Tautology warning: “The Dodgers are the Dodgers”

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Don Mattingly was asked about the Angels and all of their high-profile signings. And how, in light of the Dodgers’ recent doldrums, the Angels may be the number one show on grass in Los Angels now.

In his response, Mattingly was either zen or tautologous, depending on your point of view:

“At the end of the day, the Dodgers are the Dodgers … The Yankees are the team, no matter what the Mets do. They’re going to have their years that they play well, but the Yankees are the team.”

Matt Kemp joined in on this too, saying “Definitely, there’s only one Los Angeles team and that’s the L.A. Dodgers.”  He’s right! On a technicality, anyway, as Anaheim is a different city.

I dunno.  I get what they’re saying.  But taking this a tad more seriously, it’s worth noting that people used to say things like “[proper noun] is the Cadillac of [category in which noun is a part of],” as if there was no question about what the gold standard is.  Time changes that kind of thing.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are the Los Angeles Dodgers because of a tradition of winning, a tradition of their large, loyal following and a tradition of standard-setting excellence in management, organization and perceived class.  All of those things are either gone or are at risk thanks to the McCourt era.  Inertia and history won’t keep them on top forever.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.