Right around the first pitch of tonight’s game against the Phillies, the draft room on the eighth floor at Dodger Stadium will start buzzing as the Dodgers gear up to make their first selection, the 16th overall choice this year. You can watch it live on MLB Network or follow the unparallelled coverage at mlb.com, as Maury Wills and Dodger scout Rich De Lucia represent the team at the draft in New York.
Last year, the Dodgers were the surprise of the first round, snagging Zach Lee with a pick late in the day though he was considered “unsignable.” With a bonus of more than $5 million, he joined the ranks of Dodger prospects which includes the last eight years worth of first-round pitchers (James Loney in 2002 was our last position player taken in the first round).
A day like today (and the next few days) are the culmination of an insane amount of work by all of our scouts who traverse the country looking for the next great Dodger player. It could be a first-rounder like Clayton Kershaw or a sixth-rounder like Matt Kemp…or even later in the draft, as many success stories come from then, too. But these scouts are truly the backbone of the game of baseball and rarely get the credit they are due.
So tune in tonight and give a shout out to the Dodger scouts and administrators who have made it their life’s work to find the next player you’ll root for at Dodger Stadium.
It’s been a rather busy first day here at the Winter Meetings. The day started with the news that unfortunately, no Dodgers made it into the Hall of Fame through the Veteran’s ballot (which means no Hodges, Wills, Torre, etc.)
We began the morning in meetings with all of the league’s PR people and learned about the MLB Network (which launches Jan. 1), among a number of other topics. I took a break to bring Ned Colletti down to the news conference where Greg Maddux announced his retirement. Ned has known Greg since he was a rookie and really wanted to be there to congratulate him, which he was able to do, as was I. He is a classy man who has had one heck of a career and we are all very fortunate that we got to witness him pitch (and in a Dodger uniform, no less).
I headed back to meetings for the better part of the day, while Ned wound up chatting with media at the news conference and all of the CC stuff came out early in the day.
We had a cocktail reception where it was announced that our good friend from the White Sox, Scott Reifert, won the Fishel Award for Public Relations Excellence, a very deserving award. Our congrats go out to him on what has been a very accomplished career thus far.
We then took our media upstairs for their final news briefing of the day with Ned, so the latest rounds of stories should be online soon. I’m not even going to try to keep up with all the stories being filed – it’s simply impossible around here. But, hopefully we’ll be able to lock down some things here in the coming days.
There’s plenty more that I don’t really have time to get into, unfortunately, as we’re taking a group of the media out for a dinner here at the hotel.
Keep checking back each day – I hope to at least post something every evening from Vegas.