Thursday, April 23, 2015

Sandy Koufax, Pat Zachry and a Red Barber Collectible at Heritage Auctions

Enough with writing about Time Warner and their shenanigans.  I'm sick of it, and I wish it wasn't pertinent to the Dodgers.  But, it is.

Thankfully, I don't have to dwell on it for long because there is an upcoming auction through Heritage that has me transfixed on some fantastic Dodger memorabilia.  Check out some previews below. 

Above is a circa 1980's game worn jacket worn by Sandy Koufax.  I wonder if this would fit me.

Below is a 1988 Dodgers World Championship ring given to former Dodger pitcher Pat Zachry.  At the time, Zachry was not playing Baseball, but was an front office employee for the club.
(Auction Link)

This next item might be the coolest of all.  Featured below is a 1943 Brooklyn Dodgers silver presentation box given by the club to legendary broadcaster Red Barber.  Engraved on the reverse is the following:
Presented By Brooklyn National League Baseball Club To Walter "Red" Barber In Grateful Recognition of Distinguished Services To Baseball and to Brooklyn - May 24, 1943.
(Auction Link)
(Auction Link)

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New Reports: Comcast to Walk Away from Merger

Following up on yesterday's short post, we get word this morning via Alex Sherman at Bloomberg that his sources indicate that Comcast will drop their intended merger with Time Warner Cable.
Comcast Corp. is planning to walk away from its proposed takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said, after regulators decided that the deal wouldn’t help consumers, making approval unlikely.

A formal announcement on the deal’s fate may come as soon as Friday, said one of the people, who asked not to be named discussing private information.
This development comes just after word leaked out that the FCC was planning a hearing on the merger - which by most accounts meant that the merger was dead in the water.  Bloomberg's story confirms that Comcast would rather walk away then fight through that process.  In light of this, another player may come into the picture.  Charter Communication may seek to acquire Time Warner themselves.
What this means for Dodger fans is hard to gauge at the moment. It had been widely reported that the expansion of the SportsNet LA channel throughout Los Angeles was dependent on a successful merger between the two cable giants.  Now that this appears to be dead there's increased uncertainty about when the remaining 70% of homes will get the channel. 

Who knows, maybe never.

I jest, of course.  But, I will say that I wouldn't count on anything happening right away.

I recently wrote this is a thread on reddit regarding the matter:
From what I understand it's a partnership between TWC and the Dodgers, and right now they are not making money because of the lack of RSN coverage. If there is no merger than the RSN coverage doesn't change and SportsNet LA continues to lose money since they are obligated to pay the Dodgers regardless. The only way to change that situation is to force a renegotiation of the original contract... At least, that's my assessment of the situation.
I fear that something like the above will happen, and it will ultimately lead to a long-drawn-out process before there is coverage throughout Los Angeles.  We could be talking years.

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2015 Topps Chipz - The Dodger Chips

The oddest collectible in the hobby has just been released.  It is called Chipz, and as the name suggest it's a poker-styled chip featuring your favorite ballplayer.  I have yet to see a complete checklist, but I'm certain I've got photos of all the Dodger players available.  Check them out below.

BTW, the normal base Chipz are the white border chips.  Parallel borders come in Red (1:2 packs), Blue (1:4), Green (1:6) and Black (1:10).  There are also Red Foil (one per case) and Gold Foil (1:10) Stickers.

I am also aware of only one Dodger memorabilia Chipz.  It is of Yasiel Puig, and you can see one of them below. 

#Adrian Gonzalez                               #Zack Greinke

#Clayton Kershaw                                  #Yasiel Puig

#Hanley Ramirez                             #Hyun-Jin Ryu

Game-Used Memorabilia

#Yasiel Puig

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Mike Bolsinger Called Up to Start Against Giants this Afternoon

As you likely already know, the Dodgers have called up right-handed starting pitcher Mike Bolsinger to start tonight's game against the Giants.  Yesterday's starting center fielder Chris Heisey has been optioned back to AAA.  Via a Dodger press release:
The Los Angeles Dodgers today recalled right-handed pitcher Mike Bolsinger from Triple-A Oklahoma City, replacing outfielder Chris Heisey on the active roster. Bolsinger will make his Dodger debut as today’s starting pitcher at San Francisco.

