Kuroda and Dodgers Go Down

Kuroda taking a line drive to the head last night is just the latest problem for the Dodgers. He’s apparently going to be fine, which is great. The Dodgers, however, have apparently been hit by something, and we’re all suffering as a result.

The team has spent almost the entire season in first place, but you wouldn’t know it from watching them lately. Since the All-Star break they are 13 -16 and in the month of August 5 – 9. Their last three games have ended with losses to teams in their own division.

If they don’t put the breaks on the slide soon they may be heading home for the winter sooner than we all thought just a few short weeks ago.

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Unruly Fans and Baseball

The Dodgers had yesterday off, but I wanted to take a moment and write a quick post about what happened to Shane Victorino of the Phillies during a game at Wrigley Field. For those of you who haven’t heard, a Cubs fan threw a beer, cup and all, at Victorino as he was catching a long fly by Jake Fox.

The fan initially escaped as security grabbed the wrong guy, but has since turned himself in. Victorino filed a complaint with the police before the 21-year-old perpetrator finally did the right thing. I’m not using his name because the guy doesn’t deserve any fame for his stupidity.

The Cubs apologized to Victorino on behalf of the entire organization and fans, and Victorino has been really gracious about the whole thing.

These incidents are rare, but they do happen. If the Cubs didn’t sell beer the guy probably would’ve thrown a soft-drink or something else. Security was on the area (but the wrong guy) quickly. There really isn’t anything else that the Cubs organization could’ve done to prevent this from happening.

These rare incidents also aren’t new. Somebody threw a whole chair at Roger Maris when he was in the home run race with Micky Mantle. He thankfully missed.

Whether these losers are throwing cups or furniture or syringes (at Barry Bonds) at players or yelling obscenities at rival fans, they ruin the game for everyone. Grow up people. It’s a game.

A Shout-Out and a Quick Disturbing Fact

My good friends Andy and Nicole are in San Francisco and I’m pretty sure that they caught the game today at AT&T Park. If so, they caught a good one. Tim Lincecum, who is the best pitcher in the National League this season, was starting for the Giants. Jeff Weaver started for the Dodgers.

The game, which I listened to, included the benches clearing (no actual brawl), Giants manager Bruce Bochey and bench coach Ron Wotus were both ejected, the Dodgers tied it on what could have been the last strike of the game, and then Juan Uribe hit a walk-off homer to win the game. It obviously wasn’t the ending that I wanted, but it was still an exciting game to listen to.

Quick note, while I’m confident that our boys will keep it together, make it into the playoffs and go all the way, I thought of something very disturbing. Those individuals for whom this is the first summer that they can legally drink at a Dodgers’ game, they were not yet born the last time the Dodgers went to (and won) the World Series.

Born to Be Blue

I was born a baseball fan. More specifically, I was born a Dodgers fan.

My mother grew up in Brooklyn and moved to Los Angeles, with her family, in the mid 1950s, just a few years before the Dodgers made their trek west. I don’t think she ever went to a game in Brooklyn, but she has told us many stories about her father and uncles fighting over the three New York teams of long ago, and she has always been a Dodgers fan.

My aunt, my mother’s sister, went to high school with Sandy Kofax. I don’t know how well they knew each other, but I like to bring this up and is if to somehow say I’m connected to greatness.

My older brother has been a Dodgers fan his entire life (much more on this in future posts) and schooled me on much of the ins and outs of the Dodgers throughout the 1970s and 1980s. He eventually bought season tickets and I went to several games with him, sitting along the first baseline in the field level (yellow seats for those watching at home).

I moved to Canada more than a dozen years ago and went to a lot of Blue Jays games when we lived in Toronto. We’ll call them my American League team. Jays and Dodgers fans have a lot in common, but that’s another topic that I’ll go into in a future post.

I’ve been a fan through the good years and the bad (and there have been some pretty bad ones). I’m not Jimmy Fallon in Fever Pitch, but I’m still a fan.

I make it back to LA usually at least once a year and have caught a few Dodger games when they happen to be in town the same time as me. Otherwise I watch when a game is televised here or listen through MLB audio (not a bad bargain to be able to listen to any radio broadcast from any team for the season for $14.95).

I’ve been blogging about education and technology (my career) for more than four years and it seemed only natural to start one related to baseball. So here it is.