Packing up early

For the Angels, Gary Matthews, Orlando Cabrera and Vladimir Guerrero already are out of the game. I’m guessing there will be a parade of early exits on both sides in the next couple of innings. Brad Penny is pitching adequately enough that he has yet to give up a run, but he was saved by his defense twice in the third inning. After Matthews doubled with one out, Brady Clark made a diving catch to rob Cabrera of a hit. Guerrero then smoked one to the left side that Wilson Betemit dived into the hole to his left to snare. Betemit got up and threw out Guerrero by a narrow margin. Wilson Valdez and Ramon Martinez, who is out of the game already, have two hits each. Dodgers 2, Angels 0, bottom 4

Mota grounded by rules technicality

Due to the fact that the commissioner’s office has suddenly decided to start enforcing the limit on uniformed coaches in the dugout during games. longtime Dodgers fixture Manny Mota won’t be on the bench this season. More notably, he won’t be on the road. At home, Mota will dress for batting practice, hit fungoes, work with hitters in the indoor cages, etc. But when game time comes, he’ll put on his regular clothes and head upstairs to the press box. Rules are rules, I suppose. But this is a case where a good, respected man will be kept from making as much of a contribution to the game as he otherwise could. This game could use some decentralized governing, in my humble opinion. But to his credit, Manny, one of the classiest people I have ever met in this game, seems to be taking it all in stride.

Opening day roster set tonight (hopefully)

The Dodgers don’t HAVE to set their roster until 9 a.m. tomorrow morning, but my guess is it will happen right after the game tonight, because the team is leaving for Milwaukee around 10 tomorrow morning. Can’t imagine they would leave anything unresolved until then. In reality, there really is only one more decision to be made, that being whether to DL Rafael Furcal retroactive to March 21 so Wilson Valdez doesn’t have to be waived, at least not before Furcal comes off the DL on Friday. The club still has to purchase the contracts of Rudy Seanez and Larry Bigbie, but those moves are formalities. There is one 40-man spot already open, and the club will open another by putting Jason Repko on the 60-day DL. Players on the 60-day don’t count against the 40-man limit. Players on the 15-day do. I’ll get this stuff on the blog as soon as I know it. Forty-three hours and 35 minutes to first pitch.