Rivalry Week…Congrats Skip !…Drei’s Favorite SC-UCLA Moment, A Skip Toward 6

Leading Off…

15055773_10155525312833508_4801129311766333020_n

Congratulations to our 2016 Manager of the Year, Dave Roberts ! In spite of the many injuries particularly to the starting rotation, the rookie manager led the Dodgers to their 4th straight NL West title. Like the starter rotation, Roberts alma mater, UCLA, will have to overcome some huge obstacles if they are to beat S.C. this Saturday…

Divided We Are…

The only thing that can divide Dodger fans, aside from recent elections, is the annual SC-UCLA game. Over the years USC has had the decided edge not only in wins but in conference and national championships

Prior to last season UCLA had won 3 straight from the Men of Troy. UCLA also owns the longest winning streak in the series, having won 8 straight from 1991 to 1998. 

After a 1-3 start that included an embarrassing loss to Alabama, USC has recovered remarkably, winning 6 straight including last weeks impressive win over the Washington Huskies. 

USC  is a heavy favorite over UCLA. Deservedly so. 

As we all know, when these two meet, all records are thrown out…

20 Years Ago…1996…A Skip Toward 6

” Skip Hicks holds the UCLA school record for touchdowns in a season and in a career, but most people seem to only remember two of them.

Hicks was an All-American running back his senior season with the Bruins and went on to play five seasons in the NFL, but it seems Bruins fans only remember his performance in one game: UCLA’s improbable comeback victory over USC in 1996.

“Hey, at least they remember me,” Hicks said.

It would be difficult for Bruins fans to forget. “

Peter Yoon, ESPNLosAngeles.com, Nov 30,2010

As for this Bruin fan, those 2 TD’s and that exhilarating Saturday afternoon will be ever so hard to forget…150 years down the road.

The afternoon would not start off so great for the UCLA faithful. USC would jump out to a 17-0 en route to a 24-7 halftime lead, thanks in large part to a pick six by Sammy Knight and a 67 yard TD reception by R.J. Soward. Both TD’s would finish in the NE corner of The Rose Bowl endzone…Right in front of me…Nothing but grass separating my vision of those two and their path…

The second half would start off with a bang as UCLA QB Cade McNown would find Danny Farmer on a post down the middle to draw UCLA within 10. SC would strike back though with a long drive of their own to bring the deficit back to 17 late in the 3rd…

Puig_VictoryBell

The Victory Bell…The prize that both schools play for…Currently in that “Other” schools possession in that “awful” shade of red…

With UCLA trailing by 17 once again, prior to SC kicking off, I couldn’t help but to take a glance at the Victory Bell…Painted a glorious Blue 5 years in a row…Possibly on the verge of being surrendered…A fact not lost among the UCLA cheerleaders, huddled around the bell as two of them had their arms tightly wrapped around the frame…

If UCLA was to surrender The Bell they wouldn’t do it lying down…Certainly not UCLA QB Cade McNown…McNown and company would counter back with a long drive, capped off by his 9 yard TD scramble that would bring UCLA back within 10…

20160924_154638 Kicking it with Cade McNown, 9/24/2016 prior to the UCLA-Stanford game

With the Bruins back in the game heading to the 4th, both teams exchanged punts. With just over 10 minutes to go, SC QB Matt Koffler finds R.J. Soward streaking down the sideline with…Once again…Nothing but grass separating him from the endz one…The NE Corner no less…Yup, right in front of me (I sure was having a great day huh?)…Putting SC back up by 17. At that point, it seemed all hope was lost…

As UCLA was driving toward a “possible” miracle, I head over to visit a buddy of mine who was seated in the SE corner of the upper end zone. Bjorn Merten would draw UCLA back within 2 scores with just under 7 minutes left. The SC fans in the south end zone, confident their 5 year losing streak was over, we’re chanting something about UCLA to the SC Band’s tune of Tusk…

As I returned to my seat in the NE corner of the endzone, UCLA would get the ball back and score a quick TD to pull them within 7 with just under 3 minutes to go…Some hope is still left…If we can recover the onside kick…Too bad it would go out of bounds…

After an SC first down, now inside 2 minutes, hope was all but gone for UCLA. One more first down and the 5 year streak would be over…Just as R.J. Soward proclaimed after putting his Men of Troy up by 17 earlier in the 4th…

Only a miracle would save UCLA…

Did I say only a miracle would save UCLA? As USC was trying to run out the clock, Kusanti Abdul-Salam would recover a LaValle Woods fumble! The Bruins would have new life! 

Inside a minute to go and the ball now at the SC 11 thanks to a huge 3rd down conversion to seldom used WR Rodney Lee, after an incomplete pass, the armchair QB in me tells the fans “GET THE BALL TO HICKS, LET HIM TAKE IT UP THE MIDDLE…” …

On 2nd and 10…” Hicks, up the middle…TOUCHDOWN UCLA !!!”

The Rose Bowl is in a frenzy. UCLA, who trailed for most of the game by as much as 17 had now tied the game at 38, capped off by that 10 yard run by Skip Hicks…A proud bearer of the number 42…The run that…Your’s Truly…Sitting a hundred yards away…Called

That’s one of the two TD’s this…And many other Bruin Faithful remember from Skip Hicks…

With everyone at The Rose Bowl on their feet since about the halfway point in the 4th, SC, however, would threaten. The final seconds of regulation would come down to a last-second 41 yard FG attempt by Adam Abrams. As SC was getting set to end their 5 year skid, I, along with 80,000 souls in The Rose Bowl, was yelling perhaps the loudest I could ever. Adam Abrams attempt at glory…BLOCKED !!! OVERTIME WE GO !!!

1996 would be the first year college football would have an overtime. During the first OT neither team could do much, both exchanging field goals. So now, the second OT…

UCLA would get the ball first…On the first play form scrimmage, Skip Hicks would take the handoff from Cade McNown. For a moment, it seemed a USC defender had Hicks wrapped up. Somehow, Hicks broke loose…Break loose he did…Just like that, UCLA would have their first lead of the day…As for the Hicks TD, where would it finish?

HICKS TD

All the way back and beyond the NE corner of the end zone. The fan just above Hicks to his right in the blue and yellow hat? Yup, you guessed it ! (Thank You YouTube !!!)

Other players and fans joined in the celebration…A celebration that seemed like an eternity! Game over right? Uh, not yet…

SC would get their turn with the ball and on 3rd and 3, spotting a UCLA blitz, Koffler would find a wide open RJ Soward…Nothing but grass ahead of him en route toward, yet again, the NE corner of the end zone and a possible taunt fest with us Bruin Faithful…If only he caught the ball…

Soward, who would have a record setting day for USC…Soward, BOASTING the 5 year skid was over…Did what so many wide receivers tend to do…Turn up field before securing the football ( To today’s UCLA’s receivers, take note…)

Now 4th down, USC was now in a do or die situation. Convert and their still alive. Otherwise, the streak continues…And on what would be the final play of the game, Matt Koffler’s floating duck, and I DO mean floating, flailed into the waiting arms of Anthony Cobbs.

BALLGAME !!! UCLA 48 USC 41

After trailing for much of the game, UCLA would mount a furious comeback, capped off by that miracle run by Skip Hicks. 30 minutes after the final play, we the Bruin Faithful we’re still in a frenzy…

As for me, in my “youthful innocence”, as I was still caught up in the Blue and Gold frenzy along the venerable Rose Bowl concourse, I just could not help but bellow out my version of Tusk…Even yelling out U-C-L-A…Daring the defeated Trojan Nation to yell out what they yelled during the 6 minute mark in the 4th. Nothing doing…

I ain’t gonna lie. There are plenty of emotions involved in this game from all involved. Students, fans, lifetime alums. Do I still get worked up for this game? You bet I do. Would I still be able to act the fool that I did 20 years ago? Uh, not entirely. At 42, a popular number from Westwood to The Ravine, it doesn’t quite come off the same…

42_UCLA Quad

20160805_182030.jpg

I also remember yelling ” I’VE STILL NEVER LOSS TO SC, I DON’T EVER WANT TO KNOW THE FEELING OF LOSING TO SC !!!…”

Well, that feeling is long gone now, the experience being far too frequent now.

” Skip Hicks holds the UCLA school record for touchdowns in a season and in a career, but most people seem to only remember two of them.”

Oh yeah, as for that 2nd TD, while many Bruins fans will forever remember, this Bruin fan will forever have it etched in his heart…

DREI_SKIP Kickin’ it with Skip Hicks, 2005. Other than Skip Hicks, and current linebacker Kenny Young, who will be the last Bruin to wear 42, some other Bruin that wore 42 would eventually wear another shade of blue as a MLB player…I wonder how he turned out…

Drei’s Prediction…

Drei is going with his heart once again. SC is a 12 1/2 point favorite. They just may be playing the best football in the Pac 12 right now. UCLA has struggled this season. UCLA is going with a backup QB in Mike Fafaul. Does Mike duplicate what John Barnes did for the Sons of Westwood in 1992. Can UCLA’s D keep it close enough to give them a chance in the 4th quarter. As they say in these rivalry games, throw out the record books…Anything can happen… UCLA 24 USC 23

Overtime…

As for Drei’s favorite SC-UCLA moment…20 Years Ago…Here it is, in it’s entirety…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

That Bittersweet Feeling…

It’s the ending that’s become all too familiar with us. 4 straight division titles…Yet so close to the Grand Prize… Only the St. Louis Cardinals have more regular season wins during that span than the Dodgers. But…(Of course whenever the word “But” is used, more often than not is it used in a not so positive context) during that 4 year span in which they have averaged 92 wins each season the closest the Blue has come toward the trip to The Fall Classic is 2 games…Twice.

Winning 4 straight division titles is no small feat, especially in baseball. 

But…In a town where style overshadows substance…In a town starved for baseball’s grand prize that has now eluded us 28 years and counting…Close isn’t good enough. 

Is it fair? It depends who you ask I guess. 4 straight division titles. Have we become the Buffalo Bills of baseball? Not quite. At least the Bills made it to 4 straight Super Bowls. Have we become the new Atlanta Braves of the 90s and early 2000s? Not quite yet. The Braves won 14 consecutive division titles with one World Title. Has our fanbase reached a point that soon attendance at October baseball games not played against some AL Champion will resemble that of past Braves or even Yankees? Only time will tell. Was this season a disappointment? Again, it depends on who you ask. I’m willing to go out on a limb and say most Dodger fans would say no.

As previously stated, winning 4 straight division titles is no small feat. At the end of the day though, a team’s feats are measure by whose flashing the bling. A lot of progress was made this past season by first year manager Dave Roberts. With all the injuries throughout the lineup and in particular to our starting rotation the fact Roberts was able to guide The Blue as far as he did was more than enough to earn him Sporting News 2016 NL Manager of the Year

David Crane — Staff Photographer
Dodger’s manager Dave Roberts, left, was named Sporting News’ 2016 National League Manager of the Year on Monday. Dave Roberts-Photo by David Crane

The accolades don’t stop there either…

dodgers_corey-seager_robert-gauthier-la-times Corey Seager: Photo by Robert Gauthier, L.A. Times

As expected, Corey Seager was named 2016 Sporting News NL Rookie of the Year

Questions will arise once again during the off-season. It’s been 28 years now since Chavez Ravine has hosted a Fall Classic. Our country has gone through 2 Bush’s and by the time our Boys in Blue win their next Fall Classic it just may be through a second Clinton. 

Of the 4 division winners from 2013,talent wise, I’d say the 2014 had the most. As for heart, I without a doubt can honestly say I felt this years team displayed the most, especially during the stretch without our Ace, Kid K. Most thought our Boys in Blue would fold. As A-Gon said during the LCS, it was Us Against The World. The Cubs we’re just the better team. They weren’t the best team in the regular season by accident. 

