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Dodgers Dugout: Things we miss about Dodger Stadium

Chris Taylor #3 of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Chris Taylor
(Harry How / Getty Images)
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Hi, and welcome to another edition of Dodgers Dugout. My name is Houston Mitchell, and it’s time for some random thoughts.

—How bad is the NL West? The Dodgers basically played .500 ball for a couple of weeks and increased their lead in the division.

—Just like you shouldn’t get too down (this team won’t win the World Series!) when they get swept by the Reds or lose two of three to the Pirates, you shouldn’t get too up (this team will win the World Series!) when they win two of three from the Yankees. If the ice-cold hitting Dodgers show up in the postseason, they won’t win the World Series. If the hot-hitting Dodgers do, they could win it all. We won’t know anything until October.

— If history teaches us anything, it’s that Andrew Friedman won’t sit still at the trade deadline. With that, and with injured players (such as Clayton Kershaw) coming back at some point, the team on the field in the postseason will look a bit different than the current one.

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—In the meantime, enjoy the ride to October. Enjoy winning two of three from the Yankees. This is supposed to be fun, isn’t it?

—People I don’t understand: Those who get tickets right behind home plate and then spend most of the game on their phone. Why do that? I think about the kid sitting in the top deck who would get the thrill of a lifetime if they were able to sit there, instead it is wasted on some doofus who doesn’t even care.

—Things I miss at Dodger Stadium:

1. The Cool-a-Coo

2. Double-bagged peanuts that cost $1

3. Not having to take out a loan to take my family to the game. (Kids, do you want to go to the game or have shoes this year?)

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4. When ushers would hand out pre-punched All-Star ballots with the Dodgers names already selected.

5. When ushers all wore straw hats.

6. The Farmer John Dodger Dog.

7. Not having music constantly blasted in my ears so I could actually have a conversation with people around me.

8. Helen Dell at the Dodger organ. (I love Dieter Ruehle, but you never forget your first organist).

9. Well-lit parking lots after the game.

10. Looking up at the media area and seeing Vin Scully.

11. Cheering for a starting pitcher when he comes out of the game after 8 1/3 tough innings.

12. Driving home and listening to Ross Porter on the postgame show.

13. The secret exit to Dodger Stadium behind the 76 station.

14. Not spending three hours trying to leave the parking lot after the game.

15. Camera Day.

16. Dodgers signing autographs at spots around the stadium every Sunday.

17. OK, now all you kids get off my lawn.

Teoscar Hernández hasn’t drawn the same notice as other members of the offense, but he is putting together a really nice season. He is a free agent after the season, and recently told MLB.com, “I want to stay. I don’t want to keep bouncing around the league. I feel good here, comfortable. I think this is a good chance for me to win. That is the most important thing for me. It’s a great group. I would love to stay.”

—I still say the best team is Miguel Rojas at short and Mookie Betts at second.

—At some point, the Dodgers need to figure out what to do about Chris Taylor.

—滨苍蹿颈别濒诲别谤 Andre Lipcius is tearing up triple-A Oklahoma City, batting .326/.396/.627 with 15 doubles, two triples and 17 homers in 260 plate appearances. He plays first, second and third. You can’t help but wonder how he’d do in the majors.

—Word is that Clayton Kershaw is progressing quicker than expected and could return in late July. Bobby Miller also could be back soon. Maybe the Dodgers will go with an eight-man rotation.

—I’ve inundated you with stats the last couple of weeks. So we’re going to keep this one short and sweet. Remember, enjoy the season.

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Unnecessary interview

Kiké Hernández made an error on a ball hit to him at third base during Friday’s game. He was wearing a microphone for an in-game interview and Dontrelle Willis was asking him a question when the ball was hit to him. It hit him in the midsection. Granted, the ball took a funny hop and he probably would have missed it anyway, but, who knows? You can’t give 100% concentration to what’s going on in the game if someone is asking you questions.

The in-game interviews add little, if anything, to the broadcast and is just another example of MLB not trusting that the game itself can be entertaining enough that you don’t have to resort to these types of things to make it more interesting.

Players are paid $10,000 if they agree to an interview. The minimum salary is $740,000. Unless you are a rookie who shuttles back and forth between the majors and the minors, how about donating that money to charity? And Fox, or Apple+, or whatever network is conducting the interview, can match that donation.

Our Jack Harris talked to Dave Roberts about it, and Roberts said, “It’s part of sports now. Unfortunately, Kiké made an error. It’s not the only error he’s ever made. He prepares. I know he likes the limelight. He’s into the social media thing. He still plays hard, practices hard, but he still likes to build his brand. So I get it. I’m OK with it. He plays his butt off.”

These names look familiar (Jayson’s version)

Remember Jayson Werth? He played for the Dodgers in 2004 and 2005 and was a fan favorite. Killed left-handers. Won a World Series with Philadelphia in 2008. Retired after the 2017 season. Well, if you don’t follow horse racing, you might have missed the fact that he was in the news over the weekend because he is a part owner of a horse named Dornoch, who won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. Werth is the founder of Two Eight Racing and owns 10% of Dornoch.

After the race, he said, “I didn’t do anything. That’s what these guys are for. I’ve got good partners and a good trainer, and a great horse. I’ll put this up there with anything I’ve ever done. This is the top of sports. Horse racing is the most underrated sport there is. This is as big as it gets. The emotions you feel when you play in a playoff game, when you win a World Series game, it is the top of sports, and this is where we’re at.”

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Up next

Tuesday: Texas (TBD) at Dodgers (*James Paxton, 5-1, 4.19 ERA), 7:10 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570, 1020 KTNQ

Wednesday: Texas (TBD) at Dodgers (Walker Buehler, 1-3, 4.82 ERA), 7:10 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570, 1020 KTNQ

Thursday: Texas (TBD) at Dodgers (Yoshinobu Yamamoto, 6-2, 3.00 ERA), 7:10 p.m., Sportsnet LA, AM 570, 1020 KTNQ

*-left-handed

In case you missed it

Kiké Hernández trying to ‘stay level’ after slow start with Dodgers, live interview error

‘I like to be in the spotlight.’ Teoscar Hernández powers Dodgers to series win over Yankees

And finally

Vin Scully and John Wooden spend about 90 minutes talking about sports and life. Watch and listen here.

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Until next time...

Have a comment or something you’d like to see in a future Dodgers newsletter? Email me at houston.mitchell@latimes.com, and follow me on Twitter at @latimeshouston. To get this newsletter in your inbox, click here.

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