Sorry for the lack of posts

Sorry I haven’t been posting. I have two main reasons for that.

One…

My computer bit the dust in February. My brother’s friend has it right now but no guarantees on it being fixed any time soon. And since I’m slowly (like a snail) saving  up for a Mac, I probably won’t have a lap top any time soon.

Two…

I haven’t been to any games this season, unless you include the one exhibition game. With my work schedule and the lack of mid-week day games, I won’t be going to as many games as before. I’d be lucky to get to more than a dozen.

Hopefully I’ll get to go to the Javvy Guerra signing on Saturday. We’ll see. I’ll try to post about that if I can.

In loving memory

Since I work week nights, I don’t get to go to any more weeknight Dodger games. Instead, I go on day games during the week and games on Saturdays. In less than twelve hours, I will be attending my first game of the year. One of the things I look forward to is seeing all my Dodger friends and the employees.

Sadly, while I was at work, I received a text from one of my season ticket holder friends bearing bad news. The very first Dodger usher who befriended me passed away this offseason.

Dodger games will never be the same again. Ernie was always one of the first ushers I’d see, since he worked in section 49 in the field level. He always had a big smile and a big hug for me. He’d greet me with a big, “LINDAAAAAA!”

The first time I met him, my friend Cat gave me her seat since she got a ticket in the baseline section. She told Ernie to take good care of me. He came down in between innings as all ushers do. During one of those trips, he brought me some napkins, saying he saw me eating my hot dog with all that ketchup on it.

Another fond memory is the night I got hit by a baseball before the game even started. One of the grounds crew guys (who I later befriended) threw a ball into the stands and I didn’t see it coming until it hit me in the mouth. I was making my way up the aisle and Ernie met me halfway. He saw what happened and was coming down to see if I was okay.

That’s Ernie. Big heart and a kind, caring person. He always checked on me to see if I was okay whenever I sat in his section.

He will be greatly missed.

A Night with the Kershaws

More details and a summary to come later.

Here are some photos to tide you over.

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I have some plans for the blog this year. Hopefully I’ll be able to start writing again. I’ve already written three entries in my personal journal. Hopefully that means I’ll be writing again in general.

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I’ll post some more photos hopefully tomorrow… no promises…

Tony Gwynn Jr. @ St. Vincent de Paul’s

It was announced a while back that Tony Gwynn Jr. was going to do an autograph appearance on June 18th. Well, then I heard on the radio during a game that Gwynn was going to be doing another appearance on the 17th at St. Vincent De Paul’s. I figured it was going to be sponsored by KABC since it was advertised on KABC. You know me. I always prefer the KABC sponsored events over the Dodger sponsored events. On top of that, St. Vincent’s is less than 5 minutes from my house! I even contemplated walking… good thing I chose to drive instead.

Since it was so close and the Friday crowds are relatively small… I didn’t leave my house until 9. I got there around 9:15 and there were about 5 – 8 people in front of me. The first person in line was Mike, who I met at the Broxton signing. They weren’t sure where to line up. One of the girls was going to go find out. I said I would since I knew some of the KABC staff. We go the line situated and then it was time to mingle. I was expecting some friends to show up but they couldn’t make it. One of them came by to drop off his canvas for me to get signed for him. I got tons of inquiries of where I got the canvas. I told them it was my friend’s and he went to five different Targets trying to find it. The next most asked question was where did I find out about the signing. I told them VSIMH.

Gwynn showed up pretty close on time. I met a lot of great Dodger fans in line around me, though we didn’t exchange any names. Still, had a great time! I went inside and even did a little shopping. I found four books in their book section! When I was checking out, they thought I was buying the canvas but I told them I brought it in with me for the signing. When I got up to the front of the table for Gwynn to sign, one of the KABC guys introduced me as one of the biggest Dodger fans! I got my two items signed and of course they were for friends. I went back outside and mingled some more. I had asked someone if he had an extra picture because one of my friends who couldn’t make it wanted one. He told me had an extra one after all so I got that. Another friend in line asked me to get another item signed for him. So I got back in line. I met two more fans, only got the name for one of them. Alex said he recognized me from other signings. Then he realized that he recognized me from the Kemp video that VSIMH posted from the beach event!

Second time through, I told Tony I got some more things for him to sign. He said “that’s fine.” And he signed both of them. I noticed on the Dodger photo he wrote his number “10″ and on the Padre program, he wrote the number “18″… which he didn’t do for my other things or for other people’s things. I thought that was pretty cool. The third most asked question I was asked was where was my camera? Two of the KABC staff asked me where my big camera was. I explained it was loaner and I currently don’t have a camera. Won’t have one for awhile. But I am saving up for one and will hopefully get one by the end of the season if not the start of next season.

Overall, again, a terrific experience at the signing. Thanks to KABC and St. Vincent de Paul for hosting Tony Gwynn, Jr.! Thanks Tony for coming out and being so awesome!!!

Love the Throwback Days

My goal at Wednesday’s game was to get pictures with all the new guys: Josh Lindblom, Javvy Guerra, Rubby DeLaRosa, and Scott Elbert. Some of these guys have been with the team for a few weeks now, but I haven’t had a chance to get a photo with any of them. How did I do?

Pretty good. Three out of four. Plus, I got several new signatures on Pat’s team ball for, a photo signed for her, and two photos signed for me. For myself: autographs – Matt Guerrier, Hiroki Kuroda. Photos with Rubby DeLaRosa, Josh Lindblom, and Javvy Guerra. For Pat – Jamey Carroll on a photo, Javvy Guerra, Ramon Troncoso, Dee Gordon, and Josh Lindblom all on her team ball.

The players came out and only Rubby stopped on his way out. Josh said he would after he threw. He kept his word and came directly over on his way back. I just realized that I have to finish up my disposable camera and try to get that developed ASAP and enlarged by the next day game, which is on Wednesday. Hmmm don’t think that’s going to happen. Man, I miss having a digital camera. I should’ve asked Robert to take the photos with his. I didn’t ask him if he had his camera.

Matt wrote “To Linda. Go Dodgers” and signed his name. I love it when they write extra stuff. I only asked him to sign it to my name. I forgot to ask Hiroki to sign it in Japanese but oh well. All my autographs from him except for one are in English. He’s a very sweaty guy whenever he comes back in. Yes, I know guys get sweaty after they run and work out. This guy just drips sweat walking in after he’s done. I was a little nervous about him dripping sweat on my photo.

My favorite moment was when Javvy came over. He signed one of my friend’s team ball and he said, “You’re running out of room.” The funny thing was, we all had team balls and the further down he went, the less room he was going to have. I asked him for a photo and he leaned in close. Real close! How close am I talking about here? I could feel the brim of his cap against my head! Unfortunately, I forgot to wind the camera.  So, we tried again and he didn’t lean in as close this time. He still leaned in pretty close I think. I love his eyes. Last year’s winner for best eyes went to Reed Johnson. This year’s goes to Javvy. Once I get the disposable camera finished and developed, I’ll scan the negative so you can see what I mean. He went over to sign for the people in the Kiddie Korral. Some guy in the baseline found the ticket he wanted Javvy to sign and called him back over. On his way back to the dug out, my friend asked him if he had an extra pair of batting gloves. He said he didn’t own any. When I mentioned his one at-bat where he got  a walk, he said he had to borrow everything. Of course, I mentioned the dream I had the night before that about how I dreamt he hit a homerun in his first major league at bat. He said he thought he was going to hit one. He’s a great guy! Then again, most of them are great guys!!

Jamey Carroll came out to warm up before the game as usual. Pat asked me to get something signed for her in case she didn’t make it back in time. Some kids were waiting for Jamey and they didn’t call him over when he came out. So I called out to him. He made the sign for after he finished warming up. So, I waited for him and sure enough. As soon as he finished, he came straight over to me and then went down the line for the kids. While he was signing for the kids, these two young ladies came down … they had to be in their twenties or so. They didn’t look that old. One of them comes right up behind the kids and starts telling Jamey, “I love you Jamey! I’m your number one fan. If I wasn’t engaged, I’d ask you for your hand in marriage. My fiance doesn’t play baseball for ***.” A man behind her (I’m assuming the father of one of the kids getting an autograph from Jamey) told her to watch her language. She the said, “Oh, I’m sorry, no more expletives.” And she went on and on about how she would totally marry Jamey. Jamey at first didn’t respond to her but I heard him say something about his wife. I thought it was funny how she claimed to be his number one fan, yet she didn’t know he was married and had twins. Who knows, maybe she did and just didn’t care. It was kinda funny because she was complaining to her friend that because they weren’t cute little five year olds that the players weren’t going to come over and sign for them.

If only they knew!

VSIMH has a new Homeboy

Many of you who come to this blog probably check Vin Scully is My Homeboy… and if you’re like me … you check it several times a day… sometimes even several times an hour!

A few months ago, VSiMH announced they were expecting (well, his wife was expecting) and at first they were told they were going to have a little homegirl. Then they were told they were going to have a little homeboy.

He announced on Monday that their little homeboy has arrived!

Congratulations to VSiMH and Mrs. VSiMH. I actually do know their names but I will keep that to myself. If you know them, then you know who I’m talking about. I look forward to meeting the little homie. He looks adorable already!

Looks like I won’t be the only one blogging at crazy hours of the night anymore.

Girly squeal for Trent Oeltjen

Now if you know me, I don’t do girly squeals. Haven’t done any of that business or the get my heart racing I’m gonna faint type reactions since after my first full season.

But I gotta say … I have been waiting all season to see Trent Oeltjen get called up. They’ve sent Jerry Sands and his two-homers back to Triple A where he’ll smash a ton of homers there. Hopefully Trent can perform better and win his way into the starting rotation.

I can’t wait to see Trent during the next homestand. You know I can’t have favorites (well, if you don’t I”ll have explain why) but I do have to admit… I love seeing Trent in Dodger blue.

Can’t wait till September when A.J. Ellis will rejoin the club. I don’t see Navarro or Barajas being sent down to Triple A. Looks like Travis Schlichting passed waivers when he was designated for assignment. He’s no longer on the 40 man roster but he’s on the roster for the Isotopes.

Here’s who we have left in Triple A who are on the 40 man roster. Pretty good guess we’ll see all these guys in September.

Pitchers: John Ely, Carlos Monasterios.

Catchers: A.J. Ellis

Infielders: Russ Mitchell, Ivan DeJesus Jr.

Outfielders: Jerry Sands, Trayvon Robinson, Jamie Hoffmann

One Jon down, one John up

I was sad when I heard that Jon Garland was going to go on the DL again. Just our luck. The guy doesn’t spend a second on the DL during his entire ML career till his second stint with the Dodgers and this is is second trip to the DL. It was expected that they were going to activate Vicente Padilla, who was also in his second stint on the DL… but as you saw that didn’t happen. Who else could they call up? They already called up Rubby De La Rosa, Javy Guerra, and pretty much anyone else left in the minors.

So, they called up my John Ely again for the second time this season. And it looks like for the second time this season, his stint in the Majors may only last a few days. It depends on if Blake Hawksworth is ready to be activated off the DL. Who wants to guess how many times Ely (since we have too many John/Jon/Juan on the team) will bounce back and forth between AAA and the Majors. Looking at his ERA… he maybe be like Lance Cormier and be sparsely used during his time in the Majors. He pitched 3 innings in Sunday’s marathon-length 9 inning game against the Reds. I couldn’t believe it when I saw the length of the game. It nearly lasted four hours! I had to double check to make sure there wasn’t any kind of time delay. Wow. Nearly four hours.

I’m crossing my fingers that Ely will be with the team during the next homestand since I didn’t get to see him during his first stint. I’m also crossing my fingers that he’ll pitch better. But, if Blake’s ready to come back… I’ll take whoever can perform better!

Interesting weekend

By now, many of you have heard about how we almost got smoked out at the Dodger game on Saturday. It was a long game to boot too! You know when Kuroda’s pitching, it isn’t going to be a quick game. At least I got a ball from Jon Garland before the game and he signed it (and personalized it) for me. He asked us, “where are the dogs?” We told him out in the pavilion, as Saturday was the “Bark in the Park” event.

I had heard on the radio the night before that Jim Wolf was the umpire at third base. Now, I’m probably the only fan in the world who gets excited about seeing an umpire. I packed my Wolf hat and scrapbook just in case I got a chance to see Jim before the game and talk to him. While I was waiting to talk to Jim, I did get to meet Andre’s agent and talk to his dad. After that, I looked up and notice the umpire numbers. There was no 78 up there. I figured, oh, maybe Jim got the rest of the series off. It happens sometimes.

The umpire comes out and I notice one of them looks like he could be Jim. By now, I’m back at my seat in the baseline boxes. I am kicking myself for not sticking around longer to make sure that Jim wasn’t going to be there. Sure enough. When they announce the evening’s umpires, Jim is at 2nd base wearing the #28. I guess he snatched up the number after the previous wearer retired or something.

One of the funniest things I saw during the game was a pink balloon had drifted into the stadium. First it hovered in the air over left field, between third and left. James Loney was batting and I was hoping to see him get a hit off the balloon. Jim Wolf must have thought the same thing because he had an eye on the balloon too. The balloon kept drifting down, but didn’t touch the field, and then drift up again. Wolfie had his eye on it. I was waiting to see if he would call time. He never did. The balloon almost touched down, but then it just started to drift towards the foul line. In fact, it drifted straight to Chico, the ball boy. He didn’t even have to get up and chase it. It went straight to him!

When I was in the Baseline Club on Saturday, I was smiling at something on the TV. One of the cooks happened to be out there and commented on what a pretty smile I have. Normally, had it been anyone else, I probably would’ve found it creepy and try to get away. But, since I kinda know him, I just took it as a much needed compliment.

After Saturday’s loss, I was 0-4 in games attended since I started my new job. When I mentioned this to SooHoo on Monday, he gave me the “toss” signal. It was funny to see. He just tossed me, like an umpire would toss a player. Well, fortunately for me, the Dodgers won on Monday, evening my 2011 record up to 7-7 and breaking my 4 game losing streak since I started my new job.

Jamey Carroll’s kids were at the game. They’re so adorable. They came down to the field while dad was stretching. He motioned for them to come down and they did. They had some other kids (maybe more family members or friends) with them and they all posed for a group photo. Jamey picked up his little boy, Cole, for the photo. Then Cole would point to a player who was stretching and Jamey would say who Cole was pointing to.

I knew the players were going to wear special caps for Memorial Day. But I didn’t know there were two kinds. The Dodgers wore the dark blue with white while the Rockies wore a red with white. Interesting. I think this was the first time the two teams wore different caps for the Patriotic themed caps. Well, first time I’ve seen it anyway. On Saturday, during the National Anthem, everyone had their caps removed except for Tim Wallach. He had his batting helmet off but not the cap. We speculated maybe he thought the cap was in the helmet and he didn’t realize it didn’t come off with the helmet. Not quite sure.

One of the funnier things I’ve seen lately happened during Jamey Carroll’s triple. As he was running to third, Tim Wallach was getting in position to tell Jamey whether slide, come in standing, or dive. Well, the third base umpire was trying to get in position so he could see the play as well. So, he had to give Wallach a friendly little nudge which he probably apologized for after the play. Still, it was funny to see in person.

The next homestand is going to be a long one! I think I might actually get 4 or 5 games during that homestand. For sure, two of the Saturday games and two of the mid-week day games. The only game I’m not sure about is the Sunday game against the Angels. It’ll depend on my church schedule.

Counting my blessings

After a very long day, one full of many downs, I have many ups that I am thankful for. Like one of my favorite songs (I have too many to choose just one) says: Count your many blessings, name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done. Where does one begin?

1) This being Memorial Day weekend, let’s just start with that. The amazing opportunity to be living here in the States, being raised here, having privileges that I take for granted every day that my parents did not have when they lived in Cambodia. Carpooling with my dad last week opened my eyes to his past, a past he has never shared with me before. Maybe he feels now that I’m older that I can handle his past. I don’t know.

2) The freedom we have here that other countries do not allow their citizens to have. Even when it seems our freedom is slipping away, little by little… I am thankful for the freedoms we do have. Since this is my baseball blog, I will say that I am thankful that we can be free to root for whatever team we want to. It makes me think of the speeches Jeremy Affeldt and Jamey Carroll made before the first Giants/Dodger game after the Opening Series. Like Jamey said, “There is no room in this game for hatred and violence.”

3) The amazing friends who have opened their hearts and welcomed me into their arms, their circles, and made me feel like I’m part of their families. And I’m not just talking about my baseball friends, but overall. I’m humbled and touched by the awesome friends I have made over the last five years, ever since I attended my first Dodger game. There are no words to describe my gratitude and my affection. Without them, I doubt my love for the Dodgers would have blossomed into what it is now.

4) The incredible opportunities God has given me over the last two years. When I found out two years ago that I was going to lose my job, I didn’t know what I was going to do. Through His guidance, I went back to PCC to try to finish my courses for the library technology program. I signed up for one class thinking it was one thing, and completely surprised by what it turned out to be. That was a blessing in disguise, as that laid the foundation to where I am now. At the time, I couldn’t see where God was leading me. I just had to trust Him and let Him lead. “Trust in the Lord with all thine Heart, and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 (I’m quoting it from memory, so please forgive me if I got that wrong). Or as I am reminded by the scripture on Lance Cormier’s glove, “For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee: fear not, I will help thee” (Isaiah 41:13). I am amazed as I look past and see how God has directed and provided and led.

5) Similar to the one above. I am thankful that I have a roof over my head, food on the table, a car to drive, and a job to go to every day. Enough said. I think.

6) I am extremely thankful for every game that I am privileged to go to. Even before, when friends would call me, e-mail me, text me, saying they have an extra ticket. I was always grateful for the opportunity to go when I otherwise could not go. Again, there are no words to express my gratitude. I wish I could repay them back for their kindness and generosity. Maybe one day. And I hope to one day pay it forward to someone who is in a position like I was.

7) I am thankful for every kind action, every kind word. You never know what a person is going through and what can brighten their day. Sometimes I look back and think, did I do enough? Did I say please and thank you and express my gratitude? And sometimes, all I can do is try to pay it forward. A kind smile. A kind word. A random act of kindness. Sometimes I wish I could do more. Sometimes I wonder if I did enough.

8) Like the first point was, I am thankful for all the men and women who put their lives on the line for our freedoms and liberties. The ones in uniform. The ones who aren’t. The ones who face situations we can never imagine. The ones who make the ultimate sacrifice. The ones who make sacrifices every day of every sort of variety.

9) I am thankful for the opportunities to have met so many Dodger players in the last five years. Well, technically four I guess since I didn’t start going to autograph signings until 2007. This is my fifth full season as a Dodger fan. There are a few players I have met several times and I’ve always wondered if they remember me or recognize me. I’ve always thought, they see so many fans and sign so many autographs … why would they remember me? As you can well remember from the Beach Caravan… some do.

10) I am thankful for every day. Even when some mornings I don’t want to get out of bed and face the day. There were times when I just wanted to bury myself under the covers and never come out. There were times where I wonder what was there to look forward to. Now I am just thankful for every moment and every day. And I am thankful for the people I have in my life. It’s hard sometimes at the stadium to stop and talk to everyone I want to talk to. It doesn’t always happen that I get to talk to everyone and say hi. And now that the games I attend are few and far in between, I look forward to each one even more. And I look forward to seeing familiar friends and meeting new ones.

Even when every thing is going wrong and nothing seems to be going right… I just have to remember this…

GOD IS GOOD, ALL THE TIME.

AND ALL THE TIME, GOD IS GOOD.

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