Friday, January 29, 2016

Welcome Back to the Blue, Howie Kendrick!

Just when I thought you'd be moving on, I find out you'll be playing in LA for another couple of years.

And you know what?

I'm more than happy about that.

It is being reported widely, initially via a tweet by Ken Rosenthal, that second baseman Howie Kendrick will be sticking around.  He has apparently signed a two-year contract, pending a physical.  Furthermore, it's a simple deal with no opt-outs or options attached, and it's team friendly on the dollars-side.  Per Jon Heyman on twitter, it'll be $10 million a season:
That's not too shabby; especially when considering that he turned down a one-year $15.8 million qualifying offer from the Dodgers at the end of the season.  Unfortunately for Howie, it appears the prospect of losing a draft pick to the Dodgers hampered his pursuit for a long-term deal from another team.  On a side note, Kendrick suffered a strained hamstring in late August that forced him onto the DL until mid-September, and it supposedly bothered him the remainder of the season.

Last year Kendrick had a solid first year with the ballclub.  He slashed .295/.336/.409/.746, with 9 home runs, 54 RBI's, 64 runs scored in 495 plate appearances.  Howie also provided some good at-bats during the NLDS against the Mets.  He had six hits in 22 at-bats; including a home run.  He knocked in four runners and scored four times.

This move gives the Dodgers another good problem.  They now have a surplus of second baseman on the roster.  Kendrick will play the position most often with Utley and Hernandez spelling him from time to time.  We also have Guerrero, should the Dodgers get desperate (at this point, I'd be surprised if he remains with the team).

In celebration of his return I made the above fantasy card for him.  I used a photograph taken by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2015 and the 1972 Topps Baseball card design.

Below are his career stats, via Baseball-Reference:

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Turn on Vin Scully Avenue

This is wonderful news.

Although Mr. Scully himself would likely scoff at the honor, I am sure every Dodger fan throughout the country will cheer the distinction.  As of 11:34 this morning the street leading into the main gates of Dodger Stadium, Elysian Park Avenue, will now be called Vin Scully Avenue. 

As has been widely reported, Los Angeles City Councilman Gil Cedillo cleared the way for a city council to vote for the name change this morning.  So with numerous former and current Dodgers in attendance, the council voted unanimously to rename the street.  Via a tweet from the @Dodgers:
There is no word yet on when the renaming will officially occur, but I suspect it'll happen soon.

UPDATE:  Vin Scully had this to say about the honor, via a series of tweets by the @Dodgers:
I am overwhelmed.  I was raised in the streets of New York and to have a street named after me in Los Angeles is almost too much to comprehend.  I am eternally grateful to the Los Angeles City Council and especially Councilman Gil Cedillo.  A path to Dodger Stadium is a path way to my heart.  For 55 years it has been an honor to walk that road to one of the greatest entertainment centers in the world, a place that has brought so much joy to all of us.  I thank God for this great honor.
Below are a bunch of tweets showing a strong show of force by the Dodgers family:

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Blog Kiosk: 1/29/2016 - Dodgers Links - Spring Gear, Valenzuela and a Brief Time Warner/SportsNet LA Update

"Get 'yer dogs rite here!"

Kike Hernandez, Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson were at the corner of 7th and Figueroa to hand out Dodger Dogs to fans yesterday as a part of the teams "Love L.A." Community Tour. 

Pic at the very top via @Dodgers on twitter and taken by Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2016Go here to see more photos of the event from Jon.  Below are more links to check out:
“I felt really good,” he said. “I passed enough tests to go outside and see how that goes. Next step is to see how I feel (Friday).”
"It's a great honor for me to be here, to be a citizen and a Presidential Ambassador," said Valenzuela. "In this role, I want to share with the United States and the city of Los Angeles the many rights that come with being a citizen. I'm excited to get to vote in my first presidential election. It's important for the Los Angeles community to know how important it is to vote."

  • Just a brief update on the Time Warner/Charter merger, the California PUC had a public meeting the other day and there was strong opposition.  But... chances of the merger successfully consummating is good.  Most of the opposition didn't want to squash the deal.  Rather, they were looking to add further conditions to it.  
As I've said before, it is unlikely we'll have expansion of the Dodgers SportsNet LA coverage through the Southland without the successful merger.  Once that happens, I suspect coverage expands rapidly.  Time Warner COO added during yesterday's quarterly conference call, via Seeking Alpha:
"We remain hopeful that the approval process in California can be accelerated.

All that said, we're still not in a position to provide you with a specific timetable for closing."
 California PUC approval could extend out to June 10th of this year... Ugh!
  • Here's a fantastic read by NHL enforcer and 2016 NHL All-Star John Scott at the Players Tribune; "A Guy Like Me."  If you don't know, there's bit a controversy about his selection as the Pacific Division Captain; considering he is often called a goon and his selection (from fan balloting) is seen by some as an scar to the league.
And that didn’t happen because of the internet. I busted my ass to be one of them. I’ve skated every day since I was three years old to be one of them. I’ve persevered through Juniors roster cuts, Alaskan bus rides, Advanced Dynamics exams, and — yes — fights, to be one of them.

But I’m one of them. And that means a lot to me.

It means a lot to my family.

So when someone from the NHL calls me and says, “Do you think this is something your kids would be proud of?”

… That’s when they lost me.

That was it, right there. That was the moment.

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