I've got spring training on the mind. So much so that I actively seek out spring Baseball photos featuring Dodger players to share on this blog. Case in point, check out the above vintage press photo, dated March 31, 1940, featuring Reds Manager Bill McKechnie and Brooklyn Dodgers Manager Leo Durocher shaking hands prior to a spring exhibition game at Tampa. (eBay Auction Link)
No doubt this is a friendly match between two rivals in the National League. Unfortunately, one team far exceeds the other in talent on the field. The Cincinnati Reds had won the pennant the prior season, and was destined for championship glory in 1940. They defeated the Detroit Tigers later that fall to capture their second crown in their history.
As for the Dodgers, they would finish twelve games back of the Reds in second place. Always the bridesmaid never the bride, I suppose. On another note, ain't that jacket worn by Durocher keen?
Below are more links to check out:
- This Day in Dodgers History: In 1952, on a local NBC TV program, Jackie Robinson charged that the New York Yankees management is racist for its failure to scout, sign and bring up a black players. George Weiss of the Yanks denied the allegations, saying that the team welcomed black ballplayers, "good enough to make the team." (The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 12/1/1952, p. 11) Elston Howard would become New York's first black player in 1955.
- Happy Birthday, Clyde Sukeforth & Shane Victorino!
- Via Ken Gurnick at MLB.com; "Contract tender deadline looms for 9 Dodgers: Los Angeles deciding whether to extend offers to arbitration-eligible players."
The Dodgers have nine unsigned players eligible for salary arbitration as Friday night's 8:59 p.m. PT contract tender deadline approaches.
This year's arbitration-eligibles and their 2016 salaries: Yasmani Grandal, $2.8 million; Luis Avilan, $1.39 million; Scott Van Slyke, $1.225 million; Chris Hatcher, $1.065 million; Josh Fields, $900,000; Louis Coleman, $725,000 million; Vidal Nuno, $532,900; Alex Wood, $530,000; and Darin Ruf, $527,000.
- Via Craig Edwards at FanGraphs; "The Dodgers’ Payroll Situation Is Far from Dire."
While there’s been talk recently that the Dodgers couldn’t afford to sign Kenley Jansen and Justin Turner, that doesn’t seem to be the case after examining the hard data. Indeed, the team could sign both players and retain plenty of flexibility for the future. The team could easily dip below the $200-million threshold by 2018, effectively resetting the competitive-balance tax if it still exists in the next CBA (a strategy the New York Yankees appeared determined to employ before abandoning it after the 2013 season). That plan could save the franchise hundreds of millions if they do choose to supplement their young team with stars following the 2018 season.
- Jeff Todd at MLB Trade Rumors provides an update Rich Hill.
We’ve heard plenty of chatter about the possibility of the Yankees making a move on Hill, and the Dodgers likewise have long been said to have interest in a reunion. The AL West-rival Rangers and Astros, though, have not been tied as closely — in part, perhaps, since both have already signed starters — though MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes listed both as plausible suitors in his top-fifty free agent list. Meanwhile, the two AL East teams mentioned seemingly have fully stocked rotations, though surely both could stand to upgrade in the right situation.
- For the rumor mill. Via Fan Interference, "LA Dodgers showing interest in South Korean Infielder Hwang Jae-gyun."
- Here's some AJ Ellis news, via Jayson Stark on twitter:
The Phillies have interest in bringing back AJ Ellis as a catcher/leader/unofficial coach. He has interest in... https://t.co/uVH0sBrGMS— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) November 30, 2016
- Okay... This is a rather interesting letter, dated April 3, 1998, that was written by former Dodgers GM Buzzie Bavasi. It is currently for sale at Collect Auctions. (Auction Link Here) In the body of the letter he comments about a Jackie Robinson biography that he takes issue with. He writes:
"He made Jackie look like a saint and Campanella as a womenizer. Just the opposite. In one breath he writes about Jackie's loyalty to Rachel and how he hated to go on the road because women chased after him. Then he tells about Jackie's case of gonorhea. Guess Jackie got it from something he ate."
- Good! Via Maury Brown at Forbes; "MLB Owners Drop International Draft In Effort To Get New CBA Done."
- Justin time for Christmas, via a tweet from Justin Turner:
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