As a baseball fan, I wish the Cubs well in the World Series. I also wish Cleveland well. One of those two teams will break a long drought. 

picsart_01-16-08.57.27.jpg

Well, this all but concludes my 10 year anniversary bringing the tales. The same amount of time for the longest tenured Dodger, yup, you all know it…Dre couldn’t do much this season. As we and even he knows, father time is starting to creep up on him. As much as we’d all for Dre to get that bling wearing the Dodger Blue we all know that he could be elsewhere come spring training, a phrase we’ve all heard countless times during the last several years. 

9th Inning…Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Here’s a little flashback from 1988…

And you just wanted to relax on some fictional resort along the Florida Keys…With some tropical “Cocktail”…To the rhythm of a steel drum band…

 

Down But Not Out

No one said playing the best team in baseball would be easy. After shutting down the Cubbies in Games 2 and 3, it was only a matter of time before their bats would awake. With the season on the line heading back to Chicago we call upon once again to Kid K to save our season…

Dodgers_Kershaw

We’ve been down this path before. In the NLDS, it was Kid K who we called upon to save our season. All Kid K did was give us 11 Ks. Some timely hitting and we sent the series to a winner take all decider. Can Kid K repeat that feat ?

It’s certainly not out of the question. The way the bullpen has collapsed in this series we certainly could use another deep outing from Kid K. It would also help if we can get Kid K some runs as well. If only this script we’re so easy. 

Tired Arms ?

Going into the playoffs one thing I feared was that our bullpen could be tired. Throughout much of the season particularly the 2nd half the bullpen on most nights had pitched from the 6th inning on. Of course injuries to what, 30 plus different pitchers certainly did not buy time for our arms. While Dave Roberts has certainly done an admirable job of getting our Blue to this point, the fatigue of our bullpen arms could finally be showing. That is exactly why we need Kid K to once again go deep if we are to make it to Sunday…

Scouting The Friendly (Or Not So Friendly) Confines…

1981, BLUE MONDAY, AND THE MONTREAL EXPOS

Current Dodger broadcaster Rick Monday called both Dodger Stadium and Wrigley Field home during his playing days. He would know a thing or two on what to expect at Wrigley….

Drei’s Thoughts Heading To Wrigley…

If this Game 6 matchup is anything like Game 2 when Kershaw and Kyle Kendricks faced off, runs will once again be at a premium. 

The Blue has shown a resiliency on the road during the playoffs, going 3-2 at this point, including 2 having faced Max Scherzer. If the Blue can get on Kendricks early they will have a shot at Game 7, where Rich Hill would face off against Jake Arrieta. 

Of the Cubs 4 starters, Arrieta seems to be the one the Dodgers can hit. His 2nd half of the regular season was not as dominant. Of course, we have to win Game 6 to get to 7, where anything can happen…

 

A Tale of Two Yards…

Leading Off… Going Yard…King of The Hill…

Some longball from YAZ-MONEY and JT, and a masterful 6 innings from Rich Hill have moved our Blue 2 games closer toward The Fall Classic…

A Tale of 2 Storied Yards…

Wrigley Field…

Dodger Stadium…

The 2nd and 3rd oldest yards in the Bigs. Separated by 48 years. One is known as a classic. One, in spite being over 50 years old, defies the “classic” moniker. Both yards, A Study In Contrasts

Yet both yards are steeped in both history and charm. Both yards host teams that wear Blue…Both yards are a definite reflection on their cities. Putting aside for the slightest moment your Dodger Blue thoughts, if you are a true fan of baseball, Wrigley Field is a MUST…For all baseball fans to see…

WRIGLEY_Sod

Sod out on Sheffield Ave…

Both yards have waited a long time to host a Fall Classic. For the Friendly Confines, it’s been 71 years…For The Ravine, it’s been 28 years…That’s 99 years combined without a Fall Classic. Someone’s wait will be over. Why not us ?

wpid-wrigley_L.jpg

The Blue “L” flag. A familiar site to generations of Cubs fans…A sight seen twice already in the NLCS. Let’s hope it’s flown 2 more times

9th Inning…Spotlight’s On You Kid…

Rockies Dodgers Baseball

Does Urias get us one step closer to The Fall Classic ?…LETS GO DODGERS !!!

