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Podcast episode 2004: It’s more real now

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Spring training starts and Mookie Betts is a Dodger

MLB: Los Angeles Dodgers-Press Conference Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

After an offseason of waiting, baseball is becoming more tangible, especially now that players and teams have reported to spring training camps. Also more tangible is Mookie Betts and David Price joining the Dodgers, with the trade with the Red Sox now official.

This week on the podcast, we talk about the odd limbo period in between the time the Betts trade was reportedly agreed upon to when it was actually completed, and the fallout from all of it. In the end, Betts and Price are Dodgers, as is Brusdar Graterol, whom the Red Sox balked on receiving from the Twins.

Also (still) on the Dodgers are Joc Pederson and Ross Stripling, which makes the Dodgers’ depth even more pronounced as the clear National League favorites. Plus, we delve into the solution of all four salary arbitration cases, which included two multi-year contracts and two hearings, one of which (Pederson) was greatly complicated by a trade-in-waiting.

Please send any and all podcast questions to tblapodcast@gmail.com, or tweet us at @ericstephen or @jacobburch.


Dodgers rewind

Brooklyn Dodgers

Chris Taylor, who avoided arbitration with a 2-year, $13.4 million contract, is one of four Dodgers to play at least 50 games all of second base, shortstop, left field, and center field. The first one of that quartet was Jimmy Johnston, who played every position except catcher and pitcher in his career.

Johnston played on the Dodgers’ first two World Series teams, starting two games in right field in 1916 and four games at third base in 1920. Johnston was the first Dodger in the modern era to hit for the cycle, and he played all 26 innings in the longest game in major league history, between the Dodgers and Braves in 1920.

In the last week of June in 1923, Johnston was hotter than any other hitter in the history of baseball. He’s one of three players with six straight three-hit games, and was a ridiculous 23 for 28 (.821) with 10 extra-base hits in his romp over the Braves and Phillies.

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