Monday, March 19, 2012

Hong-Chih Kuo Has Been Released by Mariners

Per MLB Trade Rumors, Hong-Chih Kuo has been released by the Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners announced that they released left-handed reliever Hong-Chih Kuo. The Mariners have 39 players on their 40-man roster after cutting Kuo, who signed a Major League deal with Seattle in February.
I don't know what this means for Kuo going forward. Hopefully he can continue his Baseball career somewhere. I know many Dodgers fans wish the best for him.

Blog Kiosk: 3/19/2012

Panini unveiled more preview picks of their upcoming Prime Cuts & Limited Baseball cards on their blog, here. Above is the Clayton Kershaw autographed card.
  • Joe Mathews at Zocalo Public Square wonders what happens after Vin Scully and offers up five plans to deal with it.
    3. Digital Vin
    Don’t replace Vin at all. Eternal life is not yet possible, but technology offers an alternative. Contract with one of California’s artificial intelligence companies to create a Vin machine that could announce games. It would be programmed to speak exactly as Vin did in 1988, the year of the Dodgers’ last World Series championship.
  • I like this rumor. From Giants Talk:
    Baseball sources expect the Giants’ archrival, the Los Angeles Dodgers, to be major free-agent spenders next winter once a new ownership group drops more than $1 billion to purchase the franchise. There would be nothing more painful to Giants fans than seeing Cain, one of their most loyal favorites, in Dodger blue. Such a signing could tilt the balance of power in the NL West, too.
  • Baseball Happenings tells about a rare Dr. Mike Marshall signing- the former Dodgers Cy Young reliever. Marshall is probably the toughest autograph of any living player in Baseball. He has previously refused to sign any autographs.
    "Marshall explained that he would willingly sign if the boys could show him that their autograph books also contained the signatures of their teachers and others who 'were really meaningful in their lives.'" Marshall defended his position by stating, "As an athlete, I am no one to be idolized. ... I will not perpetuate that hoax. They say I don't like kids. I think that refusing to sign autographs, I am giving the strongest demonstration that I really do like them. I am looking beyond mere expediency to what is truly valuable in their lives."
  • Patrick Soon-Shiong, the richest man in Los Angeles, has joined the Dodgers bid group led by hedge-fund billionaire Steven Cohen, via Bill Shaikin at LA Times. Dodgers blogger Chad Moriyama isn't so enthused due to Cohen's connection with Tony LaRussa.
  • Bronx Banter takes a look at some pitcher/batter match-ups to find out who "owned" or was "owned." Koufax comparisons is included that shows how well Mays and Hank Aaron hit against him. (Hat Tip: Baseball Musings)
  • Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy shows some newly released bobbleheads made by Forever Collectibles of Kemp and Kershaw.
  • An interview with Topps Director of Hobby Sales at Sports Collectors Daily.
  • From Cardboard Connection, Guide to Using social Media for your Sports Cards and Memorabilia.
  • Beyond the Boxscore has a nice roundup of the recently concluded SABR conference in Arizona.
  • I want a Marauder when the zombies come.

Video Link:

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training- Day 27

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

LOS ANGELES DODGERS (8-4-4) at Cleveland Indians (4-10-3)
Monday, March 19, 2012 – 1:05 p.m., Goodyear Ballpark
LHP Clayton Kershaw vs. RHP Jeanmar Gomez
Spring Game 17/Road Game 9

Todays Starting Lineup:
Dodgers: SS, M Ellis 2B, Gwynn LF, Kennedy 1B, Uribe 3B, Oeltjen RF, C, Angle CF, Capuano LHP
Indians: Brantley cf Donald ss Choo rf Santana ca Lopez 3b Kotchman 1b Duncan dh Kipnis 2b Canzler lf Gomez p
Upcoming Spring Training Schedule:

  • CLEVELAND ROCKS: The Dodgers make the short trip to Goodyear to tangle with the Tribe for the first time this spring. The two clubs meet again on Saturday at Camelback Ranch – Glendale and have not played in the regular season since 2008. Los Angeles holds a 4-2 advantage in the teams’ six all-time Interleague meetings.
  • BIRTHDAY BOY: The Dodgers would like to wish a very happy 24th birthday to today’s starter, Clayton Kershaw! The left-hander takes the mound for his third Cactus League start after striking out six and allowing just one hit in 4.0 scoreless innings on Wednesday in this same ballpark against the Reds. Kershaw has allowed just four hits (4-for-24, .167) this spring and yet to allow a run in his 7.0 innings. Kershaw will be followed to the mound by:
    ● LHP Scott Elbert struck out two and walked one in a scoreless inning on Friday against the Rangers. The 26-year-old has not allowed a run and has struck out five in 3.0 innings this spring.
    ● RHP Javy Guerra walked one in a scoreless frame on Friday against the Rangers. The 26-year-old is limiting opponents to a .111 batting average this spring (1-for-9) and has not allowed a run in his three appearances (3.0 IP).
    ● RHP Kenley Jansen gave up a pair of solo home runs in his last outing on Friday against the Rangers. The 24-year-old set a Major League record last season by averaging 16.10 strikeouts per 9.0 innings.
    ● LHP Scott Rice picked up the save with a scoreless 1.0 inning to close out the Dodgers’ 5-2 win over the Rangers on Friday. The 6-6 Simi Valley native has given up just two hits (2-for-14, .143) and has not allowed a run in his 4.0 innings this spring.

(Clayton Kershaw signing for the fans, pic via Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers 2012)
  • MAKING MOVES: The Dodgers made a flurry of roster moves following yesterday’s game by reassigning infielders Lance Zawadzki and Jeff Baisley along with catchers Gorman Erickson and Matt Wallach to minor league camp. Prior to the game, the club reassigned LHP Matt Chico, RHP Will Savage and RHP Ryan Tucker to minor league camp. In addition, the club gave LHP Alberto Castillo his outright release. After the most recent moves, 45 players remain in big league camp.
  • WINDSOR KNOT: The Dodgers and Angels played to a rain-shortened 1-1 tie yesterday before the storms closed in on Camelback Ranch after the top of the sixth inning. Adam Kennedy, who is batting .318 this spring, doubled and scored the Dodgers’ only run of the contest on Juan Uribe’s RBI single in the fifth. Chris Capuano struck out three and allowed just one run in 4.0 innings, which his lowered spring ERA to 3.12, and John Grabow and Mike MacDougal each fired a scoreless 1.0 inning of relief.
    ● Los Angeles’ four draws this spring tie for the second-most all time by the club along with the 2002 and 2008 campaigns. The Dodger record for Spring Training ties was set in 2006, when the team went 15-13-5.

(Vin Scully sits down with Dylan Hernandez, pic via Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers 2012)
  • PACKING THE RANCH: Despite the rain and cold yesterday, 13,648 fans turned out for the Dodgers-Angels game at Camelback Ranch – Glendale for the second-largest crowd in Cactus League history, behind only Saturday’s crowd of 13,655 for the Dodgers-Giants game. The Dodgers have hosted four of the five best attended games in Cactus League history.
  • GOLDEN CACTUS: The Dodgers enter play today with the third-best record in the Cactus League with an 8-4-4 mark, trailing the Athletics by 2.5 games and Giants by 1.5 games in the standings. Los Angeles has the second-best team batting average among National League clubs this spring with a .284 mark and its 3.33 team ERA ranks third. The Dodgers are tied with St. Louis for the top NL on-base percentage with a .357 mark. Individually, Andre Ethier leads all National Leaguers with six doubles and leads the team with a .474 batting average (9-for-19) and a 1.053 slugging percentage in nine games.
  • TUCSON TUSSLE: This Friday, the Dodgers and White Sox will play a Cactus League game at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium in Tucson with all the proceeds going to the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation. The Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Fund was established by Dodger scout John Green and his family to honor the life and memory of his daughter, Christina-Taylor, through charitable and educational projects that reflect and embody her interests, values and dreams. This is the second straight year that the Dodgers have played a benefit game in Tucson to help raise funds for the victims and families affected by the tragic events of January 8, 2011.
    ● The Dodgers also play a split-squad game against the Royals in Surprise on Friday, but the majority of the club’s regulars will head to Tucson with Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Juan Rivera, Mark Ellis, A.J. Ellis, Dee Gordon, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Jerry Hairston Jr. volunteering to play in the benefit game.

2012 Topps Heritage - Dodgers Inserts

Following up my post from last week, here are some of the Dodgers inserts cards that can be found in 2012 Topps Heritage packs.

Baseball Flashbacks

Sandy Koufax won both the Cy Young and MVP awars in 1963.

BF-SK Sandy Koufax

Sandy struck out 306 batters in 1963.

BF-SKO Sandy Koufax
In 1963, Topps included little baseball player stickers in packs, so they decided to do the same with this years Heritage set. It is a 46 sticker set and the only Dodger is Matt Kemp.


15 Matt Kemp

New Age Performers

NAP-MK Matt Kemp

Then & Now
TN-HA Hank Aaron - Matt Kemp
TN-SK Sandy Koufax - Clayton Kershaw
TN-SK Sandy Koufax - Justin Verlander