After spending a little bit of time reading various comments on twitter during this afternoons inaugural game, I am reminded that way too many folks take these early Spring contest way too seriously.
You'll need to take a breather and realize that anything you witness in the early goin' must be taken with a grain of salt. It's very easy to take for granted that nearly every ballplayers that is a cinch to make the Opening Day roster are not necessarily working on getting outs or hitting for average. They are preparing for when the games count, and at this moment we are many weeks away from that. So, I would expect pitchers to be working on getting a feel for pitches they haven't thrown competitively in months, and for batters to become more comfortable with a swing they haven't used in ages. Remember, getting muscle memory in tune with your desired performance level will take time.
I am always reminded of this when I think back to my own visits to Vero Beach for Spring Training many moons ago. I recall sitting nearly behind the catcher and realizing that the days starting pitcher threw nothing but fastballs. Not only that, he wasn't varying the speeds all that much. Instead, it was clear that the pitcher was testing out his feel for the pitch and his ability to locate it where he wanted.
It was an early Spring game, and that pitcher, along with nearly every pitcher that followed, couldn't care less about the results. They were more interested in making that slow and steady climb towards competitive performance, and not being perfect right out of the gate.
So, with that being said, these early Spring stats are meaningless; whether they be negative or positive. Case in point, Clayton Kershaw threw his first Spring game this afternoon and he got shelled. Via a tweet from Dylan Hernandez of the LA Times:
Kershaw's line: 2 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 1 BB, 2 SOs. 42 pitches, 26 strikes. #Dodgers
— Dylan Hernandez (@dylanohernandez) February 26, 2014
Not a great start, eh? Fortunately, Jon Weisman of Dodger Insider adds some perspective:
Kershaw gave up hard-hit balls to all three OF spots in first inning. Nothing new: Last year at ST, he had 4.18 ERA, 1.36 WHIP #Dodgers
— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) February 26, 2014
Jon also wrote more about Kershaw's day at Dodger Insider. Check out his post here.
BTW, the same can be said for Rule 5 Draft pickup Seth Rosin. Via @Dodgers on twitter:
.@SethDanielRosin strikes out four #Dbacks in a row and five in two innings. That's pretty good. #Dodgers down 3-1 through 5.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) February 26, 2014
I don't want to rain on everyone's parade, but this is just the first game of Spring. I do, on the other hand, agree with what Mike Petriello at Dodgers Digest said on twitter:
Seth Rosin just whiffed five guys in two innings. That includes Hill and Goldschmidt. Way to make an impression.
— Mike Petriello (@mike_petriello) February 26, 2014
I believe it's safe to say that Rosin is earning hard looks by everyone in the front office and coaching staffs. He could be a diamond in the rough, or he a flash in the pan - only time will tell.
*Pic at the very top via @Dbacks on twitter.
|(Vin Scully at SportsNet LA launch, pic via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers 2014)|
I also wanted to take a moment to briefly comment about last night's opening SportsNet LA broadcast.
In one word, it was "AWESOME". There is nothing like knowing that there will be Dodger Baseball available to me 24 hours a day/7 days a week. I especially loved the opening montage to begin their broadcast that featured a brilliant monolgue by Vin Scully. You can watch that online here.
If you missed it (likely due to issues out of your control - more on that later), I shared one of the stories Vin Scully spoke about during his interview on Access SportsNet: Dodgers. Go here to see that post. In that interview, Vin regaled us about a game when he actually wore the Dodgers uniform. It was hilarious and perfect.
As for many of you folks who could not watch last nights broadcast, all I can suggest is please be patient. Believe me, the wait is worth it.
We've seen this song and dance many times over the years - whether it be over the recent battles with AMC Networks or ESPN. In retrospect, this carriage dispute should have been expected, and I suspect it will not be resolved until the very last moment.
In the meantime, hopefully the fine folks from throughout social media (myself included) will share whatever they can to bridge the divide.
Earlier today, Time Warner's PR group sent along some photos from last night's show, so I figured I should pass them along here. Check them out below.
|(Hershiser and Magic on Access SportsNet: Dodgers, photo credit: Jerod Harris/Getty Images)|
|(Magic as a guest on Access SportsNet: Dodgers, photo credit: Jerod Harris/Getty Images)|
|(Hershiser and Hartung on Access SportsNet: Dodgers, photo credit: Jerod Harris/Getty Images)|
|(SportsNet LA and Dodger executives watched the SportsNet LA’s ‘Go Live’ moment in El Segundo. |
Photo Credit: Jerod Harris/Getty Images)
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