Before any of you shoot me…
Yes, I know… Torii Hunter is not a Dodger. But I liked him as a player before he signed for the Other Team. So, when I saw that Hunter was doing an autograph signing in Irvine. I wasn’t sure about whether or not I wanted to venture across the Red Curtain (or is it the Orange Curtain?). Then I mentioned the autograph signing to another friend, who wanted to go. Hunter’s his favorite player. So, I told him if he was up for it then we would go. So, I got up early (5:15ish) even though I had gone to bed after 3:30. I called my friend, Richard, to see if he was up and still wanted to go. He didn’t answer, so I jumped into the shower. When I got out, he texted me back to say he was up. I picked him up, got gas, got Starbucks, and we were off. Since it was still dark, I could see the Station Fire as I was driving along the 2 freeway.
We got to Living Spaces around 7. I sent Richard to the end of the line to save our spaces while I went to talk to Roberto. LOL, I ended up spending the majority of my time with Roberto (then later Ken and Eileen as well). Poor Richard. I would check in on him once every hour or so. Poor guy. When they started handing out the wristbands, I finally went to join Richard. The times I went back to check on him, I noticed the group of people in front of Richard. In particular, a certain lady I had seen at other signings. I wouldn’t even have noticed her except she was using lots of foul language and acting out. You would think a woman of her age would know how to behave in public. We saw her at the Casey Blake signing. She walked past us to the front of the line. Her group started to settle on the other side of the door. One of us told her the line was the other way. She gave her (the person who said something) a dirty look and started muttering under her breath. I remembered seeing her at the Broxton signing. She was cussing and one of the Dodger representatives was saying, “I hope she’s not cussing at me!” We got inside and she started kicking one of the guys in her group in the butt. She was kicking him and saying “you’ve got something up your butt” over and over as she was kicking him.
Okay, so since this was an Angel signing… I showed up wearing a dark purple tank top and khakis. I was going to wear a short-sleeved black sweater over the tank top later… however since it was dark when I left the house, I didn’t see what I was actually grabbing. I had two tops on top of the dryer, a black tank top and my black sweater. I felt for one and thought it was the sweater. We got to Irvine and saw I grabbed the wrong one. Figured, being a Dodger fan, I wanted to fly under the radar. And I don’t really own anything red anyway. But I wouldn’t wear red even if I found something red. So much for flying under the radar. I was outed by a few guys who had seen me at Casey Blake’s signing.
When they were handing out the wristbands, they told us that Hunter was not going to sign any personal items. I kinda wondered about that. The advertisement on the website said something about “only signing trading cards provided at event.” So, I put my scrapbook back in the car. I wasn’t going to hold onto it if I didn’t have to. About fifteen minutes before Hunter showed up, they changed the rules. They said you could get one personal item signed. So, I went back to the car to get my scrapbook. I saw lots of other kids and people running to their cars to get their items.
Fast forward to Hunter showing up and the line moving along … the Angel fan I saw at Casey Blake’s signing walked by and showed us his bat that Hunter signed. He was the first guy in line. He got there around 3:30ish. He said sorry for giving me such a hard time, he was nervous. The group in front of us took a long time to get their autographs. One of them got two or three things signed I think. The crazy lady in front of Richard asked Hunter if she could take his picture. She took one, then he posed for a second one. Then she said, one more, in case the other one didn’t come out. She had a digital SLR with a flash. Why wouldn’t they come out?
Richard went up first and got his ball signed. He was excited to meet his favorite player. Later, his mom told me he was nervous.
I put my scrapbook on the table and Hunter said, “is that a scrapbook?” I said yeah and said I had the article from when he signed with the Angels. He asked me where did I want him to sign? On his forehead? I said, if he wanted to. But preferably on the side. He signed and as I was walking away, I heard him say, “that’s nice!” He sounded impressed. Funny thing was when I showed my friend Angelina the page. She asked me, “why didn’t you have him sign on his forehead?” I told her that’s what he suggested.
After I got my second batting practice ball, I knew I needed to get some cases. Especially if I was going to try and get them signed. Now I have three balls in three different cases. I figure … this might be a good topic to talk about.
Ball: Batting Practice Ball#1. June 5, 2008.
Case: Big 5. $1.99 (plus tax)
Ball: Player Ball#1. June 29, 2009. From Brent Leach
Case: Target. 14.99 (Target sells them with the ball, but I split it with a friend. Angelina got the ball, I got the case)
Case: Michael’s. 9.99 (I had a 40% off coupon, so it was $5 something)
I think I like the one form Target best. The ball doesn’t move around and it comes with a little plastic base to put the ball in. Only thing is … it doesn’t come alone. And $15 is a lot for a case and ball. The Michael’s one is really nice! But the ball moves around too much. It doesn’t stay in place. They have other kinds at Michael’s, but this was the cheapest. The other two were a little more elaborate.
What do you guys think?
Dodgers rely on $5 million bargain
The Dodgers’ Randy Wolf has been as consistent as any starting pitcher they’ve had.
You copy and paste something out of wikipedia onto your own blog???
I was checking some blogs that I follow and I noticed this one blog mentioned Matt Kemp’s monster homerun on Saturday. The blogger then posted this:
Willie Stargell is the only person to ever hit two
home runs out of Dodger Stadium. His first was a 506 foot bomb off of
pitcher Alan Foster on August 5th 1969, and the other was a 470 foot
shot off of Andy Messersmith on May 8th 1973.
It wasn’t for over 30 years before Mike Piazza became
the second player and only Dodger (until yesterday) to ever hit a home
run out of the park. On September 21st 1997, Mike Piazza hit a 478 foot
home run off of San Francisco Giant pitcher Mike Lansing.
17th 1998, Mark McGwire hit the longest home run at 511 ft over the
right field pavilion at Dodger Stadium against pitcher Brian Bohanon.
Now, I thought I’ve heard Vin Scully said there were five players or five times that a homerun has been hit out of Dodger Stadium. Or was it the loge level? I may be wrong. So, I started searching the web for an answer. I found this on wikianswers posted by Smokefan21. Unless Smokefan21 and the blogger are the same people, I found it interesting that it was word for word except for one little insert the blogger added …
Willie Stargell is the only person to ever hit two home runs out of
Dodger Stadium. His first was a 506 foot bomb off of pitcher Alan
Foster on August 5th 1969, and the other was a 470 foot shot off of
Andy Messersmith on May 8th 1973.
It wasn’t for over 30 years before Mike Piazza became the second
player and only Dodger to ever hit a home run out of the park. On
September 21st 1997, Mike Piazza hit a 478 foot home run off of San
Francisco Giant pitcher Mike Lansing.
July 17th 1998, Mark McGwire hit the longest home run at 511 ft
over the right field pavilion at Dodger Stadium against pitcher Brian
Coincidence? I’ll leave that up to you. I didn’t say who the blogger was, for anonymity sake. But this blogger also takes photos from the web and posts them on the blog without giving credit to the where it came from. If this blogger ever takes one of my photos without permission, you better watch out!
First, I got to the gate before 10:30. And I noticed there were three lanes of cars lined up … behind the “keep clear” about three hundred feet or so away from the gate. Now, I know that there are usually four to five lanes that line up a few feet away from the gate. And I know that I couldn’t start the fourth lane because that was in the left turn lane. So I drove right up to where the cars usually lined up.
It was a long time before anyone pulled up. No one who was already lined up moved up. They finally moved behind us about eleven, ten minutes till the gates opened. As soon as the gates opened, I was the first one through. Therefore, I was the first one to park. I got a nice spot in the shade. When I got to the stadium gates, they weren’t ready to open yet. There were less than a handful of people waiting for the gate to open. I was in and ready to go.
