Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Meanwhile - The Dodgers n' DBacks Cold War Rages On

Aloha everybody,

Did you hear the one last season about the Dodger fans who were forced by the Diamondbacks owner to take off their Dodgers gear and wear Diamondbacks crap because they were sitting behind home plate?

Now you see Dodger Blue

Now you don't

Later the Dodgers clinched the division at Chase Field and celebrated by jumping in the Diamondbacks outfield swimming pool - after being told it was OK to celebrate their hard-earned victory, but to "keep it down". 

On Tuesday night Dodger fan Armando Mendoza went to the Dodger-Diamondbacks game and wore a Tshirt that read "We won the West. Now where's the pool?" 


The shirt contains no profanity, it doesn't say anyone sucks, and it wasn't going to offend young children. It's even worth a satirical smile. 

However, the Diamondbacks didn't think it was so funny and they made him turn his shirt inside out just to walk through the gates.  He obliged and then wore his shirt normally when he got to his seat. 

The situation took on a life beyond itself when the Arizona Shirt Police went to Armando's seat in order to confront him and threaten to toss him out unless he turned his shirt inside out again.

Mendoza tweeted about it and all clothing hell broke loose. Twitter blew up, the Dodger Nation jumped on it, and the silly - but unnecessarily ugly - skirmish reached the DBacks Head of Communications. He eventually chilled everyone out and made sure Mendoza remained in his paid-for seat and offered him tix to a future game.

I wonder what shirt he'll wear for that one? I've got an idea, Armando - how about something with a catcher trying to tag a guy out using an empty mitt?

Read the whole story complete with tweets here .

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

A Little Bitta Puig Bein' Puig

Aloha everybody,

I don't know if you saw this clip yet, but in case you missed it, it's a good one and worth checking out.

Yasiel Puig struck out the other night, and in a bit of frustration he slammed his batting helmet into the helmet rack.  

Absolute Puig-ness ensued...

Here's a link to it in GIF format.

Monday, August 11, 2014

This Dodgers-Giants Connection Almost Made My Head Explode

Aloha everybody,

I learned something today while watching the Dodgers and Braves game. 

Dodgers broadcaster Charlie Steiner dropped a piece of Clayton Kershaw trivia that I never before knew.

 See that number on Kid K's back? Number 22.  

Most hard-core Dodger fans know Kershaw's number without being shown a baseball card, but how many people know the connection between that 22 on his back and the hated Giants?

He wears it because of this man...

That's right. Kershaw wears the same number worn by Will Clark, because Clark was his favorite player growing up. That's gotta partially explain why Kershaw is a pretty good hitter.

Ordinarily I would have dropped my drink upon hearing the best player on the Dodgers wears his number to honor a hated Giant, but in a deep rivalry that sometimes goes beyond the lines of sports and crosses into tragedy, I was pleased to know the Dodgers and Giants have this positive connection. 

Besides, I can't fault Kershaw for choosing to honor the man who was my favorite player on that team of rivals as well.

At least, I can thank the Big Dodger in the Sky that being a pitcher, Kershaw didn't choose to wear this guy's number..

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Is It Too Soon To Declare A "Dan Haren Curse"?

 Dodgers G.M. (Ha!) Ned Colletti felt good with the Dodgers as a team. He felt no need to make a trade while other teams improved their pitching staffs. Apparently he thought the Dodgers were good enough to ride into the World Series as is. 

Corporate writers and commentators of various sorts fell for this (I suppose) and began telling the tale of the Dodgers being "perfect" as they are presently constituted.  

Well, it seems everybody forgot about the train wreck that is the Dan Haren Express. 

 If you want to know statistically how bad Haren's been this season, check out any of the stat-head blogs for all the relevant numbers.  Believe me, this is one time that numbers spell out "Train Wreck". 

The Dodgers were starting to feel pretty good about themselves. They had just won 6 in a row, swept two teams back to back, and were comfortably settling into First Place. They probably arrived at Chavez Ravine for Saturday night's game with a special swagger and a smile that would naturally appear following a Kershaw complete-game victory.  

Heck, the night's opponents were the lowly Chicago Cubs. It was looking like the Dodgers were going to buzzsaw through this sub .500 team and their rookie, unknown pitcher with no problem at all. 

Nobody has to payola me (but payola gladly accepted here also) to say nice things about the Cubbies or Chi-town, as I absolutely love Chicago Dogs and "The Chicago Way"...

 ...but even Cubbie fans would have to agree it's difficult to find many good things to say about this season.

None of that mattered though, because good ol' Dan Haren can top the Cubs' brand of bad. 

Do you know why the Dodgers had a six-game winning streak, swept two series in a row and captured First Place? It's because Manager Damn Mattingly skipped Haren's turn in the rotation. He wanted Haren nowhere near a baseball with first place on the line. 

