Thursday, March 31, 2016

It's Official - No Expanded Coverage for SportsNet LA on Opening Day

This entire situation is infuriating, and to make matters worse there's nothing we can do about it.  No amount of brooding, complaining or finger pointing will change the fact that a majority of households in the Los Angeles area will not have the Dodgers on their television.

Last week there was a small glimmer of hope that the season could start on a good note, but that flame has been put out. Per Meg James at the LA Times, "Time Warner Cable throws in the towel on Dodger channel negotiations"
Time Warner Cable has surrendered the ball.

The New York company conceded Thursday that it has failed in its efforts to win broad distribution for SportsNet LA, the TV channel owned by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Time Warner Cable made several pitches this month to other pay-TV providers -- including AT&T's DirecTV and Cox Communications -- hoping to entice them to sign up for the Dodgers channel in time for the baseball season, which begins Monday.

The company proposed cutting the carriage fee for the channel, entering into binding arbitration or signing a six-year deal – but struck out.

"They’ve rejected every offer we’ve made," Time Warner Cable spokesman Andrew Fegyveresi said Thursday.

"We’ve offered short-term deals and long-term deals, we’ve lowered the price by 30%, we’ve asked for arbitration, we’ve offered ... the same thing they charge for their regional sports networks, we’ve told them we’d meet them any time, anywhere to negotiate and nothing has worked," Fegyveresi said.
I have no sympathy for Time Warner.  They had more than ample time to strike a deal, and if they'd been willing to do before what they say they'd do now then we wouldn't be where we are today.  But here we are, and the only ones to blame is Time Warner themselves... Oh, and the Dodgers for signing that deal with the devil. 

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

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 31/Home Game 16

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.
L.A. Angels (15-8-6) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (13-14-3)
Thursday, March 31, 2016 – 7:10 p.m. PT | Dodger Stadium
LHP Andrew Heaney (1-0, 2.57) vs. LHP Scott Kazmir (0-1, 7.71)

(Dodger Stadium, pic via AGon on twitter)

STADIUM FOR SORE EYES: The Dodgers are back at Dodger Stadium tonight for the first time since losing Game 5 of the NLDS on October 15, 2015 to the New York Mets. In addition to tonight’s game, the Dodgers and Angels will meet Friday (7:10 p.m., RHP Kenta Maeda vs. LHP Hector Santiago) at Dodger Stadium, with the series shifting to Anaheim for a 6:05 p.m. game Saturday (LHP Alex Wood vs. RHP Nick Tropeano). After an off-day Sunday, the Dodgers kick off the regular season on Monday against the Padres at PETCO Park.

Vintage Dodgers' Gamers and a Championship Ring at SCP Auctions

For Dodgers fans and collectors the upcoming SCP Auction is everything you could have hoped for.  It's filled with well over a hundred different items; including a massive collection of personal items from the estate of Don Drysdale.  Heck, it's almost breathtaking in its scale.  There's just so much to stare at.

Since I suspect I'll be putting up several different post focused on just the Drysdale stuff, I thought I would begin an cavalcade of posts by focusing on a few of the non-Drysdale items that caught my eye.  I promise to begin in earnest with the Drysdale goodies in a post tomorrow.

What could possibly be the best way to introduce an auction featuring Don Drysdale then to begin with a real honest-to-goodness game-used jersey of his left-handed teammate Sandy Koufax.  Below is a 1956 gamer signed by the "Left Hand of God."  (Auction Link)  I should add that Koufax gamers are impossible to find, and when they do come to auction they sell in the hundreds of thousands.  This particular jersey originates from the warehouse of Chuck Poehler, owner of Los Angeles based sporting goods manufacturer Goodman & Sons.

Jackie Robinson Correspondence to a Brooklyn Dodgers Fan

With the seasons start around the corner and Jackie Robinson day soon to follow, I thought I would take a moment to share a couple personal letters I ran into written by Jackie to an adoring fan.  In fact, the letter wasn't written to just any fan. These two letters were written to Margaret "Peggy" Dwyer - President of the Pee Wee Reese and Duke Snider fan clubs.  (Auction link here and here)

As you can see, these letters were written on Jackie's own personal letterhead, and in both he expresses great admiration for his teammate Pee Wee Reese.  Check out what he wrote below:

Blog Kiosk: 3/31/2016 - Dodgers Links - Segedin, Wright and Roberts Say's No iPad

Check out Roy Campanella hanging out with some little leaguers at the place he called home during Spring Training - at "Campy's Corner."  Dated to March 1959, photo found on eBay, he would often regale players and fans alike with stories of yore. 

Below are more links to check out:
Dodgers:  Team president Friedman, reacting to a series of injuries down the stretch, buys Cuba to fortify team with major-league-ready replacements.
"I'm used to looking at paper and I kind of have certain things that I like to go to and reference when you walk through an individual game," Roberts said. "To navigate through an iPad, I don't want to have to worry about it loading up. I want to know where I have to go for information."

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

You Should Expect No Expanded SportsNet LA Coverage Any Time Soon

The very public negotiations ongoing in the Time Warner/SportNet LA talks with other carriers is rather strange. 

Last week we got word that Time Warner was back at the negotiation table.  They had lowered their asking price for the Dodgers SportsNet LA channel to a more reasonable level - at roughly $3.50 per month per subscriber.

Then, a stream of public releases from the LA Mayor, the Dodgers President Stan Kasten and MLB Commissioner Manfred came to the forefront.  Following that was an outpouring of disdain from the chattering classes at the unseemliness of evoking Vin Scully's name in this process. Combine that with the notion that the current offer on the table was for only a one-year deal and you have a potential brewing problem.

Now, that problem is bordering on a disaster.  According to Meg James at the LA Times there are currently no carriers in the Southland willing to take the initial offer from Time Warner, and it appears that the one-year timeframe is to blame:
Pay-TV operators privately acknowledged that they were wary of signing a one-year deal with Time Warner Cable. They worried that the price of the channel would soar within a couple of years so that Time Warner Cable could recoup some of the costs of its expensive arrangement with the Dodgers' owners.
Time Warner Cable now is offering a six-year deal. The first year would be offered at the lower $3.50-a-month introductory price, with a slightly higher rate in subsequent years, according to one person familiar with the proposal who asked not to be identified discussing sensitive deal points.
It seems to me the squeeze is on, and it's the competing carriers who have all the momentum.  Based on the below snippet, carriers might be betting that they can get an even better deal if they wait.
There are several reasons the other pay-TV providers continue to refuse to play ball. One is that Time Warner Cable is in the process of being acquired by another firm, Charter Communications, and some providers are waiting to see whether Charter offers the channel at an even lower rate.
And that's the gist of it.  The competitors know that Time Warner is bleeding money, and they figure why bother with the opening salvo when what's coming down the pike will be even better. 

At this point I think it is clear that there will be no expansion of coverage by the start of the Baseball season.  Heck, as I've stated in the past, this might not happen until the proposed merger is closed; which is slated to happen by mid-season.

Oy Vey!  What a cluster F---!

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

Angels Exhibition Series Starts Tomorrow - Pregame Info and Other Stuff!

Spring training is quickly coming to a close.  In fact, the very first homestand at Dodger Stadium begins tomorrow against the Anaheim Angels, and it represents the very last series of games before Opening Day. 

These games marks the return of the Dodger Stadium Express which offers two express services to Dodger Stadium: the Dodger Stadium Express Union Station and the Dodger Stadium Express South Bay.  Go here for information.

Also, for fans attending these games you should purchase advance parking passes online.  Advance parking prices are $10 and parking at the gate is $20. Go here for information.

BTW, the Dodgers 2016 yearbook will be available at stores.  Check out what it looks like on the right.

Below are various pregame events and activities planned for Thursday and Friday.

2016 Walmart Marketside Pizza Baseball - All the Dodgers Cards

Could this be the start of something?

Are retail food issues coming back?

Coming to a Walmart near you (if not already there) are Topps produced Baseball cards located within packages of both pizza and bread sticks boxes in the Marketside deli area.  Each package includes a single pack of three cards, a coupon and a Topps Bunt code.  The complete set consist of 50 cards, and there are no special inserts like autographs or relics.  Go here for an complete checklist.  These cards will be available until late-June. 

Only two Dodger players are available.  Check them out below.

BTW, if you go searching for these be sure to make sure the pack is in the box.  Apparently, you can open the boxes without any fuss, and the packs are not adhered or glued to the cardboard.  So, unscrupulousness collectors may try to steal them.   

#45 Clayton Kershaw                                 #47 Corey Seager

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

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Mickey Hatcher, Justin Turner and Adrian Gonzalez

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.


Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 30/Home Game 15

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.
Cleveland Indians (14-12-4) vs. LOS ANGELES DODGERS (13-13-3)
Wednesday, March 30, 2016 – 1:05 p.m. PT | Camelback Ranch - Glendale
RHP Corey Kluber (3-1, 2.21) vs. LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 2.25)
TV: None Radio: None

(Ross Stripling, pic via Jon SooHoo via Dodgers on twitter)

HOMEWARD BOUND: The Dodgers take on the Indians this afternoon in their final Cactus League contest before returning to Los Angeles for the Freeway Series against the Angels. The clubs will meet Thursday (7:10 p.m., LHP Scott Kazmir vs. LHP Andrew Heaney) and Friday (7:10 p.m., RHP Kenta Maeda vs. LHP Hector Santiago) at Dodger Stadium, with the series shifting to Anaheim for a 6:05 p.m. game Saturday (LHP Alex Wood vs. RHP Nick Tropeano). After an off-day Sunday, the Dodgers kick off the regular season on Monday against the Padres at PETCO Park – just five days away!

Blog KIosk: 3/30/2016 - Dodgers Links - Wood, Kershaw and Jackie Robinson

I had failed to mention that yesterday was the eight year anniversary of the legendary exhibition game between the Dodgers and Red Sox at the LA Coliseum.  115,300 fans were in attendance; establishing a new MLB record.

Featured above is a AP press photo taken of the stadium during the Dodgers very first home game on April 18, 1958 against the Giants, via an auction listing on eBay.  78,672 fans attended that game.

Below are more links to check out:
“A new breed of Republicans has taken over the GOP,” Robinson wrote just after Goldwater claimed his party’s nomination. “It is a new breed which is seeking to sell to Americans a doctrine which is as old as mankind—the doctrine of racial division, the doctrine of racial prejudice, the doctrine of white supremacy.” He continued, “If I could couch in one single sentence the way I felt, watching this controlled steam-roller operation roll into high gear, I would put it this way, I would say that I now believe I know how it felt to be a Jew in Hitler’s Germany.”

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Hilda is Here!

Baseball fans can be a rowdy bunch.  The most noticeable of whom jeer, scream and cheer at the top of their lungs.  One Dodger booster, who is likely the most famous in the history of game, started doing just that at Ebbets Field in the 1920's.  Then a heart attack a decade or so later forced her voice to be silent (on doctors orders), so she did what only a rabid fan could.  She attended games with a frying pan and an iron ladle, and banged away.

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 29/Home Game 16

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS (13-12-3) at San Diego Padres (8-19-2)
Tuesday, March 29, 2016 – 1:05 p.m. PT | Peoria Sports Complex
RHP Ross Stripling (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP Colin Rea (0-0, 5.82)
TV: None Radio: None

(Camelback Ranch, pic via Camelback Ranch on twitter)

ALMOST THERE: The Dodgers face the San Diego Padres for the second time this spring and their last road game in the Phoenix area. Los Angeles fell to the Padres, 12-5, March 20 at Camelback Ranch during a split-squad contest. Following today’s contest, the Dodgers have one game left at Camelback Ranch tomorrow, before beginning the Freeway Series Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.

Blog Kiosk: 3/29/2016 - Dodgers Links - Libertore, Ryu and Jamey Wright

You gotta respect a man who wants to give it one last try.  After all, calling it quits is the toughest thing to do.  Via Ken Gurnick on twitter, 19-year veteran pitcher Jamey Wright is retiring. Via Eric Stephen at True Blue LA:
"I have no regrets in this game. Everything I got I had to work really, really hard for," Wright said. "What I tell some of the young guys is that the hardest thing to do is staying in the big leagues, and there is no excuse for letting somebody out-work you."

Wright said he might one day get into coaching, but for now he was focused on "being with the most important team," his wife and three kids.

