This $&@! Just Got Serious

Actually, my wife owns some ice cream stores (hand-packed, 15% butterfat, if you want health food, eat carrots type) and one of the most popular flavors is calledThis $&@! Just Got Serious. It is a smooth salted caramel ice cream brimming with rich sea salt fudge and salted cashews. Of course, Spring Training is also getting serious! With Spring Training about half completed, Opening Day will soon be upon us… and we don’t even know who will start the game for the Dodgers. Buehler is being slow-walked, so it likely won’t be him. Ryu and Hill are candidates as well.

However, I have an idea: Use an “Opener” (and I don’t mean sign Sergio Romo again). Let Joe Kelly start the game (just don’t let him cook dinner)and then bring in Urias, then Chicken Strip and make it a bullpen game. Why not? I am at least half-serious about this.

You can see that Stetson Allie and Dennis Santana have to potential to be in the Dodgers bullpen this season, but neither will break with the team. Both will go to AAA to work on trusting their stuff and repeatable mechanics. Santana as a starter and Allie in the pen. Both have the stuff to close… if they trust and control it. BIG IF!

Twenty-eight year old journeyman Yordy “Lordy, Lordy” Cabrera is throwing smoke in the Cactus League… hitting triple digits with ease. This is another pitcher Andrew Friedman has resurrected from the bone pile who has a legitimate shot. He’s a good guy who has had a lot of bad luck. He has the speed and the sink to be a high-leverage reliever. Read more about himHERE.

We all know that Speed Kills andMLB.comhas the Dodgers ranked as the 6th fastest team in baseball. Here’s what they say about the Boys in Blue:

6) Dodgers (Speed score: 7.6)
Fastest: RF Cody Bellinger (28.9 ft/sec), 2B Chris Taylor (28.7 ft/sec)
Slowest: SS Corey Seager (26.1 ft/sec), LF Joc Pederson (26.3 ft/sec)

The Dodgers are interesting. They don’t have a top-level speedster, but they have a lot of players who run well, and no one who really clogs up the bases. That makes perfect sense when you think about their emphasis on versatility in their roster construction. Bellinger and Taylor play both infield and outfield. Max Muncy (27.6 ft/sec) plays around the infield. Enrique Hernández (27.8 ft/sec) is a super-utility player. Even catcher Austin Barnes (27.4 ft/sec) can also play second base. Pop top free-agent signing A.J. Pollock(28.2 ft/sec) into center field, and you’ve got an all-around speedy team.

Joe “Machine Gun” Kelly if fine after his back stiffened up from cooking at a “Crawfish Boil.” If you have never had that, you have no idea what you are missing. Kelly should be banned from the kitchen.

It appears that the Hitting Coaches are working intensely with the Dodger Hitters and we see flashes of incremental improvement, but this is a work in progress and is not a magic pill. I believe they are on the right track and most, if not all hitters are buying in… but it’s going to take some time. It was good to see Joc hit a big fly and AJ hit one with authority to the opposite field. There’s a lot of work to do and lots to be decided, but with the signing of Brad Miller, I think Joc is still on the block. He just needs to start hitting… and I think you will see him moved.

I still believe that Austin Barnes and Russ Martin will form a very solid duo behind the plate. Of course, Martin is recovering from a sore back, but Barnes flashing his 2017 form. I am not sure what happened to Austin last year, but he wasn’t happy and maybe as Orel said “He needed a change from Turner Ward.”

Orel wasn’t dissing Ward… just saying that another approach was needed. Austin looks like he is having fun again. What Russ Martin has to add remains to be seen. I still think he has some gas left in the tank. We shall see him soon… maybe this weekend.

Finally, this is for MJ: Bumsrap and Hamchuck are not the same person. I can’t tell you how I know… but I know for sure.

This article has 77 Comments

  1. I watched Cabrera pitched the 9th inning the other day and he looked very good. If I remember correctly, he did not have his name on his back. He threw hard. He had good control. He struck out 2. I said to myself, wow, where did he come from? He looked good in that one inning anyway. I would like to see him throw against the starters for one inning.

  2. To avoid more problems and doubts, what if each one is presented to everyone, name, age, city and country, what is our work, something about us to know a little more. I know it may be an absurd or unnecessary idea, but … why not?
    And by the way, someone commented yesterday that Mark is the only one who uses his real name … I also use my real name, so we are two!

    1. Jorge

      Good point, I saw that too.

      But not everyone could pull that off as well, as Mark and you.

      Because although Mark is a nice guy, he doesn’t play if he gets pushed, and because of that, he is very capable of standing up for himself.

      Jorge you also seem like a very nice guy, and you always seem so positive too, so your an easy guy to like too.

  3. I’ve been able to watch Verdugo a couple of times now on TV and he seems relaxed and having a good time. I like to watch players have fun. I am beginning to like Verdugo.

    One of Davis or Hershiser said Verdugo hit .396 against lefties in the minors last year. Wow! If the Dodgers wind up with a platoon in LF it could easily be Verdugo and Pederson instead of Taylor or Hernandez being part of the platoon.

  4. MJ,
    I regret that my silly post was hurtful to you. Please forgive me for doing that. My intention was not to attack you or your belief.
    My point if any was more in hopes of suggesting that pursuing your case really won’t accompish a smooth landing.
    So MJ, I am sorry and I respectfully suggest, in the words by John Lennon, that you yourself posted yesterday,
    ” Let It Be “

      1. MJ
        Well how about an apology to me then?? Since the apologies are going around. I started here and was the one who got your wrath.

  5. If the Dodgers use an opener on opening day, I’m gonna throw up. And I’m not sure why you think it’s a good idea to have a relief pitcher start the game and have two All-Star caliber Starting Pitchers follow him. Why not just have Strip or Julio start the game and throw Kelly in the 7th or 8th where everyone belongs?

    I have a question. We have a ton of people on this site that read and comment every single day, which is a great way to display their love of the game. So, why does everyone want to change they game they’ve followed for all their lives, that has been played with the same rules, for that duration? There’s a lot of old ass people on this site that saw the DH come to baseball. If it was such a great idea, why aren’t all of you Angles fans? Did instant replay really improve things? The Utley and Posey rules?

    So, you’re worried about who will make the Opening Day start. You have Ryu, Stripling, Hill, Urias and Maeda that have all been building up as starters. Pick one. Don’t overthink it. We aren’t the Rays. We have a ton of Starting Pitchers and don’t need to use an Opener.

    Ryu starts on Opening Day, then Strip, Hill, Maeda, Bueller. You’re welcome, now you don’t need to use an Opener.

    Equally frustrating is Corey Seager, let the dude play and get ready for the season. Stop treating gown men like babies. Get Kersh on the hill and see if his arm is gonna fall off. If it does, get him fixed so he can contribute next year. Get Bueller on the hill now, stop acting like he’s gonna run out of gas. Let him pitch. Now, go play baseball and get ready for the season so we don’t lose a bunch of games at the beginning of the year to inferior teams, and then have to grind at the end of the season and have to play no 163 like last year.

    1. I think instant replay has improved the game. Mainly because very often calls get overturned. We’ve seen umpires now try to get it right above backing their brethren even in the obvious bad calls. Where ever a fine line to get it right technology is very useful to write history by the players on the field rather than by other factors. I will welcome balls and strikes called correctly.
      As far as DH and other changes go I can do without and I hope Dodger Stadium never hosts a DH game.

    2. 59 you are so right. They are going to slow walk these guys like they are babes in arms. I never thought they would play seager opening day. He seems to constantly have something for a guy so young. Just put him in a frickin game somewhere. It won’t be long before Roberts starts his blather about how we have to make sure, the flu set him back, we have to make sure he can run the bases blah blah blah but he has checked all the boxes. Buehler, what in the world are they doing? Is he hurt? An urias we will be lucky to see him at the all star break. All this depth won’t mean anything if they won’t let them pitch.

      The opening day starter should be whoever matches up the best. Ryu, hill are good to go at this point. If a righty is better put stripling in. Maeda is average a fifth starter no doubt. He will throw a good game on occasion but I don’t think has the upside of the rest. He is just cheap and has a long term contract so they have to pitch him. Stripling is better but doesn’t have the seniority.

      Kershaw, just have the operation or whatever he needs. He will be on the dL just like the last few years. We need his regular season production but I wouldn’t count on it. Roberts, no urgency again so we will probably have to dig out of a hole again.

      1. Therealten and 59,

        It always seems like poor Corey never makes it through spring training, without having a minor injury, or getting sick.

        But Corey is such a good player, he never seems to let it get him down, once the season begins.

        And Corey is such a consistent player, he almost has perfect splits, and perfect numbers as you look down each month in the season.

        That is just how good of a player Corey really is, and we missed his bat in the line up badly last year, as you both know.

        But Therealten, when I saw you talking to 59 about Roberts, it reminded me of something I saw on the post game show last night, about Roberts.

        They had Roberts on film commenting on how good of an at bat one of our players had, and the writer from the OC Register said out loud, that wasn’t a good at bat.

        And Jerry was trying not to crack up.

        1. Corey is a great player! Hopefully, he will be ready for the opener but I doubt. Roberts can’t get over listening to himself. On one tv telecast last year the opposing team hit a homer while he was interviewing but wasn’t about to manage he wanted to talk. I don’t believe anything he says concerning medical updates. He will say”he checks all the boxes” only to say the next day the team has shut him down for a money due to oblique. I am exaggerating a bit but he does wear me out with his blather.

          When Roberts first started he had a sense of urgency. Unlike mattingly who never did. Now, he plays the long game and it shows by our poor starts to the season. He was so outmanaged last year in the World Series. But, the worst part is he didn’t expect his players to go above and beyond like Cora did. The Boston pitchers were saying let me have the ball while la pitchers were saying we need rest.

          I guess you really can’t blame the players when they have been babied all year. Yes, I would trade Roberts for Cora today.

          1. Therealten

            Like I said, I thought of both you and 59 when I heard that sports writer from the OC Register say that.

            And Blather is an excellent description and word choice, for the way Roberts, goes on and on.

            But I think Mattingly might have Roberts beat, because Mattingly always had to have that water bottle in his hands too.

            But you are right, Roberts did seem to have more sense of urgency, in his first year.

            And I thought Roberts did a pretty job in that first year, of finding the right pitchers to go to, in his bullpen too.

            I am hoping some of the moves that Roberts made in the last two post seasons, was more about our former GM, then Roberts.

            Because many of the former players and people on the MLB Channel, have said on more then one occasion, Roberts was only doing, what he was told, from our GM.

            I don’t believe any of the injury reports either, but I assume they are trying to do that, to have the competitive edge

            But I know you can’t listen to everything Roberts says, because like you said, it will drive you crazy.

            Because the story is ever changing, or should I say, transitioning.

            But I think Roberts real value is in the way he works with all the guys, throughout the season, and how he gets every player to buy into the team concept.

          2. Mattingly was annoyingly smug and condescending. I hated his post game interviews so much, I didn’t think anyone could actually be worse. In steps Roberts to fill his shoes. He reminds me of sales people in the tech industry throwing around synergy and 1+1=3 and lots of acronyms. He loves to use baseball player slang too much and speaks in incomplete sentences or incomplete thought. I was really bummed when they renewed him, but I don’t know who else was available and I give this FO a lot of leeway since they run the team so well. I’m being patient while Roberts learns how to manage on the job, but I’m running out of patience. But, he is very positive. I will give him that. And he gets players to accept their roles. That’s something Mattingly was never able to do. So I guess it’s not all bad.

    3. I think Stripling will be the oening day pitcher if Kershaw is not ready. That way Kersh can replace Strip when ready and the Dodgers can keep the sequence of starters they would have if Kersh were ready.

      Also, by starting Strip the Dodgers don’t have to speed up Buehler’s ability to be ready. His young arm needs time to fully recover from last year’s workload.

      I still like a 6 man rotation for the Dodgers.

      1. Ha, that’s why I think Ryu 1 and Bueller 5. When Kesh comes back, you have Kersh, Bueller and Ryu. 1-2-3.

    4. 59
      The Dodgers have been infamous for their injury prone players the last several years. They need to train with the Rams for a few weeks to toughen them up a bit, prior to spring.

  6. Barnes is looking very good now let´s see the same when the games start to count.
    It is time to move Pederson, I think Miller will be more valuable coming off the bench then Pederson.
    Cabrera could be very interesting, let´s see what happens.
    I agree with you about Allie, and Santana.
    There is 19 inches of snow on the ground and starting around noon until tomorrow morning we are looking for 10 to 15 inches more, the record for March is 31 inches on the ground, anything over 12 inches and we have a new record. Time to hit the trails.

    1. Ahhh Spring Training where a quick start and your favorite prospect is going to be the next HOFer and one bad outing and the same guy needs more seasoning.

      Miller can go bake in the minors. No need to move Joc now when he can help land some help at the deadline. Joc has a career 7.5 WAR in 5 seasons and Miller has a 6.2 WAR in 6 seasons and almost 700 more at bats. Miller is also 2 years older.

  7. From JP Hoonstra (or was it someone else?):
    Pollock is consistent when healthy. Remarkably, he has never gone more than seven consecutive plate appearances (not AB) without a hit.

  8. Sometimes it is hard for me to come on and say what I think is realism as opposed to somewhat blind optimism. I do not want to come across as critical of players, but sometimes realism needs to creep in, especially in the Spring. Two years ago the talk of ST was a young reliever, Shea Spitzbarth. He had such a great spring that I believe he did get to come back to LA to pitch in the Freeway Series before being re-assigned to Tulsa. He pitched well (very well) the first several games only to fall back down to earth when the “big boys” began to play most of the games. His final ST numbers were not impressive, but I do believe that 7 of the 9 games he did pitch, he pitched well. Today, Shea is not really on the radar screen for a ML spot with the Dodgers.

    Today, Stetson Allie, and lately Yordy Cabrera have gotten notice from the team and fans. Allie is not a new kid on the block like Spitzbarth, but he does possess that 100 MPH arm which cannot be taught and cannot be controlled by most. Stetson turns 28 on Wednesday. Last year he pitched at three levels but did not distinguish himself at any of them.
    RC – 22 G, 19.1 IP, 6.98 ERA, 1.97 WHIP, 31 K, 15 BB, 6 HR
    AA – 11G, 12.2 IP, 2.84 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 18 K, 8 BB, 1 HR
    AAA – 13 G, 10.0 IP, 6.30 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 8 K, 8 BB, 2 HR
    Overall – 46 G, 42 IP, 5.57 ERA, 1.57 WHIP, 57 K, 31 BB, 9 HR

    He has not yet mastered MiLB, so how can he be expected to master ML hitters over an extended period of time? Maybe this year he goes back to OKC and learns how to harness that fastball and get command of a secondary pitch. Then he can be on the short list. 28 is not too old to make the leap. But we need to let him taste success at the lower levels. Allie went all ST without issuing a walk, and then last night, after 2 outs in the 8th, he issued back to back walks, which is what he has been known to do. The last time I checked, holding runners on is part of the pitcher’s game, and yet Nick Heath got such a huge jump that no catcher could have thrown him out at 2B, much less a 20-year-old with an average arm. I know that Kenley has the same problem, but Allie is not close to Kenley’s ability. Until last year, Kenley and walks were not an issue.

    The same is true for Cabrera. If the arm was the only measurable, Yadi Alvarez would be in the ML. Time and patience are not just needed for Allie and Cabrera, but also for Santana, Gonsolin, May, White, Ruiz, Lux, Estevez, Peters…To a lesser degree, Smith, Beaty, and Rios. None of those three would embarrass themselves at the ML level but would not be regulars with the Dodgers. Santana is closest to becoming a SP at the ML level, but he is not ready yet. Dennis Santana…meet Whit Merrifield. 2 WPs trying to do too much. Dennis will either be in the rotation next year or be a very high leverage late inning reliever on his way to perhaps becoming a lights out closer. Just not this year.

    1. That’s the safe bet AC. Every now and then someone surpasses expectations like Muncy last year and Belli the year before. So, you never know. However, a little more seasoning in the minors is seldom a bad thing. Keep ’em down until they knock down the door, or injury expedites their arrival. It seldom makes sense to give up on a solid major leaguer to take a flier on someone with no major league experience after a hot Spring.

    2. AC, I think Mark accidentally ingested the THC oil thinking it was the CBD oil! Ah well, no matter, as his suggestion will never take place for the opener.

      Your sobering post is probably closest to the way things actually are and the state of the minor leaguers trying to break into the MLB. I really haven’t seen one player, who i would have the confidence to promote to the big leagues at this point. This especially goes for the pitchers and includes Santana, who has had two outings of disaster and lost command to this game. I like his style, but he looked lost the other day. Smith & Ruiz have not done much to make me even think about using them. Beaty is about the only one that looks decent, with the exception of Miller, who I believe is signed to the roster. Correct me if i’m wrong. Even the touted Lux looks light in the batting dept. and I would have no confidence in him being a two way player a this point. In fact, I would say the Dodgers don’t have the vaunted depth that people talk about waiting for their chance. Pitchers look closer than position players, but the 25 man roster would prohibit them from using any of these players as a serious substitute for an injured roster guy. Like you say, time and patience are what’s needed. Dodgers need to decide on their lineup, making Kike the everyday 2Bman, and sending Joc to the bench. And, I also agree with 59 when he says stop treating these players like invalids. They either hold up or not. If not, fix ’em or fire ’em. There’s no room for mediocrity in sports. You go all out or not.

  9. Mark

    You know I respect you and I want to really believe you, but out of respect to you, I will let it go.

  10. Hey, since Julio has been pitching so well in ST, why not let him be the opening day pitcher IF CK is not ready to go? Think about it, Julio could come in and shut down the snakes and become Fernando 2.0! This could also ease the loss of Puig for the hispanic fans! Hey MJ, I too miss the Naugles in Corona, they had a great cheeseburger! I’ve lived in Corona for 25 years now. Great people for the most part, and its location to the mountains, deserts and beaches is nice too.

    1. MJRod,

      I grew up in Corona.

      It was a great place to grow up at, and I lived there, for at least as long as you have.

      And I consider Corona as my hometown, although it has grown a lot through the years.

      I can’t agree with you more about the people there, and I bet your no different, because you sound like good people too.

      I still have a lot of good friends, that still live in Corona, that I have known for years.

      And what more can I say about the location, but we are spoiled here in California, because we have the best of all of that.

      I went to Corona Senior High, so after basketball or softball practice, or a game, Naugles was the place to go.

      Remember taco night?

      You are right, they had good cheese burgers there, and they were just something a little different to have, for a change.

      And like Bobby previously mentioned on this site, both Naugles and Del Taco’s cheese burgers, or double Dels, are really good, and highly underrated.

      And 59, I am sorry if I made you hungry again.

      1. Another thing about Naugles, we would stop on the way to work, when we lived in the area, and get an egg burrito. Just wonderful

      2. I’m in world infamous Barstow which is the birthplace of Del Taco and Naugles. Well Yermo is the actual birthplace of Del Taco and the family that started it all still owns and operates the three stores in this area. It’s also the birthplace of the taco shell invented by Mr. Bell who started Taco Bell. Barstow is also where Maglite started. Barstow is a lot nicer of a place to live than one would think. It wasn’t on any list of mine of places I wanted to move to, but it’s likely where I’ll die. For me it’s casual enough and cheap enough.

      1. Seager is recovering. We have no full-time 2B. Turner ain’t young. I can see the temptation of carrying another infielder, especially with Verdugo looking lock-ish.

        1. Mark

          I am having trouble posting.

          One of my posts disappeared, and that same post suddenly reappeared five minutes later, and that post doesn’t have my usual moniker.

  11. Kike or Taylor, who should lead off against righties?

    Because these guys have both, speed and power.

  12. Two home runs for Kike’ today. He is now in a three way tie for most home runs this spring.

  13. Good pitching by LAD thus far. Outstanding 3 perfect innings by Kenta, followed by a perfect inning by KJ. Yimi had another good outing. He last pitched Wednesday, so he is getting closer to pitching in consecutive days. Jaime Schultz yet another solid outing. Sborz wasn’t perfect, allowing singles to Encarnacion and Santana, but getting Haniger and Healy on a fly out and force out before striking out Rodriguez. AA reliever Parker Curry finishes with 2, even with allowing a couple of hits in the 9th. With a lot of thanks to Rocky Gale behind the plate.

    Garcia, Schultz, and Sborz pitched in their 5th game, tieing them with Kevin Quackenbush and Stetson Allie for the team lead.

    Will D. Smith showed why he is considered ML ready behind the plate with a tremendous throw to get Cesar Izturis Jr. in an attempted steal.

    Good feel good story on Detroit Tiger pitcher Matt Boyd:

    1. AC

      I noticed that throw right away, and it wasn’t even close at second.

      I love Barnes, and I only wish he had a better arm, because he has all the other tools that makes a good athletic catcher.

      And I think he will hit much better this year, because like you have said, Barnes has always hit.

      Kike looks to have that quiet confidence, every time he gets up to the plate too.

      He looks like he has much better concentration in the batter’s box too.

  14. MJ,

    For some reason your comments were held in moderation. I am not sure why but I freed them.

    1. Thanks Mark!

      I have had a lot of trouble with my WiFi connection the last few days.

      It is moving real slow, whether I try to post on here, or just go to another site.

        1. I really don’t know for sure, but 59 said something like that could happen, if you lost power in your house.

          But I would think, the new wireless network, would make me put a new code number in it, before it would accept me on that network.

          But I really don’t know, because like I said, I am not that computer literate.

  15. Kenta Meada looked very Good.

    JD Martine… I mean Kike Hernandez is locked and loaded!

    Will Smith showed the catching skills that can get him to MLB – he also showed what can keep him out – hitting. Gale will get the call first.

    Ruiz, Lux and Smith are headed out.

    1. It looks like Kike has really matured, and put in some hard work, in the off season.

      And remember Kike has something that JD Martinez can’t offer, speed and
      good defense.

      I can see Kike trying to go with his power more, to the right side of the outfield this year.

      Kbear got a hit today too.

      I saw that big swing and miss, Smith did in one of his at bats too.

      You have been right, about
      every prospect since Corey came up.

  16. It certainly going to be comfortable to know Pollock and Freese are on our team. Two professionals.

    1. Al

      I think we are in pretty good shape.

      Your right, is always good to have two good pros on a young team.

      AC always makes the point that players, tend to listen more to veteran players, then their coaches.

      I am glad we are not going with a bunch of platoons, like we did last year.

      And I am also glad our hitting coach, is making our players learn a different approach at the plate this year too.

      Last years offense, was so inconsistent, and because of that, they were hard to watch at times.

      What do you think will happen in left?

  17. Just checking in. Other than reading an article on LA Sports Hub that states, Joc, Pollock and Kelly will all fall short of expectations. I wish the Dodgers would put more into the running game, but when those days are long gone.

  18. I agree with Idahoal, Pollock and Freese give me alot of comfort knowing they are on our side. Alot of people are bitching how we got weaker by trading Woods and Puig(who was one of my favorite players, but also drove me nuts making bonehead moves in crucial situations just trying to make something happen, instead of letting the game come to him), but after watching alot of spring training games, we are looking kind of scary. Joe Davis and Orel were commenting today that we have so much major league ready talent that is blocked right now in so many positions. Great problem to have. Once again, Freidman has built alot of depth instead of going after crippling contracts like Harpers with the Phillies. We are in a great position to make a major move on July 31st to get us into a 3rd World Series in a row. Don’t know why, but I have a great feeling that this team is going to be lights out like 2017. The pieces are in place, screw Bill Plashke, this is the year we are going to get it done. Don’t have the rose colored glasses on and ain’t drinking the KoolAid, just being real. Count on it, and print your 2019 World Series tickets. Heard it here first. Ain’t gonna back it off.

    1. Roger

      It is better to see what we have, and make those adjustments at the trade deadline, like you said.

    2. Even after trading Kemp and Puig, the Dodgers still have a logjam in the outfield. The upshoot is that Keith Law has the Dodgers system rated at #5 (up from #9 last year), partially because of the two players the Dodgers got from the Reds – both are pretty good prospects!

      1. Mr. Mark, But Law does not see any of those in the system as Top Ranked like Bellinger, Seager or Bueller. Good but not great prospects. Perhaps trade potential units for building blocks.

        1. Law is not God.

          Grove is not even there.

          Grove, White, Gonsolin, Lux, Ferguson, Santana, Ruiz, May and Verdugo all have a chance to be very good.

          A chance…

          Of course, not all will make it!

          1. I agree. That is what His Majesty had to say about our players. I believe he likes to be perceived as a seer of talent for all to bow down. Grove will be the arm to watch. 2nd player drafted. He is that gem that others were frightened away from that the Dodgers take chances. Ruiz is a kid. What were we all doing at his age??

    3. Roger,
      Pollock and Freese worry me just a tad. Both are Good Eggs, but both have a couple of down sides this year. Pollock is outside of AZ and in dead air Los Angeles, well known for not being friendly for the Home Run. How will that work out for him.
      Freeze is another year older, yet not deeper in debt. Yes, he always puts the bat on the ball and that is such a positive component for this team. Will he continue to hit at the level he has over the past several seasons or will Father Time catch him by the tail this year?
      If they defy those concerns, the Offense can roll as Mark has predicted.

      1. Freese will maybe… get 300 AB’s.

        Pollock will not have to play every day.

        If both are healthy, they will produce.

      2. I agree with what your saying Hamchuck, but from what I am seeing in the ST games and what the buzz around camp is, us that there is a whole lot of focus and not so much casual grab ass like in the past. This group looks really focused.

        1. I am relying on you guys as I can’t see these things live or on tv right now. I used to the mlb channels, but had to drop them. sometimes just playing devils advocate. not being rude. Mark is the main source of info, so I seek his council.

  19. Mr. Timmonson,
    Speaking off your article. I for one hate the new trend of starting relief pitchers for one or two innings and going into the BP the rest of the way. Takes away for the tradition of the game. Once the traditional ways of any culture are broken, removed, sullied in any remarkable manner the system surrenders to chaos and drifts slowly into the abyss. The game has already introduced new technology of instant replay, time clocks and child labor into the ranks. Any further Radical Degradation of the Tradition could ruin the game. In a way, like the Country going from Capitalism to Socialism. 🙂

    1. Law is not God.

      Grove is not even there.

      Grove, White, Gonsolin, Lux, Ferguson, Santana, Ruiz, May and Verdugo all have a chance to be very good.

      A chance…

      Of course, not all will make it!

      1. Mr. Rudy,
        Baseball is Capitalism in its purest form. Why do you find it BS or RW?? And why once again the unhealthy name slurring? I see no problem with my analogy. The game is slowly drifting away form tradition in my opinion. But what seems to be the case in this country and now on this board, free speech, by those who don’t like it, try to intimidate and squelch it, like yourself and MJ. Why else say “Knock Off” or MJ’s attempt to have me investigated by Mr. Mark. I find it all ridiculous. You sir, are offended by nothing more than words of common sense.
        Sports at times has been called the “Opioid for the Masses” and Mr. Rudy and MJ are trying to get me to take and those on this board to “take a dose” and follow their lead to avoid me.

        I Hope You All Can See Through This. First I was accused of writing dull and moronic verse. So I decided to write in the manner I truly want to write. Mr. Rudy, If you don’t appreciate it, then go to Walmart, purchase a White Foam Board and Black Sharpie. Scribble “I dislike Hamchuck’s Posts” and protest at Mark’s HQ’s.

        1. Thumbs up to the last paragraph. I’m starting to like you…even if you’re Bum and an incurable Joc fanboy.

          Kill them with wit. That’s my motto. When they choose to be crude, make them look silly.

          1. Patch, will you please refrain from connecting or reconnecting Hamchuck and Bumsrap? I think that ship has sailed away or at least limped away.

            Fanboy? I think fan would suffice.

            I root for Joc and hope he will have a good year. Others have strongly rooted for Toles, Verdugo, Grandal, Ruiz, etc. One difference is that many have been overly critical of Joc and in the past that has lured me out to defend him. I don’t do that anymore or at least rarely if I do.

    2. I don’t think anybody wants pure capitalism or pure socialism as in their pure forms would be radical. If one is black and the other is white then the real battle is the shade of grey we will agree upon. That grey may include new rules. The old rules are for old fans and baseball needs new fans, younger fans.

  20. I haven’t checked any stats, but I believe that I read that Pollack hit 9 HRs against the Dodgers in 2018. Don’t know the breakdown of those HRs between Dodger Stadium and Chase Field, nor how the HRs were distributed between the night (cooler heavy air) and daytime (warm air which makes Dodger Stadium a launching pad).

    Also, being in the deeper Dodger lineup will likely make Pollack more dangerous than he was in AZ.

    1. I hope so. His best season being 2015 in which he hit 20 HR’s in over 600 AB’s. But don’t try to make Dodger Stadium seem like a launching pad, when we all know it isn’t. It’s a Pitchers park, or at least it used to be until MLB juiced the ball up to assist in the fan favorite Home Run. My case isn’t that he Has to be a Home Run hitter, as long as he hits. Today the player has to hit for the bomb or else he suffers from the horrid “HRE Disease” that permeates the league. Contact hitters are the rarity.

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