After an 8 week sabbatical in Central America on work assignment in El Salvador and Guatemala, I find myself back stateside so disconnected from Dodger baseball...probably more than I ever have been since beginning this love affair with the team in blue back in he 60's.
With that said, there isn't much noteworthy that I can say other than a big "thank you" to the likes of Ron Cervenka and Harold Uhlman at ThinkBlueLA.com and Mark Timmons at LADodgertalk.com, two sites that I find to be "must reads." Yes there are other sites and they are fantastic, but for some reason I tend to gravitate towards those two more than any other.
|Speaking to graduating students at ILEA, San Salvador|
On a personal side, my assignment at the International Law Enforcement Academy in San Salvador proved to be one of the most rewarding of my career. One that is winding down towards retirement. Amongst the 40 students I had in my class were 9 from the Dominican Republic and another 6 from Mexico. it's safe to say that we had a LOT of conversations about baseball. The Dominicans are so passionate about the game. The Mexicans, favorites of mine because their hearts are with the Dodgers due to the Valenzuela influence of over 30 years ago, and the AGON/Urias connection today.
|Visiting Mayan ruins in El Salvador with colleagues from Mexico, the Dominican Republic and Costa Rica.|
Back to Dodger baseball
Such a series of dilemmas the team brass faces in roster decisions.
Absent of a deal or two, there's going to be some unhappy campers. Darwin Barney, Alex Guerrero and Andre Ether, all in flux. Dare I say Carl Crawford and Brandon League too? There are few that don't believe that Schebler and Van Slyke would serve well as a LF platoon.
The bullpen? It's wide open. Paco, Aardsma, Bedard, Gaudin, Weiland, Bollinger, Yimi Garcia, Hatcher, Liberatore, Coulombe, Huff, Baez, Tsao, Zach Lee, and Santos have all performed well so far. Then there are the likes of Peralta, Nicosia, Howell, Guadin, and Mike Adams. What it comes down to is there are a few guys that will be very unhappy when roster cuts are made and the competition for the final spots are gaining to be fierce.
|Alexander Guerrero, regardless of what his contract says, he has earned a spot on the 25-man roster (photo by Gary A. Vazquez/USA Today Sports)|
And those kids, what a spectacle! Seager, Pederson and Sweeney. Jensen, Dickson and Schebler. The kids can all hit and are close if not already Major League ready. We're going to have an exciting couple of years as the transition takes place. It may be safe to says that the years of transition will not be "down years." There's enough vets to stabilize the franchise while the kids learn their way to the highest level.
If you haven't noticed, Andre Ethier is beginning to hit. That's a good thing because maybe, just maybe there will be a taker out there that is in need of outfield help.
Anyway, that's my return to blogging...but don't count on the daily article again. As I write these words, I'm packing my bags for Queretaro, Mexico where I'll be teaching a class for a week. No rest for the weary. I'll be rocking the ball cap with the interlocking LA though. Gotta represent...worldwide. I should be back a few days before opening day.
Be safe everybody.