Saturday, June 30, 2012

Take a Look at Sandy's Bobble

Not too shabby looking if you ask me.  This is an early peek at the Sandy Koufax bobblehead that will be given out on August 7th.  Of special note, today happens to be a major Koufax milestone, per a Dodgers press release:
On this very day in 1962, Dodger Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax threw the first of his four no-hitters and the very first no-no by a Dodger in Dodger Stadium history. Koufax blanked the New York Mets on a Saturday evening, 5-0. He went on to throw three more no-hitters, including a perfect game on September 9, 1965. Koufax will be featured on the ninth bobblehead night of the season on August 7 when the Dodgers take on the Rockies at 7:10 p.m. This marks the Hall of Famer’s first-ever Dodger Stadium bobblehead and it will be given out to fans with the first 50,000 tickets.

Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 6/30/2012

With the National Sports Collectors Convention fast approaching Upper Deck unveiled some giveaways available through their pack-break program.  Check out the Mattingly autographed card with him in a Kings uniform that will be seeded in packs.  Check out more information here.
  • Our old friend Ken Levine (former Dodger Talk host) writes that "Vin Scully is a National Treasure."
  • It's looking like the Dodgers are close to sign their No. 1 draft pick, Corey Seager, via Salisbury Post.  (Hat Tip: True Blue LA)
"We knew negotiations had really stepped up between Jeff (Corey's father) and the Dodgers and we sort of knew the Mooresville game Wednesday night would be Corey's last one," Kannapolis coach Joe Hubbard said. "He still helped us win one last game, and now we just wish him the best. All summer, it's been kind of day to day, not knowing when we might lose him, and now we know. He flew out to L.A. early this morning to take his physicals. Maybe he hasn't officially signed yet, but you know now that it's going to get done.
 Dylan Hernandez notes that the agreement has been finalized.
Seager will receive a bonus of $2.35 million, according to people familiar with the deal who spoke under the condition of anonymity because it wasn't expected to be announced until today. Seager was selected with the 18th overall pick, which was designated a slot value of $1.95 million by the commissioner's office.
  • I just received notice that Amir ‘King’ Khan's autograph session on Sunday during Viva Los Dodgers will be from 3:30 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. 
  • Stab Kasten tells Dylan Hernandez at the LA Times that the Dodgers do not plan on being idle.
“I promise you we’ll explore everything,” Kasten said. “Look, as candid as we can be, we’re the Dodgers. We’re supposed to be big. We intend to be big. Will we look at big things? You bet.”
Ellis, who had fasioctomy surgery on May 19 to relieve pressure in his left leg one day after a collision at second base, played a simulated game on Friday, and will begin a minor league rehab assignment on Saturday.
  • Rawlings and the Negro League Baseball Museum teamed up to name the Negro Leagues All-Time Gold Glove team.  Check it out here, via Bugs and Cranks.
  • The Kings bring The Cup to Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Gann Matsuda of Frozen Royalty has a nice writeup and photo essay of the festivities.
  • Crime doesn't pay.  A SoCal man pleads guilty to 1 count of wire fraud related to a sale of a fake Babe Ruth game-used glove.
Scheib purchased a 19th century baseball glove on eBay for $750 in January which was described as an “1890’s Full Web Workman Baseball Mitt.” At the time he bought the glove, prosecutors say Scheib knew that the glove had no connection to Ruth.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Eric Karros Honored Last Night

With the Dodgers on a protracted downward slide,  I sometimes find it best to take my attention away for a moment.  For instance, why fret about the current 5 game losing streak?  It could only give you an ulcer, and besides there is nothing you can do about it right now anyway.  The way I see it, the Dodgers are going through a serious injury bug and are fortunate to be in the situation they are in. 

Heck, I can hear the worried screams of the Dodger faithful.  All I can tell ya is to calm down and take a deep breath.  So what if we lost our season-long grip on first place?  There is more than enough time to right the ship once our sails are at full mast.


That said, I figured it would be nice to take a brief look back at yesterday's festivities.  After all, it was Eric Karros bobblehead night.
 
