Tag Archives: Steve Finley

My Favorite Dodgers-Giants Moments…From Vin

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Over the years you’ve told us many a tale about a rivalry between the North and the South…The tales have brought joy and heartbreak to both sides of our proud state. It was up north on the final day of the 1982 season where I got my first taste of this classic rivalry…

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Even among longtime bitter rivals, you are given the greatest amount of respect, as told by longtime broadcaster and the voice of the Giants, Jon Miller…

Photo courtesy Jon Miller (Vin Scully with Giants broadcasters, L-R, Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow, Jon MIller and Dave Flemming, 8/25/2016 via Jon Miller)

The stories over the years are countless. They resonate beyond Dodgers fans…Giants fans…baseball fans all over…

Yup. It’s hard to believe that in the 67 years you’ve told your tales, 37 of them that I’ve had the pleasure to listen to, everything has come full circle…

Drei’s 2 Favorite Dodgers-Giants Moments From Vin…

Like many of you, I have my share of more than just 2 Vin Scully moments involving the Good ( Dodgers ) and The Bad ( Giants )…Moments that I was there for…

2. October 3, 1993…103 Wins and Not a Scene In The Bay…

Just like 1982, the Giants had to win the final game of the season to force a one-game playoff against the Braves for the NL West crown. The Dodgers, particularly 1993 NL Rookie of the Year Mike Piazza, had other ideas…

The Dodgers would torch the Giants 12-1, leaving the hated ones one game behind the Braves. 1993 would be the last year of the pre Wild Card era. In spite of having baseball’s 2nd best record in 1993, the Jints we’re nowhere to be seen in late October, much to the delight of this fan, and the dismay of those who made the long trek down I-5, only to make the longer trek back home…( Perhaps that’s what Nancy Bea meant when she serenaded our visitors with Do You Know The Way to San Jose…). 

1. October 2, 2004…Wherever It Lands…

The Giants, 2 back of The Blue with 2 to play, carried a 3-0 lead into the home 9th. The Dodgers would rally to tie, then Steve Finley slammed his way into Dodger Blue lore…

The slam would give the Dodgers their first division title in 9 years. The hated ones would be knocked out of post-season play the next day…

It really hasn’t set in yet that this weekend is your final curtain call. It’s quite fitting that your final call comes with these two storied rivals on the field…The Dodgers and the Giants…One getting ready for a post-season run…One fighting for a post-season run..Yet it was you (And Joe Morgan, ironically Jon Miller’s longtime EPSN Sunday Night Baseball partner…) introduced this kid to the Dodgers-Giants rivalry…

Extra Innings…A Sunday Tale…From The LFP…With Kid N Drei…

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Kid: Drei, I’m gonna miss Vin more than I’ll miss Kobe…

Hey Kid…How ’bout a tune paying tribute to Vin…

(Best when listened with headphones…)

 

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Magic Number Fun Facts…3

wpid-screenshot_2014-09-21-21-09-47-1.png Steve Sax

Steve Sax, also know to many as Saxie, would don the Dodger Blue from 1981-88 .  During his 8 seasons with the Dodgers, Sax would be the last of 4 consecutive Dodgers Rookie of the Year winners from 1979-82.  Sax would be nominated to the All-Star game as a Dodger in 1982, ’83 and ’86.  A solid fixture at 2nd base, Sax of course will always be remembered for his defensive misfortunes in 1983, the season he committed 30 errors.  Pedro Guerrero, not exactly a handiest 3rd baseman either before returning to left field, once said ” First I pray to God that nobody hits the ball to me.  Then I pray to God that no one hits the ball to Steve Sax ”  

Other Dodgers to Wear Number 3

Willie Davis

Alex Cora

Cesar Izturis

and currently…

CARL CRAWFORD Carl Crawford

Down Memory Lane With Dre, 2004

Of all Dodgers/Giants games I’ve attended in over 30 years, this of course is without a doubt my most memorable.  With the slam by Steve Finley, the Dodgers would win their first division title in 9 years , and their first in a non-strike season since 1988.  

