Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Post-Game 26 Thread: Psy Young


Hyun-Jin Ryu: 6 IP, 3, H, 2 R, 2 BB, 12 K and an RBI single (after JUAN URIBE WAS INTENTIONALLY WALKED. LOLOLOLOLOLOL)

Hanley Ramirez: 2-4, HR, Double

Dodgers: .500 to end what was mostly a miserable April.

Photos via Psy and Hanley Ramirez.

Editorial Cartoon from the Arizona Daily Star

Cartoon: David Fitzsimmons

Hanley Bobblehead

Hanley at Dodger stadium is better than Hanley in the ICU.

Game 26 Thread: April 30 vs. Rockies, 7p

We see you too, ladies.

Hyun-Jin Ryu (2-1, 3.41) vs. Jorge De La Rosa (2-2, 2.86)

Hanley's back! (Well, technically, he was back last night, but let's not speak about that abomination again.) Not a moment too soon, as the Dodger offense continues to sputter along. On the other hand, "hovering around .500 by the time Hanley gets back" is probably what most expected, and that's where we are. Props to Hanley for keeping his promise to the fans and making it back for his bobblehead night, but let's hope he didn't rush things too much.

Oh, and as if we haven't ridden the Psy thing far enough, there's also this:

Should be a fun night!

UPDATE from Sax: AC and I will be at tonight's game, separately. Let's go, Hanley!

Dodgers tickets

Images: KentuckySportsRadio.com and Dodgers

Ebbets Field Lives — in Postcards

42 is fresh in our minds, as is Ebbets Field. If you live in New York, you can relive some of the old-timey goodness. Thanks to BJ Killeen for the link: from "Winning pictures: B'klyn’s stars in postcard show" at the New York Post:

The Brooklyn Dodgers, who crushed the hearts of loyal city fans nearly 60 years ago by abandoning Ebbets Field for the bland riches of Los Angeles, will resurface in Manhattan next month — in classic postcards.

The unique historical presentation is being offered at The New Yorker hotel on West 34th Street, where visitors can view scores of postcards of the Boys of Summer and their former stadium, which opened 100 years ago this month.

"Bland riches of Los Angeles!" Guess old grudges die hard. We'll just enjoy being the new Yankees (and all the problems that entails).

photo courtesy of Hy Mariampolski

When Puigs Fly: Yasiel Caught For Speeding

This is old news from Sunday, but it took me 36 hours to come up with this headline, ok? At least I have an excuse.

LOS ANGELES -- The Los Angeles Dodgers' top prospect, outfielder Yasiel Puig, was arrested early Sunday in Chattanooga, Tenn., and charged with speeding, reckless driving and driving without proof of insurance, according to a booking report from the Hamilton County Sherriff's office.

Puig is on the seven-day disabled list at Double-A Chattanooga with a sprained left thumb. He was booked and released with a hearing set for May 14.

"We're aware of the situation and we take it very seriously," a Dodgers spokesman said. "We'll be handling discipline internally."

A Chattanooga Police Department report says Puig indicated he was serving as a designated driver when he was arrested at about 1 a.m. The report says Puig's car was going in and out of his lane and that "it took blue lights and multiple siren blasts" to get him to stop his car.

I imagine the scene looked something like this?

In any event, let's hope Puig doesn't follow the scorched tire tracks of another Cuban baseball player, and gets it together in Chattanooga. We're rooting for you, Yasiel!

At-Game Recap: Opening Day 2013 (Part 5)

Here's the last of my five posts with pictures from Opening Day 2013 (April 1, 2013). By this time, the game was underway and I was comfortably situated in my reserve level seat.

Jackie Robinson retro jersey, in the house.

The right-field scoreboard is such a quantum leap upgrade over the monochromatic board, it's amazing--even if it's got Marco Scutaro's (he of the recent 12th-inning, game-losing error against the Padres) ugly mug up there.

Clayton Kershaw was dealing.

The left-field scoreboard wasn't too shabby, either. The extra hexagonal billboards flanking the main board were interesting; they have embossed letters as to give a slight 3D effect.

New sponsors were everywhere. Here's Kraft, since nothing says "mac and cheese" like Dodger Stadium...where you can't order mac and cheese.

Focus on the left field wall scoreboard, which also looks to be upgraded a bit (as far as I can tell).

Oyster Pubes on the left, upcoming Dodger promotions on the right.

The Dodgers also appear to be utilizing the extra concourse space (made by knocking out a couple of rows of seats, plus extending the concourse areas out into the parking lots) by adding more portable concession stations. I'm all for it, but shouldn't we add more monitors behind the vendor stands, so fans can keep track of the game?

The crowds on the reserve level concourse were impossible to maneuver on Opening Day. The bathroom queues were even worse.

New wall hangings on the suite level: Dodgers ticket stubs from the past.

And yearbook covers from the past, too!

Now we're talking. Finally, a photo of a real baseball player on the scoreboard lights.

More shots of the field during the game.

Dodgers win! A 4-0 shutout victory over the Giants, what else could you ask for?

Some of the big block retired numbers that now sit outside the Dodger Stadium gates. Here's Tommy's.

And here's big Don Drysdale's.

The LAPD was also out protecting, serving, and giving parking lot directions.

And giving horsey rides, I think. My recollection might be off here.

So that ends the Sax photo compendium from Opening Day 2013. I've always said that it's great for a team to win its home opener, and doing it over the Giants, off of Kershaw's first career HR, while seeing him pitch a shutout victory--this ranks up with the best of them, a tier filled with 2009, when Orlando Hudson hit for the cycle in an 11-1 pounding of the Giants (if nothing else, click on that link for shots of the old-style scoreboards...it's amazing how far we've upgraded.) I'll start preparing for Opening Day 2014!

Earlier: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Monday, April 29, 2013

Post-Game 25 Thread: Gilding the Lilly

We have clearly angered the mammory gods. Hopefully this will help us get back on track.

(Even the mammary gods have their limits. Click on the picture if you absolutely must see it in focus. —SoSG Orel)

Finally, A Bat On The Left Side Of The Infield

Welcome back, Hanley Ramirez:

LOS ANGELES -- Hanley Ramirez worked out on the field at Dodger Stadium on Monday afternoon and Dodgers manager Don Mattingly did not rule out the possibility of activating the shortstop from the disabled list.

After two Minor League rehab games with Class A Rancho Cucamonga over the weekend, Ramirez said Monday he was ready to join the Dodgers.

"I just want to be in there," said Ramirez, who had surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb March 22. "I don't want to wait any longer. I'm a gamer. I think that I can play."

Ramirez went 3-for-6 with a double and three RBIs in two rehab games and played 12 innings at shortstop. He took batting practice, played catch and fielded ground balls before Monday's game against the Rockies.

"He's going to work out, we'll see how he does," Mattingly said. "We'll make sure he came out those two games [OK] and then just make a decision. He could stay here and play. If we make a decision to activate him, then I might play him [Monday]."

Clayton Kershaw was not with the team Monday. The left-hander is dealing with a personal issue. The club still expects Kershaw to start on Friday against the Giants.

The Dodgers could place Kershaw on the bereavement list, which would open a roster spot for Ramirez. If Kershaw was placed on the bereavement list, he would be eligible to return in time to start Friday in San Francisco.

And as SoSG Orel linked earlier this evening, that's exactly what happened today, so here comes Hanley.

The alternatives have been so, so bad. Juan Uribe, batting .214; Justin Sellers, .213; Jerry Hairston, .167; Luis Cruz, .098--none of these greater than two XBH, and Cruz has exactly zero XBH and only five hits all season. Nick Punto hasn't been too bad as a spot fill-in, I admit. But Ramirez' return can't come soon enough, to the lineup at least (apparently, Ramirez' swing is not in question; it's his fielding, and specifically his throwing, which has been impacted by the sore thumb).

We'll see if we get a PH appearance tonight, and possibly a start tomorrow (on his bobblehead night!); according to Mark Saxon of ESPN.com, Ramirez is in the clubhouse but not expected to join the team on the field tonight. "I see you," indeed.

photo: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

Game 25 Thread: April 29 vs. Rockies, 7p

(Not Jim Tracy's ridiculous face)
Ted Lilly (0-0, 1.80) vs. Tyler Chatwood (0-0, 6.00)

Is it a good thing when one of your divisional rivals fires a manager that annoys you? It depends on the situation. Is this Son still relieved not to be seeing Jim Tracy's ridiculous face on his tee-vee this evening? Absolutely.

