26 Aug

2019 Dodgers season preview: Position by position

first_img Dodgers hit seven home runs, sweep Colorado Rockies CATCHINGAfter two consecutive collapses in the crucible of postseason play, the relationship between the Dodgers and Grandal had soured and he left as a free agent, signing with the Milwaukee Brewers. For all his flaws – questionable consistency defensively and a real boom-or-bust nature offensively – Grandal gave the Dodgers more offense from the catcher’s spot than almost any other team got. Though both represent defensive upgrades, Austin Barnes and Russell Martin will not be able to match Grandal’s offense.BENCHThe Dodgers ended last season with ‘line changes’ – multiple substitutions vs. right- or left-handed pitching. They won’t be as bifurcated this season. But the bench will include right-handed hitters David Freese and Chris Taylor when a right-handed pitcher starts against the Dodgers, Pederson and Alex Verdugo. The flexibility of multiple multi-position players remains a staple of roster-building under Andrew Friedman, particularly with a 13-man pitching staff standard these days.MANAGERThe Dodgers have won 287 games in Dave Roberts’ first three seasons as manager, continued their run as division champs and reached back-to-back World Series. And yet, he might be one of the most criticized managers in the majors. Power in baseball has shifted from the dugout to the front office with that dynamic no more powerful than in Los Angeles. Roberts feels the brunt of fan dissatisfaction with (or misunderstanding of) that shift. And yet his unflagging energy, upbeat attitude and willingness to embrace (and not be overwhelmed by) the input of the Dodgers’ push-the-envelope analytics department make him very much the model of a 21st-century manager.Related Articles How Dodgers pitcher Ross Stripling topped the baseball podcast empire ROTATIONEleven pitchers started at least once for the Dodgers last season and the combined effort produced a National League-low 3.19 ERA. Nine of those starters are back (including reliever Scott Alexander). And the number doesn’t even include Julio Urias, who might have been the most impressive performer of the lot during spring training. Then there are Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin, top prospects who were unruffled facing major-league hitters in spring games. It is depth that could be the envy of every other major-league team. And it is needed. Clayton Kershaw’s spring was interrupted by shoulder discomfort and Walker Buehler was also “slow-played” when he “didn’t quite feel right” after early throwing sessions. Rich Hill has a knee injury. Hill and Kershaw will start the season on the injured list and Buehler could be compromised – in length or sharpness – after making just two preseason starts. Opening Day starter Hyun-Jin Ryu was terrific in 15 starts last season (a 1.97 ERA) but has pitched more than that just once since 2014. The Dodgers believe they can absorb any issues with depth. And they’re probably right.BULLPENThe Dodgers’ philosophy of bullpen-building under Andrew Friedman has been to collect as many potential relievers with “compelling upside stories” as possible and then wait for one or two or more to emerge from the pack – as Brandon Morrow did in 2017. That approach produced inconsistent results all year long last season – and never uncovered an heir to Morrow. The approach changed this winter and the Dodgers signed Joe Kelly to a three-year, $25 million contract after watching him shut them down in the World Series. Kelly joins Pedro Baez (he held batters to a .169 average over his final 24 appearances last year) as the key pieces in the bridge to slimmed-down and refocused closer Kenley Jansen. Tony Cingrani’s recurring shoulder problems leave a question mark on the left-handed side of the bullpen.INFIELDThe best player the Dodgers added to their roster this spring is a familiar one – Corey Seager. The shortstop must have had the smoothest recovery in the history of Tommy John surgeries and emerged from spring training looking fully recovered from the hip and elbow surgeries that occupied his 2018. Third baseman Justin Turner also emerged from spring training intact after suffering a late-spring broken wrist a year ago. Those two things alone might be the most important difference as the season opens. On the right side, ‘super-utility’ player Kiké Hernandez could find himself a home at second base. At first base, Max Muncy was a revelation last season (35 home runs, .973 OPS). Repeating that could be a real challenge. If the dropoff is too severe, it could be costly for the Dodgers, forcing them to rethink the move of Cody Bellinger to the outfield.OUTFIELDGone from the picture this year are Matt Kemp and Yasiel Puig, traded to the Cincinnati Reds over the winter. They take with them a good chunk of the 81 home runs subtracted from the Dodgers’ 2018 total (along with Yasmani Grandal and the partial seasons of Manny Machado and Brian Dozier). What the Dodgers hope to substitute in their place is a more consistent offense with A.J. Pollock added to the lineup and Bellinger (now a right fielder) wiser for his experience as a platoon player in the second half of last season. Alex Verdugo has been added to the mix after an extended apprenticeship in Triple-A. Where his playing time comes from is hard to envision at this point with fellow left-handed bat Joc Pederson locked down in left field. Fire danger is on Dave Roberts’ mind as Dodgers head to San Francisco center_img Cody Bellinger homer gives Dodgers their first walkoff win of season Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error Dodgers’ Max Muncy trying to work his way out of slow start last_img read more

16 Aug

‘Miracle On Ice’ forward Mark Pavelich arrested for allegedly attacking neighbor with pole, report says

first_imgMark Pavelich, who was a member of the of the 1980 USA “Miracle On Ice” team and later played in the NHL, allegedly attacked his neighbor with a metal pole after the two went fishing, according to the Duluth News Tribune.He was arrested Monday on charges of second- and third-degree assault, possession of an illegal shotgun and possessing a gun with a scratched off serial number in a Minnesota District Court. His bail is set at $250,000. Pavelich, 61, was ordered by a Minnesota judge to undergo a mental health evaluation to stand trial. The results of Pavelich’s mental health exam have to be reported to the court within 60 days in advance of a competency hearing, according to the Tribune.”There is reason to doubt (Pavelich’s) competency,” wrote Judge Michael Cuzzo in court order for the evaluation on Monday. Related News Capitals executive scores with $1M in Powerball winner The victim, James T. Miller, 63, claims Pavelich struck him with a 3- to 4-foot-long metal pole after the former hockey star accused Miller of “spiking his beer,” according to the criminal complaint, which was obtained by the Minnesota Star Tribune. Miller returned to his home but was going “in and out of shock.”Miller was hospitalized and he reportedly suffered two cracked ribs, a bruised kidney, a fracture to one of his vertebrae and several bruises across his body.Pavelich is expected to return to court Oct. 20.center_img Panthers to retire Roberto Luongo’s No. 1 jersey Pavelich was an integral member of Team USA’s 1980 squad that miraculously defeated the four-time defending gold medalist Soviet Union. The U.S. went on to win the gold medal, and the victory was dubbed “Miracle on Ice.”After his Olympic victory, Pavelich went on to play six full seasons in the NHL. He spent five years with the Rangers, scoring 99 goals in his first three seasons, before joining the Minnesota North Stars in 1986-87. He had a brief pro stint in Italy, but then returned to play two games with the San Jose Sharks in 1991-92.last_img read more

14 Jan

Singapore Former PM Lee Kuan Yew Passes Away

first_imgLee Kuan Yew, Singapore’s first prime minister and architect of the tiny south-east Asian city-state’s rapid rise from British tropical outpost to global trade and financial centre, died on Monday, aged 91, the government announced. Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Mr. Lee’s son, confirmed the country’s founding father had died in a post on his Facebook page.”The Prime Minister is deeply grieved to announce the passing of Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, the founding Prime Minister of Singapore. Mr. Lee passed away peacefully at the Singapore General Hospital today at 3.18 am. He was 91,” the post read.”Arrangements for the public to pay respects and for the funeral proceedings will be announced later.”Mr. Lee has been in hospital with severe pneumonia since February 5. Singapore residents have been leaving flowers, cards and other gifts at the Singapore General Hospital to show support for him.One of the prominent political figures in modern Asian history, Mr Lee is widely credited with transforming Singapore into a financial powerhouse with one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. “Harry” Lee became Singapore’s first prime minister in 1959 and held onto power for over three decades, overseeing the island’s transformation from a malaria-infested backwater into one of Asia’s most prosperous nations.Even after stepping down as leader, the fiery Mr. Lee was never far from the decision making process, holding a cabinet level post until 2011. He was a member of parliament until his death and subsequently as “minister mentor” when his eldest son Lee Hsien Loong became prime minister in 2004.Mr. Lee combined market-friendly policies with strict controls over the press, free speech and his political opponents. He was hailed by some as a visionary and criticized by others as authoritarian, a leader who would brook no dissent and hounded his political rivals through the courts.Mr. Lee’s death and his son’s expected retirement within the next few years will mark the end of an era, but industry leaders say any change of the guard will have little impact on business in the city-state, renowned for its robust institutions. ReutersShare this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

