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Dodgers tease Juan Uribe with funny present after game

Adrian Gonzalez Juan Uribe base

Juan Uribe was tagged out in the fourth inning of Saturday’s Los Angeles Dodgers-Tampa Bay Rays game after falling for the hidden ball trick, so his teammates decided to have some fun with him after the game. They took one of his cleats, taped it to a base, and left it for him at his locker after the game.

Uribe looked bewildered after seeing the surprise present left at his locker. This was shared by Hanley Ramirez on Instagram:

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Los Angeles Dodgers serving frozen foam to keep beers cold

Frozen-beer-foam-DodgersThe Los Angeles Dodgers have figured out a revolutionary new way to keep beers cold on hot summer nights at the ballpark. Kirin, a beer company based in Japan, has developed a product that comes out of a margarita machine as frozen foam for the top of a beer. The Dodgers are the first MLB team to bring it into their stadium.

According to Food Beast, the foam is served at 23 degrees Fahrenheit and is designed to protect a draft beer from the daytime heat. The frozen concoction is added after a draft beer is poured from a standard tap and can supposedly can keep suds cold for up to 30 minutes. Food Beast tested the foam out on a humid, 80-plus degree LA day and said it worked for the full 30 minutes.

Of course, a beer with frozen foam comes at the steep ballpark price of $10. While the idea sounds fantastic, I have two concerns. For starters, is it obnoxious to try to drink beer around the frozen foam without having to eat some of it with each sip? And also, would the foam water down the beer as it melts, thus reducing the carbonation level? I’m no scientist, but these are the things I would worry about. We’ll just have to send our own tester out to try it.

H/T SI Hot Clicks

Dodgers signed Yasiel Puig for $42 million after only watching him once

Yasiel PuigYasiel Puig has been the talk of baseball since being called up by the Los Angeles Dodgers two weeks ago.

The 22-year-old Cuban phenom is batting .479/.500/.771 with four home runs in 13 games since joining the big club straight from Double-A. He won NL Player of the Week in his first week and quickly set a franchise record by recording 15 hits in his first eight games.

With the way he is hitting (and throwing), Puig looks like he may be one of the biggest bargains in baseball. But only a year ago, the seven-year, $42 million contract offered to Puig by the Dodgers seemed crazy. What is even more insane was that the Dodgers offered Puig that much money after only watching him once!

Logan White, who is considered one of the best scouting directors in MLB, watched Puig play in Mexico City last year, and that was all he needed to see to know he wanted to sign him.

“I wanted the player,” White recalled to the New York Post’s Joel Sherman. “And I will tell you how badly I wanted him: I would rather he come to us with the talent I saw and fail to turn those tools into anything than go someplace else and succeed. I couldn’t have lived with that.”

At the time, the Dodgers had very little information on Puig aside from the one workout. When White told one of the team’s cross-checkers how much they were planning to offer Puig, the cross-checker thought White was crazy. But White was confident in Puig and thought he could be a baseball version of LeBron James.

So far, White has been correct in his evaluation. And the $42 million investment seems minor. Sometimes you can just trust what you see and not overthink things and they will work out.

Clayton Kershaw upset with Dodgers over contract talks leak

clayton-kershawThe Los Angeles Dodgers are currently working toward making 25-year-old ace Clayton Kershaw a very rich man, but the left-hander would prefer if we didn’t know anything about it. On Sunday, Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reported that the Dodgers have made progress on a seven-year extension for Kershaw worth roughly $180 million, which would make him the highest-paid pitcher in the league.

Rosenthal also noted that LA and Kershaw have discussed monster deals worth 10 years, $250 million and 12 years, $300 million. Kershaw has no idea how the public got this information.

“I think the reason we’ve been able to continue discussions this long is that it hasn’t been talked about (publicly),” he said Sunday, via Bill Plunkett of the Orange County Register. “Now that it’s being talked about, it’s a distraction because I’m being asked about it.”

When asked if he was upset that the talks had gone public, Kershaw simply said “yeah.” He then elaborated and stopped just barely short of blaming the Dodgers.

“I don’t love the fact that I have to talk about it,” he said. “You’ll have to ask them why they talked about it now. We had an agreement we weren’t going to talk about. It didn’t come from our side. That’s all I can say.”

In this the booming era of social media, the leak could have come from anywhere. Considering they are looking to lock Kershaw up before he hits free agency, I don’t see how the Dodgers would benefit from releasing information about their private discussions with him. While I understand that Kershaw would prefer to not have to deal with the distraction of discussing it with the media, players rarely — if ever — have that luxury.

Don Mattingly, Mark McGwire own D-Backs coaches during crazy brawl (Video)

Six people were ejected from Tuesday’s Los Angeles Dodgers-Arizona Diamondbacks game after the teams got into a massive brawl following three batters getting hit.

Things began in the bottom of the sixth inning when Arizona pitcher Ian Kennedy hit Dodgers phenom Yasiel Puig on a 1-2 fastball with the D-backs up 2-0. Puig was checked out by the trainers for a few minutes and remained in the game.

In the top of the seventh, Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke got revenge by hitting D-backs catcher Miguel Montero to start the inning. After that point, you figure everything was settled. But it wasn’t — Kennedy then dosed Greinke in the head in the bottom of the seventh, leading to the benches clearing. After that point, there were a solid two and a half minutes of fighting that featured some amazing moments.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly took down Arizona coach Alan Trammell; Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire raged on D-backs coach Matt Williams; and Dodgers relief pitcher J.P. Howell nearly tossed D-backs coach Turner Ward over the top rope.

After it was all done, Mark McGwire, Yasiel Puig, Ronald Belisario, Ian Kennedy, Turner Ward and Kirk Gibson were all ejected from the game.

Here are some images and GIFs capturing the wildest moments of the fight.

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Yasiel Puig merchandise hotter than Manny Ramirez, Hideo Nomo, Fernando Valenzuela

Yasiel PuigLos Angeles has seen its share of international baseball sensations grace the city, but none have invigorated the town as quickly as Yasiel Puig.

The 22-year-old Cuban sensation won NL Player of the Week last week after batting .464 (13-28) with four home runs and 10 RBIs in his first week with the Dodgers. He became the first player in franchise history with 15 hits in his first eight career games, and he is already batting cleanup for the team. But his impact on the Dodgers is much greater than what he’s doing on the field.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers sold more Puig merchandise during a four-day span (Thursday-Sunday) than they had for any player ever. The Dodgers say they sold approximately 3,000 units of Puig-related merchandise in that four-day window, including 1,600 T-shirts ($28), 400 “Viva Puig” T-shirts ($28) and 600 jerseys ($225 for the authentic version, $110 for the replicas). That is a ridiculous amount of merchandise, and even crazier when you consider he outsold former LA superstars like Manny Ramirez, Hideo Nomo, and Fernando Valenzuela.

In the ’80s, Valenzuela was a 20-year-old Mexican rookie who came out of nowhere to win Rookie of the Year and the NL Cy Young Award. He helped lead the Dodgers to two World Series that decade, and he invigorated the Mexican fan base and launched an entire “Fernandomania” movement.

In the ’90s, Nomo was a 26-year-old Japanese phenom who made the All-Star team, won the NL Rookie of the Year Award, and led the NL in strikeouts. He attracted a huge Japanese fan base, inspired the Dodgers to sell more Asian cuisine at the stadium, and launched the “Nomomania” movement, which was a takeoff on Fernandomania.

The Dodgers had some great players in between. They had perennial all-star Mike Piazza, whom they traded in 1998. They had Gary Sheffield and Shawn Green, but of whom were all-stars. They even had homegrown Adrian Beltre, who clubbed 48 home runs in 2004. But from the time of Nomomania until Manny Ramirez showed up in LA, the Dodgers didn’t really have that electrifying superstar. Eric Gagne was pretty exciting to watch from 2002-2004, but even he didn’t compare to “Mannywood” taking over LA.

Manny wore jersey No. 99, crushed the ball when he got to LA, and single-handedly made the Dodgers exciting. The team formed promotions around him. They sold Manny hair wigs. They declared the left field area “Mannywood” and sold special tickets for that seating area.

Somehow Puig has managed to become hotter than all of those stars and crazes. In a season where the Dodgers have disappointed amid great expectations, Puig is helping to change things.

Matt Kemp pulled on Saturday, benched on Sunday

Matt Kemp DodgersIt wasn’t that long ago when benching Matt Kemp would have seemed like a crazy idea. Two seasons ago he should have been NL MVP, and last season he posted a .905 OPS in 106 games. He’s one of the most dangerous hitters in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ lineup, so not having him in there seems crazy. But that has not been the case this season.

Kemp has hit .260/.312/.343 in 48 games and only has two home runs. His 14 walks to 54 strikeouts is his worst ratio since his first two seasons in the bigs. He’s hit poorly enough this season where he was actually pulled on Saturday and benched on Sunday.

Kemp struck out with two men on to end the sixth inning with the Dodgers up 4-3 on the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. He was lifted as part of a double-switch that saw pitcher Kenley Jansen enter the game in his spot and Skip Schumaker replace him in center and bat in the pitcher’s spot. Manager Don Mattingly wanted Jansen to pitch more than one inning (which might result in his spot in the batting order coming up), and Kemp had made the last out, so he subbed him as part of a double-switch.

Kemp was ticked off when he entered the dugout, and he could be seen saying, “The f— is that bulls— about man?” toward Mattingly.

According to ESPN LA, Mattingly said that he saw Kemp’s reaction on replay and was not offended.

Mattingly also benched Kemp on Sunday to give the outfielder a day off against a tough pitcher. Mattingly noted that right-handed hitters are only batting .177 against Shelby Miller and decided that was a good time to give Kemp a break. Kemp did get a pinch-hit at-bat in the game and went 0-for-1.

Benching Kemp and Andre Ethier could make Mattingly less popular among some players, but he says he’s not concerned about that.

I’m not really questioning Mattingly at this point. The Dodgers are 20-28 and he’s trying to shake things up to get results. It’s just surprising that Kemp and Ethier, who have been the Dodgers’ most reliable hitters the past handful of seasons, are now getting benched.