As it turned out, I wasn’t on the last road trip and today has been a rather busy day, as you can imagine, so it’s been a while since we had a new post. Sincere apologies. Hopefully we’ll be more regular now that the team is back in town.
Congrats to Rod Barajas on going deep in his first game as a Dodger and first home game as a Dodger. I caught up with him earlier this afternoon in the clubhouse and the guy seemed downright giddy to be wearing this uniform.
There’s honestly been so much to talk about, I wouldn’t even know where to start. But frankly, I think you’re much better served hearing from the actual newsmakers on the Manny front and the trial, so I’ll leave you all to read those stories at the various media outlets and weigh in with your thoughts. But at the very least, I thought everyone needed a new thread…
What a whirlwind morning. With a series of moves over the last few days, Ned was able to improve the team in four different spots – outfield, rotation, bullpen and second base (though some have said they feel it’s a wash with Theriot and DeWitt). Hopefully this is the shot in the arm the Dodgers need to go on a roll.
There’s no doubt Ned likes to make deals and at the deadline, he seems to do his best work. Obviously only time will tell how the various prospects turn out, but he’s acquired numerous likely HOFers (Manny, Maddux, Thome), and a ton of other valuable veterans that have helped enormously down the stretch (Sherrill, Belliard, Garland, Padilla, Podsednik, Dotel, Lilly and Theriot…well, we still have to see what the last four do down the stretch).
That said, it’s never easy to say goodbye to an indvidual as classy as Blake DeWitt. He’s gone through so much in the past few years and I’m not sure I can name anyone whose handled it with more grace. It’s a good opportunity for him to be closer to home, which is cool, though I’d imagine the fine folks in Sikeston, MO are going to have a hard time rooting for the Cubs in Cardinal-town. I wonder if they’ll start to carry Cubs’ games the way they carried ours!?
Chad did a great job today on short rest and as the team looks to hold on to a 1-0 lead, the team has got to be feeling pretty good about the moves that were made today. Should be a fun final two months!
It appears Manny Ramirez’s calf injury is significant enough to put him on the disabled list, which we officially have done while activating Brad Ausmus from the disabled list. Obviously that’s not the news we were hoping to hear from today’s MRI, but clearly it’s more important to have him healthy down the stretch than have him go out there on an injured calf and make things worse.
Of course, the timing isn’t very good given that the team has dropped five in a row, but for true baseball fans, tonight’s matchup of Kershaw and Lincecum should be a really exciting one (and hopefully the first of many between two division rivals for years to come). And hopefully it’s the start of a winning streak…
Regarding the Inside the Dodgers tour, it looks like Sept. 4 is the winner, so stay tuned for details and mark your calendars. We’ll send out more info shortly…
And finally, I truly appreciate the candor of several people posting on ITD and hopefully you can understand that my job is not to be a voice of baseball operations for the team and to weigh in, point by point, on each position on the field. That’s for Ned, Joe and their staffs to do (and as you know, they answer these questions almost daily in the media).
There’s no doubt just from reading your comments how passionate you all are about the team and how badly you want the team to win. All we can do is assure you that the people who come here every day to work are equally as passionate and literally spend almost every waking minute of every day trying to find ways to win. No one comes into the office hoping that today is the day we start a five-game losing streak.
It’s awesome that there’s debate here about which pitchers should be acquired, what our farm system is like, what the lineups should be and the moves that Joe Torre makes in game. That’s why you all love the game and it’s why I love it, too. It’s why many of us have literally chosen to dedicate our life’s work to it.
We look forward to seeing many of you at the tour and hopefully I can answer a question or two for you, if it’s helpful. And if not, that’s okay, too. Just don’t lose your passion for the team…
Manny just got a half standing ‘O’ and half standing boo in his first at-bat before flying out to center field on the first pitch. But one thing is hard to debate…this place is a pretty unique and as a fan of the history of the game, you can’t help but be impressed.
The Green Monster is massive and certainly looks like you could hit one over it yourself, though obviously it’s not that easy. Definitely have to take a trip inside it tomorrow.
The bomb that David Ortiz hit past the 420 sign gives you a pretty good idea of just how far you have to hit it to go out to right-center.
There’s a lot of media here for Manny…everyone was curious whether or not he would speak to the media, but I’m more curious to see what he does in the batter’s box this weekend.
A good amount of Celtic green in the crowd and while I feel bad for them, well…no I don’t. Go Lakers.
More importantly, there’s a lot of Dodger blue in the crowd, so thanks for showing up here to support your team.
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…
Another great start from John Ely…I hope everyone is enjoying this run of wins. Andres bobblehead night is tomorrow night and well have well over 50,000 screaming fans in the house. There are still very few tickets available left and while it doesnt look like hell play, who knows what will happen. Manny Ramirez didnt play on his bobblehead night last year and we all saw how that turned out!
Jeff Weaver will be activated for tonight’s game from the DL, with a corresponding move to follow soon.
As for Andre Ethier, what more can you really say? The guy has been arguably the best offensive player in baseball for five weeks. Hopefully it’ll begin to rub off on those around him…
Joe Torre also said that Manny would be back tomorrow night, so that means we’ll likely start seeing fans returning quickly to Mannywood. Let’s hope he starts out as hot as he was when he got hurt.
For tonight, X Paul is in his place…here’s the lineup:
Manny, who homered yesterday, arrived at the clubhouse today wearing a shirt that says, “I’ve got 99 problems but my swing ain’t one.” We’ve had some cool shirts around the clubhouse over the years, but that one becomes an instant classic in my book.
He’s back in the lineup today:
Of course, anything can change between now and March 10, but as it stands, Joe Torre, Manny Ramirez, James Loney, Chin-lung Hu and Hong-Chih Kuo, among 30 others.
Most names have been trickling out over the last few weeks, but Manny has confirmed to his agent that he plans to make the trip and will be with us when we depart Phoenix a week from tomorrow.
We’ll play three games out there, host a clinic, an autograph session in downtown Taipei and Joe Torre will even have a “success seminar” for local baseball and business people.
Two of my favorite photos that I’ve seen from the 1993 trip are these…
first, a young boy who is probably about 10 years old, holding up an autographed ball from Orel Hershiser. The kid is probably now in his mid to late 20s and hopefully still a huge Dodger fan and attending these games this year. It’s amazing what these trips are able to do in terms of creating Dodger fans and spreading baseball around the world. The second photo, well, it’s the guy who signed the autograph during part of the tour.
Manny Ramirez, Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier all reported early today, and Manny chatted with the media a few minutes ago.
He said that he hit quite a bit this offseason to try and figure out the mechanical issues that had him a bit off during the end of last season. He also said that he expects this to be his last year at the Dodgers so he’s going to enjoy it as much as possible. His funniest line, I thought, was when he told reporters that from the waste down, he feels 15 years old but from the neck up, he feels 43.
Anyway, that’s the buzz around camp at the moment. Andre and Matt haven’t really spoken yet to the media in a group, but I know Ken Gurnick chatted with Andre when the clubhouse opened, so I’m sure stories will be on the front of the site soon.