Happy New Year

Welcome to 2013!

I’m in the press box today, taking a day off work to freelance a piece for Sports on Earth that you’ll see tonight. In the meantime, here are some notes from Don Mattingly’s pregame session:

• Everyone seems at ease with Chris Capuano in the bullpen for now, but neither Aaron Harang nor Don Mattingly seem sold on Harang’s presence there.

“Aaron is a little bit for me someone who we’ll have to learn (about) as we go,” Mattingly said. “He’ll be a bit more of a challenge, in terms of how long it takes him to get going, how long it takes him to get loose. … I’m a little more concerned with Aaron than I am with Cap to be honest.

It didn’t sound as if Harang had really even bought into the program at this point.

“Maybe he hadn’t quite accepted it,” Mattingly said. “Now reality has hit, and we need to get down to brass tacks.”

• Mattingly likes Paco Rodriguez, the young reliever who last year became the first from the 2012 draft class to reach the majors, and he likes him not only as a guy to focus on left-handed batters.

“This guy can get righties out, too,” Mattingly said. “He’s a strike-thrower. … All our lefties for me can get lefties and righties out.”

• There is no medical watch on Carl Crawford beyond simple common sense.

“At this point, I think Carl is off the (medical) list,” Mattingly said. “That being said, we know he’s coming off major elbow surgery, and we have to pay attention.”

Mattingly also made the case that concern over Crawford’s throwing arm – never a strength of his game, the manager acknowledged – is a bit overblown.

“He’s more of a speed guy,” Mattingly said. “He gets to it quick and gets rid of it quick.  … (But) it ain’t like he can’t throw. We think he’s going to continue to get better.”

Mattingly added that Skip Schumacher “throws as good as anybody (the Dodgers have) in the outfield” and he would be the primary defensive replacement should the team feel it needs a better arm in the late innings.

• Dylan Hernandez of the Times asked Mattingly, “How did Ted Lilly react when you told him he was injured.” Mattingly smiled somewhat sheepishly for several seconds, then said, “Ned (Colletti) took care of the DL, so I’ll leave that there.”

•  ”Voila,” Mattingly said at one point in the pregame. On principle, I’m not providing the context, allowing you to imagine him as a magician.

Giants at Dodgers, 1:10 p.m.
Kershaw CL: Kershawn the Waterfront

Dodgers starting lineup
Carl Crawford, LF
Mark Ellis, 2B
Matt Kemp, CF
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Andre Ethier, RF
Luis Cruz, 3B
A.J. Ellis, C
Justin Sellers, SS
Clayton Kershaw, P

  • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

    Have fun there Jon! I’m jealous of anyone who’s there today.

    I agree with Donnie on Paco, he’s no LOOGY.

    Go Dodgers! Beat SF! Beat SF!

    • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

      PS: See if you can find out if this is true or not. I thought they were making some improvements to visitor side as well, just not to the level of home side…?

      Anthony Witrado ‏@WitradoSN10m: Unnamed Giants broadcasters and players ripping Dodgers for “improvements” to stadium. Not happy that visiting clubhouse was not remodeled.

    • Anonymous

      Thrash SF!

  • Anonymous

    Nice to see you out of hibernation…thanks for sharing your Dodger knowledge. Enjoy the game!

  • http://www.linkmeister.com/wordpress/ Linkmeister

    If Jon doesn’t object to my link I’ve put a Game Thread over here: http://linkmeister.com/dodgers/2013/04/opening-day-2013/

    • Adam Luther

      Thanks for the link – I was wondering where the Dodger Thoughts gang went.

      • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

        Here, there, everywhere (incl TBLA and Mike Scioscia’s Tragic Illness). And twitter. And here. And there… er, sorry, I’m stuck.

  • Anonymous

    Never heard of Sports on Earth before, but was pleased to hunt around its pages. Here’s one gem:

    http://www.sportsonearth.com/article/42728166/

  • Adam Luther

    Lots of raves about the pitching (deservedly so), however that’s finally a batting order that does strike fear in the opponents rotation…stay healthy!!

    • Anonymous

      Speaking of batting orders, I looked at the Rockies today and fail to see how they are not as well regarded as the D-Backs.

      • http://underdog.typepad.com/ underdog

        Their lineup is good, they’ll hit, they’ll be pesky… but their pitching staff shapes up to be atrocious.

  • Anonymous

    Ahhh yeah! Opening Day baby. Let’s get this thing going.

  • Anonymous

    Ah, Opening Day ! Loving the fact I have the day off work so I can catch the game. Can’t make it to the ballpark, but my new 55″ flatscreen will provide a much better view of the game than my old 42″ old-school tube TV that has been limping along for the past 10 seasons. Go Blue! Beat SF!

  • Jack Dawkins

    The legend grows. Kershaw with a complete game shotout, no walks, and leads the team in HRs.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kmt59 KT

    Excellent game by Clayton and except for his attempted steal of 3rd…Crawford too

  • http://twitter.com/nrmnbates Eric Enders

    That was quite the delightful Opening Day game.

  • Anonymous

    On a plane all day, so missed it. Couldn’t have turned out better.

    • Anonymous

      At a swimming carnival all day, so I missed It too :)

  • Anonymous

    Don’t know if I’m more excited about opening day or the fact that Jon is back at DodgerThoughts. Actually, I do know- its the latter. Please keep it up Jon!

  • http://www.dodgerthoughts.com/ Jon Weisman

    NPUT