Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Welcome to the Blue, Rob Rasmussen - My Rasmussen Fantasy Card

Former UCLA pitcher and Polytechnic High School (Pasadena) grad Rob Rasmussen has just joined the Dodgers, and he couldn't be more thrilled.  Just check out what he wrote on twitter @:
(twitter link)

So, who is he.  Well, to start check out this great video put together by MLB that is very informative.

Video Link:

Rasmussen is a small dude.  According to Baseball Reference he stands at 5' 9".  Other sites say he is a couple of inches taller.  Nevertheless, he'll never be mistaken for a Giant.  He is a lefty with a fastball that has good movement and off-speed stuff (slider).  As the video above says, he has had trouble with consistent control.

He was originally drafted by the Dodgers in the 7th round out of High School in 2007, but eventually chose to play for UCLA instead.  There he anchored a rotation that included Gerrit Cole and Trevor Bauer.  In 2010, Rasmussen went 11-3 with a 2.72 ERA, collecting 128 strikeouts in 109.1 innings. 

Via wikipedia:
According to the Under Armour 2010 Draft Scouting Report: "Rasmussen is a pretty advanced college lefty with an interesting combination of pitchability and stuff. He has four pitches he's around the plate with, though he does need to be a little more efficient with his pitches. He's a bit undersized, which might concern some, but he does a nice job mixing his pitches and keeping hitters guessing. If the spike in velocity he showed early in the spring is still around all season, he could sneak even further up Draft boards."
Sneak up, indeed.  Rasmussen entered the draft again and was selected by the Marlins in the 2nd round.  That year, the Marlins had him play in the Sally league where he pitched well.  Rasmussen got into 5 games in short relief, and gave up just 1 earned run.  In 2011, he played a full season in high-A and recorded 3.64 ERA with far too many walks given the number of strike outs.  This past season he was sent to Houston in the Carlos Lee trade and improved on his strike out to walk ratio, but also got knocked around a little bit more.  He finished the year with an accumulative ERA of 4.25.  Below are his minor league stats.

Via Baseball Reference.

BTW, the fantasy card above is a 2007 Topps Baseball card design and the photo was from UCLA.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Goodbye ElyMania

It is with a heavy heart that I announce that John Ely has been traded by the Dodgers to Houston for left-handed pitching prospect Rob Rasmussen.  

Oh, woe is me.  John Ely was quite the rage in 2010, and now he is gone.  

I shall always remember you, John Ely.  You were a shining light during a time of great tumult.  We all hated the situation the Dodgers where in, and immediately grasped at anything that could divert our attention- even for just a little bit.  For a short time, it was you.  You seemingly came out of nowhere to throw strikes and win some game, and I am forever thankful to have been a witness to it all.  

Good luck, my kind sir.  You deserve a shot at a starting pitching role, and I can't think of a better place to get your feet settled than in Houston.  They need the help, and I think you'll establish yourself there.

I thought it would be fun to reminisce a bit about those good-old-days, so I dug around a bit and found this great fantasy SI cover made by a twitter user named PA_Dodger (Now renamed @FLA_Dodger).  I never cease to get a laugh out of this one.
(pic link)

Of course, who could forget about the Ely jokes.  See some below.
  • John Ely is so good, he struck out Chuck Norris. Twice. (@kjasalter)
  • John Ely struck out Chuck Norris... with 2 pitches. (@Russaldo13)
  • John Ely CAN tailgate at Dodger Stadium. (@IEEric)
  •  John Ely can't walk and chew gum at the same time, because he doesn't walk anybody. (@ToddKaplan)  
  • The only reason Andre Ethier's pinkie hasn't healed yet is because John Ely hasn't touched it. (@truebluela)

Via an email from the Dodgers:
Rasmussen, 23, is a native of Arcadia and played collegiately at UCLA after starring at Polytechnic High School in Pasadena. In 2007, the Dodgers selected him in the 27th round of the amateur draft, but he decided to attend UCLA instead.
Rasmussen was selected by the Marlins in the second round of the 2010 amateur draft and then traded to the Houston organization on July 4, 2012 as part of the deal that sent Carlos Lee to Miami.
In three minor league seasons, Rasmussen is 20-21 with a 3.88 ERA in 60 games (53 starts), including 4-4 with a 4.80 ERA in 11 games (10 starts) at Double-A Corpus Christi in 2012.
Ely, 26, was acquired in a December 2009 trade with the White Sox and went 4-13 with a 5.70 ERA in 25 games (19 starts) over three seasons in Los Angeles.
The Dodgers now have 39 players on their 40-man roster. 
 Below are the career minor league stats for Rasmussen.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 12/19/2012

Sports Collectors Daily has some preview pics from Topps 2013 Archives set; including the Clayton Kershaw card on a 1985 Topps design, above.
The problem with Steve Garvey, though, is that he's not going to Cooperstown anytime soon, at least not as a member of baseball's most exclusive and maddeningly incomplete fraternity. "I don't think I was imagining it," said George Brett, who is in the club. "I know I read a lot of stories about 'future Hall of Famer' Steve Garvey."
First and foremost, baseball agents have agendas, and if it helps to have a client's name attached to a particular trade rumor, that's reason enough to float the information. And second, a fair percentage of what you read about this player or that going to Team A or Team B is pure fiction. 
That, in a nutshell, is The Curse of Plenty. The Dodgers have more money to spend than anyone, without enough top players to go after. They've clogged their roster with merely decent talent at multiple positions because their general manager is impulsive and overeager to spend that money without properly gauging the market for the few elite talents out there. One great way to find those top players is to develop them yourself, but the Dodgers have shipped away several strong prospects to make reactionary trades, such as the Gonzalez deal.
  • Matt Hunter at Beyond the Boxscore writes about "Some Factors that Might Affect Pitch Framing."
  • The A's new shortstop tells the media during their press conference that Billy Beane is "sexy and cool," via Big League Stew.
  • A survey by Level5 indicates an 'alarming' level of damage done to the NHL brand, via Roy MacGregor at Globe and Mail. Color me not surprised.  Even this hardcore/die hard Kings fan finds it hard to reconcile my love for the sport with my revulsion for this lockout.
  • Here is a fun little recap video created by YouTube featuring 2012's greatest trending videos.

Video Link:

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

One, Two, Three, Four, I Declare a Photoshop War

If you've read this blog over the past year, then you've undoubtedly run across several stories I posted about a huge Dodger fan named Christian.  See my first story here.

Well, Christian had the opportunity to throw out the first pitch before a game last season, and the moment was captured in the photo above.  If I recall correctly, this photo spread a bit on the web, but not at a level that would be considered viral.  Still, he was noticed.  Heck, it's hard not to notice a three-year old throw like that.  I have a 6-year old nephew who loves the game, but doesn't have the kind of form Christian already exhibits.

Anyway, the fine folks at the PhotoshopBattles on Reddit noticed the pic above and decided to let the Reddit masses have their fun.  Check out this thread to see their work.  Much of the stuff that was shared is incredible, so I suggest lurking around.  Below are some of my favorites.
(Reddit PhotoshopBattle: creuter)

As one poster wrote about the above photo, a "young Bruce Campbell."  
(Reddit PhotoshopBattle: dasmerten)

I love the one below.  And it's timely.
(Reddit PhotoshopBattle: lains-experiment)

I didn't know he could skate too!
(Reddit PhotoshopBattle: sevenshepard)

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Lelands Auctions: Don Newcombe's Awards For Sale

Before Justin Verlander completed the task in 2011, Don Newcombe was the only man in Baseball to have won the Rookie of the year, MVP and Cy Young Awards in a career.  Now, as I look through the Lelands newest auction catalog, I discover that those actual three awards won by Newcombe are now up for sale.  See them below.

According to Lelands, these were acquired directly from Newcombe, but no transfer date was shared.  I won't try to speculate about how these got into someone else' hands, but I will add that if the Dodgers new ownership are truly interested in creating a Dodgers museum then they must start by acquiring these three items.  Put them where they belong- into a place where it can be enjoyed by the Dodger faithful.

Below is the 1949 Rookie of the Year Award.  From the auction description:
After one year in the Negro Leagues, Don Newcombe made a big splash in the majors in 1949, winning 17 games, leading the league in shutouts, and pitching 32 consecutive scoreless innings over one stretch. He was also among the first four black players to be named to a All-Star team, along with teammates Jackie Robinson and Roy Campanella and the Indians' Larry Doby. This was the first National League Rookie of the Year Award ever handed out, as there was only one given out covering both leagues the previous two seasons, with Robinson having won the first during his historic 1947 barrier-breaking campaign.
As of this writing it is already at $12,100.00.
(Auction Link)

Here is his 1956 National League MVP Award.  As you can see, the silver portion has a patina to it, but if the Dodgers were to acquire this I would suggest shining it up.  This award is, at the time of this writing, at $33,275.00.
(Auction Link)

Here is Don's 1956 CY Young Award.  From the auction description:
The Cy Young Award originated in 1956, and we proudly present that prestigious inaugural prize right here! It is the one and only Cy Young presented to Don Newcombe, who went 27–7 with a 3.06 ERA, five shutouts and 18 complete games that dominant season, leading the league in winning percentage for a second consecutive year. What's especially noteworthy about Newcombe's 1956 season is that it marked the first of 10 occasions in which a pitcher won both the Cy Young and Most Valuable Player awards in the same season (the last being Justin Verlander in 2011).
The value for this award is already up to $40,262.75.
(Auction Link)

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