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Leading Off

Leading Off

The daily True Blue LA podcast, Monday through Friday, hosted by Eric Stephen, bringing you Dodgers news and notes in short bursts every weekday morning.

Remembering Fred McGriff’s year with the Dodgers

With Fred McGriff up for Hall of Fame consideration, let’s look back at his one season with the Dodgers, in the very odd 2003 campaign in which Los Angeles were kings on the mound yet anemic at the plate.

Dodgers rewind: Jigger Statz

Arnold "Jigger" Statz was considered one of the best defensive center fielders of his day, and played two years for the Brooklyn Dodgers. But that only accounted for a small portion of his amazing 24-year career, the bulk of which came with the Los Angeles Angels of the Pacific Coast League.

Dodgers say goodbye to Cody Bellinger

The Dodgers did not tender a contract to Cody Bellinger, the former MVP and Rookie of the Year who had two down seasons in 2021-22. Bellinger is now a free agent, as are Edwin Ríos and Luke Williams. Plus, reaction of Cy Young and MVP award voting results.

Podcast: Roster thoughts & the MOY voting process

A recap of Dodgers moves on Tuesday, including Trea Turner and new Angels pitcher Tyler Anderson declining the qualifying offer, plus Diego Cartaya leading a group of prospects added to the 40-man roster. Dave Roberts finished second in NL Manager of the Year voting, and Eric Stephen explains his voting process for the award.

Clayton Kershaw nearing return, Justin Turner is a free agent

Clayton Kershaw is reportedly coming back to the Dodgers on a one-year deal, capping off a busy transactional day for the team. Justin Turner’s 2023 option was declined, making him a free agent, though he might still return to Los Angeles. Also, Trea Turner and Tyler Anderson were extended qualifying offers.

Urías & Roberts up for awards

Dodgers pitcher Julio Urías will finish in the top three of National League Cy Young Award voting, and Dave Roberts will finish in the top three for Manager of the Year. Freddie Freeman, though, was not among the top three for NL MVP.

Dodgers roster needs & payroll heading into the offseason

A closer look at the Dodgers roster to start the offseason, where they are at in terms of 2023 and how it relates to the competitive balance tax, plus what they need to complete the roster, namely starting pitching and a shortstop.

Plenty of blame to go around for Dodgers’ NLDS loss

The Dodgers season is over after a shocking loss to the Padres in four games in the NLDS. A look at how it happened, and how there are several reasons and not one convenient scapegoat.

Dodgers waste opportunities in NLDS Game 2 loss

A look back at the Dodgers’ loss in Game 2 of the National League Championship Series to the Padres, on the missed opportunities, the runners left on base, the inability to hit San Diego’s bullpen, some questionable choices, plus a look ahead to the two games in San Diego.

Dodgers utilized their advantage in Game 1

How things played out to beat the Padres

Podcast: It’s Dodgers-Padres in the NLDS

While the Dodgers were off as a result of their playoff bye, the Padres beat the Mets in three games in New York to capture their wild card series. San Diego will play Los Angeles in the National League Division Series for the second time in three years.

Dodgers rewind: Vicente Romo

Vicente Romo pitched in parts of eight major league seasons, but was more known for his exploits in the Mexican League both in the winter and summer. Romo, who pitched for the Dodgers in 1968 and in 1982, was named to the Mexican Baseball Hall of Fame in 1982.

Dodgers won 111 games, bring on the playoffs

The Dodgers closed out a record-breaking season with a win, their 111th of the year. They head into the playoffs strong, and with a healthy and productive Clayton Kershaw, who was hurt last October. We celebrate the milestones of 2022 and look forward to the postseason.

Dodgers will play Mets or Padres in NLDS

The Dodgers in the National League Division Series will play the winner of the Mets vs. Padres wild card series. But first they have one more game to play in the regular season before five days off. Julio Urías clinched the NL ERA crown in the penultimate game of the season.

Dodgers rewind: Alan Foster

Alan Foster was the Dodgers second-ever draft pick, selected in 1965 out of high school in Southern California. The right-hander pitched four years with the Dodgers, and allowed the first home run ever hit out of Dodger Stadium, to Willie Stargell in 1969.

Finishing out the regular season

The Dodgers have secured the best record in baseball, and have three more regular season games remaining, plus five days off, to get their ducks in a row for the postseason. A look at some statistical milestones to attain, plus a peak at who Los Angeles might play in the National League Division Series.

Miguel Vargas’ time to shine & Dodgers’ road prowess

Miguel Vargas drove in three runs to beat the Padres, vying for a spot on the Dodgers postseason roster. The win was the Dodgers’ 108th of the season, and completed the road schedule for Los Angeles, who don’t have to play another game away from home for two weeks.

Dodgers win 107th game, Julio Urías stays hot

The Dodgers won their franchise-record 107th game of the season behind another strong pitching performance by Julio Urías, one of the best pitchers in baseball the last two years.

Dodgers rewind: Andy Pafko

Andy Pafko was a five-time All-Star with the Cubs who played for the Dodgers in 1951 and 1952. He was a key contributor on a World Series team as well as a team vying for the pennant, and famously was in left field watching Bobby Thomson’s pennant-winning home run for the Giants in 1951.

Previewing Dodgers-Padres & looking ahead to the NLDS

The Dodgers play their final road series of the regular season, battling the Padres for three games at Petco Park in San Diego. The Padres are in a fight for a wild card spot, and are one of a few teams who could potentially play the Padres in the National League Division Series.

Dodgers pitching questions heading into October

Recapping an eventful weekend at Dodger Stadium, including Albert Pujols hitting his 700th homer, Andre Jackson’s three-inning save, and the Dodgers clinching the No. 1 seed in the National League. Plus, Dustin May and Blake Treinen won’t pitch again in the regular season, which might affect their availability for the playoffs.

Craig Kimbrel’s struggles as Dodgers closer

Craig Kimbrel allowed a go-ahead home run Thursday night in a game the Dodgers came back to win anyway. But manager Dave Roberts was as publicly critical of a player as he gets, saying "We’ve got to have our best guys at the back end" when asked about Kimbrel’s bullpen role.

Concerns about Dustin May & Dodgers pitching unknowns

Dustin May was bad for the third start out of his last four, and has been erratic in his first six starts back from Tommy John surgery, with an abnormally high walk rate and poor command. He joins a growing list of Dodgers pitching unknowns as they get ready for October, with question marks surrounding Tony Gonsolin, Blake Treinen.

Dodgers rewind: Johnny Rutherford

A look back at Dodgers pitcher Johnny Rutherford, who pitched one season in the majors in 1952 and started and won the pennant-clinching game for Brooklyn that season.

Leading Off: Kershaw, Dodgers earn bye into NLDS

The Dodgers won their 102nd game and clinched a bye into the National League Division Series. Clayton Kershaw will be one of the beneficiaries of that extra rest, after his 10 strikeouts in six innings earned the win in Monday’s series opener against Arizona.

Dodgers sweep Giants, set team record for road wins

A sweep in San Francisco closed out the Dodgers’ season series over the Giants at 15-4, their most wins ever in one year against the Giants. Along the way Los Angeles won both their 100th and 101st game of the season, and set a franchise record with 52 road wins.

Dodgers rewind: Greg Shanahan

A look back at Greg Shanahan, a right-hander who pitched two years for the Dodgers in the 1970s.

Rare rest for The Big Three

Freddie Freeman sat out the day after the Dodgers clinched the division, his first time not starting a game in 2022 after 141 straight. Lineup mainstays Trea Turner, Mookie Betts, and Justin Turner all sat out the final in Arizona, which the Dodgers nearly won, but lost on a walk-off home run

Dodgers are NL West champs, again

The Dodgers clinched their ninth National League West division crown in 10 years, with Clayton Kershaw pitching seven scoreless innings Tuesday, his fourth excellent clinching game performance during this run. Plus a look at why this is the best Dodgers team of the last decade, and poised to do damage in October.

Tyler Anderson’s magnificent season

Appreciating Tyler Anderson’s career season, helping the Dodgers to a 10th consecutive playoff berth with consistent pitching from the veteran left-hander. Plus Cody Bellinger hits a big double after confusing Chippendale and Chip ‘n’ Dale, and Mookie Betts sets a franchise home run record.

Turnaround for Justin Turner

Justin Turner has been one of the best hitters in baseball for the last two and a half months, after making some mechanical adjustments to his swing in June. The Dodgers’ third baseman and designated hitter hit two home runs Sunday in San Diego to help clinch LA’s 10th consecutive postseason appearance.

Dodgers rewind: Rick Rhoden

A look back at former pitcher Rick Rhoden, one of the best Dodgers draft picks of the 1970s, and someone who after his pitching days turned to professional golf.