Thursday, July 26, 2012

Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 7/26/2012

Above is a pic of Hanley Ramirez arriving at the Dodgers clubroom in St. Louis.  Is that Manny Mota greeting him?  Pic via twitter @PONealFSWest.
  • Jeremy Rosenberg at KCET put up his weekly "Arrival Story" column that features our very own Tommy Lasorda.  This feature asks various Angelinos, "How did you - or your family before you - end up living in Los Angeles."  You should check this out and pay close attention to the photos.  They are absolutely hilarious.  There is one of a rotund Lasorda attempting a slide and another of him Hula Hooping.  Awesome!
"I'd always felt, 'Out of sight, out of mind.' But if we moved out here at least they'll see what I can do and what my capabilities are. So we come out and never went back. Since 1963 we've been living here.
There isn’t anyone on the Dodgers roster who will dispute that Matt Kemp is the team leader (or captain, if you will). Matt has inspired the team like no one else, even while on the DL for nearly two months. In addition to being the best player on the team (and perhaps in all of baseball), Kemp is also the team’s biggest motivator. The question is, will Kemp be able to motivate the ego-driven Hanley Ramirez?
Ramirez said "it's kind of hard" leaving Florida, where he played seven years, but that he viewed the Dodgers as "a new beginning. I'll do whatever for the ballclub to help them win."
  • Topps already has a mock-up of Ichiro's new Baseball card in a Yankees uniform.  This is likely to be in their end-of-the-year Update set.  Pic via twitter @Topps.
  • Sports Illustrated delves further into the recent Mastro Auctions indictments.  I didn't realize when I first read the reports yesterday that one of the allegations of fraud has to do with the well known hobby fact that the PSA 8 Gretzky T206 Honus Wagner card is trimmed.  It's not smaller than the normal card, but was trimmed from an uncut strip to make it appear as if it came out of an actual pack.  I actually find this charge of fraud to be a little dubious.  Certainly, the original buyers of the card where duped, but the card has reached such mythical status I don't think it will effect the value negatively.  Recent owners of the card must have known, by now, exactly what they were getting. (UPDATE: Keith Olbermann comments on the "trimmed" Wager with his recollection of seeing photos of it just before McNall/ Gretzky bought it.)
  • The Stanley Cup made a special appearance in Redondo Beach on Wednesday.  check out a video of the event from the Daily Breeze below.  See some photos at the Redondo Beach patch.

Video Link:

eBay: Allen Webster Can Draw!

With rumors circling that Dodgers prospect Allen Webster may be a commodity on the trading market, I thought I would share a little card of his that I ran into on eBay. 

This is a 2010 Topps Sketch card, and as you can see it has been personally drawn on by Webster.  Considering the other cards I've seen drawn by players this ain't too bad. 

It didn't sell on eBay due to its high asking price.  See the auction here.
(Auction Link)

Hanley Ramirez Impresses with the Bat, but Causes Fright with His Glove

It was quite a day for our new infielder.  Hanley Ramirez went from an early morning press conference in Florida to wearing Dodger Blue in St. Louis that evening.  It was certainly a long day for the young slugger.
(pic link: twitter @Dodgers Jon SooHoo/Dodgers)

Fortunately, it didn't seem to wear him down too badly.  He came up to the plate five times and showed the Dodger faithful how he could help our inconsistent offense.  In fact, he was the main reason we scored any runs in yesterdays extra inning affair.  On the other hand, his defense looks a little shaky.  Was the tumultuous nature of the day the cause?

For history's sake, I thought I would briefly go through his day.
  • 1st at-bat:  Top of the 2nd with nobody on Hanley took a big swing and almost hit is out to deep centerfield.  He rounded the bases like a man possessed and wound up with his 3rd triple of the season- 1st as a Dodger.  Hanley would eventually score the Dodgers first run of the game on Loney's sacrifice fly.
  • 2nd at-bat:  Top of the 4th he came up with Andre Ethier on 2nd after his double. Ramirez flied out to deep left which allowed Ethier to scamper to third base.
  • 3rd at-bat:  Top of 6th with Mark Ellis on 2nd after his double.  Hanley contributes again by singling to center, allowing Ellis to score.
  • 4th at-bat:  Top of 9th with nobody on.  Ramirez grounded to the pitcher.
  • 5th at-bat:  Top of 12th with nobody on.  Hanley showed a great eye by taking a walk, but remained there.
 While playing third base he handled just two balls- both of them in the 9th inning.
  • Allen Craig ground meekly between short and third.  Hanley scooped it up and threw him out. 
  • The very next batter, Yadier Molina, grounded to the corner.  The ball wasn't quite a screamer, but was hit hard enough to bounce sharply off the St. Louis infield.  Hanley couldn't glove it, but at least he got in front of it.  The ball bounced off his chest and redirected toward the shortstop.  Cruz gloved it and fired it to Loney for the out.  It was the rare 5-6-3 out.
Overall, the addition of Hanley Ramirez appears to be a winner so far.  He definitely has a lively bat and should fit in nicely with Kemp and Ethier.  I don't know if I like him batting 5th in the lineup after our two other sluggers.  My gut feeling is that putting him between Kemp and Ethier might be the best way to go.  We'll see if Mattingly gives that a try in future games.  When it comes to Hanley's glove, I am a little worried.  He is no Gold Glover out there.

Chuey Meets the Fans During the Freeway Series

Here's a fun video put together by Chuey Martinez of KIIS FM as he visits Dodger Stadium during last months freeway series against the Angels.  He got to hang out with the fans for ESPN.  Heck, Chuey even served beers at The Short Stop.

Video Link: