Sunday, April 14, 2013

We Play Nice

The Dodger/Padre scuffle the other night has added a spark to the blog world.  Dodger and Padre fans have posted write-ups about their opinions on the incident.  This fight has led to some dialogue between me and a couple Padre fans.  Emails were exchanged that were mostly pleasant and offered some insight into the thoughts and feelings of the Dodgers newest rival.

The Dodgers and Padres have always been in the same division and have competed for playoff spots.  This has been happening for decades.  Most of the animosity in this SoCal feud has been Padre fans hating the Dodgers.  Dodgers fans didn't really acknowledge that there was any bitterness or anger towards the Padres or their fans.  That lack of mutual hatred probably bristled the nerves of some Padre supporters.  San Diego fans may have wanted this rivalry to take a step up in temperature and I should add that they probably didn't want the feud to escalate due to a fight and a broken bone.

Sadly, the disdain level between the two fan bases has escalated due to a fight on the field and a near fight in the player's parking lot.  The rivalry of mutual hatred between Dodger and Padre fans has begun.  This is going to be a new experience for both fan bases.  Dodger fans save their angst for the hated Giants to the north.  Now Dodger fans have to shift a piece of the darkness to the San Diego team to the south.

Another team to the south that probably hates the Dodgers more than we hate them is the Angels.  I have heard Angel fans mention their dislike of the real LA team before.  I don't often hear Dodger fans talking about any hatred for the Angels or their players.  Mostly, Dodger fans take jabs at the Angels team name or Arte Moreno's mustache.

The emotions that we show towards other teams doesn't really affect the way we treat each other in the blog world.  We may have certain grudges against teams that are close in proximity or that are competing for the same division crown but, we still exchange items through the mail and write nice comments on blog posts.

I mean, I even take the time to read the words typed by a Giants fan and we also swap cardboard on occasion.

I even trade baseball cards with a fan of Orange County's major league team.  Tom from the blog, The Angels, In Order sent me a sweet PWE that included some Dodger stamps and a few Ian Kinsler cards.  Tom may not like the baseball team I root for and he may consider the Dodgers to be his team's biggest rival.  I am not sure.  I am sure that he is a nice fellow that surprised me with some stamps featuring some of my favorite players of the 90s.

The players included on this sheet are Mike Piazza(awesome dude in the 90s), Eric Karros(LA Dodger home run champ), Raul Mondesi(Physical freak until poor eating habits got in the way), Hideo Nomo(Superstar), and Delino Deshields(?).

These stamps were from 1996.  So, I googled the roster from that season to see if any other player on the team could have supplanted Delino on this sheet to make it perfect.  I actually came across several candidates that could have fit better than Delino.

Todd Hollandsworth would have been nice but, maybe these stamps came out prior to the '96 season and that was before his solid rookie campaign.  Ramon Martinez was a really solid starter.  Brett Butler was a premier lead-off hitter that could get on base, swipe a bag and lay down beautiful bunt hits.  Juan Castro would have been a better choice as well because Castro's inclusion would be making me laugh right now instead of cringing.

This PWE was a kind gesture by Tom.  I will have to scrounge up something sweet and odd that will fit into his collection.

Baseball fans can get along in the blog world despite the level of seriousness that we take our rivalries.  That kindness doesn't extend to the stands at the ball parks across America.  Maybe those drunken loudmouths would treat their fellow baseball fans better with some friendly dialogue and baseball card trading?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Carlos Quentin is Garbage

Last night's Dodger game was just plain craziness.  The most surprising aspect of the game between the Dodgers and Padres was Juan Uribe hitting the go-ahead home run in the 8th inning.  Uribe being a Dodger hero, just for one night at least, was a shock to me and probably most Dodger fans as well.  The second most surprising aspect of last night's Dodger game was a scumbag named Carlos Quentin charging the mound after getting plunked by Dodger starter Zack Geinke.

The Padres were down by a run in the 6th inning and Quentin was leading off.  The count was full and Greinke ended up hitting Quentin.  Instead of Quentin realizing the game situation, he took the beaning personal and thought there was some purposeful intent on Greinke's part.  Quentin charged the mound and a brawl ensued.  Greinke ended up breaking his collarbone in the scuffle because Quentin charged into him like a wild animal.

This is very bad news for the Dodgers.  Greinke is the team's second best starting pitcher and was pitching a solid game last night before the dumbest man from Stanford decided to take a run at him.  Greinke will probably miss at least a month and Quentin should receive a lengthy suspension.

This doesn't hurt the Padres as much because their aspirations this season is a 70 win campaign.  Now, without Quentin in their line-up for a period of time may put the Padres at 68 wins this year.  The Dodgers are geared for a playoff run and are contenders for a division title.  Losing Greinke for several weeks will hurt the Dodgers and their playoff chances.

I was really at the point last night, of writing an even angrier and meaner post.  I just wanted to rip into Quentin and slam the entire Padres organization.  I am glad that I was able to sleep off some of my anger before writing up a post about the assault that Quentin committed.  My anger has subsided slightly this afternoon.  It will never completely disappear.  Last night's game has made me hate the Padres for the first time in my life.  I usually relegate all my baseball hatred to the Giants but, I guess I had a little extra hate in the tank to shift some over to the second tier franchise in San Diego.

Who knew that any baseball fan can actually feel animosity towards the little guys from a beach town?  Padre fans probably never knew that a rivalry was actually part of the game of baseball.  Now they should know that, pending on if Padre fans have any passion for their team or not.

The Dodgers and Padres meet again at Dodger Stadium early next week and the place should be a madhouse.  I really hope Quentin plays in the series so, he can hear some verbal abuse from the rowdies in the outfield pavilions.

Before the Dodgers play the new hated ones, they travel to Arizona to play the Diamondbacks.  Clayton Kershaw is on the mound tonight and will look to dominate.  These green looking cards were sent to me by Roy from Plain Gray Swatch and I dig the the color scheme on these cards.

They both remind me of apple flavored jolly ranchers.  When I get doubles of these cards, I will bite into one just to see if they taste like sour apple.

Seeing cards of Kershaw, makes me a little happier and slightly less angry.  If Kershaw dominates tonight and makes the D-Backs look like chumps, then I will feel even better.

This incident between Greinke and Quentin will make me feel bitterness for awhile.  This brawl does give me a new found hatred of the Padres.  It also makes Quentin a new villain in Dodger lore.  Welcome to the scumbag club of trash, Quentin.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Autographed Baseballs and a Ballgame

The Dodgers hosted the Giants in the first series of the year.  The last Dodger game that I went to was the third game of the season against the Giants.  Dodgerbobble and I rolled to the game to watch the Dodgers lose a tightly fought battle with the Dodgers losing 5-3.

That put a damper on an otherwise fun night at Dodger Stadium.  Before the gloom of falling to hated ones to the north, Dodgerbobble and I arrived to the park about 15 minutes before the gates opened.  This gave us a chance to explore the ballpark a little more and see some of the new additions made on the different levels.

On opening day this year, I was sitting in the Left Field Pavilion and have roamed around the Field Level of the stadium before.  My next step was rising up to the Reserved Level where I heard about some life sized bobbles.

Sure enough some big headed bobbles have been placed by a Reserve Level entrance that is right next to a taco stand.  This was the prime spot for a photo-op and to try some of the new street tacos that the Dodgers  are selling now.  I should have taken a photo of the tacos that I scarfed down shortly after this photo was snapped.  I was eating the tacos in one hand, while reaching for my camera with the other, and by the time I finally plucked my camera from my pocket, the tacos were gone.

Maybe next time I will eat more like a human as opposed to a pig.

Dodgerbobble and I were also able to complete one of our ongoing trades of autographs.  We have made several trades by just setting aside some nice signatures, that we have acquired through various avenues and exchanging them every month or so.

This time Dodgerbobble raised the bar in our trade agreement.  He had an extra Yasiel Puig autographed baseball for trade and was willing to hand it over to me.  Puig has the makings of the next Dodger superstar.  The first outfielder to get hurt on the big league club, will open the door to the majors for Puig.

I am happy to get an autograph of his before he hits stardom and these may be harder to come by.  Puig was already getting tons of hype from his scorching performance in spring training.

This is my first Nomar Garciaparra signature.  Dodgerbobble had gotten this one at a charity soccer game in Carson, CA.  Nomar was a decent player for the Dodgers and he is a local kid that grew up going to Dodger games.  His signature was much needed in my collection.

Dodgerbobble also game me some baseball cards and some of which also had signatures of ballplayers on them.  I may show those at another time.  I owe him a little more for our next trade because I consider a Puig and Nomar signed ball to be a pretty good get for a Dodger collector.