I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong.I was wrong. I was wrong. … And no, I did NOT come to this conclusion after watching the left fielder foul out to left field to end the inning on a 1-0 pitch after the previous two hitters had just worked walks on a combined 13 pitches to load the bases, in the ninth inning of a 2-2 game, thus capping an 0-for-5 night for said left fielder. Nor did I come to this conclusion after watching Andre Ethier save the game by cutting down Brandon Wood at the plate to end the eighth inning. I actually came to this conclusion a few days ago. I just thought this would be the perfect occasion in which to finally deliver my long-overdue mea culpa. OK? Is everybody satisfied?
He felt something in his right groin after one of his at-bats against the Brewers on Tuesday. The move can be backdated to Wednesday, which means he won’t be eligible to play until April 11 against the Padres. Not sure what it means for third base except that Blake DeWitt now might actually, truly be a candidate for the opening-day roster. That would mean a whole lot of other things, too, mostly that his calendar would be moved up a year so that he would run out of options a year earlier, would become eligible for arbitration a year earlier, etc., because as of right now, he doesn’t even have to be added to the 40-man roster until next winter. If he is added to the opening-day roster, all of that changes. If you assume Rudy Seanez was released to make room on the 40-man for Chan Ho Park, then this probably means another spot will have to be cleared to make room for DeWitt … or for Marcus Giles, if the Dodgers decide to go that route. He was officially released by the Rockies on Wed. … Two moves today: Yhency Brazoban was optioned to the minors to the surprise of no one who saw him pitch (or try to field his position) this spring, and veteran reliever Mike Myers was released. Myers was in camp on a non-roster invitation, so releasing him doesn’t clear a roster spot. … If you’re coming to tonight’s lone installment of this year’s abbreviated Freeway Series, bring a jacket. It’s going to be chilly.
The move was made last night when the team arrived in Los Angeles. This is a bit of a shocker. He wasn’t having a great spring. He had a 7.71 ERA in five appearances, but most of us had simply assumed he was on the team. Rudy had considered retirement a year ago before the Dodgers signed him to a minor-league deal, and he was going to retire last spring if he hadn’t made the team, so my guess is that’s what he’ll do now. He’s 38 and has had a nice career, in the majors off and on since 1989. … I’m GUESSING this was done to clear a 40-man roster spot because the roster was full, and there probably will be another spot or two cleared in the next couple of days. Chan Ho Park is going to make the team as a long reliever, so he’ll need to be added, and Ramon Martinez has a shot, too. But this still leaves one more bullpen opening that could go to any one of a number of guys, including Brian Falkenborg, Mike Myers or Mike Koplove. It could mean a trade is coming. Or, it could just mean they’re planning on beginning the season with an 11-man staff because they won’t need a fifth starter until April 8, the eighth game of the season. In fact, that is probably the most logical explanation for now. That probably means Chin-lung Hu makes the club as an extra infielder and a hedge in case both Nomar and Kent start the season on the DL. … Rudy had a $550,000 base salary and a $150,000 roster bonus, which basically meant it would cost the Dodgers only $550,000 if they released him before opening day. But because they released him before Friday, the deadline for requesting unconditional release waivers, the club only owes him 45 days’ pay, which according to my calculations is $137,500.
For the first time since last Thursday, the Dodgers didn’t lose. They stopped after nine, what with it being getaway day and all. Clayton Kershaw was brilliant again, pitching three shutout innings and allowing one hit against one of the best lineups in the league. Penny walked five in three innings in his final start of the spring, but one can hardly blame him for looking ahead to Monday, when he gets the ball for the opener. Scott Proctor retired all four batters he faced. The boys come home 9-17-3 for the spring. I come home tired and with a really bad cold, but otherwise ready for action. See you Thursday night in Anaheim.
The visiting clubhouse here at Marvale Baseball Park is, shall we say, a bit spartan … and a bit small. When the three buses carrying the roughly 42 Dodgers players plus coaches, support staff and broadcast personnel, pulled up to the ballpark this morning, with most already dressed in their getaway garb of dress pants, dress shirts and dress shoes, most players walked into the clubhouse and walked right back out again. Many of them actually got back on the bus and changed into their uniforms there, with a large gaggle of autograph seekers waiting behind an iron fence just outside. This is an unfortunate reality of spring training, where you can’t always count on the most plush of accommodations when going on the road. These are, in reality, minor-league parks, with most of them hosting minor-league teams during the summer months. But the Dodgers might want to put in a request to the league office to NOT play the Brewers in Maryvale on getaway day EVER AGAIN.
Internet went down in the press box last night, so I never posted after the game, but the Dodgers lost to the Royals 10-9 after mounting a ninth-inning comeback. … Team is headed back to Los Angeles after the game and will get a much-needed off day tomorrow before playing the Angels in Anaheim on Thursday night. … Dodgers will close out this part of spring training with a perfect day in the desert, just a gorgeous morning. Brewers complex is in kind of a bad neighborhood, but the complex itself is beautiful, and there is a great view of the mountains beyond center field. This game is NOT a sellout. I checked last night, and they were still about 3,000 short. But you can already tell the Dodgers are going to be HUGE draw down here. This move in long overdue.
Saito had been slated to pitch in tonight’s game with the Royals, but instead, he was left back at PHX Muni with tightness in his right buttocks. Allegedly, he would have been able to pitch if this were a regular season game, but this is a precaution. Not sure what it means for his schedule the rest of the way, but I’ll try to find out. … Jeff Kent had a good day running sprints on the outfield grass and rounding the bases. He also too batting practice and ground balls. He still has an outside chance of being ready for opening day, so we’ll see. … Beautiful complex here in Surprise.
Chad Billingsley struggled, mostly because he tried to use his changeup more than he has in the past, something he plans to do during the regular season. He was touched for five runs over four innings and now has an 8.31 ERA for the spring. Esteban Loaiza gave up three runs on six hits over three innings, but Chan Ho Park struggled his last time out, too, so the fifth spot in the rotation still belongs to Loaiza, even though Torre has yet to officially bestow it upon him. … James Loney went 3 for 4 with a double. Juan Pierre went hitless in four at-bats, his average dropping to .188. … Dodgers fall to 9-16-2. At the Royals tomorrow night.
The fact both of them are out of options appears to be working in their favor. Kuo is having a good spring, with a 2.35 ERA in five appearances (7 2/3 innings). Delwyn is hitting just .146, but he has cut WAY down on his strikeouts since early in camp.
This is Torre:
“I think (being out of options) has to be (a factor). To me, you have to think in terms of that. It’s a matter of `Who do you take instead of … ?’ and it has to make sense. If it’s an equal playing field, why lose somebody of value? I believe those two guys have value. They’re both young, and Kuo is left-handed.”
And hi from Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, the quaint little home of the N.L. champion Colorado Rockies. This isn’t the most modern facility in the Cactus League, but it sits in a beautiful setting, with a lush golf course behind it and a lot of palm trees and other foliage beyond the outfield wall. It used to be a dump when the Cleveland Indians trained here, but the Rockies had it redone shortly after they came into the league back in the mid-90s, and they did a great job with it. The ushers and security people here are among the best anywhere, very friendly and professional, which is also true of Coors Field in Denver. I don’t know that I appreciated that when I was covering the team back in the late ’90s. It was the first team I had ever covered, so I probably thought things were done that way everywhere. But as a visiting writer, it’s a very nice thing to encounter when you walk into a strange ballpark, and I haven’t been here since 1999. … Chin-lung Hu is in the lineup playing third base today, with Tony Abreu at SS and Ramon Martinez at 2B. Everything else is basically the same, with an outfield of Pierre, Kemp and Ethier. Gary Bennett is catching, Billingsley pitching. Off to the clubhouse. Check with ya later.