Note to Torre

When Joe Torre arrived in his office after the Dodgers’ Opening Day 5-0 win over San Francisco, he found a note on his desk. It said: “We eat, we win.” It was from B.C. – Billy Crystal – who’s a good friend of Torre’s.
“That goes back a long time,” Torre said. “We had lunch one day, and we won the game that night. I don’t know if it’s superstition. It’s more an expression than reality. Now, if we just if we talk about eating together. He’s a dear friend.”
Speaking of eating, Torre said he would go out to eat tonight with his family, which included many of his relatives from Cincinnati. He said he has many favorite eateries in L.A. because you can sit outside. However, he said his group will probably be in the back of a restaurant somewhere.

One down, 162 to go

As anyone who is around this game on a regular basis will tell you, the best game of any baseball season is Game 2. If opening day is sensory overload, Game 2 is sweet normalcy, and I can’t wait to get here tomorrow. As for the rest of today, well, let’s just say there is a lot of work to be done. … Anyway, one thing that was really, really encouraging today was the way the Dodgers worked Zito, getting his pitch count to 87 by the time he was pulled after just five innings. The philosophy behind that strategy is that you get a starter out of the game early and get to the middle relief. Well, the Dodgers actually scored four of their five runs off Zito and only one off middle reliever Merkin Valdez. But the strategy is a proven one, and if the Dodgers can keep it up, it will serve them very well as the season goes along. … By the way, I can’t stop myself from pointing out that Andre Ethier and Juan Pierre now have exactly the same number of hits this season.

Tying up loose ends

The Dodgers did officially purchase the contracts this morning of infielder Blake DeWitt and Angel Chavez, and DeWitt is in the starting lineup at 3B, batting eighth, for better or worse. “We’re not askign him to do anything other than play the position,” Joe Torre said. “We don’t want him to carry us or do anything extraordinary.” Chavez was taken over Ramon Martinez because Martinez basically because he gives the club more roster flexibility, which is important given that either one would be going back to Triple-A eventually. By adding Martinez to the 40-man roster, the Dodgers would risk losing him when they try to outright him back to the minors because he has enough big-league service time that he could simply refuse the outright, become a free agent and keep his major-league salary for the entire season. Chavez doesn’t have enough service time to do that. … There are indications DeWitt’s stay might be a short one, even though Torre admitted this morning that Nomar will need a rehab assignment before he is activated, which means he isn’t going to be activated anytime soon because he isn’t even close to being ready for game action. But Marcus Giles is still a free agent, has been ever since the Rockies released him on Tuesday. It would make sense if the Dodgers were to sign him and send him to Vegas for a few days to see if he could master playing 3B, where he has made nine career appearances, none since 2005. Then, if he proves he is even adequate, they could bring him up after a few days and stick him in the lineup.