Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke knows new Dodgers co-owner Stan Kasten well. He was the GM of the Vancouver Canucks during Kasten’s four-year tenure as president of the Atlanta Thrashers from 1999-2003. The two have stayed close since, and Burke had nothing but good things to say about Kasten on Thursday.
“He’s one of the smartest people I know,” said Burke, who earned his Juris Doctorate from Harvard Law School in 1981.
The historical significance of Magic Johnson’s latest feat was lost on a few Dodgers, but not Jerry Hairston Jr.
To Hairston, whose grandfather Sam became the first black player to play for the Chicago White Sox in 1951, it’s special to play for the league’s first black (part-)owner in Johnson.
“I think Jackie Robinson would be very proud today,” Hairston said.
A self-described “history buff” –as well as a third-generation major-leaguer — Hairston sees the civil rights movement through a unique lens.
Lakers owner Jerry Buss today joined his star player, Kobe Bryant, by chiming in on Magic Johnson’s purchase of the Dodgers:
“Magic Johnson is probably the most beloved sports figure in Los Angeles history,” Buss said in a statement. “In addition to being a phenomenal success on the court in leading the Lakers to five NBA Championships, he has been a success in everything else he’s become involved with, most notably his spectacular business career and also his educationa
campaign on behalf of HIV awareness. I’d like to congratulate Magic and his partners on their acquisition of the Dodgers and wish them the best of luck.”
On a day when no one wearing a Dodger uniform could avoid a question about the change in ownership, Tommy Lasorda was no exception.
Surrounded by reporters outside the team’s spring training facility in Glendale, Arizona, today, Lasorda addressed his future with the club as a “special advisor” to the owner, as well as his relationship with Magic Johnson and Stan Kasten, two members of the incoming ownership group.
The Dodgers couldn’t take advantage of another strong Nate Eovaldi start in a 4-1 loss to the Giants before an announced crowd of 10,084 at Scottsdale Stadium. [box score]
Mark Ellis and James Loney — the only two expected opening-day starters in the lineup — each had two hits. Jerry Hairston Jr. and Josh Bard had the only other hits for the Dodgers off Giants starter Yusmeiro Petit and four relievers.
Eovaldi allowed three hits and two runs, both earned, the most runs he’s allowed in five spring starts. The right-hander struck out none, walked two, and saw his Cactus League earned-run average rise to 1.72.
“He continues to get more off-speed pitches,” manager Don Mattingly said. “He was using the curveball today more, using the changeup some.”
Reliever Todd Coffey allowed the Giants’ other two runs, on a two-run home run by Nate Schierholtz in the eighth inning.