November 2009

Back at it…

First and foremost, a belated happy birthday to Vin Scully, who celebrated his 82nd yesterday. There’s never been anyone better and there never will be, at least not in my lifetime. It dawned on me that he’s almost been in the Hall of Fame for half of his career. Think about how absurd that is!!

Anyway, we hope you all had a nice Thanksgiving and that you’re gearing up for the December holidays. I hope to update the blog more regularly now that we’re all back in the office up until Spring Training (and then some).

Thanks for your spirited comments in the last thread. There’s really no good way to raise ticket prices and we all wish we didn’t have to do it, but we felt very, very fortunate to be able to do it last season on every ticket in the house. And I’m guessing that many of you are season ticket holders and for the second consecutive year, we did not raise prices for you and in fact, lowered them in some cases. Keeping every ticket in the house at the same price two years in a row is very tough and that’s not to suggest that it’s not tough on all of you.

Please know that I sit in the meetings here where these sorts of things are discussed and decided and there is very, very serious thought given to how to minimize the impact on all of you. There really, truly is. Your voices are heard inside the offices, which is the point of this forum. Beyond that, we certainly don’t expect fans to agree with every decision we make – though that won’t stop us from trying. We just hope that going to the playoffs four out of the last six years and reaching the NLCS two years in a row with a commitment to building a team from within is something our fans can get behind and support — and you all do that tremendously.

 

Happy Thanksgiving…

it’s a relatively slow news week around here and I’ll be heading out of town for the Thanksgiving holiday, so I figured we’d start a new thread that will probably carry us through next week.

Yesterday we added Ivan DeJesus, Kenley Jansen (now a pitcher) and Trayvon Robinson to our 40-man roster…

Otherwise, not much to report as you’ve probably noticed that the baseball world is relatively quiet right now. The calm before the free agent storm, I suppose.

Later today we have our annual event where we will be giving turkeys to a number of families in need, so it’s a great opportunity to wish you all a safe and healthy holiday on behalf of the entire Dodger organization.

Some serious holiday shopping…

You guys are gonna love this…

As is customary around this time of year, we’re having a merchandise sale right now at the Left Field Team store and everything is 50 percent off. That’s not a typo.

From now until Nov. 27, Monday through Friday 10-5, Saturday 11-5 and Sunday 11-4, you can load up on Dodger postseason merchandise, jerseys, hats, t-shirts…literally everything in the store.

In one day you’ll be done with your holiday shopping for the year. Just throwin’ it out there…

UPDATE:

For you minor league followers, Phil Gurnee caught up with De Jon Watson over at True Blue LA about some of our prospects.

Congrats to Matt and Orlando…

As you probably know by now, both have won a Gold Glove and are very deserving of the honor. The entire organization congratulates them…

Tomorrow is Silver Sluggers…we’ll keep our fingers crossed on those, too!

Camel-back in Arizona….

Scott Akasaki and myself traveled to Camelback Ranch for the day today along with a couple of the key operations people at the Dodgers to look at various minor tweaks that can be made to the experience at Spring Training and the complex and just being there got me excited for 2010.

I’m guessing that many if not most of you, our biggest fans, got the chance to visit last spring but if not, I really hope you’ll make it out there. And for those who were there last year, please provide your feedback about the experience.

We’ll be formally announcing our Spring Training schedule tomorrow so be on the lookout at dodgers.com.

Tomorrow is also the day that NL Gold Gloves get announced so as soon as we’re given the official word, we’ll tweet it and post it online. As you know, we’ve got a couple guys who are more than worthy of the honor.

Maury Wills…one of my all-time favorites

You wouldn’t think that a kid growing up in the 70s, 80s and 90s would come to be such a huge fan of Maury Wills, who did most of his damage in the 60s, but it’s true. It certainly helps that my father, also a native Angeleno, counts Maury among his favorite players, but I can probably only think of a couple Dodgers who I have liked as much as Maury and I guess that’s because he’s such an incredible person.

I’d imagine that any of you who have met him over the years at Dodger functions feel the same way. There’s no doubt in my mind he belongs in the Hall of Fame and his hometown paper, the Washington Post, ran an incredible article on him last weekend. If you haven’t read it, please take the time to do so. You’ll love him even more than you did before.

As for the upcoming weekend, usually during the winter we aren’t at the stadium much but we’ll be hosting the annual 5k walk for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). This is an incredible organization (full disclosure, I’m on the board of directors) and the current president of the local chapter is Todd Zeile, whose daughter suffers from Type 1 diabetes.

Todd got me involved a few years ago and I know that last year when I posted a link here, several of you wanted to donate so feel free to do so again if you’d like. I know a few ITDers will be at the walk this weekend so we look forward to seeing you here.  

For all you Bill James enthusiasts…

Got this news release in my inbox today…will be interesting to look back at the end of 2010 and see how close the projects are…sorry that the formatting is probably off

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nov. 3, 2009

Bill James projects key Los Angeles Dodgers for 2010
Manny Ramirez slated to rebound

In the recently-released Bill James Handbook 2010, baseball guru Bill James projects the 2010 seasons for players on the Los Angeles Dodgers–and predicts a big comeback year for outfielder Manny Ramirez.

“In any season, the vast majority of players play in a manner that seems a natural extension of what they had done before,” James says in his new book. “When that happens, our projection should be reasonably accurate.”

With this in mind, here are five key Dodgers hitters for 2010, according to the new Bill James Handbook 2010:

Key Dodgers Hitters (by OPS) 
Player  At-bats  R  HR  RBI  SB  Avg. OPS 
Manny Ramirez 514  88 30  101 1  .296 .943
Matt Kemp 573 99 23  91  32 .311 .873 
Andre Ethier 560 85 24  89 5 .288 .868 
Russell Martin 533 80 12  71 13 .272 .768 
Casey Blake 517 72 18  68  3 .257 .762

Projecting stats for pitchers is very different from projecting offensive stats for hitters. “We used to believe that pitching performance was much, much less predictable than batter performance,” James says. “This is probably still true…due to injuries and other factors. Sometimes a pitcher gets hurt, and when that happens our projections for him are knocked into a cocked hat.”

Here are three key Dodgers pitchers for 2010, according to the new Bill James Handbook 2010:

Key Dodgers Pitchers (by ERA)
Player  IP  W L K  SV  ERA 
Jonathan Broxton 80 6  3 104 40  2.36 
Clayton Kershaw 180 13 7 188 0  3.25
Chad Billingsley 185 12 8 177 0  3.65

The complete projections for the 2010 Los Angeles Dodgers can be found in the Bill James Handbook 2010.

For further information on the Bill James Handbook 2010
go to www.actasports.com

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