EVERYDAY: Dodger Manager Don Mattingly addressed the full squad for the first time this morning and let each player know what his expectations were for the team. Mattingly’s mantra of “everyday” has carried over into his second year as Dodger skipper, following an 82-win rookie campaign. In addition to Mattingly, General Manager Ned Colletti, Director, Team Travel Scott Akasaki and bench coach Trey Hillman all spoke to the club. Also on hand were Dodger Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda and Dodger legends Maury Wills, Steve Yeager and Shawn Green. Los Angeles’ first Spring Training game is in six days on March 5 at 1:05 p.m. against the White Sox. The Dodgers’ first home game at Camelback Ranch will be the following day against the Giants.
DEALING NOT DONE: Dodger pitchers Mike MacDougal and Ted Lilly threw bullpens today, catching up with most of the other hurlers, who had a day off from throwing before they toss live batting practice on Thursday. MacDougal missed a side session a few days ago and Lilly was late to camp due to the birth of his daughter last week. Five pitchers did toss live batting practice today as LHP Wilfredo Ledezma, RHP Angel Guzman, RHP Fernando Nieve, RHP Ryan Tucker and LHP Scott Rice all took the mound.
MASTER CLASS: This afternoon, first base coach Davey Lopes talked baserunning with all the position players in camp for more than 30 minutes. One could hear a pin drop as Lopes opined on the mental and situational aspects necessary to being a successful base runner. Lopes, entering his second year as a Dodger coach after wearing Dodger Blue for 10 seasons as a player, made an instant impact for Los Angeles in 2011 as the Dodgers’ stolen-base percentage of 75.9 was the second-best mark since moving to Los Angeles in 1958, trailing the 1962 club’s 82.2 mark. The Dodgers ranked fourth in the National League with 126 steals and had the circuit’s fifth-best stolen base percentage (126 SB/40 CS) in 2011. Both marks were significant improvements over the team’s 92 steals and 64.8% success rate in 2010.
LEAP OF FAITH: Tomorrow is February 29, or Leap Day, meaning that this year “Beastmode” will be 24/7, 366. The Dodgers have made the playoffs in four of the last six leap years (1988, 1996, 2004, 2008), including two straight.
OI OI OI!: The Dodgers would like to wish a very happy birthday to outfielder Trent Oeltjen, who turns 29 today. Oeltjen set career highs last season in games (61), at-bats (71), RBI (6), walks (13) and stolen bases (6) while the team went 38-23 when he appeared in a game. Oeltjen’s 99 career big league games rank fifth all-time for an Australian-born position player and he is the fourth Aussie to play for the Dodgers. Fellow countryman Shane Lindsay is vying to become the fifth, but the non-roster right-hander has yet to see action this spring due to a strained lat.
LOOK MOM, VIDEO GAMES!: The good people from Sony were at Camelback Ranch – Glendale early this morning, scanning the faces of several Dodgers for the various video games, including “MLB: The Show.” Those getting brought to life in video were Dodger Manager Don Mattingly, Tim Federowicz, Justin Sellers, Nathan Eovaldi, Rubby De La Rosa, Javy Guerra, Jerry Sands, Josh Lindblom and Shane Lindsay.
--from Dodgers press release