Dodger Thoughts

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

Tag: Dave Roberts (Page 2 of 3)

A landslide of emotion for Vin Scully at LADF gala

https://www.instagram.com/p/BIbqZZ-Dpy7/

By Jon Weisman

Stevie Nicks said she was backstage Thursday during the Los Angeles Dodger Foundation’s Blue Diamond Gala when she began to think about time. Nicks started performing with Mick Fleetwood nearly 50 years ago, and the years were something to contemplate.

And then her thoughts turned to Vin Scully, the night’s honoree whom the members of Fleetwood Mac met before their performance began, and his 67 seasons of service to the Dodgers, and she was blown away.

Nicks then dedicated the ballad “Landslide” to the Dodgers’ Hall of Fame announcer.

Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’
‘Cause I built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Children get older
I’m getting older too

Read More

Turner, Dodgers have got that bounce

[mlbvideo id=”831429083″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

By Jon Weisman

Justin Turner’s weekend of heroics continued.

Turner’s third home run in two nights brought the Dodgers’ roaring back from a 5-2 deficit in the third inning, putting them on their way to a 10-6 victory over Milwaukee.

The biggest of the 14 Dodger hits that also included homers by Howie Kendrick and Joc Pederson, Turner’s blast — his sixth homer in his past 12 starts — marked the halfway point in the Dodgers’ six-run inning, their biggest of 2016. And it salvaged a night in which starting pitcher Mike Bolsinger couldn’t make it out of the third inning.

In fact, Bolsinger and Milwaukee’s Chase Anderson, childhood friends who were best men at each other’s weddings, each threw exactly 29 balls and 44 strikes in 2 1/3 innings tonight. Anderson took the loss, while Chris Hatcher, who threw 2 1/3 shutout innings, was the Dodgers’ winning pitcher.

Hatcher, who made his MLB debut as a catcher in 2010 but went 0 for 6, also picked up his first career hit, an RBI single in the third.

[mlbvideo id=”831523083″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

Read More

The Algebra of Yasiel Puig

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

We’re not really the sum of all our parts. We’re more the multiplication of them.

The fractions of ourselves don’t neatly add up in tidy columns. They clash and they explode like calculus.

So just in the past several days, the answer to Yasiel Puig involves finding the product of this:

Read More

Dodgers look to get jump on Angels in Freeway Series

St.Louis Cardinals vs Los Angeles Dodgers

Angels at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Howie Kendrick, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Trayce Thompson, RF
Carl Crawford, LF
Kenta Maeda, P

By Jon Weisman

Taking the mound tonight against the Dodgers is a pitcher with a 9.12 ERA, which might be enough to make you want to dial 9.11 if you’re an Angels fan.

But Matt Shoemaker is also a pitcher who had a 3.04 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings as recently as 2014. And even last month, he pitched back-to-back games — both on the road — in which he allowed two runs in 12 innings.

It’s almost as if there are two Shoes, and you don’t know which the Angels will put on tonight when they meet the Dodgers in the regular-season kickoff of the Freeway Series.

Read More

Dave Roberts knows .500 isn’t good enough

LOS ANGELES DODGERS V NEW YORK METS

Mets at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasmani Grandal, C
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Carl Crawford, LF
Alex Wood, P
Note: Alex Guerrero is beginning a rehab assignment tonight with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga.

By Jon Weisman

If you’re wondering whether the Dodgers are content to be in first place in their division with a .500 record, the answer is no.

“We’re not playing great baseball,” Dave Roberts said this afternoon. “I think for the most part we’re catching the baseball, but for the pitching and hitting to sync up, we’re still waiting for that to happen.”

The debate about the Dodgers that’s happening right now around town and on social media is which of their two seemingly irreconcilable identities is true. Are they a first-place team, or are they a squad that loses at least as much as it wins?

Read More

Dodgers hold team meeting before batting practice

Padres at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Yasiel Puig, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Carl Crawford, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
Alex Wood, P

By Jon Weisman

In the wake of their four-game losing streak, the Dodgers held a closed-door meeting at 3:30 p.m. in the clubhouse that Dave Roberts said essentially addressed the same issues he brought up after Thursday’s game.

“You just got to get back to the fundamentals and trying to play clean, crisp baseball and play every pitch,” Roberts said. “I think that there are signs of that. … Whether we’re winning games or not winning games, I still think there’s a process that needs to be in place, and you just don’t want things to get away from you. So right now, it’s kind of hit the reset button a little bit.”

Among other issues, Roberts has the sense that Dodger batters are pressing at the plate.

“You know, it’s funny — I think it’s just guys are trying too hard,” he said. “And you hear it all the time when guys aren’t swinging well, that guys want to do it so bad, it’s a little bit, ‘Try a little less hard.’ Because guys just start swinging the bat, and you start coming out of the strike zone.”

One thing not addressed in today’s meeting was the 80-game suspension of former Dodger infielder Dee Gordon that was announced late Thursday. Reaction to that news is amply covered at a number of sites, but Roberts echoed the feeling of many.

Read More

Dodgers, fans raise $10,000 for earthquake relief

[mlbvideo id=”631521683″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]
The Dodgers raised $10,000 toward the Red Cross’ relief efforts for the devastating earthquakes in Ecuador and Japan with a pregame autograph signing featuring Kenta Maeda, Jaime Jarrin, Dave Roberts and Yasiel Puig.

Proceeds from the signings raised $4,500, and the Dodgers donated the remaining funds to push the total to $10,000.

Dodgers’ outrageous Opening Day offensive onslaught

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Linescore
Box score

By Jon Weisman

A historic day for the Dodgers began with something between a hunch and an observation by new manager Dave Roberts.

Chase Utley isn’t the Dodgers’ permanent leadoff hitter. He was simply the kind of hitter, based on his long history in the game, whom Roberts thought might do well batting first against Tyson Ross on Opening Day.

Coming up to start the 2016 season, Utley fell behind 1-2, worked the count to 3-2, and then stroked a simple, solid, sinking drive to left-center at which Jon Jay dove fruitlessly, good for a double.

No. 2 hitter Corey Seager, with almost none of Utley’s past but potentially all of his future and more, then boomed a double off the left-field wall on the fly, and it was on.

How on, we had no idea.

Their 15-0 victory (recapped by MLB.com) was the largest Opening Day shutout by any team in Major League history, according to Elias, breaking a 105-year-old record set by the Pirates at Cincinnati on April 12, 1911, 14-0.

“That first inning really set the tone for us,” Roberts said after the game. “After that, guys kept having good at-bats.”

The dominant performance created this cavalcade of conquest …

Read More

Video: Dodgers featured on MLB Network

On Monday, MLB Network featured the Dodgers on its “30 Clubs in 30 Days” series. Below are several clips from the day …

— Jon Weisman

Read More

In case you missed it: Lighting up the scoreboard

[mlbvideo id=”549723983″ width=”550″ height=”308″ /]

By Jon Weisman

Today, when Dave Roberts had to make his first mid-inning visit to the mound as Dodger manager, to relieve starter Scott Kazmir with two out in the second inning against the Angels, maybe it seemed like a big deal.

It wasn’t.

Kazmir’s five runs allowed were matched by Jeff Weaver of the Angels, only the start of what became a 13-13 tie in Tempe — recapped at MLB.com.

“I honestly think I’m on the right path,” Kazmir said. “If you look at the game and not the box score, it tells a different story.”

But really, this was a day for the offense.

Joc Pederson, Austin Barnes (who had three hits) and Scott Van Slyke homered for the 4-1-2 Dodgers, who have increased their Spring Training OPS to a rather ridiculous .916.

The player who made the biggest impression today was 20-year-old first baseman Cody Bellinger, the theoretical heir to Adrian Gonzalez — if he can wait that long. Bellinger, who is also capable of playing outfield, went 3 for 3 and is impressing Roberts.

“The game doesn’t speed up on him,” Roberts told Ken Gurnick in this feature for MLB.com. “He looks comfortable out there. The more you see, the more you like.”

What else?

  • Encouraging news on the injury front from Gurnick: Howie Kendrick and Alex Guerrero participated in fielding and hitting drills, Hyun-Jin Ryu threw for the third consecutive day, Justin Turner again played in a minor-league game and Julio Urias had a light bullpen session ahead of his anticipated Cactus League debut Friday.
  • Brett Anderson spoke at length to Gurnick about beginning his latest rehab from surgery to repair a bulging disc.
  • Bill Plunkett of the Register looks at the different ways Roberts tries to connect with his players.
  • Kenta Maeda, who pitches Thursday for the Dodgers, talked to Doug Padilla of ESPN.com about what it would mean if he were able to face off against the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka when the Dodgers go to the Bronx in September.
  • Skip Schumaker, who had twin .332 on-base and slugging percentages for the Dodgers in 2014, has retired at age 36, ending an 11-year MLB career.

How Dave Roberts won Spring Training in 2002

Dave Roberts and Jim Tracy (Photos by Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Dave Roberts and Jim Tracy (Photos by Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

It’s easy to see now what the Dodgers have in Dave Roberts, just as it was easy by the end of 2002, when Roberts had a .353 on-base percentage and 45 stolen bases in his debut Dodger season.

At the start of 2002, maybe it wasn’t so easy. Here’s what Bill Plaschke of the Times wrote that March …

The dispatches have arrived from Vero Beach in fits and starts, surrounded by static, as if the strange late-night rantings of a distant radio station.

ZzzzzzzCesar Izturis is starting at shortstop and batting secondzzzz.

ZzzzzzzEric Gagne is the closerzzzzzz.

ZzzzzzDave, Leon, Bip, Robin, Somebody Roberts is the center fielderzzzzz. …

Read More

In case you missed it: Would Julio Urias pitch in WBC?

Jose De Leon with Julio Urias on Saturday.

Jose De Leon with Julio Urias on Saturday.

By Jon Weisman

In his story on Julio Urias today for MLB.com, Jesse Sanchez presents a couple of bold March options for the teenage left-hander. I’m not sure how viable either are, but let Sanchez set it up for you …

There could come a time this spring when Dodgers pitching prospect Julio Urias will have to make a big decision: suit up for Mexico in the World Baseball Classic qualifying round next month in Mexicali, Mexico, or stay in Arizona and pitch for a spot with Los Angeles.

The 19-year-old pitcher already knows what he’ll do if the situation arises.

“My first choice would be to be here with the Dodgers and see if there is an opportunity for me here,” Urias said in Spanish. “I prefer to be with the Dodgers. But at the same time, I would enjoy being with the Mexican team.” …

Not even Clayton Kershaw made his pitching debut with the Dodgers in the month of April, so when you talk about Urias trying to “pitch for a spot with Los Angeles,” one assumes that’s a long-term goal. As for the WBC, Urias doesn’t have any specific reason to believe he would go.

“I’ve heard I appeared on a list, but nobody has said anything to me,” Urias said. “Adrian [Gonzalez] is here and his brother is the manager, so I don’t know what my status is there. I would love to do it, but it’s also up to Mexico to choose me.”

Perhaps the main takeaway from Sanchez’s story might be that Urias, who has rated as mature for his age even since the Dodgers signed him in 2012, continues to progress.

“In talking to people that were here in years prior, he’s got a different look in his eye,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s got that confidence where he’s no longer this young kid with a blessed arm. Right now, he feels that at the Major League level, there is a real opportunity to make an impact, and that’s a good thing.”

Elsewhere in the world of the Dodgers and baseball … 

Read More

In case you missed it: Kool Kenley

Los Angeles Dodgers first workout for pitchers and catchers

For more images from today, visit the Dodgers Photog Blog.

By Jon Weisman

Let’s recap the first Saturday of Spring Training …

Read More

Updates on Puig, Utley, McCarthy and Kershaw

Los Angeles Dodgers Fanfest

By Jon Weisman

Now that all the hoopla of Saturday’s FanFest has given way to rain, wind and an element to be named later, let’s check in on the latest with a few of your intrepid Dodger heroes.

Yasiel Puig

About three feet in front of me Saturday, near the FanFest stage, Dave Roberts and Yasiel Puig shared an enthusiastic hello and embrace. When I tweeted this, I was met with some skepticism, but the relationship ball is rolling, according to Ken Gurnick of MLB.com.

“I just had a good sit-down with him,” Roberts said. “It was refreshing for me to have a good face-to-face with him, to talk about our vision, and it’s more of, ‘Let’s wipe the slate clean’ and everything’s new. There’s the same core of players but a completely new coaching staff, and we just want him to be himself and let’s start fresh.”

Read More

Dodgers Love L.A.: A special day connecting the dots between Jackie Robinson and Dave Roberts

Jorge Jarrin, Dave Roberts and Mark Langill address students at Muir High School.

Jorge Jarrin, Dave Roberts and Mark Langill address students at Muir High School.

By Jon Weisman

It’s no exaggeration to say that Jackie Robinson is the pride of Muir High School, just as he is the pride of the Dodgers and, for that matter, the United States.

A tribute to Jackie Robinson in the Muir High School museum.

A tribute to Jackie Robinson in the Muir High School museum (click to enlarge)

So it was a special day for everyone today when this week’s Dodgers Love L.A. community tour (presented by Bank of America) made a stop at Muir, with a screening of portions of Ken Burns’ upcoming “Jackie Robinson” documentary, followed by a Q&A featuring manager Dave Roberts and team historian Mark Langill, moderated by broadcaster Jorge Jarrin.

Many of the four score students in attendance today will graduate from Muir exactly 80 years after Robinson did. But not to worry — his story still resonates.

“I loved the documentary,” said Bryan Barrios, senior captain of the Muir baseball team. “It was very inspiring (and) emotional. I walk around this campus just thinking about Jackie Robinson all the time. Sometimes I can’t believe he came here.”

Read More

Page 2 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén