The Ode

I listen to a man who needs no introduction,
He’s the director of this baseball production.

He is not seen, he is simply heard.
Our hearts filled with joy after every word.

His voice has been heard from ocean to ocean.
He works on his craft with so much devotion.

A swing and a miss is more than a strike,
He describes it so perfect, it’s hard not to like.

From a ball in the stands to a crash on the wall,
Each and every time it’s always the perfect call.

He holds a conversation each and every game,
There’s a good reason why he’s in the Hall of Fame.

I’ve never met him but Ive know him forever,
Year after year he gets even more clever.

In between innings he refuels with a candy,
Describes the very next play as that of a “dandy”.

The winter is colder without his sweet voice,
LA waits for the summer to once again rejoice.

This man isn’t perfect, he’s far from that,
He’s eloquent with his words from the crack of the bat.

The game is his paint, his voice is the brush.
He paints a picture in our mind, without any rush.

In this old game that we’ve grown to know,
He is our teacher and our knowledge is yet to grow.

He’s not simply a broadcaster,
But hands down the baseball master.

He’s now into year number sixty three,
During every broadcast he’s still only talking to me.

He’s clueless on terms used on the twitter,
His attitude always sweet never bitter.

He sits up top in his office he calls his booth,
Describes it how it is, never a lie always the truth.

His name is Vin Scully, the one and only.
With him at the mic, LA is never lonely.

He’s heard on radio and through the television,
Whichever you choose, it’s the best decision.

A man like this is once in a lifetime,
Let’s all enjoy it now with America’s pastime.

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Extreme Makeover: Dodger Edition.

DRIVER! MOVE.THAT.BUS!
We’ve all seen the “Extreme Makeover” show, in which they go into homes and tear everything down and gives the home a complete new look that it’s unrecognizable. Well, right now as you’re reading this, up in the Elysian Park hills they’re doing the same thing but not only to Dodger Stadium but to the franchise as a whole.

A year ago the team was still under control of “he who shall not be named” and coming off a disappointing season. A list of candidates eager to buy the team. The Dodgers were on the news constantly for all the wrong reasons, from stadium violence to divorce courts. It was gloomy around Dodgertown and that cloud of uncertainty kept looming.

Then came the Guggenheim group with Magic Johnson as the poster child and it was a new bright day at Dodgertown once again. Immediately prices per parking went down and cool-a-coos were brought in. The future looked promising.

As great of an impact the group had from the get-go. We still weren’t sure how the team was going to shape up, after all we do come to Dodger stadium to watch the team…and eat a cool-a-coo.

With all due respect to our players, the Dodgers a year ago and years previous were known as the dumpster divers. We would look to what other teams didnt want, put pieces together and called it a team. But now, these Hollywood stars want nothing but the best. Big name acquisitions, Crawford, AGon, Hanley, Beckett, Greinke, Ryu and forth. The Guggenheim group has given this team a complete face lift and boob job. This team is unrecognizable opposed to a year ago. This team looks great…on paper.

Before we start claiming victory and start thinking about a parade in the fall, lets all take a second and remember that this game is not played on paper, a season is long and anything can happen from April to October. Having great players doesn’t necessarily mean a great season (just ask the Lakers). As I see it right now, I see a lot of individuals. I want to see a team, because as Bill Taylor once said “Players win games, Teams win championships”. And it’s been way too damn long since we won a championship.

But it’s okay to be ecstatic, the excitement of Opening Day. All the pomp and circumstance. Opening Day this year is a little different. It’s opening a new chapter in Dodger history. A team that won’t settle for less, a team that understands the fans are everything and a team that earns respect not only nationally but also internationally. It’s a new era of Dodger baseball.

If you love baseball as much as I do, possibly more. You know how special it is to walk into Dodger Stadium on Opening Day. You feel like a little kid again. Nancy Bea, the Dodger dogs, batting practice and just excited to see some baseball once again. At Dodger Stadium is where your problems go to die, or at least put on hold for 3 hours. It’s a place of relaxation, until Uribe comes up to bat. It’s a place to have fun. It’s almost time to go home.

The final stretch of months, weeks, and days are going to feel the longest. But come April 1st, there won’t be no fooling around. The mission is clear. World Series or bust. Lets unite, ONE city, ONE team, ONE goal.

“This Is Next Year” #TINY

Think Blue!

ONE.

The Giants finished off the sweep last night and people around Dodgertown began pressing the panic button. Yes, I feel your frustration and anger of losing 3 to the Giants AT HOME, seeing a helpless Matt Kemp whiffle at ball to strike out, seeing 3 great starts by starting pitchers only go to waste to an anemic offense. It’s all frustrating and sad to watch. Your poor televisions just sit there taking all your blinking cursing after leaving men in scoring position. It’s okay to be mad, you should. But there is no need to panic.

Let’s remember that before this season began, the expectations for this ball club were as low as Juan Uribe’s batting average. Most baseball “experts” expected this Dodger team to finish in 4th, maybe 3rd. And they currently sit 2.5 back in the West and 1 game back in that [really] Wild Card. But all season this team has shown it has heart. They’ve been knocked down but not out. Scratches and bruises, surgeries and disappointing performances but some way, some how they manage to find that will within to win. I warned you all this would happen. Heartbreaks and Jubilance, it’s all part of the game. Less than two months left in the season and every loss seems larger and every win seems more important. A Win in April is still a Win July. A home run in May is still a Home Run in August. A strikeout in June is still a strikeout in September. The game and the season dont change, the fan within us changes. Our hearts and love to the game evolve as the season progresses. Our eyes turn into microscopes and we begin to analyze EVERYTHING more in detail. A loss turns our day sour and a win turns it peaceful. There’s nothing we can do about it. Soon the leaves will also begin to change, trading those dog days of summer for the nice fall evenings. But the game will always be the same.

The Dodgers know what they have to do. We as fans know what we have to do. We can’t take a loss and throw in the towel. We can’t take a win and run a victory lap. We as franchise, both players and fans need to keep our eyes on the finish line. Although we the fans are not the ones on the field, we’re also wearing the interlocking L-A on our foreheads representing this team and this city. Been there on the joyous days of April to the lows of August and into the those heart racing nights in September.

The season is long, these final 7 weeks will feel longer than the previous 5 months. So go ahead, curse at your TV like a drill Sargent. But don’t lose that hope, don’t lose that faith. We’ve seen darker days, we’ve endured sharper pains. The skies will clear eventually, best believe that. The team will fight, the team will fall but the worst thing we can do as fans is walkway. Let’s pick each other up and keep going together to the end. It won’t be pretty and it won’t be easy, but it will be worth it when October comes around.

So hang on, dont panic yet. This team will find the will within once again and finish strong. Get your tickets, get your LA fitted and get ready. It’s going into the final lap. What happened is in the past, we can’t control that. But what we can control is what happens from here on out. Now, we can let other fans and other teams write our destiny for us or it can be written by us. I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to shock the world. One City. One Team. One Goal.

And if you’re still not smiling after reading this entry, things could be worse…you could be an Angels fan.

Think Blue.

The Race is On!

Well there we have it. The first half of the 2012 baseball season is in the books and what a story these Dodgers have turned out to be. As fans we’ve seen it all, we’ve felt it all and have heard it all.

Right out of the gate the Dodgers took off and never looked back. We were all riding sky high with the best record in baseball, while the “Wonder Team” was just playing wonders. The feeling of joy when The Guggenheim group officially became owners with Magic Johnson as the face of the group. New owners who immediately showed their determination to make the Dodgers the respected franchise they have always been, it seemed to be the cherry on the top to what should be an unforgettable season.

It was only April and you could hear “M-V-P” chants with every “Bison Blast” as the beast was unleashed with ridiculous offensive numbers. With surprise performances from unlikely names like AJ Ellis who became a danger at the plate ranking high among catchers in the league. Chris Capuano is THE biggest surprise. After a CY-Young season, everyone expected Clayton Kershaw to once again lead the mediocre pitching staff of the Dodgers but Chris Capuano has surpassed everyone’s expectations and through the 1st half of the season seems to be the Dodger Ace. Solid acquisitions such as Mark Ellis with great defense at 2nd and veteran presence in the clubhouse, along with Jerry Hairston Jr’s swift defense and knowledge of the game. The bullpen work of Kenley Jansen who took the closer role and just stifled the opposition and how about Ronald Belisario? who after missing a year in the big leagues has comeback with fury and just dominating becoming an anchor and holding down that weary bullpen of ours. Everything was great around Dodgertown until IT happened.

An injury bug plagued the Dodgers left and right, up and down. With the loss of Matt Kemp twice due to hamstring problems depleted the Dodger offense. With the loss of Mark Ellis and Juan Rivera, the absence of Andre Ethier, Ted Lilly, Javy Guerra, Jerry Hairston and even our manager was sidelined a few days. With so many bumps and bruises the Dodgers were hurting especially offensively. That once big lead they had in the West vanished through the lack of clutch hitting…or hitting at all. Asking a lot from players who seemed to keep this sinking boat from sinking Elian Herrera, Justin Sellers, Ivan DeJesus, Luis Cruz, Bobby Abreu, Scott VanSlyke etc. Through shutouts and losses, through injuries and frustrations these Dodgers are sitting on top of the West. And yes, only by half a game but if last season taught us anything a half game might be all that’s needed to make it to October baseball.

The second half is about to begin and the games will matter even more. Keeping an eye on the game and another on the scoreboard. It’s the time of year where losses will sting more and 3 months will separate the contenders from the pretenders. Pitching duels and slugfests, rivalry games are more intense and the air around the stadium becomes electric. “Mission October” it’s a pennant race, a race to the finish because whatever happened in the first half doesn’t mean anything at this point. It doesn’t matter how you start, it’s how you finish. As an organization, as a fan base, as a franchise it’s time for Dodger baseball!

What a story the first half has been, we’ve swept and been swept. Dodger Stadium sold out and the team shutout. The team Injured and fans endured. What a story this has been, the final chapter is about to begin let’s hope this story ends in the history books.

One City. One Team. One Goal.

#ThinkBlue

These bums…

When this season began, I’ll be quite frank here. I expected this Dodger team to be struggling scoring runs and not have the best pitching staff. Before the season began, when you see players like a Uribe, AJ Ellis, Mark Ellis, Dee Gordon, Capuano, Lilly and Harang. With a bunch of shaky relievers, you don’t expect your team to be on top of their division and on top of the entire league for that matter.

With all due respect, but this team looked like a bunch of bums. Another Ned Colletti team with a bunch of players that no one wanted and yet knowing all this, and having Frank…he who should not be named, still as owner. My friend and I invested on Season Tickets.

To many of the people that I told, called me crazy for buying season tickets.

Close to 2months into the season and these bums find ways to get it done. Its a different player each night. Sometimes with the glove, sometimes with the pitching and sometimes with the clutch hits. But they pull that “W” one way or another.

Capuano and Lilly leading the rotation in wins, something that I’m sure no one around the baseball world imagined.

The the injury plague hit the clubhouse, we lost defense, bats, relievers and many thought the Dodgers had also lost their mojo. But even with a Triple A type ball club out there, these bums are getting it done.

There’s still a long way to go, a lot of baseball left to be played. But so far, this TEAM is playing ball far greater than what anyone expected.

Many questioned my choice for buying season tickets, but It has been a great investment. As we celebrate 50yrs at Dodger Stadium, there’s something special happening around Dodgertown. With new owners and the team doing great, it’s a great time to be at The Ravine.

These bums are some how getting it done, so let the rest of the league look at our team like an underdog. Let the doubters doubt and the believers believe. All that matters is what you see… “What a team…what a team”

ThinkBlue

The Start.

What ended on that warm September evening in the Arizona desert, a franchise that was looking in the face of uncertainty. A team that limped and crawled to the finish line. Fans whom for 6 months were frustrated, disappointed and fed up with the negative media attention and a heartless owner. What ended on that September night…ended there.

Us, Dodger fans have been through a lot. I’m not going use the typical cliché: “it’s been like a roller coaster ride” like I’ve heard from other fans. This treacherous journey of about 4yrs has been everything but a ride.

But what a difference 6 months makes, while most of us are glad that we have a new owner, optimistic about the roster moves and acquisitions waiting to happen, some even comparing ourselves to the hated “Yankees”. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be anything like the Yankees. I want fans of other teams to say they want their team to be like the “Dodgers”. I want to return to the Dodger tradition. The tradition of not only success but respect. And throughout this entire process, Respect is what has been lost. With the exception of the team up North, I want the rest of the league to look at us and respect the interlocking “L.A” on our cap once again.

Most importantly, I want to return and focus on what bind us all in the first place…the game of Baseball. Not one player and Not some “nonsensical owner” or “magical owner” is what brings me back to the game. Baseball is about devotion for every electrifying strikeout, every towering home run and clutch win. I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again. If you cannot love and respect the game, you’ll never truly understand what it means to love your team.

We’ve been through a lot, and those of us who stuck by this team when we were knee deep in fertilizer, sitting lonely in a sea of emptiness at the stadium, through beatings, divorces and bankruptcy. We now truly see how promising the future of our team looks if our new owners keep their promises.

Let’s be clear, we still have a long road to go to get to where we want to be. But we’ve climbed past the toughest part of this journey. There will be heartbreaks and disappointments this season. Jubilance and celebrations. Walk-off wins and walk-off losses. It’s all part of the game.

In a few days it’s finally opening day, and this has felt like the longest offseason yet. That cloud of uncertainty hovering over our heads has dispersed, and on that April 10th afternoon, Dodger Stadium will shine bright once again as it did 50 years ago. Vin Scully will greet our Evenings and afternoons with his smooth voice, wherever we may be. Nancy Bea will lead the crowd during the “7th Inning Stretch”. Dodger Dogs to Bobbleheads. Dodger Baseball is back!

Our baseball cathedral turns 50 years old, the third oldest ballpark behind 100yr old Fenway Park and 98yr old Wrigley Field. We will celebrate legends that have played at Chavez Ravine. Moments that send chills through our spine and take in the fact that Dodger Stadium is unique. There’s no slides, there’s no water falls, there’s no distractions. It’s you and the game of baseball. I feel like a little kid this time of year. Looking at the calendar, counting down the days, I’m ready to go home. I hope this story has a Hollywood ending.

Opening Day is more than just the start of baseball, it’s more than just another day circled on your calendar. Opening Day is the start of clear skies, perfect evenings and 4-6-3 double plays. Opening Day is those dreaded beach balls and traffic jams on Stadium Way. Opening Day is the beginning to a Blue October.

All might be alright around Dodgertown after all, and while many fans say they’re coming back. I’m proud to say I’ve never left.

Think Blue!

Baseball is like church. Many attend few understand. -Leo Durocher

Baseball is…

As March has descended upon us, it only means that we are that much closer to Opening Day.

On Opening Day, most people will see it as the start to a new baseball season. and to some, we’re just pressing play on a life that we’ve had on pause since the fall.

The start of a new baseball season is the start of renounce hope. When that day comes, every team is equal and has the same chance of reaching the ultimate goal.

But, when you sit back and think. Baseball is far beyond just a 6 month distraction. Baseball is…life.

Believe it or not, but maybe you’re the pitcher. The one who is in command. The one who knows that although you might be having a perfect game, ONE bad mistake can flip the game a complete 180. The pitcher is someone who knows that at the end of the day, it’s his name that will have a “W” or an “L” next to it, and he will accept that. A pitcher is someone who excels in pressure situations and has complete trust in himself and those backing him up. A pitcher is someone that knows that regardless of how good he was that day, the next time he needs to do better, there’s always room for improvement.

Or maybe you’re a batter, “The aggressor.” someone who is always ready for the unexpected. Life is not always fair and will not always give you a fast ball on a silver platter. Life will throw you curve balls and you might swing & miss. But a great batter are those who takes curveballs that life throws at them and makes something out of it and even if you strikeout swinging, it sure is a whole lot better than going down looking.

Maybe you’re on defense. You’re always on your toes. People see what you do on the field and you make it look so easy, yet behind that one great play there’s hardwork and dedication that no one sees. At times you will drop a ball and commit an error that might end up being the game changer. you will feel as if you’ve let everyone down. But the next time out, you learn from that mistake and execute perfection.

Lastly, maybe you’re the catcher. You don’t wait for “IT” to happen, you make it happen. You’re the one calling the shots. You’ll take some hard hits and get bumps and bruises behind the plate but that don’t stop you. Many times your hardwork will go unnoticed, but you’re okay with it. You know how to deal with different people each day, you adjust differently and like a great catcher, because of you, you make them look good. You might just be the spine of the team.

We will all have losing streaks in life. But each new day, it’s a new day to turn it around. You just need to be optimistic and positive each time out. You will be in tough situations and clutch situations. Sometimes you will deliver and sometimes fall short.

Most importantly, Life is just like baseball. You can’t win alone. It’s a team effort. A loss doesn’t mean it’s the end, it’s the start of a learning experience.

When you stop reading my blog and close the page. You’ll just go back to being a fan. Someone who sees Opening Day as a national holiday. You’ve been waiting for baseball to restart for 6 months, but little do you know you’ve been playing the game this whole time.

So, take your spot on this field of baseball. Remember any position you decided to take is fine. As long as you don’t find yourself sitting in the stands and watching the game pass you by. Knowing it could’ve been you on that field.

Each day is Opening Day, you have the same chance to reach your ultimate goal as everyone else.

Baseball is more than 9 innings.
Baseball is…LIFE.

#ThinkBlue