I thought I wrote about it, but I guess not. After all, I haven’t exactly been faithful to writing on this blog.
During Tuesday night’s game between the Dodgers and the Giants, I happened to glance up during the commercials. I rarely get to watch the games on TV. Most of the time I’m either a) at the game; b) listening it to the radio, or c) not able to catch the game at all. This time, for once, I was actually able to watch it. I see it’s a Dodger commercial with different “it’s time for” slogans going across. Towards the end of it, I see Travis Schlichting going over to the baseline wall and reaching for a sharpie from a fan and then it ended with fireworks. I saw Travis and immediately said, “aww Travis!” A split-second later it was followed by, “wait! That’s me!”
Okay, so it was an exhibition game. But it was still my first baseball game of the 2011 year, though not the 2011 season. I suppose I could list it as game A and the other game, Game B and then start the count on Opening Day. I was very much ready for Monday’s exhibition game against the Angels.
Today was Day 2 of the Dodger Community Caravan. Yesterday, we spent our time cleaning along the L.A. River. Today, we cleaned up a part of the Santa Monica Beach. We started on the north side of the pier and moved north. It was a little drizzly when we arrived, but stopped by the time the players arrived. We were assigned groups, there were five total.
k a huge group photo of everyone who showed up to participate. Guess who made his way to the front to stand by Gabe and ended up right in front of me. Yup, Matt Kemp.
A little late, but better late than never.
We got into the stadium, and the first players we saw were Carlos Monasterios, Chad Billingsley, and Ramon Troncoso. I have to admit, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Chad sign before a day game. So, I was surprised when I asked him if he would sign that he came over. Not only did he sign my scrapbook, but he found a spot on my team ball to sign. He asked me if I wanted him to sign on the picture, and I said yeah. It’s funny how the players have been asking, “do you want me to sign on the picture or here?” Here, being a blank space on the page. Ted Lilly signed down by the foul pole, but I didn’t want to run over there. So, I stayed behind while my friends went. It took awhile before other players came out. Several pitchers would walk by, but say they had to go to the bullpen. Jeff Weaver came out to play catch with Belisario. He was right in front of us. I asked him to sign but he said something and went to play catch.
I have been trying for over a year to get Weaver to sign my scrapbook from 2009. It’s the article when he and his brother faced each other last year. Today, I brought my 2010 book that’s a Work in Progress. I figured I’d try to get a few of the players while they were still with the team. I’ve gotten a lot of players in my 2009 book already. Fortunately, there’s a great picture from the LA Times from when Jeff Weaver pitched to Jered Weaver when the Angels played at Dodger Stadium. I was surprised that when I asked Jeff to sign, he actually came over to sign!
And I also finally got a picture with him! I don’t remember who I got next, but I’ll go with Kuo. He was playing catch with Kenley Jansen, who I also asked to come sign but he said he had to go. So, Kuo came and I had a magazine I needed him to sign for my friend’s boyfriend. It’s the Dodger Magazine with the four All Stars. I got Ethier earlier in the week and Angelikna got Broxton at the signing. So, we just needed Kuo. There’s no way we’d ever get Furcal unless we catch him down in the Minors doing a Rehab assignment. So, as Kuo is signing our things, he had two baseballs in his glove. My friend asks Kuo for one of his balls and Kuo gave him a look and my friend said, “not that kind!” It was hilarious. I wish I had captured it on camera.
Ryan Theriot came out with Stan Conte (the trainer). Guess he was testing to see how his knee felt after getting knocked over in Monday’s game. We’ve been trying to get Theriot to sign and he finally came over today. He almost didn’t sign for me. When I asked him for a quick picture, he said he didn’t have time.
Sure. He didn’t have time. I don’t mind if they say no. I rather have them just straight out tell me they don’t want to or can’t. Casey Blake tells fans all the time he won’t take pictures. Andre was telling fans the same thing last year. If they say no, they say no. No big deal. Anyway, I’m letting go and moving on.
The players started coming out to warm up. Jamey Carroll came over to sign once he finished getting ready. Since I had my book, I thought I might as well ask him. These ladies wanted a picture with him. Not sure if they remembered to ask him, because he started to walk away. Since they had their back to him, getting ready for the picture, I spoke up for them and asked if he had time for a quick picture. He put his hand on one and was trying to position himself between the two. The other lady didn’t see what he was doing and she was blocking Jamey. It worked out and they got their picture. He signed my book. He did the same thing Chad did, and asked me where did I want him to sign. I let him choose. There was plenty of white space for him to sign on the page if he wanted to, which is where he signed.
When Andre came out to warm up, I went over with my friend’s bobblehead to get that signed. I haven’t asked Andre for an autograph for myself yet this year… at the game. It gets too crazy to go over there consistently. And I don’t want to go all the time. I think I’ve gone over there like twice this year, and both times were to get autographs for friends. As soon as I got my friend’s bobblehead signed, I got out of dodger so other people could get their things signed. I even heard one person behind me say, “get out of the way so we can get something signed” or something like that. Fortunately, I was able to get out of there. Sometimes it’s not possible!
Frank Kramer from the Frosty, Heidi, and Frank show on KABC was supposed to be up at the Loge Terrace. By the time I finished down the in field level, I was hungry and didn’t feel like going up to the Loge Terrace. So I went to get food! I’ll try to get that post up tomorrow! This post turned out a lot longer than I expected.
Well, see, I teased my friend that today I wasn’t going to say hi to him until after the game was over. We said hi before the game yesterday, and the Dodgers lost. Today, I saw him a few times before and during the game, but I didn’t make eye contact or say hi. And guess what? The Dodgers won!!!
On top of that, Pat asked me to get two baseballs signed for someone’s kid. I said sure. One ball was for anyone and everyone. The other ball was just for Andre. I got in and Russell Martin was right THERE by the baseline. However, by the time I got to the Kiddie Korral he was already on his way to the dugout. Rats! I got the ball out and got ready to ask for whoever would stop to sign the ball for Pat. I don’t remember who was first, Reed Johnson or Loney. Honestly, I did not expect Reed Johnson to stop. Not sure if I’ve ever seen him sign. Not only did he come over and sign, he also took a picture with me 😀
Next up, the Dodgers ran in. I looked for Juan Castro but he headed down to the clubhouse instead of coming up. Guess he remembered me from the day before. I remembered to bring my picture this time. It didn’t work 😦
After all the players went in, I looked for Jay Gibbons. I had hurried to Wal Greens before heading to the stadium to print the picture of me and Jay from the day before. Sure enough, he was straggling behind. So, I held up the picture and asked Jay if he could please sign. He put his stuff down and came up. Hands shot out with pens and balls, but like Reed and the other players… he came to me first. Someone behind me asked him if he was starting today. He said no, he doesn’t start two days in a row. He’s too old for that. I told him he wasn’t too old. In fact, he started two days in a row last week. Okay, so maybe after that he realized he wasn’t ready to start back to back games.
I couldn’t believe I got three signatures on the baseball for Pat. It takes me a whole homestand sometimes to get three signatures on my team ball. And Reed Johnson nonetheless! Like I said, I didn’t expect Reed to come over. I was very excited and glad that he did. Now to get Andre’s ball signed. We went to the spot where Andre usually signs and waited for him. We chatted with some new friend Henry, Lauren, and… I’m drawing a blank. Hopefully, Lauren will visit my blog and correct my bad memory. Henry is a regular and I’m sure we crossed paths hundreds of times. Lauren said the last time they were at a game was when Nomar Garciaparra was still on the team. We shared tips and stuff about getting autographs. I saw them after the game to retrieve my silver sharpie. He had gotten two autographs on his baseball cap. I was looking at the second one, trying to figure out whose it was. He told me. I was like, what? His autograph doesn’t look like that. Then I turned the cap upside down. James Loney. Sure enough. His signature was upside down from the LA logo on the cap.
You knew the game was going to be tight. Ted Lilly was pitching and so far he’s been lights out with the Dodgers. He is undefeated in his first three starts with the Dodgers. Josh Suchon on Dodger Talk likes to say Lilly didn’t get much run support from the Cubs, and he sure isn’t getting much with the Dodgers either.
If you watched the game or saw the final, you would know that Josh sure was right. Lilly didn’t get much run support. Just two runs. And he made sure two runs was all he needed. And that he was not going to hand over the ball to the bullpen for them to mess it up. Guess who he two runs were courtesy of?
Sure enough. Former Cubbie himself. Reed Johnson! The guy I got my photo taken with earlier in the game. One of the ushers was joking with me that Reed’s gonna tell the players that they need to get their picture taken with me before a game so they can hit a homerun too. And believe me, Reed’s not the first player to have hit a homerun in the same game when I’ve gotten a photo with them. 😀 Just a lucky coincidence I say. However, my usher friend said if the Dodgers lose the next three games, it’s my fault because I’m not going to any of the other games the rest of this homestand.
There will be two player appearances tomorrow. Jamey Carroll and AJ Ellis. The Dodgers have been posting an announcement on Facebook now about the player appearances. So far Carroll’s announcement has a few comments, but AJ’s already is up to almost 100. And I gotta say, probably 90% of those comments are not of the positive kind. Here’s a few.
AG: They were going to get Octavio Dotel to make an appearance, but they
were afraid he’d just keep dropping the Sharpies off the table =/
DD: Who is he and will he refund the money I’ve wasted on this team? Good grief! Dodger fans deserve better!
NC: A TRUE Dodger fan will stick with the Dodgers through the GOOD and the
BAD! It’s sad when people call themselves fans and then when the team
isn’t doing well they put the team down! Shame shame on you…
DC: Really? A.J. Ellis? Was Juan Castro busy that day? Come on man.!
EP: he still is a rookie and hasen’t been playing everyday until now but give him a break he should improve. don’t be so screwed up.
EL: Jesus look at all the folks ragging on poor AJ. Dude is just a 3rd string catcher lol lay off man!
Although if he did an appearance at a batting cage, id be impressed
FM: Ellis should be making appearances in Albuquerque where he belongs.
CL: If I throw a ball at him, will it fly right by him like the game last night???
LH: OF THE 6 PEOPLE THAT ATTEND THIS EVENT, 2 WILL BE THERE TO BUY A CAR, 2
WONT KNOW WHO THE DODGERS ARE AND 2 WILL BE LITTLE KIDS WHO THINK AJ
ELLIS IS RYAN HOWARD.
RM: Hopefully AJ sells cars better than he can hit baseballs…
CH: Who’s AJ Ellis?
Now Jamey Carroll comments
DC: baller, Jamey Carroll is an awesome utility man. He shows effort
(ahem…Matt Kemp) and is a hard worker. Hard work beats talent, but
talent does not beat hard work.
JR: dodger fans don’t give carroll enough credit for everything he has been doing for us .
CR: I am SOOOO excited!!!! I would do ANYTHING for this man!!! I LOVE HIM!!!!
(Yes, this is posted by a woman)
MN: Maybe the Dodgers can one of those “Easy” buttons and put together some wins or new ownership!
DCa: Jamey Carroll has done more than he was asked to do. If Matt Kemp had
his drive and determination, not to mention some desire, MK would be a
SuperStar. But this is for Jamey ! Thanks for playing like a Dodger
Guess who’s going to have the bigger crowd tomorrow?
There were a few negative comments in Carroll’s comments, but only like one or two were actually directed at Carroll. Not like Ellis where the majority of the comments were negative, and even then it was split between management, individual players, the team, and AJ.
Don’t worry, AJ. There will be two fans there who don’t fall under the three categories that LH listed. Even though Carroll’s signing is much closer to my house, I am going to drive all the way out to Glendora to support Ellis and the Dodgers. Someone’s gotta show up and represent right?
Okay, so at the first game of the last homestand, I got a pair of batting gloves from a friend. Not just any batting gloves, but batting gloves that were used during last year’s play offs. Well, since then, the Dodgers have won every game I’ve been to. It’s not saying much, but let’s just say if I got a win for every finger on those gloves, I just need one more to finish one hand.
Game One: August 3 vs Padres
Got the gloves from friend. Dodgers win 2 – 1 behind Ted Lilly’s long postponed Dodger Debut. I say that only because he was drafted by the Dodgers but never came up as a Dodger … until now.
Game Two: August 4 vs Padres
I had a double dose of luck because I brought my friends from school. The first time we went to a game together was the walk off win against the Mets. I figured, we gonna win tonight!
Dodgers creamed the Padres, 9 to zip, in a near historical game. So, not only did the Dodgers win, but we almost had a no-hitter!
Game Three: August 7 vs Nationals
This one, at first, I wasn’t so sure. The Dodgers lost the day before to Adam Dunn. But I still had hope they would win since I brought my lucky gloves to the game. Even when we were down two runs, I knew the Dodgers would come back. Then when they tied it, I knew the Dodgers were not going to lose this one. Thank you James Loney for another walk off victory! They sure didn’t let me down.
Anyone else worried? After all, how many games did the Dodgers blow it in the past week? How many times were the Dodgers’ offense was shut down in the same week? And what about the Curse of the Bobblehead? Well, I brought my gloves anyway, hoping there was still a win in them. Sure, Kemp went 0 for 3 on his bobblehead and nearly got picked off at second when he managed to get on base via a walk. Sure things didn’t look great when Jansen put men on base and who did Torre bring in? Sherrill. Sure things didn’t look good in the first four innings when the Dodgers couldn’t buy a hit. A few innings later, six runs, and Broxton getting three outs in the ninth… the Dodgers won a game! Phew. Even with six runs, it wasn’t easy.
Now, I’m not an overly superstitious person. But I gotta tell you… I’ll keep bringing the gloves as long as the Dodgers keep winning. After the game, I told my friends, hmm the gloves has ten fingers in them. Does that mean it has ten wins in it?
Just wanted to leave a quick note saying I’m still here, still alive, and still rooting for my boys in Blue. Even though it seems like they’re dropping like flies. First Manny (which wasn’t a big surprise… he’s been hurt an awful lot this year), then Reed Johnson … now Raffy Furcal’s back is acting up, Weaver’s got tendinitis in his knee… and throw in Russell Martin possibly missing the rest of the season…
Even though Russ’ numbers aren’t what they were in 2006 and 2007 … I think losing him and Furcal would be the two biggest blows to this team that is trying to bail out water with their cleats. Ask the girls who tried to bail out their sinking canoe with their shoes … it doesn’t work!
Guess I better put my two cents in while I’m still up. I like that we got Theriot and Lilly … though we’ll see how well they perform for us during their two-month rental. I haven’t looked into it, but it would be nice to keep them for next season. Even nicer if we can get Jamey Carroll to come back. Brad Ausmus is retiring. You know it was bound to happen sooner or later. How many 42 (he’s 41 now isn’t it?) year old catchers do you see still playing in the majors?
I am a little bummed about sending Blake DeWitt to the Cubs. The guy was a great fill-in when Nomar Garciaparra and Andy LaRoche got hurt in 2008. He was a great team-player in 2009, changing positions, and getting called up and sent down so many times he might as well changed his residence to the airports between LA and New Mexico. Just when he almost made it through a full season without going down to AAA, he gets shipped to the Cubs instead.
Then there’s James McDonald going to Pittsburgh. On the bright side, he’ll have some familiar faces since the Dodgers have traded Delwyn Young and Andy LaRoche to the Pirates in the last two years. Anyone remember who Young got traded for? And of course, no one can forget who LaRoche was traded for. You know, the guy who was suspended last year and spent a bit of time on the DL this year. Who’s wondering if McDonald might turn it around some day and come back to Dodger Stadium for a little payback?
And the overlooked trade … Lucas May going to the Royals for Scott Podsednik. I like Podsednik and his never-pronounced-correctly-unless-it’s-by-Vin last name. I remember hearing the story of the “silent D” when he played with the Rockies in 2008, and again when he was with the White Sox in 2009. However, I am sad that we sent Lucas May to the Royals. I was looking forward to seeing him in Dodger Blue one day. Very highly doubtful that we’ll get to see him in Royals Blue seeing as I don’t see the Royals playing the Dodger anytime soon. The Dodgers tend to get teams like the Tigers and White Sox instead of the Royals and Orioles. Anyone else wondering with Martin’s injury, would May have been called up instead of Ellis? Probably not. After all, Ellis has seen more major league time this year than Ausmus has… right?
I’m still holding onto some hope that the Dodgers can pull it out and make some last ditch effort to make it to the play-offs. If they don’t, I’ll still love them. They’ll still be my team.