12:05pm, Tucson Electric Park, Tucson, AZ
Today marks the second-to-last trip to Tucson for the Dodgers (they also go to Hi Corbett Field -- where the spring training scenes of Major League were filmed!! -- on March 30 to play the Rockies), to face the Diamondbacks for the final time at Tucson Electric Park. Next season, the D-Backs and Rockies will begin play in their new spring training facility in Scottsdale, a field roughly 36 miles away instead of the current distance of 135 miles away, by far the longest trip of the spring.
As a result, today's travel roster is devoid of most veterans. There are lots of players from minor league camp making the trip, including a pair in the starting lineup, in Andrew Lambo and Pedro Baez.
Speaking of minor leaguers, the indispensable Spring Training Online has posted the Dodgers' schedule for their minor league games, which run from March 19 through April 3. Typically, the two A teams are at home when the Double A and Triple A teams are on the road, and vice versa. If you are making a journey out to Camelback Ranch this spring, I highly recommend checking out these minor league games. Get up close and personal with the next generation of Dodgers.
Larry Bowa, who was taken to the hospital yesterday with stomach cramps, is fine today, but did not make the trip to Tucson. Mariano Duncan will coach third base in his place, while Albuquerque hitting coach John Moses coaches first base for the Dodgers today.
The Dodgers' trip to Taiwan is an attempt to restore faith in Taiwanese baseball, rocked by game-fixing scandals, writes Steve Henson of Yahoo Sports:
The current game-fixing scandal is the fifth such occurrence in recent years. Officials from Taiwan’s China Professional Baseball League have asked MLB for guidance on how to prevent game-fixing. Unlike MLB, most players aren’t paid enough to eliminate the temptation to risk their careers for an envelope stuffed with cash or a few nights with prostitutes. Taiwanese players earn between $40,000 and $200,000 a year.
Acey Kohrogi, the Dodgers head of operations in Asia, has been scouting in Taiwan since 1996. He said players are offered two to three times their annual salaries to throw games. "Then they are trapped," Kohrogi said. "These are gangster types. It’s organized crime but not like the gangsters on the streets of L.A. This is really organized, and by college graduates. It’s very discreet but can be very dangerous."
Here are the lineups:
Daylight savings time is tonight, so starting tomorrow the day games start a little later, at 1pm Pacific time instead of noon, because most of Arizona, including the Phoenix area, does not recognize daylight savings time.
No TV today (tomorrow is on Prime Ticket), but you can listen on 790 KABC or the Dodger Radio Network.