Tag Archives: San Diego Padres

Welcome Back Matt…As If You Ever Left…

20180216_104924-1.jpgKicking it with The Bison during Fabulous 50th, December ’08

Hey there Bison! Welcome back ! You’re looking better than ever there…(OK, let’s not get too carried away…) But we can’t deny he’s looking better than expected, right?

When we traded for you back in December we all thought you we’re going to be a key piece for The Blue, just not in the way we’ve seen through Spring Training. When we picked you up from the A-T-L, you know, that so-called baseball town you always wanted to play for, we all thought you’d be a key piece for a trade toward a team in the Junior Circuit so that all parties involved, you included, would be satisfied, we’d get another pitching arm and you, well, at this point in your career you’d be content to be a DH, right? I mean, it’s not as if we’re getting the 5 tool shoulda been 2011 MVP Matt Kemp…

dreispics046.jpgMatt Kemp, August ’11. Looking sharp in those throwback threads…

I often said that you we’re the most gifted of that group from’06 that included you, Dre, Loney and Russell Martin. When Russ and James left, I still had hope that you and Dre would be the last ones celebrating during some late October/early November evening….

FB_IMG_1520639441603.jpgOh yeah…Good Times with Dre and Bison, even Juan Pierre would join in…2009

Though you and Dre would make it to the post-season 5 times together, you 2 just couldn’t quite reach The Fall Classic. There we’re some bad breaks along the way too, the ineptness of The McCourt regime, a Jonathan Broxton pitch or two…A break here a break there and maybe you and Dre have not one but two World Series rings together…

Heading South Down I-5…

20150821_213112.jpg August ’15. You don’t look to happy there Matt… Perhaps you’re not thinking you shoulda gone hoops at Oklahoma…

20150821_180723.jpg Blue didn’t forget about you Bison…(Time for a new cap, Drei?)

20150906_171046.jpgKid N Drei would never forget about you…

20160522_130953.jpgHey there Matt…You got that smile back…(May ’16. This Sunday afternoon affair would last almost 6 hours, with Bison going 0 for 7 against his old mates…)

Kemp would spend close to two season from ’15 to July of ’16 down I-5. Though he would put up some good individual offensive stats, as a team, the Friars would struggle…

With the Friars deciding to move another direction, Matt would be traded to the Braves in late July ’16…

“Hello Atlanta….”

In a piece you penned in The Players Tribune, Hello Atlanta, you are quoted as saying you never really played in a baseball town. You we’re even quoted as saying the Hollywood lifestyle got you sidetracked. While you are hardly the first (And likely not the last) athlete to get caught up in the Hollywood scene, you words penned did not set in well with the SoCal natives on down toward San Diego

Ah, but as we all know, any player can be moved at any moment. Having said that, no one could have seen you back in Dodger Blue. Even with the trade with Atlanta, we all thought we’d have you wearing a jersey of an AL team by now. But as of now, you’re here to stay. 

You may have said some words that may not have pleased some here in the Southland , even offering an explanation for your words ,stating this was a Lakers town when you arrived in ’06 and it was all about Shaq and Kobe. (In truth, you are half right. But Shaq was already gone in ’06…). But you know, we all say things that at some point we regret. 

As of now, it looks like The Bison is here to stay. For now. From the looks of things, it just may be a good thing. Sure this is not The Bison of 2011. Sure he probably won’t be the everyday left fielder. Sure, there’s a good chance he may not be around after July 31st. 

But for now, Bison is here to stay.  Who know, he just may be the missing piece to bringing home the big prize that’s eluded us since ’88. I always said in my heart that he and Dre would some day be the last one’s dancing. 

Matt won’t be the focal point in this team. That’s ok. If Matt is here to stay, if he can give us even some of the numbers of ’11, with an occasional clutch hit while patrolling left field for, what, Pederson? 

After 3 seasons without no Bison roaming the outfield in Chavez Ravine, does it feel like he ever left?

Welcome Home, Matt…

kemp (Kickin’ it with The Bison, Santa Monica, February ’11. This now makes this the what, un-teenth time i’ve used this pic?)

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It’s That Time of Year…Magic Number Time…24

In their quest for their 4th straight NL West Division title, the Magic Number Countdown is back. With The Blue up 3 games on the Giants, the Magic Number to clinch their 4th straight division crown is 24. As we get closer to October, though many of you are familiar with how the Magic Number works, for those who arent, you subtract 1 for each Dodgers win and/or Giants loss. So it is possible that 2 numbers can be knocked off in the same day, especially on days we meet the hated ones, which we will be doing 6 more times. As the numbers decrease, I will be posting a new number paying tribute to a random Dodger who wore that “Magic Number”. So, let’s start with today’s number 24. 

24 Walter Alston

WaltAlston

Walter Alston would manage The Blue in both Brooklyn and Los Angeles for 23 seasons from 1954-1976, guiding the Dodgers to 7 World Series appearances, including their first and only title in Brooklyn (1955) and a 4 game sweep of the the Yankees in 1963. Known as “The Quite Man” ( Not a stretch to say he was the opposite of Lasorda…) Alston would be elected to the Hall of Fame in 1983

Back To Route 66…

This 3-run blast by Yasiel Puig would give the Blue a 3-2 lead over the Friars. Though the Friars would take the lead, the Blue would rally once more, capped off by this 2-run shot by former Friar Yasmani Grandal, who seems to enjoy  torturing his former mates...

A Dream Come True…Jose De Leon

Of course, the story of the day had to be rookie Jose De Leon strike out 9 in 6 innings his big league debut. In true Dodger fashion, it was the kid’s dream to not only make it to the bigs but to have none other than Vin call his game, a dream many of us would still like to have. 

Extra Innings…Flashback…Sunday at the Park With Kid N Drei

KID N DREI_MON NIGHT WE LOVE LA

Yes Kid…WE LOVE L.A !!! Only 10 more home games Kid. We gotta come up with one more tale, even if it’s one that you can laugh at Drei about…Check out Kid Marley’s tribute to Vinny…

 

 

 

 

10 Years a Good Dre…Steve Garvey

picsart_07-08-06.28.12.jpg Steve Garvey, Camera Day, May 2008

As we head toward the All-Star game taking place in San Diego, also with the Padres finishing their 4 game series with The Blue, today’s 10 Years a Good Dre features a popular Dodger among the fans who wore the Dodger Blue for 14 seasons from 1969-82 before finishing his career as a Padre. Garvey was a 10x all-star from 1974-81 and twice with the Friars in ’84-85. Garvey to this day holds the NL record for consecutive games played at 1207. However, Garvey’s, and perhaps the Padres franchise most memorable moment may have been in Game 4 of the NLCS, Don Drysdale with the call… 

Of course, it would be a former Dodger with the call. I wonder if ever got a chance to call a memorable home run that involved one in a Dodger Blue uniform…

wp-1468126570671.jpeg Garvey’s retired number…As a Padre. I don’t see this being retired by The Friars if not for that home run in ’84. Many a Dodger fan still feels his number 6 in The Blue needs to be retired as well. Oh yeah, like the Dodger Blue touch I gave number 6 ?

wp-1468125673218.jpeg With the legend himself, April ’15

Blue Stars Shining Bright In America’s Finest City…

Dodgers_All Stars

Congratulations to Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw and Corey Seager on being nominated to the 2016 All-Star Game. The big focus of course will be on Corey Seager, our rookie SS who’s having himself a memorable season. Seager, the team leader in home runs, will be participating in this years Home Run Derby. This will mark the 2nd consecutive year a Dodger will be participating in the HRD, with Joc Pederson coming in 2nd last year. This will also be the 2nd consecutive season a Dodger rookie is taking part. I can only guess this is a first in team history.

Lots has been debated about the so-called Home Run Derby Curse . I along with many Dodger fans have been skeptical as well. Bill Plaschke is not so thrilled about Corey taking part either, pointing out Joc Pederson’s 2nd half swoon. However, Joc had already been on a swoon before the all-star break. It is debatable, but hey, this should not stop us from cheering the rookie on, right ? From Dodger fans i’ve spoke to, not many are concerned that his numbers will be affected come the 2nd half, when we’ll really need his productivity. Should Corey go in a slump, something all hitters go through eventually, it would just be a case of the league catching up to him. 

9th Inning…Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn

TonyGwynnStatue

 

 

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 Notes on a Scorecard, 5/22/2016

Drei’s scorecard notes…5/22/2016…Dodgers 9 Padres 5 (17)

Where do I begin ? If you we’re fortunate enough to have been there yesterday as I was, no doubt you’ll understand that it’s going to take more than a few notes to recap these cards. So instead, coming later, I will present Drei’s Tales from a Scorecard… 

In the meantime, here’s 17 facts from yesterday’s 17 innings that saw 127 official at-bats, among other facts and stats. Yasiel Puig would have a huge role in yesterday’s win, in more ways than one. For now, i’ll just focus on this one…

On a personal note, in all the year’s i’ve attended Dodgers/Padres games at Petco this would be my 5th extra inning game. My record in extras down south ? 4-1. 3 of those games I we’re with family or friends. Prior to yesterday, I went solo on one of those occasions, April 29th, 2007. How many innings ? Of course, 17 innings, tying a personal record. The starters that day? Derek Lowe and David Wells. Final Score, Dodgers 5 Padres 4. The winning pitcher that afternoon ? Chad Billingsley. That afternoon, I Came Down With Baseball Fever

4/29/2007…

 

Back to the Future, 5/22/2016…

20160522_130215.jpg Turning Petco Blue…

20160522_142536.jpgMy view from the 3rd Base Field Level seats…

20160522_131018.jpgKickin’ it with an old pal of ours… I’d say it was more than time well spent…

9th Inning… Paying Respect to a Legend

20160522_125401.jpg

With Mr. Padre, Tony Gwynn

 

10 Years a Good Dre…From The Ravine, Down I-5 and Back…

picsart_05-21-05.27.35.jpg Drei kickin’ it with our former outfielder and future skipper, Dave Roberts, Camera Day, 4/30/2006. Dave would roam the outfield of Chavez Ravine from 2002 to July 2004 before being traded to the Red Sox, where he would play a key role in Boston’s first World Championship in 86 years. Pictured here with the Padres, he would roam the outfield at Petco Park from 2005-06. Roberts even as a Friar was always very cordial toward us Dodger fans. Good to have you in charge of the home 3rd dugout. Yeah, we’re struggling right now, our bullpen has been of no help recently, but hey, it’s a long season…

Drei’s Sunday Tale…Mini Puig and Jackie

Puig_Jackie Welcome Back Mini Puig ! We see you’re checking out the Jackie Robinson tribute at the UCLA Hall of Fame. Like our skipper, Jackie wore both the Blue and Gold and the Dodger Blue…

20160220_125335 Dodger Blue and Blue and Gold…

20160220_125841.jpg Can never pay enough tributes to Mr. Robinson…

 

 

 

 

Dodgers to Welcome The New Skip…Dodgers Fans Divided…

In honor of SC-UCLA week, here’s a brief spotlight on two former ballplayers on who have worn both the school colors and the Dodger Blue as either player or coach…

Dodgers_Mark McGwire Mark McGwire, USC, 1983-4. The former Trojan would play 16 MLB seasons with the Oakland A’s and St. Louis Cardinals, setting the than single-season home run record in 1998 with 70. He would don the Dodger Blue in 2013 as the hitting coach. He is currently in talks with the San Diego Padres for the bench coach position, the position vacated by the former UCLA Bruin and next Dodger manager…

dodgers_dave roberts Dave Roberts. Roberts would don the Blue as a player from 2002-04. Midway through the 2004 season, Roberts would be traded to the Red Sox, playing an instrumental role with Boston, remembered fondly in Red Sox Nation for The Steal, helping launch the Red Sox from a 3 games to none deficit to the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS en route to their first World Series title since 1918.  From 2010-15, Roberts had been the first base coach then the bench coach for the San Diego Padres. The managerial position had come down between Roberts and  Gabe Kapler, who had been the early favorite to win the position.

All along I had been in favor of Roberts over Kapler, a sentiment echoed by Fox Sports Ken Rosenthal. Kapler will make a fine manager some day, but to me what it came down to is on-field MLB coaching experience, which Roberts has 6 seasons of, making him the right choice for this current Dodger team.

2006_DAVE ROBERTS With Dave Roberts, Camera Day, PETCO Park, 4/13/2006. WELCOME HOME DAVE !!!

Away From The Diamond…Dodgers Fans Divided

It’s that time of year again. The one event that divides us Dodgers fans. The SC-UCLA game. UCLA has won the last 3 against the Men of Troy. For the 2nd time in 4 years, this one will be for the Pac 12 South and the right to play Stanford for the Pac 12 Championship.

It has been a crazy season in the Pac 12. Both SC and UCLA enter this contest with identical 5-3 conference records, in a 3 way tie with Utah, whom both UCLA and USC have defeated.  Winner of this game will be crowned the Pac-12 South Champion and will also face Stanford in the Pac 12 Championship game for the right to represent the Pac 12 in The Rose Bowl.

As we all know, anything can happen in these rivalry games. Both SC and UCLA have endured their roadblocks en route to this match-up. Statistically, both teams practically mirror each other, particularly on offense with UCLA having a slight edge in the running game while USC maintains an edge defensively against the run while UCLA  has the edge against the pass.

This game has the potential to be a high scoring game, with USC QB Cody Kessler and UCLA QB Josh Rosen being very highly touted. SC’s secondary has been suspect, while UCLA has at times had trouble stopping the power running game. Drei’s prediction… UCLA 38 USC 35. ( A game winning FG by Ka’imi Fairbairn ? )

The Victory Bell

The prize that’s awarded to the winning school…

Past High Scoring Thrillers…

1990. USC 45 UCLA 42. This would be a heart-breaker for me, as SC QB Todd Marinovich and UCLA QB Tommy Maddox would stage an epic 4th quarter, which both teams would combine for 42 points, capped off by Todd Marinovich’s TD game winning TD pass to Johnnie Morton with less than 20 seconds to play…

1996. UCLA 48 USC 41, Double OT. UCLA, down as much as 17 halfway through the 4th quarter, would stage a furious rally, capped off by Skip Hicks game tying TD under a minute to go. USC would have a chance to win at the end of regulation, but Adam Abrams would have his 41 yard FG attempt blocked. Skip Hicks would score the eventual game winning TD in the 2nd overtime, capping off a furious rally for UCLA, earning them their 6th straight win in the series…

HICKS TD Who is that guy in the blue hat greeting Skip Hicks on his game winning TD in the ’96 thriller ?