Tag Archives: Arizona DiamondBacks

Turning The NL West Blue: Recapping Drei’s Journey’s Through The Yards of The NL West

It’s a baseball fan’s dream to venture to all 30 MLB parks. Along the way, some minor league yards and an international yard or two may be on the list. As for me, I still got a ways to go before I hit up all 30. But prior to this season, I made it a personal goal to catch a Dodger game in all NL West yards all in the same season. 20190831_203851

Though I wasn’t the best good luck charm on the road this season, the Dodgers have more than held their own as they prepare themselves for a 7th straight NL West title and another deep October run. 

The journey through the NL West was an exciting one. Each yard and city has it’s own story. And of course, each yard has it’s own personality. 

I’ve always believed that the best yards in baseball reside here in the NL West. Putting aside my personal biases toward our beloved Chavez Ravine, how do the rest of the yards in the NL West stack up with Drei?

4. Chase Field: Arizona DiamondBacks, Visited 8/31/2019

20190831_164542

Of the 5 yards in the NL West, this is easily my least favorite. Having said that, there still some redeeming factors that make Chase Field enjoyable, such as the Friday’s Front Row Bar & Grill above left field and it’s patio that gives fans an opportunity to dine with friends and family while taking in a ballgame. 

20190831_144900Kid n Drei pregaming at Friday’s before the Dodgers-DBacks game, 8/31/2019

The retractable roof is a nice convenience from the scorching desert weather and on that rare occasion when the yard is filled, as it was on this evening as a Chase Field record crowd of over 50,000 we’re on hand (You can thank us Dodgers fans for bumping up those numbers…), the atmosphere can be electric. 

Aesthetically, this is decidedly the least attractive of the other 4. Though the roof is a nice convenience, when closed, you get the feel of watching a game inside a huge airport hangar. Or as my former supervisor who now resides in Phoenix once told me, it has the excitement of going to Costco.  

Though established in 1998, just 2 years before Oracle Park, The Snakes are looking for new digs. Though Chase Field is only 21 years in existence, we’re in the era of the disposable ballpark. 20190831_164542

So Chase Field may not rank so highly among ballpark travelers and baseball fans. It’s main signature feature is a pool that in only available to private groups. But after only 21 years is a new yard really necessary?

3. Coors Field: Colorado Rockies, Visited 6/29-30

20190629_190615My favorite mascot among division rivals, Dinger! 

If there’s one thing Dinger and I have in common, it’s our disdain toward that Seal up in San Francisco. 

Of the other 3, it’s very easy to put the remaining NL West trio in any order. Coors Field, opened for business in 1995 is the 3rd oldest yard in the Senior Circuit behind Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium. Not bad company to be with for a yard soon approaching it’s 25th year. 

20190630_134510Coors Field. Established 1995

Opened for business 3 years after Oriole Park in Baltimore, Coors Field opened it’s gates at the height of the 90’s retro yard craze. I’ve often stated that the term retro is often overused. However, with Coors Field, the elements within the yard justify it’s status, or at least it’s exterior, blending in with the continuously developing LoDo neighborhood… 

20190629_132632Greetings From LoDo, Blue Dog !!!

With the Rockies in playoff contention at the time of our visit, Coors Field was filled to capacity during the 2 games we came. Coming off of last year’s playoff appearance after finishing one game behind The Blue, there was a buzz felt throughout the weekend. The Blue would split the two games that my buddy Josh and I attended. 

20190630_171952

Recent changes to Coors Field was the elimination of outfield upper deck seats behind right field, replaced with The Rooftop. 20190629_184028It’s a great social spot for the casual fan and a great way to get in the yard on the cheap. But if you come to ACTUALLY watch the game, get yourself a seat, even if you land one on the Purple Row. 20190630_115454

The landscape beyond CF add’s to Coors Fields charm, surrounded by local natural rocks and greenery complimented by a water display. 20190629_171610Hey Blue Dog! You sure like traveling with Drei !!!

If you should be so daring, do try the Rocky Mountain Oysters at least once. 20190629_194540Taste’s like chicken!!!

If that’s not enough, try out the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout at nearby Wynkoop Brewery. 

20190629_222430This Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout got a good deep malty touch…

20190630_170552See you made a new friend Blue Dog!!!

2. Petco Park: San Diego Padres, Visited 5/5/201920190505_135226

Opened in 2004 Petco Park definitely screams San Diego, with it’s exposed white beams and it’s navy blue seats. With all the so-called retro yards opened in the 90’s, Petco bucked the trend sans the Western Metal Supply Co. Building

20190609_114704Western Metal Supply Co. Building, from the outside…

Daytrips to San Diego are a regular occurrence for the Dodger Blue Faithful as many a Dodger Blue clad fan makes the trek down I-5. Next to Coors Field, Petco may have the best neighborhood vibe of the yards here in the west, with it’s location right next to the Gaslamp. 

20190519_160250.jpg

2019050595164509.jpgThe Garv. First number ever retired by the Padres. Of course it took a Dodger to accomplish this feat…

And finally, again putting all biases aside and to the dismay of some…

1.  Oracle Park: San Francisco Giants, Visited 5/1/201920190501_175946

Soon to be in it’s 20th year, Oracle Park is now under it’s 4th name. In spite of certain locals of all ages, including some old enough to be my grandfather, personally wishing me ill will, I really enjoy Oracle and The City. 

Though The Blue would fall on a Buster Posey walk-off, on a personal note, my record over the years at Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T/Oracle Park is 10-9. 20180428_083809.jpgThe Portwalk…

Oracle Park is one of those yards if your visiting for the first time you’ll want to arrive early to check out the various viewing points. Before setting foot inside Oracle take a stroll along the portwalk. Check out the distant views of the bay and the kayaker’s setting up shop along McCovey Cove. 20180428_141225.jpgCody Bellinger has already deposited one to The Cove. It’s only a matter of time Joc drop’s one in…

If you end up in Oracle’s upper reaches, don’t see it as a bad thing. Next to PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Oracle has one of the big’s most distant picturesque views with The Bay as the backdrop…20180428_145237.jpg

 

As for the food, if you really wanted to you could spend the whole game on a food run. On this night, I went with the 40 clove garlic chicken sandwich and garlic fries. 20190501_181902Mints optional…

So there’s my wrap around the NL West. I can now say I’ve chased The Blue in every NL West yard in one season. Here’s more from my visits to Oracle ParkPetco ParkCoors Field Day 1Coors Field Day 2 and Chase Field

 

As if I didn’t have enough, I also had a chance to catch The Blue in Charm City, Baltimore. Charm City report coming soon…

 

 

 

 

Cruising The N.L. West: Kid n Drei’s Desert Invasion and The Pantone 294 Experience, 8/31/2019

20190831_021417

The day started off really early. With a 4 AM  meetup time at Union Station, I catch the last Red Line train of the day at just before 2:30 from the North Hollywood Station. Arriving at Union Station just before 3, with an hour to kill I head to that classic American late night diner across the street from Union Station’s east end, Denny’s.

20190831_041513

Shortly before our 5 AM departure with some of the other fans traveling with Pantone 294. It would be a mix of veterans and newbies. A total of five buses would bus us to Phoenix, 2 of them out of Pomona. After checking in with our bus leader we depart just outside of Olvera Street a little after 5. A little groggy, I’m just glad we’re on our way.

After a brief stop in Pomona for the other Pantoners we make our way along I-10 en route to The Valley of The Sun…

20190831_051640Kid Marlz all comfy with his neck rest…

After almost 4 hours on the road we make a pit stop at Carls Jr. in Blythe, just short of the CA-AZ border. 

20190831_094722Bus 1. The one bus with the 294 logo…

20190831_094500Waiting to get back on the bus. We would take a group photo before continuing on to Phoenix…

As we left Blythe the mood on the bus is a bit livelier now with everyone fully awake, with music blasting and keeping us entertained. The fans sitting around us we’re really friendly, sharing some of their brews with us. As I said earlier, our bus was a good mix of newbies and us first-timers. 

20190831_11572720190831_115737

One more rest stop before we hit up Phoenix. 

20190831_115701Some in-state fun facts…

As we got closer to Phoenix approximately 30 minutes away we play have some games and trivia. One of the games was to see who could do the best impression of anything or anyone of choice. I could not help but do my best Vin Scully impression…”IT’S TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL !!!”. Along with answering correctly who managed the ’59 and ’53 Champs (Walter Alston), I would win this water bottle and flag…

20190904_212934

Through raffles some lucky fans in all the buses would win a chance to be on the field prior to the national anthem.

20190831_131754

Shortly after 1PM, we have finally arrived. Most of the traveling bunch would head over to Game Seven Grill next to the yard. Game Seven Grill would be to huge and impersonal for Kid and I, confirming the 2-Star reviews on Yelp so we decide to head over to Friday’s Front Row Sports Grill inside Chase Field. But before we do some pregame dining, I decide to take Kid to the lower viewing area of Friday’s, which has a patio above the left field as well that fans can access through the restaurant…

20190831_134221Greetings from AZ!!! From Kid n Drei

20190831_144900Lunchtime at The Yard…

We would be seated next to the open garage door window that gave us a great view of the field, giving us a chance to watch both the Snakes and The Blue take BP. Those seats turn into gameday table seating for a charge. There are outdoor patio tables that seat 4 as well, above left field and inside the yard. Those would be a great experience with 3 of your buddies, dinner and a game…

20190831_144750Another yard hit up by our Blue Dog…

The food at Friday’s is your typical bar food, nothing spectacular but at this particular one your mostly here for the experience of dining inside a MLB ballpark. My android of course knew where we we’re because as soon as Kid and I we’re done ordering, as I was posting on IG I see an offer for a buy one get one free entree, which our waitress gladly honored…

To be fair, I can see why Pantone 294 would choose Game Seven Grill as their pregame meeting spot with it’s 2 floors and all that space to accommodate all their traveling fans.  Friday’s would not have been able to accommodate all the traveling Patoner’s, though some would do their pregame dining there as well…

The 20-Year Experience

20190831_163007

Celebrating their 20 year existence in 2018, the DBacks have a nice little beyond the left field concourse highlighting some of the teams memorable moments, highlighted by their 2001 World Series triumph over the Yankees…

20190831_164542Pregame view from atop the left field line….

20190831_174305The view from our seats in right field. With all the Blue provided in our section by the travelling Pantone 294 group you’d think this was a Dodgers home game…

OK. In many ways, this felt like a Dodger home game, with a strong contingent of Blue throughout the yard. 20190831_201130Blue Dog trying to lead the Pantoner’s to a 9th inning rally for The Blue

Unfortunately, the rally would fall one run short. For the 3rd straight game The Blue would surrender a 3-run lead to The Snakes. This time, it would be with Kid K starting. Kenley Jansen would appear in the home 8th and quickly surrender a solo shot. Usually when talking about Kershaw and Jansen in the same sentence that would be enough to send bad thoughts to opposing hitters. That has not been the case as of late. Can these two find their old stroke back before October?

20190831_203851

So I wasn’t exactly a good luck charm on the road this year for The Blue. But hey, I set out what I wanted to do this year and check out The Blue in each NL West yard. Petco Park in San Diego is the one I’ve frequented the most, of course, with SD being the closest to L.A. 

It would be my first time back to Chase Field since 2003 when it was known as Bank One Ballpark, aka, The BOB. It would be Kid Marlz first trip to Chase Field…

The DBacks have let it known they want a new yard. Though Chase Field has only been in operation since 1998, the Local 9 have been in a battle with Maricopa County with the current condition of their new yard. True, the Chase Field experience may resemble being inside an oversized airplane hangar, or as one of my former supervisors who now resides in Phoenix describes the atmosphere, ” A day at Costco”, Chase Field at least to the naked eye hardly seems outdated. Of course, we’re talking in the era of “disposable yards”…

 20190831_204426Kid kickin’ it by the pool after the game. Drei was so tempted to toss him in…

The Traveling Fleeces

20190831_204522Blue Fleece 2004

20190831_204539Blue Fleece 2012

One of my goals also is to bring the Blue Fleeces to as many yards possible. Both these fleece’s have ventured to each NL West yard! More on the fleeces later…

It was quite a venture with Kid and the Pantone 294 group. Ironically there we’rent too many shenanigans this time around with Kid N Drei (That might be a first…We gettin’ old Kid?)

