New Year… New Opportunity

2014-12-31_13.22.23

The new and (hopefully) improved Dodgers are getting ready for a new season.  Andrew Friedman  and company wasted no time changing the roster to fit their idea of a highly functional team.  Rather than spend recklessly on new talent,  the new front office have used the team’s financial clout to get rid of the dead wood without worrying about how much money they were paying players to play elsewhere.  I guess that is called addition by subtraction.

Rather than heaping millions on has-beens a la Ned Colletti,  the new guys seem to have a more rigorous approach to their due diligence.  This year’s Dodgers will have a much better defense that should play well with the ground ball inducing pitchers they have added.  Home runs will probably be less this year, although if you believe the 2015 Bill James Projections,  the new guys will add quite a bit of pop.

In any  case,  this should be an interesting year.

Happy New Year everybody!

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136 Responses to New Year… New Opportunity

  1. kahliforni says:

    I’ll open the new post with, “fix the TV deal for 2015!”

  2. trublu4ever says:

    Happy New Year …… They supposedly are working on the TV deal. But, we shall see. I think this team will be pretty good. I also think they aren’t through wheeling and dealing quite yet.

  3. zonadodger says:

    Happy New Year….It will be interesting to see if they go after Scherzer or Shields? Or is the rotation set

      • Dodger4life says:

        One would assume that they can’t keep throwing money away and continue to pay an enormous luxury tax…

      • enchantedbeaver says:

        Happy New Year everyone! Once again we all know what the hope is for the team in 2015.

        IF the starting staff stays healthy for a majority of the season it should be the class of the NL. Anderson’s a sleeper and could actually be the team’s #3 if he can stay healthy. McCarthy will certainly be better than most any other team’s 4 or 5 starter.

        Zaidi mentions Wieland and Bolsinger by name as the starter depth, which leads me to believe they’ve soured on Zach Lee. Ned should’ve sold high on Lee when it was apparent he wasn’t what we were led to believe, but I think the new regime holds onto him in case Uribe or Rollins go down early and we need a trade chip. If we get to mid-season and Rollins goes down, then I’m positive we’ll see Seager.

        I also don’t see them moving Dre until the situation is right, if it even becomes right. If Pederson can’t prove in ST that he is the CFer, then Dre makes the team. If Joc does grab the reins and rides, then Dre gets traded when the inevitable injury happens in ST to some teams OFer and they need a ML ready guy to step in [enter Dre.] That’s the only way I see them getting any value at all for him.

        Should be an interesting season.

        • Dodger4life says:

          I enjoyed the assessment enchanted…
          .
          Your thoughts on the inevitable injury did however, thrust an image into my twisted mind of Crawford blowing out a knee miss-playing a deep fly-ball at Camelback Ranch.

          • trublu4ever says:

            But highly possible!

          • Dodger4life says:

            8 minutes…what took ya’ so long tru…I hope you aren’t reeling from last nights celebration…My smiley face function is broken, or I would of just went with that…
            .
            Again
            Happy 2015 Everyone…

          • trublu4ever says:

            🙂 I was so cold last night, after we came home from dinner, I put my warm jammies on and bundled up under three blankets. Not very festive at all. But, I’m ready for some good football today.

          • Dodger4life says:

            Insert smiley face…

            Enjoy the football today.

  4. oldbrooklynfan says:

    I’m somewhat disappointed that it doesn’t look like we’ll go for some of the top available pitchers but if this is how we go, Happy 2015.

  5. griz says:

    Happy 2015, everyone. Is this our year?

  6. lbirken says:

    It does not look as if the Dodgers are going after high profile pitchers, preferring to spread the money around on players with baggage. The new Dodger brain trust seems willing to risk signing players with whom they have some previous connection that have well known “baggage”. Haven’t we been through this before?

    • Dodger4life says:

      What did the Dodgers pay in luxury tax this year…doesn’t this increase if they continue to add…I’m not a numbers guy and have no idea how to juggle the money…but, I doubt it’s realistic to think they have unlimited funds…Changes needed to made [just my opinion], the line-up was weak on the back end…and the front end, seemed to be less than focused everyday…How many times did they have bases loaded and pull up a big fat zero…enough to say that the entire team was lackadaisical if you ask me…From what I’ve read, Rollins and Kendrick are solid leaders…akin to Kershaw and A.J…I have to think that if the nerds, I call Indiana Jones…can run a money market successfully…they can figure out, how to check all the balances of our roster…They’ll add when it makes good business sense…just more of my twisted thinking…which also makes me think Crawford gets traded before Dre.

  7. kahliforni says:

    Pac 12 vs. Big 12 for the trophy…just like a good old-fashioned Rose Bowl!!! As for the Dodgers, at the risk of sounding redundant, show me a new TV deal before I can muster excitement for 2015.

    • lbirken says:

      I know you meant Big 10. And I agree, the Dodgers and Time Warner need to find a way to make sure a fair TV deal is completed. I would consider this a big fail if it is not done.

      • kahliforni says:

        I do…but with the Big 10 now 14 schools, I lost track. How awesome is it that Oregon plays OSU? And with Harbaugh now at Michigan, perhaps the Big 10 will rise to its previous glory. But I’m rooting for Oregon…and the new TV deal?!?!?!??!!?!?!?!?!? And, oh yeah, go Bruins. Keep the Pac 10 dominance alive this new year.

  8. oldbrooklynfan says:

    After today it’s back to baseball. Hope the holidays were great for everybody.

  9. zonadodger says:

    RIP Stuart Scott….Can’t even count how many times i watched him on SC…..Booyah

    • JhallWally says:

      My thoughts and prayers go out to Stuart and his family….
      I thought he was one of their better personalities…..

  10. griz says:

    Interesting match-up with Oregon and Ohio St. Oregon was able to take it easier later in the game while Ohio St was in more of a slug match. I think you have to favor the Ducks with their speed and fast pace, but I didn’t think OSU could beat Alabama either. Should be good.

    • lbirken says:

      I have watched Oregon play a number of times, mostly on TV but in person against UCLA and I marvel at how fast the Ducks play and how quickly they move the ball. This system has done well with turnover of both players and coaches. In the past the Ducks have had problems with teams that can match the speed of the players on the field. Of course, anything can happen, especially on a neutral field. Hopefully it will be a good, exciting game.

  11. Dodger4life says:

    Edinson Volquez just signed a guaranteed 20 million dollar contract [K.C.] and although I can’t say for sure, I don’t think Ned was involved…

  12. oldbrooklynfan says:

    Just waiting around to see who got into the Hall of Fame.

    • crash24now says:

      HOF: Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz, and Craig Biggio.

      Just missed: Mike Piazza with votes on 69.9% of ballots (need 75%).

  13. messagebear says:

    I know there’s a lot of interest in Piazza, but I’ve never seen him as worthy of the HOF, nor Wills for that matter. Hodges, YES, but that story is behind us.

    • enchantedbeaver says:

      Piazza’s a dick, but given his position and the numbers he put up I really think he should’ve gotten in first ballot. I don’t lose any sleep over who gets in or not though. Its all subjective and to the whims of the writers, most of whom have their own agendas.

    • kahliforni says:

      I remember his statement a few years back that he’d want to go in as a Met, not a Dodger. He got his little feelings hurt when Fox sent him packing. Instant karma, Mike. And that’s not even counting the “innuendos” out there.

      • oldbrooklynfan says:

        IMO Piazza belongs in the HoF, he’s always been a favorite of mine. I’ll never get over the Dodgers trading him away and I don’t blame him for the way he feels about it.
        Pedro was just another very bad move the team’s made.

  14. griz says:

    I was surprised by Sheffield’s low numbers. I do not get worked up by who does or does not get into the hall, and he doesn’t seem to deserve more consideration than the other former Dodgers, but his numbers seem really low.

  15. messagebear says:

    On another subject I’ve noted the speculation about the Rams’ possible return to LA and the new stadium plans. On first look it could simply be another NFL ploy to pressure a city (St. Louis in this case) to come up with public funds to finance a new stadium for the Rams where they are presently. Not being from LA I personally don’t care if there’s an NFL franchise there or not, but if there is to be one I don’t want the Guggenheims or McCourt to benefit from that in any event – so don’t even suggest that a new stadium be built anywhere near Dodger Stadium.

  16. griz says:

    I became a die hard Rams fan during the Norm Van Brocklin and Crazy Legs Hirsch era, collecting football cards with the rest of my grade school buds, but when the went off to St Louis, the light went out. Since the Raiders trained at our old jr high, I briefly backed them until they went back where they belong. If the Rams come back, maybe I can have a favorite pro team again.

  17. oldbrooklynfan says:

    It looks like, but you never can be sure with this group, the Dodgers are finished making any major moves. I hope they surprise us by going after one of the top pitchers that are still available.

  18. griz says:

    Can’t forget Arnett. He actually was our favorite. Lots of names come to mind, though: Tank Younger, Touchdown Tommy Wilson, Les Richter to name a few. Duane Putnum.

  19. enchantedbeaver says:

    I see where Donnie says that, “Jimmy [Rollins] is a true leadoff hitter.”

    Good grief, does he even look at OBPs?

  20. lbirken says:

    Rollins may not have the greatest OBPs but perhaps because he uses the whole field better than Gordon will be a plus.

    Of more interest to me are the comments Donnie made about how the roster now is more of a team than last year. Were Kemp and Ramirez really that much of a problem? I see also where Donnie was consulted on all the roster moves. Interesting.

    • oldbrooklynfan says:

      Most of this, seem to state that, before this off season, the team was not much of a team. Which I find very puzzling. All I can say is, getting back to the post season is now more of a MUST.

      • 32and53fan says:

        All we usually see, as fans, is the player on his best behavior during an interview for a media outlet spewing the same old baseball clichés. We don’t know how he is while out of public view or listening range, in the clubhouse or dugout. It is probable that the manager, coaches and players see the nasty side of certain players, who may not agree with the way in which they are managed.

  21. griz says:

    I think there must be a bit of truth to the account of Kemp’s tirade and behavior after being moved from center, so I think he fell into that category. Too bad. We’ll miss his bat.

    • oldbrooklynfan says:

      All we can hope for is that all these changes will help the team move further in the post season, at least to the World Series.

    • kahliforni says:

      If I was a Dodgers player, I’d have been traded or released by now after telling Mattingly he’s a hack.

      • messagebear says:

        I only wish that Matt would have taken one good shot in the mouth to Mattingly – then the trade would have been worth it.

        • enchantedbeaver says:

          This has to be the “make or break” season for Donnie 2X. Consult him all you want on deals, its still going to come down to cutting it in the dugout in game. If he fails (and I’m 90% sure he will), he and the rest of the staff get their walking papers.

          Only thing I can think of is he’s whined about how bad the clubhouse was because of Matt and Hanley and they’re giving Donnie the benefit of the doubt one more season.

  22. messagebear says:

    Dugout composure and player deportment may be a fun thing to contemplate, but I fail to see how that played any part in the Dodgers’ performance on the field? I’d like to hear somebody’s take on the two or three players who could be considered as the best clubhouse guys and then compare their RBI’s or whatever to Matt’s and Hanley’s for instance. Complaining that Donnie can’t control his clubhouse is one thing, but that is the smallest of reasons why I want him fired sooner rather than later. He never should have been there in the first place, not as the manager. Besides, how much influence can any manager have these days with players that are making untold millions of dollars for playing the game, plus many million more in endorsements, etc. A player these days is either producing or not, so the clubhouse element is more or less bullshit.

    • oldbrooklynfan says:

      I tend to agree, Bear, but, as usual, we’ll just have to see what will take place on the field.

    • kahliforni says:

      “They” claim Mattingly handled the fractured clubhouse like a genius, but then turn around and say Kemp was pissed because of the way Mattingly handled, or mishandled, his demotion from centerfield. I’m not saying Kemp shouldn’t have been moved to rightfield, I’m saying Mattingly handled it with his typical, less-than-stellar communication skills. Torre clone to the end. So now Kemp’s a Padre because Mattingly can’t man up and talk to Kemp like a mentor. Too weird. And they even blew out Hillman (no great loss) to create a safety net in Wallach. What’s next for Mattingly, a binky and hot cocoa?

      • enchantedbeaver says:

        Seems to me the Yankees and A’s won an awful lot of pennants and championships with fractured clubhouses in the 70s.

        I’d have preferred Donnie punch out a marshmallow salesman and win something more than the division than be a calming influence in the clubhouse.

  23. messagebear says:

    Got to remember to congratulate jhall on Ohio state’s impressive win for the college championship. It was an exciting game and an impressive win, especially when you consider that the final part of the season was engineered by someone not highly touted, but rated as the third string QB at the beginning of the season. I don’t really watch much college football, or football at any level for that matter, but this game was worth it. Hope you’re recovering well from the celebration, my friend.

    • JhallWally says:

      Thanks alot Bear…. I am glad you enjoyed the game. It was exciting…. It is incredibly sweet considering what we had to battle thru….. I wish Urban Meyer was the Dodger Manager… Has to be one of the all time best coaching performances of all time.. LOL!!!! Thanks again and take care my friend….

  24. griz says:

    Yeah, Jhall, that was an impressive performance, to say the least. Which of these very capable young men will start at quarterback next year and be the early on Heisman candidate next year? A good problem to have, but it seems familiar somehow.

  25. griz says:

    I was glad when they beat Alabama. Maybe this will help the writers get over their love affair with that team. I wasn’t necessarily pulling for the Ducks, I was hoping for a more even game. Ohio
    State’s interior linemen took care of that.

  26. lbirken says:

    While we would probably all agree a manager or coach needs to have the players, there must be a reason some managers or coaches seem to win more than others. We know some win even when they may not have the most talented players and we all know the players do not have to “get along” with one another for the team to be successful. It probably helps if they do but it is not a requirement as long as egos are checked at the door. Did that happen with the Dodgers last season? Did Hanley check his ego at the door? Did Kemp? Does Donnie even have an ego? Clearly Ethier checked his and maybe that is why he is still a Dodger and Kemp and Hanley are not.

  27. Dodger4life says:

    It’s hard to say what transpired in the locker room in 2014…We’ve heard bits and pieces of it being anywhere from dysfunctional to just different. I know Hanley claimed with his goodbye tweet that Donnie was the best. It would now seem as if Kemp thinks otherwise…
    .
    I can’t help but think back to how poorly these guys played for the first 60 games in 2014…I don’t think I’ve witnessed sloppier baseball. Sure they won 93 games…but, a lot of that credit can be given to the front end of the pitching staff…even Beckett and Haren had some good quality stretches.

    How many times did the offense have the bases loaded…only to come up empty. It also seemed that more than usual, when the front of the line-up managed to get on base, the back end couldn’t bring them around to score. It also worked the other way too, when the back end of the line-up managed to start something, the front end would fail at bringing ’em around to score.
    .
    Both Hanley and Kemp when happy, plus healthy, are among the leagues best offensive players. I would assume by sheer talent alone they were two of the more looked upon guys when leadership was needed. I think if anything, we are going to see a team that plays with better energy in 2015. I think the players who will be looked upon as leaders, will display a more mature attitude…which will cut down on the high one minute, low the next…and even out the clubs demeanor each game. Not to mention the team is more balanced with it’s new set-up.
    .
    Do I think they can win 93 games again…I do. The pitching staff should be a strength again…The bullpen should be stronger…The line-up isn’t as reliant on certain players…
    .
    Will Donnie make mistakes…most likely. Will he make these mistakes in the post season [should they get there, as I believe they will]…not if he wants to manage the team in 2016…

    • kahliforni says:

      Donnie would not be my first choice to choreograph situational baseball. Probably not by second, third, or fourth, either.

    • 32and53fan says:

      I don’t think Hanley and Kemp are leaders. Jimmy Rollins and Ellis are leaders.

    • oldbrooklynfan says:

      Although the bullpen was the main reason the team couldn’t get passed the NLDS, the rest of the team, maybe excluding Ellis, played rather poorly in the postseason. Not unusually, the team was a much better team in the regular season winning 94 (not 93) games and stood an excellent chance of doing much better. You could say they choked, but who’s to really know?
      Whether what took place in the clubhouse had anything to do with what happened to Matt and Hanley, you have to admit we lost a lot of offense and whether the team is at least as strong as it was only time will tell.

      • 32and53fan says:

        Two words… clutch hitting. In those RISP situations, a well placed single or a double down the line or into the gap works almost as good as a home run. I’ll take my chances with Rollins and Kendrick in those at bats. They should have less chance of striking out on a low and away slider 8″ off the plate than Mr. Padre.

  28. kahliforni says:

    Article in this morning’s LA TImes about the TV debacle. Get ready for Part II, no TV. Dodgers say they have no interest in renegotiating the deal, and merger problems between Time/Warner and Comcast have hit federal delays. Ahhhh, the fan experience… Greed is a beautiful thing.

