Thursday, March 27, 2014

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: March 27, 2014 vs. Angels

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Los Angeles Dodgers
LHP Hector Santiago vs. RHP Zack Greinke
Thursday, March 27, 2014, 7:10 p.m. | Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
TV: SportsNet LA RADIO: AM 570 KLAC (ENG)
(Dodgers lineup via @Dodgers on twitter)

(Tommy Lasorda sharing some cannoli's, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

BACK TO SPRING TRAINING: After opening the 2014 Major League regular season with a pair of games against the D-backs in Australia last weekend, the Dodgers return to exhibition play and take on the Angels tonight in the first of three Freeway Series games. Los Angeles won the Freeway Series last year, 2-1, and then the clubs split their four regular season meetings, with each club protecting their home field. The clubs tied, 4-4, in their only Cactus League game on March 6 in Tempe and will play four times during the regular season, two games at Dodger Stadium, August 4-5, and two games in Anaheim, August 6-7.
  • The Dodgers open their North American slate on Sunday evening against the Padres on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball. Los Angeles will also battle the Padres on Tuesday and Wednesday before its home-opener on Friday, April 4 at 1:10 p.m. against the Giants.
  • One of the world’s top jockeys, Victor Espinoza, will throw a ceremonial first pitch tonight. Espinoza, who has won more than 3,000 races in his career, will ride the favorite, California Chrome, in next week’s Santa Anita Derby.
(The crowd at Camelback, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

LIFE IN THE DESERT: The Dodgers went 6-10-5 during Cactus League play as they matched a Los Angeles record for Spring Training ties set in 2006 (15-13-5). In 12 home dates at Camelback Ranch – Glendale, the Dodgers drew 114,402 fans, with an average crowd of 9,534, their highest average since moving to Arizona in 2009.

ROSTER ROUNDUP: The Dodgers have made several roster moves since returning from Australia. On Monday, infielder Alex Guerrero was optioned to Triple-A Albuquerque and outfielder Carl Crawford was reinstated from Paternity Leave, while yesterday right-handed pitchers Seth Rosin (Rangers) and Javy Guerra (White Sox) were claimed off waivers. The Dodgers now have 39 players on their 40-man roster.
  • Guerrero will remain with the Dodgers for the Freeway Series and tonight, the club will also supplement its roster with minor leaguers C Tim Federowicz (#26), RHP Sam Demel (#38), RHP Zach Lee (#64), RHP Red Patterson (#78), C Jose Capellan (96), INF Miguel Rojas (#72), INF Corey Seager (#94), INF Darnell Sweeney (#87), OF Joc Pederson (#65) and OF Trayvon Robinson (#90).
(Hanley Ramirez in Australia, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

DOWN UNDER: The Dodgers returned from Australia on Sunday afternoon following a week Down Under, with a 4-2 exhibition victory over Team Australia and two regular-season wins over the Diamondbacks. Scott Van Slyke was the offensive hero in the season-opening 3-1 victory with a double and a two-run homer in support of Clayton Kershaw, who struck out seven and allowed one run in 6.2 innings. In the series’ second game, Hyun-Jin Ryu fired 5.0 scoreless innings and Dee Gordon, Juan Uribe and Yasiel Puig chipped in three hits apiece in the club’s 7-5 win.
  • The Opening Series marked the first time that the Dodgers played regular season games outside of North America and the club’s ninth official team trip abroad: 1956 (Japan, postseason), 1964 (Mexico, preseason), 1966 ( Japan, postseason), 1991 (Mexico, preseason), 1993 (Japan/Taiwan, postseason), 2003 (Mexico, preseason), 2008 (China, preseason) and 2010 (Taiwan, preseason).

ALL DODGERS, ALL THE TIME: All three of the Freeway Series games will be televised by SportsNet LA, the exclusive new 24/7 TV network of the Los Angeles Dodgers. The network takes fans behind-the-scenes with the team and offers in-depth access to the organization, providing an immersive experience with never-before-seen content and thousands of hours of comprehensive Dodger programming. SportsNet LA will televise more than 140 live regular season Dodger games, plus a full slate of original, classic and live studio programming that focuses only on the Dodgers, covering the team in a way that it’s never been covered. 

NEW AND IMPROVED!: Last night, the Dodgers held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the latest round of stadium improvements, which included:
  • Expansion of the entries at the field level, with two new 25,000 square-foot plazas in right and left field.  Each plaza houses a 5,000 square-foot new team store, tickets and concessions space, as well as memorabilia to celebrate Dodgers history.
  • Seating and lounging areas at bars and drink rails overlooking the bullpens in the outfield, giving focus to pitchers warming up, as well as infield game views. 
  • Two new restaurants in the outfield entrance plazas; Tommy Lasorda’s Italian Trattoria, in the right-field area of the plaza, and THINK BLUE BBQ in the left-field area of the plaza.
  • A new state-of-the-art public wireless system.
(At the ribbon cutting ceremony, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

CHECK IT OUT: On Saturday, Dodgers: Brotherhood of the Game, a new exhibition exploring the team’s storied past through four players and a Hall of Fame manager, will open at the Japanese American National Museum. Jackie Robinson, Fernando Valenzuela, Chan Ho Park, Hideo Nomo, and Tommy Lasorda—each of whom made history in his own right—will be prominently featured, as will owners Branch Rickey, Walter O’Malley, and Peter O’Malley. The exhibition continues through September 14.

UP FOR THE CHALLENGE: MLB’s new instant replay system will be on display for all three Freeway Series games as managers will have the ability to challenge one call through the sixth inning (and receive another challenge if successful) and be able to request a review of any play after the seventh inning. Los Angeles had five test runs with the system in Cactus League play.
  • Another addition for 2014 is experimental rule 7.13, which regulates home plate collisions.
(Wright, Jansen, Howell and Greinke go through drills, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

ZACK ATTACK: Zack Greinke will make his third official start of the spring tonight after going 0-1 with an 11.57 ERA (3 ER/2.1 IP) in two Cactus League starts. Greinke suffered a mild right calf strain in his first start of the spring Feb. 27, causing him to miss two weeks of game action and the Australia trip. Greinke last pitched on Saturday against Cleveland’s Single-A team in Glendale, allowing just one run on three hits with eight strikeouts in 5.0 innings.
  • Greinke made 13 starts for the Angels in 2012 after he was acquired from Milwaukee in a midseason trade and has gone 1-4 with a 4.10 ERA (24 ER/52.2 IP) in nine career games (eight starts) against the Halos.
  • J.P. Howell is also expected to pitch tonight after walking one and striking out one in 0.2 innings of relief in Sunday’s win over the D-backs in Australia. Howell went 0-1 with a 3.18 ERA (2 ER/5.2 IP) in seven Cactus League appearances.
  • Brian Wilson struck out two in a scoreless eighth inning on Saturday against the D-backs in his last appearance. He allowed two runs in 4.1 innings in five Cactus League appearances.

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Another Clayton Kershaw Autographed Card - BTW, He Will Miss His Next Scheduled Start

I am one happy Dodger collector.

In a span of just a few weeks, I've gone from having zero autographed Kershaw cards to recently adding my second beauty.  Check it out here.

Featured is a 2007 Bowman's Best Prospect Autographed card of Clayton Kershaw. It's not quite a rookie card, but it'll have to do for now.  His Bowman 2006 rookie card sells in the hundreds, and I will likely have to pass on owning one in the foreseeable future. 

Anyway, I thought I would let you all know that Kershaw should be alright - after hearing news of a MRI yesterday evening that showed some inflammation in his shoulder.  Yahoo Sports reporter Tim Brown noted on twitter that Kershaw was adamant about wanting to pitch in his next scheduled start, but the Dodgers decided it was best to be cautious.  They are holding him back, and will watch his development over the next several days.

Via Ken Gurnick at
"I really wanted to pitch," he said. "I just had to admit I don't feel right. When they laid it out to me, we have guys who can fill in the spot, and with off-days, I'll just push back a few days and not miss a start."
In the meantime, it has been suggested that Hyun-Jin Ryu can take over, but he is battling his own issues.  Ryu stubbed his toe during the second game in Australia, and has had to see a podiatrist about it. 

If Ryu can't go, then it is expected that Dan Haren will be next in line.  As it stands right now, he is the only Dodger starting pitcher to not have had an reported injury all Spring. 

Either way, it's nice to have a deep starting pitching staff, and goes on to prove that you can never have too many Major League starters in the hopper.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Speaker Series - "The Rundown with Steve Garvey" - Featuring Garvey, Davis and Wills on Jackie Robinson Day

You might want to head to Palm Desert on Jackie Robinson Day (Tuesday, April 15th) for this event.  Starting in a few weeks, Tommy Bahama Restaurant and Bar in Palm Desert will hold a regular Speaker Series on the great game of Baseball hosted by Steve Garvey.

It is called "The Rundown with Steve Garvey", and its first event will feature Garvey having a Q&A with former Dodgers Maury Wills and Tommy Davis.  They will be speaking about Baseball, the Dodgers and Jackie Robinson.  It promises to be a fun and enlightening experience.  Check out the flyer below.  BTW, the event is in benefit of the Baseball Assistance Team (BAT) - an organization committed to helping ex-ballplayers in need, and 10% of all retail sales at Tommy Bahama will go to BAT on that day.

Only 100 tickets are available and they are priced at $195.00 each.  Call here (760-836-0188) to purchase. 

Per a press release:
Guests will meet Steve, Tommy and Maury, take pictures with them (bring your camera!), and receive a Rawlings baseball autographed by all three of these baseball greats! Afterwards, Steve will host a fun and informative Q&A session where Tommy and Maury will take questions from the audience about their lives in baseball, the upcoming MLB season, and of course the legendary Jackie Robinson.
Also, a second Speaker Series event has just been confirmed for May 15.  That will feature Steve Garvey speaking with Hall of Fame Catcher Johnny Bench.  I'll provide a link and more information when available.
Tommy Bahama Restaurant & Bar
The Garden on El Paseo
73-595 El Paseo
Palm Desert, CA 92260

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The Johnny Podres 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet

Here is another post featuring the 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet set.  Go here to see my past post showcasing this set; including complete scans of both the Vin Scully/Jerry Doggett and Sandy Koufax booklets.  This time I share the Johnny Podres Booklet.

What could I write about Johnny Podres that you don't already know.  The youthful looking left-hander was a World Series hero for the Dodgers in 1955; winning two important games, including a Game 7.  He would also go on to become an important cog on two more World Championship Dodger clubs before hanging it up in 1969 as a member of the Padres. 

Did you know, though, that Johnny Podres suffered through an back ailment early in his career.  Read what Dodger GM Buzzie Bavasi said of it:
"Podres is the only pitcher in the world, " he said, "who develops a chronic back ailment every January.  He called me long distance - collect - from Witherbee, New York, and moans: 'My back is killing me, Buzz.  Send me transportation money so I can get out there.'"
Ever the joker, that Podres was.

Below are complete scans of every page from Johnny Podres's 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet.  Click any pic to embiggen. 

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Blog Kiosk: 3/27/2015 - Dodgers Links - A Puig Team Meeting, Losing Rosin and Tommy's Wall

Check out Tommy Lasorda and his daughter Laura in front of a wall of his photos; adjacent to a food stand named after him - "Tommy Lasorda's Trattoria".  Pic above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.  Check more pics from yesterdays unveiling of the changes to Dodger Stadium and the Dodgers private workout for season ticket holders here.
"To have Dan Haren four and Beckett five, that's pretty impressive. And we haven't brought up [Clayton] Kershaw or [Zack] Greinke or [Hyun-Jin] Ryu. So the rotation is solid. And the bullpen, you've got four guys that have closed at one time or another. The pitching is probably the strength of this team, as of this day."
  • This is the best story written so far about the whole Puig thing. Via Ramona Shelburne at, "Dodgers, Yasiel Puig clear air".  It's a great read and phenomenal reporting; unlike some of the other drivel that's appeared recently.
"I asked them to please keep helping me," Puig told ESPN. "Specifically with baserunning and hitting my cutoff man. I want them to help me with everything they can."
"It's to raise awareness and fuel cancer research," Ellis said. "He started it last year in St. Louis and decided, let's do every team. Now $5 for every shirt goes to Jason's charity and $5 to each of ours. I will have my charity chosen by Opening Day. It's a great idea to help fight the plague of cancer. I'm honored Jason reached out. When he was a catcher in the Florida State League, we bonded as two defensive catchers that couldn't hit. He transitioned into an All-Star closer."
  • Daniel Brim at Dodgers Digest takes a look at the value of Yasiel Puig's baserunning.
  • This is just great.  Keith Olbermann shares a newly found video of an historic moment in Baseball history.  Check it out below.  It's awesome!  (Hat Tip: Sports Collectors Daily)

Video Link:

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