Kawanos Club: The story of two baseball lifers

Kawano

Nobe Kawano, pictured above, was the longtime clubhouse manager of the Dodgers from 1959-91, and his brother Yosh had the same role with the Cubs from 1953-2008. Now in their 90s, their stories are told in this terrific piece by David Wharton of the Times.

— Jon Weisman

The Algebra of Yasiel Puig

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

By Jon Weisman

We’re not really the sum of all our parts. We’re more the multiplication of them.

The fractions of ourselves don’t neatly add up in tidy columns. They clash and they explode like calculus.

So just in the past several days, the answer to Yasiel Puig involves finding the product of this:

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Bolsinger obeys speed limits, Dodgers cruise

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Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Slow handBy Jon Weisman

Mike Bolsinger’s offspeed was on point tonight.

Working primarily with a curve and slider in the 80 mph-and-below range, Bolsinger pitched a solid 5 2/3 innings, and the Dodgers extended their winning streak to three with a 8-2 victory over Cincinnati.

In his second big-league start of the season, Bolsinger struck out six and allowed three hits, blemished only by a two-run home run by Adam Duvall that cleared Joc Pederson’s glove by inches.

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Dodgers press on with four on bench, eight relievers

Cincinnati Reds vs Los Angeles Dodgers

The Emirates ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium on Monday was a strike.

Reds at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Chase Utley, 2B
Corey Seager, SS
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Trayce Thompson, LF
Joc Pederson, CF
Yasiel Puig, RF
Yasmani Grandal, C
Mike Bolsinger, P

By Jon Weisman

No one’s really a fan of an eight-man bullpen and a four-man bench, but it has basically made sense for the Dodgers the past seven days, and they plan to continue that way for the next several.

Dave Roberts said today that the Dodgers would probably retain the eight/four split into their upcoming road series in New York and Chicago, a roster construction that began when Charlie Culberson was optioned May 18 to make room for Mike Bolsinger.

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Postseason Kershaw: Do you remember only the bad, or also the good?

Cincinnati Reds vs Los Angeles DodgersBy Jon Weisman

No matter what crazy, crazy heights Clayton Kershaw achieves in the regular season, for some, it will always be about what he hasn’t done in the playoffs.

Even after he’s done well in the playoffs.

No, Kershaw hasn’t won a World Series yet, and no one (least of all him) questions whether that’s the ultimate prize. But anyone paying attention should notice that the narrative of Kershaw as a postseason failure doesn’t hold up.

His 3-1 victory on three days’ rest in New York last October in Game 4 of the National League Division Series confirmed — not for the first time — Kershaw’s ability to deliver in the fall, but there are still those who don’t even acknowledge it.

So here I am, back again. I’ve done this before, but let’s recap, from good to bad.

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Kershaw won, Reds 0

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By Jon Weisman

With the Dodger bullpen depleted, with the Dodger offense tired, Clayton Kershaw gave Los Angeles exactly what it needed.

Inning after inning of zeroes.

Despite a late rush, Kershaw’s streak of double-digit strikeouts ended tonight. But nothing else of his season-long dominance did, as he sliced through the Cincinnati Reds on 102 pitches for a 1-0 Dodger victory.

This was the first time in seven starts since April 15 that Kershaw didn’t whiff at least 10 batters. No matter. He has already tied his career high with his third shutout of the season.

Cincinnati basically had one window against Kershaw, and that came one second into the game. Zack Cozart hit the unceremonial first pitch down the left-field line for a double. Billy Hamilton bunted him to third, and Kershaw went 3-0 in the count to Joey Votto.

But two strikes later, Votto lined to short, and two more pitches later, Brandon Phillips grounded to third. For the rest of the game, the Reds would get one runner to second base, and one other runner to first base.

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Seventeen innings later, what’s new?

Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers

Trayce Thompson, preparing for his eight consecutive start, works in the indoor cage before tonight’s game. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Reds at Dodgers, 7:10 p.m.
Kershaw CCLII: Kershawnhattan
Kiké Hernandez, LF
Justin Turner, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Howie Kendrick, 3B
Trayce Thompson, CF
Corey Seager, SS
Yasiel Puig, RF
A.J. Ellis, C
Clayton Kershaw, P

By Jon Weisman

Here’s a quick update on some of the Dodger newsmakers over the past 24 hours …

Ross Stripling

Getting optioned to the minors after winning Sunday’s game didn’t shock Stripling, who told SportsNet LA’s Alanna Rizzo that it was always the plan that he would be optioned around this time — though certainly current circumstances made the decision more obvious.

Stripling added that the plan is for him to throw three innings when he starts for Triple-A Oklahoma City, according to Andy McCullough of the Times.

Dave Roberts said that Stripling could be used in the rotation or out of the bullpen when he returns to Los Angeles.

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Avilan, Bolsinger called up — Tsao to disabled list, Stripling optioned

Ross Stripling pitched three shutout innings Sunday. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

Ross Stripling, whose season began with 7 1/3 no-hit innings April 8 in San Francisco, pitched three shutout innings Sunday in his relief debut. (Jon SooHoo/Los Angeles Dodgers)

By Jon Weisman

Regrouping after throwing 582 pitches in three games at San Diego — and losing one of their pitchers to the disabled list in the process — the Dodgers are bringing up two fresh arms for their pitching staff.

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Dodgers host Military Appreciation Night on Tuesday

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U.S. Army soldiers from Bravo Company 640th Aviation Safety Battalion of Los Alamitos stationed in Camp Buehring, Kuwait will give messages on DodgerVision on Tuesday.

Screen Shot 2016-05-20 at 8.06.42 PMBy Cary Osborne

The Dodgers pay tribute to a military hero at every home game with on-field recognition of a special serviceman or servicewoman. On Tuesday, they will pay tribute to all of our military heroes and their supporters at Dodger Stadium.

That night, the Dodgers will host Military Appreciation Night. A special ticket package for the 7:10 p.m. game against the Reds is available for active and retired military members and all supporters of our troops with individual tickets starting as low as $15. The package includes a ticket to the game and a Military Appreciation Night T-Shirt. To purchase tickets, visit dodgers.com/armedforces.

Beyond the package, the gratitude will continue with numerous military tie-ins. The Dodgers will show a video on DodgerVision of U.S. Army soldiers from Bravo Company 640th Aviation Safety Battalion of Los Alamitos who are currently stationed in Camp Buehring, Kuwait.

Tuesday’s Military Hero of the Game will be U.S. Army Sergeant Combat Medic José G. Ramos of Whittier. In April, Ramos hosted his 15th and final Welcome Home Veterans Day event. Ramos launched a grassroots campaign to give Vietnam veterans an annual honorable welcome home and in 2002 started the first event in Whittier. In 2009, then Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bill giving statewide recognition to the day.

Ramos will also throw out the ceremonial first pitch.

U.S. Army Specialist Maurice Alpharicio will perform the National Anthem.

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Under the caps: The inner workings of the Hat Shuffle

By Kevin Cook

Besides an Adrian Gonzalez home run or the mere mention of Vin Scully, what else gets Dodger fans excited when they visit Dodger Stadium? The Hat Shuffle, of course.

Maybe I’m biased. I’m the senior motion graphics designer for the Dodgers, and I’ve designed the Hat Shuffle for the past seven seasons. I also might just be the Hat Shuffle’s biggest fan.

It didn’t start out that way. When I first joined the Dodgers in August 2009, I didn’t quite get the allure of the game, I think mainly because most Hat Shuffle games I’d seen at other sports stadiums were either too easy or impossibly difficult.

But done right, the Hat Shuffle is a really fun game, and when you visit Dodger Stadium, you should expect to have fun regardless of the score. Realizing that fun is the main priority of what we do here was a good first lesson in my new job and one that I haven’t forgotten.

So I didn’t just want to do the same old Hat Shuffle that I’d seen elsewhere. Our in-house creative team here is constantly pushing itself to do something different every season and better than the previous season. That same effort goes into the Hat Shuffle. There’s been an evolution of complexity to the game every season, and that isn’t by coincidence.

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