26 Years and Counting Since 1988, Part 2, 2000 and Beyond

Originally posted on It's Always A Good Dre in L.A.:

 This is Part 2 of a post from last year originally titled 25 Years and Counting Since 1988, now retitled 26 Years…. , briefly recapping each season from 2000 all the way to this past year .  In the meantime, who would have imagined a World Series between Kansas City and the Giants .  Yeah, it hurts,  but the Giants earned their way in folks.  Want some other painful facts ?  This is now the Giants 5th World Series appearance since our last one , yup, 26 years ago in 1988….

Last we looked back upon the 90’s. The four Rookies of the Year winners, the transition from the O’Malley’s to the Fox ownership. Yeah, the 90’s weren’t exactly the most glorious times for our Boys in Blue we’re they ? Certainly the new millenium would see some brighter days.

Outside The Yard

Glory would indeed return for L.A. sports…

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26 Years and Counting Since 1988, Part 1, 1989 And The 90’s

Originally posted on It's Always A Good Dre in L.A.:

Re-blogged from last season.  It is 26 years now since Chavez Ravine has hosted a World Series.  Here’s a recap of each season, part 1, from 1989 to 1999

On the eve of the 109th World Series will mark 25 years now since the Dodgers won their last World Series title, let alone appear in one.  While I enjoy telling stories what it was like being a fan experiencing the Dodgers triumph in 1988, explaining the feeling to the fans who have potentially graduated college in the last 4 years certainly is not making me feel any younger.  Now that I have all but let it out that i’m up there in years, lol, let’s now look back on the last 25 years, first with the 90’s, with it’s highs and lows.  And let’s hope by this time next year i’m writing a piece about The Boys in Blue in…

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The Ride That Ended All Too Soon

KERSHAW_ADAMS Just like that, the ride was over…

What Drei Said Before The Series…

 ” The Boys in Blue head to the post-season on a roll, having won 8 of their last 10.  Everything seems to be clicking at this moment for the Blue.  If their is one concern I have heading into the post-season, it is the status of our bullpen .  It is no secret that our bullpen has been inconsistent, particularly our middle relievers.  The status of Hyun-Jin Ryu is a minor concern for me but in a Best of 5 the Dodgers may be able to get away with a 3 man rotation of Kershaw, Greinke and Haren. “

As I was looking back on my pre-season NL Picks ,  it was both my fear and hope that the Dodgers could survive on a 3 man rotation.  Hyun-Jin Ryu did make it back on the hill and pitched an admirable 6 innings in game 3.  However, Dan Haren, who after a mid-season slump, finished strong but was nowhere to be seen in the post-season.

” St. Louis has had a long history of post-season success and like it or not , are one of only two teams to have success against Kershaw .  However, Kershaw just seems to get better each year ( Is that even possible ) , having won his 4th straight ERA title en route to a possible MVP season.  In a short 5 game series, anything can happen.  Will Game 1 between two game tested battlers between Adam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw set the tone ?  Runs will probably be at a premium here.  However, with a deeper lineup and most everyone coming back healthy, I gotta like our chances to advance … “

Why St. Louis has had continued success against our Cy Young Award winner is beyond anyone’s guess.  Aside from Game 1, runs we’re at a premium, however, even with the momentum of a strong finish and a healthy lineup, the Dodgers, sans Matt Kemp’s solo shot in Game 2, just could not come up with the timely hits, and the Dodger playoff blues against St. Louis continues . 

“Dodger Blues in Mizzou… 

1985 NLCS  0-3, Lost in 6 games

2004 NLDS 0-2, Lost in 4

2009 NLDS 1-0, Won in 3

2013 NLCS 0-3, Lost in 6

That, my friends, adds up to an overall mark of 1-8 in the post-season in The Show Me State.  Now on the positive side.  The Dodgers had MLB’s best road record this season at 49-32, so being in a hostile environment will should not phase them.  One of these stats has to give.  Let’s all hope for the latter.”

Make that, 1-10, dating back to 1985, when they  Meet In St. Louis during post-season …

“Does Hyun-Jin Ryu feel no effects of his recent injury and pitch deep into the game through at least 7 ?  How much confidence does Mattingly have in his bullpen ?”

I think by now you guys know the answer to that last question .

