Dodgers Call Up Joc Pederson, But Will He Get To Play?

Amidst constant rumors that went on for more than a year, the Dodgers were said to have been in trade discussions for David Price, Cole Hamels, Jon Lester, and other top pitchers, but that the asking price was always one, two, or three of the organization’s trio of prized prospects, Julio Urias, Corey Seager, and Joc Pederson, all of whom the organization was unwilling to include in any deal. Pederson is the oldest of the trio, at 22, and the most advanced, and it has been said for quite awhile that he is a better center fielder than anyone currently on the Dodgers’ major league roster. Joc just completed the Pacific Coast League season, wherein he hit over .300 and became the league’s first 30-Home Run, 30-Stolen Base player in 80 years. He was also selected both the league’s Rookie of the Year and Most Valuable Player, and today, he is a member of the Dodgers. Continue reading

Posted in Major League Baseball | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Angels Have Labor Day Off After Sweep of Oakland

The Angels, amazingly, join several major league clubs in an off day today, a new Labor Day tradition that baseball began after decades of full holiday schedules. Regardless, the Angels deserve a day off to bask in the first-place splendor of a five-game lead over the Oakland A’s, following their four-game sweep of the team that experts had picked to run away with the American League West and skip merrily into the World Series.

Rookie Matt Shoemaker provided another brilliant effort yesterday, pitching seven shutout innings, raising his record to 14-4 and lowering his ERA to 3.14. Continue reading

Posted in Major League Baseball | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Dodgers Surprise With Team Effort and Win Over Padres

It took a solid team effort, but the best team money can buy was able to defeat the San Diego Padres today, salvaging one game of a three game series against a team that now trails them by 12 games in the National League West and that hasn’t seen .500 in four years. The Dodgers overcame the awful lineup constructed by the empty uniform non-manager Don Mattingly, and fueled by the return from the disabled list of starter Hyun-Jin Ryu and third baseman Juan Uribe, overpowered San Diego, 7-1, scoring more than twice as many runs in nine innings today than they had over the 22 innings of the two extra-inning losses of Friday and Saturday. Continue reading

Posted in Major League Baseball | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Can the Dodgers Avoid Being Swept in San Diego?

Looking at the empty uniform non-manager Don Mattingly’s intended lineup for this afternoon’s final game in San Diego, I’d have to say no. Despite having Hyun-Jin Ryu (13-6, 3.28 ERA) back and starting today, instead of, well, let’s say Kevin Correia (2-2, 6.75 ERA), the rest of the lineup is a mess.

Mattingly has the slumping Yasiel Puig leading off, despite his average sinking to its lowest point since April 30, after going five-for-39 over his last 11 games. In that span, Puig has zero extra base hits and zero runs batted in as well. Continue reading

Posted in Major League Baseball | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Cory Rasmus Gets the Start, He & Bullpen Come Up Big

On an early evening in Oakland, California, the Los Angeles Angels and manager Mike Scioscia had not a single experienced major league starting pitcher to choose from. Narrowing the selection down to a precious few choices, Scioscia picked Cory Rasmus, who has been shuttling back and forth between the Angels and Triple-A for two seasons, and who had never before started a major league game. He only went three innings tonight, but it was a brilliant three, that got the team off to a great start in the third of their four game series against the A’s. Rasmus allowed a single hit and no runs, while walking none and striking out six. He was followed by a parade of the rest of the Angels’s bullpen, seven in number, who also were near perfect, once again blanking the powerful A’s, on two hits over the final six innings. Continue reading

Posted in Major League Baseball | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

First Place Dodgers Loaded With Big Question Marks

For a team that has comfortably been ensconced in first place for many weeks and that has been in the hunt for the league’s best overall won-lost record, the Dodgers seem to have far too long a list of serious problems for a team in that position. Last night’s extra-inning loss to the San Diego Padres highlighted several of those problems:

1. Shortstop Hanley Ramirez. Since the Dodgers traded for Hanley, he has been one of the team’s offensive leaders, and a defensive liability as shortstop. A healthy Hanley is a dominating hitter, but the Dodgers’ have seldom had the healthy version in the lineup. Continue reading

Posted in Major League Baseball | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weaver Still the Guy, But Tomorrow’s Angels’ Starter a Mystery

There is good news and bad news in Angeltown tonight.

