The parade up north is over, which means baseball season is finally done. Certainly not the way any of us had mapped it out, but what’s in the past is now behind us and it’s time to start looking forward again.
I just spent a couple days in Arizona with Don Mattingly at the Arizona Fall League and his energy and excitement for the upcoming season is palpable. You can see a genuine hunger for what he’s trying to accomplish out there and how our team will go about playing the game in 2011.
For those who have never seen the Fall League, it’s a very cool but strange way to watch games…most of the top prospects in the game and yet the stadiums are mostly empty, there’s very little cheering, and most of the people in the stands work for one of the 30 teams.
But it’s real baseball and legit players. I got to see Link and Elbert both pitch very well, plus about eight ABs each from Trayvon Robinson, Ivan DeJesus and Jerry Sands. If you live in Arizona, make sure to stop over there. Amazingly, last year’s Fall League had guys like Buster Posey, Jayson Heyward and Stephen Strasburg playing, among others who are already in the bigs.
We’ll do our best here at Inside the Dodgers to start posting more often. It’s just not much fun to post while other teams are playing in the playoffs, but there’s usually some sort of interesting thing to pass along and we’ll do our best to put it here.
In the meantime, go ahead and put down your wish list for the Dodgers’ offseason in the comments section…obviously Lilly is already locked up, but it’ll be cool to look back in a year and see if the players you thought we should get (or get rid of) turned out the way you had hoped. If I think back to last offseason, most of the guys whose names were bandied about did not exactly turn out to be huge performers, but that’s the fun of the Hot Stove League.
As many of you already know, today is one of the only days in the year where none of the four major sports are playing a game.
But the MLB All-Stars have all descended upon Manhattan for tonight’s home run derby and tomorrow’s Midsummer Classic. We arrived here at about 1 a.m. and were at the hotel by 2 a.m., with Russell sure to have a busy few days ahead of him. You forget how much extra equipment a catcher comes with until you share a ride with him from the airport to the hotel.
This morning it will be mostly media duties, as there is a press conference in about half an hour with Clint Hurdle and Terry Francona to announce their lineups and starting pitchers. Then each of the players is available to speak to reporters for about an hour-long session before everyone heads up to the Bronx Zoo…a.k.a. Yankee Stadium. There are going to be insane amount of people there but I expect it will be a very unique All-Star week.
Yesterday at the Futures Game, Ivan DeJesus played the whole game at second base and had a couple hits and a walk. He’s among the best prospects in our system and hopefully everyone around the country is getting a chance to watch him play.
That’s all for now. I’ll continue to try posting items from behind the scenes as often as possible. Enjoy the “break.”