LAPD Takes Over Security At Dodgers Games After Attack On Giants Fan

Dodger Stadium was crawling with police last night, but how long will it last?

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Following the attack on Bryan Stow, it’s understandable that the Dodgers and the city of Los Angeles would want to take visible measures to ratchet up safety. Emphasis on the visible, with police officers “on the streets leading up to the stadium and still more at the entrances to the parking lot, the stadium gates and inside the ballpark itself.”

Indeed, they were everywhere, in uniform and plainclothes, in squad cars, on bicycles, motorcycles and even horses. Everyone from captains and lieutenants to patrol officers. And although they were polite and friendly, smiling and exchanging pleasantries with fans, at least one group didn’t hesitate to write citations for several young men they saw loitering by a car in the parking lot. Beck had promised there would be a zero-tolerance policy for tailgaiting.

Enhanced safety is a must, of course, but this is every bit as much an exercise in p.r. as it is a public safety measure.  L.A. police Chief Charlie Beck said as much at a press conference yesterday when he talked about the security issues at Dodger Stadium being a “crisis in confidence” and lamented that, since the attack, “a huge amount of attention was brought” to the issue of Dodger Stadium safety and that the “perception” had to change.

Not that perception isn’t important. Setting aside the civil liberty concerns of it all, how much were Rudy Giuliani’s efforts at cracking down on crime in New York City in the 1990s aided by the perception of what was going on in addition to the actual police work? Despite the cynical thoughts of cynics like me regarding almost comically-conspicuous police activity, it’s undeniable that there are people who are truly comforted by such displays, and that comfort can be translated into action, such as more visits to the stadium and thus a greater family-to-thug ratio in the ballpark.

But how long does Los Angeles and the Dodgers keep this up? It’s clearly not sustainable. After all, while the Stow attack “brought a huge amount of attention,” the area around Dodger Stadium does not have the highest crime rate in the city, and eventually resources will have to be more sensibly deployed.

In other words: how long until the heat blows over, the defacto police parades end and the real security enhancements to Dodger Stadium in the post-Stow era can be properly judged?

Mets leaning on Jay Bruce, Neil Walker as Lucas Duda insurance

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 12:  Pinch hitter Lucas Duda #21 of the New York Mets walks back to the dugout after striking out for the first out of the ninth inning against Clayton Kershaw #22 of the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on May 12, 2016 in Los Angeles, California.  The Dodgers won 5-0.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
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The Mets have begun working outfielder Jay Bruce and second baseman Neil Walker at first base as potential insurance in the event Lucas Duda continues to experience back discomfort, Mike Puma of the New York Post reports. Duda has been sidelined recently due to back spasms and missed all but 47 games last season as a result of a stress fracture in his lower back.

Manager Terry Collins spoke about Bruce’s work at first base on Sunday, saying, “I liked everything I saw today. “It looks like he’s got the athleticism, he’s got the hands, he’s got the arm angle. He made some throws in our drills that you wouldn’t expect an outfielder to be able to make, but yet he does. If that’s where we have to go, I think we’ll be fine.”

Bruce has only three games’ worth of experience at first base at the major league level, but still has high expectations for himself. He said, “I am going to work at it. I want to give myself a chance and the team a chance. I am not going to go over there and be a butcher. It’s just not the way I go about my business on the baseball field and it wouldn’t be fair to the team if I wasn’t capable to do it, so I am going to work at it and we’ll see what happens.”

The Mets made Bruce available via trade over the offseason but didn’t get an offer that whet their appetite. As a result, Michael Conforto appears to be the odd man out in the Mets’ crowded outfield.

Jason Kipnis diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Jason Kipnis #22 of the Cleveland Indians celebrates after scoring a run on a wild pitch thrown by Jon Lester #34 of the Chicago Cubs (not pictured) during the fifth inning in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
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Indians second baseman Jason Kipnis has been diagnosed with a strained rotator cuff in his right shoulder, MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian reports. Kipnis has received a cortisone shot and will be shut down from throwing for the next four to five days.

There’s a lot of spring left, so it’s perfectly sensible for the Indians to play it safe with their star player. The club already had Kipnis on a shoulder strengthening program.

Kipnis, 29, helped the Indians to the playoffs after batting .275/.343/.469 with 23 home runs, 92 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 688 plate appearances during the regular season last year. He then helped the Indians reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Cubs, where they were eventually stopped, as he provided a .741 OPS including four homers and eight RBI in 15 playoff games.