Off Base
Another Bright Idea for Football in Los Angeles

April 17, 2008

Imagine my chagrin first thing in the morning, when the dog brought me the computer, opened the browser, and we read the news together.

Just what the world needs, we thought; yet another incredibly lame idea for a football stadium, smack dab in the middle of 25 miles east of Los Angeles.

Unbelievable.

What is it with these Southern California sports team owners lately, and their complete inability to operate a compass? It's really not all that complicated.

In case you missed it, Ed Roski, thankfully-just-minority owner of the Los Angeles Lakers, with a larger slice of the Los Angeles Kings dynamo, announced plans Thursday for a "Los Angeles Football Stadium," to "bring the NFL back to Los Angeles to begin the next chapter in our proud sports history." Problem is; the stadium is not to be built in Los Angeles, emphasis on the preposition please. "Los Angeles Stadium" is near Los Angeles, in the spa town known as the City of Industry.

Memo to Ed Roski. With all due respect sir, how about taking some of the same roll-up-your-sleeves initiative you put into the football thing, and put it on ice. Your Los Angeles Kings have a decent shot at the 27th best record in the NHL next year. What do you say we devote your energies to the fine institution which is hockey in Los Angeles, and leave football to the people who actually give a bleep about the City of Los Angeles. The actual city of Los Angeles.

Oh, and Mr. Roski, your GPS has taken on water, so here are two words for your consideration: Thomas and Guide. Yes, they still make them.

City of Industry? Uh, no. No City of Industry, no City of Carson, no City of Anaheim, and no City of Irwindale. No, no, no, no, no!

If there's to be real professional football in Los Angeles, it has to be in Los Angeles. In Los Angeles. Why this concept escapes the powers that be for as much as a second on any given Sunday or other day of the week, year or millennium, is simply beyond me.

L.A. isn't one of the world's great cities for nothing, OK, and under no circumstances is it be out-bid or out-maneuvered by an inferior, kind-of-nearby municipality for something as important as a major sports franchise, and all the revenue involved. No way.

Dodger Stadium, at a place called Chavez Ravine (perhaps Roski has heard of it), is now, and has been for quite some time, the best possible site for football in Los Angeles. Really and truly, it is. Can you say, the Los Angeles Football Dodgers?

Your comments are always encouraged…

Trivia: James Loney, with his 15 game hitting-streak, is about half-way to the Dodgers all-time record, for L.A. and Brooklyn. Who holds the franchise record?

Pirates the Elixir: Nice series win by the Dodgers this week at the stadium. They hit the crap out of the ball, and pitched well enough to sweep the Bucs.

Takashi Saito is entitled to the blown save. It's an extremely rare occurrence for the Dodgers closer, and there should be zero concern about the one that got away Monday. It's not like Saito is Eric Gagne or anything. Gagne's already blown saves with dramatic ninth-inning homers twice in 2008, but has reduced his ERA over his last few outings, from 27.00 to a respectable 6.00. So there's that…

I'm as happy as the next Dodger fan to have the w, but it's sad watching Matt Morris flame out right before our eyes. He was a pleasure to watch pitch for the Cards early in the decade, and is a rather old-looking 33 out there on the mound now…

Ned Colletti and Joe Torre made the exact right move in keeping the trio of starters slash long-men Hong-Chih Kuo, Esteban Loaiza and Chan Ho Park, over Ramon Troncoso, who was sent to Las Vegas Wednesday to make room for Nomar Garciaparra. Blake DeWitt deserves to stay right where he is, and should get as much playing time as any backup third baseman ever would. Perhaps even a game or two at first to spare Loney as well.

DeWitt played well, but welcome back Nomar. You were missed. Look for the Dodgers to beat up on the Atlanta Braves over the weekend, and get a little momentum going…

Media Savvy: From Rotoworld: "Clayton Kershaw dropped to 0-3 for Double-A Jacksonville despite allowing one run in six innings on Tuesday.
The kid just doesn't know how to win. Pairing with Matt Kemp and sending him to the Marlins for Luis Gonzalez might be the Dodgers' only option."

Nice piece on baseball's worst free agent signings, by Jon Heyman over at SI.com. Heyman is right about Mike Hampton being the top dog, but Barry Zito should get the number two spot, don't you think? $126 million is an awful lot of money for what will no doubt be an awful seven years of pitching.

The most surprising omission from Heyman's list has got to be Mark Davis. After several years struggling as a starter, Davis turned himself into a reliever extraordinaire, with a 2.01 ERA and 28 saves his first time on the job as a San Diego Padre in 1988. Davis was absolutely un-hittable the next season, winning the NL Cy Young Award, with 44 saves and an ERA of 1.85. One of the best rainbow curve balls you'll ever see. The best, in fact.

Davis cashed in with the Kansas City Royals that winter, to the tune of $6.1 million for three years, which was a monster deal for 1990. Huge. Davis managed six saves the first year in Missouri, one the next, and zero the final year, and recorded ERAs of 5.11, 4.45 and 7.13 respectively.

For a little salary comparison, Davis' ranked third in the AL in 1992, behind Joe Carter, who hit 34 homers, drove in 119, came in third in the MVP voting, and led the Toronto Blue Jays to the first of back-to-back World Championships, and Jack Morris, who went 21-6 for the same Blue Jays club that season.

Worst free agent signing in Dodger history not making Heyman's list include oldies-but-goodies Darryl Strawberry, Dave Goltz and Don Stanhouse, who I believe the club is still paying to sit in an inner tube in the Nevada desert to this day…

Trivia Answer: Willie Davis hit in 31 straight games in 1969…

Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues. Please Vote “Yes on 32.” And tell a friend…

Remember, glove conquers all….

 

 

 

 

 

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