When I first met DodgerTalk co-host Josh Suchon, we were covering the Giants as reporters in 2002. He had been covering the team for several years and was a beat writer when Barry Bonds hit his 73 homers in 2001 (I was covering the Dodgers at the time for MLB.com). To get myself up to speed on the Giants that winter, I read Soosh’s book, This Gracious Season, and one of the underlying themes was that his “laptop was down” whenever Barry was hitting. That is to say, he and another writer realized that they might never get to see someone hit the way Barry does and therefore, whenever he came up, they stopped writing, surfing the net, or doing whatever they were doing and they watched the at-bat intently.
Last night, ironically in a game against the Giants at AT&T Park where Bonds has stopped by the night before, I found myself thinking the same thing about Vin Scully. And I wondered, what is the equivalent of having your “laptop down?” Unlike Bonds, Vin is on for three hours a night and the gems he comes up with can come at any point in the game. Like the way he can show Bengie Molina blocking a ball and matter-of-factly say, “I can hear Campanella talking about getting the glove turned over.” Or the way he referred to Russell Martin framing Broxton’s pitch as “larceny,” in reference to the fact that quite obviously, he stole a strike from the home plate umpire.
There are a number of websites that have sprouted up that pay homage to the best that there has ever been in this business, which is pretty cool. But I know how much Vin hates the hooplah that goes along with having perfected your trade better than anyone that came before you. He’s as humble as anyone I’ve ever met and so we honor his wishes by not going over-the-top with things (though it sure was awesome to see him throw out the first pitch on Opening Day).
I just hope that everyone finds the time whenever they’re watching a game to appreciate his story-telling ability night in and night out. I consider it an honor to work with him, listen to him, and learn from him every game.
On a completely unrelated note, Andre Ethier was profiled in the Daily News today for his food passions and he promises me he’ll post a new blog soon for Dining with ‘Dre. As long as he keeps getting game-winning hits like last night, it’s hard to get on his case too badly!
Tonight’s lineup has Juan Pierre batting ninth…
According to Elias’ John Labombarda, the last time a Dodgers pitcher did not bat 9th was August 15, 1965, when Don Drysdale batted 7th vs. Pittsburgh.
That day, catcher John Roseboro hit 8th (1-for-4) and shortstop John Kennedy hit 9th (0-for-2, BB, K).
The Dodgers lost 4-2, and Drysdale went 0-for-2 with 2 strikeouts before being pulled after 6.0 innings of work.
First of all, thanks to all of you for the feedback regarding the environment at the stadium, especially dcollins for kicking off the thread. I can assure you that we take all of these comments very seriously and that much like all areas of the Dodger experience, we’ll be reviewing this particular topic closely and working to drastically improve in 2009. It’s a topic that has been discussed at the highest levels of the team and all of your input has been and will continue to be used to make things better.
Regarding Andre’s Dining with ‘Dre blog, yes, I believe he’s planning on continuing it during the offseason but I think it’s only fair that we give him and the other players some down time to hang out with their families. If I haven’t heard from him in a week or two, I’ll hit him up for an entry.
Birthday wishes go out today to Rafael Furcal, who turns 31 (as well as Wilton Guerrero, who is 34 and F.P. Santangelo, who is 44). I’d love to see Raffy back in a Dodger uniform (as would Ned and Joe and Frank) and I know he wants to be back, too. Hopefully we can find a way to make it work.
Meanwhile, with the World Series underway, it’s a good time to point out that the L.A. Times has a “Where are they now” gallery of the ’88 team.
And finally, for those looking for something to do this weekend/next week or more importantly, for a place to pick up a pumpkin, drop by Danny’s Farm in Altadena. The farm was started by former Dodger Jim Gott and his wife, Cathy, and they’re having a Fall Pumpkin Festival on Oct. 26-30 from 4-7 p.m. The farm was named in honor of their son, Danny, who has autism, and is a really cool place to hang out with the animals. Pumpkins are for sale but are also free for families in need. A suggested $5 donation admits one person, but no one will be turned away.
It’s been quite a day, starting with the early morning taping of Chef Jeff, which was attended by Andre Ethier, Sweet Lou Johnson and Tommy Davis. Once we know details of when it will air, we’ll pass them along.
By 10:30, we were on the road to the Union Rescue Mission, where Andre wanted to spend some time volunteering to help feed the homeless. They had a rooftop barbecue with a view of the downtown skyline that rivals that of the Standard Hotel. Of course, served at the BBQ was Dodger Dogs, many of which were grilled up by Mr. Ethier himself. A photo gallery should be on the front of the site relatively soon.
This was all part of his personal community initiative that kicked off today, as did the launch of his new blog, Dining with ‘Dre. I know he had intended to post his first real entry today, but some technical difficulties have us backlogged by a day or so. Let’s just say that he’s been typing the whole thing out on his phone, so we’re getting there. Still, you can check out the site and see what will be coming – a review of Shabu Hachi in Los Angeles.
Back at the ballpark, we’ve made a trade for former AL ROY Angel Berroa for minor leaguer Juan Rivera. Berroa is not currently on the 25-man roster or 40-man roster, but seems like a nice reinforcement up the middle until Raffy gets healthy, provided he does make it to the big leagues with us.
Speaking of Raffy, Joe Torre said he feels better in general and will come with the team to SD, then likely go on rehab after that series for three or four games. Jason Schmidt will be pitching for Vegas this Sunday.
Meanwhile, when we were at the shelter earlier today, we ran into a choir of kids who are in town from Georgia, if I remember correctly, and I told them they could come see Andre play tonight. Turns out, I was wrong, as he’s not in the lineup in favor of DY against the southpaw. My bad. Russell is out, too, as Joe would prefer not to have both him and Jeff out of the lineup on the same day and Jeff will be out tomorrow in the day game after tonight’s night game.
Here’s the lineup:
P.S. There is an insane amount of media here right now because we have about seven sumo wrestlers taking part in pregame ceremonies, including one who will throw out the first pitch. Combine that with Saito, Kuroda pitching and Fukudome and we’ve got quite the contingent of Japanese media on site.