April 2009

Kim-possible

OK, that’s a hokey headline, I know. But I stole it from ESPN’s E:60, which recently did a feature on Kim Ng, our assistant GM. I was fortunate enough to attend a luncheon today in which she and Ann Meyers Drysdale (another true legend) were honored by Kids in Sports, a very cool organization here in Los Angeles. Kim rarely get the recognition she deserves for being one of the best executives in baseball, so it was cool to see her honored today in that sort of setting. If you’re so inclined, you can donate to that great organization at the link above.

And she’ll actually be honored again this weekend, along with our famous longtime photographer, Jon SooHoo’s, whose photos you see on the site every day.

In the meantime, we start our longest homestand of the year today and hope you’ll all be out here, sitting in the new Mannywood section or anywhere else in the stadium (he got a kick out of the fact that this exists when I told him today and hopefully he’ll have some fun with those of you sitting out there).

Here’s the lineup:

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B

Manny, LF

Ethier, RF

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Kemp, CF

Blake, 3B (by the way, we took the prototype of his bobblehead around the clubhouse today and the entire team was shocked how much it looks like him. If you haven’t made plans to come out yet on May 20, you can still get them but keep in mind, bobblehead nights usually sell out)

McDonald, P

 

Appreciating Vin…

When I first met DodgerTalk co-host Josh Suchon, we were covering the Giants as reporters in 2002. He had been covering the team for several years and was a beat writer when Barry Bonds hit his 73 homers in 2001 (I was covering the Dodgers at the time for MLB.com). To get myself up to speed on the Giants that winter, I read Soosh’s book, This Gracious Season, and one of the underlying themes was that his “laptop was down” whenever Barry was hitting. That is to say, he and another writer realized that they might never get to see someone hit the way Barry does and therefore, whenever he came up, they stopped writing, surfing the net, or doing whatever they were doing and they watched the at-bat intently.

Last night, ironically in a game against the Giants at AT&T Park where Bonds has stopped by the night before, I found myself thinking the same thing about Vin Scully. And I wondered, what is the equivalent of having your “laptop down?” Unlike Bonds, Vin is on for three hours a night and the gems he comes up with can come at any point in the game. Like the way he can show Bengie Molina blocking a ball and matter-of-factly say, “I can hear Campanella talking about getting the glove turned over.” Or the way he referred to Russell Martin framing Broxton’s pitch as “larceny,” in reference to the fact that quite obviously, he stole a strike from the home plate umpire.

There are a number of websites that have sprouted up that pay homage to the best that there has ever been in this business, which is pretty cool. But I know how much Vin hates the hooplah that goes along with having perfected your trade better than anyone that came before you. He’s as humble as anyone I’ve ever met and so we honor his wishes by not going over-the-top with things (though it sure was awesome to see him throw out the first pitch on Opening Day).

I just hope that everyone finds the time whenever they’re watching a game to appreciate his story-telling ability night in and night out. I consider it an honor to work with him, listen to him, and learn from him every game.

—–

On a completely unrelated note, Andre Ethier was profiled in the Daily News today for his food passions and he promises me he’ll post a new blog soon for Dining with ‘Dre. As long as he keeps getting game-winning hits like last night, it’s hard to get on his case too badly!

UPDATE:

Tonight’s lineup has Juan Pierre batting ninth…

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B

Manny, LF

Ethier, RF

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Blake, 3B

Stults, P

Pierre, CF

According to Elias’ John Labombarda, the last time a Dodgers pitcher did not bat 9th was August 15, 1965, when Don Drysdale batted 7th vs. Pittsburgh.

That day, catcher John Roseboro hit 8th (1-for-4) and shortstop John Kennedy hit 9th (0-for-2, BB, K).

The Dodgers lost 4-2, and Drysdale went 0-for-2 with 2 strikeouts before being pulled after 6.0 innings of work. 

Lineup by the bay…

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B,

Manny, LF

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Kemp, CF

Loney, 1B

Blake, 3B

Billingsley, P

 

Lineup tonight in SF…

I had a flashback earlier today to the days when the Dodgers weren’t always televised and it was the San Francisco games that you could always count on being on TV. Well, we’re on every night these days, which is pretty cool if you ask me. Tonight we’re on KCAL.

Here’s the lineup.

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B

Manny, LF

Kemp, CF

Ethier, RF

Martin, C

Loretta, 1B

Blake, 3B

Wolf, P

Lineup

Pierre, LF

Hudson, 2B

Ethier, RF

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Kemp, CF

DeWitt, 3B

Castro, SS

Kershaw, P

A Rocky history…

Outfielder Dante Bichette is one of the most storied players in the history of the Rockies franchise. He finished second in the N.L. MVP balloting in 1995 after helping Colorado reach the playoffs in only its third year of existence with a .340 batting average, 40 home runs and 128 RBI. In 1996, Bichette became a member of the rare 30-30 Club with 31 home runs and 31 stolen bases.

Bichette began his Major League career with the Angels as an original 17th round selection in the 1984 Free Agent Draft. And at age 38, Bichette’s career ended in a Dodger uniform, although he never played a game. 

Entering 2002 Spring Training, Bichette reported to Vero Beach as a non-roster invitee after appearing in 107 games with the Red Sox the previous season. His chances of making the team appeared solid, especially with the team poised to make Bichette the first Dodger to wear uniform No. 6 since Steve Garvey in 1982. But on March 22, Bichette announced his retirement. That opened the door for a sixth-string outfielder coming over from the Cleveland Indians organization to make the Dodger roster – Dave Roberts.

Bichette finished with a lifetime .299 batting average with 274 home runs in 1,704 games.

– Mark Langill

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B

Manny, LF

Ethier, RF

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Kemp, CF

Blake, 3B

McDonald, P

Sorry for the day off…

Well, it wasn’t a day off…but I didn’t get around to posting yesterday. We managed to win, so I contemplated not posting today but let’s be honest, this can’t have anything to do with it.

I did, however, give Eric Collins grief for losing his first two games on the air with us and then having the team pick up the win in the finale, which was on MLB Network. He promises to do better on his next trip and he and Steve Lyons will continue to post new entries on their blog (Steve had his first last night).

And by the way, our annual reminder to get out the vote for All-Star Balloting is upon us. Make sure you vote up to 25 times on MLB.com…anyone who does gets into a lottery to come down to the field, watch BP, and meet one of the Dodger All-Star nominees (not that we need to entice you all to vote, right??)

Here’s tonight’s lineup in Colorado:

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B

Manny, LF

Ethier, RF

Loney, 1B

Kemp, CF

Blake, 3B

Ausmus, C

Stults, P

 

The newest Dodger blog…

Welcome Eric Collins and Steve Lyons, who joined the blogosphere with Eric’s first post following tonight’s game.

It was a tough loss…and a good battle, but as Eric points out, he’ll surely remember his first Dodger TV game forever.

Stop by and drop them a comment and hopefully, you all can wish Eric well in his new role alongside Steve. This is just one way that our broadcasts can become more interactive and we expect that they’ll be updating the blog frequently.

UPDATE:

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B

Manny, LF

Ethier, RF

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Kemp, CF

Blake, 3B

Wolf, P

 

Deep in the heart of Texas

The nine-game road trip kicks off today. Here’s the lineup:

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B

Manny, LF

Ethier, RF (you Ethierholics are all coming to Carne Asada Sunday with Andre, right?)

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Kemp, CF (simply on-fire)

Blake, 3B

Kershaw, P (tough act to follow after his last outing)

And by the way, in case you guys haven’t seen it yet, there’s a contest online right now where you can get season tickets for the rest of the year (at least starting after May 10, when the contest ends). It’s called Paint the Town Blue and I’d imagine those of you coming to this site are the perfect people for this.

Looking to sweep the homestand…

Coming off an incredible evening in which the premiere of Bluetopia seemed to go over very well with those who saw it…at least from my conversations afterward. Hopefully you will get to see it, too. One thing that seemed to surprise people was how much the movie was done from the viewpoint of the fans, not the players. Rather than a recap video of the 2008 season, this is more about the people who dedicate their lives to the Dodgers, and there were a lot of very touching moments throughout.

That’s not to say there’s something wrong with recap videos at the end of a season. I collected them all as a kid — still have the ones from 1986, 1988 and 1990 on my shelf at home — but I think this movie will have a longer shelf life beause it could have taken place in any year…it just so happened that it was during the most successful season we’ve had in two decades and that we were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the move to Los Angeles.

In any event, we’ll leave the judging up to you all but my kudos go out to Tim Marx (an all those involved). Tim basically lived with the team for the last year and, in my opinion, captured the true essence of what it means to be a Dodger fan…

Here’s the lineup for today:

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B

Manny, LF

Ethier, RF

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Kemp, CF

Blake, 3B

McDonald, P

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