Dodger Thoughts

Jon Weisman's outlet for dealing psychologically with the Los Angeles Dodgers, baseball and life

Month: November 2014 (Page 2 of 5)

Dodgers show pride and giving side

Justin Turner gets ready to drop the ceremonial puck between the Kings' Dustin Brown and the Panthers' Willie Mitchell. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Justin Turner gets ready to drop the ceremonial puck between the Kings’ Dustin Brown and the Panthers’ Willie Mitchell. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

111814JO_LAD_USOBy Jon Weisman

Dodgers Pride Night at Staples Center, hosted by our friends at the Los Angeles Kings, took place Tuesday. Click this link to visit a Juan Ocampo photo gallery from the evening, and click here for video.

Also on Tuesday, Tommy Lasorda, Ned Colletti and Tim and Lori Wallach helped serve Thanksgiving meals to approximately 300 service members at the 9th annual Thanksgiving Dinner for the Troops at the Bob Hope USO, located at Los Angeles International Airport. The event was part of the Dodgers’ 2014 Season of Giving.


And on his last off day before returning home from the Japan All-Star Series, Drew Butera joined Jeff Beliveau of the Rays in visiting a children’s hospital. David Venn has more at

Ben Platt/

Ben Platt/

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Dodgers add new quartet to front office: Finley, Carr, Pickler, Cressend

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers continued to work their way through this offseason’s front-office hires with the official addition of four names today:

  • Vice president of amateur and international scouting David Finley
  • Director of player personnel Galen Carr
  • Special assistant for pro scouting and player development Jeff Pickler
  • Pitching crosschecker Jack Cressend

The newest hires join almost-as-new director of player development Gabe Kapler and director of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino, general manager Farhan Zaidi and senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes, and of course president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

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About the new front office …

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By Jon Weisman

In the days since the Dodgers announced new additions atop their front office, some noteworthy profiles have emerged, offering a window into their souls.

Yeah, that’s right — I said it. Their souls.

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Yasiel Puig ends Japan series on high note

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Ben Platt/

Ben Platt/

Yasiel Puig went 2 for 5 (and stole a base) to finish the Japan All-Star Series with five hits in his final nine at-bats, and also made a running catch near the wall in foul territory in today’s 3-1 victory over Samurai Japan.

MLB won a so-called exhibition game, then lost the first three games of the Japan Series before winning the final two to end its trip with a .400 or .500 record, depending how generous you are.

– Jon Weisman

The old prospect


“An ill-favored thing, sir, but mine own …”

— Shakespeare, pre-Vin Scully

By Jon Weisman

It was probably the pinnacle of my athletic career, and I can’t really explain why it happened, when it happened.

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Dodgers acquire outfielder Kyle Jensen

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Two weeks after the acquisition of infielder Ryan Jackson, the Dodgers have picked up outfielder/first baseman Kyle Jensen from the Miami Marlins in exchange for a player to be named or cash considerations.

The 26-year-old Jensen had a .331 on-base percentage, .481 slugging percentage, 27 homers and 29 doubles for Triple-A New Orleans in 2014. A right-handed hitter, Jensen has 128 homers in 705 games, mostly playing right and left field.

The Dodgers’ 40-man roster now stands at 37.

— Jon Weisman

Adult Baseball Camp slides in with awards

Stan Defehr (Bartlesville, OK) enjoys just beating the throw going 1st to 3rd on a base hit.....

A smiling Stan Defehr raced from first to third and just beat the throw.

By Jon Weisman

November is awards month in Major League Baseball, and it was no different at the Dodgers Adult Baseball Camp at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach.

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Sunday slice: At the Tokyo Dome

Kaz Ishii and Takashi Saito were on hand at today's game. (Ben Platt/

Kaz Ishii and Takashi Saito were on hand at today’s game. (Ben Platt/

Enjoy this selection of images from Sunday in Japan.

— Jon Weisman

Yasiel Puig signing autographs before Sunday's game (Yuki Taguchi/MLB Photos)

Yasiel Puig signing autographs before Sunday’s game (Yuki Taguchi/MLB Photos)

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Yasiel Puig has huge game in Japan

Yuki Taguchi/MLB Photos

Yuki Taguchi/MLB Photos

By Jon Weisman

After his team suffered through a no-hitter in the third game of the Japan All-Star Series on Saturday, Yasiel Puig broke out in a big way today, going 3 for 4 with a diving catch in a 6-1 victory. Read about it here, and watch the highlights below.

– Jon Weisman

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Drew Butera also had a nice catch …

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Video: Think Blue Review (November 14 edition)

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Catch up on all the week’s award excitement and more in this week’s edition of Think Blue Review.

— Jon Weisman

Kershaw Kwotes

By Jon Weisman

It’s been a busy week of interviews for National League Most Valuable Player and Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, but he squeezed in one more conference call after today’s latest honor. Here are some excerpts:

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Video: Salute to Clayton Kershaw

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— Jon Weisman

Clayton Kershaw: National League Most Valuable Player


Dodger MVPs
Jake Daubert (1913)
*Dazzy Vance (1924)
Dolph Camilli (1941)
Jackie Robinson (1949)
Roy Campanella (1951)
Roy Campanella (1953)
Roy Campanella (1955)
*Don Newcombe (1956)
Maury Wills (1962)
*Sandy Koufax (1963)
Steve Garvey (1974)
Kirk Gibson (1988)
*Clayton Kershaw (2014)

By Jon Weisman

In the crowning individual recgonition of a stupendous season, Clayton Kershaw has become the 11th Dodger to win the National League Most Valuable Player award and the first NL pitcher to do so since Bob Gibson in 1968.

Kershaw had 18 first place votes and 355 points overall, topping Miami’s Giancarlo Stanton (eight, 298) and Pittsburgh’s Andrew McCutchen (four, 271).

Finishing seventh in the balloting was Adrian Gonzalez, while Yasiel Puig and Dee Gordon also received top-10 votes.

What was your favorite part of Kershaw’s season?

  • June 18 no-hitter with no walks and 15 strikeouts
  • 41-inning scoreless streak
  • Behind-the-back fielding, tripling in the tying run and pitching eight innings in NL West clincher
  • Fourth consecutive MLB ERA title
  • Leading all NL pitchers and position players in Wins Above Replacement
  • 21-3 record

Share your thoughts in the comments below. Congrats to Kershaw!

Clayton Kershaw looks to go farther in 2015

NLDS Game 1-Los Angeles Dodgers vs St.Louis Cardinals

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Clayton Kershaw, speaking to SportsNet LA’s Alanna Rizzo today after winning his third National League Cy Young Award, on what was missing in 2014:

“Obviously, the postseason hurt. That’s something to keep me motivated. … It doesn’t feel good to fail, especially in those situations. To get to raise the trophy at the end of the year with your teammates, that’s the ultimate goal. Not to try to take away anything from Cy Young awards or anything like that, but if I were able to do that, that’d be pretty special.

“It’s the same way as last year, unfortunately. You just think about it until your next start, and it’s gonna be a while for that next one. You try to take your mind off it … but obviously it’s going to be in the back of my mind all next year, and hopefully we get in the playoffs and I go deeper.”

— Jon Weisman

It’s unanimous: Clayton Kershaw wins third Cy Young


Dodger Cy Young Award winners
1956: Don Newcombe*
1962: Don Drysdale*
1963: Sandy Koufax*
1965: Sandy Koufax*
1966: Sandy Koufax*
1974: Mike Marshall
1981: Fernando Valenzuela
1988: Orel Hershiser
2003: Eric Gagne
2011: Clayton Kershaw
2013: Clayton Kershaw
2014: Clayton Kershaw
*one Cy Young award for MLB

By Jon Weisman

No apologies necessary.

Earning unanimous support on all 30 ballots from the Baseball Writers Association of America, Clayton Kershaw has won his third National League Cy Young Award in four seasons.

The Cy Young Award is a regular-season honor. It’s not a World Series trophy, and Kershaw would be the first to explain the difference.

But the Cy Young is the rightful prize for a pitcher who has been as dominant as Kershaw, and one to celebrate, not denigrate.

Favorite Son
Kershaw has received 83 percent of the maximum number of Cy Young ballot points over the past four years.
2014: 210 points out of 210
2013: 207 points out of 210
2012: 96 points out of 224
2011: 207 points out of 224
Total: 720 points out of 868

Kershaw tied Sandy Koufax with the most Cy Youngs in Dodger history (likewise in a four-year span); together they account for half of the 12 Cy Youngs the Dodgers have won, most in the Majors.

The 26-year-old lefty, who became the first to lead the big leagues in ERA for four consecutive seasons, is also the first in MLB history to win three Cy Youngs before turning 27.

I think back over all the joy Kershaw brought us this year — the no-hitter, the scoreless streak, the start-after-start sensations — and I truly get chills.

“Make no mistake,” wrote Jeff Sullivan in his analysis of Kershaw today at Fangraphs, “what Kershaw did in 2014 was of historical significance.”

It was an extraordinary year, and the Dodgers offer Clayton Kershaw their most sincere congratulations.

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