Whether the Dodgers are ready or not, the season starts this week. It’s doesn’t matter how many pitchers are on the injured list, or how many players had a bad spring training—three days from now there will be meaningful baseball played.
A certain pessimistic, shall-not-be-named writer for a Los Angeles newspaper said that this year’s team is the most professional Dodgers team he’s ever seen. He does not lament the loss of Yasiel Puig, or anyone who would be wont to have fun, for that matter.
About a month ago, I wrote a story about things that this team has learned from its previous two trips to the World Series, and how those things could help the (hopefully) third time around. I personally have yet to comment on the Puig trade, even when Puig himself came out and said some less than stellar things about his time with the organization.
We all know the quotes from both sides, and there’s really no point in rehashing them now. The truth, I’m sure, as it often does, lies somewhere in the middle, and we will never know.
So back to this year’s team—is it the most professional? Does it matter? I could see some things mattering, like playing time. As Justin Turner said, “platooning was a by-product of last season, not the team’s primary philosophy.”
Barring the major injuries of last season, only left field will see consistent platooning. Enrique Hernandez has been pretty much named the starting second baseman, answering that question. As long as Max Muncy can hit, first base is his. David Freese will see some time starting, but will be mostly kept for late inning pinch hitting roles.
These last two Dodgers teams have definitely dealt with some adversity, whether thrust upon them or manufactured internally. And they have handled it well enough to make it back to the World Series. Every team is a little bit different. While I can’t say that the last teams were ‘not’ professional, I can see what that particular sports writer was saying.
I believe the combination of experience and, shall we say, roster realignment will only benefit the Dodgers this season. They have the depth and the maturity to weather injuries and whatever else the season throws at them.
I’ll leave you with another quote from Turner to start the season, because no matter what, the players still have to play.
“Do we believe we’re a good team? Absolutely. Every guy in here, to a man, thinks we’re a really, really good team, and have a chance to do something special. At the same time, that doesn’t count for a run. You don’t score runs because you’re supposed to be good. You still have to figure out ways to score runs and throw strikes and play defense. That’s what we have to do.”
11 thoughts on “On Quotes, Past Dodger Players and Maturity”
Talking about Puig, he is immature. But he’s gone because of the way he plays baseball, how much he would cost and that he didn’t want to be platooned. But his hitting is why he was platooned, except in the playoffs when he didn’t hit well. His fielding also declined last year. Maybe he’ll wake up an become the superstar he always could have been. But my guess is he was one of those players that needed to get the wake up call of being traded in order to grow up. Judging from his recent comments it hasn’t happened yet.
A lot of question marks with this team this year. Whether it’s age, injury possibilities or coming back from injury, inconsistent past histories I don’t think there is a single player that you can pencil in full time and say he’ll have a great year. We’ll see we’re we stand at the beginning of June.
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“The Dodgers led the majors in positional fWAR and non-pitcher wRC+ at 118. That might not repeat in 2019 as they’ve arguably gotten slightly worse. The Dodgers replaced Yasmani Grandal with Russell Martin which is a clear downgrade. They’ve also switched out Kemp and Puig for AJ Pollock and Verdugo. Verdugo should be better than Kemp going forward, but replacing Puig with Pollock is a little risky since Pollock has had trouble staying healthy and he’s more expensive than Puig.
The Dodgers may have gotten a little worse on offense, but there’s still a gulf between them and their closest divisional rivals. The Rockies and Diamondbacks didn’t improve this offseason, so Los Angeles is as sure a divisional favorite as any outside of Cleveland.”
I didn’t say it but it sums up what I’ve been saying.
I think Puig is just a guy that rubs most people the wrong way. Cincinnati will likely love his production but they won’t likely love him. I think he has Yankees in his stars.
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I wish Puig the best with the Reds; but he would be a movie star wearing pinstripes.
He’s no star in the clubhouse!
And you are Rich S? The only star you would be is in an outhouse with a blue quarter moon on the door
Wow. Muncy just can’t hit off speed!
Just read the box. 13 more strikeouts. That’s 28 in 2 days. Against 10 Angel pitchers, most of whom can’t possibly be Major League pitchers… can they? 20 pitchers used in that game. 16 walks. Wong and Smith struck out 4 out of 5 at bats. If you add them up they are hitting .293. 4 hour game. Way to speed things up MLB. Is this how the season is going to go?
Why are so many non roster players still getting at bats?
New York is weird enough that Puig could be himself and easily be absorbed.
I remain unmoved by what I haven’t seen. Maybe this is the year. That would prove detachment is the key for me.
This is the Freeway Series. There have been 27 walks. Isn’t it illegal to walk on the freeway?
I don’t even recognize this game anymore.
And proud of it Steve!
Nice shot of turner tagging out Pujols, Andy.
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