(@Dodgers/ Instagram)
Karros had his two sons with him, and made sure to say hello to Maury Will.  Better yet, Jon SooHoo put up some great historical photo of Eric Karros during his Dodgers career.  See them all here.  Below is probably my favorite one.

(Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers)

If the photos don't quite do it for ya, how about an exclusive interview with Eric by the Daily Bruin.  Tyler Drohan speaks with Karros about UCLA Baseball.

Video Link:

Collection: Ron Cey Great of the Game Autograph



Following up my previous Preacher Roe autographed Fleer cards from earlier this week (here and here), I bring to you a 2001 Fleer Greats of the Game autographed card of everyone's favorite thirdbaseman, Ron Cey. 

I love the simplicity of the card design.  It includes a nice photo against a off-white background and tasteful golden borders.  On top of that, there is more than enough room for an autograph below the photo. 

On a side note, I had previously featured several vintage comic Baseball postcards in my collection, but hadn't done so in awhile.  So, this weekend I'll be doing some more scanning in hopes of sharing more of them shortly.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 6/28/2012


The sixth edition of the Dodgers Playbill features Eric Karros.  Check it out above.
  • Then to make matters even worse, our one real power bat went down with a strained left oblique muscle injury, via Steve Dilbeck at the LA Times.
  • Eye on LA Sports puts together a great, albeit belated roundup of the Dodgers/ Angels freeway series in Los Angeles a couple of weeks ago.  He shares his adventure at getting Magic's autograph at the game. 
  • The July edition of Dodgers Magazine (at right) features a cover photo of Andre Ethier at the top of Dodger Stadium. Inside is a feature on Ethier, who has befriended fellow Arizona State baseball player Cory Hahn, the young man who was paralyzed from the chest down on a stolen base attempt in just his second game for the Sun Devils.
  • I'm not happy to find this out.  Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Thoughts
It’s the first time one team has thrown three consecutive shutouts against the Dodgers since 1937.
  • With today being Eric Karros bobblehead night at Dodger Stadium, team historian Mark Langill writes a little bit about how he came to be a Dodger.
Early in 1986, Dodger area scout Bob Bishop drove to the campus of UCLA to watch the Bruins begin their baseball season with an intrasquad game. Bishop noticed a freshman third baseman, a “walk-on” player without an athletic scholarship.
  • Several weeks back I had mentioned that there is a Dodgers browser theme available for fans to download.  Check them out here.  Well, if you did that or plan to then you can enter a MLB contest to win an All-Star jersey.  A sweepstakes button is on the browser or go here for more details.
  • The LA Times has put together a commemorative book detailing the LA Kings Stanley Cup Championship run.  Check it out here.  It's 128 pages of wonderful.
  • The Star Wars That I Used To Know.

Video Link:
(Hat Tip: Alyssa Milano on twitter)

Dodgers Will Sign a Cuban, Yasiel Puig


Where did this come from?  Out of the Blue the Dodgers show the league that they are not to be dismissed.  With the new Dodgers ownership just getting their feet wet over the past couple of months, they take an early opportunity to let everyone know they have the cash and willpower to put the best talent possible on the field.

Today, we get word that the Dodgers and Cuban slugger Yasiel Puig have agreed on a contract.  Enrique Rojas at ESPN has more.
Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig has reached agreement on a seven-year, $42 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, sources told ESPNdeportesLosAngeles.com.
The agreement is pending a physical exam, and would be the largest dollar figure accorded a Cuban defector, surpassing the four-year, $36 million deal of Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis C├ęspedes in February.
"Puig's contract with the Dodgers should be completed by Friday. The young man could play in the major leagues this year, maybe in time to help with the race for the playoffs or the World Series," said the source, who added that the agreement includes some clauses that could permit Puig to become a free agent after his fourth year.

Under the new rules that regulate the hiring of Cuban ballplayers, upon receiving permanent residency, known as FM2 in Mexico, Puig will not need to be unblocked by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the agency of the U.S. Department of the Treasury that enforces the sanctions of the United States' embargo against Cuba.

