Dave Roberts, Yasmani Grandal disagree on Dodgers’ effort in wake of dugout scuffle
A day removed from a public scuffle in the Dodgers’ dugout, a consensus had congealed within the clubhouse. Most agreed that Thursday’s altercation between catcher Yasmani Grandal and third baseman Justin Turner was, in fact, a sign of health.
On Thursday, Turner, who confronted Grandal earlier that evening, said teammates have to hold each other accountable.
Grandal, whose baserunning gaffe had angered Turner, said at least the argument showed “fire.”
By Friday, Manager Dave Roberts declared, “We’re better for it.”
The Dodgers insist the fracas did not betray rumbling fault lines. Roberts, who says he speaks with all 25 players daily, said the situation warranted no further discussion with either player.
But a disagreement festered between Roberts and Grandal.
After Grandal outlined the importance of playing “with some fire,” he suggested that the most expensive team in baseball too often shows up expecting to win on talent.
“At times, I feel like we’re better than the other team, and we lay back and relax instead of making it happen,” Grandal said.
Roberts, whose job is to make sure the players are making it happen, said Grandal was mistaken.
“I’d love to know which players he feels are content and don’t want to fight,” Roberts said. “They won’t play that night.”
But neither Grandal’s grim evaluation nor the fight itself dented Roberts’ general optimism. He said frustration is not an issue. Turner, he said, was annoyed by one play, not the team’s record.
“That would come out whether we’re 10 games above .500 or not,” he said.
The Dodgers are not. They hover closer to the .500 mark. And so sometimes, Roberts said, a player-initiated adjustment is called for.
“Fighting is a little aggressive obviously,” Roberts said. “It’s not something that I advocate, but it can be healthy.”
Left-hander Hyun-Jin Ryu made his fifth minor league rehabilitation appearance Friday with Class-A Rancho Cucamonga. He went four innings, giving up three hits and no runs while striking out five and walking one. Ryu’s rehab from a torn left labrum has been fitful, but he could be a candidate to replace Julio Urias in the rotation after Urias is shut down to rest, potentially after his start Wednesday. ... Yasiel Puig also started for Rancho Cucamonga, which lost 2-1 in 11 innings at San Jose. He went one for three with a strikeout and was caught stealing in the second inning. He was replaced in the eighth inning. Puig could rejoin the Dodgers on Monday.
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