Dodger Thoughts

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

Month: January 2015 (Page 1 of 4)

FanFest is fun fest

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 8.42.37 PM

From the greatest to the youngest, this year’s FanFest inside Dodger Stadium was a wonderful time.

Ken Gurnick of recaps the event, and in a separate story, captured Zack Greinke’s typically candid assessment of the state of things. More photos from the event are at LA Photog Blog.

– Jon Weisman

Opponents in high school, Mike Bolsinger and Clayton Kershaw are now teammates

[mlbvideo id=”33959527″ width=”400″ height=”224″ /]
IMG_9868By Jon Weisman

Add Mike Bolsinger to the group of new Dodger pitchers who knew Clayton Kershaw when.

Like Brett Anderson, Bolsinger’s knowledge of Kershaw dates back to their high school playing days.

Bolsinger, a righthander who turned 27 on Thursday and is seven weeks older than Kershaw, played on the McKinney High School team that topped Kershaw’s Highland Park High team for the 2006 state title in Texas.

Bolsinger recalled during a chat at FanFest today that under the tournament rules, there was a coin toss to determine whether the championship showdown would be a single game or a three-game series. McKinney won the coin toss, and wisely chose to go for the longer series rather than do-or-die against Kershaw, who went undefeated in his senior season.

“He pitched the first game and won,” Bolsinger said, “and we won the next two.”

Read More

Happy 96th birthday, Jackie Robinson


In case you missed it: Yasiel Puig sets the agenda at City Hall

Dodgers Community CaravanBy Jon Weisman

Yasiel Puig was filled with insouciant musings during today’s conclusion of the Dodgers’ Pitching in the Community caravan, and Alden Gonzalez of captured it in an entertaining piece. Here’s an excerpt:

… Puig looked strong, but had no idea how much he weighs with 27 days left until the first full-squad workout.

Perhaps somewhere between 255 and 260.

“Whatever weight I come in, it doesn’t matter,” Puig said, citing teammate Juan Uribe as an example by calling him a “gordito,” exaggerating his weight and saying, “He saves us every game at third base.”

Puig also glowed about Astros 5-foot-6 second baseman Jose Altuve, his teammate for an exhibition tournament throughout Japan in November and someone he credited with inspiring him to intensify his workout regimen this offseason.

“I don’t like working out,” Puig said. “It’s like you have to pay me to enter the gym.”

But Puig did, because he wants to steal more bases and he wants to limit the highs and lows of a six-month regular season. …

Jon SooHoo has more photos from the caravan at LA Photog Blog: first stopsecond stopthird stop and fourth stop.

So what else is going on?

  • The 45th annual convention of the Society of American Baseball Research is June 24-28 in Chicago, and if you go, you can catch the Dodgers playing at Wrigley Field June 24-25.
  • Carl Erskine talked about Roy Campanella’s great work behind the plate with Rob Neyer at Fox Sports’ Just a Bit Outside.
  • This headline should get you started: “On World War II vet’s last day, Dodger Tommy Lasorda was his angel,” by Dennis McCarthy for the Daily News.
  • In’s overall list of the top 100 prospects in baseball, Corey Seager was seventh, Julio Urias eighth and Joc Pederson 13th. Grant Holmes is 95th. Here’s more from Teddy Cahill of
  • Pederson has gone gluten-free, and not by choice, writes J.P. Hoornstra at the Daily News.
  • Keith Law’s take on the Dodger farm system can be found at ESPN Insider.  After the same first four as, the next six are Alex Verdugo, Zach Lee, Darnell Sweeney, Chris Anderson, Jose De Leon and Zach Bird.
  • David Schoenfield of’s Sweet Spot looked back at Baseball America’s top prospects of 2005. Raise a glass for Joel Guzman
  • From official MLB historian John Thorn at Our Game: “Baseball, as with any other course of life, has had its share of death, degradation, and disappointment. For utter horror, however, the story of Marty Bergen, star catcher of the Boston Beaneaters, is unmatched in the annals of the sport.”
  • Some last caravan tidbits …



2015 slogan: We Love LA


It was revealed this morning online and makes its full public debut Saturday at FanFest. It’s the Dodgers’ 2015 slogan, “We Love LA.”

“Since 1958, the fans of Southern California have had a love affair with the Dodgers, our broadcasters and Dodger Stadium, and the feeling has been mutual,” said Dodger executive vice president and chief marketing officer Lon Rosen.  “What better way to express our admiration to our fans for their overwhelming support than with this year’s slogan.”

— Jon Weisman

Team Jarrin takes over Spanish radio broadcasts


AwardBy Jon Weisman

For the first time, Hall of Fame broadcaster Jaime Jarrin and his son Jorge will form the broadcast team for the Dodgers’ Spanish radio broadcasts on KTNQ 1020 AM.

Pepe Yniguez and Fernando Valenzuela will be the Spanish broadcast team for SportsNet LA on television, with Manny Mota contributing on both radio and TV.

On the English-language side, the broadcast teams pick up where they left off, starting with Vin Scully on SportsNet LA for Dodger home games and select road games. Scully will simulcast the first three innings on KLAC 570 AM, with Charley Steiner and Rick Monday taking over on radio in the fourth inning.

For the other games, Steiner, Orel Hershiser and Nomar Garciaparra will work TV, with Monday joined by Kevin Kennedy on radio.

This is season No. 66 for Scully with the Dodgers and No. 57 for Jaime Jarrin. Monday is working his 23rd season behind the Dodger mic; Yniguez his 17th, Valenzuela his 13th and Steiner his 11th. Mota is in his sixth season as a Dodger broadcaster and 47th overall with the franchise.


A healthy Joe Wieland is eager to move forward with the Dodgers

[mlbvideo id=”36579839″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

By Jon Weisman

Joe Wieland has already made it back. More than two years after July 2012 Tommy John surgery, the 6-foot-3 righthander pitched in four games for the San Diego Padres this past September, including an 84-pitch start September 24 that gave him his first big-league win.

The kinks, literally and figuratively, have been worked out, and having come to Los Angeles alongside Yasmani Grandal in the de facto three-way trade with the Padres and Philadelphia, Wieland is completely ready to take on 2015 as one of the new members of the Dodger pitching staff.

Read More

In case you missed it: Justin Turner and prospects on parade

Los Angeles Dodgers Caravan at Long Beach Rescue Mission

By Jon Weisman

As often as the top Dodger minor leaguers get recognized for their potential, I never get tired of it …

  • Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, Darnell Sweeney and Scott Schebler all finished in the top 10 of Carson Cistulli’s admittedly very rough attempt to determine Wins Above Replacement for 2014 minor leaguers at FanGraphs. Bonus: Austin Barnes was 16th.
  • Seager and Urias are in the top 10 of Keith Law’s new prospect rankings at ESPN, with Joc Pederson 28th and Grant Holmes 79th. An excerpt: “Kyle Seager has turned into one of the top 20 players in the majors, but even as good as he is, brother Corey has the potential to be much better.
  • Urias is the No. 1 left-handed pitcher in MLB’s prospect positional rankings, with Pederson the No. 2 outfielder and Seager No. 4 at shortstop.
  • Al Campanis’ many achievements with the Dodgers, before his “Nightline” demise, are reviewed by Mark Armour and Dan Leavitt, who are promoting their book, “In Pursuit of Pennants.” They rank Campanis No. 13 all-time among general managers.
  • Promotions update: Juan Uribe (July 11) and Yasiel Puig (July 19) Bobblehead dates are set. And here’s more:

  • J.P Hoornstra of the Daily News caught up with Justin Turner, who talked about his busy offseason workouts. “I think the key to anything is obviously being on the field and staying healthy,” Turner said. “That was my emphasis this offseason, was to focus on that. Get stronger, get leaner, do some running stuff and prevent any breakdowns.”
  • Here are photo highlights from Tuesday’s caravan stop at Cesar Chavez Elementary School and Wednesday’s activities, featuring Turner.
  • More on video below …

[mlbvideo id=”37180533″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

Dodgers officially sign Bedard, Rowen to minor-league deals

[mlbvideo id=”33494069″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]
By Jon Weisman

Pitchers Erik Bedard and Ben Rowen have officially been signed by the Dodgers to minor-league contracts with invites to big-league camp at Spring Training.

Read More

Your guide to Saturday’s FanFest

FanFest Map

Make sure you check out the Dodgers’ guide to Saturday’s free FanFest at Dodger Stadium, which can be downloaded over at the official FanFest page. Above, you can see what will be the lay of the land. Again, this is the first year that FanFest is taking place on the Dodger Stadium field.

— Jon Weisman

In case you missed it: Dodgers continue pitching in

Los Angeles Dodgers Caravan at Hollenbeck Middle School

By Jon Weisman

On Day 2 of the Dodgers’ Pitching in the Community caravan (presented by Bank of America) today, Dodger alumni including Al Downing, Lee Lacy (pictured), Tim Leary and Dennis Powell visited Hollenbeck Middle School for a project with City Year, which “works to bridge the gap in high-poverty communities between the support that students actually need and what their schools are designed and resourced to provide.”

Next, the caravan visited the After-School All-Stars at Cesar Chavez Elementary, led by Al Ferrara, Matt Luke Luke, Powell, Dodger employees and Bank of America volunteers. After-School All-Stars Los Angeles “educates, enlightens and inspires young people by providing dynamic and exciting opportunities for success, while cultivating self-esteem, leadership and respect to help build healthier communities.”

For more photos from today, visit LA Photog Blog.

Meanwhile …

Read More

New uniform numbers for the 40-man roster

Howie Kendrick and family at their introductory press conference in December. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Howie Kendrick and family meet the press in December. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Hi. Here are the uniform numbers for the offseason additions to the 40-man roster:

Read More

In case you missed it: 2015 Dodger Caravan begins

By Jon Weisman

Despite this afternoon’s rain, the 2015 Pitching in the Community Caravan, presented by Bank of America, got off to a happy start today with a baseball skills clinic featuring Dodger first baseman Adrian Gonzalez at Garfield High School.

Read More

Video: Scully, Koufax and Hendley honored

[mlbvideo id=”37173943″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

By Jon Weisman

“On a Thursday night at Dodger Stadium, the crafts of pitching and broadcasting came as close to perfection as we’ll ever see,” said Tom Verducci at Saturday’s Baseball Writers Association of America dinner as he introduced the Willie, Mickey & the Duke Award, going to the Cubs’ Bob Hendley and the Dodgers’ Sandy Koufax and Vin Scully in recognizing the historical significance of the September 9, 1965 night that Scully broadcast Koufax’s perfect game beating Hendley’s one-hitter.

“The broadcast of the game, we’ve heard it a lot – at least I have,” Koufax said, “and Vinny was so special, it’s probably more exciting listening to him than it was doing it that night.”

Hendley, who joined Koufax in accepting the award, noted that Saturday was the first time he had actually met Koufax. He also charmingly pointed out that five days after the perfect game, he outdueled Koufax with a four-hitter in a 2-1 victory, meaning that in the two games combined, each pitcher allowed exactly two runs on five hits.

But Hendley could not have been more gracious to Scully or Koufax.

“If you get beat, get beat by class, get beat by the best,” Hendley said. “And he is the best, and he is class.”

Video: Koufax presents Kershaw with Cy Young, MVP Awards

[mlbvideo id=”37173981″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

Screen Shot 2015-01-25 at 10.55.23 AMBy Jon Weisman

Quite a weekend for Clayton Kershaw: One day after his first child was born, Sandy Koufax presented him with the 2014 National League Cy Young and MVP Awards at the 2015 Baseball Writers Association of America dinner in New York.

“If the writers still have their notes from last year, change 25 years of age to 26, change two Cy Youngs to three, add one MVP and you’re done,” Koufax said.

Kershaw’s speech was filled with thanks to Dodger teammates and staff, kicked off by gratitude to Koufax …

“Sandy, I don’t know where to start,” Kershaw said. “It’s tough for me to put into words how honored I am that you would even want to be here tonight.”

… a tearful acknowledgment of his wife, Ellen.

“She’s makes it all worth it,” he said.”

… and even a nod to the St. Louis Cardinals.

“Thank you for reminding me that you’re never as good as you think you are,” Kershaw said.

Page 1 of 4

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén