Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Knuckleball

The knuckleball pitch has always been one of my favorites to watch.  When done well, a pitcher can fool the best hitters. There has been some great knuckleball pitchers in baseball history.  Tom Candiotti, Charlie Hough, The Niekro brothers, Tim Wakefield and Hoyt Wilhelm.  The Dodgers had a knuckleballer a few years ago by the name of Charlie Haeger.  There were times when he looked brilliant, but generally he sucked.  Charlie was a non-roster invitee with the Mariners this year.  I don't believe that me made the club.

There are also a few players in baseball history that threw the knuckleball that you may not think of.

Jose Canseco: Pitched 1 inning in his career.  Shortly after that he needed Tommy John surgery.

Wade Boggs: This Hall of Famer pitched 2 1/3 innings in his career.  In 1997, he threw a 17 pitch inning.  16 of the pitches were knuckleballs.  This is a great picture of how to grip the knuckleball.

Want to know how to throw the knuckleball?  Check out this video.  Luckily the guy in the video is a lefty like me!  Sorry if you're a righty.

Vicente Padilla!

This is a great commercial.  Hopefully Vicente gets better soon.  I want to see that soap bubble pitch.

Mariano Rivera, best closer ever?

Check out this video about Mariano Rivera.  I am certainly not a Yankees fan, but this video is pretty cool.  Perhaps Broxton needs to watch this.

Exhibition Game 1 vs Angels

I attended last nights game vs the Angels.  It was definitely nice to see a game at Dodger Stadium again.  I wasn't able to get a picture but I found it annoying that fans are now going to have to go through metal detectors.  As you enter the stadium, security has you put your arms out to the side and they wave a metal detector wand around your body.  If they continue this process, it will take forever to get into the stadium.  Here are some photos from last night.

                                     Ted Lilly warming up in the bullpen
                                   Kuo certainly has an interesting haircut

Clayton was all smiles as usual.  Perhaps after hearing the news of Chad's new contract he is getting anxious to cash in also.
Meet Jerry Sands.  The future starting First Basemen of the Dodgers.  Sorry James, I like you a lot, but Jerry is a beast.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Where are they now? : Jason Repko

Do any of you remember Jason Repko?  I really enjoyed watching Jason play and develop within the Dodgers organization.  He was one of the more fan friendly guys that Ive seen with the Dodgers the last 5 or 6 years.  He may not have been one of the best outfields that we had with the Dodgers, but I could appreciate a guy who came out and busted his butt on the field.  He was fearless in the outfield and had some wheels running the bases.  Jason is now with the Twins.  He battled his way last season with triple A and was with the clup in the latter part of the season.  It appears that he made the opening day roster with the Twins.  Below are his spring stats as of today.

Games- 25 AB- 53 H- 11 R- 5 RBI- 3 SB- 3 CS- 1 BB- 10 SO- 10 AVG- .208 OBP- .344 

Where are they now? : Mariano Duncan

By now if you haven't heard that Davey Lopes is the first base coach of the Dodgers, than you're probably not a true fan.  I was talking to my friend Will today about the Dodgers and he asked me if I knew what Mariano Duncan was doing now.  Well, I did my research and it turns out that Mariano is coaching with the Cubs.  Mariano is the hitting coach with the Tennessee Smokies, the AA affiliate of the Cubs.  Hopefully things work out for him down on the farm.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ivan DeJesus Jr to start at 2B Opening Day?

Rumors are floating around that Ivan DeJesus Jr is going to make the Opening Day roster.  Not only that, but word is that he will be starting at second base, which slides Juan Uribe over to third base.  With Jamey Caroll still catching up because of a finger injury and Casey Blake on the DL, I'm glad to see Ivan get the opportunity.  He was a top prospect for the Dodgers the last few years, but a broken leg in 2009 really set him back.

During Spring Training 2009, Ivan broke his leg during a an early morning "B" game while sliding into home.  He was the Dodgers 2008 minor league player of the year.  He is the son of Ivan DeJesus, who played in the big leagues from 1974-1988.  His dad is now the Third Base Coach with the Chicago Cubs.  Congrats Ivan!  Now you need a lower number, 65 has to go!
Matt Kemp could learn a thing or two from Domingo Ayala!  Maybe Domingo can coach first base with Davey. Its God given.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

This is funny.  Poor Matt Holliday.  Ill never forget this game.
I found this video on YouTube.  I will never forget this game.  Broxton strikes out Soriano and the Dodgers sweep the Cubs in the playoffs.  Watching videos like this one definitely gets me amped up for the season.
Matt Kemp has slimmed down.  Davey Lopes is now coaching first with his stop watch.  Can Matty join the 30/30 Club?  Can he swipe 60 bags?  I can't wait to find out!  Beast Mode!

Through 18 games this spring, Matt is batting .320 Slugging .720 with 5 HR and 16 Hits.  9 out of his 16 hits were for extra bases.  He also has 3 stolen bases out of 4 attempts.  Photo Courtesy of Jon SooHoo

Juan Pierre discussing what Beast Mode is with Matty over a nice blue slushie!  This was taken at Orlando Hudson's charity roller skating event in Northridge back in 09. They were eating pizza from the snack bar since the food at the event sucked.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Where are they now? : Manny Ramirez

I am sure that most Dodgers fans know that Manny is now back in the AL East playing with the Rays.  Even though the Rays have a pretty solid ball club, their attendance sucks.  According to baseball-reference.com, the Rays ranked 22nd in the league in overall attendance last season, averaging only 23,025 per game.  (Dodgers averaged 43,979).

With Carl Crawford gone, I hope for the Rays that Manny will boost attendance and hopefully help that team get a new stadium.  Manny is back to being Manny. For those who still love Manny, The Rays come to Anaheim June 6-8th.

Manny is having a really good spring.  Stats are below.

Games- 17 AB- 40 H- 14 R- 6 HR- 3 RBI- 9 BB- 4 SO- 5 AVG- .350 OBP- .404 SLG- .625

Where are they now? : Ronald Belisario

Where is Ronnie?  It is mind blowing to think that a young guy with so much talent can just ruin his chances to be in the big leagues.  So many guys would give anything to have a chance to make the 25 man roster.  Where is Ronnie?  Ahhh, who cares.  Whats that, Kuo?  Not on the roster?  Monestarios and Kuo cant seem to find him.  Heck, his own agent can't either.

Where are they now? : Orlando Hudson

I'm sure many Dodgers fan miss seeing the O-Dawg in Dodger Blue.  I know I certainly do.  After having an injury plagued season with the Twins last year, he has moved south to "The Whale's Vagina" San Diego.  Attention Dodgers fans- save yourself the time and don't bother asking him to sign anything Dodgers related.  The O-Dawg is still bitter.  He will say no!  He is a really nice guy, I had to opportunity of attending a charity even that he help when he was with the Dodgers.  He is just bitter about Belliard taking his spot in the playoffs.  Below is his spring state line as of today.  (Not bad)

Games- 13 AB- 37 H-13 R- 6 HR- 1 RBI- 6 BB- 3 SO-7 SB-1 CS- 0 AVG- .351 OBP- .400

Where are they now? : Russell Martin


I am sure if you were to ask Dodgers fans about Russell Martin, you're going to get a mixed review.   Love him or hate him, we have to get over that and realize he is gone.  If you followed the news regarding his departure, it seemed weird that he accepted a contract similar to what the Dodgers offered him.  I am sure there is more to the story than the casual fan knows, so we will leave it at that.  Ive had the chance to talk to Russ on several occasions, not just at games, but outside the ball park, and I will say that he is one of the nicest guys you will meet.  Granted, he looks like a D-bag wearing Ed Hardy and all that Hollywood crap, but he truly is a great guy.  Very humble and very open to answering questions.  I wish him the best in New York!  Here is his spring stat line as of today.

Games- 14  AB- 36  H- 8  R- 7  HR-1  BB- 7  SO- 3  SB- 1  CS- 0  AVG- .222 OBP- . 349

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

2011 Topps Heritage

For you baseball card collectors, the 2011 Topps Heritage were just released.  I haven't seen then in Target yet, but I did just order a box from Topps.com.  This years set is based on the 1962 Topps set.  These cards look great and will look even better autographed.  Dodgers that were included in the set are: Clayton Kershaw, Juan Uribe, Matt Kemp,Ted Lilly, Jon Garland, Don Mattingly, Hideki Kuroda, Casey Blake,  Jonathan Broxton,  Chad Billingsley, Andre Ethier, James Loney, Rafael Furcal, Kenley Jansen and Russell Mitchell.  Props to Russ and Kenley for getting their rookie cards!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Opening Day!

Opening day 2011 is right around the corner. After a dismal 2010 campaign, I am anxious to get the season started.  Hopefully with a healthy pitching staff led my Kershaw and our batting lineup led by Ethier and a slimmed down Matt Kemp, the Dodgers will be back to their winning ways.