Mar 15

NCAA Tournament 2015

Anyone interested in joining the Elysian Fields group to pick the winner(s) should go here and join up.

Group name: Elysian Fields
Password: hershiser59

From the rulebook:

Lock-time. All picks will lock at the scheduled tip off time of the Tournament currently scheduled for Thursday, March 19, 2015. Your picks for the matchups must be submitted, received and recorded by Sponsor’s computer by the scheduled locktime. Selections submitted after the deadline are considered invalid. Sponsor’s computer is the official time-keeping device for this Promotion.

Mar 09

Kershaw Day

Not only does he get the start today against the Rockies, but Baseball Prospectus published several stories about the new daddy in their March 9 blog post. Look in the “Today at Baseball Prospectus” section on the front page.

Update: Headline: Time Warner Cable ‘Actively Pursuing’ Talks to Finally Lift Dodger Blackout

Nonsense. The article says TWC is trying to sign the other distributors up without lowering its $4.90 per subscriber fee. So what concession has TWC made to them? Looks like none to me.

Mar 01

First Cactus League game is Wednesday

Erik Bedard will start it against the White Sox. He’ll probably go only two innings or so.

Thursday Clayton Kershaw will start, also against the White Sox. Friday is a split-squad day.

In much sadder news, Minnie Minoso passed away today. He was the first black player on either team in Chicago after he was traded to the White Sox in 1951, two years after he came up with the Cleveland Indians. Young people remember him, if they do at all, as the guy who kept getting active long enough to appear in a game or two in the Seventies and Eighties after his 40th birthday as an owner’s gimmick. That’s a shame, as he was a great ballplayer, a nine-time All Star who had nearly 2,000 hits and a career .298 batting average in his 15 years as a regular outfielder in the big leagues.

Feb 11

Open Thread #10

Correction: I thought the Dodger Insider post I linked to was written by Jon Weisman. I’m still not used to thinking of that site as a multi-author blog. It was actually written by Cary Osborne. I’m sorry for the misattribution!

By Mr. Weisman’s Cary Osborne’s calculations, the moves the Dodgers made during the off-season have made them the most improved team in the West in terms of Defensive Runs Saved.

Huh? What’s that number, you ask? Defensive Runs Saved is an attempt to determine the value of a player against other players of the same position. As Joe Posnanski put it at his blog: “the number determines (using film study and computer comparisons) how many more or fewer successful plays a defensive player will make than league average.”

Here’s the full-on explanation from its creators at The Fielding Bible, if you’re interested. It’s lengthy.

Anyway, Jon Cary says

Gone from the Dodgers are Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez and Dee Gordon, who combined for -37 DRS. In are Howie Kendrick, and Jimmy Rollins and what appears to be either Joc Pederson or Andre Ethier. Since there isn’t enough Major League statistical data on Pederson, we’re going to slot Ethier into the replacement for Kemp. Rollins, Kendrick and Ethier combined for six DRS. That’s a swing of +43 DRS.

He’s got the other NL West teams’ DRS data, and he comes up with the startling fact that the Dodgers are the only team in the division whose changes over the winter give it a net positive number.

Huh.

Feb 04

Open Thread #9

CBS Sports is running a series of features on the best and worst events in each baseball franchise’s history, and it was the Dodgers’ turn on Monday. As Dayn Perry (the author) says in his opening paragraph, “it’s impossible to hit it all.” He did a reasonable job, I’d say. He picks two best teams, one for Brooklyn (’53) and one for LA (’63). He picks best and worst trades (guess what’s worst). Anyway, it’s food for discussion.

Jan 22

Open Thread #7

Update: Ernie Banks passed away today. The Hall of Famer and former Cub was 83 years old.

Baseball America has a recap of the Dodgers’ offseason moves, with some attention paid to the minor leaguers.

Aside from the Cubs, the Dodgers’ top three prospects are as strong as any other organization’s in baseball. Corey Seager, a shortstop for now who likely moves to third base, is one of the most talented hitters in the minors. Center fielder Joc Pederson is a 2015 Rookie of the Year frontrunner, while teenage lefthander Julio Urias has the makings of a future ace, combining plus stuff with feel for pitching beyond his years.

After the vaunted trio, the Dodgers farm system is in a better place than it was a year ago because of the emergence of depth beyond them. Their top 2014 draft picks—first-round righthander Grant Holmes and outfielder Alex Verdugo — both had strong debuts and look like potential impact talents.

We’re less than a month away from pitchers and catchers reporting. They do that on Feb. 19 and have their first workout Feb. 20. Position players report Feb. 24 and have their first workout Feb. 25.