Once again, I apologize for only getting to post at the end of the day, but we’ve been going non-stop since arriving here yesterday morning. Today we officially got Saito back, which is a huge boost for the team, given all that he did last year. When you compare his numbers to the other relievers around the league, he stacked up against just about everyone one of them. We’re all hoping for a repeat.
If the reports are all accurate, it appears that three Dodgers might be coming to the end of their careers with the team – Greg Maddux, J.D. Drew and Eric Gagne. If that does happen, there will of course be a touch of sadness, particularly for Eric, who all Dodger fans really grew to love over the years. And while I’m certainly not saying we won’t sign him, Scott Boras informed the media tonight that Eric will likely sign this week and I know that from Ned’s perspective, it’s tough to give a ton of guaranteed money to someone who you haven’t seen pitch and who just started throwing a ball for the first time last week.
At the end of the day, if Eric decides to leave for the most money, I wouldn’t really blame him. I’m sure he’s hopeful that his arm and his back will recover, but if they don’t, this could be his final contract and if that’s the case, he probably feels like he has to go for the most money. I guess that’s all I can say until I know if he actually signs elsewhere.
Most of our time today was spent meeting with various companies that we deal with throughout the year – ESPN, FOX, TNT (our new broadcast partner), representatives from the Hall of Fame, MLB photos and numerous others. This is a great chance for us to come up with new ideas for ’07 and learn about some of the things other teams are doing.
We also had the Baseball America gala this afternoon for three hours (where we officially received Organization of the Year honors), followed by a team dinner at Lonestar Steakhouse, compliments of Tommy Lasorda, who sits on the Board of Directors there.
We just got back to the hotel and even at 10 pm, there are probably a thousand people milling around in the lobby. I’ll be joining them shortly for a little free time as soon as I post this.
I know some of you asked about when the new jerseys will be available and they should be any day now. Keep checking back, as we expect a story on the front of the site as soon as they’re reading for purchase.