Alex’s All-Childhood Team

August 10, 2013

For one day in 2013, 90s baseball was alive and well. Ken Griffey Jr was honored in Seattle, while Hideo Nomo, Eric Karros, and Tommy Lasorda shared a laugh pre-game in Los Angeles. All this got me thinking, what would my All-Childhood Team roster look like? Of course, it’d be a bit biased towards Dodgers. But besides that, who would it be? So here we go. This is strictly based on how I will remember baseball during my childhood, who I followed, and players who, to this day, stand out in my memory. 25 man roster.

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Catcher – Mike Piazza

1st Base – Eric Karros

2nd Base – Craig Biggio

Shortstop – Derek Jeter

3rd Base – Chipper Jones

Outfield – Ken Griffey Jr, Tim Salmon, Shawn Green

Starting Pitching – Greg Maddux, Randy Johnson, Hideo Nomo, Pedro Martinez, John Smoltz

Relief Pitching – Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman, Eric Gagne, Troy Percival

Bench – Cal Ripkin Jr, Tony Gwynn, Todd Helton, Jeff Bagwell, Edgar Martinez, Raul Mondesi, Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez, Nomar Garciaparra

Manager – Tommy Lasorda

These players couldn’t make the 25 man roster, but they deserve a shout-out.

Honorable Mention: Eric Young, Chan Ho Park, Tim Wakefield, David Wells, Mark McGwire, Bernie Williams, Jorge Posada, Larry Walker, Tom Glavine, Mark Grace

Not mentioned above, but worth mentioning just because 13 year old Alex thought they were awesome…these guys:
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Another Letter To Dodgers Management

October 25, 2012

Dear Mark, Magic, Stan, and Ned:

It’s been a few months since I last wrote to you. First, congratulations on a semi-successful first season at the helm. At lot better than McCourt. You spent money. You promised renovations to The Ravine. You smiled with us. You were frustrated with us (more on that in a minute). But overall, we Dodger fans felt like we could come back to The Ravine. We were comfortable and felt safe. We felt at home. Thank you.

OK. Now to the nitty-gritty. There were some things that happened during the season that, no matter what steps you took, may not have been avoidable. Kemp’s injury. Kershaw’s injury. Billingsley’s injury. Ellis’ injury. Pretty much all the shitty injuries we encountered. But next season the team should be healthy. But right now, we have a bigger problem. Possibly the biggest problem you may ever face as the new management of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Giants are winning. They’re winning a lot. They’re winning too much. It’s hurting me. It’s hurting all of Los Angeles. It’s more frightening than the Swine Flu or SARS. THIS CAN’T HAPPEN!

I was born in 1990. I have seen my favorite team in the World Series a grand total of ZERO times in my life. I have seen my favorite team’s biggest rival, a team I was taught to hate with every fiber of my being, in the World Series THREE TIMES in my life! That’s not OK. That hurts. I kinda want to cry thinking about that. Really.

When you are all gathering together in a few weeks to prepare for the Winter Meetings, you should have one thing on your mind. Pitching. The Tigers have a 1-4 that (until now) was proving to be unstoppable. The Giants have a bullpen that can probably be trusted to throw 8 out of 9 innings. We have 2 for sure starters (but one of them is rehabbing an injury and has been spotty in the past). We then have 2 questionable pitchers (Beckett and Capuano). We have a decent bullpen, but it needs to be solidified. We need a hitting coach who, you know, knows how to teach people to hit the ball. And finally, we need some good (not over the hill) bench players who can come in a provide solid defense, as well as some power.

Is that too much to ask!?

I just want to make sure you are all watching what is happening right now in San Francisco. The goal every year should be to have a better season than the Giants. Every. Year. So let’s do it! Let’s make 2013 the best year in Dodgers history! Take the things you promised us (winning) and make them happen! Winning games comes from the guy on the mound. Priority #1. Let’s go!

If the ones from the North win the Series, this will all be more urgent than ever. Dodger fans can’t handle this again.

-Alex


A Letter To The New Dodger Owners

May 2, 2012

The new ownership team for Los Angeles Dodgers was introduced just about an hour ago. Part of the introduction included unveiling a new online fan suggestion box email (fanbox@ladodgers.com). I’ve written about this subject here before, but I felt it was necessary to send in an email. It’s time to bring back The Dodger Way!

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To Whom It May Concern,
I know the person reading this may not be named Stan, Mark, or Magic. I know that whoever is reading this may just have the simple job of writing down the suggestions and passing them along (if they are good). But I first want to take a moment to thank you all! As I watch this press conference introducing the new owners a long way away in Eugene, OR (where I am a Senior at the University of Oregon), I cannot help but feel energized and excited.
Mr. Kasten and Mr. Johnson both mentioned restoring something intangible about the Dodgers. Something that Mr. O’Malley brought to the team. As Mr. Johnson said, “We don’t need to reinvent the wheel. We just need to bring it back to where Mr. O’Malley had it.” And THAT is the source of my email.
In 1954, Dodger executive Al Campanis wrote a book. It was called “The Dodgers’ Way To Play Baseball.” It was a book that was passed down through the generations of Dodger players, executives, and from Walter to Peter O’Malley. It was given to every player at the start of Spring Training. It wasn’t just about how to play the game, but also how to act as a representative of the team, and how to run the team. It was something that set the Dodgers apart from every franchise in Major League baseball. When Peter O’Malley sold the team to News Corp in the late 90s, The Dodger Way was lost.
During today’s press conference, Mr. Johnson, Mr. Kasten, and Mr. Walters all mentioned aspects of The Dodger Way, which prompted me to write this email. I would like to suggest that The Dodgers’ Way To Play Baseball by Al Campanis be placed on the desk of every employee at Dodger Stadium (as well as given to the players). The Dodgers are great, and can be great again, but the proper way to do it has been forgotten. Let’s bring it back!

I am excited to see what this ownership team can do, and cannot wait to celebrate in October!

Thanks you, and Go Dodgers!

Alex Horwitch
Senior – Public Relations/Journalism Major
University of Oregon
Resident of Calabasas, CA


Changing Of The LA Guard

December 14, 2011

For the first time in franchise history, the Los Angeles Clippers just sold out of season tickets. You can read that again, and again, and again, and it may still look funny. Hell. When you’re doing reading this, as well as every other article that will be published in the next few days/weeks, you may STILL think all of this looks funny. But believe it or not, ready or not, here they come.

The Los Angeles Clippers are relevant.

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Sold! To the man in the Dodger hat!

November 3, 2011

The white flag was raised, the combatants came out of the trenches, and the treaty was signed. Frank McCourt finally relinquished his ownership of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and fans everywhere, including myself, felt a weight lifted off of their beloved team. And just as soon as his name was on the settlement agreement, the people of Dodger Nation moved from worrying about the most hated man in LA sports history to who would become the new owner.

Names have been thrown around like a dogs chew toy during a game of fetch. Cuban. Garvey. Hershiser. Broad. AEG. Time Warner. But one name has been absent from the conversation due to his supposed lack of interest. Until now.

Peter O’Malley needs to be in the front office again. He stated his rekindled interest to the LA Times yesterday. Tommy Lasorda said it needs to happen. And it does. It just does. Not necessarily as owner. But as CEO or President.

O’Malley says he is the only one who can reconnect the Dodgers to the community. I agree. He is the only person who truly has the knowledge of the team to do so. His return to Chavez Ravine would be welcomed back in a way only comparible to what would happen if Ronald Reagan rose from the dead to appear at the Repulican Convention to announce he was running for President. That big.

Dennis Gilbert needs to be majority owner. He is a lifelong Dodger fan with 8 season tickets in the front row behind home plate. He is a former agent who knows the business of baseball and is well respected in the community, as well as in MLB’s front offices. Minority owners (faces with money) should get involved too. People who care. Vin Scully. Tommy Lasorda. Maybe AEG. As the LA Times reported, the idea of AEG renovating the Ravine and making it LA Live North at Dodger Stadium is pretty mind boggling to think about.

Whatever happens will surely be better than what we as Dodger fans have been suffering through for the past few years. Ned Colletti will finally have money to prove that he is the smart GM he appears he can be. Whatever happens will usher a new era for the Los Angeles Dodgers. Whatever happens, the future is bright…

But Peter O’Malley needs to be there to help.

*EDIT: I looked back to the post I wrote about “The Dodger Way.” I think that the only way to restore The Dodger Way, as I mentioned, is to have an owner who fully understands it. With the news of O’Malley looking to buy the team again, I think that this is the right, proper, and possibly the only way to restore the Dodgers to where they were.*

(apologies for any spelling errors or sentences that don’t make sense. I’m writing this on my iPad)


“THAT’S The Chicago Way”

July 20, 2011

OK, so the quote used in my title may not be entirely relevant to this post (I am not talking about hurting anyone or sending anyone to the morgue. However, “The Untouchables” is a great movie). I am here, again, to talk about the pitiful ownership of my beloved Los Angeles Dodgers. In short, Frank, GET OUT OF LA (maybe I am talking about The Untouchables)!!!!!

When I was a Freshman at the UO, I took a class called Baseball Research. Our final project was to do a research paper about a specific baseball topic. I discussed the Rise and Fall (and Rise, and Fall) of the Los Angeles Dodgers. My researched focused around two key moments which altered the franchise (forever? I don’t know, but ever since 1987). 1) Al Campanis getting fired. 2) The sale of the Dodgers to FOX from the O’Malley family. But right now, I’m focusing on Campanis.

This post is about The Dodger Way. The Dodger Way To Play Baseball was a theory. A way of life. A style. It was created by Branch Rickey, passed down to Campanis, Alston, and Lasorda. However, Al Campanis was the true visionary. Campanis, the Dodgers General Manager, put the idea of The Dodger Way and wrote a book. The Dodger Way was taught to all players, minor leagues and major leagues. Even if they didn’t read the book, they knew the idea. It was how to play the game, both on the field and in the front office. It was a bible of sorts for everyone in the organization. When Campanis was fired, Lasorda and O’Malley were the last preachers. They two then left. The team was sold, a new manager came in, and The Dodger Way was forgotten.

Baseball Hall of Fame writer and former LA Times columnist Ross Newhan wrote in 2008:
“The figures don’t lie:
Whereas there was a single-family ownership for the first 40 years in Los Angeles, there have been two owners in the last 10 years alone — uninterested Rupert Murdoch and transplanted neophyte Frank McCourt.
Whereas there were four general managers (one of them, Fresco Thompson, died a few months after taking the job) and three field managers in the first 40 years, there has since been a revolving door on those offices.
Keeping the movers busy in that 10-year period, there have been six general managers (counting Tom Lasorda and Dave Wallace on an interim basis) and six field managers (counting Glenn Hoffman on an interim basis)… Lasorda he believes that it was when Campanis left the organization that the “Dodger Way” began to slip away.”

Peter O’Malley, former owner, said, “Al’s book was a cornerstone of our success, as fundamentals always are, and that continuity was also a cornerstone. I can’t think of any organization in baseball which had that continuity for as long as we did. There was stability throughout.” So why not stick with it?

Davey Lopes, current Dodger first base coach and former player under Lasorda and Campanis, is slowly teaching the way to the players again, a necessary move. But more is needed.

Whoever the new owner is, whenever he/she/they get here, the first thing that needs to be done (besides lower ticket prices, locking up young talent in the organization, and signing a big name free agent) is this…

The Dodger Way To Play Baseball by Al Campanis needs to be passed out to everyone in the organization and read cover to cover. The Way must be restored to Chavez Ravine. The Way will bring new life and thrills to the once golden organization. The Way will bring fans back to the seats. The Way will help the Dodgers be the Dodgers.


My Letter To Commissioner Selig

April 21, 2011

To: Allan H “Bud” Selig, Commissioner, Major League Baseball
CC: Ned Colletti, General Manager, Los Angeles Dodgers
RE: Los Angeles Dodgers Open Leadership Position

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