To the Bay We Go

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Martinez Ca.  Birthplace of Joe Dimaggio.  Two mors stops before we get off at Emeryville to catch a bus across the bay to see the Dodgers take on the hated Giants as they try to salvage the 3rd of 3 after a couple of tough one run losses.  Hyun-Jin Ryu toes the mound for The Blue against Madison Bumgarner .

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After being hit on the left hand by a Ryan Vogelsong pitch last night in the 7th inning, XRays we’re negative so hopefully HanRam wont miss too much time.

Looking Back on the Nightline Incident, and Would Jackie Really Be Proud Today ?

Pierre_42pierre_42running Juan Pierre, on Jackie Robinson Day, 4/15/2007, donning the number 42. 2007 was the first season all MLB teams would have the players don the number 42 on Jackie Robinson Day.

As we celebrate a historic moment in not only baseball but also in American history, with the decline of the amount of African-American players in the Major Leagues, would Jackie Robinson really be proud on this day that we honor him ?

Who else remembers that ill-fated evening when former Dodgers GM Al Campanis made those disparaging remarks ? Here’s a recent clip of Ted Koppel looking back on the Nightline interview from 1987, even to some degree defending Al Campanis

So, since the ill-fated Nightline incident in 1987, how much of an impact have African-American’s had on baseball since ? In a most recent research, African American’s make up only 8.05 percent of MLB players , while the NFL and NBA have African American players that make up up to 60 to 70 percent of the league. Perhaps baseball does not appeal to the African-American community’s youth as football and basketball do.

Could the economic structure of baseball also be playing a role in the decline of African American’s to the sport. It’s not as if MLB has not made any efforts to reach out to the African-American community, especially with programs like RBI .
How much has race relations in America really progressed since Hammerin’ Hank hit 715 ? Hank recently spoke out about this and he and the Atlanta Braves have recently been flooded with hate mail .

So, we ask the question, would Jackie Robinson be proud of the way things are today with this National Pastime that we love so dearly.

Jackie Robinson Day

Tomorrow, baseball celebrates the day Jackie Robinson broke MLB’s color barrier. This will mark the 10th anniversary of Jackie Robinson Day, first officially celebrated league wide in 2004. In it’s 1st season, the Dodgers we’re in Petco Park battling the Padres and ever since have played at home on this special occasion. It was thought that the Dodgers would be playing at home every season on Jackie Robinson Day, just as the Red Sox do every year on Patriots Day .

Here’s a clip form last year, looking at the legacy Jackie Robinson left behind, as told by of course Vin Scully

For the Dodgers to play away from The Ravine on this day honoring Jackie Robinson just does not seem right, especially with the game being at AT&T Park against our rival Giants. Let’s also not forget this fact that Jackie Robinson refused a trade to the Giants in 1957. Yup, Jackie is forever a Dodger !!!

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All personal fan bias aside, something just doesn’t seem right with The Blue being away on this special occasion, a sentiment shared over at Dodger Blue World .

jackie robinson stadium Jackie Robinson Stadium, home of UCLA Baseball, next to the statue and mural dedicated to Jackie on the 1st base concourse

42 A number never to be worn again

Scorecard Notes From the Yard, 4/9/2014

So, how many of you still keep score at the old ballgame ?

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It’s something i’ve done since my childhood days going back to the early 80s, watching the likes of Sax, Guerrero, Orel and of course Fernando…

So this past Wednesday night against the Tigers was my first game of the year. 

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With the game going extras, these cards are a good example of keeping score in a National League park when a game goes extras, particularly in the 9 spot of the order and often too, in other spots of the lineup.  Amazing how the pitchers spot can alter a lineup and many strategies late in the game.  As a fan , it also keeps me thinking as well as to what the managers next move will be. 

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The Tigers had a big night offensively, highlighted by Nick Castellanos’ first big league home run of his career of Dodger starter Josh Beckett.  Castellanos, who grew up a Marlins fan in South Florida, once idolized the former Marlin in his childhood.  ( You couldn’t wait another day for your first MLB dinger kid ?  LOL )

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The Dodgers, down 3 in the home 9th, would rally to tie the game thanks to a solo shot by AGon, whos homered now in 3 straight, and a clutch 2 out RBI by Dee Gordon, who’s off to a fast start this year.

Unfortunately, Victor Martinez , who the previous night had a clutch 2 out RBI of Jansen, got the best of him again lauching a solo shot to the RF Pavillion giving the Tigers a 7-6 lead that they would not relinquish, as these two teams , expected by many to meet come October, would split the two game set both in extras.

So those are Dre’s scorecard notes.  For any other scorekeepers out there, do you have any scorecards you like to share.  I always enjoy looking at others and comparing our styles.

In and Around The Ravine

So I made it out to my first game of the season this past Wednesday to see the Dodgers do battle with the Tigers. Many, including me, are predicting these two will meet in this years Fall Classic and if these two games this past week are any indication, we may have just seen a 2014 World Series Preview , silly as it may sound being it’s only April .

On The Way ….

ChavezPastBWay Sometime a little after 1st pitch just past 7:10. We decided to take the Dodger Stadium Express shuttle to the game after taking the Red Line from the North Hollywood station. Did I say express ?

SunsetPastFig Sunset and Figueroa. Where the dedicated bus lane is supposed to begin. OK, why are there other vehicles in this “dedicated bus lane ” ?

SunsetPastFig2 All right ! Now we’ve made progress. We’re now above the 100 Fwy !!!

SunsetMarion Sunset and Marion. We’re getting closer. Still, no signs of this “dedicated bus lane” . According to the MTA Website, you won’t have to fight traffic with this dedicated bus lane….

EPDrive Ah Finally !!! Our dedicated bus lane !!! Just as we descended up Elysian Park Ave. So this lane lasted all but 2 minutes, if that !!!

It’s a given that traffic is a 24/7 issue here in L.A. and yes, there’s a reason Dodgers fans have a reputation for always arriving late. Having said that, where we’re the traffic officers who we’re supposed to patrol this so-called stadium express lane ? Even our bus driver had questioned the presence of the so-called traffic cops, or lack of presence…. If this is any indication of things to come with larger attendance anticipated this season, my advice to you all particularly those coming out to Dodger Stadium for the first time and all you ballpark chasers…. Carpool. Drive as many of your buddies to the game as possible. If possible, head to the game at least 3 hours before game time if you want to be there for the first pitch. If you do plan to use the stadium shuttle from Union Station, do get there early if you can !! Based on Wednesday’s experience, the lack of traffic officers will pretty much defeat your purpose of using this express shuttle.

Inside The Ravine

Originally I had planned to take as many pics of the changes and additions around the outfield plaza after the game but with the game ending at 11:30 or around there I never got around to it. I did take these though…

dodgerbluebar The bullpen bar, above the Dodger Bullpen.

dodgerbullpen The Bullpen Overlook, above the Dodger bullpen. A great perspective to observe pitchers warming up. I wouldn’t spend 9 innings here though based on this view, and i’m sure neither would most fans.

RFBullpenMarkerRFBullPenMarkerMinion From the RF Bullpen Overlook, with our Minion !!! Only 451 ft from home plate . Oh yeah, another addition throughout the stadium this year are those outlets for your mobile devices, now that Dodger Stadium is equipped with WiFi, which was surprisingly strong during my Wednesday night visit.

LogeView OK, now that we circled the entire stadium during the game, for the first time ever, here’s our view from the loge between third and home.

DogsDodgers The Extreme Dog and the Detroit Coney Dog , the featured Dog with the Tigers in town. Looks like the Dodgers are doing the featured dog again this season based on certain opponents. ( I’d like to see their take on a Cincinatti Chili Dog when the Reds are in town…)

DogsMinion The Minion looks like he’s ready to take down these dogs

JoshDogs Tonight’s featured fan, Josh, master of voiceovers, from Eagle Rock. Josh and I have been attending Dodger games and other baseball games throughout the MLB since 1994. Our first Dodger game we witnessed in April 8, 1994 with Chan Ho Park making his debut in relief against the Braves. Kent Mercker of the Braves went on to pitch a no-hitter against the Blue, on the evening of the 20th anniversary of Hank Aaron’s 715th. No, Josh did not eat both those dogs !!!

Keeping Score

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Something I always do at the yard. Those 3 K’s on Matt Kemp’s line don’t look good, however he did have a key walk in the home 9th that helped The Blue rally from a 3 run deficit to force extras, thanks to this clutch 2 out RBI from Dee Gordon…

However, Kenley Jansen would surrender a solo shot to Victor Martinez and the Tigers would prevail in 10, 7-6, with the teams splitting this brief 2 game set, both games going extras with both teams staging 9th inning rally’s. Could this really be a preview of things to see come October ?

Concern for Jansen ?

OK, 10 games into the season and like the rest of you, I’m having some minor concerns right now about Kenley Jansen. Like hitters who go through slumps, i’m hopeful that Jansen, who has struggled early this season as evidenced by the home runs allowed to Mark Trumbo in the Australia series and last night to Victor Martinez, as well as his bases loaded situation last week in San Diego which he was able to pitch out of, i’m hopeful that Jansen is just going through a slump of his own, and according to Mattingly, there really is no big concern over Jansen .

So now, the Dodgers head to Arizona for a 3 game set to start off the road trip. Arizona, struggling early in the season, is coming off a road trip of their own which concluded with the DBacks taking 2 of 3 in San Francisco. It’s still a long season folks….

HAPPY BIRYHDAY DRE

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Happy Birthday to the most senior player of all current Dodgers…. Andre Ethier !!!

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As always…. ” IT’S ALWAYS A GOOS DRE IN L.A. ” !!!

Dodgers drop nail-biter to Tigers in 10 innings

http://www.mlb.com/r/game_article?gid=2014_04_09_detmlb_lanmlb_1&mode=recap&c_id=la

A Beard Sighting in Rancho

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Brian Wilson started last nights game for the Dodgers Single A Rancho Cucamunga Quakes, going 1 inning, retiring the side in order on 12 pitches , including one strikeout. 

3 innings later…

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The crowd waits patiently for their chance to greet Brian.  It’s almost that Spring Training vibe where players are most accessible…

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And here he is up close, Brian Wilson, signing for pretty much every fan . 

As a regular at Single A Rancho Cucamunga Quakes games , aside from seeing a potential future Dodger, like Scott Van Slyke ( I never saw Puig play here unfortunately) you never know what big league star will come by for a rehab assignment.  And many times, staff at the games don’t know either until gametime.  From what I have been told by a couple ushers, the fans and players are usually good toward each other.  As witnessed here last night, nobody really went over the top and everyone who waited patiently for Wilson’s autograph came away happy…

Back at The Ravine…..

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Zack Greinke will take to the hill for the Blue as they try to avoid a 3 game sweep at the hands of the hated ones. The Giants have dominated the first two of home series openers and at 5-1 are off to a fast start themselves. Matt Cain will take to the mound for the Giants in what should be a pitchers duel.

So are you guys already panicking ? Of course you are ! It’s what most fans do, especially when our team just got dominated these past two games against our longtime hated rivals. Even with all the high expectationa you all rrally didn’t think The Blue would just coast through the entire season all the way into October did you ? Let’s alson not forget that 162 games is a long season. Even the best hit rough spots , such as Hyun-Jin Ryu did on Friday. Let’s also not forget injuries happen to, with Kershaw and Wilson in the DL, Kershaw possibly until June. So having said that , I want to see who steps up in Kershaw’s absence.

Relax folks. Nobody ever wins a World Series in April…

Just One of Those Days…

You’re either lounging back or out on the town on this early Friday evening.  So the home opener didnt exactly go as planned as the Dodgers fell to the Giants 8-4 .  Hyun-Jin Ryu, who had been spectacular in his two previous starts, was shelled today in his shortest outing of his career, lasting only 2 innings , giving up 8 runs, 6 of them after retiring the first two batters in the top 1st. 

But you had to like the way the bullpen, a minor concern early this year, stepped up , especially Brandon League of all people.  The Dodgers would actually outhit the Giants, including solo shots by Adrian Gonzalez and Andre Ethier and an RBI double by Matt Kemp, playing in his forst game this season after it eas announced before the game that Yasiel Puig would be benched for arriving late to the yard. 

We still got 156 of these to go.  These games happen folks.  Even on home openers…..

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WELCOME BACK MATT !!!

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Ethier with a solo shot today, his first of the season

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Ah yeah…. Look at all that Dodger greatness, all the way from Vin to Sandy….

The Dodgers enter the Hunger Games

Originally posted on Dodger Insider:

the-hunger-gamesBy Jon Weisman

This week, I watched “The Hunger Games” with my 11 1/2-year-old daughter. Long-term, I’ll remember it as the first movie that the two of us watched together featuring people dying every few minutes (sigh), and as the movie that reminded me I need to introduce her to “The Truman Show.”

Over at least the next 10 days, or until Katniss Kershaw returns from the disabled list, I’ll think of it as the kill-or-be-killed symbolic backdrop for the 2014 season.

The numbers almost track — 24 “tributes” in “Hunger Games,” 30 Major League teams. Or, if you prefer, 24 tributes juxtaposed against 25 active players on the Dodgers’ regular-season roster, each just trying to survive in a cutthroat world that sometimes seems capriciously manipulated from outside forces.

The swirling national circus might not like the Dodgers, might see them as villains, but more often than not, they have…

View original 222 more words

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