Thursday, June 30, 2016

This is the Perfect Time To Panic

Well.... out with it.


Kershaw received an epidural injection for pain relief, but the club did not release an injury diagnosis or explain whether the pain was caused by a disk issue or possible herniation.

All back injuries are different, but teammate Scott Van Slyke missed nearly two months with a lower back injury and said he needed one month after receiving an epidural injection before he felt 100 percent.

Roberts was asked the chances that Kershaw, with a four-day All-Star break included, would return after 15 days. The longer he is unable to throw, the longer it will take to rebuild arm strength needed to pitch deep into games. "I can say [the chances of only 15 days are] great, but I think how his body responds to the epidural is the most telling," Roberts said before Thursday's game against the Brewers. "I don't know how it's going to be. I'm hopeful, but I can't say either way. In the coming days, we'll know how he responds to that and that will give us more direction."

Our prescription for dealing with this news.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Series Thread (Games 79-81), June 28-30 @ Brewers

"Secret Stadium Sauce is a condiment developed by Sportservice, the vendor at Miller Park and its predecessor, County Stadium. It is served on bratwurst, hot dogs and other sausages and became so popular that it was packaged in 18-oz. bottles and sold at the Brewers FanZone store and in regional grocery stores."

6/28, 5p: Julio Urias (0-2, 4.33) vs. Chase Anderson (4-7, 5.13).

6/29, 5p: Brock Stewart (0-0, -.--) vs. Junior Guerra (4-1, 3.67).

6/30, 11a: Kenta Maeda (6-5, 2.91) vs. Zach Davies (5-3, 3.74).

Let's face it: Despite a winning record, the Dodgers are having a pretty awful season. So we're shaking things up like a bottle of Secret Stadium Sauce and trying something new here at SoSG: a series thread!

So...can we have Jonathan Lucroy for the desiccated corpse of Andre Ethier?

SSS description from OnMilwaukee

Monday, June 27, 2016

Crisis Averted


Back issue not a problem for Kershaw -

Game 78 Thread: June 27 @ Pirates, 9:30a

Scott Kazmir (5-3, 4.52) vs Francisco Liriano (4-7, 5.17).

Breakfast baseball! But frankly you'll want to finish eating your Egg McMuffin before the Dodgers take the field today, as they've been exhibiting prime appetite-killing skills in shitting the bed since their unlikely sweep of the Nationals. The Giants just took 3 of 4 from the Pirates, and the Dodgers are about to get swept in 4 by the Pirates. Tells you everything you need to know.

photo from Hungry Happenings

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Game 76 77 Thread: June 25 26 @ Pirates, 4:15 5p

This is what we want to kick today.

Kenta Maeda (6-4, 2.64) Clayton Kershaw (11-1, 1.57) vs. Jeff Locke (6-5, 5.44) Chad Kuhl (0-0, -.--).

The Dodgers are 4-2 in their series so far this month, but they'll need to take three two in a row from the Pirates to make it 5-2 4-2-1, due to yesterday's the previous two days' slugfest of a losses. Thanks to the team's day off this last Thursday, Maeda will be pitching on six days' rest, so let's hope he goes deep and the bats go deep too. Go Kershaw! Arrrrrr

Friday, June 24, 2016

Game 75 Thread: June 24 @ Pirates, 4p

Nick Tepesch (0-0, -.--) vs. Jameson Taillon (1-1, 3.50).

After watching Mike Bolsinger struggle through his six starts, none of which made it a full six innings (and overall compiled a 1-4 record), the Dodgers realized they just can't get enough out of his starts, and optioned him (hoping Bolsinger would never let me down again), in order to call up Nick Tepesch.

Tepesch's mode involves not being intimidated by hitters and challenging them often, with a four pitch mix of fastball, cutter/slider, curveball and changeup; ideally, Tepsech would get the balance right.

Though not known to be overpowering while with the Rangers, where he posted a 9-17 record / 4.56 ERA over two seasons before elbow issues last year, Tepesch might have a new life with the Dodgers starting today. Maybe it's just a question of time, and Tepesch has matured since Texas, and he won't find himself behind the wheel and stripped tonight.

Hopefully, Tepesch will shake the disease that's afflicted most of our 4 and 5 starters this year--and there have been many unsuccessful candidates auditioning for these roles--and simply last deeper than five innings so the bullpen can enjoy the silence of a non-ringing bullpen phone. Dream on, you say?

Well, Pirates rookie starter Jameson Taillon only has three starts under his major-league belt, and as he learned from his last start, a rough four-inning, four-run effort vs. the Cubs, everything counts (in large amounts (like a 85-pitch count through four frames)). I can only hope he'll continue the recent trend and we'll be describing Taillon, it's no good (not to spread blasphemous rumours or anything).

My Three Sons

Picked up Little Dusty at Wednesday night's game. (And yes, I left early, irate over another Pedro Baez dinger and needing to get a tired Gnomes Jr. home. I hate myself enough as it is. Please don't make me take the Cersei Lannister walk of shame.) Now I just need Sax, Cora, Stubbs, and Delino to round out the current lineup. Make it happen, Dodgers promotion department!

What? Why are you laughing?

More Thoughts On That Crazy Walk-Off Victory (June 22, 2016)

Over 24 hours have passed since that crazy walkoff victory to sweep the Nationals at home. And I can't stop thinking about that game, including stuff like:

1. Was Dodgers 3B Coach Chris Woodward happy about that win, or not? If you look closely at the replay of the game, you'll note that Yasiel Puig ran right through Woodward's stop sign for home. It was only Daniel Murphy's double-clutch which saved what would have been a close play at the plate. Without that throw, as we saw, the Dodgers grabbed an unlikely victory.

We know Chris Woodward is learning on the job this season. However watching his body language in the video, it's pretty obvious that while everyone else is celebrating, Woodward may have had no cause for celebration (as you can see in the photo below).

And the video, again:

2. Did Dodgers manager Dave Roberts endorse that play, either? Roberts certainly didn't expect it, as Roberts said in the post-game interviews:

"I actually took my eye off the ball as it went into center field, so I didn't see what happened," Dave Roberts said. "Then I hear the crowd yelling and the dugout going crazy, so I turn to Yasiel and he's scooting around the bases."

3. And did Yasiel Puig's hamstring want that outcome, either? Seems like Puig needed to coax the hamstring along:

"I didn't see [the stop sign]. I was listening to my hamstring and I was trying to figure out how far it could go," Puig said. "If it exploded there, that's what was going to happen, but I was able to make it home."

4. Michael Taylor not only made that game-costing error, he also had 5 Ks on the night. Good on SoSG Delino for catching this point.

5. And lost amidst this game highlight was a great defensive catch from Adrian Gonzalez:

Man, what a game. Good times. Let's build upon it this weekend in Pittsburgh.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Post-Game 74 Thread: Rebus Time!


To recap: Dodgers down 3-2, bottom nine, one out, Howie Kendrick on first. Nationals closer Shawn Kelley gives up a single up the middle to Yasiel Puig, but Nats CF Michael Taylor swiftly runs past the ball which rolls all the way to the wall for an error. Puig then races around the bases, blows through a stop sign, and scores the winning run. That's the second dagger for Dusty this series, as the Dodgers end up sweeping the pesky Nats. And after losing to Clayton Kershaw in the opener (expected), but then Yasmani Grandal's three-run HR yesterday (unexpected), Nationals manager Dusty Baker can't be happy tonight.

What the heck, how about you watch it on your own:

SOSG Player of the Game: Michael A. Taylor

Michael A. Taylor - Stock Photo of successful play.

More accurate rendering of Michael A. Taylor's play tonight
With all due respect to Puig, our newest local hero - Nationals outfielder Michael A. Taylor - simply KILLED it tonight with his bat and glove.

0 for 5. FIVE Ks. Earning him this rare Platinum Sombrero pin with luster and clarity.

Note: Open to other nicknames for five strikeouts.

But his perfection at the plate was only a prologue to the win he gifted us in the ninth. Watch it again for the smiles. For the laughs. For the joy of a single turned walk off inside the park homer.

Thank you Michael A. Taylor. Next time you're in town, drinks on us at any Lancers or Claim Jumpers. We'll even go halfsies on appetizers.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Game 74 Thread: June 22 vs. Nationals, 7p

Julio Urias (0-2, 4.50) vs. Joe Ross (6-4, 3.13)

The Dodgers have won five in a row! You might say it's a HIGH five. And speaking of high fives, the Dodgers are celebrating the co-inventor of the high five with a Dusty Baker bobblehead. So, break out your toothpicks and grab yourself a little Dusty. Not our Dusty. Though, he's open to you grabbing him too.

I will be at the game tonight (thanks to our Dusty...I'm saving a bobblehead for him), hoping to see Julio Urias get his first win. Beat the bobblemanager for the kid, Dodgers!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Game 73 Thread: June 21 vs Nationals, 7p

Tanner Roark (6-4, 3.14) vs Scott Kazmir (5-3, 4.64)

Gotta catch 'em all! I never knew that there was a Pokemon character called Roark. Well, his namesake goes all Wartortle against our Pikachu. Hopefully, Roark will bring his Wigglytuff so we can Golbat around. If Pikachu is anything like Kershaw, he will make Harper continue to Machoke. It is going to be another scorcher at the ballpark, so anyone going should keep their Tentacool.  It isn't that Farfetch'd that we still have a chance to win the NL West title, but we will have to Seel some of these games and Weedle past the Giants. If we don't win, I'll be really Krabby so lets put a Jynx on those Nationals and make them Fearow us. There's going to be an Electabuzz in the park tonight! Snorlax.

Post-Game 72 Thread: Kershaw Rises To The Occasion While Strasburg Bows Out

Our all-time saves leader.


Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg was scratched from tonight's matchup with back tightness, but Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw took centerstage and dominated. Seven innings, 8 Ks, 1 ER when he tired and labored through a tough seventh inning. Joe Blanton pitched a scoreless eighth and Kenley Jansen got his 162nd save, setting the franchise record (Eric Gagne apparently called to congratulate Jansen; Gagne will be at the game tomorrow for a ceremony).

Justin Turner homered in the first and singled in Corey Seager in the fourth inning, and Joc Pederson added a leadoff HR in the fifth off of Yusmiero Petit. Chase Utley added an insurance run in the seventh inning to stretch the lead back to three runs.

Really gritty effort from Kershaw tonight, who was humble in deferring the limelight to Jansen in the post-game interviews. With the Giants' 1-0 loss in Pittsburgh (off a solo HR from the Pirates' backup catcher, on a ball that Giants LF Angel Pagan had in his glove but lost over the wall), the Dodgers are 5.5 games behind in the division and are in the Wild Card lead.

photo: Harry How / Getty Images

Monday, June 20, 2016

Dodgers Still Favored Over Giants To Win World Series

And those guys at are supposed to be smart with the statistics and all, right?!

I'll take it. 

Game 72 Thread: June 20 vs. Nationals, 7p

Clayton Kershaw (10-1, 1.58) vs. Stephen Strasburg (10-0, 2.90).

I'm going to go out on a limb and say that the Dodgers' offense won't be able to do much in the opening game of this series.

And sadly, that probably has nothing to do with the fact that we're facing Strasburg, third in the majors with 118 Ks (teammate Max Scherzer, whom we won't see in this series, is second with 128; Kershaw leads with 133 Ks). It's because our team is 12th in the NL in OPS (Washington is 6th), and our best hitter is Corey Seager (30th) at .280; Daniel Murphy of the Nationals leads the NL with a .358 BA. So, expect no run support for Kershaw, and a difficult loss for our ace on national television.

Roberts Has Full Confidence In Grandal

The Dodgers' offense is horrible this year, and Yasmani Grandal's malaise is at least one contributor; after a breakout season last year with an OPS+ of 112, he's suffering through an OPS+ of 78 this year. And reading the post-game recap yesterday, when Grandal stood at the plate when Brewers pitcher Tyler Thornburg decided to throw balls outside (Thornburg has just walked Howie Kendrick to load the bases with two out in the bottom of the ninth), it didn't seem like Dave Roberts was hoping Grandal was going to swing, either:

Grandal, hitting .184 this season, took a 3-2 pitch from reliever Tyler Thornburg (3-2) that missed high and outside, capping Los Angeles' third straight comeback win.

"I know Yasmani can conduct an at-bat, hit a gap, even draw a walk" Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. "He's not hitting great right now, but I know he can get on base. I liked our chances."

Grandal is batting .184 this year. Ellis, for whom Grandal pinch-hit, went 0-for-2 yesterday and is batting .191 on the season.

Can we just get one of you two to start hitting! Please!

Congratulations, Cleveland

From one title-challenged franchise to another.

(Awesome to Nike for getting this out so quickly.)

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Post-Game 71 Thread: Walk Off Walk

Sorry, Scooter.


The Dodgers' offense, exhausted from yesterday's output, went back to sleep in today's day-game hangover. But luckily, Kiké Hernandez unloaded a solo HR in the bottom of the eighth to tie the game at one. In the bottom of the ninth, one-out singles from Adrian Gonzalez and Trayce Thompson put two on; Joc Pederson Kd, but Howie Kendrick and Yasmani Grandal both walked to win the game. Tyler Thornburg had a horrible ninth inning for the Brewers, who dropped three of four to the Dodgers in this series.

Meanwhile, it was Kenta Maeda who kept us in this game: 6.1 IP, 6 H and 1 ER against 3 BB and 8 Ks. He did give up the first-inning HR to Scooter Gennett, and it is always embarrassing to be beaten by a muppet. However Maeda persisted, and kept the Dodgers in this game with this efforts.

A walk-off walk over a sub-.500 team isn't necessarily cause for celebration. But for those who braved the oppressive afternoon 99-degree heat today, they came away with a hard-fought victory...and hopefully unsoiled undies, as well.

Now, is there another game this evening to watch?

Game 71 Thread: June 19 vs. Brewers, 1p

Today's stadium giveaway.

Kenta Maeda (6-4, 2.75) Matt Garza (0-0, 2.25).

The Dodgers are 9-8 in the month of June. They've scored 67 runs and allowed 61 over that span. If they want to transcend slightly better than average, they have to beat up on teams like the fourth-place Brewers — but, looking ahead, they also have to perform against teams like the first-place Nationals. who come to Dodger Stadium tomorrow for a three-game series. So get ready to put up your dukes, Boys in Blue!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Post-Game 70 Thread: Dodgers Offense Recovers After Dropping Mike


Mike Bolsinger was awful today, lasting only 2.2 innings while giving up nine hits and 5 ER (including a run in each of the three frames in which he participated). But lucky for Mike, his buddy Chase Anderson was worse, lasting only 2.1 innings and yielding seven earned runs, including a three-run HR by the strangely narcissistic Justin Turner (his ninth) in the third inning, to tie the game at 5.

The Dodgers went on to plate three more runs that inning and take an 8-5 lead, which they extended in the sixth on a Joc Pederson HR and an Adrian Gonzalez RBI single (A-Gon went 3-for-5 with an RBI).

Ten runs scored? Not sure what team this is, but if we can finally get Turner, Gonzalez, and Kendrick (who also homered) out of their slumps, and Pederson and Trayce Thompson can mature a bit, we might have something here. Though if we keep starting Bolsinger, we'll have to also keep being quick at dropping the Mike.

And, since it's an oldie but goodie:

What's Up With Justin Turner's Batting Helmet

Looks like he's painted it so instead of "LA", it looks like "J". Pretty sneaky.

photos from tonight's game vs. Milwaukee, 6th inning

Game 70 Thread: June 18 vs. Brewers. 7p

Mike Bolsinger (1-4, 5.76) vs. Chase Anderson (4-6, 4.42).

Do you like narratives? Because the narrative for tonight's game is how two guys who have known each other since they were 15-year-olds growing up near Dallas are now facing each other in a major-league game. Mike was Chase's best man at his wedding, and Chase was in Mike's wedding party. What's the matter, Mike? Chase not good enough to be your best man? Sure, you probably had a brother who was your best man but if the Brewers win tonight, it's on you, Mike.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Game 69 Thread: June 17 vs Brewers, 7p

Julio Urias (0-2, 5.82) vs Zach Davies (5-3, 3.88)

I went to the game last night. Stayed until the end and left disappointed...again. We can't seem to get the pitching, offense, and defense on the same page. Everytime we seem to start clicking, the "average" gods pull us back down to .500. So instead of dwelling on all this negativity, lets talk about food. The highlight of last night's game was eating the Hawaiian Dog and the ShockTop Brat. And with the Brewers in town, Extreme Loaded Hot Dogs has a Milwaukee County Stadium dog with fired cheese curds drenched in the Milwaukee Stadium secret sauce. When I visited Milwaukee many years ago, I remember the goodness that is in that secret sauce. So if you are at the game, give it a whirl and let us know if you liked it. Oh, you can also watch the Dodgers try and support Julio with more than just a strap. Go get 'em kid! Go Blue!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Post-Game 68 Thread: Baez, Blow(i)n' Away


Scott Kazmir wasn't good tonight, but the Dodgers still had a shot at overcoming his 3 ER effort (4.0 IP, and 2 BB against 8 Ks). He gave up three runs, but Trayce Thompson homered in the third to tie the game.

Casey Fien also wasn't good tonight, giving up three more runs in one inning of work in the fifth. However Howie Kendrick, Joc Pederson, and Justin Turner helped the Dodgers battle back with three runs in the sixth, to again tie the game.

But when Pedro Baez gives up a two-run HR in the ninth--that's just too much to bear. Jonathan Villar hit the shot which silenced the home crowd and led the Dodgers to loss. Baez picks up his second loss of the year by giving up yet another HR (at least his fifth this season; possibly his sixth). Pathetic.

Game 68 Thread: June 16 vs. Brewers, 7p

Scott Kazmir (5-3, 4.52) vs. Junior Guerra (3-1, 3.31).

Here's the good news: the second-place Dodgers have won two in a row and stand a chance to win a third consecutive game for the first time since sweeping the Braves eons ago. The sub-.500 Brewers should be good fodder for a four-game series; this year, we've tended to play well against the sucky teams (Braves, Reds, Padres, Diamondbacks).

But here's the bad news: we're now six games back of the Giants, because the Brewers were swept up in San Francisco, causing us to lose ground as we played the Diamondbacks. Junior Guerra is no slouch, either; his 1.18 WHIP leads Brewers starters. So let's hope tonight we don't see Junior make mince meat out of our subpar bats (the Dodgers rank 14th in the NL for batting average).

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Game 67 Thread: Jun. 15 @ DBacks, 12:30p

Clayton Kershaw (9-1, 1.52) vs. Patrick "Not Baron" Corbin (3-5, 4.81)

Lunch baseball! Lunch baseball on Kershaw Day! Grab yourself a bite*, take a looooonnng lunch break, and watch (well, uh, listen to?) the best pitcher in baseball do his thing.

Wait, what's that?




Hey, at least the offense woke up last night! That's something, right?

*But not Subway. C'mon, Clay, that's just gross.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Game 66 Thread: June 14 @ D'backs, 6.30p

Kenta Maeda (5-4, 2.70) vs. Archie Bradley (2-2. 5.22)

The Dodgers sit one game above .500, six games out of first place, and can't catch an offensive break anymore. Obviously, this has gotten so comical, that we have to face a comically-named pitcher this evening. No one's going to be laughing after this one, I'm guessing.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Post-Game 65 Thread: Free Fallin'

Yes, we've used this before.


Sure, we can sweep the sucky teams. And if they're slightly better than that, we can maybe win one game.

But after failing to show any offense this weekend in San Francisco (where we could only win the Clayton Kershaw-started game), we sailed on to Arizona, and laid another offensive turd in the desert.

This marks the third straight game where we have out-hit the opponent, but lost the game. More evidence that the lineups aren't working, especially after going 0-for-11 with RISP in today's contest. Credit Corey Seager for a fifth-inning solo HR, but that's about it; Mike Bolsinger couldn't last five innings, and former Dodger Zack Greinke largely shut us down over seven frames. Now six games behind in the NL West, we look to be irrelevant by the All-Star Break.

Game 65 Thread: Jun. 13 @ DBacks, 6:40p

Original image by @ThkBleu, expert Photoshop by me.

Mike Bolsinger (1-3, 5.75) vs. Zack Greinke (8-3, 3.84)

After a disastrous trip to SF (which I blissfully mostly missed, thanks to being on my own trip to Vegas), the Dodgers run up against their old friend and resident odd duck, Zack Greinke.

Hopefully they didn't wash their hands after pooping. I hear that drives him crazy.

Reminder: Steve Garvey Autograph Appearance 6/25

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Game 64 Thread: June 12 @ Giants, 5:30p

Julio Urias (0-1, 6.94) vs. Jake Peavy (2-6, 6.41).

Not gonna lie — yesterday's game was plain bad. The Dodgers had a golden opportunity to gain another game on the Giants and instead imploded. And today we're throwing poor young Urias to the wolves again, hoping he'll come up big in hostile territory despite averaging fewer than four innings a start in his young career. The only saving grace is that the Giants are trotting out the aging Peavy. Don't expect a low-scoring affair.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Game 63 Thread: June 11 @ Giants, 4p

Scott Kazmir (5-3, 4.46) vs. Jeff Jeff Samardzija (7-4, 3.33).

Last night's game may have been it, and the Dodgers got an (expected) gem of a pitching performance from Clayton Kershaw and an (unexpected) heroic home run by Justin Turner.

Today's game? Well, it might just make you scream — despite the Dodgers winning Kazmir's last three starts. Samizdat has been a great deal for the Giants so far, although they've lost his last two starts.

This game might be a thriller, so let's hope the Dodgers don't stop 'til they get enough runs to win. (high-pitched squeal)

Friday, June 10, 2016

Game 62 Thread: June 10 @ Giants, 7p

Kershaw (8-1, 1.46 ERA) vs. Cueto (9-1, 2.16).

This is it, another high-stakes rivalry series against the hated Giants, with our season's fortunes in the balance. I'd never bet against Kershaw in the opening round of this series, but with the way we've been playing lately, I can't see us getting out this weekend having slimmed the gap in the standings against the first-place Giants.

Today's lineup:

Utley, 2B
Seager, SS
Turner, 3B
Gonzalez, 1B
Thompson, RF
Pederson, CF
Grandal, C
Hernandez, LF
Kershaw, P

Alex Guerrero: An Appreciation

Alex Guerrero was released Wednesday by the Dodgers, who chose to eat the final $8.2M of his $28M contract rather than further trial Guerrero's .224 career batting average (-0.6 WAR) or his even worse defensive skills (-0.7 dWAR).

Guerrero's move doesn't augur any more great things for the rest of the suspect Dodgers' Cuban pipeline. But let's focus on Guerrero with another in-depth appreciation piece:

So long, Alex. And sorry again about your ear.

photo: Mark Kolbe / Getty Images

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Crawdaddy: An Appreciation

Crawdaddy is dead; long live Crawdaddy. Thanks to loyal SoSGer Johnny Blanchard for this in-depth take on Carl Crawford's meaning to the Dodgers:

Carl Crawford is gone, long live Carl Crawford. Here was something that happened some time ago. Per
August 25, 2012: [Carl Crawford] traded by the Boston Red Sox with Josh Beckett, Adrian Gonzalez, Nick Punto and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers for players to be named later, Ivan De Jesus, James Loney and Allen Webster. The Los Angeles Dodgers sent Rubby De La Rosa (October 4, 2012) and Jerry Sands (October 4, 2012) to the Boston Red Sox to complete the trade.

