October 2010

Fall Classic…who are you rooting for?

I know, seems like a crazy question to ask given that our rivals are representing the National League, but perhaps some of you are NL fans through and through. Here’s hoping for an awesome seven-game series that keeps everyone on the edge of their seats…

Among those with Dodger ties who are in the hunt for a ring are Cody Ross, Guillermo Mota, Roberto Kelly Ron Washington, Dave Anderson, Mike Maddux and Wayne Kirby. In the front offices, good wishes go out to Texas’ Thad Levine, A.J. Preller, Nick English and Bill McLaughlin, as well as the Giants’ Ed Creech and Joey Amalfitano.

It’s never fun to be watching the World Series at home instead of your own ballpark, but I hope everyone enjoys it. Any predictions? Who wins in how many games?

Fernando Nation

Tonight at the Stadium Club, we’re hosting a private premiere of the ESPN 30 for 30 series “Fernando Nation” which debuts on ESPN Deportes this Sunday night at 6 p.m. PT and on ESPN on Tuesday, Oct. 26 at 5 p.m. PT.

Here’s a recap of the film:

“‘The Natural’ is supposed to be a blue-eyed boy who teethed on a 36-ounce Louisville Slugger. He should run like the wind and throw boysenberries through brick. He should come from California.” – Steve Wulf, Sports Illustrated, 1981.  So how was it that a pudgy 20-year-old, Mexican, left-handed pitcher from a remote village in the Sonoran desert, unable to speak a word of English, could sell out stadiums across America and become a rock star overnight?  In Fernando Nation, Mexican-born and Los Angeles-raised director Cruz Angeles traces the history of a community that was torn apart when Dodger Stadium was built in Chavez Ravine and then revitalized by one of the most captivating pitching phenoms baseball has ever seen.  Nicknamed “El Toro” by his fans, Fernando Valenzuela ignited a fire that spread from LA to New York–and beyond. He vaulted himself onto the prime time stage and proved with his signature look to the heavens and killer screwball that the American dream was not reserved for those born on U.S. soil.  In this layered look at the myth and the man, Cruz Angeles recalls the euphoria around Fernando’s arrival and probes a phenomenon that transcended baseball for many Mexican-Americans. Fernando Valenzuela himself opens up to share his perspective on this very special time. Three decades later, “Fernandomania” lives.

 

Searching for a pumpkin patch this weekend?

PUMPKIN FESTIVAL LAUNCHES WITH OLD-TIME FAMILY FUN

Free Pumpkins to First 300 Children with Special Needs

 

October 23 – Pasadena – Local families can celebrate the incoming of fall with a trip to Danny’s Farm Pumpkin Festival on Saturday, October 23, 1-4 p.m. to enjoy old-time farm activities for children of all ages.

 

The day will provide families with entrance into a very unique petting zoo designed for children affected with autism and special needs. While Danny’s Farm was founded to be a special place for special children, it is open to children with or without disabilities.  Pony rides and other activities are planned for families and children of all ages.  For the first 300 guests, a free pumpkin will be given to children with special needs.  Former LA Dodger pitcher and Danny’s Farm founder, Jim Gott, will be present to meet families.

 

Located in a rustic barn in Altadena Stables, is wheelchair friendly. Members of our staff are fluent in American Sign Language, and we welcome persons with or without disabilities to enjoy Danny’s Farm. Danny’s Farm is located at 3064 1/2 Ridgeview Drive in Altadena.

Danny’s Farm was created to provide meaningful employment and volunteer opportunities for adults and teenagers with disabilities. Nestled in the foothills of the San Gabriel Mountains in Altadena, California, Danny’s Farm is a safe, nurturing environment that promotes independence and provides vocational training. Skilled job coaches work alongside our employees, supervising our special needs staff, while promoting self-reliance.

For more information, visit dannysfarm.com or call (626) 797-FARM.

Ted Lilly officially back in Dodger blue!

He has just signed a three-year deal to pitch in Los Angeles…here’s the release.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                Contact: Public Relations
Tuesday, October 19, 2010                                                                       

DODGERS SIGN TED LILLY

2010 trade acquisition and former Dodger farmhand returns to Los Angeles through 2013

LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that they have signed left-handed pitcher Ted Lilly to a three-year contract. General Manager Ned Colletti made the announcement.

“Ted helped stabilize our rotation both in terms of his pitching ability and his leadership,” said Colletti. “He gave us everything we were looking for in a veteran pitcher down the stretch last season.”  

Lilly, 34, went 7-4 with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts for the Dodgers after being acquired from the Cubs with Ryan Theriot in exchange for Blake DeWitt, Kyle Smit and Bret Wallach hours before the trade deadline. The left-hander won his first five starts with Los Angeles from Aug. 3-24, becoming the first Dodger pitcher to do so since Kazuhisa Ishii won his first six starts with the team in 2002. Lilly received the lowest run support in the Major Leagues at just 2.88 runs per game and allowed three runs or less in 22 of his 30 outings.

Overall, the southpaw finished 10-12 with a 3.62 ERA in 30 combined starts with the Dodgers and Cubs.

The Torrance native has reached double figures in victories in each of the past eight seasons, including 12 or more wins in six of the last eight, since 2003.  The only other pitchers in the Major Leagues to have double figures in victories over the last eight consecutive seasons are C.C. Sabathia (2001-10), Johan Santana (2003-10), Derek Lowe (2002-10), Mark Buehrle (2001-10), Jon Garland (2002-10), John Lackey (2003-10) and Javier Vazquez (2000-10).   He owns a 113-96 career record and a 4.18 ERA in 12 seasons with the Expos, Yankees, A’s, Blue Jays, Cubs and Dodgers.

Lilly’s .587 winning percentage (54-38) since 2007 ranks eighth among all big league left-handers and his 103 victories since 2003 are tied for 12th among all active pitchers.

At Dodger Stadium, Lilly tossed a two-hit shutout on Aug. 19 and went 4-1 with a 2.09 ERA (10 ER/43.0 IP) in six starts. While in a Dodger uniform, the opposition hit just .163 against him at home.

This season, Lilly tossed at least 6.0 innings in 24 of his 30 starts and went at least 7.0 frames in 15 of the 30 outings. He walked just 44 batters in 193.2 innings for an average of 2.04 walks per nine innings, the second-lowest mark in the National League behind Roy Halladay (1.08).

Lilly joined the Dodgers on July 31, 2010, 12 years to the day that he was traded as a minor league farmhand. On July 31, 1998, Los Angeles acquired Mark Grudzielanek, Carlos Perez and Hiram Bocachica from the Montreal Expos in exchange for Lilly, Peter Bergeron and Jonathon Tucker.

While with the Cubs on June 14 of this season, Lilly took a no-hitter into the ninth inning before the White Sox’ Juan Pierre came off the bench to break up the bid. On May 10, 1997, Lilly threw a no-hitter against Lake Elsinore for Single-A San Bernardino in the Dodgers’ farm system.

Lilly lives in Oakhurst, CA with his wife Natasha and their seven-month-old son, Ted Lilly, IV.

Where were you on Oct. 15, 1988?

Twenty-two years ago today, Kirk Gibson hit the most memorable home run in Dodger history and, according to many, the most memorable moment in Los Angeles Sports history.

Where were you?

Clubhouse crazes

It’s cool to see that even in the heat of a division series, the Rays find time to keep things light in the clubhouse by using their iPad. This is a great read from Yahoo’s Jeff Passan and I think these are the types of stories that fans really like to read about because it shows the “other side” of the players.

I still remember when the Sudoku craze took over our clubhouse after Jose Cruz Jr. found one on a table in the clubhouse at Coors Field. And this year, Casey Blake was the guy always on top of crossword puzzles, often with the help of his Ivy League teammate, Brad Ausmus (among others).

As a PR person, it’s our job to find these cool stories and help share them with you guys, the fans, so we’ll keep working this year to come up with them and bring them to light.

On a side note, to answer the question that was asked about the Team Photo Calendar that was given away by the Heart Gallery folks – yes, there are amazing success stories from this program. Last year, I believe 26 kids were featured in the calendar and all but a few found homes through this project. How amazing is that? That’s part of why we agreed to do it again this year…

As for the NLCS…I’m not even sure who to root for in a Phillies/Giants series. Is it possible that neither team wins?!  Who are you all rooting for and what are your World Series predictions?

Congrats, Roy Halladay

Wow…what a performance from Halladay in his first ever postseason appearance. Quite a way to kick off the 2010 playoffs. It’s very strange watching on TV after being a part of it the last two seasons, but MLB has to be thrilled with the way the first two games have gone.

On a side note, Matt Magill is up for the “Best Class-A Starting Pitcher” award on milb.com. He pitched for the Great Lakes Loons, which was the best team in minor league baseball this year so vote now and keep checking back at milb.com for the other categories, which are upcoming (Best Hitter, Best Reliever, Best Game and Best Team).

Don Mattingly, the beach and artwork

With yesterday’s media availability for Don Mattingly and Ned Colletti, we got a little nugget at the end of the session that I never knew. Don Mattingly is a West Coast guy at heart, according to the manager himself.

“The first time I came to Anaheim, I loved it,” he said. “The weather, the cool nights, the laid-back way it is away from the field. I like that a lot. This place fits my personality really well. I live at the beach, I like it a lot, chill away from the field. It allows me to be somebody different.”

It was a glimpse at the man who will lead the team and it was very genuine. It’s also something I didn’t really know about him, though we did talk about how great the South Bay is on the plane flight to Colorado last week.

In any event, he heads to the Fall League tomorrow…

On a side note, I’ve had a few people ask me what artists did the gifts we gave to Joe Torre and Brad Ausmus. For Torre, it was Opie Otterstad who did the incredible painting and Brad’s helmet was decorated incredibly by David Arrigo. Check out their work…pretty amazing.

 

Thank you, Dodger fans…

Well, it was hardly the finish we all had hoped for back in February at Camelback Ranch, but it was a great day and hopefully those of you at the stadium or watching on TV enjoyed it.

From Brad Ausmus’ retirement ceremony and two-hit game, to John Lindsey taking out the lineup card with Joe Torre and even getting in the box score with a pinch-hit appearance…and from Hong-Chih Kuo setting the record for the lowest single-season ERA in franchise history, to Joe Torre’s farewell speech and ceremony, it’ll actually be a day to remember for many Dodger fans who have supported this team all year.

I know that more than 15,000 people left the stadium with some sort of gift (one of which took home a Hyundai Sonata), while David Hasselhoff’s rendition of God Bless America was a huge hit (as was his cameo in Don’t Stop Believing).

On behalf of everyone at the Dodgers, we truly thank you for your support this season. You all come out, win or lose, through thick and thin and for that, you have our deepest gratitude.

Keep checking back at the blog all winter, as we’ll be updating regularly. And have a safe Fall…

Sports Illustrated on Vin

Plenty of people write features on Scully…few hit the nail on the head as well as SI’s Joe Posnanski did with this piece.

And thanks to everyone for their input on the last post…we’ll take it to heart and see what we can do for the blog next season (and during the offseason).

Hope to see some of you out here for the final weekend…it’s sad to say that, as we’ve all gotten used to the postseason around here these last couple years, but such is life.

 

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