Sep 30

Bryan Stow struggles to remember what happened

From today’s entry at the website created in support of beating victim Bryan Stow:

… He seems to be having more issues with his memory and it understandably frustrates him. The other day we asked him if he remembered why he had memory problems he said “because I’m dumb”. It broke our hearts and we just had to remind him that is not true and it’s not his fault! So then we go through what happened to him and that he has suffered a TBI. He usually is pretty quiet after that, trying to process it all. All we can do is hug him and tell him he has us and we will never leave his side. …

* * *

Below is a video I found via Deadspin showing the return of Columbus, Ohio sports anchor Dom Tiberi after his 21-year-old daughter Maria died in a car accident. It’s every bit as heartbreaking as you imagine, but I also have great respect for Tiberi using his platform to remind drivers to be more careful.

Apr 14

More notes from Friday’s frolic

A.J. Ellis shows the ball used for the ninth consecutive strikeout thrown by pitcher Aaron Harang. © Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Kenley Jansen was apparently the latest Dodger to play with the flu, according to Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com.

… Jansen has been battling a mild case of flu in recent days, which could have accounted for the velocity drop.

“I’ve been battling the flu, but that’s not an excuse at all,” Jansen said. “You still have to make good pitches and keep us in the game and try to help the team win. That is what it’s all about.”

Both manager Don Mattingly and pitching coach Rick Honeycutt noticed the slight dropoff, but neither seemed alarmed by it. Honeycutt said it might have been due to the cold weather or illness. Mattingly said it might have been the difference in the eighth inning and the ninth, which almost anyone in baseball agrees is fairly huge except for the pitchers who actually pitch in those innings.

“It doesn’t feel any different,” Jansen said. “You have to treat the eighth inning just like it’s the ninth inning, just come in and get the job done.”

But catcher A.J. Ellis said Jansen did seem a bit out of sorts at the beginning of the inning, when he walked the first batter, Chris Denorfia.

“He was a little more tentative than I have seen him,” Ellis said. “But after that first batter, he was definitely locked back in. He came right back to strike out the next two batters on six straight pitches. Chase Headley is a good hitter, a three-hole hitter in the National League, and that pitch ended up over the middle of the plate.”

Jansen was trying to throw it in on Headley, but said it ran back over the middle. At any rate, the hope is that the velocity drop was a one-time thing — although he gave up a double to Yonder Alonso after Headley’s home run, Jansen still looked pretty unhittable in striking out the three batters he did. If it continues, though, it could become a source of alarm. …

Jackson also noted, as Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. did late Friday, the possibility of Todd Coffey going to the disabled list with a hobo knee. (That’s like a bum knee, only with a different word for bum.)

Also, bullpen coach Ken Howell is getting treatement for his diabetes, and will be replaced for the time being by organization pitching coordinator Jim Slaton.

* * *

Some more notes from Aaron Harang’s amazing night, from Elias Sports Bureau via ESPN Stats & Information:

… Three other pitchers had nine straight strikeouts in one game: Mickey Welch in 1884 (the first year in which overhand pitching was permissible), Jake Peavy in 2007 and Ricky Nolasco in 2009.

Harang tied the major-league record by recording nine strikeouts through the first three innings.

Two other players have done it, only one in the “Modern Era”:
Mickey Welch, NY Giants, August 28, 1884
Don Wilson, Houston, July 14, 1968 (G2)

Harang tied his career high with 13 strikeouts and is the first Dodgers pitcher in the last 90 seasons to have at least 13 strikeouts in a game and pitch fewer than seven innings. The last pitcher on any team to do it was Yovani Gallardo last year.

The last pitcher with exactly 13 strikeouts on Friday the 13th was Dwight Gooden on June 13, 1986 for the Mets against the Pirates.

* * *

Bryan Stow’s 13-year-old son Tyler threw out the first pitch before the Giants’ home opener, reports The Associated Press, while Bryan himself appeared on the stadium videoboard.

