August 27, 2014

Dodgerfan.net is Live from Camelback Ranch Tonight

Well, the Dodgers organization has been most hospitable again and granted the dodgerfan.net team media access to tonight’s spring training game against the San Diego Padres. We’ll be making updates to this post denoted by the time in [brackets] as well as via Twitter at http://twitter.com/dodgerfan_net. Tune in for our perspective on the evening activities and our thoughts on spring training in general.

We’ve also got a dodgerfan.net exclusive coming this weekend, so be sure to check back for what’s shaping up to be a great story on a member of the Dodgers organization celebrating a key milestone this year.

Tonight’s starting lineup:
Furcal (ss)
Johnson (RF)
Kemp (CF)
Ramirez (LF)
Blake (3B)
Carroll (2B)
Belliard (1B)
Ellis (C)
Padilla (P)

[6:36pm] – Lucas May, Jon Link, and James McDonald all optioned to minor leagues. After watching McDonald get shelled last night, the announcement seems a bit anticlimactic.

[6:44pm] – Especially interested to see how Repko performs tonight as he will be on his 3rd game in the last 24 hours. Looked very solid last night and put up his first HR of spring training today (solo shot in the 5th inning).

[7:10pm] – nice 4-5-3 double play to take us to middle of first

[7:22] – Chris (from photo well on 3rd base line) – “You see and hear WAY more from the photo wells of a Spring Training game. Just have to watch out for foul balls. ”

[7:36] – someone in the pressbox just shouted “disconcerting!” followed by the official “E-6″ over the PA up here…

[7:38] – (from chris in photo well) After Blake made that amazing play 2 end the 1st, Manny ran in smiling & yelling, “Casey Blake! Casey Blake!” Players were psyched

[7:45pm] – three bloggers in the pressbox tonight as well as a number of spanish language folks. Very diverse crowd and more chatty than I would have exepcted.

[7:51pm] – Padilla’s attempt to throw out Blanks at first would have worked if the throw (or catch) wasn’t off….Blanks slide was about two feet too short to get back to the bag.

[8:17pm] watching the Cabrera clothesline maneuver was positively priceless…and you could see it coming a mile away!

[8:23] – 6-5-3 double play to take us to middle of the 5th…can’t say the starters aren’t giving it their all right now.

[8:30] – Belliard’s HR (1st of spring) brought out the cowbells en masse.

[8:35] – Padilla’s stats just announced over PA in pressbox..5 innings, 7 hits, 4 runs (4 earned), 5 strikeouts, HR. Someone shouts “terrible!” in the box…

[8:46] – Valenzuela highlights during middle of 6th getting a lot of “woo hoo” chants to a tejano song that I don’t know…

[8:54] – Dodgers announce that 13,506 show up for tonight’s game…a new Cactus League record.

[9:00] – a while ago, when they announced that Padilla was available in the clubhouse for media, no one from the pressbox got up to go chat with him…enough said.

[9:17] – starters are beginning to get pulled and it’s middle of the 7th. Nice to see Torre stretching the crew a bit today.

[9:34] – Crowd is getting boisterous…maybe the lack of beer is fueling their comments. Van Slyke just got an earful while at the plate.

[9:41] – Lindblom looked solid tonight…more so than any other Dodger pitcher tonight. Always nice when the starters get showed up a bit in March…

Overall thoughts –

On the press box: it is incredibly tight despite being fairly wide and containing three rows of working space. You are pretty much resigned to having your knees jammed into a metal conduit that runs the power and data lines throughout the place, as there isn’t enough room for you to scoot back and still let people pass by your seat. Also, while the windows open up, they are heavily tinted and overlap one another when they slide open making it really dark for evening games (something the designer probably didn’t think about when he/she was putting it all together. One journalist sitting next to me said. “the more I spend time in here the less I like it.”

On food: the Dodger Dogs are grilled here (as they should be) but they still have to work on their supply chain management here. Thursday they ran out of polish sausages and were temp out of Dodger Dogs in the 4th inning…

On the time of the game – the evening game definitely had a different feel to it. The fans were decidedly more “adult” and it showed in all the jawing and screaming that was going on tonight. Chris actually saw Casey Blake engaging in a bit of the “jibba jabba” with Padres fans as the top of the third inning ended (from his perch in the photo well).