Wednesday, May 31, 2006

On To The Wild Blue Yonder

Woo Hoo! I'm heading out on a week long Hawaii vacation tomorrow and I couldn't be happier. To be surrounded by the beautiful Blue ocean waters and wide expansive Blue sky is like standing in heaven. A Blue Heaven!

I'm gonna post pics from time to time while I'm away, and, of course, I'll be checking out the box scores when I have a chance. Things just seem good. The Dodgers are playing well... The rookies keep me happy and hopeful... And to top it off... I'm gonna be surrounded by Blue. Awesome. My only regret is that I'll miss Gagne pitch. Thankfully, here is always SportCenter.

On a side note. I'm taken with me a book that I have been wanting to read for a long time. It's called "The Forgotten History: Women In Baseball." 19th Century ballplayers to the Bloomer Girls to the All American Girls Baseball League are covered. It should be a good read.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Draft Signing Deadline

Well, Dodger Blue Heaven dreams of Luke Hochevar wearing the royal garb, the colors of flatbush, the Southlands real team uniform is all for naught. Today is the draft deadline and as the LA Times states,
"it appears it will pass without a deal."
No Luke in Blue.

Boras- you greedy bastard! You have infected the young Padawan with a nasty virus. A virus that has led him astray. It's a virus that infects the young too naive to understand the hurdles that still remain. You have killed the hopes and dreams of current and future Dodger/ Star Wars fans. You see, only the Force can save him now.

I was having wonderful dreams about Luke strutting up to the mound with a big grin on his face and a steady arm at his side. Then, Tommy would run out from the dugout being chased by pumpkin colored stormtroopers. Quickly, he would lance them all with his baseball bat shaped sword to protect the prized star pitcher. Slowly, Tommy would turn to Luke with an out-stretched hand and say, "Luke, I am your father." And then everything would be right with the world.

OK. I know this is crazy talk, but ya know what? Imagine all the great stories that we could have made up if Luke was coming to LA. The adventures of the young players, turn Padawans, facing the universe together as a united force. They would go through the galaxy without fear and trepidation knowing very well that their skipper and "old hands", The Jedi, will send them down the correct path. We could talk about the Death Star up north, run by the evil Barroid, trying to gobble up our peaceful lands. Daily taunts by the twisted cousins to the South would be a constant nuisance like Jar Jar Binks. It would have been awesome.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Our Good Fortune

So far our Rookies have shown they can play. The progress of Repko was one of the first signs of a resurgent Minor League program. Andre Ethier, Jonathon Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo, James Loney, Willy Aybar and Russell Martin have us excited about the season. Now, Matt Kemp gives us a taste of a future not so far away. He just might be ready soon than expected. Today, Matt went 2 for 3 on this Holiday Monday afternoon. After getting his first major league hit after 3 strike outs yesterday, Kemp followed up looking more relaxed. With each at bat he looked less tentative. With each swing his stroke came into life. I look forward to game number 3 for Kemp.

Other hopeful Rookies soon to grace their presence in Los Angeles include Chad Billingsley and Joel Guzman. Billingsley could be a very solid pitcher for a very long time. Guzman, once he finds a position and learns some patience at the plate, can be an offensive juggernaut for years to come. As a great man once said, "the future is looking bright."

Fortune Sign Generator

If you are wounded, I will carry you;
If you are captured, I will come for you;
And, if you are killed, I will always remember you.

Motto: 3/5 Cavalry, Vietnam
"The Bastard Cav"

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigues of supporting it. -Tom Paine

Americanpride Sign Generator

Friday, May 26, 2006

Want A Drink?

I guess you can't win them all. Right? On what seemed like a lazy Friday afternoon, the Dodgers came to play with a little less jump in there feet. Was it me, or did it appear like that? It just looked like everything was in slow motion. Every once in awhile a potential rally occurs, but then fizzles out. I don't know, maybe its jetlag or some other cosmic occurrence. Or maybe, it's just that you don't win them all. Sometimes you lose, and sometimes you lose bad. Tonight was a bad night. An evening of dropped and misjudged balls. And a game against a very good pitcher who showed that he is one of the most underrated hurlers in the game.

