Red Sox Email

Too perfect. Just like being a little kid on Christmas and getting up at 5 a.m. to see if it’s time yet…

Happy Opening Day!

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things.

.1. Work has been crazy busy. I think I could sleep till June!

.2. For the past two days, I’ve been thinking about the difference between “flittering” and “fluttering”.

.3. I still haven’t had a potato chip! I think it’s been at least 6 weeks. I even turned some down yesterday.

.4. Tears of God is one of those songs that I can hear at any given time and think it relates perfectly to my life at that moment.

.5. A Facebook conversation, an IM chat, and a texting session in the past two days have all been the culprit of fits of giggles that have left me in tears.

.6. My mom and I watch reality TV shows while on the phone together. It’s happening more and more.

.7. Right now I’m pretty confident that all of the pieces are going to fall into place.

.8. I turned down Dodger tickets today, solely because I want Opening Day to be the first time I see Dodger Stadium in 2009.

.9. A lady called me a “Barbie” today. I don’t think she meant it in a bad way. I hope not.

.10. I’m impressed with my patience.

T-Minus 9 Days!

Nine days until the opening of baseball! Even though the Dodgers open in San Diego, it’s still nice to know that in a mere 9 days, I have the opportunity to at least watch them play a regular season game. And one week later, the home opener should be great fun!

For the first time in a very long time, I listened to Dodger talk radio last night. It was merely by accident as I was sitting on the 5 for about an hour and a half during rush hour because I just didn’t quite grasp the appropriate timing! At any rate, the new guys, whose names escape me right now, really weren’t that bad. Ross Porter did the show for years, and I loved it so when the switched him out, I switched it off. Maybe it’s a habit that I will revive this season….

But, I digress.

The depth chart is finally filling in nicely. I am disappointed that AJ Ellis is not on it, but I suppose that was mostly to be expected. Even my greatest fear—the pitching staff!—worked out nicely!

Dodger depth chart as of this morning

Dodger depth chart as of this morning

Opening Day Mystery Solved

Kuroda will be followed in the rotation by Randy Wolf, Chad Billingsley, Clayton Kershaw and “the mystery person,” said Torre, referring to the fifth starter to be named. That alignment will alternate between right-handers and left-handers over the first four games.

via Kuroda selected to start Opening Day | dodgers.com: News.

The spring-long mystery has been put to rest by Dodger manager, Joe Torre. I must say that I’m quite pleased.

I definitely think Kuroda deserves the Opening Day start, but I think Torre was smart to set up his rotation this way. Kuroda gets the honor of the first pitch of the new season, and Chad Billingsley will get the honor of the first pitch at Dodger Stadium.

On a completely personal level, that makes me even happier because Billingsley will be starting on the Dodgers home opener and my birthday. Pretty awesome! And exactly what I wanted!

And I’m downright giddy that Clayton Kershaw has made the starting rotation. It’s been a loooong time since we’ve had young pitchers. Especially young left-headed pitchers. And triple especially young, left-handed starting pitchers. After getting to see him pitch up close, I’m even more excited!

Clayton Kershaw starting during a spring training game at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix.

Clayton Kershaw starting during a spring training game at Camelback Ranch in Phoenix.

Opening Day Pitcher: The Saga Begins

Chad Billingsley has already thrown seven bullpen sessions this year. Jason Schmidt has tossed almost as many.

Monday, Hiroki Kuroda threw his first.

via Dodgers’ Hiroki Kuroda says his shoulder is pain-free – Los Angeles Times.

So, it seems that Joe Torre has narrowed it down to Kuroda and Billingsley. In my previous post, I talked about the fun that the battle for the Opening Day spot is during spring training.

That was somewhat of a lie. You can ask my brother because we used to argue about this year after year.

I consider the Opening Day spot to be somewhat a distinction of honor. So, I would lobby for the players who had been with the team the longest or had an especially phenomenal previous season.

That being said, I’m putting my early support behind Chad Billingsley. His 16-10 performance last year is enough for me. He also has Hiroki Kuroda‘s ERA beat by about 60-points.

Plus, I think we have a good opportunity this year to depend on “the kids.” It would be a good start to let the 24-year-old pitcher get the Opening Day start.

It would be a great tribute to the time I fell in love with the Dodgers. Of the nights that I would stay up until my mom came home from her night shift, and I would read to her the notes I had taken about the minor league games of the day. She had to suffer through stories of Adrian Beltre (long before he made it to the majors), Adam Riggs, Jeff Kubenka and on and on….

But, I digress.

I think a team that is hopefully going to rely on Andre Ethier, Matt Kemp, and James Loney, putting stake into Billingsley would be a great step in the right direction.

A call to arms for Dodgers – Los Angeles Times

The Dodgers’ projected opening-day starter, Chad Billingsley, was solid in his first full season in the rotation but melted down in the National League Championship Series and suffered a broken leg this winter. Clayton Kershaw can’t legally drink a beer until March 19. Hiroki Kuroda is 34 years old but has started only 31 major league games and isn’t scheduled to throw his first bullpen session of the year until Monday because of concerns about his arthritic shoulder. Randy Wolf, who was signed a week ago, broke down in the middle of the last season he pitched for the Dodgers.

via A call to arms for Dodgers – Los Angeles Times.

For a lot of reasons, I’m especially excited about the start of the 2009 baseball season. It could be the fact that Tanaya and I will be doing a less-than-48-hour turnaround to Phoenix to see two Dodger preseason games. (I read the guide to the complex in the LA Times yesterday and am even more excited!) Or it could be that tomorrow morning, I will be going to Dodger stadium to purchase a mini-plan of season tickets. (We’ll hopefully be in one of my favorite spots on the planet: Top Deck Section 5, Row 3 of Dodger Stadium.) Or it could be meeting Vin Scully and Peter O’Malley a couple of weeks ago and all the memories that it brought about.  Or it could be that somewhere around October, I left my broken heart in the Dodger Stadium parking lot.

So, yesterday I pulled up the roster to see who’s around, who’s gone, etc. I suddenly had this flashback to sophomore year in high school and how baseball started in January with scouting reports. Sadly, in the past 10 years life has become a lot more busy, and an obsession of that magnitude is not very likely, but who knows.

Pitching makes me nervous as it always does. Actually, that’s not true. For a glorious three years, it wasn’t a question of if we’d have pitchers by Opening Day, but which pitcher would be the Opening Day starter. I hope that we can have a battle like that during Spring training for a true Opening Day starter. Ah….Ramon Martinez, Ismael Valdes, Hideo Nomo, even Pedro Astacio and Tom Candiotti! I miss that year-in, year-out rotation. It’ll be interesting, though, to see if anyone emerges as the favorite for that honor.

All things considered, the start of baseball season is hands-down the best time of the year.