Why Justin Turner started over Dee Gordon.

Justin Turner

Justin Turner (left) was given the start at second base Friday over Dee Gordon (right). (Associated Press photo)

SAN FRANCISCO >> Dee Gordon didn’t look like himself walking around the visitors’ clubhouse Friday. His head was mostly down, the hood on his sweatshirt mostly up.

Gordon wasn’t in the starting lineup for Friday’s game against Giants left-hander Madison Bumgarner, which prompted a question about whether or not the Dodgers’ second baseman was healthy or not.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Gordon is fine health-wise; that’s not the problem.

“He was mad,” Mattingly said.

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MLB clarifies rule 7.13, and Don Mattingly appreciates it.

MLB executive and former Dodgers manager Joe Torre sent an email Tuesday clarifying how Rule 7.13 (restricting catchers from blocking home plate) would be applied.

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly has been an outspoken advocate for clarifying the controversial rule. Here’s what he had to say about the email today:

Yasiel Puig sits out against the D-backs with stomach ailment

Dodgers center fielder Yasiel Puig sat out Saturday’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks because of a stomach ailment. Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said Joc Pederson, rather than Andre Either, would replace Puig.

“More than anything Yasiel is not feeling good today,” Mattingly said, explaining Puig’s absence from the starting lineup. “He’s going to have an IV. There’s something going on with his stomach, so we’ll see how that goes.

“It’s opportunity for Joc to do his thing. We don’t want to force him into the lineup or anything else. But it’s an opportunity for him. I think he has a chance to help us. It’s a great experience for him, more than anything. Hopefully, he can help us win some games.”

Pederson went into Saturday’s game hitting .222 (2 for 9) in his first four games in the big leagues after a stellar season in the minor leagues.

 

Why Erisbel Arruebarrena — who can’t swing — didn’t pinch run for A.J. Ellis earlier.

Erisbel Arruebarrena

Erisbel Arruebarrena was limited to pinch-running duties Wednesday because of a shoulder injury. (Getty Images)

In the 10th inning, when A.J. Ellis drew a one-out walk in a tie game, many of you chimed in on social media wondering why Don Mattingly didn’t pinch run for the slow-footed catcher.

Mattingly did use a pinch runner eventually, when the bases were loaded with one out. Erisbel Arruebarrena took Ellis’ place at third base, and barely had to move as Adrian Gonzalez and Juan Uribe struck out.
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About that Don Mattingly/Andre Ethier fight in the dugout Saturday.

Andre Ethier and Don Mattingly were arguing in the Dodgers’ dugout about something in the eighth inning of the Dodgers’ 12-2 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday. Neither was forthcoming after the game about the incident. Ethier told reporters that the incident was “misinterpreted.”

Mattingly was more forthcoming about the incident Sunday, saying that Ethier didn’t want to come out of the game in the ninth inning. The manager won the argument in that sense.

Sunday, Mattingly said the two apologized to each other, first he to Ethier then Ethier to him.

“We’re good,” Mattingly said. “I think the greatest thing when you have guys like Andre, he can voice his opinion, I can voice mine, and the next day we’re adults.

“At the end of the day, we’re family.”

Matt Kemp is out of the Dodgers’ starting lineup for the fifth straight game. When will he return?

Matt Kemp Don Mattingly

Matt Kemp wasn’t in the Dodgers’nstarting lineup for the fifth straight game Tuesday. (Keith Birmingham/Pasadena Star-News)

Don Mattingly and Matt Kemp had diverging opinions Monday about Kemp’s health, and that storyline isn’t going to go away anytime soon.

However, the gap between the two might be eased if Kemp gets penciled in to the starting lineup. For the fifth straight day, that didn’t happen. Carl Crawford, Andre Ethier and Yasiel Puig are manning the three outfield positions against the Cincinnati Reds.

Kemp said he took fly balls in left field Tuesday afternoon. When asked how long, he replied “doesn’t matter.” He wasn’t smiling.

Even the usually affable Mattingly got a bit testy when pressed about Kemp’s situation.
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Dodgers manager Don Mattingly leaves team due to a death in his family.

SURPRISE, Ariz. — Dodgers manager Don Mattingly left the Dodgers on Tuesday because of a death in the family. He’ll return Friday and bench coach Tim Wallach will manage the team in the meantime. The Dodgers host the Arizona Diamondbacks tomorrow and the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday at Camelback Ranch.

A team spokesperson confirmed the news late Tuesday afternoon, about 90 minutes after Mattingly addressed reporters following the Dodgers’ 7-5 win over the Kansas City Royals.

Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reported the news first.

Baseball’s new instant replay system in play for Dodgers, Angels in Tempe.

TEMPE, Ariz. — The Dodgers and the Angels will have instant replay at their disposal for their first head-to-head Cactus League game of 2014. Managers Don Mattingly and Mike Scioscia are able to challenge one umpire’s call during the first six innings. In innings 7, 8 and 9 the umpires can initiate a challenge.

The camera angles at Tempe Diablo Stadium aren’t what they will be during the Freeway Series, when replay will be in use for the first time. But Prime Ticket is televising the game, so at least the teams won’t be at the mercy of an in-house video feed.

It’s the first replay game for the Dodgers and the fourth for the Angels. Scioscia has already thrown one challenge and lost; I asked him this morning if he’ll challenge for the sake of challenging — practice for the manager, practice for the umpire, practice for Nick Francona.

“You have to practice the logistics that’s for sure, but I don’t want to make a mockery of it,” he said. “If there’s a play that makes sense — I know the umpires are looking forward to the challenge, just so they can get their end of it worked out too.”

Here are the lineups for both teams:
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SportsNet LA releases details about its initial night of programming.

Vin Scully

Vin Scully will work the first Dodgers spring training telecast on SportsNet LA. (Associated Press photo)

The Dodgers announced the programming lineup for launch night of SportsNet LA, the team-owned network set to debut next Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The evening will begin with “Access SportsNet: Dodgers,” followed by the inaugural episode of “Backstage: Dodgers,” back-to-back “Connected With…” interview shows featuring Clayton Kershaw and Don Mattingly and a one-hour retrospective special about last year’s season.

Among the other “prominent Dodger personalities” that will be featured that night are co-owner Earvin “Magic” Johnson, broadcaster Vin Scully, and special advisor Tommy Lasorda.

SportsNet LA is still attempting to find carriers in addition to Time Warner. As of right now, only Time Warner subscribers will be able to tune in when the network goes live. A spokesperson for the network said that the channel number still hasn’t been announced.

Here are some more details, provided by the team, about SportsNet LA’s debut-night programs:

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