That would be the Grapefruit League opener, which is set for 1:05 today against the Braves, who come in on a roll after having pounded the University of Georgia yesterday. It feels like it’s about as cold today as it was for last year’s actual season opener in Milwaukee, although Miller Park has a roof that was closed that day. Holman Stadium, well, it doesn’t really have a retractable roof, so it’s going to be kind of a miserable day. Jason Johnson, a non-roster guy, is starting today’s game for the boys. He’ll be followed by Mike Myers, Tanyon Sturtze and Tom Martin. … The final day of Dodgers Idol is going on in the clubhouse right now. If a winner is declared, I’ll let you know.
Jason Schmidt has a tired arm, which is to be expected given that his rehab program has had him throwing since November. It’s not a setback at all, but it does sort of clear up why team officials were so dead set against saying anything optimistic about him possibly being ready for opening day. I’m going to do a 180 now and predict he WON’T be ready for opening day. It’s just going to take him too long to build up his innings, so the best guess here is he comes back around April 15.
“I’m not planning on him when the season starts,” Joe Torre said. “He c“ould be a surprise, but we’ll see. If he isn’t ready, I think we’ll be covered.”
Esteban Loaiza would presumably then take the fifth spot, but Torre said the first week of camp he isn’t likely to use five starters if the team has off-days.
Meanwhile, Torre seemed to hint that Nomar Garciaparra is the favorite to land the starting 3B job.
“I talked to him the other day,” Torre said. “I explained to him that being the veteran guy, he has the inside track as far as being the starting third baseman. But we will (start the season) with the best 25 (players) we can get.”
Derek Lowe, the only candidate other than Brad Penny to be the Dodgers’ opening-day starter, said today that Penny should get the ball on March 31 against the Giants.
“We’re 0-3 when I pitch on opening day, which isn’t real good,” Lowe said. “They haven’t said anything, but if I were a guessing man, I would say Brad will do it. He is well deserving. He has been our best pitcher the past two years, and he has made the All-Star team the past two yers. He has earned it.”
Lowe spoke just after pitching two hitless innings in a simulated game, facing eight hitters and throwing 33 pitches (23 strikes).
Even after hearing about Lowe’s comments, Joe Torre still wouldn’t say Penny is the guy. But it’s clear he is leaning that way.
“I think that could work,” Torre said. “(Penny) is lined up to pitch on opening day, but we haven’t decided that yet. We want to get into the spring a little bit and make sure they are getting what they need and that they are feeling good.”
This is just a cut-and-paste of the Dodgers’ official release
LOS ANGELES Single game tickets for the Los Angeles Dodgers 50th Anniversary season will go on sale this Saturday, March 1 at 10 a.m. Dodger Stadiums Sunset Gate will open at 8 a.m. and fans who arrive by 8:30 a.m. receive a numbered wristband for the ticket lottery. Those with wristbands will get the first opportunity to purchase single-game tickets for Opening Day and all 81 regular season games. A number will be drawn at random, and that number will be first in line. Thus there is no advantage to coming earlier. There will be a limited number of Opening Day tickets for sale and a purchase limit of four tickets per fan will apply.
In addition to coming to Dodger Stadium, fans can purchase tickets by visiting www.dodgers.com, by calling 866-DODGERS or by visiting any Ticketmaster Ticket outlets. Dodger fans can secure their Opening Day tickets through a pre-On Sale, tomorrow, February 27, through two new ticket package offers. A six-game package for seats in the ampm All-You-Can-Eat Right Field Pavilion, that includes Opening Day, can be purchased starting at $170. An eight-game package in the Reserve Level that also guarantees Opening Day can be bought with prices starting at $80.
In addition to individual game tickets, the Dodgers offer season tickets plans, partial season ticket packages and several different mini-plans. The Dodgers will continue to offer the popular 2-for-2 season ticket plan (purchase two season seats in Loge Box and Lower Reserve selected areas and get an adjoining pair for free) and the half-price Coca-Cola Value 12-packs. The Dodgers also offer 27-game Fielders Choice packages and 22-game Grand Slam and Perfect Game packages in addition to three 15-game packages. Every package includes Opening Day with the exception of the Coca-Cola Value packs. These ticket packages are available today and can be purchased by calling 866-DODGERS.
Fans can be the first to experience the new Baseline Box Clubs during the 50th Anniversary season. Full and half-season packages that include access to the new clubs located at first and third-base sides are available now. All Premium Baseline Box packages feature seating in the Hollywood Bowl style seats, a high-end buffet that includes unlimited food and non-alcoholic beverages, and Preferred Parking passes. For further details contact Dodgers Premium Seating at 323.224.1320 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dodger sales staff will be on hand Saturday to sign fans up for any of the many ticket plans offered for the 2008 season. Dodger fans will be allowed into Dodger Stadium at 8 a.m. through the Sunset Gate located at the intersection of Elysian Park and Stadium Way. One wristband will be distributed to each person at 8:30 a.m. and the On Sale will begin at 10 a.m. Former Dodgers Sweet Lou Johnson, Bobby Castillo, Kenny Landreaux, and Rudy Law will be at the On Sale from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a fan meet and greet and to sign autographs.
The Dodgers open the 2008 regular season at home on March 31 against the San Francisco Giants at 1:10 p.m., the first of 81 home dates that include more than 40 promotional events and giveaways. The entire 50th Anniversary promotional schedule will be available at www.dodgers.com.
He’s the interview guest on Conversations with Michael Eisner, to air at 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. Los Angeles time. If you miss it, you can see clips of the interview (but apparently not the interview in its entirety) at the following site: