Friday, November 30, 2012

Angels Trade Jordan Walden To Braves For Tommy Hanson

The Angels are trying their best to add starting pitcher other ways than just free agency. They might not be able to re-sign Zach Grienke. Walden struggled for the Angels last season and with the addition of Ryan Madson, the Angels can afford to lose a reliever in order to help out their rotation.

From NBC sports:
Tommy Hanson once looked likely to be atop Atlanta’s rotation for a long time, but after the right-hander struggled for the past season-and-a-half the Braves have traded him to the Angels. 
Alden Gonzalez of reports that the Braves will get 25-year-old reliever Jordan Walden in return, which makes it a swap of two young pitchers whose stock has declined dramatically in the last year.

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Upcoming Appearance - Tommy Lasorda, Steve Yeager, Justin Sellers

The Dodgers are coming to a mall near you during the holiday season! Stop by for autographs and photos, play games and win prizes! Get your holiday shopping done with Dodgers 2013 Mini Plans - starting at just $11 a game.

Westfield Century City
10250 Santa Monica Blvd 
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Friday, November 30
12 pm - 7 pm

LOCATION: Dining Terrace

Tommy Lasorda (12pm-2pm)*
Steve Yeager (2pm-4pm)
Justin Sellers (4pm-6pm)

Purchase a 2013 Mini Plan or Season Tickets while at the mall on 11/30 and you will receive an autographed Tommy Lasorda item*

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Wall of Champions at JW Marriott

This Friday from 4 – 7 p.m. at the Mixing Room in the JW Marriott L.A. LIVE a special AEG WALL OF CHAMPIONS will be displayed. Take your photo with The Stanley Cup, Three LA Galaxy MLS Cups, and Three LA Lakers NBA Championship trophies.

As part of the unique event fans are encouraged to bring a new unwrapped toy as part of AEG’s Season of Giving holiday initiative.

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Upcoming Appearance - Blake Griffin

Meet Clippers Forward, Blake Griffin!


If it's anything like last year, there will be no outside items allowed. 

Los Angeles Auto Show
Kia Booth
11835 W Olympic Blvd # 625
Los Angeles, CA

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Angels Sign Reliever Ryan Madson

The Angels are finally trying to get some help for their bullpen which was their weakness last season. Ryan Madson signed with the Cincinnati Reds last season, but didn't play a single game because he had major elbow surgery.

From the LA Times:
Ryan Madson passed his physical, and the veteran reliever's one-year, $3.5-million deal with the Angels became official Wednesday. 
Madson can make an additional $2.5 million based on the number of days he spends on the active roster and an additional $1 million in games-finished incentives. 
Eight months removed from ligament-replacement surgery, there is a good chance that Madson, a 6-foot-6 right-hander from Moreno Valley, will start the 2013 season on the disabled list.
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Trade With Fuser

I mentioned a couple days ago that I do most of my trades on forums with other card collectors. This was only the second time that I've worked out a deal with Tim (Fuser) on The Cardboard Connection. We're both moderators on the website but since I hadn't been really trading in the past couple of months, I never really looked around to see what other traders had available.

When I updated my new trade list a couple weeks ago, Tim asked about a couple of my cards. I wanted to get some nice cards for my collection and after taking a look at his list we were about to work out a deal very quickly. The first card is a magnificent autograph of Evan Longoria who played his college ball at Long Beach State. I use to play third base in high school, and I admire what Longoria has done at the hot corner. I love the fact that it's also from Triple Threads. I still don't understand why they use sticker autographs for a high-end product. 

2012 Topps Triple Threads Evan Longoria Relic Auto #/50

Since I'm a big fan of Triple Threads, I wanted this nice triple relic that featured a couple of American League second basemen. The card features Ian Kinsler, Dustin Pedroia, and Robinson Cano, plus it's numbered out of 27. The Yankees are on my "hate list" but Cano is my favorite second baseman in the game. He's got a beautiful home run swing, but not as beautiful as Ken Griffey Jr.

2012 Topps Triple Threads Kinsler/Pedroia/Cano Relic #/27

I picked up my first Roy Campanella relic card. It was released in Topps Tribute back in 2001 and features a bat instead of the usual jersey piece. The number 39 was Campanella's jersey number that the Dodgers retired back in 1972. He is considered one of the greatest catchers to ever play the game of baseball. Unfortunately, his career was cut short when he was paralyzed due to an automobile accident.

2001 Topps Tribute Roy Campanella Relic Bat

I had to pick up another rookie Matt Ryan relic for the Matty Ice collection. I just hope he plays a lot better this upcoming weekend than last Sunday when he threw 5 interceptions.

2008 SPx Matt Ryan Dual Relic #/175

If anyone is interested in any of my cards, please send me an e-mail.

Thanks for the trade Tim!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Upcoming Appearance - Ron Cey, Lou Johnson & Maury Wills

Meet former Dodgers, Ron Cey, "Sweet" Lou Johnson, and Maury Wills!

The Dodgers are coming to a mall near you during the holiday season! Stop by for autographs and photos, play games and win prizes! Get your holiday shopping done with Dodgers 2013 Mini Plans - starting at just $11 a game.

Friday, November 23

Del Amo Fashion Center
3525 West Carson Street 
Torrance, CA 90503

Ron Cey (11:30am-1:30pm)

"Sweet" Lou Johnson (2pm-4pm)

Maury Wills (4pm-6pm)

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MLS Cup Will Be David Beckham's Last Game With Galaxy

Hopefully the Galaxy defend their title and Beckham can go out on top. It's amazing just how much the MLS has evolved since David Beckham signed with the LA Galaxy.

Be sure to watch the LA Galaxy take on the Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center (December 1 @ 1:30pm PST).
LOS ANGELES (AP) - David Beckham will play his final game for the Los Angeles Galaxy in the MLS Cup next month. 
Beckham and the Galaxy announced the English midfielder's decision Monday, a day after the defending MLS champions advanced to their second straight league final. Los Angeles faces Houston for the MLS title on Dec. 1. 
The 37-year-old Beckham isn't retiring, but the superstar he gave no hint of his next move. 
''I've had an incredibly special time playing for the L.A. Galaxy,'' Beckham said in a statement. ''However, I wanted to experience one last challenge before the end of my playing career. I don't see this as the end of my relationship with the league, as my ambition is to be part of the ownership structure in the future.'' 
Beckham has played in Los Angeles for six seasons since his groundbreaking move from Real Madrid, reaching three league finals and winning one MLS title last year during his best stateside campaign. 
He agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Galaxy in January after playing out his initial five-year deal, turning down potential moves to wealthy Paris Saint-Germain and other clubs - including at least one Premiership team, according to Beckham. 
Beckham has been the star player for MLS' highest-profile franchise during his tenure, which began with a handful of rocky seasons before the Galaxy became a power under coach Bruce Arena in recent years. As Beckham indicated in his news release, his MLS contract includes the option to purchase a league franchise when his playing career ends, and Beckham has long been keen on an ownership move. 
''In my time here I have seen the popularity of the game grow every year,'' Beckham said. ''I've been fortunate to win trophies, but more important to me has been the fantastic reception I've had from fans in L.A. and across the States. Soccer's potential has no limits in this wonderful country, and I want to always be part of growing it."
Beckham has been among MLS' top players when healthy throughout his contract, and the gifted playmaker has meshed well with fellow international stars Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan during the Galaxy's past two seasons. Los Angeles got off to a slow start this year, but has played splendidly down the stretch and into the postseason, rolling to a first-round elimination of the Supporters' Shield-winning San Jose Earthquakes and a two-game victory over the Seattle Sounders in the Western Conference finals. 
MLS has grown exponentially during Beckham's tenure as the league's face, expanding to 19 North American teams with record attendance and much-improved broadcast deals. The Galaxy reached the most lucrative television deal in MLS history last year with Time Warner Cable Sports. 
''There is no doubt that MLS is far more popular and important here and abroad than it was when he arrived,'' MLS Commissioner Don Garber said. ''David has achieved great things on and off the field during his time with the Galaxy, and he will always be an important part of our history. We look forward to his continued involvement with the L.A. Galaxy and the league.''

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Monday, November 19, 2012

2012 MLS Cup - LA Galaxy vs. Houston Dynamo

This is going to be a rematch of the 2011 MLS Cup between the Houston Dynamo and Los Angeles Galaxy. The Galaxy had the 8th best record during the MLS and the Houston Dynamo had the 9th best. That's why they play the game.

From the Galaxy:
Despite rainy conditions and a two goal effort from Seattle, the LA Galaxy were able to hold their ground to win the Western Conference Championship and advance to MLS Cup 2012. 
With the Houston Dynamo's aggregate victory over D.C. United earlier today, the stage is now set for the LA Galaxy to host MLS Cup 2012 at The Home Depot Center, December 1 at 1:30 p.m. PT. 
The best way to get access to the best MLS Cup seats at the lowest price is to become a 2013 Season Ticket Holder. Catch every 2013 regular season game for only $12.50/game in the upper level or $20/game in the lower bowl. Get your season tickets now in order to reserve your tickets to MLS Cup 2012 before it sells out! Click here or call 1.877.3.GALAXY (342.5299) for more information.

A limited number of tickets are available to VISA cardholders starting Monday, Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. PST. VISA cardholders may purchase up to four tickets to MLS Cup, available while supplies last, through this link or by calling 877-3GALAXY during regular business hours.
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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Trade with The Snorting Bull

Last weekend, I worked out my first trade through my blog. It was with Eric over at the blog The Snorting Bull. I recently became a follower a couple weeks ago and noticed that he was trading cards with some of Matt Kemp cards to with Josh (Dodgerbobble). I had to try and get into that action. Eric is very easy to work with and the trade negotiations was one of the easiest I've ever had in all my time trading online.

As I mentioned earlier, this was my first blog trade. I usually trade on Sports Card Forum or The Cardboard Connection. Eric post about many different cards that he picks up via trades with other people and I noticed a Mike Stanton card that I really wanted. Stanton is one of my favorite players that doesn't play for the Dodgers and figured I should try to get this for my random personal collection.

2011 Triple Threads Mike Stanton Autograph #/99

I was also able to get a couple of Dodger relics for my collection. I'm starting to trade for more triple thread cards. It's a high-end product and I'll never be able to buy a box but figured it would be cheaper to just put up cards from the product that are fairly cheap. This is my first Triple Threads Matt Kemp and I love the "unity" cards that has a picture of Dodger Stadium in the background just like the Andre Ethier one. Check out my entire Dodger relic collection.

2012 Triple Threads Matt Kemp Jersey #/36

2011 Triple Threads Andre Either Jersey #/36

2012 Topps Gypsy Queen Steve Garvey Relic

Eric was nice enough to throw in a couple of extra cards for my collection. Check out Eric's blog post to see what I sent him in our deal.

Check out my Trade List for any cards that might interest you. Thanks for the easy trade Eric!

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UFC 154 Contest Winner

I want to thank everyone who participated in the UFC 154 Contest. It was a huge success and there were over 20 entrants. Thanks to Topps for providing the prizes for this contest.

The GSP & Condit fight was amazing. It was the fight of the night and it could possibly be the fight of the year.

Congratulations to Brandon Leibsohn! He was the only person to guess 6 correctly.

Thanks to Topps for providing the prizes for this contest. Be on the look out for more contest coming soon.

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

UCLA Defeat USC to Claim Pac-12 South

For the second year in a row, UCLA will be representing the Pac-12 South in the Pac-12 Championship game. UCLA defeated USC 38-28 earlier today.

The atmosphere at the Rose Bowl today was insane. I've only been to a couple of UCLA games but today's game was no where compared to those games.

Next week's UCLA game against Stanford is going to be a good one, just like the USC game against Notre Dame. It should be another big week for Los Angeles Football.

From UCLA:
PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - Brett Hundley passed for 234 yards and a touchdown and rushed for two more scores as No. 17 UCLA beat Southern California (No. 18 BCS, No. 21 AP) 38-28 Saturday, clinching the Pac-12 South title and emphatically snapping a five-game losing streak in their crosstown showdown. 
Eric Kendricks blocked a punt and made a fourth-quarter interception for the Bruins (9-2, 6-2 Pac-12), who overcame intermittent second-half rain and USC's star-studded lineup for a gutsy victory that puts them atop Los Angeles' football hierarchy. 
UCLA punctuated its one-year revitalization under Jim Mora with its first win over the Trojans (7-4, 5-4) since 2006 -- just their second in 14 years. 
Matt Barkley passed for 301 yards and two touchdowns, but threw two interceptions in the Trojans' third loss in four games. 
USC was the preseason's No. 1 team, but will return to the postseason in a lower-tier bowl after next week's regular-season finale against Notre Dame. 
Johnathan Franklin rushed for 171 yards and two touchdowns for UCLA, including a clutch 29-yard scoring run with 4:02 to play. Sheldon Price then blocked USC's field-goal attempt with 1:34 left, and the Bruins stormed the field after the final gun before celebrating with students in the corner of the Rose Bowl. 
Shaquelle Evans had eight catches for 114 yards for UCLA, which clinched a spot in the Pac-12 title game in two weeks with its fifth consecutive win. The Bruins also played in that game last year, but only by default after finishing two games behind postseason-banned USC.
Everything has changed in Los Angeles this season: UCLA entered this showdown with a higher ranking and more victories than USC for the first time in a decade, and the Bruins backed it up with a decisive win. 
Franklin and Joseph Fauria scored while UCLA jumped out to an early 24-0 lead under a morning mist that turned into serious rain by halftime at the Rose Bowl. 
USC trimmed its huge early deficit to 24-20 on George Uko's fumble recovery in the end zone in the third quarter. The Trojans pulled within 31-28 with Marqise Lee's 14-yard TD catch and a 2-point conversion with 7:22 to play. 
But Hundley and the Bruins coolly mounted an 83-yard drive, converting a long third down before Franklin -- UCLA's career rushing leader, nicknamed Jet Ski -- sped across the watery turf for the clinching score. 
While Hundley led UCLA with the same preternatural calm he has shown all year, going 22 for 30 without an interception, Barkley threw an interception on the game's first play and rarely looked comfortable. 
Barkley was hammered on a blind-side sack by UCLA's Anthony Barr with 2:21 to play, spending a long moment on the Rose Bowl turf before walking off gingerly. He watched USC's final drive from the sideline while backup Max Wittek played. 
Nelson Agholor and Randall Telfer caught TD passes for the Trojans, and Curtis McNeal rushed for 158 yards. Lee had nine catches for 158 yards, and All-American Robert Woods had five catches for 68 yards. 
The teams both wore their home jerseys on the verdant Rose Bowl turf in a return to the distinctive tradition that was revived a few years ago. 
After Aaron Hester intercepted Barkley's first pass into double coverage, Hundley scored on a 1-yard keeper just 81 seconds in to give UCLA its first lead in the rivalry game since 2008. The interception was Barkley's 14th of the season, doubling his total as a junior and matching his mark as a mediocre freshman in 2009. 
Moments later, UCLA mounted an 18-play, 84-yard drive stretching more than 7:30, with Hundley completing his first 10 passes before the Bruins hit a field goal. 
After Lee fumbled while curiously lined up as a tailback, UCLA scored on Hundley's pretty fade to the 6-foot-7 Fauria. Franklin's 16-yard TD run up the middle in the second quarter.
USC's offense finally came alive in the final minutes of the first half, with Barkley leading two drives ending in TD throws to Agholor and Telfer. 
A significant rain began to fall at halftime, and it immediately bothered the Bruins on a wacky play during their opening drive. Hundley and Franklin both fumbled before two diving linemen knocked the ball into the end zone, where Uko fell on it. 
But after Kendricks blocked Kyle Negrete's punt, Hundley scored again from 3 yards out for UCLA's third TD on a short drive set up by its defense and special teams.
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar Statue To Be Unveiled Tomorrow

The Lakers are finally going to unveil the statue that Kareem has been hoping for the past couple of years. It's free and open to the public. 

From the Lakers:
The unveiling of a nearly 16’ tall, 1,500 lb. bronze statue of legendary Los Angeles Lakers and NBA Hall of Famer Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in Star Plaza at STAPLES Center. 
The statue, created by renowned sculptors/artists Julie Rotblatt Amrany and Omri Amrany, will join other iconic sculptures of celebrated Los Angeles sports superstars Wayne Gretzky, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Jerry West, Chick Hearn and Oscar De La Hoya. 
The ceremony, which is open free to the public, will be highlighted by speeches from Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and other individuals who were his teammates, colleagues and friends during his unprecedented career and will conclude with a climactic unveiling of the statue. 
Speakers include Stu Lantz (emcee), Earvin “Magic” Johnson, James Worthy, Jerry West, Pat Riley, Eddie Doucette, Richard Lapchik, Jeanie Buss, Tim Leiweke. Former teammates, coaches along with friends and family of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will also be in attendance. 
Friday, November 16, 2012
4:30 p.m.– Ceremony Begins
5:15 p.m. (approximately) –Unveiling 
The ceremony will take place at the permanent location of the statue: Star Plaza at STAPLES Center (Just west of Figueroa Street & Chick Hearn Court intersection) 
The ceremony will be broadcast live (in its entirety) on Time Warner Cable Sportsnet and Time Warner Cable Deportes.

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Upcoming Appearance - Jesse Sapolu

Meet Jesse Sapolu this Sat Nov 17th at Frank and Sons for a Book Signing! 

Jesse will be signing his new book "I gave my heart to San Francisco". The book is $39.99 and not only do you get the book signed you get another personal item signed and you get to take a photograph with him!

Signed book with 1 additional autograph $39.99

Inscriptions $10 each

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Upcoming Appearance - Cobi Jones

Meet Former LA Galaxy Star Cobi Jones!

Watch the 2nd leg of the series with him and enjoy some wings.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Buffalo Wild Wings
3525 West Carson St.
Torrance, CA 90503

Thanks to Larry for the tip

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Dodgers Announce 2013 Coaching Staff

From the Dodgers:

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced their coaching staff for the 2013 season with eight coaches returning to the Dodger staff as well as three new additions. General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.

“All of these men have a passion for teaching and coaching,” said Colletti. “They provide a vast array of experience and are well-respected with a proven track record.”

2013 Dodger Coaching Staff:

Don Mattingly – Manager (third season)

Chuck Crim – Bullpen Coach (first season)

Trey Hillman – Bench Coach (third season)

Rick Honeycutt – Pitching Coach (eighth season)

Davey Lopes – First Base Coach (third season)

Mark McGwire – Hitting Coach (first season)

Tim Wallach – Third Base Coach (third season)

Ken Howell – Assistant Pitching Coach (first season, sixth on staff)

John Valentin – Assistant Hitting Coach (first season)

Manny Mota – Coach (34th season)

Steve Yeager – Coach (second season)

Mattingly enters his third season as the Dodgers’ manager after leading the club to a second consecutive winning season and an 86-76 record in his second year at the helm. 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.

Crim enters his first season as bullpen coach and his seventh in the Dodger organization after serving as an amateur scout (2007-08), Rookie-Advanced Ogden’s pitching coach (2009), Single-A Great Lakes’ pitching coach (2010) and Double-A Chattanooga’s pitching coach (2011-12). Crim’s staff at Chattanooga posted a Southern League-best 3.66 ERA in 2011 and was second best in 2012 (3.57). The Van Nuys native was a reliever in the big leagues for the Brewers, Angels and Cubs from 1987-94, posting a career record of 47-43 with 45 saves and a 3.83 ERA. Crim was the head baseball coach at Canyon High School in Santa Clarita from 2003-05.

Hillman will begin his third season as the Dodgers’ bench coach and 23rd 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 eighth 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 Major League-best 3.77 ERA and rank second in the Majors in strikeouts (8544) and opponents’ batting average (.248). Last season, Los Angeles ranked second in the NL with both a 3.34 ERA and a .238 opponents’ batting average, while striking out 1,276 batters, the fourth most in the league. Under Honeycutt’s tutelage, Clayton Kershaw (2.53) led the Majors in ERA for the second consecutive season and veteran starters Chris Capuano (3.72) and Aaron Harang (3.61) posted the lowest ERA of their careers in their first year with the club.

Lopes will enter his 26th season as a Major League coach and third with the Dodgers, returning as the first base coach and baserunning instructor after playing for the team from 1972-82. A pair of Dodgers set career highs in steals last season as Shane Victorino (39 SB) and Dee Gordon (32 SB) ranked fourth and eighth, respectively, in the National League. Lopes was a part of the longest-tenured infield in Major League history along with Steve Garvey, Bill Russell and Ron Cey from 1973-81.

McGwire takes the reins as the Dodger hitting coach after three successful seasons in the same position with the Cardinals. During his time as hitting coach, St. Louis led the NL in batting average (.269), on-base percentage (.337) and batting average with runners in scoring position (.274), ranked second in runs (2,263), fourth in slugging percentage (.416) and third in OPS (.753) in the three-year span. McGwire’s tenure in St. Louis was highlighted by the Cardinals’ 2011 season, when St. Louis led the NL in batting average (.273), on-base percentage (.341), slugging percentage (.425, T-1st), OPS (.766) and runs scored (762), while striking out a National League-low 978 times en route to a World Series title. In a 16-year Major League career with the Athletics and Cardinals, McGwire hit 583 home runs (363 with Oakland), the 10th-most in baseball history.

Wallach, who played for the Dodgers from 1993-96, begins his third 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. In 2011, Wallach was inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

Howell was the Dodgers’ bullpen coach from 2008-12 and in that time the club’s relievers owned a 3.49 ERA, which was the third-best in the NL. In his four seasons as bullpen coach, the Dodgers led the National League with both a .234 opponents’ batting average and 137 wins while ranking fourth on the circuit with 2,303 strikeouts. In his new role as assistant pitching coach, Howell will assist Honeycutt and Crim with their duties while also working with both the Dodger minor league affiliates and pitchers on rehab assignments. Howell pitched for seven seasons in the Major Leagues, including five with Los Angeles, and posted a 3.95 career ERA.

Valentin will enter his sixth season in the Dodger organization and first as assistant hitting coach. The 45-year-old was previously the hitting coach for Triple-A Albuquerque (2011-12) and Double-A Chattanooga (2010) and the manager for Double-A Chattanooga (2009) and Single-A Inland Empire (2008). Valentin is a veteran of 11 Major League seasons, primarily with the Boston Red Sox, winning the Silver Slugger Award at shortstop in 1995. The New York native finished his career with a .279 career batting average in 1,105 big league contests.

Mota will enter his 34th season as a coach with the Dodgers and 44th 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. Mota will assist the club in Spring Training and throughout the year while also expanding his role as a Spanish language broadcaster for the Dodgers on PRIME TICKET Fox Deportes.

Yeager enters his second season as a catching instructor with the Dodgers and will work with the club’s Major League backstops in both Spring Training and throughout the season at Dodger Stadium. Yeager will also periodically visit the Dodgers’ minor league partners and work with their catchers. He played 15 seasons in the big leagues (14 with Los Angeles) and was the 1981 World Series Tri-MVP for the Dodgers along with Ron Cey and Pedro Guerrero. Known as a stellar defensive catcher, Yeager led the NL in caught-stealing percentage in both 1978 and 1982.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Mike Trout Wins AL Rookie of the Year Unanimously

Mike Trout wins the 2012 AL Rookie of the Year unanimously.

He's the youngest player to win an AL rookie of the year at the age of 21 years old. He's only the second Angel player to win the award. Tim Salmon won the award in 1993. It's a little funny that both of them have a fish as their last name.

.326 AVG
30 HR
83 RBI
49 SB

He put up insane numbers and possibly one of the greatest rookie season ever. He should have won a gold glove, but he'll get one of those someday. Yoenis Cespedes finished second and Yu Darvish was third.

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Mike D'Antoni Hired as the Next Lakers Head Coach

According to Lakers beat writer, Mike Bresnahan, the Lakers have hired Mike D'Antoni to be the their next head coach. I believe this will be better for Steve Nash and the offense but we all know D'Antoni doesn't focus on defense very much.

Both of these from @Mike_Bresnahan:
Tweet #1: Source: Mike D'Antoni will be the next coach of the Lakers. Not Phil Jackson.
Tweet #2: Mike D'Antoni signed a four-year deal with the Lakers. Phil Jackson was "asking for the moon," accoring to source familiar w/ the situation.
From J.A. Adande:
Lakers won't have D'Antoni in place till later in the week; he's awaiting medical clearance post-knee surgery.
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Possible MLS Cup Rematch - LA Galaxy & Houston Dynamo

Could we see a repeat of the 2011 MLS Cup when the LA Galaxy defeated the Houston Dynamo?

Earlier today, the Houston Dynamo won 3-1 against D.C. United and have a 2 goal lead going into the 2nd leg of their series. 

The Los Angeles Galaxy won 3-0 against the Seattle Sounders. They are in a great position to return to the MLS Cup for the second season in a row. 

The MLS Cup is hosted by the team with the better record, which means the LA Galaxy could host the championship game at the Home Depot Center if the Houston Dynamo hold on to win their series.

MLS Cup 2012 will be on Saturday, December 1 at 1:30 p.m. PT at The Home Depot Center if the Galaxy and Dynamo advance.

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USC @ UCLA - November 17 at 12:05pm

The BIG Los Angeles football game is almost here. The #21 USC Trojans will take on the #17 UCLA Bruins at the Rose Bowl at 12:05pm this Saturday.

The winner of this game will represent the Pac-12 South in the Pac-12 Championship game. They will most likely have to travel to Eugene to take on the Oregon Ducks, if they win out.

I'm a little disappointed that a game this big for both teams is going to be at noon instead of primetime. It's still nice that it will be nationally televised on FOX. The Stanford/Oregon game will be on ABC during primetime this Saturday. It's a big day for the Pac-12.

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Western Conference Finals: LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders

The LA Galaxy shocked the the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference by defeating San Jose 3-1 on Wednesday night. The Galaxy advanced to the Western Conference Finals with an aggregate score of 3-2.

They play the Seattle Sounders with a trip to the MLS Cup on the line. Seattle won two of the three meetings against Los Angeles this season.
Game 1: Nov. 11 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, CA (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
Game 2: Nov. 18 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
The winner of this series will host the MLS Cup if the Houston Dynamo win the Eastern Conference but will travel if D.C. United advances. 

The Galaxy are looking to repeat as MLS Champions, while the Sounders are looking to advance to their first ever MLS Cup.

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Upcoming Appearance - Mike Magee

Meet the man, the myth, the legend.... Mike Magee! 

Mike will be meeting fans and signing autographs. 

Wednesday, November 14 

Superior Grocers
7300 Atlantic Ave. 
Bell, CA 90201

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Friday, November 9, 2012

Shabazz Muhammad Ruled Ineligible to Play At UCLA

Some bad news for the UCLA Bruins who are opening up their season tonight against Indiana St. at the new Pauley Pavilion. UCLA will most likely appeal this ruling to try and get Muhammad on the court this season.

ESPN LA reports:
UCLA freshman Shabazz Muhammad has been declared ineligible to participate, UCLA announced before its season opener Friday night at Pauley Pavilion. 
Muhammad, the national high school player of the year last year, was found to have violated NCAA amateurism rules after a lengthy investigation. 
"In addition to other pending issues, Muhammad accepted travel and lodging during three unofficial visits to two NCAA member schools," the NCAA said in a statement.
The school, which will appeal the decision, said the NCAA did not specify a number of games Muhammad has to sit out. 
"The NCAA has finally determined that a violation of the NCAA amateurism rules has occurred involving UCLA freshman guard Shabazz Muhammad and his family," the school said in a statement. "As a result, he is ineligible for competition at this time. We are extremely disappointed that the NCAA has made this determination. 
"The University and our compliance staff have fully cooperated with the NCAA throughout this entire period, and we believe the decision is incorrect and unjust to Shabazz. UCLA will expeditiously pursue its options to challenge this determination. When a final resolution has been reached by the NCAA, we will swiftly communicate the news to the entire Bruin family."
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UFC 154 Contest - Win A Carlos Condit Autograph

UFC 154 is taking place in Canada on November 17th and Georges St-Pierre will be making his long awaited comeback. He's fighting Carlos Condit, who won the interim Welterweight Championship after GSP had surgery.

I would like to thank our friends over at Topps for providing us with the prizes for this contest.

Contest Rules:
1) You must be a follower of this blog or like LA Inspiration on Facebook or Twitter. If you aren’t a follower of Los Angeles Inspiration, click on the “Join This Site” button in the sidebar. You need to use your Google account to follow. Your account should show up on my “Followers” list. 
2) You must "Like" Topps on Facebook. They are generous enough to donate a great prize for this contest. 
3) Fill out the template below and leave your name/e-mail so I can contact you if there are any problems or to notify the winner. 
4) Only one account per person, if I catch anyone with more than one account then I will disqualify you from this contest and any future contest I have.
Your goal is to answer the most answers correctly. If there is a tie, we'll use the tiebreaker to choose the winner.

We're accepting entries until November 17th (7:00pm PST)

1st place
2012 UFC Knockout Carlos Condit Autograph #/159

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Lakers Fire Mike Brown

It's about time the Lakers let go of Mike Brown. They should have never hired him in the first place. Just because he won coach of the year in Cleveland didn't mean anything. Lebron ran those teams while he was coaching there. 

It's obvious that the players are lost this season. They don't know what they should be doing in this Princeton offense. There are rumors that the Lakers might try to get Mike D'Antoni but I'm rooting for a Phil Jackson comeback. (Highly unlikely)

Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown has been fired after a 1-4 start to the season, a source tells's Ramona Shelburne. 
It is not known yet who will take over for him, but a source indicated that one of assistant coaches Bernie Bickerstaff or Chuck Person will take over on an interim basis. 
Earlier Friday, sources had told's Marc Stein that the team was using its upcoming six-game homestand to evaluate Brown, but after numerous discussion over the past 48 hours, Lakers management came to a unanimous decision that the team wasn't heading in the right direction. 
The Lakers have had a healthy Steve Nash in the lineup for only 1½ of their five games so far thanks to a leg injury, while fellow newcomer Dwight Howard has acknowledged that he's still recovering from the back surgery that brought a premature end to his 2011-12 campaign and knocked him out of the London Olympics. Kobe Bryant has also been playing through a foot ailment. 
The Lakers are off to the worst start in the Western Conference despite carrying the league's largest payroll at just over $100 million, which would trigger an estimated luxury-tax bill at season's end of nearly $30 million. 
The team has also been trying to institute a form of the Princeton offense, a system that relies on reads and ball sharing in order to take some offensive load off Bryant. The results have been mixed so far.

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mike Trout Wins A Silver Slugger

Mike Trout may have not won a Gold Glove, but he did take home a Silver Slugger this season. At the age of 21/22, he had an amazing season.

He was also named a finalist for the AL Rookie of the Year and AL MVP, which the winners will be announced next week.

1B - Prince Fielder, Detroit Tigers 
2B - Robinson Cano, New York Yankees 
3B - Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers 
SS - Derek Jeter, New York Yankees 
OF - Mike Trout, L.A. Angels 
OF - Josh Hamilton, Texas Rangers 
OF - Josh Willingham, Minnesota Twins
C - A.J. Pierzynski, Chicago White Sox 
DH - Billy Butler, Kansas City Royals 

1B - Adam LaRoche, Washington Nationals 
2B - Aaron Hill, Arizona Diamondbacks 
3B - Chase Headley, San Diego Padres 
SS - Ian Desmond, Washington Nationals 
OF - Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh Pirates 
OF - Ryan Braun, Milwaukee Brewers 
OF - Jay Bruce, Cincinnati Reds 
C - Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants 
P - Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals

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Upcoming Appearance - Willie Green

Meet Clippers Guard, Willie Green

Car Pros Kia
21243 S. Avalon Blvd.
Carson 90745


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Upcoming Appearance - Eric Bledsoe

Meet Eric Bledsoe

Glendale Kia
2242 N. San Fernando Road
Los Angeles 90065


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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Mark McGwire Joins Dodgers as New Hitting Coach

It's official! Mark McGwire will be the new Dodgers hitting coach. The Dodgers continue to big in big names to the organization. He replaces Dave Hansen who is now on the Seattle Mariners coaching staff.
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today named Mark McGwire as their hitting coach. The announcement was made by General Manager Ned Colletti. 
“Mark has been able to translate his success as a big league hitter into his work as hitting coach with the Cardinals,” Colletti said. “He earned the respect of both veterans and young players while in St. Louis and the offensive numbers the Cardinals produced under his tutelage speak for themselves. We’re excited to have him join our coaching staff and anticipate great things from his work with our hitters in 2013 and beyond.” 
McGwire served as the St. Louis hitting coach for the past three seasons from 2010-12, when the Cardinals led the NL in batting average (.269) and on-base percentage (.337), ranked second in runs (2,263), fourth in slugging percentage (.416) and third in OPS (.753). During his time as hitting coach, the Cardinals batted a National League-best .274 with runners in scoring position. McGwire’s tenure in St. Louis was highlighted by the Cardinals’ 2011 season, when St. Louis led the NL in batting average (.273), on-base percentage (.341), slugging percentage (.425, T-1st), OPS (.766) and runs scored (762), while striking out a National League-low 978 times en route to a World Series title. 
This past season, the Cardinals, who advanced to the National League Championship Series, led the league with a .338 on-base percentage and ranked among the Senior Circuit leaders in runs (765, 2nd), hits (1526, T-1st), batting average (.271, 2nd), slugging percentage (.421, 4th) and OPS (.759, 3rd). St. Louis hitters tied for second in the NL with a .264 batting average with runners in scoring position. In the three seasons preceding McGwire’s hiring (2007-09), the Cardinals ranked eighth in the NL in runs scored. 
During his time in St. Louis, McGwire worked with perennial All-Star sluggers like Carlos Beltran, Lance Berkman, Matt Holliday and Albert Pujols, while helping with the development of David Freese (2012 All-Star, 2011 NLCS and World Series MVP), Allen Craig (ranked sixth in the NL with a .307 average and led the NL with a .400 batting average with runners in scoring position in 2012) and Matt Carpenter (.294 average in 2012). In addition, Yadier Molina, a .269 hitter through the first six seasons of his Major League career from 2004-09, batted .295 with 42 home runs and 203 RBI in three years working with McGwire, including setting career-best marks with a .315 batting average, 22 homers, 76 RBI, a .373 on-base percentage and a .501 slugging percentage in 2012. 
In a 16-year Major League career with the Athletics and Cardinals, McGwire hit 583 home runs (363 with Oakland), the 10th-most in baseball history. He set a Major League-record single-season record with 70 home runs in 1998 with St. Louis. In 1987, he set a single-season home run record for rookies with 49 with Oakland and was selected AL Rookie of the Year. He averaged a home run every 10.61 at bats, the best at bats per home run ratio in Major League history.

A native of Pomona, Calif., and All-American at USC, McGwire was a key member of Oakland’s 1989 World Championship team. He was a 12-time All-Star and earned a Rawlings Gold Glove Award at first base in 1990, the only one not won by Dodger manager Don Mattingly, from 1985-94. He was named to The Sporting News 100 Greatest Baseball Players list and elected to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team in 1999.

McGwire resides in Irvine, Calif., with his wife, Stephanie, and their children, triplet girls Monet, Marlo and Monroe, and brothers Max and Mason. McGwire also has a 25-year-old son, Matt, from a previous marriage.
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Upcoming Appearance - Kenley Jansen & Tim Leary

The Dodgers are coming to a mall near you during the holiday season! Stop by for autographs and photos, play games and win prizes! Get your holiday shopping done with Dodgers 2013 Mini Plans - starting at just $11 a game.

Westfield Topanga Mall
6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd 
Canoga Park, CA 91303

Saturday, November 10
10am - 6pm

Kenley Jansen (11am-1pm)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Dodger Additions Plus Some New Trade Bait

It's been a busy week for me. I've been trading and buying a couple of cards on eBay the past couple of days. They all seemed to arrive in the mail on the same day. I added a couple of new Dodger jerseys and Atlanta Falcon patches to my personal collections. I also made a purchase on a nice jersey lot that I added to my trade list, so make sure you check that out when you have a chance.

I'll start with the Dodger additions. I made a trade on SCF for the following four cards. It included a SP Legendary Cuts Don Sutton / Brandon Webb dual relic, SP Legendary Cuts Maury Wills bat, Andre Ethier Manufactured Brooklyn patch, and a Topps Chrome Darwin Barney autograph. The Barney was just a throw in so I could use for trade bait. I had to give up a couple of my WWE relics for these. 

A couple days ago, I made a post about 2012 Topps Triple Threads. I had purchased an Andre Ethier relic that was numbered out of 27 and now I have an Andre Ethier relic that is numbered out of 36. It's going to be tough trying to find the other Ethier relics for this set, but I'm up for the task.

Since Los Angeles doesn't have a football team, I root for the Atlanta Falcons. They are off to an 8-0 start, which is their best start in franchise history. They have an explosive offense and if they don't win a playoff game this season, i'll be disappointed. It's Matt Ryan's four season and he's a MVP candidate this season. It's tougher to trade or buy some of his cards but I was lucky enough to trade for this nice patch. It's numbered out of 50 and it's a two color patch.

Matt Ryan's main target for the past couple of season has been Roddy White. He recently broke the franchise record for most receptions. He's having another great season with the help of Julio Jones and Tony Gonzalez. It's a tough offense to defend against. This National Treasures Roddy White patch is numbered out of 50 and is two colors as well.

Make sure you check out my trade list. I just updated it with 12 new cards including the Darwin Barney autograph. Here's a list of my new cards that are available:
2011 Limited Ryan Mathews Jersey /99
2012 Allen & Ginter Adrian Beltre Jersey
2012 Allen & Ginter Evan Longoria Jersey
2012 Allen & Ginter Brandon Phillips Jersey
2011 Absolute Memorabilia Shane Vereen Jersey
2012 Elite Nick Toon Jersey /399
2011 Limited Greg Little Jersey /99
2011 Panini Limited Shane Vereen Jersey /99
2011 Prestige Michael Turner Jersey /250
2010 Panini Certified Demaryius Thomas Jersey /250
2012 Topps Tier One Dan Haren Jersey /399
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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Johnathan Franklin Becomes UCLA's All-Time Leading Rusher

Congratulations to Johnathan Franklin on a big accomplishment!
PASADENA, Calif. -- UCLA Bruins running back Johnathan Franklin became the school's all-time leading rusher with a 37-yard touchdown run in the first quarter Saturday night against Arizona.

The run gave Franklin 3,758 yards for his career, breaking the record of 3,731 set by Gaston Green in 1987. The record-breaking run was his third carry of the game and gave UCLA a 7-0 lead with 12:27 to play in the first quarter.

UCLA coach Jim Mora called a timeout after the touchdown and before the extra-point attempt so fans could give Franklin a standing ovation and the school could play a congratulatory message from Green on the Rose Bowl video board. Franklin pointed to the sky in appreciation.
UCLA Bruins won 66-10 against the Arizona Wildcats. UCLA control their own destiny along with USC. Franklin finished with 162 yards and 2 TDs.

Mark your Calendars: USC @ UCLA (November 17)

Photo credit: AP

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