Congratulations are in order to Clayton Kershaw and minor league pitching coach Danny Darwin, who were both honored last night in Dallas.
And serious kudos go out to Casey Blake, who clearly understands the meaning of giving back to the community. He and his family are donating $1 million to their hometown, according to their local paper.
Hopefully we’ll see many of you out and about at the caravan this week. More public stops than we’ve ever had before, so come out and see current and former Dodgers as we gear up for Spring Training (pitchers and catchers report in less than three weeks).
And we’ll leave you with the following photo from Joe Torre, who has a cameo on Jay Mohr’s show Gary Unmarried (seen here with Rob Riggle of The Daily Show fame). It’ll air on March 10 when we’re at Camelback.
For those of you who collect ’em, we’ve got the expected dates and players for bobbleheads in place for 2010.
May 18 – Andre Ethier
June 8 – Jonathan Broxton
July 20 – James Loney
Aug. 17 – Matt Kemp
Individual tickets don’t go on sale until March 6, but fans can get their seat for all four bobblehead dates with the 21-Game Bobbleslam Mini Plan. Fans can purchase online here or by calling our ticket office at 323-224-1365.
Also, for those who haven’t heard, Joe Torre and Sandy Koufax will be featured at an event to benefit Torre’s Safe at Home Foundation. The event will take place on Feb. 27 here at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles and tickets cost between $25 and $200 and can be purchased at ticketmaster.com.
And finally, the Los Angeles Sports Council is having it’s annual awards show for that will honor the greatest moments in Los Angeles sports in 2009. Fans can vote here until Jan. 31 and there are lots of Dodger moments and events here at the stadium to vote for, so check it out. The actual awards show will be on Feb. 19 at the JW Marriott at LA Live.
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)
It’s a circus! We just got finished with the 40-plus media outlets that jammed into our dugout to talk to Joe Torre about his return to New York. I certainly understand why it’s a big story, but it certainly tells you how much this man was beloved here.
Of course, for all of us, the four World Championships and 12 straight playoff appearances are not something that comfort anyone while we’re losing. That was as frustrating a series as I can remember and I know that everyone knows we have to play better. I think we just have to feel fortunate that we didn’t lose any ground in the standings.
Meanwhile, despite arriving at 4:30 a.m., we popped over to Yankee Stadium today for a tour of the old and new stadiums and both are pretty cool for different reasons. Hard to believe that after this year, Dodger Stadium will be the third-oldest in baseball. As for Shea Stadium, barring a postseason return, this is our final series here and safe to say, I don’t know many who will miss this joint.
On the bright side, Jeff Kent is expected to play tonight so let’s hope he’s back on track with his three-hit game on Monday. Here’s the lineup: