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The long wait is over.  The winter gloom has been replaced with the bright blue of the skies… and of the Dodgers uniform lettering.  Hope and optimism fills the air with thoughts that THIS will be the season that we will be playing late into October.

It happens every spring, from the cactus of Arizona, to the grapefruit of Florida.  The slate has been wiped clean and the chance for victory beckons.

It is a joyous time for players and fans alike.

Play ball!

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87 Responses to

  1. 32and53fan says:

    Let the games begin
    The Dodgers are on the field
    Baseball games are here

    (Haiku: 3 lines of 5, then 7, then 5 syllables. Give it a try for your next comment. )

  2. crash24now says:

    We’re losing again
    I really don’t even care
    Live baseball means spring

  3. kahliforni says:

    Kemp is lighter now
    Maybe his hammies will hold
    We can only hope

  4. trublu4ever says:

    Roses are red
    Violets are blue
    I really don’t know
    What the heck
    I’m supposed to do! 😉

  5. crash24now says:

    Ned’s a nincompoop
    Juan Uribe is worthless
    Donnie Baseball sucks

  6. crash24now says:

    Vin Scully is back
    Smell the smell of fresh mown grass
    Hope springs eternal

  7. kahliforni says:

    I read that Donnie
    contract negotiations
    are being discussed

    non haiku:
    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!
    Make him earn it.

  8. messagebear says:

    FIRE the little bastard!
    But then I’ve been saying that about Ned forever.

  9. nellyjune says:

    Home runs and curveballs
    Stolen bases and strikeouts
    Spring baseball is here!

  10. trublu4ever says:

    Saw the team today.
    Most of the stars did not play.
    #5 at 1st…. sad day!

  11. Dodger4life says:

    Haiku you say, aye
    Beat the Giants in 2013
    Go Dodgers Go

  12. Dodger4life says:

    It’s early this morn
    So my math kind’a stinks
    Just beat the jint’s

  13. 32and53fan says:

    Somehow, I found a pretty comprehensive link that details Sandy Koufax. http://www.pophistorydig.com/?tag=sandy-koufax-anne-widmark

    The guys on the Dodger Talk podcast were mentioning what a great teacher he is.

  14. 32and53fan says:

    Where’d everybody go?

  15. Few quick observations…

    If it doesn’t happen this year, I’m guessing it will next – Puig will be a second Matt Kemp in the line-up. In fact, if he shows he can handle the curve here in the latter part of ST, it might be Crawford who?

    Beckett appears he may make a formidable #3 this season and be the Billingsley we’ve all hoped for.

    Ryu I believe will start the year out in the pen unless Billz can’t go. Won’t doubt that Lilly is the #5, Harang gets traded, and Caps is kept around for insurance until the trade deadline.

  16. messagebear says:

    I agree with the observations, except that I think Crawford is the $100 million throw-away – glad the Guggenheimers can afford it. I’m also not impressed with Gonzalez – I think he’s already largely over the hill. Becket might be the real winner of the Red Sox bunch, and it sure looks like we need a winner from that group.

  17. crash24now says:

    Good news/bad news:

    Good: Kemp is back in CF today. I’m looking forward to his full recovery to his form of April 2012.

    Bad: Uribe is starting at 1B again today. Looking forward to him making all three outs in an inning again.

  18. crash24now says:

    The Ugly: Kershaw got blasted today and is sporting a 9.00 ERA. I don’t really care, since it is still early in March, and Kershaw will be fine come Opening Day.

  19. crash24now says:

    Who will be the starting left-fielder on Opening Day?

    a) Carl Crawford
    b) Jerry Hairston
    c) Skip Schumaker
    d) Alex Castellanos
    e) Yasiel Puig
    f) Juan Uribe

    Hint: If you choose Uribe, you get an F.

  20. 32and53fan says:

    Assuming Yasiel Puig is ready for prime time and playing like a superstar, what do you think the Dodgers will do? They have a lot of money tied up long term in Crawford, Kemp and Ethier.

    • crash24now says:

      Either (a) if Crawford returns to his ability to hit and run like he did at Tampa Bay, then Dodgers will trade Puig for a great second baseman, or (b) if Crawford stinks, sit him down and play Puig.

  21. kahliforni says:

    If Crawford starts the season on the DL, why not play Puig over the rest of those journeymen wanna-bes? Game-changers are hard to find…Puig has the potential to be one. If Crawford doesn’t start the season on the DL, Puig will never make the final 25-man cut. Joe, er…I mean Donnie, prefers those can’t-miss vets. You know, PVLs!!!

    • lbirken says:

      I saw this today. Too bad. I liked watching him play and wish the Dodgers had been able to benefit from a healthy Furcal while he wore Dodger blue.

  22. Watching a bit of the Dominican Republic/Venezuela game tonight. Did anyone else see Hanley Ramirez’s home run? That thing was launched!

  23. crash24now says:

    Rain-out. Time for another poll:

    Kemp gets his first hit on:

    a) tomorrow, Sat Mar 8
    b) Sunday Mar 9
    c) The ides of March
    d) St Patrick’s Day
    e) Good Friday
    f) Opening Day, aka April Fool’s Day

  24. lbirken says:

    I would be surprised if Puig made the major league club out of Spring training even knowing Crawford will not be ready. I am o.k. with not rushing him and I would be even more suprised if he was included in a trade. I don’t like the idea of a platoon in left field but that seems the direction the team will take until Crawford can play. I am actually more concerned about Kemp having a good Spring and him being 100 percent ready to go on opening day.

    • crash24now says:

      I didn’t like the sound of Kemp’s “I don’t feel athletic”. But there’s still more than three weeks of spring training. I hope he gets back into the zone soon.

      • lbirken says:

        Kemp sounded like he felt ready at Dodger Fanfest but that was before camp opened. there has been a lot of talk about how much longer Spring training is this year due to the WBC and how many more Spring games will be played but for players like Kemp and some of the pitchers, this may be a good thing.

  25. Well I’m back after 10 unforgetable days at CBR with the TBLA group. We had a wonderful time collecting autographs and talking to the players, coaches, trainers, management as those of you who’ve made this trip to ST camp know.
    Sorry to say I didn’t get Koufax or Scully’s autographs as so few fans did.
    I arrived home on Monday afternoon and I’m slowly getting back into my daily routine.
    I have to say the trip was exciting and something I’ll never forget.

  26. oldbrooklynfan says:

    Yes I saw Koufax every morning through a fence talking with the coaches and pitchers while they were warming up but I never got the opportunity to get his autograph.

  27. crash24now says:

    Kemp got his break out game yesterday, going 2 for 2 plus a walk.

  28. messagebear says:

    First, Crawford – that was just stupidity!
    Now, Greinke – that’s the Guggenheimer Curse!
    I tell you, these billionaires are going to blow unimaginable amounts of money in their baseball wisdom, and it will still be for naught. Anybody who keeps McCourt for a partner and Ned and Donnie for employees deserves no better. I hate the Guggenheim partners. You can’t buy Dodgers wholesale.

    • lbirken says:

      It does not seem to matter how much (or how little) money an organization has when it comes to the risk of signing free agents, especially pitchers.

    • JhallWally says:

      I will not take this team seriously until Nedcompoop is gone. I still can’t believe he wasn’t shown the door as soon as the new owners took over. Makes me very skeptical about their baseball acumen.

      • trublu4ever says:

        I think both he and Donnie will be gone at the end of this season.

      • enchantedbeaver says:

        I really don’t think with Kasten around that Ned’s much more than a secretary anymore to make that initial call. Engle heads the international scouting. White heads the domestic scouting… I think Ned’s just a GM in name only. He’s probably still around because he can kiss people’s ass.

        Crawford, Punto and Beckett were the cost of getting Gonzales. It may turn out that Beckett could be a solid #3, but getting anything out of any of those three is icing on the cake.

        A very expensive cake.

        • 32and53fan says:

          Beckett is looking very good so far. Crawford is very happy to be in L.A. and really wants to show that he is still a good player. Gonzales may be more of a doubles hitter than a home run guy.

          • messagebear says:

            I’m not a Gonzales fan – I don’t think he’ll prove to be worth having to take on some of the rest of the guys. Frankly, if his name was Smith, he wouldn’t be with the Dodgers. This was just another idea of reaching the Latino fans where Nomar left off a few years ago. I personally haven’t gotten used to the idea that Gonzales is really a Dodger – to me he’s just as much a Dodger as the Hessians were true soldiers of King George. If he proves his case, I’m sure I’ll warm up to him, but for now I’ll accept Beckett as the best part of the package, which I personally would not have taken on. But then I already know that I’m behind the times as far as modern day baseball and all other sports represent today.

          • enchantedbeaver says:

            The way I look at this bear, is that Guggenheim bought a clunker after Frank drove it into the ground. They had virtually no farm system, and definitely no major league ready talent. Not having much talent on the farm meant trades for solid ballplayers were impossible. Guggenheim had one asset – money.

            They had to do two things immediately: Re-energize and win back an eroding fan base, and set themselves up for a huge payday with the media rights so they could re-coup the purchase price.

            They couldn’t then afford to wait 4-5 years to develop players in house, so a normal rebuilding phase was out of the question, and with nothing to trade they had to throw money at it. Gonzalez, Beckett, Crawford and Ramirez are undeniably better than Loney, Harang, Rivera and Gordon. Good enough to win? Who knows? But it did give them some names and an aire of going in the right direction. Then they got Puig, and Ryu and Greinke, all again because all they have to throw at things is money.

            All the spending hopefully brings a better club – obviously since they’ve already sold 30000 season tickets the fans are coming back because of it. But I don’t think that spending was foolish on their part, not from a baseball standpoint, but if they hadn’t done that I doubt they’d have gotten half or maybe even a third of what they got from Warner. With the contracts they took on, and the new ones they gave out, they turned what $500-$600M into $3-$4B.

            That was brilliant.

  29. lbirken says:

    Say what you want about Matt Guerrier, this is funny.

  30. lbirken says:

    EB, I don’t think I could have said it any better. There is no doubt in my mind now that Guggenheim knows exactly what it is doing and does have a plan. Unlike Frank, Guggenheim has the money to implement that plan. Whether we agree with that plan or not can be debated and it does remain to be seen if this plan results in championships. However, so far it has created a lot of interest (see Fanfest and 30,000 season tickets sold) and that interest leads to fans in the seats, watching on TV or listening on the radio, and that leads to the revenue stream. Of course, as fans we don’t much care about all that stuff and I am sure Guggenheim knows it.

    I will say I believe Stan Kasten has his hands on everything and is a good “face” to the fans, much better than Magic. While I still hold him and the other Guggenheim folks responsible for still having to deal with McCourt and their unwillingness at first to even acknowledge the truth, I feel a lot more comfortable now than I did when they took over.

  31. messagebear says:

    I don’t disagree with any of enchanted’s or birk’s comments. I’m just getting too old to forget the “good old days” before there was free agency, drugging, bankruptcy, and seemingly outrageous financial rewards in the game. I’m still remembering two now Hall of Famers having to “strike” to get an annual salary of $100,000. But then a lot of other things have changed over that same time period – many for the better and some not so good. I think it must be somewhat harder these days for fans to remain loyal and true – at least I find my zeal waning at times. Forgive me.

  32. kahliforni says:

    bear, enchanted, lbirk, I think we all remember the good old days. And I don’t mean 1988…that was lightning in a bottle. In retrospect that lightning called Kirk Gibson turned out to be a curse. Since that great signing, the Dodgers have thrown cash at Darryl Strawberry, Darren Dreifort, Jason Schmidt, Kevin Brown, Andruw Jones, Juan Uribe, Manny Ramirez, etc., etc. Now I’m not saying they were bad signings at the time, just that free agency hasn’t really worked for the Dodgers since Kirk Gibson. SOMEBODY must have worked out…refresh my memory. Is Greinke the next curse? I do hope this “superstar”-mentality approach will be replaced by Kasten’s vision/track record of home-grown talent, mimicking the Papa O’Malley years. But then, baseball was different then, as bear alluded to.

    Still, I’m excited for yet another six-month passion play………..

  33. I think this should be a season to look forward to after all the spending and bringing up the payroll. I notice a lot of Dodger fans have new hope for the team and that’s enough for me to raise my hope.
    I don’t know what the future holds butI have a feeling we’re in for a good season.

  34. lbirken says:

    I do remember the “good old days” before free agency and even those years following. In those days the owners had too much power over the players and after free agency the players seem to have too much power. No question free agency has had a big effect but under the old system players were tied to one team and had little if any say where they played or how much they got paid. Remember, the Dodgers traded Jackie Robinson to the Giants! The Dodgers did treat their players well but it was always their philosophy to trade a player a “year too early than a year too late”.
    To show how things have changed, look at the handwringing by some media folks, and perhaps from some Angel fans, at the paltry $510K Mike Trout will earn this season. Certainly he is worth more but the team does not have to pay him more if it chooses not to do so. If Trout progresses as most people believe, he will one day get a huge payday from some team.

    The problem for me is I love the games for what they are: entertainment. I don’t like all the attention paid to the off field stuff, which was not covered much years ago. ESPN and the internet have helped change the way we look at all sports. Ticket revenue is important to teams but the media and other sources of revenue are so much more important. Is that progress?

    The good news is at least baseball is pretty much the same on the field today as it was “back then”. Pitchers still have to throw strikes and hitters still have to drive in runs. So let the games begin.

  35. NoMartinNoLoneyJustKemp says:

    I am excited about Yasiel Puig!!
    .
    I read that he won’t be on the Opening Day roster. But if he tears it up at AA or AAA for a couple months, he will force the Dodgers hand. Still, I don’t know where he will play assuming that Kemp, Ethier and Crawford are playing well.
    .
    Third base? It didn’t work for Pedro Guerrero (“My girlfriend is doing drugs with Pedro Guerrero … Pedro Guerrero …”), but who knows?
    .
    As for the rest of the team, we have a handful of superstars and another handful of big question marks. In some cases, both in one player.

    • enchantedbeaver says:

      Hey NoMaNoLoJuKe – glad to read you!

      I too am excited about Puig. If he can live up to his potential ala Kemp, that would be awesome having them both in the same line-up.

      I’ll give it until Friday next week, then its time to start getting serious for the season.

    • crash24now says:

      Have you seen a picture of this guy? He’s built like Bo Jackson. He can hit, he’s fast, he can throw. I’m excited, too. He will be better than our worn-out superstars (Crawford, Gonzalez, Ramirez – though, hopefully I’m wrong about them).

  36. JhallWally says:

    I don’t think this a playoff, yet alone, a WS team. Too many position and health questions.
    Not to mention, we have a moron GM, and a sycophant manager. I am not very optimistic about the upcoming season.

  37. lbirken says:

    I think the Dodgers can be a playoff team but just as for any successful team, things will have to fall into place: Kemp has to start strong and stay strong and healthy all season; Ethier has to figure out a way to hit lefties; there are no serious health issues with the pitchers; Agon and Hanley at least hit for their respective career averages and who plays third and short gets resolved quickly.

    I think the Dodgers are correct in sending Puig to the minors even if Crawford is not ready to go when the season starts. Hopefully Puig does well wherever they send him. I think there is a good chance we will see him on the big club at some time this season.

  38. JhallWally says:

    I don’t think the Dodgers have spent wisely since the new ownership has taken over. Except for putting more money into the international market and scouting. Perhaps, by 2017 or so, we will see a true old fashioned Dodger product. More reminiscent of the glory days of the 50’s thru 80’s.

  39. crash24now says:

    Harangatang is proving today why we no longer want him as a #5 starting pitcher. Too bad, he’s hurting his trade value. After today, maybe we can get an Ortiz for him.

  40. 32and53fan says:

    Stop the presses… Uribe goes 4 for 4.
    Maybe his new approach of going up the middle and the opposite field is paying off.

  41. It’s great to read how well Puig is doing. Hopefully when he’s ready to play in the MLB, the Dodgers will have an opening in the starting lineup for him.
    Uribe 4 for 4, WOW.

  42. kahliforni says:

    “Uribe said he thought his front foot moved too much last season…”

    Ya think? And he and the Dodger brass are just NOW figuring this out? I saw that on TV every time the slug came to the plate and swung at a pitch. And I’ll bet everyone on this blog saw that, too. My nerves. I say keep Puig. What’s he going to do in the minors, learn how to hit lousy pitchers’ lousy curveballs? If Crawford can’t go, play Puig everyday until Crawford’s ready, then send the kid down…………..

  43. lbirken says:

    Go figure, Kemp struggles, Uribe finds his stroke, Puig shows promise and Kershaw looks ready to start the season. Don’t you just love Spring training?

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