It shouldn’t come as a shock when I tell you that the Dodgers didn’t have a good lead-off hitter last season. Times have changed in MLB. Less and less teams are using the classic prototypical lead-off guy these days. You know the type. The little speedster that gets on base a lot, steals bases (Brett Butler was the perfect lead-off hitter) and is generally a pest for opposing clubs. Normally it’s a middle infielder and the player is usually smaller in stature. Those guys are called table setters and they can be a nightmare for other clubs. The Dodgers could have used a player like that in 2015.
Here’s an interesting tweet from this morning. MLB.com writer Phil Rogers is reporting that the White Sox have reached out to the Dodgers about acquiring longtime Dodger outfielder Andre Ethier. Of course Ethier has been involved in trade rumors for the last few years now so this comes as no surprise. The White Sox have been known to be looking for outfield help and are also rumored to be considering signing free agent Dexter Fowler.
— Phil Rogers (@philgrogers) February 1, 2016
Yasiel Puig recently made headlines by declaring he would be ceasing his trademark bat flips much to the dismay of many Dodgers fans. Puig’s bat flips have been the focal point of many discussions about the sanctity of the game and emotional outbursts on the field. Some people believe that they disrespect the game and that Puig should be “playing the game the right way”.
Despite what boring people and Cardinals fans think, bat flipping is fun. It doesn’t ruin the history of the game or whatever they’ve been claiming. It’s not just Puig that bat flips other players from other clubs have been bat flipping for years. Jose Bautista performed a huge bat flip last season for the Blue Jays after he hit a home run that almost caused a lot of the anti-bat flip purists’ heads to explode.
If you don’t like bat flips then you probably don’t like fun and are dead inside. I think bat flips can be a work of art. People don’t understand that they are not easy to do. It takes practice to flip a bat well enough for the video to go viral. First you have to hit a home run or at least get an extra base hit. You can’t just flip a bat on a routine grounder. Imagine how sill that would look? Then you have to be able to get enough height on the flip itself to constitute a proper bat flip.
The wrist twist, the arc, the hang time all determine a good bat flip. I love watching a good bat flip because it’s fun and you guys know this site is all about having fun. So in honor of these incredible displays of bat masonry, I think we should look at the top 5 Dodger bat flips of all time.
Of course bat flipping has been around since the beginning of time in baseball. Many players bat flipped in years past but nobody said much about it because it was before twitter had been invented. Let’s take a look at a few of the best non-Dodger bat flips first.
There were all sorts of nuggets at Dodgers Fan Fest, going to class after taking the Winter off means that tons of players have stories how they’re going to improve this upcoming season.
It’s late January and it’s a slow time unless you’re an infielder on the Dodgers 40 man roster. The depth chart was shaken up with the news that Howie Kendrick is coming back on a 2 year 20 million dollar deal, which is huge news because a mere 12 days ago, the reports said that the Dodgers preferred the compensatory draft pick to Howie Kendrick. The pick would have landed in the mid-30’s under the new Qualifying Offer based system and given how the new front office has done it’s best to hoard young talent, the only way Howie was coming back was on a super team friendly deal which is exactly what happened.
A big part of run prevention is the ability to control the opposing team’s running game. Throwing out runners trying to steal and holding runners on is a very important aspect of the game for the pitching staff and catchers. It’s something that doesn’t appear sexy in the box score, yet adds up as the season goes along.
The Dodgers have been very good at preventing the running game the last couple of seasons. Catchers A.J. Ellis and Yasmani Grandal have been pretty good at throwing out would be base stealers. However the one part of that equation that the Dodgers were excellent at in 2015 was picking off runners.
I don’t want to jinx this before it’s finalized, but apparently Ken Rosenthal reported this morning that the Dodgers are working on a new contract with Howie Kendrick. The news comes as a bit of a surprise considering how late in the offseason it is and since Andrew Friedman had originally said that they were satisfied with Chase Utley and Kike Hernandez.
(Update) It’s official pending physical. Kendrick will get two years for a 20 million dollar guarantee. I changed the title and the poll to reflect the news. What do you guys think of the deal?
Kendrick gets $20M, 2-yr deal #dodgers
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 29, 2016