Gang's almost all here…
Not much to report from here…Schmidt and Brazoban both threw without issue today, which is obviously a positive. Sandy Koufax was back out again today, this time working with Greg Miller, among others.
With nothing else really to blog about, here are our daily notes from Dodgertown.
FULL SQUAD ON THE HORIZON: Dodger pitchers and catchers worked out for the sixth time this spring, and tomorrow will be joined by all position players for the first full-squad workout. Nearly all position players this morning were out on the field taking batting practice, fielding grounders, and catching fly balls to get an early start. Sandy Koufax was on the grounds for the third day in a row to offer advice to the pitching staff. Maury Wills was also on hand, helping pitchers with bunting drills in Wills Pit.
DOUBLE NICKEL: As most are aware, Dodger catcher Russell Martin wears uniform No. 55. Yesterday, while the Canadian was filming for DodgerVision, he discussed his favorite baseball memory as being his major league debut on May 5, 2006. When a public relations staffer asked Martin if that was the reason why he went on to wear No. 55 permanently, he replied, “Oh, I didn’t even think of that.” A true coincidence, indeed. Martin explained that 55 was the number that he and the club agreed to.
HOMETOWN HEROES: There are six Dodgers on the 40-man roster who are Southern California natives, including Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Kent, James McDonald, Greg Miller, Rudy Seanez, and Delwyn Young. The high schools these men played at are St. John Bosco High School in Bellflower (Garciaparra), Edison High School in Huntington Beach (Kent), Long Beach Poly High School (McDonald), Esperanza High School in Anaheim (Miller), Brawley Union High School (Seanez), and Littlerock High School (Young). Not to go unnoticed is Esteban Loaiza, who was born in Tijuana, Mexico, and attended Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach, CA.
FIRST THING’S FIRST: The Dodgers have eight first-round draft picks in camp, including four who are supplemental first-round selections. Of the eight first-round players, Chad Billingsley (24th overall in 2003), James Loney (19th overall in 2002), Miller (31st in 2002), Justin Orenduff (33rd overall in 2004), and Jason Repko (37th overall in 1999) were selected by the Dodgers. The other three are Rick Asadoorian (17th overall by Boston Red Sox in 1999), Garciaparra (12th overall by Boston in 1994), and John-Ford Griffin (23rd overall by New York Yankees in 2001). Both Asadoorian and Griffin are in Dodger camp as non-roster invitees.
TAKE IT TO THE HAUS: Longtime Seattle Mariners’ broadcaster Dave Niehaus today was named the recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, and will be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame this summer. Upon graduation from Indiana University, Niehaus worked for the Armed Forces radio and TV service, calling the action for Dodger games before moving to New York to handle Yankees baseball as well as basketball and hockey. After leaving the Armed Forces Network, he returned to Los Angeles to broadcast the Dodgers, Rams, and Lakers.
YOU COMPLETE ME: In going 12-8 with a 3.56 ERA in 26 starts last year for Hiroshima, Hiroki Kuroda tossed seven complete games. In Major League Baseball in 2007, there were four teams with as many as seven complete games. The Toronto Blue Jays led the way with 11, followed by the Chicago White Sox (nine), Cleveland Indians (nine), and Arizona Diamondbacks (seven). Individually, Toronto’s Roy Halladay led the Majors with seven complete games in 2007, followed by Cleveland’s C.C. Sabathia and Arizona’s Brandon Webb with four apiece.
GREAT SCOTT!: Dodger reliever Scott Proctor ranks second in the Majors over the last two years with 166 appearances, trailing only Washington’s Jon Rauch, who has 173. Proctor’s final 31 appearances of 2007 came in a Dodger uniform. Jonathan Broxton, meanwhile, is tied for seventh among big league relievers in that same span with 151.
DATES TO REMEMBER
February 20 – First Full-Squad Workout
February 29 – First Spring TV Game (at Atlanta, 1:05 pm on ESPN)
March 2 – Ticket On-Sale Day at Dodger Stadium
February 28 – First Spring Game (vs. Atlanta, Holman Stadium)
March 15-16 – Dodgers vs. Padres in China