Tag:Casey Blake
Posted on: August 13, 2010 10:29 am
Edited on: August 13, 2010 1:11 pm

As Dodgers' hopes fade, Broxton's job in danger

Jonathan Broxton Jonathan Broxton's struggles continued Thursday night, as a walk-off win by the Phillies pushed the Dodgers to nine games behind first place.

Broxton came in with a three-run lead after Ronald Belisario gave up four runs in the eighth to give the Phillies a fighting chance at what was then a 9-6 lead by L.A. Needless to say, Broxton blew the lead and handed Philadelphia a 10-9 victory.

Broxton hit Placido Polanco to lead off the ninth, then walked Mike Sweeney and Jayson Werth.

"[I'm] just a little wild right now," Broxton told MLB.com. "Every pitcher goes through it. Hopefully I'll get back to my normal self out there."

No kidding. After getting the season off to a start expected of the massive right-hander and walking just seven in 38 1/3 innings (not including intentional walks), Broxton is at an insane 11 in his last eight innings. His whiff rate has also tumbled from 12.9 to 5.6. Yes, eight innings isn't enough to draw conclusions on, but there's no question Broxton is in a massive funk -- and the funk began before these eight innings, stretching back to late June. After the game, manager Joe Torre refused to say Broxton would remain the closer outright.

"Let the smoke clear before you get me to say something I haven't thought about," Torre said of Broxton's implosion. "He's a big boy, he'll be all right. Long-term, I'm not worried about him." 

Potential replacements for Broxton include rookie fireballing sensation Kenley Jansen, who was a catcher just last season. Lefty Hong-Chih Kuo could also pick up some saves.

Even though Broxton created his predicament  with his wildness, he wasn't entirely to blame -- although he shouldered it all after the game, refusing to pin the loss on anyone else -- like Casey Blake.

With the bases juiced, Broxton then induced a grounder to third baseman Blake, who had just entered the game as a defensive replacement. The potential double-play ball went through his legs, scoring two runs and setting up Carlos Ruiz' walk-off double.

"One of those ... You don't call it do-or-die, but an in-between, and if you don't come up with it, it kind of makes you look like an idiot, and tonight I looked like an idiot," said Blake. "I've got to make that play, bottom line."

Ruiz then cranked a long double that bounced off the left-center field wall, sparking the histrionics.

"I always like that moment," said Ruiz. "I was going to the plate relaxed. I was thinking [manager] Charlie [Manuel] showed his confidence to get a big hit, because right there you have a bunt situation. So I said, 'You have to do something.' I definitely was looking for a good pitch to hit, and he threw me a slider right down the middle, and I made good contact."

While the Phillies were bouncing around enjoying the moment and ensuring they stay two games behind the Braves for the NL East Division lead, the Dodgers were solemnly walking off.

"That's a dagger," Blake said of the loss.

You bet it is, as L.A.'s current 2.2 percent chance to make the playoffs means you can stick a fork in the team.

-- Evan Brunell

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.
Posted on: July 30, 2010 11:17 pm

Dodger accused Lilly of cheating

Ted Lilly The Dodgers could be the front-runner to land Cubs starter Ted Lilly, with ESPN.com's Jayson Stark saying they have a deal in place but are stuck on how much money would move.

If Lilly does go west, the home clubhouse manager at Dodger Stadium might be advised to put his locker as far away as possible from Casey Blake's. They might need a little time and an awkward conversation before they warm up to each other.

In May, Blake accused Lilly of starting his windup in front of the rubber to try to gain an advantage. He protested to umpire John Hirschbeck, who didn't intervene, and Blake had to be restrained.

"I know he doesn't have an overpowering fastball," Blake said afterward. "I know he's trying to get as much of an edge as he can. But he moved in.

"That's cheating. You've got to stay on the rubber."

Lilly admitted he might have inadvertently been ahead of the rubber "a couple times," but that it wouldn't even be an advantage because a pitcher loses the leverage of pushing off the rubber. He didn't seem to appreciate being labeled a cheater.

"Sometimes a batter will get in the box and he'll step out, and behind the box, and on the lines," Lilly said. "I don't think he's trying to cheat. It might not be intentional."

Should make for an interesting introduction if Lilly goes to the Dodgers.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.

Posted on: July 19, 2010 5:42 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2010 4:03 pm

This week in free stuff: July 19-26

What's better than a day at the ballpark? A day at the ballpark and free stuff.

I remember as a kid going to a Tidewater Tides (as the Norfolk Tides were called then) and getting a Tides batting glove. I wore that batting glove even though it was for my left hand and I was a left-handed hitter. I loved that thing, with the Tides logo and elastic wristband. Since then, I've loved ballpark giveaways (or SGA as you can find them on eBay) and have a collection of odds and ends such as an Endy Chavez bobblehead or a Macon Braves batting helmet (I only get them now as a paying fan, not as part of the job). As a proud owner of a Savannah Sand Gnats Gnic the Gnat bobblehead, I often check around to see what's being given away at ballparks around the country. So here it is, this week in free stuff, from the majors and minors. Keep in mind, this isn't a complete list, just the ones I find most interesting, and even if many think bobbleheads are passe, I'm still a big fan and you'll see most of them here.

Tonight, July 19
Chicago Cubs -- a Cubs mouse pad… if you still use one of those. Ask your parents, kids.
Johnson City Cardinals (Rookie Appalachian League) -- seat cushion. One of the more underrated and classic give-aways, you don't see them as much anymore, yet your butt could still use a cushion after nine innings.

Tuesday, July 20
Los Angeles Dodgers -- James Loney bobblehead
New Hampshire Fisher Cats (Eastern League) -- Dustin Pedroia bobblehead
Richmond Flying Squirrels (Southern League) -- logo ball. I'm not usually a big logo ball fan, but this logo is a flying squirrel.
Lakewood BlueClaws (South Atlantic League) -- paint your own Clawd bobblehead. Clawd is the team's mascot.
State College Spikes (New York-Penn League) -- eco-friendly cooler bag. I was at a Marlins game once and they gave out gas cans. I'm usually a big fan of practical give-aways, but I didn't take that one.

Brookly Cyclones Wednesday, July 21
Baltimore Orioles -- foam finger. A classic. I'd love to see the foam finger make a comeback, even if a No. 1 is a little unrealistic for the Orioles.
Chicago Cubs -- key chain. This one is actually a nice, simple design, something that can often be done wrong and is done well here.
Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- "Jersey? Sure!" Jersey. It's actually kinda great. The Cyclones are one of the minor league leaders in both quantity and quality of giveaways.

Manny Ramirez Thursday, July 22
Pittsburgh Pirates -- T-shirt. I don't normally get too excited by free t-shirts, but this one has a nice Pirate theme with a ship and all.
Los Angeles Dodgers -- Manny Ramirez action figure. Action figures are this year's attempt at replacing bobbleheads. The Dodgers went the extra mile and made each of their three action figures as superheroes, but it still doesn't quite work.
Bowie BaySox (Eastern League) -- Nolan Reimold bobblehead. The Orioles prospect is getting his own bobblehead.
Iowa Cubs (Pacific Coast League) -- Casey Blake bobblehead. Blake is an Iowa native.
Portland Sea Dogs (Eastern League) -- Adrian Gonzalez bobblehead.
Corpus Christi Hooks (Texas League) -- Aussie hat. Not bad for a day at the beach on North Padre Island.
Lakewood BlueClaws (South Atlantic Laegue) -- Dusty Wathan bobblehead. Wathan, son of former Royals manager John "Duke" Wathan, was the manager of the BlueClaws last season when the team won the South Atlantic League title and like most of his players, got called up. He's now the manager of the High-A Clearwater Threshers in the Phillies organization.
Great Lakes Loons (Midwest League) -- Bill Freehan bobblehead. The Loons are honoring Tiger legends with bobbleheads this season and Freehan is Michigan through-and-through. Freehan was born in Detroit, played football and baseball at the University of Michigan and then spent his entire 15-year career with the Tigers.
Orem Owlz (Frontier League) -- Torii Hunter bobblehead.

Friday, July 23
Evan Longoria Baltimore Orioles -- tankard. More realistic than the foam finger, Orioles fans can drink away their problems in style.
Houston Astros -- gym bag. Again, one of the practical giveaways. I have a Braves bag I still use.
Montgomery Biscuits (Southern League) -- Evan Longoria bobblehead.
Clearwater Threshers (Florida State League) -- Mike Schmidt bobblehead.
West Michigan Whitecaps (Midwest League) -- Larry Herndon bobblehead. It's a big week for former Tigers, apparently. Herndon caught the last out of the 1984 World Series.
Brooklyn Cyclones (New York-Penn League) -- Fireman Sandy bobblehead. A bobblehead of the mascot Sandy in a fireman's uniform.
Vermont Lake Monsters (New York-Penn League) -- Champ bobblehead. A friend of mine has a large collection of bobbleheads and says the mascot ones go for the most money on the secondary market.

Saturday, July 24
New York Yankees -- lunch box. I love the metal lunch boxes, they're a popular giveaway -- and for good reason.
Grady Sizemore Cleveland Indians -- Grady Sizemore bobblehead. One of the few chances to see Grady Sizemore in action at Progressive Field.
Houston Astros -- rainbow sleeve t-shirt.
Milwaukee Brewers -- grill master apron.
Las Vegas 51s (Pacific Coast League) -- wall clock.
Inland Empire 66ers (California League) -- James Loney bobblehead.
Visalia Rawhide (California League) -- beach blanket.
Kinston Indians (Carolina League) -- Lonnie Chisenhall bobblehead. The Indians prospect is nearly ready for the big leagues and he already has a bobblehead.
Hagerstown Suns (South Atlantic League) -- Little Heiskell bobblehead. Little Heiskell is a German soldier weathervane figure that has become a symbol of the city.
Rome Braves (South Atlantic League) -- Tommy Hanson bobblehead.
West Michigan Whitecaps (Midwest League) -- glow-in-the-dark baseball.
State College Spikes (New York-Penn League) -- kids fielding glove giveaway. As a kid, these always kinda bummed me out, because it's not like they have a left-handed option. Sure, they're never good enough to actually use, but that's little consolation to a sad little left-handed kid.
Everett AquaSox (Northwest League) -- fleece blanket. One of my favorites, although many teams are moving toward Snuggie-like blankets instead of the usual throw.

Sunday, July 25
Philadelphia Phillies -- Chase Utley action figure. Like the real Utley, this one no longer has a cast on his hand.
Milwaukee Brewers -- Robin Yount bobblehead. Not only is Yount wearing a great old Brewers uniform, the Yountstache is in full effect.
Albuquerque Isotopes (Pacific Coast League) -- Orbit bobblehead. Another great mascot bobblehead. Most minor league mascots are better in bobblehead form than mascot form.
Reno Aces (Pacific Coast League) -- skateboard deck. Another new one this season, the Aces deck is one of the best.
New Britain Rock Cats (Eastern League) -- paint your own bobblehead.
Greensboro Grasshoppers (South Atlantic League) -- Chris Coghlan figurine.
Bowling Green Hot Rods (Midwest League) -- lunch box.
Lake County Captains (Midwest League) -- Skipper leg lamp bobblehead. It's the leg of the mascot, Skipper, and it's a leg lamp, just like Cleveland's own A Christmas Story.
Lowell Spinners (New York-Penn League) -- Allie Gator bobblehead.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com