Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Possibly the Worst Dodger Card of 2015

Why is Topps doing this to me?  Don't they realize that the last thing a Dodger fan wants to be reminded of is Andruw Jones?

Featured above is one of the first cards found on eBay from a new Topps product called 2015 Topps Archives Signature.  It is a 2012 Topps buyback card of the NL Active Home Run Leaders and it has been signed by Andruw Jones in a Dodger uniform.  Ugh!

As you may recall, Jones came to the team with much fanfare.  He was coming off one of the worst seasons in his career; having hit just .222 as a Brave.  Still, he got on base at a healthy clip, hit for power and was young enough to get past his recent struggles.  So the two-year $36.2 million deal seemed like a great gamble.  Unfortunately, it turned out to be a contract we all came to hate.  Andruw Jones slashed a pathetic .158/.256/.249/.505, and smiled all the way to the bank.  By the next season he was sent packing to the Rangers with the Dodgers paying $21.4 million of his remaining contract.

As for the card above it is a "1 of 1" signed card, so you won't be seeing it in another box (thankfully).  On top of that, I still find it strange that Topps chose to use a photo of Jones in Dodger Blue when he hadn't been with the team for almost four years by the time of its original release.  Wouldn't a pic with him as a Brave be more appropriate for that card?

Anyway, the product will cost you about $50 a box, and you get one encased buyback card that has been signed by a retired player on-card.  It is very similar to the 2004 Topps Originals Signature product (one of my favorites).  Go here for a player checklist.  Other possible Dodgers' found within include Shawn Green, Sandy Koufax, Mike Piazza.  I'll do my best to checklist all of the Dodger cards available, but I suspect I'll miss a few here or there.

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2013 & 2015 Panini Father's Day - All the Dodger Cards

It recently came to my attention that I had totally neglected the Dodger cards found in this years Father's Day set made by Panini.  Heck, I even failed to mention them the prior two years.  Fortunately, there are no known Dodgers in 2014, but there are a handful in 2013.  Check them all out below.


Check out a complete checklist of this set here.  As you may know, these cards were handed in special packs at local card shops throughout the country on Father's Day.

#18 Clayton Kershaw

Chapman Trade Should be Nixed

The Dodgers need to walk away... No, they need to run.

Yesterday morning the Dodger faithful were in cloud-nine as news spread that the team had made a trade for fireball reliever Aroldis Chapman.  We would soon have one of the more potent bullpen staffs in the game, and a veritable answer to our late inning worries.

Then news spread like wildfire later that afternoon.  Word on the street was that the trade is on hold and soon we all found out why.  Via Tim Brown and Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports: "Police report: Aroldis Chapman allegedly fired gunshots, 'choked' girlfriend in domestic incident." 


Yeah, this is bad.  In fact it's so bad it portends to potential problems in the future.  The kind of problems the Dodgers clubhouse does not need.

I would assert that character matters.

Teammates don't have to like each other... They don't have to hang out... They don't have to sing kumbaya while holding hands in the clubhouse.

What they do need, though, it to respect each other.  And this alleged incident immediately puts Chapman on the defensive.

Worse yet, don't force fans to have to root for this guy.  It's an unfair juxtaposition to put us through. 


Strangely, this incident seems like deja vu.  I say that because the LA Kings had something similar happen (kinda) to one of their players last year.  Kings star defenseman Slava Voynov was involved in a domestic altercation that resulted in his immediate suspension from the team, the league, his incarceration for 90 days and eventual exile to mother Russia.  In that incident, as is the case in California, the police arrested and held Voynov regardless of any personal testimony charging violence by the victim.

Obviously, the two incidents are strikingly different.  In Voynov's case there was blood, bruising and obvious physical violence.  In Chapman's situation that apparently was not the case.  Still, as a fan the situation is the same.

You see, for months I fretted about whether I could root for the Kings should Voynov be allowed to remain with the team, and was ever thankful that I never had to deal with that since he never again put on a Kings uniform. 

If the Chapman trade is allowed to proceed you suddenly put me back in that situation.  Can I root for the team knowing this guy is on it?  I dunno.

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Blog Kiosk: 12/8/2015 - Dodger Links - Chapman, Scavuzzo and a Couple New Players

Above is another vintage Charles Conlon photograph from the 1920 World Series at RMY Auctions.  This time I feature a pic of Brooklyn Robins/Dodgers right fielder Tommy Griffith.  He played  seven season for us, slashing .285/.333/.394/.727 in Blue. 

His 1920 season was a strange one.   Griffith had actually retired and was thus a no-show that Spring.  Nelson 'Chip' Greene at the SABR Biography Project shares more details:
Earlier, Griffith had become a stock salesman. During the just-completed season, in fact, he had sold stocks while traveling with the team and had been doing well, reportedly making enough money to make the venture a “pleasant and profitable pastime.” (His decision to retire was also undoubtedly due to lingering resentment over his trade the previous year, as it was reported that “intimate friends say he is peeved because he was traded off the Cincinnati club.”) When Brooklyn opened spring training camp in Jacksonville, Florida, in March 1920, Griffith was a no-show. He wasn’t going to stay away for long, however. In 1920, after hovering around .500 for most of the first month, the team climbed into pennant contention and stayed there all season long. In May, manager Wilbert Robinson and team owner Charles Ebbets got Griffith’s new employer to guarantee that Griffith would not lose his chance for advancement or seniority if the ballplayer returned to the club. Griffith, who’d been playing with a local semipro team to stay in shape, agreed to come back. When he returned on May 27, Brooklyn’s record was 16-13. Over the remainder of the season the team played .616 ball (77-48) and finished with a record of 93-61, to win the National League flag.
It's funny to think that he chose working 9-5 over Baseball, but such was the time.  Ballplayers didn't make as much as other professions (let alone what they make today), and if other opportunities arose it was likely to make the professional game an afterthought.

Below are more links to check out:
  • I hate to lead with this.  Via Tim Brown and Jeff Passan at Yahoo Sports: "Police report: Aroldis Chapman allegedly fired gunshots, 'choked' girlfriend in domestic incident."  This is terrible - not only for the individuals involved in the incident described in the story, but also for us fans.  I'll have my thoughts on the matter shortly.  In the meantime, below is an excerpt:
The incident started, Chapman’s girlfriend told police, after she went into a bathroom of Chapman’s 10,000-square-foot-plus house and “found something in his phone that she did not like,” according to the report. Chapman, his girlfriend told police, then took the phone from her, the report said. They went to the movie theater inside of Chapman’s home, where “he had pushed her against the wall,” according to the report, and “that Chapman had ‘choked’ her by placing his hands around her neck, but did not prevent her from breathing at any time.” Police did not observe “injuries or even redness anywhere on her neck or chest,” the report said.
Scavuzzo hit .377/.389/.623 with four home runs and five doubles in 16 games, and ranked third in slugging percentage and at-bats per home run (17.25), mostly playing left field but also seeing time at first base. Scavuzzo played in the AFL Fall Stars Game, and won the National League portion of the Bowman Hitting Challenge in the AFL on Oct. 17.
  • Busy.  Busy!  The Dodgers added a couple more players for their minor league teams.  First they Danny Reynolds from the Angels.  Then claimed outfielder Daniel Fields from the Brewers.  Via a Dodgers press release:
Danny Reynolds, 24, went 2-3 with 10 saves and a 4.57 ERA in 43 relief appearances last year for the Angels’ Double-A Arkansas, limiting opposing hitters to a .213 batting average with 50 strikeouts in 43.1 innings. A 2014 Double-A Texas League All-Star, Reynolds has a 22-23 career record with 21 saves and a 4.39 ERA in 152 games (42 starts) in six minor league seasons after being selected by the Angels in the sixth round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.

Daniel Fields, 24, made his Major League debut last year for the Tigers, going 1-for-3 in his only big league game on June 4 against the Athletics, and has a .244 batting average with 86 stolen bases, 42 home runs and 260 RBI in 649 minor league games in six minor league seasons in the Detroit organization. In addition to seeing his first big league action last season, he appeared in 122 games for the Tigers’ Triple-A Toledo, batting .228 with 17 steals, seven home runs and 41 RBI prior to being claimed by the Brewers on Sept. 10. During the course of his minor league career, Fields has primarily appeared in center field (570 games), while also playing 53 games in left field. 
  • BTW, AJ Ellis had a great reaction to the Aroldis Chapman trade on twitter.  Given what we know know, it's not so funny... Well, it's still a little funny.  Check it out below:

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