You guys came through big time for Matt Kemp, vaulting him into the starting lineup at the All-Star Game so your help is needed once more this week.
With 10 teams in baseball starting to put on a campaign to vote for their respective player in the Final Vote, we want to use every advantage we can and that’s how the Dodgers and White Sox (and Inside the Dodgers and Inside the White Sox) have teamed up to help our players.
When the Final Vote players were named yesterday, we immediately heard from Scott Reifert, the VP of Communications at the White Sox and the guy behind Inside the White Sox. His blog was the inspiration for this one and he’s always thinking creatively, so we immediately set out to join forces and help our guys. It works out great that not only do we share a Spring Training complex at Camelback Ranch, but both guys are Arizona natives.
Many of you probably remember Konerko from his days as a top Dodger prospect who was traded back in 1997 for Jeff Shaw (who, coincidentally, joined the Dodgers during the All-Star Break and wore the Dodger uniform for the first time at the All-Star Game). This game clearly means a lot to both guys, as you can imagine what it might be like to grow up and have the opportunity to play an All-Star Game in front of your home crowd.
Both guys recorded videos today for one another and there’s all sorts of campaigning going on this week, so please help Andre and vote as often as possible at dodgers.com.
At today’s game at Camelback, we had a moment of silence for the victims of the natural disasters in Japan and you could feel the sadness and concern from Dodger fans for the people of Japan.
Many have asked what they can do to help…well, on Tuesday, Dodger Stadium will be holding a fund drive where fans can stop by from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. and drop off checks or donations to help the victims through the Red Cross.
All the details you need are here.
One year ago today, we posted here about a young man named Christopher Ramirez who was the talk of Spring Training. When Make-a-Wish called us to tell us about a huge Dodger fan from San Francisco, it was expected that this 17-year-old might not make it to see Opening Day. Sadly, with so many of the Make-a-Wish kids we’re fortunate enough to encounter, that is the case.
Christopher came with his sister and his mother to visit Camelback Ranch. Under Ned Colletti’s orders, we treated him like a big leaguer for a day. He took infield/outfield with the team, he took batting practice and he sat in the dugout for a big league Spring game. His story was covered by many media outlets and those of us who spent any time with him took great joy and amazement in his positive outlook, given the circumstances.
Throughout last season, we received updates from him via email about how the inoperable brain tumor he had has been shrinking and we stayed cautiously optimistic. We even got to see him at a game up North in San Francisco. But when he arrived at camp yesterday, with his cancer fully in remission, it was easily the best news to come out of Camelback all year. It was the epitome of ThinkCure!
I’ve written it here before and it’s worth repeating…these are the best parts of this job. The incredible things that the Dodger organization can do for others are what makes this franchise unique. We’ve seen it time and time again – maybe not quite as clear as Christopher’s story – but I believe I speak for all my colleagues when I say that we are humbled to work for such an incredible franchise.
In case you missed the original video and article from last year, check it out and please continue to keep Christopher and his family in your thoughts.
Writing this post from the road on the 10 West as I head back to Dodger Stadium for a week or work in Los Angeles following two weeks at Camelback Ranch. Don’t worry, I’m in the passenger seat…
Pretty amazing that as we head home, we’re in the middle of the desert and yet, there are snow capped mountains literally just off the freeway to the South.
Making this drive made me think of just how easy it is to get to Dodgers’ Spring Training and how cool it is that we’re now so close to home. There’s definitely things that I miss about Dodgertown but overall, it’s really been an extremely wise decision to move to Arizona.
As games start to ramp up, hopefully you are all making your plans to come out to see the team before it heads back to Los Angeles. Great seats are available almost every game and the access to the team is unparalleled. And if you haven’t seen the campus, you’re bound to be impressed by it.
I’ll continue to post from Los Angeles as we prepare for Opening Day, the first weekend against the Giants and all the other things going on back on the West Coast.
If you’re a Dodger fan, now is an incredible time to get down here to Camelback Ranch. I think I saw about 30 fans, at most, watching batting practice, bullpen sessions and close-up drills with the team a mere dozen feet away. And tons of the players sign autographs…it’s some of the best access you can ever imagine.
I get the feeling that it still hasn’t sunk in to many that Spring is here…and, of course, I know a lot of people have to be at work or school. But it’s completely free and those who take advantage of it will probably get to meet some of their favorite players and see big league action closer than they’re used to seeing it. It’s especially great for kids.
For those who did come, they got to see our newly announced Opening Day starter, Clayton Kershaw, throw his first ‘pen of the spring, in addition to Kuroda, Lilly and Garland. Lots of conditioning drills to start the day, and the first injury of the spring, as lefty non-roster candidate Dana Eveland strained his hamstring.
One thing you can’t see, if you come out, is the private clubhouse meetings but I can tell you, Don Mattingly was impressive this morning. His first time addressing the team as their manager and he really seems to have made an impression. I wish I was allowed to tell you all that he said but you’ll just have to trust me. This guy is really going to make Dodger fans proud.
And finally, if you haven’t yet voted for which uniform the Dodgers will wear on the six half-price food/drink throwback games this year, today is the last time to do it. We’ll announce the winner one week from tomorrow.
The much anticipated announcement of the various caravan stops is now offiical, as we put out a news release this morning. All the information you need is here.
We’ve actually got great response from the players and current team. Headlined by new skipper Don Mattingly, you’ll also see Rafael Furcal, Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, James Loney, Tony Gwynn Jr., Jay Gibbons, Gabe Kapler along with a host of former Dodgers and current Dodger broadcasters.
It’s two days of community service leading right up to the reporting date in Camelback Ranch, so hopefully you’ll find a way to lend a hand during some of the public community service stops and meet some of your favorite Dodger personalities.
If you’re a Dodger fan in New York and can find a way to get out from under the snow, head to Mickey Mantle’s tonight for the Mattingly Baseball Charities launch dinner.
Details can be found here and it seems many baseball legends will be in attendance.
Donnie’s charity was created to serve underprivileged youth by supporting programs which promote baseball and softball participation. Many of you may know that he has donated bats and other equipments to our most recent Dodgers Dreamfields and took part in the grand opening of the DDF Dreamfield at the L.A. Boys & Girls Club.
He’s a very community-minded person and having spoken with him several times in the past month, he cannot wait to get to Camelback Ranch. He’s actually heading to Arizona early to get settled in and will make a trip back to join the annual Dodger Caravan on Feb. 14.
Details on Caravan stops and the incredible lineup of players and former players who will be taking part should be coming out next week, so keep an eye on dodgers.com.
With full fledged workouts going on, the media here to capture the news and Don Mattingly talking Dodger baseball, it finally feels like the season is upon us.
We don’t report to Camelback Ranch until a month from this Sunday, but you wouldn’t know that from the vibe at the park this morning.
Plenty of websites and TV stations will be sharing the newsworthy info that came out of today and we tweeted a ton of it as it was coming out @dodgers so there’s no use recapping it all. Frankly, that’s not the value in this blog.
But what we can tell you is that it feels like the Dodgers have some great things in store for 2011. Hearing Donnie talk about the team and the tradition of this organization was impressive. Seeing Tommy Lasorda, Maury Wills and the return of Davey Lopes to a place he called home for so many years. The players hearing from an All-Star like Shawn Green after the workouts about what it’s like to be a Dodger and a big leaguer. Tommy closing it out with a speech like no one else can deliver.
And tonight, the prospects are having a private dinner with a number of Dodger legends to hear about why the Dodgers are the Dodgers.
It’s all part of this incredible program put together by De Jon Watson, Chris Haydock and the player development department and it’s got a lot of people at the stadium excited about the year to come.
And that’s how we kick off the Inside the Dodgers blog for 2011…
We head to Camelback Ranch in just six weeks and after six more weeks at baseball’s best Spring Training site, we are back here at Dodger Stadium for Opening Day against the Giants.
As you have probably heard, ESPN wanted to get the Dodgers/Giants rivalry as their marquee game on Opening Day, so they asked us to move our home opener, April 1, to the night before so that it could be televised nationally. So, we’ll have three of our first four games on national or regional TV — Thursday and Sunday on ESPN and Friday on FOX. And pretty soon, we’ll be able to give you the whole TV schedule for the season with KCAL and Prime Ticket.
The energy and buzz at the stadium has ramped up significantly since we returned from the holiday break. And as promised, I’m going to work harder to make this blog more exciting, more relevant and with more of your input throughout the year. Please know that your comments about the blog’s commenting functionality are being addressed as we speak. I’m very, very hopeful that the good people at MLBlogs.com will have a solution before Opening Day.
Well, it was hardly the finish we all had hoped for back in February at Camelback Ranch, but it was a great day and hopefully those of you at the stadium or watching on TV enjoyed it.
From Brad Ausmus’ retirement ceremony and two-hit game, to John Lindsey taking out the lineup card with Joe Torre and even getting in the box score with a pinch-hit appearance…and from Hong-Chih Kuo setting the record for the lowest single-season ERA in franchise history, to Joe Torre’s farewell speech and ceremony, it’ll actually be a day to remember for many Dodger fans who have supported this team all year.
I know that more than 15,000 people left the stadium with some sort of gift (one of which took home a Hyundai Sonata), while David Hasselhoff’s rendition of God Bless America was a huge hit (as was his cameo in Don’t Stop Believing).
On behalf of everyone at the Dodgers, we truly thank you for your support this season. You all come out, win or lose, through thick and thin and for that, you have our deepest gratitude.
Keep checking back at the blog all winter, as we’ll be updating regularly. And have a safe Fall…