Kida New Bunting Champ

Bunting and baserunning coordinator Maury Wills working with the Dodger pitchers in the area named after him before to last year's Spring Training praised somme of his students. <br><br>

"The pitchers from last year have retained what they learned over the winter, which means that they should be good bunters from now on," said Wills, who cited Hideo Nomo, Kazuhisa Ishii, Darren Dreifort, Steve Colyer and Tom Martin among the best bunters.

"That's the way it works in baseball. Once you've really learned how to do it, you can wake up in the middle of December and lay down a good bunt," Wills said.

However, Wills lost to Joel Hanrahan in the opening round of the playoffs. Kaz Ishii, who won the championship last season, knocked out Steve Colyer; Paul Lo Duca topped Edwin Jackson and Masao Kida stopped non-roster pitcher Tanyon Sturze. Lo Duca beat Ishii and Kida edged Hanrahan to set up the final round.

Kida jumped into an early lead and held on to win the title over a charging Lo Duca, who finished one point short