7th Consecutive Opening Day for Clayton Kershaw

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clayton-kershaw-odPencil in the Opening Day starter for the Los Angeles Dodgers for the upcoming 2017 season, as manager Dave Roberts has announced that ace Clayton Kershaw will take the hill for the 7th straight year.  This was a no brainer for Roberts as Kershaw has proven  year in and year out that he is the games most dominant pitcher and he will start the new season off on the right note.  Kershaw’s seven Opening Day starts ties Don Drysdale and Don Sutton for the most in franchise history.

Opening Day is as optimistic as New Years Day; it is a  clean slate for every team in the league and from that day forward, the players have complete control of the destiny of their season.  Opening Day is the first step in the long journey towards making the playoffs and heading for the World Series, and for the Dodgers starting Kershaw, it is a huge step in the right direction.  In Kershaw’s previous six season openers, he has been lights out!  He has posted a 4-0 record with a jarring 0.93 ERA, while striking out 7.3 batters faced.  The Dodgers have also won all 6 of those starts.  The level of comfort that Kershaw has on the mound during these starts is so evident because he feels that he can put the team on his back and carry them to the first W of the season.  The historic day is scheduled for April 3rd and if history were to repeat itself, you can chalk up another solid outing for the games best pitcher in Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers at the top of the National League standings.

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Chase Utley Re-signs with LA

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The 18th of February began with some great news for Dodgers fans as the club officially re-signed veteran second baseman, Chase Utley, to a one-year, 2-million dollar contract.  After Los Angeles traded for former Tampa Bay Rays second baseman, Logan Foresythe, earlier this offseason, the possibility of resigning Utley did not seem all too realistic.  Utley, at age 38, will see a limited role on the field for the upcoming 2017 season, but his role in the clubhouse cannot be overstated.  The veteran presence and poise that Utley brings to the ball club has made a huge difference in the demeanor and focus of the team ever since he was brought in back in August of 2015.  His batting average of .252 and on-base percentage of .319 during the 2016 season may not jump off the stat sheet, but he will be a solid backup behind Foresythe and may see some time at first base filling in for the aging Adrian Gonzalez.  The overwhelming reason why I love the re-signing of Chase Utley is the leadership, work ethic, and knowledge of the game that he will surely pass on to the younger and up and coming players like Corey Seager and Joc Pederson.  For Seager, who has formed a tight relationship with his fellow middle infielder, the effect of seeing how a true professional goes about his business on a daily basis may go a long way in how his bright future shapes out.  Utley only has a few years left in his storied career and he is smart enough to know that rejoining the Los Angeles Dodgers is his best chance of attaining another World Series ring.

Welcome Home, Sergio Romo

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Back on February 3rd, longtime San Francisco Giants closer and reliever, Sergio Romo, signed with the rival Los Angeles Dodgers.  Now after two weeks of processing this bitter information, I think that it is safe to say that this is a smart move by General Manager, Andrew Friedman, and the rest of his staff.  It may not be the popular decision to add someone from the evil Giants, but it is a move that will bolster a bullpen that lead the league in innings pitched last year.  I will admit that I was a little skeptical adding a guy who hasn’t been as dominant in recent years as he once was during the Giants championship runs, but he posted a 2.64 ERA last season, stranded 92% of his inherited base runners, and will refuse to shy away from big moments.  I believe a return back to his hometown of Los Angeles and joining he once rooted for will rejuvenate his career.  I think Romo finally got as sick and tired as all of the other Dodger fans worldwide, hearing about all of the “even year magic” nonsense, once San Francisco was bounced from the NLDS by the Chicago Cubs in the 2016 MLB Postseason.  He is ready to join a new streak of going for a 5th consecutive National League West Divison title with the Boys in Blue and help capture the team’s first World Series since 1988.  His postseason savviness and leadership will be a strong quality to a team that is on the brink of glory.sergio-romo-2