Dodgers Valentine Weekend News and Notes

T-minus seven days until spring training camp breaks in Glendale, Arizona. We’ve already got some great spring weather going over here in Southern California. Feels like baseball weather. Spring and love is in the air.

Dodgers News and notes are also in the air. Not literally floating in the air. You won’t see a notebook and pencil flying by your parked car. You’ll merely see them floating across the interwebs. With Valentine’s day looming on Sunday I think we should all show our devoted love for our beloved Dodgers. So here are a couple of newsworthy Dodgers tidbits to tide you over until tomorrow’s lovefest.

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Dodgers Were Kings of Pick-Offs Last Season

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.

Clayton Kershaw

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ladodgerreport Has Officially Begun

We all knew this would eventually happen at some point. It is I Scott Andes everyone’s favorite annoying Dodger blogger, and I have gotten my own blog site. I jest about the annoying part, well maybe just a little. I didn’t get here on my own though I can tell you that much. I had plenty of help from people along the way.

First of all I would like to thank the wonderfully wise and extremely awesome Mark Timmons for allowing me to use this domain. If not for him I would probably be stumbling around the interwebs without a home or anything to do. Mark was kind enough to let me write at his home the venerable ladodgertalk.com (Welcome ladodgertalkians!) for the latter part of the 2015 Dodger season. Mark decided to hang up his computer and retire from Dodger writing and being gracious as he is gave this old domain to me to use. Boy am I eternally grateful to him.

My sister Stacie Wheeler, the more likeable sibling has been supportive as well. She’s still writing and making videos and I would check her out over at dodgerblue.comthe hardballtimes.com, and over at her own youtube channel DishinguptheDodgers.com.

Expect a lot of collaborations during this season between me and my sis and who knows maybe she’ll even pop over here to write a thing or two. So I would go over to her sites and check out her work right now or birds will eat your eyes.

It sure has been a wild and crazy rollercoaster for me. I’m fully strapped in for the ride I tell you that. Sure I cracked under the pressure when I was at Lasorda’s Lair and burned bridges with Fansided, but put yourself in my shoes for a minute. Daily editing for five years for very little to no money, soul-crushing playoff losses, annoying Cardinals and Giants fans waiving their championships in my face, big brother Fansided telling me what to do every two seconds, and annoying people on twitter spewing venom at me for having an opinion on what I think the Dodgers should do. It’s enough to make anyone go a little nuts right? You’d do it to if it wasn’t for you….(points finger at computer screen) Ancient history now.

So what can you expect from me here? Much of the same that you got from on Lasorda’s Lair, and ladodgertalk. Informative and unique posts that will make you think, yet also laugh at the same time. I feel that Dodger fans should have a place to go to that is not only informative but entertaining as well.

I’ll be posting all kinds of articles from analysis, profile, trade rumors, to game recaps. Yes I will be doing my trademark game recaps, but don’t expect them to be as long as they were at Lasorda’s Lair. I’ll do the best that I can. I’ll post lineups, game footage and give you my take on each game. We’ll have some fun and I am hoping you join me on this new journey.

You are probably asking what I can offer that some of the other more established Dodger sites can’t. That’s a tough question. The other Dodger sites are great in their own way.

Ron Cervenka’s thinkbluela.com site is quite good and Ron is one of the nicest guys I have ever met. Vin Scully loves him too by the by. Eric Stephen is incredibly professional and thoughtful over at truebluela, (I don’t follow that guideline well but I am glad somebody does) and the gang over at Dodgersdigest always do a fine job of covering the Dodgers. Although I’m sure they all still hate me over there for whatever reason. I wish they would just let go of their hatred. That twitter thing was like three years ago, let it go guys. All of those sites are awesome in their own way, but I do have one thing that they don’t……..

Spunk. That’s right; I’ve got spunk in spades for all of you. I’m spunkadocious. Is that a word? See what I mean, you won’t find another Dodger site that uses the word spunkadocious. Would you? Probably not. In all seriousness I promise to you that this site will never be boring. I’ll always strive to make this place as entertaining as possible. That’s a huge part of Dodger writing I believe entertainment. It has to be fun or why would we put ourselves through the torture? Oh sure the Dodgers may not win a World Series for another 28 years but we’ll all at least have a good laugh. Come on guys and let’s have some fun, don’t make me beg.

This will be a hugely important year for the Dodgers. It’s Vin Scully’s final season. Clayton Kershaw will be looking to bag another cy young award, and let’s hope wild horse Yasiel Puig can make it a comeback year. Rookie Corey Seager should be coming into his own. Newcomers Kenta Maeda, and Scott Kazmir will look to make an immediate impact. The brain trust is entering their second year of command and the Dodgers are looking to win their fourth consecutive National league West division title. It’s bound to be one heck of a season.

The future is so bright for us we gotta wear shades. Don’t make me quote more 80’s songs. So come on in and join me for the new launch of ladodgerreport.com! All comments and opinions are welcome! Play ball and go blue in 2016!