Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Dude! ...It's Only Spring Training!

Oh, Man!  This kind of stuff just kills me.

And I know it shouldn't, but I can't help it... And, I know complaints like this is just trolling for trolling sake...

Still, it's so damn irksome.  Like, skin crawling with tiny little spiders kind of annoying.

It's even more irritating that it has to be explained every March that spring training games should not be judged on results alone.  After all, how seriously can you take a game that includes pitchers throwing only two innings (max!) and regular everyday players leaving the field by the sixth inning -- some even jump in a car to go home... During the game!  Heck, ballplayers can be seen jogging and doing wind-sprints in the outfield while game is in play.  Still, we have to endure comments like this:
(Tweet Link)

Ah, Crap!  Are you freek'n kidding me!

Come on, now.  This has to be trolling because no Baseball fan who has watched the game for an extended period of time could actually find this to be worthy of any discussion.

"Why even have spring training games?"...

... My head just exploded...  

I get that you hate the Dodgers front office and you're eager to use anything... and I mean anything... to justify complaints about them.  But, there's something you gotta understand.  When you delve into the inane your perfectly valid disagreements (of which there are some) lose their bite.  You just end up sounding like some madman screaming at the top of his lungs on the street corner.  

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

2016 Topps Heritage - The Dodgers Box Loader Cards

Here is a last look at Topps 2016 Heritage set.  Below are pics of the various box-loader Dodgers cards available. Go here to check out all of my previous post on this set.

1967 Topps Poster Box Loader

#67PB-AG Gonzalez                               #67PB-CKE Kershaw

Weekend Autograph Opportunities: Football Autograph Spectacular at Frank & Sons

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 7/Road Game 4

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 (4-1-1) at LA Angels (3-5)
Wednesday, March 9, 2016 – 1:10 p.m. MT | Tempe Diablo Stadium
LHP Scott Kazmir (0-0, 9.00) vs. RHP Jered Weaver (0-0, 0.00)
TV: None Radio: None

(Clayton Kershaw, pic via @Dodgers on twitter)

LET ME SEE YOUR HALO: The Dodgers (4-1-1) take on the Angels today in Tempe after beating the Cubs, 7-3, yesterday in Mesa. Andre Ethier and A.J. Ellis posted multi-hit games and Trayce Thompson drilled a two-run triple to help break the game open in the seventh inning. Clayton Kershaw allowed one run and struck out five in 3.0 innings in his second start of the spring and Carlos Frias tossed 2.0 scoreless innings of relief in the victory.
  • The Dodgers won five of their six meetings against the Angels last year, sweeping the series at Dodger Stadium and winning two of three games in Anaheim.
FAMILIAR FACES: The Dodgers would like to welcome Ron Cey to Camelback Ranch, where he is making his annual visit as a guest instructor. The six-time All-Star played 12 of his 17 big league seasons with Los Angeles and was a tri-MVP of the 1981 World Series.
  • Former Dodger infielder Cesar Izturis also stopped by the Ranch today. Izturis played five of his 13 MLB seasons with the Dodgers from 2002-06.
NEW VOICES: New Dodger broadcasters Joe Davis and Tony Gwynn Jr. were in Glendale this morning in preparation for their new roles with the club:
  • Davis, 28, has been calling play-by-play on Fox Sports’ national coverage of college football, Major League Baseball and college basketball and will continue to do so while broadcasting 50 road games for the Dodgers this year. His first Spring Training broadcast will be on March 18, when the Dodgers take on the D-backs.
  • Gwynn Jr., 33 will join the Dodgers’ post-game show and DodgerTalk on AM 570 LA Sports and also serve as an analyst on SNLA. In an eight-year Major League career, he played for the Brewers, Padres, the Dodgers and the Phillies. 
(Scott Kazmir, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2016)

  • LHP Scott Kazmir will make his second start of the spring today against the Angels, for whom he pitched for from 2009-2010. In his Dodger debut against the Rangers on Friday, Kazmir allowed two runs on six hits in 2.0 innings of work in a no-decision. The three-time All-Star enters his 12th Major League season after posting a career-best 3.10 ERA last season with the Athletics and Astros.
  • RHP Mike Bolsinger impressed in his first Cactus League appearance, striking out two in 2.0 scoreless innings of relief on Friday against the Rangers. Bolsinger went 6-6 with a 3.62 ERA in 21 starts in three stints with the Dodgers last year after being acquired from Arizona on Nov. 22, 2014.
  • RHP Jharel Cotton tossed 2.0 scoreless innings in his spring debut on Friday against the Rangers. The 24-year-old, who is in his first big league camp, progressed from Single-A to Triple-A during the course of the 2015 season, going a combined 6-2 with a 2.45 ERA in 21 games (11starts) with Single-A Great Lakes, Single-A Rancho Cucamonga, Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City. The native of St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, was selected in the 20th round of the 2012 First-Year Player Draft out of East Carolina University.
  • RHP Chris Hatcher will be making his second appearance of the spring after allowing two runs (one earned) in 1.0 inning of work on Saturday against the D-backs. In his first year with the Dodgers in 2015, Hatcher went 3-5 with four saves and a 3.69 ERA in 49 games following his acquisition from the Marlins in a seven-player trade on Dec. 10, 2014.
  • LHP Luis Avilan is also expected to make his second Cactus League appearance today after striking out two batters in 1.0 scoreless inning against the Diamondbacks on Saturday. Avilan, who was acquired in a 2015 midseason trade with the Braves, boasted the fourth lowest percentage of inherited runners scored (16.1) among National League relievers last season.
  • RHP Jamey Wright will make his second appearance of the spring after striking out one in a scoreless inning on Saturday against Arizona. Wright, a 19-year MLB veteran, last pitched in the Majors in 2014, going 5-4 with a 4.35 ERA in 61 appearances with the Dodgers.
  • The Dodgers have three additional pitchers suiting up today from the minor league side: RHP Jeremy Kehrt (#84), RHP Logan Bawcom (#88) and RHP Felipe Gonzalez (#89).
(Roberts and Wills share some bunting knowledge with Crawford and Pederson, pic via @SportsNetLA on twitter)

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* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *

Blog Kiosk: 3/9/2016 - Dodgers Links - Segedin, Roberts and Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw was sharp and a bit sloppy during his second spring outing yesterday afternoon.  He struck out five Cub batters in three innings of work, but scattering five hits.  Via Carrie Muskat at
"Physically I felt good, the fastball location wasn't great there, especially out of the stretch," Kershaw said. "I threw decent breaking balls, curve could have been better. Slider was good. Just gave up too many hits. All singles, which was good, but five in three innings is too many."
Self criticism is his trademark, and it's the reason he's the best in the game.  Of course, there's no need to worry about this outing.  Spring is for working out the kinks and right now it looks like Clayton is well on his way to getting season-ready.  Photo at the very top via @MLB on twitter. Below are more links to check out:
"Just trying to take advantage of my opportunity, like all of us are trying to do, whether you're a non-roster or have a guaranteed spot," he said.

Segedin came to the Dodgers in a January trade with the Yankees for Ronald Torreyes and Tyler Olson, and he welcomed the new scenery.

"A new team values you more than your previous team," he said. "I'm ready. At 27, if I'm not ready by now, when will I be? I'm confident in my ability."
  • Wow!  Here is a GIF database every type of pitch thrown by each MLB pitcher.  Check it out at the Pitcher List (Link Here).
  • Rich Mueller at Sports Collectors Daily shares some preview pics from Topps 2016 Triple Threads set; including the Jackie Robinson relic card on the right.  Go here to check out more pics.  This product is slated to be released on September 14th.
  • Roberts downplays the starting role.  Via Bill Plunkett at the OC Register, "Dodgers manager Dave Roberts says to expect flexible lineups, even at leadoff hitter."
“We have all been conditioned for routines and consistency,” Roberts said. “But I think that as this game has evolved, we’ve all had to see things in a different way. I’ve had many conversations with the players. There will be some changes. I think that where you hit in the order in years past, in decades past – there is a lot to be said for that. But in this day and age, with the data that we have, sometimes change is good.

“I’m definitely not about reinventing the wheel. There is a lot to be said for consistency, without a doubt. But I also think as important as that is being willing to adapt.”

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