Tagged: Dodgers

What is the Price of a Rivalry?

giants vs dodgersI tweeted an honest question out earlier, and I got a pretty significant amount of responses. The natural next step was a blog, so here we are: If two baseball fans were to drive from San Francisco to Los Angeles, splitting gas and food and each buying one bleacher ticket for a game at Dodger Stadium, would it cost less than $200 total?

The reason I ask is because I’m butt hurt. Very much so, in fact. I’m a diehard Dodgers fan born, raised, and still living in San Francisco, who wants nothing more than to go see Clayton Kershaw embarrass the rival Giants on their home turf on Friday night.

The only problem? I get paid a small stipend every month, and Mapes continues to “lose” my 3u3d paycheck. The next problem? AT&T Park is charging nearly $100 a pop for standing room only for that game.

I know. Don’t get me started.

Anyway, let’s get down to the math:

From the city of San Francisco to Dodger Stadium is 382 miles, according to our good friend Google Maps. Assuming we start with a full tank in a standard mid-size car getting about 33 miles to the gallon with a 14-gallon tank (the specs of the car I would personally drive in this scenario), we can figure out how much the gas would cost each way.

As of last week, the average price of a gallon of Unleaded gas in California was 3.94. So this car needs a tank about every 450 miles. It’s very fair to assume, even accounting for fluctuation between highways and city streets and any adventuring in between, that it would take two fill-ups to get there and back.

That’s $110.32 in gas. Let’s just throw in $30 for a stop at In-N-Out before the game and Taco Bell on the way home (SO WHAT? DON’T JUDGE ME!) and head to the home stretch. Bleacher seats for the next Dodgers home game against the Giants top out around $25 each right now.

Adding in the fare for tickets and food, you’re looking at a $95 trip per person. I live in San Francisco. And it would cost me $5 more to just walk to the ball park and watch my team play (standing up, no less) at AT&T Park.

It’s a beautiful stadium, but that is atrocious. I’ll keep my spot on the couch instead, thanks.

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

Follow @3u3d on Twitter and like Three Up, Three Down on Facebook for all your 2013 MLB news!

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Our Lawyer Made Us Change the Name of this Blog So We Wouldn’t Get Sued

FOB first pitchSee what I did there? Props to our friend @teammegan for alerting me to this, as I happened to miss yesterday’s first pitch in the Dodgers-Padres game while I waded through heavy traffic and struggled with a “failed connection” on my AtBat app on the way home from work.

In Los Angeles, it’s not uncommon to see celebrities throw out the first pitch at Dodgers games. But the guests yesterday surprised me a little bit. Fall Out Boy took over Dodger Stadium to promote the release of their new album, and even in doing research just now, nostalgia is kicking in hard.

Everybody remembers their first kiss, first day of school, and first Choco Taco. But most people also remember their first concert.

Mine was most definitely headlined by Fall Out Boy in 2006. Hawthorne Heights was there, too. And some crazy opener named Heroin. Or Crack. Something drug-related and terrifying.

And not only was FOB my first concert attended, it was my first concert regretted (though I did have a great time now that I think about it). Looking back, I’m not sure what turned me against them so hard. Maybe my friends stopped listening to them (WHAT?! I WAS IN HIGH SCHOOL, THESE THINGS HAPPEN!). Or maybe  I didn’t realize the athletic significance to their lyrics (“Sugar, we’re goin’ down swingin’…” — joking, again. Obviously.).

Well, at least their CD’s never got the Good Charlotte treatment from my puberty-inspired hammer-smashing rage (now that I think about it, I was kind of an idiot in high school…). Either way, Megan loves Fall Out Boy and I’m glad she tipped me off to this. All sins can be forgiven if you wear a Dodger hat. Are you listening, Giants fans?

Also, looking at the box score from last night’s loss, I believe Pete Wentz was the only pitcher wearing a Dodgers cap to actually throw a pitch and not get rocked. My goodness that’s depressing.

