February 2010

One night only…

I’m guessing that many of you back in LA will be heading to Joe Torre’s Safe at Home Fundraiser tonight, where he and Sandy Koufax will talk about all sorts of interesting things at the Nokia Theatre. For those at the Scully/Wooden event a few years ago, you know this is a unique opportunity and hopefully you can make it out there.

We’ll be here at Camelback, so I’m taping it on PRIME TICKET so I can see it when I get home. It’s only airing one time…live!

Back here in Arizona, it’s still pretty cool but workings are plugging along. We had the annual photo day, which is always a very busy day in which numerous photo companies (as well as Jon SooHoo) come out and take head shots or action shots of the players. However, in recent years it has expanded so that now they do a lot of other things on that day, including the “head scans” that allow the players to look so real on video games. Our TV partners, KCAL, also shot some cool photos and on top of all that, our DodgerVision crew is in town to film the players for the stuff you’ll see all season long at Dodger Stadium.

These sorts of things take hours of time that the public rarely gets to see until the finished product, but it’s a cool thing to experience “behind-the-scenes.”

And of course, a tradition the PR department started in Vero Beach continues here at Camelback. Prior to photo day (which starts at 7 a.m.), we hit up Cracker Barrel so seven of us enjoyed some biscuits, gravy, hashbrown casserole and other such goodies at 6 a.m.

 

Spring rotation in place

Vicente Padilla will start the first spring game against the Sox on March 5…Stults, Kershaw, Billingsley and Kuroda to follow. Joe Torre said he thinks we’ll have six or steven guys on a starters’ program in addition to the four that we have in the rotation.

Belliard and Furcal arrived in town today, leaving only Belisario to arrive.

And Jeff Weaver is back home waiting for his wife to give birth, so best of luck to them on the biggest day of their life.

That’s about all this morning…we’re trying to keep this blog relevant and updated regularly without just serving as a repeat of the media outlets that already exist, including Ken Gurnick whose coverage is second-to-none. If you guys have questions about how things work in Spring Training or anything you want us to see on the Inside the Dodgers blog, please throw it out there so we can provide what you’re seeking.

Sunny days

The sun has come out at Camelback so it’s actually starting to feel like Spring Training. Of course, much of our days are spent indoors in an office, but for those of you in town or able to get to town, these are the two weeks you really want to do it. Tons of access to players, autographs, etc. It’s a very cool vibe and it doesn’t cost a penny to come out. Of course, then you don’t get to see a game, so perhaps planning a trip around the last few days of workouts and first few games is the way to go.

Joe Torre told the media a bit ago that he has a pretty good idea who the Opening Day starter is but he hasn’t yet shared it. As soon as he does, we’ll tell all of you.

Otherwise, it’s a relatively quiet day around camp. We certainly appreciate all the comments on the ITD blog and there’s no way I can ever expect everyone to see things the way I see them. All we can do is try to explain our thinking behind various decisions we make and continue the dialogue with all of you. This sort of communication was not nearly as easy until we started this blog several years ago and it’s part of what makes this a fun place to “hang out” online.

The outfield arrives and talks…

Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier all reported early today, and Manny chatted with the media a few minutes ago.

He said that he hit quite a bit this offseason to try and figure out the mechanical issues that had him a bit off during the end of last season. He also said that he expects this to be his last year at the Dodgers so he’s going to enjoy it as much as possible. His funniest line, I thought, was when he told reporters that from the waste down, he feels 15 years old but from the neck up, he feels 43.

Anyway, that’s the buzz around camp at the moment. Andre and Matt haven’t really spoken yet to the media in a group, but I know Ken Gurnick chatted with Andre when the clubhouse opened, so I’m sure stories will be on the front of the site soon.

Day 1 in the books…

Joe Torre addressed the team this morning in his 51st season with a big league team (albeit six as a broadcaster).

The first workouts took place and about half the pitchers threw bullpen sessions. One interesting photo caught by team photographer Jon SooHoo (now in his 25th year) was of the Dodgers’ former All-Star closer and current one.
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Plenty of media on site, though it’s amazing that there was more Japanese media here covering Kuroda than all other American media outlets combined.
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Otherwise, it was a relatively quiet day. Blake DeWitt checked in and we figured out that he’s one of 19 players on the 40-man who are 26 years old or younger. Amazingly, despite a year-plus of big league service, Clayton Kershaw is still the youngest guy in camp.

Pitchers and catchers and then some…

They’re rolling in left and right at Camelback today to take physicals and get ready for tomorrow’s first workout.

Among the position players I’ve seen here are a beardless Casey Blake, Jason Repko, Xavier Paul, Jamey Carroll, Ivan DeJesus and Chin-lung Hu, among others.

Eric Gagne arrived and is wearing his familiar #38. Ramon Troncoso gave us his uni and will wear #67 for the spring.

I’m sure there will be lots of stories on the front of the site from Ken Gurnick throughout the day, so keep checking dodgers.com for all the latest news.

Packed up and walking out…

The office is packed and I’m on the first flight out tomorrow morning to Arizona.

Hope to see many of you out there and yes, we know that many of you don’t go to Facebook and Twitter for your news. Keep in mind that everything we post on Inside the Dodgers automatically goes to Facebook and pops up on twitter, but there are some great benefits to the short-hit news on those sites that I can’t update when I’m on the run. To that end, I’m also trying to update some of the areas that are outdated on this blog but some technical difficulties are delaying me a tad. Thanks for pointing it out.

Anyway, this is all part of the changing face of technology and the way we get our news. Perhaps next year they can just beam us to Camelback from Dodger Stadium!

 

Just under two days left in LA…

Forty-eight hours from now, many of us will be reporting with pitchers and catchers (though not literally, with those who actually pitch and catch).

There are already more than a dozen early arrivers at Camelback working out on their own, from what I understand, and Saturday is when they’ll all take their physicals, with Sunday being the first official workout.

If you haven’t started following the Dodgers on facebook or twitter, now might be the time to do so, as I expect we’ll be tweeting a lot more than usual and updating the facebook page throughout the day. After all, if you’re reading this right now, chances are you can’t get enough Dodger baseball, right?

Are you all planning on coming out to visit?

And on the other end…

Unloading the truck at Camelback Ranch is our top notch clubhouse staff

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And the bags rest on the desert ground…

 

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No turning back…

The Dodgers’ truck for Camelback headed out today from Dodger Stadium…

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Should be pulling in any minutes. For those who made the trip last year, it’s under five hours door to door from Dodger Stadium.

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