Thursday, February 28, 2013

Vin Scully Interviews Sandy Koufax

Behold the greatness:

A Tale of Two Players

Just Watch It...

You don't have 15 seconds to spare?

This Ninja outfielder is only 200 pounds away from being the next Andruw Jones.

Spring Training Game 2: Greinke and Ryu

It was pretty windy and cold on our second day of spring training.  But we were excited because Greinke and Ryu were on the docket to pitch.  Like I said in the game thread, there was just something about the ball hitting the catcher's mitt that sounds so crisp out of these top flight pitchers - and these two didn't disappoint.

Dodgers building overlooking the stadium in left field.

Adrian Gonzalez got the start.
Zack Greinke dealing.

Greinke with the follow through.

Andre Ethier about to hit a triple.

Andre Ethier at the point of contact.

Tim Wallach walking back to the dugout.

Andre's follow through.

Yasiel Puig up to bat.

Here comes the ball, Yasiel.

Puig's follow through

Hyun-Jin Ryu on the hill.

Hey those fielding drills actually help!

One inning and he's done.

Tony Gwynn Jr.  Does he have the same batting stance as the great Eddie Murray?

Its cold.

Practice Drills Pregame Day 2

Here are some pictures from pregame day 2.  We watched a lot of practice which for some would sound boring, but for us was pretty interesting.  There are some bleachers behind one of the fields and stone steps behind the other major practice field which gave you a nice vantage point.  It was neat seeing them run between the fields and the batting cages going through the various drills.  With such a big group, I can see why the need an air horn to signal the switching of stations and the need for so many coaches.

Matt Wallah directing traffic.

Stalking Sandy

Sandy Koufax was at Camelback Ranch and there is this neat little area between the two major practice fields that have about five pitching mounds in a row.  And of course the lefty specialist was there imparting his wisdom to pitchers young (Jansen and Kershaw) and old (Lilly).  So I took a lot of pictures.  I MEAN A LOT.  So many that if the police break down my door (again) and go through this computer, the amount of Sandy Koufax pictures would raise some serious suspicion.  If I printed them all out, placed them on the wall with some candles under them, it would be straight out of a bad movie.  So, here are some of the many Koufax pictures.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Your Sausage (Not SoSG) News Of The Day

Since the common pronunciation of our blog's acronym is "sausage," I had to post on this, via Deadspin. I mean, really, who can resist any article with the clause, "and a witness saw the sausage walk out of the south door about 7:45 p.m.":

The Klement's Racing Italian Sausage went barhopping in Cedarburg recently, delighting patrons and posing for photos. The only problem: No one can say who was wearing the $3,000 costume, which had just been stolen from the city's Winter Festival.

The 7-foot-long weenie was lying unused in a backroom at the Milwaukee Curling Club's new Cedarburg location during a fundraiser on Feb. 16 with beer-tasting and curling, and a witness saw the sausage walk out of the south door about 7:45 p.m., Cedarburg police Detective Jeff Vahsholtz said Wednesday. The Italian walked into TJ Ryan's in Cedarburg an hour later and also made an appearance around midnight at The Roadhouse Bar and Grill.

Vahsholtz said police were still interviewing bar patrons and looking for the costume, which is owned by the Milwaukee-based sausage company Klement's.

"We thought it was funny at the time," Vahsholtz said. "Now we're just hoping someone returns it."

As we've always told you guys, you gotta hold on to your sausage. (Especially if it's a seven-foot-long weenie.)

photo: Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel files

Spring Training Game Day 1

More pictures...
Scoreboard.  The LED screen is kinda tiny when viewed from the stands.
LA Sox signage
A lot of lawn seating.  Nice.

Above the visitors bullpen.

Puig up to bat.

Another Puig swing.

One of the many hot dog stands.

For your refreshment needs.

And more beer.

Nice live band, shades of Wrigley.  Doing Take Me Out to the Ballgame.

Dodgers dogs seemed to be bigger here.  But was cold and bun was a little tough.  Stick with the Island Noodles or the Bratwurst (however they do not have sauerkraut).

Announced the whole team before the game.

Legends of the game. Koufax, Wills, Cey, Valenzuela, Yeager, and Leary.

SEC "Milken" Dodgers Owners For All They're Worth

According to Fortune magazine, the Dodgers' new ownership group is now being investigated by the SEC, for ties to Michael Milken:

The owners of the Los Angeles Dodgers are embroiled in an investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission into whether Michael Milken has violated the terms of his lifetime ban on securities trading, according to an article in Fortune. The Dodgers were bought for $2 billion by Guggenheim Baseball Management last May. The winning bid was led by Mark Walter, CEO of Guggenheim Partners, and included the president of the money management company, Todd Boehly, as well as movie producer and Golden State Warriors owner Peter Guber, Stan Kasten, the former president of the Atlanta Braves, and former Los Angeles Lakers great Magic Johnson.

Guggenheim Baseball used hundreds of millions of dollars of insurance company money controlled by Guggenheim Partners to buy the Dodgers. Indeed, the proceeds from Guggenheim Partners is what effectively enabled Walter’s group to outbid the $1.4-to-$1.5 billion bids by billionaires Stan Kroenke and Steve Cohen for the team.

Milken has been a longtime client of the firm and at times has had as much as $800 million invested with Guggenheim, some of it in a hedge fund run by the firm’s president Boehly. His lifetime ban prohibits him from profiting from offering investment advice. The SEC is looking at whether Milken is violating that ban by effectively acting as a manager of Guggenheim investments beyond his own. Walter told Fortune: “Mike (Milken) doesn’t have an ownership or managerial role of any kind at Guggenheim. ”

Spring Training Pregame Day 1

So we got home in one piece and I was able to download the pictures from three different cameras (mine, mama Cora, and Mrs Cora).  Overall we have about 2000 pictures from the three days of baseball goodness.  As I am trying to go through them all, I'll post some of them today and throughout Spring Training.  But to get us started, from Day 1 pregame...

Yeah Arizona!

At 9 am when gates open.  Only ones tailgating (game is at 1 pm).
Map of the facility.  Dodgers on the right side, Sox on the left.

More pictures after the jump...(if this jump thing works...)

Zack Greinke Does Math: $200M > $10

New Dodger pitcher Zack Greinke confirmed yesterday that money did indeed talk, in considering options for his 2013 team:

Zack Greinke, reflecting on his signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason, didn't mince words recently when addressing the motivating factor for his decision.

Greinke, who signed a $147 million, six-year deal with Dodgers, says one thing held sway first and foremost: money.

"I could play for the worst team if they paid the most," Greinke said in an interview with "If the last-place team offers $200 million and the first-place team offers $10, I'm going to go for the $200 million no matter what team it was."

So that's how we edged out the Rangers. Who would have thought?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

3 개 국어에 야구 최초의 팀이 될 LA 다저스, 한국어 방송은 2014에 추가

You read that right (except your pronunciation, which is a little off)! As per the LA Times, the Dodgers will become MLB's first trilingual taem, adding a Korean broadcast in 2014:

The Dodgers plan to televise games in three languages when their new contract with Time Warner Cable takes effect next season, co-owner Todd Boehly said.

The Dodgers apparently would become the first Major League Baseball team with regular telecasts in three languages. League officials could not recall any team that has done so, MLB spokesman Pat Courtney said.

The Dodgers would air telecasts in English, Spanish and Korean as part of the TWC deal, Boehly said. Those telecasts would be limited to the Dodgers’ local television market, as MLB keeps the rights to international broadcasts.

Adds Yahoo Sports' Big League Stew:

The matter of language, though, is an interesting new wrinkle. One that makes perfect sense when you consider that Los Angeles has Koreatown, which L.A. Weekly recently called "America's Hippest Neighborhood" and the Dodgers just spent big to import Ryu Hyun-jin from South Korea.

Preview of Coming Attractions?

Yasiel Puig bats in yesterday's game against the Cubs.

At-Game Recap: Preseason Game 3 Dodgers vs Cubs

We won. We drove. We sleep.  More to come later!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Dammit, There Went My Chance

Christina Applegate just got married again.


photo: ABC News

Dodgers' Winter Moves Add Up To +1.7 WAR Impact

Old news from last week, but I love the WSJ's take on how each MLB team's off-season moves improved the team, statistically.

Here's the methodology:

The calculations were based on each player's projected wins above replacement (WAR), a statistic used to compare a player's value to the average Triple-A fill-in. The forecasts were made by Dan Szymborski, a sabermetric analyst whose projection system, Zips, is considered among the most reliable. It uses weighted averages of four years of data and adjusts for age based on aging trends of similar players. The rankings don't include contract extensions or promotions within organizations.

The Blue Jays were the big winner, with a +10.7 WAR improvement (driven off of Jose Reyes (+4.3) and R.A. Dickey (+4.0). Down at #12 are the Dodgers:

12. DODGERS (+1.7). Key acquisitions: SP Zack Greinke (4.3), RP Hyun-Jin Ryu (1.8). Key loss: OF Shane Victorino (2.9). Outlook: The highest payroll in baseball means high expectations for the Dodgers, who narrowly missed the playoffs last year.

If Victorino is the main loss, then if anything our WAR impact is understated, right?

The NL West is bunched tightly: the Diamondbacks are ninth with +3.1; the Padres are tenth with +2.3; the Rockies are 11th with +2.1. The Giants are way down there at 16th with +0.3.

Going into the 2011 season, the Dodgers were also smack dab in the middle, as the fourteenth-best-improved team with a WAR impact of +0.1. And they went from 80-82 in 2010 to 82-79 in 2011. Last year, the Dodgers had a WAR improvement of +0.8, and they improved to 86-76.

We're still positioned in the middle of the pack this year, but the projected WAR impact magnitude is noticably higher. Can we expect 2013 returns to be a multiplier-effect higher, in kind?

Dodgers vs. Cubs @ Camelback (Feb 25, 2013)

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Camelback Contact

I've had a great time out here at Camelback Ranch and after Mrs Cora gave the go, I called to purchase my tickets in advance.  One of the stipulations the wife had was that we had to sit in the shade because neither she, nor I, do well in the heat.

When I called, I was fortunate to talk with Caitlin Higgins, Account Executive at Camelback Ranch.  She helped secure the tickets and sat us in various (shaded) parts of the stadium in order to take in the whole spring training experience.  She even visited us today to see how we are doing.  So if you are coming out to Camelback Ranch, give her a call and I'm sure that she will help you out.  Don't forget to mention SoSG sent you!

Caitlin Higgins
Account Executive Camelback Ranch
623 302-5008

At-Game Recap: Preseason Game 2 Dodgers vs White Sox

Arizona is supposed to be hot right?  Well the wind kicked up today and dropped the temperature down to 45 degrees in the morning.  It seems like the players got the memo and got out to the practice fields early to stretch.  It also meant most of the team ran right by the autograph seekers to avoid the cold and wind.  Nonetheless it was neat to see the team close up running through their drills.  Also, got to see Sandy Koufax tutor some of the lefties on the practice pitching mounds.

The weather seemed to cool off the bats of both teams.  It might have also been that fact that Greinke was dealing and Ryu, besides that triple he gave up, was sharp.  I've never seen either pitch before, so it was a real treat to see a preview of the pitching goodness to come this year.  Puig started, but didn't look so hot and seemed to give up on his second at bat.  However, that kid sure looks like Bo Jackson at the plate.  I was also able to walk around during the late innings and watched Matt Palmer in the bullpen throwing to Matt Wallach and just loved hearing the ball crisply smack the catcher's mitt.

One more game tomorrow against the Cubs, then vacation is over.  Until next time, Go Blue!

Ryu on the Mound

Greinke's First Pitch