Spring Training Opening Day

“The crack of the bat! The roar of the crowd! That’s right — baseball’s back!” And I see no better way to celebrate than running this Newsradio clip about Opening Day. Bill McNeal forever …

Dodgers vs. White Sox,
12:05 PM

Dee Gordon, SS
Mark Ellis, 2B
Matt Kemp, CF
Andre Ethier, RF
Juan Rivera, LF
James Loney, 1B
Adam Kennedy, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Tony Gwynn Jr., DH
(Chad Billingsley, P)

  • The 100th anniversary of the Ebbets Field groundbreaking was Sunday, and Chris Jaffe put it some context at the Hardball Times.
  • Tweet of the day Sunday: Eric Stephen of True Blue L.A. tried to pass the blame to autocorrect for the following:

    Catcher’s dream: Matt Treanor gets to call balls an strikes while bathing Clayton Kershaw in the intrasquad game

  • J.P. Hoonstra has joined the springtime beat coverage of the Dodgers, representing the Los Angeles Newspaper Group (Daily News, etc.). Here’s his notebook from Sunday, led by Clayton Kershaw.
  • Ernest Reyes of Blue Heaven continues to supply us with vintage Dodger clips.
  • More from Reyes: a 1943 photo of Roy Campanella in Mexico.
  • The National League West is previewed by Jay Jaffe and Geoff Young for Baseball Prospectus. It’s not exceedingly pretty.
  • Fangraphs ranks the 2012 Dodger catching the worst in the majors. I still find it hard to believe this possible when your starting catcher has a career .360 on-base percentage in the majors and .406 in the minors.
  • In his spring debut, Arizona pitcher Trevor Bauer exceedingly impressed Keith Law of ESPN.com. More signs that Bauer could have a Kershaw-like effect on the Diamondbacks.
  • Who is the greatest character on The Wire? Alex Pappademas of Grantland sets up a 32-player bracket. The seedings are highly questionable, however.
  • My summary of The Lorax: Good for kids, but disappointing for this here grown-up. No matter where you stand on the Seuss or environmental spectrum, the premise seems stretched beyond what it was meant for. For a new movie that’s truly for all ages, try The Secret World of Arriety.
  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Someday I’ll do a Newsradio + WKRP marathon in my household.  It’s gotta happen.

    -
    Surprising news today (via Heyman and Shaikin) that Heisley, Ressler have joined forces and are back in the Dodgers’ ownership derby, making it 8 now.  Not a huge fan of Heisley… 

    -
    Defensively, Dodger catchers have to rank out decently though, right? Offensively, it’s pretty… offensive.

    At least we have baseball today!

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

       I haven’t looked at the other 29 teams but I really find it hard to believe that a catcher with Ellis’ on-base history doesn’t help you avoid having the worst catching in baseball.  I’m not saying Ellis will live up to it for a full season, but he’s getting no benefit of the doubt despite a long track record in this area.

      As for the ownership news, I’m tempted to say that there is nothing that could happen that I’d consider a surprise anymore.

      • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

        Yeah, reading through that whole thing (and seeing his flimsy responses on twitter) make me wonder if they really did any homework at all for that piece. 1) Ellis’ IS known for his defense, he was BA’s Dodger defensive catcher of the year at least twice that I can find and has shown it in his ML stints. 2) You’re right about OBP, they are undervaluing that severely, I can still see looking at Ellis and Treanor and seeing some pretty weak offense, but they seem basically to sniff at the OBP and the defense and see nothing. A bit lazy, but then they can be that way at times…

  • Anonymous

    RIP Don Mincher

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    The ZIPS OBP they list for Ellis is higher than that of any other catcher listed from No. 15 to No. 29. 

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    reposted from end of last thread: From Jim Callis of BA on twitter this a.m.

    Jim Callis ‏ @jimcallisBA: My top group: Lee, Webster, Reed, Eovaldi (may be RP), Gould, Miller, Withrow (RP to me). @rob_23: Can you rank the #Dodgers SP prospects?
    He was also high on Rubby.

  • Anonymous

    Adrian Beltre, bathroom trendsetter?
    No matter what happens, he’ll always have a pot to . . . in 

  • Anonymous

    I expect that A.J. Ellis will be a far more pleasant surprise than A.J. Pierzynski.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    I got two hot dogs from the mini-cafe downstairs, which is really a statement about my desire to eat hot dogs on this particular day than the quality of their hot dogs. 

  • Anonymous

    Tony Jackson reports that Mark Sweeney has left the Dodgers front office to go work as a broadcaster for the Padres. I would assume that Tony Gwynn may be out of commission for a while recuperating from his surgery.

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      So Sweeney is pinch-hitting for Tony Gwynn?

      I am predicting that Sweeney will be an average announcer in quality, and will give many personal anecdotes from his glory days. 

      • Anonymous

        You mean glory day. 

  • Anonymous

    Nice win for the Cardinal yesterday.  The Pac-12 is now down to one sure bid.

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      Who do you like for winning the tournament?

      • Anonymous

        I don’t know, Oregon.  The top 5-6 teams can probably beat or be beaten by any of those teams.

        • Anonymous

           Yes, its seems hard to predict what will happen this year.  Washington has managed to win it the past couple of years, but they were erratic this year.  I think UCLA has the personnel to win, but they just don’t seem to be able to put together several good performances in a row.   I’d love to see them win it, but I don’t think it will happen.  My second choice would be Cal (sorry Jon).

          • Anonymous

            Jon has is highly ranked Women’s B-Ball team to follow

          • Anonymous

             That’s true, though does he even like Women’s B-Ball?  I know there are a lot of people who seem down on it, though Jon doesn’t seem to be one of those types.  Maybe more along the “meh” category.

    • Anonymous

      Jon Wilner says Stanford needed that win to avoid their nemesis in the opening round of the Pac-12 tournament. Their nemesis is Utah. 6-24 Utah.

      • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

         Scary but true, I guess.

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

     I’m so excited to hear baseball today that even Charley and Rick will sound good.

  • Anonymous

    Happy ST opening day everybody :)

  • J.T. Dutch

    … Is this one on KABC?

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

       KLAC 570 is now the Dodger radio station.

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      KLAC
      Though I’m listening to it via MLB.com.

      • J.T. Dutch

        … Thanks, guys.

        • Anonymous

          I read reports that for now, it is available on the I heart radio app (where you can get KLAC)

          • J.T. Dutch

            … yeah, they’re playing the Loose Cannons right now, so I’d imagine it’s because MLB wants exclusivity on the broadcast.  It’s been years since I listened to the team on the radio; I didn’t know if they had changed stations or not.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Dee Gordon starts with his first 4-3 of the year for the Dodgers. 

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    SIx up, six down in the first. 

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Dodgers lead! Dodgers lead!

  • Anonymous

    Yea!  Happy that ST games are finally starting!   It helps with my disappointment with the Pac-12 basketball season.   I’ve gone to three of the tournaments the past few years, but I wasn’t even tempted to go this year.

  • Anonymous

    Chad is pitching to contact

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Eovaldi pitching to whiffs :)

  • Anonymous

    Mark Ellis just had a professional at bat

  • Anonymous

    Anybody able to go to any spring training games this year? I’ve been wanting to go, but it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to come out west until later in the summer. 

  • Anonymous

    Da na na Da na na 

    At least the catch sounded like a top play on the radio :)

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    What’s with the walks?  What is this, Spring Training?

  • Anonymous

    3 years in the pokey for Lenny Dykstra.

    • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

      Does Eovaldi get a blown save, given that Billingsley could have gotten the win (this being a Spring Training game)?

      • Anonymous

        That is up to the program that prepares the agate for the boxscore.

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Eovaldi sounded great for an inning but then lost stamina or control I guess. He has no heart. DFA him! ;)

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    AJ Ellis rips one but Loney is thrown out at the plate.

    AJ says “eat my OPS Fangraphs!”

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    All this talk about A.J. Ellis’ speed clogging the basepaths for the batters behind him – but no one worried about the baserunners wasting A.J.’s display of power!

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    Wow, Albuquerque infielders on fire for the Dodgers. 

    • Anonymous

      Not too many successful pitchers with the name Nestor 

      • Anonymous

        It’s the curse of a dead president. Hendley and SaMo, at least, will know what I mean.

      • Anonymous

        Eric Stephen predicted Scott Van Slyke would hit the first HR of the spring, I thought it would Josh Fields

        • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

          My first-pitch prediction for Dee Gordon fell short. 

  • Anonymous

    Well, nice start by Scott Van Slyke.

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Have there ever been a game where 3 sons of former big leaguers all got hits?  Heck, how often have they all even hit in the same inning?
    /paging btimmer

    That was fun. 

  • Anonymous

    Baseball talk.  I love it.  It’s been way too long.

  • Anonymous

    Castle scores on the fielder’s choice

  • Anonymous

    Dodgers will average 6 runs a game this season. Book it!

  • Anonymous

    Although Cal Ripken, Sr was just a big league manager, and not a player, on May 21, 1991 Cal and Billy Ripken got hits in the same game as David Segui.
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET199105210.shtml 

    I’m guessing that three sons of big leaguers have gotten hits for the same team in the same game several times.

    • Anonymous

      And Jeff McKnight played for the Orioles in that game, but didn’t get a hit, but his father played in the majors also.

  • Anonymous

    April 27, 2011 Adam LaRoche, Jayson Werth, and Jerry Hairston all got hits for Washington in the same game.
    http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/WAS/WAS201104270.shtml 

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    We win! World Series here we come! ;)

    Or, if nothing else, some evidence that the Isotopes will hit really well this year.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you Jon on “The Wire” bracket,  there were certainly some questionable seedings.  Marlo Stanfield a #2 seed and Lester Freaman only a #7?  It would be nice if they gave some sort of description of how they seed the characters.  How many people the character killed or had killed must have been one of the important variables.

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      Omar coming… to #1!

      Yeah, for me, the problem with that bracket (even knowing it’s just meant to be a fun exercise) is that one reason the show was so stellar was the sheer number of equally great characters. But for me, Omar and Lester are #1, and Bubbles, McNulty, Kima right up there…

      • Anonymous

         I feel the same way,  there were lots of great characters making it hard to choose. Omar was certainly one of the best, my favorites also include Lester, Bubbles, McNulty, Stringer and Kima.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Hitchcock/1676059435 Jim Hitchcock

    So long Ronnie Montrose.

    • Anonymous

      Major bummer. He played up here with some friends of mine awhile back. Such a nice guy, no pretense at all. Thoughts to his wife, Leighsa.

  • Anonymous

    Sellers’ father pitched for the Red Sox ’85-’88; now there were 4.

  • Anonymous

    I refuse to take my son/s to see The Lorax even though it’s one of our favorite books. So much more magic in the words and images of Suess. I hear they don’t even use much original language.

  • John Manovich

    This might just be the stupidest thing Jim Bowden has ever written.

    “3. San Francisco Giants’ new focus 
    After winning the World Series in 2011, the Giants’ hopes for a repeat were derailed by injuries to several key players, such as Buster Posey and Brian Wilson. Bochy admitted the combination of injuries and a lack of offense played a part, but their World Series hangover was just as problematic. The list of distractions was long: appearances on Jay Leno, Ellen DeGeneres and David Letterman; shooting commercials; visiting the White House and ultimately the reality show on Showtime. At his first team meeting, Bochy made it clear the distractions stop now. With the acquisitions of Angel Pagan and Melky Cabrera the Giants have improved their athleticism and the defense looks solid. The offense will again be a question but GM Brian Sabean said the farm system has more depth than any farm system he’s ever been a part of in his career, which means he’ll have the weapons to trade for a bat come July 31, like he did last year for Carlos Beltran. ”

    • Anonymous

      Maybe sabean will trade for Beltran again.

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT

  • James Keenan

    It’s gonna be a big rebound year for the Dodger’s, and Kemp’s gonna dominate!  I’m unfortunately not going to make it to a ton of games due to my new work schedule, but will definitely be keeping tabs.  I just got hooked up with the HD Free for Life promo at DISH, so I won’t be at the actual games, but will get to watch in amazing HD AND save $120 in the process.  I found out about the Multi-Sport package through work at DISH gives you an amazing lineup of regional sports, so if you’re like me and can’t get to many games, at least get them in HD Free.