Matt Kemp will serve as the celebrity Grand Marshal in the 28th annual Kingdom Day Parade in South Los Angeles on Saturday, the Dodgers announced. The parade, in recognition of Martin Luther King Day, will be broadcast on KABC (Channel 7) and is southern California’s largest King Day celebration.
The Dodgers are among the sponsors of the 28th annual Kingdom Day parade themed “His Dream Will Never Die.” The Kingdom Day Parade, which is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. at the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Western Ave., commemorates the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. King and wife Coretta Scott King.
The United States roster for the World Baseball Classic was announced today. Have a look:
Obviously there are no Dodgers on the roster, but that could change. Think of this roster as a rough draft; teams must submit their final roster on Feb. 20, and all non-WBC players must report to spring training by then.
“Rough” is also a good way of describing the United States’ preliminary starting rotation. Beyond veterans R.A. Dickey and Ryan Vogelsong, who were both excellent in 2012 (and rarely so before 2010), Team USA would have to roll out Derek Holland and Kris Medlen if the tournament started today. Fortunately it doesn’t start today. It starts with three games in three days March 8, 9 and 10 – and possibly a fourth game on March 12 if they can place first or second in a four-team pool that includes Canada, Mexico and Italy. Can Clayton Kershaw or Zack Greinke sneak in one start? What about Justin Verlander, David Price, Jered Weaver or Matt Cain? Seems like the star power is falling short.
Of course, that didn’t stop the WBC from posting the headline “Stars Align on U.S. Roster for Classic” on its website today. Some feel that headline doesn’t tell the story. Count me in that group.
Jesus Flores is 28 years old and has caught 263 major-league games. That makes him younger and more experienced than the Dodgers’ starter, A.J. Ellis.
The Washington Nationals granted Flores free agency in November and the Dodgers signed him to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training on Tuesday.
Flores figures to compete with Tim Federowicz for the backup job. Considering Federowicz’s lack of experience (10 major-league games), it could make for an interesting competition.
Flores’ career batting numbers aren’t much to look at, though he did hit eight home runs and drive in 59 in only 90 games in 2008. The Venezuela native batted .301 in 2009, when surgery to repair a stress fracture in his right shoulder limited his season to 29 games. Flores hasn’t been the same since.
He didn’t play at all in 2010 and worried whether his career was over. He came back to play 30 games in 2011 and 83 last season, all in a backup role for the Nationals. His slash line since the surgery: .212/.249/.325. Even Flores’ defense seems to have suffered; since the surgery he’s thrown out only 13 of 67 attempted base stealers – 19.4 percent.
Flores is currently playing for Navegantes del Magallanes of the Venezuelan Winter League.
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:
Free-agent outfielder Torii Hunter said Monday in an appearance on the MLB Network that he’d like to make a decision on his future soon. On the surface, the Dodgers appear to be a bad fit. Left fielder Carl Crawfordis expected to be healthy on opening day after having Tommy John surgery in August. Center fielder Matt Kemp should be ready following his shoulder procedure in September. Andre Ethier is healthy and entrenched in right field, and general manager Ned Colletti said Monday that he hasn’t talked to any teams about trading Ethier.
For Hunter, who can play both center and left — and did so while hitting .313/.365/.451 over 140 games last season in Anaheim — Dodger Stadium looks like a bad place to ply your trade.
But rumors gained steam last week when the Dodgers talked to Hunter’s agent at the GM meetings. There was no word how far those talks got, but I wouldn’t be surprised if at some point Hunter broached the subject with his pal, Kemp, too. Hunter lives in Southern California and plans stay once he retires. At age 37, that probably isn’t too far off.
Colletti has stated his interest in acquiring someone who can back up Kemp in center field — so why not Hunter? It’s not as if the Dodgers can’t afford him.
There’s one problem with that, manager Don Mattingly said Monday.
One of my favorite stats from 2012 was this: Eight major-league teams used 50 or more players last season. Most fell into the category of underachievers, or at least underdogs: Boston (56), Toronto (54), Chicago Cubs (53), San Diego (53), Baltimore (52), Houston (50), Oakland (50) …
… And then there were the Dodgers, clocking in at an even 50 players. It was a combination of trades and injuries that brought the Dodgers to 50, all of which factored into their falling short of the playoffs, and left several players hungry for a big bounceback in 2013.
Matt Kemp, Carl Crawford, Jerry Hairston Jr. and Ted Lilly are coming back from surgery. Chad Billingsley is coming back from an injury, at least the team hopes. Juan Uribe is Juan Uribe.
Six days ago, Dodgers center fielder Matt Kemp was asked about his team entering the 2013 season as the favorites in the National League West. His response: “I don’t know if we’ll be named favorites. The Giants made it to the World Series.”
Who’s the favorite to win the National League West in 2013?
Less than a week later, the Giants are world champs after sweeping the Detroit Tigers in four games. San Francisco, like the Dodgers, also has few key free agents hitting the market. Aging second baseman Marco Scutaro is probably the biggest, followed by center fielder Angel Pagan and left-handed reliever Jeremy Affeldt.
So even though it’s early, it’s still worth asking … who is the favorite to win the National League West in 2013? I’ll even throw the Diamondbacks, Padres and Rockies into this poll for the sake of fairness.
There will be a new poll here every day for the next month, so keep coming back. No electoral college here – popular vote wins.
Matt Kemp had the torn labrum in his left shoulder repaired Friday by Dr. Neal ElAttrache, a procedure that could delay his start to spring training but leaves him on track to debut on opening day.
Kemp sustained the injury on Aug. 28 in a collision with the outfield wall at Coors Field. The 60-minute procedure also involved minor debridement of Kemp’s rotator cuff. He will start physical therapy in 7-10 days and is expected to start swinging a bat in early January.
Matt Kemp will have surgery on his left shoulder Friday and could be sidelined anywhere from six weeks to four months. The surgery will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache at the Kerlan Jobe Clinic.
If he misses four months, Kemp would be able to resume throwing and hitting in the first week of February 2013. That’s about three weeks before position players traditionally report for spring training. Kemp admitted he might not be ready to go from the start.
“Hopefully just clean (the shoulder) up,” Kemp said. “If they need to do more, they do more.”
Dodgers head athletic trainer Sue Falsone said that Kemp’s recovery time depends on the type of surgery. Debridement surgery is relatively minor and would allow Kemp to resume throwing 6 to 8 weeks afterward, while surgery to repair the torn labrum would require a four-month recovery period.
Kemp tore the labrum in his left shoulder when he crashed into the center-field wall at Coors Field wall on Aug. 28. He managed to play through the pain, hitting .367 with four home runs and nine RBIs in the season’s final eight games.
“If you MRI every guy out here,” Falsone said as the team fanned out around the field during batting practice, “eight out of 10 guys have a labral tear. It’s just a question of inflammation.”
Kemp said that his inflammation was bad enough that not having surgery wasn’t an option.
“It’s just something that needs to be done,” he said. “Of course I’m nervous. I’ve never had surgery before.” Continue reading →