Monday, November 23, 2015

Past and Present Dodgers' Respond on Twitter

Accolades are coming in from all around the Baseball world regarding the recent hiring of Dave Roberts as the new Dodger manager; including congratulations and encouragement from several former and current Dodgers'.  Check some of them out below: 
The former Dodger broadcaster is obviously happy with the choice... And so is former teammate David Ross:

Welcome Back to the Blue, Dave Roberts!

I can hardly contain my excitement.  This is fantastic news.  The old codger inside of me that still values Dodger-family, Dodger-loyalty and Dodger-lineage loves this move.

Dave Roberts, who might not have come up through the Dodger ranks but is still a Dodger through and through, will be the 10th manager in LA Dodgers history and the 28th overall skipper in the franchises history.  WooHoo!

Best yet, he comes back to Los Angeles having worked in a front office and as a coach on the Major League level.  Roberts also has the energy, the communication skills and apparently the backing of several Dodger veterans.  Via a tweet from Bob Nightengale:
Per a Dodger press release:
“We’re extremely excited to bring Dave Roberts on board as the next manager of the Dodgers,” said Dodger President, Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman. “We could not have been more impressed with him through this process. His energy is infectious and he has the rare ability to make a genuine connection with every person he comes across. He has developed strong leadership qualities and accumulated a breadth of baseball experience over his career as both a player and coach. He is a "baseball man" and "people person" in the truest sense of those words. We feel fully confident that he will effectively lead our team in pursuit of its ultimate goal -- bringing a world championship back to the city of Los Angeles."

Roberts, 43, served as the bench coach for the San Diego Padres the last two seasons and prior to that, he was a special assistant for San Diego’s front office in 2010 and the club’s first base coach from 2011-13. He filled in as manager for one game this past season, following the departure of Bud Black. Roberts, who is of African-American and Japanese descent, becomes the Dodgers’ first-ever minority manager.

“It’s hard for me to put into words what it means to be named manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers,” said Roberts. “This is truly the opportunity of a lifetime. The Dodgers are the ground-breaking franchise of Jackie Robinson, Roy Campanella, Sandy Koufax, Maury Wills, Fernando Valenzuela and Hideo Nomo. When I put on this uniform as a player, I understood the special responsibility to honor those that played before me as well as the amazing bond between the Dodgers and their fans. I feel that I have now come full circle in my career and there is plenty of unfinished business left in L.A.”
In celebration of his hiring I made the above fantasy card of him.  The photograph was taken by Dodger photographer Jill Weisleder/LA Dodgers 2004 and I used the 1972 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are his career statistics, via Baseball-Reference:

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Blog Kiosk: 11/23/2015 - Dodger Links - Wills, Scully and a couple of new International Dodger Prospects

I figured the best way to start this morning was by sharing this fantastic AP action photograph of Maury Wills attempting a tag on Pirates runner Bob Skinner in 1960.  Unfortunately, the throw from catcher Johnny Roseboro was far off the mark, so the outfielder slid in safely for the steal.

Of note, this photograph was a part of "The George Michael Collection" who was a noted collector of Baseball sliding press photographs and former host of the once popular Sport Machine that aired opn television before the advent of ESPN.  It was a nationally syndicated Sunday evening show featuring the best sports highlights of the week.

BTW, I thought this photo was apt considering the recent news of Dave Roberts' hiring as the new Dodger coach.  As you may know, Wills and Roberts have an extremely tight bond.  Via David Vassegh on twitter:
Below are more links to check out:
Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully was named winner of the Esurance MLB Award for Best Call, TV during the Dodgers' balk-off win over the Rangers on June 18.

The Dodgers have an agreement to sign 19-year-old Cuban outfielder Yusniel Diaz for $15.5 million. Since Diaz is subject to the international bonus pools, the total price tag for the Dodgers will be $31 million, since they will have to pay a 100 percent overage tax on their pool signings. Even before reaching an agreement with Diaz, the Dodgers were already over their bonus pool, which means they won’t be able to sign any pool-eligible players for more than $300,000 for two years once the 2016-17 signing period begins on July 2. first reported the agreement.

Diaz, who ranked No. 17 on Baseball America’s Top 20 Cuban player rankings in April, is 6-foot-1, 185 pounds with a lively, athletic frame and a track record of hitting well throughout the Cuban junior national leagues. After playing on Cuba’s 18U junior national team in 2013 and 2014, Diaz was a rookie with Industriales this past 2014-15 season in Serie Nacional. Diaz ranked sixth in the league in batting average, hitting .348/.447/.440 in 65 games with 36 walks, 33 strikeouts and seven stolen bases in 15 attempts. He almost certainly would have been the league’s rookie of the year had he not left the country soon after the season ended, but the award went to shortstop Alfredo Rodriguez instead.
“Estevez was kind of under the radar tools-wise, but he can hit,” said one scout. “It’s playable defense and he’s not the most agile guy to be in the middle of the diamond, but he has a polished bat. It’s not an athletic body, it’s not what you get excited about, but the way he recognizes pitches, his approach—you don’t see a lot of kids his age doing that.”
  • Via Ron Cervenka at Think Blue LA, "Dodgers’ other broadcaster set to return in 2016."
    Longtime Dodgers employee and former MLB manager Kevin Kennedy will be returning to the AM 570 LA Sports radio broadcast booth on a part time basis for the 2016 season.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *