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As you'll recall, I had previously written about Barnes when the December trade sending Dee Gordon to Miami was originally made.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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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

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.

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