This is part and parcel of our new era, Dodgers fans. This was basically the big move that the new ownership (AKA Magic!) gave us, as a sign of our commitment to winning. The sign that the Dodgers were going to be the behemoth that we were supposed to be all along. Look at that trade right there again. Even before opening up the stats pages, you already know that this trade has been an unqualified success. They swung for the fences — our Dodgers — and we crushed it.

The Dodgers from 1986 to 2006 stunk. Oh sure, we got the World Championship in '88, but let’s face it, that team sucked. Orel Hershiser and Kirk Gibson were it, with a bunch of crap otherwise. Past Kirk and O, our next biggest contributors per WAR were Tim Leary and Tim Belcher and John Shelby. Tim Leary had no track record; Belcher was a rookie; Shelby was acquired in a good trade to get rid of Niedenfuer, although there was really no indication Shelby would be a great player, and really he wasn’t in 1988. It’s really a joke to look back on how poorly the Dodgers were run back then. After the '70s and early '80s, the Dodgers were good but not great, and certainly not performing like the elite top 3 team they should’ve been. And then came the '90s, which were fine I guess, but I knew when we made the playoffs in the mid-'90s we were the inferior team to whomever we played. AND THEN we traded a Hall of Fame player ("Mike Piazza") that our galactically stupid fans booed before he left because he had the gall to ask for money commensurate with his talent. Then came the early 2000s and basically mediocrity until the wonderful McCourts showed up.

Frank McCourt tried to do what was right. This is true, amazingly enough. He didn’t know anything about baseball (other than the Red Sox were wicked awesome), so he went out, and you’ve gotta give it to the Bostonian jerk, he hired the smartest guy around, one Paul DePodesta. Now, despite your opinion, typical Dodger fan, Mr. DePodesta was our best upper management type since I would assume the '80s, judging on the stupidity of our moves during those years. You may hate math and calculators and spreadsheets and numbers, but those sorts of things are the things that typically entail what is called "a plan." So DePodesta put together a plan, wherein we signed good players that were actually worth the money and got rid of pieces of garbage that were overvalued and/or aging steroid freaks (see Encarnacion, Juan — the man who ranked in the top 10 in outs made in 2002 and 2003 and LoDuca, Paul who was 32 when we traded him and about to be a free agent after magically having a 25 home run season in 2001, when he turned 29, after hitting 35 in his entire professional career prior to that), and in return we got a great pitcher (see Penny, Brad) who was 26 years old. Those are the sorts of things someone does when he has a plan.

But, alas, Paul DePodesta was fired the next year, essentially because Bill Plaschke had it out for him, and Bill Plaschke had it out for him because he was a nerd. No sources are needed for this assertion because everyone is aware of this that follows the Dodgers and Plaschke wrote a column acknowledging it, for Pete's sake. So, the dumb fans booed away because they traded away Paul Lo Duca, a non-Hall of Fame catcher, and the Dodgers lost a smart general manager with a plan, back when those general managers were not as prevalent as now, 2005.

OK, fast forward, we had old Ned Colletti, and whatever, he was fine, but not exactly on the forefront of the sabermetric revolution. He played along with McCourt's desires to suck money out of the Dodgers and they did OK, mostly because of our great farm system of the 2000s. Blah, blah, blah, it wasn’t actually that bad and Manny Ramirez dropped into our laps, and they had a great late 2000s, being a lot closer to the World Series than most fans realize. In any case, they were starting to have a plan, which was to build a farm system, essentially because it was cheaper than acquiring old talent, thanks to Frank McCourt. Amazingly enough.

And then "Magic" bought the Dodgers in May 2012, and the Dodgers finally had someone with a plan. Does anyone out there realize this is the golden era? Do you people know we are in the good old days? Who cares if we have tons of money but the guys who run the team are idiots? We had idiots running our team from 1986 until 2006, give or take. And starting in 2012 until this moment, we have a plan. And the first big move was to use our financial power to get a great player (see Gonzalez, Adrian), along with useful, good Major League players (see Punto, Beckett, and Crawford) that helped our team.

Carl Crawford hit .278/.320/.400 for us from 2012-2016. He even stole 48 out of 61 bases, which is a good rate. I am unaware that he was a clubhouse cancer. He was not a great outfielder, but not horrible. He had a bad arm. Having a bad arm is the least important thing for a left fielder. (As a side note, as regards winning, having a great arm in the outfield, especially left field, is spectacularly overrated. This is one of those things that stupid fans think is important but it is really just a very obvious thing when a guy can’t throw well. Meanwhile, ask those stupid fans what exactly makes Carl Crawford a vastly superior player to Juan Pierre. I guarantee you those fans find it hilarious to say that Crawford has a noodle arm. So did Pierre. Pierre had less than half of Crawford’s career WAR in about the same number of years.) Carl Crawford hit .353/.421/.882 in the 2013 NLDS, which kinda helped us win that series.

So, I don’t know, maybe I'm fighting a straw man here, and everyone appreciated Carl Crawford’s contributions. I guess what I'm saying is that Y'ALL need to know that the Dodgers being "forced" to take Carl Crawford’s contract is exactly why it’s awesome to be a Dodgers fan right now.

Photoshop by @EephusBlue

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

Game 61 Thread: June 8 vs. Rockies, 7p

Kenta Maeda (5-3, 2.84) vs. Chris Rusin (1-4, 4.62).

Sorry, I've been so stressed out that I forgot the GT. Maeda is on the mound today, but the Rockies are sending their own starter, about whom I'm not too worried. After all, wise men say, only fools Rusin. We got this.

Okay sorry, here's a better version of the song.

UPDATE 6:32p: We have a stringer at the game. And sent this photo:

More hard-hitting journalism here at SoSG.

Post-Game 60 Thread: Three Is A Magic Number (For Us, Anyway)


Going to the ninth inning this evening, there were two NL West games of relevance, both knotted at 3-3 ties.

In San Francisco, Boston was down 3-2 before battling back to tie the game 3-3 in the seventh inning. And then, in the tenth inning, Xander Bogaerts hit a two-run single off of Giants closer Santiago Casilla to win the game. Casilla had loaded the bases, and as the Boston commentator mentioned, "I think Bochy stayed with this closer too long":

Meanwhile, down in sunnier climates, the Dodgers and Rockies were tied at 3 apiece in the ninth. Trayce Thompson knocked in his 10th HR of the year, a solo shot with two out in the bottom of the ninth, to give the Dodgers the victory over Colorado. That's Thompson's second walk-off HR of the season, which brings back memories of what Andre Ethier used to be able to do for us. Wow.

Julio Urias had his best start of the season, four innings of one-run ball which lasted 86 pitches. He's still not very economical with the pitch count, but his 7 Ks tonight definitely have great potential in the cards. Leave it to Joe Blanton to screw up his second inning of work and start to give up the lead (not that Urias would have gotten a win anyway, with only four innings of work), and then Pedro Baez to blow the save outright. Both Blanton and Baez had 3 Ks each.

Justin Turner had a three-run HR in the first inning to sore Chase Utley and Corey Seager.

Dodgers move to three back of the Giants and a half-game out of the wild card (with only 102 games left to play).

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Game 60 Thread: June 7 vs. Rockies, 7p

Julio Urias (0-1, 9.39) vs. Eddie Butler (2-3, 5.65).

Yes, I've made this reference before. But this game, Urias' third appearance in the major leagues, has all the seeds of being Urias' first winnable start. It's Urias' first home start. We're facing the Rockies, five games below .500. Eddie Butler has indeed moved ponderously, with a 6-14 / 5.93 career line over the course of three seasons with Colorado (including last year's 3-10 / 5.90 effort). And Justin Turner is 8-for-11 lifetime against Butler.

So all you have to do is disregard the fact we were one-hit last night with what could be the same lineup of bats, and hey, this one is a done deal. No Butler doing it tonight; just like in hoops this year, right? And also, disregard Butler's first-round game vs. Texas Tech.

photo: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports