Touchdown in Denver

No, it’s not a Mile High salute to my favorite football team, the Broncos. Just a weak title for our arrival in Colorado.

The plane ride in was a bit bumpy and it was raining here when we landed, but we’re no worse for the wear. With several hours left in the evening, everyone is about to scatter for some good dinner. The hot spot seems to be Rodizio, a Brazilian churrascaria (steakhouse) down the street from the ballpark. Hopefully the day off will help, as the team is 5-1 in games after an off day.

People talk about Grady being a player’s manager and it’s the little things that continue to impress me. As is the case with most baseball teams, when we travel, we’re all required to wear sport coats or suits so that we look like a professional organization. I think that’s a great rule and it is important that we project ourselves in a professional manner. But for this one trip, Grady relaxed the dress code and allowed guys to pack a little less than normal because we’ll only be gone for three days.

I know, it seems like a meaningless change to most people, but it just shows that Grady is thinking of ways to mix it up a little and show his players that he cares. Of course anyone would be more comfortable in nice jeans or khakis (and in Brad Penny’s case, a cowboy hat), but I think the gesture meant more than the actual ability to pack lighter for Denver. Anyway, just one of those little things that people seem to enjoy reading about on this blog.

I haven’t forgotten about the draft day contest. We had eight winners and all of them will be getting the baseline seats, as we decided it’s not fair to penalize those that got in late (as long as they got their picks in before the draft). An email will be coming your way shortly if you picked Clayton Kershaw and Bryan Morris.

And for you history buffs, here’s an interesting note. It was on this day in 1955 that a young left-hander named Tommy Lasorda was optioned to Montreal to make room for another young southpaw named Sandy Koufax, who had been on the injured list.

9 Comments

Saw Tommy Lasorda tonight as a guest on the Blue Jay-Oriole game. He is on a tour of baseball cities as part of the Home Run Challenge in support of prostate cancer. I recall Tommy being with the Dodgers briefly but sent down because Koufax couldn’t be. Tommy will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame on June 24. He is the winningest pitcher in the old International AAA League playing with the Montreal Royals. Got backed up behind Newcombe, Erskine, Craig, Koufax, Roe, etc.

Hey Josh, Thanks for the little tid bits, keep them coming, it fun to see the human side of these guys. On a normal trip how many people travel on the plane, including players, staff family etc… ??
Go Dodgers !!

Hey Josh, just an idea but instead of having Tommy as the other Blog next to yours, he’s so busy, why not have a player a month post one. This way the players can have something to do on down time and traveling and it’ll put another human side to the fan relationship !!! My bet would be that you could get a few to agree !! What do you say ??
Go Dodgers !!

You’ll have a hard time getting Tommy off the front page, but a player blog would be a cool idea. I think it would be great to do that with the younger players. Possible titles:

“Rookies of the Year”

“The New Blue”

“Blue Man Eats Orange for Breakfast”

Josh –

Good stuff. The behind the scenes stuff is really interesting and its nice to have something new to read on the travel days.

I would love to live the life of a big leaguer, but the traveling would get to me. Are there any players in particular that aren’t too fond of flying?

Tommy Lasorda told us that great story when he visited Honolulu this winter as an ambassador for the WBC. He said when the manager at the time told him he’d be optioned down, Lasorda argued with something to the effect of: “Sending me down? why don’t you send someone else down?” when the manager responded with “who?” Lasorda said: “Koufax.” “And to this day, i still think they sent down the wrong guy,” he said with a smile. what a great story.

I had heard that Tommy story, perhaps in his book, The Artful Dodger. I also remember Sandy Koufax was a bonus baby and couldn’t be sent down for two years or so. He pitched very little his first couple of years and couldn’t throw strikes. He basically took up space on the bench. The Dogers thankfully showed great patience in knowing what his upside could be. If not for the bonus rule Tommy no doubt could have gotten a MLB career started. However, a happy ending. A Hall of Fame pitcher extrodinaire and Tommy, Mr. Dodger, also extrodinaire. Last night on the Blue Jay game, Darren Fletcher publicly thanked Tommy for his encouragement and support when Darren was starting in the Dodger system and hit .206 in his first season. It would be interesting to know how many players Tommy has influenced positively over his almost 60 years with the Dodger. He said last night his greatest achievement is that he has outlasted everyone of those with the Dodgers since he started in 1947.

With the trouble that the bottom of our SP staff has been having, have the Dodgers considered using the services of a sports psychologist?
There is a good write up of the problems that some athletes have that keep them in the minors even though they have the same physical qualities as major league stars at http://www.competitivedge.com/sps/ic/baseball/index.html

Maybe Odalis Perez and Jae Seo need to have a talk with this guy.

I remember that Maury Wills used a sports psychologist to overcome the fear and anxiety that came from having to slide over and over on his raw and very painful “strawberries” on his legs.

If one of the eight winners of the tickets lives out of state and is unable to attend, please consider donating them or selling them cheap to me. I am on disability and taking my family of four to a Dodger game is a huge financial challenge, even just getting the cheap seats way up in the 4th deck. With the price of gas and the parking and concessions, it is probably still something I would have to save for a few months to be able to afford. Getting baseline seats would be a dream come true!

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