Someone might screw up the Dodgers worse than Frank McCourt: the NFL

6 Comments

File this all under speculation but over at the L.A. Times’ Dodger Blog, Steve Dilbeck talks about how moving Frank McCourt out of the way may ease the way for the NFL to return to Los Angeles.  Why? Because there have been a lot of scenarios thrown around over the years which envision the Dodgers’ ample parking lot as a new home for a football stadium, and making such a vision into reality would be way easier if the owner of said parking lot were not a highly-leveraged dude like McCourt.

Fine and dandy. I don’t really care if they build a football stadium in the parking lot because I don’t ever park there.  But this little bit of speculation regarding a currently-eyeballed downtown site for a football stadium seems like a horror show:

The most radical and intriguing idea would be for the NFL to build in Chavez Ravine — where the team could build a larger stadium than downtown and have ample parking for larger crowds and tailgating — while a new ballpark would be built downtown at the proposed convention site Anschutz Entertainment Group President Tim Leiweke is currently pushing for a football stadium.

As in: get rid of Dodger Stadium and move the boys in blue downtown.  Dilbeck talks to a guy from Yahoo! who says that’s not mere crazy speculation by bloggers, as he’s been hearing such chatter from developer and investor types.  Which I guess still makes it speculation, just not as crazy because people like that can actually put plans in motion if they wanted to.

Can I go on record as saying that Dodger Stadium, despite its recent problems, is an absolute gorgeous ballpark in which baseball should always be played?  And that if keeping the NFL from interfering with that means keeping Frank McCourt in charge of the Dodgers, I’d be on board?

Great. We’re in agreement.

Video: Angels use eight pitchers in spring training no-hitter

Getty Images
1 Comment

Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?

Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.

Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.

Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.

Tanner Scheppers leaves Cactus League game with lower core injury

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.

Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.

Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.