Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Post-Game 27 Thread: 10,000 Franchise Wins


Despite an unscheduled day off yesterday and mucky 44-degree weather today, the Dodger pitching and bats finally showed up in the same game. Appropriately, it happened in an AL park, and it was good for franchise win #10,000.

Thank goodness for Zack Greinke during Kershaw's absence, because he's been a rock for us. Today he went six innings, allowing only an unearned run. Offensively, we haven't seen a game like this in a while. With two out in the third inning, Hanley had a two-run two-on, one-run single, followed by a two-run two-on, one-run single by AGon. And with two out in the seventh, Ethier (!) hit an RBI double. Uribe followed that with a two-run single. Puig chipped in with an RBI in the eighth.

This being the Dodgers, we couldn't finish the game without a little bullpen shittiness. Once Paco allowed a run to make it 6-2 and a man reached second, I guess it became a save situation because Donnie brought in Kenley to close it. Naturally, Kenley allowed two more runs to score before getting the save.

But a little history was made tonight, folks, so let's focus on that. Oh, and Clayton's coming back soon!

Game 27 Thread: April 30 @ Twins, 5p

That's a cold set of twins.

Zack Greinke (4-0, 2.45) vs. Kyle Gibson (3-1, 3.63)

It's cold in Minnesota. How cold is it? It's so cold, ...yesterday's game was obviously postponed, but...heck, I might as well just show you.

That's pretty bad. But no worries, it's not like we need to heat up either the Dodger bats (Dodgers rank 17th in the majors in runs scored, well behind #4 Minnesota), or the Dodger gloves (Dodgers rank dead last in errors committed, below #6 Minnesota). The Dodgers have lost five of our last seven games, so today's game at frigid Target Field should be icing on the cake. If there's any hope, it's that Gibson is coming off a poor start (seven runs, 10 hits, two walks over 4+ innings), whereas Greinke delivered one of the last two wins we've notched.

Whoopee, interleague play! In the freezing cold, no less!

A: No.

Can the Dodgers' Brandon League work his way back into your hearts? (LA Times)

(Look, I have built some appreciation for Dee Gordon this year, after ragging on him incessantly in seasons prior, for coming with a renewed attitude, better glovework, a little bit more power, and less bunting for no reason. So I suppose it's feasible. But unlikely.)

photo: Ralph Freso / Associated Press (April 12, 2014)

And Now a Message from Matt Cain

(anigif here)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Scoreboard Watching (April 29, 2014)

Colorado @ Arizona: Tyler Chatwood (1-0, 4.26) vs. Mike Bolsinger (1-1, 5.27). First pitch 6.40p.

San Diego @ San Francisco: Eric Stults (1-2, 4.15) vs. Yusmeiro Petit (1-1, 3.68). First pitch 7p.

San Francisco is a full game up on the Dodgers as of this morning, while Colorado is a half-game up. Since we can't have baseball, at least we can laugh at others, I suppose (or go watch the Worriers @ Owned-By-Racist-Slumlords).

And here's a fun fact: Matt Cain of the Giants will go winless in April for the second consecutive season.


(Unscheduled) Off-Day Diversion: Star Wars Episode VII Cast Announced

Sadly, Patton Oswalt's vision for Star Wars is not coming to fruition.

Thanks to shortsightedness on the part of Target Field's designers, today's Dodgers/Twins game has been postponed and rescheduled as part of a doubleheader on Thursday. That leaves us some free time on yet another off-day to discuss our other passion: Star Wars.

News came down from Jar Jar Abrams today about who will be joining Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew, Anthony Daniels, and Kenny Baker to form the cast of Star Wars Episode VII. They are, for the most part, relative unknowns.

The newcomers include: John Boyega ("Attack the Block", a film I've been really meaning to see), Daisy Ridley (???), Adam Driver ("Girls"), Oscar Isaac ("Inside Llewyn Davis"), Andy Serkis (The Tolkien franchise), Domhnall Gleeson (Bill Weasley from "Harry Potter"), and Max von Sydow (Just about everything, really).

