Friday, February 28, 2014

Win a Dinner & a Swank Ride-along!

Which Dodger once cruised around in this sweet ride?

And now for a different kind of contest. In case you didn't know, BJ Killeen is also an automotive journalist, and today she made her worlds collide:

Okay, I’ll admit it; I got the spring training media passes under false pretenses. Yes, I’m doing double duty as a baseball blogger and an automotive journalist. Hey, a girl’s gotta make a living, right? Well, I was going to keep my automotive research separate from SOSG, but then I thought, what kind of team member would I be if I did that? Don’t get me wrong; I’m still gonna use the information somewhere else, but I felt it was only right to pass along here what I learned speaking to the Dodgers boys. Now, not to take anything away from the master of tough quizzes, but I have a fun game that doesn’t require anyone to search their memory banks for some obscure detail and then turn it into an algebraic formula.

I asked 15 Dodgers (players and coaches) what the first car was they owned. Your job is to match the Dodger to the car. I have no prizes to give away; however, if anyone gets all 15 right, I’ll give you a ride and treat you to dinner in the next cool exotic car I test drive. (Sorry, the Bentley goes back Tuesday, but looming is the new Corvette, Maserati Ghibli, and others.) Good Luck!

Carl Crawford
A.J. Ellis
Andre Ethier
Adrian Gonzalez
Dee Gordon
Orel Hershiser
Jaime Jarrín
Kenley Jensen
Matt Kemp
Davey Lopes
Matt Magill
Don Mattingly
Mark McGwire
Scott Van Slyke
Juan Uribe
1956 Chevy Bel Air
1965 Ford Mustang
1976 Monte Carlo
1984 Toyota Supra
1989 Acura
1994 Jeep Cherokee
Audi A4
Chevy Nova
Ford Edge
Ford EXP
Ford Mustang
Honda Accord
Lincoln Navigator
Morris Minor
Nissan Altima

The deadline for entering is noon PST this Monday, March 3. Get your automotive brains revving!

Team Killeen @ Spring Training, Day Two: Pre-Game

BJ checks in:

Dear Mom:

You told me to write when I got work, and here I am. I’m a real working journalist! I got my first assignment as a blog reported for a great website. My job was to go to Dodgers Spring Training and observe, then write about everything I saw. My first day was intimidating, but it's the second day, and I’m getting the hang of it all.

I started out early in the media center, where I set up my computer and marked my spot as if I was really going to write something important. Since I was the only one in there at 8:30 am, I chatted with the really nice security person Mickey, who helped me greatly and gave me the lay of the land.

I then took my media badge and wandered over to the practice fields. I’m really good at faking like I know what I’m doing, so I just followed a few of the grizzled seasoned veterans and ended up at the backside of the clubhouse, where reporters and MLB tv and other interviewers were hanging out. Apparently, there’s some unwritten rule about talking to the players, because as each one came out, none of the reporters even acknowledged their presence. I at least said good morning to some of them. Not wanting to cause a scene, I pretended to be as blasé as the rest of the writers. When the big cheese, the head honcho, the main man (Donnie) came out, they surrounded him and, I’d like to say began pelting him with questions, but that didn’t happen. Donnie started the conversation by telling us the state of the union.

Donnie’s comments (paraphrased):

Greinke came in feeling good today. He was going to have some treatments today, and play a little catch. This didn’t negate the possibility of him going to Australia.

Dodgers non-roster invite Ross Stripling was getting and MRI on his elbow. Donnie said he tried to hide it because these guys want to play so badly they don’t want to tell anyone anything is wrong. But Donnie said that’s the worst you can do. He said the rookies do that all the time. But it’s always better to tell someone and get it taken care of early, even if it sidelines you for a few days now instead of making it worse later.

Matt Kemp had an MRI yesterday, and the doctors are reviewing the results. He will know better this week where Matt stands with his injuries.

I asked Donnie, since no one else was saying ANYTHING, if he could tell us who impressed him yesterday. He said he’s just looking for the guys to get comfortable. He is keeping his eyes open, and happy with how it’s going so far. It was too early to start talking about them.

