Spring Training is Around the Corner

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February is here and the time for baseball is near. Pitchers and catchers report to Camelback Ranch on February 19. The rest of the team will show up on the 24th.

This has been an interesting off-season filled with surprises. Stan Kasten booted Ned Colletti out of the front office and into a plum job as “Senior Advisor” doing who knows what. Talk about a soft landing. Stan then brought in Andrew Friedman as President, Baseball Operations. Friedman, who worked miracles in Tampa Bay with a shoestring budget, then hired fellow sabermetrician and economist Dr. Farhan Zaidi as General Manager. Former highly regarded General Manager Josh Byrnes was brought in as Senior Vice President, Baseball Operations. Former major leaguer Gabe Kapler, a fitness and nutrition expert and communications advocate, was brought in as Director, Player Development. He has been tasked to make sure that all levels of players are on the same page of the Dodgers way to play the game.

Andrew and his brain trust broke apart the team that won 94 games last year, but failed to get past the Division Series. Gone are Hanley Ramirez, Dee Gordon and Matt Kemp. Dan Haren and Brian Wilson are among the pitchers no longer with the team. The defense got better up the middle with the addition of Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick and Yasmani Grandal. Rookie Joc Pederson will be given a shot at Center Field. Chris Heiser will platoon at Center Field and pinch hit. Pitchers Brandon McCarthy and Brett Anderson could be very good if they stay healthy. Joel Peralta should help the bullpen.

I like the roster so far. In two months, we will have a much better idea of the capabilities of the 2015 Dodgers.

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81 Responses to Spring Training is Around the Corner

  1. messagebear says:

    Rollins, Kendrick, and Grandal really helped their teams last year, so they’re presumed to be the answer to improve a 94 win team? Who’s going to be blamed if that doesn’t happen? Friedman, Zaidi? As I see it this team will be about 6 wins worse than last year – whether that gets them a championship ranking in the division will only be seen at the end. Unless they come up with somebody worth while in a late trade, I just don’t buy this “Spin” bullshit.

  2. oldbrooklynfan says:

    I agree with Greinke, in an article by Ken Gurnick, on the Dodger Website, that we’ll have to see how the team performs on the field first to know if this is a better team than last year.

  3. messagebear says:

    And Greinke will probably walk after the season if the team doesn’t get to the WS – after all, it’s all about money. isn’t it. Good pitcher, but necessarily not a Dodger.

  4. Dodger4life says:

    Last year we were all worried that the team would just coast until the play-offs and then falter under stress. Now, it seems we’re all worried that the team won’t be good enough to coast until the play-offs and may not have enough steam in their engines to even get there, without Hanley’s 100MM glove and Kemp’s 100MM legs.
    .
    I get it though…it’s what being a baseball fan is all about… Although, one could argue that being manipulated out of our hard earned money, due to our love and loyalty to the game is what being a baseball fan is all about!!
    .
    I’m with kahli, when I say, ”Let’s hope the Guggs (Love L.A.) enough to let everyone enjoy the sound of Vin and his voice in 2015!!”

    • kahliforni says:

      You’d think the Dodgers could come up with some chump change to get the team on TV for 100% of fan base. I mean, hell, they’re spending millions on players not even here or retired. Maybe Kobe Bryant could donate a nickel or two…he won’t be watching the Lakers on TV come June and might get a bit bored.

  5. 32and53fan says:

    The “This is not your father’s Dodgers” have published their new, improved and revenue enhanced, individual games ticket prices. For the first time, the Top Deck will not be the cheapest ticket. The Reserved level near the foul poles now has that honor. The tickets are not only priced by location, but also by individual games, separated into five tiers. Opening Day is the priciest, followed by 4-star, 3-star, 2-star and 1-star games.

    The cheapest ticket, which was $8 in 2013, $10 last year, is now $11 and for only 11 games, each on a weekday night with no promotions. “We still think there is value there,” said David Siegel, the Dodgers’ vice president of ticket sales. “We still have an $11 ticket. It’s cheaper than going to a movie, in a lot of cases.”

    Give me a fucking break.

    2015 Dodgers ticket prices

    (click image to go to web site.)

    Eric Stephen at TrueBlueLA.com has a nice table showing the increase in ticket prices ranging from 2.9 to 23.3 percent.

    • messagebear says:

      May the Guggenheims choke on it – oh, and on their TV deal too!

    • Dodger4life says:

      In most cases…you can park a convoy of entertainment seekers at a movie theater, cheaper than you can a BMW Isetta at Dodger Stadium!!

      • Dodger4life says:

        Welcome to the new and improved ”Guggenheim/McCourt Drive-in” that’ll be $12 per person and $20 dollars to use the car!! Thank you and enjoy the showing of ”Sunday Line-up”, narrated by ”Charlie Stiener”. Remember you can purchase a membership card to hear ”Vin Scully” for the low price of $8 a month, with a two year contract. Just scan your phone under the speaker to change the settings.

  6. kahliforni says:

    Greinke did say he loved the Dodgers, and pointed out ownership, front office…and “coaches.” Never did use the word manager. And he also added that he saw no clubhouse distractions. I really hope this off-season purge wasn’t on Mattingly’s lame-ass behalf.

  7. trublu4ever says:

    It was nice to see Pete Carroll pull a Mattingly at the end of the Super Bowl….you have a world class running back and you decide to throw the damn ball…serves you right, Pete!

    • JhallWally says:

      Exactly…. It has to be one of the worst calls in sports history… I have to say, I think even Dildon would have got it right…. If I am the Seattle owner,,,

      I would be pissed beyond belief…

  8. griz says:

    Carrol really put his foot in it this time. That was the stupidist thing I’ve seen in a looong time. Beats the pitch selection in St Louis during the playoff’s last game, and Stoops’ decision to rekick that punt at the end of the game with OKSt. I’m really curious who called that pass play instead of running Lynch a couple of times. Can’t imagine the cursing that must have gone on in the NW tonight.

    • 32and53fan says:

      Ditto! How hard could it be to move the ball 19″ forward on the ground with three chances to do it?

    • JhallWally says:

      They totaly blew it.. One of the worst played 40 seconds in sports history…

      • oldbrooklynfan says:

        I’m glad the Super Bowl is the only football game I watch lately, so to me and my knowledge of the game, I really enjoyed it, as I was really shocked the last 18 seconds.

  9. JhallWally says:

    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2015/02/andruw-jones-drawing-interest.html

    Here you go Beav.

    It is a good thing Ned is not pulling the strings..

    LOL…

    • enchantedbeaver says:

      Good Gawd.

      Never truly hated a ballplayer until he came along.

      • JhallWally says:

        I am totally with you…
        I have never detested a player more than Andruw the cow. What a POS…..
        He took Ned to the bank and wore that shit eating grin all the way…. Nedcompoop was such a sap…. Freakin’ idiot…

  10. griz says:

    Andruw Jones? If there ever was a player I wanted to go to a ballpark just to throw a big glass bottle at, it was that POS. I read a couple of comments at the bottom of the article and, unbelievably, there was some idiot thinking Jones should make the HOF.

    • crash24now says:

      There is no way a .254 career batting average will get you into the HOF. Let alone his pathetic and uncaring performance as a Dodger.

  11. nedisajerk says:

    Krukow should stay out of this and Puig does have a point everything isn’t always the Giants. Puig known the Giants are the Dodgers biggest rival but in the playoff he does have a good point and how does Giants fans like Krukow?

    http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2015/02/03/krukow-on-yasiel-puig-hes-just-young-and-dumb/

    • oldbrooklynfan says:

      You’re right, Puig was just saying that the Cardinals are the big reason they can’t get further in the post season and could possibly go all the way if they would beat them. The Giants have always been the natural rivalry.
      That said the Giants shouldn’t be ignored as the best team in baseball, at the moment.

  12. Dodger4life says:

    So, has anyone heard from Donnie on how many day’s rest Rollins and Kendrick will need a week???

    • crash24now says:

      I don’t know about Donnie, but here are my two cents. Rollins is old (36) and will need rest. He only played in 138 games last year. Kendrick, on the other hand is only 31, and played in 157 games last year.

      Makes me wonder who the shortstop will be when Rollins is resting and not injured. Arruebarrena will be parked in AAA Oklahoma City, ready to come up when Rollins gets injured. But he doesn’t have the bat skills to take a regular bench spot. I fear that Donnie will be using Justin Turner at shortstop, which didn’t work out so well last year.

      • Dodger4life says:

        My thoughts too, crash.
        .
        Surprisingly, and albeit a small sample…
        .
        Darwin fared well in 2014.
        .
        But, yeah…Turner looks to be a cut above anyone else (not named Guerrero), offensively…
        .
        Which is another thought…if Guerrero can’t cut it defensively…what do, you do with him???

  13. messagebear says:

    With all the new Cuban players becoming available, it sounds to me like Guerrero and Arrabuerena were premature mistakes; good field but not major league hitters – of course, spending that kind of money needlessly is not a problem for the Guggenheimers.

    • enchantedbeaver says:

      And of course, they were Ned signs.

      More than likely those are millions more of wasted money to add to his legacy. I lost track of the amount we figured he wasted, but It has to be approaching $500M if it hasn’t already exceeded that amount. I will be truly amazed if there’s any organization dumb enough to hire him as GM ever again.

      Then again we still have Donnie, so nothing should ever come as a surprise.

      • oldbrooklynfan says:

        It should be very interesting to see whenever we rest Rollins or Kendrick, just what we’ll actually have on the bench.

        • crash24now says:

          Right now, until things change, the bench looks like:

          AJEllis, Turner, Guerrero, Ethier, Van Slyke.

          This assumes the following starting lineup: C Grandal, 1b Adrian, 2b Kendrick, ss Rollins, 3b Uribe, lf Crawford, cf Pederson, rf Puig.

          I think I’d feel better with Darwin Barney and Chris Heisey on the bench. That means we need to jettison Ethier and Guerrero. Maybe they can help Ned with his coffee fetching duties.

  14. enchantedbeaver says:

    Interesting with the current roster and personnel that it still circles back around to Ned (the gift that keeps on giving.) I never really thought about it, but with guys like Arry and Guerrero, it was probably “suggested” to him by Kasten that he restock the minors, and yet again he wasn’t up to the task with his selections. Part of that is on the scouting dept., but I surmise Ned had great input in who that staff was. Puig was a win, and I recall there were a few teams interested in Guerrero, but I don’t recall much of anyone in on Arry, let alone giving him what? – $25M? The fact that Guerrero can’t field at any position should’ve been apparent before they signed him also. I guess I should be grateful that he’s gone, and that maybe in another couple years the rest of his bad signs and acquisitions will be too.

    As far as a more focused clubhouse and dugout, I’m looking forward to that. Always seemed there was too many blasé and me first attitudes and not enough determination to play the game the right way. If that’s what Rollins and Kendrick can bring with them, I’m all for it.

    • JhallWally says:

      Hey Beav,

      We all knew Ned was incompetent after the Schmidt deal… And, if that wasn’t bad enough

      it got worse… The guy is a complete baseball moron….

      All of us here on this blog(except Tru)knew the Ethier signing was a huge mistake. I think she knew it also but just liked him too much… The trade with Boston was stupid also…. I put more of that on Kasten than Ned.. I think he was just a yes man at that point….

      It is safe to say that Ned’s tenure is having lingering negetive effects…

      Like you said Beav, in a couple of years, it will finally wash out….

      • oldbrooklynfan says:

        If we all feel the same at season’s end about this new regime as we do at the present moment, the changes will all be very worth while. Until then, I’m still a little skeptical.

      • trublu4ever says:

        Like him or not…Dre is a much better all around player than Crawford. I bet, however, he wishes he would have been traded so he would get a chance to play.

      • enchantedbeaver says:

        Ned never had the baseball acumen to know when to sell high and buy low. I’m more inclined nowadays to give a long term contract that buys out a couple arbitration years and the first 2-4 of FA while the player is still on his way up. Ned always waited until they were on their way down and/or paid for what they did for another team.

        They just plain ignored the sharp downward trend Dre showed before they gave him $85M. Kemp might’ve been worth some of his salary had he not been a bonehead and messed up his ankle. Crawford and Beckett were sunken costs from day 1. Surprised they got as much out of Beckett as they did. Sadly, Crawford should probably be the leadoff hitter this year, except Donnie will fuck that up too and give a shit ton of leadoff ABs to Mr. low OBP Rolins, who in my opinion should bat 2nd because he can handle the bat hitting behind the runner and playing hit and run (though Donnie would have to know what hit and run is first. Hope that’s explained to him this year. he hasn’t gotten it the first four.)

        • oldbrooklynfan says:

          I find it hard to understand what happened to Ethier but I don’t see why Kemp should be condemned because he was injured and even so after he has shown that he’s recovering.

          • Dodger4life says:

            It’s hard to say whether Kemp would have even been traded. If Arizona wouldn’t have demanded such a high monetary return in the ”suspected”, Either for Montero switch.

            But, Kemp clearly was a risk the way he was running last season…

          • enchantedbeaver says:

            The point with Kemp is, if he hadn’t had his head up his nether region he runs hard on the play and scores easily, or he slides. Instead, the only one to blame for Kemp’s ankle being messed up and sapping his range and speed, is Kemp.

        • Dodger4life says:

          Enchanted, I enjoyed the assessment… and think you make some valid points.
          .
          For the sake of conversation and not argument, I’ll mention that Crawford is injury prone…

          Rollins came to the plate in 2014 (538) times, he has over (500) PA in his past 4 seasons.

          Crawford on the other hand, came to the plate in 2014 (343) times and in his past 4 years…has only (500) PA, once, barely slipping past with (506)
          .
          Rollins had (100) Ks – Crawford had (55) K’s – showing that Crawford made contact more often.

          Rollins took (66) free passes – Crawford took (16)

          Rollins OBP was (323) – Crawfords was (339)

          • enchantedbeaver says:

            Neither is ideal, and that’s the problem. If people complained about Gordon’s OBP, Rollins is just as bad. Trouble is, Donnie sounds like he’s already anointed Rolins as the leadoff hitter, and that’s a huge mistake IMO.

          • Dodger4life says:

            I don’t know what the answer is… I will agree that no one on the current squad, at the present time…was among the top 30 lead-off hitters last season.
            .
            Rollins has some history at the position. That being said, Philly replaced him at the top of the order.
            .
            Again, people complaining about what happens on a baseball field (sometimes they’re wrong and sometimes they’re right)…is just part of being a fan. I think it’s a good way for them to display affection for the game and a lot of them display 110 percent – 24/7. There’s nothing wrong with that. After all they donate hard earned money to the cause. When they feel they aren’t getting 110 percent effort for their money… (I’d be inclined to call them correct). It sounds like if the Dodgers want a top-tier lead-off man, someone is gonna have to make it a conquest to be among the top in 2015. Or, they need to find another avenue… That other avenue may just come in the way of having a solid line-up through and through…

          • Dodger4life says:


            .
            I want our lead-off man
            Flyin around the diamond

            I want our lead-off man
            Among the leagues best

            I want our lead-off man
            Playin’ 9 with a stained butt

            Who’s fever burns like
            A supersonic jet

            I want our lead-off man
            To bring the motivation

            Who is fast
            and thorough

            Yet, wields a
            Good bat

            Who’s playing for
            The legacy

            Man living
            Up to our name

            Not the one on his back

            Don’t need a girl with a short skirt

            And a looonng jacket
            (So play)

            ©2015 Nerds-n-Nards,
            Fabled Records Inc.

          • crash24now says:

            Great song, Dodger4life!

          • Dodger4life says:

            Thanks crash!
            .
            Someone switched radio stations in my truck, and I heard this playing for the first time…I couldn’t make out the words, so I improvised…then later at home after exactly 3 shots of Pendelton Whiskey! I found this on You-Tube and continued…I had to stop due to reaching my allotted alcohol intake! I also went over to ITD, to research some of enchanted’s old hits…I never did find any. Most of the threads say no comments now, even know there’s plenty of chatter if you click on them. I stumbled across the thread where I got really drunk and began chewing Frank out…while hitting on Jamie…my favorite line was, ”I’ll be right back Frank, I got to take a piss!!”
            .
            I’m glad I have a limit on my whiskey now!! But that thread was funny!

  15. Dodger4life says:

    Twitter fun with Zaidi (@Dodgers), at 11:30am
    .
    Any suggestions on what to ask him???

    • Dodger4life says:

      I managed to catch the Twitter session with Zaidi…

      I couldn’t think of anything quick enough to ask, that hasn’t been covered before and figured even if I did, I’d get somewhat of a generic answer… So, I merely asked him what his plate song would be if he had one…he said “As I Make My Way” by the ”Commuters”… which ironically was re-tweeted by the band. I found him to be quick witted and entertaining. I’ve followed a few of these things in the past and most of them stick to the more serious side of questioning.

      If you missed it…here is a write up that covers it pretty well…

      http://www.wcbsports.com/dodgers-gm-farhan-zaidi-answers-fan-questions-twitter/2015/02/06/

      I don’t see it written in the above article…but he did mention utilizing the bench in a way that will keep the front-line players fresh… So, it appears the Sunday line-ups may continue again in 2015.

      • Dodger4life says:

        Funny, now I can think of a bunch of valid questions to ask…

        Like, if a guy has been swinging a hot bat, but has played for a long stretch and has so-so numbers against the next series of hurlers… do you take the bat out of his hands, or continue to let him swing away…

        Will Donnie go with his stereotypical Sunday line-ups, even know ticket prices are up across the board this season, or will he find other ways to get the bench guys in…maybe utilizing the numbers better…

        What do you think about Donnie’s ability to gamble, or, go against the grain???

        If you had to graph Ned’ and his input, would you position him on the positive side, or the negative side and why???

        What kind of input does Wallach give Donnie that makes Donnie a better in-game tactician??
        .
        I see you have a Latte and some ice cream sitting next to you…are you celebrating the fact that we’re in first place already???

        How many hamstring injuries have you projected this year, these seem to have occurred at a high rate in the past???

        I read that Puig claims, it isn’t all that important to show up in shape for spring training… he was just being witty, right???
        .
        Did you happen to catch the photo of Kershaw wearing doctor scrubs…(You do follow A.J. on Twitter don’t you?) Has General Hospital inquired about his delivery…Any chance we’ll see Dr. Cy, Ob/Gyn on ABC soon???
        .
        Who taught Puig how to slide…and has that person been re-assigned???
        .
        I noticed last season that it appeared some of the players weren’t even paying attention to Bundy as they approached 3rd base…Will he need to install a series of whistles, to accompany his hand signals this season???

        • oldbrooklynfan says:

          I’m wondering if we’ll notice any difference in the way the team operates in this first season of the new regime.

          • Dodger4life says:

            I read somewhere that Donnie stated it was upper management who suggested he use the defensive shift. I suspect if you’ve been paying attention…you’ll notice changes. Then again, without a TV deal…it’s kinda hard to pay attention. I’m sure Charlie will catch it and all the So’Kahli’s will get the relay!

  16. griz says:

    Since we’re in the dead zone (no football or baseball), seems like a lot is being made of who is going to get the latest Cuban. From the Dodgers perspective, it’s going to take a lot of money, which doesn’t matter because they throw that stuff away all the time, but no new international signings for two years. I think it is probably a long shot knowing what is going to be available talent wise for that period of time, so end the end I’d pass, I think, and keep the money.
    But then I look at the ticket pricing chart structured to squeeze even more dollars out of us (thanx, 32) and I figure WTF, sign anyone that can write their name.
    *
    Looks like I’ll be going to AZ in the first part of April to see a game. I’ve mentioned in the past I quit going as the last couple I traveled to were complete duds. This time, however, Kershaw should be up if the five day rotation holds. So if Donnie screws this one up because of an off day in there… I will not be responsible for my actions.

  17. zonadodger says:

    boy glad dodgers didn’t sign shields …4 yrs lol….33 yrs old and a lot of miles on that arm…From what i heard dodgers were in on him

  18. griz says:

    So he’s a Padre.

  19. oldbrooklynfan says:

    With Shields signing with the Padres, does this weaken the Dodgers chances of going back to the postseason? –and how much?

  20. Dodger4life says:

    Man trying to find this site through Google is a chore…
    .
    But, thanks to Dodgereric… The music lives on!!
    .
    http://dodgereric.mlblogs.com/
    .
    E, all I can say is ”You get my vote for the ”Hall/Wall of Fame”!!”
    .
    This is still some cleverly scripted and funny schidt!!
    .
    So many good songs from a variety of contributors…

    • crash24now says:

      There is a link on the right side of the OTD site. It is labeled as “Dodger Lyrics”.

      • Dodger4life says:

        I have a new pc…I had all my faves bookmarked in my other one… guess that would be why I never noticed…plus without my glasses, smaller print becomes bunched and blurry. I landed on my glasses, climbing through the window, after locking myself out of the house. I’m not skilled enough anymore to climb in feet first…and it’s about 4 feet straight down with nothing to grab onto…
        .
        Thanks again crash…I’ll remember next time, incase I lose my bookmark again.
        .
        If you haven’t read them in a while… it’s well worth taking another look.

        • Dodger4life says:

          Anyone else miss Dodgereric and Northstateblues???

          Those two had a penchant for communication the way enchanted does for witty, yet, harmonized humor!

  21. griz says:

    I’d wondered where they had gotten off to.

  22. 32and53fan says:

    The Padres may be tough this year. Shields just made them a team to watch.

    • Dodger4life says:

      I realize Grandal has the fresher legs and should get the majority of starts…but skill wise, if Ellis is healthy, is Grandal that much better???
      .
      I’ve looked at the offensive numbers briefly, and if you throw out the past two seasons, I’d say, Ellis stacks up pretty well against him.
      .
      I’ve read Grandal has issues with passed balls and he’ll be seeing a new staff this season.
      .
      Grandal is said to be above average as a pitch framer. A.J. is said to be above average throwing base-runners out.

  23. messagebear says:

    My feeling is that Donnie will now be switching back and forth between Ellis and Grandal to the detriment of both. That’s the typical Donnie style of lineups, and for that and many other reasons any team managed by Donnie isn’t going anywhere good.

    • Dodger4life says:

      So you’re saying that playing to the strengths of both, is a detriment??? That having a healthy Ellis coming off the bench isn’t better than Fed-Ex or Butera?? Just asking??

      • Dodger4life says:

        Or, you’re saying that Donnie isn’t smart enough…even know he gained a few (IQ points in absentia when Ned was promoted) to use them effectively???

  24. Dodger4life says:

    Bear, I’m not trying to disagree with you by saying, that Donnie’s style in the past was something to write home about…A lot of his moves we’re mistakes. I’m just saying that having two healthy catchers that are equal in talent is a good thing. I also have to believe that the smart guys aren’t gonna invest an enormous amount of resources and energy to create what they believe to be a working plan, then, let Donnie have full control to do as he pleases. I could be wrong though, I usually am…

  25. Dodger4life says:

    I’d bet that Zaidi was talking about more than just commuting to work when he chose his plate song???
    .

  26. Dodger4life says:

    I’m excited to begin the season again… It’s starting to consume my thoughts more and more… I’m looking forward to watching the games…(I hope the knuckleheads that are holding the games hostage come to their senses in time for Opening Day, Govt. included). This year when I managed to purchase MLBTV again they were giving MiLBTV at half price…So, I’m gonna get my Saeger, Urias, Holmes, Barnes, Sweeney, Reed and all the others fix in… If the Good Lord calls my number this season… advanced metrics say, I’ll be watching a game when he does…

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