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.
Joe Torre addressed the team this morning in his 51st season with a big league team (albeit six as a broadcaster).
The first workouts took place and about half the pitchers threw bullpen sessions. One interesting photo caught by team photographer Jon SooHoo (now in his 25th year) was of the Dodgers’ former All-Star closer and current one.
Plenty of media on site, though it’s amazing that there was more Japanese media here covering Kuroda than all other American media outlets combined.
Otherwise, it was a relatively quiet day. Blake DeWitt checked in and we figured out that he’s one of 19 players on the 40-man who are 26 years old or younger. Amazingly, despite a year-plus of big league service, Clayton Kershaw is still the youngest guy in camp.
Hiroki Kuroda still has slight interrmittent headaches so he won’t start Thursday. Joe Torre still isnt’ sure who will be throwing for us that day and we don’t know if he’ll go on the DL. According to Joe, Kuroda had a big smile on his face today and Elbert is one option. He hopes to know by the end of the game today who will start on Thursday.
Obviously he needs to be 100 percent before he goes back out there. He will be reevaluated by a doctor tomorrow but the medical department sent him home to ‘rest the brain.’ All the things out here overstimulate the brain, according to Stan. Tomorrow he might stay out here longer and we can see how he responds to the stimulus.
Aumus is in the lineup because he has more experience catching a knuckleballer.
Here’s the lineup:
Kemp, CF (live chat with him tomorrow at 2 p.m. PT)
What a tough game last night and a hard thing to watch…I’m sure many of you longtime fans had immediate flashback to Kaz Ishii and fortunately, the CT scan came back clear, so hopefully Kuroda will be okay. It’s a scary game and sometimes we can lose sight of that until we’re jarred back to reality.
On a much more positive note, Eric Collins is in town on an ESPN assignment so he hit up a game for the Single-A Inland Empire 66ers and weighed in over at Psychollingy.
As some of you remember, there’s a tradition in the Dodger offices dating back to the 80s where the front office gets ice cream when the team moves into first place or extends their lead on the second-place team. I’m happy to say that at 3 p.m., everyone will be getting together for some Baskin Robbins and I’m hoping it’s a far more regular occurence than it has been thus far.
Kuroda last night was really something else. It was only the second complete-game one-hitter without any walks in the last 10 years in all of baseball. The Dodgers hadn’t had a one-hitter since that Wrigley Field game by Derek Lowe in 2005 and Kuroda became only the third rookie pitcher in the last 40 years to take a perfect game into the eighth (Orel Hershiser did so on July 29, 1984.
Meanwhile, that was the sixth straight game at Dodger Stadium that ended in a shutout, which ties a big league record. That hasn’t happened in baseball since Arlington Stadium in 1981.
We just got done doing a live web chat with Matt Kemp and throughout Delwyn Young was chiming in. Hopefully some of you got the chance to join in…there were more than 1,000 questions, which might be an all-time high. Pretty cool. If you missed it, the transcript will be up on the site soon.
And finally, for those who were weighing in on Dodgers Magazine last month, the newest edition hit stands yesterday. You can still get a subscription for the rest of the season.
Here’s tonight’s lineup:
And after the game, keep tuned to FSN Prime Ticket for a half hour special on the Dodgers’ trip to China back in Spring Training. A very cool trip and from what I hear, the 30-minute special is just as good.