Found March 12, 2013 on
Baseball terms have always made great metaphors for life. Yasiel Puig is making a run at becoming the opening day left fielder. The term “out of left field,” according to the unimpeachable source called Wikipedia; was first used in the music industry to describe a song that was a surprise hit. In 1981, New York Times columnist William Safire “tweaked” with that meaning somewhat and deemed it to mean “disoriented, out of contact with reality.”   No matter what meaning you choose,  the theory behind the choice of left field as the position sounds logical – the left fielder has the longest throw to first base and a ground out of “7-3″ on a scorecard would be a very unusual happening.  And unusual just might describe the Dodgers left field scenarios. Projected starter Carl Crawford experienced soreness in his surgically repaired elbow at the opening of camp and will most likely begin the season on the disabled list. This means the fight for the left field spot may be between someone whose future looks very bright,  one whose prospects could begin to dim,  and a few others in between. Currently, the name generating the most excitement in camp is Yasiel Puig.   Puig was a much sought after Cuban “defector” the Dodgers signed to a $42 million deal last year.   He is currently hitting .352 with two doubles in 15 spring games.   Manager Don Mattingly is quite impressed with what he’s seen from a player who the Dodgers stated would still need another year of “seasoning” in the minors. “He’s short to the ball. It’s interesting watching a big power guy like that,” Mattingly said. “The issue will end up being, can he keep guys in the strike zone.” Puig may still have to learn a couple of the game’s mental aspects as well. In one recent game, Puig threw the ball to third instead of second on a base hit to him. Mattingly noted “On those kinds of plays, it’s just explanation, getting what we want, and then him not making the same mistake. He seems really smart, and that’s where we have to teach, to get what we want.” At the other end of the spectrum is 26-year old Alex Castellanos.   Castellanos was the key prospect the Dodgers obtained when they traded shortstop Rafael Furcal to St. Louis in 2011.  He has been in the minors since 2008 and the word is this might be his final chance to prove he belongs in “The Show” permanently. Castellanos  had a terrific Triple A season in 2012(.328 BA, 17 home runs). Unfortunately, he didn’t make an impact in the sixteen major league games he got into last season batting just .174 and striking out in 1/3 of his 23 at bats.   But Castellanos is using this spring to make a case for playing a role with the Dodgers. He is batting .267 with 3 home runs.  Los Angeles Times writer Bill Shakin jokingly pointed out that Castellano’s home run total is more than the entire 2013 projected starting line-up has hit since camp opened.   The other outfielder on the roster is Elian Herrera.  Herrera, 27, has been in the Dodgers system since 2003.  He batted .251 in 67 big league games last season and is batting .346 this spring. Dodgers get a break(?) Last winter, one of the new Dodgers owners, Mark Walter,  stated he was somewhat adverse to paying large sums of $$ to pitchers because “pitchers break.”    Of course, that didn’t stop the Dodgers from paying $147 million for Zack Greinke. Walters words echoed loudly this week when Greinke reported pain in his elbow. The Dodgers breathed a sigh of relief when doctors blew it off to simple inflammation and not ligament damage. Greinke will now join what could be called the Gingerly list – he, like Matt Kemp and others who are coming back from injuries, will be treated very gingerly this spring. They will probably not see much action until the regular season opener. Hot ticket The Dodgers have sold a 30,000 season tickets in 2013.  The team hasn’t sold that many season seats since the O’Malley family owned the Dodgers and the Dodgers owned L.A.  Back then, about 27,000 season tickets were scooped up.  Of course, the Dodgers could have sold way more but 27,000 was the cutoff.  Then, under Frank McCourt’s tenure, season ticket sales fell to as low as 17,000.  The silver lining in that was if you decided to go to the game on a lark and buy tickets at game time, choice seats were still available.   Well, like McCourt, those days are gone. Back in the O’Malley days, if you bought tickets at game time and asked for the best seats available, the ticket window clerk’s only response was “deep right.”  Sounds like that term is like the Terminator – it’s back.

Zack Greinke questionable for Dodgers opener

Zack Greinke was scratched from Monday’s scheduled start and was flown to Los Angeles to have his right elbow examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. Greinke first reported soreness in his elbow last week but was able to throw his bullpen session on Friday with no issues. Sunday the soreness returned after he threw another session and that caused him to fly to Los Angeles on an extremely...

Adrian Gonzalez's optimistic projections

Adrian Gonzalez has changed as a hitter the last two seasons and that change has not been reflected in his projections from six different sites culled for this post. And unless he reverts back to where he was four years ago, his projections are kind of messed up. Some might say that his time in Boston might have screwed him up a bit and thrown him off his game. But I maintain that...

A Corey Seager (Blue) White Whale.

Corey Seager is the young Dodgers' prospect I've decided to Super-Collect. Well, he and Jerry Sands, but of course Jerry is no longer a Dodger. Anyhoo, I think Seager has the potential and raw talent to be an excellent player and I've accordingly begun to pursue as many of his autographs as possible.I was recently able to land what is thus far the pinnacle of my collection...

Get lost in Matt Kemp’s eyes and watch him enter the 60/60 club

Matt Kemp represented the Dodgers in a commercial for MLB 13 The Show, and I … sorry, got lost in his eyes. —– Use this every time Don Mattingly decides to bunt… …and this every time Matt Kemp does something dreamy. It’s a flawless plan.

Dodgers send Greinke to L.A. for elbow exam

PHOENIX -- The Dodgers sent pitcher Zack Greinke to Los Angeles on Monday for an examination of his right elbow. Greinke complained of irritation in the elbow while throwing on Sunday. The Dodgers sent him to Dr. Neal El Attrache for what the team called a "precautionary exam" ordered out of an "abundance of caution." The Dodgers signed Greinke for 147 million...

Limited Match-Ups, Limited Dual Auto: Clayton Kershaw and Ryan Braun

I love coming across pieces of cardboard I was entirely unaware of. The thrill of discovery is a pretty awesome thing, especially when your discovery is a must-have and the price remains surprisingly reasonable. Case in point, this fantastic and gorgeous card I nabbed a while back from the clutches of eBay.Numbered out of a scant 20 - 02/20 for my copy - it's a dual auto featuring...

MLB stars to get animated

Cartoons and baseball have a long history and "The Cleveland Show" is looking to add to it with an episode featuring Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and others. 

Zack Greinke's elbow is OK (for now), Dodgers and fans breathe sigh of relief

When Bill Shaikin tweeted about Zack Greinke's elbow yesterday, Dodger fans everywhere held their collective breath. Could the team's biggest free agent signing ever really be hurt already? Luckily, Greinke's MRI came back negative. In a somewhat surprising twist, Greinke needed a platelet-rich plasma injection -- the same injection Chad Billingsley received for...

The Case For: Hanley Ramirez

Hanley Ramirez is one of the more aggravating players in fantasy baseball. Players see his tantalizing ceiling, then heave exasperated sighs when he fails to reach it. However, on draft day, players take this frustration and make the crucial mistake of avoiding Hanley. The sentence “Hanley is a headache so I won’t draft him” has a true premise (Hanley IS a headache) but a false...

Matt Kemp Will Be On Upcoming Episode Of ‘The Cleveland Show’

  Dodgers fan’s long wait for Matt Kemp’s return to the field will be partially quelled this Sunday as the star outfielder will make an appearance on Fox’s ‘The Cleveland Show’. As reported by ESPN Kemp will co-star in an MLB themed packed episode of the cartoon.Other Dodgers including Andre Ethier will also be on the epsiode, along with Jimmy Rolllins and David Ortiz...

Crawford progresses, Greinke still uncertain

PHOENIX -- Carl Crawford is scheduled to hit Thursday in a minor league game against Meiji University of Japan, two days after he took live batting practice. This appears to mark progress for Crawford, who is recovering from reconstructive elbow surgery. The last time Crawford faced live pitching, he had to be shut down for a week. The outfielder has been working out for the last...

Zack Greinke leaves Dodgers' camp for elbow examination

Dodgers say it's just a precaution as Zack Greinke goes to L.A. for elbow exam.

Podcast: 'Dugout Blues' episode 27 - Greinke, Crawford, Cruz, WBC, Cano

On this episode of "Dugout Blues," Jared Massey (Dodger Diamond) talk about everything going on in Dodger spring training before we head down to Arizona ourselves. Zack Greinke's elbow injury isn't a good thing, but it might not be bad as it seems. It's still something to be concerned about. Carl Crawford faced live pitching (batting practice) for the...

Brewers 3, Dodgers 2

Rickie Weeks had an RBI triple off Hyun-Jim Ryu after Zack Greinke was scratched from his start Monday because of elbow inflammation, and the Milwaukee Brewers beat the Los Angeles Dodgers 3-2. The Dodgers said Greinke was examined by Dr. Neal ElAttrache and that an MRI in Arizona last week showed no structural damage. The 2009 AL Cy Young Award winner, signed to a $147 million...
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