Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Can't We All Get Along

As the Dodgers end the season in a ball of flames the usual suspects fly in like scavengers pecking at a rotting body. All I can say is Plaschke is an idiot. There is no other way to say it. In fact, there is no reason for me to elaborate. Plenty of other folks have also chimed in, so it's hard for me add anything more substantive. So take some time to read Jon, Rob, SOSG, MSTI, Aaron, ToyCannon, Dodgerama and Molly Knight as she tries to redeem the LA Times.

What I will do is point out a rumor I first read on Rob's blog. There are whispers about a possible Kemp & Kershaw for Johan Santana trade. Like Dodgerama I don't know what to think about this. I almost feel like we would be giving up too much.

Finally, a big high five to Diamond Leung for trying to make us all laugh.

And because it's the first inning of a meaningless game, I wonder, what would Chris Crocker have said?

How dare anyone out there make fun of Grady after all he has been through! A Martinez said he lost his clubhouse, the kids, the veterans. He's a human! Leave Grady alone! All you people want is more, more, more, more. You are lucky he even sat on the bench 162 games for you. LEAVE GRADY ALONE! Please. Anyone that has a problem with him you deal with me, because he is not doing well right now. LEAVE HIM ALONE! Sniffle.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Furcal, Broxton and a Little Bit of Gagne

Kevin Hench of Fox Sports tells us the that the real culprits of this years disappointing season is Jonathon Broxton and Rafael Furcal. To which I wince and think to myself, "What is he talking about?"
After posting a 0.69 ERA in July and a 1.13 ERA August, the wheels came off for Broxton in September, contributing mightily to the Dodgers' swoon. In 12 September appearances, covering a mere nine innings, Broxton has been lit up for nine runs. September is not when you want your setup man's ERA to octuple. He gave up two runs in each of three separate losses in a four-day span before being shelved with a sore arm.

Broxton has been a shining light on what the future holds. Sure, he got hit hard at the end of the year, but much of that is due to a sore arm and a workload that exceeded career highs. Besides, as Jon Weisman wrote recently,
"(the) team's young players have been among its most productive,"
and Broxton is a part of that group.

Furcal is a different situation.
Furcal, whose personal late-season nosedive perfectly mirrored the team's collapse. Before being shelved with a back injury, Furcal was 14-for-76 (.184) with a puny .213 OBP in his last 80 plate appearances. His .224 slugging percentage over that span gave him a .437 OPS in what may be his last 19 games of the season.
He has been playing hurt all year and his stats show it. Should he have rested more to heal up? Probably, but I hardly blame him for this years growing pains.

At the end of the day, this years collapse can be squarely blamed on everybody. It was a team effort that saw inconsistent pitching, an inconsistent offense and managerial decisions that can be considered questionable. Fortunately, as Jon said,
"any idiot can see that the team's future is brighter than its past."

In other news Hench includes Gagne as one of this years great chokers.
He may have earned the win in Boston's playoff-clinching victory Saturday night,
but the man known throughout New England as Gag-me hasn't convinced anyone in
Red Sox Nation that he can get a big out in the playoffs. After posting a 1.32
ERA for the Rangers in the first half, he's seen that number spike to 7.36 in
the second half (7.88 for the Sox). He was scored on in seven of his first 14
appearances for Boston and three times he turned what looked like easy wins into
losses with major meltdowns in which he surrendered three or more runs.
All I can say is good luck in the playoffs, and good luck to Boras as he tries to get him a huge contract.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Truckin'

Sometimes the light's all shinin' on me;
Other times, I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me ...
What a long, strange trip it's been.

What an exasperating year this has been. From injuries to triumphs, the ups and downs, the Dodgers seemed doomed from the start, but hopeful that everything would turn out o.k.

Everything did start well enough. Free agency brought us Jason Schmidt, Randy Wolf and Luis Gonzales. Nomar re-signed for another term. JD Drew left for Boston to the claps and cheers of the Dodger faithful. Our rookies where looking better than anyone imagined.

Then, a dark cloud popped out from behind the shadows. Repko and Furcal were injured on the same freak play that resulted in Jason sitting the entire year and Rafael hobbling and limping at shortstop. Worries about Schmidt's velocity during the Spring ballooned into a season ending injury. Loney was sent back to the minors at the start of the season that caused some grumbling. Pierre had a difficult start to the season in centerfield. It took him a long time to traverse the expansive terrain of Chavez Ravine. Sometimes it looked like he could not see the ball off the bat at Dodger Stadium. Nomar was not entirely healthy. Betemit couldn't buy a hit. The year was not starting out on the right foot.

Somehow... Somehow, the Dodgers found a way to be competitive anyway. Billingsley showed that he is ready to be a full-time starter. Penny and Lowe proved to be a solid pitching tandem. Saito was not a one year wonder, and Broxton matured into a more reliable set-up man (the past couple of weeks notwithstanding). Kent continues to prove why he belongs in the Hall of Fame. Our rookies on the field continued to progress beyond our wildest expectations. James Loney, the disgruntled Texan, earned a full-time starting job at firstbase. Along with Russell, Ethier and Kemp they provide a solid foundation for the future.

Unfortunately, the future might have to wait for next year.

We started the day having lost a crushing doubleheader to the Rockies yesterday. Billingsley pitched an outstanding 5+ innings, having given up just two runs on 4 hits. Nevertheless, the Dodgers offense provided little help as the Blue Crew fell 3 to 1. Then the nightcap became a hitting bonanza. The Dodgers got 13 hits and scored 8 runs; including homers by Gonzales, Loney and Martin. They led going into the later innings, but saw their once solid bullpen give up 4 runs. The final nail the coffin was a walk-off two-run homer by Helton of Saito. It was a bad ending to a hopeful day.

Yesterday morning had so many opportunities. The Dodgers were 4 games back of the Diamondbacks in the division race, and only 3 games back of the Padres in the wild card race. Our playoff hopes were looking dim, but there was more than enough time to make it all up. Now, everything seems different. That glimmer of light is slowly burning out. The Dodgers are now 5.5 games behind Arizona and 4.5 games behind San Diego. There are 11 games left to go.

Is there still a chance of a late season revival? Of course there is! Baseball is a funny game where just about anything can happen. Is it likely or plausible that we will find the "Boys in Blue" playing in October? No, at this point we are probably done.
Truckin', I'm a goin' home.
whoa whoa baby, back where I belong,
Back home, sit down and patch my bones, and get back truckin' on.
Hey now get back truckin' home.

Pic Link: Agony & Ivy:
Lyrics above are from the Grateful Dead song Truckin', written by Robert Hunter.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Billingsley Comes Through: Group Hazing PIcture

Chad Billingsley's the man! He has come through in a big way. On his blog today he has posted a group photo of our happy hazed Dodgers.

Kemp's costume is outrageous. And who was Batman and Robin?

Thanks to Stacie D in the comments section for pointing out Chad's recent submission.

Chad Billingsley's Blog Link:

Monday, September 17, 2007

Ecko Wins Bonds Ball And Will Let Fans Decide What He Should Do With It

I wanted so badly to not have to bother writing about the sale of the Barry Bonds home run ball at the recently concluded SCP/ Sotheby's auction. I did briefly mention it when I wrote about the Del Crandall collection,but that was all I was going to do. Unfortunately, a unusual twist of events has caused me to relent and write anyway.

As most of you know the Ball sold for $752,467.20 ($902,960.64 with the Buyer's premium). This was much higher that I thought it would sell for. The Buyer was fashion designer Marc Ecko who has decided that the ball will be in all of our hands. We get to choose it's fate.
Ecko is offering three choices: Donate it as is to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y.; brand it with an asterisk and donate it to the Hall of Fame; or put it on a rocket and blast it into space.

“I wanted ... to democratize the ball and to give the ball to the people, to give the ball to America.”
So check out his page for details and make your decision today. Hat Tip: SCD:
Vote 756.com Link: VOTE HERE:

Friday, September 14, 2007

YouTube: The Singing Dodgers

After several tries in the 70's the Dodgers finally beat the hated Yankees in the 1981 World Series. As special guest, Merv Griffin had Jerry Reuss, Jay Johnstone, Rick Monday and Steve Yeager come by to sing "We Are the Champions." It is so bad it's good.

Part 1:


YouTube Link: Cutter91722:

Part 2:


YouTube Link: Cutter91722:

Fun With Photoshop

I really wasn't happy with my previous attempt at making a Russell Martin Nacho Libre so I thought I would take a second stab at it last night. Not too bad if I can say so myself, especially considering these pics are my first real stab at this kind of stuff. If anyone else has made their own versions please share them. In the meantime, SOSG has some new honest to God real Dodger hazing photos up right now. You can now see Delwyn Young, Tony Abreu and more of Andy LaRoche.

Dodger Hazing Pics Part 2 Link: SOSG:

Thursday, September 13, 2007

WooHoo! Photos Are Starting to Trickle In

The Great Hazing of 2007 has been a hot topic of late. When will photos show up? How funny did Matt Kemp look in the fat bikini suit? Did they really make Ethier wear a dress? 13 total Dodger rookies and sophomore players wore costumes and not one photo had yet escaped onto the internet- until now!

The Sons of Steve Garvey have the scoop of the year!

Right now they have 4 photos featuring Andy LaRoche, James Loney, Andre Ethier and Chin-lung Hu. They promise more to come later. And yes, Ethier was sporting a fashionable pink dress. Good Times!

On a side note: Doesn't Chin-lung Hu look a lot like the Asian acrobat in the movie Ocean's Eleven, Shaobo Qin?

2007 Dodgers Hazing Pics Link: SOSG:

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

You Da Man, Chad!

On Chad Billingsley's blog he provides a little bit of info about the Dodgers recent rookie hazing party.
A lot of people know about teams hazing their rookies and younger players. The vets had us do a little costume party after we finished the Chicago series. I was Robin Hood...no tights...got lucky. Other guys had it way worse, like Snow White, Popeye, a barely dressed fat woman, and others. When we got to San Fran. that night, the bus dropped us off about 6 blocks from the hotel, so we could show off our lovely outfits. It was quite entertaining. I'll work on getting some photos for all to see.
You will forever be a hero to this Dodger fan if you can show us some of those pics.

Chad Billingsley's Blog:

Ace Bailey Children's Foundation

Hockey Legend, Hall of Famer and former LA Kings Director of Professional Scouting Ace Bailey is being remembered on this solemn day.

Most of us still remember every detail from 6 years ago today. What time you woke up. How you first heard the news. What your emotional reaction was throughout the day. You remember the look on everyones face and the utter confusion in your own mind. September 11, 2001 was the kind of day that will forever be melted into your mind. You can never forget.

For the Bailey family and the greater hockey family in general many will be remembering Ace Bailey by paying respects to the foundation created in his name.
"But you have to make a concerted effort to bring happiness into your life. The suddenness of it all still defies comprehension. One moment you're saying bye to your husband at the airport and the next moment you're watching a plane he's on crashing into a building. It was all a little unreal. But something good has come out of the tragedy."

That something good is the Ace Bailey Children's Foundation, which has raised more than $1 million and helped refurbish a 6,500-square foot room that is now called Ace's Place at the Floating Hospital for Children at the Tufts New England Medical Center in Boston.

"It's a playroom for kids, and there is something there to do for kids of all ages," Kathy said proudly. "The older kids have air hockey they can play, and the younger ones have various toys and other things. Ace always loved kids. We always said he was a big kid who never grew up."

"...And it's really worked out well. The foundation is now going to help refurbish the neonatal intensive care unit at the children's hospital. The Boston Bruins and L.A. Kings have been very supportive, as have so many people."

Please check out the link to the Ace Bailey Children's Foundation.

Story Link: sbsun.com:
Hat Tip: LGK:
Ace Bailey Foundation Website:

Sunday, September 09, 2007

More Dodger Hazing Pics

Tony Abreu as Pocahontas
Matt Kemp?
Andy "The Clown" LaRoche
The Devilish Eric Hull
Hu The Sorcerer
Delwyn Young doesn't look happy as Snow White.

UPDATE: More Pics

Meleon the Tarzan ManSaito the SamuraiPirate Stults at your service

Dodger Pics

Not a picture to be found! How can this be? We have a world where everybody has a camera, or ones available at a moments notice. They paraded the team from Chicago to San Francisco. They walked through airports and the San Francisco city streets. Yet, not one picture has yet to show up. What's going on here?

Oh well. Since I was bored this morning I thought I would try my hand at photoshop to appease my funny bone. So here are my first five tries.

Billingsley as Robin Hood.Andre Ethier in hot pink.
Broxton is in deep meditation.
Russell "Nacho Libre" Russell
James "Popeye" Loney

I've been trying to figure out how to do Matt Kemp, but I don't know where to start. Fat suit in a bikini? Pecs and gluts are overly accentuated? It had a few other details not fit for a family newspaper?

Friday, September 07, 2007

I Want Pics!

All of the Dodger world is abuzz. The hazing ritual of dressing up your rookies in outrageous costumes during the season continues unabated. Even our own rising stars are not immune from the laughs and public ridicule that comes from being a Major League Ballplayer. Like the Sons of Steve Garvey, I eagerly await photos to share with all of the Dodger world.

Josh Rawitch of Inside the Dodgers shares a helpful list of players and their costumes.
Chad Billingsley as Robin Hood
James Loney dressed as Popeye
Chin-lung Hu dressed as a sorcerer
Tony Abreu dressed as Pocahantas
Delwyn Young as Snow White
Andy LaRoche in full clown attire
Russell Martin as Nacho Libre
Jonathan Broxton as a monk
Andre Ethier and Eric Hull in strange Vegas showgirl type outfits
and the kicker of them all was Matt Kemp, who was in some sort of "fat suit" with a bikini.
Pictures... I want pictures!!

UPDATE: The official Dodger blog missed some players. Have no fear though, Diamond Leung picks up the slack.
Jonathan Meloan - something Tarzan-like
Takashi Saito - Samurai
Eric Stults - pirate
UPDATE: Tony Jackson provides some funny quotes.
"I'm stepping on my dress," Dodgers outfielder Delwyn Young said, as he lifted the hem of his Cinderella costume off the clubhouse floor after the game.
Yes, it was time for that annual baseball tradition known as rookie hazing, and this time, because it wasn't done last season, even the second-year guys had to do it. A few had it easy, because they got nothing worse than Disney character outfits to wear on the team charter to San Francisco. Others had it worse. Matt Kemp was given a fat suit resembling the torso of a large woman in a bra and panties and a few other details not fit for a family newspaper.
"It doesn't bother me," Kemp shouted to everyone in the room. "It's San Francisco. I'm going to fit right in."
Now all I want are pictures.






Thursday, September 06, 2007

eBay Find: AAGPBL Peoria Redwings Postcard

This is a great find. All American Girls Professional Baseball League collectibles are extremely rare and highly sought after. The postcard above is of the 1946 Peoria Redwings team. It sold for $203.50 on eBay.

eBay Auction Link: Peoria Redwings:
AAGPBL 1946 Season:

Monday, September 03, 2007

Sunday, September 02, 2007

eBay: Vintage Mexican Baseball Card Find


Latin American Baseball cards from the 1940's to 1950's are rare and extremely difficult to find. Oftentimes, they were made of lightweight thin paper stock instead of stiffer cardboard. They were also glued into scrap books or albums. This was the most popular means of collecting cards in Latin America. For many years Topps Company made a distributed Spanish versions of their Baseball cards in Venezuela, but they consisted of only MLB players and, often, resembled the version sold in America. If you were a fan of the local leagues that played throughout the region you were out of luck. Very few sets were available for the local public.
Unfortunately, the lack of cards for these leagues meant the lack of cards for American Negro League players. Many Negro League players from America came to Mexico, Cuba and other countries to play Baseball. Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson, Satchel Paige and others were stars down south.
Fortunately, the age of the internet and eBay has helped us discover once unknown sets. Recently, a traveler through Mexico was rummaging through a curio shop when he stumbled upon this once unknown set. (At least I can't find any reference of this set anywhere)
The photos above and below are from the Album de Beisbol (Profesional) Liga Mexicana XXI Temporada 1945. Check out the once unknown card of Hall of Famer Ray Dandridge above. There are some action photos below.
I stumbled upon this auction several days after it opened, but it was already priced well above my budget. Not surprisingly, it closed at price any auction house would be proud of. It sold for $2,450.00.


eBay Auction Link: Album de Beisbol (Profesional) Liga Mexicana XXI Temporada 1945: