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.
We’ve just announced two more signings today, with Marcus Thames coming in on a one-year deal and Gabe Kapler joining the team on a minor league contract with an invite to Spring Training.
For those who haven’t followed Thames career, he’s a power-hitting corner outfielder who has averaged a homer every 15 at-bats or so over the last five seasons, which is the fourth-best mark in the AL during that span. He will presumably be in the mix along with Jay Gibbons, Tony Gwynn, Xavier Paul and others this spring for playing time in 2011 alongside Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.
Meanwhile, joining that group is another local boy, Kapler. This one is pretty cool for me, personally, because I went to school with Gabe growing up and have always hoped that he’d find a way to play for his hometown Dodgers.
He joins other local products Jon Garland (Kennedy High in Granada Hills), Trayvon Robinson (Crenshaw High in Los Angeles), Gibbons (Mayfair High in Lakewood) and Rod Barajas (Santa Fe Spring High) in Dodger camp which is the most local boys I can remember in quite some time heading into Spring Training.
Welcome to the Dodger family, Marcus and Gabe…
Just got word that we’ve signed Jay Gibbons to a one-year deal for this season…he was a pleasant surprise throughout the minor league season and when he was recalled to the big leagues for the first time since 2007, he came up with five homers in just 75 at-bats. Tack on the 19 he hit for Triple-A Albuquerque and he’s obviously got some good power potential.
The news comes just shortly after the team was informed that Scott Podsednik has opted for free agency (we had a mutual option and had exercised our side to bring him back for $2 million, had he agreed).
And to answer the question that was posed in the comments about Facebook, the best thing I can tell you is that we don’t really have any sort of technical control over that website’s comment functions. While we continue to ask those who post here to be professional in their criticism and to remember that kids read this site, too, we do have the ability to block those who violate that request on a regular basis. When it comes to Facebook, that’s not a website we control but we certainly feel it’s important that the nearly 400,000 fans we have on that site are able to get the same information we post here at Inside the Dodgers.
I’m all for being frustrated when the Dodgers lose and things don’t turn out the way we’d like…I’d just like to think that Dodger fans have enough respect to be able to convey those thoughts without profanity…and we thank you for your cooperation.
The offense seems to have clicked last night and raise your hand if you thought Jay Gibbons was going to start out this hot! He’s back in the starting lineup tonight.
It’s no secret, the Dodgers need to start winning series against every team to help erase the 4 1/2 game wild card lead and 7 game division lead. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s far from impossible. Last night was a good start to a big road trip.
Tonight, Chad Billingsley is going for his 10th win for the fourth straight season. That’s pretty impressive consistency (Derek Lowe was the last Dodger to do it and before that, I think it was Chan Ho Park, but I’d have to go back and really look it up!)
I was surprised to learn today that the Dodgers have won 12 of the last 14 season series with the Phillies going back to 1996. Of course, they’ve gotten the best of us in the two series that matter most, but a game like last night is important because right now, the Phillies are ahead of the Dodgers in the wild card race, too.
Game time tonight is at 4:05 p.m. PT on PRIME Ticket so tune in…
In today’s L.A. Times, Bill Plaschke found one of the amazing stories in the building so make sure you check it out. It’s always great to see some of the hard working people here get some recognition and the incredible thing is, there are stories like this behind so many people who work for the Dodgers, yet few ever learn of their tales.
It’s only fitting, since Bill points out that they’ve never met a player in four decades of Sylvia working here, that we put their names in the headline with two players who made news today. The club designated Garret Anderson for assignment to make room for Jay Gibbons, who has been tearing up Triple-A all season long after spending last year retired in Thousand Oaks. Garret has been a class act throughout a difficult year and we wish him well. Hopefully Jay can come up with some big hits for this club in the final seven-plus weeks of the season.
As for Sylvia and Esther, the timing of the story was also ironic because yesterday we had the latest installment of the Starting 9 program. Various stadium workers – from ushers to ticket takers, security to parking attendants and food service workers, etc. are nominated by their colleagues to be their department’s member of the Starting 9. Those nine employees then get to watch batting practice from the field, meet a Dodger player and, here’s the kicker: Meet Vin Scully.
It’s awesome to see the reaction on their faces when they meet the person who ties all Dodger generations together and hopefully Sylvia will be honored in the future if she hasn’t been already.