Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dan Haren Has Surgery and He Still Hates Fish

We sure are stretching for any bit of news about the Dodgers, eh?  Heck, even a TMZ tabloid report about Hanley Ramirez's flaming Lambo had fans yearning for more.  So, when the Dodgers revealed, via twitter, that starting pitcher Dan Haren had arthroscopic surgery this morning on his non-throwing shoulder it became BIG news.

There certainly was plenty of speculation about what this could all mean. 

Could he really be ready to go come March?  I know it's his other shoulder, but isn't there a risk that we might not have a #4 pitcher ready to go come Opening Day?

Does this assure that Haren picks up the $10Mil player option to play for the Dodgers in 2015?

Well, that last question was kinda answered by Haren in a tweet just a moment ago:

Sneaky, Danny... Sneaky... Or, shall I say fishy? 

For a second there I thought he broke some news.  Instead, we get a small glimpse into the humor of Dan Haren. 

As you likely know he ain't kidding about abstaining from seafood.  As Josh Tucker reported on Dodger Insider this past Spring Training, Dan Haren has never eaten fish.  Note a bite.

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

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A Look Back at Former Brooklyn Dodger Ivy Olson

I was recently cruising around eBay to do some online window shopping when I came across a vintage 1930 press photo from the AP of former Brooklyn Dodger infielder turned coach Ivy Olson.  Check it out above, or check out the eBay auction here.  Since we are in the midst of a Dodger winter and it's likely most of you know nothing about Ivy, I figured I would take a moment to introduce you to him.  Heck, I can't claim to know much about him either, so this post also helps me know a little more about this former Dodger fave.

A childhood friend of Casey Stengel, Ivy Olson was average sized, average skilled and a larger than life ballplayer who both endeared himself to fans and was the cause of great consternation.  He played Baseball during a time called the 'Deadball Era' - when men treated the game (to borrow a phrase from Ty Cobb) like it's something like a war. 

(eBay Auction Link)
Ivy was hard-charging, hard-playing and took no prisoners on the field.  You would often see him in the middle of a scuffle with fist being thrown to and fro, sliding into second base with his spikes coming in high or screaming expletives like a drunken sailor out on leave.  His heart and hustle was obvious, and Brooklyn fans, seeing a little bit of themselves in the man, were immediately smitten.  Of course, this was Brooklyn, so that love often turned to jeers.  After all, Ivy Olson was just an average ballplayer with a propensity for errors at the most inopportune times.

For instance, during the 1916 World Series against the Boston Red Sox Ivy Olson placed himself in the Baseball record books for the wrong reason.  In the third inning of Game 5 (the final game of the series) Olson made two fielding errors on a single fielding chance; thereby being the first of only two players to have ever done that during a World Series game.  Hilariously, the other man to do it was also a Dodger - Willie Davis in Game 2 of the 1966 World Series.

Oy Vie!  A play like that would cause twitter to blow up in todays world.

Ivy Olson played ten season in Brooklyn; from 1915 to 1924.  He was a key component of two pennant winning Dodger teams (1916 and 1920) and currently holds the Dodger franchise single season record for at-bats per strikeout (55.1 in 1922) and is the Dodgers all-time at-bats per strikeout leader (26.8).  In 4,212 Brooklyn at-bats he struck out only 157 times.  Wow!

If you are looking for a strange tale about Ivy Olson check out the SABR biography by Brian Stevens
It is said that Olson carried a rulebook in the back pocket of his uniform in each of his 1,574 games. During an umpire's oration, he would take out the book and riffle the pages with a flourish. But he would often get the thumb before he could reach the appropriate reference to the rule in question.
You should definitely check out Brian Stevens phenomenal biography on Olson to learn even more about him.  Also, in preparing this post I ran into several other Ivy Olson press photographs on eBay and have included them here for you to see.  Links to those auctions are attached to the pics caption. 
(eBay Auction Link)

Below are Ivy Olson's career statistics, via Baseball Reference:

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: A Couple of Ducks and Raiders

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.


The top two centerman for the Anaheim Ducks will be signing autographs this coming Saturday, October 25th from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the OC Dugout in Anaheim.  A portion of the proceeds of each autograph purchase will go to the charity CureDuchenne, a foundation that searches for a cure to muscular dystrophy.  Go here for ordering/ticket information.
The OC Dugout
1238 S. Beach Blvd.
Anaheim, CA 92804


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2014 Topps Update Baseball - The Dodger Manu-Relic Cards

Today I share photo's of all the 2014 Topps Update manufactured relic Dodger cards.  I also include pics of the two Dodger Metal Framed Gold Label cards of Mike Piazza and Yasiel Puig.  Go here to find all my post related to this set.

As you may know, these cards are super thick, and with exception of the MVP patches are available only in Jumbo packs of Topps Update.  The World Series MVP patch cards are only found in retail packs sold stores like Target and Walmart.

World Series Rings Silver

#WSR-JP Johnny Podres

Blog Kiosk: 10/22/2014 - Dodger Links - Mattingly, Seager and Josh Byrnes

Here is another vintage press photo, dated in early June 1942 on the reverse, and it features Dodger skipper Leo Durocher on the dugout steps at Wrigley Field.  Although the photo has numerous dates on the reverse it is June 8th that sticks out to me.  This was the day the photograph was likely developed and printed.  The Dodgers and Cubs had just finished up a five game weekend series over three days that included two doubleheaders, and the 8th was the first free day.

I'd like to think the photo itself was taken the day before, though.  The second doubleheader between the Dodgers and Cubs played on that Sunday, and by the looks of Leo's knowing grin you figure the boys did well.  In fact, the Dodgers won both games of the doubleheader that day.  Overall, the Dodgers won four out of the five games; having split the doubleheader that past Friday.  Go here to check out the photo on eBay.

Below are some links to check out:
"I always remember Mark [Walter, chairman], Magic [Johnson, partner] and Stan [Kasten, president] in the very beginning saying they wanted to put a team together quick with a chance to win so the fans wouldn't have to wait five years while the kids on the farm matured, while at the same time, build the Minor League system to sustain the success year in and year out without bringing in a bunch of guys from somewhere else," he said.

"So it's part of what they were talking about from the very beginning. Everything they said -- upgrading the stadium, the locker rooms -- everything they said they are continuing to do and this just seems like part of it."
It probably safe to say that even though Friedman is the new kid on the block in the hierarchy of the Dodgers front office, he is (or will soon be) well schooled on Dodgers top infield prospect (and 2014 Co-Minor League Player of the Year) Corey Seager who, as we speak, is absolutely tearing it up in the Arizona Fall League – this in spite of his tender 20 years of age. Whereas Ned Colletti was always reluctant to bring kids like Seager up early regardless of how well they were doing in the minors, Andrew Friedman has a history of doing exactly that and his track record is very good in doing so.
  • Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider, "Dodgers Adult Baseball Camp is less than three weeks away."
  • Via Ken Rosenthal on twitter, Josh Byrnes is getting cozy with the Stan Kasten and is expected to join front office.  Although, it appears unclear what position it will be.  It could very well be that he joins the Dodgers in some capacity other than GM.  In fact, there are several high-end executive positions open at the Dodgers; including DeJon Watson's old job as head of player development.  Considering the location of this meeting in Arizona I think this is looking like the most likely scenario. 

  • No!  Wait?  What?  It's real?  Holy Moly!  The hoverboard is coming.  Check out the video below of the Hendo Hoverboard and then go to their kickstarter campaign, here.

Video Link:

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