Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Gammons Relays a Trade that Almost Happened

This evening, Peter Gammons released some scant details about a trade that was in serious discussions between the Dodgers, Angels and Kansas City Royals.  Per his blog, The Daily Gammons:
As it turns out, the Dodgers went right down to the trading deadline trying to add parts for a world series run. L.A. sources say they were working on deals with the Angels and Royals for Hochevar and Howie Kendrick and were willing to trade pitchers Zach Lee, Reed and Chris Withrow. It unraveled minutes from the deadline.
Since the deal never closed, we can only imagine what this could have meant for the Dodgers.

So, what do you think?  Would you have been willing to trade 2 of our top prospects?  Would our return have been the key ingredients needed for a championship run?
Howie Kendrick would have been the key piece of the deal.  He is having a phenomenal season at the plate - batting .301 with a .778 OPS, and a WAR of 3.1.  There's no doubt Kendrick would have been a huge upgrade over Mark Ellis.  On the other hand, he much worse on the field.  Baseball America ranked Ellis the 3rd best defensive second baseman in the National League, while nobody would consider putting Howie on a similar list.  Also, Kendrick is under contract through the 2015 season, so he would have been under team control for a good amount of time.

Luke Hochevar, who was originally drafted by the Dodgers in 2002 in the 39th round, then again in the 1st round in 2005, would have been one of the more intriguing pick-ups.  He had been a spectacular failure as a starting pitcher in Kansas City, but has been great in relief this season - his first year in the pen.  Hochevar has an infinitesimal 1.65 ERA and a ERA+ of 248 in 2013.  Due to his experience as a starter, he has the ability to go long in relief.  Whether his role will only be as a reliever may be in question.  After all, there's a reason the Dodgers tried to draft him twice, and I'd be willing to bet they would have explored the idea of having him start a game, from time to time.  BTW, he is under team control until 2014 - arbitration eligible this coming Winter.

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Jackie Robinson Comic - The Legend of the Blue Knight

Hey Greg, I finally found one!

A couple months back I had the pleasure of finally meeting several bloggers at a LA area card show.  One of those folks was Greg Zakwin - writer of Plaschke, Thy Sweater is Argyle.  He snagged a little item that had me green with envy.  Greg found a copy of a Jackie Robinson comic that was distributed by the Dodgers in 1997.  This was put together in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier.

Well, thanks to a recent purchase on ebay consisting of a large lot of Dodger memorabilia, I now have a copy to call my own.  Yesterday, I showed you my Don Drysdale Club 53 restaurant ceramic cup from that purchase.  Now, I share a Jackie comic book that came in that lot.

I've yet to read it, but will do that soon.

(This is the back cover of the comic book)

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I am Disgusted! Jackie Robinson/ Pee Wee Reese Statue Defaced with Swastikas

And certain politicians claim there is no racism in America today.

I just got word of a horrible act of vandalism.  It appears to have been perpetrated by folks who continue to live in a different era.  They are people who refuse to accept the equality of men/women and would go too many lengths to assert their supposed birthright of racial superiority. 

At the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones on Coney Island a group of cowards decided to deface a statue that honors Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese.

Via Thomas Tracy & Richard Schapiro of the NY Daily News:
Among the hate-filled messages written in black marker on the monument to Robinson and his Brooklyn Dodgers teammate Pee Wee Reese were: "Heil Hitler," "Die n----r," "F--k n----r" and "F--k Jackie Robinson."

The discovery disgusted the Brooklyn Cyclones organization.

"The statue is a symbol of tolerance," said Billy Harner, director of communications for the Cyclones.
"It's an absolute tragedy that someone would deface it the way they did."
The nativist will never learn.  Their time has past.  My solace is knowing that our country is changing, and those who resist will be judged by history.  They will be the villains spoken about it the history books - no matter how much they try to stack school boards with like-minded folks.

Pic above via NY Daily News.  Hat Tip: Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk.

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Shaq & Dr. J

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.


Two Basketball legends will be in the Southland to meet with fans.  Check out the two flyers below for details.

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Vintage Topps Baseball Cards as Wall Art

Topps has been making a slow transition towards retail sales.  Right now, you can purchase t-shirts and memorabilia from their archives direct from them.  Heck, you can even buy boxes of cards.

Recently, they took another step towards retail sales by introducing a new product.  You can now purchase large sized archived posters of vintage Topps Baseball cards of your favorite player.  Go here for details.

Posters come in two sizes (17.25” x 21.35” or 23” x 31”) and are printed on 1/64” cotton fine art paper.  They are also embossed with Topps Archives official seal.  There are over 100 different Dodger player posters available.  Go here to see the list.  Below are a couple of my favorites.

I think these posters would look incredible autographed. 

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Blog Kiosk: 8/7/2013 - Dodgers Links - Allen & Ginter is in Stores, Puig, and Donnie Almost Got Canned

BFF's.  Pic bove via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013.  See more pics from yesterday's game right here.
  • Check out this pic (on the right) of a 2013 Allen & Ginter cabinet box-loader of Matt Kemp that was shared by Topps on twitter.  BTW, this set officially goes live today, so you should be able to find them at your local store.  Cards are already showing up on eBay.
  • "It’s been 85 starts since Clayton Kershaw was knocked out of a game," via Jon Weisman   at Dodger Thoughts.
  • Via Cut4, "Here are 17 reasons why Yasiel Puig is baseball's most must-watch rookie".
  • Ross Gasmer at Dodgers Nation informs us that recently released Dodger pitcher Ted Lilly has joined the Giants. 
  • Chris Olds at Beckett shares some early pics from Topps 2014 Heritage set that will come out in March of next year.  Check out the Puig and Kershaw cards below.  I love the Kershaw gold embossed card.  Chris has even more preview pics.  BTW, Puig is slated to have an autographed card in the set.
  • Just a brief update on the Puig arrest for reckless driving while in the minors, the court case has been delayed.  Via
  • Baseball America shares their list of Top-3 MLB Best Tools.  Kershaw, Ryu and Puig make the cut.
  • "Giving Yasiel Puig guidance was teacher's extra-credit assignment, via Dylan Hernandez at the LA Times.
When Puig was at double-A Chattanooga (Tenn.) earlier this season, his behavior raised concerns. His first assigned caretaker, former major league pitcher Eddie Orospesa, butted heads with him and lasted only a month. Puig’s demeanor was said to improve after Bravo joined him at the end of last school year.
"[Team president Stan Kasten] was really honest, because I think he didn't want to do anything, but he says, 'Donny, at some point I've got to do something,'" Mattingly said of their late May conversation. "If they're not listening and it's not going good, you've got to make a change just to be making a change. And you could be doing the best job you could possibly do and it still wouldn't make a difference. At some point, I get it. I got that."
  • William Regenthal at Foul Bunt shares more pics from his weekend at Cooperstown during Hall of Induction weekend.  This time he has photos from the Hall of Fame parade.

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I Blame You - Time Warner and CBS

So, the Dodgers were riding a 15-game road winning streak.  We had our staff ace, and arguably the best pitcher in all of Major League Baseball, on the mound.  A batting order, even without Hanley Ramirez, that is as potent as any club in the league. And what happens?

We lose. Streak over.

So, why did it happen?

Was it just time for the team to have a let down?  Has the loss of Hanley to our lineup unveiled a significant weakness that may prove too difficult to overcome?  Were we too quick to champion the reemergence of our relief staff?  Are we about to experience a regression to the mean?

No, I don't think it's any of that.  Instead, I blame last night's Dodger loss on my inability to watch the game.  In fact... and let me go out on a limb here... I think the lack of cosmic karma brought about by the watchful eyes of Dodger fans everywhere hurt our chances.  Yes folks, I understand that I sound like a wasted hippie, but I don't care.

I want my Dodger Baseball, and I'll continue to express my ire at both parties - who are too infantile to realize that we don't care about their reasons.  We just want their bickering to stop.

So, I blame the current rumble between Time Warner and CBS.  Damn you multimillion dollar corporate behemoths! 

I just want my Dodger Baseball!

Video Link:

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