Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Puig Earns NL Player of Month Honors on his Dodger Birthday

I think the lyrics below found in the Grateful Dead song 'Truckin'" are spot-on when thinking about Yasiel Puig: 
Sometimes, the light's all shinin' on me;
Other times, I can barely see.
Lately, it occurs to me 
What a long, strange trip it's been.

The last 12 months have certainly been a long, strange trip for Puig.  He exploded on the scene exactly 12 months ago today and immediately captivated the Dodger faithful and Baseball fans alike with his heroics at the plate and in the field.  Then, the criticism came fast and furious.  Suddenly, he became a symbol for everything that is wrong with the game.

All the while, Puig just continues to chug along.

On the day that marks his 1-year anniversary as a Dodger, Yasiel Puig has been named the winner of the NL Player of the Month Award for May 2014. This is the second time he has won the award.

Per a Dodger press release:
In 28 May contests, Puig led the Majors with a .398 batting average (43-for-108) and a .492 on-base percentage. His 43 hits paced the N.L. and set a new Los Angeles record for hits in the month of May. The 23-year-old also led the Senior Circuit in RBI (25), slugging percentage (.731), extra-base hits (19) and total bases (79). His eight homers tied Miami's Giancarlo Stanton for the league lead while his 20 runs scored were tied for fourth. Puig reached base safely in each of his games played during the month and collected hits in 26 of the 28 contests. The Cuban slugger belted 10 doubles during the month and swiped four bases... The young star etched his name in the Dodger record books yet again after posting eight consecutive games from May 9-17 with at least one extra-base hit and one RBI. The streak eclipsed Pedro Guerrero's previous club record of seven such outings (July 31-August 9, 1985).
Congrats, Yasiel!

In honor of his newest on-field accomplishment, the Dodgers put together a compilation video of his top moments from the past 12 months.  Check it out below.

Video Link:

Graphic above via Dodgers tumblr page:

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Tuesday Night Game Info - Hello Kitty Bobblehead Night

Tonight is the 2nd game of the Dodgers homestand against the Chicago White Sox.  Below are some odds and ends for tonight's game.  Unfortunately, a former Dodger player is not scheduled to sign at the stadium.

Tuesday, June 3rd at 7:10 PM
RHP Hector Noesi vs. RHP Dan Haren

Tonight's game starts at 7:10 PM.  Auto gates open at 4:30 PM, and stadium gates open at 5:00 PM.

It is Hello Kitty Mini Bobblehead night.  The first 50,000 fans in attendance receives one.  Hello Kitty will be in the left-field pavilion plaza to meet fans from 5:00 PM to 6:00 PM.  The national anthem will be performed by Rozzi Crane, Hello Kitty will throw the ceremonial first pitch and George Lopez will serve as guest PA announcer.
  • The Veteran of the Game presented by Bank of America is U.S. Army Sergeant Raymond Muckelroy of Bloomington, CA. Muckelroy enlisted in 2007 and serves with the 558th Military Police Company, 728th MP Battalion, 8th MP Brigade based at Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.  In his role as a Military Police Officer, he serves as a team leader supervising fellow officers and provides law enforcement. Muckelroy has served deployments overseas in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. His accolades include the Global War on Terrorism Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal with Bronze Star Device and two Army Commendation Medals. 

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A Corey Seager Autographed Card for the Collection

This Dodger infield prospect is on an absolute tear. He is batting an impressive .342 with 8 home runs, 21 doubles and 37 RBI's in 49 games.  His OPS is hovering at an all-star level of .979.  Even more telling is that he has been consistently good against both right-handed and left-handed pitchers.  Against righties he is slashing .344/.398/.545, and against southpaws he is .333/.385/.708.  Wow!

If Corey Seager can continue to develop like this, then I figure he'll be spending just a little more time in the minors before getting a chance to show his stuff on the big stage.  Maybe he moves up to Double-AA later in the season, then gets a cup of coffee in 2015 as a 21-year old.

His progress has to make the folks in the Dodger front office giddy.  In fact, I know I'm happy as a clam.  So happy in fact, I figured it was about time to pick up a Seager autographed card for my collection before they starting shooting up in value.  Unfortunately, I might be a little too late.  His 2012 Bowman Chrome rookie cards are regularly trading at about $30 to $40 a piece.

So, instead of splurging big on that card I decided to pick up a 2013 Bowman Inception autographed card instead.  Check it out above and below.

As you can see, it came to me in the original card saver direct from Topps. I have yet to decide if I'll crack it out of that packaging.

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Blog Kiosk: 6/3/2014 - Dodger Links - Kemp, Withrow to have Surgery and Jobu

What a great photo of Clayton Kershaw in the midst of pitching a gem of a game last night, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014.  It's only the top of the 5th inning in the photo and Clayton has made just one mistake on the mound.  Unfortunately, that miscue resulted in a 2-run home run by Cuban rookie Jose Abreu.  No worries though, the Dodgers would come back for 5 big runs in their half of the 6th inning to secure a lead.
The warning cited a number of Dodgers pitchers for their violations of baseball’s “pace of game” regulations. A number of relievers were cited for taking too long to get from the bullpen to the mound when entering the game. Continued violations could result in $5,000 fines though none of the players have been fined to date.
"We're going to take it like a normal day in the past," Abreu said. "It's good to play against friends. (Puig) is a friend of mine. There's another guy there that is an infielder, Erisbel Arruebarrena, who played on the same team in Cuba. I'm looking forward to really saying hello to them."
I have no idea if Kemp will ever regain superstar status and perform to 2011 levels. Maybe not, but it's called a "career year" for a reason. It happens once. Kemp is still the "Bison," he's still a true Dodger, and he really has run into a wall for the organization. He doesn't need artificial ones placed in front of him by his manager. He's earned the benefit of the doubt.

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