Dodgers to debut Spring Training alternate cap logo

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By Cary Osborne

The Dodgers have only worn two logos on their caps since moving to Los Angeles in 1958 — the interlocking “L.A.” and, on June 23, 2007, six times in 2011 and Jackie Robinson Day 2012, the Brooklyn “B.”

In the spring, they’ll wear a third.

The Dodgers will wear a lightweight cap with a cursive capital “D” logo — the same “D” from the Dodger script on their jersey — during selected Spring Training games. The LA logo will be retained for other games.

LAD_STJerseyThis is part of Major League Baseball’s rolling out of new Spring Training uniforms and caps for every team.

The jerseys are part of Majestic’s new Flex Base uniform system, which features a lighter-weight jersey. The jerseys will also be worn throughout the postseason.

The Spring Training jerseys will have a highway sign on the sleeve with state initials for Arizona or Florida, representing each team’s preseason home. In the Dodgers’ case, that will be Arizona.

The names and numbers on the backs of all jerseys will feature a sublimated Spring Training design pattern featuring Spring Training marks and the silhouetted batter logo. The same designs will also be on the inside of the caps’ crowns.

The highway sign will also be featured on the left side panel of the cap. The right panel will have an embossed National or American League logo.

Dodgers Love L.A. tour visits tragedy-stricken San Bernardino

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By Jon Weisman

A special part of the Dodgers Love L.A. community tour (presented by Bank of America) came Wednesday  in San Bernardino. Ken Gurnick of MLB.com has more:

Andre Ethier has participated in countless community events supporting the military and law enforcement, but his appearance at one of Wednesday’s Dodgers “Love L.A.” tour stops was like no other.

Ethier, Tommy Lasorda and Steve Garvey headed a delegation that had lunch with victims and first responders from the Dec. 2 San Bernardino terrorist attack that killed 14 and seriously injured 22.

As Ethier saw and heard, the region is still reeling from the shocking tragedy. But the outfielder was moved by the long line of autograph seekers — some in uniform, some still nursing wounds — most with big smiles.

“It’s amazing to see,” Ethier said. “Being in Arizona, you know what happened, but you can’t realize the impact and the magnitude like when you come here and see it first hand, even two months after. You ask them how they’re doing and everyone says, ‘One day at a time.’ You hope you can brighten their day, even though you know they have a long, tough road to recovery.” …

Go to the LA Photog Blog to see Jon SooHoo’s photos from the event. The Dodgers Love L.A. Tour also made a visit to Ocean Park Community Center in Santa Monica, and prepared and served lunch to homeless residents in transitional housing.

Seager seeking to be the No. 1 hit on all charts

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By Cary Osborne

The big three in Major League prospect rankings are Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus and MLB Pipeline. Baseball America has been releasing a top prospects list the longest, beginning with its first top 100 list in 1990.

None of those three have ever ranked a Dodger at No. 1 — until now.

Baseball Prospectus rated Corey Seager as the No. 1 prospect in all of baseball. MLB Pipeline could do the same on Friday when it releases its Top 100 Prospects list. On Wednesday, Pipeline rated the 21-year-old the top shortstop prospect in baseball.

So who’s his competition for the No. 1 spot on any list, and how does he compare?

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Brandon Beachy to be non-roster player at Spring Training

The Dodgers have outrighted pitcher Brandon Beachy to Triple-A, with the right-hander coming to big-league Spring Training at Camelback Ranch as the team’s 17th non-roster player (seven of them pitchers).

Beachy signed a one-year contract with the Dodgers on January 6. Los Angeles now has 39 players on its 40-man roster.

— Jon Weisman

Dodger third-base coach Chris Woodward will make you believe

NEW TAIPEI CITY, TAIWAN - NOVEMBER 14: Chris Woodward coach of Team New Zealand hits grounders during an infield drill during the workout day for the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifier at Xinzhuang Stadium on November 14, 2012 in New Taipei City, Taiwan. (Photo by Yuki Taguchi/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Chris Woodward, center, hits grounders during an infield drill during the workout day for the 2013 World Baseball Classic Qualifier at Xinzhuang Stadium on November 14, 2012 in New Taipei City, Taiwan. (Yuki Taguchi/WBCI/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

By Cary Osborne

Baseball is fourth in line in New Zealand.

There’s rugby, then cricket, then fast-pitch softball.

This, according to new Dodger third base coach and manager of New Zealand’s World Baseball Classic qualifier team Chris Woodward.

New Zealand, a country with 4,000 baseball players, coaches and officials total, will send a team to play in a 2017 World Baseball Classic qualifier pool in Sydney beginning February 11. It has to be said that some of the players on the team weren’t actually born in New Zealand but have some sort of family relationship to the nation and professional baseball experience.

However, natives who are still very much learning the game also shape the team. And that learning goes beyond how to hit a 90 mph fastball or a ball that breaks.

The native Kiwi baseball players, Woodward has found, tend to approach the game with less sense of urgency and less intensity.

“The biggest thing for me is the fight the ballplayer has,” Woodward said. “They look at it from a softball standpoint, where it’s more like a recreational kind of, ‘Let’s go have a few beers after the game.’ The competition part was kind of lacking. That’s one thing I want to create in the ballplayers. It’s an uphill fight, but if you do it right you can establish baseball the right way.”

Yet the New Zealand WBC team has at least one fighter — its defiant manager, who doesn’t care how little others expect of his team. The fight will tell you a lot about what the Dodgers have in their new third-base coach.

“I’m definitely going there with intention of qualifying,” Woodward said. “Why wouldn’t you? I’ve played this game too long. I’ve seen a lot of teams I was on where we were either better than or we weren’t better than (the other team), and we flipped the script or they flipped it on us. It’s a matter of attitude. If these guys believe it, shoot, then there’s no reason we can’t qualify.”

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The Wild Horse as the child whisperer

Photo by Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers.

Photo by Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers.

By Cary Osborne

Want to see unbridled joy? Put the Wild Horse around some children.

Yasiel Puig played soccer and other games with kids at the Salvation Army, Red Shield Youth and Community Center in the Pico-Union area of Los Angeles. His visit was part of the Dodgers Love L.A. Tour, the club’s 13th annual community service week.

Here’s some video that appeared earlier today on the @Dodgers Periscope:

 

Neil Rampe to lead Dodger training staff

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Neil Rampe (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Neil Rampe, who has been the Arizona Diamondbacks’ manual and performance therapist since 2008, has been officially announced as the Dodgers’ new athletic trainer, replacing former vice president of medical services Stan Conte.

In addition, Nathan Lucero, who has been the Houston Astros’ head athletic trainer for seven seasons, and Thomas Albert, formerly with Cleveland, will be the Dodgers’ assistant athletic trainers.

Rampe will oversee all of the Dodgers’ medical programs, including athletic training, physical therapy, rehabilitation and strength and conditioning, as well as the training, strength and conditioning of Dodger minor league players.

He began his career as the assistant strength and conditioning coach in the University of Minnesota athletic department, then served as a certified athletic trainer at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine in Colorado from 2002-03.

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Dodgers Love L.A.: A special day connecting the dots between Jackie Robinson and Dave Roberts

Jorge Jarrin, Dave Roberts and Mark Langill address students at Muir High School.

Jorge Jarrin, Dave Roberts and Mark Langill address students at Muir High School.

By Jon Weisman

It’s no exaggeration to say that Jackie Robinson is the pride of Muir High School, just as he is the pride of the Dodgers and, for that matter, the United States.

A tribute to Jackie Robinson in the Muir High School museum.

A tribute to Jackie Robinson in the Muir High School museum (click to enlarge)

So it was a special day for everyone today when this week’s Dodgers Love L.A. community tour (presented by Bank of America) made a stop at Muir, with a screening of portions of Ken Burns’ upcoming “Jackie Robinson” documentary, followed by a Q&A featuring manager Dave Roberts and team historian Mark Langill, moderated by broadcaster Jorge Jarrin.

Many of the four score students in attendance today will graduate from Muir exactly 80 years after Robinson did. But not to worry — his story still resonates.

“I loved the documentary,” said Bryan Barrios, senior captain of the Muir baseball team. “It was very inspiring (and) emotional. I walk around this campus just thinking about Jackie Robinson all the time. Sometimes I can’t believe he came here.”

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Dodgers Love L.A. Tour begins with student mentoring

Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Al Ferrara with students at Gratts Learning Academy. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Lee Lacy reads to the classroom of students at Crescent Heights Elementary. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Lee Lacy reads to a classroom at Crescent Heights Magnet. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

This year’s Dodgers Love L.A. Tour (presented by Bank of America) kicked off today with two events, starting this morning with a day of literacy celebration at five local schools. Austin Laymance of MLB.com has more.

… At Gratts Learning Academy for Young Scholars, only a couple of Adrian Gonzalez home runs away from Dodger Stadium, former Dodgers outfielder Al Ferrara read “Curious George at the Baseball Game” to second- and third-grade students.

“This is as important as any hit I ever got,” Ferrara said after a busy day back in grade school. “There’s something about a child and the glint and the smile in their eyes that makes a big guy like me sort of fold a little bit.”

Ferrara also fielded a number of baseball-related questions from the kids, mixed in a story about Jackie Robinson, signed autographs and posed for pictures. …

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Cookie Johnson sits with students at today’s mentoring luncheon at Dodger Stadium. (Ben Platt/MLB.com)

Also today, the Dodger Stadium Lexus Dugout Club hosted a mentoring lunch for students from New Village Girls Academy, in which Stan Kasten, Cookie Johnson and several Dodger alumni and front-office staff gave the students counsel about their future.

Stan Kasten addresses the students. (Ben Platt/MLB.com)

Stan Kasten addresses the students. (Ben Platt/MLB.com)

Scully, Jarrin, Hershiser, Monday win kudos at Southern California Sports Broadcaster Awards

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Photos by Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Los Angeles Dodgers BroadcastersBy Jon Weisman

Vin Scully won two awards for best play-by-play — in radio and in television — at the 25th annual Southern California Sports Broadcaster Awards, announced today at the Lakeside Golf Club.

Jaime Jarrin was named best foreign-language play-by-play announcer, while Orel Hershiser was the winner in TV color analysis and Rick Monday in radio color commentary.

Scully, Jarin and Monday are all in the organization’s Hall of Fame.

Scully has won the radio award, named in honor of Chick Hearn, 18 times since its inception in 1991, and the TV award 13 times. (Winners of three consecutive awards in a category are not eligible to repeat for one year.)

Screen Shot 2016-01-25 at 9.07.43 PMJarrin won his ninth career award since foreign-language broadcasters were first recognized in 2003, and Monday his fifth.

Ann Meyers Drysdale also received a special award, the Chuck Benedict/Stu Nahan President’s Award, while former Dodger executive Tommy Hawkins won the Gil Stratton Lifetime Achievement Award.

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