They say nothing counts in Spring Training, right? Dodger fans certainly hope so because things are not going well at Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Arizona. They won a bunch of games early, but at the cost of injuries. Many many injuries. And the worst part is, the Dodgers either lied about or misrepresented the severity of them.
While the following examples may not be in chronological order, let's take a look at a few cases. Brett Anderson was an injury waiting to happen when they signed him. He actually got through one healthy year last season, so the fact that he is gone for most of this one is no surprise. If you followed the news on Hyun-Jin Ryu, you were led to believe his opening stint on the disabled list would be a short one. Even today, manager Dave Roberts says he's on track to throw live batting practice for the first time next week. Translated, probabaly out until about the All-Star Break.
The ones that really hurt (literally and figuratively) are the injuries to Corey Seager and Andre Ethier. One day, Seager was removed from a game as a precaution, then the next day, team officials said he would “only” miss a week or two. Sounds like there's something missing in the middle, there. Ethier fouled a ball off of his leg. A week ago, it was said he was “day to day” but needed a bone scan. You'd think a simple X-ray would reveal a broken leg. They came back negative, but before fans could breathe a sigh of relief, results of the scan said the 33 year-old longest-tenured Dodger would be out 10 to 14 weeks.
Let's add more insult to injury (or is it the other way around here?). Catcher Yasmani Grandal and second baseman Howie Kendrick will be left behind in Arizona this weekend. You don't do that if you aren't going to place them on the Disabled List. Even Charley Steiner and Rick Monday were too busy whining about something else to notice that Yasiel Puig was the only one to come of the game the other day in one of the early innings. The next day, he was “scratched from the lineup” with a sore hamstring. That was a lie, because he must have hurt it the day before. Good news, though. Puig was back in the lineup this evening.
With the exception of the aforementioned Anderson and Ryu, pitching injuries haven't even been addressed yet. Mike Bolsinger can't be the fifth starter because he's hurt, Yimi Garcia could begin on the DL. Brandon Beachy (yes, he's a Dodger) is still battling the injury bug. Who else? Carlos Frias or Zach Lee figure to be the fifth starter now, so whichever one doesn't get hurt, gets the job.
There's not enough info here to make an accusation, but watch out for Alex Guerrero. He hasn't played in over a week because of knee soreness. This is actually one guy the Dodgers probably want to be hurt, because he has a clause in his contract where he can reject being sent to the minors. How sore the knees are, we cannot say, but put him in the ambulance with the rest of them.
Instead of a team bus, it should be a team jeep with a red cross on it. The M*A*S*H unit that is the Dodgers is getting ready to break camp and head back to LA (except for Kendrick, Grandal, and probably some others). On one side of the coin, nothing counts in Spring Training, right? On the other side, is the title of a DePeche Mode song. Everything Counts In Large Amounts. Just like the dollars in the Dodger payroll, injuries this year are in very large amounts.
Goodwill game?: I don't have a political stance on US relations with Cuba, but President Obama's visit, and certainly the exhibition baseball game he attended, was an interesting lesson. For one thing, the Tampa Bay Rays, who faced the Cuban national team, were mobbed by Cuban people who seemed to know everything about them (the internet and virtually every other form of media is censored). Also, the Cuban government actually let defector and Rays minor leaguer Dayron Varona back in the country for the game, and to see family. When he was introduced before the game, his Tampa Bay teammates gave him a standing ovation from the dugout, but the crowd of hand-picked special guests, did not boo, but were mostly silent. ESPN's Tim Kurkjian described walking the streets of Havana as “eerie”. He said when you walk around a town, you're used to seeing car dealerships, coffee shops, drug stores. “Nothing like that exists here.”
Probably wouldn't have gone there: When Syracuse came from behind to defeat Virginia 68-62 in the NCAA basketball tournament yesterday, TBS' Kevin Harlan said the Orange came “back from the dead on Easter Sunday.” Many people say they were offended, others say it was great and/or funny. Might have been best to leave well enough alone.
So let it be written: I am not a very religious person, but every year, I watch The Ten Commandments, or at least most of it. The almost five-hour epic always airs on ABC the night before Easter which is perplexing because the movie is not about Easter at all, but about Passover. It's especially weird this year because while Easter is so early, Passover doesn't start until April 22. Besides the story of the exodus of the Jews from the bondage of Egypt, the 1956 film had an all-star cast (Charlton Heston, Yul Brenner, John Derek, Vincent Price, Edward G. Robinson, Yvonne Decarlo, et al.), and also had the best special effects of the day. The burning bush and the Nile River running red with blood look a little hokey now, but the parting of the Red Sea is still awesome, and the final plague with the mist of death flowing through the streets is still creepy.