Dodger Thoughts

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

Category: Off the field

In case you missed it: A moment of reflection

Padres at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Howie Kendrick, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Trayce Thompson, CF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Scott Van Slyke, LF
Kenta Maeda, P

By Jon Weisman

I didn’t want to let the weekend go by without passing along the words Vin Scully recited to the Dodger Stadium crowd before Friday’s game, near the end of an incredibly difficult week in this country.

Ladies and gentlemen. At this time, we’d like to take a moment to reflect on the tragic events that have occurred across our country over the past few days. As a community and a nation, we mourn the tragic loss of lives and injuries, and our deepest sympathies go out to all who have been directly impacted by those events and to their families and friends. As United States attorney general Loretta Lynch said today, “This has been a week of profound grief and heartbreaking loss, but as she also reminded us, “Today and every day we are one nation, we are one people and we stand together.

Therefore, we commend the heroic actions and courage of our first responders, volunteers, citizens and government officials, and we gratefully acknowledge the sacrifice that so many have made on behalf of those people. And as the organization that took a historic stance against racism, the Los Angeles Dodgers will continue to stand firm against all forms of hatred, violence and discrimination. At this time, we ask that you please stand silently for a moment of reflection and respect.

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

A few other items from recent days …

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Dodgers activate McCarthy, option Stewart

Brock Stewart took in his first home game as a Dodger on Friday. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers).

Brock Stewart took in his first home game as a Dodger on Friday. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers).

Rockies at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrián González, 1B
Trayce Thompson, CF
Howie Kendrick, LF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Brandon McCarthy, P

By Jon Weisman

Brandon McCarthy has officially been activated from the disabled list by the Dodgers, 14 months and three days after he had Tommy John surgery.

Brock Stewart, who struck out seven while allowing five runs over five innings in a spot start for Los Angeles on June 29, has been optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City.

In other business, the Dodgers outrighted minor-league pitcher Yaisel Sierra to clear a spot on the 40-man roster. Sierra, a right-hander from Cuba, has been pitching for Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.

Additionally, Layne Somsen has been outrighted, while Ian Thomas was released. Both pitchers had been designated for assignment.

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In case you missed it: That post-Puig, post-sweep glow

Los Angeles Dodgers against the Washington Nationals

By Jon Weisman

Still feels like there’s a buzz in the air over how very #Puignotlate the ending was to Wednesday’s game. Let’s provide some epilogues to that, as well as catching up on some other recent Dodger ephemera.

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Los Angeles Dodgers against the Washington Nationals

  • Puig’s dash around the bases was 15.2 seconds, which is tied for the fastest home-to-home run in baseball this year, as seen in the video above.
  • What was going through Puig’s mind? “I was ready for the hit, and nobody thought that the ball would go through,” Puig said through an interpreter, according to Doug Padilla of ESPN.com. “So when I did see the ball go through, I had to talk to my hamstring so I can figure out how far I could go on the bases. … I didn’t see [the stop sign]. I was listening to my hamstring and I was trying to figure out how far it could go. If it exploded there, that’s what was going to happen, but I was able to make it home.”
  • The big finish called to mind 1988’s Kirk Gibson scoring from second base on a wild pitch, as Phil Gurnee writes at his new blog, Dodgers, Yesterday and Today.

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Champ and Joc Pederson, living life

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Joc and Champ Pederson combined to produce a wonderful, multimedia piece for the Players Tribune on their relationship and their approach to life. It’s a must-read, so go check it out now …

— Jon Weisman

Fordham alumni Vin Scully and Pat Harrington Jr. appear on ‘It Takes Two’ in 1970

Pat Harrington Jr., the longtime TV performer (“One Day at a Time”), passed away Wednesday at age 86. Harrington graduated from Fordham in 1950 — one year after Vin Scully — and was a guest on the Scully-hosted “It Takes Two” in June 1970.

— Jon Weisman

Video: Ellis and Kershaw take Green Bay

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Courtesy of SportsNet LA, here’s a fun video of Clayton Kershaw joining A.J. Ellis at a Cowboys-Packers game in Green Bay last month — a day that includes Kershaw picking up the football and sending a pass too deep, and yet shallow, all at once.

— Jon Weisman

Dodger exec Erik Braverman becomes role model for LGBT youth

Braverman

Erik Braverman has been out in his private life for years, but has kept his sexual orientation from many in baseball. With MLB’s very public embrace of the LGBT community, Braverman wants youth to know they can be out in pro sports.

So reads the subhead from Cyd Ziegler’s story at Outsports about Dodger vice president of marketing and broadcasting Erik Braverman. Here’s an excerpt:

… Inside baseball — even within Dodger Stadium — Braverman held back his private life, his truth, his identity.

“I didn’t want anyone to, in any way, not view me for the quality of my work,” Braverman told Outsports. “I don’t want to be know as the gay executive who happens to run marketing and broadcasting for the Dodgers. I want my accomplishments and my job to be first and foremost and speak for themselves.”

Since starting Outsports in 1999, I had from time to time asked Braverman if it was time yet to share his story. I had met him playing in the L.A. gay basketball league before Jim Buzinski and I had started Outsports, and long before Braverman was working in Major League Baseball. As he ascended the ranks at ESPN Radio and then the Dodgers, I kept on him, a gnat that buzzed in his ear once every couple of years.

It was only minutes before he replied: “I think the time is right.”

There are lots of reasons people in sports come out publicly. Braverman isn’t remotely doing this for himself, content with living his lifelong dream in baseball even if it’s meant some people may ask the occasional question about a missing girlfriend.

For him this is the last step to burying his fears as a kid and helping other LGBT people interested in a career in baseball take the leap. …

It’s a terrific story and one I’m really pleased to share. Read the whole story here.

Cirque du Soleil Kurios tent rising at Dodger Stadium

Cirque pic

By Jon Weisman

If you’re visiting Dodger Stadium and spy something colorfully unusual in Lot 1 near the Sunset Gate A entrance, that would be the big top for Cirque du Soleil Kurios, which runs from December 10-February 7.

Above is a photo taken before today’s tent-raising; below is a short video snippet of the process.

[wpvideo PgomqzSc]

Curious about Kurios? Here are some facts and figures, provided by Cirque du Soleil …

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Meet frontier doctor Walter O’Malley

Walter_OMalley BrandedBy Jon Weisman

Fifty years ago today, in an episode that aired October 10, 1965, — yes, just hours after the Dodgers won Game 4 of the World Series — Dodger owner Walter O’Malley played a frontier doctor in the NBC TV western “Branded,” opposite series star Chuck Connors.

Connors was a former Brooklyn farmhand who had one at-bat with Brooklyn in 1949 and half a season with the Cubs in 1951, before embarking upon his acting career.

O’Malley was recruited to do the episode by Connors, after the Dodger chief asked him to entertain guests earlier that year, according to Times columnist Sid Ziff, who wrote about the filming of the episode in August 1965:

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