Saturday, April 30, 2011
Frank's Burned Bridges At MLB
On Friday, Rob Manfred, a Selig deputy who is an executive vice president of Major League Baseball, gave voice to the deep skepticism about McCourt.H/t Jon.
“There is no owner,” he said, “who, during the period 2004 to 2011, that we’ve spent more time with on his business problems, his business issues and his desire to be treated differently under applicable rules, than Frank McCourt.”
Oldest Living Negro Leaguer, Emilio Navarro, Passes
Update 5/1: His AP obit, via ESPN. He was also apparently the oldest professional ball player.
Parsing The McCourt Interview
To the interview:
Q: To the fans who buy tickets and hot dogs and cable subscriptions to support the Dodgers, how do you explain that a team that turns tens of millions of dollars in gross profits every year gets to the point where you needed a personal loan to make payroll?The reality of this particular self-serving, whiny version of events is that it omits the vital part: the Dodgers should be a self-financing operation. McCourt sucked so much cash out of the team that he needed to juggle very, very fast to keep current. Speaking of —
A: We shouldn't have gotten to that point. This transaction should have been closed four months ago. And we told MLB that.
It's not how you run a business. On the other hand, if somebody prevents you from accessing your capital and executing your financial plans, then things like this happen. We were way out in front of all this. There is nothing abnormal that is occurring here. These are the natural obligations that a business takes care of, and they plan in advance to take care of them.
We all have obligations in our personal life and our business life. The idea is to plan in advance to take care of them. We had a plan. We executed the plan. The problem here is that baseball has been unwilling to allow us to close the transaction. Had we closed the transaction when we were planning to at the end of the year — when we were ready to — then this would all have been a nonissue.
It's the series of delays in allowing us to close this transaction that has created the problem here. Otherwise, there would be no problem here. My recent investment into the club (the personal loan) was necessitated by the delay.
Q: That may be, but MLB did not run up $500 million in debt. You did.Back to self-delusion, I see.
A: The debt that you refer to is not the issue before us right now.
Q: Could you explain to Dodgers fans why you believe you are the best person to own this team?So, basically, it's our fault he decided to turn the team into a huge speculative real estate investment, and that we're judging him harshly for spitting on a public trust for his own gain. It's our fault Major League Baseball — which has seen fair to allow the Pirates and their idiotic ownership to fail to collect even a single .500 season since Barry Bonds left the team in 1992 — almost two decades of failure — has decided to break out the ugly sticks and install a monitor, investigate your finances, and likely send the team into bankruptcy, all so they can be rid of you. What does that say of the wretched nature of your character, of your self-pitying venality, of your towering arrogance? It's our fault we think you're a bankrupt scumbag.
A: First of all, I want to apologize to the fans. I want to tell them how deeply sorry I am for what has occurred over the last 18 months. I'm sorry that my personal mess has entered their lives and affected their experience being a fan of the Dodgers.
I'm sorry that some of them think that lifestyle decisions I made affected my commitment to putting a winner on the field and winning a championship for L.A.
Q: Are you saying that is simply the fans' perception, or did those decisions affect the team?
A: I'm saying it's clearly the perception of some.
Q: So you would not agree with that perception?
A: What matters is that is the perception. I'm sorry that is their perception. I'm sorry that they don't think I'm committed to them. I'm sorry that my situation has been a source of embarrassment for the community, an embarrassment for the team and an embarrassment for the fans.
Thanks, Frank. Get on the bus and don't come back.
And I’m getting real weary of his "love the team" and "love the community" routine. He’s not from our community and doesn’t know it. He's from Boston and now lives in one of the Southland’s most expensive hotels a block off Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills.
Friday, April 29, 2011
The Price Of Winning: Angels 8, Rays 5The Halos chased David Price after only four and a third innings; he was wild from the start, though not overly so. The wonder was that he only walked one batter, yet he seemingly careened from three ball count to three ball count, riding the edge of peril the whole night. The Angels' offense was accordingly locked in, tying the game on Mark Trumbo's three-run jack in the fourth, a high fastball that Trumbo utterly crushed.
Perhaps the best part of the night was watching Vernon Wells get a hit and drive in a run, though not on the same play. Anything in the offense department now is gravy for Wells, who increasingly was looking like a lost cause.
Ervin Santana's night wasn't the catastrophe of his prior start, but neither was it as bad as some of his other road starts, and he held on for his first win of the year. Scott Downs made his first appearance since returning from the DL, and pitched a scoreless seventh. Fernando Rodney actually looked pretty good despite giving up a solo homer to B.J. Upton, and Jordan Walden nailed down the save with a clean ninth, pitching around a leadoff double to catcher John Jaso. A really nice win; combined with a 3-1 Oakland win over Texas, the Angels are once again tied for first.
Dodgers Squeak Past Pads: Dodgers 3, Padres 2First, I should mention that Andre Ethier's 1-for-4 night extended his hitting streak to 25 games, putting him in a six-way tie with Paul LoDuca, Willie Davis, Steve Sax, Buzz Boyle, and Harvey Hendrick. One more, and he takes third place all by himself; the next step is 27, attained by Duke Snider and Joe Medwick, with the franchise crown belonging to Willie Davis again, with 31.
The Pads this year go from merely inept to tragically incompetent, trailing the league in runs scored, and being almost half the league's leader, St. Louis. Luckily the Padres have the best pitching in the league, which they need because their offense scores so few runs. Unsurprisingly after tonight, San Diego is 9-17, the worst record in the division and tied with Houston for the worst record in the majors.
Ted Lilly surpassed Clayton Richard, the Dodgers getting the winning runs on solo blasts by Matt Kemp and Juan Uribe. The Pads came close to tying it late, as Jonathan Broxton nearly blew another save; fortunately (and I missed this), ex-Padre Tony Gwynn, Jr. saved the game with a great catch.
Casey Blake Out Minimum Six Weeks
McCourt Contests Marital Property Agreement
- The Dodgers made payroll, according to Dylan Hernandez, who reminds me that the players' union must be monitoring this situation closely, as MLB could end up paying the Dodgers players if the team goes into default. This, I reckon, is MLB's strategy.
"Baseball is trying to make it appear that the Dodgers are under financial duress, and it's not true," McCourt said. "What is true is baseball is trying to put the Dodgers into financial duress."This is another of Frank's true-as-far-as-it-goes comments; the question you have to ask yourself is why are the Dodgers in such dire straits that they need a massive cash infusion to make payroll in April? And the obvious answer is that the McCourts have treated the team as an ATM, and it's no longer a self-financing operation. That is, it has become a sort of Ponzi scheme, requiring ever-greater monies to continue operating. If I'm right in that, it explains much; MLB needed to take over the franchise before it collapsed.
- Frank McCourt's legal team has appealed the rejection of the marital property agreement, a bit late. Update: Here's the Bill Shaikin story.
- Josh Fisher mentions something of great import, speaking of the divorce (remember that?): Jamie McCourt hasn't signed off on the proposed Fox TV deal.
Jamie Hasn't Approved Proposed Fox TV Deal
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Dodgers Promote INF Russ Mitchell, Disable Casey Blake
McCourt Flails As the Noose Tightens
But maybe the most annoying moment came, as observed by the indispensable Craig Calcaterra yesterday, when Frank McCourt yowped about MLB's lack of "transparency" while operating a corporation that resembles a certain familiar cephalopod.
At last, I leave you with the words of my favorite fellow Dodger traveler, the man who has been with me here in McCourt doubt from the very beginning. Jon likens this action to a second divorce, and who am I to argue?
If it is McCourt's right to sue – a point that's debatable depending upon your interpretation of his ownership agreement with MLB – then let him sue away. But how dare he claim, yet again, that he has the interests of the fan base at heart. His ownership stands, more than ever, at direct odds with what the Dodger community wants and needs."Dad, we're all grown up now. And we're tired of your complaints over a fate you engineered and your hollow apologies." Amen, and hallelujah. While there's still enough wiggle room for MLB to leave the Dodgers to McCourt, I expect that the current state of affairs is looking for excuses to take the team from him, something that Frank is already loudly protesting. It can't happen soon enough.
"Everyone deserves a second chance," McCourt said. This is not in fact true – some people don't deserve a second chance, depending on the circumstances – but even if it were true in McCourt's case, he doesn't deserve his second chance more than others deserve a first chance – starting with Tom Schieffer, the monitor sent to Los Angeles by MLB to get to the bottom of this mess at the top.
Update: It occurs to me that yesterday's he said/she said regarding MLB's stand on the Fox TV deal tells us possibly quite a bit about McCourt's thought processes, and just how perilous the franchise's fortunes are at this juncture. Consider: McCourt walks into a room with the MLB representatives, who tell him they won't immediately approve of the TV rights deal without further review. Frank walks out of the room with the idea that they said "no". Why would he surmise that? Only if his time frame for getting the money is, oh, next month. It's unlikely that Fox has the kind of cash that Frank needs just lying around, and so they would have to liquidate assets of some sort in order to pay him, even if it's just stuff like Treasuries. For Frank, any delay means bankruptcy.
Update 2: Missed this yesterday: TMZ says the McCourts skipped out on their $300/day hairdressing bill. You can't make this stuff up.
Update 3: "Mere millionaire" Stanley Stalford readies a bid for the Dodgers. Like McCourt, he's a real estate operator, but unlike McCourt, he's proposing to assemble a public offering in the Dodgers, though the team would operate as a nonprofit.
Bill Shaikin continues his yeoman's work on this story with a piece largely confirming my supposition above about McCourt's disagreement with MLB over the substance of the Fox TV pact:
While MLB has not revoked Frank McCourt's ownership, Selig has empowered Schieffer with financial authority over the franchise and has not approved a television contract with Fox that would have provided McCourt with a financial lifeline.Josh Fisher has more thoughts on this; he's remarkably generous to McCourt about not wanting him to suffer:
That effectively constitutes a seizure, according to those close to McCourt, since his inability to access Dodgers funds could force him to miss financial obligations. At that point, Selig could say he has the evidence to show that McCourt is financially unfit to own the Dodgers and say he must install new owners.
"They want us to rubber-stamp the deal with the history of the money they have misused?" said the person, not authorized to speak publicly because of the prospect of McCourt filing suit against the league.
And I think Frank McCourt is more hurt by this whole drama than he's ever let on. He's got the look of someone who achieved his dreams for only the briefest moment, and then watched the story of his life's collapse on TMZ. It's E!'s True Hollywood Story in real-time. He probably shouldn't own the Dodgers very much longer--both for the team's sake and his own--and he has obviously made some very poor decisions along the way. But if you want Frank McCourt to suffer as he has...I respect your opinion. I just don't share it.I frankly think he should suffer in the exact measure he has overreached, overspent, overindulged, looting the Dodgers along the way as a personal piggy bank for his own excess.
My Dinger With Andre Redux: Dodgers 5, Marlins 4 (10 Innings)The noteworthy part of this game was mainly its ending, Andre Ethier picking up his second hit to cap the 24th straight game in which he recorded a hit. He's now in a three-way tie for the fourth-longest hitting streak in franchise history (he would be alone in that rank in Los Angeles Dodger history), along with Zack Wheat and John Shelby, thus proving streaks aren't exclusively the province of the gods.
Rod Barajas did what he does, landing a three-run jack in the fourth to get the game within reach after Chad Billingsley put it nearly out of reach with a stuttering second inning that kept leaking singles and runs. Baseball in the morning is very pleasant, and I sometimes regret that the Dodgers moved away from Vero Beach.
Angels Can't Quite Manage The Sweep, Even With Fuentes' Help: A's 2, Angels 1 (10 Innings)I can't remember when the last time was the Angels had so many extra-inning games this early, but it sure seems like a record. The best part was the Angels rallying in the ninth off ex-Angel Brian Fuentes to tie it, a reminder of the post-traumatic save disorder from years past. The worst part was Vernon Wells striking out with the winning run in scoring position, and then making a fielding mistake in the tenth that cost the Angels the game, gifting Cliff Pennington with a leadoff triple. If the Wells deal doesn't kill Tony Reagins' career, I don't know what will.
Angels Make Moves To Recover Piniero, DownsThe Angels called up Scott Downs and Joel Piniero from the disabled list, optioning Matt Palmer back to AAA and designating perpetual AAAA reliever Jason Bulger for assignment. I expect he'll clear waivers, but if not — good luck on your new team.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Dodger Press Conferences As Selig Nixes Fox TV Deal
McCourt appears to be defiant while asking forgiveness; as he says in Jon's piece,
In a nod to the concerns over how much Dodger revenue he and his now-estranged wife had allocated for personal spending, McCourt said today that the proposed Fox deal would include an immediate payment of $300 million going directly into the Dodgers.This is a pretty consistent theme we've heard from him since the takeover, and it should be given exactly the same level of credence as a three-year-old who's been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
"None of those dollars (would be) used in any personal way," McCourt said.
"I think I made some mistakes. I’m sorry about that, and I’m definitely commited to doing things differently moving forward. ... I think everyone deserves a second chance."
Update: Molly Knight:
It's never been more clear the jig is up for Frank McCourt, which is probably why he's so apoplectic right now.Dylan Hernandez:
MLB VP Rob Manfred issues statement saying McCourt didn't accurately portray what happened in their meeting.Craig Calcaterra has the full text of MLB's response:
“It is unfortunate that Mr. McCourt felt it necessary to publicize the content of a private meeting. It is even more unfortunate that Mr. McCourt’s public recitation was not accurate. Most fundamental, Commissioner Selig did not ‘veto’ a proposed transaction. Rather, Mr. McCourt was clearly told that the Commissioner would make no decision on any transaction until after his investigation into the Club and its finances is complete so that he can properly evaluate all of the facts and circumstances.
“Equally important, there has been no seizure of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Mr. Scheiffer has been appointed as a monitor, and a multi-page written directive from the Commissioner describing his role has been provided to Mr. McCourt. In our meeting, no one from the Dodgers asked a single, specific question about the terms of the document setting forth the monitor’s role. “Finally, Mr. McCourt is well aware of the basis of Baseball’s investigation and has been provided an eight-page document describing the issues of concern to Major League Baseball.”
Lead By Rookie Amarista, Angels Offense Back In High Gear: Angels 8, A's 3Alexi Amarista continued the torrid hitting from AAA with an RBI double in his first major league at-bat, and also collected a sac fly in the eighth to drive in three runs, pacing the club on his maiden game. The sad part, of course, is that his father couldn't be around to see it, having been killed last November in a home invasion robbery.
Tyler Chatwood wasn't sharp, immediately giving up the 2-0 lead his offense gave him in the bottom of the second. After walking leadoff man Ryan Sweeney to start the fourth, it appeared as though another see-saw game was in the offing; but he settled down and retired the rest of the batters he faced in order (and nearly got a double play on the next one).
Unconventional as it was to see Howie Kendrick at first, he went 3-for-4 in the sixth slot, and Torii Hunter came out of his slow start to go 3-for-5. In all, a great effort by the team's offense — save for Vernon Wells, whose horrible April has been well-documented.
No Horns For Broxton As Kershaw Takes The Loss: Marlins 4, Dodgers 2Really, not a fun game to listen to, as the Dodgers blew this one fairly early, so Jonathan Broxton didn't have a chance to be a loser again. The Dodgers enjoyed short-lived leads of 1-0 and 2-1, but Kershaw ultimately gave up an RBI single to Mike Stanton, one of the most storied prospects in the game. No shame in that, but it doesn't mean the loss counts for any less.
- The Dodgers aren't the only ones to have trouble with their relief pitching; the Yanks are getting hammered by their problems with Rafael Soriano, to whom they owe $35M over three years. Whatever issues Broxton has, he will not be a Dodger in 2012, and for that we may be grateful.
- Speaking of the Yanks, any time they lose it's a good day, and especially, if they lose in dramatic fashion at home. If you haven't seen Jeff Sullivan's animated GIF of Brent Lillibridge's back-to-back game saving catches in the Bronx, you're missing a real treat.
- Don't forget that today's Dodger game has a 9:05 PDT start time.
- Dylan Hernandez tweets that Casey Blake is likely headed for the DL with an elbow infection, reporting fever and swelling.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
McCourt To Meet with MLB Representatives Wednesday
- Might get arrested for assault.
- Can't listen to Frank talk without laughing uncontrollably.
- Other owners have put out a hit on Frank, doesn't want to be in same room when explosive briefcase is opened.
Dodgers Nominate Ex-LAPD Officer Richard Wemmer As New Security Chief
Wemmer, who retired from the LAPD in 2008 after nearly 40 years in law enforcement, was a commanding officer for the Rampart and Northeast patrol divisions and training divisions, as well as the Van Nuys, West Los Angeles and Wilshire-area stations.
Another of his selling points was that he served as the officer-in-charge of the anti-terrorist division's investigative unit during the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Wemmer also served on the board of directors of the Command Officers Assn., which clashed repeatedly with then-Chief Bernard C. Parks in the late 1990s and early 2000s over a range of issues. Wemmer was one of three members who sued the department and Parks, alleging they were denied promotions as retaliation.
More On McCourt's Proposed TV Deal
Major League Baseball, whose national broadcasting contract is with Fox, was nonetheless seriously irate. We should all thank Fox for its stupidity, since it essentially gave Commissioner Bud Selig his excuse to take over the Dodgers. Fox gave McCourt the loan because Time Warner had batted its eyelashes at McCourt and Fox feared losing the Dodgers to the cable giant. This despite Fox’s current contract giving it the right to match any competing offer.Joe Flint in the Times' Company Town blog writes that "there was no reason other than paranoia to lend McCourt money, especially since Fox had already advanced McCourt money on the current TV deal, much to the chagrin of Major League Baseball." Loans on top of loans.
MLB took over the Texas Rangers last year, and shortly after the club was sold to Nolan Ryan and his group, the Rangers signed a 20-year, $1.6-billion deal with Fox. Which would be barely more than half of the deal McCourt supposedly had lined up.
Update 4/27: This originally was titled "McCourt's Proposed TV Deal Less Than The Rangers' Annually", but I mentally inverted this. The title is corrected above, but still, for the Dodgers to be receiving not even 50% more than the Rangers annually is nuts.
Neyer: Jered Weaver Lucky And Awesome
Weaver, Felix, Verlander, Josh Johnson, and Lincecum are all great young pitchers. And are all in the same ballpark of talent. If one stands head and shoulders above the others, it’s a sabre-nightmare to explain. If they were all free agents, they’d all sign for about the same terms. What we love about them are their K and BB numbers, because after that, all the other numbers follow from there.Is there something wrong with Neyer observing that Weaver's HR/9 is just not sustainable at this microscopic level, or ditto his BABIP? Enjoy the ride; the wheel aren't coming off, but he can't keep going on being this good indefinitely.
Dodgers Switch To Closer-By-Committee, Other Dodger News
- Per some guy named Joe Block on Twitter. Rotoworld speculates that this means Hong-Chih Kuo and Vicente Padilla will trade off duties depending on availability.
Update: Dylan Hernandez tweets that Broxton has been told he's still the Dodgers' closer. I'll be damned.
Update 2: Christina Kahrl in her shiny new ESPN penthouse:
The reason why this story has legs, however, is because of Broxton's spectacular second-half collapse last year, when he did lose the job. Good in the early going, he got worked hard by Joe Torre in a short stretch at the end of June, working four times in five days, capped by his implosion on national TV against the Yankees on June 27. After that, he lost two or three ticks on his fastball, walked 23 batters in 29 2/3 IP, and posted a 7.58 ERA.The import of this situation is "what it says about ... the working relationship between Colletti and Mattingly". That could become a moot point if the Dodgers' new owner (hopefully to be found by 2012) sends both to the curb.
- Jon Morosi says the Pirates have claimed former Dodger outfielder Xavier Paul on waivers. He was designated for assignment on Monday to make room for Padilla.
Tom Verducci On The Likely Consequences Of The Dodgers In MLB Receivership
Weaver Undefeated In April, Turns In CG Gem: Angels 5, A's 0It's nice to have a stopper; I got home late to see the last three innings of this one, and man, what an impressive stretch the Weav is having. He's now the first pitcher to go 6-0 in April this early, though the early schedule start had a lot to do with that.
Good news: Howie Kendrick 2-for-4, and the bottom of the order doing well. Vernon Wells reached base twice.
Bad news: another 0-fer night for Torii Hunter that brings his season average below the Mendoza line.
A sad story played out in the stands: terminal cancer patient and ex-Strike Force girl Heather Beyer watched the shutout as a sort of last wish. If that's your last Angels game to see in person on this earth, the Angels carried her home on a doozy. Peace to her family.
Broxton Gags Again: Marlins 5, Dodgers 4I was reading MSTI's review of this game yesterday, and Mike is right to laud the good performances by Jerry Sands, Jamey Carroll, and Jon Garland; but the bigger worry is that Broxton, who blew the save and took the loss (deservedly, even though he wasn't helped by a misplay at short by Carroll) will get more chances to blow games. He's not good right now, and I wonder if he'll ever get better.
Monday, April 25, 2011
Reggie Willits The Return On The Amarista Callup
Dodgers Trustee Named, Ronald Belsario Still Has No Visa, And Other Dodgers News
- Via Jon, MLB has named J. Thomas Schieffer as its agent to run the Dodgers. Schieffer was the former president of the Rangers.
Schieffer was an investor in the ownership group headed by George W. Bush and Rusty Rose that purchased the Rangers in 1989. He was the club president from 1991-99 and the franchise's general partner from November 1994 until June 1998.Anybody but Frank.
- Vin Scully Is My Homeboy passes on a Enrique Rojas tweet that Dodgers reliever Ronald Belisario has not received a visa, and will not, either, placing his career in jeopardy.
- Ken Gurnick reports that Dioner Navarro has rejoined the Dodgers.
Update: MSTI speculates that it will be A.J. Ellis sent down to AAA Albuquerque. Also, Jay Gibbons' 15-day DL stint is almost up, but he thinks Gibbons will have his clock reset because of ongoing vision problems.
Update 2: Buh bye, Mr. Ellis; as Mike foresaw.
Angels Stuff: A Bad Sawx Series, A Callup, And Rating The Relief Corps
- I missed yesterday's conclusion to the series sweep at the hands of the Red Sox, a series that True Grich called four of the most "miserable days in a regular season" in his recollection as a fan. I would answer that with the entire 2003 season, which felt like an enormous disappointment coming off the World Series high. (It also featured a series loss at home against Boston, though not a sweep.) The Sawx blanked the Angels 7-0 with Alberto Callaspo batting cleanup. Really, Mike? I hope we never see that again.
- A Halos Heaven fanshot cites an El Nacional report claiming Alexi Amarista has been called up to the big club, return unknown as of this moment.
Update: I note in passing that Rotoworld, which is usually up on this kind of thing, does not make this report.
- Lastly, as kind of a fun thing, Sam Miller at the Register has a straw poll asking Angels fans to rate Halos relievers in order of most trusted to least. I don't think Scott Downs deserves to be on that list given how little he's pitched, do you?
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Forfeit: Red Sox 5, Angels 0
Dodgers Still Undefeated In The Post-McCourt Era, More On The McCourt Saga: Dodgers 12, Cubs 2
As Jon notes, the Dodgers have outscored their opponents 23-6 in the Bud Selig ownership era, which seems as though they are celebrating something. Of course, I don't put any stock in such flights of fancy, but it seems kicking this interloper to the curb can only mean good things, and if the team goes on a tear in his absence, so much the better. On that note, a number of related linkies from hither and yon regarding the McCourt non-ownership situation:
- McCourt went to Time Warner in addition to Fox hat in hand looking for money, and was well received.
"I can't think of another situation in baseball where this has happened," Andrew Zimbalist, an economics professor at Smith College and an expert in sports contracts, said Thursday. "Fox has been doing unprecedented things in baseball all along but it seems pretty apparent what this is about. Fox sees an opportunity to forestall the Dodgers' one day creating their own sports channel and locking Fox out of the telecasting market.If, as seems likely, McCourt loses the Dodgers, the Bingham McCutcheon lawsuit as collateral seems pretty flimsy.
"Fox sees an owner in distress, under duress to raise capital that allows McCourt to keep his head above water. That was their ploy."
- McCourt is testing the limits of what he can actually do as a non-owner. Tim Brown tweeted that he gave the employees Friday afternoon off, a common enough occurrence on Good Friday, but if MLB is in charge of operations, who is running the show?
- Steve Garvey and Ron Burkle announced they are launching a group to buy the Dodgers.
Burkle, 58, has a home in Beverly Hills. Forbes estimates his net worth at $3.2 billion. At least two other local billionaires also have been reported to be preparing bids for the Dodgers: developer Alan Casden, who pursued the team when it was last up for sale, and financier Alec Gores, whose brother Tom bought the NBA's Detroit Pistons earlier this month.Of course, as Bob Timmermann reminded me on Facebook, Garvey has his own profligate, debt-soaked financial past that would scarcely make him a better owner than Frank:
Another NBA owner, Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks, previously has expressed interest in the Dodgers. In an email Friday, Cuban declined to say whether he would be interested in the Dodgers — "They aren't for sale," he wrote — but said he had received numerous messages from Dodgers fans in the three days since Selig acted.
"Between tweets and emails, I couldn't count them all," Cuban wrote.
Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio, Boston Red Sox chairman Tom Werner and Chicago White Sox executive Dennis Gilbert, all of whom live in the Los Angeles area, are expected to consider bidding should the Dodgers go up for sale. Attanasio told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel he was "committed to Milwaukee"; Werner told the Boston Globe he had "no interest" in pursuing the Dodgers.
For years, Garvey and his wife, Candace, have neglected bills large and small, leaving dozens of people who either worked for them or sold them merchandise wondering if they were ever going to get paid.The only good news about this is that Garvey wouldn't be providing the operating money to run the team. The bad news is that all the temptations that lured McCourt into leveraging the team into a person ATM would still remain.
The Garveys drove luxury cars, shopped in upscale boutiques and traveled extensively even as they were pursued by creditors. Garvey's gardener took him to small claims court to recover $1,773. A mirror installer did the same over $809. A caterer received a court order to seize valuable artwork from the Garveys until they paid her $14,000 bill.
Garvey owes attorneys more than $300,000, according to court records.
Many a former athlete has fallen on hard times, but Garvey -- known during his Dodger days as "Mr. Clean" -- is different. As his own financial troubles deepened, he continued to cast himself as a principled and accomplished businessman, charging up to $10,000 to give motivational speeches.