The 21-year-old Puig batted .330 with 17 home runs, 47 RBIs and 78 runs scored in 327 at-bats with the Cienfuegos Elefantes in the 2010-11 Cuban National Series. Later, he averaged .370 in 46 at-bats in the playoffs, at barely 20 years of age.

Puig, who also was considered the fastest player in Cuban baseball, was left off the Cienfuegos team for the 2011-12 season after having been caught on several occasions trying to escape the country. He finally succeeded in defecting last month.
I think left field is taken for awhile. If he is as good as they say then we look to be pretty good in the outfield for quite some time.  The best part about this deal is that we don't have to give anything up to get him.  This also make me wonder whether we would have been a player for Yu Darvish if Magic's group had taken over ownership much sooner than they did.  I had read on numerous occasions that they Dodgers scouts loved him.

And I have another question.  How exactly do you pronounce Yasiel Puig?

Here is a video from youtube of our newest Dodger.

Video Link:

Take a Photo with the Stanley Cup


This coming Friday you can have a chance to get a picture with The Cup.  Rich Hammond at the Kings Insider Blog has the information.
The trophy, along with Bailey and the Kings’ Ice Crew, will be at a Sports Chalet store in West Los Angeles (11801 West Olympic Blvd.) on Friday from 6-7 p.m. It’s a free event, but you must bring your own camera, and there is only one photo per person.
Go to this link for more information.

An hour doesn't seem like a lot of time to handle all photo request.  If the line is too long I wouldn't worry.  I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities to get close to The Cup.

And yes, the photo above is of me with the Cup.  This was taken at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto some 8-9 years ago.  I was in town for a wedding and made sure to take in a Blue Jays game and this Hall.  As I look back at this picture I notice that I look rather stiff.  It's like I was afraid to get near it, let alone touch it.  Next time around I plan to get real close and smile real big.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This Weekends Autograph Alley


Here are this weekends Autograph Alley/ Viva Los Dodgers signers.  I received this information too late to include in todays Weekend Autograph Opportunities post.

Thu, June 28 Dennis Powell  Autograph Alley 5:10pm – 6:30pm
Fri, June 29 Billy Ashley  Autograph Alley 5:10pm – 6:30pm
Sat, June 30 On-Field Photo Day at Dodger Stadium
Sun, July 1 Tim Leary  Viva Los Dodgers 3:10pm – 4:30pm

Amir “King” Khan  Two-time world champion at Viva Los Dodgers 



Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 6/27/2012

Talk about fair-weather.  Josh Macciello can kiss my rear-end.  I'm not sure why he thinks the current Dodgers owners are getting a free pass.  A team excelling well beyond expectations goes through a rough patch and this guy blames the fans for not demanding immediate changes.  I suppose we should trade the farm for a short term fix.

I should also add that I do trust Stan Kasten to steer this ship in the near-term and long-term interest of the team.  That said, I'm not quite at "In Stan, I Trust" mode yet, but considering his track record I wouldn't be wrong in believing that.
  • Matt Kemp is the National League team captain- which means he gets to choose who will be in the Home Run Derby.  Adam Berry at MLB reports that Kemp has decided that Bryce Harper will not be participating.  
"It's not because he's a rookie. It's just that there are other guys out there that are capable," Kemp told USA Today. "I'm not saying he wouldn't do a good job in the Home Run Derby. He's going to have plenty of time to participate in many Home Run Derbies. Just not this year. Nothing against him. I love watching him play." 
The Dodgers have informed their season ticket holders that they’ll have the exclusive opportunity to purchase individual tickets to the Sandy Koufax (August 7 vs COL) & Vin Scully (August 30 vs ARI) Bobblehead Nights starting at 10am this Friday, June 29.
In the email they informed that those tickets won’t be available to the general public, each season ticket account is limited to 8 tickets per game.
Obviously, this isn't the best solution for non-season ticket holders, but I don't begrudge the Dodgers for doing it.  After all, there's still StubHub, and this is a back door way of rewarding their season ticket holders.  Check out Eye on LA Sports to comment.
  • MLB's Official Historian, John Thorn, writes about Baseball's first professional contract.
  • Via Deadspin, A Dodgers son makes a big mistake.  Raul Mondesi Jr. failed to touch home plate on a game tying home run.
"On any home run, the umpire has one job, and that's to watch the plate and make sure the runners touch it. He said he (Mondesi) missed it by eight inches. It's a terrible way to lose a ballgame, but the guys learned a good lesson. From now on, make sure you jump on the plate on a homer," he added (Helena manager Jeff Isom).
  • "How to be Classy in 3 Easy Steps," via Will Cady's Ego.
  • Nephew to Don Mattingly, Danny Mattingly, commits to play football at Notre Dame, via CBS Sports.
  • Get your Los Angeles Kings Stanley Cup Champions wallpaper, right here!

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Sellers, Johnstone and a Blood Drive

Here are this weekends autograph opportunities throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  Click on any pic to embiggen.

UPDATE:  For information on this coming weekends Autograph Alley at Dodger Stadium, go here.  Dennis Powell, Tim Leary and Billy Ashley will be signing for fans.  I had received this information too late to include with this post.
 ----------------------------


Join the 14th Annual Angels vs. Dodgers Booster Clubs Life-Saving Partnership Blood Drive 

The Angels Booster Club and the Los Angeles Dodgers Booster Club are asking you to help save lives and cast your vote for your favorite team by giving blood.  It is on Saturday, June 30, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. 

Schedule your appointment now or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Go to this link for location information.

All presenting donors will receive a SPECIAL Commemorative t-shirt, a voucher for 2 tickets to an Angels or Dodger Home Game. Quantities limited. Schedule an appointment now!

 ----------------------------

 Dodgers infielder Justin Sellers will be signing in Woodland Hills.

*$25.00 $20.00 per Autograph Ticket ( ANY ITEM AT THE DOOR)
$5.00 for inscriptions /personalization
$3.00 per authentication (Hologram)
2 Autographs for $30.00
* Price dropped to $20.00 for 1 autograph ticket

All Star Collectibles 
Westfield Promenade Mall 
6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd,  2nd Floor Store #2330 
Woodland Hills, CA 91367 
(818) 710-0513
Go to this link for more information.

  ----------------------------


Former Dodger Jay Johnstone will be signing free autographs in the City of Industry on June 30, 2012 from 10:00 Am to 12:00 PM.  

Manuel's Original El Tepeyac Cafe #2 
13131 Crossroads Pkwy South 
City of Industry, CA 91746
(626) 968-3230



Collection: Preacher Roe Fleer Greats



Following up on my post from earlier this week featuring a 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game autographed card, I come back today with another Preacher Roe card.  This time it's a 2004 Fleer Greats autographed card. 

Did you know that there is a Preacher Roe website?  See it here. I found that out last night as I did just a little bit of research for this post.  I figured I would see if I could find some choice quotes for a man not considered to be at a loss for words.  Fortunately, his website did not disappoint.  Check out what I found below:

This is probably his most famous of quotes-
"I've got three pitches, my change, my change off my change, and my change off my change off my change."
This one just made me laugh-
"One day in a tough game I was passing Lonnie Warneke and he said, 'Preach, I may have my superiors on the bases, but when it comes to balls and strikes, I'm second to no man.' And I commenced thinking careful and when I was done I told him, 'Horse@#, Lon.'" 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

He Has Defiled the Cup

Noooooooo!

Not Carrot Top.  Via Norm! Vegas Confidential.

Welcome Back to the Blue, Mickey!


Mickey Hatcher is coming home.

Since his exploits during the 1988 World Series there has always been a spot in my Dodger Blue heart for Mickey Hatcher.  He was the unsung hero of that series.  Without his passion and enthusiasm ( as well as 2 home runs and 5 RBI's) we would not have won that title.

Well, via a tweet from reporter Alden Gonzalez we find out that Mickey has rejoined the team that he started with.  I guess you can say that he has come full circle.  (Hat Tip: Save the Dodgers)


Don't worry folks, he isn't a new hitting coach.  Instead, it looks like he will be joining the front office as Special Assistant to the GM.  What does this job entail?

Who the heck knows?  And frankly, I don't care.  I'm just happy to see that old Dodger back where he belongs.

BTW, does anybody still remember the way Hatcher use to run to first base on a walk?  It still makes me laugh when I think about it.


UPDATE: From a Dodgers Press Release:
In his new position, Hatcher, 57, will devote time helping with player development as well as assisting the Major League staff.

“It’s a great feeling being a Dodger again, it feels like I’ve come back home,” said Hatcher. “This is where my roots were and where I was taught everything about the game and where I learned about professionalism. I’m excited about the opportunity to meet everyone in the organization and about the energy created by the new ownership. I couldn’t be happier right now.”

Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 6/26/2012

Here is an early look at the Tommy Lasorda/ Walter Alston bobblehead that will be given out on July 14th, via @Dodger twitter.
  • Fox Sports AM570 speaks with Torii Hunter and his relationship with Matt Kemp.  Hunter also reveals how close he came to signing with the Dodgers in 2007.
  • As long as Matt Kemp comes back healthy, I really don't care if he can't represent the Dodgers in the All-Star Game.  Via AP, "Matt Kemp Likely to Miss ASK in KC." 
Mattingly left open the slim possibility of Kemp appearing in the All-Star game July 10 at Kauffman Stadium if he has already returned to the Dodgers' lineup first.

"We talked about him playing for us before we get there, so if he's been able to do all that and play for us before the All-Star game ... we're talking about all this guessing when he's going to be ready," Mattingly said. "It seems silly to me, honestly. He's not ready to play yet, he's still going through the process of running bases and running curves. We're talking about an All-Star game, we're talking about practice."
Zach Lee is the youngest Dodger minor-leaguer to make it to AA since Withrow but I see this move as an agressive more similar to Billingsley and Kershaw. However, there are 5 starters already there in AA so it will be interesting to see what happens, perhaps someone will move on or go to the bullpen.

I think Lee is not destined for a Big League call-up until September 2013 but once you get to AA, anything can happen.
  • Left Field Pavilion shares some vintage pics of Sandy, Duke and Willie.
  • Chris Capuano has a secret admirer, via Busted Coverage.  Well, maybe not so secret.
  • Steve Lyons is trying to settle everyone down, via twitter.
How tough must it have been to have a mother for just six years?

Correction: "Six great years," he says while reaching for his cellphone.

"You see my screen saver here? This picture was taken in her final days. It's the one I look at just before every game."
  • The Dodgers 4th Annual Star Wars Night will be on July 2nd.  Get this limited Dodgers/ Star Wars t-shirt with a special ticket order package.  Go here for details.
  • Check out "The 24 Hottest Women of Wimbledon 2012, via Coed Magazine.

CCA: Tommy John Collection

This is the third installment of Tommy John memorabilia for sale through Collectible Classics Auctions.  Last year there were two separate auctions featuring everything from All-Star rings to a custom Baseball themed bar set.  This time around I focus on featuring a complete game-used uniform and an autographed vintage helmet.

Below is a 1978 LA Dodgers uniform and equipment used by Tommy John while in Dodger Blue.  Considering how complete it is, I would bet it would look really nice in a small dedicated display.
(Auction Link)

I thought this was one of the more unique items up for sale.  This is one of those plastic concession-sold helmets from the 1977 World Series that has been signed by over 25 Dodgers; including noted physician Frank Jobe.  Could this be one-of-a-kind?  I can't imagine another one of these existing.
(Auction Link)

To Liven Up the Blues: Ep. 5 of Between Two Palm Trees

If they put up more of these, I might not care that we lost to the Giants 8 to 0.

Below, MC AJ Ellis ask Clayton about a Bieber Award he received.  Kershaw is so smitten with it he remarks, "for me just to be associated with that name, I'm just proud."

