April 2011

A unique streak

Tomorrow night, fans have a really rare opportunity to see something at Dodger Stadium that doesn’t happen very often. Andre Ethier goes for a 25-game hitting streak, the first time fans have have a chance to see that since Paul Lo Duca in 2003. Before that, it hadn’t happened since 1971 with Willie Davis (Steve Sax’s streak in 1986 finished on the road).

Three times in 40 years. That’s it.

That’s one of the really cool things about a streak. Fans can come and know that every Ethier at-bat will be special. It’s different than knowing on a given night you might see a perfect game or a guy hit four homers. You know you’re going to get a chance to witness some history tomorrow. Sure, he’s still seven away from the franchise mark of 31 games and he’s still a few games shy of HALFWAY to Joe DiMaggio, but what he’s doing right now is pretty impressive. Here’s hoping the Friday Night Fireworks start around 7:10 and continue well into the night.

Meanwhile, equally as impressive is what he’ll be doing during the day. Back in Spring Training, he committed to visiting City of Hope tomorrow for their annual reunion of bone marrow donors and their recipients, which is always a very special day at that amazing hospital. They’re one of our partners in ThinkCure and Andre is, of course, keeping his commitment to taking part in the event.

Monday morning memory

There are a lot of moments in Dodger history that stand out for people, apart from what takes place when the ball is thrown. Today marks the 35th anniversary of such a moment.

When two fans tried to set fire to the American flag at Dodger Stadium, a Cubs outfielder swooped in and stopped them from doing so. No one could know at the time that the following year, he would become a Dodger outfielder, play eight seasons for the team which included three NL pennants, several key moments for the 1981 World Championship team and then become a broadcaster for the team for nearly two decades.

Rick Monday – a true patriot and a Dodger hero in so many ways. Happy Anniversary, Mo. You’ve represented the Dodger organization with class for more than a quarter century and did so even before you got here. Your efforts are lauded and appreciated by all of us inside the organization and millions of fans around the country.

Throwback to Brooklyn

With the news of the last 48 hours, you can imagine that a win like today’s is much welcome. What an awesome day today was at the Stadium.

Admittedly, I’m biased, but those uniforms were really cool and judging by the feedback we’re seeing online, the overwhelming majority of fans agree. What do you guys think?

The half-price food and soft drinks seemed to be very well received, as more than 4,000 fans walked up today, which is the largest walk-up crowd for a midweek day game that our VP of Ticketing, Billy Hunter can remember…and he’s been here for 41 seasons.

And of course, with Kershaw dealing and nearly throwing a complete-game, the fans were treated to a few extra innings and in the end, yet another Matt Kemp walk off sent the Dodgers to Chicago back at the .500 mark after taking three of four from the Braves.  

Here’s to maintaining the momentum of today’s game during this six-game trip and a big return home against the Pads on April 29.

And that’s how you end a losing streak…

What an incredible finish today. Facing the prospects of a five-game losing streak and our first four-game sweep at home against the Cardinals in decades, Chad Billingsley came out dealing. But after the Cards took a 1-0 lead on a bloop hit in the top of the ninth, Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp came through in the bottom of the ninth, as they have consistently all season.

Andre’s double to lead off the inning extended his hitting streak to 14 games and then Matt Kemp deposited a pitch over the wall in dead center field for his second career walk-off homer. That will hopefully  make him feel better about his Lakers losing Game 1!

It was hardly the type of four-game series we were all hoping for but hopefully this game will get the team back on track . The Braves come to town tomorrow night, Tuesday night (Fernando Fleece Blanket), Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon (half price food and soft drinks).

Hope to see you all out here…

Jackie Robinson Day in LA and across the nation

Each year  on April 15, we take time to reflect on just what an incredible role Jackie Robinson played not only in the game of baseball, but in our society today. While the pregame ceremony at tonight’s game will be a moving part of the celebration, we are doing something else today that should really be special.

This morning at Crenshaw High School, 10 former, current and future Dodgers will take part in a panel discussion in front of the entire student body to help future generations understand just what this amazing Dodger and amazing person accomplished in his lifetime. Jackie’s teammate, Don Newcombe, will moderate the discussion, which also includes Tommy Davis, Maury Wills, “Sweet” Lou Johnson, Matt Kemp, James Loney, Marcus Thames, Tony Gwynn Jr. and Xavier Paul.

Trayvon Robinson, who went to Crenshaw High School, was excused from tonight’s game for Triple-A Albuquerque to take part in this event, which says something about how important today really is. As Jackie Robinson famously said, “A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives” and 64 years after he first played for the Dodgers, he continues to impact us all every day.

Come Together

Today at Dodger Stadium, fans from around the city came together and donated more than $61,000 to help the Bryan Stow Fund.

For those who couldn’t make it out, you can still donate at sfpcu.org. Our most sincere thanks go out to AMR for helping put on this event and having countless volunteers show up to take part. And our media partners at KCAL/CBS, Prime Ticket, KABC 790, and Univision, as well as the L.A. Times, spent much of the weekend encouraging fans to take part in today’s fundraiser and we are all grateful for their efforts, too.

Tonight, at the game against the Giants both teams will take part in ceremonies to encourage civility within this great rivalry, AMR will be out collecting donations from fans, and then the two teams will go out on the field and play hard for nine innings. In the meantime, please keep Bryan in your thoughts and prayers as all of us are at the Dodger organization.

A new thread for the blog

For those who have been awaiting a new thread on the blog, my sincere apologies for the delay. As you might imagine, it has been a busy week and we continue to stay in touch with Bryan Stow’s family, as well as local authorities who are trying to catch the suspects.

Quite a bit has happened since the last post, with the news that former Police Chief Bill Bratton will be coming in to assess security and fan services from top to bottom, not to mention the focus being put on this by the city of Los Angeles and the LAPD, it’s clear that your voices are being heard. This blog is one place to share those thoughts and I can assure you that we read the comments and take the feedback seriously. For those of you who I have met personally, hopefully you realize the truth behind that statement and for those I have not, I look forward to doing so in the future.

Many have asked how they might donate to help Bryan’s family and here’s one way: there will be a drive-thru fundraiser on Monday with the Dodgers, AMR (Bryan’s employer), and our media partners KCAL/CBS, Prime Ticket, KABC 790 and Univision Radio, as well as the Los Angeles Times. More details are here. You can also donate online at sfpcu.org

Given all that’s going on, I have not had much of a chance to learn the tools of the new blog format but very soon, I’ll be back to updating just about every day as we have in years past.

Thanks again for your patience and feedback.


Blogs away…

Judging by the number of comments on the last post, people are taking to the new blog format quite nicely. I’m working on getting you all some pointers (that I’ll be learning myself) but in the meantime, it seems like people are much happier with the speed of posts. If you haven’t yet become part of the Inside the Dodgers community and are reading this on Facebook, come join the chatter…we want to hear from you.

With three wins in four games against the Giants, the team is in first place and we’ve got “first place ice cream” in about half an hour in the front offices. This tradition dates back many, many years and always makes the employees happy. We also brought back the tradition of “sold-out cookies” so whenever you guys pack the stadium, the front office gets freshly-baked cookies, so thank you!

Other than that, there’s finally a chance for everyone at the Stadium to catch their breath while the team travels to Colorado (the bus just left the stadium en route to LAX). I won’t be making this trip, so I’ll be posting observations from LA while we will likely have lots of tweets coming from @dodgers as always.

Trying out the new blog…

As many of you know, we’ve crossed over to WordPress for the MLBlogs group, so this is a test to make sure I’m posting correctly.

Hopefully the new format will make things better for all of you…please bear with me as I learn the new tools.