Chavez Ravine turns 50, Andre Ethier turns 30, and the Dodgers win their home opener. The only thing that could have made today even better is if Clayton Kershaw would have been able to get the win. He certainly pitched well enough to deserve it. Hell, Juan Uribe even 3-3 today, so it must've been a pretty magical day at Blue Heaven on Earth.
The only dull spots on the day were James Loney at the plate and Juan Rivera's mental lapse in left field. If you know me, which I'm pretty sure all of you don't, you know that I really want to love Loney. He's damn good defensively, he seems like a pretty good teammate, and he's part of the Dodgers young core. But good Lord what is he doing at the plate? Still doesn't have a hit on the year, although he did work a walk today to reach base for the first time. He just looks so damn lost up there. I was thrilled when he flew out to centerfield today in the 7th inning, he actually swung the bat with some authority. I feel like all the talk of the Dodgers possibly signing Prince Fielder this past offseason may have had an effect on his mindset. Hopefully he's not thinking he needs to be anywhere near the kind of player Fielder is. The Dodgers already have their big bat combo, Kemp and Dre, Loney should be striving to be a doubles machine. I know it's still incredibly early, but I hope this funk he's in wears off quickly.
Regarding Rivera's mental error that cost Kershaw a shot at the W, it's really unfortunate that it came down to a stupid mistake. The only thing I can think is that he forgot how many outs there were. Rivera has been in the league long enough to know where that throw should go. It was a simple mental lapse on his part. I think we can all agree we're just happy it didn't cost the Dodgers the game. Matt Kemp also made a mistake in the outfield, but thankfully Clayton was able to Kershaw his way out of it. And we can blame the sun for Kemp's gaffe, whereas Rivera's was just a big fat derp.
Also, I read something interesting today regarding (hopefully) soon to be free agent Cole Hamels. It seems some people are thinking he is going to seriously consider going to Boston, apparently his Dad is from South Boston. While it won't surprise me if the Red Sox throw a ton of money his way, I really think Magic and Colletti are going to be able to sway him our way. While his pops may be from Southie, Hamels grew up in San Diego. I think the trio of Kershaw, Billingsley, and Hamels would instantly make the Dodgers the favorite in the West and probably all of the National League. What do you think?
Speaking of signing, when is Ethier going to get a contract? What could Colletti be waiting for? The guy has shown how clutch he can be, he's an all around good player, and he is absolutely loved by the fans. We've all seen what he can do at the plate and in the field, the only thing I can think of is that the suits are worried about his health. He's missed 50 games over the past two years, and caused a bit of a stir last year when he said he was being forced to play hurt. He later backed off from that stance and said it was his choice. I just hope this hasn't caused too big of a rift between him and Colletti and won't be an issue. The only other concern I have is that Magic is very publicly praising Matt Kemp, and I haven't heard or seen anything regarding Ethier. I'm afraid this may make him feel like he is playing second fiddle to Kemp, which honestly he is, and cause him to want out of LA. Hopefully Dre will see what he means to the fans and to the team and they'll be able to come to an agreement before the season ends.
Lastly, it was good times on the game chat today. Hopefully it will be just as lively throughout the season.