April 2007

Lineup

Rain seems to have stopped for a while here. We still fully expect to play tonight. Here’s the lineup:

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Nomar, 1B

Kent, 2B

Gonzo, LF

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Betemit, 3B

Wolf, P

Tonight's game

We’re starting to get calls wondering about tonight’s game so I figured I’d let everyone know that it’s still on. If for some reason the rain gets drastically worse by game time, that could change but we definitely won’t cancel it early in the day. And, there’s a link now where you can go for updates on weather at the stadium.

And to the comment yesterday from leekfink, thank you for pointing out the Scott Gate possibility. As we’ve said, we’re continuing to look into all solutions that will help the flow of traffic in and out of the stadium and this is just one of them. I’m still not sure that the bus from Union Station is a viable solution at this point, given how few people used it last time we instituted it, but we haven’t forgotten about that as an option.

Today's game

Day baseball in Colorado.

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Nomar, 1B

Kent, 2B

Gonzalez, LF

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Betemit, 3B

Hendrickson, P

Monday night is now closed

We’re full for Monday’s FSN premiere. You should receive an email on Thursday if you were one of the first 100 to respond. Thanks and good night.

Today's game

Yes, it’s that time of year again. All-Star balloting started online today and obviously we’ve found over the years that this is won by the Internet voters. While it’s too early for my usual "Get out the Vote" speeches, I do think that we’ve got several players who are among the top players in the league at their respective positions and hope that you’ll take the time to vote up to 25 times between now and the end of voting. It means quite a bit to the players who are selected and it shows the rest of the baseball world that Dodger fans aren’t as passive as they think we are.

Also, for those who didn’t see this morning’s post, there are a limited number of spots left for Monday night’s event. See below for details, but if you’re interested, you’ve got to let us know ASAP as most of the spots are gone.

Former Rocky Chin-hui Tsao was recalled and it’d be interesting if he made his first big league appearance in almost two years against his former team.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Nomar, 1B

Lieberthal, C

Ethier, RF

Clark, LF

Betemit, 3B

Martinez, 2B

Lowe, P

This Monday night

You might have been wondering what the benefit is for coming to Inside the Dodgers for the last year or so. Well, here’s an exclusive just for you.

For the first 100 fans who email an RSVP to dodgersinsiderRSVP@foxsports.net, you and a guest will get to attend a Blue Carpet event at the Fox Lot Studios where we will be premiering three new FSN-original shows:

Before the Bigs, Rafael Furcal

In My Own Words, Luis Gonzalez

Dodgers Insider, Campo Las Palmas (the academy in the Dominican Republic)

Right now, we’re expecting that Raffy, Luis and Manny Mota will all be attending this event and it’s going to resemble your typical red-carpet Hollywod Movie premiere. We’re also expecting that other former Dodger players and VIPs will be in attendance and this should be a very cool event that you won’t want to miss. And, right now, it’s only open to those of you on Inside the Dodgers.

The event is free and will begin with a reception at 6:30. When you RSVP, you’ll be sent information on how to get to the Lot, where to park and any other details you’ll need to know in advance of Monday night’s event.

Medical update and lineup

No, I don’t have an update on Schmidt. Hoping to get one soon, but I’m in LA so I can’t give you much right now other than the lineup (exact same as yesterday with Tomko on the hill) and a medical update on Johnny Garcia, the bat boy who got hit by the foul ball that caromed off the right field line’s wall on Sunday night.

We’ve had a bunch of people looking for more information about him and his well being and I spoke with him today and can tell you that he’s doing okay. He does, in fact, have a small fracture to his cheekbone and will be seeing a specialist later this week to hopefully get it fixed. But, he was very thankful for the outpouring of support and in fact, is scheduled be on ESPN’s Cold Pizza tomorrow morning (they called looking to have him on the show).

UPDATE: Jason Schmidt is going to go on the disabled list with inflammation of the bursa sac in his right shoulder. Right now, the prescription is rest and we don’t really have a timetable for his return. As soon as we have more info, we’ll pass it along. 

Another minor league update

This one comes from Chris Haydock, our assistant director of player development (and a fellow Indiana University graduate, I might add).

Greetings from Detroit! Just checked into an airport hotel on my way back to Los Angeles after a terrific trip to our new affiliate in Midland, MI (the Great Lakes Loons).

I was very fortunate to have our very own Hall of Fame Manager, Tommy Lasorda along on the trip.  Tommy and I flew in to help the Loons christen their brand new ballpark (The Dow Diamond). The ballpark itself cost close to $33 million dollars, and was paid for and built entirely by the various foundations of the Dow Corporation (home base is Midland, MI). The team has been set up as a non-profit entity, with all proceeds going directly back to the community.

The entire community in central Michigan is thrilled to have minor league baseball come to town. The enthusiasm and support on Opening Night reminded me of a College Football Saturday. All of the local stores had “Go Loons” signs in their windows, local churches had messages of support on their billboards, and every citizen seemed to have either a Loons sweatshirt, cap or pin on. The City closed down Main St. on Friday afternoon (Opening Day), and held a festival with live bands and foods to commemorate the event.

Tommy again showed why he’s baseball’s greatest ambassador, taking hundreds of pictures and signing autographs for each and every fan that asked him. In addition to throwing out the First Pitch with representatives of Dow, Tommy addressed the packed ballpark and received a thunderous ovation when he referred to mid-Michigan as “the heartbeat of America”.

Although we did not come through with a win (losing 6-2 to the Lansing Lugnuts), our players played hard and showed flashes of why we think this is going to be a special club. Team Manager (and local hero) Lance Parrish and his staff have already done a great job preparing our young players for the upcoming season. For many of them, this will be their first full season (140 game schedule) experience. The season will be a grind, but is just another necessary step in their development as Major League players.

Looking forward to getting back to L.A. tomorrow, but wanted to send our best wishes to all of our great Dodger fans across the country!

Finally, someone new…

Last year, we mixed in some other front office personnel which makes this far more exciting for you guys. We’re going to do that again this year and our first post from someone other than me in quite some time comes from De Jon Watson, our new Director of Player Development. Chris Haydock, the Assistant Director of Player Development will also weigh in from time to time, but I know that a lot of people have asked for more minor league info, so here goes:

—De Jon Watson—

The first week of the season for me has been really exciting because our guys have all left Spring Training and they’re getting a chance to play games under the lights and getting acclimated to the ballparks and cities and weather where they’re going to play. It’s been especially interesting for the kids in the Great Lakes who have never seen snow before. It was a bit of shock at how cold it was and the fact that they’d have to play in that weather, but they’re learning mental toughness and seeing that the big leagers have to play in this weather, too.

My first trip to San Bernardino was a very good trip. I was fortunate enough to catch our club against Rancho Cucamonga and in that three-day trip we saw Bartolo Colon and Jered Weaver. It was a great opportunity for our position players and our pitchers to see how big leaguers go about their business. It also allowed our hitters to see how they stack up against real big league pitchers. Young kids like Ivan DeJesus had quality at bats and hit the ball hard off Colon, going 3-for-4. Then they saw Jered Weaver, coming at them from a different arm slot and one of our young kids Jesus Castillo matched him pitch for pitch for five innings before getting into a little trouble. The entire bullpen is impressive down there with Ramon troncoso, Brent Leach, Jordan Pratt, Jacobo Meque and Cory Wade.

Lucas May is also off to a really good start. He hit two home runs the night before last and really is swinging the bat well and adjusting to his position change as a catcher. He’s an athletic kid that was drafted as a shortstop but now he’s a catcher. He’s got a tremendous throwing arm and his game calling is improving by the start.

Blake DeWitt was swinging the bat well and the results are not there, but he hit two balls hard off Colon and he’s playing solid defense. Ivan DeJesus is playing really solid at short and having very quality at-bats and using the entire field to hit so it’s been fun watching him. We’ve got another kid, Russell Mitchell, who is coming off a hyperextended knee that’s also swinging the bat well.

Jared Hoffman got off to a good start. He’s a big, strong kid who runs well and is getting more confident by the day.

I can also tell you that it’s been great having a club that’s less than 80 miles from the parent club in case we have to send someone out on a rehab assignment. We just received Yhency Brazoban and he’ll be starting for us today in San Bernardino. It’s just easier for our training staff to keep an eye on him that way and it’s a huge benefit. The fans are very supportive and there seems to be a ton of Dodger fans in the park wearing their blue.

Last night I was at Dodger Stadium for the Jackie Robinson celebration and now i’m in Las Vegas to watch our Triple-A club. We’ll have more for you in a week or two.

If you want to ask questions for De Jon, he’ll be hosting a live chat on April 24 at 2 p.m. on dodgers.com.

Here’s tonight’s big league lineup:

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Nomar, 1B

Kent, 2B

Gonzalez, LF

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Betemit, 3B

Penny, P

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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.