Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Comparing Saito to Gagne

Steve Hulkower of Bugs & Cranks, one of numerous new (at least new to me) Dodger fan blogs on the Internet, favorably compares our current closer Takashi Saito to the former master Eric Gagne.
"Takashi Saito, in his attempt to emulate the success of Gagne, has not blown a save since August 25th, 2006. Since that day, the Los Angeles Dodgers have played 84 games and Saito has converted all 25 of his save chances...

In the three seasons that covered his consecutive saves record, Gagne struck out 365 batters while only waking 58 for a strike out to walk ratio of over 6:1.

In Saito’s 1 1/3 seasons as a major leaguer, he has struck out 133 batters while walking just 25; a ratio of better than 5:1. In the first two months of 2007, Saito has struck out 26 and walked only 2; a 13:1 ratio.

Eric Gagne compiled an earned run average of 1.79 and a whip of 0.82 during those three seasons.

Takashi Saito has an era of 1.97 and a whip of .84 in his 8 months of Major League Baseball.

Eric Gagne threw 14.92 pitches per inning. Takashi Saito is throwing 16.3.

Gagne had batting averages against of .133, .181, and .189. Saito has batting averages against of .177 and .188.
The most important questions to ask is who misses Gagne now?

Blog Link: Bugs & Cranks:

Are You Looking for Cheap Gas in Your Area?

A friend of mine just sent me this link, so I thought I would pass it along. Just click the below link, put in your zip code and watch as local gas prices pop up. Prices Link:

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Alyssa Makes a Call to Arms

Alyssa Milano wants all of you to vote and she wants you to vote often. Russel Martin is in 4th place in All-Star balloting and that just ain't right. Click here to vote.Since my childhood crush has yet to dissipate I will do anything she wants. I suggest you do the same. Vote here.

Pierre has Finest Game of Dodger Career!

Juan Pierre has a big game in this evenings blowout against the Nationals.

"Anytime you have a night like that, you're able to slow the ball down and see the pitches real good," Pierre said. "It was just one of those nights when I was hitting the fastball, curveball, change up -- I hit every pitch good. It was one of those nights you have to take advantage of."

Pierre, who had a career-high 13 triples last season with the Chicago Cubs, entered Tuesday's game with six extra-base hits this season -- including five doubles. His 4-for-5 night raised his average 12 points to .286.

"It was probably the best I've felt at the plate as a Dodger," Pierre said.

Let's hope Pierre proves all of his detractors wrong. I know I would be happy to be proven wrong.

Story Link: Yahoo:

A Hobby Mystery Is Solved: W555's

The vintage card hobby is filled with cards and sets whose origins are completely foreign to collectors. Who made them? How were they distributed? How many cards are in the set? When were they made? An example of an unknown set are the tiny cards above. They are known as W555's and feature a 1-1/4 x 1-5/16 square sepia photo of early Baseball players from 1909.

Over the holiday weekend Vintage Baseball Card Forum host Leon shared the only known complete box detailing the origins of the issue. See it below. They came attached to what looks like a candy/ caramel box since it states "Under the Food and Drugs Act" and were produced by Jay S. Meyer of Philadelphia. Also, it is shaped like a "pin hole" camera. It appears that a fan would cut out the little cards in order to pretend that they were photos taken with the camera candy box. The cards could now be renamed "Baseball Snap Shots."
The best part is that you can print out a copy of the card, cut out the black spaces, trim the edges and put the box together yourself.

Hat Tip: VBCF:

My Nephew Learns His First Song

My Nephew of 27 months has just learned his first song. Please forgive my indulgence as he sings "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," with Dad's assistance.

YouTube Link: Trevor Sings:

Baseball Draft Hits Big Time

Baseball is trying to hype up their draft. The only possible consequence are higher priced contracts and bonuses for unproven talent. When will the madness stop.
"Take note of the pomp and circumstance, the hype, the glitz, and the complete production that Major League Baseball will attempt to make of its annual first-year player draft when, in the grand tradition of the NFL, the event is nationally televised for the first time in its 43-year history."

"Pay attention to Tommy Lasorda, the legendary Dodgers manager who will attend the league-wide event in Orlando, Fla., and will be the face of the organization as it makes two of the first 39 selections." has more.
"Lasorda will again be at the microphone to announce the Dodgers' selection when broadcasts every pick of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, which takes place June 7-8 at Disney's Wide World of Sports complex in Orlando. Day 1 coverage begins at 11 a.m. PT with a simulcast of ESPN2's broadcast of the first round and compensation picks. Video coverage of the remaining rounds on Day 1 will air at, with live interviews and analysis from Orlando by Casey Stern, Jonathan Mayo and Perfect Game USA's Dave Rawnsley."
Story Link:Press-Telegram:
Story Link:

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Nerds and Geeks of the World Unite!

If you don't already have plans for this weekend check out the Los Angeles Convention Center for one of the largest fan conventions in the country. This Memorial Day Weekend Los Angeles is hosting the Star Wars Celebration IV convention. Fans from all over the world are expected to arrive. Also of note, much of this convention is put together by the fans themselves.

I've never been a huge Star Wars fanatic, but I have many friends who are. I'm thinking about showing up for one of the days just to check it out.

Click here for the general information:

Click here for the Convention Blog:

The pic above comes from a place I can't find anymore, so I can't link it. I think I found it via Yahoo. Anyway it is a Darth Vader balloon from Belgium.

Japanese Baseball

Have you ever wondered how did Baseball reach the shores of Japan? Was its advent like that of the United States? Was it a children's game that turned into a national obsession? How long have they been playing Baseball?

In a way, Baseball hit Japan in much the same way as America. The difference is that Baseball was an import from a far away land for the Japanese, whereas, Baseball was born and bred in America. As most of you know, Baseball in America was a children's game that evolved from the game of cricket and rounders. In Japan, an American instructor introduced the game in 1873. His name is Horace Wilson.
"It was very important that it began inside a school. It didn't develop from games played by children. The fact that it started on the campus of Japan's most prestigious school, and that it was taught by a teacher, determined the fate of Japanese baseball.

The students of the time tended to stay in the classroom and study or debate constantly. But they didn't play any sports, and they were physically weak. They were unhealthy.

That was a problem. So [Horace Wilson] said, look, if you are going to lead Japan in the future, you have to be strong. You have to study, but you also have to be healthy. And baseball was his way of bringing the students outside and into the sun.

He just happened to know baseball, which he learned in the Civil War. That was very fortuitous for Japan. It could have been any sport. But the students loved baseball. They were fascinated."

Like in America, Japan owes its Baseball obsession to the American Civil War. Baseball spread like wildfire in America after the war. Soldiers would play the game and passed it along to fellow soldiers throughout the country. The Japanese discovered Baseball because a teacher learned the game when he was a soldier during that War.

It's funny how things can be different, yet eerily the same.

Horace Wilson was elected into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 2003.

Hat Tip: Net54 VBCF: Adam:
Photo Link: Japanese BHOF:

LA's Forgotten Man- Ramon Martinez

With all of the talk about Russell Martin's leadership, Furcal's recent offensive push, Juan Pierre's scary defense and Willie Mays Hayes-like fly balls, the trouble at third, Tomko's demotion, Yhency's return and Saito's continued mastery, who has seemingly disappeared? Well it's Ramon Martinez.

I feel like this is a game of Where's Waldo. Is he here? Is he there? Where has he gone? Where is he? Has he run off to some distant land hoping that the Dodger faithful can find him before it's too late, or that management will finally let him play? Ramon has not been in a game since May 14th. That was 10 days ago. Of course, hitting .170 might have something to do with it. On the other hand, I think it's a message of the time.

We are in the midst of experiencing the fruits of our teams labor as our young infielders invade town. Abreu, LaRoche and Loney are chomping at the bit. They are ready to start their own dynasty. As a result, our super-reserve has been relegated to super bench warmer. Do you think he would have any trade value today?

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Hey, Yhency is Back

Welcome back Yhency.Above is a original painting for the 2005 Donruss Diamond King card.

Story Link: Inside the Dodgers:

Welcome to the Team Tony

Our future 2nd baseman is here to show us a little bit of our future.
Abreu brings momentum. He batted .347 at Las Vegas with a .397 on-base percentage and .503 slugging percentage. If he performs well, Abreu eventually could supplant Juan Pierre and his subpar on-base percentage at the top of the batting order.

"Reports from scouts within and outside our organization said he was one of the best players in the [Pacific Coast League], if not the best player," Little said.
Story Link: LA Times:

Auction Wins: Brooklyn Dodgers Youth Belt & Dodger Triple Play Photo

I just received some goodies in the mail. Below are pics of two items I recently won in the Hunt Auctions monthly Internet/Phone auction.
The belt above is something I've been searching for a long time. It is a circa 1950's children's Brooklyn Dodgers beaded belt. They rarely come up for sell and are usually in very poor condition. This belt is well worn with some rusting on the buckle and yellowing in the beaded area. Nevertheless, it's a great vintage item. Above is a press photograph featuring Brooklyn Dodgers Gene Hermanski, Jackie Robinson and Gil Hodges. It was taken after they completed a triple play on 4/26/1949. Note that this was the last triple play the Brooklyn Dodgers would ever complete.

From SABR:

4/26/1949 NL Brooklyn Dodgers vs NL Boston Braves Ebbets Field

Top 3 INNING Score 1 - 1 PLAY SEQUENCE: 7*-4*-3* Source: From NYT & TSN

2 Men On: First Eddie Stanky Second Johnny Sain Third

Alvin Dark (BSN) is the batter with a ?-? count. He hits a twisting fly to short left center. The LF (Gene Hermanski) raced in and snared the ball with a last desperate reach (OUT 1)

LF remaining upright from his extraordinary catch makes a quick lobbing throw to the 2B (Jackie Robinson) to double up the runner caught off second, Johnny Sain (OUT 2)

2B fires the ball to the 1B (Gil Hodges) well ahead of the runner from first, Eddie Stanky's return to first (OUT 3)

SABR Link: Triple Play:

MIlton Bradley Tours the Negro League Museum

As soon as I find my self in Kansas City I plan on making this museum the first thing I do.

"It's about education and inspiration," said Bob Kendrick, the museum's director of marketing who gave Bradley his walk-through. "The story is what they did to overcome the adversity, not necessarily the game itself. It's America at its worst, but it's also America at its triumphant best."
Read the rest of story here. There are a handful of stories including a mention of a game in 1925 between a black Baseball team, the Monrovians, and a Klu Klux Klan Baseball team. Who would have thunk it.

Story Link: Sac Bee: (reg. required)
Hat Tip: Net54 VBCF:

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

eBay Selling Tips

Below are some helpful tips from Skip McGrath, an eBay Power Seller, on things you should do when selling on eBay. Below is a synopsis.
  1. Always allow Buyers to pay you through paypal.
  2. Provide detail, detail, detail when selling an item.
  3. Always use great photos.
  4. Check your email frequently.
  5. Have straight forward and reasonable payment, return and shipping policies.
  6. Use a low starting bid.
  7. Do not hold feedback hostage.
Story Link: SCD:

Just a Couple of Pics from the Weekend

Listen to Coach Brown!

So I went to games 2 & 3 of the freeway series in Anaheim and made the following observation. Someone should force Juan Pierre to do some pushups.

Below is a partial transcript from the movie Major League.


Well, you may run like Mays, but you hit like shit.

My stroke'll come back once I get
warmed up.

(referring to some stats)
Never did get warmed up last year.
Hit .211 at Maine. I looked him up.

I think Mr. Hayes shows some promise.
His speed could be a big asset.

For what? Running back to the dugout?

You gotta stop swingin' for the fences
though, Hayes. All you're gonna do
is give yourself a hernia. With your
speed you should be hittin' the ball
on the ground, leggin' 'em out. Every
time I see you hit one in the air,
you owe me twenty pushups.

Coach Brown you have some great advice there.

Photo Link: NY Daily News:
Movie Transcript Link:

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

What Was That? President Mondesi?

There are some strange happenings in today's Inside the Dodgers Blog. First we find out that the LA Times erred in writing that Raul Mondesi was "roundly booed." I guess I'm not too surprised by that. On the other hand, I am surprised to read that Raul Mondesi is a full-fledged politician in the Dominican Republic. Never in my wildest dreams did I ever expect I would read or write that. Wow. Considering some of his on-and-off the field problems late in his career I'm glad to read that things are looking up.

Inside the Dodgers Blog Link:

Finding Gold in the Most Unexpected Places

This is the kind of story that I dream about. A truck driver walks into a "Play It Again Sports" and buys 4 real "game-used" gloves. Not just any gloves, but actual real gloves from Giambi, Karsay and Alex Rodriguez. His $400.00 purchase turns into a $10,000.00+ sale on eBay. Check out the story here. BTW, this guys purchase happened in Southern California. How did these gloves find their way here? Also, this auction closed 5 days ago, click here for the results.

Story Link: LA Daily News:
Hat Tip: Sports Collectors Daily:
eBay Auction Link: 1, 2, 3, 4

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Is It Billingsley's Time Now?

The LA Times notes that Chad Billingsley has "not given up an earned run in his last six appearances spanning 9 2/3 innings" and may be headed out of the bullpen. He is a strong candidate for the next open starting pitching spot. With Tomko's horrible performance yesterday that day may come very soon.

Story Link: LA Times:

eBay: Recent Pick-Ups

Below are two items I recently won on eBay. Below is a 1951 American Nut & Chocolate premium pin of the Brooklyn Dodgers. It measures less than an inch in diameter. Certainly, it is not in the best condition, but it was available at a very affordable $5.00. I couldn't say no, especially since I don't already have one in my collection.
After all of the bickering and whining I did about seeing Gagne leave Dodger Blue for richer pastures in Texas I can't help but maintain a little bit of love for Mr. Game Over. His dominance as closer with his "Welcome to the Jungle" theme song blaring over the loudspeakers are memories I will never forget. He made staying the whole game in Los Angeles fashionable. Below is a 2005 Fleer Showcase Legacy Autographed card that I got for under $3.00. What a steal. The added benefit of seeing Gagne go is that his cards can be purchased at steep discounts.

Dodger Fan Shows He Can Carry Griffey's Jock

This story has been making the rounds, so I'm sure you all have seen it. If you haven't, then you need to check out this story posted on MySpace. A Dodger fan heckles Griffey. Words are exchanged as Griffey declares he couldn't "touch the threads on his jock." Then the unexpected happens. Griffey gives him his jock. Literally! Check out the MySpace link for more of the story.

Thanks to Trolley Dodger for posting the story. SOSG lets us know that it is now a national story. It's on ESPN.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Marlon to have Surgery

Marlon Anderson is expected to be sidelined for at least 2 months. Arthroscopic elbow surgery is the cause. He can be back just in time for the second half of the season.

What this means for the team is a potential open roster spot to allow our blossoming stars still in the minors a chance to come up to the big club. LaRoche currently holds the spot for now, but don't be surprised if others come in to take their turn. Tony Abreu, James Loney or Larry Bigbie may find themselves wearing Blue for short stints over the next two months.

Story Link: Yahoo Sports:

Update: Surgery appears to have done the trick. Marlon Anderson had arthroscopic surgery this past Friday and proclaims, "I feel better." Anderson adds,
"I'm just glad I had it done because I feel so much better already. I can move it around a lot better already."
Story Link: OC Register:

Monday, May 07, 2007

Welcome Andy!

I know I'm a little bit late to the party here. Andy LaRoche has joined the team in a big way. In his first two major league games he has 2 hits, scored 2 runs and has 2 RBI's. Not to be outdone, Betemit woke up from his slumber to hit two consecutive pinch hit homeruns. In the meantime, the Dodgers do a bit of hedging by keeping Tony Abreu at thirdbase in Las Vegas. Either way a solution to our woes at third will be solved within the system. You gotta figure one of three will take the spot.

Boo! Ghost, Ghouls and Phantoms.. Oh My!

I just read the Inside the Dodgers blog post about ghost at the Renaissance Vinoy Hotel and spent some time this afternoon reading some of the stories. These are the kind of tales that causes the back of your spine to tingle. For the paranoid, could you ever get a good nights sleep in that place?

I was even more intrigued by the mention of a ghost that resides at the top of Dodger Stadium. Does anybody have more information about the lady in red in the upper reserve section?

Anyway, I have personally never experienced anything like the stories in "Haunted Baseball." I have not seen supernatural disturbances like a floating apparition or incessant banging during the middle of the night. Sure, I've been spooked like most of us have, but never have I truly been so afraid I just walked out in fear. Call me a skeptic.

On the other hand, I have friends who claim that my old home in Fullerton was haunted. It figures that the placed I lived in for nearly 7 years would have a resident ghost who refused to show his face to me, but was more than happy to scare my friends. Anyway, here is one of those brief stories.

It was a lazy Saturday afternoon as I drive up my street towards the end of the cul-de-sac. My home is on the right side near the end of the street. I park on the driveway and notice my roommate, Rob, quietly sitting cross-legged on the lawn. I get out of my car as Rob stands up from his seat.

"Hey! What are ya doin' out here?" I ask with a perplexed smile. In all the years he and I have been friends I had never known him to just sit on the grass when a perfectly good television was available for viewing.

"I didn't want to go back inside until somebody else got home," says Rob. I stare at him the way you'd stare at a kid who just told you, "I didn't go to the UK, but I went to London."

Rob proceeded to tell me that as he was perched on the couch enjoying a recent episode of Batman an unusual thing happened. The cupboards and closet door started opening and shutting at a quick and furious pace. Rob stood up, stared down the hallway and ran outside. An hour later I arrived.

I walked into the house and inspected the home with a watchful eye. I was happy to report to my friend that everything looked just fine. Rob sat down in front of the tube as I grabbed a couple of beers. That ghost didn't appear again that afternoon, but you should hear some of the other stories.