Dodgers 10, Angels 8: Postgame thoughts.

Don Mattingly dropped a revealing opinion, perhaps unexpectedly, in his postgame chat today.

It appeared that, an hour earlier, Ted Lilly had done an OK job in two innings out of the bullpen in his first appearance of spring training. Keep in mind that Lilly hadn’t pitched in a competitive game since Aug. 16 of last year. The veteran lefty got Erick Aybar to fly out, got rocked by Howie Kendrick (who finished 3-for-3 with a single, double and home run) for a longball, then retired the next four Angel batters he faced. Day over.

“Teddy, he seems a lot more like Aaron (Harang) to me, from my point of view,” Mattingly said. “Taking longer to get loose, taking longer to warm up, all that kind of stuff.”

In other words, not a good bullpen candidate.

That would seem to make Chris Capuano, by default, the Dodgers’ preferred choice to move from the rotation to the bullpen at this point in time. This is a point in time when eight starters are healthy, so take that with a grain of salt. Things can change in the next four weeks.

At the very least Mattingly’s opinion offers a framework for what the Dodgers might be thinking — stash Capuano in the bullpen as a sixth starter, and if Billingsley ends up needing Tommy John surgery (or another starter goes down in spring), insert either Lilly or Harang into the fifth starter’s slot. Otherwise, try to move one or both pitchers. That would agree with what I’ve heard from knowledgeable people outside the organization; people inside the organization have no reason to tip their hand pre-flop.

Lilly had to feel good about his performance regardless of how the manager reacted to it. It’s been a long time coming.
Some more notes:

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Tom Wright, a 54-year-old knuckleballer, is trying to make the Dodgers.

Tom Wright

I spent Thursday afternoon talking up two open-tryout participants on the back field at Camelback Ranch. One was disabled Navy veteran Doc Jacobs, whose story will appear in tomorrow’s editions. The other was Tom Wright, a 54-year-old high school teacher from Hawaii (via Livermore, California), whose story appears below.

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With first game in sight, Matt Kemp is ahead of Carl Crawford in Dodgers’ camp.

Matt Kemp

Dodgers manager Don Mattingly admitted that Matt Kemp is close to playing in his first spring training game, but the manager did everything in his power to avoid saying when that game will be.

There was no tiptoeing around when Carl Crawford would see the field: It won’t be for a while after his scheduled hitting session against live pitching Thursday was cancelled.

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Luis Cruz returns to Dodgers after illness, doesn’t think it’s contagious.

Luis CruzA year ago, a stomach bug ripped through the Dodgers clubhouse in spring training, sidelining players and reporters alike for a couple days at a time.

Dodgers third baseman Luis Cruz had a nasty one earlier this week, with the worst of his symptoms coming Tuesday morning. He’s back in the lineup this afternoon against the Angels.

Cruz doesn’t believe this will be a repeat of last year’s team-wide ailment, however. He said Thursday that he’s “pretty sure” he got sick by eating at a local organic seafood restaurant with his family Monday night. Cruz ordered the soup.

Report: Guggenheim isn’t interested in AEG purchase. Why that’s good for Dodgers fans.

Fortune magazine is profiling Guggenheim Partners in its March 18 print edition, and you can read the article online here. It’s worth the 20 minutes.

There’s quite a bit of background on Guggenheim and very little of it has to do with baseball. Mark Walter and Todd Boehly are not baseball men — they’re money men — and Fortune paints a broad picture of how they’ve gone about their business. The company (and by extension, the entity that owns the Dodgers) is connected to the original Guggenheim family and its eponymous museum in a real way; Fortune explains how Walter and Boehly expanded their empire with some shrewd purchases during the 2008 recession and afterward.

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San Francisco columnist rips Dodgers, “a purely store-bought team.”

On paper, the Giants have the edge over the Dodgers in 9 of 16 categories (including “chemistry“) heading into the 2013 season. The Dodgers are a “purely store-bought team” whose image suggests the opposite of world championships, fundamentally sound baseball and “owners reluctant to give anyone a $100,000 contract.”

That’s the view from San Francisco, at least, where Chronicle columnist Bruce Jenkins had some fun at the Dodgers’ expense yesterday. (Though he was at least smart enough not to rip Sandy Koufax.)

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Dodgers plan to revive Hollywood Stars game in 2014.

The Dodgers are reviving a lost tradition this year: The Old Timer’s Game on June 8 will feature unnamed “Dodgers and Yankees legends.” The tradition was discontinued in 1995 in the midst of declining crowds at Dodger Stadium. Clearly there was some fan interest in seeing the event return, and it will be interesting to see which former players are willing (and able) to suit up for the game.

Next year the Dodgers will revive a unique tradition, the Hollywood Stars game, team president Stan Kasten said Monday.

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Daily Distractions: Dodgers’ Josh Beckett makes his spring debut, Hamburger puns, etc.

Tim Lincecum and Josh Beckett will pitch their first Cactus League games today when the Dodgers play the Giants at Camelback Ranch. Dodger pitchers Brandon League, Kenley Jansen and J.P. Howell will also make their debuts in relief of Beckett.

The Giants are 1-1-1, having tied the Chicago White Sox 9-9 last night.

Update: Luis Cruz was a late lineup scratch with a stomach flu.

Some links for a Tuesday morning:

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Sandy Koufax’s pitching lesson is still sinking in with Chris Capuano.

Sandy Koufax made his spring training debut on Sunday for the Dodgers. He got rocked for a triple.

At least, that was the lazy conclusion to draw after Hyun-Jin Ryu threw one curveball in one inning against the Chicago White Sox, and DeWayne Wise drove it for a three-bagger. Five days earlier, Koufax was teaching Ryu a new grip on the curve — deeper in the palm of his hand — and Ryu tried it. Once. It was hit for a triple.

Chris Capuano tried another Koufax-taught technique Monday against the Cubs, pitching out of the stretch starting with his legs closer together than he had in the past (see here). This didn’t seem to work on first try, either. Darnell McDonald blasted a three-run home run off Capuano, who said he wasn’t comfortable out of the stretch in his first competitive inning of the season.

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Dodgers 7, Cubs 6: Postgame thoughts.

Monday’s game, the third of spring training for the Dodgers, began at 1:06 p.m. The Dodgers’ second batter stepped into the batter’s box 18 minutes later.

That’s because the Dodgers’ first batter, Dee Gordon, led off the bottom of the first inning with a 17-pitch at-bat against Chicago Cubs starter Carlos Villanueva. (Gordon struck out looking.) In the top of the first, Dodgers starter Chad Billingsley allowed hits to the first four batters he faced and surrendered two runs. It had the makings of a long game from the outset and it was: Three hours, 25 minutes total.

The afternoon was probably more memorable if Vin Scully was narrating it — which he was, if you had a radio Monday.

Some less colorful takeaways:

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