March 2010

A typical LA trip to Vegas…

There are many in Los Angeles who enjoy a quick trip to Vegas without ever getting a hotel room…drive in, enjoy all that the city has to offer, and drive home.

Well, that’s what the Dodgers are doing today, they’re just not driving. The team will depart Camelback Ranch in about an hour or so, head to Vegas, play a game against the Reds at our old Triple-A affiliate’s home park, Cashman Field, and then head back to Los Angeles for tomorrow’s game against the Indians.

If you’re home tonight, be sure to tune into PRIME TICKET, where Vin Scully will call the action. And if you’re around tomorrow, come on down to the Ravine to get this season started off right!

A savvy post

For those who haven’t had a chance to read the original Dodger blogger over at Baseball Savvy, check out his great post  from last night on a topic more important than Cactus League action.

Many of us in the front office often say that the best part of this job is the ability to really have an affect on other people – both through the day-to-day interactions at the ballpark and the special circumstances like Christopher Ramirez earlier this spring.

Well, as Baseball Savvy points out, it’s not just those in the front office with a chance to make an impact…and congrats to the site on its 10th anniversary of “covering” the Dodgers.

UPDATE:

We talk a lot in the Dodger organization about community and giving back, but it’s really cool to see that our players buy into the concept. MLB just announced that the Dodgers are the winners of the 2010 Bobby Murcer award, which goes to the team whose players donate the most money to the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.). That organization makes the rounds each spring to ask players to donate for the members of the baseball family who are in need and they have come through every time we’ve turned to them for help.

Players from across baseball donated nearly $2 million to the cause and we’re very proud to see our team step up for those in need. 

And the winner is…

The Jim and Dearie Mulvey award, for the top Dodger rookie in camp as voted upon by the coaches, goes to Josh Lindblom.

The last several winners have been Xavier Paul, Blake DeWitt, Tony Abreu, Hong-Chih Kuo, Jason Repko and James Loney, with such past winners including Raul Mondesi (1994), Mike Piazza (1993), Eric Karros (1991), Orel Hershiser (1983), Fernando Valenzuela (1981), Bob Welch (1978), Steve Yeager (1972) and Ted Sizemore (1969, the first year the honor was presented).

Josh was brought over to the big league camp pretty early last year and spent much of it with the team but this was his first full spring with the Major League players so he remains eligible.

Of course, Piazza seems to have won the award in 1992 and 1993 so clearly the rules are somewhat flexible but still, it’s a nice honor for Josh, as it’s been given out for more than 40 years.  

Final Four

No, not West Virginia, Duke, Michigan State and Butler. It’s the last four games before the Dodgers head home for the first big league game of the year at Dodger Stadium.

There’s a night game tomorrow in Goodyear, a day game Tuesday in Tucson and then a split squad on Wednesday, with half the team here for the Camelback finale and the other half heading to Vegas.

After that, it’s the first time the Dodgers will be back playing at Dodger Stadium since the NLCS and it should be a fun couple games before the team heads out to Pittsburgh for the real deal.

The game in Vegas on Wednesday night will be televised, so you can tune in on PRIME TICKET or KABC, where the station will be broadcasting live throughout various parts of the day.

 

99 Problems…

Manny, who homered yesterday, arrived at the clubhouse today wearing a shirt that says, “I’ve got 99 problems but my swing ain’t one.” We’ve had some cool shirts around the clubhouse over the years, but that one becomes an instant classic in my book.

He’s back in the lineup today:

Furcal, SS

Kemp, CF

Ethier, RF

Manny, LF

Loney, 1B

Blake, 3B

DeWitt, 2B

Ausmus, C

Haeger, P

Padilla in Pittsburgh, Kershaw at the home opener…

Word is out now, but in case you check here before anywhere else, Vicente Padilla will start us off in Pittsburgh on April 5 and Clayton Kershaw will be the starter at the home opener on April 13 against the D’backs.

Joe Torre’s reasoning: “We just decided to line them up that way.”

That means the second game will be Kershaw in Pittsburgh, then Billingsley and then Kuroda.

More from Joe: “We have 4 guys you could put their names in a hat. I had no problem with Clayton starting the Home Opener.”

Meanwhile, if you didn’t see the Dodgers Media Network piece on Clayton and his boyhood friend, Matthew Stafford, check it out here.

Dodger baseball on the air…

Hopefully everyone in LA got the chance to tune in today and hear Vin Scully, who was back on the air and in good spirits. He’ll also do the game next Saturday, so make sure to tune into KCAL for more poetry from the best…

Please forgive the delay in posting for ITD…went back to Los Angeles until next weekend to help get things ready at the Stadium before we open the doors to all of you on April 1. In fact, the doors of the Stadium were open today for the marathon, which I’ve heard was a great success. Did any of you run in it?

Anyway, with ITD back in LA this week, the lineups may be a little slower in coming but we’ll still try to post daily.

Vin Scully is doing just fine…

A quick update on Vin, as news reports in LA have come out that he was admitted to the hospital this evening.

I just spoke with him a few minutes ago and he said that he simply got out of bed too fast this evening and fell and bumped his head and so for precautionary measures, he was taken to the hospital and will stay overnight for observation. However, he wanted to assure everyone that he’s fine and that he expects to be at Camelback Ranch this weekend for the telecast on Sunday.

As you can imagine, he appreciates everyone’s concern and I can assure you, he sounded just like he always does…

Busy day at Camelback

There’s a ton of national media here today…MLB Network for the 30 teams in 30 days; Peter Gammons, Ken Rosenthal (FOX Sports), Bob Nightengale (USA Today), Tim Kurkjian (ESPN), and the local guys from KCAL (Gary Miller) and lots of others. Coincidentally, Manny is in left field today for the first time this spring, so that’s got a lot of interest…but I think most of the media lucked into this storyline, but that’s a good thing.

For those who want to flip channels from March Madness, the game is on PRIME TICKET back in LA. Here’s the lineup:

Furcal, SS

Kemp, CF

Ethier, RF

Manny, LF

Loney, 1B

Blake, 3B

DeWitt, 2B

Ausmus, C

Billingsley, P

Joe said he expects to announce an Opening Day starter this week and that Manny will play left field for about four innings today.

Regarding Blake DeWitt, here’s what he had to say:

“He hasn’t had the opportunity to turn a double play all spring. I’d like to see that happen. He seems to be fine, he’s swinging the bat real well. He’s not going to play second defensively as well as Hudson or Belliard, but he’s not shy about going after the ball. He’s a good kid and has a good feel for the game. I haven’t anointed it (Opening Day starter) at this point in time, but I haven’t been disappointed.”

Back on US Soil…

Things are slowly getting back to normal with a game today in Mesa. Those who made the Taiwan trip seem to be getting their body clocks back to normal, which was fairly easy given that we got home around 7 p.m. and could sleep off any ill effects.

There was lots of coverage while we were over there, and hopefully you guys all saw the stuff from Ken Gurnick on dodgers.com and Ramona Shelburne on ESPNLosAngeles.com

FOX News sent Adam Housley, a former minor league pitcher, along for the ride and he wrote about the trip (link isn’t working, so try this http://liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com/2010/03/13/baseball-taiwanese-style/

in addition to filing some videos for Fox News

Plenty more videos will be available over the coming weeks at dodgers.com/dmn (there’s content uploaded there daily) as well as on PRIME Ticket.

Meanwhile, back at home, we play the Angels in Mesa with Ramon Ortiz facing his former team and the Dodgers trotting out this lineup:

Furcal, SS

DeWitt, 2B

Ethier, RF

Kemp, CF

Anderson, LF

Blake, 3B

Johnson, DH

Mientikiwicz, 1B

Ellis, C

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