Donnie discussed the large number of players they have right now who would fit well into the utility role, Alex, Dee, Justin, and will play them around. He said he would even put Dee in centerfield to see what it looks like.

AJ came back to camp last night and worked out, so he’s in the rotation today. When I saw AJ later, I personally asked him how he was, and he said fine.

Right now I’m in the media room, and the game starts in 30 minutes. I’ll report back soon.

Don’t worry, ma, I’m having a great time and doing well. They actually fed me lunch today, but I had to shell out $7. Not bad when you realize a Dodger dog with fries is $9!


Spring Training Game 3 Thread: Feb. 28 vs. White Sox, 12pm

These guys make their Dodger broadcasting debuts today. Maybe you've heard of them?

Hyun-Jin Ryu (0-0, -.--) vs. Chris Sale (0-0, -.--)

Happy Friday! Spring Training rolls on! Nobody get hurt out there today, OK?

Aw, dammit.

'The calm before the storm'

BJ Killeen checks in with a panoramic shot of Camelback Ranch:

(click to enlarge)

Team Killeen @ Spring Training, Day One

You know the drill: words by BJ, pics by Scott:

Spring Training, Day One

We left LA under the cloak of darkness and rain, determined to make camp (or Ranch) before high noon. Our trusty steed, Bentley (pronounced Bent-Lay) galloped effortlessly through the unforgiving terrain known as San Berdoo before arriving at the windy, dusty (not you, SoSG Dusty) city known as Glendale, AZ. Parking in the exclusive lot reserved for the vaunted media, we sauntered into the public relations office, banged our hands on the desk and demanded our passes, muttering, we work for SoSG; don't you know how important we are!?!

After our escort out of the office by two rather large security officials, we apologized and received one working media pass for the writer. I tried to explain that Mr. Killeen was the more valuable member of this team, but they regard photographers on the same level as earwigs and silverfish. No go. Our lovely host Jared, when I asked where the pass allowed me to go, replied, anywhere. Anywhere? An-y-where??? Which started me thinking about my options. First, I decided I'd go to the shower room in the clubhouse and wait for Mr. Ethier to sashay by nekked, but I figured that would guarantee this would be my final visit ever to Camelback Ranch. My next anywhere idea was to crash Vinny's box and holla "SOSG RULES!" during the first inning, but they had him well sequestered from the lowlife Neanderthal writers such as myself. Scratch that plan.

The only option left was to go to the media room, where I was sure I would find laid out before me a free, noon-time feast that would make Henry VIII blush. I climbed the stairs, threw open the door, and came face to face with reality.

No thrones, no Flintstones-sized turkey legs. No Pulitzer trophies lying around. Just two bare tables, a bathroom, and two rows of elevated counters from which working writers can type to their hearts' desire whilst enjoying the shade of a roof and the open windows that looked out over the field of green. All was not lost, however. There was a machine that contained free water and soda.

It appears there is a vast difference between a sportswriter and an auto slog. Truth is, I felt out of place in my Dodgers Pool Crashers T-shirt, Dodgers earrings, Dodgers socks and Dodgers headband.

The rest of the guys up there were working stiffs in street clothes. I reminded myself I was a blogger, and it's okay for us to play favorites.

Not wanting to take up anyone's important space, I slithered back down the stairs to mix with my own kind — crazed fans who scream, applaud, and wear Blue from head to toe.

Today I watched the game from our paying seats, while Scott ran around shooting a barrage of unknown pitchers just in case they turn into somebodies down the line.

I felt kinda like Greinke after his fourth pitch: unsure of what tomorrow will bring.

Tomorrow will come, however, and I will try again in the press room. this time I am determined to act like a real reporter, taking notes, writing witty remarks on the game thread, sitting reactionless during home runs, and furiously typing away on my MacBook, pretending to be one of "them."

And I will do my best to score some jerky for the team (Okay, Orel). Now...where is that shower room?

SoSG AC with Alex Guerrero's autograph.

El Puig.

"I got a boo-boo!"

Home Run time, Uribe style!

Kickin back...Ah, this is da life!

Thanks as always, guys!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

No Need For Any More Australian Anxiety

Looks like the baseball gods, or possibly an elaborate charade, has saved Zack Greinke from that horrible trip to Australia. Greinke left today's game with a calf injury:

Zack Greinke‘s spring training debut lasted all of three pitches, as the Dodgers right-hander left the mound and headed into the clubhouse with trainer Stan Conte by his side.

He’s been diagnosed with a strained right calf, which is just about the best-case scenario from leaving in the middle of an at-bat. Manager Don Mattingly came to the mound and had an extended conversation with Greinke, who threw a couple warm-up pitches to test the injury before eventually leaving the game. calls Greinke's departure "precautionary":

"I think it's minor, but we'll see," Greinke said. "I don't know exactly what it was, but it felt kind of like a cramp."

The Dodgers termed Greinke's removal "precautionary," but even a small injury could push back his season debut. Los Angeles opens its season more than a week ahead of most major league teams with two games beginning March 22 in Australia.

Greinke said he would have continued to pitch with the pain had the strain occurred in the regular season.

"Just trying to take care of it since it's early in spring," Greinke said. "And, hopefully, it's not a big deal."

So, how are you feeling, Hyun-Jin Ryu?

photo: Rick Scuteri / USA TODAY Sports

Team Killeen Has Landed

photo by Scott Killeen

Spring Training Game 2 Thread: Feb. 27 vs. DBacks, 12p

Mr. Absolute Zero Excitement himself in action!

Zack Greinke (0-0, -.--) vs. Randall Delgado (0-0, -.--)

The 0-1 Dodgers look to bounce back against a split DBack squad in the Camelback Ranch home opener. (Team Killeen is in the house!) They'll be missing a couple of key pieces, as Carl Crawford sits with a leg injury (or is dead from embarrassment after his outfield defense yesterday) and A.J. Ellis is down with the flu. Hopefully he did not get the flu from his super awesome jerky.

NOTE: I will be ordering and taste-testing said jerky for a future blog post. Stay tuned.

Image via Sarah Wexler's hilarious Google Translate Korean Baseball Tumblr.

Grass Matters

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

SoSG AC @ Camelback Ranch, 2014

SoSG's own AC, at Camelback Ranch, Feb 26 2014. Doing what Sons do best (besides drinking), I might add.

Spring Training Game 1 Thread: Feb. 26 @ DBacks, 12p

"It's tiiiiiiiiiime..."

Clayton Kershaw (0-0, -.--) vs. Brandon McCarthy (0-0, -.--)

Dodger baseball is back! Vin is back! Finally, we get our first look at what will become the 2014 team. We get to check out Joc Pederson, Alex Guerrero, the ghost of Chone Figgins, and, of course, Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw.

Unless you still can't get SNLA. It does appear to be streaming for free on Gameday Audio, though.

Image vis @Dodgers. Sorry this thread is late. We'll shake off the rust. Promise.

Team Killeen Does Camelback Ranch

She writes, he shoots! The formidable duo that is Team Killeen (BJ & Scott) work hard to keep us up to date on the latest Dodger-related activities. This week they're attending spring training at Camelback Ranch — and the Dodgers organization has been cool enough to grant them media access! Got a burning question for BJ to ask? Comment away.

Thanks to the Dodgers and Team Killeen for bringing spring training to SoSG readers. Stay tuned for updates!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Who's Coming to My SNLA Launch Party Tonight?!

I'm all set!

On second thought, maybe I need to move the party to Bakersfield?

Monday, February 24, 2014

Greinke Not Fired Up For Going Down Under

Obligatory absolute zero reference

Remember how Dusty thought everyone would be all fired up?

Apparently, Zack Greinke doesn't agree, as "absolutely zero excitement" for the Dodgers' season opening trip to Sydney, Australia:

Travelling to Sydney to open the Major League Baseball season is proving too much for the Los Angeles Dodgers, with star pitcher Zack Greinke claiming there is "absolutely zero excitement" for coming to Australia.

The Dodgers are also reportedly considering leaving their No.1 pitching ace Clayton Kershaw back in the United States, with their March 22-23 opening series against the Arizona Diamondbacks in Sydney looking more like a chore for the powerhouse side than a historic chance to spread the baseball gospel.

Greinke is LA's No.2 pitcher behind $US215 million ($A239.06 million) man Kershaw, and would likely start in one of the two matches to be played at the SCG next month.

But the 30-year-old says he'd rather not come.

"I would say there is absolutely zero excitement for it," Greinke told ESPN.

"There just isn't any excitement to it. I can't think of one reason to be excited for it."

Organisers in Sydney are far from thrilled with Greinke's outburst but are holding off on making comment until they've spoken to relevant parties in America.

Setting aside the Sydney organizers not using a "z", I can understand their concern and disappointment over The Tiny-Headed One's words. This is supposed to be MLB's next big step into globalizing the sport, and Australia, trapped in arcane Commonwealth games like cricket and netball, not to mention provincial pursuits like Australian Rules Football, could stand to embrace (and probably eventually dominate, given Australians' love for sport) a new athletic pursuit. The Dodgers' games are a week ahead of the rest of the season, leaving more than enough time to adjust to the jet lag (I know this myself).

I've already bought my ticket, Zack. How about you show up motivated to mow down some Diamondbacks down under?

t-shirt available here; Yu-Gi-Oh card swiped from here

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Dodgers Part Ways with Justin Sellers

Steve Dilbeck sums it up nicely:
One year you’re the opening day starting shortstop. The next you’re designated for assignment.

Welcome to the world of Justin Sellers, who was DFA’d on Saturday when the Dodgers officially signed Cuban infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena.

Sellers could field but not hit (.199 in parts of three seasons), and the Dodgers currently have their share of slick-fielding, questionable-hitting infielders, beginning now with Arruebarrena. And they just invested $25 million in him.

Sellers surprised most everyone with his hitting when first called up in the middle of the 2011 season, when he had a .278 average in his first 16 games. Alas, his offensive production had peaked.
Best of luck to Sellblock.

Meanwhile, can we agree to call Arruebarrena "Arrow Borracho"?

Friday, February 21, 2014

If This Doesn't Get You Fired Up, Nothing Will

We'd Been Hoping Ethier Would Get Better At Hitting Lefties, But Not This Way

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- As if to ease the fears of an entire organization, Sandy Koufax walked into the Dodgers clubhouse after practice Friday.

With sandwich in hand, he was upright, smiling and looking, well, like Sandy Koufax.

"I'm fine," Koufax said, about an hour after being struck on the forehead by an Andre Ethier line drive during batting practice.

After going for a precautionary CT scan to rule out internal bleeding, Koufax returned to Camelback Ranch and assured reporters that he was healthy.


Koufax was watching prospect Ross Stripling warm up and not looking at the batter when Ethier sprayed a liner that struck the iconic left-hander on the left side of his forehead, knocking off his Dodgers cap.

Was Ethier worried?

"Wouldn't you be?" he said. "Not just because of who he is, but anybody who gets hit. It's scary. I've seen it happen."

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Best Food Truck in LA?

I don't know if it is better than Kogi, but a Dodger Dog tastes better when it's free!

Your Obvious Headline Of The Day

And I wasn't even aware of the lat strain.

Screenshot taken from

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dodgers' Fade From Black?

Dodgers fans imagining the television broadcast

With Opening Day only a month away, Steve Dilbeck of the LAT is wondering if Los Angeles television viewers will know it's soon time for Dodger baseball:

The Dodgers’ new network debuts next week, and I guess most of us will just have to take their word for it. Unless you’re with Time Warner Cable, which will run the Dodgers’ new cable station, SportsNet LA. Currently, it doesn’t have a single deal with any other distributor.

The days of watching Dodgers’ games on free television are over. Last year’s games were still split between KCAL-TV Channel 9 and Prime Ticket. But beginning this year, it’s SportsNet LA or nothing.

And currently for the majority of Southern Californians, that means nothing. Now it’s easy to shrug all this off and say this is just the usual dance between a new network and pay-TV distributors. That the pressure isn’t really on to make a deal until the regular season begins March 22 and all will fall into line.

If largely accurate historically, there is still no certainty everything will be resolved by Opening Day. Ask the Pac-12 Network or the Astros, whose network with the Rockets filed for bankruptcy protection after 16 months because it could not reach agreement with DirecTV and other major distributors.

There is obviously a difference between wanting to watch the last-place Astros in Houston and the hugely popular Dodgers in Los Angeles, but you know at some point all this raising of the cable fees is going to reach a limit.

I'm buying Premium, which I know won't avoid blackout restrictions if I'm geographically oriented near Los Angeles, but might be able to help me out otherwise. And at least that way, I don't have to wait for this standoff to reach resoution.

photo swiped from here

Jazz on the Grass

I was looking through my old iPhone photos and found the following.

Before the October 6, 2013 playoff game between the Dodgers and the Braves, I was able to attend the first half of Jazz on the Grass. The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation sponsors this event with proceeds going to the Jackie Robinson Foundation to support their college scholarship program.

Besides some great music, there was an extensive auction with numerous Dodger and sports memorabilia. Unfortunately I could only stay for a couple of hours as the playoff game stated early that evening. I was able to meet Sharon Robinson (Jackie Robinson's daughter) and sample some delicious food. It was a great event and only wish I could have stayed longer!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Archiving the SoSG 2013 Attendance Record, For Posterity

At the end of every season, we Sons go through and tally up our attendance record for the prior year. The 2013 season was particularly remarkable because we made it to Spring Training in Arizona, road games in San Diego and Baltimore, and both the NLDS (vs. Atlanta) and NLCS (vs. St. Louis) playoff series. 24 wins (which does not include our spring training wins) also matches our all-time high in wins attended (along with 2012), though our overall 40 games attended in 2013 represents fewer games than in 2012.

Another great part of 2013 was the fact that we had six Sons attend one game together (June 12): dangerous for the blog if a catastrophic event had hit the Stadium that night (short of the loss we witnessed, of course), but very positively correlated with an increase in beer sales at Dodger Stadium. Curious!

Our 2013 record of 24-16 (including playoffs) puts the Sons at 106-74 across the last six seasons. That's a winning percentage of .589. Clearly, the Dodgers should be inviting us to more road games!

SoSG 2013 Record: 21-15 / 3-1

Spring training
2/23 vs. CWS, L (9-0): AC
2/24 @ CWS, T (2-2): AC
2/25 vs. CHC, W (7-6): AC

Regular season
4/1 vs. SF, W (4-0): AC, Dusty, Sax
4/2 vs. SF, L (0-3): Nomo
4/6 vs. PIT, W (1-0): Dusty, Orel
4/7 vs. PIT, W (6-2): Sax
4/15 vs. SD, L (3-6): AC, Dusty, Orel
4/21 @ BAL, W (7-4): Dusty
4/27 vs. MIL, L (4-6): Stubbs
4/28 vs. MIL, W (2-0): Delino, Nomo, Sax
4/30 vs. COL, W (6-2): AC, Sax
5/1 vs. COL, L (3-7): Sax
5/6 vs. AZ, L (2-9): AC, Sax
5/8 vs. AZ, L (2-3): AC
5/12 vs. FLA, W (5-3): Delino
5/14 vs. WSH, W (2-0): AC, Dusty
5/15 vs. WSH, W (3-1): Sax
5/25 vs. STL, W (5-3): AC
6/3 vs. SD, W (2-1): Delino
6/6 vs. ATL, W (5-0): Nomo
6/8 vs. ATL, L (1-2): Dusty
6/9 vs. ATL, L (1-8): Dusty
6/12 vs. AZ, L (6-8): everybody except Stubbs
6/21 @ SD, L (2-5): AC, Sax
6/24 vs. SF, W (3-1): AC
6/29 vs. PHI, W (4-3): Dusty, Orel
7/13 vs. COL, W (1-0): Dusty
7/14 vs. COL, L (1-3): Sax
7/25 vs. CIN, L (2-5): Dusty
7/26 vs. CIN, W (2-1): AC, Sax
8/9 vs. TB, W (7-6): Dusty
8/10 vs. TB, W (5-0): Nomo
8/24 vs. BOS, L (2-4): Dusty
8/27 vs CHC, L (2-3): Dusty
8/28 vs. CHC, W (4-0): Sax
9/1 vs. SD, W (2-1): Dusty, Sax
9/13 vs. SF, L (2-4): Nomo, Sax
9/27 vs. COL, W (11-0): Nomo

10/6 vs. ATL, W (13-6): AC, Sax
10/7 vs. ATL, W (4-3): Dusty, Sax

10/15 vs. STL, L (2-4): AC, Dusty
10/16 vs. STL, W (6-4): AC


Record by Son:
Delino: .750 (3-1)
Sax: .625 (10-6)
Dusty: .588 (9-8)
AC: .571 (8-6)
Nomo: .571 (4-3)
Orel: .500 (2-2)
Stubbs: .000 (0-1) (what the heck, Stubbs? Distracted?)

Time to get all set for 2014. Can the Sons break our record of 42 games attended?

Prior SoSG attendance records: 2008 (18-15), 2009 (21-10), 2010 (9-8), 2011 (10-7), 2012 (24-18)

Los Angeles Wins.

Los Angeles: the most pleasant place to live in the United States. And as Dodger fans who spend a lot of time outdoors in Chavez Ravine, we know it.

There you have it.

(Hat tip, gawker.)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Schoenfield Picks Dodgers as Fifth-Best MLB Team

Sorry this is late; last week,'s David Schoenfield had the Dodgers as the fifth-best team in MLB, behind the Nationals (#3) and Cardinals (#1) in 2014:

5. Los Angeles Dodgers

How they can get to 90 wins: Well, having another 42-8 stretch again will help. The Dodgers runs scored and allowed totals projected to 89 wins (they won 92). They’re a good bet to score more runs, especially with full seasons from Yasiel Puig and Hanley Ramirez.

Big offseason moves: Signed Cuban 2B Alex Guerrero, re-signed RP Brian Wilson, re-signed 3B Juan Uribe, signed SP Dan Haren, signed RP Chris Perez, lost RP Ronald Belisario, lost 2B Mark Ellis, lost IF Nick Punto, lost CF/2B Skip Schumaker, lost SP Ricky Nolasco.

Most intriguing player: Puig. He could be the MVP, he could hit .240. He's the most intriguing player in the game heading into the season.

Due for a better season: Matt Kemp would seem to be the obvious choice, but there are still concerns that his ankle injury that required season-ending surgery will remain an ongoing issue. Josh Beckett made eight starts with a 5.19 ERA. Right now, he’s slated as the No. 5 starter (with Chad Billingsley angling to return from Tommy John surgery), so he could certainly improve if he’s healthy.

Due for a worse season: On a rate basis, Ramirez is unlikely to hit .345/.402/.638 again. But the Dodgers will certainly hope he plays more than 86 games. Uribe, awful in 2011 and 2012, but good in 2013, is a strong regression candidate.

I’m just the messenger: The Dodgers have the best starter in the game Clayton Kershaw. Zack Greinke was a great No. 2. They have Puig and Ramirez and Kemp and Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford and Andre Ethier. A team without flaws? Not necessarily.

Kemp, Crawford, Ramirez and Uribe have all battled injuries in recent seasons. Guerrero is an unknown. If Kemp can’t go, Ethier will be stretched defensively in center. Greinke is very good but has also had just one season in his career where he made 30 starts with an ERA under 3.00. Gonzalez is no longer the .900 OPS guy he was for a few seasons. Haren has been up-and-down the past two seasons. Even with their $200 million-plus payroll, this isn’t a team that’s a lock for the playoffs.

