- LET’S GET IT STARTED: The Dodgers open up their 34-game Cactus League slate with a pair of split-squad road games with one team playing the Giants in Scottsdale and the other taking on the Angels in Tempe. Today’s matchup is the first of three trips that the Dodgers will make to Scottsdale Stadium this spring with the Giants busing over to Glendale on March 4. Los Angeles went 11-17-2 in Cactus League play last season.
- BALLERS: Dodger non-roster right-hander Tim Redding will get the start against the Giants this afternoon after spending the 2010 season with the Yankees’ and Rockies’ organizations, going a combined 8-5 with a 2.89 ERA in 18 games (17 starts) at the Triple-A level. The 33-year-old hopes to continue his season-ending hot streak, when he went 5-0 with a 0.83 ERA (4 ER/43.1 IP) over his final six games with the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees. Redding will be followed to the hill by RHP Carlos Monasterios, RHP Oscar Villarreal, RHP Jon Huber and LHP Wilkin De La Rosa.
IT’S TIME FOR DONNIE BASEBALL: Don Mattingly will manage his first official Spring Training game for the Dodgers. Last year, while still the club’s hitting coach, the 49-year-old filled in as acting manager during Spring Training while Joe Torre managed a Dodger squad in Taiwan. Mattingly will become the 27th manager in franchise history (ninth in Los Angeles) after seven seasons coaching under Torre and a 14-year playing career with the Yankees, when he compiled a .307 batting average with 222 homers, 1,099 RBI, nine Rawlings Gold Gloves, six All-Star selections, a batting title (1984, AL) and a selection as the 1985 American League Most Valuable Player.
TEMPE THROWDOWN: Another squad of Dodgers will open the spring season this afternoon in Tempe against the Angels. RHP Hiroki Kuroda will make his first start of the spring and is scheduled to be followed by RHP Rubby De La Rosa, LHP Scott Elbert, RHP Lance Cormier, RHP Roman Colon and RHP Luis Vasquez. Triple-A Albuquerque Manager Lorenzo Bundy will call the shots in Tempe against the Angels with Mattingly in Scottsdale.
CONGRATULATIONS, VIN: Dodger Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully will be honored with a lifetime achievement award and a city certificate tomorrow at the Beverly Hills Wine Festival. The mayor of Beverly Hills will be on hand for the ceremony which will recognize Scully’s dedication and contributions to Los Angeles.
HIGH NUMBERS: The Dodgers will be sending 11 minor leaguers to today’s game in Scottsdale, including former Giants right-hander Merkin Valdez. Outfielders Brian Cavazos-Galvez, who homered in his only 2010 Spring Training at-bat and was selected as a Baseball America Low Class-A All-Star with Single-A Great Lakes last season, and 2009 Midwest League co-MVP Kyle Russell will also be making the trip along with third base coach Tim Wallach’s son, catcher Matt Wallach.
ON THE AIR: Today’s game can be heard back in Los Angeles on 790 KABC as Charley Steiner will have the call today in the first of 17 Spring Training games that will be broadcast on the Dodger Radio Network. Tomorrow’s home opener against the Angels will be the first of 15 Dodger Spring Training games on television with 12 on PRIME TICKET and three on KCAL 9, and for the first time ever, all of them will be broadcast in high definition.
NEWEST DODGER: Congratulations to Dodger Minor League Video Coordinator Matt Lawrence and his wife Heather on the birth of his first child, Caitlin Lindsey, born yesterday afternoon! Caitlin weighed in 9 lbs. 4 oz. and measured 22 inches long.
BROOKLYN BLUES: Yesterday, the Dodgers announced that they will wear the 1940s “satin” uniform during six mid-week day games in 2011. Nearly 50,000 votes were cast online with the winning powder blue Brooklyn uniform edging out the 1911 road uniform by less than 2,000 votes. Though the original uniforms worn in the 1940s were made of a high reflective satin fabric, the throwback jerseys worn in 2011 will be made of the same material and maintain the same feel as those worn by the Dodgers throughout the season. Six-game mini plans, which include all six throwback dates at half price, are available online at Dodgers.com/miniplans and tickets for each individual game are on sale now.
WINNER, WINNER: Jonathan Broxton and Clayton Kershaw were honored on Thursday night at the 6th Annual LA Sports Awards with Broxton’s save of the 2010 All-Star Game in Anaheim tying for the 10th-Greatest Los Angeles Sports Moment of the year and Kershaw’s first career shutout, which came on Sept. 15 at San Francisco, being recognized as the greatest Dodger moment of the season. Don Newcombe represented the Dodgers at the star-studded event at The Beverly Hilton, which was hosted by the Los Angeles Sports Council.