Caravan cruising across L.A.
So far, it’s been a succesful first day of the annual community caravan. I got to visit the first stop, at the L.A. River cleanup, and lots of Dodger fans were there with Don Mattingly, Andre Ethier, James Loney and a whole crew of former Dodgers, who were doing their best to Think Blue and Act Green.
The caravan continued on to USC University Hospital, followed by King Middle School and will also make a visit to Lopez Tonight, so tune in this evening to see these guys on the late night talk circuit.
We’re back at it tomorrow morning with plenty more stops, so keep your eye out on the roads for a blue bus with the Dodgers Caravan across the side of it. Or follow the caravan virtually on twitter @dodgers, where we’re sending out photos all day.
Also, in response to the question of whether or not we’d wear the Brooklyn uniforms on the road in NY…I’m pretty sure that has to come with MLB approval well in advance and at the request of the home team. So, unless the Mets asked us to do this, I don’t think we can just show up in Brooklyn uniforms for their game. It’s an interesting thought though for down the road and something we can look into. Appreciate the idea…and for those who haven’t voted, check out dodgers.com/throwback and vote…it’s very close between two choices and only four days left to weigh in.
Meet Joe Block
KABC just put out the announcement that Joe Block will be joining Josh Suchon as co-host of DodgerTalk for 2011. It’s a very exciting addition to the show, as Joe brings more than a decade of experience working in radio and TV, including several years as the Jacksonville Suns play-by-play guy back when Kemp, Billingsley, Kuo, Broxton, Loney, Elbert and others were coming up through that team (he missed Clayton by a season).
That’s when we first got to know him and his talent as an on-air personality. Most recently, he’s been hosting a similar show to DodgerTalk for the New Orleans Hornets while doubling as a minor league baseball play-by-play announcer during the summer. He’s got tremendous baseball knowledge and should be a great fit along with Soosh to keep DodgerTalk interesting while engaging in converations with all of you.
Of course, it’s a tad bittersweet because Ken Levine is no longer going to co-host the show. He’s done a tremendous job the last few seasons with Josh and was very fortunate to be named one of the play-by-play guys for the Mariners this season. We will miss his humor and passion for the Dodgers and I have no doubt he’ll still be around the stadium plenty and a part of the Dodger family, always.
If you’re a twitter follower, check out Joe at @joe_block and welcome him back to the Dodger family either there or in the comments of this blog.
Josh and Joe will be on the air from Camelback very soon, so check back for details on the first DodgerTalk of the spring on KABC 790.
It’s a holiday weekend and I’m guessing most people will be attending some sort of BBQ over the next few days. So have some fun this weekend and watch some Dodger baseball…
Tonight at 6:10 at COL on KCAL
Tomorrow at 5:10 at COL on KCAL
Sunday at 12:10 at COL on PRIME
And then back home for the longest homestand of the year. In fact, it’s probably been several years since we had a 13-game stretch at home, so it’s a chance to play well in front of the home crowd. By the time that stretch of games is over, the team will have played 62 with 100 left to go.
Lots going on at the stadium…Manny Ramirez’s BP jersey for kids, Kemp’s action figure, Loney and Blake’s poster (check out the behind-the scenes video from the hilarious shoot), Broxton’s bobblehead and then the ThinkCure Weekend. It’s going to be busy…
Three more avoid arbitration
James Loney, Hong-Chih Kuo and George Sherrill have all avoided arbitration for 2010, leaving just three more guys to lock up – Andre Ethier, Jonathan Broxton and Russell Martin.
Today is the day when numbers get filed for each side, but it’s hardly the end of the process. We’re still very hopeful we can get those other three guys done soon…stay tuned.
As any of you who follow the game closely know, arbitration is a process you never want to go to with a player, so the work of Kim Ng and her staff in getting six of the nine guys done so far should be commended…and hopefully she and they will get the rest done soon!
UPDATE: Russell Martin also avoids arbitration and signs for 2010!
A full day at the yard…
For those who missed the WIN clinic and luncheon, it was a very cool event and I know a few ITDers were there, so weigh in with your thoughts. But one of the best parts of the day was a great story told by Joe Torre, Orlando Hudson and James Loney that had not been told anywhere publicly, to my knowledge.
At the luncheon, it came out that on July 31, Don Mattingly played a joke on James Loney and told him that Joe Torre wanted to see him in his office. Seeing as how it was the day of the trade deadline, according to Orlando, Loney said, “I told you guys I wouldn’t make it,” and glumly walked back into the clubhouse and into Joe’s office. Only after a few more anxious moments did Joe let Loney know that Mattingly was only playing a joke on him. It sounded much better coming from them, but that’s why you’ve got to show up at these things when we tell you about ’em!!
Speaking of Joe and Donny Baseball, it’s hard to believe we have two former MVPs on our coaching staff. I do believe this is the only time in Dodger history that we’ve had that distinction.
Anyway, still no medical update on Billingsley, but I know Casey Blake is out of the lineup because his wrist is bothering him again (you couldn’t tell from his three-run homer last night). Yet another piece of info divulged by Joe Torre hours ago at the luncheon.
Here’s the lineup:
Kemp, CF (check out his podcast/interview with the Lakers’ website…if you like hoops, you’ll enjoy this one)
Abreu, 3B (first big league start in two years)
Ausmus, C (day off for Russ after the long game last night)