This would be our first time traveling with the Pantone 294 group. If you enjoy being among a group of rabid Dodgers fans traveling with the Pantoner’s should be on your list of Dodger road-trip to-do’s. Everyone is really united as one with a mix of regulars and first-timers, partying up and offering drinks while keeping everything under control. The one thing I was hoping to see at the game and be under was it’s travelling flag. Several regulars told me stadiums we’re no longer permitting the flag inside their yards…

20190831_215952Waiting on our ride…

It’s been quite a day. If any of you have ever done a Vegas or casino turnaround, think of this as a Dodger baseball version of one. It was a great time had by all wearing the Dodger Pantone 294 Blue. We would also be a part of Chase Field history, as on this night, August 31, 2019, a record crowd of 50,180 would be on hand, many of course wearing the Dodger Blue, a fact not lost among the locals…

20190831_214335HEY KID! You’re hair gets longer and longer each time I see you, which isn’t so often these days. That’s what happens when you get older folks…Savor the good times you have with your close one’s…

20190831_214453Blue Dog seems to like your long hair Kid…

20190831_230611Kid’s beat, and no Beatz from Kid…Time to head home to L.A. 

The route to Phoenix along I-10 really isn’t so scenic. But it’s a direct one. One of these days I do hope to travel along the old Mother Road along old Route 66. 

Well Kid, you’ve seen the Dodger Blue on the road through with Drei through 4 of 5 NL West yards. If all goes to plan, we’ll hit up Colorado some time down the road, something Drei did earlier this year. 

It’s been quite a year cruising the NL West, giving each rival yard a Touch of Blue. Gonna recap my visit to each yard soon….

20190831_213127Another NL West yard out of the way…Just a Rocky Mountain yard away from you to complete the NL West Blue Invasion, Kid…’Til the Next Episode

 

 

Notes On A Scorecard…7/6/2017 vs D-Backs…Moment After Moment

 

Leading Off…

Dodgers vs DBacks_42 on Scoreboard.jpg

April 15th shouldn’t be the only day we celebrate Jackie’s legacy, right ?

Dodgers vs DBacks_Scoreboard Back to Normal

OK, back to our normal lineup…

Dodgers vs Dbacks_Final Scorecard

After taking the first 2 of 3 from the Snakes, a pitchers duel between Rich Hill and Robbie Ray would take place. Through 7 innings, both pitchers would combine for 22 strikeouts, 9 of which would belong to Rich Hill. The only blemish from both pitchers would be solo shots from Jake Lamb and Logan Forsythe. 

The Dodgers would have their chances. Two of them, in fact as they had the bases loaded in the 1st and 6th innings, only to come away empty. From the 8th to the 9th The Snakes would score 3, one of them coming off Jake Lamb’s second solo shot. 

But the home 9th would show once again to never count the Blue out, AND, if you’re at any game the rest of this 2017 season and the deficit is 4 runs or less heading to the home 9th to NEVER HEAD TO THE EXITS !!! (Even if the deficit is more than 4 runs, with this years team you may still want put aside any doubts…)

20170709_102341

The inning would start innocently enough, with Yasiel Puig leading off with a single. After a walk to Joc Pederson, pinch hitting for Trayce Thompson, Cody Bellinger, getting the night off, would come on to pinch hit for Yasmani Grandal. As excited as I was along with 40,000 other spectators, I couldn’t help but think if Cody lights up a Roman Candle and we go extras (Yes, I’ve been listening to Vin Scully a lot over the years…), who would be catching since Grandal came into the game for Austin Barnes. 

Nonetheless, Cody would also reach on a base on ball, loading the bases for Logan Forsythe. Logan on four pitches would also walk, forcing in a run. BTW, None of the pitches from Snakes closer Fernando Rodney we’re close. That would bring up Corey Seager. Seager, not having one of his better nights having struck out 3 times, would work the count to 2 and 2, before this...

Is it me, or do I have some sort of magical power for Dodger hitters who enter the 9th inning on striking out 3 times or more?

After an intentional pass to load the bases, setting up a force at the plate, Chris Taylor, who already has 3 grand slams, could he deliver his fourth with a walk-off slam?  

You know, I’m more than take that walk-off single. As Joe Davis would say…”Moment After Moment…”, no doubt taking a cue from good ol’ Vin…(Who wouldn’t?)

Instead of salvaging the final game of 3 and pulling within 3.5 games of The Blue, the Snakes would fall 5.5 games behind. The Dodgers have still yet to lose since July 2nd. Since, they have gone from 2.5 games up to now 10.5 games on the reeling Snakes…

Dodgers vs DBacks_SChat Pic

Furious Indeed !!!

