Monday, November 22, 2010


--Six former Dodgers, including newcomers Davey Lopes and Dave Hansen, highlight a staff with 176 combined seasons of big league experience--

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers today announced their Major League coaching staff for the 2011 campaign under new manager Don Mattingly. The staff consists of four coaches that will be entering their first season on the Dodgers’ big league staff, including two former Major League managers and four coaches that have served a combined 42 years with the Dodgers on the Major League coaching level. The staff has logged 176 combined seasons playing, coaching or managing in the Major Leagues.

“I’m extremely excited about this coaching staff, which has a great combination of experience and youth that will create a positive environment for our team,” said Mattingly. “We’ve been able to reach back and bring in a number of coaches with Dodger roots and that’s one of the things that was very important to us. Not just the quality of the people and the experience they bring with them, but the history of this organization – where it came from and where we want to go.”

The coaches:

Dave Hansen – Hitting Instructor (first season)

Trey Hillman – Bench Coach (first season)

Rick Honeycutt – Pitching Coach (sixth season)

Ken Howell – Bullpen Coach (fourth season)

Davey Lopes – First Base Coach (first season)

Manny Mota – Coach (32nd season)

Jeff Pentland – Hitting Coach (fourth season)

Tim Wallach – Third Base Coach (first season)

Rob Flippo – Bullpen Catcher (10th season)

Mike Borzello – Bullpen Catcher (fourth season)

Hillman, 47, will begin his first season as the Dodgers’ bench coach after managing the Kansas City Royals from 2008-2010 (152-207). Prior to being named the 15th skipper in Royals’ history, Hillman piloted the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters from 2003-07 in the Japanese Pacific League. While in Japan, Hillman led the Fighters to the Japan series title in 2006, the club’s first championship since 1962. The Texas native compiled a .520 winning percentage and reached the playoffs in three of five seasons with Hokkaido Nippon while being named the Japan’s “Sportsman of the Year” by the Foreign Sportswriters of Japan in 2006. Hillman was the Rangers’ Director of Player Development in 2002 and was a skipper in the New York Yankees’ organization for 12 seasons from 1990-2001. While with the Yankees, Hillman compiled a record of 855-761 (.529), leading his teams to eight winning seasons and four postseason appearances. The former minor league shortstop won the Florida State League (A) Manager of the Year in 1996 and the International League (AAA) Manager of the Year in 1999.     

Honeycutt, 56, will enter his sixth consecutive season as the Dodgers’ pitching coach, making him the longest tenured full-time coach on the Dodgers’ staff. Since Honeycutt became the pitching coach in 2006, his staff has posted a 3.90 ERA, which is the best in baseball over that time. In 2009, the Dodgers led the Major Leagues with a 3.41 ERA and a .233 opponents’ batting average while tying for second with 1,272 strikeouts.

Howell, 49, enters his fourth season as the bullpen coach for Los Angeles and since he took over in 2008, the club’s relievers own a Major League-best 3.49 ERA. In his three seasons, the bullpen ranks first in the National League with 90 wins and a .237 opponents’ batting average while ranking third with 1,432 strikeouts. In 2009, the Dodger bullpen led the Majors with a 3.12 ERA. Howell pitched for seven seasons in the Major Leagues, including five with Los Angeles and posted a 3.95 career ERA.

Lopes, 65, played in Los Angeles from 1972-82, becoming part of the longest-tenured infield in Major League history along with Steve Garvey, Bill Russell and Ron Cey from 1973-81. With the Dodgers, he led the NL in stolen bases two times (1976-77), won a Gold Glove (’78) and played in four consecutive All-Star games (1978-81). Lopes’ 413 stolen bases are the second most in Dodger history behind Maury Wills and in 1978 he had a stretch of 35 bases without getting caught, which was then a Major League record. After his retirement in 1987, Lopes was the first base coach in Texas (1988-91), Baltimore (1992-94) and San Diego (1995-99) before getting hired to manage the Brewers from 2000-2002 (144-195). Lopes returned to San Diego from 2003-05 as their first base coach and filled the same role for Washington (2006) and Philadelphia (2007-10). While in Philadelphia, the Phillies made the playoffs in each of Lopes’ four seasons as he served as the baserunning and outfield instructor. From 2007-10, Lopes coached the Phillies to a Major League-best 84.3 cumulative stolen base percentage (501 SB/93 CS) with the club leading the Majors in that category in each of his four seasons, including a big league single-season record of 87.9% (138 SB/19 CS) in 2007. Philadelphia’s outfielders led the Majors with 136 outfield assists during Lopes’ time with the club.

Pentland, 63, has served as the Dodgers’ hitting instructor under Mattingly since July 1, 2008. This year he will be the full-time hitting coach in his 14th season as a coach on the Major League level. Since Pentland has come aboard, the Dodgers are hitting .263, which is tied for second in the National League over that time. He has previously served as the hitting coach for the Cubs (1997-2002), Royals (2002-05) and Mariners (2005-08) following a career in scouting, player development and coaching at the collegiate level.

Wallach, 53, spent the last two seasons managing the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes. While in Albuquerque, Wallach compiled a record of 152-135 (.530) and set an Albuquerque franchise record with 80 victories in 2009. He was named the 2009 Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year as well as Baseball America’s “Best Manager Prospect.” The five-time NL All-Star spent 17 seasons in the Majors as a player, including four with the Dodgers (1993-96). In 2004-05 he was the Dodgers’ Major League hitting coach and prior to that he coached and managed the Dodgers’ Single-A affiliate at San Bernardino (1997-98), coached at his alma mater Cal State Fullerton (2000) and managed Single-A Rancho Cucamonga in the Angels’ organization (2001). Wallach’s three sons have followed in his footsteps as Matt catches in the Dodger organization, Brett pitches in the Chicago Cubs’ system and Chad is a freshman infielder/pitcher on the Cal State Fullerton baseball team.

Mota will enter his 32nd season as a coach with the Dodgers and 42nd year overall in the organization.  He donned a Dodger uniform as a player in parts of 13 seasons from 1969-80 and 1982 and finished his career as the all-time leading pinch-hitter in Major League history. His tenure as a coach is the longest in Los Angeles Dodger history, as he has served as the club’s bench coach and hitting coach at various times during his career.

Hansen, 41, played 11 seasons with the Dodgers (1990-96, 1999-2002) during his 15-year Major League career and ranks sixth all-time with 139 career pinch-hits, including Dodger team records for most pinch-hits in a season (18 in 1993), pinch-hits in a career (110) and pinch-hit homers in a season (7 in 2000). Hansen joins the Dodger organization after four years in the Diamondbacks’ minor league system and the last three as their minor league hitting coordinator. He retired as player following the 2005 season and began his coaching career in 2007 as the hitting coach with Arizona’s Double-A affiliate, Mobile, where his hitters led the Southern League with a .271 batting average.

Flippo, 44, and Borzello, 40, will return as the bullpen catchers for their 10th and fourth seasons, respectively.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Eric Gordon's Returns To Indy Have Not Gone As Planned

It's been said that you can always go home again, but when you are a professional athlete, playing in front of your friends and family can be quite the burden.

As a standout at North Central High School, Clippers guard Eric Gordon played himself into one of the best players the city of Indianapolis has ever produced.  During his senior season in which he led North Central to the Indiana 4A championship game, Gordon averaged 29 points and six rebounds a game on his way to earning Mr. Basketball honors as the top prep player in Indiana.   
In a state where basketball is king, Gordon became part of the state's basketball royalty. Gordon No Homecoming King

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


El SEGUNDO Los Angeles Lakers center Theo Ratliff underwent successful arthroscopic surgery to perform a partial meniscectomy on his left knee, it was announced today.
The surgery, which took approximately 30 minutes, was performed by Lakers team orthopedist Dr. Steve Lombardo of the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopedic Group.  Ratliff is expected to be out a minimum of 4-6 weeks.
Ratliff signed with the Lakers as a free agent this past summer on July 22.  In eight games this season, he is averaging 0.3 points, 1.6 rebounds and 0.63 blocks in 8.4 minutes. 
One of seven players in NBA history to capture the blocked shots title three or more times, Ratliff ranks 18th in NBA history in career blocked shots (1,968) and owns career averages of 7.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.43 blocks and 25.4 minutes in 808 games.               

Patience A Virtue For Clippers Fans

As the Clippers were on their way to starting the season a very disappointing 1-10, the moans and groans from Clippers Nation were coming fast and furious. Despite LA's recent rash of injuries, most fans viewed Monday's matchup with the Nets as a very winnable game. After all, New Jersey won only 12 games last season.

Of course, counting W's before a game is played is always a risky proposition. It may be cliche, but anybody can beat anybody on any given night. How do I know? That's what Oklahoma City players were saying after the Clippers beat them for their lone win of the season thus far.

Back to Monday night for a moment. I realize for some fans, being patient is not one of their strong suits, and when it comes to Clippers fans, most are sick and tired of being patient. And who could blame them?

However, don't let your lack of patience cloud your perspective.  Patience A Virtue For Clippers Fans

Friday, November 12, 2010

The Big Easy Is Too Easy For Monty Williams

John Wooden said that a coach is someone who can give correction without causing resentment. 

At the professional level, that personality trait is even more vital.  Just ask Brad Childress.

When it comes to big money in elite sports, rarely is a coach's success - or failure - a result of his knowledge of X's and O's or his ability to compile game strategies.  No one reaches the elite level of competition without knowing what they are doing.

What ultimately determines a great coach - besides the overall talent level on the roster - is his ability to reach his players.  It doesn't matter what you are trying to tell your team if no one is listening. Getting a player's ear and keeping it is the most valuable trait a coach can have.

The latest coach to burst on the scene with such a trait seems to be New Orleans first-year coach Monty Williams, who has the Hornets off to the best start in franchise history.  The Big Easy Is Too Easy For Monty Williams

Friday, November 5, 2010


WALNUT CREEK, Calif.--The Pac-10 announced today the 2011 Pac-12 football schedule and the eight-year rotation model used for future scheduling.

The 2011 season begins on Saturday, September 3 and culminates Saturday, December 3, with the first-ever Pac-12 Championship game. That game will be played at the home site of the division champion with the best overall conference record.

The 2012 schedule will include the same set of opponents as the 2011 schedule, with games played at opposite sites. Dates of those games are to be determined.

“We are pleased to follow the announcement of the Pac-12 North-South divisional alignment with the release of our 2011 football schedule, and a future conference football scheduling model that maintains important traditional rivalries, and will create some very exciting match-ups in our new 12-team conference,” stated Commissioner Larry Scott.

2011 Pac-12 Football Schedule
Thurs., Sept. 1
Montana State at Utah

Sat., Sept. 3
Northern Arizona at Arizona
UC Davis at Arizona State
Minnesota at USC
UCLA at Houston
California (game to be scheduled)
San Jose State at Stanford
Oregon vs. LSU
Oregon State (game to be scheduled)
Eastern Washington at Washington
Idaho State at Washington State
Colorado at Hawaii

Sat., Sept. 10
Utah at USC
Arizona at Oklahoma State
Missouri at Arizona State
San Jose State at UCLA
California (game to be scheduled)
Stanford at Duke
Nevada at Oregon
Oregon State at Wisconsin
Hawaii at Washington
UNLV at Washington State
Colorado (game to be scheduled)

Sat., Sept. 17
Stanford at Arizona
Arizona State at Illinois
Syracuse at USC
Texas at UCLA
California (game to be scheduled)
Oregon (game to be scheduled)
Washington at Nebraska
Washington State at San Diego State
Colorado vs. Colorado State
Utah at BYU

Sat., Sept. 24
Oregon at Arizona
USC at Arizona State
UCLA at Oregon State
California at Washington
Colorado at Ohio State

Sat., Oct. 1
Arizona at USC
Oregon State at Arizona State
UCLA at Stanford
Washington at Utah
Washington State at Colorado

Thurs., Oct. 6
California at Oregon

Sat., Oct. 8
Arizona at Oregon State
Arizona State at Utah
Washington State at UCLA
Colorado at Stanford

Thurs., Oct. 13
USC at California

Sat., Oct. 15
Arizona State at Oregon
Stanford at Washington State
Colorado at Washington
BYU at Oregon State
Utah at Pittsburgh

Thurs., Oct. 20

UCLA at Arizona

Sat., Oct. 22
Utah at California
Washington at Stanford
Oregon at Colorado
Oregon State at Washington State
USC at Notre Dame

Sat., Oct. 29
Arizona at Washington
Colorado at Arizona State
Stanford at USC
California at UCLA
Washington State at Oregon
Oregon State at Utah

Sat., Nov. 5

Utah at Arizona
Arizona State at UCLA
USC at Colorado
Washington State at California
Stanford at Oregon State
Oregon at Washington

Sat., Nov. 12
Arizona at Colorado
Arizona State at Washington State
Washington at USC
UCLA at Utah
Oregon State at California
Oregon at Stanford

Sat., Nov. 19

Arizona at Arizona State
USC at Oregon
Colorado at UCLA
California at Stanford
Washington at Oregon State
Utah at Washington State

Sat., Nov. 26
California at Arizona State
Oregon State at Oregon
Washington State at Washington
Colorado at Utah
Louisiana-Lafayette at Arizona
Notre Dame at Stanford

Sat., Dec. 3

Pac-12 Championship Game

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bledsoe Running Away With Unexpected Opportunity

Imagine that your company is holding this huge showcase at the convention center.  Thousands of people are going to be there, and your boss has given you a role in the event, albeit a minor one. 

Shortly after you arrive at the venue however, you discover a major change to your role.  On the schedule of events, your name is now listed as the emcee for the showcase instead of your company vice president.  You will now be responsible for making sure that all the presentations run smoothly and seamlessly.

Not exactly the way you would want to make your company-sponsored public speaking debut, right?

Well, that's sort of what happened this week to Eric Bledsoe, who made his first career NBA start with just a couple of hours notice Monday against San Antonio.

Considering the circumstances, not much was expected of the Clippers rookie point guard except from Bledsoe himself. Bledsoe Makes Most Of His Chance

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Colin Cowherd Goes Off The Wall With Rant On Wizards Rookie

Too often these days, we are quick to criticize people and their actions without ever having met that person or learned more about what led to their actions.  In a microwave-infused society, the speed of the reaction seems to be more important than the accuracy and/or fairness of the reaction.

Such ill-advised impatience usually results in a greater chance of someone not only saying something stupid, but appearing to have a one-sided, self-serving agenda.  The latest example of this trend is ESPN Radio’s Colin Cowherd’s rant on Wizards rookie John Wall doing “The Dougie” during pregame introductions Tuesday night.

Cowherd went off about Wall saying, "Before the game started, he spent 34 seconds doing the Dougie. That tells me all I need to know about J-Wow. Then he opened his mouth later and confirmed it: not a sharp guy. All about him."

Actually, Colin, Wall is anything BUT "all about him".

Wall Pass:  Cowherd Called Out