Wednesday, April 17, 2013

1000 Kershaw K's


Monday, March 25, 2013

Ask not what the Blue can do for you, but what you can do for the Blue!

Alright so the season is a week away. I’ve read everything there is to read, I’ve talked to people who are in the know and I’ve been to Spring Training to witness the Boys in Blue firsthand. There are some things I like, some things that have me beyond excited and some things that worry the hell out of me. I’m going to run down pretty much our entire starting lineup and a few other notable guys and give a quick blurb about each player and what my current thoughts are.

AJ Ellis – He’s a rock. Our silent leader that won’t put up huge numbers but will definitely be solid all season long. He’s my favorite current Dodger.

Adrian Gonzalez – Gonzo is going to mash this year and anyone who thinks different can only be my friend on the weekends. He’s a top 5 first basemen and a perfect fit for Los Angeles.

Mark Ellis – Solid second baseman that doesn’t do anything fancy but will continually give you what’s asked of him. I really like Mark Ellis and I think he’s going to have a big year since his contract is up after this season.

Hanley Ramirez – Well…the bad news is he’s out for 2 months. The good news is he was looking like a monster in the WBC. I saw a lot of things that have me pumped for Hanley this season and from everything I’ve read, it seems like he’s listening to management and aiming to please. Going to be exciting when he comes back.

Luis Cruz – CRUUUUUUUUUZZZ! Was there any better Dodger surprise that Luis Cruz last year? He’s was great and I’m super excited to see him rise to the challenge this year. He hit 2 homeruns in consecutive at-bats when I saw him in Spring Training this past weekend and they both were bombs!

Dee Gordon – If Dee can figure out how to get on base a little more, he’s probably the biggest RBI asset we have. The guy isn’t just fast, he’s FAST. He’ll stretch singles into doubles and walks into runs. I think this will be a big year for Flash Gordon.

Carl Crawford – He’s definitely got a giant question mark next to his name but I love the fact that he’s expected to under perform. Crawford is a former super star who still has plenty left in the tank and will be huge for the Dodgers in left field this year.

Matt Kemp – There’s nothing I can say about Matt Kemp that hasn’t already been said. He’s a top 5 player in all of Baseball and will win multiple MVP awards in the future. The guy is true blue all the way and a Dodger Superstar.

Andre Ethier – Ethier is the cornerstone of our entire team. He’s definitely been the one constant throughout the past 6 years and I love the loyalty he’s shown to the blue. There’s always trade talk surrounding Ethier and I can never understand why. He’s been with us through the bad times so let’s stick with him through the good times. Plus he’s a damn good ball player to boot.

Yasiel Puig – There’s so much to be excited about this kid that I don’t even know where to begin. Our 42 million dollar man has absolutely destroyed Spring Training and definitely merits at least a mid-year call up. I watched him stretch a lazy single into a triple.  He’s super fast and plays all out. A little more seasoning in the outfield so he can find his groove and this guy is the future of the Dodgers outfield.

Clayton Kershaw – Can’t really say much more about him. He’s credentials speak for themselves. He’s going to win more Cy Young’s and is in my opinion, the best hurler in all of Baseball.

Zack Greinke – Greinke is a sort of a head scratcher. He has the stuff to make him a top 5 pitcher and has shown that in the past but there always seems to be something that holds him back from reaching his full potential (except in 2009)

Josh Beckett – I really like Beckett so I’m holding out hope that he returns to previous form.

Chad Billingsley – Bills is a Dodger through and through. I know he’s had his ups and downs but he’s one of our guys. I want him to do well and truly think he’ll have a rebound year. If nothing else, he’s a heck of a 4th starter!

Hyun-Jin Ryu – I watched Ryu take a 1-hitter through the 7th this past weekend. He was dominant with control and hitting his spots. He then told reporters that he took it easy and if it were the regular season, everything would have been crisper and the velocity would have been a little higher. Incredibly encouraging and I can’t wait to see how he transistions.

Kenley Jansen – Jansen is so dominant it’s scary. He continually posts eye-popping K-rates and he’ll only get better as he enters his prime ages.

Brandon League – I really do think League figured himself out in the latter part of last season with the Dodgers. He’s our closer and I don’t foresee him losing his job. I think he’ll definitely do what we need him to.

Don Mattingley – I love Mattingly and think he’s a perfect Dodger fit. That’s all.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Remember doing this on Napkins when you were in Little League?

Let's all be 12 years old again. It's Dream Team Time! Why not right? OK, so you have your choice of players and can put anyone on the field that you want. Who do you go with? 

Remember though, this isn't fantasy Baseball. Defense counts! I'm not listing any bullpen guys other than closer because I feel like it'll just be a bunch of Nationals relievers.

Anyway, here you go.

C: Yadier Molina

Best defensive catcher in the game and a solid hitter too.

1B: Joey Votto

Votto just might be the best hitter in Baseball. He doesn't have the power of Pujols but I'd take his average and RBI potential over a few more Homers any day.

2B: Robinson Cano

No one mashes at Second Base like Cano. He's also got a great glove.

3B Miguel Cabrera

I was tempted to go with either Wright or Longoria here because of their heightened defense but I just couldn't leave out Miggs.

SS: Starlin Castro

Future superstar. The young Castro has the potential for 15 Homeruns and 30 stolen bases while batting above .300. Yes, Tulo has the power but again, this isn't fantasy.

LF: Ryan Braun


CF: Matt Kemp


RF: Giancarlo Stanton

SOOOO self-explanatory.

Pitching Rotation:

1. Clayton Kershaw

I don't care what anyone says. Kershaw is the best pitcher in Baseball and it's always nice to have a lefty start off your rotation.

2. Justin Verlander

Imagine if you really could have Verlander as your #2 starter? Game over right there.

3. Stephen Strasburg

He'll top 270 strikeouts in a season one day.

4. David Price

I was tempted to go with Cole Hamels here just because he's a little more battle worn but after Price's 2012 season, he earned this spot.

5. Felix Hernandez

Felix is such a work horse that I wanted to swap him and Strasburg but I liked avenge him as the #5 too much to do that.

CL: Craig Kimbrel

This kid is so good, it's scary.

Pretty predictable with all the usual names listed. Molina at Catcher and Castro at Short Stop are the only two where I can see people's opinions differing on.

That's all for today folks.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

30 Clubs, 30 moves.

So this is me running down 1 offseason move from all 30 baseball teams. I'm going to rate each with either a Yay, Nay, or Eh in correspondence to how I feel about the move and the team's decision to make it. I'll try to vary the moves from the biggest splashes to the quieter decisions. If I'm feeling opinionated, I may even write a short blurb about why I've given each that rating.

So here we go, we'll start off with the best division in Baseball.

NL West.


-Signed Zack Greinke to a 6 year/$147MM deal.

EH. Sorry, just don't think he's worth that.


-Giving Brian Wilson the shaft and not bringing him back.

YAY. They won without him and he's nowhere near the elite closer he used to be.


-Handing managerial duties to Walt Weiss

YAY. Walt is a tough and old-fashioned baseball guy. I feel like he'll fit in well with the ROckies and bring something to the table that they've been lacking the past 5 seasons.


-Not trading away Chase Headley.

YAY. Great move by the Pads. Headley could be the face of that franchise if they play their cards right and he keeps mashing.


-Signing Brandon McCarthy for a couple years.

YAY. McCarthy is not only a great pitcher who I think will do very well in the NL (despite playing home games at Chase Field which is a hitter's paradise,) he's also a very likable person that fans can rally behind.

NL Central


-Picking up Shin Soo Choo.

EH. I'm not sold on Choo especially given that the Reds gave up Didi Gregorious for him.


-Letting Kyle Lohse walk

NAY. Chris Carpenter is out for the season (and is calling it a career) so Lohse would have been a big help.


-Putting Russell Martin behind the dish.

NAY. Martin hasn't been anything special since he left Los Angeles and the Pirates are desperate to get to that magical .500.


-Doing pretty much nothing.

NAY. With heavy hitters like the Reds and the Cards in their division, the Brew Crew doesn't stand a chance unless they start making moves.


-Grabbing Edwin Jackson for 4 years.

YAY.  The Cubs rotation looks a little better than most people expected.

NL East


-Picking up Rafael Soriano.

EH. He's good but I feel like they should give their in house guys a shot. Either way, Soriano will perform and won't have those Storen/Clippard shaky nerves.


-Trading for Justin Upton

YAY. I remain one of Upton's biggest supporters and feel like he'll put up MVP type numbers playing next to his bro in Atlanta


-Trading away R.A. Dickey

YAY. Dickey is an awesome story and won't repeat his 2012 campaign. The Mets did the right thing by getting rid of him and got an impressive haul in return.


-Trading away everyone.

NAY. They panicked and Loria alienated their already slim fan base. They did get some good players in return but the negative backlash wasn't worth it especially when you consider their lineup if they hadn't sent all their talent away.


-Bringing in Ben Revere

EH. Not a huge game changer. I predict the Phightin' Phils will Phail.

AL West

ANAHEIM ANGELS (I refuse to put Los Angeles in front of their name.)

-Signing Ryan Madson (thought I was going the Josh Hamilton route, didn't you? Nope!)

NAY. After robbing the Reds last year of a season's salary and not playing a single game, Madson is now likely to rob the Angels and start the season on the DL...again. I just don't understand this move, especially when they have Ernesto Frieri who was lights out for them in the closer role last year.


-Bringing Hiroyuki Nakajima over from Japan

EH. I don't see him making a significant impact.


-Signing Lance Berkman

YAY. Berkman is old but in a DH role, I can see his bat working well in Texas


-Changing their Logo and Jersey's

YAY. Their new look is pretty Badass.


-Locking up Felix Hernandaz for the next 7 years.

YAY. Felix is a beast and probably the 3rd best pitcher in the game.

AL Central


-Letting A.J. Pierzynski walk

YAY. No way A.J. repeats his 2012 numbers at his age.


-Signing Torii Hunter

YAY/EH. Torii is good but he's getting up their in age.


-Giving Nick Swisher money

NAY. Swisher is good but he's my least favorite player in all of baseball and this NAY is in no way biased at all.


-Trading away Wil Myers

NAY. Kid's going to be a future star. Didn't get enough in return for him at all


-Getting rid of Ben Revere

NAY. I like Revere and his stolen bases.

AL East


-Sticking with Ichiro.

YAY. The guy is a Hall of Famer and still has a good year or two left in him.


-Giving Buck Showalter more years.

YAY. Showalter is exactly the kind of manager you'd want and Baltimore is lucky to have him. He'll be a huge asset and will lead the Orioles to more October baseball.


-Becoming the Miami Marlins

YAY. Their trade with Miami instantly made them contenders. They gave up quite the haul but I feel like they got the better end of the deal.


-Extending Evan Longoria

YAY. Longo is a top tier 3rd basemen and still young enough to warrant the length of this extension


-Bringing Shane Victorino on board.

NAY. This does nothing for them right now and feels like they're just wasting money when they could have brought on cheaper talent or promoted minor league guys and had the same effect.

So there it is. My thoughts on the Diamond covered in Dirt and the teams that occupy your hearts.

Friday, February 22, 2013

My 2013 predictions based on nothing whatsoever.

So these are my 2013 standing and playoff predictions. I used no real method of prediction and based them purely off of gut feeling. It's an extremely advanced form of science that you probably wouldn't understand. Very accurate though. So here you go!

1. Toronto Blue Jays
2. New York Yankees
3. Baltimore Orioles
4. Boston Red Sox
5. Tampa Bay Rays

1. Detroit Tigers
2. Cleveland Indians
3. Kansas City Royals
4. Chicago White Sox
5. Minnesota Twins

1. Los Angeles Angels
2. Texas Rangers
3. Seattle Mariners
4. Oakland Athletics
5. Houston Astros

1. Washington Nationals
2. Atlanta Braves
3. New York Mets
4. Philadelphia Phillies
5. Miami Marlins

1. Cincinnati Reds
2. Pittsburgh Pirates
3. St. Louis Cardinals
4. Milwaukee Brewers
5. Chicago Cubs

1. Los Angeles Dodgers
2. Arizona Diamondbacks
3. San Francisco Giants
4. San Diego Padres
5. Colorado Rockies

1. New York Yankees
2. Texas Rangers

1. Atlanta Braves
2. Arizona Diamondbacks


Angels over Blue Jays
Rangers over Tigers

Nationals over Reds
Dodgers over Braves

Angels over Rangers

NLCS Winner
Dodgers over Nationals


Dodgers vs. Angels


The Los Angeles Dodgers! (Weird how that worked out)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

All great Adventures must come to an end.

