Tagged: Dee Gordon

Dee Gordon Headed to the DL

DeeGo has officially been placed on the DL. The MRI taken today showed that he tore the UCL in his thumb sliding head first into third last night and it will require surgery. Dodgers are saying that Dee will not be back for a minimum of six weeks. The corresponding move was that Javy Guerra was activated from the Disabled List.

With DeeGo going to the DL, the only starters from our opening day roster that have avoided the DL this year are James Loney and A.J. Ellis. This injury bug is no joke. Dodgers just can’t seem to catch a break.

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Dee Gordon – Amazing Story of How He Dealt with the Loss of His Mother at a Young Age

Following Story By: T.J. Simers, L.A. Times

It’s been almost 40 years, so many athletes, too many names to remember, and yet lost in the numbing routine of one game after the next I suddenly find myself rooting for someone to really make it.

And I almost never root for anyone, as you know, and yet here I am preparing to gush.

Who wouldn’t pull for a 6-year-old kid who learns his mother has been shot dead only to grow up into the kindest, most approachable and forgiving young man one might ever meet.

“Dee” to baseball fans, “Devaris” to his family and planning in the future to have “Strange-Gordon” across the back of his jersey in honor of his mother and father, this must be what it’s like to break open a shell and find a pearl.

It is noon Monday in the lobby of the Dodgers’ team hotel here, and Dee Gordon, the closest thing to a human toothpick, has already eaten breakfast twice. And between bites he’s smiled at a couple hundred people.

What’s he so happy about? It has to be tough hitting only .228 on center stage before realizing how ridiculous that sounds.

How tough must it have been to have a mother for just six years?

Correction: “Six great years,” he says while reaching for his cellphone.

“You see my screen saver here? This picture was taken in her final days. It’s the one I look at just before every game.”

Mother and son, head to head in the photo, appear to be having a blast; the kid’s mouth is wide open as if shouting or laughing.

“I’m happy,” he explains.

I want to know if he became bitter in time. And how does a kid recover from life turned upside down?

“I just chose to make the best of it,” he says. And how do you not root for the kid?

His mother, Devona Strange, meets his father, Tom Gordon, in high school. They do not marry. Tom, also known as “Flash,” is just beginning what will become a 21-year major league career as a pitcher.

Dee is in first grade, his school bus pulling up to the gated apartment complex in St. Petersburg, Fla., where his mother lives. Like the other kids, he knows something has happened.

“We knew when cars were parked outside the gate someone had died or there had been a robbery,” he says. “A policeman began asking each of us where we lived.”

Two women who work with his mom pull him aside.

“I’m already mad at one of the ladies because two days earlier I didn’t want to do my spelling words,” he says. “I hid them at her work, but she finds them, tells my mom, and I get in trouble.

“Now she wants to take me to McDonald’s. I’m 6, we live in a not-so-nice neighborhood and McDonald’s is awesome. And I remember exactly what I ordered that day: ice cream and small fries. But I keep saying I’ve got to go home because my mother will be there.”

He was very close to his mother, he says, the memories still vivid. He says they would climb into bed, watch TV together, and he starts naming off the shows.

Gordon’s eyes glisten. “I didn’t take it in right away,” he says. “They told me she was gone. I had one question: ‘Is she coming back?’ I remember later crying so hard I just went to sleep.”

Now he still tries to hold on, her name in his helmet, in his shoes, in almost everything he touches.

But he’s still not sure he has it right. He’s told his mother and her boyfriend were watching TV, messing around, a gun goes off, his mother is hit in the heart and later the boyfriend serves five years for manslaughter.

Gordon moves to central Florida to a new home and school to be with his father.

“I told my grandmother God might have done this to help me in life,” Gordon says upon reflection. “I was getting in trouble a lot and if I had stayed in St. Petersburg, I might not be sitting here today.”

There are more hurdles to clear. He takes on his teenage years with a burden no youngster should endure by himself. He begins to blame himself for his mother’s demise.

“A few weeks before my mom died I heard my mom choking,” he says. “I picked up this purple eight-pound weight and hit her boyfriend in the head.”

The kid tells the boyfriend to leave, but then reconsiders.

“I’m 6 and I’m thinking if he leaves he’s going to take my toys,” he says. “Then two weeks later . . .”

He’s in pain, he admits, his anger leading to fights before he works everything out.

“I had a complete turnaround,” Gordon says, a “Yes, sir” often mixed into his answers. “I’ve always been surrounded by great people. I have two grandmothers who are like mothers, Uncle Anthony who texts to say, ‘You can’t keep a good man down,’ and a father, who is just great.”

Dad’s smart, too. The kid is a terrific basketball player, but his future is baseball. Dad promises him a car if he tries baseball. Gordon makes the switch, but gets no car.

“Would you give me a car at 16 or 17?” Gordon says.

Here we are, Gordon 24 and promising to never change. He mentions the impact on him when he hears someone talking about making minimum wage.

“Someone my own age,” he says. “How fortunate are we?”

But he’s going to have to do better, the game not caring what he’s overcome.

“Every sport came easy to me until this year and honestly I didn’t know how to handle it,” he says, his candor as refreshing as his bubbly personality. “It was eating me up, but if I didn’t let what happened to my mother eat me up, why should this?

“I just have to move forward,” he says, and if successful, I know one fan who will be thrilled.

Dodgers Drop Game One and Lose Ground in Standings

It’s that time again…that time where we are forced to be made sick by watching the team that turns the stomachs of Dodgers fans across the nation. Where we are forced to stare at these awful colors of black and orange. To be honest, I’ve never been fond of Halloween because of the colors. I laugh at the people that thought the Angels-Dodgers had a “hardcore” rivalry this past weekend. To them, maybe it is. To us, this is the team; these are the hated ones that will always have that special place in our hearts as the grossest team in baseball.

It’s also time to face another reality…we sucked tonight. There’s no way around it. The Dodgers are losing steam, and they need a pick-me-up. This road trip has been anything but good for us. We have now lost six of our last seven and on the border of losing the lead for the NL West. Where to point the finger? Well, in all actuality, no one in particular. These have been team losses. But ya know what? I’m going to do it anyways. I’m pointing the finger at — Ned Colletti. NOT Don Mattingly.

Ned Colletti has been ruining this Dodgers team for a lot longer than just this year, but he’s really out done himself as of late. The reason I’m not blaming Mattingly is because about a month ago, every button this guy pushed, whether we agreed with it or not at the time, was working. There was nothing but praise for him, and now that we’re in a bit of a bind, people want his head. It’s not his fault. Donnie has been an extraordinary manager ever since he got here. All of the players love him, the only problem is, he has just had nothing to work with, and that is Ned’s fault. He looks at players like Uribe and Kennedy, thinks they’re good and signs them for deals in which we are still paying for. I’m actually not even going to get into Uribe, because I literally need to take a night off from thinking about him. It just frustrates me at this point, as it does you, I’m sure. So I’ll save my negativity towards him for the bad game he’ll have tomorrow night. Unless of course, he’s not in the lineup!! Haha yeah right…I crack myself up.

Back to the game though, as well all know, Eovaldi got knocked around for the first time in 2012…hard. But weirdly enough, I have to hand it to the guy. I know he gave up 7 runs in the first two innings, and pretty much took us out of the game early, but he battled. I’d be lying if I wasn’t one of the many yelling “Get him out of there!!” in the second inning, and was slightly irritated when he came out for the third inning, but he definitely proved me wrong. Eovaldi grinded out another three strong innings, while having a span of 9 consecutive batters that he retired. On Twitter, I always point out the fact that every time that Nate had given up a homerun this year, he has followed up the next batter by striking him out. I thought this showed amazing maturity from him, and the same can be said for tonight. In a much larger scale, he showed maturity by not letting the lead get to him and falling apart (more than he already had). Was there more pressure on him being the first time pitching in the Dodgers-Giants rivalry?

Before the game, Mattingly seemed optimistic about the way Nate would handle that pressure. “If he’s going to be any good, he’s got to pitch here,” he said. “I have no real concerns. I look forward to seeing how he handles it.”

Unfortunately for us all, he didn’t seem to have handled the initial pressure very well. Although when asked about it in the locker room after game, he didn’t agree.

“It’s a great baseball atmosphere, a great rivalry, but I didn’t feel like there was extra added pressure,” said Eovaldi.

“It was a good experience for him,” Mattingly said. “He’s going to be fine. He’s not the kind of kid to get rattled. He is a work in progress.”