What other “scorecard” moment will Drei bring? To quote Joe one more time…”Moment after Moment…Memory after Memory…”

Extra Innings…Goin’ Through The Cycle With The Rookie Sensation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drei’s Notes On a Scorecard…4/15/2017 Vs DiamondBacks…Celebrating Jackie Robinson

J Robinson Statue

This day would mark the 70th anniversary that Jackie Robinson broke Major League Baseball’s color barrier, opening the way not only for African-American baseball players, but for other international players as well. Fittingly, to celebrate this special day, the first ever statue at Dodger Stadium would honor Jackie Robinson…

Scorecards 4 15 2017

Dbacks Scorecard

Arizona would come into Dodger Stadium atop the NL West after a fast start that saw them win 7 of their first 10. DBacks SS Nick Ahmed would drive in all four runs for the Snakes. Kenta Maeda would strike out 5 but only last 4 innings, once again leaving the bullpen to go another long stretch. Fortunately, Alex Wood would pitch 3 1/3 stellar innings of shutout ball and Kenley Jansen would record the four out save…

Dodgers Scorecard 4 15 2017

Austin Barnes, getting the starting nod behind the dish, would crank his first big league home run off the LF foulpole…

It would be Puig’s 3 run shot in the home 8th that would put the game away…

On a personal note, in the 2 games Drei has been to this season, Puig has 8 RBI’s, 7 of those coming through the long ball…

The Dodgers 8-4 victory over the DBacks would be their 10th in a row at Dodger Stadium dating back to last season.

Though the bullpen would put in another stellar performance, my early season concern has to be how much longer can Dave Roberts continue to throw starters not named Kershaw on the hill and get 5 innings or less.

Both the Dodgers and DBacks would combine for 5 errors.

Despite posting 8 runs, the Blue would leave 11 runners on base. Leaving runners on base has also been an early season issue.

Colorado will be coming in to Dodger Stadium tomorrow night atop the NL West. Both the DBacks and Rockies got off fast starts with the Giants struggling early….

9th Inning…

J Rob Night Pic_Drei J and Nate

Saturday night with ‘Doza and Son…

Extra Innings…

Easter Pic with Soshi

Uncle Drei and Soshi hope you all had a great Easter weekend !!!

A Wild Wild Finish…It’s Just The Beginning…

Leading Off…

Still talking about that wild finish from what Vin called, The Wild Horse ? Baseball is a crazy game isn’t it ?…It’s no stretch when they say it’s a game of inches. If Nationals SS Danny Espinoza is shaded a couple more inches to his left that hard ground ball Puig hits up the middle gives this game a different ending huh ? A couple more inches to his left and Espinoza forgoes the dive toward the ball and instead of a mob at the plate a possible game ending 6-4-3 ends a 4 game losing streak for the NL East leading Nats and they’re the ones walking the post game victory line. Instead, the Nationals are now on a 5 game skid while the Dodgers are currently on a 6 game streak as well as winning 8 of their last 10.

A game of inches this great game is. For every line drive that finds a glove, a routine grounder finds a hole…It happens…That’s the law of averages…That’s baseball…No big deal right ? Puig keeps the rally going…Now we get runners on 1st and 2nd…Until that ground ball hit that was inches from Espinoza’s glove found more than just a hole…

 

yasiel-puig-walk-off-nationals-dodgers Photo: Harry How/Getty Images

 Nationals Center Fielder Michael Taylor, doing a bat flip ( Not that kind… ) after 1 of 5 times he would strike out ( AP Photo: Chris Carlson )

Striking out 5 times was not even the worst part of Taylor’s night. On a night the Dodgers would honor the current Nationals skipper with his own bobblehead, the frantic finish that couldn’t have been scripted by even the most acclaimed Hollywood writer…Michale Taylor’s performance Wednesday night could perhaps be the worst performance ever by a single MLB player.

