The Dodgers and Padres have obviously had enough of their time in Arizona. Tempers flared in the Desert when Jonathan Broxton plunked Padres outfielder Ryan Ludwick, the 2nd Padre Broxton has hit this spring. The Padres retaliated with pitcher Brad Branch drilling Rafael Furcal in the back with his first pitch.
Furcal must have broken some unwritten rule in baseball and escalated things by trying to steal second base, and Padre Catcher Nick Hundley threw him out to end the inning. Hundley then channeled his inner street baller and began gesturing and yelling towards the Dodger dugout which prompted the benches clearing scrum. Just all a part of your average ho hum 5-4 Dodgers Spring training win.
"Don Mattingly said, “I don’t mind our boys stepping up. I don’t mind the spirit.”"
"Rod Barajas offered this explanation, “I took offense at [Hundley] looking in my dugout, tripping,” Barajas said. “Making gestures and saying things. Not good things. This isn’t basketball or football. There you can talk trash, but this is a different game. I was going to him, ‘Get back in the dugout. There’s no reason to gesture to us.'”"
Managers Don Mattingly and Bud Black convened behind home plate and order was soon restored. Padres Manager Bud Black offered the following explanation:
"“Just players being competitive, spirited play,” Black said, smiling. “It was a competitive game, even for Spring Training. You saw a lot of good, spirited play. I just think that any inter-division game, in this era, is always competitive.”"
The two teams meet 18 times during the regular season, with the first series taking place April 8-10.
- Clayton Kershaw pitched 3 and one thirds no-hit innings in his final spring outing before opening day next week against the team from up North.
- Juan Uribe hit his first home run of the spring and added 4 RBI’s.
- Scott Elbert struggled allowing 3 hits and 3ER while only recording 1 out.
- Per Dylan Hernandez at the LA Times, Padre pitcher Matt Latos was signing autographs outside and ran back in to join the fracas. He later returned to sign and told the fans “Teammates first…I apologize.”
- The Dodgers trimmed their roster to 37 players by releasing Ron Mahay, who was Elbert’s main competition as the second lefty in the bullpen.
- They also reassigned Eugenio Velez, Travis Schlicting and John Ely to minor league camp, which all but guarantees they will start the season with 4 starters.
Also my wish that I wrote about a month ago, about Ivan De Jesus Jr making the opening day roster has apparently all but come true. According to Steve Dilbeck at the LA Times, an anynomous source in the Dodgers organization has stated De Jesus has made the final 25 man roster and will play second base most days until Casey Blake returns from the DL.
That is great news for this particular Dodger fan and likely means only one of Aaron Miles and Juan Castro will be on the final roster, and I will gladly alter my final 25 man roster prediction I made on Thursday. Maybe IDJ will hit his way into an every day role and force Casey Blake into a utility role (3B, 1B, LF), which with his fragile health at age 38 may be the ideal role for him.
The Dodgers play their final game in Arizona tomorrow vs Cleveland then head to Dodger Stadium to face the Angels on Monday. Dodger Nation we are literally just days away before Vin Scully utters his immortal phrase “It’s time for Dodger Baseball!!!!!”