It’s decision day on a few Dodger players, most notably Russell Martin, and Ned Colletti just told Jim Hill in an interview that this is one of the toughest decisions he’s had to face since he came to the Dodgers. We’ll know by 9 p.m. PT tonight at the latest what that decision is and hopefully that will provide a little more clarity on the catching situation.
Ned just finished a 20-minute interview with Jim Hill and they covered a ton of topics. It will air in part tonight on KCAL/KCBS as well as throughout the week. Among the things they talked about were Don Mattingly and his staff; Matt Kemp (who recently reached out to Ned and had a great phone conversation that is among the reasons Ned says he feels like this will be a big year for Matt); the starting rotation and the farm system.
There’s definitely a buzz in the offices and one among fans we’re speaking with on a daily basis. It feels a little weird to have so much already set in stone before we head to Orlando for the Winter Meetings on Sunday, but I’ll certainly take that over a four-day set of meetings where we come in with a ton of needs.
There’s a lot going on these days at Dodger Stadium, and that’s a great thing. With Juan Uribe flying to Los Angeles to take his physical, Ned Colletti and his staff obviously realized that once he passed, we would have an extra infielder (Ryan Theriot) and he had a deal in place to move Ryan to St. Louis in exchange for Blake Hawksworth.
News like this tends to have a lot of moving parts, with Uribe heading to the doctor for the physical, sorting through the media availability for various players, making sure that word of a trade doesn’t get out before the players hear it from their respective teams. So of course, with that, is a lot of internal planning.
But, we have a great front office and PR department, medical staff, etc. who helped today run seamlessly. We got word that Juan was official and let the media know that the deal was done and that he’d be available on a conference call. From there, Ned had to call Ryan and let him know that he had been traded to St. Louis. And then, Juan headed to the stadium for a quick visit with team officials, a tour of the clubhouse and the conference call before he grabs dinner and catches a very early morning flight back to the D.R.
He couldn’t have been a nicer guy and his wife was also very kind. He said that Manny Mota pretty much called him every day after the World Series telling him how much the Dodgers wanted to see him in Blue and he said that it was very meaningful to him that the team cared so much about him. Before they took off from the stadium, we armed them with all sorts of hats and Dodger items to bring back to the Dominican and we’re certainly looking forward to having him on the team in 2011.
For those who follow such things, Blake is on Twitter @blakehawksworth but he’s yet to weigh in via that account…still, I’m sure he’ll be picking up a lot of L.A. followers. And hopefully he’ll add a nice arm to the bullpen for 2011.
Ned seems to still be on the hunt for more pitching, a LF and, as he says, to sort through the catching situation. Stay tuned…we certainly hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving holiday.
If you’re a fan of the Dodgers, you pretty much grew up listening to Vin Scully and for many of you with summer birthdays, you’ve probably spent a birthday or two listening to him.
Well, today’s his birthday so please stop and take a moment to be thankful for all that he’s given us over the years. I hope he’s spending it with his family and enjoying a nice lazy day around the house.
And in other news, Vin will be calling games next year for a rotation now set with five solid starters, as Jon Garland spent his Thanksgiving signing with his hometown team.
Obviously lots of other rumors percolating out there and while I can’t comment on rumors or possible deals, I hope Dodger fans are starting to get excited about the team that Ned and his staff are putting together. We’re not yet at the winter meetings and they’ve already filled many of the “holes” in the team heading into 2011.
Despite being around the team year-round, I still learn new things every day about our players. Just found out that Hong-Chih Kuo has four dogs here in LA and one back in Taiwan and that he recently took part in an SPCA event in Taiwan last week. The news release is below…seems like a natural fit for next year’s Bark in the Park!
And don’t forget, you can still vote for Kuo for Setup Man of the Year at MLB.com
Happy Thanksgiving to Dodger fans around the country…enjoy the time with your family and friends.
Taipei – Not only does Hong-Chih Kuo have the skills to be one of the few players that ultimately made it to the MLB, he’s one of the few that has a true compassion for animal welfare. Back in Taiwan for just a few weeks, he spent time on a campaign for the Taiwan Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (TW SPCA), to speak up against animal cruelty. Kuo states that before moving to the states to play for the L.A. Dodgers, he saw many media reports of acts of violence towards animals and the devastating experiences of many of Taiwan’s strays. This hits close to home as he has five dogs of his own; four in L.A. and one in his native home of Tainan. Kuo contacted the TW SPCA through his manager and voiced his desire to try and help improve animal welfare in Taiwan.
The SPCA is an international animal welfare group of independent organizations based in many countries around the world, such as: England, U.S.A, Canada, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. The Taiwan SPCA was established in July of 2009 and has already applied to the Ministry of the Interior for NGO status. Taiwan SPCA’s constitution, goals, and organizational structure are already being supported by many, including famous celebrities such as: Dee Hsu (Xiao S), Mavis & 100% Band, MC Hotdog, Machi, Wang Shao Wei, singer Alex Lee, and SBL basketball players whom have all filmed supportive messages and/or campaign messages for the Taiwan SPCA.
In Kuo’s video campaign, he is portrayed as a defender of animals and is shown helping out strays. The concept came about when Kuo started asking the TW SPCA for information on cruelty cases in Taiwan. It showed his genuine interest in the matter and his aspiration to make a difference. On the day of the video shoot, Kuo also signed an endorsement letter for the Taiwan SPCA, hoping that others will join in on the fight against animal cruelty.
The Taiwan SPCA hopes that this video campaign can be shown across all media platforms to remind the public that Taiwan’s animals still need our help. It shouldn’t be a “out of sight, out of mind” kind of situation anymore. If anyone wishes to volunteer, adopt or foster an animal, or donate to TW SPCA’s cause, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org
PRIME TICKET is having a 10 1/2 hour Dodger marathon starting at noon PT, including lots of “True Blue Stories,” several “Before the Bigs” (Martin, Furcal, Ethier, Loney), “In My Own Words” (Lasorda, Blake, Kemp) and closing it out with an hour of brand new programming: Dodgers Magazine at 10 p.m. and the premiere of the newest Route of Champions at 10:30 p.m.
Dodgers Magazine features a look at Don Mattingly managing the Phoenix Desert Dogs of the Arizona Fall League, an interview with Clayton Kershaw, a story on the unique friendship between Tommy Lasorda and the Commander of USSTRATCOM General Kevin D. Chilton and an interview with sisters Sylvia Fisk and Esther Rosen … Sylvia is 88 and has been working at Dodger Stadium for over 30 years.
Route of Champions takes a look at life in Albuquerque for the Dodgers AAA affiliate. Stories include a look at 3rd Base prospect Russ Mitchell, the amazing journey of John Lindsey, a visit from Tommy Lasorda for “Dukes Retro Night” and the story of how General Manager John Traub has the help of his entire family at the workplace.
If you need your Fall/Winter Dodger fix, pull up a chair and tune in…
The world’s worst-kept secret – the Dodgers’ coaching staff, was announced today with a combined 176 seasons of big league playing, coaching or managing experience, including two former big league skippers (Lopes and Hillman).
The staff also has six former Dodgers (Lopes, Hansen, Honeycutt, Howell, Mota and Wallach) as well as holdovers Jeff Pentland, Rob Flippo and Mike Borzello. Here’s what Donnie had to say this morning. He’ll have more depth to his comments as the day goes on and media begins to fully report…
“I’m extremely excited about this coaching staff, which has a great combination of experience and youth that will create a positive environment for our team. We’ve been able to reach back and bring in a number of coaches with Dodger roots and that’s one of the things that was very important to us. Not just the quality of the people and the experience they bring with them, but the history of this organization – where it came from and where we want to go.”
If you haven’t yet seen School Pride on NBC, be sure to tune in tomorrow night. Among the Dodgers who came out to speak to the kids were Andre Ethier, James Loney and Joe Torre.
It’s on at 8 p.m. (7 central time) and the filming of this episode was among the more rewarding things we did this year. It just so happened that it took place on the day Vin Scully announced he was coming back, so we even had all the kids yelling up to the press box “We love you, Vin.”
For a sneak preview of the show, check out this link.
Those who have followed Inside the Dodgers for a long time probably recall that every couple years, our industry heads to one spot to share best practices and talk about the future of the game on the business side of things. No different than what most of you do in your own jobs at various conferences around the country.
So, we find ourselves in Orlando, having talked about the international future of baseball (the Dogders’ trips to China and Taiwan came up several times), the changing landscape of media (lots of talk about blogs, Twitter, Facebook, flip cam videos, etc), the World Baseball Classic and even those who cover the business of sports.
It’s always a great way to network and pick up some ideas from others in the industry and tonight, there’s a team building event in which we’ll all be building 100 bikes for young kids from the local Boys & Girls Club. Pretty cool way to tie into their theme of “Going Beyond” which you’ve seen throughout the postseason.
Today, on Veteran’s Day, everyone at the Dodger organization salutes those who sacrifice for others to make this country what is is today. There are so many great things going on around the nation today, including a really exciting event at Dodger Stadium where members of the military will be taking BP, hanging out on the field, meeting legends like Tommy and Newk and enjoying a great day at the stadium.
Before that, we’ll head out to the Veteran’s Hospital in Westwood with Tommy and Vin Scully to spend some time with those who are there and thank them for their service. It’s all part of a larger program we’ll be starting in 2011 to honor the military.
The Dodgers Media Network (www.dodgers.com/dmn) has a great tribute video to Dodger legend Rick Monday’s proud moment of saving the flag, while Bill Plaschke weighed in this morning with a heartfelt column as well.
And while we’re saluting the efforts of others, it’s important to note that Joe Torre will host his annual Safe at Home dinner tonight in New York to benefit the great work that his foundation does to stop domestic violence, while Ryan Theriot’s inaugural celebrity golf classic is tomorrow in Louisiana to benefit three great causes (www.ryantheriot.com).
Just received this release from the Hall of Fame, which puts Steve Garvey, Tommy John and others closer to enshrinement than they’ve ever really been before.
Expansion Era Committee to Consider 12 Candidates
for Hall of Fame Election at December’s Winter Meetings
— Ballot Features Eight Long-Retired Players, Three Executives and One Manager for Consideration of Careers Whose Greatest Impact Felt from 1973-present —
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Eight former major league players, three executives and one former manager comprise the 12-name Expansion Era ballot for the Committee to Consider Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players for Hall of Fame election, to be reviewed and voted upon at the 2010 Baseball Winter Meetings by a 16-member electorate. The results of the Expansion Era vote will be announced on December 6 at 10 a.m. ET from the Winter Meetings in Orlando, Fla.
Every candidate receiving votes on 75 percent of the 16 ballots cast will earn election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and will be honored during Hall of Fame Weekend 2011, July 22-25 in Cooperstown, New York.
The 12 individuals who will be considered by the Expansion Era Committee in December for Hall of Fame Induction in 2011: Former players Vida Blue, Dave Concepcion, Steve Garvey, Ron Guidry, Tommy John, Al Oliver, Ted Simmons and Rusty Staub; former manager Billy Martin; and executives Pat Gillick, Marvin Miller and George Steinbrenner. Martin and Steinbrenner are deceased; all other candidates are living.
The 16-member electorate charged with the review of the Expansion Era ballot features: Hall of Fame members Johnny Bench, Whitey Herzog, Eddie Murray, Jim Palmer, Tony Perez, Frank Robinson, Ryne Sandberg and Ozzie Smith; major league executives Bill Giles (Phillies), David Glass (Royals), Andy MacPhail (Orioles) and Jerry Reinsdorf (White Sox); and veteran media members Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun), Tim Kurkjian (ESPN), Ross Newhan (retired, Los Angeles Times) and Tom Verducci (Sports Illustrated).
The Expansion Era ballot was devised by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA) appointed Historical Overview Committee, comprised of 11 veteran members: Dave Van Dyck (Chicago Tribune); Bob Elliott (Toronto Sun); Rick Hummel (St. Louis Post-Dispatch); Steve Hirdt (Elias Sports Bureau); Moss Klein (formerly Newark Star-Ledger); Bill Madden (New York Daily News); Ken Nigro, (formerly Baltimore Sun); Jack O’Connell (BBWAA secretary/treasurer); Nick Peters (formerly Sacramento Bee); Tracy Ringolsby (FSN Rocky Mountain); and Mark Whicker (Orange County Register).
The Expansion Era covers candidates among managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players whose most significant career impact was realized during the 1973-present time frame. Eligible candidates include: Players who played in at least 10 major league seasons, who are not on Major League Baseball’s ineligible list, and have been retired for 21 or more seasons (those whose last major league season was no later than 1989); Managers and Umpires with 10 or more years in baseball and retired for at least five years, with any candidates who are 65 years or older first-eligible six months from the date of the election following retirement; and Executives who have been retired for at least five years, with any active executives 65 or older eligible for consideration.
The Expansion Era Committee is the first of a three-year cycle of consideration for Managers, Umpires, Executives and Long-Retired Players by Era, as opposed to the previous consideration by classification, with changes approved and announced by the Hall of Fame’s Board of Directors at the conclusion of Hall of Fame Weekend 2010.
The changes maintain the high standards for earning election to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, with focus on three eras: Expansion (1973-present); Golden (1947-1972) and Pre-Integration (1871-1946), as opposed to the previous four Committees on Baseball Veterans, which considered the four categories of candidates. Three separate electorates will now consider by era a single composite ballot of managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players on an annual basis, with Golden Era Committee candidates to be considered at the 2011 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2012 and the Pre-Integration Era Committee candidates to be considered at the 2012 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2013. The Expansion Era Committee will next meet at the 2013 Winter Meetings for Induction in 2014.
“The procedures to consider the candidacies of managers, umpires, executives and long-retired players have continually evolved since the first Hall of Fame election in 1936,” said Jane Forbes Clark, chairman of the board for the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. “Our continual challenge is to provide a structure to ensure that all candidates who are worthy of consideration have a fair system of evaluation. In identifying candidates by era, as opposed to by category, the Board feels this change will allow for an equal review of all eligible candidates, while maintaining the high standards of earning election.”
The 12 candidates for Expansion Era consideration:
Vida Blue spent 17 seasons pitching in the majors with the Oakland A’s, Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants, compiling a 209-161 record, with a 3.27 ERA in 502 major league games/473 starts. Blue, the 1971 AL MVP and Cy Young Award winner, was named to six All-Star teams, and won at least 18 games five times in his career.
Dave Concepcion spent 19 seasons as the Cincinnati Reds shortstop, compiling a .267 average with 2,326 hits, 321 stolen bases and two Silver Slugger Awards, along five Gold Glove Awards and nine All-Star Game selections.
Steve Garvey compiled a .294 career average over 19 major league seasons with the Dodgers and Padres, amassing 2,599 hits, 272 home runs, 1,308 RBI and 10 All-Star Game selections. He hit .338 with 11 home runs and 31 RBI in 11 postseason series, was named the 1978 and 1984 NLCS MVP and won the 1981 Roberto Clemente Award. Garvey won four Gold Glove Awards and played in an N.L. record 1,207 straight games.
Pat Gillick spent 27 years as the general manager for the Blue Jays, Orioles, Mariners and Phillies, winning at every stop along the way, with his teams earning nine post-season berths and three World Series championships. In his 27 years as GM, his teams finished with a winning record 20 times.
Ron Guidry pitched 14 seasons for the New York Yankees, compiling a 170-91 record, a 3.29 ERA and a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.81-to-1. In 10 postseason starts, Guidry was 5-2 with a 3.02 ERA. Four times he won 18 games or more in a season, including a Cy Young Award winning 1978 season with a 25-3, 1.74 era record.
Tommy John pitched 26 seasons for the Indians, Dodgers, Yankees, Angels and A’s, finishing his career after the 1989 season with a record of 288-231 and 3.34 ERA. His 700 career starts rank eighth on the all-time list and his 4,710.1 innings rank 20th all-time.
Billy Martin spent 16 seasons 1969, 1971-83, 1985, 1988) managing the Twins, Tigers, Rangers, Yankees (five different stints) and A’s, compiling a 1,253-1015 record (.552). Martin’s teams finished in first place five times, winning two American League pennants and one World Series with 1977 Yankees.
Marvin Miller was elected as the head of the Major League Baseball Players Association in 1966 and quickly turned the union into a powerhouse. Within a decade, Miller had secured free agency for the players. By the time he retired in 1982, the average player salary was approximately 10 times what it was when he took over.
Al Oliver compiled 2,743 hits in 18 seasons with the Pirates, Rangers, Expos, Giants, Phillies, Dodgers and Blue Jays. He finished with a .303 career average, 529 doubles and 1,326 RBI, recording 10 seasons with a .300 or higher average, including nine straight from 1976-1984.
Ted Simmons played for 21 seasons, totaling a .285 batting average, 2,472 hits, 483 doubles, 248 home runs and 1,389 RBI for the Cardinals, Brewers and Braves. An 8-time All-Star, he garnered MVP votes six times in his career.
Rusty Staub totaled 2,716 hits in a 23-year major league career, with a .279 average, 292 home runs, 1,466 RBI and six All-Star Game selections. He appeared in at least 150 games in 12 seasons, and his 2,951 big league games rank No. 12 on the all-time list.
George Steinbrenner guided the New York Yankees franchise as principal owner from purchasing the team in 1973 to his death in 2010, with his teams winning 11 American League pennants and seven World Series titles.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is open seven days a week year round, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The Museum observes regular hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. from Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend. From Memorial Day through the day before Labor Day, the Museum is open from 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. seven days a week. Ticket prices are $16.50 for adults (13 and over), $11 for seniors (65 and over) and for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations, and $6 for juniors (ages 7-12). Members are always admitted free of charge and there is no charge for children 6 years of age or younger. For more information, visit our Web site at baseballhall.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200.