Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A Thumbs Up from Magic

I think for the next several months Los Angeles will be surrounded by Magic. Above is a pic he tweeting this afternoon and I must say it's glorious. Last night, I wasn't sure if I really believed what I was reading, but now I know it's for real. Hopefully we'll have several decades of magic to look forward to.

An eBay Fail- Missing Out on Ishii

With all of the hoopla surrounding the Dodgers centered on Magic Johnson and his buying group, I thought I would take a moment to lament a recent eBay "fail" on my part.

I am not as active on eBay as I used to be. So, when I do decide to take a run at something I focus on memorabilia I really want. This card featured here qualifies as a card I really wanted to add to my collection. It is a 2005 Donruss Diamond Kings autographed card of Kazuhisa Ishii that is numbered as "1 of 1."

I absolutely love these cards. The artwork is just phenomenal. Unfortunately, when the gavel came down I was nowhere is sight. I had completely forgotten all about it. Damn my memory! It eventually sold at what I though was an affordable $55.88; especially considering it is a lone example.

Blog Kiosk: 3/28/2012

I like the way this looks, pic via twitter @DesertDoyer.
  • Now that we have a owner picked it's now time to consider who might be available as 2013 free agents, via JP Breen at Fangraphs. Peter Gammons suggest that there are five 2013 free agents who could benefit from this sale, via @pgammo on twitter.
  • Jon Weisman's story about Magic's new cable channel is worth a second read.
  • Big League Stew has 10 thoughts about Magic and the Dodgers.
    10. Finally, it sounds weird to say, but Magic's group has a ways to go before they even replicate the success that the McCourt era experienced. Though the franchise was steered into a financial tailspin, it also somehow won three NL West titles, a NL wild card and made back-to-back trips to the NLCS.
  • This is just a wrinkle and is not expected to be a roadbloack, via @JonHeyman on twitter.
  • Maury Brown at Baseball Prospectus throws in his 2 cents on the Dodgers sale to Magic's group. I've read some reports indicating it's a "All Cash" sale. I don't believe this at all. Maury appears to understand the same thing.

    However, there certainly will be debt. How could there not be? Steven Cohen, who was seen as a strong contender to win the right to close the sale, reportedly had the highest amount of cash equity in his offer at $900 million. If the Magic/Kasten group had had that same amount of cash in play, there would still have been $1.25 billion to fund.

    That’s where Guggenheim Partners comes in. They will be the major investment wing of the group, which explains why Walter will be the controlling owner.

  • Bleacher Report takes a look at the 50 ugliest Baseball card photos ever.
  • The Honus Wagner of golf collectibles is about to hit the market- it's a 1934 Masters Badge, via Tom Bartsch at Sports Collectors Daily.
  • This is probably more interesting to the collector, but Keith Olbermann received the “Friend of the Card Stores” award last week at the Topps dealer seminar and had some encouraging words for what CBS recently said was a dying industry. Check it out below. Olbermann gets it right when he mentions the thrill a collector gets when they walk into a card shop or get a card package in the mail. It is that feeling that keeps the hobby alive. (Hat Tip: Beckett)

Video Link:

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training- Game 26

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 (12-9-4) at San Francisco Giants (14-11-3)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 – 1:05 p.m., Scottsdale Stadium

RHP Nathan Eovaldi vs. RHP Yusmeiro Petit

Spring Game 26/Road Game 14

Todays Starting Lineup:
Dodgers: Gwynn CF, M Ellis 2B, 1B, Fields 3B, Hairston LF, Sullivan RF, SS, Bard C, Eovaldi RHP
Giants: Pagan CF Theriot 3B Cabrera LF Posey 1B Schierholtz RF Fontenot 2B Crawford SS Stewart C Petit RHP
Upcoming Spring Training Schedule:

(A pep talk from Tommy, via twitter @Dodgers Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers 2012)
  • GAME ON!: The Dodgers and Giants will meet for the third and final time this spring (0-1-1) before their first regular season matchup on May 7 at Dodger Stadium. The two clubs played seven one-run games in 2011 and split the season series at nine games apiece. Opening Day in San Diego is just eight days away with the Dodgers opening their home slate on April 10 against the Pirates.

  • THE BIG NEWS: Last night, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Frank McCourt announced an agreement under which Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC will acquire the Los Angeles Dodgers for $2 billion upon completion of the closing process. The purchasing group includes Mark R. Walter as its controlling partner, as well as Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Peter Guber, Stan Kasten, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly. Mr. McCourt and certain affiliates of the purchasers will also be forming a joint venture, which will acquire the Chavez Ravine property for an additional $150 million.

  • HURLERS: Right-hander Nathan Eovaldi will make his fourth start (fifth appearance) of the spring after firing 3.0 scoreless innings on Friday against the White Sox in Tucson, which lowered his ERA to 0.84 (1 ER/10.2 IP). Eovaldi has tossed 9.0 consecutive scoreless innings in his three starts after allowing one run in 1.2 innings as a reliever in his first appearance of the spring on March 5. Following the 22-year-old to the mound will be:

    ● RHP Kenley Jansen lasted pitched in a Major League game on Saturday against the Indians, striking out one and walking one in a scoreless inning of relief, and then struck out the side on Sunday in a minor league game against Royals prospects. Jansen has tossed scoreless relief in five of his six Cactus League appearances and limited opposing hitters to a .200 batting average (4-for-20) this spring.

    ● RHP Mike MacDougal needed just 12 pitches to strike out the side on Sunday against Royals minor leaguers and last appeared in a big league game on Saturday against Cleveland, surrendering two runs in 0.2 innings.

    ● RHP Todd Coffey struck out two in a scoreless inning on Sunday against Kansas City minor leaguers and kept the Indians off the board in his 1.0 inning of relief on Saturday against the Tribe in his last Major League appearance.

(Pic via Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers 2012)

  • A TOUGH ONE: The Dodgers pounded out 15 hits, but lost, 6-5, at San Diego yesterday on a two-run walk-off double in the bottom of the ninth. Juan Rivera led the offensive charge with three hits, including a solo home run in the fourth, and Dee Gordon (2-for-4, R), Andre Ethier (2-for-4, 3B, RBI) and A.J. Ellis (2-for-3) also chipped in with multi-hit games for the Dodgers. It was a bullpen game on the mound with Scott Elbert, Javy Guerra, Scott Rice, Josh Lindblom and Logan Bawcom contributing a scoreless inning each in relief of spot starter Jamey Wright, who allowed a run in his 1.0 inning.

  • A HALL OF FAME LUNCH: Dodger Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrin will be honored at a special luncheon today at noon at The Capital Grille at the Beverly Center. The luncheon, hosted by ESPN 710’s Max Kellerman and Marcellus Wiley, is sold out and will feature Jarrin’s Chavez Ravine memories as the club celebrates the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium. Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will also attend the event.

(Pic via Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers 2012)

  • FROM PEORIA TO PEORIA: Straight from Peoria, AZ to Peoria, IL, Charley Steiner will deliver the opening keynote address tomorrow night at the Fifth Summit on Communication and Sport hosted by his alma mater, Bradley University. The Summit runs through Friday and is intended to exchange concepts, theories and approaches to the study of communication and sport. Steiner has been active in the Bradley community following his graduation in 1971, earning an induction into the school’s Sports Hall of Fame in 1995, establishing the Charles H. Steiner Endowed Scholarship for broadcasting majors and receiving an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and delivering mid-year commencement address at Bradley in December 2010.

  • SPEE -DEE: Dee Gordon has hit safely in his last six games, batting .650 (13-for-20) with eight runs scored, one double, two triples and five steals since March 20. The 23-year-old leads NL qualifiers with a .417 batting average and 14 runs scored and ranks among the Senior Circuit’s leaders in steals (10, 2nd), on-base percentage (.491, 2nd), and hits (20, T-3rd).

  • MIDDLE MEN: Juan Rivera went 3-for-4 and slugged his fourth homer of the spring season yesterday, raising his batting average to .304 in 17 games. Each of the Dodgers’ starting outfielders is hitting over .300 this spring with Andre Ethier’s current eight-game hitting streak raising his team-leading batting average to .421 and Matt Kemp’s .313 mark. The trio can also be spotted among the National League leaders with Rivera tying for fourth in home runs and Ethier ranking among the leaders in doubles (8, T-1st), total bases (36, T-2nd), triples (3, T-1st) and runs scored (11, T-7th). Ethier would lead the league with his .947 slugging percentage, but does not have enough at-bats qualify.

Praise Across the Board on Twitter

I think last nights announcement that the Guggenheim/Stan Kasten/Magic Johnson group has been chosen as the winning buyers for the Dodgers was welcomed with relief and joy. Details aside (a JV partnership I'm not entirely comfortable with), having Magic as the face of the organization and Stan Kasten at the helm provides a certain sense that the right guys won.

That being said, I wondered what folks were saying on twitter. There were the obvious expressions of congratulations (@ShawnGreen15) (@SteveNash). The Magic play on words was everywhere (@Alyssa_Milano). Soon, folks were more hopeful of a brighter future (@TommyLasorda). Heck, Dee Gordon demands that it's now time for the Dodgers to shock the Baseball world (@Skinnyswag).

Of course, there were many more responses to go through. Check out some of my favorites below. Be sure to see the last one- could he be a potential bat off the bench?
  • Matt Kemp expresses his approval of the new owner on twitter. With Stan Kasten
  • So does Javy Guerra. Who then blames his spelling mistake on auto-correct, here.
  • Steve Lyon's response on twitter was short and sweet- either that or he was left practically speechless.
  • Dodgers photographer Jon SooHoo does what he does best. He shares "Something Historical" of the future owner while saying, "Congratulations!"
  • And the best tweet of all comes from an unlikely source- Jose Canseco.