Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Dodgers Daily Notes

ON TO THE LEAGUE CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES – The NL West Division Champion Dodgers will take on the NL East Division Champion Phillies in Game 1 of the NLCS tomorrow. The Dodgers swept the Cubs in the best-of-five NLDS.

BASEBALL’S TWO HOTTEST TEAMS – Since Aug. 30 when the Dodgers started an eight-game winning streak, the team has posted a 22-8 (.733) record, including their three victories in the NLDS. That is the best winning percentage in Major League Baseball during that period, slightly ahead of the Phillies (22-9, .710).

A HISTORY WITH PHILADELPHIA – This series marks the fourth time that the Dodgers and Phillies will meet in the National League Championship Series. The two teams met in consecutive years in 1977 and 1978, with the Dodgers winning both best-of-five series in four games. In 1983, Philadelphia turned the tables and defeated the Dodgers in four games. Detailed recaps of those series appear on pages 183-187 of the Dodgers’ 2008 Postseason Guide.

LEFT HAS BEEN RIGHT – The Dodgers will likely face two left-handed starters in the first four games of the NLCS – Cole Hamels and Jamie Moyer. This season, the Dodgers went 31-21 against left-handers and batted .275 against them, compared to .260 against right-handers.

SPEAKING OF LEFT-HANDERS – One of the most famous left-handers in Dodger history, Fernando Valenzuela, is on hand to serve as an analyst for KHJ/La Ranchera 930, the Dodgers’ Spanish-language radio home. Valenzuela appeared in eight games (seven starts) while posting a 3.00 ERA for the Phillies in 1994, when he was a teammate of current Dodger first base coach Mariano Duncan.

BACK WHEN HE WAS A SCRIBE – Ned Colletti, the first Los Angeles Dodger GM to build two playoff teams in his first three seasons, covered the Philadelphia Flyers for the Philadelphia Journal from 1980-81 prior to joining the Cubs’ front office.

SEÑOR OCTUBRE – Manny Ramirez graces the cover of Sports Illustrated this week, his fourth SI cover and first as a Dodger. He has hit safely in 38 of his last 43 postseason games, with a .350 (57-for-163) average during that span. His teams are 58-40 overall in the postseason.

Phillies manager Charlie Manuel served as Ramirez’s manager for Triple-A Charlotte in the Indians’ organization in 1993, as his hitting coach with the Indians from 1994-99, and as his manager in Cleveland in 2000.

BIG GAME JAMES – James Loney has a hit in all four of his career postseason games, batting .333 (6-for-18).

During the regular season, Loney went 12-for-32 (.375) with a team-leading five RBI against the Phillies. Loney has a .400 career mark (16-for-40) with a homer and seven RBI at Citizens Bank Park.

Others to fare well against Philly in ’08 are Jeff Kent (.364, 4 RBI) and Matt Kemp (.324, 4 2B, HR)

THIS DATE IN DODGER HISTORY – On this date in 1957, Dodger President Walter O’Malley announced the club’s westward move to Los Angeles. Since then, the Dodgers have won more games, more NL pennants and more World Series than any other team in the National League.

BIRTHDAY BOYS – Dodger massage therapist Ichiro Tani celebrates his birthday today. He shares his big day with Special Assistant to the GM Rick Ragazzo, Dodger gardener Ignacio Carrillo, and former Dodger Olmedo Saenz.

PHRONT OFFICE TIES – Dodger Chief Operating Officer Dennis Mannion worked for the Phillies from 1982-97, eventually serving as Vice President of Marketing and Sales for eight seasons. Premium Seating Sales Exec Allyson Connolly also cut her teeth in Philadelphia prior to joining the Dodgers.

MANUEL LABOR – Charlie Manuel, a reserve outfielder with the Dodgers in parts of the 1974 and 1975 seasons, is the second former Los Angeles player to manage against the Dodgers in the postseason. Former Dodger infielder Willie Randolph managed the New York Mets against Los Angeles in the 2006 N.L. Division Series. Two former Brooklyn Dodger players managed against the Dodgers in the postseason – Al Lopez (White Sox vs. Los Angeles in 1959 World Series) and Casey Stengel, who managed the Yankees against the Brooklyn Dodgers in five World Series in the 1940s and 50s.

THEY BLED DODGER BLUE – Two former Dodgers are on Charlie Manuel’s coaching staff – Milt Thompson, who played on the 1996 Dodgers and Davey Lopes, who played for Los Angeles from 1972-81, appearing in two NLCS and helping the Dodgers to the 1981 World Championship. Along with Steve Garvey, Bill Russell and Ron Cey, he was part of the famous Dodger infield of the 70s and 80s that played together for an MLB record 8 ½ seasons.

IF YOU’RE NOT IN PHILLY – The Dodgers’ Home Base Network is hosting a number of viewing parties in Los Angeles for Games 1 & 2 of the NLCS, with former Dodgers Kenny Landreaux, Rudy Law, and Bobby Castillo in attendance as well as a chance to win tickets to Game 4 at Dodger Stadium. To find one of the 15 local restaurants/bars that are part of the Home Base Network, please visit

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