December 20, 2014

Highlights of the Final Homestand

It’s hard to believe the final homestand of the season is here, and while it’s depressing that the Dodgers are completely out of the race, there are several entertaining sub-plots for these last three games against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

On Friday night, Torre will hand the managerial reins over to Brad Ausmus, perhaps in a nod to a future career. Ausmus also gets to choose his coaching staff from the players on the team, so that should be entertaining.  As Ken Gurnick’s article indicates, Ausmus has the demeanor and intelect to be a ptentially great manager.  I’m actually really looking forward to tonight’s game.

In addition, if you follow the Dodgers official Twitter feed, @DodgertownUSA, you can win autographed baseballs throughout the final homestand (also known as Fan Appreciation Weekend).  There will also be fireworks on the field following the game.

On Saturday night, the Dodgers will honor Rubby De La Rosa and Gerry Sands as their 2010 Branch Rickey Minor League Pitcher and Player of the Year.  I’ll have more on these guys in a subsequent post.

Torre has also said that catcher Russell Martin will likely manage this game, and that he’s excited about the opportunity.  This is also a bit of a change for Torre, as he usually picks older veterans for the honor, but I think it says something about how fond Joe is of Russ.

Finally, on Sunday, it’s the last game for the retiring Joe Torre and Brad Ausmus, so it’s a great opportunity to say goodbye.  The club has a special pre-game celebration of Ausmus’ career planned, which spans an incredible 1,938 games, placing him seventh on the all-time list.

Sunday is also Fan Appreciation Day.  If you haven’t been before, it’s really a lot of fun.  Per the Dodgers’ press release, there will be more than 15,000 giveaways for fans:

Prizes include a 2011 Hyundai Sonata, 2011 Dodgers season tickets, a 40-inch Sharp TV, an MSI computer, Jet Blue flight vouchers, a 55-inch Vizio TV, tickets to the NASCAR Nationwide Series courtesy of Auto Club Speedway, 200 Universal Studios passes, a one-night stay at San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino’s hotel that comes with two tickets to a Sublime concert and dinner for two at the Pines Restaurant and more. A full list of Fan Appreciation Day prizes is below.  

See you at Chavez Ravine!

Joe Torre’s Laid Back Style

I find it interesting that every time Joe Torre was interviewed in the months leading up to Spring Training and a reporter asked him what he thought about the team, he responded that he hadn’t spoken to most of his players, so really hadn’t formed many opinions yet.  Andre Either confirmed this in an interview I heard on Dan Patrick’s radio show the other week.  I do recall reading reports that Torre called Andruw Jones after he signed, welcoming him to the team, which is a promising sign. 

The funniest story making the rounds is about how Joe Torre was eating at an IHOP restaurant in Vero Beach, and Russell Martin stopped by his table to introduce himself.  Ok, you’d think Joe would have at least called Russell, one of his team MVPs!  My other big question is what the hell was Russell doing in an IHOP in the days leading up to Spring Training?  I guess the man loves his pancakes!

Maybe it’s just me, but this behavior seems a bit odd for a new manager of a team.  But hey, it’s Joe Torre, right?  The guy knows how to win.