Categorized | Mark Timmons

I Never Thought It Could Be Better Than Dodgertown…

camelbackranch-2009-0191and it may be unfair to compare the two. 

Dodgertown was built for a different time, in a different part of the country and it’s history shall be legendary.  As I often wandered the complex at Vero Beach, I swear I heard the ghosts of Jackie, Campy, the Walters, Gil, Don, Al and Jim Gilliam talking about the “Dodger Way to Play Baseball.” 

Those voices weren’t at Camelback, beacause there is no history there.  The Dodgers and fans like you and me are making that history.  Forty-five years from now, when my son is my age, will he walk through the complex at the New Dodgertown at Camelback Ranch, and hear the ghosts of  Tommy, Frank, Manny, Joe, Raffy and others or will it just be another Spring Training venue?    When he walks through the busts on the Dodgers Walk of Fame of Jackie, Sandy, Don, Maury, Tommy, Russell and Andre, will he get cold chills?  I have a feeling he will hear a new set of voices whispering throughout the complex, talking about what else – the Dodger Way To Play Baseball! 

Thank you Frank and Jamie McCourt, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Your commitment to excellence has “Dodgers” written all over it!

Yesterday’s Game Highlights & Lowlights:

  • Casey Blake rolled out of his wheelchair (groin) and went 2-3.
  • Xaxier Paul continued to impress with a triple.
  • Juan Pierre was the player of the game – he went 2-3 with 2 RBI and 2 SB
  • AJ Ellis threw out 2 runners (by a big margin) and went 1-3 with a SB that allowed Jamie Hoffman to steal home.
  • Billingsley pitched 3 strong innings, helped by the 2 erased runners from AJ Ellis – C-Bill has a 1.29 ERA for Spring Training
  • Hu and DeWitt both had errors – Hu’s helped lose the game!
  • Estes isn’t relevant anymore.
  • We are a much better team with O-Dog in there.
  • Will Hu, Abreu and DeWitt all go to AAA?
  • Troy from West Virginia showed up at camp yesterday and was promptly not arrested!

About Mark Timmons

When you see the invisible, you can do the impossible!

36 Responses to “I Never Thought It Could Be Better Than Dodgertown…”

  1. Bill Russell says:

    Hey Mark, all jabbing and joking aside, thanks for all the reporting last week.
    I wish we could get a Dodger cable channel that televised ST games and even the workouts and how the coaching staff works the players. Maybe 3-4 years down the road. That’s what I should of ask Frank when I shook his hand last Sunday. I can never get enough of this stuff.

  2. Badger says:

    Troy seemed like a nice guy – not as strange as his Utube stuff makes him appear to be. He is obviously a sincere Dodger fan.

    Ellis looked very good behind the plate. May? not so much. Mota looked like he was really struggling. So did Estes. One of them was saved by a brilliant diving grab by Hudson of a shot up the middle. He turned into a double play. Mark and I watched both Castro and Hu taking grounders on a practice diamond before the game. They were trying to outslick each other and both were very impressive.

    I believe this will eventually evolve into an impressive Dodger team. We have some great athletes on the field, we just need some of these arms to come around.

    Pierre did what he does. He’s a pro and deserves playing time. He might just get it here backing up everybody and coming in late to steal a base and score an important run. That puts Paul and Repko back in the minors. Mintcaveitch is going to be our other bench guy, even though he and Loretta are the same player. That will give us 3 vets on the bench and allow our youngsters to play every day with Isotopes. Hmm. Isotopes. We have gone from outer space to an unstable atom. Must mean something.

  3. Bill Russell says:

    Did you get to touch the Joe Beimel robe? Will he continue to be a Dodger fan without Joe?

    I watched some of the USA vs Canada game yesterday. I saw the 9th inning when Russell Martin banged a shot off the center field wall. I also understand he hit a solo shot earlier in the game. It sounds like he’ll be in top form for the beginning of the season. I just wish he could get more work in with the pitchers he’s not familar with before the start of the season. That could make a difference, one that could cost us a few games. I am excited about the team but slightly worried about the starting pitchers. I feel the relief staff will be OK. Broxton, Kuo, Wade, Mota and Elbert should be a very good staff. Long relief could be Vargas, McDonald, Weaver, Milton or Stulz depending on who steps up. It sounds like Schmidt will pitch in a game early next week. If he answers the bell that could be big. I think Badger stated that Mota looked bad yesterday. I wonder if he makes the team?

    I just wonder why they don’t schedule the World Baseball Classic for after the baseball season ends. Sometime between November and January. It just seems like it effects the teams unity for the start of the season. Injuries could be a huge loss for some teams. I would rather see it effect winter league play then have it effect the start of the Major League season. Just my take.

  4. Badger says:

    Nope, no robe touch, but I wish I would have thought to ask him about Joe. We were watching Milton, Kuroda, Schmidt, and Vargas doing a bullpen session when Troy walked up. He just asked a couple questions about Schmidt and then we were off to another part of the park.

    Mota had a tough line, 3 hits and a walk, but only 1 run so it was him that got saved by that Hudson play. Estes gave up a long home run and a walk, but did strike out two. And there was a kid I never heard of, DeBarr, that looked darn good. He had some heat and a sharp breaking ball – might have been a slider but it was diving. No gun so I don’t know how hard he was actually throwing, but he is big kid and was bringing it.

    Yeah, I was wondering about that WBC too. If they held in the south, as in the Caribbean they could do it at the end of the year. But, it is when it is. Too bad as pitchers just aren’t ready by then unless they have been preparing all winter, and if that’s the case, they could come to ST with tired arms already and that wouldn’t fly. Oh well. Bud likes the program so it’s probably here to stay. I wonder how seriously the pros take it.

    Where is everybody?

  5. ken says:

    Badger

    Post Manny Depression

  6. Badger says:

    Guess so ken. Now we have our best hitter back, nobody cares to be discussing anything.

    Maybe we should say something contentious to piss somebody off.

    How about this:

    the girls in here must be suffering from PMD.

  7. Bill Russell says:

    How about this, A man wins the Lottory and come home and says. Honey, I just won the lottory pack your bags. His wife asks, What should I pack? He replys everything and get the hell out of here.

  8. Badger says:

    Good one.

    Mark and Roger were staying at a really cheap hotel in Glendale. Mark called the front desk and said “I’ve got a leak in my sink.” They said “go ahead.”

  9. Blue Haze says:

    No, the joke actually is “I gotta leak in my sink”. Oldie but still a goodie.

    There used to be a radiator repair shop in Reno and they had a sign on I-80 between Truckee and Reno. The sign read, “Joe’s Radiator Repair, the best place in town to take a leak”. (Can’t remember the exact name of the shop, but a funny sign).

    Best Bathroom Wall Poetry (in Eli, NV):

    “No need standing on the seat, the crabs here can jump ten feet”

    Go Dodgers (“99″ jerseys are selling fast at CamelToe Park)

  10. GoNzO says:

    Het badger, has anybody told you you resemble the dead guy from weekend at Bernies? Not trying to be rude or offensive but that is the first thing that popped into my mind when I saw the picture.

  11. ken says:

    I meant to say “Post Manny Signing Depression”

    Did you hear the one about the attorney who took some Viagra.

    He grew taller.

    Where is the roster update?

  12. DRomo says:

    Watching the WBC. Broxton looked pretty good. He just broke off a nasty curve to M. Cabrerra. I didnt know he could do that. If he can do that this season with his nasty 97 mph fast ball he will be outstanding.

    I could write a book of bathroom poetry:

    Push and push the levee braeks,
    Out you come my soft brown snake.
    And there you lie in a watery grave,
    Be strong my friend,. Be strong & brave.

    I wipe away your memory,
    For you once lived inside of me.
    So swim be free now go away,
    I flip the handle so you can play.

    You swim & you spin and MY GOD you break!!
    Oh what have I done to my soft brown snake?

    I know thats gross, but I have never forgotten that poem from an out house years ago. Peace.

  13. mario says:

    Gonzo is not trying to be rude saying Badger looks like a dead guy..

  14. Badger says:

    I look like a dead guy?

    Well, I have been called a lot of things but never that.

    But, Bernie was a movie star, so I suppose I can take it as a compliment.

    The guy’s name was Terry Kiser. I googled him and my wife says “no way”.

  15. GoNzO says:

    A resemblence Badge..to me at least. No harm intended. Actually kinda cool to put a face to all the posts you’ve made. Maybe next year I’ll join you guys at the ranch since I’m 2hrs away. Couldn’t go this spring saving all the money for little Gonzita who is arriving on June 1st. Give or take a week.

  16. GoNzO says:

    Mario, calling the kettle black I see..

  17. Badger says:

    You’re black Gonzo? I thought you were Hispanic?

    It would be great to see all of the gang there. Maybe next year.

    A little gonzita on the way? Congrats homie. I think I can see her playing short some day. Or, do you have her penciled in the 8 ft. circle?

    Gemini huh? That ought to be fun for you.

    You didn’t do any harm GoNzo. I thought it was funny.

  18. Badger says:

    I just checked yesterday’s box – 10 BB and 14 hits in 8 innings. Eyoiks. That blows the ruby begonia.

    Is it still early enough to say it’s still early?

  19. DRomo says:

    Matt Kemp thinks he can go 40-40?
    There is nothing like a kid who hasn’t done much yet running his mouth. Hey Matt, don’t take the bait, you are making yourself look like the arrogant kid we have heard about. Try hitting the 20-20 mark first. How about showing up in the postseason and not getting benched for Juan Pierre when we needed you most. Keep your head down, shut up, show up on time, get to work & start showing you can be the player we know you can be, or get the hell out of town!
    Potential = Haven’t done anything yet

  20. Badger says:

    Well said Romey.

  21. Bill Russell says:

    “Walk before you run” (Joe Torre). Learn to layoff the pitch that’s down and away. Maybe with A. Hole Jones gone, he will learn better habits.

  22. ken says:

    Badger

    Like a pig’s tail it is towirly

    Still 4 weeks until opening day

    Kemp still seems like he is afraid of being hit by pitches and foul balls. Algophobia. I doubt that he ever played football.

    Until he mans up and moves closer to the plate, stops nearly jumping out of the box when the pitch is 2 inches inside, he will not be mentally ready to lay off of the outside pitch.

    Maybe Torre should have Lasodra throw at Kemp during batting practice.

  23. DRomo says:

    I still have serious doubts about Kemp. Of course I don’t know him, but I think he recieved too much praise too soon and was rushed through the minors. He could have used a full season in AAA. Now he seems stuck in a rut. He looks great one day then shows a lack of baseball knowledge the next two days. How long can we forgive him and say he is still learning? This will be his 3rd season spending a majority of his time in the big leagues. It is put up or shut up time.

    Frankly, knowing are time is short with Manny (this year and possibly next year) we can not wait. If he is off to a slow start he must sit down. We are in desperate need for pitching and before his value drops I would not be surprised for him to dangled out there if a BIG name becomes available. Not as a give away but for a big piece for our championship run this year.

  24. Badger says:

    You can bet Mattingly is working with Kemp on pitch recognition. In 1000 at bats Kemp has a .299 average, not bad for a 24 year old, but striking out 27% of the time is unacceptable. This is guy who needs to put the ball in play and that should improve if he improves against RH pitching.

    I say he will hit .300 with 25 HR’s and 30 steals.

    By the way, Mattingly ran by us the other day and he appears to be in great shape. He looks like he could hit 25.

    And I don’t think Kemp is a centerfielder. He is a corner outfielder. We have 2 right fielders and a DH out there.

    But our up the middle infield looks good.

  25. GoNzO says:

    I am Mexican Badger, I was just letting Mario know that by him calling me rude is like the pot calling the kettle black.

  26. GoNzO says:

    Hopefully she will like baseball/softball and I too can see her as SS and pitcher. if all goes well when she’s one my the wife and I will start to try and give get little Gonzo.

  27. lawdog says:

    Mexicans am us, eh? You would understand why I suggested Boccachico change in name!

  28. GoNzO says:

    Yeah, but many think it means girls mouth; which it doesn’t, it means small mouth.

  29. Badger says:

    I know you are Mexican Gonzo, I was just pulling your acollador.

    Little Gonzo hey? How about Tejon for little Gonzo’s name? I like it.

    Any baseball news today? I have been busy.

  30. Roger says:

    Larry King is on MLB.com — baseball game between Texas & the Dodgers.

    Anyway, he just said that Sandy Koufax was in camp yesterday. So Mark and I missed him by one day.

  31. Roger says:

    A. Jones, just hit a HR against the Dodgers.

    The Rangers announcer came out of his_________ (you pick the world).

  32. Chucky says:

    Lets see….
    Schmidt takes time to come back after pitching two innings and pitchers two innings giving up a digger, Vargas comes in and JONES goes deep on him. The spring seems like no lead is safe as we have lost how many games in the last innings? Yes I know that’s when we put in the lower on the roster pitchers but I’m getting nervous with our pitching staff.

    What about Martinez? Beimel or Olman? What about a few small purchases Ned?

  33. ken says:

    Time to look at Pedro

  34. Blue Haze says:

    Pretty alarming stat on Kemp:

    Kemp said his goal was to cut down on his strikeouts; he struck out 153 times last year to set a franchise record.

    For a guy who didn’t play everyday, setting the franchise record for SO in a season is quite damning.

  35. DRomo says:

    Look at the numbers alone. Doesn’t X.Paul deserve a sniff of the big leagues? I know we are all in love with Kemps potential but I am getting tired of his interviews. Maybe it’s just one interview but ,dude, be quiet and do it. Don’t tell me youre gonna cut down on the K’s and put a 40-40 season together. Do it!

    I’ll be honest with you this year is all about winning this year. A kid that hits 15 or less HRs and K’s close to 200 times doesn’t belong on this team. I would rather have Kemp give Las Vegas papers interviews.

  36. Badger says:

    In his defense, he was asked the question about 40-40. It’s not like he offered it out of the blue.

    From the ESPN site:

    “News: Kemp worked out with a track coach this winter and has also been working on cutting down his strikeouts this spring, the LA Times reports. Kemp called himself “capable” when asked whether a 40/40 season was possible.
    Spin: 40/40 is a bit much, but the upside with Kemp borders on unlimited. 40 steals is possible, though he won’t be hitting leadoff nearly as often this season barring another Rafael Furcal injury. As for the home run total, figure more along the lines of 25, as he’s still just 24 years old.”

    He knows he has to cut down on his strikeouts. Everybody knows he dives for low and outside curve balls. He stops doing that, and 30 home runs could come very quickly for him, especially in this lineup. He is only 24 and won’t be 25 until late September. I believe this really could be a break out year for him.

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