Continuing our countdown of the 20 greatest Dodgers of all time, as selected by our readers.
No. 8: Tommy Lasorda (212 first-place votes, 32,412 points)
After spending years with the team as a player, scout and coach, Lasorda became the Dodgers manager with four games remaining in the 1976 season after Walter Alston announced his retirement.
Lasorda, all the while talking about "bleeding Dodger blue" and "the big Dodger in the sky," compiled a 1,599-1,439 record as Dodgers manager, won two World Series titles (1981, 1988), four National League pennants (1977, 1978, 1981, 1988) and eight division titles (1977, 1978, 1981, 1983, 1985, 1988, 1994 and 1995).
Lasorda had a heart attack on June 24, 1996, took a leave of absence from managing the team while recovering, and announced his retirement on July 29, 1996. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1997 in his first year of eligibility. The Dodgers retired his uniform number (2) on Aug. 15, 1997.
Steady as he goes, and goes and goes ...
Adrian Gonzalez is as reliable as a mother's love. Any more consistent and he'd be gravity.
"He kind of just keeps going," said Manager Don Mattingly.
He's been going for 10 seasons now, 10 remarkably similar seasons. Six times he's had a least 100 RBIs. Seven times he's hit at least 24 home runs. Through it all he’s batted .293.
Now after Tuesday's two-run homer against the Atlanta Braves at Dodger Stadium, Gonzalez has breached the 1,000-RBI mark for his career.
"It's a great number," Gonzalez said. "For me career-wise I'd like to see 1,500, but 1,000 is a nice number. It means you've been in the league for a little while. You just have to thank God for that and the opportunity to stay healthy. It definitely means a lot."
Gonzalez, 33, is the 12th active player to reach 1,000 RBIs. It came on his 10th home run of the season and left his career RBI total at 1,001.
"He's just that guy for a manager who makes everything pretty easy," Mattingly said....Read more
Then, on May 26, 2015, all was right in the Dodgers' world. Clayton Kershaw was again dominating, the Dodgers were scoring bunches of runs and Adrian Gonzalez was going deep.
Kershaw threw seven crisp, scoreless innings Tuesday and struck out 10 as the Dodgers cruised to an 8-0 victory over the Atlanta Braves before a Dodger Stadium crowd of 40,667.
There had been a lot of hand-wringing over Kershaw's start this season -- not that his 2-3 record and 4.32 ERA were completely terrible, they just didn’t look proper sitting on his mantel next to his Cy Young and MVP trophies.
If he had been just slightly off earlier in the season, Tuesday he was absolutely right on. He retired the first 12 consecutive Braves in order, did not walk a batter and held Atlanta to just four hits.
Still, he was locked in a scoreless pitching duel with Braves right-hander Julio Teheran (4-2) until the Dodgers exploded for six runs in the fourth.
Howie Kendrick doubled in the first run, and after an intentional walk...Read more
And then everyone let out a long, slow breath and relaxed. For today, anyway, and that’s something.
The Dodgers are a team that has already lost two starting pitchers to injury and then Monday night left-hander Brett Anderson -- who underwent back surgery last summer -- felt something bite in his back when he fielded a swinging bunt by Andrelton Simmons in the fourth inning, spun and fired to first.
The next inning, Manager Don Mattingly and trainer Stan Conte were summoned to the mound by catcher A.J. Ellis. Anderson’s back was pinching him and his mechanics were suddenly off.
Anderson, however, remained in the game and pitched through the seventh. Then he woke up Tuesday and there was no unwanted announcement from his back.
"Just general pitching soreness," Anderson said. "As long as nothing stands out from the rest, then I’m good. I got some treatment. They said as long as everything feels fairly normal, I’m good to go. So far nothing’s been out of the ordinary."
Anderson has a long...Read more
One thing we’ve already learned about the Dodgers' front office, they’re not worried about breaking your heart. Following individual Dodgers should come with a warning label: Become personally attached to players at your own risk.
We learned this in the off-season when Matt Kemp was sent to the San Diego Padres, and now it’s been reinforced with the aborted attempt to send Juan Uribe across the hall at Dodger Stadium to the visiting Atlanta Braves. It only failed because the main player to come in return, Alberto Callaspo, vetoed the agreed-upon trade.
Uribe is the most popular Dodger inside the clubhouse and one of its most liked outside it. It has partially to do with his clutch production the past two seasons, with his outsized personality on a team mostly devoid of such things, and maybe a little with that roundish frame.
No matter, it is not wise to fall in love with any one player on the Dodgers these days. The new front office regime has been anything but shy about moving players....Read more
Over the weekend, Dodgers Manager Don Mattingly was asked about the role third baseman Juan Uribe would play, now that it seemed he was no longer a starter.
“There’s going to be a point when Juan’s going to be a valuable part,” Mattingly said.
It seems the Dodgers felt he would bring the most value in a trade.
The Dodgers reached an agreement with the Atlanta Braves to trade Uribe for third baseman Alberto Callaspo as part of a multiplayer deal, but it was rejected by Callaspo, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Callaspo, who signed a free-agent contract with the Braves in the off-season, received an automatic no-trade clause through June 15 as part of Major League Baseball’s collective bargaining agreement. After June 15, he cannot veto a trade.
Uribe batted .311 last season with nine home runs and 54 runs batted in, but much of his playing time has been taken over by Alex Guerrero and Justin Turner. Uribe has one home run and six RBIs in 81 at-bats.
In the same number of...Read more