The Dodgers go for the sweep of the San Diego Padres today, and will wear their Brooklyn caps and number 42 Dodgers jerseys in honor of Jackie Robinson Day at Dodger Stadium. Before the game, manager Don Mattingly reflected on what April 15 means.
"He was the trailblazer and this was the team. Obviously he's honored throughout baseball, but being in our organization it's different," Mattingly said.
"Newk [Don Newcombe] came in to talk to guys, and Sweet Lou [Johnson] comes in. I feel like our guys are pretty well informed," Mattingly said. "With our organization, Maury [Wills] is in camp, Manny [Mota] is in camp. We had Ron Cey this year, [Steve] Yeager is back. I think you want guys to know and understand - Davey [Lopes] is here with us - that there is a history to our club, and it's something they should be proud of."
Mattingly was also glad to have Vin Scully back calling games. The manager said that while the team isn't always aware of what is going on in the booth they knew Scully was absent and he was missed.
"We heard in San Diego that he wasn't feeling good. Then on opening day that he wasn't here that was different. Vinnie is the Dodgers, and people hear Vinnie's voice when they think of the Dodgers," Mattingly said. "It's not quite right without him being here."
- Mattingly said that, at least early in the season, he would use the off days (tomorrow and April 26, for instance) to give his starting rotation an extra day of rest. But Mattingly also said that later in the season he might use off days to juggle the rotation to manipulate matchups or perhaps get Clayton Kershaw more starts.
- All spring long Mattingly talked about how pleased he was with Andre Ethier's swing, that his right fielder was squaring up the ball and creating the backspin needed for more power. Ethier's home run on Saturday night, hit to left center field in the first inning, was a great example.
"That ball was on the outer third, and that was exactly where that ball should go," Mattingly said. "If he's trying to pull that ball, if he hits it decent it's a top-spin that's not going to go anywhere. Or if he gets out there too far then he's kind of crossed and it's ends up being a popup or sliced to left where it's not going to carry. The way he hit that ball last night, it's almost hit perfect for it to get out of here.
Game Time: 1:10 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket