While Hoping LaRoche Plays Tonight…

Let’s see. Jon over at Dodger Thoughts writes out an incredibly well thought-out and impeccibly argued opus on the troubles of the 2008 Dodgers that’s well worth a read and definitely falls into the category of “things I wish I’d written,” and what are we doing today? Oh, that’s right. Via With Leather, a gorgeous girl in a Dodger hat – in this case, Emmanuelle Chriqui (from HBO’s Entourage) throwing out the first pitch on Saturday night.

Take that, Cubs!

Back to baseball, check out this note on tonight’s Clayton Kershaw/Greg Maddux matchup from Baseball Prospectus:

The youngest player in baseball goes up against the sixth oldest tonight in San Diego. Kershaw was born on March 19, 1988. On that date, Maddux was getting ready to begin his third season in the big leagues, and had already picked up eight victories and pitched 186 2/3 innings in his first two.

Now there’s some perspective for you. Finally, this is only tangentially Dodger-related, but it did happen during the Dodgers/Cubs game on Sunday night. Beware - there’s a 90% chance it’s going to make your brain leak out your ears. It’s a two-run game in the 8th inning, and, well, let’s let Awful Announcing explain what this is going to be:

Joe Morgan decided to ask Jon Miller a question and what started as an opinion based discussion turned into a fishing trivia contest ending with talk of Snake (Kurt Russel) in Escape from New York.

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Update: I had meant to include this originally, but after watching those two dopes Miller and Morgan again, I’m surprised I still know how to tie my own shoes. There’s two recent articles about our young pitchers (non-Kershaw division) floating around, and while the players involved are very different, you’ll notice one big common denominator:

Cory Wade (LA Daily News)

Based on a suggestion by Charlie Hough, the pitching coach for the Dodgers’ Single-A Inland Empire affiliate, and with the approval of minor-league pitching coordinator Marty Reed and the organizational brass, Wade became a full-time reliever.

“(Hough) just thought I was better suited for facing a lineup one time because of the way I pitched,” Wade said. “I don’t really have overpowering stuff. And that was fine with me. I just wanted to play. Charlie was a big help to me.

James McDonald (Baseball America)

McDonald credited Inland Empire pitching coach Charlie Hough with helping him make significant developmental strides.

“Last year I feel like I gained two whole years by playing with Charlie Hough,” McDonald said. “He talked to me a lot—he’s helped my mechanics, but he helped me a lot mentally too.

“To this day, if I have a bad start or something, I might call him because he knows me so well. He’s seen me so much that he’ll know what I need to fix, so I just work on that in my next bullpen.”

Hough – that’s right, the former knuckleballer who pitched in an incredible 25 seasons (parts of 11 with the Dodgers) until he was 46 – and somehow finished with an exactly even record of 216-216 is someone I rarely see getting credit for the young Dodgers pitching making its way through the system, and apparently that’s something that needs to change.

 - Mike Scioscia’s tragic illness msti-face.jpg