Results tagged ‘ mattkemp ’
The Dodgers avoid a sweep from the last place Colorado Rockies along with avoiding falling into a deeper abyss in the NL West from the rival Giants on Wednesday night. The Dodgers sent starter Chad Billingsley to stop the bleeding against the Rockies starter Jeff Francis.
Billingsley did not get off to a great start, as Eric Young Jr hit a shot deep to center field over the head of Matt Kemp that bounced off the wall, and gave Young an inside the park home run as the Rockies led 1-0. Young is the first Rockies player to score on an inside the park home run. Billingsley continued to struggle as Dexter Fowler hit a double to right field, and Wilin Rosario walked. The Dodger defense began to emerge out of the vortex of laziness, as Tyler Colvin hit an RBI single that scored Fowler, however Rosario was tagged out at second base.
The Rockies had a 2-0 lead when the Dodger offense showed signs of waking up offensively with Shane Victorino who singled to left. After Mark Ellis walked, Victorino advanced to second base. Matt Kemp stepped up and hit a huge 3-run homer deep to left center that gave the Dodgers the 3-2 lead in the bottom of the first inning.
“I really haven’t been hitting too well with runners in scoring position the last couple of days, so I needed to do something to help us get the momentum going. We haven’t been getting runs in the first couple of innings, so we definitely got to start putting runs on the board early and put pressure on the other team. The home run put some runs on the board early and gave Chad a little cushion” said Kemp.
Billingsley settled down, and seemed to be focused until the top of the fourth inning with one on, DJ LeMahieu crushed a single to left that scored Jordan Pacheco and tied the game at 3-3.
The bottom of the fifth inning the Dodgers played chess with reliever Carlos Torres, as Victorino connected on a single to right field. Victorino beat the throw to steal second base. Ellis was walked, and once again Kemp reached on a single that loaded the bases. With an offensive threat at the plate like Hanley Ramirez, Torres panicked as he eventually walked Ramirez which scored Victorino and gave the Dodgers the lead 4-3. Once again with the bases loaded, this time Torres was able to focus and cause Juan Rivera to hit into a timely double play to end the inning.
The Dodgers were far from done, just an inning later with Matt Treanor on second base, Victorino slugs a clutch single that scored Treanor. Ellis continued his hitting frenzy as he connected on an RBI single that scored Victorino who ran all the way from first to beat the tag at home plate.
With two on base in the seventh inning, Dodger manager Don Mattingly decided it was time to give Billingsley the night off and brought in reliever Ronald Belisario.
Belisario did not start off strong either as Young singled to right, and thanks to a throwing error by Andre Either, LeMahieu who was third base decided to make a run for home and was safe at the plate, as the Dodgers still lead 6-4. After that, Belisario was flawless the in the next two inning that set it up perfectly for closer Kenley Jansen to close out the game and bring home the win.
Jansen was sensational in the ninth inning as he got Young to pop up at shortstop and the Dodgers held on to defeat the Rockies 6-4. Jansen picked his 22nd save on the season.
Rockies outfielder Eric Young Jr., talked about making history with his inside the park homer, “I put a good swing on it, saw the trajectory of it, and immediately put my head down thinking it was at least going to be a double. I knew he missed it, and rounding second I saw the third base coach was waving his arms like crazy, so I knew he was going for it and I wanted to make a final stretch for it.”
Chad Billingsley (8-9) pitched six solid inning, gave up four hits with five strikeouts. Bilingsley has an impressive 2.02 ERA in his last four starts after going 0-5 in his previous five starts. Carlos Torres (1-1) picked up the loss as he pitched two innings, giving up five hits, with one strikeout and three runs.
The Phillies placed their starter on waivers on Tuesday prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, where the Phillies assumed that a big package would be returned to them in exchange for Lee. And as the Dodgers claimed him off waivers, the Phillies immediately took him off the market.
This is not the first time Lee has been placed on waivers, back in 2010 he was picked up the Texas Rangers who he helped make a World Series appearance. In the off season Lee signed with the Phillies for five years at $120 million.
The 2008 AL Cy Young Award winner has a 2-6 record with a 3.73 ERA for the Phillies this season.
Surprisingly it’s common for MLB teams to place players on waivers, after the trade deadline especially players with extremely large contracts. If a player is claimed, the team can either work out a trade with that club or they can remove a player from waivers. Despite the bad taste this has left in the mouths of many Dodger fans I’ve spoken with, the Phillies were within the rights to do this with Lee.
There has been no comment from Dodgers GM Ned Colletti or anyone within the Dodger organization.
Another pitcher the Dodgers have claimed off waivers successfully is right hander Joe Blanton. In exchange the Phillies will receive a minor leaguer to named at a later date.
If the Dodgers are truly serious about winning, they will do everything it takes to acquire a stellar talented pitcher like Cliff Lee whom they so desperately need.
After a terrible series with the division rival Arizona Diamondbacks, the Dodgers have corrected their errors and began their winning ways against the Ryan Dempster-less Chicago Cubs. Clayton Kershaw was phenomenal on the mound against the Cubs that resulted in a 3-1 victory as they continued to keep pace with the NL West leading San Francisco Giants.
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw and Cubs starter Chris Volstad traded pitches like two heavyweight fighters trading blows in the main events for the first three innings. Both pitchers were sharp and refuse to allow the other team to strike first. However in the top of the fourth inning the Cubs would strike, with Darwin Barney on second, slugger Alfonso Soriano took Kershaw deep to left center that scored Barney and gave the Cubs the 1-0 lead. Kershaw maintained his poise as he ended the inning with a fly out from Welington Castillo.
The bottom of the fourth the Dodgers would come alive and response with an incredible single to right field by Mark Ellis. With a gleam in his eye and power in his bat, Matt Kemp stepped up to the plate and took Volstad deep to right field just over the wall for a 2-run home run, that gave the Dodgers the 2-1 lead. That was Kemp’s 16th home run of the season and 41st RBI.
“I thought it was going to be a home run, but you never know in this ballpark,” said Kemp. “It’s tough to hit home runs at night here, and after looking at it on the Jumbotron, I think I got a little bit of help. But we won, so it really doesn’t matter.”
Things began to cool off offensively for both ball clubs, however the intensity continued between both Kershaw and Volstad well into the eight inning. This game would prove to come down to one thing, which team would finish with the hottest bat.
In the bottom of the eight inning, newly acquired Dodger Shane Victorino hit a big double to center field. After the intentional walk to Kemp, Andre Either responded with a single to second that caught Kemp out at second base. With runners on the corners Hanley Ramirez delivered a timely RBI single to shortstop, and made safely to first base thanks to a throwing error by Starlin Castro. Victorino scored the insurance run as the Dodgers led 3-1.
It was Jansen time in the ninth inning as reliever Kenley Jansen, as he easily struck out Soriano and struck out Brian LaHair looking to end the game, as the Dodgers held on to the 3-1 victory. Jansen picked up his 21st save on the season.
Clayton Kershaw (9-6) picked up the victory and spoke about his performance, “the curveball wasn’t very good tonight and I didn’t throw a lot of strikes with it, but fortunately I had a decent slider. They [Cubs] came out aggressively and were putting the ball in play early.”
Kershaw pitched seven solid innings, gave up one run, three hits and seven strike outs with a 2.88 ERA.
Cubs starter Chris Volstad (0-8) who was recalled from Triple-A Iowa on Wednesday after starters Ryan Dempster and Paul Mahom were dealt in trades picks up the loss. He pitched seven innings, gave up two runs on six hits, and still winless int he major leagues.
The Dodgers still remain just 1/2 game back of the first place San Francisco Giants after their victory against the Colorado Rockies.
The Dodgers go for the sweep of the Cubs on Sunday as the Dodgers send new acquired pitcher Joe Blanton against Justin Germano on Sunday.
The Los Angeles Dodgers still elated from that great extra inning come from behind win against the AL Central leading Chicago White Sox, must now focus on the Oakland A’s. After a much deserved day off, the Dodgers continue to face another team from the American League.
On the mound Tuesday night Aaron Harang pitched for Dodgers and Brandon McCarthy for the Oakland A’s who came off of 11 days rest.
McCarthy was so excited to take the mound that he almost hyperventilated, but maintained his composer, even with his shoulder injury.
McCarthy started out sharp as he took care of the first three Dodger batters in the line up in the first inning.
On the other side of the ball Harang began terribly with two on, Seth Smith singled to center, as outfielder Tony Gwynn was unable to make the grab. Coco Crisp and Jemile Weeks scored that gave the A’s the quick 2-0 lead. With Smith on third base, slugger Jonny Gomes hit an RBI single to left that scored Smith and the A’s made sure they took matters in their own hands offensively against the best team in baseball.
McCarthy continued to pitch masterfully as the Dodgers offensive remained stagnant throughout the night, blowing opportunity after opportunity to score. The Dodgers made McCarthy look like a Cy Young candidate, which was absolutely mystifying after their great run just 48 hours earlier at Dodger Stadium.
The Dodgers also maintained their defense by not allowing any further runs by the A’s, but it proved that defense didn’t matter if the team was unable to score runs when called upon.
However in typical Dodger fashion, they had one last chance in the ninth inning. A’s closer Ryan Cook struck out Elian Herrera, and Andre Either made safe to first base thanks to an error made by Coco Crisp. Cook seemed to struggle as he walked Bobby Abreu. With Either and Abreu at second and first base, James Loney presented the tying run. Loney grounded into a double that got Abreu out at second and Loney at first base to end the game.
A’s winning pitcher Brandon McCarthy spoke about his mindset entering the game, “after the first couple innings I kind of got back feeling normal. Early, amped up and kind of short of breath. I don’t know what was going on. That felt kind of weird, but I was ready.”
McCarthy had a great outing, pitched seven strong innings, with two hits on five strikeouts. McCarthy out pitched Dodger starter Aaron Harang who pitched three and two-thirds innings with six strikeouts, and three earned runs.
“Things weren’t right, and they were being patient and fouling off good pitches, racking up my pitch count. Of course the walks didn’t help,” said Aaron Harang.
*Dodgers OF Matt Kemp is scheduled to return after the All-Star break, and Dodger pitcher Ted Lilly is close to throwing again as recovers from shoulder inflammation.
Dodger manager Don Mattingly said he will discuss with Kemp if he’ll play in this year All-Star Game in Kansas City. Kemp is the NL’s leading vote getter with almost 2 million votes by the fans.
Coming off a disappointing loss on Monday night against their neighbors from the south the Los Angeles of Anaheim, the Dodger looked to regroup for Southern California supremacy.
Dodger starter Aaron Harang took the mound to battle against Angels starter Jerome Williams.
Both Harang and Williams pitched superb, it was duel to see who would give up the first score it seemed. However Harang would lose that battle in the third inning, after walking outfielder Torii Hunter, slugger Albert Pujols hit a slicing single to left to load the bases. Harang looked confident to get out of the inning, until a throwing error commited by Adam Kennedy that allowed Kendrys Morales to be safe at first base, that caused Williams to score.
The Dodgers continued to struggle offensively until the bottom of the fourth inning, when Andre Either fresh off his new $85 million dollar, five year extention contract. launched a single deep to right field that advanced AJ Ellis to third base. With runners on the corners, a healthy Juan Rivera hit a single to left that scored Ellis, to tie the game 1-1. Williams ended the inning by with Adam Kennedy who grounded out into a double play that got Rivera out at second base.
The Angels with two on in the bottom of the sixth inning, Harang got Maicer Izturis to fly out to left, and struck out Erick Aybar. Williams hit into a ground field out to second, however thanks to an error committed by Dodger shortstop Dee Gordon, Morales came in to score. Harang maintained his poise and focus, with two out and two on base he managed to strike out Mark Trumbo to end the inning.
Williams continued his superb pitching well into the bottom of the eight inning. Fatigue seems to begin to take it toll on Williams, as the Dodger put together a masterful rally. With second baseman Elian Herrera on first base, Gordon hit into a ground play near first that managed to get Herrera out at second base. The speedy Gordon stole second base. Next up Either, who proved he wasn’t done for the night, hitting a clutch single that scored Gordon and advanced Ellis to third base. Either picked up his 500th career RBI in the process. Once again the Dodgers had runners in scoring position, and with a very energetic crowd behind them, it was time for Juan Rivera to make something happen. Just before Rivera came to the plate Angels pitching coach Mike Butcher visited the mound to make sure Williams was able to continue. Rivera made Williams pay as he connected on his 102nd pitch a three run homer deep to left that gave the Dodgers the huge 5-2.
That would be Williams final pitch for the night as Angels manager Mike Scisocia decided to call up reliever Jordan Walden to the mound.
In the ninth inning, replacing Jamey Wright who pitched a perfect eight inning, would be the faithful closer Kenley Jansen. Jansen struck out both Mike Trout and Torii Hunter. Jansen settled down and focused as he got Pujols to fly out to center, and waited for Tony Gywnn Jr to make a great catch near the wall to end the game.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen recorded his tenth save on the year, Jamey Wright picked up the victory (3-2), while Jerome Williams who received the loss fell to (6-4) on the season. Aaron Harang gave up two unearned runs, six hits in seven innings, with five strikeouts and four walks.
Angels manager Mike Scioscia argued a call that umpire Joe West made calling Dee Gordon safe. According the replay it looked as though the throw from Angels catcher Hank Conger beat Gordon. Of course Scioscia loss the case on his bobblehead night against his former team. “Joe said he was safe. He said he saw his hand get in there,” said Scioscia. “I don’t need to see a replay. I thought he was out.”
Andre Either talked about his clutch hit in the eight inning, “I was focused on the task at hand, having the same good approach and the same good swing. When you focus on that instead of the outcome, good things happen.”
*The Freeway series concludes on Wednesday night, and a special treat to fans before the first pitch members of the Los Angeles Kings will throw out the ceremonial first pitch and showcase the newly acquired Stanley Cup.
As the Los Angeles Dodgers went for the sweep on Mother’s Day over the divisional opponent the Colorado Rockies, the Dodgers wouldn’t get out of the series without a some causalities.
Ted Lilly was all set to take the mound and put his perfect record to the test against the Colorado Rockies and Alex White.
In the first inning, Lilly started off very shaky and almost unglued as the Rockies jumped out to an early lead thanks to C Gonzalez singled to right field, that scored Michael Scutaro scored. With Tyler Colvin at second base, Michael Cuddyer singled to center that scored Colvin and advanced Gonzalez to second base. Later on in the inning, Ramon Hernandez grounded out to shortstop, yet Gonzalez scored to extend the Rockies lead 3-0.
Alex White didn’t do any better as the Dodgers began to dig themselves out of a hole as Tony Gwynn Jr doubled to left to get on base, yet Mark Ellis grounded out to third. Then Matt Kemp grounded out, however Gwynn managed to score. Kemp, who leads the Dodgers with 12 homers and a .359 batting average, left the game because of an irritated left hamstring after grounding out in the third inning. Walking back to the dugout Kemp showed his frustration as he threw his glove.
The Dodgers weren’t done in the second inning James Loney hit a huge double, AJ Ellis singled to right that allowed Loney to score. Ellis ran to second base beating a throw by White.
Lilly once again got himself into a jam in the fourth inning as A White grounded into fielder’s choice, Dexter Fowler safe at third on throwing error by catcher AJ Ellis. Then Marco Scutaro singled to left, Fowler scored, which frustrated Lilly.
White continued to pitch rather well, and Mark Ellis walked to load the bases and disrupted the party for the Rockies. Newest Dodger Bobby Abreu doubled to deep center that scored Justin Sellers, Gywnn, and Ellis that regained the lead for the Dodgers. After a wild pitch thrown by reliever M Reynolds, Abreu moved to third base. Andre Either was at the plate and was called for a controversial third strike. Either argued with the Umpire M Carlson along manager Don Mattingly who also argued the call, both were ejected.
The ejection seemed to fire up the Dodgers as James Loney walked, then AJ Ellis smacked a 2 run home run that scored Abreu, and Loney.
Lilly had a solid afternoon and was relieved in the seventh inning by S Elbert, then Colvin singled to right, and Scutaro moved to third base. Carlos Gonzalez grounded out to second, Scutaro scored which gave the Rockies some momentum. However Elbert got out of the inning as he struck out Cuddyer looking.
With the bases loaded for the Dodgers again in the eight inning, Scott Van Slyke smacked a double deep to center that scored Juan Uribe, Ellis, and moved Abreu to third base. AJ Ellis struck out, but the damage had been done as the Dodgers cleaned house in the inning.
Dodger closer Javy Guerra made his presence known the Rockies bats as he had a solid 1,2,3 inning to retain the victory for the Dodgers as they defeated the Rockies 11-5.
Ted Lilly goes a perfect 5-0 for the first time in his career allowed five runs, one strike out, and six hits over six innings. Alex White pitched four innings on five hits and one strike in the loss.
Kemp spoke about his injury, “I’m definitely not going on the DL. That’s not going to happen. The team needs me. I don’t think this is a 15-day thing. I think it’s maybe two or three days. I know how my body is. I’m a pretty fast healer.”
On a night where it seems that the Los Angeles Dodgers were facing the biggest rival health with their players that included Juan Rivera and now Matt Kemp.
Kemp was placed on the 15 day DL, Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers would have to continue to fight without their premier warrior.
On the other side of the ball, Arizona D-backs pitcher and 2011 Cy Young runner up Ian Kennedy had something to prove against Kershaw, and to remind him how he never forgot how he should’ve won that prestigious award.
Kershaw got out of the first inning rather quickly making way for the Dodger bats to light up hard and fast, as the speedy Dee Gordon singled to left, and thanks to a throwing error by Kennedy, Gordon made it safe to third base. Mark Ellis grounded out to second, but it allowed Gordon to score as the Dodgers took the lead 1-0.
For the next several innings Kershaw was masterful, showing Kennedy and others why he was the Cy Young winner and still a force to be reckoned with on the mound. Frustrating Arizona batters, Kershaw was virtually untouchable, and so was the Dodger offense in the bottom of the sixth inning, Andre Either smacked a solo home run to right center, as Kennedy watched and pounded his glove in disgust. Catcher AJ Ellis singled to center, then James Loney singled that advanced Ellis to third base.
Adam Kennedy stepped up and hit a key sacrifice fly to center that scored Ellis.
Kennedy threw a pitch behind Kershaw and to the backstop before he walked. Kershaw returned the favor in the fifth inning, making Kennedy bail out of the batter’s box on a first-pitch fastball before he walked him.
After pitching seven strong innings, Josh Lindblom relieved Clayton Kershaw who left the field amongst cheers and applause from the Dodger Stadium crowd.
Lindblom was pretty solid, until he gave up a solo home run to Arizona’s Aaron Hill deep to left field that would prove to be the D-backs only run of the game. Lindblom settled down and go out of the inning with any further damage.
Kenley Jensen came in for Lindblom to close out the game, and did an exceptional job, especially getting R Roberts to pop out at first base to end the game, as the Dodgers defeated the D-backs 3-1. Jensen picked up his fourth save in five attempts on the season.
Matt Kemp talked about how he felt about not playing “I’m disappointed. This is my second time being on the DL, and the first time was a long time ago [April 2007]. I like playing every game, but I’ve got to be healthy and playing at 100 percent for me to be effective. So I’ve got to let it heal.”
Kemp is still on course for his goal of 50/50, and should win the NL MVP award this season, as he’ll continue to play at a high level once he returns from injury.
Kershaw talked about the warning by Umpire after the incident between him and Kennedy, “Old-school baseball’s one thing, and I understand what the manager’s trying to instill over there, but there’s no place for that here. It’s obvious what they were trying to do, but I don’t agree with what they did. It just felt wrong. He’s a good pitcher, he had an awesome year last year and I have a lot of respect for what he does on the hill. But if that’s how they want to do it, that’s fine. He missed anyway, so no big deal.”
Tuesday night did not prove well for the Dodgers as they placed both their potential NL MVP Matt Kemp on the 15 day DL and Juan Uribe for a wrist injury. Chad Billingsley had the tall task of continuing the home streak at Dodgers Stadium against Wade Miley and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Billingsley looked pretty well on the mound until the second inning with the bases loaded and two outs, Gerardo Parra walked that scored Jason Kubel and advanced A Hill to third base. Billingsley got Willie Bloomquist to fly out to center to end the inning.
Miley continued to pitch solid, and the Diamondback offense made sure they gave him plenty of run support, unfortunately at the expense of Billingsley where Arizona exploded in the fifth inning. Bloomquist singled to left, that moved Wade Miley to third base. Justin Upton reached on infield single to shortstop that scored pitcher Wade Miley, Bloomquist and Parra moved to third and second base respectfully. Then Miguel Montero singled to center, which scored Parra, and Dodger manager Don Mattingly had obviously seen enough. He retired Billingsley for the evening and sent in Javy Guerra, which didn’t cool off the D-back bats, as Kubel hit an RBI single to right field, that scored Bloomquist.
It wasn’t until the sixth inning that the Dodgers finally got on the board, as Mark Ellis hit a solo home run deep to center scoring what would end up being their only run scored. The Dodgers defense did make a showing as outfielder Andre Either made a spectacular diving catch to rob Upton of a hit.
However in the top of the seventh the D-backs weren’t done scoring either Lyle Overbay hit a big sacrifice fly to left field, that scored Montero to increase the lead 5-1. Arizona came into the game 6-for-30 in bases-loaded situations.
Arizona closer JJ Putz came in for reliever David Hernandez after he allowed Adam Kennedy to double to right field, setting up Dee Gordon. With two outs, Putz got Gorden to foul out to the catcher for the final out and captured the victory over the Dodgers.
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson spoke about his solid pitcher Wade Miley “He just did a great job for us, and that’s what we needed tonight. He had 72 strikes out of 102 pitches. He maybe started laboring a little bit later in the game, but it was big for him to get as far as he did for us. That’s how he’s been pitching all year.”
Chad Billingsley went four innings, eight hits and three strike out and hasn’t picked up a win since that Astros 12-0 blowout in Houston. Wade Miley pitched six and two-third strong innings allowed eight hits, five strikeouts, and one home run.
The Dodgers are currently 24-12 and still lead the rival San Francisco Giants by six game in the NL West division.
*1988 Dodgers Cy Young Award winner and World Series MVP Orel Hershiser threw out a ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium, as it was also Hershiser bobble head night.
*Scott Van Slyke son of former MLB slugger Andy Van Slyke, made his debut in the starting line up for the first time on Tuesday night.
After disappointing 2-1 loss yesterday at Dodger Stadium against their hated rivals the San Francisco Giants, the Dodgers looked to regroup and get aboard their first place winning ways.
On Wednesday Giants Tim Lincecum looked to do battle not against his nemesis Clayton Kershaw, but against Chad Billingsley. Billingsley looked sharp early, until he faced rival pitcher Tim Lincecum who hit a single to help his own cause that scored Joaquin Arias.
Buster Posey RBI single in the third inning extended the Giants’ lead to 2-0.
It wasn’t long until the Dodgers got on board thanks to Bobby Abreu who singled to advance Andre Either to third base. Later Juan Uribe reached out on an infield single that scored Either. In that same inning Tony Gywnn Jr pinched hit for Billingsley, who tripled to right, Abreu, Uribe, and AJ Ellis all score to help the Dodgers take the lead 4-2.
The Dodgers offense didn’t quit in the sixth inning, catcher AJ Ellis tripled to deep center to get on base in scoring position. Scott Van Slyke (son of Pirate great Andy Van Slyke) came in to pinch hit for pitcher Jamey Wright. Van Slyke hit a huge single that scored Ellis.
In the eight inning Uribe showed up again as he doubled to deep center, and with a man on base, James Loney hit an RBI single to left that scored Uribe. With the bases loaded Giants manager Bruce Bouchy decided a change was necessary and Steve Edlefsen relieved Clay Hensley. A very smart move because with Matt Kemp at the plate, Kemp grounded out to shortstop which caused Adam Kennedy to be called out to end the inning.
Kensley Jansen came in to close out the ninth inning, and after walking Gregor Blanco, settled down and for the final out to strike out catcher Buster Posey swinging.
Chad Billingsley lasted just four innings, allowing two runs and seven hits while striking out five and walking four.
Tim Lincecum gave up four runs, eight hits in five innings with eight strike outs.
Dodger reliever Jamey Wright pitched two superb innings and with two strike outs to pick up the victory.
*Dodgers OF/1B Juan Rivera was placed on the 15-day DL due to a significant strained left hamstring, Dodger manager Don Mattingly said earlier he expected Rivera to be out more than two weeks.
On a cool, crisp, party cloudy Wednesday at historic Dodger Stadium, Wednesday was the day that the city of Los Angeles and Dodger fans across the globe could breathe alot easier, thanks to new ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The three main faces of the new ownership group, Guggenheim CEO and Chairman Mark Walter, new Dodgers President & CEO Stan Kasten, and part owner & CEO Earvin “Magic” Johnson sat before reporters, city officials, and fans watching on the internet to unveil their plans to revive the Dodger spirit.
The press conference was held in center field. Lots of classic Dodger superstars and ex-teammates were in attendance such as the great Maury Wills, Don Newcombe, Steve Garvey, Tommy Lasorda, and others. It was only fitting that the golden voice of baseball and the Dodgers Vin Scully was the master of ceremonies. The crowd heard from Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, and councilman Ed Reyes both were excited about the new ownership group taking over the Dodgers.
The sale of the team, Dodger stadium and land surrounding Chavez Revine became official on Tuesday as the group closed its $2 billion purchase, finally ending the McCourts’ terrible eight-year ownership run.
Vin Scully introduced the three main owners in a fashion only he could express “it’s time to meet the group that will bring the Dodgers higher than the Sistine Chapel.”
Magic Johnson graced the podium as only he could with the larger than life personality and bright billion dollar smile, opening with “God is so good, and I know that because, I’m standing here a Dodger owner, wow.” An excited Johnson continued to say that he spoke to the employees, and informed them that it starts with you, excellence travels all the way to the players on the field. He also stressed to the media and the public that this will be a very safe and family friendly environment, and he reminded us all that that this group is totally committed to winning. Johnson was so eager he expressed that he would start working today, but his office won’t be ready until Monday. “Mr. O’Malley, you put pride in the Dodgers,” Johnson said, as he asked the former owner to stand. “What we want to do is bring the pride back to the city and organization. We want to win on the field and make sure the fans have the best experience they’ve ever had.
Johnson also announced that the parking will be cut from $15 to $10 starting with the next home stand on Monday against the San Francisco Giants.
Former Dodger owner Peter O’Malley who took over the team for his late father Walter owned the team until he sold it in 1998.
A very elated Stan Kasten former president of the Atlanta Braves, Hawks, Thrashers, and Washington Nationals reassured the crowd, “we’re in a market where fans expect to contend now. There’s this real thing called Dodger pride. As someone who has competed 3,000 miles away, it’s a feeling that doesn’t exist with other franchises. Players feel it the first time they put on their uniforms.” He also stressed that they weren’t going to wait two years, if they have the opportunity to win now, that’s what is going to happen.
“We commented the other day when we spoke to the team that we would build a winning way, a culture of winning from top to bottom. For me, it begins with player development. It was pioneered by the Dodgers in Brooklyn. That’s the tradition we’re going to continue.”
Kasten will be working along side of current GM Ned Colletti with player personnel and other moves to restore the Dodgers to greatness.
A very tall and smiling CEO Mark Walter approached the podium and said he grew up not far from the “Field of Dreams” an Iowa based baseball movie starting Kevin Costner, and called this an incredible happy day. Along with that he thanked his parents for teaching him the value of hard work and love.
Announced March 27 the purchase, was the key element in the Dodgers’ emergence from Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Frank McCourt was force to file for bankruptcy last June when he couldn’t meet player payroll, after MLB Commissioner Bud Selig declined to approve a $3 billion agreement between FOX Sports and the Dodgers to extend their television rights. One of the best things Selig did to aid in the process of turning the franchise around.
Scully recognized Dodgers greats Steve Garvey, Ron Cey and Tommy Davis, all wearing Dodgers jerseys. Bill Russell, Maury Wills and a collection of stars from the past appeared also.
Jim Hill questioned Magic about how much it meant for his involvement in such a ground breaking franchise like Dodgers, when they brought in Jackie Robinson, and now to break that cycle in ownership. Johnson fixed his Dodger hat, fighting to hold back tears responded “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Jackie Robinson and also all the other unbelievable players we have here.” As he continued maintaining his composer “it’s very emotional. I can’t even put into words how it is. … It’s a great time — loving this community, loving the Dodgers, loving baseball — to be part of this. My wife Cookie is here, my son Andre. My staff is here. We’re going to get it done.”
Mark Walter added “As much as this is a big day for us, we’re very, very happy to be here, this is not about us. This is about the Dodgers, one of the most honored and storied franchises in history. We are passionate about making this organization the best that it can be from every respect, from winning, from its relationship with the community, from all the philanthropic and other things that it can be a platform to help with.
And as always there were a few dumb questions by a couple of reporters, and a very stern Magic Johnson spoke after the questions had already been answered by Kasten and Walter in regards to the involvement of McCourt. “We own it 100 percent, he won’t get a dime for the parking. Now we don’t need to even mention Frank McCourt, we’re here, we should be clapping about that!”
Walter continued to stress that McCourt can profit only from future development, “We don’t have any current plans for development. Nothing can be developed unless we think it’s good for us.”
Following that, a message from Dodger superstars Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp played on the jumbotron expressed how elated they were about the new ownership taking over the Dodgers. Kemp, also reminded Magic he could take him one-on-one in a scoreboard video message, received a response from the great point guard.
“Matt Kemp challenged me, Matt we’ve got to win the World Series first. Ad after that then you’ll get the chance to play me.”
Vin Scully concluded the press conference by saying that this would be the last ownership exchange that would have his involvement.
On that note this was a great day for baseball, Dodger fans, and sports enthusiast alike as we witnessed history, and I trust we will experience more history and ground breaking moves withing the coming days, weeks and years.
*The Guggenheim Baseball Management is the third owner of the team since 1998.