First I saw Kuo, Weaver, Kershaw with Honeycutt and I think Flippo. Kuo was throwing a bullpen session I think. I yelled happy birthday to Jeff, but he didn’t even look my way. Good thing I didn’t spend hours making him a sign too. Rick looked at me, so I said hi to him. Kuo and Rick went into the bullpen. Someone in the pavilion was asking Kershaw for his autograph. He said he had to do a bullpen session. He asked Rick something. Rick told him to go take some photographs or something like that. Hmmm maybe he was telling him not to. Because Kershaw picked up a ball and started playing catch with Weaver. At this point, I gave up on them and spotted my target.
Randy had come out!!!! I went over and started pulling out my sign, my crown, and getting ready. When I tried to put the crown on, it broke. So that went back into the bag. I just kept the Wolf hat on and held onto my sign. I asked one of the baseline ushers if I could go down to where Randy was. She said, sorry, I can’t. She and the other usher talked for a little bit. I just watched from a distance. He was so close, yet so far. The other usher then said, you know what? You put so much time into that, go ahead. I was like, really? She said, yeah, just until people start showing up. I just stood and waited…
It didn’t take long! The ball got away from Wolfie. I love the picture! You can totally see the ball bouncing away. As soon as he turned and started walking towards the ball, I yelled out his name and held up my sign. He looked at me, smiled (he might have been laughing too) and said…. “Nice hat.” He continued throwing with Troncoso I think. When they were done, he looked at me and said, “here, for you.” He tossed me the ball. I was “deer in the headlights” when he did that. I was like, “who??? ME????” I was so afraid of not catching the ball. It was an easy toss. My head was frazzled by then from the “nice hat” comment. Throw this in and forget it. I was beyond frazzled. But not enough to let the next opportunity pass me by.
He was signing for some people to my right. So I grabbed the pen out of my purse, made my way over and asked him to sign the ball he just gave me. He said of course, and wrote “nice hat! Randy Wolf” on it.
I was in Blue Heaven by then! Forget cloud nine. I was in Blue Heaven. He then went over to the Kidde Korral and signed some more autographs. What a nice guy!!! On his birthday too. I thanked the ushers for letting me go down. And he didn’t sign on the sweet spot, because the Dodgers WIN logo was stamped there.
I made my way to where I usually meet Cat. (Tip: if you’re wearing flip flops at Dodger Stadium, watch your step. Water + floor + flip flops = me slipping on floor, catching myself on the chairs before falling on my rear). I showed her the ball and the guys behind her were like, “cool! How did you get that?” I told her my whole story. She was very happy for me. Hong-Chi Kuo was signing autographs and I brought out my scrapbook and had him sign in the inside cover.
What’s with left-handed pitchers signing autographs with their right hand?
During batting practice, Randy Wells, the Cubs pitcher from the night before, threw a ball to a Cubs’ fan by the foul pole. They missed and the ball started rolling down the aisle towards me. I’m watching these fans chase the ball … until I pick it up. Without thinking, I handed it to the Cubs’ fan in front of me. Afterward, I was kicking myself for doing that. I should’ve kept it and given it to Natalie or Julia or even Isaiah! I’m telling you. I just wasn’t thinking. I was still up in Blue Heav
en thinking about Randy. It’s like having a slice of Tiramisu cheesecake (or fill in your favorite cheesecake)… and then someone gives you a slice of regular cheesecake after you had your favorite. You’re not going to eat the other cheesecake once you’ve had the first one.
A Cubs fan jumped onto the field for a batting practice ball.
It wasn’t long before he was ejected. All for a BP ball.
I know we all love when the kids take the field.Today’s kids just stole your hearts. There’s Casey’s kid.
Hudson’s kid gets a hug! How adorable is that???? She also got another hug after he signed her ball.
This week was “Think Cure” Week. Not only did they have former players, Tommy Lasorda, and Frank McCourt calling contributors to thank them for their donations … they had the players’ wives (and in Marikym’s case, girlfriend) calling people as well. My friend JoAnna was one of the volunteers and she got to meet and talk with one of them.
The Dodgers scored their first run on a monster home run by Matt Kemp. This thing nearly left the building. In fact … I think it’s still landing somewhere in Glendale!
Continuing with the “Think Cure” tele-web-radiothon, this couple got engaged on the Kiss Cam.
In addition to probably one of the best renditions of “God Bless America” I have ever heard … they had a little boy lead “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”. I don’t remember his name, but I remember seeing him and his family on the “Think Cure” telethon on Friday.
After the seventh inning stretch, we noticed there were people still standing up in the Left Field Pavilion. And they were doing more than standing up!
Yup! Bees! As Randy said in an interview with Darren Smith about the bees that invaded Petco Park last month, they must’ve ejected the queen bee and all the worker bees came with her.
Matt Kemp running the bases. What was the final put out again? Sounded like a text number! 2-6-3-4-6-1. Catcher to shortstop to first baseman to second baseman to shortshop to pitcher! And where did Fukudome come from??? That would’ve been interesting to throw that in there. With all those Cubs swarming Kemp, it reminded me of the bees in Left Field. LOL maybe that’s where Fukudome came from. He wanted to get away from the bees who were migrated from the Pavilion to center field. In fact, one bee even made it all the way to where Cat and I were sitting.
Manny playing around during the pitching change.
After the game, we went inside the Third Base Baseline Club for post-game Dodger Talk. Jim Gott was the special guest. (BTW, at this point, I had been working on my blog for hours… and I ALMOST LOST IT. Thank goodness I hit the back key a few times till I got it back). At one point, Ken asked the audience about the bees in
the Left Field Pavilion. No one stepped up. I showed him the picture I had. He told me to get in line and say something. I told him, I don’t know what to say. I wasn’t there. I just saw it from a distance.
Josh Suchon showing those of us in the club how you can donate to Think Cure by texting “join” to 90999. I think that’s the number…. From the Dodger’s website:
This year’s event introduced a PRIME TICKET telethon from 11 a.m.-7
p.m., the opportunity to donate $5 by texting “JOIN” to 90999, and the
creation of virtual bronze plaque listing each donor at thinkcure.org.
Also new was a nearly-constant on-screen line on the PRIME TICKET
telethon and the KCAL 9 telecast providing the phone number, text
information, and updated total. Prime also included the names of donors
who contributed $250 or more.
Fans may donate by calling 866-554-CURE (2873), texting, or by making
an online donation at thinkcure.org. An online auction will run through
Monday at dodgers.com/thinkcure.
After the Dodger talk, they had people who made donations of X amount on the field playing catch. As I was leaving, I saw two people in the bullpen. I wonder how much do you have to donate to be allowed to make out in the bullpen room. I’m glad I paid for parking today. By the time I left, I think only the main gate (Elysian Park) was still open.
Out of the three autograph signings going on today, I decided to go to George Sherrill’s. I already have gotten Juan Castro and James McDonald this year. Guess I should’ve have had that grande white chocolate mocha yesterday when I took Sherisse to the airport. I got home before Russell hit his grand slam. And I couldn’t fall asleep when I turned the lights off before midnight. I tried to go to sleep, but ended up going on my computer for a few hours. By the time I finally felt sleepy, it was after four AM. Good thing I didn’t have to get up super early for the autograph signing.
George Sherrill arrived early. They were allowing people to get two items signed if they purchased a photo at Staples, they were allowed to get a ball signed as well. And fan were allowed to get a picture with Sherrill. They were advising fans on how to do it so it will be quick and efficient. Since George showed up early, Roberto wasn’t aware that they were starting already. He was buying a picture of George. The sales associate was messing up I guess. Eileen told me to go ahead since Roberto wasn’t ready yet. I handed her my other camera (Jenny’s that I’ve been borrowing) so she could take a picture for me. I mentioned to George I found a picture of him in a magazine last night and had to put it in my scrapbook. He asked me where did I want him to sign. He signed on the page above an article about him after he was traded to the Dodgers. Then I asked him if I could get a picture with him. He stood up, leaned over the counter towards me, I leaned towards him, and he put his hand on my back. After we finished, the Staples employee told the other fans in line, “see how she did it? That’s how you get your picture taken with him. Lean in.”
Afterwards, I went towards the back of the line. No, not to get another autograph. I didn’t have any other items. I was looking for a former classmate of mine who was going to be there. I chatted with him and the people in front of him.
I’ve seen George Sherrill in the bullpen and in the dugout. But his picture on the Dodger vision and what he looks like on TV and in pictures are totally different from what he looks like in person! He’s definitely one of those players who look much better in person.
[Update 8/24/09 How funny is this? I was going through my baseball cards and I found
... a 2006 George Sherrill baseball card! When he was with the
Mariners! Man. I could've gotten it signed!!! I knew I had a George
Sherrill card ... I was just looking in the wrong section]
Let’s see if tonight’s game can fit into one post. And yes, I tried to get the subject to be an alliteration.
To start things off, we’ll start at the beginning. I went to Nina’s early because I had intended on going to Fry’s to return something and get something else. Then we were going to go to Target because Angelina wanted an official Major League baseball in case we can get any autographs. She found some at Big 5, but they weren’t the ones she was looking for. I ended up getting her the one in the cube. She wanted the ball, but not the cube, so we just split the cost. I wanted the cube, but not the ball. We ended up not going to Fry’s, but at least I got to type up a blog entry while I was at Nina’s. Thanks to my lovely new laptop. Angelina showed up and we left for the game. When we got off the highway, it didn’t take us very long to find the end of the line. We always go to the Golden State Gate, which is the Stadium Way exit off the 5 freeway. We didn’t even to where the road curves before we found the end of the parking lot lane. I turned on my GPS and it said we were .4 miles from the Gate. As we were waiting to get our bags checked, Nina noticed JoAnna was in line in front of us. Once we got in, we got separated as I was visiting with various friends (Cat, Roberto, JoAnna). Angelina, JoAnna, and I even saw a guy who’s brother is a Dodger (who shall remain nameless). Angelina thought it would’ve been cool to meet him. I didn’t mind. After all, I’ve met Russell Martin’s family. One of the kids JoAnna brought got a ball from one of the grounds crew members. She said she was tempted to ask them, which one of you guys hit my friend in the face with a ball? I told her she should’ve. They would’ve gotten a good laugh out of it.
Angelina and I went up to our seats in the reserve level. I had bought these tickets about a month ago. About a week ago, Nina decided she wanted to go. So she got two tickets. Now that I think about it … she bought the Costco package. I’m surprised tonight’s game wasn’t blacked out on that package. Man, should’ve done those! The funny thing was … our section was directly above hers … by a few decks.
I noticed this kid has a Lyons jersey on. Wonder if it was his last name, or was it really a Steve Lyons jersey. I don’t know what number Steve wore when he played. The one baseball card I have of Steve Lyons doesn’t show his jersey number. Or is there another Lyons out there?
It didn’t take long for the beach balls to come out. The two guys in front of us didn’t like it when they started popping up. I don’t care for them either. I usually ignore them. One of the guys said he would hit over the railing (which he did). The other guy said he would pop it. Which he did. Which then led to a debacle that lasted the rest of the game. He didn’t pop it. But he did deflate it. He said he came to watch the game, and if they wanted to play with beach balls they should go to the beach.
Then the boos started raining down, followed by peanuts! I’m serious. Someone or some guys were throwing peanuts down at him. He apologized to me and the few other people sitting around us. He stood up and yelled at the general direction of where the peanuts were coming from. He also showed them the finger. Angelina had gotten up to get food. So she missed what was going on. I filled her in as peanuts were thrown at the guy periodically throughout the game. The guy deflates on beach ball and he’s a marked man the entire game. And he apologized to the people around him. He finally had enough and got up and yelled at whoever was doing it to come forward. I didn’t bother looking around. I was watching the game. If I had been looking around, I would’ve missed Andre’s homerun. Manny came up and got out. Then Casey Blake came up and Angelina said, “Casey Blake can hit a homerun.” And he did. Game tied.
