Opinion of Kingman's Performance

Friday, February 18, 2011

Spring Training Starts...Optimism Reigns

Award winning Los Angeles Dodgers photographer, Jon Soo Hoo
I always enjoy Jon Soo Hoo’s photographs posted on the Dodger website, especially when Spring Training starts and he shoots the player arrivals, first work-outs and behind the scenes shots.  Spring Training wakes the senses.  In these ugly winter days it is great to see the bright sunshine of Spring in Arizona.  My optimism perks up, even after a winter that leaves a lot of question marks in Dodger fans minds.  Everyone has hope.  The energy is almost palpable.
I am especially encouraged to see so many veterans reporting to camp early.   Kemp is already working with Lopes, Maury is completing his drills.  All the starting pitchers have thrown sessions and as long as no injuries surface, that's goods news.
Camelback Ranch

I like Mattingly’s interaction with the players and I believe this will be a positive for this club.  Torre remained distant from the playing field during pre-game preparations.  He simply wasn’t a manager that had much one on one interaction with his players at that time.  I really feel that hurt the club.  Mattingly has already said that being on the field during pre-game preparations will give him a better feel for his players and how they'll perform.  I wonder if he recognized that this was an exclusion in Torre's managerial activities that needed to be remedied.   
Rod Barajas homers in his Dodger debut
Ken Gurnick’s article on the Dodger catching situation (link: http://losangeles.dodgers.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20110218&content_id=16679464&vkey=news_la&c_id=la ) is encouraging.  Barajas is happy to be a Dodger and understands the legacy of the organization, being somewhat starstruck to be around Yeager, Lopes and even Honeycutt.  He truly understands Dodger history and has a respect for it.  I hope that last season’s late season success wasn’t an anomaly and that he continues to be productive as a Dodger.  Getting that offensive pop from the catching position would be a big lift to the Dodgers who haven’t seen offensive production from the position since Martin’s 2008 season.  Mattingly is stressing that catchers game calling and defense come first before offense.  I say, it wouldn’t hurt to continue seeing power production from the position that Barajas displayed the last month of 2010.

The latest quotes from Belisario that he lost his passport I simply don’t believe.  I stick by my story that the State department has found him inadmissible and turned his visa application down.  I give my props to Ned Colletti for beefing up the bullpen candidates in anticipation of this happening.  Belisario should be released.  It’s time to move on to reliable options.

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