Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 16/Home Game 8

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.
 Arizona Diamondbacks (7-6-3) at LOS ANGELES DODGERS (5-6-4)
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 – 1:05 p.m. | Glendale
RHP Michael Lee vs. RHP Zack Greinke (0-0, 0.00)
Spring Game 16/Home Game 8
Television/Radio: SNLA/KLAC

(Bats, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

NEXT TIME IT’S REAL: The Dodgers will open the 2014 season in just 10 days against the D-backs in MLB’s Opening Series in Sydney, Australia. With their Cactus League series tied 1-1, the clubs will square off today for their third and final meeting of the spring. Despite the Dodgers winning the division in 2013 and leading the D-backs in the overall series 146-131, the D-backs won 10 of the 19 meetings between the clubs last season.
  • Outfielder Matt Kemp is scheduled to play in a minor league intrasuad game today at noon on the backfields of Camelback Ranch – Glendale.
  • Minor league position players suiting up today include LHP Daniel Moskos (#47), IF Darnell Sweeney (#83), IF Daniel Mayora (#88), OF Scott Schebler (#89), IF Jamie Romak (#90), RHP Craig Stem (#96) and RHP Romulo Sanchez (#97).

AUSTRALIAN FOR BASEBALL: The historic Sydney Cricket Ground, which is the site where the Dodgers will face the D-backs in MLB’s 2014 Opening Series in Sydney, Australia, has been undergoing renovations to prepare for the first-ever MLB games to be played Down Under. The club will depart Arizona following its Sunday game against the Rockies and land in Sydney on March 18. Following a few days of workouts and sightseeing, the Dodgers will play Team Australia in an exhibition March 20 and then take on the D-backs March 22 and 23 to open the regular season.
  • Clayton Kershaw will be the Opening Day starter for the first game against the D-backs in the 2014 Opening Series in Sydney, Australia. This will mark Kershaw’s fourth consecutive Opening Day start for the club and he has not allowed a run in his three previous outings (19.0 IP). The left-hander has racked up 19 strikeouts in his three Opening Day starts against the Giants (2013 – SHO, 2011 – 7.0 IP) and Padres (2012, 3.0 IP, exited game due to illness). Hyun-Jin Ryu will pitch the second game in Australia.
(Congratulations for Dan Haren, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

BACK IN THE “W” COLUMN: Yesterday, the Dodgers picked up their fifth Cactus League win, 7-5, against the Royals in Surprise, their first victory since Friday’s win vs. Texas. Outfielder Scott Van Slyke (1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB) gave the Dodgers a late lead with a two-run homer in the eighth inning and, after the lead was given up in the bottom half of the inning, outfielder Noel Cuevas (1-for-1, HR, 3 RBI) put Los Angeles on top for good with a three-run shot in the ninth. On the mound, starter Dan Haren had a solid outing by allowing one run on seven hits with a walk and a strikeout in 4.0 innings, while RHP Jose Dominguez (1.0 IP), LHP Paco Rodriguez (1.0 IP) and RHP Sam Demel (1.0 IP) each tossed scoreless relief.

ZACK ATTACK: For the first time since suffering a right calf strain in his only Cactus League appearance on February 27, right-hander Zack Greinke will pitch 2.0 innings today against Arizona. Greinke enters his second season with the Dodgers after going 15-4 in 2013, one win shy of his career high of 16 in 2009, with the National League’s fourth-lowest ERA at 2.63 in 28.
  • Also scheduled to throw today is left-hander J.P. Howell, who will be making his fifth appearance of the spring. Howell last appeared on Monday against Oakland and has fired scoreless relief in three of his four outings.
  • Yet to allow a run in 4.0 innings (4 G), right-handed reliever Kenley Jansen is scheduled to pitch this afternoon against the D-backs. Jansen is limiting the opposition to a .154 (2-for-13) batting average this spring and has racked up three strikeouts without issuing a walk.
  • RHP Chris Perez and RHP Chris Withrow are scheduled to pitch today for their fifth and fourth times of the spring, respectively.
(Justin Turner, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

UP FOR THE CHALLENGE: With Manager Don Mattingly leaving camp due to a death in the family, bench coach Tim Wallach will serve as the manager and Special Advisor to the GM Pat Corrales will be the club’s bench coach this afternoon. Los Angeles will play their third game with the new instant replay system today and will have two more Cactus League games where replay is used after today’s game, March 15 at Chicago-AL and March 16 vs. Colorado. The system will also be in place for all three Freeway Series games against the Angels.
  • Wallach managed the Dodgers’ Triple-A partner the Albuquerque Isotopes in 2009 and 2010 and guided them to a 152-135 (.530) record and an American Southern Division title in 2009. That season, Wallach was recognized as the 2009 Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year and also as Baseball America’s “Best Manager Prospect.”

SPRING CLEANING: Tonight, Senior Vice President of Planning and Development Janet Marie Smith will speak at the NINE Spring Training conference in Tempe, AZ. NINE: A Journal of Baseball History & Culture seeks to promote the study of all historical aspects of baseball and centers on the cultural implications of the game wherever in the world baseball is played. The journal reflects an eclectic approach and does not foster a particular ideological bias.
  • Renowned architect and urban planner Janet Marie Smith was named the Dodgers’ Senior Vice President of Planning and Development in August 2012 and is overseeing current upgrades and enhancements to Dodger Stadium.
(Dodgers 2013 draftee Kyle Farmer singles, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)

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Washington Park II - The Dodgers Return to this Reborn Park in Brooklyn

Following up on my short series of post from the past several of weeks covering the old ballparks of the Brooklyn Dodgers, I now take a look at the second incarnation of Washington Park - a stadium commonly known as Washington Park II.  Go here to take a look at my past stories on the former homes of the Brooklyn franchise.

As a point of reference, below is a quick guide of past Dodger home fields:
  • 1883-1891 -- Washington Park I
  • 1886 -- Grauer's Ridgewood Park
  • 1887-1889 -- Wallace's Ridgewood Park
  • 1891-1897 -- Eastern Park
  • 1898-1912 -- Washington Park II
  • 1913-1956 1957 -- Ebbets Field
*Please note that the dates above may not be exactly correct.  Various sources I found conflicted on this, so consider it approximate.  Also, it appears that the team played at several different ballparks during some seasons.
Washington Park II
(1907, pic via

Charles Ebbets took over the Brooklyn franchise after the death of team owner Charlie Byrne, and one of the very first things he did was move the team from Eastern Park back to a location near their original home at Washington Park.  Attendance steadily declined during their past seven year stay at Eastern Park, so moving back to an area that was closer to their original core fanbase was a no-brainer.  Unsurprisingly, those fans were elated.

Their new home would be bordered by First and Third Streets, and Third and Fourth Avenues in Brooklyn, and they would call it Washington Park in homage to the old stadium.  As you can see in the above map, Washington Park II was just a bit north of their original home.  Per Brooklyn
Work on the site began on March 24, with Maie Ebbets, daughter of Charles, turning the first sod. Building costs of $20,000 were shared by the Nassau and Brooklyn L railroad companies, both of which ran lines nearby and stood to gain a great deal of business. The club paid another $80,000 in expenses to move the team, but Ebbets said he felt "thoroughly satisfied with the prospect in view." This Washington Park featured a grandstand to seat 5,000, with 7,000 cheaper seats, and "unlimited" standing room. There was also room for 60 carriages to be parked. A stone yard and blacksmith shop were removed to make way for the ballpark.
(Image of Opening Day 1898 from the Brooklyn Eagle, via
(Image of Opening Day 1899 from the Brooklyn Eagle, via

Attendance rebounded in their new home.  Soon, capacity increased to 20,000 fans, a new team clubhouse was built and dugouts were installed for the players on the field.
(1907, pic via
(1909, pic via

All the while, Charles Ebbets crafted a plan to relocate the team.  Over the next several years, Ebbets would buy up plots of land in the Flatbush section of Brooklyn.  Then, when he finally owned an entire block he would build a brand new stadium to call his own. That day came in 1912, when he finally revealed his plan to the masses.  He would build a new steel and concrete ballpark for his Dodgers, and he would call it Ebbets Field. Brooklyn would play their last season at Washington Park II in 1912.
(from Bain News Service - The Library of Congress)

The above photo is from Opening Day 1908 at the outfield entrance at 3rd Avenue and 1st Street.  And below is a look at the greandstands behind home plate, pic via eBay bk.sales.

The Washington Park Wall

Did you know that a remnant from Washington Park II still stands today?

An old brick wall that runs half-way down 3rd Avenue and 1st Street in Brooklyn is said to be the outfield wall to Washington Park II.  Although, there is some debate among historians whether it is the original wall from the Charles Ebbets ownership, or the subsequent Brooklyn Tip Tops of the Federal League that resided there after the Dodgers left.  Nevertheless, it remains one of the the oldest pieces of a Major League ballpark to still be standing.  Below are a couple of screen grabs I took from Google streetviews.

Brooklyn Ballparks does an excellent job of reviewing the evidence and they conclude that the wall dates to 1914 - built by the Brooklyn Tip Tops.  Go there to judge for yourself.
(On 3rd Avenue, looking towards 1st Street)
(A view of the corner of 3rd Avenue on right and 1st Street on the left)

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Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Kenny Landreaux on Saturday

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.


For those is Phoenix, Arizona, the SABR Analytics Conference begins tomorrow at the Hyatt Regency in Phoenix.  Go here for more information.

Former Dodger Kenny Landreaux will be in Rowland Heights for an autograph signing.  Go here for more information.  It is being held at the optometry office of Dr. Alex Corbin Liu.
19735 E. Colima Rd. 
Rowland Heights, CA 91748

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Blog Kiosk: 3/12/2014 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

What a great photo of a broken bat in the hands of Juan Uribe.  Pic taken by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.
  • I'd like to extend my condolences to Don Mattingly and his family.  Per Ken Gurnick at, he will be absent the next couple of days to attend a family funeral.
  • Mark Langill at Dodger Insider shares a great story about the day Dodger manager Wilbert Robinson tried to catch a Baseball dropped from a plane.  It's tales like this that make Baseball so great.
  • FYI, the Dodgers reassigned relief pitcher Red Patterson to the minor leagues yesterday. 
  • Mark Saxon at writes, "Exploring the Australia Effect on 2014".
On the 2004 games the Yankees played in Japan: “We came back with four spring training games and that was miserable and we started bad,” Mattingly said. “Those are the things I worry about. The bell rings, those two games count, then you come back and say, ‘Don’t matter.’ I worry about bad habits.” 
"They would like to try to help me stay back, because it's a lot of travel to go over there just to be insurance," Haren said. "If I have to do it, I would do it. I told them I would have no problem doing it. But if I'm not going to throw there and I could stay back, that's better for everybody."
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