Pull up a chair and come sit down at our Lasorda’s Lair roundtable discussion. This new column will feature a different discussion topic each time which our writing staff will have the opportunity to address individually. We also would like for you to participate by answering the roundtable question in the comments below.
Question: Do you think the Dodgers are ready and prepared for the Opening Series in Australia? Will they win none, one, or both games vs. the D-backs?
Julian Lopez, Staff Writer- I think that the Dodgers are ready but I don’t know about prepared since a lot of the players and coaches have concerns about the flight time. But I do think they are prepared as far as playing the Opening Series in Australia. Greinke and Kershaw have voiced their frustrations regarding opening their season a week and a couple days before every other team. This team is filled with a lot of characters and they want to go out and put on a show in Australia. I can see the Dodgers winning both games because the offense is so dangerous. I can also see them splitting the series only because you never know in baseball. One thing I know, I will be up at 1:00 AM on March 22nd to watch the game!
Aaron David Gleason, Staff Writer- Well, earlier this Spring I went Postal on Ned. It may have been too knee jerk, because what I was really irked with was that shortening Spring would invariably be hard on our vets, and it wouldn’t give the kids a chance to play as much. We’ve had a “hurry-up” Spring, and that’s just dangerous, especially for someone like Kemp–who if he hurts his ankle again, could be jeopardizing his career. These neglects bother me. We lost Hanley for a long time last year because of the World Baseball Classic. What is most important? The MLB. There will never be an MLB team in Australia, as much as I love being a good ambassador, what is the real reason for this? Money? I care about my players more than kick backs. But aside from all that, are we ready for the season? Not as ready as a real Spring would have done us, but we’re the Dodgers, and this is our year.
Kenny Shulsen, Sr. Staff Writer- I am not a fan of playing 2 games that count then playing exhibition games then starting the season. The early start IMO means the club isn’t completely prepared and will be without Carl Crawford Dan Haren and Matt Kemp, so obviously they head down under shorthanded. Clayton Kershaw has been hit hard this spring, but Arizona may be without their #1 starter Patrick Corbin. When all is said and done I think they split. It is so ridiculously early that it’s very hard to accurately predict what is going to happen as these are glorified Spring Training games IMO, but I may be totally wrong.
Stacie Wheeler, Editor- With the abbreviated Spring, I don’t think the Dodgers are up to 100% full speed yet. That being said, I think the D-backs are in the same situation, so I am predicting a split in the series. Clayton Kershaw has had an uncharacteristically rough Spring, but the D-backs have also lost Patrick Corbin to elbow ligament damage. The Dodgers have the better lineup and team, but it’s now just a matter of turning up the dial and playing like it counts. I’m just hoping that the Dodgers have a better start to the season than last year. As far as the 1 a.m. start time to the game, I will have some trouble staying up that late since I’m old and get tired by 10 p.m. at night. Maybe some Hanley Ramirez homeruns will keep me from dozing.
Scott Andes, Editor- I’ll say they split, and I hope I’m wrong and they win both, but I don’t think they 100% ready, and I think the hitters are far behind the pitchers. The pitching seems to be fine other than the injuries to Beckett’s thumb and Greinke’s strained calf. The position players just haven’t gotten enough playing time to get their timing down, or so it seems. Which is just a side-effect of the unusually short spring. I’ll be fine with one win out of the two games to be honest. If they can come home with a split and nobody getting hurt, then I’ll take that as a victory.