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.”
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.
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:
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.
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: