Tonight's game

Here are the game notes and lineup for tonight’s game. We hope to see you all out here for the celebration of Jackie Robinson and if you haven’t read the post from earlier today, be sure to scroll down.

JACKIE ROBINSON DAY – On this date in 1947, the Brooklyn Dodgers’ Jackie Robinson became the first African-American to play in a Major League Baseball game. To mark the 60th anniversary of the momentous day, every Major League stadium with a home game today is taking part in the national celebration of Jackie Robinson Day. Among the noteworthy dignitaries here today are Robinson’s wife, Rachel and children, Sharon and David, grandson Jesse Simms, Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig, Home Run King Henry Aaron, Hall of Famer Frank Robinson, former Brooklyn Dodger teammate Don Newcombe and several others.

STARTED IN MONTREAL – Upon being signed by the Dodgers, Jackie Robinson played for the Montreal Royals, the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate. Russell Martin Sr. would watch those games and pass on stories to his son, Russell Martin Jr., another Montreal native. The younger Martin now catches for the Dodgers and has a six-game hitting streak.

A SIGN FROM JACKIE – Dodger center fielder Juan Pierre has a framed portrait of Jackie Robinson in his home in Florida and even did a book report on the late Hall of Famer in elementary school. When he was a free agent this winter, Pierre admitted to thinking that it was a sign that the Dodgers, Robinson’s old franchise, were courting him.

SOMETHING SPECIAL – There are nine Hall of Famers at Dodger Stadium tonight: Hank Aaron, Frank Robinson, Eddie Murray, Ernie Banks, Dave Winfield, Joe Morgan, Vin Scully, Jaime Jarrin and Jerry Coleman. Dodger Hall of Fame manager Tommy Lasorda is in New York, where he is hosting the Ellis Island Family Heritage Awards. There are four members of the 500 home run club here tonight – Aaron (755), Robinson (586), Banks (512) and Murray (504).

NO. 42 – Every Dodger player and coach will wear No. 42 tonight to honor Jackie Robinson. This marks the first time that any Dodger will wear the uniform since 1969 when it was worn by Ray Lamb. The only other Dodger besides Lamb and Robinson to wear the number since 1932 when club records begin was George Jeffcoat in 1939. Robinson’s number was retired by the Dodgers on June 4, 1972 and was retired throughout Major League Baseball in 1997 on the 50th anniversary of his breaking the color barrier.

A SPECIAL TRIBUTE – Dodger pitcher Brett Tomko, an accomplished artist, drew a charcoal sketch of Jackie Robinson stealing home during Spring Training and the artwork was reproduced and given out to the first 50,000 fans in attendance at tonight’s game.

FOR MORE INFORMATION – Not only does Jackie Robinson’s image grace the cover of the Dodgers’ 2007 Information Guide, but a special tribute page is dedicated to him on Pg. 42. The bio on that page is done in the format of this year’s guide but is intended to show what it would have looked like in the 1947 Media Guide. More information about Robinson can be found on pg. 359 of the Information Guide.

STARTING THE TREND – Jackie Robinson was named the National League’s first Rookie of the Year in 1947. Since then, 16 Dodgers have won the award, which now bears his name, which is twice as many as any other team in baseball. For a list of those R.O.Y. winners, see pg. 317 of the Information Guide.

A CHECK OF THE RECORD BOOKS – Though he retired 51 years ago, Jackie Robinson remains on numerous franchise lists. He ranks sixth all-time among Dodgers in walks (740), seventh in runs (947), 10th in extra-base hits (464) and tied for 10th in batting average (.311). His .438 on-base percentage in 1949 is third on the single-season franchise list and his 28 sacrifice hits are the most by a Dodger rookie and tied for the Major League record. Robinson hit 80 homers as a second baseman, leaving him second on that list behind Davey Lopes.

BROOKLYN TIES – Among the current Dodger employees who saw Jackie Robinson play at Ebbets Field are Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully and longtime traveling secretary Billy DeLury, who both worked for the team in Brooklyn. Growing up there at the time was current Dodger broadcaster Charley Steiner and longtime Dodger Stadium Press Box Chef Dave Pearson, who were both fans of the team.

MANNY MEMORIES OF JACKIE – On the official Dodger Spanish-language website, www.losdodgers.com, longtime Dodger player and coach Manny Mota shared his memories of Jackie Robinson on the new blog, Detrás de los Dodgers.

TALL WALLS – Two 63-foot murals on the sides of Dodger Stadium beyond center field were unveiled this weekend with images of Jackie Robinson as the team celebrates the 60th anniversary of his groundbreaking achievement.

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Nomar, 1B

Kent, 2B

Gonzalez, LF

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Valdez, 3B

Wolf, P

45 Comments

I am a diamondbacks fan here but I was wondering does Anybody know when you guys come here to arizona? Monday or Tuesday? we cant wait to see Gonzalez back here:)

Dodgers will be in Arizona tomorrow and Tuesday, then have 2 games in Denver (I’m going to the Wednesday night game at Coors – woohoo!).

You’ve got a night game with LA tomorrow night. I cannot remember what you call your stadium now,(Chase?), but it’s a great place to see a game.
The last time I was there, Shawn Green hit a dinger for AZ.

Maybe this August I’ll see Gonzo hit one for LA.

You know, I hate to say it, but I like the Padres’ starting rotation better than the Dodgers’. I think I’d like the Dodgers’ rotation better if Schimdt were even half as good as he should be. But if Schmidt is gonna go up there and struggle every 5th day, I’m not sure I have the same faith in the Dodgers’ staff that I did before the season started.
What’s the *******’ deal with Schmidt? He used to be a Dodger killer. Now he leaves SF and can’t throw a worthwhile fastball. I don’t get it.

Knouffbrock.Yes it is chase field now thanks guys for answering me I have tickets to the Tuesday game but,i didnt know if that was the first or second game of the series:)

Somethings wrong with Schmidt whether he admits it or not It may not even be physical, who knows, maybe he’s fighting with his wife or something like that. All I can say is that the Dodgers better figure this out fast, or otherwise his rotation spot should be up for the taking.

Well guys. I am sitting here with tears in my eyes as the tribute to Jackie Robinson starts and the camera focuses on Rachel Robinson. I think he truly was the most significant American of the twentieth century. I wish that for just one moment in my life I could face what he faced and have the courage and strength to overcome what he overcame. What a story! Wonderful for MLB to keep it alive as it is easy to forget in the everyday events in baseball. Speaking of stories, there’s Vin speaking about Jackie. What could ever be more fitting? Thanks Jackie. Thanks Rachel. Thanks Vin. Thanks Dodgers. Play for Jackie tonight Dodgers. Do the unexpected at every opportunity. That was his way.

I have to say, this Jackie Robinson tribute is really moving and well put together. So far I enjoyed the Choir’s “Oh Happy Day” rendition dedicated to Jackie. Great great stuff you guys have put together. GO DODGERS!!

I don’t like Juan Pierre.

that was the worst thing ever. what the heck is he doing? It looked like Pierre could have caught the runner at second with a *good* throw, no?

its only the second inning and Pierre has looked pathetic 3 times. If he’s playing like this through May he should be DFA. He’s killing our offense!

All things JP aside– GO ANDRE!!!!!

Ethier started out sort of like this last year; kind of a slow start, then he broke out with that game where the Dodgers destroyed Anaheim last year. Here’s the box score from that one:

http://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/LAN/LAN200605190.shtml

By all means Max Power… lets send Andre Ethier down to AAA. He only led the team in Batting Average last year… and by the looks of it tonight, he can’t hit the ball any further than the fifteenth row of the right field pavillion. Send him down…

Go Ethier!!

Go Dodgers!!

i said to send him down to get his confidence back up…It’s obvious tonight he got that confidence back.

just great to see the dodgers play from here in central Oregon. Seemed like we should have scored 15 runs, but an 8 wins 4 loss record is a great start. liked what I saw tonight, lot of hustle, 5 stolen bases, a good game for ethier, strange curve from wolfe, but it worked.

Josh, whats the story with Lowe being named Captian?

wolf still makes me nervous when he’s on the mound but i like what i see so far. I love how he totally carved up Kouzmanoff on curveballs to get out of a jam. Great game for Ethier—hopefully the Ethier of old is on his way back!

Great win tonight! Looked like everyone was a bit frazzled with all the goings on and all. First national game of the season and the media circus both teams committing 2 errors each but everyone calmed down and got it together. I hate espn coverage or lack there of the game.I guess I’m just another spoiled Dodger fan to be able to watch all the games with Vin or even CS calling the games.

As I mentioned lastnight Eithier looked good in his approach and swing and BOOM here he is looking like that guy who was Hitting in the .350 area last year and did you catch that throw to 3rd from RF? one hopper little off the bag but hes gonna get some assists this year with that arm.678 went 9/14 and knocked in 7.Valdez!!!! Glad they are giving him a shot at 3rd until betemit either gets it going or goes elsewhere.

I think this series at AZ is gonna be good for us the DB are giving up alot of runs and I think Penny and Tomko will keep there bats relativly quiet.

If Gonzo and Eithier keep it going Grady is gonna be hard pressed to keep pierre starting CF when Kemp gets back.He could become the most expensive Sac Pinch hit/sub runner in Dodger History.

Martin……..WOW Team MVP!

Go Dodger Blue 2007!!!

“Josh, whats the story with Lowe being named Captian?”

I second the question. And since when do the Dodgers name a player the “captain” of the team? Is this some kind of joke? Or are we now pretending to play hockey jersey? I’m no fan of making a player the captain of a team… especially that of a pitcher who throws every five days. If anyone should wear the “C”, if they must designate someone to wear it, one would think Kent, Furcal or Nomar would be the logical first choices. Not a pitcher…

Oh on the much touted Padre bullpen who gave up 0 runs in 20 inns or so they surrendered 9 runs in 13 2/3 inns at Dodger stadium while ours gave up 1 run in 11 inns. and that was Hendrickson though 5.Peavy is the only Padre pitcher that worries me Maddux doesn’t go deep and I think we have a good idea on how to score on him.

i don’t get the reason for naming a pitcher the captain of a team. This is not a knock on Derek Lowe im sure he is a fine guy in the clubhouse and a great leader but you want the captain to be a guy whos out there every day who can lead my example weather its running out a pop up or not complaining at a bad call or taking over when there in a pop up and 3 guys are underneath it. Lowe can’t do that from the bench.

I havent seen the story about Lowe being named Captain, but i can almost guarantee that if he was given that title- it was bc everyone on the team voted and thats who won. It’s not like Grady would just decide on his own who the captain is/should be..

Lowe is also among the most senior Dodgers on the team now, strangely…only Penny has been a Dodger longer in the rotation, and he was injured for those two months.
Lowe is a very valuable pitcher on this club. If they’re naming him captain, it could also be a ploy to convince him to extend his contract with the Dodgers.

Food for thought…

75% seems to be the low-end of acceptable for base-stealing percentage. JP is at 80%…Dodgers are tied for the major league-lead with 13 SBs, and JP’s 1 CS is the team’s ONLY. If my math is correct, the team has stolen 92% of bases successfully. Who says baserunning ability is not a valuable offensive skill? We’ve seen a lot of runs scored after those steals, and the attempts have only led to 1 out thus far.

I don’t need the long ball to like a team…give me singles, SBs and doubles any day. Way more exciting to watch, imo.

Do they want to extend Lowe? I assumed once his contract is up (like Tomko) he is gone. I could see them picking up Wolf’s option but letting Tomko walk next year. If we don’t let Tomko walk, there will again be no room for Bills/Kuo/anyone else in the rotation next year. Of course, Tomko could again pitch himself out of the rotation during the year.

I see a few comments were made in regards to naming a captain. I have been saying for a while now that if Russell Martin keeps up his pace, he should be named captain. Whether or not you think the title really means anything, it’s a great way to add chemistry to a team and to help stand out the leader of your team.

Martin is young, obviously talented, and plays the toughest position in the game. He’s great defensively and has come up clutch many times already.

Russell Martin should bear the title.

Juan Pierre has turned out to be a huge disapointment, all around complete and total *******.
Gonzo has been playing better, hitting the ball at least.

Betemit continues to struggle.

Kent seems old and can’t come thru in the clutch.

Martin has been a very pleasant surprise.

Parking!!!! Jesus. Why do we need help getting into the stadium? Why do we need 15 people with flags waving us into a particular parking spot. The problem with the parking lot has never, ever been getting in. THE PROBLEM IS GETTING OUT!!!! Earth to the Dodgers. These flag waving idiots are utterly pointless. Fire them and Juan Pierre and reduce the price to $5.

How bout we talk about Juan Pierre.

I’ve been completely against this signing from day 1, so I’ll admit my personal bias on this topic.

That said, I would like to know what people think about the following:

1) How long are Grady and Colletti going to wait for this guy to come around before moving him in the line-up or benching him?

2) Would management ever be willing to sit him down, or is the most drastic possible change simply to move him down in the line-up? And

3) Even if Pierre raises his average to something respectable, does anyone really believe having him out there is any better then a Kemp/Ethier/Gonzalez outfield.

Pierre appears to have completely lost his confidence . He looks completely lost both in the outfield and at the plate. It really is painful to watch. The way I see things, the bottom line in this game is fielding the team that gives you the best chance to win. And right now, Pierre is seriously hurting us in virtually every aspect. I’ll stop here because, as I’ve said, I have a personal bias against his game.

Someone please give me some hope here…(sigh)

Here’s some hope – Dodgers are on pace to win 108 games, even with Pierre ******* and 3b being a huge question mark. I know they aren’t going to win that many, but they are off to a strong start.
Some more hope – no, the Dodgers won’t bench Pierre, but he will not get any worse than he is. Rather, he is statistically likely to improve a great deal.

I’m coming around to the idea of him batting lower in the order, although I believe he needs at least 2 more months to prove his value in the 2 hole. If the Dodgers can keep winning while he’s there, I don’t see a problem with it.

Put Pierre 8th and keep Martin in the two hole, until further notice.

Interesting, some of the people who argued with me about Juan Pierre are starting to come around.

It was a horrible signing and he’s a below average player in every facet of the game except for base running and bunting in which case he might be slightly above average in both. A healthy Jason Repko would have been a better investment in CF.

I’m not “coming around”… I don’t judge a signing 12 games into the contract. I’ll judge it at the end of the year once I see how many games Pierre helped the team win and lose.

Schmidt has been the direct cause of 2 losses out of 4 already…wouldn’t he be a better signing to gripe about? Or is it just that you weren’t biased against him coming into the season that you would rather keep harping on JP?

I think they would move Pierre down in the 3-4 week range.. He is a singles hitter and he needs ABs, thats just the nature of the beast. Also, it makes me think of Raffy in April last season, and how he admittedly was pressing. The guy has proven he can get a lot of hits, but if he is hitting below .250 in early-mid May they’ll drop him, as they should.
It is 12 games into the season, so i think it just needs more time to develop. Atleast we know Martin can hit ANYWHERE.

Puppyhead: “Schmidt has been the direct cause of 2 losses out of 4 already…wouldn’t he be a better signing to gripe about? Or is it just that you weren’t biased against him coming into the season that you would rather keep harping on JP?”

If by “biased” you mean I was less in favor of the JP signing than I was the Schmidt signing, sure I guess so. Here is the difference – Pierre is doing about what I expected, hitting less than his career average and OBP at Dodger Stadium, because we had several years of stats we could look at to make an accurate assessment of how he’d play. Even if Pierre improves to his career numbers, he’s a below average player.

Schmidt has several years of quality stats we can draw some conclusions from. His ERA+ has been 125 or better in 3 of the past 4 years. He’s pitched in 200 or more innings in 3 of those same 4 years. It’s easier to give him the benefit of a little more time before deriding the signing.

With JP, we already know he’s horrible. With Schmidt, we’re not sure if he’s “lost it”, in a slump, or has some sort of injury or issue that has slowed his fastball to the low 80’s.

In his first 11 games, Alfonso Soriano has an .280 OBP and one RBI.
Espn…

How’s the ball boy? He sure took a hard hit to the face. Any update?

I think livnlegend has hit the nail on the head.

Even if Pierre gets his numbers up to his career norms, he is still a “below average player.”

Nevertheless, I don’t think its very productive to simply bash the signing. Nothing short of trade will un-ring that bell. Puppyhead makes a good point in that thus fur JP has not hurt us to the point where we’re losing games because of him. However, this team will hit a few deep slumps and our pitching staff will not always bail us out. When that happens, Pierre’s ineffectiveness will be magnified.

Lets just hope that when those tough times come, Pierre will actually start doing what Colletti paid him to do (whatever that may be).

When Ned said JP gets on base an awful lot, he must have meant during infield practice. :-)

fisher928: “In his first 11 games, Alfonso Soriano has an .280 OBP and one RBI.
Espn…”

And Albert Pujols entered Sunday’s game with the lowest NL batting average among regulars. However, I like the numbers Pujols and Soriano have historically put up and would be less inclined to worry about them then I would a guy who normally puts up below replacement level value numbers.

I am not going to continue to harp on the signing. I only mentioned it because a few guys seemed like they are starting to come around on the fact that JP may not be the world beater they argued he was.

From the I Would Have Never Guessed department:

If someone had told me that after two weeks of the season, the three best slugging percentages would belong to Luis Gonzales, Wilson Valdez, and Brady Clark, I’d have said you are nuts!

How does Olmedo Saenz have just 5 plate appearances so far this year? He’s last on the club. I guess with many of the Dodgers wins and losses being blow-outs, the opportunities for a key pinch hit have not been plentiful.

Hey Josh,
Any way of responding to this?

http://www.aolsportsblog.com/2007/04/16/dodger-fans-are-super-classy/

I didn’t like the way he lumps all Dodgers in with these jerks, just based on his own preconceptions anyway, but on the other hand the behavior shown in that video is reprehensible. There’s been a lot of talk lately about the increasingly abhorrent behavior at the stadium and it would be nice to know the club is thinking of ways to control it a little better. Between parking worries and fear for safety and for your children, peple might be less and less likely to want to go to games in person. This kind of thing won’t help that AOL blogger’s opinion – fair or not, and I’d argue mostly not – of Dodger fans, too.

And off the subject… go team tonight! Should be a fun series versus (hopefully temporarily in) first place Arizona.

Random thought on the parking, after experiencing it for myself: It went OK on Friday, though of course I got there an hour and 20 minutes early.

Even then, there was a bottleneck where the line of cars coming into the stadium bisected the line of fans walking to the stadium. I’m wondering – instead of having traffic go down the centers of the parking lot and branching off towards the edges, how about re-routing traffic to go round the edges of the lots, leaving the middle car-free for fans to walk in. Would save on pedestrian bridges ;-)

As far as fans go, we had some poor Padres fans in the row in front of us, and they were a lot classier than the surrounding Dodgers fans who heckled them.

I was at last night’s game and two other games (opening day and Tuesday night) and have not had too much trouble with the parking. I agree that the main problem is leaving the stadium and it does seem as if there is less attention being paid to getting out as there is getting in.

As for the poor behavior shown in the video, I am ashamed that such a thing happened in Dodger Stadium. For quite some time I thought Dodger fans were quite tolerant with fans of the opponents but that does seem to be the case. However, there is a difference between some good natured verbal jousting and violent behavior. The answer is beefed up security and dealing harshly with unruly fans. On Tuesday night I did see a fan get ejected for taking a beach ball away from an usher. Oh how I hate those beach balls.

Thank you for pointing out that video. It’s unfortunate that some fans act this way towards opposing team’s fans and that’s why we have security around the stadium to help try and avoid these sorts of situations. I appreciate you bringing this to my attention and I’m forward it to the appropriate people internally.

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