Bolsinger, 27, was selected as the Triple-A Pacific Coast League’s Pitcher of the Week for the opening week of the minor league season, going 2-0 and tossing 11.0 scoreless innings in two starts with Oklahoma City. He allowed just three hits (3-for-34, .088), while striking out 17 and walking only three. Bolsinger was acquired from the D-backs on Nov. 22, 2014 and made 10 appearances (nine starts) for Arizona last year in his first Major League action, going 1-6 with a 5.50 ERA.
As you'll recall, Bolsinger came to the Dodgers via a trade over the winter with Arizona for cash.  At the time I mentioned a story written by Jared Kwart at MoxyBall at the close of the season:
Moving over to the National League, Mike Bolsinger jumps off the page as someone who has had a lot of bad luck in 2014 as well. He has a steady base of skills from a K (8.25 K/9) and BB (2.92 BB/9) perspective. With a 3.31 xFIP compared to a 5.50 ERA, we don’t have to look much further than a .355 BABIP to see we can expect better things from Bolsinger once positive regression kicks in.
So far, in two Minor League starts for Oklahoma City he is been fantastic.  Heck, he's been dominating in AAA so far, and the metrics spoken about in the Jared Kwart story above appears to be ringing true.  Bolsinger is on the upswing.

Via Alex Espinoza at
"It's not like the first time you got called up," Bolsinger said. "But in a way, it kind of was because you're playing for the Dodgers. There's only a few teams in Major League Baseball that you can really be blown away with, and Dodgers is one of those. It's an awesome feeling. Very honored."
In celebration of Bolsinger's arrival to the Dodgers I made the above fantasy card for him since my last one did not include him in Dodger Blue.  I used a photograph grabbed from a photo from Zimbio (Rob Tringali/Getty Images North America) and the 1968 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are his career stats, via Baseball-Reference:

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Blog Kiosk: 4/23/2015 - Dodger Links - Interference, the Dodger Bullpen and Chris Rock's Take


You can see that glare in his eye, the growl on his face and a steely determination in the body language of the Dodger ace in the photo above.  He's coming out of the dugout ready to battle and Dodger photographer Jon SooHoo was able to capture it all in black & white.  Apparently, we have second baseman Howie Kendrick to thank for Jon's use of shades in a group of photos shared this morning, and I hope it continues.  There something about black & white photography that I find appealing.  Maybe it's the subtleties it naturally accentuates or how it causes the eye to move about from dark to bright shades in a whirlwind.  I dunno.  Go here to check out more B&W pics from Jon.

As for last night's game... Well, it was a tough one to lose.  We saw a dramatic game-tying home run by our wunderkind infielder Alex Guerrero, a resurgent pitching performance by Clayton Kershaw and a deflating walk-off sacrifice fly.  Sigh.  We'll get'em next time.

Below are some links to check out:
  • I guess folks want to drum up a controversy about the lack of an interference call in the ninth inning, but I refuse to bite.   It was a good non-call.  I do find a couple of tweets by some Dodgers after the game funny, though: (McCarthy & Anderson)
From four closers to no closers in a year's time, the Dodgers bullpen couldn't possibly be any different than it was a year ago. And despite their lack of anything resembling a proven ninth-inning workhorse, LA's bullpen has been nothing short of amazing so far.
De Leon’s fringe credentials are strong: he was selected out of Southern University by the Dodgers in just the 24th round of the 2013 draft, receiving just a $35,000 bonus. His performance hasn’t been a product merely of collegiate polish, either: De Leon sits at 93-95 mph now and features a pair of useful secondary pitches, as well. Over his first two starts this season with High-A Rancho Cucamonga, he’s recorded a 13:1 strikeout-to-walk ratio against 34 batters in 9.0 innings.

  • A Dodger reclamation project has just been let go, via a tweet from Jacob Unruh.  Oh well.  I was really hoping that this one would pan out.

  • Panini just released some preview pics of their 2015 Cooperstown Baseball card set; including the fantastic Jackie Robinson card playing golf on the right.  Go here to check out more pics from them.  BTW, the set comes out in late June.
  • You should check this out.  Chris Rock sounds off on MLB's diversity problem at HBO Real Sports.  I don't know if the problem can be simply solved by allowing more grandiose celebrations, but I do understand his point about the criticism laid on Puig for his style of play.  Heck, there's seems to be a concerted effort by many to stop players from expressing "JOY" while on the field, and that needs to stop.  And folks need to stop using the phrase "Respect for the Game" because it's a load of BS.  Celebration does not show disrespect, instead it shows a heightened love for the sport.

Video Link:

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