Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Adrian Gonzalez and Zack Greinke Win 1st Gold Gloves as a Dodger

Coming on the heals of winning his first ever Fielding Bible Award and Mexico's National Sports Award, Adrian Gonzalez has been won his fourth career Gold Glove as a 1st baseman; his first Gold Glove as a Dodger.  He is the first Dodger Gold Glover at 1st base since Steve Garvey in 1977.

This choice is no surprise.  Adrian has been absolutely fantastic at every facet of his defensive game at 1st base. As the Fielding Bible award description said:
"He fields his position well, does a great job with difficult throws, and handles bunts and double plays with the best of them. But he's not flashy. Just consistently excellent.”
In addition, Zack Greinke has been awarded his first ever Gold Glove.  This marks the first Gold Glove at the position for the Dodgers since Clayton Kershaw won it in 2011.  He edged out Kershaw and Adam Wainwright for the honor.  Per Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider:
Greinke led all NL pitchers in putouts with 28 and was a narrow second behind Miami’s Henderson Alvarez in range factor. He was also tied for third in defensive runs saved with five (Kershaw led with seven).
Below are some videos featuring the magical glove work of Adrian and Zack.
(graphic via @Dodgers on twitter)

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

Adrian Gonzalez:

Here's a collage of highlights.

Video Link:

9/18/14: Adrian Gonzalez charges in on a shallow popup from Chris Valaika and makes a great sliding catch, ending the 8th inning

Video Link:

8/29/14: Adrian Gonzalez leaps to make the grab on a high throw then comes down and makes the tag on the runner to end the inning

Video Link:

Zack Greinke: (the last one is probably the best one)

7/19/14: With runners on the corners, Zack Greinke jumps to make the stop on a high bouncing ball and throws to first to end the inning

Video Link:

7/19/14: Joe Kelly pops up on a bunt attempt and Zack Greinke makes the grab, then fires to second base to double off George Kottaras

Video Link:

7/3/14: Zack Greinke somehow gets his glove on a screaming liner up the middle, knocking it down before getting the out at first

Video Link:

4/18/14: Zack Greinke reaches across his body to make a fine stop on the comebacker and throws to first to retire Cody Ross

Video Link:

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Orosco's 1988 World Series Trophy at Heritage Auctions

Dallas based Heritage's current sports auction has plenty of goodies for the Dodger fan.  There are vintage tickets like the ornate Dodger Stadium Opening Day ticket from 1962 and the fancy die-cut light bulb ticket from Ebbets Field in 1938.  If team signed Baseball's is your fancy then there's a bunch to choose from; including a 1933 ball with Casey Stengel, Hack Wilson and Al Lopez.  Below are a handful of items that are available that I thought were really great and had to share.

You no doubt know what this trophy below is, and any time I see one for sale I wonder if I should sell my car for it.  Seriously... That always crosses my mind... But just for a split second... 'Cause actually doing that would be insane.

This particular trophy is especially significant for Dodger fans.  Here is Jesse Orosco's 1988 LA Dodgers World Championship trophy.

As you know, Orosco was a key figure on that team.  Not only did he pitch masterfully in relief throughout the season, but he was also the man that caused an explosion and subsequent refocusing in the Dodger clubhouse that spring.  Jesse, known as a prankster, decided to welcome Kirk Gibson to Vero Beach by lining his cap with black shoe polish.  Being a serious no-nonsense type of fellow, Gibson immediately went into a tirade, and made sure his teammates understood that once you get on the field it's all business.  This eventually lead to the season that has not been forgotten by Dodger fans.
(Auction Link)

Below is a fascinating piece of Dodger Stadium memorabilia.  Dated in February of 1959, the winter after the Dodgers first season in Los Angeles, National League President Warren Giles sent the below letter to Assistant General Manager Dick Walsh.

In the letter Giles let's Walsh know about the various Official Rules the Dodgers would need to follow when building the proposed stadium including distances, dugouts, fences and umpire dressing rooms.  As you may know, construction of Dodger Stadium began that year, so this information was no doubt helpful in their planning.

Of note, the letter is a bit ambiguous about the location of the future stadium.  It says in the first sentence:
"Answering your of the 10th respecting dimensions of the playing field proposed for your new stadium (which I hope will be built at Chavez Ravine - and soon).
I didn't realize that even months before officially breaking ground in September it appeared that the Chavez Ravine location was still a little question.

The letter does ends with the following:
"It's a pleasure and surely encouraging to have an inquiry about actual construction on the now famous (by litigation if for no other reason) Chavez Ravine." 
Clearly, the Dodgers felt confident in their position by this time to start working on construction plans.
(Auction Link)

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Blog Kiosk: 11/4/2014 - Dodger Links - AGon, Billingsley and Farhan Zaidi

Here's a selfie shared yesterday afternoon by actor William Levy with Hanley Ramirez and former Major Leaguers Luis Castillo and Edgar Renteria.

Below are some links to check out:
  • For the second time in his career Adrian Gonzalez won Mexico's National Sports Award as a professional athlete, via La Oficion (Spanish).
  • This is just another feather to put on his cap.  Via Dave Cameron at FanGraphs, "The 2014 FanGraphs Player of the Year: Clayton Kershaw."  He's gonna need a couple of new trophy cases once the winter is done.
  • Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports revealed that a source is saying that A's assistant GM Farhan Zaidi is talking to the Dodgers.  Eric Stephen at True Blue LA tells us a bit about him; "Farhan Zaidi reportedly talks with Dodgers about front office job."
Zaidi has been with Oakland for 10 years, with 2014 his first season as assistant general manager. The 37-year-old has a Ph.D in economics from Berkeley and a bachelor of science at MIT. His specialty is statistical analysis, which he used in Oakland to evaluate players in the draft, in free agency as well as trade targets.

He also assists in arbitration cases and minor league contracts, and analyzes data from advance scouts to present to the coaching staff. This is essentially a lot of the duties currently performed by Dodgers assistant GM Alex Tamin.
  • Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider writes, "Chad Billingsley’s legacy a dividing line for Dodger fans," and I couldn't agree more with his assessment. 
It’s not definite that Billingsley has played his last game as a Dodger, but if he has, he leaves with a 3.65 ERA, 110 ERA+ and 16.9 WAR in 1,175 1/3 innings, according to Baseball-Reference.com. In 57 seasons of Los Angeles Dodger history, only 10 pitchers have a better adjusted ERA (minimum 1,000 innings), and only 14 accumulated more WAR.
  • Jon also tells us that the Dodgers claimed infielder Ryan Jackson off of waivers from the Padres.  Jackson missed most of the 2014 season due to wrist surgery.  He is noted for being a great infielder, but having a weak bat.
  • Via Ron Cervenka at Think Blue LA, "Darwin Barney – A low risk / high reward proposition."
  • Here's some minor Dodger news.  Via Mark Polishuk at MLB Trade Rumors, "Dodgers Re-Sign Barry Enright."
  • Here is AJ Ellis' response to Clayton Kershaw's award filled evening last night:

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