Back in the saddle…

Well, it has been a while since I last updated my blog with a new review, but you’ve got to understand that it was a hectic last two months of the season. From us chasing the playoffs and holding on to be the NL West champs, to us starting playoffs and being on the road to start both series.

The season was a lot of fun we did have many “downs,” during but definately had more “ups” when it counted and just came up a little short. This was my second playoff experience and the first that I got a full taste of what its like to play on that stage.

The Cubs series was a blast. Many people doubted that we could go in there and take care of arguably the best team in baseball, but we were not lacking confidence when we marched into wrigley and won that first game. You could say it was our momentum from ending the season that helped us, but I’ve got to give some of the credit to T.J. Simers for reminding us everyday a month prior to the playoffs that “this organization had only won one playoff game in the last 20 years” (no pressure). It was nice to come back home with a two-game lead and win the series in front of our home crowd and allow them to enjoy the accomplishment.

Next up was Philly. I know it still leaves a bitter taste in my mouth, but what can you say? They were the hottest team at the right time and played unbelievable ball in the month of October. They made all the plays they had to and the ones they didn’t. They deserved to win that series  with the way they came together at the end. There are many things one could say we could of done differently, but we ran into a buzz saw. But for those of us returning, we are a year wiser and playoff tested to try a make another run in ’09.

Now that I am out of breath, I would like all my faithful readers and ones who might occasionally glance to know I will be starting soon a Spring Training review here in my hometown of Phoenix —  some of my fave spots in the desert to grab a good bite. I’ll try to make most of them around other Valley Spring Training sites, but btw I don’t do Tucson.

Hopefully this will give you guys a chance to plan ahead and get excited for the ’09 season. I’m not gonna lie — I love the off time and being at home but the itch to put on those Dodger blues is growing in my belly already. So let me be the first to welcome everyone to my hometown, where I grew up and the best place for Spring Training. Can’t wait to see you guys in February.



  1. trublu4ever

    I am so glad to see you back! Looking forward to anything you want to share with us. Can’t wait to see you in Dodger blue, either! Looking forward to seeing you Friday night “Under the Lights”. Take care and enjoy this time off with your family.

  2. amyw27

    Andre- Thank you for the update. I just want to say that to us die-hard Dodger fans, it’s good hear from you apart from the food. We LOVE the food blog and your take on LA cuisine, but hear your personal experiences as a player during the season and the off season is wonderful. I was driving at lunch today and the Ozo song “Can’t stop the Blue” came on my ipod and I got the itch for Dodger baseball myself. That song was the soundtrack to the 2008 season, which was the most unforgettable season of my life. Spring training is going to be amazing. I can’t wait to see you and the guys there.
    Once again. Thank you for taking the time out to share your experiences with us.
    Dodger fan for Life,

  3. crzblue2

    So glad you are back posting! The hot stove season can be fun but also nerve-wrecking time waiting to see how our team will end up.
    I have only been to the Gratefruit league and I absolutely love Vero Beach and will miss the area and friends I made there. I am so glad you will be doing a review of Spring Training as I need all the help I can get! I’ve only been to Phoenix to catch the two road games this year and the first time I was in AZ was to watch the Dodgers and Edwin Jackson in his first MLB debut beat Randy Johnson.
    Wishing you and your family the best of heath and a prosperous 2009 in Dodger Blue!

  4. thinkingblue

    I’m glad you are back, you were missed. I hope that you are enjoying your family to the fullest and hope you are having a wonderful OFF-Season. This was was first year actually following the Dodgers game by game. The OFF season really feels eternal and I can’t wait for Spring Training. I wish I could see a game in Arizona and check out the new facility. I’m looking forward to your Spring Training updates and restaurant reviews. I’ve been to Arizona once and it was Tucson. It was beautiful but a very very long drive from Riverside, Ca. Wish you and your family the best and hope to hear from you sooner than Spring.
    2009 is the year for the Dodgers!

  5. junkyardjamie

    Andre ~
    All I can say is Wow!!! I am very impressed you are taking the time in your off season to let us know how you are doing. I have a classroom full of students who, by no fault but my own, have talked about you every single day since the season ended – no kidding! If you are not talked about, you are written about, pictures drawn for you or even spontaneously put into songs – seriously, it’s pretty funny and cute at the same time. Anyhow, they will be glad to know you are doing well. They ask me everyday like I am supposed to know. They don’t understand that you are on vacation just like they are in the summer.

    As far as Arizona, I have been there twice but on the same trip about 4 years ago. It was on our way to Dallas and back. On the way there, we were in Phoenix and on the way back, at the Grand Canyon. Now that spring training is on the west side of the United States, this will definitely have to be a yearly stop. Once again, thanks for taking the time to share, and it was great seeing that you are looking forward to being in Dodger blue again. We would want and love nothing better than to see you in Dodger blue for a very, very long time.
    Debbie ~
    Dodger Fan Forever and Ethieraholic!!!

  6. crzblue2

    I meant health instead of heath πŸ™‚
    how are you doing Rose? You are still a little closer than me from Riverside.
    Hey Trueblue and Nelly!
    Have a wonderful time at the “Under the Lights”. My friend Eric is going. You met him at the AT&T event where Either was last time. Unfortunately I cannot be there, but Looking forward to hearing from all three of you about the event and of course from Either.


    I hope to make it to spring training so I can try out your restaurant picks, but especially to Get/give some Dodger love. I miss you crazy kids already! I am so excited your back to blogging. Early picks wouldn’t hurt either since I have a friend in the area.

  8. Dodger4life

    Hey Andre,

    It is great to hear from you again, thank’s for taking the time to drop us a line. We all look foward to see you and all the boy’s again in our Dodger Blue. Have a wonderful offseason and we look foward to seeing you in the spring.

  9. dodgerdope

    I’m already pumped about next year! I got tickets to the game you guys will be playing against the A’s at the Muni. Can’t wait for the others to go on sale. This last post of yours sounds a lot more upbeat, which is good, cuz I was worried there for a bit that the Phillies series took a chunk out of you. I’m going to take your food guide to heart, I went to Bill Johnson’s Big Apple last year off of East Van Buren (near the A’s ballpark). It was a little bit touristy, with the wait staff wearing cowboy costumes and guns w/ holsters. Hopefully you have something a little more authentic (although Bill Johnson’s did have monster sized portions and a pretty good breakfast, which is essential before those 1 o’ clock Spring Training games).
    If you want to give me an advanced copy of your reviews…

  10. lamm823

    Thank you for bringing so much excitement to the season! I appreciate the class and style you exhibited this year as you waited for your opportunity to prove yourself “gold” in the outfield and at the plate. I am anxiously waiting for “Under the Lights” Friday… dream in making for over 40 years. I look forward to the 2009 season and I am confident you will have another tremendous year with club. Enjoy your time with your family and get some rest…you deserve it!

  11. ethier16

    I check your site everyday hoping for an update and it finally came! πŸ˜€ I’m very excited for ’09, can’t way for February to come around so spring training can get going. I miss my boys in blue already. I’ve said this before but ill say it again, congrats on little DREson, he’s way cute! Hope you’re enjoying this off-time with your family and friends.

    Erika – All Andre, All day!

  12. dodgers16ethier

    It makes me soo happy to see you’re blogging again!

    I miss my dodger boys already and I can’t wait to see you “Under the Lights” on Friday! :] I can’t wait to go to Spring Training as well. I don’t know how I’m getting there, but I’m going. I hope you play on February 9, that’s my birthday! Haha. I can’t wait to see you in your home town. And for your birthday, you already know where I’m going to be! Ahhh I love my ‘Dre. And your baby boy is the cutest! Thank you so much for blogging, it keeps me updated on my favorite boy EVER.

    Love, Your Number One Fan!

    Seriously! Haha

  13. cpompe1

    Hey Andre!
    It?s great to have you back posting again! I?m sure you?re thrilled to be a daddy ? I just hope you?re getting your sleep! πŸ™‚ Can?t wait to hear about the Phoenix spots to eat at during ST. Hopefully we?ll be able to make it! I wish I could see you and Russ this Friday ?Under The Lights? but can?t. Can?t wait to see my Boys in Blue starting February!

    Carol ? Dodger fan and Ethieraholic forever!!!

  14. acardona16

    first off, Its great to hear from you again! thank you so much for taking the time to let all of us fans know how your doing!! it really is so awesome of you to do this!! i was really really trying to make it to the “under the lights” event this friday to see you and Russy but i wont be able to 😦 can’t wait for spring training!! I’m planning a road trip to see you guys! this 2008 season was definitely one i will never forget!! i watched every game and attended 7 games! i also got to see you at the AT&T store which is an experience i will NEVER forget!! i didn’t get to go to any play off games which i am so very sad about but i have faith that my boys in blue will get there next season! πŸ™‚ oh and talk about having dodger withdraws!! haha i’ve been listening to “Tres Delinquentes” (which is a great song as you know) and i can’t wait to watch you walk out to that song next year!! i wish you the best and i can’t wait to see you guys at ST!!! have a great off season!!

    your fan, Amy
    Ethieraholic and dodger fan for life!!!

  15. iluvdodgrs

    Hi Andre,
    It is so great to hear from you again. I’m glad to hear from you! I believe that you all did great this past season – true we did not make it all the way but we did get farther than we have in 20 years. Not only were you all NL West Champs but also NLDS champs. How’s that? ;). I am so excited about the ’09 season, I can’t wait. Baseball is my favorite sport and the Dodgers my favorite team for quite a nice amount of years now! 18 to be exact (I’m in my 20’s – I became a fan as a child. Go Blue and keep up the good work Andre!


    Hey Andre,

    We are glad you are enjoying your time off & that you are writing again. Just spent some time in Peoria, Arizona for a baseball tournament with my son. It was nice but didn’t know where to find a taste of the “local” flavor. My daughter would love to spend time with you and Russell “Under The Lights”, but I don’t buy 13yr olds $500.00 gifts. Bummer, Huh?! She’ll have to learn to survive. :o) Maybe we’ll see you at Spring Training! Best wishes to you and your family!

    The Scheenstra’s

  17. godoyers99

    Thanks for all the hard work you have done for the team. The fans appreciate your passion and dedication.

    I’ll see you at the Under the Lights event.

    BTW, Congratulations on your first child. Trust me it gets easier.

  18. godoyers99

    Thanks for all the hard work you have done for the team. The fans appreciate your passion and dedication.

    I’ll see you at the Under the Lights event.

    BTW, Congratulations on your first child. Trust me it gets easier.


    Hi Andre!

    It’s so nice to hear from you and it was totally unexpected:) I look forward to the updates during the offseason and getting ready for 2009! Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

    xoxo from Tustin Ca!



    Andre! Thanks for the update.. I can’t wait to see your new reviews and then to try them out when I head over for spring training!! It still feels SO far away, but baseball season will be back again before we all know it.. The season was amazing.. your little recap brought back memories, and you are right about there being more ups than downs.. we fell a bit short in the end, but our accomplishments are nothing to scoff at.. I know you can’t wait for the season to begin, but try and enjoy the downtime πŸ™‚



    Andre, you’re the man, that’s all there is to it.

    I met you a couple things at the stadium this year (my season tickets were right by where you guys stretched right before the game started). You were always super nice, and you even signed my ridiculous Dodger shows, so I wanted to thank you for that. And you threw me like 10 baseballs, the ones you warm-up with right after you stretch… I always gave them to a kid and said, ‘always bleed blue.’

    It’s a long off-season, so when you get bored, check out my new comedy webseries.

  22. dodgers16ethier

    Yesterday was amazing! I am so glad I got to meet you again! You are so sweet, I love it. Hopefully you come out Under the Lights again because it was so much fun. You were so cute and funny yesterday. Haha!

    I love my ‘Dre!
    I can’t wait to see you during spring training and when the season starts!!

    You’re the best!

    Love Your Number One Fan,

  23. diana92la


    omg i miss you guys soooooooo much i miss baseball !!!!!

    plplzplzplzplz be at the caravan in 09 plz

    well ethier ill see you guys opening night.


    miss you

    p.s. let stop talking about the nlcs lets put it behind us and give it another shot in 09 =D u guys made me so proud

  24. junkyardjamie

    Andre ~
    It was such a pleasure meeting you on Friday during “Under the Lights.” When I read all the things you did during these last three days, I was simply amazed!!! I know you are not doing these things to impress people. I am on the missions team at my local church, and we work with our Rescue Mission all the time, and it certainly isn’t us taking centerstage so to speak. So, I know the recognition in yours eyes is misplaced, but for what it is worth Andre, you deserve the recognition for working so hard in a city that you call your home only 6, maybe 7, months out of the year.

    Thank you for signing my class picture. All of my students have become fans of yours as well. A few of them even went as far to ask their parents if they could come with me. They don’t understand the logistics or the legal issues in that possibility. All they knew is I was going to see you, and they were very upset and jealous.

    We also had a chance to go to Pizzeria Mozza like we had mentioned to you while signing autographs. It was simply delicious. Since there were four of us, we all ordered four different pizzas and four different desserts, along with a couple of appetizers so we could sample a variety of things. It was all spectacular, and anytime you can get my teenage daughter to branch out and try something new, it was a huge success. The squash blossoms were her favorite.

    Thanks to you and Russell for being such fantastic hosts Friday night. My daughter came with us as a Giants fan and left a Dodger fan. Now, that is what I call a victory. We stole another one from the dark side – yeah!! Now, I can honestly say that I am not the only Dodger fan in the house. You were incredible, and I can’t wait to see you in Dodger blue in Arizona when Spring Training begins. Best Wishes always to you and your family.
    Debbie ~
    Dodger Fan and Ethieraholic for Life!!!

  25. oldbrooklynfan

    Yes Andre,
    Like the rest of the young core, you got some more experience in the postseason. I say more because it was your second tour of duty.
    Like many, I sure would like to see the Dodgers sign Manny and like most I can’t wait to see you and the rest of the young crew back in uniform.
    I didn’t like reading about Chad’s slip on the ice but I understand he should be O.K. for ST. I hope they’re right.
    I guess you won’t have to worry too much about snow and ice in Phoenix AZ.
    See you around Citi Field this summer, I hope you have your family waiting outside for you.

  26. Dodger4life

    I’m putting the” Rings for Ever body!!! ” back. Andre,
    This mean’s you….. πŸ™‚

    Take everything else,that I said, and for that I am sorry.

    But ” Ring’s For Everybody ” belong’s. Heart of a Dodger alway’s.

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