Caravan ends, Spring Training begins…

As the final stop of the two-day Community Caravan came to an end yesterday, a TV reporter asked me simply, “What’s the goal of this whole thing?”

It was a fairly basic question but the answer is worth noting. The goal of the community caravan is to bring our players, former players and staff into the community to do good work and get the city excited about baseball season again. To that end, I think the last two days have been wildly successful.

And in this case, it literally ended just as Spring Training begins. Immediately after yesterday’s five-stop caravan, I headed straight for Burbank airport to hop a flight to Arizona, where pitchers and catchers reported this morning. In fact, this blog post was written from the airplane (though I couldn’t post until this morning). Meanwhile, your intrepid Dodgers.com beat reporter, Ken Gurnick, actually started driving to Glendale as soon as he got back to Dodger Stadium from the caravan and yet, was still at Camelback by 8 a.m. this morning to start bringing you all the news and information you’ve come to expect from Spring Training.

Tomorrow, we’ll write about Spring but for today, it’s really all about the Caravan. A huge thank you goes to the players who turned out in great numbers over the last two days (Furcal, Kemp, Ethier, Loney, Gwynn, Gibbons, Kapler), former players (way too many to list), broadcasters Charley Steiner and Steve Lyons and of course, new manager Don Mattingly and GM Ned Colletti. The Community Relations department put together a really cool two-day event and for those of you who made it out to the L.A. River cleanup yesterday or the Heal the Bay event in Santa Monica today, thanks to each of you, too.

In addition to those two stops, today we got to take Gabe Kapler back to his old high school, Taft High, to surprise the baseball and softball teams with some up-close-and-personal instruction. We stopped at the West valley Police Station to pay tribute to those who protect and serve and they were extremely gracious hosts. We dedicated the 10th Dodgers Dreamfield at Northridge Park, which was especially cool because I grew up playing there (and no, I didn’t pick the site!). And the day started early with a stop at the downtown Fire Station, where Rafael Furcal was on hand to see the firetruck that will be heading to his hometown in the Dominican Republic, which has never had a firetruck.

Think about that. When a fire breaks out here, we take for granted that calling 911 will bring a crew of yellow-clad firefighters on a giant red truck to help extinguish the fire. In Loma de Cabrera, they have no such thing…until now. Raffy seemed genuinely moved by all the people who came together to get this done and all of our players were gracious participants.

And now, it’s all Camelback, all the time. We’ll be blogging, tweeting, facebooking and just about every other imaginable form of communication possible with the fans, including good ol’ fashioned face-to-face chats, with unmatched access to the players and staff that anyone who has ever visited has come to expect.

We hope many of you will make it out here to see us.

24 comments

  1. arperez

    Spring training is my time…Dodger Fan stuck in AZ, it doesn’t get any better. Thank you Dodgers leaving Florida.

  2. enchantedbeaver

    I see Ned’s at it again and signed another worthless righty – Lance Cormier. LANCE CORMIER. Ye of a reverse walk to K ratio last year. How many pathetic righties does this organization need?
    .
    Therefore, I had to put this one back on…

    THE BATTLE OF LOS ANGELES
    .
    In two-zero-zero-five we hired us a drip,
    Mustachio?d PR man who could spin himself a quip
    He hires him some players that are moldier than cheese
    And those that aren?t so smelly are the one?s who just plain wheeze
    .
    We voiced our fears but the oldies kept a comin?
    There?s just as many as there was a year ago
    When they see Ned all the vet?rans come a runnin?
    Across the USA and on up from Mexico
    .
    We read us the paper and we see Juan Castro come
    Followed by Uribe and a hundred other bums
    The vets piled high, with their battin? av-rage low
    I don?t say Ned?s retarded, but he seems a might bit slow?
    .
    We voiced our fears but the oldies kept a comin?
    There?s just as many as there was a year ago
    When they see Ned all the vet?rans come a runnin?
    Across the USA and on up from Mexico
    .
    Well nows ?bout the time we should see another ring
    But we?re only in the game til we hear the anthem sing
    With most GMs we could free ourselves from stress
    But with Neddy still in office everything?s a mess
    .
    We voiced our fears but the oldies kept a comin?
    There?s just as many as there was a year ago
    When they see Ned all the vet?rans come a runnin?
    Across the USA and on up from Mexico
    .
    Yeah he checks waiver wires and dives in the dumpsters
    And he signs him rotten players where other teams won?t go
    He signs so many even bloggers can?t a count ?em
    I tell ya Ned Colletti that this team is gonna blow
    .
    Now down at the bar there?s a rumor goin? round
    Some fans picked up a sack-o-stuff just a layin? on the ground
    They found Ned?s address, and their names I shouldn?t tell
    But they lit the bag, rang the bell and really ran like, well?
    .
    We voiced our fears but the oldies kept a comin?
    There?s just as many as there was a year ago
    When they see Ned all the vet?rans come a runnin?
    Across the USA and on up from Mexico
    .
    Yeah he checks waiver wires and dives in the dumpsters
    And he signs him rotten players where other teams won?t go
    He signs so many even bloggers can?t a count ?em
    I tell ya Ned Colletti that this team is gonna blow
    .
    [Spoken]
    One, two, three more
    Signed up four more
    One, two, three more
    Signed up four more
    One, two, three more

    NedCo Broken Records 2011

  3. nellyjune

    enchanted – that reminds me of the times Dodgereric had to play “I’ve Got You Babe” over and over again – LOL!!!!! You just might have to keep that one close by at all times – LOL!!!

  4. messagebear@aol.com

    Used to be that people fortunate enough to attend Spring Training games had the opportunity to watch some promising future talent along with the regular roster guys getting ready for the season. This year it looks like we have nothing but a bunch of washed up asssholes assembled through the efforts of inimitable Ned and hole in the pocket Frank – poor crowds at Spring Training will have to suffer that. I know it likely won’t affect the size of Spring Training crowds, but I do hope the crowds prove mighty slim at Dodger Stadium once we proceed past the opening series.

    F Frank and Ned and most of the front office crowd who shill for them!

  5. crzblue2

    It was great being at Clearn the River and Clean the Bay events and hanging out with Dodgers and many Dodger fan friends. Our group (#5) won for most trash collected! I was a bit tired after walking on the beach but it was all worth it to take the time help with cleaning up LA!
    .
    I will be at Camelback Ranch Feb 26th to March 2. I can’t wait!
    Emma
    http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

  6. oldbrooklynfan

    Hi Everybody
    Here’s something I’d guess most of you seen already, but just in case there is anyone who hasn’t.

    I’m not that good at this but here goes.

  7. northstateblues

    Thanks for the link, OBF. Let’s see if this one works: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNjzf8TvCVA&feature=related

    Love the vinyl, even on YouTube, the sound is fuller. Of course, there’s the dust, but even with the pops and hisses, I think vinyl sounds better than the compressed stuff on iPods.

    Speaking of which, my local record store has the ’81 Dodgers Championship vinyl. If it wasn’t $15, I’d probably buy it. I paid only $12 for the White Album, though, so it’d be hard for me to justify paying that. I’ll wait and see if the price will fall with the vinyl stranded up in Giants’ Country.

    Silly that I’d be buying used vinyls in the 21st century, but compared to what you pay for an album on iTunes, I like the prices better, and I can put them on my iPod whenever, once I get an adapter for it. And I’d actually physically get to own the music, no chance of a record getting wiped, as long as you take care of it.

    Sorry, my musician side coming out.

  8. oldbrooklynfan

    Thanks ~Northstateblues for getting that in, I’m a still a bust when it comes to some of this technical stuff. It’s strange how it worked on the TBLA blog though.
    Specking of vinyl I still play 33 & 45 and believe it or not 78 RPM records.
    It’s a lot of fun to be able to spend some time in the past.

  9. nedajerk

    Kinzer would not specify why Belisario was still in his native Venezuela. But asked if Belisario was having trouble securing a visa, Kinzer replied, “It goes a little deeper than that.”

    Kinzer said he didn?t think Belisario would be able to enter the United States at any time this year.

    “Unless some things change drastically, I?m not very optimistic at this point,” Kinzer said.

  10. thinkingblue

    I’m all hyped up for the NEW DODGER SEASON. I can’t wait! I’m glad Kershaw is opening the game. That kid has ? for the game. I’m glad to see the boys doing some cleaning. Ethier looking good in his beannie & glass ? it!
    *
    I just started tweeting…I know I’m slow in the process. But JOSH & EMMA I found your tweet and I am FOLLOWING you guys.
    *
    EVERYONE HAVE A GREAT DAY!
    *
    Rosie

  11. thinkingblue

    Oh yeah my son is NOT HAPPY that he was drafted by the Little League Farm YANKEES. I told him it could of been worst and be stuck playing for the GIANTS!. He is feeling better cause I told him that Martin plays for the YANKEES now. But he really wanted to play for the DODGERS. Now we are hoping that he gets #2 for his number.

  12. vl4ecc

    Hello Dodger fans!
    Here’s hoping for a fresh new sart, and success for our boys in blue this season.
    enchanted, once again, you never cease to amaze with the timely lyrics! You hit the nail on the head once again. Ned’s cranial rectal inverson continues!!!

  13. crzblue2

    Rosie!
    Ethier, Loney and Kemp were looking good at the Caravan! I told Matt “You look thinner” He said “Yeah? I’ve been working out”
    Glad you are tweeting now Rosie!
    .
    Hope everyone is having a great day!
    Emma
    http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

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