FERNIE On this day, 1986, Fernando Valenzuela would win his 20th game, beating the Houston Astros at the Astrodome 9-2, becoming the first Mexican born pitcher to win 20 games in the bigs.  Thank you Dodgers-LowDown !!!  For all your Dodger fun facts and Dodger related news, follow the Dodgers-LowDown on their facebook page.  Tell them Drei here sent you !!!  

DLD_9222014 Round 1 of 3 begins tonight, with Dan Haren taking on Jake Peavy at The Ravine.  The Dodgers are coming off a 4 game series against the Cubs in which they took 3 of 4, with the bullpen by committee doing just enough yesterday as the offense lifted the Blue over the Cubs 8-5.  Haren, who was originally slated to start yesterday, was held back so that he could start tonight’s huge game against the hated ones as the Blue looks to move one step closer to clinching another NL West title.  The Giants come into Dodger Stadium limping, having been swept over the weekend in San Diego by the Padres.

wpid-img_20140916_222740.jpg Just a reminder, the Dodgers want a Blue Out for these 3 games against the hated ones !!!  Time for a DODGER BLUE OUT !!!   

 

Honoring Milestones Today

On this day, 1964, Sandy Koufax pitches his 3rd career no-hitter . Koufax would finish with a total of 5 career no-hitters, his final one being a perfect game . Also during the early 60’s, Koufax would also own a motel of his own in West Hollywood. From L.A. Observed

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Celebrating 10000

Dodgers_10000wins Tonight the Dodgers will be celebrating another milestone moment as they commemorate the franchise’s 10000 plus wins, giving the first 40,000 fans in attendance this commemorative pin. I’m sure you all have a favorite moment from a game you attended. What was your favorite ? My favorite ?

And of course, we find ourselves at this moment 7 behind the hated ones. As we all know, as much as the Blue Crew has struggled this season, the season is far from over. From Bruce Jenkins of the San Francisco Chronicle, we just may see another Epic Finish between these two storied franchises. It’s a long summer folks. Plenty of baseball still to be played.

42 and 42

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Also on this day, 1972, for the first time in franchise history the Dodgers would retire players numbers. Sandy Koufax, Roy Campbell’s and Jackie Robinson would be the first Dodgers to ever have their numbers retired. This would be Jackie Robinson’s final appearance ever at Dodger Stadium.

Team L.A.

For you L.A. sports fans doing double duty tonight, and I know there are a lot of you out there….

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Good luck to the L.A. Kings in their quest to bring Lord Stanley back to L.A. for the 2nd time in 3 years, as they take on the New York Rangers in the 2014 Stanley Cup Finals .

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….

First Plastic Bags, Now Ticket Stubs, and Other Thought’s from Dre….

For those who just can’t wait for the first pitch…

kershaw_ellis Pitchers and catchers report in 2 days….

Also…

puddlepic Yes folks, that is an actual rain puddle behind Blue . Yup, L.A. finally got some rain today. Enjoy this rain, said no one ever…. Because according to this 10 day forcast , this will be the last we’ll see of it for a while, assuming the 10% chance for tomorrow is accurate. I really can’t remember a time here in Los Angeles, or throughout the state of California, where we did not have any kind of heavy rain during such a stretch between December and now, this 6th day of February. So our drought continues …..

No Plastic, Now No Paper ?

As many of you fellow Angelinos know by now, as of January 1st of this year, Los Angeles became the largest city in the nation to ban the use of plastic bags in grocery stores and other retail outlets, most charging 10 cents per paper bag or offering the choice to buy a re-usable bag. Now comes the news that Dodger season ticket holders will be going paperless, as the team has announced a paperless ticket program for 2014 , much to the dismay of fellow Dodger fan blogger Emma over at Dodger Blue World and i’m sure many other Dodger season ticket holders.

That’s not to say the team is going entirely paperless, as they will continue to sell hard tickets at the box office. What’s was that I just said, hard tickets ? How many of you still collect your hard tickets ? How many of you carry such fond memories of your hard tickets like Jon Weisman over at Dodger Insider ?

Above, on the left, is a ticket stub, yes, that is an actual stub, from one of the automated will-call kiosks. I wouldn’t blame you if you confused it for an ATM receipt. This was from August 1, 2008, Manny Ramirez’s first game as a Dodger. To the right, the standard print at home ticket from Game 5 of last years NLCS . Nothing against the print at home option, and yes, it is a huge convenience especially when buying online from other season ticket holders from StubHub. I just say, give the season ticket holders their hard tickets as well, for memories sake !!!

As for my ticket stub collection…

Above, from Opening Week , 2008 . On the left, the Coliseum exhibition game against the Red Sox, and Opening Day against the Giants, the 50th anniversary of Dodgers baseball in L.A.

A couple of from the road. To the left, Opening Week at the Giants new yard, Pac Bell Park, in 2000. And what a way to help open our bitter rivals new yard, with a 3 game sweep !!! To the right, a season ticket from old Busch Stadium’s final season in 2005 with Albert Pujols on the stub .

Back to 2008. Kershaw’s MLB debut, and in both stubs, Dre’s first walk-off hit, and Dre’s first walk-off homer…

And my favorite one. From October 2, 2004

TicketStub_2004FinleySlam

What happened that afternoon ?

Has it been 10 years already Finley ? Baseball can’t come back soon enough….

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26 Years and Counting Since 1988, Part 2, 2000 and Beyond

 This is Part 2 of a post from last year originally titled 25 Years and Counting Since 1988, now retitled 26 Years…. , briefly recapping each season from 2000 all the way to this past year .  In the meantime, who would have imagined a World Series between Kansas City and the Giants .  Yeah, it hurts,  but the Giants earned their way in folks.  Want some other painful facts ?  This is now the Giants 5th World Series appearance since our last one , yup, 26 years ago in 1988….

 

Last we looked back upon the 90’s. The four Rookies of the Year winners, the transition from the O’Malley’s to the Fox ownership. Yeah, the 90’s weren’t exactly the most glorious times for our Boys in Blue we’re they ? Certainly the new millenium would see some brighter days.

Outside The Yard

Glory would indeed return for L.A. sports fans but not yet for the Dodgers as the Lakers would make it to the NBA Finals 7 times, winning in 5 of the 7 appearances, the first 3 with the Kobe-Shaq duo and the final 2 with the Kobe-Gasol tandem.

shaqkobetitles Shaq and Kobe, 2000-2002

kobeGasol_titles Kobe and Gasol, 2009 and 2010

Around the U.S. , George W. Bush, son of the former President, and Vice President Al Gore hold a virtual dead-heat for the presidency, with a disputed vote in Florida holding off the naming of the winner of the President Election until the Supreme Court of the United States voted in favor of Bush on December 12. This ruling gave Florida to the Bush camp by a 527 vote majority, and a victory in the Electoral College, 271-266, despite gaining less popular votes than Gore. 8 years later, Barack Obama would make history, becoming the United States first ever African-American president.

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September 11, 2001 – A day we will all never forget…. Islamic fundamentalist terrorists hijack four U.S. airliners and crash them into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center in New York City. The attack of two planes levels the World Trade Center and the crash of one plane inflicts serious damage to the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia, causing nearly 3,000 deaths. The fourth plane is heroically crashed by passengers into a Shanksville, Pennsylvania cornfield when they learn of the plot, preventing destruction of another structure in Washington, D.C., supposed to be the White House or the Capitol building. The plot is attributed to the Al-Qaeda organization led by Osama Bin Laden.

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remembering-9-11

And baseball has always been a great escape from the world’s realities

2000 86-76 2nd Place

Talented but surly outfielder Raul Mondesi would be traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for local star Shawn Green. . Eric Karros became the L.A. Dodger all-time leader with his 229th home run and Dave Hansen set a Major League record with seven pinch-hit home runs. Kevin Brown led the league in E.R.A. with 2.58 . All these accomplishments would lead to a 2nd place finish, 11 games behind the Giants. Davey Johnson would be fired as manager after only 2 seasons as skipper of The Boys in Blue.

2001 86-76 3rd Place

In Jim Tracy’s first season as the Dodgers manager, the Dodgers, in 1st place through much of the summer, would finish 6 games behind the eventual World Champion Arizona Diamondbacks for the NL West. Shawn Green would set an all-time Dodgers record by smashing 49 home runs.

shawngreen

2002 92-70 3rd Place

Shawn Green would hit 42 home runs, becoming the first L.A. Dodger to have back-to-back seasons of 40 or more, Four of those home runs came in one game, May 23 at Milwaukee, tying a Major League record. In that game, Green set a Major League mark for total bases (19). Eric Gagne, in his first season as a closer, would start his record setting save streak in late October that would last into the 2004 season while also setting a club mark with 52 saves. However, the Dodgers would miss out again on post-season play, finishing 7 games behind the defending World Champion DBacks and 3 back of the hated Giants for the NL Wild Card.

2003 85-77 2nd Place

The Dodgers would make another run for a postseason berth as the Wild Card team, but once again, they would fall short, winning 85 games, finishing a distant 16 games behind the Giants for the NL West and 6 games behind Wild Card winner and 2003 World Champion Florida Marlins, who had a huge contribution in Game 4 from some 20 year old rookie named Miguel Cabrera. Eric Gagne became the first Dodger to earn the NL Cy Young Award since 1988, converting all 55 of his save opportunities and entered 2004 with 63 consecutive saves over a two-year period. Gagne had a 1.20 ERA in 77 games and struck out 137 batters in 82.1 innings

t1_gagne Welcome To The Jungle

2004 93-69 1st Place, NL West Champions

Prior to the off-season, Frank and Jamie McCourt would purchase the Dodgers for $430 Million. The McCourts would own the Dodgers until the 2011 season ( I’ll keep my commentary to myself on this one…) . On the field the Dodgers were led offensively by Adrian Beltre, who won a Silver Slugger Award for leading the Major Leagues with 48 home runs. Eric Gagne won his second consecutive National League Rolaids Relief Man championship after establishing the all-time Major League record with 84 consecutive saves. The NL West would not be decided until the 2nd to final game of the season. With the Giants 2 games back with 2 to play against The Blue, they would enter the home 9th up 3-0. A win by the Giants, and they close to within 1 game of the NL West leading Dodgers heading to the final game of the season. After tying the game at 3, Steve Finley steps to the plate…

The Dodgers would win the NL West for the first time since 1995, leaving the hated Giants 2 games behind. The Dodgers would bow out to the St Louis Cardinals in the NLDS, as Jose Lima would pitch a complete game shutout in Game 4, the first Dodgers post season win since winning it all in 1988.

2005 71-91 4th Place

The 2005 season started off promising as the Dodgers would storm out of the gate with a 12-2 start. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got as they w finished the 2005 season 71-91, their worst record since the 99-loss season of 1992, only 11 games out of the first place Padres, who won the division with a not-so impressive 82-20 mark. They finished in fourth place for the first time since 1993. The roster was decimated by 24 disabling injuries and the club used 20 rookies. After 4 seasons as the skipper, Jim Tracy would be fired, as well as GM Paul DePodesta, who took the brunt of the blame from the fans for his frugal ways of operation.

2006 88-74 1st Place Tie, Wild Card

After falling 8 games below .500 into late July, the Dodgers would finish on a torrid 41-19 mark, tied for first with the Padres for the NL West, earning themselves a wild-card berth. The highlight of the season would come in mid-September as the Blue, down 4 to the Padres heading to the home 9th, would belt 4 consecutive home runs, by Jeff Kent, J.D. Drew, Russell Martin, and Marlon Anderson. After falling behind in the 10th, Nomar Garciaparra would end it all with a 2-run shot. The Dodgers would be swept in the NLDS by the New York Mets.

2007 82-80 4th Place

The Dodgers would have the best record in the National League through 100 games, but a late season swoon and some clubhouse dissension, much of it between old-school veteran Jeff Kent and up and coming not quite in his prime Matt Kemp, would leave the Dodgers 8 games behind the Arizona Diamondbacks. Grady Little would be dismissed at Dodgers manager after 2 seasons, making way for former Yankees manager Joe Torre.

2008 84-78 1st Place

A late-season surge, aided by the acquisition of Red Sox castoff Manny Ramirez, unleashing the most amazing two months of offense the Dodgers have ever seen, hitting .396 down the stretch would lead the Dodgers to NL West title and their 3rd post-season appearance since 2004 with a modest 84-78 record. Chad Billingsley led the club with 16 wins while Andre Ethier and Matt Kemp established themselves as every-day outfielders and James Loney drove in 90 runs. The Dodgers would sweep the heavily favored Cubs in the NLDS ( They really are cursed, aren’t they ) before bowing out to the eventual World Champion Phillies in the NLCS in 5 games. The turning point would be Matt Stairs moster shot off Jonathan Broxton with 2 outs in the top 8th, giving the Phillies a 7-5 lead that they would not surrender. Cole Hammel’s and company would shut it down the next evening. With Broxton as our future closer and the heat he throws, you would want him on the hill should another big game be on the line, right ?

2009 95-67 1st Place

The 2009 season would not only be one of the more exciting season for the Dodgers , it would also be remembered for the 50-game suspension received by Manny Ramirez for violating the MLB drug agreement. Andre Ethier took over as the main run producer with 31 homers ( 4 of those homers in walk-off fashion) and 106 RBIs, with Matt Kemp adding 26 homers, 101 RBIs, 34 steals. The Dodgers would sweep the Cardinals in 3 straight in the NLDS to set up a rematch with the Phillies in the NLCS. Just as in Game 4 the previous year, Jonathan Broxton , 36 saves in 2009, would be thrust into the spotlight once again. With one out in the home 9th, up came a struggling Matt Stairs. Now certainly Broxton didn’t have this on his mind…

He would walk Stairs in 4 pitches, none of them close to the plate. After a hit batsman and a infield pop, with 2 outs, clinging to a 1 run lead, 1 out away from tying the NLCS at 2 games apiece, up came Jimmy Rollins…

The Phillies, like in ’08, would wrap it up in 5, this time they had the privledge of celebrating in front of their home fans. Broxton, in spite of making the all-star team in 2010, would to this day be remembered by most Dodger fans for 2 pitches we all wish he could have back.

So, as exciting as 2009 was, it would end on a sour note. But hey, with back to back division titles and NLCS appearances and 4 playoff appearances in 6 years under the McCourt regime, we’re certainly that much closer to bringing home our first World Series title since ’88 right ?

2010 80-82 4th Place

After going 49-39 in the first half, the Dodgers would finish 12 games under .500 the rest of the way and at 80-82, finish under .500 for the first time since 2005. Matt Kemp would only hit .248 for the season, and Jonathan Broxton was never the same after a 48 pitch meltdown against the Yankees in June. ( Though as I said most Dodgers fans will only remember him for two pitches ) Clayton Kershaw would become the ace of the future, finishing the season with a 2.91 ERA. They would finish 12 back of the eventual World Champion Giants, thier first in San Francisco in 52 years. ( Yes, there was a reason I posted that fact !!! )

2011 82-79 3rd Place

The 2011 season would be marred by the senseless beating of Giants fan Brian Stow in the Dodger Stadium parking lot, as well as being placed in bankruptcy protection no thanks to Frank and Jamie, attendance would fall south of 3 million for the first time since 1992 in a non-strike shortened season. After being as much as 14 games below .500, the Dodgers would put on a late surge, not enough to post a threat for a post-season spot, but enough to put them over the .500 mark for the season. Clayton Kershaw won the Cy Young Award and Matt Kemp just missed a batting Triple Crown and the MVP Award while playing for new manager Don Mattingly. Kershaw, Kemp and Andre Ethier were All-Stars and won Gold Glove Awards.

2012 86-76 2nd Place

On May 1st, it was official. The days of the McCourt regime we’re over !!! The arrival of new ownership – Guggenheim Baseball Management, headed by controlling partner Mark Walter and partners Magic Johnson, Stan Kasten, Peter Guber, Bobby Patton and Todd Boehly, would take over full operation of the franchise. In first place for much of the season and led by defending Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, the pitching staff ranked third in the Major Leagues in ERA and opposing batting average, but the offense struggled while centerpiece Matt Kemp battled injuries. In spite of the late season acquisitions of Hanley Ramirez, Shane Victorino, Adrian Gonzalez, Josh Beckett, Brandon League, Joe Blanton, Randy Choate, Nick Punto and Carl Crawford ( Crawford was on the DL in ’12 ), the Dodgers would finish 2nd to the Giants once again as the hated ones would win their 2nd WS title in 3 years.

2013 92-70 1st Place

After falling as much as 12 games below .500 as late as June, the Dodgers would go on an unbelievable 40-8 from June 22 to the middle of August, overcoming a 9.5 game deficit to the DBacks en route to the NL West crown. At one point the club won 15 consecutive road games, the first NL team to do that since 1957, and they went unbeaten in 18 consecutive series.
Dodgers pitchers led the Major Leagues with 22 shutouts and were second in the league with a 3.25 team ERA. That included Clayton Kershaw, who won his third consecutive ERA title at 1.83, the lowest in the NL since Greg Maddux’s 1.63 in 1995. Kershaw combined with Zack Greinke to go 31-13, and Kenley Jansen would replace Brandon League as closer and Brian Wilson, signed in July after his recovery from Tommy John surgery, took over as set-up man. The offense, was led by Adrian Gonzalez’s 100 RBIs. Hanley Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier all battled injuries, but Ramirez’s return in June coincided with the club’s turnaround, as did the arrival of Cuban rookie Yasiel Puig. The Dodgers would enter the playoffs without Matt Kemp, but it would not affect them in the NLDS against the Atlanta Braves, knocking them out in 4 games.

The NLCS would be a different story. The Dodgers and Cardinals would battle through 5 games that we’re close enough either team could have won , especially the Dodgers if for some clutch hitting and perhaps Don Mattingly not over analyzing . With the Dodgers trailing 3 games to 2 heading back to St. Louis for game 6 and Kershaw on the mound, we really had to like our chances. However, even the best get snake-bitten at even the worst possible times.

So there you have it. 25 years since 1988. 25 years of ups and downs. Yet we still wait confidently for World Series trophy number 7 to come. 25 years. It’s been so long now that I’ve spoken to lots of you Dodger fans over 21 who have still yet to experience a World Series. I feel your pain. That’s what we do as Dodger fans. That’s what we do as fans period. We stick with our team through the good ( This past season ) and the bad ( No WS appearances in 25 years ) and the ugly ( McCourt ownership ) . 25 years is a long time. But I am confident we will not be waiting another 25 years before another World Series title comes to The Ravine.

matt_dre Next Year Bison !!! It’s back to doing things big !!!

dre_dre So Dre, are you going to be around In the End next year for the celebration ?

And finally, I want to thank you the readers who have made this October a really fun one. My goal was to make it to the MLBlogs.com top 50 fan list, which I did back in March. Because it’s based on total views, I don’t know if I crack the list especially after viewership dropped understandably once the Dodgers we’re eliminated. I did, however, achieve the most visitor counts ever for my blog so again, thank you all for dropping by. I probably won’t be posting as much now at least until Spring Training as blogging, while I enjoy it, can be very time consuming as well. I hope you all have a great “off-season”, and here’s hoping to an even bigger 2014 !!!!

As for the 2014 season…

2014 94-68 1st Place

Though the 2014 campaign would come to an abrupt end, lasting only 4 games into the NLDS before bowing out to the Cardinals for the 2nd straight year, there we’re still plenty of memorable moments, from the no-hitters from Josh Beckett and Clayton Kershaw , to Matt Kemp’s resurgence in the 2nd half, Adrian Gonzalez leading the league in RBI’s , to another Cy Young season from Mr. Kershaw, who has now won the E.R.A.  title four seasons in a row, and of course, erasing a 9.5 game deficit to capture the NL West flag for the 2nd straight season.  Unfortunately, Kershaw would unravel in the post-season and alongside a leaky bullpen, the Dodgers season would end not even 10 days into October.

Like the rest of you, I was disappointed as well.  When $235 million is spent on player salary, expectations are certain to be high.  The bottom line is simple.  The Dodgers simply did not meet , ok, let me rephrase that, they did not entirely meet our expectations.  (  I may be putting it lightly folks ) .  Many we’re quick to put blame on Mattingly.  I disagree.  While I was not crazy about some of his strategic move both during the regular and post-season, I felt he did an admirable job dealing with as many high strung ego’s in the dugout to get The Blue as far as he did.  As for the post-season, he only played the hand he was dealt.  Unfortunately, there was no bluff to call. That’s the post-season.  That’s baseball. 

So it’s been 2 weeks now since the bitter end.  Though I’m long over the shock, as a Dodger fan,  these 2 weeks have still felt long.  Should that be The Blue playing in the Fall Classic ?  Perhaps.  But as for the 2014 chapter of Dodger Baseball, we’ll never know…

NLCS Show Down at The Show Me State….

But first….

RickMonday Rick Monday, 1981

KirkGibson Kirk Gibson, 1988

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS LOS ANGELES DODGERS Steve Finley, 2004

Uribe Juan Uribe, 2013

Who’s next ?….

OK, for the 4th time in post season history, the Dodgers and Cardinals will face each other .  The Dodgers had a slight edge over the Cardinals in the regular season, winning 4 out of 7, with the visiting teams winning their respective series.  How much of an advantage either team may have on one another, who knows ? So how do the Dodgers and Cardinals matchup heading into the NLCS ? We do know that this time around both teams will be coming into this series at their best unlike during the regular season, when the Cards took 2 of 3 at Dodger Stadium back in May as the Dodgers we’re still mired in their early season funk and the Dodgers took 3 of 4 at Busch Stadium in early August when the Dodgers we’re at the height of their post all-star break run while the Red Birds we’re experiencing a swoon of their own having lost 13 of 18 during that stretch…..

Oh how things have changed much since late May.  Let’s see…. Hanley and Greinke we’re still on the DL, Puig had not arrived yet, the offense was in a funk, and who knew what was up with Matt Kemp. Yeah, Kemp won’t be able to contribute, but hey, The Blue found a way to make it this deep into October even without Matt making a significant contribution. Thing’s we’re so bad at the time, the fans we’re getting frustrated, and the “frustration” would reach all the way up to the Top Deck between me and my buddy J on this Sunday afternoon in late May against the Cards…..

Rally Time From the Top Deck…5/26/2013 from Good_Drei on Vimeo.

Allright J, so you did say we’d snap out if it after the all-star break, we actually snapped out if it just before the break, and Dre to this day still thinks you ” jinxed ” Matt Kemp…. J !!!! LOL….

TEAM L.A. !!!!!

KINGS

Even though the puck has been dropped to start a new season in the NHL, the Kings of the Staples Center ice show their support for their neighbors up 110…. This was on Dodger Pride Night last season. Speaking of the L.A Kings , who out there is going to outdoor stadium game against Anaheim come January ? Hockey Night at Dodger Stadium !!!

No Strangers to the Postseason….

The Dodgers and Cardinals share a rich history between the two when it comes to October headlines. 17 World Championships have been won between these two storied franchises, with the Red Birds winning 11, second most in the majors only behind the Yankees. As said earlier these two teams will be meeting each other for the 4th time in post-season history, twice in the NLDS and NLCS. Both teams have inflicted their share of heartbreak on each other during the post-season….

2004 NLDS….Cardinals 3-1

lima3 Lima Time !!! In the lone win of the series, Jose Lima ( RIP Jose ) pitches a complete game shutout in Game 3, 4-0

1985 NLCS….Cardinals 4-2

2 of the darkest days of my life as a Dodgers fan occurred within 2 days of each other. And this 11 year old kid certainly did not GO CRAZY after this series….


You had to pick this game to hit your first ever home run from the left side of the plate Ozzie ?

That home run by Ozzie would be voted by Cardinals fans as the number all-time greatest moment in old Busch Stadium’s history….

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And…

Why did you pitch to Jack Clark ? The question asked in L.A. all winter long in ’85….

I’m still trying to figure out how I picked up enough courage to reflect upon my 2 darkest days as a Dodger fan. I never really came down hard on Tom Niedenfuer for giving up those home runs. If anything, I was actually harder on Lasorda for having Niedenfuer pitch to Clark with 1st base open and 2 outs. The hitter on-deck ? Andy Van Slyke, father of future Dodger Scott Van Slyke. Yes, I am aware that Andy is best remembered for his playing days with the Pirates, but at the time, no one knew who he was. As we said 28 years ago…. ” WHY DID YOU PITCH TO JACK CLARK !!!! “…. Speaking of the number 28…

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My favorite Dodger as a kid, Pedro Guerrero. Put up some big offensive numbers for The Blue througout the 80’s , yet my lasting memory is of him throwing his glove down in disgust after Jack Clark’s decisive 3 run home run sent the Red Birds to the World Series against their in-state rivals the Kansas City Royals, in which they would eventually lose in 7 games. ( To any Cardinals fan that may be reading this, yeah, Don Dekinger blew the call at 1st base in Game 6, but having broken the heart of this 11 year old kid 10 days prior, my only feeling was and even at 11 years old… ” Hey Cards fans !!!! Oh well !!! Life’s a B***H isn’t it ? ” . 28 years later those feeling’s haven’t changed….LOL .

OK, let’s go outside the yard for a bit. Anyone remember this from 1985 ?

2009 NLDS… Dodgers 3-0

After “reminiscing” over my two worst days as a Dodger fan, one out away from tying the series up at one game apiece, Matt Holliday did his best to ” take one for the team…. ” . Cards ace Adam Wainwright feel’s having 50,000 have us waving white rally towels in Holliday’s presence was not fair…. 2 days later, the Dodgers would wrap up the LDS, sweeping the Red Birds in 3 games….

Dre’s Take

One of the key’s to the Dodgers beating the Braves was their clutch 2 out hitting. Both the Cards and Dodgers have outstanding pitching staff’s. The Dodgers, having disposed of the Braves in 4 games, should be well rested and confident with Greinke and Kershaw lined up to go in Games 1 and 2 in Missouri. The Cardinals bring a ton of post-season experience to the plate, having made it to the NLCS 3 years in a row. Andre Ethier is expected to get more playing time so we’ll see what kind of an impact he has in the series. It’s just too bad someone has to have their heart broke one more time…
Dre’s Pick… Dodgers in 6.

And finally….

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And now, we , one more time, go back to 2009. I’ll let Vinny take it away…