Oct 30

Nice catch

Via Jon W. on Facebook, we learn that AJ Ellis’s wife gave birth to their third child on the way to the hospital.

Yikes.

Update: The Dodgers signed Brandon League to a three-year deal. Even though League can both close and come in in the seventh or eighth, I’m not sure a three-year contract is a great idea.

Update: The Dodgers’ clubhouse in the bowels of Dodger Stadium undergoes major renovations starting next week, and Lasorda, Yeager, Cey and Lou Johnson reminisced about it before its rehab.

Update: In slightly older news, the Dodgers declined club options on Juan Rivera, Todd Coffey and Matt Treanor. I wonder if that means they plan to bring FedEx up as a backup catcher next year, or perhaps even to have him compete with AJ for the starting job.

Update: Via Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy comes this rather startling news: Mark McGwire may take the hitting coach job with the Dodgers.

Mark McGwire, who has served as Cardinals hitting coach for three seasons under two managers, has informed the club that he intends to accept a similar position with the Los Angeles Dodgers, sources familiar with the situation told the Post-Dispatch this afternoon.

Though a deal between the Dodgers and McGwire is not considered final, McGwire has told the Cardinals that he does not anticipate accepting their offer of a contract extension.

Apparently McGwire’s family lives in Orange County and he’d prefer to work closer to home. He’s been on the Cardinals’ staff for three years; the conventional wisdom seems to be that he’s done a good job while there.

Update: Oh fer . . . now Guerra has had arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder ” to clean up bursitis and the acromioclavicular joint, where the top of the scapula meets the collarbone.” The team expects him to be “competitive” by the time Spring Training rolls around.

Update: Jay Jaffe suggests free agent David Ross is the Practically Perfect Backup Catcher. If the Dodgers conclude that FedEx needs another year of seasoning in the minors, maybe Ross would be a sensible acquisition.

Oct 29

2013 Free agents, pitchers

And here’s CBS Sports’ list of free agents-to-be among pitchers.

Again, top fifteen listed.

Rank Player Last Team Pos Age IP W-L S ERA K Status

1 Zack Greinke Angels SP 29 212.1 15-5 0 3.48 200 Unrestricted

2 R.A. Dickey Mets SP 38 233.2 20-6 0 2.73 230 $5M Club Option

3 Kyle Lohse Cardinals SP 34 211 16-3 S 2.86 143 Unrestricted

4 James Shields Rays SP 30 227.2 15-10 0 3.52 223 $9M Club Option

5 Jake Peavy White Sox SP 31 219 11-12 0 3.37 194 $22M Club Option

6 Edwin Jackson Nationals SP 29 189.2 10-11 0 4.03 168 Unrestricted

7 Hiroki Kuroda Yankees SP 37 219.2 16-11 0 3.32 167 Unrestricted

8 Brandon McCarthy Athletics SP 29 111 8-6 0 3.24 73 Unrestricted

9 Rafael Soriano Yankees RP 32 67.2 2-1 42 2.26 69 $1.5M Opt-out clause

10 Fernando Rodney Rays RP 35 74.2 2-2 48 0.60 76 Unrestricted

11 Anibal Sanchez Tigers SP 28 195.2 9-13 0 3.86 167 Unrestricted

12 Tim Hudson Braves SP 37 179 16-7 0 3.62 102 $9M Club Option

13 Gavin Floyd White Sox SP 29 168 12-11 0 4.29 144 $9.5M Club Option

14 Ryan Dempster Rangers SP 35 173 12-8 0 3.38 153 Unrestricted

15 Shaun Marcum Brewers SP 30 124 7-4 0 3.70 109 Unrestricted

Greinke, Lohse and Peavy might appeal to the Dodgers, I think. What say you?

Oct 29

2013 Free agents position players

Via CBS Sports. This is just position players; they’ll have the list of pitchers later.

