LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — As pitchers and catchers report to their designated camps to mark the beginning of Spring training 2015, a number of position players have already arrived to get a head start. That shows how much they are ready for baseball season to begin. Doubtless, we are all ready for baseball to begin, even though it has felt like Spring and Summer in LA for the last few months anyway. The beauty of baseball has always been its ability to involve everyone, from cheap seats during the regular season to picnic setups at Spring training. This is a welcomed time of the year, enjoyable for every baseball fan across the country, right?
Well, apparently not every baseball fan.
The lack of an agreement between the Time Warner Cable Sports network, who broadcasts Dodger games on television, and other LA-area cable and satellite providers, means Dodger fans may indeed go yet another season without being able to watch their team.
We take a look at some of the top moments Dodger fans missed in 2014 due to a lack of a deal in broadcasting games.
5.) Reemergence of Matt Kemp
2014 saw Kemp play in 150 games as he brought his average up to .287 with 25 homers and 89 RBIs. His home run count and RBIs, along with his 77 runs scored, all marked highs since his 2011 season, which statistically surpassed that year’s National League MVP, Ryan Braun. Kemp managed all of 73 games in 2013, following three trips to the disabled list and batting .270 with six homers and 33 RBI. His 2012 season, which started off on an absolute tear, marked the beginning of Kemp’s struggles. After becoming the first Dodger to record three straight multi-hit games since 2000, and leading the Dodgers to their best 10-game start since the championship 1981 season, Kemp was placed on the DL with a hamstring injury. The tragedy of Dodger fans being unable to see Matt Kemp in his final season as a Dodger cannot be understated.
4.) Bench Emergence
At the beginning of the season, no one expected former New York Mets utility man Justin Turner to “turn” many heads. This was a .280, 86 game guy in 2013 in New York, who launched himself into a new level with the Dodgers in 2014, batting .340/.404/.493 with seven homers and 43 RBI. His versatility came in huge for a Dodgers club struggling with infield injuries. Fan-favorite Scott Van Slyke, beard and all, also experienced a monstrous boost in productivity, improving from .240/.342/.465 with seven homers and 18 RBI in 2013, to a big .297/.386/.524 season with 11 homers and 29 RBI in 2014. The emergence of Miguel Rojas’ glove and arm were another bright spot for Dodger fans, who are used to rooting for the little guy.
3.) Birth of Bubble Machine
Based on how the Dodgers began their 2014 season, many could have said they had a bubble’s chance on a windy California day as far as winning the division and reaching the playoffs. So, that’s exactly what the Dodgers did. Perhaps the greatest investment by the league’s richest team was a $10 bubble machine for the dugout, used by players to celebrate home runs and build comradery. People who were unable to watch live games had to resort to YouTube after hearing about the now-fabled bubble machine. The thing even stirred some controversy, sparking Joe Torre’s involvement and investigation into the bubble machine — an event which came to be compassionately known as “Bubblegate”.
2.) Josh Beckett No Hitter
As great as the event was, it is borderline excruciating to say that the Dodgers’ first no-hitter in 18 years was not seen by most fans. Josh Beckett, who had missed all but a handful of games in 2013, and who had been a question-mark for a spot in the rotation in 2014, threw the 24th no-hitter in Dodgers history on May 25 in Philadelphia.
1.) Clayton Kershaw No Hitter
As long as Dodger fans had waited for Clayton Kershaw to notch his first no-hitter, they were unable to watch as he almost made even bigger history. Kershaw was on the verge of a perfect game until a Hanley Ramirez error quickly turned that hope into a no-no bid. That no-hitter was made possible by some astonishingly impressive defensive play, particularly on the part of Miguel Rojas.