Feb 14

St. Bobby

On this Valentine’s Day, Josh Wilker makes Bobby Valentine the subject of his Cardboard Gods offering, linking to a 1971 Spokane Daily Chronicle story in which Valentine declares, “I intend to be the Dodger shortstop for many years.” But Valentine, the 1970 Pacific Coast League MVP, had already suffered the injury that derailed his playing career.

But wait, there’s more …

  • In the second part of Bronx Banter’s series on Hiroki Kuroda, William Juliano runs a statistical analysis on the former Dodger righty.
  • Steve Dilbeck of Dodgers Now celebrates, for good reason, getting a phone call at home from Vin Scully.
  • Dodger Stadium will once again host a college baseball doubleheader, this time on March 13. UC Irvine will play Pepperdine at 2 p.m., followed by UCLA-USC at 6:30. Advanced tickets are $7 ($5 for students). Gates open at 1 p.m., parking is free and concessions are discounted. Details here.
  • Tony Gwynn (Sr.) is having more cancer surgery, reports The Associated Press.
  • From Chad Moriyama: “The article I didn’t want to write: Jeremy Lin and racism.”
  • Hey, it’s not as if I’m immune to the charms of Kate Upton, but thanks to Big League Stew for finding the link from Upton’s MLB 2K12 ad to George Plimpton’s Mattel Intellivision spot.
  • Update: Adding this last bit from Mike Newman at Fangraphs

    … Before scouting Dodgers Rubby De La Rosa in person, a running joke with scouting contacts was that my radar gun must be broken because it had never registered a velocity above 96 MPH in a season and a half of lugging it around. I headed to Chattanooga knowing De La Rosa threw hard enough to surpass 96 MPH, but was not prepared for just how much harder he threw. Seeing a “seven” on the gun was impressive, but when he popped the mitt at “eight” and “nine” in succession, it became obvious De La Rosa’s fastball was in a different league than any I’d seen previously. (For those who are wondering, when a pitcher throws in the 90+ MPH range, scouts will drop the nine and refer to the pitch by its second digit.) And while I generally ignore stadium guns at all cost, seeing 101 MPH flash on the scoreboard was a first, and left onlookers buzzing in the stands.

    And while De La Rosa lacked command in the upper registers, the one 98 MPH fastball he located belt high on the inner half is seared into my scouting mind as it bored down and in on a right handed hitter to devastating effect. It was the single most dominant pitch I’ve seen live …

Mar 08

Dodgers dial long distance for second game in a row


Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images (file)Tony Gwynn, Jr., who has five regular-season homers in his major-league career, went yard today.

Dodgers 7, Brewers 1

Highlights:

  • Tony Gwynn Jr.’s leadoff homer against Takashi Saito kicked off a Dodger power parade, which included circuit clouts by Aaron Miles, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier. Each member of the latter trio went 2 for 3.
  • Ethier, Ivan De Jesus Jr. (also 2 for 3), Dioner Navarro and Justin Sellers notched doubles.
  • Starting against the team that he faced when Elymania launched, John Ely threw three shutout innings, retiring nine of 10 batters and striking out two.
  • The Dodger defense impressed Milwaukee’s broadcast team, said Dodger Thoughts commenter Bob Hendley.

Lowlights:

  • Ron Mahay allowed his second homer in three innings this spring, this to left-handed hitting Prince Fielder.
  • Jay Gibbons, still trying to find his form, went 0 for 3 and is 1 for 12 in the early going.

Sidelights:

  • Benches cleared in the sixth inning of today’s game, notes The Associated Press, over a Roman Colon fist pump.
  • Hiroki Kuroda worked on his endurance today in a 4 1/3-inning B-game outing, in which he struck out six while allowing three runs, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.
  • Jerry Sands was among those who played a doubleheader of sorts today: RBI single in the B game, pinch-walk in the A game. Sellers also had an HBP in the B game.
  • Milwaukee has bigger things to worry about than today’s loss: Newly acquired pitcher Zack Greinke is nursing a broken rib.
  • Would Frank McCourt sue Major League Baseball over being denied his recent attempt at a $200 million loan from Fox? Friend of Dodger Thoughts BHSportsGuy wonders in a guest post at True Blue L.A.
  • As Kim Ng noted this morning, Sandy Koufax visited Camelback Ranch today.
  • James Loney and Raymond Carver are connected by Jesse Gloyd at Buckshot Boogaloo.