. And I’m tired of doing mediocre work on something that meant so much to me.

Anyone reading this site knows how hard it has been for me to maintain a pretense that the site is still useful in 2012. There have been some decent moments, but mostly, it’s been painful. And it’s not getting any easier. My family and my day job demand bigger and bigger shares of my energy and my sanity. So let’s cut to the chase: I’m designating myself for assignment.

That doesn’t mean I’m never going to post here again – in fact, I can almost promise that I will at some point – but it does mean I’m releasing myself from the daily task of writing about the Dodgers, as well as creating chat threads for every game. Dodger Thoughts has become a burden – the opposite of what it was intended to be – and there are too many other sites that now do what I set out to do more productively. The fact that I’m cutting and running with only two weeks left in the regular season (and a Dodger playoff appearance still very much a possibility) indicates just how much of a burden it has been. For all their problems, I believe in the Dodgers much more right now than I believe in my capacity to write about them. That about says it all.

Yes, times are so bad in 2012, that not even the tonic of new ownership, access to capital, and better future horizons can stimulate Weisman to keep up the fight. We've lost a serious Dodger blogger in this final weeks of the season, and most of the Dodger blogosphere is saddened by his departure.

Phil Gurnee over at TBLA lamented Weisman's retirement. VSIMH had a quick thank you, as well. 6-4-2's Rob McMillin said goodbye. Mike Petriello, video Jayna to Weisman's Zan (I might have that the other way around), is "off on his honeymoon" (so he claims), so he hasn't posted anything yet. Even my brother Orel put together a touching tribute.

But not me. I'm fed up.

Weisman, after years of reading your daily posts, I'd just about had it with your sound logic and rational approach, applied to the emotional rollercoaster integral to the pursuit of following the Dodgers as an ardent fan. But this farewell is just pathetic.

You cite family, let alone this thing called "a full-time job", as intruding upon your time creating thoughtful content and delivering that to readers for free (not to metnion the additional time it takes to monitor and contribute to always-open-for-business comment threads). Yet you found the time to publish a paperback book (and a solid one, at that).

Your family has indulged your stealing away in the middle of vacations and weddings and christenings in order to post breaking Dodgers news. They have to be used to it by now. And your work at Variety clearly knows about your other life (unlike us, who are shielded by pseudonyms), so it's not like you're going to get ratted out at work for scribing a post.

Your outgoing farewell cites the economic cruelty of the free market, yet you alone chose to resist muddying your clean website designs with banner ads and sidebar ads and popup ads and tracking cookies.

You made it burdensome and difficult for us devoted readers to follow you over the last ten years, jumping from the Baseball Toaster to the LA Times to ESPN Los Angeles to your own gig. And each time you moved, you manipulated us readers by tugging on all of our heartstrings, reminding us how delicate and special and wonderfully civil and remarkably erudite that readership community was, as we struggled through suboptimal commenting systems and waves of invading, grammatically clueless trolls.

You made us suffer through all of your lame Clayton Kershaw punny headlines, not to mention scores of posts about entertainment which had nothing whatsoever to do wit the Dodgers. Like there's not enough to stay focused and on-topic.

You wouldn't even allow us to use profanity, even when the Dodgers were playing like a bunch of goddamn bumblefucks. Or using hyperbole, even in those moments when the end of the world was happening. Or being sarcastic, like that was going to make the pain of a Dodgers loss more palatable. Suuuuuuuuuuuuuuure.

So this is all about you, is it Jon? After inspiring legions of Dodger bloggers to pick up their (virtual) pens, you go take the coward's way out and commit blogging suicide? After years of demonstrating how you bleed Dodger blue (not to mention Cardinal red), when the Dodgers and their fans need you most: you, and you alone, get to pick up your ball and go home?

Buck up, Weisman, and get back to that computer, you lazy wimp. I do hope you're saddled with the burden of guilt for leaving all of us out in the cold, and you feel that pain of remorse every single moment you spend enjoying your family or appropriately dedicating yourself to work. You sniveling, selfish jerk.

Just for this, I hope the Dodgers win it all in 2013.

Godspeed, Jon. And thank you for everything, including your friendship.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Scoreboard Watching: Cardinals @ Astros, 5p (Sept 24, 2012)

Lance Lynn (16-7, 3.79) vs. Fernando Abad (0-5, 5.11).

Faced with all the momentum of a Nationals 12-2 trouncing of the Brewers, pushing Milwaukee back to a tie with the Dodgers (3.0 GB second wild-card St. Louis), the Astros decide to throw Fernando Abad, a pitcher who is not only 0-5 this year but also has ONLY ONE WIN IN HIS ENTIRE MLB CAREER.

Thanks a lot for the help, Houston! Hope the DH treats you well in the AL West!


UPDATE: Well, maybe not all of you.

Scoreboard Watching: Brewers @ Nationals, 10a (Sept 24, 2012)

Get it? National Brewery?

Marco Estrada (4-6, 3.56) vs. Jordan Zimmerman (11-8, 2.96).

The Brewers sit a hair ahead of the Dodgers, 2.5 GB the Cardinals for the second wild-card spot. The Dodgers are three games back of St. Louis (who plays at Houston later tonight).

I don't know if the Dodgers will be watching this game on their off-day (knowing Josh Beckett, he'll be out golfing). But I will be watching (at least, through GameDay at work).

Yankees Win at Rookie Hazing

Yankees rookies participate in rookie hazing: Mark Littlefield (Assistant Athletic Trainer) as Chewbacca, Adam Warren as Han Solo, David Phelps as Princess Leia, Melky Mesa as Darth Vader, Kenji Nomura (Hiroki Kuroda's translator) as Yoda and Cody Eppley as Luke Skywalker.

Poor Kenji! I guess translators are always rookies.

photo from @M_Marakovits (via Cut 4)

Last Call for Fall Softball, Y'all!

CONFIRMED PLAYERS (please pay and register this week!):

    1. Bobby
    2. Dusty Baker's Toothpick
    3. Johnny Blanchard
    4. G-woman
    5. Friend of G-woman
    6. Matty-something
    7. Karina
    8. rbnlaw
    9. SoSG Orel
    10. SoSG Stubbs


    Cliff Beefpile

And how about you, Jason? Eugenio's Streak? Bobby, any word on your two friends? Use the comments to confirm registration and arrange carpools (DBT & Cliffy?).

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Post-Game 153 Thread: Kershaw Toughs One Out


Clayton Kershaw hadn't pitched in 12 days. For his safety, we didn't want him to pitch tonight. Apparently, he disagreed. His outing was so-so — 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K, 10 baserunners — but showed Dodger fans that as long as this team has a ghost of a chance, he's going to throw until his arm drops off. Figuratively, people.

Oh, and Adrian Gonzalez owns Homer Bailey, hitting two solo home runs off him tonight. In 16 career ABs against Bailey, Gonzalez now has five homers. So if A-Gon can face Bailey for every single AB left in this season, we're good!

photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images

Game 153 Thread: Sept 23 @ Reds, 5p

The Dodgers appear to be the gentleman on the right.

Aaron "Not Kershaw" Harang (9-10, 3.80) Clayton Kershaw (12-9, 2.70) vs. Homer Bailey (12-9, 3.82).

There's celebrations going on in Cincinnati, but not for the Dodgers, who are throwing in the towel by sending in Harang on three days' rest (his prior three starts on three days' rest have resulted in a 5.50 ERA).

Clayton Kershaw is indefinite with a sore hip. Shane Victorino is hurt with a sore wrist. Matt Kemp is still ailing from a sore shoulder, and A.J. Ellis is pretty fatigued. And Juan Uribe is fat.

So I'm not expecting we'll take the rubber game tonight here in Cincy. Let's just get ready for a day off before we get smoked in San Diego.

Even Siri Is Down on the Dodgers

I knew the score, but wanted to experiment with Siri's capabilities.

Damn, Siri, I just asked what the score was. Didn't need you to get all subjective and shit. Good use of the semi-colon, though.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Post-Game 152 Thread: Last Gasp


Once again, when they needed a win the most, the Dodgers came up empty. With ten games left in the season, this puts them half a game behind the Brewers and three games behind the Cardinals for the final wild card spot — and likely ensures Clayton Kershaw will not pitch tomorrow's game, as only a sweep of the Reds would have given the Dodgers any real hope to make the PLAYOFFS!

It's time to rest Kemp and Kershaw, and to hope Adrian Gonzalez has been playing injured as well. Twenty-four years without a World Series appearance. Your turn, Guggenbros.

Game 152 Thread: Sept. 22 @ Reds, 1p

They'll let anybody steal a base nowadays.

Stephen Fife (0-1, 2.49) vs. Mat Latos (12-4, 3.76).

Biggest game of the year? Maybe, if you still think the Dodgers can still make the PLAYOFFS! And that means it would be the biggest start of young Fife's career. Facing him is old nemesis Latos, who is 1-6 lifetime against the Dodgers with a 2.91 ERA, 1.122 WHIP and a 2.82 K/BB rate. But this is Latos' first time pitching against the Dodgers with the vaunted Reds' offense behind him, so anything could happen.

Unfortunately, the Cards are currently not cooperating, leading the Cubs 3-1 in the top of the fifth. The Brewers are losing to the Nats 3-0 in the bottom of the third. Put on your seatbelts!

UPDATE: Brewers lose, Cards win.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Post-Game 151: Kemp Puts Dodgers on Aching Shoulders

DODGERS 3, REDS 1 (10)

The pitching staff did its job today, with Blanton, Choate, Tolleson, Kenley, Beli and League holding the Reds to one run over ten innings. In the tenth, with the bases loaded, Kemp stroked a two-out, two-strike single (above) to give the Dodgers the winning runs.

Cards lose, so the Dodgers are now two games behind them for the final wild card spot. PLAYOFFS!

AP photo

Game 151 Thread: Sept 21 @ Reds, 4p

Joe Blanton (9-13, 4.97) vs. Bronson Arroyo (12-8, 3.74).

The last two months, the Dodgers have been one big kick to the nuts. Just when you think we're going to break out of our offensive miasma, due to one breakout game or a ninth-inning, doubleheader-saving homerun, we slip back into our noffense ways. Even Jon Weisman can't take this shit any longer.

So here we go, a three-game series with the NL Central-leading Reds, kicking off with Samson Arroyo in the opener. Twelve games to go, so all we need is the Giants to go 1-11 on their last twelve games, while we go 12-0 and take the NL West crown. Or something like that. PLAYOFFS!

Very Late Post-Game 150 Thread: Caption Contest

Kemp: I'm surrounded by idiots. Idiots who are batting .225.


Five Things I'm Wondering

1. Will the Giants vote Melky Cabrera a full playoff share?

2. When will the Dodgers shut down Kemp and Kershaw? Everybody's thinking it. Feelin' Kinda Blue is flat-out asking it. Who (besides @Dodgers) thinks risking their long-term health in this charade of a playoff chase is worth it?

3. Will we get a WSH-BAL World Series? Right before a Presidential election? It could be a DC kind of fall.

4. Whither Russell Martin in 2013? Martin, who turned down a three-year, $20-million deal from the Yankees, might have to take another one-year deal to reestablish his value.

5. Which team will be more embarrassed at not making the playoffs: the Dodgers or Angels? Don't worry, guys, there's plenty of humiliation to go around!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Game 150 Thread: Sept. 20 @ Nationals, 4p

Chris Capuano (11-10, 3.60) vs. Ross Detwiler (9-6, 3.16).

Back to the good ol' singleheader today as the Dodgers are actually in position to take this series from the playoff-bound Nats. Matt Kemp hit a game-winning home run yesterday (above) and Clayton Kershaw is throwing again, but don't be fooled into thinking playoffs. (Except you, rbnlaw.) Still, that doesn't mean we can't enjoy the Dodgers trying to finish this season on a winning streak.

AP photo

iOS6 Giants Bias

Like every Apple nerd around, I stayed up late last night updating all my iDevices with the new iOS6 update released yesterday. This morning, I got around to exploring its new features. Siri on the iPad3!, I thought - finally. After holding down the home button for a couple of seconds, sure enough up pops Siri. But what is that I notice? It's a guide screen meant to help a user navigate the many possibilities of Siri. I looked closer, knowing the most important use I want to get from Siri is the ability to quickly look up sports scores. What did I see? A fucking GIANTS reference as an example! I was mortified.

Clicking into the sports section of the Siri guide yielded further deplorable Giants references.

"Did the Giants win?", "When do the Giants play next?", and "Show me the roster for the Giants" are other examples given. Apple, you're playing with fire here. Don't make me go all Samsung Galaxy III over this!

Playoff Tickets

As the last Son who thinks the Dodgers are going to make the playoffs (a claim I shared with Nomo at SoSG Fest III), I was delighted to see this email in my inbox yesterday:

Anyway, if anyone wants the code, send us an email. I've already got my seats.

We're going to the PLAYOFFS!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Wisdom of Weisman

The Godfather is retiring.

Well, not really. But Jon Weisman of Dodger Thoughts has announced he's taking an indefinite hiatus from daily Dodger blogging, which comes as a bummer but not a surprise if you saw the writing on the wall.

As a serial overreactor, I'll miss my dose of Jon's consistent rationality, but I take comfort that when he does decide to chime in, he'll have the benefit of hindsight...or at least a few weeks of bitching and moaning by Dodger fans once the team falls out of contention.

So, Jon Weisman: Thank you for an insanely disciplined and profoundly fruitful run in a medium that lends itself to oversaturation and burnout. Thank you for leading the way. I hope you find freedom in easing your burden, and I hope you find other outlets for dealing psychologically with all that other stuff.

Earlier at SoSG: Book Review: 100 Things Dodgers Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die (a review of Jon's book, which has a revised edition forthcoming)

The Most Dodgers RBI Ever

In Game 1 of today's doubleheader against the Nationals, Hanley Ramirez hit a single to score Andre Ethier from second. Ramirez's maple bat exploded on contact, sending a shard of his bat into the Dodgers' third-base dugout.

A Dodger suffered a cut behind his right ear as the shard hit him.

Which Dodger was it?

It was not a coach or other NPC.

It was not Juan Uribe.

It was the Dodgers' ace, Clayton Kershaw, already suffering from a serious hip issue.

Your Dodger season in a nutshell.

Games 148/149 Doubleheader Thread: Sept. 19 @ Nats, 1p

Aaron Harang (9-9, 3.79) vs. Jordan Zimmerman (10-8, 3.01)
Josh Beckett (1-2, 3.38) vs. John Lannan (3-0, 2.41)

Oh joy, the opportunity to lose twice in one day.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Preliminary Semi-Halfway Possibly Decent News on Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw's Hip

Per Mike Fiammetta writing for
Clayton Kershaw was examined Tuesday by a hip specialist, who said the reigning National League Cy Young Award winner can continue to pitch without risking further damage to his right hip, but the Dodgers will not allow Kershaw to take the mound if the pain persists.

While the team traveled to Washington on Tuesday for a series opener with the Nationals that was postponed by rain, Kershaw was examined by Dr. Bryan Kelly at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York. Kelly agreed with the initial diagnosis made by team physician Neal ElAttrache that Kershaw has an impingement of the right hip, meaning the joint is pinched during rotation of the hip while pitching.

The team said Kershaw would resume his throwing program on Tuesday, though manager Don Mattingly did not commit to any decision regarding his ace's spot in the rotation. The Dodgers entered Tuesday one game behind the Cardinals for the second Wild Card spot in the National League.
Still sounds iffy, and I hope they are overly cautious. Clay is too valuable to risk long term injury for short term futility.

