A Wet Weekend

For those of you in Los Angeles, hope you stayed dry with all the rain that has been coming down. Fortunately, it stayed away on Saturday, allowing us to host our Select-a-Seat Weekend for Season Ticket holders and permitting Nomar and Mia to host their Celebrity Soccer Challenge at Home Depot Center.

I was at the soccer match and thought it was a really touching event. At halftime, they introduced three bone marrow transplant recipients to their donors for the first time and it was a really emotional moment. If you couldn’t make it and get registered to be a donor, you can visit this website to see how easy it is. As simple as a q-tip swab to the inside of your cheek and you  might able to save a life.

At the event, I ran into Mike Lieberthal (he was actually playing) and he "announced" his retirement to the media that was there. (Diamond Leung of the Press Enterprise broke the news, as he was blogging live from the seats!)

Mike said he’s known for quite some time that he wasn’t going to come back but wasn’t sure what protocal was so he just figured he’d wait until he saw our beat writers, which was Saturday. Though he didn’t play much last year, Mike was a classy guy and I’m glad he got to play for his hometown team before he hung them up. Same goes for Randy Wolf, who didn’t hang ‘em up but was also at the game. You never know if he’ll get another chance to play for the Dodgers and it was a pleasure working with both of them.

If you missed the game, check out the photo gallery on the front of the site. Ned Colletti and Kim Ng both played and I’m hoping Ned is still able to move today, as he was throwing himself around the field like a 20-something-year-old.

Later Saturday night, I had the honor to go to the 58th Annual Golden Mike awards, which are given out by the Radio, TV News Association for broadcasting exellence. We went last year when Vin Scully received the Lifetime Achievement Award and this year it was Jaime Jarrin who was honored in that manner, as he enters his 50th season with the club.  It’s hard to even fathom, as he said in his speech, that someone could come to America with no money and without knowing a word of English and keep the same job for 50 years, eventually ending up in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Jaime is one of my mentors simply for the class he exhibits in everyday life and I couldn’t be happier for him and his family, who were all in attendance.

And finally, for those who missed the news over the weekend, Rafael Furcal’s eighth-inning, tie-breaking, game-winning homer gave the Aguilas a 2-1 victory for the Dominican League title. Furcal hit .361 with a .395 OBP during the regular season and then led all Dominican players during the round-robin tournament in RBI (15) and stolen bases (7). He was tied for the lead with three triples and second in the league with 27 hits. During the playoffs, he got on base at a .398 clip and posted a .440 slugging percentage.

Judging from those numbers, I’d say he’s back in playing shape and ready for position players to report in less than a month!

49 Comments

Josh, thanks for the updates. If Raffy is back to the way he was in 2006, that is exciting news!

I wish Mike well and success in his next career. All I can say for Randy is that I wish him well. We’ll keep the success to ourselves. :)

Can’t say that I have listened much to Jaime, but I have heard about him through the years: congratulations to him!

Finally, is there an injured reserve for GMs? Hopefully Ned had fun. He supported a worthy charity. Thanks to Nomar for organizing the event.

Great news about Raffy!, but keep Wrecko away from him this time!!!

I met 5 members of the 1988 Championship team yesterday. Cool guys :) Check out the pix.

http://baseballislife.mlblogs.com/

Cool Roberto, that must have been exciting to say the least. Great pix.

Yea, keep Raffy away from Wrecko. They need to play Wrecko and Pierre together.

I second that jhall.

Josh,
Thank you so much for keeping us always informed!

i went to stadium Saturday to change my seats location It was so good to be at our stadium again and talk with other fellow Dodger fans. A few hours afterwards I headed to Soup’s Grill in Woodland Hills where I was meeting other friends to check out Jeff Suppan’s restaurant. He is really a nice guy and a hands on person at the restaurant. I enjoyed the wall of baseballs and the baseball-glove shaped easy chairs. If you go, check out the autographed photos of many major league players and read what they wrote, some are quite funny. Also check out the W.S. ring replica that is cut in three parts. By the time we left the place, the rain was heavy and I was dreading the drive on the 101 but surprisingly the traffic was moving.

Congratulations to Jaime Jarrin. He sure is a classy person. I’ve just congratulated him in the Dodgers en Espanol blog.

Good Luck to Liberthal in his future endeavors.

Pitchers and Catchers report in 17 days! -Emma

Let’s hear for FURCAL****GO DODGER

Thanks Pierreeastmeetswest! I knew I forgot to mention something! i’ve been watching the games en Espanol and keepign and eye on Furcal! Felicidades Furcal!

I swear, there are STILL Dodger fans who want to get Bedard. Not only is the rotation set, but he would cost a FORTUNE in talent. These people are so stubborn it’s truly frustrating.

Only way I’d take Bedard is for Penny or Lowe (not both) and maybe someone like Hu (but only if you have absolutely no intentions of resigning Furcal.)

Going to lose Lowe anyway – he wants another bite at the FA apple in ’09 which will probably price himself out of L.A.’s confort zone for 34-35 year old pitchers (plus I’m sure Schmidt is leaving a bad taste in their mouths.) Conversely, Penny’s K ratio is down, which either means he’s learned how to pitch, or he’s in decline.

Hu’s probably the shortstop of the future, but if they extend or resign Furcal, it leaves him without a position.

Well it looks like Johan Santana is coming to the NL… East. The Mets have apparentely landed him from the Twins. Bedard will probably not get traded to Seattle, if you believe what you read, so maybe he’ll be available for the Dodgers at the deadline, if our 5 don’t pan out. I believe that Schmidt and Loaiza will work out and the D’s pitching will be the best in the west.

I don’t know, maybe I’m not up to date, but New York’s Daily News has it the opposite on Bedard & Santana. The Bedard trade is almost in and the twins are not happy with the Mets offer.

WOOOPS disregard what I just posted above. It will be a pleasure to see some baseball in my paper tomorrow. I have to call my daughter and give her her news if she don’t already know.

That looks like a steal for the Mets. The only guy I ever heard them make a stink about was Philip Humber.

I agree pierres – doesn’t look like the Mets gave up much. Prospect equivalents, I think the D’s could’ve come up with that package or better and still not gutted the farm. The kicker though is the $150M he’s asking for. 4-5 years from now the D’s are going to need that $150M to lock-up the young guys who’ll be arbitration and FA ready by then. I also don’t think you want to throw that kind of money around for someone that doesn’t play but every 5 days.

But the Mets are the Mets and they have to try and compete with the splash the Yanks always make.

ino you guys get all butt hurt when we talk about anything but the dodgers but..

i said earlier that the reds were gonna be the surprise team of the year.

maybe this will convince some of you as well

http://cincinnati.reds.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080127&content_id=2356964&vkey=news_mlb&fext=.jsp&c_id=mlb

You’re apsolutely right Enchanted. I’m glad Colletti wouldn’t put his hands on that one. We actually had too much to offer. My Daughter called me back very excited about the deal. She’s a Met fan and worries about keeping up with the Phillies & the Braves. Man , I’ll say that Omar Minaya is one guy who’s not afraid to pull the trigger.

I didn’t read her whole articule… BILL 1234… although I can’t predict anything and anything can happen but I think this Lisa Winston is getting all wacky over players that only the Reds and their fan know about.

It will be interesting to see Dusty Baker manage the Reds. He had his chances in San Francisco and Chicago. Now it’s Cincinnati’s turn.

I understand that the Mets gave up 4 “Top 10″ prospects in their org., but none of them has put-up any kind of numbers (that I’ve seen in the reports) worth noting. Still the $20-25M a year to retain him buys an awful lot of FAs in the future.

I’m glad too Ned didn’t trade the farm for Santa – not enough goodies in his bag to warrant giving up our goody bag. Project Kershaw and McDonald as top of the order starters over the next 5 years and you can plug a lot of holes with $150M, plus the money you’re not spending on K & M.

Still don’t know about the outfield situation. Jones is CF period. The fact that Kemp is so valued by [seemingly] Ned and just about every other organization, I don’t think he’s going to sit, so he’s RF. All the racing around in ST doesn’t leave much evaluation time for Torre to select Ethier or Pierre for left. I just can’t imagine anyone choosing JP as the every day LFer.

Here’s a thought – if Young outplays JP and Ethier in ST, does he get the nod?

Likewise at 3B – if Abreu outplays Nomore and LR, do you start him? Or do you hand LR the job and let him go, even if he puts up Cey type first year numbers (507/60/124/15/80/.245)? [not that I wouldn’t be happy if he had a Cey type career.]

Thoughts?

LaRoche gets to sink or swim this year. Otherwise, we will not know what he’s capable of doing.

Bill – I read your article on the Reds and I am still not convinced. I just can’t see a winning team coming of that bullpen, which will probably be the worst in the NL again especially with the subtraction of every day eddie. Bailey was a flop when he made the bigs last year and I don’t know how much of the other three prospects we’ll see. Other than Harang the rotation is nothing special either. Overall, I think the Reds will end up where they always do, fighting to stay out of the cellar.

This China trip came at the wrong time, Torre is gonna have some tough decisions to make and this takes a week from his process.

I agree momoracci, I’d give LR the job too, but he’s got to be given a real shot a putting up some decent offensive numbers, and he can’t do that batting 8th IMO. My line-up would be:

Furcal – all account are he’s healthy again.

Martin – not sold on him being a #2 hitter though.

Kemp – power and speed deserve some protection in the line-up.

Jones

Loney – big BA guy good in 5th spot.

Kent – offers some protection to Loney.

LaRoche – too much power potential to bat 8th.

Ethier – no where else to put him.

Pitcher

Totally different (and less effective IMO) line-up if JPs in there and bats 2nd. Then LR has to slide down a notch and the troubles begin.

Dodgers signed Ramon Martinez to a minor league contract. He will be invited to camp and compete with youngsters Tony Abreu and Chin-lung Hu for what probably will be two utility infield spots on the opening-day roster.

Roberto thanks for sharing your blog and pics. Great stuff. Chase down your dreams. I want to see you covering the dodgers one day for Fox.

I can’t wait for the season to start.

swood-

It’s a shame you don’t know much about the Reds’ top prospect, Jay Bruce. He dominated three levels last year at age 20 and is a prototype 5-tool CF with big-time power. I saw him at the Futures Game and he ROCKED.

Why exactly did we need to sign Ramon Martinez. Assuming we go with an 11 man pitching staff there will be room for 6 bench including the backup catcher. That leaves 5 of which the loser of LaRoche/Garciapparra is one as your backup corner infielder. Pierre/ethier along with repko/young are your outfield backups. that leaves room for one middle infied backup, most likely abreau as he can actually hit as well as play defense and the last one is normally a professional pinch hitter such as sweeney who rarely plays defensively. Martinez, can play a modicum of defense but has no offensive skills. I know Torre is worried about a young bench but adding a player who has extremely limited skills to displace a player with potential is not a good sign.

Just what we need Ramon Martinez a 194 hitter. Where’s the upside Ned? Let the young guys fight for that spot.

Didn’t we all dread seeing R.Martinez in the line-up last year? .194? – any of the kids could do .194 and at least there’s a plus side to them doing it – they’re gaining experience.

Truely though, with all the journeymen middle infielders out there, why invite one that couldn’t hit above the Mendoza line, and that you already said good-bye to once?

Based on his recent performance, I think the chances are very slim that Martinez will make the club. On the other hand, why give him the at bats and play time in ST when it denies one of our youngsters the chance to show what he can do for us in the future.

enchanted I disagree Martin is a great #2 hitter. He is patient and can hit behind the runner. The other option for the 2nd spot, I would like to Ethier. He has plus power and is patient and being left handed will have an extra hole to hit when someone is on. Laroche at 7th or eigth is perfect for him, hopefully it will relieve some stress and help him integrate into the lineup….

Still a little worried about the bullpen. I hope we have a second lefty step up like Beimel did a couple of years ago.

Roberto as jungar said follow the dream, I checked out your blog and you have great pictures and memories. I envy you guys on he west coast to be that close to the team. My only exposure to them has been Dodger Fantasy Camp (I know you young guys do notunderstand, you will someday) and when they come to DC now.

Enjoy the chats guys, it is so hard to find people that want to talk about baseball and almost impossible to find Dodger fans.

Shawn, I also think Ethier would do well batting 2nd. Nice point about hitting left handed with the hole when a runner is on 1st.

Don’t know if anyone noticed yet but the Dodgers just released D.J. Houlton so he could play in Japan.

I agree with messagebear, and have long said that it is a waste of money to sign so many hanger oners type players. they go to spring training taking away at bats, or innings to young players we need to develope, then 9 out of 10 rip the club when they don’t make the club, just what we need the youger players to see.
if they do go to tne minors, they again rob at bats and innings to the players we need to develope. I’d rather push a prospect pushed a bit for him to gain experience.

a couple of other notes. See that d.j. houlton left to play in Japan,

it is our Mike Megrew (lhp) that signed with the San Diego? Question for Josh, looking back at the 2004 draft,we drafted a lhp named David Price in the 19th round.

If he is the same david Price, it seems we let a huge talent and let him get away.

think our a rotation in 2009 of price LHP, penny RHP kershaw LHP, bills RHP, and elbert LHP.

it seems to me we need to spend more money on the draft to take a risk to sign players such as a david price in 2004,mark melanancon in 03, luke hochevar in 2005.alex white in 06, kyle blair in 07 we have a great minor league system, but think how much better it would be with just these guys signed, we Id’ed them as prospects, but let them go for

other teams. Spending money in the drafts makes for a much better future than signing players to fill gaps in the system, the hanger oners

Think what troubles me about Martin batting #2 is the extra wear and tear he puts on himself on the basepaths with his SB trying to set up #s 3 & 4 for an easier RBI. I’d actually prefer Either, but if you do that you have to drop LaRoche to 8 spot, which I believe sets him up for failure. I see Martin/Ethier interchangeable in either 2 or 8, but you really can’t “demote” Martin to 8 spot.

Of course its a pretty good line-up when you have to debate who hits 8th!!

Didn’t notice the Houlton thing, but it was doubtful he’d see much time in the BP (if any) being another righty, and I doubt he’d get the call if one of the starters goes down. Still, he was always there when the D’s needed him, and I wish him well.

Houlton had his shots and just didn’t get it done. I wish him well.

Actually, the KC Royals would have been better off if they signed Houlton instead of Bombko. About a week late.

enchanted I know what you mean about wear and tear to his body but whether he is hitting 2nd or 8th he is going to play all out. It will be up to Torre and the coaches to try and corral his agressiveness. What we love about Russell is his aggressiveness, it is his biggest strength and weakness. I hope he understands how important he is to the team and that he needs to conserve as much energy as possible.

I grew up a Garvey fan and idolized him and followed Sax and Piazza but Martin is my new Garvey. My 3 year old son loves him. What is it? 17 days to pitchers and catchers….GO Dodgers…

Would be better if Torre sits Martin 20 games or so. Just don’t want to see him be a Wrecko.

This is the most enthused I’ve been about the Ds since the 70s. Might take them a year or two to gel, but there’s no reason they can’t be as good as the Garvey-Cey era.

shawn,
Is actually 15 days to Pitchers and Catchers! February 14th is the day!

Josh,

When will we know the Caravan schedule? I want to ask for time off at work. If Feb 5th works better for me, I need to also make time to vote. -emma

Oh wow! Just saw the press release on the Caravan! Quite extensive. Looks Great!

I’m happy about our starting pitching 1 through 4. The 5th spot is scary, but I can hardly remember the last time we had a decent 5th starter. The loser between Schmidt & Loaiza will proberly end up our top longman. The more often our starters can get through the 5th inning on their own without any help, the better it will be. As long as we have some bodies to bring it to Beimel or Proctor, preferably not always the same guy, we’ll be in good shape. It would be good if we can get Broxton & Saito more rest. Lefthanders Kuo(if health) & Stultz are good to have around. If Houlton is going to Japan, I’ll miss him. He always reminded me of a young Carl Erskine, he never pitched like him, it was just his looks. *****I wanted to say something about Ramon Martinez, but to tell you the truth, I don’t know what to say.

Have we traded Pierre yet? LOL

Sell Pierre to Korea.

With AJ in CF, JP is not the problem defensively.

DY will be the starter by the All Star Break, anyway. DY will be a .330 hitter with punch. He will bat 2nd by then. Start the order off with 2 Switch hitters.

LR will bat 7 until he proves himself. The batting order will work itself out in late spring.

Likely:

1 Furcal

2 Martin?

3 Loney or Kemp

4 AJ

5 Kent

6 Kemp or Loney

7 LR?

8 Ethier or JP?

this is what the lineup will look like for game 1 of the division series against those SURPRISING REDS..rematch of the 1995 DS, lets just hope it doesnt turn out like that one did ;]..

1. Furcal SS

2. DY 2B (Kent has a career ending injury and DY comes in and does a great job)

3. Loney (All-Star and put up 25ish bomb, with an AVG. well above .330)

4. Jones (50 bombs a stretch?? i dont think so baby)

5. Kemp (All-Star and first 30 homer season)

6. Martin( Another all star yr. for the captin of the D’s)

7. Laroche (30 bombs and runner up in the ROY)

8. Ethier (decent yr. but with pierre rotating with him, he is not very happy and his future with the D’s becomes very uncertain.)

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