Schlemiel, Schlemazl, Hasenpfeffer Incorporated

Greetings from the hometown of Laverne and Shirley, where the Dodgers will officially kick off their 2007 season in a little more than 16 hours. Just checked with Dodgers PR man Josh Rawitch to see if anything had happened today with Larry Bigbie, whose window of opportunity for exercising his out clause is closing fast. Josh said there was no news. Sounds like there is at least a possibility Bigbie will agree to stay with the club and go to the minors. It’s tough to find a big-league job right now, because clubs are busy setting their final rosters — which means subtracting players, not adding them. … It is about a thousand different kinds of cold here right now. It was raining when I arrived, and some of those rain drops looked and felt suspiciously like sleet. But the forecast for tomorrow is 63 degrees and sunny, so I won’t be shocked if the roof is left open to allow some of that sunshine into the opener. Just left a message for Brewers PR man Mike Vassallo, one of my oldest and closest friends in the game, to ask him that very question, but he hasn’t gotten back to me yet. Like most of the handful of retractable-roof parks around the league, Miller Park has a completely different personality and feel depending on whether the roof is open or closed. … btw, a heartfelt thank you goes out to my Daily News colleague, Rich Hammond, who so dutifully filled in for me on the beat this weekend so I could catch up on the mountain of last-minute stuff that was due just before opening day. Rich, who also covers the Kings for us, has a new Kings blog on this same site that you should check out if you haven’t yet. … Finally, if you pick up the paper tomorrow, you will find that my advance story on tomorrow’s game centers not on the Dodgers, but on the Brewers. Fact is, after chronicling this team every single day for the past six weeks, I determined there was nothing else that could possibly be written about them until they play a game — especially considering the mountain of copy we ran in last week’s baseball preview issue, which I thought was put together remarkably well by our in-house people. But I also felt the Brewers were a compelling story, just the way they have quickly transformed themselves from perennial pretenders to possible contenders in the NL Central. They have soooo much young talent, and these next three days should provide some riveting matchups. … Next time you hear from me, it will be opening day. Good night.

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