11 Jan

War funds bill nears showdown

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Congressional negotiators for the House and Senate met in late afternoon and ratified the details of the legislation. Republicans voiced opposition but made no attempt to delay the vote or even seek changes. “We all know this bill is going nowhere fast,” said California Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, referring to the veto threat. The bill includes more than $90 billion for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the withdrawal timetable that Bush finds objectionable and billions of dollars in domestic spending that he also has threatened to veto. Overall, the bill totals $124.2 billion. WASHINGTON – A historic veto showdown assured, Democratic leaders agreed Monday on legislation that requires the first U.S. combat troops to be withdrawn from Iraq by Oct. 1, with the goal of a complete pullout six months later. “No more will Congress turn a blind eye to the Bush administration’s incompetence and dishonesty,” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said in a speech in which he accused the president of living in a state of denial about events in Iraq more than four years after the U.S.-led invasion. Bush, confident of enough votes to sustain his veto, was unambiguous in his response. “I will strongly reject an artificial timetable (for) withdrawal and/or Washington politicians trying to tell those who wear the uniform how to do their job,” he told reporters in the Oval Office as he met with his top Iraq commander, Gen. David Petraeus. The day’s events marked the quickening of a confrontation that has been building since Democrats took control of Congress in January and promised to change policy in a war that has claimed the lives of more than 3,200 U.S. troops. last_img read more

6 Jan

Seat cushions found ‘likely’ from missing Sala plane

first_img“From a preliminary examination we have concluded that it is likely that the cushions are from the missing aircraft,” it said in a statement.The plane transporting Sala — who had just been transferred from French team Nantes to Premier League club Cardiff City in a 17-million-euro move — and British pilot Dave Ibbotson vanished from radar around 20 kilometres (12 miles) north of the Channel island of Guernsey.Police there suspended the official search for the aircraft last Thursday after an intensive hunt involving planes and boats failed to locate it.The AAIB said with the help of Britain’s Ministry of Defence it had now commissioned a “specialist survey vessel” equipped with sonar equipment to search the seabed for the plane.“If the wreckage is found, a remotely operated vehicle will be used to visually examine the wreckage,” it added.The agency said due to weather and sea conditions, it expected to start the three-day underwater search at the end of the weekend.The AAIB said it had now identified a priority search area of approximately four square nautical miles “based on a detailed assessment of the flight path and last known radar position”.It said it was in contact with David Mearns, a shipwreck hunter hired by Sala’s family, who announced on Monday his Bluewater Recoveries firm was planning to begin an underwater search on Sunday.“We are liaising closely with those involved to maximise the chance of locating any wreckage and ensure a safe search operation,” the AAIB said.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Players and supporters of Arsenal and Cardiff paid tribute to Emiliano Sala during Tuesday’s Premier League match at the Emirates © AFP / Ian KINGTONLONDON, United Kingdom, Jan 30 – British investigators said on Wednesday it was “likely” that two seat cushions that washed up on the French shore this week were from the missing plane carrying footballer Emiliano Sala.Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB), which is probing the disappearance of the light aircraft over the Channel on January 21, said the cushions were discovered on the Normandy coastline on Monday.last_img read more