I was going to make note of Bud Norris' fantastic performance on the mound yesterday evening (and I still might), but this is far more fun. Featured in the photo above and below, via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2016, is Kenta Maeda with his doppelganger.
From what I understand, this super-fan came to the game in full uniform, which happened to be both Maeda bobblehead night and Japan Night at the stadium, and was immediately noticed by someone with the Dodgers. Soon, he was invited to the dugout, met with the pitcher himself and even hung out with the rest of the rest of the guys in the dugout. Check out this fun video of the kid entertaining the "Boys in Blue."
As for Norris, he was fantastic in 6.1 innings of work. He struck out six, walked two, gave up just two hits and no runs to earn his third victory as a Dodger. Via Doug Padilla at ESPN:
“I think that even before he came over, he was really throwing the ball well, and I still think the best of Bud Norris, we’re still going to see,” manager Dave Roberts said. “Tonight he was really good. And he’ll say this too: There is even more in there. For him to come here, he wants to be a Dodger and to give us a huge lift, he expects that of himself and of us, the same.”Go here to check out a bunch of great pics by Jon SooHoo and Juan Ocampo from yesterdays game. BTW, the Dodgers remain 2.5 games behind the Giants in the West and hold a holds a 2.5 game lead over Miami in the Wild-Card race. Below are more links to check out:
- This Day in Dodger History: In 1996 Darren Driefort appeared in a game for the first time since having Tommy John surgery for the first time. He threw 1.1 innings of scoreless relief against the Astros.
- Happy Birthday, Leo Durocher!
- Via Jack Baer at MLB.com; "Kershaw weighs in on surging teammates: Dodgers ace frustrated he can't pitch, but proud of club's performance."
"It's been so fun to watch," Kershaw said. "It's not easy watching the games on TV, but these guys are really making me want to be a part of it. The way these guys are playing, it's a great team. It's fun to watch. One of the closest teams that I've been a part of. It's hard to be away, I hate it, but really happy they're doing so well. Hopefully I can make it back and help out in some way."
- Andre Ethier took batting practice at Dodger Stadium yesterday. Via Doug Padilla at ESPN; "Andre Ethier making slow progress as time ticks away."
“I wouldn’t be going through what I’m going through every day if I didn’t believe and think I was coming back,” Ethier said. “I think I owe it to the guys. They’ve been very encouraging. The work they’ve done to put themselves in the position they’re in, I think for those of us looking from the outside, has been a remarkable job. I’d like to get out there and join them and figure out a way to help them.”
- They just want to pick on the guy. Via Bill Plunkett at the OC Register; "Yasiel Puig threatened with fine for Vin Scully tribute cleats." The league will fine him $5,000 per game if he continues to wear custom painted cleats. As you'll recall, he recently wore Vin Scully Tribute cleats that got a lot of attention.
- Baseball America makes note of Dodgers prospect Mitchell Hansen in today's Newsmakers email blast:
A two-sport star in high school, Hansen could have been slinging the pigskin on The Farm right about now if he hadn’t turned down Stanford for a bonus of a nearly $1 million as a second-round pick in 2015. After a disappointing debut in 2015, Hansen probably believes he made the right choice now. He had three hits Tuesday, including a triple and his eighth homer, which ranks second in the Pioneer League. Hanson, who is slashing .331/.373/.540, has a quick bat and a smooth swing with natural loft.
- Via Jon Rosen at LA Kings Insider; "For Kings and Dodgers fans, Ruehle’s presence a win-win."
“One’s a little bit intense, the other’s a little more laid back, though in saying that, hockey can have its duller moments and baseball can have its intense moments,” Ruehle said. “I think at the end of the day, it all sort of balances out.”
Ruehle notes that he doesn’t have to keep track of any sort of a clock in baseball. “I think in hockey, it’s pretty rare to go nine or 10 minutes without a music break, whereas in baseball, it’s the opposite.”
- Panini America shared a bunch of preview pics of a bunch of the autograph insert cards they'll be giving away as a part of their wrapper-redemption program at the upcoming National Sports Collectors Convention in Atlantic City. Go here to check them out. Below are photos of the Corey Seager and Clayton Kershaw autograph cards.
- This is horrible. Via Mike Oz at Big League Stew; "Roger Maris belt worth estimated $140,000 stolen from Fargo mall." It was actually the Hickok Belt that was awarded to Maris for his exploits during the 1960 season. As you may know, this award was given to the top athlete (of any sport) for any given the year. I had previously written about the Hickok belt given to Sandy Koufax in 1963 (link here) and included a vintage press photo of it from my collection.
- Starting Lineup! I am eager to find out what this is all about, via a tweet from Darren Rovell:
It's baacckkk....details in the coming days pic.twitter.com/Ngd0YJBt0I— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 26, 2016
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