A pair of southpaws

Today we signed two more non-roster invitees to Spring Training and you will recognize both names. Mike Myers and the former Dodger, Tom Martin will both be coming to Spring Training. For Martin, this is his second time in camp as a non-roster guy and I still remember the first time he showed up at Dodgertown in the Spring of 2003. He was sitting at a table in the clubhouse and none of us had any idea who he was or what he was doing there. I was about to go over and ask him for his media credential when our clubhouse manager told me that he was a friend of Paul Shuey’s and he had just tried out for the team and made it. A hard-throwing lefty, he was going to be with us throughout camp.

By the end of the year, Martin had appeared in 80 games, the most ever by a Dodger left-hander and a record that stood until Joe Beimel broke it last season. He had a 3.53 ERA and has stayed in the bigs for the last three years, which is pretty cool.

On a different note, I caught up yesterday with a former colleague of mine from my days at MLB.com. Doug Miller, who used to cover the Angels in 2002 when I covered the Giants, has moved over to MLB.com/entertainment, which ties baseball and the entertainment world together. There’s some very interesting stuff there, including a blog that Doug is doing on MLBlogs, so check it out if you’re surfing the Internet and looking to keep yourself "entertained."

And finally, for those of you who didn’t get to see a piece of Tommy’s magic at the Kings game last night, be sure to read about it. You really have to see it to believe it sometimes.

8 Comments

It’s taking a long time for the minor league NRIs to be announced. Kershaw, Elbert, etc.

There’s been a lot of old Dodger names popping up lately, Jose Vizcaino as a special assistant and it’s good to see Tom Martin return as a non-roster invitee. He was with the Mets awhile, You know. ****I see it’s 50 years since Campanella’s accident. It seemed like at that time everybody in Brooklyn hated the Dodgers, then came the news of Campy and suddenly everybody remembered they were still Dodger fans at heart. A day we’ll never forget. ****Say JOSH, you use to cover the Jints? Man you guys. How do you do it? I guess if I was NORMAL I’d be rooting for the Mets.

BTW I wonder how Paul Shuey is doing. Maybe the Dodgers could invite him.

I have not written in a while–between a hectic work schedule and a calm that the roster has largely been set since the Winter Meetings, I have not been so nervous. (Sure, there are questions on some of the fringes of the roster, and unknons at 3B and the OF, but we all know the possible answers are a pretty small set.)

I am VERY optimistic going into this season. I have my opinion on who should be playing 3B most of the time (LaRoche), and who should almost always play in the OF (Jones/Kemp), and who should get most of the rest of the time (Ethier). But, I’ll trust that Joe Torre will make the decisions that will give the team the best chance to win. That’s what he was hired to do, that’s what folks wanted him to do, and he does it pretty well, so I feel we’re in good hands.

I was surprised that Mattingly stepped down–but the replacement with Mike Easler seemed like an easy transition. It’s too bad, because–even though I can’t but think of him as a Yankee–Mattingly sure could hit, and I think he could teach a few things about it. But, it seems like a hiccup. I liked that the Dodgers had the mini-camp–I too remember winter workouts at Dodger Stadium, and glad to see some guys show up who were not required–Kemp, Loney, etc.

I don’t know what to think about Matt Kemp losing 25 pounds. I would be a little worried about a power/strong guy like Kemp losing so much weight–with young players, it’s not surprising to see them gain a little weight as they add muscle. But, I suppose Kemp will still be about 220, so being small is not a problem. And clearly, it means he’s working and conditioning in the off-season, which is good. Of course, his pure athleticism is not the question–but if he comes into Spring Training in tip-top shape, then all he needs to do is focus on baseball skills, which is great. I’m hoping for a big year for him.

It’s been a good off-season. I was optimistic after the off-season last year–more optimistic than I had been in a long time. And for most of the season that was deserved. But I think I am even more optimistic going into Spring Training this year than last year–a lot of the guys who helped us to the playoffs in 2006 are still around, and for those who aren’t, their replacements are mostly younger and better. The off-season has shown the committment to the building from within the organization that will keep fan favorites with the team for a long time, the kids that have come through the fires are now ready to not just be players, but all-stars, and we may be looking at the beginning of a dynasty that we have not seen since the 1970′s/early ’80′s.

I can’t wait for the Coliseum Game on March 29–which will be almost as good as Opening Day two days later.

And, just because it’s been a while:

My Loney has a first name,

It’s J-A-M-E-S

My Loney has a second name,

It’s L-O-N-E-Y

I love to watch him every day

And if you ask me why I’ll say

‘Cause James Loney has a way

With H-I-T-T-I-N-G!

Regarding Kemp’s weight loss, it appears the initial reports were exaggerated. In a recent interview, he said he was down 15 lbs from the end of the season (around 220 lbs now).

I’m not as optimistic going into the season as I was last year. Although I am happy with this off season with the moves that were made or more rightly, not made. It’s amazing how we didn’t need a major trade and used only free agency to try to improve ourselves.I agree with sticking with our youth. My pessimism is because last year I saw a five team race in the NL West. It was like anybody can win it. Since we were coming off a post season birth only the Padres seemed to have, maybe, a slight edge over the rest of us but our chances looked good. At least I felt our chances was as good as anybodys. Now I’m having trouble forgetting how the Rockies(especially), D-Backs & Padres raced right past us in the end. Now it looks like a three team race. I only hope that Joe Torre, Andruw Jones, Mike Easler(especially) and our maturing youth can keep us strong.

Check out the Legend of Joe Beimel ! :)

http://baseballislife.mlblogs.com/

I watched those Video’s about Joe Beimel I really enjoyed them and I can’t wait for the abitration thing to end and I can watch Joe come in to pitch. That guy in the first video looked a little like Gagne to me. LET’S GO DODGER BULLPEN.

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