April 24, 2014

James Loney: Houston Area Player Of The Year!

Imagine my surprise when I heard Vin Scully’s voice describing Dodger highlights during an Astros-Indians Spring Training game. Turns out it was a video tribute to James Loney, Houston Area Player of the Year!

Congratulations, James!

Get Ready to Run the Bases at Dodger Stadium

So this is pretty cool: the Dodgers are hosting their second “Public Batting Practice” tomorrow night from 5-8 p.m.  James Loney and Matt Kemp will be on hand, as well as “several of the team’s top prospects” (no specifics given right now).  So if you’ve ever had a desire to throw a nasty curve like Clayton Kershaw, run like Juan Pierre or go deep like Manny, then this is your event!

…but it ain’t cheap!  $500 per person gets you through the turnstiles, but honestly, this does sound really cool.  Additional bells and whistles include: live batting practice on the field, indoor batting practice in the batting cages, pitching practice in the bullpens, opportunity to play the field and shag fly balls, behind-the-scenes locker room and clubhouse tours, OPEN BAR, the chance to see your name and image on DodgerVision and a handful of other things.  I imagine it will be something like this first-person account  from Erin at Robots Took My Medicine of the Dodgers’ holiday party for season ticket holders.

 The Dodgers are expecting 200 people to show up tomorrow.  I’m pretty interested to see if they really get that many given the current economy.

Maybe Ned can use this opportunity as a chance to scout for that elusive power hitter the Dodgers need!  At the very least they should spend the $100,000 in  expected revenue on Manny’s deal…that should buy us about a week of his services, right?

For more info or to buy tickets, visit www.dodgers.com/underthelights. 

Trade Rumors Circling: Kemp, Ethier, Loney on the Block?

 Pittsburgh Pirates' Jason Bay strokes a two-run double off Arizona Diamondbacks pitcher Matt Scherzer in the fourth inning of a baseball game at Pittsburgh Sunday, June 8, 2008. The Pirates won 6-4.

If you believe Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports, that is indeed the case.  According to Ken’s article, the Dodgers might actually pull the trigger on dealing one of the kids for a proven hitter, ala Jason Bay, Magglio Ordonez or Matt  Holliday.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately and have had a change of heart: I think the Dodgers should consider trading one (1) of their younger players.  I would have a bunch of conditions attached, of course, with the first being that Matt Kemp is off the table.  The guy is a future All-Star and he wants to be a Dodger.  I’d prefer to deal Loney or LaRoche, and could be convinced to move Ethier if the price was right.  The problem is the guy making the deals.  I simply don’t trust Ned to bring us back someone who isn’t on the downside of their career or a rent-a-player.  No, this needs to be a move that helps us win now, but also is piece that allows us to build for the future.

From Dejan Kovacevic (the Pirates’ beat writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette):

If any team offers the Pirates premier prospects for what they feel is fair value, from what I gather, they will not hesitate to move. Who takes over at shortstop or any other position would be secondary. The goal, as they often lay out, is to win a championship, and that only happens with a lot of high-end talent. That is not the current situation.

Loney is Looney

James Loney

Great article in today’s Long Beach Press Telegram about James Loney’s lighthearted sense of humor that’s worth a read. Interesting to see Torre comparing Loney’s sense of humor to Bernie Williams…I wasn’t aware Bernie was considered a funny guy. The other interesting thing that Doug Padilla points out is that just because Loney has a carefree outlook on life, he’s still serious about the craft of baseball and putting the work in that’s necessary in order to succeed.

“James is tremendous,” Torre said. “I just wish I could have gotten (former New York Yankee) Bernie Williams to the ballpark in New York to get those two together. They have the same personality, which is a positive.

“I noticed this on the board when they asked who was the funniest guy. They all said James and they were laughing about it. That’s Bernie too. He’s funny without knowing he’s funny.”

Spreading the Hits Around

Ok, so I’m sure the way the Dodgers lost last night’s game was not how many were expecting, bu until Saito blew the save, this was looking like it was going to be a really nice shared victory.  It’s worth noting that every starter except one had at least one hit in the game, and the guy who didn’t add a notch on his belt wasn’t who you thought it would be – it was Raffy!  Furcal still played great, including an amazing defensive play with DeWitt to save a sure run with two men on in the third.

One interesting stat I learned from Vin tonight while driving home: excluding tonight’s performance, in 2008, Dodger pitchers have a 4.50 ERA in night games and a 1.50 ERA in day games.  Just something to keep an eye on.

One other interesting offensive stat from this hitting-deprived team: James Loney has quietly gone about establishing a nice little 13-game hit streak.  Go James!


Photo: Courtesey of ProFantasySports.com