Results tagged ‘ Matt Kemp ’

It’s Draft Day

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.

All-Star voting is underway – jump for joy

In case you’ve missed it, fans are now able to vote for the All-Star Game here and the Dodgers certainly have some worthy vote recipients. I believe the first batch of results will be coming back soon and I’d imagine that Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp will be among the top outfield vote getters, but it’s up to you guys to vote for your favorite Dodgers over the next few weeks.

As a kid, my brother and I would wander around the Dodger Stadium and get as  many ballots as we could from the ushers and fill them all out for every Dodger. I’m pretty sure that somewhere at my parents’ house, I have an All-Star ballot from every year of the 80s and 90s and somewhere in my own home, I’ve got all of them since I started working at the Dodgers inthe mid 90s.

But now that the All-Star teams are primarly decided by the online vote, we can’t rely wholly on our fans in-stadium to stuff the ballot boxes! Remember, you can vote up to 25 times so show your support for your team.

Anyone have some fun stories of All-Star balloting over the years? Share them here and we hope you’ll take part in a longtime tradition throughout baseball.

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.

Dodger Caravan on Feb. 14-15

The much anticipated announcement of the various caravan stops is now offiical, as we put out a news release this morning. All the information you need is here.

We’ve actually got great response from the players and current team. Headlined by new skipper Don Mattingly, you’ll also see Rafael Furcal, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, James Loney, Tony Gwynn Jr., Jay Gibbons, Gabe Kapler along with a host of former Dodgers and current Dodger broadcasters.

It’s two days of community service leading right up to the reporting date in Camelback Ranch, so hopefully you’ll find a way to lend a hand during some of the public community service stops and meet some of your favorite Dodger personalities.

 

 

Outfielders aplenty

We’ve just announced two more signings today, with Marcus Thames coming in on a one-year deal and Gabe Kapler joining the team on a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training.

For those who haven’t followed Thames career, he’s a power-hitting corner outfielder who has averaged a homer every 15 at-bats or so over the last five seasons, which is the fourth-best mark in the AL during that span. He will presumably be in the mix along with Jay Gibbons, Tony Gwynn, Xavier Paul and others this spring for playing time in 2011 alongside Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.

Meanwhile, joining that group is another local boy, Kapler. This one is pretty cool for me, personally, because I went to school with Gabe growing up and have always hoped that he’d find a way to play for his hometown Dodgers.

He joins other local products Jon Garland (Kennedy High in Granada Hills), Trayvon Robinson (Crenshaw High in Los Angeles), Gibbons (Mayfair High in Lakewood) and Rod Barajas (Santa Fe Spring High) in Dodger camp which is the most local boys I can remember in quite some time heading into Spring Training.

Welcome to the Dodger family, Marcus and Gabe…

Dodger Stadium filled with fans and players…

It’s been a busy day around the stadium…it started out with workouts for the prospects and Don Mattingly was here, as was Matt Kemp. Afterwards, all our prospects headed up to the Stadium Club for a luncheon with the fans who lead various groups in outings to Dodger Stadium and each table had a prospect sitting with them.

Don and Ned took questions from the fans in the Stadium Club and then spent time signing autographs and taking pictures with everyone.

Tomorrow, the media is invited out to watch the workouts and talk with the prospects and Donnie, so you’ll likely see lots of stories in the various outlets that cover us regularly.

Meanwhile, many of you may remember the LA Sports Awards, which is the annual awards ceremony hosted by the LA Sports Council and televised by Fox Sports West each February. Well, voting has started at www.lasports.org and you can see that various Dodger moments are there for the voting, so check it out.

And on a much more serious note, thank you all for your continued thoughts for the Green family. For those who posted comments in our last post, we’ll make sure they’re included in the tribute book but feel free to also send them to greenfamily@dodgers.com, as we’ll be compiling all of them in a memorial book for the family.

Those looking for other ways to help, please see here.  

Colletti keeping busy…Dodger offices buzzing

It’s decision day on a few Dodger players, most notably Russell Martin, and Ned Colletti just told Jim Hill in an interview that this is one of the toughest decisions he’s had to face since he came to the Dodgers. We’ll know by 9 p.m. PT tonight at the latest what that decision is and hopefully that will provide a little more clarity on the catching situation.

Ned just finished a 20-minute interview with Jim Hill and they covered a ton of topics. It will air in part tonight on KCAL/KCBS as well as throughout the week. Among the things they talked about were Don Mattingly and his staff; Matt Kemp (who recently reached out to Ned and had a great phone conversation that is among the reasons Ned says he feels like this will be a big year for Matt); the starting rotation and the farm system.

There’s definitely a buzz in the offices and one among fans we’re speaking with on a daily basis. It feels a little weird to have so much already set in stone before we head to Orlando for the Winter Meetings on Sunday, but I’ll certainly take that over a four-day set of meetings where we come in with a ton of needs.

The King of Pop

In the past year, the 80s have made a surprising surge back to relevance in Hollywood. Movie remakes of 80s movies (Clash of the Titans), 80s toys turned into movies (Transformers), 80s TV shows turned into movies (A-Team), even movies about returning to the 80s (Hot Tub Time Machine).

We’ve decided to ride the wave back to the days of Space Invaders, the Delorean and of course, the King of Pop as we celebrate 80s Night in less than two weeks at Dodger Stadium (August 6th for those keeping track).

In honor of the decade that brought us Bon Jovi and  Big Hair, the entertainment for the evening will have an acid-washed tint to it. In addition, the first 20,000 fans will take home a limited-edition poster featuring Matt Kemp. We penciled in Kemp as the 80s poster-boy back in January, however, we didn’t determine the exact direction for its design until about a month ago.

As some of you may have seen on twitter and even Deadspin the resulting shoot will remind many of the days of “Thriller”, “Beat it” and the moonwalk.

Kemp was happy to lend his likeness to the poster, but I don’t think he knew exactly what he was getting in to when we agreed to take part in the photo shoot on Friday. We had a full wardrobe ready, with an authentic (read: costume shop replica) red leather jacket, aviators, fedora, white v-neck and of course, a silver glove! Matt already has a gold one to go with it, but once he slid the glove on, donned the fedora, and looked into the camera, MK channeled MJ pretty quickly. Using my iPhone as the soundtrack (hopefully DMN can enhance the audio on the Inside Dodgertown piece coming soon) Kemp gave us a few “he-heee’s” as he struck poses under the direction of Jon SooHoo.

The shot to be used is still to be determined, but Matt gave us plenty to work with and we’ll release the design on dodgers.com later this week. For now, start digging out the legwarmers and parachute pants (in Dodger blue of course) and plan on joining us August 6th as the Nationals come to town on 80s Night with their prodigal pitcher, Stephen Strasburg (born in 1988!), scheduled to pitch (perhaps against Kershaw, given that he’s also scheduled to pitch on Sunday due to his suspension). Here’s hoping Kemp proves to be the king of pop at the plate when the two face each other.

-Josh Lukin

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.