Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween: League Kicks It Gangnam Style


Image Courtesy of Leaguer808 (Brandon League on Instagram)

A.J. Ellis Missed The Signs

At least, on October 12 he did. Which is why, as Molly Knight reported for ESPN.com, AJ and Cindy Ellis gave birth to Audrey and Elizabeth Ellis in the passenger seat of their car:

Ellis was away playing baseball when his daughter, Ainsley, 4, and son, Luke, 2, were born. So when Cindy woke him at 7 a.m. to tell him her water broke, he asked if he had time to shower before they left for the hospital.

“The doctor she likes is about 30 miles from our house,” said Ellis, who makes his home in Milwaukee in the offseason. “But with our other kids she was in labor for hours and hours, so we thought we had plenty of time.”

Said Cindy: “He’s really quick getting ready, and I had to pack, and we had to wait for my sister to get to our house to watch [Ainsley and Luke].”

But by the time they got into their car at 7:25 a.m., Cindy’s contractions were happening every 45 seconds to a minute.

She began screaming at her husband that she didn’t think they were going to make it to the hospital.

“And I’m thinking, this is 2012, not the 'Oregon Trail.' Of course we’re gonna make it,” Ellis said. “So I’m calmly telling her we’re making it. I figured she was just panicking because she was in excruciating pain.”

As Ellis merged on to the interstate, Cindy laid down the front passenger seat and turned to face out the rear window of the car. Writhing in pain, she got down on all fours and gripped the headrest.

“I kept telling him the pain was not normal, but in his mind it was,” Cindy said. “Then a minute later I felt the head.”

They were 18 miles from the hospital.

Audrey Elizabeth Ellis was born a minute after that, sliding on to her belly down the passenger seat and looking right at her terrified papa. She was two weeks early.

It's a really nice piece by Knight. As well as a good reminder never to buy a used car from A.J. Ellis.

Congratulations, A.J. and Cindy (and Ainsley and Luke)!

photos courtesy of A.J. "Soohoo" Ellis

SoSG Scribes The Dodgers' 2012 Concession Speech

Lost among all the vomiting this postseason was the fact that your very own Sons of Steve Garvey scribed the Dodgers' 2012 concession speech over at Yahoo! Sports' Big League Stew. It's a long piece, but here's the (unburied) lede:

My fellow Dodger fans:

It is with heavy heart that we, the Sons of Steve Garvey, formally concede our team's candidacy for 2012 World Series champion. This season was quite a roller coaster, with plenty of insane highs and ridiculous lows involved.

But what started out with some shocking surprises (Magic Johnson is buying the Dodgers?!) and some extremely positive momentum (best record in baseball through June 19) suddenly gave way to a quick downward spiral (a plague of injuries, most notably to franchise foundation Matt Kemp), and not even the late presence of a potent "final five" (Hanley Ramirez, Joe Blanton, Shane Victorino, Adrian Gonzalez, and Josh Beckett) could abate a dirge through the second half of the run (an impotent offense through most of August and September dropped us from the division lead to 11 games back), which finally culminated with a "what the heck just happened there?" surprise (winning eight of our last 10 games of the season).

Come to think of it, the Dodgers' 2012 plotline almost directly follows the story arc of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series (and I still can't get over the Kara-Thrace-suddenly-disappears-in-a-poof-of-smoke thing, but that's another story altogether)...

Enjoy, and thanks again to Kevin Kaduk for giving us the soapbox.

So say we all.

Earlier SoSG content on Big League Stew: 10 best things about being a Dodgers fan (along with a ton of other posts, accessible in the sidebar)

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Colletti Gets a League of His Own

From Dylan Hernandez at the LA Times:

Reliever Brandon League has finalized a new three-year deal with the Dodgers, a person with knowledge of the situation told The Times.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal isn’t expected to be announced until Wednesday. Financial terms of the contract were not immediately known. [...]

The Dodgers bullpen posted an earned-run average of 3.23 this season, fourth-best in the National League and eighth-best in the major leagues.

Many of the main contributors, including Kenley Jansen and setup man Ronald Belisario, will be back. [...]

Colletti said last week he also had interest in re-signing the Dodgers’ two other free-agent relievers, right-hander Jamey Wright and situational left-hander Randy Choate.

Are you so sure Belisario will be back? Anyways, it'll be interesting whether League or Jansen gets anointed the closer during spring training. If these guys can replicate their success from last season, I'm feeling pretty good about the seventh through ninth.

UPDATE:


Kemp, Ethier Join Cleveland

"The Cleveland Show," that is. From @Dodgers:

Dodger Stadium To Again Become A Kuroda'd House?

Hey now, hey now. Don't dream it's over: Hiroki Kuroda could return to the Dodgers, if Ned Colletti is able to put together a starting pitcher corps that's...something so strong:

LOS ANGELES -- Former Dodgers right-hander Hiroki Kuroda could emerge as a top free-agent target of the club, even though management is increasingly optimistic that starting pitcher Chad Billingsley will avoid Tommy John elbow reconstruction and be ready to pitch in 2013.

General manager Ned Colletti has made acquiring another starting pitcher a high priority because southpaw Ted Lilly is coming off shoulder surgery and Billingsley missed the last five weeks of the 2012 season with a partially torn elbow ligament.

Billingsley threw a two-inning simulated game on Monday in Arizona, another step forward in his rehab. But that won't preclude Colletti from signing another starter to join the four healthy members of the Dodgers' rotation -- Clayton Kershaw, Josh Beckett, Aaron Harang and Chris Capuano.

The top starting pitchers on the free-agent market are Zack Greinke, Ryan Dempster, Kyle Lohse and Jake Peavy. All are expected to receive multiyear contracts.

Kuroda, 37, left the Dodgers a year ago and signed a one-year contract for $12 million with the Yankees. The Dodgers, in bankruptcy at the time, instead signed Harang and Capuano for less than $12 million combined in 2012 salaries. The Dodgers now have the financial resources to satisfy Kuroda if he's willing to accept another one-year contract.

I'm hoping Kuroda had better be home soon. (That is, at Dodger Stadium, not Japan.)

George Lucas Can Buy the Dodgers Now

UPDATE (Sax, 1.33p): WSJ breaking news here. NYT here. Wow.

No One Cares About The Giants

Honestly, I found the Giants' run so nauseating (albeit incredible, to be fair) that I couldn't watch the 2012 World Series. Turns out, neither could anyone else:

The San Francisco Giants' sweep of the Detroit Tigers set a record low for the World Series' television ratings.

The four games on Fox averaged a 7.6 rating and 12 share, Nielsen Media Research said Monday. The previous low was an 8.4 for the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies-Tampa Bay Rays and 2010 Giants-Texas Rangers series, which each went five games.

Last year's St. Louis Cardinals-Rangers World Series went seven games and built momentum to average a 10.0/16.

The Giants' 2-0 win in Game 3 on Saturday earned a 6.1/11, and their 4-3, 10-inning victory in the clincher Sunday drew an 8.9/14. Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with TVs tuned into a program. Shares represent the percentage watching among all homes with TVs in use at the time.

So the Giants own the two worst-rated World Series in history. Let that settle in.

Let's put those ratings into daily perspective.

I'm guessing MLB is alarmed by the low ratings, which are strongly correlated with the Giants' presence. People don't want to watch cheaters from a small-market town, it's as simple as that.

And it's not the Tigers' fault. The Tigers drew a 10.1 average rating when they lost to the Cardinals in 2006. And in 1984 when they last won, they drew a 22.9.

The Dodgers' 1988 win drew a 23.9 rating, fifth-highest of all-time.

San Francisco: Just Another Baseball City

Buster Olney States The Obvious

Here's what Buster Olney says are the Dodgers' offseason priorities (you'd better sit down, but don't bother clicking through unless you're an insider):

Los Angeles Dodgers: They say they have a lot of money to spend, and it'll be interesting to see if they choose to compete with their market rivals, the Angels, for Greinke. They have to decide whether Hanley Ramirez is a shortstop or a third baseman.

Greinke also makes an appearance, of course, in the Angels' offseason priority list:

Los Angeles Angels: Their framework has changed rapidly. This franchise was thought to have outstanding starting pitching at the outset of 2012 season, but the Angels may have as many as three openings in their rotation going into 2013. C.J. Wilson had surgery that figures to impact him into next season, and the Angels must quickly decide whether to pick up options on Dan Haren ($15.5 million) and Ervin Santana ($13 million). There are legit reasons for them to pass on those options, and if they do so -- and are unable to re-sign Zack Greinke -- well, their rotation would be a complete mess.

Rivera, Coffey, And The Treanors Depart

Occasional surprising HRs.

A big presence...for 19.1 innings prior to Tommy John surgery.

A great athlete alongside a perfectly congenial spouse.

The Dodgers declined options on three players as well as a beautiful olympian / spokesperson yesterday:

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers declined team options on three players Monday, saving them nearly $7 million for their 2013 payroll.

The Dodgers declined options on Juan Rivera, who would have earned $4 million next season, reliever Todd Coffey, who was set to earn $2.5 million, and backup catcher Matt Treanor, who would have earned $950,000. To buy out all three contracts will cost the Dodgers $950,000.

Of the three, Rivera had the most prominent role, starting 110 games last season -- mostly in left field and at first base. But he batted just .244 and grounded into 15 double plays. He had little role once the Dodgers acquired Shane Victorino and Adrian Gonzalez. The Dodgers think Carl Crawford can return from elbow surgery by April to man left field.

We're all counting on you, Carl.

photos: Rivera: Christian Petersen/Getty Images North America; Coffey: Getty Images; Treanors: Jayne Kamin-Oncea, US Presswire

Putting This In Perspective: Bay Area Cares More About Apple Than Giants

Found this tidbit at the end of a NYT article detailing yesterday's departure of two executives (emphasis mine):

Apple fired the executives in charge of the company’s mobile software efforts and retail stores, in a management shake-up aimed at making the company’s divisions work more harmoniously together.

The biggest of the changes involved the departure of Scott Forstall, an Apple veteran who for several years ran software development for Apple’s iPad and iPhone products. Mr. Forstall was an important executive at the company and the one who, in many respects, seemed to most closely embody the technology vision of Steven P. Jobs, the former chief executive of Apple who died a year ago. [...]

A senior Apple employee who asked not to be named said Mr. Forstall had also incurred the ire of other executives after inserting himself into product development that went beyond his role at the company. One person in touch with Apple executives said the mood of people at the company was largely positive about Mr. Forstall’s departure.

“This was better than the Giants winning the World Series,” he said. “People are really excited.”

Okay then. Scott Forstall weighs more than even that robust third baseman guy on the Giants.

More On The Giants' Steroid-Filled 2012 Season

Lost amidst all the rampant rioting in San Francisco (35 arrests, 22 on felony charges) has been the real catalyst behind the Giants' 2012 season: Steroids. A quick google search indicates I'm not the only one thinking that this title deserves a big whopping asterisk (like so many other of the Giants' "achievements").

Let's remember Bay Area columnist Tim Kawakami, who opined back in August about the Giants' latest chapter in a long history of drug abuse and cheating:

Melky Cabrera’s story was too good to be true, too tainted to pass a drug test and all too hauntingly familiar for a franchise cursed by steroids.

You thought the Giants and their fans would never go through the wringer with a star left fielder again?

You believed the joy and sunny good tidings of the 2010 World Series and the post-Barry Bonds era would last forever?

The answer was provided in sledgehammer form less than an hour before Wednesday’s game at AT&T Park: No, the dark cloud is back over the Giants and everything they have achieved or might accomplish in 2012.

They harbored, and flourished with, a cheater, again.

And others noticed too. Here's one piece on a tainted World Series:

So why am I so bummed out that the San Francisco Giants are in the World Series?

The answer to that question is simple. I'm not really sure they deserve to be there. The Giants took the National League West after using Melkey Cabrera for more than half the season. As you know, The Melkman was found to have cheated the game by failing a drug test. He was suspended for 50 games, but the Giants had, by the time of the suspension, amassed a pretty good record. The Giants were not penalized and I have to wonder if they should have been.

They garnered many of their victories using a player who contributed mightily but was cheating as he did so. The Giants also will have home field advantage, again thanks in no small part to Melky Cabrera. He was the MVP in the midsummer All Star Game. Baseball, for reasons I still don't quite understand, gives the home field advantage to the league that wins the All Star Game.

So if the Giants win the 2012 World Series, will it be deemed fair? I have never been a fan of asterisks and I'm not proposing to use one here, but at the very least the title will be a little tainted if the Giants win.

And here's one more blogpost, questioning if the Giants should have even been in the postseason to begin with:

The San Francisco Giants defied the odds, and came back from an 0-2 deficit against the Cincinnati Reds in the division series, came back again against the always seemingly carried-by-fate St. Louis Cardinals in the NLCS, and then pulled off an unlikely World Series sweep of the mighty Detroit Tigers.

The question is, should they have even been there?

Amidst the dog-pile of black and orange humanity in the middle of Comerica park tonight, a lot of people seemed to have memory lapses. Remember Melky Cabrera? You know…the San Francisco Giants outfielder who admittedly took PEDs and was handed down a 50-game suspension from MLB. The guy who pretty much single-handedly got the National League an All-Star game victory, securing home field advantage for…you guessed it, the Giants.

Enjoy yet another asterisk, San Francisco.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Congratulations To The San Francisco Giants For Being The First Team In MLB History To Win A Championship On The Backs Of Two Proven Convicted Drug Users

Wow, that's really impressive. Two separate 50-game suspensions in one year have never happened to the same team, let alone a World Series winner. (Update: I've been corrected, the Giants had a 50-game suspension for one player, and a 100-game suspension for another player.)

You keep on cheating, Giants! That's the Giant Way!

Hey, We Won Something!

Plans to have Kershaw pitch for Detroit tonight were ultimately foiled

Congratulations to our Clayton Kershaw for winning this year's Roberto Clemente Award!

Per a Dodgers release:
Kershaw and wife Ellen founded Kershaw's Challenge, a charitable organization that gives back to at-risk children and communities in need and provides assistance to organizations like "Arise Africa" where the Kershaws built and sustain an orphanage in Zambia.
He and Ellen have put in a ton of community service and it's hard to think of a player more deserving. Thanks for doing what you do and representing Blue so well, Clay!

Photo: MLBONFOX

NFL Game Thread: Saints @ Broncos, 5p

Drew Brees vs. Peyton Manning.

Can Brees and the Saints play themselves back to respectability? Can the Broncos help Manning avenge his Super Bowl XLIV loss to the Saints? Comment here as we find out!

This will also be your World Series Game 4 Thread. *barf*

Saturday, October 27, 2012

World Series Game 3 Thread: Giants @ Tigers, 5p

Anibal Sanchez vs. Ryan Vogelsong.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Oh yeah, THAT guy!

Hi! Remember me?

We interrupt all the Giant-induced vomiting with some actual Dodgers news! Carl Crawford arrived in town today! Awesome! Now we can eat into that 8-game lead and maybe even win the NL We...

Oh. Yeah. Right.


The big piece of info from today is that he feels he's ahead of schedule on his recovery and he should be good to go for Spring Training. Let's hope so! (He can't even throw a ball or swing a bat until January.)

And he's happy!


Ken Gurnick: Crawford looking for fresh start in L.A.

More Jon SooHoo photos of today's event here.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

World Series Game 2 Thread: Tigers @ Giants, 5p


Dog Fister (0-0, -.--) vs. Ashley Madison (0-0, -.--)

The Panda and Zito Lovefest is getting to be too much for our stomachs to handle. The Tigers need to step up and do something before we slip and fall in our own sick.

H/T to Orel for the thread idea, which was inspired by a comment from reader Drinks Kool Aid, which was based on the novel "Push" by Sapphire.

Zito Beats Verlander?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Everything Coming Out of Northern California Is Pissing Me Off These Days

iPad Mini ad is the latest effort from Apple to piss off this otherwise loyal customer:

Kiss my ass, Siri.

World Series Game 1 Thread, 5p

Barry "Luckiest guy in the world" Zito vs. Justin "Luckiest guy in the world" Verlander.

Here we are, the nightmare scenario for Dodger fans everywhere (but especially in the Bay Area). The Giants are four wins away from becoming the first team since the Yankees to win two World Series in three years. The Tigers will be able to start likely Cy Young winner Verlander twice in the series, but the Giants are riding another wave of goddamn fairy pixie dust first farted out by Melky "All the benefits, none of the repercussions" Cabrera and continued by the likes of Angel "Mets fans go Whaaaaa?" Pagan and Marco "Plus 50 OPS+ points upon putting on a Giants uniform" Scutaro. So c'mon, Tigers. Act like the badass AL Champions you are and put a stop to this so-called momentum the Giants are riding. We're all counting on you.

A.J. Ellis Has a Future in Politics

A.J. Ellis is providing World Series commentary for the L.A. Times, and here's what he had to say about the Tigers' pitching:

Not only do they have the best hitter in baseball, [Miguel] Cabrera, they have the best — ooh, this is hard for me to say — uh, the best pitcher in Justin Verlander; if he's one, then Clayton Kershaw is 1A. I can't put one ahead of the other.

Way to play the diplomatic card, A.J.!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Go Tigers!

GIANTS 9, CARDINALS 0

Since 1988, every other team the NL West has at least made an appearance in the World Series. The Diamondbacks won it in 2001, and thanks to the Cardinals' astounding NLCS collapse this year, the Giants have made it to the World Series FOUR times — of course winning it in 2010. Just something to keep in mind whenever we wonder why Dodger Stadium always seems so empty.

photo via Etsy user belvidesigns

NLCS Game 7 Thread, 5p

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Let's Face It, The Giants Are Going To The World Series

The Giants are 4-0 this season in elimination games, and like a roach that can't be killed, they keep surviving and living to play another day. And so we Dodgers fans might as well accept it now, that the Tigers will be playing the Giants in the World Series. Cardinals fans, get ready to be disappointed, tonight and tomorrow.

Just look at the facts:

  • Like in the NLDS, the Giants again faced a three-game hole in their series. But unlike the NLDS, the last two games are at home in their friendly short-porch confines. And they've already proven they could win three straight in Cincinnati; now that they've batted St. Louis back in Game 5, Games 6 and 7 at Phone Park should be a cakewalk.
  • How else to explain the Game 5 performance of Barry Zito, whose fastball is three seasons removed from any zip, yet flummoxed the red-hot Cardinals and stopped their two-game roll? Zito, who wasn't even good enough to make the Giants' 2010 postseason roster, stumbles into the 2012 playoffs and notches a postseason victory? The baseball gods are clearly smiling on the Giants.
  • Orange and black colors are a putrid combination normally, but one has to admit that as we get closer to Halloween, this combination becomes slightly more commonplace and thus a bit less offensive to the eye.
  • Ryan Vogelsong, Game 2 NLCS winner, takes the mound for Game 6. And then they've got their ace, Matt Cain, going in Game 7. That's nails.
  • Meanwhile, Chris Carpenter takes the mound for the Cards tonight. Carp lasted a pathetic four innings in Game 2, yielding five runs (two earned, with unearned runs due in part to his throwing error), and took the loss. He'll be toast tonight.
  • SF is 62-36 at night this year; St Louis is a mediocre 54-50 at night.
  • Accuscore / ESPN has St Louis as a slight favorite, with a 55% chance of a win. Which means it won't be at all surprising when the Giants win tonight.
  • Winning tonight would give the Giants all the momentum for Game 7, by the way. Which I will remind you is at home.
  • The Cardinals didn't get into town until Saturday afternoon, almost 12 hours after the Giants arrived in California. Commentators will always tell you how travel has such an impact on athletes' ability to play effectively. The Cardinals will be wiped.
  • The Giants will be riding a wave of emotion, according to the SF Comical.
  • And in kind, the San Francisco crowd will be fired up, what with the 49ers having already won this week, Stanford having dominated Cal in the Big Game, and nothing else to compete with this marquee matchup. Concession stands will be stocked with extra chardonnay.

Look, I've already come to terms with it. San Francisco is rolling on, to its second World Series in three years. This is an inevitability, and there's not a damn thing we Dodgers fans can do about it.

All we can do now is hope that the Tigers are rested.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Dammit, Both Those Guys In North Dakota Were Right

Screen shot taken Friday afternoon.

Friday, October 19, 2012

NLCS Game 5 Thread: Giants @ Cardinals, 5p

#RallyZito? More like #R(e)ally?Zito?

Lance Lynn (0-0, 9.82) vs. Barry Zito (0-0, -.--)

Sigh. Here we go again. For the FOURTH time this postseason, the Giants stand on the verge of elimination. Is this all one big tease, or will the Cardinals get the damn job done?

This better end tonight. I already need to wash the stink of rooting for the Cardinals off ASAP. Seeing a screaming mass of black and orange with renewed hope will be just too much to take.

Photo: SI

The Hunsicker Proxy

It's a busy off-season for the Dodgers. First up, hiring a senior director of baseball operations with Houston Astros experience.

LOS ANGELES -- Gerry Hunsicker, former general manager of the Houston Astros and most recently a senior vice president with Tampa Bay, was hired by the Dodgers Thursday as a senior advisor for baseball operations, the club announced.

Hunsicker, 62, will assist general manager Ned Colletti and is the first front-office addition since Guggenheim Baseball Partners bought the club in May. Hunsicker helped establish Tampa Bay's academy in Brazil and has been instrumental in sharpening the club's international focus, an area the Dodgers consider a high priority.

According to a team release, "Hunsicker will assist Colletti and President and CEO Stan Kasten with the Dodgers' big league club while also lending his expertise to international scouting and development, pro scouting and Minor League development."

Hunsicker was the Houston general manager from 1996-2004, during which time the club won four division titles. The team reached the World Series the following year. In 1998, when the Astros won 102 games, he was named The Sporting News executive of the year. He served in various management positions with the Mets before rejoining the Astros.

I looked it up, the Astros had eight winning seasons in Hunsicker's nine-year tenure as GM, including four seasons with over 90 wins. Dodgers GM Ned Colletti has had six winning seasons out of seven, but only one season with 90 or more wins.

It's hard to fathom given the Astros today, but they actually went to the World Series in 2005 (swept by the White Sox), the year after Hunsicker left. Wow, I had forgotten! Of the five playoff appearances under Hunsicker, four of them yielded losses in the LDS with an aggregate two games won (out of 14 LDS games).

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Tigers Headed To World Series With 4-0 ALCS Sweep

TIGERS 8, YANKEES 1

Congratulations, Tigers!

Yankees, what will you do in your time off?

LCS Games Thread: Oct. 18

Hey, I just met you, etc., etc., etc.

1 p.m. PT: Yankees (CC Sabathia) @ Tigers (Max Scherzer).
5 p.m. PT: Giants (Tim Lincecum) @ Cardinals (Adam Wainwright).

Last chance for A-Rod to get digits!

Last chance for Timmeh to get lit up!

Plenty of chances for Dodger fans to look forward to 2013!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

LCS Game(s) Thread: Oct. 17

Binders FULL of women!

Kyle Lohse vs. Matt Cain, 1p
Max Scherzer vs. CC Sabathia, 5p

The Yankees face elimination!

Matt Holliday faces retaliation!

Dodger fans STILL struggle to care!
(Except for the whole beating the Giants thing. GET ON IT, CARDS!)

Image via NY Daily News

The Assassins' Circle: Kill Thread 4

Repent, The End Is Nigh!
EK knocked me out, and Sax knocked out Sax, so it's down to the final three! It's anyone's game at this point, but one more kill will initiate the endgame. All three players still have the ability to win outright or tie. To the clock tower!

Side discussion/rules thread here.

Marco Scutaro Is No Willis Reed

"Writhing on the ground in pain"? I certainly wasn't buying it from watching Matt Holliday's slide at second. And wouldn't you know it, Marco Scutaro has made an amazing recovery just in time for Game 3:

ST. LOUIS -- Less than 24 hours after he saw his second baseman writhing in pain on the infield dirt, San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy said Tuesday he is "hopeful" that Marco Scutaro will feel good enough to start Game 3 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday.

Bochy also shot down any suggestions that the Giants could retaliate because of what he continued to characterize as an "illegal slide" by Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday.

"That's over," Bochy said, pointedly. "You have to move on. You hate to see what happened happen. But what's important is, we keep our focus, and going out there and trying to win a ball game. That's where we're at right now."

Scutaro also said Tuesday, in his first public comments since the injury, that he thinks he can play, and said he was surprised he felt as good as he did, the day after the collision.

"I didn't think I was going to feel this good today," he said. "I thought it would be worse. Normally, the next day is when you kind of feel the worst. I'm just happy that nothing real bad happened and I still have my leg there."

Cue the world's smallest violin.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

ALCS Game 3 Thread: Yankees @ Tigers, 5p

"No matter the outcome, I win!"

Kate Upton's Boyfriend (0-0, -.--) vs. Phil Hughes (0-0, -.--)

Will Verlander's dominance continue?

Will the Yankees keep falling apart like Simon Kurtz in Airplane II?

Will we, as Dodger fans, even give a crap?

Image via Business Insider.

The Assassins' Circle: Kill Thread 3

Channel the hate.
Quad and four Sons remain. Orel and EK will need to take some chances to get a kill with Quad's two on the scoreboard already. They'll need some help unless Sax can eliminate him today. So, who is going to get his ticket punched?

Side discussion/rules thread here

Monday, October 15, 2012

NLDS Game 2 Thread: Cards @ Giants, 5p

More of this, please.

Ryan Vogelsong vs. Chris Carpenter.

photo by David J. Phillip/AP

The Assassins' Circle: Kill Thread 2

Hold still, dammit!
Friday's kill thread had a serious problem with self-inflicted wounds. Those that managed to get through day 1 without shooting themselves in the pancreas get a much clearer playing field today. The body count stands at 11. How many more will be added come 3pm? Only QuadSevens and I have registered kills so far, and they may be at a premium now with so many fewer targets.

Side discussion/rules thread here.

Hansen Out; Wallach To Follow?

Given the way the Dodgers slept through most of the post-All Star Break run, adn the way we finished 13th in runs scored and RBIs in the NL, I suppose it's not surprising, even if unfounded, that Dodger hitting coach Dave Hansen has been moved from his position:

LOS ANGELES -- Dave Hansen is out as hitting coach of the Los Angeles Dodgers, who have offered him another position within the organization.

Sources close to the situation told ESPNLosAngeles.com that Hansen already has been approached by several other major league clubs and is deciding whether to pursue outside opportunities or remain with the Dodgers.

The Dodgers have not named a replacement for Hansen. Former Los Angeles Angels hitting coach Mickey Hatcher, who was fired in May, worked last season as a special assistant to Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti and often traveled with the team to work with hitters and throw batting practice.

Pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, third-base coach Tim Wallach, first-base coach Davey Lopes, bench coach Trey Hillman and bullpen coach Ken Howell will return in 2013. Wallach interviewed for the vacant Boston Red Sox managerial job Friday.

Of course, Wallach's return depends upon how he did on his managerial interview with the Boston Red Sox last week:

BOSTON -- For the second time on the three occasions the Boston Red Sox have been in the market for a new manager under owner John Henry, they began by interviewing a third-base coach from the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tim Wallach, 55, spent the entire day meeting with Ben Cherington and members of the general manager's staff as the Sox opened their first round of interviews Friday in search of a replacement for Bobby Valentine, who was fired eight days earlier. Wallach had dinner with Cherington and his staff Friday night, and he was scheduled to fly back to his home on the West Coast on Saturday.

"I thought it went well," said Wallach, a five-time All-Star as a third baseman, who twice before has interviewed for big-league managing jobs. His first came in 2006 with the San Diego Padres and the second was in 2010 with the Milwaukee Brewers.

Perhaps Wallach just wants to find a job that keeps him busier than he was in August, standing lonely over beside third base. There certainly would be a lot of people up in his grill in Boston, that's for sure.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

LCS Game Thread: Derek Jeter Memorial Edition

Derek Jeter (1974-2012).

1 p.m. PT: Tigers (Anibal Sanchez) @ Yankees (Hiroki Kuroda).
5 p.m. PT: Cardinals (Lance Lynn) @ Giants (Madison Bumgarner).

AP photo

Saturday, October 13, 2012

ALCS Game 1 Thread: Tigers @ Yankees, 5p

Like religion, the game of baseball is founded on aspirations rarely met. It generates far more failure than fulfillment.

—Gay Talese*

Andy Petttittte vs. Do(u)g Fister.

To those pulling for an A's-O's ALCS: Oh well. Like oxygen in the air we breathe, the Yankees are back in the ALCS, against the Tigers, who are led by Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder (The One That Got Away). Which team will win the right to play the Cardinals in the 2012 World Series?

*from "The Crisis Manager," a profile of Yankees manager Joe Girardi in the Sept. 24, 2012, issue of The New Yorker

Payroll Parity?

rankteamopening-day payroll
1Yankees$195,998,004
6Tigers$119,276,000
7Giants$117,936,667
9Cardinals$110,297,862

source: ESPN

Friday, October 12, 2012

Final LDS Game Thread: Elimination Time

BAL Jason Hammel vs. NYY CC Sabathia, 2p

STL Adam Wainwright vs. WAS Gio Gonzalez, 5.30p

Four enter the ring, two will leave. Sounds a lot like a DelinO post! But it is neat to see all four of these LDS series get pushed to the pivotal Game 5. More revenue for MLB! Whoo hoo!

In other news, West Virginia loves A-Rod.

The Assassins' Circle: Kill Thread 1

Kill! Kill! Kill!

Side discussion/rules thread here.

Tigers Punch Ticket, Advance To ALCS

Congratulations to the Tigers, the only team of note to have advanced to the LCS so far.

photo: Thearon W. Henderson / Getty Images

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tomorrow.

9:00 AM.

It begins.

Here is the final list of participants:
  • Jason
  • Nomo
  • Stubbs
  • DKA
  • Spank
  • Dusty
  • QuadSevens
  • Gagne's Lucky Glasses
  • Steve Sax
  • Eric Karros
  • Paul
  • Neeebs
  • Rbnlaw
  • Wicks
  • MeanieBreanie
  • Orel
  • Fernie V
  • Karina
  • Mr. F

I Am Depressed.

And Dusty Baker, you suck.

MLB.com GameDay Just Embraced Drinking Games!

Holy smokes, one of my favorite baseball drinking games has just become part of the MLB.com Gameday Experience!

First, go to the bottom of your mlb.com gameday screen to learn more:

Then, sign up and follow so you can win prizes!

And drink! Yeah, make sure to drink. This moundball game is much more fun when you're drinking.

LDS Game Thread: Let's Do The Foursome Again

Welcome, Mat(t)s!

SF Matt Cain vs. CIN Mat Latos, 10a

STL Kyle Lohse vs. WAS Ross Detwiler, 1p

BAL Joe Saunders vs. NYY Phil Hughes, 4.30p

DET Justin Verlander vs. OAK Jarrod Parker, 6.30p

Five Six of the eight teams face elimination today, thanks to all but one of my picks yesterday going bust. The Tigers' ninth-inning implosion was all that saved me from 0-fering yesterday. So I'm just going to shut up now and let you guys wipe your feet on me.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

LDS Game Thread: Baseball All Around

STL Chris Carpenter vs. WAS Edwin Jackson, 10a

SF Barry Zito vs. CIN TBD, 1p

BAL Miguel Gonzalez vs. NYY Hiroki Kuroda, 4.30p

DET Max Scherzer vs. OAK A.J. Griffin, 6.30p

Wow, it's a full day of baseball, which means that I'll not be working today! And tension abounds as the Reds and Tigers look to try and close out their respective series, while everybody else is even and looks to tip the balance. It's also neat, or sad, to see two former Dodgers among the eight starters. Anyway, I'm still puzzling, so this is all I can muster today.

Here's who I'd like to see win: WAS, CIN, BAL, OAK. Place your wagers.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

LDS Game Thread: Bay Area On The Ropes

SF Ryan Vogelsong (14-9, 3.37) vs. CIN Homer Bailey (13-10, 3.68), 2.30p

DET Anibal Sanchez (9-13, 3.86) vs. OAK Brett Anderson (4-2, 2.57), 6p

At least the A's can say that they're at home. The Giants, who have been outscored 14-2, hope to sweep Cincinnati in three games in order to advance. It could happen, sure. Maybe not with Barry Zito slated to start Game 4, but stranger things have indeed happened in baseball, and Reds skipper Dusty Baker isn't known for closing opponents out. So we'll see.

As for me, sorry for putting this thread up early, but I'm swamped with some puzzles for the time being (email us if you want to contribute). Just like this guy (whose helmet is like five sizes too big):

More X-men coloring book goodness here, at io9