Win For Dre

Leading Off… The A-Gon and Clayt Show

A-Gon’s 2nd inning solo shot is all Kid K would need as he would toss 7 scoreless against the Cubbies, sending the series back here in L.A. all tied up at one.

Rich Hill will match up against Cubs sensation Jake Arrieta. The last time Arrieta pitched at Dodger Stadium, no one in the home white could buy a hit… So, how do these two teams match up heading to Game 3?

Dodgers_ Ethier 2006 Young Dre, June 2006. In the back, the veterans Kenny Lofton and Nomah !!!!

It’s been 10 years since Drei here has brought you his baseball tales. In 2006 some young kid named Dre came over in a trade with the Oakland Athletics. It was in 2006 that Dre would get his first taste of post-season play. It was just a blur for Dre and the Blue as they would be swept in the NLDS by the Mets…

ethier Hey Dre! Citiwalk, February 2008

2008-09. This here where Dre is starting to assert himself as a regular in right field. The Blue would win consecutive NL West titles. Dre would play a huge role along fellow star outfielder Matt Kemp. It seemed Dre and Bison would be inseparable, both coming up at the same time. It was also in 2008 when some Kid K would hit the scene…If Kid K wasn’t settling matters before the home 9th, it was Dre who would have many a clutch moment that would send opponents Walking Off…

But in spite of Dre’s heroics, The Blue would fall short both times in the NLCS to the Philadelphia Phillies. 

Baseball can be cruel. If not for a pitch or two from Jonathan Broxton, Dre may be the bearer of at least one championship ring….

ethier Double D…Dre and Drei…L.A River Cleanup, February 2011 

The glory of ’08 and ’09 seem all too distant now. The hated one’s have just won their first of 3 world titles. Enough time has lapsed since The Blue last won a World Series that one born in ’88 is now a college graduate…To this day, my sister, born in 1989, reminds me of the fact she arrived to planet earth one year after…

Meanwhile, Dre is now under his 3rd manager. Don Mattingly, not exactly greeted all to warmly by the Blue clad fans, has taken over the reigns. Dre and Donny would have their moments. 

The Don Mattingly era would not start off to memorably for Dre and The Blue. Opening Day 2011 would be marred by a senseless beating of Giants fan Bryan Stow. Frank McCourt’s ownership threatened to drive The Blue to bankruptcy. The Blue clad fans stayed away…

Sparse Crowd August 2011. Plenty of great seats available…

Though Dre and the fans would survive the McCourt days, on the field it would be during the Don Mattingly era where Dre’s playing status was about as certain as his relationship with good old Donny…On and off. 

It would be in 2013 when a young Cuban Kid with a missile of an arm with plenty of baggage would make his mark in right field. A spot Dre once held down…

From 2013 on it seemed there was an uncertainty who would be the regular outfielders. During that stretch, Dre, not exactly at the prime of his career, would have his name tossed around from here to Chi-Town, where the Pale Hose even expressed interest. 2014 would be the least productive of Dre’s career with a career low 4 home runs and a .249 batting average.

Dre would return though in 2015. Not exactly at the height of his career at this point, Dre still proved he could come up big in the clutch…

In spite of a return to the post-season for the 6th time, The Blue once again would come up short. 

2016…A new era begins again. Andre Ethier is now playing for his 4th manager in 11 seasons. As Dre once again tries to make a case for regular playing time, a foul ball causes a break in his leg, keeping Dre out until late August…

Dre on a rehab assignment in Rancho, August 25, 2016 

Dre would make his way back late in the season. Even the truest of Dodger fans, including this one, had to be surprised that Dave Roberts kept Andre Ethier on the post-season roster. But let’s not think for one moment this was a move based on sentiment by the rookie skipper, one who should be the top candidate for manager of the year…

Anyone playing baseball this late in the season is capable of being a hero. Does Dre have one more clutch moment in him?  It was Dre who had a key hit in the 8th inning of Game 4 to keep the inning alive for Chase Utley to do his thing. Dre would also smack a pinch hit solo shot in Game 1 of this NLDS to start the scoring for The Blue as they would later tie the Cubbies. 

In the 10 years here that Drei here has brought you his baseball tales,  Dre has gone through it all in the Dodger Blue. 7 playoff appearances, the most of any L.A. Dodger, 6 division championships, the uncertainty of when and where he will play. He’s gone from looking up to…To being looked up to. We’ve all gone through the highs and lows with him.

 Dre making a fan happy at Rancho…

At this point, Dre knows his role is limited. He’s content with it. Dre also know’s the clock is ticking on his chance to win the big one. Deep down, we all know this as well. If the crowd reactions Dre receives are any indication, deep down inside, we all feel for Dre.  

Dre is now The Dean of The Blue. Deep down, we all know that this could be Dre’s last opportunity in a Dodger Blue uniform to win that big prize that has eluded him. That grand prize that has eluded The Blue for 28 years now.

While this year’s theme may be Win For Vin, and deservedly so…Deep down we also want to say…WIN FOR DRE !

picsart_01-16-08.57.27.jpg

 

 

 

 

Chi-Town Here We Come…

Leading Off…How The Blue Arrived

Anyone else still buzzed from that Thursday’s comeback ? If there was ever a true definition of “team effort”, Thursday night was the epitome of it….

A Long Time Coming…

136 years. That’s the combined amount of years these 2 teams have gone without winning the big prize. In the time the Dodgers last won a World Series our country has endured 2 Bush’s and when all is said and done we may go through a 2nd Clinton…(Witholding all political thoughts…It’s October, not November folks…)

Even with all talks of past curses, the Cubs are still the favorites among the pundits to go make it back to the Fall Classic for the first time since 1945. Many a local college graduate wasn’t around during the Dodgers last taste of glory in ’88. Many generations of Cubs fans have never experienced the big prize, one that includes Mr. Henry Warnamont ( For you Gen X Dodger fans out there who remember this Punky Brewster episode…)

 

So, how do these 2 teams match up? During the regular season both teams took care of business on each other’s home field with the Cubs coming out with a slight edge, taking 4 of 7 from The Blue. During their last series at Dodger Stadium in late August it was the pitching, especially the bullpen that keyed their 2 wins by scores of 3-2 and 1-0.  The Cubs boast a deep rotation in which even their 4 starter in John Lackey can go deep into the 6th and beyond. The Dodgers rotation has been a battered bunch that has relied heavily on the bullpen throughout the season. It’s a true testament to Dave Roberts that with all the injuries particularly to our starting rotation that The Blue even made it to October. 

Kenta Maeda is slated to start Game 1 in Chi Town against Jon Lester. While Maeda has had a stellar season with 16 wins, questions have come up lately about his durability. With that in mind, it’s highly probable that our bullpen will have to come through once again. If Maeda can hold it down for at least 5, we got a chance to steal Game 1. 

This series has the makings of a low-scoring affair. If the pitching on both staffs comes through as advertised, every run will be at a premium. The Cubs present a much deeper lineup than The Blue and deserve to be the favorites. That’s ok. The Blue have been underdogs all season long and longtime baseball fans and even the players and coaches will tell you the playoffs are all about who gets hot at the right time. 

Cubbie fans, I feel your suffering. We may not have suffered as long as you but 28 years is still a long time. I was a high school freshman the last time we won the big prize. I’m less than 10 years away from 50. I may “quite” feel my age, but I’d like to see the grand prize come back to The Ravine before I hit the halfway century point. 

Back in April, I said The Blue would take the NL West with 91 wins…Check…Back in April I said it would be a Dodgers-Cubs NLCS…Check…Would you all like to know what else Drei here said back in April? Well, we’ve made it this far, and I don’t see any reason why I should take anything back…Does Drei here make it a trifecta? As the good folks at some major network have said, you can’t script October. 

