Do you really think it’s Clayton Kershaw who’s going to pitch the Los Angeles Dodgers the National League pennant again this season?
Here’s a history lesson (I will keep it very short, I promise).
Way back in the 1930s, there was an outstanding St. Louis Cardinals pitcher named Dizzy Dean. Dean was a great pitcher, racking up 120 wins, 970 strikeouts, 19 shutouts and 30 saves while averaging a ridiculous 306 innings per season from 1932 to 1936. He led the league in strikeouts four consecutive seasons. Dean won 30 games, the National League’s Most Valuable Player award and the World Series in 1934.
You know, Shohei Ohtani—the rookie pitcher who can’t hold the Tijuana Toros to under six runs in four innings. The guy who was supposed to be the new Babe Ruth.
We’re halfway through the third week of spring training and, so far, the Los Angeles Dodgers news from Camelback Ranch has been fairly tame. Norovirus swept through the clubhouse this past week, sending over two dozen Dodgers back to their bunks (and, presumably, their bathrooms) for a couple days before running its course.
The Corey Seager experience has been a little subdued this spring.
The 2016 National League Rookie of the Year has a sore elbow that has lingered since the second half of the 2017 season. He served as the Los Angeles Dodgers’ designated hitter in the defending NL champs’ 13-5 win over the White Sox in the preseason opener on Friday, a genuinely strange sight. Seager then sat out on Saturday with a stomach illness.
Nine years ago, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Arizona Diamondbacks each had a dynamic young outfielder you could build a team around. They were cornerstone players with a heady mix of speed and power, poised to lead their teams in a battle for National League West supremacy for years to come.
The Think Blue gang has spent a lot of time in the prediction and prospect business over the past week. And why not? With spring training just a few days away and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ roster, for the most part, camp-ready (with a pair of major exceptions in Matt Kemp and Chase Utley), there’s not much more to talk about.
Chase Utley is enjoying quite an offseason.
He’s hanging out at Disneyland, having a day with the singer from OneRepublic and their families. He’s in Dubai, talking about robot umpires. He’s on social media, celebrating the Hall of Fame induction of his buddy, Jim Thome. He’s out golfing at Justin Turner’s charity golf tournament (and outgolfing Turner, according to the host). He’s going viral, making Eagles hype videos with the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
(Editor’s note: TBPC would like to welcome Ben Kirst to the site’s writing team. Despite spending most of his life in Western New York, Ben is a lifelong fan of the Dodgers, and his writing experience has included coverage of the Buffalo Bills and Sabres, Canisius College hockey, University at Buffalo basketball and various D-3/high school sports. He managed, edited and wrote for Buffalo.com for seven years. He also contributed to USCHO.com for three years and The Dunkirk (N.Y.) Observer for another four. Hopefully, Ben will tolerate all of our antics here at TBPC and continue to contribute many insightful articles in the future. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter @BK77.)