Dave Winfield has better reflexes than you do

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It’s fairly irritating when retired baseball players give the whole “Back in my day, things were different” spiel (I’m look at YOU, Tom Seaver). But when someone plays that card and says something totally asinine and illogical, the only medicine is to turn off the TV.

This is Dave Winfield a few minutes ago on Baseball Tonight, giving his take in a discussion about whether baseball needs better helmets to protect batters:

“Well I came from a different era, so to speak. Essentially, we didn’t wear the flaps, I didn’t like them. I grew up, uh, you knew how to move away from the ball, from the plate. And there was a different law in baseball, essentially, where, um, when it came down to it, they would throw at batters, and you just had to learn how to come back. Are you man enough …” (Gets cut off by a befuddled Karl Ravetch)

You hear that, David Wright? If only you played 20 years ago, you’d know how to get out of the way of that 94 mph Matt Cain fastball and not allow it to hit you in the head. Kids these days.

On a side note, it was a bit creepy that earlier this week, Wright was pretty supportive of a new Rawlings batting helmet.

Dodgers top Giants, clinch fifth straight NL West title

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The Dodgers are NL West champions for the fifth time in a row. They clinched with a 4-2 win over the Giants on Friday night, taking their first and only lead on a mammoth record-breaking home run from Cody Bellinger in the third inning.

Rich Hill turned in another quality start, going six innings with five hits, a run and nine strikeouts to keep the Giants at bay. He tacked on an RBI hit of his own, too, lashing a double to left field for his first extra-base hit since 2007.

The Giants, meanwhile, deployed Jeff Samardzija and his 4.42 ERA for 4 1/3 innings. Samardzija was on the hook for the Dodgers’ four-run spread in the third and took his 15th loss of the season. Pablo Sandoval came through with a solo home run in the ninth, but the rest of San Francisco’s offense wasn’t so lucky against Kenley Jansen, who struck out the side to clinch the game — and the division.

After Friday’s showstopper, the Dodgers are just two wins away from their first 100-win season since 1974. If they win the remaining eight games of the season, they’ll beat out the 1953 Brooklyn Dodgers for the most wins in franchise history.

Watch: Cody Bellinger breaks NL rookie home run record

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Cody Bellinger helped the Dodgers to their first lead on Friday night, going deep for his 39th home run of the season and setting a new National League rookie home run record in the process. With two on and two out in the third inning, the Dodgers’ slugger launched a 2-1 pitch from the Giants’ Jeff Samardzija, skimming the right field fence to give the team a three-run cushion:

The three-run bomb was Bellinger’s sixth of the season. In what is undoubtedly a Rookie of the Year award-worthy campaign, he’s logged 21 solo shots, 11 two-run blasts and a single grand slam. His historic home run topped former NL rookie leaders Frank Robinson and Wally Berger, at 38 homers apiece.

The Dodgers need to stay on top of the Giants to clinch the NL West or, barring that, have the Marlins pull off a win over the Diamondbacks. They currently lead the Giants 4-1 in the bottom of the fifth inning. The Marlins, meanwhile, are staying just ahead of the D-backs with a 9-7 lead in the top of the sixth.