Do-Over: Red Sox 4, Angels 3
The Angels did virtually nothing against Lester, save for a single run in the seventh that felt like some kind of alien gift, Jeff Mathis knocking home Erick Aybar. Aybar's managing to get into scoring position (by way of a stolen base) was of itself a topic of some horror to the Red Sox, who feature the now-dubious Jarrod Saltalamacchia behind the dish as their starting catcher, the elderly Jason Varitek no longer able to discharge those duties reliably. Salty famously had a case of the "yips" while he was with Texas and later, last year, with Boston. He's been pretty terrible at throwing out baserunners in his career (the 30% he took into today's game was a career high — his career figure is 21%), and I expect the wild pitch was a generous call in the second. Finally the scorer could handle it no more in the eighth, and with Bobby Jenks on the mound, charged him with an outright passed ball that allowed Bobby Abreu to score from second base. He stood at the plate stunned, hands wide, as if he expected the ball to materialize from the ether. Abreu charged him like a freight train, gathering steam as he passed third, and by the time Salty realized his peril, it was far too late.
Gifted with such a boon, the Angels proceeded to squander it, with Mike Scioscia electing to bring in a pinch hitter for Mark Trumbo (the only batter in that part of the lineup capable of changing the game with one swing of the bat), and a pinch runner for Alberto Callaspo. The pinch runner was odd; the pinch hitter, indefensible. Bobby Jenks had a 7+ ERA going into the inning, and if you have any faith in Trumbo at all, you leave him in the game against a struggling reliever who's lost 4-5 MPH on his formerly league-leading fastball. Instead, Maicer Izturis bounced out meekly, 4-3, ending the frame and the threat. It seemed the opposite of good managerial tactics, eventually a ransacking of the bench (Bobby Wilson came in to play first base for Trumbo), and nothing to show for it.
At last, a couple random comments about the game's environment:
- Helen mentioned that the lower attendance (39,005 official, and probably close to that in the seats) and the late cold start for the Red Sox has discouraged the more irritating Red Sox fans from materializing in the seats; and so it was. We had no problems at all with the Boston faithful in the park, and neither did we observe anyone in Angels colors harassing their counterparts.
- We didn't notice this until just today, but the vegetarian options improved immensely with a Melissa's stand on the field level. We didn't eat there today because we elected to grab something at Fresca's before the game, but Helen vows she'll give it a try tomorrow.
Friday, April 22, 2011
Pirates Claim Brandon Wood Off Waivers
Update: The trenchant Christina Kahrl at ESPN:
The challenge is going to be if Wood's fortunes will improve at all on Clint Hurdle's watch, because the Pirates' past acquisitions of other people's top prospects haven't worked out reliably well. Andy LaRoche and Lastings Milledge had both lauded among the best young hitters in baseball before resorting to Piracy, but both failed to turn any corners at the plate after their acquisitions, and both are already ex-Pirates.
Thursday, April 21, 2011
Ross Newhan Dusts Off His Smith-Corona
Before Frank and his wife, Jamie, purchased the team in 2004, I had written critically and skeptically -- in concert with Jason Reid, who was then covering the Dodgers for the Times -- about the McCourts' personal finances, citing knowledgeable sources, and was more than surprised when commissioner Bud Selig permitted MLB owners to approve the purchase.
McCourt, however, had never expressed anger or bitterness toward me in regard to those columns, and we had a pleasant lunch during which he voiced his desire to pick my brain regarding the respect with which Peter O'Malley and his late father, Walter, were held in Los Angeles during their ownership of the team.
I left that lunch flattered that McCourt would take the time to use me as something of a historical source.
But I was almost certain, given what I knew about their finances and the debt they absorbed in becoming Dodgers owners, and having seen a structural turnover already begin amid widespread whispers that Frank and Jamie were proving difficult to work with and for, that he and his wife could never attain the community stature of the O'Malleys.
Now, of course, we know that my doubts were more than indigestion.
What A Long, Fun Trip It's Been
Joey Matschulat On The Angels And The Altered AL West
I don't want to go completely overboard in praising the Angels' offense, because it has been propped up by means of some unexpectedly brilliant performances from Alberto Callaspo (.312/.397/.438), Maicer Izturis (.380/.421/.563), and Peter Bourjos (.295/.343/.525) that we shouldn't expect to continue at that level. Then again, the Angels have gotten to this point despite getting next to nothing out of Torii Hunter (.208/.253/.325) and Vernon Wells (.189/.241/.297), and despite lacking the presence of Kendrys Morales, who figures to rejoin the club sometime next month. It has been pretty easy to overlook this lineup and cite it as a reason why the Angels can't hang with the Rangers (or even the Athletics), but if it rounds into the form that I believe it ultimately will, I can see it being good enough to deal legitimate damage and provide ample support to the pitching staff's efforts.
MLB To Push For Expanded Playoff Scheme In 2012
Even Soboroff Can't Miss The Disastrophe Of McCourt's Finances
In a meeting with reporters, Soboroff said, "Frank McCourt is financially fine."But later (emboldening mine):
However, Soboroff said McCourt should be given the chance to learn from his mistakes and follow through on his promise to redouble the Dodgers' involvement in the community.If McCourt is "financially fine", what "mistakes" should he "learn" from? Even Soboroff is aware, though he can't openly let on, of the BS being spewed here.
Belated: Angels.com Finally Belongs To MLB
More On MLB's Dodger Coup
But the divorce exposed them for who they really were, and that was a story of wasted resources, of an unprecedented looting of team finances to support unimaginable personal opulence. The Bryan Stow beating may not have been the last straw, as Jon suggested yesterday, but it certainly was an additional warning sign that the McCourts had no particular concern about the team (recall that at the time of the beating, there was no head of security).
My own view of Selig's motivations is that Jay Jaffe is right: Selig has the votes needed to force a sale of the team. Why would that be? The obvious reasons to me are twofold:
- Frank's indebtedness directly attacks the valuation of the Dodgers, which in turn erodes the value of all other franchises. If, as the Forbes analysis is correct, McCourt's scheming and borrowing had eroded the amount of equity remaining in the team. All it could be sold for would be perhaps $300M — a pittance. With a sale imminent, either of partial or full ownership, there was simply no way the other owners could watch such a debacle.
- For Bud, it's personal. The other team that is likely to go on the auction block soon is that of his close friend, Fred Wilpon, who may need to liquidate the team in order to satisfy a judgement against him thanks to his witless involvement with Bernie Madoff. Selig cannot stop that from happening, but a low valuation for the Dodgers would be reflected in the sale price of the Mets. For the Wilpons, that could be the difference between penury and survival.
I hope that this will be the real beginning of the end. We've had so many false endings with the McCourts that it's been like a bad slasher picture.
Update: Mike Ozanian once again:
... Selig will prevail because he will use “The Best Interests of Baseball” power of his office (which he has widened under his stay in office) to say that McCourt violated his fiduciary duty to the Dodgers by using the team’s finances to buy real estate.Update 2: New employee (?) Steve Soboroff defends his boss:
Soboroff, a former advisor to former Mayor Richard Riordan, a mayoral candidate and the developer of Playa Vista, was hired by McCourt on Tuesday. In a meeting with reporters, Soboroff said, "Frank McCourt is financially fine."Okay, Steve, I'll take that as a vote for "I, too, wish to be hated and derided like the sycophant I am." Yesterday's statement — nowhere to be found on the Dodgers' website — sent out by Josh Rawitch, was telling in what it did not say:
Selig was said to be aghast at that statement, but Soboroff did not back down. He cited the Fox deal, potential real estate development in the Dodger Stadium parking lot and unidentified "other potential new revenue sources" as untapped sources of revenue for McCourt.
"We need more people like Frank McCourt."
"Major League Baseball sets strict financial guidelines which all 30 teams must follow. The Dodgers are in compliance with these guidelines. On this basis, it is hard to understand the Commissioner's action today."Up is down, and down is up.
Also: belated thanks to Jay Jaffe for forwarding an audio clip of Vinny's characteristically we're-here-to-watch-a-baseball-game remarks prior to yesterday's CG.
Update 3: I think I would read the phone book if it had Craig Calcaterra's byline.
If you’re thinking that this is a warning shot from McCourt to Bud Selig, you’re right. That kind of claim — baseball is interfering with our right to make money! — is the stuff of a tort action. And while I was somewhat dismissive of the prospects of a lawsuit in my posts earlier this morning [links mine -- RLM] — and on a straight “does baseball have the right to do this” basis, I still think McCourt has no legitimate claim — these comments (and some more research into Frank McCourt’s more-litigious-than-I-remembered history) make me wonder if we’re not ready for Armageddon.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Two Games, CG Edition
Our Savior: Angels 4, Rangers 1Weaver's fifth complete game of his career, and his fifth straight win this year — where are the Angels minus teh Weav? I don't know, and neither does anyone else. The offense kept moving along by dribs and drabs, posting single runs in four separate innings (including a much-needed homer by Vernon Wells, and a league-leading sixth homer by Howie Kendrick).
For one blessed day — maybe the last this season — the Angels are in first place. Hallelujah, and amen.
Garland's For The Victor: Dodgers 6, Braves 1The second complete game victory of the day, Jon Garland — the ex-Angel and ex- and once again Dodger — posted a complete game win over the Braves, the eleventh of his career. Somehow, somewhere, there's an irony about this, but I can't now find it.
On a day when Frank is scurrying into conferences with his legal team to investigate ways he can keep the franchise that is steadily evading his grasp, this complete game win seems utterly apropos: a brief celebration of the great things of baseball that allow us to overlook its transcendentally vile business dealings.
GO AWAY, FRANK! MLB TO TAKE OVER DODGERS OPERATIONS
"Pursuant to my authority as Commissioner, I informed Los Angeles Dodgers owner Frank McCourt today that I will appoint a representative to oversee all aspects of the business and the day-to-day operations of the Club. I have taken this action because of my deep concerns regarding the finances and operations of the Dodgers and to protect the best interests of the Club, its great fans and all of Major League Baseball. My office will continue its thorough investigation into the operations and finances of the Dodgers and related entities during the period of Mr. McCourt's ownership. I will announce the name of my representative in the next several days. The Dodgers have been one of the most prestigious franchises in all of sports, and we owe it to their legion of loyal fans to ensure that this club is being operated properly now and will be guided appropriately in the future."Update 2: Bill Shaikin says McCourt was informed of this move late last night, and was given a letter outlining specific issues. I would lurve to get my hands on a copy of that correspondence.
Update 3: There is no truth to the rumor — at least as far as I can tell — that Vin Scully's contract will be sold to a Korean team to make payroll.
Update 4: The New York Times analysis:
The two people with knowledge of Selig’s thinking would not be identified because they had not been authorized to talk publicly about the commissioner’s possible plan of action.Ya think??!
They said Selig believes that McCourt has badly damaged the value and reputation of the Dodgers while concerned only with his own profits and perks.
Although McCourt is not part of Selig’s inner circle, like Fred Wilpon, the principal owner of the Mets, another troubled franchise, it might not be easy to force out even an unpopular owner [emphasis mine].
I have to think Bud's got the votes he needs among other owners to push McCourt out. Guy never acts without knowing he's got consensus.Update 5: Via Craig Calcaterra, TMZ.com reports the McCourts are being investigated by the IRS. This should not come as a surprise; Dodger Divorce wrote about their distributions hiding as tax-free "loans" from their various operating entities back in February.
Update 6: Joshua Fisher at Dodger Divorce finally gets away from his more prosaic pursuits (law school? Bah!) and gives us an earful:
Jamie, for her part, released a statement expressing approval of baseball's actions (link above). However, the necessity of MLB intervention in the first place is likely terrible news for her. Her biggest payday was going to come from either a sale of the team at market value or a massive check coming from the infusion of new capital in Frank's ownership of the Dodgers, through a sale of a minority share, the creation of a new cable network, or a lucrative extension of the club's current TV deal. Now, everything is in limbo.Update 7: Via Dodger Thoughts, AP via ESPN is reporting the Dodgers could ultimately land on the auction block:
A person familiar with Selig's thinking said the commissioner may choose to force a sale. The person spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity because Selig's statement did not mention that.Update 8: Dylan O. Hernandez tweets that Ned Colletti has not been told who his new boss is.
Update 9: Tim Brown at Yahoo:
This, you should know, is not only about Frank McCourt’s inability to make payroll last week, for which he secured a $30 million loan from Fox, as the Los Angeles Times reported. Nor was it only about firing the security chief just before he let all the people into his building. Nor was it only about funding his divorce through season-ticket and beer sales. Nor was it only about a team that sometimes looks like it should be in Pittsburgh and not the second-largest market in the country.That, and the fact that with the team so very indebted, the clearing price for a forced sale would be around the $300M remaining in equity estimated by Forbes. With the Wilpons on the hot seat due to the ongoing lawsuit that could conceivably wipe them out, the last thing Selig wants to see is a transaction that could erode franchise values — especially one that would be used as a comp for his friends' team.
This was about all of it, every stinkin’ inch McCourt has taken, when he should have given two. This was about a franchise that can’t know how it will live tomorrow, since it never thinks about tomorrow, since it’s already borrowed against all of tomorrow’s money. This was about an owner securing a $30 million loan, using as collateral the settlement he expects to win from suing his own former attorneys at Boston’s Bingham McCutchen, which drafted the faulty marital property agreement. And then about being so desperate to take a below-value television deal in L.A, potentially devaluing other owners’ future contracts in places that aren’t L.A.
Steve Dilbeck in the Times has more. Apparently the Fox loan was collateralized by a promise to give Fox any proceeds from a suit against Bingham McCutcheon in case of default.
"No accountant would even let you put that on your balance sheet," said Raman Sain, principal at Holthouse, Van Carlin & Trigt, a Southern California accounting firm that reviewed the Dodgers' financial records for The Times last year.Update 10: More from Josh Fisher:
Sain said the nature of the loan -- as opposed to McCourt getting a traditional bank loan or line of credit -- indicated the Dodgers' financial situation was "pretty dire."
Total MLB takeover is a real possibility, but I want to spend a moment talking about one not quite as public at the moment: a sale in bankruptcy. A factor leading to bankruptcy, of course, is insolvency. I have no idea if the McCourt Enterprise's debts exceed its assets. But we have strong evidence that the Dodgers were very near the point of being unable to pay bills as they came due. MLB's intervention might keep the McCourt regime from having to declare bankruptcy, but there may come a point at which availing himself of bankruptcy protections and the opportunity to reorganize his finances might be attractive to Frank from a business standpoint.Jamie, he writes, "might be seeing a 9-figure payday vanish into thin air", and I'm inclined to agree. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to see both of them in irons at a Club Fed near you.
County supervisor Mike Antonavich wants to see Peter O'Malley run the team as an agent of MLB. I agree with others, who say that Kim Ng, recently transported to the Commissioner's office, would be in the best possible position to land here and become the team's overlord.
Update 11: One last post before tackling the day's games: Jon Weisman on the irredeemable Frank McCourt. Excerpt:
... as I walked through all the different stories about today's news, as if I were a shopper in a McCourt Mall of Horrors, I found myself thinking about the person whose name has been in the news, top of mind, every day this month until today: Bryan Stow.If Jon's analysis is right — and there's good reason to think that it is — there's a tremendous irony in the prospect that the senseless bludgeoning of a Giants fan at Dodger Stadium impelled Bud Selig to finally eject the McCourts from their ownership position.
The Giants fan whose horrifying beating in the gloaming of Opening Day in the Dodger Stadium parking lot March 31 will not be found on any McCourt spreadsheet. The severity of the event, sadly enough, wasn't even unprecedented in Dodger Stadium history.
But in the days after it occurred, as you felt the groundswell of horror and shame sweep through the world of the Dodgers - an emotional wave that only gained momentum with McCourt's initial public declaration that nothing could have been done to prevent it - I began to feel that Stow's beating, more than any rising parking fees, inconsistent spending on players or appalling revelations of greed in court documents related to McCourt's divorce from wife Jamie, was the baseball world's "Network" moment.
It was just too ugly, and people weren't going to take it anymore.
I think McCourt realized this too, which is why, at a certain point this month, you started to see almost daily press releases, press conferences or other kinds of announcements determined to show his commitment to rehabilitating the Dodgers' (and in turn, his) relationship with the fans and baseball.
McCourt Continues To Drain The Dodgers
Dodgers Swamped By Beachy Tsunami: Braves 10, Dodgers 1
The real question this game answered, was "Is the Dodgers bullpen really this bad?" The answer, it seems, is an emphatic "yes". The team's relief corps is the fourth-worst in the league, with a 5.00 ERA collectively, with only three relievers — the fragile Hong-Chih Kuo, the unreliable Mike MacDougal, and Matt Guerrier — having ERAs below 3.50. Kenley Jansen, last year's 0.67 ERA superhero, and Ramon Troncoso, who still hasn't found his 2009 mojo, both self-immolated on the mound to put the game well out of reach. Leaving Jansen in a game that he was allowing to steadily slip away felt like a vote of no-confidence in the offense from Don Mattingly.
Mark Saxon: Angels "All But Certain" Wood Won't Clear Waivers
If Wood were to clear waivers, he could report to Triple-A Salt Lake, but the Angels sounded all but certain that wasn't going to happen. If they don't trade him, another team likely would claim him off waivers because of his potential and relative youth.I very much doubt the Angels succeed in trading him, especially when all the other teams in baseball know he's been DFA'd.
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
A Trip To The Maul: Angels 15, Rangers 4
At first, it looked like it might be a pitcher's duel, with both teams tied after three; but then Mark Trumbo homered in the fourth, and the Angels never looked back. With the help of four errors from Texas (three of their 15 runs were unearned), the Angels had their way with the scoreboard. Let's face it, when Maicer Izturis homers, you know the baseball gods are on your side. Ditto Mark Trumbo with four RBIs.
Peter Bourjos — and the bottom of the order — did virtually all of the hitting. Heck, even Vernon Wells had a twofer day.
The Angels are now tied for first. It may be the last time this year, but it's grand, considering how everyone (me included) figured them for a third-place finish.
And lastly — sadly — Brandon Wood was DFA'd to make room for Erick Aybar. Good luck on your new team, Brandon.
Update: I just got done looking at the Trumbo homer, and I was shocked at how many empty seats there were in Arlington.
Update 2: Bill Plunkett of the Register has more about the consequences for Brandon Wood.
Erick Aybar To Be Activated Wednesday
It Could Be Worse Dep't: Chone Figgins' Horrible Start
Ervin Santana Bombs In Arlington: Rangers 7, Angels 1
The real problem was that the Angels' offense never bothered to show up. Nine Angels struck out — predictably, Mark Trumbo did so twice, but unexpectedly, the other double-whiffer was Bobby Abreu. At least there was only one GIDP: Torii Hunter's, also somewhat of a surprise, though he seems to be doing that a fair amount this year. He's already got seven of the damn things this year, which would put him on a pace for an eye-popping 61 if extrapolated to the 646 plate appearances he made last year. This needs to stop, now.
Dodgers Hire Steve Soboroff
Soboroff, 62, is a former president of the city's Recreation and Parks Commission, former CEO of the Playa Vista community and current board chairman of the Weingart Foundation and the EXPO Center in Exposition Park. While serving as senior advisor to former Los Angeles mayor Richard Riordan, he played a lead role in bringing the Staples Center to downtown L.A. and putting together the Alameda Corridor project.All well and good, but as I am reminded on teh Twitter by Molly Knight, Soboroff penned a sycophantic op-end in the Times last September 26. Kind of embarrassing, really, but good luck in what is sure to be a thankless, short-lived tenure — especially with Frank chronically short money. Come to think of it, I wonder if Soboroff will get paid ...
Monday, April 18, 2011
Bryan Stow Back In A Coma After Seizures
Dodgers Designate Xavier Paul For Assignment, Call Up Jerry Sands
Update: dodgers.com reports that Dioner Navarro, sidelined with a torn right oblique since spring training, will start a rehab assignment Monday night at AA Chattanooga.
Rant: MLBAM's At Bat 2011 App
- Options have been scattered into more places. There are options under More -> Settings, and also on the favorite team page (the gear icon in the upper right). From the main Settings app, the old "MLB At Bat" settings have disappeared; they're now buried under General -> Notifications -> Location Services -> At Bat 11. This is all very haphazard and poorly considered.
- The ability to change the timezone to the current location no longer exists. All my game times — unlike the last two years' worth of At Bat apps — are now EDT. Thanks, guys — a pointless and unnecessary downgrade.
- One team and one team only appears on the home page at startup. If — as I do — you specify more than one team, the alphabetically first team appears to show up on the home page. It would be nice if I could select what I want the app to display when it starts up, rather than the team page.
- Update: The audio button on the game page has disappeared. In order to play gameday audio, you have to be on the general scoreboard page. The real estate where the audio feed button used to be on the game page has been replaced with a pointless ad in the upper right corner. Perhaps the most infuriating change here.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Angels Sweep The Chisox: Angels 4, White Sox 2
And as one of my Facebook friends would say, it's Dan Haren Day.
I have to admit, I was kind of surprised to see Jeff Mathis behind the dish today, but Hank Conger did catch the other two games of the series. True Grich has a nice summary of the arguments for Conger to take over the number one slot. What might be even more interesting is a discussion of the relative merits of Mathis vs. Bobby Wilson, and whether the team should be carrying three catchers.
Another Day, Another Blowout: Cardinals 9, Dodgers 2
If this is what a Kershaw disaster start looks like now, I'm in. All the way in.But that was appreciably before Kershaw gave up five runs in less than five innings (4.2 IP, actually, expending 111 pitches). I'm still high on Kershaw, too, and like any pitcher, you occasionally have to forgive the bad outing. But the majority of Dodger fans are not so forgiving, and the announced attendance of 31,614 was the smallest for a home Saturday game since 2002. Yesterday's loss was the fifth straight.
The McCourts have put a bad smell on the park, and they're not going away anytime soon ...
Saturday, April 16, 2011
Chatwood, Angels Slay White Sox: Angels 7, White Sox 2
Homers by Howie and Hank. Woot!
Stupid Ideas: Fox Gives McCourt $30M Payroll Loan Directly
The money is expected to cover the Dodgers' expenses into next month.Well, then!
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
Craig Calcaterra On The Logical Inconsistency Of Federal Prosecutors In The Bonds Case
So: Bonds saying that he was a “celebrity child” who didn’t get into anyone’s business obstructed justice and brought down a prosecution over seven years in the making.This is only the beginning. I expect this will get torn apart on appeal, though the appellate judges may well overlook all this.
You cool with that?
Dodgers Cancel Half-Price Beer Sales
Barry Bonds Convicted Of Obstruction Of Justice
Dodger Fans, Including A Pregnant Woman, Assaulted At Angels StadiumI'm going to start off this post with an indignant diatribe against fan violence no matter where it occurs. I generally find the atmosphere at Angels Stadium much more conducive to having a good time — more "family friendly" as they say — than Dodger Stadium, and not least because it seems there are more thugs at Dodger Stadium. But the latter has no monopoly on teh stupid, as this LA Weekly report indicates:
No, really. Knock it off, now.
A poster at thedirty.com says the woman, 7-months pregnant, jumped in after her brother, in a Dodgers shirt, was jumped by a group of four Angels fans walking behind them and taunting them.
The woman was kicked and pummeled while she was down, according to the blog. Her companion, said to be her husband, jumped in too and helped to break it up.
Dan Haren Day: Angels 2, Indians 0Dan Haren (we may now surmise, a good trade) pitched a one-hit shutout for the Angels, their only offense being solo homers by Mark Trumbo and Peter Bourjos. Slumping Vernon Wells (a bad, and possibly career-ending trade for Tony Reagins) missed the start. It seems awfully sad that the Angels must work their starters so hard so early; I expect they will be forced to take it out in change at the end of the season, being all tuckered out. For now, I'm enjoying the ride, complete with a deep-space-vacuum of run suppression that Haren ended the game with: 0.73 ERA.
Snatching Defeat From The Jaws Of Victory: Giants 5, Dodgers 4Chad Billingsley gave up four of the runs the Giants needed to win this one, and only lasted five innings. He's having a slow start to his season, ending the game with a 7.71 ERA, but barring injury, he's still one of the league's better pitchers.
Even More Roster Moves
- Josh Hamilton was placed on the disabled list after incurring a non-displaced fracture of the humerus sliding into home plate on Monday night. He could miss as much as two months. The Rangers recalled Chris Davis from AAA Round Rock to replace him on the 25-man roster.
- Former Mets first baseman Carlos Delgado has retired.
Mike Trout Has A Very Good DayTwo homers, one of them a grand slam, an infield single, a walk, and five RBIs overall.
Vernon Wells, I suppose you should be worried about playing time, though not at this exact moment.
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Dodgers Disable Furcal, Call Up DeJesus
Additionally, because the option period for DeJesus was less than 20 days, it technically doesn't count as an option period and he gets major league service time as if he has been with the Dodgers for the last week. Between the majors and minors so far this season, DeJesus has four hits in 24 at-bats with four walks and 11 strikeouts.MSTI says he'll likely be out 4-6 weeks, which suggests a 60-day DL trip might be in the offing.
Monday, April 11, 2011
- Michael Kohn and Kevin Jepsen were optioned to AAA Salt Lake following yesterday's series win.
- The Angels made a corresponding move to call up Tyler Chatwood to make tonight's start against Cleveland.
- Erick Aybar hit the 15-day DL with a strained left oblique; the Halos called up reliever Francisco Rodriguez to take his place on the 25-man roster.
- The Dodgers disabled Hector Gimenez with knee problems, conveniently making way for John Ely to return to the major league club. It wasn't a great move from the Dodgers Want To Win perspective, as the Padres homered three times (two off Ely) in a 7-4 game that highlighted Dodger offensive impotence
- Update: The Dodgers optioned Ely to AAA Albuquerque and called up Jamie Hoffman.
Jered Weaver Announces He Wants To Be A Yankee: Angels 3, Blue Jays 1
Bobby Wilson hit into the only GIDP for the day for the Angels, so there was that; but another 0-fer day from Vernon Wells was thoroughly depressing. Luckily the day ended well, mostly the consequence of a Peter Bourjos RBI triple. The kid really seems to be for real, a bright light of sunshine in a partly cloudy offense.
Saturday, April 09, 2011