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Riffin’ with McGriff
2003-03-06 08:35
by Jon Weisman
Note: The Dodger Thoughts blog has moved to the Los Angeles Times.

Fred McGriff’s first spring-training homer was off a left-handed pitcher, Brian Anderson. According to MLB.com, however, Anderson said “he served up an experimental curveball that he won't throw to left-handed hitters anymore.” Not that one spring-training home run would make a difference anyway, but there remains every reason to be wary of playing McGriff much against left-handed pitchers.

As for the Dodger left-handed pitchers, hopefully it was just dead-arm day. Wilson Alvarez, Pedro Borbon, Jr. and Steve Colyer combined to allow 12 earned runs in five innings. Yorkis Perez managed to sneak in a shutout inning.

In the first of two good articles today, long-ago colleague Kevin Modesti of the Daily News reports that neither McGriff, nor more importantly, Jim Tracy, are planning for McGriff to be platooned at first base.

Modesti injects the proper skepticism about this, and ultimately, Tracy does as well. McGriff, on the other hand, is every bit as charmingly deluded as you'd expect him to be:

"To me, if you hit 30, it doesn't matter if they're against left- handers or right-handers," said McGriff, who hit a high breaking ball Wednesday.

But in 2002, McGriff hit one per 70 at-bats against lefties and one per 13.6 against righties, a huge difference not seen in his earlier statistics.

Platoon a five-time All-Star who's 22 homers away from 500?

"Initially, that's not the way I'm looking at it," Tracy said. "That's what he was brought here to do, exactly what he did here today."

“Initially.” Good ol’ Nothing’s Sacred Tracy.

Modesti’s column, by the way, compares the musical tastes of the old and young Dodgers, and includes the following:

How about Springsteen?

"I listen to a little of that," Romano said. "It's soothing, you know?"

Hmm.

While Romano is nodding off to sleep to the "soothing" beat of "Ramrod," let's consider the makeup of the team that's being assembled this spring in Dodgertown.

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