Tag Archives: Brian Wilson

The Ride That Ended All Too Soon

KERSHAW_ADAMS Just like that, the ride was over…

What Drei Said Before The Series…

 ” The Boys in Blue head to the post-season on a roll, having won 8 of their last 10.  Everything seems to be clicking at this moment for the Blue.  If their is one concern I have heading into the post-season, it is the status of our bullpen .  It is no secret that our bullpen has been inconsistent, particularly our middle relievers.  The status of Hyun-Jin Ryu is a minor concern for me but in a Best of 5 the Dodgers may be able to get away with a 3 man rotation of Kershaw, Greinke and Haren. “

As I was looking back on my pre-season NL Picks ,  it was both my fear and hope that the Dodgers could survive on a 3 man rotation.  Hyun-Jin Ryu did make it back on the hill and pitched an admirable 6 innings in game 3.  However, Dan Haren, who after a mid-season slump, finished strong but was nowhere to be seen in the post-season.

” St. Louis has had a long history of post-season success and like it or not , are one of only two teams to have success against Kershaw .  However, Kershaw just seems to get better each year ( Is that even possible ) , having won his 4th straight ERA title en route to a possible MVP season.  In a short 5 game series, anything can happen.  Will Game 1 between two game tested battlers between Adam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw set the tone ?  Runs will probably be at a premium here.  However, with a deeper lineup and most everyone coming back healthy, I gotta like our chances to advance … “

Why St. Louis has had continued success against our Cy Young Award winner is beyond anyone’s guess.  Aside from Game 1, runs we’re at a premium, however, even with the momentum of a strong finish and a healthy lineup, the Dodgers, sans Matt Kemp’s solo shot in Game 2, just could not come up with the timely hits, and the Dodger playoff blues against St. Louis continues . 

“Dodger Blues in Mizzou… 

1985 NLCS  0-3, Lost in 6 games

2004 NLDS 0-2, Lost in 4

2009 NLDS 1-0, Won in 3

2013 NLCS 0-3, Lost in 6

That, my friends, adds up to an overall mark of 1-8 in the post-season in The Show Me State.  Now on the positive side.  The Dodgers had MLB’s best road record this season at 49-32, so being in a hostile environment will should not phase them.  One of these stats has to give.  Let’s all hope for the latter.”

Make that, 1-10, dating back to 1985, when they  Meet In St. Louis during post-season …

“Does Hyun-Jin Ryu feel no effects of his recent injury and pitch deep into the game through at least 7 ?  How much confidence does Mattingly have in his bullpen ?”

I think by now you guys know the answer to that last question .

Plenty of Blame to Go Around

So now is the time everyone starts playing the blame game.  Truth be told, there is enough blame to be passed around .  Was this a successful season ?  It would be hard to say it was a total fail with 94 wins and a 2nd consecutive NL West Title in the books.  Compete success ?  Hardly.  When $240 million is spent on player salary, it’s expected by everyone that the season would go well beyond 166 games ( Yes folks, that’s 162 and the 4 playoff games that ended before we all had a chance to blink ) .  So today, we can only wonder, how and why did it all end so quickly ?

Much of the blame will go down to two things.  Don Mattingly, and the bullpen.  OK, 3 things.  Let’s add GM Ned Coletti’s inability to acquire a setup man that may have been the difference between me writing my post post-season post, or giving my insight to the NLCS.  It will be easy to point the finger at Don Mattingly as well, it seems as if that has been a yearly tradition around these parts.  Truth is, he was only playing the hand he was dealt.  Also, who could have seen our soon to be 3 time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw coming apart at the seems in the 7th inning, not once, but twice ?  Want some other daunting numbers ?  Clayton Kershaw is the first Dodgers pitcher to lose 4 consecutive post-season games , bringing his all-time  post-season record to 1-5.  Those 4 consecutive post-season losses ? You guessed it.  All to the St. Louis Cardinals.  So Cy K isn’t quite clutch in October.  YET ( Yes folks, I did that in all CAPS for a reason ) . 

As for Mattingly’s decision making ?  The only glaring one I really could question is using Scott Elbert in the 7th inning of Game 3 .  Nothing against Scotty, but he had only pitched a little over 4 innings in the bigs all season while practically rehabbing all season.  In one of the most crucial moments of the season with a trip to the NLCS in the balance, and we go with a setup man who has pitched , again, a mere 4 plus innings.  On the flip side, that just tells you how much confidence Donnie has in that bullpen.  $240 million spent yet the only one reliable down the stretch was our closer, Kenley Jansen, who mad a mere 1 appearance this post-season.

At this moment, rumors are flying.  The big one of course, is the status of GM Ned Coletti .  Will he be around at this time next week ?  Also, who stays and who goes ?  Do the Dodgers retool at shortstop and let Hanley test the free-agent waters ?  Brian Wilson has already indicated he will $9.5 million player option for 2015Why wouldn’t he ?  With his 2-4 , 4.66 ERA stat lines, it would be hard for him to test the open market. 

So now begins the descent into a long L.A. Winter.  One that won’t be so dry this time around.  L.A. and it’s proud Dodgers fans are thirsty for a championship.  It’s been 26 years now.  Ronald Reagan was on his last term the last time a World Championship was celebrated around The Ravine.  Bobby McFerrin’s Don’t Worry Be Happy was the chart topper.  Yes, it’s been that long folks.  For those of you born after 1988, I feel your pain. 

I will stop short of calling this 2014 season a disappointment.  It had it’s moments.  It gave us 2 no hitters from Josh Beckett and of course Clayton Kershaw .  This past season also gave us the emergence of Dee Gordon.  This season also gave us the resurgence of Matt Kemp, who I believe will come back stronger next season.  I’ll even go so far as to say 30/30 could come back, provided he stays healthy, and that could be a big question.  We also saw Adrian Gonzalez lead the NL in RBI’s.  There was plenty of highlights to remember in this past 2014 season.  Unfortunately, none coming in a double digit day in October. 

wpid-img_6757157709345.jpeg A bit early for this Thank You card don’t you all think ? 

I do want to thank you the readers for your continued following of Good Dre in L.A. .  I always do my best to provide you with as much of my Dodger knowledge as well as other fun and at times light-hearted posts from my perspective.  I also want to give a shout-out to the Dodgers-lowdown as well for their tireless work and for helping me reach out to you the readers. 

So our off-season begins now.  That does not mean I will stop posting.  Just not as often.  I also do plan on posting other topics non-baseball related at well in a feature I will be calling, Beyond The Yard .  Hopefully, you will all continue to follow my posts and of course I will also be giving some off-season thoughts as well.  It was a memorable 2014 season, especially for me on a personal not.  Unfortunately, this joyride of a season ended all to sudden, and Just Like That… It’s Over

wpid-img_17082643137116.jpeg Hey Dre, Drei says it’s been a fun 9 season’s seeing you in the Dodger Blue !  Does Drei see Dre back in 2015 ?

 

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Sitting Pretty Atop The West

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With today’s 6-4 win over the slumping Braves, the Dodgers finish off their 7 game road trip with a 4-3 mark.  The Dodgers grabbed an early 5-0 lead before nearly letting the Braves come back as they would narrow it down to a one run lead at 5-4 as Brian Wilson’s 8th inning struggles continues .

Adrian Gonzalez would provide an insurance run in the 9th with his 3rd RBI of the game,  doubling home Dee Gordon, who reached base 4 times and would cross the dish 4 times as well.

Liking The Back End m

3 of the 4 wins came from back end starters Dan Haren and Roberto Hernandez with the 3rd coming from newly acquired Kevin Coreia. Thst is now 2 straight starts by both Haren and Hernandez where each starter has allowed 2 runs or less through 6 plus innings. That is what you like to see from the back end of any rotation . Hopefully Haren has withstood his mid-season swoon. I’m also starting to think we got a really good bargain in the Hernandez trade with Philadelphia.

