Man, these Monday off-days are brutal. Coming out of a weekend, and having to go 48 hours without the Dodgers is a major case of withdrawal. Which makes me an addict, I suppose. But that's another story.
Here's some random points, some even from the weekend, to help give us a temporary fix:
- The Grand Rapids press had a nice quickie mentioning Vin Scully, Jim Leyland, and Ernie Harwell:
The Dodgers have framed photos of all their announcers on the wall along the walkway to the broadcast booths, and there is a great black and white shot of Harwell and former partner Connie Desmond in the booth at Ebbets Field.
The Dodgers played a recently-recorded, five-minute segment of Harwell and Scully, 82, discussing one another on the scoreboard during batting practice as a tribute to Harwell. Scully said a sign held up by a Tigers fan last year when Harwell addressed the Comerica Park fans one last time was perfect in describing his dear friend.
“The sign said, ‘How a man should be,’ “ Scully said. “I thought that summed it up perfectly for Ernie Harwell.”
- Buster Olney over at ESPN.com thinks the Dodgers should join the Roy Oswalt fray, but thinks resident LAT hack Bill Plaschke needs to start trumpeting the point, in order for it to happen:
The Dodgers have gotten strong starting pitching in recent weeks. John Ely has issued one walk in his last four starts and has been a revelation -- more on him tomorrow -- and Chad Billingsley's command has improved. But on paper, L.A. could certainly use a frontline starter like Roy Oswalt, who could take pressure off Clayton Kershaw and Billingsley and stabilize the rotation.
The Dodgers' payroll has been on lockdown, however, diminished by about 40 percent in recent seasons, and with the McCourts' divorce proceedings in the slash and hack phase, ownership might not approve a significant midseason expenditure, such as Oswalt.
The truth is that maybe the best chance for the Dodgers to get some money freed up by midseason would come if the leading columnists in L.A. were to generate a daily drumbeat of sentiment for the team to spend some money. In other words: T.J. Simers and Bill Plaschke, the eyes of Dodger Nation might be turning to you in the Roy Oswalt sweepstakes.
Like anyone reads Plaschke anyway (a point that I just realized, after writing my snarky comment, that MSTI echoes).
- Baxter Holmes of the LAT chronicles the Dodgers' improvement in starting pitching, starting with Clayton Kershaw's outdueling of Ubaldo Jimenez, and hinged together with the surprising maturation of John Ely:
Everyone is crediting the pitching, and everyone is right.
In those 14 games, through Sunday, the Dodgers' pitching staff posted an earned-run average of 2.79, best in the majors, and limited opponents to a .217 batting average, tops in the National League.
What happened? Plenty. It had a lot to do with the May 9 pitching showdown between Clayton Kershaw and baseball's best, the Colorado Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez, but it also had to do with a fair-haired rookie from Illinois who had never pitched in the majors.
Manager Joe Torre recalled feeling momentum sliding his way on the day of Kershaw's gem, thinking, "We've got something going here," he said.
He was right.
Okay, that should be enough to last you a couple more hours, right?
photo: Luis Sinco / Los Angeles Times