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!

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!

3U3D for the 2013 MLB Fan Cave

As many of you know, or more likely didn’t know. 3U3D came together through friendships and a love of baseball formed from the 2012 MLB Fan Cave competition. We all can’t imagine what it’d be like now if we had never met last year. The MLB Fan Cave is back for it’s third season and while we’d love and hope for us all to get in (along with a lot of our other friends), that might just be a pipe dream. We can assure you that we’re going to give it our best shot and we think any of us would be a great fit on 4th and Broadway. Without further adieu, enjoy our application videos!

Jeremy Dorn: Los Angeles Dodgers Fan

I’ve always loved baseball. From coach pitch to Little League to Varsity in high school, it’s been my favorite thing to do. Once the “become the next Derek Jeter” dream died, I turned my attention to another passion: writing. Eventually, I married sports and writing together on the blogosphere and worked my way up through the Bleacher Report ranks to become a Dodgers Featured Columnist. In 2012, my love affair with baseball really took off when I made the Fan Cave top 50. There, I met my girlfriend of 10 months now, my lovely 3U3D co-hosts, and many other great people who I’m lucky to call friends. Now, I spend most of my non-working hours watching, talking, writing, reading, and thinking baseball. And after much debate I decided to campaign again for this year’s Cave! Despite my location in San Francisco, my undying loyalty to the Dodgers will never waver.  I hope you like my video and I would be thrilled to have your vote! Here’s to hoping you see and hear a lot more 3U3D from New York City this summer.

Jeremy’s Twitter handle is @JamblinMan , his Instagram account is JamblinMan7, and his Facebook campaign page can be found here.

Brian Boynton: Texas Rangers fan

I have always been a baseball fan. I mean what kid didn’t pretend or even dream that they were pitching in a tie game, in the ninth inning, of Game 7, of the World Series? All kids have that dream and then most realize they will not get the opportunity to play baseball forever. I have always wanted to work in and around baseball. I may not have the ability to play baseball but watching every game on the Cave Monster has to be the next best thing, right? Making the Fan Cave Top 50 in 2012 really just made me like baseball that much more. Even though I wasn’t a Cave Dweller last season with every game I watched on T.V. I pretended I was. Meeting my 3U3D co-hosts has proven to me that there are people out there who enjoy discussing sports and especially baseball as much as I do. All year I have been thinking of skits I want to do and have a folder on my computer dedicated solely to those skits. I hope you enjoy my video and help me live out my adult dream of watching every game of the upcoming season live from the Cave. Lastly, who doesn’t want to hear a 3U3D recording from the Fan Cave?

Brian’s Twitter and Instagram handle is @GingaBeard_Man and his Facebook campaign page can be found here.

Bryan Mapes: Atlanta Braves fan

I think that I would be perfect for the MLB Fan Cave not just because of my love of baseball, but my love of the Fan Cave as well. I was able to visit 4th and Broadway on a few occasions, including seeing The Fray and Young the Giant perform. I’ll never forget when Isaac Slade, the lead singer of The Fray, made a reference to Cal Ripken Jr.’s consecutive games streak and asked how long it was. I instinctively just blurted out “2,632 games” from the audience. Even funnier is that many of the Cave Dwellers knew it was me that had yelled out the answer. I also love social media from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tout, and more I enjoy them all. I was lucky enough to attend game 3 of the ALDS between the Yankees and the Orioles, when Raul Ibáñez hit the pinch-hit game-tying home run. I captured the moment from the bleachers and posted it to YouTube. It was seen by ESPN, they contacted me through Twitter, and used the footage their “Social Highlight” on SportsCenter the next day. That’s the power of social media.  I also would love to find creative ways to raise money for baseball charities like Stand Up To Cancer and Baseball Assistance Team.  Finally, I have so many ideas floating in my head I have a whole place in my phone filled with skits, interviews, and promotions to do in the Fan Cave should I make it. I would be ecstatic for that opportunity.

Bryan’s Twitter and Instagram handle is @IAmMapes and his Facebook campaign page can be found here.


Angelo Fileccia: Detroit Tigers fan

I would be the ideal fan to be in the MLB Fan Cave because on top of what some might call an unhealthy infatuation with baseball, I’m able to network extremely well and have already built rapport with several major leaguers. I am completely comfortable talking to anyone, making him or her feel welcome and engaged in anything that we are doing. I’m very well rounded when it comes to topics like of pop culture, sports, and world news to name a few. I have a unique way of socializing with people and have been told by many people that I have a contagious personality. When it comes to meeting, interacting, and getting to know the MLB stars, I’m not the type to get star struck and act unprofessional by any means. While I wish I had the lifestyle, I understand what a MLB star goes through on a day-to-day basis. I feel it’s that type of knowledge that not everyone has but people want to know. It can also make for better interviews, skits, and all other interactions. In all, I’m passionate about what I do in life and I’m passionate about baseball. When baseball becomes my life, the greatest things will happen.

Angelo’s Twitter and Instagram handle is @GODF_TH_R and his Facebook campaign page can be found here.

The 5th member of 3U3D, Kurt Peter, decided not to apply this year, but he had great things going on for him. Make sure you check him out on Twitter too @FalconKP! We would love to have your support in our quests for the Cave! Thanks from all of us at 3U3D!

Fantastic Fielding of 2012

Chicks may dig the long ball, but it’s fielding that makes for the most exciting highlights in the game of baseball.  What have been the best displays of defensive excellence this season?  Let’s see if I can only limit Mike Trout to one play.

Let’s start it off with Mike Trout with what I believe is the best play of the year.  Look at the leap.  Look at the extension.  I don’t think there is anyone else that makes this play in the Majors.  Trout has taken away five home runs this season, but this one was the best.

Trout’s catch was given a run for it’s money though by Blue Jays Rajai Davis. He uses the wall to catapult himself up over a 10-foot wall to rob Casey McGahee. This one is a thing of beauty.

This is one of the top infield plays of the season by Diamondbacks do-it-all man Willie Bloomquist. He ranges to the other side of 2nd base and flips the ball backward almost in a somersault position to Aaron Hill for the force out. Bonus points for getting out Emilio Bonifacio, one of the fastest players in MLB.

Speaking of somersaults, here’s Twins Ben Revere making a great catch in the 9th inning and rolling into a somersault. Revere is one of the best in the league at spectacular plays.

I’m impartial to this play because I was at the MLB Fan Cave when it happened. Tigers Quintin Berry gets turned around, goes back and make a leaping catch over his head. I’m still not sure how he got to it. It was a huge save for the Tigers as they kept the lead at one and took the lead in the 9th inning. Without this catch, they lose.

Who has the best right field arm? My answer has been Jeff Francouer since he was an Atlanta Brave. Look at that laser rocket arm throwing out Alexei Ramirez.

Why has Brandon Phillips won two straight Gold Gloves at second base? Plays like this are part of the reason. He makes a behind-the-back flip look easy.

I promised my fellow podcast host Jeremy Dorn that I would get a Dodgers play into this. Check out Justin Sellers going full sprint over the shoulder and going head first into the stands. If you can get Vin Scully to go “Whoa!” and “Gee whiz!” that works for me.

A late addition to this blog. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a pitcher almost end up on the dirt to make a play in no-man’s land going the wrong way like J.P. Howell.

The hands-down Minor League play of the year. Jason Repko robs a grand slam from Kosuke Fukudome for the Pawtucket Red Sox. He even tumbles OVER the wall to complete the play.

Bottom of the 12th, up by one with runners on 1st and 2nd, Roger Bernadina saves the day as he becomes one with Minute Maid Park to win the game for the Nationals.

I’ll close with a double-dip of amazing Giants plays. The first was an amazing, diving catch for Gregor Blanco. This catch was the most important on this list as it preserved Matt Cain’s perfect game. The second is the kookiest play of this list as Pablo Sandoval bobbles a catch in foul territory, dives, tips it up and is caught by a diving Brandon Crawford.

Everyone goes with a top ten list, but I love defense so much that I went with a top thirteen! I can’t resist the urge though, here’s another Mike Trout home run robbery! This one to end the game off the bat of Prince Fielder.

Did I miss anything? What’s your favorite play of the year? Let us know in the comments!

-Bryan Mapes (@IAmMapes)

If I Could Turn Back Time: Los Angeles Dodgers Edition

This next week or so on Three Up, Three Down, we’re each grabbing a wrench and tweaking our respective team’s time machine. Inspired by Jim Caple’s recent ESPN column, we are allowing ourselves to go back in time to any game in our team’s history that we wish we could view in person.

Bryan Mapes got us started yesterday with his awesome top 5 list of Braves games he wishes he could go back and attend. Now it’s my turn.

And in Hanleywood Hollywood, anything is possible. So I’m jumping in and taking you with me to April 15, 1947 at Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, NY:

“A life is not important except in the impact it has on other lives.” – Jackie Robinson

You guessed it – Jackie Robinson’s historic Major League debut. In my humble opinion, this was the most important moment in American sports history.

In a time when racial segregation was the norm, Brooklyn Dodgers’ GM Branch Rickey took a chance. He recognized that talent trumped “the norm” and found a way to make his baseball team better. That meant signing Jackie Robinson to a contract, making the speedy infielder the first African-American man to ever play Major League Baseball.

Baseball is America’s pastime, and was especially so in the first half of the 20th century. That being said, it was a white man’s game in a white man’s world. But on April 15, 1947, Robinson busted right through that color barrier on his way to changing sports, and the country, forever.

Though Robinson didn’t record a hit in his first career game, he put his legs to work. After reaching on an error in the 7th inning, Robinson scored what turned out to be the winning run for the Dodgers.

It was this kind of fearless style Jackie had both on and off the field that eventually turned the tides of two battles. The teammates, opponents and fans who believed black players shouldn’t be in the Major Leagues learned to respect the future Hall of Famer’s talents on the field and his spirit off of it.

And, though many likely wouldn’t point to Jackie’s debut as THE turning point in the Civil Rights Movement, it certainly played a role. Because of him, African-Americans everywhere were inspired to fight back. To take back the rights that were bestowed upon them by virtue of being human.

Jackie’s bravery still resonates today, as his number 42 is retired in all 30 ball parks around Major League Baseball, and has become arguably the most revered and sacred jersey number in sports history.

If not for Robinson, it’s possible that Matt Kemp might not have pursued a baseball career. Maybe he wouldn’t even be allowed to play. C.C. Sabathia might never have won a Cy Young. Giancarlo Stanton might not be crushing mammoth home runs for your viewing pleasure.

Sure, I could have picked any number of games in which epic moments appeared on field: any of the half-dozen Dodger World Series titles, or Kirk Gibson’s Game 1 walk-off in the 1988 World Series, or Sandy Koufax’s perfect game, or Steve Finley’s walk-off, division-winning grand slam in 2004.

But if I really had the chance to go back in time, there is no other athlete I would want to witness on the diamond than Jackie Robinson. And no other game I’d rather see him play in than April 15, 1947; one of the most historic dates in not only baseball, but United States history.

Do you agree? Would you go back and watch that game with me, or do you have a different Dodger game in mind? Tell us below in the comments!

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– Jeremy Dorn (@Jamblinman)