One of Topps most popular Baseball card sets officially comes out on Wednesday - 2014 Allen & Ginter. Featured above is a pic of the Pop Star Relic booklet card of Yasiel Puig. Go here to check out a bunch of preview pics from the set at Topps facebook page. BTW, individual cards are already showing up for sale on eBay. In fact, Chris Olds at Beckett tells us about a unique relic insert card featuring clippings of Daniel Nava's playoff beard. I kid you not. Check out that story here.
- Via Mark Saxon at ESPNLosAngeles.com, "Dodgers first-half MVP: Rick Honeycutt?" I couldn't' agree more. Honeycutt is our most import coach.
“I think Rick’s just solid at everything he does, from preparation to mechanics,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. “One thing nobody talks a lot about is Rick had pretty much every role in his career. He was a starter, he was a long man, he was a late-inning situational lefty. He went through all the stages in his career. His stuff was one way when he was younger. He got older and was pitching through some stuff when his arm wasn’t exactly right.”
- Via Andrew Grant at True Blue LA, "The sad history of Dodgers Home Run Derby participants."
The year is 2005. America is being rocked to the sweet sounds of Hollaback Girl. Millions wear giant Bluetooth earpieces without being called out for looking like a giant dingus, and Hee-Seop Choi pounds five home runs en route to a 5th place finish at the Home Run Derby. Why do I bring this up? Because it's by far the greatest Home Run Derby performance in Dodger history.
- Via Neil Weinberg at Beyond the Boxscore, "Clayton Kershaw, very pleasant bully."
Well there you have it. Clayton Kershaw was the best, richest, most feared pitcher in baseball five months ago and then decided to get even better. A few weeks ago I asked around regarding which current starting pitchers had a clear path to the Hall of Fame. Verlander, Hernandez, and Kershaw were consensus picks. Some others got votes, but think about this for a second. Kershaw is 26 years old. He's not dominating the league by as much and as young as Mike Trout, but he's not that far off.
- Via Keith Law at ESPN.com, he names Ryu as an All-Star snub.
I might also have tried to sneak Hyun-Jin Ryu on to the roster; he's top-10 in the NL in fWAR, getting great results with his new curveball, and having a Korean-born player in the game would give the game's ratings in Korea an enormous boost.
- Via Mike Petriello at Dodgers Digest, "Carl Crawford’s Rehab Progressing Well."
- Via Vincent Samperio at Dodgers Nation, "Dodgers Sign Outfielder Roger Bernadina To Minor League Deal." The Dodgers add some depth to the outfield position. Bernadina signed a minor league deal, so unless there's a rash of injuries I doubt we'll see him in Dodger Blue. The story was first broken by Chris Cotillo at MLB Daily Dish, via twitter.
- Via Andrew Powell-Morse at Data Visualizations from Best Tickets puts together a great graphic looking at, "The Winners and Losers Of North American Sports." What I learned, that I didn't know before, is that the Lakers have the best franchise winning percentage of any professional club in North America. Wow! The Clippers, who inexplicably sold for $2Billion, is one of the worst of all-time. The Dodgers are 3rd best in Baseball; behind the Giants and Yankees. The Kings, not surprisingly, have not been a model franchise historically, but I suspect their overall win percentage will get significantly better over the next several years.
- You sir, are a whiny little child. Via AM570, "Sleeping Fan Sues ESPN, MLB For Defamation."
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