Lyle Spencer has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2005, covering the Padres and Angels. He has covered Major League Baseball as a reporter and columnist since 1971.
|Jackie Robinson is an American story, but he's also a Southern California story. This is where the legendary figure began his journey, where that competitive spirit, resolve and high intelligence that would carry him through life and change a nation took root and formed.
More»Jackie Robinson's legacy to be celebrated April 15|
|Promising Tigers third baseman Nick Castellanos, who idolized Josh Beckett as a member of the 2003 World Series Champion Marlins, got the best of the veteran for his first big league homer.
More» Castellanos hammers a three-run dinger|
|Given the wave of flame-throwing pitchers crashing the game's shores, it seems more prudent than ever to avoid getting behind in counts. A first-pitch fastball might be the best delivery a hitter will see in a given at-bat.
More» Miggy homers for 2,000th career hit|
|Torii Hunter admits he might have lost "a half-step" at age 38, but that's about as far as he will go in concession to Father Time.
More» Hunter belts a solo shot to open the scoring|
|With today being the 40th anniversary of Hank Aaron connecting on career homer No. 715 to pass Babe Ruth as the game's all-time home run leader, Hammerin' Hank's former teammate Dusty Baker and former opponents Davey Lopes and Al Downing, who gave up the homer, fondly recall bearing witness to the record-setting event.
More»Hank Aaron and Al Downing remember home run No. 715|
|Over the long haul, success on the road "can make your season," Giants manager Bruce Bochy says. And judging by his track record in recent seasons, he should know.
More» Posey hits a solo home run to left|
|Whatever you think or feel about the Los Angeles Dodgers, you have to admit they have some crazy-good depth. Yasiel Puig steps aside, and Matt Kemp steps in.
More» Kemp keeps rally going with RBI double|
|Gone are the days when teams and clubhouses were ruled by the authoritative voice of a field commander. The prototype now is a relatively young former player running the show with a demeanor closer to a corporate head than a ranting old-school skipper.
More»Mattingly optimistic Kemp will soon return to team|
|Angels players and staff were still trying to absorb the aftereffects of hitting coach Don Baylor breaking his right leg on Opening Day while catching Vladimir Guerrero's ceremonial first pitch.
More» Baylor hurt during Vlad's first pitch|
|Mariners ace Felix Hernandez, who improved to 5-0 on Opening Day with an impressive 11-strikeout performance at Angel Stadium on Monday, knew he'd have to be on his game because he was starting against fellow American League West stalwart Jered Weaver.
More» Hernandez strikes out Trout on nine pitches|
|The Padres' season got of to an uplifting start Sunday on Opening Night at Petco Park, with newcomer Seth Smith hitting a tying pinch-hit home run off Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson to spark a three-run game-winning rally.
More» Padres mount rally to overcome deficit|
|The A's, Rangers and Angels are talented enough that they could give the AL West three teams in the postseason this year, but injuries are already mounting for Oakland and Texas.
More»Duquette on Rangers' plans after injuries|
|The best rebounders in the Golden State's Bay Area this year might not be Andrew Bogut and David Lee of the Warriors. Keep your eyes on the Giants' Buster Posey and Josh Reddick of the Athletics. They appear poised to take flight and do some amazing things.
More» Reddick robs Morse twice|
|The Dodgers have the star power and the unmatched payroll, but the Giants have their privacy and solitude. Oh, and this: two World Series championships in the past four seasons, something no other team in the sport can flaunt.
More»Krukow and Kuiper preview the Giants' 2014 season|
|Howie Kendrick may not have amassed a ton of personal accomplishments, but all he cares about is the team's ultimate goal.
More» Kendrick's ground-rule double scores Hamilton|
|Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy gives Ron Roenicke a rare luxury few managers have: consistently productive offense along with quality work behind the plate.
More» Lucroy belts a two-run homer in the first|
|Loud clubhouses generally are happy clubhouses. Noise in the forms of music, laughter and fraternity-like pranks and interactions can translate into vibrant on-field performance over the long grind of a 162-game season.
More»Dominican Republic dances Salsa during game|
|Coco Crisp believes the 2014 Oakland outfield is one of the best he's ever been a part of, and its defensive prowess should help support an ailing rotation.
More» Reddick robs Morse twice with amazing grabs|
|In just two full seasons, Mike Trout has established himself as the best all-around player in the game. However, for all of his talent, Trout has not been able to lead the Angels to the postseason.
More» Trout hits a two-run home run in the sixth|
|When the conversation turns to baseball's best pitchers, here's a name that shouldn't be overlooked, but often is: Jered Weaver.
More» Weaver whiffs five in 5 1/3 innings|