Oct 20

World Series Game One, 2020

Rays vs Dodgers, 5:00PM PDT, TV: Fox

By virtue of the better season record the Dodgers earned “home field advantage” for this neutral-site series; they’ll have last ups in games 1,2,6 and 7.

Here’s MLB’s position-by-position analysis. (Spoiler: In their estimation the Dodgers have large or small edges everywhere except the rotation and the bullpen.)

The Rays give the ball to their very tall (he’s 6′ 8″ and his nickname is “Baby Giraffe,” MLB says) RHP Tyler Glasnow, who’s 2-1 in the playoffs with 25 Ks. His last appearance was in Game Four of the ALCS and it didn’t go particularly well: he gave up four runs to the Astros in six innings of work. He’ll face the Dodgers’ LHP Clayton Kershaw, who’ll be making his fifth World Series start. We all know the stories of his postseason woes; Roberts does too, one assumes, and he should be ready to replace Kershaw at the first moment he looks to be in trouble.

Now this is startling:

Six years and six days before Game 1 of the 2020 World Series, Andrew Friedman left his longtime post running the Tampa Bay Rays’ front office to become the Los Angeles Dodgers’ president of baseball operations.

He departed with a promise disguised as friendly banter, one that will be fulfilled when his current team lines up against his former club on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the World Series at Globe Life Field in Arlington.

“We joked when I left the team that we were going to meet up in the World Series one day,” Friedman said, “and for it actually to happen is surreal.”

Oh my. I like Jeff Passan of ESPN, and he wrote a good book, but I dunno. Here he is on Pablo Torre’s podcast earlier today:

Today in Dodgers’ history:

  • 1988 The Dodgers become World Champions when Orel Hershiser limits the opposition to four singles in Game 5 of the World Series and beats the A’s, 5-1. The right-hander, who also won Game 2, is named the Most Valuable Player of the Fall Classic.

  • 1994 Receiving all 28 first-place votes, Raul Mondesi (.306, 16, 56) is named the National League’s Rookie of the Year. The Los Angeles right fielder, who easily outdistanced Astros’ hurler John Hudek and Braves’ outfielder Ryan Klesko, is the third consecutive Dodger to win the award.
  • 2010 Ted Lilly signs a three-year, $33 million deal to remain with the Dodgers. The 34 year-old southpaw, obtained from the Cubs in early August, compiled a 7-4 record with a 3.52 ERA in 12 starts for LA, including victories in the first five starts for his new team.

Lineups:

Rays:

Dodgers:

May 21

MLB’s Health and Safety Plan

Jeff Passan of ESPN breaks it down with an example:

Here is what a day in the life of a baseball player could look like in 2020.

Wake up. Grab the thermometer issued to every player in MLB and take your temperature. Just make sure to do it before eating, drinking or exercising. Then take it again. If it’s over 100 degrees, self-isolate, call the team physician and get ready to take a rapid-response COVID-19 test.

If not, you can go to the stadium. If you’re on the road, it can be on any of the six bus trips to the ballpark instead of the typical early-or-late options. Don’t forget to open the windows. If you’re at home, go to the entrance that can be used only by 101 specifically designated people. Put on a mask. Walk into the stadium. Maybe even be in uniform already. Get your temperature taken again. If it’s still below 100, you’re allowed in the restricted areas: the field, the training room, the weight room, the clubhouse. Or perhaps the auxiliary clubhouse, because social distancing is important, and 6 feet will separate lockers, and locker rooms just aren’t big enough to handle that many people and that much space between them, so the team needs to build another.

Might be your day for a coronavirus test, since there will be a few a week, so get that saliva ready. Also could be the monthly blood test for coronavirus antibodies. Since you can’t use hot tubs, cold tubs, saunas, steam rooms or cryotherapy, there’s no excuse not to get to the 4:30 hitters’ meeting on time. Just check whether it’s on the iPad or outside. Indoor, in-person meetings don’t exist anymore.

At least you can take off the mask on the field. You’ll be out there plenty. It may look a little odd. No water or sports-drink jugs in the dugout. No sunflower seeds or dip. Remember? You can’t spit. Or high-five. Or dap. Or hug.

There’s more, lots more. And this is just the medical side of MLB’s proposals. The money side has yet to be presented to the players.

I don’t know, folks. This is going to be really difficult. As Passan says before he goes into the detail above, “This, or some bargained evolution of it, is what it takes to have a chance at garnering the support of the broad coalition necessary for any sport to return: the backing of federal, state and local governments; the rubber stamp of local health officials; the buy-in of fans; and the collaboration of players.”

Feb 09

Betts deal finally done

Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan:

Catching prospect Connor Wong is headed to the Boston Red Sox alongside outfielder Alex Verdugo and shortstop Jeter Downs in the trade that will send outfielder Mookie Betts, starter David Price and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers, sources tell ESPN. Players have been notified.

Notice the Twins were left out of that deal. However, Passan also says

The trade that will send right-hander Kenta Maeda and cash to the Minnesota Twins for right-hander Brusdar Graterol and the 67th pick in the draft — which has around a $1 million slot value — has been agreed upon, source confirms to ESPN. @Ken_Rosenthal was first with the deal.

Here’s an interesting perspective:

The Dodgers turned Kyle Farmer, Matt Kemp, Alex Wood and Yasiel Puig into Josiah Gray and Jeter Downs

Jeter Downs just got them Mookie Betts, they kept Josiah Gray and they also brought back Alex Wood

Jan 09

Biding their time

The Dodgers, for all of the hand-wringing and complaints about their offseason inaction, are actually sitting quite pretty when it comes to leverage. They can use it now. They can use it in July. They can be opportunistic. They do not have to feed the hot stove beast simply because it has hunger pangs.

So says ESPN’s Jeff Passan, and he’s a lot smarter than Bill Plaschke, who wrote a somewhat whiny column last week taking the Dodgers and their owners to task for not doing something, anything that would give the fans (and columnists) Dodger news to talk about.