Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Pitchers & Catchers Workout #4

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.

(Tommy Bobblehead, pic via Jon SooHoo on twitter)

SUPER TUESDAY: Dodger pitchers and catchers held their fourth official workout of Spring Training today, with PFPs, bullpen sessions and batting practice in preparation for Opening Day, April 4 at San Diego. Los Angeles, in its eighth season training in Arizona, kicks off Cactus League play on Thursday, March 3 against the White Sox.

JUST THINKING ABOUT TOMORROW: Though many position players Рincluding Adrian Gonzalez, Kiké Hernandez, Micah Johnson, Joc Pederson, Yasiel Puig, Corey Seager, Trayce Thompson, Justin Turner Chase Utley and Scott Van Slyke - have already been working out for the better part of a week at Camelback Ranch, tomorrow marks the official report date for physicals for the full-squad. The first full-squad workout will take place on Thursday.
(Pitchers warmup, pic via SportsNet LA on twitter)

GREAT SCOTT: Among the pitchers to throw his second “official” bullpen today was veteran left-hander Scott Kazmir, who was signed to a three-year deal in the off-season. In 2015 with Oakland and Houston, Kazmir combined to post a 7-11 record with a 3.10 ERA in 31 starts, ranking among the AL’s best in ERA (4th), opponents’ batting average (.237, 15th) and WHIP (1.21, 15th). The three-time All-Star (2006, ’08, ’14) has a 98-90 career record with a 3.96 ERA in 272 games (271 starts) in 11 big league seasons, all in the American League, with the Rays (2004-09), Angels (2009-11), Indians (2013), Athletics (2014-15) and Astros (2015).
(Kazmir, pic via Jon SooHoo/Dodgers 2016)
  • Joining Kazmir in throwing their second official bullpens of the spring today were Kenta Maeda, Alex Wood, Brandon Beachy, Mike Bolsinger, Pedro Baez, Ian Thomas, Chris Anderson, Julio Urias, Jose De Leon, Jharel Cotton and Jacob Rhame.
GOING TO BAT AGAINST CANCER: Today, Major League Baseball launched the 2016 Honorary Bat Girl Contest, which will recognize one fan per MLB Club who has been affected by breast cancer and has demonstrated a commitment to battling the disease.  Dodger fans, ages 18 and older, can share stories about themselves or loved ones who are “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” by visiting HonoraryBatGirl.com for a chance to be recognized on-field by the Dodgers on Monday, May 9 against the New York Mets at Dodger Stadium. Entries can be submitted by breast cancer survivors, friends and family, advocates and/or supporters of the cause through April 14 at 1:59 p.m. PT. A panel of guest-judges, including Dodger pitcher Scott Kazmir, will help select the winning submissions based on the following criteria: originality, quality of writing, demonstration of commitment to breast cancer awareness and online fan votes.
(Kershaw and ping pong, pic via Jon SooHooon @Dodgers twitter)

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Dodgers Ball Player Fun Bath

I know what you're thinking.  Is this a post about the Arizona Jacuzzi dip from a few seasons back?

The answer to that is no, it isn't.  Although, it would have been hilarious if someone brought some bubbles, in a bottle like this, to add to Chase Field hot tub.

Featured above is a vintage, circa 1960's, plastic bubble bath bottle shaped like a young Dodger tyke in uniform (auction link here).  It stands about nine inches tall and has a screw-cap at the top shaped like a LA Dodgers hat.  Unfortunately, the original soapy concoction inside has long been used up.

It was produced by an Los Angeles based company called Stephen Riley Company and they are notable for producing various bath related retail products for Disney in the 1950's. From what I understand, these "Ball Player Fun Bath" bottles were produced for other teams, but I can only confirm the existence of an Philadelphia Phillies bottle at this time.  BTW, this is the first time I've seen this item in all my years of collecting oddball Dodger stuff, and I am unsure as to its value.  As will any weird collectible like this, it's worth whatever you're willing to pay to add it to your shelves.

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Blog Kiosk: 2/23/2016 - Dodgers Links - Roberts, Blanton and Hyun-Jin Ryu

Spring training isn't only about Baseball.  During their Vero Beach days it was also about the fishing.

Featured above is a vintage press photo (via Bettman/CORBIS at SI) of Don Newcombe, Steve Lembo, Roy Campanella, Tommy Brown, and Jim Romano showing off their their booty from an afternoon at sea.  The photograph is undated, but likely dates to the late-40's to early-50's.

Below are more links to check out:
“I’ve definitely got a few things up my sleeve that he’s taught me, whether he knows it or not,” [manager Dave] Roberts said with a smile at a press availability Monday for all 15 Cactus League managers and general managers.
“I think being a veteran and having been around a lot makes it easier because I’m not real stressed on when I’m gonna go in the game,” said Blanton. “I know once I get out there I’ll be ready – I’m not so stressed – which makes that role easier because it’s all over the board. Some guys who say ‘Hey, I’m the seventh-inning guy’ or when like ‘Alright these lefties come up I know I need to be ready at that time of the game,’ or ‘I’m the closer or the eighth-inning guy.'”
  • Here's a preview pic of the Dodger Stadium replica being given out to fans on Saturday, May 14th against the Cardinals on the right.  Go here to check out the Dodgers promotional schedule.
  • Via an AP story at ESPN, "Infielder Jimmy Rollins reaches minor league deal with White Sox."
  • Via Doug Padilla at ESPN, "Dodgers' Hyun-Jin Ryu set up for slow-motion spring training."
“And that’s kind of by design with how we put together this roster,” (Dave Roberts) said. “We’ve added depth and to expect him to throw 200 innings coming off surgery is unrealistic. Now we have the luxury that whenever he is ready then he can contribute to the end of the season. That is a luxury we have and for all of us, talking to Ryu, takes some of the anxiety out of it.”
“I’ve never shied away from competition in any way, shape or form. … In this game at this level, once you establish yourself, you get a little bit of a comfort level. But you come to an organization like this - I don’t want to say money is no object. But when you can bring in the type of talent you can here, that competition level is always going to be there unless you’re a guy like Kershaw.”
  • I thought I would note that there are a couple of very rare vintage Dodgers bobbleheads currently on auction on eBay (here and here).  They are a part of the 1960's era "Weirdo's" series and often sell in the thousands.  In fact, both bobbles are currently over a thousand dollars a piece right now.  For some background on these rarities check out my brief story about them from 2014, here.
  • Beckett shares their live blog from Topps presentation at the 2016 Industry Summit in Hawaii yesterday.  Check it out here.  One notable announcement is that they will host a nationwide National Baseball Card Day this year for the first time since 2008 - date has not yet been determined.  There was also mention of some sort of deal between Topps and Dodgers pitcher Kenta Maeda, but details were scarce.  I think it's likely to be an exclusive autograph deal with the company.

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