Dee Gordon had another great game which put him at three straight after receiving a one-on-one coaching lesson from Maury Wills. I hope, for his sake, that he can continue this hot streak and work on his defense a little more. I am one of the few that still have faith in Dee and think if he can find a way to get on base, day in and day out, he will be an incredible force to be reckoned with, especially with the arrival of Mark and Matt from the DL. Do you remember how that used to go?

1. Dee singles to get on first.

2. With Mark Ellis batting, Dee steals second.

3. Mark Ellis sacrifices, Dee moves to third.

4. Matt Kemp singles, doubles, triples, or homers in Gordon.

Sweet Music.

But for now, we deal with what we have; and that is a desperately struggling team which we all still love. Game two of this rivalry continues tomorrow with Kershaw on the mound against Ryan Vogelsong. Game is scheduled to start at 7:15 PT. Be sure to follow Dodgers Insider on Facebook and Twitter as well!

Dodgers Lineups for Freeway Series Finale

The Dodgers look to wrap up the Freeway Series and take their first series from the previous six. Aaron Harang takes the mound tonight as he looks to mimic Chris Capuano’s brilliant night last night as he went seven strong innings, while only allowing one run on seven hits, while striking out four. Dee Gordon also had a breakout night, which was fun to watch. He got two hits, stole a base, and also scored two of the Dodgers three runs. Before the game, Dee met with Maury Wills and apparently, whatever Maury told him…worked.

What I loved about yesterday’s game was the fact that it was the first time in a while that the Dodgers were working on all cylinders. Everyone was playing a role: Cappy was dominant on the mound, Hairston and Rivera had some key at bats, Dee was all over the place, on offense and defense, and Elian Herrera made an outstanding catch in Center that took a three run homerun away from Torii Hunter. Everyone was playing their part and I can say, despite the fact we scored on two errors by the Angels, that we earned that victory. Yes, we scored on errors, but the fact of the matter is, the Dodgers put themselves in positions to win all day by being aggressive on the basepaths. I really hope that we can carry this momentum into today, and more importantly, into San Francisco this week.

Today, Don Mattingly is giving Juan Uribe the day off (we’re all super bummed about that, I’m sure) and actually giving Herrera the nod at third! I thought this would finally be the day I’d get to see my dream lineup…but sure enough, Adam Kennedy is in at second instead of Hairston. One day! I’m still keeping my hopes up. Anyways — Here are the lineups Donnie scratched in for today.

Dodgers:

1. Dee Gordon, SS

2. Elian Herrera, 3B

3. Andre Ethier, RF

4. Bobby Abreu, DH

5. Juan Rivera, LF

6. James Loney, 1B

7. Adam Kennedy, 2B

8. Tony Gwynn Jr., CF

9. Matt Treanor, C

Aaron Harang, Pitcher

Angels Lineup:

1. Mike Trout, LF

2. Alberto Callaspo, 3B

3. Albert Pujols, 1B

4. Kendrys Morales, DH

5. Mark Trumbo, RF

6. Howie Kendrick, 2B

7. Erick Aybar, SS

8. Peter Bourjos, CF

9. Bobby Wilson, C

Garrett Richards, Pitcher

Kevin Youkilis Could Be A Dodger By This Weekend

Reports are saying that Kevin Youkilis is leaving Boston by this weekend. Question is — Where is he going?

For those of you that have read anything I’ve posted before, you would know that I never liked this Youkilis trade. However, in the past 24 hours, my tune has 100% changed. I’ll tell you why.

Now Dodgers sources are saying something a little bit different than before. They are saying that they would use Youkilis to replace Uribe at third, rather than Loney at first. Now this I love. I never thought Loney was our number one problem. He is a problem, for sure, don’t get me wrong, but not our number one problem. I think Youkilis would give a slightly bigger threat in the middle of the lineup than Uribe would anywhere.

Last night was fantastic. It gave me hope of a Uribe-less future. Adam Kennedy may have only gone 0-2 with a walk, but not seeing that haggard swing that tries to blow the guts out of every ball he sees in the lineup was so refreshing. If we want to improve this team – Uribe HAS to go. No questions asked.

