Today was the day my friends and I have been waiting for since last April. On Field Photo Day. I got the gate around 9:30 and was surprised how many cars were lined up already. Just before the gate opened, I walked over and ran into Jessica. As we were walking/running in, someone next to me said, “my [sister]* wants me to tell you that she reads your blog.” I was thrilled! Out of breath from walking so fast, but thrilled none the less. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a chance to talk to her and find out her name because at that moment, Pat called me to find out where I was. I was about five feet to her left. I apologized to the girl and her mom and said I had to run, my friend was right there. Pat, Norma, and I joined the huge line of fans waiting to enter in. Just as I was about to call Cat, I spotted her too.
*CORRECTION: I was wrong. It was her sister Cindy telling me that Katie reads my blog. Thanks for the comment and the correction, Katie!
We went in and found a spot across from where we were last year. Last year, my goal was to get a picture with Randy Wolf. Mission accomplished. I also got pictures with a few other players. That was before I started this Dodger blog. So the posts are published on my old blog. Here are the links to last year’s Photo Day.
On Field Photo Day Part One
On Field Photo Day Part Two
This year, since I realized I have photos with a lot of the players and several photos with several players … I was aiming for players who I DON’T have a photo with. Like Clayton Kershaw, Jonathan Broxton, Rafael Furcal, Casey Blake, and A.J. Ellis. Of the five i named, only one of them I got. The other four didn’t even stop. They waved. They shook hands. They gave high fives. None of them stopped long enough for you to even get a still photo.
A.J. Ellis was so sweet. He took his time with everyone. Someone behind me had a little itty bitty baby and after he held her, he asked how old is the baby. He said he has a 3 week old himself. I think he said 3. Maybe he said 6. I forgot.
Travis Schlichting came by. I have a photo with him from last year that I absolutely LOVE. So, I just said hi. He just stood there and smiled at me. He didn’t move so I snapped a quick picture. It looked like he was waiting for someone to ask him to get a photo with him, which Cat obliged. He is so sweet. I’m glad he’s still up with the team. I thought they would’ve sent him back down by now. Fortunately, his ERA is the complete opposite of other players in our bullpen who shall remain nameless. Actually, He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named didn’t even come by our section and I wanted to get a better photo with him. I have one with him from last year but wouldn’t mind an upgrade.
It took a while to get off the field. We walked by where they normally have autograph alley and “Manny” was sitting there taking photos with fans. I think there were a handful of fans who saw “Manny” on the Dodger Vision and thought that Ramirez was really at the game. I even told one lady, he’s probably doing his rehab assignment somewhere in the Minors. She scoffed at me like I was some idiot and said with an attitude, “yeah right. I bet we see him down in the dug out.” Unless she went to the Single A Inland Empire’s game, I doubt she was going to see Ramirez in the dug out.
From the Dodgers’ website:
Manny Ramirez wasn’t at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, the day his
three-game rehab stint with Class A Inland Empire was to begin, but his
name was all over the dugout before the game. Literally. Ramirez signed a
portion of the Dodgers’ dugout, with his signature looming over manager
Joe Torre’s left shoulder. A note on the Dodgers’ whiteboard in the
clubhouse reminded all players to wear their white jerseys and report to
the field at 11:30 a.m. PT for photo day. Someone added, “That means
you Manny” — even though Ramirez is in San Bernadino. Ramirez is to
play Saturday, Sunday and Monday, likely playing one game in the field
and the other two at DH, Torre said. …
On Friday, it was originally scheduled that Ramon Troncoso was going to be signing at a Kragen’s in La Habra. Well, soon after that was announced, Troncoso got sent down to the Minors. Earlier this week, I called the La Habra store to confirm that it was canceled and there wasn’t going to be a replacement. An hour or so after I got the confirmation, Cat texted me. Carlos Monasterios was going to be signing at a Kragen’s… in Covina.
Figuring since it was Carlos and it was going to be on a Friday, I didn’t think I had to leave as early as I would for other players. I went to Troncoso’s last year and I showed up around 10 and there were probably about a dozen people in line. So, for Monasterios, I figured if I showed up by 9 that I would be fine. Sure enough. There were about a dozen people in line in front of me.
I brought my friend Kevin. Good thing too because I needed him to hold our place in line while I went Silver Sharpie hunting. I thought I had checked all my Sharpies the night before. I pulled out my Sharpie to write something and discovered I didn’t have my good silver Sharpie. I had the old one. Good thing there was a Wal Greens across the street from Kragen’s. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any silver Sharpies in stock. They were in the process of restocking other areas of the store, just not the area I was in. So I walked across the street to see if the Dollar Tree had anything. Nothing. I finally found a set at CVS. One of the guys asked me why I was going through so much trouble to get a silver sharpie.
I met Kevin, a kid who reads my blog. My blog isn’t as big as Roberto’s or the mysterious guys behind Sons of Steve Garvey. It’s really cool when I meet someone who reads my blog. I’m sure any blogger can relate.
A little bit before noon, Carlos showed up. He came with two other people, a guy and girl. Not too long after he went in, the line started to move. We looked through the window and it looked like he was signing more than one item and was taking photos with everyone.
Then it was my turn. I had my scrapbook ready to the page with the article, box score, and ticket stub of his first major league start. One of the Kragen employees was walking the line earlier and he was talking about something till he saw my book. He lost his train of thought and exclaimed, “wow! What is that?” Next up was Pat’s photo of her and Carlos. I asked him, “this is for Pat”… he signed it and then said, “can you ask Pat for a copy?” and pointed to Pat in the picture. I said I would. And I asked, “can you sign ONE more thing please? My team ball?” He signed it and then took a photo with me.
As pointed out at Sons of Steve Garvey, there was an article in the L.A. Times comparing “how the Dodgers and Angels have approached fireworks
this 2010 season“. I haven’t opened my Sunday issue of the L.A. Times, so I haven’t read the whole article yet. So, I haven’t decided whether or not the article will make it into my scrapbook. I’ll decide once I see the article in print, whether or not it has photos and is going to make the cut.
Tonight was one of the two nights the Dodgers were going to be having fireworks after the game. Since they were on the road on the Fourth of July, I guess having fireworks on the Fifth of July wasn’t too far off. Sorry any residential neighbors or anyone else who will be having dogs and other pets freaking out because of the fireworks. I’ve been house sitting for a friend and ever since Saturday night, their dog has been escaping from the backyard. She’s an older dog, so she doesn’t go far. I get back to the house and she’s sitting on the door step waiting for me. The first night, she got out two more times and I heard her whining at the front door. Hopefully tonight she’ll stay put.
I brought my friend Kevin to tonight’s game. In 2007, he was my game buddy. We went to several games together but due to personal reasons, he hasn’t been to a game in almost 2 years. It was nice to bring him. As soon as we got inside, I found my friends Pat and Cat. While standing next to Pat, I saw Justin Miller heading towards a ball on the ground. Since everyone around me was calling out his name, I joined in for fun. Totally didn’t expect Justin to look my way and toss me the ball. In turn, I tossed the ball to Kevin. It was his first game in two years and the only batting practice ball he had (he got from Joe Beimel in 07) was stolen.
It was a tough outing for John Ely. He didn’t get out of the third inning. Our starters have had a start or two where they couldn’t seem to get out of their own way. Both Billz and Kershaw had that outing and both were against the Brewers. Ely only gave up about 6 runs. I forget how many Billz and Kershaw gave up in May to the Brewers. I just remember we lost like 11 or 13 to them. Thankfully our Bullpen pulled through and put up ZEROS the rest of the game. Too bad our bats couldn’t light up the Marlins. We managed to get within ONE run but that was it.
While Kevin and I were watching the game, this lady and her daughter came and they couldn’t find their seats. So her daughter sat down but she proceeded to stand… RIGHT IN FRONT OF US. They kept talking, trying to figure out where their seats were. Well, I wanted to watch the game and I like to help people out when they’re not comfortable asking an usher. So, I asked her if they needed any help. I looked at her ticket and she was in 29 T, seats 7 and 8, That put her about three rows in front of us, where there was already one guy sitting in seat 7. I told her she was in our section, about three rows up, in row T. She said something about, no, that’s P or something like that. So, she stands in front of us for another at bat before she and her daughter finally go to an usher. Damon directed her to exactly where I told her where her seats were.
Oh, and I finally had a friend today with me who wanted to get garlic fries. I like garlic fries, but usually they’re too crunchy for me. I like soft, almost soggy fries. The “wormy” fries from McDonald’s are my favorites. Usually I go to games alone, or the friend I’m with doesn’t want any. Kevin said he’s been thinking about the garlic fries since I asked him to go to the game with me. Well, here I am hours later … glad there’s no one around me to smell garlic on my breath.
It was nice to see some of the players out with their families, enjoying the fireworks. I won’t name names, but the three players I saw were players with young children.
And yes, those were his words!
“We had a fantastic time at the signing today. And, uh, go Dodgers.”
As with most autograph signings, you never know what to expect. You can never guess what time the first person will show up or how many people. KABC was hoping for at least 400. That’s how many tickets they brought to hand out. Not tickets to the game. Tickets to give each person to admit them in for the autograph. They did bring tickets to the game for that night. Plenty of tickets.
So, what time did I show up? Before the sun came up. And guess what? I wasn’t even the first person in line! Christoph, the first person in line showed up at 3:30. I arrived about an hour later (less than that). I left my house at 4 and it took me 15 minutes to get there. So, you do the math. I first parked my car in front of the store but then was asked to move. Yes, there was someone there at 4:30 AM to ask me to move my car. They were repainting the lines for the spots in front of the store.
We talked for about the first hour or so. He talked mostly about politics and medical marijuana, a subject he was quite knowledgeable and passionate about … seeing as he uses medical marijuana. I forgot what term he used. After he took his medication, he mellowed out and we didn’t talk for about two hours. I read my book, he read his.
Then around 6:30 we were asked to move so some workers could clean the sidewalk. That’s when the rest of the fans started showing up. About five or six cars pulled in. We took the line and started forming it in the parking lot while they were cleaning the sidewalk. Alex came by and dropped off his dad, and Ronnie came. I talked with Ronnie for a while. Once they finished cleaning, we went back and reformed our line. Five hours to go till the signing started.
Lots of people wonder, how in the world do we wait for hours and hours just to get a few minutes with a ball player. Well, we spend hours talking to other fans in line and getting to know each other. I met Ronnie at both the Dodger Caravans earlier this year. The most memorable conversation was between Ronnie and another fan Edward. They were discussing/debating trading Ely for the Astros’ Roy Oswalt. Edward said he’d take it. Ronnie said he wouldn’t. He said Ely was gold and Oswalt was feathers. Edward laughed and said Ely was fool’s gold then. It was great. I wish I had recorded it and taken pictures to put in my slide-show. Guess my photo-journalistic skills weren’t sharp, as a result of less than 2 hours of sleep and being up before 4.
Surprisingly, John Ely showed up early! He was schedule to sign from 11:30 – 1.
He showed up a few minutes before 11.
My friend Pat was taking some pictures of Ely as he was walking up. Her sister behind her told her, “don’t get in front of Linda! She takes good pictures.”
It took about another 15 minutes before they started letting us in.
knows this little guy! He was one of the last, if not the last person to get an autograph.
In the bullpen on Saturday night’s Dodger game against the Braves in the 8th and 9th inning with the Dodgers trailing the Braves 9 – 2 (Dodgers scored one run in the bottom of the 9th to finish the game 9 – 3). I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw action in the bullpen. I figured Kuo wasn’t an option, Broxton and Weaver weren’t options… so who was left since Troncoso imploded, Belisario was done, and Haeger was mopping up.
Can you see the name on the back of the jersey? LOL yes I know you have to click on the picture to make it bigger.
How about now? If you can’t see the name, you can at least see the number.
Who wears #17 on the Dodgers?
No, not Jason Repko. He gone.
Got it yet?
Andrew James Ellis.
It was confirmed on Dodger Talk when I stumped Ken Levine and Josh Suchon. They thought I didn’t know, but I surprised them. They were surprised. They were flabberghasted. They got excited over the possibility that AJ Ellis might have had a chance to pitch. If they archive the Dodger Talk, I’ll post the link and tell you at which point I come on. It was probably one of the better calls of the night, if I do say so myself. Josh sounded giddy at the prospect of asking Joe Torre about it tomorrow. Since I won’t get to hear the response, I hope someone out there will and post a reply so I can find out. Maybe it’ll be in the paper. But Ken and Josh said that their vantage point from the Press Box doesn’t always give them a great view of who is warming up in the bullpen. Basically when I said it was AJ, Josh was like “FROM THE MOUND?” I was like, yup. Wind up and everything. Josh got real excited about the possibility that had Charlie Haeger imploded and if the Dodgers deficit became greater … that Andrew James Ellis could possibly have relieved Charlie Haeger in the 8th or 9th inning.
You heard it here. You see for yourself.
I personally would have loved to have seen AJ pitch, even if it meant the Dodgers were losing more than they were. Hello, the score was already 9 – 2 at the time in the Braves favor.
When I got into the Stadium today, I wasn’t sure if I was going to go down to the Kiddie Korral or not. Then I figured, why not? What else was I gonna do. Well, I was hanging around and it started to get full. I went down because Matt Kemp was signing. But by the time I got there, he was done. I thought about getting out but I stayed. And it paid off!
If you saw the Castles episode called “Suicide Squeeze”, I can reiterate what Beckett said. “That was Joe Freaking Torre”
Next, I went to the Left Field area because I saw the Padres pitches running sprints. And Heath Bell signs there often. So, I got him on the Padres fan fest balls Jenny and I got. Hehe he joked about he has some Padre balls too, but he doesn’t sign those or something like that. Two balls signed (three if you include the one for Phanny) and now it was time to go wait for James Van Der Beek, who was throwing out the first pitch. Meanwhile, I got to say hi to Steve Lyons. I wanted to chat with him, but he had to get going.
Remember, Dawson’s Creek came out in 1998. I was just starting high school. I was the perfect age to fall in love with Dawson or Pacey. We were probably the target age. It was right up there with Roswell and Buffy, and N Sync and Backstreet Boys. Since I got Brian Littrell (Backstreet Boys) autograph and photo with him during the playoffs when the BSB were singing the National Anthem, I figured I had a good chance of getting a picture with James Van Der Beek. No autograph, since I didn’t bring anything for him to sign. I have the Season 2 of Criminal Minds somewhere. If you haven’t seen it, it’s amazing! James guest starred in two episodes (Big Game and Revelation). AMAZING performance by James.
I called out to him, asked him for a photo. He came over and I gushed on about how amazing he was in Criminal Minds and how I watched Dawson’s Creek when it first came out. He was incredibly nice, as they usually are. And patient because my camera for some reason did not want to work.
Right after Torrealba signed my ball, a security guard came and kicked out anyone who didn’t have tickets to that section. I was getting my things to go, but the National Anthem was starting. The security guard kept telling me I had to leave. I told him, “Look, I’m not stalling. But can I leave AFTER the National Anthem?” I even stepped out into the aisle so I wasn’t in Section 52 anymore. I was serious. It was not a stall tactic. It was a sign of respect for our National Anthem. Just like all the Vendors stop selling when it’s time for the National Anthem. No matter where I am in the stadium, if I’m walking somewhere or to another section, when it’s time for the National Anthem, I stop. If I can, I even walk out of the walkway area and into the seats and stand for the National Anthem. I didn’t mind that he was kicking me out of Section 52. What got me miffed was that he wanted me to get out of there during the National Anthem. Everyone is supposed to stop what they’re doing and show some respect for our Nation, right?
For a nine inning game, it was a very long game. I met a fellow Dodger fan, Kenny (seriously, why is that most of my Dodger friends have similar names?!?) and got to sit with him for the first few innings. Got to talk to Josh Suchon for a little bit as well. Then something interesting happened at the start of the ninth inning. Most fans had already cleared out by then. I noticed these two guys in the section to my right, but wasn’t really paying any attention to them. Until I heard one of them say: If you don’t delete those pictures right now, I’m going to smash your phone. They kept going back and forth, back and forth. Yet, there weren’t really any ushers or security around. I know the usher from that section was covering for another usher. And security had been busy (you know, keeping fans away from the visitor’s bullpen – and seriously, I did see security rush out of the stadium earlier).
I called out to the usher to my left and nodded towards the two guys. He noticed them and went over right away. I had a feeling if someone didn’t interfere, things were going to get ugly. The one guy who kept saying he was going to smash the other guy’s phone was wearing a throw-back Dave Winfield jersey. It was when the Padres’ colors were yellow and brown. Apparently, Photo guy was taking photos of Winfield and his friends. He was actually standing in front of the Padre fans and taking their photos. Winfield got offended and wanted Photo Guy to delete them. Naturally, the guy in front of me pulled out his phone and took a photo of Winfield. It took half an inning (which was a long half inning), but Photo Guy finally walked away after security came and diffused the situation.
Hey, Winfield. You’re in a public setting. You are going to get your photo taken.
Hey Photo Guy. Next time, don’t be so obvious about it!
And yes, I did sneak a picture without them smashing my camera.
Last night I got my 10th Dodger bobblehead. My collection now consists of Russell Martin, Takaishi Saito, Brad Penny, Takaishi Saito, Joe Torre, Casey Blake, Manny Ramirez 1, Matt Kemp, Manny Ramirez 2, and Andre Ethier. However, my favorite bobblehead is the one I got off Ebay.
Yup, sure it is. Randy Wolf.
Word must have got out fast. Because the line got LONG. I called Dodger Talk to mentioned this and the call screener asked me if I got Andre’s autograph. I said no. He asked me why not? Didn’t I want it? I said the line was too long. It was ridiculously long! Maybe if I had gotten in line at 5:45, I could have gotten it. Oh well.
Here’s the mess left behind by people who were taking their bobbleheads out of the boxes while they were in the kiddie Korral. Someone even lost the bat to the bobblehead.
Man. Every player on the DL should spend time signing autographs. Just one player per game. Come on. How awesome would that be? Yesterday Andre, tomorrow Raffy?
Here’s Blake DeWitt thinking, man that was close! James Loney has been putting the wheels in motion. He stole his 6th base of the season last night. He also tagged up and scored on a sac fly that I think most fans weren’t sure if the ball was deep enough.
Xavier Paul putting the ball in play.
Matt Kemp caught stealing second base.
First, thanks Jamey Carroll for stopping by and signing my Opening Day baseball and taking a photo with me. Thanks Pat for getting him over. Secondly, thanks you Jon SooHoo for taking the time to send me a copy of the photo you took of us. No kidding, less than 5 minutes after I sent the email, I got a reply.
Here’s Jamey Carroll and me on Jon SooHoo’s.
Dodgers 0 -1 after losing to the Pirates… I don’t even want to think of the score.
It looked promising at first when Matty Kemp singled in two runs in the top of the first. Then the bats went silent for a few innings. Well, maybe not the bats. They did strand like half a dozen baserunners, and one baserunning blunder by Russell Martin.
On the bright side, if you think about it… the last two years when our Opening Day starter pitched well on Opening Day …. they found themselves on the DL not too long after that.
2009 – Hiroki Kuroda pitches for the Dodgers on Opening Day down in San Diego. The Dodgers defeat Jake Peavy and the Padres for the first time in how many years? Kuroda finds himself on the DL not that much after his Opening Day Start.
2008 – Brad Penny pitches for the Dodgers on Opening Day here in Los Angeles against the Giants. He shut them out and the Dodgers won. He struggled for a little bit before being placed the DL as well.
I don’t recall who pitched on Opening Day in 2007 (might have been Derek Lowe or Jason Schmidt). Okay, I just looked it up. It was Derek Lowe. I knew it was against the Brewers and we lost. Jason Schmidt pitched the home opener against the Rockies. He gave up 3 runs in 4 innings. That was the year where if the pitcher hit a home run, he landed on a DL. Can you name the other pitcher who hit a home run that year and then found himself on the DL?