Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A Sweep in San Francisco And Other Dodger News

The Dodgers leave San Francisco today with a series sweep over the Giants. How nice does that sound? Three days ago Dodger fans were up in arms over Joe Torre's bullpen debacle. What a difference three days in San Fran makes.

Matt Kemp started today after staying out of the starting line-up three consecutive games. He was huge in today's 8-2 victory, going 3 for 4 with a walk, homerun and three RBI. I hope this is the game that gets Matt Kemp going. Kemp and manager Joe Torre had a meeting on Tuesday. And even though the details of the meeting haven't come out, I hope the tension between the two has been cleared.

Rafael Furcal had another big game going 3 for 4 with a homerun and 2 runs batted in. He also scored three times. Since his father passed away, Rafa has gone16 for 34 with 11 runs and seven RBI. His father passing away is very sad, but it seems to have motivated the Dodger shortstop.

Vicente Padilla hit a milestone with his win today. It was win number 100 for the righty from Nicaragua. Vicente looked good, going seven innings, allowing one run on three hits, walking one and striking out five. His only blemish was a solo homerun given up to Aaron Rowand.

I have to say, I'm happy inter-league play is over. It's nice to get back to National League play. The team is off to Arizona to take on the Diamondbacks. They get to face former Dodger Edwin Jackson who pitched a no-hitter just last Friday. Let's hope the roof is closed and the air conditioner is on in Phoenix. Today's high was 109 degrees.

In other Dodger news:

Manny Ramirez is scheduled to have an MRI on his injured right hamstring during Thursday’s day off in Phoenix.

After being designated for assignment on Friday, Charlie Haeger cleared waivers, and was outrighted to AAA Albuquerque.

All-Star voting ends Thursday. Andre Ethier still has the third most votes for National League outfielders.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tommy Lasorda Dukes Bobblehead

Evan, over at New Mexico Fan, the number one source for all things Albuquerque Isotopes, gives us the first look at the Tommy Lasorda bobblehead giveaway. Presented by Raylee Homes this bobblehead will be given away to the first 3,000 fans on Saturday, July 17.

From New Mexico Fan:

Mark Saturday July 17, on your calenders. That's when the Tommy Lasorda bobblehead will be given away at Isotopes Park.

It Is also Dukes retro night so dig up your Duke jersey and cap and head out to Isotopes park.

On the same night the Albuquerque baseball hall of fame will enshrine four members. Former Dukes outfielder Joe Simpson, infielder Jack Perconte, General Manager Charlie Blaney, and broadcaster Mike Roberts.

The bobblehead has Tommy dressed in an old Albuquerque Dukes uniform. Skinny Tommy in a yellow uniform with red cap is something different. I love it.

Thank you Evan for the pictures. Check out New Mexico Fan here.

A Trip To Anaheim

This past Saturday the Anaheim Angels gave away Snoopy bobbleheads to all kids 2-18 in attendance. I thought it would be a nice thing to do with the family, plus, I can't resist the urge to add another bobblehead to the collection, so I schlepped the family down to OC(I'm in the Valley). Actually, my dumb little hobby has become my children's hobby, so they too wanted the bobblehead.

I used to go to every Angels bobblehead giveaway, but I stopped doing that two years ago because it was just too damn painful making the trip from the Valley to Anaheim during the week. I'd sit on the freeway for nearly 3 hours on a Wednesday. But this giveaway was on a Saturday, so the trip wasn't too bad. It took about an hour to get there.

The game was fun. My kids love it at Angel Stadium. It is a lot more family-friendly than Dodger Stadium. I hate to say it, but I prefer to take my kids to Anaheim.

It was a good game. Hideki Matsui hit a grandslam. The Angels beat the Colorado Rockies that night 4-2.

Here's Snoopy:

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Joe Torre Sucks

It was real exciting to watch Clayton Kershaw pitch a gem tonight. A win would have been a great way to end this series with the New York Yankees and interleague play. Unfortunately, Joe Torre was involved in this game. With a four-run lead going into the ninth inning, The "Hall of Fame" manager decided to bring in Jonathan Broxton. This after Broxton had pitched in two of the last three games. WTF?

Now, I know Broxton is going to take a lot of heat for tonight's loss, but this has to fall on Torre. He's got a record of bullpen abuse, and now he's making Jonathan Broxton his next victim.

We saw how much Torre used Ramon Troncoso earlier this year, now he's a mess. He continues to use George Sherrill, even though Sherrill couldn't get my grandmother out. Hong Chi Kuo will probably require another surgery soon. Cory Wade is just starting to make a comeback from shoulder surgery. The list goes on and on.

It's tough watching Torre manage(if you want to call it managing) a bullpen. I don't think he understands what he's doing to the reliever's arms. The madness needs to end. Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers should have won tonight's game. Thanks to Joe Torre, that didn't happen.

Bobblehead of the Day: Fernando Valenzuela (2006)

The Dodgers/Yankees series ends today, along with all the hype surrounding it. I am glad to see it end, along with interleague play. There is a lot of history between the two teams. They have met up in the World Series 11 times. The last time the Dodgers and Yankees played in the Fall Classic was 1981. That year, a 20-year old Mexican pitcher named Fernando Valenzuela took the Dodger world by storm.

Fernando was the Dodgers' emergency Opening Day starter in 1981 after Jerry Reuss and Burt Hooten suffered injuries. In that first start, Valenzuela pitched a complete game shutout, beating the Houston Astros 2-0.  He went on to win his next seven starts, which also started "Fernandomania" here in Los Angeles. He ended up going 13-7 that year. He won the Rookie of the Year Award and Cy Young Award in 1981, the only player to win both in the same season.

In the 1981  playoffs, Fernando beat the Houston Astros, Montreal Expos(it's strange typing that) and the New York Yankees. The Dodgers went on to win the World Series.

Today we're gonna take a look at Fernando's second Dodger Stadium giveaway bobblehead. I posted his first stadium giveaway bobblehead back in April, but I may revisit that because I did such a short write-up. Anyway, on Friday, June 23, 2006, the Dodgers gave away Fernando Valenzuela bobbleheads to the first 50,000 fans in attendance. Presented by Bank of America, the bobblehead was made by P Squared Promotions. This was the second of three bobbleheads given away that year to commemorate the 1981 World Series Championship team. The first was "The Penguin" Ron Cey(June 2) and the third was Steve Garvey(July 28).

The Dodgers played the Pittsburgh Pirates that night and won 10-4.  Brett Tomko started the game for the Dodgers and Oliver Perez for the Pirates. Shockingly, Tomko won the game, going five innings, giving up no runs and only two hits. This game also marked the return of former Dodger manager Jim Tracy to Dodger Stadium. Jeff Kent hit a three-run homer, Jose Cruz Jr. had a two-run double and J.D. Drew also had two RBI in the game.

Let's take a look at Fernando "El Toro" Valenzuela:

Fernando looking to the sky

Fernando's high leg kick

Two hands in the air

I love this bobblehead. It looks like Fernando, from the facial features to the pose. I really wish the Dodgers would make more bobbleheads of past players. At least do one a year. They bring back a lot of memories.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Dodgers News And Notes

All the excitement I had before the Dodgers/Yankees game went away as I watched the Dodgers lose again. The offense is painful to watch. Yes, I know the Yanks had CC Sabathia on the mound, but this Dodger offense is bad. Some changes need to be made. I hope to see Joe Torre shake up the line-up a bit today. The Dodgers are facing a cold AJ Burnett tonight, who's looking to avoid losing five straight starts for the first time in five years. The Dodgers need to jump all over Burnett. We'll see what happens. The game is starting at 4:00 pm.

Let's take a look at what's going on in the Dodger world

Antonio Villaraigosa really likes going to Dodger games. More than 400 pages of records include an e-mail exchange in which a lobbyist for Staples Center's owner seems to advise how the mayor could cite 'official' business as a way to accept free tickets. Lawyers for the Los Angeles Mayor named the Dodgers as the most frequent donor of his free tickets.

Charlie Haeger had been designated for assignment. With Chad Billingsley coming off the disabled list Monday, the knuckleballer became expendable. He was 0-4 with an 8.40 earned-run average in nine games, including six starts. Placed on the disabled list May 9 because of a minor foot problem, he pitched only twice in the last 6½ weeks. He was charged with four runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings in his last start against the Angels.

Andrew Lambo is back with the Chattanooga Lookouts. The Dodger prospect returned from a 50-game suspension after testing positive for marijuana back in April. He went 1 for 4 in his first game back.

Prentice Redman suspended 50 games. The Minor League journeyman was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for an amphetamine, according to the Office of the Commissioner of Major League Baseball. Redman was batting .332 with 10 homeruns and 41 RBI for the AAA Albuquerque Isotopes.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Dodger Stadium To Open Early For Yankee Series

In case you haven't heard, the New York Yankees are coming to Los Angeles this weekend to play the Dodgers. Tickets are sold out (through the Dodgers, of course tickets are still available at eBay and Stub Hub and other brokers). With the large crowds expected at Dodger Stadium this weekend, the team has decided to open it's gates earlier than usual.

Here's the press release:

Dodger Stadium auto gates to open early for this weekend's series
Fans will be able to enter the park early to watch the Dodgers and Yankees take batting practice
The Los Angeles Dodgers will play a much anticipated series against the defending World Champion New York Yankees starting this Friday at 7:10 p.m. In order to alleviate traffic congestion, offer fans the opportunity to watch the Dodgers and Yankees take batting practice and meet Dodger legends in Autograph Alley ticket holders will be able to enter Dodger Stadium earlier this weekend.

Friday, June 25
Game Time: 7:10 p.m.
Auto Gates: 4:40 p.m.
Early Batting Practice Gates: 4:40 p.m.
Stadium Gates: 5:10p.m.

Autograph Alley: Bill Russell

Saturday, June 26
Game Time: 4:10 p.m.
Auto Gates: 1:40 p.m.
Early Batting Practice Gates: 1:40 p.m.
Stadium Gates: 2:10 p.m.

Autograph Alley: Matt Luke

Sunday, June 27
Game Time: 5:00 p.m.
Auto Gates: 2:40 p.m.
Early Batting Practice Gates: 2:40 p.m.
Stadium Gates: 3:10 p.m.

Autograph Alley: Steve Yeager

Fans are encouraged to arrive early, carpool and take the Dodger Stadium Express shuttle from Union Station to help alleviate parking congestion. The Dodger Stadium Express picks up fans at the Patsaouras Bus Plaza adjacent to the east portal of Union Station and drops them off in the parking lot behind left/center field.

Dodger tickets will be honored as fare. Service is provided starting 90 minutes prior to the beginning of the games and will end 45 minutes after the end of the game. The Dodger Stadium Express runs every 10 minutes prior to the start of the game and run approximately every 30 minutes throughout the game.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Thank You Boys In Blue

I just wanted to thank  Boys In Blue and Josh Lukin of the Dodgers for the nice gift they sent me today. On Sunday, for Father's Day, @LAboysinblue held a twitter contest.  The first five people to tweet their father's name won. The first four winners won a CD pack, the fifth to reply won an autographed George Strait Guitar. I was the fourth to reply. I missed the guitar by that much.

I got the four pack of country CD's in the mail today. Thank you Dodgers and Boys In Blue.

Dodgers News And Notes

Another loss to the Angels last night. This is embarrassing. The Dodgers still have two more games to play in Anaheim, and then a series with the New York Yankees. Great.

The Dodgers stink in interleague play. Including this season and the previous two, the Dodgers are 16-27 in interleague play.

Charlie Haeger will get another start. The knuckleballer will be activated from the Disabled List and given another shot in Anaheim Thursday against the Angels. Haeger is 0 and 4 and has an 8.53 era. Ouch.

