Imagine how excited you were to go to a baseball game as a young boy. Now imagine being that same young boy and getting the chance to play catch with a real MLB’er. Well Hyun-Jin Ryu made that dream a reality for this Los Angeles Dodgers fan.
Fathers shed a tear.
One lucky Los Angeles Dodgers fan had a night he will never forget.
Matt Kemp makes his way over to the fan after the game to say hello.
South Korean pop star Psy performed before the bottom of the fourth inning at Dodgers Stadium on Tuesday night. Luckily, he was doing so right next to Dodgers legend Tommy Lasorda, who didn’t know what to think. Watch his confused and priceless reactions in the bottom left hand corner.
A veteran who lost his leg in Iraq and recently participated in a tryout with the Los Angeles Dodgers is getting his own trading card, thanks to the folks at Upper Deck .Earlier this year, Daniel “Doc” Jacobs took part in a Dodgers tryout on an invitation from former manager Tommy Lasorda.
The tryout came almost exactly seven years after an IED exploded beneath Jacobs while he was serving in Iraq. He lost his left leg, two of his right toes and the tips of two fingers.
Jacobs will be honored in a set the company will release in July. The card was unveiled this weekend.
As the old cliché goes, it’s spring training for everybody which includes players, umpires, announcers, and yes, even those behind the scenes of Major League Baseball telecasts need a little time to knock the rust off. For a classic example of just how bad it’s needed by all parties involved, look no further than the person in charge of graphics for Fox Sports West during Cactus League battle for Los Angeles between the Angels and Dodgers. With one of the Dodgers prized offseason signings, South Korea’s Hyun-Jin Ryu, taking the hill for his first spring appearance, a graphic appeared the 26-year-old rookie’s career stats unfortunately, with his official major league debut still one month away, he doesn’t have any of those number just yet.
Matt Kemp recently had a large portrait of Doris and her late husband, Vernon, inked over his heart. The two-time All-Star tweeted a photo of the tattoo, along with the message, “if it wasn’t for my grandparents I wouldn’t b where I’m at 2day!”
The stunning work was illustrated by 23-year-old tattoo artist Jun Cha.
A lot has changed for the Los Angeles Dodgers in recent days, but one thing is going to remain very much the same. The team announced Sunday that Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will return in 2013, his 64th season behind the microphone. Scully will call all Dodgers home and road games in California and Arizona.
Scully, 84, said he is feeling energized after the Guggenheim Baseball Management group bought the team from Frank McCourt this spring for $2 billion.
“I was so impressed by the new ownership,” Scully said Sunday morning in the Dodger Stadium press box. “I was here for the press conference, and I heard some big talk. I wondered whether they would actually do what they said they would do. How fast will they move? How high will they try to take the team? Well, they have done it 10 times over. And what they’ve done is revitalized the city, revitalized the team, the fans — and myself.”
“They want to win, and they want to win now. So I’d like to hold on with both hands and see just how far they’ll take this ballclub — because I really think they’re going to take it as high as it can possible go,” Scully said. “And with all the optimism, it would be pretty hard to walk away from that.”
The Dodgers haven’t won a World Series title since 1988, but that isn’t the primary reason Scully’s coming back.
“I don’t really measure how long I want to stay by the success of the team. I really think it’s inside,” Scully said. “It has nothing to do with the team. It’s the love affair. That’s part of the way I feel about baseball.”
The Dodgers say Scully’s tenure is the longest of any broadcaster with any team. He calls all nine innings of the team’s TV broadcasts, while the first three innings of each of his games are simulcast on radio.
Dodgers chairman and owner Mark Walter says Scully’s return for another season “means a great deal to all of us.”
Scully began his professional baseball broadcasting career in 1950 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He has called three perfect games, 25 no-hitters, 25 World Series and 12 All-Star games.
Among the historic events he has broadcast: Don Larsen’s perfect game in Game 5 of the 1956 World Series, Kirk Gibson’s homer in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series, Hank Aaron’s record-setting 715th homer, Barry Bonds’ record-breaking 71st, 72nd and 73rd homers and the scoreless-inning streaks of Dodger greats Don Drysdale and Orel Hershiser.
Back on June 25, we posted the report that former 2000 National League MVP Jeff Kent was rumored to be a member of his favorite TV show as one of 15 contestants on the latest installment of Survivor, set in the Philippines.
Kent, 44, will match wits with the likes of 1980s sitcom star Lisa Whelchel, of Facts of Life fame, and two beauty pageant winners for the $1 million prize.
Kent, who left the game in 2008 after seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays, New York Mets, Cleveland Indians, San Francisco Giants, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers, says he’s long been a fan of the show where contestants are pitted against each other in tribes on remote locations and must work together on team challenges while all the while conspiring against each other to avoid the dreaded flame dousing that will get you on a boat home.
“I’ve got a chip on my shoulder. I hate to lose. You know, there are not many tall white guys with mustaches walking around still these days. I’m hoping my reputation’s not big enough that these people know who I am.”
The All-Star center certainly hasn’t enamored himself to Orlando Magic fans this offseason with his trade demands. Dwight Howard skipping his own youth camp probably isn’t going to repair the damage to his character.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, Howard will not attend his annual basketball day camp for children in Orlando, choosing instead to remain in Southern California to continue rehabbing his back.
Predictably, the decision is not sitting well with many of the families who paid $199 to register for the camp.
“This is another real disappointment to the community and, more importantly, the kids who cherish the thought of seeing and hanging with Dwight,” one disappointed grandparent wrote.
A camp official told the Sentinel that refunds will be given if registrants don’t want to attend due to Howard’s absence. That seems to be little consolation, though, considering campers were promised a Howard autograph among other goodies.
Compounding the disappointment and anger, Howard has been spotted at several Los Angeles Dodgers games in recent weeks and also took in part of the adidas Nations tournament in Long Beach over the weekend.
Magic first-round draft pick Andrew Nicholson will take Howard’s place at the camp.
Usually when a player is the face of a franchise for almost 7 years and then gets suddenly traded, you hear stories from the clubhouse about how former teammates are sad to see him go. Sure, a player won’t get along with everyone, but over a 7 year period, many friendships should be made. Unless you’re Hanley Ramirez apparently.
Most of his former Miami Marlins teammates aren’t sad to see Ramirez head to Los Angeles Dodgers. In fact, most of them are happy. And they took the time to reveal their happiness to Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald.
“One player who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, “There were a lot of smiles’’ in the Marlins clubhouse Wednesday morning, happiness because a player disliked by many in the organization but protected by the front office for years because he was producing was finally gone.”
“They created a monster from a very good baseball player gave him so much slack to do whatever the [expletive] he wanted because he was performing,’’ the player said.
“You can push some things aside when you’re hitting .340 with 40 home runs. You say ‘He’s a [jerk], but I can deal with it. … But when you’re not playing and you’re trying to be that same [jerk], it starts rubbing people the wrong way.’’
Asked if the trade was good or bad for the Marlins clubhouse, Logan Morrison said: “It would have been good to have Hanley Ramirez hitting .342 like he did in 2009.”
Rihanna was chilling on a boat over the weekend with her girls and decided to take a picture to remember the occasion however thats when Los Angeles Lakers great and Los Angeles Dodgers owner Magic Johnson stumbled into the frame and photo bombed her and her crew.
Giovanni Ramirez who was initially arrested in the beating of a San Francisco Giants fan Bryan Stow outside of Dodger Stadium but was later cleared sued the Los Angeles Police Department and Chief Charlie Beck for defamation.
Ramirez seeks unspecified damages in the lawsuit, saying Beck called him the “primary aggressor” with “reckless disregard for the truth.” Ramirez was arrested but never charged in the brutal beating of Bryan Stow.
At the time of his arrest, Ramirez’s lawyer insisted his client had never been to Dodger Stadium, but police said for months they had arrested the right suspect.
Louie Sanchez and Marvin Norwood were later arrested and have pleaded not guilty to Stow’s beating, which took place after last year’s opening day game in Los Angeles.
Stow, a paramedic from Northern California, was severely beaten, suffered brain damage and is permanently disabled. Ramirez said pressure for an arrest from the media and the public pushed the Police Department into capturing the wrong man.
Though he was never charged, Ramirez was held on a parole violation as a result of being searched, for possession of a gun by a felon. He was sent to prison for 10 months.
Sidelined Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder Matt Kemp was on pace for an MVP type of season until a hamstring injury put him on the disabled list. After coming back from the mandatory 15 days he re-injured the same hamstring and has been out since May 30. Kemp has had some time to reflect as well as talk to reporters.
Kemp is no stranger celebrity lifestyle having done fashion shoots for magazines and dated celebrities. If $160 million isn’t an indication that you’ve made it, being able to say you dated Rihanna certainly seals the deal. However, Kemp says that portion of his life was a stressful time.
“It was pretty much overwhelming,” Kemp said when asked about his relationship with the five-time Grammy Award winner. “It’s not something I’m used to. I’m not used to going to a grocery store or to just somewhere simple and people following me around. It’s overwhelming.”
Kemp also revealed in the interview that he likes to judge women by their shoes.
“I can tell that (women) know what they’re doing or they don’t know what they’re doing (by their shoes),” Kemp explained. “I’ve always liked shoes. I peep everybody’s shoes out to see what they’re rocking.”
Los Angeles Dodgers manager Don Mattingly considers the five-year $20 million federal investigation into pitcher Roger Clemens a complete waste of resources and money. The 49-year-old Clemens was acquitted Monday on all six counts that he lied to Congress when he denied using performance-enhancing drugs.
“What a waste. I was thinking about it after all this time, what a waste of resources,” Mattingly said Tuesday before his team began a three-game interleague series with the Oakland Athletics.
“Then you hear about teachers and stuff who don’t have paper and pencils for kids, and it seems like what a waste. What a waste of money. Really, I don’t think anybody cares. At this point nobody cares, it’s like, ‘So long.’”
Mattingly played against Clemens for more than a decade while with the New York Yankees early in the 354-game winner and seven-time Cy Young Award winner’s career with the rival Boston Red Sox. Mattingly a .311 career hitter went 23 for 74 with eight RBIs and three doubles against the right-hander and also served as bench coach of the Yankees in 2007 during Clemens final big league season.
Mattingly figures the government has much better ways to spend money than investigating superstar athletes such as Clemens, Barry Bonds and cyclist Lance Armstrong.
“What a waste of money,” Mattingly said.
Mattingly hopes Major League Baseball is finally beginning to move forward from the Steroids Era thanks to improved testing and stiffer penalties for those who fail drug tests. He sees positive strides toward a reliable solution.
“I don’t know. It seems like something always pops up, you know? It always creeps back a little bit,” Mattingly said. “It’s definitely getting behind us, I think, as we go. I think the biggest thing is better testing and thorough testing. You start getting HGH testing and you’re getting better testing, it just kind of reinforces to guys that you can’t get away with it, and it’s going to be an equal playing field. That’s what I like.
“It kind of protects players from the players, it protects organizations, it protects fans, it protects everybody. I think the testing protects everybody.”
The Philadelphia Phillies lost their third straight game yesterday after losing 4-3 to the Los Angeles Dodgers. And while Phillies players are undoubtedly frustrated with their play, Jonathon Papelbon was more frustrated with home umpire D.J. Reyburn.
Papelbon believed that he struck out Dee Gordon just one pitch before giving up a triple to Gordon that tied the game. Gordon then scored the go ahead run after a single by Elian Herrera. After finally getting out of the inning, Papelbon confronted Reyburn. But that confrontation alone wasn’t enough for Papelbon. He also unloaded on Reyburn after the game. And didn’t help matters that Papelbon also learned that Reyburn was a Triple A umpire filling in.
“Doesn’t surprise me,” Papelbon said after hearing that Reyburn was a Triple A umpire. “He probably needs to go back to Triple A.”
Papelbon said he thought Reyburn “sucked.” He added that Reyburn was “terrible” and his work affected the entire game. It’s likely that Papelbon’s comments will earn him a fine from MLB.
“You’re up in the big leagues to do a good job and when you don’t do a good job you should be demoted or fired,” Papelbon said. “It’s just like anybody’s job. If I don’t do my job, I go down to Triple A. There’s no room for that up here. It’s not a knock on the umpires. It’s the integrity of the game. You want to be able to go out there and play the game the way it should be played.”
Phil Mickelson has joined a group of investors who want to buy his hometown San Diego Padres.
Mickelson said he is involved with Kevin and Brian O’Malley, and their cousins Peter and Tom Seidler, as one of five groups trying to buy the team. John Moores said last month he is putting the team up for sale.
The four-time major champion declined three years ago to get involved in a bid to buy the Padres. Mickelson said this time he sees it as a good investment opportunity. He says his interest is primarily to help strengthen the relationship between the city and its baseball team.
The O’Malleys and Seidlers are grandchildren of former Los Angeles Dodgers owner Walter O’Malley.
He said he is willing to put “a lot” of his own money in a potential deal to buy controlling interest.
“I’ve had the opportunity to invest in other sports franchises, and I’ve turned it down in the past,” Mickelson said. “This was a unique opportunity with families that had done this before and know how to do it right and want to get involved in the community.”
Mickelson is the second-leading money-winner in PGA Tour history with $66,279,655 in career earnings.
Los Angeles Dodgers second baseman Mark Ellis was placed on the 15-day disabled list Saturday following emergency surgery to remove pressure on his left leg, and will remain hospitalized until the middle of next week. He is expected to be out for at least six weeks.
“He was sent to the hospital, and testing showed elevated pressure in several compartments of the lower leg,” Dodgers trainer Sue Falsone told reporters following the Dodgers’ 6-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. “There was trauma to the area where everything kind of swells up, so you have to open up the fascia and basically release that pressure. They will keep an eye on it and most likely close that wound up on Tuesday.”
Ellis, 34, is the fifth position player and fourth regular that manager Don Mattingly has lost in a span of 11 days.
He was injured during the seventh inning of Friday night’s 6-5 Dodgers victory when he took a short toss from shortstop Dee Gordon on a fielder’s choice grounder by Shane Robinson and was upended by Tyler Greene on a hard but clean slide. The surgical procedure included having blood and fluids drained from his leg if they waited three or four more hours, Ellis may have lost his leg.The Dodgers already have center fielder Matt Kemp, third baseman Juan Uribe, left fielder Juan Rivera and utility infielder Jerry Hairston Jr. on the DL.
Ellis is batting .273 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 37 games with the Dodgers, who signed him as a free agent in November to a two-year, $8.75 million contract. The 11-year veteran had a fielding percentage of .900 or better in each of the previous seven seasons, and his .991 career mark entering this season was the second-best in history among second baseman behind Placido Polanco’s .993 mark.
Infielder Ivan DeJesus was recalled from Triple-A Albuquerque to fill Ellis roster spot.
The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim fired hitting coach Mickey Hatcher on late Tuesday after Albert Pujols and many of his teammates have gotten off to dismal offensive start this season.
Hatcher’s dismissal was announced about 90 minutes after the Angels had 12 hits in a 4-0 victory over Oakland Athletics. A day earlier, Los Angeles lost 5-0 to the Athletics, a major league-worst eighth shutout loss already this season.
Los Angeles promoted hitting coach Jim Eppard from Triple-A Salt Lake to replace Hatcher, who had been with the Angels since manager Mike Scioscia, his former Los Angeles Dodgers teammate, took over the club in 2000. A 12-year major league veteran as a player, Hatcher was the Angels hitting coach during their only World Series title run in 2002.
“Offensively we have underachieved, and everyone shares in the responsibility of what has transpired thus far,” Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said.
That’s putting it mildly for a club with one of the majors highest payrolls and enormous expectations for this season. Angels (16-21) has scored just 134 runs, ranking 22nd in the majors while setting a club record for shutout losses at this point in the season. The Angels’ on-base percentage is .301, worse than all but three teams.
Hatcher also angered Pujols a few weeks ago when he shared a few innocuous details about a team meeting with reporters. Pujols said he planned to talk to Hatcher about keeping clubhouse discussions private, although neither man commented about what happened after that.
Just three years ago Hatcher presided over a roster that set several franchise records for hitting and fielded a lineup with nine .300 hitters while the Angels reached the ALCS.
Shortstop Erick Aybar, who got a $35 million contract last month, is batting .187, and outfielder Peter Bourjos has been benched after his .193 start. New catcher Chris Iannetta slumped to .197 and Bobby Abreu was batting just .208 before Angels released him. High-priced outfielder Vernon Wells is in his second straight middling season, batting .242 with five homers. Howie Kendrick, an All-Star last season, is batting just .273.
San Francisco Giants reliever Guillermo Mota was suspended for 100 games on Monday, becoming just the third major league player penalized twice for positive drug tests.
The commissioner’s office said the 38-year-old right-hander tested positive for Clenbuterol. In November 2006, while with the New York Mets, Mota was suspended for the first 50 games of the next season.
“We won’t have Mota for a while. It is what it is, and you move on,” manager Bruce Bochy said before the Giants began a three-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers. “If we get into a situation where we need a pitcher, we’re going to have to make a change. Right now we’re going with 11 pitchers, and if we have to adjust, we will. We’ve got some pretty good options, we think, and Brian (Sabean) and I will continue to talk about them.”
Mota’s agent Adam Katz said in a statement that the Clenbuterol was in children’s cough syrup.
“Players are responsible for what they put in their bodies. Guillermo understands that,” Katz said. “A 100-game suspension for taking a children’s cough medicine that contains trace amounts of a prohibited substance, which is what happened here, is severe and unfair and does not reflect the intention of the Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program. We will appeal it.”
The Major League Baseball Players Association filed a grievance challenging the suspension that will be heard by an arbitrator. Under baseball’s drug agreement, grievances for initial positive tests are heard before a suspension is announced but cases involving second or third positives are argued after the penalty is made public.
Outfielder Manny Ramirez and catcher Eliezer Alfonzo are the only previous players to twice test positive. No player has tested positive a third time, which would result in a lifetime ban.
Alfonzo was suspended for 50 games in 2008 while with San Francisco and for 100 games last September while with Colorado Rockies. By the time Mota’s suspension is over, the Giants will have 34 games left on the schedule.
Mota was 0-1 with a 5.06 ERA in nine games for the Giants this year. This is his 14th season in the majors. He has been a setup man and middle reliever throughout his career. He is 39-45 with 10 saves in 726 games while playing with Montreal Expos, the Los Angeles Dodgers, Florida Marlins, Cleveland Indians, the New York Mets, Milwaukee Brewers and San Francisco.
Clenbuterol acts as a stimulant, increasing heart rate. In medicine, it is used to treat asthma. Like some steroids, the drug also has anabolic effects. Athletes and body builders use it to build muscle and burn fat.
Yesterday Major League Baseball made the Los Angeles Dodgers sale Mark Walter, former Atlanta Braves President Stan Kasten and former NBA player Magic Johnson complete.
To celebrate Johnson showed off his little friend, also named Magic Johnson. He posted the image of him and his bobblehead doll to his WhoSay page but the this bobblehead was not part of any future promotional giveaway.
Johnson just had always wanted his own bobblehead and now made it a reality.
Baseball phenom Bryce Harper might not be cherishing video of his first major league hit, since it also features Los Angeles Dodgers fan mooning the camera.
The mooning happened in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game between Harper’s Washington Nationals and the Dodgers.
Full count. The pitcher winds up. “The Wave” happens to be passing by home plate. The guy in the third row stands up with the crowd, drops his pants and pulls up his shirt, and there he is.
And less than a second later, there’s Harper smacking a double, for his first ever MLB career hit.
Former Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre called Matt Kemp the game’s best player but also indicated it might have taken his departure as manager for him to reach this level. Kemp had his breakthrough season in 2011 after Don Mattingly replaced Torre as manager.
“He was challenging because just like a lot of young players, they are going to make adjustments on their own, but he was so talented — and again, this is just my opinion — that I think he just felt his ability was going to speak for itself,” Torre said.
“He sort of eliminated the highs and lows once he got established in a more businesslike way. I know he and Donnie have a good relationship, which is hugely important.
“I remember telling him as I was saying goodbye when I stopped managing, ‘You’re going to love playing for Donnie.’ “
Torre said that he and Kemp “didn’t always agree” but that the did keep “working” at their relationship. “Let’s put it that way,” he added.
Kemp finished with OPSs of .799, .842 and .760 in Torre’s three years as Dodgers manager before coming in at .986 last year. He’s off to a fantastic start in 2012 as well, having driven in a run in five straight to begin the season.
The opening day game at Dodger Stadium got under way Tuesday amid a heavy police presence, one year after a San Francisco Giants fan was beaten into a coma in the parking lot. Undercover officers wearing Pittsburgh Pirates jerseys in the stadium joined uniformed officers patrolling on bikes, horses and in squad cars.
Officers wearing rival team jerseys will be at every game this season, Sgt. Mitzi Fierro said.
“If somebody is going to harass a fan from an opposing team, it increases the possibility of them coming in contact with a police officer,” she said. “It kind of requires people to be on their best behavior.”
Last year’s opening was marred by an attack at the end of the game on Giants fan Bryan Stow. He was wearing a San Francisco jersey when he was punched in the head, kicked and slammed to the ground in the parking lot. Stow, a paramedic from Santa Cruz, suffered severe brain damage and continues to undergo rehabilitation.
He still needs someone to dress him and help him to and from his wheelchair, according to a posting early last month on a family blog.
Two men have pleaded not guilty to charges of mayhem, assault and battery.
What’s lies ahead in the 2012 Major League Baseball season, well no one knows for sure but Opening Day is upon us and it’s time to roll out a few predictions. If you happened to listen to our live show this past week then you already heard six segments of in depth breakdown in each division of each league but here is a cheat sheet to those predictions.
Should be an interesting year with another added Wild Card team to the postseason mix and one can only hope this season has a magical finish like last year. Enjoy opening day, enjoy the season. I know I will.
American League East winner: New York Yankees
American League Central winner: Detroit Tigers
American League West winner: Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
American League Wild-Card winner: Tampa Bay Rays
American League Wild-Card winner: Kansas City Royals
American League Pennant winner: Tampa Bay Rays
National League East winner: Washington Nationals
National League Central winner: Cincinnati Reds
National League West winner: Los Angeles Dodgers
National League Wild-Card winner: Miami Marlins
National League Wild-Card winner: San Francisco Giants
National League Pennant winner: Los Angeles Dodgers
American League Rookie of the Year: Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
National League Rookie of the Year: Drew Pomeranz, Colorado Rockies
American League Manger of the Year: Buck Showalter, Baltimore Orioles
National League Manager of the Year: Davey Johnson, Washington Nationals
American League MVP: Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
National League MVP: Justin Upton, Arizona Diamondbacks
American League Cy Young Award: James Shields, Tampa Bay Rays
National League Cy Young Award: Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies