Another nice win…though I saw none of it

We had quite a busy day yesterday down here in the Dominican Republic. It started with a tryout for number of young players and you can’t help but wonder what goes through these kids’ minds while they’re working out. I’m sure they know that the GM, a Hall of Fame manager and some of their childhood heroes (Jose Vizcaino, Wilton Guerrero, Ralph Avila etc.) are all watching and judging their every move. If they have a good day, it could potentially change their entire family’s life with just a signing bonus and if they don’t, it could be back to a tiny town with little hope of getting out. I know that oversimplifies things quite a bit and certainly not all young players fall into this category, but you could easily see how much each kid was trying to impress the Dodger staff.

There should be a photo gallery posting soon from that portion of the day…

In the afternoon, we took a drive over the future headquarters of the Manny Mota Foundation, where they are currently building an incredible four-field facility that will easily change the entire neighborhood where it is located. I really don’t think Manny gets enough credit for what he does down here but he affects thousands of lives on a daily basis, which is pretty amazing. Hoping to get something up on the site about that shortly.

Late in the day, we had a news conference that was attended by about 40 media members and the entire Campo Las Palmas staff, and everyone there was very excited that the Dodgers had come to visit. You can tell how important it is to the Dominican people when a big league team takes the time to stop in their country and see how things are going with their respective academies. Ned Colletti told everyone how important it is for us to re-double our efforts here and that seems to be a theme in much of what we’ve been doing.

At dinner, we were all checking our blackberries every five minutes for scoring updates and it was great to see us pull out another victory – four in a row. We need to keep it going while we’re on the road.

I’ll work on answering some of the questions that have been posed in the comments once we’re back in America on Thursday or Friday.


  1. perumike

    Did anyone notice that Matt Kemp did not make the All Star ballot, but instead Slappy did? I think we need a write-in campaign for Kemp!

  2. perumike

    I just made my first of many All Star votes, and I picked:

    Chipper Jones
    Kemp (Write in)

    I could not in good conscience vote for Jones, Pierre, or Nomar.

  3. junkyardjamie

    I voted for the same Dodgers, and I voted for Byrnes, too, but I voted for Reynolds at 3rd (he’s my fantasy league player). However, I do like Chipper so I will probably eventually vote him in as well.

    Great game last night, by the way, and it made it even sweeter that the Dbacks lost (not to mention the Giants losing added icing to the cake).

  4. perumike

    dnelson, you’re right, overall a great day yesterday! And on the voting I guess great minds think alike! πŸ™‚

  5. leekfink

    Josh–Good stuff on the Dominican. A good time to remind people that FSN and Prime Ticket occassionally re-run their specials on Manny Mota and Campos Las Palmas, and both are worth catching.
    perumike–I noticed Pierre over Kemp, and was despondent. We obviously need a write-in campaign (I launched one in 1992 for Eric Karros, when they listed Kal Daniels instead, but with the internet, we can do more).
    It’s also probably silly to have Nomar over Blake DeWitt, who has seen far more playing time. But at least Nomar was supposed to be the incumbent there. Now, it’s DeWitt or LaRoche.
    The good news is that you could honestly vote for 6 Dodgers–Furcal with his great start; Martin, of course; Kent is still a top second baseman; Ethier and Kemp, yes there are other outfielders, but those two are just as worthy as a bunch; and Loney, although it’s almost inevitable that Pujols would get the start.
    BTW–saw clips of last night courtesy of TiVo. The bobble was Loney’s error, and Lowe could not do too much–he was in a foot race with Hanley Ramirez. I still think he loses focus sometimes, but as long as he can keep the ball down. Old_Fogey is right, DeWitt was out from you to me, but I still like the move sending him–It took two great throws to get him, and it took the catcher holding on through the collision. Just good baseball by the Marlins on that play. But compare the the Kent base hit in the 9th–th throw probably beat Ethier (or, at least was close), but it was up the line so they had no chance.

  6. perumike

    Great points leek! I also agree that 6 of the 8 position players are deserving of consideration, especially Furcal, Martin, and Ethier, with Kemp, Kent and Loney also in the mix. I have three e-mail addresses so I get 75 votes, and I will write in Kemp on all of them.


    Martin and Furcal are legitimate All Stars, with maybe Penny and Beimal (though I doubt his ERA stays under 1.00?!?!??!?!).

  8. leekfink

    BTW–Just saw in Gurnick’s preview of tonight’s game that Andy LaRoche has moved on to Las Vegas for his rehab stint, after hitting .318 at Jacksonville. Unfortunately, I see in the box score that he went 0-3 in a 18-5 51s win. But he came out in the 7th, and the game was still only 6-5.
    But, he may be in LA soon.


    When the season moves into the second half and clutch pinch hitting becomes vital, Mr. Ned is going to have to re-think his bench. DY and Hu are rookies (as are Abreu, LaRoche, and DeWitt), Bennett is the back-up catcher, and Pierre is a pop-gun career starter, leaving Sweeney as the only legitimate late-inning stick off the bench. DY, being out of options, is a “flawed luxury item,” as is Pierre. In the long run, I can’t see Ned keeping both DY and Pierre on the bench. Somewhere down the line the Dodgers need to address a veteran right-handed stick (with power) to compliment Sweeney. Maybe it’s Nomar…maybe not.

  10. dodger 32

    I read somewhere that the 4 outfielders drew straws to see who gets on the ballot for the All Star game and Kemp drew the short one. That’s why he’s not listed. That doesn’t mean we can’t vote for him anyway.

  11. leekfink

    Fliegel–Ken Gurnick’s piece said that Kemp “drew the short straw” but I think that he meant that colloquially, not literally. I am pretty sure that the Commissioner’s Office selects that candidates on the All-Star Ballot, and they do so based on their best guess of whose playing. That Kemp has not been playing as often as he should must have influenced that decision.
    As I recall, it used to be (20 years ago, or so) that not every “starter” was listed on the All-Star Ballot. And though I was not around then, the story as I understand it was that, despite being clearly the Dodgers starting First Baseman, Steve Garvey was not listed on the 1974 All-Star ballot, so he and his wife Cindy started a write-in campaign, which consisted mostly of them writing in his name on ballots on their kitchen table. Garvey because the first write-in starter, won the All-Star Game MVP, and won the National League MVP that year too.


    Dear Josh,

    I grew up a Dodgers fan and then moved to the East Coast and overseas for 20 yrs. Kirk Gibson etal was the last team that I followed. Last April, I moved back to southern Cal. It’s been a stressful year for my family, as my mom has been battling debilitating illness. During this time, re-connecting with the Dodgers has been a terrific salve, an escape from everyday gruel. Listening to Vin Scully’s mellifluous voice and following my boys in blue have really been a big part in helping me re-adjust to life in southern Calif as well as deal with family pain. Nothing like a break from reality by focusing on balls and strikes, with Vin’s tales in between. Just wanted to thank the Dodgers. And having his blog has been great, too!

  13. dodgereric

    back 2 OC, I too welcome you back to SoCal and Dodger Blue. I’ve also recently discovered this wonderful outlet for connecting with fellow Dodger fans. They’re in short supply in Temecula. There are some great fans that post here. It gets emotional at times, but that’s why they call ’em FANS, right? We’re all on the same page as far as wanting another parade in LA.

    My family has also been through some tough personal times and we’ll keep you and your mom in our prayers. God Bless.

  14. dodgereric

    Kudos to Vin Scully for receiving the Lifetime Achievement in Sports Broadcasting Award, now and forever to be known as the Vin Scully Lifetime Achievement Award in Sports Broadcasting. To say that he deserves it would be one of the largest understatements in history.


    Perumike and dodgereric — thanks! For the 20 yrs I was away, I stopped following baseball. I guess I missed the unfortunate Fox years, and am now lucky to catch the Blue at the start of a new era, w/ Martin, Loney, Ethier, Kemp, Bills, Broxton etal.

    By the way, a while back people were mentioning worthless Dodger stuff they hold onto — can anyone match my Greg Brock autographed color photo?

    Rockies can’t pitch and Padres can’t hit. I still like our line-up better than Arizona’s and will be shocked if they can keep up their current pace. Their pitching is pretty impressive, though.

  16. dodgereric

    Right now everything’s impressive about AZ. They’ll come back to earth. I just hope we continue to rise up and meet them.

    Regarding “worthless” Dodger stuff, among other things, I have a Dodger pennant from the first game I attended in 1960. It says World Champion on it natch, and it has a picture of Dodger Stadium on it and says “future home of the Dodgers. Somewhere in the house are some of those 8 x 10 photos they used to give away at the park in the ’60s, as well as a scrapbook I started as a Cub Scout in ’61. There are numerous newspaper articles and baseball cards glued onto the pages with that old glue that came in bottles with that rubber top so that you could apply it without making too much of a mess. Anyone remember that stuff?

    And Greg Brock! Man, I was excited following him up through the minors. I remember Mike Marshall (the hitter) cranking out a long home run one night and Vinny said something like, “and they’ve got another one in AAA that hits them farther than that!” – referring to Brock. Too bad he didn’t work out. If I remember correctly, they let Garvey go to San Diego because they were so sure Brock would make it.

  17. dodger 32

    leekfink You might be right, but I thought what I read said they actually did draw straws. Either way lets write in for Kemp, he deserves to be there as well ,or more so than some of the others.

  18. lny4loney

    They let Garvey go to San Diego via free agency due to having four “sure-fire” firstbaseman in the system:

    Mike Marshall
    Greg Brock
    Franklin Stubbs
    Sid Bream

    Obviously none of them ever came anywhere near to Garv, although all four had half-way decent major league careers.
    I have a 1988 Dodgers World Champion hat. It’s still in very good condition as I hardly ever wear it because it has an odd and unflattering shape.

  19. perumike

    I don’t have too much old stuff since I’m only 28, but I do have my lovely Gagne and McGriff bobbleheads.

  20. lny4loney

    What am I supposed to do with my Gagne blue beard T-shirt now that he’s pretty much a known juicer? Watching Gagne close was one of the great Dodger Stadium experiences. But if I continue to celebrate that while condemning everything Bighead Bonds did after about 1997, I would be quite a hypocrite.

  21. dodgereric

    I also have a beer-soaked and stained Dodger pennant proclaiming the 10th Anniversary pennant of Dodger Stadium. Ah, the memories…………

  22. eslabels

    Think my son has the few old Dodger media guides I kept over the years. He’s also has the Piazza autographed ball I bought at silent auction before anyone knew who he was. I got it his rookie year in April I think. I knew he was going to be something special so I bid $40 on it back when $40 bought me groceries for most of the week. Of course now it only buys a tank of gas…

  23. lny4loney

    The unflattering shape describes the hat, my slightly horny head (and I mean that as a physical description), and my gut.

  24. leekfink

    I have a BlueCrew watch circa 1985 from the charter year of the Blue Crew Fan Club, a ticket stub from the night Ramon Martinez struck out 18 hitters, a ticket stub from May 23, 1992 wehn Eric Karros hit a 9th-inning pinch-hit home run against the Pirates to permanently earn his spot in the starting line-up, a number of 8×10 drawings/action shots from 1982 that they gave out to celebrate the 1981 world championship, the full set of Topps 1983 baseball cards, and a homemade Jack Fimple Bear.

  25. perumike

    I think I still have my baseball and ticket stub from the last “Baseball Night” where the game was called early due to the fans throwing their baseballs on the field.

  26. eslabels

    Jack Fimple and Sid Bream… there are some names you don’t hear much. I’d forgotten all the first basemen they had lined up after Garvey…

  27. eslabels

    I wish it didn’t take until May for Torre to decide on a line-up everyone on this blog knew was the right one before spring training ever started.

  28. leekfink

    perumike–that “forefeit” was a completely bogus call. The umpire had been making calls that ranged from questionable to paid off all night long–and had made several bad calls earlier in the year against the Dodgers too (as I recall, there were some blatant interferences by Andreas Galaragga that he did not call), and he claimed that Tommy was stirring up the crowd.

  29. perumike

    I agree leek, that was total garbage. I didn’t throw my ball because I was on the top deck and didn’t think I had enough arm to make it on the field. πŸ™‚

  30. crzblue2

    Welcome back BAck_to_OC and best wishes to your mom.

    For worthless things, I ran into a picture of me with Tom Niedenfuer (sp?). Boy, that was such a long time ago.

    Last minute decision, today I decided to go to Colorado this weekend and go see the Blue there! A friend and I made up our mine today so we will be at the games for Friday and Saturday. This will be our first visit to Coors field. God willing, I’ll be adding Yankee Stadium this year to the list of stadiums I have visited. -Emma


    I love leadoff walks to the pitcher. If Leyland was still the manager he would put his cigarette out on his pitchers face.

  32. leekfink

    THAT’S why they call him the BISON!
    By the way–anyone else find glee in the fact that the scoring was facilitated by Luis Gonzalez’s poor arm?


    Thats a good job by Torre in that spot. With Billz on second he is going to hinder Furcal’s speed. So Ethier sacrifices and you get two cracks to get two runs with Kemp and Kent

  34. jhallwally

    Great to see the same lineup sans Phew out there. Billz looking pretty good. We need him to find his groove.

    Welcome back OC and also thoughts and prayers for your mom and family.

  35. eslabels

    I just can’t imagine anyone getting Gonzo and Pierre and saying, “there, that’s my outfield.” Our pitchers must have absolutely cringed when they saw those two out there.

  36. perumike

    I would love to see Kent hit a single and watch The Bison take out Florida’s catcher. I bet The Bison wins that one!


    Just because I’m bitter and somewhat bored, I did some math and found that Andruw would have to get 18 straight hits to reach a .300 batting average. I know it doesn’t mean anything, and besides, we don’t need him to hit .300…just to keep up his power pace which projects to 6 home runs for 2008…

  38. leekfink

    I missed the fifth, and was going to say that Bills was dealing, and then saw all these comments.
    But, he worked through it, which is key.


    Remember what Joe told you James…the pitcher’s in trouble right now, not you. Don’t hurry.

  40. leekfink

    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!

  41. miguelcab

    Looking at the lineup now, Jones is the obvious weak link. We have a fantastic lineup, except for the glaring hole in center field. It’s starting to get to the point where I’d much rather see Pierre in the game. It’s getting late in the season and Jones is showing no signs of improving.


    Jones’ glove is so light years ahead of Pierre that Joe will give him AMPLE time to straighten out. Can you say June or beyond? Hey, at least Ethier and Kemp are finally safe!

  43. miguelcab

    Yeah you’re right he’s not going anywhere. But I’m not really expecting him to improve that much anytime soon unless he has a Green style 4 HR monster game that breaks him out of it. I can’t imagine what our lineup would be if he was actually doing something. But at this point he’s an automatic out. It really is getting pathetic.


    Sports Illustrated rated all the MLB stadiums and found Blue heaven rated 22nd out of 30. Of the various categories, Dodgers placed LAST in parking…but even more ingloriously, found their fan IQ 18th out of 30. Come on, we said bench Pierre in the Spring. What do they want????? It’s not fait to consider Ned a fan, is it? That tips the scale downward…

  45. jhallwally

    I’ll take Jones over Phew everyday even if he just hits .220 with 20 bombs because he is so vastly superior on defense. Ethier, Jones, Kemp across the outfield is tight defensively.

  46. northstateblues

    I don’t mind Jones as long as he keeps drawing walks. The way he’s hit lately, he’s in the same boat as Jerry Reuss was talking about earlier, “Why put me on base? I’m an easy out!”

  47. oldbrooklynfan

    Blake DeWitt has good power, I think it’s only a matter of time before he starts hitting fair balls out of the park.

  48. jhallwally

    Cool article Kahli. Thanks!! Dodgers get dinged bad for parking, traffic, and neighberhood. Otherwise not so bad.

  49. northstateblues

    I hope we keep seeing THESE Dodgers 2 out of 3 games for the rest of the year!!

    Feast or Famine? FEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  50. dodge1612

    raffy with five hits tonight… can we resign him already… dodgers are killing tonight this is beautiful… five in a row

  51. leekfink

    Martin at third base again.
    I think Joe is just fooling around here. Not “fooling” per se, but it’s a chance to give Russell some opportunities in a game situation that won’t hurt the team, in case he ever had to come in in an emergency. Plus, it allows us to bring in Gary Bennett to give him some game time, rest Russell’s legs, and not have to worry about an injury and having to use Delwyn Young as the emergency catcher.
    BTW–I really like the idea of Russ playing 3B once every blue moon–late innings in non-close games (today) and even a start there every few weeks. Gives him some rest without losing his bat (admittedly, we lose the Gold Glove catcher, so we don’t want to do it too often). The Mets tried giving Piazza at 1B late in his career to extend his career. But it was too late. If we had started having Pizza taking ground balls at first base in 1993 and given him a 10 starts a year there, it could have made it work later in his career and maybe given him another productive year. (And of course, it’s a lot easier now, because we had Karros at first, so we would not have played Pizza a whole lot–just like Martin really would not play first because of Loney–but until DeWitt or LaRoche really take permanent hold of that job, we can afford Russ there every once in a while).


    Oh Kemp almost hits a 4 hit-game and pich up another RBI… But very good game tonight, I hope they could repeat that too much ^^

  53. jhallwally

    Nice way to finish out the month. Joe seems to be getting a little more set in the lineup. Hope we don’t have a Herpierres outbreak tomorrow.

  54. leekfink

    Kahliforni–that SI ranking system is ridiculous. “Fan IQ”–I’ll say maybe the Cardinals have the smart fans, but I love the arrogance of the Red Sox, Yankees, and Mets fans, who vote themselves 2, 3, and 5 respectively. Based on what, exactly?
    Then Dodger Stadium comes in 26th in “Neighborhood” which is based on dining and drinking options within walking distance. I realize that this is something that the McCourts are trying to address, but: 1) this is LA–who walks???; and 2) how does the fact that you can go somewhere after the game change the experience AT the game? Crazy.
    Kaufman Stadium ranked first in affordability. Great? Who wants to go? But this category should pretty much be based on location–New York is the most expensive place in the counrty, etc. Los Angeles is number 2.
    We also rate last in traffic, but that’s like saying Mrk Hendrickson is tall. Duh. But that has very little to do with the Stadium (except for the fact that more people come to Dodger Stadium than almost anywhere else). Oakland ranks 8th, but no one’s there. The Padres rank 6th, which is really easy to do to avoid traffic if you don’t have any parking.
    And none of these get to the basics of baseball–sightlines, field quality, setting, hot dogs (if you’re eating sushi at a ballgame, there is something wrong), etc.


    Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Wonderful Los Angeles Dodgers win their fifth in row with a 13 to 1 Victory over the Florida Marlins as they charge for first place! Champion Pitcher Chad Billingsley Number 58, the same year the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles, shows his great stuff! Super Heroes include Rafael Furcal,(Unbelievable Rafael!), Matt Kemp, Russel Martin and Blake Dewitt and and of course Superman, The Man Of Steel, Jeff Kent! Way to close it out, Hong Chih Kuo! Joe Torre is proving he is a Super Manager! Oh Sing all of us Los Angeles Dodger Fans for Our Wonderful Los Angeles Dodgers will win Its’ Seventh World Series on our 50 th Anniversary in Los Angeles!


    Of Course Let’s not forget Super Hero, Tower Of Power, James Loney with his Three RBI’S and all the rest of Our Los Angeles Dodgers who were Superb! Joy is Reigning in Los Angeles!


    Juan Castro rumors?! What a joke. Castro is 36 in June. Career: .230 .269 .335 57 OPS+, with his HIGHEST OBP for a season .290.
    Ramon Martinez (currently on the 51s DL – same thumb injury as LaRoche!) is 35 until Oct. Career: .265 .324 .370 81 OPS+, yet he didn’t beat out Hu out of Spring Training.
    Castro to a minor-league contract in Las Vegas for emergency depth I can see (good fielder at 2B, SS and 3B), but not on the 25- or 40-man rosters.

  58. dodgereric

    From The Times this morning – we better get used to the idea. Vin might hang ’em up after the season:,0,1310550.story

    JOSH!!! Would it be possible to get a VIN’S GREATEST CALLS CD ready? The proceeds can go to charity, right? We’re going to need SOMETHING! He’s so modest, but he will always win “The most popular Dodger” votes. I can’t bring myself to beg him to stay, because I could never deny him what he wants and he’s certainly earned a wonderful retirement many times over. I’ve worked for the same company for nearly 32 years, but he’s almost DOUBLED that!

    PS – Included in that story is the rumor about Castro becoming more than a rumor……….This one I will beg about……….NONONONONONONONONONONONONOONONONONONONONONONONONONO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ned, listen carefully – – We do not NEED him!!!!! He cannot hit. We have a good glove replacement in Hu, and he’s doing well.

    Unfortunately, I see the writing on the wall. Castro and LaRoche in, Hu and DeWitt out.

  59. northstateblues

    Ned, Please, Please, PLEASE do not sign Juan Castro to play everyday. DeWitt has proven himself over the course of this season in a difficult position. Why on earth would you sign a 35 year old at 3rd base when gold has practically fallen on your lap?

    Stop the senseless cycle that has run the Dodgers into the ground over the last couple of years. Trust OUR talent, not the contents of other teams’ trash bins. Almost every sports paper in the country knows we have the talent to win, why do we keep falling for the same tricks over and over again?

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