Giovanni Ramirez, who was mistakenly accused of beating Stow, attended his first Dodger game Tuesday, according to KCAL via the Huffington Post.

* * *

Despite what became a tumultuous hearing, federal bankruptcy court approved the sale of the Dodgers by Frank McCourt to the Guggenheim group. Bill Shaikin of the Times has all the details.

Here’s one excerpt:

… The settlement includes confidential provisions about how the league could treat revenue from a Dodgers-owned regional sports network, Bennett said. He declined to elaborate, but the provisions are believed to limit how much of the Dodgers’ television proceeds must be shared with other teams via revenue sharing.

Those conditions — and the ability of the mediator to enforce them regardless of what Selig might say — represented what Guggenheim attorney Michael Small called a “substantial component of the value proposition of the transaction.”

Guggenheim agreed to pay $2.15 billion — a record price for a sports franchise — to buy the Dodgers and half-ownership of the Dodger Stadium parking lots. McCourt, who did not have to sell the land under his settlement with MLB, gets to retain half-ownership.

“We really are concerned about the parking lot situation,” Lauria said.

Lauria said that Walter had pledged to MLB owners that he would not buy the Dodgers unless Guggenheim controlled 16,500 surface-level parking spaces — that is, no parking structures. Once the sale was announced, however, Lauria said Guggenheim refused to provide any details about how the joint venture to own the parking lots would work.

The Dodgers submitted some of those details under seal this week, and attorneys for the Los Angeles Times had asked Gross to compel the team to release the details publicly. The Dodgers instead withdrew the document and said they would release it at a later date, although Bennett said Friday the team’s lease for the lots would be extended from 25 years to 99 years. …

Nov 26

Brutal but beautiful

Here’s a picture of recovering Dodger Stadium beating victim Bryan Stow with his family at Thanksgiving. It’s an absolutely wonderful sight that, at least if you see the picture as I do, also doesn’t allow you to escape the harrowing road they have been sent down this long year. Given the reality, however, it’s thrilling.

Oct 27

The lame blame game

At the bottom of this morning’s Ramona Shelburne news story for ESPNLosAngeles.com about the Bryan Stow situation, she quotes Jerome Jackson, a lawyer representing Frank McCourt, as follows:

… “What happened to Bryan Stow was a tragedy,” he said. “The Dodgers have held fundraisers. The Dodgers have helped police in solving this case. That doesn’t mean we’re legally responsible for what happens here.

“What baffles me is that the level of public outrage at the Dodgers seems to be higher than the level of outrage at the people who inflicted the blows.” …

Here’s what I’d say to that:

1) Let’s be clear — whatever outrage exists isn’t against the Dodgers, it’s against McCourt. (Update: As Dodger Thoughts commenter Zissou_Steve points out, there was more outrage against Dodger fans than there was against McCourt when this incident occurred.)

2) Despite the anger against McCourt, I wouldn’t say that when it comes specifically to the Stow beating, people are angrier at McCourt than they are at the assailants. People understand who the true villains are.

3) However, if you’re trying to address public anger with McCourt, it sure doesn’t help when you make statements such as these:

“I’ve been doing these cases for 23 years and I have never seen one yet in which it didn’t take at least two people to tango,” (Jackson) said, referring to the notion that jurors could decide Stow bears some liability in the attack. “So stay tuned and stand by.”

Whatever the facts of the case are, when it comes to the question of “public outrage,” that’s an issue of public relations. Does this look like an example of good public relations?

* * *

  • Matt Kemp was the only unanimous selection to The Sporting News National League All-Star Team that also includes Clayton Kershaw.
  • Robinson Cano, whom I still link to Kemp because of all the trade rumors involving the pair a couple years back, is looking (via agent Scott Boras) to redo his contract with the Yankees that includes club options of $14 million for 2012 and $15 million for 2013, according to Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com.

    … Boras, has been peddling his sales pitch through the media recently, cautioning the Yankees that allowing Cano to become a free agent after the 2013 season would be extremely risky, not to mention expensive, the implication being that he would take Cano out onto the open market, where he would no doubt draw a lot of interest.

    An insider told Matthews that the chances of Cano’s contract being re-done were “highly, highly unlikely.”

  • Albert Pujols defended his hit-and-run playcalling, as well as the fact that he didn’t swing when he called the first hit-and-run in Game 5 Monday. (Joe Strauss, St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Oct 06

Thursday news and notes

As Bryan Stow continues to gain ground

  • The Dodgers tweeted this photo of the team celebrating its 1963 World Series victory, 48 years ago today.
  • Another former Dodger in the managerial ranks: Robin Ventura has been hired by the White Sox. He has never managed or coached in professional baseball.
  • Billy Beane talked about “Moneyball” (among other topics) with Tyler Bleszinski of Athletics Nation.
  • Mike Petriello of Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness takes a long look at the market for a power hitter and finds the Dodgers’ options short.
  • Justine Siegel is keeping a journal of her experience at MLB Scout School; today she passes along a brief encounter with former Dodger executive Kim Ng. Also check out her previous entries.
  • Johnny Schmitz, who came to the Dodgers midway through the 1951 season, has passed away, according to the Wausau Daily Herald of Wisconsin (via Vin Scully Is My Homeboy). “For almost 50 years, Schmitz would walk across the street from his home on East Union Avenue to Mark’s Barber Shop every couple weeks to get his hair cut and talk with his longtime friend, barber Mark Resch,” the Daily Herald wrote.
  • Josh Fisher of Dodger Divorce offers his latest thoughts on the McCourts:

    … In the past, I’ve expressed regret that it’s had to come this far, and I still feel that way. There’s nothing left for Frank McCourt to win. Even if he bludgeons the bankruptcy court into allowing an auction of the TV rights over the sincere objection over several relevant parties, and even if he can somehow win an injunction forcing baseball to stay out of his franchise, Frank McCourt would escape this firestorm with an openly hostile customer base wholly uneager to support his ownership.

    There’s nothing left to win.

    I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about the failure of Frank and Jamie McCourt to settle their differences amicably two years ago. At the heart of one of the most bitter and protracted public sagas to unfold in American sports was the simple failure of two people to realize they had more to lose by fighting than they could possibly gain.

    I don’t know what was happening behind closed doors two years ago today. I do know what’s happened in the press and in the courtroom since, though, and I suspect that fighting over a couple hundred million dollars might end up costing Frank and Jamie some multiple of whatever amount truly separated them. …

Aug 02

Rubby Bluesday


Kirby Lee/Image of Sport/US PresswireRubby De La Rosa struck out 60 in 60 2/3 innings in his rookie season.

The statement from the Dodgers:

Dodger right-hander Rubby De la Rosa underwent an MRI on Monday that showed a partial tear of the Ulnar Collateral Ligament (UCL). After consultation with Dr. Neal ElAttrache and Dr. James Andrews, it was decided that reconstruction (Tommy John) surgery should be performed. The date and location of the surgery is yet to be determined.

The recovery time of approximately one year, give or take, puts De La Rosa out of the Dodgers plans in any meaningful way until 2013.

Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has more.

* * *

In case you missed it, there was more sad and stunning news in the Bryan Stow case Monday. From Andrew Blankstein of the Times:

A key witness in the beating case of Giants fan Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium may have died of a peanut allergy, though officials have not determined a positive cause of death.

Matthew Lee attended the Dodgers’ home opener on March 31 with Stow and was cited in court papers filed Monday involving the two suspects charged in the beating.
According to law enforcement sources familiar with the case, Lee died Sunday after eating a salad that apparently contained nuts, which caused an allergic reaction. The sources said Lee had a peanut allergy.

It’s unclear how this will affect the case against Stow’s alleged attackers, but the sources said Lee was an important witness.

However, officials have said they have physical evidence in addition to the evidence provided by eyewitnesses to the beating.

Los Angeles police detectives said Monday they were trying to find additional Giants fans from the Bay Area who were assaulted by the suspects. …

Jul 21

New arrests in Stow case, supplanting original suspect

From ESPNLosAngeles.com:

Two men suspected of beating San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow into a coma on Opening Day at Dodger Stadium have been arrested by Los Angeles police, a law enforcement official told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Meanwhile, the LAPD no longer considers Giovanni Ramirez, who was initially tagged as the prime suspect, as responsible for the attack.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing, said that if the district attorney’s office files a case against the men, Ramirez would be exonerated.

The arrest marks a dramatic turn in the case. Since Ramirez was arrested May 22, police have consistently restated they believed they had their man.

The Los Angeles Times was first to report the arrest of the two new suspects.

The LAPD officer in charge of media relations wouldn’t confirm nor deny the Times report.

“The Stow investigation continues,” LAPD spokesman Andrew Neiman told ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Ramona Shelburne. “We’re making good progress. As information becomes available we’ll make that public.”

He said that Ramirez, a convicted felon, remains in custody on an unrelated parole violation after police found a gun in the house where he was staying when he was arrested. Ramirez’s lawyers contend that he was not at Dodger Stadium at the time of the attack. …

May 22

Report: Police arrest suspect in Bryan Stow beating

A Los Angeles SWAT team took into custody a suspect in the Opening Day beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow, ESPN.com is reporting, citing an original report in the Los Angeles Times based on sources.

From Joel Rubin of the Times:

… At about 7 a.m., the Los Angeles Police Department SWAT team descended on an East Hollywood apartment building with a warrant in hand. According to apartment building manager Maritza Camacho, police, using loudspeakers and with guns drawn, called out to the occupants of Apartment 25. Inside was one of the men police suspect in the March 31 beating that left Stow with brain damage.

As residents of the three-story building stood watching from balconies, police removed, one by one, the people who were inside the apartment, according to Camacho. Among them was a man with a bald head and tattoos on his neck and arms, she said, a description that appeared to match the vague sketches released by police of one of the two suspects. She added that he did not appear to resist being taken into custody.

Several police sources confirmed that the man taken into custody was one of the two suspects in the beating.

Police officials declined to give details, including the name of the suspect, saying only that the investigation was ongoing. …

Apr 08

Stow saga resonates with Dodger blogger


Doug Pensinger/Getty ImagesMichael Guerro and his son Isaiah Alvarez, 10, got early seats in preparation to support their teams at Tuesday’s Dodgers-Rockies game.

Evan Bladh Sr. has a personal story to tell about fan violence: a grave incident in San Francisco, following Barry Bonds’ 700th home run, that left Bladh’s stepson seriously injured and a friend of his dead. Read it at Opinion of Kingman’s Performance.

In Los Angeles today, there was a press conference discussing the latest measures to be taken at Dodger Stadium. In addition, the Dodgers are staging a fundraiser for beating victim Bryan Stow at Dodger Stadium from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday.

In San Francisco, ceremonies for the Giants’ home opener included a moment of silence in support of Stow. Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle live-blogged.

* * *

Apr 06

Dodgers hire former L.A. police chief Bratton for security

Former L.A. police chief William J. Bratton has been hired by the Dodgers to assess and consult on security needs for Dodger Stadium and its parking lots. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com has the details:

… Bratton presently serves as chairman of Kroll, a company described by its website as “the world’s leading risk consulting company.” According to a release issued by the Dodgers, Bratton will be assisted in his work for the Dodgers by a team from Kroll.

“Bill Bratton is widely credited with spearheading modern community policing in America,” Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said in the release. “There is no one better to lead a top-to-bottom review of our current practices and make recommendations to be implemented now and into the future. … We are committed to ensuring that Dodger Stadium remains a family-friendly environment for all baseball fans.”

Bratton, 63, was chief of the LAPD from 2002 until his resignation in 2009. He previously served as commissioner of both the New York and Boston police departments. …

This marks a step that could provide some optimism about a problem that isn’t going to be solved overnight. You need tangible, creative, real actions, and you need to be able to sell them to a wary public. The hiring of Bratton doesn’t guarantee anything, but it increases the chances on both fronts.

Apr 06

Vigil tonight for Bryan Stow and against fan violence

Many of us are hoping that somehow, what happened to Bryan Stow becomes a turning point in the problem of fan violence. Here’s an example of some Southern Californians showing some initiative:

A community vigil in support of Bryan Stow, the victim of a beating in the Dodger Stadium parking lot after last week’s opening game, is scheduled for Wednesday at 6 p.m. PT at the Los Angeles County Medical Center.

The vigil’s grass-roots sponsors, which include the Garfield High School Healthy Start Collaborative, East Los Angeles Prevention Project and the Latino Equality Alliance, are supporting Stow’s recovery while also taking a stand against the violence of his attack. Stow has been in a medically induced coma for the past several days.

He suffered a severe skull fracture and bad bruising to his brain’s frontal lobes, Dr. Gabriel Zada, a neurosurgeon, said Tuesday.

At one point, doctors had to remove the entire left side of his skull to ease pressure on his brain. The pressure is now normal but Stow remains in a coma from his injuries and from sedation to reduce his brain activity, Zada said.

“There is evidence of brain injury and dysfunction,” Zada said.

It was reported Tuesday that Stow, a San Francisco Giants fan, sent a text message while inside the stadium to family indicating that he was scared of what might happen to him.

“In response to this tragic event and to show our support for the victim, we call upon all community leaders, Dodgers fans and Angelinos to stand in solidarity with Giants fans and the family of Bryan Stow against any form of violence,” said a statement on the vigil’s Facebook page. “We call upon our community leaders to address this growing problem with our urban youth and young adults. We need to evaluate and respond to the issue of alcohol and substance abuse association with community violence.”

Organizers said a press conference would follow the vigil.

The L.A. County Supervisors, the L.A. City Council, the Los Angeles Dodgers, the Giants and Stow’s employer, American Medical Response, have led contributions to a reward now totaling $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of the individuals who inflicted the beating on Stow, a paramedic and father of two from Santa Cruz, Calif.

The Giants announced Tuesday that “The Bryan Stow Fund” had been established through the San Francisco Police Credit Union. Donations can be made and further information can be found at www.sfpcu.org.

Here’s more of the latest news on Stow, a combined report by wire services and ESPNLosAngeles.com’s Tony Jackson.

* * *

  • Jim Murray on Jim Gilliam, 50 years ago today (via the Daily Mirror):

    … You might say Jim is with the Dodgers but not of them. The distinction is important. He starts every season in the dugout. He sleeps every night with his bag packed at his feet and rumors of a trade swirling around in his dreams. He lives his life in a kind of limbo midway between the Dodgers and the rest of the National League.

    Then the season starts and some “phenom” begins to leak at the seams, the stuffing oozing out of him at every trip to the plate. The manager sets a hysterical search amid the bat bags, locker room towels and press clippings of his wunderkind — and there sits Jim Gilliam, waiting. …

    When the Dodgers came to L.A., they brought Jim along with all the enthusiasm of a man asking his mother-in-law on the honeymoon. They had a hot-shot third baseman named Dick Gray, and began to offer Gilliam around like a claiming horse until Gray began to leak like a sieve in the field and strike out on balls the catcher couldn’t get his glove on.

    Gilliam became a third baseman and the Dodgers became World Champions …

  • Here’s a really nice column on the passing of a TV insider by Variety’s Brian Lowry.

    … His most memorable line is a cautionary one I’ve quoted for years — one that addresses the way coveted Hollywood promotions are often fraught with peril: “The best job you’ll ever have,” he said, “is the one that precedes the one you always wanted.” …