There are really only a few weeks during the year when things get quiet in the baseball world and right now, we’re there. Of course, that’s when a lot of us in the game tend to take our vacations and I’ll be leaving tomorrow night until Jan. 7, so we probably won’t have any new posts on the blog until then.
So, with this post I’m hoping for one thing in return from everyone who has visited the blog in 2006 – ideas for 2007. While I’m sure you’ll all debate all sorts of on-the-field Dodger stuff in the comments, I’m also hoping to come back to all sorts of input as to what you’d like to see on the blog in the year to come. Aim high and be creative. While I’m not sure we’ll be able to deliver everything exactly how you ask for it, the only way to give you more of what you want is to ask for it.
So that’s my entire holiday gift list. On behalf of the entire Dodger organization, we hope that all of you have a great holiday season, a happy new year and good health next year. And of course, we all hope that by this time next year, we can be celebrating a world championship for the Dodgers.
As some of you have probably already read, we’ve taken another step in the process of moving our Spring Training operations to Glendale. There’s still more work to be done, but this is a positive step in the right direction. For a little deeper background on the various issues the entire state of Arizona is facing when it comes to this issue, check out the Arizona Republic’s story from this morning.
Also, for those who haven’t had a chance to check it out yet, Time Warner’s Dodgers On Demand is up and running and it’s really pretty cool. They’ve been doing a Hot Stove Report throughout the winter with updates about the team and there’s a lot of archived stuff from earlier in the year, too. With technology changing all the time, I have a feeling this sort of "choose your own adventure" media is where we’re all heading.
For those who haven’t seen it yet, we announced our minor league staff today.
Kevin Modesti of the L.A. Daily News sought out the person who had the biggest effect on the L.A. sports scene in 2006 and amid many great nominees, he chose the Dodgers’ Ned Colletti. Our congratulations go out to Ned, of course, as well as all of the people on his staff like Grady Little and his coaches, Kim Ng, Logan White, Bill LaJoie, Acey Kohrogi, De Jon Watson, Chris Haydock, Luchy Guerra, Ellen Harrigan, Adriana Urzua, Curtis Jung, Scott Akasaki, Travis McCourt, former employees like Terry Collins, Roy Smith and Bill McLaughlin and of course, every scout, minor league manager, coach, trainer, front office staffer and player development person who has had a hand in the impressive turnaround of our baseball operations.
Equally as exciting for the baseball operations crew was Newsweek Magazine’s list of Who’s Next, which came out yesterday and named Kim Ng as one of those people in business to watch in 2007. That’s quite an impressive honor and well deserved.
It’s been a great 2006, but there’s not a person in our organization who thinks our work is done. There’s always room for improvement and we’re hoping that 2007 will bring great excitement to Dodger Stadium and to all of you, the fans.
It is a sad day for the Dodger family, having lost Larry Sherry. For those who aren’t up to speed on his history, here’s the obituary from The Associated Press.
Everyone at the Dodger organization certainly wish to extend our sympathies to the entire Sherry family, including his brother, Norm, who also played for us.
If you’re checking in on Monday morning, here are a few sites to check out:
Jesse Sanchez, a reporter for MLB.com, has been down in the Dominican Republics where he visited Campo Las Palmas, the Dodgers’ academy. Scroll down to the middle of the page for some photos and commentary.
Also, the LA Sports Council is hosting a vote for the best sports moment of 2006 and the four-homer game is one of many that you can vote for here. This is the same group that named Kirk Gibson’s homer the greatest moment in LA Sports history.
And finally, if you’re a Dodger dog fan (and who isn’t?), you’ll be happy to know that it was nominated as one of the City’s Best Hot Dogs for 2007. You can vote here to help the famous weiner gets its due!
It’s holiday party time and I’m guessing a lot of you have work functions and the like this week. Well, so do we.
Last night, Tommy was Santa Claus on the Mattel Children’s Hospital Holiday Party and he did an incredible job. You’ll be able to read more about it in tomorrow’s L.A. Times when T.J. Simers dedicates his column to it, but the event was great and Tommy was really something else. Ned Colletti also came to show his support, as did Alyssa Milano who is a huge Dodger fan.
Today we’re hosting about 400 kids from the local community at the Stadium Club and Jason Schmidt, Luis Gonzalez and Mike Lieberthal will join Tommy and several former Dodgers as the hosts of the party.
Tomorrow is the annual Dodger employee holiday party after work, so as you can see, it’s that time of year.
First off, I’d like to echo everyone’s sentiments in wishing a speedy recovery to Frank Halstead, one of the regular posters on this blog. I’m continually amazed at the community you all have created here and am glad that he’s on the road to recovery.
Also, as some of you have probably noticed, the L.A. Times has started posting their stories in real time rather than waiting until midnight as a continued attempt to keep up with the ever-changing media world. They’ve created a Dodger blog and Laker blog and in this morning’s paper, they’re asking people to vote for which local pro team is their favorite. While it’s hardly a scientific poll, I’m sure you all will want to jump on the site and cast your vote.
Some of you wanted to know when we’ll be introducing the new guys at Dodger Stadium and tomorrow is the day. Jason Schmidt, Luis Gonzalez and Mike Lieberthal will all be at our annual holiday party for local youth from underserved neighborhoods and we will then have a media conference at the stadium later in the day. Plus, if you heard AM 570 this morning, you now know that Tommy Lasorda will be at the Mattel Children’s Hospital Holiday Party tonight dressed as Santa Claus.
Don’t forget to send in your questions for Ned’s chat today and as I mentioned before, the earlier you get them in, the higher up on the screen we see them and the better likelihood we can get to your questions. Please be patient and know that Ned can’t answer all of them, but he’ll do his best.
And finally, for what it’s worth, I feel like I should at least defend Ken Gurnick to the group who don’t seem terribly enamored with some of the things he’s written. While he does sometimes tend to be a little negative (which he’ll probably admit), I actually think he does an incredible job covering all aspects of the team, from the Majors to the minors to the front office and community. He’s got more than two decades of experience and he always seems to notice something that few others reporters do. I actually think that Dodger fans are pretty fortunate to have him writing for the site and one thing to keep in mind is that he’s not actually supposed to be a fan. He’s not an employee of the Dodgers, he’s an unbiased reporter who has to take into account what he hears from all angles and then send it to a copy desk just like the L.A. Times, Daily News, Orange County Register or Riverside Press Enterprise.
As you have probably now read on the front of the site, the McCourts were honored last night at the Scopus Awards and it was as classy of an event as I think I’ve ever attended. In addition to the former Vice President Al Gore, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, former Governor Gray Davis and the famous comedian Don Rickles, it was a who’s who of the Dodger organization.
While that doesn’t sound all that surprising, I can’t remember the last time that all of these people were in the same place: Vin Scully, Sandy Koufax, Tommy Lasorda, Don Newcombe, Tommy Davis, Maury Wills, "Sweet" Lou Johnson, Rick Monday, Steve Garvey, Ron Cey, Grady Little, Nomar Garciaparra, James Loney, Rudy Law, Bobby Castillo, Wes Parker, Ned Colletti, Jaime Jarrin, Charley Steiner and of course, the McCourts, just to name them off the top of my head.
The event, which raised $3 million for Hebrew University, was definitely something I’ll remember for a long time to come. If you’re interested in learning more about the cause, check out the AFHU web site.
On a different note, I’d also like to point out a new Dodger blog that has hit cyberspace. Dodger Junkie seems to do a pretty good job of analysis and I’ve added the site to the navigation bar at the left, along with some of the other Dodger blogs and notable websites.