Category Archives: Fan Gear

Happy Holidays From The Dodgers

This is the morning of the third day of the winter meetings and the Dodgers have done absolutely nothing. Well, I guess you could argue that they’ve lost in the race for Shohei Ohtani as well as passed on Giancarlo Stanton. They’ve also allowed Brandon Morrow to sign with the Cubs. But they haven’t done anything to improve the roster.

The Dodgers didn’t want to bore too much over the offseason. If they did, they might lose some fans. So they put together a five-minute video wishing all of us Happy Holidays. Here it is:

I hope that I will have something to report on other than a video. Until then, enjoy your offseason.

What To Expect During Spring Training

The Dodgers have sent trucks to Camelback Ranch, which means it is time for Spring Training to begin! The trucks are provided by UPS, who sped up the packing process by a few hours, according to the Dodgers. Each truck is carrying 20 tons of gear including, computers, front office supplies, and a 1,500-pound Tommy Lasorda Bobblehead.

One thing you will need before Spring Training starts is a schedule, and you can print one for free here. The Dodgers announced which games they will be broadcasting on SportsNet LA this spring. (All times are Pacific Time)

  • Saturday, February 25 vs. White Sox, 12:05 p.m.
  • Sunday, February 26 at Brewers, 12:05 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 1 at Giants, 5:05 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 4 at Cubs, 12:05 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 5 vs. Mariners, 12:05 p.m.
  • Friday, March 10 vs. Rangers, 6:05 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 11 vs. Angels, 12:05 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 12 vs. White Sox (split squad), 7:05 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 16 vs. Cubs, 1:05 p.m.
  • Friday, March 17 vs. Mariners (split squad), 7:05 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 18, at White Sox, 1:05 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 25 vs. Athletics, 1:05 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 26 at Rangers, 1:05 p.m.
  • Thursday, March 30, at Angels, 7:07 p.m.
  • Friday, March 31 at Angels, 7:07 p.m.
  • Saturday, April 1 vs. Angels, 6:10 p.m.

One thing you can expect during Spring Training is for many Dodgers to head to the World Baseball Classic. The World Baseball Classic comes around every four years, and players from all around the world compete for their countries. The Dodgers are sending Vidal Nuno, Sergio RomoAdrian Gonzalez, and Julio Urias to Mexico. Ike Davis will play for Israel, Rob Segedin will compete for Italy, Kenley Jansen will head to the Netherlands to pitch, and Enrique Hernandez will play for Puerto Rico. You can make your prediction for the winner of the World Baseball Classic by commenting below.

There are still some more things that you can expect to see this Spring Training. The Dodgers will play every game like it is game seven of the World Series. Dave Roberts was given a long talk by Tommy Lasorda saying that he wanted a World Series Title. The last time the Dodgers even made it to the World Series was in 1988, when Ronald Reagan was the President of the United States. The Dodgers also made quite a few roster adjustments this year. They reached an agreement with Chase Utley, so you can expect to see him enter games late to replace Logan Forsythe. They also signed Romo this week, and earlier in the off-season, traded for Nuno and Forsythe, while singing Davis and re-signing Rich Hill, Jansen, and Justin Turner. You can also expect a lot of depth this year. The 25-man roster will be loaded with talent and the minor leagues will be loaded with re-enforcement.

I am very excited for Spring Training to start. It will be a very fun year. Go Dodgers!!

Buy Your Tickets For Spring Training

It is January, which means that it is time to start thinking about Spring Training. I know that it may seem like it is too early, but tickets sell fast. You can buy your tickets for Spring Training here. Enjoy watching the Dodgers compete against the White Sox, Brewers, Rockies, Giants, Indians, Royals, Diamondbacks, Cubs, Mariners, Rangers, Angels, Reds, Padres, and Athletics. Spring Training starts at Camelback Ranch on February 25.

Why You Should Go This Year

There are many reasons that you should go to Spring Training this year, so I have made a list of some of my favorite things about Spring Training. The list is not ordered because, that is just to hard to do.

  • The Baseball Environment –  Spring Training has a much more relaxed feeling to it (Especially if you are in the lawn seating). The ballparks are much smaller, and nobody is worried about winning a pennant race. It is great to be back around baseball after 4 months off, which seems like a lifetime for those of you who are like me. You also get to see a mix of veterans, rookies, and top prospects, all playing for the same team.
  • The Autographs – One thing many people love about Spring Training, is when their favorite player signs their baseball or trading card. There are many people who want a player’s autograph so here are a few tips:
    • Arrive Early – You may think that you can arrive at the time batting practice starts, but if you arrive then, there will be nowhere for you to stand. Get there at least an hour early (we arrived before the gates to Camelback Ranch opened), and be ready to wait. The players will most likely not sign autographs on their way to batting practice. Don’t let that discourage you, some players make special trips out just to sign for the fans.
    • Have Your Pen Ready – When signing autographs, the players move quickly, and if you are not ready you will be missed. Have your pen or permanent marker ready. You will also need to be ready with your baseball, trading card, or piece of paper.
  • Watch The Re-Signed Free Agents – Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner have now officially signed with the Dodgers. The club made it official on January 11, 2017 with a press conference at Dodger Stadium. Andrew Friedman, the President of Baseball Operations, said that re-signing these players was one of their top priorities. Both Jansen and Turner were excited about their contracts, along with Dave Roberts and Friedman. Don’t miss watching these players playing for the team that they belong on.

