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By Jon Weisman
During the day Monday, Adrian Gonzalez was named the Dodgers’ nominee for the 2015 Roberto Clemente Award, which honors “a player who best represents the game through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.”
Lately, Gonzalez has needed to display a great deal of sportsmanship alongside athleticism to come away foul balls. First there was the one in Chicago involving a Wrigley Field fan holding a baby. Then came Monday night’s fifth-inning foul ball, which Gonzalez caught despite a Boston-capped fan nearly tearing Gonzalez’s glove off.
Clayton Kershaw won the award in 2012, and Jimmy Rollins shared the honor with Paul Konerko in 2014.
Here are some other bits and bunts …
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- Chef Dave Pearson, who passed away Saturday, received a tribute Monday before the National Anthem.
- According to Stats LLC (via the Dodgers’ public relations department), the Dodgers’ 35-10 (.778) record in home games decided by three or fewer runs is currently the second-best in MLB history, behind only the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers (35-9, .795).
- Called upon to save Monday’s game with Kenley Jansen requiring a day off, Chris Hatcher did the trick, lowering his ERA to 1.35 since coming off the disabled list August 15. In 13 1/3 innings, he has struck out 16 and allowed 13 baserunners.
- Yasmani Grandal ended his 0-for-36 (with eight walks) slump Monday with two hits, which themselves followed a sacrifice fly.
- Fan voting has begun for the Esurance MLB Awards. Dodger nominees include Zack Greinke and Clayton Kershaw for Best Major Leaguer and Best Starting Pitcher (Kershaw won both in 2014), and Joc Pederson for Best Rookie. Many more categories will follow between now and when voting ends November 13. (Five different groups of voters — fans, members of the baseball media, club front-office personnel, former MLB players and Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) members — each count for 20 percent of the total.) T
- The Institute for Baseball Studies is presenting, “The Dodgers Come to Los Angeles: Politics and Pennants in Paradise,” featuring Andy McCue and Wes Parker, at 7:00 p.m. September 27 at Villalobos Hall on the campus of Whittier College.
- Justin Turner, nominated for the Marvin Miller Man of the Year Award last week, is now a finalist, representing the National League West. Kershaw won last year.
- I’ve seen some hard foul balls in my time, but I’m amazed this one Monday didn’t do some real damage to someone.
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