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.
Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.
On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.
Nick Groke of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies agreed to a $200 million, 30-year lease with the Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District, which is the state division that owns Coors Field. As part of the deal, the Rockies will lease and develop a plot of land south of the stadium, which will cost the team $125 million for 99 years.
As Groke points out, had the Rockies not reached a deal by Thursday, March 30, the lease would have rolled over for five more years.
Rockies owner Dick Monfort issued a statement, saying, “We are proud that Coors Field will continue to be a vital part of a vibrant city, drawing fans from near and far and making our Colorado residents proud.”
The Rockies moved into Coors Field in 1995. It is the National League’s third oldest stadium. In that span of time, the Rockies have made the playoffs three times, the last coming in 2009 when they lost in the NLDS to the Phillies. The Rockies were swept in the 2007 World Series by the Red Sox.