April 2010

Mixing it up…

We’ve had rough patches before and quite often, when the manager mixes it up, you turn things around. So, with Xavier Paul at the top of the lineup, we’ll see if we can’t get this offense going.

And for you UCLA Bruins who had to stomach all the USC Trojan colors last night, this is your chance to get even. First 20,000 in the park get an LA hat in Bruin colors.

Here’s the lineup:

Paul, LF

Martin, C

Ethier, RF

Kemp, CF

Loney, 1B

Blake, 3B

DeWitt, 2B

Carroll, SS

Billingsley, P

A rough road trip

Not much more you can say that that. We didn’t pitch, hit, defend or do much of anything else all that great – it was just a rough road trip altogether. But you know what? In 2005 we started out 12-2 and everyone was talking about making World Series plans, only to see us finish 71-91. So, while none of us are okay with the way the team is playing right now, the only thing we can do is work hard to turn it around and hope that some home cooking serves the team well.

And for what it’s worth, I hope all of our fans realize that Ned Colletti was not trying to call out Matt Kemp solely in his comments yesterday on KABC. He was specifically asked about Matt’s defense and answered the questions he was asked, but his concerns were voiced about everyone involved in baseball operations, from himself on down to the players. And he reiterated those concerns today to reporters in NY.

Anyway, the homestand starts tomorrow and I’m sure you USC and UCLA fans already know that you can come support your schools at the stadium. Plus the ever-popular fleece blanket night and plenty of other fun in store over the next 10 days. Don’t let the road trip get you down…I know I’m always the optimist but it’s hardly a time for panicking. 

Double dipping in the Big Apple

Less than an hour from first pitch of the Dodgers’ first double header in a couple years. Many of you will be happy to know that Joe Pierre, will be at the games today at Citi Field. For those who don’t know about Joe Pierre, check out a recap of his visit last year. It was a true highlight from 2009.

Here’s the lineup for Game 1:

Furcal, SS

Johnson, LF

Ethier, RF

Kemp, CF

Blake, 3B

Loney, 1B

Martin, C

Carroll, 2B

Kuroda, P

Manny to the DL…

Obviously not the best news that Manny is headed to the disabled list. But that opens an opportunity for Xavier Paul, who is en route to the nation’s capital.

Here’s the lineup for today in DC

Furcal, SS

Anderson, LF

Ethier, RF

Kemp, CF

Loney, 1B

Belliard, 3B

DeWitt, 2B

Ellis, C

Haeger, P

Come together…

For those who missed this story in today’s Times, it’s a great article about a number of Los Angeles business leaders and philanthropic types who have helped save the local high school sports programs that were going to be cut due to a lack of funding. As a product of a local high school baseball program, my personal thanks go out to all involved, including the Dodgers Dream Foundation.

Out in Cincinnati, the offense continues to click, as the Dodgers are leading all of baseball in hitting following last night’s rare feat of scoring in eight of the nine innings. They’ll head back out tonight trying to take two of three from the Reds.

Oh, and I keep forgetting to mention this but I tried to go visit cpompe1 on Opening Day on the reserved level, but couldn’t find you. I went to the seat location you posted to say hello but there were thousands of people around and none who looked like I’d envision a compe1 would look like! So, let me know if you’re out again and I’ll try to pop by.

Here’s tonight’s lineup:

Furcal, SS

Kemp, CF

Ethier, RF

Manny, LF

Loney, 1B

Blake, 3B

DeWitt, 2B

Martin, C

Padilla, P

All-Star balloting begins today

All-Star balloting begins today at mlb.com and dodgers.com and I’d imagine that Dodger fans would love nothing more than to see our entire outfield voted into the All-Star Game that takes place down in Anaheim this year. It’s in your hands to vote up to 25 times per email address for Dodger fans to help send all deserving Dodger position players to the Midsummer Classic.

On a much more serious and sad note, we want to express our most sincere and heartfelt condolences to the Colorado Rockies and the entire MLB family on the loss of Rockies President Kelly McGregor. What a tragic loss today of one of baseball’s top executives and, by all accounts, a great human being.

And there’s no real way to segue to the next topic, so here’s tonight’s lineup in Cincinnati…

Furcal, SS

Kemp, CF

Ethier, RF

Manny, LF

Loney, 1B

Blake, 3B

DeWitt, 2B

Martin, C

Billingsley, P

Slash and the homestand

So we’ve had quite a week in Dodgertown, both on and, well, on the field.

The team itself has been up and down, with plenty of drama in just 5 home games so far. We’ve had an Opening Day victory, an extra innings defeat, a walk-off win on Jackie Robinson Night, a 10-run onslaught on offense, followed by a 9-0 shutout at the hands of the ‘The Freak’. And Opening Week concluded with a dramatic come from behind win thanks to a pinch-hit home run by the one, the only, Manny Ramirez.

But the action on the field before the game has been just as exciting with appearances by Will.i.am, Leann Rimes, Frank Robinson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Don Newcombe, the American Idol finalists, a former American Idol finalist, Guillermo from Jimmy Kimmel Live, the Peetes (Holly & Rodney) and the one, the only, Slash.

Now I have a few stories to share on all of the above, but ill focus on the rockstar for now. Slash was on hand Friday, April 17th to perform the National Anthem & God Bless America. For those in attendance last fall, Slash did the same during the playoffs in 2009 before Game 2 of the NLDS and thanks to a Matt Holliday error in left, probably because the sounds of Slash’s guitar were still ringing in his ears, the Dodgers went on to win the game and take the series from the Red Birds.

On Friday, before Slash even took the field, he took a few photos with some lucky winners from our new fan club, the Boys in Blue, during a VIP meet & greet. A meet & greet that I myself would have loved to win, especially in the days of Guns ‘N Roses. Speaking of which, when I mentioned that Mr. Hudson was performing the anthem to a friend, he reminded me of another ‘cover song’ favorite performed on the Guitar and thanks to the magic of YouTube, I can share that with you now.

I can only imagine the former lead guitarist for one of the biggest rock bands of all time is used to the pre-show photo ops and I also imagine the 10 lucky winners from the Boys in Blue were a little tamer than what he’s used to. But the man knows how to meet & greet and made a few lucky fans feel VIP…and one Marketing Director.

– Josh Lukin 

 

The Missing Link?

The Dodgers’ bullpen has struggled so far this year after being the best in baseball last year, and today a move was made to recall Jon Link from the minors. He’s one of the two players the Dodgers got in exchange for Juan Pierre this winter and so far in Triple-A this season, he has two saves in five games, allowing three runs in 4.1 innings.

Over his minor league career, Link has struck out 300 batters and walked 104 over 297.1 innings and in 2008, he led all minor leaguers in baseball with 35 saves at Double-A, so clearly he’s got a pretty impressive background. He’s never been in the big leagues, but he did take part in the team’s Winter Development program back in January, so hopefully that will help him adjust quickly to the Majors.

Of course, that means someone has to go down and unfortunately, that someone is Russ Ortiz. He’s one of the nicest guys in the game and a local product (Montclair Prep), so I’m glad he got the chance to pitch for his hometown team, even if only for a few weeks. He’d have to clear waivers and then accept a minor league assignment to Albuquerque, so we’ll see what happens.

Elsewhere in the minors, Hong-Chih Kuo will pitch today for the Inland Empire 66ers out in San Bernardino, while this is the crew that will take on the Giants. A win gives the Dodgers a 4-2 homestand, a loss breaks them even at 3-3.

Furcal, SS
Martin, C
Ethier, RF
Kemp, CF
Blake, 3B
Belliard, 1B
Johnson, LF
Carroll, 2B
Kershaw, P

Rat Pack, 2010 Style

On May 7, the Dodgers will celebrate 60s night and hand out posters to the first 20,000 fans in attendance. Last year, they were themed like movie posters and this year, for the most part, they’ll celebrate various decades.

Earlier this morning, we did a photo shoot with our entire coaching staff, dressed like the Rat Pack, surrounding a pool table and the shots were awesome. Just having the coaches interact with one another in that sort of setting produced some great photos, and there will be a video feature, too, on the Dodgers Media Network at www.dodgers.com/dmn

Here’s a sneak peek from the shoot…

 

60s_pool 2.jpgThere are a lot more that Jon SooHoo took but I can tell you this much…the poster series is going to be very cool this year. Here are the dates:

May 7: Coaches poster (60s style)…get tickets for this game

June 4: Blake and Loney poster

July 9: Young Guns poster (Kershaw, Billingsley, Broxton, etc.)

July 23: 55 since ’55 poster featuring Vin Scully (now that’s a rarity)

Aug. 6: Kemp poster

Aug. 20: Ethier poster

Sept. 17: Manny poster

I’d imagine that a lot of kids will want to hang these posters on their walls (as will many adults) but as I think back to what was hanging on my wall as a kid, it’s somewhat ironic that it was also Don Mattingly poster (as well as Steve Sax and Tony Gwynn).

Here’s today’s lineup, with the game on big FOX:

Carroll, SS

Loney, 1B

Ethier, RF

Kemp, CF

Anderson, LF

Belliard, 3B

DeWitt, 2B

Ellis, C

Haeger, P

 

Saluting Mr. Robinson

#42.

It will be everywhere tonight, so let’s all remember why. The word “legend” gets thrown around a lot, but few truly embody that term like Jack Roosevelt Robinson.

Among those wearing #42 tonight will be this lineup:

Furcal, SS

Kemp, CF

Ethier, RF

Manny, LF

Loney, 1B

Blake, 3B

Martin, C

Carroll, 2B

Kuroda, P

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