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

Follow @3u3d on Twitter and like Three Up, Three Down on Facebook for all your 2013 MLB news!

“Sweet Caroline” Around MLB in Honor of Boston

In the wake of the tragedy at the Boston Marathon on Monday, MLB teams showed their support for the city of Boston by playing “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond.  The song is a staple at Fenway Park and is sung by Red Sox fans before the bottom of the 8th inning.  The song was played at home games by the Braves, Marlins, Reds, Cubs, Twins, Dodgers, Indians (who were playing the Red Sox), and even their biggest rival, the Yankees.  Here is the video of “Sweet Caroline” being played at the end of the 3rd inning at Yankee Stadium.

Here’s the Target Field version:

Down in Miami at Marlins Park:

All the way on the other coast at Dodger Stadium:

And at O.co Coliseum in Oakland:

Turner Field in Atlanta where the Braves went on to hit three homers in the bottom of the 8th:

The Brewers showed their support by playing another famous Boston song, the theme from “Cheers”. That can be heard at the 1:40 mark of this video.

You have to love the support that Boston is getting from across the country. It’s the little things like this that add up to big things.  It really is “so good, so good, so good.”

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

Los Angeles Kings to Wear Dodgers Warm-ups

I love when teams from the same city root for each other.  Seeing tweets from the Orioles congratulating the Ravens on winning the Super Bowl or the Warriors and 49ers giving props to the Giants for winning the World Series is always fun.  The Los Angeles Kings are taking the same-city love to the next level as they’ll wear these jerseys for warm-ups this Thursday.  (Via Dodgers Twitter)

Screen Shot 2013-04-15 at 12.48.54 AMThat’s pretty awesome.  Interesting that it’s the Kings and not the Lakers, that have Magic Johnson connections, wearing the warm-ups.  The Kings and Dodgers have teamed up many times, with each having “Pride Nights” in support of each other during their seasons since 2011.  For those that are wondering, here’s the list of places that have an MLB and NHL team that this could work with.

New York City: Mets and Islanders or Yankees and Rangers

Pittsburgh: Pirates and Penguins

Washington D.C.: Nationals and Capitals

Boston: Red Sox and Bruins

Toronto: Blue Jays and Maple Leafs

Philadelphia: Phillies and Flyers

Tampa Bay: Rays and Lightning

Miami: Marlins and Panthers

Chicago: Cubs or White Sox and Blackhawks

Anaheim: Angels and Ducks

St. Louis: Cardinals and Blues

Minnesota: Twins and Wild

Detroit: Tigers and Red Wings (same owner too!)

Arizona/Phoenix: Diamondbacks and Coyotes

Colorado: Rockies and Avalanche

Plus, don’t forget the Atlanta Braves and Thrashers!  Wait a minute…..

Seriously though, it might be a new marketing strategy for cities with multiple teams to cross logos on other sports jerseys.

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

Insanity in San Diego: Greinke Injured in Brawl, Kemp and Quentin Fight After Game

dodgers padres brawl

Update (4/12/13): Greinke is out for approximately eight weeks. Quentin has been suspended for eight games, Hairston, Jr. for one game. Both of those players have appealed.

This blog has already morphed and transformed 100 different times tonight as more and more details are released about the ridiculous brawl at Petco Park. We have embedded videos from sources like MLB and ESPN to give you a clear timeline of what went down. Enjoy the madness, and vote in the polls below!

Bottom of the 6th inning:

Carlos Quentin, leading off the 6th for the Padres (who were down 2-1 at the time), took the count to 3-2 against Zack Greinke. That next pitch got away inside and nailed Quentin on the elbow, at which point he charged the mound. You can see the fight in its entirety here:

As many Tweeters reminded us, Quentin routinely leads the league in hit by pitches:

These things happen when a batter crowds the plate and takes away the pitcher’s inside corner. And it doesn’t help that Quentin clearly has no idea how to get out of the way of an inside pitch (from the first game of the series on Tuesday):

As you see in the video of the brawl, Quentin and Greinke collided shoulder-to-shoulder, and the 50-pound advantage of the batter definitely took its toll on the smaller pitcher. The benches cleared as Dodgers catcher A.J. Ellis tackled Quentin to the ground. Many people thought Greinke may have yelled something to Quentin after the beaning, which this ESPN video shows is true (embedding ESPN videos does not work on WordPress):

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:9162952

My expert lip-reading abilities tell me that Greinke said something along the lines of “F— off.” Hardly grounds for a rage-induced attack on Quentin’s part. For all I know, Greinke may just have been tired of Quentin’s act, as a fellow NL West pitcher became last season:

Before we go any farther, let me bring you back a few years…

April 8th, 2009:

Different teams, a different division, in a different league; same matchup. In Greinke’s 2009 Cy Young year with the Kansas City Royals, he beaned then-White Sox Quentin in the 4th inning of an early-season game. Quentin took a step toward Greinke before being cooled off and taking first base.

After that outing (the Royals won 2-0), Greinke said it was an accident, and even mentioned that he was “scared” for Quentin at first, thinking it might hit his head:

“He had a reason for [being upset],” said Greinke of Quentin. “Any time you throw it that high, it’s justified. You’ve got to be better than that and not pitch like that. You’re going to make mistakes, but the last thing you want to do is hit someone where it could seriously hurt them. As soon as I let go of it, I was scared for him.”

So there was history. Whether or not it was intentional then, or intentional this year, is a matter we can likely never pinpoint. But in both instances, Greinke held a slim lead–hardly a situation in which you want to put anyone on base purposely.

Unless Quentin slapped Greinke’s mother years ago for some unknown reason, there is no motive for Greinke to throw at Quentin in the first place. Not to mention, that little dust-up was four years ago now. That’s a long, long time for someone to hold a grudge in sports.

Okay, memory lane was fun. Let’s bring it back to present day…

Halfway through the brawl:

In the video of the fight, you can see Matt Kemp going absolutely bonkers in the scrum (kerfuffle, if you will). At one point, he had multiple teammates restraining him after getting in a face-to-face shouting match with Padres manager Bud Black.

After it looked like the dust had settled, Dodgers utility man Jerry Hairston, Jr. took off toward the Padres dugout with his finger pointed at someone. If Don Mattingly’s postgame comments are any indication, the Padre in question was backup catcher John Baker, who was raised in my hometown of Walnut Creek, CA and does not seem the type to be involved.

But as Hairston, Jr. tweeted later, he was going at the Padres because he saw a player making fun of Greinke:

Finally, the skirmish ended and Greinke was walked off the field by head trainer Sue Falsone. The umpires eventually ejected the pitcher, along with Quentin, Kemp, and Hairston, Jr. Shortly thereafter, Chris Capuano relieved Greinke on the bump for Los Angeles, and promptly allowed a game-tying single.

Though the unlikeliest of heroes, Juan Uribe, went deep later to help seal a 3-2 victory for the Dodgers, nothing could take the sting out of the news that broke after the game.

Postgame press conferences:

As soon as the game ended, fans demanded answers. Mattingly was happy to give them his, with multiple microphones stuck in his face. But first, the Dodgers got awful news regarding their $147 million pitcher:

According to Yahoo’s Jeff Passan, who is by no means a medical expert but does his research very thoroughly, the Dodgers can expect to miss Greinke for at least six weeks:

So needless to say, Mattingly was upset with the result of everything except the win. When pressed about the incident, Mattingly referred to Quentin as an “idiot” who has “zero understanding of the game of baseball,” given the situation in which he charged the mound.

Most shockingly, the skipper also declared that Quentin deserved to be suspended for as long as Greinke was on the shelf. Many writers on Twitter agreed with this sentiment, and yours truly can’t argue the idea. Of course, Quentin won’t get a lengthy suspension. Chances are, he’ll be looking at a four or five game suspension at the most. But we will have to wait and see what kind of action the league decides to take, and also to see if they discipline Kemp for his actions.

As if Quentin needed anyone else against him, A.J. Ellis told Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times that a few Padres apologized to him on their teammate’s behalf:

We also have the video of Quentin’s postgame chat with reporters here, which is full of blame deflections and question avoidance. Black, Quentin’s manager, said the history between the two players did play a part in the brawl. Greinke responded with some comments of his own, insisting he didn’t mean to hit Quentin and never has in the past. Plus, additional notes from Mattingly on the injury at the beginning of the video:

After cooling off, you’d think the situation would be put to rest. Alas, this night got crazier…

In the clubhouse tunnel:

Kemp couldn’t let the issue go, and stayed extremely fired up at Quentin for injuring Greinke. He went after Quentin by the player’s exit, reportedly asking why he charged the mound and ended up injuring Kemp’s teammate:

The Associated Press was able to snag a picture of the two players arguing (see below) before they were separated. The scene could have gotten much uglier, but it was luckily diffused in time. On one hand, you have to admire Kemp’s willingness to defend his pitcher and not back down from what he considered a threat. Leadership like that can pull a team closer together.Matt Kemp, Carlos Quentin

But on the other hand, the last person the Dodgers need getting suspended or playing upset is Kemp. The star center fielder is already struggling with the bat so far in 2013, and needs to recognize the difference between playing hard and playing pissed.

At the end of the night, Dodgers shortstop Hanley Ramirez (who was injured in the World Baseball Classic and has been on the DL all season) tweeted a slight silver lining, apparently in an attempt to calm the angry hordes:

So the Dodgers won the game, the series, and a bit of hope from Ramirez. But losing Greinke is a huge blow for the Dodgers pitching staff, who will likely replace him with either Ted Lilly or Chris Capuano–both massive downgrades. San Diego and Los Angeles reconvene at Dodger Stadium for a three-game set on Monday, prompting the Dodgers official Twitter account to put out this gem after the game:

At the very least, that series will be under an intense microscope by fans, players and journalists everywhere. For the Padres, a chance to be relevant. For the Dodgers, a chance to prove that they are more than a rich all-star team–that they can win with talent and heart and team chemistry.

Stay tuned to Three Up, Three Down for more coverage as the news continues to roll in. Please vote in the polls below, and feel free to share your comments with us, too.

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

Follow @3u3d on Twitter and LIKE us on Facebook at Three Up, Three Down for all your breaking MLB news!

“What in the World is Hashtag?” – Vin Scully

Vin Scully“Can I ask you an honest question, between you and me? What in the world is “hashtag?”” – Dodgers announcer Vin Scully.

This golden nugget of greatness occurred before the bottom of the fourth inning began at Petco Park on Wednesday, in a game that the Dodgers would eventually win 4-3 over the Padres.

Scully continues to go on a slightly nonsensical, yet thoroughly enjoyable, ramble about a new DirecTV service called “DogTV. Then, the 85-year-old, smooth-voiced legend concluded with a relevant question: “Does that mean cats can’t watch it?”

Scully’s ability to be at the top of a difficult profession for decades upon decades and master his craft with grace, style, and accuracy is why he will forever be remembered as the greatest announcer who ever lived. The fact that Scully was able to tear viewers’ eyes away from game action to tune in with full attention to his brief tangent and end up just smiling with amusement, is beyond impressive.

He has the charm of a guffawing grandfather, the wit of a very old fox, and the voice of God (sorry,  Morgan Freeman). Go ahead and watch the clip linked below and try not to smile as Scully giggles and gasps his way through a very troubling set of questions for someone who was born when Babe Ruth was still playing (though I’d argue his general knowledge of all this doggone technology us whippersnappers use these days is far superior to most people his age).

And, in fairness, the questions remain–what IS a hashtag? They really don’t make sense, beyond the “trendability” of such things. And though DirecTV’s concept is marvelous, what happens to my poor cat when all he sees on the tube all day is those dumb dogs chasing their tails? I can only imagine.

Take a look at Vin’s hilarious diatribe RIGHT HERE. Is this one of the best announcer moments in recent memory? Tell us in the comments below!

Oh…and for what it’s worth? After Scully’s little speech, #VinScully began trending on Twitter. Naturally.

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

Follow @3u3d on Twitter and LIKE Three Up, Three Down on Facebook for all your 2013 baseball news!

Simmer Down, Negative Nancy — Kemp Will Be Fine

SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS VS LOS ANGELES DODGERSI may be the only person in the world who doesn’t think Matt Kemp’s 0-for-10 start to the season is a big deal. Like, the entire world.

We’ve got columnists writing columns about his “slump”; we’ve got Tweeters a-Twittering over the lack of #Beastmode; we’ve got reporters reporting and annoying Don Mattingly to no end with inane questions about Kemp’s sudden “inability” to hit.

Let me first remind you that Kemp is a very good hitter in April, historically. Let me then remind you that over his last 1,000 at-bats or so as a Dodger, Kemp is hitting .315 with over 60 home runs and just under 200 RBI. Let me also remind you that he had major shoulder surgery in the off-season and couldn’t even swing a bat until about a month ago.

And then let me tell you why Kemp’s 0-for-everything start is not a big deal:

1. He’s swinging it well

Yes, he’s taken a couple bad third strikes and rolled over on a couple of very fat pitches (you think he doesn’t realize this?). Also, he’s been basically worthless with runners in scoring position, failing to accumulate a single RBI despite four opportunities with men on base in last night’s game against the Giants. But what is lost amid the flurry of anarchy is that he stroked a deep fly ball right to Angel Pagan in his first at-bat against Tim Lincecum, and then hit a hard line drive right to Pagan again in his second at-bat. Similarly, he put a couple good swings on the ball against Madison Bumgarner the night before that went right at someone. You can stare at the .000 batting average as long as you want, but it won’t tell you the whole story.

2. He’s Matt Kemp

Aside from his rough 2010 season (he still accumulated nearly 30 homers and 90 RBI), in which he hit a paltry .249, Kemp has been stellar and consistent throughout his tenure as a Dodger. He’s never hit below .290 or had an on-base percentage below .340 in any other season in the big leagues. The man is a good hitter, who like all other good hitters, will have his streaks and his slumps. But Dodgers fans know better than anyone that an 0-for-10 quickly turns into a 10-30, which quickly balloons to a 20-50. The hits will fall, people. Please have patience.

3. He’s not alone

I can’t believe I have to resort to this, but it seems only fair given the general psychosis surrounding Kemp’s slow start. Just to appease the masses, I’ve compiled a quick list of other notable sluggers who have struggled in their first three or four games of the year (you know, out of only 50 times that many over the course of the season…). Note: Chris Davis will NOT be appearing on this list.

In no particular order: Paul Konerko (1-for-12), Jason Kipnis (0-for-9), Albert Pujols (1-for-11), Josh Reddick (2-for-13), Jose Reyes (1-for-8), Alfonso Soriano (1-for-12), Joey Votto (1-for-10), Giancarlo Stanton (1-for-9), Allen Craig/Matt Holliday combination (6-for-31), Jayson Werth/Adam LaRoche/Danny Espinosa combination (2-for-32)

Do you feel better now? Do you really think any of the men listed above are going to fall into a spinning whirlpool of doom? Please return to your normally scheduled lives now, and find a real topic to complain about. Writers, maybe you can jump on Carl Crawford’s fast start or Michael Morse’s 162-homer pace instead? Not news? Okay.

Don’t forget to vote in this poll below, which I had absolutely no influence over…

– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)

Follow @3u3d on Twitter and like Three Up, Three Down on Facebook for all your comprehensive baseball coverage!