My Opening Day Down Under Starting Line Up

*THIS WAS MY ARTICLE I WROTE A LONG TIME AGO*

Dodgers baseball is only 25 days away and the SCG (Sydney Cricket Ground) is getting ready to host out boys in blue. The hype is only building as Sportsnet LA is being releases tomorrow and I’m sure Donnie Baseball is looking at all the lads at spring training to pick his optimal line up to win the first two games and go 2-0 and top of the league, hint hint Ned, Don, Clayton and Zack Greinke…

That being said this would be my starting line up for games one and two in Sydney with last year’s stats.Image

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Should Joc Pederson Get Called Up?

It will be the year that was if Joc Pederson somehow doesn’t go anywhere in his career and fall away as he gets old. That is so far away though and this kid has the ability to go so far.

If the Dodgers didn’t have such a star studded outfield I am sure Pederson would be in the lineup as one of the every day starters but the simple matter of fact is that there isn’t a spot available, not even on the bench! Have you heard about that Scott Van Slyke guy? Ever wondered why his nickname is Scotty Van Smash? He smashes the ball, like really well.

There is some salvation in all of this though. On September the 1st the MLB rosters expand to a 40 man one and the minor league schedules all wrap up. Joc will most likely get called up you would think as it seems a waste to keep him off the majors but Ned Colleti and his management team may be correct to leave him down.

Even with the extended rosters and all of the players and prospects that can be called up, Joc would still be number 5 or 6 on the outfielders list, that is one demoralising stat for the 22 year old.

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Why The LLWS Is A Waste Of Time

13 year old “sensation” Mo’ne Davis has been all the rave this week as one of the only girls to go to WIlliamsport this year for the 68th Little League World Series but why do we all are so much about what one 13 year old is doing on a baseball field against another 13 year old?

Clayton Kershaw has accepted a pitch off against her, whatever that is, so let’s compare the pair. Kershaw is getting paid 30.7 million US dollars a year while Mo’ne is getting $0, Kershaw is in the big leagues on a big boy diamond playing against adults, Mo’ne plays against 13 year olds, some of whom will still refuse to eat their vegetables, unless it is pizza of course. 

The players in my eyes are being way too over glamorised as baseballers, they are just kids having fun and playing some ball, it is good to be competitive with it and have some series fun but when you have to perform in front of cameras and fans that aren’t just your mum, dad and auntie who thinks everything you do is great then it gets tough on a young mind.

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Can Butera’s Blast Spark Something?

Drew Butera, on Thursday morning, smacked a ball over the left field wall against the Braves and had us all thinking, “Where has this been all year?”

The Dodgers catchers aren’t very good at hitting, in fact all three of Drew Butera, Tim Federowicz and AJ Ellis are each hitting under .200 for the year. They have only hit 4 home runs on the year too.

Not that anyone is complaining though about them because it would be easy to pick out any position in the lineup and ask the same question about where the offence is but the catchers has never arrived. Unlike Matt Kemp in centre and Adrian Gonzalez at First Base, who have both come out of slumps and gone on to win games and dominate pitching the catchers are always batting 7th or 8th and have a good case to even go below pitchers. 

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Yasiel Puig’s Learning Curve

Yasiel Puig can hit a baseball; in fact he can hit one a long way. However he is still young and he is only in his second year and of course this means he is still learning the ropes of Major League Baseball.

This can very easily be seen in the catch in the 8th inning against the Angels on Monday when, trailing by 5 and the very slow Albert Pujols on first, Yasiel nonchalantly caught the fly ball almost on the warning track and gave up an extra base by simply not being aware. 

Now I am not labeling him in the category of not trying, like has been said about Matt Kemp when he would jog around the bases and getting smacked with a #TradeKemp but Puig simply took it in his stride and moved on, “I wasn’t prepared,” Puig said. “I was caught with the ball in my hand.” He even got some laughs out of it as next play another fly ball got hit to Puig and he grabbed it and launched his rocket back into the infield and waved his finger at Albert who waved back. 

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Where Will Barney Fit In?

The Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday acquired 2013 GIBBY’s Defensive Player Of The Year Darwin Barney from the Cubs.

Barney is one of the best defensive players in the big leagues but what does that mean when he cant get a game because his prime was around 2012 when he managed to hit .256 for the year.

The Cubs even said of the second baseman and his last year’s performance “Darwin may have been able to keep his everyday role if he had kept up his offensive performance of 2012 due to his defence but [his offence] just isn’t there anymore”

Darwin can play second base, that’s about it, he played a few games of shortstop in ’11 but hasn’t been there since and has made sure he knows all about the left side of the infield. The only problem with this is, well, the Dodgers already have a second baseman in All Star Dee Gordon and who can also play amazingly well at the position.

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First Place Once Again But Where Will LA Finish?

After Clayton Kershaw’s two hit complete game shut out over the Giants to give the Dodgers a half a game lead over San Francisco, you have to wonder which team will be the first to crack and let the pressure get to them.

The only problem is that both tams know all about pressure and neither will want to give up a playoff spot with any ease.

The Giants have of course won the World Series twice in the last 4 years and LA have a massively star studded line up who made it to the NLCS last year and lost in 6. Both teams have the skill and the nerve, so who will hold out?

On the pitching side of things it is LA all the way with all stars like Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke as their 1 and 2 pairing with names like Jansen, League and Howell waiting in the bullpen for scoreless innings in relief. Continue reading