July 8, 2010 |
In the last week or so, there's been a major change in the Dodgers' clubhouse. Miley Cyrus is out. M.I.A. is back in. So when the Dodgers win, as they did by a 3-2 margin over the Chicago Cubs on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium, "Paper Planes" blares over the locker room sound system. No more "Party in the U.S.A." "We went back to our old roots," Clayton Kershaw said jokingly. "We went back to 2008. We needed a change." But for the two players who were most instrumental in the Dodgers' latest victory, this season has been nothing like the seasons they had two years ago. At this stage of the season of 2008, Kershaw was a 20-year-old rookie trying to discover the key to consistency.
July 31, 2011 |
Ned Colletti compared the timing of the acquisition to that of Manny Ramirez. Only this time, the Dodgers general manager wasn't getting a 12-time All-Star to fortify the team's offense for a playoff push. In a three-team deal consummated only minutes before Sunday's non-waiver trading deadline, the Dodgers received catcher Tim Federowicz and pitchers Juan Rodriguez and Stephen Fife, all minor league players who probably won't have a section of Dodger Stadium named in their honor anytime soon.
March 22, 2011 |
AT THE PLATE: Leadoff hitter Rafael Furcal had two hits, as did non-roster infielder Eugenio Velez, who had to be removed in the seventh inning because of a sprained ankle. Hector Gimenez, who has hit his way into roster consideration, was 0 for 4 with three strikeouts. A catcher who has spent a significant part of the spring at first base, Gimenez played left field because Manager Don Mattingly wanted to test his versatility. In the first inning, Gimenez threw out Tyler Colvin at the plate when Colvin tried to score from second base on a single by Marlon Byrd.
June 5, 2010 |
Each time a gap has emerged in the Dodgers' infield this season, Jamey Carroll has seemed to ably fill it. After playing 25 consecutive games at shortstop for the injured Rafael Furcal , the 36-year-old utility fielder lately has filled in at third base for Casey Blake , who has been sidelined by back spasms. Entering Saturday night's game, Carroll was nine for 16 (.563) in his prior four games and was hitting .306 overall in 47 games. He has been particularly effective against right-handed pitching, batting .351.
June 15, 2010 |
Reporting from Cincinnati -- The Dodgers' rotation was already in a state of uncertainty, with Chad Billingsley headed to the disabled list and two rookies scheduled to make starts over the next three days. Manager Joe Torre said he had no intention to taking any chances with the health of his most reliable starter Tuesday night, but Hiroki Kuroda made him reconsider, as the Japanese right-hander talked him into using him on both ends of a two-hour, 24-minute rain delay that fell in the middle of the Dodgers' 12-0 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Great American Ball Park.
August 5, 2011 |
Manager Don Mattingly said he doesn't want to call this two-month period an audition. Dee Gordon doesn't either. "You know what?" Gordon said. "I don't look at it that way. " But with Rafael Furcal traded to the St. Louis Cardinals on Sunday, Gordon is the only viable candidate in the Dodgers organization to be the everyday shortstop next season. If the Dodgers don't think the 23-year-old Gordon can handle the responsibility, they will probably have to find a shortstop on the free-agent market.
June 30, 2010 |
The sky was falling. The Four Horsemen were on their way. The Dodgers couldn't hit. On the days they could, they often couldn't pitch. The result was that they couldn't win. A return to the National League West solved everything. The Dodgers completed a mood-altering three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants with an 8-2 victory Wednesday, as Vicente Padilla pitched a seven-inning gem, shortstop Rafael Furcal continued his weeklong tear and center fielder Matt Kemp started to climb out of Manager Joe Torre's doghouse by smacking his 13th home run. "It was great, it was great," Torre said.
March 23, 2009 |
Rafael Furcal leaned back in his chair and smiled. "When you're not doing well, you're not doing well," he said. Furcal was talking about his batting average, which was hovering around .200. But that was of no concern to him, he said. The more important figure was the number of games he's had to miss in the exhibition season because of his surgically-repaired back: zero. "Every now and then I'm a little scared but I feel fine," he said. "I feel normal. I haven't felt anything."
February 20, 2009 |
Something happened to Rafael Furcal when he went on the disabled list last season. The boisterous shortstop suddenly turned quiet. "Because you don't play, you feel like if you say something to your teammates, they're going to say something," Furcal said. "I was afraid about that." Furcal sat out 4 1/2 months last season because of a bulging disk that required surgery, a process he said was so frustrating that he asked Manager Joe Torre at one point if he could leave the team.
July 4, 2011 |
What Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly said he remembered most about Dee Gordon's first stint in the majors wasn't his speed or his swing. Speaking about the shortstop prospect the Dodgers sent to triple-A Albuquerque on Monday, Mattingly recalled a recent conversation they had in the infield during batting practice. Gordon wasn't hitting and Mattingly asked him about the kind of adjustments he was thinking of making against certain pitchers. Mattingly said he liked what the kid was telling him, that he liked how he was thinking.