Wednesday, April 09, 2014

The Game Within the Game - Was Last Nights Walk-Off Win Due to Defensive Uncertainty

What a fantastic game, eh?

(pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)
The Dodgers won in dramatic fashion as Carl Crawford banged in the game winning run in the 10th inning with a liner down the left field line.  With Chone Figgins on 1st base, the batted ball would have typically meant having Dodgers at both 2nd and 3rd base with Hanley Ramirez at the plate.  Instead, Crawford's hit eluded Tigers outfielder Rajai Davis, and Figgins came around to score the winning run.

That is usually the end of the story.  On the other hand, I wonder if confusion in the outfield along with poor communication from the Tigers bench was the real root of our walk-off victory?

A cursory look of Crawford's spray charts from Fan Graphs seems to indicate that he has an heightened tendency to hit line drives and fly balls to left field against left-handed pitchers.  In fact, based on the grouping (as indicated below) you could argue that your left fielder should play a little closer to the line.  If he had, the Tigers may have been able to escape that inning.

Source: FanGraphs

To emphasize the point, Dodger videographer Bobby Crosby at DodgerFilms makes note of Davis' confusion just prior to Crawford's game winning hit in a video he posted last night.  Check it out below.  Bobby remarks,
"He's constantly looking in the dugout and throwing his arms up like, 'where do I go?'"
Well, he obviously was in the wrong spot, and the Tigers inability to correctly position their left fielder in that instance cost them the game.

Video Link:

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Landreaux, Leary, Reuss and Madlock

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.

Just a reminder.  Former Dodgers Tim Leary (in right-field pavilion plaza) and Kenny Landreaux (in left-field pavilion plaza) will be signing free autographs for fans from 5:10 PM to 7:30 PM prior to tonight's game against the Tigers at Dodger Stadium.


Former Dodger starter Jerry Reuss will be in the City of Industry at El Tepeyac Restaurant for a book signing from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM on Sunday, April 13th.  Go here for some information$25 - signed Jerry Reuss book 'Bring in the Right-Hander!'; $20 - your item signed; and $5 - inscriptions.
El Tepeyac Restaurant
13131 Crossroads Pkwy. S.
Industry, CA 91746
Hat Tip: Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy

Former Dodger Bill Madlock will be signing autographs at Harry's Dugout on Sunday, April 13th from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.  Go here for information.
Harry's Dugout
10715 Beverly Boulevard
Whittier, CA

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The Many Outfits of Juan Uribe

Good golly!

What the heck strolled into the Dodger clubhouse yesterday?

Well... It's Uribe, and he's hoping to school his fashion conscious teammates with his magnificent glory.  He looks so dashing in matching pajamas laced with shiny emblems.  It's like he's an angel with golden wings and stars - lots of stars - to usher him into greatness.  I, like I'm sure many of his teammates, feel humbled by his attire. 

Thankfully, we should expect many more days of Uribe in fantastic garb. 

From my recollection, it all started on Opening Day back in the states - March 30th in San Diego.  Juan Uribe came to the clubhouse with the below creation that still boggles the mind (pic via Enrique Rojas of ESPN on twitter). 
(pic via Enrique Rojas of ESPN on twitter)

I am still wondering what the heck is on his chest.  Is that a classical religious scene, like a Rembrandt or Rubens depiction, where a celestial being is shown being worshiped by the masses?

Anyway, the best thing about that Opening Day was that Hanley Ramirez created a instagram video that appears to both mock and enlighten us about what the future will hold.  Check it out below.  Uribe is heard saying, "more coming... forget today... forget today... more coming, dog"

Juan wasn't kidding.

He apparently has a giant wardrobe, and he isn't afraid to share it. 

Below is another fashion creation that he wore this past Sunday.  At first I thought it was a Michael Jackson ripoff.  Then, I read a commenter on twitter say "ladybug," and realized that was a perfect description. 
(pic via @Dodgers on twitter)

I am horrified by Uribe's fashion sense, but like an a accident on the side of the road, I can't help but be intrigued and stare.  What else could Juan pull out of his closet?  This Dodger fan can't wait to find out.

The pic at the very top via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.

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Dodgers Memorabilia at REA Auctions - Dodgers' Game Used Goodies

So far, I've shared some great historical Dodger memorabilia and some fantastic painted folk-art Baseballs available at REA Auctions.  Now, I take a look at some game-used Dodger memorabilia.  Go here to take a look at my post on this auction.

As always, the provenance of vintage material like this is always key, and I am hardly an expert when it comes to this.  That being said, I enjoy knowing that some of this stuff still exist, but understand that sometimes you have to take it with a grain of salt. 

Featured below is purported to be an sweater worn by former Dodger Announcer Tex Rickards.  He was the longtime public address announcer at Ebbets Field.  Via the auction description:
Rickards, who sat at the end of the Brooklyn Dodgers bench during games, was known for his hilarious malapropisms during games, such as the time he notified the crowd of a missing child by announcing "a little boy has been found lost." Another time he saw some coats hanging over the bleacher wall, and Rickards announced, “Will the fans along the railing in left field please remove their clothes.”
(Auction Link)

Below is said to be a mid-50's mesh-style Dodger cap once worn by Sandy Koufax.  It originates directly from the personal collection of former Major League pitcher Karl Drews.  From the Auction Description:
When we were young our father brought home from his spring training site a hat that he said he got from a very young Sandy Koufax. He told us how he was a very young left handed pitcher who everyone had great expectations for and that he too thought would be a truly great pitcher one day. He told us how special this hat would be some day if Koufax had the type of career that the players and coaches envisioned. We kept the hat in our closet with other items from my father's playing days (there were no fancy hat boxes, bat holders, etc back then)...
Like I said above... 'grain of salt'.
(Auction Link)

Below is Leo Durocher's 1938 Brooklyn Dodgers Baseball cap.  From the auction description:
Early caps such as this example with the player's name actually stitched in by the manufacturer are especially prized by collectors. Ideally, Durocher has signed the cap on the underside of the brim with what appears to be either gold felt-tip pen or paint pen (grading "3"). It should be noted that this is an exceedingly rare "style" cap that was only used during home games in 1938. That year the Dodgers changed the design of their home uniforms and for that season, and that season only, their home cap featured a pinstripe design, as opposed to the familiar solid blue that came before and after.
(Auction Link)

I love me some Satin!

The next two items are the home and away Satin Dodger jersey's worn at various times in '40's.  As you may know, these are very rare.  The below road uniform is said to have been worn by Dodger manager Chuck Dressen.
(Auction Link)

The below satin home satin jersey was worn by Carl Furillo.
(Auction Link)

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Blog Kiosk: 4/9/2014 - Dodgers Links - AJ Doin' Fine, A Dodger Mascot from your Nightmares and Kershaw Threw Pain Free

Former Dodger Brad Ausmus came into town as the Detroit Tigers rookie manager.  He stands with Don Mattingly, no doubt an inspiration, in the photo baove.  PIc via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.
So here is your opportunity to hear Vin Scully say, "What do you call it.. a crack pipe? I guess that's what you call it."
“It’s not a mascot,” said Dodgers executive vice president of marketing Lon Rosen. “It’s a unique performance character.”

See, that’s what’s great about being a marketing wiz, you can just make stuff up. Rosen also called it a “bobblehead character,” so you can see he’s really trying hard.

  • AJ Ellis is sittin' pretty at home after his surgery yesterday; as evidenced by the below photo tweeted by his wife.  By all accounts it was a successful surgery.  It'll be 4 to 6 weeks before he is back.

These are baseball problems, though. They aren't the makings of a morality play. Puig's flaws, insofar as they're wired in, are basically like an inability to hit backdoor sliders or field hard grounders to the right, and much less serious because they just don't count for all that much. It takes a particular kind of joylessness to fixate on them above everything else about him, because whatever the abstract idea of Puig is, the actual player is special.
"It was just scar tissue breaking, like cracking your neck," he said. "It didn't hurt when it happened, it didn't hurt after it. It didn't feel like pain I had in previous injuries."

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