Latest honor for Kershaw: Sporting News Player of the Year

Two days after Baseball America named him 2014 Player of the Year, Clayton Kershaw has received the same honor from the Sporting News.

In a close vote from more then 220 MLB players, Kershaw edged out the Angels’ Mike Trout, 76 to 73.

— Jon Weisman

Dan Haren undergoes arthroscopic surgery, expected back for Spring Training

Colorado Rockies at Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Cary Osborne

Dodger right-hander Dan Haren underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder Wednesday morning in a procedure performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache. The 30-minute procedure was to clean out bursitis and the AC joint. He will start his rehab in about one week and is expected to be ready for competition at the start of Spring Training.

The Monterey Park native and 12-year Major League veteran started 32 games in 2014, his first with the Dodgers, and had a 4.02 ERA and 1.18 WHIP in 186 innings.

From August 6 to September 27 — his final 10 starts of the season, the 34-year-old had a 2.43 ERA, opposing batters hit .191 against him and he struck out 50 batters to just eight walks in 59 1/3 innings. His 0.83 WHIP in that timespan was tops on the Dodgers and fifth-best in the Majors.

How Dee Gordon made things shake in 2014

Despite a second-half decline in walks, Dee Gordon finished 2014 with career highs in on-base percentage and OPS, and a career low in pitches chased outside the strike zone. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Gordon, Kershaw named Sporting News NL All-Stars

Not only did Dodger starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw make the Sporting News’ National League All-Star team, but second baseman Dee Gordon did as well.

Gordon topped runners-up Neil Walker of the Pirates, Daniel Murphy of the Mets and Chase Utley of the Phillies in a vote by baseball executives. Kershaw was a unanimous choice.

By Cary Osborne

Last year in October, Dee Gordon was on the Dodgers’ postseason roster, but practically in name only. He played in two games, both as a pinch-runner. Gordon was in the playoffs because he was fast — and only because he was fast.

This year, Gordon was still fast, but he also became much, much more. But as Gordon will tell you, that development, however ironically, was a long, slow process.

(more…)

Dodgers Adult Baseball Camp is less than three weeks away

Chan Ho Park throwing the first pitch at Dodger Stadium in May. (Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Chan Ho Park throwing the first pitch at Dodger Stadium in May. (Jill Weisleder/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Chan Ho Park, Jerry Reuss and Ken Landreaux have joined the team of Dodger legends serving as instructors at the 53rd Los Angeles Dodgers Adult Baseball Camp at Historic Dodgertown in Vero Beach, from November 9-15.

Park, Reuss and Landreaux will join such previously announced instructors as Ron Cey, Tommy Davis, Steve Garvey, Mickey Hatcher, Rick Monday, Maury Wills and Steve Yeager. Tommy Lasorda and former National League umpire Bruce Froemming are also set to be guest instructors. Former Dodger scout Guy Wellman has returned as camp coordinator, a position he has held dating back to 1983.

“We are looking forward to providing a unique experience for those campers in attendance in November,” said Historic Dodgertown chairman and former Dodger owner Peter O’Malley. “With our latest additions of popular Dodgers Chan Ho Park, Jerry Reuss and Ken Landreaux, this will only enhance the camaraderie, storytelling and instruction for the participants, making this camp the best one ever. It is advisable for those who are considering signing up to do so now.”

Why sign up? Well, read on … (more…)

Baseball America chooses Kershaw as 2014 top MLB player

LOS ANGELES DODGERS V LOS ANGELES ANGELS

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

B0fISKMIIAAGlIQBy Cary Osborne

Baseball America announced on Tuesday that Clayton Kershaw is its choice for Major League Baseball Player of the Year.

Kershaw joins Matt Kemp (2011) as the only Dodgers to be named the publication’s top Major League Player. Baseball America has awarded the honor since 1998.

After Kershaw’s monumental 2014 season in which he became the first pitcher in baseball history to lead the Majors in ERA for a fourth consecutive season, the Dodger ace is expected to take home a slew of awards.

The 2014 Players Choice Awards will be announced on November 3. Kershaw is a finalist for four of those awards.

The Baseball Writers’ Association of America will name the Cy Young Award winners for both leagues on Nov. 12 and the Most Valuable Player Award winners on November 13.

Kershaw is also up for his second Roberto Clemente Award, which goes “to the player who best represents the game of baseball through positive contributions on and off the field, including sportsmanship and community involvement.” The award winner will be revealed during the World Series.

Did Dodgers win the WAR last offseason?

Los Angeles Dodgers vs San Diego Padres

By Jon Weisman

For entertainment purposes, I’m about to oversimplify something that’s far more complex than how I’m presenting it.

Nevertheless, I was curious what the Dodgers gained and lost in wins above replacement (WAR) from their moves during the 2013-14 offseason. And putting all other considerations aide, the scales almost balanced.

The Dodgers received 2.1 WAR from their 2014 additions, according to Fangraphs, while those who left the team after the 2013 season produced 1.8 WAR with their new clubs.

The big weight on the scale was Justin Turner, who delivered 3.2 WAR all by himself. Chone Figgins (0.6) was also useful in his abbreviated tenure. They more than made up for the departures of Elian Herrera, Nick Punto, Justin Sellers, Mark Ellis and Skip Schumacher.

The biggest loss for the Dodgers in WAR was Ricky Nolasco (1.2), who had a 5.38 ERA and 4.30 FIP in the first year of his four-year deal with Minnesota. Edinson Volquez (0.7), who signed a one-year deal with Pittsburgh, was more of a bargain, though not as much as his 3.04 ERA might suggest.

In the bullpen, Ronald Belisario, Javy Guerra and Shawn Tolleson combined for 0.8 WAR, which isn’t much but proved better than what Chris Perez (-0.8) delivered.

Seth Rosin never pitched in a game for the Dodgers after being acquired on the day of the Rule 5 draft, but I included him here as someone they had and then let go.

Among the 2013 Dodgers who didn’t play in the big leagues in 2014: Nick Buss, Jerry Hairston Jr., Peter Molyan and Michael Young.

Obviously, there are long-term issues, both coming and going, that I’m ignoring in this post, which is completely focused on the past season. Nor does it take into account salary, or 2013 free agents who returned to Los Angeles. But if you’re curious, here are the numbers …

WAR offseason

 

 

Davises, Strawberry to enter City Section Hall of Fame — Ethiers honored at Arizona State

Davis and Strawberry

By Jon Weisman

Several former Dodgers will be inducted into the Los Angeles City Section Hall of Fame, honoring the best in athletics from Los Angeles Unified School District schools.

Willie Davis (Roosevelt ’58), Darryl Strawberry (Crenshaw ’78) and Eric Davis (Fremont ’80) have been selected, reports Eric Sondheimer of the Times, as has longtime Major League manager Gene Mauch (Fremont ’43), whose playing debut came with Brooklyn at age 18 in 1944.

The most long-ago inductee is former New York Yankees outfielder Bob Meusel, who graduated from Manual Arts exactly 100 years ago.

If you’re wondering why it took some of these names so long to make it, the City Section Hall of Fame is only in its third year of existence. Don Drysdale and Eddie Murray are among the previous inductees.

Speaking of Halls of Fame, Andre Ethier and his wife Maggie were both inducted Saturday into the Arizona State Sports Hall of Fame. Maggie Germaine Ethier had nine perfect 10.0 scores, the most in ASU gymnastics history, according to Jeff Metcalfe of AZCentral.com. The pair met at freshman orientation and began dating as juniors, Metcalfe wrote.

A true Dodger fireman

You only get the briefest glimpse of him in the five minutes of video, but news of the man in the Dodgers cap who risked his life to rescue another man from a fire at a Fresno home Sunday has gone viral. USA Today, among others, has details.

— Jon Weisman

Delayed live-blog: Reggie Jackson’s evil hip

By Jon Weisman

A video of horror rests above, 254 seconds chronicling how the shift of Reggie Jackson’s hip would shift the direction of the 1978 World Series that the Dodgers led 2-1 in games and 3-0 in the sixth inning of Game 4.

Let’s Zapruder this sucker. Hit play and read on … (more…)

Quotebook: Andrew Friedman

By Jon Weisman

Selected quotes from Dodger president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman today:

Opening remarks:

“It’s an incredibly exciting day for me, coming into a franchise with such an historic history, occupying the same seat held by legendary baseball men like Buzzie Bavasi and Branch Rickey, is both challenging and humbling. Baseball would not be where it is today, without the Dodgers, and I have to say it feels great to be a Dodger today.

“Baseball is great when fans care deeply, and no team has better fans than the Dodgers. They expect their team to compete deep into October every year, and so do I. The fans know that baseball’s best when you win, so I’m looking forward to working with the many talented people in this organization to help us get to where we want to be, which is bringing a World Series championship back to L.A.

(more…)

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