Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Another Grant Holmes Prospect Card for the Collection

I've never been much of a prospect collector.  It's too much like gambling and the risk/reward ratio for young stud coming through a Baseball systems just seems far too risky to spend a great amount of dollars on.  On the other hand, when we're talking about a top Dodger prospect I can be convinced to take a dive in.  (Besides, having missed out on inexpensive Corey Seager cards make me a bit ill.)

Case in point, check out this AFLAC High School All-American and Under Armour All-American Game Autograph card of Grant Holmes that was seeded into packs of 2014 Bowman Chrome Baseball in October.  It is Holmes first official card from a licensed product and his first card featuring his autograph. It is numbered to 225 signed copies.  BTW, an unsigned version of the card exist on the marketplace, and they were given away during a prep showcase ballgame at Wrigley Field in Chicago on August 24, 2013.  I do not know what the print run is for that card.

This is my second Holmes autograph card in my collection.  In November I added my first card - a 2014 Leaf Metal Draft card.  Check it out here.  As I wrote back then:
Just a couple of weeks after signing his first professional contract in mid-June, Holmes went to work on the mound in the Arizona League for the first time.  He pitched two scoreless innings against Seattle's club; striking out an impressive five batters in two innings of work.  Holmes eventually got into seven rookie level games for the Arizona Dodgers before advancing to the clubs Pioneer League team in Ogden.

Overall, he did well in Arizona. Holmes pitched 30 innings and struck a total of 33 batters.  Furthermore, batters were hitting just .187 against him, so he clearly had a good start.  Grant Holmes has a reputation for having a big mid to high 90's fastball, and early indications are that he was able to use the pitch to overwhelm batters. 

His short Pioneer League stint was not as rosy.  He got into only four games, but got hit hard on a couple of occasions.  Holmes pitched just 18.1 innings; giving up 10 earned runs and 19 hits over that span.  On the bright side, he continued to strike out batters at a healthy clip.  In those 18.1 innings he struck out 25 batters.
MLB Pipeline ranks him as the 4th best prospect in the Dodger system, and the 100th overall in Baseball. 

If you are curious, I paid just $11.00 (shipped) for this card.  I don't think that was too shabby of a deal.

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Brett Anderson Signing Official - Dodgers Designate Arruebarrena

The man Clayton Kershaw said had "probably the best stuff in Baseball" has officially been added to the Dodgers.  Brett Anderson, who you'll recall was said to have signed in mid December, will wear Blue in 2015.  It is a one-year contract and is expected to be for $10Mil plus $4Mil in incentives (via Buster Olney).

Per a Dodger press release:
Anderson, 26, has gone 27-32 with three saves and a 3.73 ERA in 92 games (81 starts) in six big league seasons with Oakland (2009-13) and Colorado (2014). During the course of his career, Anderson has posted a 1.29 WHIP and a 2.90 strikeout-to-walk ratio, striking out 386 and walking only 133. He has 56.2 career ground-ball percentage and allowed an average of only 0.75 home runs per 9.0 innings, giving up only 41 home runs in 494.0 career innings.

As a member of the Colorado Rockies last year, Anderson was limited to just eight starts by a broken left index finger and lower back surgery, going 1-3 with a 2.91 ERA. He allowed just one home run in 43.1 innings and permitted three or fewer earned runs in seven of his eight starts, including five quality starts.

Anderson was originally selected by Arizona in the second round of the 2006 First-Year Player Draft.
Go here to check out my previous "Welcome" post for Brett Anderson.  As you will note, he has all the potential in the world.  He just has to stay healthy.  Per Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider:
“Over the past three seasons, no starting pitcher logging at least 100 innings has generated a higher ground ball rate than Anderson (61.4%),” wrote David Golebiewski at Gammons Daily. “His expected fielding independent ERA (a measure of pitcher skill based on strikeouts, walks, and homers per fly ball allowed) over that time frame is 3.30, far below the 3.91 overall average for starters.”

The bet here, essentially, is to get as many great starts as you can from the No. 5 spot in the Dodger rotation (behind Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Brandon McCarthy), then fill in as needed behind them.
To make room for Anderson on the Dodgers 40-man roster, Cuban infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena has been designated for assignment... Wha?

I think it's fair to say that the new Dodgers regime does not see him in their future plans.  Overall, Arruebarrena has certainly proved he can get it done with the glove, but his bat is another story.  Last year he hit .259/.304/.417 in the minors, and hit .195/.244/.220 in 45 plate appearances with the Dodgers.  Paired with his involvement in a nasty brawl in AAA Albuquerque last season, you have to figure they believe he isn't worth the trouble.  As I had intimated in July when the Dodgers signed Darwin Barney, it's possible that the Dodgers no longer felt he would fit in the Dodger clubhouse.  Certainly his actions during that brawl denote some possible character issues.  The problem financially, though, is that they had just signed him to a 4-year $16Mil 5-year $25Mil contract, so they'll be on the hook for three four more season.

UPDATE:  BTW, it'll be interesting to see if the Dodgers release him, ala Brian Wilson, or retain him in the minors should they not find a trade partner.

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Blog Kiosk: 12/31/2014 - Dodger Links - Kuroda, Kershaw and Garvey

An obviously befuddled Jake Pitler, a Brooklyn Dodger coach, looks on as skipper Walter Alston takes a pick axe to a Dodgertown mound during Spring Training.  The photo was taken by legendary team photographer Barney Stein in 1955.  Check out the eBay auction where I found the photo here.

Below are some links to check out:
  • RIP, Hank Presswood.  Via Nick Diunte at, "Hank Presswood, Negro League player with Cleveland and Kansas City, dies at 93."
“Willie Grace went to the Buckeyes and he was the one who told them about me,” Presswood said to me during a 2010 phone interview. “He was from Laurel, Mississippi. One day I was working and who was at my job, Grace and the foreman! He asked me about going, and I wanted to go you know. … I said, ‘What in the world are you doing here, I thought you were with the Buckeyes?’ He said, ‘I am with the Buckeyes, but I told them about you. I came after you.’ I was really surprised. I accepted and went on up there.”
Even though Kershaw’s no-no has been ranked as the most dominate no-hitter in modern baseball history by ‘Game Score‘ and was but a Hanley Ramirez throwing error away from becoming baseball’s 24th prefect game, it was not the only near perfect game to be tossed by a Dodger at The Ravine.
  • Via Eno Sarris at FanGraphs, "The Best Pitches of 2014 (By Whiffs)."  Clayton Kershaw is mentioned as having the best slider of all starting pitchers... Of Course!
  • If you don't already know, there will be a hockey game between the Washington Capitals and the Chicago Blackhawks on News Years Day at Nationals Park in DC, and Mike Bertha at Cut4 has some video of them transforming the field into a hockey rink.  There's also a video of the NHL ice crew playing some ball on ice.  Go here to check that out.

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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Creepiest Jackie Robinson "Folk Art" Doll You'll Ever See at Lelands Auctions

With the new year approaching, Lelands Auctions gets on the dais first with a vintage sports auction closing in mid-January.  Go here to check out all they have to offer. 

There are plenty of Dodger items to see, but the below doll really stuck out to me.  It is a circa 1954 handmade "folk art" doll of the Jackie Robinson.

Per the auction description:
Fabulous handmade "Back" Doll is Mrs. E.E. Stokes rendition of Jackie Robinson during his prime. It has a great look with Dodgers uniform and original hat, along with red leggings in hand-knitted wool, complicated leather belt, red hand-stitching and shoes (one shoe missing). This won First Prize at the 1954 Los Angeles County Fair in Pomona and comes with original ribbon and paper labels. Even includes a 1954 Polaroid of the doll on display. Stokes was not exactly Alexander Cartwright in her baseball acumen, as Robinson wears uniform number 11, is called "Sammy" and the cap has a "D" for Dodgers but that only adds to the charm of the piece.
This is as oddball as you can get when it comes to vintage sports memorabilia.  In fact, it's probably the most unique item you'll ever find. 

As for the "creep" factor, check out the aforementioned Polaroid photo of the doll in a display case below.  It just gives off a haunted vibe.  Doesn't it?  Or, is it just me?
(Auction Link)

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Blog Kiosk: 12/30/2014 - Dodger Links - Time Warner, Kuroda and Sergio Santos

Missing Baseball in the dead of winter is the worst thing in the world.  I'm left to daydream of batted balls, snagging fly's and tagged out runners while the sky darkens with the treat of a cold rain.  Heck, sometimes I find myself window shopping online in hopes of finding a unique photo to remind why Spring is so eternal.  It's like their a symbol that the new year will truly be reborn once again, and that Baseball will begin anew.

