Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 17/ Road Game 9

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 (6-7-3) at Cincinnati Reds (4-11-2)
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 – 7:05 p.m. | Goodyear Ballpark, Goodyear
RHP Josh Beckett (0-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Mat Latos (0-0, 0.00)
TV: None | Radio: None
(twitter link)
(pic link: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers2013)

UNDER THE LIGHTS: The Dodgers travel to Goodyear to take on the Reds for the first official time this spring as their March 8 night game at Glendale was rained out. Cincinnati will also visit Camelback Ranch on March 22, before the two squads square off in the regular season from July 25-28 at Dodger Stadium. Los Angeles will visit the Queen City from Sept. 6-8, the site where last year the Reds clinched the NL Central crown in front of the Dodgers. The Boys in Blue did take the season series from Rob Butcher’s Reds, 4-2.  
  • Speaking of July 25 vs. the Reds, that is Vin Scully Bobblehead night presented by Bank of America at Dodger Stadium. Fans can still get their Hall of Fame collectible by purchasing a full season or 10-game mini plan ticket package at dodgers.com/tickets. In addition, individual tickets for Vin Scully Bobblehead night still remain on sale while supplies last and can be purchased online or by calling 323-Dodgers.
PLEADING THE FIFTH: The Dodgers fell to the Brewers in Maryvale yesterday, 3-2, and all the game’s runs were scored in the fifth inning. For Los Angeles, Mark Ellis, A.J. Ellis and Yasiel Puig each had two hits, while Hyun-Jin Ryu allowed three runs over 4.2 innings. Out of the ‘pen, Josh Wall (1.0 IP) and Chris Reed (2.0) tossed scoreless baseball.  
  • Yasiel Puig is hitting .452 (14-for-31), which is good for third among all National League players this spring. In 15 games, the native of Cuba has three doubles, eight runs scored and six RBI. The 22-year-old prospect leads the club in games played, at-bats, runs and hits during this exhibition season. Non-roster invitee Brian Barden leads the club in average (min. 20 AB), hitting .478 (11-for-23) in 13 games.
  • The Dodgers continue to lead all NL clubs this spring with a .296 team batting average.
HEAD TO HEAD: A couple of Dodger infielders squared off in the World Baseball Classic this morning as Nick Punto’s upstart Italian squad fell victim to Hanley Ramirez’s favored Dominican team, 5-4. Team Italy jumped to a 4-0 lead, but the D.R. roared back, thanks to a key game-tying sacrifice fly by Ramirez, who finished the game going 1-for-2 with a walk and an RBI.
  • Hanley Ramirez is 2-for-11 with five walks in tournament play thus far, while Nick Punto went 2-for-3 with a run and a walk today, raising his WBC average to .467 (7-for-15) in four games.
(pic link: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers2013)

MEDICAL MINUTE:  Yesterday, Dodger starter Zack Greinke flew back to Los Angeles and visited with team physician, Dr. Neal El Attrache, who diagnosed the right-hander with inflammation in the back of his elbow.  He received an injection of PRP and anti-inflammatory medication. Greinke will rest for 2-3 days and then return to a progressive throwing program.

PRIME CUT:  Dodger catcher A.J. Ellis will be attending the Coyotes-Kings game tonight and appear on PRIME TICKET with Patrick O’Neal between the first and second periods.

