Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Barber of Baseball

Here is a great article about the man who has become the most sought after barber in Baseball, Angel Pena. Nicknamed "Monster99" he has a rolodex that gives him an opportunity to go from coast to coast. He even cut Daisuke Matsuzaka's hair in Japan.

Even more interesting is his story related to Manny Ramirez's number.

When Ramirez — who grew up in the same Manhattan neighborhood of Washington Heights that Pena did — was traded from the Red Sox, he turned to Pena for advice in picking a Dodgers jersey number.

"He couldn't have No. 24, because it was (retired)," Pena says. "He couldn't take 42 because (it's retired for) Jackie Robinson. He was thinking of No. 34 in honor of Big Papi, but that was gone. So the Dodgers sent a text with a list of numbers available. Manny turns to me and says, 'You pick a number.' I was thinking No. 66, after Route 66, but Manny gave me a sad face. So I said, 'OK, take my number. No. 99. Nobody has that one.' So he took it."

"True story," Ramirez says.

Read all about him at USA Today. Heck, he even has his own website.

Matt Kemp is one of his clients.

Matt Kemp from Monster99.com on Vimeo.



Heartbreaker!

What a tough loss last night was. I was going to write something about it last night, but I wanted to take some time to decompress and think about it.

The Kings started out great. They came out strong in the first period and scored the first goal of the game. This has been a sore point for the team over the past several months, so to see them come out strong in the first period was a nice improvement. They skated hard and battled early game jitters by out-checking and outplaying Vancouver. Even better was that by the end of the period LA had held off the Canucks to lead 1 to 0 going into the first intermission.

Soon, though, Vancouver came back to answer the Kings early in the second period to tie it up. Then, the Kings regained the lead a couple of minutes later. This back and forth would prove to be a consistent theme for the evening. Nevertheless, LA finished strong to go into the second intermission with a one goal lead, 3 to 2.

The third period was when things went haywire. All season long the Kings had been able to hold on to a win after going into the third period with the lead. Unfortunately, this season long trend did not transpire last night, and let's face it, the Canucks deserve every credit in the world for making that so.

They outplayed us in the third. They were grittier, forceful and in control. They outmatched the Kings at every turn. They took advantage of the mistakes the Kings made, and ended up scoring 4 goals in that last period (including 1 empty net goal).

A night I was sure would be a evening to celebrate became a night that I left the building shivering in the cold. The Kings lost 6 to 4.

I might be heartbroken, but like Game 1, I am not discouraged. After all, nobody thought this series would be a cakewalk. Yes, I still believe.

Check out some game highlights below.

YouTube Video:

Bobbles!!

The Bobbles have arrived. Dodgertown USA reveals the Broxton and Ethier bobbleheads. Check them out below.

I don't know if they look exactly like their subjects. Broxton could be a little chunkier (I'm sure he doesn't mind the ceramic weight loss) and Ethier really doesn't look anything like him. I dunno. Am I wrong here?

Jonathon Broxton

Andre Ethier

eBay: Horse Sense with Pee Wee

With Joe Torre recently visiting his Kentucky racehorse, HomeboyKris (via Vin Scully is My Homeboy), this eBay item couldn't be more timely. Below is a 1957 horse racing magazine called Horse Sense that features a smiling Pee Wee Reese. No doubt having been chosen to share the cover with Liz Taylor had something to do with that.

What is interesting about this magazine is the headline that seems to suggest that our boys in Blue liked to play the horses. "Will the Brooklyn Dodgers Blow the Pennant on the... Races?" Could this have brought the ire of the Major League Baseball police? After all, the implication of gambling and Baseball makes them sweat.

The lower headline, though, made me scratch my head. "Dodger Players Seems to Prefer Racing to Baseball." Are you kidding? That's a bunch of horse%@#*!
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