If you have another thing that you think makes Spring Training fun, be sure comment. Be sure to buy your tickets, and join the crowd at Camelback Ranch. Go BLUE!

A Deserved Award

203px-presmedalfreedomWhat do the bobble-head on the left, and the medal on the right have in common? The answer is that both of these belong to Vin Scully. In 2015, the Dodgers gave out the Vin Scully bobble-head on the left, mine has never left the box. This week I was planning to write about this bobble-head when Scully received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, this is what the two have in common.

You may ask, “Why did Vin Scully receive the Medal of Freedom?” This is a valid question, in fact I asked the same thing. It seems that the only way to understand why President Barack Obama chose to award Vin the award is by watching the video of Vin being told he would receive this award. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest was was the man who made this phone call. After Earnest informed Vin that he would receive the award, Scully responded by saying, “…are you sure? I’m just an old baseball announcer.” Of course we all know that Vin Scully is more than baseball announcer, he is the best announcer in the history of the game. Earnest pointed out that Vin has brought a decency and professionalism to this job.

This is a really cool award that Vin Scully earned. As Joe Earnest said, it is the highest civilian honor a president can award. The video below shows president Barack Obama give Vin the award.

Lots of Action as Dodgers Trade Ruiz

The off-season has officially begun because the Dodgers have started making trades and offering players new contracts. They have given qualifying offers to Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner, neither of whom have excepted or declined so far. Another big thing that happened was the Dodgers traded catcher Carlos Ruiz to the Mariners for left-handed pitcher Vidal Nuno. Another thing that happened is that the Spring Training schedule has been announced, meaning that tickets are available to be purchased. In my mind, the most exciting thing that has happened this week is that the Shortstop Silver Slugger Award went to Corey Seager.

Dodgers Send Ruiz to Mariners for Nuno

It was November 7, 2016 when I heard the news that Carlos Ruiz was traded to the Mariners in exchange for left-handed pitcher Vidal Nuno. It is to be expected that there will be off-season trades, but what makes this one so strange is the fact that the Dodgers acquired Ruiz about 2.5 months ago. They sent A.J. Ellis to the Phillies in exchange for Ruiz on August 25, 2016. You can view the post about what happened here. This transaction does not feel fair to Ruiz because he had nearly no chance to prove himself. He played in only 14 regular season games, most of them off the bench, and hit .278.

Of course, nobody will just trade players without reason, but this doesn’t seem fair to Chooch at all! They traded for the left handed pitcher Vidal Nuno because they are trying to solve a  pitching problem. In 2016, they did not have depth from left-handed pitchers after Clayton Kershaw hit the disabled list. They had a lot of left-handed pitchers, but they didn’t get much depth from them, so it is easy to see why that is a problem. Scott Kazmir averaged 6 innings per start, but he missed the final 2 months of the season with back and neck issues.Next, Alex Wood did not do well any later than 5 innings, and was sent to the bullpen for the playoffs. Julio Urías was excellent, but he is only 20 years old and the Dodgers would like to protect his arm, so he didn’t go very deep into games. It seemed like Brett Anderson would make a good number 4 starter, but an injury in spring training forced him to miss most of the year. The Dodgers acquired Rich Hill at the trade deadline, and he became the number 2 starter, but he was plagued by blisters on his throwing hand, causing him to be inconsistent on the mound. Hyun-Jin Ryu’s return from the DL was very disappointing, he had missed all of the 2015 season with shoulder issues, and only made one start in 2016 before returning to the disabled list.

As you can see the need for a more consistent left-handed pitcher is great. The 29-year old Nuno has only played in 126 games, and started in only 42 of them. He has a career record of 5 wins and 20 losses, and in 2016 1-1 in 55 appearances, but only 1 start. This makes it very hard to know if he will be the consistent pitcher that the Dodgers are needing.

Jansen, Turner Are the Dodgers Main Focus

The Dodgers have 11 players on the free-agent market, and you can view the list here. There are now only ten players with the opt-out option now, because Carlos Ruiz has been traded to the Mariners. Out of the 10 players who can opt-out of their contracts, the Dodgers have two main concerns, Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner.

Kenley Jansen is the Dodgers’ closer and he is one of the top closers in the game. Jansen’s previous contract was $10.65 million, and the Dodgers gave him a qualifying offer of $17.2 million for one year. There are two other elite closers who are on the free-agent market this year, Aroldis Chapman and Mark Melancon. The Cubs acquired Chapman at the trade deadline from the Yankees, and the Nationals acquired Melancon from the Pirates at the trade deadline. The reason that I mentioned this is because this means that Chapman and Melancon are not under the qualifying offer, which means that teams will potentially be able to sign them for less than Jansen. Jansen had a huge year in 2016, he set a new franchise record for career saves, and finished the season with 47 saves and a 104:13 strikeout to walk ratio. The video below is Kenley Jansen’s 142nd career save, the one that gave him the Dodger save record.

Justin Turner is the Dodgers’ everyday third baseman and the only third baseman on the free-agent market. In 2016 Turner made $5.1 million and the Dodgers have offered him a one year deal for $17.2 million. This year is the first year the Turner has had a starting position instead of being a bench player. Turner’s ability to hit off of right-handed pitching is just amazing, and his reflexes at the hot corner are outstanding. If Turner signs with another team, the Dodgers will have a very large gap to fill. Chances are that they will have to go outside of the organization to find a replacement. The video below is a perfect example of what I mean when I say that Turner is an excellent hitter against right-handed pitchers. Cueto “quick-pitched” him, but he seemed to be expecting it and hit the ball over the wall in left-field.

Spring Training Opens on February 25

Like most of you, I have been looking forward to the when the first pitch of Spring Training is thrown in 2017 since Yasiel Puig grounded into a double play to end game 6 of the NLCS against the Cubs. There are quite a few reason that Spring Training is very fun. The first reason is that it means the beginning of the next season, because Spring Training is the pre-season. One of my top reasons for liking Spring Training is going to Camelback Ranch. The Dodgers and White Sox share this facility for Spring Training, and going is just a blast. Spring Training is also one of the places where you can receive autographs, but it sure gets crowded around 10 o’clock AM. Be sure to begin planning your trip to Glendale, Arizona as soon as possible.

Seager Wins Silver Slugger Award at SS

This is now the second off-season award that the rookie shortstop Corey Seager has received. His first one was winning the Player’s Choice Award for Top NL Rookie, and the second one is the Silver Slugger Award at Shortstop. Now you might be wondering why I keep saying that it is at shortstop, and the reason for that is because every position in each league receives this award. I think that the reason Seager won it at shortstop is because of his ability to collect big hits when the Dodgers needed it. When I say, “When the Dodgers needed it,” I mean it, because on the day that the Dodgers clinched the NL West, they were trailing 2-1 with 2 outs in the 9th inning, when Seager hit a solo home run and tied the game. You can read all about that game here. The videos below show who the silver sluggers are, the first one is the National League, and the second one is the American League.

I think that Corey Seager will be winning many more awards, be sure to comment on what other awards you think that Seager will win, and also comment on what your favorite thing about Spring Training is.

My Dodgers “Junk”

shelf display

If you step into my bedroom, the first thing you will notice is the mess. The second thing you will notice is that your feet hurt from stepping on my Brother’s Lego’s. But I’m not writing about how much it hurts to step on a 2×2 Lego brick, or about how I need to spend more time cleaning my room. I’m writing about the part of my room that makes it unique, my Dodgers memorabilia collection. My brother calls it junk, but I disagree with him.

The Rally Towel

rally towel

My Rally Towel was the giveaway at my very first Dodgers game. My Grandma bought me, my Brother and my Dad tickets to game 2 of the Dodgers vs. Yankees series in LA. We arrived at the stadium and were handed these Rally Towels. We had no clue what they were for so we just hit each other in the face with them when everybody cheered. I now bring this to every Dodgers game that I go to.

The Mike Marshall Cy Young Award Pin

mike marshall pin

I was  watching my Sister play a softball game when my Dad told me that his client, who was a season ticket holder, had given us tickets to the game on June 18, 2015. It was the Mike Marshall Cy Young Award Pin giveaway night. The pin was pretty cool, but I think the cooler thing was the way that the game ended. The score was 0-0 in the bottom of the 9th with Kike Hernandez on third base. The Ranger’s pitcher Keone Kela balked. Hernandez scored and the Dodgers won the game.

The Pee Wee Reese Retired Number Pin

pee wee reese pin

The story for this pin is close to the same as the one for the Mike Marshall pin. My Dad told me one day that the same client who game us the tickets for the Mike Marshall pin gave us tickets to the game on May 9, 2016. We were given 4 tickets that were right next to the Met’s bullpen, My seat was the closest in row M of the right field pavilion to the bullpen. I brought my Dad, Brother and one of my best friends. My friend got on diamond vision before the game started while he was eating his Dodger Dog. Sadly the Dodgers lost.

The Sign and Pennant

dodgers blvdpennantMy Aunt and Uncle gave me both of these for my 12th birthday. The Dodgers BLVD sign has hung on my door as a reminder to any Giants fans of who they’re messing with. But because I don’t know very many Giants fans it now hangs on my wall. The pennant doesn’t work as a flag so I put it on my wall instead. I hold it up with blue thumb tacks and you don’t see them unless you look closely.

The souvenir bat and ball

batballI bought this souvenir bat at Walmart. It is just like the ones that you can buy at Dodger Stadium but half the price. It is 18″ and real wood. One of my favorite things to do with it other than display it is to imitate a batter’s stance while I watch the game on TV. I also bought the ball at Walmart. It is a soft foam ball so my Mom lets me throw it in the house! It doesn’t bounce off of walls very well so I use it when someone else will play catch with me.

The Baseball Frames

clayton kershaw framedreamin' dodgersMy sister gave me the baseball picture frame. It can hold a wallet sized picture, I have put in pictures of myself in a team uniform or a team picture, but I prefer to do major league players. If there is a player who is playing really well, like Howie Kendrick in July, I will put his card in. Right now I really want Clayton Kershaw to come back, so I have his card in it. My sister also gave me the Dreamin’ Dodgers picture frame. She drew a picture of Clayton Kershaw on the left, me pitching in the middle, and the greatest third baseman of all time, Jackie Robinson on the right. She decorated it with the Dodgers logo and baseball.

The Nacho Helmet

nacho bowl helmetOne of the best things about getting the loaded nachos is the helmet that comes with it. In 2015 my Dad took me and my Brother to spring training. He bought us the nachos for part of our lunch and  it came with the helmet. Once you clean all of the nacho cheese sauce out of it, you can make a catchers helmet. The only problem is that it is to big for my head, I fix that by wearing my hat underneath it and it fits perfectly. There is no padding in it so DO NOT use it in a real game

The Clock

clockThis Clock was a summer project last year. My Mom took me to the craft store and I bought the supplies that I would need for it. The supplies were: the clock mechanism, the arms, the wooden baseballs, paint, paint pens, and a wooden box. I drilled a hole in the box and painted it. I then measured and drew the numbers, I then glued the baseballs on. Next I stuck the clock mechanism in the hole and attached the arms. I put the batteries in and set the time. My measuring must have been off because it doesn’t display accurately but it is a nice decoration.

The Justin Turner Chia Pet

justin turner chia petOne of the best promotions of the year was the Justin Turner Chia Pet. I saw the commercial and I wanted to get one and so did my Dad. We were unable to go to the game though so my Dad wanted to buy one from Ebay. The day after the game, a friend of the family told me that he had gone to a Dodger game with some of his friends. He is not a Dodger fan and when he was handed this Chia Pet, he thought it was the ugliest thing he had ever seen. He gave me the Chia Pet with one condition, that I would show him what it looked like when it was grown. Well, lets just say that the beard didn’t grow how the commercial showed, plants grow towards the sun so it was growing off to the side. It was quite a sight.

The Bobbleheads

vin scully bobbleheadclayton kershaw bobbleheadI was having a pool noodle, lightsaber battle with my brother when my Dad came home from work. He called me inside and showed my two bobbleheads that his client had given him. One was the greatest Dodger of all time, Vin Scully. The other is my favorite player, Clayton Kershaw with his 2014 Cy Young Award. Neither one of these bobbleheads has ever been outside of the box, so they are in perfect condition.

The Shirts

vin scully shirtclayton kershaw shirtThe Vin Scully shirt was given to me for my 14th birthday. Instead of the Dodgers logo, it says Scully. And instead of the baseball it is a microphone. I wear this shirt to honor the best announcer in the history of baseball. The other shirt is a Clayton Kershaw shirt that I picked up at, you guessed it, Walmart. I bought it the same day that I received the Pee Wee Reese retired number pin. Because it is white I usually save wearing it for when I am at the stadium.

The Blanket

blanketThis blanket serves as a decoration for my bed, something to keep me warm during the winter, and most recently, a backdrop for pictures. My Mom helped me make this throw blanket after I repainted my room to be a sports theme. We went to the craft store and bought this fleece, then began to cut and sew. I didn’t particularly enjoy the sewing part, but I really wanted the blanket so I did my best. The blanket is really warm but not as soft after being used so much during the winter.

The Coaster Set

coastersThis set was the special Dodger Stadium gift that came at the end of the Dodger Stadium Clubhouse Tour, you can read about it here. This is a set of 4 ceramic Dodgers coasters. They have the common Dodgers logo with the baseball, and the base path around the edges. It comes in a wooden box with plastic around it. The best way to display it is to make a stand for it so you can place it at an angle.