MOUND MEN: RHP Josh Beckett will make his third Cactus League start of the spring tonight and is looking to build on his 5.0-innings scoreless streak. The right-hander also threw on the minor league side last week and tossed 3.0 scoreless innings in that contest. Beckett  has given up just two hits and one walk while striking out six in those 5.0 Cactus League frames. The Texas native is limiting the opposition to a .118 average.
  • Dodger southpaw Ted Lilly, whose outing was washed away in Scottsdale last Friday, will make his second Spring Training appearance tonight. Lilly allowed one run in 2.0 innings during his only other outing on Feb. 28. Last season, Lilly won five of his first seven starts without a loss, but did not pitch again due to left shoulder inflammation after suffering his first defeat on May 23.
  • RHP Shawn Tolleson is set to make his fifth appearance of the spring today. Tolleson has posted a 2.45 ERA (1 ER/3.2 IP) thus far, while limiting hitters to a .231 average. 
  • This afternoon, LHP J.P. Howell, RHP Kenley Jansen and RHP Brandon League all tossed 1.0 inning against  Japan’s Meiji University Baseball Club and then finished up by throwing live to outfielder Carl Crawford on the back fields.
OH WHAT A NIGHT: Last night, more than 300 members of the Dodger organization, including Major leaguers, minor leaguers, staff and family were treated to a special screening of “42,” hosted by Matt Kemp at the AMC Westgate in Glendale. The film chronicles how Dodger Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson was signed by Branch Rickey and broke Major League Baseball's color barrier when he played his first game for the Brooklyn Dodgers on April 15, 1947. Among the many Major Leaguers in attendance were Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, Carl Crawford, Don Mattingly, Dee Gordon, Brandon League, Tony Gwynn Jr., Aaron Harang, Tim Federowicz, Yasiel Puig and Rick Honeycutt .

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Is This the Greatest Baseball Commercial Ever?

I usually zone out when a commercial pops up on TV, but I have to admit that this little ditty by Dick's Sporting Goods had me riveted to my seat.  It is quite possibly the best commercial concerning Baseball I have ever seen- bar none!  Watch it below.

Video Link:

AdWeek shares some background on the spot.  It was shot over a two day period at Blair Field in Long Beach, but they eventually used a single take from the first night.  I think it's beauty is how it focuses on the game and not on personalities.
"You see Rory and Tiger out there hitting golf balls into cups from a hundred miles away. And that's cute and entertaining. But it's not what we're interested in," said Seth Jacobs, creative director at Dick's ad agency, Anomaly. Dick's is about real athletes in real sports moments. "It's the level underneath what you see on TV as a fan. It's the moments athletes know about," says Dick's brand vp Ryan Eckel. For this new spot, Anomaly focused on just such a moment: the dramatic tension after one pitch and before another late in a tied baseball game. Everything about the ad, from the talent to the way it's shot, is meant to feel real and remind the viewer how intense baseball can be. "There's a purity to these sports," said Eckel. "That's what we're trying to shine a light on."
This is one of the few commercial spots that has me watching it over and over again.  On top of that, don't ya love the subtle homage to Jackie Robinson?

Hat Tip: reddit funkydisco.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Blog Kiosk: 3/12/2013 - New MLB 13 Matt Kemp Commercial

Jon SooHoo shares some pics from the private screening of the Jackie Robinson movie, '42'.  See more pics here.  Jose Vizcaino, Franklin Stubbs, Maury Wills and Rick Rhoden are shown above.
  • Left Field Pavilion continues his magic at colorizing vintage Dodgers' photos.  Check out his color portrait of Gil Hodges.
  • I wish I was here.  Ben Platt at MLB.com tells us that 300 members of the Dodgers family saw a private screening of the Jackie Robinson movie, '42'.
"It actually brought tears to my eyes. I was living a lot of that movie," said former National League MVP and Dodger legend, Maury Wills, who, at age 80, still serves as a bunting and base running instructor every spring with the Dodgers. "I knew Jackie personally. I barnstormed with him in 1953 when I was in the Minor Leagues. We would tour the South after the season and he paid me $300 for the month. I would have done it for nothing. I got to know him, he was a no-nonsense person, nice man, stern, firm -- he would check the bus every night to make sure we were all there as we went from one city to another. It was quite an experience.

"I don't know many other people who could have survived the way Jackie did, to come out on the other end. I knew this film was well put together and I enjoyed it."
  • I'll believe it when it happens.  Apparently, the NHL is actually exploring the idea of having an outdoor hockey game at Dodger Stadium, via Jason Brough at Pro Hockey Talk.  I have it on good authority that just a year or so ago an unnamed NHL official openly laughed at the idea.
  • Via Bill Shaikin at the LA Times, Zack Greinke has an inflamed elbow, and will be resting for a few days.
  • Former Dodgers GM Dan Evans has just been hired to be commissioner of the independent Northern League, via the Wall Street Journal.
  • If you happen to be in New York, then I suggest heading over to the Agora Art Gallery to check out some original Dick Perez Baseball paintings from March 26 - April 16More information can be found here.
  • Check out Matt Kemp in a MLB 13 commercial just released earlier today.

Video Link:

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

2013 Topps Heritage Baseball - Dodgers' Insert Cards

Here is a final post featuring Dodgers' cards within Topps recently released 2013 Heritage Baseball set.  This time I focus on the insert cards, autographs and relics.  To check out all of the Heritage cards I've shown so far go here.  

Only Maury Wills and Sandy Koufax have autographed cards in the set, and Koufax's card can only be attained through a redemption program.  Hopefully Sandy can get those out to fans quicker than Matt Kemp.  (Doh!) 
1964 Bazooka:
#64B-SK Sandy Koufax
New Age Performers:
#NAP-CK Clayton Kershaw                    #NAP-MK Matt Kemp
Baseball Flashbacks:
#BF-SK Sandy Koufax
Then and Now:
#TN-KK Sandy Koufax, Clayton Kershaw
Real One Autographs:
#ROA-MW Maury Wills
 Flashback Autographed RelicsThe Sandy Koufax card autographed card is available through a redemption.
#FAR-SK Sandy Koufax
Clubhouse Collection Relics:
#CCR-DG Dee Gordon
1964 Oversixed Boxloader RelicsUnfortunately, I have yet to see a Clayton Kershaw 1964 Giants boxloader relic card.  It is numbered: #64GR-CK Clayton Kershaw.  Below is Matt Kemp's card numbered to just 25 copies.
#64GR-MK Matt Kemp
1964 Mint:
#64M-CK Clayton Kershaw

#64M-MK Matt Kemp

#64M-MW Maury Wills

#64M-SK Sandy Koufax

1964 Stamp Relics:
64US-MW Maury Wills

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Download a Comprehensive Guide on Topps History

For card collectors, especially vintage Topps collectors, this is a must download.  Better yet, it's free!

David Hornish, the writer of 'The Topps Archives', has recently shared his The Modern Hobby Guide To Topps Chewing Gum: 1938-1956It's free to download and is filled with more Topps history than you can imagine.  

It's available on Scribd, and a companion blog can be found here that will include updates and corrections.  Again, go here to download this monumental effort.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Koufax Impacts More Than Just the Dodgers, Players Give Big to B.A.T.

B.A.T., Baseball Assistance Team, is a great organization that helps folks who are a part of the Baseball family.  As you probably know, most of the elder members of game never earned the kind of salaries players make today, so they focus on helping them when needed.  Considering the importance history plays in the game, it's a great way to give back to those who contributed to Baseball.

Today, B.A.T. announced a record level of contributions:
More than 1,400 players, coaches and managers from all 30 MLB Clubs have collectively pledged a record donation of $2,457,710 to the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.) during the organization’s eleventh annual Spring Training Fundraising Tour to raise money for members of the Baseball Family in need of assistance.
Heck, they even made note of how important Sandy Koufax's recent return to the Dodgers was to the cause.
“The current players were overwhelmed by the attendance and participation of the managers, coaches and Hall of Famers during our presentations,” said Joseph Grippo, Executive Director of B.A.T. “The impact of seeing Sandy Koufax sit alongside Dodgers players, for example, is immeasurable and a major reason why so many players at all levels of the organization contributed.”
And once again, the Dodgers proved to be ready to lend a helping hand.
B.A.T. is also announcing that the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are the recipients of the 2013 Bobby Murcer Award. Named after the former B.A.T. Chairman who introduced the Spring Training Fundraising Tour, the award is given to the team in both the American League (Yankees) and National League (Dodgers) whose players commit the most amount of money to B.A.T. This is the fifth consecutive year that the Yankees have won the award and the third time in four years for the Dodgers. Both Clubs will be presented with the Bobby Murcer Award at the 25th annual “Going to Bat for B.A.T. Fundraising Dinner” in 2014.
Go here to find out more about this organization.

* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *