December 19, 2014

Larry Bowa and Davey Lopes Go Home

Like you guys, I’m psyched for this series against the Fightin’ Phils!  A deeper analysis of the NLCS will be coming in the next day or so, but needless to say, it’s going to be damn tough – especially when you take into account the numerous match-up problems (something that the Cubs couldn’t offer up).  In the meantime, I wanted to highlight three guys that are probably more psyched than all of us for this series: Larry Bowa, Davey Lopes (1972-81) and Milt Thompson (1996) – all coaches for the opposition.  Josh Rawitch offers up the following facts on Bowa’s career over at Inside the Dodgers, plus a few additional tidbits on other ties between the two clubs:

– Remember Charlie Manuel as a Dodger?  He was a reserve outfielder with the club for parts of the ’74 and ’75 seasons

– Fan favorite OF Jayson Werth and reliever Rudy Seanez both played for Big Blue recently (2004-06 and 1994-95, 2007, respectively)

– Dodgers Chief Operating Officer Dennis Mannion worked for the Phillies from 1982-97

– Third base coach Larry Bowa not only was a HOF legend as a player, bur managed the club from 2001-04

Now our regular readers know that we love to see what the opposition thinks about the Dodgers, so following is a link to The Phillies Zone, a blog by The Philadelphia Daily News’  Todd Zolecki.  I’m recommending that we all keep an eye on it throughout the series, as Todd offers up a ton of great info and links.

Finally, we’re working on getting a Philly blogger to post on periodically throughout the series with his or her thoughts.  While we all bleed Dodger Blue over here, we thought it would be interesting to get a view of the game from the opposing press box (we’ll let you know if we get a reciprocal offer).

Series analysis coming later tonight…

From Vince Vaughn to Ellen Pompeo, The Stars Come Out for the Dodgers


So we know that many of you are eager to see what Hollywood stars that came out to see the Dodgers in the playoffs.  According to ESPN, here’s who was in attendance for Game 3 against the Cubs (I’ll try and add some photos of these stars from the game later tonight).  Ellen Pompeo is representing the women?  Where’s Alyssa Milano?  (maybe she’s been going, but she’s not keeping her blog up to date…must be that clothing line).  Where’s Jennifer Aniston? (not sure she’s a baseball fan, but it would be great to see her there).  Come on Hollywood, we can do better than this! I expect a better turnout during the NLCS!

Stars at Game 3 included: Vince Vaughn, Ellen Pompeo, Dennis Haysbert, Pierce Brosnan, Larry King, Paul Walker, James Denton, Isiah Thomas and Eric Balfour (NOTE: I also heard Baron Davis was also rockin’ it at the Ravine on Saturday night).

So What Do the Playoffs Hold For the Dodgers?

Here’s John Donovan’s take from Sports Illustrated, which is worth a read. The Dodgers are a study of opposites. On one hand, they lead the league in ERA and runs allowed per game, but on the other hand, they’re by far the worst of the playoff teams in runs scored per game. Check out the link to learn more.

It’s easy to discount the Dodgers, considering the division they represent. The NL West has been, for most of the year, just about what everyone thinks it is. It has some good pitching. The hitting is (mostly) lame. It is decidedly average, on its best days. Only one team in the division — here’s looking at you, Blue — is better than .500. And the way the Diamondbacks (79-79) are playing, it looks as if that one plus-.500 team is all we’re going to get out of the West.

There’s an argument building out there, though, that the Dodgers are better than many might think, that the addition of slugger Manny Ramirez has transformed this team into a good-pitch, no-hit bunch to a good-pitch, Mannyball-powered machine. And, without much doubt, the Dodgers have improved since getting Ramirez in a deadline day trade with the Red Sox. L.A. was 54-54 when Manny strolled into town. Almost two months later the Dodgers are eight games over .500 now, at 83-75.

Regardless of what SI or anyone says, all of us at Dodgerfan are psyched that we’re going to the playoffs, baby!!!