September 2008

Magic number down to five…

Looking for another victory today. Wish I had some great wisdom to impart, but after a four-hour game last night, home at 12:30 and back in at 9, I don’t have much to share…except the lineup.

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Manny, LF

Loney, 1B

Blake, 3B

Kemp, CF

DeWitt, 2B

Berroa, SS

Lowe, P

Tonight's lineup

It’ll be a brief post today, as our two winners of the ThinkCure auction – Susan Rubin and Ryan Knutson are following me around today. It’s only 3:15, and they’ve already happened to run into and/or meet Greg Maddux, Delwyn Young, Rick Honeycutt, Derek Lowe, Bob Schaefer, T.J. Simers and several others.

So, we’re heading out to the Manny Ramirez look-alike contest at Viva los Dodgers.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Manny, LF

Loney, 1B

Blake, 3B

Kemp, CF

DeWitt, 2B

Berroa, SS

Kuroda, P

Delayed post…

Unbelievably busy first day back in the office and unfortunately, it's not looking very pretty down on the field. It's the top of the 7th and we're down 7-0, but at least you have a new thread. Congrats on topping the 1,200 mark in comments. Hope to most more tomorrow.

That reminds me…

So clearly I don’t know how to load photos, as you see from yesterday’s attempt. My apologies. For what it’s worth, it looked completely normal on my laptop. I guess if it’s not from SooHoo, I’m lost.

As for the question about next season’s schedule ending so late (Oct. 4), it’s mainly due to the fact that Spring Training is longer because of the World Baseball Classic. We’ll also start Spring games earlier than usual and there are more of them…and of course, it’ll be closer to home for the overwhelming majority of you guys.

As for this year, I’m sitting here in the PNC Park press box with a gorgeous view of the downtown skyline and river and yet, the sun is glaring so strongly on my seat that I have to wear sunglasses to see my screen. It reminds me of a line that our former OC Register beat writer, Bill Plunkett, dropped on me a couple years ago in a similar situation at New Busch Stadium. “I’ve never covered a game on the surface of the sun,” he said. “But I’d imagine this is what it would be like.”

In any event, that’s not a complaint. It’s really a gorgeous day and we’ve been blessed with four perfect days of weather here. Let’s hope three of them result in victories. As for last night, it was just the 10th time in L.A. Dodger history that we’ve lost a game in which we had 18 or more hits. And according to Ken Gurnick, it’s the first time that’s ever happened in a season where we won a game with no hits. Yes, we’re all losing it after 11 days on the road.

Here’s the lineup for today’s finale:

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Manny, LF

Blake, 3B

Loney, 1B

Kemp, CF

DeWitt, 2B

Berroa, SS

Kershaw, P

The Steel City

Got a rare opportunity today to head over to the Pittsburgh Steelers training camp to check out that facility and the team before heading to the ballpark. Two of our players, Joe Beimel and Cory Wade, are big Steeler fans, so they got a kick out of dropping by.

I’ve got a bunch of cool photos of the visit, compliments of the Steelers’ Jon SooHoo (a.k.a. team photographer Michael Fabus), but I’m on a slow connection so uploading isn’t working right now. Here’s one with Troy Polamalu, the former USC guy who is from LA and was excited to meet these guys.

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 Tonight’s lineup:

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Manny, LF

Blake, 3B

Nomar, 1B

Kemp, CF

Ozuna, 2B

Berroa, SS

Billingsley

Joe Torre baseball camp

Later tonight, Joe Torre will be honored during pregame ceremonies here by Chuck Tanner, the former Pirates manager. Chuck came and spoke to me as a young camper at Joe Torre Baseball Camp back in the 80s in the San Fernando Valley and as I recall, he was a very nice man.

But, in thinking about that camp, I had a very strange flashback to one of the times Joe Torre showed up to teach us a few things. I was a catcher in Little League and I vividly remember him coming over while I was in my crouch and pushing me in the shoulder (I toppled over) to demonstrate how you have to have balance as a catcher. Then, he did a demonstration about how throwing accuracy was the most important thing on stealing bases. He showwed this by having us try to steal second base while he rolled the ball to second and it always beat us there.

When I asked him if I was remembering either of these correctly, he was pretty shocked and said that’s exactly what he does at clinics. God only knows why that stuck with me, but I guess he was a pretty good catcher so it’s a good thing to know if any of you catch.

Meanwhile, the Hall of Fame put Joe, Maury Wills and Gil Hodges on a short list for potential induction to the Hall of Fame in an announcement today. Let’s hope they all get their due, as well as two other former Dodgers on the short list – Al Oliver and Dick Allen.

On a side note, it’s good to see the Inside the Dodgers people traveling around the country to follow the team, as I ran into Emma (aka crzblue) here in Pittsburgh yesterday on a baseball trip. I hope you are all coming out this homestand to support the team. Should be a lot of fun (Saturday is already sold out).

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Martin, C

Ethier, RF (back in town)

Manny, LF

Loney, 1B

Blake, 3B (back in the lineup)

DeWitt, 2B

Pierre, CF

Berroa, SS

Lowe, P

Tonight's game

Sitting in the dugout at PNC Park with Brad Zager, Jared Stacy and Dustin Denti, three of the guys who bring you the television broadcast each night. Them and their crew do tons of work for 162 games and yet you’d never know their names the way you know some of the other people involved with Dodger baseball. So, on behalf of all of their viewers, thanks for everything this season!

Just saw Rich Donnelly, who is an organizational coach for the Pirates again. He was one of the funnier guys in the game of baseball and it’s good to see him doing well.

From what I understand, Andre is flying back today but won’t be here for the start of the game. Casey Blake’s back tightened up on him yesterday during the game, so he gets another day off, with Nomar back at third base.

Meanwhile, the view from this ballpark might be the best in baseball (outside of Dodger Stadium, that is). The entire Pittsburgh downtown, plus the Clemente bridge in the distance. Pretty sweet.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Martin, C

Pierre, CF

Manny, LF

Loney, 1B

Nomar, 3B

Kemp, RF

DeWitt, 2B

Berroa, SS

Kuroda, P

Viva los Dodgers!

No, not the event on Sept 20 that will celebrate Hispanic Heritage month…I’m talking about the atmosphere in the clubhouse on a Sunday morning. We’ve got some good Dominican tunes cranking right now and everyone seems pretty loose. I guess 12 wins in 13 games will do that to you.

Hard to believe that we’ve picked up nine games in the standings in 15 days. I guess it’s a good reminder that anything can happen (and quite often, the most unexpected does!)

Russ has some tough numbers against Aaron Cook and with a day game after a night game, Danny Ardoin gets the call today behind the plate. That should hopefully make Russ fresh for the Pittsburgh series. Here’s the lineup for the hottest team in the Majors:

Pierre, CF

Kemp, RF

Manny, LF

Loney, 1B

Blake, 3B

DeWitt, 2B

Berroa, SS

Ardoin, C

Maddux, P (looking to pass Clemens today on all-time wins list)

Tonight's game

Andre had to leave town for personal reasons, so here’s tonight’s lineup. Looking to go a season-high six games over .500

Martin, C

Pierre, CF

Manny, LF

Loney, 1B

Blake, 3B

Kemp, RF

DeWitt, 2B

Berroa, SS

Kershaw, P

Congrats, Dodger fans…

Just went to post and noticed that MLBlogs.com is now keeping track of the most trafficked blogs on their network. This week, Inside the Dodgers is #2 overall behind only the organizational minor league report that MLB.com updates. You all have turned this into one of the best places online for Dodger fans to congregate and you should be very proud of that fact!

Ranking 17th on the list is Dining with ‘Dre and I’m certain that’s going to get a lot more hits today, as it was written up in the Wall Street Journal. Yes, our slugging right fielder is now a “foodie”, apparently, as the Journal’s Hannah Karp wrote a great piece titled “The Dugout Gourmet” that is accompanied by a video and a list of his favorite restaurants around the league.

As for Inside the Dodgers, Scott Akasaki and I will be eating for the second straight day at BD’s Mongolian BBQ, which we found here in Denver yesterday and is phenomenal. Maybe his next post can cover that, too.

 

Lineup:

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Manny, LF 

Blake, 3B

Nomar, 1B

Kemp, CF

DeWitt, 2B

Berroa, SS

Bills, P

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