Random Thoughts

Delwyn Young, out of options, has hit every place he's been. Originally an infielder, he's been playing outfield for several years.

Now, fearing he'd be lost if not kept, the wary Dodgers are trying him out at second again. And it sure looks like they have stumbled on something.

In Saturday afternoon's game against the Mets, Young scampered  way to his left twice to turn balls headed into  right of hits into outs. Then he went way, way to his right to do the same.

Brothers and sisters, Jeff Kent would NOT have got any of those three balls. They'd have been hits but Young turned them into outs.

This experiment surely was not unnoticed by the Dodgers brain trust. Who'd you rather have, a guy who can catch AND hit (Young) or a guy who can catch but NOT hit (Ramon Martinez). Young has already helped himself.

In the spring, it has often been said the pitchers are ahead of the hitters. Sure looks like it so far. A Class A lefty handled the Dodgers easy.....Brad Penny had two scoreless innings, but to tell you the truth, retread Chan Ho Park looked even better - better than Esteban Loaiza did a day earlier.....In several games, the Dodgers left lefties like Mark Sweeney in against lefties, things they wouldn't do when play is for real....In less than two weeks, half the Dodgers squad is off to China and then Arizona. So the Dodgers are stealing out of Vero Beach a few at a time. The neighboring Mets will play their LAST game against the Dodgers in Holman Stadium soon.

Greg Miller had it all. He was lefty, which is always a head start.

He was big, which is even better. He could throw hard. Then the big blond kid had to have an operation. The "cant miss" kid then spent several years trying to get back where he was at the beginning.  He's still lefty, still big, still throws hard. But along the way he  lost the strike zone.

The other day, he got his shot in a big league spring training game. And he was, to put it generously, just plain awful. The outing was so bad Greg Miller is a sure shot to be one of the first to sent to minor league camp. The big leagues is no place to figure out what he needs to figure out. And so his trek goes on.

The Friday game against the  Brave showed a couple of the reasons Jeff Kent was "perplexed" at some of the things marvelously talented Matt Kemp does. In the first, Kemp legged out a ball in the hole  that almost all  big leaguers would have been out on.

Then it was downhill. On one fly ball with one out, Kemp  snagged the ball and headed to the dugout, thinking there were two out. Kent had stayed in Vero Beach but Kemp's lack of concentration would have caused the hairs on Kent's neck  to bristle had he been there.

Then Kemp in successive at bats looked hopelessly outclassed on balls low and away. As talented as Kemp is, he sure evoked memories of Dave Kingman.

Esteban Loaiza, being given the fifth spot in the rotation by default (Jason Schmidt, are we surprised, has already come up with a dead arm), gave up three runs in a lackluster performance, only to blame pitching coach Rick Honeycutt, a move not likely to endear him to everybody. 

Although it is early in the spring and way to early to get worried, the old baseball buzzsaw came immediately to the fore, i.e., you can never have enough pitching. David Wells, where are you?  Has Jeff Weaver signed anyplace?

The Barry Bonds grand jury testimony is now public, way over a hundred pages.  Bonds hardly ingratiates himself with anybody but himself in his answers. Among the choice items are his stated distrust of his team, its training and medical staff. Makes one wonder why.

The Bond and Roger Clemens attitude looks identical, i.e., "We are special. we are different. We have our own rules." 

Father Flanagan, who founded Boys Town, is said to have said he never met anybody he didn't like. He never met Barry Bonds.

We've already learned something about the Joe Torre Dodgers.

With Tomaso Lasorda, Ned Colletti and Giovani Torre around, you would figure it would be hard for another Italian American to get a word in edgewise. Wrong! Third base coach Larry Bowa is a living breathing storm. And a delightful one.

He is fun to watch, to be around, to listen to, to see work. There are no dull days around when Bowa is at the baseball park.