Video Link:

Monday, June 25, 2012

Collection: Preacher Roe GOTG


Here is my 2000 Fleer Greats of the Game autographed card of Preacher Roe.  I remember getting this really cheap primarily because some doofus thought this card would be worth more if they wrote in a bogus number.  This card is not limited to 52 copies.  

Dodgers Should Sign Jenn Brown of ESPN- She Can Swing the Bat

As evidenced below, ESPN's Jenn Brown can swing the bat.  She's got a nice smooth swing in the left-handed batters box and shows clear signs of an ability to make contact from that side.  Her one weakness?  She obviously needs a little more work switch hitting.

That said, I would be willing to bet she could fit in nicely as a left-handed bat for the Dodgers.  Heck, she appears to already be a fan of the team.  In the video below, filmed during batting practice with South Carolina during the College World Series, she wears a LA Dodger cap.

Maybe we should consider having her play 1st base for us. 

Keep in mind, Jenn Brown is no novice when it comes to sports.  She is more than a pretty face.  Brown lettered 14 times in high school and captained in 5 different sports.  Also, while in college she played for the Florida Gators Softball team.

Below is the batting practice video.

Video Link:

(Hat Tip: Lost Letterman)

Oh... and here are some obligatory pics of Jenn Brown.
(Jenn Brown)
Here she is with one of my favorite Dodgers, Nomar Garciaparra.
(Jenn Brown)
Of course, I couldn't leave without a more revealing look at Ms Brown.

Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 6/25/2012

For the upcoming 2012 National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore from August 1 to 5 Topps will be giving away a 4 card promo set.  Above is the Jackie Robinson Montreal Royals card in the set.  Go to Sports Card Info to see the rest of the set.
 "We're still kind of wait and see," Mattingly said. "We're adding things to do, and it's kind of a reaction to how he does with that. [On Saturday] he was kind of sore. We don't look at it as a setback. It's part of doing more stuff. He's been getting after it pretty good. Since it's Matt, we talk about every inch of it."
  • Wil Wheaton is funny.  See pic at left, via Wil Wheaton's tumblr.  Click on the pic to embiggen.  (Hat Tip: Let's Go Dodgers)
  • Check out Maury Wills as he signs for fans in Anaheim, via Cut4.
  • Peter O'Malley to buy the Padres?  Via Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times.
    There’s no getting used to it for anyone who’s been a life-long follower of the Los Angeles Dodgers, but O’Malley’s group appears to be zeroing in on purchasing the Padres.
  • Eye on LA Sports has a recap from the recent Dustin Brown, LA Kings Captain, signing at Living Spaces.  LA Blue Crew was there too and has his own report.
  • BTW, Dustin Brown will be signing again on Tuesday, June 26th at a Sports Chalet in Torrance from 7:00 PM to 8:00PM.  Only the first 300 fans are guaranteed an autograph.  Go here for more information.
  • David Park was in Anaheim for the Freeway Series and waited after the game to get some Dodgers autographs on Friday.  He has photos from the evening on his blog, here.  Belisario, Gordon and Rivera signed for fans.  Then on Sunday he waits at the entrance before the game and gets a bunch more.
  • The Vintage Sportscards Blog does a nice report on the vintage Exhibit cards from over 50 years ago. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Sunday Dodgers Videos

Another lazy Sunday afternoon, another day to relax and enjoy the digital-tube.

When the Stanley Cup visited Dodgers Stadium Mayor's Manor was on hand to experience the festivities.  Mayor's Manor is a notable Kings blog who often records videos focused on the Kings.  Here, he interview Dodgers announcer Charley Steiner about his Rangers fandom and the Dodgers.

Video Link:

This is an older video, but definately worth another visit.  Vin Scully discusses how he approaches each baseball broadcast, his love of the game, research without technology, and the greatest player he ever saw.

Video Link:

Javy Guerra lends his support for the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.

Video Link:

This seems like a lot of fun: Jr. Dodgers Broadcaster.