The final word: OK, that said, there is clearly big upside here, maybe even 100-win upside if everything pans out. The rotation has the terrific top three with Kershaw, Greinke and Hyun-jin Ryu, and Haren pitched much better in the second half with the Nationals. Kenley Jansen is a top-flight closer with dominant stuff and the setup crew with Wilson, J.P. Howell, Paco Rodriguez and Chris Withrow is deep. Kemp is a wild card. So is Puig. But I’m also inclined to believe Puig is closer to the MVP candidate than the .240 hitter. The Dodgers are the clear favorite in the NL West.

Projected record: 92-70

Koufax Suggests Puig Add "Funda-" To "Mental"

While being appreciative of Yasiel Puig's talent, Dodger great Sandy Koufax diplomatically added that phenom Yasiel Puig could stand to work on his basic skills, to better hone his natural talent:

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Legendary pitcher Sandy Koufax, making his first appearance of the spring at the Los Angeles Dodgers' training facility, said he enjoyed watching Yasiel Puig energize the team last summer but would like to see the talented outfielder improve his fundamentals.

"If the showmanship doesn't involve bad decisions, it's fine," Koufax said. "I think people love it. You've got a great arm, you want to show it off, but you'd like to see it go to the right place all the time.

"He's young. He hasn't played [much]. I think the biggest thing is he hasn't played against competition as good as he is, so you're always able to have your physical ability make up for whatever else you did. He's learning. I'm sure it's going to happen. There's too much talent not to."

In discussing Puig's powerful arm, some people have compared him to Hall of Fame outfielder Roberto Clemente, among others. But Koufax said he is not willing to go there. Not yet anyway.

"Clemente had a great arm. [Willie] Mays had a good arm, but Mays never missed the cutoff man, never threw to the wrong base," Koufax said. "I'm not sure Roberto did either, but there have been a lot of good arms in baseball. I'm not comparing [Puig] to Clemente after two or three months in the big leagues."

Still a lot of upside with this Puig kid. Let's see how 2014 unfolds.

UPDATE 7:09p: Dylan Hernandez of the LAT had the same Koufax interview, and got an entirely different spin (possibly because his last Koufax quote has some minor differences (underlining mine):

PHOENIX — Sandy Koufax defended Yasiel Puig’s style of play, saying he doesn’t mind Puig’s theatrics so long as they don’t result in mistakes.

“If the showmanship doesn’t involve bad decisions, yeah, it’s fine,” Koufax said. “People love it.”

But Koufax also said he would like to see the 23-year-old outfielder learn the finer points of the game.

“You have a great arm, you want to show it off, but I’d like to see him throw it to the right place all the time,” Koufax said. “He’s young. The biggest thing is he’s not played against competition as good as he is. So you’re always able to have your physical ability make up for whatever else you do. He’s learning. I’m sure it’s going to happen. He has too much talent.”

Funny how those Koufax quotes turned out quite differently!

Saturday, February 15, 2014

All Is Right with the World

The Three Sisters have been returned to their rightful place. Rest easy, Dodger Stadium purists.

Photo and heads up via Jon Weisman and his unnamed colleague

New Parking Rules at Dodger Stadium

From a Dodgers press release:

The Los Angeles Dodgers will maintain its $10 parking price in 2014 to those fans that purchase parking in advance for the upcoming season. The charge for those without an advance parking pass will be $15.

"The fan experience is of paramount importance to the Dodgers," said Dodgers' President & CEO Stan Kasten. "We have been examining ways to improve our traffic flow at Dodger Stadium. We feel one of the best ways to expedite movement through the auto gates is for fans to have a prepaid parking pass when they arrive at Dodger Stadium. Transaction times will be improved."

The Dodgers also will offer premium parking in advance at $35 and for $50 at the gate.

Dodger fans that have bought individual game tickets are encouraged to go online to purchase parking for the games they are planning to attend. Season ticket holders and mini-plan holders who did not purchase parking can take advantage of even a more reduced parking price by calling 323-DODGERS.

The Dodgers are continuing to study other transportation improvements and parking enhancements to improve ingress and egress and will have a few new initiatives in place at the opening of the season. Among the changes for the 2014 season are:

  • Restriping the many lots, modifying circulation patterns and improved on-site signage.
  • Added bike racks to encourage bicycles as an alternative mode of transportation to Dodger Stadium
  • Enhance and promotion of the use of public bus on Sunset Boulevard and better marketing at the Metro Gold Line Chinatown and Red Line Hollywood Stations
  • More and clearer way-finding signage directing traffic to underutilized gates
  • Additional on-site parking spaces

The Dodgers are working closely with LA Metro and the city of Los Angeles on the many transportation alternatives that serve Union Station and that will connect fans to the Dodger Stadium Express. Last year, the Dodgers, the City of Los Angeles and LA Metro added a dedicated bus lane on Sunset Boulevard from Union Station to Elysian Park Avenue. Dodger game day tickets are honored as payment to ride the bus service and the shuttle operates 90 minutes before the game and 45 minutes after the game. For specific route and schedule information, fans can visit or call 323.GO.METRO.

For further information on Dodger parking, visit or call the Dodgers' ticket office at 323-DODGERS.

photo by Richard Hartog/LA Times

Friday, February 14, 2014

Puig Claims He'll Dial It Back Some in 2014

Per a piece from LA Times' Dylan Hernandez, who took precious moments away from bagging on fellow baseball writer Hank Schulman, to note:
PHOENIX — From the time he was called up to the major leagues last year, Yasiel Puig has viewed himself as an entertainer.

"The fans go to the stadium to enjoy themselves," Puig said in Spanish. "After work, they spend their free time watching us play. We have to do our best to entertain them."

Puig did that last season with a hair-raising style of play, electrifying crowds in becoming one of baseball's top draws as a rookie.

However, Puig also acknowledges he has to be more restrained on the field, admitting he has to be smarter on the bases and learn when to hit the cutoff man rather than throw directly to the plate from right field.

With the Dodgers holding their first full-squad workout Friday, the 23-year-old Cuban outfielder and his coaches restarted the process of adding a degree of caution to his risk-taking mentality.

"To me, in order to be a bona fide superstar, you have to learn to slow the game down," hitting coach Mark McGwire said.
So what will Puig do? Only go at 178%? This was always going to be part of the natural maturing process for Puig, so glad he's moving that direction. But hopefully he will be able to make this adjustment without taking what's best away from his game. And hopefully Mark McGwire won't dial back one bit on throttling Matt Williams in bench-clearing brawls this season.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

What the Heck Is Orel Doing?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Arruebarruena to Join Grudzielanek, Hollandsworth in Dodgers Long-Name Hall of Fame

From "Dodgers reach preliminary deal with Cuban shortstop" by Ken Gurnick at

The Dodgers have reached a preliminary contract agreement with Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena on Wednesday, according to a baseball source.

The club has not confirmed the signing.

Sources said there still are physical exams and possible legal and immigration issues to resolve.

Arruebarruena is the latest of an increasing emphasis by the Dodgers of signing international players in general and Cubans in particular, especially after the stunning success of Yasiel Puig.

The Dodgers have become MLB's Cuban pipeline. How soon until other teams start complaining about the Dodgers signing too many Cubans and MLB puts some restrictions in place?

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

New MLB Logo Suggestion

Monday, February 10, 2014

Spring Training Is Here

"We want you to wrestle with these orange and black balls. There is nothing symbolic about this exercise."

"Sometimes I just feel like a salmon."

"Milking a cow is really quite easy."

Are those...cheekbones?

Pre-production meeting for Season Two of "Between Two Palm Trees."

"I wonder what Zooey is doing."

What's that thing on Davey Lopes' face? Oh, it's a smile.