Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A not so great moment from 2009

I think we all know how she got the gig.

Giving Blake some respect.

Dodgers fire minor league mascot

In order to save a few more dollars. The Dodgers front office decided to let go of the man playing Orbit at their minor league affiliate in Albuquerque early today. Blake Dewitt was named as his new replacement. When contacted by The LFP, Frank said "It was strictly a business decision. Why should we pay someone else to do that job, when Blake Dewitt is sitting around on the bench waiting to bat during the game. We are already paying him, so it makes perfect sense."

I feel for you Blake

Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Marshall plan

In December of 1973. The Dodgers traded long time fan favorite Willie Davis to the Montreal Expos in exchange for relief pitcher Mike Marshall. The players from the 60's were being phased out as a group of up and coming players by the names of Garvey, Cey, Lopes, Buckner were taking over.

Jim Brewer was one of the last players left from that era. Though he made his first and only All Star game in 1973. His age was finally starting to show. He had his first losing since 1966, where he only appeared in thirteen games due to an injury and the Dodgers turned to Mike Marshall to help sure up the bull pen for 1974. During the 1974 season, Brewer was once again fighting a bad back appearing in twenty four games, mostly as Marshall's set up man. A role Brewer had not done since taking over for Ron Perranoski in 1968, but did without question.

I asked Scott how his father felt when the team brought in Marshall. He said "It did not matter to dad what his job was, he always put the team first. That was something that was driven into Jim Brewer and his boys from the time his father joined the team in 1964 by Walter O'Malley. Walter preched that the team wins and loses as a family. There would be no second guessing any decision made by Alston or his office personal. The Brewer boys were not quite old enough to understand, why their father was not in his normal role as the number one relief pitcher, but they knew something was changing. Jim Brewer was once again hampered by injuries that season. He only pitched in twenty four games while making just one appearance in the 1974 World Series. In game three he pitched to one batter in the bottom of the fourth, striking him out. By 1975 the Dodgers farm system was still overflowing with talent and ready to help the team. 1974 Cy Young winner Mike Marshall was coming into the 1975 season after pitching in a record setting 106 games in 1974. There was no doubt he was the number one going into the new season.

By this time the Brewer family made it into the front row of the family section. Sharing the honor with the Alston family, as the families with the most seniority. Something that Mrs brewer was very proud of. Scott was no longer a bat boy and chose to sit in the stands with his mother and siblings that season trying to be on his best behavior. I asked Scott if he understood that his dad was getting older and was not quite the dominating, reliable pitcher he once was. There was a pause on the phone as Scott told me about the night that he knew it was all coming to an end.

Scott was watching the Dodgers play the Padres in a game that just did not go well for the team. Burt Hooton started the game only going 4 1/3  before he was pulled for Jim Brewer. The elder Brewer could not stop the bleeding. After giving up a single and a walk with bases loaded. Mike Ivie hit a grand slam and his father gave up another single to Randy Hundley before the inning was over. Alston let his father go back out in the fifth. He continued to struggle after getting two quick outs, as the Padres scored two more runs on three consecutive singles before Bobby Tolan made the final out of the inning. As Scott stood there in shock. The husband of Mrs. O'Malley's sister cam over and put his arm around the young boy as his father walked off the mound. The man grabbed his shoulder and held him tight as the young boy started crying. The man said to him. "Your father was one of the greatest Dodgers ever" Scott knew, just as everyone in the park that night. Jim Brewer was not going to be a Dodger much longer. That was the last game his father ever pitched as a Dodger. In the eighth inning a fight broke out after the Padres tried to squeeze in a run when they were already leading 10-1. The Dodgers lost the game, won the fight and a great players career was winding down.

You could hear the pain in Scott's voice on the phone as he told me of that night. I told him that I understood how hard it is for anyone to see their hero or father struggle. Jim Brewer was a great baseball player for a long period of time. The one thing that comes with that type of longevity is, you have more highs than lows. The Brewer family shared in many great moments over his career. They like to focus on his success rather than one night in July of 1975.

Friday, January 22, 2010

My tribute to Gary Legend in the LFP

Lock and load!

The flight from the top deck.

Boys will be boys no matter what you tell them not to do. One of Jim Brewer's rules for the boys was, there will be no throwing of paper airplanes off the top deck during a game or any other time. The reason behind this was the standard parental thinking. "You can poke someones eye out doing it." Every child, ever born has been told that a thousand times. It's one of those misdemeanor offenses that children just brush off as some urban legend that you hear about, but there is no evidence to back it up. So the story begins.

The Brewer boys were walking around the stadium looking for something to do, when the idea hit them. They would go up to the top deck and make some paper airplanes to keep them occupied during the game. With an old  game day program they had found. The boys had all they needed for some in game entertainment. They made their way to the top deck with program in hand and knew the perfect spot to carry out their flight plan. The concrete up rise at the top of the stadium was just the place to do it. The boys quickly dismembered the program and began construction of the planes. Thinking they were hidden from view from any onlookers, like in scoreboard. They began to launch the planes off the top of the stadium and into the crowd. After several failures. A slight breeze caught one of the planes, sending it slowly down towards the playing surface and landing between the pitchers mound and third base. After the successful landing. They made their way back down from their perch on top of the stadium towards the club house. When they entered the club house they still couldn't stop laughing from their greatest flight ever. As they walked across the clubhouse, their father said "Come over here" with a stern voice. As they made their way over, the older of the boys Mark said "Do you think he saw us?" The younger Brewer knowing his older brother cracks easily under pressure tried to reassure his brother by saying "No way he saw us. The bull pen is too far away. He's setting a trap" When they arrive at the the locker. The elder Brewer looks at the boys and says. "I saw you boys" but he never said what he saw them doing. Scott is praying his older brother can hold out and answers back "Seen us do what?"  Before their father can get a word out, Mark starts to confess "Yes we were they ones who threw the plane" Their father gives a few taps to the boys, much to the amusement and laughter of the other players. When he finished he looks at the two boys. He starts smiling, laughing and says. "I didn't see you from the bullpen. I just knew you two were up to something from the look on your faces when you came in". Once again the punishment was a three day ban from the park.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Growing up with the Dodgers Part two

The best place to watch a game.

 Scott Brewer and his partner in crime Tim Haller, son of catcher Tom Haller. Found the perfect spot to watch a game from one afternoon. The boys were exploring the inside of the left field pavilion one day and somehow worked their way up and into the scoreboard. Totally hidden from view, they made their way up several ladders inside till they reached the peak of the scoreboard. Once there, they noticed another small ladder that led up to a hatch in the roof. With a little help from Scott, the young Haller climbed up to the hatch. Once there, Tim was unable to open the newly discovered door. Scott quickly climbed up the ladder to assist in the opening. With another person to help, the hatch opened up. The young Haller immediately shouted out. "Wow! This is the best view in the park" The location where their heads came out to view was directly below the Union 76 sign on the scoreboard. The two boys took turns watching the game from their new vantage point. Thinking no one saw them, they closed the hatch and climbed back down out of the scoreboard.

The boys made their way back to the clubhouse. Once in side they were confronted by Dodgers executive Red Patterson and a not so happy Jim Brewer. Patterson asked what they were doing out there. The boys pleaded guilty and Scott received his punishment. His father give him a few taps on the rear, grinning while the other players started laughing. He knew his fathers heart was not into the spanking, so it never bothered him when he received one. He feared his mother much more. The real punishment as he calls it was being "banned" from the stadium for three games. Scott claims "That was the one you didn't want. My dad knew it drove me crazy to sit at home and not be at the game."  That was not the only time young Mr Brewer had to stand before his father in the clubhouse. I'll post some more later tonight.

Growing up with the Dodgers Part one.

Tonight I had the pleasure of talking to the son of the late, great former Dodger player Jim Brewer. I want to thank him for sharing his family’s story with me. Since I have never done an interview with anyone before and this is my first attempt at writing in MS Word. I ask that you please bear with me and go light on my writing skills. We talked for over two hours on the phone tonight and he told me so many great stories, I'm going to have to do them in parts. We discussed everything from his fathers minor league days, steroids to the latest Dodger news of today. I hope you people enjoy them. I asked Scott if he would like to write some stories for the blog and he said he would happy to do so in the future. Seems he's getting married in 10 days and he's going to be a little busy.  
For those readers who are too young to know the name Jim Brewer. Here is a link to his player page in the Dodgers encyclopedia   
 Scott and Mark Brewer had a childhood millions of young boys only dream about but very few ever have a chance to live. Unlike most kids, they went to work with their father almost every day. Their father was one of major league baseball's best relief pitchers during an era when pitching was king. Scott and Mark Brewer grew up in the Dodgers clubhouse alongside the some of the greatest Dodger legends of all time. Players named Koufax, Drysdale, Sutton and many more. Scott has some incredible stories to tell I hope to do them justice. 

Scott starts off by telling me about Walter Alston and Walter O'Malley. "Respect, that is what you gave Mr Alston and Mr Omalley. The club house would grow quiet when Alston walked into the room. You did not say a word. It was like God had walked in." He spent quite a bit of time talking about Alston and O'Malley. You could tell by the our conversation that both Walters had a huge influence on him growing up. "You always addressed both as Mr." " You always said sir and thank you." "O'Malley instilled into the players and all Dodger employees that they were not just a team, but a family." A family that still keeps in touch after all these years. More on that in a later post. 

Scott the bat boy
One day in the locker room. Scott is standing in front of his fathers locker. He looks to his dad and asks him. "Do you think I can be a bat boy?"  His father looks at him, grins and says "Better ask skip." The young Brewer heads off towards the managers office and knocks on the door. Alston is not there. Sitting inside is Junior Gilliam who knows what he is there for. Gilliam starts smiling, shaking his head left to right tells young Scott. "Oh My, not going to happen." A few minutes later Alston returns, looks at him and says" So you want to be a bat boy?  Can you behave?" Scott promises than asks "Mr Alston, do you think Mr Goodman could make a uniform for me if my mom and dad pay for it?". Alston responds"I don't see that as a problem." A few moments later Scott is standing in front of his fathers locker crying. His father walks over and asks "What's wrong? Did Skip say no."  Scott answers "Mr Alston told me I was a Dodger now." His father understood.

Being a kid with Dodger stadium as your playground. You can imagine there are quite a few places to get into. Later today I will tell you about some of the trouble young boys can find inside the inner workings of the stadium.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Growing up with the Dodgers

This week I will be conducting an interview with the son of the late Dodger pitching great Jim Brewer. If you would like to ask a question or tell him how much you appreciated his father. Feel free to contact me at I'm sure his mother and family would love to hear from his fans. I'm still getting my questions ready so you have a few days to respond. As you can tell, I'm more of a pictures guy than a hard hitting journalist. One picture equals a thousand words for me, so any and all help would be greatly  appreciated.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Get Well Roberto

I'd like to tell you about a guy I know, a friend of mine. His name is Roberto Baly. And he has the heart of a giant, and that rare form of courage that allows him to kid himself and his opponent. He has a mental attitude that makes me proud to have a friend who spells out the word 'courage,' 24 hours a day, every day of his life. I love Roberto. And I'd like all of you to love him too. And so tonight, when you hit your knees, please ask God to love him. Get well Roberto. The world is a much darker place without you.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

The first class of The SWOF

No other Dodger player ever looked as good striking out or hitting a home run quite as good as Reggie Smith. The fro and stache had power from both sideburns. I mean both sides of the plate.

Beimel makes it in for having the greatest bobble head ever created by the team and being an all around cool guy. In addition to being a fan favorite. The Steroid Stopper absolutely shut down that freak from Frisco during his time with the Dodgers.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Stan Wall Of Fame

 Since all these other blogs are debating who were the greatest Dodgers of all time. We here at the LFP have come up with our own little way of recognizing greatness. I present the Stan Wall of Fame. Stats will not get you into this group. All it takes is to be a former little known player or have great hair. I will announce the first two inductees later today.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Loney goes couger hunting

Not to be out done by Matt Kemp. James hits the town with a new female companion.