Tagged: Dodgers

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!

Advertisements

Times have changed but the love stays the same.

 From the days of Brooklyn, when fans “dodged” incoming trolleys by Ebbets Field.

To days of now where we dodge “Party Buses” en route to Dodger Stadium.

From the rivalry between the Giants and Dodgers in New York.

To the rivalry from the Bay to L.A.

From Sandy Koufax’s perfect game

To Kirk Gibson’s perfect ending.

From hearing the Vin Scully on the radio.

To hearing Vinny on PrimeTicket.

From reading about last nights game in the next day’s paper.

To reading about tonights game on Dodgers.Com later that night

From watching the game in black and white.

To watching the game on your cell phone.

From O’Malley

To McCourt

From Brooklyn

To Los Angeles.

From the Colliseum

To Dodger Stadium

From Peanuts and Cracker Jacks

To Dodger Dogs and Sunflower seeds.

From Walter Alston

To Don Mattingly

From Bums

To Hollywood Stars

From Coast

To Coast

From Maury Wills

To Davey Lopes

From FernandoMania

To MannyMania

 

Many things have changed over the years, but some things still remain the same.

 

A steal is still a steal.

Vin’s words with majesty captivate every inning.

A grand slam is still grand.

Tommy is well…still Tommy

Jackie Robinson’s dream is still the dream of thousands of kids.

3 strikes and you’re still out.

No clock. Still 9 innings.

America’s Pasttime is still our pasttime.

 

Most importantly….

The love for the game remains the same.The passion for every home run. The excitement for every strikeout. The respect for every national anthem.

Players have come and gone, Legends passed away.

But that love for Opening Day, and the grief for the last game is still there.

 

In less than week we will baptize the 2011 season with…

“IT’S TIIIIIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL”

Finally. It took too long.

Think Blue!

 

 

 

It’s that time of year…

I’ve been busy these months which explains my lack of post on the blog, then again it is the offseason and there really isn’t much to talk about. Nonetheless, here I am sitting at my desk typing away.

Well, It’s that time of the year again, the time when we feel that emptiness of “no baseball” harder than ever. It’s 7:30 and there’s nothing on TV that will fill that void in our systems. So, we find ourselves surfing the web, looking to catch a glimpse of anything Dodgers. There are trade rumors and deals being made and even controverisal articles being written in newspapers.

One story in particular comes from an LA Times writer who explains how Dodger “fans” are upset and even some are not going to games because the McCourt family are the owners. Then, I read people’s reactions to the article and it mind boggles me (guatcha mind boggles, Mr big words) to hear people are actually going to let McCourt know we’re fed up with him by not going to games or by boycotting the Dodgers. I’m sorry, but lets leave that to social movements and politics. This is sports. I’ve said it many times, the beauty of baseball is you get to escape the real world and go into paradise for a few hours. So please lets keep the drama out of the paradise.

I understand that it’s frustrating to have an owner like the one we have. Don’t forget im a Dodger fan also. I know its frustrations speaking when we say “boycott” but really? I understand the folks who cant go to games because of the ticket price increase and in these dire situations they have to use their money in more important items. You’re mad with ownership fine! But why penalize the players? You go to games to watch the game, not watch Frank McCourt sign checks. A lot of you sound like business men rather fans. Believe me, I want the McCourts to sell the team as much as the next guy but let’s sing “take me out to the ballgame” and then speak. It’s okay to not go to as many games, or maybe take your own snacks to the game to save some cash, but if you’re actually going to miss out on the season because you dont like the owner, THANKS! that’s one less so-called “fan” I have to deal with.

Plus, don’t believe everything you read folks. shoot! don’t believe what you’re reading right now but at least think about it and if you’re one of the few who were thinking about boycotting the 2011 season and feel dumb about yourself at this point in the blog…don’t worry you’re not alone.

In a nutshell, its only been 65 days since the 2010 season concluded and most of us like some baseball zombies look for any whisper of the Dodgers to fill the Dodgers winter coldness. Relax, enjoy the offseason, Only good things happen, if good things are what we are serching for. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.

Think Blue! Support the Troops

-Manny

BUMmed

What you’re about to read only tells half of the story. There is no way for me to recreate what has happened in these past days in just words, and I really doubt any of us want to remember what happened.

Frustration. Anger. Disbelief. Dissapointment. Hopeless. These are all words that many of us felt after than horrendous loss to the Phillies. It brought back bad memories of the ’08, ’09 NLCS in which the Phillies stuck it to the Dodgers and they were the ones celebrating on the field, while our Dodgers just watched in defeat. The pain was the same, the heartbreak was deeper, and the season seemed to come to an end when that ball took flight in the bottom of the ninth.

Im not here to tell you how much of a bad closer Broxton is vs. the Phillies, all I have to say is that he is no longer the closer.

This season, has had more downs than ups. Many fans, including myself, might me making plans in October and the Dodgers not being part of them. Currently the Dodgers find themselves 6.5 games out of the Wild Card lead (which seems to be the most realistic way of getting into the playoffs) with 46 games to play. 6 vs. the Giants, 6 vs. the Padres, 12 vs. Colorado, 6 vs. Arizona, 3 vs. Braves, 3 vs. Phillies, 3 vs. Brewers, 3 vs. Reds, 4 vs. Astros. The season is not officially over, but if the Dodgers do plan on making some sort of push they need forget this week, finish August strong and beat up on the NL West teams in September. But its not going to be easy. The more we believe each defeat hurts more.

Vin Scully said it best “those numbers dont mean anything to me, anything can happen in baseball”

Anything can happen, but lets not get our hopes up. Let the games play themselves out and if the dice fall in our favor then they do.

The bond as fans that we have is that we have passion for our team, regardless of where we live. Northern California, Arizona, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Canada wherever.. we dont want to give up on the team because thats not what fans do. We share frustrations and we share joys. There is still hope and as long as there is still a bit of hope then the possibilities are endless.

The bums in Brooklyn always had heartbreaks and tough defeats, I guess its just the same bums doing what they do best. Bummed out fans, but we love baseball we love the game, our love for the LA Bums will still be there regardless, tough defeats is only a test of your fan loyalty and after the anger cools down and the game ends, the love is still there.

Anything can happen.

Think Blue and support the Troops!

Tortoise and the Hare

The thought of being in the playoffs seemed like a delusion a few weeks ago. Runs weren’t coming in and the bullpen was all bull. A few series’ later and it looks like the team some people considered dead have found a new life and dug themselves out. Now, the Dodgers are not completely in it, they remain at a good distance away from first place in both NLW and NLWC.

The starting pitching has been phenomenal and it looks like the offense is playing small ball and getting runs in once again. However, the Dodgers are the tortise in the playoff race. They travel to Philly and Atlanta where both teams will be anything but easy. They also find themselves in a playoff race of their own, so also the Dodgers have a full plate in front of them.

We can’t think too far ahead, there is 50 games to play and like the old cliche says “we cant win them all” but we need to win enough to make up the 7 and 5 games we are back. Heck! im not even looking to take over the West or the Wild Card anytime soon, just keep it close. So when Septemeber arrives the Dodgers will be in a great position to make a run for the playoffs.

It seems like the fable itself. There’s three teams that have taken off and left the Dodgers behind. Our Dodgers slowly taking the path to finish the race, while the other teams are knocking rockets out the park and closing games like closing your eyes. Our Dodgers, well seems like any ball out of the infield is success and not giving up more than 3 hits in the 9th is a succesful save. While other fans turn on SportsCenter to watch highlights, Us Dodger fans turn off the tv and think of the upcoming game.

But…

When the other fans see their team struggling, and decide to turn off baseball and focus on football, Our Dodgers and Us fans will be turning our tvs and heading to Chavez Ravine in October to begin the playoffs.

We all know the ending to this story, the Tortoise took its time and it surpassed the hare, in this case the hares, and finished first.

This is not a delusion, this is having hope and believing in what is possible, but if it does happen to be a dream, please dont wake me up.

enjoy the day off!

Think Blue and Support the troops!!

Deal or No Deal?

What a month of July it was. The Dodgers ended the month on a sour note, and when you have so much love for your team any loss hurts. But a loss your rivals is as close as dagger through your heart. But that was yesterday, the Dodgers are on Sunday Night Baseball tonight at 5pm. (I wonder how many times Joe Morgan is going to talk about his home run that eliminated the Dodgers back when he played). The Dodgers are tied for 3rd in the NLW 7 GB of the Padres and in the NLWC they are 5.5 GB of the Giants. There is two months left for the Dodgers to make a push, they need to play a good August to get close to the Padres or who ever is the Wild Card leader at the end of the month. We can’t think ahead of ourselves. No playoffs, no next series, no next month. Focus on each game, if we win there is nothing more we can do but hope that the teams that need to lose…lose. When you look back at the last few years the Dodgers seem to always hit a rough stretch in July (which is what happened) but come August and they heat up, for the good of the team lets hope history repeats itself. I still have faith and remain highly optimistic that the Dodgers will in the NLDS come october, but it should be very interesting.

One more note I wanted to comment on and give you my opinion was the Trade dealine, the Dodgers made three key moves. They traded with the Royals, Cubs, Pirates. They received Scott Podsednik, Ted Lilly, Ryan Theriot and Octavio Dotel. They lost Blake DeWitt, James MacDonald and a few minor leaguers. Now, I was surprised yesterday to see the reaction from fans to DeWitts trade and MacDonalds. Certain Dodger blogs out there and various reporters were ripping Ned and Frank apart for the deals made yesterday, but point is its done. I understand DeWitts age, I understand DeWitts potential, he CAN be a breakthrough athlete but what IF he wasnt? DeWitt was younger than Theriot but the numbers seem about the same, you have to take risks in order make something happen. We needed a starting pitcher, we got one. Then there is talk about “thinking of the future” what will happen in the future, when we havent won a World Series in 22 years i think we are done waiting…i think enough of looking into the future and looking into the present. The problem now a days is that we think too much about it and sometimes the people who once used to be fans turned into “bloggers”, they put being a blogger before being a fan. I understand we need to be considerate of what is up ahead but we also need to think of now. I feel as if Ned Colletti was a loser before the trade deadline. If he didnt do anything those same “bloggers” wouldve kicked and scream, and since Colletti did do something they still kicked and scream. In baseball, players come and go and some hurt more than others. We dont make the decisions we just have to suck it up and keep the support of our team, but then again since some of us have shaded away from that mentality and look to criticize anything and everything to get more readers, i guess thats more important. I think those deals were fair, and it improved the club right now. I am not a GM and not a baseball owner, I am not a reporter or a scout, I am simply a fan, whoever is on the field has my support to do good. I dont do myself any good to spread animosity among a group. I just hope the smoke coming out of your ears has stopped.

The offense and the Dodgers will look to return in August, against the Giants tonight! Lets Go Dodgers! I will be waiting to buy my playoff tickets.

Sink or Swim

          Living here in Southern California we have the luxury of the best weather year-round and access to the beach so its to no surprise that you will find locals, tourist, and celebrities catching some sun and keeping cool in the California beaches. It is no different for the Dodgers around this time of the year, they are under some heat (and not from the sun) but from the standings, they find themeselves in 3rd place (6GB) of the Padres. They just concluded a 4-game series vs. the Mets, who back in April swept the Dodgers in the Big Apple. The Dodgers won 3 of 4 games vs. the Mets this time around keeping pace with the Padres who swept the Pirates. The Dodgers had a rough first week in the 2nd half, but these three wins, and 4th win of the last 5 is certainly going on the right direction, but now its time to bring the “A+” game on Tuesday.

    On Tuesday, the Dodgers will head South to San Diego, to take on the division leading Padres. This series is HUGE in as many ways as you can think. The Dodgers have a chance to cool down the Padres and get closer in the division as much as 3GB if the Dodgers are to sweep. But really, the Dodgers just dont want to leave San Diego worse than they came in, 9GB if they are swept (knock on wood), it should be a great series because there is a lot on the table.

    The Dodgers starting pitching has been on fire!!!! Billingsley who will start on Tuesday for LA, pitched a complete game shutout his last time around. Kuroda followed him by going 8IP of scoreless baseball and although Padilla got the loss on Friday, Vicente went 7 innings and gave up 2 runs. The 5th starter who each week is a new face, has been the question mark for the Dodgers all season. Finally, Kershaw pitched 8innings and gave up no runs vs. the Mets on Sunday and picked up the win. So the Dodger starting pitching needs to continue their momentum especially in this upcoming series. The bullpen on the other hand also improved…slightly in this series. Although they werent really used, with the exception of Saturday’s extra-inning fiasco. But on Friday they did give up 4 big runs to let the game get away. So, there is definite room for improvement, although Kenley Jansen (spanish for Johnson?) has really put his mark early. Getting his first save on Sunday. Im not jumping on his bandwagon…yet. He still has a lot more to prove than two apperances, but so far so good.

On another note, the offense has been “ok”…Ethier is having a harder time up there with those outside pitches. Casey Blake cant seem to get a key hit in key situations. Furcal and Kemp have been doing good offensively, but everyone else is playing like they use the internet, just from time to time. We will need offense in this upcoming series.

Joe Torre are ready to hit the beach on Tuesday, they certainly would love to avoid the heat and swim on to another  NL West championship, rather than get left behind and sinking. HUGE matchup to say the least.