Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Go Kings Go!

The Kings are up 3 games to 1 in their Western Conference Championship series against the 'Hawks, and I am nervous in anticipation.

I'm not worried about a epic meltdown, although Chicago is good enough to force that, it's just that I know that winning the fourth game of a series is a tough mountain to climb.  Fortunately, the Kings are running on all cylinders and have nearly every facet of their game clicking like a well-oiled machine.

Better yet, I came across this tidbit of information that warms me up inside, via a tweet from John Buccigross:

Even though Quick has not been exactly Quick-like this postseason, I still know that he's likely to play his best game tonight.  Like the Kings as a whole in these playoffs, Jonathan Quick appears to have gotten better as each game and series has gone by.

I'll be sitting at my sister's home baby-sitting/watching the game with my 3 nephews.  They are all fairly young and relative newbies to the game, so I plan on schooling them on the basics - cheering, chanting and taunting.  Everything else will come with experience.

BTW, here's a cool fact (at least it's cool to me), the Kings have a player with a name similar to each of my nephews.  The Kings player names are defensive forward stud Trevor Lewis, speedy rookie Tanner Pearson and rookie phenom Tyler Toffoli.

Anyway, to get yourself amped up for tonight's game why not check out this great mashup video using highlights from Game 4 made by John Bain on youtube:

Video Link:

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

Welcome to the Blue, Jamie Romak!

As you may know, the Dodger have an open spot on the Major League roster due to Carl Crawford's unfortunate ankle injury, so fanatic fans have been wondering who would be brought up in his place.  Some folks hoped that a star prospect would get a cup of coffee with the Dodgers.  Instead, a ballplayer who has fought and persevered through the trenches of Minor League Baseball finally has an opportunity to call himself a Major Leaguer.

Jamie Romak, a 12 year professional, will be in Dodger Blue this evening. He can play the infield corner positions and the outfield, and has put up some decent numbers in Albuquerque this season.  Jamie bats right-handed and has been primarily a 3rd baseman for the Isotopes.  Romak is batting .272 and OPS'ing an impressive .932.  In 206 plate appearances he has slugged 13 home runs for the Isotopes.  So, he has some power.

Romak did not come up through the Dodger farm system.  He was originally drafted by the Braves in the 4th round of the 2003 draft out of London, Ontario.  He has played for the Canadian National Baseball team; having won a Bronze Medal during the 2011 Pan American Games.  Jamie Romak came to the Dodgers in November of 2013 as a free agent.

UPDATE:  Isotopes beat writer Chris Jackson shared this about him on twitter:

I love that the Dodgers are giving Romak a chance to roam a Major League field. I suspect he'll get a chance to start at 3rd base since neither Turner or Figgins are best suited as everyday players.  I don't know if we should expect him to stick around for very long, but sometimes magic strikes.

Via a story by Alexis Brudnicki at the Canadian Baseball Network:
“If you are ever just happy to be in affiliated ball, you won’t be there long,” Romak said. “I’m extremely grateful but Triple-A isn’t my big leagues. There’s no time line on my career. That’s up to God. Baseball is my career and if the big leagues doesn’t happen for me, I will pursue other avenues like playing in Asia to continue to make a living [from it].”
Well, Jamie, you just got the call!  Over the next few days I'll raise up a pint in his honor and wish him the best.  Welcome to the Dodgers, Jamie Romak!

In celebration of Romak officially becoming a Dodger today, I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photo grabbed from I-70 Baseball blog from several years back and the 1987 Topps Baseball card design.  If you can't tell, I did a little bit of photoshopping to add the LA Dodger logo on his helmet.

BTW, Jamie has received some encouraging words, via twitter:

Below are Romak's minor league career stats, via Baseball Reference:

UPDATE:  Via a Dodgers press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today placed outfielder Carl Crawford on the 15-day disabled list (left ankle sprain) and selected the contract of corner infielder/outfielder Jamie Romak (#35) from Triple-A Albuquerque.

The 28-year-old Romak, who will be making his Major League debut, leads the Pacific Coast League with 10 home runs this month and was batting .303 (27-for-89) with six doubles, a triple and 18 RBI in 25 May games. Overall, Romak hit .272 with 13 homers and 30 RBI in 48 games with the Isotopes and showed his versatility by appearing in 27 games at third base, 10 at first base and eight in the outfield. The London, Ontario, Canada native was originally selected by the Braves in the fourth round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft and was signed by the Dodgers as a free agent on Nov. 19, 2013.

Crawford was batting .267 with four home runs and 18 RBI in 44 games this season.

The Dodgers now have 40 players on their 40-man roster.

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

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Lenny "Nails" Dykstra

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.

The Lenny Dykstra signing is the only event I am aware of for this weekend.  If there is something else, please let me know.  BTW, there will likely be some Dodger signers for the upcoming weekend homestand against the Pirates, and I will pass that information along when it is available.

UPDATE:  According to Roberto at Vin Scully is My Homeboy, Jerry Reuss is signing at a US Bank location in Panorama City tomorrow.  Go here for more information.


Lenny Dykstra will be signing autographs at the OC Dugout in Anaheim on Saturday, May 31st from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  Get more infromation here.
The OC Dugout
1238 S. Beach Blvd., Ste. K
Anaheim, CA 92804

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

Blog Kiosk: 5/28/2014 - Dodger Links - Puig, Ryu, Crawford Injured and Aerials of Dodger Stadium

What a great aerial view of Dodger Stadium.  Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo took a ride on the Goodyear Blimp last night to capture some views of the Dodger home from the heavens.  Go here to check them all out.
We’re talking about a guy who, through this point in his career, has been a better hitter than almost all of the greatest hitters of all-time. And he seems to be getting better. The story of Puig’s rookie year focused heavily on the parts of his game that reminded everyone of Manny Ramirez. Perhaps we shouldn’t miss out on the fact that he’s hitting like an in-his-prime Manny Ramirez as well.
"It's tough when you come up and have instant success after everybody has been pumping you up and telling you how great you're going to be," Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis said. "People anointed Dee as the Dodger shortstop for the next 15 years and then he stumbled, and it's hard to pull yourself out of that. What's impressed me is his humility and drive and knowing how this could all be taken away in a moment's notice. He's not going to let that happen again."
"We still go back to him being 100 percent," manager Don Mattingly said. "We don't feel like he's moving like he did a couple of years ago. We still feel like maybe physically he's back because he's not on the medical report, but you see his steps sometimes where he doesn't really want to stop hard and maybe it's just getting over that, still a little fear of the ankle and where it'€™s at."
  • And the DL parade just doesn't want to stop.  Via Earl Bloom at, "Crawford headed to DL with left ankle sprain."  And, it was such an innocuous play.  Crawford was just quietly going to the corner to pick up a ball hit down the line.  He wasn't running full speed, and he didn't need to rush.  He just stepped awkwardly and bent his ankle.  It was really bad luck.
"It doesn't look good," manager Don Mattingly said after the game. "The video didn't look good."
  • In light of this past weekends tragedy in Isla Vista and the ensuing media frezy that always seems to pop up, I thought the below video is worth watching.

Video Link:

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