Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Congrats, Clayton! Kershaw Wins the Cy Young!


To the surprise of no one, Clayton Kershaw won his 2nd Cy Young Award today.  Over the past 3 season he has been absolutely stellar, but this past year was arguably his best.

He lead the league with a 1.83 ERA, a ERA+ of 194, a WHIP average of 0.915 and 232 strike outs, and posted career best in all of those categories; with exception of strike outs. Kershaw also had a career best WAR of 7.8.  He won only 16 games in 2013, but should have won more if only the Dodgers offense during the first couple of months of the season was on par with the team that came about when Puig was called up.

Overall, he earned 29 out of 30 1st place votes by BBWAA writers.  Why he didn't sweep, I cannot understand.  His 2013 season was historically dominant.  

As you know, the Dodgers hold his rights for another season before the specter of free agency looms.  Hopefully, both sides can make that a moot point by signing a long term deal to make him a Dodger for life this winter.  Recent reports indicate that the Dodgers had offered that, but Clayton hesitated.  He may prefer a contract that doesn't tie him down for too long.

One thing is for sure, if past performance is indicative of the future, Clayton Kershaw figures on being one of the greatest left-handers to ever play the game. 

On a side note, I wonder if the Dodgers will be giving out another Kershaw Cy Young Award plaque (like the one below) next season? 
Below are Kershaw's career stats, via Baseball-Reference:


And here are some highlights of Kershaw's masterful 2013 season.

Video Link:

UPDATE:  Quotes from a Dodger press release:
“Winning this award a second time is every bit as special as it was the first time around,” said Kershaw. “I want to especially thank my teammates and coaches for helping place me in such amazing company.”

“Congratulations to Clayton on his second Cy Young Award in three years,” said Dodger President and CEO Stan Kasten. “This is an extraordinary accomplishment by an incredible player and person. I’m sure that when our fans discuss the long legacy of great Dodger pitchers, the name Kershaw will stand convincingly alongside Koufax, Drysdale, Newcombe, Sutton, Valenzuela and Hershiser.” 

“Once again, Clayton Kershaw has shown the world that he is the best pitcher in Major League Baseball,” said Dodger Owner Earvin “Magic” Johnson. “I’m so proud of his accomplishments both on and off the field. He is everything a true Dodger represents and the city of Los Angeles should take tremendous pride in that.”

“Congratulations to Clayton on a great year and a most deserving Cy Young honor,” said Dodger Hall of Famer Sandy Koufax, who won Cy Young Awards in 1963, 1965 and 1966.  “This is the second of many more to come.  He’s got quite a future ahead of him.”

“It is a great achievement and recognition of one of the finest pitchers and people in the game,” said Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti.
UPDATE II:  Here is a link to the story at the BBWAA website, and below is graphic detailing the voting.

Pic at very top via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Dodgers 2013 Holiday Mall Tour with Yeager & Wills, and Lakers Xavier Henry

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.

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The Dodgers 2013 Holiday Mall Tour begins this weekend with Steve Yeager and Maury Wills appearing at the Westfield Culver City Mall.  Go here for more information, or go here for my most reent updates on this mall tour.

Saturday, November 16th
Westfield Culver City - Macy's Court
6000 Sepulveda Boulevard
Culver City, CA 90230
10am-5pm
Players:
Steve Yeager: 11:00 PM-1:00 PM
Maury Wills: 2:00 PM-4:00 PM
BTW, the Dodgers are holding some sort of  Thanksgiving event at Dodger Stadium (Top of the Park store) on Friday, November 29 and Saturday, November 30th (maybe Sunday, too) from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM daily.  Dodger appearances have not been announced for this yet, if any.
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Lakers Shooting Guard Xavier Henry will be signing autographs at Harry's Dugout in Whittier on Saturday, November 16 from 3:00 PM to 4:30 PM.  Prices are indicated below in the graphic.  Go here for more information.
Harry's Dugout
10715 West Beverly
Whittier, CA 90601

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Dodgers Singing the Right Tune - They Sign Roy Clark to Shore Up Front Office


The Dodgers have gone country.

Really... They've gone to the eastern reaches of Virginia to snag away an executive with the Washington Nationals.  His name is Roy Clark, and I hear he's mighty good with a banjo and a fiddle (I jest).

Seemingly with billions of dollars at their disposal, the Dodgers continue to build a strong foundation.  They appear to be using a three-pronged approach that includes adding veterans to help the team win now, shoring up their farm system to create talent for the future, and adding the right personnel to implement their plans. 

As a friend once told me,
Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance
The Dodgers look like they've taken that saying to heart.

From a Dodgers press release:
"We are pleased to bring in someone of Roy's experience and his strong track record of evaluating potential Major League players," said Colletti. "He has been an integral part of the success of Atlanta and Washington."

In his role with the Dodgers (as a National Crosschecker), Clark will be helping to scout amateur talent throughout the country as well as evaluating the club's current minor leaguers.

"Roy is an excellent talent evaluator and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the Dodgers," said Dodger Vice President, Amateur Scouting Logan White. "He's a terrific addition and I'm looking forward to teaming him with Paul Fryer and John Green as National Crosscheckers."

Clark previously was the Nationals' Vice President of Player Personnel and oversaw the club's drafts from 2010-12, which included the selection of Bryce Harper with the first overall pick in 2010. In Washington, Clark was instrumental in overhauling the club's player development system, stocking the organization with talented prospects and earning the Nationals recognition from Baseball America as the best minor league system in baseball in 2012.
On a side note, isn't it weird how much our Roy Clark looks like Roy Clark, the country musician?  It's like the man from Hee Haw found the fountain of youth (he is 80 years old) and decided on a new vocation as a Baseball stud.  Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.  After all, what else would you expect from the man who sang, "Yesterday, When I Was Young".

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An Alexander Guerrero Update from the Dominican Winter Leagues - Watch His First Homer


I know it's way too early to know how good Guerrero really is, but you have to like the results, so far.

Since signing a contract a few weeks back, Alexander Guerrero has joined Gigantes del Cibao of the Dominican Winter Leagues in order to get some game-play under his belt.  He had not played competitively for several years, so an opportunity to see some real pitching can only help his development.

So far, Guerrero has played in only 4 games, but the results at the plate are encouraging - albeit it's too small of a sample size to truly judge.  See the stats below.

You gotta love that he's batting .429 with a .714 slugging percentage and a 1.143 OPS.  Guerrero even belted his first home run yesterday, in a losing effort against Aguilas.  Thankfully, you can watch the dinger to left field in the video below.

Video Link:

On the negative side, it appears that Guerrero has recently been plagued by some leg issues.  Check out a tweet from Fiebre Deportiva TV, below.


From what I can tell, this is the second time he has come out of a game due to leg issues.  In his 3rd game this past Saturday he came out of the game after only 1 at-bat.  Hopefully, it is just general soreness from not playing the game for a long time.  Worse case, (crossing my fingers here) it's a severe muscle pull that lays him out for the rest of winter; thereby making it virtually impossible for him to be ready for Major League play this coming Spring.

UPDATE:  He is not in the lineup for Wednesday's game.

Nevertheless, the results at the plate are encouraging, and leaves one to imagine that we've just stolen another diamond from the Cuban rough.

BTW, here is a pregame show for Gigantes del Cibao that features an interview with Alexander Guerrero (it starts at about the 5:38 mark).  I think it's from last week.  Unfortunately, it's in Spanish, so I have no idea what he's saying.  Can anybody translate this?  Please?

Video Link:



Pic at very top via twitter @GigantesSFM

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Blog Kiosk: 11/13/2013 - Dodgers Links - Seager's Potential, Mattingly Likely to be Extended and Dodgers Add an Executive


I came across this great vintage original Type I photo taken by former Dodgers team photographer Barney Stein of Pee Wee Reese dining with Dodgers GM Larry MacPhail in 1942 on eBay
"I don't look at what other people are doing, because I can't control it," said Seager of where he was drafted. "I'm just trying to get better, especially here, because I believe that playing with better players makes you want to improve. So I'm not worried about anything else, I have no expectations coming here, I just want to see where I compare to everybody else's top guys and just have fun."
  • FYI, The Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, the Dodgers High-A minor league club, will now air it's games on FOX Sports AM 1350 starting next season, via Mike Lindskog at MiLB.
  • Via Joseph Werner at ESPN.com, "Comparing greatness: Kershaw vs. Koufax".
  • Via the LA Kings, "Tickets To the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series Game At Dodger Stadium Go On Sale To The Public On Tuesday, November 19".  As a Kings season ticket holder, I already have my tickets.  I'll be sitting on the Top Deck.  Sometime in the next few weeks they'll be unveiling their team jerseys.  I desperately hope that the Kings wear those Dodger themed jersey's they wore last year.  See what I mean here.  They are the coolest looking jersey's I have ever seen.
  • The Dodgers add another executive, via Keith Law on twitter.


Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk tells us more about Roy Clark.
He joined the Braves when they were a laughingstock in the late 80s and helped build arguably the best pipeline of talent in all of baseball over the course of 20 years. When he joined the Nationals at the end of the 2009 season they were thought of as a laughingstock too. They are no longer.
  • The 2013 Bowman Draft Picks & Prospects set officially releases today.  Check out this pic of the Yasiel Puig rookie card available in it, on the right.  Pic via @Toppscards on twitter.
  • So, a 10-year old child was denied Halloween candy by a neighbor who disliked her Dodger uniform costume.  Say it ain't so.  Via Monica Rosales at the Sonoma News, "When grownups bully over baseball".  I get that this really sucks for the kid, but I don't know if I'd say it's bullying (like the kind that truly ruins people).  I think that's a stretch.  It certainly lacks neighborliness.  (Hat Tip: Jonathan Garza at WCB Sports)
  • Via Christopher Jackson at Examiner.com, the Dodgers signed a veteran minor league catcher - JC Boscan.
  • Congrats, Clint Hurdle!  He won the NL Manager of the Year Award, yesterday.  Don Mattingly came in 2nd, with 2 - 1st place votes.  Via BBWAA.
  • "Mattingly says talks on a contract extension are “going good”, via Tony Jackson at Dodger Scribe.
  • As I've said many times, just ignore all of the supposed rumors you are hearing.  They are like a meal that taste worse with every bite.  On today's plate is FoxSports Jon Morosi with a side of Mariners and Matt Kemp.

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