By Jon Weisman
Good day, everyone. I’ve got a long buildup of links to share, and today’s off day provides the opportunity.
- Some vintage Dodger videos from the recently released Associated Press collection, including the one above from before the 1966 World Series, are shared by Ernest Reyes at Blue Heaven.
- Vin Scully talked about his rookie year with the Dodgers in 1950 in this piece by David J. Halbertstram for Sports Illustrated.
- Zack Greinke shed no tears over the end of his scoreless innings streak, writes Ken Gurnick of MLB.com, nor was he affected by his dad-induced cross-country flights. “Surprisingly, it wasn’t as distracting as you’d think flying back and forth cross country,” Greinke said. “I felt strong today. I would maybe complain, but I started off really well and got worse. You’d think if it bothered me, I would have started off bad and get better.”
- Scott Van Slyke played Sunday after suffering whiplash in a New York taxi, writes Gurnick.
- Joc Pederson’s 10th-inning at-bat Sunday against Jenrry Mejia is explored by Mark Simon of ESPN.com.
- He’s not Clayton Kershaw, but J.P. Howell’s scoreless inning streak is at 18 innings, notes Simon.
- Although he gave up the game-winning hit to Juan Uribe, Kenley Jansen is “doing everything” better than previous years, according to Murphy Powell of Beyond the Box Score. “Jansen is getting batters to swing at his pitches more often and getting them to miss with those swings more often, all while throwing in the zone more than he had previously,” writes Powell.
- Friday winner Ian Thomas emerged as a potential Major League starter after years in independent-league ball, writes Gurnick.
- Chris Hatcher and Carlos Frias each allowed two runs on three hits in their inning-or-less rehab outings for Rancho Cucamonga over the weekend.
- Of the 22 teams that traded for a “front-line starter” from 1995-2014, according to Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs, none won the World Series.
… The point isn’t that it’s senseless to add a good starter. That would be a stupid point. Good players are good and good players help. The point also isn’t that you can’t win a World Series if you trade for a good starter. That would be an even stupider point. Additions shift the probabilities. It’s all about the probabilities. And, hey, Curt Schilling won the World Series with Arizona, the year after getting traded there midseason. There’s no reason why a good pitcher wouldn’t be awesome to have, and there’s no reason why the good pitchers available today couldn’t help teams in the market for arms.
But it’s also important to be realistic about the significance of a midseason addition. It’s important to be realistic about a team’s chances of winning it all, even given a postseason berth. A whole lot of teams play in October, and they’re all pretty good. One player can mean only so much. So you can understand why front offices hold on tightly to their prospects, even when they have a shot at a title. After all, those prospects could be a part of several shots in the future. Exchanging them now could mean a couple percentage points. No trade is ever about locking up a World Series. Such certainty could never exist. …
- You probably haven’t heard of Tom Villante, but he’s had quite the life, including Jackie Robinson at his wedding, so enjoy this piece by Marty Appel at the National Pastime Museum.
- It’s still not widely known that Double-A and Triple-A pitchers have been abiding by a 20-second pitch clock; Adam Sobsey takes an ironically lengthy look at this for Grantland, partly through the eyes of one-time Dodger minor-leaguer Rob Rasmussen.