Oct 09

Stuff and such

Slow news day? Not for these folks …

  • Former Dodger outfielder Mike Marshall was relieved of the general manager job with the independent North American League’s Chico Outlaws, who have an uncertain future because of their stadium lease, reports Travis Souders of the Chico Enterprise-Record (via Baseball Think Factory). Marshall’s wife Mary, the assistant general manager, was also pink-slipped. “With everything up in the air, it’s not fair to Mike or Mary to keep them in Chico and running the team when we don’t know for sure what’s going to happen with the stadium, first and foremost,” league commissioner Kevin Outcalt said.
  • Dodger assistant trainer Todd Tomczyk has left to become head trainer with the Pirates. Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com has details.
  • Evan Bladh writes at Opinion of Kingman’s Performance about “the King of Infield Conversions,” former Dodger coach Monty Basgall.
  • Justine Siegel had Christina Taylor Green on her mind when she wrote about her graduation from MLB Scout School.
  • “Shoeless Joe” author W.P Kinsella has released his first novel in 13 years, “Butterfly Winter.” Eric Volmer of the Calgary Herald (also via BTF) talked to Kinsella.
  • Fresh off their great interview with Bryan Cranston, the Kamenetzky brothers have another baseball-entertainment broadcast with actor and Tigers fan J.K. Simmons.
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. …

Apr 01

Impact of banners flies south


ESPN’s Dan Shulman, Orel Hershiser and Bobby Valentine recap the Dodgers’ win over the Giants. Note in the video that Matt Kemp is already standing on third base in the sixth inning when Buster Posey’s throw is just coming into the picture.

A final thought about airplanes flying banners. When I see them high above the Pacific Ocean at the beach, advertising this or that, they pretty much have no impact on me.  It’s hard for me to believe it was any different with the banners (as pictured on Vin Scully Is My Homeboy) flew over Dodger Stadium on Thursday.

Elsewhere …

  • Dave Cameron of Fangraphs is pretty much in awe of Clayton Kershaw at this point. Colleague Dave Allen has more on Kershaw’s hard slider.
  • Dodger fans offer Frank McCourt advice, via Molly Knight of ESPN the Magazine.
  • Here’s one more installment of the LADodgerTalk interview series with Logan White. Lots of Rubby De La Rosa discussion.
  • Dave Sheinin of the Washington Post writes about Ron Mahay, whose release by the Dodgers might mark the last we see of replacement players from the 1994-95 strike.
  • Eric Nusbaum’s profile on former Dodger talkcaster Ken Levine is in the Seattle Weekly.
  • After 1,759 career hits, Randy Winn retired, bucking some expectations by never playing for Ned Colletti in Los Angeles.
  • How Justine Siegel almost threw batting practice for the Dodgers last month. Maybe it will still work out at some point.
  • Greg Simons of the Hardball Times takes a turn on the annual “Five questions” feature on the Dodgers.
Feb 22

Davey Lopes gets me excited about 2011

Kirby Lee/US PresswireYou’ve come to the right place.

Tony Jackson’s Spring Training update today for ESPNLosAngeles.com focuses on Davey Lopes’ tutoring the Dodgers. Some good stuff therein:

… The 45-minute session dealt mostly with the basics. But Lopes delivered his message in a charismatic, entertaining way, with a lot of the no-nonsense language one might expect from a 65-year-old baseball lifer who believes in doing things the right way, mixed with a little bit of humor.

The audience appeared to include every non-pitcher the Dodgers have in camp, and that audience burst into laughter on a few occasions, usually when Lopes would get especially animated while demonstrating the wrong way to do something.

For those who were paying attention, though, there were a lot of lessons.

For one, Lopes isn’t a fan of the headfirst slide. He also isn’t a fan of the slide into first base.

“There are two reasons why you slide,” Lopes told the assembly. “First, to slow your body down. … Second, to avoid a tag.”

And thus, Lopes said, the only time a slide into first base is justified is to avoid a tag if the player covering has to come off the bag to take an off-line throw. …

Elsewhere …