Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell and let’s bid a fond farewell to comedian Tim Conway.
As I am sure you all know by now, pitcher Julio Urias was arrested late Monday night on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic battery. The arrest was made after officers with the Los Angeles Police Department responded to reports of an incident in the parking lot of the Beverly Center at 8500 Beverly Blvd. Witnesses told police they saw a man later identified as Urias shove a woman, who then fell over. Urias was released a few hours after the arrest on $20,000 bond.
I’m not going to use this newsletter to decide Urias’ guilt or innocence. That’s for the authorities and perhaps eventually a court to decide. There is apparently a video, but it has not been made public. I can’t speak with any sort of intelligence on what happened that night. I wasn’t there. All any of us really know is he was arrested. I’m not trying to minimize the horror of domestic abuse. There are few things worse than that and anyone who commits domestic abuse should be punished. But, like I said, we don’t know what exactly happened. So, let’s not speculate.
But I didn’t want anyone to think I was just going to ignore the situation. We’ll discuss it more as events warrant and details emerge.
In the meantime, Urias was removed from the Dodgers’ active roster and placed on administrative leave, during which Major League Baseball will investigate his case in accordance with its domestic violence policy.
--It worked out OK, but I could not believe that Dave Roberts removed Kenta Maeda from Wednesday’s game after Maeda had dominated the Padres for 6 2/3 innings. Roberts started getting booed the moment he stepped out of the dugout to take Maeda out. We’ll let him have the last word on the matter: “If I was running for office and was trying to get the crowd approval [the boos would bother me]. But I’m trying to help us win a championship. That’s something that’s well thought out, and it worked. They don’t always work out, but I have reasons for doing what I do.”
--Then again, maybe the Dodgers knew something we don’t. Maeda is supposed to be put on the 10-day injured list today with an undisclosed injury (at least, it was undisclosed as I write this late Thursday night). The Dodgers will also recall outfielder Kyle Garlick (too bad they aren’t playing a team called the vampires) and infielder Matt Beaty from triple-A Oklahoma City. On Thursday, they activated left-hander Caleb Ferguson from the injured list while optioning right-hander J.T. Chargois and catcher Rocky Gale to Oklahoma City.
--Have you ever noticed how much Justin Turner looks like Toomgis, the mascot for AM/PM?
--For a guy so excitable on the field, Joc Pederson gives the most boring postgame interviews in history.
--Cody Bellinger went through a bit of a home run drought, but his production never really dropped off at all.
--Condolences to Dodgers radio announcer Tim Neverett, whose mother passed away earlier this week.
Comparing the Dodgers through 39 games this season to the same number of games the last two seasons:
2019: 29-16, .255/.343/.453, 5.22 runs per game, 3.51 ERA
2018: 19-26, .249/.319/.393, 4.31 runs per game, 3.84 ERA
2017: 26-19, .265/.347/.435, 5.07 runs per game, 3.41 ERA
Ask Ross Porter
Ross Porter will once again answer reader questions this season. All you have to do is email me your question at email@example.com. I will forward the email to Ross, and he will answer some each week. Take it away, Ross.
Patricia Clark asks: Ross, what was it like working with Vin Scully?
Ross: It was a wonderful learning experience, Patricia, to sit next to the best baseball broadcaster of all time. I was flattered that he had selected me to be his colleague and wanted to make sure that my professionalism was always evident on the air. In 28 seasons together, we never had one disagreement. In my opinion, Vin Scully is the most popular person in California. He once turned down an offer to run for governor. I saw fans ask him for an autograph, pose for a photo, or tell him an unnecessary personal story. Not once did I ever see Vin act rude to anyone. To me, that tells you all you need to know about the man. He’s 91 and in good health.
Norm Levine of Santa Monica asks: With Bellinger looking like Ted Williams (.406 in 1941), how deep into the season has a player maintained a batting average of .400?
Ross: In 1980, George Brett was hitting .403 with five weeks to go. He had 449 at bats at the time, but had missed 45 games. Tony Gwynn was at .394 when a baseball strike ended his season on Aug. 11, 1994.
David Achterkirchen asks: What is the record for consecutive save opportunities converted?
Ross: 84 by Eric Gagne of the Dodgers—55 in 2003 and 29 in 2004.
Paul Lalli of Westport, Ct. asks: What does it cost, Ross, to take your loved ones to a big-league baseball game?
Ross: A family of four will spend an average of $234 to go to a major-league contest this year. That includes tickets, parking, refreshments and souvenirs.
You can follow Ross on Twitter: @therossporter
KTLA will televise four more Dodgers games during the season. They are:
Monday, May 27, vs. New York Mets, 5 p.m.
Thursday, May 30, vs. New York Mets, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, June 1, vs. Philadelphia, 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 15, vs. Chicago Cubs, 6 p.m.
Tonight: Dodgers (*Rich Hill) at Cincinnati (Anthony DeSclafani), 4 p.m.
Saturday: Dodgers (Walker Buehler) at Cincinnati (Tyler Mahle), 1 p.m.
Sunday: Dodgers (*Hyun-Jin Ryu) at Cincinnati (Tanner Roark), 10 a.m.
Don Drysdale delivers his Hall of Fame induction speech. Watch it here.