Dodgers Invite Martinez to Spring Training

With a young infield, save Jeff Kent, on the horizon, the Dodgers made certain that their is an established Major League Veteran in camp this spring by signing Ramon Martinez to a minor league deal and including an invitation to spring training.

Martinez, 35, is a 10-year Major League veteran with a .265 career batting average, 29 homers and 235 RBIs. He has a .324 lifetime on-base percentage and .370 slugging percentage.

He batted .194 with no homers and had a remarkable 25 hits and 27 RBI in 129 at-bats.

Martinez appeared in 67 games for the Dodgers in 2007, playing all four infield positions. More than half of those appearances (36) were at second base. He played 17 at third and eight at second base, plus a cameo at first base -- one game.

Martinez began his career in 1998 with the Giants and also played for the Cubs, Tigers and Phillies before joining the Dodgers in 2006. He hit .278 that season with two homers and 24 RBIs in 82 games.

Beimel Arbitration Feb. 12--The arbitration hearing for Dodgers reliever Joe Beimel has been scheduled for Feb. 12 in St. Petersburg, Fla., just two days before Beimel is required to report to spring training with the rest of the team's pitchers and catchers. The two side have two weeks to agree before the arbitration date.

Beimel is seeking $2.15 million, while the Dodgers filed at $1.7 million.

"We have had several conversations," said Joe Sroba, Beimel's Richmond, Va.-based agent. "We're still talking, but I can't tell you that anything is imminent and I can't tell which way anything is going to go. I have to be prepared for any outcome, just like last year."

Beimel took the club to a hearing last winter and lost, leaving him with a$912,500 salary for 2007. The most likely scenario probably is that the sides will eventually settle at the midpoint of $1.925 million, which still represents a raise of more than $1 million for Beimel, but Sroba declined to say whether such a settlement has been discussed.

Collectors Notice!-- The ultimate Brooklyn Dodger memorabilia item is for sale and there will be no problem finding a place to display it -- because it is nearly immovable.

The historic Hotel Bossert, where the Brooklyn Dodgers celebrated their first and last World Series championship more than a half-century and many bittersweet memories ago, is being put up for sale.

The building's owner — the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society of New York — began leasing space for its staff in the former Hotel Bossert (pronounced BOSS-urt), at 98 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights, in 1983 and bought the building in 1988 for an undisclosed price.

The Bossert was built by Louis Bossert, a Brooklyn lumber magnate, as an apartment hotel in 1909. Hundreds of Dodger players stayed in the hotel over the years.

Known as the Waldorf-Astoria of Brooklyn, the hotel was famous in the 1920s for its Marine Roof, a two-level rooftop restaurant with a commanding view of Manhattan. The hotel also held a salt-water swimming pool.

When the Brooklyn Dodgers won the 1955 World Series against the Yankees, the official celebration was held in the hotel. Although not invited to the festivities, thousands of delirious Dodgers fans celebrated outside. They cheered the Dodgers and they arrived and sang "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" for Walter Alston, the Dodgers' manager when he made his appearance.

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