Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Scott Van Slyke and the Homestand Auto' Schedule

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.


Here's a listing of Dodger free autograph guest appearing prior to the start of each game during the current brief homestand against the A's and Angels:
  • Wednesday, July 9th against the A's: Tim Leary will sign autographs in the left-field plaza from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 
  • Friday, July 11th against the Angels: Lee Lacy will sign autographs in the left-field plaza from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. 
  • Saturday, July 12th against the Angels: Billy Ashley will sign autographs in the left-field plaza from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  
  • Sunday, July 13th against the Angels: Mickey Hatcher will sign autographs in the left-field pavilion from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, July 13th against the Angels: Manny Mota will sign autographs for fans from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at Viva Los Dodgers


Hopefully his recent incident in a New York taxi cab doesn't hamper his ability to show up.  Dodger outfielder Scott Van Slyke will be making a free autograph appearance at a Food 4 Less in Pasadena this coming Friday, July 31 from 11:00 AM - Noon 12:00 PM.  Go here for more information.

    Kellogg's Appearance
    Food 4 Less
    1329 N. Lake Ave.
    Pasadena, CA 91104

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Welcome to the Blue, Mat Latos & Michael Morse! - With UPDATES!

Impatient Dodger fans finally have a trade to vex over.  Rumors swirled all morning about a pending trade with the Marlins that adds a mid-rotation starter and a journeyman outfielder/first baseman for a handful of low level prospects.  As originally announced via twitter by Chicago Sun-Times Cubs reporter Gordon Wittenmyer:

This ain't a bad start, and I suspect (as has been rumored recently) that the Dodgers are not yet done.  They are said to still be interested in adding a top-line starter to the rotation, so a pitcher like Hamels or Price coming to LA might still be in the picture. 

As for this trade, Mat Latos provides a middle of the rotation arm for the stretch run.  Over the past couple of years he has dealt with numerous injuries; including a bone spur in his elbow and a tore cartilage in his left knee.  He is said to be 100% healthy now.  BTW, he will be a free agent at the end of this season, and is unlikely to be anything more than a rental player for the Dodgers.  Via Jeff Todd at MLB Trade Rumors:
While he’s battled injuries and struggled early in the season, Latos has increased his velocity and upped his results since returning from a DL stint. All told, the 27-year-old Latos owns a 4.48 ERA with 8.0 K/9 against 2.5 BB/9 over 88 1/3 innings on the year. But ERA estimators view him more as a mid-3.00 ERA contributor, and that has shown up in his last seven starts, over which he’s allowed 15 earned runs in 45 2/3 frames with a 43:9 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
On a side note, Mat Latos has a cat named "Cat Latos."  I kid you not!

The addition of Morse is a bit puzzling.  He's an first baseman and outfielder, and goodness knows we've got plenty of that on the team already.  Not too long ago he was a fantastic slugger with the Nationals, but has struggled since leaving Washington due to injuries.  Morse had rebounded when he played for the Giants last year, but regressed in Miami this season.  His addition make me wonder if it sets a foundation for a trade that sends a Dodger outfielder out of town (or maybe he was the price for Latos without giving up a some good prospects).  On the other hand, maybe Morse's exploits with the Giants in last years World Series earns him a spot on the roster as a pinch-hitter.  I dunno.  What I do know is that he is in the first year of a two-year contract he signed with the Marlins over this past winter, and it appears the Dodgers will be on the hook for the remaining contract.  (See Update Below)

In celebration of Latos and Morse's arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy cards for them.  I used a photo taken by Denis Bancroft/Marlins for Latos and a Miami Herald photo for Morse. The Cat Latos card used a photo grabbed from Deadspin.

Below are Latos' career stats, via Baseball-Reference:

Below are Morse's career stats, via Baseball-Reference:

UDPATE:  It appears that Michael Morse isn't coming to the Dodgers.  Rumors are swirling that another team (a third team) is in the mix, and Morse is expected to go there.  Per Jeff Sullivan at FanGraphs, "Marlins Flip Mat Latos to Dodgers for -1 Prospect."
Don’t be thrown by the presence of Morse. While nothing’s impossible, he’s unlikely to ever suit up. His addition doesn’t have 25-man roster implications, as he’s probably going to be dumped right away. He’s in here because he’s a little expensive, through next season, and the Marlins hate signing paychecks. He’s this trade’s equivalent of Carlos Quentin in the Craig Kimbrel trade from April. Quentin was accepted by the Braves and immediately designated for assignment. Morse will probably land somewhere in the American League, or with the Phillies.
UPDATE II:  Uh-Oh!  This deal appears to be far from done.  Via a tweet from Miami Herald reporter Clark Spencer:

What a mess.  I wonder what's holding things up.

UPDATE III:  The potential third team in the trade has been identified as the Braves, via a tweet by Ken Rosenthal:
Regardless, the original Marlins-Dodger trade will happen anyway, via a tweet by Jon Heyman:
UPDATE IV: WHAT IS GOING ON!!!  Word is now spreading that HEctor Olivera is going to the BRaves and the Dodgers might be getting a package of Alex Wood (starter), Jim Johnson (reliever) and Jose Peaza (2nd base prospect). Wha???!!!  Via a tweet from MLB Trade Rumors:
UDPATE V:  Here's the official press release for the Marlins part of the trade:
 The Los Angeles Dodgers today acquired right-handed pitcher Mat Latos, infielder/outfielder Michael Morse and cash considerations from the Miami Marlins in exchange for minor league right-handed pitchers Victor Araujo, Jeff Brigham and Kevin Guzman.

Latos, 27, has a 64-52 career record with a 3.43 ERA in 169 starts with the Padres (2009-2011), Reds, (2012-14) and Marlins (2015). During the course of his career, Latos has limited opponents to a .235 batting average and posted a 1.17 WHIP, while striking out more than three times as many as he’s walked with 938 Ks against only 308 walks in 1040.1 innings. Since making his big league debut with San Diego in 2009, Latos has posted a 2.67 ERA (92 ER/310.0) in 48 starts against NL West opponents, pitching well in every ballpark in the division: Dodger Stadium (3.34 ERA), AT&T Park (1.62 ERA), Chase Field (1.33 ERA), Coors Field (3.49 ERA) and PETCO Park (2.98 ERA). He was originally selected by the Padres in the 11th round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft out of Broward (FL) Community College.

This year, the 6-foot-6, 245-pound Latos has gone 4-7 with a 4.48 ERA in 16 starts with the Marlins, but regained his form with a 2.96 ERA (15 ER/45.2 IP) and a .198 opponents’ batting average in seven starts since returning from the disabled list on June 13 (left knee inflammation). In six starts against NL West opponents this season, Latos has a 3-1 record with a 3.05 ERA (13 ER/38.1 IP) and a 1.02 WHIP.

Morse, 33, has a .276 career batting average with 103 home runs and 345 RBI in 757 games over 11 big league seasons with the Mariners (2005-08, 2013), Nationals (2009-12), Orioles (2013), Giants (2014) and Marlins (2015). During the course of his career, Morse has played outfield (409 games, 385 starts), first base (209 G, 174 GS), shortstop (57 G, 50 GS) and third base (9 G, 2 GS) and, in 82 career pinch-hit appearances, he has hit .282 (20-for-71) with a home run and 16 RBI. He played a key role in the Giants’ 2014 World Series championship run and has a .282 batting average with two homers and seven RBI in 15 career postseason games. Morse was originally selected by the White Sox in the third round of the 2000 First-Year Player Draft out of Nova High School in Davie, FL.

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Blog Kiosk: 7/29/2015 - Dodger Links - Turner, Joc Pederson and Kosher Food at Dodger Stadium

So... Another Clipper came to Dodger Stadium to throw out the first pitch last night, and like many before him was roundly booed by the fans.  Paul Pierce, who went to Inglewood High School, had just signed a contract to come home to play, but gets little love from the Lakers obsessed city.  At least one person in the stadium was happy to greet the newest Clipper, though.  As evidenced in the photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015, Dodger reliever Kenley Jansen was all smiles when they shook hands.  BTW, Pierce bounced his throw; which only elicited even more jeers from the peanut gallery.  (You can watch it here)

Below are some links to check out:
  • Are you Kosher?  Well, now you can go to Dodger Stadium and eat foods more to your liking.  Starting this homestand will be a Kosher food stand that will offer three kinds of Kosher hot dogs.  It'll be located adjacent to Lasorda's Trattoria in the right-field pavilion.  The menu: Kosher Dog and a Jalapeno Kosher Dog for $9 each, and a Kosher Italian Sausage for $10.  The stand will be open at Dodger home games, except Fridays and Saturdays and Jewish holidays.
  • Justin Turner has had a difficult past 24 hours.  There had been reports all day yesterday that he went to the ER for a bad infection due to a pimple.  Well, Dodger Talk host David Vassegh shares what really happened, via his twitter:
"I didn't think he would strikeout this much. It's more than I want," manager Don Mattingly said. "But you still see the huge upside. Everything about Joc is really what I like, as far as his work ethic, what kind of teammate he is, and how he goes about his business. When you have the talent and you work at it, you're going to see improvement. It's not always easy during the course of the season."
  • This is for any lid collectors out there.  Via LA Taco, "Four Unique Dodgers Hats For the Stretch Run."  (Hat Tip: r/ LA_ALLDAY on reddit)
  • Check out who's on the cover of Beckett's newest magazine/guide called Vintage Collectors magazine - Jackie Robinson.  It debuts at the upcoming National Sports Collectors Convention in Chicago.  Check it out on the right.  Click pic to embiggen.
  • Bob Lemke shares some Baseball history about a former Brooklyn Dodger, and it ain't pretty: "Former MLB pitcher (Jim Jumbo) Elliott part of lynch mob."
James (Jumbo Jim) Elliott, former pitcher with the Browns, Dodgers, Phillies and Braves, who made his last Organized Baseball appearance with the Indianapolis American Association Indians in 1936, was one of 13 named in an indictment in East St. Louis, Ill., July 14, in connection with the killing of a Negro by a mob near Paris, Ill., last Oct. 12.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *