Saturday, January 25, 2014

Stadium Series Hockey Game is Tonight and I Just Can't Wait

I've been awaiting this day since it was first announced back in May of last year.

Tonight is the Stadium Series hockey game at Dodger Stadium, and I can't wait to see my Kings take it to the Ducks.

I'll be leaving shortly with my tickets in hand and my jersey draped over my shoulder.  I will be prepared to scream and cheer, but most of all, I am ready to take in the day.  This is a momentous moment for hockey fans in the Southland, and the aura and majesty of the event is sure to take everyone's breath away. 

The other night they tested out the ice for the first time, and reports indicate that it was just fine.  Check out my previous story related to that media/celebrity pick-up game, here.  The teams also practiced at Dodger Stadium for the first time yesterday.  Check out Jon Rosen's story about that at the LA Kings Insider, hereGann Matsuda at Frozen Royalty has even more.

As for the game, I'm hoping for a battle with hard checking, tight scrums along the boards and plenty of fisticuffs on the ice.  You see, the Kings are at a crossroads in their season, and they know they need to come out fighting in order to win.  They got beat on Thursday at the Ponda, 2 to 1, and I don't think the Kings liked it one bit.  Heck, I know the Kings fans in attendance didn't like it.  So, I would expect the Kings to try to assert themselves right away. 

In fact, don't be surprised if a couple of fights break out.  Watch for Kyle Clifford or Jordan Nolan of the Kings to square off against Ducks roughians Pat Maroon or Tim Jackman on the ice.  This pairing is a growing rivalry, and you certainly get the impression that they don't like each other.  I know opposing fans hate each other - like with some icy cold passion.

What do I predict?

I won't go there, but I will say that it will be an exciting close game.

To wet your whistle before the drop of the opening puck, check out this video featuring Vin Scully ushering in this special day.  Oh... And I'll put up photos as soon as I can. 

Video Link:

Pic above via @LAKings on twitter:

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Jaime Jarrín Presented with Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award

Getting his due!

Jaime Jarrín will be broadcasting in Spanish for his 56th season, so it's no surprise he is given a career achievement award like this. 

Yesterday, Jaime was given the Art Gilmore Career Achievement Award from the Pacific Pioneer Broadcasters.  He holds the 2nd longest tenure as a broadcaster with any MLB team, behind Vin Scully, and is well regarded by his peers.  He is the Hispanic Vin Scully, and is just as loved and as cherished within the Dodgers family.

From a Dodgers press release:
A native of Ecuador, Jarrín arrived in the U.S. on June 24, 1955 and began his professional baseball broadcasting career in 1959 with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the same year the club won the World Series, the first in Los Angeles franchise history. Since broadcasting his first game on April 14, 1959, Jarrín has called countless iconic moments in Los Angeles Dodger history. He was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1998 as the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award. Jarrín became just the second Spanish-language announcer to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. During his unprecedented Spanish-language broadcasting career, he has called three perfect games, 15 no-hitters, 26 World Series and 21 All-Star Games. Jarrín called the Dodgers' World Championships in 1959, '63, '65, '81 and '88.

Jarrín is a pioneer in Spanish-language sports broadcasting and has collected numerous accolades, including the first Southern California Sports Broadcasters Association's President's Award, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, the highest award from the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, induction into the Southern California Sports Broadcasters' Hall of Fame, and its foreign-language broadcaster of the year award and Golden Mike Awards. Jarrín has also been honored with the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) Media and Entertainment Excellence Award and was the Hall of Fame recipient for the Associated Press Television-Radio Association (APTRA).
Check out a video below that celebrates yesterdays occasion.

Video Link:

Pic above via Dodgers pregame host Courtney Jones on twitter

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Blog Kiosk: 1/25/2014 - Dodgers Links - Ryu, Kasten on Tanaka and an Amazing Dodgers Tattoo

Hyun-Jin Ryu knows hockey!  Check out Ryu sporting a hockey stick in the bowels of Dodger Stadium, pic via @Dodgers on twitter
  • Greg Wyshynski at Puck Daddy recounts the time the Kings and Rangers played an exhibition outdoor hockey game in Las Vegas in 1991.
  • Via AM570, "LISTEN: Stan Kasten -- L.A. Would Have Been A Good Fit For Masahiro Tanaka"
"We liked him a lot. We would've been happy to have him and let's face it, L.A. would've been a good fit for him as well." He added, "we bid where we thought where his value was, wasn't where the Yankees saw him, maybe it was need base, maybe it was evaluation base. Whatever it is, we're really comfortable looking forward to this next year."
The Dodgers aren’t exactly afraid to convert players, especially since their closer, Kenley Jansen, started his career as a catcher. Pedro Baez, a former third baseman, began his conversion in 2013 and has had very good success so far, making it back to Double-A with a 3.88 ERA, 1.55 WHIP with 23 walks and 55 strikeouts in 58 innings split between High-A Rancho Cucamonga and Double-A Chattanooga.

In spite of all these shortcomings, I like this card very much. It is an action card that captures the strong musculature of a sculpted athlete like Crawford. It also captures the most difficult skill in the game of baseball: hitting the ball. Look at the awkward follow-through of Crawford’s swing. His hands are so close to his body that it appears he has been jammed by the pitcher’s fastball. The card epitomizes the difficulty of hitting a ball squarely.
  • I think this is the most amazing tattoo, ever!

  • So, are you eager for 2014 Topps Series 1 Baseball cards?  Well, you'll have to wait til Wednesday.  In the meantime, Chris Olds at Beckett has a complete checklist that you can download.  Check it out here.

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