I’m not sure what the basis of the ranking is, but here are the top fifteen. Only one is a Dodger: Victorino

Rank Player Last Team Pos Age AB HR AVG RBI Status

1 Robinson Cano Yankees 2B 30 627 33 .313 94 Signed by Yankees; 1 year, $15M club option

2 Josh Hamilton Rangers OF 31 562 43 .285 128 Unrestricted

3 David Wright Mets 3B 31 581 21 .306 93 $16M Club Option

4 Michael Bourn Braves OF 29 624 9 .274 57 Unrestricted

5 Brian McCann Braves C 28 439 20 .230 67 Unrestricted

6 B.J. Upton Rays OF 28 573 28 .246 78 Unrestricted

7 Nick Swisher Yankees OF 31 537 24 .276 93 Unrestricted

8 Curtis Ganderson Yankees OF 31 596 43 .232 106 Signed by Yankees; 1 year, $15M club option

9 Mike Napoli Rangers C 30 352 24 .227 56 Unrestricted

10 Carlos Ruiz Phillies C 33 372 16 .325 68 Signed by Phillies; 1 year, $5M club option

11 David Ortiz Red Sox DH 36 324 23 .318 65 Unrestricted

12 Angel Pagan Giants OF 31 605 8 .288 56 Unrestricted

13 Adam LaRoche Nationals 1B 33 571 33 .271 100 $10M Mutual Option

14 Shane Victorino Dodgers OF 31 595 11 .255 55 Unrestricted

15 Melky Cabrera Giants OF 28 459 11 .346 60 Unrestricted

Anybody see anyone there the Dodgers might be desirous of acquiring?

Oct 28

World Series, Game Four

There is no joy in Motown; the mighty Tigers have so far been pawing at the Giants’ pitches as though they were shot from cannon rather than thrown by mortal beings. They’re 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position for the Series, which is bad enough; what’s worse is that they’ve played three games and only had 11 runners in scoring position.

They face elimination today. It’s Max Scherzer v. Matt Cain in Comerica Park at 8:00PM Eastern on Fox.

Oct 27

World Series, Game Three

Vogelsong v. Sanchez, Comerica Park, 8:00PM Eastern, Fox. Sanchez has pitched against the Giants before; his entire career until the trading deadline this year was spent in the NL. This will be Vogelsong’s first time seeing the Tigers.

The Tigers have to get their bats untracked. They only got two hits in Game Two, and unless you’ve got Koufax or Gibson pitching for you that’s probably not going to be enough offense to win.

Oct 26

Mid-Series Dodger news

Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy has some news and photos of a press conference the Dodgers held today to introduce Carl Crawford as the team’s new left fielder.

New news items will be added here until the next WS travel day, if one’s necessary.

Update: Eric Stephen of True Blue LA updated his payroll worksheet to include all the trades which occurred in August of 2012.

Oct 25

World Series, Game Two

After the Panda’s explosion in Game One, the Tigers hope to regroup and win one on the road tonight at 8:00PM Eastern on Fox. It’ll be Fister v. Bumgarner. Fister has two no-decisions in the postseason to show for 13 1/3 innings of two-run pitching, while Bumgarner gave up six runs to the Cardinals in Game One of the NLCS. On paper the Tigers should be favored to win this one, but paper means nuthin’ in baseball.

Oct 24

World Series, Game One

Game One, 8:07 PM Eastern, AT&T Park, Fox TV.

Verlander versus Zito. Tigers at Giants. The New York Times:

The Giants have reached the World Series 19 times, the Tigers 11 times. Yet this is their first date for the championship.

Eight teams have reached the World Series at least 10 times: the Yankees, the A’s, the Red Sox and the Tigers in the American League, and the Giants, the Cardinals, the Dodgers and the Cubs (really) in the National League. All the possible World Series matchups involving those teams have now taken place, except for one: the Tigers and the Dodgers have still never met in the World Series.

Here’s Roger Angell on teams from the original leagues making it to the Series, published on October 11. If you haven’t read Angell before, here’s his bio along with a list of his baseball essay collections. Read them.

If you want more World Series feature stories, check out the sidebar when you click the preview link (the first one in this post).

Oct 22

If they can do this

then the Giants really are a team of destiny this year. Watch as Hunter Pence’s bat shatters and hits the ball not once, not twice, but three times.

Congratulations to the Giants. As Bob Timmermann reminded me on Facebook earlier today, this means that there actually will be a Giants – Tigers World Series. There’s never been one. The closest was in 1908, but Fred Merkle committed his “bonehead play” which cost the Giants the pennant. The Cubs won and beat the Tigers for the World Championship; it was the last time they won one.

Oct 22

LCS, Day Nine

Who’d a thunk it, but there’s a Game Seven in the NLCS today. The Giants have fought back to tie the series after being down three games to one, so today’s game is for all the marbles and a trip to the World Series. The Giants send out Matt Cain to do battle with the Cardinals’ Kyle Lohse in a rematch of the starters for Game Three last week.