August 2009

A full day at the yard…

For those who missed the WIN clinic and luncheon, it was a very cool event and I know a few ITDers were there, so weigh in with your thoughts. But one of the best parts of the day was a great story told by Joe Torre, Orlando Hudson and James Loney that had not been told anywhere publicly, to my knowledge.

At the luncheon, it came out that on July 31, Don Mattingly played a joke on James Loney and told him that Joe Torre wanted to see him in his office. Seeing as how it was the day of the trade deadline, according to Orlando, Loney said, “I told you guys I wouldn’t make it,” and glumly walked back into the clubhouse and into Joe’s office. Only after a few more anxious moments did Joe let Loney know that Mattingly was only playing a joke on him. It sounded much better coming from them, but that’s why you’ve got to show up at these things when we tell you about ‘em!!

Speaking of Joe and Donny Baseball, it’s hard to believe we have two former MVPs on our coaching staff. I do believe this is the only time in Dodger history that we’ve had that distinction.

Anyway, still no medical update on Billingsley, but I know Casey Blake is out of the lineup because his wrist is bothering him again (you couldn’t tell from his three-run homer last night). Yet another piece of info divulged by Joe Torre hours ago at the luncheon.

Here’s the lineup:

Furcal, SS

Ethier, RF

Manny, LF

Kemp, CF (check out his podcast/interview with the Lakers’ website…if you like hoops, you’ll enjoy this one)

Loney, 1B

Hudson, 2B

Abreu, 3B (first big league start in two years)

Ausmus, C (day off for Russ after the long game last night)

Kershaw, P

 

 

The Mailman Delivers Again!

As you might recall, when Andre delivered walk-off hits on consecutive days back in June, I tried to start the nickname of the Mailman of Dodgertown, as he does seem to deliver key hits every day. Last night was really something else, going into the last half inning down by two runs and hitting another walk-off job. Even he seems amazed at how well he’s been doing when the game is on the line.

Of course, I asked Tommy Lasorda the other day why players these days don’t have nicknames and he said that he was actually the one who nicknamed most of his guys. We all know about Bulldog Hershiser, but he also came up with Happy Hooton, KT (for Kenny Landreaux) and numerous others. What I didn’t know is that Tommy has a nickame…Mungo. Apparently his favorite Dodger growing up was Van Lingle Mungo and when he goes home to Norristown, there are still lots of guys who call him Mungo. How’s that for a Tommy story you’ve never heard! For more Tommy stories, don’t forget to check his blog, which he updates regularly.

Lineup and a roster move to come shortly…

UPDATE: 

Lineup is:

Furcal, SS

Mailman, RF

Manny, LF

Blake, 3B

Loney, 1B

Kemp, CF

Martin, C

Hudson, 2B (still a few small number of tickets available for tomorrow’s WIN Clinic/Luncheon with Ausmus, Loretta, Loney, Hudson, Torre, Lasorda, and others). See www.dodgers.com/win

Bills, P

And Tony Abreu is here in the big leagues. Not sure if the other half of the move is public yet, so I’ll refrain from posting here but I’m sure it’ll be in the news shortly.

 

Did you know?

Yesterday marked the 55th anniversary of Tommy Lasorda’s Major League debut as a left-handed pitcher with the Brooklyn Dodgers. On Aug. 5, 1954, Lasorda pitched three innings in relief at Ebbets Field against the St. Louis Cardinals. The first base umpire that afternoon was Lon Warneke, a former pitcher from 1930-45 who became a Major League umpire in 1949.

Another future Dodger Hall of Fame manager, Walter Alston, crossed paths with Warneke in his only Major League plate appearance on Sept. 27, 1936. Alston was a former reserve first baseman for the Cardinals. Warneke was pitching for the Chicago Cubs when Alston stepped to the plate as a pinch-hitter. Alston narrowly missed a home run on a long foul ball and he eventually struck out. When Alston announced his retirement as Dodger manager on Sept. 27, 1976, it was the 40th anniversary of his at-bat against Warneke. 

– Mark Langill

Also, over at Psychollingy, Eric Collins has a really interesting post about George Sherrill.

 

Patience is a virtue

Thanks to those of you who are dealing with issues with posting on the blog. I’m working with our friends at MLB.com to try and get it remedied so please hang in there.

In the meantime, it’s been a very busy day, as we visited White Memorial Hospital with Guillermo Mota and Ramon Troncoso, who were awesome with the kids. Came back to the small media crush revolving around last night’s Fielder debacle and heading down to the press box now.

In the meantime, here’s tonight’s lineup for the game starting shortly…Manny gets a night off and we all know what happened last time he had a night off when we gave out his bobblehead and he didn’t play. If he hits a pinch hit homer tonight, we’ll have to make a poster to commemorate the poster that commemorated the bobblehead night!!! Or something like that.

Furcal, SS

Pierre, LF

Ethier, RF

Blake, 3B

Loney, 1B

Kemp, CF

Martin, C

Hudson, 2B

Schmidt, P

Tonight's lineup…

For those who missed Randy Wolf’s web chat, the transcript from earlier today is here.  Some funny stuff came out of it (who knew he was such a Star Wars fan and a drummer). But as the person who does the typing in this, it was pretty tough to have to write about his El Camino teams beating my Chatsworth team at the City Championship at Dodger Stadium. For those of you who live in the Valley, you know that the rivalry runs deep and Randy never misses a chance to rub in our loss.

But, he’s one of the more thoughtful big leaguers I’ve ever been around and even took time out of his day today to go visit a lot of sick kids at Childrens Hospital, specifically requesting that no media be there. He just wanted to do it out of the goodness of his own heart, which is pretty cool.

We’ve got another visit tomorrow, this time to White Memorial, and Ramon Troncoso and Guillermo Mota are both going to be spending some time with the kids. We have a long-standing relationship that goes back to the mid 90s there and watching these kids faces light up when a big leaguer walks in is something you cannot easily forget.

In any event, here’s the lineup for tonight’s game against the Brewers:

Furcal, SS

Ethier, RF

Manny, LF

Blake, 3B

Loney, 1B

Kemp, CF

Martin, C

Hudson, 2B

Kuroda, P

UPDATE: Orlando Hudson was scratched with an upset stomach and Juan Castro has taken his place in the lineup. 

 

 

M.I.A.

The subject is not a reference to the singers of “Paper Planes,” which became the Dodgers’ de facto victory song last season. It’s actually me who was missing in action over the weekend. I was not in Atlanta and didn’t get to a computer much, so hopefully you all survived the weekend with one long post.

We open up a seven-game homestand tonight, as you probably know, and it’s starting to feel like a pennant race at Dodger Stadium now that the calendar has shifted to August. For those of you old enough to remember the 1984 Olympics here in LA, we’ll be honoring several Olympians throughout the week with first pitches so come on down and show your national pride…or something like that. All I really remember of those games was that I had tickets to a track and field event and never wound up going, which is a bummer because it could be another 50 years before the Olympics come to Los Angeles…

On Wednesday, we’ve got the Mannywood poster which is pretty freakin’ cool, if you ask me. And the usual Fireworks on Friday, Webkinz for kids on Sunday…plenty of reasons to come out and support your team, which just so happens to have the best record in baseball. The poster is below, as is a sneak peak at the Manny Curtain Call bobblehead, which will be given away on Sept. 16.

 

Manny Curtain Call Bobblehead.jpg


Mannywood Poster FINAL.jpg

 UPDATE LINEUP:

Furcal, SS

Ethier, RF

Manny, LF

Blake, 3B

Kemp, F

Loney, 1B

Hudson, 2B

Ausmus, C

Kershaw, P 

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