The lights have been on all day and all evening at the new spring-training complex, at the stadium and both of the lighted practice fields. This is the first time I have ever seen them on, so I’m sure they burning in, a standard procedure with new stadium lights. I’m sure to the people in the houses across the street from mine, the ones whose rear windows directly face the complex, it’s quite an annoyance, as those lights are really bright. From here, though, it’s just a comforting reminder that spring training is right around the corner. Dodgers pitchers and catchers report in 20 days. … By the way, there is a report on mlb.com that suggests things might be heating up between the Dodgers and Jon Garland. Last time I checked, the Dodgers hadn’t head from Randy Wolf’s people in several days, so the team might have run out of patience and decided to look elsewhere. More on this in the days to come, obviously.
There are widespread reports out there on the web that seem to indicate the sides are close to an agreement on a one- or two-year contract. While that certainly could happen, and while Wolf is believed to be at the top of the Dodgers’ list in their search for a starting pitchers, they apparently are NOT CLOSE to an agreement at this point. A well-placed source just told me that the sides haven’t even talked in almost a week. But my guess is they will talk soon.
Jeff Kent said he knew he would retire when he signed a two-year contract extension with the Dodgers. It was apparently so known, that his wife and friends threw a surprise retirement party for him at the end of the season in San Francisco, something that never came out. Dana Kent said her husband was very emtional then, too.
Jeff Kent, who might be the most stoic man in baseball, was more emotional than we’ve ever seen him. This was a good thing for Kent, his fans and certainly former teammates. Kent was never one to show his emotions publicly, but he did so today. He started crying before he even spoke. He started to cry during a video tribute the Dodgers made and spent most of the second half of the video with his head in his hands. General manager Ned Colletti was there, as was Don Newcombe, Dodgers minor league players, former teammate Jose Vizcaino, his agent Jeff Klein, his wife Dana and their four children, trainers, staff, etc. It was a packed house, and Kent certainly gave people a good show. He was genuine. Kent, 40, retired from baseball looking most human.