110 thoughts on “Spring Training has begun!

  1. Jesse Sanchez of MLB is reporting that the Red Sox have an agreement with Yoan Moncada for 30m. Just as I suspected, no Dodger signing. Thanks FO!

    • Saw that too. I’ll admit to being a bit disappointed as well, as I really wanted the Dodgers to add him to our farm team. I do wonder however if the decision had less to do with not having the money to spend (30m – if true – seems “inexpensive”) and more about concerns of the baseball related makeup of Moncada.

      • I think the Dodger FO just leaks enough info to say that the team has interest in many players but in reality they have no interest in top tier players. They only want players that may have been hurt or some other reason have not been really successful and then reclaim them and hope they hit with a few so they can get the credit. They are definitely on the cheap. I certainly hope that the FO doesn’t believe the good folks of Southern California are that stupid.

        • Or southern Manitoba either, for that matter! But my guess is that they will still sign one or perhaps two of the other Cuban players that have been mentioned they are interested in.

        • Couldn’t agree more. The FO wants to win with low-grade (or injured) players so they (the FO) gets the credit, not star type players. Watch attendance start dropping. Guarantee Greinke will leave with little effort made to resign him, UNLESS he is injured.

          • This “Super Management Team” might achieve something that Fox, McCourt, and 20 years of bad field managers couldn’t do… Make me an ex-Dodger Fan.

          • I know your feeling. If they ever trade Kid K when unnecessary. I am gone after 63 years.

          • You know John, I believe Friedman has Zaidi running interference for him. Furhan was the 1st to mention picking up different players for the July pool. He has mentioned other things also to make me think he is spokesman to the fans for Freidman.

          • Yes, I’m afraid so. I don’t even know them so what I’m probably saying is that I hate their baseball philosophy. They equate more to Colletti than McCourt. I disliked him because he really wasn’t very good at his job. I disliked McCourt because of all the personal things that came out about him/them in the papers and on TV. I guess I compared him to the O’Malleys and he lost… Doesn’t really matter what I or any other fan thinks, they realize their jobs are a no-win proposition, no matter what they do, thousands of people will criticize them for it. Doesn’t say much for us fans but that’s the way it is.

          • Thanks for explaining. For me, the jury is out. I mean, I never like it when my favorite players leave or get traded – I still miss Russell Martin and Loney! – but I feel as if these guys are less reactive and more future-based than Colletti, at least so far. We shall see. I will say that my stadium experience is MUCH better since McCourt left. I have mini-plans in the upper reserve deck, and it feels safer, cleaner, and much more about baseball than drinking and fighting.

          • You know RBI, the Dodgers might win it all this year but it won’t be because of the players the new FO brought in (Rollins,Kendrick, Grandal, Anderson, McCarthy) it will be because of the players that were already here(Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, Gonzalez ect.) in my opinion.

          • Reminds me of what happens when new leadership takes over a studio – if a film does well, everyone credits the old guard. If a film does poorly, the new guys get the blame! That’s why new studio heads tend to completely clean house, jettisoning all the films in development on their slate. I don’t think that’s happened here – just some pruning and rearranging, but not wholesale slaughter. I was a huge Kemp fan, and loved 2014 first-half Dee, but I can see why they’ve done what they’ve done. As I just said to john galt, I am in wait-and-see mode. The jury is out, but could go either way. Mostly, I want to watch some Dodger games again.

          • I know you are trying to make a different point, but with an FA class of 2016 that includes Cueto, Price and Zimmermann (all 2-3 years younger than Zach), indeed the FO may not make a big effort to resign him.

        • You’re oversimplifying grossly. Zaidi has suggested they’re looking at making a big splash at the July 2 deadline, without handcuffing themselves with Moncada (although they did make him a big proposal, if not a formal offer).

          • WBBsAs, I am saying that the FO leaks that they have interest in any big name player to obtain via trade or Free Agent (Scherzer, Lester, Sheilds, Hamels) and any big name prospect (Moncada) and then slowly backs off and doesn’t commit for whatever excuse they can find. I challenge you to name one new acquisition of Top Tier talent? The press buys that they have interest but the truth be known, they don’t. I would bet that they will not sign any big name Cuban prospect coming available July 2. They do this while obtaining scrap heap type players in hopes of hitting on 1 or 2 so they can get credit for being the type management that ownership wanted when they were hired. All this is just my opinion. Also, saying that they offered Moncada 35 mil if he waited is a game because they knew he would never bite on that as it was just a game. Bad business I tell ya.
            Just learned from http://www.espnla.com that the Dodgers never even made an offer to Moncada. Nice!

          • This suggests that the FO is in a win-now mode in looking for a 3rd baseman who can contribute immediately, though it seems like a stretch to pencil the fellow in the 25 for this season. Uribe is versatile (at least in the past), but with Guerrero having a slot seems like a lot of infielders, though he might find time in the outfield, if they move Dre (assuming Joc works out). Interesting to see how things work out, with the benefit of three months to see how guys are performing.

          • Uribe has made me a believer of sorts – I hated the original signing – but you can’t expect him to play more than about 130 games and perhaps less. Olivera sounds MLB-ready (which Moncada is probably not).

  2. My first thought in seeing the above photo was that Maatingly is arms length away – that is, out of punching range. Not that swings would happen, but…

  3. At dodgers.com, Mattingly says plan is for Nicasio to be a multi-innings reliever, Frias a starter.

    • Seems reasonable. Juan did fairly well as a 4-5 getting 10-15 starts early in his career, but not so well when he was throwing 30 games a season more recently. Jury still out on Carlos, who only has two starts under his belt (with 3.60 FIP).

  4. There is quite a conversation about the Moncada thing going on among the various personalities in my head.
    1. The FO didn’t bid on him because he isn’t the type of player they like.
    2. Might not be a bad thing. I can think of dozens of super-star players in AAA who never did anything in the bigs. He isn’t even close to AAA yet. Yes, I’m a skeptic or pessimist or whatever.
    3. I’d rather gamble $70MM on him than all the bent wing pitchers they signed recently. Good news: Because there are several of them, we have a good chance one of them works. Bad News: Because there is only one of him, there is only one chance he is successful. Good news: There is also only one chance he fails. Best news: We don’t have to sweat it at all, it is the FO’s hotseat.

  5. Please, please, please let the games begin so all this negativity will be overwritten by hits and runs and errors!

    Every day, every thread. “The front office stinks. They don’t have a clue. I’d never have done that. Why didn’t they do this?”

    Get over it, will you guys?

    • Hey Link
      Not trying to be negative about the FO but everytime I stop saying anything, someone else starts talking about how good their decisions are. Let’s both sides call a truce. OK?

      • I wouldn’t say they’re so much good as interesting, and they offer reasonable explanations. Whether that will lead to results on the field is something else entirely.

  6. Following the team is supposed to be enjoyable and fun. You guys who complain about the new FO incessantly…..is all that really fun for you?

    It’s REAL clear that you dislike all the player moves and you don’t like that they didn’t spend $500 million on every big name star free agent or Cuban prospect out there (yet)–as if doing those things guaranteed a WS. Actually, doing those things guarantees exactly nothing. You can’t buy your way into a WS.

    The team hasn’t even played its first exhibition game yet. Gosh. Exhale.

    • Who said it was supposed to be fun? Suffering is a huge part of being a fan. Used to know a guy who loved to gamble, any way, any how. He asked me once what I thought a gambler liked most. I said, “Winning”. “Right”, he said, “Know what he likes second most? Losing.”

      • Yea, and if you think I am ever going to believe everything a writer writes you are badly mistaken.

        • And you shouldn’t. Nor automatically not believe if what’s said doesn’t jibe with your views. Most baseball writers are experienced and at least decent at what they do. After a while you can figure out which are better.

          • I actually look for articles and writers with a different point of view and then review their evidence. No reason why my views are right, right?

          • The views of even us most dedicated fans aren’t nearly as informed as writers with direct access to teams and other authoritative sources.

            Writers sometimes get canned answers like “I’m not worried about (whatever is asked)” and pass those and other jockspeak and cliches on to us. But the better writers have a way of working in nuggets worth considering most of the time, whatever their respective slant.

            Yep, we’re all better off if we’re open to reasoned differences of opinion.

  7. While I am with yawl and want the season to begin, I tend to like spring training even though it drags at the end until we play our little brothers the Angles of Anaheim. This year especially, with all the new players (bet Vin is studying overtime to get their little stories to us!).

  8. Typo in first graph of Gaudin story: “…with the aaddition of…”

    Needed to be in the story about signing Aardsma. ;-])

    • Well, I guess it doesn’t matter what type of person you are to get into the Dodger organization. So far we have a known PED user, a game fixer and now a person who does lewd things to women.

        • How can it be overstating when the PED user was hit with a 50 game suspension? Also, the game fixer was banned for life from the DR baseball for game fixing. Do you think that is overstating?

          • Grandal served the requisite penalty and has been reinstated; I would hope and expect he never does it again. The Tsao case is far more ambiguous, given the intricacies of Taiwanese baseball.

        • Used the excuse of “symptoms believed to be related to acute renal failure due to a condition known as rhabdomyolysis ”

          Reports indicate he was pretty well under the influence. Is

          “rhabdomyolysis” high-tech speak for “got drunk and groped someone”?

    • Arriving in BA and driving out of EZE, one of the first sights is the baseball stadium. Apart from a small field at the Lincoln HS, the only diamond I ever saw during my time in Argentina.

        • Any idea how Entre Rios came to have those diamonds? Jakarta has a couple of fields that are actively used in the middle of the city supposedly because of Houston oil men.

          • A guy I know, an accountant there, was looking for an activity for young people there and his own persistence made it work. Teams from Paraná have even gone to play tournaments in the States. My nephew’s a very good fast-pitch pitcher in Olavarría, Buenos Aires province.

            There is a baseball league in Buenos Aires, by the way. I have actually played with http://www.shankeesbaseball.com/

  9. From the OC Register:

    “Jamie McCourt’s attempt to have her divorce settlement with Frank
    McCourt overturned was rejected by a state appeals court in Los Angeles.
    Jamie argued that Frank had fraudulently underestimated the value of
    the couple’s assets, including the Dodgers, and sought an increase in
    her divorce settlement from $131 million to $770 million after the
    Dodgers were sold to the Guggenheim group for $2.15 billion.”

  10. Feeling for Josh Hamilton. He has such a monkey on his back, and it’s hard not to relapse after surgery. I wish him well.

      • That’s not fair, Religion helps millions of people in many ways. But you really have to believe it, not just say it… By the way, I’m not religious, haven’t been in a church for more than 60 years, but I have respect for what it can do and for those who truly believe in it.

    • Wonder how the 1952 ban on women in MLB came about. Perhaps to keep Veeck from some shennanigan?

        • Gotta believe Frick had Veeck in the back of his mind. Otherwise he might have allowed them to play with an asterisk (urban legend).

    • Hope that doesn’t translate like most of Donnie’s opinions on medical issues last season, when as soon as he said he wasn’t worried about a player’s medical issues, guy was a good bet for the DL. ;-])

  11. Can some of you West Coast folks enlighten me on how the UC Irvine Anteaters came up with that nickname? And for how Oregon became the Ducks and Oregon State the Beavers?

    Those nicknames don’t sound exactly convey much for opponents to worry about. Anteaters are funky-looking, ducks are ducks. I suppose a beaver could tear your ankle up with those teeth, tho.

    • From Wikipedia: The Anteater mascot was promoted by 3 students in UC Irvine’s founding year, Bob Ernst and Pat Glasgow of the water polo team, and rowing team member Schuyler Bassett. The mascot name was brought to a vote to the student body where irregularities were suspected in the voting process.

    • How did UCSB come up with Gauchos when they should be Vaqueros? Why isn’t Stanford the Robber Barons, as the student body voted?

  12. I am betting that Grandal’s place in the lineup will be 4th or 5th and that he will start between 110 and 125 games at catcher. I also am betting that the lineup will change more this year than anytime in the last 10 years. Just a hunch.

    • “Last ten years” could be an overstatement, but there’s likely to be quite a bit of experimentation.

      • I also believe that the pitching staff will dramatically change this year. Of course injury and performance will have a huge impact but I think it will change more than normal.

        • Actually, I expect the top four starters to be pretty stable, but the pen could have a lot of turnover.

  13. Fun story here about Kershaw and the RocketFish (that’s what ESPN’s Neil Everett calls Mike Trout) splitting time and talking while doing Subway commercials the other day.

  14. This Jon interview with Koufax ought to be required reading for all Dodger fans. If anyone ever doubted Koufax knows about much more than pitching, this should end that:

    http://dodgers.mlblogs.com/2015/02/26/sandy-koufax-holds-court/

    Many worthwhile nuggets, including this on Puig–

    ““I think probably he’s never played against talent that might be his equal, so he’s thought, ‘OK, they’ll make a mistake. I can keep running, and they’ll screw it up.’ It doesn’t happen here. I think he’s learned that. … I think there’s a lot of progress. When you’re struggling at the
    plate, everything looks bad.”

    • Sandy can probably still throw 85. If he’d had the benefit of contemporary surgical innovations, his numbers would have been off the charts.

      • Yeah, I’ve seen him there…KMT59 or close, I think. He went there after DT went on hiatus. Somewhat surprised he didn’t go to TBLA, which a lot of DTers did.

        I usually only glance at DD comments–if even that–because they get off in the weeds pretty quickly if not start off there.

        Comments at TBLA are much better, IMO. Usually glance at them but don’t have time to wade thru all. Both places routinely get hundreds of comments under posts. Haven’t seen KT there.

    • Were I am (DC), winter generally goes into mid-March, so still within normal range in terms of length. It has been colder, however. Snow melt is usually fast, but temps have remained fairly low so more accumulation that normal.

      • In 1990, I think it was, I went to an exhibition game at RFK between the Birds and the Redbirds. Whether it would actually happen was touch-and-go until that morning, and I spent most of the game consuming hot chocolate.

    • In TN much colder for longer than usual. Complete with lovely ice storms that take down power lines, trees and limbs, and cause all kinds of wrecks. Usually we may have cold snaps but bounce back to the 50s or so quickly. But lately a consistent deep freeze. And around 30 recent winter storm-related fatalities statewide, several of those hypothermia .

      We’re kind of the battleground for cold air from Canada and warm air from the Gulf of Mexico, so we sometimes get ice in winter and tornadoes other times…tho a winter tornado isn’t out of the question if conditions are right.

      Our forecast for this week ranges from a high of around 60 to an overnight low of 16 two days later, giving support to the cliche that if you don’t like TN weather, just stick around. It will change.

      You didn’t ask for a novel. But, dang, I’m tired of this. Especially after spending yesterday with a chain saw and my family sawing and hauling a fallen humongous limb which ice took down off our enormous pine tree.

      What winter are you having in CA? More rain than usual, think I’ve heard.

      • Not California but Southern Nevada, right next to it. Yes, more rain this year, we must be close to 2 inches by now, about half the yearly average. Warmer earlier, we’ve had many days in the 70s and 80s in the last two months. I’m betting on an earlier and hotter summer. Thank God for air conditioners, and thank the Devil for $300 a month power bills…

  15. Paraphrasing MLBTR: This will be the first season in 20 with no new Japanese players, MLB.com’s Tracy Ringolsby notices. Hiroshima Carp pitcher Kenta Maeda looked most likely, but the Carp decided not to post him. Then infielder Takashi Toritani re-signed with Hanshin. For the last 10 years Japanese players have arrived at a rate of about 3 per season, with Masahiro Tanaka and Tsuyoshi Wada (who actually signed with the Orioles prior to the 2012 season) making their debuts last year.

    • He may be a Kershavian talent. Remember how the young Kershaw embarrassed Sean Casey?