Monday, January 21, 2013

Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 1/21/2013

You can't beat two great leaders in one photograph.  As tweeted by the @Dodgers, check out the photo above.
(twitter link)
  • Justin Sellers has been arrested in West Sacramento, via KCRA.  What a dumb***!
Police said Justin Sellers was doing "wheelies" on his motorcycle in a neighborhood near Riva Drive. When officers tried to pull him over, police said Sellers took off.

After a short chase, Sellers turned himself in, authorities said.

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Collection: A Tom Niedenfuer Fan Favorite Autographed Card

I find it funny that Tom Niedenfuer was given a fan-favorite card in Topps 2005 Baseball card set.  If anything, his status with the fans is mixed.  He was very good as a Dodgers reliever, and is noted for saving 64 games for the Dodgers over 7 seasons.  His ERA in that time was a very respectable 2.76, his ERA+ was 128, and his Dodgers career WAR was a 9.3.  These are all very good numbers for a reliever.

Unfortunately, closers are often judged by how they perform in the big games, and Niedenfuer is notable for losing two of the biggest in Dodgers history.  On back-to-back nights, Tom Niedenfuer gave up walk-off home runs in the 1985 National League Championship series against the Cardinals. 

First, in Game 5 (with the series tied at two wins a piece) Ozzie Smith came up to bat and pounded his first career home run as a left handed batter to win the game.  Then in the following game, Jack Clark came up with two men on and belted a walk-off home run that still gives me tears.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

LA Kings Banner Raising Game

I had a great Saturday afternoon.  The sun was out, and it was starting to warm up.  It was like the heavens opened up to allow us to have a perfect day.

As you probably know, the LA Kings had their post lock-out opening game on Saturday in order to usher in the new season and to celebrate our recent Stanley Cup Championship with a banner raising at the Staples Center.  I was more than jazzed to be there.  I was elated and excited.  I couldn't wait to get to the stadium and had wanted to get their as early as possible for the noon game.  Unfortunately, traffic was far from light as I drove in from my home in central Orange County.  So, I would miss many of the events planned before the game.  I was unable to get an autograph from my all-time favorite King- Marcel Dionne.
(twitter link)

I did have a chance to walk around the newly decorated Staple Center and immediately noticed that they had moved all of the Kings related banners to the other side of the arena.  Finally, the Kings would get its own part of the stadium to hang up its flags.  Check out the newly placed banners below.  As a side note, this would be the game where the players would receive their championship rings.  Take a look at the diamond encrusted wonder above, as tweeted by former Kings player and current coach Bernie Nicholls.

Now, on to why I was here.  Below are a couple of pics of the banner being raised.  It was a wonder to behold.  And do you know what was even better?  They raised it right in front of my seats- eye level!  Every time I would look straight ahead during the game I would see the banner.  It was just wonderful.

Unfortunately, the pregame events would provide the only real highlights of the day.  The Kings looked lackluster throughout the game.  They missed passes, skated like the ice was molasses, and generally looked uneasy in the current line combinations.  I suppose the impact of losing two key players to injury before the season starts may be the reason, but I think its likely that the hoopla surrounding the day had more to do with it.  Anyway, they lost the opener 5 to 2.

Oh, well.  At the least season has finally started.  Check out the video below featuring the banner raising ceremony.

Video Link:

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *
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