My fandom for Dodger baseball and the game started in 1980. Dusty Baker was roaming the outfield for The Blue. I’m not so sure if I’ve seen a performance that was worse than what Taylor displayed Wednesday night. And yet, even with that performance, we all would trade in our bad day’s at the office for his…In a heartbeat. 

img_20160623_164222.jpgDusty Baker Bobblehead…I tend to think this looks more like Pedro Guerrero (Photo: Marly Rivera, ESPN)

Around The NL West…

The Dodgers have won 6 in a row, 8 of their last 10. Unfortunately, the Giants have been hot themselves, winning 11 of their last 12, including a just concluded 6-1 road trip. In that span, the Dodgers have gained a mere half game in the standings, finding themselves 6 back. At 41-33, only 4 other teams currently have more wins than The Boys in Blue. Not bad considering the inconsistencies our offense has endured as well as our health issues among the starting 5…

While the Rockies continue to hang around, while Zack Greinke has recovered from a slow start and another solid season from Paul Goldschmidt, the off-season expectations have not panned out for The Snakes. The Padres continue to look up at the rest of the division and may want to unload some pieces before the August 1st non-waiver deadline. I said before the season that Matt Kemp would be on the trading block and I still believe that. Known for his 2nd half of the season finishes, Kemp has actually had some decent offensive numbers to this point, going yard 15 times with 54 RBIs, ranking 4th in the NL with a modest .268 average. 

Because Kemp has been a defensive liability, something we would not have thought of in 2011, an AL team would be a good fit for him for the stretch run ( Yes folks, I’m thinking Matt as a DH, with some occasional starts in the OF). Perhaps the Astros, who have played some good ball lately, would be a good fit for Matt, especially at hitter friendly Minute Maid Park ?

Now back to The Blue. At 6 games back, the NL West race is far from over. The current 6 game wining streak, 4 of which found them pulling it off from the 8th inning on, should hopefully carry the momentum as they embark on a 7 game road trip that begins in Pittsburgh. 

As we all know, The Blue still needs reinforcements both offensively and among the backend of the starting 5. The latest talk has The Blue looking at both Sonny Gray and Julio Teheran to solidify the rotation.

On The Road…PNC Park, Pittsburgh PA

Dre_PNCPark One of 17 of the current 30 MLB parks i’ve visited, September 2005

One of my favorite parks I’ve had the chance to visit. A visit to PNC is definitely worth the hype… If you can, walk across the Roberto Clemente Bridge on your way to the game. The late Pirate legend has a statue outside the left field gate that every baseball fan should view…

Dre_PirateParrot Kicking’ it with The Pirate Parrot. ” Your Bucs we’re not help against the Jints this week ! ” 

9th Inning…BELIEVE

wpid-picsart_10-10-08.25.43.jpg

A 6 game deficit in June is nothing….The Dog Days of Summer is only beginning folks…

 

Drei’s 2016 N.L. Forecast

Leading Off…

Here’s what Drei had to say heading into last season…

“Since Don Mattingly took over the managerial reins in 2011, the Dodgers have improved their win total by an average of 4 games. Should that trend continue into this season, the Blue Crew should finish with 98 wins, and yet, he seems to be on the hot seat every season…It’s been 27 years now. There are enough Dodger fans out there young enough asking what was it like to have experienced a World Series victory.”

Don Mattingly guided The Blue to their 3rd consecutive division title with 92 wins, yet the hot seat never cooled, sending to a much cooler summer climate, Miami. It’s been 28 years now, and Dodgers fans of all generations are growing somewhat impatient for that October experience…

N.L. East

Two of baseball’s best pitching staffs just may reside here in the NL East. The Mets return the bulk of their starting rotation that led them to their first World Series appearance since 2000 and with Jacob deGrom, Matt Harvey, Noah Syndegaard and Steve Matz ready to take on a full season, this team could be primed for another WS run. The Nationals, last year’s favorites among many of the experts to win the WS, still posses a pretty potent all-around lineup to compliment their strong rotation, anchored by Stephen Strasburg. Injuries and the lack of team unity played key roles in the Nats late season meltdown, costing Matt Williams his job.   The lineup will once again count on Bryce Harper to put up some big numbers along Wilson Ramos, Danny Espinosa and their newest addition Daniel Murphy. It is hoped that proven skipper Dusty Baker will be able to keep this team completely focused. Dealing with players with adverse personalities is nothing new for Dusty. Let’s not forget he managed both Barry Bonds and Jeff Kent for several seasons. The Braves and Phillies, once the class of this division, could are in serious rebuild mode and could both potentially lose over 100 games…

N.L. Central

The Cubs made some key off-season moves, including the additions of Jason Heyward and Ben Zobrist to an already dangerous lineup. Much of the attention will be focused on their pitching, considered to be one of the deepest with the top 3 in the rotation of Jake Arrieta, Jon Lester and John Lackey. Many are picking the Cubs to not only go deep into October but to also win that big Fall Prize that has eluded them the last 108 years. This could just be their year…

The Pirates, post-season participants for 3 consecutive seasons, will be highly competitive again this season even the the loss of A.J. Burnett and J.A. Happ from their rotation. The rotation still has a top 1-2 tandem between Gerrit Cole and Francisco Liriano. The lineup is still anchored by Andrew McCutchen, and his supporting cast with Starling Marte and Gregory Polanco is pretty dynamic themselves. It may be a stretch to pick the Bucs to finish atop the Central, but a 4th consecutive post-season appearance is not out of the question. Now if they could just find a way to avoid that dreaded wild card game. The Pirates, riding their most successive run since 1990-92, may have 3 consecutive post-season appearances under their belt but two consecutive one and done’s may unfairly have Clint Hurdle in the hot seat should the Bucs fail to make a deep October run…

The Cardinals, owners of last years best record in baseball, lost starter John Lackey to the rival Cubs and will be without Lance Lynn for the season. If Adam Wainwright can remain healthy throughout the season, along with Michael Wacha and Carlos Martinez, both who are still young, and the addition of Mike Leake, there’s no reason the Cardinals should not be able to compete in what could be baseball’s best division for the second consecutive season. If Matt Adams and Matt Holliday can rebound from injury plagued seasons, this lineup, along with Matt Carpenter at the top, could quietly be one of the leagues best.

N.L. West

I’m not going to lie. Though I do truly believe the Dodgers will win the West for the 4th consecutive season, I am mostly going with my heart. But hey, most so-called experts rarely ever get their predictions on the mark, right ?

Much has been made of the off-season moves within the division and it is expected to be a 3 team race between the Dodgers, Giants and Diamondbacks. The two big additions to the rivals was the addition of Johnny Cueto to the Giants, and of course the addition of Zack Greinke away from the Blue over to the DBacks, who we’re among the league leaders in offense last season. 

Spring Training has not entirely been so kind to the Dodgers, who already are beset by some health issues in the back end of the rotation. The good news, in spite of our early season worries, not every Dodger got hurt during Spring TrainingThe top 3, led by Kid K with Scott Kazmir and off-season addition Kenta Maeda, will give the Blue a formidable front end of the rotation. My concerns however are how will Maeda, coming off a solid spring,  hold up in his first big league season… Can Kazmir stay healthy and retain his 2015 form ? Can Alex Wood bounce back from his 2nd half swoon and prove to be a legitimate 4th starter ? Hyun-Jin Ryu, who missed all of last season, is expected to give the rotation a boost if he should return by mid-May at the earliest.

The outfield, even with the loss of Andre Ethier until at least June, is still pretty deep, however these questions loom…Will Puig finally display a full season of his potential ? Can Joc Pederson cut down on his strikeouts and improve upon his on base percentage ? Can Carl Crawford stay healthy enough until Andre returns ? It’s expected that Crawford and Scott Van Slyke will be platooning in left field. The infield will be a good combo of experience and youth. This lineup has the potential to put up some big numbers and could have 3 30 plus home run boppers in Adrian Gonzalez, Joc Pederson and Yasiel Puig. If Puig can give us a 20/20 season, and Joc can hit somewhere in the .270’s our offense should be allright. 

So everyone expects a 3 team race here in the NL West. The Rockies and Padres are not expected to do much and there have been talks that the Friars are looking to unload some of their key acquisitions from last year, including Matt Kemp. If the Padres are out of contention by July, I see Kemp, who in typical fashion had a strong finish last season, heading to one of two possible sleepers, Seattle or Miami ( Yeah, Kemp reunited with Mattingly, playing with Dee Gordon, and Barry Bonds as his hitting coach. Hmmm )

NL Wild Card

Cubs over the Cards. Again, after this one-game elimination game is over, talks and debates will resume over an expanded WC series… 

NLDS

Cubs over the Pirates. The Pirates will finally be playing in an actual playoff series, only to be disappointed once again by everyone’s pre-season favorites. Does an appearance past the WC keep Hurdle off the hot seat ?