Featured above is a vintage press photo I scoped out on eBay of Brooklyn second baseman Andy High tagging out infield prospect Fred Johnston down low.  It was taken during a Spring training workout in Clearwater, Florida on 3/9/1924 by Underwood & Underwood.

Below are some links to check out:
Starting Jan. 1, your Time Warner Cable bill is going to get a little more expensive, with the addition of a “sports programming fee” of $2.75 a month. The charge is modest, but remember a lot of your cable bill goes to sports already, to pay hefty carriage fees to ESPN and an increasing number of regional sports networks (RSN's).
Kuroda was never the best pitcher in the league; he was never the best pitcher on his team. But he wasn’t supposed to be. What he was, was consistent. In an era where pitchers are more volatile than ever, Kuroda was anything but.
  • Here are even more preview pics from Panini America's National Treasures Baseball card set, via Chris Olds at Beckett.  Check out the Kershaw and Puig cards below.
But Linz left his mark on the 1964 pennant race as, of all things, a harmonica player—and not a very good one. 

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Hyun-Jin Ryu Plays a Human Bowling Ball - Gets a Strike! (.gif's)

As you know, Hyun-Jin Ryu has been a consistent presence on an Korean "urban action variety" show called the "Running Man" the past couple of years.  Last year he paired up with fellow MLB star Shin-Soo Choo to play some psychic supernatural Baseball and worked his magic with a Hula Hoop in another episode.

This time he runs around with a bunch of folks to participate is some strange, yet hilarious, high-jinks.  Unfortunately, the show is in Korean and there are no English subtitles.  Still, even though I couldn't understand a word, I found myself laughing at many of the sequences. 

Check out some .gif's I put together of the best moments.  Below, the show participants meet with Ryu and proceed to accost him like a gang of old grandmothers.

After driving around in a car, meeting some folks on the street and playing some sort of jump rope game the "Running Man" crew head to a local swimming pool to play some human bowling.

That's right, they will be human bowling balls and Hyun-Jin Ryu is tasked with throwing his large prodigious body towards a set of pins.  It's both hilarious and troublesome at the same time.  After all, the big guy could've hurt himself.  Or, he could've bowled a 7-10 split; which would have required another embarrassing dive down the lubed-up lane.  I can just imagine him having to sprawl out like a ungainly log - trying to reach both ends to get a spare.

On second thought, I would have loved to see that again.  But as you can see, Ryu bowled a wondrous strike; to the joy and disbelief of the gallery.

The best part of all are the numerous reactions from the crowd.  I am laughing just thinking about it.

BTW, you can watch this entire episode here.

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Blog Kiosk: 12/29/2014 - Dodger Links - Kuroda to Play in Japan, Justin Tuner and Chin-Hui Tsao?

Here is just another press photo from a a vintage spring.  Featured above is a 1957 International News press photo dated February 27, 1957.  The caption attached to the reverse says:
SAFETY FOIST-----Vero Beach, FLA........ Protected by a screen behind the pitcher's mound, manager Walter Alston keeps a critical eye on things as Fred Krupp pitches during practice at the Dodgers spring camp in Vero Beach.  Alston took this precaution after he was almost beaned by a line drive
Such are the perils of Spring!  I ran into this photo on eBay.  Check out the auction here.

Below are some links to check out:
“We wanted to focus on someone whose passion for gaming is only superseded by their passion for baseball. Where gaming is organically part of what’s important to them. In that way, they can more organically speak to the brand and the game.”
  • Here's an old friend alert.  Via Jeff Todd at MLB Trade Rumors, "Hiroki Kuroda Plans To Return To Hiroshima Carp."  And as expected, Kuroda's career will go full circle.  He will end his illustrious professional career with the club he started with.  He was a great Dodger pitcher and I had hoped he would play in LA one last time before going back home. 
  • Left Field Pavilion made some fantastic graphics in honor of Hiroki Kuroda.  Check those out here.
  • Via MLB Fan Cave, "Justin Turner Gives Sad Dodgers Fan a Jersey for Christmas."
One young Dodgers fan had his Christmas dampened by the fact that his favorite team had just traded his favorite player, Matt Kemp. But current Dodger Justin Turner came to the rescue with the perfect solution.
  • Panini America released more preview pics from their upcoming National Treasures Baseball card set here.  Check out an autographed Clayton Kershaw booklet card on the right.
  • Via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider, "2014 postscript: From piano to panic, a Kershaw no-hitter odyssey."  Jon shares his story of the day Kershaw threw his no-hitter.
By this time in my Dodger life, Kershaw knew generally who I was, but it’s not as if he really knew me — I’m not sure if he even knew my name. So you can imagine how taken aback I was when he put his glove down on some gear near me and asked, “Can you watch this for a minute?”
Tsao, 33, appeared in 21 games as a reliever for the Dodgers in 2007. He previously played for the Colorado Rockies, becoming the first Taiwanese pitcher in Major League Baseball.
And as Evan Bladh at Opinion of Kingman's Performance indicates, "Chin-hui Tsao Should Have to Be Vetted by MLB Before Reinstatement."  Tsao is currently banned from playing ball in Taiwan due to fixing games and recently prohibited from playing in Australia, as a result.

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    Sunday, December 28, 2014

    Sunday Dodger Videos: Hyun-jin Ryu and Mike Piazza on the Recent Dodger Trades

    Here are this Sunday's Dodger videos.

    Hyun-Jin made another appearance on an Korean show called Running Man.  Watch it below.  It is all in Korean, but still a fun watch even if you don't understand a word.  He is introduced at about the 1:50 mark, and bowls and jumps rope.  BTW, at about the 7:30 they totally mob him.

    Video Link:

    Watch Mike Piazza speak a bit about the recent moves the Dodgers have made on the Complex.

    Video Link:

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    Friday, December 26, 2014

    2014 Donruss Baseball Factory Set - All the Dodger Cards

    I recently became aware of two factory sets recently released by Panini's brand Donruss, and discovered that there are several new and unique Dodger cards within them.  There is the complete Donruss Factory set and the Rookies Factory set.

    The Donruss Factory set consist of all the base cards previously released during the season as Series 1 & 2 cards (for a total of 355 cards) plus either a newly created relic or autograph card.  There are two new Dodger autographed cards available (but no new relic cards).  They are cards autographed by Alex Guerrero or Erisbel Arruebarrena.  Check them out below.  Unfortunately, I have yet to run across the Guerrero card at this time.  Go here for a complete checklist.  BTW, these two new cards can also be founded randomly inserted into the Rookies Factory set detailed below.

    The Rookies Signatures

    #19 Alex Guerrero
    (card not yet seen)

    #80 Erisbel Arruebarrena

    The Rookies factory set includes a 100-card "The Rookies" complete set plus one autographed card (the Guerrero and Arruebarrena cards above can be found).  The first 41 cards of the 100-card base set are repeats of the insert cards found in Series 1 & 2 boxes.  The remaining 59 cards are brand new.  Of those new created cards are two new Dodger players (Withrow and Arruebarrena).  Below is a complete look at all the Dodgers that are found in the 100-card set.  Go here for a complete checklist. 

    The Rookies Set

    #19 Alex Guerrero                                #34 Onelki Garcia

    #60 Chris Withrow                               #80 Erisbel Arruebarrena

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    Blog Kiosk: 12/26/2014 - Dodger Links - Some Odds and Ends

    Pee Wee sure could fly!

    Above is a vintage International News press photo taken by Sam Goldstein of Dodger shortstop Pee Wee Reese turning a double play against the Pirates at Ebbets Field on June 10, 1951.  The first inning double header was hit by outfielder Rocky Nelson to Jackie Robinson; who quickly flipped the ball to Pee Wee to get the lead runner - George Metkovich.  And as you can see, Reese sailed above the runner like a geese chasing a flock.  I found the photo on eBay.  Go here to check it out.

    Below are some links to check out:
    • Have you always wanted to work for the Dodgers?  Now here's your chance.  Check out this job listing for an Administrative Assistant here.  It looks like a great opportunity for a recent graduate. 
    • Harold Uhlman at Think Blue LA takes, "A look back at the 2014 Ogden Raptors."
    The timing of a winning streak was a testament to the patience and determination of Ogden manager Jack. McDowell. The Raptors lost two of their best players by mid-season promotions to the Great Lakes Loons of the Midwest League. Despite losing outfielder Devan Ahart and pitcher Jose De Leon to the Loons McDowell managed to keep the team believing. Two days after both players were gone from the roster, Ogden began a streak by winning 12 of 14 games helping them to gain a playoff berth.

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    Thursday, December 25, 2014

    Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

    My best wishes to you and yours!  Merry Christmas & Happy Holidays!

    Now, relax by the fire and listen to Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda read "Twas the Night Before Christmas"

    Video Link:

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    Wednesday, December 24, 2014

    2014 Panini Classics Baseball - The Dodger Autograph, Relic and Insert Cards

    Several weeks ago I introduced Panini America's 2014 Classics Baseball card set by sharing the Dodger base cards.  Unfortunately, I never got around to sharing photos from the rest of the set, so I will do that now.

    There are a ton of old-tyme Dodgers in the set; including players you hardly ever see on cardboard nowadays, like George Kelly, Hack Wilson, Paul Waner, Eddie Stanky, Jim Gilliam and Billy Herman.

    Check out all of the Dodger insert, relic and autograph cards below.  There are a bunch of them.  As you'll notice, I do not yet have pics of all of them yet.  So, if you happen to have a pic of an unseen card please pass that along to me.

    Champion Materials & Bats

    #3 Carl Furillo (#/99)                             #3 Carl Furillo (#/99)

    Weekend Autograph Opportunities: CANCELLED-Tommy Lasorda

    Here are this weekends autograph opportunities and events throughout the Southland. As always, be sure to check the Blue Heaven Calendar for other events (a link can always be found on the tab at the top of this page, just left of center), and always confirm with the establishment. Everything is subject to change.  Please email me with any tips about upcoming events in Southern California.  As the rest of the week progresses I'll update this post with other events (if there are any) as I become aware of them.  Also, I don't always list every event below, so be sure to check my Calendar.  I always try to favor free signing events over paying events.  Click on any pic to embiggen.

    Hall of Fame Dodger Manager Tommy Lasorda will be signing autographs this coming Saturday at Manuel's El Tepeyac in the City of Industry from 11:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  This is a fee event.  He will be signing your memorabilia with a photo opportunity for a $50 fee. For info, call Marcus Loya @ 310-251-3620, or check out their facebook page.  (Hat Tip: Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy)
    Manuel's El Tepeyac
    13131 Crossroads Pkwy S
    City of Industry, CA 91746

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    Blog Kiosk: 12/24/2014 - Dodger Links - Puig, Kapler and Dodgers Always Looking to Upgrade Bullpen

    Yasiel Puig has begun his winter workout routine; as evidenced by a series of photos and videos he posted up on his instagram.  In the above photo he takes batting practice for the first time at the Cuban Missile Baseball Academy in Florida.  Go here to check out the video of him hitting.

    Below are some links to check out:
    Kapler fits the profile of the people Friedman has surrounded himself with this offseason since taking over as president of baseball operations—bright, energetic and open-minded to new ways of doing things.

    But Kapler is hardly your typical farm director. He earned almost $10 million during a 12-year big league career. Kapler did spend a year managing in the Red Sox system and coached for Team Israel in the World Baseball Classic. But he had segued smoothly into a career in the media since his retirement in 2011 as the rare former player who had a sophisticated understanding of statistical analysis in player evaluation and team building.
    • Holy Moly!  Musical chairs has not stopped for Ryan Lavarnway.  Via Jeff Told at MLB Trade Rumors, he has now been claimed by the Baltimore Orioles.  He started this winter as a Red Sox, was then claimed by the Dodgers, then the Cubs and now the Orioles.
    • Via Ken Gurnick at, "Dodgers send outfielder Jensen to Triple-A." 
    • Via Cat Belanger at Dodger Insider, "True Hollywood Stories: Behind the scenes with celebrities at Dodger Stadium in 2014."
    Bryan and Vin: Bryan Cranston, besides being one of the coolest guys in Hollywood, is a huge Dodger fan. According to him and his wife, Robin, the No. 1 thing on his Bucket List has always been to meet Vin Scully. This year was Bryan and Robin’s 25th wedding anniversary, so she and I plotted to make this happen. She brought him to a game for their anniversary in August, and we brought him up to Vin’s booth. His reaction to meeting Vin was so humbled, and they shared a really nice conversation. But the real surprise was when we had Vin ask Bryan to be the public-address announcer for the game. Bryan accepted and was a fabulous PA announcer — and the two had an adorable anniversary at their favorite ballpark.
    “I don’t think we’re ever going to get to a point where we go, ‘OK, let’s sit back and put our feet on the desk,’ “Friedman said. “We’re always going to be looking at different areas, whether it be on the margins or more significant. I think any time you ask me this question, the bullpen will always be an answer I’ll give. It has to be my nature never to feel comfortable with a bullpen in the offseason.” 

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    Tuesday, December 23, 2014

    Welcome to the Blue, Yasmani Grandal!

    Yasmani Grandal is the key piece coming to the Dodgers from the Matt Kemp Trade.  You can follow Grandal on twitter here: @YazmanianDVL08.  Per a Dodger Press Release:
    Grandal, whose name is pronounced yas-MAH-nee gran-DAHL, has a .245 career batting average with 24 home runs and 94 RBI in 216 games with the Padres from 2012-14. The switch-hitter appeared in 128 games last year at catcher (76 games) and first base (37 games) and posted career-best marks in runs (47), hits (85), doubles (19), home runs (15) and RBI (49) in his third big league season.

    Grandal was selected to the 2012 MLB All-Star Futures Game and posted a .310/.408/.487 slashline in four minor league seasons from 2010-13 in the Reds and Padres organizations. The native of Cuba was originally selected by the Reds in the first round (12th overall) in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft out of the University of Miami and then acquired by San Diego from Cincinnati on Dec. 17, 2011 in a five-player deal.
    There has been a lot said about Grandal's skills behind the plate.  He is noted by the sabermetrically inclined for having superior pitch-framing skills.  While others say that he can't throw runners out and his recent knee injury to his ACL/MCL has limited his mobility (he had a torn ACL/MCL).  Whatever the case, he will pair up with AJ Ellis as the Dodger backstop.

    At this point, I think it's too early to tell who will be the Dodgers primary catcher.  Grandal is likely to hit better than Ellis (and with more power), but Ellis has the trust and respect of the Dodger staff (which Grandal appeared to not have in San Diego).  BTW, it should be noted that Grandal was busted for PED's after his fantastic 2012 rookie season.

    Via Pedro Moura at the OC Register, "Grandal is a gamble for Dodgers."
    He is a catcher, one with a superb ability to frame balls so they look like strikes, and he has a .350 career on-base percentage, seventh-best among active catchers. He has hit 24 home runs in the equivalent of a season and a half of work – and did it playing half his games in Petco Park, one of the most homer-suppressing stadiums in the sport.

    But the second school of thought is that Grandal is barely an average hitter for a catcher, with questionable skills behind the plate. The case for that: Grandal’s offensive statistics after his 2012 rookie season look a lot different than they did during it, and, beyond pitch-framing, his defensive numbers have never looked all that great.
    Can Grandal have the kind of break out season the Dodger front office, no doubt, are hoping for?  Can he field his position at the dish with sufficient skill?  How much defensive skill at the catcher position are the Dodgers willing to give up for offensive prowess? We won't know any of these answers until we are well into the year, so be prepared for an interesting 2015 Baseball season.

    In celebration of Grandal's arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photograph grabbed from a photo from Zimbio (Mike McGinnis/Getty Images North America) and the 1964 Topps Baseball card design.

    Below are the career stats for Yasmani Grandal, via Baseball-Reference:

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    Happy Festivus Day!

    A Festivus for the rest of us!

    In honor of this Seinfeld holiday I felt it would only be proper to air some grievances.
    • I don't quite know who to blame for the Dodger television mess.  But Time Warner, SportsNet LA and the Dodgers... You are on notice.  Get your act together and put Dodger Baseball on tv for all to enjoy!
    • To those who scoff at my fandom for Matt Kemp - do you not have any sense of decency?  Can I not mourn the departure of a great Dodger player while at the same time also realize it is best for the long-term health of the club?
    • I also got something to say about those folks who have or plan to 'boo' Matt Kemp... You are so disappointing.  Have you any sense of Dodger Blue loyalty? 
    • To those afraid of the changes - get over it!  We always knew the Dodgers would go through a dramatic transformation and it would be likely that many of our favorite players might be traded or allowed to walk away.  The Dodgers cannot succeed as a collection of high-priced free agents. 
    • To the saber-geeks, you should read Joe Posnanski story at NBC Sports entitled "Vanguard after the Revolution: Bill James sparked a baseball insurrection, but he has regrets about the world he wrought."
    “I have to take my share of responsibility for promoting skepticism about things that I didn’t understand as well as I might have,” he says. “What I would say NOW is that skepticism should be directed at things that are actually untrue rather than things that are difficult to measure.
     i.e. leadership, clutch and grit.
    If you have any other grievances please share them.  I'm moving on to the "Feats of Strength." Anyone want to wrestle?

    Video Link:

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    Blog Kiosk: 12/23/2014 - Dodger Links - Alston and Superman, Kershaw on Anderson and Adrian Gonzalez

    I came across this photo on eBay and immediately had to figure out what this was.  As you can see, former Dodger manager Walter Alston is with Superman.  But who is playing Superman and what is this for?

    Some research unveiled that the Superman in the photo is Denny Miller who played the character in Air Force recruiting commercials in the 1970s. At he shares his memories of this event:
    In the spring a young man's fancy turns to baseball. Okay, the love of baseball. And Florida is covered with a migration of the best baseball players in the land. It's called spring training. 

    I'm going to spend several weeks at ten of these training camps making a one-minute or thirty-second TV recruiting spot at each camp. We'll shoot on the baseball diamond with the players in the background. In the foreground will be that team's manager talking with Superman, me. I get to meet and work with Joe Torre, Yogi Berra, Walter Alston and seven other managers. Plus, I get to meet some of the players.

    It was a baseball fan's dream. That was the good news. The not-so-good news was that I have to get dressed and have make-up put on in the team's locker rooms.
    Go here to read what else he had to say about the experience.  Below are some links to check out:

    • MLBPA must have some sort of deal with the Konami video game Pro Evolution Soccer 'cause they have several 'create-a-player' videos on youtube right now, and Dodger first baseman Adrian Gonzalez is one of them. Check out a couple of videos below of them creating AGon and another video of some AGon gameplay of PES2015.

    Video Link:

    Video Link:

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    Monday, December 22, 2014

    2014 Leaf Trinity - The Dodger Cards

    Here is a look at Leaf's newest Baseball card set - 2014 Leaf Trinity.  This is a high-end brand that includes only 5-cards in a $100 box and every card available is autographed.  Go here to see a complete checklist.

    Only two Dodger prospect are included in the set - Darnell Sweeney and Grant Holmes.  Check out all of their available cards below.

    The below Trinity Signature cards are all inscribed, and from what I can tell there are three different inscriptions for each Dodger prospect. 

    Trinity Signatures

    #A-DS1 Darnell Sweeney

    #A-GH1 Grant Holmes

    Patch Autographs

    #PA-DS1 Darnell Sweeney

    #PA-GH1 Grant Holmes

    Pure Autographs

    #P-DS2 Darnell Sweeney

    #P-GH1 Grant Holmes

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    Blog Kiosk: 12/22/2014 - Dodger Links - Kershaw, Pederson and Andrew Friedman

    With Spring Training around the corner I really get a kick out these vintage press photos of the Dodgers in Vero Beach.  Featured above is Carl Furillo hurdling over a bat held by Gene Hermanski and Duke Snider.  It was taken on March 3, 1951 and was originally found on eBay, here

    Below are some links to check out:
    "Awards aren't why we play the game, but I don't take it lightly," Kershaw said. "When fans chant that [MVP] stuff, it's an amazing feeling. I remember a few times pitching, and fans at Dodger Stadium would chant M-V-P -- that's unbelievable. It really is chilling. I don't know if I'll ever get used to that."
    “I’m excited (about next season),” Pederson said. “All you can ask for is an opportunity, and I hope I get one. So I’m just preparing myself to win a job. I don’t expect anything to be handed to me.”
    "We'll take some time in spring training and assess [Pederson]. We'll get a feel for him in camp and how he's handling things," Friedman said on Friday. "There will be a discussion we'll have with the staff, and I'm sure it will be an ongoing discussion we have between now and the last game in March."
    • Via Stacie Wheeler at Lasorda's Lair, "Dodgers Continue to Add Catching Depth, Sign Minor Leaguer Ali Solis."
    • Via Ron Cervenka at Think Blue LA, "Andre Ethier defying trade odds again – for now."
    • Listen to Andrew Friedman talk about sending Matt Kemp to San Diego and adding Yasmani Grandal, Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick to the lineup.

    Video Link:

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