Tuesday, November 11, 2014

An Early Peak at Dodgers 2015 Promotional Giveaways

As you would suspect, the Dodgers are wasting no time in getting everything ready for the upcoming 2015 Baseball season.  A schedule for the 2015 season has already been announced, as well as, a schedule for the upcoming Spring Training games in Arizona.

Little noticed, though, is that the Dodgers 2015 'Promotion & Giveaways" schedule on their website is also being updated at this very minute.  Via a Hat Tip from Reddit r/Briarsaunt, we find out that various dates have already been filled with potential giveaways.  Go here to check out the Dodgers Giveaway schedule.  

New for the 2015 season will be a series of Cy Young Collectors' Pins.  There will be eight different pin's available; one for each individual Dodger Cy Young winner.  Below is a list with dates:
  • Don Newcombe (4/13)
  • Don Drysdale (4/27)
  • Sandy Koufax (5/14)
  • Dr. Mike Marshall (6/18)
  • Fernando Valenzuela (8/10)
  • Orel Hershiser (8/29)
  • Eric Gagne (9/14)
  • Clayton Kershaw (9/20)
Clearly, the No-Hitter Pins the Dodgers gave out last season were a big hit with fans.

A 1965 World Series Replica Ring that will be given to fans on the day of the Old-Timers Game (5/16).  Undoubtedly, former players from the '65 club will be in attendance.  There will also be an Hollywood Stars Game (6/6).  Other giveaways include a Garden Gnome (5/25), a Hello Kitty Plush (7/8) and 10 different Bobbleheads.  Unfortunately, it is not known at this time which players will be getting a bobblehead.

BTW, according to Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider, the Garden Gnome to be given out on May 25th will be a Tommy Lasorda Garden Gnome!  Awesome!  I wonder if Andrew Friedman had some influence with this giveaway.  During the 2013 season the Tampa Bay Rays gave away 10,000 Joe Maddon Garden Gnome's and it quickly earned honors as one of the best giveaways of the year throughout Baseball.  Check out a pic of it below.

UPDATE:  Check out a Dodgers press release on their promotional giveaways here.
"Our goal is to continually offer our fans the finest promotional giveaways and events," said Dodger Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Lon Rosen. "We've put together a lineup featuring new and creative concepts as well as fan-favorite items that have been popular with Dodger fans for many years. We also are bringing back one of our favorite events in the Hollywood Stars game."
New items on the 2015 promotional schedule include: adult replica pullover jacket on April 8 (vs. SD), Tommy Lasorda garden gnome on May 25 (vs. ATL), coaster set on May 27 (vs. ATL), cereal bowl on June 7 (vs. STL), beach bag on June 17 (vs. TEX), Father's Day BBQ set on June 21 (vs. SF), Hello Kitty plush on July 8 (vs. PHI), kids' hamper on July 12 (vs. MIL), spray bottle with fan on August 16 (vs. CIN).
Graphic above via barrysticket.com

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My First Grant Holmes Card for My Collection

I clearly missed out on adding a bunch of affordable Corey Seager autographed cards early in his professional career, so I figured I should get on the bus early to grab some cards of our 2014 1st round draft pick now.  I know it's a gamble, but what the heck, eh?  Check out my first addition in this post.  Featured here is a 2014 Leaf Metal Draft autographed card of Grant Holmes. 

The jury is still out as to whether Holmes will be a front-line starter for the Dodgers in the future, and his stats from his first year in professional ball do not provide a clear indication.  He is promising, though.

Just a couple of weeks after signing his first professional contract in mid-June, Holmes went to work on the mound in the Arizona League for the first time.  He pitched two scoreless innings against Seattle's club; striking out an impressive five batters in two innings of work.  Holmes eventually got into seven rookie level games for the Arizona Dodgers before advancing to the clubs Pioneer League team in Ogden.

Overall, he did well in Arizona. Holmes pitched 30 innings and struck a total of 33 batters.  Furthermore, batters were hitting just .187 against him, so he clearly had a good start.  Grant Holmes has a reputation for having a big mid to high 90's fastball, and early indications are that he was able to use the pitch to overwhelm batters. 

His short Pioneer League stint was not as rosy.  He got into only four games, but got hit hard on a couple of occasions.  Holmes pitched just 18.1 innings; giving up 10 earned runs and 19 hits over that span.  On the bright side, he continued to strike out batters at a healthy clip.  In those 18.1 innings he struck out 25 batters.

Like I said, the jury is still out about Grant Holmes, but you gotta like what we've seen so far.  I've been looking high and low for a current scouting report on him, so once I run across one I'll pass it along.

Below are his career stats, via Baseball Reference:

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Blog Kiosk: 11/11/2014 - Dodger Links - New Dodger Personnel and Kapler's View on Endurance Training

Here is a group photo from yesterday's Frank Robinson Celebrity Golf Invitational at Wilshire Country Club to benefit the Major League Baseball Urban Youth Academy in Compton.   (Photo Credit: Robert Binder/MLB)

In the photo are Frank Robinson, Reggie Jackson, Joe Morgan, Albert Pujols, Chris Dickerson of the Indians, Don Buford, Eric Davis, Kenny Lofton, Gary Matthews, Jr., Bo Porter, Bret Saberhagen,  Dmitri Young, Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Russell, Jerry West, James Worthy, Football Hall of Famer Jim Brown, Boxing Legend Sugar Ray Leonard, actors Carlos Bernard, Benjamin Bratt and Anderson Davis.

Below are some links to check out:
  • Does anybody know who this Dodger is?  Bob Lemke shares a bunch of vintage photos featuring ballplayers in Native-American garb; including one pic of a 1950's Dodger prospect named 'Bing' Martin - Bob can't find any information on him.  Check it out here.
  • I firmly believe all the 'rumors' about Russell Martin coming to the Dodgers to be a bunch of bunk.  You should not believe a word of it.  His agent is using the Dodger name to drive up the price.  From what I understand, he is seeking a 5-year deal worth $75Mil to $80Mil.  That alone would take us out of the running.  A cost/benefit analysis tells me that signing him would not be worth it.
  • Via Mike Oz at Big League Stew, "Tommy Lasorda doesn't think Clayton Kershaw should win NL MVP."
  • Via Boston Globe reporter Nick Cafardo on twitter, we have added a couple more folks to the scouting staff:

ESPN reporter Mark Saxon throws in another new name to be added to the Dodgers:

While my mentor was correct that strengthening the heart muscle is good for us as human beings, he was off with his assessment that the training makes sense for baseball players. The longest distance we will ever run on a baseball field is 360 feet, perhaps a few more if we factor in angles on the rare inside the park home run. As an outfielder, if I’m manning center field and run from gap to gap, north or south or a combo of the two, my distance will never be longer than 100 feet in any direction. If I was a cross country runner training for a 5 mile race, would I train by sprinting 35 yard blasts? Of course not. So, as baseball players, why do we seek out training that’s actually breaking us down?
Endurance training has also been shown to decrease muscle fiber size, muscle strength, and muscle power, all of which are detrimental to a baseball athlete (4).
Instead, we should be optimizing for speed and power in short bursts.
Now, a word about No. 1. It came down to two people—Babe Ruth and Jackie Robinson—who ascended above everyone else for reasons about which you soon will read. But choosing between them for the top spot was an excruciating decision, extending beyond baseball to the United States at large. In fact, it was only after recognizing the breadth of the argument that we finally chose Ruth.

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