Friday, August 31, 2007

Dodgers are Blogging

Via Diamond Leung, we find out that Dodger pitchers Chad Billingsley and Takashi Saito are now blogging. So far, Chad has only one post, but I look forward to reading more. Saito's blog is in Japanese and I have not been able to get it translated yet. If anyone knows a good way to do this, please pass that information along.

Takashi Saito Blog:
Chad Billingsley Blog:
Hat Tip: Diamond Leung:

YouTube: Dodger Videos

There are some great recent Dodger videos on YouTube that includes the historic, the funny and the entertaining.

I don't remember Rick Monday being a sports broadcaster for KTTV, but here he is from 1987.

YouTube Link: cubbie72:

Check out this great 1950's Gillette razor commercial featuring Pee Wee Reese, Roy Campanella and Don Zimmer.

YouTube Link: retroloadz:

Below is a funny jab at our newest rotund member of the pitching staff- David Wells.

YouTube Link: DonnyBaarns:

This is a great video of the Judy Garland show with special guest Leo Durocher.

YouTube Link: johnmana97:

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Sotheby's/ SCP Auction: Del Crandall Collection

Some of you may know that Sotheby's/ SCP is currently running the auction featuring Barry Bonds homerun baseballs #755 & #756. Fortunately, those balls are not the only reason to be excited about this action. What's also for sale are choice pieces coming from former AAA manager of the Albuquerque Dukes, Del Crandall. From 1976 to 1982 Crandall was highly successful in bringing up some of the Dodgers most popular and storied players. For his efforts during the Dodgers 1981 season he was given a World Series Championship ring. It is now available along with other championship and all-star rings, bats, programs, etc. from his playing and managerial career. Check out his stuff here (Whoops, so about the bad link. Just do a search in the description field under the name Del Crandall and you will pull up all of the items from his collection.).

Another piece I wanted to point out is the below photograph featuring Roy Campanella's 1952 All-Star Barnstorming Negro League Team, complete with autographs. Players include Campanella, Leon Day, Lary Doby, Hank Thompson, Monte Irvin, recent HOF'er Alex Pompez and others. Unfortunately, the photo is very worn, but would still look great on the wall.

The Greatest Prank Ever

High school football rivalries can get very heated. Students will do everything from stealing mascots to defacing campus statues or property. In Columbus, Ohio the rivalry between Hilliard and Darby went to new lengths.

A Student at Hilliard tricked unsuspecting fans from Darby into holding up squares of black or white paper to spell out the words, "We Suck." Check out the video below.

YouTube Link: pxci22:
Hat Tip: Sports Illustrated:

Welcome to LA

Ned Colletti is doing his best Dr. Frankenstein impression. He has been picking up aging or potential injury problem pitchers in hopes he can patch together a winning pitching staff. We started the season with Wolf and Schmidt as questions marks. They are now both on the DL. Roberto Hernandez, an aging veteran, and Scott Proctor, who has been overworked by the Yankees, are now in the relief corps. David Wells was brought in just last week. Now, former all-star, Esteban Loaiza, comes into town having pitched well his only two outings this year, but is fresh of the DL. Can this piecemeal concoction survive til the end of the year? I hope so.

Welcome to the Blue Esteban!

Photo Link:

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

We Got A Streak!

Four in row! Happy days are here again.

eBay: 1886 "Official Baseball Record" Hardbound Volume

A very rare 19th Century hardbound book detailing Baseball history was recently sold on eBay. Check out the auction here. Within the binding of this book consist of 149 issues of the "Official Baseball Record" (April 19th, 1886 through October 9th, 1886) which was the 1st daily sports newspaper devoted exclusively to the increasingly popular game of Baseball. For $1.00 a year you could get a daily report detailing the actions of King Kelly, Cap Anson, the Wright Brothers, Billy Sunday and others.

The rarity of this volume is as a result of the type of printing within the book. The paper is highly acidic and extremely cheap / poor quality newspaper stock. As a result, very few examples exist today. This particular historic piece sold for an incredible $3,195.99.
eBay Link: Auction Link for book:
Hat Tip: Vintage Baseball Card Forum:

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Overworking Russell and Not Playing Ethier

Will Carroll of Under The Knife points to something we were all thinking.
The Dodgers are trying to find rest for Russel Martin, but they're doing a bad job of it. An interesting thought--is there a "catch count" or some kind of innings limit on catchers?
Does Russell need some rest time? Are the Dodgers neglecting their future star by not forcing him to sit on the bench from time to time? Can we afford to bench him considering the playoff race we are currently in?

On top of that, I see that in today's game the Dodger have chosen to sit one of their hottest hitters today, Andre Ethier. Why is he not playing regularly? Has he not earned a starting outfield job?

Sit Gonzo and play Ethier. It is time to move towards the future.

I love how the team is shaping up. Kemp and Ethier in the outfield corners. James Loney at first base. Russell Martin is our catcher. Billingsley is now one of our top starters. Broxton is a potential closer. It is like watching an artist turn a sketch into a painting.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Tony Jackson asks in his article today:
With the Dodgers holding on for dear life in their quest for a playoff berth, how much longer can they afford to keep running the unreliable Tomko to the mound every fifth day?
My answer: Any thought that he can be an effective 5 to 6 inning starter had been vacant from my mind months ago. He is just not getting it done. All I know is I never want to see that guy on the mound again this year.

Also, I have to wonder what Grady is thinking when he said,
"He has good stuff. Sometimes, it amazes me that he gets hit."
What was that again? You've got to be kidding me.

What amazes me is that he still wears Dodger Blue. Unfortunately, with the injuries to Kuo, Schmidt and Wolf we have no choice.

YouTube: Baseball Video From 1898

Below is a short video clip featuring the very first, or at least oldest surviving, video/film of Baseball being played. It was put together by Thomas Edison in 1898 and is called The Ball Game. Two amateur teams from Newark, New Jersey face off against one another.

YouTube Link: baseballguru:
Hat Tip: VBCF:

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Allen & Ginter's Fantasy Card- The Dude Abides

As you may recall, I had previously written about a Mother Teresa signed Allen & Ginter card that recently sold on eBay for over $10,000.00. Furthermore, I mentioned that this set includes names not typically found in modern card offerings. In fact, the set includes many non-Baseball and non-sports people. Do you want a Queen Victoria card? How about P. T. Barnum? Is classical reading your fancy, then pick up a Fyodor Dostoevsky.

Well, several Baseball collector blogs have been putting together list of potential submissions for Topps to consider in their future offerings of this widely popular card set. Check out Stale Gum's submission here. Cardboard Junkie has his own list with photo-shopped examples. Then, he updates it and includes the best suggestion of all- a "The Big Lebowski" card. All you have to do is use a photo from that whacked out dream sequence and title it "The Dude Abides."

It's brilliant I tell ya. Brilliant!

ForbesVideo: MLB Authenticators

Ever wonder how MLB goes about the process of authenticating game-used memorabilia. Check out the video below to see.

ForbesVideo Link:
Hat Tip: Sports Collectors Daily:

Lieberthal: SoCal Native, A Philly Staple and a Catching Mentor

Mike Lieberthal has gone full circle. Raised in California and born a Dodger fan, he became a third overall pick during the 1990 draft out of Westlake High School. By 1994 he got his first taste of the big leagues with the Phillies and has never looked back. After two All-Star game appearances, a Gold Glove and over a decade as a front-line starting catcher he now finds himself back home, during the twilight of his career, with the team he grew up watching. The Dodgers are happy to have him on board- if not for his past achievements, but for his ability to show Russell Martin the way.
Lieberthal also contributes in less obvious ways. Perhaps the most important is that he is an experienced mentor and sounding board for Martin.

"We get along pretty well, and we're pretty close off the field," Lieberthal said. "I feel like I can pretty much tell him anything that is going to help him, and he is very receptive, and he has a good understanding. I don't think it's hard with Russ, because there isn't a whole lot you need to say to him."

Its been good to have him on board. Besides, any player who bleeds Blue and decides to come home to play for our team deserve our respect and admiration.

Pic Link: The Baseball Cube:
Story Link: Press Telegram:

Monday, August 20, 2007

Mastro in Trouble with the FBI, Again?

The riptide that surrounds Mastro Auctions continues to turn. The ocean waters are white and foamy as the tide pulls everything in its path out to sea. Controversy continues to follow one of the hobbies premier auction houses.

Mastro Auction has lost a lot of luster in the eyes of many within the hobby. From reports of in-house shill bidding to their connections to a political scandal involving Tom Noe and coingate. Now, The Daily News reports that a purported Michael Jordan UNC warm-up jersey auctioned a couple of weeks ago during the National Convention has the FBI circling again.
The hangover from the event, however, just won't go away. One item, advertised as a Michael Jordan North Carolina warm-up shirt, sold for $11,000 even though questions had been raised about its authenticity well before the auction took place. Collectors cried foul on Game-Used, a memorabilia Web site, and began investigating the shirt. Mastro Auctions voided the sale and sent the jersey back to the authentication service that raised the initial doubts for further review.

But the controversy over the "Jordan" shirt appears far from over: It has added new pressure to calls for greater regulation and standards for the dog-eat-dog world of sports memorabilia. The shirt has also attracted the interest of the FBI, which as the Daily News reported last month, has already begun an investigation into business practices at Mastro Auctions, sports memorabilia's largest auction house.
The vintage game-used market has been in shambles due to the unscrupulousness of a handful of people. It makes it impossible to bid on any item that does not have great provenance.

With regards to Mastro's conduct I will say that they did the right thing by pulling the jersey, but they certainly need to be more forthcoming when questions arise regarding any items they have for sale. Playing hide the ball does not benefit Mastro's reputation.

Story Link: The Daily News:
Hat Tip: VBCF:

OT: Battle at Kruger

What happens when you combine a pride of lions, a herd of buffalo, and 2 crocodiles at a watering hole in Africa? You get nature at its wildest. Check out the video below. Amazingly, all of the animals in the film appear to walk away unscathed.

YouTube Link: Jason 275:

Saturday, August 18, 2007

eBay: Mother Teresa Autographed Card

They make cards for just about everybody these days. There are cards of presidents to explorers, leaders to innovators, famous events to obscure celebrities. The rarest cards come with limited autographs.

Above and below is a 1 of 1, 2007 Topps Allen & Ginter Cut Signature of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Mother Teresa. This particular card sold on eBay a couple of days ago at $10,099.99.

Of special note: This card was pulled from a pack a couple of weeks ago at the 28th National Sports Collectors Convention in Cleveland by Dave and Adams Sportscards.

Hat Tip: SportsCard World:
eBay Link: Mother Teresa Autographed Card:

The Sports Card Channel Videos: Collections:

Sports Collectors Daily has set up a online video channel on geared to the collector. He's got some great collector videos there. Check it out here. Below some collectors show off their stuff.

Vintage Tobacco Tins.

Video Link Hat Tip: The Sports Channel:
YouTube Video Link: TouchdownChip:

Todd McFarland shares his rare homerun ball collection.

Video Link Hat Tip: The Sports Channel:
YouTube Link: CBS:

What ever happened to the "Mookie Ball." Check it out below.

Video Link Hat Tip: The Sports Channel:
YouTube Link: sethswirsky:

The Sports Card Channel Link:

It Started With A Bang

YouTube Link: WSCKKKK:

Following a night where he hit 3 doubles and recorded 2 RBI's, Jeff Kent started the scoring Friday evening with a solo homerun in the 2nd inning. Five more Dodgers would follow him with hits as the Dodgers sprinted to a 5-0 lead after two. The Dodgers have started to look alive these past three days and the results show. They have a three game winning streak having scored 6 runs in each game. The Dodgers have recorded a total of 29 hits that includes 9 doubles and 3 homeruns.

Eric Stults was masterful in his 7 innings last night. Broxton was sharp in his one inning. Proctor faltered a bit, giving up two runs, but the magic hands of Saito saved the day. He recorded his 32nd save of the year. The Dodgers won the game 6-4.

Once again hope is renewed as the Dodgers look ready to finish this marathon strong. Unfortunately, as with any season, questions still remain. Will the pitching staff stay off the injured list? Can our hitters remain consistent? Can our rookies come through in the stretch?

