Dodgers fanas a kid,Long Beach Dirt Bags.
Here we go. Mr. Saturday night. As if this game couldn’t get any bigger. As if it wasn’t already between the 2 best NL teams. As if Stephen Strasburg wasn’t making his Southern Cali debut. As if Matt Kemp wasn’t a big enough name for you.
Bryce the Hype Harper makes his major league debut and the stage couldn’t get much bigger, at least for a regular season game. Los Angeles. Chavez Ravine. Hollywood.
Under the lights. Yup. Seems about right.
No pressure though kid. And yes Harper, at 19, is a kid.
Well, let’s see what you got, son. The world is watching.
## UPDATE: Lost in all the Nats/Dodgers hoopla, Mike Trout made his major league debut Saturday. Hitless. 0/4. Trout batted lead-off for the Angels who won 2-1 over Cleveland. We like Trout here at the Culture, hoping he and Pujols can get things going for the Angels who are terrible so far this year.
## UPDATE: Harper finished the game 1/3 with his first major league hit, a double over Matt Kemp’s head in center. He also added the go-ahead run in the 9th with a sac-fly RBI. Dude looks like the real deal. And I’m digging the mohawk/mullet thing he’s got going on.
First, let’s get the obvious out of the way. I am super pissed Stephen Strasburg is not pitching in his hometown of San Diego this week. #FAIL Nats. Should’ve lined that rotation up better. Yet, where there is failure, there is opportunity. And so we shall look at the glass half full and see that out of San Diego’s loss comes Los Angeles’ gain.
Strasburg will now start in a prime time, Saturday night matchup with the Dodgers and Matty Kemp. He likes it when I call him Matty. Now, I suppose since I do REALLY want to see Strasburg pitch and LA is not that far from SD, I could drive up the 5 to check that ish out. But then, you consider traffic and yeah, no. Not happening. So, I’ll pull up a stool at a nearby local brewery house, pub, eatery type thing and watch the heavy-weight fight. Kemp v Strasburg. 50/50 v 100mph.
Let’s do some analysis (don’t worry, no WAR reports… grrrr…. grumble grumble):
2012 MLB Stat-Leaders (HITTING)
HR: 9 – Matt Kemp -1st
RBI: 22- Matt Kemp -1st
AVG: .474 Matt Kemp -1st
Hits: 27 Matt Kemp -1st
Runs: 17 Matt Kemp -1st
Note: I could go on, but you get the point. He predicted 50/50 (50 HR/50 SB) this season. He’s on pace for about 90HR currently. He’ll need to start hitting singles doubles and triples if he wants to get to 50 SBs. Currently on pace for 12. Run Matt, Run.
2012 MLB Stat-Leaders (PITCHING)
ERA: 1.08 Strasburg -5th
K: 25 Strasburg -4th
IP: 25 Strasburg -9th
Note: He could easily be first in both IP and K, but the Nats have Strasburg on a serious pitch count. 95 pitches and or the 6th inning seems to be about it.
Oh and by the way, this match up will also feature currently the two best teams in the National League, with the Dodgers leading the NL West at a 12-3 record and Washington leading the NL East at 12-4. It looks like it will be Chad Billingsly opposing Strasburg, but don’t rule out a possible Clayton Kershaw v Strasburg match up.
And poop on my Diamondbacks who are now below .500 and without Daniel Hudson and Chris Young for a few weeks. Not good.
A recent ESPN article titled Chicks Dig the Ground Ball, featured on the ESPN Mag cover, Brandon McCarthy and his wife, Amanda McCarthy. Thanks to the magazine, it’s come to my attention that the Oakland A’s are stacked with talent. Maybe not so much when it comes to on the field athletes, but definitely when it comes to their rather attractive wives. I know, I know, every team has hot players’ wives. I chose to focus on the A’s for no other reason than I haven’t written about them much lately.
My favorite couple is Eric Sogard, ASU and his wife, Kaycee Sogard, Phoenix. Any chance I get to rep ASU you know I’m going to do it. Especially with as crappy as they have been in every single sport lately. Anyhow, Kaycee Sogard and AMC are friends, it’s kind of fun to follow them on twitter. You know, just to see how the others live.
I used to hate on Manny Ramirez a lot. I mean, let’s face it, he’s done tons of dumb shit. Why else would he get the moniker Manny Being Manny? Now, I feel kind of bad for the guy. I wish him success with the A’s and it would be cool if he and Yoenis Cespedes could somehow recreate that BashBoy Magic ala the late 80’s. One thing Manny definitely did right? Choosing his baby’s momma.
While we’re on the subject of player’s wives and having absolutely nothing to do with the Oakland A’s, let’s play a little word association. What comes to mind when I say, “Casey Daigle.” Some of you may know where I’m going with this. Congratulations. Wait for it. Others likely say, “Who?”. Some may know him as a former major league pitcher with the Arizona Diamondbacks, although I use the term pitcher loosely. He was more of a guy who pretended to act as a pitcher and gave up a lot of runs to the opposition. He could have used some tips from his wife, ex Arizona Wildcat (meow) and USA softball superstar, Jennie Finch.
Oh and sticking with the having nothing to do with the Oakland A’s theme, but plenty to do with WestSide Culture and Jennie Finch. Some of you know about my new found obsession in Kate Upton. My only question is, why, for the love of baseball gods, did the photographers at the 2011 All-Star game in Phoenix only get this one picture of K-Up and JFinch together? Really? That opportunity and you get one photo. Well, at least Erin Andrews made it in there too. (As a side note, if anyone knows who the 4th girl is in the photo, let me know in the comments below. In my dreams, I like to pretend its Zoe Saldana of Avatar and Colombiana lore.
(Credit where credit is due): Juliana Ramirez photos courtesy of : Flickr Manny Ramirez 24
Another $35 Million. Madison Bumgarner, come on down! You’re the next winner of Millionaire!
Is it just me or do the San Francisco Giants suddenly have tons of cash? Maybe $2 Billion for the Dodgers was accurate after all.
The G-Men now have $175M tied up in two pitchers, Matt Cain and Bumgarner. And this is before they resign Tim Lincecum, who is likely to get at least $100M. So, is the writing on the wall for Mr. Lincecum? I think so. He’ll be gone within the next two seasons, maybe as early as this year if the Giants fall behind in the division. And the way things are going in LA and AZ, that could be a real possibility.
Next week, San Diego’s Finest, Stephen Strasburg will return to the 619. The young, up-start, Washington Nationals are in town taking on the lowly San Diego Padres at Petco Park. As it sits right now and if my math is correct, Strasburg would face off against
Corey Luebke on Thursday night. Matt Kemp and the Los Angeles Dodgers at Chavez Ravine.
Strasburg who was born and raised in San Diego and attended San Diego State University, will be back in his home-town. In his two years as a starter at SDSU, Strasburg went 21-4, with a 1.45 ERA, 329 K’s in 207 IP. Oh and by the way, as a Freshman in 2007, Strasburg was named the Mountain West Conference co-Freshman of the Year, where he struck out 47 in 37 innings as a relief pitcher. He also added 7 saves.
As a side note, here come the Nationals. This is a team to be reckoned with. Aside from los Diamondbacks, the Nats are my team. The former head of scouting for the Diamondbacks, Mike Rizzo, is the Nationals GM. I met him a few years ago at an Arizona Fall League game and he told me back then to give the Nats a few years and then, look out.
Currently on the Nats active roster, they have 4 prior D’Backs, but that doesn’t tell the whole story. See the Nationals success is built the same way as the current D’Backs team. Build from within. Promote talent. Draft well. Have a strong farm system. I haven’t even mentioned guys like Bryce Harper, Steve Lombardozzi, Ross Detweiler, Danny Espinosa, John Lannan, Wilson Ramos and Drew Storen, each of whom were drafted and brought up through the Nats farm system.
And you best believe when #37, S2 takes the mound in SD, I’ll be rockin the Aztec red and cheering him on. In fact, I expect more Strasburg fans than Padres fans to be in attendance.
Let me preface this entire post by first saying I lived 99.99% of my life in Arizona. My blood is thin. With that out of the way, it was freezing last night at Petco Park in downtown San Diego. Temperature: 58 degrees. Wind: 12MPH, blowing from the West, aka the Pacific Ocean. AKA, cold as balls. It felt like 40 degrees.
I’m surprised the Arizona Diamondbacks were able to play under such severe conditions. And most of the players on the field had short sleeves on. What are they nuts? The Arizona bullpen was bundled head to toe in long sleeve jackets and hoodies. I always knew pitchers were the smart ones. And speaking of the Diamondbacks bullpen, another solid performance from them. Clearly, they are one of the strengths of this team. 3 IP, 4K, 1BB, 0 H, 0 ER, 1S. That’s how you get it done boys. And thank God, because if they had blown that lead and made us sit in the Southern Cali blizzard for extra innings I would have been pissed!
Chris Young continues to carry the D’Backs so far this season. Ho hum, just another homerun for CY at Petco, where he seems to hit one every game. Last night was a solo shot to extend the D’Backs lead t0 3-1, which against the Padres, is essentially 15-1. If San Diego doesn’t keep the opponents below 2 runs, they pretty much have no shot at winning. It really is sad. I feel bad for Padres fans. I’m just glad I’m not one of them.
Arizona is now 5-1 and heading to Denver to take on the Colorado Fossils. Daniel Hudson on the mound. Let’s get it done, DHud and make the good guys 6-1.