Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Blog Kiosk: 12/3/2014 - Dodger Links - Ellis Valued by New Front Office and a AAA Change Coming Soon

Now that's how you break up a double play.  Unfortunately, Dodger infielder Charlie Neal (referred to as Chuck in the caption) was the recipient of a near-perfect slide into second base by Pete Whisenant.  This is a United Press photo I grabbed off of eBay.  Check it out here.

As you can see, Whisenant appears to have done everything right.  He came in sliding hard and propped his rear-end up to impede a swift moving Neal.  In the process, he forced Neal to take a ride on his backside forcing him to fumble the ball.

On a side note, ain't this a fantastic photo?  It's filed with action while noting a part of the game that is often overlooked - and rarely ever seen in todays game.  BTW, this photo is from a 1956 game against the Cubs.  Below is what was written in the caption:
CHICAGO: Dodgers' Chuck Neal takes ride on back of Cubs Pete Whisenant, who broke up double play in 4th inning of second game of double header here 8/28.  Whisenant was forced at second on Harry Chiti's grounder to Pee Wee Reese.  Play went from Reese to Neal.  Cubs lost first game, 6-4 and won second game, 4-3."
Below are some links to check out:
  • This should come as no surprise.  The Dodgers chose to retain the rights of all their arbitration eligible players; including signing a new 1-year contract with Darwin Barney.  Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider, "Dodgers sign Barney, retain rights to other arbitration-eligible players."  Per Dylan Hernandez of the the LA Times on twitter, Barney will make $2.525Mil in 2015.  On a side note, we have quite a stockpile of middle infielders/utility players on the team.  Something has to give pretty soon. 
  • All of the hand-wringing over AJ Ellis is all for naught.  He will likely remain a Dodger.  WooHoo!  Per Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider, he speaks with Dodger GM Farhan Zaidi about AJ.
“The fact that (Ellis) has good relationships with the staff, that’s not an intangible,” Zaidi said. “That’s a tangible effect on his performance in the field.”

Though Ellis slumped to a .191 batting average in 2014, he was injured most of the year — yet still gave quality at-bats with a walk-strikeout ratio of almost exactly 1:1, something that Zaidi didn’t think “should be undersold.”

  • Chris Olds at Beckett proves and early glimpse at Topps 2015 Finest Baseball card set.  It is slated to come out in June 2015.  Check out the Joc Pederson card on the right.
  • Via a Dodger press release, "Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, Andre Ethier and wife Maggie will dedicate Maggie and Andre Ethier Learning Center at Union Rescue Mission Thursday."  
"I've enjoyed volunteering at URM since I became a Dodger," said Ethier. "Knowing that the Learning Center will serve the mission for years to come makes this project very special to me."
Among the professional journalism crowd, and I suppose all baseball circles to some degree, these “kids” are a constant topic of discussion. I have seen only one of these reporters break through to the mainstream, meaning he is likely the exception, not the rule. And he didn’t get to this point by being lazy. He got his foot in the door, took advice, learned rapidly and now has a bright future. Sadly, this is not the case for many of what I call “Transaction Monkeys,” the kids who frantically tweet every minor move that can easily be found on or any transaction website. Repetitiveness is not a skill, nor should it be rewarded.
Congress doesn’t have to set domestic violence aside. Neither does it need to ignore sports. But pushing leagues to rush into implementation and improvement of disciplinary policies, as we’ve seen before, often only leads to sloppy practices that don’t serve anyone well (except, perhaps, the leagues’ PR efforts), all while lending the leagues a moral authority on the issues they don’t deserve.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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