Don’t Worry Baby ?

The words uttered by Brian WIlson. “Everything will turn out all right…” . Who is Dre fooling ? I know you’re, ok, most of you north of 35 years of age, know those words are from Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. With another outing like the one today, I am really starting to have my doubts about the one-time feared one. ” Well its been building up inside of me for, oh I don’t know how long ?… Don’t Worry Baby. Everything will turn out allright….” . Or we can only hope …

Throwback Thursday

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Escaped the Ted unscathed. Not a single tomahawk could get in Dre’s way …

Looking Back…Looking Ahead

Dodgers All-Star Bits

Did you all enjoy last night’s all-star game ?  Our boys that represented made quite an impression last night, particularly Kershaw and Greinke, striking out a combined 3 batters on only 21 pitches during their 2 innings.

Dee Gordon also made his presence felt scoring on a 2 out double by Jonathan Lucroy of the Brewers and making a fine defensive play in the 6th inning.

Yasiel Puig was not so fortunate last night, striking out 3 times in his first all-star appearance, tying 11 players for the  record for most times to strike out in an all-star game.  However, Puig is in some fine company, as Lou Gherig, Mickey Mantle, Willie McCovey, Johnny Bench, Albert Belle and Craig Biggio have also achieved this dubious feat.  Hey, even the great one’s have their bad days…

Other All-Star Bits

Congratulations to the Angels Mike Trout on being named the 2014 All-Star MVP .  At 22 years of age, Trout is the second youngest player to win all-star game MVP behind Ken Griffey Jr. in 1992.

Tip of the Cap 

Thank You Derek Jeter for 19 memorable seasons.  Last night marked the final time the Yankee captain would participate in an All-Star game, marking the 13th time he would play in the mid-summer classic.  

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Last All-Star Thought

The all-star game should not determine home field advantage for the World Series.  I have felt that way since the inception of the rule in 2003 regardless of which league comes out the winner…

Looking Back at the 1st Half

LOS ANGELES DODGERS VS PHILADELPHIA PHILLIES kershaw_nohitter

The first half of the season, which seems like the longest 1st half in recent memory given the season officially started in Australia on March 22nd, was filled once again with it’s highs and lows, highlighted of course by the no-hitters thrown by Josh Beckett and Clayton Kershaw.

Like last season, the Dodgers did not exactly start the season off fast out of the gate, falling behind as much as 9.5 games in the standings behind the Giants. However, the Dodgers, like last season, have rebounded to finish the 1st half strong and will head into the 2nd half not only in 1st place in the NL West but also with the National League’s best record.

Why Dre is Happy ?

What else can you say about Kershaw and Greinke, perhaps the best 1-2 starting combo in the game right now ?

Dee Gordon has proved to everyone that he is now our everyday starting 2nd baseman. Gordon looks more confident in his play this season with both the bat and glove and it is certainly showing .

A strong finish to the 1st half has our Boys in position to reclaim the NL West.

Dre’s Concerns

The back end of our rotation. Dan Haren can be on or off, but his recent lack of velocity could be a factor as to why he has given up 20 home runs. Josh Beckett, at this point a strong candidate for Comeback Player of the Year, has not pitched a full season in 2 seasons and concern over his recent hip condition has raised some other concerns as to how much further into the season he can pitch. Whether he does come back, my concern for Josh is if he can keep up his 1st half performance.

Which Brian Wilson will we see in the 2nd half ? Brian blamed the lack of a prolonged spring training to his early season stint on the DL, but since his return has still struggled to return to his late season form of last season. Can Brandon League continue his resurgence into the 2nd half ? JP Howell has quietly done his part in getting the ball to Jansen, who hasn’t quite been as dominant, but still is one of the league leaders in saves. I look for another strong 2nd half finish from our closer.

Productivity from the offense. The reason the Dodgers are where they are right now ? You know it. Starting pitching. However, even the best starting 5 could use some needed run support. How will the outfield situation pan out ? Will a trade be in store for the Blue ?

This is Still Matt’s Team

Yup. That’s right. I said it. This is still Matt Kemp’s team to lead. That is if he want’s to be that leader. Do I expect a rebirth of the Matt Kemp of 2011 ? No. What I want to see from Matt Kemp, present day, 2014 ? I want to see him take control of the clubhouse and be that vocal leader every team should have. I don’t necessarily mean showing anger when he is in a slump. Puig is still to young and ripe for that role. Kemp, the longest tenured Dodger alongside Andre Ethier, needs to show that this is still his team . As Matt goes, so goes the Blue. Hopefully, into another deep run into October…

Looking Back at My Pre-Season Picks

American League

Overall, my forecast have been on and off . In the AL East, Tampa struggled early but has climbed to within 9.5 games of the lead. A recent run has Detroit standing 6.5 games ahead in the AL Central, the largest lead of any division leader heading into the 2nd half. Wholesale changes could be in order for the Rangers, 21 games under .500 and 21 games out. I stated that 2 managers could be on the hot seat in the AL West, the two being Ron Washington and Mike Scioscia. It’s safe to say that one is off the hot seat. The other ? Do the Rangers reward Washington for the past 5 seasons and honor his contract extension through 2015 ?

So, where do I call an audible ? In the AL East, I’m going to stick with the Rays, even with the fact they sit 9.5 back and have 4 other teams to get past. Should the Rays still be in contention by the end of this month, perhaps all talks of David Price in another uniform will die down.

In the AL Central, I picked Detroit and will stick with that. In the AL West, this is where I call an audible, and a huge audible too. This is where I picked the Rangers to reclaim the AL West. As I said, that’s where I call my audible. The AL West could possible have 3 teams in post-season play. 2 of them could very well be a serious threat into October. My call ? Oakland wins it’s 3rd straight AL West title, with the Angels and Mariners as the wild cards. If Seattle can find some offensive support down the stretch, they may be a serious October contender.

Playoff Picks. Wild Card Angels over the Mariners , ALDS Tigers over the Angels, A’s over Tampa. ALCS Oakland showed they want it now with the acquisition of Samardzija and Hammel. I’m still sticking with my pre-season AL Champ pick. Detroit. Detroit over Oakland, 3 years in a row. This could be a developing rivalry, right Justin Verlander ?

National League

Here is where my accuracy is somewhat on target. In the NL East I said it would be a 2 team race between the Nationals and Braves and as of now both stand tied atop their division . After struggling early in the season, the Cardinals have made up 6.5 games in the standings within the last 2 weeks and sit 1 game behind the Brewers atop the NL Central. 3.5 games separate the Brewers, Cardinals, Reds and Pirates in the NL Central. It is possible 3 teams in this division see post-season play again this season. Who could be the one left out of the dance ?

And finally. The NL West . In spite of the fact the Dodgers were the overwhelming favorites to repeat as NL West Champions, I still felt the division would not be a runaway. The Giants started out hot but have fizzled as of late. The Dodgers, in spite of some offensively challenged numbers, head into the 2nd half with not only the lead atop the NL West but with the National Leagues best record and are still the favorites to come out on top in the NL West. The Giants will continue to challenge The Blue, but lack of a serious offensive threat and depth will derail them in the end.

As for my other pre-season NL picks, Dre call’s no audible here. For the Wild Cards, i’m sticking with the Pirates over the Braves. For the NLDS , the Cardinals over the Nationals, and the Dodgers over the Pirates, setting up a rematch of last year’s NLCS between the Dodgers and Cardinals, in which I have our Boys in Blue coming out on top.

Want more coverage of our Boys in Blue ? Follow theDodgers Low Down for all things Dodger Blue. This should be an exciting 2nd half. GO DODGERS !!!

drei_ben_nye1 In front of City Hall, NYE 2013 with Benny P. This is gonna be our year !!!!

Dre’s Sunday Funnies 6/29/2014

But first…

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Backed by an offensive explosion that included a 6 run 2nd, the Dodgers,  coulpled with the Giants loss in extras to the Reds,  find themselves only one game back of the Giants.  The Dodgers wrap up their 4 game series with the Cardinals this afternoon with Clayton  Kershaw on the hill as they try to take 3 of 4 from the Red Birds and perhaps tie the Giants for the NL West lead.  

Drei’s Sunday Funnies for 6/29/2014

After a couple of weeks off, its back !  For those who have followed, you may have noticed the feature had been on the Mini Puig.   Well,  today,  we’ve added another Mini Creature to the story.  Yup,  that creature too is a head bobbler . 

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Today,  we introduce…. The Mini Beard ! Yup, that mini bearded version of Brian Wilson that every Dodger fan got to take home this past Thursday.   Here,  The Mini Beard found himself a big bro,  Marlon, who you’ll see throughout this and future posts.

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Can you see the resemblance between the two ?

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On the field,  the sight of the postgame handshake line has been a familiar and frequent one lately for our Boys In Blue,  as they have won 15 of their last 23, going from 9.5 games back of the Giants to only one game in a span of just 22 days.   That’s right Dodger fans ! 22 as in Clayton Kershaw !  The pitcher who pitched a no-hitter on the 18th .  The pitcher who was named Player of the Week for his accomplishments.   Today’s starting pitcher sundry the Cardinals as the Dodgers aren’t to take 3 of 4….  OK, after a hard fought 1-0 victory over the Red Birds,  a game which Brian Wilson should get the win in relief on the night his Mini Ego would be taken home by over 48,000 fans,  Marlon’s little Mini Bearded one would venture out toward the 626 on, 6/26. 

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What’s this ?  Those wet fries and pastrami look like those from The Hat !  And look who he’s joined the Mini Beard ?  Yup, it’s Mini Puig !  Oh,  The look on both Mini Puig and Mini Beard’s face with all that food surrounding them…

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Hey !  Looks like Marlon,  aka Marlz, has worked up quite an appetite for himself.   After all,  one can only dine on so many Dodger Dogs.  The Mini Puig is pleading to Marlz,  ” HEY, VIEJO ?  WHERE’S MY PASTRAMI ? ”

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Looks like Mini Puig has decided to get his own pastrami.   As for Marlz, he continues to chow down.  Mini Beard doesn’t look to thrilled.   ” Hey Marlz !  HOW ‘ BOUT A LITTLE CHIN MUSIC  WITH YOUR DIP ? ”

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After being threatened by his lil’ bro’, the Mini Beard,  Marlz had decided to share some of his pastrami dip.  I guess you could say that Marlz did…. FEAR THE BEARD !!! 

A huge thanks to my buddy Marlon for taking part in this.  You can find on Instagram @mdario83 .  Tell him @good_drei sent you.   As I’ve said kid,  Never A Dull Moment At The Ballpark.  

GO DODGERS !!!

Taking One For The Team, and A Summer Night at the Old Ballgame

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That’s exactly what A.J. Ellis did with his bases loaded RBI as he was hit by a pitch to force in the game winning run.   Brian Wilson,  with some great defensive help from Scott Van Slyke,  would save the game for The Blue as the Dodgers complete a 4-2 road trip defeating the Royals .  The Doors now return home for 4 in a rematch of last year’s NLCS, with a pitcher’s duel skated to start this 4 game series,  as Josh Beckett b takes to the mound against Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright.

Summer Treats at the Old Ballgame ….

Ah yeah.   Summer time at the ballpark.   It’s that time of year that brings out the kid in all of us.   Summer time at the ballpark.   One of the many treats the ballpark brings us, be it the ever so  timeless classic Cracker Jacks, the ice cream in a helmet for those hot summer afternoons,  or the simple joy off cotton candy.  It’s one of the many treats we all look forward to on our way to the Old Ballgame.

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Cotton candy ! Red vines ! Oh what joy this man will be putting on some kids face….

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As said, the joy on this kids face as he looks forward to that sweet taste of cotton candy on this summer evening at The Old Ballgame. Oh the sights and sounds at The Old Ballgame that bring out the kid in all of us. Even this kid ! Even if this kid is closer to being a ” Viejo” than he is a kid. Yup, that’s what summer nights at The Old Ballgame does to us. It brings out the kid in all of us .

A Beard Sighting in Rancho

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Brian Wilson started last nights game for the Dodgers Single A Rancho Cucamunga Quakes, going 1 inning, retiring the side in order on 12 pitches , including one strikeout. 

3 innings later…

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The crowd waits patiently for their chance to greet Brian.  It’s almost that Spring Training vibe where players are most accessible…

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And here he is up close, Brian Wilson, signing for pretty much every fan . 

As a regular at Single A Rancho Cucamunga Quakes games , aside from seeing a potential future Dodger, like Scott Van Slyke ( I never saw Puig play here unfortunately) you never know what big league star will come by for a rehab assignment.  And many times, staff at the games don’t know either until gametime.  From what I have been told by a couple ushers, the fans and players are usually good toward each other.  As witnessed here last night, nobody really went over the top and everyone who waited patiently for Wilson’s autograph came away happy…

Back at The Ravine…..

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Zack Greinke will take to the hill for the Blue as they try to avoid a 3 game sweep at the hands of the hated ones. The Giants have dominated the first two of home series openers and at 5-1 are off to a fast start themselves. Matt Cain will take to the mound for the Giants in what should be a pitchers duel.

So are you guys already panicking ? Of course you are ! It’s what most fans do, especially when our team just got dominated these past two games against our longtime hated rivals. Even with all the high expectationa you all rrally didn’t think The Blue would just coast through the entire season all the way into October did you ? Let’s alson not forget that 162 games is a long season. Even the best hit rough spots , such as Hyun-Jin Ryu did on Friday. Let’s also not forget injuries happen to, with Kershaw and Wilson in the DL, Kershaw possibly until June. So having said that , I want to see who steps up in Kershaw’s absence.

Relax folks. Nobody ever wins a World Series in April…

Dodgers to Don Alternate Uni’s on the Road for 2014

For the most part I have nothing against alternate jersey but have always been a traditionalist especially when it comes to baseball jerseys.  Prior to this season, the Dodgers, Yankees, and Tigers we’re the only teams without an alternate/third jersey.  Well, I never thought i’d see the day the Dodgers would join the bandwagon of alternate jerseys…

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However, I can live with these new, or should I say, new/old Dodger alternates, donned by Hyun-Jin Ryu, Brian Wilson, and Matt Kemp . For the first time in history the Dodgers will have a full-time alternate jersey, to be worn for road games. These alternate Dodgers road jerseys are virtually the same road jersey’s the Dodgers wore from 1971-1988 .

Los Angeles Dodgers v Chicago Cubs

The only difference, albeit a slight one, is that the Dodger script on the current road alternates, unlike the one Orel wore here in 1988, is sans the white outline. Speaking of Orel donning a look from the past…

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This was the jersey worn during the ’88 World Series clincher. Overall, I like the current look of the alternate road uni sans the white outline like the current road uni with the Los Angeles script, the jersey that had been worn on the road from 1959-1970. The absence of the white outline gives the road grey’s a clean appearance. I like how the Dodgers have tied in the past and ushered them into the future. I just hope they maintain their overall tradition and don’t get caught up with any more alternates not familiar to their history. The last thing I would want to see is 5 different looks that you don’t know what is going to be worn. As for the traditional home white with the Dodger script, I highly doubt any additional home uni’s will be added anytime soon. As you may notice, any additions done to Dodger uniforms over the years, mostly minor, have been to the road unis considering most fans hardly see the players wear them live. My next question now is, how will they determine when the new road alternates be worn, be it a Sunday look, a starting pitchers choice or so on….