Tigers at Dodgers. Anibal Sanchez makes his second start of the season; he gave up two runs over four innings in the first one and then the rains came and he was done. The Dodgers haven’t formally announced it to MLB.com, but their starter is supposed to be Josh Beckett, who’ll make his first start of the season.
No lineups yet, either.
The game time is known, though! It’s 7:10 PST, 4:10 HST, 10:10 EST, and who knows when for John_from_Aus. Televised on SPNLA.
In news of disgruntled players and front office personnel, the Giants have ended contract talks with Pablo Sandoval. It’s reported he wants a five-year deal for more than the $8.25M he’s getting paid this season. So, is the Kung Fu Panda worth $45 or $50 million bucks? He’s currently hitting .161 with 1 HR and 4 RBI. He’s 27 and will hit free agency after the 2014 season. Uribear is under contract through 2015.
In case you missed it:
If the Dodgers and Uribear can’t compromise (last I saw he wants a two-year deal, the Dodgers want to give him only one), maybe Mr. Hairston Jr. could be persuaded to come back and play third. That’s if they don’t want Hanley Ramirez to play there, with newcomer Alexander Guerrero playing what we’re told is his natural position of shortstop. Mark Ellis is still looking for a job, too. And then there’s the rather more intriguing idea of Kevin Youkilis, whose agent expressed a belief that he’d like to play on the West Coast.
How does one acquire a “natural” position, anyway? Doesn’t that really just mean “he’s played more games there than anywhere else?”
Your best source for the latest gossip about Dodgers moves appears to be Chad Moriyama’s blog. Here’s the latest skinny on Kemp, Uribe, Price and others.
That thumb that Ramirez injured in the WBC requires surgery to repair the ligament which stabilizes the thumb. The digit will be immobilized for three weeks before he can start using it again. I remember this. I broke a ring finger when I was about ten and wore a boxing glove-like soft cast to keep it from moving around. All summer. In Palos Verdes.
Anyway, it looks like Luis Cruz will play short, unless the Dodgers suck it up and play Dee Gordon there. That would leave Cruz at third. Otherwise they could platoon Uribe, Hairston and Punto at Cruz’s former spot at the hot corner.
Those guys strike fear into the hearts of opposing pitchers, I’m sure.
Update: In other personnel news, Guerra and Gwynn have been cut and sent to Albuquerque, as were Tolleson and Justin Sellers. They also cut Dallas McPherson, Ramon Castro, and Nick Evans.
Old friend Russell Martin pulled out of the World Baseball Classic when Team Canada decided he’d catch rather than play shortstop as he preferred.
Say what? Martin hasn’t played shortstop since 2002, his first pro season in the minors, and that was just one game.
This hasn’t endeared him to Canadian fans, nor has it done him any favors with Justin Morneau of the Twins, who’s playing for Team Canada.
But the desire to play a new position is kind of what has everybody wondering what the decision-making process was behind that. When we get there, we’ll be there with everybody who wants to be there and with somebody who’s capable of playing shortstop.”
You know, as badly as Martin’s skills have fallen off and as weird as this reasoning is, I think it’s just as well we let him go to the Yankees a couple of years ago.
Update: Another old friend, Rafael Furcal, is going to have Tommy John surgery and will be out for the season.
That’s a shame. When he was healthy Raffy was a great shortstop for the Dodgers.
Update: Tonight’s (March 8) game is available via webcast. Capuano is on the mound to start.
Update: Video of Kershaw’s two-hit one-run outing today in Scottsdale, which the Dodgers won 6 – 1. Juan Uribe (!) had a three-run home run.
“Juan Uribe had the first hit for the Dodgers, a line single, and Andre Ethier the first extra-base hit, a triple off left-hander Leyson Septimo.”
Well might you ask “what the hell is Juan Uribe doing in the lineup at all?” A question, unfortunately, that I can’t answer.
Kershaw started, gave up two runs in two innings, and came out for Belisario. He too gave up two runs in the Dodgers’ eventual 9 – 0 loss to the White Sox.
Zack Greinke and Hyun-Jin Ryu make their Dodgers exhibition debut Sunday against the White Sox at noon PT on Gameday Audio.
Update: Ownership in the form of Mark Walter and Stan Kasten was present for the game, and had some thoughts for Barry Bloom of MLB.com:
Expectations are high now for the Dodgers, and criticism could follow if they don’t win.
“I suppose people will say we were foolish or something and maybe they’ll even be right, if that’s the case,” Walter said. “I know Stan is going to do everything possible for the long term. We know that you can’t be a perennial strong team, strong franchise, without a farm system and player development. Stan is going to build that.
“I feel that especially in L.A., where there’s been a down period we’ll say, we needed to do something to tell the fans we cared and wanted to be back. Whether that results in a World Series ring right away or not, there’s really no guarantee of that. But it does tell people we care a lot.”