“Juan always put the Dodgers first, even when it wasn’t in his personal best interest. In this day, that is a rare attribute. When he and I spoke at the end of the season, we agreed that if an opportunity presented itself in which his change to play would be enhanced, we would pursue it and that’s what we’ve done. He deserved the chance to play more.”
Those are the words of Ned Colletti in a release that will go out momentarily. From a personal and professional standpoint, all of us at the Dodgers truly wish Juan well. He really handled himself in an unbelievable manner over the last year and a half when circumstances changed beyond his control and you have to respect that, regardless of what you feel about his play on the field.
Last year, when we needed him most, he stepped up to help the team and the fans really seemed to appreciate it. I’m sure their standing ovation for Juan upon Manny’s return ranks up their with his best moments in a Dodger uniform…plus, he got to play in two postseasons (and NLCS) with us during his three years.
Here’s wishing him the best…
Rumor has it, June gloom started early in Los Angeles but so far here in Miami, it’s sunny, warm and muggy, which is par for the course in this town.
Clayton Kershaw takes the mound today and hopefully can turn things around a bit. While we were in Philadelphia last week, former Dodger Joe Moeller was there keeping an eye on Clayton. Joe is an advance scout for the Marlins and he’s one of the few people in the world who knows what it’s like to be in Clayton’s shoes. Moeller was the youngest starting pitcher in Los Angeles Dodger history back in 1962 when he was just over 19 years old.
Meanwhile, It’s hard to even fathom how well Juan Pierre is playing these days. I know that he’s been a lightning rod for discussion in this two-plus years here but I’m personally thrilled to see him making the most of this opportunity. He works harder than just about anyone I’ve ever seen and he’s handled the changes of the last year and a half with class. Now, he’s helping keep us atop the standings and today, he’s atop the lineup yet again.
Ausmus, C (day off for Martin)
Paul, RF (first big league start)
Castro, SS (day off for Furcal)
It’s been quite a spring, with stops in Florida, China, Arizona and a record-setting crowd at the Coliseum. I haven’t even had the chance to post anything about the Coliseum game, but I do hope that you all got the chance to either attend the game or watch on TV, as it was something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I’m sure all of you have lasting memories from the game and strangely, other than walking out around midnight and looking up at the empty stadium, I don’t have a moment that stands out for me from the day, as it was special from start to finish.
What does jump out at me, though, is just how hard the entire front office has worked to bring these events to the fans. There are clearly hiccups along the way, as in any business, but I’ve witnessed people working practically around the clock in the offices and I can assure you it’s becauase of their love for the Dodgers. It’s actually really cool to see.
As for Opening Day, for any of you coming down, please try to carpool and come early. As everyone knows, there’s only so much space and on a weekday, it seems all 56,000 people bring their own cars. We’ve added 1,000 parking spots this year, which will help, but we ask for your patience and understanding getting into and out of the ballpark. Anytime you put close to 20,000 cars onto the Freeway after the game right into rush hour traffic, it’s going to be tough to keep traffic flowing but we’ve got hundreds of people working to ensure as smooth an experience as possible.
As for the pregame ceremonies, they are going to be something else, so you’ll want to see them. Like all else this year, they’re geared towards the 50th anniversary celebration.
I haven’t had the chance to give Ned all the questions you’ve asked, but his answers should be coming soon. I know a lot of you have asked about Juan Pierre/Andre Ethier and obviously you saw the conclusion that Ned, Joe and the rest of the baseball staff came to, with Andre starting the year as the left fielder. I hope that at least shows everyone that the people making decisions here don’t do so in a vacuum. They take everything into consideration and are always going to do what they think is going to help us win.
Here’s the lineup for today…
Not sure when that TBA will be filled in, but for now, that’s what we’ve got.