Here’s a hodgepodge of Dodgers stories to start your Saturday morning.
Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez have a long-standing friendship that goes back to their days on the Red Sox together. In a profile of the pair by Jack Harris at the Los Angeles Times, Betts credits Martinez and current Dodgers hitting coach Robert Van Scoyoc among those who helped with his own swing change prior to winning American League MVP in 2018.
Indeed, while Red Sox hitting coach Tim Hyers and assistant Andy Barkett helped lead some of Betts’ swing changes, it was Martinez and Van Scoyoc who helped cement them.
“Obviously I worked hard at it,” Betts said. “But those four were single-handedly responsible for who I am today, really.”
On the latest episode of The Show Before The Show podcast, hosts Tyler Maun and Sam Dykstra talked to various minor league announcers about their favorite calls. Oklahoma City Dodgers play-by-play broadcaster Alex Freedman shared his memories of calling James Outman hitting for a second cycle in a week.
After MLB commissioner Rob Manfred made several flippant and infuriating (just ask former Dodgers pitcher Brandon McCarthy!) comments this week from league owners meetings regarding the A’s pending move to Las Vegas and more, a few writers summarized.
From Ginny Searle at Baseball Prospectus: “It’s hard to maintain that hope as MLB increasingly follows the dollar, no matter how many fans it leaves behind. The league no longer feels compelled to pretend otherwise.”
Michael Baumann at FanGraphs is fed up:
The owners won’t respond. Neither will their majordomo, Manfred, whose demeanor at Thursday’s press conference evinces a certainty that neither he nor his masters will ever have to fear the repercussions of their actions. That’s the clearest message the commissioner sent. Not that he can defend his — or the owners’ — choices. But that we are so insignificant that he’ll never have to.