Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Dodgers Blog Kiosk: 3/5/2013

The WBC in full swing.  Check out Team Italy coach Mike Piazza in the photo above, as tweeted by Craig Calcaterra.
  • Matt Kemp is set to make his first Spring Training start, via Ken Gurnick at MLB.com.
  • Mike Petriello explores 'Finding the Perfect Trade Return for Aaron Harang.'
  • The above story follows the news that scouts from the Orioles and Brewers were recently in the stands to scout Harang, via Kevin Baxter at the LA Times.  It had also been reported elsewhere that the Reds were also there.
  • Emma at Dodger Blue World honors former Brooklyn Dodger Don Lund.
  • Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy shows us Matt Kemp's big fathead.
  • Dodger Thoughts isn't dead.  It's on a hiatus.  Jon Weisman just posted up a funny video featuring Dodgers reliever Matt Guerrier.
  • The 2013 Topps Heritage comes out tomorrow.  Stay tuned for pics of all the Dodgers' cards soon.  In the meantime, check out a "Then & Now" preview subset card below of Sandy Koufax and Clayton Kershaw that was tweeted by Topps.
(twitter link: @toppscards)
  • Bob Lemke tells us about Emlen Tunnell, who was the 'Jackie Robinson' of the Central Association.
  • Wow!  This is awesome.  Check out the Sporting Statues Project here.  They are listing every sports related statue in the USA and UK.  (Hat Tip: Baseball Musings)
  • Via Kevin Roderick at LA Observed, the downtown LA football stadium that AEG wants to build is dead.
  • As a young college student in Fullerton, I had a chance to see many up-n-coming bands play on campus.  As you may recall, the music scene in the early 90's was incredible.  Anyway, one afternoon outdoor show has always stuck out in my mind, and it was a performance by Rage Against the Machine.  I've come to realize that they were only a few month old, so they were still working out their kinks.  Still, they were full of piss and vinegar, and displayed the showmanship that would endear them to fans worldwide.  Well, I recently found out that someone with a camcorder was there in 1992, and they put up a couple of videos on youtube for me to relive my youth.  Check it out below.

Video Link:

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Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 11/ Road Game 5

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.

LOS ANGELES DODGERS (4-4-2) at San Diego Padres (6-5)
Tuesday, March 5, 2013 – 1:05 p.m. | Peoria Stadium – Peoria
LHP Clayton Kershaw (1-1, 7.20) vs. RHP Jason Marquis (0-0, 0.00)
(twitter link: @truebluela)
BTW, ignore the Mariners noted above, Eric meant the Padres.

(twitter link: @Dodgers)

(pic link: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013)

WEST VALLEY DIVISIONAL BATTLE: The Dodgers and Padres square off for the second of three meetings this spring, with the Dodgers looking to avenge last Friday’s loss at Camelback Ranch - Glendale. The clubs’ final Cactus League meeting will be on March 15 in Peoria. The Dodgers and Padres will meet 19 times during the regular season, with the first three coming on the Dodgers’ initial road trip, April 9-11 at PETCO Park. Last season, the Dodgers beat San Diego 11 of 18 times and had a 6-3 record on the road. If you’re counting down the days, the Dodgers are 28 days away from Opening Day vs. the Giants!
  • This morning, the Dodgers reassigned RHP Gregory Infante to minor league camp and the club now has 54 players in big league camp following the four reassignments on Sunday (Nick Evans, Kelvin De La Cruz, Ozzie Martinez and Dallas McPherson). 
  • Dodger center fielder Matt Kemp will start in center field for the first time this spring. It’s only the Cactus League, but the ball might get bigger for Kemp when he sees the opposition. Kemp hit .406 (26-for-64) with seven homers and 20 RBI against the Padres last season and in his career is hitting .309 with 17 homers when facing the Friars.
BACK ON TRACK: The Dodgers downed the Indians, 5-1, on Sunday behind 3.0 strong innings from RHP Josh Beckett, who has tossed 5.0 scoreless innings this spring. OF and camp sensation Yasiel Puig belted his first homer of the spring, a three-run shot that provided the final margin. Puig’s .421 batting average ranks ninth among all National Leaguers this spring. 
  • The Dodgers continue to lead the National League with both a .314 team batting average and a .398 on-base percentage through their first 10 Cactus League games.
CY GUY: Dodger left-hander Clayton Kershaw will make his third spring start this afternoon after giving up four earned runs in his first 5.0 Cactus League innings. Kershaw, the 2011 Cy Young Award winner, will make his third consecutive Opening Day start on April 1.
  • RHP Matt Guerrier, the most interesting man in the world, will take time off from making viral videos and toe the rubber for the third time this spring. Thus far, Guerrier has tossed 2.0 scoreless frames.
  • Non-roster invitee RHP Kevin Gregg has been impressive so far this spring, retiring all six batters he has faced.
  • RHP Shawn Tolleson will pitch in his third game this spring this afternoon. Tolleson has given up one run in 2.1 innings. Last year, the Texas native appeared in 40 games (37.2 innings pitched) and recorded 39 strikeouts. 
  • LHP Paco Rodriguez will look to extend his scoreless innings’ streak to 3.0 this afternoon. Rodriguez starred for the University of Florida last season, but still found time to be the first member of the 2012 draft class to make the Major Leagues.
  • RHP Steve Ames, the winner of this Sunday’s Dodger Idol competition, surrendered two runs on three hits in his last outing on Thursday against the Angels. Ames fired a scoreless frame in his first outing of the spring on Feb. 24 against the White Sox.
(pic link: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013)

FOR YOUR VIEWING PLEASURE: Over in Peoria, the following minor leaguers will suit up for the Dodgers today: IF Rafael Ynoa (#82), IF/OF Rusty Ryal (#83), OF Matt Angle (#84), RHP Sean White (#88) and LHP Fabio Castro (#87).

CAN’T WAIT: Dodger legends Ron Cey and Tommy Davis will arrive Friday, March 8 and spend a few days in camp working with the squad.

CLASSIC FEVER: This morning Camelback Ranch was abuzz as the World Baseball Classic’s Team USA took over the visiting clubhouse and will face the White Sox today. Old Friends Joe Torre, Larry Bowa, Rick Lembo and Chris Romanello chatted up the Dodgers’ players, coaches and staff.   
  • Tomorrow, a split-squad of Dodgers will face off against Adrian Gonzalez, Luis Cruz, Javy Guerra, Fernando Valenzuela, Yvonne Carrasco and the rest of Team Mexico at 1:05 pm at Camelback Ranch – Glendale.
THE CAPTAIN HAS ARRIVED: The Dodgers would like to welcome Spanish language broadcaster and co-host of Dodger Talk, Jorge Jarrín to Camelback Ranch - Glendale. Jarrín takes over for David Vassegh as the man getting sound for AM 570 Fox Sports LA and will also call several games for the Dodgers’ webcast, including tomorrow’s battle with Team Mexico alongside Rick Monday. Vassegh left camp to be with his wife and await the birth of their first child. Unfortunately, that means he will miss his idols in action as Petros and Money take their show on the road this Thursday and Friday from the booth at Camelback Ranch - Glendale.    
(pic link: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013)

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Listening to Sandy - A 2006 Recording of the Lefthander Speaking to a College Class

Sandy Koufax's return to the Dodgers has been one of the biggest stories this offseason.  His majesty, smarts and humble nature had endeared himself to True Blue fans, so when he arrived at Camleback Ranch during the early part of Spring Training the collective minds of Dodgers fans everywhere exploded.  The master lefthander was back in the fold, and we couldn't be happier.

Heck, since Koufax's arrival in Arizona his every word and gesture has been reported on for the eager masses to digest.  We wondered what he thought of our pitching staff.  Could he teach some of our young pitchers his incredible curve?  How good is Ryu, anyway?  Thankfully, he was more than happy to lend us his wisdom.

In fact, his desire to educate doesn't stop at teaching others how to play, but also extends to talking about Baseball history.  As evidenced by a recording I recently acquired and placed on SoundCloud, Koufax was more than happy to discuss his thoughts about the game.

The recording is from 2006 and features a group of college students from the University of Central Florida in Orlando.  From Alex, who made the original recording:
I was fortunate to take an honors symposium co-talk by a history professor and the then provost, Richard Astro. The class was called the history and literature of baseball. Throughout the semester the professors brought in various speakers. One of the speakers was Sandy Koufax.
As Alex explains, the professor ran a program to assist professional ballplayers in getting their college degrees, which eventually led to him meeting and befriending Koufax.  During that semester in 2006, the class chartered a bus to meet with Sandy in the clubhouse of his condominium complex and the below recording was made.
For the next 70 minutes Koufax very candidly answered whatever questions we had to ask (except one). He has a very softspoken voice so your readers will probably need to turn up their speakers to hear him at times. When it was time to leave Koufax took photos and signed autographs with anyone who asked.

I left amazed by his story and humility about the many amazing feats he accomplished. He is a marvelous man.
Go below to listen to the master speak.  The talk starts out with a bang as he responds to a question about the famous contract holdout he had with Drysdale,
"GM's in those days were great liars...  It was one of the job descriptions."  
He also tackles the demise of Vero Beach as the Dodgers Spring Training facility, fantasy Baseball and the impact of technology on the game.

Audio Link:

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A Hat Trick on Kings Hat Night Causes a Hat Parade

I just thought I'd share a photo I took last night while cheering on my Kings.  They played the Nashville Predators, who are known as a defense first team.  They are spectacularly non-flashy and have the incredible ability to clog up the lanes in order to slow down the game to the point that 'shots on goal' become a useless stat.  In other words, the Predators are probably the most boring team to watch in the NHL.  Still, the Kings (no, let me instead say that Jeff Carter) had other things in mind.  With less than 5 total 'shots on goal' in the middle of the second the period for the Kings, Jeff Carter continued his mastery as a goal scorer and potted the clubs first goal.  Then, in the third period, with the Kings still under double-digits in shots saw Carter score two more times for a natural hat trick.  And with that, on an evening that would be Kings Hat Night, the fans covered the ice with hundreds, no thousands, of the give-aways in celebration.  It was a sight to behold.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

2012 Panini National Treasures Baseball - Dodgers' Insert Cards

The parade of Dodgers' cards within Panini's 2012 National Treasures Baseball set doesn't want to stop.  This time, we take a look at the nickname variations to the base set and the All-Decade cards.  As you'll notice, the 'Common Nickname' variations use a different photo than their base card counterpart, and I suspect there are various parallels relics available (although, I have only seen one version of each Dodger so far).  The 'All Decade' cards are exactly what you expect.  They highlight the best ballplayers of each decade, and the "who's who" of Dodgers' greats are represented.

Check out some of the other Dodgers' 2012 National Treasures cards I've featured here.  Also, click any pic to embiggen.
Common Nicknames
#24 Burleigh Grimes "Ol Stubblebeard" /25

#51 Duke Snider "The Duke of Flatbush" /10

#84 Leo "The Lip" Durocher /49

#123 Carl Furillo "Reading Rifle" /99
All Decade
#4 Jake Daubert /99

#11 Burleigh Grimes /25

#37 Willie Keeler /99

#39 Pee Wee Reese /2                    #39 Pee Wee Reese /99

#40 Jackie Robinson /99
All-Decade Combos
#2 Burleigh Grimes - Walter Johnson /1

#10 Jackie Robinson - Duke Snider /99

All-Decade Triples
#2 Jim Bottomley - Rogers Hornsby - Burleigh Grimes /25

#4 Jake Daubert - Heinie Groh - Miller Huggins /25

#5 Stan Musial - Eddie Stanky - Pee Wee Reese /1

#5 Stan Musial - Eddie Stanky - Pee Wee Reese /25

All-Decade Quads
#3 Eddie Collins - Ty Cobb - Joe Jackson - Jake Daubert

#4 Jim Bottomley - Rogers Hornsby - Burleigh Grimes - Dave Bancroft /10

Add-Decade Signature Materials
#6 Duke Snider /25

#40 Don Sutton /25

All-Decade Signatures
#2 Maury Wills /60

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