A 10-4 shellacking. We where run over with a bus. O, well. You just can't win them all. But this gets me thinking. While I wallow in grief I can grab a bottle to wash me down. Mmmm.

Back in the Mid 90's, I don't remember exactly when, I read a news article in the Los Angeles Times about a small local company in Laguna Beach that was making hand engraved wine bottles of teams and players. They where called the Trevlin Collection. So, I called them up and picked up a bottle. It still remains on my shelf today, unopened and undamaged. Amazingly. Fortunately, its nonalcoholic so any thought of actually drinking it goes out the window. Also, the fact that I keep a bottle of Jack in my freezerat all times, which more than satisfies any urges I might indulge in, helps out. So, on to my freezer.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Christmas Coming Early: Dodgers On Fire!

Thanks to:

Could this be? Has Santa actually decided to grant me my wish? Everything is so perfect right now. The team is running like the wind. The sluggers are killing the hide. The starters are a mixture between Supermen and Riddlers. The relievers are coagulating into a hardened Rock of Gibraltar. There is a sense of confidence that you can see in the manner of their play. They know they can win any game, at any time. This is some of the best Baseball I've seen in a long time. This is some of the best Baseball I've seen from the Dodgers in a long time.

Seven games in a row! 9 out of the past 10! 15 out of the last 18! Unbelievable! After all the turmoil over the past winter we are blessed with the chance to witness this kind of play. I definitely like what I'm seeing and will enjoy it while it's here.

Right now I'm crossing my fingers and hoping this will last. Baseball, as we all know, is not filled with certainty. It's much like life. It tends to ebb and flow as time goes by. Sometimes the sun shines and the birds chirp, but then the clouds can start to menace and the wolves come out of the dark. But you never know. Afterall, I haven't gotten a thing from Santa in a long time, so I figure, I'm due.
This is one of 15 scorecards I received in the recently concluded Robert Edwards Auction. I love this 19th Century stuff. These cards are made by John B. Sage and most consist of pre-printed line-ups featuring some famous players; including King Kelly. Check out the rest of the postcards in my photoalbum.

Sponsoring Pages

I have been a frequent user of the Baseball-Reference website for several years now. The information on their site is an invaluable tool for any fan of the game. Over the past few days I decided to give them a tip for their good work by sponsoring some pages. On the right I have links to 5 different pages that I currently sponsor- Walter Alston, Wilbert Robinson, Jack Fimple, 1981 Los Angeles Dodgers and the 1884 Brooklyn Atlantics.

Alston is the longest term Dodger manager in history. The man who brought the Dodgers their first championship.

Robinson is a Hall of Fame coach of the Dodgers from 1914 to 1931. Simply one of the greats.

Jack Fimple was one of my favorite non-star players. He was an unsung hero who never made it big time, but who's hard work and determination was an inspiration for me and many others. Did you know he broke his hand in a game and still continued to play!

The 1981 World Series Champion Los Angeles Dodgers is my first and earliest memory of Dodger glory. Also, I have strong and vivid memories of just about every person on that team. They were stacked with Dodger greatness-the famous infield, the catching crew of Scioscia and Yeager, Guerrero, Dusty, Landreaux, Monday, Reggie Smith, Sax, Fernando, Marshall, Candy, Derrel Thomas, Roenicke, Howe, Welch, Hooton, Reuss, Terry Forster... I know this whole damn team!

The 1884 Brooklyn Atlantic is the first Dodger franchise team. The start of something great.

Not In Our Sights?

We got word yesterday that from the LA Times that Luke Hochevar may not be a target for Colletti.
"Do I feel the talent is worth the asking price? I don't agree," he said.
With one week left before we lose his rights, we apparently do not have an offer on the table. We are either playing hardball with Luke and Boras, or will be walking away from the table.
"I want guys that want to play," Colletti said, speaking generally. "If it's all about the money before the game starts, it will always be about the money."
Ned has a point. It's is now in Luke's court. Will he take the ball and proudly wear Blue, or will he choose to go elsewhere. This fan want to know.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Mind Your P's & Q's

Over the weekend I picked up from FedEx my long awaited package with my winnings
from the recently concluded Robert Edwards Auction. Initially I was worried that I may have over-paid, but as I opened the box I became instantly relieved. Just some incredible stuff. I won a large lot of 19th Century Basbeall related items. The photo above comes from a 1885 childrens ABC book by McLoughlin Bros. of New York. It is complete with all the letters of the alphabet and has some incredibly bright and gorgeous lithograph style pictures. This is much nicer than I expected. A bit beat-up, but a nice find. Also, there was a group of 15 scorecards from the time period; including a complete mint condition set of 1880's Wright & Ditson scorecards. There was so much here I will pass on listing them all, but I will periodically highlight various items from this buy over the next coming months. You can see photos of most of the items in my photoalbum.

Game 3 for Hochevar.

The LA Times lets us know that Luke Hochevar
"struck out 10 and gave up four hits and four walks in his second regular-season start for the independent Fort Worth Cats. His fastball was consistently in the low 90-mph range and he showed an above-average curveball."
Considering that this years draft class will probably be one of the weakest in the last decade it would make alot of sense to sign him now. I see a very productive future for this pitcher. Let's make sure he wears BLUE.

Why Wasn't I Invited?

Well.. Of course I know the answer. I don't personally know Rob McMillin, but I feel like I do. I'm a daily lurker on his blog which is often filled with a lot of data and information, great insight and descriptions of behind the scenes machinations. His blog 6-4-2--an Angles/Dodgers Double Play Blog is one of the better Dodger fan sites.

At this Sundays game he splurged and rented a Dodger suite. He had the Weisman's of DodgerThoughts, Rich Lederer of Baseball Analyst and Rev of HalosHeaven there along with many other friends. He has pictures that are worth a look.

Luxe Life Pictures

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Take Me Out To The Ballgame!!

At today's game I recorded the singing of "Take me out to the ballgame." I love this song! It's like an opera breaks out during a sporting event. Nowhere in sports does the entire crowd stand up and sing a song in unison. It's marvelous and incredible. It's why baseball is the greatest game in the world!


Downloan here

Oh Yeah Baby!! Sweep!!

What a Team! What a team!

The Dodgers complete their first sweep of the year by blanking the hapless Angels, 7-0. Overwhelmed and understaffed, the Angels where out of it from the start. It was all but over by the first as the Dodgers score 5 runs because of timely hitting by Nomar and Ethier. Awesome, just awesome.

I was sitting in section 127LG in the back row under the reserve section overhang. These where great seats between home and third base- right next to foul ball alley. The crowd was enthusiastic and loud even on this overcast sullen day. Beachballs where everywhere. The scent of Dodger dogs and beer waffled in the air. Brief interludes of "Angels Sucks" chants could be heard as one guy up in front heckled unsuspecting players and rival fans. A game here is always a good time.

This was my first game of the year and I feel fortunate to be there. Thanks Craig! He's my friend of over 15 years who happened to get 4 tickets from his work. Perks baby! Perks!

I took a bunch of photos and posted them in my photoalbum. Go and check them out.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Weaver vs. Sele: Old Dodger vs. New Dodger: New Angel vs. Old Angel

Today we get to enjoy a match-up between regional rivals. A battle between cross-town teams. A rumble in SoCal. The real Los Angeles Dodgers square-off with the wanna-be Los Angeles Angels of anaheim. This face-off features former Dodger Jeff Weaver with current journeyman Aaron Sele. One man has been better than the other so far this season. Fortunately, it's Sele who has impressed the league. Albeit, he has just pitched in 2 games since being brought up from AAA Las Vegas. Nevertheless, he appears to have a new lease on life (career) and is able to come to the table without any worries or baggage. Weaver, on the otherhand, is trying to prove to himself and the league that he deserves a long term multi-million dollar contract. Unfortunately, Weaver has a sordid past. Does he have the moxie to shrug off those demons and prove to the Dodgers they should have signed him? So far, Weaver has been unimpressive. But as all us Dodger fans know, Weaver has an inexplicable way of turning on the jets and making us think he is the next Koufax. I know, that's a bit of a stretch, but, ya know, he can be very good. Almost God like out there. He just needs to be able to keep his head on straight. Can he do it, or will Sele prove that there is a second wind in baseball.

This is THE series to be at. The best sporting event in the area to watch. I'll be there on Sunday. And I promise to have pictures. I had previously promised pictures from the Dodgers vs. Giants match-up last week, but my friend, in his drunken fury, forgot to bring his camera to the game. No worries though. He tells me he spent the whole evening heckling the Giant crowd. He can be quite a obnoxious drunk when he wants to be. I'm surprised I didn't hear stories about a beat-down in the parking lot. Of course, the great Dodger in the sky would never let a Dodger faithful lose in the face of a Pumpkin riot.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Even the Ninjas Love Nomar!

Man - O - Live!! I'm starting to love this guy. No wonder Boston loved him. He's a gamer who lives to play baseball. He can pick up positions like a little league kid eager to learn the game. I'm amazed by his tag outs on errant throws. His ability to scoop up throws in the dirt is like watching Will Clark make a game saving play. Now... I'm not say'n Nomar's gold glove material. He still has much to learn as he still lacks the ease and grace of a Will Clark, but he sure has the skills. I'm happily surprised about his play and am thankful he calls LA home.

This afternoon Nomar Garciaparra had just one hit in four at bats. Fortunately, that one hit was at the most important point in the game. Its the 7th inning with the bases loaded. Nomar wrangles up to the plate performing his customary wrist dance and toe tap. Fastball. He slaps it to the left side. A smooth ground ball single between 3rd and SS. That's all it took. Two runs score and the Dodgers take a 2 run lead.

Broxton does his job and takes down the Rockies one by one in one inning of work. He gets two strike outs in his effort. Biemel is shaky, but Baez is able to just get by. It ended up being a 3-2 squeker.

A meaningful win, won in uncertain times. Can the Dodgers bullpen keep from blowing up? Will the Dodgers starting pitching continue its brilliant performance? Can the offense be more consistant? Can we get better than .500? Are we better than a .500 team?

Monday, May 15, 2006

An Ode to Olmedo: The Killer Tomato

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A Hochevar Sighting

Luke is on a roll. He pitched for the second time this year, yesterday, for the Fort Worth Cats. On 50 pitches Hochevar went 5 innings with 9 strike outs, on 4 hits, two run and 3 walks. Although he did not display the lightning 97+ mph speed from last week, Luke had more control as he
"mix(ed) in his slider and changeup while he used his curveball only sparingly."
His pitching coach Dan Smith added:
"Tonight I thought he was more composed," he said. "He had a game plan instead of just going out there and trying to throw 98. He pitched tonight, tried to locate his fastball and rely on movement. He showed a great breaking ball tonight. The poise that he had was great."
Hochevar also shows he understands what he needs to do.
"I executed my fastball a lot better,"
he said.
"My off-speed was also quite a bit better. Today I had quite a bit more command of it. I was in more control and had a better plan with these hitters. I knew how to pitch them, stuck with my plan and it worked out well."

I was just thinking about the Inside Dodgers comment from Roy Smith about Like Hochevar. His admission that negotiations did not end well, their continued belief that they made a fair offer and a comment about the recent signing of Jared Weaver (by the Angels) signals that the Dodgers want to re-start discussions. Not only that, I think the Dodgers made an new opening bid at the same number as the previous offer put on the table. So, considering his recent performance, I think the Dodger may be willing to come up if Luke willing to come down.

Boras... are you listening? Lets get the two together- Dodgers and Luke Hochevar.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Strong Starting Pitching

Another great outing by a starting pitcher. Jae Seo goes 6 innings while giving up 3 hits and only one run. Odalis was shaky in his one inning after a nearly 2 week layoff. Beimel continues to impress.

Overall, the offense looks good with contributions from old and new guys. Starting pitching has been solid, but relief could use some relief. Its definitely something to work on. I'm confident its something that can improve as the season rolls on.

Co-Dodger Buys of the Week (part 1)

The first nice Dodger win of the week was a lot of 6 - 1934 Diamond matchbook covers of Brooklyn Dodger players. These are getting harder to come by nowadays. As you can imagine they are prone to damage due to use. Arriving was Van Mungo, Walter Beck, John Fredrick, Ralph Boyle, Joe Stripp and Tony Cuccinello. Check out the other cards in my album.

Co-Dodger Buys of the Week (part 2)

Arriving this week from a healthy eBay shopping weekend is a Friars Roast Dinner Press Ribbon for former Dodger Manager Leo Durocher. This "Roast" was held on January 18, 1974. Guest roasters at the event was Maury Wills, Bobby Riggs, Dizzy Dean, Chuck Connors, Alex Karras, Jack Carter and Foster Brooks. What an event!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

New Dodger Pics Up

I just posted some new pics in my photo album; including snapshots of my display at home. Above is one of 3 wall displays proudly exhibiting my Dodger wares. Here are my pins, mini pennants and oddball items.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Chasing Luke Hochevar

Inside the Dodgers gives us hints that Luke Hochevar could still be wearing Dodger Blue in the future. Why else would Roy Smith, Vice President of Scouting and Player Development, announce that
"we have monitored Luke all along and have had scouts at the games he has pitched for Fort Worth."
Then to add a little bit of intrigue the signing of the other Boras client is retold.
"As happened with Jered Weaver, who signed at the last minute with the Angels last year before the deadline to reenter the draft, anything is possible."
Luke pitched last week and had 95mph to 97mph heat. He was a bit wild, but that should be expected. I don't think he has pitched a game in awhile. Hochevar pitched 3 innings, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits, 4 walks and 4 strike outs. And these players aren't rookie league kids. As one scout in attendance said,
"He threw fastballs right by guys at the knees. These are 27-year-old guys who have been around. They are more apt to put the balls in play than someone at Vanderbilt."
Luke in Blue. That has a nice ring to it.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Dodgers go North

The Dodgers finish up this homestand with a 4-2 loss to the Astros. As Jon says, "This loss feels more like a flat tire - just fix it and move on." After a week of fearing a ugly summer I am suddenly at ease. Everything will be OK. Lets take one game at a time.

I was invited to go up to San Francisco this weekend to catch a couple games between the Dodgers and Giants. Unfortunately, work got in the way and I will be unable to go, but my friend promises to take plenty of pictures. When I have them they will be posted.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Ebay Oddball win of the Week: WWI BF2

This is one of the most unusual items I've ever won on eBay. Arriving this week was a 1916 Ferguson Bakeries (Roxbury Mass) WWI Allied Hereos mini pennant of US Major General James G. Harbord. Its about 5 5/8" long and has a black & white picture of the General. Its very similar to the baseball BF2 version. I'm not sure how many different pennants exist in the set. If anyone has a clue please let me know.

I know the seller had several different pennants; including a 22 inch long large pennant of Allied Hero flying ace Lieutenant Ed Rickenbacher- famous for fighting the Red Baron, available for sale over a couple week period. Other heroes included: Admiral Mayo, Admiral Gleaves, Admiral Benson, King Victor Emanuel III, of Italy, Secretary of War Baker, General Brewster, General Menoher, General Pershing, Lieutenant Ed Rickenbacher (mini version) and President Woodrow Wilson. The Gleaves and Benson should be arriving in a few days.

Are things starting to come together?

Well, it appears that the season is not all lost. We are in the midst of a 4 game winning streak after a succession of ugly losses. The team seems more confident out there as they start to get some consistent hitting throughout the lineup. Russell Martin is proving why he will be the catcher of the future. Nomar is playing well beyond his expectations. Was he a steal or what? Starting pitching has been surprisingly sharp from the top 3 starters- Penny, Lowe and Tomko. Relief needs some help that, I think, only experience can provide. Broxton, Hamulak, Osoria will be better as they get more opportunities to pitch. Saito is proving to be a reliever we can trust. Baez has turned out to be a fortuitous pick-up.

Seo has been OK, but needs some help. Duaner Sanchez, the top flight reliever we traded for Seo, has been lights out for the Mets. Perez is more inconsistent than ever. Will Sele take over his starting position? Really? I read that Billingsly is expected to grace Dodger Stadium mid-year. So maybe there is something else going on. Trade Perez now for some prospects or experienced relievers (or Sele) with the expectation that Billingsly will have a chance to take a job away from Seo or the other starting pitcher (Sele or Perez). I look forward to seeing this battle.

The rookies are coming to town. Russell Martin will be our future catcher. Broxton and Osoria will solidify our bullpen. Kuo is not far behind as he gains confidence in Las Vegas. Billingsley will come in to show us what a future #1 pitcher looks like. Aybar will arrive and prove he belongs. Repko is already proving he belongs in the lineup. Can Ethier be far behind? How about Guzman or Young? The future is exciting and the present show us the way.

Friday, May 05, 2006

1939 HOF Induction Ceremony

Wow. I found this link on Forum54. It is a audio recording of the 1939 Hall of Fame Induction ceremony. Hear the greats.

1939 HOF

Wednesday, May 03, 2006


I don't know what to think about what has happened to my beloved Dodgers. Over the past 3 days we have experienced the most heart wrenching disaster on the playing field since I don't know when. Heck, I don't even want to think about it. I'm at a loss for words. I just can't come up with the thoughts or ideas that could possibly satisfy me, or anyone else. I feel like a guest on the Titanic. I'm looking out at the horizon when the realization hits me. The ship is going down and there is nothing I can do about it.

Please. Oh, Please. Where are the rescue ships to save me from this terrible disaster.

I know this is a bit over the top, but this is how I truly feel right now. I have that empty pit feeling in my stomach.

Realistically, I know they can't lose like this every game. Afterall, wins and losses ebb and flow throughout the year. Nevertheless, we must find some consistency if we hope to make the playoffs.

It's early, I know. Let's just hope this momentary lapse of reason transforms itself into a formula that get everybody on the same page.

Monday, May 01, 2006

New Dodger items arrived in the mail over the weekend. My favorite eBay win are these 2 ballpark pins of Steve Sax and Fernando Valenzuela. Made in the 80's, these pins are plentiful and inexpensive. Not only that, there are plenty of players available on these vintage pins, and many different variations out there to keep most fanatical Dodger fans busy. I've seen them with facsimile autographs and without, with the players name in print and without, and with a reference number and without.

The Fernando is actually a duplicate for my collection. So, I will not be keeping it long. If anyone is interested in buying or trading for the pin please let me know. Otherwise, you should be able to find it on eBay in the next month or so.

Roster Moves

Well... Jon's got the news... Jonathan Broxton and Joe Beimel up, Lance Carter and Hong-Chih Kuo down... Inside the Dodgers... I expect Kuo to came back up later in the year and do better than he has so far... I think Carter can still be effective- he just needs to get things worked out... We may never see Broxton in Las Vegas uniform again... Joe Beimel- well- lets see what he can bring to the table.

1947 Tip Top Bread Dodgers!!

I just did some scanning this afternoon. Please check out my photo album for pics of Dodger players from the 1947 Tip Top Bread Set. This is one of the all-time rare regional issued sets. A complete set is very difficult to complete. A mint set is virtually impossible. Cards where distributed in Tip Top Bread packs with only the players in the respective area available
in the packs. For instance, only Detroit players where available in Detroit, and St. Louis Browns & Cardinals available in the greater Missouri area. I'm about 40 cards short of completing my set. If you have anything available, please let me know.