Don’t expect fireworks in Dodgers-Padres rematch Monday

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Tempers have just a few days to cool off before the Dodgers and Padres play in Los Angeles on Monday. That Matt Kemp wants a piece of Carlos Quentin is undeniable, and it’s safe to say he’s not the only Dodger who feels that way — he’s just the biggest and strongest.

Still, those expecting anything more than a typical ballgame Monday are likely to be disappointed for a few reasons.

First, April 15 is Jackie Robinson Day in MLB. The Dodgers take that day even a little more seriously than the rest of the league does, and it’s safe to say that the commissioner’s office will let it be known the league is not to be embarrassed on that date. What a mess it would be if a brawl broke out between 50 guys wearing Jackie’s No. 42 on their backs.

Second, Don Mattingly would look like a pretty big hypocrite if, after all of his righteous anger last night, he let his players take matters into their own hands and go ahead Quentin. Mattingly called for Quentin to be suspended for however long Greinke is absent. That’s not going to happen, of course. But Mattingly would look really bad if one of his players went and knocked Quentin out for a considerable period of time.

Third, it’s just too obvious anyway. The Dodgers don’t seem to have any issues with any Padres except Quentin. There’s no reason for them to drill anyone else. And if they retaliate at Quentin now, they’ll just be hurting themselves with the suspensions sure to result. The Dodgers and Padres play six series this year. There will be plenty of time for them to take aim at Quentin later, if they so choose. Or maybe they could just be the bigger men and focus on beating the Padres on the scoreboard.

Yoenis Cespedes blames a lack of golf for his early season slump

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Back during the 2015 playoffs the sorts of New York media types who love to find reasons to criticize players for petty reasons decided to criticize Yoenis Cespedes for playing golf the day of a playoff game. The Mets won the series with the Cubs during which the controversy, such as it was, occurred and it was soon dropped.

It was picked back up again in 2016 when Cespedes, while on the disabled list with a strained quad, was seen playing golf. Despite the fact that everyone involved said that golf did not contribute to his injury and that golf would have no impact on his injured quad, it was deemed “a bad look” by a columnist looking to get some mileage out of bashing Cespedes for having a hobby that probably half of all ballplayers share. They did it when he showed off his fancy cars too, by the way, even though just about every ballplayer has a fancy car or three. When you’re a superstar in New York — especially when you’re one with whom the media is not particularly close for various reasons — you’re going to catch hell for seemingly nothing.

Now there’s a new twist to the Cespedes golf saga. Yoenis himself says that his poor start — he’s hitting .195/.258/.354 and leads the league in strikeouts — is due to . . . not enough golf! From the New York Times:

He gave a possible reason for the poor start this weekend: not playing enough golf, a hobby beloved by many baseball players. And, yes, he is serious.

“In previous seasons, one of the things I did when I wasn’t going well was to play golf,” he said after a game on Friday in which he struck out four times but still drove in the go-ahead run in the 12th inning. “This year, I’m not playing golf.”

The story says Cespedes quit golf last summer because he worried that it was contributing to hamstring problems. He’s thinking about going back to it soon, as he thinks it’ll help his swing. Given that he’ll catch hell either way, he may as well do what he wants.