Now Youkilis will not be our savior. He will not come to the team and have a Manny-like impact back in 2008. We still need a big bat. I thought a perfect example of the impact he’ll have would be a Casey Blake. Someone that is in the lineup, and stays consistent with a homerun every now and again. Youkilis obviously isn’t having the year that he would have hoped, and his numbers have dropped off immensely. His batting average is .225 and his wOBA is .306. However, I think these numbers could change when he leaves Boston. Here’s why:

If you remember back in 2008, Manny’s numbers were no where near where they were compared to his career. It’s because he was practically doing it on purpose to make a point that he was unhappy in Boston. Now I’m not saying this is a case of “Youk being Youk” but it could very well be a morale problem that has his numbers down. Bobby Valentine has recently sat down and told him that his playing time is getting cut because of how well Middlebrooks is playing at third.

“He doesn’t necessarily totally agree with it and doesn’t wake up in the morning and hope that’s the case,” Valentine said. “But I think the professional person that Kevin is, he understands it,” Valentine told reporters. “Yes, I think he’s fine.”

So Youkilis definitely wants to move, and he definitely wants no part of the Red Sox anymore. So could his numbers improve with a better morale? Absolutely. And who better to help that than Donnie who is an absolute player-friendly manager.

Like I said before, Youkilis is not the only answer to our offensive problems. But he does help. If by some off chance that you still aren’t convinced that Uribe is a detriment to the team…let me help.

Back in 2010, when Uribe was signed on, Ned Colletti said this about Uribe. “He will provide more power, he has thunder in his bat.” Funny part about that is…he has no thunder in his bat. In fact, there isn’t even a storm brewing. This year he has one homerun. One. That was hit May 11th, at Coors Field. For those of you that don’t know, baseballsfly out of that stadium. Point in case…Dee Gordon also has one homerun this year…at Coors Field. See where I’m going with this? When Ned wants to give an argument about how Dee has thunder in his bat, I’ll be all ears, but until then, my argument stands.

In June, Uribe is hitting a horrendous .179 with two RBI’s, eight strikeouts and no walks. That means every 3.5 at-bats that he gets, is a strikeout. On the year, Uribe is hitting a line of .231/.278/.324.

I wanted to bring up that statistic wOBA. This stands for weighted on-base average. It’s a great stat that tells you in a little bit more precision exactly how much someone gets on base. The league average this year is .309. Just for a bit broader understanding of where a player should be, last years average was .316. So anywhere around there is average.

Youkilis’ wOBA for this year is .306. Just 3 points below the leagues average. Uribe’s is .283 — 26 points below.

I did the math for our potential lineup before (without Youkilis) and after (with Youkilis). Keep in mind the lineup will change drastically after the trade deadline with the arrival of Kemp and Ellis from the DL.

Our team’s wOBA goes from .309 (not bad, considering league average) and shoots up to .333 with Kemp, Ellis and Youkilis. Only three teams have wOBA’s better than that.

I like this trade, I think it would be a great addition, however I still think we need to add another big bat in July. We’ll see what happens. But sources are saying that talks are getting very intense with regards to Youkilis and this deal could happen anytime from as early as today, to at least the end of this weekend. So be looking out for more updates on this.

For those of you that are wondering what we’ll have to pay — not much. Boston will most likely be eating most of, if not all of,  the remaining $12 Million on his contract, and the $1 Million buyout. However, with that being said, Boston is paying more of the contract in order to get a better prospect. Who that is will probably determine which team Youk goes to. As of right now, the top two teams are the Dodgers and the White Sox. Check back to see if any updates have occurred.

Dodgers Take Game Two of Freeway Series

I feel like I’ve said this quite a bit this year…but what a game!! These guys just never stop fighting. Although, most of tonight’s was quite frustrating to watch, it was still an incredible race to the finish.

I need to be a little negative at first. I want to get this out of the way, because I told myself that I would talk about it, but overall I’m pleased with tonight’s performance. Now, I’m not a major league manager…obviously. Nor do I claim to be. However, with that being said, I have no idea what we’re doing with Uribe and Kennedy; mainly Kennedy. Today, he had a very costly error that cost the Dodgers a run early in the game. Then in the fourth inning, after a Juan Rivera single that scored Ellis and moved Ethier to third, Kennedy grounded into a double play to end the rally. I just don’t feel like there’s any energy from him. Not only from him alone, but it just seems like the team never plays the same with him in the lineup. I dunno, thats just my opinion, and like I said, that’s probably why I’m not a major league manager…but if it were up to me…I definitely wouldn’t have him in, unless it was a last resort type situation. Uribe and Kennedy combined to go 0-6 on the night.

Anyways…now that I have that negativity out of the way. Time for some good reports. I think its safe to say that Andre Ethier was very thankful for his new contract extension. At the press conference today, and while interviewing him, you just saw this constant glow and that famous Ethier grin. It was like it was pasted on all day, even in the dugout before the game. Ethier loves L.A. and he always has. “This is the place I’ve wanted to be all along and I hope to finish my career in LA,” Ethier said after the conference. Tonight, he showed Dodgers fans everywhere that he’s not taking that money for granted. He played a huge factor in tonights game from not only making a superb catch in right field to save a run, but also added on to his NL Leading 54 RBI’s as he knocked in the game tying run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth. I’ve heard a lot of people, both Dodgers fans and non-Dodgers fans, say that they don’t think ‘Dre is worth near $100 Million. After tonight’s game, have their opinions changed? Only time will tell. All I know is…I’m happy to know that we will have Kemp and Ethier going back to back for at least the next five years.

I can’t only talk about Andre though…he definitely wasn’t the only one that made an impact tonight. Dee Gordon (DeeGo) had an incredible game as well. For the third time this season, he had three stolen bases in the game. THREE! He made a costly catching error in the sixth inning, however, if you watch, I want to blame that on Kennedy as well. And no, not just because its Kennedy. With two outs and a soft grounder like that, you go to first base to get the automatic out. Sure, second base is a shorter throw, but its also a shorter run. When you have the pitcher (Jerome Williams) running down to first, its an easy, easy play. That error also scored another run that put the Angels ahead 2-1.

And theeen there was Rivera. Juan Rivera hit a go-ahead three run homerun in the bottom of the eighth inning immediately after Ethier tied it up. And honestly…I have not heard that stadium erupt like that in a LONG time. It honestly gave me flash backs of the 2008 and 2009 playoff runs. With a sellout crowd of over 50,000 fans, every single one of them were on their feet. It got so loud, that when I rewatched the telecast, they had to blackout the sound just because it was peaking so much. It was absolutely breath taking. I know that’s kind of a ridiculous term, but I honestly don’t know how else to describe it. Seeing Matt Kemp jumping for joy, being that incredible cheer leader that he is, seeing the faces of the young guns that haven’t gotten a chance to see that stadium erupt, everything about it was just amazing.

I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, this team is an absolute “Wonder Team.” They never give up, and I couldn’t be happier to see where this season will go. Here’s to hoping that the Stanley Cup Champion, L.A. Kings will give us some good luck when they throw out the first pitch tomorrow, with the Stanley Cup right beside them, inside the stadium.

The rubber match is set to start at 7:10 PT at Dodger Stadium. Nathan Eovaldi takes the mound, looking for his first win since being brought up. He has pitched amazing, but just ran into some bad luck along the way with run support. Hopefully tomorrow the Dodgers can take the series and give this kid the Win that he’s deserved for a while now!

Be sure to follow Dodgers Insider on Facebook and Twitter for live, in-game updates as well!

Mike Trout, Angels Take Game One of Freeway Series

Mike Trout has been killing the competition ever since his promotion earlier in the year. The current competition between Mike Trout and Bryce Harper, in my opinion, has been completely one sided, despite the hype that Harper has gotten. To say that he was the sole reason the Angels beat the Dodgers tonight is an understatement. From hitting the only homerun, to stealing two bases, to knocking in the tying RBI, scoring in the go ahead run, and even catching the last out, he was all over this game.

Chris Capuano had another decent outing tonight as he got the no decision and went 5+ innings, with 2 earned runs and 2 strikeouts. After Capuano was taken out, a bullpen duel would ensue as the game remained 2-2 until the ninth. Jansen gave up a single to Pujols that scored the go ahead run (Trout).

A lot of talk was given about the two leadoff men of this game. Dee Gordon for the Dodgers and obviously Mike Trout for the Angels. Dee really stepped it up tonight and had himself a great game, going 2 for 4 with a walk, a stolen base, and a run scored.

Andre Ethier would pad his NL Leading RBI total as he now has 53 on the year. He is now on pace for 139 RBI’s on the year. Speaking of which…

As most of you now know, Andre Ethier has officially signed a 5 year extension worth $85 Million. Vesting Options include a sixth year worth $17.5 Million puts that over $100 Million total. For more details read the previous post. Long story short, Andre Ethier is going to be a Dodger for at least half a decade and I like the sound of that!!