Category: Dailies

Peace, Love & Baseball

Someone recently asked me why I love baseball. It was hard to explain at that given moment, so I told them I would write it down when I had enough time. Well, it’s been well over two months since I was asked that…and well over 5 months since my last post. I apologize to all my readers who have been waiting for a post. Here it goes:

When I first watched a baseball game at Dodger Stadium it was like an out-of-body experience. Baseball is not just a sport and not just a game. You can learn life experiences from it. It’s where a sacrifice (fly) is appreciated. The fundamentals are strengthened and supported. Even the best hitter will strike out 7 out of 10 times and the worst hitter can still make a contribution with a bunt.

This sport is not just about one star player. It embodies what teamwork is really about. A pitcher cannot win the game alone. He needs a catcher who can call the right pitches, an infield who can ground a ball & an outfield willing to dive for balls.

To win offensively, you can have the player hit a homerun, but the defense still needs to hold the other team off and the wonderful thing about it is there is NO TIME LIMIT.

27 outs, but if there is a tie, each team gets another inning to attempt to break it. Can’t break it? The game keeps going. If that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is.

The sport is about patience and precision, skill and technique, everything that you can continue to get better at and perfect with time. Not everyone can place the bat on the ball and make something happen of it.

The most wonderful thing I love about it is that the game is a family experience. I’ve gone to games with my dad and we’ve bonded over the Boys in Blue. My grandfather is a die-hard baseball fan in Mexico (although he watches more Yankees baseball than Dodgers).

It’s not as eloquently written as I wish it could be, but this is why I love baseball.

As Always, Viva Los Dodgers!

Lil

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Colletti is Shopping for the Holidays

In this case, he is shopping for the 2011 season. It seems like Colletti is a whole different GM than he was last year. You can attribute that to the fact that he actually has money to spend on players this year. Instead of standing on the sidelines, Colletti is actively participating in getting the players that the club needs. Since my last update Colletti has signed 2 starting pitchers to complete the rotation, a 2nd baseman, solidified our man behind the plate and made room for more players to be obtained.

Signed

Hiroki Kuroda- Signed a one-year $12 million contract. I think it’s a big excessive, but he wants to be with the Dodgers and I hope he works on improving his pitching, especially when it comes to his first innings

Jon Garland- He was with us in the 2009 season and performed well, but really hit a stride when he signed with the Padres who held 1st place for most last season. His contract is for one-year, $5 million and club options, which could end up being $16 million for two years. He will be the 5th man in our rotation and is the innings-eater we’re looking for.

Juan Uribe- Signed for the steep sum of $21 million for 3 years, Uribe signed with the Dodgers after the Giants offered the same amount. He is a good bat and can basically play anywhere in the infield depending on what other moves Colletti makes. I think the amount of money we paid him is too much, but here’s to hoping he plays what he’s getting paid for.

Rod Barajas- Signed to a one-year $3.25 million contract, Rod returns are our starting pitcher while Martin is tendered due to his injury that kept him out of the latter part of last year. Rod showed us he is a great catcher and excellent hitter, something we’ve been looking for since Martin’s slump in the past two years.

Blake Hawksworth- Comes from the Cardinals in a trade for Ryan Theriot. He is not a game-changer, neither here nor there unless he works on his pitching. He couldn’t do it with the cards, let’s hope Honeycutt can work some magic

Non-tendered

Russell J. Martin- After his injury, Dodgers can’t afford to give him a contract as a catcher and all he’ll be doing is sitting on the bench. However, latest news is that they’re giving him the option of another contract as a utility man. I’ll keep you posted on any updates with regards to what he decides. Let’s hope he doesn’t inform us like LeBron James did!

George Sherrill- Good riddance! Everyone knows I have not been a fan of his since his rapid descent somewhere in between 08 and 09. Sure, I felt bad for the guy who was booed. No one ever wants to be booed by their team’s fans. However, it was about time the Dodgers cut the cord on him!

Very good moves so far, but please, Colletti, don’t stop there. Keep working toward a better team because the Giants are the World Champs and we’re all sick of hearing it =/

Lastly, everyone knows that I bleed Dodger Blue and my heart is with them, but I have a love of a man who wears pinstripes and I affectionately call him Mo (like any of his fans would). Mariano Rivera was up for contract this year. He was offered large sums of money from the Red Sox, Angels, and various other teams looking to get their hands on the “Sandman“. He could have easily gotten $17 million a year signing with another team. What comes next is the mark of a baseball that is admirable, to say the least. He signed with the Yankees for 2 years and less money. Why, you ask? Why would anyone sign with a team for less money? Loyalty, that’s why. Yankees are the only team that Mo has ever played for. So, Mr. Rivera, to you I tip my cap because you are the epitome of what a baseball player should be. Loyal.

As always, Viva Los Dodgers!

Lily 

Off-Season Update #1

I’d like to pretend that this season didn’t happen and that our rivals didn’t win the World Series… *closes eyes* ….Okay, I guess that didn’t work as well as I hoped. *cough* Congrats *cough* to the World Champs *mumble mumble, cough, sniff* yeah!

Enough of that! It is now officially the off-season and we’re all very sad that there is no baseball to watch! I’m counting down the days until spring training to visit Camelback and watch my boys do what they do best, which is play some ball! However, the Dodgers concern isn’t with spring training just yet. What is of biggest concern to our ball club is the roster. We have a lot of players who are eligible for free agency this year, some players who are up for raises through arbitration, player options and freed up salary for next year. I will break down the Dodgers’ options. A lot of moves need to be made if we’re looking to win a World Series in the next decade (which we should be!)

Already Signed

Ted Lilly- After his stellar performance last year since moving to the club that he’s dreamed of playing for since childhood, it was only proper to re-sign the California native. He’s signed to a 3-year $33 million dollar deal. Along with Kershaw & Billingsley, he is the only certainty we have in our rotation.

Jay Gibbons- Signed a 1-year contract for $650,000. Provides middle of the line-up run support and possible left-fielder position.

Not Returning

Scott Podsednik- Declined his 2011 option, which would have landed him $2 million.

Possible Free Agents

Hiroki Kuroda- Was struggling in the beginning, but came into his own during the second-half. Possibly the veteran pitcher Ned will sign.

Vicente Padilla- Pitched a hell of a season before getting injured before the playoff push. Possible veteran pitcher to be signed, but being prone to injuries may make it unlikely. I would like to see him come back. I mean, if he could keep up with CC in the NYY series, why not?

Rod Barajas- Insurance behind the plate seeing as Russell Martin finds himself on the injury list. Ned mentioned he wanted to sign him before the club lost exclusive negotiation rights.

Reed Johnson, Jeff Weaver- Doesn’t seem like Dodgers are yes or no about these two. Don’t add or take away from the team. I say let them go and get better pitchers!

Trade Possibilities

Loney- Had a second half slump. Overall, he has a general lack of power. Defensively, he’s a gem, but we desperately need the offense!

Kuroda vs Padilla

Kuroda will cost us $15 mil and Padilla will cost us $5 mil

Defensive/Offensive Needs

Left fielder- Can be filled by Gibbons or another player to have 4 OF

Infielders- 1st base power, 2nd base is locked down by Carroll since Theriot hit a slump, 3rd base power. Casey Blake isn’t cutting it. I’m not fearing the beard here.

Catching- Rod City seems to be working, we’ll see how he does in training if he’s signed.

Pitching- Veteran starter and veteran reliever needed to round out the bullpen. Broxton needs major work.

Money Available

$10 million is freed up from last year’s payroll

Names Being Mentioned (Pulled these from other blogs, articles, and even fan comments)

  • Prince Fielder
  • Adrian Gonzalez
  • Dan Uggla
  • Ivan De Jesus
  • Adam Dunn

Personally, I think we need all need to take one for the team and develop our farm system. LA is NOT going to win a world series with short-term fixes. Look at what the Giants have done. They are all Farm Boys! Sorry to say it, but we’re not buying our way to a World Series. We are not the Yankees. Way too much money has already been spent and it hasn’t gotten us anywhere, but I’d like to hear some of your thoughts.

Figured I’d bring back the “Wait ’til next year” motto that Dem Brooklyn Bums adopted. However, for us, it may be YEARS from now. We need to re-build this franchise. It means building from the bottom up. Strong foundation. Working with our prospects (instead of trading them away). We’re going to be ridiculed for having crappy everything regardless. So, I say we take another 3 or 4 crappy years and come back with a team that rivals this year’s Giants and last year’s Yankees. What do you say? 

Dem Bums T-Shirt

Dem Bums

 

Also, don’t forget to vote for Kuo, Belliard, & Dodgers Ballboy in the TYIB awards!

 

Until next time, think blue!

Lily

A Dodger Fan’s Worst Nightmare

Contributing factors:

  • Dodgers absent in playoffs
  • Giants stealing the NL West Division Title from Padres
  • Giants take best of 5 from the Braves in 4
  • Phillies sweep Reds
  • Giants/Phillies NLCS showdown
  • Howard strikes out looking and the GIANTS become the NL Champs

Dodger fans found themselves in their own personal hell this post season. Rooting for any team playing against either Giants or Phillies. “Giants won’t make it past the division series. They haven’t made playoffs since the turn of the century,” we kept telling ourselves. Then they made it to the NLCS. So, who do we root for? Some fans rooted for Giants. “They’re from the west!” Uhh, no. They’re the GIANTS! Blasphemy, I tell you! As much as I hate the Phillies for killing us in the NLCS the past two years, I was rooting for them to murder the Giants because I couldn’t even begin to imagine the ridicule we would have to endure whenever the Giants were in town. Making playoffs was bad enough. Making it to the NLCS AND doing what the Dodgers couldn’t do twice, we should just wear bags over our heads.

Have you bought yours yet? Because the Giants have won the NL pennant! Wait, did our long-time rivals just do what the Boys in Blue failed at? Did they play the game so well that they earn the title of National League Champs? Yes and I think I’m going to crawl under a rock and die!

Let me clarify. I am not saying that these teams do not deserve to be where they are. They do! They played the better ball all year and they are where they are because of it, but the boiling hate that fills me up even thinking about it is real.

This year’s Fall Classic will stage two unlikely organizations battling for the title of World Champions. The Rangers will be making their first appearance in their 40-year history. The Giants will be attempting to win their first title since moving to the West. Who will you be rooting for? If you say the Giants, please don’t call yourself a Dodger fan. True Blue fans will be rooting for the Rangers to take it all! Regardless of the outcome (crosses fingers for Giants to get swept), I will be expecting some good baseball! Because I am a Dodger fan first and a baseball fan second.

Interesting to note: Bengie Molina will be the key to Rangers winning the title. Being that he was a Giant for half of the season, he not only knows how the rotation pitches, but also knows the offense and their batting tendencies. He will most likely be getting a WS ring whether the Rangers win or lose (they’re going to win!)

Hoping for a great fall classic. As always, Viva Los Dodgers! 

Mission October: Failed

162 games played by each of the 30 teams from the 2 circuits spread over 6.5 months. Each team is vying for a spot in the Fall Classic. It is known as Mission October. Playing baseball in October signifies you’re one step closer to the World Series and the ultimate series you can win that year. 8 teams in a battle royale to stay alive for one more game…one more series…a chance at the title of World Champions. It is where the tension is crowding the stadiums & every pitch is calculated and watched. This is what baseball is made for. This is where players are born and destroyed. How far will you go and how hard are you willing to work for it?

The Los Angeles Dodgers’ 2010 season ended at game 162 with no hopes of October games. It was a roller coaster ride of a season. 7-game win streaks to 6-game losing streaks. Record-breaking 170 strikeout-season to 5 homers in 5 games. Injured for weeks on end to coming back and having a .376 batting average and NL Player of the Week Honor. Quarrels, rumors, arguments, struggles, financial woes, divorce, speculation, boos, chants, cheers, grand slams, walk-offs, blown saves, saved games, manager leaving, new manager, retirement, you name it.

Though the Boys in Blue didn’t make it to October, they gave us all a hell of a year. I know I personally had one of the best seasons so far, just in game attendance itself. Attended 30+ home and away games, visited SD and Anaheim to cheer my boys on and met some amazing fans each with their own stories to share and teach. Got some baseballs signed and some memorabilia. Turned my niece into a die-hard and she’s only 2. The memories alone are worth so much because they happened all because of my love for the Dodgers.

When a team doesn’t make it to the playoffs, the saying goes, “There’s always next year.” You know, I’m tired of saying that, especially when just last year we were 2 wins away from the World Series. Some people may not like what I have to say, but I don’t advertise this blog to have an unbiased opinion. However, I know if you don’t like what I have to say, there’s is no need to have to argue any point with me. I respect everyone’s opinion, and we can agree to disagree 🙂 I just want to say, don’t settle for next year. I want to celebrate a World Series title and I want to do it LAST YEAR. Dodgers are well overdue for a trophy and people need to stop talking about next year. Next year is too long! I’m tired of waiting, but it seems like that is what the Dodgers fans will have to do…once again.

I will NOT discuss the McCourt divorce. It seems like there’s just too much to even try to begin talking about it. The ONLY thing I will say is this: Give up the team & allow the city of Los Angeles to become the owner. No good will come from the current ownership. Can Steinbrenner come back from the dead??

Farewell, Dodgers. I anxiously wait for May to come to see you train and April 1, 2011 for the home opener. It’s been a wild ride. Thank you for the memories. Thank you for making me fall in love. I’ve met amazing people who share the love for the Boys in Blue. I’ve met baseball enthusiasts and fanatics that share the same love for the game as I do. I spent long summer nights at the Ravine taking in the game and the sounds of the ballpark. I spent hours sitting in the living room with Vin’s soothing voice calling the games of the team we both adore. Those memories will definitely stay with me.

To all those that I’ve met through the love for this team, you guys are all amazing people! I hope to spend more time at the games with each and every one of you, from sitting in LFP to the Dugout Club, The Shortstop before and after games, flaming margaritas pre-season, blowing the airhorn in Anaheim whenever the boys scored, standing in line to see Loney from the window and to have Matt Kemp sign a ball, dressing up in 80’s gear, creaming the birthday boy with a cupcake to tanning in Loge, it was a great year. Let’s make sure to keep in touch, okay?

I will try to update in the off-season with any movements in staff or players. Again, follow me on twitter! Much love, my readers. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the Spring!

“I bleed Dodger Blue and when I die, I’m going to the Big Dodger in the Sky!” -Tommy Lasorda

Friday Night Fireworks!

The storied rivalry dating back to when the Dodgers were in Brooklyn is again about to begin at 7pm tonight. Giants are once again in the Ravine to go up against our Boys in Blue. Good luck to them because we will need to win all three games to even have a chance in the NL Wild Card.

Now for my take on what has happened in the past week for the Dodgers. First, the Manny trade. I’m one to always say, “The past is the past,” and move on. I think that is what the fans should do with regards to Manny Ramirez leaving the Dodgers. He gave us great memories in 2008 & 2009. He brought back an energy to the stadium that was needed to revive the fans that had been losing hope of another WS in the near future. However, he is gone now. I’m not going to even argue the ejection. First pitch strike on an ump who has been squeezing his strike zone all night when the bases were loaded. Manny should have taken it and gotten back into focus of what he was put in the game for. He didn’t however. Nothing can be done now. Good luck to him and the White Sox organization & their fans.

McCourt Divorce trial proceedings. For all your news regarding this, follow @DodgerDivorce on Twitter for most up to date news. He’s sitting in court listening to all the ramblings going on. The numbers being thrown around are astronomical and just incredible to comprehend. His website is also a good source of information (linked here) He has been on the Fox 11 News & ESPN AM570 Good coverage.

Martin: According to Torre, will most likely not require surgery. I miss him, but Barajas 3 homers in 5 games is filling the hole 🙂

Rafael: Homered in Albuquerque last night and was activated tonight. He playing his usual and leading off in the lineup. Good luck Raffy! We’ve missed you.

Padilla: Also activated from the DL. How he will fit into the rotation is TBD.

Good luck to our boys and as always, Viva Los Dodgers! 

Lily

Bye, Bye Manny?

Dodgertown is going crazy with the news of players that have been placed on waivers. Kuroda, Lilly, Manny. I’m hearing cheers and boos and crying and whining. Honestly, I don’t know how waivers really worked before. I figured it meant you waved bye! But Sherrill has been on waivers for a year now and he’s still pitching lol. This is an old article from 2004, but it gives you basic waiver rules: [linked here] 

Basically, Dodgers are just basically putting some bait on the line JUST in case they’re out of playoff contention. I’m pretty sure it all depends on how Manny performs these last few days of August. We definitely have too many outfielders. It could be some sort of trick. Ned always has something up his sleeve! I don’t like that Kuroda and Lilly are on waivers. They’re still with the team, but they’ve done so well for us, why not just extend their contracts already? We KNOW we need pitching. I just don’t know what’s going to happen to this team next year =/

I know I said I would update 3x/week, but this week was mentally exhausting for me. HAHA I’m taking mental health, mentally exhausting…mental? haha? *crickets* LOL I think my three entries may be Fri-Sun, the days I have time to write. Again, follow me on Twitter for a more interactive experience! Much love guys. Always have hope. A WS can’t be too far away. What’s another 5 years, if we can build a dream team? Cubs have been waiting 100. Red Sox fans waited for a curse to be lifted! Why are we so impatient? I want a WS as bad as the next guy, but I also want it because we deserve it, not JUST because it’s been 22 years. So what? 22 years, 55 years, 100 years, are you going to stop being a Dodger fan? Are you going to go for another team? I love this team. I love this game. I’ll still go no matter what.

BTW, find me in my mini plan seats on Monday, RS section 25. In the My Town Tweet Up on Tuesday. I’ll be with my sister and niece both games =)

As always, Viva Los Dodgers!