So I’m a little late in getting my Day 3 recap out because I honestly struggled with how best to sum this entire experience. My trip is over and I’m pretty bummed. This has been one of the most exciting, rewarding and blurry 3 days of my life. How can I sum up a span of time that has honestly changed you for the better? And let me be clear, while the experiences and the things I got to do and see were beyond anything in my dreams, it was the people that I connected, laughed and cried with, that I will miss the most. There were 30 of us. I didn’t think it was possible but those 29 other people, I now consider my extended family. We all bonded over this. It was a unique experience that only a handful of people alive can say they’ve gone through. I know it sounds cliché but no matter where life takes any of us, we’ll always have Arizona.

Now on to Day 3. Let’s just do this pretty straight forward so you can get on with your day.

I knew that Day 3 was going to be awesome; I just had no idea of how awesome. Because my team won trivia the previous night, we all got to be on the local Fox morning news. We had to wake up much earlier than the rest of the Fan Cave 20 but it was all worth it and pretty rad!

And here’s the link to check the spot.

After we got back, we wandered around a little bit and waited for the rest to rise up and grab breakfast. Then it was time to get the show on the road. We’d been told that we were being split up into 3 groups and each group would travel to a different spring training facility where we had some sort of challenge to accomplish. So we all hopped on our bus and got our assignment.

My group was headed to Surprise Stadium. It’s the spring training home of the Rangers and Royals. We were then informed that the group on the bus was going to be split in half and one would go to the Rangers side and the other would go to the Royals side. They put us in our smaller groups and my group got the Rangers side. I commenced to squeal like a little girl. I pondered what incredible surprises awaited us at Surprise Stadium. I had no idea that what was to come would shatter anything I could have hoped for.

We arrived and this was where the Fan Cave Challenge kicked in. My team (6 people) had to film two videos for We had 1 hour to do so and believe me it was hectic. We were all told that there would be some awesome thing that was coming for us at the stadium when we were done and I was anxious to see what it was. 

We finished up recording and then we ate lunch. I decided that my group needed a little extra entertainment while they ate.

After we were done, they told us to huddle around as someone wanted to come say hi. In the distance we saw a man walking towards us and then Bam! George Brett walked right up to us in full Royals gear. He talked to all of us about where we were from and I had a special moment with him as I was wearing my Dodgers cap and he grew up as a Dodgers fan. It was fantastic and I was at a loss for words. Then we got to go onto the field and watch Alex Gordon, Jeff Francouer and George Brett film a short sketch about pine tar. After they were done, they hung out and took pictures with all of us. They were 3 of the nicest people I’ve ever met and George Brett is crazy!

We got back to the hotel and had about 3 hours to kill before our last hurrah. I wandered around and took a short nap. Our final mixer was a catered dinner at the Lucky Strike bowling alley. It was a classy-casual event and I decided that this was a Bow Tie occasion!

We had our own private room at Lucky Strike. Everyone from the Fan Cave 30 and all of the MLB people were there. Maybe 50 of us in all. The food was amazing, the bowling was fun and the drinks were free. Everyone’s spirits were running high and you could feel the happiness in the room. It was absolutely incredible and I was blown away by MLB’s hospitality.

When we finally had to shut it down, we decided that this was our last night together and we weren’t about to let it end! We all ended up in one of our rooms and had a blast.

So that’s it. The trip and experience of a lifetime. I’m honestly depressed just writing this. It was so far beyond anything I could ever describe or explain. The people I met were some of the most genuine and caring human beings on the planet. We were a small group who bonded over Baseball and connected through the Fan Cave. I want to say Thank You to Major League Baseball and the Fan Cave team for all of the amazingly hard work you did and hospitality you showed me. Hope to see you all again in New York.