Plenty of Blame to Go Around

So now is the time everyone starts playing the blame game.  Truth be told, there is enough blame to be passed around .  Was this a successful season ?  It would be hard to say it was a total fail with 94 wins and a 2nd consecutive NL West Title in the books.  Compete success ?  Hardly.  When $240 million is spent on player salary, it’s expected by everyone that the season would go well beyond 166 games ( Yes folks, that’s 162 and the 4 playoff games that ended before we all had a chance to blink ) .  So today, we can only wonder, how and why did it all end so quickly ?

Much of the blame will go down to two things.  Don Mattingly, and the bullpen.  OK, 3 things.  Let’s add GM Ned Coletti’s inability to acquire a setup man that may have been the difference between me writing my post post-season post, or giving my insight to the NLCS.  It will be easy to point the finger at Don Mattingly as well, it seems as if that has been a yearly tradition around these parts.  Truth is, he was only playing the hand he was dealt.  Also, who could have seen our soon to be 3 time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw coming apart at the seems in the 7th inning, not once, but twice ?  Want some other daunting numbers ?  Clayton Kershaw is the first Dodgers pitcher to lose 4 consecutive post-season games , bringing his all-time  post-season record to 1-5.  Those 4 consecutive post-season losses ? You guessed it.  All to the St. Louis Cardinals.  So Cy K isn’t quite clutch in October.  YET ( Yes folks, I did that in all CAPS for a reason ) . 

As for Mattingly’s decision making ?  The only glaring one I really could question is using Scott Elbert in the 7th inning of Game 3 .  Nothing against Scotty, but he had only pitched a little over 4 innings in the bigs all season while practically rehabbing all season.  In one of the most crucial moments of the season with a trip to the NLCS in the balance, and we go with a setup man who has pitched , again, a mere 4 plus innings.  On the flip side, that just tells you how much confidence Donnie has in that bullpen.  $240 million spent yet the only one reliable down the stretch was our closer, Kenley Jansen, who mad a mere 1 appearance this post-season.

At this moment, rumors are flying.  The big one of course, is the status of GM Ned Coletti .  Will he be around at this time next week ?  Also, who stays and who goes ?  Do the Dodgers retool at shortstop and let Hanley test the free-agent waters ?  Brian Wilson has already indicated he will $9.5 million player option for 2015Why wouldn’t he ?  With his 2-4 , 4.66 ERA stat lines, it would be hard for him to test the open market. 

So now begins the descent into a long L.A. Winter.  One that won’t be so dry this time around.  L.A. and it’s proud Dodgers fans are thirsty for a championship.  It’s been 26 years now.  Ronald Reagan was on his last term the last time a World Championship was celebrated around The Ravine.  Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry Be Happy was the chart topper.  Yes, it’s been that long folks.  For those of you born after 1988, I feel your pain. 

I will stop short of calling this 2014 season a disappointment.  It had it’s moments.  It gave us 2 no hitters from Josh Beckett and of course Clayton Kershaw .  This past season also gave us the emergence of Dee Gordon.  This season also gave us the resurgence of Matt Kemp, who I believe will come back stronger next season.  I’ll even go so far as to say 30/30 could come back, provided he stays healthy, and that could be a big question.  We also saw Adrian Gonzalez lead the NL in RBI’s.  There was plenty of highlights to remember in this past 2014 season.  Unfortunately, none coming in a double digit day in October. 

wpid-img_6757157709345.jpeg A bit early for this Thank You card don’t you all think ? 

I do want to thank you the readers for your continued following of Good Dre in L.A. .  I always do my best to provide you with as much of my Dodger knowledge as well as other fun and at times light-hearted posts from my perspective.  I also want to give a shout-out to the Dodgers-lowdown as well for their tireless work and for helping me reach out to you the readers. 

So our off-season begins now.  That does not mean I will stop posting.  Just not as often.  I also do plan on posting other topics non-baseball related at well in a feature I will be calling, Beyond The Yard .  Hopefully, you will all continue to follow my posts and of course I will also be giving some off-season thoughts as well.  It was a memorable 2014 season, especially for me on a personal not.  Unfortunately, this joyride of a season ended all to sudden, and Just Like That… It’s Over

wpid-img_17082643137116.jpeg Hey Dre, Drei says it’s been a fun 9 season’s seeing you in the Dodger Blue !  Does Drei see Dre back in 2015 ?

 

So We Meet You Again In St Louie…

With the only LDS series tied at 1 , this ongoing feud between the Dodgers and Cardinals shifts to The Show-Me State for games 3 and 4.  Hyun-Jin Ryu will take the mound for The Blue for the first time in 3 weeks against former Angel John Lackey with the first pitch scheduled just past 6.

RYU_PLAYOFFS

No Shortage of Drama 

By now, we all know there is no love lost between these two storied franchises.  If the first two games are any indication, this series should be primed for another dramatic finish.  So far…

*Benches clearing after a hit by pitch to Puig from Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright

*An unforeseen offensive output from both teams with Kershaw and Wainwright toeing the hill in Game 1

*Kershaw surrendering 8 runs in the fateful 7th inning .  Yup, I also thought Friday was money in the bag.  

*Matt Carpenter continues to be a thorn to the Dodgers side in the post-season

*Matt Kemp showing he’s still clutch

*Mattingly’s moves being scrutinized once again

All this adds up to this series being tied at one.  The biggest surprise so far , without a doubt Kershaw’s meltdown in the 7th inning of Game 1.  With a 6-2 lead and already 8 strikeouts to that point, you just had to think the game was in the bag.  But even a sure bet can come up snake eyes, as the Cardinals would score 8 times in that fateful 7th, capped off by Matt Carpenter’s bases clearing double and Matt Holliday’s 3 run shot off Pedro Baez giving the Cardinals a 10-6 lead.

The Dodgers would not go away quietly though as they would rally themselves thanks in large part to a 2 run shot by Adrian Gonzalez and a ninth inning rally that would come up 1 run short, with Puig striking out to end the game.  

Game 2 would see the Dodgers take a 2-0 lead into the 8th inning when starter Zack Greinke, after going 7 strong would be pulled for lefty JP Howell.  However, as they say , ” The best laid plans…” , and Matt Carpenter, once again, would show why he has been a thorn to our sides in post-season play…

A huge inning ending 6-4-3 induced by Brandon League would prevent further damage, setting up what could be the biggest moment yet in 2014 for The Blue…

I think it’s is now safe to say that the love/hate relationship some of you had with Matt as recent as 3 months ago is all positively love by now…

What are the keys for a Dodger win in Game 3 ?   Will Yasiel Puig and Carl Crawford break out of their post-season slump ?  Does Hyun-Jin Ryu fell no effects of his recent injury and pitch deep into the game through at least 7 ?  How much confidence does Mattingly have in his bullpen ?  These are just some of the upcoming story lines as The Blue attempts to salvage at least one in St Louis, where historically, they have had a miserable time in the playoffs…

Dodger Blues in Mizzou… 

1985 NLCS  0-3, Lost in 6 games

2004 NLDS 0-2, Lost in 4

2009 NLDS 1-0, Won in 3

2013 NLCS 0-3, Lost in 6

That, my friends, adds up to an overall mark of 1-8 in the post-season in The Show Me State.  Now on the positive side.  The Dodgers had MLB’s best road record this season at 49-32, so being in a hostile environment will should not phase them.  One of these stats has to give.  Let’s all hope for the latter.  Are you all enjoying your Blue October yet ?

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Our Pet Rally Minion Dave is ready !!!  LETS GO DODGERS !!!

So We Meet Again, St. Louie…

For the 5th time in both these team’s rich history, the Dodgers and Cardinals meet once again in post-season play.  A look  back at what drama these two have brought upon each other going back to the 1985 NLCS…

1985 NLCS … Go Crazy !!! ( Not !!! )

Two of the darkest days of my childhood as a Dodgers fan took place within 2 days of each other.  With the series tied at 2 in the bottom of the 9th in St. Louis,switch hitting Hall of Fame shortstop Ozzie Smith, had never homered from the left side of the plate.  Then this happened…

Two days later at Dodger Stadium, one out away from a Game 7, top 9, runners on 2nd and 3rd for the Red Birds, and Jack Clark , the Cardinals lone true power threat at the plate with first base open… 

To this day, those of us that we’re around, we still ask… ” Why did you pitch to Jack Clark ? ”  .  The batter that was on-deck ?  Some unknown at the time, Andy Van Slyke,  Yup,  the father of Scott Van Slyke.  Andy may best be remembered with his days as a Pirate, but when conversation of Andy and Scott come up, most Dodger fans from the day will always remember Andy’s brief time with the St. Louis Cardinals .  OK, we remember more for his role on the on-deck circle on that fateful Wednesday afternoon in October of 1985.  

Of course, had Lasorda walked Clark, he probably brings in Jerry Reuss from the bullpen to pitch to the left handed hitting Andy Van Slyke, who probably would have been pinch hit for by Tito Landrum.  ( Either way, I would have liked the Reuss-Landrum match up over pitching to Clark…)  29 years later… ” Why did you pitch to Jack Clark ? ” ( FYI, I’m long over it now…)

GUERRERO

Pedro Guerrero slamming his glove, like a Bad New Bear,  to the grass moments after Jack Clark’s home run sailed deep into the left field pavilion…

Seeing Red

Giving a shout out to my buddy Jason and his band Red Sun performing at Cheers in San Gabriel.   What did you guys think I was going to say  when I said seeing red ?  

2004 NLDS… Lima Time

After an 8 year hiatus from post-season play, the Dodgers would make their first trip back against the Albert Pujols led Red Birds.  After dropping the first two in St. Louis, Jose Lima would pitch a complete game shutout in Game 3 at Dodger Stadium.  The Dodgers would fall the next evening as the eventual National League Champion Cardinals would knock the Dodgers out 3 games to 1

LIMA

Lima Time !!!

2009 NLDS…. An Early Holliday Gift…

One out away from tying this best of 5 NLDS at one, James Loney would slice a fly ball toward Cardinals left fielder Matt Holliday for what should have been the games final out…

Holliday’s drop would prolong the home 9th, and 4 batters later, the Dodgers would complete their unbelievable comeback and send the series to St. Louis with a commanding 2 games to none lead, en route to an eventual 3 game sweep…

I know this is 5 years later, but Matt…

What happened ?

2013 NLCS…Even the Best Are Only Human…

After 5 close games , the Dodgers would head to St. Louis down 3 games to 2 with Kershaw on the mound for Game 6.  Win, and a 7th game is on the way.  Kershaw on the mound, you had to like our chances right ?

Well, even a sure bet can come up snake eyed as Kershaw would uncharacteristically come apart as the Red Birds would knock Cy K and The Blue around for a decisive Game 6 win, sending them to their 4th World Series in 10 seasons.  

What They’re Saying In The Show Me State…

The jabs have unofficially began .  So , what is being said in St. Louie about L.A. ?  Here’s their 10 Reasons Why It’s Better to Live in St. Louis Than L.A. .  You may find some of the reasons to be very funny…

Breaking It Down

So these two storied franchises meet in October once again.  How do the Dodgers and Cardinals matchup ? With a healthy lineup this time around and a deep bench, I really like our chances against the Red Birds.  Of course, St. Louis has had a long history of post-season success and like it or not , are one of only two teams to have success against Kershaw .  However, Kershaw just seems to get better each year ( Is that even possible ) , having won his 4th straight ERA title en route to a possible MVP season.  In a short 5 game series, anything can happen.  Will Game 1 between two game tested battlers between Adam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw set the tone ?  Runs will probably be at a premium here.  However, with a deeper lineup and most everyone coming back healthy, I gotta like our chances to advance …

Drei Say… Dodgers in 4

Extra Innings…

DODGER_DAVE

Our Pet Rally Minion Dave is ready !!!

Ninth Inning Magic…

Vin Scully calls the action from Game 2 of the 2009 NLDS, bottom 9, 2 outs.  Yes, this is the Matt Holliday game ….

AT&T Park vs PNC Park

Over the years I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel to various yards throughout my Stadium Journey quest.  Putting personal bias aside, AT&T Park and PNC Park are no doubt two of the most scenic yards I have ventured to.  So, in Drei’s book, how do they match up ?  

Both yards are very intimate in size.  Both have scenic backdrops.  Both have a sense of charm that are reflect the local culture….

In and around AT&T Park, with a Touch of Blue….

In and around PNC Park, Sept 2005…

These two yards really do rank highly in my ballpark journey’s.  Outside The Ravine, if I had to choose which yard get’s the edge for that top spot in Drei’s book of ballpark’s traveled ?  Hmm ?  I think i’m gonna have to go with a tie-breaker on this one.  Who get’s the tie-breaker ?

PNC_NIGHT

Slight edge to PNC Park.  Two factors.  The first was a hard one.  Skyline or water ?  At night, the Pittsburgh skyline, accented with the Roberto Clemente Bridge, makes for a more picturesque backdrop especially at night.  The second factor ?  Let’s just say this…  A Dodger fan just wrote this piece….

Dre_PirateParrot

Kickin’ it with The Pirate Parrot.  Hey, 2 straight October’s at PNC Park for you !!!

PNC_CLEMENTE

Roberto Clemente statue outside the left field entrance with the Roberto Clemente bridge in the back.  Roberto Clemente started off in the Brooklyn Dodger organization, playing for their farm system in 1954 with the Montreal Royals.

For You Ballpark and Other Stadium Travelers…

Here’s a couple of formal reviews of AT&T Park and PNC Park .  Need some tips on your ballpark travels for 2015 or other stadium ventures ?  Check us out at Stadium Journey for your sports themed travel tips !!!

 

Looking Back at Drei’s 2014 NL Forecast…

Yesterday, Drei here looked back upon his 2014 AL Forecast .  Like any pre-season predictions, there we’re hits, and there we’re plenty of misses.  In looking back at Drei’s 2014 NL Forecasts you will notice a little more accuracy around his Senior Circuit picks.

What Drei Said about the NL East

   ” it appears that there is no lack of pitching from the top on down the bottom. I still see this being a 2 team race between the Nationals and Braves. ”  

 “In my surprise pick, I’m picking the Marlins to finish beyond the NL East’s cellar. It will be interesting to how if NL ROY pitcher Jose Fernandez follows up his ROY campaign as he will be anchoring this young rotation. Marlins still have too many inexperience to pose a serious challenge for the division. ”  

Drei’s NL  East Projections…

Final NL East Standings…

After a slow start, the Nationals would finish strong once again, finishing with the leagues best record at 96-76.  Their strong finish would be capped off by Jordan Zimmerman’s no hitter on the final game of the season.  

I did say that the Marlins would not finish in the NL East’s cellar.  There we’re times when this young team displayed some flashes of how bright their future could be.  Season ending injuries to both Jose Fernandez and Giancarlo Stanton hurt, but both are still well into their youth, Fernandez is scheduled to be back by mid-season next year.  

What Drei Said about the NL Central…

 “The Bucs and their fans got a taste last year, now everyone in Steel City wants more, and they should. If they can add another solid bat or two to back Andrew McCutchen to their offense ranked 9th in the NL in scoring last year, the Bucs could make another serious run in October…. St Louis with all it’s depth is the favorite to win the division, but Pittsburgh and Cincinatti, the somewhat forgotten team of last season, could pose a serious challenge for the NL Central crown.”

Drei’s NL  Central Predictions…

Final NL Central Standings…

After starting off 12-20, one had to wonder if last season’s success was a mere blur for the Bucs.  However, the Bucs would finish strong, and with a 50-31 home record, would finish 88-74, taking the favored Cardinals to the final weekend of the season before finally finishing 2 games behind, making the playoffs for the 2nd straight season as a wild card.  

And Finally…

What Drei Said about the NL West…

With all the depth they have, there really is no reason to think the Dodgers will not win the division unless injuries, which no expert prognosticator, can ever predict. The starting 5 could potentially have 2 20 plus game winners in their rotation in Kershaw and Greinke, and a couple of 15 plus game winners with Haren and Ryu…”

     “Will they run away with the division ? No. I look for the Giants and DBacks to be the Dodgers closest contender, with the Padres and even the Rockies being possible sleepers to move up in the division. I still feel this is Matt Kemp’s team to lead….”

We all know the story of Clayton Kershaw by now.  Can the starting pitching get enough praise from us ?  Greinke would have another big season winning 17 games, while Ryu and a rejuvinated Dan Haren would also have solid season as well, winning 14 and 13 games each.  

I also did mention that the NL West would not be a runaway for The Blue and it was not until Game 159 of the season with the Giants in town when the Dodgers would finally clinch the NL West…

Also said by Drei back in April…

” Nothing has gone right for the DBacks this season, who currently stand at 5-18. I felt before the season that Kirk Gibson could be on the hot seat if the DBacks don’t make a run toward the post season. I’m starting to believe he may be gone before season’s end, maybe before the all-star break “

Well, I did say that Kirk Gibson would be gone before season’s end , even if the timing of his termination was rather odd, 3 days before the end of the regular season.  Why not just let him finish out the string ?  Then again, this is the Arizona Diamondbacks organization we are talking about here.  An organization who the last couple of years has had it’s share of mind boggling headlines.

Drei’s NL West Predictions…

Final NL West Standings…

The Boys in Blue head to the post-season on a roll, having won 8 of their last 10.  Everything seems to be clicking at this moment for the Blue.  If their is one concern I have heading into the post-season, it is the status of our bullpen .  It is no secret that our bullpen has been inconsistent, particularly our middle relievers.  The status of Hyun-Jin Ryu is a minor concern for me but in a Best of 5 the Dodgers may be able to get away with a 3 man rotation of Kershaw, Greinke and Haren. 

Drei’s NL Wild Cards….

Final …

After a hot start to the season, the Braves would come to a crashing halt late in the season and as a result would fire their GM Frank Wren .  The Pirates, after a 12-20 start, would turn things around to the point they we’re still in contention to win the NL Central flag on the games final day of the season.  For the Giants, it was a tale of 2 seasons, at one point having the Senior Circuits best record and a 9.5 game lead on the Dodgers.  Injuries and offensive inefficiencies would contribute greatly to the Giants mid-summer swoon, however, a mid-September run would put them in position to capture the NL’s second wild card spot.

So how do the Giants and Pirates matchup for their Wild Card showdown ?  The Pirates come into this matchup on a roll having won 18 of their last 24, while the Giants hit a rough patch during the season’s final 2 weeks.  However, the Giants do carry with them plenty of post-season experience and I do agree that the loud PNC Park crowd will not phase Madison Bumgarner as he matches up against Edison Volquez, winner of 5 straight.  Who does Drei pick to head north to DC ?

giants

I know this is not the popular choice around here, but I do feel that Bumgarner is more than battle tested having pitched in 2 World Series appearances.  However, I do expect a close pitchers duel between Bumgarner and Volquez. Does the PNC Park crowd give a repeat performance from last year’s Wild Card game ?  Oh the excitement of October…

Extra Innings…

Dre_PirateParrot I sure wish I could join this Pirate Parrot at PNC tomorrow…

wpid-20140909_185645.jpg Friday can’t come soon enough for our Rally Pet Minion Dave.  This fun loving mischivious character is excited for Blue October !!!

Looking Back at Drei’s 2014 AL Forecasts…

So another regular season is in the books.  Around here, 162 games just wasn’t enough, and 4 teams here in the West Coast will be playing in the post-season. Since 2007, there have been 4 tie-breaker games, yet this year,  game 163 was not necessary this year.  So, looking back on this exciting 2014 season, how did Drei’sAL  picks turn out ?  Lets look back first on Drei’s AL Forecast .  

What Drei’s Said about the AL East…

“Pitching will carry the Rays into October. Red Sox are primed for another October run, may be better than last years team. Baltimore got some heavy hitters in their lineup, they’re gonna need all that offense to back up a leaky rotation.”

Drei’s AL East Projections…

Final AL East Standings…

Tampa would dig themselves a huge early hole they could never recover from, while the Blue Jays would start fast before settling into the middle of the pack.  The Red Sox would become the 1st World Champion team since the 1997 Florida Marlins to finish last in their division.  A furious 2nd half would propel the Orioles to their first AL East title since 1997, and an era ends in New York.  Thanks for the memories, Derek Jeter .

JETER

What Drei Said about the AL Central…

” Kansas City is looking to make a run at post-season play this year for the first time since 1985. Royals pitching had the lowest ERA in the AL last season and with some added offense October baseball is a strong possibility. “

Drei’s AL Central Projections…

Final AL Central Standings…

Though I did not pick KC to be one of the wild-card teams, I did say that October baseball in KC would be a strong possibility.   Congratulations KC, on your first trip to post-season play since defeating the Cardinals in the 1985 World Series.  The AL Central would be the one division I would come close to getting all my picks correct, ( Wait ’til you see how I picked the AL West…) with the White Sox and Twins rounding out the bottom.  With the Twins occupying the cellar, Ron Gardenhire has been dismissed as Twins manager after 13 seasons at the helm .  

What Drei Said about the AL West…

 “2 managers could be on the hot seat in this division. Ron Washington, who has guided the Rangers to 2 World Series appearances, 4 consecutive 90 plus win season, 3 post season berths, the most successful manager in Rangers history, has certainly raised the bar within the organization and with that comes higher expectations….  Mike Scioscia, another manager in this division who has brought his team it’s longest run of success and is currently baseball’s longest tenured manager with the same team, could very well be on that hot seat as well…. King Felix will once again anchor the Mariners pitching staff, but the M’s, even with the acquisition of Cano, still have some questions on offense. “

 Final AL West Standings…

And that’s why they are called, predictions.  Sometimes, you’re spot on, most times, you’re more than a stone’s throw off.  However, as far off as I was, my words of wisdom  in April really we’re not that far off.  I did say that Ron Washington was on the hot seat, and apparently the seat was a bit too hot amiss the brutal Texas heat, though his reason for his early September release  was rather odd.  The Mariners would win 87 games, finishing 1 game behind the A’s for the final wild card spot, a spot that was not decided until the final game of the season. King Felix was his usual dominant self, and as I said, the offense would have some questions.  As it turned out for the M’s, lack of offense would lead to their demise.

Drei’s Wild Cards…

Final…

I did say Oakland would be one of the two wild-cards.  I highly doubt this is what they expected after being as much as 30 games over .500 at one point in the season.  How do these two stack up for the AL Wild Card ?  With two experienced aces going in Jon Lester for the A’s and Scott Shileds for KC, runs should be at a premium.  A packed house at Kaufmann Stadium should be rocking.  Who does Drei pick to go to Anaheim ?

athletics

Reppin’ The Blue In The Deep South…

wpid-2014092095123350.jpg I wanted to give a shoutout to my longtime buddy Rex, who recently relocated down south…MISSISSIPPI !  Way to rep that DODGER BLUE in the Deep South, Rex !!!

Extra Innings…

RFBullPenMarkerMinion He’s baaaaaack !!!  He’s ready for October Baseball !!!  It’s our Pet Minion Dave !!!  Here he is perched above the visitors bullpen during an early season game in April.  ( Heckling the visitors Dave ?  Perhaps we should send you out there come Friday ? )  Dave can be a mischievous character, but the other night he proved to be quite a lucky charm .  Do we have a Rally Minion in the works for the playoffs ?  

Oh the excitement of October Baseball….

Keep The Foam Flowing

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Moments after the Dodgers clinched the NL West with the Boyz Of Summer, Drei, Kid Marly Marlz and JJ keeping the Foam Party alive !  We’re never too old to play with bubbles, are we ? 

Hey, October baseball is coming.  Lets keep this Foam Party going throughout SoCal …

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Through Anaheim…

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Through San Diego…

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To where it all started…  Time to keep the bubbles flowing through October !!!

Drei’s Tales… The Magic of The Rally Pet Minion Dave

Wednesday,  September 24th.  The day started off like most normal days. The Pet Minion Dave giving his owner Drei some good company in his office .  Dave is really excited.  Dave knows that later on that evening, Drei is taking him out for a Wednesday night ballgame at The Ravine for a huge matchup with the hated ones.   Dave is also excited because he knows this could be the night the Dodgers clinch the NL West with Kershaw on the mound.   Dave is also excited because he knows he’ll get to see his favorite playmate, Uncle Marly,  whom some of you may know from  as,  Kid Marly Marlz from past posts on Ballparks, Bytes and Bites

Marlz_Dave2 Minion Dave and his Uncle Marly

Marlz_Dave What mischief awaits these two ?

 

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Wednesday morning,  9/24/2014.  Starting the Dodger Blue Out early !   Our Pet Minion Dave keeping his owner Drei company in his workplace.  Don’t let the doo-rag scare you folks.   Dave is really a fun-loving and, at times,  a mischievous character…

Boyz Night Out

MARLZ_JJ_DAVE Dave loves hanging out with The Boyz of Summer, JJ and Marly.  Dave has really found himself quite attached to The Boyz, especially to Marly.  Recently, he tagged along with The Boyz on a road trip to PETCO Park to see their Boys In Blue in action…

MINIONDAVE_PETCOPARK MARLZ_Dave_DodgerDogKid Marly Marlz, or to Minion Dave,  Uncle Marly, and the Dodger Dog, enjoying each other’s mischievous, kids at heart like company down south…

Pet Minion Dave and his favorite Uncle Marly have really developed quite a bond.  Last time out at The Ravine, before the evening ended, Uncle Marly was going all emo…

MARLY_EMOAwe.  It’s OK Marly.  You’ll see Pet Minion Dave once more before the season ends.  Heck, the next time you two see each other, it just may be a special evening…. Looks like you’ve also developed quite a bond with other mascot friends Sourdough Sam, the SF 49ers mascot, and the Mariner Moose.  .  Just keep the Mariner Moose away from Sammy.  Sammy isn’t very fond of the Moose’s favorite NFL football team…

Game Night, 9/24/2014, Time To Lock Up the NL West…

It’s Game Night !  Win tonight over the hated ones, and the Dodgers are the 2014 NL West Champions !  Of course, we had to bring our lucky  Pet Minion Dave…

MALRZ_DAVE1 Our lucky Pet Minion Dave, reunited with his Uncle Marly.  Looks like Uncle Marly has his game face on tonight…

DAVE_MARLY2 These two mischievous characters could not be more so alike if they tried.  As the evening went along, Dave’s Uncle Marly , Kid Marly Marlz, would bring up the great time they had with Drei and JJ    at PNC Park in San Diego…

Drei: PNC Park ?

Marly: Where we went in San Diego ?

JJ: That’s PETCO Park ! 

Drei:  C’mon Marlz !!!  Get your yard straight !!! 

Speaking of JJ, as the game cruised through 4, Kid and Drei  would surprise JJ, with the help of all fellow Dodgers fans in Upper Reserve 60…

Nothing beats being serenaded on your birthday at the old ballgame, right ?

Moving right along, with the game tied at 1 heading to the 6th, and Kershaw giving an MVP like performance, our lucky Pet Minion Dave and Marly Marlz , for some reason or another, get separated. But first, Kershaw’s MVP performance…

Drei: Yo Marlz, where’s Dave ?

Marlz: I thought you had him

Drei: Don’t tell me you lost Dave !

Marlz: C’mon Drei, he couldn’t have gone far…

Drei: How the ( insert word here) do you lose our Lucky Pet Minion ?

Marlz: Sorry Drei !  C’mon, let’s go find him…

Just as the top half of the 6th concludes, game still tied at one, we finally find our Lucky Pet Minion Dave finally turns up.  Turns out, Dave was just hungry for a Dodger Dog or two…

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Drei: Marlz, you gotta take better care of Dave .  Remember, he’s your favorite uncle…

Dave had us all worried there for a minute.  Minion Dave has been a lucky charm for us, albeit a mischievous lucky charm…

The Start of The Magic of Pet Minion Dave, or Should We Say, Rally Minion Dave ?

Now that Kid and Drei have found our Lucky Pet Minion Dave, A Cuban Missile is ready to lead off the home half of the 6th, game tied at one, and a division title at stake.  After falling behind on the count 0 and 2…

The solo shot by Puig would give the Dodgers a 2-1 lead.  The Blue would go on to add 3 more runs in the home 6th, and with 9 outs to go for an NL West crown, the Blue finds itself up 5-1.  The Giants failed to score in the top half of the 7th, and now, it’s time to stretch, with Minion Dave and Uncle Marly leading the way…

If the hated ones did not have enough of Puig, Gregor Blanco would learn in the top 8th to never run on a Cuban Missile…

Once again, never run on a Cuban Missile.  Hey Blanco…

What Happened ? (  The snippet courtesy of Jason with his band Red Sun .  More from the JDozer and his band later…)

You may have noticed all this good fortune for the Dodgers has been happening since Kid Marly Marlz and Dodger Drei found our Pet Minion Dave.  Drei is starting to think he could be our, dare Drei say it… Rally Minion for the playoffs ? 

During the home 8th, as the Dodgers are en route to tacking 4 more runs to their already comfortable lead, with Drei calls the action for Ander Ethier.  Dre hasn’t been able to call much action lately for Dre, with Dre being used mostly as a role player these days yet taking it in stride . Kid Marly Marlz and Minion Dave are really enjoying each other now…

Top 9 now, Dodgers up 9-1.  Wow, 8 runs since our favorite little Pet Minion Dave turned back up.  Drei is really starting to feel Dave’s magic.  With one out to go ’til we clinch the NL West, here’s what it was like from our section, Kid Marly Marlz and Minion Dave leading Reserve 60 with the BUBBLES !!! 

Our 2014 NL WEST Champions….

OK, maybe it wasn’t just the magic of Minion Dave that helped.  But hey, makes for a nice light-hearted tale, right ?

DODGER_DAVE The birth of a Rally Minion in the making folks ?  Dave certainly looks cute in Drei’s old worn Dodger hat.  October baseball is coming.  Dave is excited !!!

Oh yeah.  The 2014 season was definitely a fun season.  Like any baseball season with 162, it had it’s ups and downs, just like any great roller coaster ride.  October baseball awaits.  If all goes well, this ride will go through late October…

 VIEJOS_BUBBLES JJ, Kid Marly Marlz and DodgerDrei.  We may be ” Viejos”, especially the one on the right, but hey, no one is ever to old to play with bubbles…

MARLZ_BUBBLES Our Lucky Pet Minion Dave and his favorite uncle, Kid Marly Marlz, leading The Foam Party up in Reserve 60.  As Always Kid… 

Once a Kid… Always a Kid… Forever a Kid… Kid at Heart

 

 

 

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