Dodgers collecting donations to benefit San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission.

The Dodgers are leading an online donation effort through May 19, and collecting items at Dodger Stadium Thursday, in support of the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission.

The Mission experienced a devastating fire May 3. Fans can donate monetary gifts now online. All donations received this week will go directly to the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission. Fans are also invited to drive through Dodger Stadium on Thursday from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. in Lot 1 to drop off donations.

Additionally, more than 15 families affected by the San Fernando Valley Rescue Mission fire will attend Wednesday’s game (7 p.m. vs. Miami) courtesy of the Dodgers. One of the young children affected by the fire lost his favorite Dodger blanket. The club will be providing him, along with all families in attendance, with new Dodger blankets. Members of the Los Angeles Fire Department will also be collecting monetary donations during Wednesday’s game and at Thursday’s collection event.

“The Dodger community spans far and wide and we feel strongly about the unfortunate circumstances affecting our neighbors at the San Fernando Valley Mission,” Renata Simril, the Dodgers’ senior vice president external affairs, said in a statement. “We invite all Dodger fans to lend a helping hand to the Mission while they attend any of our games against Miami or by stopping by this Thursday.”

Suggested donations include new or gently-worn clothing and shoes, new or used blankets, bedding and towels, toiletries, baby items and canned and dry food items.

How former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda introduced the manager of the San Francisco Giants.

Tommy Lasorda

Dodgers advisor Tommy Lasorda needed divine intervention to introduce San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy on Saturday. (Getty Images)

Tommy Lasorda was in rare form Saturday night. He publicly introduced a member of the San Francisco Giants.

Lasorda has spent 64 seasons in the Dodgers organization in some capacity or another — pitcher, manager, general manager and advisor, his current title. “If you don’t root for the Dodgers, you might not get into heaven,” is among his oft-repeated quotes. He’s embraced — even embodied — half of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry for his public persona. Lasorda has some oft-repeated quotes about the Giants too, but this is a family blog.

So it was interesting to see Lasorda on Saturday night at the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation dinner in Beverly Hills, introducing the latest recipient of the award named in his honor: San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy.

“It’s very unusual,” Lasorda said. “When I said my prayers last night, first of all I asked God for forgiveness. I said: Dear Lord, I’m going to have to give a trophy to a Giant. The good Lord said, ‘Tommy, the guy you’re going to honor is great. Outstanding manager. A manager that has been so successful, well-liked, nice, easy-going guy. For me to allow him to receive the Tommy Lasorda award, you know there’s something wrong in his dinner tonight.’

Lasorda continued: “It gives me a great deal of pleasure to introduce the man who has led the Giants to two World Series in the last five years. Ladies and gentleman, my good friend” — the 86-year-old paused, pointing toward heaven and sending the packed room into laughter in one motion — “Mr. Bochy.”

If Lasorda hadn’t totally brought down the crowd, Bochy knocked ‘em over with the last word.

Turning toward Lasorda, Bochy said, “you were my great-great-great grandmother’s favorite manager, you know.”

Steve Yeager, Maury Wills kick off Dodgers Holiday Tour with autograph session Saturday.

Dear reader,

If you know of Dodgers players or coaches signing autographs in the area, please email me ( or hit me up on Twitter @jphoornstra. I’ll pass along the information here. On that note …

Dodgers coaches Maury Wills and Steve Yeager are in Culver City tomorrow. Details from the Dodgers:
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Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp has his own line of bubble gum.

Matt KempDodgers center fielder Matt Kemp will be on hand at 11 a.m. Friday at the North Venice Little League Baseball fields (map) to introduce his own line of Big League Chew Bubble Gum.

Kemp is currently on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his left AC joint.

The 2.12-ounce version of the bubble gum line, called “True Blue Original,” will be available for a limited time at select Los Angeles area retailers including Ralph’s, Food 4 Less, Jetro, Circle K, Dylan’s Candy Bar and Sports Chalet and online at

Kemp will donate a portion of his proceeds from the Big League Chew to his charitable cause, Kemp’s Kids. The charity benefits inner city and underprivileged youth in Southern California.

Clayton Kershaw’s strikeout total carries added weight tonight.

Tonight is the final game in the two-month program where Muscle Milk will donate $100 for every strikeout Clayton Kershaw throws to his Kershaw’s Challenge Foundation.  He currently sits at 70 and is on the mound tonight in Colorado.

Kershaw himself agreed to donate $500 per strikeout as part of his #PITCHING4PURPOSE social media campaign.

Jackie Robinson gets a weekend, not a day.

Tomorrow is Jackie Robinson Day in Los Angeles.

Monday is the actual 66th anniversary of Robinson breaking the color barrier with the Dodgers in 1947. It’s also Jackie Robinson Day in Major League Baseball, when every player on every team will wear Robinson’s retired 42 on his back.

The list of local Robinson-related events this weekend is so long, the Dodgers issued a 1,338-word press release today to list them all. Here are the highlights:

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Dodgers, Yankees rolling in the benevolence.

The Dodgers and New York Yankees were the recipients of the 2013 Bobby Murcer Award, given annually by the Baseball Assistance Team (B.A.T.). Named after the former B.A.T. Chairman who introduced the Spring Training Fundraising Tour, the award is given to the team in both the American League (Yankees) and National League (Dodgers) whose players commit the most amount of money to B.A.T.

This is the fifth consecutive year that the Yankees have won the award and the third time in four years for the Dodgers. Both Clubs will be presented with the Bobby Murcer Award at the 25th annual “Going to Bat for B.A.T. Fundraising Dinner” in 2014. B.A.T. has awarded more than $28 million in grants to date, benefiting more than 3,000 members of the Baseball Family, including former Major League players, managers, coaches, scouts, umpires, athletic trainers, front office personnel as well as Minor League players, Negro League players, players from the Women’s Professional Baseball League and widows, spouses and children.

Fernando Valenzuela will be inducted into Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame Sunday.

Fernando Valenzuela

Fernando Valenzuela will be inducted into the Caribbean Baseball Hall of Fame — el Pabellón de la Fama del Caribe — on Sunday in Hermosillo, Mexico, at Universidad Sonora, Centro de Los Artes.

The current Dodgers broadcaster and retired pitcher was born about 200 miles south of Hermosillo, then began his career in Sonora playing for Mayos de Navojoa in the Mexican Pacific League at age 16. He also played for Naranjeros de Hermosillo and Águilas de Mexicali in the LMP and played in the Caribbean Series. Valenzuela’s induction will recognize his career in the LMP and in Major League Baseball.

The 52-year-old is scheduled to travel to Hermosillo Friday to partake in the opening ceremonies of Estadio Sonora, the brand-new stadium that will host the Caribbean Series. Valenzuela will throw the ceremonial first pitch prior to the 7 p.m. game between Yaquis de Obregón and Criollos de Caguas.

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Daily Distractions: Gearing up for the season; prospect rankings, more minor-league signings.

Are we there yet?

We’re getting close.

The Dodgers’ community caravan marks its final day today with stops at Santee Educational Complex (1921 South Maple Ave., Los Angeles), Inner-City Arts (720 Kohler St., Los Angeles), Tobinworld (902 East Broadway, Glendale), and the Dodgers Dreamfield at LA Boys and Girls Club (2635 Pasadena Avenue, Los Angeles).

The various events are scheduled to include third baseman Luis Cruz and wife Maria, AJ Ellis and wife Cindy, Mark Ellis, Andre Ethier and wife Maggie, Tim Federowicz, Adrian Gonzalez, Javy Guerra, Matt Guerrier, Kenley Jansen, Clayton Kershaw and wife Ellen, Brandon League and wife Sasha, Don Mattingly and wife Lori, Nick Punto, Hyun-Jin Ryu, Skip Schumaker and Shawn Tolleson and wife Lynley.

Participants in the community caravan will try to avoid contracting dysentery (if you understand the above photo, this joke will make perfect sense).

Today’s also the final day for season ticket holders to visit Dodger Stadium for Select-A-Seat. Individual game tickets go on sale tomorrow at 10 a.m., coinciding with the FanFest in Lot 6 from 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. and will feature appearances and autographs with Kershaw, Ethier, Zack Greinke and Matt Kemp. FanFest gates open at 11 a.m. for the general public and at 10:30 a.m. for Dodger season ticket holders with their MVP cards.

If it feels like the season is just around the corner, it is. Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 12.

In the meantime, here are some links to carry you into the weekend:

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‘Obviously Justin Sellers has issues.’ Video.

Justin Sellers’ arrest in West Sacramento last weekend made us wonder what the Southern California native was doing there in the first place, and just how bad his motorcycle excursion was in order to prompt an arrest.

This news report from CBS Sacramento provides some answers. Turns out that Sellers has a condominium in the city, and his motorcycle riding was bothering neighbors and scaring some kids. Judging by the cramped layout of the complex, you can see why. The local anchor could only conclude, “well, obviously Justin Sellers has issues he has to take care of.”

At least he didn’t get sprayed by a neighbor’s hose, like field reporter Anjali Hemphill and her cameraman: