Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Dodgers Trade Ryan Theriot For Blake Hawksworth

From Dodgers.com:

The Dodgers announced today that they have acquired right-handed pitcher Blake Hawksworth from the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for infielder Ryan Theriot. The announcement was made by Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti.
The 27-year-old has gone 8-8 with a 4.07 ERA in 75 games (eight starts) with the Cardinals over his two Major League seasons.

In 2010, Hawksworth went 4-8 with a 4.98 ERA in 45 games (eight starts), making 11 relief appearances of 2.0 or more innings and posting a 2.84 ERA (8 ER/25.1 IP) in those outings.

Theriot, 30, batted .242 with one home run and eight RBI in 54 games with the Dodgers last season after he was acquired along with Ted Lilly from the Cubs at the July 31 trade deadline in exchange for Blake DeWitt and two minor league pitchers. The Louisiana native batted .270 with two home runs and 29 RBI in 150 combined games in 2010.
This is a nice move by Ned Colletti. The Dodgers were gonna non-tender Theriot anyways, so they essentially got Hawksworth for nothing. Now, Ned's got his middle reliever. He's slowly putting a nice team together. Catcher and Left Fielder will probably be addressed next.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Happy Birthday Vin

Before I forget...

Happy Birthday Vin Scully!

To the voice of the Dodgers and the greatest sportscaster ever, have a wonderful 83rd birthday.

Dodgers Sign Juan Uribe

It looks like the Dodgers have signed Juan Uribe. He's probably gonna be the everyday second baseman. It's being reported that he's signed a three-year deal worth $21 million. When the rumors first started surfacing, I figured it would be on a one-year deal or a one-year deal plus an option, but not three guaranteed years? This for a guy with a career .300 OBP.

Yes, Juan Uribe can hit homeruns. He's averaged 15 a year over the last 10 seasons. He can play defense. He just can't get on base to save his life. I hope Ned doesn't think this is the answer to the horrible 2010 offense.

For everything Ned's done right this offseason, this is one huge wrong. The man didn't learn his lesson with Juan Pierre or Andruw Jones or Casey Blake? If he had signed Uribe on a one-year deal, I'd applaud him, but this is just a silly deal.

Uribe was a Type B free agent and the Giants had offered him arbitration, they will receive a compensatory draft pick between the first and second rounds.

RIP Leslie Nielsen

Leslie Nielsen passed away yesterday at the age of 84. Over the last few weeks, the company I work for has been working on a movie called "A Funny Dirty Stoner Movie". Apparently it's Leslie Nielsen's last move. It's just another slapstick comedy in a long list of slapstick comedies from the actor.

He made a lot of funny movies. My favorite Leslie Nielsen movie is the Naked Gun. One of my favorite scenes in the movie is at the end when the Queen of England is in Los Angeles, and goes to a California Angels game. Of course, if you look closely, the game was actually filmed at Dodger Stadium. Anyway, it's a funny scene, here's a clip:

Rest In Peace Leslie Nielsen. Thanks for making me laugh.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

2002 Topps Super Teams Johnny Podres Brooklyn Dodgers autograph

Here's another autograph card from the PC. This is a 2002 Topps Super Teams '55 Johnny Podres Brooklyn Dodgers autograph.

This card is really classy looking. I love the blue sharpie signature on the black & white card. That, plus the blue bordering really gives it an old school Dodger feel.

In 1955, the Dodgers won their first and only World Series in Brooklyn. For the first time in World Series history, an MVP was selected. Johnny Podres, who won games 3 and 7, was that first WS MVP. He went 2–0, with two complete games and an ERA of 1.00. He pitched a shutout in game 7. He was honored as the Sportsman of the Year in 1955 by Sports Illustrated magazine.

In his 15-season career, Podres had 148-116 record with 1435 strikeouts, a 3.68 ERA, and 24 shutouts in 440 games.

This is my only Podres autograph card. I would love to have one of him in a Los Angeles Dodgers uniform.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Will The Dodgers Non-Tender Russell Martin?

The Dodgers have to make a decision on Russell Martin. The team could non-tender the catcher who has seen a steady two year decline and who is also an injury risk. In 2007, Russ hit .293 with 19 homeruns and 87 RBI. He was the face of the franchise, and it looked like he was on his way to becoming a star in Los Angeles. But that's not what happened.

In 2008, his numbers dropped off, .280/13/69. Then again in 2009, .250/7/53. Martin's 2010 season came to an early end in August, after injuring his right hip. Prior to the injury, Russell was hitting just .248 with five homeruns and 26 runs batted in. Yet another down year for him.

The Dodgers could non-tender him, or take their chances in arbitration. Russell was paid $5.05 million  in 2010, his second of four arbitration-eligible seasons. Even with the decline in numbers and the hip injury, Russ could still get a raise in arbitration. Fangraphs believes he could get at least $6 million, but it could be closer to $7 million.

I have a soft spot in my heart for Russ, who is from the same part of Ontario as my mother. But as a Dodger fan, I want what's best for the franchise. The Dodgers have until December 2 to make a decision.

So, What should the Dodgers do?

Friday, November 26, 2010

Dodgers Sign Jon Garland

Ned Colletti put the finishing touches on the Dodgers' starting rotation today by signing free-agent right-hander Jon Garland to a one-year contract with a vesting option for 2012.

Garland will be guaranteed $5 million for 2011 with an $8 million option in 2012 that becomes guaranteed if he reaches 190 innings in 2011. He has reached that number in all nine seasons since he became a full-time starter.

I have no problem with this signing at all. Yes, Garland is an innings eater, having gone 131-114 with a 4.32 ERA during his 11-year career. He has averaged more than 32 starts and 200 innings per season in each of his nine years in the majors. He's been on the disabled list just once in his career.

Garland is a number a  #4 or #5 starter in this league and that's what his role will be on the Dodgers, the number five starter behind Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly and Hiroki Kuroda.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Bobble Gobble!

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone out there!

So what am I thankful for? Of course, my family, friends and everyone who has checked out this blog. I hope everyone has a safe Thanksgiving. Eat a ton of turkey, enjoy your day off and watch plenty of football.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Some New Bobbleheads For The Collection: Kirk Gibson, Ken Griffey Jr, New York Jets Retro

During the baseball offseason I go through bobblehead withdrawals. Luckily, I have friends and family to help me with my addiction. I've received three new bobbles recently.

The first bobblehead that was given to me was a Ken Griffey Jr "Legends of the Diamond" mini bobblehead. This bobble is made by Forever Collectibles, and has a "big head" and removable bat. I love Griffey and was excited to get this one in the collection.

My buddy Tom took a trip up to Seattle to see his Nebraska Cornhuskers destroy the Washington Huskies back in September. He was nice enough to bring me back the Junior Griffey bobble. Thanks Thomas!

Next up is a New York Jets "Legends of the Field" Retro bobble. This bobblehead is also made by Forever Collectibles. It has a baby face and is wearing an old school Jets uniform. I'm not a Jets fan, but this is pretty damn nice.

This bobble was a gift from my sister who went to see the Jets take on the Washington Redskins back in August. Thank you KK!

The last bobblehead that was given to me was a Kirk Gibson Dodger Stadium bobblehead. Although I already have Gibby, the one I was given is brand spankin' new and still in the plastic. Now I have one that's for display and one to put away.  I still need to do a "Bobblehead of the Day" write up on this nodder.

This bobblehead was an anniversary gift from my wife two weeks ago. Thanks baby!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dodgers News And Notes

No arb for Pods, Pad or Rod. The Dodgers declined to offer arbitration to their three Type B free agents; Scott Podsednik, Vicente Padilla and Rod Barajas. Am I surprised? Not really. I guess the Dodgers were worried they'd accept? It's just sad.  Very, very sad. They didn't offer Randy Wolf or Orlando Hudson arbitration last year either.

For Hiroki Kuroda, it was Dodgers or bust. During a news conference today at Dodger Stadium, Kuroda said he never seriously considered signing with any other Major League club and was excited about the one-year, $12 million deal he signed last week to remain with the Dodgers for a fourth season. I'm happy he's back too.

The Dodgers sign right-handed reliever Oscar Villarreal. The Dodgers added to their non-roster list for 2011 Tuesday, signing right-hander reliever Oscar Villarreal. Villarreal has spent parts of six seasons in the National League but hasn’t pitched in the majors since part of 2008 with the Astros. He has a career record of 24-15 with a 3.86 ERA.

Frank and Jamie are officially divorced. Frank and Jamie McCourt are officially divorced, even though their divorce proceedings could last several more years. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Scott Gordon granted a request to change the McCourts' marital status from separated to divorced, according to court documents.
The status change has no impact on the proceedings. Any assets determined to be community property would be considered as shared assets through the date of the separation, July 7, 2009, rather than the date of the divorce.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Dodgers Announce 2011 Coaching Staff

The Dodgers announced their coaching staff for the 2011 season today. Here's the list of coaches :

Dave Hansen - Hitting Instructor (first season)
Trey Hillman - Bench Coach (first season)
Rick Honeycutt - Pitching Coach (sixth season)
Ken Howell - Bullpen Coach (fourth season)
Davey Lopes - First Base Coach (first season)
Manny Mota - Coach (32nd season)
Jeff Pentland - Hitting Coach (fourth season)
Tim Wallach - Third Base Coach (first season)
Rob Flippo - Bullpen Catcher (10th season)
Mike Borzello - Bullpen Catcher (fourth season)

Of the four new coaches to join the Dodgers, Davey Lopes interests me the most. According to Truebluela.com, the Dodgers' 64.8% success rate on stolen bases last year ranked them 14th in the NL. Under the guidance of Lopes, the Phillies have led the National League in stolen base percentage in each of the last four seasons. One person who could benefit from Lopes' presence is Matt Kemp. According to fangraphs.com, Kemp stole 35 bases and got caught stealing 11 times in 2008, a 76.1% success rate. He then stole 34 bases in 42 tries in 2009, an 81% success rate. Last year he stole 19 bases and was caught 15 times. This needs to be an area of improvement for Matt, and Lopes might be the right one to help him.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Player Appearance: Los Angeles Clippers' DeAndre Jordan and Craig Smith

I took the family to the LA Auto Show today. It was a great time. There's some great new cars coming out. Anyway, we were strolling through the South Hall at the LA Convention Center checking out the Saabs, when someone from the neighboring Kia exhibit announced over the loud speaker that two members of the Los Angeles Clippers, DeAndre Jordan and Craig Smith, would be signing autographs.

I had no idea they'd be signing. I knew former Laker AC Green was there Friday night and golfer Michelle Wie will be there Wednesday, but there was nothing on the show's website about Jordan and Smith. I just happened to be in the right place at the right time. Not that either one of them are stars, but it's still cool to meet a couple of young NBA studs.

I got in line right away. There were about 20 people in front of me. We were told they'd only sign one item each. I didn't have anything for them to sign. Luckily they had some free pictures at the signing table. I got to the front of the line and a Kia rep said she'd take a picture for me. When the guys were signing for me, I asked them if they saw any cars they liked at the show. DeAndre said he hadn't looked and Craig said he liked the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. Nice. There were a couple of Clippers cheerleaders there too. They were very nice ladies who signed a picture for me.

This season the Clippers are off to an awful start, 1-13. Despite having one of the top studs in the league in Blake Griffin, this team is going nowhere. Looks like they'll be lottery-bound again. Jordan and Smith are just role players on this crappy team, but it was nice of them to sign and represent the Clips today.Thanks again to DeAndre Jordan, Craig Smith, Kia and the Clippers for the autographs.

Dodgers News And Notes

Arizon Fall League wraps up. The Desert Dogs, led by new Dodgers' manager Don Mattingly, went 11-17 and finished in last place in the three-team East Division. Mattingly is the only active major league manager ever to manage in the Arizona Fall League. It's not exactly the majors, but hopefully the AFL experience helped Mattingly for the upcoming Dodgers season.

Seven Dodgers Prospects to watch. Speaking of the Arizon Fall League, ESPNLosAngeles.com's Tony Jackson gives us a list of seven Dodgers prospects who made a good impression in AFL.

Dodgers add two players to 40 man roster. The Dodgers have purchased the contracts of catcher Hector Gimenez and right-handed pitcher Luis Vasquez, adding them to the 40-man roster. A switch-hitter from Venezuela, Gimenez was an Eastern League All-Star in 2010 with the Altoon Curve in the Pirates organization. He batted .305 with a .384 on-base percentage and a .533 slugging percentage for an impressive .916 OPS in 94 games. Vasquez, 24, is a 6-foot-4 righty from the Dominican Republic. He was 3-2 with a 2.68 ERA in 37 appearances for Class A Great Lakes in the Midwest League in 2010. Vasquez held opponents to a .173 batting average while striking out 39 and walking 26 in 40 1/3 innings.

Jim Leyritz acquitted of DUI manslaughter. A jury in Florida on Saturday acquitted former Dodger Jim Leyritz of DUI manslaughter in a 2007 crash that killed a mother of two. However, Leyritz was convicted on a misdemeanor charge of driving under the influence, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in jail. Leyritz had faced up to 15 years in prison if convicted on the manslaughter charge.Sentencing was set for Nov. 29.

Friday, November 19, 2010

2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Stroke of Genius James Loney Autograph

Earlier this week I mentioned there were some James Loney trade rumors going around. According to the LA Times' Kevin Baxter, James Loney is all but certain to return at first base for the Dodgers in 2011. Who knows what'll happen between now and the start of the season? We'll just have to wait and see.

For now, I'd like to show my James Loney autograph. This is a 2008 Upper Deck Masterpieces Stroke of Genius Auto, SG-JA. This is one of my favorite autograph cards. The painting-on-canvas, inside-a-frame look is pretty nice.

I don't know if James Loney will be part on the Dodgers in 2011. For now he remains part of my Dodgers autograph collection.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Dodgers News And Notes

A couple of late night Dodger notes:

Jimmy Campanis' WS ring found. A 40-year-old Azusa man has been arrested in the theft of Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Jimmy Campanis' 1988 World Series ring. The ring was taken from a pouch in his golf bag during a charity golf tournament in Chino Hills.

Ivan DeJesus Jr.is impressing in the Arizona Fall League. ESPNLosAngeles.com's Tony Jackson gives us the details on the Dodgers' future 2B.

Dodgers sign two Japanese amateur pitchers. The Dodgers signed Japanese amateurs Kazuya Takano and Kazuki Nishijima to minor league contracts. According to sources in Japan, Takano is an 18-year-old right-hander whose high school class isn't scheduled to graduate until the spring. He has three effective pitches,a fastball, curve and split-finger pitch. Nishijima is a 21-year-old college left-hander.

Dodgers to open Dream Field in Northridge. The Dodgers Dream Foundation, in partnership with the LA84 Foundation and the L.A. City Department of Recreation and Parks, will open a new Dodgers "Dreamfield" Saturday at the Northridge Recreation Center.  Frank McCourt plans to be at the ceremony along with pitcher Hiroki Kuroda and former Dodgers Ron Cey, Steve Yeager and Lee Lacy.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

James Loney On The Move?

I've seen a few trade rumors swirling around about Dodgers' 1B James Loney. The Dodgers need some power in their line-up, someone to protect Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. Generally, you'd like to see some power out of the corner infielders, but the Dodgers aren't getting that from Loney or 3B Casey Blake.

From SI.com's Tom Verducci:
Loney represents a good example of the chance to buy low on a player. His batting average, slugging and OPS have dropped three straight years. Teams generally like to see more power out of first base; Loney never has hit more than 15 home runs in a season. But Loney will be just 26 on Opening Day this year and is a veteran of almost 2,500 major league plate appearances.

Here's what so encouraging about the thought of getting Loney out of Dodger Stadium and experiencing a breakout season: He hit 41 doubles last year and has been a much better hitter in his career on the road (.307 with a .854 OPS) than at home (.268 with a .711 OPS). He should interest the Rays, Jays, Nationals and Diamondbacks.
Will the Dodgers move Loney? Ned Colletti's got the starting rotation nearly complete, can he find some players to score runs for them? Loney seems like the guy with the most trade value besides Kemp, Ethier, Kerhsaw, or Billingsley, four guys who probably aren't going anywhere.

So, is there a good James Loney trade out there for Ned to make without creating another hole?

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Dodgers Re-Sign Hiroki Kuroda

According to the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez, the Dodgers have re-signed Hiroki Kuroda to a one-year $12 million deal. It was reported this past weekend that two sides were discussing a deal that would bring him back to LA.

Kuroda, who turns 36 in February, considered returning to Japan after completing his three-year, $35.3 million contract with the Dodgers. The right-hander posted a 3.39 ERA, 1.16 WHIP in 31 starts last season.

The Dodgers have four of the 5 starting rotation spots locked up now. With Clayton Kershaw, Chad Billingsley, Ted Lilly and now Kuroda, the Dodgers have one of the better rotations in the National League.

Hernandez also mentions that the fifth spot in the rotation is likely to be filled by an in-house candidate. John Ely and Carlos Monasterios are two of those names he mentions.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Bobblehead Of The Day: Brian Jordan

Click here to purchase
It's time for another Dodger bobblehead. Today we'll take a look at Brian Jordan. Jordan was traded to the Dodgers along with pitcher Odalis Perez on January 15, 2002 for Gary Sheffield. He spent two seasons in LA.

BJ had a decent 2002 season, batting .285 with 18 homeruns and 80 RBI, so the Dodgers decided to give him a bobblehead. On July 1, 2003 the Dodgers gave away Brian Jordan bobbleheads to the first 50,000 fans in attendance. This bobblehead was made by Alexander Global Inc.  It was the second of three bobbleheads given away that year. The other two were Eric Gagne(5-02) and Fred McGriff(9-12).

The Dodgers played the San Diego Padres that night and lost 4-3. Andy Ashby started for the Dodgers, Oliver Perez for San Diego. Brian Jordan did not play that night because he was placed on the 15-day disabled list earlier that day.

Let's take a look at the bobblehead:

Alexander Global made some strange looking bobbleheads. There really isn't anything special about this one. BJ is standing at the plate with the bat over his shoulder. Eh. What I do like about this one is that the bat is attached to body. Yes, bobbleheads with detachable bats look better, but they fall apart more often.

Thank You I Don't Know...3rd Base!

I wanted to thank I Don't Know...3rd Base! for the generous package he sent me. Last month he gave away some cards. The best part about the giveaway was that you didn't have to jump through hoops to get something. It was simple. All you had to do was leave a comment. That comment got you an  autograph, relic, manufactured patch or printing plate from one of the 30 MLB teams.

He put the commenter's names into random.org and I ended up with the Dodgers card. It's a 2007 Upper Deck Sweet Spot Classic Signatures Reggie Smith auto #d 68/99.  This is an awesome card. I love the signature on the baseball and the picture of Dodger Stadium in the background.

He also sent me a bunch of other Dodger cards:



He sent a card of both Mike Marshalls. Here's the pitcher Mike Marshall.
Here's the other Mike Marshall, who was a frequent signer at my LCS in Chatsworth when I was younger. I've got to dig those autos up.

Thanks again I Don't Know..3rd Base!