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Tag Archives: James McDonald

Sort of live-blogging (watching the Dodgers-Giants on DVR delay):

– What a ridiculous, unnecessarily aggressive slide by Eugenio Velez. Matt Kemp’s throw was high, and Velez clearly saw Russell Martin had his back to him. There was no chance of a play at the plate, so to knock down Martin — while he was airborne, no less — was stupidly aggresive.

– Pablo Sandoval needs to SHUT UP. A little irritated that y0u get pitched inside mere moments after your teammate pulls a bonehead move? Get over it, and get off the cheeseburger diet.

– Edgar Renteria … seriously? You, of all people, getting in anyone’s face? Get back on the bench where you belong.

– Kudos to Long Beach’s finest James McDonald for protecting his catcher, and to Brad Ausmus for saving Renteria from a dose of “O, Canada!”

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I mean, what is the logical, rational response to this latest monstrosity (courtesy of 2009 Upper Deck Artifacts):

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An event as impactful as this, and the best UD can scrounge up is hastily thrown together Comic Sans MS typeface nonsense? There was no other illustration or photo available to UD that could’ve been used for this card?

You want to give credit to UD for finally letting go of the X, but then this is what comes out when that crutch is removed?

It appears UD (at least, according to the Sports Card File)  losing its MLB license isn’t quite a 100% proposition. But can any collector honestly say s/he would miss this if it never came back? And it’s not the topic — just look at how well Topps can work U.S. History — it’s all the execution. UD has taken something that is interesting and fails epically by ignoring what made it big — innovation.

There’s nothing innovative about using MS Paint-level artwork for your product. There’s nothing innovative about taking an arguably mediocre design idea and recycling at least three times the following year. There’s nothing innovative about geting rid of your most successful products.

I buy UD product out of habit — I HAVE to buy packs — since there’s obviously nothing that stands out about it otherwise. Such a disappointment considering as recently as last year, UD was still doing things right. Oh well.

Hey, at least this card was in the mix today.

mcdonald

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.