Dodgers pitchers and catchers report to spring training Friday, so naturally you’re wondering what to expect. Being the absolute expert on all things baseball, Dodgers and college debt, I offer these 23 things that are positively guaranteed to happen this spring:
- Newbie Dodgers Manager Dave Roberts will smile 362 times … on the first day. Players, coaches and media will all rave about his upbeat disposition.
- Yasmani Grandal, Justin Turner, Hyun-Jin Ryu and Enrique Hernandez will all claim their surgeries complete successes and that they’ll be ready to start the season.
- None of the Dodgers’ 21 non-roster invitees will make the club.
- Another rumor will pop up that the Dodgers are looking to acquire Miami ace Jose Fernandez, but it still won’t happen.
- Prospects Frankie Montas, Micah Johnson and Trayce Thompson will resist temptation to turn right to the White Sox clubhouse at Camelback Ranch.
- By mid-spring, the offense will be struggling and speculation will begin anew over why the Dodgers took the prospects in the three-way deal instead of slugger Todd Frazier.
- My laptop will blow up before the first exhibition game and my private computer repair man, General Manager Farhan Zaidi, will laugh and claim he lost his mini-screwdriver.
- Clayton Kershaw will win the team ping-pong tournament.
- Yasiel Puig will say all the right things. Some blogger will write, “fool me once,” and the Twittersphere will blow up again.
- Despite their efforts, the Dodgers will not trade Andre Ethier and will still have that odd, jammed two-man crew with left-handed hitters Carl Crawford and Ethier in left.
- The Dodgers will have to rent a local Marriott ballroom because they don’t have a space big enough at Camelback to meet with front-office staff.
- Corey Seager will have a nice, if less than spectacular, spring but still leave Arizona as he came – everyone’s favorite for the National League Rookie of the Year.
- Adrian Gonzalez will decline a multimillion-dollar offer to fight Ronda Rousey.
- Gonzalez will claim he misses Times beat writer Dylan Hernandez, but his fingers will be crossed.
- Sandy Koufax will make his annual appearance, and it will be the three most exciting days of camp.
- Right-hander Chris Hatcher will look more like the reliever who ended last season than the one who began it and will secure his role as the main set-up man.
- Concern will grow Joc Pederson still looks more like the player who ended the season.
- Mike Bolsinger will look good and wonder why everyone seems to have forgotten him.
- Tommy Lasorda will tell a story everyone’s heard 37 times and it will still be funny.
- When the Dodgers break camp, they still won’t have a deal to get Vin Scully on the majority of networks in his final season.
- Right-hander Kenta Maeda will not blow anyone away with his velocity, but will look like a promising addition to the rotation.
- Alex Guerrero will prove untradeable, refuse a triple-A assignment and force the Dodgers to waive him, eating the $10 million left on his contract.
- Dodgers Chairman Mark Walter will buy the Los Angeles Times and name me publisher. OK, so take 22 things to the bank.
Follow Steve Dilbeck on Twitter @SteveDilbeck.
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