Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Blog Kiosk: 8/16/2016 - Dodgers Links - Some Odds and Ends

Check out this fantastic ACME press photo of Opening Day at Ebbets Field that is currently available at RMY Auctions (Link Here).  Unfortunately, we don't know the exact year of the photo, but we do know that the Dodgers are to play the Giants (as seen on the scoreboard) and there are an large number of military personnel on the field.  Considering the pomp and circumstance of the afternoon I think it's fair to date this to the early 1940's - during American involvement in WWII.

Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodger History:  In 1950 NY Giants thirdbaseman Hank Thompson hit two inside-the-park homer runs against the Dodgers at the Polo Grounds.
  • RIP: Choo Choo Coleman.  Via Nick Diunte at Baseball Happenings; "Choo Choo Coleman: Farewell to a good 'bub'."  Although he never put on a Dodgers uniform, he did come up through the Dodger minor league system before being snatched by the Phillies during the Rule 5 Draft in 1960.
  • Via JP Hoornstra at the Daily News; "Dodgers turn to Driveline to boost minor leaguers’ velocity." 
Dodgers farm director Gabe Kapler and pitching coordinator Rick Knapp explained what was about to happen. Two representatives from Driveline Baseball, a pitching performance facility in suburban Seattle, would lead a 10-week program designed to increase velocity and hone mechanics. Once the 10 weeks were up, everyone would be allowed to pitch again. The results would speak for themselves.
“I got a chance to re-create my whole identity when I came over here,” Turner said, and each step of his route to the plate reveals the keys to his evolution: The breathing techniques he learned on the field and in the classroom at Cal State Fullerton. The swing he rebuilt after the New York Mets released him in 2013. The physique he reshaped after his first season in Los Angeles. The knee he rehabilitated from microfracture surgery last winter, emerging from the process a sleeker defender with more power than ever before.
"The Dodgers have overall more of a sense of urgency," he said. "A Yankees prospect stays on the 40-man and it's more long term, where the Dodgers it's more day to day -- whatever they need to do for the next game. Other organizations, you've got to hope you're on the 40-man. But me, Andrew Toles, they want to put the best team out there that day, and it's awesome to be part of that kind of organization."
You can see improvement just about everywhere. Pederson is simply better prepared for fastballs now, and if you look at the inner part of the plate, you can see a big gain, which might have powered his homer against the Pirates on Sunday. Maybe last year he could’ve turned that pitch around. Maybe he would’ve hit it out to center. Pederson didn’t never make good contact inside as a rookie. Just on averages, though, he makes more contact inside, and he also makes better contact inside. As lefties go, Pederson now has top-10 exit velocity against inside pitches, patching what had been a bit of a hole.
“Physically, I’m feeling alright,” Smith said. “I’m getting used to playing every day which is different than college. It’s been a pretty hectic summer being with three different teams, and having to meet new guys every couple of weeks. But it’s been a good experience, and I’m looking forward to keep going.”

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