The good news is that Jered Weaver continues his dominance as the re-anointed staff ace. In a battle tonight with Oakland, Weaver went head-to-head against the A’s newly acquired star, Jon Lester, and Weaver again showed the A’s whose’ who. After pitching six shutout innings against the A’s on August 24 (he gave up three runs in the seventh), in his first start after Garrett Richard’s season-ending injury, for a 9-4 win, Weaver threw seven shutout innings tonight, beating Lester, 4-0, increasing the Angels’ American League West Division lead to three games. On June 16, Weaver was 7-6, but since then, he has won eight of nine decisions, and now, at 15-7, he now is tied for the American League lead in victories, one behind major league leader Clayton Kershaw. Continue reading

Posted in Major League Baseball | Leave a comment

Starting Depth Still Question Mark as Bullpen Fuels Angels’ Drive

Angels’ hitters gave C.J. Wilson an early three-run lead last night in the first game of the latest showdown with the baseball’s world second best team, the Oakland A’s, but Wilson could not hold the lead, and after 5-2/3 innings, the game was tied at three apiece. In stepped the Angels’ bullpen, which has undergone a once-in-a-lifetime mid-season rebuild, turning an arson squad into now maybe the single biggest strength of the team. Five relievers combined to pitch 4-1/3 hitless innings, holding the powerful A’s scoreless through the tenth inning, until a Howie Kendrick sacrifice fly pushed a run across in the bottom of the tenth, for a 4-3 Angels’ win, extending their lead over Oakland to two games. Continue reading

Posted in Major League Baseball | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

College Football Note of the Day – August 28, 2014

Barely a few hours after I posted about how the ESPN guys have called usc a “Clown College” and then described some of the litany of transgressions emanating from that sterling institution of “higher” learning, they are back in the news today, with social media humming after trojan brain surgeon Anthony Brown told the world how head football coach Steve “Sark” Sarkisian is a racist and how he was treated like a slave.

Will it never end for the poor, downtrodden trojans?

Guess they’ve got more to worry about right now than how to keep Josh Shaw out of jail.

Got a friend who’s a trojan? Maybe it’s time to Send an Animated Rubber Chicken Card! ($7.95 off annual membership with code: bigdiscount)

Posted in College Football | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ESPN: The “Real” university of southern California – a “Clown College”

John Ireland, Steve Mason, and other local LA commentators and reporters, most with a significant trojan brain surgeon bias or who just work for their local outlet, may say it’s all a bunch of bull, but ESPN sees it for what it is: usc, from the oj simpson scandal, to the criminal enterprise run by pete carroll and mike garrett including the cash payoffs made by tim floyd under their supervision, to the coaching merry-go-round of last season, to the josh shaw incident this week, and all that went on in between, is not just the “Clown College” they call it, but an embarrassment to the American university system and to that small segment of their alumni who did not sleep through four years for a bought-and-paid-for “diploma” that may have given then status, but not intelligence, ethics, or an actual education. Continue reading

Posted in College Basketball, College Football | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Baseball History Lesson as a Warning to the Angels

Back in the 1960s when stating pitchers started every four days, when they were expected to pitch eight or nine innings in every start, and when a closer would only enter a game when the starter, holding on to a narrow lead, got into a ninth-inning jam, the Los Angeles Dodgers had a formidable group of starters that included Sandy Koufax, Don Drysdale, Johnny Podres and Stan Williams. Koufax had established himself as baseball’s best pitcher by midseason of 1962, and the Dodgers looked to all the world that they would win the National League pennant, and go on to the World Series. Remember, in those days, there were no regularly scheduled “Playoffs”, but rather the winner of the single-division, ten-team NL, like their counterpart in the single-division, ten-team American League, went directly to the World Series, unless two (or more) teams ended the season in a tie for first place. Then, there would be a best-of-three playoff series.

Only July 12, 1962, Koufax was 14-4 with a 2.06 ERA. However, he was then developing a numbness on the tip of the index finger of his pitching hand, Continue reading

Posted in Major League Baseball | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Weaver Comes Through Big TIme For Angels, Who Regain Lead Over A’s

This morning, I wrote about how the Angels needed a big game from Jered Weaver, and for him to re-establish himself as the team’s ace, following the season-ending injury to Garrett Richards. And, he did it. Weaver was magnificent for the first six innings, shutting out the A’s, as the Angels built a 9-0 lead. With the big lead, perhaps tiring, perhaps due to a lack of concentration, perhaps… well who really knows, Weaver gave up three runs in the seventh, leaving the game with two outs in the inning, but in line for his 14th win of the season.

Winning his 14th tied Weaver with A’s starter and loser, Scott Kazmir, Continue reading

Posted in Major League Baseball | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment