The news of the day started with Manny being on the 15 day DL. He has a strained right calf. The second item: Charlie Haeger didn’t do too badly, not great, but he survived. The bullpen has gone from being the best last year to being dismal this year. Sherrill seems to have lost his mechanics. Kuo and Belisario returned to the team being less than efficient. Billingsley has gone back to the two person Good Bills and Bad Bills, which dictates which Chad will be pitching. Consistency is not in his repertoire.
The offense has been the strong suit of the Dodgers. Matt Kemp had an eleven game hitting streak going into last nights game. He has the most homeruns and RBIs. They have six players with averages of .300 or better. Somehow they hit a roadblock in Friday nights game called Luis Atilano who was making his major league debut for the Nationals. He was impressive.
Russell Martin has been hitting much better than last year. Manny has had an outstanding start. Casey Blake who usually has a slow April started out strong. Raffy Furcal is looking sharp again in offense and defense.
The weak link is the pitching. I think this will be the part of the team that will be most affected by Frank and Ned’s decision not to put any money out. We let Jon Garland go. We did not want to pay Randy Wolf what he wanted. We also did not keep Derek Lowe the year before. Any of these pitchers would have added a little oomph to the team. Everyone kept saying that both of the Ortiz’s did well in ST. I know that whenever Joe Torre chose either of the Ortiz’s in relief, I knew the game was over. Am I wrong? He kept Ramon Ortiz in way too long. How many walks should a pitcher have before he is replaced?? I think he will join the other Ortiz as DFA. It is not a good thing that Jeff Weaver is on DL since he was the strong middle reliever. Broxton has not pitched since Sunday, so he may be rusty.
The Dodgers seem to do better at home with their fans than on the road. They definitely do not get any love from other fans. What is not lovable about Matt, Andre, James and Russell? I know Virginia and Jane love their Yankees but I love my Dodgers. I have been able to see many aspects of their personalities that make them very endearing. James Loney is funny. He makes the craziest faces and seems so intense. He also has the messiest locker. Andre is the team dreamboat. He has to be the best looking baseball player in baseball. However, he is very hard on himself. He shows his displeasure toward himself on the field. He seems to be less hard on himself this year. Matt is fun loving, probably most talented of the Dodgers. He is down to earth, friendly. I told him that I was sad that I have to share him with Rihanna and he gave me an embarrassed but hearty laugh. Russell Martin is all business once he starts practicing on the field. He is very focused. Hopefully he gets his all star quality back this year.
Prayers and good wishes to one of my favorite Dodger coaches, bench coach, Kenny Howell who had part of a big toe amputated from complications of diabetes.
I can’t wait until the Dodgers return home. There will be UCLA night, USC night, fleece blanket night, more buffet,
Thanks everyone for checking in. I hope your team is doing well.
Perfect title for the past week. I used it last season so I present #2.
There were both the best highs in baseball including walk offs, huge homeruns, great pitching, and then there were the lows: less than perfect defense with numerous errors and starting pitchers who just can’t pitch through many innings. Our once magnificent bullpen is struggling. I usually try not to speak negatively about my team but the pitching is scary. Most times, when you put either of the Ortiz’s out there, the game is over.
That is pretty much what happened on Wednesday. I left early when they put Russ Ortiz in as relief.. Good thing since the Dodgers lost in 11 innings.
The guys were not playing good defense. It was definitely an off day.
I did get to talk to Jamey Carroll who spent quite a bit of time before the game talking to fans and signing autographs. That may be one of the only good things about that day.
It was an eating day. I wanted to introduce my son to the finer parts of Dodger Stadium. On the menu that day were buttermilk fried chicken, very yummy pork tenderloin, corn on the cob, and the best peach cobbler ever.
My son enjoyed the attention he got at the Baseline Club.
A highlight of that night was another homerun by Matt Kemp.
Oh, and here is the Jamey Carroll autographed ball.
Poor James Loney looks so downcast.
On Thursday, I went to the game alone since my son wanted to spend time with his cousins. So I decided to get another baseline ticket
It was a beautiful Spring day. It was Opening Day 2010 at Dodger Stadium. The weather was perfect, couldn’t ask for better. I had been looking forward to this day for the last six months. And here it finally is here: April 13, 2010.
As I waited for the gate to open, I realized there were fans who had driven for distances to see this game. One couple came from Las Vegas, others came from Agoura. (where is Agoura?) Finally the gate opened, and I was able to go in to see batting practice.
I happened to see Josh Rawitch, exaulted leader of ITD. He stopped and chatted with me. I always am glad to see him. We talked a little about catching Manny balls.
It certainly had the flavor of opening day.
The guys were out there chewing on their nails. That is big Jon Broxton, our closer with George Sherrill.
Brad Ausmus, one of our wonderful catchers, who is on DL with a back issue
George, Brad and Jonathan
Kuo, on the right, about ready to come back
My favorite Kuroda-San
Reed Johnson, who has done a great job covering for Andre
One of the heroes of the game, Casey Blake,sans beard, on the left.
Jeff Weaver, on the left.
Some of the D Backs during batting practice.
Frank McCourt, the owner of the Dodgers, walked around and spoke to the fans. I shook his hand.
My favorite photographer John Soohoo
Our young second baseman, Blake DeWitt
Russell is smiling right at me…this picture is for Rosie
Another Russell picture
good natured Matt got quite a bit of ribbing about Rihanna.
Russell putting on his catchers gear
Another smiling Russell picture. He was in great spirits.
One of my favorite pictures of Russell
Before the game, the players were introduced. I think you can read the names. They went down the row giving each other high fives.
The Navy unfurled the gigantic flag across the field. It was breathtaking. LeAnn Rimes sang the National Anthem.
I almost missed the flyover. It was awesome.
They presented Matt Kemp with the Silver Slugger, Gold Glove awards
They presented Andre with the Silver Slugger Award.
Then will I am threw out the first pitch. He is part of the Black Eye Peas.
Russell and Clayton walked from the bullpen to the dugout.
Our relief pitchers walked to the bullpen. I can’t wait until Bellisario and Kuo are back
And then the game began.
Matt had commented that he was glad to be coming home. Their road trip was disappointing. The record was 2-4. However, the games were close, mostly one run games. Nothing to get concerned about. The home crowd was excited and ready to cheer the Dodgers on.
Andre hit one of the four homeruns that day.
Manny hit another one. He got a standing ovation and curtain call
Of course, one of the homeruns was hit by my Matty. Here he is getting congratulations from Andre as he comes home.
The other homerun was hit by Casey Blake. It was a two run homerun.
James hit two doubles. He has looked very sharp.
There’s Andre looking right at me He seems to know where I am..
The D Backs were perplexed the whole gaame. They were able to score when Ortiz pitched in relief.
Manny in deep thought
Matt at bat
Russell at bat
It was a disappointment that my Dodgers lost their first two games but I thought that they were getting a few kinks ironed out
Okay, so maybe we were playing as though we were sleepwalking. Could we have left more Dodgers on base?
So maybe the Dodgers played as though they were a new team just trying things out.
Today the Dodgers finally won.
It’s as though they woke up from a deep sleep.
Ronnie Belliard smashed a homerun in the fifth inning. He also doubled and tripled. James and Matt also were hitting machines. The great thing is that Raffy is running and stealing bases again.
I never doubted that the guys would start winning. Todays score against the hard playing Pirates was 10-2. It definitiely is a sign that Chad Billingsley is back. Interestingly enough our silver slugger Andre Ethier was not playing because of his ankle which he rolled in the game yesterday. Hopefully he recovers quickly.
Opening Day for our Dodgers at Dodger Stadium will be Tuesday next week. It should be fun. It will be good to have baseball back again. It will be even better because my son will be visiting me. Hopefully he will be able to go to a few games with me, like maybe Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. The funny thing is that on Wednesday I will have my season seat, a baseline seat, plus I purchased a seat for Dr J in the right field section so she will have a nice view of Andre, her favorite player. The seats are spread out over the stadium. It just happened that way.
Update on my cat: He is recuperating well although he is still thin. He also is very loving and wants to be held and cuddled. So much for that independent cat. A month on his own changed his whole attitude.
Thanks for stopping by. Hope everyone has a great baseball day.
I’ll start this post with a photo of my delicious dugout food. What you see are a tender beef brisket, wonderful pineapple ham with pineapple chutney, bratwurst, grilled veggies including my favorite grilled pineapple. I really missed the Dodger food.
Here is the salad: home style cole slaw, red skinned potato salad, Caesar salad, fresh fruit in season, and Chinese chicken salad.
I had stuffed, breaded ravioli with marinara sauce at my seat
I also tried the chicken strips with barbeque sauce.
All the food was mouth wateringly good. For dessert, I had soft serve ice cream, Haagan Daz chocolate ice cream and cookies.
I sat next to the Angel dugout.
Manager Mike was within view.
It was Chipmunk night so they were there. There’s something strange about hearing the National Anthem sung by chipmunks.
The highlight of the game was X Paul’s huge homerun.
I didn’t take too many pictures, possibly because I was busy eating. Actually it was probably because my favorite subject Andre was sitting the game out. Manny also had the day off. Russell Martin was DL.
I wanted to get some Angel autographs for Mimi. I would have been happy with one but there were so many nice Angels.
I was able to get quite a few.
Here is the other side.
And yet another side. I was very pleased. The autographs included all the catchers: Napoli, Wilson, and Mathis. They were especially nice. I also was able to get Brandon Wood, Gary Patchett(a non roster invitee who was very cute), and my personal favorite: the openning day pitcher: Jered Weaver. I told him how much I love his brother Jeff.I also got autographs from two coaches: Mickey Hatcher and Dino Evel.
So Mimi, I will email you and you can give me your address so I can send this amazing ball to you.
I was not able to get a single Dodger autograph after the game because they were rushing to catch a plane to Pittsburg. They were all dressed in suits. I’m so used to seeing Broxton wearing his tee shirt and shorts with flip flops. They all looked very different all cleaned up.
The season starts on Monday and that will be when it starts counting. I heard that Ellis, Paul and Hu were optioned to Albuquerque. Justin Miller and JD Closser also weree reassigned to minor league camp. Sadly, Doug Mienkiewicz was released. Sorry Jane.
I will have to wait a week to see the Dodgers again but it has been fun the last 3 days. The pitchers have been showing their stuff. Sorry to see X Paul going down to minors, but good for him that he hit that huge homerun.
Some discussion on the field
My favorite pitcher, Kuroda-San.
I saw Hideki Matsui and called out “Matsui-San”. He turned around and waved to me. What a legend he has become.
I always have to include a picture of my Matty. I can’t believe I have to share him with Rihanna now!
I realized today how much I missed baseball. I looked around Dodger Stadium, my second home. I missed my friends there. It was good to see Linda again. I was touched that so many of the staff welcomed me back to Dugout Club.
Thanks for stopping by. I hope you are as happy being with your team as I am being with my Dodgers.
I have to include a picture of Andre for my Andre fans, especially Virginia.
It’s been an experience getting back in the groove again…my baseball groove, that is.
I just returned from the Angels Dodgers game, a little tired, but happy that it’s baseball season again.
I decided to use my GPS to get to and from Angel Stadium since my Dodger car only knows how to get to Dodger Stadium.
The traffic was horrendous getting there. Thank goodness I allowed enough time. My GPS informed me that I was at my destination. Looking around, I noticed that I was still on the freeway. I didn’t see Angel Stadium. But that monotone lady on the GPS just kept repeating to me that I was there. OK, so I got off the freeway and kept driving. Eventually I saw signs to direct me to the Stadium. So much for that Tom Tom GPS.
The security at the gate checked bags very carefully. Very carefully. He checked in jackets and used a small flashlight to inspect every corner. Someone behind me said that he was doing that specifically to Dodger fans. Interesting.
I did make it into the stadium and found my seat. It was a very nice seat pretty much surrounded by Angels fans.
But I didn’t care. I saw what I wanted to see.
My Dodgers!!!!! Life is good.
They were working out and looking fantastic. There’s Manny in the front
Here’s Mattingly having a conversation with Larry King and one of his young sons.
They all looked great, fresh, ready to play.
OMG, it’s that woman with the camera!
Andre looking at me again!
Matty alone in the dugout
Below are James and Ande having a conversation.
Matty and James
Andre looking pensive
I love this picture of Manny. He was talking to my buddy who was standing next to me.
One of my favorite pictures of Andre ever
Joe Torre watching BP
Casey Blake minus beard
Russell Martin sporting a faux hawk.
Garrett Anderson and Manny sprinting together
Baby Kershaw in action
He is only 22 years old and better and better each year
Jeff Weaver pitched in relief and did well
Broxton also pitched
I had a great time. However, I forgot where I parked at first. Panic time. I eventually found my car and used my GPS to get home. It did get me home but not before taking me off the freeway and going in a circle near Main Street. Can’t figure that one out.
I will try to include pictures of the first exhibition game in my next post.
I’m exhausted and will be going to my third game in three days tomorrow. Ahhhhh, baseball heaven.
Thanks for stopping by.
I thought the day would never come! Tonight is the first game of the season at Dodger Stadium. I know it is just an exhibition game but to me it counts. The ground is still wet from the night rain but it is supposed to be dry by game time.
OK, so I found a DUGOUT CLUB SEAT!!! Saturday I will be sitting in my usual spot in the Dugout Club by the visitors dugout. I am so excited. I will be doing my best to get Angels autographs for my little buddy Mimi. Wish me luck.
I can’t wait to talk to Matty, James, Andre, and the rest of my darling Dodgers. It has been a long 6 months.
Tonight I will have new pictures!!!
Thanks for stopping by.