Friday, September 30, 2011

Upcoming Appearance - Cain Velasquez

Meet Cain Velasquez before he defends his title in Anaheim on November 12th

Ganahl Lumber
Saturday, October 1
10:00 am - 2:00 pm
150 W. Blaine St.
Corona, CA

Dodgers Staff To Return For 2012 Season

From the Dodgers:

The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced that all Major League coaches will return for the 2012 season. General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.

“I’m very excited that the entire coaching staff will return next season,” said Dodger manager Don Mattingly. “These guys do a great job with teaching and development while creating an atmosphere that gives our players a chance to play the type of baseball we feel can get us back to the playoffs and an opportunity to win a World Championship.”

2012 Dodger Coaching Staff:
Don Mattingly – Manager (second season)
Dave Hansen – Hitting Coach (second season)
Trey Hillman – Bench Coach (second season)
Rick Honeycutt – Pitching Coach (seventh season)
Ken Howell – Bullpen Coach (fifth season)
Davey Lopes – First Base Coach (second season)
Manny Mota – Coach (33rd season)
Tim Wallach – Third Base Coach (second season)

Mattingly enters his second season as the Dodgers’ manager after leading the club to an 82-79 record in his first year at the helm, including a second-half mark of 41-28 (.594). A former American League MVP, nine-time Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner and six-time All-Star, Mattingly is the ninth manager in Los Angeles Dodger history and 27th in franchise history.

Hansen took over as the Dodgers’ hitting coach on July 20, 2011 after serving as the club’s Hitting Instructor at the beginning of last season. After Hansen became the hitting coach, the Dodgers hit .266 with an on-base percentage of .334 the rest of the way, which were both good for third in the National League over that time. Hansen played 11 seasons with the Dodgers (1990-96, 1999-2002) during his 15-year Major League career and ranks sixth all-time with 139 career pinch-hits, including Dodger team records for most pinch-hits in a season (18 in 1993), pinch-hits in a career (110) and pinch-hit homers in a season (7 in 2000).

Hillman will begin his second season as the Dodgers’ bench coach and 22nd as a professional baseball coach, including three seasons managing the Kansas City Royals, five seasons managing the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters in Japan and 12 seasons managing in the minor leagues. His honors include being named “Sportsman of the Year” by the Foreign Sportswriters of Japan in 2006, Florida State League (A) Manager of the Year in 1996 and the International League (AAA) Manager of the Year in 1999.

Honeycutt enters his seventh consecutive season as the Dodgers’ pitching coach, making him the longest tenured full-time coach on the Dodgers’ staff. Since Honeycutt became the pitching coach in 2006, his staff has posted a 3.84 ERA, which is the best in baseball over that time. In 2011, Dodger pitchers posted a 3.54 ERA, which ranked fifth in the NL while the starting staff had an ERA of 3.41, good for third in the league.

Howell took over as the bullpen coach for Los Angeles in 2008 and since then the club’s relievers own a 3.56 ERA, which is the fourth-best in the NL over that time. In his four seasons, the bullpen leads the National League with a .237 opponents’ batting average, is tied for third in the NL with 107 wins and ranks fourth on the circuit with 1,851 strikeouts. Howell pitched for seven seasons in the Major Leagues, including five with Los Angeles, and posted a 3.95 career ERA.

Lopes will enter his 25th season as a Major League coach and second with the Dodgers, returning as the first base coach and baserunning instructor after playing for the team from 1972-82. He was a part of the longest-tenured infield in Major League history along with Steve Garvey, Bill Russell and Ron Cey from 1973-81. In 2011, the Dodgers stole 126 bases, which was good for fourth in the NL and a 34-steal improvement from 2010. Los Angeles was successful on 75.9% of its stolen base attempts, which ranked fifth in the NL.

Mota will enter his 33rd season as a coach with the Dodgers and 43rd year overall in the organization. He donned a Dodger uniform as a player in parts of 13 seasons from 1969-80 and 1982 and finished his career as the all-time leading pinch-hitter in Major League history. His tenure as a coach is the longest in Los Angeles Dodger history.

Wallach, who played for the Dodgers from 1993-6, begins his second season as the Dodgers’ Third Base Coach. He has also spent four seasons as a minor league manager, setting a franchise record for victories (80) for the Dodgers’ Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes in 2009 and being named the 2009 Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year. This season, Wallach was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

Picture credit: Jon SooHoo

From the Dodgers - Thank You Dodger Fans

The Los Angeles Dodgers' players and front office want to thank you,
our loyal fans, for your great support throughout the 2011 season!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dodgers Sponsors Survey - Voucher For 2 Tickets In 2012

I got an e-mail earlier this afternoon from the Dodgers.
Dear Dodgers Fan,

We want to hear from you! Please take a few moments to complete the following survey so we can learn more about your opinions regarding Dodger sponsors.

Click Here to fill out the survey.
As a thank you for your time, we'd like to offer you a voucher redeemable for tickets during the 2012 season. You will be prompted for your mailing information at the end of the survey.

Sincerely,Los Angeles Dodgers

At the end of the survey, they will ask you to fill out your information so they can send you a voucher for two tickets that can be used sometime next season.

2011 Dodgers Season - Thanks For Everything

The 2011 Dodgers season had many ups and downs. From the beginning to the end, I always had faith in this team to play like winners. It didn't start happening until the end of the season but it happened. Usually when the Dodgers don't make the playoffs, it's disappointing but not this season. It was great watching them perform regardless of what was happening off the field.

The Dodgers defeated the defending champion Giants on national television to start the season. Everyone witnessed Clayton Kershaw shutdown our rivals but that wasn't the headlines the following day. Two morons attacked, Bryan Stow, a Giants fan, in the Dodger Stadium parking lot. This unfortunate event gave the stadium a bad reputation and even scared fans  from attending games. This was another problem Frank McCourt had to deal with.

Two days later, Andre Ethier began a streak. A streak that was very entertaining to watch even though the Dodgers were struggling to win games. Ethier was one game away from tying Tommy Davis for the Los Angeles Dodgers hitting streak record. The 30-game hit streak ended on May 8th in New York. Ethier played well enough to make the All-Star team as a replacement. Shortly after the All-Star break, he became very frustrated. He couldn't hit and his anger towards management was becoming a story. I know Ethier isn't happy to be in Los Angeles, so I wonder what they will do with him next season. Maybe he'll want to stay if the Dodgers sign a big name this off-season.

The last couple of months made me forget that Jonathan Broxton even pitched for the Dodgers this season. He didn't make it to June and was put on the disabled list with seven saves. He hasn't been the same since Matt Stairs hit that home run against him the 2008 NLDS.

The Dodgers didn't quit on their season in August. They kept playing hard and it showed. They were 12 games under .500 at one point in the season and ended up with an (82-79) record. Since the Dodgers and Nationals were out of the playoff race in September, MLB never rescheduled their game that was rained out. Matt Kemp ended the season with 39 home runs and 40 stolen bases. He was only one home run shy of becoming the 5th player in MLB history to have a 40/40 season.

There is so much to say about this season.

Divorce and Bankruptcy 

Frank McCourt's divorce was the spotlight going into Spring Training. Frank and Jamie still hadn't come to a settlement. Information about the Dodgers money was being presented in court during their trial, which caught the eye of MLB. Frank filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in June because MLB didn't approve his FOX television deal. This just added more off-field drama which was painful to see happening to the team. It sucks that we (fans) have to go through all this crap for no reason. He's just wasting more money on paying his lawyers than paying some players this season like Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp. When will it end????

Off-Season Signings

The Dodgers bring in a couple of veterans including Juan Uribe. Tony Gwynn Jr., Matt Guerrier, Mike MacDougal, Jon Garland, Marcus Thames and Dioner Navarro. 

It was disappointing just how bad Juan Uribe played this entire season. He barely hit over .200 and only had 4 HRs. He performed so bad that one of my favorite websites was created: Emo Juan Uribe

Tony Gwynn Jr. was a nice signing for the Dodgers because he had speed and played some great defense at times. I remember two games this year that TGJ saved with a diving catch to end the game. One game was in Colorado and the other was at Dodger Stadium against the San Diego Padres.

Matt Guerrier and Mike MacDougal didn't really impress me this season. They allowed quite a few inherited runners to score which doesn't reflect their ERA. They also were great leaders in the bullpen for the young guys.

Two players the Dodgers released during the middle of the season were Marcus Thames and Dioner Navarro. Thames didn't play that much but he failed to come through in clutch spots. That lead to the release of Thames. 

Dioner Navarro was a mystery. At times, it looked like he enjoyed playing and other times he didn't. The Dodgers won a couple games, including a walk-off hit against the Padres, where Navarro drove in the only run of the game. Towards the middle of August is when I started to notice Navarro getting lazy behind the plate. He was missing catch-able pitches, which allowed runners to advance. It seemed like he didn't want to be there anymore. I understand the Dodgers were 12 games under .500 but you play hard everyday. Look at Jamey Carroll, who was the hardest working player on the Dodgers. Navarro got the boot at the end of August and I feel changed the clubhouse a little bit. The Dodgers kept winning and finished on a positive note.


It's incredible how many rookies played for the Dodgers this season and most of them stepped right now.

The list includes Rubby De La Rosa, Javy Guerra, Kenley Jansen, Nathan Eovaldi, Scott Elbert, Josh Lindblom, Dee Gordon, Jerry Sands, Justin Sellers, Russ Mitchell, Ivan DeJesus Jr., Trent Oeltjen and Tim Federowicz.

De La Rosa made his debut out of the bullpen in May. When Garland went down with a season-ending injury, the Dodgers put Rubby into the rotation. He pitched fine and won his first two starts. His fastball could hit triple digits on the radar gun. Horrible news came on August 1st when the Dodgers announced that De La Rosa was having Tommy John surgery. He will likely miss the 2012 season unless he heals like Stephen Strasburg.

Javy Guerra and Kenley Jansen were nice additions to the bullpen. Guerra recorded his first major league save on May 25 and his second save opportunity was almost a month later on June 19. The Dodgers made Guerra their full time closer in the beginning of July. He only blew two games the entire season,  one of which came just two days ago in the 10th inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

We got a glimpse of Kenley Jansen last season. Since he's a big guy, his fastball can also reach triple digits. Jansen broke a record this season with 16.1 K/9. (He strikes out at least 16 batters for every 9 innings he pitches) It's hard to believe Jansen use to be a catcher.

Jerry Sands, Dee Gordon and Justin Sellers all became fan favorites. The Dodgers have a bright future with these young guys. Gordon's speed is tremendous to watch, especially when he hits the ball into the outfield. He can turn a routine single into a double. When Gordon was injured and the Dodgers traded away Rafael Furcal, they needed someone to help Jamey Carroll. They called up Justin Sellers, who I didn't know anything about. I love his hard work and especially his defense. Hopefully he can help Dee sharpen his defense for next year. Jerry Sands has some great potential and it started showing the last two weeks of the season. He has a great arm in the outfield and hopefully he brings his power to the bat next season.

Eugenio Velez

Yes, Eugenio Velez gets his own paragraph. I feel bad that Velez wasn't able to get a hit during his time in the Majors. He made his Dodgers debut on July 4th as a pinch hitter. At the time, no one expected Velez would break a record. He had 37 ABs this season without a single hit. I was rooting for him the last couple weeks but it wasn't meant to be. He did score the winning run against the Giants on September 9 and helped Kershaw get his 18th win of the season. I got this from Velez's profile on ESPN (which doesn't include his last pinch-hit AB on Wednesday): 
Congratulations to Velez, who after going 0-for-3 (three strikeouts) on Friday, is now the all-time record holder for most at-bats in a hitless season with 36, the LA Times reports.
He probably won't be on the Dodgers next season, but I hope he gets an opportunity to finally break his hitless streak.

Jamey Carroll

The most underrated Dodger of the season for me. His work ethic was outstanding the entire year. He probably expected to be a bench player that would play once or twice a week at the most. Since Rafael Furcal, Juan Uribe, and Casey Blake all went down with injuries, the Dodgers had to rely on Jamey Carroll and Aaron Miles. Carroll didn't drive in runs but he was constantly on base for Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp. He made outstanding plays on defense and I even made a blog post about why Carroll deserved to be on the All-Star team. He didn't make it, oh well.

