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Dodgers Newsbeat

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Dodgers to shop for starting pitchers, right-handed power as offseason begins

Jumping ahead to points of interest:

How the Dodgers operate this offseason could again depend on their willingness to spend significant money and perhaps exceed the competitive tax threshold — a soft cap that has hardened not only in Los Angeles but in big markets across the majors in recent years. Only the Chicago Cubs, Boston Red Sox and Yankees will pay a tax for the 2019 season, and all three franchises are striving to avoid the penalty.

Despite playing in the second-largest market in the country, drawing the highest attendance in the majors the last seven seasons, and securing a television contract that pays the organization $8.35 billion over 25 years, the Dodgers have not surpassed the line since 2017.

A document prepared for potential investors before the 2017 playoffs reviewed by the Los Angeles Times outlined a plan to keep the Dodgers’ payroll below the threshold through at least 2021 after they paid a luxury tax in each of the first six seasons of the Guggenheim group’s ownership. The projections were not binding, but the Dodgers have remained under the line through two of the four projected seasons.

In January, team President Stan Kasten maintained there were important baseball reasons to stay under the threshold beyond avoiding the 20% tax, which include keeping draft picks and international bonus pool money. In February, chairman Mark Walter insisted there wasn’t a directive to remain below the threshold.

I have to wonder if this maneuvering will have an impact- especially as the Dodgers keep seeming to fall apart in October…..

 

QLE Posted: November 12, 2019 at 12:28 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, luxury tax

Friday, November 08, 2019

Ranking Gerrit Cole’s Top Five Landing Spots

There’s no question Gerrit Cole will be the most sought after free agent this winter. He should be the most handsomely paid, too.

Despite a sluggish free agency period last winter that forced many players to settle for below-market deals, the top tier of players still raked in monster deals (with humongous extensions for Mike Trout and Nolan Arenado to boot). It wouldn’t be a surprise to see things play out similarly this offseason, meaning Cole appears on track to surpass David Price’s $217 million deal en route to the most expensive pitcher contract ever.

Who are the favorites to break the bank for Cole and lock up the potential AL Cy Young Award winner? Let’s assess his suitors as free agency gets underway.

So, of these options, which do we see as most likely?

QLE Posted: November 08, 2019 at 12:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, astros, cardinals, dodgers, free agency, padres, phillies, rangers, yankees

Wednesday, November 06, 2019

Get ready for another cold offseason

It’s pretty early in the offseason. Teams can’t even sign free agents yet. But they are signaling to the public that, haha, no way do they plan to spend much money this winter.

First the Cardinals who, based on their far-from-impressive NLCS showing strike pretty much everyone as a club that, while good, needs to make some additions to take things to the next level. Will they be spending? From the Athletic:

The Cardinals have practically no financial flexibility, if history is a guide . . . The only way the Cardinals take on significant salary is to trade a major league player or two — and most of their highest-paid players are virtually unmovable — or convince the owners to spend well beyond what they have spent before . . . Does that seem in character for this team? I’ll answer that. No, it does not.

The team’s owner, Bill DeWitt Jr., was asked about that, couched in a question or two about the team’s real estate development, Ballpark Village, next to Busch Stadium. As we have chronicled in the past, teams are increasingly getting into the real estate business and such developments can be pretty massive cash cows for them. The question, though, is whether the real estate money is going to be used to subsidize spending on the baseball team or, rather, if the baseball team is primarily a promotional tool — maybe even a loss leader — for the real estate development.

Something to post now, then check back on in a few months’ time to see how accurate it was.

QLE Posted: November 06, 2019 at 12:51 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: cardinals, dodgers, gerrit cole, hot stove, real estate

Friday, October 11, 2019

Braves loss vs. Dodgers loss: which was worse?

The Braves got shellacked in the first inning last night and lost. The Dodgers took a lead late into the game only to see their manager’s choices and their relief pitchers woof it, sending them to defeat as well.

Which was worse?

Both modes of defeat bring with it a certain form of misery.

For my part I sat, as a Braves fan, and watched my team cough up ten runs in the first inning, secure in the dreadful knowledge that the game was already lost. Most people could just turn it off, I suppose, but I felt it necessary both out of professional obligation and out of a certain sense of, I dunno, mourning, that I had to keep the game on for the next three hours. Because I’m also perpetually online it led to a rather extreme sort of nastiness on Twitter and in comment sections with recriminations, complaining and all other manner of ugliness being hurled about. It was a pretty dreadful experience.

 

 

QLE Posted: October 11, 2019 at 12:24 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: braves, dodgers, the agony of defeat

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts will return next season despite playoff failures

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts, who was heavily criticized in the aftermath of the club’s stunning season-ending loss to the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, will return next season, according to two people with knowledge of the situation.

Roberts, 47, has three years remaining on his contract after agreeing to a new deal in December. The Dodgers are 393-256 (.606) during the regular season and 25-22 (.532) in the playoffs with him at the helm.

An outfielder for five teams during a 10-year major league playing career, Roberts has managed for the Dodgers for four seasons, beginning in 2016 when he was named National League manager of the year. He has guided the team to the National League West title each season, extending the organization’s streak to seven years.

The club claimed the National League pennant the last two years before falling in the World Series to the Houston Astros in 2017 and the Boston Red Sox in 2018. Roberts was the first manager to lead the Dodgers that far in consecutive seasons since Tommy Lasorda in 1977 and 1978.

Everyone else seems to be taking a page from the Queeg playbook this season- wondering why the Dodgers aren’t…..

QLE Posted: October 11, 2019 at 12:02 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dave roberts, dodgers

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Clayton Kershaw Will Never Get Over It

How can this keep happening? How can Clayton Kershaw, who even if he is no longer quite Clayton Kershaw is still Clayton Kershaw, keep going to pieces in October? Could it just be some Powerball-odds-level run of bad luck, with no greater cause? After all, every pitcher has bad days, and maybe one of them just happens to have his bad days in fall after fall. Or could it be something genuinely pathological but eminently understandable, a weakness for pressure? That doesn’t make a ton of sense, given that pitching is by definition a pressure situation and Kershaw’s one of the best ever to take the mound in this sport’s history, but logic clearly has very little to do with it. Or maybe it—the streak, the curse, the choke, whatever—is its own cause: Maybe some early-career fluky blow-ups led Kershaw to be hyperaware of his own postseason performance and overcompensate, overthink, overthrow, a sort of autumnal yips.

Kershaw had no answers after the game, because if there were answers there’d be a solution, and if there were a solution he would have found it by now, and if he’d found the solution there’d be no more questions to which he didn’t have answers. Instead he was existentially bereft, openly wondering if he’d ever get over this—“this” being the latest collapse but also, everything.

“I’ve had to do it so much,” Kershaw said. “I don’t know. It might linger for a while. I might not get over it. I don’t know.”

Bourbon Samurai stays in the fight Posted: October 10, 2019 at 11:27 AM | 81 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, nationals, postseason

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Dodgers want Andrew Friedman back, so why isn’t he signed? - Los Angeles Times

It is surprising a deal hasn’t been completed already.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 29, 2019 at 12:13 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew friedman, dodgers

Friday, September 20, 2019

As Andrew Friedman’s contract with Dodgers nears end, an extension is likely – Orange County Register

Stan Kasten doesn’t get enough credit as a baseball executive.

When asked directly if he expects Friedman to return in his current position with the Dodgers in 2020, however, Kasten did offer a direct answer.

“I am completely certain of that. Yes,” he said.

Kasten sounds like a man who knows a contract extension will be negotiated and announced soon enough. Friedman is not likely to reach free agency. It is hard to find a reason for either side not to continue the relationship.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 20, 2019 at 09:25 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew friedman, dodgers

2 businessmen join ownership group of Los Angeles Dodgers

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers’ ownership group is expanding with the addition of two businessmen described as lifelong fans of the team.

Chairman and owner Mark Walter on Thursday announced Robert L. Plummer and Alan Smolinisky have joined the group.

Plummer is chairman and CEO of R.P. Lumber Co., a retail home center and building materials supplier with locations in Illinois and Missouri. One of his favorite real estate developments is Ebbets Field, a subdivision in Edwardsville, Illinois, with streets named after Dodgers players and managers.

So, who sold their shares in the team?

 

QLE Posted: September 20, 2019 at 12:31 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, ownership

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Why the Dodgers’ handling of Kenta Maeda highlights the potential conflicts of interest with contract incentives - CBSSports.com

If I raise my eyebrows at the suggestion, does it say more about me or the writer of this piece?

The Dodgers have had a brilliant season, and could well soon appear in a third consecutive World Series. They don’t have to operate in a way that raises eyebrows about their true intent, which makes the possibility of suppressing Maeda’s earnings all the more maddening.

Jim Furtado Posted: September 11, 2019 at 09:17 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, kenta maeda

Dodgers continue their dominance by clinching seventh straight NL West title

Will the Los Angeles Dodgers ever be knocked off their NL West throne?

Based on this season’s results, it’s not looking like that will happen anytime soon.

With Tuesday’s 7-3 win against the Baltimore Orioles, the Dodgers became the first team to clinch a division championship this season. It’s the Dodgers seventh straight NL West title. That’s the longest division championship streak in MLB since the Atlanta Braves won 14 NL East titles in a row from 1991 through 2005.

Although it came against a basement-dwelling team, the continued dominance shown in Tuesday’s clinching victory was fitting of the dominance Los Angeles has shown throughout the entire season, and throughout most of the last decade.

One gets the feeling the Dodgers would rather not be reminded of the Braves in other regards….

 

QLE Posted: September 11, 2019 at 03:47 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, nl west

Monday, September 02, 2019

Report: Dodgers calling up prospect Gavin Lux

MLB.com’s William Boor reports that the Dodgers are promoting infield prospect Gavin Lux to the majors. Ron Cervenka of ThinkBlue LA was the first to break the news.

On the bright side, if baseball doesn’t work out, he can have a long and happy existence as a character in a soap opera.

 

QLE Posted: September 02, 2019 at 04:19 AM | 18 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, gavin lux, prospects

Monday, August 26, 2019

Yeah, dominating Dodgers meant something for Yankees – ‘Even though it’s regular season, it felt big’

LOS ANGELES – In the late Sunday afternoon, life-sized shadows attached themselves to the heels of players largely indistinguishable from each other because of the non-chromatic uniforms they wore. The New York Yankees, burdened with head-to-ankles black in the 90-degree temperatures, appeared to be extensions of their own shadows. It was therefore hard to know where the Yankees ended and the shadows began, which is not an unreasonable metaphor in 2019. The answer lay somewhere in October and in a starting rotation still forming in the final days of August.

The Yankees hit their 59th, 60th and 61st home runs of August on Sunday, more than any team had ever hit in any month, and the 239th, 240th and 241st of their season, this though Aaron Judge has 16 all season and Giancarlo Stanton one. They’ve scored the most runs in the game, despite the injuries, which were – and are – plentiful. They crush left-handed pitching and are better against right-handed pitching. A few days back they gave Hyun-Jin Ryu about his worst whipping of the season, and on Sunday they hit three home runs off Clayton Kershaw, in this season unusual neither for them nor Kershaw.

So in a three-game series matching what some view to be decent World Series teams, the Yankees won two, on Sunday by 5-1. And in that series, 21 runs were scored, 15 by or as a direct result of home runs. There also were 72 strikeouts – again, in three games, a pretty good indication that October, like April through September, will be decided on the coiled back legs of hitters everywhere, swing hard in case you hit it, don’t come back ‘til you’ve blown an oblique, never mind the consequences.

The Yankees happen to be exceptional at that, as are the Dodgers. As are a lot of other teams, many of them headed for October themselves, their offensive games generally built around hitting the ball as far as they can, as often as they can. It’s how the game works now, which is fine by the Yankees, since, again, they’re loaded with those guys.

Yes, but how seriously can we take your success when it was in a match between stagehands and ice cream men?

QLE Posted: August 26, 2019 at 04:02 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, uniforms, yankees-no-fun-as-usual

Friday, August 23, 2019

LEADING OFF: Players get creative, Yanks at Dodger Stadium

NAME THAT NICKNAME

Jerseys will take on a different look during Players’ Weekend, when big leaguers are encouraged to be creative with what goes on the back of their uniforms.

Cleveland outfielder Yasiel Puig will have Wild Horse, for the way he charges around the bases. Rays pitcher Charlie Morton will use Ground Chuck, for how he induces grounders. Reds first baseman Joey Votto will go with Who — for the “Abbott and Costello” comedy routine of “Who’s on First?”

Rockies pitcher Chad Bettis is skipping letters and going with an emoji — of lettuce, to rhyme with his last name.

Yes, folks, it’s time for this again…..

 

QLE Posted: August 23, 2019 at 03:24 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: cubs, dodgers, francisco cervelli, nicknames, players weekend

Thursday, August 22, 2019

As Clayton Kershaw passes Sandy Koufax in wins, October remains the focus

LOS ANGELES — When the Los Angeles Dodgers weren’t very good and when they were great, when he was skinny and floppy and when he was grown and daunting, in regular seasons and in October, in Vero Beach and Glendale, I got in a car to go see Clayton Kershaw.

Because the baseball was good. Because he cared. Because his standard became everyone else’s. Because the chance for greatness over three hours was more likely than it was not. Because he was better than most everyone else many nights.

Because Sandy Koufax existed in another time, in my mind in black and white, in my ears as a tinny and tenor voice-over, in my eyes as the dignified older gentleman leaning on a bullpen rail, whispering into Kershaw’s ear.

So Clayton Kershaw would do, at 20 years old when he was afflicted by the typical left-handed maladies of audacity and imprecision, a decade later when he won his 166th game, one more than Koufax, in between as a destination on countless summer nights against the darkening San Gabriel Mountains.

 

QLE Posted: August 22, 2019 at 06:22 AM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers, sandy koufax

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Benches clear after Diamondbacks beat Dodgers in 11 innings following controversial call

The story of Friday night’s Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers game is not that it ended in a 3-2 victory for Arizona. It’s that the benches clear after all was said and done, and the D-backs had secured the win.

It all started with a controversial call in the 11th inning with the Dodgers up at bat and trailing 3-2. A.J. Pollock thought he was hit on the wrist by a pitch from Archie Bradley, but the ball—which looked like it may have hit the bottom of the bat—flew up in the air and the catcher gloved it for an out. The Dodgers challenged the call, but it was not overturned.

With no previous outs and a runner on first, a walk would have put Los Angeles in a very different position, but the call stood, and the Dodgers had an out on the board.

If I tried to start a fist-fight every time I was frustrated, I’d be in jail within weeks….

 

QLE Posted: August 11, 2019 at 04:50 AM | 11 comment(s)
  Beats: benches clearing, diamondbacks, dodgers

Thursday, August 01, 2019

Three winners and three losers from the trade deadline

The 2019 trade deadline has passed. Unlike in past years, there is no non-waiver trade deadline, so this was it for major trades for teams wanting to recoup value on soon-to-depart players and for teams looking to make upgrades for the stretch run. With that in mind, here are three winners and three losers from the trade deadline.

As far as can be told, none of them are rolling down a mountainside.

 

QLE Posted: August 01, 2019 at 03:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: astros, braves, dodgers, indians, red sox, yankees

Friday, July 26, 2019

How Dodgers prospect Gavin Lux developed into the hottest hitter in baseball

Augie Schmidt, a baseball lifer, sat alone in his home in Kenosha, Wisconsin last Thursday watching a Triple-A baseball game.

He was nearly brought to tears by what he saw.

The moment struck when Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop prospect Gavin Lux, Schmidt’s nephew and star pupil, parked a homer in the right field seats at Principal Park in Des Moines, Iowa.

Schmidt, a former minor leaguer and the head baseball coach at Division III Carthage College since 1987, knew he was witnessing the culmination of the work started more than a decade ago.

Note to self: Check back in at this time in 2029 to see how this panned out.

QLE Posted: July 26, 2019 at 07:40 AM | 9 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, gavin lux, prospects

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

CBSSports: Dodgers’ Justin Turner defends Phillies pitcher who plunked him, telling umpire he shouldn’t be ejected

After Verdugo homered to make the score 12-1, Yacksel Rios hit Turner in the leg with an 84 mph breaking ball and was immediately ejected by legendary blowhard Doug Eddings. Turner started taking off his gloves and shinguard, then turned around and was confused to find Rios had been ejected. The batter (and at least one other Dodger in the dugout) joined Gabe Kapler, Realmuto et al in arguing with the umpire on the pitcher’s behalf!

Crispix Attacksel Rios Posted: July 17, 2019 at 01:48 PM | 13 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, phillies, umpiring

Thursday, June 27, 2019

The Dodgers’ weekend walk-off drama highlights baseball’s bullpen paradox – Orange County Register

How will bullpens fare in July and August?

Jim Furtado Posted: June 27, 2019 at 06:53 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Monday, June 24, 2019

Will Smith makes it 3 rookies in a row to walk it off

The Rockies came to LA 10 games back, a sizable deficit, but one we’ve seen overcome plenty of times. Here is how the three games ended:
Matt Beaty walk-off home run
Alex Verdugo walk-off home run
Will Smith walk-off home run
Three rookies, three home runs, three walk-offs, 13 game lead. This was only Will Smith’s 7th major league game and he already has two walk-off home runs.

Joyful Calculus Instructor Posted: June 24, 2019 at 05:18 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, home runs, rookies, walkoff wins

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Clayton Kershaw Isn’t His Old Self ... but Hyun-Jin Ryu Is Clayton Kershaw’s Old Self.

Ryu is a prolific commercial pitchman, and this noodles spot is his masterpiece, notable for two reasons. First is the hysterically ersatz Kershaw cheering Ryu on in the dugout, with a fake beard so outrageous there’s about a 6 percent chance it’s not a caricature of Kershaw at all, but instead an homage to Jan Rubes in Witness. Second, when Ryu takes an overhand scoop into the pot of noodles, he does it with his right hand, not his left. That’s because Ryu, like Billy Wagner, Michael Vick, and Rich Hill before him, throws with his left hand but does everything else—including eating—with his right. Ryu is putting on a historically great command pitching performance, and he’s doing it with his nondominant hand.

the Centaur Nipple Paradox (CoB). Posted: June 22, 2019 at 12:38 PM | 39 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Five years later, a different Kershaw still shuts down the opposition

The power of the bobblehead.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 19, 2019 at 06:19 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers

Saturday, June 15, 2019

Kenley Jansen executed a rare intentional balk last night

Last night, Kenley Jansen recorded a save against the Cubs in a 5-3 win for the Dodgers. He surrendered a baserunner on a Matt Beaty error but otherwise was dominant and he struck out three.

Before the final strikeout, however, he did something I hadn’t seen before. With Jason Heyward on second apparently annoying him, Kenley intentionally balked him to third so he could just focus on the batter and/or to prevent Heyward for relaying pitch and/or location to Victor Caratini.

He yells out “I’m going to balk”.

I’ve never seen such a thing. Have you?


Dodgers add fuel to Giants feud with custom t-shirts

The Los Angeles Dodgers have added more fuel to the fire in their on-going feud with Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants.

Days after infielder Max Muncy coined the phrase “Go get it out of the ocean“ after hitting a home run into McCovey Cove against the Giants ace, Muncy and teammate Enrique Hernández were spotted sporting t-shirts with the same phrase prior to Friday’s game against the Chicago Cubs.

Jim Furtado Posted: June 15, 2019 at 07:30 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, max muncy

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