Jones, Nomar, Kemp headed to China

The good people of Beijing — and the good people in the commissioner’s office in New York — will have to accept that as a representative group, because pretty much everybody else of note is staying in Florida (including your humble correspondent, who begged off the trip months ago). Joe Torre said today that for obvious reasons, there will be an Asian presence, which I’m sure means that Hong-Chih Kuo and Chan Ho Park will be going and also might mean that Takashi Saito, who is Japanese, is going. I seriously doubt that Hiroki Kuroda will be going. Torre seemed to indicate that no frontline pitchers will make the trip, and Kuroda is as frontline as it gets after signing a three-year, $35.3 million. … Juan Pierre showed up early today, but declined to meet with reporters, promising to do so when he returns on Tuesday. He also hinted that he knows exactly what we want to ask him about, which is the situation in left field. Torre said hello to Pierre but didn’t address the LF matter with him beyond what the two discussed over the telephone this winter. Looking more and more like J.P. will have to actually beat out Andre Ethier for the job, although Torre did admit that his history suggests he likes veteran players.

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