Tag Archives: Miami Marlins

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

 

 

Throwback Thursday…Drei’s Ballpark Adventures…Wrigley Field, May 2006 and September 2007

WRIGLEY_DREI UNDER SCOREBOARD Here I am, under the famed scoreboard, May 14, 2006. I really do look like your typical ballpark tourist..

As you can see from the line score, on this Friday afternoon the Padres we’re running away with this. I bought seats in the outfield bleachers that day hoping to get that Bleacher Bum experience. Unfortunately, with the Cubs mired in a long losing streak and the weather being the coldest month of May in over 100 years according to the locals, most of the Cub faithful decided to stay away from the Friendly Confines. I can’t say I blame them. As for me, that had to be the coldest weather I ever experienced at a sporting event. 

With the recent renovations to Wrigley Field including the new video boards, some have wondered whether the famed center field scoreboard is still relevant . I don’t see scoreboard going anywhere anytime soon. There’s still plenty of baseball enthusiasts out there who appreciate the history and charm of both Wrigley and it’s traditions. However, it should be noted that even the Cubs aren’t immune to public outcry for up to date features.

That should not deter you from making a trip to Wrigley and it’s surrounding neighborhood, known as Wrigleyville. For you Dodger fans reading this, and there we’re also plenty of them this past week in ChiTown, the surrounding areas between Wrigleyville and Chavez Ravine are like night and day. In many respects, the surrounding areas are a reflection of when each yard was established. Wrigley Field, now in it’s 101st year of existence, is surrounded by an actual neighborhood of housing. Walk around outside Wrigleyville and you get the feeling the Cubs are the residents next door neighbors.

Dodger Stadium, opened for business in 1962, is surrounded by a sea of parking, a huge necessity for and to this day for the city of L.A. Even with the improved and growing public transit options here in L.A., with our beloved city being so spread out, for most, driving to Chavez Ravine is really the only option, particularly for a weeknight game.

WRIGLEY_DREI OUTSIDE RF Here I am, passing through behind right field, late September 2007. As you can see, I am already outside of the yard on Sheffield Avenue as crews are working on the field with the Cubbies on the road. The fact that a you’re not far from the field while out on the street is another reason Wrigley Field has that old-school intimate feel, as if the Cubs really are a part of the neighborhood, even if the neighbors have a love/hate realtionship with their beloved team…, much like the neighbors around Elysian, Echo Park and Solano Canyon.  

WRIGLEY_Sod Yes folks. That right there is actual sod from the field laying along the exterior walls along Sheffield Avenue. Yes folks, I did manage to take a piece home with me back to L.A. ( Wouldn’t you ? )

wpid-wrigley_L.jpg A familiar sight to generations of Cubs fans and to Dodgers fans the last two days, the Blue “L” flag…

Off To South Beach…

After winning the last two at Wrigley to salvage a split in their 4 game series against the much improved Cubs, the Blue kicks off a 3 game weekend series in Miami against the Marlins. I am close to achieving my goal of visiting and watching a game in all 30 MLB Ballparks. For some reason, Marlins Park right now ranks high on my list of parks I want to visit. The fact that the Marlins decided to stay away from the retro theme that many parks post-Camden Yards era used, constructing their digs that is a reflection of the art-deco theme of South Beach tells me that this yard will be quite a refreshing change. I’ve always had this fascination, or perhaps acquired it during my ballpark travels, that a yard should also have a unique characteristic that should be a reflection of both it’s team and city. 

For Your Ballpark Travelers…

Planning on catching the Dodgers on the road this summer ? Or are you planning to visit any other of the 30 MLB yards on your ballpark excursions ? Check us out over at Stadium Journey for not only your MLB travel tips, but for other sports themed travel trips worldwide as well as some of my review of local Southern California venues.

Stadium Journey

A Tribute to Urban Lights

urban lights_drei Many of you resident Angelenos and tourists who have cruised down Wilshire Blvd through Mid-City have undoubtedly notice a bank of cast iron street lights outside of the LACMA, snapping pictures/selfies of various posses. Recently Chris Burden, the man behind the lights, known as Urban Lights, passed away at the age of 69. Countless visitors have taken their share of photos since it’s inception in 2008. Here are 3 pics of mine I snapped, with of course a Dodger theme Urban Lights_Vin Scully A Very Good Afternoon wherever you may be… Urban LIghts_Puig Mini Puig strolling through and pointing toward the lights… Urban Lights_night Taken in February 2012 sometime in the early morning as the rock for Levitated Mass was making it’s way down Wilshire Blvd  Urban Lights A Touch of Blue…

Rocky Forecast Ahead ?

With the Rockies coming in for 4, the forecast for Thursday and Friday is calling for some rain in the southland. The Dodgers recently had a game postponed over the weekend in Colorado while the Rockies have already endured 4 rainouts already. Since opening in 1962, Dodger Stadium has had a minuscule 17 games rained out in it’s 53 year existence, the most recent being in 2000 against the Astros. 

4/21/67 vs StL
4/12/76 vs SD
9/10/76 vs Atl
9/11/76 vs Atl
5/8/77 vs Phil
5/9/77 vs Phil
8/17/77 vs SF
4/15/78 vs Atl
9/5/78 vs SF
4/11/82 vs SD
8/18/83 vs NY
9/24/86 vs SD
4/19/88 vs SD
4/20/88 vs SD
4/21/88 vs SD
4/11/99 vs Col
4/17/00 vs Hou

More Rare Dodger Stadium Numbers…

On Tuesday, Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins became only the 4th player to launch a home run outside of Dodger Stadium. As a fan, I also have that rare feat of saying i’ve seen two of those, the most recent being McGwire’s blast in ’99 when Big Mac was with the Red Birds…

Giancarlo Stanton Miami 475 feet Mike Bolsinger Left field May 12, 2015
Mark McGwire St. Louis 483 feet Jamie Arnold Left-center May 22, 1999
Mike Piazza Dodgers 478 feet Frank Castillo (Col) Left field Sept. 21, 1997
Willie Stargell Pittsburgh 470 feet Andy Messersmith Right field May 8, 1973
Willie Stargell Pittsburgh 506 ft., 6 in. Alan Foster Right field Aug. 5, 1969

9th Inning…

Story time, from the greatest baseball story teller himself…

Dre’s Bits and Bytes , 5/20/2014

Puig_CoPlayer0512-18 Congrats to Yasiel Puig on being named National League Co-Player of the Week , driving in 11 Dodgers while belting 3 out of the yard . After a slow start, The Cuban Missile is proving that he is not one to succumb to a sophomore jinx. QUE VIVA CUBA, VIVA PUIG !!!

Gordon_Dodgerball Dee Gordon getting a little ” Dodgerball ” going in an elementary school in New York before their 3 game set with the Mets

Marls_Apple Dodger SuperFan Marlon Brandereno, aka El Viejo , or Kid Marlz, who you’ll see later in Dre’s Stadium Bytes, taking a bite out of this Big Apple. These are one of 3 apples that are on display on the 1st base concourse on the right field reserve level. The Apples we’re scattered throughout New York City last season as part of the All-Star festivities. Now let’s see if the Boys in Blue can take a Big Bite of of the big apple during these next 3 games against the Mets in The Big Apple as Josh Beckett takes the mound for The Blue as he takes on Mets rookie Rafael Montero, making his first big league start tonight. You can also check out more of my pics on my instagram, @good_drei .

More of Dre’s Stadium Bytes, With Kid Marlz vs. the Marlz, ahem, Marlins

In this informal edition of Dre’s Bytes, we have 5 clips here from the home 6th from last Tuesday evening against the Marlins, and a huge 6th it was for the Blue and also a nice birthday gift for Kid Marlz against , the Marlins. First up, HanRam at the dish with Dee and Puig on base…

Home 6th, HanRam At The Plate 5/13/2014 from Good_Drei on Vimeo.

Now it’s time for AGon to join in…

AGon at The Dish, HanRam Needs a Ride Home 5/13/2014 from Good_Drei on Vimeo.

3 have crossed the plate for The Blue. Matt Kemp, time for you to keep a good thing goin’….

Beast Mode At The Dish 5/13/2014 from Good_Drei on Vimeo.

Now that we got a good thing goin’ in the home 6th, let’s see if Crawford or Turner can get Matt Kemp a ride home. Oh yeah, with the Marlins in town, we wonder why the Miami Heat fans here in L.A. don’t show up when the Marlins are also in town . Hmmmm….

Justin Turner, It’s Your Turn…. 5/13/2014 from Good_Drei on Vimeo.

With Drew Butera at the dish, The Blue has batted around !!! Sending all 9 to bat !!!

Batting Around The Home 6th, 5/13/2014 from Good_Drei on Vimeo.

Well that was fun. Good times against the Marlz, right Marlz ?

marlz ‘Til the next episode….

Dre’s Friday Bits and Bytes, 5/16/2014

Tonight’s happenings in the world of L.A. Sports…

greinke Zack Greinke takes the hill for the Blue as they take on the Arizona Diamondback for the 4th time this season as the Blue looks to build upon their 7-1 mark against the Snakes as they embark on a 10 game road trip. After finishing 3-4 on their current homestand against the Giants and Marlins, the Blue will also look to improve upon their 13-7 road record . Also…

That’s right ! GO KINGS GO as the Kings and Ducks battle it out in Anaheim tonight in Game 7 of the NHL Western Conference semis with as the Kings look to return to the Windy City for a rematch of last years Western Conference Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks . There is certainly no shortage of sporting events for L.A. sports fans tonight…

Early Concerns ?

With the Dodgers currently 5 games behind the Giants, this certainly was not the start the Dodgers and the fans had hoped for. However, we must remind ourselves that this is a long season and that there is certainly more than enough time to get back in the race. Whether we should expect a repeat of last seasons 40-8 run, well, that may be asking much to repeat that feat. Here’s some numbers to look at…

Prior to and after last seasons summer run where they went 40-8, the Dodgers had a combined record of 52-64. Going into tonight’s action , aside from their 7-1 record against the DBacks, they would be as of right now 15-19 against the rest of the Majors, including a 3-7 record against the Giants. So we do know how good this team can really be. We also know too that this team can be really streaky as well. Believe it or not, the Dodgers are actually in better shape at this time then they we’re at this time last year. So yes, it is a little to early for us, including this fan here, to be pushing the panic button right away. A little tweak here and there and in no time we got ourselves a pennant race.

Also, some other numbers to chew on around the bigs

The Cardinals and Nationals, 2 other clubs expected to win their respective NL divisions, are also off to pedestrian starts as they too also sit only 2 games above .500 . In the AL East, the defending champion Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays, the two expected to finish atop the AL East, are both struggling as well with a combined 38-44 record as those 2 as of right now occupy the bottom half of the AL East. 3 of the 4 teams mentioned here we’re last years LCS participants, with the Red Sox winning it all. We certainly don’t expect these teams to continue to struggle, do we ?

Dre’s Scorecard Notes, Tuesday 5/13/2014 vs. Marlins

dodgersfish In my latest of my in-game scorecard notes, we feature this past Tuesday night’s game against the Marlins…

marlinscard Josh Beckett continues to impress after sitting out virtually all of last season, pitching 6 1/3 innings against his former club, striking out 4 and allowing only 1 run. Would Beckett finally get some run support ?

dodgerscard Josh Beckett finally get’s those runs as the Blue would score 5 times in the home 6th, started off by a 2 run double by Hanley Ramirez. The Dodgers would also tack on runs in the 7th and 8th, as they would pull away from the Marlins. This is the 2nd game in a row I would attend that the Dodgers would score in the 6th-8th en route to a win and , Josh Beckett’s first win since 2012.

HanRam getting the scoring started for the Blue in the 6th

Beckett’s strong start

Best of luck to Marlins pitching sensation Jose Fernandez , who underwent successful Tommy John surgery. Here’s to a full recovery and a long career ahead of you .

Dre’s Bytes….Celebrating a Birthday, OK, a Belated Birthday, at The Old Ballgame

IT’S BACK !!! Dre’s ballgame bytes !!! Doin’ it again this season and tonight, we got El Viejo Brandoreno here…

Tuesday Night at The Ravine, 5/13/2014 from Good_Drei on Vimeo.

And later on that evening, with the Dodgers comfortably up in the 8th, as we mess around somewhere inside of Dodger Stadiums hallowed halls…

Somewhere Inside The Ravine from Good_Drei on Vimeo.

I hope you enjoyed your night out at the park celebrating your belated birthday against the Marlins….Marlon !!!

More of Dre’s bytes to come…TO BE CONTINUED. Happy Friday everyone !!! LET’S GO DODGERS !!! GO KINGS GO !!!!