Little Will Bat Pierre and Furcal 1-2, or 2-1

Manager Grady Little has changed his mind about Rafael Furcal and Juan Pierre, deciding that they will bat at the top of the order. He was not concerned at this time about who would lead off and who would bat second. When Luis Gonzalez was signed he scrapped his speculation that Furcal would hit third.

Gonzalez primarily batted third for the Arizona Diamondbacks and last season hit 15 home runs and a career-high 52 doubles. Hitting him fifth will protect Jeff Kent in the #four slot. His 6-7-8 selections will include catcher Russell Martin but he won't be in the eight hole.

Little is in the process of agreeing to a contract extension. He will be in the second year of a two-year contract (with an option for a third season) in 2007. Negotiations were put on hold while he was invited to the Super Bowl by his brother, who is a statistician for the Chicago Bears.

Good guy that he is, Little gave up his No. 9 jersey to center fielder Juan Pierre. But if he doesn't play well, "I'll ask for it back," he said with a smile.

Not Quite Enough for Garvey-- Jason Stark, writing in Baseball America, had this to say about Steve Garvey's Hall of Fame quest: "There's no doubt Garvey was one of the most popular players of his era. But was he really one of the greatest players of any era? Well, he spent 15 games on the ballot, never crept within 140 votes of getting elected and missed by nearly 300 votes this year in his last crack at it. So it's clear a lot of voters didn't think he was as good as his five 10-0-RBI seasons and six 200-hit seasons made him appear. He never slugged .500 and only once walked more than 40 times. We expect more power and patience from the first basemen we induct. And his record errorless streak at first base was padded by his reluctance to throw the baseball anywhere unless absolutely necessary. So while there were man things to like about Steve Garvey, there weren't enough to earn this vote.

Dodger Blue Notes-- Outfield Jason Grabowski signed with Tampa Bay and second baseman Joe Thurston made yet another attempt to regain the talents that nearly won him the Dodger second base job in --- by signing with the Washington Nationals.