Friday, October 18, 2013

Wait... What? Hanley's in the Lineup!

David Vassegh of AM570 Radio just reported that Hanley Ramirez is back int he lineup.  He even tweeted out a lineup card with his name on it.

Wow.

Were we being punked?


Bill Shaikin shares the new starting lineup.
UPDATE: There is some question whether Hanley will play.  He was warming up on the field then headed to the training room.  This looks like it'll literally be a game-time decision.

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No Hanley Tonight - Here's the Starting Lineup

In pregame news that likely shocks, if not worries already nervous Dodger fans, the team reveals that Hanley Ramirez will not be on tonight's starting lineup.  In his place will be Nick Punto; who will hit in the #8 spot. 

This definitely is bad news for the Blue Crew.  Hopefully, Hanley is healthy enough to come off the bench, if needed.  At this time there is no news regarding his general health.

UPDATE: Dylan Hernandez provides some news about Hanley, and it's not good.

UPDATE II:  OK... Ignore everything above.  Hanley is in the lineup.  See my update post here.

UPDATE II:  Hold your horses... Hanley is still questionable.

Also, Yasiel Puig moves to the clean-up spot in the batting order.  This creates a Dodger lineup that's balanced "left-right-left-right-left-right" at the top.

In Cardinals news, they replace their centerfielder with Shane Robinson.  John Jay had a terrible time in the field in Game 5, so this is likely to help out the Red Birds defensively.  As for Robinson's bat, he is hitting just .250 with a .664 OPS for the season.  In other words, he's a step down.  On the other hand, Jay was hitting just .182 in the postseason.

Take a look at the Dodger lineup below.
(pic credits: @Dodgers on twitter)

Below is the Cardinals starting lineup:



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World Series Tickets Go on Sale on Saturday - Tomorrow


This might be a bit like pulling the cart before the horse, but I guess you gotta make these available before time runs out. 

The Dodger will be making available for sale 2013 World Series tickets on Saturday at 10:00 AM.  From a Dodger press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers will have an online public sale of World Series tickets for games 3, 4 and 5 on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 10 a.m. on www.Dodgers.com.

Twitter followers of @Dodgers will have an exclusive on-sale period of 9:45 a.m. until 9:59 a.m. to purchase their World Series tickets before the general public sale begins online.

Fans will be limited to four tickets for each game played at Dodger Stadium. The Dodger Stadium box office WILL NOT be open on Saturday.
As you will recall, the American League defeated the National League during the All-Star Game, so if the Dodgers go to the Fall Classic they will host games 3,4 and 5.  Below is a schedule of those potential games.  Times to be determined later.

Game 3 on Saturday, Oct. 26
Game 4 on Sunday, Oct. 27
Game 5 (if necessary) on Monday, Oct. 28


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Origins of the Dodgers Iconic "LA" Cap Design, or Not



Tom Radom, an accomplished graphic designer, shared a great pic the other day on twitter that yearns to be shared.  It is a letter to Dodger executive Art Patterson in 1957 from equipment maker Tim McAuliffe regarding recent talks about a LA Dodger logo.

As you know, the Dodgers were heading west and the team needed an new logo to represent them.
Thank you for your letter, I am making up two new LA's for Buzzie, I will send them to the Brooklyn office.

I will design them in the upper corner to show you what I mean, one will be identical with the LA I gave you only larger, and the other which is designed has the lower bar of the L, acting as the cross bar of the A.
This seemingly provides the origins of the current Dodger logo.  Of course, that likely is not true.

The Pacific Coast League Los Angeles Angels had already existed in the Southland, and they used the exact same concept on their uniforms for many decades.  As visual proof check out a 1929 Los Angeles Angels throwback uniform being sold at Ebbets.com below.
 
(pic via Ebbets.com: 1929 LA Angels of PCL)

Although it is not exactly like the current Dodgers logo, it does use the exact same concept of the interlocking letters.  So, it's probably fair to say that the Dodgers "borrowed" the design from the PCL team.

On the other hand, it's not like they stole it.  By 1957, Walter O'Malley had already purchased the PCL Angels from Phillip Wrigley (the chewing gum magnate) in preparation of his move to Los Angeles.  So, the Dodgers only chose to adopt and slightly transform a design that he owned to fit with the big league club. 

BTW, by 1957 the PCL LA Angels had been using a brand new design that looks more similar to the current Dodgers logo.  Check out a vintage photo of Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda in that uniform below.
(pic via 90 Feet to Perfection: 1957 PCL Angels)

In case you can't see the cap, below is a look at that cap logo.
(pic via New Era Cap Talk)

As I was doing a little bit of research, I came across a great story about how a very young Jimmy Hahn, LA's former Mayor, once wrote to O'Malley with his own LA Dodgers cap design.  He also suggested using the interlocking LA design.  See that story at LA Observed here. When he was told that his original letter still existed he refused to take credit for the iconic Dodger logo.  He wrote:
"To be honest, I think the old Pacific Coast League LA Angels may have used that logo and I may have 'borrowed' from that."
You should take a moment to check out Todd Radon's website.  He shares a bunch of graphic designs he's created over the years, and I'm sure you'll recognize many of them.  This guy's work is everywhere in sports.

Pic at very top via twitter @ToddRadom

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2013 Topps Update - The Dodgers Base Cards and Short Prints

Topps unveiled the 2013 Topps Update set that includes All-Stars, new rookies and recently traded players.  So, as you can imagine it's fileld with a bunch of Dodgers.  Check out all of the Dodger base cards below.  Next week I'll share pics of the Dodger insert cards.

Notice that Yasiel Puig and Hyun-Jin have a bunch of cards; including more than a handful of short-printed variations.

#US29 Scott Van Slyke                      #US46 Yasiel Puig RCH

#US106 Clayton Kershaw AS

#US109 Jose Dominguez                     US132 Ronald Belisario


#US171 Nick Punto                            #US191 Ricky Nolasco


#US192 Hyun-Jin Ryu RD                             #US208 Juan Uribe

#US250 Yasiel Puig


#US254 Brian Wilson                          #US261 Skip Schumaker


#US308 J.P. Howell                          #US330 Yasiel Puig RD

There are a bunch of Dodger short-printed cards.  First, I wanted to show the Willie Mays card since it also includes Sandy Koufax.  Yasiel Puig has 3 different variations available to chase after.  Hyun Jin Ryu has 2 different variations in the set.

Short Printed Variations


#US73 Willie Mays with Sandy Koufax

#US250 Yasiel Puig



#661 Hyun-Jin Ryu


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Welcome to the Blue, Mike Baxter!


Even as we're in the midst of the postseason, the Dodgers still find a way to make a roster move to be better next season.  Well... Maybe not to markedly improve, so much as to take a flyer on a player who is likely no worse than who we eventually designated for assignment.

Announced yesterday evening, the Dodger have claimed outfielder Mike Baxter from the New York Mets.  He was immediately placed on the 40-man roster.  In turn, outfielder Alex Castellanos was DFA'd.

Per a Dodgers press release:
Baxter, 28, has appeared in 194 big league games with the Padres (2010) and Mets (2011-13), compiling a .229 batting average with 22 doubles, four triples, four homers and 26 RBI and appearing at all three outfield positions as well as first base. Baxter was originally selected by the Padres in the fourth round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft out of Vanderbilt University.

Castellanos, 27, appeared in eight games with the Dodgers this season and has a .171 batting average with two homers and four RBI in 24 career big league games.
If Castellanos isn't claimed by another club, he is likely to remain in our the minor league system.  As you may know, Castellanos originally came to the Dodgers as a part of the trade that sent Rafael Furcal to the Cardinals in 2011.  It was hoped that he would develop into a major league caliber outfielder, but poor starts in his few opportunities and the recent logjam on the "Big Club" have stalled his chances.  The Dodgers are looking for depth, and Baxter provides a better option.  As to why players like Justin Sellers or Elian Herrera were not DFA's instead, I would say that they have more worth due to being good-glove infielders.

In celebration of Baxter's arrival, I made the above fantasy card of Baxter using a Getty Images photo from Mets Photo Day and the vintage 1974 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are his career stats, via Baseball Reference:


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Blog Kiosk: 10/18/2013 - Dodgers Links - Puig, Ethier's Outfit and Kershaw


St. Louis, I See You!  Pic via @Dodgers on twitter.
  • Baseball Metrics.com provides an in-depth look at the pitcher vs. hitter matchups for tonight's game.  It's a stat driven analysis that looks at how Kershaw and Wacha have historically done against the opposition’s line up.
  • "Exciting or infuriating? Understanding the still-mysterious Yasiel Puig," via SL Price at Sports Illustrated.
The best thing about the Yasiel Puig phenomenon is that we still know almost nothing. His early days, baseball and otherwise, sit behind the ragged Cuban curtain of embargo politics and Castroite impedimenta, and his 2012 defection remains a cocktail of charged terms -- smuggler, speedboat, Mexico -- that hint at much and reveal little. He speaks only Spanish, so middle America gets no purchase on his personality, and what he says, anyway, hangs heavily on the themes of thanking God, appreciating his teammates and having fun. Nothing wrong with any of that. He even seems to mean it. 


"A.J.'s huge," Kershaw said Thursday on a conference call with reporters. "Not only are A.J. and I pretty good buddies off the field, obviously, but on the field I have a lot of trust in him and what he calls. I know he's done probably more homework than anybody, other than [pitching coach Rick] Honeycutt."
"I don't know why you guys continue talking about last year," says Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina, who killed two huge rallies in the first three innings. "It's different. We're facing another team this year.

"We're not thinking about that."

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