Serkis and Von Sydow definitely give the cast some wieght. I don't watch "Girls," but I hear Driver's character is a real scumbag on there, so he should be an OK villain. His character will have a "Darth Vader look to him." Like this?

We don't know any character names or descriptions yet, but I'm cautiously optimisitic. It would take A LOT for these films to be as bad or worse than the prequels.

On the other hand, this cast is sorely lacking in some Colt 45-swigging smoothness.
Where's Lando, JJ?!

Your thoughts?

Monday, April 28, 2014

Off-Day Diversion: The Case Of The Ace Attorney Manga

I found this comment thread hilarious.

Oh, but there's more. Much more.

Hat tip, Kotaku

Dee Gordon: Not Quite As Fast As Billy Hamilton

Dee Gordon's 13 stolen bases this year rank first in the majors, ahead of the Mets' Eric Young Jr. (12) and the Reds' Billy Hamilton (9, tied for third with four others). But Gordon's speed still pales relative to Hamilton (by 0.02 seconds, according to the Score's watch), as this animation shows time to the first base bag:

In case you want to see the clocking, here's Gordon's time, in a gif:

And here's another speed demon on the bases, with a gif which I never tire of seeing:

Hat tip: Deadspin

Book Review: Bring in the Right-Hander!

I was graciously delivered a copy of Bring in the Right-Hander! My Twenty-Two Years in the Major Leagues authored by Jerry Reuss.  Full Discloser: The book was sent to me for free (did happen) and they put me up in the Presidential Suite with all the food that I could eat (Did not happen, but wish it did).  This book must be good, because dear old dad had something great to say about it on the back cover.   The front cover is great, with Lasorda walking to the mound and a defiant Ruess looking right back at him. I really didn't know that Ruess is on the limited list of players that have played in four decades, including Carlton Fisk, Nolan Ryan, Rick Dempsey, and Bill Buckner.  Amazing.  I guess after 22 years in the major leagues, you have some stories to tell, and Ruess writes them with humility and humor.  I remember watching the lanky left hander throw off the Dodger Stadium mound.  What I didn't know was that Ruess was such a jokester.  Seems like he enjoyed pranking other players and managers, especially Tommy Lasorda.  He also respected the game and the traditions.  One of the passages in the book is entitled "When Vin Speaks, Los Angeles Listens."
I pitched in six games at Dodger Stadium as a member of the Astros.  If the crowd was around twenty thousand and was quiet, I could hear the radios from around the ballpark when standing on the mound.  I couldn't clearly make out the words, but I could tell from Vin's cadence where he was in the broadcast.  One night while staring at the catcher's signs, I noticed Vin was in midstory.  As a courtesy to the best in the business, I stepped off the rubber, grabbed the rosin bag, gave it a shake, and threw it behind the mound.  By this time Vin delivered his punch line, the crowd had its laugh, and I was back on the rubber, getting the sign from the catcher. Vin, ever the professional, never missed a beat.  "Ruess winds and the pitch on the way..."
There are many other stories that capture the essence of the Dodger culture in the 80's, including Ruess' no hitter and winning the world series.  If you are a Dodger fan, then you should definitely pick up a copy for an enjoyable read.  Thanks to the publisher and Brener Zwikel and Associates for sending us a copy.

Other book reviews at SoSG:

Matt Kemp Has Better Things To Do Than Bother With Donald Sterling

Two parts to this story. First, big props to Matt Kemp, who reacted to being dragged into the Donald Sterling racism fiasco by rising above it all:

On Sunday, Deadspin released an extended, 15-minute version of the alleged conversation between Clippers owner Donald Sterling and his mistress at the time, V. Stiviano, in which Sterling admonishes Stiviano for “associating” with African-Americans. The racially charged conversation stemmed from Stiviano posting a photo with NBA legend and Basketball Hall of Famer Magic Johnson on her Instagram account.

According to the new audio, there was also a photo with Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp that dominated a segment in the latter portion of the conversation. Prior to Sunday's game against the Colorado Rockies, Kemp was subsequently asked to comment on his name being dragged into the mess and his feelings on the situation in general.

Here's what he had to say, courtesy of the Los Angeles Times Dylan Hernandez. [...]

[...] Unfortunately for Kemp, he's been dragged into the mess directly, though not at all voluntarily. More questions will certainly come his way, but I think his one response says it all.

"Racism is kind of old."

You know what else is old, Matt? Shoddy print advertising efforts! Don't waste your breath on this bozo.

And here's part 2. It's not like Kemp didn't find more subtle ways to protest Sterling's idiocy. As per Deadspin, Kemp used Michael Jackson's "Black Or White" as his walkup song Sunday.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Post-Game 26 Thread: At Least We Can't Watch This On TV


With three more errors in today's game, the Dodgers pulled back into a tie for first place with the Washington Nationals with 26 errors on the season. Today's Dodger mistakes came at the slippery hands of Justin Turner (2, throw), Hyun-Jin Ryu (1, fielding a bunt with his glove rather than his hand), and Matt Kemp (3, fielding). With a lot of hard work and continued focus on lack of fundamentals (can't blame the hitting coach for this one!), I'm sure Don Mattingly will have the team back in first place in no time.

Oh, and there was a game! Hyun-Jin Ryu used about 84 pitches to get through the first two innings, so when the Rockies broke through in the second with two runs and then added a three-run homer in the sixth to put the Dodgers down 6-1, it was all over. The Dodgers scratched together eight hits, most of which seemed to come with two out, and ended the game 2-for-6 with RISP (and one run to show for it, by the way). Dee Gordon stole his 13th base of the season but really, who gives a shit when you drop two of three to the Rockies at home.

If there's any consolation, it's that now, 26 games (16%) into the season, Dodger fans still don't have the opportunity to watch this poison. Take a day off, Dodgers; let's see if we can warm up the bats any when we get to our next series in 39-degree Minnesota (starting Tuesday).

Game 26 Thread: April 27 vs. Rockies, 1p

Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-1, 2.12) vs. Jorge De La Rosa (1-3, 6.38).

We both play quietly lame
in the dead of April
Although we both lie close in the standings
We should be miles apart and still

Was it Clay's injury? Or DL'd Hanley?
Or a 'pen that's not quite right?
Can we try and win the series?
Off this guy?
He's just one-and-three because,

Every Rosa has its thorn
Just like shaggy beards won't be shorn
Just like sleeveless jerseys, should be quartered and torn.
Every Rosa has its thorn.

Yasiel, You On the Big Screen!

Puig is truly becoming Joe Hollywood... thanks to Brett Ratner. From Variety:

Brett Ratner has acquired movie rights to the story of Los Angeles Dodger Yasiel Puig’s escape from Cuba. Ratner acquired the feature rights through his RatPac Entertainment to Jesse Katz’ article, published in the May issue of Los Angeles Magazine. He will produce the project with Beau Flynn, who will produce through his FlynnPictureCo. banner.

Puig attempted to escape from Cuba several times before succeeding in 2012 with the help of smugglers working for the Los Zetas Mexican drug cartel who took him to the Yucatan Peninsula. <“He was traveling with three companions: a boxer, a pinup girl, and a Santeria priest, the latter of whom blessed their expedition with a splash of rum and a sprinkle of chicken blood,” Katz wrote. The cartel then held him captive for three weeks after his backer allegedly did not pay the $250,000 that had been agreed to as the price for getting Puig out of Cuba.
Ratner directed the three “Rush Hour” movies, “X-Men: The Last Stand” and “Tower Heist.” He produced “Horrible Bosses,” “21″ and “Mirror Mirror.”

A great life story, directed/produced by a great filmmaking hack. (And I actually enjoyed that third X-Men, even if the Dark Phoenix saga deserved so much more.) SoSG got its hands on an early trailer of the film, showing Ratner's keen ability to convey human drama and transcendent action.

Former Steroid User Ryan Braun Takes Bat To Teammate's Face

Is Ryan Braun still using steroids? Brewers SS Jean Segura must think there might be some 'roid rage still flowing in Braun, after getting slugged in the face by Braun's errant bat:

After starter Marco Estrada set the Cubs down in order in the top of the first inning and before Segura could even walk up the dugout steps for his first at-bat of the game, teammate and lightning rod for controversy Ryan Braun was warming up for his at-bat by standing at the top of those same steps. Braun’s warm-up routine involves swinging his bat wildly around his head and behind his body, and this is apparently something that Braun does all the time. But what he didn’t realize was that poor Segura hadn’t even made it out of the dugout yet.

While Braun was waving the bat behind his body, he whacked an unsuspecting Segura in the face. Segura immediately fell like a ton of bricks to the dugout floor and had to be picked up and assisted into the Brewers’ clubhouse. Roenicke had to quickly substitute Jeff Bianchi into the lineup for the wounded Segura, but it worked out well for the Brewers because Bianchi went 2-for-4 with a pair of RBIs.

Segura emerged from the bat smash with a laceration on his face big enough to require a plastic surgeon’s help in repairing it, but he also did not exhibit any concussion symptoms nor were there any broken bones around his eye. While his face might be a bit swollen for the next couple of days, it also doesn’t look like Segura will have to be put on the disabled list because of the freak injury.

Braun also ended up departing the game early due to a chest muscle strain. Hmm.

Post-Game 25 Thread: Dodgers, Bullpen Overcome Dodgers' Bullpen

And this is for a winning PGT!


If Beckett's eight innings last night shocked you, then Maholm's seven innings (and two ER) tonight will put you into cardiac arrest. Even better, Kemp and AGon homered, and Hanley had an RBI and Puig two.

But this is the Dodgers, so the bullpen had to come in with their gas cans. With one out in the eighth, Withrow walked the bases loaded — then proceeded to strike out Cargo and Tulowitzki. Wilson started the ninth with a four-run lead and promptly walked his first two batters, so Donnie turned to the overworked Kenley, who allowed a run before shutting things down.

But this is the Dodgers, Part Two: No victory is without its lead linings. Hanley had to leave the game in the fourth with a bruised thumb he jammed during an AB. X-rays were negative, and he was scheduled to get the day off tomorrow anyway.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Game 25 Thread: April 26 vs. Rox, 6p

Paul Maholm (0-2, 5.60) vs. Juan Nicasio (2-0, 4.30).

24 games into their season last year, the Dodgers were 12-12. This year they're 13-11. What does that tell us? Hell if I know. But there's no question our Boys in Blue are scufflin' right now, and Maholm doesn't inspire confidence that he'll break the spell. In eight starts against the Dodgers, Nicasio is 3-2 with a 3.67 ERA, so that's inconclusive as well.

The only thing we can be sure of? 6PM start time = SHADOWS!

Post-Game 24 Thread: Extra Bad


The Dodgers did their usual thing — losing — but at least tonight things were a little different. For starters, Josh Beckett went eight solid innings, allowing only two earned runs. Yasiel Puig had two RBI, including one on a first-inning home run.

With a tired bullpen, naturally this game went into extra innings. This is the first April in at least 100 years the Dodgers have played six extra-innings games (per Jon Weisman). The Dodgers are 1-5 in those games.

JP Howell and Brandon League combined to allow three runs in the 11th. And since this is the Dodgers, they couldn't just lose by three. Adrian Gonzalez hit a two-run homer (his seventh of the season) to ensure Dodger fans would get their hopes up a little before being crushed. Live Breathe Blue!

Dodgers drop into a tie for second place. How low will this stone sink? At least Clayton Kershaw's rehab start went well.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Game 24 Thread: April 25 vs. Rockies, 7p

Josh Beckett (0-0, 2.57) vs. Jordan Lyles (3-0, 3.04).

New team in town! New transfer rules! New Puig biopic! Yes, it's a chance to wipe the slate clean and keep track of two games tonight: Clayton Kershaw starts for the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes against the Lancaster JetHawks, and Beckett faces Lyles at Dodger Stadium.

Beckett has kept his ERA down but hasn't gone longer than five innings in a start this year; Lyles might be a find for Colorado, as he went seven innings in his last start as the Rox beat the (ahem) Phillies, 3-1.

photo via @B_Liebhaber

LA Fandom Interactive Map

Mrs. Cora found this interactive map on Curbed Los Angeles - which is actually from the NY Times.  It is an interactive map that shows the distribution of fans for the various baseball teams.  Are the Angels encroaching on Dodger territory or the other way around?  Oh, and Red Sox nation reaches all the way to Alaska.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Post-Game 23 Thread: Can We Just Trade for Carlos Ruiz?

They call me...Dodger Killer


The Dodgers average an error per game, three of their five outfielders are flirting with or below the Mendoza Line, and their bullpen is overworked and underskilled. Yet they went into the ninth inning tonight tied at three thanks to a QualityStart™ by Dan Haren and home runs by Juan Uribe and Adrian Gonzalez.

Then Carlos Ruiz, who bats .273/.358/.412 lifetime but .296/.413/.456 lifetime against the Dodgers, did his Dodger-killing thing, lacing a two-run double off a clearly not-right Brian Wilson. The Phillies tacked on two more runs to rub it in our faces and the Dodgers find themselves with a 6-9 record against teams without the letter Z in their name.

Surging Rox in town tomorrow. Hold on to your butts.

photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Game 23 Thread: April 24 vs. Phils, 7p

*No technology used in the filming of this statuette

Dan Haren (3-0, 2.16)vs. Kyle Kendrick (0-2, 3.60)

Thanks to last night's win, the Dodgers are now 1-2,071 lifetime against the Phillies. They'll look to double their tally tonight in the last of this four-game shitstretch.

Tonight's game features the first bobble head giveaway of the 2014 season, brought to us by our friends at Time Warner Cable. Regrettably, the player featured, Clayton Kershaw, will be pitching a rehab start at Class A Advanced Rancho Cucamonga Quakes versus the dread Lancaster JetHawks the following night, and unavailable until at least the first week of May due to a back muscle issue that was buggying him. Let's hope he gets his Breaking Amish stuff back soon to complement his fastball.

Apparently the Dodger fan base's love for all bobble collectibles knows no bounds and is happy to ignore the ugliness and utter lack of resemblance to the actual player being depicted.

Kershaw Arrives for a Bullpen Session

This one is sold out, so be sure to to arrive early and take public horse-drawn transportation to ease traffic congestion and exemplify simplistic, traditional values.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Post-Game 22 Thread: Zack Out-Dreamies Cole

"I approve."


Move over, Cole McDreamy. Zack (Heart) Attack is our man of the moment, having guided the Dodgers to victory with seven innings of two-run ball, with 11 strikeouts.

Uribe had an RBI and Puig had two (including one on a bat-flip triple), and Hanley snapped out of his slump with an insurance home run in the eighth. Turner added a RBI single for some Geico.

It's hard to believe, but the Dodgers actually have a chance at a split in this series. Given how it started, that would be a moral victory.

Game 22 Thread: April 23 vs. Phils, 7p

Cue "Yakety Sax."

Zack Greinke (3-0, 2.42) vs. Cole Hamels (first start of season).

