Dodger Thoughts

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

Month: February 2015 (Page 3 of 4)

Pedro Guerrero recovering in Dominican Republic

PedroGBy Jon Weisman

Former Dodger slugger Pedro Guerrero is recovering and in good spirits after suffering from minor bleeding in the brain Sunday.

Dodger assistant director of public relations Yvonne Carrasco spoke to a contact at Dominican Republic newspaper Diario Libre and received the following update:

Guerrero, 58, was taken to Cedimat (Centro de Diagnósticos y Medicina Avanzada) in Santo Domingo, by his wife Roxana Guerrero de Jimenez, at around noon Sunday, after initially losing mobility in his left arm. He was placed initially in the ICU as a precautionary measure.

He has since recovered the mobility in his arm, and today he is being evaluated by neurologists. His wife remains with him and says he’s in good spirits with both hospital staff and family, and that he asked for food.

We send all our best thoughts to Guerrero and his family.

In case you missed it: Farewell, Stan Chambers

By Jon Weisman

The only broadcaster with a longer tenure in Los Angeles than Vin Scully was Stan Chambers. Chambers, who joined KTLA in December 1947, mere weeks after the station opened, was a direct connection to the origins of television in this city.

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Dodgers add 2015 bobbleheads for Koufax, Scully, Turner and Valenzuela

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers have filled out their bobblehead plans for 2015. Here’s the full schedule, which wraps up with some big names:

  • May 12 vs. Miami: Clayton Kershaw Bobblehead (presented by Coca-Cola)
  • May 23 vs. Colorado: Adrian Gonzalez Bobblehead (presented by Time Warner Cable)
  • June 4 vs. St. Louis: Kenley Jansen Bobblehead
  • July 6 vs. Philadelphia: Maury Willis Bobblehead
  • July 11 vs. Milwaukee: Juan Uribe Bobblehead (presented by Farmer John)
  • July 29 vs. Oakland: Yasiel Puig Bobblehead
  • August 13 vs. Cincinnati Reds: Sandy Koufax
  • September 1 vs. San Francisco: Justin Turner (presented by Security Benefit)
  • September 16 vs. Colorado: Fernando Valenzuela (presented by State Farm)
  • September 23 vs. Arizona: Vin Scully

Remember, the Dodgers’ 20-game Mini Plan offers tickets for all 10 bobblehead giveaways, all 8 Cy Young Collectors’ pins, Opening Day and Jackie Robinson Day. For the 30-game plan, you can pick any games you like.

In addition, the Dodgers will also have two more Dodger Stadium Movie Nights: “The Lego Movie” on June 20 (after the 4:15 p.m. game against the Giants) and “Back to the Future” on August 15 (after the 6:10 p.m. game vs. the Reds). Screenings are free with a game-day ticket, and fans sitting in the pavilions will be invited down to the field postgame for a better viewing experience.

For the full 2015 promotional calendar, visit


Medium Puig

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

By Jon Weisman

Nearing the end of our long journey toward Spring Training, it feels like there’s been a lull in coverage of Yasiel Puig, which is entirely welcome given how much attention he figures to command once the Dodgers take the field.

So of course, leave it to me to disrupt that lull prematurely.

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In case you missed it: The gnome who roams

By Jon Weisman

After checking out the video above, check out this quick update on what’s percolating in the Dodgers’ world …

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It’s your call

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

“Should I swing or should I bunt now?” (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

We’re trying out a new short Dodger Insider feature — also appearing in the print magazine — in which you’ll get to play manager each month and pick the move to make in a given situation.

The setup: Dodgers and Angels are tied, 1-1, with none out in the bottom of the seventh inning. Carl Crawford is on first base with a single. Juan Uribe is the batter against Angels righty Jered Weaver, who has thrown 92 pitches. On deck is A.J. Ellis, followed by Zack Greinke’s spot in the order.

The question: Do you have Uribe look to swing away or attempt to bunt?

Your call: Tweet your decision to @dodgerinsider with the hashtag #DIyourcall, or state it in the comments below.

Luis Matos to manage Great Lakes Loons

Screen Shot 2015-02-12 at 7.23.17 AMBy Jon Weisman

Seven-year MLB veteran Luis Matos will manage the Dodgers’ Single-A affiliate in Great Lakes, succeeding Bill Haselman.

Last week, it was announced that Haselman has moved to manage Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in place of P.J. Forbes, who resigned for family reasons.

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In case you missed it: Spring Training is around the corner, AC/DC is down the street


A post shared by Los Angeles Dodgers (@dodgers) on

By Jon Weisman

It would be funny if there really were a corner and all you had to do was walk to it, turn right, and Spring Training would just be sitting there instead of a gas station.

So what’s happening?

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Highlight reel: Jimmy Rollins’ top 20 moments in 2014

[mlbvideo id=”31720451″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

Michael Leff/Getty Images

Michael Leff/Getty Images

By Jon Weisman

Jimmy Rollins began his 2014 season with an Opening Day grand slam that also happened to be the 200th home run of his career, and before the campaign was over, he became the Phillies’ all-time leader in hits. In between, the Dodgers’ new starting shortstop had one highlight-reel play after another on defense. Here’s a recap of Rollins’ top 20 moments from last year — a hint of what fans in Los Angeles have to look forward to.

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The politics of fandom

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Photos by Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

It’s easy, even conventional, to think of a team’s rooters as something like a singular, cohesive voting bloc, which is why we have terms like “Dodger fans” or “Red Sox Nation.”  And fundamentally, Dodger fans do share a common goal, a common dream. We are Dodger fans, they are Giants fans — over there are Angels fans and Padres fans, and so on from one side of the continent to the other, all of us wearing our colors and our pride in an annual baseball Olympics.

But within a fanbase, just like within a city, state or country, there are deep divisions, with different politics, different attitudes and often a real struggle to connect, whether played out in ballpark conversations or on social media. We’re factionalized and entrenched in our beliefs, and our common passion seems at times only to intensify the divisions rather than bridge them.

After the Dodgers serpentined through an 8-5, 14-inning, 51-player, 334-minute, 467-pitch loss to the Washington Nationals on September 3, I found myself frustrated more by these inner conflicts than by the Dodgers’ inability to come out on top. The loss was painful, the anger more so.

Not everyone feels this way. Depending how you follow the Dodgers, depending on what you read, how much you interact on Twitter or comment rooms or how like-minded you and your friends are, these divisions might barely exist for you, if at all. Depending on your personality, they might not even matter.

But if you navigate the different, conflicting worlds, a day like September 3 rubbed the edges raw.

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In case you missed it: The smokejumper quest continues

By Jon Weisman

Anthony Castrovince of Sports on Earth looks at whether MLB might slowly be stop being slaves to the closer mentality, embracing what I’ve long called the smokejumper concept.

“A weapon is a weapon, no matter what inning it is,” Indians closer Cody Allen said. “You just have to use that weapon to the best advantage of your ballclub.”

The more teams and relievers who subscribe to that theory, the better.

Another approach I offered, almost exactly 10 years ago (the names in the examples stick out), was as the Reliever Reciprocity Rule …

It’s very simple:

If you would use a reliever in a given moment in a game with a lead of X, you should use him with a deficit of X.


  • If you would use Yhency Brazoban in a given inning with a two-run lead, you should use him in the same inning with a two-run deficit.
  • If you would use Eric Gagne in a given inning with a one-run lead, you should use him in the same inning with a one-run deficit.

Close games are winnable, whether you are in the lead or trailing. If the reliever is available to work with a lead, he is available to work without a lead. If he needs to rest that game, he needs to rest no matter what.

This goes with the Just Get the Out Rule: Use your best reliever in a tight situation whenever it comes up. If you need an out – give yourself the best chance of getting the out. Worry about the rest later. Rest pitchers when they need to rest – not because you’ve rendered them irrelevant by using lesser pitchers.

The RRR. The Just Get the Out. Learn it. Know it. Live it.

A decade later, my feelings haven’t changed. We’ll see …

Here’s what else is happening in the Dodger world:

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Chat wrap: Farhan Zaidi on @Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

We had a good time Friday with general manager Farhan Zaidi taking over the Dodgers’ Twitter account for nearly 45 minutes to chat with fans, even if Zaidi couldn’t answer every specific question asked, jokingly or naively, about what deals the Dodgers might do in the future. (That’s not how life works.) Still, Zaidi got in some fun replies along the way. Here’s how it went …

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Dodger Insider magazine — March 2015 edition

March magazine cover

By Jon Weisman

Our first 2015 issue of Dodger Insider magazine is right around the corner, and now’s the time to sign up for your season subscription.

The March issue will be highlighted by our 2015 season preview, as well as stories on the new double-play combination of Jimmy Rollins and Howie Kendrick and up-and-comers Joc Pederson and Julio Urias (in particular, how they were influenced by their baseball-playing dads).

Piece Train spread

Inside the March magazineWe’ll also offers tons of great supplementary content — including several new recurring features that should be a treat for both passionate and casual fans.  Plus, a full complement of outstanding images by Dodger photographers Jon SooHoo, Juan Ocampo and Jill Weisleder — if you enjoy their work online, it’s even better to have it in your hands.

The March issue of Dodger Insider will be available to purchase in person at the Top of the Park gift shop at Dodger Stadium and at Camelback Ranch once Spring Training play begins on March 4.

To subscribe to Dodger Insider, visit A full-year subscription will come with a free copy of the 2015 Dodger Yearbook (and we’ll have more news about that annual publication soon).


  • New for 2015: Dodger Insider subscriptions will be polybagged to protect the magazine in the mail.
  • Subscription orders must be received by February 15 to begin with the March issue.
  • Subscription orders received from February 16-March 12 will begin with the April issue.
  • For any questions or concerns about print subscriptions, email or call 877-258-3062.

In case you missed it: Vin Scully chased by giant clam

[mlbvideo id=”37196221″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]
By Jon Weisman

If you didn’t get to hear Vin Scully at FanFest on Saturday, above is a special video capturing his words, where you can hear about his nightmare of “being chased by a giant clam screaming ‘Linguine!'” That’s right.

And now for more news about us mortals …

  • Rehabbing from two surgeries, Chris Withrow is hoping to make it back to a Major League mound sometime in 2015, reports Ken Gurnick of “When I began tossing Nov. 2, my arm felt incredible,” Withrow said. “But you know the back has bothered me off and on for years and it had gotten significantly worse. We just felt it made sense to get it taken care of as long as I was already out.”
  • Joel Peralta had a customs nightmare in Miami that prevented him from attending FanFest, writes J.P. Hoornstra of the Daily News.
  • The Jaime Jarrin Scholarship is being established by Servite High School in Anaheim for Latino students with leadership potential. “I feel extremely and humbly honored,” the Hall of Fame announcer said.
  • In a chat, Bill James suggested the 1942 Dodgers as the best second-place team of all time. His explanation:

    The ’42 Dodgers went 104-50, but finished 2 games behind the Cardinals. You know, mathematically, one team in 8,000 should be strong at all 13 positions (8 regulars, 4 starters, relief pitchers). Since there are only about one-third that many teams in baseball history, then probably there should be no team that is above-average at every position–and, in fact, there isn’t, although I think one can argue for one of the Yankee teams of the 1990s. Anyway, there isn’t, but the 1942 Dodgers are very close to being strong at every position, with Hall of Famers at second (Billy Herman), third (Arky Vaughan), short (Pee Wee Reese) and in left field (Medwick). Their first baseman was Camilli–1941 MVP. In center field was Pete Reiser, an outstanding player for a couple of years; in right field was Dixie Walker, who had something close to Hall of Fame ability, athough his career was broken up at the start by a serious injury and fouled at the end by his infamous role in the Jackie Robinson story. Anyway, 7 really good starters; the 8th was catcher Mickey Owen, who was a good player. Starting pitchers Kirby Higbe, Whitlow Wyatt, Curt Davis and Johnny Allen–all of whom had good careers and were effective in 1942, relief ace Hugh Casey. It’s as close to a perfect team as there has ever been. Larry French was the starter/reliever swing man; he went 15-4 with a 1.83 ERA. . ..he also had an outstanding major league career.

    In the same chat, James addresses who would win between a team of nine Clayton Kershaws and nine Mike Trouts.

  • A career retrospective of Buzzie Bavasi at In Pursuit of Pennants comes from Mark Armour and Dan Leavitt, who rank Bavasi the No. 7 general manager in MLB history.

    As good as the Dodgers were, Bavasi is perhaps underappreciated because he made fewer trades than his contemporaries. “Why play poker,” he said, “when you’re the only one in the game with any money?” The Dodgers developed their own talent, and Bavasi was rarely called upon to find more.

  • Carl Erskine will play the National Anthem on his harmonica before Friday’s Pacers-Cavaliers NBA game in Indianapolis. Dana Benbow of the Indianapolis Star has a nice feature on the Dodger great, including stories you probably haven’t heard before.
  • Dodger senior vice president of planning and development Janet Marie Smith will join team historian Mark Langill in presenting an insider’s tour of Dodger Stadium, complete with dinner, drinks and a Q&A, on Tuesday for $50, through a special deal with Master Card.
  • Across the country, Smith will also be giving a talk at the Albany Institute of History & Art on February 22, as part of a special baseball exhibition there. Friend of Dodger Insider and official MLB historian John Thorn will also be speaking there on Sunday.
  • “The Story of Billy Bean,” a one-hour documentary hosted by Bob Costas about former the one-time Dodger’s experience as one of two MLB players to publicly come out as gay, will premiere Tuesday at 6 p.m. on MLB Network. At one point, Bean talks about being sent down to the minors on the same day in 1995 that his partner died.

In case you missed it: Gonzalez on Puig’s heels

Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

With Spring Training barely a fortnight away, workouts at Dodger Stadium are gaining steam, as you can see from this photo by Jon SooHoo. More at LA Photog Blog.

What else is going on? See below …

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