May 2009

They Love L.A.

Kicking around town today, I seem to notice a lot of Dodger jerseys, shirts, sweatshirts, and hats than usual. In fact, I was surprised how many I saw in comparison to the Lakers, which is really strange given that they’re in the Finals. As we wish them luck in capturing another title, the Dodgers close out the road trip on ESPN in Chicago.

Here’s the lineup:

Pierre, LF

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B

Martin, C

Loney, 1B

Kemp, CF

Loretta, 3B

Hoffmann, RF

Milton, P

Dodgers on FOX

Eric Collins and Steve Lyons get a day off in Chicago and Psycho said he’s actually going to sit in the stands and watch the game from the bleachers. Eric weighed in early this morning over on Psychollingy, so check it out and let them know if you have anything you can them to chat about.

As for today’s lineup, here you go:

Pierre, LF

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B

Loney, 1B

Etjoer. RF

Martin, C

Loretta, 3B

Kemp, CF

Stults, P

El Tronco

How ’bout Ramon Troncoso? What an incredible outing he had last night and what an great call by Joe Torre to keep him in there to protect the lead. I guess there’s a reason he’s going to be in the Hall of Fame as soon as he decides to hang up the uniform. Troncoso’s numbers are sick but it’s his road ERA that blows me away – 0.53. I think we need a nickname for him. Tronco just doesn’t cut it. And while I love that his mom’s favorite player was former Rafael Landestoy, hence Ramon’s middle name, that might be a bit of a mouthful, too. Any ideas?

And how much more can one say about Juan Pierre? I don’t know that I’ve been this happy for a player in a long, long time. He easily could’ve pouted his way through the last year and a half and then stunk up the joint when he finally got an opportunity to play, but he didn’t and he’s been the catalyst for baseball’s best team over the past several weeks.

It’s a good time to be a Dodger fan, and we should all enjoy the good times as much as we hate the rough patches. At least that’s what I try to remind myself.

Meanwhile, it may be rainy and overcast here in LA, but out on Waveland Ave and in Wrigleyville, they surely don’t care about the 74-degree overcast weather. They’re probably starting their party early for some day baseball and here’s the lineup that’ll take to the field in a couple hours:

Pierre, LF

Martin, C

Hudson, 2B

Loney, 1B

Blake, 3B

Ethier, RF

Kemp, CF

Castro, SS

Billingsley, P

A windy weekend

With the team in Chicago for the four-game set, wanted to make sure those of you looking to watch it on TV aren’t lost. There’s been a slight change with the channel on Time Warner Cable, so if you used to watch it on Channel 413, please note that this week, it’ll be on Channel 463 and then starting June 6, it’ll be on Channel 464. Sorry for an inconvenience. If you didn’t watch in HD, you’re not affected at all.

As for the game out there, here’s the lineup:

Pierre, LF

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B

Loney, 1B

Blake, 3B

Ethier, RF

Martin, C

Kemp, CF

Wolf, P

And here’s Joe Torre’s pregame chat:

The change in the lineup is really due to the fact that Casey is in the middle. We stacked left/righty from there.

We’ll have to pay attention to Furcal. I’ll probably give him tomorrow off and then he’ll play Saturday and Sunday.

Kuroda felt good and he threw well. His movement just wasn’t what he wanted. We’ll make a decision next after he throws his bullpen tomorrow. He didn’t have an arm issue so I’m not sure he needs another start down there.

Xaxier Paul left the hospital yesterday.

My guess is Brox won’t be available tonight. We’d use Troncoso.

Kuo had a sim game that wasn’t good. He was wild. But he had a bullpen that was better.

 

Time for the tour…

It looks like most people want to do the ITD tour on a weekend, so that’s now the plan. If you’re interested in taking a behind-the-scenes tour of Dodger Stadium on June 27 at 11:30 a.m. with the rest of the members of this blog, please post “I’m in” on this thread. The cost is going to be a special group rate of $10 per person or $7 for kids and I’ll plan on personally hosting the tour.

If we get too many people (a good thing), we might have to break it up into groups but for now, let me know who is in and we’ll follow up with details.

As for the day game in Denver, here’s the lineup:

Pierre, LF

Loretta, 3B

Hudson, 2B

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Kemp, CF

Castro, SS

Kershaw, P

UPDATE – Torre pregame:

Furcal is playable, but I wanted to give him an extra day. It’s a lot easier when Castro plays this well.

Manny is working out and hitting in California. I don’t know if we’ll see him. He might go to Glendale. I’m not worried about him. The most important thing is to get the cobwebs out with all that’s going on. I don’t think he’s ready for the media at this point. I haven’t talked to him.

I told Casey he would be out today on Monday. I wasn’t tempted, and stuck to the plan.

Kuroda will throw 75 pitches for Inland Empire tonight. Then we’ll see how he comes out and plan our next move from there.

Cory Wade is not available out of the pen. I would rather not use him back to back.

A Dodger Day at the Beach

On blogger night at the stadium, some of you who frequent this site got the chance to meet Josh Lukin, who works in our Consumer Development Department and who is himself, a blogger. He used to write for the Ravens’ website back when he worked over there and he’ll contribute from time to time at Inside the Dodgers, too.

His department is the one that put together Bleacher Beach and the first one was pretty darn cool, so here’s his first-person account from Sunday at the stadium. I only stopped by for about 20 minutes during pregame, but I have a feeling this is going to become a popular spot in the ballpark on Sunday.

Jamie Hoffman’s first career home run sailed into the Left Field Pavilion on Sunday afternoon, igniting a 54,000-fan frenzy around Dodger Stadium.  But for 800 Dodger die-hards enjoying the debut of Bleacher Beach on the Lower Reserve, the three-run blast brought about a second wave of water from what seemed liked the skies above. However, this is Los Angeles, with no threat of a rain shower until Thanksgiving. In this case, the spray was courtesy of a water hose held by the ‘lifeguard’ on duty, celebrating the score with a sunny day respite.

And with that, Bleacher Beach was officially christened. The latest section of Dodger Stadium to feature unlimited nachos and Dodger Dogs also included enough BBQ burgers, chicken and watermelon to keep beach goers full all afternoon. The party began with the music of KIIS-FM entertaining the crowd as they basked in the mist of the cool zones and shade of the Malibu Clout tent.

Unlike Hermosa or Santa Monica, this beach came sans sand, but did offer a view of both the field and the surrounding foliage as the sights over the side of the tiki-hut handrails made for picturesque postcards from a three-hour vacation to Dodgertown. Among the sights at this beach were flip flop beach passes, flip-flop-footed fans, and a flip of the traditional lid with drink-holder boxes turned into cardboard cowboy hats. The unusual headgear kept a group of fans protected from the sun, but not from the attention as the crew posed for more photos than the lifeguard girls.

As the day came to a close, and the Angels turned to their closer, the mist had settled on Bleacher Beach as dusk rapidly approached – this was interleague baseball with the time of the game pushing four hours. The fun-filled day in the sun, with a dash of Dodger baseball thrown in, was coming to an end. But for the first flock of fans to enjoy the bird’s eye view of the game from the beach, they walked out of the Stadium with more than the joy of a victory could have provided (although that would have been a nice way to cap off the day). Rather, they walked away with misty memories, mild sunburn, and an exclusive Dodgertown beach bag given to every beach bum on their way in. Excuse the obvious plug…as I said, it would have been easier if the boys in blue had won, but I still believe the fans enjoyed the experience. In this case, it was a day at the beach.

UPDATE: Lineup…

Pierre, LF

Hudson, 2B

Ethier, RF

Blake, 3B

Loney, 1B

Kemp, CF

Castro, SS (Furcal still out with the back tweak…obviously the lineup changed after I posted it yesterday)

Ausmus, C

Milton, P

Torre pregame (not exact quotes)

Raffy is better. It’s in his cheek. Could he play? Yes. But we’ll sit him another day.

Just a day off for Russell.

With Milton its all about feel and command. He hasn’t pitched in a couple years. He’s very similar to Stults in some ways.

We stopped Schmidt’s rehab. Nothing to do with the beaning. Its his shoulder. This way we can stop his rehab days. We don’t think it will be too long. He threw a bullpen and had some discomfort.

Memorial Day in Denver

From what I understand, the Lakers are sharing our hotel in Denver (I’m not on this trip), so let’s hope it’s a two-win day for L.A.

In the meantime, I hope everyone gets a chance today to pay tribute to those who have fought for our country and those who have lost their lives doing so. Afterall, that’s what today is all about, right?

Out in Denver, here’s the team that will take the field for the Dodgers:

Pierre, LF

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B

Blake, 3B

Martin, C

Loney, 1B

Kemp, CF

Hoffmann, RF

Stults, P

I’m not there so I can only assume that after Jamie had such a good day yesterday, Joe decided to give Andre another day to get his toe back in working order. It looked pretty nasty yesterday when I saw it, and it was a heck of a day for the hockey player from Minnesota.

Bleacher Beach!

If you were contemplating hitting Hermosa, Malibu, Manhattan or some other beach today, head out to the stadium instead. It should be a cool new section that launches today and I’m anxious to hear your feedback. The rubber match of a three-game set against the Angels should bring a great crowd out to the yard.

As for the lineup, here’s what we’re looking at (including Jamie Hoffmann’s first big league start)

Pierre, LF

Martin, C

Hudson, 2B

Blake, 3B

Loney, 1B

Kemp, CF

Hoffmann, RF

Castro, SS

Billingsley,P

Congrats all around…

Got the chance to stop in this morning at the Urban Youth Academy in Compton, where Orlando Hudson had the first visit of his “Around the Mound” tour to try and get more African-American youths to play baseball. He enlisted the services of his teammate, Juan Pierre, and Angels’ center fielder Torii Hunter, to spend time with the kids and teach them a few things about the game. O-Dog is planning on doing school visits in 10 cities around the league this year, which is an incredibly ambitious program. Props to him for his efforts.

As for the Urban Youth Academy, the facility is really something else and the work they do does not get nearly the attention it should, so congrats to the whole staff there on a great morning over there.

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Meanwhile, for those who haven’t seen the latest rankings, Inside the Dodgers remains in the Top 10 on the MLBlogs network, so keep up the great work. I’m going to have to check out some of the other sites that are above us and see how they’re spreading the word!

Here’s tonight’s lineup against the Angels:

Pierre, LF

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B

Ethier, RF

Martin, C

Loney, 1B

Kemp, CF

Blake, 3B

Wolf, P

Torre pregame media session:

On Kuroda: He’ll go two more times and we’ll look at him all the way back on that first homestand the beginning of the month. He may pitch in Albuquerque at some point. I’m not sure.

On Schmidt: we can see the finish line, but its still going to be awhile.

On Blake: I’m comfortable with Casey hitting 8th. He knows how to hit there.
He never said a word to me about where he hits. I don’t sense its an issue for him.

On Mota: Mota was much better last night. They had him swinging his leg better. He’s working at it.

On Weaver: Weaver still not available tonight. We are going to hold off on Milton’s bullpen until later in the game just in case we need him. If you see Milton throwing in the late innings it’s his bullpen, he’s not warming up. 

Furcal and Martin will rest tomorrow.

Oops

Looks like this morning, when I posted Eric Collins’ blog about yesterday’s Dodgers Dream Foundation golf tourney, I accidentally posted it to Inside the Dodgers. My bad. It’s been re-posted over at Psychollingy.

In the meantime, here’s tonight’s lineup:

Pierre, LF

Furcal, SS

Hudson, 2B

Ethier, RF

Martin, C

Loney, 1B

Kemp, CF

Blake, 3B

Kershaw, P

And in case you haven’t heard, X Paul is headed to the DL with a skin infection to his left leg, so Jamie Hoffmann is headed to the big leagues. Great story…a non-drafted free agent makes it all the way to the Majors. Great guy, too, so we’re very happy for him.

 

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