Just watched Rickey Henderson’s induction ceremony and he did a really nice job. I’m sure plenty of people thought it would be different than it was, but from what I hear, he did a lot of preparation and came off very classy. The fact that he finished his career with the Dodgers is something I’ll always remember and feel fortunate that we had the chance to work with him for half a season.
A big congrats go out to all of the inductees, including Nick Peters, who covered baseball in the Bay Area for years, including 2002 when I was a reporter covering the Giants. Nick was always very gracious to a young writer like myself and I’m grateful for his assistance.
As for today’s lineup, it’s as follows:
Joe Torre said that Manny’s hand is sore and rather than have him start and have to take him out, he’d like to have him available to pinch-hit. I guess that worked out ok on Wednesday.
Also, Joe said that Cory Wade will go on rehab tomorrow and Belisario could go later in the week. Let’s hope that they both return healthy and prove valuable down the stretch.
As many of you may have seen, Bill Plaschke weighed in this morning on this Top 10 homers in L.A. Dodger history and it made me think, I wonder what all of you think. We asked team historian Mark Langill to kick it off with his thoughts, so check it out below.
This is his personal “Top 10” Los Angeles list favoring home runs which occurred either during the postseason, affected a pennant race or set a record. According to him, time will determine where the Manny Ramirez Bobblehead Night Slam ranks in the memory of Dodger fans.
1. Kirk Gibson – 1988 World Series Game 1
2. Rick Monday – 1981 NLCS Game 5
3. Mike Scioscia – 1988 NLCS Game 4
4. Lou Johnson – 1965 World Series Game 7
5. Pedro Guerrero and Steve Yeager – back-to-back HRs in 1981 World Series Game 5
6. Steve Finley – 2004 NL West Division clinching grand slam
7. Four consecutive HRs in 9th and Nomar Garciaparra’s game-winning HR in 10th vs. Padres, 2006
8. Dusty Baker joins 30-Home Run Quartet in final at-bat of 1977 regular season against Houston’s J.R. Richard.
9. Joe Ferguson and Ron Cey hit game-winning HRs during 1980 weekend sweep of Houston to force one-game playoff.
10. Shawn Green – 4 HRs in one game at Milwaukee, 2002
Honorable Mention (random order): Mike Piazza’s 2 HRs last day of 1993 eliminates Giants; Pedro Guerrero’s walk-off HR gives rookie Fernando Valenzuela 8-0 record, 5/14/81 (Valenzuela still only player since 1945 to win his first eight ML starts); Wally Moon’s walk-off HR caps Sandy Koufax 18-strikeout performance at Coliseum, 8/31/59; rookie Dick Nen’s HR in 1963 pennant race at St. Louis; Steve Garvey’s walk-off HR gives Burt Hooton club-record 12th consecutive victory, 1975; Guerrero ties ML record with 15th HR in June 1985; Jimmy Wynn’s grand slam vs. Reds, 9/15/74; Piazza becomes only Dodger to hit HR out of Dodger Stadium, 1997; Frank Howard, 1963 World Series Game 4; James Loney grand slam at Wrigley Field, 2008 NLDS.
And Steve Lyons penned this entry after watching the game Wednesday night.
The media contingent was down to about 10 people today after yesterday’s crush. Manny is actually at-bat right now and the boo birds are out, but plenty of Dodger fans are here and cheering him, too.
Manny just homered…wow.
Not even sure what else to say…most importantly, Happy Fourth of July. Enjoy the barbecues, celebrations and time with your family and friends.
Posting from a box at Isotopes Stadium, where Manny Ramirez will start his rehab assignment this evening here in Albuquerque. It’s a really nice facility…the last time I was here was in 1998 and Paul Konerko and Dennys Reyes were the top prospects playing for the Dukes. They’ve got a new stadium and are expecting a sellout crowd tonight due to Manny’s arrival. Should be an interesting few days.
Meanwhile (and more importantly), the team is in Chicago for a three-game set against the White Sox. Clayton Kershaw will host a web chat at 1 p.m. PT/3 p.m. CT today on dodgers.com from the clubhouse at US Cellular Field, so be sure to login and catch up with him.
Also, for those of you who have a few minutes, you’ve heard us talk about the People All-Stars Among Us program…well, it ends tomorrow night so you only have a little bit of time to vote for one of the three people who will represent the Dodgers at the All-Star Game in St. Louis.
That’s about it for now…will try to post the lineup for the game in Chicago later in the day but it could be busy around here. MLB Network will be here providing live look-ins of all of Manny’s at-bats and there’s quite a bit of media that has made the trip to Albuquerque.
So the thread got a little long this weekend, as I was in Ohio for a wedding…at the airport now en route to Chicago, where I was set to meet up with the team. But with Manny’s assignment in Albuquerque expected to draw a lot of media attention, I’m headed there instead while the team takes on the White Sox.
Heck of a game last night from Kershaw and great to see us take two of three from the Angels. I can’t remember the last time that happened, let alone in Anaheim. If you want to ask Clayton about it, you can do so tomorrow during his live webchat at 1 p.m. PT/3 p.m. CT.
Is anyone on this blog from Albuquerque? Would love to see ITD represented among the Isotopes crowd this week! Should be an interesting one with lots going on in a couple different parts of the country. In case you haven’t found it yet, the ‘topes have a blog there called ‘Topes’Tattler and I’d imagine they’ll be updating it all week long.
I guess that’s what happens when you own most of the world!
First it was the Miss California in the Miss USA pageant…today it was Manny’s meeting with the team at the Trump Sonesta Resort here in Miami…and Thursday it will be our Dodgers Dream Foundation Golf Tournament at Trump National in Palos Verdes (a few spots still remain if you’re a golfer by calling 323.224.1413). Everywhere I turn, Trump is there!
All trumping aside, Manny obviously spoke to the team today and while there’s tons of coverage around the country on that piece of today’s news (ESPNews is taking Joe Torre’s pregame media chat live in about 45 minutes), we of course have a game tonight here in Miami so that’s where players’ minds seem to be focused at the moment.
Same lineup as the last couple nights…with Stults on the mound this time. And with Eric Milton moving into the rotation, we’ll have four lefties starting consecutively for the Dodgers for the first time since 1986 (thanks Dave Smith at retrosheet for that fast fact).
That’s about it for now here at sunny Land Shark Stadium in South Florida. Joe Torre will be the guest on the pregame show on KABC 790 with Rick Monday and he’ll also touch base with Steve Lyons and Eric Collins on the KCAL broadcast right at the start of the game.
Quite a day here at Camelback Ranch. Not only do we have Team Korea from the WBC on hand (and dozens of Korean media members following their every move), but Manny’s first game is today, so lots of national media as well. It’s getting us ready for the craziness that will ensue at Dodger Stadium during the semis and finals of the WBC March 21, 22, and 23.
Keeping things interesting today, the lineup is pretty much what we’d be in an AL park…
That’s all I have time to post for today. Hope you’ll make it out or tune into the live webcast on dodgers.com
UPDATE: Manny is scratched from the lineup with tightness in his left hamstring. He’ll likely play tomorrow and said he could have played today, but Joe Torre wanted to play it safe.
Mark Langill points out the following:
The return of outfielder Manny Ramirez in 2009 gives the Dodgers their most prolific slugger to begin a season in terms of his 527 lifetime home runs. The previous Opening Day record was the 503 career home runs that Hall of Fame outfielder Frank Robinson brought into his only season with the Dodgers after being acquired from the Baltimore Orioles. Robinson, who was 36 on Opening Day 1972, hit 19 home runs in 103 games with Los Angeles. He played through 1976 and finished with 586 home runs.
Free agent first baseman Fred McGriff joined the Dodgers in 2003 at age 39 with 478 home runs, but hit just 13 in 86 games and the Los Angeles marketing department’s “500” logo anticipating McGriff’s milestone remained in permanent storage. McGriff played one more season in 2004 with Tampa Bay, but hit only two and retired at 493.
When Eddie Murray returned to Los Angeles in September 1997 for his second stint as a Dodger, he had 504 home runs. That number didn’t change as Murray had two singles in seven at-bats and he retired after the season.
The chase for 600 home runs puts Ramirez in uncharted waters as no player has ever hit career home run No. 400 or 500 in a Dodger uniform. The franchise career home run record is held by Hall of Famer Duke Snider, who hit 389 with Brooklyn (316) and Los Angeles (73) from 1947 to 1962. First baseman Gil Hodges holds the Brooklyn franchise record for most home runs with 317 from 1947 to 1957 (and hit 361 overall as a Dodger through 1961 to rank No.2 behind Snider). The record for Los Angeles home runs is held by Eric Karros, who hit 270 from 1992 to 2002.
So who holds the record for owning the most career home runs while wearing a Dodger uniform? Alas, it’s a trick question. Babe Ruth, at the time baseball’s home run king at 714, coached first base for the Brooklyn Dodgers during the 1938 season.
Here’s today’s lineup against the Rangers (who actually have Andruw Jones hitting fourth)
It is somewhat ironic, I think, that the Dodgers recently visited the “Price is Right” set, given the last three months of trying to find the right price for Manny. As you surely know by now, he granted his first interview in a while to the LA Times and it was great to hear from him and know how much he enjoyed playing in Los Angeles. As you can imagine, it’s not always easy to work through intermediaries in any business sense, but it’s a necessary part of the game and his agent is very good at what he does. That said, I hope that Manny’s comments are an indication that we can work something out (hopefully before the Price is Right episode airs in mid-March!!!)
Meanwhile, our team historian, Mark Langill, has been a contributor to this blog from time to time and I’ve asked him to send us a weekly post that touches on something historical from the club. Sometimes it’ll be an anniversary, sometimes it’ll be a relevant piece of history tied to current events and they’ll vary in length, I’m sure. But, there’s so much knowledge kicking around in his head, we want to make sure you guys all enjoy it, too. So, here’s his first weekly post…
The Dodgers’ recent winter caravan included a visit to “The Price Is Right” game show with host Drew Carey at CBS Studios, rekindling memories of a time when Dodger personnel often appeared on the non-baseball airwaves on game shows, variety specials and even in the movies.
During their tenure in Brooklyn, the New York-based game show “What’s My Line?” included mystery guests from the world of sports, including Dodger catcher Roy Campanella and Duke Snider.
In Los Angeles, sitcoms in the early 1960s featured Dodger coach Leo Durocher in a “manager” role because acting didn’t appeal to the low-key Walter Alston. Durocher appeared on “The Beverly Hillbillies,” scouting Jethro as a pitcher; “The Munsters,” scouting Herman Munster as a power hitter; and received advice from a talking horse on “Mister Ed.”
Arguably the most versatile Dodger in an acting role was pitcher Don Drysdale, who could appear as a gun-toting villain in such shows at “The Rifleman” and then wear a tuxedo and sing love songs, like he did after the 1963 World Series on “The Joey Bishop Show.”
In one scene, Drysdale masterfully performed “I Left My Heart in San Francisco” until he suddenly stopped when starting the song’s last line which began, “Your golden sun …” The supposedly startled Bishop approached Drysdale and the pair staged a conversation away from the microphone. Like a manager, Bishop then summoned relief pitcher Ron Perranoski, who slowly walked onstage in his Dodger uniform, complete with warmup jacket slung over his shoulder. Perranoski handed his jacket to Drysdale, who walked off the stage. “There’s another one Don couldn’t finish,” Bishop joked. Perranoski quickly sang the song’s final four words, “… will shine for me” to get the save.
I wish I had a lot of new news to report to you all, but there really isn’t much right now. The Spring Training schedule should be coming out in a couple weeks, so stay tuned.
Also, I’ve been reading all the Manny coverage from a distance and I think it’s actually almost humorous that there’s a belief that this wasn’t a serious offer. We’re talking about the highest paid player in franchise history (per year) and it’s obviously the very first offer he’s received from anywhere. For all we know, this will be the best offer that he gets. Just because he’s asking for six years doesn’t mean he’ll get it (does anyone remember Andruw Jones’ initial requests from last offseason?)
There’s no doubt in my mind that we would love to have Manny back here, but I keep reading about Bonds and A-Rod and the precedent they set because they had large contracts that paid them through age 42. Does anyone remember that one of those years, Bonds played only 14 games due to injury? And just because A-Rod is getting paid through age 42 doesn’t mean he’ll be productive that long. I just find that argument hard to believe, but then again, it’s not up to me to have to buy into it.
The bottom line is, there’s no doubt he’s worth one of the top two or three contracts currently in baseball over the next couple or few years, but who knows how he will perform in 2012 or 2013 or 2014??
Anyway, I know that this is all posturing as part of a negotiation and it’s totally normal for any agent to ask for the world, knowing they’re not going to get it, but if anyone thinks that somewhere in the range of $25 million per year is not a real offer, I’d love to know what they think would be “real.”
That’s about all I’ve got for now. We’ve got a few of our former players heading to veteran’s hospitals today and tomorrow to spend time with people there and pay tribute on Veteran’s Day, so hopefully everyone can take a moment to give thanks to anyone you know who has served on behalf of our country.