Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Month: January 2014 (Page 1 of 6)

‘Extremely limited’ number of Dodger season tickets go back on sale

By Jon Weisman

After pausing sales of season tickets earlier this week, the Dodgers are opening the door again — ever so slightly.

“Upon conclusion of this week’s select-a-seat event and servicing upgrades of existing season seat holders, the Dodgers have re-assessed availability and are reintroducing season ticket sales on an extremely limited basis beginning immediately,” Dodger vice president of ticket sales David Siegel said this evening. “It was important to us to do this in time for Dodgers FanFest this weekend.

“Season seat sales were temporarily halted on Wednesday because we had exceeded our supply of seats originally earmarked for season sale. After carefully evaluating the supply and our commitments, we made a determination to reintroduce season ticket packages with full season seat holder benefits, including full postseason rights. We have re-opened areas where we feel we can now sell without greatly hindering individual sales and postseason requirements. We are making the tickets available for a wide range of budgets with prices between $12- $140 per ticket. ”

In case you missed it: Chad Billingsley progressing

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By Jon Weisman

Above, video from day three (Wednesday) of the Dodgers’ community caravan. Below, well, see for yourself …

  • Chad Billingsley has thrown four bullpen sessions as he makes his way back from Tommy John surgery, reports Ken Gurnick of Scott Elbert is expected to throw his first bullpen this week, writes Gurnick, who also discusses other pitchers appearing at the Dodgers’ “Young Guns” pitching minicamp at Camelback Ranch last week.
  • Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten spent seven minutes talking about the franchise with the guys on MLB Network’s Hot Stove Live.
  • Opening Day Countdown Down Under is an excitingly new and self-explanatory blog from Follow it as we count down the days to the Dodgers and Diamondbacks at Sydney.
  • Keith Law of discusses his list of the top 10 prospects in the Dodger organization. I neglected to mention the other day that Chris Anderson came in at No. 96 in Law’s top 100. Law said Anderson had a higher ceiling than Zack Lee “as a potential No. 2 starter if he can locate better and maintains his composure when something goes wrong behind him.”
  • When Hanley Ramirez increased his adjusted OPS from 105 in 2012 to 190 in 2013, it was the second-biggest increase in baseball of all-time, writes Andrew Grant of True Blue L.A.
  • Scott Lindholm of Beyond the Box Score compares Yasiel Puig’s first season to others with similar career starts.

Tweets from the Dodger caravan

By Jon Weisman

Today’s the day a bunch of current Dodgers join the team’s Pitching in the Community Caravan (presented by State Farm). You can follow along on Twitter, but I’ll update this post periodically with Josh Tucker’s tweets from the scene.

Guerra Puig

Dodgers 2014: Live. Breathe. Blue.


By Jon Weisman

Last year, the Dodgers offered “A Whole New Blue.” This year, the franchise is moving forward — to “Live. Breathe. Blue.”

That’s the advertising, marketing and digital campaign that will be incorporated across Los Angeles in 2014.

“Our new tagline encapsulates how each of our fans feel about the Dodgers organization,” Dodger executive vice president and chief marketing officer Lon Rosen said. “We feel it is a natural evolution of last year’s slogan, ‘A Whole New Blue. “The Dodgers have given and will continue to give our fans reasons to believe in the team during the 2014 season.”

“Live. Breathe. Blue.” was created in partnership with Walton Isaacson, the club’s advertising agency.

Paperless tickets for Dodger plan holders coming in 2014

By Jon Weisman

Those who have purchased season tickets and mini plans for the Dodgers in 2014 will be introduced to a paperless ticket program that 17 other MLB teams have utilized. Ken Gurnick of has more.

… Among the fan enhancements will be the capability to load digital tickets on smartphones in the same manner that airlines provide for their ticketing. Automated turnstiles are being installed at Dodger Stadium to allow for even faster admission.

Among the features to be implemented by the new platform: digital/mobile delivery to ticket holders; state-of-the-art ticket management; integrated loyalty programs; and interactive seat maps.

“Paperless tickets are part of our heightened efforts to enable Dodger fans to manage their season seats better than ever,” Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten said in a release.

“The benefits include: receiving your tickets sooner, being able to print them at home or at your office, the ease of transferring them to family, friends, business associates or clients with free forwarding, and the ability to use them via your smartphone to enter the stadium.” …


Vin Scully will go to Australia

Los Angeles Dodgers Vin Scully is Grand Marshall of the Rose ParadeBy Jon Weisman

Good news from Up Over about Down Under …

Vin Scully told Steve Dilbeck of Dodgers Now that he will be in Sydney for the Dodgers’ Opening Series against the Diamondbacks in Australia.

… “They asked me to go because they’re the first games to be broadcast by Time Warner,” Scully said. “So I said, `Sure, I’ll go.’ ”

Scully said he would be in Phoenix Feb. 25 when the Dodgers’ regional sports network makes its debut and then broadcast the first spring games the next two days. He said he would return for one game against the San Francisco Giants on March 9 and return one week later for the final game in Phoenix, March16 against the Colorado Rockies before the team takes off for Sydney.

The Dodgers then return home to play an exhibition Freeway Series against the Angels, and Scully will broadcast the games March 27-28 at Dodger Stadium. That’s a lot of work and travel for the 86-year-old broadcaster.

“With ESPN doing the season opener in San Diego followed by an off day, so I’ll get two days off and should be fine,” he said. “I do love it, so I’ll give it a shot.” …

Video: Caravan brings Dodger Skatium finale

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By Jon Weisman 

Above, fun video of the Dodgers and the kids on Tuesday’s second day of the Dodgers Pitching in the Community Caravan, including the final skate in Dodger Stadium. They began tearing down the rink today.

Below, a sample of the latest from Dodger photographers Jon SooHoo and Juan Ocampo, from today’s Yasiel Puig visit and day three of the caravan. (Click the link to see them all.)

Dodgers Community Caravan

Yasiel Puig surprises Dodger fans at Select-a-Seat

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By Jon Weisman

First the astonishment, then the excitement. You could really feel the electricity charging through the halls of Dodger Stadium today the moment Yasiel Puig made a surprise appearance at the Select-a-Seat event for season-ticket holders.


Puig, who will also join Friday’s Pitching in the Community caravan, greeted fans of all ages, including enough babies to satisfy the prototypical political campaign. (He also got a sales pitch for the new limited-availability reserved parking spaces at Dodger Stadium.)

“I appreciate all the attention from the fans,” Puig said in a brief chat in the hallways of the Club Level. “My teammates and I are going to continue giving our all on the field, so that these fans feel excited about coming to games.”

The 23-year-old outfielder, heading into his second Spring Training with the Dodgers, said he has been toiling at all aspects of his game in the offseason.

“I have also been working on my throws to bases so that I can help my teammates better on the field,” he said.


As season ticket sales peak, individual game tickets on sale Friday

individualBy Jon Weisman

The Dodgers head into the launch of individual game tickets at 10 a.m. Friday and continue to sell mini plans, but they have temporarily halted full-season ticket sales at 31,000, according to Ken Gurnick of

Vice president of ticket sales David Siegel told Gurnick that the club is evaluating whether supply will allow an additional limited number of season tickets to be sold, after an unprecedented 98 percent renewal rate from last year.

To purchase individual game tickets beginning Friday, click here.

In case you missed it: Caravan on ice

Dodgers Community Caravan
By Jon Weisman

Photo highlights from Tuesday’s second day of the Dodgers Pitching in the Community Caravan (presented by State Farm) can be found here.

Elsewhere, the links keep coming …

  • Clayton Kershaw spoke to MLB Network about the potential for using the new protective caps for pitchers approved by MLB. Steve Dilbeck of Dodgers Now passes along some Kershaw quotes.

    … “I’ve thrown with it. You don’t look very cool, I’ll be honest,” he said.

    “But technology is unbelievable and it really doesn’t feel that much different once you get used to it. Obviously, it would be a change. We wouldn’t look the same as everybody else, but if you’re that one guy who gets hit what seems like every year, there’s that chance out there. I’m definitely not opposed to it. I think it’d take a lot of getting used to. I think it’s a great thing and a step in the right direction, for sure.”

    Kershaw said baseball could require minor leaguers to wear the cap, easing its way into the big leagues. …

  • What were the most clutch plays of the Dodgers’ 2013 season? Chad Moriyama takes a look at Dodgers Digest.
  • Julio Urias ranks 14th on Keith Law’s top 100 prospect list for The 17-year-old is followed by Corey Seager at 18, Joc Pederson at 41 and Zach Lee at 75. Here’s the start of the Urias writeup:

    The Dodgers signed Urias — who is the youngest player on this list by a wide margin — during the same trip to Mexico that netted them Yasiel Puig, which may end up one of the most productive scouting runs in baseball history, as Urias has enormous upside if he can just stay healthy while Los Angeles gradually builds up his arm to handle a starter’s workload.

  • Ken Gurnick is the latest to profile Lee, for
  • Dodgers marketing pioneer Danny Goodman is someone who must be remembered, and it’s nice to see Evan Bladh do so at Opinion of Kingman’s Performance.
  • Tom Verducci’s Baseball State of the Union piece at is long but well worth the read for how thought-provoking it is, even if you don’t agree with all he writes (and I don’t think he intends for you to).
  • One more from the caravan, which featured kids from Long Beach’s McBride Park Teen Center skating at Dodger Stadium at the end of the day.


Active Dodgers join community caravan Friday

caravan MondayBy Jon Weisman

Yasiel Puig, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Carl Crawford, Brian Wilson and Alexander Guerrero are scheduled to be among the active Dodgers participating in the team’s Pitching in the Community Caravan (presented by State Farm) on Friday.

Subject to change, those Dodgers will be joined by Scott Van Slyke, Paco Rodriguez, Tim Federowicz, Stephen Fife, Dee Gordon, Javy Guerra, Justin Sellers, Matt Magill, Seth Rosin, Nick Buss, Drew Butera, Mike Baxter and Jarrett Martin (along with assistant hitting coach John Valentin and broadcaster Charley Steiner), as they make the following stops:

  • 9-11:15 a.m. – Kidspace Children’s Museum, Pasadena
  • 12-2 p.m. – Homeboy Industries, Los Angeles
  • 2:30-3:45 p.m. – Weingart East Los Angeles YMCA, Los Angeles
  • 4:30-6:30 p.m. – Dodgers Dreamfield dedication and baseball clinic at Jesse Owens Park, Los Angeles

This will be Guerrero’s first public appearance as a Dodger.

The overriding mission of the Dodgers’ community efforts in general and this caravan in particular is to build upon the team’s tradition of service with the goal of inspiring youth and adults to play, learn, live and serve. The impact the players can have is pretty priceless.

Note: Caravan activities are not open to the general public, but are specifically targeted for the aforementioned groups.

Ten statistical stats from Adrian Gonzalez in 2013


By Jon Weisman

Some would call the most important information known to man. Others, less enlightened, might call it trivia. Either way, in the 2013 regular season, it is a fact that Adrian Gonzalez had …

  1. … a .985 OPS (.444 on-base percentage, .541 slugging percentage) batting cleanup in his first 17 games of the season — but despite reaching base 32 times, scored only three runs.
  2. … a .940 OPS (.351/.589) when he swung at the first pitch of an at-bat, despite only two walks in 185 plate appearances. By comparison, Yasiel Puig had a .927 OPS in the 187 times he swung at the first pitch of an at-bat.
  3. … 18 homers in 400 at-bats against right-handed pitching, compared with four in 183 at-bats against lefties – but delivered more doubles against lefties (17) than righties (15).
  4. … an .835 OPS at Dodger Stadium in 315 plate appearances. In 2007, while with San Diego, Gonzalez went 2 for 38 in Los Angeles.
  5. … the same OPS in August as he did in September: .772. And that includes wrapping up the regular season with a .945 OPS in his final 22 games.
  6. … a line of  6 for 11 with two doubles as a designated hitter or pinch-hitter.
  7. … runs in nine consecutive road games from July 10-August 2.
  8. … 14 home runs in 285 plate appearances after pitchers got first-pitch strikes, compared with six home runs in 283 plate appearances after first-pitch balls.
  9. … a 1.099 OPS in the seventh inning and a .461 OPS in the eighth inning.
  10. … eight infield hits, four more than Zack Greinke.

In case you missed it: Sandy Koufax applies for regular job presenting awards to Clayton Kershaw

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By Jon Weisman

We’re all in awe of Sandy Koufax, but Koufax seemed in awe of Clayton Kershaw while presenting him with his National League Cy Young Award over the weekend (in the video above):

“Clayton Kershaw is not my protege,” Koufax said. “Clayton Kershaw is his own person, his own man, and he’s done it all himself. … He’s a very special pitcher. He’s a very special teammate. He’s a very special person.”

“As a player, Clayton has never been satisfied. He has tried to get better every year. And if he gets better after the year he had this year, I’d like to apply for next year’s job of presenting this to him again.”

  • What’s the all-time Dodger team of single-season performances? Matt Snyder of makes his picks.
  • Keith Law of ranks the Dodgers’ farm system 11th in baseball.

    “A very top-heavy system like Baltimore’s, with two elite guys at the top and three solid guys after, followed by a lot of reliever/fifth starter depth. They did have some intriguing arms in short-season ball who could push this system’s overall value up a lot by next year, especially since none of their top eight prospects are likely to lose eligibility in 2014.”

  • In this post about the superb hitting by Dodger pitchers last season, Daniel Brim of Dodgers Digest notes that it was the fourth-best performance since 1990. Though Zack Greinke figures to regress after his phenomenal season at the plate, Dan Haren (career .240 on-base percentage) might help the cause.
  • Charlie Osgood, who pitched in one game for the Dodgers in 1944 during World War II at age 17, has passed away, notes Baseball Happenings (via Blue Heaven). He was a nephew of famous Dodger coach Clyde Sukeforth.
  • A type of protective cap for pitchers to use on the mound has been approved by MLB, reports William Weinbaum for “We’re excited to have a product that meets our safety criteria,” Halem told “Outside the Lines,” adding that baseball will continue its efforts to come up with more options.
  • Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach will host a game between the Brevard County Manatees and Lakeland Flying Tigers on April 15 in celebration of Jackie Robinson Day.
  • Recent Dodger signee Chone Figgins is among the baseball veterans attempting to make comebacks that Cliff Corcoran writes about at, but the most interesting tidbit might be about Mark Mulder, who is trying things out with the Angels.

    “By 2011, Mulder had settled into retirement as an analyst for ESPN, but while watching Dodgers lefty Paco Rodriguez pitch in last year’s playoffs Mulder was inspired to imitate his delivery and discovered that doing so restored the life on his pitches.

  • Peter Gammons wrote at Gammons Daily that the Dodgers are the team to beat in the National League West, but that the division will be interesting this year.
  • The inimitable Pete Seeger, who passed away Monday, can be heard discussing baseball — including the integration effort — on these videos shared by Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk.
  • Following up on the first day of the Dodgers’ Pitching in the Community Caravan, Courtney Jones and bring some great stuff in this video.[mlbvideo id=”31325787″ width=”400″ height=”224″ /]

Stan Kasten named LASC Sports Executive of the Year


Dodger president and CEO Stan Kasten has been named 2013 Sports Executive of the Year by the Los Angeles Sports Council, which will present him with the honor during the ninth annual L.A. Sports Awards March 5 at the Beverly Hilton.

Kasten was honored for his work helping to mold the Dodgers into a National League Championship Series team in only his second year with the franchise.

“He has helped to re-energize the team’s fan base and re-establish the Dodgers as one of the leading brands in all of team sports, with a team built for long-term success on and off the field,” the LASC said.

Prime Ticket will televise the L.A. Sports Awards on March 14, and through Friday, you can vote on the top moment of the year. The event raises money to further the LASC mission of promoting economic development through sports in greater Los Angeles.

In addition, Kasten has joined the board of directors for the LA84 Foundation, which serves as a key funder for youth athletics in Southern California.

As Matt Kemp knows, there are challenges, and then there are challenges

Matt Kemp Caravan
By Jon Weisman

People will talk about Matt Kemp’s hurdles in 2014 coming back from multiple injuries, but Kemp would be the first to put those hurdles in perspective.

FourA surprise visitor today at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, joining Dodger alumni Ron Cey, Ken Landreaux, Matt Luke and Dennis Powell on the first day of the Dodgers Pitching in the Community Caravan (presented by State Farm), Kemp was eager to spread good cheer but had to take some deep breaths on the way.

“It’s definitely difficult,” Kemp said. “Kids honestly don’t deserve to go through this. They didn’t ask for this. Me growing up, I had a normal childhood, I was healthy … but some of the things these kids have been through, I wouldn’t know how to react or how to handle these situations. So yeah, it’s tough to come here, seeing some of these kids with their childhood taken away.

“There’s a little bit of a backstory to it. I had a little brother, growing up — he was sick, he was always in the hospital and he later passed. Just coming to the hospital for me is pretty tough. The smell of a hospital reminds me of my little brother. Coming to see some of these kids, hooked up to these machines, it just takes me back. It’s definitely tough just to come here and see some of this stuff. But it’s what I guess I was born to do, and it’s nice to do and puts everything in perspective.”

Told that was a big responsibility, Kemp agreed but believed he could make a difference, saying that “if it’s me just saying ‘hello’ to a kid, giving a kid a Dodger hat or something that makes their day, that makes them eat” when they might otherwise feel too weak to do so, he was game.

As for himself, Kemp hasn’t completed his recovery from every injury that set him back in 2013 — namely the ankle — but feels he is right on track.

“I feel great. Just got done working out not too long ago. I’m pretty pumped up for the upcoming season and what’s going on, and hopefully be injury-free this whole year and have a great season.

“I’m not rushing it back, but I’m definitely going to come back 110 percent and try to be the best centerfielder I can be.”

Childrens Hospital Instagram

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