Dodgers Rumors: Defensive Strategy Leads To Mets Contacting Major League Baseball
Dodgers Rumors: Defensive Strategy Leads To Mets Contacting Major League Baseball
Jon SooHoo

The hiring of Andrew Friedman as president of baseball operations in October 2014 marked a seismic shift in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ front office. Friedman is well-versed in advanced stats, and he’s surrounded himself by those who also excel in the field.

That’s coincided with the Dodgers hiring a slew of personnel to form quite the robust front office. While it’s drawn some concerns and mocking over having “too many cooks in the kitchen,” the expansive group of executives is simply another means of the organization using their resources to gain any sort of competitive advantage.

Along with the general rise in defensive shifts, Friedman’s arrival in Los Angeles has resulted in the club relying more heavily on the tactic.

Prior to every game players are part of various meetings to review the specific strategy, notes and any other pertinent information for that day’s opponent. More specifically for the outfielders, defensive shifts and alignments are outlined after the use of a laser rangefinder.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Dodgers’ desire to mark spots in the outfield at Citi Field angered the New York Mets:

The Mets contacted Major League Baseball on Friday after learning that the Dodgers intended to mark prearranged defensive positions in the outfield at Citi Field, according to major-league sources.

The Dodgers reportedly received permission to mark positions, but the grounds crew was later instructed otherwise by the Mets:

Initially, the Mets grounds crew agreed that the Dodgers could leave two marks in center field and one in left.

“We went to them,” a Dodgers official said. “We weren’t trying to be sneaky.”

The Mets’ grounds crew, however, told their superiors that the Dodgers informed them that if the markers were removed, Dodgers players would dig holes in the outfield with their cleats. The Mets then instructed their grounds crew to erase or obliterate anything they saw on the playing surface.

Another issue that’s inexplicably been raised over recent weeks, including Friday night, is television cameras capturing a Dodgers outfielder removing an object from his back pocket to look at. Rather than it being the purported cell phone, it’s a sheet with details of the planned shifts — something that is perfectly legal to carry.

The use of a laser rangefinder is also permitted by Major League Baseball, so long as it isn’t during a game.