If Juan Uribe’s once-every-five-years theory is to be believed, the Dodgers will win the World Series this season.
“I won my first ring in 2005,” Uribe said in Spanish. “I won my second in 2010. Now, we’re in 2015.”
Uribe won his first championship with the Chicago White Sox and second with the San Francisco Giants.
On Wednesday, Uribe played the first game of what he thinks will be championship year No. 3. He played five innings at third base in the Dodgers’ exhibition opener, a 6-4 loss to the Chicago White Sox at Camelback Ranch.
Uribe said he is encouraged by the Dodgers’ increased emphasis on defense, which resulted in the acquisitions of shortstop Jimmy Rollins and second baseman Howie Kendrick.
Uribe understands this could be his last season with the Dodgers, as his two-year, $15-million contract expires at the end of the season.
“I have no control over that,” Uribe said.
Uribe turns 35 this month, but intends to continue playing after this season. He was clear about where he wanted to play.
“I’d like to finish my career here,” he said. “They’ve given me a position here. They’ve shown confidence in me. They’ve given me confidence. That’s worth a lot to me.”
There was a time when Erik Bedard, 35, was considered one of the top pitchers in baseball. After three shoulder operations, he is in Dodgers camp preparing to start the season at triple-A Oklahoma City.
“I know where I stand,” Bedard said.
Bedard started the Dodgers’ exhibition opener and gave up a run and two hits over two innings. The left-hander said he isn’t the same pitcher he was in 2006 and 2007, when he won a combined 28 games for the Baltimore Orioles.
“I used to throw hard,” he said. “Now, not so hard.”
So why is he still pitching?
“The game’s still fun and I like playing baseball,” he said.
Even in Oklahoma City?
“I’ve never been there,” he said, smiling. “We’ll see.”
Nonroster reliever Sergio Santos’ campaign to claim a spot in the bullpen started well, as the former White Sox closer pitched a perfect sixth inning against his former team.
Santos threw a couple of changeups, both of which resulted in groundouts. He finished the inning by striking out Courtney Hawkins with a slider.
Santos, who has been hindered by injuries in recent seasons, said he would like to pitch as many innings as possible in the Cactus League.
“I feel once you get 15, 20, 25 innings, you kind of get on a roll,” Santos said. “I haven’t been able to do that since ’13 because I’d throw for a month and get injured. If I can get 10-12 innings under my belt this spring and take that on to the season, I feel being good about being that pitcher that I was and even better.”
Zack Greinke is the Dodgers’ union representative this year, a position previously held by the likes of Clayton Kershaw and A.J. Ellis. Tony Clark, the executive director of the union, said he has enjoyed working with the often-candid Greinke.
“We had conversations last year when Zack took an interest and his input has been tremendous so far,” Clark said. “To say having him involved now has been a huge plus would be an understatement.”
Brett Anderson, who is recovering from back surgery, threw live batting practice to minor league players. Anderson is scheduled to start a Cactus League game Monday. … Yasiel Puig will bat third and start in right field for the Dodgers in their Thursday exhibition game against the White Sox. Puig didn’t play Wednesday.