Spring Training Notes - March 3

With only two days to go before the first exhibition game, "Team Loney" won the batting skills competition, including situational hit and and base-running, plus hit-and-run plays and driving in a runner from third. Even four perfect bunts by Manny Ramirez couldn't stop the "Loney's". Chad Billingsley, Scott Elbert, Ramon Troncoso and Josh Lindblom pitched live batting practice,

One-year contracts have been signed by Clayton Kershaw, Ron Belisario, Charlie Haeger, Blake DeWitt, James McDonald, Cory Wade, Scott Elbert, Chin-Lung Hu, Brent Leach, A.J. Ellis, Xavier Paul, Travis Schlichting, Jon Link, Armando Zerpa, Ivan De Jesus, Javy Guerra, Kenley Jansen, Lucas May, Carlos Monasaterios and Trayvon Robinson,

Tomorrow (Thursday) morning, the Dodgers' Scouting and Player Development department is set to hold their annual open tryout here at Camelback Ranch – Glendale. The tryout will take place from 8 a.m. – 12 p.m., with registration beginning at 8 a.m. The workouts will take place on the minor league back fields. The Dodger tryout is open to all amateur free agents, 18 years and older, that are currently not enrolled in school or under contract with any other baseball club or organization.

Checking the box score from the "B" game Tuesday, it seems the Dodgers were held hitless until three fifth inning. Trailing 2-0, Prentice Redman and Chin-Lung Hu walked. Lucas May singled to load the bases and Trayvon Robinson's walk drove in the first run. Ivan De Jesus singled in two, then was caught stealing, and Russ Mitchell's double drove in the fourth run.

Eric Stults started and worked a scoreless inning. Charlie Haegler gave up a home run, Travis Schlichting surrendered the second run and Carlos Monasterios earned the win with another scoreless frame. Armando Zerba, Javy Guerra and Kenley Jansen closed it out without allowing a hit, Jansen earning a save.

Manager Joe Torre was impressed by Monasterios. "He looked good," he said. "We'll get him some starting innings. We have lots of candidates and I'm not really worried about it now because there is no decisions to be made at this time."

The Dodgers, along with the White Sox, Angels and Reds, protested a Cactus League proposal to add an 8% charge on all league spring straining tickets to help provide a new stadium for the Chicago Cubs. The Dodgers and White Sox issued a joint statement that read, "We simply feel it is wrong to ask fans coming to Camelback Ranch to pay for another team's new stadium with a surcharge on their tickets." The four clubs did not attend the breakfast that marked the opening of the exhibition season.

The Dodgers are concerned, no, make that angry, at the absence of Ron Belisario who has been absent from came due to Visa problems. They haven't heard from him and his agent hasn't heard from him. With competition stiff for the L.A. staff, Belisario could find himself starting the season in the minor leagues, despite posting a sparkling 2.04 ERA last season.

"I think it's a problem now," Manager Joe Torre told >b>Steve Dilbeck of the L.A. Times. "The pitchers need all this time. Of course, he did play winter ball. But I can't really tell you [his condition]  until I see him."

Dodger Blue Notes-- Ginger Hooton told Dodger Thoughts that husband Bert, who has been battling lymphoma, has a clean bill of health. ...Buster Olney of ESPN thinks the Dodgers may have an advantage by opening with 10 early games against Pittsburgh and Washington. However, 15 of their first 21 games are on the road. ...Matt Kemp completed a photo shoot for Gentlemen's Quarterly. ...Eric Gagné told USA TODAY that he regretted using human growth hormones. "It's unfortunate it happened, but it happened. You can't change it. It's going to be on my resumé the rest of my life. I let people down." In the same article, Matt Herges admitted to using steroids, saying, "I was selfish, self-centered. Getting to the big leagues pleased me and throwing 97 pleased me. But I was wrong."