Packing a week into a day!

To say that the last day and a half have been a whirlwind would be a rather large understatement. From the second we landed in Taiwan until now (the fourth inning of Game 1), we’ve been going almost non-stop but it’s been an amazing first 24 hours. Warning – this post will be a tad longer than usual.

The team’s arrival at the airport was met with throngs of media and fans and we took a bus ride through rush hour traffic, arriving at our team hotel around 7 p.m. There had to be several hundred fans waiting on the streets by the hotel and as everyone entered the hotel, there were people cheering as we walked up the stairs to our check-in area.

A news conference at the hotel shortly thereafter was packed beyond belief – a common theme when it comes to media here. And then a welcome party that was quite nice followed by a recurring theme from our trip to Beijing — Kim Ng, Jon SooHoo and myself went to some late night noodles, joined by KABC’s Josh Suchon. That foursome hit up a local watering hole (called Brass Monkey for all you Beastie Boys fans) to see the nightlife and then it was off to bed for the first time in about 24 hours.

With an early 8 a.m.  MLB logistics meeting, we plotted a day that had about 50 moving parts to it, yet it all came together incredibly well.

First, Chin-lung Hu took part in a news conference announcing the Dodgers’ new deal with MSI, a Taiwanese computer company that recently signed a partnership with us. At the same time, a quartet of Dodger players – Xavier Paul, Trayvon Robinson, John Lindsey and Brian Barton – joined Jaime Jarrin for a visit to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial, which actually seemed kind of like a Taiwanese version of the Lincoln Memorial. Very beautiful surroundings, too, and a group of young school kids realized who the players were and mobbed them, with Xavier saying he felt like a Jonas Brother.

From there, we headed off to Taipei 101, the second-tallest building in the world with the world’s fastest elevator. It was insanely high and just shooting up 89 floors in about 30 seconds made our ears pop. Joining the group at that point was James Loney, Prentice Redman and Kenley Jansen and while we were there, we found out that Manny Ramirez was having lunch at a restaurant just 14 floors below.

So, the whole group went down to say hello, snap some photos, and then Manny was off for an appearance that he was making in town to promote the Taipei International Flora Expo at the end of this year. Apparently, this is a huge deal here in Taiwan, as signs all around the ballpark promote that upcoming event. Manny was there with the Taipei mayor and they planted a tree in a ground-breaking ceremony or sorts. Manny spoke to the crowd and in addition to thanking the Taiwanese people for being so respectful, he also thanked them for serving as a place where many Dominicans come to play baseball. Again, there must have been 40 news cameras there. 

Finally, it was time to head to the ballpark to meet up with Kuo and Hu, who were hosting a clinic for kids along with Tim Wallach, Jim Slaton, John Shoemaker and Lorenzo Bundy. While that was going on, Ken Gurnick of dodgers.com and I headed to lunch across the street at the food court of the mall. Now usually when you walk into the food court, you’re used to seeing restaurants like Cinnabon, Sbarro, Carl’s Jr. and usually one Chinese food place. Well, we saw about 20 Chinese food places that all looked the same and settled on Thai food. Certainly a unique experience, as this entire trip has been so far.

Once we were back inside the ballpark, there was the usual game day stuff. Batting practice, a team photo, on-field introductions, anthems and all that good stuff. And Eric Stults pitched three scoreless innings, striking out four while walking just one – his former minor league teammate, Chin-Feng Chen.

There’s a zillion other thoughts that go through all of our heads as we experience a new culture like this one but there’s only so many things you can write, so we’ll keep it coming over the next couple days.

Again, be sure to check Twitter @dodgertownusa, as we’re updating that all day long with fun one-liners and of course, check out the coverage from Ken on the front of the site and all the other media members tailing along for the ride. And once we get back to the States, keep an eye out at dodgers.com/dmn for lots of awesome video features, as we’ve had crews tailing the players around everywhere they go.

56 Comments

Hi everybody
I’m following the box score here, because that’s all I can do.
I went to bed early last night hoping to watch the game or at least hear it, but it never came to be.
I sent an e-mail to MLB.TV, since they don’t open until 9:00AM.
Well that’s O.K., no hard feelings.
GO DODGERS!!

Comon guys, lets get them 2 runs back given up by Hyang- Nan Choi.

Looks like “come back” time.
We hope.

That’s more like it.
Finally coming to life.

Well I guess we can just charge this game up to jet lag.

WOW JOSH this must be one of your longest post….thanks for the updates and sharing your experience. 89 floor in 30 seconds….and I just realized that you can not read the words “BRASS MONKEY” without singing it… BRASS MONKEY THAT FUNKEY MONKEY….lol
*
NOMAR finally retired….thanks Nomar for great Dodger times… So if he retired as a Red Sox is he allowed to come back to Dodger Stadium wearing his #5 Jersey to do the meet n greet or pictures, or even come back a Sunday with his Carne Asada???? Anybody?? JOSH???

Thanks for the updates Josh!! Whoever is posting on Dodgertown USA is doing a great job of keeping things up to date as well.

TGIF!!!!!!
Happy Anniversary to DodgerEric and his wonderful wife,Chris!!! I am sure they are doing something fabulous together today.

Thanks so much for the new update, Josh. Sounds like you are all having a great time.

Nellyjunne ~ I think Dodgereric and Chris should spend the day at the gas station where they first met….lol…romantic, huh?!

*Nellyjune not Nellyjunne

Happy Anniversary, Dodgereric and Chris!

Happy Anniversary DodgerEric and Chris…wish you many more years of happiness.

Good morning everyone………….
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Oldbrooklynfan, I woke up and took a 4 am walk down the hall last night and when I returned to my bed, I turned on the laptop for a brief minute to read myself back to sleep. I was rather surprised to see you up and talking about the game. I clicked on the box score momentarily, but it didn’t seem to functioning correctly, so I went back to sleep. I see by your recent comments we didn’t fare too well. It did make me smile though to see you up so early cheering on the Boy’s.
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Josh, I want Chinese food now……I’ll just microwave some Top Ramen, while listening to Brass Monkey on the I-pod and re-read your post….It’ll be like I am at the table with you (NOT!)
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I would like to say that seeing Andre crack one out the day (batting out of order) did get my juices flowing a little, then Kemp’s triple added to the enjoyment. I am looking forward to seeing the offensive firepower in action again, although I would also love to see some wizardry coming from the hill with the same kind of excitement just as much if not more. Opening Day is right around the corner so…..It’s time to bang if you want to be there.
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GO DODGERS!!!!!!!!!
BRING THE RING IN 2010!!!!!!
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Have a great day everyone…………

A big Happy Anniversary goes out to Chris and DodgerEric. I am sure that however they celebrate the occasion, it will be just fantastic, as they will do it together…….amongst family and friends perhaps. Enjoy your lovely bride Eric and cherish the many years you have together….

Someone please tell me what makes Mattingly a better manager prospect than Tim Wallach. Is it that he sits near Torre on the bench or the seemingly brownish hue of his nose? We tend to dismiss even successful people in our minor league ranks, like Scoscia a few years back.

I hope Frank loses the ownership of the team – that looks like the only way to avoid Mattingly becoming manager.

SELL THE TEAM, you gd clowns!!!

What’s up with the Prime Ticket broadcast from Camelback? It looks like the camera operators are framing the picture for HDTV. The picture I see on my standard TV is cut off on the sides. Close ups of the batter also are framed so their feet are cut off. It looks nothing like the regular season broadcasts.

I don’t know the answer to that….I will say that Mattingly is respected by the player’s on the current roster. Andre and the Boy’s have credited him with much of his success as of late ( and I do value what they think.) So if you factor in that aspect of it, he has some validity on teaching and commaderie….This is not to say Wallach isn’t quite capable of being a very good choice as well. Just that it is open for debate, however if the current success continue’s (As I BELIEVE it will this season.) One could say why change?

Happy Anniversary DodgerEric and Chris!
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Josh!
We like long posts! The more the merrier!
.
Josh or anyone!
This is a question from a friend:
” I’m trying to find out the brand of glove worn by Chin-lung Hu. I tried to figure it out from the daily pics on dodgers.com, but I could not tell.
Any help with this is much appreciated – my son likes to keep a list of the equipment used by each Dodger playe,r and Hu’s glove is a tough one to figure out. I am guessing it may be an Asian manufacturer a la SSK and Mizuno? ”

Thanks!
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

From the box score it looks as if Repko hosed someone at home.

Hi everybody
Well two good things happen over the past 9 or so hours, Shults’ 3 scoreless innings this morning( a game I never saw, thanks to MLB.TV, who e-mailed me an apology and said they’ll try to fix it), and Kershaw’s 3 this afternoon.

Repko reminds of Andy LaRoche, maybe a change of uniform might help him.

Happy Anniversary Dodgereric and Chris and many more.

Glad we don’t have to face this kid, Chapman, all day.

Monasterios looked good.

Hi everyone!
I’ve been so busy but I finally got around to posting a few pictures from Camelback Ranch! I have so many but I’ll put some in the next two posts. The next will only have pictures of three players because it will be around a theme.
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I can no longer listen to games at work so I appreciate updates.
Thanks
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

That was a nice look at Monasterios, who look nice today.

The uniform that Repko belongs in is the Isotopes’.
Actually he might want to consider UPS – they have decent uniforms too.

Sorry, but not everyone is destined to become a major leaguer. I’m sure Repko is a hard worker and probably a good teammate, but with all the chances he’s had, he’s no major leaguer.

Josh, thanks for the great post. As someone who has flown to mainland China, I can tell you the return trip will be even tougher because of the time change. Be prepared for another 24 hour marathon when you return.

Josh mentioned that Manny was involved in some things in Taipai that don’t seem to involve the Dodgers. I recall reading somewhere else something similar. If so, why all the mystery about whether or not Manny was going to make this trip? I have to think the Dodgers would have preferred Manny stay in Arizona and not subject himself to the wear and tear of a long, quick turnaround trip. If Manny wanted to go, then fine by me. I just don’t understand why the Dodgers seemed to not be sure if he was going or not.

Josh, from the tone of your post, it seems that the D’s went on a business trip and a baseball game broke out. My only hope is that the long distance travel doesn’t impact the future performances of the players who went on the trip. I seem to recall that the NFL gave a bye week afterwards to the teams that played in England each season…..Wallach is as good a candidate or better than Mattingly to be the Dodger manager post-Torre, IMO. At least, Wallach has actual managerial experience. But why limit the choices? How about Davey Lopes? The question of whom gets hired should be open but I fear, however, that Mattingly has been designated the heir apparent. A new regime in the front office would take care of that. A new broom, etc!!!!!!…..our pitching has been encouraging in the early going. Padilla, in particular, has been real sharp. The hitters will catch up….Congrats to Natalie Randolph, the first woman HS football head coach.

Happy Anniversary Dad/Eric and Chris!!! Congratulations!!!!

Hey Jhall!!! How are you doing this evening? Well, it’s actually morning for you I guess – lol!!!

Seesky – that’s pretty cool about the female football coach.

Doing well Nelly, how about you? Happy to see Kersh with a nice outing!!!

Doing good, and yes, it was great to see Kershaw pitching well. Like Seesky said, the pitchers seem to be holding their own for the time being. Well shall see what happens when they have a few more rounds and a few more innings added to their plate.

Wally..Nelly…Seesky…anyone else out there…..Howdy, Taiwan game …soon maybe???
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Anybody know what the deal with Belisario is…I have read reports he has missed several appointments with the embassy about his visa???

Hi’Ya D4!!! I don’t have a clue about Belisario. I will change my guess to Sheffield for the 100HR guy. And Jesse Orosco was the 1,252 guy. I looked up the later answer. LOL!!!

LOL!!!!

Dave Stewart was the other no-hit pitcher on June 29, 1990. Looked that one up too!!!

I am glad you figured all that out Wally. You have to know what you are doing sometimes just to look it up :)

As Stengel used to say: You can look it up.

:))) Nelly!!!

Hi’Ya Sky!! Right On!!!!!! Great to see you my friend!!!

LOL!!!!

Has anybody caught the ST games on mlbtv late afternoons and early evenings? Even if the games aren’t always great, there’s usually good baseball conversation going on.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to catch the ST games as I work afternoons and evenings. I do miss them.

Reggie Smith…. I gave the answers away yesterday….I’ll give you some more soon

Nice to see you, too, jhall and everyone else out there.

Yes, I have watched a few during my lunch 50 minutes. It’s usually just enough to see them bat around once, sometimes twice.

Goodnight gang!!! Gonna rack it for the night. Catch you all down the road!!!!!!

There I go again being post #48 – LOL!!!!!

Good Night Jhall!!! Take Care and have a fabulous weekend!!!!

ESPN Deportes reporter…Ignacio Serrano..says he caught up with Belisario…He hopes to have his visa Monday…He is in great shape, needs only two bully’s to be ready, and hasn’t missed any appointments with the embassy…..I just read that on Dodger Thoughts

Night Wally!!!

What was Belisario’s problem with our embassy anyway? He only had all winter to get this squared away.

Doesn’t appear to be to kosher now does it, Seesky.

The visa issue seems to come up periodically with Latin players. Could be political or bureaucratic reasons involved or just plain procrastination on the players’ part. You’d think, with your livelihood at stake, a player would be on top of this.

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