Saturday, April 30, 2016

Blog Kiosk: 4/30/2016 - Dodgers Links - Gordon, Goff and Gabe Kapler

Matt Kemp gained some measure of revenge as he belted a go-ahead three-run home run to propel the Padres over the Dodgers last night.  Unfortunately, the Dodgers 5-1 loss came at the expense of an brilliant outing by starter Alex Wood - who went seven innings, struck out nine and allowed just one run. 

If only the Dodgers offense could put some runs on the board.  As it were, they couldn't.  The team floundered, and so it seems that their closed door meeting before the game had not yet set in.  Per Jon Weisman at Dodger Insider:
“You just got to get back to the fundamentals and trying to play clean, crisp baseball and play every pitch,” Roberts said. “I think that there are signs of that. … Whether we’re winning games or not winning games, I still think there’s a process that needs to be in place, and you just don’t want things to get away from you. So right now, it’s kind of hit the reset button a little bit.”

Among other issues, Roberts has the sense that Dodger batters are pressing at the plate.

“You know, it’s funny — I think it’s just guys are trying too hard,” he said. “And you hear it all the time when guys aren’t swinging well, that guys want to do it so bad, it’s a little bit, ‘Try a little less hard.’ Because guys just start swinging the bat, and you start coming out of the strike zone.”
This all strikes me as a minor blip on the road.  This team is too good to disappear into oblivion, and I suspect it'll be something we'll remember as an molehill.

Photo above via SportsNet LA on twitter.  Below are more links to check out:
  • This Day in Dodgers History: In 1940 Dodgers pitcher James 'Tex' Carleton throws a no-hitter against the Cincinnati Reds.  It is the teams ninth straight victory to start the season.
  • Video:  Listen to Alex Freedman of the OKC Dodgers with Jacob Unruh of the Oklahoman talk about the team (Link Here).  They talk a bit about the offense, Urias and Austin Barnes.
  • Via Bill Shaikin at the LA Times, "DirecTV rejects latest attempt to restart SportsNet LA talks."
  • You pandering SOB.  I like you even less now.  Via Nick Wagoner at ESPN, "Jared Goff 'open' to switching baseball allegiance from Giants to Dodgers." 
"We'll see," Goff said. "That's what I just told the fans, I said we'll see. It's going to be kind of a growing process, we'll see what happens. I'm open. I'm not going to shut it down."
  • Puig takes the high road, via a tweet:

  • Will Carroll at FanDuel explains why Dee Gordon's positive PED results are unlikely to have been unknowingly ingested.
While Gordon issued a statement apologizing for being caught, he also used the common trope of saying he didn’t knowingly ingest the banned substances. There are cases where this has happened, but they are rare. In this case, it’s not plausible. Gordon tested for two banned substances, including one that has never been involved in a spiked supplement. Unless Gordon can provide a supplement he took, I simply can’t believe his story.
  • Topps Bunt has always been an online virtual Baseball but, but no more.  It will soon become real cardboard.  Coming out in August will the the inaugural Topps Bunt set, and it is slated to be a low-end offering that will affordable for all. Go here to see some preview pics.  On the right is a look at a Clayton Kershaw autograph card.
  • Via Wilson Karaman at Baseball Prospectus, "Prospectus Q&A: Gabe Kapler, Dodgers Player Development Director."
WK: When you’re out in the field with affiliates, how much of that time is you working with players one on one, in small groups, or all together? Are there particular messages that you find yourself emphasizing with player.
GK: My work at affiliates is determined by what the situation needs. Our coaches are exceptionally talented and are best equipped to do most of the one-on-one work with individual players. More of my time is spent on communicating with everyone—players, staff, trainers, performance coaches—and learning as much as I can about the people so I can support each of them best. We have some overarching baseball themes in PD, like ensuring we are in our strongest and most powerful physical condition to perform, controlling the strike zone on the field as pitchers and hitters. But we also emphasize the themes of being resourceful, improving communication and being empowered. We want our players and staff to continually seek to get better and to be mentally resilient.
"It's gotten better," manager Dave Roberts said. "Right now, we're going to start getting on some non-weight-bearing activity. We have this machine called the Ultra G. He's not going to be bearing any weight. It's a step in the right direction for him."

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