July 2008

Our deepest condolences…

We just received word that one of our dear colleagues, Laurie Martinez, passed away today. Laurie has worked for many years at the Dodgers’ academy in the Dominican Republic, Campo Las Palmas and she was a wonderful woman.

She has always been so helpful for those of us in the States with whatever we needed in the DR and earlier this year, she continued to help in amazing ways when we visited the Dominican.

She will be missed by everyone who knew her and our thoughts and prayers are with her family.

Making Monday even sadder for the Dodger family was the loss of Matt McHale, the former Dodger beat writer for the Los Angeles Daily News. He was a regular at Dodger Stadium for many years and he was one of the nicest people you could ever ask to meet. Steve Dilbeck, one of his colleagues at the Daily News, weighed in with a touching piece and it goes without saying that Matt will be deeply missed.

New York State of Mind

As many of you already know, today is one of the only days in the year where none of the four major sports are playing a game.

But the MLB All-Stars have all descended upon Manhattan for tonight’s home run derby and tomorrow’s Midsummer Classic. We arrived here at about 1 a.m. and were at the hotel by 2 a.m., with Russell sure to have a busy few days ahead of him. You forget how much extra equipment a catcher comes with until you share a ride with him from the airport to the hotel.

This morning it will be mostly media duties, as there is a press conference in about half an hour with Clint Hurdle and Terry Francona to announce their lineups and starting pitchers. Then each of the players is available to speak to reporters for about an hour-long session before everyone heads up to the Bronx Zoo…a.k.a. Yankee Stadium. There are going to be insane amount of people there but I expect it will be a very unique All-Star week.

Yesterday at the Futures Game, Ivan DeJesus played the whole game at second base and had a couple hits and a walk. He’s among the best prospects in our system and hopefully everyone around the country is getting a chance to watch him play.

That’s all for now. I’ll continue to try posting items from behind the scenes as often as possible. Enjoy the “break.”

First-half finale

I’m just logging in to post the lineup and saw all the comments that refer to one particular fan’s comments that were out of line. I can’t find them, so I’m assuming that MLB went through and pulled them out.

But, I have to say, I continue to be amazed at how much profanity some of you use on the boards and it’s actually a lot of you who are the regular posters. I just don’t think it’s that hard to get your point across without swearing. We all get upset at losses and it’s fair game to disagree with moves that are made in game, signings, trades, etc. But it’s easy to say in a manner that doesn’t ruin the site for others. And that goes for asterisks, too. We all know what you’re trying to say and it’s not any better when you do it that way, but I simply don’t have the time to police you all. There’s too much other work to be done during the day and the few who ruin it for many can hopefully learn to be a little more mature. I, for one, would greatly appreciate it.  

That’s about all I can say on that topic…

Here’s today’s lineup…

Kemp, RF

Ethier, LF

Martin, C

Nomar, SS

Jones, CF

Loney, 1B

LaRoche, 3B

Maza, 2B

Billingsley, P

All-Star Week approaching…

The Dodgers should have quite a contingent at the All-Star Game, even if Russell Martin is the only person on the field. Heading to Yankee Stadium to represent the club are Jaime Jarrin, Tommy Lasorda, Ned Colletti, and numerous others. I’ll be out there helping with media relations duties and looking for this statue in New York City (located at 57th and 5th Ave. in front of Niketown).

statue.jpg

But, there are two big games to play before the break (three, if you count the annual media game where members of the print and electronic media will square off tomorrow after the Dodger game). Here’s the lineup for tonight:

Nomar, SS (batting leadoff for the first time since July 15-16, 2002 with Boston…he was their primary leadoff hitter in 1997 and early ’98) 

Ethier, LF

Martin, C

Kent, 2B

Jones, CF

Loney, 1B

Kemp, RF

DeWitt, 3B

Kuroda, P

Going fishing

In response to the comment about how we can get the blog to be compatible with your mobile devices, I’ve sent the request in to MLB, which administrates MLBlogs (go figure). They know a lot more than me when it comes to the technical side of things. I just know how to type, post photos, links and a few other handy tools. I also know how to use bold, underline and italic. Woo hoo.

Obviously there’s been plenty of chatter over the past few weeks about trying to acquire a shortstop. That Hanley Ramirez guy is pretty good, huh? I hope that’s not tampering.

Also, we had some technical difficulties last night on KABC with the broadcast, so our apologies if you were trying to tune in but didn’t hear it for a little while. It should be back up and running tonight without any hitches.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Kemp, RF

Ethier, LF

Martin, C

Kent, 2B

Jones, CF

Loney, 1B

Nomar, SS

DeWitt, 3B

Stults, P

As for tomorrow, if you’re a fan of the 80s, fireworks, or both, come on down. It will likely sell out, but hasn’t quite gotten there yet. The postgame fireworks show will have 80s themed music…only three more games until the break (including tonight).

Tonight and tomorrow

For those of you who are into relievers, you can meet two of them tomorrow.

Joe Beimel will be at the Staples in Brubank and Jonathan Broxton will be at the Paul’s TV store, which carries Sharp TVs, in Panorama City. Both will be signing autographs for fans from 12-1 p.m.

Before tonight’s game, the bachelorette and her new fiance will be throwing out the first pitch. Hellooooo Hollywood. 

Tonight’s lineup is:

Kemp, CF

Ethier, RF

Martin, C

Kent, 2B

Loney, 1B

Young, LF

DeWitt, 3B

Berroa, SS

Park, P 

A nice night…

Quite a performance by Derek Lowe tonight…how often do you see six perfect innings twice in the same homestand???

More than anything, I’m sure everyone was happy to see Andruw come through the way he did. It’s a start, but I think I was more excited about the way he broke up the double play and the reaction the crowd gave him when he came off the field. Please keep that coming…it goes a long way and there’s no one out there who knows how disappointing the season has been more than Andruw. But every bit of support can hopefully help him turn the season around.

 

001.jpgMeanwhile, here’s the latest blog from Scott Akasaki, our team travel manager…enjoy!

WHAT WE DO ON THE TEAM PLANE

On the team plane, our players, coaches, and Dodger-affiliated media do a variety of things to occupy our time.  On the most recent road trip, I went down the lone center aisle of our Delta Air Lines 737-800 team charter to gauge what exactly it is we do when flying.  Our broadcasters are a hard-working group and a lot of them do research on the upcoming opposing team.  They read statistics, study the opposing team’s media guide, and garner information from other reference sources.  Our coaches generally do their homework on the opposing team as well – they read scouting reports, look at video, scour in-depth statistics, and talk with each other about strategy.  Their job of course, is to develop a game plan to help Joe Torre put our players in the best situation to succeed.  The players are a mixed group.  Some read, some watch movies or television shows on their DVD players or laptops, some sleep, some play cards, and a good number eat from our wide-variety catered menu. 

In general, the longer flights tend to illicit more naps and more food consumption.  There are about 65 people in our traveling party, which usually includes: players; coaches; on-field support staff; trainers; broadcasters; a PR representative, Dodger-affiliated media support staff; an interpreter; a traveling secretary; a video coordinator; baseball operations executives like our General Manager Ned Colletti or our Assistant General Manager Kim Ng; and perhaps some immediate family members.  By the end of the season, we will have spent over 100 hours in the air, spread out over 33 flights, and covering more than 34,000 miles.  Throw in our mid-spring trip to China and that’s a lot of time in the air in seven months.

Mattingly will return at the break

Obviously a little late in the news here, but in case you hadn’t heard, Don Mattingly will be rejoining the club as the hitting coach after the All-Star Break, which is obviously great news. As most of you know, he was hired as the hitting coach but had to return home to Indiana for personal issues and Mike Easler did the organization a great service by stepping in during Don’s absence. He’ll now return to the minors as an organizational hitting instructor at the end of this homestand.

Earlier today, I had the great fortune of going to a dedication ceremony at the Sports Arena for the unveiling of a plaque in the name of Walter O’Malley. There were tons of former Dodger players, coaches, employees and it was a very classy event. Among the Dodger people that were there and/or spoke were Vin Scully, Jaime Jarrin, Tommy Lasorda, Ron Fairly, Frank and Jamie McCourt, and many others. With Walter getting his long overdue induction into the Hall of Fame later this month, this was like a prequel to Cooperstown and it was really something special, since I won’t be able to make it to the induction ceremony.

As for tonight’s lineup, here it is: 

Kemp, RF

Ethier, LF

Nomar, SS

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Jones, CF

DeWitt, 3B

Maza, 2B

Lowe, P

First place ice cream

As some of you remember, there’s a tradition in the Dodger offices dating back to the 80s where the front office gets ice cream when the team moves into first place or extends their lead on the second-place team. I’m happy to say that at 3 p.m., everyone will be getting together for some Baskin Robbins and I’m hoping it’s a far more regular occurence than it has been thus far.

Kuroda last night was really something else. It was only the second complete-game one-hitter without any walks in the last 10 years in all of baseball. The Dodgers hadn’t had a one-hitter since that Wrigley Field game by Derek Lowe in 2005 and Kuroda became only the third rookie pitcher in the last 40 years to take a perfect game into the eighth (Orel Hershiser did so on July 29, 1984.

Meanwhile, that was the sixth straight game at Dodger Stadium that ended in a shutout, which ties a big league record. That hasn’t happened in baseball since Arlington Stadium in 1981.

We just got done doing a live web chat with Matt Kemp and throughout Delwyn Young was chiming in. Hopefully some of you got the chance to join in…there were more than 1,000 questions, which might be an all-time high. Pretty cool. If you missed it, the transcript will be up on the site soon.

And finally, for those who were weighing in on Dodgers Magazine last month, the newest edition hit stands yesterday. You can still get a subscription for the rest of the season.

cover_july.jpg

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Kemp, RF

Ethier, LF

Martin, C

Kent, 2B

Loney, 1B

Jones, CF

Nomar, SS

DeWitt, 3B

Billingsley, P

And after the game, keep tuned to FSN Prime Ticket for a half hour special on the Dodgers’ trip to China back in Spring Training. A very cool trip and from what I hear, the 30-minute special is just as good. 

 

Tonight's Lineup

Kemp, RF (chat with him tomorrow at dodgers.com at 2 p.m. PT)

Ethier, LF

Martin, C

Kent, 2B

Loney, 1B

Jones, CF

Nomar, SS

DeWitt, 3B

Kuroda, P

 

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