Throughout Spring Training the Dodgers PR department sends out helpful daily notes from Camelback Ranch, and I am happy to pass them along.
FUN FEST: The first-ever Camelback Ranch – Glendale Fan Fest was a rousing success today with more than 3,000 fans in attendance for the Dodgers’ and White Sox’s autograph sessions and batting practice. While the autographs were the main takeaway from the day’s event, those who stayed for Dodger batting practice were treated to additional souvenirs as the hitting group of Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, James Loney and Juan Rivera deposited well over a dozen baseballs onto the outfield berms. The only unfortunate incident on the sun-filled morning was when shortstop Dee Gordon was hit by a bad-hop grounder in the mouth, which required stitches on his upper lip. Gordon is not expected to miss any practice time due to the injury.
ALMOST GAMEDAY: At 10:00 a.m. tomorrow, the Dodgers will play a four-inning intrasquad game on the minor league fields featuring pitchers Clayton Kershaw, Chris Capuano, Stephen Fife and Will Savage. Kershaw, who will start on Opening Day in San Diego and the Dodgers’ home-opener on April 10, will make his first “official” start of the Cactus League season on March 9 against the Rangers in Surprise.
(Kemp goofs on Rubby De La Rosa, via Jon SooHoo/LA Dodgers)
START ME UP: The Dodgers held their annual On Sale event at Dodger Stadium this morning with fans enjoying the festivities which included music, trivia and contests, hosted by Vic “the Brick” Jacobs from AM 570 Fox Sports Los Angeles. Opening Day tickets are still available on Dodgers.com and prices on many advanced individual tickets for the 2012 season after Opening Day have been reduced as much as $20 per ticket.
IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY: The Dodgers would like to wish a very happy 36th birthday to catcher Matt Treanor! Treanor was signed as a free agent this offseason after spending the 2011 campaign with the Royals and American League-champion Texas Rangers. Treanor, who grew up in Garden Grove and attended Mater Dei High School in Santa Ana, is entering his ninth big league season after originally being selected by Kansas City in the fourth round of the 1994 First-Year Player Draft.
(Spring Training Fun during Fan Fest, via Jon SooHoo/ LA Dodgers)
HALL OF FAME HAPPENING: On March 3, 1997, Special Advisor to the Chairman Tommy Lasorda received a call in Vero Beach, FL from Teddy Ballgame, Ted Williams, letting him know he was to be inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Lasorda is now enshrined in 17 Halls of Fame.
MAJORING IN THE MINOR: Minor league pitchers and catchers reported to Camelback Ranch today two days ahead of their first workout on March 5. All other minor leaguers report on March 9 with the first full-squad workout taking place on March 11. The farmhands will hope to repeat their success from last season, when six of the Dodgers’ seven minor league affiliates ended the season with winning records and the teams’ cumulative .543 winning percentage (414-349) was the second highest among Major League clubs behind only Texas’ .565 mark (431-332). In addition, four of the seven clubs reached the postseason with the Rookie-level AZL Dodgers winning the Arizona Summer League championship.
A CASE OF THE MONDAYS: The Dodgers open up their Cactus League season as the designated visiting team on Monday against their Camelback Ranch neighbors, the White Sox. Chad Billingsley will get the start for Los Angeles with RHP Nathan Eovaldi, RHP Fernando Nieve, LHP Wilfredo Ledezma, RHP Angel Guzman, RHP Ryan Tucker and LHP Scott Rice in relief and right-hander Philip Humber taking the hill for Chicago. The Dodgers open their home slate on Tuesday with LHP Ted Lilly on the mound against the Giants’ Barry Zito.