The Beach Ball guy went up to confront the Peanut Guy and chaos ensued. A lot of cuss words were used. Again, I wasn’t really paying close attention. Beach Ball guy’s friend got up, took a big drink of his beer and then went up to his friend. The friend came back down, finished his beer. Beach Ball guy came back down and he was getting into it with another guy from the next section over. His friend told him, okay, it’s time to go. They went up. Angelina went up shortly before the seventh inning stretch. She missed this while she was gone …
There was a different inflatable object bouncing around the reserve level. It eventually fell down into the loge level. It didn’t get taken away till it fell down into the field level.
Angelina also told me that security were lined up along the top. Beach Ball guy and his friend eventually returned to their seats. A security guy was right behind him. And then Angelina got up again. When she came back, she noticed the was a foam finger next to Beach Ball guy. I filled her in on what happened while she was gone this time. One of the vendors came down selling souvenirs. Peanut Guy bought the foam finger and asked the vendor to give it to Beach Ball Guy. Beach Ball guy didn’t want to take it at first, but then the vendor told him it was paid for. He was, oh, okay. Then you hear Peanut Guy yell out, “I would’ve bought you the other finger but they didn’t have it.” Beach Ball guy says, “oh, I thought this was a peace offering or something. Never mind then.” He sets the finger down. Guess who ended up with a free foam finger? Not me. Angelina. LOL. At least some good came out of this crazy night.
On our way out of the parking lot, a car pulls up to us and asks us if any of us had any ticket stubs we didn’t need. He said it was for a friend. He said something about a scavenger hunt. Angelina saw all the bobbleheads they had in the back of their car. They also asked us if any of us had a bobblehead we wanted to sell. We figured out the reason why they wanted our ticket stubs.
Casey Blake Autograph Signing
I didn’t find out about the Casey Blake signing until a few days before. I ran into Roberto at a game, and he mentioned it to me. He said he’d sent the information to me. Jonathan Broxton and Ramon Troncoso were doing autograph signings on Friday, the day before. I had intended on going to both these signings … but I forgot I was taking my parents to the airport that day. I already got both their autographs this year. But at least I’d get to go to Casey Blake’s. It sounded like it was going to be a popular event, so I figure I’d go really early. After all, I didn’t expect there to be someone at Jonathan Broxton’s signing at 2 AM. After talking to Roberto, I figured leaving my house at five sounded good. Unfortunately, I didn’t get home till about 12:30 and bed by 1. Three and a half short hours later, I was waking up and getting ready to go to the autograph signing. I got out a little before five, the sun still hadn’t come up. Half an hour later, I arrive at the Sports Shop. There were three guys there already. Roberto’s brother and his wife showed up shortly after I did. Then Roberto and Eileen showed up. Eventually, the usual suspects showed up (Alex, Tony, Oscar). When I got there, the two guys were sitting on the other side of the door. Then I showed up, along with Roberto’s brother and sister-in-law. We discussed which way the line went. Of course, the guys said it went one way, and us girls said it was the other way. Guess who was right? Yup, the women!
We passed time mostly by conversing with one another. The funniest conversation revolved around why all the women thought Andre Ethier was the hottest Dodger. The guys asked me for my opinion, after all, I am a girl. I had to think about it. Because, I do have to admit, he’s pretty good looking. But as the hottest guy on the team? Not sure. Everyone has their own opinions. As I’m pondering who the hottest player is, one of the guys realize what he was saying and goes… “I can’t believe I’m even in this conversation” or something like that. Then Roberto realizes, “Oh yeah, you’re not a regular girl fan. You’re a stats fan.” Lol, guess that’s why he’s been calling me a funny fan on the web.
The parking lot directly in front of the sports shop was blocked off. They brought in a Mizuno truck, tables, and merchandise out later on. The problem was, the other stores were not willing to share the lot with the fans lined up for the autograph signings. I got there early, so I got a nice parking spot. As people were arriving, the owner of the donut shop would come out and question the people. If they were here for the autograph signing, they were told they couldn’t park there. I got nervous and went to my car. There was a sign there that said parking was only for the donut shop and the pet shop. I don’t remember seeing that sign there earlier. There happened to be a spot behind Alex on the street, so I moved my car there.
Casey Blake showed up early. Which is surprising, since most players appear late. He was about half an hour early. Wonder if he was going to leave half an hour early too. There were signs posted along the store that said “Mr. Blake must leave at noon.” They had handed out little slips of papers with numbers on it. They were letting us go up to the table one at a time. Since I was the fourth person to show up, naturally I was the fourth person to go up. I printed a photo of him hitting the walk off single from the game against the Marlins. I put it in my scrapbook with the article about Casey Blake. I wanted him to sign the article … but figured the picture would work better.
Just as I was getting to the table, the batteries on my camera started to go! I got up to the front of the line and put my scrapbook on the table. I put my scrapbook down and said I had the photo from when he hit the walk-off last week. Casey Blake’s response? “Oh no!” He complimented the photo, saying it was nice photo, especially when I mentioned it was taken from the top deck. I got my autograph, and moved to the side. Afterwards, Eileen told me the guy manning the table mentioned to her that my camera was dying. She called out to me so she could get a picture of Casey Blake and me for me… but I didn’t hear her. Bummer! Anyway, Casey Blake was really nice. I enjoyed this autograph signing much more than Hudson’s.
With Chad Billingsley’s start pushed back a day, and our starting
rotation already missing a fifth starter … guess who got to go up
against a former Cy Young award winner, Chris Carpenter? Charlie
Haeger. Who? Exactly. This was going to be his second Major League
start.What did we know about young 25 year old Charlie Haeger before
this game? Not much. (No one even corrected me that I did the math wrong on his age. I knew we were year apart… but I went the wrong way). He’s a knuckleballer. One of the very few left.
Before the game, we were sitting in Cat’s seat while she was gone so no one would take her spot. Kids are always crowding her seat during batting practice. She was getting food and Nina was sitting in her seat. I noticed this little critter coming down the aisle under the seats. Ick!
There was an open spot between two guys along the wall since Nina wasn’t standing up. This kid came down my aisle and then came towards Nina. Nina stood up to let him walk by, but he stepped in front of her instead into the open spot along the wall. As Cat was coming back, we told the kid to skedaddle.
Charlie Haeger, talking to a fan he had seen in Arizona as well. No, it wasn’t Roberto (who was in Arizona on Sunday and San Francisco on Tuesday. Both of them were Wolfie starts).
Brad Ausmus had seen the same guy too apparently. Note the extra big glove.
“It’s as if a catcher’s mitt and a first baseman’s mitt had a baby,” Ausmus explained. “It’s a little bit a thinner.”
Just as the National Anthem was being sung, we found JoAnna. Then we made our way to our seats. We sat with JoAnna for awhile. A very long while. And it helped that the first six innings of the game when by very quickly. After all, Charlie was pitching very quickly. I think they said he threw like two fast balls and everything else was a knuckleball.
Don’t shoot me… but I got a picture of Albert Pujols’ home run off Haeger. Game tied, 1 – 1.
After Jonathan Broxton blew the save on
Saturday, I knew everyone was going to be all over him. What was it?
His third blow save in five chances? Sure enough. It was just like
Wednesday all over again. Except instead of everyone bashing
Guillermo Mota, it was Jonathan Broxton. It’s kinda funny how on
Wednesday, there were tons of callers who wanted to know why Broxton
wasn’t put in on Wednesday. Yet, on Saturday, there were just as many
callers who wanted to know why Broxton WAS put in on Saturday. Then
today, I was listening to the Mason and Ireland show on 710 ESPN
(because they actually talk sports over there, whereas I only listen
to KABC when the game is on and for Dodger Talk). They were asking
people about what Joe Torre should do with Jonathan Broxton. Plan A)
Keep putting him in there. Plan B) take him out of the closer role
and put Sherrill in instead. Those were basically the two sides. How
about some stats now?
Jonathan Broxton is 7th in the NL with
25 saves in 30 save opportunities. That’s at least five blown saves.
Who are the top six ahead of Broxton? R. Franklin (Cardinals, 30/32
with 2 – 1 record); Heath Bell (Padres, 29/31 with a 5 – 2 record);
Huston Street (Rockies, 29/30 with a 3 – 1 record); Brian Wilson
(Giants 28/34 with 5 – 5 record); Trevor Hoffman (Brewers, 26/28 with
1 – 1 record); Francisco Rodriguez (Mets, 26/31 with a 3 – 4 record).
Broxton also has more wins than anyone else (7) and no losses. Brad
Lidge, last year’s closer extraordinarre is 10 with 23 saves in 31
chances, has a record of 0 – 5.
Now in the Majors… Broxton
is 12th. Closers to note… Brian Fuentes (Angels) has 34 saves in 39
opportunities with a 1 – 3 record. The other four closers in the AL
who have more saves than Broxton have smaller differentials (is that
the right word that I’m looking for?) of one to three. And again ….
Broxton is the ONLY one in the top 15 – 20 closers listed to NOT lose
a game. He blew a few saves … but has never LOST a game. Even
George Sherrill, the guy everyone wants to step in has 20 saves in 23
opportunities with a 0 – 1 record. Broxton also has the most wins.
And not all of them came from saves he blew. Remember, he has come in
when the game was tied to keep the game close … and then the team
won in their bottom half of the inning … something the Dodgers have
done a LOT this year.
It’s August. Playoffs are right around
the corner. And in light of recent events, everyone is probably
panicking. Right? Wonder if everyone in Phillie is reacting to Brad
Lidge the way people here in L.A. are reacting to Broxton. Remember?
Lidge blew back to back saves here in L.A. Even Brian Wilson has more
blown saves than Broxton. At least, from what I’m looking at it looks
like it. There’s no column for blown saves. I can only assume that if
I take the number of saves a player has and subtract it from the save
opportunities, that should equal the number of blown saves.
Naturally, the top closers in both
leagues are Mariano Rivera (Yankees, 35/36 with a 1 – 2 record) and
Brian Fuentes. We haven’t even talked about ERA’s … which can be
tough, considering most of the time, these guys come in to pitch only
one inning. So their ERA’s may be a little different than your usual
pitcher. After all, these guys face three guys minimum when they come
in. Let’s say of the top 20 pitchers with the most saves … Broxton
is 12th with a ERA of 3.19. Only 11 other pitchers have a
better ERA. What’s Mr. 41 for 41 last year got? Lidge’s ERA is a
little above 7. Even the saves leader from last year has an ERA above
Last stat I looked at … home runs
given up. Broxton has given up four. Again, I’m only looking at the
top twenty pitchers with the most saves. Four other pitchers have
given up two, two have given up three (Sherrill being of the of the
two). Huston Street is the other pitcher to given up four. Everyone
else has given up five or more homeruns. Lidge falls second to last
Should Dodger fans be panicking when
Broxton comes in to close? Like someone said on the radio today, if
he’s throwing (I forgot the speed, but I think it was in the low
90′s), then maybe. But you just have to keep putting him out there
and have confidence in the guy. Am I panicking when he comes out? No.
Am I little worried? Yeah, just a little. Just as I’m a little
apprehensive when James McDonald comes out in relief. Same goes with
Guillermo Mota. And Jeff Weaver. And Ronald Belisario. Then again,
that’s just the bullpen. They’re relief pitchers and sometimes …
they don’t give you the relief you’re looking for. Just apprehension.
Some times they come through. Some times they don’t. But hey, that’s
baseball for you.
My opinion? I wouldn’t mind seeing
Sherrill come in and close once in awhile. But I also know that
Broxton can close out the game. Lights out. Game over.