Don Mattingly

I was happy when the Dodgers gave the job to Don Mattingly. I had a feeling that learning from Joe Torre wasn't such a bad thing. Joe Torre was successful in New York and Los Angeles, so why couldn't Mattingly be successful? Injuries and some players struggling were some reasons the Dodgers didn't get off to a great start. That wasn't Mattingly's fault. The young rookies really stepped up and did what Mattingly asked. He ended the season with a winning record and the team didn't collapse at the end like the Boston Redsox or Atlanta Braves.


Matt Kemp should be the National League MVP. His numbers are ridiculous and he had no protection the entire season. Why teams kept pitching to him earlier in the season would blow my mind. It was incredible to watch on a nightly basis. His speed on the base paths, his power and at times, his defense. He still needs to fix some things on defense but he's got the tools to be a great player for many years. I attended two games where Matt Kemp hit a walk-off home run in extra innings. (against Braves/Rockies)

2011 League Ranks:
• 3rd in NL in BA (.324)
• 1st in NL in HR (39)
• 1st in NL in RBI (126)
• 1st in NL in R (115)
• 8th in NL in BB (74)
• 2nd in NL in SB (40)
• 2nd in NL in SLG (.586)
• 2nd in NL in OPS (.986)

When Matt Kemp broke up with Rihanna after the 2010 season, I was one of those who believed he would have a bounce back season. I even named one of my fantasy baseball teams after him (and yes, he was on my team along with Ethier & Kershaw):

Cy Young

In just his fourth major league season, Clayton Kershaw was the most impressive pitcher in the National League. At the age of 23, he won the NL pitching Triple Crown. Every time a pitcher has won the Triple Crown, they also won the Cy Young. He should be a lock for the award. Roy Halladay had another great year but Kershaw just had a better one. My favorite part of the Kershaw's season was going 5-0 against the [Defending Champions] San Francisco Giants.

2011 League Ranks:
• 1st in NL in W (21)
• 3rd in NL in IP (233.1)
• 1st in NL in SO (248)
• 1st in NL in ERA (2.28)
• 1st in NL in WHIP (0.98)
• 2nd in NL in W% (.808)
• 3rd in NL in CG (5)

There was a writer last season, by the name of Jon Heyman, who tweeted that Clayton Kershaw wasn't that good. Nobody knows why he would say something like that. He probably doesn't even watch when the west coast play. I saved his statement on my computer and I'll share it:

Vin Scully

The best in the business. I always missed listening to his voice when the Dodgers were on the road and instead I had to listen to Eric Collins and Steve Lyons. His stories are always fascinating even if he's told it three times in the same series. When he said good night everybody after a ball game, I would say" Good Night Vinny". I know he couldn't hear me. 

Vin Scully is coming back for another season! It wouldn't be the same without him.


Thanks to the Dodgers for a wonderful season. This season was extra special because I met a lot of new friends. I enjoyed going to ball games with my family and friends as well. 

Let's hope McCourt is gone during the off-season and we get new ownership. We're one power hitter away from making the playoffs.

See you guys on April 5th, 2012 in San Diego!

Picture Credit: AP, ESPN, Dodgers and MSTI (for the gif)

2011 MLB Playoff Predictions

What a way to end the 2011 season. I still can't believe everything that happened last night. If you missed it, Joe Posnanski, from Sports Illustrated, wrote an awesome column about it here.

Redsox choke. Rays take their spot in the playoffs.
Braves choke. Cardinals take their spot in the playoffs.

I was rooting to see both wild card spots come down to game 163, but I'm satisfied with how the game's ended last night. 

The stage is set with the 8 best baseball teams.

I don't think the Yankees have enough pitching to shut down the Tigers offense. Justin Verlander was the best pitcher in the American League this season but has stumbled to the finish line. If he can get it together, the Yankees aren't going to beat the Tigers when he pitches. I believe the Tigers will win the first game in New York and their first game in Detroit. Justin Verlander will come back to pitch game 5, while the Yankees still don't have a starter named for that game since CC Sabbathia will pitch in game 4.  
MVP: Miguel Cabrera
Prediction: Tigers in 5
It's incredible how the Rays managed to make it to the playoffs. The Rangers have the better lineup by far. It's a scary team to face right now. They also have C.J. Wilson and Derek Holland leading the way. The Rays pitchers haven't been too consistent the entire year and there's no telling who shows up. David Price didn't win a single game in September, so he might not even start. Evan Longoria and B.J. Upton need to lead the offense if they want to advance to the ALCS.
MVP: Adrian Beltre
Prediction: Rangers in 4 

The Phillies are just the better team all-around on paper. Their lineup hasn't really been hitting like they should be. If Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino get that lineup going then they might sweep the series especially with Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee starting the first two games. I don't like the rotation Tony LaRussa set up. I understand he can't use Carpenter until game 3, but to start Edwin Jackson in game 2 instead of Jamie Garcia is a bad move. If the Phillies pitch around  Albert Pujols, they should be fine.
MVP: Ryan Howard
Prediction: Phillies in 4
The Brewers have a great lineup from top to bottom. They are very balanced with speed at the top and power in 3-5 holes. Corey Hart and Casey McGehee are going to have to step up. The Diamondbacks aren't going to let Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder beat them. Kirk Gibson has made all the right choices this year and his ball club is very young. The Diamondbacks need to win at least one game in Milwaukee if they want a chance to advance. The Brewers had the best record at home this season. Justin Upton has to step up. I don't think the Diamondbacks have a good enough rotation to defeat the Brewers in a series.
MVP: Prince Fielder
Prediction: Brewers in 4

Detroit Tigers vs. Texas Rangers
Prediction: Rangers in 6 games
Milwaukee Brewers vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Prediction: Brewers in 7 games

Texas Rangers vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Prediction: Rangers in 6 games

I'm going with the Texas Rangers to repeat as American League Champions, but this time they will get the job done. They are my pick for the 2011 World Series Champions. I hope they don't embarrass me with a 1st round exit.

Dee Gordon Named NL Rookie of the Month for September

From the MLB:


Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Dee Gordon has been voted the September recipient of the Gillettepresents National League Rookie of the Month Award.

Gordon hit .372 (42-for-113) in 26 games during September and added seven doubles, one triple, six
RBI, 21 runs and 12 stolen bases. The 42 hits led the National League for the month while his 12 stolen
bases ranked second in the league. The 23-year-old added a .451 slugging percentage and a .398 on-base
percentage. The Southeastern University product recorded at least one hit in 21 of his 26 games, including 14 multi-hit contests. 

On September 8th at Washington, Gordon collected a career-high four hits, all singles, while driving in a run with a stolen base in the 7-4 Dodgers win. Gordon compiled a career-best 11-game hitting streak from September 13th-24th, batting .400 (18-for-45) with 10 runs scored during the streak. Gordon capped off the month with three consecutive multi-hit games in the final series against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field. Over the three games, he hit .500 (7-for-14) with two doubles, four runs scored, one RBI and one stolen base. For the season, Gordon ranked among National League rookie leaders in stolen bases (24, T-1st); runs (34, 8th); and hits (68, 9th). 

Gordon,who was selected in the fourth round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, recorded 24 stolen bases in his 31 attempts (77.4 percent), which ranks as the fifth-most by a Dodger rookie and the most for a Los Angeles rookie since Todd Hollandsworth’s 21 in 1996. The Florida native finished the season with a .304 batting average, 11 RBI, nine doubles, two triples and 34 runs scored in 56 games. 

Gordon will receive a specially designed trophy, suitably engraved, to commemorate his Rookie of the Month performance.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Set Your DVR, TiVo or VCR - "Catching Hell" Premieres Tomorrow

Set your DVR, TiVo or VCR!

I've been waiting over a year for "Catching Hell". This ESPN film was suppose to be a part of the 30 for 30 series, but they weren't able to finish the movie in time. If you're a sports fan and remember watching the Cubs vs. Marlins playoff series in 2003, then this movie is for you.

In a way, I (sort of) know how it feels to be a Cubs fan. I've never seen my Dodgers win a championship during my lifetime. The Cubs haven't won in over 100 years and in 2003 most Cub fans blamed Steve Bartman for not advancing to the World Series, even though they still had another game to play.

