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.

Are these the most dangerous seats in baseball?

ST. PETERSBURG — Nomar Garciaparra told me an interesting story earlier today while we looked at the section of seats jutting out toward third base beyond the Dodgers’ dugout at Tropicana Field.

Whenever he played here with the Boston Red Sox, if Garciaparra saw a child sitting in the closest seat to home plate, he would actually walk over to that section and ask the adult sitting closest to the child to switch seats. That seat isn’t the closest to home plate of any in Major League Baseball, but it might the most exposed to a foul ball traveling at 100-plus mph. It’s dangerous enough for anyone to sit there, let alone a child, and Garciaparra figured he’d do what he could to make a difference.

See for yourself. The section juts out at a weird angle from the dugout, leaving fans uniquely exposed — particularly when a left-handed hitter is batting:
Tropicana Field third base seats
Here’s the view from behind home plate. Look at the Raymond James ad in the left side of this frame. That’s the section.
Tropicana Field
MLB recommended that all 30 teams extend the protective netting behind home plate to the edge of each dugout. Fans sitting in these seats are still exposed.

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Andrew Friedman: Tampa Bay ‘will always be a meaningful part of my life.’

Andrew Friedman press conference
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Andrew Friedman doesn’t often have press conferences, not in Los Angeles, and especially not on the road. But he made an exception today when the Dodgers visited the team he helped turn from an also-ran into a World Series contender.

Friedman, an executive in the Tampa Bay Rays’ front office from 2004-13, reminisced about his time here earlier today:

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Kiké Hernandez leads off, will DH for Dodgers in Tampa Bay.

Fourth American League park in the books. #Rays #Dodgers #roadtrip

A photo posted by J.P. Hoornstra (@jphoornstra) on


ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Kiké Hernandez will be the Dodgers’ designated hitter for the opener of their two-game series against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Hernandez is leading off against left-hander Matt Moore. Joc Pederson is starting in center field — just like Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said last week — and shortstop Corey Seager is getting the day off in favor of Charlie Culberson. Pederson and Adrian Gonzalez are the only left-handers in the lineup for the 4 p.m. (PT) interleague game.

Here are the full lineups for both teams:

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Game 26: Clayton Kershaw carries the Dodgers to a much-needed win.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw struck out 14 batters and didn’t allow a run in throwing his first complete game of the season Sunday. (Associated Press photo)

The Dodgers’ losing streak ended at six games and Clayton Kershaw made all the difference. The left-hander tossed his first complete game of the season and drove in the only run in a 1-0 win over the San Diego Padres. The game story is here. The box score is here.

Yasiel Puig is optimistic he can work his way out of his current slump.

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Why Yasiel Puig is batting leadoff today against the San Diego Padres.

Yasiel Puig

Yasiel Puig will lead off Sunday for the first time since last July. (Sarah Reingewirtz/Staff photographer)


The first time Yasiel Puig was penciled into a major league lineup, he hit leadoff. The last time — before Sunday — was July of last year.

In one sense, it’s a surprise he ever moved from the top of the lineup. For his career Puig has a .467 on-base percentage, with almost as many walks (6) as strikeouts (8), when leading off a game.

Today, Puig will lead off against the San Diego Padres not because he’s hot but because he’s cold. In his last 14 games Puig has a .137/.154/.235 slash line.

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