I just hope it isn't too late. We are 6 1/2 games out of first and 2 1/2 games behind in the wild card race. 40 games are left in the season and time is getting short. All I know is that I'm crossing my fingers and praying to the great Dodger in the sky.

YouTube: Dodger Videos

This Dodger fan earns his stripes as he represents the Blue in the midst of a hostile Giants crowd.

YouTube Link: moshi32:

A Blue Heaven Sleepover! Below is video from this years second annual event.

YouTube Link: khivtv:

A Martin Tribute.

YouTube Link: ChristianAllen:

The Pavilion Pimps invade San Francisco.

YouTube Link: PavilionPimps:

Below is a link to a promo video for a documentary about The Duke.

Duke Snider: In His Own Words (no embed): YouTube Link:

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Mets Give Out Broadcaster Baseball Cards

I can't believe I just heard about this. The NY Mets had a recent promotion where they gave away trading cards featuring their on-air/ radio talent. Illustrious former stars like Keith Hernandez, Ron Darling, Ralph Kiner and Lee Mazzilli were available.

The Dodgers need to do this. I would love to have a baseball card featuring Vin Scully. I would even keep a Rick Monday, Steve Lyons and Charley Steiner cards in my collection. On the other hand, we can do what the the Mets fans did.
It started around the fifth inning, what looked like confetti falling from the upper decks by left field. Then more fell. And more. By the eighth inning, everyone in the stadium had the itch, because they had discovered that the SNY baseball cards fluttered in the hot New York air like ticker tape after a World Series win. The PA announcer had to warn everyone to not throw anything from the stands on to the field, or the game would be delayed. Of course few cards made it to the field, most just fluttered down to the field level seats.

Probably the most interesting thing was that the fans were being very selective about who they threw over the railing. The Trifecta of Mets game announcers, Ron Darling, Gary Cohen, and Keith Hernandez, as well as legendary player/announcer Ralph Kiner seemed to, for the most part, be spared the indignity of having their cardboard alter-egos hurled out of the stands. The lesser watched SNY talent did not have that privilege. Miniature Julie Donaldsons, Matt Yallofs, Lee Mazzillis and Kevin Burkhardts were everywhere, with only an occasional recognizable face thrown in (probably by Braves fans).
So who would you select to be thrown into the wild Blue yonder?

You can have the Steiner, I'm keeping the Scully!

Story Link: Broadcasting Cable Blog:
Hat Tip: SCD:
Photo Link: Duncan's Corner:

My Eyes Hurt

Watching has been hard to do. Our team has looked dismal. They haven't been able to score any meaningful runs for weeks. Our pitching staff has been in and out of the emergency room. They are overworked and in need of a tune up. We made some desperate trades only to see us make other moves to replace who we lost. (Betemit for Hillenbrand & Marlon for Sweeney) It has been like watching a pinball wrap around a course only to see it fall into that hidden gap for a loss. When will these doldrums end.

Then, something happened. That something is something I don't think I can appropriately describe. Yesterday was like a brand new day. It was a different day. Our players came out with more gusto. They had the look of a team that may be down, but they certainly were not out.

Our staff ace, Brad Penny, came roaring back with an efficient and commendable 6 inning performance. Our relief staff (Proctor, Broxton, Saito) pitched 3 scoreless innings. They combined for one walk, one hit and four strike outs. Our bats, from young to old, suddenly came back to life.

Juan Pierre has been on fire. Russell Martin snapped out of his mid-season funk to crank out two homers. Kemp looked like he is ready to get out of his slump. Gonzo got two hits. Everything appears to be working itself out.

Will this last? I hope so. After all, at this point in the season all we have left is hope.

OT: Economics- Market Woes

Wow. Two posts about economics in one month. I guess I have work on the mind. The Big Picture, which is one of my favorite economics/ business blogs, points to a editorial found in the Wall Street Journal.

"The current crisis is the result of the normal ebb and flows of credit cycles, and the free market will amply handle the correction that is already happening. Calls for Federal Reserve intervention or for other governmental involvement -- including an increase of the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac lending limits -- must be rejected.

In the free market, those that made bad credit decisions must be allowed to pay the price, and only by paying dearly can lessons truly be learned. Borrowers who were unwitting and took on too much debt must learn that there are consequences for their actions. Homebuilders that built too many homes or overpaid for land need to face the consequences. Wall Street firms that provided credit to all of these activities with too much laxity must also pay a price. This is all part of a healthy correction.

All of these players reaped benefits during the housing boom that preceded the current crisis. Certain homeowners were able to temporarily live above their means. Homebuilder and bank profits have been exorbitant, and shareholders and executives of these companies have profited mightily in the boom. To not permit losses now would be a direct violation of the free-market ideals at the foundation of our economy."

If you are in the market be sure to keep your eye on the ball. As always, hope for the best, but always be prepared for the worse.

Story Link: WSJ:
Hat Tip: The Big Picture:

Friday, August 10, 2007

Welcome to the Blue Mark Sweeney

The Dodgers have made a trade with the hated Giants. Has it really been 22 years since the last time we made an exchange?

Unfortunately, it is hard to say if he is a step up from our previous left handed bench hitter Marlon Anderson. Considering this trade, why did we let Marlon walk?

Pic Link: Army of Mom:

YouTube: The National Sports Collectors Convention Videos

If you want to see some videos from the National Convention check out the below links.

From Net 54:

From JSpillman:

Below are some video that I picked out.

Mastro Auctions: National Sports Collectors Convention Auction

Some of you may have known that the National Sports Card Collectors Convention was held in Cleveland this past weekend. As a part of the festivities, Mastro Auctions held a special auction of rare Baseball memorabilia at the local House of Blues. The items in this auction where absolutely incredible. I only wish I had a chance to see them for myself.

A near set (96 of 97) of T215 Pirates Cigarettes Baseball Set sold for $800,000.00 (or $960,000.00 including a 20% buyers premium). This easily ranks as one of the most expensive sets ever sold.

Below is another incredible item. It is a 1897 Page Fence Giants Negro League Team Card that sold for $16,000.00 ($19,200 with premium).
I'll let the auction description explain the historical importance of the piece,

J. Wallace Page, the founder and owner of the Page Woven Wire Fence Company of Adrian, Michigan forged the all-black Page Fence Giants in 1894, doing so without any official league affiliation. The independent team's history would be brief (1894-1898) but enormously significant. As one of the elite African-American teams of its era, the Page Fence Giants played their first game on April 9, 1895 and traveled by train in a private custom-made railroad car featuring sleeping quarters, a cook (who also pitched), and a porter. This mode of transportation not only promoted the team and its sponsor but also avoided any "issues" with segregated public hotels and restaurants. The players were organized by Bud Fowler and Grant "Home Run" Johnson. Selecting men for both physical talents and social skills, this was no group of hard-drinking, uneducated social malcontents—terms that could describe some white ball players of the time. In fact, the team boasted no fewer than five college graduates. Never playing as the "home" team, the Giants appeared in more than 100 different towns, compiling a record of 118-36-2.

In 1896, Charlie Grant replaced Fowler at second base. The Page Fence Giants claimed honors as the top team in black baseball by beating the Cuban Giants 10 games to 5. The next season, the Giants went 125-12 fueled by an astounding 82 consecutive wins. Sadly, the 1898 tour was the club's last, sending the players to other teams including the newly formed Chicago Columbia Giants for the 1899 season.

As one can imagine, items from this era—the infancy of organized African-American baseball—are few, and they're rightfully treated as cherished mementos. The clearly identified subjects date this precious relic to the 1896-1898 era; an exact date is impossible to ascertain. The team roster includes Geo. Taylor, Geo. Wilson, Grant "Home Run" Johnson, Joe Miller, "Billy" Holland, A.S. Parsons (manager), Pete Burns, Fred Van Dyke, Wm. Binga, Chas. Grant and Vasco Graham along with an assortment of early baseball gear.

1897 Page Fence Giants Trade Card Auction Link:

No premium auction is complete without a T206 Wagner coming up for sale.
This example in poor condition sold for $160,000.00 ($192,000.00 with premium).

1909 T206 White Border Honus Wagner Auction Link:

Some of you may remember a post I made in May about a recent find concerning the origins of the W555 Baseball card set. It sold at the auction for $23,000 ($27,600.00 with premium).

1910 Jay S. Meyer "Base Ball Snap Shots" Original and Complete Uncut Box Auction Link:

Below is a CDV featuring the 1875 Hartford Blue Stockings featuring Candy Cummings, the inventor of the curveball. This card sold for $17,000.00 ($20,400.00 with premium).
The auction description is below:

The 1875 Hartford Blue Stockings, or the "Dark Blues" (or, even more simply, "the Blues"), finished a respectable second in the final campaign of the National Association at 54-28, edging out Philadelphia by one game. (This was an era when total wins was the determining factor, not the won-lost percentage.) The downside was found in the fact that they were still 17 wins behind Harry Wright's champion Boston Red Stockings, which posted a phenomenal 71-8 record. The Hartford team's failure to overtake their rivals was not due to any lack of trying, particularly on the part of one of the most important figures in 19th Century baseball, Hartford's leading pitcher William Arthur "Candy" Cummings (1848-1924). Candy, so called because his pitching was as "sweet as candy," enjoyed his finest year in 1875 for the Blues. He went 35-12 for the season with an ERA of 1.60. His fellow pitcher Tommy Bond had a good season too, winning 19 and losing 16. But even the combined wins of both Hartford hurlers couldn't beat Al Spalding's brilliant 55-5 season total for Boston. Cummings went on to post a great won-lost percentage the following season, as well, but it would prove to be his last as a player.

Hartford's ace is credited with inventing the curve ball and would have probably been awarded a place in Cooperstown based just on that fact. However, it should also be remembered that it was only two years after this photograph was taken when Cummings assumed the position of president of the first Minor League circuit—the International League. It seems probable that Cummings' 1939 election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame is due as much to his status as a pioneer baseball executive as to his creative pitches in his playing years. Still, despite his importance to the early history of the game, images of Cummings are extremely rare, with only a handful known to exist. This carte-de-visite is one of the only career-contemporary views of the player ever discovered, presenting its magnificent recording of Cummings in uniform with the 1875 Hartfords. Clear and very clean, this sepia team photo possesses excellent contrast, making it all the easier to locate the diminutive Cummings as the player standing in the center of the rear row.

1875 Hartford Blue Stockings CDV Featuring Candy Cummings Auction Link:

Below is video showing off some of the Mastro Auction items displayed at the National Convention.

Mastro Auctions: National Sports Collectors Convention Auction:

Thursday, August 02, 2007

eBay Wins: Carl Erskine Wire Photos

Below are a handful of AP press wire photos from the Examiner that I recently won eBay. They feature Dodger ace Carl Erskine. Below he is sitting in a trunk filled with Baseballs.
Below, Trainer Doc Wendler is working on Erkine's right arm the day before his opening game start in the 1953 World Series against the hated Yankees.
This is the best photo of the lot. Erskine, sporting a rifle in hand and a dead duck in the other, shows off his kills to his wife. She doesn't look too pleased. Also, do you think he actually went hunting with a Dodger cap on?

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Martin Ties Dailey

Russell Martin has tied a Dodger franchise record that has stood since 1892. With his 18th stolen base this evening he is poised to surpass Con Dailey for the all time Dodger record for stolen bases for a catcher this year. It's amazing it has lasted so long. Of course, I can't think of any former Dodger catcher in my lifetime who had the legs to steal a base.

For an excellent biography of this 19th Century catcher check out this story on Dodger Thoughts.

BTW, it was common with Baseball cards from this era to have many spelling mistakes. Hence, Dailey's name is spelled Daley on the above 1887-88 Old Judge N172 Baseball card.

Pic Link:

Who Would You trade for Johan Santana?

It appears the best pitcher in Baseball is a little miffed at the lack of activity by the Twins.
These were Johan Santana's words Tuesday after the non-waiver trade deadline passed without another trade: "I'm not surprised. That's exactly how they are. That's why we're never going to go beyond where we've gone"...

"It's not just about hope," Santana said. "In a realistic world, you have to really make it happen and go for it.

"You always talk about future, future. ... But if you only worry about the future, then I guess a lot of us won't be part of it," Santana said.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner wasn't smiling.

