It’s a very busy day and weekend at Dodger Stadium…
The ThinkCure weekend is underway, with programming on Prime Ticket, KABC, KCAL, KLOS and in Stadium. For all the information, visit dodgers.com/thinkcure.
Then at 2 p.m. PT, @therealmattkemp will take your questions on Twitter. Follow him and @dodgers to see all that he has to say and he’ll answer questions that have the hashtag #AskKemp.
And of course, the Freeway Series starts at 7:10 p.m., with 1:10 games tomorrow and Sunday.
Hope you’ll make the Dodgers and ThinkCure part of your weekend plans.
Many of you who read this on Inside the Dodgers (as opposed to Facebook) will recognize the man who caught Uribe’s home run last night. It’s FanSince53, Ron Cervenka and there’s even a slow motion replay of his grab.
Ron is a Dodger Stadium regular who was featured in Bluetopia and if you didn’t get a chance to see that flic a few years back, you should grab a copy at Dodger Stadium’s merchandise stores. It really shows how much this team means to its fans.
Nice grab, Ron!
On behalf of everyone at the Dodger organization, we want to wish all the Dads out there a Happy Father’s Day.
If you’re coming out to the Stadium, bring your glove so you can play catch on the field with your father/son after the game. And check out the ceremonial first pitch from Tom Gordon to Dee Gordon and Tony Gwynn Sr. to Jr., plus snag a new BBQ Apron from Farmer John.
If you’re not making it down here, tune in on KABC 790, KTNQ 1020 or on PRIME Ticket, where they’ve got lots of Father’s Day content in store throughout the game. You can hang out and watch with your kids or your Dad and make it a day to remember.
And if you do nothing else for your Dad today, make sure you educate yourself on how to “keep Dad in the game” through the prostate cancer foundation. It’s supported by so many people – including Tommy Lasorda and our Dodger rep, Mat Kemp. Early detection is so important and you can literally save your father’s life.
Fernando Valenzuela participated in yesterday’s 10th Annual Dodgers Dream Foundation Charity Golf Invitational at Trump National Golf Club in Rancho Palos Verdes. His foursome included representatives from MillerCoors, a Dodger partner. Valenzuela’s group got off to a fairly slow start on the front 9, only 3 under par. The breathtaking view on the course that overlooks the Pacific Ocean might have been a distraction to a couple men in the foursome who were playing Trump National for the first time. However, after a Morton’s catered lunch, the team caught fire and birdied 5 of the last 9 holes to finish 8 under for the round.
Below is a Q&A conducted while riding around the course with the legendary lefty:
How long have you been golfing?
A long time. About 20 years. I started in the late 80s. One of my first times, I went out with Rick Honeycutt in Atlantic City, New York. When I was still playing, I golfed mostly in the offseason.
You took to the game quickly. Any attempts to go pro?
(Laughs) No, but when I stopped playing (baseball) in 1997, for about 4 to 5 years, I played (golf) almost every day.
Did you ever play with other teammates? Who was the best golfer?
I played with many of my teammates like Bob Welch, Alejandro Peña and Orel Hershiser. Orel was the best.
Which PGA pro would you most like to golf with?
I played with Arnold Palmer once at the Bob Hope Classic. I played a round with Peter Jacobsen in the late 80s.
What is your favorite course?
Riviera in Pacific Palisades
What’s your favorite club in your bag?
My driver, but I can’t tell you what it is.
What was the best prize you’ve won at a golf tournament?
Three years ago here at the Dodgers Dream Foundation tournament, I won the prize at hole 15 and it was an autographed photo of myself. (Laughs)
Which course would you like to play that you haven’t already?
How many rounds of golf do you player per week?
About 2 rounds per week
What was the best game you’ve ever golfed?
I’ve had a few good games. I shot 74 at Riviera which is 3 over par there.
This season, the Dodgers celebrate the 30th anniversary of “Fernandomania” all season long in 2011. Valenzuela’s “Fernandomania” bobblehead giveaway is July 26 (vs. COL). Below is a first look at the bobblehead!
Tickets are available here or by calling 866-DODGERS.
Hard to believe that Kemp and Ethier rank fifth and fourth in All-Star balloting despite the monstrous season Matt’s having and the impressive numbers Andre continues to put up. Or perhaps even a write-in vote for Jamey Carroll, who has been tremendous this year and would undoubtedly relish a spot on the All-Star team.
Dodger fans have answered the call before and helped get several former Dodgers to the All-Star Game in the past and this year. We need your help again!
Remember, you can vote up to 25 times online and with our longest homestand of the year, hopefully we’ll get a strong push in-stadium, too!
On the recently completed road trip, the Dodgers scored 61 runs and had 115 hits in just 10 games. For the non-math majors out there, that’s 6.1 runs and 11.5 hits per game. Overall, the team hit .311 with a .370 OBP, which is hopefully a positive sign that they can start to turn this thing around while the pitching gets back on track at Dodger Stadium.
Jamey Carroll hit .500 on the trip (15-for-30), Matt Kemp batted .472 with 7 homers and 16 RBI and Aaron Miles hit .438 (14-for-32) with several clutch hits. And of course, James Loney hit a key grand slam yesterday.
Entering the road trip, the Dodgers had batted around in an inning four times and during the 10 games, they did it five times!
The longest homestand of the season starts tonight – three games each against the Reds, Astros, Tigers and Angels. As Vin always says, hope you’ll make your plans to be part of it!
There are only 24 hours left on arguably the best ticket offer of the year at Dodger Stadium – on July 4, you can catch a ballgame and the city’s best fireworks show for just $4 on the Reserve Level, $14 on Loge and $24 on the Field Level. That’s a $130 ticket for $24, a $110 ticket for $14 and a $45 ticket for $4, but the sale ends Monday morning at 9 a.m.
Oh, and you can watch the fireworks show from the outfield grass, as always.
For tickets, visit this link and use the promo code July4
We know a lot of people make their Independence Day weekend plans in advance, so this sale comes a few weeks before the actual game. Hope to see many of you at Dodger Stadium to celebrate on July 4.
Another solid win for the Dodgers, who have taken seven of their last 11 games and tonight, look to win their fourth consecutive series for the first time in over a year. Of course, we aim to provide something a little different here at Inside the Dodgers, so we switch gears for a moment to basketball.
With the NBA Finals in full swing and Dee Gordon getting called up yesterday, it sparked a dugout conversation during Don Mattingly’s pregame interview about Dee’s athleticism on the court. He played primarily basketball until high school, when he finally started playing baseball. And it got me thinking – who would be the best basketball team made up of current or former Dodgers?
Of course, you’d have to include Sandy Koufax, who went to the University of Cincinnati on a basketball scholarship. And Matt Kemp, who had offers to play collegiately, who probably be your forward. Dee Gordon would be a nice point guard and our center would have to be Mark Hendrickson, who was the tallest Dodger at 6-foot, 9-inches and also played in the NBA as a power forward. Perhaps Billy Ashley could fill that role for the Dodgers – he was a house, but I have no idea if he could hoop. I guess that’s my starting five, without much research.
Honorable mention as a sixth man goes to Double-A manager John Shoemaker, who never played in the bigs but was the captain of the Miami (OH) basketball team and was selected in the sixth round of the 1978 NBA draft by the Bulls. Stories of his shooting exploits on the court at Dodgertown in Vero Beach are legendary. And from what I hear, Donnie Baseball was actually a pretty good player growing up in Indiana.
Anyone know any good stories about Dodger players who could pass, shoot or dribble?
Just a fun little diversion from the everday stuff on ITD. As promised, I’m trying to post more often and this popped into my head yesterday watching Dee fly around the bases in his first big league start.
Right around the first pitch of tonight’s game against the Phillies, the draft room on the eighth floor at Dodger Stadium will start buzzing as the Dodgers gear up to make their first selection, the 16th overall choice this year. You can watch it live on MLB Network or follow the unparallelled coverage at mlb.com, as Maury Wills and Dodger scout Rich De Lucia represent the team at the draft in New York.
Last year, the Dodgers were the surprise of the first round, snagging Zach Lee with a pick late in the day though he was considered “unsignable.” With a bonus of more than $5 million, he joined the ranks of Dodger prospects which includes the last eight years worth of first-round pitchers (James Loney in 2002 was our last position player taken in the first round).
A day like today (and the next few days) are the culmination of an insane amount of work by all of our scouts who traverse the country looking for the next great Dodger player. It could be a first-rounder like Clayton Kershaw or a sixth-rounder like Matt Kemp…or even later in the draft, as many success stories come from then, too. But these scouts are truly the backbone of the game of baseball and rarely get the credit they are due.
So tune in tonight and give a shout out to the Dodger scouts and administrators who have made it their life’s work to find the next player you’ll root for at Dodger Stadium.
What was your favorite baseball video game growing up? Stratomatic (pre Atari)? Earl Weaver Baseball? RBI on Nintendo? The more recent versions of MLB-licensed games for X-Box or Playstation?
For me, it was Baseball Stars on Nintendo, where you could build your own team and rack up sick stats. And that’s what Shawn Tolleson is doing these days in the minors. Tolleson’s prep teammate, Clayton Kershaw takes the mound today against the Reds while another of his teammates, Jordan Walden, is the Angels’ closer. In fact, Kershaw might have been the third-best pitcher on their high school travel team and Tolleson is showing why these days.
After Tommy John surgery shelved him in high school and sent him to college at Baylor rather than the minors, the Dodgers drafted and signed him last year. In his first pro season, he had a 0.63 ERA and 17 saves so he popped up on a lot of radars. But what he’s doing this year is, well, the exact same thing. In 21 games for three different minor league teams, he has an identical 0.63 ERA with 13 saves and has struck out 52 batters in 28.2 innings. That’s a career so far of 47 games, 30 saves, 57.1 IP, 28 hits and 91 strikeouts. Those numbers belong in a video game, not the minor leagues.