"I am very blessed to be in the clubhouse and be with these guys I missed it last year and I will continue to miss it," Wright said. "One thing about pitching for 10 different teams, I've got more friends than anybody. That's one of my greatest accomplishments."
As you will recall, Jamey spent the winter working out with Clayton Kershaw after seemingly being done with the game and just got that itch.  Via Andy McCullough at the LA Times in February:
“The first time out felt great. The second time felt even better. Then we started getting some other guys in there throwing, but I wanted to keep throwing. I wanted to take it through and see how it feels.”
Check out Wright's statistics here.  Photo above via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2016.  Below are more links to check out:
  • Mike Noren at Cecil Cooperstown shares original drawings that look like Baseball cards of ballplayers who are underappreciated.  Check out the drawing he did of Steve Garvey here.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 28/Home Game 14

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.
Texas Rangers (16-11-1) at LOS ANGELES DODGERS (12-12-3)
Monday, March 28, 2016 – 7:05 p.m. PT | Camelback Ranch - Glendale
LHP Derek Holland (3-1, 2.65) vs. LHP Alex Wood (0-2, 6.00)
TV: SNLA Radio: None
(Gonzo and Joc, pic via Joc on twitter)

THE FINAL SPRINT: The Dodgers take on the Rangers in the second-to-last home date at Camelback Ranch this spring and the club’s final night game in Arizona. The Dodgers and Rangers tied, 3-3, all the way back on March 4 in Surprise. Following tonight’s contest, the Dodgers have two games left in the Phoenix area prior to the Freeway Series, which begins Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
  • Opening Day, April 4 against the Padres in San Diego, is just one week away!

A Recap of Dodgers Pride Night at the Kings Game

I was beginning to wonder if the Kings were going to hold a Dodgers Pride Night this season.   Then, on what seemed like extremely short notice, word spread on Thursday that the upcoming Saturday game against Edmonton would be the day.  The Kings would honor the city with some Dodger Pride, and this would be highlighted by some fantastic Dodger duds on the ice.  Thankfully, I was there, so here is my brief report on the festivities.

As you may already know, this evening is all about the pregame skate.  Over, at least, the past three years the Kings would head onto the ice for their pregame skate wearing Dodger-themed hockey jersey's.  [Go here to see my past reports: (2012-13) (2013-14) (2014-15)]  This meant the Kings in Dodger Blue.  However, we got a bit of a change this season.  The Kings came out wearing Dodgers "Home-Whites" on the ice.  Check out a bunch of my pics below.  Click on any photo to embiggen.

Blog Kiosk: 3/28/2016 - Dodgers Links - Frias, Lee and Kenta Maeda

This past Saturday was Dodgers Pride Night at the LA Kings game, and I was there to take it all in.  Later today I hope to have a bunch of pics I took from the evening; including a brief look at the pregame Dodgers-themed Kings jersey's they sold at auction.  Featured above is Kings goalie Jonathan Quick in Dodger "Whites," pic via the Kings on twitter.

Below are more links to check out:

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Blog Kiosk: 3/26/2016 - Dodgers Links - Grandal, Wills and Vin Scully

Hey, Vin!

Yesterday afternoon Vin Scully headed out to Camelback Ranch in style, and Dodgers photographer Jon SooHoo was there to capture the moment.  He was kind enough to share a pic on twitter

Below are more links to check out:
  • FYI:  Tonight is Dodger Pride Night at the LA Kings game against the Oilers.  If you are going be sure to get there early.  As has been tradition, the team will come out before the game for pregame warmups wearing some fantastic Dodgers themed hockey jersey's that they will auction for charity during the game.  Also, Eric Karros is scheduled to drop the opening puck to start the game.  You can check out my past stories on this event here: (2012-13) (2013-14) (2014-15)
  • Along with Vin Scully, this year will be Maury Wills last as a Dodgers instructor.  He will be retiring, via Lindsey Thiry at the LA Times:
"I'm a very spiritual person and I feel like I've received the message that it's about that time," Wills said.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 24/Home Game 10

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.
San Francisco Giants (9-15-1) at LOS ANGELES DODGERS (10-10-3)
Friday, March 25, 2016 – 7:05 p.m. MT | Camelback Ranch
LHP Clayton Blackburn (0-1, 4.38) vs. RHP Carlos Frias (0-0, 3.38)

(Kershaw and Daughter, pic via Ellen Kershaw on twitter)

BABY STEPS: The Dodgers were unable to win for the first time since March 16 last night, but the silver lining is they didn’t lose either. Los Angeles scored three in the ninth and ended up tying the Cleveland Indians, 5-5, in Goodyear. The club is now 0-7-1 in its last eight contests. Clayton Kershaw made 96 pitches and allowed two runs on seven hits in 5.0 innings, as he prepares for his sixth consecutive Opening Day start. He fanned seven batters and walked three. At the plate, Justin Turner went 2-for-3 with a double, his fifth of the spring in just his sixth game, while AJ. Ellis, Yasiel Puig and Trayce Thompson also collected two hits apiece. Following Kershaw, Kenley Jansen, Chris Hatcher and Scott Barlow all worked a scoreless inning.

Former Brooklyn Outfielder Jimmy Sebring and his T204 Baseball Card

I've always loved this Baseball card set.  The design is so un-Baseball like; with its embossed flowery vines encircling an oval portrait of a gentleman in a button-upped shirt.  If not for the name and team designation at the bottom you wouldn't know it was of an athlete.  I think most first impressions would pin it as a personal portrait photo that would be passed down from one generation to the next.  Instead, it is one of the scarcest and more unique Baseball card sets ever made.

Featured above is a T204 Ramly Cigarettes tobacco card of a former Brooklyn Superbas/Dodger outfielder named James "Jimmy" Dennison Sebring, and it is currently on auction at Brockelman and Luckey (link here).  Produced by The Mentor Company in 1909, it ushered in a new product line that sought to take advantage of the rising popularity of Turkish tobacco.  Originally sold as a high-end brand these cigarettes were expensive, and as a result this set is rather scarce.  Heck, the tobacco pack/box these cards were packaged in can by themselves sell for up to four figures.  Take a look at a pack on the right.

As for the value of the Baseball card, a common player like the Sebring above in VG condition can sell for a couple hundred dollars.  Although, some might say that Jimmy Sebring shouldn't belong in a commons pile.  He has a unique place that is worthy of some attention.

Blog Kiosk: 3/25/2016 - Dodgers Links - Grandal, Seager and Adrian Gonzalez

Adrian Gonzales tweeted a fantastic team photo featuring himself as an youth.  He was a member of the Liga Municipal de Tijuana ballclub.  No date is provided.  BTW, he is the kid standing in the top row, fourth from the right.

Below are more links to check out:
  • Yes, Dylan Hernandez's story at the LA Times is dumb and immensely short-sighted.  Check it out here for yourself.  In it he laments how the club is wasting the prime years of Clayton Kershaw; which is funny considering the club has won the division the past three years in a row for the first time in its history.  But I digress... After all, I have little patience for this kind of skullduggery.  Fortunately, Dave Cameron at FanGraphs takes on the task of challenging Hernandez's piece (Link Here).  It's worth your time to check out:
Of course, things haven’t gone as well in the postseason, with the team getting knocked out in the Division Series twice and getting eliminated in the League Championship Series once. But judging a team’s commitment to winning based on how they perform in the postseason is a bit silly, given how small the margin is between advancing and being eliminated in a short series. Last year, they got eliminated in a winner-take-all Game 5 by a 3-2 margin, so their season literally ended because they got outscored by a single run. 

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 23/Road Game 13

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS (10-10-2) at Cleveland Indians (11-10-2)
Thursday, March 24, 2016 – 7:05 p.m. MT | Goodyear Ballpark
LHP Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 1.80) vs. RHP Trevor Bauer (1-0, 4.00)
TV: SNLA Radio: None
(AGon's new cleat, pic via AGon on twitter)

1946 Vintage Baseball Letter - The Brooklyn Brown Dodgers

Prior to Branch Rickey and the Dodgers signing Jackie Robinson they had to lay some groundwork.  This included doing some scouting, and in order to disguise their intentions they got involved in the short-lived United States Baseball League.

What's that, you say?

In 1945, legendary and often controversial Negro League pioneer, William A. "Gus" Greenlee, started up the league in order to compete with the much more established Negro National and American Leagues.  By this time he had been pushed out of those organizations, and he was looking for an avenue to get back in the game.

Now here's where the Dodgers get involved.  Branch Rickey, no doubt recognizing an opportunity, immediately and publicly lent the Dodgers support to the effort in May of that year.  Soon, the Brooklyn Brown Dodgers were born (well... moved from Hilldale to Brooklyn), and they would play their first season at Ebbets Field later that year. 

Blog Kiosk: 3/24/2016 - Dodgers Links - Coleman, Scully and Corey Seager

Some folks play golf on their day off.  Others just want to sit by the pool basking in the sun.  Corey Seager, on the other hand, decided to spend some time with the folks at Panini America to sign some of his Baseball cards, as evidenced by a photo tweeted out by Beckett.  A close up view of one of the cards is on the right, courtesy of Panini on twitter.  As you can see, he is in the midst of signing some soon to be released Panini Flawless cards.  BTW, he wasn't the only Dodger in attendance.  Frankie Montas (pic link) was there too.

Below are more links to check out:
“I was very fortunate to know and work with Joe Garagiola,” Scully said. “Boy, did he surprise me as a broadcaster. Joe was always a funny and decent man, but he was a big surprise to me. When we got together in the booth, he was very serious. The part that surprised me was how well prepared he was for each and every telecast.  Joe didn’t just rely on his experience as a player, but he did his homework and all of us benefited from his knowledge and research.

“I will miss his laughter and his love for the game, but most of all I will miss a deeply religious man, who had a great sense of humor.  My prayers are with Audrey and his family.”

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Manny Mota and Paul Lo Duca

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.


Will Wonders Never Cease - Time Warner Begins to Negotiate

For quite some time I've been of the opinion that coverage throughout Southern California would not occur until the proposed merger between Charter and Time Warner has concluded.  I even went so far as to say that a strategic bankruptcy should be expected.  Thankfully, I am glad to say that I appear to be wrong on all accounts.

It had been reported yesterday that Time Warner has not only lowered its asking price For SportsNet LA, but is also in the midst of negotiations with several carriers. 

Just in time, eh?

Via Meg James at the LA Times:
Time Warner Cable said late Tuesday that it had cut by 30% the price of the sports channel offered to DirecTV and other pay-TV providers with the hope of spurring long-stalled negotiations over carriage of the channel before the new season begins April 4.

Blog Kiosk: 3/23/2016 - Dodgers Links - Kershaw, Maeda and Burglars Caught at Dodger Stadium

On this #NationalPuppyDay Dodgers super-utility man Kiké Hernandez recently shared a pic of his new puppy named Arizona Hernandez.  Photo above via Kiké's twitter. BTW, Arizona has his very own Instagram account.  Check it out here: azhndezminigoldendoodle.

Below are more links to check out:
  • Dodgers injuries continue to mount.  Yesterday we find out that Andre Ethier will be out for up to three months, via Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider: "Andre Ethier to miss 10-14 weeks with fracture."  Then word spread that the recently crowned #5 starter Mike Bolsinger would now not be ready for the start of the season, via a tweet from Andy McCullough.  Fortunately, we have someone waiting in the wings.  This provides an opening for Zach Lee to make the rotation out of Spring Training.  Furthermore, now there are worries that Yasmani Grandal is hurting, via another Andy McCullough tweet:

  • Via Tom Ley at Deadspin, "Clayton Kershaw Posed For Pictures With The People Who Rear-Ended Him."  I guess this is one way to get an autograph.  Ha!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Dodgers Notes from Spring Training: Spring Game 22/Road Game 12

Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.  See what they've written below.
LOS ANGELES DODGERS (10-9-2) at Kansas City Royals (10-13)
Tuesday, March 22, 2016 – 6:05 p.m. MT | Surprise Stadium
LHP Alex Wood (0-1, 5.40) vs. RHP Chris Young (1-1, 5.63)
TV: SNLA & MLB Network (no blackout) Radio: None

(Kenta Maeda, pic via @Dodgers on twitter)

SNAP OUT OF IT!: The Dodgers, who have lost their last six games, look to snap their losing streak as they face the World Champion Kansas City Royals for the second time this spring at Surprise Stadium this evening. Yesterday, the Dodgers fell to the Mariners at Camelback Ranch, 6-3, despite third baseman Justin Turner going 3-for-3 with a homer, two doubles and three RBI. Turner is now 7-for-12 (.583) with four doubles, five runs scored and four RBI in just five Cactus League games this spring. On the mound, starter Kenta Maeda was solid, allowing two runs and four hits in 5.0 innings while striking out five. In four starts this spring, Maeda has posted a 1.32 ERA (2 ER/13.2 IP) and limited opposing hitters to a .216 average with 14 strikeouts. Additionally, Dodger mainstays Chris Hatcher (0.2 IP), J.P. Howell (0.2 IP), Yimi Garcia (1.1) and Kenley Jansen (1.0) all tossed scoreless baseball. 
  • The Dodgers are playing the Royals for the second time this spring, following last Thursday’s 5-1 loss at Camelback Ranch. The two clubs last met in the regular season during the 2014 campaign, when Los Angeles took two of three in Kansas City.
GET WELL SOON: Today, the Dodgers announced that outfielder Andre Ethier sustained a right tibia fracture and will miss the next 10-14 weeks.
(Turner and AGON, pic via MLB on twitter)

NO MINOR THING: Several minor leaguers will be suiting up for the Dodgers, including right-handed pitchers Red Patterson (#89), Logan Bawcom (88) and Felipe Gonzalez (91), left-handed pitcher Dustin Richardson (94), catcher Jack Murphy (60), infielders Adam Law (0), Brandon Trinkwon (69) and Willie Calhoun (84) and outfielder Alex Verdugo (90).

MORE ROSTER MOVES: Following yesterday’s game, the Dodgers reassigned infielder Brandon Hicks, catcher Shawn Zarraga, outfielder Corey Brown and infielder/outfielder Cody Bellinger to minor league camp. The Dodgers now have 42 players in big-league camp, excluding Brandon McCarthy and Frankie Montas, who are on the 60-day DL.

  • LHP Alex Wood will make his third start of the spring, after allowing one run in 3.0 innings Thursday against the Royals. The 25-year-old left-hander posted career numbers last season, winning a career-high 12 games (12-12) in 32 combined starts, while posting a 3.84 ERA.
  • RHP Louis Coleman is expected to make his seventh Cactus League outing (0 ER/6.0 IP), last pitching 1.0 scoreless inning of relief against the White Sox. Coleman has given up just two hits and no runs thus far. He enters his first season with the Dodgers after signing with the club on Feb. 19, 2016.
  • RHP Pedro Baez will pitch in his seventh game of the spring, after tossing 1.0 scoreless frame against San Diego. He went 4-2 with a 3.35 ERA in 52 relief appearances last season.
  • LHP Adam Liberatore will take the mound for the eighth time this spring (2 ER/6.1 IP), after most recently striking out the one and only batter he faced Sunday against Milwaukee. Liberatore saw his first big league action last season with the Dodgers, going 2-2 with a 4.25 ERA in 39 games.
  • LHP Luis Avilan will pitch in his seventh Cactus League game, last pitching .1 of an inning against Seattle Monday. He combined to go 2-5 with a 4.05 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP in 73 relief appearances for the Braves and the Dodgers last season.
(Justin Turner, pic via @Dodgers on twitter)

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Check Out Some Vintage Vero Beach Pics on eBay

I recently ran into some fantastic vintage 1950's press photos on eBay and knew I had to share some of them here.  They were all taken by veteran New York Post photographer William N. Jacobellis, and they feature several Dodger players at Vero Beach, Florida in the 1950's.  Unfortunately, an exact date is not provided.  Also, all the photos are actually "contact prints" -- prints made by placing the original negative directly on the photographic paper.  So, the prints are only as large as the negative itself (4" x 5"in this case).  Click on any pic to embiggen.

The photograph at the very top features longtime Dodgers executive Al Campanis as a young coach (auction link here).  He is running calisthenic drills on the field.  Below is a fantastic posed shot of Jim Gentile, Jasper Spears and Dick Gray (auction link here).

On the bottom left is another posed photograph -- this time of Joe Pignatano and a Michael Napoli (auction link here).  BTW, Napoli was a Dodgers catcher within the teams minor league system throughout most of his eight-year professional career.  Unfortunately, he never got a cup of coffee.  I am uncertain if he is of any relation to the former Angels catcher of the same name.  On the bottom right is an action photograph of Don Demeter swingin' 'n missin' (auction link here).

The notable thing about the action photos herein is that they were clearly taken at another ballfield, other than Holman Stadium, at Dodgertown.  It's possible they were from one of the backfields in Vero Beach.  Considering the wire fencing and some of the landmarks in the backgrounds this is likely the case.  In fact, in the photograph on the bottom left of Johnny Roseboro you can clearly see the stadium lights of Holman Stadium in the distance (auction link here).  On the bottom right is Charley Neal at the plate (auction link here).

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *