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Friday, August 29, 2008

3 ½ Back and Growing Pains for Dodgers

There is a bright side to this coin. We are only 3 ½ games back. As bad as The Dodgers are playing right now the rest of the west is having a tough time also. To lose the first SEVEN games of and important road trip usually would buried a team in a division race but not this year in the western division. I've never seen anything like this where nobody wants to win a division. The Dodger are three and half games back as they travel to Arizona. The Diamondbacks are just above five hundred and fading fast. The plus for them is they have a great pitching staff, in the game of baseball good pitching always beats good hitting and when neither team can hit it makes for bad baseball and low scoring games. I made a prediction early last month that the winner of the western division will win with 85 wins or less. Has that ever happened? I don't know but it's embarrassing. Nobody has made a move to win the in the west?

I guess it's the youth on both teams are learning how to play the game. Each of these teams has added key players to try to ignite a fire for the race for the title. So far they are a smoke screen. The price of development from within. I will be the first to tell you it does work.

There was a time when the Atlanta Braves were the team that everybody beat up on. With Glavine and

Smoltz and a couple other great pitchers, they learned the game of baseball on the job. The Dodgers and the Diamondbacks will both be the class of the league in the near future. But today Growing Pains.

leftside

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Let's Go You Dodgers!!

The excitement is fading; we're running out of gas headed toward the finish line. It was a good run while it lasted. To think that we could compete for a division title in the weak National League West. There were times I really thought we would be able to catch the D-Backs and make a statement as our team got healthier and our offense picked up the slack.

What happened to the excitement that surged through the team when Manny Ramirez first arrived and was hitting the ball out of the park? The rest of the team started believing; I think we can, I think we can….. And began performing like they could. Jeff Kent and Manny Leading the charge and The Dodgers stepping up to do their part. September can be a very tough month when your team is tired. But winners never quit and quitters never win. You have to shake off the fatigue if you want to play in October and November. Not everybody wants to be playing after the season ends, hard to believe. Road trips like this one remind you of the day you knew we won't be in the playoffs. The Fat Lady hasn't sung yet. Let's go Dodgers we still have a chance.

Leftside

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Let Go You Dodgers!!

The excitement is fading; we're running out of gas headed toward the finish line. It was a good run while it lasted. To think that we could compete for a division title in the weak National League West. There were times I really thought we would be able to catch the D-Backs and make a statement as our team got healthier and our offence picked up the slack.

What happened to the excitement that surged through the team when Manny Ramirez first arrived and was hitting the ball out of the park? The rest of the team started believing; I think we can, I think we can….. And began performing like they could. Jeff Kent and Manny Leading the charge and The Dodgers stepping up to do their part. September can be a very tough month when your team is tired. But winners never quit and quitters never win. You have to shake off the fatigue if you want to play in October and November. Not everybody wants to be playing after the season ends. Hard to believe. Road trips like this remind you of when the time came to pack your bags for winter. Let's go Dodgers we still have a chance.

Leftside

Monday, August 25, 2008

Growing Pains in Philadelphia

Another well played game by the Dodgers. Heart breaking for sure but this is baseball in late August. When Jonathan Broxton comes in the game we want it to be easy and have him close the door on the opponents without a hiccup. That's not going to happen anytime soon. I love the fact that Broxton can throw 100mph. I love that he has an intimidating presents on the mound, this guy is huge! I mean he is big enough to eat hay. One thing we have to remember is that this kid is just 24 years old. How many kids do you see closing today? None! To do this job requires taking some lumps. Can we afford to have Broxton taking lump in the middle of a pennant race? No! But in baseball these things happen. This is a young Dodger team with great veterans leading the way, it was the veterans that didn't come through with the bases loaded to take the pressure off and pad that lead when we had the opportunity. The very reason this is the ultimate team game and everyone plays a big part. From the players perspective we examine what happened and file it away to get ready for the next series.

It isn't over until it's over, plus it's too soon to quit. Let's go beat up the Nationals and see where we stand when we get to Arizona.

Leftside

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Most Important Series of the Year

Starting today the Dodgers have the most important series of the year. You will hear this being said over and over again. This is one of the ways for the Dodgers to be able to stay in the moment plus it is a very important series. Being back on the road against the Phillies in their home ball park will test the character and of the Dodgers. With any division race you have to win series. The obstacle we have in front of us, the Phillies are trying to win a division too and they are very good at home. In a division race the most important game of the year is the one you are playing that day. With that approach you don't get too far ahead of yourself and you focus on the task at hand. From this point out we have to take it one game at a time and with the Diamondbacks playing well we can't afford to slip.

We are in perfect striking range now; it depends on who has the better schedule? Phillies, right now are so important because if we can survive this series and beat up on the Nationals like everybody else in the league does. Then we go head to head with the D-Backs and can make a statement. The most Important series of the season let's go Big Blue.

Leftside

Friday, August 22, 2008

Get ready to Ramp up For September

Gargling each night after screaming at the Dodgers game. Do you have warm saltwater ready to sooth your scratchy throat? The race begins September 1st; if you are within five or six games of the leader in your division you have a chance to win that division. The last five months have been a prelude to the meaning of baseball. Now you find out who wants to play on and who wants to go home. A race to finish line brings out the best in you. There is another level of focus and concentration that is invisible but you feel it come in. You have heard guys talk about tunnel vision, with everything going on around them they are able to block out all the noise… all distractions… all players… and just focus on the ball traveling to the plate as it rides through this tunnel in slow motion. You can see the stitches on the ball… you see a dot on the ball… telling you it's a curve… or a slider… and it's sharp and clear vision.

Players wonder how I tap into this for long periods of time. Why did it show up now? With so much on the line everything is in sink. The stars are lined up and the game has slowed down and my pain has left my body. It is absolutely amazing what the subconscious mind can do when you ask the right questions. When you ask the questions are you coming from fear or faith? Are you coming from doubt or a strong belief in how it's going to turn out? This all means something. The same player is in this battle as he determines what gets through this filter of my mind, good or bad. When you are there you are using more brain power that is the reason people can't stay in this state so long. The focus is outside of you and uses a lot of energy. The very reason you are worn out after playing a game and it takes hours to wind down to a relaxed state. This is good stuff. Wow…

leftside

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Great Home Stand Big Blue

We may be two games back in the standings but this has been a good home stand for the Dodgers. To start off with a sweep of the division leading Phillies and to take two out of three from the Brewers, great job team. We all know you can't win them all, but the positive is we have Greg Maddux back in Dodger blue. Great addition with 34 games left in the regular season. The experience that he brings to the table is felt in more ways than just winning on the field. Greg has played this game so long that his present on the bench with the pitchers on the Dodgers staff is priceless. These guys can sit next to Greg Maddux and glean information from all the situations he's been in and learn. Greg brings value to position players as well. When you have played as long as Greg Maddux, you have some pearls you can share about winning in all faucets of the game. The Padres ace Jake Peavy, who absolutely idolized Greg Maddux; I guarantee you made him better talking to Greg daily. Dodger pitchers take advantage of this future hall of famer. Use him and make yourself better.

leftside

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Welcome Back Greg Maddux

There is your answer to the Brad Penny being out for the season. Welcome back Greg Maddux. The Dodgers front office is making all the right moves to getting into the playoffs. The acquisition of the crafty veteran Greg Maddux is a great move coming into the last month of the regular season. A proven winner who can still compete. We all know that Greg is at the end of his career but he is still one of the best pitchers in the history of the game. Great job Dodgers, this has been a fun month for the fans at the stadium. We feel that we have a chance to win our division and since Manny's arrival the rest of the Dodgers players have stepped it up a notch. When you put Greg Maddux in a situation like this he will definitely shine. Let's go win the Western Division, Go Blue.

leftside

Monday, August 18, 2008


 

My Son & Dodgers Think Cure


 

I have a twenty two year old son fighting for his life. My son has Hodgkin's Lymphoma. Better known as Hodgkin's disease. As a parent it blows you away to find out that your kid has cancer. College basketball player who stands 6'4" inches tall and can jump out of the gym. He was just starting to find his stride when we noticed a lump on his shoulder. We saw it a few months earlier but didn't pay much attention to it. Three or Four months later it had gotten a little bigger and we went to have it checked out. CANCER!!

You would think there would be a sign or something. You are probably saying "the lump stupid". Well, he felt nothing no night sweats, no itching of the scalp, nothing abnormal. It is shocking when they tell you the bad news. We will beat this thing because of the advancement of cancer treatment for Hodgkin's disease. This is the reason why the Dodgers Dream Foundation and Think Cure program is so important. Cancer affects so many households around the world. I believe that every one of them are shocked to hear the news and that is when you start to pay attention and understand how serious this is. There is no rhythm or reason why cancer hits this person and misses that one. We have come a long way in getting closer to a cure but we need your financial help to continue the process.

One of the things that people don't talk much about is the toll it takes on a family. You go through so many tests to find out how far along the cancer is, you have so much time away from work going from doctor appointment to doctors appointment. I think we did that for two straight months. This is before you get second opinions to make sure they have it diagnosed correctly. So you spend long hours away from you job and while you are at your job it's hard to do your work. When you have a loved one going through this process it consumes you. In doing my research so many families fall apart during this time because it's hard to be at the doctor's office and keep the house in order. People are losing their jobs and when the financial strain starts piling up they are losing everything else. We definitely need to find a cure for this dreaded disease but don't forget about what the families are going through. They are affected also in a totally different way and need help and other options to offset this emotionally taxing and expense journey.

We are in our second month of chemo. My son has lost his hair but is in great spirits. He still tries to get out and play basketball when he feels up to it. He still is laughing. That's cool to me because I know they have to put poison into his body to beat this disease and I hate it. He has his bad days and you can't do anything to help him except be there. I can't wait until this next four months are over. Whatever you can do to support the Dodgers Think Cure program; do so it goes a long way.

leftside

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Great Times at Dodger Stadium


 

It has been twenty years since I had my son at Dodger Stadium. He probably doesn't even remember being on the field running the bases on Dodger family day. He was just two years old back then. Now it was time for him to experience his first Dodger Dog. A Dodger dog and a beer would have been cool, but that's not his thing. You can't come to Dodger stadium and not have a Dodger dog; it's like a tradition as a baseball fan. I really enjoyed bringing MD and his girlfriend to the game, it was her first Dodger game and that is always special.

With the Dodgers leading there division and Manny wigs all over the stadium this was fun. I didn't know they still did the wave at baseball games… then another baseball tradition blow by me… the beach ball with fan participation… this was fun. They didn't stop there one of the most enjoyable moment was when the jumbo tron scans the stands for couples and you kiss the person you're sitting next to. Everybody that shows up at the stadium if you have a companion you hope you are the one the camera catches. These are the things that bring you back, again and again. Parking $15, three Dodger dogs $15 two Cokes and water $15

A day at Dodger Stadium with your son and his girlfriend, Priceless.

Leftside

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Pros and Cons of Baseball

It has been a long time since the Dodgers have been in a pennant race and it feels pretty good. Yes we are competing in the weak National League Western Division and yes we are a half a game behind the Arizona Diamondbacks but we are in the drivers seat. We are in control of our own destiny and that is the place to be in the middle of August. Sometimes you need to do a pros and cons to realize where we stand. You do these types of assessments to determine what you need or don’t need to get you to where you want to go. Lets start with Joe Torre, we have the best coach in the game. Joe has won more titles and taken his teams to the playoffs more than anyone in the last 10 years. To have a manager of his caliber is a big plus coming down the home stretch of the regular season. Everybody knows before the season starts every team will win 50 games and every team will lose 50 games. It’s the other 62 games that will put you into the playoffs. Joe Torre, has the experience managing his team coming down the home stretch of a division race. You have to pull all the right strings and have a team committed to the task at hand. This is where having a good manager wins titles.

Leftside

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Congratulations Joe Torre and Go Dodgers

You have to love what is happening at Dodger Stadium. Momentum!! We have it.

Everybody, stepping up to play a part in the Dodgers success. Andre Ethier, not only step up to get the winning hit coming off the bench, but he understands, it takes a team. It takes everybody excepting the role they play at this time. When you have the best players in the world in a team sport like baseball getting guy's to pull for each other is hard to do. Everybody wants to play and you only have nine spots on the field to fill. It is impossible to keep 25 players happy; that is the reason you have to have a good leader and manger. Just think what Joe Torre had to deal with managing the Yankees. In New York you have the biggest names in the game of baseball with even bigger egos. To be able to delegate and manage players of that caliber and income bracket is a major task. I'll never forget the story that Tommy Lasorda, told us: "as a team when you get twenty five guys pulling on the same side of the rope, the impossible can happen and no one can stop you". He probably didn't say it quite like that but pretty close. I'll never forget it because it is so true, this is something that doesn't happen too often but when it does happen, you know it's special. Congratulations Joe Torre on your 2,127th win and welcome to Los Angeles. Think Blue everyone.


leftside

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Dodgers Getting Healthy At The Right Time


What a great start to this home stand. Beating the Phillies on a Monday Night and Getting Nomar Garciaparra back on Tuesday, this is good stuff. Great job Derek Lowe! Great start at the right time. Dodger fans, this is going to happen if we can survive this home stand. I told you yesterday that leadership on the field is key to the Dodgers winning their division. Think Blue everyone!

The Dodgers have the coolest coach in town, with his playoff experience Joe Torre isn't going to panic. That will keep the rest of the guy's cool too. The trade that brought Manny Ramirez to Los Angeles has inspired the the rest of the team at the right time. Let make it through the home stand by winning the series with the Phillies and the series with the Brewers. Then Pay close attention how everyone will step up.

leftside

Monday, August 11, 2008

Dodgers Week of Destiny


With the Dodgers taking a few lumps on this last road trip, this coming home stand becomes very important. There has to be a turning point when the team says: " that's enough". This is our division to win. It can't be Joe Torre, or the coaching staff. Someone on the field has to take over and lead. One of the veteran players who has the respect of everyone, needs to call a team meeting without the coaches and find out who is ready to take this to the next level? Everything is thrown out the window at this time. It's not about how big your name is or how much money you make. This is playoff baseball time and who wants to play for the title?

With the Eastern division Leading Philly's in town, followed by the Brewers , this home stand will make a statement as to what the Dodgers are made of. It time to Man Up! That was one of the awesome things about Tommy Lasorda, who could come into the locker room and tell a story that could unite the team as one. Leadership is so important on the field. The front office did what they where suppose to do and added a couple of players for the final surge for the pennant. If the leaders on the field don't step up this opportunity could get away and we will be talking about next year again.

Jeff Kent, Andruw Jones, Brad Penny, how bad to you want this thing? This is your time to shine and guide this young team to the fall classics. Leadership on the field can unite this group of Dodgers. How bad to you want this thing? It's so close.


leftside

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Welcome Back Brad Penny


What a wonderful site to have Brad Penny back on the mound for the Dodgers. His presence on the field means a lot for the players and fans. With the Dodgers getting healthy coming into the last couple of months of the regular season the timing couldn't be any better. I'm not sure what promotion the Dodgers marketing partners are using for Brad Penny? But the one thing I do know, momentum is building and I'm excited!! Hurry up Nomar! These are the guys you want out on the field to take the pressure off of Russ Martin, James Loney, and Matt Kemp. As the veterans keep their cool the young players learn how to manage the calm before the storm. This is the time of year that makes baseball fun when you're in a pennant race. We have player on the roster where this isn't their first rodeo and all of them have performed well. Get you Manny wig ready for the next home stand and THINK BLUE!


leftside

Friday, August 8, 2008

Dodger Fan's Let's Pull for Andruw Jones

You have to know what it feels like to come to a huge market like Los Angeles with High expectations, and not be able to deliver. I have first hand experience. In 1988 I came to LA expecting to set the world on fire. I worked extra hard that winter and looked forward to wearing the Dodger Blue. The season started an I bombed, my worst season ever. The point I’m making is it isn’t over until it’s over. August and September baby! Start pulling for Andruw Jones with one big moment we could be talking about the roll he played in the fall classics of 2008. With the changes the Dodgers have made he may be the difference maker. I’m sure Andruw Jones showed up looking to be Andruw Jones of the past. Start pulling for guy and see what a different it makes.

Leftside

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Have You Gotten Your #99 and Manny Wig?

I was driving through Pasadena and saw a Big sign on Walnut St.
Which read: “ Think Blue” with the Dodgers Logo. All I could think about was how much fun I had at Dodger Stadium this past weekend. Seeing Manny Ramirez wearing the number 99 and the dread locks flowing down his back is a site to behold. I’m from the old school and I like seeing things in order, but for some reason this was different. When Many stepped to plate and hit his first Dodger homerun the stadium went ballistic! Something special is happening here folks.
I’m sure that Joe Torre has asked Manny to cut the wig. But wait a minute? I don’t know if I speak for anybody else but Manny, had me wanting to get a Manny wig and a number 99 jersey. Did anybody else feel that? I truly don’t like seeing major league players drift so far to the left but at the same time I can appreciate Manny branding himself for the LA Market. There truly was magic in the stadium and with the former World Championship players on hand from the 80’s, I think that magic is spreading through the city. Can you feel it?
Leftside

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Hanging Out With The World Champion Dodgers

Last weekend I was Invited to return to Dodger Stadium as they celebrate 50 years in Los Angeles. This pass weekend brought the Organization to the decade of 80’s in which the Dodgers won Two World Championships. Seeing your former team mates is an awesome experience. There is something special that takes place when you war together for a full season and prevail as Champions of the World. Seeing Fernando, and Saxy, and Tim Leary, Al Pena and then topping it off with Tommy Lasorda and Kirk Gibson. This was extra special. Years have past and we are still one. We are bonded together for the rest of our live as Champions and to hear the stories that each of us shared is worth it weight in gold.
I am awed by Lasorda, his story telling still keeps me on the edge of my seat waiting for him to deliver the punch line. This brought back a memory that took place twenty years ago when my son Mychal Deric was two years ago, he jumped in Tommy golf cart an took it for a joy ride. Tommy remembered this and added how T-Bone’s kids caught him and gave him a beat down. With the thousands of fans admiring their heroes, to be in each others company was Awesome.

Leftside

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Look Out Here Comes the Dodgers!!!

If you were at Dodger Stadium over the weekend, there was a buzz in the stadium that took me back to twenty years ago. The true Dodgers fans know what happened twenty years ago. WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP… My name is Mike Davis and I was a member of the 1988 World Champs. Our Championship has bonded me with Dodgers Fans Around the world. With Manny Ramirez in town and the Dodgers fans getting excited about being in a pennant race again. I was so cool to hear the chant’s“ Manny, Manny, Manny…” and all across the stadium everyone stop everything they were doing to witness every swing Manny took. He didn’t disappoint. Hitting two Homeruns and driving in six runs, Just what the doctor ordered.

Leftside