Image: February 17, 2012 - Source: David Livingston/Getty Images North America

Game 148 Thread: Sept. 19 vs. Nats, 1p

Garth Brooks sends coded message from back in time to express his disdain for the Dodgers' Noffense

Game 1: Aaron Harang (9-9, 3.79 ERA) vs. Jordan Zimmerman (10-8, 3.01 ERA)

Today the Dodgers take their unanswered prayers on the road against, well, the best team in baseball. Our boys a team decimated by pitching injuries and woes, and injuries and woes besetting the Noffense as well - victims of the game. It's the same old story. That doesn't leave much room for error. What more could go wrong - the team bus takes a wrong turn and we miss game time?

Many of us were hoping that the Nats would be comfortably ahead in their division and take this opportunity to coast a little bit and set up for their playoffs run. However, a three-game sweep at the hands of the division rival Barves took care of that ruse. Now the Nats will be looking to preserve their 5-game lead at all costs. On the plus side, at least we won't face Strasburg. On the down side, we don't have our number one starter, either. Perhaps a trip back east will provide the Noffense with a new way to fly.

There is also word of very threatening weather in the DC area. There is a tornado watch in effect and the tarp is on the field. The thunder rolls.

UPDATE 4:39p (Sax): Game is called, doubleheader tomorrow starting at 1p.
And since SoSG is there for the fans, here's some suggestions on what to watch instead, during the rest of this three-hour time block:
  • 4:30p: Judge Judy (CBS): A defendant is sued by her mother for car payments. Sort of like what we should be doing to Jason Schmidt.
  • 5p: King of Queens (r) (KCOP): Doug inherits his shift supervisor's job after an untimely death! Sort of like how Luis Cruz took over for Juan Uribe, except for the death part.
  • 5:30p: Family Guy (r) (KTLA): Peter runs up a tab at the local pharmacy. Sort of like Melky Cabrera.
  • 6p: The Rifleman (r) (KVME): A desperate, mute man steals from the stagecoach. Sort of like the story of Shane Victorino's Dodgers career (so far).
  • 6:30p: How I Met Your Mother (r) (KCOP): Ted emulates Barney and lives like there is no tomorrow. Sort of like an update on Frank McCourt: where is he now?
UPDATE II (Dusty): Do Over! We'll play two today instead. Two Of A Kind Workin' On A Full House, if you will.

Game II: Josh Beckett (6-13, 4.94) vs. John Lannan (3-0, 2.41)

The second game is set to start approximately 30 minutes after the completion of the first or at 4:05p, whichever is later.

This will serve as the official (accept no substitutes!) Game Thread of both games. So blow off work and settle in, folks.

UPDATE III (Dusty): Nomo just posted a new GT. So, this one will just fade into the cruel, forgotten annals of time and space. The recommendation is still to blow off work and settle in.

Hideo Nomo Sighting in Washington DC?

Dylan is not a happy man.

On the other hand, if we don't play, we can't lose!

The Final 15

So it comes down to this: one game back in the Wild Card race, with 15 games to go against a much tougher schedule than our Wild Card rival, St. Louis. And even though that August blockbuster trade will be partially judged by 2013 and beyond, Mark Saxon of ESPN comments that the Dodgers' performance this year is definitely an indicator of its yield:

LOS ANGELES -- Just after 2 p.m. on Aug. 25, Matt Kemp clicked a cell phone picture of the Los Angeles Dodgers' lineup -- with Adrian Gonzalez batting fourth -- and tweeted it to his more than 200,000 followers.

At that moment, Gonzalez was somewhere over the desert at an altitude of roughly 30,000 feet aboard a private jet, but he would, indeed, be in the lineup that day and hit a dramatic three-run home run in his first at-bat as a Dodger.

Kemp's tweet contained just one word and a hash tag.


Three-and-a-half weeks later, "wow" seems about right, for all the wrong reasons. After taking on more than a quarter-of-a-billion dollars in salary obligations to land Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Nick Punto and an injured Carl Crawford from the Boston Red Sox, the Dodgers have slipped further from their objective. They are 8-13 since the trade, have gone from two games back in the NL West to a barely breathing 7½ back and are hanging on in the wild-card race only because the St. Louis Cardinals have struggled just as badly as they have.

It's not exactly what they were envisioning when they made one of the brashest transactions in baseball history.

"I don't think anybody in here can put their finger on it," said Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis. "We just haven't swung the bats well."

There's no doubt that the events following that trade have been frustrating, infuriating, and deflating. Heck, Jon Weisman can't even bear to watch.

I'm feeling the same thing. One thought we might be turning a corner after wins Friday and Saturday against the Cardinals. But after sitting there in the stands watching Sunday's extra-inning disaster, an uncomfortably hot day made worse when the Dodgers' bats decided to leave the game after the third inning, even this ardent fan has to confess that it's a chore to watch this team limp along.

If hashtags were catalysts, we might be on to something. Instead, we're looking more and more lost with each passing day.

15 to go, starting with this difficult roadtrip to Washington and Cincinnati (followed by our last off-day of the season, then our last road series in San Diego). I mean, it's entirely possible we could turn it around now. But after Sunday's game, it certainly doesn't seem likely.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Noffense Explained (Part 2 of 2)

Sure, let's do another leadoff bunt. Those have worked really well. (cries)

While Matt Kemp has contributed to the Dodgers' noffense mainly because of the lofty expectations, there are other contributors who have had limited expectations, and still aren't delivering. Shane Victorino, from this fan's perspective, seems to the biggest culprit in the latter category.

After all of those years killing us as a Phillie, I expected Victorino to provide some sort of spark at the top of the order, at least gutting balls out or driving them to the gaps and hustling around the bases. Instead, he's been an automatic out. On Sunday's game (which I attended), with the exception of a nice catch in left field against the wall, he was a worthy target of derision.

But at least I can take some solace in the fact that he's not happy about his performance, either, at least according to Mark Saxon of ESPN:

LOS ANGELES -- A few days after the Los Angeles Dodgers traded for Shane Victorino, first-base coach Davey Lopes -- who made a living for 15 years disrupting another team's flow -- was asked how much Victorino could help spark a team struggling to create action.

"He can help a lot ... if he does his thing," Lopes said. "First, he has to do his thing."

You didn't have to be an expert interpreter of body language Sunday evening to see that Victorino hasn't exactly been doing his thing. After the Dodgers' 4-3 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals in 12 innings, Victorino -- who went 0-for-6 and may have had the game-turning at-bat -- sat staring into his locker for a good 10 minutes.

When I asked him if he had a moment to talk afterward, he tossed something in his bag, snapped "Nope," and walked toward the showers.

That's kind of what it's been like for the new guys around the Dodgers these days. Victorino has batted .233 since the Dodgers got him from the Philadelphia Phillies and he has struck out more (26 times) than he has scored (20 times).

Adrian Gonzalez is batting .233 with one home run since coming west. Hanley Ramirez has hit some long balls, but he's batting a mediocre .264 in Dodger blue and has, frankly, played awful defense at shortstop. Josh Beckett has been better than many people expected (3.38 ERA) but the Dodgers have gone 1-3 in his four starts.

Manager Don Mattingly said he happened to talk to Victorino on Sunday about the difficulty of coming to a new team in midseason.

"He hasn't really gotten rolling, put it that way," Mattingly said.

His problem Sunday happened to involve rolling, actually. With Mark Ellis 90 feet away from winning a crucial game for the Dodgers -- at third with one out -- Victorino couldn't get the ball over a drawn-in infield. He slapped the ball to Daniel Descalso at second base and the Cardinals got Ellis in a rundown that defused their 10th-inning rally. St. Louis broke it open in the 12th off young reliever John Ely.

Victorino and Gonzalez combined to go 0-for-11 Sunday. They hit only one ball out of the infield between them.

I may be letting AGon off the hook, perhaps because I believe AGon will turn it around, and I'm less confident Shane has a clue out there. Perhaps it's my rationalization since I know we're stuck with AGon for a while, but Shaney is gone at season's end.

All I know is, these are not the droids I'd been looking for. But Victorino seems to be as fried as that R5-D4 model that couldn't even make it off the lot.

photo: Harry How/Getty Images North America (9/3/12)

Noffense Explained (Part 1 of 2)

I really feel for the Dodgers' Superman, Matt Kemp. Despite a late double yesterday (he was, of course, stranded) and a game-changing defensive play in the ninth inning on Saturday, Kemp is clearly struggling from the plate this month.

In prior years, one probably would have called this petulance or arrogance on Kemp's behalf. Now, I think we have a good enough understanding of Kemp's psyche (and amazing potential) that we have to guess he's playing hurt, too proud to say anything, but suffering through because he knows how much he means to this team.

But for those of you looking to quantitative measures, ESPN's Mark Simon breaks down the statistics to dissect Kemp's performance from the plate:

What has plagued Kemp most during this slump? Quite simply. Just about everything:

The slow stuff

Offspeed pitches are currently Kemp’s kryptonite.

Kemp has missed on 27 of his last 44 swings against offspeed pitches, a 61 percent miss rate that’s well out of line with a miss rate of 39 percent entering this skid.

Since returning on August 31 after three days off following an injury when he ran into the fence trying to make a play, Kemp has seen more changeups than any hitter in baseball. His last hit against one came on August 8.


Kemp has also had issues when he’s swung at pitches out of the strike zone. He’s made 25 outs on pitches thrown out of the strike zone without getting a hit.

His out-to-hit ratio on pitches out of the strike zone prior to these struggles was 3.2-to-1.

But Kemp is also missing pitches he typically drives. Since August 25, he’s hitting just .229 when an at-bat ends with a pitch in the strike zone.

That’s 158 points below what he’d established in the first four-and-three-quarter months of the season.

In fact, Kemp’s batting average against pitches in the strike zone is almost a near-match for his batting average against pitches out of the strike zone this season (.232) prior to when this slump began on August 26

Inability to drive the ball

Kemp’s ground-ball rate has increased from 41 percent pre-slump to 49 percent since. That’s come at the expense of him hitting line drives. He was hitting them at a 21 percent rate, but that has since dipped to 15 percent over his last 60 at-bats.

Kemp is having a hard time with pitches on the outer-half of the plate, or just off the outside corner. His 10th-inning flyout against Fernando Salas made him 3-for-25 against such pitches since August 26. The image atop this article illustrates Kemp's difficulties at getting hits on pitches to that area.

I applaud Kemp's bravery soldiering through this, at a time when we're trying to backdoor into that second wildcard spot. But I've gotta think his inability to drive the ball (especially all the ground balls to third I seem to see most frequently) reflects the fact that there's just something fundamentally off for Kemp. Kemp means enough to this team that I'd rather shut him down now rather than risk him exacerbating any sort of lingering injury.

You don't have anything you need to prove to us in 2012, Matt. Just come back ready to rock in 2013!

Rookie Hazing 2012, Part 1

One of the most popular features on SoSG is back! Here are the first two pics of the (mostly) annual insanity, straight from the Dodgers Twitter feed:

l to r: Stephen Fife, Alex Castellanos(?), Elian Herrera, Tim Federowicz

Shawn "Carrie Kelly" Tolleson

More to come, I assume, since there isn't yet a clear shot of whoever the Queen of Hearts is.

Earlier Rookie Hazing content at SoSG: 2011, 2009, 2008

CBS Sunday Morning Unearths Historical Vin Footage

Great segment on the latest CBS Sunday Morning featuring a profile of Vin Scully. Video is unavailable online but here's a transcription.

For me the most interesting part was the archival footage they dug up. Some screenshots:

The title screen for Vin's eponymous show, described by Wikipedia as "a weekday afternoon talk-variety show on CBS" that aired in 1973.

Vin taking the stage.

Vin doing a Gillette commercial with Willie Mays.