It’s only 2:45 but today has really been phenomenal. This morning we hosted about 300 kids from local youth organizations at a holiday party at Dodger Stadium and it doubled as an introduction to Los Angeles for Andruw Jones. In addition to the newest Dodger, we had people like Tommy Lasorda, Ned Colletti, Eric Karros, Kenny Landreaux, Bobby Castillo, Rudy Law, Charley Steiner and Steve Lyons, among others, on hand to spend time with the youngsters.
As for Andruw, he couldn’t have been more gracious with the little ones and the big ones (those in the media), and we’re certainly looking forward to having him here.
The thing that he kept repeating that stuck out with me is his converations with Ned and Frank in which he said they showed him how much they wanted him and how badly they expect and want to win here. I obviously don’t know what was said behind closed doors but whatever it was, it clearly convinced him that a two-year deal with the Dodgers than a potentially longer gig elsewhere. (On a side note, the final center fielder of the winter signed today – Aaron Rowand for five years and $60 million; Hunter was five years and $90 million and Kosuke Fukudome at four years and $48 million).
He mentioned that in Curacao, where he grew up, the two teams everyone talks about are the Dodgers and Yankees so if there are any people from Curacao reading this, we welcome your native son to Los Angeles and hope you’ll come visit us this Spring in Vero Beach or this summer in LA. He also confirmed that he speaks four languages – English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamento, which is a mixture of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, English, French and has some Arawak Indian and African influences (according to my trusty google search). That’s the official language of Curacao and the one he’s spoken since birth.
We also announced today that we have invited 11 players to Spring as non-roster players, including Tanyon Sturtze, Danny Ardoin and Mike Koplove, among others. The full release is here.
Additionally, today we will non-tender Mark Hendrickson, making him a free agent.
I know a lot of you are asking about Kuroda and unfortunately, I don’t really have an update. From what I understand, members of the Japanese media have reported that he told someone at the the Hiroshima Carp that he wants to play for the Dodgers, but if that’s the case, he has not yet told the Dodgers that. That would certainly be great news if it proves to be true and as soon as I know it’s official, I’ll post here again.