Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Delwyn Young Joins the Big Club

Welcome to Dodger Stadium Mr. Young. He joins the team to replace Betemit.
Young, 25, a member of the 2001 Riverside Community College state championship team, is hitting .343 with 44 doubles, 16 home runs and 79 RBI in 101 games for the Stars.
Diamond also adds the follow quote from Ned Colletti.
"It was the most unbalanced market I've seen," Colletti said. "The asking prices far exceeded the player."
Story Link#1: Diamond Leung:
Story Link#2: Diamond Leung:

Steroid Awareness Clinic

This is just too funny.
The Dodgers already are tweaking the Giants, scheduling a "steroid awareness clinic" before Thursday's game. And if Bonds hasn't hit a home run by the end of that evening, it's on to San Diego, the land of the giant syringe.
Wow. I hadn't heard of this. There should be national referendum requiring steroid awareness clinics in every city Bonds and the Giants play this year.

Story Link: San Jose Mercury News:
Hat Tip: Big Blue Wrecking Crew:

What Will the Dodgers Do?

Diamond Leung of The Press Enterprise let's us know about the Dodgers plans if Bonds were to break the record at Dodger Stadium.
"Our plan in the event of a home run is to acknowledge the home run's significance on DodgerVision and allow Barry to tip his cap and be acknowledged by the crowd."
Dodger spokesman Josh Rawitch made a funny. I'm sure the Dodger fanbase will express their gratitude.

Story Link: Diamond Leung:


Jason Stark mentions Troy Percival as possibly heading towards the Blue Crew.
For a guy who was so officially retired, he threw out the first pitch on opening day in L.A. of Anaheim, Percival sure has pitched well since the Cardinals signed him (3.07 ERA, .212 opponent average, 15 whiffs in 14 2/3 IP). But here's a development even more surprising: The Cardinals have been offering him around over the last 24 hours. And there have been rumblings Tuesday that the Dodgers were actively exploring bringing Percival back to Southern California -- in this case, Los Angeles of Los Angeles -- for a mid-level prospect. Could be a name to watch as the deadline approaches.
Story Link: ESPN:

Vinny's Retort

I had previously written about Dave Roberts and his pleading for Barry Bonds. He had said,
"These are 55,000 fans ... who'd be fortunate enough to be a part of history. So be a part of history and make it the great moment that it is. Don't tarnish it by acts of cruelty or whatever. Be above that.
In a previous LA Times article over a year ago Vinny stated thusly.
“I would just as soon it not happen against the Dodgers,” Scully said. “With Aaron, it was a privilege to be there when he did it. It was just a great moment. With Bonds, no matter what happens now, it will be an awkward moment. That’s the best word I can think of now. If I had my druthers, I would rather have that awkward moment happen to somebody else.”
Hat Tip: LGK:

Betemit for Proctor

Did we just do a trade with the Yankees?
"The Dodgers and Yankees have agreed in principle on a trade that would send reliever Scott Proctor to the Dodgers for infielder Wilson Betemit."
I can't help but feel that we got burned on this one. Sure, Betemit has been pretty dismal at the plate, but his ceiling appears to be high and he is OPS is at .834. Of course, he has been talked about in glowing terms for a long time and that shining star everyone thought he was has yet to fully brighten the sky. This may very well be a trade that helps solidify our bullpen while, at the same time, won't give us heartburn at the sight of Betemit. Maybe he is at his ceiling right now.

Scott Proctor Stats.
"Proctor is 2-5 with a 3.81 ERA, and his 54 1/3 innings out of the Yankees' bullpen are tied for fourth-most among AL relievers."
Story Link: ESPN:
Hat Tip: Craig via email:

Monday, July 30, 2007

Dodgers in Talks with A's for Blanton

The rumors are swirling and Joe Blanton is the target.
The Dodgers and Athletics have been talking about a package of three frontline prospects for Blanton, and on Monday night, they were in the process of mixing and matching possible combinations. Blanton makes just $380,000 this year, and will be eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter. Teams rarely trade young and cheap and established starting pitchers in the current market, which explains why Oakland is asking for a high price in return for Blanton.
I hope Kershaw is not a part of a potential deal.

Story Link: ESPN:
Hat Tip: BCWC:

Dotel and Teixeira Go To The Braves. Kershaw?

It looks like the Braves are throwing the dice and hoping they don't crap out. Reports indicate that Teixeira and Octavia Dotel will soon be going to Georgia.

I'm just glad we were not a part of those trades.

In other news, per the Big Blue Wrecking Crew message boards, it appears that Clayton Kershaw, after one inning of work today has been pulled from the game. Hopefully it's not an injury or a looming trade. Let's hope they just want to keep his innings down. This guy is a stud and has the stuff to be a number 1 starter.

As some of you may know, it has been reported that the Rangers want Kershaw bad. So does the rest of the league.

Story Link: Teixeira Trade: Yahoo:
Story Link: Dotel: Yahoo:

Dave Roberts Ask for Calm

Former Dodger Dave Roberts pleads Barry's case.

"I give Dodger fans a lot of credit for being knowledgeable," said Roberts, a fan favorite when he played in L.A. from 2002-04. "This is going to be a test, whether they show their knowledge and appreciation and love for the game, or whether they go the other way.

"These are 55,000 fans ... who'd be fortunate enough to be a part of history. So be a part of history and make it the great moment that it is. Don't tarnish it by acts of cruelty or whatever. Be above that.

"It's bigger than being a Dodger fan. This is beyond the rivalry. This is history"... "Those are people revered as the most knowledgeable fans in baseball, fans who get it," Roberts said. "I played in Los Angeles and I'd like to think they get it as well."

With all due respect Dave, your a fool if you think the rivalry will not trump Barry's pursuit for the record. Our fans will boo and berate Barry like they always do. Why would you expect anything different? After all, didn't we hear boo's when Russell Martin was introduced during the All-Star game? The rivalry runs deep, and you should know that.

On an aside, I don't know if i care much about him breaking the record. History will judge him in the future regardless of my beliefs. All I know is that "I Hate the Giants" and Barry is a perfect representation of why "I Hate the Giants."

Story Link: Contra Costa Times:

On a Potential Trade

BP highlights some notable quotes this week; including this choice quote from our own Andre Ethier.
"To say they’ll give up young players like myself or Kemp for a one-year (upgrade), I guess it depends on what their motives are. If they feel that this is the year that they have to get something done and they want to make the push, that’s their choice and their decision to make. … We’re an important ingredient to what we’re doing here, but at the same time we’re a commodity and can be traded freely."
It would not even be for a full year. There is only about 2 months left in the season. So, if we trade this guy, or Loney, or Kemp for a 2 month rental I will go bonkers. Teixeira will not help us here, and there is no possibility of signing a long-term contract with that guy. Boras is his agent.

Story Link: BP:

Friday, July 27, 2007

Baseball Owns the Collectible World

(This is the bat Ruth used to hit the first home run at Yankee Stadium. Rank #4.)

Today, many would agree that Baseball has lost its luster these past several decades. Football has outpaced Baseball as America's number one sport.
The television rights to broadcast NFL games are the most lucrative and expensive rights of any sport.
Nevertheless, Baseball still packs the stadiums. Attendance is at record highs. It has enjoyed the longest tenure of rabid fans and, as a result, its' collectibles overshadow anything the other sports have to offer in the market. (Above is the first home run ball ever hit in an All-Star Game. Of course, Ruth was the man who did it. Rank #6)

Forbes.com has put together a story highlighting the 10 most expensive sports collectibles, and all 10 items are Baseball related.

What I find surprising about the list is that Mark McGwire's 70th home run ball claims the number one spot. At an auction price of $3,005,000.00 it ranks as the most expensive collectible every purchased. Unfortunately, as most would agree, the owner overpaid. It's probably worth 1/3 of that price.

Something that does not surprise me is that Babe Ruth related items stake claim to 5 of the top 10 most expensive collectibles.
(Above is "Black Betsy." Shoeless Joe Jackson's famous bat. Ranked #10.)
Hat Tip: SCD:
Story and Photo Link: Forbes.com:

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"Bang, zoom, straight to the moon!"

Kent hit a ball Jackie Gleason would be proud of. "Bang, zoom, straight to the moon!"

Jeff Kent hit a game tying homer in the 7th inning to left center field that tied the score at 1 to 1. It was quite a dinger. Carlos Lee in left field didn't even turn to look. The ball went high in the air and slammed into a steel beam near the glass back wall. It then bounced back towards the outfielder Lee. It was only then that he turned to pick up the ball. The entire Houston crowd was in a collective gasp. "Whoe!?!" Like I said, it was quite a dinger.

Unfortunately, Kent's home run was not the only on hit this evening. Eric Munson lead off the scoring for the Astros with a home run in the third inning. Then, in Houston's part of the 7th inning, Carlos Lee hit his own rocket shot to left field to reclaim the lead for the Astros.

That was all the scoring done this evening. The Astros squeaked through with a 2 to 1 win.

Of note, Lowe left the game in the middle of the 5th inning.
It was unclear why he was removed, but he was visibly upset as he stalked off the field and he threw his glove the length of the dugout after he got there.
DJ Houlton pitched well in his 2 innings, but ultimately took the loss as he gave up the tee shot to Carlos Lee. Beimel and Roberto pitched well in their inning of work.

Oh well. You can't win them all. At least I can look fondly back at Jeff Kent's home run. "Whoe!?!"

Photo Link: Honeymooners.net:

Do You Want to Buy Bonds 715th Home Run Ball?

With all the hoopla surrounding the home run record, apparently the owners of his 715th home run ball believe that now is the best time to sell. On eBay, right now, you can bid on the ball that surpassed the great Babe Ruth. Sports Collectors Daily reports that the minimum reserve amount is $375,000.00. Considering it sold last year for $222,000.00, that's not a bad profit. Of course, I have my doubts it will sell at all.
Symbolic Collection Vice President Rovert Rios doesn't believe the lingering resentment toward Bonds will matter.

"With no indictments, no suspensions, and seemingly no movement by Major League Baseball against Barry Bonds, I believe this ball is one of the penultimate sports collectibles available today for market appreciation," Rios said in a news release.

"Last year, there was a swirl of allegations that had kept many bidders from jumping into the competition for the ball. I believe when the dust settles, Bonds will rightfully be judged as the greatest home run hitter of all time.
Has the dust settled yet? I'm figure he will receive the Alex Popov treatment.

Hat Tip: SCD:
eBay Listing: Bonds 715th Ball:

Michael Vick Animal Awareness Day

A special thanks to Lion in Oil for pointing out an upcoming promotion for the Long Beach Armada, or shall I say the Long Beach Armada of Los Angeles of California of the United States of North America including Barrow, Alaska. This coming Sunday, July 29, 2007, fans can bring "man's best friend" with them to the game. It will be "Michael Vick Animal Awareness Day." Doggies of all shapes and sizes are welcome to watch America's greatest game.

On top of that, you can trade a Michael Vick t-shirt or jersey for admission to the game.
Reminiscent of the infamous Disco Demolition over 25 years ago (without the attendant stampede and chaos), the Armada will destroy all Michael Vick jerseys in protest to the inhumane treatment of animals.
Since we are on the topic of dogs I want to give Rob from 6-4-2 a hearty thanks for being so attentive and loving to his friend, Foley. As Orel in the comments section said, "that's one lucky dog."

I have had my own stress recently concerning the well-being of my furry friend, Miko. This past weekend I had the vet check out a out-of-place lump on her belly that had me worried. Fortunately, it turned out to be a non-cancerous growth.
Dog Day Link:
Hat Tip: Lion in Oil:

Friday, July 13, 2007

Thank You Marlon

Following in Dodger Thoughts footsteps I too am grateful for the work and play of Marlon Anderson. He was the perfect player at the right time.

Below are some videos covering his time with us; including a great interview with him after last years fan appreciation game and the Dodgers home run rally against the Padres.

YouTube Link: eastlasportscene:

YouTube Link: Catholicchris:

I had to add this since Marlon's homer helped us experience this homerun. Below is a great field level view of Nomar's walk-off homer in the 10th to win the game.

Youtube Link: michaelpatrick1975:

Four Dodgers on BP's Prospects List

Check out BP's top 100 prospects list. It's available for only the next couple of days as this is usually available only to subscribers. Four Dodgers are on the list.

16. Clayton Kershaw, LHP, Dodgers, 19

Despite some occasional inconsistencies, Kershaw still sports a 2.12 ERA and twice as many strikeouts (102) than hits allowed (50) while showing the kind of stuff that scouts see out of teenage left-handers once in a generation.

20. Andy LaRoche, 3B, Dodgers, 23

He was doing little at Triple-A, and struggled in big league debut before heading to DL with shoulder problems. A reason for optimism is that he’s 12-for-30 with 23 total bases since returning to the lineup.

32. Scott Elbert, LHP, Dodgers, 21

Three starts with 24 strikeouts in 14 innings at Double-A Jacksonville and then shoulder soreness that required time on the DL before Elbert finally underwent arthroscopic surgery. It seems like all they did was clean out some scar tissue, and we won’t really know where the stuff is until he takes the mound next year.

54. James Loney, 1B/OF, Dodgers, 23

After not making the big league squad out of spring training, Loney’s .279/.345/.382 line at Triple-A Las Vegas was chalked up to a case of big league-itis. Finally returned to the majors, he’s at .385/.442/.603 in 78 at-bats, with the Dodgers finally coming around to the fact that he needs to be in the lineup on a daily basis.

Baseball Prospectus Link:

eBay: Worst Fake Ever

It's amazing the amount of fake memorabilia that ends up on eBay. It's even more amazing the number of obvious fake items that people try to peddle; like the reprint of a 1912 T207 Baseball card above.

See... not only does this card helpfully describe the name of the set (which wasn't established until decades after its actual production), but it lets you know how much the card is worth. Wow! Those cigarette makers back in the day sure had a lot of foresight.

On top of that you can buy it for a reasonable $900.00! What a bargain.

eBay Auction Link:

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Hunt Auctions: All Star FanFest

The All Star FanFest recently concluded an auction hosted by Hunt Auctions. As you can imagine there were some great items to be had; including a Ruth game used bat from the 1923 World Series. It sold for $322,000.00 including buyer's premium.Another items of note is memorabilia from the great Max Patkin, The Clown Prince of Baseball. Below is his original uniform.
Check out a video from ABC news about the auction here.

Auction Link: Hunt:
Video Link: ABC News:
Video Hat Tip: SCD:

When the Hall Comes Calling Players are Happy to Give

Bonds notwithstanding, most players are excited, if not surprised, the Hall would want something from them.
"When you approach a player," said Jeff Idelson, the Hall's vice president for communications and education, "they are stunned you are showing up at their locker."

"I can't figure out what the terminology is," he continued. "We are like the antithesis to the Grim Reaper."

In the Times Union piece both Lowe and Eckstein are highlighted.

(He) approached Boston Red Sox pitcher Derek Lowe during the 2004 World Series celebration at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, after Lowe became the first pitcher ever to win three series-clinching games in a single post- season.

"The Hall of Fame would like to have your jersey," Horn told him in the visitor's dugout tunnel.

"Oh, man, absolutely," Lowe replied. He started taking off his jersey, then stopped. "Wait," he said.

Lowe returned moments later with a man and woman.

"These are my parents," he said. "Tell them exactly what you told me."

Eckstein was just as shocked, if not more than Lowe.

"Really?" Eckstein repeated. "You want it from me?"

He finally flipped off his spikes, bent down, and presented them to Petroskey on the spot. "These are yours," he said.

Story Link: TimesUnion.com:
Hat Tip: SCD:


I apologize about disappearing over the past week or so. It's just that, as other bloggers have discovered, it is helpful to just take a break and lay off the keyboard for a little bit. Recharge those batteries, so to speak.

Besides, I've found myself distracted by the recent flurry of activity surrounding the Kings. If you don't know, I'm just as rabid a Kings fans as I am a Dodgers fan. The Kings made a surprise pick in the 1st round of the draft a couple weeks ago, they signed 5 free agents to add some veteran presence and resigned, to a 5 year contract, one of the leagues best young defensemen this morning. So, I guess you can say, I've been very happy with their moves lately.

Do I think this all translates into a Stanley Cup Run next year?

No way. I'd be surprised if they got that far, but I think they have a decent shot at the playoffs. And, if you know anything about playoff hockey, you know there is nothing like it.

Do I think they might have the stuff to make a run for the cup in a couple of years?

Definitely! For the first time in a long time the Kings have a great plan, the youngsters in the system to achieve that goal and a GM with the knowledge to pull it off.

Anyway, it is time to get back to my Blue Heaven.

Sacrilege: Stark Names Koufax Most Overrated Lefty

I'm shocked! Dismayed! I'm besides myself! Stark Raving Mad, I Say!

DelcoTimes gives us a peek at Jayson Stark's book, The Stark Truth, that seeks to rate the most underrated and overrated players in Baseball. On top of his list of most overrated lefties is our beloved Sandy Koufax. Sacrilege!

To prove a point about his insanity he names Nolan Ryan as the most overrated righthander of all time. My jaw dropped on that one too.

Anyway, he defends his point thusly.

"People who haven't read the book misconstrue my definition of overrated," adds Stark. "I'm not trying to say they should have taken up the violin instead of baseball.

"It's a whole different kind of concept."

Yhea, OK. About Koufax he adds.

"He was the greatest pitcher alive and possibly the greatest lefthander ever. I'm not nuts enough to try to dispute that," said Stark.

The Stark truth, however, is that the first half of Koufax' career, he had the second highest ERA in baseball.

"With players we grow to love, we don't even WANT to think about that other stuff," said Stark. "We get a snapshot in our brain of what that player meant to us and we don't want to let any other snapshots in there."

Stark goes on to say there's a tendency to romanticize players who walk away from the game in their prime.

"Other players go on; they get hurt, they decline and they leave us with other snapshots. That colors our perception of that player. Koufax didn't have to worry about that."

Well, those are all good points. I guess you could count me in as a fan who refuses to hear about that other stuff. Anyway, he also names the most underrated players which he acknowledged was much more fun to write. Some of those underrated players include Yogi Berra, Steve Carlton, Frank Robinson, Bob Feller, Dick Allen and Richie Ashburn. He did get a smile from me though. JD Drew is listed as overrated.
"The thing he's done best throughout his career is find a way to get paid," said Stark. "To me, that's the classic definition of overrated."
Story Link: DelcoTimes.com: