All-Star Workout Day

I’m here at the Westin St. Francis, which is the hub for most of what’s going on this week at the All-Star Game. We had the press conference a little where they announced the starting pitcher and it’s Jake Peavy. Brad is fine with that, of course, but he was certainly deserving, too.  It seems like Tony LaRussa also wanted Jake to experience the same things Brad did last year, which is fair. They’re both worthy of the honor.

There was also an hour-long media availability for all the other players here so our three guys got to talk to probably 500 media members in a giant room. Just picture a huge ballroom with tables around the outside of it and each player from the NL (32 of them) sitting at each table that’s perched up on a platform with media surrounding them. The two biggest media contingents for the NL were Barry Bonds (shocker!) and Takashi Saito (SHOCKER!). There is a ton of Japanese media here and many of them already cover Ichiro or Okajima, but never get to see Sammy. So today, since the AL and NL are separate, Saito must’ve had 50 reporters around him the entire time. Hard to imagine what that’s like when you usually only have about five or six following you around each day.

After the media availability, the players, families and schmoes like me were upstairs in a private area and Ichiro and Saito got a chance to catch up. I didn’t understand a word they were saying, but it was obvious when they ran into each other the mutual respect they show for one another, which is an incredible thing about the Japanese culture.

Russell also has a lot of media from his home country, Canada. It’s certainly not like Japan, but at least four TV stations and reporters from around the U.S. were catching up with him and Brad. This truly is a global game, that’s for sure.

On a sad note, one reporter actually had a seizure during all of this and while I don’t know him personally, I certainly hope he gets better quickly.

Now it’s off to the ballpark for NL batting practice and other types of media availability. It will be a little weird being in the Giants home clubhouse, which is the NL’s home for this week. It’s a lot bigger than the visitor’s clubhouse and the last time I was in there was the 2002 World Series when I covered the Giants for one season for MLB.com.

Be sure to catch the home run derby tonight and keep checking in at dodgers.com, as there will be plenty of stories that are specific to our players, including Chin-lung Hu, who won the MVP of the Future’s Game yesterday.

16 Comments

It’s ok Brad…
Remember what happened to you last year when you started

It would have been nice to see Brad Penny pitching to Russell Martin, but that probably will not happen now.

I wouldn’t be a bit surprise if Brad Penny told Tony LaRussa to go ahead and give the start to Jake Peavy. That’s the kind of guy that Brad Penny is.

GO NL! (World Series home field advantage at Dodger Stadium!)

GO MARTIN!

GO PENNY!

GO SAITO!

I can’t imagine that they would use Peavy more than two innings and I think that McCann is the only other catcher on the NL roster so I would bet we will get to see an All-Dodgers/All-Star battery of Penny & Martin. And this way he won’t have to pitch to Vlad again.

Josh, thanks for the great update, I really appreciate all of the info you give us.

Actually, with Peavy probably only pitching 2 innings and Martin catching half the game (only one backup catcher Brian McCann). Penny will probably pitch to Martin in the 3rd, 4th or 5th inning. McCann will be behind the plate when Saito is in the game. Nonetheless it’s always a fun game and I’m looking forward to the HR derby tonight as well.

do you guys think sammy will pitch w/o a lead(in the 9th),i guess in the all star game every thing is stopper status

do you guys think sammy will pitch w/o a lead(in the 9th),i guess in the all star game every thing is stopper status

Martin might handle both Penny and Saito. Penny will probably be the second or third NL pitcher, so he’ll go in the 3rd-5th (I would be upset that he did not get a call to start, but with the blister on his finger, I don’t think the Dodgers wanted him to pitch much.)

Since there are only 2 catchers, Russel will work most of the game (more than we would like him to, since he needs a break). The concern here is the same as the concern a manager has in regular MLB game–what if your back-up gets hurt and you need a third catcher. Espescially given the tie a few years back, LaRussa will manage with that thought in mind (part of the reason that it was a HUGE mistake not to take a 3rd catcher with a 32-man roster).

On the flip side, Saito is one of three closers for the NL–Wagner and Hoffman both being longer-established, and Hoffman almost surely earning the right to close the game for the NL. You could easily dispute who is better, but the All-Star game is, rightly I think, as much about guys with great careers as with great seasons. Remember in 2003 when Gagne pitched the 8th inning of the All-Star game, despite going on to win the Cy Young, and being clearly the best closer in the game at that time? Instead, they were waiting for Wagner to pitch the Ninth. This was foolish because Gagne was clearly the better pitcher at the time, plus we all know that Gagne is lights out to end a game, but he’s a head case and does not do well when he is in a “hold” situation. Baker did not get that, or did not know that. Here, I think Saito is less in his head about ending games, and can be solid as a setup guy (Gagne is was definitely the mental part of the game). And, also, even though I would put Saito against either of those two guys (and even Gagne in his prime), I think that the argument is less clear-cut. Gagne clearly was the best in the game for three years. Right now, Saito might be the best, but maybe so is Wagner or Hoffman, and they have both been around longer.

No way should Trevor Hoffman save this game– unless you would like him to blow it for us again… Im fine with Wagner over Saito, but id be pissed if they gave Hoffman another chance after he already blew one badly…

Just heard a great rumor, that is almost certainly false, of a trade btwn ChiSox and Pads. Jermaine Dye and Juan Uribe for Khalil Greene and Scott Linebrink…. Please make that trade…

watching the dinger derby Pujols just got eliminated. Vlad is putting a pretty good show.

ewk216–
I forgot about Hoffman blowing a save in the All-Star Game. Part of the problem with not paying close attention to the game (I hope that’s not heresy, and I certainly would go if it were in LA, but they have not tended to be great games, because either the home run hitters whack the ball and I’m left wondering how the pitchers made the team, or the pitchers all dominate the hitters, and you rarely have a team scratching our a run, because the speed guys don’t get chose. I am much more excited about starting the second half).

But, I’m willing to be that with him collecting his 500th save this year, Hoffman will get the call in the Ninth.

tony larussa personally picked takashi-san,that could be a factor…i think martin HAS to catch him for him to be 113% effective, plus hoffman has put in the time( hate to say it)

i’m sure LaRussa will work Saito in if he personaly picked him.

You know, having Jake Peavy start the All Star game might be a blessing in disguise. Russell will get to see his best stuff, which he can share with the rest of the Dodger hitters. This may prove helpful in the second half. Just a thought.

Man, I **** near killed myself tonight. I went to Del Taco and ordered a combo meal and made it “Macho Size” so that I could get a Russell Martin collector’s cup. Those Macho sized fries and drink **** near caused me to explode! I think next time I’ll just order a regular size meal and just pay the difference for the Lowe and Valenzuela cups. I can feel my arteries clogging up! lol!

GO MARTIN!

GO PENNY!

GO SAITO!

GO DODGERS!

BTW – Russell will hit a home run in the All Star game.

you gotta kick it with the FRIED FOOD Fansince53!

Man i can’t wait till ALL OF AMERICA sees our boy Russell Martin!!

Congradulations again to our stars MARTIN PENNY & SAITO. may they represent the Dodgers with honor. Although I generally don’t follow minor leaguers too closely, I found the Chin-Lung Hu(WHO?) writeup very interesting. I remember during spring training even the sports pages in New York were having fun with, “Hu’s playing short for the Dodgers?” and ” I don’t know” and ” Oh , I thought who was on first”. Congrats to the kid for being named MVP in the Futures Game, although we have a pretty good shortstop right now. LETS GO N.L. WE MAY NEED THIS GAME COME OCTOBER.

I wanted to add about the All-Star game. I liked it better when it was just an exibition and the outcome had no meaning except pride of the NL & AL. I’ve always been an NL fan ofcourse, being a Dodgers fan, but when all was said and done it was always all the stars in one place that was the real meaning of the game. The last few years the Dodgers are always a contender and we never know how far they will go. So there is always a chance the result of the game might be important to us. Which means the tention,(____ALMOST (but not quite),like a regular Dodger game____),at the end of a close game gets kind of uncomfortable. Oh I’d like to add I agree with Sarah, that we should use 40 players. TO THE DODGERS NOT IN THE GAME__ENJOY THE 4 DAYS OFF THEN COME BACK FOR THE BIG FIGHT. WE GOTTA GET BACK TO THE POST SEASON.

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