Friday, December 30, 2011

2011 Bowman Sterling Rubby De La Rosa Autograph

I love red, white and blue Dodger hat.
The Dodgers had a handful of  youngsters make their debuts in 2011. One of the more memorable debuts was from the hard throwing Rubby De La Rosa, the Dodgers 2010 Minor League Pitcher of the Year. The 22 year-old was called up from AA Chattanooga on May 24 and  he pitched that very same day, throwing a scoreless eighth inning against Houston. He retired the side in order, striking out two Astros.

Rubby made his first career start two weeks later in Philadelphia. He walked five batters in the first two innings, but settled down  nicely to pick up the W. He would appear in 13 games for the Dodgers last year, starting ten of those games. De La Rosa's fastball regularly clocked in the high 90's, even hitting 100 MPH. He finished the year 4-5 with a 3.71 era and 60 strikeouts in 60.2 innings after suffering a tear to the ulnar collateral ligament. He would undergo Tommy John Surgery in August.

This was one of the more heartbreaking injuries in 2011 which also affected 2012. I really thought he would have a spot in the starting rotation in '12. With Ned Colletti signing Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang through 2013, a spot in the rotation two years from now seems unlikely. I guess we'll just have to wait and see.

Anyway, when I found out Rubby had a couple of autograph cards in the 2011 Bowman Sterling set, I knew I had to get my hands on one. As a matter of fact, I got my hands on three of them, one of which is going to Greg at Plaschke, Thy Sweater Is Argyle. If anyone is interested in the third, just comment below, I'm open for a trade.



Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Bobblehead Of The Day: Steve Garvey Musical Bobblehead

Since I've posted all the Dodger Stadium giveaway bobbleheads, I'm going to start posting some of the more obscure and lesser known Dodger bobbleheads. There are many out there, and I don't have them all, but I'll show the ones I have and the ones I know about. I've already shown my Dodger Dog bobblehead and my Bob Hope bobblehead. Today I'm gonna show my Steve Garvey musical bobblehead.

This bobblehead was a Dodger Stadium exclusive and was only sold at the Top of the Park gift shop in 2004. I believe they're were only 500 made. I could be wrong about that, so if someone knows otherwise, please let me know. This bobblehead is 2 inches larger than the normal Dodger Stadium bobblehead and stands at about nine inches. There is a baseball between Garvey's feet and when pushed, it plays "Take Me Out To The Ballgame." There is also a Ron Cey version as well.

Here's Garv:

The musical bobblehead and the 2006 SGA
Although they do look a lot alike in the face, the musical bobblehead is a lot larger the 2006 Steve Garvey stadium giveaway. If anyone has anymore details on this bobblehead, please feel free to comment.


Sunday, December 18, 2011

Harrison Ford, Chadwick Boseman To Star In Jackie Robinson Biopic is reporting that Legendary Pictures has announced who will play Jackie Robinson and Branch Rickey in the upcoming Robinson biopic "42."  Robinson will be portrayed by Chadwick Boseman and Rickey will be played by Harrison Ford. It was announced earlier this year that Robert Redford was going to play Rickey, but has passed the role on to Ford

From Legendary Picture's official press release:



Burbank, CA – December 9, 2011 – Legendary Pictures announced today that it has cast Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford to star in the company’s film based upon history’s most celebrated baseball figure, Jackie Robinson. 
Boseman will depict the iconic baseball star, paying tribute to the legacy and impact Robinson made when he became the first African American Major League Baseball player. 
Ford will star as Branch Rickey, the innovative Major League Baseball executive who is best known for breaking MLB’s color barrier by signing Jackie Robinson to a minor league contract in 1945. Two years later, at the start of the 1947 major league baseball season, Robinson was signed to the Brooklyn Dodgers major league baseball team with the help of Rickey. Rickey was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1967. 
Chadwick Boseman is best known for his performance in Universal Pictures’ THE EXPRESS. Boseman also just completed a lead in the independent feature KILL HOLE. On television he was a regular on the NBC series Persons Unknown. He is represented by Michael Greene at Greene & Associates, and Melanie Cook of Ziffren Brittenham. 
Ford most recently starred in COWBOYS & ALIENS and is best known for starring in the INDIANA JONES and STAR WARS franchises as well as AIR FORCE ONE and THE FUGITIVE. Ford was a Best Actor Oscar® nominee for his role in the 1985 feature film WITNESS. Ford is represented by Jim Berkus at United Talent Agency and Skip Brittenham of Ziffren Brittenham. 
Brian Helgeland (LA CONFIDENTIAL / MYSTIC RIVER) will write and direct, with Legendary’s Chairman and CEO, Thomas Tull, producing, and Legendary’s Chief Creative Officer and President, Jon Jashni, serving as executive producer. Dick Cook, former Chairman of Walt Disney Studios, will also serve as an executive producer. Legendary worked early on in development with Robinson’s widow, Rachel Robinson, to ensure the movie adaptation of the famed player’s story is authentic.
Did the studio make the right choices? I think Boseman looks a lot like Jackie and Ford looks a bit like Branch Rickey. I think he's a better choice than Robert Redford. 

"42" is scheduled to hit theaters in 2013.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Matt Kemp Wins Player Of The Year GIBBY

Congratulations to Matt Kemp for winning yet another award, the GIBBY(Greatness in Baseball Yearly) for Player of the Year.

From's Ken Gurnick:
It's been a few minutes since Matt Kemp last won an award and ... wait ... here's another.
It was just announced that the Dodgers' All-Star center fielder was named winner of the Player of the Year GIBBY.
The Greatness in Baseball Yearly (GIBBY) Award winners were calculated based on four segments of voters that each accounted for 25 percent of the total vote: 1) millions of fans at; 2) media; 3) front-office personnel; and 4) MLB alumni.
The ultimate honors of baseball's awards season, 2011 GIBBY trophies were awarded to Major League Baseball's top player, starting pitcher, rookie, breakout player, comeback player, wow factor, closer, setup man, defensive player, manager and executive, as well as to the 2011 Postseason MVP, with no restriction to league affiliation.GIBBY trophies also honored the year's top play, moment, walk-off, performance, oddity, fan moment and postseason moment from's Must C highlight vault.About the only award Kemp didn't win this year was the National League MVP, which the Baseball Writers' Association of America gave to Ryan Braun, with Kemp the runner-up.
NL MVP Award winner or not, the 27-year-old Kemp batted .324 (third in the NL) while leading the league in homers (39), RBIs (126), runs scored (115) and total bases (353). The 2011 All-Star also finished among league leaders in multi-hit games (57, tied for first), hits (195, second), slugging percentage (.586, second), extra-base hits (76, second), stolen bases (40, tied for second), on-base percentage (.399, fourth) and walks (74, tied for eighth).
Kemp became the seventh player in Major League history to finish the season ranked in the top three in homers, batting average, RBIs and stolen bases in their respective league, joining Hall of Famers Ty Cobb (1907, '09-11), Honus Wagner ('08), George Sisler ('20), Chuck Klein ('32), Willie Mays ('55) and Hank Aaron ('63).
In addition, he was the first Dodgers player to lead the NL in home runs and RBIs since Dolph Camilli in 1941, and the first Dodgers player in history to lead the NL in homers, RBIs and runs scored. He is one of five players all-time to eclipse 30 homers, 35 stolen bases, 100 RBIs and a .310 average, joining Ken Williams (1922), Barry Bonds ('92), Alex Rodriguez ('98) and Vladimir Guerrero (2002).
This year, Kemp was voted by his teammates as the winner of the Roy Campanella Award, which goes to the Dodgers player who best exemplifies the spirit and leadership of the late Hall of Famer; he's received the Hank Aaron Award as the most outstanding offensive player in the NL; the Baseball America Player of the Year Award; the NL Stan Musial Award, presented by the Baseball Bloggers Alliance; he won a Gold Glove Award and Silver Slugger Award; was named Players Choice outstanding player in the NL; was named to The Sporting News NL All-Star team and received the Oscar Charleston and Josh Gibson Awards as the NL MVP and home run champ, presented by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.

Dodgers Unveil Six New Bobbleheads For The 2012 Dodger Stadium Greats Series: Official Press Release

Yesterday the Dodgers unveiled six of the bobbleheads they're giving away in 2012. Here's the official press release from
As part of the 2012 promotional schedule, today the Dodgers unveiled six new bobbleheads in the Dodger Stadium Greats Bobblehead Series. The complete series includes 10 bobbleheads and now features Maury Wills with Don Drysdale on April 28 (vs. WAS), Orel Hershiser on May 15 (vs. ARI), the historic Dodger infield of Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey on May 29 (vs. MIL), Mike Scioscia on June 12 (vs. LAA), Hall of Fame Manager Tommy Lasorda with Hall of Fame Manager Walter Alston on July 14 (vs. SD) and Fernando Valenzuela on August 21 (vs. SF). 
The unprecedented Dodger Stadium Greats Bobblehead Series pays tribute to some of the most unforgettable Dodgers in Dodger Stadium history. The first bobblehead in the collection celebrates the 50th anniversary of Dodger Stadium as it pairs two stars from the year the stadium opened; Maury Wills with Don Drysdale. Following the 1962 season, the duo captured the Cy Young and NL Most Valuable Player Award, respectively, with Drysdale winning 25 games and Wills stealing 104 bases. This marks the first Dodger Stadium bobblehead for Wills and the second for Drysdale. 
Three-time All-Star and 1988 Cy Young Award winner Orel Hershiser will be featured on the club’s second bobblehead night on May 15 against Arizona. Hershiser spent 13 seasons with Los Angeles (1983-94, 2000) and keyed the Dodgers’ 1988 title run, winning MVP honors in the NLCS and World Series. This marks Hershiser’s first Dodger Stadium bobblehead. 
The record-setting Dodger infield of Steve Garvey, Davey Lopes, Bill Russell and Ron Cey that played together from 1973-81 is reunited for the third bobblehead on May 29. The group combined for 21 All-Star appearances during their time together, leading the Dodgers to four National League pennants and a World Series championship in 1981. This is the first Dodger Stadium bobblehead for Lopes and Russell and the second for Garvey and Cey. 
The Dodgers will celebrate Mike Scioscia’s contributions to the franchise with the fourth bobblehead in the Dodger Stadium Greats series scheduled during the club’s annual Interleague series with the Angels on June 12. Scioscia is Los Angeles’ all-time leader with 1,394 games played at catcher and won two World Series during his 13 seasons with the Dodgers from 1980-92. This is the first Dodger Stadium bobblehead for Scioscia.
The sixth bobblehead brings together 3,639 wins, six World Series championships and two Hall of Famers with Managers Tommy Lasorda and Walter Alston. It will mark the third time that Lasorda has been depicted on a Dodger Stadium bobblehead and Alston’s first. 
The ninth bobblehead in the Dodger Stadium Greats series will celebrate one of the most thrilling pitchers in Dodger Stadium history, Fernando Valenzuela. Valenzuela was an integral part of the 1981 World Series Champion Dodgers. He was named Rookie of the Year and won the Cy Young Award in 1981 and remains the only player to win both in the same year. This marks the fourth time that Valenzuela will be featured on a Dodger Stadium bobblehead, the most in Dodger Stadium history. 
More Dodger legends featured in the Dodger Stadium Greats Bobblehead will be unveiled leading up to Opening Day on April 10 (vs. PIT). The full promotional schedule, which includes a Sandy Koufax bobblehead on August 7 (vs. ATL), is available at
The entire Dodger Stadium Greats Bobblehead Series is included in a 10-game mini plan. Several 15-game mini plans are also available that include Opening Day and two bobblehead games from the Dodger Stadium Greats Bobblehead Series. The 25-game Pick ‘Em Mini Plan is another option in securing this collectible series. Mini plan pricing starts at $8 per seat with Field Level seats starting at only $28. Information on season ticket options including mini plans is available now at

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Dodgers Unveil The Names Of Six More Dodger Stadium Great Bobbleheads

Today the Dodgers announced six of the 10 bobbleheads they'll be giving away in 2012. From the Dodgers Twitter page:
Bobblehead #1: A dual bobblehead featuring two stars from the 1962 season, Maury Wills paired with Don Drysdale (4/28). 
Bobblehead #2: For the first time ever, three-time All-Star & Cy Young Award winner Orel Hershiser (5/15). 
Bobblehead #3: A quad bobblehead of the infamous Dodger infield of Garvey, Lopes, Russell, and Cey (5/29). 
Bobblehead #4: The Dodgers all-time leading catcher in games played, and winner of two World Series rings, Mike Scioscia (6/12). 
Bobblehead #6: Hall of Fame managers Tommy Lasorda and Walter Alston will be honored together in a dual bobblehead (7/14). 
Bobblehead #9: 1981 Cy Young Award winner and Rookie of the Year, El Toro Fernando Valenzuela (8/21).
The first thought that comes to mind is "FERNANDO AGAIN?" I guess they have to give him one if they're  doing Dodger Stadium Greats. Besides that, I think I'm pretty pleased with these choices. The great infield of Garvey, Cey, Lopes and Russell getting a quad bobblehead is a great idea. I'm happy to see Mike Scioscia is getting one, as well as Orel Hershiser. I can't argue with the Lasorda/Alston dual nodder  either. I would have loved for Maury Will to get his own bobblehead, but I'm fine with him and Don Drysdale getting paired up. 

Along with Sandy Koufax on August 7, we now know about seven of the ten. I wonder who they have in mind for the final three. 

Any thoughts?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

New Marlins Ballpark Will Have A Bobblehead Museum

Sign pointing to the bobblehead museum at the Marlins new ballpark
With less than four months until Opening Day, the Miami Marlins are trying finish building their new ballpark. It's about 92% complete and it seems like they're right on pace. Today Marlins beat writer Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post showed some pictures from the Marlins Ballpark media tour he recently took. We get a glimpse of many areas of the stadium, including the club house, the press box, and even the Beer Distribution Room. But the one pic that caught my eye was one of a sign that points fans to the Team Store, the First Aid station and the Bobblehead Museum...yes, the Bobblehead Museum!

I'm not really sure what bobbleheads are going to be in there, but I am sure they'll have all the Marlins SGA's in there from Cliff Floyd to Jeff Conine to AJ Burnett. Now I really want to take a trip to this new ballpark so I can see what the Bobblehead Museum is all about. 

Maybe one day Dodger Stadium will have a bobblehead museum. Dodger fans love their bobbleheads and I know it would be a popular attraction.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Player Appearance: Justin Sellers

Dodgers Infielder Justin Sellers made an appearance at Valley Sports Cards & Memorabilia On Sunday, December 11. This was Justin's first public signing appearance. He was scheduled to meet fans and sign autographs from 1:00-2:00pm. The autographs were $20 each for any item or two for $35.

This is the event ticket
It was a pleasure watching Justin Sellers play in 2011. After getting called up to the Dodgers in August, Sellers played second base, shortstop and third, impressing at all three positions. Along with Dee Gordon, Justin brought some excitement to Dodger Stadium.

Now I really wanted Justin's autograph, and I tried getting it a couple of times at Dodger Stadium with no success. So when I heard he was signing at my local card shop in November, I was pretty excited. Unfortunately, that appearance was cancelled because the Dodgers asked him to play Winter ball in the Dominican Republic. The event was finally rescheduled for December 11.

That's me lined up before the event

Me and Justin

Since Valley Sports Cards is only a few minutes from my home, I didn't have to get there too early. When I arrived there were only a few people waiting. I paid for two 8x10's and two autographs, picking one set up for Mike at Nomo's Sushi Platter, then I got in line.

Justin arrived right on time at 1:00, and started signing a few minutes later. He was very friendly, chatting with everyone and posing for pictures. When I got to the front of the line, I shook his hand and told him I enjoyed watching him play and I hoped to see him play some more in 2012. He signed the 8x10s and took a  few pictures with me.

DB and Justin

My auto
This was one of the better events I have been too. Everything went so smoothly and there was a great atmosphere at the shop. Thanks to Justin Sellers, I hope he gets a little playing time in 2012 even though Ned Colletti signed like ten infielders this offseason. And a big thanks to Alex and Valley Sports Cards. The event was awesome! And thanks to MVP Trading Cards Company for putting it all together. Also, it was nice hanging out and talking Dodgers with Ramon, Irene and Scott.

Dodgers Sign Tony Gwynn Jr For Two Years

Sticking with his backloaded-two-year deal theme, Ned Colletti signed Tony Gwynn Jr today. The deal is worth $2 million. He'll earn $850,000 in 2012 and $1.15 million in 2013. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the signing of outfielder Tony Gwynn Jr. to a two-year contract. General manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.The versatile outfielder appeared in a career-high 136 games at all three outfield positions with the Dodgers last year in his first season with the club and posted a .907 zone rating, which tied for second among qualifying National League outfielders. The 29-year-old ranked among the league leaders with a .993 fielding percentage, tying for ninth among NL outfielders with just one error in 677.0 innings, and tied for 15th on the circuit with eight outfield assists. Gwynn averaged 0.11 assists per 9.0 innings, which led National League outfielders.
At the plate, Gwynn batted .256 and posted career-best marks with 12 doubles, 22 stolen bases and 22 RBIs. He also tied with Jamey Carroll for the team lead with a career high-tying six triples. The left-handed hitter batted .333 (8-for-24) in 27 appearances as a pinch-hitter, tying for the seventh-highest mark in the Majors, and has a .288 career batting average in that role.
Gwynn delivered in pressure situations for the Dodgers throughout the season, hitting a walk-off single to beat the Angels on June 26 and batting .286 (18-for-63) in close and late situations. He also preserved a pair of Dodger victories with ninth-inning diving catches in the field, doing so with two outs and the bases loaded on April 29 in a 3-2 win against the Padres and again on June 11 with the bases full to save an 11-7 win at Colorado.
Gwynn was originally selected by Milwaukee in the second round of the 2003 First-Year Player Draft and traded to San Diego in exchange for outfielder Jody Gerut during the 2009 season. He attended San Diego State University, where he played for his father and Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, and graduated from Poway (CA) High School. His uncle, Chris, was the Dodgers’ first-round selection in the 1985 draft and played parts of seven seasons in Los Angeles (1987-91 and 1994-95).
I'm trying to get my head around this one. Yeah, TGJ's got a good glove and it's nice having in the outfield in those close games, but he was under team control for 2012. All Ned had to do was tender him a contract and he's in Dodger blue next season, yet he gives Gwynn a second year. Huh? Not that it's a lot of money, it's just that the second guaranteed year was unnecessary. 

With five outfielders now signed in 2012, where does this leave Jerry Sands? 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The "Moon Man" Jay Johnstone

UPDATE: As many people have pointed out in the comments and in emails to me, this is not Jay Johnstone on the card. I've seen Johnstone's picture and this card hundreds of times, I've met him in person as well and I'm a little surprised I didn't realize this until it was pointed out. I'll try to get an answer on this mystery Dodger or maybe someone has a definitive answer as to who this is.

Here's my 2006 Fleer Greats of the Game Nickname Greats auto card NG-JJ
Anyone catch the lunar eclipse yesterday? I was stuck in Downtown LA, so I wasn't able to get the telescope out to see it. But I did view it live on my phone with the SLOOH Space Camera ap. It was an interesting way of watching the event, and I'm happy I got to see it. There won't be another lunar eclipse until 2014.

Of course this got me thinking of the blog, and how I could incorporate the lunar eclipse into today's post. My first thought was Wally Moon, but I've already done a post on him. Then I remembered Jay Johnstone, the "Moon Man."

Johnstone, who was one of baseball's great pranksters, played for the Dodgers in 1980, 1981 part of 1982 and again in 1985. But he got his nickname while with the California Angels.

At some point during his early years with the Angels, Johnstone acquired a lasting nickname: Moon Man. Catcher Bob “Buck” Rodgers liked to tell one version of the story. “One day he lost a ball in the sun, but when he came back to the bench he said, ‘I lost it in the moon.’' The connections with outer space were fitting, especially when the whole nation was watching the Apollo missions. In 1981, though, Johnstone told Jim Murray of the Los Angeles Times that it came about as he sneaked back into his hotel room after curfew, cat-burglar style, and told another roommate, “Out of the way, you’re standing in my moonlight.” 

Ryan Braun Tests Positive For PEDs

National League MVP Ryan Braun, who last season led the Milwaukee Brewers to their first division title in nearly three decades, has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and faces a 50-game suspension if the initial finding is upheld, two sources familiar with the case told "Outside the Lines."
Major League Baseball has not announced the positive test because Braun is disputing the result through arbitration.
A spokesman for Braun confirmed the positive test Saturday and issued a statement: "There are highly unusual circumstances surrounding this case which will support Ryan's complete innocence and demonstrate there was absolutely no intentional violation of the program. While Ryan has impeccable character and no previous history, unfortunately, because of the process we have to maintain confidentiality and are not able to discuss it any further, but we are confident he will ultimately be exonerated."
The 28-year-old Braun had to provide a urine sample for testing during the playoffs, and he was notified of the positive test sometime in late October -- about a month before he was named the National League's most valuable player.
The positive result was triggered by elevated levels of testosterone in Braun's system, the sources also told "Outside the Lines." A subsequent, more comprehensive test revealed the testosterone was synthetic -- not produced by Braun's body.
I know it's old news already, but I still wanted to get this in simply because I'm so disappointed.Matt Kemp is my favorite baseball player and he had one of the great offensive seasons in Dodger blue, if not THE greatest ever. He was also runner-up in the 2011 MVP voting behind Ryan Braun. 

As for Braun, he's my second favorite baseball player. Like me, he's a Jewish kid from the San Fernando Valley, someone I can sort of connect with. Hearing about his positive test was like a punch in the gut. 

USA Today reported Saturday night that Braun said of the test result "It's BS." 

I can't wait to hear Ryan's excuse.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Nathan And Ethan, Two New Dodger Autos

I picked up a couple of 2011 Bowman Chrome Prospect autos recently, Nathan Eovaldi and Ethan Martin. One of the autos I was actually searching for, the other I just stumbled upon and bought because it was so cheap.

I was on the hunt for an Eovaldi auto. I already had an in-person autograph and wanted something certified. Eo made six decent starts for the Dodgers in 2011. The team basically shut him down at the end of the year, putting him in the bullpen. With Hiroki Kuroda leaving for free agency and the Dodgers declining Jon Garland's 2012 option, it seemed like Eovaldi was going to be the Dodgers fifth starter in '12. Of course that idea was killed when Ned Colletti signed Chris Capuano and Aaron Harang. I honestly thought the Dodgers were going to bring Kuroda back and would need a cheap option in their  rotation like Eovaldi, but I was wrong.

I'm not sure what the team's plans are for Eovaldi in 2012 now. He could be back in the bullpen, he could be back in the minors, who knows. I do think we'll see him starting games for the Dodgers eventually.

I was on my nightly eBay hunt for Dodger autographs when I came across this Ethan Martin autograph. Bidding started at 99 cents with free shipping. So I placed a $1.25 bid and I ended up winning it.

Martin was the Dodgers first-round draft pick in 2008 and has been a big disappointment. He split time between Single-A Rancho Cucamonga and AA Chattanooga last year. His AA numbers were decent, going 5-3 with a 4.02 ERA  and a 1.49 WHIP, mostly out of the bullpen. His Single-A numbers, not so good. As a starter at Rancho, he  went 4-4 with a 7.36 ERA and a 1.86 WHIP. It may be time to go in another direction for young Martin.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Justin Sellers Appearance Reminder And Update

Just a reminder, Dodgers rookie infielder Justin Sellers will be making an appearance this Sunday, December 11 at Valley Sports Cards in Tarzana. This is Justin's first public signing. The event will begin at 1:00pm and the autograph will be $20 for any item and will include free authentication.

MVP Trading Card Company just announced that there will be a discount for anyone purchasing multiple autographsYour first autograph ticket that's purchased AT THE DOOR will cost you $20.00 and your 2nd autograph ticket will cost you just $15.00! That's a total of $35.00 for 2 Justin Sellers autographs. THIS DEAL IS FOR THE FIRST 30 paying customers at the door. Again, this deal is for paying customers at the door on the day of the event.

Valley Sports Cards is located at:
19640 Ventura Blvd
Tarzana, CA 91356


Also, if you can't make it to the event and are interested in a Justin Seller's auto, you can pre-order one of three signed items by clicking here.

The Angels To Give Away Two Bobbleheads In 2012

Mark Trumbo will be the first of two Angels bobbleheads in 2012(4/17)
Although it hasn't been posted on their website, the Anaheim Angels have released their 2012 promotional schedule to their season ticket holders. The Angels are going the opposite route of the Dodgers and their Ten bobblehead giveaways though. The Angels will only be giving away two bobbleheads next year, and they're both coming early in the season. Here's the full promotional list: 
4/7 Fleece Blanket 4/17 Mark Trumbo Bobblehead4/19 Gold Glove T Shirt4/21 Angels Cap4/22 Fanfest5/1 Rally Monkey Beanie5/3 Angels Seat Cushion5/15 Fan Vote Bobblehead5/16 Wall Calendar6/2 Angels Cowboy Hat 6/5 Angels Cooler6/6 Angels Hula Girl6/17 Father's Day Oven Mitt6/19 Angels Reusable Bags6/20 Angels Travel Pillow7/7 Kids Angels Jersey 7/24 Angels Cap 7/28 Angels Kite 8/11 Angels Lunch Bag8/14 10th Anniversary World Series Ring8/15 Angels Cap 8/16 Angels Pitcher and Cups8/18 Backpack 9/23 Fan Appreciation Day and Team Photo

Since they're only doing two, Mark Trumbo(4/17) had to be one of them. The 2011 American League Rookie of the Year runner-up had a great season and became a fan-favorite. The second bobblehead will handed out on May 15, and this one will be voted on by the fans. There are three Angels to choose from: 2011 All-Stars Howie Kendrick and Jordan Walden and Centerfielder Peter Bourjos. If anyone is interested in voting, you can do so here.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dodger Sign Aaron Harang

Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images North America
According to (via MLB Network's Jon Heyman), the Dodgers have signed pitcher Aaron Harang to two-year deal worth roughly $12 million.

Harang, 33, enjoyed a nice rebound campaign with his hometown Padres in 2011. The former Reds ace notched 170 2/3 innings, his highest total since 2008, while posting a solid ERA of 3.64, striking out 6.5 per nine, and walking 3.1 per nine.
FIP and SIERA marks of 4.17 and 4.25, respectively suggest that Harang, a flyball pitcher (41%) was likely aided somewhat by moving from Great American Ballpark to the spacious confines of Petco Park. His new home park, Dodger Stadium, also has a history of limiting the long ball, though not as much as Petco.
I don't have a huge problem with this signing. His numbers aren't bad, although he did pitch at PetCo. I think Harang is fine as a fifth starter, and he should pitch well at Dodger Stadium. I just would've preferred Hiroki Kuroda over Harang and Chris Capuano.

The rotation is set now:
1. Clayton Kershaw
2. Chad Billingsley
3. Ted Lilly
4. Chris Capuano
5. Aaron Harang

It's one big Ace at the top of the rotation and four #5-types. And yes, Chad Billingsley is a number-five-type  of pitcher. At least Kuroda would have been a solid #2. 

Monday, December 5, 2011

Dodgers Sign Jerry Hairston Jr.

picture via Collectors Network
The Dodgers just signed utility man Jerry Hairston to a two-year, $6 million deal. According the's Dylan Hernandez, Hairston, who turns 36 in May, will earn $2.25 mil in 2012 and $3.75 mil in 2013. 


The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced the signing of infielder/outfielder Jerry Hairston, Jr. to a two-year contract. The announcement was made by Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti.
“Jerry adds more versatility to our club and will help us at second and third base, shortstop as well as left and center field,” said Colletti. “He brings a veteran presence that can also help in the continued development of Dee Gordon.”
Last season, the 35-year-old batted a combined .270 with 21 doubles, five home runs and 31 RBI in 120 games with the Nationals and Brewers. Hairston posted a combined .961 fielding percentage and played five positions in the field, including 49 games at third base, 30 games at second base, 23 games in left field, 20 games in center field and two games at shortstop. He also appeared in 13 games as a pinch-hitter and batted .364 (4-for-11) in that role. After being acquired in a midseason trade, Hairston helped the Brewers advance to the National League Championship Series by hitting .385 (15-for-39) with eight runs scored, six doubles and four RBI in 11 postseason games.
The Illinois native is a .258 career hitter in 14 seasons with the Orioles (1998-2004), Cubs (2005-06), Rangers (2006-07), Reds (2008-09), Yankees (2009), Padres (2010), Nationals (2011) and Brewers (2011). Hairston won a World Series ring as a member of the 2009 Yankees and is a .362 career hitter in 17 postseason games. Hairston has excelled with the bases loaded throughout his career, batting .313 (25-for-80) with three grand slams. The versatile defender has a .979 career fielding percentage and has appeared at every position except for pitcher and catcher.
 Hairston is a third-generation Major Leaguer, joining his grandfather Sam, his father Jerry Sr., his uncle John and brother Scott. The Scottsdale, AZ resident attended Southern Illinois University, where he was honored as a member of the school’s Hall of Fame, and was originally selected by Baltimore in the 11th round of the 1997 First-Year Player Draft.
I'm kind of scratching my head at this signing. Not that I have a problem with Hairston, because he's extremely versatile, but why is Ned signing him now, after he's already signed Mark Ellis and Adam Kennedy? I was just joking with a friend yesterday that Ned needs to sign more veteran infielders, and look what he does! 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Player Appearance: Rod Carew

Hall of Famer Rod Carew made an appearance today at the Angels Team Store in Anaheim. He was scheduled to meet fans and sign autographs from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm. The appearance was part of a holiday sales event held by the Angels and AEG, operators of the Team Store. Most items in the store were 40-60% off.

I arrived at Angels Stadium at 7:30 and there were maybe twenty people in line. At 9:00 the Team Store opened and more people started showing up. The employees at the store brought quite a bit of discounted  merchandise outside, including hats, jerseys, bats and bobbleheads. There's were a lot of great deals outside and a lot of good deals inside as well. I believe everything in the store was 40% off. So  I picked up a Torii Hunter Forever Big Head bobblehead, which was discounted from $24.99 down to $10 and a couple of MLB baseballs. I can't resist a good deal. 

Mr. Carew arrived right at 10:30 and began signing right away. We were told he would sign one item per person and he wouldn't sign bats, jerseys or magazines. The line moved pretty slowly. He was signing at a snails pace, but I did finally make it to the front at around 11:00. He signed a baseball for me and inscribed "HOF 91". 

I had a great time down at the Big A. The event went smoothly and it was very organized, plus they had a bunch of great deals at the Team Store. Thanks to the Anaheim Angels and Rod Carew for everything today.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Player Appearance: Shaquille O'Neal

On Tuesday, November 29, Shaquille O'Neal, aka the Big Aristotle, aka Shaq Fu, aka Shaq Diezel, made an appearance at Barnes & Noble in Santa Monica. He was there to meet his fans and sign copies of his new book "Shaq Uncut: My Story".

Shaq was scheduled to appear at 7:00 pm. I arrived at B&N at 3:00, bought the book and they gave me a wristband. They were putting people in lettered groups of twenty, but wouldn't let anyone line up until 6:00pm. I was in Group F.

I had three hours to kill, so I hung out at 3rd Street Promenade. When 6 finally rolled around, I went and lined up at the book store. There were about 140 people there at 7:00, but none of them were Shaq. He was running late because he was talking to the media. They also told us he was scheduled to shoot Jimmy Kimmel that night, so they were going to move the line quickly.

He finally started signing at 7:30 and I got to the front of the line at 7:45. He was taking quick pictures with people, but about five people ahead of me, they stopped allowing those pictures. He signed my book, shook my hand, and the B&N staff rushed me out. The whole thing was a bit disappointing, especially after I saw the signature, a crappy crappy signature.

I was happy to finally meet one of my all-time favorite Lakers, but I wish it had been a better experience. When I left the bookstore, there were at least another 120 people still in line. I hope they all got autographs.

Shaq did make his appearance on Kimmel that night. Here's a funny clip of the 7'2, 350 lb Shaq being carried by his 5'2 girlfriend. :