Andrew Friedman Defends Dodgers’ Decision To Limit Access To Jessica Mendoza & David Ross During 2019 Season
ESPN reporter Jessica Mendoza before a game during the 2015 World Series
Denny Medley/USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Dodgers implemented a new team policy during the 2019 season that limited clubhouse access to advisors from other MLB organizations.

This created an interesting wrinkle for ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcasters Jessica Mendoza and David Ross, who respectively held roles with the New York Mets and Chicago Cubs front office.

Frustrated with the rule, Mendoza recently spoke out on how the Dodgers denied her clubhouse access prior to Game 3 of the National League Division Series at Nationals Park. Part of Mendoza’s gripe was that L.A. didn’t consistently enforce this policy, leaving her confused as to why she wasn’t allowed to speak with players for select contests.

It prompted a response from Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman, who defended the organization’s decision to limit access to Mendoza and other team advisors, via Marc Carig of The Athletic:

“For me, if someone is really involved in the front-office operation of another team, we don’t think it’s right to give them unfettered access to our players,” Friedman said. “I think it’s pretty cut and dried. It’s hard for me to see the other side of it, personally. If that’s not the case, then I think there will be an arms race in hiring announcers to work for our front office to go get information on players.”

Friedman also assured that the Dodgers’ policy was regularly enforced, revealing that it first came to fruition during Spring Training:

“We had this policy in spring training,” Friedman said. “I wasn’t with the team every time so I can’t speak to (its enforcement). But our policy was consistent.”

“I felt very comfortable with what our policy was,” Friedman said. “I called the people involved and talked to them about it and let them ask questions. We weren’t trying to hide behind anything. Again, I see it very clearly and wanted to express that and talk about it, open it up for any questions.”

Mendoza, hired by the Mets in March 2019, assists general manager Brodie Van Wagenen in multiple departments, including analytics and talent evaluation. She reportedly had input in the club’s July 31 trade deadline discussions as well.

Ross, of course, was named Joe Maddon’s successor as Cubs manager last month. He has essentially been part of the organization for the last four years, spending two as a player and the other two as as an advisor.

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