June 2008

Dining with 'Dre

Andre has posted his first restaurant review over at Dining with ‘Dre so be sure to check it out. There should be links off the home page of dodgers.com, too.

Meanwhile, for a truly inspirational story, take a look at this young man in Kentucky. The video is well worth watching.

And here’s a good read on Cory Wade, who also has ties to Kentucky (Kentucky Wesleyan is where he went to school). Cory hasn’t received much ink this year but has been incredibly conistent out of the ‘pen.

Lineups will be posted here later in the day.

UPDATE:

Pierre, LF

Ethier, RF

Kent, 2B

Martin, C

Loney, 1B

Kemp, CF

DeWitt, 3B

Berroa, SS

Kershaw, P

Sunday Night Baseball

Check out this funny story about a good friend of mine from college, Phil Elson, who just so happens to be the play-by-play announcer for the Arkansas Travelers. Of course, it begs the question of your most memorable foul ball catch, so post ‘em here.

I’ve attended more than 1,200 games over the last 13 years or so and I’ve only caught three or maybe four. But the most memorable one came in 2001, when I was covering the Dodgers for MLB.com and was interviewing Tommy Lasorda in the stands at Dodgertown for a story about the famed Spring Training site. As we were talking, a shot comes flying towards us and I literally threw my hand out in front of Tommy and snared it, thus receiving a big round of applause from everyone around us. Hard to forget something like that, as you might imagine.

Anyway, back to tonight’s game, we’re going for three out of four tonight against the team with the best record in baseball. Here who will be getting after it…

Pierre, LF

Ethier, RF

Kent, 2B

Martin, C

Loney, 1B

Kemp, CF

DeWitt, 3B

Berroa, SS

Penny, P

Saturday on FOX

Today’s game is a regional telecast on FOX so hopefully you’ll be either here or watching on TV.

Last night’s victory was just what the doctor ordered and the stadium was hopping. Sure, a lot of them are transplanted Cub fans, but that made it even more exciting to see what Kuroda could do.

We are designating Terry Tiffee for assignment this morning and Angel Berroa will be here shortly, if he hasn’t already arrived. Joe Torre said he’d be starting tomorrow. Adding a Dominican named “Angel” made me think of Angel Pena, the former catching prospect, who I believe still plays winter ball down there and does pretty well. That’s not really relevant to anything, but just throwing it out there.

While Berroa will start tomorrow at shortstop, Jason Schmidt will not be starting for the 51s,  as he’s had a little tightness in his shoulder so he’ll take a few more days off before heading to Vegas.

Meanwhile, Jeff Kent was supposed to get today off, but he gave himself last night off when he went off on the umpire, so he’s in there today. Here’s the lineup:

Pierre, LF

Ethier, RF

Kent, 2B

Martin, C

Loney, 1B

Kemp, CF

DeWitt, 3B

Hu, SS

Lowe, P

Hungry? For a win, maybe…

It’s been quite a day, starting with the early morning taping of Chef Jeff, which was attended by Andre Ethier, Sweet Lou Johnson and Tommy Davis. Once we know details of when it will air, we’ll pass them along.

By 10:30, we were on the road to the Union Rescue Mission, where Andre wanted to spend some time volunteering to help feed the homeless. They had a rooftop barbecue with a view of the downtown skyline that rivals that of the Standard Hotel. Of course, served at the BBQ was Dodger Dogs, many of which were grilled up by Mr. Ethier himself.  A photo gallery should be on the front of the site relatively soon.

This was all part of his personal community initiative that kicked off today, as did the launch of his new blog, Dining with ‘Dre. I know he had intended to post his first real entry today, but some technical difficulties have us backlogged by a day or so. Let’s just say that he’s been typing the whole thing out on his phone, so we’re getting there. Still, you can check out the site and see what will be coming – a review of Shabu Hachi in Los Angeles.  

Back at the ballpark, we’ve made a trade for former AL ROY Angel Berroa for minor leaguer Juan Rivera. Berroa is not currently on the 25-man roster or 40-man roster, but seems like a nice reinforcement up the middle until Raffy gets healthy, provided he does make it to the big leagues with us.

Speaking of Raffy, Joe Torre said he feels better in general and will come with the team to SD, then likely go on rehab after that series for three or four games. Jason Schmidt will be pitching for Vegas this Sunday.

Meanwhile, when we were at the shelter earlier today, we ran into a choir of kids who are in town from Georgia, if I remember correctly, and I told them they could come see Andre play tonight. Turns out, I was wrong, as he’s not in the lineup in favor of DY against the southpaw. My bad. Russell is out, too, as Joe would prefer not to have both him and Jeff out of the lineup on the same day and Jeff will be out tomorrow in the day game after tonight’s night game.

Here’s the lineup:

Pierre, LF

Young, RF

Kent, 2B

Loney, 1B

Kemp, CF

DeWitt, 3B

Ardoin, C

Hu, SS

Kuroda, P

P.S. There is an insane amount of media here right now because we have about seven sumo wrestlers taking part in pregame ceremonies, including one who will throw out the first pitch. Combine that with Saito, Kuroda pitching and Fukudome and we’ve got quite the contingent of Japanese media on site.

