Saturday, May 30, 2015

Blog Kiosk: 5/30/2015 - Dodger Links - Olivera, Greinke and Jaime Jarrin


Dave Brown of CBS wrote a funny, via his twitter is the photo above and the below caption:
The ever-elusive Zack Greinke ManBun hairdo in the wild of Busch Stadium. Ken Boyer & Dizzy Dean watch over him.
Below are some more links to check out:
Scouts who've seen him believe Hector Olivera, the Dodgers' new $62.5-million third baseman, is going to be a big star. "He's a terrific hitter," one scout said 
I was a little hesitant to include this pair because I believe they are due for regression. But right now they're the only teammates both carrying a wOBA of .400 or higher, with Gonzalez ranking third in the majors at .447 and Pederson in 13th at .405.
  • “Larry King At Bat” series on SportsNet LA returns tonight at 8:00 PM and it features an interview with Dodger broadcaster Jaime Jarrin.
On the support Vin Scully gave him when he first started his career with the Dodgers:

"Vin Scully has been my teacher, my friend, my... my “compadre” you know since the beginning.  He was so helpful, he was unbelievable with me because he saw I was very green, I was very young and I was just starting."
  • OT:  I thought I would just pass this along.  USA Network is coming out with a new series called Mr. Robot and it's really good.  It comes out in late June, but they decided to release the pilot episode to folks to watch now.  Check it out below.

Video Link:

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Friday, May 29, 2015

2015 Topps Tier One - The Dodger Auto/Relic Cards

Here are all of the Dodger autograph/relic combination cards available in Topps 2015 Tier One Baseball card set.  Go here to check out all of my previous post on this set.

As you'll notice below, each player in the Autographed Relics set comes with either 1, 2 or 3 relic pieces embedded within them.  I've provided examples of what each one looks like for Adrian Gonzalez below.  For the other two players I show only a pic of an example of their card.

Autographed Relics

#TOAR-AGO Adrian Gonzalez


#TOAR-HR Hanley Ramirez               #TOAR-YP Yasiel Puig

Blog Kiosk: 5/29/2015 - Dodger Links - Grandal, Seager and Bolinger


There is little more rewarding for an athlete than to be joyfully mobbed by your own teammates.  Featured in the ACME press photo above is Dodger starting pitcher Tex Carleton being congratulated by his Brooklyn teammates after throwing a no-hitter on April 40, 1940.  Go here to check out the eBay auction.  Per the caption attached on the reverse:
James "Tex" Carleton (center), Brooklyn Dodger hurler who carved his niche in Hall of Fame by pitching 3 to 0, no hit victory over Cincinnati Reds, is ganged by team mates and well-wishers as he steps off mound at end of game.  His was the first no-hitter in the National League since Johnny Van der Meer put his "double" together in June 1938.
Below are some links to check out:
“It’s always a test going into St. Louis,” Ellis said. “They’re probably the best team in the National League right now. They have some amazing players on both sides of the ball. It’s going to be a big challenge for us, especially going in there without Zack [Greinke] or Clayton.”

RC: What was your very first game like working with Vin?

BR: My first game was Opening Day 1989 in Cincinnati. Here are the defending champions and I’m the new guy, I’m really the new guy with the team. I go down on the field and that’s actually where I met Vin for the first time. I had my coat and tie on and I was kind of nervous because I didn’t know him. I knew who he was because I lived in L.A., I saw him on T.V. and all that kind of stuff, and I stuck out my hand and said “Hi Mr. Scully, I’m your new stage manager, my name is Boyd Robertson.” He shook my hand and said “Look, if we’re going to work together, it’s Vin.”
"I grew up a Cubs fan. Growing up, we didn't like the Cardinals," said Bolsinger, whose family is from Gurnee, Ill. "Obviously there's a bit of a rivalry here with what they did to the Dodgers last year, so hopefully we can go in there and stay hot."

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Gilliam and Dr. Marshall's Game-Used Jerseys at Lelands

What fan doesn't have a jersey of their favorite team?

It's way to express your loyalty and fanaticism in way that allows others to take notice.  Fellow fans will walk by and give you a knowing nod - as if you both belong to an exclusive club.  The opposition gives you a stare because deep down you know that they wish they could follow a team as cool as yours.

Then there are fans that have the ability to take the extra step of adding game-used apparel of your favorite player.  Not that this is required of any fan since many game-used jerseys can sell for far more than what a typical fan can afford.  It's just if you can do it, then by all means you should.  After all, having a game-used jersey is like wearing history.  And by donning them you can feel ever closer to your favorite team or player.

Featured below are a couple of game-used Dodger jersey's currently for sale at Legendary Auctions, and I thought I would share them with you.

Above is a 1977 Dodgers road jersey of then coach Jim Gilliam.  He was one of the most beloved Dodger players in Los Angeles history.  In fact, he is the only Dodger player to have his number retired who is not in the Hall of Fame.  He had suffered an brain hemorrhage near the end of the 1978 Dodger season, and was posthumously given the honor two days after his death - just prior to clubs World Series match-up against the Yankees that year.  The outpouring of respect and love he had from the players and the organization was enormous.
(Auction Link)

Mike Marshall, or Dr. Mike Marshall as he likes to be called, is one of the more legendary relievers to ever put on a Dodger uniform.  In 1974 he appeared in 106 games for Los Angeles (setting a Major League record), finished 83 of them and recorded 21 saves.  For his efforts he was awarded the Cy Young that season.  Featured here is a game-used 1975 home jersey once worn by Marshall.

BTW, Marshall has a Ph.D. in kinesiology, and is known to advocate a different style of pitching that he believes will end arm-related pitching injuries.  Per a brief description found on his wikipedia page:
Marshall teaches and advocates a pitching method he developed that he "believes could completely eradicate pitching-arm injuries." He wants pitchers to have a smooth transition. To pitch the arm has to externally rotate (hand lays back) before the ball accelerates. With traditional pitchers the thrower often lifts his elbow before his hand (also called scapula loading); this leads to the ball coming up late and the arm to externally rotate late. The elbow will be accelerated forward while the hand still goes backward, which creates enormous stress on the arm

Marshall instead wants pitchers to externally rotate early as they swing their arm up. That means the pitcher will lift the hand before the elbow, so that the wrist faces away from the body and up, the hand is above the elbow when the front foot touches the ground, which leads to a smooth transition without a "forearm bounce," as Marshall calls it (Marshall believes this causes UCL injuries, which require Tommy John surgery). He wants to first lay back the forearm and then accelerate by rotating the body instead of bending over, in order to protect the elbow against injury.
(Auction Link)

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2015 Topps Tier One - The Dodger Autograph Cards

After taking a look at the Dodger relic cards from Topps newest release on Tuesday, 2015 Tier One, I now share photos of all the Dodger autograph-only cards that can be found in the set.  Check them all out below.  Go here to check out all of my previous post on this set.

Acclaimed Autographs

#AA-AG Adrian Gonzalez            #AA-FV Fernando Valenzuela

#AA-HR Hanley Ramirez

Blog Kiosk: 5/28/2015 - Dodger Links - Uribe, Van Slyke and LAPD Baseball Cards


Is there any chance we can get close up photos of what these cards look like?

Featured above is Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck with Clayton Kershaw and his LAPD Baseball card that officers will be handing out while on patrol.  Like in years past, the LAPD has gotten together with the Dodgers to create Baseball cards that officers will distribute to children and families.  Per Rich Mueller at Sports Collectors Daily:
If you’re a fan of police sets, those sports cards many law enforcement agencies handed out mostly during the 1980s, this will warm your heart.  The LAPD and LA County Sheriff’s Department are bringing them back.  A donation from the LA Police Foundation has covered the cost of printing one million Dodgers baseball cards.
The photo above was taken by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015.  Below are some more links to check out:
“I feel good about being here [with the Braves],” Uribe said when asked about his reaction to the trade. “I’m going to miss my teammates and I think I can return to form like I was before.” Uribe also said it would be difficult needing to immediately face his former team, but that it was easier than his changing teams in 2011.

“It’s not going to be as difficult as when I went from the Giants to the Dodgers. I’m looking forward to playing in front of the fans and I’m expecting appreciation from them for what I did.”
"He had some back stuff going on the other day. We want to be a little careful with him," manager Don Mattingly said. "There are aspects he is available, and aspects that he's pretty much not."

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    Wednesday, May 27, 2015

    Fare Thee Well, Juan Uribe


    There isn't much more I can say that others haven't already written.  The departure of Juan Uribe is a painful one, and it's weird saying that after witnessing his first two years of futility with the Dodgers.  But, like a neighbor who always stops bye unexpectedly you start to miss the impact a player like Uribe has when he's gone.  

    They'll be no more Uribear for fans to cheer.  Hyun-Jin Ryu won't have the big fellow around to goof on.  Yasiel Puig is losing a close confidant in the clubhouse.  As Clayton Kershaw said during his recent MVP Award acceptance speech:
    “Thank you for making me laugh. You are one of the most important people in our clubhouse.”
    Important, he was.
    (pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015)

    He was lighthearted and cheerful.  Always smiling and an consummate professional on the field. 

    And now, all I can do is wish him well at his new home. 

    He has now been officially traded to the Atlanta Braves, and we got a whole bucket of balls for him. 

    I'm being facetious, of course. 

    Per a Dodgers press release:
    The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired infielder Alberto Callaspo, left-handed reliever Ian Thomas, minor league right-handed pitcher Juan Jaime and left-handed pitcher Eric Stults from the Atlanta Braves in exchange for infielder Juan Uribe and right-handed pitcher Chris Withrow, who was on the 60-day disabled list. Callaspo will be in uniform for the Dodgers tonight, wearing No. 5, while Los Angeles optioned Thomas to Triple-A Oklahoma City, assigned Jaime to extended Spring Training in Arizona and designated Stults for assignment.
    I can't really muster up the strength to tell you more about the players we got, and I certainly don't have the time to make some new fantasy cards - maybe in a few days.  All I can do right now is share what is my favorite Uribe moment, or series of moments as it were, that I experienced as a fan.

    I think what I enjoyed most was Uribe's immense wardrobe of outrageous outfits.  He seemed to always be wearing something strange, and I loved seeing photos of them online.  Below are a few of my favorites.

    (pic via @Dodgers on twitter)

    (pic via Enrique Rojas of ESPN on twitter)

    (pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

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    Weekend Autograph Opportunities: A Bunch of Angels and Steve Sax

    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.

    ---------------------------

    Garrett Richards, Johnny Giavotella and David Freese of the Angels will be at The OC Dugout in Anaheim on Saturday, May 30th to sign autographs for fans.  Go here for more information.
    • David Freese from 11 a.m. to 12 noon.
    • Garrett Richards from 11 a.m. to 12 noon.
    • Johnny Giavotella  from 10 to 11:30 a.m.
    The OC Dugout
    1238 S. Beach Blvd. Ste. K
    Anaheim, California 92804
    ---------------------------


    Steve Sax will be appearing at Iguana's Bar in Pico Rivera this coming Sunday from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM.  Go here for more information.
    Iguana's Bar
    8528 Rosemead Boulevard
    Pico Rivera, CA 90660

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    Blog Kiosk: 5/27/2015 - Dodger Links - Uribe Trade, SportsNet LA and the Kirk Gibson Ball


    What a ham... er, banana.

    The photo above of Kike Hernandez is via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015Go here to check out more photos from yesterday's game.  Below are some links to check out:
    • Oscar at All Trade Bait All the Time again visited the Institute For Baseball Studies at Whittier College.  Check out his story here.  Oscar and a friend sat down with the Executive Director and shares some stories.
    • As you likely know by now, the Uribe trade is going through, via Ken Gurnick at MLB.com, "Emotional Uribe headed to Braves."
    En route to the elevator on his last trip out of the Dodgers' clubhouse after an 8-0 win over the Braves, Juan Uribe was asked what he would miss most about the Dodgers.

    He heard fans yelling for him, pointed at them and choked up. Unable to answer, he walked away, headed to the Braves, barring any unforeseen hang-ups.
    "It wouldn't be my first time I've switched teams," he said. "It's just a matter of respecting their decision. Thank God there are other teams interested in me." 
    The proposed union of two of the Southland’s biggest cable companies also has the potential to break the logjam in the long stalemate over distribution of the Los Angeles Dodgers' television channel.

    As a goodwill gesture, Charter could quickly begin carrying the SportsNet LA channel, which is owned by the Dodgers, for its current customers in Southern California.

    Such a move would enable baseball fans in Glendale, Malibu, Burbank, La CaƱada Flintridge, Long Beach and other areas currently served by Charter to watch Dodgers games on SportsNet LA.
    Keep in mind, the closing of this deal could be a long way off. Remember, the Comcast deal took over a year before it was finally abandoned.  On the other hand, there have been whispers that regulators may step aside and let this deal close quickly.  Furthermore, an Charter executive stated that they just might make the channel available right away as a goodwill gesture prior to closing.
    Brian Biegel, a New York-based documentarian who once wrote about how he most likely determined what happened to the 1951 Bobby Thompson “Shot Heard ‘Round The World,” wants to open up this cold case.

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      Tuesday, May 26, 2015

      2015 Topps Tier One - The Dodger Relic Only Cards

      Last week saw the release of Topps 2015 Tier One Baseball card set, and below are examples of the Dodger relic cards that can be found in packs.  This is a high-end set.  There is no base set.  Every card has either an autograph, relic or both.  Boxes cost about $80.00 a piece, has only one pack and you get only three cards in that single pack.  You are guaranteed two autographed cards and a relic card.  Some packs might include an extra relic card.  Go here to check out a complete checklist.

      As you'll notice below, each player in the relic set comes with either 1, 2 or 3 relic pieces embedded within them.  I've provided examples of what each one looks like for both Adrian Gonzalez and Hyun-Jin Ryu below.  For the other six players (including the Legends Relics of Snider and Robinson) I show only a pic of the single-relic card.

      Relics

      #TOR-AGZ Adrian Gonzalez

      Blog Kiosk: 5/26/2015 - Dodger Links - Bolsinger, Kershaw and a Potential Uribe Trade


      Rumors are swirling.  The gossip is reaching a fever pitch.  One man, who has had his ups and downs in Los Angeles, may be heading out of town, and I suspect many fans will be less than pleased - although, they'll likely be very understanding of the move.  Via Ken Rosenthal on twitter and encapsulated by Jeff Todd at MLB Trade Rumors, "Dodgers, Braves Discussing Swap Of Uribe, Callaspo."
      The Dodgers are in discussions with the Braves about a deal that would send third baseman Juan Uribe to Atlanta and deliver Alberto Callaspo to Los Angeles, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). Other, “lesser names” would also be included in a deal, per the report.
      The idea of Uribe being sent off to Atlanta is a little hard to stomach since he's been such a great team player for the Dodgers.  He had a rough go of it his first couple of years in Los Angeles, but continued to carry-on with a smile on his face and a hop in his step.  He never pouted or complained.  Instead, he cheered on and contributed when he could.  Eventually his skill shined through, and he became an integral part of the team the past two years. 

      Unfortunately, the club is looking to inject some younger blood, and that leaves Uribe out on a lurch.  They recently signed Hector Olivera out of Cuba to eventually man the hot-corner, and there are plenty of options on the bench and in the minors ready to stake their claim in the club. 

      As always rumors like this may come to pass, but I think it's fair to say that we will eventually see Juan Uribe traded before the season is done.  If not to the Braves today, then likely somewhere else soon.  In fact, a new update indicates that the deal for Callaspo has fallen through due to his rejection of the trade.  But like I said above, we should expect a deal to made sometime soon.

      In the "this is awkward" moment, Juan Uribe is slated to receive his very first Dodger bobblehead on Saturday, June 11th, so I wonder what happens if he is traded before this date.  Do fans get the bobblehead anyway?  Check out a pic of the planned bobble on the right.

      The above pic at the very top is via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015.  Below are some links to check out:
      The season is still young and Bolsinger’s starting role with the Dodgers’ rotation is even younger. But we’re beginning to get a sense for why this 27-year-old castaway Diamondbacks prospect has succeeded so far this season: A fairly dramatic change to his arsenal, command of his cut-fastball and the element of surprise that comes along with his curveball — all things that have enabled him to induce weaker contact, fewer balls in play falling for hits and an improved strikeout-to-walk ratio. 
      "There's satisfaction in that we're in first place and we're playing good ball," said Ethier, who had a bases-loaded walk and has six homers after only four all of last year. "I've had a little bit of a hand in contributing to that, that's where I get my satisfaction. Just get to be in the mix and help out with what we're doing."
      It appears as though much of Kershaw's problems stem from poor location, something that a pitcher as talented as he is, with stuff as good as his, should be able to overcome. 

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        Monday, May 25, 2015

        Blog Kiosk: 5/25/2015 - Dodger Links - Ryu, Rally Banana's and AJ Ellis


        I love how sometimes social media can do some good - instead of being the terrible one-headed monster it always seems to be.  Above is the veritable "Dancing Man," also known as Sean O'Brien, and he threw out the first pitch before yesterday's game.  Go here to learn a little bit about him.

        The above pic is via the @Dodgers on twitter.  Below are some links to check out:
        • Via Harry Pavlidis at ESPN, "Measuring MLB's best game-callers."  It's always been tough finding a metric that appropriately values the defensive part of a catchers job.  Sure, there's "pitch-framing," but that's just one small part of what a field general is suppose to do.  Another skill, something I would argue is the most important, is "game-calling."  
        Most experienced catchers will work closely with a starting pitcher in coming up with a game plan, and will be the principal person in charge of decided what pitches to throw at any time.  So, identifying those who are best at this is an important metric to develop.  Apparently, that metric has been found and it shows that AJ Ellis is the best "game-caller" in the league.
        That Ellis is one of the best at this should not come as a surprise.  Dodger pitchers for years have been singing his graces. BTW, you can find out more about the methodology and math behind this new metric here and here.  Apparently, it's derived from their DRA metric.
        4. The guide to the best game caller of them all: little-known 34-year-old Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis

        A.J. Ellis, in a vacuum, is a below-average catcher. His career batting average is .240. His career OPS is .689. He's made 396 starts in eight seasons. The Dodgers, of course, know all this. But they also know that two of the game's best hurlers, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke, absolutely love pitching to him. Why? Because Ellis is the best game caller in the business, and now we can actually prove it. His game-calling alone saved the Dodgers 38 runs from 2012 to 2014, though he gave back 19 of those runs with everything else he did behind the plate . Does it hurt to be Ellis? At times, perhaps. But at least now, when that ninth foul tip slaps his once-unheralded (but now-appreciated) inner thigh, it might not sting quite so much.
        But Ryu, his left arm in a sling during a Dodger Stadium news conference, said he was always able to pitch with it and figured he'd be able to again after it flared up in Spring Training.

        "I wanted to try to do it without surgery. That was my main intention," said the 28-year-old left-hander, who said he now intends to be healthy by next Spring Training, as doctors have indicated.
        "I said, 'I'm on the bench, I've got to help my team somehow, we've got to come up with something,'" Hernandez said. "So I look around and the first thing I see is a banana and I said, 'This banana is going to be a rally banana.'"
        Despite his objective struggles behind the plate, the Dodgers adored Thomas’ effort.

        “Show me another guy who could do what he did today,” Dodger manager Tommy Lasorda told Littwin. “I’ve been in baseball nearly all my life, and I’ve never seen anything like it. I’m so grateful to him. He’s a great athlete, but more than that, he’s courageous.”

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          Sunday, May 24, 2015

          Welcome to LA, Austin Barnes!


          As you surely know by now, the final player involved in the Dee Gordon trade is in the midst of his Dodger/Major League debut this afternoon.  Unfortunately, he hasn't exactly been given a warm welcome by the Padres.  As I write this little blurb, the Dodgers are currently behind 9-0 to San Diego, and it doesn't appear it'll get any better.  So, instead of wasting away in front of the boob-tube I figured I'd formerly welcome Austin Barnes to Los Angeles by making a new fantasy Baseball card and sharing it here.  Check it out above.  I used a photograph taken by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015 during spring training and the 1974 Topps Baseball card design.  BTW, in today's game Austin Barnes is wearing number #65.

          As you'll recall, I had previously written about Barnes when the December trade sending Dee Gordon to Miami was originally made.  You can check that out here.  At the time, Austin was a multi-positional player, but it quickly became clear that he would be concentrating most of his efforts behind the dish for the Dodgers. 

          Per a Dodger press release:
          Barnes, 25, is making his first appearance on an active Major League roster after batting .290 with five doubles, three home runs and 13 RBI in 29 games at Triple-A. Barnes has drawn more walks (14) than strikeouts (13) this season, with a .390 on-base percentage, and has hit safely in his last eight games with Oklahoma City, including going 1-for-3 last night at Las Vegas. The Riverside native was acquired by the Dodgers in a seven-player trade with Miami on Dec. 10, 2014 and was originally selected by the Marlins in the ninth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Arizona State University.
          He was called up due to Yasmani Grandal's recent concussion-related injury.  Hopefully Grandal will be OK, and it's been suggested that he should be back with the Dodger shortly.  Unfortunately, as a hockey fan I've come to understand that you can't put a timetable on concussion issues.  I am glad to know, though, that the Dodgers are taking this kind of injury seriously.  It wasn't too long ago when Grandal would've been expected to get back out there right away. 

          Back to Barnes, Gabe Kapler posted up an interesting comment on twitter earlier today:
          I hope he can become a solid backstop for the Dodgers, and I think this early cup-of-coffee for him can only add to his experience.  Heck, I think the shellacking he's experiencing in today's game will help build character.  It is now 10-0 Padres as I prepare to put up this post.

          Below are the career stats for Austin Barnes, via Baseball-Reference:


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          Braves Series Starts Tomorrow - Scheduled Autograph Sessions, Pregame Info and Other Stuff!


          The next homestand starts tomorrow against the Atlanta Braves, and several former Dodgers are scheduled for an autograph session with fans.  Below are the scheduled autograph opportunities and other odds and ends for this upcoming homestand.

          ---------------
          Monday, May 25th at 5:10 PM
          SNLA / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

          Monday's game starts at 5:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 2:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 3:10 PM.  The first 40,000 fans will receive an Tommy Lasorda Garden Gnome.  See it on the left.

          Monday is Memorial Day and the Dodgers, along with all of MLB, will again participate in the National Moment of Remembrance during Memorial Day Weekend.  The Dodgers will wear specially-designed caps and jerseys Monday. All of MLB’s net proceeds from the sale of these caps and jerseys will be donated to the Welcome Back Veterans program, which provides grants to university hospitals throughout the country to treat veterans suffering from PTSD and traumatic brain injury.

          Memorial pre-game ceremonies will include a flyover by three heritage planes, a P15D Mustang, P63 Cobra and T28 Trojan, from the Palm Springs Air Museum. The U.S. Army will provide a color guard. Five representatives from each military branch of service, 25 Air Force, Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy service men and women, will throw the ceremonial first pitch. Tuskegee Airman 95 year-old Lieutenant Colonel Robert Friend will officially start the game with “It’s time for Dodger baseball!” The U.S. Department of Defense will also have a Memorial Day PSA that will play on DodgerVision prior to the game. A POW/MIA chair dedication will take place and 300 military families from various military branches will be in attendance. Eight youngsters from military families will partake in Kids Take the Field Monday. The national anthem and will be performed by U.S. Army National Guard Sergeant Vicki Goulding, former U.S. Army Sergeant Victor Hurtado and Lisa Pratt, Operation Rising Star winner and military spouse.  Bank of America Executive Director of New Directions Gregory Scott will throw a first pitch.

          Dodger alumnus Al Downing will sign autographs in the left-field pavilion from 5:00 PM. to 7:00 PM.
          • The Military Hero of the Game is U.S. Army Captain Christopher Kahn of Clovis. Kahn enlisted in the Army 16 years ago, has served a deployment to Kuwait as part of Operation Desert Spring and to Baghdad, Iraq as part of Operation Thunder Run and with the 82nd Airborne Division as part of the OIF and Operation New Dawn. Kahn has served in South Korea the past two years where he was selected by the Army’s ACS program to attend graduate school.

          ---------------

          Tuesday, May 26th at 7:10 PM
          SNLA / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

          Tuesday's game starts at 7:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 4:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 5:10 PM. 

          Jerry Vivino, saxophonist in the house band for the Conan O’Brien show, will perform the national anthem.

          Dodger alumnus Tim Leary will sign autographs in the left-field pavilion from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
          • The Military Hero of the Game is U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant E5 Ladarrius Robinson of Minden, Louisiana. Robinson attended Grambling State University in 2003 and enlisted in the Marines after graduation. He served a deployment to Fallujah, Iraq, in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom III and served as part of the largest combat deployed battalion in Marine Corps history, 3rd Batallion 4th Marines. He also served deployments to Al-Qa’im, Iraqui and Anah Iraq with Weapons company mobile assault Platoons, Scout Snipers and Lima company in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.

          ---------------

          Wednesday, April 29th at 7:10 PM
          SNLA / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

          Wednesday's game starts at 7:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 4:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 5:10 PM.  The first 40,000 fans will receive an Dodgers coaster set.  See it on the left.

          Saxophonist Michael Lington will perform the national anthem.  Los Angeles Chief of Police Charlie Beck and L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell will throw the ceremonial first pitch and will join the Dodgers in announcing the re-launch of a fan-favorite program where officers will distribute Dodger baseball cards to children and families while on patrol. In 2015, the program returns with the addition of L.A. County Sheriffs. In total, nearly 10,000 LAPD officers and 10,000 sheriff’s deputies will carry Dodgers baseball cards with them while on patrol this season.

          Dodger alumnus Lee Lacy will sign autographs in the left-field pavilion from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
          • The Military Hero of the Game is U.S. Marine Corps Lance Corporal Manuel Lopez of Compton. Lopez enlisted in 1998, served as an assault man for six years before being deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He also served in Operation Noble Eagle, an anti-terrorist force assigned to the west coast of the U.S. after September 11.

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          Saturday, May 23, 2015

          Blog Kiosk: 5/23/2015 - Dodger Links - Puig, Pederson and Brandon Beachy


          When I came across this photo on eBay I knew I had to share it - watermark and all.  Featured above is former Dodger skipper Walter Alston playing a game of pool with his father at his Ohio home in 1962.  He had just signed a new contract to coach the club for another season, and was no doubt celebrating with a leisurely game.

          On the other hand, knowing Alton's reputation as a pool shark, it may not have been so laid-back.  After all, Alston had said on numerous occasions that he put himself through college playing pool, and it's well known he would happily take your wad should you meet him at the table.

          Some say he was the best billiard player in the game, and when he teamed up with Jim Gilliam and Leo Durocher (all fantastic pool players in their own right) they formed a fantastic cabal that stormed through the league.

          I often wonder how much money they hustled off of opposing teams.  Did they come into a city with thoughts of victory and wealth?  Would they meet with the opposing players/coach's at a local hall hoping to demoralize them on the green felt after doing so on the green grass?  What kind of shtick would Alston use when facing someone who didn't know him?

          I can imagine it now.  He plays some country bumpkin, wheeling in an unsuspecting mark, before setting off a volley of game-winning shots.  

          Below are some more links to check out:

          Pederson’s swing is just that: A blend of old and new school that is beautiful to watch and has created impressive results. Pederson has the loose, relaxed upper body reminiscent of hitters of yesteryear with the big leg kick, and the aggressive lower body movements favored by the best modern hitters. This movement pattern isn’t just aesthetically pleasing, it’s an efficient way to deliver the bat with force. The coach in me loves his swing because the movements are so big and clear; Pederson provides a great template to show young hitters how to move with intent at the plate. 
          • Just another depth move for the Dodgers.  Via Jeff Todd at MLB Trade Rumors, "Dodgers Acquire Eric Surkamp From White Sox."  Apparently, Blake Smith was sent to the White Sox.
          • Brandon Beachy, signed over the winter, pitched a three-inning simulated game/live batting practice yesterday in preparation for a possible rehab assignment.  He would certainly be in the starting pitching mix should he prove to be ready in the minors.  Via a tweet from @Think_BlueLA:

          • This is really cool.  Via Thomas Duffy at the Bleacher Report, "Father Surprises Daughter at Wedding with a Game of Catch During 1st Dance."
          • Here's a video I came across of Clayton Kershaw doing some painting by throwing balls for MTV.  Best yet, he spent some time throwing right-handed.

          Video Link:
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            Friday, May 22, 2015

            Bid Now on Some Dodgers' Mother's Day Game-Used Gear


            Are you looking to add some unique memorabilia to your Dodger collection?

            Then look no further than to MLB's own auction of Mother's Day game-used goodies from the Dodgers.  Currently, there are game-used bats and shoes/cleats available for sale of three Dodger players: Joc Pederson, Alex Guerrero and Yasmani Grandal.  Check out a listing below.  BTW, Major League Baseball Charities, Inc. will equally distribute its proceeds from the auction of MLB Pink Ribbon Products to The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. and Entertainment Industry Foundation, for breast cancer initiatives.

            Joc Pederson

            There are two Pederson game-used bats from the Mother's Day game the Dodgers played against the Rockies currently on auction.  You can see a photo of them at his locker in Colorado above. 
            • The Marucci Bat (as seen above) is available here (link).
            • Joc's Louisville Slugger Bat is available here (link).
            • His cleats from the evening can be found here (link).  A photo of them is directly below.  So far Joc's shoes are at $355 with 11 bids.
            (Auction Link)


            Alexander Guerrero

            Guerrero's bat can be found here (link), and his cleats (as seen below) can be found here (link).
            (Auction Link)


            Yasmani Grandal

            Check out the game bat from our hit-hitting catcher here (link).  It's a Louisville Slugger.  Check out the cleats he wore here (link).  A photo of them is below.
            (Auction Link)


            Photo at the very top and the very bottom via @Dodgers on twitter.

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            Blog Kiosk: 5/22/2015 - Dodger Links - Kershaw, Ryu and Arruebarrena


            Clayton has had a rough go of it recently.  Sure, he's still striking out batters at a healthy clip, but for whatever reason the opposition is getting on base more often and scoring more runs.  Via Ken Gurnick at MLB.com:
            Kershaw, his fastball several ticks slower than usual, conceded his pitches "just weren't coming out, for some reason." He said he felt fine -- "You're going to have those days," -- and he tipped his cap to Bumgarner, who stunned him by slugging a third-inning home run with two outs.

            "Fastball down the middle," he said. "I should have a little more respect for him."
            This is the first I've read that his velocity is down; which is a bit disconcerting.  Worse yet, he conceded that he was running on empty, via Mark Saxon at ESPN:
            Kershaw’s velocity was down a little bit on Thursday, and he admitted he didn’t “have a whole lot in the tank, honestly.”

            “It just wasn’t coming out for whatever reason,” Kershaw said. “It’s tough. Madison pitched really well, and you just tip your cap, again.”
            What is clear is that the Giants are no laughing matter, Bumgarner is a proven champion ace and their manager Bruce Bochy might be the best in the business.  The Giants are riding high with a six game winning streak, and you have to figure we'll be battling them for a playoff spot all season long. 

            Photo above via the @Dodgers on twitter.  Below are some more links to check out:
            The left-hander needed a repair of his left labrum and will not pitch again until 2016.
            Erisbel Arruebarrena has not played a game at any level this season and has been placed on the suspended list by the Dodgers, apparently for disciplinary reasons.
            "Part of his success is that he hides the ball really well," said Rancho Cucamonga pitching coach Bill Simas. "Some people have a knack for that. It's hard to explain. He hides it behind his body until that release."

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              Thursday, May 21, 2015

              Holy Mackerel! Dodgers LAPD Police Baseball Cards are Coming Back!


              Wow!  This little bit of news just came out of nowhere.

              I was looking through a press release regarding the upcoming homestand this weekend when I stumbled upon a little news blurb that has my heart racing.

              Do you remember those Dodger Baseball cards given out by LAPD officers in the 80's?

              Ya know!

              They were a little over-sized, had mostly white boarders and featured every Dodger player on the team.

              I know you know what I'm talking about.  Any child of the 80's remembers them, and if your decade was later then you might recall the LAPD cards that the Dodgers gave away during a game a decade later.

              I had just a handful of them while growing up, but eventually completed every set as I got older.  They were originally produced from 1980 to 2002.  (I have pics of every card from these set, and you can check them out here.)

              Well, I just received news that this set will be coming back, and an official announcement will be made at this coming Wednesday's game against the Braves.  Here is what the press release says:
              Los Angeles Chief of Police Charlie Beck and L.A. County Sheriff Jim McDonnell will throw the ceremonial first pitch and will join the Dodgers in announcing the re-launch of a fan-favorite program where officers will distribute Dodger baseball cards to children and families while on patrol. In 2015, the program returns with the addition of L.A. County Sheriffs. In total, nearly 10,000 LAPD officers and 10,000 sheriff’s deputies will carry Dodgers baseball cards with them while on patrol this season.
              WooHoo! I can't wait. 

              Does this mean that I'll have to walk up to every office I see this year.  Will they give a big kid like me (who is over 40-years old) a couple of cards? 

              I have no idea what they are going to look like yet, but I'll be sure to share that once I find out.

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              Padres Series Starts Tomorrow - Scheduled Autograph Sessions, Pregame Info and Other Stuff!


              The next homestand starts tomorrow against the San Diego Padres, and several former Dodgers are scheduled for an autograph session with fans.  Below are the scheduled autograph opportunities and other odds and ends for this upcoming homestand.

              Levy Restaurants currently offers Caribbean Sticky Ribs at the Think Blue BBQ located in the left-field plaza. This dish features pork spare ribs, ghost pepper and molasses marinade, pineapple barbeque sauce and is served with a tropical cole slaw. This homestand, Levy Restaurants will also offer Sweet Corn Nachos with Chihuahua cheese sauce at the La Taqueria stands located on the field, loge and reserve levels.

              ---------------
              Friday, May 22nd at 7:10 PM
              Andrew Cashner vs. RHP Zack Greinke
              SNLA / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

              Tonight's game starts at 7:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 4:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 5:10 PM.  It is Friday Night Fireworks, so fans will be able to go down onto the field after the game to watch the spectacle. The theme for the evening will be a live DJ set by Grammy award winner Zedd.  Go here for information about future firework themes.

              Apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas will throw the ceremonial first pitch as part of the third annual Adoptee night in partnership with the Mixed Roots Foundation and the Apl.de.Ap Foundation. He will be joined on the field by his adoptive father Joe Ben Hudgens in recognition of National Foster Care Month. Sunburst Youth Academy Brigadier General James Gabrielli will also throw a first pitch.  Cameroonian-born singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist, model and actress Andy Allo will perform the national anthem. “Entourage” actor Jerry Ferrara will serve as guest PA announcer.

              Pregame entertainment will also include a stilt walker in the left-field plaza and DJ Adam in the right-field plaza from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Dodger alumnus Kenny Landreaux will sign autographs in the left-field pavilion from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM.
              • The Military Heroes of the Game are U.S. Army National Guard Sergeant Salina Munoz, U.S. Army National Guard Staff Sergeant Alexander Darius Yin and U.S. Army Sergeant Paul Gonzalez. Munoz and Yin are both currently stationed at Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos and serve at the Sunburst Youth Academy, one of the top reformative youth challenge programs in the nation. Gonzalez is currently stationed at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina and has served three deployments, six years infantry and three years in signal corps.
              • The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF) conducts silent auctions throughout the season featuring more than 25 signed pieces of memorabilia from Dodger players, coaches and alumni. Auctions will take place behind the Vin Scully press box on the club level. The items up for auction on Friday include a Clayton Kershaw autographed photo, Fernando Valenzuela autographed baseball and Joc Pederson autographed Dodger jersey. The auction will end at 8:45 PM.

              ---------------
              Saturday, May 23rd at 7:10 PM
              RHP Ian Kennedy vs. RHP Mike Bolsinger
              SNLA / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

              Saturday's game starts at 7:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 4:40 PM, and stadium gates open at 5:10 PM.  The first 40,000 fans in attendance will receive a Adrian Gonzalez bobblehead.  See it on the left.

              In celebration of Gonzalez’s bobblehead day, Mariachi Garibaldi de Jaime Cuellar will perform on the field prior to the game. The 10-man group will perform three songs selected by Gonzalez: “El Rey,” “Mexico Lindo y Querido” and “Mariachi Loco.”  Grammy award-winning R&B singer Eric Bellinger will perform the national anthem.

              Pregame entertainment will also include a magician from the Magic Castle in the left-field plaza, DJ Adam in the right-field plaza, DJ Lady Sha in the left-field reserve plaza and The Smokin’ Cobras in the right-field reserve plaza from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Dodger alumnus Billy Ashley will sign autographs in the left-field pavilion from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM.
              • The Military Hero of the Game is U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant E6 Gerardo Rodriguez of Moreno Valley. Rodriguez just returned from his second deployment to the Middle East. He has served more than 11 years in the Air Force, has been stationed at bases in England, Korea and California and is currently stationed at March Air Reserve Base as a combat arms instructor.

              ---------------
              Sunday, May 24th at 1:10 PM
              RHP James Shields vs. RHP Carlos Frias
              SNLA / AM 570 (Eng.), KTNQ 1020 AM (Span.)

              Sunday's game starts at 1:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 10:40 AM, and stadium gates open at 11:10 AM.

              Viva Los Dodgers will be at the historic 76 station at Dodger Stadium.  Dodger alumnus Al Ferrara will sign autographs from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  Musical entertainment will be provided by 40 Watt Hype and Blue Agave.

              Hollywood Records recording artist Sabrina Carpenter will perform the national anthem.  The singer/songwriter just released her album debut, “Eyes Wide Open,” a collection of pop songs, many of them co-written by Carpenter. Sean “The Dancing Man” O’Brien will throw the ceremonial first pitch. An internet sensation, “The Dancing Man,” has raised awareness for anti-bullying after O’Brien experienced online body-shaming via a video of him dancing at a club.

              Dodger alumnus Tommy Davis will sign autographs in the left-field pavilion from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

              LUCKY!!!  BTW, there is a special bonus for fans sitting in the left and right field pavilions.  They will receive a pair of Terminator Genisys Sunglasses courtesy of Paramount Pictures and Skydance Productions. “Terminator Genisys” is in theaters July 1. 
              • The Military Hero of the Game is U.S. Air Force Technical Sergeant Michael Smith of Tulare. Smith has been an active-duty member of the California Air National Guard for the past 25 years and has been deployed to Kuwait in support of Operation Southern Watch and to Kyrgyzstan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. Smith provides base and aircraft security, has been assigned to Presidential and Vice Presidential aircraft and is currently assigned to the 144th Security Forces Squadron in Fresno. He will serve on another deployment this summer.
              • LADF conducts silent auctions throughout the season featuring more than 25 signed pieces of memorabilia from Dodger players, coaches and alumni. Auctions will take place behind the Vin Scully press box on the club level. The items up for auction on Sunday include an Alex Guererro autographed photo, Zack Greinke autographed baseball and Adrian Gonzalez autographed Dodger jersey. The auction will end at 2:45 p.m.

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