Friday, August 03, 2012

Wow! Dodgers Also Claimed Cliff Lee - Will We Get Him?

Will we be able to replace the Cliff Lee photo above with him in Dodger Blue?

Jon Morosi at FoxSports provides the news that the Dodgers did in fact submit a claim for Cliff Lee and they were first in line.  So, all that remains is for the Phillies to make the next move.  They can either:
  • Remove him from the waiver wire in order to keep him,
  • Let the Dodgers take him for no additional compensation to them (thereby allowing the Dodgers to take over the remaining portion of his contract), or
  • Make a deal with the Dodgers, via a trade.
BTW, they have 3 days to make a deal.
(twitter link)

In the best of all worlds, the Phillies can just let him come to Los Angeles, so they can have some payroll room for next season.  More likely, they will try to finagle a deal to get a prospect or two for him.  Considering the value of Lee's back-loaded contract, I can't imagine we would be willing to give up too much.  On the other hand, nothing may come of this.
UPDATE:  A buddy of mine suggested sending Billingsley to the Phillies for Lee since we appear to be filled up in the starting rotation.  I'm not sure if I like this idea, but could probably be persuaded to see it as a good idea.  What do you think?

FYI, Lee is owed $11Mil for this season, $25Mil over the next 3 season, and $27.5Mil vesting option in 2016 (or a $12.5Mil buyout).  That final year becomes guaranteed with 200 innings pitched in 2015 or 400 innings pitched in 2014-15.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Welcome to the Blue, Joe Blanton

This wasn't exactly the news I was hoping to hear today.  With news circulating that Cliff Lee had been placed on waivers, I had been crossing my fingers in the hopes that the Dodgers would take the plunge and claim him in order to work out a deal with the Phillies.  Instead, we find that the Dodgers did do something with the Phillies on the waiver wire, but it was not what I was expecting.  The Dodgers have confirmed that they have claimed right handed pitcher Joe Blanton, per their tweet earlier today.
(twitter link)

Oh well, I guess there still is time for something to happen on the Cliff Lee front for the Dodgers.  After all, according to Jon Heyman at CBS, Cliff Lee did not clear waivers, so someone claimed him and it's possible the Dodgers could still be involved there.  On a humorous note, Jimmy Bramlett at the LAist made me laugh.
(twitter link)

According to MLB Trade Rumors:
Blanton has a 4.59 ERA with 7.8 K/9, 1.2 BB/9 and a 43.9% ground ball rate in 133 1/3 innings for the Phillies this year. The 31-year-old earns $8.5MM -- $2.8MM between now and the end of the season -- and is set to hit free agency this fall.

Every National League team but the Giants, Cardinals, Pirates, Reds, Braves and Nationals appears to have passed on the chance to claim Blanton. He drew interest from the Orioles from leading up to the non-waiver trade deadline, but Baltimore was reluctant to match Philadelphia's asking price.

Anyway, check out Joe Blanton's career stats below from Baseball Reference.

UPDATE:  From the Dodgers press release:
Blanton was 8-9 with a 4.55 ERA for the Phillies this season, but had been strong of late, averaging 7.2 innings pitched in his last three starts and posting a 2.74 ERA (7 ER/23.0 IP) since July 16. During that stretch, he has limited opposing hitters to a .200 batting average (17-for-85), while striking out 20 and walking only two. Blanton has pitched 6.0 or more innings in each of his last 10 starts and made six quality starts in his last eight outings dating to June 14, posting a 3.55 ERA (23 ER/58.1 IP) and a .233 opponents’ average.

The right-hander currently leads the National League with a 6.39 strikeout-to-walk ratio and has issued just 1.22 walks per 9.0 innings, which also leads the league. When pitching 7.0 innings or more this season, Blanton is 7-1 with a 2.24 ERA (19 ER, 76.1 IP) in 10 starts.

Since 2008, Blanton has the fourth-best winning percentage among all Major League starters after the All-Star break, (.739, 17-6) and in his career, Blanton is 38-20 (.655) with a 3.83 ERA in 99 games after the break.
Based on the above, Blanton appears to be a strong finisher.  Hopefully this rings true.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 8/3/2012

What an awesome photo!  A boy sells souvenirs outside Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1913 to 1957. (Corbis)  Pic via Sports Illustrated.  You can clearly see many PM-10 pins; including many of the different ribbons, mini-bats and dolls attached to them.
Is 4/100 a gross overpay for Lee for a team with massive revenues? I don’t think so. He probably won’t be worth that money, and it could even be pretty ugly by the last year of the deal, but Lee’s still an excellent pitcher right now and projects to remain one for the next several years. Given the significant difference he could make to the Dodgers organization right now and the mediocre alternatives that they’ll have to consider overpaying this winter, claiming Lee on waivers is a risk the Dodgers should take. 
  • 2012 Topps Mini boxes were officially debuted at the National and they can be only purchased directly from Topps.  With each box purchase a 5 card promo set is given out to collectors.  Matt Kemp is included in the promo set.  See it below.
  • The Smithsonian National Museum of American History writes about Civil War Baseball.
  • Via, What if Every Olympics Was Photographed Like Beach Volleyball.  Fair is fair, right?
  • Numerous Baseball teams had their facebook pages hacked, via Deadspin.
  • Wow! So this happened.  A minor league umpire ejected the stadium music engineer for playing the song "Three Blind Mice," via SBNation. Below is a video of the ejection, via YouTube.

  • I love boxing, so the blatant rigging of fights in the Olympics has me pissed off.  Check out Deadspin for their report.
It was, by any account, the biggest competitive disgrace of the Olympics so far. And there's reason to ask if this was more than the usual Olympic boxing incompetence, but rather something more sinister.
Yasiel Puig debut vs. AZL Giants (8/1/2012) from Jason Cole on Vimeo.

Video Link:

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eBay: Willard Mullin Drawing - Owners vs. Players

I am a sucker for a good Willard Mullin drawing.  Instead of the typical Brooklyn "Bum" I usually like to show, today I feature an editorial cartoon that pits the Baseball owners versus the players.  This was completed before the days of the players union, so the notion that ballplayers were routinely treated like specks of dirt was widely held. 

(eBay Auction Link)

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

The National- Day 2 Photos from the Twitterverse

Following up on yesterdays post featuring twitter pics from Day 1 from the National Sports Collectors Convention in Baltimore, I bring some photos from Day 2.

First, though I wanted to highlight one of the best sports memorabilia/antique websites on the planet.  It is called and, like I said, there is no better website geared to sports memorabilia. 

Now, I'm sure you're wondering why am I giving a shout-out to in a post about "The National?"  Well, I'll tell you why.

If you want to see thousands (and I literally mean thousands) of photos from "The National" going all the way back to 2003 then that there is no better website to go to.  It is operated by a collector named Carlton and he travels the nation in search of anything and everything sports related.  I suspect he'll be in Baltimore this weekend, so stay tuned for when he adds his treasure trove of memorabilia photos a few weeks down the road (historically, it has always taken some time for him to put up his photos).  In the meantime, go there now and look around.  When you are done with that in a few hours, come on back here.  BTW, I don't think Carlton cares about cards, so don't expect to find any cardboard anywhere on his website.

On the blog front, Things are Funner Here post her Day 2 report, and Man and Wife Sportscards feature some vintage stuff in their most recent blog post.

Okay, now on to some twitter pics from "The National." 

Field Level View blog put up a pic of some Dick Perez paintings for sale through Legendary Auctions below.
(twitter pic @FieldLevelView)

Here is a view of the Topps display at "The National."
(twitter pic @ShopTopps)

Not only is Topps at the show but so is Bench Warmers.  Here is a pic from them featuring several of their models.
(twitter pic @Bench_Warmer)

Collector Garland Thomas tweets a pic of a player from the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.
(twitter pic @GarlandAThomas)

Sports Card News tweets this great 1951 St. Louis Browns jersey of Satchel Paige. 
(twitter pic @SportsCardNews)

All About Cards, who you should definately follow for his large number of twitter pics, features this display from Heritage Auctions showing game-used jersey's of Gil Hodges, Tom Seaver, and Rogers Hornsby.
(twitter pic @AllAboutCards)

Sports Collectors Daily is at the show and tweets this pic of vintage Baseball bats from the floor.  They also have a post up featuring an interview with a first time National dealer.  Check that out here.
(twitter pic @SportsCollector)

Chris Olds with Beckett also has a bunch of pics up.  Below is a Topps contract signed by Sandy Koufax from the ToppsVault booth.
(twitpic pic @ChrisOlds2009)

So much wax!

Video Link:

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *