Friday, January 31, 2014

Dodgers Release 2014 Theme

Oh, but we do. I personally like it; minimalist but effective, like a Mini Sirloin Burger. What do our millions of readers think about it?

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Mrs. Orel: 'Is that Clayton Kershaw? He looks hot there'

(via Josh Tucker at Dodger Insider)

Dodgers Add Alternate Road Jerseys

"Greetings from Endor!"

"I just donated blood...all of it."

"Who misses Casey Blake?"

From a Dodgers press release:

The Los Angeles Dodgers will have an alternate road jersey in 2014, as the team will utilize one of the most identifiable team names in sports today, “Dodgers,” as well as their home city, “Los Angeles,” on the two jerseys.

When the Dodgers came to Los Angeles in 1958, the road jersey featured the name Dodgers. The next year, the team’s road jersey featured Los Angeles and continued that way through 1969. The team name, Dodgers, returned to the jersey in 1970 through 1998 and the city name, Los Angeles, returned in 1999 to the present. The last time the Dodgers wore alternate jerseys was in 2011, when they wore the powder blue Brooklyn jerseys for six home dates.

“Because we are equally proud of our iconic brand name and the city we represent and with the number of Dodger fans across the country, we felt it important to have two sets of road jerseys to feature both the team name, as well as Los Angeles,” said Lon Rosen, the Dodgers’ Executive Vice-President & Chief Marketing Officer. “This will begin when we start play in spring training and we plan to wear the `Dodgers’ jersey when we open the regular season in Australia on March 22.”

The Dodgers’ pitchers and catchers report to Glendale, AZ, for Spring Training on Saturday, Feb. 8 and the first full-squad workout is set for Friday, Feb. 14.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Latest Verdict on Puig: Still Speedy, But Not As Reckless

Of course, I'm referring not to his on-field play, but rather the dropping of the reckless driving charge against Yasiel Puig.

A reckless driving charge against Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig has been dropped.

The 23-year-old Puig was arrested and charged with reckless driving last month for allegedly driving 110 mph in a 70 mph zone in Florida. Authorities said he was pulled over in a white Mercedes and taken to the Collier County Jail for processing.

The state attorney's office dropped that charge due to a lack of sufficient evidence in the case. The speeding ticket still stands.

Now if we can address on-field recklessness next,...

Steve Garvey's Number Retired by MSU Baseball

(via TrueBlueLA)

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Scully's Intro from Last Night's Hockey Game

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Game 52 Thread (NHL Stadium Series): Jan. 24 vs. Ducks, 7p

Ducks (38-10-5) at Kings (29-17-6)

After all the hype, "the first NHL regular-season outdoor game in the U.S. west of the Rocky Mountains" is finally here. The Ducks have the franchise upper hand over the Kings, and are come off a win over the Kings just two days ago. But between the sand volleyball court, pond and performance stages, all bets are off. The real test will be whether or not the ice itself will hold up in the perfect Southern California temperature, currently predicted to be around 78 degrees.

SoSG is made better by the many Dodger fans who are also big Kings hockey fans, so we wanted to bring a special offseason hockey game thread to them and to so many of us who will be following this unique game. Give us a shout in the GT if you make it to the Yard (the Rink?)!
photo by Wally Skalij/LA Times

Friday, January 24, 2014

'...and ducks will once again be on the pond'

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Who Would Be The Dodgers' Bob Uecker?

News out of Milwaukee states Bob Uecker will get a second statue at Miller Park, all the way in the top row of the stands:

Brewers Hall of Fame radio voice Bob Uecker, who has a statue outside of Miller Park, soon will have one inside the stadium.

The Brewers announced Wednesday that Uecker will be honored with a statue in the last row of the Terrace Level at Miller Park.

The statue will pay tribute to the popular Miller Lite “All Stars” ad campaign which featured Uecker’s famous tagline, “I must be in the front row.” In the commercial, Uecker ended up in the last row. instead of the great seats he expected.

The statue will sit atop the Uecker Seats in the Terrace Level (Section 422) and will feature an open seat next to it allowing for a perfect photo opportunity. It will be dedicated on the afternoon of Friday, April 25, with more details provided as that date approaches.

“I can’t think of a better place to put this statue,” Uecker said. “This will be great for fans and even better for pigeons. You might even be able to see a little part of the field.”

Brilliant all around: great idea, great quotes from Uecker, another great reason for me to re-visit Miller Park. I love it.

So who would be Dodger Stadium's last-row statue honoree? Certainly not Frank McCourt; his statue probably belongs buried underneath a Dodger Stadium parking lot (ideally, the one way up the hill behind the Think Blue sign).

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mini Sirloin Burger Watch 2014: Chone Figgins Edition

Per Jerry Crasnick at ESPN:
Veteran infielder-outfielder Chone Figgins, looking to revive his career after a disappointing tenure in Seattle and a one-year baseball hiatus in 2013, has reached agreement on a minor league contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, a baseball source told

The deal includes an invitation to the team's major league spring training camp, where Figgins is expected to compete for a spot on manager Don Mattingly's roster as a utility man.

Figgins, 36, is a .277 hitter with 337 stolen bases in the majors. After making the American League All-Star team and finishing 10th in MVP balloting with the Los Angeles Angels in 2009, he signed a four-year, guaranteed $36 million deal with the Seattle Mariners with a vesting option for a fifth year.

But Figgins struggled badly in Seattle, hitting .188 and .181 in back-to-back seasons, and the Mariners released him in November 2012. Figgins hooked on with the Miami Marlins, but they released him last March and he sat out the entire 2013 season.

Figgins recently held an open tryout in Tampa that was attended by scouts from about 10 clubs. He ran the 60-yard dash in a fleet 6.5 seconds and showed enough with his bat and glove to prompt the Dodgers to offer him a minor league deal.
Probably worth a flyer for Chone. He dropped off the face of the earth after his Seattle move, but at one point he was a tiny force to be reckoned with. He could provide the 2014 squad with some speed off the bench, some what was once Gold Glove defense at multiple positions, and, most importantly, compete with Dee Gordon for team lead Mini Sirloin Burger.

Hopefully Jack in the Box will still honor this coupon.

Meet The New Not-Vins

The Dodgers officially unveiled their new broadcast team for SportsNet LA today:

Hmmm. Embedded video doesn't seem to be working for me. If it isn't for you either, here's the link

Welcome back, Orel and Nomar! Welcome aboard, Alanna Rizzo! Orel will partner up with Charley Steiner for non-Vin games on SportsNet LA. Nomar will join Rick Monday on radio for those games (with the Steiner and Monday pairing continuing to take over radio in the 4th inning of Vin-called games). Rizzo will handle "sideline" duties on non-Vin games, as well as pre- and post-game coverage. Vin, of course, will continue to preside over games in California and Arizona.

While not shown in the video above, Jerry Hairston, Jr. and former ABC7 sports anchor John Hartung will also be on the SportsNet LA team.

Excited yet?

UPDATE WITH THOUGHTS: This is a HUGE upgrade all-around. Steiner and Monday will both benefit from working with new partners (and Steiner's weird fly ball calls will be easier to take when you can see the ball on TV). Orel will provide professional, relevant analysis that Steve Lyons never could. I haven't seen much of Nomar's TV work, but he's definitely personable and can probably tell a good story. I was a big fan of Alanna Rizzo's work on MLB Network. She speaks fluent Spanish and should develop a good rapport with the players she'll be interviewing. (Plus, yes, she's cute, and we're shallow like that around here.)

Yes, We Have No Tanakas

DENIED! But hey, let's take one last look at this sweet 'shop job by EephusBlue.

I don't have much to say on the matter, really. I just wanted to use that headline.

So, #TanakaWatch has come to an end, with coveted Japanese pitcher Masahiro Tanaka electing to sign with the Yankees for 7 years, $155 million. (With full no-trade clause. LOL.)

Holy shit! Really? That's nutty money. Even for the "Scrooge McDuck swimming in coins" Dodgers. Enjoy burning your money to stay warm, Masahiro! Dodger fans will likely begin to, as Mike Petriello phrased it (on the new hybrid mega-blog Dodgers Digest), "childishly act like we never wanted him in the first place."

This leaves the Dodgers short a fifth starter, with Bronson Arroyo rumors looming and the duo of Beckett/Billingsley still far from healthy. A more pressing concern is the shallow bench, and the fact that Michael Young still hasn't officially retired. Strap in, everyone! The Hot Stove just got tepid!

UPDATE: Eephus has modified the above image just a tad.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

BREAKING: Kid K Gets Pay Day

Exhale, everyone!

Hmmm...out after five? NOT SURE IF LIKE. Eh, I like it fine. If anything, it likely means he gets another raise in five years. And if he stays through all seven, a pitcher of his caliber could still demand pretty huge money, even at 33.

Joc Strapping, But Wedged In Minor Leagues

Despite rocking it in Chattanooga, Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson can only look at the Dodgers' crowded outfield and sigh, says's Mark Saxon:

Many people in the Dodgers’ organization think Pederson will be major-league ready some time this season. The team’s 2012 Minor League Player of the Year, Pederson had an .878 OPS with 22 home runs and 31 stolen bases at Chattanooga. He was picked for the Futures Game, then polished off his season by playing 34 games in Venezuela at the team’s request.

He is viewed as a stalwart everyday major-league outfielder one day. If he ever figures out how to hit left-handed pitching, he could be far better than that.

Yet, to break into the Dodgers’ outfield, the team would have to trade at least two of its well-paid outfielders or see at least two of its outfielders go down with injury. If you paid attention last season, the latter scenario seems more likely than the former.

The outfielders who are blocking Pederson are still in their primes -- and signed to long-term deals -- or, in Puig’s case, just a year older than Pederson. So, if the Dodgers make a trade, he’s as likely to be the person looking for a new apartment as Matt Kemp or Carl Crawford.

“Obviously, I don’t want to get traded. Being in L.A. would be something special and it’s close to home, but the Dodgers would be just trying to win and I understand that,” Pederson said. “I’m not really competing with a normal outfield. You have four superstars.”

(Okay, I just wanted to use the headline. I confess.)

Monday, January 13, 2014

Dodgers One Of Three MLB Teams Still Not Selling Out

Addison and Clark might mean something relevant and majestic to baseball fans. But on Monday, half of that equation became considerably dumbed down:

On Monday, the Cubs announced the first official mascot in their modern history -- Clark, a "young, friendly Cub" who wears a backwards baseball cap and will greet fans as they enter Wrigley Field.

"The Cubs are thrilled to welcome Clark as the team's official mascot," Cubs senior director of marketing Alison Miller said in a statement. "Clark is a young, friendly Cub who can't wait to interact with our other young Cubs fans. He'll be a welcoming presence for families at Wrigley Field and an excellent ambassador for the team in the community."

As they prepared for a $300 million renovation of Wrigley Field, the Cubs partnered with Northwestern University to conduct a survey and found that there was a desire for the 100-year-old park to be more "family-friendly."

Clark, named after the Clark and Addison intersection where Wrigley is located, will be introduced during a charity appearance on Monday night.

The Cubs say Clark's great-grandfather Joa was the franchise's original live Bears mascot in 1916.

The Los Angeles Angels, Los Angeles Dodgers, and New York Yankees are now the only teams in Major League Baseball without official mascots.

Fight the power, Dodgers! I believe I'd even suffer giving up stadium naming rights before introducing a mascot, just due to the annual revenue impact that could be used to sign better players (but wait, merchandise sales of the mascot would also bring in incremental revenue; man, this is really confusing).

UPDATE: Deadspin readers are already going at it.

UPDATE 2 (1/18): The Cubs are calling the "unfortunate" images "despicable".

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Scott Killeen, Dodgerazzi

Thursday, January 09, 2014

Puig Hires Cousin To Drive Recklessly For Him

Like Jessica Tandy in Driving Miss Daisy, Yasiel Puig has hired a driver (his cousin) to save him from his own lead feet:

LOS ANGELES -- After two incidents of reckless driving in eight months, Yasiel Puig has decided to relinquish the steering wheel.

Los Angeles Dodgers president Stan Kasten said he spoke with Puig on Thursday, and the 23-year-old outfielder told him he has hired a cousin to drive him around for the time being.

"I give him credit for taking that step if nothing else," Kasten said during a radio appearance on ESPNLA 710. [...]

Kasten and general manager Ned Colletti both spoke with Puig after his latest run-in with law enforcement. Kasten said he also traveled to Tennessee to meet with the Cuban defector after his first incident, which came while Puig was with the Dodgers' Double-A team.

"I sat him down myself when that happened and made it clear what we expect of him," Kasten said. "I said then that, even if he thinks he can get away with it because he's in Chattanooga, if you ever get to the big leagues, nothing -- nothing -- is going to escape attention. He brought that up to me today."

Wonder if Puig's cousin has to wear the fashionable cap?

Kidding aside, I'm glad for Puig (and for the Dodgers for insisting on this).

A Taste of Dodger Stadium (3 of 3)

Thanks as always to Scott Killeen for the photos!

A Taste of Dodger Stadium (2 of 3)

Thanks as always to Scott Killeen for the photos!

A Taste of Dodger Stadium (1 of 3)

Thanks as always to Scott Killeen for the photos!

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Puig's Speeding Made His Mom Cry

(Thanks to Scott Killeen for the P'shop!)

Driving 110 mph is pretty reckless. But driving 110 mph while your mom is in the car (let alone two other passengers)?

The Cuban defector was charged with reckless driving in a 70 mph zone in Naples. Puig, who lives in the Miami area during the offseason, told the trooper he wasn't speeding for most of the two-hour trip north until the officer clocked him. But the officer is unsympathetic.

"This is your mom? Oh, you're going to jail. You are putting your mom in danger, oh hell no," the trooper says in Spanish on Dec. 28 to Puig, 23. "Why were you driving that fast? You don't care about anyone's life in the car?"

Puig responds: "Yes, I do care. I'm sorry. Please forgive me."

The video shows the trooper explaining to Puig's mother, a cousin and another passenger why he was being arrested.

"The reason why we are in this situation is because he didn't care about his mother's life or your lives, and he's going to jail," he said in Spanish. Puig's mother is heard sobbing.

While in the backseat, Puig tells himself: "Why do you have to drive so fast, Puig? You have to learn." He repeatedly asked the officer to let him go, at one point saying he would "do anything" and that he would never drive again, "but please don't take me to jail."

As for Puig talking to himself; hey, I'm hoping that works. Clearly Puig's handler isn't getting everything through to him, so I'm all for multiple personalities giving it a shot.

Donnie Gets His Extension

Mattingly finally gets his extensions while showing support for the Three Sisters

From "Don Mattingly to get extension" by Ramona Shelburne at
The Los Angeles Dodgers have reached an agreement on a contract extension with manager Don Mattingly, sources with knowledge of the situation told on Tuesday.

The team is expected to announce the extension later this week.

Mattingly was already under contract for the 2014 season. Exact terms of the extension were unknown, although sources told ESPN that it covers the next three seasons.

Mattingly managed all of last season without assurances he would remain at the helm beyond this year. He revealed during a tense news conference after the season that his option for 2014 vested when the Dodgers made the NL Championship Series, and he displayed frustration at having been put in that position.

The Dodgers were surprised by the comments but quickly moved to assure Mattingly that he was viewed as part of their long-term future. The team initiated extension talks shortly thereafter.

While the process took several months, there was always a belief on both sides that an extension would be completed before spring training.

Mattingly is 260-225 in his three seasons as Dodgers manager. He finished second in NL Manager of the Year voting in 2013.

Congrats, Donnie! Your ballsy demand-an-extension-during-a-press-conference strategy worked! Now it's time to deliver.

Dodger Stadium 2014 Renovations Announced

From a Dodgers press release:

The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced plans for upgrades to 52-year-old Dodger Stadium for the 2014 season.

To continue on the program of improvements that began in 2012-13, the Dodgers have submitted plans to the City of Los Angeles for the following projects, expected to be completed in time for the 2014 season home opener April 4:

1. Expansion of the entries at the Field level, enabling all fans with Pavilion, Dugout, Field, Loge and Club tickets to enter the convenient entrances on the north side of the stadium. These new entries will also house new team stores and concessions and memorabilia to celebrate the team history, including its famous seasons in Brooklyn, NY, as well as its five-plus decades in Los Angeles.

2. Seating and lounging areas at bars and drink rails overlooking the bullpens in the outfield, giving focus to pitchers warming up as well as infield game views.

3. New food services with outdoor grills and specialty fare such as Tommy Lasorda's Italian and hot-off-the-grill BBQ, areas where the Hall of Fame manager and other former players will spend time with fans.

4. An expansion of the popular Reserve Level "La Taqueria" stand near the kids play area at the left field Reserve entry.

5. Relocating the visiting team clubhouse to an area near the visiting team dugout at field level so that all visiting team areas are in a single new area adjacent to the batting tunnel, conditioning room and training area built in newly created space in 2013.

6. Continuing work on the upgrade of the electrical infrastructure that supports the 1962 stadium. In 2013, significant new equipment and substations were installed in coordination with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. Work will continue this offseason to connect to the new equipment to improve safety and provide the best technology available for fans.

7. Enhancement of the ballpark’s landscaping. All 33 trees in the outfield area have been replanted on site and the Dodgers, the only team in baseball with a full-time arborist, will have three times as many trees in the outfield by April as before. The display of the famed “Three Sisters” behind the left-field bullpen will remain.

Hideo Nomo, HOF Candidate

Realistically, Hideo Nomo probably won't make the Hall of Fame. But, in addition to Jay Jaffe's piece on Nomo as a pioneer, there was a more tongue-in-cheek series on Deadspin last month that chronicled the impact of a number of MLB players up for HOF candidacy, and the post about our own Nomo was pretty sweet:

Nomomania wrapped you up in something that you didn't quite understand. It had nothing to do with winning or losing; it was excitement built on a foundation of excitement. In retrospect, the most fascinating thing about it was the relative absence of the man himself. You didn't find Hideo Nomo speaking at elementary schools or shilling breakfast cereals like Fernando Valenzuela did in 1981, or sitting courtside at Lakers games like Yasiel Puig in 2013. Other people talked about Nomo; the man himself didn't.

He went into his ritual windup, summoning pitches from a place no one else had access to. He walked back from the mound, keeping his eyes on the grass. He disappeared from the public eye between starts. They called him the Tornado, but he was quiet and still, even at the center of a storm of tchochkes and sellout crowds at Dodger Stadium and kids who were mesmerized by his windup, his forkball, and even his name. We said it a lot. Nomo, Nomo, Nomo.

Loving or not loving Nomo was never a consideration. He wasn't some hero like Mike Piazza or Ramon Martinez; he was a player you were awed by. In Los Angeles, a city that makes men into metaphors just by putting them on television, Nomo transcended his own performance immediately.

In 1995, the year the baseball strike ended, he exploited a loophole to get out of his Japanese contract, and signed in February, coming in essentially as a replacement for Dodgers legend Orel Hershiser. In his first start, he tossed five shutout innings, allowing one hit and striking out seven. The Dodgers blew a 3-0 lead, then lost the game in the 15th, but no matter; Nomo was, immediately, the symbol of a Dodger franchise that felt ascendent in both moral and baseball terms, an antidote to strike-related cynicism. As the first player who'd come to the majors from the Japanese league since Masanori Murakami decades earlier, Nomo hearkened back to Valenzuela, to Branch Rickey and Jackie Robinson, to the idea that the Dodgers were an innovative and upstanding franchise. [...]

The thing about phenomena like Nomomania or Fernandomania is that they're inherently unsustainable; even had Nomo maintained his early excellence, the hype surrounding him would have calmed. Instead of disappearing altogether, though, he pitched effectively into his mid-30s, bouncing from the Mets to the Tigers to the Red Sox, and back to the Dodgers. His last good season came in L.A. in 2003. He went 16-13 with a 3.09 ERA, even though his strikeout rate had dropped by a third.

The idea that Nomo was some sort of one-trick pitcher was clearly rooted in his foreignness, in his delivery, in the way he made established American ballplayers look like fools chasing pitches in the dirt. He was a big league pitcher who outgrew his own hype, and a harbinger of change. In Nomo's rookie season, he was the only Japanese player in the major leagues. By 2008, the year he attempted his final comeback with the Royals, he was one of 19.

More on Nomo here.

UPDATE: Nomo got 6 votes.

illustration swiped from Deadspin

Tuesday, January 07, 2014 Dodgers Beat Writer Screws Greg Maddux

Wow, I knew Ken Gurnick, beat writer for the Dodgers over on was a feisty guy. But screwing Greg Maddux because the non-power pitcher happened to pitch in the steroid era? That's some cold dish being served:

NEW YORK -- Greg Maddux won't be a unanimous selection for the Hall of Fame.

Ken Gurnick of, a former reporter for the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, says the only player he voted for was pitcher Jack Morris. Morris is on the Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot for the 15th and final time after falling 42 votes shy last year.

Gurnick said Tuesday that he excluded "everybody from the steroid era."

"I just don't know who did and who didn't," Gurnick said, adding: "Some people quibble over when the era starts, but the bulk of [Morris'] career was in my opinion well before all of the widespread use of performance-enhancing drugs."

As you can imagine, the internets are not happy. "Criminally lazy", said one pundit over at

The Los Angeles Herald Examiner closed its doors in 1989. I wonder if steroids can also be attributed to Gurnick's prolific publishing in the post-Examiner era? Gurnick certainly tweets a lot more now than he did in the 1980s. Maybe Gurnick is juicing, too?

(Look, there's never been a unanimous inductee to the Baseball HOF. It's unfortunate for Maddux, but you know--there's always someone, right?)

UPDATE 1/8: Looks like Gurnick wasn't the only one; 15 others agreed with him that Maddux wasn't HOF-worthy on his first ballot.

2014 Dodgers BP Jersey: XXXS Size Preview

Building on yesterday's post, here's a (small) look at the Dodgers' new 2014 BP jersey, if you squint really hard that is. (And unlike yesterday's post, this might actually be relevant to a 20-14 product this time! Whoo hoo!) From ESPN's Uni Watch:

As you can see, it's a fairly basic template without too many bells and whistles. As had been expected, it matches the template used for the 2013 All-Star Game BP jerseys. (As a side note, the jersey appears to have a new version of the Majestic Athletic sleeve logo. This new logo appears throughout the catalog and will presumably be showing up on game jerseys next season as well.)

So now we've got gray collar highlighting, plus gray armpits. I can deal with this.

Since when did we sign Gary Player, however?

Monday, January 06, 2014

Dodgers' 2014 "New" BP Hat: Less Piping, More Bland

Truth be told, I was never a fan of the "old" Dodgers BP hat with the little gray areas at the temples. I always felt like Reed Richards when I wore that cap (in all of my batting practice sessions, of course). I also didn't like the white piping running all over the Dodger blue.

Now, it looks like the Dodgers are losing the piping and gray temples, but gaining a gray that's Uni-watch understandably is panning:

Every three or four years, all 30 MLB teams get new batting practice cap designs. The upcoming season is one of those years, so you'll soon see teams unveiling their new BP caps (which will also be worn throughout spring training, natch). But thanks to an inside source, Uni Watch is now prepared to provide you with an exclusive sneak peek at the new headwear -- 36 new caps in all, because some teams have separate designs for home and away.

The longstanding BP cap trend has been that each design cycle is worse than the previous one. But Uni Watch is happy to report that this streak has finally been broken. The new caps have no silly stretch panels and no extraneous design. So most of the new caps are better than the old ones.

Guess the Dodgers' cap didn't make the "improved" list.

Setting 2014 Expectations High

Hey SoSGers. Things have been a little hectic here this holiday season, but I'm hoping to get back in the swing of things, starting with a little housecleaning.

Here's ESPN's Buster Olney from 12/31/2013, with his pronouncement that the Dodgers are the second best team in MLB, behind only the Tigers (link insider only):

They haven't really made a big move yet this winter, re-signing Juan Uribe, Brian Wilson and J.P. Howell, and pinning down Dan Haren on a one-year deal. But even if they don't land another pitcher -- Masahiro Tanaka, Matt Garza or David Price -- they'll have an excellent pitching staff, and of course, the money and the motivation to get better and address holes during the regular season. One GM said that when you consider building a championship team, you have to factor in an additional 5 to 10 percent: The amount of money you can take on to fill needs that develop through injury and unexpected performance lapses. The Dodgers certainly have that.

If the Dodgers play the Tigers in the World Series, it'll be a match of the two teams currently placing the highest value on winning a championship.

They have Yasiel Puig, too, whose talent is as scary as his driving – which is why the Dodgers talked to him after his latest incident. The Dodgers are holding their breath over Puig, writes Bill Plaschke.

Olney had the Cardinals third and the Red Sox fourth. No other NL West team made the top ten.

Speaking of that Plaschke article (from 12/29/2013), it includes this ending quip:

Colletti said he wasn't inclined to give Puig another babysitter, saying, "At some point, everyone is responsible for their own actions. He's not some 16-year-old kid, we can't have someone on his arm all the time. It's up to him to figure it out like we all have to figure it out."

So breaths will remain held, the Dodgers silently rooting that in the 110-mph race of his life, Yasiel Puig will grow up before he blows up.

Too bad Puig probably doesn't read Plaschke.

Dodger Stadium Update: Three Sisters in Jeopardy?

Thanks to BJ Killeen (words) and Scott Killeen (pictures) for the latest from Dodger Stadium:

AMBER ALERT: Three Sister Missing

On a recent picnic outing to Dodgers Stadium (the top deck is always open), we noticed the temporary tent located at the entrance to the third-base field level that housed a Dodger gear store was missing. We heard they were going to make a new entrance that included a viewing area for the bullpen as well as a walkover to the outfield Pavillions. Seconds later, we were heartbroken when we realized the famous three sisters palm trees were MIA!

No one we spoke to seemed to know their fate. The landscapers are planting a lot of new palm trees on the top deck by the main Dodgers store, but the familiar bent lady was not among them. Driving around to get a closer look, we found two of the three missing girls, unceremoniously lying atop a trailer in the parking lot. What will happen to this famous Dodgers stadium landmark? Where is the third sister? How will we know they will be okay and returned to their place of prominence? Someone help us find the answers!

WiFi and In-Seat Service for the Masses

While the Dodgers organization has not confirmed this, rumors from a stadium tour guide related to stadium changes/upgrades include a robust WiFi system, along with Dodgers stadium-specific apps that will welcome you as you walk in, guide you to your seat via a smartphone GPS map! and allow you order food and have it delivered to your seat. The AT&T-supplied WiFi was less than impressive in its Beta test last season, so it was disabled until they could really make it work. The other apps and the food-ordering system will be Beta tests for the rest of the league, but don't look for it to happen before the 2016/2017 seasons.

BJ also passes along this gem from the official website of Walter O'Malley:

"When the sun sets at Dodger Stadium, I am impressed first of all with the mountains because, at this time of year, they are fully defined. It makes me think of some of the great artists who did Western paintings — Frederic Remington, Charles Russell, Frank McCarthy, to name a few — because they must have been inspired by that.

"And then the cloud formations. At sunset, they turn pink. And as it continues, the closer you are to sunset, the clouds are still kind of gold. Farther away in center field and right field, you’re away from the sunset and the clouds are turning purple. So you think of an artist’s palette with various colors, and it just takes your breath away.

"Down on the field, a ballgame is just beginning. But the sunset becomes a major distraction because it’s so overwhelming it’s hard to take your eyes off it. And then the palm trees — there’s a group of palm trees on the hill behind left field — they are defined against the sky, and they are turning colors with the sunset. You can’t see that anywhere else in a ballpark."

—Vin Scully (Los Angeles Times, August 21, 2003)