Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Mayor Villaraigosa Tested the Dodgers' Plungers

As one of the more powerful persons in Los Angeles, Mayor Villaraigosa did the only thing a reasonable man in his position would do.  He tested out the plunger looking things in the new Dodgers' children's playground.  See the pic below tweeted by the Dodgers below as proof.
(twitter pic: @Dodgers)

As you probably guessed, the Mayor received a personalized tour of Dodger Stadium today from Janet Marie Smith.
(twitter pic: @Dodgers)

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Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 33 | Road Game 16

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.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS (11-18-3) vs. Seattle Mariners (19-11)
Wednesday, March 27, 2013 – 1:05 p.m. | Peoria Stadium
LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-2, 3.60) vs. RHP Felix Hernandez (0-1, 1.64)
TV: None | Radio: None
(twitter link: @jphoornstra)

(pic credit: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013)

GOING, GOING, BACK, BACK: The Dodgers play their final Cactus League game this afternoon against the Mariners before returning to California for four final exhibition games against Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and the Angels. Today’s contest is the Dodgers third against Seattle this spring (1-1) as Los Angeles attempts to snap its three-game losing streak before departing the Valley of the Sun.
  • 10,557 watched the Dodgers wrap up their home slate at Camelback Ranch last night, finishing with an attendance mark of 133,460 in 17 home dates (average 7,851, including the Mexico exhibition). That is the Dodgers’ second-highest home attendance mark in team history behind only the 136,944 that the club drew in 15 home dates in 2009 (average 9,130), which also included a World Baseball Classic exhibition. Los Angeles also established a single-game Cactus League attendance mark with a sellout of 13,721 on Saturday night against the White Sox, giving the club the top three highest attended games in league history.
  • Los Angeles ranks second among all National League squads with a .348 on-base percentage and ties for second with 102 walks. Once on base, the Dodgers have been active on the basepaths, leading the NL with 36 steals.
  • On the mound, Dodger pitchers have struck out a Major League-best 259 batters.
FINAL TUNEUP: Clayton Kershaw will make his final start of the exhibition season and will next be on the hill on Monday, when the Dodgers open the 2013 season against the Giants at Dodger Stadium. It will be Kershaw’s third consecutive Opening Day start and since his MLB debut in 2008, the 2011 NL Cy Young Award winner’s name has dotted the league leaderboards:

MLB ERA LEADERS, 2008-2012 (min. 100 GS)                   MLB LEADERS, OPP. AVG. 2008-2012 (min. 100 GS)
Clayton Kershaw                    2.79                         Clayton Kershaw                       .215
Roy Halladay                          2.85                         Justin Verlander                         .226
Cliff Lee                                  2.89                         David Price                                .227
Felix Hernandez                      2.92                         Mat Latos                                   .227
Adam Wainwright                   2.99                         Matt Cain                                   .229
  • Among MLB starters during the course of his career, Kershaw also ranks 10th in winning percentage (.622, 61-37), places third in strikeouts per 9.0 innings (9.29) and has allowed the second-fewest home runs per 9.0 innings (0.59).
  • Today will be Kershaw’s seventh start of the spring after last pitching on Friday against the Reds, allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits in 6.0 innings. Kershaw struck out a spring-high eight batters in that outing and has fanned 28 in 25.0 innings.
  • Following Kershaw for the opening series against the Giants will be LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu (April 2) and RHP Josh Beckett (April 3).

(pic credit: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013)

ROSTER MOVES: Yesterday, the Dodgers optioned shortstop Dee Gordon to Triple-A Albuquerque and outfielder Yasiel Puig to Double-A Chattanooga. The Dodgers have 36 players remaining in big league camp.

SEEMS LIKE ONLY YESTERDAY: The Dodgers’ ninth-inning rally came up 90 feet short last night as Los Angeles fell, 7-6, to Colorado at Camelback Ranch. Tim Federowicz blasted a three-run homer, his first of the spring, while Andre Ethier stroked his third triple in Cactus League play and scored in his only at-bat. A.J. Ellis went 2-for-3, raising his batting average to .359, and Alfredo Amezaga had two hits, including an RBI double in the ninth.
  • Ethier, who is hitting .348 with a .423 on-base percentage, is tied for the National League lead with three triples this spring. Of his 16 hits, 10 have gone for extra bases (six doubles, three triples and a homer).
‘M’ IS FOR MATT: Tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. PST, Matt Kemp will be featured on an episode of PBS’s Sesame Street. The slugger will be appearing on the “Word of the Day” segment with “Abby” the Muppet. Sesame Street, which first aired in 1969, has had a laundry list of esteemed guests that have appeared on the show, including Jackie Robinson, Kobe Bryant and Michael Jackson, to name a few.

:  The Dodgers will return to Southern California tomorrow for a split-squad exhibition game at The Epicenter against the Single-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes at 6:05 p.m. and a contest against the Angels in Anaheim for the first game of the three-game exhibition Freeway Series set for 7:05 p.m. at Angel Stadium. The Freeway Series continues Friday with a 7:10 p.m. game at Dodger Stadium and wraps up Saturday with a 6:05 p.m. game in Anaheim.

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Blog Kiosk: 3/27/2013 - Some Puig Notes, Ryu is up to the Challenge and Thorn's Love of the Dodgers

Here's a fantastic photo featuring Matt Kemp with Elmo, provided through twitter @Dodgers.  Check out a preview of his appearance on Sesame Street right here.
Now normally this little piece of baseball nirvana is a desired destination, but we’re talking about Andre Ethier, a man who believes he’s built a career constantly facing down naysayers.

It’s a motivational tool used his entire career. He’s admitted that chip on his shoulder provided focus and determination, fueled his ascent as a major leaguer. You know, to that career not a single soul on planet Earth believed he would ever achieve.
Once Puig has enough service time to have become arbitration-eligible had he not signed this particular deal, he can void the contract.  That doesn't make Puig a free agent, but it allows him to have his salary determined by arbitration.
"I told Ned (Colletti, general manager) this, I look at Yasiel like a Ferrari. The motor is there, the body is there, the wheels are there, but you just haven't painted it yet. Then you leave it out in the sun with no paint and you get it exposed a little bit," Mattingly said. "We want this guy totally ready as possible when he walks in the door at Dodger Stadium, and not to ever have to go back down again."
“I thought it’d be fine starting the fourth game. I feel a bit of pressure starting the second, as the opposing team will send out a good pitcher,” Ryu said, according to Sports Hankook.

In the game against the Giants, Ryu is expected to face off against Madison Bumgarner, who went 16-11 last year. Bumgarner, 23, won the second World Series game last year, shutting out the Detroit Tigers over seven innings.

Ryu says he’s up to the challenge, however.

“When I was in Korea, I thought I’d like to strike out San Francisco catcher Buster Posey,” Ryu said.

“I want to win. If I pitch well in the first game, I think I’ll be able to maintain a good pace.”
“I fell in love with the cards before I fell in love with the game because they’re these cardboard gods, these iconic bits of America that for me as an immigrant boy, were visas that I could have stamped and would let me into places that otherwise I thought I might not get into,” he said.

“I love the Jackie Robinson card, 1952 Topps. That was a prize. I loved anything associated with the Dodgers. If you’re a Jewish immigrant boy, you feel like an outsider, you feel like an underdog. So you identify with the underdog club. The fact that the Dodgers lost to the Yankees every year had a certain appeal. You come close, you come close, you lose, but you fight, you come back. That kind of tenacity was very appealing. Jews in particular identified very strongly with the integration experience of African-Americans of that period, and Jackie Robinson was the god.”
  • In my opinion, the country version of this Keisa song, Die Young, is better than her auto-tuned version.  Here is the country adaptation by Scott Bradlee.

Video Link:

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