LFlag

Though not seen as much during this past year, to many a Cubs fan, that “L” flag has been a familiar and frequent sight. Let’s hope we see it 4 more times…

Dodgers in Six

fb_img_1476509312688.jpg

9th Inning…The Evolution of a Curse

fb_img_1476505734584.jpg

 

 

Does History Repeat Itself…Like 1981 ?

If this series against the Nats has taught us one thing, it’s that regular season success does not translate to post-season success. Going into the series, in the eyes of many, including your’s truly the Blue we’re the runaway favorites to take down the Nats. The Blue had taken 5 of 6 in the regular season against the Nats and the Nats came into this series a battered team, minus Stephen Strasburg. 

Like 1981, when these two met and the Nats we’re the Montreal Expos, it is coming down to a decisive Game 5. 

Like 1981, the Dodgers staved off elimination in Game 4 thanks to Tuesday’s exhilarating 6-5 win at The Ravine

 

Like 1981, when some future manager named Dusty Baker was controlling left field for The Blue, some young Mexican kid could be thrust into the spotlight on the road under intense circumstances with every pitch being watched ever so closely…

FERNIE

Rockies Dodgers Baseball

Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias throws during the first inning of a baseball game against the Colorado Rockies in Los Angeles, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Kelvin Kuo)

Like 1981, it could very well come down to a clutch 9th inning hit from some left-handed hitting former ASU Sun Devil right fielder who wore the number 16…

1981, BLUE MONDAY, AND THE MONTREAL EXPOS

Drei’s Thoughts…

With Rich Hill scheduled to match Max Scherzer, Like 1981, Game 5, this has the makings of a low-scoring game. Both Hill and Scherzer we’re victims of key home runs in their previous defeats. 

Beating Scherzer a second time is going to be tough and if The Blue can create scoring opportunities they cannot be leaving runner in scoring position as they have been prone to in this series. 

If the game is close as is anticipated, the bullpens will be huge. As with any deciding game, all pitchers including starters can be called upon at anytime. 

It just could very well come down to that one hit late in the game…

As Drei here write’s this “script”, it just may come down to one number 16 to come off the bench and deliver, just like another 16 did 35 years ago… ( I will be more than happy if we can do this without the…Dre-Matics…)

Just like 1981…

Drei says Dodgers 2 Expos, ahem Nationals 1

Just like 1981…

ethier Hey Dre, is 16 a Magic Number that comes through…LIKE 1981 

(To Be Continued…From The Nations Capitol…)

 

 

 

Throwback Thursday… 10/8/2009…9th Inning, Game 2, 2009 NLDS…As Told By Vin

October baseball. When the fall air is filled with joy and heartbreak. 

Recently Dodger fans voted on their Top 20 Vin Scully moments. Without a doubt, many of your favorite ones, many that are not so obvious ( See Gibson’s home run…). 

Many of you out there have a favorite Vin moment that you we’re at. With the NLDS about to get underway, here’s my personal favorite post-season call, as told by Vin. The Cardinals one out away from tying the Best of 5 NLDS at one game apiece. Somewhere in the top deck, I’m just hoping James Loney keeps the inning alive. Take it away Vin…

dodgers_scoreboard-game-2-2009-nlds

dodgers_jim-hill Celebrating with KCBS’s Jim Hill

9th Inning…Vin For President

picsart_10-06-11.55.42.jpg

Election time is almost here. Not happy with either candidate? Remember, you can always write in a candidate…Even the one above !!!

 

 

 

 

Blue Monday

Blue Monday. It’s the Monday after the regular season ends. It’s the feeling you get when you try to come to the realization that the best to ever bring you the game will never set foot inside a broadcast booth again…It’s the feeling you get when you try telling yourself you will no longer hear the countless stories that was poetry in motion…It’s the feeling you get when the man himself won’t be there to provide you moments of grief…Moments of heartbreak…Moments of joy…It’s that moment when you realize you will no longer hear the echoes from the man himself…IT’S TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL !!!

Through all those feelings of great sentiment, that, my friends, is not Blue Monday.

Blue Monday is a playoff moment that is tied to The Blue and our NLDS opponent, the Washington Nationals. It happened on October 19, 1981, during Game 5 of the 1981 NLCS. Olympic Stadium, Montreal’s Olympic Stadium. When the Nationals we’re the Expos and called the provincial land of Quebec their home and native land.  

In this deciding 5th game, with the game tied at one in the top of the 9th and 2 outs, Rick Monday would deliver…

The Dodgers would hold on for a 2-1 victory, sending them to a World Series date with the New York Yankees and an eventual championship. The 1981 season’s would also mark the only time the Montreal Expos would reach post season play. Ironically, 1981 would also be the last time the Dodgers and Yankees, frequent rivals in the Fall Classic, would face each other in World Series play.  

The Expos would eventually move to DC in 2005 and become the Washington Nationals. To this day, especially in Montreal, this day is forever known as…Blue Monday

RickMonday (The swing that coined the phrase, Blue Monday…)

1981, BLUE MONDAY, AND THE MONTREAL EXPOS (With the man responsible for Blue Monday…Mr. Rick Monday)

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Dodgers-Giants Moments…From Vin

Vin_Booth

Over the years you’ve told us many a tale about a rivalry between the North and the South…The tales have brought joy and heartbreak to both sides of our proud state. It was up north on the final day of the 1982 season where I got my first taste of this classic rivalry…

Morgan_Clark

Even among longtime bitter rivals, you are given the greatest amount of respect, as told by longtime broadcaster and the voice of the Giants, Jon Miller…

Photo courtesy Jon Miller (Vin Scully with Giants broadcasters, L-R, Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow, Jon MIller and Dave Flemming, 8/25/2016 via Jon Miller)

The stories over the years are countless. They resonate beyond Dodgers fans…Giants fans…baseball fans all over…

Yup. It’s hard to believe that in the 67 years you’ve told your tales, 37 of them that I’ve had the pleasure to listen to, everything has come full circle…

Drei’s 2 Favorite Dodgers-Giants Moments From Vin…

Like many of you, I have my share of more than just 2 Vin Scully moments involving the Good ( Dodgers ) and The Bad ( Giants )…Moments that I was there for…

2. October 3, 1993…103 Wins and Not a Scene In The Bay…

Just like 1982, the Giants had to win the final game of the season to force a one-game playoff against the Braves for the NL West crown. The Dodgers, particularly 1993 NL Rookie of the Year Mike Piazza, had other ideas…

The Dodgers would torch the Giants 12-1, leaving the hated ones one game behind the Braves. 1993 would be the last year of the pre Wild Card era. In spite of having baseball’s 2nd best record in 1993, the Jints we’re nowhere to be seen in late October, much to the delight of this fan, and the dismay of those who made the long trek down I-5, only to make the longer trek back home…( Perhaps that’s what Nancy Bea meant when she serenaded our visitors with Do You Know The Way to San Jose…). 

1. October 2, 2004…Wherever It Lands…

The Giants, 2 back of The Blue with 2 to play, carried a 3-0 lead into the home 9th. The Dodgers would rally to tie, then Steve Finley slammed his way into Dodger Blue lore…

The slam would give the Dodgers their first division title in 9 years. The hated ones would be knocked out of post-season play the next day…

It really hasn’t set in yet that this weekend is your final curtain call. It’s quite fitting that your final call comes with these two storied rivals on the field…The Dodgers and the Giants…One getting ready for a post-season run…One fighting for a post-season run..Yet it was you (And Joe Morgan, ironically Jon Miller’s longtime EPSN Sunday Night Baseball partner…) introduced this kid to the Dodgers-Giants rivalry…

Extra Innings…A Sunday Tale…From The LFP…With Kid N Drei…

picsart_09-30-04.48.06-1.png

Kid: Drei, I’m gonna miss Vin more than I’ll miss Kobe…

Hey Kid…How ’bout a tune paying tribute to Vin…

(Best when listened with headphones…)