October 2009

Ethierholics Rejoice!

Andre has been named the MLB Clutch Player of the Year!!! 

And just think, you guys all supported him before he was a big time star!

And while we’re at it, Jonathan Broxton, Joe Torre and Ned Colletti are up for MLB.com’s 2009 This Year in Baseball Awards in the Closer, Manager and Executive categories. Vote Now!

Fall Classic starts tomorrow…

Still imagining a Yankees-Dodgers World Series matchup?

This is the “phantom” 1962 World Series program cover, produced before Los Angeles lost a best-of-three format National League tiebreaker against San Francisco at the end of the regular season. In the final game at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers took a 4-2 lead into the top of the ninth inning, but San Francisco rallied for four runs and won the pennant.

history blog 62 photo.jpgFor older fans, there was a Dodgers-Yankees program cover made for the 1951 World Series, which instead became a collector’s item when Bobby Thomson’s “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” three-run home run for the New York Giants in the bottom of the ninth inning beat the Dodgers, 5-4, in the third and deciding playoff game.

Another late-season heartbreak for the Dodgers led to the previous World Series matchup between the Philadelphia Phillies and New York Yankees in 1950. The Phillies held a seven-game lead on September 23, but the Dodgers eventually cut the deficit to one with one game remaining on October 1. Needing a victory against the Phillies at Ebbets Field to force a playoff, the Dodgers wasted a bases-loaded opportunity in the bottom of the ninth against Robin Roberts and lost, 4-1, in 10 innings on Dick Sisler’s three-run home run.

Sisler was the son of George Sisler, the Hall of Fame infielder who in 1950 was working for the Dodgers as a scout and sitting behind the Brooklyn dugout. Asked after the game about watching his son beat the Dodgers, George Sisler replied, “I feel awful and terrific at the same time.”

The Phillies advanced to the World Series for the first time since 1915, but lost in four straight against Casey Stengel’s Yankees.

– Mark Langill

Thank you!

I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you on behalf of the organization for the time, effort and money that you all put into following the Dodgers. Last night was tough…not much more can be said than you’ve all already said and the media has offered. The Phillies were clearly the better team this week and they outplayed us. But as always, I try to look on the bright side.

This year, many of you started the year with visits to Camelback Ranch and got to experience Spring Training for the first time. We all got to watch many of our favorite players mature before our very own eyes and have breakthrough seasons. The long-awaited ITD tour brought many of you face to face for the first time and of course, brought Joe Pierre out to Los Angeles for a very memorable weekend. The fact that this site can do that is an amazing thing and one of the primary reasons the blog was started in the first place.

The Dodgers finished with the best record in the NL for the first time in more than a quarter century and swept the NLDS for the second straight season, both of which are pretty impressive feats. And Dodger Stadium rocked during the playoffs like I’ve never seen before…literally. From the press box, we could feel the stadium shaking with your cheering, towel waving, and excitement.

The 2009 highlights are simply too many to try to list…

Inside the Dodgers continues to be a great place for fans to gather and share their thoughts. Despite techinical issues that we obviously hope will be worked out, you guys have all made this a place where all opinions are welcome and your feedback is truly appreciated. I’m not sure how many teams have this sort of back and forth forum with their fans but I’m very proud that we do and your thoughts are taken into account by the highest levels of the team, so keep sharing them.

In the meantime, don’t stop coming to this blog just because the season is over. We’ll continue to try and post relevant updates all the time (though proabably not daily). And remember, Spring Training is just around the corner…

Magic number is 12!

Here’s the message I just sent around to the front office…

If and when we turn this series around, we would be the 12th team to erase a 3-1 deficit and come back to win the series. That’s hardly considered rare in the game of baseball. In fact, it happened as recently as two years ago and the Red Sox have actually done it twice in the last five seasons!

We beat the Phillies four times in a five-game stretch earlier this year and just this season alone, we have had 15 winning streaks of three or more games. Fifteen!

Joe Torre, Manny Ramirez, Casey Blake, and Doug Mientkiewicz have all been a part of series where the team that was up 3-1 didn’t win the series. No one here in Philly has given up and neither can anyone back in Los Angeles. A win tonight brings the series home to Dodger Stadium where anything can happen.

“Manny is a guy who has been through everything and so has Doug,” Pedro Martinez said yesterday. “They can be really inspirational to those guys and I wouldn’t be surprised if they do something to call it to their attention and turn them around. I hope they don’t, to be honest.”

See – even the Phillies realize this thing isn’t over, so keep up the positive vibes and don’t let down the preparations for Game 6! It’ll be here before we know it! 

Enjoy tonight and keep those spirits high! I’m hoping to see you all at the stadium on Friday.

No time to panic…

For those Dodger fans looking for an open window to jump, an 11-0 loss like Sunday night in Philadelphia may be hard to watch. But trailing 2-1 in a best-of-seven NLCS format, it’s hardly the end of the world. Older fans should recognize the same score from Game 1 of the 1959 World Series. After the 11-0 defeat against the White Sox in Chicago, pitcher Don Drysdale boarded the bus and shouted, “Is that all they’ve got?”, which drew laughter from his teammates and the Dodgers eventually won the Series in six games.

The 1960 New York Yankees enjoyed blowout World Series victories by scores of 16-3, 10-0 and 12-0. But the Pittsburgh Pirates won four games by scores of 6-4, 3-2, 5-2 and 10-9. The 1984 Chicago Cubs opened the NLCS with a 13-0 victory at Wrigley Field. But the San Diego Padres eventually won the series in the best-of-five format.

Obviously the Dodgers have a major challenge ahead, but somehow those blowouts in a non-elimination game usually take a back seat in the history books to the late-inning heartbreaks.

– Mark Langill

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Furcal, SS

Kemp, CF

Ethier, RF

Manny, LF

Loney, 1B

Belliard, 2B

Martin, C

Blake, 3B

Wolf, P

Near freezing in Philly…

It’s 48 degrees for the workout here, but according to weather.com, it feels like 42 degrees. For Angelenos, it feels like the March of the Penguins, but mostly we’re indoors today.

The players have been working out in the cages and just getting used to the weather here, as obviously we’ve got to win at least one game here, if not more. Yesterday’s win was obviously huge and you’ve got to believe that a Game 3 victory would get this team’s confidence extremely high.

Joe Torre told the media a little bit ago that Kershaw will start Game 5 on Wednesday and that’s about the only news from out here today.

Think warm thoughts for the Dodgers…and as Manny Mota just walked by and told me, “Stay postive!”

Remember 1988?

It was that year that we lost Game 1 of the NLCS at home to the heavily favored Mets, only to win it in seven games and head on to the Fall Classic. We’ve got to have the same mentality going into today’s game, as the only thing we’ve lost, really, is home field advantage.

Please remember to come early to help traffic flow (and carpool if you can). And if you’re coming, come with your outside voices!! This place was rockin’ last night and it will be again today, I’m sure.

Things have been rather busy, so I haven’t had a chance to read the comments in the last few days but will soon. Here’s the lineup:

Furcal, SS

Kemp, CF

Ethier, RF

Manny, LF

Loney, 1B

Blake, 3B

Belliard, 2B

Martin, C

Padilla, P

 

Kershaw to start Game 1 (and more)

Clayton will take the mound tomorrow to open up. Game 2 starter still TBA.

UPDATE:

Rotation will be Kershaw, Padilla, Kuroda, Wolf

Tomorrow’s lineup:

Furcal, SS

Ethier, RF

Manny, LF

Kemp, CF

Blake, 3B

Loney, 1B

Belliard, 2B

Martin, C

Kershaw, P

Kuroda and closing in on sellouts…

Joe Torre just spoke to the media after spending the morning and afternoon at Camelback Ranch, watching Kuroda pitch a simulated game at Extended Spring Training. He said that Kuroda seemed to feel good and his command was suprisingly good. No word yet whether he’d get an NLCS start and he didn’t reveal a Game 1 starter or any of the roster. I’m sure that will all come tomorrow.

Very few tickets remain for the first two games of the NLCS, so if you’ve been waiting to get yours, I wouldn’t wait much longer. We released more yesterday but now’s the time to act.

Please come early on Thursday and Friday to try and avoid any traffic or parking issues. As you all know, when there are this many people in the stadium and this many cars, it gets really crowded. We’re opening up the stadium 2.5 hours before game time and you can come to Autograph Alley behind home plate and get your photo taken with the World Series trophy.

Game times have been set, as I’m sure you know. 5:07 for Game 1 and 1:07 for Game 2. Game 6 & 7 would both be at 5:07, if necessary.

More tomorrow after the workout…

Flying home, flying high

How cool was that? I hope everyone got a chance to celebrate last night. We’re on the plane, about to head back to Los Angeles and as you can imagine, there’s a pretty positive vibe right now.

Lots of people picked the Dodgers to lose to the Cards, some even going so far as to say the team wouldn’t win a game. But that’s why they play the games on the field.

The best part is, no one here feels like this was the goal. This was only Step 2. First, win the division. Next, get to the LCS. Both were accomplished and with the Dodgers going to the NLCS in back-to-back years, it’s the first time that’s happened in 31 years.  I’d imagine many people who read this blog haven’t been alive for that long (I barely was!).

It’s a great time to be a Dodger fan and we’ve got to make sure that we have a true home field advantage on Thursday and Friday. Tickets are still available for all four LCS games so spread the word and get to the stadium. This team can use you now more than ever!

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