Thursday, November 19, 2009

I can dream can't I?

Sorry, I am too lazy to Photoshop Halladay in Dodgers uniform. There is a lot of speculation will the Dodgers do it? Will they trade Billingsley for Roy Halladay? Probably not. First of all, it is not financial smart. Secondly, Billingsley is young and still yet to live up to potential. Thirdly, this divorce will put all signings in Limbo for the time being. Lets say the Dodgers are more likely to get Matt Holliday than Roy.

If the Dodgers do get Halladay without parting with any of the pitching phenoms or young outfielders, it will be like winning a lottery or probably by selling their souls to the devil. If they could only take Manny off our hands.

Dodgers are probably not getting Lackey either. He is likely to be paid nicely as there isn't another FA pitcher who has a better track record. Is Pedro still available? I would rather have him than John Smoltz, unless Smoltz somehow rediscovers his splitter which is highly unlikely. What about Tom Glavine? We should give the 90s Atlanta Braves rotation a shot, ey?

But the Dodgers don't need Halladay as much as they need an ace to take the burden off Billingsley and Kershaw, least for a season or two. Heck, they would be better off with another hammering bat like an Adrian Gonzalez or Adam Dunn, if the trade is right. Speaking of trades, they could even eye King Felix, but I doubt that he is likely to be traded by a likely rebuilding Seattle Mariners squad.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kemp and Ethier Collecting Hardware

While both outfielders didn't make the NL All-Star team, Kemp and Ethier are getting their fair share of offseason hardware. Both of them have won the Silver Slugger awards for their position. Kemp also has a Gold Glove this year and Dre has the Clutch Performer of the Year award. All that and no All-Star nods? That's why the All Star game is so flawed in baseball. I don't like midseason AS games. The only reason why it works in the NBA is that the players are consistent throughout the whole season. Baseball players are play well in stretches. Therefore, an All-Star might struggle tremendously through the second half because of injury or whatnot. I'm talking about you Raul Ibanez.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Steve Phillips Fired... Again

Sunday, October 18, 2009

NLCS Game 2

Here is my first ever NLCS game at Dodger Stadium was an eventful one. It was a hot autumn afternoon filled with over 50,000 fans who were waiting for something to cheer about. It wasn't until the bottom of the 8th inning that the fans finally stood up with towels in hand waiting for one miracle base-hit. What we got was one half inning that was filled with pitching changes, walks to the mound, and matchups. You all know what happened. So lets take a look shall we?



video

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Who is the Team of Destiny?

Both the Dodgers and the Angels survive improbable odds in their Division Series matchups by sweeping their opponents. The Dodgers have lost 5 out of 7 against the Cardinals and have played poorly at Busch Stadium. The Angels have not won a postseason series against the Red Sox.

But with them slaying their demons, who is the team of destiny? A couple of seasons ago, both the Angels and the Dodgers were picked by Sports Illustrated as the two World Series finalists, but that wasn't close to happening.

The Angels had notable injuries and lost Teixeira to the Yankees. They also lost Nick Adenhart in a tragic automobile accident and dedicated this season to him. They have really done well due to the great play of their lesser known players such as Kendry Morales and Juan Rivera. They have also survived a lot of injuries to their pitching staff and even a struggling bullpen. In the first 2 games against the Red Sox in the ALDS, they have held them to 1 run total.

The Dodgers started their season with high expectations and backed it up by winning their first 13 home games, a MLB record. They have a knack for keeping it close and winning in dramatic fashion, with their 12 walk-off victories. Though they struggled after the all star break and before the playoffs, they quickly found their stride in the final series against the Rockies and neutralized the Cardinals. How fitting was it that the Dodgers were able to walkoff in Game 2 of the NLDS? They haven't won back-to-back NL West Division titles since 77 and 78, both years they went to the World Series and were defeated by the Yankess. They haven't finished the season this many games above .500 since 1988.

There are a lot of similarities with this Dodgers team with those of successful ones in the past. This one might even be more well-rounded than even the WS Champs of 1988.

Postseason baseball always has a lot of stories and superstitions. Now, who is the team of destiny this year?

Manny Playing Possum?

Before the series against the Cardinals even started, TBS broadcaster Bob Brenly speculated that Manny was playing possum in order to lull opposing pitchers into thinking that he is unable to turn on a good fastball.

In the past, Manny has been known to setup pitchers early in the game by taking certain pitches that he is capable of hitting hoping that he will get the same pitch in a later at-bat when there is an RBI opportunity. He had an absolutely atrocious month of September, leading people to speculate that whatever he was on before has worn off.

However, the problem seem to be too big for even a possum. The problem appeared to be Manny pressing a little too hard. Most of his swings during his struggles were long, power swings. Also, his timing was off, making him late on even a low-90s fastball. In addition, pitchers were challenging him with a lot of inside fastballs and breaking balls because he couldn't turn on them like he did in the past.

Even if you don't believe the possum excuse, you have to admit that Manny is beginning to get his timing back at the plate. In his last couple of games, it is noticeable that he was capable of getting his bat on pitches. Though he went 1 for 8 in the first 2 games against the Cards, Manny was able to drive the ball, which was a problem during the Dodgers' most recent losing streak. Also, no Dodger could get it going again Wainwright in Game 2, including Manny. In Game 3, he was able to jump on a lot of first pitch fastballs that he promptly hit in the power alleys for 2 doubles. He also got another single, going 3 for 5 (.308). Still no homers for him, but at this moment, anything you can get from Manny is a bonus and much needed against either the Rockies or Phillies.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Dodgers Win It!

Tinkerbell!

Season stats, wins, odds, all doesn't matter now

Who would have predicted this outcome to Game 1? Well, all of Los Angeles and anyone who wasn't an ESPN analyst. The Dodgers might be underdogs, but Ken Levine stated a good point on postgame Dodger Talk, that it was more important to tune out the analysts and Vegas odds because they are making those choices based on stats and probability.

Please understand that Steve Phillips has a severe case of foot-in-mouth, but that means that Dodgers are going to have to continue to play well and eventually give him and all analysts a "foot-in-ass" present.

Did anyone see the game on TBS? It was absolutely terrible, filled with horrendous cuts to weird cameras during flyballs and the consistent losing of sound, actually the last one was not to bad because it prevented the broadcasting from talking.

Hey Mr Verducci, you are eeriely similar to Rosenthal's dugout reporting.

All that being said, the Dodgers really need to win tomorrow and put the pressure on the Birds. We need some of that Clayton Kershaw magic and maybe some more Mannywood ending.

Better Late Than Never

Yes, I know I was late on my post about the Dodgers clinching the NL West, but this is not a news site, it is my blog. Here are some of the highlighting photographs at my final regular season home game of the year.

Your eyes are not deceiving you, I finally found out that the K-counter fits 16 strikeouts. Yes, the Dodgers ended up fanning more than 16 batters, but they ran out of room.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Shameless Plug: I'm in Giant Robot Issue 61

Giant Robot issue 61 is finally out at newsstands, and guess who is that playing Nintendo Wii. Yes, it is yours truly! That is like a photo taken at the last minute as a filler. I think it turned out well, don't you? Anyways, there is a lot of stuff featured this issue, including my first official published work: a 100 word review on the American release of Harajuku Dance Rock by An Cafe. Interestingly, the Oshare Kei group has since disbanded. Here is the little snippet:


The rest of the post is at my multipurpose blog: an Infinite Playlist

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Happy Birthday Skipper!

Happy birthday to Tommy Lasorda, who had an incredibly busy day by doing a live chat as well as attending the ceremony of his painted likeness being inducted into the Smithsonian.

Quite a nice full birthday indeed!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Special Day

Today's midweek noon time special was quite a special one for me. After attending the late night marathon the previous night, this day game was viewed through cloudy eyes for the first few innings from our seats in Mannywood. However, in the 3rd inning, a nice couple who couldn't stand the heat gave us their seats for the game. We gladly accepted and looked at them. They were awesome seats!

I guess we lucked out today. A women passed out on my way back from the restroom and it took forever to find a security guard. It is interesting that when you are doing something rowdy, they are always there to stop you, but when you need guest services, no where to be found. Anyways, I hope the woman is okay.

Anyways, today was a nice game. It was nice to see the Dodgers manage to sweep the Pirates and reinforce their home-team advantage lead over the Cardinals, who have finally hit a wall.

Manny would not play today, but it was just a good sign that the Dodgers still beat the Pirates with mostly their bench. I would really like to thank the couple who gave us their tickets.

I feel really burnt out, but I had an awesome day. And I forgot that I even got a bobblehead!









Dodger Bear is Sleeping Well Tonight

My Dodger Bear has been hanging around in my room ever since I won him from a claw machine at a Toys R Us on my dad's birthday. My dad is not a baseball fan so I kept Dodger Bear for myself.

Here he is sleeping with his new Dodgertown blanket from the game. What a long game! Unfortunately, I was so hungry, my friend and I decided to leave in the top of 13th to get food. When we got to his house, Ethier homered and we missed it! But we aren't sad, because the Dodgers won!

Dodger Bear wishes you good night Dodgers Nation.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Red Hot One Hundred

Red Hot One Hundred is not only Viewtiful Joe's special move, but could be used to describe Randy Wolf's amazing month where he has won 5 straight decisions and finally earning his 100th career win. He was amazing through 7 innings and has been the best starting pitcher on the Dodgers pitching staff both both sides of the ball. The hope now is that Wolf will be the Kuroda of this year and finish strong and dominate in the playoffs as well. Because the way Billingsley has been pitching and bad luck that Kershaw has been getting in the run-support department, I would promote Wolf to be the 1st or 2nd pitcher if the playoffs started today.

You have to ride the horse that is hot, especially during the playoffs. What Billingsley did in the beginning of the season doesn't matter if he doesn't rediscover it soon. If the playoffs started today, I would go with Wolf, Billingsley, Kershaw, and Garland (and Kuroda to round off the 5 in case the Dodgers make it to the NLCS). Right now, our top 2 of Billingsley and Kershaw is not better than the Cards (Wainwright, Carpenter), Phillies (Lee, Hamels), and Giants (Lincecum and Cain). Sure they have greater potential than the other combos, but that is because they haven't even come close to reaching their full potential. That is not good if you want to win now.


Of course, the problem with the team now that they are in a slump is the offense hasn't been producing run despite getting a lot of base hits. They still suffer from mad situational hitting and making unproductive outs with runners on base. Sacrifices are something this team cannot take for granted. I feel the Angels are much better at playing small ball despite being a power hitting team. Unfortunately, the Dodgers don't have someone like Chone Figgins, one of my favorite offensive players. Not only is he a pretty good contact hitter, Figs is also an excellent bunter with nice speed. Of course, the Dodgers don't have the luxury of squandering opportunities in the playoffs, especially if they face off against pitchers like Wainwright, Carpenter, Lee, Hamels, and probably Lincecum and Cain. Get hot soon, or go home.

Hello Mr Garland


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Divert Attention and Worries

Going to the fourth game against the Diamondbacks, sitting in Mannywood once again. Look me up if anyone is in the area, I'm in 53FD Row B.

At a lost for words


More at my blog

Monday, August 31, 2009

Dodgers get Thome and Garland

During the Dodgers' broadcast, it was stated by Vin Scully that the team has acquired Jim Thome and Jon Garland for players to be named later.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Humble Pie

Some followers of Duck Dodgers Bats Cleanup might have noticed what I posted about Tulowitzki's comment about the NL West race:

"We look at it as all the pressure's on them. They're supposed to win the division. They were up by 15 1/2 . We're just messing around, I guess." -Troy Tulowitzki

I proceeded to predict a favorable scenario for the Dodgers, which would make Troy eat his words:

Oh Troy. If the Rockies lose tomorrow, they could see their run cut short. Since the Jim Tracy has taken over, the Rockies have not hit a wall yet. That wall could come really soon. After tomorrow's game, they face the best of the Giants pitching staff, Lincecum, Cain, and a resurgent Zito at San Francisco, where the Giants have been swallowing up every team that they played against. Meanwhile, the Dodgers face the Reds on the road, and hopefully could get their licks against Homer Bailey and Bronson Arroyo. If somehow, the Dodgers take tomorrow's matinee and 2 out of 3 from the Reds, and the Rockies lose 3 out of the 3 from the Giants, the lead would be 6 games going into the final month of the season. If that should happen, the Rockies would have the Giants and Marlins chasing them down in the wildcard race.


How bout now, Troy? Still no pressure? The Rockies have finally hit a proverbial wall. After beating the Dodgers in a late inning rally and closing within 2 games of them, the Rox have proceeded to lose the last 2 against the Dodgers at Coors and managed to get swept by the Giants. They are now tied with the Giants in the wildcard and 6 games behind the Dodgers.

It appears my prediction has come true (I actually thought the Giants-Rockies series was 4 games, so I guess that part was wrong). Despite Tulo almost getting a cycle today, the Rockies fell once again to the Giants. This might be the only time Dodgers fans can cheer for the Giants. For doing us this tremendous favor, I hope we will swept the Giants up north and here at Dodger Stadium.

Humble pie, indeed.

Save Some for Sunday

Manny hit one out, like 15 hours too late. Juan Pierre did his best to fill in for Ethier, knocking in 2 runs with 3 hits. Kemp hit his 20th homer, and Jeff Weaver pitched another strong outting in relief.

Now, can the Dodgers save some for tomorrow's game? Usually when they score a bunch of runs, they have trouble scoring any the next game.

Remember Tulowitzki's comment about how the pressure was on the Dodgers? Well, now the Rockies have lost four in a row and are five games back and their wildcard lead is now cut to 1 game. Hey Troy, I guess the pressure is on you now!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Addiction

I have been to 17 home games this season (not including the World Baseball Classic) and looking to a pleasant September.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Oops I've Fallen

The Rockies are now 4 games back. Despite a critical defensive mistake by Rafael Furcal, Broxton sealed the deal as the Dodgers gained another game on the second place Rox. Hopefully, their bats will aid them at another spacious ballpark, the Great American in Cincinnati. Best case scenario, the Blue Crew could be 7 games by weeks end.

Despite not having the best offensive showing at Coors Field, the pitching, once again, held the opposition in check. Newly acquired Vicente Padilla pitched well. The spot-starters have all pitched well for the team this season. When Kuroda does make it back soon, the Dodgers will have quite a dilemma in their rotation, especially if Haeger and Padilla continues to pitch well. Once again, you can't complain with having too many effective players on the team.

Nothing more for tonight.

Dodger Blue to the Grave

Though probably not available at the pavilion store, you can leave the human world in this swanky vessel. For around $4,400 for the casket and $800 for an urn, Dodgers fans can hope to they will see another Dodgers World Series before they end up in these. Perfectly matches the Valenzuela jersey you're going to be buried in.

From KTLA

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Finally!!!

Photo by Jack Dempsey, AP

After bashing James Loney last night, he finally made me eat my words, at least for one night. The Garbage Man hit a 3-run home run in the fourth inning, his first since July 10th, or last time the swallows came back to San Juan Capistrano. Ethier had his 6th multi-homer game of the season, hitting his 26th and 27th, and could go .300/30/100 this season. Wolf pitched another masterpiece and earned his third victory in a row, this time without having to provide his own run support. After Kershaw had a wonderful month and a half, Wolf has been the proxy ace in the pitching staff in August, especially with the injury to Kuroda and disappearance of early-season Billingsley.

The Dodgers push the Rockies back to 3 games and have a chance to push them all the way back to 4 games by winning the rubber-game tomorrow.

"We look at it as all the pressure's on them. They're supposed to win the division. They were up by 15 1/2 . We're just messing around, I guess." -Troy Tulowitzki

Oh Troy. If the Rockies lose tomorrow, they could see their run cut short. Since the Jim Tracy has taken over, the Rockies have not hit a wall yet. That wall could come really soon. After tomorrow's game, they face the best of the Giants pitching staff, Lincecum, Cain, and a resurgent Zito at San Francisco, where the Giants have been swallowing up every team that they played against. Meanwhile, the Dodgers face the Reds on the road, and hopefully could get their licks against Homer Bailey and Bronson Arroyo. If somehow, the Dodgers take tomorrow's matinee and 2 out of 3 from the Reds, and the Rockies lose 3 out of the 3 from the Giants, the lead would be 6 games going into the final month of the season. If that should happen, the Rockies would have the Giants and Marlins chasing them down in the wildcard race.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Garbage Man

(Photo by Tony Gutierrez, AP)

Most people who have been reading my posts or opinions on SOSG and TrueBlueLA know about how critical I have been on James Loney's offensive contribution, especially when the Dodgers did not make a push to get Victor Martinez or any other power-hitting first baseman. My main argument for getting some like Martinez is that the Dodgers lineup didn't need any more contact hitters. Instead, they would benefit more from someone who had pretty good power numbers, either with hitting homers or from slugging. Loney was a one-bag type of hitters, but had a pretty decent year, until the trade deadline.

Since the trade deadline, Loney has not had the best numbers: 15 for 71 (.211), 9 BB, 0 HR, 8 RBIs through today's game. Bad month but not terrible, right? If you take away the first three games of the month when he had 3 multi-hit games in a row, his numbers are as bad as it gets: 8 for 57 (.140), 0 HR, 3 RBIs in the past 17 games.

Tonight, he went 0 for 5, the only Dodgers position player without a base-hit. Also, he made a critical error in the bottom of the 10th that pretty much dashed all hopes of a victory.

I know I have been too critical on Loney, but why can't I be? I mean he is no Andruw Jones, right? The way he has been playing recently, he is Jones sans the expensive price tag. He did hit that grand slam last season in the playoffs and probably is hitting the worst slump of his young career. However, sometimes I still wonder how good would this team be if we had Martinez, Adrian Gonzalez, or even Adam Dunn batting behind Manny.

Sorry Loney, losing some games make the fans a little critical of you. I have been calling you Garbage Man from my seat in Field Box 53 every time you fail to drive in a run or get a base-hit. Please prove me wrong soon.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

No Runs, No Problem

Despite scoring a total of four runs in the past 2 games, the Dodgers are within a Sunday victory of sweeping the slumping Chicago Cubs. The Cubs have scored 1 run in the past 2 games and 4 runs total in the past 3 games versus Dodgers pitching. Spanning the past 24 innings, the Cubs have scored once on a bloop single by Ryan Theriot.

Saturday's matinee game featured another excellent start by knuckleballer, Charlie Haeger, who went 7 shutout innings, frustrating an anemic Cubs offense, that have really struggled on the road this season. Broxton survived a jam with runners on second and third after Kemp lost a flyball in sun that came off of Derek Lee's bat by striking out 2 and forcing a lineout. Sherrill got his first save of the year after laboring through the ninth.

The Dodgers got solo blasts from Kemp and Blake, and that was all they needed. Kemp's homer seemed like it was launched out of a cannon, as it landed over the home bullpen, onto the field level entrance area.

The Dodgers have not been playing their best since the All star break. With this victory, they finally break even record-wise, but still have the task of facing the second-place Rockies this coming week. Hopefully, their bats will wake up at the hitter-friendly confines of Coors Field. Tap the Rockies, indeed.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Night With Friends

Nothing is better than watching baseball at the ballpark with some old friends, having a beer and doing some reminiscing about college. Tracy is from Chicago and Isaac lived there for the past two years. Naturally, Miss Sula is a Cubs fan and wore her personalized jersey. Eveytime she got up, she was promptly booed by all the people around us in Loge, which was oddly enjoyable.

We began our night by eating some very nice Chicago deep dish pizza at Masa in Echo Park for half-price, in commemoration of the Cubs being in town. The game was close until Russell Martin hit a grand slam in the sixth inning. I had no idea why the Cubs intentionally walked James Loney, who has been struggling for the past several weeks. Probably to induce a double-play, but they got burned severely. Tracy was not pleased, and Isaac instantly turned into a Dodgers fan.

We ended the night having a round of drinks at Mountain Bar in Chinatown. Issac is off to graduate school at Seoul National University next week, so I wish him all the best. It was another wonderful day that started at Royal/T for lunch and ended at the stadium and the dive bar. Everything was great except the horrible traffic everywhere I went.

Broxton Blows it on Kemp Bobblehead Night

Clayton Kershaw had another rocky game. Dodgers managed to tie up the game on 2 homers by Either and Blake, but Jonathan Broxton blew the lead after Martin's attempt to throw out Albert Pujols stealing second bounced into center field.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Off to Kemp Bobblehead Night

Truthfully, I am more psyched about this bobblehead than even the Manny one. Hopefully, there will be some Kemp heroics that would result in a Dodgers win in the rubber game against the Cardinals. I might try to hit up Crooks on Saturday to see Kemp and Loney's t-shirt collab. Hope there isn't too insane of a line.

Here is the collab shirts from Crooks' Twitter: