A little motivation – Josh Rawitch

For the last 59 years, the Dodgers have been coming down here to Vero Beach, FL to train for the upcoming season and incredibly, Tommy Lasorda has been here for nearly all of them. Tommy, who enters his 57th season with the club this year, arrived last night and will be here for the next couple weeks before taking off for his official duties as the Ambassador to the World Baseball Classic.

Tommy_and_chadGrady Little asked Tommy to speak to the team this morning and his ability to fire up a room still amazes me. I’ve been fortunate enough to hear him give motivational speeches on many occasions and while some of the stories are told and retold, his zest for delivering them is always at a level that’s above the rest. It really is hard to believe that he is 78 years old. There were several young prospects in the room (including Chad Billingsley, pictured) and many had never seen him or heard him speak in person before. His passion really is unparalleled.

Equally as impressive is Maury Wills, who first came to Dodgertown in 1951 and is still wearing a uniform every day, working with the Dodger players on their bunting and baserunning. Maury is 73 years old and he’s just as energetic as Tommy, though in a little different way.

And on this, his 68th birthday, I can’t fail to mention Manny Mota, who has been with the team for 37 years and 27 as a coach, the longest of any coach in club history. He is so devoted to the community, it’s hard to describe. He’s shown me pictures of the work that the Manny Mota Foundation does in the Dominican Republic and you can’t even imagine the looks on these kids’ faces.  He is always a tremendous help to the people in the Dodger front office and at 68 years old, still has plenty to offer the current Dodger team.

There are some teams that might take this for granted or others who aren’t fortunate to have the history that this organization has, but just walking around Dodgertown makes you realize just how special this franchise is. There are legends around every single day and their devotion to this team and its fans is really something else. If you have never been, the trip is well worth it.


  1. ktakase@hawaii.edu

    That’s great stuff. It’s awesome to see these guys still bleeding Dodger Blue. I was fortunate to meet Tommy Lasorda about 6 weeks ago. He was here in Hawaii promoting the WBC and came into our newsroom. He’s such a genuine guy. When he talks, people listen. And you know he’s a true Dodger when he described death as “meeting the big Dodger in the sky.” what a guy. This year’s team should be great. Sounds like it’s all coming together down there in Dodgertown. Go Dodgers!

  2. a-roe@sbcglobal.net

    I play in an adult baseball league and was fortunate enough to have on our team a former Dodger pitcher, who made it to AA ball before an injury ended his dream. He told me about Tommy and said he can light up a stadium with his energy and enthusiasim. Very, VERY, VERY enthusiastic! My wife and I also had the oppurtunity to meet with Tommy and speak to him for a few moments and he is also a very gracious man. Glad to see he is still involved with team on a regular basis, and what a treat to see him in uniform during spring training. Love to see the familiar number 2 on the back of a Dodger uniform.

  3. enchantedTheBeav

    Crossing my fingers Frank & Jamie reach an impasse this morning in their settlement talks. True to form, Frank says they have an agreement, Jamie says they don’t.

  4. messagebear

    Now that the McCourts have a settlement, our remaining hope is Bud – how ironic.
    That will probably involve prolonged lawsuits. In the meantime, all good fans will provide many EMPTY SEATS starting this weekend.

  5. messagebear

    I don’t think that Frank would agree to any settlement that would require him to sell the team.
    This unfortunately means that they’ll both be in favor of the Fox deal, so that Frank can get money up front to pay off Jamie. That means our team will suck forever, unless MLB gets both the McCourts out of the way.

      • sparkleplenty1s

        No smoke – the courts can’t approve the deal. Selig will either approve it or not depending on the results of MLB’s investigation. God, I hope they dig up some good dirt so these ******’s have to sell.

  6. messagebear

    I believe we’re saved, my friends.
    From what I understand of the settlement, MLB would have to be crazy to approve the Fox deal at this point. MLB would be properly justified to postpone the decision on the Fox deal until after the August 5th date when the Dodger ownership is to be decided by judge Gordon. MLB could justifiably say that they don’t want to decide on the Fox deal, given the chance that the Dodger assets would be considered community property and would have to then be sold to partition that asset. Why would a new prospective owner want to be bound by a deal arranged by Frank McCourt. That could only diminish the value for the new owner and presumably for MLB in general.
    I also have to laugh at the idea made by Frank that the advance payment by Fox would all go to the Dodger business interests. At least a $100 million off the top would reportedly be going to Frank and Jamie and to pay their respective attorneys and other fees. Beyond that who wants to believe Frank that the rest of the prepaid millions would be going into the Dodgers. Someone who had no problem in diverting a $100 million or so over the past five years to their own personal use would have no problem in cheating the fans and MLB of the rest of the Fox prepaid funds.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s