Fox boasts highest All-Star Game viewership since 2010.

Viewership ratings for Tuesday’s All-Star Game were the highest in four years, according to ratings released today by Major League Baseball.

Fox’s telecast of the game attracted 11.34 million viewers, the most since the American League beat the National League 3-1 at Angel Stadium in 2010. The last All-Star games for Yankee pitcher Mariano Rivera in 2013 and Yankee shortstop Derek Jeter on Tuesday helped the game achieve its first viewership increase in back-to-back years since 1993 and 1994.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and right fielder Yasiel Puig were among the top five players mentioned most often via social media. Here’s a graphical breakdown of the game’s social media impact:

Continue reading

Dodgers’ quartet sees mixed results in All-Star game.

Dee Gordon Derek Jeter

Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon meets with New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter at Target Field in Minneapolis. (Associated Press photo)

Dee Gordon, Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke could be proud of the way they performed against the American League’s best Tuesday in Minneapolis.

Yasiel Puig‘s memory of his first All-Star Game might not be as sweet.

Continue reading

MLB: Home run derby raises $465,000 for participants’ charities.

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig didn’t hit any home runs in the Home Run Derby last night. (Getty Images)

Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig didn’t hit any home runs at baseball’s annual Home Run Derby last night, but his bat had an impact.

All 10 participants in the derby teamed up to raise money for charity. With 82 total home runs hit during the competition (including 11 “FlexBall” home runs worth $10,000 each), Gillette and Major League Baseball combined to raise $465,000 to charity, according to the league.

Per an MLB release, the funds will be distributed as follows:

  • $50,000 to Yoenis Cespedes’ charity of choice for winning the competition
  • $95,000 to Minneapolis Boys & Girls Club programs and MLB “Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities” (RBI) program
  • $20,000 to the charities of choice for each of Cespedes’ Derby teammates
  • $25,000 to NL Captain Troy Tulowitzki’s charity of choice
  • $25,000 to AL Captain Jose Bautista’s charity of choice
  • $8,000 to the charities of choice for each of the NL participants
  • The balance of the funds raised will be split between RBI & Boys & Girls Clubs of America

A Dodgers spokesperson said that Puig hasn’t chosen his charity yet.

All-Star Game lineups announced; Yasiel Puig bats second, Clayton Kershaw in bullpen.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw has a no-hitter and a streak of 41 consecutive scoreless innings but won’t start the All-Star game tomorrow night in Minneapolis. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)

Clayton Kershaw won’t start the All-Star Game for the National League despite throwing a no-hitter amid 41 consecutive scoreless innings this season.

And it came as little surprise.

National League manager Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals chose his own pitcher, Adam Wainwright, to start the game tomorrow night. Wainwright is 12-4 with a 1.83 earned-run average. Kershaw is 11-2 with a 1.78 ERA, best in the major leagues. It’s a bit reminiscent of last year, when the All-Star Game was played at Citi Field and New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey got the start over Kershaw despite similar credentials.

It’s no secret that managers look at more than just the numbers.

“If I’m Mike Matheny, I probably start my own guy. If I’m me, I start my guy,” Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Saturday, when asked for his pick to start the game. “If I’m Bud Black, I’m starting Despanga [Odrisamer Despaigne] or whatever his name is.”

Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig, who is taking part in tonight’s home run derby at Target Field, is batting second and playing right field. Dodgers second baseman Dee Gordon and pitcher Zack Greinke are also on the National League roster.

The full lineups for both teams:
Continue reading

Clayton Kershaw ranks third in MLB player jersey sales.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw pauses before throwing the final pitch of his no-hitter June 18 at Dodger Stadium. (John McCoy/Staff photographer)


Turns out a no-hitter amounts to more than baseball history. It makes for good merchandising.

Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw ranks third, behind New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter and San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey, on MLB’s list of jersey sales since Opening Day.

Kershaw threw his first career no-hitter on June 18 against the Colorado Rockies.

Yasiel Puig is ninth and Hyun-Jin Ryu is 18th as announced by MLB. The Dodgers are the only MLB club with three players on MLB’s top 20 jersey sales list.

Oddsmakers set Yasiel Puig’s home run derby chances at 6-to-1.

Online oddsmaker Bovada gives Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig a 6-to-1 chance of winning the annual Home Run Derby on Monday. The complete odds:

Giancarlo Stanton    2/1
Yoenis Cespedes    5/1
Jose Bautista           5/1
Yasiel Puig                 6/1
Troy Tulowitzki      13/2
Josh Donaldson    10/1
Adam Jones           12/1
Brian Dozier          12/1
Todd Frazier          12/1
Justin Morneau     15/1

The derby begins at 5 p.m. next Monday and will be televised on ESPN.

Yasiel Puig to compete in home run derby for National League next Monday.

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig accepted an invitation to compete in the Home Run Derby next Monday. (Associated Press photo)


Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig will compete in the home run derby on Monday after being chosen by National League Derby captain Troy Tulowitzki. Puig was voted by fans as one of the National League’s starting outfielders Sunday.

Puig — who has 12 home runs this season but only one since June 1 — will compete in his first career Derby. Puig hit 19 home runs in his first big league season in 2013.

Puig will become the sixth player in Dodgers history to take part in the Derby, joining Steve Garvey (1985), Mike Piazza (1993-94), Raul Mondesi (1995), Hee-Seop Choi (2005) and Matt Kemp (2011-12).

Local product Giancarlo Stanton of the Miami Marlins and third baseman Todd Frazier of the Cincinnati Reds. Jose Bautista, Cespedes, Adam Jones and Brian Dozier are competing for the AL in the home run derby. The final competitor in each league will be announced Thursday.

Yasiel Puig still leading National League outfielders on all-star ballot; Adrian Gonzalez slips to second.

MLB provided an updated all-star ballot tally Sunday, and Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig still leads the pack with 1,942,701 votes. Andrew McCutchen (1,727,534) and Giancarlo Stanton (1,659,430) are second and third, respectively.

Adrian Gonzalez (1,049,222) fell behind Paul Goldschmidt (1,291,052) in voting among National League first basemen. No other Dodgers are among the top three vote-getters at their position.

Juan Uribe dropped out of the top five among National League third basemen. Hanley Ramirez remains fourth among shortstops with 667,162 — well behind Troy Tulowitzki, whose 2.6 million votes lead all National League players. Dee Gordon slipped to third among second baseman with 898,226, possibly past the point of catching leader Chase Utley (1,678,843).

Voting ends at 8:59 pm on July 3, 2014.

Yasiel Puig, Adrian Gonzalez continue their strong All-Star bids.

Yasiel Puig Adrian Gonzalez

Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez are attempting to become the first pair of Dodgers teammates to earn fan elections in an All-Star Game since 1980. (Getty Images)

Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez continue to lead all National League outfielders and first basemen, respectively, in updated All-Star balloting announced Monday.

Puig widened his lead over Miami Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton, 1,472,717 votes to 1,259,047 for Stanton. As of six days ago, Puig led Colorado Rockies outfielder Charlie Blackmon by about 52,000 votes. Blackmon fell out of the top three, surpassed by Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez. There are no other Dodger outfielders (Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier are both on the ballot) among the top 15 vote-getters.

Puig entered play Monday ranked second in the N.L. with a .591 slugging percentage and a .430 on-base percentage, tied for fourth with 23 multi-hit games, fifth with 127 total bases, tied for sixth with 40 RBI and 30 extra-base hits and tied for seventh with 72 hits.

Gonzalez maintains his lead with 888,906 total votes. He is trailed closely by a pair of 2013 N.L. All-Stars – Paul Goldschmidt (784,026) of the Arizona Diamondbacks and Freddie Freeman (710,778) of the Atlanta Braves.

Puig and Gonzalez are attempting to become the first pair of Dodgers teammates to earn fan elections in an All-Star Game since 1980, when first baseman Steve Garvey, second baseman Davey Lopes, shortstop Bill Russell and outfielder Reggie Smith were all elected by the fans.

Three other Dodgers are among the top five vote-getters at their positions: second baseman Dee Gordon (second), shortstop Hanley Ramirez (fourth) and third baseman Juan Uribe (fifth).

The All-Star Game will be played at Target Field in Minnesota on Tuesday, July 15.

National League Player of the Month shows up late to the ballpark — again.

miniPuig

On the same day he was named National League player of the month, Yasiel Puig was a few minutes late to Dodger Stadium. Manager Don Mattingly scheduled early pregame drills, so players were expected to be in uniform approximately 20 minutes earlier than usual.

“I don’t think he understands the system today,” Mattingly said of Puig.

Is that an issue?

“Yeah it will be,” Mattingly said a few hours before the game.

Whatever Puig’s punishment was, it didn’t keep him from starting the game in right field. Much like Opening Day, when Puig was so late that he missed his scheduled BP turn, the Dodgers are treating Puig’s tardiness as an oversight.

“It’s not like he’s trying to hide it,” Mattingly said. “I don’t think he quite understood the concept.”