    • lbirken says:

      Kahli, I saw that article and thought of you and all the other frustrated fans. I can understand Direct TV’s position and I have no idea if the Dodgers had any inclinations about the mergers when the deal was struck with Time Warner. However, I refuse to believe the Dodgers can do nothing to resolve the situation. Time Warner made a bad deal, to be sure. Business deals should benefit all parties. This one benefits only the Dodgers.

      • trublu4ever says:

        Except for the Dodger games, from what I have heard, TWC really sucks as a provider. I also think it stinks that they didn’t do a better job of contracting for we, the customers. I have had Extra Innings on Directv and, although I don’t receive 24 hour coverage of the Dodgers, I do get the games.

      • kahliforni says:

        I know you saw this quote, but it speaks to the “empathy” of the Dodgers brass:

        (Mark( Walter said the Dodgers have no interest in renegotiating their $8.35-billion deal with TWC, rejecting suggestions that the team should take less money in the hope that more providers would carry the channel at a lower price.

        “We’re not talking about widows and orphans on the three sides of this transaction,” Walter said.

        • lbirken says:

          I did see that quote and found it disappointing. I thought Walter had more class than that. I still love the Dodgers but long for the days when ownership actually cared about the fans. Or was that a myth as well?

          In the meantime the Dodgers signed all the arbitration eligible players who clearly are not “widows or orphans” either.

  29. lbirken says:

    I do find it sad that we still are talking negatively about Dodger ownership and the fact that every Facebook posting about Dodger news is filled with comments complaining about the TV situation.

  30. zonadodger says:

    Looks like Scherzer going to Nats

  31. zonadodger says:

    wow 7 yr deal….To much imo

    • JhallWally says:

      Yep, Zona, they will regret making this deal… Unless they win it all next year or the next…. I guess that is what they are going for… Good Luck….

      • enchantedbeaver says:

        We got Erik Bedard though, so it all evens out.

        Like ’em, hate ’em, but this move by the Guggs front office in no better than a Ned signing – pathetic and un-needed.

        • oldbrooklynfan says:

          I never expected the Dodgers to sign Scherzer but it sure would’ve put the icing on this off season cake.
          I don’t know if the Dodgers are any better or worse than last season but some of the other teams sure look better.

  32. messagebear says:

    Better or worse? It basically has to come down to whether Rollins and Kendrick can match the numbers that Hanley and Matt produced. You may think that the bullpen has improved, but nobody will know that until we get through next season – on the paper means little, and I don’t see any particular improvement there. I don’t see where the starting pitching is much better. So far I don’t buy the hype with Friedman and Zaidi, but at least not having Ned in the forefront is a good sign. If Mattingly was gone also, I’d be ready to cheer. Of course, I always hate the Guggenheim bastards, and I think the extremely high payroll days are over, so we’ll see how that plays out.

    • kahliforni says:

      Until this team gets a TV deal that the entire fan base can enjoy, the Guggs are nothing more to me than high-end investors.

      • lbirken says:

        Does not look good for this to happen. I am a big Dodger fan and will follow the team regardless but this is a huge public relations problem. I know there was a time when few L.A. Dodger games were televised but to not have any games even on local broadcast TV just does not sit well. But apparently the Dodgers are willing to place all the blame elsewhere. Somehow I am not convinced.

  33. JhallWally says:

    These are not the beloved Dodgers we grew up with in the 50’s, 60’s, and 70,s…. Back then you had pretty much the same team year in and year out.. Now days, half the team is different every year…. It is hard to get really into it as I was back in the aforementioned decades…. I still follow and root for my Dodgers, but, it’s not like the old days…

    • messagebear says:

      EXACTLY!

      • oldbrooklynfan says:

        I also agree, it’s sad to see those good old days gone. Now you can never be sure how long a player will be with the team.
        It seems that who ever they can get the best deal for is the first to go. They’re more interested in giving qualifying offers than to try to hold on to someone. Sometimes I wonder how long Kershaw will be around. You never can be sure.

    • enchantedbeaver says:

      Mid 70’s when free agency reared its ugly head is when baseball went from being a pastime to being a big business.

      And I agree, its much harder to be more than a casual observer nowadays when anyone lasting more than 6 years with the same team is a rare commodity. The continuity just isn’t there anymore.

  34. griz says:

    You guys are right again. I looked at the Dodger site the other day and saw Cey, Baker, Garvey and Smith in front of the score board with “30” on it. What would you give to have them back in their prime for five years?

  35. lbirken says:

    It has not been “the good old days” for a long, long time but it still amazes how many people identify with the Dodgers of the 70’s who would have a hard time telling you anyone on the roster today not named Puig or Kershaw. The frustrating thing to me is how close those teams came to winning but didn’t until the end of the run in 1981. It was as if the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 50’s haunted the Dodgers of the 70’s.

    To be fair, the era before free agency meant the owners actually owned something and had they been a bit more generous and had a “big picture” mentality, perhaps the effects of free agency would not have been so profound. As it is the stingy owners of that era morphed into the spendthrift owners of the current era.

    • kahliforni says:

      All I know is that when I was at UCLA in the early 70s, we could hop on the freeway any night we desired, buy a GA seat up top for $3, and sit anywhere we damn well pleased up there. Because we always sat to the far 1st base side, anyone going could always find whoever else made the journey that night. Professional sports has been handed to the corporations. That’s the biggest difference and the biggest bummer.

      • JhallWally says:

        I hear you Kahli.. I used to go to River Front Stadium in Cincinnati back in the 70’s…. I remember paying $5.50 for a ticket to a Friday night doubleheader… Scheduled…. Against the Dodgers…. The Big Red Machine against our Garvey, Lopes, Cey and Russell Dodgers… It was magnificent…

      • lbirken says:

        I recall those days in the top deck.

  36. kahliforni says:

    With reports today that the TV situation is unlikely to change by Opening Day, I find myself absolutely loathing current Dodger ownership. They overpaid to McCrook, then TW overpaid to them. Corporate carpetbaggers all. And the real loser is Vin Scully who, in the waning days of his storied Dodger career, is cut off from the people who cherish him most.

  37. crash24now says:

    Report: Alex Rodriguez is training with Barry Bonds

    http://ftw.usatoday.com/2015/01/alex-rodriguez-barry-bonds-singularity-training-yankees-mlb

    This article practically writes its own jokes.

  38. messagebear says:

    Frankly, my friends, the discussion here is getting too dull. Obviously there’s not much to talk about. We had a flurry of activity, and nobody knows how well that is going to work out. I’m concluding that we really miss Ned. For all the debacles he created we at least had somebody to kick around. Now it’s like trying to play soccer without a ball. You can’t really do the same with Donnie, at least until the games start. Oh well, another month or two, I guess.

  39. kahliforni says:

    “The Dodgers are in negotiations to sell a minority ownership share to a group of South Korean investors…”

    I know we have talked about this before, but let’s get all of us OTD bloggers to pony up, say, $10 a piece, and buy us a minority share. With our minuscule influence, perhaps we can somehow get McCourt out of the picture, Donnie employed elsewhere, and Vinny back on TV for all!!!!

  40. messagebear says:

    My thinking is that the Guggenheims are looking forward long range, as the businessmen they are. Having spent $2 billion to buy the team, they’ll sell off some minority interest like to the South Koreans to recover some cash; then further out they’ll prepare another portion of the team to sell through an IPO – they’ll probably prime that in the investment community to be worth billions of recovery on their original investment. I don’t know how much $20 or even $50 would buy for OTD bloggers, but frankly we’re all too small time in the Guggenheim game. On the good side, for their investment to grow to some substantial value like that, you’d think we would have to win a World Series or two. On the bad side, owners such as Guggenheims don’t really know baseball and couldn’t care less – it is the business of owning a prominent sports franchise and how you can manipulate it for most profits. Now, I’m not against making profit, but in this situation it’s “fans be screwed” that often becomes the result – like how are we all enjoying the TV broadcasts, or keeping the ticket prices reasonable.

  41. lbirken says:

    After all that has happened with getting rid of McCourt we still are talking about ownership, and not in a good way. Sad.

  42. nedisajerk says:

    RIP Ernie Banks

  43. zonadodger says:

    RIP Ernie Banks..So Sad

  44. kahliforni says:

    I was born in Chicago and left when I was eight-years-old. I’ll always associate those early years with Ernie Banks, Jack Brickhouse, and Hamm’s beer–from the land of sky-blue waters.

  45. oldbrooklynfan says:

    Congrats to the Kershaws

  46. oldbrooklynfan says:

    Ernie Banks was one of our greatest players and Hall of Famers.
    My Condolences to his family, friends and love ones and may he rest in peace.

  47. griz says:

    Mr. Cub. One of the greats.

  48. messagebear says:

    And extinct breed of player and a refreshing delight whether you rooted for the Cubs or the other side. Gone are the days when a player spent his entire career with the same club. That was one for the fans. Is there anybody among the Dodgers in this modern era likely to do the same – doubt it. SAD.

  49. Dodger4life says:

    Ernie Banks was mostly before my time…
    .
    Although, upon reading his wiki-page…
    .
    I see he was a first ballot ”Hall of Fame” inductee as a short-stop/first baseman
    .
    Batting average .274
    Hits 2,583
    Home runs 512
    Runs batted in 1,636

    Teams
    Chicago Cubs (1953–1971)
    Career highlights and awards
    14× All-Star (1955–1960², 1961²–1962², 1965, 1967, 1969)
    2× NL MVP (1958, 1959)
    Gold Glove Award (1960)
    2× NL home run champion (1958, 1960)
    2× NL RBI champion (1958, 1959)

    Chicago Cubs #14 retired

    Major League Baseball All-Century Team
    Member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame
    Induction 1977
    Vote 83.8% (first ballot)
    .
    Rest in Peace, Mr. Sunshine
    Rest in Peace, Mr. Cub

    • I saw the Cubs and Ernie Banks play in the 60’s a few times. The most memorable was an epic doubleheader (yes, Virginia, played back to back). The first game went 17 innings and the second game went 10. Like seeing three games for the price of one. And yes, the Dodgers won both games.

  50. messagebear says:

    On a brighter note I see that our old friend Lilly might be headed for the pen (and I don’t mean the bullpen) as a result of three felony charges for insurance fraud. Gee, they could have added a count of fraud for impersonating a professional baseball player.

    • enchantedbeaver says:

      Christ, he didn’t make enough from what Ned overpaid him that he has to go out and defraud an insurance company?

      • messagebear says:

        You could even say that he learned that from Ned. Just because Ned would pay a $2 million a year player $6 million doesn’t mean that an insurance company will pay off a $4,500 loss with $100,000. Natural mistake for somebody used to Ned’s generosity.

  51. 32and53fan says:

    Adrian Gonzalez likes the new lineup. He thinks it is better suited for the playoffs.

    Dodgers may push hard for Yoan Moncada.

    What do you guys and gals think about adding the 19 year old Cuban?

  52. enchantedbeaver says:

    Don’t know about Cubans. I’d like to add a 19 year old Swedish girl, but my wife won’t let me.

    Somebody needs to tell Adrian they need to get to the playoffs first.

    From what I hear, Moncado and Seager would be a pretty good twosome. Throw in Puig and even an average Pederson and Grandal and you’d have a pretty good long term line-up.

  53. oldbrooklynfan says:

    Our snow storm here in N.Y. is a good sign that the baseball season is right around the corner.

  54. Dodger4life says:

    It’s a little past due…but congrats to the Kershaw’s on their new addition within the family.

  55. oldbrooklynfan says:

    Although we got less than 10 inches of snow here, there was no newspapers delivered to stores and no mail deliveries for two days.
    Maybe I should just say that I could use the rest.

  56. crash24now says:

    Dodgers Regression

    The Dodgers have regressed and signed Erik Bedard, who was last good in 2007. Used to be, they only signed guys who were good in 2009.

  57. crash24now says:

    Looking forward to some great rookie years:

    Joc in 2015 – will he be the starting CF on Opening Day?

    Corey Seager – when will he be up? Will he be converted to help Uribe with 3B in 2015? Or 2016? Or will he replace Rollins at SS in 2016?

    Julio Urias – When does he make his first major league start?

  58. enchantedbeaver says:

    Fortunately I don’t have to worry about this, but the Guggs are charging $20 to park ($10 if you pay in advance.)

    Glad I don’t go to games anymore. Think if I have to see a live game I’ll checkout the high school team.

    • 32and53fan says:

      A few years ago, we stopped for the night in Modesto on the way to Roseville. We attended a Modesto Nuts class A game and enjoyed it more than a game at Dodger Stadium. Seats and parking were cheap. We sat right in back of home plate with a closeup view of the action. I could really see the speed of a fast ball as it hit the catcher’s mitt with a loud pop.

      On the concourse, many local restaurants were either giving free samples or selling their food very inexpensively. There was a nice play area for kids. It felt like being at a family picnic.

      The last time I went to Dodger Stadium was June 8, 2013, when there was a Dodgers vs. Yankees Old Timers game. The giveaway was a 1963 World Series Ring Replica which surprised me with its weight and detailing.
      During the regular game, I almost felt like Manual Noriega in Panama where our military Psych Ops guys were blasting loud music 24/7 outside his compound. For two and a half hours, my senses were bombarded by a never-ending stream of flashing, moving lights, forming letters, which showed commercials on the ribbon display that stretched from foul pole to foul pole, as well as the two main video boards and the other LED boards on the walls. Snippets of rock music, dialed to 11, relentlessly assaulted my ears and brain, interrupted by booming public announcements. With all of that sensory stimulation, it was hard to relax and follow the action on the field.

      I don’t know if there was a directive from Bud Selig and MLB to exploit every opportunity for revenue enhancement, by plastering ads over every suitable spot in the stadium. Most likely it is just a sign of the times, and every ownership group is doing the same.

      While Walter O’Malley was niggardly when it came to broadcasting home games on television, he didn’t raise ticket prices for many years, nor did he create separate prices for different sections on the same levels. He did not cover the outfield walls with ads. There was only the small Union 76 sign over the scoreboard and message board.

      It was easier to be a Dodgers fan back then.

      • enchantedbeaver says:

        My greatest memories of DS were in the 70s – early 80s, which save one game I attended in the 90s that I don’t even recall going to (but my son does), are how I want to remember it. Back when security consisted of an usherette in a straw hat. Back when you had cavernous foul territory. Back when you and your dad or wife or buddy could go see a game on the loge level and maybe spend $25 if that for the tickets, parking and something to eat. Back when Helen Dell was the entertainment, and the most exotic thing on the menu was nachos.

  59. griz says:

    I think what I resent most is the revenue enhancement, with those dumb all star hats and the like. Put some stupid patch on a cap and try to squeeze another $35.

    • 32and53fan says:

      Not to mention different hats and jerseys for practice and whatever else they can come up with as an excuse to add more stuff to sell at a high price.

      I don’t begrudge the MLB or the owners for trying to squeeze every nickel out of the fans. That’s the goal of most businesses. It does, however leave a bad taste in my mouth and shows that they are in it for the love of money, not the love of the game.

  60. griz says:

    I saw Billingsley is with the Phillies now. I wish him well, I guess, but I’m not really sad he’s gone. He lacked something to go along with his talent. Never developed any toughness.

    • oldbrooklynfan says:

      It’s sad as usual to see one our once favorites going to another team. I wish him a lot of luck and as we always say, “Not against us”.

  61. kahliforni says:

    If I start reminiscing about the Dodgers I’ll sound like an old codger, pardon the rhyme. But pro sports has become the playground of dollar-friendly corporations and there’s no turning back the clock. I agree with enchanted and 32and53fan, my attendance at Chavez Ravine has dwindled to maybe one game per…and I don’t miss anything about the brave, new world there. “Tis a shame. Throw in no TV, and what is there to really define being a Dodger fan anymore? I never would have believed all these negative things could happen.

  62. koufax1963 says:

    Hi All: checking in and it seems many here have got the winter blues, not Chicago blues nor Dodgers blues, Nostalgia and sweet memories of the past are great, and it was better back then!, I can only imagine 30 years from now, the new bloggers complaining about the current and remincing about when Magic was an owner and Kershaw was the stud.
    For 2015, Im ready and not sure what to make of the roster.
    each player must excel and execute with a passion, each pitch, each at bat and each fielding chance. Im tired of waiting for that WS!
    I doubt JOC will be on the starting squad, unless he has a hit fest in Spring. Corey back to AAA, unless utility role at SS and 3rd. Urias has a shot, need good pitching.
    Puig has much to deliver with Bat and glove and positive atitude.
    Gordon(92 runs+SB leader), Kemp and Hanley(160 RBIs and 38 HRs) gone, but perhaps others can deliver, Turner, SVS, Rollins, kendrick, uribe and I hope Gonzo doesnt regress and we better have a decent Bullpen! Almost February, report time to ST.
    Im interested in seeing kershaw with Grandal as backstop. AJ is on his way out unless he starts hitting. And what about the fifty shades of Dre? Can crawford stay healthy? Is mccarthy and Anderson better than Beckett and haren, lets hope. and can mattingly manage NL small ball, string some hits, hit and run, bunt the runner over and pick his BP pitchers properly.
    All will be unfolding soon. Go Dodgers!

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