Getting swept is never fun, so there’s not much that can be said after a weekend like that. Let’s just hope the team got it out this weekend and will turn it back on this week against the Reds and Red Sox…
On a more gracious note, thanks to everyone who contributed to ThinkCure Weekend…more than $300,000 was raised for cancer research and the online auction is still going through tomorrow.
Among the things that tend to happen on a daily basis if you purchase the Insider Clubhouse Tour are interactions with numerous current and/or future Hall of Famers, access in areas of the stadium where even the most fortunate fans never get to go and a chance to watch the game from the press box.
I believe last year, the person who purchased this item wound up meeting Vin Scully, Jaime Jarrin, Tommy Lasorda, Joe Torre, Ned Colletti, Fernando Valenzuela, Charley Steiner, Rick Monday and several players, among others. Trust me…we make it worth your while because it’s such a great cause so bid now before someone else gets this lifelong memory (have I talked it up enough).
Tomorrow’s an off day and likely no post, but we’ll be back to posting almost daily starting on Tuesday. Hang in there, Dodger fans. It’s been a tough weekend, but the Dodgers still have the third-best record in the NL and there are still several guys waiting to hit their strides.
Not much more you can say that that. We didn’t pitch, hit, defend or do much of anything else all that great – it was just a rough road trip altogether. But you know what? In 2005 we started out 12-2 and everyone was talking about making World Series plans, only to see us finish 71-91. So, while none of us are okay with the way the team is playing right now, the only thing we can do is work hard to turn it around and hope that some home cooking serves the team well.
And for what it’s worth, I hope all of our fans realize that Ned Colletti was not trying to call out Matt Kemp solely in his comments yesterday on KABC. He was specifically asked about Matt’s defense and answered the questions he was asked, but his concerns were voiced about everyone involved in baseball operations, from himself on down to the players. And he reiterated those concerns today to reporters in NY.
Anyway, the homestand starts tomorrow and I’m sure you USC and UCLA fans already know that you can come support your schools at the stadium. Plus the ever-popular fleece blanket night and plenty of other fun in store over the next 10 days. Don’t let the road trip get you down…I know I’m always the optimist but it’s hardly a time for panicking.
First and foremost, to Ned Colletti and his crew, who have done an incredible job in bolstering the big league club. By my count, they’ve acquired George Sherrill, Vicente Padilla, Ronnie Belliard, Jon Garland, Jim Thome, and cash considerations in exchange for Josh Bell, Steven Johnson, Luis Garcia, Justin Fuller, and two players to be named. Of course, those minor leaguers could all turn out to be the next Jeff Bagwell, but that’s a pretty impressive haul in my biased opinion. Last night as he got interviewed on the postgame shows on radio and TV, Ned gave tons of credit to all the people who work with him, Kim Ng, Ellen Harrigan, our advance scouts, his special assistants and everyone else who played a key role in last night’s trades. It’s amazing what a team effort it takes to pull this stuff off. Even clubhouse attendant Alex Torres got pressed into duty to get Joe Torre on the phone with Ned during the game.
Also congrats go out to Orlando Hudson, who is our nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a player so dedicated to community service in all of my time in baseball and we’ve had some impressive ones. But this guy has dedicated himself in an incredible way and he deserves your support. You can vote for him here starting tomorrow and I hope you’ll all do so as many times as allowed.
You can also read the latest from Steve Lyons at Psychollingy and believe it or not, he’s worried about our offense. In all fairness, he wrote this before we got Thome last night but he makes some good points.
Lineup to follow in a bit.
UPDATE – LINEUP
Touched down in Philadelphia last night around 8 p.m. and headed to dinner with Ned Colletti and a number of people on his staff at a great Italian restaurant. For those who missed it, Ken Gurnick wrote an impressive recap of Ned’s tenure as GM and whether you agree with his moves or not, you’ve got to admit that the end result has been what we’ve all been hoping for…whether it was starting a prospect development program in the winter, hanging onto the kids when some thought we should deal them, or making big trades for Manny, Casey, Berroa or Maddux, he and his staff — all the way down to each and every area scout and minor league instructor — deserve tons of credit for building this team and turning it over to Joe Torre and his staff.
I know that our plan was for Ned to answer questions from fans on this blog and I’m sure he’d still be happy to do that if any of you want to post them here. When things weren’t looking very good, the questions stopped coming in but he’s been willing to interact with everyone on this blog since Spring Training and that’s pretty unique for a big league GM. Just be sure to direct the question to him and I’ll try to get it answered this week.
In any event, as you can imagine, there are tons of media members here that are just getting to cover the Dodgers for the first time and everyone is seeking a unique angle. Part of our job in the Communications Department is to help provide them with interesting ideas. Among them…
– Our Chief Operating Officer, Dennis Mannion, worked for the Phillies for 15 years, eventually becoming VP of Marketing and Sales
– Fernando and Mariano Duncan were teammates on the 1994 Phillies
– Larry Bowa’s ties to the Phillies (he might be the person we’ve received the most requests for so far)
– Ned actually used to be a sportswriter in Philadelphia, covering hockey in 1980-81
– Shane Victorino (former Dodger minor league twice Rule Fived from our system)
– Jayson Werth – who can forget his wrist sagas?
– Andre Ethier’s thoughts on Philly cheesesteaks (he’s now become MLB’s resident foodie)
– Two former Dodgers on the Phillies’ coaching staff (Davey Lopes and Milt Thompson)
– Former Dodger Charlie Manuel managing the Phillies
And arguably one of the best angles I’ve seen written so far is by the New York Times’ Ben Shpigel, who pointed out that Manuel used to be Manny’s minor league manager, big league hitting coach and big league skipper.
Speaking of Manny, he’s on the cover of SI this week…hopefully the photo below shows up better than the ones of the Steelers’ practice I uploaded back in Pittsburgh.
Meanwhile, my counterpart at the Phillies (who has been doing the PR thing far longer than I have and is one of the more respected people in the game), also has a front office blog like Inside the Dodgers. Larry Shenk runs Phillies Insider and you should peek in over there, too. Good luck to Larry in the series…may the best team win.
I also noticed that more Dodger fan blogs are popping up left and right, including this one by Kelly, currently being promoted on the front of MLBlogs. If you’ve got a Dodger blog, be sure to include it in your posts so others can check them out.
To answer the question about why the start time is 5:22 p.m., not 5:30 – it’s all about network programming. FOX selects the times and in this case, it allows them to go on the air around 5 p.m. and still have up to 20 minutes or so for a pre-game show, plus commercials…
And finally, if you’re back in LA and want to get together with other Dodger fans to watch the games, there are a ton of restaurants/bars in the Dodgers’ Home Base Network where you can be sure the game will be on and other fans will be on hand.
That’s all for now…this might be my longest post of the season so sorry for the rambling.
Ned will be on DodgerTalk postgame today while at the same time, Nomar’s Carne Asada Sunday will be taking place on the Loge Level Terrace. Hope you’ll all be out here for one thing or another…
In a rush to go set up a photo shoot right now for next month’s Dodgers Magazine. As you’ve hopefully seen, we’ve had a current player with a Dodger legend each month (Andruw/Duke, Furcal/Wills, Nomar/Garvey/Cey) and July’s magazine will feature Fernando and Saito. A very cool theme, I think, but you tell me. Do any of you guys read the magazine and if so, what are your thoughts?
Today’s lineup is:
Not really, but tomorrow (Friday) you can be a part of one.
It’s going to be a very cool turnout tomorrow when the Dodgers get their award of excellence star on Hollywood Blvd. Vin Scully, Tommy Lasorda, Joe Torre, Fernando Valenzuela, Russell Martin…those are just five of the Dodger luminaries who will be on hand for this first-ever event.
It’s open to the public, so stop by wearing your blue. It will be at 6801 Hollywood Blvd. (the corner of Hollywood and Highland) and the best parking is at the property at Highland and Johnny Grant Way (the entrance to Hollywood and Highland).
We hope you’ll all be there…and if you can’t be, you can watch it live on FSN Prime Ticket, starting at 11 a.m. PT.
Also, tomorrow night on DodgerTalk following the game, Ned Colletti will be taking calls from the fans to answer your questions. The game is cap night and then afterward, Ned will head to the studio here at the stadium with Ken Levine and Josh Suchon on KABC 790.
It’s been quite a spring, with stops in Florida, China, Arizona and a record-setting crowd at the Coliseum. I haven’t even had the chance to post anything about the Coliseum game, but I do hope that you all got the chance to either attend the game or watch on TV, as it was something I’ll remember for the rest of my life. I’m sure all of you have lasting memories from the game and strangely, other than walking out around midnight and looking up at the empty stadium, I don’t have a moment that stands out for me from the day, as it was special from start to finish.
What does jump out at me, though, is just how hard the entire front office has worked to bring these events to the fans. There are clearly hiccups along the way, as in any business, but I’ve witnessed people working practically around the clock in the offices and I can assure you it’s becauase of their love for the Dodgers. It’s actually really cool to see.
As for Opening Day, for any of you coming down, please try to carpool and come early. As everyone knows, there’s only so much space and on a weekday, it seems all 56,000 people bring their own cars. We’ve added 1,000 parking spots this year, which will help, but we ask for your patience and understanding getting into and out of the ballpark. Anytime you put close to 20,000 cars onto the Freeway after the game right into rush hour traffic, it’s going to be tough to keep traffic flowing but we’ve got hundreds of people working to ensure as smooth an experience as possible.
As for the pregame ceremonies, they are going to be something else, so you’ll want to see them. Like all else this year, they’re geared towards the 50th anniversary celebration.
I haven’t had the chance to give Ned all the questions you’ve asked, but his answers should be coming soon. I know a lot of you have asked about Juan Pierre/Andre Ethier and obviously you saw the conclusion that Ned, Joe and the rest of the baseball staff came to, with Andre starting the year as the left fielder. I hope that at least shows everyone that the people making decisions here don’t do so in a vacuum. They take everything into consideration and are always going to do what they think is going to help us win.
Here’s the lineup for today…
Not sure when that TBA will be filled in, but for now, that’s what we’ve got.