Tony Jackson’s Spring Training update today for ESPNLosAngeles.com focuses on Davey Lopes’ tutoring the Dodgers. Some good stuff therein:
… The 45-minute session dealt mostly with the basics. But Lopes delivered his message in a charismatic, entertaining way, with a lot of the no-nonsense language one might expect from a 65-year-old baseball lifer who believes in doing things the right way, mixed with a little bit of humor.
The audience appeared to include every non-pitcher the Dodgers have in camp, and that audience burst into laughter on a few occasions, usually when Lopes would get especially animated while demonstrating the wrong way to do something.
For those who were paying attention, though, there were a lot of lessons.
For one, Lopes isn’t a fan of the headfirst slide. He also isn’t a fan of the slide into first base.
“There are two reasons why you slide,” Lopes told the assembly. “First, to slow your body down. … Second, to avoid a tag.”
And thus, Lopes said, the only time a slide into first base is justified is to avoid a tag if the player covering has to come off the bag to take an off-line throw. …
- Donnie Baseball: The Definitive Biography of Don Mattingly by Mike Shailin is due in stores soon, notes Roberto Baly of Vin Scully Is My Homeboy.
- Ted Lilly and Clayton Kershaw have two of the four highest pop-out rates for pitchers since 2008, according to Beyond the Box Score.
- Former Dodger prospect Andrew Lambo talked to Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com about trying to rebuild his reputation and his path to the majors.
- Justine Siegel writes about becoming the first woman to throw batting practice to a major-league team at her blog, Justine’s Baseball Journey.
- Sarah D. Morris has expanded her focus on MLB.com to include all of major-league baseball, not just the Dodgers. Here’s Morris’ bio.
- Speaking of MLB.com, the folks there are searching for someone to watch and blog about every single baseball game this season.
- Vin Scully is being honored by the Beverly Hills Wine Festival, notes Ernest Reyes of Blue Heaven.
- Orlando Hudson and Jeff Kent came out at opposite ends of David Pinto’s 2006-10 PMR defensive ratings.
- It appeared a minor signing at first, but Andrew Miller signed a potentially groundbreaking deal with the Red Sox. Miller would normally have to clear waivers if the Red Sox tried to send him to the minors, but his contract includes “a $3 million option for 2012 that vests if he’s claimed on waivers by another team,” as Dave Cameron of Fangraphs notes in his analysis. (Alex Speier of WEEI.com had the original story.) Miller’s base salary if he makes the majors is reportedly only $1.3 million.
- Those of you who have enjoyed his pieces on baseball and politics will probably enjoy Nate Silver’s analysis of the Knicks-Nuggets NBA trade.