This is from
Oscar-winning documentary filmmaker Alex Gibney ("Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room") delves into the whys and hows of what ultimately became known as the Steve Bartman Incident in his new doc for ESPN Films called "Catching Hell," which airs at 5 p.m. Tuesday on ESPN.  
To recap: During a 2003 Cubs playoff game against the Florida Marlins — Game 6 to be exact, in the battle for the National League pennant, when it looked like the Cubs finally had it in the bag after all these years — a bespectacled fan wearing headphones, a green turtleneck and a baseball hat (Bartman) reached for a foul ball at the very same moment that Cubs outfielder Moises Alou was trying to make the catch. The ball tumbled into the stands, the inning continued and the Florida Marlins ultimately defeated the Cubs. 
Here's a sneak preview:

Upcoming Appearance: Magic Johnson

Hall of Fame sports presents Magic Johnson

October 8, 2011
Stage Time: TBA

Frank & Son Collectible Show
19649 E. San Jose Ave.
City of Industry, CA 91748

Matt Kemp Named NL Player of the Week

From the MLB:

Los Angeles Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp has been named National League Player of the Week for the period of September 19-25, 2011. The announcement was made earlier today on MLB Network.

In six games last week, Kemp hit .423 (11-for-26) with a Major League-best nine runs scored while his .923 slugging percentage and 24 total bases were tops among National Leaguers. The Oklahoma native’s three home runs, 11 hits and four doubles were tied for first in the league and his seven RBI were tied for second. Facing the defending World Series Champion San Francisco Giants for a three-game midweek set at Dodger Stadium, Kemp went a combined 8-for-14 with a pair of homers and five RBI as the Dodgers took two of three from their division rivals. In Thursday’s rubber match, the right-handed hitting slugger tied a season-high with four hits (also July 27th and August 10th), clubbing three doubles and a home run with two RBI. Kemp collected his third homer in as many days in Friday’s 2-0 victory at San Diego, with a solo shot in the seventh inning. The Dodgers’ sixth round pick in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft has set career-highs in nearly every offensive category this season while leading the National League in RBI (120), runs scored (112) and total bases (342). He currently ranks among league leaders with 37 home runs (T-1st), 191 hits (2nd), 40 stolen bases (2nd), a .581 slugging percentage (2nd), .324 batting average (3rd) and a .400 on-base percentage (4th). Kemp is the first Los Angeles Dodger and just the 13th Major Leaguer in history with 30 home runs and 40 steals in a single season. This is the second career weekly award for the 27-year-old, having won previously for the week of April 28-May 4, 2008.

Other noteworthy performances last week included Kemp’s teammate.
Clayton Kershaw (2-0, 1.84 ERA, 12 SO, 14.0 IP)
Emilio Bonifacio (.440, 11 H, .481 OBP, 2 HR, 3 RBI, .760 SLG)
Danny Espinosa (.346, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 9 H, .692 SLG)
Mike Morse (.348, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 8 H, .652 SLG)
Ross Detwiler (2-0, 0.00 ERA, 13.1 IP, 7 SO)
Drew Storen (0.00, 4 SV, 5 SO, 4.0 IP)
Carlos Lee (.280, 7 H, 8 RBI)
Yadier Molina (.524, HR, 3 RBI, 11 H, .762 SLG, .583 OBP)
Kyle Lohse (1-0, 0.63 ERA, 14.1 IP, 13 SO)
Brandon Phillips (.478, 11 H, 2 HR, .826 SLG, .571 OBP)
Bronson Arroyo (1-0, CG, SHO, 9.0 IP, 2 SO)
Geovany Soto (.438, 2 HR, 7 RBI, .875 SLG, .412 OBP)
Ian Kennedy (2-0, 1.29 ERA, 14.0 IP, 16 SO)
J.J. Putz (0.00 ERA, 4 SV, 6 SO, 4.0 IP)

In recognition of his National League Player of the Week Award, Matt Kemp will be awarded a watch courtesy of Game Time, the leader in licensed sports watches, available at


Pic credit: Kent C. Horner/Getty Images

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Party With Matt Kemp In San Diego

Matt Kemp is celebrating his 27th birthday tomorrow night. The Dodgers are playing against the Padres in San Diego and many Dodger fans are making the trip down to see the team play before the regular season ends.

Matt Kemp is inviting everyone to celebrate with him after the Dodgers play the Padres.

From @SMPLonnie:

Another tweet from @SMPLonnie:
4 those that asked about where/how 2 gift @TheRealMattKemp ¬ going 2 @StingSanDiegoplz feel free to drop there or email
Stingaree Night Club
(21+ only)
454 6th Avenue San Diego, CA 92101

If there is any more information released, I will add it to this post. Hopefully some of you that make the trip down to San Diego can party with Matt Kemp.

Once In A Lifetime - Dodgers Batting Practice On The Field

Last week, I mentioned that I won a Dodgers #SocialSept Twitter Contest. I was so anxious to get the opportunity to be on the field during batting practice since I've never done anything like this before. I was allowed to take one person with me. I chose my dad since he took me to my first Dodger game and he's the reason I fell in love with the team. He taught me everything I know about the Dodgers.

View from Club Level
We arrived to Dodger Stadium at 4:10 pm and walked into the Club Level. While waiting to be taken down to the field, some how a baseball made it's way up to where we were standing and my dad grabbed it. I used it later for an autograph. Clayton Kershaw hit a home run off the right field foul pole on his last swing.

Adam Chodzko, from the Dodgers Public Relations department, gathered the group of twitter winners and made our way down to the field. As we were walking through the Club Level, there was a lot of memorabilia displayed throughout the walkway.

We got down to the field at about 4:30 pm. Juan Rivera and Jerry Sands were putting on a show when we first arrived. Then some of the players started to come over to meet with us. It also helped that Rod Barajas' cousin was in our group so he brought some players over. Davey Lopes and Trey Hillman were hitting ground balls to the infielders while the pitching staff were in the outfield shagging balls. Manny Mota, Don Mattingly and Dave Hansen were chatting behind the batting cage.

Dee Gordon
Trent Oeljten
Jerry Sands
Jerry Sands & Aaron Miles
Juan Rivera
Davey Lopes
Manny Mota
Matt Kemp
About a half hour later, the San Francisco Giants started to make their way on the field. They were stretching and chatting with some of the Dodger players. I figured that it would be a good opportunity to see if any of them would sign autographs even though I was in my Dodger gear.

Aubrey Huff

Pablo Sandoval
Emmanuel Burriss & Maury Wills
It's time to show off my autographs which is what people like to see. I'll start with the Dodgers. Jerry Sands came over when we first arrived to the field but I wasn't able to get his autograph since I was still in shock that I was on the field watching my Dodgers.

Maury Wills

My first success was Maury Wills, who played for the Dodgers during 1959-66 and 1969-1972. He was really nice and even asked where I wanted him to sign it. I gave him the ball that my dad grabbed earlier in the day from the Club Level. He signed it on the sweet spot and inscribed "LA Dodgers" just in case I got any of the Giants players to sign my ball. He took pictures and was chatting with everyone.

Crescenta Valley Little League (CVLL) was also on the field during the batting practice. After Maury Wills finished signing for the kids, Dee Gordon and James Loney came over to sign. James Loney only signed for a few kids before heading back to the clubhouse. Dee stayed and signed for everyone. I was able to get him on another ball that I brought. I wasn't able to get it on the sweet spot but I finally got to meet Dee.

Matt Kemp

Clayton Kershaw

My favorite success of the day had to be Matt Kemp and Clayton Kershaw. Both players are having phenomenal seasons and hopefully are awarded at the end of the season. Since the Dodgers struggled all season until September, it's going to be hard for Matt Kemp to win the award since the media is in love with Ryan Braun. Clayton Kershaw won his 20th game on Tuesday and should be the current leader for the Cy Young award. He leads the league in wins, strikeouts, and ERA. My goal was to get both of them on the same ball.

Pablo Sandoval
Cody Ross

Carlos Beltran

Orlando Cabrera

The Giants took over the field at around 5:15pm and the Dodgers went back into the clubhouse. While the Dodgers were finishing up, some of the Giants players were talking with one another and I called them over to see if they would sign my last baseball. I was able to get Pablo Sandoval, Carlos Beltran, Cody Ross, and Orlando Cabrera. I called over Brandon Belt but he said no because he was about to hit in the cage.

We walked off the field at 5:30 pm and took our seats which were in field level. On our way to our seats Don Newcombe and Andre Ethier were in the Dugout Club talking with others.

Don Newcombe
Andre Ethier & Maury Wills

The Dodgers lost the game 8-5 but Matt Kemp did hit a 3-run home run. He joined the 35-35 club last night!

I want to thank the Dodgers and a special thanks to Adam for the opportunity to watch batting practice from the field.

I can now check it off my sports bucket list.