Tag Archives: San Francisco Giants

Your Journey To The Summer of Love, Peace and Baseball

Summer of Love_Haight and Masonic MuralThis month marks the 50th anniversary of The Summer of Love. Should your Stadium Journey guide you on a magical trip toward peace, love and baseball, then you’ll want to take a journey toward The Bay Area. 

June 19-22, Houston Astros at Oakland Athletics

Oakland Coliseum

Baseball’s hottest team will be making their way toward the East Bay as they take on the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum for a four game series. The Oakland Coliseum remains the only venue to house both a MLB and NFL team, with the Raiders all but certain to leave and the A’s looking for new digs. Earlier this season the A’s dedicated their field in honor of the all-time stolen base king and former Athletic Rickey Henderson by naming the field in his honor, Rickey Henderson Field. First pitch for the first three games are 7:05, and the finale at 12:35PM. Parking for the Tuesday evening and all Tuesday games at Oakland is free. 

Rooted In Oakland Mural Rooted In Oakland

With the Raiders all but certain to head for Sin City and the Warriors looking to move across The Bay, the Oakland A’s have launched a new campaign this season, #RootedInOakland in an effort to strengthen fan support. Earlier this season this 8 story mural of the A’s elephant mascot Stomper was unveiled in Downtown Oakland. This massive mural, commissioned by the Oakland Athletics is located about 15 from the Coliseum on 19th and Webster, about a 5 minute walk east from the 19th Street BART Station. 

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June 23-25, New York Mets at San Francisco Giants

The New York Mets pay the City By the Bay a weekend visit as they take on the San Francisco Giants for a 3 game set at AT&T Park. To celebrate the 50th anniversary of The Summer of Love, on Sunday the 25th, the Giants will be giving away 50th Anniversary Summer of Love Blankets to the first 20,000 fans. 

20170425_102907A Celebration of Love

Looking to celebrate your Summer of Love inspired Stadium Journey on the cheap? This Jimi Hendrix inspired walk  through The Haight is one way to celebrate that whimsical summer of 50 years ago. The walk also takes you through the famed Red House where he once took up residency, as well as The Panhandle, where he, along with Jefferson Airplane, The Greatful Dead and other artists performed free concerts. You’ll also want to venture toward Golden Gate Park, especially Hippie Hill. 

The de Young Museum , also located in Golden Gate Park, is featuring The Summer of Love Experience: Art, Fashion, and Rock & Roll, featuring iconic rock posters, photographs, interactive music and light shows, costumes and textiles, ephemera, and avant-garde films. If the walk through The Haight does not inspire you, perhaps this digital story might. Or maybe this “trip” inside the light show may further inspire, or for some of you, take you back in time… 

These are some of the activities happening toward this journey to Peace, Love and Baseball, as you cruise through The City  or both sides of The Bay. 

Stadium Journey Update…

Stadium Journey

As you may know by now, the Stadium Journey site recently suffered a site crash. There is some good news though. The old site is back up and running and many of the stadium reviews dating back to January 2015, particularly the baseball stadium reviews are still available. A revamp to the site is currently in progress and we hope to have the new site up and running by early August. In the meantime, any news items on my end I will feature here on my blog. Stay tuned for more updates…

Extra Innings…

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That’s quite a mural they made for you Stomper…

 

 

 

 

Ballpark Budget Travel…The Megabus Experience…L.A. to The Bay…4/25/2017

Planning ahead for a trip can be a chore. Saving up for one can be even more. Fortunately for me, here in L.A. I have Megabus as an option. With it’s fares as low as $1, you can’t be that. Of course, there’s a caveat. More on that later…

 Union Station, Monday night, 4/24. Patiently waiting…

With the red-eye cheduled to leave at 10 past 11, our bus, originating from Anaheim is running late. Though Megabus’s on time performance can be spotty at times, I’ve never had any serious issues. 

With our bus arriving just past midnight, we are greeted by a somewhat surly driver. After another pickup at Burbank, the ride goes smoothly. 

 Pit stop, Lost Hills. Always nice to step out for some fresh air…

 Gotta take my Magic Gnome to hostile territory…

After a pit-stop, it’s smooth sailing to The Bay making a brief stop at the West Oakland BART Station to drop off Oakland bound passengers. The West Oakland BART stop is a good location for those heading to an A’s game or elsewhere in the East Bay…

Tuesday morning, 4/25. SF Megabus Stop. In the distance, AT&T Park. See the floodlights…

Though we left L.A. about 90 minutes past scheduled departure, we would arrive to Baghdad by the Bay only 45 past our ETA, 15 minutes before 8. With a whole day ahead, arriving 45 minutes late, all things considered wasn’t so bad.  

 Tuesday Morning, McCovey Cove…

20170429_223953 That beanie comes in handy up north. 

As mentioned earlier, Drei had a whole day ahead of him, a whole day to Cruise The Streets of San Francisco

From Market & Powell, through The Haight…The Panhandle to Golden Gate Park, Drei sure got around The Streets of San Francisco…Drei even got to check out The Summer of Love 50th Anniversary Exhibit at the De Young Museum. 

Prior to that evening’s game, I had a chance to take in some sights and eats from The Garden at AT&T Park.

Thanks to some media connections, I was able to make the most out of the minimum. Even without connections, the Megabus still does help on the wallet, especially when you’re just doing this for the day and into the night. 

Our Boys in Blue would take down the hated ones, thanks of course to Kid K, who just seems to thrive on pitching in hostile territory…

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 Time to head home…

The departure time back to L.A. would be a quarter past midnight. As I boarded my bus, the driver who checked off my reservation quipped that I was the $1 man. Apparently, the $1 fare is to that lucky passenger who snatches it first once Megabus releases their sale dates. After that, the fares gradually goes up, starting at $5 to as much as $41 pending ticket sales and date of purchase. Friday and Sunday seem to have the high priced fares as many college students rely on their service. 

In all, including the $1 processing fee each way, my trip to The Bay was a grand total of $4 ! Of course, the caveat to that is you have to know far ahead of time, at least 2 months, when you plan to travel. Also, you must constantly monitor the Megabus site when their fares are released. A good way to do that is to follow them on Twitter on turn on their notification alerts. 

The ride back to L.A was much smoother. A win by The Blue most certainly helped. Heck, we would even arrive 15 minutes ahead of schedule. 

The Megabus experience, with proper preparation, can be an adventure. Honestly, the redeye, which for me, acts as mobile lodging, is geared more for the single and budget minded traveler. Many passengers have shared their tales on Megabus, but it is what it is. For $1 each way, you can’t beat budget travel.

Feeling adventurous enough to do Megabus throughout other parts of the country en route to your ballpark travels? Check out this Megabus Tutorial for more on how to do your ballpark journey on a budget. 

Stay tuned for Drei’s next Megabus adventure…Coming Soon…

Drei’s Tale…Crusin’ The Streets of San Francisco…Turning The Bay Blue

Leading Off…

For those of you old enough to remember that classic crime drama and that opening theme with that voice-over guy…If only I had that voice-over dude to narrate for me…

“The Streets of San Francisco, a DodgerDrei Production…”

Starring…

20170425_090710Magic Gnome

Also Starring

20170425_102414-1 Magic Gnome’s Sidekick, Blue Dog…

With Special Guest Star…

20170425_152836Sourdough Sam

Tonight’s Episode…Turning The Bay Blue

Cruising The Streets…McCovey Cove, Tuesday Morning 4/25/2017

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Drei here…It’s been awhile since Drei has cruised through The Streets of Baghdad By The Bay…Upon arriving Tuesday morning, April 25th, though not as cold as I expected, Drei still comes prepared for that cool San Fran breeze that comes off The Cove…

The streets around McCovey Cove has changed since Leslie Nielsen once cruised this part of town (Yes, I am serious…)

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As you can see, the building next to the Lefty O’Doul Bridge along 3rd Street is still there, used today for mixed use…

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Terry A Francois Blvd, pictured above. The area around McCovey Cove as well as AT&T Park was once an industrial part of town. Today, trees line Terry A Francois Blvd, providing gorgeous views of the cove and the bay beyond…

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The trail along Terry A Francois Blvd behind the trees. In the distance is a statue of the man who the cove is named after, Willie McCovey. A miniature ballfield is next to the statue for future big leaguers…

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The view of AT&T Park from the Lefty O’Doul Bridge…

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The morning sunrise from the portwalk beyond right field. Even as a Dodger fan, I gotta admit, this makes for a lovely morning stroll…

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Hey, it’s the Magic Gnome going for his morning walk…

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Kid K has a great history up here…We’ll check back from The Cove later on…Hey ! Magic Gnome’s sidekick, Blue Dog finally joins in…

Cruising The Streets…Market and Powell

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Yo, Magic Gnome ! Ready to hop on one of those classic cable cars? Car 24 is waiting behind you. 24 is a very popular number among the locals…

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Can’t forget Blue Dog now…

Cruising The Streets…Cruising The Haight

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While Magic Gnome and Blue Dog are enjoying their cable car ride, Drei decides to take a cruise up The Haight. Love is preached a lot in these parts going back to some Summer of Love, 1967…

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The “Quiet Beatle”. One year after The Fab Four would perform at Candlestick Park their final concert ever, George Harrison would pay a visit to The Haight…

20170425_101448 Peace and Love

The visit to The Haight wasn’t exactly what George expected…

From The Haight, we discover that a street is named after a certain Kid K who will be taking the hill that evening. For whatever reason, the names Haight and Clayton go hand in hand up in these parts…

20170425_100258On the corner of Haight and Clayton…

20170425_100915“Yo Magic ! What up Blue Dog? Even up here, they give Kid K the ultimate tribute…”

As we continue to Cruise The Haight, we cruise past the complex where James Marshall Hendrix once resided…

20170425_101623Drei has to wonder, why The Red House and not purple ?

20170425_101929 “Hey Magic! You still a huge fan of Jimi Hendrix? Of course Dog! We used to blast Purple Haze all the time! My good pal from Boston, Larry, hated on Purple Haze every time we blasted it on Manchester and Prairie…”

20170425_102414-1“Yo Magic! What’s the big deal about this corner. DOG! 50 years ago in the Summer of ’67, people came form all over to celebrate Love and Peace on this corner of Haight and Ashbury…Haight? Magic, we’ve heard that word “Haight” a lot from the locals. We’re just trying to turn this town Blue while spreading peace and love…”

Cruising The Streets…The Panhandle

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This park-like path just north of The Haight was the site of some free concerts among others Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead and even Jimi Hendrix…

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Looks like the Magic Gnome is waiting for a one on one pickup game…

” I’ll take anyone one on one…Even that number 30 across The Bay, right here baby !!!”

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“Yo Magic, how ’bout we go two on two against those ballers…Heck Magic, after we take care of these two I say we take on Stephen and his sidekick Draymond…DOG! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU NOT TO BE SUCH A HOT DOG !!!”

Cruising The Streets…Golden Gate Park

But first, a quick cruise back through The Haight…

20170425_095838 The legend…Jerry Garcia

20170425_095850Drei and Jerry, on the corner of Haight and Cole. Hey Jerry, I hear you and some guy named Ben have an ice cream shop down the street on Ashbury…

Hippie?

Or Hipster?

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20170425_120640 Hey look…It’s Sourdough Sam ! That lovable Niner mascot who claims to be both the OG hippie turned hipster. Sammy insists we go with him to Hippie Hill…Summer of Love 50th Anniversary exhibit from the De Young Museum to be featured soon…

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When his Niners weren’t playing games at nearby Kezar Stadium, Sammy spent many a day up on that darn hill, especially in 1967 (I don’t think Sammy remembers anything from ’67….) About that Summer of ’67…Or the months leading to that Summer of Love…

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Hey Sammy, looks like you we’re lost among the throng. All looks calm now compared to 1967…

20170425_152436Never stop preaching Peace and Love…That’s quite a view from Hippie Hill. Speaking of Hills, and Cruising, back in L.A. Kid Marley Marlz has this beat. For some reason this beat from Kid would go perfect up here…

Hey Kid, you look nice and warm back home in sunny L.A….

