PHOENIX — The voicemail message went unanswered overnight. J.P. Howell did not recognize the number, but he felt awkward once he realized who it was.
The voice on the other end belonged to a man he once punched in the ribs and slammed into a Dodger Stadium camera well.
And now they had to share a clubhouse?
"I'm like '[expletive], dude. We hired Turner [expletive] Ward,'" Howell said. "Not knowing him at all. Thinking 'This is weird, so weird.'"
In the days after the Dodgers chose him as their new hitting coach this winter, Ward ingratiated himself with his players in a variety of ways. He studied video of the...