Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Proposed Comcast-Time Warner Merger is Dying

As many of you know, the Dodgers television channel SportsNet LA currently reaches only about 30% of homes, and expanding that footprint was dependent on a successful merger between Comcast and Time Warner.  Well, based upon new reports this evening that merger appears to be headed south.  That is, it is very likely dead in the water.  Per a Reuters report:
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission's staff has recommended that the agency designate Comcast Corp's proposed $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc for a hearing, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The recommendation, which would, in effect, put the merger in the hands of an administrative law judge, would be seen as a strong sign the FCC does not believe the deal is in the public interest, the Journal reported.
The Wall Street Jounal report includes several regulatory experts calling the hearing a deal-killer.

Earlier today both Comcast and Time Warner sat down with both the Department of Justice and the FCC to address their concerns and save the merger.  From the looks of it, those meetings have done little to change anything.

What does this mean for SportsNet LA?

Without a merger the other 70% of LA area households are not likely to get the channel any time soon.  How they will change this is entirely up in the air now. 

More to come as information comes out.

BTW, you should check out Chris Erskine's article at the LA Times about a work-around for fans who cannot watch, but want to.  Go here.

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Welcome to the Blue, Xavier Cedeno!

The Dodgers added a left handed reliever this afternoon via a trade with the Washington Nationals for cash money.  They received 28-year old Xavier Cedeno.  He is not currently with the club, but is expected to join the Dodgers in San Diego on Friday, via a tweet from JP Hoornstra:
I had initially figured he would be heading to the minor leagues to provide more bullpen depth, but then I discovered that Cedeno is without options.  So, he can't be sent down unless he clears waivers.  That means keeping him with the big club or testing the waiver waters.  Since JP Hoornstra mentions that he'll be coming to San Diego then it's only logical to assume that he will replace someone on the 25-man roster at that time.  Based on the game of musical chairs the club is playing, I suspect Mike Bolsinger will be optioned back to the Minors.  Mike is expected to replace Chris Heisey for a spot start on Thursday.

So, overall it looks like we will have:
  • Chris Heisey recalled; and Adam Liberatore optioned to Minors today
  • Mike Bolsinger recalled; Chris Heisey optioned to Minors tomorrow
  • Xavier Cedeno addded to 25-man roster; Mike Bolsinger options to Minors on Friday
Whew!  That's a lot of shuffling there.

Via a Dodger press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired left-handed pitcher Xavier Cedeno from Washington in exchange for cash considerations. To make room on the 40-man roster, Los Angeles designated right-handed pitcher Daniel Corcino for assignment.

Cedeno, 28, has made two relief appearances for Washington this year, allowing two runs in 3.0 innings, and has gone 0-1 with one save and a 5.24 ERA in 77 career big league appearances for the Astros (2011-13) and Nationals (2013-15). The native of Puerto Rico was originally selected by the Rockies in the 31st round of the 2004 First-Year Player Draft and has a 42-41 record with nine saves and a 4.15 ERA in 256 games (103 starts) in nine minor league seasons.
I don't know too much about Cedeno, but Eric Stephen at True Blue LA does provide a little glimpse:
Left-handed batters have hit .252/.331/.351 against Cedeno in his career, with 39 strikeouts and nine walks in 126 plate appearances. Right-handers, by comparison, have hit .339/.409/.532 with 15 walks and 15 strikeouts.
In celebration of Cedeno's arrival to the club I made the above fantasy card for him.  I grabbed a photo by Tony Firriolo/MLB Photos via Getty Image sand the 1968 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are the career stats for Xavier Cedeno, via Baseball-Reference:

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Chris Heisey Called up to the Dodgers

A rather unusual, and likely frustrating to the players involved, game of musical chairs is currently being played by the Dodgers.  It was widely reported yesterday that outfielder Chris Heisey was spotted in the Dodger clubhouse, but was not yet on the team roster to play any games for them.  Instead, he was in town in preparation for one of several expected moves that will have numerous players shuffling in-and-out of the Dodger roster.

We now get official word of the first of what will be numerous other future moves.  Via a Dodger press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today recalled outfielder Chris Heisey from Triple-A Oklahoma City and optioned left-handed pitcher Adam Liberatore to Triple-A.

Heisey is tied for fourth in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League with four home runs and batted .257 (9-for-35) with nine runs scored and seven RBI in 10 games with Oklahoma City prior to his recall. The 30-year-old, who has appeared exclusively in center field on defense this year, was acquired in an offseason trade with Cincinnati and posted a .247 batting average with 50 home runs and 147 RBI in 543 big league games with the Reds.

Liberatore appeared in three games during his stint with the Dodgers, including his Major League debut on April 17 vs. Colorado, and allowed just one hit in 4.1 scoreless innings.
With left-hander Madison Bumgarner pitching tonight you should expect to see right-handed batter Chris Heisey in centerfield - to spell Pederson for the day.

Eric Stephen on twitter then sheds more light on another move that is likely to happen tomorrow.
Chris Heisey is expected to be sent right back to AAA for a spot starter - Mike Bolsinger.  After that, the Dodgers will probably call up another reliever on Friday to bolster the bullpen.  Who that could be is anybodies guess.

Oy Vey!  My head hurts. 

Since I had yet to make a fantasy Baseball card of Chris Heisey wearing Dodger Blue I decided to do him the honor.  Check it out above.

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Several Dodgers' at the National Orange Show Fair in San Bernardino

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.


This weekend is the National Orange Show Fair in San Bernardino and several former Dodger players and a Raider will be there to greet fans, courtesy of The Trophy House.  In attendance will be Rudy Law, Derrel Thomas, Jay Johnstone and Cedrick Hardman.  Autographs are $10.00 a piece.  Below is a schedule as I understand it.
Cedrick Hardman (Raiders)
Friday, April 24 - 4:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Saturday, April 25 - 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM
Sunday, April 26 - 2:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Rudy Law
Saturday, April 25 -5:00 PM to 8:00 PM

Derrel Thomas
Saturday, April 25 - 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM

Jay Johnstone
Sunday, April 26 - 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM
National Orange Fair
689 South E Street
San Bernardino, Ca 92408
Hat Tip: Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy

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2015 Topps Gypsy Queen - The Dodger Autograph Cards

Here is my final look at Dodger cards found within packs of 2015 Gypsy Queen.  This time I show the autograph cards.  Unfortunately, I have yet to see any of the retail exclusive mini autographed cards, so a checklist is provided instead.

BTW, the Kershaw and Puig autographed cards directly below are both gold parallel cards (#/25).


#GQA-CK Clayton Kershaw                          #GQA-JP Joc Pederson

Blog Kiosk: 4/22/2015 - Dodger Links - Anderson, McCarthy and a Funny Date Video

A loss is a loss, no matter how it happens.

The Dodgers win streak was thwarted by the Giants, and the apparent message is that the Baseball gods were in San Francisco's corner last night.  Via Alex Espinoza at, "Anderson vexed by Giants' well-placed hits."
"The only real legitimate run was the [Buster] Posey single," (Brett) Anderson said after the hard-luck loss. "I still feel confident in my abilities. The defense couldn't have done any more than they did today, it was just some well-placed hits that you have to deal with and go on to next one."
He continued on twitter:
Baseball is a funny game, ain't it?  No matter how hard you play, how well you do your business, or how confident you are in the statistics telling you the way it should be the game has a way of slapping you in the face.   

The photo above of Anderson is via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015Go here to see more pics from him from yesterday.  Below are some more links to check out:
  • All of you must put everything down and check out Roberto's post at Vin Scully is My Homeboy.  He shares a group of three fantastic videos titled, "When Giants Fan Met Dodgers Fan."  They are all worth your time.
  • David Davis at Deadspin recounts the fight between John Roseboro and Juan Marichal; "What Baseball's Most Famous Brawl Photo Didn't Show You."
  • As you may have heard, Chris Heisey is currently in San Francisco, but has yet to be added to the Dodgers 25-man roster.  He is expected to be playing soon, but there is no word yet on who will be sent down in his place.  Speculation, as you can imagine, is high.  Eric Stephen at True Blue LA has a great rundown on the possibilities; "Chris Heisey highlights Dodgers roster flexibility." 
  • Via Pedro Moura at the OC Register, "Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy throwing harder with age."
“It’s kind of like he learned how to pitch backwards, almost,” said Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal. “When guys have velocity, they rely on the velocity early in their career. And then, once they lose it, they go back and start working on movement. It’s actually really good for a guy to not throw that hard when he comes up and then all of the sudden start pumping 95 and 96.
  • Via Dustin Nosler at Dodgers Digest, "Update on Dodgers’ potentially big July 2 plans."  You should expect the Dodgers to do some big things when the international draft comes up.
  • Awesome!  Corky at Pack War shares what appears to be a scarce Family Guy/Star Wars card set only found in Europe.
  • Panini releases even more preview pics of their 2015 Diamond Kings Baseball card set; including the Clayton Kershaw and Yasiel Puig cards below.  Go here to check out more.

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