Daily Distractions: Three things about Dodgers pitcher Hyun-Jin Ryu; Pads and PEDs; a Trevor Bauer/Chan Ho Park rap battle?

Hyun-Jin Ryu Sandy Koufax

Hyun-Jin Ryu got the star turn in the media today. I likened him to a circus performer, the way he’s calmly and confidently performing these acts of non-pitching prowess under pressure. Here are three things about Ryu that I didn’t include in my story for today’s papers:

1. He’s really broken up about not pitching for South Korea in the World Baseball Classic. “One thousand percent — I really wanted to play in the WBC. But I felt obligated to the L.A. Dodgers,” Ryu said through an interpreter.

2. Ryu might have let Don Mattingly beat him at ping pong. “In their country it’s not polite to beat the manager, and he wanted me to tell him that,” pitching coach Rick Honeycutt said. “He couldn’t tell him but I could tell him.”

3. What did Sandy Koufax tell Ryu to do differently with the curveball? “Deeper into my hand,” Ryu said. “Instead of pushing with my thumb, deeper so then I can let the ball come out” over the index finger.

Here’s some of the buzz in spring training today:

• Two San Diego Padres were among the five new players linked to Miami PED dealer Tony Bosch in an ESPN.com report.

• Check out the recently-released book “Miracle on Grass” by David Fanucchi, the story of how Cheech and Chong took the world by storm in the 1970s Tommy Lasorda led the 2000 United States Olympic baseball team to its only gold medal.

• I’m taking a bunch of pictures here at spring training, like the one above. Check out the full collection on my Instagram and Facebook pages.

• Has former UCLA pitcher and Santa Clarita native Trevor Bauer evolved from bad rap to battle rap? Deadspin thinks so. Better question: Who would win a rap battle between Bauer and Chan Ho Park?

• This classic track by Venetian Snares bends several genres by sampling Igor Stravinsky’s “Three Pieces for Clarinet” and Bela Bartok’s String Quartet No. 1. I’m not sure what to call it. Drum-n-bass, classical and electronic music never blended so seamlessly:

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.