“No, just because I knew what our bench was at that time,” he said. “We had all lefties besides (switch-hitting catcher Yasmani) Grandal sitting on the bench. Those guys have been used primarily as position players too. You don’t want to burn one of your double-switch guys.” Ethier is not a double-switch guy. His fractured right tibia still hasn’t fully healed, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said he can play the outfield if needed.That hasn’t happened yet, in part, because “there’s some other guys defensively that I like a little better,” Roberts said.If anything, Ethier’s plate appearance was a consequence of the Dodgers choosing to keep an extra relief pitcher and only two catchers for the NLCS. Having Austin Barnes on the end of the bench freed up Carlos Ruiz to pinch hit in the NL Division Series against the Washington Nationals. Now, Ruiz’s at-bats might go to Ethier — even with a left-handed pitcher on the mound.As his only plate appearance Saturday suggested, that might not be such a bad thing after all. CHICAGO >> Andre Ethier’s pinch hit home run in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday was unusual. Just ask Cole Hamels.Hamels was pitching for the Philadelphia Phillies on Aug. 8, 2013 when he threw Ethier a fastball down the middle of the plate to begin the second inning. Ethier planted the pitch in the right-center field seats at Citizens Bank Park for a home run.Ethier made another 997 plate appearances prior to the NLCS. None resulted in a home run off a left-handed pitcher before Saturday.Was Ethier surprised to be in the batter’s box against Cubs left-hander Jon Lester in the first place? To Trump or not to TrumpRoom-service preferences, family obligations – or maybe politics – will occasionally prompt one of the Dodgers’ players to ask the team’s staff to arrange accommodations at a hotel other than the team hotel during a road trip. When the Dodgers came to Chicago to face the Cubs at the end of May, the team stayed at the same hotel they have been using for years – the Trump International Hotel and Tower near the Chicago River. Their Mexican-American first baseman did not.“I didn’t stay there,” Adrian Gonzalez confirmed. “I had my reasons.”The inference is obvious. Though he was born in San Diego, Gonzalez grew up in Mexico where his family has deep roots and his father owns a business. Gonzalez has played for the Mexican national team in numerous international competitions including the World Baseball Classic. He has been involved in charitable endeavors in Mexico, including refurbishing the sports complex in Tijuana where he played as a youth. Just this summer, he stepped in to help a youth baseball team from Mexico that was stranded in Los Angeles when its sponsor backed out of its commitment.The Chicago hotel’s owner is, of course, presidential candidate Donald Trump. The Republican nominee has campaigned on a platform that includes promises to “build a wall” on the Mexico-U.S. border to prevent illegal immigrants from crossing, and has called Mexican immigrants “rapists” who bring crime and drugs with them. One recent poll shows Hillary Clinton outpolling Trump 70 percent to 19 percent among Latino voters.Gonzalez smiled as he declined to specify his reasons for not staying at the team hotel in June, saying, “We’re here to play baseball not talk politics.”Indeed, the Dodgers were in Chicago to play baseball again this past weekend – but they did not stay at the Trump hotel. The reason wasn’t political, however. The hotel required a non-refundable deposit in order to hold a block of rooms for the team. Until their Game 5 victory over the Washington Nationals late Thursday night, the Dodgers weren’t sure they would need those rooms. Arrangements were made with a different hotel.Quick hitsThe Dodgers still haven’t chosen a starting pitcher for Game 4. Roberts expressed some uncertainty around Game 3 starter Rich Hill possibly exacerbating a blister on his left index finger. … Left-handers Julio Urias and Brett Anderson (not on 25-man roster) both traveled to Chicago and threw bullpens on Sunday. … With his single in the fifth inning, Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw now has a hit in five consecutive postseason series.Staff writer Bill Plunkett contributed to this report Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error
A Florida teen whose family struggled with homelessness is now his school’s valedictorian.Martin Folsom is graduating at the top of his class as his schools valedictorian at A. Philip Randolph Career Academy.According to Action News Jax Folsom and his mother have lived in and out of homeless shelters since he was a child.Folsom said his drive for a better future kept him going. He says his mother has always encouraged him to keep going, “She has been the person that whenever I did end up getting upset or whenever I needed somebody to laugh with or talk to she was always there, she was always encouraging me,” he said. “As far as I know, I’m the first person in my family to actually get a college degree.”Folsom said he plans to attend Valdosta State University in Georgia in the Fall.
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