June 2007

Going Gonzo

A tough loss last night but I was certainly impressed with the near comeback. Let’s hope we don’t need one tonight in this incredible matchup between two certain All-Stars and more than likely, the NL’s starter for the All-Star Game.

As you can imagine, there are a ton of little requests that we get for the players all year long that we try to fulfill, whether they’re from media, community affairs, sponsorship, etc. A few weeks ago, Disney came to us for the taping of High School Musical 2, the sequel to an apparently successful first move, High School Musical. They wanted Luis Gonzalez, Nomar Garciaparra and Takashi Saito to appear in the video and yesterday was the day that each guy taped his brief segment.

Knowing that his daughters were huge fans of the first movie, Luis Gonzalez hammed it up for the camera big time, doing a little dance so that they’d definitely use the footage they got of him. Afterward, we were joking around that we were going to put it on DodgerVision or YouTube and he said, "From what I hear, there’s a YouTube video that’s out there of me and the muppet, Gonzo, already."

Sure enough, he’s right. This video is priceless. 

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Furcal, SS (.324 with RISP)

Pierre, CF (on pace for 59 steals, the most since Lopes’ 64 in ’76)

Martin, C (finds out tomorrow about AS results)

Kent, 2B (was awesome at the WIN clinic today)

Gonzo, LF (must see TV)

Nomar, 3B (hitting .336 at home)

Loney, 1B (eight-game hitting streak)

Ethier, RF (signed autographs for fans today in Whittier)

Penny, P (.241 batting average, 2.04 ERA)

Battle for First Place

It’s been a busy day playing catch up now that we’re back home and apparently it’s been a busy day for comments, as we’ve topped 400.

Here’s the lineup. Hope to post more later:

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Martin, C

Kent, 2B

Gonzo, LF

Nomar, 3B

Loney, 1B

Kemp, RF

Kuo, P

Another day, another Cy Young Award winner

That makes three Cy Young Award winners for this road trip, including Roy Halladay, and six on the season including John Smoltz, Greg Maddux (twice) and Barry Zito. But on the bright side, we missed Tom Glavine and Bartolo Colon, so as I’ve learned in life, it can always be worse. Here’s hoping today’s results are better than yesterdays…a 6-4 road trip would not be bad at all, if they can pull it off.

Tonight’s the deadline to vote for All-Star balloting and win or lose, I have to say hat the people on this blog have been tremendous in their support of the team. We’ve never seen the kind of voting numbers that we’ve seen this year and I do believe that those of you who visit this site are responsible for a ton of it. No matter what happens, don’t let anyone tell you that LA fans are laid back because I think we’ve seen otherwise.

A big homestand coming up against the Pads, Braves and Marlins. Tomorrow night is mesh cap night which seems to be the "in" type of cap these days. Fireworks on July 4, Furcal’s bobblehead on July 6 and on July 3, we’re going to witness the 175 millionth fan attending a Dodger game since 1901, with all sorts of cool things going on that night. As Vin would say, "We hope you’ll join us at Dodger Stadium this homestand."

Here’s today’s lineup:

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Martin, C

Kent, 2B

Gonzalez, LF

Kemp, RF

Loney, 1B (batting .500 on the year – 19-for-38)

Abreu, 3B

Wolf, P

Today's lineup

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that there will be a lot of ground balls tonight. The top two groundball pitchers of the last five years are facing off, so it should be a good one.

Also, Derek Lowe and the Dodgers Dream Foundation have their bowling event coming up in just over a month (July 30) and lanes are still available, as are individual spots. This is one of the best attended events of the year when it comes to players, so come on out and hang with the Dodgers, celebs and patients from Mattel Children’s Hospital. To purchase a spot or for more info, call 323.224.1413.

Also, the feature on Russell Martin in Sports Illustrated hits newsstands today, so grab a copy. The writer, Michael Farber, did a nice job on it and since he lives in Montreal, he has a unique perspective. And you can still vote for him and the rest of the Dodgers until tomorrow night at 8:59 p.m. PT.

Meanwhile, I wish we could wage a campaign for Takashi Saito because if he doesn’t make the All-Star team, it would be a travesty. He’s been nearly unhittable all year and has struck out 41 guys and walked three. That’s Eckersley-eque. And last night, he did something no closer in the history of the game has done – he saved his 45th game in his 48th attempt. That’s seriously impressive.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Martin, C

Kent, 2B

Gonzo, LF

Loney, 1B

Nomar, 3B

Ethier, RF

Lowe, P

Friday comes early

After coming out to the park at about 1:30 to take grounders at third base, Nomar moves to the other side of the diamond tonight.

Two days left for All-Star voting…minor league update from Haydock below.

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF (toughest guy to strike out in the NL)

Martin, C

Kent, 2B

Gonzo, LF

Nomar, 3B

Loney, 1B (hitting .363 since being recalled last season, 3rd best in MLB)

Ethier, RF (doing the Arizona media tour in his old stomping grounds)

Billingsley, P

Minor League update from Chris Haydock

Greetings Dodger fans!

Just got back from Ogden, UT where we completed one of our (2) Dodger mini-camps.

After the draft is complete each year, half of the players who sign with us will be flown to Ogden for the Pioneer League Season. The other half will be flown to Vero Beach, FL for our Gulf Coast League season.

Our Farm Director (DeJon Watson) and myself fly into Ogden along with all of our minor league roving coordinators:

Field Coordinator:   P.J. Carey
Hitting Coordinator:   Bill Robinson
Outfield/Base running coordinator:  Gene Clines
Pitching Coordinator:   Marty Reed
Catching Coordinator:   Travis Barbary
Infield Coordinator:   Matt Martin

All new signees join the players we currently have in extended spring training to complete our Ogden and GCL rosters. In addition to working out the Ogden club, we also use the time together to review the first half of the minor league season, as well as possible second half promotions, etc. All of us travel so much during the season, it is nice to have some time together to review everything in person (and away from the cell phone- which consumes so much of our daily lives).

After spending a few days in Ogden, most rovers will head to Dodgertown to spend some time with the new players we have sent to the Gulf Coast. Our scouting department has done a terrific job each and every year (not only signing great players but getting them signed quickly) which accelerates the development process.

The sooner we get our hands on them- the better!!

I encourage you to follow our newest players at Ogden and Gulf Coast throughout the season. Each team opened up their season this past week on June 19th. You’ll be happy to know that Ogden went (4-3) in their first week, and the GCL Dodgers went (6-0). Great starts to what we hope will be successful seasons for both.

Lineup, Updated Balloting

UPDATE: As promised, here’s a little more info. Grady just let the beat writers and other media know that Nomar is going to start taking some ground balls and working out at third base in the next few days, as there’s a chance he’ll start playing there. And as you can imagine, Nomar seems totally fine with it. He played there with the Cubs briefly and a little in high school and I truly believe him when he says "whatever’s best for the team."

Continue reading below for the earlier post…

Updated balloting came out today for the All-Star team and while there’s good news (Russell is still in the lead), the lead has shrunk slightly with just four days left. The Mets put on a huge campaign to try and help Paul Lo Duca, so be sure to pass along the word to your friends who haven’t voted that they can still do it until 9 p.m. PT on Thursday night. If you’ve got friends who aren’t Dodger fans, tell them to vote, too. If they know anything about baseball, they know that Russell deserves to start the All-Star Game and will vote for him. Sunday night, results will be announced and it’s entirely possible that Martin, Penny, Saito, Lowe and Kent could all make the team.

CORRECTION: So our math skills aren’t great…Martin is actually up by more than 200,000. Sorry to scare everyone (or those of you who read this before the correction). Still, work is not done yet.

Meanwhile, Russell is on the front of ESPN.com right now, as Amy Nelson came out to do a video piece on him while we were at home. It turned out quite nice and even shows some of the Vote for Russell stickers that were made by Kara Mooney, the front office’s de facto campaign manager.

Here’s today’s lineup, with an interesting piece of news coming shortly. Hate to leave you hanging like that, but stay tuned.

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Nomar, 1B

Kent, 2B

Gonzalez, LF

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Abreu, 3B

Penny, P

Day game lineup

Nomar still under the weather, Kent gets a day off.

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Martin, DH

Gonzo, LF

Loney, 1B

Kemp, RF

Betemit, 3B

Lieberthal, C

Abreu, 2B

Kuo, P

Tonight's game

It’s turn back the clock night and everyone will be wearing Brooklyn jerseys that will be auctioned off later for charity. They’re very cool looking jerseys and as far as I know, it’s only the second time we’ve ever worn uniforms with Brooklyn across the chest since moving to Los Angeles. The only other time was in LA two years ago when we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the 1955 World Championship. Don Zimmer will be honored, Duke Snider, Johnny Podres and Carl Erskine will be here to sign autographs and all sorts of cool things are planned, so if you happen to be in Tampa Bay, be sure to get over here.

And, if you’re in Jacksonville, head to the Suns game tonight and get a Matt Kemp Bobblehead. I’d post a photo but again, this system isn’t working correctly so you’ll have to go to their site.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Martin, C

Kent, 2B

Saenz, DH

Loney, 1B

Kemp, RF

Ethier, LF

Abreu, 3B

Wolf, P

Haunted hotels…

To answer the question about why we stay in a hotel that’s haunted, I guess it’s because it’s still a very nice hotel. And, despite everyone talking about it as we checked in early this morning, there are probably a dozen people in the clubhouse right now and no one seems to have seen any ghosts last night. Then again, usually there are more than a dozen people at this time…maybe something happened last night.

Anyway, here’s the lineup:

Furcal, SS

Pierre, CF

Martin, C

Kent, 2B

Gonzo, DH

Loney, 1B

Kemp, RF

Ethier, RF

Abreu, 3B

Lowe, P

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