Dodgers 13, Rockies 5 … and sort of a Manny update

There was a guy in the stands who walked by the press box and asked if anyone had seen Manny. That was pretty much the only time Manny’s name was mentioned all day. Meanwhile, back at the Ranch — I have been waiting to use that line ever since the Dodgers announced they were naming their new complex Camelback Ranch — Frank McCourt and Ned Colletti spent the day in organizational meetings that had nothing to do with Manny. Ned said he did speak with Boras, characterized the discussion as “cordial and informative,” but other than that, there appears to be nothing new. … As for the game, well, Juan Castro continued to do his darnedest to hit his way onto the opening-day roster, even though manager Joe Torre said before the game that Castro’s track record as a good-glove-no-hit guy is such that he probably won’t be evaluated on anything he does offensively in spring training. Castro went 3 for 3 with two doubls, two runs scored and an RBI. He is now batting .750 (6 for 8), with three doubles, in four games. … Mitch Jones, who you probably won’t see in Los Angeles at any point this season, hit a grand slam in the eighth inning and has now hit two home runs and driven in six runs in the past two games. … Clayton Kershaw had a great first inning, then a rough second, giving up two runs on two hits. James McDonald and Scott Elbert, both of whom are in the mix for the fifth spot in the rotation, then combined to face the minimum over the next four innings, allowing only one hit while striking out four. … Dodgers improve to 2-2. Camelback Ranch opener is tomorrow against the White Sox. Dodgers are the home team.

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  • Buddy

    Eventually, they’ll have to think of a better name than Camelback Ranch, sounds like a sleazy bordello.

  • Dave R.

    Tony – Are Elbert and McDonald really in the mix for No. 5? Didn’t the Dodgers pretty much say that McDonald would take the Billingsley route, opening in the bullpen and eventually transitioning to the rotation? As for Elbert, he hasn’t started in what, two years?

  • Tony Jackson

    McD is in the mix. So is Elbert, but he’s a long shot. It’s probably Schmidt’s to lose, but with him, you never know. If it’s not Schmidt, it’s a free-for-all between McD, Milton, Estes (who blew up yesterday), Vargas, etc. If Elbert keeps pitching like today (two perfect innings), he’ll be right in there.

  • El Lay Dave

    Scott Elbert is going to need some serious stretching out if he’s going to be a starter again. Since recovering from injury, he’s started exactly once and thrown 47 2/3 innings, majors and minors combined. I would be very surprised if he comes out of camp as the fifth starter for the big club, but if I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to get him back to starting in Albuquerque.

  • ToyCannon

    Leave it to McCourt to screw this thing up. He’d screw up a cup of coffee. McCourt is cheap & disingenuous: offering the deal with deferred money & no interest would have made it a $41 million deal. He knew full well Boras/Manny would reject it. He also knows when offering deferred money it is standard operating procedure to include interest, that is why Boras offered 2 yr. $55 mill, to cover the deferred interest. Yet McCourt runs right to the media & claims Manny rejected their 2 yr. $45 mill offer when he actually had accepted it but with no deferred money, especially with no interest. The ball is back in McCheap’s court. One just feels McCourt will not do the right thing as Manny should already be at Camelback Ranch & maybe then some fans will show up.

  • Buddy

    Random Question, Tony,
    I know Bills had screws inserted in his ankle as part of his surgery. Is he planning to have them removed once everything is healed during the season or after the season? Although he looked fine the other day, it has to have some sort of psychological impact knowing you have screws holding your leg together.

  • Tony Jackson

    Buddy, I don’t know much about medical procedures, and thankfully, I have never had a broken bone other than a little toe here and there. But I was always under the impression that screws/plates/rods were left in permanently. I could be wrong on that though.

  • phillydodger

    I don’t know Frank McCourt and haven’t been to Dodger Stadium since 1981. So all I really know is what I think I know about him from the media, blogs, etc.

    My sense is he (and his wife) have rather large egos (as most owners do) but more than that, most owners just don’t seem to get “it.”

    Just read a great piece by t.j. simmers
    http://www.latimes.com/sports/baseball/mlb/dodgers/la-sp-simers1-2009mar01,0,1320102.column

    and it illustrates the difference between how the Angels and Dodgers operate – beginning from the ownership down to the manager and baseball operations – even the concessions at the Spring Training site.

    The Angels owner seems to get it – that baseball is still a people business and he seems to get PEOPLE.

    McCourt seems conflicted at best. As a long time Boston Red Sox fan I am sure there is a part of him that would love to capture the thrill and passion that Boston fans have for their beloved BoSox. Maybe he has tried recreating that with all the renovations and loud music at Dodger stadium.

    There is also a part of him (and his wife) that wants the glitter and fuss of being Hollywood’s Team – witness the signing of Torre.

    But one thing I have never felt, even to this day – is that McCourt is a WINNER or wants to be a WINNER. Given the fact that Torre has made it clear that he is retiring after 2010 season, essentially putting ownership on the clock to WIN NOW -why are they still stuck in NEUTRAL…?

    This team still has no identity or game plan?
    Are they built to win now with proven veteran pitchers and big bats?
    Are they built as a speed and pitching and defense team?
    Are they the Giants, the Red Sox, the Yankees or a new generation of Dodger home grown talent?

    The whole Manny fiasco just further frustrates any true Dodger fan. Do you want him or don’t you? The Yankees wanted CC Sabathia AND Mark Texiera and blew everybody away.

    If you want him and you already know what kind of ego and flaky package Manny brings to the team – than why tick the guy off by low balling him with a stupid defered payment idea?

    What is this – the Royals or the Dodgers? Personally, I would have more respect for McCourt and the front office if they would have just made one offer (45 mil – two years, with the first year a full 25 mil) and then moved on from there.

    McCourt its time be a winner, not a whiner!

  • para’s

    phillydodger: Just a suggestion. Your comments are worthless if you think Simers wrote or writes “great piece(s).” Simers has an agenda — to write negative “pieces” about the Dodgers front office, the players and even their fans. Oh, and one other thing — we’re not the Yankees, or the Red Sox, or the Angels. We’re the Dodgers and we like it that way. Has McCourt and Colletti made some huge mistakes? You betcha. But for your own credibility may I suggest you leave Simers out of your discussions.

  • lawdog

    If the only thing keeping the two sides apart now has to do with deferring some of the money from the first year in this age of 0% on short and long term treasury depositsand all the deferred money is guaranteedand its McCourt whos insisting on the deferment; We will not be signing Manny. I guess Frank figured on going with Pierre all along. Why else would he have turned his back on both Manny and Nenn, bot of whom have expressed a desire to play for us?

    If some slight adjustment is made quickly and some of the money gets pushed into a third year theres still a chance. But if that were going to happen Id expect it already would have. McCourt lied to us.

  • phillydodger

    para, your comments are well taken, as I only know TJ Simmers pieces from online, living here on the east coast.
    And yes, we have the same kind of pointed columnists who never stop attacking Phillies or Eagles ownership.

    My point about the Giants, Red Sox and Yankees is that with a former Giants asst GM, a Bosox loving Bostonian owner and now a Yankees legend as manager (and perhaps one more to follow as the next manager), isn’t it time this team had a DODGER’S IDENTITY???