Video Link:

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 6/23/2012

Tony Gwynn Jr. getting focused, pic via @Dodgers twitter.
  • Billingsley is in the spotlight, but not for the right reasons.   Brian Kamenetsky at ESPN notes that "The Billingsley Questions Won't Go Away."
The Dodgers have their own clockwork ritual. Every fifth day Don Mattingly will sit down with the media before a game, trying to explain exactly what is going on with Chad Billingsley. “Every time he pitches,” Mattingly said ahead of Friday’s 8-5 loss to the Angels, “I asked him the other day, 'Bills, do you ever get tired of answering the questions? Because I’m getting tired of answering about you every time.' He was just kinda like, 'That’s the way it is.' ”
After last nights performance, we shouldn't be surprised at everyone's question.  As Ken Gurnick writes at MLB, "Billingsley Fumbles Five-Run Lead in Anaheim."
Only hours after manager Don Mattingly offered a measured defense of Chad Billingsley, the pitcher coughed up a five-run lead Friday night and the Dodgers' losing streak reached four in an 8-5 Interleague loss to the Angels. 
So, what do you do?  Aaron at Inside Dodger Baseball thinks "It's Time for the Dodgers to move Billingsley."
Once again, Billingsley showed the Dodgers and the rest of the world why he'll never live up to anything close to his potential. 
Mark Timmons at LA DodgerTalk even proposes some future moves, albeit sarcastically, but really suggest we all should just take a break and relax.
Kevin Youkilis for Chad Billingsley, then get Cole Hamels. Simple! Not really…

This is a bad streak that all teams have – it will pass! I promise.
This view is supported by Jon Weisman as he writes for CityThink.
Good teams have bad weeks, and one bad week like the Dodgers are having (with four losses in a row, including Friday's 8-5 come-from-ahead defeat against the Angels) doesn't ruin a season.
Jon even notes some comparables for Billingsley.
Even if Chad Billingsley has slipped to de facto No. 5 starter, he has still performed better than both Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito of San Francisco, as well as the mish-mash that Arizona has used to round out its rotation.
What do I think?  I find it hard to complain about being in first place, less than half way through the season.  Sure, we're going through a rough patch right now, but considering our situation (our recent DL parade of players) I can't be too displeased.  With Kemp missing half the season and the Dodgers still in first place I say "Don't Worry, Be Happy."
"In retrospect, I wish I'd named Mike Scioscia," Malone said. "I'd like the chance to do it again and see if Mike could do for the Dodgers what he did for the Angels. I think he possibly could or would. I'm a fan of his. We've seen each other since. I don't think there are any grudges. It was just a timing thing.

"It wasn't personal, it wasn't about his ability, it was just where the team was and the consensus and where Mike was. Should I have been able to project? Yes. I should have recognized it and I didn't. I guess I'll have to take that responsibility."
Gould’s curveball is his bread and butter pitch, as it’s the best in the system and ranks among the best in the minors. He throws his curve 12-6 and it sat in the 77-78 MPH range, which is on par with scouting reports. It had really good, late breaking action and is definitely advanced for the competition.
  • Upper Deck shows off one the nets used at the Staples Center during the Stanley Cup Finals.  I'm sure they plan to cut it up and insert them into premiums for some upcoming hockey card sets.
  • There is something really great about this video."Where the Hell is Matt?" took a 4 year break from dancing throughout the world, but has come back with a 2012 video that is better than the previous two.  That's saying a lot.  I loved those older videos, and still watch them from time to time.  Below is the 2012 edition of Where the Hell is Matt?

Video Link:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Rest in Peace, Leroy Neiman

I wanted to send my condolences to the family, friends and admirers of Leroy Neiman. 

Neiman was one of the more celebrated sports artist of our time.  His paintings are easily recognizable, and cherished by collectors.  Check out this great story about his career in the New York Times.

As some may know, Leroy Neiman most famous drawing (at least in this Dodgers fans mind) is the Dodgers Centennial painting.  Recently, the twitter @Dodgers account made note of this masterpiece by sharing a photo from the day Neiman originally unveiled it to a cheering crowd at Dodger Stadium.

(twitter link: @Dodgers)

(twitter link: @Dodgers)

Below is a better view of the drawing.

(Hunt Auctions Link)