March 2nd, 2016 by Shannon Michael Smith
Today is full-squad workout day 7, games begin tomorrow!!! We here at rascalsoftheravine couldn’t be more excited as we get to abandon the People magazine-like gossip and jibba-jabba of spring training workouts and focus on the ding-dang games! Kershaw, Kazmir, Maeda, Anderson, and Wood will be the first fab five to kick out the jams (supposedly Beachy will see some action too). Full-squad reports have been flying in from Camelback like SCUD missiles (don’t forget that rascalsoftheravine will be at Camelback for live coverage March 15-18). Yaisel Sierra made the scene yesterday, prompting Jerry Hairston Jr. of SportsNet LA to compare his delivery to Mariano Rivera’s. “He (Sierra) hides the ball really well…the biggest thing is keeping the ball down,” said Hairston. Dave Roberts revealed Sierra will start the season in the bullpen. Howie Kendrick’s been getting some time at third base (Roberts revealed that this would happen at the Dodger Fanfest as there is no real back up for Justin Turner).
The Dodgers have apparently embraced the bizarre Neuroscouting practice. According to the OC Register, “Justin Turner and Van Slyke, who said he tried it last year, described it as a six-minute test during which hitters are shown video of pitches and are asked to hit a button when they recognize whether the pitch is a fastball or not. In other instances, they are shown pitches and told to hit the button when they see spin (indicating a slider or curveball).” During the test, the player’s heads are supposedly all wired up like Hannibal Lecter’s. It is science, I suppose, yet it seems gimmicky and calls other strange practices to mind that have been tried by owners throughout the years. We all know former owner Frank McCourt was a carnivorous tube worm, but his use of a clubhouse psychic was giggle-inducing, and took us back to the clubhouse shrinks of the early twentieth century.
The injury fairy descended upon Camelback Ranch as Gonzalez’ chronic neck issues flared up again, Justin Turner’s knee reminded him about its microfracture surgery (he’ll sit out the first week of S/T games), and Chatsworth High good-guy Josh Ravin suffered a broken arm due to a car accident (he tweeted out a grisly photo of his busted wing, dig rascalsoftheravine’s retweet).
But by far the worst thing of all to happen in Glendale so far this season has to be the Dodger Sportsnet LA beat crew being refused a table for 9 at The Yard House yesterday (the dinner party was forced to go to Flemings, is there no God?). The bumbling chain felt the wrath of one reporter who issued them a well-deserved kick in the cahones via Twitter, (the Tweet’s been deleted, so we’re not going to call out the reporter, whom we love.)
Yes, we’re being cynical, of course Ravin’s injury is the worst thing to happen, but that doesn’t mean we don’t love the LA Sportsnet crew. Those of you without Time Warner Cable in the Los Angeles area miss out on the homey charm and insight of Orel Hershiser, ex- GM Ned Colletti, John Hartung, Jerry Hairston Jr., Alanna Rizzo, and Dave Vassegh (the original producer and whipping boy of the Petros and Money Show). Although Hershiser and Hairston’s comedy takes can get delightfully awkward, and there’s nothing better to see than an irritated-looking Alanna Rizzo do a postgame interview, make no mistake that these guys know their stuff. Hersh and JHair bring their experience and knowledge as players, Colletti brings his insight as ex-GM, and Rizzo shows her experience (all kidding aside, she excels at interviews, has won 3 regional Emmys and served time on MLB Network’s Quick Pitch and Intentional Talk…she’s also very funny). Dodger fans in L.A. without access to them might want to rethink their cable package, now that the Rams are back in L.A., there’s no need for Direct TV out-of-market football, right?
So, to wrap it up, we’re flippin’ our lids about the games starting tomorrow! Check in at noon, dear readers, as rascalsoftheravine will be tweeting the occasional comment, as well as providing a wrap up for every game this spring!