Aw, we have to play these guys agaaaaaain? If it weren't for the 5-18 Diamondbacks, the Dodgers' record would be as ugly as their defense. Tonight, our ace (non-Kershaw division) attempts to restore sanity in Chavez Ravine against the dashing Hamels, who's recovering from biceps tendinitis.

It's a weekday night at Dodger Stadium, so expect more snarky attendance-related tweets from Dylan Hernandez, more griping about not being able to watch the Dodgers on TV, and NO ERREORS.

photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Australia Pictures Game 2

G'day Mates! More Australia pictures!

Stan Kasten jumped the line at the store, but I guess when you are the owner, you can
SCG banners
Ryu long tossing

Catch it on the fly AJ
Day Panorama

National Anthem

Puig up to bat

Eye on the ball



Dee up to bat
Beach balls are universal

Team bus after the game

Vin, in Cartoon Form

From the Orange County Register:

(click to enlarge)

Thanks to Fred's Brim for the heads-up!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Post-Game 21 Thread: The Dodgers Have Never Beat the Phillies


Did you know the Dodgers and Phillies have played 2,070 regular-season games lifetime against each other? And the Dodgers have lost EVERY SINGLE ONE of those games! Yes, 2,070 straight losses, including tonight's crappy, embarrassing by-the-numbers defeat: Ryu allowed two earned runs over six innings, the bats scraped together two runs to send it to extras, only for Hanley and Crawford to lose their shit defensively, leading to the losing run in the tenth. The Dodgers had two runs and two errors. Ugh.

Game 21 Thread: April 22 vs. Phillies, 7p

Hyun-Jin Ryu (3-1, 1.93) vs. A.J. Burnett (0-1, 2.74).

After getting summarily shut down by Cliff Lee last night, the Dodgers look to regroup against a starting pitcher with an inguinal hernia. Sounds delicious, right? Well, after getting that diagnosis, Philadelphia's A.J. Burnett went seven innings and struck out five while yielding no runs, in a game the Phillies eventually won over the Braves.

So don't count any chickens--especially when we've got the majors' second-worst defense out there helping our opponents out with extra chances (the Dodgers' 21 errors this season, in 20 games, is only surpassed by the Nationals' 22). Hanley Ramirez has five errors all by himself!

Stay tuned to see if the Dodger bats wake up tonight and mark Burnett!

picture swiped from here

Australia Pictures Game 1

Jet lag is a pain in the ass.  It is so bad, that I JUST NOW woke up from the Australia trip.  And now that I am back on pacific standard time, I am able to upload my Australia pictures. Overall it was a fabulous time.  I had never been to Australia and found the people to be really nice and friendly.  The day before the games, I was walking around Darling Harbor and bumped into Davey Lopes.  He very graciously took a picture with me.  The games themselves were great, and to see baseball in a historic facility like the Sydney Cricket Grounds was amazing.  We were able to see both games there and the Australia fans were great.  Even during warm ups, the crowd was into the game.  The crowd was audibly oohing when Kershaw was long tossing in the outfield.  And every time AJ Ellis would catch the ball on the fly, the crowd would cheer.  Then during the game, a foul ball would elicit a chorus of cheers and shouts.  One guy caught a foul ball with a glove and another Australian fan shouted "My grandmother uses a glove! Be a real man!" Hilarious stuff from those Aussies.  Enjoy the pictures below and sorry for the long delay!

At the Airport

Banners at Darling Harbor

Hitting bombs into Darling Harbor

Floating MLB ball

Met some Dodger Fans from Los Angeles who tweeted us! Thanks @artloc

This is not the stadium

ABL poster
ABL Trophy

Warming up

Super small bathrooms with the good old urine trough

Kershaw getting his yoga on

Do not disturb the ace

Soohoo is just outside of the do not disturb Kershaw radius

One of many Dodger lineups this year

Beautiful SCG

ABL mascot race (w/ that Dback cat)


Opening Day

Alcohol and the prices

SoSG Made it!