Greetings Dodger Nation. I finally got hooked into the Dodger press box WI-FI so I am ready to go. As I’m sure most of you know it has been quite the eventful day here at Dodger Stadium. Shortly after I landed at LAX my Twitter inbox began exploding with numerous reports that Bud Selig has stepped in and will appoint a rep to oversee the Dodgers daily operations.From manager Don Mattingly, who is celebrating his 50th birthday today, to GM Ned Colletti, to the numerous players asked about the subject, no one is really sure what that means. After a lengthy meeting with Dodgers executives, owner Frank McCourt sent an email to Dodger employees that said the following:
“In light of the Commissioner’s announcement today, I ask that you please continue to conduct business as usual with our complete dedication to the game and our loyal fans. Each of you has represented this organization with class, and while this is no doubt a challenging time for all of us, I truly appreciate your efforts.”
I had the opportunity to speak with James Loney as well as Andre Ethier and they both expressed that they expect business as usual for the players. Both also said that their focus is to go out on the field and do whatever they can to help the Dodgers win, and whatever happens between MLB and the Dodgers will be dealt with by Dodger executives not the players.
Selig is expected to announce who the rep will be “in the next several days.”
Meanwhile as I arrived in the Dodger dugout Mattingly was swarmed by close to 50 media members. He was asked in about every way imaginable what the impact of today’s news would be for the Dodgers. I thought he summed it up best when he mentioned the similar situation the Rangers were in last year. Mattingly said, ” just look at what Texas did last year and how they were able to acquire Molina, Cantu, and Lee as the season went on. Our goal is to get everyone healthy and stay in the race if we can do that then I have no doubt the other stuff will take care of itself.”
When Dodgers GM Ned Colletti appeared on the field the media swarm quickly moved to surround him, and there were 3 of us left with Mattingly,”do you guys have any baseball stuff you want to ask me,” he said grinning. He then went on to discuss Dioner Navarro and Vicente Padilla, both of whom are on rehab assignments, and said both are ” really close” to being ready.
Navarro most likely will join the club when they travel to Florida next week and Padilla should be activated on Friday when the Dodgers travel to Chicago. Mattingly said that Padilla will be used in 1 and sometimes 2 inning stints but did not give any indication who would be sent down to make room for Navarro or Padilla, but most likely it will be AJ Ellis and Ramon Troncoso.
Mattingly also said reliever Hong-Chih Kuo is right on track in regards to his rehab but did not go into any specifics about Kuo’s battles with wildness.
Today’s news is exactly what this team did not need, especially coming off of last night’s late inning debacle against the Braves. However, players appeared to be in good spirits and Andre Ethier was absolutely destroying the ball in batting practice, don’t be surprised if he connects for a long ball tonight.
It’s about an hour before first pitch, Chipper Jones is taking his hacks in the cage, the sun is shining on the ‘Think Blue’ sign in the hills behind left field, I am sitting in the Vin Scully press box, and despite the Dodgers financial woes, all seems to be right with the world. More from the Dodgers clubhouse after the game.