Daily Distractions: Stadium rumblings, Matt Kemp, Hall of Fame.


The Dodgers are finally ready to tell the world what Dodger Stadium will look like next season.

Right now, it’s a construction site. Various photos have been published around the interwebs (peep some good collections here and here). Tomorrow, team President Stan Kasten and Senior Vice President of Planning and Development Janet Marie Smith will discuss the more intimate details of the renovation plan with the media.

We already have a general idea of what to expect – new clubhouses, new workout facilities, a new scoreboard, increased wireless capabilities, some new seating arrangements – and there aren’t likely to be any earth-shattering announcements tomorrow. However, it’s the first time that Smith has spoken to the media since she was hired by the Dodgers in August.

Smith, you may recall, oversaw the design and construction of Oriole Park at Camden Yards, which opened in 1992, before embarking on renovation projects in Atlanta, Boston and Baltimore again. She is regarded as one of the best at what she does, and she probably has an interesting take on the stadium’s past, present and future.

Some more reading material to delay the start of your work week:

• Matt Kemp is trying to win a video-game related popularity contest. I like his chances.
• In about 48 hours, we’ll learn who will comprise the next Baseball Hall of Fame class. It’s shaping up to be a small group (read: zero). Some say that’s OK. Some say it’ll make for an awkward but fleeting moment if Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds and Sammy Sosa gain induction. A more awkward stain upon the historical voting record is if Craig Biggio becomes a first-ballot Hall of Famer, considering Tris Speaker, Rogers Hornsby, Joe DiMaggio and Cy Young were not. How’s that for a historical footnote?
• Here’s the complete HOF ballot and the rules for voting. Who would you put in?
• Only one player was inducted into the Internet Baseball Writers’ Association of America Hall of Fame: Former Dodgers catcher Mike Piazza. The IBWAA is comprised of both “mainstream” baseball writers who have a BBWAA vote, and bloggers who do not. My IBWAA ballot: Jeff Bagwell, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens, Barry Larkin, Edgar Martinez, Fred McGriff, Mark McGwire, Marvin Miller, Sammy Sosa. I will explain my thoughts on this in a future blog entry.
• Is Lance Berkman an upgrade over Josh Hamilton?
• Richard McWilliam, chairman and co-founder of Upper Deck, has died. The 1993 Upper Deck MLB set blew my mind as a kid with its photography and its glossy, un-Topps like texture. This Dennis Eckersley hologram card is one of my all-time personal favorites.

• Former Indians/Padres/Brewers/Cubs/Pirates outfielder Jody Gerut is now a financial advisor to athletes.

• For fans of the band Nirvana and fans of satire, this.

• I’m going to start linking music videos, because 9 times out 10 I’m trolling through them on YouTube while I’m blogging. Here’s a recent club jam called “Sulk.” Check out the girl in the Padres beanie at 1:29, which probably constitutes the most random instance of a Padres logo in an official music video ever:

• As a bonus, here’s a China Crisis song from 30 years ago, just because:

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About J.P. Hoornstra

J.P. Hoornstra covers the Dodgers, Angels and Major League Baseball for the Orange County Register, Los Angeles Daily News, Long Beach Press-Telegram, Torrance Daily Breeze, San Gabriel Valley Tribune, Pasadena Star-News, San Bernardino Sun, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin, Whittier Daily News and Redlands Daily Facts. Before taking the beat in 2012, J.P. covered the NHL for four years. UCLA gave him a degree once upon a time; when he graduated on schedule, he missed getting Arnold Schwarzenegger's autograph on his diploma by five months.