Tag Archives: Derek Jeter

Looking Back at Drei’s 2014 AL Forecasts…

So another regular season is in the books.  Around here, 162 games just wasn’t enough, and 4 teams here in the West Coast will be playing in the post-season. Since 2007, there have been 4 tie-breaker games, yet this year,  game 163 was not necessary this year.  So, looking back on this exciting 2014 season, how did Drei’sAL  picks turn out ?  Lets look back first on Drei’s AL Forecast .  

What Drei’s Said about the AL East…

“Pitching will carry the Rays into October. Red Sox are primed for another October run, may be better than last years team. Baltimore got some heavy hitters in their lineup, they’re gonna need all that offense to back up a leaky rotation.”

Drei’s AL East Projections…

Final AL East Standings…

Tampa would dig themselves a huge early hole they could never recover from, while the Blue Jays would start fast before settling into the middle of the pack.  The Red Sox would become the 1st World Champion team since the 1997 Florida Marlins to finish last in their division.  A furious 2nd half would propel the Orioles to their first AL East title since 1997, and an era ends in New York.  Thanks for the memories, Derek Jeter .

JETER

What Drei Said about the AL Central…

” Kansas City is looking to make a run at post-season play this year for the first time since 1985. Royals pitching had the lowest ERA in the AL last season and with some added offense October baseball is a strong possibility. “

Drei’s AL Central Projections…

Final AL Central Standings…

Though I did not pick KC to be one of the wild-card teams, I did say that October baseball in KC would be a strong possibility.   Congratulations KC, on your first trip to post-season play since defeating the Cardinals in the 1985 World Series.  The AL Central would be the one division I would come close to getting all my picks correct, ( Wait ’til you see how I picked the AL West…) with the White Sox and Twins rounding out the bottom.  With the Twins occupying the cellar, Ron Gardenhire has been dismissed as Twins manager after 13 seasons at the helm .  

What Drei Said about the AL West…

 “2 managers could be on the hot seat in this division. Ron Washington, who has guided the Rangers to 2 World Series appearances, 4 consecutive 90 plus win season, 3 post season berths, the most successful manager in Rangers history, has certainly raised the bar within the organization and with that comes higher expectations….  Mike Scioscia, another manager in this division who has brought his team it’s longest run of success and is currently baseball’s longest tenured manager with the same team, could very well be on that hot seat as well…. King Felix will once again anchor the Mariners pitching staff, but the M’s, even with the acquisition of Cano, still have some questions on offense. “

 Final AL West Standings…

And that’s why they are called, predictions.  Sometimes, you’re spot on, most times, you’re more than a stone’s throw off.  However, as far off as I was, my words of wisdom  in April really we’re not that far off.  I did say that Ron Washington was on the hot seat, and apparently the seat was a bit too hot amiss the brutal Texas heat, though his reason for his early September release  was rather odd.  The Mariners would win 87 games, finishing 1 game behind the A’s for the final wild card spot, a spot that was not decided until the final game of the season. King Felix was his usual dominant self, and as I said, the offense would have some questions.  As it turned out for the M’s, lack of offense would lead to their demise.

Drei’s Wild Cards…

Final…

I did say Oakland would be one of the two wild-cards.  I highly doubt this is what they expected after being as much as 30 games over .500 at one point in the season.  How do these two stack up for the AL Wild Card ?  With two experienced aces going in Jon Lester for the A’s and Scott Shileds for KC, runs should be at a premium.  A packed house at Kaufmann Stadium should be rocking.  Who does Drei pick to go to Anaheim ?

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Reppin’ The Blue In The Deep South…

wpid-2014092095123350.jpg I wanted to give a shoutout to my longtime buddy Rex, who recently relocated down south…MISSISSIPPI !  Way to rep that DODGER BLUE in the Deep South, Rex !!!

Extra Innings…

RFBullPenMarkerMinion He’s baaaaaack !!!  He’s ready for October Baseball !!!  It’s our Pet Minion Dave !!!  Here he is perched above the visitors bullpen during an early season game in April.  ( Heckling the visitors Dave ?  Perhaps we should send you out there come Friday ? )  Dave can be a mischievous character, but the other night he proved to be quite a lucky charm .  Do we have a Rally Minion in the works for the playoffs ?  

Oh the excitement of October Baseball….

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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 !!!!

Tuesday’s Happenings, 5/6/20014, and a Tribute To Derek Jeter

Kershaw_Nats Welcome Back Kershaw ! In his first start since the season opener down under, Kershaw throws 7 shutout innings while striking out 9 as the Dodgers behind 14 hits take the 2nd of 3 in Washington, defeating the Nationals 8-3 .

Down I-5

With the Yankees doing battle against the Angels until tomorrow night, barring a post-season matchup against the Halos or even a Fall Classic showdown with, well…. this will mark the final appearance in the southland for future Yankee Hall of Famer Derek Jeter. Even if you hate the sight of pinstripes, you got to give it up for the legend. 19 seasons all in the same uniform, 16 playoff appearances, 13 all-star appearances, 5 time World Champion, AL Rookie of the Year in 1996, 5 time Gold Glove and Silver Slugger award winner, 2000 World Series MVP. Yeah, we can go on. Derek Jeter, the game is going to miss you. Much respect from Erick Aybar, who coincidentally dons the number 2 in honor of Jeter, Mike Trout, who, growing up in nearby Millville N.J., idolized the Yankee captain, and baseball fans, from Dodger Blue to Angel Red to the future HOFer.

Jeter_Dodgerstadium View from the Top Deck after Jeter strikes out, June 2010

To this day I still say fan interference on Jeffrey Maier !!!

Jeter_yankeestadium Thanks for the memories Derek !!!

Old-Timers Lineups Set

For the 2nd straight year the Dodgers will be featuring an old-timers game this time featuring Dodgers from the last 5 decades. Here’s the list of Dodgers participants for this years game. On a side note, for me personally, I know i’m getting old when I’ve seen 21 of the 24 participants don the Dodger Blue at one time or another. Being that the Dodgers are playing the Giants this weekend I would have loved to see a battle of past Dodgers and Giants even for laughs. Speaking of, 4 of the participants, Dusty Baker, Reggie Smith, Darryl Strawberry, and Steve Finley, donned both the dreaded Halloween colors and the Dodger Blue at one time or another. Speaking of Steve Finley, perhaps you may remember this from 10 years ago….

Around and Beyond The Diamond on Valentines Day

Diamonds. Everyone loves a diamond on Valentines Day right ?

diamond_VDay

R.I.P. Jim Fregosi

Fregosi Jim Fregosi, the first player ever in Angels history and the first to ever hit an inside the park home run at Dodger Stadium, passed away early this morning at the age of 71 . In his 18 year playing career he would play for the Angels, Mets, Rangers and Pirates, winning a gold glove in 1967 and reaching the All-Star game 6 times. He would also manage 4 teams as well, including the California Angels and would lead the Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series in 1993. His #11 would be retired by the Angels.

Thanks for the Memories Captain…

jeter By now you’ve all heard the news about New York Yankees future Hall of Fame SS Derek Jeter, announcing that 2014 will be his final season . 2014 will be Derek Jeter’s 19th season in the bigs. Whether you love the pinstripes or loathe them like the rest of us, if your’re a true baseball fan, you have to respect the fact that Derek Jeter was and is indeed a class act for the game of baseball. It’s only a matter of time when we see Derek Jeter’s #2 in both Cooperstown and Monument Park.

To this day I still dread that play from the 2001 ALDS, but hey, you gotta give it up Jeter….

Moving The Numbers…

RetiredNumbers_NewLocationLF The retired Dodger uniforms that had become a staple along the famed wavy roofs of the pavillion has been relocated to the left field facade of the Stadium Club level, mirroring the World Champion flags along the right field Stadium Club facade. I have mixed feelings about this. The presence of the numbers in the outfield made it visible for most of the stadium to see it’s glory. But locating a place for a teams history is never an easy task. What I would really like to see some day is a flag court honoring both retired Dodgers numbers and World Championships. Perhaps somewhere in the pavilions soon to be newly expanded concourse ?

BofAad_Outfield According to this pic taken from the dodgers-lowdown during a recent tour of the stadium, they we’re testing out this BofA hexagon advertisement on the roof of the right field pavilion. More cluttered advertising ? You can follow the lowdown on http://www.dodgers-lowdown.com for other Dodger related news items, and also on twitter and facebook at dodgers-lowdown.

livebreathblue Love the shirt ? You can purchase this shirt for $20 by clicking on this link to http://teespring.com/DaaDozer . While you’re at at, you can follow DaaDozer online on his FB, as well as his twitter and instagram @DaaDozer . Speaking of DaaDozer….

dozer_bigmac

dozer_kershaw DaaDozer seems to be having the time of his life at Camelback Ranch with Kershaw and Big Mac….

Fab Four Valentine…

beatlesdodgersposter Promotional poster of The Beatles Dodger Stadium appearance, August 1966

Earlier in the week, we celebrated The Beatles 50th anniversary of their arrival to America. To honor their arrival, I had posted last Friday some pics of MLB Parks The Beatles performed at . So on this Valentine’s Day, how about some love from The Fab Four. On this day, Love is All You Need….

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY

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