July 2006

Today's lineup

A little lineup shakeup following the morning trade:

Furcal, SS

Lofton, CF

Ethier, LF

Saenz, 1B (I’ll know more about Nomar’s knee when I get downstairs)

Ledee, RF

Hall, C

Izzy, 3B

Martinez, 2B

Hendrickson, P

We’ll see if this one helps get us back on track…

Dodgers Acquire Dessens

There will be more on this to come, but I wanted to break the news here that we’ve re-acquired Elmer Dessens in exchange for Odalis Perez, Single-A right-handers Blake Johnson and Julio Pimentel and cash considerations.

Given that I read all your comments each day, I’m assuming most of you will like this deal, but until I get the chance to write again, feel free to debate the pros and cons here. After all, that’s what this blog is all about anyway, right?

Today's lineup

Furcal, SS

Drew, RF (Back in the 2 hole)

Nomar, 1B

Ethier, LF

Martin, C

Aybar, 2B

Repko, CF (Welcome back!)

Izzy, 3B

Lowe, P

Sandy Alomar Trade

My apologies for not getting to this until this morning, but when trades happen, our department gets a little crazed, as you can imagine. There are all sorts of things that take place to make sure the announcement goes smoothly.

Before I give a brief description of those events, I want to say that Sandy’s professional attitude will certainly be missed around here, as will the fact that he was very clutch with the bat this year and was a great mentor to Dioner, Russell and the rest of the team. However, everyone knows the kind of spark a player like Jason Repko can provide and right now, it’s pretty clear that this team could use that. Fortunately for Sandy, he gets to go to his hometown and another team in contention, and he took this all in stride.

In terms of our department’s role when a trade happens, it’s multi-faceted. When I learned of the trade being completed in the middle of yesterday’s game, our first job was to do a little research on B.J. LaMura so that we could put together a press release. However, I had to do this in the press box without letting anyone around me know what was happening, as the most important thing is that Sandy hears about the trade directly from Ned and Grady and not through the media.

Whenever a trade is made, we also coordinate our efforts with the other team, so I spoke with the White Sox to make sure that we both made the announcement at the same time.  We would hate for media in another city to find out about our trade before we tell our own local media, so we agreed that we’d make the announcement at 4:15.

As soon as I knew that Sandy had gone into Grady’s office to speak with him and Ned, I let our broadcasters know what was going on so that they could get it out to you guys if they were still on the air. KFWB was, and I think they got it out there at the start of DodgerTalk. One thing we always keep in mind is that the family and friends of our players are always watching or listening to our broadcast, so we have to make sure that nothing is said over the air before the player knows about the trade, otherwise his cell phone will start going off before he hears about it from his manager.

Once Sandy left Grady’s office and began saying goodbye to his teammates and those of us staff members who were in the clubhouse, I announced the trade to the media, let them in the clubhouse to talk to Grady and Ned about it, and then coordinated with Sandy so that he could get a chance to talk to the media, too. As expected, he was extremely gracious.

As soon as I left the clubhouse, we sent the press release out widespread so that all national and local media outlets that were not on site were aware of the move. We also tried our best to help the media learn as much as it could about B.J. LaMura while also making sure they all realized that the main goal in trading Sandy was to open up a spot for Jason Repko. With about 75-100 media members on site, it’s important to make sure everyone understands the rationale behind any move, especially a trade such as this one.

I’m sure there’s more I’m forgetting that our department does during events like this, but hopefully it gives a little glimpse into what goes on in a PR Department when a trade is made.

Now let’s hope that Jason can provide that spark we’re looking for and help us get back on track, as this has certainly been a tough week for everyone that cares about the Dodgers like we do.

Today's lineup

Furcal, SS

Izzy, 3B

Nomar, 1B

Drew, RF

Martin, C

Ethier, LF

Cruz, CF

Martinez, 2B

Billingsley, P

Today's game

Here’s the slump-busting lineup for today. Trying a little something new again.

Furcal, SS

Lofton, CF

Nomar, 1B

Ethier, LF

Martin, C (first time above the eighth spot)

Aybar, 2B

Izzy, 3B

Cruz, RF

Sele, P

Hopefully Sele will help get us out of this funk. He seems to have found a home at Dodger Stadium, as his 2.30 career ERA here (16 ER/62.2 IP) is the sixth-lowest in the Majors since he broke into the bigs in 1993 behind Adam Eaton (1.43), Scott Radinsky (1.79), Paul Quantrill (1.92), Curt Schilling (1.94) and Randy Johnson (2.21) among pitchers with at least 60 innings.

His success at home should not come as a surprise, as his lifetime home record is 82-51 with a 4.20 ERA compared to 61-56 with a 4.98 ERA on the road.

Today's game

For those who mistake staying positive to having our collective heads in the sand or Ned not trying to improve the team or Frank McCourt being "non-chalant about the team’s performance," please know this: Everyone here realizes that losing seven of eight games won’t get it done.

But when you’re playing a 162-game schedule, getting down on yourself whenever you go through a slump doesn’t really accomplish much…at least in my opinion and just about everyone I know who works in baseball. The key is to stay even-keeled, even when you are winning or when you know that you have to improve. The silver-lining is simply that we haven’t lost a ton of ground, which keeps us in the hunt for the division title. That doesn’t mean it’s not a missed opportunity, which it most certainly is.

That said, here’s today’s lineup:

Furcal, SS

Lofton, CF

Drew, RF (back to the No. 3 spot today)

Nomar, 1B

Ethier, LF

Aybar, 2B

Izzy, 3B (Welcome back and congrats on the new daughter)

Martin, C

Penny, P

Trying to stay positive

Yeah, I know. It’s not easy during times like this. Losing seven out of eight is never easy, but it’s going to happen to almost every team at some point during the year. That’s not to say people around here aren’t bummed right now and searching for solutions, but at least they’re trying to keep it humorous.

Take for instance, my return to the office this morning. Taped to my office door was a sign that said, "We come back, Josh."  I was told I already had all the Ls, so there were none left for the sign.

Not to be outdone, I also received a letter from "Paul Tagliabue" that read:

Dear Josh,

Have you ever considered the National Football League? One win per week and you’ll have a Super Bowl ring!!

OK, so these made me chuckle and the culprit, Mark Langill, certainly knows how to keep things light. At the end of the day, our office is just like any of yours. What makes it special are the people we work with, both upstairs and downstairs.

So keep your heads up. I refuse to say "it’s early" but it’s definitely not too late for a turnaround. There’s still two months left and as bad as the trip went, if you go 1-7 and only lose one game in the standings, there’s reason to remain positive.

Today's game

Let’s see if we can put a positive end on this tough road trip.

To spark things a little, Grady has moved J.D. Drew to the No. 2 hole. Ethier is cleanup and Russell Martin is back in the lineup. He’s also on the cover of the new Baseball America. Here’s the lineup.

Furcal, SS

Drew, RF

Nomar, 1B

Ethier, LF

Aybar, 3B

Cruz, CF

Martinez, 2B

Martin, C

Hendrickson, P

Hall to start

Toby Hall gets the start, as Russell Martin’s hand is still a bit too sore to get out there tonight.

Cesar Izturis is in Los Angeles with his wife and we’re awaiting word on whether or not he’ll be back for tomorrow’s game.

And finally, a few more really nice stories about Bud Furillo from today’s papers:

The Long Beach Press Telegram, Orange County Register and The Daily News.

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