Where Is Chase?

First day of ST…the burning question was…where is Chase. It seems EVERYONE knew he was coming back. His stuff was in the locker but there was no name plate. Finally the word was out that he had signed a two year contract with the Dodgers.

One of the first players to arrive was Matt Kemp, looking trim and fit after losing almost 50 pounds. He is happy to be with the Dodgers again. He will be vying for a spot in left field which is already crowded. Yes, I will be wearing my Matt Kemp jersey during ST.

No Yu…he signed with the Cubs stating that his goal is to beat the Dodgers. Clayton admits he is a little disappointed that his throwing partner during the offseason chose to go another direction. I think that there still is a pitching position open. Rumor has it that there are several teams looking at Tim Lincecum. Yes, he’s back. Jake Arrieta still is out there too. We’ll see what the management decides to do.

I am eagerly waiting for my chance to see the team. It looks like Trayce is sticking with Howie’s old number of 47 rather than going back to his original 21. I hope he doesn’t change again because I have a couple of Trayce 47 teeshirts.

I’m not planning to go to Angel Stadium to see the Blue Jays since Mike Bolsinger is now in Japan and Barney still hasn’t been picked up. I think I may go to an exhibition game there before the season officially starts. I really dislike Angel Stadium. The only positive are the fully loaded fries but since Crystal has been bringing me an asada burrito instead, it’s a mute point.

The off season just seemed to pass by so quickly. Wasn’t it just Christmas?

Happy Valentines Day!!

In keeping with the theme of the day, here is my Starbucks cup.

Thanks for stopping by. This blog will be going full steam ahead when I go to ST on Feb 27. Stay tuned. Love you all. GO DODGERS!!

Counting Down the Days

As February approaches, I’m in awe how fast the off season went. My life is divided into baseball season and baseball off season. On February 13, pitchers and catchers report with their first workout the following day. Position players report February 18 with first full squad workout scheduled for February 19. These dates are just around the corner. January is almost gone.

As Spring Training nears, there are still some unresolved questions. Will the Dodgers sign Chase Utley? Justin definitely wants him back and has asked upper management to sign him again. No answer yet. He was an integral part of last season, mainly for his leadership and professionalism. Matt Kemp is still a Dodger. He wants to be part of the team. There are so many fans who have the wrong attitude about him. When he was traded to the Padres, he found out through the media. That left some hard feelings of course. I also was upset. I almost gave up my season tickets because I was so angry about how it was handled. Since then, he has played for the Padres and the Braves. His heart is still in LA no matter what everyone thinks. Whenever he played in LA, he always remembered me. He would always smile, wave, sometimes when he could, he would come up and give me one of his awesome hugs. I’m personally glad he is back although many aren’t. It was a slap in the face that he wasn’t included at all in Fan Fest. He still has fans in LA. I look forward to seeing him in Spring Training. He will be vying for a spot in the crowded outfield with others including Toles and Joc. Another unanswered question is where Yu Darvish will end up. He hasn’t signed with anyone yet. Everyone seems to think it’s because he wants the biggest money deal but I personally think he wants to remain a Dodger. He’s hoping that the Dodgers can shed some of its salary and sign him. He has been practicing with Kershaw almost everyday. That means something. Fans still blame him for the World Series loss but he was the scapegoat. He was instrumental in getting the Dodgers to the World Series in the first place. Did everyone forget that? I’m sure everyone will be down on me about these last comments but I really don’t care. My opinions are based on my personal experience, not from what the media wants people to think. I have learned not to believe anything until I actually see it myself.

I was busy checking my flights and hotel reservations for Spring Training. One nice thing is that I am leaving from Long Beach Airport, the best airport in the world. Easy in and easy out. And I found out this morning that now they have paperless boarding passes. No need to find a printer. No losing those passes. One less anxiety. I’m staying at Comfort Suites this year. It was nice to find out that the rooms rates were reasonable, maybe because it’s early in the year. I am so excited. I’m going to meet my best buddies Norma and Donna there. We always have fun. Everyone should try to go to Spring Training at least once. We are going early this year to avoid the heat. There are some exciting improvements at Camelback too. One of our favorite places to go is Cracker Barrel Restaurant. We’ll definitely be going there. We also go to a local card shop to stock up on balls and memorabilia.

I bought a new carryon and tote because I was so excited. I don’t know why since all I really need are my IPad, phones and baseballs.

It is an exciting time. We’ll be able to see our prospects and favorites play for the first time this year. How fun is that?

Thanks for stopping by. See everyone soon!!

Fan Fest 2018

I can’t believe that the off season went so fast. Fan Fest always marks the beginning of the baseball season. The day was finally here. I had done a favor for a friend at work and traded nights so I ended up working on Friday night until 8:00AM. When I got off work, I was feeling tired already. I had been up already by that time about 28 hours. Fan Fest began at 10:00 and was over around 4:00. We weren’t going to stay for the whole thing. I planned to go to a birthday party in Anaheim right after Fan Fest.

I chose one of my Trayce Thompson tee shirts to wear. I had to make sure I brought everything I needed and made a list: Dodger hat, sunscreen, pen, balls, money.

When we arrived, there already was a huge line to my chagrin.

Dodger fans aren’t usually on time to anything but considering this event was free, everyone arrived early!! The line was efficient though but as always, our line was the slowest. There’s that black cloud over my head as usual.

There always is an arch of blue and white balloons at the stadium entrance. The excitement was building.

I came with Norma and Donna. Thank you Norma for driving!!

We hit the Calpis line to get something to drink. Calpis is a delicious Japanese drink. It was only in the 70’s but already getting warm. It seems no matter what, Fan Fest is always too hot. We headed over to the Yard Sale and the Jersey grab bag.

Unfortunately the jerseys were already gone by 10:30. Seriously….that is wrong. The jersey grab bags were $100 and not everyone would be willing to pay $100 for a mystery jersey. They must not have had enough. We stood in the Dodger Wives Mystery Bag line. They had a fundraiser during the season and must have still had leftover bags. There was not one Dodger wife or girlfriend there. I’ll excuse Andrea, Yasiel Puig’s girlfriend since she was in labor with her second son Damian. But where was everyone else?? Big disappointment.

We next got into yet another line: the autograph line. Supposedly everyone in line had a ticket no matter what age. Fans just love to break the rules.

It definitely was a day for long lines!! The estimated attendance at Fan Fest was 35,000 but it seemed like 100,000. It was standing room only. I had been able to get only two vouchers this year: Buehler-Segidin and Koehler-Green. I felt lucky since Walker Buehler and Shawn Green were my first picks anyway.

Walker Buehler…first impression: a very nice, shy appearing young man. Apparently the Dodgers will use him sparingly during the season.

My practice selfie with Rob Segidin. Not too bad. I look better with half a face anyway.

Success!!! Rob Segidin and I and unknown helper.

And then the signing of the ball….he asked me sweet spot and I said I guess. It never matters to me because I’m not selling it anyway. I’m not so much into autographed balls. Once signed, I don’t always know who the autograph belongs to. Does this autograph really look like Rob Segidin?

The picture of Walker Buehler and I is definitely my favorite.

What do you think? He might be destined to be my favorite player this coming year.

And here is the matching autograph..not the sweet spot but on the same ball as Rob’s. He took the sweet spot. Who really cares? It’s a nice autograph.

My next stop was the line for Tom Koehler and Shawn Green. Shawn is my all time favorite. He shows up during the season at some of the baseball games. We’ve become old friends. He genuinely looked happy to see me.

Ha ha. Maybe not.

Shawn doesn’t seem to age. He still looks wonderful. That frown was not directed toward me BTW.

Be still my heart!!

Shawn on the sweet spot.

My big surprise was Tom Koehler. I had no idea who he was. Apparently he was non-tendered on Dec 1 by the Blue Jays after being traded to them by the Marlins. He will be in the Dodgers bullpen. I’m already on his Twitter and Instagram.

sI have to admit my attention was more on Shawn at this point but then I focused on Tom. When I took my selfie with Shawn, the autograph police gave me a hard time about the fact I was supposed to take any pictures with Shawn while he was actually signing my ball. Uh, excuse me, how about the father who was taking at least 8 pictures of his two kids with both players while he held up the line. I know the kids did not have vouchers to even be there. Come on guys….! They had a free junior autograph line if you want to get autographs.

Tom was super funny. I told him I was at every game since I had season tickets. He said he also was at every game. Ha ha.

Signed kind of upside down on the scuffed side of my ball. Kind of like Tom. A little askew. Actually an autograph you can read.

I saw Julio Urias. He waved at me when he saw me. How cool is that?

A few facts to leave with you: Matt Kemp will take part in Spring Training and be vying for left field. The way it looks right now: Austin at catcher, Cody at 1st, Logan at 2nd, JT at 3rd, Yasiel at right field, Chris Taylor at center. Left field still open: Andrew Toles in the mix. BTW he looks fantastic. He’s been working out constantly. Many people don’t like Matt Kemp but he was my favorite for many years and still is my friend. He learned of his trade to the Padres through the media. I mean…really? How is he supposed to react? He will be having lunch with Doc and Puig to iron out any animosities toward each other. But we all have a common goal: to win. Rumor is that he will be traded or set free. But there are always rumors. Clayton and Yu have been practicing together 5 days a week probably since they both live in Texas in close proximity. Yu hasn’t signed yet…maybe he is hoping for a decent offer from the Dodgers? Many still blame him for the World Series loss. He seems to be the scapegoat since you always have to have one. Apparently Clayton doesn’t blame him. And there are talks between the Dodgers and Chase Utley, everyone’s favorite. Where is Andre? He seems to have disappeared from sight.

We decided to leave around 1:30. I was so tired by now. I couldn’t wait to get home.

We had a long walk to the car since the parking police made us park out in the nosebleed parking area. We had a great time. There were too many people at the event. At one point, you couldn’t even move. I suppose the free events are always that way. Most of the fans were ok but there always are some that just don’t know how to act in public. Oh well!!

This is the first glimpse of the new season. The team looks basically the same unlike other seasons where I didn’t recognize anyone. Those players I will miss: Morrow, Culberson, Ethier, Gonzalez. Good luck to them.

See everyone at Spring Training. I will be there in less than a month. Hopefully it will be cooler. They have fixed up Camelback with special shady areas and a new scoreboard. My hotel was less expensive since it is earlier in the season. All this is a plus. The heat in Arizona is at times unbearable.

Thanks for stopping by!!! The blog will be in full swing soon. I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read my blog. It makes writing it worthwhile.

A New Chapter

Mike Bolsinger has been signed by the Chiba Lotte Marines of the Nippon Professional Baseball. It’s a new chapter in his professional life. As everyone knows, he totally won my heart when he played for the Dodgers a few years back. I know he will love Japan. We’ll miss you. Crystal…I guess we won’t have to go to Angel Stadium to see him.

A Few Thoughts

I’m surprised that Yu Darvish has not been signed yet since he was purported to be the top free agent pitcher. He may go to the Twins who need him but I still have my hopes that the Dodgers can get him back. Fans still blame him for Game 7 of the World Series but the offense in that game wasn’t the best either. The Dodgers had a great season with all players contributing. This coming year will be even better.

Adrian Gonzalez has signed with the New York Mets. I know he’ll be happy there since he will be able to start. We’ll miss him though.

Fan Fest is just a week away. I’m having some issues printing up the tickets but am able to pull them up on my Ballpark app. Maybe that’s what they want.. to totally get away from paper. Everyone should try to go since it is a free event. Not sure who will be autographing but my guess is that Puig definitely will be there. Justin doesn’t usually take part so I don’t see it being any different this year. I’m hoping to see Trayce. I have new tee shirts with number 47 and his name. Hopefully he doesn’t change the number again. He is taking part in the Dodger Community Caravan which takes place the week after Fan Fest so I’m hoping he’ll again be part of the autograph sessions.

With Fan Fest and the Dodger Caravan so close, that always means that Spring Training is also just around the corner. We are going to games a couple of weeks earlier than usual so it shouldn’t be as hot. Last year it was horrible. I can’t stand the hot weather especially when there is virtually no shade. I already have my plane ticket and my hotel room so I am committed. No turning back. Rumor is that Camelback has put in shady areas. Hopefully that isn’t just a rumor. I spent a lot of time trying to find a respite from the stifling heat. The main draw of Spring Training is the batting practice before the game. It still is cool since after all it’s only 9:00AM. It’s actually the first real look at the players.

Here’s a few pics from Spring Training 2017.

Thanks for stopping by. As baseball season gets closer, I’ll be writing more. Thank you for all your support during the season. It makes my blog worth writing.