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.
|Every ballplayer grows up with a role model. Those who make it to the big leagues often get the chance to interact with their childhood heroes, and those experiences rarely disappoint.
More»Mike Trout talks about his health, goals for 2014|
|Roberto Clemente was a trailblazer for Latino players, and his combination of talent on the field and humanitarian efforts off the diamond have allowed his legend to endure for generations.
More»Network looks back on the life and impact of Clemente|
|What happened to Chone Figgins? How does a player go almost overnight from invaluable to invisible? Put it in the files of unsolved baseball mysteries.
More»Figgins on missing the '13 season and joining LA|
|With the freedom to be aggressive at the plate, on the bases and in the field, Carlos Gomez has become one of MLB's top center fielders.
More» Gomez one of the best power-speed options|
|Although C.J. Wilson doesn't posses overpowering stuff, the lefty makes use of scouting reports and an awareness of his own skills to succeed.
More» Wilson looks to build on improvements in '14|
|Watch Colorado's Nolan Arenado closely at third base and you just might see some Adrian Beltre in the stylish, consistent excellence that brought him a 2013 Rawlings Gold Glove Award -- the first ever for a National League rookie at the demanding position.
More»Arenado picks up Gold Glove in rookie campaign|
|Numbers might not lie, but they don't always tell the whole truth -- or even come close, especially when it come to the true value catchers provide to a club, both on the diamond and in the clubhouse.
More» Molina provides impressive consistency|
|Everyone thought Scott Kazmir's career was over at 27, but he's found redemption by using yoga to gain balance and flexibility.
More» Move to Coliseum boosts Kazmir's value|
|Madison Bumgarner was born in 1989, just as Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were winding down an epic NBA rivalry. The basketball icons admittedly used each other to lift themselves to legendary heights. Something similar could be brewing in the National League West, as Bumgarner, the Giants' emerging star, gets set to author another chapter in his club's long rivalry with the Dodgers, led by fellow southpaw Clayton Kershaw.
More» Bumgarner still young, has tons of upside|
|With a healthy 2013, Padres righty Andrew Cashner set the stage for a possible breakout '14.
More»Black and Cashner on starting rotation|
|In the desert, D-back fans have every reason to be enthused about a new partnership. Call it "Thunder and More Thunder." Paul Goldschmidt and Mark Trumbo, his new left fielder, give manager Kirk Gibson a pair of long-distance operators.
More» Trumbo possesses stellar power, prone to K|
|As he welcomes Robinson Cano, his celebrated new teammate, Felix Hernandez clearly believes there is room for two kings in Seattle. King Felix watched the Seahawks celebrate in a fashion he'd love to see the Mariners replicate in the autumn.
More»Mariners add big bats, bullpen depth heading into '14|
|Arriving at the Dodgers' Spring Training complex, Dan Haren settled into a locker between Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke in an expensive corner of the clubhouse.
More»Mattingly discusses Haren, rotation in Dodgers camp|
|A central part of the curriculum during Black History Month focuses on Jackie Robinson's far-reaching impact on society in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. The franchise's pioneering spirit carried on after it relocated to Los Angeles in 1958. This was notably evident in 1963, when the club won the World Series with a with a predominantly black lineup, marking the first time that had happened.
More» Wills on being egomaniac, 'Uncle Maury'|
|On the campus of Manual Arts High School, near the University of Southern California, memories of a young Paul Blair came flooding back Saturday in a memorial service filled with stirring music and messages of love and admiration.
More»Remembering the career of outfielder Paul Blair|
|Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would applaud the efforts to enrich and enlighten young people at the Compton Urban Youth Academy.
More»Former players remember Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.|
|They do everything but wear hard hats and tool kits draped around their waists. Long men and setup men form baseball's construction crews, earnestly building bridges to the familiar figure working the ninth inning to entrance music and roars.
More» Avilan saves lead with huge double play|
|Miguel Cabrera has been the game's best hitter the past two years, in part because of the protection provided by Prince Fielder. But with Fielder's deal to Texas this offseason, Cabrera could see far fewer pitches to drive.
More»Daniels, Washington, Prince discuss move to Texas|
|Quietly and with financial restraint, in their fashion, the Cardinals have made two moves that will have significant impact in the heart of their defense. The imports should improve a pitching staff that figures to be even more dominant with the maturation of the sport's purest collection of young arms.
More»Bourjos acquisition solidifies Cardinals' defense|
|As a catcher in the Dodgers' organization in the late 1970s and into the '80s, Mike Scioscia played on clubs that managed to win big amid untold internal strife. So the Angels' manager is of the view that clubhouse chemistry can be overrated in relation to what's found on the field.
More»Scioscia talks about importance of adding pitching|