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Hey Sammy ! Looks like Magic Gnome and Blue Dog came to join you up Hippie Hill. I wonder how their 2 on 2 went…

Cruising The Streets…3rd and King

After cruising the streets from The Cove to The Haight, we now head back to the ballpark on the corner of 3rd and King. As we enter the ballpark, we discover that a garden is located beyond the center field fence…

20170425_183117 Yes folks, that is a garden inside the ballpark. 

20170425_183108Lets check out the garden…

20170425_184119(0)Magic Gnome making himself feel at home. That Giants fan be askin’ “Who let that Dodger Gnome in?”

20170425_18413420170425_184145Even with all the Dodger Blue, our Magic Gnome gives this garden, dare Drei say it, a Magic Blue Touch ?

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Hey! These fellow Dodger fans found you Magic !!! All this cruising got Drei hungry…

20170425_174753That “Dodger Blueberry Shortcake” sure looks good. They must have known we we’re coming…

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Now THAT is a feast ! Drei really liked that cauliflower flatbread on the left. They even have a fennel sausage flatbread here in the garden. Everything was soooooooo good !!!

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Hey, Sourdough Sam even joined us !!!

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HUGE SHOUTOUT to our master-chefs and their staff !!!

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Drei THANKS YOU for all your hospitality, even with all my Dodger Blue on !!! Drei will have a feature on The Garden at AT&T Park both here and on Stadium Journey soon…

20170425_180550 It was quite a day…For Drei…In The City By The Bay…Drei even snagged a BP shot…

20170425_185523It really was quite a day for Drei…Cruising The Streets of San Francisco…Painting the Town Blue…Feeling the love from the locals…From McCovey Cove to The Haight and back (Again we wonder, why all the reminders to Drei, Magic and Blue Dog about Haight?) Oh yeah, all this capped off by a win by The Blue Crew. We sure turned The Bay…Blue

In the City By The Bay, on the days leading to the 50th Anniversary of The Summer of Love, for two cities and teams that have a long storied rivalry, it is possible that between us, Peace and Love (And good food) can exist…

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“Always great to hang with you up here Blue Dog…Good Times Sammy! I won’t tell you buddy Lou Seal that we kicked it together…”

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Time to head back to L.A.

 

 

50 Years Ago…A British Invasion Sweeps Through The Ravine

beatles_dodgerstadium This weekend marks the 50th anniversary of The Beatles 2nd to final ever concert performed at Dodger Stadium on August 28, 1966…

beatlesdodgersposter As both a fan of The Fab Four and The Blue, I’m always proud to share the fact that of all the MLB stadiums The Beatles have performed Dodger Stadium is the lone one standing. Proof that legends never die…YEAH YEAH YEAH…

20160818_160430.jpgThe Fab Four and Blue….(Grammy Award Museum)

Ticket To Ride…

20160818_162113.jpg Ticket stub from August 28, 1966. Grammy Award Museum

As The Blue continues their hopes to punch their own Ticket to Ride toward October, another potential October foe comes to town this weekend as the Cubs, owners of baseball’s best record come in for 3. After dodging Matt Moore’s attempt at a no-hitter The Blue looks to carry their momentum over after taking 2 of 3 over the Giants, maintaining a 2 game lead in the NL West

9th Inning…Hello, Goodbyefb_img_1472162545739.jpg

With the news of the trade of A.J. Ellis to the Phillies for Carlos Ruiz already making its way throughout the headlines, we all want to wish A.J. the best of luck on his way to Philadelphia. A.J. was a true professional behind the dish, giving us 6 plus quality seasons and also playing a big role in Clayton Kershaw’s success. While A.J. may be saying goodbye, as he returns back to The Ravine next season, we’ll always be proud to say…Hello. Speaking of Hello…

As Vin would say…”Why hello there…” Congratulations to Rob and Robin Segedin on their newest addition !!!

Extra Innings…Here They Are

From Dodger Stadium…August 28, 1966…THE BEATLES !!!

10 Years a Good Dre…Jeff Kent…Flashback Friday

picsart_06-18-07.05.15.jpgJeff Kent, Camera Day, June 2006

In his 17 year career, 10 of those years we’re spent in both the Halloween colors and the Dodger Blue, the latter 4 years in Blue. Kent is no stranger when it comes to the post-season drive.  During 9 of those combined 10 seasons with both The Good (Dodgers) and The Bad (Giants), from 1997-2002 with the Giants and from 2005-08 in The Blue Kent would play for playoff contending teams, appearing in post-season play 5 times, 3 with the Giants and 2 with The Blue. 

During his stay in both the Orange and Black and Dodger Blue, it was known that Kent wasn’t always the most rah rah figure in the clubhouse, as both Barry Bonds and Matt Kemp could attest. One thing about Jeff though, he may have had a no nonsense attitude, but you always knew you we’re getting the maximum effort. Jeff Kent would play a big role in one memorable moment late in 2006…

With the Giants losing again last night, since the All-Star break the hated ones have gone 2-10. In that span, the Dodgers have gained 4.5 games in the standings. With the August 1st non-waiver trading deadline looming, the trade rumors continue to swirl as Kansas City Royals closer Wade Davis has now entered the mix. 

Wade Davis

 (Ed Zurga/Getty Images)

Flashback Friday…2006

The 2006 season would be my first season blogging. The 2006 season was one grueling grind. With a modest 42-46 record, The Blue would start off the 2nd half in St. Louis in ominous fashion, losing in 14 the the Red Birds on a Albert Pujols walk-off off Odallis Perez, as chronicled by my then in-game chat blog. Hey, this was 2006, long before Facebook group chats and Twitter and all it’s hashtags. This would be the start of a 1-14 stretch that found The Blue 7 game behind the Padres. Dodger manager Grady Little would later call it an extended all-star break. During that stretch which the offense was dormant to say the least I remember our favorite storyteller Vin after the end of an inning ” No runs, No hits and haven’t we said that a lot lately…”. Ouch

The Dodgers would turn it around, winning 15 of 16 en route to going 41-19 the rest of the season. There would be some magical moments during that stretch. Who could forget the 4 home run game?

The Blue would finish tied for first with the Padres with an 88-74 record. The rules of the day would give the Friars the official NL West Crown. The Blue would go on to lose to the Mets in the NLDS.

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The race is only beginning folks…

 

 

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

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

 

42…The Rookie Shines

42_RetiredNumberTopDeck That, my friends, is where Good Dre in L.A. ranked in the Top 50 MLB Fan Blogs for the month of May, thanks of course to all you Dodgers fans, baseball fans, and readers alike. 

mural We just never get tired of honoring The Real 42…

Around The NL West… The Rookie Shines

Jun 12, 2016; San Francisco, CA, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Julio Urias (7) throws a pitch during the fifth inning against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kenny Karst-USA TODAY Sports (Julio Urias. Photo Credit, Kenny Karst, USA Today Sports)

In a series that was otherwise a bust, the one bright spot was the emergence of our talented rookie pitching sensation Julio Urias. Making his 4th big league start, Urias pitched perhaps his finest game yet, going 5 1/3 innings, striking out 7. His only blemish was a 2 run home run to Brandon Belt. Unfortunately, the Dodgers, aside from a Joc Pederson solo shot to McCovey Cove, could not muster any offense as they would fall to the hated ones 2-1. 

In defeat, Urias showed a lot more poise and confidence. Having faced 3 of baseball’s top teams in his 4 starts, Urias continues to show growth. He may not have a dent in the W column yet, but last night’s stellar performance has proved the kid belongs in the bigs. 

With last night’s loss, the Dodgers now find themselves 5 back of the Giants in the NL West. In spite of some stellar pitching performances including the bullpen, sans Jansen’s 3rd blown save over the weekend, the Dodgers still continue to find their offensive rhythm. 

The Blue Crew continue their road trip with 3 in Arizona as they face former Dodger Zack Greinke in his first appearance against his former mates. After a slow start, Zack  enters tonight’s contest with an 8-3 record with an E.R.A. of 3.84.