Both pitchers are coming into tonight's game looking to notch their first decisions of the season, though they've gotten there through different circumstances. Chatwood had a shaky start against Atlanta, giving up four runs in six innings, but the Rox bullpen pulled out a win anyway. Lilly, on the other hand, only gave up a single run against the Mets, but the Dodgers managed to squander the advantage anyway.

The shine might be starting to come off of Colorado's hot start, and Tulo might be riding the bench with an injury, but it will still be up to the Dodgers to prove that they can hang with (or neutralize) the Rockies' firepower.

Apropos of nothing.


Retiring An Old Friend

I'm sad to have to put this one to pasture, but the fraying of the fabric is unfortunately too much for me to wear and look respectable...so this beige Dodgers t-shirt must call it a career.

It's a Moonlight Graham retro-graphic design, commemorating the Dodgers' six championships. I love the simplicity of the design as well as the old-style Dodgers script (which has since been modified). The one thing it could have done better was the softness of the cotton, but a little chafed nipple never hurt anyone, right?

Anyway, it's time for t-shirt retirement, which as you know I like to commemorate with a quick post. This t-shirt has lived a good life. It's been around at least since 2008, when I wore it to 2008 Blogger Night. And now, we bid it adieu.

Now, where will I be able to find another Dodgers t-shirt?

Does This Make Up for Carlos Quentin?

Jason Collins and Carlos Quentin, both Stanford men.

Earlier at SoSG:

Erin's "Deuces Are Wild" T-Shirt, for True Vin Scully Aficionados

Deuces Are Wild T-shirt (Teespring)

Erin's back! And she's brought a great idea with her. Let her explain:

Recently, my wife came up with the idea of making a Scully shirt. And I jumped at the chance. Not because it would make us some money (though I won't pretend that's not a nice bonus), but because maybe it would give me the ability to have that feeling of belonging, however indirectly it may come. Because if I sell a few shirts and I'm watching a game from up in the Pacific Northwest and see someone wearing one of my shirts? Hey, that's pretty cool.

And the thing is, I really love this shirt. I'm so proud of it. We ordered the first two shirts just to get things going. And at this point I want to reach the goal of 50 sold simply so that they will be printed so that I can wear my own. It just looks so sharp and so nice and it celebrates the Dodgers and Vin in one simple phrase. The sense of belonging I've been looking for would be even more prominent because not everyone knows Vin (unfortunately) and not everyone knows what he means when he says, "The deuces are wild."

Erin describes Teespring as a Kickstarter for T-shirts, meaning their quota of 50 shirts needs to be sold before the order is printed. Each shirt is $18 a pop, and they're already more than halfway toward their goal. You know what to do, SoSG readers!

UPDATE: Congrats! "We reached the goal, but people are welcome to continue buying until the campaign ends," reports Erin. And there are still six days left to buy!

Where The Dodgers Roll After The Game

According to the Wall Street Journal, the other place where the Los Angeles Dodgers keep a pretty full roster (besides Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, of late) is the Ritz-Carlton Residences at LA Live. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Carl Crawford, and J.P. Howell are three of the Dodgers mentioned in residence there, among other entertainment and sporting celebrities:

When Hyun-Jin Ryu, the Dodgers' new starting pitcher, first envisioned his move to Los Angeles from South Korea, he imagined himself in a house with a pool in Beverly Hills. Instead, he bought a condo downtown, a grittier part of the city.

In March, Mr. Ryu, 26, purchased a place at the Ritz-Carlton Residences at L.A. LIVE, paying just under $2 million for a 2,082-square-foot, two-bedroom unit with 10-foot-high ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer views of the Hollywood sign. Moving to the Ritz Residences "was a very convenient and appropriate decision for me," he says. "I am very close to the Korean-American community [and] I can see Dodger Stadium from my house."

Mr. Ryu is the latest sports professional to bypass Beverly Hills and buy into the Ritz-Carlton Residences, a collection of 224 luxury condo units that sits atop a 54-story tower that also houses the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels. Dodgers player Carl Crawford, nicknamed "The Perfect Storm," is a renter at the Ritz, as is J.P. Howell, another pitcher for the Dodgers. Jesse Buss, the 25-year-old son of the late Lakers owner Jerry Buss and the basketball team's current director of scouting, owns a condo there. Star soccer player Landon Donovan, 31, who plays for the Los Angeles Galaxy, recently bought a two-bedroom unit with a den.

Other notables in the building include former "Entertainment Tonight" host Mary Hart, who owns a unit, and Coachella founder Paul Tollett. Steve Bing, the major Democratic donor and film producer, is a renter.

Since the Ritz was opened by developer AEG two years ago, it has become popular with buyers from the sports world in large part because of its proximity to the city's major arenas, including the Staples Center next door and Dodger Stadium, a 10-minute drive away. The Home Depot Center, where the Galaxy plays, is about 20 minutes away.

Meanwhile, downtown Los Angeles, an area previously dominated by parking lots and abandoned buildings, has flourished over the last five years, with a spate of new restaurants, retail stores, night spots and art galleries springing up. Public transportation is improving: A new streetcar line has been approved for downtown, which will connect the complex the Ritz is housed in and the Staples Center to the Grand Avenue corridor, home to Walt Disney Concert Hall and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

The population of downtown Los Angeles has more than doubled in the past 13 years to more than 50,000 residents in 2012 from about 18,000 in 1999, according to the Downtown Center Business Improvement District. Yet while there are currently more than 3,600 new rental apartments under construction in the area, very few condos are currently being built, according to real-estate consultant Alan Mark. During the downturn some planned condo projects converted to rentals instead, and it was easier for developers to secure financing for new rental buildings than for condos.

As a result, the Ritz remains downtown's most expensive—and most available—luxury residential tower. "There are only about 63 new condos currently on the market downtown," adds Mr. Mark. "Almost all of those are at the Ritz." After a slow start amid the downturn, the building is currently about 80% sold; the sold units include all of the one-bedrooms, which average 1,100 square feet in size and about $1 million in cost. The Ritz also houses downtown's priciest penthouse—a 5,862-square-foot, two-story space currently listed for $9.3 million.

10 fo the 12 penthouses remain unsold. Guess we'll be moving the SoSG offices soon!

photo: Michal Czerwonka for The Wall Street Journal

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Post-Game 24 Thread: Boobies!


Game 24 Thread: April 28 vs. Brewers, 1p

Clayton Kershaw (2-2 2.14) vs. Kyle Lohse (1-1, 2.52).

Lohse has had four starts this year, the most of which earned him his only win--but had to leave after 5.0 IP with a dislocated pinkie. Hey, we Dodgers know injuries; he should feel right at home at the Stadium.

Kershaw was nails the first three outings of the year: 2-1 record, 7.0 IP+ per game, 7+ Ks per game and no more than 3 BBs per game. His last two starts (vs. SD, @ NYM), a different story: 0-1 record, no more than 5.1 IP, 5 Ks and 4 BBs in each. According to the MLB.com game preview, "[Kershaw] hasn't lost velocity, but three two-out walks in an inning is a red flag." Sounds like they're trying to get into Kid K's head!

The Brewers definitely got into the Dodgers' heads last night, stealing a 6-4 victory by mesmerizing Los Angeles with with their new, horrifyingly putrid mustard-colored alternate jerseys. I can think of much better ways to use mustard-colored apparel.

So let's see if the Dodgers can win today's rubber match and come away a wiener.

(Oh, and Sax will be at the game today. I don't know if you've already bought Dodgers tickets yet, but post if you'll be there as well, and maybe we can grab a beer. Or at least a Dodger Dog. Ah, screw the GT theme; beer it is.)

"Spice Up The Season": Really?

I don't know whom disappoints me more with this licensing shill: Disney? Or the Dodgers?

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Welcome To The Majors, Matt Magill (And Nice Job!)

As the ninth starter that the Dodgers have used this season (in 23 short games--according to the Dodgers, "the last time the organization used that many starters this early in a season was in 1942, when the Dodgers played in Brooklyn and used 10 starters in 22 games"), Matt Magill totally impressed tonight filling in for new DL-entry Stephen Fife.

Magill was a 31st-round pick by the Dodgers in the 2008 draft. He's only had four starts in AAA, all this year; Magill has a 2.84 ERA over 19.0 IP, with 23 Ks and 14 BBs.

Magill's line tonight: 6.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 7 Ks, 2 BB. 103 pitches, 71 for strikes; 2.70 ERA. Magill left the game up 3-2, but Matt Guerrier denied Magill a shot for a win, thanks to serving up a two-run HR to Carlos Gomez in the seventh. Sigh.

And speaking of sighing, it was great to see Magill's family, based here in Simi Valley, all in tow for his major league debut. (And not to get all Brent Musburger here, but did you see Magill's girlfriend (wife?)? Wow.)

Congratulations, Matt Magill, and welcome to the majors. Glad you're a Dodger! Hope to see more of you at the Stadium...and hope to say hi to your entourage, as well.

photo: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

Post-Game 23 Thread: TNT Edition


Game 23 Thread: April 27 vs. Brewers, 6p

Wily Studies the Scouting Report

Stephen Fife (0-0, 7.71) Matt Magill (?-?, INF) vs. Wily Peralta (1-1, 5.16).

Dodgers seek to keep up what could, optimistically and in only the vaguest sense of the word, be called momentum. Crawford and Gonzalez have been anchoring an offense that is beginning to show some signs of life. The already-thin pitching corps was due to send out Stephen Fife today. (I personally watched Fife pitch last weekend in Baltimore, where the Orioles pretty much chased him off a cliff. This guy can blow up at any time, and usually does.) But in an even worse turn of events, this really shitty pitcher gets put on the DL to be replaced by an presumably even shittier pitcher, Matt Magill. Can't make this stuff; it's beginning to feel like we're in a cartoon.

We also get the news that it looks like Mark Ellis is headed to the DL with a quad issue, so look to see Punto and Schumaker fill in until Hanley Ramirez is activated soon and we have more warm bodies to work with. 

Ned, please send off to ACME for some reinforcements!


Friday, April 26, 2013

Post-Game 22 Thread: .500 At Last


With a strange outburst of five scoring frames (out of a possible eight), the Dodgers beat Milwaukee thanks to late-inning rallying by Adrian Gonzalez (2-run scoring double in the seventh), Jerry Hairston (eighth-inning sacrifice) and Carl Crawford (eighth-inning RBI single, which added to his third-inking solo HR).

Brandon League was once again shaky in the ninth, allowing one run and Ryan Braun as the tying run in the please.

Rest up for tomorrow, Dodgers!

Game 22 Thread: April 26 vs. Brewers, 7p

Ryan Bronn and the Brewers visit Chavez Ravine.

Josh Beckett (0-3, 4.68) vs. Hiram Burgos (1-0, 1.80).

Castle sweet castle. The Dodgers are back from a 3-3 road trip and now face a gauntlet of four hot teams: the Brewers, Rockies, Giants (in SF) and Diamondbacks.

The Brew Crew, fresh off a nine-game winning streak, gives the ball to Burgos, who is making his second career start. We know how the Dodgers always seem to do against inexperienced pitchers. Will they be Podrick or Jaime tonight?

Dodgers tickets

obligatory boob shot

AJ Ellis, Gonzalez In Top Seven NL OBP; So Why Can't The Dodgers Score?

AJ Ellis and Adrian Gonzalez rank sixth and seventh in the National League for OBP, as of April 25, 2013. Carl Crawford isn't far behind at #13 (.395), and Mark Ellis is at #28 (.364).

In fact, despite fielding lineups which carry the OBP albatrosses of Luis Cruz (.122 OBP), Ramon Hernandez (.176), and Jerry Hairston Jr. (.188)--all of which have OBPs worse than Hyun-Jin Ryu (.333), not to mention Clayton Kershaw (.250)--the Dodgers still rank fifth in the majors and third in the NL for team OBP, at .337.

And yet, the Dodgers rank 29th in runs scored in the majors, with 64, ahead of only Miami.

The other two NL teams who have higher OBPs than the Dodgers, Cincinnati and Colorado (second and third), rank third and second in runs scored. The best OBP team in the majors, Oakland, also ranks first in runs scored.

So what's wrong with the Dodgers? Why can't we score runs?

Lineup order and consistency have to do with it. Matt Kemp, wedged in at either third or fourth in the order, has only been swinging the bat with any power or consistency over the last series; otherwise, he's been pretty lost these first 21 games. AJ Ellis might be getting on base as a bottom-of-the-order hitter, but he's surrounded by automatic outs.

Mattingly made the "big" move on this roadtrip to switch Gonzalez to bat third and Kemp to bat fourth, which seems to have helped stimulate some scoring, especially early in games.

But can anything be done with the back half of our lineup, given all the dead weight? Perhaps elevate AJ Ellis to sixth, following Andre Ethier, and then just concede the seven and eight spots altogether?

90 Minutes Later, Chad Billingsley's 12-Month Absence Finally Begins

Chad Billingsley finally went under the knife Wednesday for the overdue Tommy John surgery which platelet-rich plasma could not otherwise resolve:

Dodgers pitcher Chad Billingsley underwent Tommy John surgery Wednesday evening and is expected to be out for about a year, the team announced Thursday.

The procedure -- an injured elbow ligament is replaced with a tendon taken from elsewhere in the body -- was performed by team doctor Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles, and took about 90 minutes. Billingsley will begin physical therapy in the next seven to 10 days.

The right-hander had the option of undergoing elbow surgery last September but chose to rehabilitate the injury and received an injection of platelet-rich plasma at the time. He was on the disabled list because of elbow inflammation three times in the past year.

Since Billingsley is in the second year of his three-year, $35M deal, the Dodgers paid about $2.1M per win across 2012 and 2013 (Bills is a combined 11-9).

Since Bills pitched a total of 161.2 IP, that also equates to around $144K per inning.

Or, for every out recorded, Chad Billingsley earned roughly the equivalent of the median US household income (according to CNN).

Get well soon, Chadley!

Dodgers Lead Majors...In Pixel Density

Scoreboard watching, if you will?

Just dug up this article which explains that the new ANC Sports scoreboards at Dodger Stadium use 2.3M pixels with more density than anyone else in the majors:

More than 30 years after Dodger Stadium unveiled one of the first full-color video screens in sports in 1980, ANC Sports debuted the first 10mm surface mount LED displays in baseball at the third-oldest ballpark in the major leagues during a March 29 spring training game.

ANC deployed a pair of 1080p HD video screens, one in left-center field and the other in right-center. Both displays are designed in the historic hexagonal shape of the stadium’s original scoreboard and will feature a total active viewing area of almost 2,500 square feet.

The new hexagonal shaped displays measure almost 78 feet wide with varying degrees of height. In the center, the video screens are almost 38 feet high while the ends of the screens measure almost 24 feet high.

Although the new board pales in comparison to ANC’s work at Safeco Field, where the Seattle Mariners will unveil a 200-foot-by-62-foot record-setting display next week, the company and team are happy.

“We were asked to incorporate modern technology into an iconic ballpark without installing something that doesn’t fit in terms of the feel,” says Chris Mascatello, executive VP of technology sales and services for ANC Sports.

The displays—which include enhanced statistical information—will be operated by ANC’s VisionSOFT, which is designed to display large 1:1 greater than high definition resolution content. VisionSOFT and the 1080p control room infrastructure will maximize the image clarity and continuity across more than 2.3 million pixels on each screen.

The new scoreboard structures will also feature a 10mm LED strip measuring approximately 6 feet high by 69 feet wide beneath each video screen. ANC is integrating two outfield video wall displays, each measuring approximately 6 feet high by 61 feet wide, and an LED ribbon system along the club fascia that runs for 1121 feet. The entire display system will be capable of seamlessly transitioning between statistics, animated content, sponsor engagement and fan interaction.

That aforementioned Safeco Field board also looks pretty damn cool. At 56.7 feet high by 201.5 feet wide, covering 11,425 square feet, it's the largest in the majors-—and among the largest in all of sports, just shy of the standard bearer at Cowboys Stadium.

But hey, we've got pixel density. Take that.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Ralph's balloons

Didn't see any Angels balloons. Go Blue!