Category Archives: Uncategorized

No headline this time, just read the post

I’m not a big believer in beating around the bush. I’ve always felt it was much better to just rip off the band-aid and be done with it. And so, I’m just going to tell you — in case you haven’t already figured it out based on the lack of recent posting — that I have decided to shut down this blog. Well, not shut it down completely. It will still exist, and I still will provide occasional content for it. But it won’t be Dodgers content or baseball content or anything of that nature. Unlike four years ago when I was laid off by the Los Angeles Daily News, and unlike a year and a half ago when I parted ways with ESPNLosAngeles.com, this time, I really mean it: I am absolutely, positively done covering baseball. It was a great ride, something I did for almost 20 years, but it’s finally time to move on and do something else.

I suppose I owe you an explanation. Well, there are a few reasons for my decision.

The first was that even though I never got around to installing the pay wall, it became clear from the traffic this site was getting that we never were going to get enough paid subscribers to keep this thing afloat. Oh, with the right nurturing and marketing and planning, it might have turned profitable four or five years down the road. But honestly, I don’t want to keep pouring money down a hole for that long, especially when there are no guarantees that it will EVER be a successful venture.

The second reason is that after all these years, I simply have had my fill of covering baseball. I used to think I wanted to do it until I dropped dead of old age. But it isn’t fun anymore, and to be honest with you (and with myself), it really hasn’t been for the past several years. To the outsider, this probably looks like a glamorous job, and you know, to some extent, it is. But it’s also an exhausting, all-encompassing job, one from which you can never quite break free, even in the offseason. With another birthday coming up in a few weeks, I have decided that I want to spend the rest of my life, well, having a life, and that is a luxury you don’t really enjoy on the baseball beat. Too many 6 a.m. flights after night games, too many late-night meals, too many airport meals, too many hotel meals, too many days when I dragged myself to the ballpark in a zombie-like state, too many pounds packed on seemingly every season because there usually isn’t enough time to go to the gym and even when there is time, there is almost NEVER enough energy. It catches up with you after a while, especially as you get older, and it can make you get older more quickly than you’re supposed to.

And finally, there is this: on the two previous occasions that I stopped covering baseball, I was OK with the possibility of never doing it again, but the problem was I had no idea what else I wanted to do. This time, I have a lot of things I want to do, and while I won’t bore you with too many details about them, let’s just say I’m excited about all of them. The reality of today’s economy is that the old idea of having that one job that you go to every day, that job that is the centerpiece of your life and around which the rest of your life is planned and arranged, is no longer viable for a lot of us. For an increasing segment of the population, the future will involve doing a little of this, a little of that and a few other things on the side, generating various income streams. It’s an idea I have only recently begun to consider, much less embrace, and as someone with a short attention span and a tendency to bore easily, I think it might be perfect for me. And so that is what I’m planning to do. For now, at least.

So that’s what I wanted to tell you. And now, I want to hand out some thank-yous.

First, to those of you who have followed this blog and who have followed me throughout the years. Some of you, I have had the privilege of getting to know personally. Some have even become friends, and I hope will remain so going forward. But just know that I truly appreciate every single one of you, the positive feedback and kind thoughts you have sent my way.

I want to thank some of the great colleagues whom I have had the pleasure of working alongside. I won’t name all of them here because there are just too many of them and I’m afraid I would leave somebody out, but they know who they are.

I want to thank Kristen Wair for designing this site, for being there to provide support both technical and emotional and for not charging me very much for any of it. Without her, this thing might never have gotten off the ground, because I ain’t no web designer.

And I want to thank Phil Stone, who took such an interest in this blog that he became an active participant and contributor even though he knew I couldn’t pay him. His daily pregame numbers posts during the season and the playoffs was a fantastic addition to dodgerscribe, especially given that I’m not much of a numbers guy — I’m much more comfortable weaving a narrative. And for those of you who enjoyed the podcasts that Phil and I recorded, well, you have him to thank for them, because I wouldn’t have the first clue how to edit and post one of those things. Those were Phil’s baby, and he did a fantastic job with them. I know he had some ambitious ideas for this blog, and there is a part of me that wishes we could have seen some of them through.

Even as I bring the curtain down on what this blog originally was supposed to be, I WILL maintain a presence on Twitter (@dodgerscribe), even though my tweeting habits probably will continue to drift farther away from baseball and more into the random (and sometimes-sarcastic) thoughts that often find their way into my brain. As for this blog, I’m probably going to change the name — to what, I don’t know yet, but as soon as I do, I will alert you on Twitter. One thing for which I haven’t lost my passion is writing, and this blog will continue to provide me with an outlet for that. However, it will become more of a personal-journal type of blog, with no real structure or schedule that says I have to write every day or X number of days a week. Again, there will be a lot of randomly selected topics, rants, thoughts, opinions, gripes, etc. And I can almost promise you there will be heavy doses of politics, a subject I have been passionate about since high school — and believe me, high school was a LONG time ago.

A lot of you won’t be interested in reading any of what I’ll be posting here, and I don’t blame you. But for those of you who are, feel free to visit anytime and, as always, to comment on anything that I write.

Thanks again for your friendship, your participation and your kindness. This is not the end, but merely a new beginning.

I’ll see you soon.

Tony

ScribeWire Q & A Podcast #2

On this week’s podcast we discuss, Donnie Baseball’s future with the club, David Price vs. Masahiro Tanaka, Brian Wilson, Juan Uribe, and the one move Tony would make this off season. Keep sending your podcast questions to phil.stone@dodgerscribe.com.

 

 

Submit your questions now for upcoming audio Q&A

We’re adding a new feature to the blog, in which Phil Stone and I answer your questions in audio-podcast form. Not sure exactly when yet, but we’re taking questions now. On any subject. Nothing is off-limits. Email your questions to Phil at phil.stone@dodgerscribe.com, and if we like them, we’ll use them. Will alert you both here and on Twitter when we are about to post the podcast.

World Series game times announced …

… and shockingly, every game will be played at 8:07 Eastern, 5:07 Pacific. EXCEPT Game 4, which will be played at 8:15 Eastern, 5:15 Pacific. So on that day, which is a week from Sunday, you will need to find some productive way to use the extra eight minutes.

Info on World Series tickets for possible games at Dodger Stadium

I copy-pasted the press release below. Obviously, if the boys lose NLCS Game 6 tomorrow night, all of this is moot. If they WIN Game 6, then this sale will take place a few hours BEFORE before NLCS Game 7. And according to the release, this is for ONLINE SALES ONLY. And there’s a sentence at the end pitching season tickets for next year.

Here’s the release:

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will have an online public sale of World Series tickets for games 3, 4 and 5 on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m. on www.Dodgers.com.

Twitter followers of @Dodgers will have an exclusive on-sale period of 9:45 a.m. until 9:59 a.m. to purchase their World Series tickets before the general public sale begins online.

Fans will be limited to four tickets for each game played at Dodger Stadium. If the Dodgers advance to the World Series, they will host Game 3 on Saturday, Oct. 26, Game 4 on Sunday, Oct. 27, and Game 5 (if necessary) on Monday, Oct. 28. Times of the games will be announced.

The Dodger Stadium box office WILL NOT be open on Saturday.

Fans interested in being a part of all the action at Dodger Stadium in 2014 should call 323-DODGERS or email seasontix@ladodgers.com.

Dodgers claim Mike Baxter off waivers from Mets

Here is the official release from the club (and in case anyone was wondering, no, he isn’t eligible for the postseason — not this year, anyway):

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today claimed outfielder Mike Baxter from the New York Mets and designated outfielder Alex Castellanos for assignment.

Baxter, 28, has appeared in 194 big league games with the Padres (2010) and Mets (2011-13), compiling a .229 batting average with 22 doubles, four triples, four homers and 26 RBI and appearing at all three outfield positions as well as first base. Baxter was originally selected by the Padres in the fourth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft out of Vanderbilt University.

Castellanos, 27, appeared in eight games with the Dodgers this season and has a .171 batting average with two homers and four RBI in 24 career big league games.

The Dodgers now have 40 players on the 40-man roster.

Adventures in TSA Idiocy, installment No. 1

I may make this a regular feature of this blog. Maybe even give it its own category.

If you follow me on Twitter and you were checking your feed this morning, you know by now that I had a run-in with those oh-so-wonderful men and women of the TSA at the St. Louis airport. Actually, it wasn’t really a “run-in.” It was a very minor thing, but it also was a glaring example of just how idiotic and incompetent this utter drain on the taxpayer dollar has become.

For starters, St. Louis doesn’t have TSA Pre-check, at least not at the Southwest checkpoint, which is fine. It’s a smaller, non-hub airport that hasn’t really caught up with stuff like that yet (and neither has Southwest), so I knew that going in. What I did NOT know going in was that as I passed through the metal detector, a “random” alert was going to go off. Not AS I passed through, but immediately AFTER I passed through.

Oh, before I get to that, as I approached the checkpoint, one of the smurf shirts was walking around doing a really bad (and fairly loud) Elvis impersonation — I THINK it was All Shook Up that he was singing, but I honestly don’t remember — and at one point actually grabbed the shoulder of another smurf shirt who seemed to be ignoring him, as if to make sure she realized he was doing an Elvis impersonation that she certainly wouldn’t want to miss.

Anyway, moving ahead to the point when the alert sounded.

Well, this kid in the smurf shirt informed me at this point that I had to enter the holding pen — because, as you know, we are all nothing more than cattle in the eyes of these people — and so I informed him that there was no reason the alarm should have sounded because there was no metal anywhere on my person. He then informed me that it was just an alert that goes off randomly, and whenever it goes off, that person is subject to further screening.

Well, I figured this meant the full sexual molestation that passengers are sometimes subjected to at the hands of these losers — turned out to be nothing more than a hand swab, but I didn’t know that at the time — so I rolled my eyes at the kid, uttered a couple of choice words about what I thought of this entire process and asked the kid why this alarm had sounded.

Again, he informed me that it was random and that, “I don’t have a magic wand in my pocket that makes it go off.”

So I went into the holding pen, leaned against the wall contemptuously, and waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

Until finally, I said to the kid, “What are you waiting for, let’s get this thing started.”

Kid in smurf shirt: “I can’t do it, I have to wait for someone else to come over.”

Me: “Well, where is that person?”

KISS: “I’m trying to get them here. I called for someone on the radio.”

Me: “Well, you’re wasting my time. My time is important to me.”

KISS (looking at his watch): “Well, what time did you get here?”

Me: “That’s irrelevant. My point is, you’re wasting my time. If you’re going to put people through this process randomly, you should have someone here waiting to do it so you don’t waste people’s time.”

KISS: “We can’t afford to hire that many people. They’re not even paying US.”

Yes, a TSA officer actually had the nerve to complain to me, as he was unnecessarily wasting my time, that he didn’t receive enough of the taxpayers’ money in wages.

At this point, I watched as a lady in a smurf shirt shoved all my belongings down to the end of the trough. I told her not to roll my computer bag across those roller things because it tears up the wheels. She completely ignored me, rolled my computer bag across those roller things and went on about her business.

It was about at this point that I informed KISS that I was a TSA pre-check member and that I had paid $100 to be cleared into that program specifically so I didn’t have to deal with this ridiculous BS. He responded that Southwest didn’t participate in the program. Oh, so I guess that means because I chose to fly Southwest, suddenly I HAVEN’T been cleared through a highly invasive and somewhat expensive background check and interview process.

Finally, some big dude in a smurf shirt shows up, and one of the smurf-shirted ladies asked him where he had been, that they needed him for further screening, and he responded, “My radio doesn’t work.” So he picks up a clipboard, looks at it, sets it down and finally summons me over. As he swabs my hands, I ask him a question.

Me: “Did I hear you say your radio doesn’t work?”

Big dude in smurf shirt: “Yes, you did.”

Me: “So that’s why I’ve been standing here twiddling my thumbs for five minutes, because your radio doesn’t work?”

BDISS: “There are other means of transportation, young man. … Have a nice day.”

Yeah. There also are other means of making a living, young man, other than wasting people’s time, violating people’s civil liberties and leeching off the taxpayer’s dime. … Have a nice day.

Anyway, some Dodgers stuff:

I won’t be in Los Angeles until tomorrow, so I’m missing today’s workout. But I’ll be monitoring for news on Hanley Ramirez if there is any, plus any other news on anything else.

And finally, some links:

Here is the Los Angeles Times piece by Bill Shaikin reporting the ouster of Eric Collins and Steve Lyons as the Dodgers’ TV broadcast duo for all the non-Vin Scully games. People seem to have really strong opinions on these two, but they were both really good guys who will be missed around the ballpark. Best of luck to each of them.

Here’s a piece by good friend Bob Nightengale of USA Today, who opines that the Dodgers are “done.” I’ll let you decide whether you agree with him or not. For me, well, there is a reason why they actually play the games, and the Cardinals still have to win two more of them. But these Dodgers are facing a really hard road if they’re going to come back.

Finally, here’s one more by John Harper of the New York Daily News examining some of Don Mattingly‘s more questionable moves this postseason, and opining that it’s a good thing Mattingly didn’t get the job managing the Yankees when Joe Torre left for Los Angeles after the 2007 season because if this were happening in New York, where Mattingly is still beloved, it would break the hearts of Yankees fans.

What I thought was pure fantasy has become reality

photo101213-3

For the first several years after the Cardinals moved into the new Busch Stadium, we were told that the site of the old Busch Stadium next door was going to be used to build something called Ballpark Village. It was to be a complex of shops, restaurants, watering holes, maybe some offices. But every year when the Dodgers would come in here, all we would see as we gazed from the press box out beyond the leftfield stands to where the old ballpark stood for 40 years was, well, a vacant lot. Kind of made you think of Frank Sinatra singing, “There Used to be a Ballpark Here,” you know, if you could add the words, “And Now There Is a Ballpark Right Over There,” to the title. So I just kind of came to believe all this talk about Ballpark Village was just that, a bunch of talk, somebody’s pie-in-the-sky daydream. Kind of like when I tell myself that one day I’m going to be rich and famous and date Mila Kunis.

But when I arrived here for this National League Championship Series — it’s actually my first time in St. Louis in more than three years — I found that I was all wrong about this. Ballpark Village isn’t just a fantasy anymore, because it’s actually being built. You can see it right there in the above photo. And if you’ll notice, at the very top, there are going to be stands there. As in, stadium stands, similar to the rooftop seats on the buildings across the street from Wrigley Field in Chicago.

I’m told these will be different from those in Chicago, though, because here, the Cardinals will actually control those seats. They will sell tickets for those seats, even though they aren’t actually inside the ballpark. And the tickets they sell for those seats will count in the announced attendance for each game that is played here, even though the seats are actually across a street from the ballpark.

It’s a neat concept — although you don’t dare suggest to anybody in St. Louis that the Cardinals are copying an idea from the hated Cubs. At any rate, those seats are supposed to be open for business by opening day 2014. Maybe when the Dodgers come in here next year, I’ll be able to find a good lunch spot over there somewhere, too.

Today’s starting lineups — Ethier is out

Mattingly due in the interview room shortly, so we’ll find out why. Somebody prettied up the lineups today. Just ignore all the asterisks and pound signs. They have something to do with left-right or switch hitters or something.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS (92-70)
25 – Carl Crawford, lf *
14 – Mark Ellis, 2b
13 – Hanley Ramirez, ss
23 – Adrian Gonzalez, 1b *
66 – Yasiel Puig, rf
5 – Juan Uribe, 3b
55 – Skip Schumaker, cf *
17 – A.J. Ellis, c
22 – Clayton Kershaw, lhp *

ST. LOUIS CARDINALS (97-65)
13 – Matt Carpenter, 2b *
3 – Carlos Beltran, rf #
7 – Matt Holliday, lf
4 – Yadier Molina, c
23 – David Freese, 3b
53 – Matt Adams, 1b *
19 – Jon Jay, cf *
38 – Pete Kozma, ss
52 – Michael Wacha, rhp

Game 1 lineups: Ethier is in it

Dodgers:
Crawford LF
M Ellis 2B
Ramirez SS
Gonzalez 1B
Puig RF
Uribe 3B
Ethier CF
AJ Ellis C
Greinke P

Cardinals:
Carpenter 2B
Beltran RF
Holliday LF
Adams 1B
Molina C
Jay CF
Freese 3B
Kozma SS
Kelly P