Friday, March 07, 2014

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 10/Home 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.
 Texas Rangers (2-5-1) at LOS ANGELES DODGERS (3-4-2)
Friday, March 7, 2014 – 1:05 p.m. | Camelback Ranch – Glendale
RHP Zach Lee (0-0, ---) vs. LHP Martin Perez (0-0, 4.50)
Spring Game 10/Home Game 5
Television: SNLA/Radio: KLAC

(Hanley's Hands, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

DOING IT BIG: The Dodgers play host to the Texas Rangers this afternoon in the first of two meetings this spring. The other matchup comes tomorrow, when Los Angeles will send a split squad to Surprise at 1:05 p.m. The two clubs last met in the regular season in 2009 and the Dodgers are 11-9 all-time against the Rangers.
  • In just 13 days (Wow!), the Dodgers play Team Australia in an exhibition game at the Sydney Cricket Ground followed by two games against the D-backs in MLB’s Opening Series, March 22-23. Opening Day is just 15 days away!

HONORING A LEGEND: Yesterday, the Dodgers were saddened to announce the passing of Special Advisor to the Chairman Dr. Frank Jobe, who was 88 years old. Jobe is survived by his wife, Beverly, four sons—Christopher, Meredith, Cameron and Blair—their spouses and eight grandchildren. Jobe, who began his association with the Dodgers in 1964, made medical history in 1974 when he performed what is now termed “Tommy John surgery.” Jobe took over the full-time care of the Dodgers in 1968 and was named a Special Advisor to the Chairman in 2008. Said John: “Baseball lost a great man and Tommy John lost a great friend. There are a lot of pitchers in baseball who should celebrate his life and what he did for the game of baseball.” Today at Camelback Ranch, the Dodgers will honor Dr. Jobe with a moment of silence.
(Scott Van Slyke's Grand Slam Swing, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

NICE WORK, JOHN PRATT: Yesterday, the Dodgers had their first taste of the new instant replay system and it was a success as far as results are concerned. Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout tripled to center field in the first inning and was thrown out at home plate trying to stretch a triple into a home run on a great relay from Yasiel Puig to Hanley Ramirez to A.J. Ellis. After looking at the play on a television feed, crew chief Gerry Davis upheld his initial “out” call and history was made. The replay system will be utilized this season for the first time and is being tested in Cactus League play during various Dodger games, including March 11 at Kansas City, March 12 vs. Arizona, March 15 vs. Chicago-AL and March 16 vs. Colorado.
  • Dodger video coordinator John Pratt will be assisting with the replay process during Spring Training from the visiting clubhouse. Pratt is in his third season as the club’s video coordinator after joining the organization in 2011 as the Triple-A Albuquerque video coordinator.

THE GENERAL: Dodger right-hander Zach Lee will make his first appearance of the spring today against the Rangers. Lee, who has been slowed by a lat strain the last few weeks, went 10-10 with a 3.22 ERA in 28 games (25 starts) for Double-A Chattanooga last season. The Texas native was the Dodgers’ first-round draft selection (No. 28 overall) in 2010.
  • Dodger reliever and newly-minted knuckleballer Brian Wilson will make his third spring appearance today after firing scoreless innings on Feb. 27 and March 4. Last year, Wilson joined the Dodger bullpen in late August and went 2-1 with a 0.66 ERA (1 ER/13.2 IP) in 18 appearances. For good measure, he tacked on 6.0 scoreless frames and a victory in the 2013 postseason as well.
  • The rest of the Dodger pitchers will feature a “who’s who” of the big league bullpen as closer Kenley Jansen, J.P. Howell, Chris Perez and Brandon League are all scheduled to throw.
  • Zack Greinke felt good again today and, according to Dodger skipper Don Mattingly, will face live minor league hitters tomorrow. Greinke suffered a right calf strain in his first Cactus League appearance Thursday, Feb. 27.
(Dan Haren, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

TIE ONE ON: The Dodgers held a 4-1 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth yesterday, but came out of Tempe with a 4-4 tie, their second deadlock of the spring season. Scott Van Slyke provided the Dodger offense with a sixth-inning grand slam, the club’s second in two days. On the mound, starter Dan Haren was terrific, firing 4.0 scoreless innings while allowing just three hits and striking out three.

FOX SPORTS 1 ON 1: Today, Fox Sports 1 visited Dodger camp and conducted interviews with several players for their season preview. The Dodgers will make several nationally-televised Saturday appearances on Fox and Fox Sports 1 early in the season, including April 5 against the Giants (FS1), April 19 vs. the D-backs (FS1), May 10 vs. the Giants (FS1) and May 31 vs. Pittsburgh (FOX).
  • The Nine Network from Australia, which will televise the Opening Series against the Diamondbacks in Australia, was onsite this morning, talking to Clayton Kershaw and Brian Wilson.

SOME MINOR ADDITIONS: The Dodgers will have five minor leaguers suiting up for today’s game vs. the Rangers: LHP Fu-Te Ni (#83), LHP Tom Windle (#94), infielder Darnell Sweeney (#87), infielder Jacob Scavuzzo ($90) and outfielder Jon Garcia (#91).
  • Windle, the Dodgers’ second-round selection in last year’s draft, will make his first appearance with the big leaguers. The 6-foot-4 left-hander pitched for the University of Minnesota from 2011-13 and last season went 5-1 with a 2.68 ERA in 13 games (12 starts) for the Single-A Great Lakes Loons.
(Peering into the Dodgers Dugout, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

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The Frank Howard 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet

Here is another post featuring the 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet set.  Go here to see my past post showcasing this set; including complete scans of both the Vin Scully/Jerry Doggett and Don Drysdale booklets.  This time I share the Frank Howard Booklet.

Frank Howard was as tall as a redwood, and as strong as an ox.  He stood 6' 7", and was said to have operated a 100-lbs jackhammer at the age of 14.  Having been drafted by the Philadelphia Warriors basketball club, the Dodgers signed him to a amateur free agent contract in 1958.  He made an immediate impression.

As a minor leaguer he overpowered the competition.  During that first season in 1958, Howard belted 37 home runs and OPS'd .971.  The next year he did even better with 43 homers and 1.032 OPS.  Frank Howard would be named the Minor League Player of the Year by The Sporting News that year.

Comparisons to Babe Ruth came hot and heavy.  He had the size and the power to be one of the best.  No doubt, the Dodgers brass were salivating at the thought.

In 1960, he supplanted Carl Furillo in right field and won Rookie of the Year honors.  Unfortunately, an early injury the next season slowed his progress.  Then, his lack of discipline at the plate became his undoing.  Even after getting glasses in 1963 he couldn't stop the whiffs.  He continued to be one of the league leaders in being struck out, and saw his playing time diminish as a result.

After the 1964 season, Frank Howard was traded to the Washington Senators to play under former Dodger Gil Hodges.  He said this about the trade:
“Disappointed in the trade? Oh, no,” recalled Howard. “I knew it was time. I was at the stage of my life where I had to find out if I could play every day.”
He would soon find out that he could play every day.  In 8 season in the Senators franchise, he belted 246 home runs, 701 RBI's, batted .277 and OPS'd .870.  Frank Howard would win 2 home run titles, lead the league in total bases twice and RBI's once.  After a talk with Ted Williams, he started taking more walks and had his most productive seasons yet.  He went from 54 walks one season to 102 the next.  Soon, he would become one of the highest paid player in game, and become one of the most popular.  They even built a statue for him at Nationals Park.

Below are complete scans of every page from Frank Howard's 1961 Union Oil Dodger Family Booklet.  Click any pic to embiggen. 

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RIP, Dr. Frank Jobe - Sports Medicine Pioneer Invented Tommy John Surgery

The man who has done more for pitchers over the last 40 years than anybody else passed away yesterday.  Dr. Frank Jobe, the inventor of Tommy John Surgery, died at the age of 88 in his Santa Monica home. 
"Frank Jobe is a Hall of Famer in every sense of the word," said Dodger President Stan Kasten. "His dedication and professionalism in not only helping the Dodgers, but athletes around the world is unparalleled.   He was a medical giant and pioneer and many athletes in the past and the future can always thank Frank for finding a way to continue their careers."
Former Dodger pitcher Orel Hershiser said this on twitter:

From Tommy John:
"Baseball lost a great man and Tommy John lost a great friend," said former Dodger Tommy John. "There are a lot of pitchers in baseball who should celebrate his life and what he did for the game of baseball. My deepest condolences and prayers go out to Beverly and the entire family. He's going to be missed."
The Dodgers releases a press release about him last night.  You can read that here.

My deepest condolences to the Jobe family for their loss.

Pic at the very top of Dr. Frank Jobe, via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.

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Blog Kiosk: 3/7/2014 - Dodgers Links - Ryu, Pederson and Instant Replay

Mark McGwire and Ron Cey chat on the field, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.
"He looks more comfortable," said Mattingly. "He looks more fluid. He was stiff early on. He looked typical for a guy who hadn't played in a while. For me, early on was really rough and stiff. He's gotten better. We'll just try to keep playing him as much as we can, but we've got to see other people, too."
“If you’re thinking too much, you’re already at a disadvantage. The ball is coming so fast that you need to have a clear mind. When you keep it simple you can be confident with your approach and take that confidence into the box.
Not only was Babe Ruth's journey to Fayetteville the first train ride he had ever taken, the Lafayette Hotel provided him with his first elevator ride. He spent his pocket money bribing the elevator operator to let him run it. Up and down. Up and down. He couldn't get enough of that elevator. 
  • BTW, if you hadn't heard, it appears Topps will be bringing back Stadium Club, via Chris Olds at Beckett.  See a preview card on the right.
  • For any of you Kings fans out there, John Hoven at Mayor's Manor (In my opinion, the best sports blog in LA) breaks down Wednesdays NHL trade deadline day and the various moves made by the Kings and Ducks on TSN Radio.  I think Dean Lombardi, GM of the Kings, might be the best there is in any sport, and I too am scratching my head at what the Ducks did and didn't do. 

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