April 16, 2014

An Epic Night at Dodger Stadium

Last night at Dodger Stadium was simply epic.  I don’t want to make too big a deal about it as it’s only late-April, but it just felt like a special night, didn’t it?  A top flight pitching matchup in Kershaw and Strasburg, a pre-game ceremony honoring Drysdale and Wills, and the major league debut of phenom-in-the-making, Bryce Harper.  All that led to a pumped up crowd of 54,000+ fans in the stands and ready to welcome Harper to Southern California with a chorus of boos.

But it was the last few innings that provided the real electricity (and overshadowed impressive efforts by Strasberg and Kershaw and a solid debut by Harper), with a clutch double by Juan Uribe, aggressive base running by Jerry Hairston, Jr. and an epic home run to deep center field by Matt Kemp to lead off the bottom on the 10th.

Sure, this team has some question marks that will need to be addressed during the season, but to have the opportunity to win a championship you not only need to play great baseball, but you need to have those breaks and special moments along the way that give you that feeling that maybe, just maybe, this is the year.

By the way, did you see this quote from Matt Kemp (captured by Eric Stephen of True Blue LA)?  Per my earlier posts, I really believe that for the Dodgers to ultimately be successful at the highest levels, the fans need to return to Dodger Stadium on a consistent basis and support this team.  Looks like Matt agrees:

“It’s always good to see the crowd. That’s the Dodger Stadium I remember, two or three years ago. Every Friday and Saturday we were filling out the whole stands with 56,000 screaming fans,” Kemp said. “It helps a lot when you have those guys on your side. We have some great fans and if we could get them to come out to more games it would be way easier to win games.”

Now, enjoy these photos of Matt Kemp’s walk-off homer as we watch Chris Capuano and the Dodgers try and complete the sweep of the Nationals.

Bring on the Draft!

So the 2009 MLB Draft is just moments away, but unfortunately there isn’t much excitement for Dodger fans as LA doesn’t pick until #36 this year.  Super-phenom Stephen Strasburg is a virtual lock to be the No. 1 pick by the Nationals.  Well documented is Strasburg’s reputation as the greatest pitching prospect in history with his 103 mph fastball, but almost as well known as that is his notorious agent Scott Boras.

One of my favorite baseball writers of all time is Tom Boswell of The Washington Post.  Boswell has a great story in today’s paper about why the Nats should suck it up and sign Strasburg, despite the hefty price tag and, if you believe history, the equally high chance he could be marginal at best.  Check out Boswell’s research:

Of all the pitchers ever picked No. 1 overall since 1965, here are the best: Andy Benes, Mike Moore, Floyd Bannister and Tim Belcher, all 150-150 types. The list of flops, like Boras client Brien Taylor, a lefty who never reached Yankee Stadium, is much longer. In fact, to find a great pitcher in the draft, you have to go all the way to a No. 18 overall choice: Roger Clemens. The list of Hall of Fame hitters picked earlier is at least 20.

Ouch.  Check out the rest of the article for more, but note that you may need to sign up for a free registration to view the story.