Dodgers All on Hand for First Day

All 57 players were seated in front of their lockers Wednesday morning at 9 a.m., waiting for skipper Grady Little to address the team. In addition to Little's speech to the team, Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti spoke about his expectations for the 2007 season while reminding the players of the sting of last season's playoff loss to the New York Mets.

Not long after that, the full squad hit the Holman Stadium field for the first time, with Luis Gonzalez and Andre Ethier putting on impressive power displays during batting practice, as both reached the administration building behind right field.

Today, Dodger Special Advisor to the Chairman Tommy Lasorda will address the boys in blue. Lasorda is beginning his 58th season in the Dodger organization and third as the Special Advisor to the Chairman.

DODGERS ON DEMAND – The first installment of Dodgers on Demand is now available to watch on Time Warner Cable. Throughout Spring Training, Dodgers on Demand will provide exclusive content, including player profiles, one-on-one interviews and behind-the-scenes features in English and Spanish.

Additionally, TWC will provide feature packages and highlights each day from Dodgertown for use by all of the local Los Angeles television stations. For more information on the Dodgers' satellite feed please contact the Dodgers' Public Relations Department at (772) 569-4914. To watch Dodgers On Demand, Time Warner digital cable customers can visit Channel 1 under the "local" folder.   

BRAZO'S BACK – Dodger reliever Yhency Brazoban threw off a mound today for the first time since undergoing successful Tommy John surgery last April. The right-hander appeared in just five games last season after saving a then rookie-record 21 in 2005. He is unlikely to see game action in Spring Training but is expected to pitch at some point during the 2007 regular season.  

WHAT TO DO WITH ALL THAT SPEED: Dodger legend Maury Wills would say, "bunt and run" and from the looks of things, the Dodgers might be doing plenty of both at the top of the lineup.

Wills has been working with Juan Pierre for days on his bunting and this afternoon he tutored Ramon Martinez, Marlon Anderson and even Olmedo Saenz on the finer points of baserunning. Later on, he schooled Jason Repko and Andre Ethier on bunting from the famed "Maury's Pit" batting area named in his honor.

Wills joins several Dodgers on the Veterans Committee Hall of Fame ballot, including Gil Hodges, Don Newcombe, Walter O'Malley and Buzzie Bavasi. Results will be announced on February 27.  

COLLEGE DAYS:  At first glance, nothing unusual jumps out when looking toward the right corner of the Dodger clubhouse in Vero Beach. Veterans, Nomar Garciaparra, Jeff Kent, Olmedo Saenz and Ramon Martinez are stationed there along with second-year man Andre Ethier.

However, closer inspection reveals that three Jaguars are grouped close together in the lockers -- South Alabama Jaguars, that is. New Dodgers Juan Pierre and Luis Gonzalez as well as Marlon Anderson all graduated at different times from the public university of about 13,000 students in Mobile, AL.

Gonzalez starred in Mobile from 1986-88 and had his No. 5 retired there in 2001. Anderson was the Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year in 1995 and Pierre spent the 1998 season in a Jaguar uniform.

This may seem like an unbelievable occurrence, but South Alabama has sent 18 players to the Major Leagues, including Lance Johnson, Mike Mordecai, John Lieber, Dave Stapleton and Steve Sparks.

The most famous South Alabama alumnus is their former coach Eddie Stanky, who played for the Brooklyn Dodgers from 1944-47, teaming with Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson to form the right side of the Dodger infield in 1947. Stanky coached the Jaguars from 1969-83, compiling a 488-193 record. All three current Dodgers played for Stanky's successor, Steve Kittrell, the winningest coach in South Alabama history.  

IT'S TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL: Individual game tickets for the Los Angeles Dodgers' 2007 home schedule will go on sale March 3 at 10 a.m.  Parking gates will open at 8 a.m. and numbered wristbands will be handed out starting at 8:30 a.m. A lottery will be held at 9:30 a.m. to determine the start of the line, so there is no advantage to arriving early. Tickets can also be purchased online via dodgers.com, by calling 866-DODGERS or at any Ticketmaster outlet.

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