The Hollywood Stars game returns August 7.  Top celebrities in film, television, music, and sports will come together at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, August 7, to play in the 52nd annual Hollywood Stars Game. This marks the return of celebrity baseball at Dodger Stadium, which had been converted to softball in recent years.

The full roster of stars is still being set, but celebrities scheduled to appear in the game include: Laker legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Billy Crystal ("City Slickers," "When Harry Met Sally"), Kevin James ("The Zookeeper," "Grown Ups," "The King of Queens"), Joe Mantegna ("Criminal Minds," "The Starter Wife"), Thomas Jane ("Hung"), Jon Hamm ("Mad Men"), Director Rob Reiner ("The Bucket List," "Rumor Has It," "A Few Good Men," "When Harry Met Sally"), Jack Black ("Tropic Thunder," "Nacho Libre," "King Kong"), Director Garry Marshall ("Valentine's Day," "Pretty Woman,"), Gabriel Macht ("One Way to Valhalla," "Whiteout"), Taylor Hoechlin ("Lincoln Heights," "My Boys"), Simon Helberg ("The Big Bang Theory") and Sean Astin ("The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "24").

Andre Ethier remains third among National League outfielders in All-Star voting. Despite his recent slump, Ethier is still on track to start the game. He trails second-place Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves  by just 63,520 votes and led fourth-place Jayson Werth of the Philadelphia Phillies by 377,468.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Bobblehead of the Day: Joe Beimel

Click here to purchase
Today we're gonna take a look at Joe Beimel's 2008 Dodger bobblehead. On Tuesday, August 12, 2008, the Dodgers gave away Joe Beimel bobbleheads to the first 50,000 fans in attendance. Presented by Bank of America, this bobblehead was made by P Squared Promotions. This was the fourth of four bobbleheads given away in 2008.The other three were Joe Torre, Takashi Saito, and Brad Penny This was a special bobblehead because the fans voted on this one. For the second consecutive season, the Dodgers conducted an online fan vote during Spring Training to determine who would get the bobblehead, and after Russell Martin garnered the most votes in 2007, Beimel took home the honors in 2008. With a strong Internet following, including a campaign that was orchestrated by his parents, Ron and Marge Beimel, the southpaw reliever earned the right to be immortalized in ceramic.

The Dodgers played the Philadelphia Phillies that night, and won, 4-3. Clayton Kershaw and Cole Hamels started the game, but neither one of the young studs factored in the decision. Hong-Chi Kuo was the winner and JC Romero took the loss. Joe Beimel did make an appearance in the game, pitching one inning and striking out 1. Andre Ethier also got one of his many walk-off hits in this game, which helped give manager Joe Torre his 2,127th in the regular season, breaking a tie with Joe McCarthy for seventh place on the career list. It was a memorable game.

Before the Dodgers actually gave away the bobblehead, there were two running jokes regarding this nodder. The first was whether the bobblehead would have barbie-doll-like hair or not, because Joe had famous flowing locks. The answer turned out to be no. The second joke was, would the bobblehead's left hand have a bloody gash? The answer to this was also no. This was in reference to Joe's stupid decision to go drinking at a New York City bar before the 2006 playoff meeting with the Mets. He ended up breaking a glass, cutting himself and then needed stitches on his pitching hand. Joe originally told the Dodgers he cut himself in his hotel room. It was a huge blow to the Dodgers at the time, as Beimel was the teams left handed specialist out of the bullpen. The Dodgers ended up using Mark Hendrickson to face lefties. Beimel went sober for 15 months following the incident.
OK, let's take a look at Mr. Beimel:

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day

I want to wish my dad, and all the dads out there, a very happy Father's Day.


Dodgers invite families to the 7th annual Father's Day Catch

The Los Angeles Dodgers invite families on to the field at Dodger Stadium for the seventh annual Father's Day Catch on June 20. The event, which will be held from 10 a.m. PT to 1 p.m. PT, is free and provides families with the opportunity to play catch at Dodger Stadium in celebration of Father's Day. Dodger partner Farmer John is donating Dodger dogs for the occasion, Sparkletts will provide water bottles and Coca Cola will supply PowerAde.

Fans can park for free at Dodger Stadium on Father's Day. The Sunset Gate opens at 10 a.m. PT and families will enter through the center field gates. Music, merchandise, the Dodger Ticket truck and Dodger fan clubs will be on site for the event. The first 3,000 fans in attendance will get a complimentary Dodger dog.

The Dodgers have been the team of several Dodger fathers and sons including Dolph Camilli (1938-43) and Doug Camilli (1960-64), Al Campanis (1943) and Jim Campanis (1966-68), and Dick Schofield (1966-67) and Dick Schofield Jr. (1995). Current Dodger minor league shortstop Ivan DeJesus Jr.'s father, Ivan DeJesus Sr. played with Los Angeles from 1974-76, while fellow minor leaguer Preston Mattingly is the son of Dodger Hitting Coach Don Mattingly. The Dodgers also have a trio of members from the Wallach family, as Triple-A Albuquerque manager Tim Wallach, who played for the Dodgers from 1993-96 and served as the batting coach from 2004-05, has two sons, Matt Wallach (Single-A), and Brett Wallach (Single-A) in the organization.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Dodger Bloggin'

Tonight's Dodger loss was painful. The pitching was atrocious. Carlos Monasterios was a mess. But Ramon Troncoso replacing Monasterios in the fifth inning was the Dodgers undoing. Tron couldn't even retire one batter in what turned out to be a seven-run inning for the Red Sox. I don't even understand how Joe Torre can keep bringing Troncoso into games. Actually, I do understand. He loves to destroy bullpen arms. It's sad.

Let's see what's going on in the world of Dodger blogs:

Speaking of Joe Torre destroying bullpen arms, shares the cover of Joe Torre's next book with us, "The Art of Bullpen Management"

Blue Heaven shares another great auction item. It's a game-used Dodger batting helmet once worn by slugger Pedro Guerrero. What's so special about this helmet? Nolan Ryan hit Pedro in the back of the head which left a huge crack in the helmet. The helmet is also signed by Ryan and Guerrero.

There have been a few good Dodger autograph appearances over the last few weeks. KempKershaw over at Plaschke Thy Sweater Is Argyle shares his John Ely meeting with us.

Matt Kemp has been struggling lately. Memories of Kevin Malone wonders if there is any reason to start worrying about the Dodgers star center fielder.

Roberto over at Vin Scully Is My Homeboy is in Boston with the Dodgers. He's been giving us the details of his east coast trip. He's sitting in Section 36 if any other Dodger fans in Boston were curious.

Speaking of Section 36, Boston Red Sox blogger, Section 36 writes a segment called "Visitor's Views", where he asks some questions to a fan of the visiting team at Fenway. Since the Dodgers are in Boston, he contacted me, and asked me a few questions. Of course I was kind enough to answer. You can check that out here.


The Lakers win the NBA championship last night, yet all I can think about this morning is the United States soccer match with Slovenia. What the hell is wrong with me?

Now that the Lakers season has come to an end, like Sasha Vujacic, I can concentrate on the World Cup.

I won't be able to watch the second half of the US/Slovenia match today because my children will be getting awards (they couldn't have given them awards yesterday?!?) at school. I'm sure the US will put the beat down on those Slovenians.

Anyway, go USA.

Here's the unofficial theme song for the U.S. soccer team, "Represent",from my favorite group, Weezer:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Lakers Are 2009-2010 NBA Champions

Congratulations to the Los Angeles Lakers on their 16th NBA Championship. Game 7 may have been one of the ugliest I have ever seen, but the end result was a sweet victory. Kobe had a bad game too. But he ended up with his fifth ring and Finals MVP. Phil Jackson earned his 11th ring, possibly his last.

Tonight's game wouldn't have been won without the great play of Ron Artest. He really came through tonight.

Ron Ron gave an interview after the game. He thanks everyone, including his psychiatrist.

Wake Up!

Wake up Dodger fans, we've got an early game.

John Ely (3-3, 3.38 ERA) vs. Bronson Arroyo (5-3, 4.80 ERA)


Ely has allowed four runs in five innings in each of his past two starts and has given up a combined three home runs -- he hadn't allowed a long ball in his first seven starts of the season. Four runs in five innings isn't the worst day, but Ely also walked more batters (three) than he struck out (two) on Sunday against the Angels. When Ely is right, and successful, he has almost pinpoint control. He needs to have that control, with a fastball that doesn't reach much beyond the high 80s. A two-run blast (fourth inning) and a bloop (fifth inning) undid him last time, but that's a lesson Ely's learning: two bad pitches can make all the difference.

Time for St. Ely to right the ship. The Dodgers pitching has dominated Cicni these last two game. Hopefully, Ely continues the trend.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Go Lakers!

So, the 2009-2010 NBA season comes down to this, one game. The Lakers and Celtics will square off tonight at Staples Center in Game 7 of the NBA Finals. The winner of this, the very last game of the year, will be crowned champions.

In Game 6, we saw a flat Boston Celtics team. I doubt we'll see the same performance out of them in Game 7. The strange thing is, we haven't really seen one close game yet. I think this will change tonight.

I expect to see the Celtics get back to their physical ways, even with Kendrick Perkins sidelined. The Lakers need to counter this by playing a smart game. The bench needs to play as well as they did in Game 6. And, the most important thing, Kobe needs to play like the best basketball player in the world. If the Lakers do these things, we'll have that parade down Figueroa Street.

Go Lakers!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Around The Dodger Blogosphere

Just watched the Lakers absolutely destroy the Celtics. Then the Dodgers did the same to the Reds. It was a nice night.

Anyway, let's take a look at what's going on in the blog world:

Speaking of tonight's game against the Reds, Jon Weisman over at Dodger Thoughts wonders if it was a good idea to bring Hiroki Kuroda back into the game after a two hour rain delay.

Ernest at Blue Heaven noticed how poorly the Dodgers have been playing since voodoo man Vladimir Shpunt was outed by the LA Times. Now Chad Billingsley has been placed on DL. Maybe the Russian emigre has placed a curse on the team?

Last week the Dodgers gave away Jonathan Broxton bobbleheads to the first 50,000 fans in attendance. Alex Cora from Sons of Steve Garvey was one of those fans. He recaps his trip to Chavez Ravine for us.

Mike at has got a Miss LFP contest going. Don't forget to vote.

For the card collectors out there, Night Owl Cards takes a look at the 2010 Bowman Dodgers. Nice stuff.

Andre Ethier's Sportscenter Commercial

Last month Andre Ethier taped an ESPN Sportscenter commercial with Stan Verrett.

Click on the picture below to check it out:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Player Appearance: Jonathan Broxton

Dodger Closer Jonathan Broxton was signing autographs in Koreatown today. The event was at the Verizon Wireless Store on Wilshire Blvd. from 12:00 to 1:00pm. I arrived at 10:45, just 15 minutes before wrist bands were handed out. I want to thank Albert, Linda and Chris for getting there early and holding a spot in line for me and my buddy Tom.

There were about 200 people ahead of us in line. I wasn't as motivated to take pictures this week as I was last week at the Casey Blake appearance, but I'd say there were another 300 or 400 people behind us when the event began.

The event staff and security walked down the line of people and informed us all that Jonathan would only sign one item and that pictures would not be allowed. Great.

The event started on time, and once the line began to move, people were in and out quickly as if we were in an assembly line. Once in the store, we were told at least five times that Brox would only sign one item and that no pictures could be taken. Of course, I had my Jonathan Broxton bobblehead that was given away just this Tuesday at Dodger Stadium. Brox signed the hat in silver sharpie, I was handed a picture, then sent on my way.

I wish they would have let us take pictures, but I understand it would take forever, and the event was only an hour long. Whatever. It was a nice experience.