February 25, 2021 - Jorge Castillo, Dodgers beat writer for the LA Times
Spring Training kind of snuck up on us, but now that we know it's here, we have questions. And to answer them, we hit up Jorge Castillo, who does outstanding work covering the Dodgers for the LA Times.
We start with atmosphere. It's no a normal Spring Training, whether talking about the players or the media covering them. What's the atmosphere like? How are the Dodgers responding to being champs... but in the weirdest possible season? Is there any chip on their shoulder, or a need to prove last year was legit by winning again over 162 games?
The projections for the Dodgers this year are insane. As high as 107 wins, according to simulations from ESPN. Who else could come close? If you have to pick nits with this team, where do you start? Castillo points to the back end of the pen, but even that's not a big problem in the spring, and may not become one in October.
What about Trevor Bauer? Any fear he could upset what has been some excellent chemistry over the last year-plus?
How does the Bauer deal reflect the current economics of baseball? And what might be coming as the league and the Player's Association get closer to negotiating a new CBA? Hint: It could get very ugly, very fast, he says.
Finally, we have a long conversation about language in clubhouses. Castillo, whose family is from Puerto Rico, writes in both English and Spanish for the Times. He talks about what is lost when media can't communicate with Spanish-native players in their first language, and how too often Spanish speaking players are treated as a monolith, when culturally there are huge differences.