While the draft goes on…

The second round is getting started now that the pomp and circumstance of Round 1 and the compensation round has come and gone. I’m hoping to get Logan White and De Jon Watson in a combo chat to talk to you all at some point, so stay tuned on that front.

For those of you who would like the chance to meet James Loney and Andruw Jones, you can do so tomorrow at the Macy’s in Sherman Oaks from 1-2 p.m. They will be signing autographs as part of a Father’s Day promotion, and anyone who purchases $50 or more on Fossil merchandise in the men’s department will get a special baseball to get autographed by both players.

Meanwhile, speaking of cool experiences, for any of you who missed Nomar Garciaparra’s Carne Asada Sundays last year, he’s hosting another one on June 22 of this month and it’s a chance to get an autographed photo of him, go to the game against the Indians, get a nice dinner and hang out with Nomar. If you’re interested, call 323.224.1435, as there aren’t very many spots left (the whole thing is limited to 250 people).

In other news, Matt Kemp was suspended today for four games, but he has appealed it and is in tonight’s lineup, which is:

Pierre, LF

Kemp, CF

Ethier, RF

Kent, 2B

Martin, C

Loney, 1B

DeWitt, 3B

Hu, SS

Billingsley, P

Another Martin in the mix…

With our first round pick, the Dodgers took right-handed pitcher Ethan Martin…who not only had nearly two strikeouts an inning and a 0.99 ERA in high school, but he hit over .500 as a third baseman. If you like that sort of thing…

if you want to watch while they go off the board, check out the live draft caster.

More on draft day to follow later in the day.

Quick turnaround

Interesting game last night…certainly not enough offense but obviously there was a little fracas in the eighth as frustration boiled over from Matt. He certainly sounded remorseful after the fact, as that’s never the way you want things to turn out, but in this case, it obviously happened and we’ll have to await word from the league office on the ramifications.

There are plenty of people who are of the school of thought that a fight of this nature can often create team unity and get the team fired up. I know that in 2002, Jeff Kent credited his dugout dust-up with Barry Bonds as the turning point in the season that saw them eventually reach the World Series.

Who knows if it’s a real effect or a perceived one or how it will affect the team today and down the road, but it’s certainly made for good fodder on DodgerTalk, message boards and this blog. In any event, here’s today’s lineup for the afternoon matinee. 

Pierre LF

Kemp CF

Ethier RF

Martin C

Loney 1B

DeWitt 3B

Maza 2B

Hu SS

Kershaw LHP

Creative Merchandise

You’ll all be happy to know that we had a brainstorming lunch today where everyone was coming up with ideas for creative merchandise that fans might like. Several years ago, we had the Gagne “Game Over” shirts with the fuzzy goatee and it was that sort of thing that we were seeking.

So, while we had tons of good ideas, hopefully many of which we’ll be able to implement down the road, I thought it was funny that someone threw out the idea of a shirt that said, “My Loney Has a First Name,” and then talked about how you guys had come up with a whole song for it. It remains to be seen if that shirt makes the cut, but if you’ve got interesting ideas on what kind of merchandise you’d buy, we’re all ears.

Beimel had tons of questions from you guys today and I think we answered at least one from everyone who asked, which was a lot of questions. I know that last year there were questions about not answering the “good” questions, so hopefully we got to yours, even if it was a “tough” one. 

A nice win last night with Russ out of the lineup. Time to start a streak, if you ask me.  

Pierre, LF

Kemp, CF

Kent, 2B

Martin, C

Loney, 1B

Young, RF

DeWitt, 3B

Hu, SS

Penny, P

Tired? Who's tired?

I’m sure that there will be plenty said about what time the team arrived home in Los Angeles so for the record, I think we touched down at 4:30 a.m. But, I think there’s only one person who gets to say they’re tired in the world today and that’s this guy.

He left his house on foot this morning at 7 a.m. in Granada Hills and arrived here at Dodger Stadium at about 4 p.m. Why, you might ask? To help raise money for Mattel Children’s Hospital, where his kid has received treatment for autism.

So, here’s to Gary Wolber for putting things into perspective for today, at least for me. And here’s to starting off the homestand with a victory…we definitely need one.

Pierre, LF

Kemp, CF

Ethier, RF

Kent, 2B

Loney, 1B

DeWitt, 3B

Ardoin, C

Hu, SS

Lowe, P

P.S. Don’t forget about Joe Beimel chatting online with you guys tomorrow at 2 p.m. PT

Tonight's lineup

We could really use a win in the finale tonight, which will be on ESPN. I read somewhere today that we only play one team that’s above .500 before June 24 and that’s a rematch with the Cubs at home. This would certainly be a good time to go on a little run.

We’ll get in about 4 a.m., I’d imagine, but get right back after it tomorrow night when the homestand starts, so hopefully some of you will make it out for a game. Or, at the very least, you’ll be online Tuesday to chat with Joe Beimel at 2 p.m.

Here’s the lineup for tonight…DY gets a rare start against Johan Santana, the fifth time we’ve faced a former Cy Young Award winner this year.

Pierre, LF

Kemp, CF

Kent, 2B

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Young, RF

DeWitt, 3B

Maza, SS

Kuroda, P

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