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Tag Archives: Hiroki Kuroda

The Good: Matt Kemp, James Loney, and Andre Ethier all had a great series against the Padres. Eric Stults getting another chance to start.

The Bad: Russell Martin, Manny Ramirez, Rafael Furcal, and Orlando Hudson didn’t. Hiroki Kuroda getting injured.

The Ugly: Good grief! I know young pitchers struggle with their control, but to see Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw, and James McDonald do what they did three games in a row was excruciating. Granted, I figure Billingsley will get it going sooner or later. But as for Kershaw and McDonald? Not the greatest way to start the season.

At some point, both of these guys simply need to trust their ability to pitch and not worry so much. McDonald’s body language belied that of a confident pitcher. He was fidgety, and his mechanics appeared off after he loaded the bases the first time. At some point, you wish Brad Ausmus would’ve gone out there to tell him to slow down, go back to a windup, and just pitch. After all, isn’t his handling of pitchers the reason the Dodgers went with him and not Danny Ardoin as a backup catcher?

It was nice to be able to actually see all of this week’s games, less the the two we missed while on the road. I love it when DirecTV offers a free preview of MLB Extra Innings, and I love it even more when they don’t block you from recording any of the preview games, as they did last year.

Things to look forward to — or should I say, eventual eBay purchases?

How about a Russell Martin MacFarlane figure, and a Manny Ramirez bobblehead.

martin

mannyEven though Manny’s been here less than a year, and probably won’t be here longer than a year and a half, clearly he would get his own bobblehead — not just from the Dodgers but from the Albuquerque Isotopes as well. But Casey Blake? Really, the Dodgers marketing department thought better of giving Blake a bobblehead before, I don’t know, Billingsley, Kemp, Ethier, or Broxton?

Finally, thoughts and prayers to the Adenhart family and the Anaheim Angels. What made that particular tragedy strike particularly close to home was the fact that I had traveled that particular intersection (where Adenhart’s vehicle was struck) many, many times at that same hour, and I still have family in the area that do as well.

Hundreds, if not thousands (sadly) of people die yearly at the hands of such wildly irresponsible drivers such as Andrew Gallo, and we never hear about it. It’s sad and unfortunate that it takes a (semi) celebrity to die for us to even consider talking about the senselessness of not only drunk driving, but a legal system powerless to do anything more than slap a repeat offender on the wrist — which ultimately, what license suspension amounts to.

How ought we fix it? I don’t know, but I wish it didn’t require innocent people dying for the issue to come to the forefront.

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Hobby Pack (4.99) x5

Pack 1:
6 Vladimir Guererro
41 Lance Berkman
17 Carlos Beltran
AA40 Justin Morneau
Sign of the Times dual AU: Joe Nathan/Billy Wagner #11/75

Pack 2:
28 Jimmy Rollins
40 Carlos Lee
3 Albert Pujols
1 Ken Griffey Jr
AA3 Randy Johnson

Pack 3:
22 Justin Upton
97 Hideki Matsui
8 Eric Chavez
80 Rick Ankiel
AA22 Hanley Ramirez

Pack 4:
69 Justin Morneau
98 Jeff Francoeur
99 Alfonso Soriano
42 Hunter Pence
AA49 Miguel Cabrera

Pack 5:
58 Ben Sheets
66 Erik Bedard
94 Jason Bay
48 Justin Verlander
5 Daisuke Matsuzaka
14 Frank Thomas
AA39 Lance Berkman
138 Rookie Jersey Autograph Johnny Cueto 914/999

Impressions: What a boring-looking card! The players are chopped out of their natural backgrounds and plastered onto an all-white background. I was pretty happy with landing two “hits” in just five packs, although whoever else pulls from this box is going to be pretty disappointed paying approximately $1 per card and getting not much else.

At least it’s a mercifully smaller base set of just 100 cards. An additional 50 rookie jersey autographs make up the rest of the checklist.

And I must quibble with UD once AGAIN choosing Andruw Jones as a Dodger representative (Russell Martin was the other in the base set, with Clayton Kershaw part of the rookie set). Really Upper Deck, there was no one else worth depicting? I don’t know, maybe Derek Lowe or Hiroki Kuroda? Andre Ethier?

A Dodger win is a good thing. A Dodger win in the NLCS is even better. What isn’t any good is the ridiculous posturing, chest-thumping, and finger-pointing in last night’s game. Listen guys, I understand. Somebody throws a pitch that hits you, you get a little upset. Somebody buzzes you out of the batter’s box, you get a little upset. But you know what, it’s part of the game. Man up and take it instead of sniping at your teammates through Bill Freakin’ Plaschke of all people.

If Chad Billingsley’s teammates are upset that he didn’t buzz any Phillies hitters, then his teammates are a bunch of maroons. Hey guys, did you happen to notice he had trouble even retiring apparent Silver Slugger candidate Brett Myers? In the midst of one of his worst outings this year, you wanted Billingsley to uncork a pitch and put somebody else on base?

Worst yet was Joe Buck and Tim McCarver — and it is a stretch to juxtapose the phrase “worst yet” and Buck and McCarver’s names — continuously rehashing the incident as though there were any redeeming social value to it. They were continuously reinforcing the meme that Billingsley let down his teammates. Well, he did in that he couldn’t retire Brett Myers, not because he didn’t — whether or not he refused to is unknown — partake in the insanity of throwing beanballs. McCarver and Buck kept picking at the scab of an idea that perhaps there was more to come of this, and when Clay Condrey hit nailed Russell Martin again, you could almost see the wheels-a-turnin’ in their heads.

Not surprisingly, ESPN was all over this nonsense. Forgetting that Hiroki Kuroda snapped off a gem last night, and that the Dodgers finally had their offense firing on all cylinders, all the media could focus on was this nonsense. Even Shane Victorino, Kuroda’s would-be victim, seemed to be imploring the media hacks to cut it out. “It’s squashed,” he said. But do you really trust a media hack to leave well enough alone? I’m sure the brushback meme will continue to be discussed repeatedly later tonight.