Los Angeles Dodgers celebrations this season have included David Peralta’s freight train arm motion, lighthearted reenactments of Freddie Freeman dancing, and most recently Miguel Rojas hand-writing signs in the dugout.
Rojas helped bring laughs for his Dodgers teammates in the second game of an expected doubleheader against the Cleveland Guardians. He went 1-for-3 with a run scored in the suspended contest that was played over two separate days, then was out of the Dodgers lineup for the series finale.
“I kind of get bored when I’m on the bench,” Rojas told DodgerBlue.com. “So I made my own sign with a Sharpie. In the dugouts there’s a lot of shenanigans that happen throughout the season. I feel like I brought a couple that the guys had never heard before.”
Rojas wrote “Take that ball” and occasionally held it up after some of his teammates’ hits. It’s one of two phrases the veteran shortstop has coined.
“It’s related to when you swing at a pitch and don’t really hit it hard. So I always scream, ‘Take that, ball,’ and everybody laughs,” Rojas explained. “The other one that we have is, ‘How you hold that?’ That’s related to a pitcher when he bounces a ball right in front of the plate or overthrows the catcher and the ball goes to the backstop. I always scream in the dugout, ‘How you hold that?’
“It’s a way to keep it loose and not take it so personal. I feel that’s one of the things we’ve been really good at. We don’t take things personal. We move on really quick. When you keep the same kind of energy on the positive side, you don’t want to get a jam shot. Like Chris Taylor, the other day he hit a ball that was 36 miles per hour at 36 degrees.
“It just landed behind the pitcher, and he got a hit. I think it was an RBI too. That’s a perfect, ‘Take that, ball.’ So he’s the king right now of, ‘Take that ball.’ We’re having fun. He probably is not feeling great about that hit because he got jammed and the way he envisioned getting a hit is not that way, but I feel like with that, we keep it positive and continue to move forward.”
Teammates have not yet reciprocated the sign for Rojas on any of his hits, but it did evolve to becoming a printed-out version with the team’s logo when the Dodgers were on their last homestand.
“People will start understanding a little more what happens in the dugout, which is something I think is fun,” Rojas said. “Especially with the celebrations at second base, they know where it comes from. And obviously the choo choo train because of Peralta. So this is kind of what our identity is.”
And on top of looking to keep the mood light, Rojas has improved at the plate recently, which included tying a career high with four hits on Sunday.
Miguel Rojas picks favorite Dodgers celebration
Although Rojas is the creator of a Dodgers celebration, his favorite is Freeman’s dance.
“It happened so pure. At the Gala, Freddie was dancing and having a great time. Somehow he appeared on the Internet the next day,” Rojas recalled. “Everybody saw the dance and we said we would do it after hitting a double. We started that conversation back in Texas, and we were thinking about if Will Smith is going to do it, or Chris Taylor.
“Their personalities are not like that, but what’s what you see with a really good team. Everybody is involved and on board with the celebration.”
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