Andre Ethier and the 1988 draft

Ethier Grantland

By Jon Weisman

And with the 1,390th pick in the 1988 amateur draft, the Dodgers select 6-year-old outfielder Andre Ethier …

Well, not exactly, but over at Grantland, Ben Lindbergh did something I’ve always wanted to do but never attempted — see how far back you can trace the acquisition of a given player.

Amazingly, he’s done it for all 30 MLB teams, and as you can see above, he routes Andre Ethier all the way back to the 1988 draft, when the outfielder wasn’t quite two months past his sixth birthday. (Click the image to enlarge.)

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Kershaw, Ellis enjoying visit to Dominican Republic

KershawDR6

By Yvonne Carrasco

Dodger 2014 National League Cy Young and Most Valuable Player award winner Clayton Kershaw is currently in the Dominican Republic with batterymate A.J. Ellis in order to serve the various Dominican communities in need.

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Seasons: Matt Kemp’s 2011 — unforgettable

Matt Kemp punctuated his 2011 season by signing a long-term contract with the Dodgers on November 18, 2011.

Matt Kemp punctuated his 2011 season by signing a long-term contract with the Dodgers on November 18, 2011.

By Cary Osborne

There were parts missing. The explosiveness on the basepaths wasn’t quite what it was. The defense wasn’t the Gold Glove standard he once set. But at the plate, it looked familiar.

The opposite-field power was there, like it hadn’t been the previous two seasons. The rhythm had that familiar feel. So familiar that when Matt Kemp came to the plate in the second half of 2014, you expected him to inflict 2011-like damage. And he did.

Kemp’s .606 slugging percentage in the 2014 season’s second half led baseball by 20 points. He ranked second in baseball in home runs (17) and RBI (54) and tied Pittsburgh’s Josh Harrison for most total bases (143).

Yes. We remember that Matt Kemp. It was only three years ago when we saw the Dodger outfielder not only reach the potential that so many saw in him, but maybe even exceed that potential.

Matt Kemp’s 2011 stands as one of the greatest seasons in Dodger history.

“I think it will be considered certainly one of the better seasons anyone has had without winning an MVP,” said ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian.

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Puig savors Japan trip, ready for more offseason workouts

Ben Platt/MLB.com

Ben Platt/MLB.com

By Jon Weisman

Yasiel Puig was so buoyed by how the Japan All-Star Series ended, he wishes the beginning had been longer. From David Venn of MLB.com:

Puig would suggest a slight tweak to the format. Like many of his teammates on the squad of MLB stars, the 23-year-old played much better in Games 4 and 5 of the series — the only MLB victories in the official five-game series — than he did in the first three. In Puig’s opinion, the guest team should have more time to work out and come together.

“They beat us those first three games when we weren’t in game shape, but now a few of us are indeed in shape,” Puig said before Thursday’s trip finale, an exhibition game against Samurai Japan at Okinawa Cellular Stadium. “I think we should play two or three more. The tournament should be a little longer.”

Puig was later asked what comes next for him:

“Workouts, to have a better season than the one I had last year,” said Puig, who hit .296 in 148 games for the Dodgers, with 16 home runs, 69 RBIs and an OPS of .863. “I need to keep working hard in order to keep growing in baseball and to get far.”

Dodgers spread Thanksgiving cheer to community

Update: Jon SooHoo has some great photos from Wednesday’s event at LA Photog Blog.

IMG_9023By Jon Weisman

On a beautiful afternoon (and really, I can’t emphasize that enough) at the top of the park at Dodger Stadium, the Dodgers and the Los Angeles Dodgers Foundation (LADF), in partnership with Ralphs/Food 4 Less, hosted the 10th annual Community Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway at Dodger Stadium — part of the Dodgers/LADF 2014 Season of Giving.

IMG_9019Dodger Alumni League members Al “The Bull” Ferrara, “Sweet” Lou Johnson, Matt Luke and Dennis Powell helped distribute a complimentary turkey, fixings and reusable canvas bags to 1,200 pre-selected families and nonprofit community organizations, who will in turn distribute them to Los Angeles area families in need. Levy Restaurants provided complimentary Dodger Dogs for these families and organizations.

The Dodgers also partnered with the offices of Senator Kevin de Leon, Councilmember Gil Cedillo, Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell and Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez on the event.

Dodgers show pride and giving side

Justin Turner gets ready to drop the ceremonial puck between the Kings' Dustin Brown and the Panthers' Willie Mitchell. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Justin Turner gets ready to drop the ceremonial puck between the Kings’ Dustin Brown and the Panthers’ Willie Mitchell. (Juan Ocampo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

111814JO_LAD_USOBy Jon Weisman

Dodgers Pride Night at Staples Center, hosted by our friends at the Los Angeles Kings, took place Tuesday. Click this link to visit a Juan Ocampo photo gallery from the evening, and click here for video.

Also on Tuesday, Tommy Lasorda, Ned Colletti and Tim and Lori Wallach helped serve Thanksgiving meals to approximately 300 service members at the 9th annual Thanksgiving Dinner for the Troops at the Bob Hope USO, located at Los Angeles International Airport. The event was part of the Dodgers’ 2014 Season of Giving.

111814JO_LAD_USO

And on his last off day before returning home from the Japan All-Star Series, Drew Butera joined Jeff Beliveau of the Rays in visiting a children’s hospital. David Venn has more at MLB.com.

Ben Platt/MLB.com

Ben Platt/MLB.com

Doubles king Corey Seager completes tremendous season

COLORADO ROCKIES VS LOS ANGELES DODGERS

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

 

By Cary Osborne

Now Corey Seager can rest. But can we first reflect on his entire 2014 season. Combining his numbers from High-A Rancho Cucamonga (80 games), Double-A Chattanooga (38 games) and the recently completed Arizona Fall League (23 games), the number that hits you first is he had 60 total doubles.

In Major League history, there have only been six seasons of at least 60 doubles. According to Baseball Reference, the minor league record for doubles in a season is 100, set in 1924 by Western Leaguer Lyman Lamb. According to The New Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, no other player in organized baseball has ever had more than 75 doubles in a season. (more…)

Dodgers add new quartet to front office: Finley, Carr, Pickler, Cressend

By Jon Weisman

The Dodgers continued to work their way through this offseason’s front-office hires with the official addition of four names today:

  • Vice president of amateur and international scouting David Finley
  • Director of player personnel Galen Carr
  • Special assistant for pro scouting and player development Jeff Pickler
  • Pitching crosschecker Jack Cressend

The newest hires join almost-as-new director of player development Gabe Kapler and director of amateur scouting Billy Gasparino, general manager Farhan Zaidi and senior vice president of baseball operations Josh Byrnes, and of course president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman.

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About the new front office …


By Jon Weisman

In the days since the Dodgers announced new additions atop their front office, some noteworthy profiles have emerged, offering a window into their souls.

Yeah, that’s right — I said it. Their souls.

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Yasiel Puig ends Japan series on high note

Ben Platt/MLB.com

Ben Platt/MLB.com

Yasiel Puig went 2 for 5 (and stole a base) to finish the Japan All-Star Series with five hits in his final nine at-bats, and also made a running catch near the wall in foul territory in today’s 3-1 victory over Samurai Japan.

MLB won a so-called exhibition game, then lost the first three games of the Japan Series before winning the final two to end its trip with a .400 or .500 record, depending how generous you are.

– Jon Weisman

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