We interrupt our usual jobs related blogstream to say a few (hundred) words about baseball. Specifically Dodger Baseball.
More specifically, home runs hit as part of Dodger baseball by Dodger players.
Have I lost anybody yet? Bear with me. There is a connection to the work of JVS, and here it is: Thanks to Daniel’s Jewelers and the Howard and Stephanie Sherwood Foundation which has designated JVS as the nonprofit that will receive $1,000 for each home run hit by the Boys in Blue during the month of May.
It’s called the Daniel’s Jeweler’s Trip Around the Diamond Feature, and it was started by the company’s Chairman Emeritus Howard Sherwood and his wife, Stephanie, five years ago. The Sherwoods and Daniel’s Jewelers have given away more than $525,000 to more than a dozen specially designated charities in the L.A. area.
The Dodgers have helped in this endeavor, of course.
Yours truly has been a serious Dodgers fan since childhood, so when I learned that for the next 31 days, JVS’s fortunes would be tangentially linked to those of his favorite sports team, well, it’s blue skies all around.
Now if anyone had asked me at the beginning of the 2015 campaign to predict the home run output of the Dodgers in May - or any month of the season, for that matter - I would not have predicted anything close to a windfall. The Dodgers traded outfielder Matt Kemp (who slugged 25 home runs in 2014) to San Diego and let shortstop Hanley Ramirez sign with the Boston Red Sox. Both players are off to pretty decent starts with their new teams with a healthy Ramirez slugging away at Fenway.
The 2015 Dodgers? Oh, they were expected to contend for the playoffs, but not mash, with veterans like Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick and Adrian Gonzalez complementing the output of Yasiel Puig and new center fielder Joc Pederson.
Puig hurt his hamstring and has only hit two home runs so far. His fellow outfielder, Carl Crawford, has one. It figured to be a power-light start to the season for the Dodgers, right?
Leading all Major Leagues teams in home runs for the month of April are none other than your Los Angeles Dodgers who swatted 32 long balls in a mere 21 games, 12 of which were played in pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium. The season started on April 6 and contained four off days. Only imagine what amount of power the team might have supplied had they had a full month’s worth of games!
How have we accomplished this? It begins with Adrian Gonzalez who hit five home runs in the first three games of the season and finished the month with 8. Cuban reserve Alex Guerrero has walloped five home runs in 26 at bats. Pederson has 4, Andre Ethier and Kendrick 3 apiece. The team has collected them in bunches, hitting three in a single inning of a 7-0 victory over Colorado at Dodger Stadium on April 19 and another three in the first inning of the April 29 victory over the Giants.
For JVS’s sake, here’s hoping they have saved some firepower for later. In May, there will be 29 Dodger games, 16 at home. As a nice little bonus, May 8-10, we get a three game series at Coors Field in Denver, where the air is thin and balls leave the yard faster than pizza slices at a Little League party.