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Off Base
Land of the Giants

December 14, 2005

You know what they say about a room full of giants? “Man, we gotta get us a bigger room.” Or something.

It’s Opening Day in L.A., April 3, 2006, a religious holiday by all accounts. As the home team takes the field, the public address announcer boots his first chance of the season.

“Ladies and gentleman. Your San Francisco, uh, oopps. Sorry. Make that, your Los Angeles Dodgers!!”

You cut the p.a. guy some slack after a closer look at “your Los Angeles Dodgers.” In the outfield, left to right, are Rickey Ledee, Kenny Lofton and Jose Cruz, Jr. J.T. Snow is at first, Jeff Kent at second, David Bell at third, and with Rafael Furcal digesting the first 10 a.m. Tommy Burger of his career (rookie!), Bill Mueller’s playing short.

Brett Tomko is the first man up when the L.A. starter stumbles, with Julian Taverez right behind him. Reggie Sanders pinch hits. Robb Nen’s comeback didn’t take, thank God, but Dick Nen is there to visit with old pal, ex-Giants pitching coach, former Dodger reliever, and former and current Dodgers pitching coach Ron Perranoski, before the game.

Come to think of it, the p.a. guy is a chick…

When it looked like Milton Bradley might be swapped for a deep dish pizza and bowl of wind, Dusty Baker said this: "I certainly don't condone the things that have happened and transpired in the past. But everybody deserves a fresh start."

Sound familiar? Well, on June 19, 1994, when Darryl Strawberry went from the Dodgers to San Francisco, via Betty Ford, Baker said this: "Like anybody who lives in this country, he deserves another chance. I'm looking forward to him joining the team next month.” In other words, if the guy can play, we’ll take him.

Bradley today: "When I feel disrespected or feel someone in a position of authority is abusing that authority, I don't react well to that. I want people to be honest and straightforward, and I didn't ever receive any of that from the Dodgers."

Strawberry then: "I've missed the competitiveness and can't wait until I can actively join the club and hopefully contribute to a pennant-winning season."

Ned Celletti now: "It's very disappointing, and it's sad. The kid has great talent, and he was home. It could have been a match made in heaven. But it didn't work out."

Fred Claire then: "I hope as I have always hoped that Darryl has a long and successful career, and has in life in order. We will have had a part in that, just like other players who have gone through trying times, like Steve Howe and Bobby Welch. You want to see them succeed. That doesn't stop, it continues."

Comment: Claire wasn’t the best g.m. in club history, but he handled Strawberry with compassion, integrity and Dodger-like professionalism, right down to Straw’s last day in Los Angeles. Tommy Lasorda, on the other hand, displayed one of his lowest efforts ever.

Texas Leaguers: The Dodgers love their Texas League Players of the Year. Here’s the complete list: Tommy Hutton, Bill Sudakis, Enos Cabell, Tim Leary, Steve Sax, Strawberry, Henry Rodriguez and Mike Kinkade.So it's safe to say Andre Ethier is a lock to play in Los Angeles. Frank Howard and Ken Landreaux were successful Texas Leaguers too, although not Players of the Year while there. Both, however, went on to become Minor League Players of the Year…

It Takes Two: Vin Scully hosted a game show called “It Takes Two” in 1969 and 1970. Irwin Allen’s “Land of the Giants” was a minor hit at the time. With “Giants” Gary Conway a guest on the show, Vinny suggested a better name: “Land of the Dodgers..."

Compare and contrast. Jayson Werth vs. Kevin Mench, current and prospective Dodgers leftfielder.

Werth: 4 seasons, 232 strikeouts, 721 plate appearances.

Mench: 4 seasons, 231 strikeouts, 1486 plate appearances....

Best Stocking Stuffer Ever: BaseballSavvy.com is splitting up its Dodgers season tickets. Get your fan a share for Christmas. Tell him about the brand new chairs we’ve put in, just for him. Face price. Email for info

Advertise with BaseballSavvy.com: The exposure is awesome, the rates are Donald Sterling-like cheap, and you’ll be supporting a great cause – me!!. Info...

Lame Line of the Week: From FoxSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, who should know better: “Consider the Sox's current infield: The declining Mike Lowell at third base. Utility man Alex Cora at short. The declining Mark Loretta at second.

Uh, hello?! Earth to Ken Rosenthal, earth to Ken Rosenthal, come in Ken Rosenthal!! No more eggnog for you, pal. Mark Loretta declining? Please. Mark Loretta is hardly declining. You’re declining, clearly, but Mark Loretta is not declining. Loretta will be a top ten MVP vote getter next November, at a minimum. Pencil it in right now.

BTW, Kevin Towers isn’t declining either. In fact, he’s never been better…

Talkback: Want to sound off about Milton Bradley? Dodgers in general? The state of baseball as we know it? Please send us your comments.

Lame Line of the Week, Part Deux: From Alex Rodriguez, who shouldn’t necessarily know better, courtesy of WFAN. On the possibility of Nomar Garciaparra’s becoming a Yankee first baseman: “That would be kind of weird. I remember almost 10 years ago we made the cover of GQ; us three as the premier shortstops in the game coming up. And now all of us may be in the same infield. I think that’s kind of funny.”

Yeah, A-Rod. Bleeping hysterical…

Investors Wanted: Invest a thimble full of venture capital today, make major league minimum tomorrow…

Statue for Sandy: The Koufax in bronze campaign continues, so please scroll down to the photo below and vote yes on 32…

Remember, glove conquers all….


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