Fostex’ Fanfest Adventures Part II!

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February 8, 2017 by Shannon Michael Smith/Tom Fostex

Well, it appears as if Sergio Romo will be joining the Dodger bullpen (pending a physical) on a one-year deal. He’ll join Liberatore (who’s fully recovered from surgery and is supposedly throwing off the mound) and the salty squad that helped win the west in ’16. Romo should make a nice addition.

Bellinger in the outfield? We’ll certainly see it happen during Spring Training. We know the top prospect can play first, but it’s no secret that the Dodgers could use some more offensive production out of their outfield.

Alright, already! We know you’re all clamoring for the second part of Tom Fostex’ adventure at Dodger Fanfest…he’s really sent the ol’ rascalsoftheravine.com budget skyrocketing. When Tequila Towers’ el jefe in Arizona found out Fostex was coming to Spring Training with us, he tripled our deposit fee!

Without further ado, Tom Fostex presents his Fanfest Adventure Part II!

As I reached the top of the stairs in Lower Reserve and headed into the concourse, I recalled the TV test pattern-type paint job they used to have on the concourse walls, alternating fat stripes in light blue, orange, and mustard. It complimented Dodger Stadium’s Tomorrowland-esque, rocket-to-the-moon design. Now the walls are white. How thrilling.

 As I stood there wondering how the color orange permeated Dodger Stadium back then, I noticed a frantic commotion going on at one of the condiment stations.

 A portly British gentleman in a pith helmet was being wrestled to the ground and tazed by two LAPD officers. The bold Brit had apparently stuffed a bunch of churros and Twizzlers into his British Indian Army officer’s tunic and was trying to abscond with them. The LAPD lads were having trouble keeping my fellow rascalsoftheravine.com scribe (I had recognized the Brit, as Col. Mustard immediately) on the ground as he began to thrash around like a hippo in a mud pit.

 “They’ll deport you for this,” I shouted at Mustard. He just kept kicking and writhing.

 “Savages!” shrieked Mustard.

I made a mental note to break the bad news to Smith when I got back to the office and continued on down the concourse. Knowing Mustard, he had tried to buy concessions with pounds instead of dollars and they laughed him off. Poor fellow must have snapped.

I passed a nearly-empty burger stand and was shocked to see a Charlie Culberson clone sliding some French fries down a chute to a customer. Hell, with what they’re paying him in comparison to the other Dodgers, Culberson probably is flipping burgs back there. He could use the dough, undoubtedly.

I took the escalator upstairs and slipped by a security guard (no one was supposed to be in the Loge or Upper Reserve areas) in search of Nancy Bea’s dusty organ (easy now, perverts.)

The organ was nowhere to be found but I did manage to spy The Kasten Gang holed up in a room counting piles of gold coins like Scrooge McDuck (oddly enough, they were all dressed like McDuck too, or Rich Uncle Pennybags from the Monopoly game, whomever you prefer.)

On my way back to the escalator, I caught a glimpse of the press box and got chills thinking of a Scully-less 2017. A door at the end of the hall was open and I peered inside.

 It was Scully’s old office. It had been cleaned out, but a file cabinet remained, devoid of files. I opened the bottom drawer and was delighted to find a bottle of Old Grand-Dad and a Tennessee Ernie Ford cassette. I took a pull, high tailed it out of there, and headed back down to the field. I had players to investigate.

 Stay tuned for the final installment of Fostex’ Fanfest Adventures next week! You’ll read all about his Top Ramen run-in with Ryu! Until then, mirth-seekers!!!

Raiders of the Ravine! Fostex Fricassees Fanfest!

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February 2, 2017 by Smith/Fostex

Fan Fest Frenzy! We had it! There’s nothing like a ballpark in January! Excited families, jovial ballplayers, drunken reporters, what’s not to love? In Los Angeles, a sunny day in January can feel like spring anywhere else—we were feeling the heat by 11 AM! Tom Fostex was in full force as you’ll get to read his musings on the fest (Part 1 of 3) and all the nuttiness that ensued (including the deportation of Col. Mustard in Part 2!)

We’re counting the days until Spring Training…after Mustard’s deportation, we’re down a man, but that won’t stop Tequila Towers from being the tawdry talk of the town! Sadly, Question Mark and The Mysterians have other obligations and can’t be the house band this year, BUT, Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs have agreed to haul their hearse to Tequila Towers to fill in for the Mystery Men…Glendale A-Go-Go!

What’s that you say? You’d actually like to read about the fan fest? This is just a small sample of what’s yet to come! Okay, okay, we’ve delayed it enough…ladies and gentlemen, we present the debut of our latest rascalsoftheravine.com reporter, Tom Fostex!

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In the early morning hours, before the fanfest began, Elysian Park slowly came to life. Birds darted through the cold air as the sun lit up the green grass and palm trees near the old TB ward. The distant chatter of a few USC film students in a shaded grove and the occasional whoosh of a passing police cruiser were the only sounds I heard…a far cry from the Budweiser-soaked fiestas that usually occupy these grounds on Dodger gamedays.

Around 10:00, I shook a few twigs off my rumpled madras shirt and stumbled down the hillside towards Stadium Way. I’d come into the park after a few rounds at The El Compadre at around midnight last night, hoping to glean some Elysian Park mojo and perhaps catch a glimpse of the ghost of a former player that’s been said to roam the Ravine (there is no such rumor-S.M. Smith, ed.) but I passed out before I could eyeball a pale vision of Bob Welch or Jose Lima. Some bootleg vendors began to head toward the stadium as I reached the bottom of the hill. I recalled a moment in my youth when I had spied Roy Scheider smoking a cig and reading a paperback in the exact same spot I crossed now, in front of the old TB ward. He wore a white t-shirt, khakis, and aviators, as if had never left Amity Island.

I walked up Vin Scully Ave. and pulled back my pea green lid to wipe sweat off my brow. The direct sun beating down brought last night’s tequila intake to the surface, I reeked of stale Cuervo. I caught a whiff of weed smoke and heard the sound of empty beer cans rolling around the pavement as I headed up the hill. Preferred parking was already full, as cars poured into the general lot. Dave Vassegh’s adolescent timbre droned over the PA system…finally he began to introduce dismal Dodger GMs, Zaidi and Friedman. I wished for parking lot beer vendors as I spied Ned Colletti heading toward his car and gave him a nod. He returned it. A nice man scanned my ticket and I went inside.

 The concrete concourse in the lower reserve was cool from lack of sunlight and much quieter than the ruckus on the field.  Down on the diamond, kids screamed and went bonkers on bouncy house-type shit. I inhaled some fried grease, grabbed a jumbo beer, and headed for stage left.

Vassegh finished polishing up the turds by summing up all that the Dodger GMs had accomplished so far during the offseason (holding onto Turner, Jansen, and Hill…the trade for Forsythe) but somehow managed to leave out the fact that the Dodgers still have no outfield…or a bonafide third starter…or a catcher…or a setup man…

 I know, I know, it’s a fanfest. What’s Vassegh supposed to do, start a god damned riot by listing all the Dodger shortcomings? The injury prone pitchers, overpaid duds…everyone already knows they don’t pull the trigger on studs when they need to (Braun, Queto, Price, etc…) I looked around to see if anyone else was buying the spiel. Most folks were occupied with seat selection, rounding up rug rats, and alcohol acquisition…who could blame them. I put down my empty and headed back up toward the cool concourse…

There ya have it folks, Part 1! Not bad, huh? That’s just a little taste! We were lucky to get him after the arson incident at Sports Illustrated and the permanent 86 from Las Vegas. It cost us $1,000 to get his ankle monitor removed, but we think it was worth it! Fostex gets into much more mayhem in parts 2 and 3, so stay tuned! Until next time, mirth-seekers!!!

Fan Fest Fever! Catch It?

 

January 23, 2017 by Shannon Michael Smith

Hellloooo readers of the ravine! We’ve had a couple of months of bitter hibernation and are out of the cave and revved up for the fan fest this weekend at Dodger Stadium!

News of the offseason? Hill, Turner, and Jansen are back! There are still several holes to fill, but the rotation seems better with Hill as a solid #2 man…there is that lingering issue OF PUTTING TOGETHER AN ENTIRE OUTFIELD AND GEE, SOME POWER HITTING?

Rascalsoftheravine.com will send our newest (see pictures above) staff members TOM FOSTEX (Spank, Fishing and Drinking, The Angry American) and COL. MUSTARD (Premier League Cuisine, Can You Actually Drink That?, The Rastafarian) to Dodger Stadium on Saturday to lay their peepers on the ’17 squad. We’re confident that between Fostex’ bullshit detector and Mustard’s refined palate, you’ll have all the info you need heading into Spring Training…

Speaking of Spring Training, we’ll be headed down to Arizona for another three installments of Tales from Tequila Towers!!! The towers have been completely rebuilt after that nasty onion ring fire last year, and we’re confident that we can avoid all grease fires this year (although Mustard’s promised to bring his JOLLYBOY 4000 Fryer all the way from old Blighty…supposedly they deep fry woodland creatures in it…fur and all)

We’ll have a full report next Monday on The Dodger Fanfest, if any of you readers are out there and see Fostex DO NOT APPROACH HIM! He will rip your arm out of its socket like a wookie…however, Mustard loves to talk to people. Just keep your eyes peeled for a Brit in a pith helmet with a monocle. Don’t be shy about saying “hi”. WARNING: He will hit you up for hot dog money as we don’t think he’s gotten around to converting his pounds to dollars.

Until next week, mirth-seekers!

Dodger Front Office? Yukkum Yukkum!

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November 18, 2016 by Shannon Michael Smith

Some say they shouldn’t have been there in the first place. Some say they weren’t built for the postseason. Some say they left those men to die up on that hill. Either way, Los Dogs couldn’t get past the two-game win hump in the NLCS and crapped out to the Cubs. In the end, it’s the same old story, same old song and dance for the Dodgers. Ownership seems content to get to the playoffs alone. As long as the stands are filled, they’ll keep raising ticket prices and churning out mediocrity. Looking forward to ’17?

Hell, we didn’t think they’d make the postseason, let alone reach the NLCS (although we said if they did, they’d never get past Chicago.) We certainly underestimated the bullpen coming into ’16, but we were pretty much right about the starting rotation (minus Kersh.)

Riddle us this!

We know. There are many, many questions going into next season. Can Los Dogs retain Turner, Hill, and Jansen? Reddick looks like he’s headed to Houston.  Will they trade Pederson and Puig? Will Braun be a Dodger in ’17? Who will play second base? Ian Kinsler? What about left field? What about right?

We predict that the front office will cry cheap on Braun while they raise their parking prices to $1,000 per car. Turner and Jansen are most likely to remain Dodgers. Will Hill’s price tag prove to be too much for an ownership group that would probably bring cheap hot dogs to a family gathering. Yes, Christmas Vacation is on our minds…

Seager, Gonzalez, Kershaw, Grandal, and Maeda will certainly be in blue next year. Seager’s raucous rookie run kept us riveted all season long. The future’s so bright, he’s gotta wear shades! Gotta love those Timbuk 3 references…or not.

Joc Pederson in a L.A. Rams uniform? Doubtful, but can you imagine?

Let’s Talk About A-Gone

We know Gonzo’s power numbers were down this year. He only hit 18 home runs and drove in 90 rabbits. His postseason numbers were el stinko as he only managed to hit .195 with two home runs. There’s no doubt he’s the greatest first baseman the Dodgers have had in a while, his regular season numbers over the years are insane for Los Dogs, but Gonzo is never going to be the guy that hits the game-winning shot in the NLCS. Captain Clutch in the playoffs, he ain’t.

What about Chase?

No one expected Utley to come in and help the Dodgers as well as he did in ’16. We figured he’d see time here and there off the bench, but the old man played in 138 games and made five errors. He only hit .107 in the playoffs and .241 during the regular season, though. Many predict Ian Kinsler to come over and play second next year (he’d sure help Los Dogs hit left-handed pitching.)

How long can King Kersh reign?

Old King Kersh was rolling along and destroying everyone before the injury in June. He ended up going 12-4 this year with a 1.69 ERA (2-1, 4.44 ERA in the playoffs.) It kills us how the Dodger front office wastes this guy’s talent by surrounding him with mediocrity. Maeda had a decent season but ran out of gas in the playoffs. Los Dogs never replaced Zack Greinke, let alone found the third starter they needed to get them over the NLCS hump. If Hill gets away, and the Dodgers don’t replace him, it’ll mean more pressure for King Kersh and brittle Maeda. How will the Terrible Teen fit into all this?

Maeda had a good season, even though he could never get past five innings and made the bullpen work like hell. He was awful in the postseason, which wasn’t really surprising as endurance was always in question for Maeda this year (his first in the MLB, pssssssst…they pitch way less in Japan.)

Rich Hill came over around the deadline from the A’s and sat on the bench with a blistered finger. When the bandages came off, he nearly threw a perfect game (we’ll never know as Roberts yanked him in the seventh inning.) He went 3-2 with Los Dogs and posted a 1.83 ERA. His postseason numbers were 1-1 with a 3.46 ERA. The Dodgers will need Hill in the rotation going into 2017.

How about the skip?

Pampered scribes seem to agree, Dave Roberts held this rag-tag bunch together through thick and thin (especially the absence of Kershaw.) We hated it when he yanked Stripling and Hill from no-hitters, but aside from that he was aces.

Ownership and the Front Office…YUKKUM YUKKUM

Who builds a team that can’t hit left handed pitching? Who replaces Greinke with Scott Kazmir? Who signs injury-prone pitchers to giant contracts? Who shrugs their shoulders and raises ticket prices after another postseason washout? The Prince of Darkness? The Grinch?  Lionel Barrymore? You know who. Zaidi and Friedman’s heads should be on spikes by now. Are these owners blind? Seriously, do they sit up there in plush leather chairs, swirling snifters of satanic brandy as they light Cuban cigars with million dollar bills? We know what the Gugenswine look like, but we still picture them as Orson Welles and Robert Prosky…laughing greedily…as they raise beer prices to $32 a cup. Like we said, same old story, same old song and dance.

What will rascalsoftheravine be like next year? We’ll be adding video clips and possibly a YouTube Channel. We’re adding new writers and men of mirth, such as the ultra-boss TOM FOSTEX and COLONEL MUSTARD! We’ll be at Spring Training in March 2017, with a whole new adventure at rascalsoftheravine’s HQ in AZ, Tequila Towers!!!! Barring a miracle, it looks like Dodger fans are in for same old monkeyshines next season! So stay tuned, mirth-seekers, there’s plenty of action to come!!!

Los Dogs Report Card Due Tomm!!!

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November 16, 2016…

That’s right mirth-seekers, rascalsoftheravine will finally cough up our tawdry take on 2016! We’ll also let you in on how this nut-fest will evolve for the ’17 season! Here’s a hint; if you dig Welk, Jack Webb, Alan Partridge, Tony Wilson, Billy Martin, Earl Weaver, Dean Martin, Mutabaruka, Letterman, Sklars, Dameshek, Chris Elliott, etc…where was this going? Oh, right! We could never keep a secret! We’re going live! YouTube shmoobs! No yankee your wankee!

Same Old Story, Same Old Song and Dance

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October 24, 2016 by Shannon Michael Smith

The laughing stock of Major League Baseball continues to be a joke in the playoffs. Another NLCS, another Dodger failure. News flash: The Dodgers have a lot of money. You wouldn’t think it with the lack of starting pitching depth, a spent pen, and the inability to hit lefties (who constructs a lineup like this, Shakes the Clown?)

Kazmir and Maeda were big question marks heading into the season. Kaz crapped out and Maeda ran out of gas. In the end, Los Dogs had one pitcher to send to the hill in October. Poor Clayton Kershaw (okay, Hill wasn’t that bad, but it sure felt like there was only one option.) Kersh will take the heat for lack of starter depth, once again. Six months ago, we predicted that even if the Dodgers made the playoffs, that they wouldn’t get past the Cubs. We’re not that good, the Dodgers are just that predictable.

We all know that Friedman and Zaidi are responsible for the train wreck starting staff (minus Kersh, of course.) They’re the same geniuses that built a roster that can’t hit left-handed pitching. The only good thing they did during the season was trade for Hill and Reddick (pampered scribes had to go back to THE MANNY DEAL for footage of the last time the Dodgers did anything to bolster their team before the playoffs.) Friedman and Zaidi have been a disaster. If they still have their jobs in a couple of weeks, then the owners are even dumber than we thought. It’s time to kick the finance maggots out. Storm the front office with pitchforks and torches!

Roberts did a great job managing what he was given (cue the circus music.) We hated the fact that he pulled Stripling and Hill in the middle of career moments earlier in the season. Looking back, it wouldn’t have made a damn bit of difference to keep them in. But, those are just two games…D.R. helped get The Dodgers back on track after the All-Star Break. God knows how he held them together in June (do you think they let us into the Clubhouse? Ha!)

Let’s not let Corey Seager’s amazing rookie year get lost in all the bitter babble. After the failure of Puig and the disappointment of Pederson, we were hesitant to proclaim Seager king in July (let’s wait until the season’s over, we said.) Well, the season’s over, and Seager has proven himself, he’s one of the few bright spots heading into next year.

We’ll have a report card ready for the Dodgers (and ourselves) this week sometime. After that we’ll cut out for a few months (there will be a couple of articles here and there) and start this whole thing again in February. It’s been a gas (literally, we consume copious amounts of Pepto due to this bitter rag) working on rascalsoftheravine. There’ll be some exciting changes next season, so stay tuned mirth-seekers!

 

Cub Den Crushes Spent Pen Once Again

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October 21, 2016 by Shannon Michael Smith

The lack of starting depth, a spent pen, and the inability to hit left-handed pitching has doomed the Dogs to the verge of elimination. With Liberatore gone, the load falls on Baez and Blanton…who look more exhausted than whores after a Shriner’s Convention in Reno…and so, once again, the Dodgers hand their postseason hopes to Clayton Kershaw.

If Clayton Kershaw received a teardrop tattoo after every playoff failure, he’d resemble a Juggalo. He’s had a great run this year, but, even if he wins on Saturday, the likelihood of two Dodger road wins in Goat City is…unlikely.

Cue the rascalsoftheravine paragraph about how this is all the front office’s fault, the disastrous starting staff they assembled has crumbled to two…oh, don’t worry dear readers, the call for their heads will resume next week…

Even if a miracle in Chi-Town occurred, do you honestly think this broken pitching staff could work their way past the Indians? That’s a heap big no…

All the firewater in the world won’t drown the sorrows of another NLCS wash out for Los Dogs. Dodger fans were fed up going into this season…anything but a World Series appearance will be another sad failure.

Will Clay-ton unleash hate on the north side nancies? Will Kyle induce bile from Blue Crew stewers? Will rascalsoftheravine turn green after an obscene mujahedeen? Seen! Until next time, mirth-seekers!!!

Dodgers Disemboweled by Cub Grubs

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October 20, 2016 by Shannon Michael Smith

While The Terrible Teen may have enjoyed “the beautiful experience”, we sure as hell didn’t, as Urias coughed up four runs in 3.2 innings worth of work…beautiful.

Stripling also stank it up to the tune of four runs as well…all-in-all, Los Dogs’ pitching staff gave up ten runs in the Game Four loss…Game Five looms large, as the series heads back to Chicago on Saturday…Los Dogs will be all but finished with a loss tonight.

Pampered scribes were dancing in the streets after the Dodger loss last night. Did you see the smiles on those faces after the game? Gone are the funeral tones. “We’re back,” say the suck-up scribes…eeesshhh.

The Dodgers have no choice but to roll out the hideous Kenta Maeda tonight. He’s been awful this postseason…this puts all the pressure on Kershaw to win on the road in Game 6…wonderful. The fact that the Dodgers have gotten this far with a two-man rotation (Kershaw, Hill) is a miracle…

Lester the Molester will take the hill for the crusty Cubs tonight.

Will Maeda make merry with Miguel Montero? Will he rankle Rizzo, Ross, and Russell? Will  Lester the Molester pest Puig and Pederson? Will rascalsoftheravine become a zine that blasts Queen??? If we did, it would be “Cool Cat” or “Back Chat!” All hail Mack and his production attack!!!! Until next time, mirth-seekers!

Dodgers Drub Cubs, Silence Schlubs

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October 19, 2016 by Shannon Michael Smith

The Dodgers have mystified the baseball world. Last night’s 6-0 Cub drub had many-a dopey anchor reaching for their hankies.

“How can WE fix this,” moan the pampered scribes, through teary-eyes…they give the Dodgers no credit. This is a CUBS collapse, as far as they’re concerned…as if winning over 100 regular season games guarantees you a bling-ring at the end of the year…balderdash!

You can’t fix it with your funeral tones, ill-shills, Los Dogs are playing with house money, and there’s a goat that’s waiting in the wings…

Cubs fans that dared venture to Dodger Stadium (google Brian Stow) to haughtily cheer on their “team of destiny” were in for a shock. Beefy brat-heads stumbled out the Ravine last night in a daze, sure that they’d witness an Arrieta A-Bomb, instead Hill hurled six scoreless shockers to silence Chavez tourists.

Blanton (back in the saddle), Dayton, and Jansen mopped up nicely.

Grandal grooved a goner in the 4th (only because there was a questionable 2-2 call, according to scummy scribes, why give Grandal any credit?) Seager had three hits and an RBI, Pederson drove in a run, and Kringle added a little Christmas magic in the sixth with a solo shot that had Santa doing the samba all the way down Vin Scully Ave.

Hey, this thing is FAR from over. It probably will come down to a Game 7, at least a 6. The fact, however, is that if the Dodgers win one more game, it’ll be the most NLCS games they’ve won since ’88.

Fit-to-be-tied freakazoid, John Lackey, will get the start for the Cubs tonight. The Terrible Teen will take the hill for Los Dogs.

Will tacky Lackey chew wacky tobaccy in the sacky? Will the Terrible Teen eat Jimmy Dean with Ellery Queen? Will rascalsoftheravine make the scene with brazen bream? Stay tuned!!! Until tomorrow, mirth-seekers!!!

King Kersh Commands Cubs in Windy City Win

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October 17, 2016 by Shannon Michael Smith

The cries of a bleating goat could be heard faintly in the Chicago night…Clayton Kershaw “shook off the ghosts” of postseason past with a seven inning masterpiece that helped even the series with the Cubs, 1-1.

Jansen’s six-out save slaughtered Chi-town schemes as the series now heads back to Los Angeles.

Hey, did you hear the funeral they broadcast last night? Still think that every pampered scribe isn’t rooting for the Cubs? Man, those broadcasters were dejected! It’s another case of Midwest = good, West Coast = bad. If the Midwest is so great, then why do those creeps move here in droves? GO BACK!

If the Dodgers truly want to serve up some Goats Head Soup, they’ll have to get past Arrieta, the Garret Dillahunt lookalike. How many men has Arrieta gunned down on the mean streets of the Wrigley Field? Too many to count…

Rich Hill will take the hill for Los Dogs on Tuesday. We already squawked about Arrieta…

Will Hill heave ill-will to chill bold bats that kill? Will Jake the snake play pat-a-cake or pound a pickle milkshake? Will rascalsoftheravine forgive Jeff Fisher for not kicking the fiel—–no, we’re not going there…until next time, mirth-seekers!