In the decidedly unofficial but welcome opener of Spring Training, the Dodgers take on the White Sox in a seven-inning scrimmage.
|Dodgers vs. White Sox, 10 a.m.|
|Trayvon Robinson, CF|
|Ivan DeJesus, Jr. SS|
|Russ Mitchell, 3B|
|Michael Restovich, DH|
|John Lindsey, 1B|
|Brian Barton, RF|
|Prentice Redman, LF|
|Chin-Lung Hu, 2B|
|Lucas May, C|
|(Eric Stults, P)|
No expected Opening Day starters are in today’s lineup, but it’s still baseball. Tony Jackson of ESPNLosAngeles.com is tweeting from Camelback Ranch.
To get you in the right spirit, here’s this: Dodger minor leaguer Brian Akin writes a great post about being a lowly minor-leaguer in a big-league Spring Training game at Dear (Tommy) John Letters.
But wait, there’s more:
- Burt Hooton’s wife Ginger told Dodger Thoughts commenter Hollywood Joe in an e-mail that Hooton has a clean bill of health after battling lymphoma.
- Fifty years ago today, the talk at Spring Training was about whether Gil Hodges would move to third base to make room for Frank Howard at first base, notes Keith Thursby of the Daily Mirror. (That, and the fact that Elvis Presley was coming home from the Army and resuming his relationship with 16-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu.) Hodges started five games at third and 41 at first in 1960 — but Howard spent the majority of the year in right field, and Norm Larker was the most frequent first baseman.
- “Eric (Stults) knows he’s certainly capable of pitching at this level,” Dodgers manager Joe Torre told Steve Dilbeck of Dodgers Blog. “He’s pitched playoff games for this ball club, he’s done well for us. The only thing is the consistency of it, and I think that’s what he’s trying to corral right now. … We’re certainly taking a long look at what he has to offer.”
- Despite beginning the year with 15 of their first 21 games on the road, the Dodgers have one of the easiest schedules to open the season, writes Buster Olney of ESPN.com, thanks to 10 games against the Pirates and Nationals. I think I’d argue that for the Dodgers to have all those road games in April — all on the East Coast — still makes it a challenging opening month for the team.
- Hong-Chih Kuo is profiled at the Times by Dylan Hernandez, who focuses on the latest of Kuo’s many comebacks. A really nice piece.
- Clayton Kershaw is analyzed by guest poster Tripon at True Blue L.A. using a relatively new statistic, true Earned Run Average.
- Although you’d think it goes without saying that it wasn’t all about offense when it comes to steroid use, this post by Craig Calcaterra at Hardball Talk reminds us that pitchers used steroids too. Former Dodger Matt Herges talks about how he thinks steroids helped him.
- Davey Lopes’ effect as a coach on team baserunning is explored by Bill Baer in a guest column for Baseball Prospectus.
- Catcher Ronny Paulino, whose ejection prompted the argument that led to former Dodger Jose Offerman’s lifetime ban from the Dominican Winter League, told his version of what happened to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post (via Baseball Think Factory).
- Something for both Cal and Stanford fans: Mike Montgomery is the first men’s basketball coach to win Pac-10 titles with two different schools, writes Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News. Wilner suggests that Montgomery is the fourth-greatest coach in the conference (and its predecessors) since the 1950s, behind John Wooden, Pete Newell and Lute Olson.