"Why waste time when you're talking about something that's always going to be like that? It's never going to be beyond this point. It doesn't make any sense for me to be here, you know?"...

"I've been here for eight years, and I've seen a lot of those kind of things," he said. "I've seen a lot of those guys [like Castillo] come in and leave. [The decision makers] don't care. They always talk about caring about it; I don't think they care.

"Because if you're always talking about having young players -- that's the philosophy the team has, and I respect all that -- but it's been proven that it's not enough to go all the way to the World Series"...

"I never give up," Santana said. "Me, personally, I never give up. It's over when the last game of the season's over. I don't know how these guys upstairs think. I'm expecting everybody else to do their jobs and help us win games because I've been so close to being in the World Series.

"A lot of these guys, they don't know. They're just happy to be here. Maybe that's how they like it upstairs, but I don't like it."

This guy wants to win. So, I ask, who would you trade for Johan?

When I think about it, Santana might be the only guy I would consider trading Kershaw for. Ethier, Hu, Kemp, Loney, Laroche, Abreu, Young, Meleon, Broxton and Orenduff would not be untouchables. He is that good. In fact, there are very few untouchable young Dodgers I would not trade for him.

Story Link: Star Tribune:
Hat Tip: BBWC:
Pic Link: Deadspin:

OT: LA Kings- Jimmy Fox

I love The Daily News. Tony Jackson has been doing a great job with the Inside the Dodgers site and Rich Hammond's Inside the Kings blog has been no exception. It has been the go to site, providing the best news possible, for the information starved fans of the Kings nation.

Over the past several days he has collected numerous questions from the fans to pass along to LA Kings TV color commentator and former player Jimmy Fox. Knowing what a great all-around guy Fox is he was happy to answer every question. In fact, he wrote so much Hammond broke up the interview into 4 parts.

My favorite story from Fox is below.
From Patrick: Jim, what was the worst pummeling you got in a game? I know this wasn't your role, but perhaps you have a memory of a game that got particularly out of control.

Jim Fox: You're right...that wasn't my role...thank far as I can remember, I was only involved in 2 situations where I received 5 minutes for fighting and I don't think I threw a punch in either case.
The hardest I was hit is easy to remember now, but at the time, I has no idea what had was game at the Great Western Forum...I had the puck behind Buffalo's net and tried to bring it to the front...well Mike Foligno had other ideas...he lowered his shoulder and hit me full speed right in the jaw...I went spinning into the air and when I landed I had no idea where I was...I was never unconscious, but I was out of it...I do remember being on all fours on the ice...I looked around and it was all fuzzy...I said to myself, I know I can't get up, so just stay where you are
and Pete (Pete Demers, Kings trainer) will come and help you...that's exactly what happened...the next thing a knew I was sitting on the Kings bench with about 12 minutes remaining on the clock (1st period)...the next thing I knew, I was looking at the clock and there was about 2 minutes remaining...I leaned over to Dave Taylor on the bench and told Dave I thought the clock was broken...Dave then went to get Pete and he immediately took me to the dressing room...what I wasn't aware of was that I played 3 shifts that I couldn't remember then and still can't remember...then I remember taking a shower and then I was talking to the doctor but didn't remember anything about how I got in and out of the shower...the doctor asked me some questions about what I had to eat for pre-game meal that I got to the arena...I couldn't remember a thing...I was diagnosed with a slight concussion and missed about 3 days...not a fun time, but something I will always remember...I think?
Story Link: Inside the Kings:

OT: Economics

I am making a rare off-topic (non-Baseball, non collectible) post to bring up a concern that has had me thinking about the economy. The markets appear to be in trouble. In the NYSE the DOW has experienced a nearly 800 point drop over the past several days as housing and lending news roil the markets. The cost of capital is increasing, interest rates are increasing for home owners and real estate values are falling in concert. Gasoline and energy prices are heading skyward. CNBC, over the past week, have been whispering that $100.00 per barrel oil is on the horizon. Everything seems to be heading in the wrong direction.

Inflation, Deflation, Recession... Where are we headed? What does it all mean? What can we reasonably forecast?

All of these issues give me a big headache. I guess you can say that I'm still in the process of trying to understand some of the basics, while, at the same time, trying to apply it to the real world. As a primer I thought I would add the following from the Agonist blog who is asking the same questions.

I’m no economist. But I live at the mercy of the economy, so I read quite a bit on the subject with hopes of learning a thing or two. Understanding the causes for inflation was relatively simple concept for me to grasp. With an ever-increasing supply of money and shortages of essential elements, higher prices are inevitable.

But how inflation morphs into deflation is another matter. I never could quite understand how that could happen, if not created by central banks removing money from the system. Until now.

I am beginning to see how money disappears.

It started when lending institutions loaned money to people on no-money-down, adjustable-rate-mortgages for homes and real estate, and in so doing created a buying frenzy. Good sales created competition and drove up real-estate prices. As values for real-estate grew in what was really a stagnant economy when looked at just from the standpoint of producing and selling products, people took out additional equity loans. Real-estate outpaced other goods in value for a number of consecutive years—somewhere around 15% per year. This could not go on forever. And it hasn’t.

Wages couldn’t keep pace with the rise in value of real-estate, not without breaking companies having to compete with off-shore businesses and producers.

Now interest rates have risen; mortgage payments are re-setting at higher numbers and people are not earning enough money at their job to make payments. Gas and food prices, not included in the government’s inflation rate numbers, are on the rise at an exponential rate.

So people load additional debt on credit cards.

Then they put the house up for sale. But it doesn’t sell. So they lower the price. And it still doesn’t sell. Money they thought they had in equity vanishes into thin air. At some point, they owe more on the house than it is worth.

Home owners can’t keep the job if they don’t have gas, and everyone must eat. The credit card is essential for these expenditures, so it gets paid before the house payment. With time, the home owner gets farther and farther behind. The day comes when the bank forecloses. The home-owner walks away from the home and finds a cheaper place to rent.

But this owner is not alone. Many of his neighbors are in similar situations—stretched to the limit with debt.

Banks try to sell homes to recuperate money they loaned and they don’t sell. So money the bank thought it had in the form of promises to pay isn’t there. Vanished into thin air. Many of these loans have been packaged and have become part of someone’s retirement fund or investment package. And that retirement fund or investment package ain’t worth a nickel, because masses of people quit making their payments. They are written off of the books; the money they represented also has vanished into thin air.

Money we thought we had was nothing more than a figment of our imagination and a few binary numbers in a computer. Unfulfilled promises based on expectations of more and more growth at every level.

When all of his happens in enough places at the same time, the people wake up and realize they have no money. They tear up the credit card, leaving another unpaid debt, and consequently destroy more money, and start paying with cash which means they quit buying so much stuff because they don’t have enough money to do so. The stuff doesn’t sell, so the store lowers its prices. And it still doesn’t sell. Before long, the store is in trouble. As are the employees of the store. Stores close, more jobs are lost.

New construction comes to a standstill and construction workers lose their jobs. Quit making payments. The snake eats its own tail.

Now you have deflation. Collapse of an economy. A Depression.

I wonder if printing and reintroducing new cash can keep up with the disappearance of all of this money and forestall a collapse. I guess time will tell, because I doubt the fed is going to quit printing money as long as the rest of the world allows them to.

If the fed does tighten cash supplies, what happens when China and a handful of Saudi princes, each of which sit on a trillion or so dollars decide to buy our country? If the fed keeps printing money and we keep buying stuff made in other countries without selling them something in exchange, they end up holding more dollars (now you know why bush wanted to sell our shipping ports).

Our economy is based on its ability to grow continually. But there are limits to growth and we’ve come near realizing what those limits are. This planet has given us all it had to offer and we’re still not satisfied.

Something has to give.

And so on.. and so on. Are we anywhere near this scenario? I don't think so, but cautious optimism should be your guiding light. As they say in the market, "there are only two emotions on Wall Street: fear and greed." Right now there appears to be a healthy dose of fear to go around.

BTW, I ran across an interesting housing blog that is worth a look. Its called the Irvine Housing Blog. The writer is as bearish as the markets look. He provides plenty of anecdotal information about a looming housing crisis in Irvine.