Today’s the day we have been waiting for. It seems like forever. It seems like 30 years to me… But, today the Dodgers statrt the final leg of the journey to the World Series. Did I mention that 30 years was enough already? We have had so much analysis that we now feel paralysis. I’m ready to wach the games. I’m ready to see what the roster is. I’ll keep the roster updated.
I do want to take a minute and thank all our loyal readers and commenters – I really appreciate your input, passion and support. I started this blog back in the early 2000’s and then shut if down for a year around 2016 because it wasn’t fun with all the in-fighting and arguing. I finally figured out that I had to get rid of the bad actors and when you have a site full of straight-up Dodger fans, it becomes a joy again. I think this site is unique because we have a very diverse group of people all over the World who come together as a community and it is a joy for me to be here again. Additionally, there is a whole lotta’ knowledge here with this bunch. As we start this very important chapter in Dodger Lore, maybe you can take a minute out of your busy day and post Go Dodgers! and tell us where you are from. I think this could be pretty cool. You can say more if you like. I know that thousands read this blog every day, but don’t post… and that’s OK. Just let us know where you are. Godspeed!
Arizona Fall League Report
The Glendale Desert Dogs lost 10-9. Cody Thomas hit #3 and was 0-4, but scored a run. Keibert Ruiz hit #5 and was 1-3 with a run scored, and RBI and 2 BB. . Errol Robinson was 2-4 with a double and 2 RBI to go with a run scored. Andre Scrubb started the 10th inning and was the losing pitcher as he gave up two runs, neither earned, on an Errol Robinson throwing error.
Bowman Hitting Challenge by Dodger Chatter
The sixth annual Arizona Fall League (AFL) home run derby is scheduled for Saturday, October 13 beginning at 6:35 MST at Sloan Park at Mesa, the spring training home of the Chicago Cubs. Fans attending the event will be treated to the Bowman Hitting Challenge.
The event was born and raised by Bowman Baseball Cards back in its inaugural season in 2013. This year’s sponsors include Bowman Baseball Cards, Rawlings, Sprouts Farmers Markets, Big AZ Promotions and Zinger Bats.
To call it a home run derby is perhaps a misnomer although home runs are certainly important in the final tally in the contest. However, the challenge is to do much more than hit home runs.
The Bowman hitting Challenge features 30 young sluggers, one from each of the 30 MLB organizations participating in the Arizona Fall League.
Like the MLB all-star home run derby the hitters face live pitching but unlike the annual slugfest prior to the MLB all-star game the home run is not the be all and end all. The contest includes some twists and turns as well as other opportunities for the hitters apart from the home run. In theory, at least, the contest could be won without hitting a home run although that might be most unusual.
- Each batter has two minutes to hit off live pitching.
- Points will be awarded for home runs on a sliding scale of difficulty valued between 100-500 points.
- Participants also can accumulate points by hitting a variety of targets placed around the playing field with a batted ball.
- Hitters will be penalized for foul balls.
- Batters must bunt the first four pitches at targets.
- Following each two-minute hitting period, the batter will be given one free swing at the Bowman Bonus Ball placed on a batting tee.
- The Bowman Bonus Ball is worth double points.
The hitting targets include:
- Bunting targets
- Bowman oversized baseball trading card targets (3)
- Eye Promise Batter’s Eye
- Moving human sphere (Zorb ball)
- Pepsi Power Alley triangle
- Rawlings Factory Store ball bucket pyramids
- Sports Chalet trampoline (jumping outfielder)
- Title Boxing inflatables sponsored (3)
- Zinger Bats vertical bat targets
Fans pay $8.00 to not only watch but participate in this hitting challenge. When targets are struck by batted balls, fans in the stands have the chance to win prizes. These prizes include baseball cards, gift bags, autographed items, event tickets, gift cards from area merchants and Arizona Fall League merchandise and admission tickets. Once inside the gates of Sloan Park, fans pick up their entry in the Lucky Number Booth and are then entered for a chance to win a prize as targets on the field are struck by the various players.
Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager represented the team in 2013 and responded with 1,050 points including a monster shot on his last swing. He did not win the competition taken by catcher Pete O’Brien with 1,575 points.
During the 2015 challenge Dodger outfielder Jacob Scavuzzo emerged as the winner by scoring a 50-point bunt hit, a 200-point home run and a 300-point home run. He also hit two balls off the 300-point Bowman cutout in the infield, a 700-point knockerball in the outfield and the final 800-point shot off the inflatable target in right field.
Oddly enough players find hitting the final ball off the tee the most challenging part of the competition and it sometimes comes down to the bonus ball on the tee to win the contest. Jacob Scuvuzzo did just that in 2015 striking a 400-point target for double points.
“That money ball, everybody’s trying to be the guy that hits the home run because it hasn’t been done before,” Scavuzzo said of the tee shot. “I luckily hit it off the end a little bit and it wound up hitting the target, and that wound up sealing the deal for me. I’m pretty happy with the way that worked out.”
I would expect Cody Thomas to be the Dodger player but would also be more than happy with Jared Walker. I will keep this updated – D.C.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic has a piece that is a very interesting read, entitled: Rosenthal: Get ready for managerial chess matches unlike any other in postseason history
UPDATE #2 – NLDS Roster