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True Blue LA podcast episode 2202: The Dodgers designated hitter draft

Picking the players who will DH the most in 2022

Los Angeles Dodgers v Arizona Diamondbacks Photo by Ralph Freso/Getty Images

With only a few trickles of news emerging over the last two weeks in MLB labor negotiations, this episode of the podcast looks ahead to one aspect of the pending 2022 season, whenever it begins.

An expected outcome of the next collective bargaining agreement is the designated hitter coming to the National League full time in 2022. We already got a trial run of this two years ago, so Jacob and Eric drafted a team of five players each to see who gets the most plate appearances at DH for the 2022 Dodgers.

Poll

Which team will have the most total plate appearances at designated hitter for the Dodgers in 2022?

This poll is closed

  • 51%
    Team Jacob: Justin Turner, Matt Beaty, Edwin Ríos, Zach McKinstry, Luke Raley
    (80 votes)
  • 48%
    Team Eric: AJ Pollock, Will Smith, Max Muncy, Chris Taylor, Mookie Betts
    (76 votes)
156 votes total Vote Now

Also on this podcast, with the pending Los Angeles-Cincinnati Super Bowl matchup, we have a lot of questions from Craig regarding the Dodgers-Reds rivalry. And mall food court favorites.

Kudos to producer extraordinaire Brian Salvatore for all of his work behind the scenes.

Dodgers rewind

The Dodgers purchased the contract of pitcher Joe Black from the Baltimore Elite Giants of the Negro Leagues in 1951, in the same transaction that brought them infielder Jim Gilliam. Both would win National League Rookie of the Year awards for Brooklyn.

Joe Black Pitching a Baseball

Black was first to the Dodgers, debuting in 1952 and proving invaluable in a relatively new pitching role for Brooklyn as a 28-year-old rookie. Black pitched exclusively in relief, but in sort of a hybrid fireman/long man spot. Basically whenever the Dodgers needed him, Black excelled. He was 15-4 with a 2.15 ERA in 142 innings, and in addition to winning Rookie of the Year, Black placed third in MVP balloting, receiving the same number of first-place votes as the winner in a close vote, Cubs outfielder Hank Sauer.

With a depleted rotation down the stretch, the Dodgers turned to Black to start. After a pair of tuneup starts to finish the regular season, Black started Games 1, 4, and 7 of the World Series against the Yankees, a feat made more impressive by doing it over a seven-day stretch. Black had a 2.53 ERA in 21 innings in that series, and in Game 1 was the first Black pitcher to win a World Series game. The Dodgers lost Black’s next two starts, in possibly the most frustrating series loss of all of Brooklyn’s Fall Classic defeats at the hands of the Yankees, dropping the final two games at Ebbets Field.

Black pitched parts of four seasons with the Dodgers, and later in life served on the board of directors of the Baseball Assistance Team. He also lobbied commissioner Fay Vincent to get lifetime healthcare for a group of Negro League players. The Arizona Fall League named its MVP award after Joe Black in 2002, after his death.

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Episode link (time: 1:06:41)