Saturday, January 31, 2015

Our Dodgefather Goes the Extra Mile

Moving story. Major props to Tommy, though that's not what he wanted out of his actions. Full story by Dennis McCarthy and video here at Los Angeles Daily News.

On the night he died this week — one day before his 91st birthday — Clifford Rich got a phone call from the man at the top of his bucket list.

Tommy Lasorda.

Riddled with cancer, Rich, who grew up idolizing the Brooklyn Dodgers and later the L.A. Dodgers led by Lasorda, lay in his bed at home in Granada Hills with his family at his side.

He had been in hospice care for nearly a month and was unable to speak or open his eyes. The only voices he recognized anymore with a slight movement of his lips were his wife and daughters.

Until Tommy called.

“Hi, Clifford, this is Tommy Lasorda and I’d just like to speak to you for a moment of your time,” L.A.’s ambassador of baseball said.
Thanks for reminding us that life isn't always about baseball, except when it is. RIP Clifford Rich. Thanks for your service and your lifelong devotion to the Dodgers. We'll get one for ya.

photo: Hans Gutknecht/Los Angeles Daily News

Friday, January 30, 2015

2015 Slogan Is...

...a tip of the hat to Randy Newman. Or copyright infringement! Who knows?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Bat Flip & Jazz Hands Bobbleheads Announced

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

First Batch of Bobbleheads Announced

Individual tickets go on sale Friday:

Sunday, January 25, 2015

New MLB Commissioner - Day One Message to Fans

Dear Fans:

On the night of August 14, 2014, I left a Baltimore hotel after being elected Commissioner of Baseball. As I began to reply to the overwhelming number of congratulatory messages coming in, it hit me that I'd just been entrusted to protect the integrity of our National Pastime and to set a course that allows this great game to continue to flourish -- now and in the years to come. Needless to say, I was deeply honored by the trust the owners placed in me.

Today is my first day as Commissioner, and I am incredibly excited to get to work. I am grateful to Commissioner Selig for his expertise and friendship. His leadership set a direction that led to historic success.

The mission before us is clear: To honor the game's history while welcoming new people to our great sport -- people who will one day pass their love of baseball down through the generations. That is what our parents and grandparents did for us, and it is what we are doing for our own children. Baseball is a game firmly rooted in childhood experiences, and its vitality and growth rely heavily on giving young people from all backgrounds the opportunity to play and watch baseball.

This notion that baseball is the game of children is central to my core goals as Commissioner. Maybe that is because my own Little League experience in upstate Rome, New York was such an important part of my childhood. I will never forget my intense dedication to that club and to my teammates -- each of whom I can still name to this day -- and being part of a perfect game.

My top priority is to bring more people into our game -- at all levels and from all communities. Specifically, I plan to make the game more accessible to those in underserved areas, especially in the urban areas where fields and infrastructure are harder to find. Giving more kids the opportunity to play will inspire a new generation to fall in love with baseball just as we did when we were kids. Expanding Little League, RBI and other youth baseball programs will also help sustain a steady and wide talent pool from which our clubs can draw great players and create lifelong fans.

As Commissioner, I will draw closer connections between youth baseball and MLB. I want to inspire children's interest in baseball and help parents and coaches foster that passion. In the coming years, MLB will work with college, high school, amateur and youth baseball programs to help grow our game and to ensure that the best players and talent have the opportunity to pursue their dreams. I call it "One Baseball" -- a partnership between all professional and amateur groups involved in our game.

Our children can look at MLB today and find a wave of new stars worthy of emulating both on and off the field. Players like Andrew McCutchen, Buster Posey, Giancarlo Stanton and Mike Trout and aces Madison Bumgarner, Felix Hernandez and Clayton Kershaw have powerful stories to tell -- and MLB will tell them across every platform. We will continue to internationalize our game and to celebrate the fact that we have the most diverse rosters in the world. Our mission is to build upon this recent success by creating opportunities for the next wave of baseball talent. We also must continue to nurture inclusive environments for all the contributors to our game and our loyal fans.

Another priority for me is to continue to modernize the game without interfering with its history and traditions. Last season's expanded instant replay improved the game's quality and addressed concerns shared by fans and players. We made a dramatic change without altering the game's fundamentals. I look forward to tapping into the power of technology to consider additional advancements that will continue to heighten the excitement of the game, improve the pace of play and attract more young people to the game.

The Major League Clubs have bestowed an extraordinary opportunity upon me. My pledge is to work every single day to honor their faith in me and your love of this game.

Robert D. Manfred, Jr.
Commissioner of Baseball

What do we think? What are the top issues we'd like him to address (realistically, so forget the Dodger cable debacle)?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Farewell, Mr. Cub

Ernie Banks dies at age 83 (

Can't think of too many players so indelibly linked to a baseball club as Ernie Banks was with the Cubs. And fewer players had a better reputation as a universally loved human being. Our condolences to the Cubs organization and fans.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Kid K and His Wife Have a Kid (No Kidding)

Congratulations to the new parents!

Ben Rowen, New Cult Hero

The Dodgers signed a couple of free-agents to minor league deals today, among which was submarining right-hander Ben Rowen (formerly of the Rangers).

Now, admittedly, I was not familiar with Mr. Rowen (though guys like Dodgers Digest's Daniel Brim seem high on him). I just thought his name lent itself to a mighty fine Twitter pun.

Which led to this exchange...

Yep. New favorite player. No matter where he ends up.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

AGon Shows Mariachi Pride

El Campeon Del Mariachi: Adrian Gonzalez on the soundtrack of his life (ESPN The Magazine)

Report from Enemy Territory

Just returned from a trip to the Bay Area — took this photo of a frame store there:

Ugh. Also, Oyster Pubes lunchbox:

Double ugh.

Monday, January 12, 2015


A few Dodger Stadium photos from last season: Some wag painted the all-important 3,311-foot marker on Sunset Blvd. No word if Willie Stargell or Mike Piazza would have cleared this fence.

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Kershaw Bobblehead Celebrates Hardware

Bill Shaikin Gets Real

From "Dodgers miss out on adding to their Hall of Fame presence" by Bill Shaikin at the LA Times:

[Don Sutton's Hall of Fame election] was July 26, 1998, four months after a turquoise-and-purple outfit called the Arizona Diamondbacks played its first game.

Since then, the Diamondbacks have accomplished two things the Dodgers have not: win a World Series and get one of their players into the Hall of Fame.

The World Series came in 2001. The Hall of Fame called Tuesday, for Randy Johnson.

For Dodgers fans, the wait goes on, and there is nothing worthwhile about it.

Whoa. "Nothing worthwhile about it." No sugarcoating here. Shaikin continues:

That is what made Tuesday so frustrating. The Hall of Fame also called for Pedro Martinez, who should have been ours. Same thing for Mike Piazza, whom the Hall likely will call next year.

(Bold mine.) Wow! Shaikin drops the journalistic neutrality and goes straight for the fan perspective. PEDRO SHOULD HAVE BEEN OURS. I think even SoSG Delino would agree with that. Let's pour more salt in the wound:

As the calendar flips to 2015, the Dodgers' streak of consecutive years without a World Series appearance — longest of any team in the National League West — extends to 27.

Yeah, yeah, we know. (cries)

That celebrated drought is related to another: no Dodgers player has been elected to the Hall since Sutton, the only one in 31 years. In the Dodgers' first 26 years in Los Angeles, they had eight players elected to Cooperstown. [...]

The Dodgers dumped both [Martinez and Piazza], in two of the most damaging trades in baseball history. In 1993, General Manager Fred Claire swapped Martinez, then considered a fragile middle reliever with a worrisome shoulder, for second baseman Delino DeShields. In 1998, the Fox ownership shipped Piazza, then considered too difficult to sign to a contract extension, to the Florida Marlins in a seven-player trade.

Bold mine again because "two of the most damaging trades in baseball history" is not an overstatement — especially when it comes from Shaikin's learned pen. The Giants' recent success has given us Dodger fans plenty of time to ruminate on regrets. Thanks to Shaikin for recognizing this and not pussyfooting around it.

Tuesday, January 06, 2015

Ryu Pitches Ramen

Happy New Year! Enjoy Hyun-Jin Ryu's latest noodle ad.