Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 2/26/013

AJ Ellis and Don Mattingly head out to the field in the photo above taken by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013.  See more of his pics from yesterday over here.
‘‘So if that’s what they’re doing, great. If they’re taking guys coming off Tommy John, that’s taking a crapshoot. You don’t know. . . .

‘‘But the success rate has been so good that I wouldn’t hesitate today.’’
"I could play for the worst team if they paid the most," Greinke said in an interview with CBSSports.com. "If the last-place team offers $200 million and the first-place team offers $10, I'm going to go for the $200 million no matter what team it was."
  • I'm in utter disbelief.  Panini release more preview pics of their 2012 National Treasures Baseball cards that includes a bunch of incredible bat-knob cards.  Go here to see them all.  Hall of Fame bat-knob cards include Ty Cobb, Shoeless Joe Jackson, Honus Wagner and Lou Gehrig, and some of the nobs even have MEARS authenticity stickers attached. 

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Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 4/Home Game 3

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.

San Francisco Giants (1-1-1) at LOS ANGELES DODGERS (1-1-1)
Tuesday, February 26, 2013 – 1:05 p.m., Camelback Ranch – Glendale
RHP Tim Lincecum vs. RHP Josh Beckett
(twitter link: @Dodgers)

(pic link: Koufax, Colletti, Kasten and Lasorda, Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013)

JUST A SNEAK PEAK: The Dodgers and Giants square off this afternoon in the first of two Cactus League meetings this spring with the other coming on March 8 in Scottsdale as part of a split-squad tussle. Those two games are just a couple of appetizers, however, as the main course will be when the Giants visit Los Angeles on April 1 in the Dodgers’ 56th home opener in L.A. In case you were wondering and I know you were, there are just 34 days until Opening Day!
  • The Dodgers came from behind and beat the Cubs 7-6 yesterday as Omar Luna’s eighth-inning single plated Nick Evans with the eventual game-winning run. Paco Rodriguez worked out of a jam in the eighth inning to record his first-ever Cactus League win and minor leaguer Blake Johnson notched a save by working a scoreless ninth.
  • The Dodgers will send right-hander Josh Beckett to the mound today against Tim Lincecum. Following Beckett to the hill in their spring debuts this afternoon will be RHP Brandon League, RHP Kenley Jansen and LHP J.P. Howell. RHP Gregory Infante will make is scheduled to make his second Cactus League appearance.  
  • Los Angeles will have five players venturing over from the minor league side today to suit up with the Major League club: RHP Angel Castro (#95), LHP Fabio Castro (#81), infielder Rusty Ryal (#83), RHP Angel Sanchez (#82) and RHP Mario Santiago (#88).
THE OTHER BIG TEXAN: Former World Series and ALCS MVP Josh Beckett will make his 2013 debut this afternoon. Beckett went 2-3 with a 2.93 ERA in seven starts with Los Angeles last season after coming over in an Aug. 25 trade with Boston. The right-hander made one start against the Giants, allowing four runs in 6.1 innings last Sept. 7 in San Francisco .Beckett posted a 2.65 ERA (11 ER/37.1 IP) in September and went 3-4 with a 2.97 ERA in nine combined starts against NL opponents last season. Since 2005, Beckett’s 106 victories rank sixth in the Major Leagues over that time, trailing just C.C. Sabathia (137), Roy Halladay (132), Justin Verlander (124), Dan Haren (113) and Cliff Lee (108).
(pic link: Juan Uribe on 1st, Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013)

TIME TO DIG THE LONG BALL: Through three games, the Dodgers have just one home run, courtesy of Luis Cruz, who belted one on Sunday. Today’s starting lineup combined for 85 homers in 2013, led by Hanley Ramirez’s 24.
  • The Dodgers’ 116 homers last year ranked 29th in baseball. The only team who hit fewer home runs than Los Angeles was the World Champion San Francisco Giants (103).
  • Cruz was a late scratch and was sent home due to the stomach flu. He was replaced in the lineup by DH Tim Federowicz and Juan Uribe will move to third base. 
OLD FRIENDS: Former Dodgers Scott Proctor and Wilson Valdez are on the Giants’ travel squad today. Proctor and Valdez were teammates in blue on the 2007 Dodgers, after Proctor was a trade deadline acquisition and Valdez was recalled in September.
  • Today’s starting third baseman for the Dodgers is Juan Uribe, who played in San Francisco from 2009-10, driving in nine postseason runs on the way to helping the Giants win their first World Series in the Bay Area. Uribe started at first base yesterday and played 3.0 innings, going 0-for-2. On Saturday, his line-drive single was the first Cactus League hit for Los Angeles.
LET’S GET IT GOING DODGER FANS!: Dodger center fielder Matt Kemp advanced to the finals of MLB Network’s #FaceofMLB and is currently trailing Cincinnati’s Joey Votto in MLB Network’s bracket to decide who the Face of MLB is. The online hashtag battle (#MattKemp) runs through Friday. Start tweeting!

RADIO FLYERS: Today’s 1:05 p.m. (12:05 p.m. PT) game will be called by Charley Steiner and Rick Monday and can be heard on AM 570 Fox Sports Los Angeles, which will also feature Dodger Talk with Kevin Kennedy, David Vassegh and Jorge Jarrin tonight at 7:00 p.m. PT.

ADMIRING THE SCENERY: If you have been to the Camelback Ranch Major League building over the years, it will be easy to notice a few changes to the interior that jump out at you in 2013. In addition to the blue paint that now adorns most of the office walls, framed pictures of past Dodger yearbooks, media guides and Sports Illustrated covers now hang in the building. In Dodger manager Don Mattingly’s office,  framed black and white photos of each Dodger skipper in franchise history rests over the couch. Today, Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully stopped by to see Mattingly and Dodger GM Ned Colletti, spinning yarns about rooming with Leo Durocher in Vero Beach, Burt Shotton’s suits and Charlie Dressen’s perfect attendance at church.

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Will George Shuba Get Snubbed?

In 2007, I wrote a blog post focused on an important barrier breaking event related to the breaking of Baseball's color-line.  And no, I'm not talking about the Pee Wee Reese arm-over-the-shoulder event.  Instead, I mentioned an instance that occurred a year before Pee Wee's famous embrace. 

In 1946, George Shuba had shook the hand of a black man, in what had been described as the first interracial handshake in professional Baseball.  Of course, this is a bit of a dubious claim since the term professional would include paid-for-play barnstorming ballplayers, and interracial games and mixed-race teams were not that uncommon prior to Jackie Robinson's rise to fame.  Still, when it comes to Major League play (including the minors) this moment has some resonance.

Unfortunately, this innocuous act by Shuba has seemingly disappeared from the history books.  Rarely is it spoken about in the same breath as Pee Wee's moment, and as one commentator has noted, it is likely this event will be passed over in the upcoming Jackie Robinson movie, '42'. 

From a comment left by an anonymous reader:
I just received the official movie novel book by scholastic.

I wanted to see where they have the Handshake moment in it, well guess what, it's not in the book . Wow.. They just didn't talk about George shaking Jackie's hand at all...like the moment never happened ! The Book says "Jackie was not in a hurry running the bases, especially with two of this teammates making their way ahead of him. Both of them turned and waited for him once they'd crossed home plate, and shook his hand as he joined them" well this never happened , the two so called teammates did not shake Jackie's hand, they crossed home plate about 15 feet away and turned and watched to see if George "Shotgun" Shuba would shake Jackie's hand, they did not shake Jackie's hand, they didn't want to. So looks like someone has History wrong, just look at the associated press photo's web page and you can see a wide angle photo of the moment, it clearly shows the two so called teammates back from homeplate, one on his knees behind the other watching ,waiting to see if George would do it.
All I can say is this is unfortunate.  I can understand making Reese's embrace a major focal point, but I do not understand why Shuba's act is glossed over.  I guess it's all about the remaking of history to fit within the short attention spans of todays entertainment obsessed culture.

Sure, the new Robinson movie will likely be awesome and worthy of your time, but please keep in mind that it will not provide the full story- just a simplified version of it.

BTW, the pic above is of that handshake and is taken from Shuba's official website, here.

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Young Dreams Fullfilled at Spring Training

Little 4-year old Christian has previously been pictured on this blog showing off his superior skills on the ballfield.  Well, a couple of weekends ago he had a chance to show off his Baseball prowess for the Baseball Wizard, Tommy Lasorda, and his mother was kind enough to pass along some pics. 

First of all, Tommy wasn't the only person to notice Christian.  As you can see in the photo above, Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo also took note of Christian and shared a couple of pics of him throwing on his photoblog.  Heck, even Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy caught a glimpse of Christian and shared his own photo.  Below are some additional pics of Christian with Tommy and highly-ranked prospect Yasiel Puig.

Here, Tommy shares some wisdom with the young tyke.

Even, better, you can hear what Lasorda had to say to Christian in the video below.  Again, I'd like to extend a big thank you to Christian and his mother for allowing me to share these pics.

Video Link:

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