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Jim Furtado
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Editor - Baseball Primer


Dodgers Newsbeat

Friday, March 22, 2019

Former Phillie Chase Utley to join Dodgers broadcast team for select games

Chase Utley wasn’t the biggest or fastest player.

He always found advantages, though, through preparation and guile, outsmarting the opposition and capitalizing on the finest of details.

Phillies fans will never forget the fake throw to first to then nab Jason Bartlett at the plate during Game 5 of the 2008 Fall Classic, such an Utley-type play on the night the city was crowned world champions of baseball.

So, who in the booth’s going to end up with a broken leg?


QLE Posted: March 22, 2019 at 07:20 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: broadcasting, chase utley, dodgers

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Dodgers Again Loaded in Chase for Elusive World Series Title

The Los Angeles Dodgers are once again loaded in their chase for an elusive World Series title.

A rock-solid starting rotation. Hitters who can produce offensively and defend multiple positions. Overall depth that allows for aggressive platooning.

Manager Dave Roberts received a contract extension through 2022 during the winter. He’s guided the team to 287 victories in his first three years at the helm, tied for fourth-most among mangers during that span. The team has averaged 94 wins a season during its run of six straight NL West championships.

Off the record, Dodgers upper management claimed someone named Robert Denby was at fault.


QLE Posted: March 20, 2019 at 07:42 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, world series

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Dodgers promote Brandon Gomes to VP and assistant GM

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers have promoted Brandon Gomes to vice president and assistant general manager, continuing the former major leaguer’s climb up the front-office ranks.

The 34-year-old former pitcher had been serving as director of player development since 2016. He joined the Dodgers’ front office after a five-year career with Tampa Bay Rays.

Gomes began with the Dodgers as their minor league pitching coordinator under then-director of player development Gabe Kapler, who now manages the Philadelphia Phillies.

Having middle relievers become front-office figures would appear to be the new market inefficiency….


QLE Posted: March 19, 2019 at 03:45 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: brandon gomes, dodgers, front office

MLB notebook: Kershaw will miss Opening Day start

For the first time since 2010, Clayton Kershaw won’t be the Opening Day starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The left-hander, who has started a club-record eight straight openers, was ruled out of the March 28 start against the Arizona Diamondbacks due to the persistent shoulder inflammation he has dealt with all spring. He has yet to pitch in a spring training game.

“When he’s ready to pitch for us is when he’s going to pitch for us,” said manager Dave Roberts, adding that it was unlikely Kershaw will begin the season on the active roster.

Roberts didn’t announce an Opening Day starter on Monday, but right-hander Walker Buehler is definitely in the mix. The last Opening Day starter for the Dodgers not named Kershaw was Vicente Padilla in 2010.

Fourth season with injury issues in a row- wondering if this means the decline phase is beginning…..


QLE Posted: March 19, 2019 at 03:07 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers, opening day

Friday, March 15, 2019

The Tao of Yasiel Puig: The Reds’ New Star Riffs on Bat Flips, Life and His Rocky End With the Dodgers

Some key lines:

Yet the Yasiel Puig Story, as full of fun as it’s been, remains frustratingly incomplete. He’s struggled to match the hype of his thrilling 2013 arrival that launched him into superstardom. He’s clashed repeatedly with managers, coaches and teammates over the years and earned scorn—often unfairly, sometimes deservedly—over his behavior on and off the field. His time in Los Angeles featured six straight division titles and back-to-back trips to the World Series in 2017 and ‘18, yet a championship eluded both him and a team that hasn’t captured one since two years before he was born. “It’s nice, but we haven’t won,” the 28-year-old Puig says in Spanish of his frequent trips to the postseason. “The only thing we’re getting is one more month instead of being on vacation. It’s as if you did nothing.” And for as much as he loves Los Angeles, he’s bitter about parting with his old team.

“It’s their problem,” Puig says of the Dodgers’ decision to move him. “I don’t know what they did with that trade, because they didn’t get anyone who could help them the way I could. But that’s business.”

With that business comes the closing of one chapter and the beginning of the next. But as Puig sheds blue for red and, to paraphrase Bill Belichick, moves on to Cincinnati, can he stay and grow in baseball’s spotlight as he leaves Los Angeles behind?

Kremlinologists among us, do you care to interpret these remarks?


QLE Posted: March 15, 2019 at 07:24 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bat flips, dodgers, reds, trades, yasiel puig

Monday, March 11, 2019

Julio Urías exercises impressive restraint, while Dodgers attempt to restrain his usage – Orange County Register

What is his innings limit?

Urías is on an unconventional starter’s plan this spring. He’s slated to pitch three innings again in his next outing. More than two weeks remain before Opening Day, but Urías is scheduled to top out at four or five innings in camp, Manager Dave Roberts said.

The restricted workload is a byproduct of caution. Urías threw a career-high 127 ⅔ innings in 2016. The following season, he was injured throwing a pitch in a Triple-A game. He had surgery on the anterior capsule of his left shoulder in June 2017 and did not pitch in a competitive setting for another 13 months.

Jim Furtado Posted: March 11, 2019 at 11:54 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, julio urias

Saturday, March 09, 2019

For the sixth year in a row, most Dodgers fans can’t watch their team on television

The Dodgers are about to start their sixth season off the air in the majority of Southern California homes. They have won the National League West for six consecutive years — for the first time in franchise history — and yet they remain blacked out among a significant part of their fan base.

“Everybody hoped it would get solved by now,” said Davis, entering his third season as the Dodgers’ television voice.

While local baseball fans can see Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani just about every night on the Angels’ Fox Sports West broadcasts, Clayton Kershaw and Justin Turner appear sporadically to fans without the Dodgers’ SportsNet LA broadcasts.

Those fans are assured of seeing the Dodgers for 26 games this season: 10 on KTLA, seven on Fox, five on ESPN, and four on FS West, when the Dodgers play the Angels. KTLA, Fox and ESPN could select additional games later in the season.

The Dodgers own SportsNet LA. In exchange for a guaranteed $8.35 billion over 25 years, they granted Time Warner Cable exclusive marketing rights for the channel.

Neither TWC nor Charter Communications, which bought TWC three years ago, have been able to reach agreement with DirecTV or other local cable and satellite providers to air SportsNet LA.


RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: March 09, 2019 at 02:28 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Friday, March 08, 2019

Brock Stewart to endure another option year with Dodgers

Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the 2019 season will constitute a fourth option year for Dodgers pitcher Brock Stewart. Teams typically have three option years with their players, meaning they can yo-yo the players between the minors and majors an unlimited amount of times. Because Stewart hasn’t logged five full seasons in professional baseball — he appeared in only 17 games in his rookie season in the minors — the Dodgers have a fourth option year as prescribed in the collective bargaining agreement.

Does this mean he’s been subjected to the dreaded Option J?


QLE Posted: March 08, 2019 at 03:59 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: brock stewart, dodgers, options

Wednesday, March 06, 2019

Max Muncy’s challenge after breakout season with Dodgers – do it again – Orange County Register

Do teams really need a year to figure out a player now?

Muncy acknowledges the “Year Two challenge” will be considerable.

“One of the biggest differences probably is, when I go up there in the batter’s box, teams aren’t going to be thinking, ‘Oh, here’s a guy – we know what he did in Oakland. He struggled,’ ” Muncy says. “Now it’s going to be, ‘OK, we can’t make a mistake against this guy.’ I do think that will be one of the biggest differences – that guys are going to be obviously a little more alert. Not saying I’m Miguel Cabrera out there. I think that will probably be one of the biggest challenges from Day One. It’s not going to be easy.

“That’s probably the challenge everyone faces. You talk about Cody (Bellinger) and CT. When Cody comes up, it’s ‘OK, he’s a rookie. Let’s see if he can hit this pitch. Let’s see if he can handle this.’ He does, then the next year it becomes, ‘OK, let’s see if he can do this.’

“Once they start getting information on you, that’s always the Year Two challenge. … There’s so much information now. They can tell on day games, on Tuesday, he does this. Don’t throw this pitch on a Tuesday day game. Or on a Wednesday, he hits this pitch. They have that information now – which is a little ridiculous. But they can break down every centimeter of your swing.”

Jim Furtado Posted: March 06, 2019 at 05:59 AM | 2 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, max muncy

Friday, March 01, 2019

Dodgers whiff on Bryce Harper, and a chance to solidify a franchise for a decade - Los Angeles Times

The Dodgers are the smartest front office in baseball. (The Astros and Yankees are right behind them.) One area they are ahead of the curve is assessing long-term risk for free agents. Their reported offer dovetails with comments about preferring higher AAV/shorter long-term contacts which the front office talked about this off-season. The Dodgers believe the discount on today’s dollars is not worth the increased risk over the longer term. (Jon Morosi reported that the Dodgers were willing to go four years at $45M per season. Plaschke says five years at $45M.)

Scott Boras understands risk as well. That’s why Harper went for the most guaranteed dollars, which really is 10/330 spread over 13 years. Had Harper agreed to 4/$45M, he would have hit free agency again at 30 years old. At that point, he would have needed to get 6/$150M - $25M AAV (or 8 years at $18.75M AAV). That wouldn’t have been a really high bar if Harper is really the player Boras has sold. Boras and Harper didn’t think Harper betting on himself was worth the risk. I agree with them, which is one of the reasons I don’t like the contract from Philly’s end.

While Andrew Friedman and his crew have admirably built six consecutive West Division champions and two consecutive World Series teams, an organization with buckets of chips will not push them all in for a shot at one big pot.

In his five years here, Friedman has never spent more than $60 million for a free agent from outside the organization. Even when he has paid big money to retain the likes of Clayton Kershaw, Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner, he’s never paid out more than $93 million. Those are outrageous sums, of course, but in the high-priced world of baseball’s top free agents, that just doesn’t play.
The word is that the Dodgers might have gone as high as five years and $225 million for Harper. The guess here is that he would have taken less money to come to Los Angeles, considering it easily was his first choice. Couldn’t there have been a compromise in there somewhere?



Jim Furtado Posted: March 01, 2019 at 06:54 AM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, dodgers, free agency, giants, phillies

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

99% Invisible: Beneath the Ballpark

City leaders were looking for a way to boost Los Angeles’s profile as a world city and also give Angelenos something to rally behind. They believed that what L.A. really needed was a baseball team.
The L.A. City Council invited O’Malley out to Los Angeles for a visit, and O’Malley decided to take them up on the offer. He hired a helicopter to fly him around the city to scout out the land and he saw something that caught his eye. It looked like an empty piece of hilly land just a few miles from downtown and it was called Chavez Ravine. Mark Langill, the official historian for the L.A. Dodgers and author of Dodger Stadium, says that it was the location’s proximity to freeway access that made it appealing. Grading the earth would be tough, but it would be worth it to have the stadium close to freeways so fans could get there.
But O’Malley probably didn’t realize that the plot of land he had his eye on wasn’t completely empty. There were a few families living on that land in Chavez Ravine and they’d been there a long time. If the Dodgers were going to build a stadium there, they’d have to kick those people out. This also wouldn’t be the first time that the people of Chavez Ravine had been asked to leave their home.

On the Chavez Ravine origin story. I remember this being brought up in the stadium voting thread, but I wasn’t familiar with the details.

Steve Parris, Je t'aime Posted: February 26, 2019 at 01:10 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Why Bryce Harper would take short Dodgers deal over long Phillies’

I know Boras works for Harper. I just can’t see Boras and the union signing off on Harper going shorter term with a high AAV.

The Dodgers can show Harper everything — except the money. They have had a policy under president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman to avoid mega-long-term deals, and they have the leverage in this situation to stick with this strategy because without Harper, they are still heavily favored to win a seventh straight NL West title.

What the Dodgers are willing to do is make Harper the annual value champion, so at least $35 million a year, perhaps closer to $40 million, but only for three or four seasons — perhaps five years to get a deal done. So to just give a guesstimated total, $150 million.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2019 at 10:36 AM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, dodgers, free agency, phillies

Don’t count on Dodgers’ flirtation with Bryce Harper to end up in a long-term deal - Los Angeles Times

So, the Dodgers have been very successful using a sound long-term plan. It then follows that not diverging from the plan is…arrogance.

It’s a good thing for Dodgers fans Dylan Hernandez isn’t in charge in LA.

What the Dodgers have are several advantages over the two other teams known to still be in pursuit of the former National League most valuable player, the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants. They can win now. They have a richer history. Los Angeles is relatively close to Harper’s hometown of Las Vegas.

The Dodgers would be mistaken to think this will be enough. The organization’s confidence has morphed into something closer to arrogance as a result of their recent success, but the team’s executives have to temper their egos and recognize closing a deal will require more than the warm sentiments principal owner Mark Walter conveyed to Harper in Las Vegas on Sunday night.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2019 at 06:48 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: bryce harper, dodgers

Dodgers: Clayton Kershaw ‘didn’t feel great’ after playing catch

Why no MRI yet?

Los Angeles Dodgers manager Dave Roberts provided an update on Clayton Kershaw’s status Monday, and it was a mixed bag.

Roberts told reporters that Kershaw “didn’t feel great” after playing catch. He also noted that Kershaw’s mysterious injury hasn’t yet prompted an MRI.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 26, 2019 at 05:55 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, dodgers

Yasiel Puig admits he ‘never worked hard’ in L.A, vows to up effort in contract year with Reds

Shield your eyes, Los Angeles Dodgers fans.

Actually, take a long look. Because this is funny.

Yasiel Puig admitted to ESPN recently what was evident to most who were paying attention to the Dodgers in recent years.

He didn’t work hard in Los Angeles.

Fine by me- but, then again, I’m a Giants fan…..


QLE Posted: February 26, 2019 at 05:41 AM | 103 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, reds, work ethic, yasiel puig

Monday, February 25, 2019

Dodgers had no directive to stay under luxury tax, Chairman Mark Walter says - Los Angeles Times

Humans and computers are on the same page.

The Dodgers are the heavy favorites to win their seventh straight National League West title this season. Humans believe it. Computers calculate it. The two-time defending NL champions are deep and talented, and their competition in the division is slim.

It is with this context that the Dodgers’ front office, led by team president Stan Kasten and president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, made roster decisions during the offseason. But the big-money free-agent acquisition — namely, Bryce Harper — that some thought could materialize when the Dodgers reduced their payroll the previous winter didn’t happen.

So, was there a directive from the top to not exceed the luxury tax threshold again?

“No,” Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter said Saturday at Camelback Ranch. “Stan and Andrew run all that and they do what they think is best for the team, period, and to win.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2019 at 06:34 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Dodgers’ Kenley Jansen hoping higher spin rate will help him sizzle

ESPN’s statistical database, which might differ from what the Dodgers carry internally, had Jansen with an average spin rate of 2,302 RPMs in 2017, ranked fourth among the 274 pitchers who compiled at least 60 innings. In 2018, Jansen’s RPMs dropped to an average of 1,867, ranked 61st.

Jansen wasn’t worried about those numbers before.

“He didn’t need to be,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “It was elite—don’t mess with it.”
Editor’s Picks

Prior seeks the ideal combination of bite and rise from Jansen’s cutter, characteristics that were far more prevalent throughout 2017. It’s already showing up, and Prior has become impressed with how quickly Jansen can make adjustments to get it there. His spin rate was a little lower during his first official bullpen session last Wednesday, so Prior talked to him about slightly tweaking the grip on his cutter and Jansen complied.

Two days later, Jansen threw a bullpen session that he said topped out around 2,600 RPMs and averaged only a little less than that.

“And you gotta remember—I’m only throwing a bullpen right now,” Jansen said. “The intensity is not there.”

Jansen isn’t sure if he reached 2,400 RPMs at any point last season.

To him, it no longer matters.

“A lot of things happened with me, man, that kind of slowed me down,” Jansen said. “I’m healthier this year, let’s put it that way. Definitely. I feel like it’s going to be better this year. I’m in a better place. Trust me.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 19, 2019 at 05:45 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, kenley jansen

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Andrew Friedman says Dodgers have chance to be ‘an elite team’

GLENDALE, Ariz.—The Los Angeles Dodgers are projected to win 90-plus games and a division title for a seventh consecutive season, yet the prevailing narrative surrounding them has focused mostly on the moves they failed to make over the winter. Specifically that they didn’t sign Bryce Harper, didn’t acquire J.T. Realmuto and didn’t trade for Corey Kluber.

Andrew Friedman, the Dodgers’ president of baseball operations, knows this well.

He basically hears about it every morning.

“You can go to Starbucks and get a coffee and your barista will tell you that you need more pitching,” Friedman said, smiling. “Everyone has an opinion, and a strong opinion, which is great, because it speaks to their involvement and how much they care. But I think with that comes a lot of people who want certain things in that moment.”

This sort of thing could backfire quite badly, couldn’t it?


QLE Posted: February 14, 2019 at 05:15 AM | 3 comment(s)
  Beats: andrew friedman, dodgers, elite

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Dodgers’ Cory Seager is running at nearly 100 percent

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — With Corey Seager’s expected return by opening day and the acquisition of right-handed hitting center fielder A.J. Pollock, the Los Angeles Dodgers are not expected to be platooning.

Seager was limited to 26 games last season and did not play after April 29. He had Tommy John surgery on May 4 to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament and had arthroscopic surgery on his left hip on Aug. 7.

“There is a certain narrative on us platooning last year, and I think that was kind of for survival,” manager Dave Roberts said Tuesday during his first spring training availability.

It turns out that, by selling one of the e’s in his name on the black market, that he could regenerate.

QLE Posted: February 13, 2019 at 04:31 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: best shape of his life, corey seager, dodgers, platoon

Saturday, February 02, 2019

Report: Gabe Kapler Failed To Report Underage Girl’s Assault At Dodgers Spring Training Hotel In 2015

The police took a report, and the girl told them she’d been sexually assaulted by one of the players:

As the girl described the events of the night, as set forth in the police report, she added details she hadn’t mentioned to her grandmother. At one point, she said she began to feel sick and decided to lie down on the bed. While the two women and one of the players were in the bathroom, the other lay down next to her and slid his hand under her bra, and then down the front of her pants, she told police. It ended quickly, she said, when the others came out of the bathroom.

The girl did not wish to press charges, and she ran away from state custody shortly after. Glendale PD eventually moved on and declined to ever press charges. The Dodgers hired an attorney to represent the player, who was cut shortly afterward and ended his minor league career one year later.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 02, 2019 at 01:50 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Dodgers President Stan Kasten rejects premises about offseason - Los Angeles Times

The Dodgers aren’t the problem.

Friedman was less defensive when asked similar questions. He said the front office believed the Dodgers were considerably better than a 92-win team last year and pointed to how the foundation of the team remained intact. He said the team’s increased financial flexibility alone isn’t a reason to spend and how the Dodgers would be smart to spend on the right players at the right time.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 27, 2019 at 10:06 PM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers

Padres, Dodgers may have taken lead on J.T. Realmuto talks

Talks that will probably become moot the minute Gary Sanchez breaks a fingernail….

QLE Posted: January 27, 2019 at 08:25 AM | 10 comment(s)
  Beats: dodgers, j.t. realmuto, padres

Thursday, January 24, 2019

A.J. Pollock deal with Dodgers

Pollock, who spent his first seven big league seasons in Arizona, can opt out of the deal after three years, but he will earn $55 million if he stays for four years or $60 million if he exercises a fifth-year player option, according to Rosenthal. There’s a $5 million buyout for the fifth year, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 24, 2019 at 05:50 PM | 8 comment(s)
  Beats: a.j. pollock, dodgers

Friday, January 11, 2019

Dodgers trading for catcher Russell Martin

Low cost (in talent) move for the Dodgers which allows them to wait for their fantastic catching prospects to be ready.

The Dodgers appear to have addressed their catching situation for 2019, as they have acquired Russell Martin from the Blue Jays via trade. Los Angeles also yielded cash considerations, while Toronto netted Minor League righty Andrew Sopko and Minors infielder Ronny Brito. Sportsnet’s Arash Madani was first to report the swap.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 11, 2019 at 03:12 PM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, dodgers, russell martin

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