Monday, November 03, 2014

Clayton Kershaw Hits a Triple - Wins 3 Player's Choice Awards

It's one thing for sports reporters to acknowledge your greatness on the field, but it's quite another when your peers do it.

(pic via @MLBPA Players Choice on twitter)
Announced this evening, Clayton Kersahw has been awarded three different Players Choice Awards for his accomplishments on and off the field during the 2014 season.  As you know, these are honors voted on by Major League ballplayers themselves.

Per a announcement:
Clayton Kershaw on Monday became the first player to ever win three Players Choice Awards in a single year as he was recognized by his fellow players as the NL’s Outstanding Pitcher and the overall Player of the Year as well as the Marvin Miller Man of the Year, which goes to the player in either league who most inspires others through his efforts on and off the field.
Kershaw was also nominated for the Outstanding Player award in the National League, but was edged out by Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton.  Clayton had this to say:
“To get something like this that recognizes you not only as a pitcher, but as a player, too, it’s amazing,” stated Kershaw during his Player of the Year acceptance interview. “It’s something that you really got to take a step back and think about. Obviously, all of the other candidates are amazing players and just to be associated with those names is pretty awesome…to have the guys respect not only what you do on the mound, but just as a player is pretty awesome and something that I definitely don’t take lightly.”
I won't bother recounting how good Clayton was on the field.  After all, if you're reading this then you likely already know how good he was.  I will share a bit about what he has done to win the Marvin Miller Man of the Year award, though.

In 2011 Clayton and his wife Ellen began Kershaw's Challenge due to a friendship with a HIV-infected girl in Lusaka, Zambia named Hope.  Through that relationship, they built an orphanage in Zambia, called "Arise Home," for children battling the same illness that opened in December 2012.  As the Kershaw's Challenge website states:
The “Challenge” is to use whatever you have been blessed with—talent, passion, or purpose—to give back to others. In 2012, Kershaw’s Challenge expanded to serve children’s charities in Los Angeles and Dallas. The Kershaw's are adamant about serving hands-on throughout the year, and being invested in the non-profits we partner with.
Charity events put together by the Kershaw's include the Ping Pong 4 Purpose event at Dodger Stadium and the inaugural Kershaw's Challenge Live Benefit Concert in Dallas, Texas that is this coming Thursday, November 6th.  Go here information on that event.  It is at The Rustic and features musical artist Emerald Blue and Clay Walker.
(pic via

Below is a complete list of Finalist and Winners (in bold type):

American League:
  • Outstanding Player: Jose Altuve (Houston), Victor Martinez (Detroit), Mike Trout (LA Angels of Anaheim) 
  • Outstanding Pitcher: Felix Hernandez (Seattle), Corey Kluber (Cleveland), Chris Sale (Chicago White Sox) 
  • Outstanding Rookie: JoseAbreu (Chicago White Sox), Danny Santana (Minnesota), Matt Shoemaker (Angels) 
  • Comeback Player: J.D. Martinez (Detroit), Victor Martinez (Detroit), Chris Young (Seattle)
National League:
  • Outstanding Player: Josh Harrison (Pittsburgh), Clayton Kershaw (LA Dodgers), Giancarlo Stanton (Miami) 
  • Outstanding Pitcher: Johnny Cueto (Cincinnati), Clayton Kershaw (LA Dodgers), Adam Wainwright (St. Louis) 
  • Outstanding Rookie: Jacob deGrom (NY Mets), Billy Hamilton (Cincinnati), David Peralta (Arizona) 
  • Comeback Player: Tim Hudson (San Francisco), Casey McGehee (Miami), Edinson Volquez (Pittsburgh)
Either League:
  • Player of Year: Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles), Giancarlo Stanton (Miami), Mike Trout (LA Angels of Anaheim) 
  • Man of the Year: Clayton Kershaw (Los Angeles), Adam Laroche (Washington), Anthony Rizzo (Chicago Cubs)
Below are some videos of the announcements:

Kershaw reacts to being named the 2014 Marvin Miller Man of the Year.

Video Link:

Kershaw talks about winning the Players Choice Award for 2014 National League Outstanding Pitcher.

Video Link:

Kershaw talks about taking home the Players Choice Award for 2014 Player of the Year.

Video Link:

Pic at the very top via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2013.

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The Ball's in Hanley's Court Now and Other Dodger Developments

The Dodgers have elected to extend an Qualifying Offer to Hanley Ramirez.  (No surprise, eh?)

This means that Hanley has until November 10th to decide to take a 1-year $15.3Mil contract to play for the Dodgers in 2015, or he can become a free agent for the first time in his career.  If he decides to stay with the Dodgers (either to boost his potential value the following season or because he really wants to stay in LA), then that immediately solves any issues the team has with filling the short stop position next year.  If Hanley chooses the later, then the Dodgers will receive a compensation draft pick for the 2015 draft should he sign elsewhere.  They would also have to fill the vacancy at short stop.

I am certain that he'll decline the Qualifying Offer since he should be able to find a more lucrative multi-year contract with another club.  Besides, as Jon Weisman noted earlier today, every player given a Qualifying Offer since this process began a couple of years ago has declined.  So why buck that trend?

On the other hand, I believe his professed love of Los Angeles is genuine, so maybe... just maybe he takes it.  BTW, the Dodgers and Hanley could still negotiate a contract.  I just don't think the team is willing to provide the kind of long-term commitment Hanley wants.  They have plenty of options now; including Arruebarrena and Guerrero, while they wait for top-rated prospect Corey Seager to take over the position.

I should note that I do not believe the Dodgers will extend a multi-year contract to any available free agent to play short stop.  They are clearly trying to make room for their youngsters, and putting up a roadblock like that runs counter to what you should expect will happen with the Dodgers going forward.

Hanley Ramirez has been a great LA Dodger, and his leaving really sucks.  I've enjoyed watching him on and off the field, and I believe his departure will prove to be a big loss for that clubhouse.  That being said, times change and I don't think there's any question that this new phase of the Guggenheim ownership will result in a whole new Dodger team.

The pic above was taken the day Hanley first arrived in the Dodger clubhouse after being traded there in late-July 2012, via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2012.  He looked so young, didn't he?


In another unsurprising move, Brian Wilson has decided to exercise his player option for the 2015 season.

Brian Wilson has one year remaining on his contract and it's at $9.5Mil.  After a fantastic month and a half as a Dodger in 2013, Wilson's 2014 was sorely disappointing.  He appeared in 61 games with a 4.66 ERA, and recorded a 4.29 FIP.  Having displayed a glaring loss in velocity to his fastball, he was largely ineffective and mistrusted in relief. 

Hopefully, he can do better in 2015. It'll be just under three years since his Tommy John surgery in early 2012, so if his arm is indeed fine then the timing is good for him have a big rebound year.


Scott Elbert is now a free agent.

The Dodgers had outrighted Elbert for the purposes of reassigning him to the minor leagues.  As is a players option, Scott opted to become a free agent instead.

This is a bit surprising.  Scott had Tommy John Surgery in June 2013 and only just recently got back on the field to pitch.  He was effective, though, so that likely drives his belief that a better Major League option exist for him. 

In seven appearances at the tail-end of the 2014 season he gave up just four hits and one earned run.  He also pitched in the playoffs against the Cardinals, but got shelled.  Scott Elbert gave up the eventual game winning home run to Kolten Wong in Game 3 of that series.

Scott Elbert was the Dodgers 1st round draft pick in the 2004 draft and was considered, at one time, to be one of the best prospects in the Majors.  Unfortunately, arm problems cropped up in 2008 and various other arm issues continued to hamper his development from then on out.

The pic above of Elbert is via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2012.


(pic via @MLB on twitter)
Joe Maddon is now the Cubs manager, so it's time to get over the fact that he's not coming to LA.  Besides, it was never going to happen... No matter how much folks screamed about it on social media. 

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

2014 Topps Supreme Baseball - All the Dodger Cards

Last week Topps released their newest high-end Baseball card set.  It is called Supreme Baseball and every card in the set is autographed.  A box will cost you about $60 to $80 each and you get just one pack with two autographed cards in it.  Go here for a complete checklist.

Unfortunately, most of the Dodger autographed cards are available only through a redemption card.  A complete checklist is available below.

There are four Dodgers in the Base Autographed set.  They are Alexander Guerrero, Erisbel Arruebarrena, Johnny Podres and Yasiel Puig.  The Guerrero (#SA-AG) and Puig (#SA-YP) have redemption cards.  They are serial numbered to only 50 copies and have numerous parallels available.  The parallel checklist is as follows: Green #/45, Sepia #/35, Purple #/25, Blue #/20, Orange #/15, Red #/10, Black #/5, Supreme 1/1, Printing Plates 1/1.

Autographs Set

#SA-EA Erisbel Arruebarrena                   #SA-JPO Johnny Podres

UPDATE: Here is the Puig Autograph card in it's original redemption holder on the left and the Guerrero card on the right.

Yasiel Puig (#SA-YP)                      Guerrero (#SA-AG)

The Autographed Patch Relic cards below are numbered to 25 copies with the following parallels: Platinum Patch #/5, Supreme Patch 1/1.

Autographed Patch Relics 

#APR-AG Adrian Gonzalez

Remaining Redemption Dodger checklist:
  • Dual Autographs Set - #DA-AG Guerrero & Arruebarrena (#/25)
  • Dual Autographs Set - #DA-PK Puig & Kershaw (#/25)
  • Dual Autographs Set - #DA-PT Trout & Puig (#/25)
  • Dual Autographed Jumbo Patch Relic Book - #DAPR-PT Trout & Puig (#/10)
  • Triple Autographs - #TA-HTP Harper, Trout & Puig (#/10)
UPDATE:  Here is the Kershaw/Puig Dual Autograph card in it's original redemption holder below.  Also the Triple Autograph card with Puig,Trout and Harper is below that.

#DA-PK Puig & Kershaw (#/25)

#TA-HTP Harper, Trout & Puig (#/10)

The Simply Supreme Autographed cards are serial numbered to 50 copies with the following parallels: Green #/45, Sepia #/35, Purple #/25, Blue #/20, Orange #/15, Red #/10, Black #/5, Supreme 1/1, Printing Plates 1/1.  The Clayton Kershaw card (#SSU-CK) is only available through a redemption card.  Below are the Snider and Arruebarrena Simply Supreme Autographed cards.

Simply Supreme Autographs

#SSU-DS Duke Snider               #SSU-EA Erisbel Arruebarrena

UDPATE:  Here is the Kershaw Simply Supreme Autograph card in it's original redemption holder below.

Clayton Kershaw (#SSU-CK)

The Supreme Styling Die-Cut Autographed cards are serial numbered to 50 copies with the following parallels: Green #/45, Sepia #/35, Purple #/25, Blue #/20, Orange #/15, Red #/10, Black #/5, Supreme 1/1, Printing Plates 1/1.  The Clayton Kershaw card (#SS-CK) is only available through a redemption card.  Below are the Koufax and Arruebarrena Simply Supreme Autographed cards.

Supreme Styling Die-Cut Autographs

#SS-EA Erisbel Arruebarrena               #SS-SKO Sandy Koufax

UDPATE:  Here is the Kershaw Supreme Styling Die-Cut Autograph card in it's original redemption holder below.

Clayton Kershaw (#SS-CK)

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Blog Kiosk: 11/3/2014 - Dodger Links - Puig's Halloween Costume, Vin Scully and Corey Seager

Yasiel Puig was one scary dude for Halloween, pic above via his instagram

Below are some links to check out:
“It’s the answer I would have given you yesterday and the day before yesterday. What I like about baseball is not the players; it’s the life, the life of a human being. This is how you should accept it. Do the best you can in the things our boss has asked us to do. By boss, you can call it God, the manager, the Lord, but that’s it. This is what I want, what I like to see.”
And though careful to say choosing his eventual successor would not be up to him, but to the team, he’s also not keen on eventually retiring without the Dodgers having a successor in mind.

“I would hope something would be developed for the future,” Scully said. “I wouldn’t want to leave them in the lurch.”
"Corey is an incredibly gifted prospect," said Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers' new president of baseball operations. "His hands work really well on both sides of the ball and his progression year over year is right in line with that we would hope."
He believes this was the moment of epiphany for him. Three friends came from Los Angeles to his door. There was a light — some form of higher power, he’s convinced, that was also present. Finally, this attempt to grapple his addiction into submission held when his friends extracted him from that place. For a quarter century since, he’s been going to Alcoholics Anonymous and he does not care who knows.
“He was so excited,” Withrow continued. “He was saying, ‘Oh man, you’re gonna feel so good once you get that thing off.’ I think that’s when it really sunk in that it had happened. I just sat there and watched it all come off. The next thing you know, I’m white.”

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