Thursday, March 15, 2012

Blog Kiosk: 3/15/2012

This is the greatest twitter pic ever! (via Everett Teaford @teaparty61) Royals pitchers Teaford and Tim Collins try on Jonathan Broxton's pants. Yhea, Broxton is a big man. Big League Stew has more.
  • Surprise! Surprise!! Josh Macciello isn't our savior, via LA Weekly.
    Because, as it turns out, Macciello was never a real contender for the team. He is, instead, a fraud. Despite what he's told reporter after reporter, and despite what those journalists have dutifully repeated, he does not have billions of dollars. He does not have rights to any gold mines. He is, instead, a convicted drug dealer and a huckster who has used his talents to persuade many people — not just journalists — to place their confidence in him. In his wake he has left a string of abandoned projects and broken promises.
  • Hello Kitty will be making a reappearance at Dodger Stadium in a big way. For the July 1st home game against the Mets the Dodgers will be giving out 50,000 mini-bobbleheads of Hello Kitty in a Dodgers uniform. I still hate you Hello Kitty.
  • The Dodgers also recently released some preview pics of other game give-aways; like the Cooler Bag (May 7) and the Father's Day Sports Bag (June 17).
  • Dee Godon is a stealing machine. Check out JP Hoornstra's report in the Daily News.
    "He knows what his role is," Lopes said of Gordon. "His role is to get on base and cause some problems. If he's real good at that, he could steal a lot. I'm not going to put a number on it."
    And problems he will no doubt cause. This happened in the first inning of this afternoons game.
    (Pic from twitter @TrueBlueLA)
  • Tom Bartsch at Sports Collectors Digest tells us that the three times a year the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo will now include sports collectibles. This is great news. I remember going to that show a decade ago to sit in on a live sports auction (my first and only time doing that) and marveled at the entire spectacle. I had failed to register with that auction prior to its start so was shut out of any bidding- unfortunately. There was some great stuff being sold at great prices; especially when considering what they would be valued at today.
  • This is a great read for the collector. Via Sports Collectors Digest: "Contrived Scarcity in Collecting."
  • Just some space porn.
    From the upcoming Special Edition Ascent: Commemorating Space Shuttle DVD/BluRay a movie from the point of view of the Solid Rocket Booster with sound mixing and enhancement done by the folks at Skywalker Sound.

Video Link:
Hat Tip: Reddit:

Collection: Chad Billingsley Bowman Heritage Autograph

Here is my 2003 Bowman Heritage "Signs of Greatness" autographed rookie card of Chad Billingley.

When this card was made Billingsley was still several years away from being a Major League pitcher. He was drafted in June of 2003 in the first round (24th overall) and began his career soon after with the Ogden Raptors in the Dodgers farm system. Logan White this of him in 2005:
"He's just a kid with an overpowering fastball and overpowering slider. He's mature beyond his years."
It's easy to see why White was so high on him. In the minors he had impressive strike out numbers.

Soon, Billingsley would make with MLB debut in June of 2006 in San Diego that would lead to him becoming a mainstay in the rotation a year later. Unfortunately, his command of the strike zone appears to have diminished over time. Hopefully, he can regain the composure that made many scouts think he was destined to be an ace for the club.

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training- Day 23

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.

Kansas City Royals (6-6) at LOS ANGELES DODGERS (7-2-2)

Thursday, March 15, 2012 – 1:05 p.m., Camelback Ranch

RHP Chad Billingsley vs. LHP Danny Duffy

Spring Game 12/Home Game 5

Todays Starting Lineup:
Dodgers: Gordon 6, Hairston 5, Kemp 8, Rivera 3, Ethier 9, De Jesus 4, Treanor 2, Sullivan 7, Billingsley 1
Royals: Gordon SS, Giavotella 2B, Hosmer DH, Butler 1B, Moustakas 3B, Cain CF, Betancourt SS, Maier RF, Pena C, Duffy LHP
Upcoming Spring Training Schedule:

(The @DesertDoyer has arrived, via twitter)
  • FEELING BLUE: The Cactus League-leading Dodgers play the Royals this afternoon for the first time this spring with the teams meeting again in Surprise on March 23. Los Angeles and Kansas City haven’t met in the regular season since 2005, with the Royals holding a 4-2 advantage in the all-time series. While the Dodgers won’t be heading to KC in 2012, members of the Blue Crew have their sights set on Kauffman Stadium and an All-Star selection for the Midsummer Classic on July 10.

  • ROSTER UPDATE: Today the Dodgers optioned RHP Chris Withrow, LHP Michael Antonini, RHP Stephen Fife, RHP Josh Wall, OF Scott Van Slyke, OF Alfredo Silverio and IF/OF Alex Castellanos to minor league camp. In addition, the club reassigned RHP Shane Lindsay and IF Russ Mitchell to minor league camp

(Kershaw pitching to Votto, pic via twitter @chrisbondra)

  • HILLTOPPERS: Chad Billingsley makes his third start of the spring after allowing three runs on six hits in 2.1 innings on Saturday night against the White Sox. The Dodgers will forgo the designated hitter for the first time this spring today with Billingsley batting ninth in the Los Angeles lineup. Last season, the 27-year-old ranked fifth among pitchers with a .268 slugging percentage and tied for fifth with three doubles. Billingsley will be followed to the mound by:

    ● RHP Mike MacDougal allowed one hit in a scoreless inning on Sunday against the Cubs and has tossed 2.0 scoreless frames this spring. MacDougal re-signed with Los Angeles as a free agent and ranked seventh among NL relievers with a 2.05 ERA last season.

    ● RHP Todd Coffey last pitched on Sunday against the Cubs, striking out one in a scoreless inning. Coffey has not allowed a baserunner in his two appearances this spring and has struck out three of the six batters he’s faced.

    ● LHP John Grabow allowed two hits in his last appearance against Chicago-NL on Sunday, but escaped the 1.0 inning without any damage. He’s tossed 2.0 scoreless frames this spring after signing a minor league contract with the Dodgers this past offseason after three seasons with the Cubs.

    ● LHP Alberto Castillo has limited opponents to a .143 batting average (1-for-7) in his two Cactus League appearances this spring. He fired a scoreless inning on Sunday against the Cubs in his most recent outing.

  • RED HOT: Clayton Kershaw improved to 2-0 and struck out six in his 4.0 scoreless innings last night as Los Angeles defeated the Reds 9-1 in Goodyear. A.J. Ellis and Adam Kennedy launched their first home runs of the spring season and Trent Oeltjen came within inches of an inside-the-park home run, but had to settle for a two-run triple when he was tagged out at home plate by the immovable Cincinnati catcher Devin Mesoraco. The Reds’ only run of the night was unearned in the fifth inning against Jamey Wright and Josh Lindblom, Josh Wall, Michael Antonini and Will Savage each fired a scoreless inning in relief.

(Pic via twitter @PatLagreid)

  • FROM THE REDS TO THE RED CARPET: National League Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw will be presented with the 2011 Sportsman of the Year award tonight at the seventh annual LA Sports Awards, which are held annually by the Los Angeles Sports Council to celebrate the greatest moments of the year in sports in the Los Angeles/Orange County area. The Sportsman award is given to the local male athlete whose performance and character best exemplified the ideals of sportsmanship during the calendar year. Kershaw will leave camp to fly back to Los Angeles for the event and will be available to the media at Club Nokia in downtown Los Angeles at 5:45 p.m.

  • WELCOME, NEWK!: The Dodgers would like to welcome Special Advisor to the Chairman Don Newcombe to Camelback Ranch – Glendale. Newcombe, who is in town all weekend, will address both the Major and minor leaguers in camp and throw a ceremonial first pitch prior to the sold out Dodgers-Giants game on Saturday night.

  • ALL PHASES: The Dodgers have the National League’s lowest team ERA this spring with a 2.82 mark and rank fifth on the circuit with a .283 team batting average. Outfielder Cory Sullivan leads the club and ranks fifth among all National Leaguers with a .389 batting average. After last night’s victory, Clayton Kershaw is tied for the NL lead with two wins and a 0.00 ERA.

  • THE GANG’S ALL HERE: The Dodgers would like to welcome Dodger Stadium organist Nancy Bea Hefley and her husband, Bill, to Camelback Ranch today for their first-ever Spring Training trip. Hefley started as the Dodger Stadium organist in 1988 and the 2012 season will be her 25th year with the Dodgers.

2012 Topps Tribute- The Dodger Auto's

Following up on my post from earlier this week, I wanted to take a little bit of time to show some of the Dodgers autographed inserts in this years Topps Tribute set. These cards look really great, and come already sealed in a plastic case from Topps to protect them from damage. To me, the casing is unnecessary, but I'm sure those condition sensitive collectors out there appreciate the effort.

I count five different Dodgers autographing cards in the set, and found that several of them have photograph variations available. For instance, the Clayton Kershaw has two different autograph card variations available (on top of the parallels that exist). See them below.

Andre Ethier appears to have just one style, but I did run into a "1 of 1" Ethier card with gold ink and "Think Blue" written on it. It's likely every card has a companion "1 of 1" card with a phrase written in by the athlete.

Nathan Eovaldi has three different autographed card variations in Topps Tribute.

Dee Gordon has two different variations.

Sandy Koufax, the "Hit" of the set if you ask me, looks glorious. Check out the "HOF 72" card below.

UPDATE:  Ii've just discovered that Matt Kemp also has some Tribute autographed cards, and there are at least 3 different versions.  See them below.  These were likely all redemptions.