Spring Training is underway…
It’s amazing how quickly the comments ramped up as soon as Spring Training arrived.
We are here in Dodgertown, having arrived last night around 8 p.m. to a welcoming committee at the airport. Actually, those welcoming us at the airport were mostly autograph seekers who make a living putting that stuff on eBay, as Saito and Kuroda were on our flight and they got bombarded as soon as we got into the main area of the Orlando airport. I guess the autograph is worth more if it’s in Japanese, as they were all saying "Kanji," which I guess means, "Japanese." In any event, they were both gracious and signed as much as they could and with that, Spring Training was officially underway.
Also on our flight were the rest of the PR department, Ellen Harrigan from Baseball Operations and Mike Borzello, the new bullpen catcher this year who comes to us from the Yankees. He will join Rob Flippo down there and hopefully bring with him some of the success the Yankees have had over the last 10 years. Mike grew up in Southern California and we actually went to Joe Torre Baseball Camp together in the late 80s, so it’s good to have him in the Dodger family.
The entire clubhouse staff is here and we’ve already seen Mariano Duncan, too. From what I hear, we’ll have about a dozen players here today, with the rest showing up tomorrow. Billy DeLury, who joined the team in 1950, has been here holding down the fort since late January for the start of the two Adult Baseball Camps that just concluded.
As we settle into the office, we’re hoping the weather will cooperate this morning, as we have a media conference scheduled for 1 p.m. ET with Joe Torre. Not surprisingly, there are tons of New York and national media members who have been checking in with me almost daily to see when Joe will first speak here at Dodgertown so they can document it all for the papers in Manhattan.
For those of you who don’t want to wait to read the written reports, ESPN should be carrying it live on one of their multiple channels (maybe "The Ocho"), so be on the lookout for that. I’ll try to post any highlights later this afternoon.
Otherwise, it should be a relatively quiet, albeit exciting, day at Dodgertown.
UPDATE: It’s pouring at Dodgertown, but we have a tid bit of news. Takashi Saito signed a one-year deal today, which was really never in question but nonetheless, is nice to get done.