Now I'm sure Haren's mom probably feels we're all being a bit harsh on her sonny boy, so let's forget all that past. Let's forget his 9+ ERA too.  

That said, Haren still brought some bad, bad mojo to the mound Saturday night. 

He managed to hold the Cubs to not homering until the SECOND inning, and then the wheels fell off and the flames shot skyward for the rest of the night. 

It was ugly out there. In one crazy night the Dodgers...
lost the ability to block wild pitches or tag runners out,
lost the mindset of how a First Place team should crush a last place team,
lost that post-Kershaw splendor and swagger, and
lost three players. Crucial players.

Yasiel Puig, Jaguar Gonzalez and pitcher Paul Maholm (<-- perhaps not so crucial) all had to leave the game with injuries sustained in awkward, freaky plays.

When the smoke cleared, the Dodgers had lost the game, lost momentum, and lost a full game in the standings to the Giants.  

If I'm Ned Colletti, I'm calling up one of those young arms from the farm right about now. The Haren Curse must be stopped.


Friday, August 1, 2014

I Make It To My First Game Of The Year - Bonus Aerosmith

It took more than half the season, but I finally got out to Dodger Stadium.  I was lured in by the above bobblehead featuring the four Dodgers who hit 30 (or more) homers back in 1977.  

The bobblehead is cool enough, but it seems Ron Cey might have a concussion, as one pupil is a bit larger than the other, and Reggie Smith looks perturbed to be hidden behind Cey. I really love the old time Dodger Stadium pavilion and scoreboard in the background.

The bobblehead was modeled after the photo below, which is featured on the box...

Here are some quick observances from last night's game - brought to you by Bad Camera Productions...

The game was a sellout, and it was a traffic nightmare trying to get into the stadium. I usually arrive early to avoid all of that drama, but we ran behind schedule, leaving me at the foot of the hill at 6:40 for a 7:10 start.  Ordinarily, that's not so bad, but last night, it held the potential to keep us bottle necked outside until the third inning.  

Luckily, I've been going to the stadium enough years to have a couple of "Plan B's" up my sleeve, and we walked into the stadium (clutching our precious new bobbleheads) just as Ace Kershaw was delivering the first pitch of the night. 

 It was an absolutely gorgeous night to be out at the Ravine, and with Beast Mode showing some stirrings of a resurgence, the Matt Kemp Marching and Chowder Society was out in full force. 

 Dodger Stadium is absolutely beautiful again this year, it was a beautiful warm summer evening, and there were plenty of beautiful gals attending the game.  

Victims of the traffic and parking lot jams were still arriving well into the fourth inning. 

Kershaw didn't exactly pitch a gem by his standards - giving up nine hits, but he struck out nine and pitched a complete game, which was fantastic.  I can't even remember the last time I saw a Dodger pitch a complete game. 

During the ninth inning chants of "MVP, MVP" started raining down on Kershaw, and it got me to thinking this team is becoming something special with a few legitimate candidates for MVP. 

Of course Kershaw should receive attention for that honor, but sparkplug Dee Gordon should also be considered.  While Kershaw gave up nine hits, he went into the ninth with a shutout, mainly thanks to Gordon's defense. 

Dee made four rally-killing defensive plays behind Kershaw with three double plays (one was unassisted), and a circus, basket catch.

Puig is another candidate for MVP chants. Last night he scored from first on a double by Jaguar Gonzalez.  He hesitated a bit at second, but has enough wild horse speed to still make it around and he gave us a dramatic, around-the-catcher slide at home plate to score the Dodgers' first run of the night.  Later he blasted a line drive shot into the left field pavilion for a solo home run, and hit a double. That kid is incredible.

Matt Kemp didn't contribute a lot last night as he was too eager in his first at bat, and later the Braves pitched around him. However, Beast Mode has been awakening, and if it's for real this time - look out! We might really have cause to shower Kemp with the ol' MVP chant that he used to hear, once again. 

 It took the Braves all nine innings to get to Kershaw, and above is a shot of them scoring their only run. Kid K lost the shutout, but stayed strong and got the final two outs along with the complete game win. He only needed 111 pitches to do it. 

Kershaw's win also sealed the Dodgers' longest winning streak of the year (6), and our second series sweep in a row.  

Afterward, we were off to my favorite post game eatin' joint...

 It was a great night, capped off by a delicious cheeseburger and chili fries.

BONUS - any Aerosmith fans out there? I saw Aerosmith two nights ago at the LA Forum, and all I can say is WOW!  They absolutely rocked the house with a setlist full of greatest hits and hidden gems. 

Steven Tyler has still got it as a front man, playing with and to the audience.  Joe Perry is burning up those guitars and you can just feel the energy shooting from between the band all the way out into the audience.  

They are giving it their all, and it packs quite a punch. If they're coming to your town, I highly recommend checking out this tour.

BTW - who wants new Ski Boots ?  

Aloha everybody!