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.
Roberts was the San Diego Padres’ first base coach from 2011-13 and their bench coach the last two seasons. He has never managed at any level.
As an outfielder, Roberts starred at UCLA before playing 10 major league seasons for five different teams from 1999-2008. He broke through as an everyday player after being traded to the Dodgers prior to the 2002 season, then was traded to the Boston Red Sox in July 2004. His stolen base in Game 4 of that year’s American League Championship Series lifted the Red Sox to victory and keyed their comeback in the series.
Roberts, whose father is African-American and mother is Japanese, would become the first minority manager in Dodgers history. The team has yet to make an official announcement, and Roberts isn’t expected to be introduced Monday. According to several reports Sunday, his contract has yet to be finalized.
The Dodgers added pitchers Jharel Cotton and Ross Stripling to their 40-man roster on Friday, the deadline to protect eligible minor-league players from the Rule 5 draft.
Had they not been added, Cotton and Stripling could have been selected by another team in the annual Rule 5 draft, which is Dec. 10 this year.
There are now 39 players on the Dodgers’ 40-man roster.
Cotton, who turns 24 in January, saw time at four different levels in 2015. He was 5-2 with a 2.30 ERA for Double-A Tulsa before earning a promotion to Triple-A Oklahoma City in August, where he made five relief appearances and allowed four runs.
In four Arizona Fall League starts for the Glendale Desert Dogs, Cotton pitched 10 ⅔ innings with a 3.38 ERA.
Stripling had Tommy John surgery in April 2014 and didn’t return to the mound until June 14. He went on to make 13 starts for Double-A Tulsa, posting a 3.38 ERA in 67 ⅓ innings.
Neither pitcher is expected to play Winter baseball.
Seinfeld episode: “The Diplomat’s Club” (season 6, episode 22).
Key quote: “Oh, our stupid friend freaked out the pilot. Single-handedly delayed the plane a whole hour. Can you believe that?”
The connection between Daniel Coulombe and a Seinfeld episode about a pilot is a bit of a stretch. Then again, it’s a bit of a stretch that Daniel Coulombe is alive at all.
The 26-year-old lefty started the season in Triple-A and ended it as a member of the Oakland A’s, who got him in a Sept. 10 trade for cash. In between, Coulombe was recalled from the minors and sent back on five separate occasions. He made one relief appearance for the Dodgers in May, three in June, and one more in July. That’s five games, none of which were particularly close when Coulombe entered. You could have blinked and missed all of it.
Without a doubt, the best story involving Coulombe this year emerged in spring training.
His grandfather, a flight engineer in World War II, was spared his life by a German fighter pilot during an air raid over Berlin. Forty years later, the American and German veterans met for the first time. Had the German shot down Bertrand Coulombe’s B-17, Daniel Coulombe certainly wouldn’t be alive. It’s a cool story, and it’s true.
In “The Diplomat’s Club,” all four characters have deeply involved storylines that somehow manage to overlap — the classic Seinfeld formula at its best. With the exception of George (who goes to great lengths to work out his white guilt), every character is impacted by a commercial airline pilot in some way. The pilot doesn’t have a speaking line in the episode, maybe because he wasn’t actually an actor. Check out the back story:
Bertrand Coulombe didn’t have a speaking role in the Dodgers’ season, but he played a small-yet-vital role nonetheless.
Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and right fielder Yasiel Puig high five after Game 4 of the National League Division Series in October. (Getty Images)
In an interview today with St. Louis sports broadcaster Frank Cusumano, retired baseball player and coach Andy Van Slyke shared a revealing anecdote about Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig.
What made it particularly revealing: It came from inside the Dodgers’ clubhouse.
“When the best player, highest-paid player on the Los Angeles Dodgers goes to the GM and … is asked what is the number-one need … of the Los Angeles Dodgers club, this particular highest-paid player said, ‘the first thing you need to do is get rid of Puig’,” Van Slyke said.
When Cusumano noted that pitcher Clayton Kershaw is the Dodgers’ highest-paid player, Van Slyke replied, “I didn’t say his name.”