Dodgers Open Spring Training
CAMELBACK, ARIZ – Boasting a $200 million dollar payroll, having twenty-one players returning from last season’s roster and the sting from last year’s loss to the Chicago Cubs in the 2016 NLCS is the fuel which will ignite the Boys in Blue in 2017
CamelBack Ranch, on the outskirts of Glendale AZ, is a gorgeous, picturesque setting. Especially since Los Angeles area has been a deluge of rain. Thousands of native Angelino’s residents make the pilgrimage to the desert oasis, to get a glimpse of the Dodgers. Akin to traveling to Mecca or Jerusalem for baseball purists.
“The whole narrative for me is going to be – and Andrew (Friedman) and I have talked a ton, and Farhan (Zaidi) and all the guys in the front office – we have to get to a place where people that are here are choosing to be here and they want to be nowhere else but here, playing with the Dodgers,” said Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts.
Expectations are sky high, the “experts” are projecting the Dodgers to win 95 games, and repeat as National League West champs. These ballplayers are fighting for spots, specifically in the outfield and at Pitcher.
Obviously, Clayton Kershaw will start Opening Day(April 3rd Vs. the San Diego Padres at Dodgers Stadium), and Kenley Jansen will slam the door as our closer. Everything else is up for grabs.
To fill the last two positions, the Dodgers have at least seven potential options: Scott Kazmir, Brandon McCarthy, Julio Urias, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Alex Wood, Brock Stewart and Ross Stripling.
The elephant in the room: What should the Dodgers do with Yasiel Puig? The crowded outfield has only nine spots for twelve players. Roaming Center Field is Joc Pederson, and Andre Ethier is a solid vet who still is capable of clutch hits.
Shortstop Corey Seeger hit 27 Home Runs in 2016 and won Rookie of the Year. He is an early favorite to win the NL MVP. Third Baseman Justin Turner was re-signed, as was Rich Hill and the ageless Chase Utley.
The new middle reliever is a familiar foe-former San Francisco Giant-Sergio Romo. He isn’t the only Romo changing teams, now is he? The 3-time World Series Champ brings experience and leadership to a bullpen that frankly, is the Dodgers Achilles Heel. It won’t be the same without legendary Broadcaster Vin Scully, who retired last season. It will take time getting used to, but no one could ever possibility fill those shoes.
As the saying goes: The future is so bright …You gotta wear shades.
RAMS RETURN TO THE PAST WITH NEW UNIFORMS
The Los Angeles Rams are harkening back to their familiar stomping grounds of the beloved Coliseum, with the return of their vintage 1960s style uniforms.
First, the iconic horns the Rams are known for will be changing back to white, evoking memories of the FEARSOME FOURSOME-Jackie Slater, Rosie Grier, Jack Lundy, and Merlin Olsen. It’s a fitting tribute to the defense, as the talented young core will need to sack more QB’s, to bounce back from last season’s dismal 4 -12 record.
Last season, the Los Angeles Rams ranked NO. 9 in total defense. Cornerback Trumaine Johnson, Defensive Lineman Aaron Donald and Linebacker Alec Ogletree.
“This just goes to show all the hard work my teammates and I put in while wearing those uniforms isn’t forgotten,” said Gabriel. “We loved those uniforms and wore them with pride. I know the current players will wear their uniforms, especially the white horns, with just as much pride,” said former Rams Quarterback Roman Gabriel.
Over 90,000 fans voted via Facebook and Twitter to choose the Rams new look. The jersey and pants will be white with a navy blue racing stripe down the pants.
Here is a schedule for Spring Training:
March 1 – Dodgers at Giants, 5 p.m.