Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Welcome Back, AJ!

The captain behind the dish is back.  There were various reports this afternoon indicating that AJ Ellis was at Dodger Stadium readying for this evenings game.  Now we hear that the speculation is true.

AJ Ellis has returned to the Dodgers after undergoing knee surgery just over a month ago.  That's a heck of a turnaround, don't ya know. 

Furthermore, he has been inserted into tonight's Dodger lineup.

In celebration of AJ's return I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photo grabbed from twitter from Cindy Ellis and the 1987 Topps Baseball card design.

Via a Dodgers press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today reinstated catcher A.J. Ellis from the 15-day disabled list and optioned catcher Miguel Olivo to Triple-A Albuquerque.

Ellis has been on the 15-day disabled list since April 6 after undergoing left knee surgery performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache on April 8. The seven-year Major League veteran appeared in the Dodgers’ first seven games of the season and played in two rehab games for Triple-A Albuquerque, batting .400 (2-for-5) with a homer, two RBI and a walk, last playing on Monday at El Paso (San Diego).

Olivo appeared in eight games for Los Angeles, batting .217 (5-for-23) with two RBI.

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Go Kings Go!

I thought it would be about time to put together a post for the Kings. 

You haven't heard from me about them since they climbed Shark Mountain and conquered the ravenous beast of the sea. 

They had fought and persevered to come back from a 3 to 0 deficit. Now, they find themselves at another crossroads.  They are down 3 games to 2 to the Ducks down south, and find themselves at another do or die situation.

Will the Kings muster up the will (and enough goals) to force a Game 7?  Only time will tell.

What I do know is that I believe they have the ability to get the job done.  I believe that they have yet to play their best game.  And, I believe we'll get their best game tonight.

The game starts at 6:30 this evening, and I'll be there with my voice ready to go coarse - either that or I'll be coarse, depending on the outcome. 

The Kings are not expected to make any dramatic changes to their lineup; although there have been reports of a possible defensive change.  Frankly, I don't think it would be wise to use a younger blueliner or the hobbled Mitchell. 

All the Kings have to do is stick to their game.  They were the best defensive team in the league this past season, so they need to continue playing their brand of tough-checking, corner-grinding, puck-cycling and crease-clearing hockey that they are best known for.  Forget trying to skate with the Ducks.  Instead, they need to stymie them, and make them pay for coming into the slot.

Below is a good pregame preview put together by the NHL.  Take a look.

Video Link:

And, here is an excellent playoff series montage to get your heart racing.

Video Link:

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Julio Cesar Chavez Sr.

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.


Apparently, Mickey Hatcher is appearing this is signing at a Tilted Kilt in the City of Orange on Friday and Paul LoDuca is signing in Whitter on Sunday.  I don't have much information on them, but Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy does.  Go here for that: Mickey Hatcher & Paul LoDuca.


Famed boxer Julio Cesar Chavez Sr. will be signing autographed at Harry's Dugout in Whittier this coming Sunday.  Go here for more information.
Harry's Dugout
10715 Beverly Boulevard
Whittier, CA

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Blog Kiosk: 5/14/2014 - Dodger Links - Josh Beckett, I Never had any Doubt

I never had any doubt.  Really!  I swear. 

It appears that the ghost that has haunted Josh Beckett the past few years may be gone.  That weight has been lifted, and any pain or discomfort he had felt has vanished.  He is pitching well again, and now you have to wonder if his $15Mil contract is a bargain.  As noted by Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider, the old Josh Beckett is back.  Dustin Nosler at Dodgers Digest concurs.

In his past 6 starts he has thrown 37.2 innings, given up just 7 earned runs, struck out 35 while only walking 14, batters are only hitting .186 against him and OPS'ing only .610.  That's a major turnaround from a player thought to be a lost cause when he went on the disabled list last year. 

Considering that he was more of a salary dump for Boston and a minor burden for LA when the 2012 blockbuster trade happened, his production has become a major boon for the club.

At this point, everything he does for the Dodgers is gravy, and you've got to love that.  Every strike out he throws, every out he records, every win he earns is further proof that that trade may be an all around win-win for everybody.  Now, all we have to do is figure out Carl Crawford's problems.  (Pic at the very top, via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)
"Definitely he has to do something to get ready to be able to pitch here," Mattingly said. "Exactly what that will be, we have a pretty good idea but we want to wait until tomorrow."
Billingsley joked that the only solution might be to start throwing underhand.

"Hey, softball players can throw 12 innings in back-to-back days," he said. 
  • Best tweet of the week:

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