STATE OF THE UNION: While many of the position players have been working out voluntarily at Camelback Ranch – Glendale for the last few days on the minor league side, today marked the official report date for the full squad with their first workout tomorrow morning.
EXECUTIVE DECISIONS: While Manager Don Mattingly has been standing in the batter’s box periodically during bullpen sessions, today Hiroki Kuroda, Carlos Monasterios, Rubby De La Rosa, Tim Redding and Wilkin De La Rosa threw live batting practice to Dodger catchers and minor leaguers. The rest of the pitching staff participated in fielding and bunting drills this morning.
(Rubby De La Rosa throwing above)
HAIL TO THE CHIEF: Dodger Special Advisor to the Chairman Tommy Lasorda reported for his 62nd Spring Training with the Dodgers this morning and offered advice to numerous players in camp. The global baseball ambassador has met seven U.S. Presidents – Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
- HIGH APPROVAL RATINGS: Dodger left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo threw his first bullpen session of Spring Training along with Clayton Kershaw, Mike MacDougal, Kenley Jansen, Blake Hawksworth, Ramon Troncoso, Jon Garland and Javy Guerra. Kuo was selected to his first All-Star team in 2010 and led all Major League relievers with a 1.200 ERA as he set a club record for lowest ERA among pitchers with at least 50.0 innings pitched, besting Eric Gagne’s 1.202 ERA in 2003.
- DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE: Dodger infielder Juan Uribe was among the position players to report today and took optional batting practice with his new teammates after his physical this morning. The 11-year Major League veteran helped the Giants win the world championship in 2010 with his nine postseason RBI, including five in the World Series against Texas. Though he was signed to play mostly at second base, Uribe led all NL shortstops (min. 100 games) with a .984 fielding percentage in 2010 with a .975 career fielding percentage at the position and a .990 career mark at second base.
ACTING PRESIDENTIAL: On this Presidents Day, it’s nice to look back on those Dodgers that at least sounded presidential: Adams (Terry), Carter (Lance, Gary), Ford (Hod), Grant (Jim), Jackson (Edwin, Randy), Johnson (Brian, Charles, Jason, Lou), Kennedy (Bob, Brickyard, John), Nixon (Al, Otis), Taylor (Danny, Harry, Zack), Van Buren (Deacon), Washington (Ron) and Wilson (Eddie, Hack, Robert, Steve, Tex, Tom).