Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Yasiel Puig is Now a Fashion Model for Starter

With so much free time due to his leg injury, Yasiel Puig has taken a short course correction.  He is now a spokesman and model for Starter apparel and will appear in a marketing campaign called Jackets Required that begins today.  As you've surely guessed by now, Starter is heavily marketing their line of fashionable jackets, and you can go here to check out more pics from his recent photo-shoot.  You can also watch the below video, as well.

Video Link:

Via Khanh T.L. Tran at "L.A. Dodger Yasiel Puig Makes Fashion Debut in Starter Ads":
Puig comes across as an unlikely star for a fashion campaign. He chortles when asked what kind of clothes he liked wearing when growing up in Cuba. “I didn’t have clothes,” he replied through an interpreter, describing his personal style then as “barefoot and no clothes.”

Following numerous attempts to escape the Communist island, he finally succeeded in 2012, when he signed a seven-year deal with the Dodgers. “All that I know to do is play baseball in any country — Cuba, here, wherever — that’s what I love to do,” he said.
I really like the above white Brooklyn Dodger jacket.  According to the story these jackets will carry a price tag of $80.00.  At the Starter website they appear to be on sale.  Go here to check that out.

Photos via Courtesy Photo/

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Ryu to Go Under the Knife

The Dodgers are now down two starting pitchers for the 2015 season.

Just weeks after losing Brandon McCarthy to Tommy John Surgery we now have to contend with a second starter going under the knife.  This time it's Hyun-Jin Ryu and he'll undergo left shoulder  arthroscopic surgery tomorrow (Thursday).  It will be performed by Dodger team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

From what I understand this procedure is meant to allow the doctor an opportunity to take a closer look at what ails Ryu.  As you know, Ryu suffered some pain and inflammation in his shoulder during spring training, and subsequently experience a significant drop in velocity while rehabbing recently.  Last week they performed an MRI and found no major structural damage in his left shoulder.  Unfortunately, the MRI didn't provide much help in diagnosing Ryu's problems, so he'll have surgery to essentially clean things up and give the doctor a chance to take a closer look.

We do not have a solid timetable for his return, but should know more after tomorrows procedure.  Nevertheless, I think it's safe to assume that Ryu is done for the season. Via Andrew Friedman via Mark Saxon at ESPN:
"It hasn't progressed as quickly as we all hoped, and he's worked extremely hard to get back. It just isn't happening as quickly as he would like," Friedman said. "It's not a totally clear-cut, black-and-white issue. It's more involved than that. We have an excellent doctor in ElAttrache and a very good medical department, and everyone is putting their heads together to see what makes the most sense."
Fortunately, the Dodger front office built an impressive array of depth with starting pitching over the winter, so it's unlikely they'll feel hard-pressed to do anything drastic to add to the rotation right away.  We've got a number of pitchers raring to prove themselves on the mound.  Still, you should expect them to send out various feelers throughout the league to see who is available.  BTW, I still think it's unlikely the Dodgers will trade their top prospects: Seager and Urias.  But De Leon, Verdugo, Holmes, etc. might be available for the right player.

Photo above taken by Yasiel Puig/LA Dodgers 2015

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Steve Sax and Alex Guerrero

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.


If you're heading out to Lancaster this coming Thursday (tomorrow) then you should check out the JetHawks play the Rangers Single-A affiliate High Desert Mavericks.  And if you go you'll be attending that clubs second "Superstar Series" event of the season.  What this means is that you will have an opportunity to meet and get an autograph from Dodger legend Steve Sax.  Below is a schedule of other players who will be attending on future dates.

From what I understand, each guest will be signing during the game (at its start) for approximately 90 minutes.  BTW, the games start at 6:30 PM.  You can go here for more information.

Lancaster JetHawks
45116 Valley Central Way
Lancaster, CA 93536

Alex Guerrero is making his first public appearance this coming Saturday, May 23 from 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM at Manuel's Original El Tepeyac Cafe in the City of Industry.  Go here for information.
  • $40 for small items: balls,8x10-16x20 and mini helmets
  • $60 for large items: bats, bases, f/s helmets,jerseys and game used
  • $10 inscriptions
Manuel's Original El Tepeyac Cafe
13131 Crossroads Parkway South
City of Industry, CA 91746

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Blog Kiosk: 5/20/2015 - Dodger Links - Hector Olivera, Pablo Fernandez and Rafael Furcal Retires

I so enjoyed watching Rafael Furcal play shortstop for the Dodgers.  He was a wizard on the field and a key cog during the 6 years he was in Los Angeles.  Per Ned Colletti in a story written by Tony Jackson at ESPN:
"When he was at the top of his game and healthy, that was when the offense moved."
I remember those days well.  With Furcal at the top of the order he became the main juggernaut to the teams offense.  He was a table-setter and eventually a leader for many of the young stars coming through the Dodger system. 

Unfortunately, injuries became his undoing.  He spent an awful amount of time on the DL, and I remember witnessing one of the events that lead him there.  While chatting with a former OC Register reporter at Vero Beach, Furcal and Jason Repko met in a mighty crash in the outfield.  Furcal was hurt badly and I vividly remember vocally screaming, "NO!"  I also remember how good he was, and I don't mean on the field.  He once chose to sign with the Dodgers because the team offered to give his hometown a firetruck; which is the subject of the photo I used for the fantasy Baseball card above.

As you surely know by know, it was announced last night that Rafael Fucal has announcement his retirement from the game.  Via an AP report:
''To play in the major leagues for 14 seasons was a dream come true,'' Furcal said in a statement. ''I love the game, but at this point, I don't feel like I can play up to my standards anymore and want to spend more time with my beautiful family.''
Fair thee well, Rafael!

Below are some more links to check out:
“My whole career I played second base, but I don’t think I’m in the position to decide where I should play or to say what my preference is,” said the Cuban star when asked what position he is most comfortable playing. “Wherever they put me, I’m going to give my best…Wherever they put me, they’ll see results.”
  • Since Jon helpfully provided a photo of Olivera in a Dodger uniform I decided to make a new fantasy card for him.  Check it out on the right.  This time, I used the 1971 Topps design.  Click on the pic to embiggen.
  • Via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA, "Dodgers plan to stretch Pablo Fernandez as a starter."
"We're going to get him to Arizona as well and start the process of stretching him out," Friedman said. "The upside scenario is that he's a starter for us at some point this year."
And not a moment too soon.
Friedman said surgery is an option, but insisted doctors were still in discussions and a final decision had not been made.

"It hasn't progressed as quickly as we all hoped," Friedman said. "He's worked extra hard to get back, and it isn't happening as quickly as we'd like. It's not a totally clear, a black and white issue. It's more involved than you think."

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *