Drei’s 2017 American League Outlook

Leading Off…What Drei Said in 2016

In the Junior Circuit…

“ Boston has a good mix of veterans along with some up and comers in Mookie Betts and Xander Bogarts and the addition of David Price to their rotation should help them contend in the east…”

“ Cleveland has a pretty formidable rotation of Corey Kluber, Carlos Carrasco and Danny Salazar. Will off-season additions Mike Napoli, Rajai Davis, Juan Uribe and Marlon Byrd, players not exactly in their prime make a difference ? Having said that, I still feel Cleveland is ready to challenge for the division.”

“The Astros, last season’s biggest surprise, is ready to make more noise this season. A full season with Carlos Gomez certainly can’t hurt the lineup. The Mariners, picked by many last season to represent the Junior Circuit in The Fall Classic after an 87 win campaign in 2014, regressed last season, something that could be of concern in Houston with expectations being higher. The M’s strength is still pitching, led by Felix Hernandez. I expect the Mariners to bounce back and be the sleeper in this division….”

Last season saw Drei pick the AL Central Division winner correctly, while the Blue Jays would take the wild card and Drei’s sleeper from last year, the Seattle Mariners, would see their playoff hopes diminish on the 2nd to final game of the season. Last season’s picks also saw Drei picking Toronto over Seattle in the ALCS.

Drei’s AL Outlook for 2017…

East

The AL East will once again be the toughest division to fully grasp. Boston, with the addition of Chris Sale to their rotation, is everyone’s favorite to win the East. The Blue Jays, coming off 2 straight ALCS appearances, have lost some offensive firepower with Edwin Encarnacion heading to Cleveland but they still boast a formidable rotation. The rest of the division is capable of claiming one of the two WC spots.

Central

The Tribe came within one game of bringing the city of Cleveland it’s second championship in a 5 month stretch. While The Tribe made it to the Fall Classic on the strength of their rotation, they’ve added some offensive punch by adding Edwin Encarnacion from Toronto.

West

After surprising many in 2015, the Astros somewhat regressed last season, starting off 15-28 before finishing off with a respectable 84 wins.  The Astros, led by Jose Altuve, are being picked by many to win the AL West. With the teamwide  so-called “sophomore jinx” now out of the way, this could very well be their year they take over the west. Seattle has a pretty formidable lineup themselves especially the heart of the order, where Cano, Cruz and Kyle Seager combined for a total of 95 home runs last season. Felix Hernandez by his standards had an off season last year but is expected to lead the rotation once again. 

Wild Cards

Boston over Houston

ALDS

Cleveland over Boston

Toronto over Seattle

ALCS

Toronto over Cleveland

Last season I picked Toronto to win the ALCS with Seattle being the surprise team. While I may not have these two meeting in the ALCS this time around, though the Jays may be a little thinner from last years team, it’d be too easy to go with everyone’s favorite’s between the Red Sox and Indians, though both teams made some impressive off-season moves, especially Cleveland. So, if all goes according to form here, a rematch of last year’s ALCS will be in order. 

All Aboard The Midway…On the Way To The Classic

petco_wbc-2006 World Baseball Classic, Championship Game, Pregame Ceremony, March 2006

The World Baseball Classic will be making it’s way toward the southland with 2nd round games taking place at Petco Park from Tuesday March 14th to Saturday March 18th and if necessary Sunday March 19th. The Championship round will take place at Dodger Stadium from Monday March 20th to Wednesday the 22nd. 

uss-midway-profile-pic

If you’re heading south to San Diego, you will want to check out The USS Midway. If this is your first time aboard The USS Midway, you will want to allow yourself at least 3 hours on board. Most visitors usually stay for 4 hours.

There is plenty to take in aboard the USS Midway, so much so that you couldn’t be blamed if you don’t have a chance to do everything. (Like yours truly…)Docents are active throughout the entire ship to share stories, most of whom actually served on the USS Midway at one point. 

Lots of carriers are also on display, some that allow for guests of all ages to hop aboard and experience sitting in the same cockpits that our veterans once operated. 

One of the highlights aboard The Midway is the guided tour of the bridge high in the island over the flight deck.

If you have a chance, you will also want to “Explore a City at Sea”. Inside this exhibit you’ll  explore among other things the crew’s sleeping quarters, a post office, and even a nice intimate cathedral where service crew of all faiths would once congregate. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond The Yard: A British Invasion

”  The one MLB venue The Fab Four performed at that is still in use and will be the only one standing after this year. Yup, you guessed it….”

beatles_dodgerstadium(The Beatles, Dodger Stadium, 8/28/1966)

50 YEARS AGO TODAY, FOUR LADS FROM BRITAIN INVADE AMERICA, 2/7/2014.

53 years ago this week The Beatles would arrive to America, setting off a British Invasion of sorts. They would later perform on The Ed Sullivan Show.

originalmarquee

 

During their touring years of 1964-66, The Fab Four would perform at 9 various MLB ballparks. Of the 9, of course, Dodger Stadium is the lone one standing. On August 28, 1966, as the Dodgers we’re battling the hated ones in a battle for first place at Candlestick Park, The Beatles would perform their 2nd to last ever concert at The Ravine on August 28, 1966. 

The Beatles would perform their final concert ever the next evening at Candlestick Park. That would be The ‘Stick’s most impressive event of 1966, as our Boys in Blue would win the NL pennant by 1.5 games over the hated ones…

Of course, we can never get enough of Beatlemania, or Vinny. We’ll just let Vin tell a tale of A Hard Days Night at The Ravine on August 28, 1966. The Beatles and Vin…

 

 

 

Beyond The Yard: The Magic of Science and Animation

csc_drei_buzz-lightyearDre gettin’ my Buzz on…It’s Always A, Well, You Know By Now…

I recently had a chance to visit The Science Behind Pixar at the California Science Center in Expo Park. From Toy Story to Inside Out, The Science Behind Pixar is a 12,000 square feet interactive exhibit that features the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) behind your favorite Pixar animations. 

Though the technical aspects behind the making of such Pixar favorites may be a bit advanced for some of the lil’ ones, the interactive displays, divided into eight different themes, “Modeling, Rigging, Surfaces, Sets & Camera, Animation, Simulation, Lighting and Rendering”, provide everyone of all ages the chance to experience the intricacies that behind these Pixar films. Though your young one’s may not know it, they too are taking in the scientific magic behind their favorite animated characters, be it Buzz Lightyear, Dory, Mike and Sulley or WALL-E. 

csc_pixar_modeling

If you do plan to go it’s highly recommended you  purchase your tickets online especially if you do plan on taking the family on a weekend as it can get extremely busy and tickets have been known to sell out. The Science Behind Pixar will be on display until April 16th.

csc_pixar_mike-n-sully Sully and Mike !!!

20170114_160844Space Shuttle Endeavour

In addition, your ticket from The Science Behind Pixar exhibit also get’s you admission to Space Shuttle Endeavour without having to acquire another timed ticket. 

A visit to the CSC makes for a great visit prior to catching a nearby sporting event, be it the Lakers, Clippers or Kings at Staples Center or hoops at the nearby Galen Center or other USC sporting events. 

Here’s how Drei spent his Good Dre on his Stadium Journey from Expo Park to The Galen Center…

 

12 Years a Dodger…Dre

“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 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.”

Win For Dre, October 17, 2016. 

ethier (Universal Citiwalk, February 2008)

Andre will be entering his 12th season wearing the Dodger Blue. Ethier joined Dodger Talk this week to discuss what these opportunities to give back to the community mean to him. He also goes on to elaborate on what it’s been like to remain with the Dodgers for so long.

From the Diamond to The Court

UCLA basketball has had an exciting season so far. Though currently struggling coming of a two game losing streak to Arizona and their upset loss to USC, their record stands at 19-3. I had a chance to go One on One with former Laker assistant as well as former Bruin and current UCLA radio commentator Tracy Murray, discussing UCLA’s defensive struggles on the court all the way to the toughest Trojan he faced in his days lacing them up at Pauley…

 

Throwing Back Thursday…Paying Tribute to Mary Tyler Moore

 

mary-tyler-moore-statueMinneapolis, MN, June 2008. A statue of Mary Tyler Moore doing her signature hat toss on the very spot she opened her show. R.I.P. Mary Tyler Moore

“Nick at Nighters, here’s a statue of Mary Tyler Moore doing her trademark toss of the tam o’shanter cap in front of the Nicolette Mall on the corner of 7th and Nicolette Mall. Go ahead, act the part of the tourist !!! You know you’ll have this intro on your mind…”

From my post Cruising The Twin Cities, June 2008. You may remember The Mary Tyler Moore show taking place in the Twin Cities, and of course it’s classic opening theme

Prior to throwing out the first pitch during a Twins game in 2002, MTM would perform her signature toss…

R.I.P. Mary Tyler Moore…

 

A Bolt to L.A.

15965475_1406978506000129_1533434314677888270_nNo folks. That is not a revamped version of our classic L.A. logo. 

As many of you know by now, the Chargers have formally announced that they will be moving here to Los Angeles, joining the Rams and thus giving L.A 2 NFL teams for the first time since 1982-1994, when the Raiders we’re calling the Coliseum home and the Rams we’re in Anaheim. 

Much has been made the last 48 hours about the Chargers announcement to relocate here to L.A, especially their updated logo, which many a Dodger fan has already had a field day with…

Even our Single A folks had to take a dig into this…

Not much fanfare has been made either since their announcement to move here. Not everyone has been so been so receptive to their move here either, most notably Mr. Bill Plaschke. Even our very own Dave Roberts, a San Diego native, isn’t so thrilled with the idea of the Chargers calling L.A. home

The Chargers are expected to move into the new Inglewood stadium with the Rams in 2019. In the meantime, they have announced plans to play at The Stubhub Center. Even if it’s only a temporary home, the fact that the Chargers will be playing in a venue with only 30,000 seats should already indicate their lack of confidence in making a first impression.

Sure, hosting 2 NFL teams along with USC may  have been difficult for The Coliseum. Sure, the Rose Bowl has made it clear they don’t want to deal with the NFL. But if Dean Spanos really wanted to start things off with a bang, wouldn’t he, as well as the NFL have found a way to fit 8-10 Chargers games at The Rose Bowl for the next 2 years? Sure it would have involved wrestling with the city of Pasadena and the Rose Bowl’s nearby residents. It’s not as if Dean Spanos hasn’t ruffled a “few” feathers already. But if not The Coliseum, why not The Rose Bowl? With over 88,000 seats wouldn’t this be a grand opportunity for the Chargers to endear themselves to the local fanbase? You know, get as many fans to come out and support your product in spite of last season’s performance?

This isn’t the first time a professional franchise from San Diego has joined our city that already had a franchise of it’s own.You may remember the Clippers took up residence at The Sports Arena in 1984. In spite of their recent and now expected success, they are still a long post pattern away from even posing a serious threat to Laker fandom. 

That’s not to say the Chargers can’t win away fans from the Rams. Of course, the Rams are just one season removed from calling The Coliseum home. Though the Rams return initially conjured up excitement for fans starving for NFL football, fan interest drastically decreased as witnessed by the large portions of empty seats at The Coliseum late in the season.(Don’t be fooled by the attendance figures. It’s based on tickets sold, many that we’re sold prior to the season during the so-called “Honeymoon Period”). The Chargers, coming off a 5-11 campaign, don’t exactly arrive with the glitz and glamour that attracts L.A. fans to the games.

L.A. fans hate losers. There’s really no other way to put it. Win, and win with bling, the fans will come. Yes, there has to be that bling attached. Remember, this is L.A., where people are attracted to glitz and glamour. The Clippers, while they have attracted more fans during their recent playoff run, again, are still a long post pattern away from ever overtaking the Lakers in this town in terms of popularity. Yes, the Lakers are still in serious rebuild mode. You can even “accuse” Lakers fans of living in the past. But those 11 “blings” they’ve brought to the City of Lights have forever forged a loyalty that even during a rebuild mode, the glitz and glamour at Lakers home games is still evident. As for the Lakers past, as distant as it may be, it’s still enough to make the Staples Center’s 3rd tenant want to cover it up during their home games. (I’ll spare you the selfie jokes…)

It’s going to take awhile for the Chargers to win over this city. Can it happen? Maybe. (I’m not exactly giving a strong vote of confidence am I ? ) Will it take as long as the Clippers to finally win over a fanbase? Only time will tell. L.A. fans had their “honeymoon period” with the Rams. It lasted all but 2 months, if that. The Chargers won’t have such a luxury. 

L.A. is a big enough market that the Chargers can certainly win over the fans who haven’t quite latched on to the Rams. L.A. is also the type of market that can be occupied with other more attractive entertainment options as well. L.A fans can also be fickle. 

It took over 20 years for NFL football to return here. It took less than 2 months for that so-called honeymoon period to wear off. So far, the Chargers have yet to make a favorable first impression.  Last but not least, did I already mention that L.A. hates losers? Only time will tell when fans here really go sour on both the Rams and Chargers, especially when that one Sunday comes when we lose out on TV on a more attractive game. 

Overtime…

15978030_10154330671208129_5702350853721251835_n

Have we had enough yet ?

 

 

 

 

Andrei here,Southern California Correspondent for Stadium Journey Magazine and StadiumJourney.com, along with the broham, Marlon B, aka Kid Marley Marlz. We like to call ourselves, KID N DREI…2 crazed Dodger fans bringing Da Beatz and Da Talez or sometimes, both. Kid with Da Beats on SoundCloud at MDario GlutenFreeSonds, and Drei with Da Talez.

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