Spring Notes #10 - February 23, 2009

The Dodgers today took to the fields at Camelback Ranch – Glendale for Day 10 of Spring Training workouts, and the players and staff broke away from the daily routine to play an intrasquad game on Field 1. Prior to the 12:15 p.m. start of the contest, the team went through a 15-minute session of relay throws and cut-offs.

WE'RE ALL DODGERS: In the five-inning intrasquad game, Team Koufax squeaked out a 2-1 win over Team Drysdale.  Luis Maza's sacrifice fly scored Jason Repko to cap Team Koufax's two-run second inning.  Team Drysdale cut the lead in half in the top of the fourth when Chin-lung Hu scored on a Jesus Castillo wild pitch.  Right-hander Jason Schmidt started for Team Koufax, and allowed only an infield single in one scoreless inning.  He threw 11 pitches, nine for strikes.  We'll give him the win.  Right-hander Jonathan Broxton started for Team Drysdale, and he worked 0.2 inning before reaching his pitch limit.  He threw 17 pitches, 10 for strikes, and allowed a single and a walk.  Rafael Furcal led off the bottom of the first with a solid base hit to right.  Delwyn Young and Russell Martin both had a hit for Team Koufax.  Mark Loretta, Casey Blake, Valentino Pascucci, and Hu each had a hit for Team Drysdale.   

AH, THE MEMORIES: Digging into the archives, the Dodgers last year played their first intrasquad game on February 24 at Holman Stadium in Vero Beach.  That day, the pitchers for Team Koufax included Tanyon Sturtze, Tom Martin, Brian Falkenborg, and Eric Hull.  Team Drysdale included Mike Myers, Jason Johnson, Mike Koplove, and Brian Shackelford.  Also that day, John Lindsey went 3-for-3 with a double, RBI, and two runs scored.  Lindsey went on to lead the Dodgers' minor league system in 2008 with 26 home runs with Triple-A Las Vegas.   

IT'S (ALMOST) TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL: The Dodgers' Cactus League exhibition season gets underway on Wednesday, when the club travels the 33 miles to Mesa to play the Chicago Cubs.  Right-hander Claudio Vargas will get the start, and Dodger hitters will face right-hander Jeff Samardzija, who enjoyed a fine collegiate baseball and football career at the University of Notre Dame.  The Dodgers and Cubs last met on the same field in Game 3 of a National League Division Series at Dodger Stadium on October 4, when the Dodgers completed a sweep of the three-game set with a 3-1 win.  Jonathan Broxton struck out Alfonso Soriano to end it and send the Dodgers to their first National League Championship Series since 1988.   

AND THE AWARD GOES TO: The Dodgers staff at Camelback Ranch – Glendale last night took part in an Oscars pool, with the winner taking home nothing but pride, of course.  Manager of Team Travel Scott Akasaki was the big winner, guessing right on 19 of 24 categories.  Signe Hilton came away with the second place trophy.  Not to go unnoticed, Joe Torre got 13 categories correct to finish tied for seventh in the pool with PR maven Joe Jareck.  Torre guessed right on, among others, Best Actor Sean Penn, Best Actress Kate Winslet, Best Makeup "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," and Best Animated Short Film "La Maison en Petits Cubes."   

THIS DATE IN DODGER HISTORY: On February 23, 1960, the demolition of Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, New York began.  At a ceremony at the old ballyard, Lucy Monroe sang the National Anthem and Roy Campanella was given an urn of dirt from behind home plate.   

NON-ROSTER INVITEE HIGHLIGHT – MR. JONES: Dodger Spring Training invitee outfielder Mitch Jones is enjoying his second Spring Training with the Dodgers after first appearing in 2007.  Jones began the 2007 season with Triple-A Las Vegas, and was sold to the Nippon Ham Fighters of the Japan Pacific League that June.  Jones then rejoined the Dodger family at Las Vegas in June 2008.  Upon returning to the club, the 31-year-old belted five homers in his first nine games.  He finished the season with 16 homers in 200 at-bats, an average of one every 12.5 at-bats.  Jones is back for Spring Training in the Phoenix area, where he played collegiately at Arizona State University from 1999-2000.   

TICKET TIME: Season Tickets, Mini Plans, and single-game tickets for 2009 Spring Training games at Camelback Ranch – Glendale are on sale now. Fans can purchase Spring Training tickets for Dodger home games by going to dodgers.com or by calling 480-784-4444.   

GRAND OPENING: Opening Day at Camelback Ranch – Glendale is Sunday, when the Dodgers take on the Chicago White Sox at 1:05 p.m.  Glendale native and American Idol champ Jordin Sparks will sing the National Anthem.  A flyover featuring four F-16's from nearby Luke Air Force Base is set to accompany the performance, as well as a Color Guard formation from Luke AFB and fireworks to cap off the celebration.  Come Back Buddy, a local band that covers hits from the 1950s and 60s, will perform in the bandstand area located directly in front of the two-acre lake near the center field rotunda entrance from 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.  

CAMELBACK FACT: The Camelback Ranch – Glendale complex has picturesque views of the Estrella Mountains to the south and White Tanks to the west.