The Dodgers have the Padres in search of a run

Let's be Puigs about it: two triples in two games on the Padres' dimes . . .

Let’s be Puigs about it: two triples in two games on the Padres’ dimes . . .

Leaving spring training, a fair number of observers wondered whether their early crowd on the disabled list would leave the Dodgers in a wee spot of trouble to open 2016 in earnest. Not to mention how the Dodgers lost their last five spring exhibitions, including an embarrassing Freeway Series sweep in which the Angels outscored them 15-3.

Take my advice and don’t ask the Padres what they think, after opening the season against the Dodgers being shut out twice and destroyed once.

As we turn toward spring training’s final week . . .

Fifty cent fines for mental mistakes . . .

Fifty cent fines for mental mistakes . . . may not be as chintzy as they look on the surface . . .

These days make a fellow proud to be an Astro

Altuve got to abuse one of his favourite patsies over the weekend . . .

Altuve got to abuse one of his favourite patsies over the weekend . . .

How good does it get for the Astros these days? Good enough, apparently, that a slowly swelling cabal of analysts think they—not the Yankees, not the Blue Jays, not the Royals—are the American League’s team to beat. They didn’t say that about the Astros in their best years in the National League.

Now, the Astros are a team that likes to go out on the town
We like to drink and fight and f@ck till curfew comes around
Then it’s time to make the trek
We’d better be back to buddy’s check
It makes a fellow proud to be an Astro.

Great Scott, Houston!

Hometown rental?

Hometown rental?

Unless you’re a Delta Quadrant citizen, you know that the Houston Astros aren’t just a little bit ahead of their rebuilding schedule, they’re so thick in the thick of this year’s pennant races that you could afford to talk about them in such terms as, “What they need most right now is a starting pitcher who belongs in the front end.” And if the Oakland Athletics were willing to part with one, the Astros weren’t leery about dealing for him Thursday.

The Royals could lose more than a suspended pitcher—namely, respect

A five-game suspension for Herrera, who didn't know the meaning of the word "knock it off" when he went after Brett Lawrie last Sunday.

A five-game suspension for Herrera, who didn’t know the meaning of the word “knock it off” when he went after Brett Lawrie last Sunday.

Last year’s likeable Royals seem bent early on becoming this year’s unlikeable breed. They’ve lost one key relief pitcher and seen a key starter take a hit in the bank account over last weekend’s foolishness, and from the early comments it seems as though they’ve learned . . . nothing.

We told you not to hand the A’s the World Series just yet . . .

Aybar, Otero, and Moss, seconds before the obstruction that may or may not have begun packaging Oakland's fate-to-be . . .

Aybar, Otero, and Moss, seconds before the obstruction that may or may not have begun packaging Oakland’s fate-to-be . . .

When the Oakland Athletics dealt for Jeff Samardzija and Jason Hammel prior to the non-waiver trade deadline, there were those ready to hand the World Series rings to them on a platinum platter. And there were those others, myself included, who cautioned not to do it just yet. Not that it stopped them, especially after the A’s landed Jon Lester out of Boston.

Things to Keep in Mind as Opening Day Approaches

Can Doc heal himself?

Can Doc heal himself?

Yes, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ new ownership has spent the equivalent of two small nations’ gross domestic product. (Yes, I’m exaggerating—perhaps only slightly.) But no, and I’ll say it until the day I buy the rancho, it doesn’t mean they’re a lock for a 2013 World Series ring. If you still persist in believing money talks when it comes time to nail down the ring, I suggest you have yet another look at the New York Yankees and (pre-Madoff) Mets. For openers.