Dodgers over the Mets. In another closely contested series, this time, it’s OUR Boys in Blue who prevails 

NLCS

In a battle of two teams who have 97 years combined without a World Series appearance, someone finally ends their drought. Why not us ? Dodgers over the Cubs

As I’ve admitted, my pick of our Blue going all the way is for all intents and purposes, from the heart. The Blue is expected to contend once again this season. They may be banged up right now, but hey, no team goes through a full 162 game season without some dings and scratches, right ? 

World Series… A Battle of Blue

It’s been 27 years. In that time, we’ve endured 2 Bush’s, and we may be on our way toward a 2nd Clinton…. Oh yeah, it would be great if we can give Good Ol’ Vin a Grand Sendoff, right ?

9th Inning…A Tale From The Park…With KID N DREI…

20140831_164815.jpg Because Kid Marley Marlz has all that ” Kid Like ” energy during the off-season, Drei needs to take him to the park…

20140831_164829.jpg ” HEY KID ! When are we gonna come up with that Dodger song ? ” Kid Marley Marlz may call me Dre Beats, but it’s The Kid who spits out The Beats and the Everyday Blessings, while Drei, well, Drei just tells The Tales.  Hey Kid ! When our we gonna do that Dodger song ?… ‘Til The Next Episode…Close us out KID !!!

Everyday Blessings… Kid Marley Marlz

 

 

Seasons Greetings…No Off-Season For Kid N Drei

It’s been a little over a month now since the season has ended. Yes folks, even though it is December, the off-season has not been that long. That’s what the expanded playoff format, in place since 2012, does to an off-season that almost always ends before Halloween.

Though 2015 would see The Blue come up short of a World Series once again, it would be another fun season for Kid Marley Marlz and DodgerDrei, bringing you The Ravine Life, Kid N Drei’s own “unofficial” reality series sharing with you the adventures and Kid’s, ok, also, Drei’s mischief and Kid like experiences beyond The Ravine, Cruising L.A. KID N DREI_LACMA 2

all the way down south to San Diego …

KID N DREI_BUBBLES 2 There’s never a dull moment around Kid N Drei inside and beyond, The Ravine Life…

When it comes to an off-season Kid Marley Marlz and Dodger Drei know nothing of it. For Drei, it could be cruising the college scene and other venues while providing sports fans and travelers the 4-1-1- on their sports travel journey’s over at Stadium Journey.

Stadium Journey

For Marlz, it may be work on his beats, such as this one titled, You, which he provided for Drei, even if Kid was mocking Drei…

Kid Marley Marlz does have a studio version of, You, dedicated to some other, well, You…

Hey Kid ! This, You, whom you’ve dedicated this song to, it seems that Minion Dave always found a way to get in between the two of…YOU…

picsart_12-12-10.01.55.jpgBe it your birthday celebration at The Ravine…

picsart_12-12-10.06.03.jpgOr a road trip down I-5 to PETCO Park, Minon Dave just seems attached to the two of…YOU… Here’s a message to the two of, You, from The Beach Boys… ” Don’t Worry Baby, Everything will turn out allright…”

Want more from the kid ? Here’s a list of his tracks from his Soundcloud, at MDario GlutenFreeSounds…

 

Hey Kid ! Christmas is just around the corner ! How ’bout a classic holiday tune ? Perhaps a tale of some reindeer named Rudy ?

Well, another season…another year is in the books. I hope you all had a great 2015. Hopefully, this holiday season will bring you many joyful moments. Yes, the off-season has not exactly been the most joyous one to this point for many a Dodger fan, with Zack Greinke heading to the desert and the hated ones landing Johnny Cueto. Yes, there is plenty of concern around Dodgerville during this holiday season, with the rival NL West teams stacking up on their pitching and The Blue pretty much playing the waiting game. 3 consecutive division titles is no small feat, but eventually, the rest of the division will catch up. Will this be a Blue Christmas in Dodgerville in it’s literal sense ? Like the front office, we the fans can only wait…

picsart_12-12-09.59.43.jpg Good Times Kid ! 

 

MARLZ_DREI HOLIDAY CARD Happy Holidays !!!

 

picsart_12-11-09.54.16.jpg