October 4, 2008
Bill Russell was signing autographs at a card shop here in So-Cal. He was scheduled to sign from 10am/12pm. First autograph was free. I got there at 8:15 am. A small crowd came out. Billy came in on time. I got him to sign a LP Record that I have. It’s a Record of the 1981 Championship Series. Tommy Lasorda has signed it and Bill is the second person to sign it.
Today the Dodgers and Cubs had a workout at Dodger Stadium.
It feels good knowing that the Dodgers only need 1 win to advance to the NLCS. Let’s talk about the Cubs… Basically the whole country is rooting for the Cubs. The Media is rooting for the Cubs. The “experts” picked the Cubs to win this series and most of them picked them to win the World Series. So what happened ? 2 main reasons. First reason is that people forget that this Dodgers team is a different team than back in July. This is a team that is showing alot of confidence and having Manny Ramirez on the team doesn’t hurt. Plus all the young guys have matured alot and playing great. We as Dodger fans know who is James Loney, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, Russell Martin, Chad Billingsley and all the young guys. We know that they are very talented and capable of being future superstars (if they aren’t already) We have been following them since they came up in 2006 Plus with the addition of Ramirez, it has brought a new atmosphere in the clubhouse. While the Cubs being in the playoffs is a great story for the media, it doesn’t warrant them to be favorites to win. My second reason for the Cubs troubles is that they are focusing to much on the curse. Are they cursed ? Are they not cursed ? Why even think about it ? Did anyone notice that a Priest was in the Cubs dugout before Game 1 ? When I saw this, I couldn’t believe it. Basically having a Priest in the dugout is telling the world that they believe there is a curse and that there is something wrong in the stadium. I was looking for the video of the Priest in Wrigley Field and I found it…
Crazy huh ? I don’t have anything against the Priest being there. But knowing that there is cameras everywhere and someone will catch this, why even bother ? This is saying that they really believe that they are cursed. It’s in their heads. Shouldn’t have they learned from the Boston Red Sox and the Babe Ruth curse ? It’s all imagination. There is no curse folks. You just haven’t played great in the last 100 years :)
Staring Lineup Game 2 Dodgers vs Cubs @ Wrigley Field
The Dodgers set club NLDS single-game records last night in runs (7) and walks (8) while tying the team’s NLDS single-game record for homers (3).
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS – With last night’s win, the Dodgers are 3-5 against the Cubs this season. However, all five Dodger losses were by two runs or less, whereas the three Dodger victories were all by three or more runs.
AND THE DODGERS INCH AHEAD… – Not only do the Dodgers have a 1-0 lead in the series, but last night’s win gives them a one-game edge in the 118-year, 2,025-game all-time series. The two franchises first played each other on May 29, 1890 in Brooklyn and since then, the Dodgers have a 1,013-1,012 record.
BEST OF FIVE – The Dodgers have played 11 best-of-five series in their postseason history and have won Game 1 in just three of those series. In all three cases, the Dodgers went on to win the series (the NLCS in 1974, 1978, and 1981). Two other times, the Dodgers overcame a Game 1 defeat to still win the series (the NLCS in 1977 and the NLDS in 1981) and five times they lost the first game and went on to lose the series.
MANNY LONGBALLS – Last night, Manny Ramirez hit his 25th postseason home run and 15 of them have come on the road. Both of those totals are Major League records. He also holds the all-time record for Division Series homers with 11. Ramirez has hit safely in 36 of his last 41 postseason games, with a .344 (54-for-157) average during that span.
HAVING A GRAND OL’ TIME – Last night, James Loney hit the 17th grand slam in NLDS history. It was the third slam in Dodger postseason history and first since Dusty Baker on Oct. 5, 1977 in Game 2 of the NLCS against the Phillies. The only other postseason slam for the Dodgers came the previous night in Game 1 of that series when Ron Cey hit one in the seventh inning off Steve Carlton.
‘PEN IS MIGHTIER – A trio of Dodger relievers pitched 3.0 scoreless innings last night, including Greg Maddux’s first relief appearance since saving Game 5 of the NLCS at San Diego on Oct. 12, 1998. The Dodger bullpen ranked second in the NL this season with a 3.33 ERA behind the Phillies (3.19).
A BIG DAY FOR Ks – On this date in 1953, Carl Erskine struck out a World Series record 14 Yankees in Game 3. Ten years later to the day, Sandy Koufax broke the record with 15 strikeouts over the Yankees in Game 1 of the Fall Classic and exactly two years after that, he fanned 13 Milwaukee Braves on two days rest (including Joe Torre twice) to give him 382 for the season, earning his 26th win and clinching the NL pennant.
FOOTING THE BILLS – Tonight’s starter Chad Billingsley ranked fifth in the NL with 201 strikeouts and seventh with a 3.14 ERA this season. From June 17 through the end of the regular season, he went 12-3 with a 2.78 ERA, which tied him for the most wins in baseball during that period with Mark Buehrle, A.J. Burnett, Roy Halladay, Cliff Lee, Roy Oswalt, and CC Sabathia. At just 24 years of age, Billingsley became the youngest Dodger to notch 16 victories since Ramon Martinez won 17 as a 23-year-old in 1991.
ALL SOLD OUT – Game 3 and 4 of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium are officially sold out.
I’m glad we got that first win out of the way. Wouldn’t it be awesome if we can win tomorrow and come home only needing 1 win to go to the NLCS ? I hope so.
Who wants to see a Freeway Series ? Dodgers vs Angels in the World Series. Bill Plaschke of the L.A. Times wants to see one. I really don’t care. I want to win a World Series. It doesn’t matter who we beat. A more interesting series would be against the Boston Red Sox. Imagine that. Also, I think it’s too early to be talking about a potential Freeway Series. The Dodgers and Angels have to beat 2 teams before reaching the World Series. It’s not even in my mind. Let’s beat the CUBS !!
The last time the Cubs won a World Series was on 1908 !http://sports.espn.go.com/broadband/player.swf?mediaId=3619714
The following are the Dodgers daily game notes that the media gets….
OCTOBER BASEBALL – The NL West Division Champion Dodgers take on the NL Central Champion Cubs in the first game of the National League Division Series.
The Dodgers and Cardinals are the only two National League teams to reach the postseason in three of the past five seasons.
POSTSEASON FLAVOR: The Dodgers’ starting lineup for Game 1 has 24 years of postseason experience entering the 2008 playoffs. Rafael Furcal (7 years), Russell Martin (1 year), Manny Ramirez (9 years), James Loney (1 year), Casey Blake (1 year), and Derek Lowe (5 years) have all reached the postseason at least once in their careers. In terms of postseason series, those starters have played in a combined 38 playoff series (Furcal – 6, Martin – 1, Ramirez – 19, Loney – 1, Blake – 2, and Lowe – 9).
WHAT ARE THE ODDS? -The Dodgers and Cubs have never met in the postseason. After 118 years and 2,024 games, the teams are tied in the all-time series 1,012-1,012. The two franchises first played each other on May 29, 1890 in Brooklyn.
BACK IN ACTION – Rafael Furcal will start tonight at shortstop despite missing 125 games this season due to back surgery. At the time of his injury in May, he led the Majors with 49 hits, ranked second with a .366 batting average, and third with a .448 on-base percentage. Furcal has reached the postseason in eight of his first nine seasons in the Majors, with last year being his first season without a playoff appearance.
MANNY LONGBALLS – Manny Ramirez has hit 24 home runs in the postseason and 14 of them have come on the road. Both of those totals are Major League records. Since joining the Dodgers on Aug. 1, Ramirez leads all of baseball with a .396 average, .489 on-base percentage and a .743 slugging percentage.
Those hitting directly in front of Manny Ramirez in the lineup are batting a combined .383 (82-for- 214). Russell Martin, who hits ahead of him tonight, is batting .321 (9-for-28) with four walks.
JUST LIKE THE GOOD OL’ DAYS – Dodger Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will work the first and last three innings on KABC 790 during the postseason. Rick Monday and Charley Steiner will call the middle three innings on radio. On the Spanish-language side, Hall of Famer Jaime Jarrín will handle the play-by-play duties with Pepe Yñiguez and Fernando Valenzuela on KHJ/La Ranchera 930. The Dodgers are the only Major League team with two Hall of Famers on their broadcast team.
BATTLE TESTED – The Dodgers’ 25-man postseason roster includes five players who have played in the Fall Classic – Jeff Kent, Derek Lowe, Greg Maddux, Juan Pierre, and Manny Ramirez. All five have earned rings – Kent with Toronto, Lowe and Ramirez with Boston, Maddux with Atlanta and Pierre with Florida.
BUILDING FROM WITHIN – Of the 25 players on the postseason roster, 10 were drafted and developed by the Dodgers – Chad Billingsley, Jonathan Broxton, Blake DeWitt, Matt Kemp, Clayton Kershaw, James Loney, Russell Martin, James McDonald, Chan Ho Park and Cory Wade. Andre Ethier was drafted by Oakland but reached the Majors for the first time with Los Angeles.
WRIGLEY MEMORIES – Tonight’s starter, Derek Lowe, is the only Major League pitcher to win at least 12 games in each of the past seven seasons. Over his final 10 starts this year, he went 6-1 with a 1.27 ERA and held opponents to a .195 batting average. His best start as a Dodger came on Aug. 31, 2005 at Wrigley Field. The right-hander threw a complete game one-hitter, as he allowed a leadoff infield single to Jerry Hairston in the first inning and did not allow another hit, retiring 26 of the final 28 batters, including 14 in a row at one point.
TURNING IT AROUND – The Dodgers were a season-high 7.0 games out of first place on April 25 but came back to win the NL West, matching the largest deficit the franchise has had to overcome to win a division or NL pennant. The 1966 Dodgers were also 7.0 games out of first on May 13 and won the NL pennant that season before losing in the Fall Classic.
PACK YOUR BAGS – After tomorrow night’s flight home, the Dodgers will have traveled more than 58,000 miles from the time they reported to Vero Beach until Game 3 of the NLDS. The team will have made 37 flights, including their historic trip to Beijing, China in March where they faced the Padres in the first-ever Major League games on Chinese soil.
WHEN THEY WERE JUST CUBS – Among the former Cubs on the Dodgers’ postseason roster are third base coach Larry Bowa and coach Jeff Pentland, pitcher Greg Maddux, infielder Nomar Garciaparra, outfielder Juan Pierre, and General Manager Ned Colletti. Colletti is the 10th GM in Los Angeles Dodger history and the first to reach the postseason in two of his first three seasons.
ALL SOLD OUT – Game 3 and 4 of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium are officially sold out.
Rafael Furcal, Matt Kemp, Derek Lowe and Joe Torre talking to the media..