Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Quick Autograph Announcement: Bobby Castillo and Mike Brito in Whittier

I thought I should make this quick post about an autograph opportunity I just found out.  It happens tomorrow afternoon in Whittier.

Former Dodger Bobby Castillo and famed Dodger scout Mike Brito will be at the Radisson Hotel in Whittier on Sunday evening, from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM. 
$10 - any item
$5 - inscriptions
This is a part of the Sports Viewing Venue put together by Kenny De Baca.  Go here for more information.
Radisson Hotel
7320 Greenleaf Avenue
Whittier, CA
Hat Tip: True to the Blue

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Blog Kiosk: 11/30/2013 - Dodgers Links - Sax into Sacramento HOF, Cuba and a Hanley Extension?

Steve Garvey, along with Steve Sax, was at the Westfield Topanga Mall yesterday afternoon.  Pic above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013, and go here to see more photos.  The mall tour continues at the West Covina Mall this afternoon with Steve Garvey and Steve Yeager signing autographs for fans.  Go here for information.
"We are negotiating something, but we go step by step. I have 1 year left, and I want to remain in LA for the rest of my career because they have treated me very well," said Ramírez on having taken part in a celebration of the Classic World cup of Baseball in the National Palace.
  • Via Ken Gurnick at, "Dodgers sign Elbert, Baxter, Butera to deals: Pacts for 2014 come ahead of Monday's deadline to tender contracts".
  • Steve Sax to be inducted into the 2014 Class of the Sacramento Sports Hall of Fame.  Go here for information.  The ceremony will be in January.  He will also be inducted with former Dodger Leron Lee; who currently holds the Japanese record for highest lifetime batting average (4,000 min. at-bats).
  • ICYMI.  Listen to this past Wednesday's Dodger Talk with Kevin Kennedy and David Vassegh.  Dan Haren is a special guest.
  • Mark Saxon at ESPN writes, "Is the Dodgers starting rotation settled?"
"If something else comes our way, we'll take a look at it. I'm not going to close the door on any more starters," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said during the conference call to announce Haren's deal.
    All of this being said, it was reported on Thursday in an article posted on the National Public Radio (NPR) website that Cuban authorities have lifted a 50-year ban on players signing professional contracts abroad. It does not, however, include the MLB.

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    Friday, November 29, 2013

    Blog Kiosk: 11/29/2013 - Dodgers Links - Happy BDay Vin, Nolasco Signs with Twins and Lilly Retires

    Happy 86th Birthday, Vin Scully!  Pic above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013.
    “I want to leave it and let it go,” Ellis said. “He said what he said. They’re making more … I don’t know what to say. I’m honored the Dodgers thought highly enough of me to let me represent what I think is definitely the best organization in the NL West and the best organization in baseball, in my opinion.”
    "It's principally the pain in my back and shoulder. I'm having problems there. I feel like I can't return to being the pitcher I was a few years ago."

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    Thursday, November 28, 2013

    Happy Thanksgiving!

    I'd like to extend a Blue Heaven Thanksgiving greeting to you and yours.

    Happy Holiday Folks!

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    Wednesday, November 27, 2013

    2013 Heritage High Numbers Set - the Dodgers Base Cards

    For the second year in a row, Topps released a Heritage High Numbers box set directly to collectors.  All you have to do is go to their online store to order directly from them.  Last year, the print run for the update set was set at 1,000.  I am uncertain if this years set is that limited.  All I do know is that, as of this posting, sets are still available for sale through Topps.  Go here to check it out.

    The High Numbers set caps off the entire 2013 Heritage brand.  It includes rookies and ballplayers that the original Heritage set left out.  Go here to see an entire checklist.

    Only 4 Dodgers are in the base set.  Check them out below.  BTW, the Puig card is already selling between $25 to $35 a piece on eBay.  Also, there are 3 autographed Dodgers cards, but I have to see any.  As soon as I do, I will post them up.  The 3 autographed cards are for Hyun-Jin Ryu (likely a redemption, #ROA-HR), Paco Rodriguez (#ROA-PR) and Yasiel Puig (#ROA-YP).

    #H503 Hyun-Jin Ryu                             #H526 Matt Magill

    #H527 Juan Uribe                               #H584 Yasiel Puig

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    Blog Kiosk: 11/27/2013 - Dodgers Links - An Interview with Jansen, Jeff Kent and Cruz to Japan

    Here's a vintage photo of the construction work being done to build Dodger Stadium at Chavez Ravine.  It was posted up by a twitter account called @Dodgers_History.  You should check them out. They've recently put up a bunch of vintage stadium pics from Brooklyn and LA.
    Amanda Rykoff: You switched from catcher to power pitcher. What was the adjustment like for you?
    Kenley Jansen: It was a tough decision back then. To me I feel like it was a life learning experience. I almost wanted to quit and I wanted to ask for my release. I was almost suspended. Talking to my family and all these people and I decided to give it a try. And now today -- it took me a year to be in the major leagues -- and today I’m a closer just doing it.
    "My first year of eligibility, I pretty much knew I wasn't going to make it or anything," Mattingly told ESPN earlier this year. "I don't pay that much attention to it, to be honest with you. It's to the point now where it comes up and you're like, 'Oh, it's over,' and you go on."
    • In other HOF ballot news, Jeff Kent is on the ballot for the first time.  Via Chris Haft at, "Team success mattered most to Hall candidate Kent".
    "When the bell rang for me, I was fighting to win," said Kent, who hit 377 home runs and captured the National League Most Valuable Player Award in 2000 with the Giants. "All I wanted to do was win. I knew that if I focused on winning, I would be OK. And it worked out that way."
    • Panini America is reviving the Donruss Baseball card brand.  Via Chris Olds at Beckett, he shares some preview pics for 2014 Donruss Baseball cards; including the Yasiel Puig card on the right.
    • Via Greg Zakwin at Yahoo, "The Biggest Turkey in Los Angeles Dodgers History: Frank McCourt".
    • Night Owl Cards proves once again why it's one of the best Baseball card hobby blogs around.  Check out his latest post, "If you can't join 'em count 'em", that ranks Baseball cards sets by highest percentage of mustached ballplayers. 
    • Skip Schumaker has signed a 2-year contract to play for the Reds, via USA Today.
    • Via AM570, listen to Ned Colletti tell Petros and Money what made this season so tough.
    • An old friend alert!  Via Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors, Luis Cruz goes to Japan - "Luis Cruz Signs With Chiba Lotte Marines".

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    Tuesday, November 26, 2013

    UPDATED!: Thanksgiving Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Dodgers 2013 Holiday Mall Tour with Landreaux, Wills, Sax, Garvey and Yeager

    Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events 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.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.


    The Dodgers 2013 Holiday Mall Tour continues this weekend with Steve Garvey & Steve Sax appearing at the Westfield Promenade in the San Fernando Valley on Friday, and Steve Garvey & Steve Yeager in West Covina.  There is also a post-Thanksgiving Blue Friday sale at Dodger Stadium - at the Top of the Park Store with special guest signing appearances.  On Friday Saturday, Kenny Landreaux will be there, and on Saturday Sunday Maury Wills will be signing autographs. 

    Go here for more information, or go here for my most recent updates on this mall tour.  BTW, these are free autograph appearances.

    Friday, November 29th to Sunday, November 1st -- Blue Friday sale at Dodger Stadium
    Dodger Stadium - Top of the Park
    1000 Elysian Park Avenue
    Los Angeles, CA 90012
    Friday 11/29 - BLUE FRIDAY! thru Sunday 12/1
    Players: UPDATED!
    • Al “The Bull” Ferrara on Friday the 29th: Time 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM;
    • Ken Landreaux on Friday the 29th Saturday the 30th: Time 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM; 
    • Maury Wills on Saturday the 30th Sunday the 1st: Time 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

    Friday, November 29th-Black Friday at Westfield Promenade!
    Westfield Topanga Promenade - Level 2 by AMC
    6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd
    San Fernando Valley, CA 91367
    Players: UPDATED!
    • Steve Garvey: Time: 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM 
    • Steve Sax: Time: 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM

    Saturday, November 30th at Westfield West Covina Mall
    Plaza West Covina - Sears Court Level 2
    112 Plaza Drive
    West Covina, CA 91790
    • Steve Garvey: Time 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM 
    • Steve Yeager: Time: 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM

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    Dodgers Vintage Memorabilia at SCP Auctions - Jackie, Duke and Pedro Guerrero

    SCP Auctions is back at it again with their 2013 Fall Premier Auction.  It includes some great vintage memorabilia; including a Jesse Owen's 1936 Gold Medal, the Goose Gossage Collection, and the Warren Moon Collection.  It also has a nice grouping of vintage Dodger goodies to gawk over.  Check out my favorites, below.

    This is a Salesman Sample of a 1955 Brooklyn Dodgers Duke Snider World Series Championship ring.  Since the real thing would be far too expensive, this ring is a nice alternative.
    (Auction Link)

    Below is Pedro Guerrero's 1981 World Series trophy.

    BTW, Pedro Guerrero is looking for a coaching job, so if you think a batter once described as the best hitter God ever made can help you, then you should seek him out.
    (Auction Link)

    This next item is just plain awesome.  Featured below is a 1949 game-used Jackie Robinson bat.  It is 1 of only 2 known from this year (he won the MVP), and it is expected to sell for a fortune. 
    (Auction Link)

    This next item has been attributed to from Jackie Robinson.  It is a 1950's era Dodgers jacket.  Per the auction description:
    The jacket carries with it several Letters of Authenticity, including the principal one from a man who played in the minor leagues at the time of Robinson's retirement. Ultimately part of the Dodgers' minor-league organization, his letter attests that as part of the well-documented practice of major league teams shuttling big-league uniforms into their minor-league affiliates, he was issued this warmup jacket along with Robinson's No. 42 uniform while playing for Brooklyn's Single-A club at Macon.
    (Auction Link)

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    Blog Kiosk: 11/26/2013 - Dodgers Links - A Mattingly Monument, Guerrero Back on Friday and Haren Happy to Be Home

    Check out the Dugout Wizard with Ol' Blue Eyes in the photo above.
    Mattingly visited Garvin Park's youth baseball field in Evansville on Saturday to help dedicate the monument, which includes the inscription, "It all started here."
    • Alexander Guerrero has been absent from his Winter League team - Gigantes Del Cibao - in order to nurse a leg injury.  Via Gigantes Del Cibao's twitter, he'll be coming back on Friday.

    • Via Dan Wohl at Cut4, "Watch Hyun-Jin Ryu play insane CGI-aided baseball on a Korean game show".  I saw this over the weekend, and I couldn't stop watching.  Although I couldn't understand a word, I found it hilarious.  It's like a real life Baseball video game.
    • There is no doubt Haren is excited to be a Dodger, via a @Dodgers tweet.

    "We've been looking for a starting pitcher, and we've been looking for someone we could lean on to provide starts and innings," Colletti said. "He's from the area and understands the Dodgers tradition.
    At some point soon, the sides are expected to reach an agreement, which would clear a path for Tanaka to jump to MLB, if the Rakuten Ealges agree to post him. Tanaka, 25, would be the top pitcher available on the market, as several teams project Tanaka as a No. 2 starter in the majors and see him stepping into that role immediately. 

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    Monday, November 25, 2013

    Done Deal - Dan Haren is a Dodger!

    Dan Haren has passed his physical, so the deal announced through the grapevine last night is now official.  The Dodgers have signed free agent starting pitcher Dan Haren to a $10 Million, 1-year contract; with an option for 2015 that vest if he pitches more than 180 innings this coming season.

    Jon Heyman at CBS Sports provides more details about the new contract.

    Overall, there isn't much to dislike about the contract.  It's short in length, and although it's a bit pricey for a #5 pitcher, it's not out of line with what he brings to the table.  He gives us needed insurance in case both Beckett and Billingsley are unable to perform as desired.

    Per a Dodger press release:
    The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Dan Haren to a one-year contract. The announcement was made by Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti.

    “Dan brings experience as a winner to our club and rotation,” said Colletti. “He has made 30 or more starts for nine straight seasons and has won 10 or more games for nine straight as well. Last year, his second half was among the best in the National League.”

    As a member of the Nationals’ staff, Haren was one of the game’s top pitchers from July 27 through the conclusion of the season, sporting a 6-3 record with a 3.14 ERA (25 ER/71.2 IP) and holding opponents to a .224 batting average, which ranked as the sixth-best mark in the NL during that span (min. 70. IP). In that stretch, the right-hander made seven starts of 6.0 or more innings while allowing zero or one run.  On the season, Haren went 10-14 with a 4.67 ERA in 31 games (30 GS) for Washington.

    Haren, 33, enters his 12th Major League season in 2014 after pitching for the Cardinals (2003-04), Athletics (2005-07), Diamondbacks (2008-10), Angels (2010-12) and Nationals (2013) in his career. Haren was selected to three consecutive All-Star teams with Oakland in 2007 and Arizona in 2008 and 2009, earning the start for the American League in the 2007 Midsummer Classic.

    In the course of his career, Haren is 129-111 with a 3.74 ERA in 327 career games (316 starts) and has posted double-digit win totals in his last nine seasons, ranking among the Major League leaders in quality starts (194, 1st), innings (1927.2, 2nd), wins (123, 4th) and strikeouts (1661, 4th) since 2005. Haren is among the game’s best when it comes to limiting walks, as the 6-5, 215-pounder ranks first among active pitchers with 1.87 walks-per-nine innings and his 4.08 strikeout-to-walk ratio ranks third all-time in the live-ball era (min. 1500 IP). The 11-year veteran also ranks among active pitchers in opponents’ on-base percentage (.295, 4th) and baserunners per nine innings (10.92, 7th).

    From 2005-11, Haren surpassed 30 or more starts and 210.0 innings in each season, posting career bests in ERA (3.07, 2007), a Major League-best 35 starts in 2010, complete games (4, 2011), shutouts (3, 2011), innings pitched (238.1, 2011), strikeouts (223, 2009) and an NL-best 1.00 WHIP and 5.87 strikeouts-to-walk ratio in 2009.

    Haren has also appeared in the postseason twice, in 2004 as a member of the Cardinals and 2006 with the Athletics, posting a 2-0 record with a 3.26 ERA (7 ER/19.1 IP) in seven career postseason contests (2 GS).

    Haren, who was born in Monterey Park, graduated from Bishop Amat High School in La Puente and played collegiately at Pepperdine University, where he won West Coast Conference Player of the Year honors as a junior in 2001. Haren was originally selected by St. Louis in the second round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft.  

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    2013 Leaf Memories Baseball - All the Dodgers Cards - Including Alexander Guerrero's 1st Baseball Card!

    Leaf Trading Cards discovered a winning product last year with 2012 Leaf Memories (See the Dodger cards from that set, here.).  So, they hoped their follow-up set would garner the same amount of interest.  Unfortunately, it comes off as a little stale since they chose to use the exact same design as last years set. 

    Not that it's horrible, mind you.  The 1990 vintage Leaf design they used was one of the best from that decade.  It's just that you'd think they'd come up with something different.  I guess they kind of hit a wall, since the 1991 Leaf Baseball design is, in my opinion, one of the worst from that decade.  Check out the entire checklist here.

    For Dodger fans, the 2013 set lacks numbers, but does include the very first card of our newest Cuban signee - Alexander Guerrero.  In fact, he is the only Dodger player in the entire base set.  See it below.  As of this posting, Guerrero cards are selling for just a few bucks a piece.

    BTW, the set also includes cards of two other recent Cuban defectees - Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez and Jose Abreu.

    #AG1 Alexander Guerrero

    Chris Anderson was the Dodgers 2013 1st round draft pick.

    Base Auto

    #CA2 Chris Anderson

    The Leaf Buyback autographed cards are the best part of this set.  These are original 1990 & 1991 Leaf cards that have been repurchased by Leaf, signed by the player, numbered up to their uniform number, and embossed will a limited foil stamp.  Unfortunately, only two Dodgers are included.

    1990 Auto Leaf Buyback

    #/55 Orel Hershiser

    1991 Auto Leaf Buyback

    #/33 Eddie Murray

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    Blog Kiosk: 11/25/2013 - Dodgers Links - Haren, Dodger Options in Outfield and Saito Still Pitching

    Before heading back to the US, AJ Ellis tweeted a photo of the Sydney Cricket Ground - where the Dodgers and Diamondbacks will be playing.  See it at top.

    Steamer projects Haren to reach the 180 inning benchmark this season, and projects him as a 3 WAR pitcher. Ten million dollars for a 3 WAR pitcher is something 30 major clubs should be interested in, but one team beat all the others to the punch.
    So, yes, Kemp's body might not be holding up, and that contract ain't getting any cheaper, and the Dodgers could have too many outfielders and not enough outfield. But he has years of prime left, and a winter to heal, and a resume that says he can play the game with anyone. There was a time when he was worth the wait. Worth the patience. (And worth the money.) It's still that time.
    • Via Mike Petriello at FanGraphs, "The Dodgers And “Too Many Outfielders”  Mike takes a look at the various options the Dodgers have.
    • Old friend, Takashi Saito, is still playing ball.  Via Steve Adams at MLB Trade Rumors, he has just signed a 1-year deal to pitch for the Ratuken Golden Eagles in Japan.

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    Sunday, November 24, 2013

    Dodgers to Sign Free Agent Pitcher - Welcome to the Blue, Dan Haren!

    It appears the Dodgers have finally made their first real move of winter.  According to Ken Rosenthal on twitter, the Dodgers have just signed free agent starting pitcher Dan Haren to a 1-year contract. 

    Considering our need for another arm in the starting rotation, he just might fill the bill.  Josh Beckett is expected to be ready for Spring, so Haren should be a good option as our #5 pitcher.  He isn't going to wow you on the mound, but should provide some good innings.

    I like that it's a short term deal.  If Beckett or Billingsley are unable to come back, then Haren will be the kind of insurance we'll need to survive a long season.  Additionally, this may just be an opening move by the Dodgers.  They have been closely linked to the up-coming auction for ace Japanese starter Masahiro Tanaka.  If the Dodgers win his services, then we'll see quite a battle for the final spot. 

    As it stands right now, the Dodgers have the following rotation (depth chart):
    1. Clayton Kershaw
    2. Zack Greinke
    3. Hyu-Jin Ryu
    4. Josh Beckett
    5. Dan Haren
    6. Chad Billingsley (will return severals weeks into the season)
    7. Matt Magill
    8. Stephen Fife
    Here are his statistics, via Baseball Reference:

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    Sunday Dodgers Videos: A Kids Eye View of the Puig Baseball Clinic

    Here are this Sunday's Dodger videos.

    Here's a video of the recent Puig Little League clinic he held at Dodger Stadium from the perspective of one of the participants.  He takes us on a tour of the whole afternoon.  It's a fun watch.  The same kid also met Puig on the ballfield several weeks ago.  Watch that here.

    Video Link:

    A.J. Ellis and Diamondbacks' Patrick Corbin climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge as they check out the sights in Australia.  You can also watch AJ at the zoo, here.

    Video Link:

    Here's a video from the first stop of the Dodgers 2013 Holiday Mall Tour in Culver City.  Go here for my most recent updates on the Dodgers 2013 Mall Tour.

    Video Link:

    The Dodgers are holding their own post-Thanksgiving holiday sale with Blue Friday at the Top of the Park store at Dodger Stadium.  Watch the video below for more information.  Also, go here for my most recent updates on the Dodgers 2013 Mall Tour.

    Video Link:

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    Saturday, November 23, 2013

    Blog Kiosk: 11/23/2013 - Dodgers Links - Kershaw's in Zambia, McGwire Signs for Topps and Magill

    The Kershaw's have returned to Zambia to visit the orphanage they built - Arise Home.  Go here to read about their first day back, and here's their second post.  Pic above via @Dodgers on twitter.
    • Via Matt Snyder at CBS Sports, "Leaderboarding: Artists of the looking strikeout".  Kershaw sit in the top 3.
    • I  had forgotten to put this up.  If you missed Dodger Talk on AM570 on Wednesday, then go here to listen to it.  Dodger coach Tim Wallach is a special guest.
    • Ben Badler at Baseball America tells us about, "Ten Winter League Prospects To Watch In Puerto Rico, Mexico".  It includes Dodgers pitching prospect Matt Magill at #5.
    • Jon Weisman shares something old.  He post up a 2005 letter to Dodgers season ticket holders, and it's remarkable how different the team is from then to now.
    • Via Chris Olds at Beckett, "Topps signs Mark McGwire to autograph deal".  He'll begin appearing on Topps cards next year.  No word yet if he'll be in a Dodger uniform.
    • Pete Moylan has signed a minor league deal with the Astros, with an invitation to Spring Training.

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    Friday, November 22, 2013

    Welcome to the 40-Man Roster -- Baez, Garcia & Martin

    Although, at first glance, it doesn't appear like such a big deal.  Reaching this milestone is important for any young Major League hopeful.  You work hard you entire young career to be considered, and you can't play for the big club until you get there.

    The 40-Man Roster, sometimes called the expanded roster, consist of all players who are signed up to a Major League contract.  Therefore, they can, at any time during the season, be placed on the active 25-man roster.  This means that once you reach the 40-man plateau, you are more likely to see some real time in Los Angeles.

    The other day, in preparation for the Rule 5 Draft in December, the Dodgers added 3 new names to their 40-man roster, and they represent 3 young arms who may to be ready to contribute on the mound.  They are Pedro Baez, Yimi Garcia and Jarret Martin.

    In celebration of this stepping stone, I put together fantasy Baseball cards for them.  Check them out below.  I've also added some background and statistics to help familiarize yourself with them.

    Pedro Baez

    Pedro Baez is a 6'2" right-handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic.  He spent the first 6 years of his professional career as a Dodger infielder, but couldn't hit a lick.  Then, in 2013 he went to the mound and has impressed the Dodgers staff.  He went a combined 3-3 with a 3.88 ERA in 48 games with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga.  Could he be the next Kenley Jansen (he was a converted catcher)?

    Via Ken Gurnick at from last Spring Training. 
    Baez showed Koufax a natural delivery, a fastball in the mid-90s and a curveball more advanced than many of his fellow Minor Leaguers who have been at this pitching thing for years. Koufax told other staff members he'd like to see Baez in a game this spring.
    There's no better way to start a pitching career then to impress Sandy Koufax during your first bullpen session with the Hall of Famer.

     Below are his Minor League statistics, via Baseball-Reference.

     Yimi Garcia

    Yimi Garcia is a 23 year old right-hander from the Dominican Republic.  He is probably the most exciting prospect of this group, and is likely to be the first one of the three to wear Dodger Blue.

    Per a Dodgers press release:
    Garcia, 23, was a Double-A Southern League All-Star in 2013, going 4-6 with 19 saves and a 2.54 ERA in 49 games with Chattanooga. The Moca, Dominican Republic native, who also played for the Desert Dogs in the Arizona Fall League following the season, limited opponents to a .164 batting average this year, while striking out 85 and walking only 14 in 60.1 innings.
    Right now, in the Arizona Fall League, he has pitched in 10 games, and has limited batters to a .227 batting average.  Yimi throws a legitimate strike out slider that may be one of the best in the Minors and is considered MLB ready.

    Below are his Minor League statistics, via Baseball-Reference.

    Jarret Martin

    Jarret Martin originally came over to the Dodgers as a part of the Dana Eveland trade in 2011.  He is a hard throwing left-hander who can reach the mid-90's with a fastball that has some sink and run, and has a decent slider that he uses as an out pitch.  Since coming to the Dodgers he has reworked his mechanics to use more of his legs, and has seen positive results.  Hopefully, he can continue advancing, as it appears his control problems may be a thing of the past.

    From a Dodgers press release:
    Martin, 24, combined to go 6-7 with two saves and a 4.30 ERA in 40 games (14 starts) with Rancho Cucamonga and Chattanooga during the regular season before a stint in the Arizona Fall League. Martin, who was acquired in a trade with Baltimore in December 2011, posted a 2.77 combined ERA (8 ER/26.0 IP) in his 26 relief appearances this season, including a 1.69 mark (2 ER/10.2 IP) in 11 games during a late-season promotion to Chattanooga.
    Below are his Minor League statistics, via Baseball-Reference.

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    Blog Kiosk: 11/22/2013 - Dodgers Links - Young, Ryu, Puig ands Seager

    The Dodgers held their 9th annual turkey giveaway for needy families yesterday afternoon.  Pic above via Jon SooHoo/La Dodgers 2013.
    • Via Ron Cervenka at Think Blue LA, "Michael Young – The Dodgers’ 2013 Invisible Man".
    • Awesome!  Matt Monagan at Cut4 breaks down a video of Hyun-Jin Ryu bloopers from a ramen noodle commercial he recently did.
    • Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk breaks down the postseason playoff shares.  Dodger players received $108,037.06 each, 58 players received full shares, 11.5 partial shares and 8 cash awards.
    • Blowout Cards shares some preview images of some Yasiel Puig patch cards that will be in 2013 Panini America's Pastime Baseball card set.  See them below.  Go here to see more preview images.
    • Via Chad Moriyama writes, "Kirk Gibson latest D-Backs figure to join franchise’s faux macho BS press tour against Dodgers".
    • Chad Moriyama also writes, "An interview with prospect Corey Seager during the Arizona Fall League".
    • Via @toppscards on twitter - An early look at 2014 Heritage.  Check out the Kemp card below.

    • This is just creepy.  Mike Oz at Big League Stew tells us about the Shane Victorino and David Ortiz playoff beard hair currently for sale on eBay.
    • BTW, the Dodgers will have a Blue Friday sale at Dodger Stadium after Thanksgiving.

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    Thursday, November 21, 2013

    Baseball in Australia - Video of Some Baseball Feats from Down Under

    As you surely know, AJ Ellis is on a grand Australian tour to promote the upcoming Opening Series games in March.  Yesterday, I posted up some pics of the promotional event.  Go here to check that out.  You can also watch a video of AJ hanging out with Australian cricket legend Allan Border at Sydney's Manly Beach.  Go here to view that.

    As Border mentions in the video, he's been a fan of the American game for a long time.  He even says that he played it as a youth - before he started playing cricket, so the sports has a long history on the continent. 

    Considering that, it shouldn't be surprising that their players have gained a fair amount of skill.  Maybe even an expertise that has eluded ballplayers in the states.

    To see what I mean, check out a couple of videos put together by some ballplayers who play for the Melbourne Aces, below. 

    Now, I'm not going to say that these are 100% real (without some computer hijinks thrown in), but I do want to believe this is possible.  And, why not? 

    If other sports can have their trick shots, why not Baseball?

    Here, blindfolded Melbourne Aces catcher Brad Harman takes on 2 hockey players.

    Video Link:

    Melbourne Aces player Scott Wearne gets a 7-10 split with baseballs at AMF Watergardens.

    Video Link:

    Pic at the very top via @Dodgers on twitter.

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    Blog Kiosk: 11/21/2013 - Dodgers Links - Kemp Wants to Stay, Dodgers Lose Tolleson and Hershiser

    AJ Ellis is making friends in Australia.  Pic via @Dodgers on twitter.
    "It's just an honor to be chosen to represent the Dodgers and talk about the upcoming games and be a small part of this once-in-a-lifetime event," said Ellis. "I was fortunate enough to travel with the club to Beijing in 2008, but these games actually count. Sitting next to Patrick (Corbin) and talking about meaningful games with our divisional rival is really getting the competitive juices going."
    “Nobody wants to have their name thrown around with all the different teams,” (Dave) Stewart (Kemp's agent) said. “In our conversations, what we’ve come to is that if it does happen, the only thing we can hope for is that he goes to a team with an opportunity to win. That’s first and foremost, if it does happen.
    • The Dodgers lose reliever Shawn Tolleson to the Rangers on a waiver claim, via @MLBRosterMoves on twitter.  He was injured for most of 2013.  Still, the fact that he was left unprotected is a huge surprise.  I had thought he would be an effective arm out of the pen, someday.  The Dodgers must not feel good about how he is healing.
    • Emma at Dodger Blue World notes that former Brooklyn Dodgers Rod Miller passed away earlier this month.  Here is an obituary.  RIP, Rod Miller.
    • Via Steven Choi at Arirang News, "Ryu Hyun-jin Baseball Field to be erected in Incheon".
    • In preparation for the Rule 5 Draft, the Dodgers added 3 players to their 40-man roster, via a tweet from the Dodgers.  This is a major stepping stone for these young players.  It often means that they are likely to be called up to LA at some point soon.

    • For those interested, the Professional Baseball Scout Foundation dinner will be in Los Angeles in January.  Go here for details.
    • Via John Thorn at Our Game, "Some Baseball Tricks: The Unfair Means by Which Some Games Were Won in the 1860s".

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