The big news of the weekend at FanFest was the Dodgers deciding to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s number 34 later this summer. So let’s look around for some reactions to the long overdue honor.
“More than 40 years later, Dodger Stadium looks more like Los Angeles than any other sports venue in this city,” wrote Bill Plaschke at the Los Angeles Times. “Its largely Latino fan base is a result of growth that began with Valenzuela. It is a testament to his enduring charm. It has become the House that Fernando Built.”
“I didn’t grow up in his era,” said current Dodgers Mexican left-handed starting pitcher Julio Urías, per Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic. “But to be part of it now, and being there when they retire his number, it’s going to be a really special moment.”
In Bill Plunkett’s Orange County Register story on Valenzuela’s number retirement, he included this quote from team president and CEO Stan Kasten: “But the question I get more than any other is about retiring Fernando’s jersey. That convinced us this was the right thing to do.”
With the door now a little more open to non-Hall-of-Famers to have their numbers retired by the Dodgers — for the record, Kasten on Saturday did not rule out the possibility of more to come — Jon Weisman in his Slayed by Voices newsletter shined a light on a quartet of other Dodgers who could fit the bill to have their numbers retired by the team.
- Anthony Castrovince at MLB.com dug deep into whether the new pitch clock in MLB could led to health benefits. “A single game wrapping up 20 or 25 minutes earlier than they are accustomed to does not make much of a difference,” he wrote. “But the cumulative effect of shorter games over the course of 162 games could be substantial.”
- Travis Sawchik wrote a wonderful profile of Tom House at The Score.