Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 25/ Home Game 13

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.

Oakland Athletics (9-11-2) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (8-13-3)
Tuesday, March 19, 2013 – 1:05 p.m. | Camelback Ranch - Glendale
RHP Dan Straily (1-1, 6.52) vs. LHP Chris Capuano (0-1, 10.61)
TV: Dodgers.com Webcast | Radio: None

(twitter link: @Dodgers)
(pic credit: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013)

NORTH VS. SOUTH: The Dodgers play their California neighbors to the north, the Oakland Athletics, today at Camelback Ranch – Glendale. The A’s swept the Dodgers last year in Oakland and hold a 9-16 advantage in the all-time regular season series. The clubs have met twice in the World Series, splitting their 10 games, with the A’s winning the 1974 Fall Classic and Los Angeles claiming the title in 1988.  The Dodgers and Athletics will meet one more time during Cactus League play with a second meeting on Sunday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
  • The Dodgers made three roster moves today, optioning infielder Justin Sellers and right-handed pitcher Shawn Tolleson to minor league camp and reassigning catcher Jesus Flores to minor league camp. The Dodgers have 40 players remaining in big league camp.
OLD MAN: The Dodgers would like to wish left-hander Clayton Kershaw a happy 25th birthday today! The Texas native has posted a 61-37 record with a 2.79 ERA in 151 career games (149 starts) since making his big league debut in 2008 and ranks among active MLB pitchers (min. 750.0 innings) in ERA (2nd behind Mariano Rivera, 2.21), opponents’ batting average (.215, 3rd behind Joe Nathan and Mariano Rivera), strikeouts per 9.0 innings (9.29, 4th), WHIP (1.14, 4th), home runs per 9.0 innings (0.59, 3rd) and winning percentage (.622, 12th).
  • Kershaw already ranks 14th on the Dodgers’ all-time strikeout list with 974 career Ks in 944.0 innings, leaving him just 26 shy of joining the 1,000-strikeout club.
  • Kershaw is scheduled to make his third consecutive Opening Day start against the Giants on April 1, just 13 days away!
AROUND THE WORLD: Last night, the Dominican Republic advanced to tonight’s World Baseball Classic championship game by defeating the Netherlands, 4-1, with Hanley Ramirez going 1-for-3 with a walk. After joining Team Netherlands in San Francisco for the semifinal round, Kenley Jansen did not appear in the game and reported back to Dodger camp today.
  • The Dodger organization will be well represented in tonight’s championship with four players participating; minor league RHP Angel Castro (Dominican Republic), SS Hanley Ramirez (Dominican Republic), minor league RHP Andres Santiago (Puerto Rico) and minor league RHP Mario Santiago (Puerto Rico).
KING OF THE HILL: Left-hander Chris Capuano will make his fourth appearance of the spring (third start) after allowing five runs on six hits in 4.1 innings in his last start, Thursday against the Cubs. Capuano, 34, went 12-12 with a career-low 3.72 ERA last season in 33 starts with the Dodgers.
(pic credit: Lasorda & Steve Sax: Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013)

FEELS LIKE ONLY YESTERDAY: The Dodgers pounded out 12 hits yesterday, but fell, 5-3, to the Diamondbacks in Glendale. Carl Crawford made his second start of the spring as the designated hitter and picked up his first two hits, going 2-for-3 with a two-run single in the fifth inning. Adrian Gonzalez went 2-for-3 with a double for his second multi-hit game in a row, raising his Cactus League batting average to .300 in 12 games.
  • Yasiel Puig is tied for fifth in the NL with 19 hits and is tied for fourth with 11 runs scored.
  • Dee Gordon leads the NL with seven steals and is tied for third on the circuit eight walks.
  • The Dodgers continue to rank second among NL clubs with a .285 team batting average and a .349 on-base percentage this spring.
GIVING BACK: Today, the Dodgers will host local youth from the Holiday Park Little League and Glendale Youth Project for a Spring Training game and baseball clinic. Dodger infielder Dee Gordon, outfielder Alex Castellanos and coach Manny Mota will conduct the clinic for approximately 60 youngsters from a low-income area of Glendale. The clinic will take place in the outfield of the main stadium shortly after the conclusion of today’s game.

TUCSON-OLOGY:  Yesterday, the Dodgers held their annual Tucson-ology draft to determine who would make the trip to Tucson on Thursday to play in the Christina-Taylor Green Memorial Foundation benefit game against the Cubs. The lucky winners were Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Mark Ellis, A.J. Ellis, Nick Punto, Skip Schumaker and Stephen Fife, who will make the start.
  • This will mark the Dodgers’ third annual benefit game in Tucson dating to 2011, when the Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks played a similar benefit game in Tucson with all proceeds going to the Tucson Together Fund. In addition, The Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation, in partnership with the Diamondbacks, dedicated a Dodgers Dreamfield in Oro Valley, AZ on a field that was re-named in memory of Christina-Taylor Green.

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Blog Kiosk: 3/19/2013

Steve Lyons' is seen above sporting some St. Patrick's Day Oakley shades.  Pic via twitter @SteveLyons12.
African Americans had played baseball near Madison Square in the 1840s, not far from the grounds of the New York and Knickerbocker clubs before they relocated to Hoboken’s Elysian Fields. In Rochester, in 1859, Frederick Douglass Jr., son of the great abolitionist orator, played baseball with the integrated Charter Oak Juniors. When young Douglass moved to Washington, he helped to form another baseball club, the all-black Alerts, which became the first such club to play against a first-rank white one, the Olympics of Washington, DC, in late September 1869. (The first interracial game took place in Philadelphia a few weeks earlier, with the black Pythians playing against the white Olympics, both of that city.)
  • Some more Dodgers' moves: Sellers, Tolleson and Flores sent down, via twitter @Dodgers.
(twitter link: @Dodgers)
(twitter link: @truebluela)
  • Rest Up, TJ Simers.  Via Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk, the "Dodgers Training Staff comes to TJ Simers' (an LA Times reporter ) aid after he had a Ministroke.
In it he notes that when the stroke hit he was in his Phoenix hotel room and called to Camelback Ranch to tell colleagues and Dodgers people that he wouldn’t be at the ballpark. Dodgers’ trainer Sue Falsone got on the phone with him and helped diagnose the stroke (which it appears Simers didn’t immediately recognize as such) and then dispatched assistant trainer Aaron Schumacher to his hotel to take him to the hospital. Great play, Dodgers.
“Since making Topps our exclusive baseball card licensee, they have continually validated that decision by bringing clarity to the marketplace and reinvigorating the hobby, especially among young people,” said Howard Smith, the MLB Senior Vice President, Licensing, in a prepared statement. “Generations of baseball fans have grown more attached to the game through collecting baseball cards, and Topps is continually coming up with new and creative ways to reach the next generation.”

A lot of collectors appear to be up in arms about this.  I am not.  Although I wonder what great cards Panini could make with a full license, I understand why MLB did this.  Topps provides consistency while MLB's experience with other manufacturers has been less than spectacular.  If you're looking for someone to blame for the use of an exclusive card license then I suggest looking at Upper Deck's way.  They helped create the atmosphere that put this all together. 

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

2013 Topps Opening Day Baseball - Dodgers Base Cards

This is probably the least necessary Baseball set brand ever created.  Officially set to be released tomorrow, retail blaster boxes of the 2013 Topps Opening Day set have already been seen in local stores throughout the country.  The best part about this set is that it's affordable.  A pack of cards (or a box) is roughly half the price of the flagship Series 1 set.  A complete checklist for the set can be seen here.

The Topps Opening Day set uses the exact same design as the Series 1 counterpart, and even uses the exact same photos.  The main difference is the inclusion of a 2013 Opening Day logo on the front.  Furthermore, there are always a handful Dodger players inserted into this set that did not make it into the Series 1 flagship set, so we get an early peek at what their cards will look like when the Series 2 version comes out.  For instance, we get a first look at base cards of Hanley Ramirez, Carl Crawford and Zack Greinke in a Dodger uniform (see the 2013 Topps Dodgers base cards here).  I think the Greinke card is poorly airbrushed!

There are only 9 Dodgers' players represented in this 220 card set.  See them all below.  I'll a have the Dodgers' inserts to show in a future posting.

#11 Hanley Ramirez  

#45 Clayton Kershaw                           #46 Zack Greinke          

#60 Carl Crawford                             #86 Brandon League

#87 Adrian Gonzalez                              #100 Matt Kemp      

#153 Andre Ethier                                 #192 Josh Beckett

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *