May 2008

Happy Mother's Day

To all the moms out there, here’s to you. May you raise great Dodger fans and enjoy the day.

We’ve got a couple great moms being honored here at the stadium today – Nancy Colton, our longtime season ticket holder and Desiree Sanchez, who has worked in our ticket office for several years. Both are currently battling breast cancer and are an inspiration to us all. They’ll throw out the first pitch on behalf of all the women in the world who are fighting this heartbreaking disease and all the healthy women out there who can learn a lesson from their courageous stories.

Of course, there’s something all you Dodger fans can do to help and that’s assist in the search for a cure. Of course, there’s ThinkCure, among numerous fantastic charities, but in this case, you can help raise money AND see two legends in one night. Vin Scully and John Wooden will take part in an event at the Nokia theatre on June 13 and proceeds from the event go to ThinkCure and Mattel Children’s Hospital. You can purchase tickets at this link and get a once-in-a-lifetime experience while helping so many others along the way.

And if you’re looking for something to do for Mom, bring her down to the stadium, where she can get a rose handed to her by a Dodger player or coach and a free Smashbox lip gloss for the first 25,000 in the house. Even better, you can walk around the warning track on the field with your mom after the game, something neither of you will likely forget for a long time.

Most of our players will be swinging pink bats and helping raise awareness and money for the Susan G. Komen Foundation, which also helps in finding a cure for breast cancer.

Here’s the lineup for the day…

Pierre, LF

Ethier, RF

Kemp, CF

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

DeWitt, 3B

Young, 2B

Hu, SS

Kuroda, P

 

Saturday night

Another night off for Raffy, whose back is still bugging him when he runs. Saito also went home again, as he’s still pretty sick. That leaves the lineup at:

Pierre, LF

DeWitt, 3B

Kemp, RF

Kent, 2B

Martin, C

Loney, 1B

Jones, CF

Hu, SS

Billingsley, P

Joe would like to give Kent tomorrow off, if he can. Perhaps he can watch Jason Schmidt thrown an inning in Lancaster.

Friday night lights…

The Astros are in town and the stadium will be nearly filled with 50,000-plus beanie-wearing fans.

This morning, I had the opportunity to go to City Hall with Takashi Saito, who earned an award from Mayor Villaraigosa for his contributions to Los Angeles. It really does make you shake your head in disbelief at all that he’s accomplished over the past two seasons and it couldn’t happen to a nicer human being. Unfortunately the language barrier has hindered our ability to get to know Saito the way we might get to know other players, but he always seems to have a smile on his face.

The event today also got me thinking how strange it must be to come from another country and yet, find yourself standing in front of the Mayor and City Council, receiving an award. Most of what was being said, Saito didn’t understand, but his interpreter, Kenji, was trying to fill in the blanks for him.

In any event, it was a classy morning for a classy person and we’re all proud that he’s a Dodger.

As for tonight’s game, Furcal needs another day, according to Joe Torre. Brazoban was recalled and is available for the game. It seems he’s lost about seven to 10 pounds in the minors.

The team is leaning toward having Jason Schmidt throw an inning on Sunday in Lancaster for the Inland Empire 66ers.

Here’s the team going out for tonight’s game:

Pierre, LF

Martin, C

Kemp, RF

Kent, 2B

Loney, 1B

Jones, CF

DeWitt, 3B

Hu, SS

Lowe, P

On the ocean…

As bad as yesterday was for Brad Penny on the mound, it didn’t stop him from spending quality time in the community today, as promised, during his second annual fishing trip.

We left from Long Beach at noon with about 40 kids, many of whom have never had the chance to go fishing before, let alone meet a big leaguer. This was an idea Brad came up with last year and he’s teamed with Dan Hernandez Youth Foundation and the Anthem Blue Cross Foundation to make it happen.

The kids seemed to really enjoy themselves and there should be a recap and photos on the front of the site shortly.

Of course, we all would have loved for him to throw a no-hitter before heading out on the boat, but such is life. Even a two-time All-Star has a bad day from time to time, but in this case, he followed it up with an even better one.

We’ll know our transaction tomorrow to correspond with Loaiza going on the DL. Until then…

 

Today's game…

Hope you snuck out of the office for today’s game…Furcal still out with a stiff back, but hopefully tomorrow’s off day will do some good. The same goes for Andruw, who will hopefully get to clear his head and start from scratch on Friday.

Pierre, LF

Ethier, RF

Kemp, CF

Kent, 2B

Loney, 1B (happy 24th birthday)

Martin, C

DeWitt, 3B

Hu, SS

Penny, P

Tonight's game…

Furcal was a late scratch from the lineup with a stiff back, so here’s the group going out tonight against the Mets:

Pierre, LF

Jones, CF

Kemp, RF

Kent, 2B

Martin, C

Loney, 1B

DeWitt, 3B

Hu, SS

Kuroda, P

And for those of you thinking about it, go ahead and take tomorrow off from work or school. You have my permission. There’s a 12:10 game at Dodger Stadium, so if your boss thinks you need to be in the office, just let him or her know that you have a blackberry (you do, don’t you?) and that you’ll be “working from home” tomorrow.

Homestand kicks off tonight…

Another busy day getting back into the swing of things here. There will be a nice tribute to Buzzie Bavasi at tonight’s game and here’s the lineup against the Mets:

Furcal, SS

Pierre, LF

Kemp, RF

Kent, 2B

Martin, C

Loney, 1B

Jones, CF

DeWitt, 3B

Billingsley, P

 

 

 

X-mo camera…and a lineup

Just getting around to starting to answer some of the comments from the past 10 days or so…I noticed one about the new X-mo camera that FSN has installed at the stadium, so here’s what our partners over there had to say:

X-MO CAMERA:

The X-mo camera slows game action down to 2,000 frames per second (at 1080i/p and 720p formats) and is considered a “high-speed” HD camera. Producers can utilize this technology to enhance a great catch, decipher a close call at the plate, detect the impact of the ball on the bat, etc.  The X-mo may be used for replay and/or live game camera purposes.
The camera is located field level behind home plate.

HD DIAMOND CAMS:
 
Located only at Dodger Stadium, three separate “diamond cameras” are installed at home plate, first base and in front of the pitchers mound. These miniature cameras provide viewers at home with a never-before seen angles to the action (ie. making a slide at home plate, deciphering a close call at on the bag or detecting pitcher’s release). Housed inside a protective box – for weather related purposes – the camera itself emerges 3/8″ above the infield dirt and comes with a modified wide-angle lens. The camera itself uses Dodger Stadium’s existing fiber infrastructure and is controlled remotely from inside the production truck. The HD diamond cam versions were implemented in 2008.

Here’s today’s lineup in Colorado as the team looks for a full road-trip sweep…

Furcal, SS

Pierre, LF

Kemp, CF

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

DeWitt, 3B

Hu, 2B

Lowe, P

Looking for eight straight

Here’s tonight’s lineup in Denver. Martin back at third against the lefty, with Bennett getting the start and DeWitt getting the night off (or at least the beginning of the night).

Furcal, SS

Pierre, LF

Kemp, RF

Kent, 2B

Martin, 3B

Loney, 1B

Jones, CF

Bennett, C

Loaiza, P

Buzzie Bavasi

It is a huge loss for the entire Dodger organization and our hearts go out to his family. Buzzie was behind four of our six World Championships and though I only spoke with him a few times, he was always very gracious. His son, Bill, who is now the Mariners’ GM, was our farm director for a couple of years and one of the finest people I’ve met in the game.

Here is what a few Dodgers had to say about the former GM, who lived to be 93.

One of the amazing things I’ve found about the game of baseball is how cyclical it is, and I had received the following post from Scott Akasaki not long before getting the word about Buzzie. Just as one longtime baseball career was coming to a close, another is just beginning and Scott wrote about it for Inside the Dodgers:

“One of the best things about being the Traveling Secretary is that you are amongst the first to greet a player when he gets called up to the Major Leagues.  It is difficult to duplicate the feeling of playing a little part in one man’s life-long journey to an ultimate objective — the fruition of a goal more than a decade in the making.  This past week reminded me of why this job is one of the best gigs in the business.

Late Thursday night, our Assistant General Manager Kim Ng contacted me and said that we were calling up pitcher Cory Wade from AA Jacksonville.  At the time, Cory was on crowded bus from Montgomery to Huntsville, having just finished a night game against the Montgomery Biscuits.   After spending some phone time with our 24-hour travel service, I exchanged text messages with our Jacksonville trainer Carlos Olivas, who gave the travel itinerary to Cory.

Getting from Huntsville to Los Angeles is not exactly direct.  We had to fly Cory from Huntsville to Cincinnati and then from Cincinnati to Los Angeles.  Since we’re dealing with connecting flights and a the loss of time thanks to the time change, Cory did not arrive to Dodger Stadium till about 4:30 p.m. PST despite learning about his promotion around 2:30 a.m. CST. 

Cory had no idea that his promotion to the Major Leagues was so close.  In fact, even before departing on his AA road trip, he did not pack a sport coat and slacks, which is standard travel attire when promoted to the Major Leagues.  Cory showed up in jeans, a t-shirt, and with some bleary eyes.  I explained to him some team rules and when he walked into the home clubhouse, he was immediately stopped by the Dodgers’ local media.

Cory told the media about getting the word of his promotion, the unexpected nature of his call up, and how much everything had moved so fast for him.  Cory talked about how he woke up his father and his fiancée upon hearing the news.  Earlier this spring, Cory and his fiancée welcomed a new baby.  Coupled with his call to Majors, the 2008 calendar year is certainly one that Cory and his family will never forget.”

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