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The spring chicken appears at Dodgers camp

March 9, 2011 |  9:15 am

There was a live chicken in Rafael Furcal's locker on Wednesday, to the amusement and curiosity of his teammates.

"What is this, 'Bull Durham'?" infielder Aaron Miles said.

Furcal hurriedly stuffed the chicken behind his clothes, hiding the live fowl from the rest of the team. He let the chicken loose during the Dodgers' morning meeting.

"Raffy is always screaming, 'If anybody's scared, get a black cat,' " Manager Don Mattingly said. "This year, he got a black chicken."

Mattingly said Furcal had asked and received permission for the chicken run.

"No animals were harmed, just in case we get any backlash," Mattingly said.

Mattingly said he was not sure what would become of the chicken, although he suggested it would not become someone's lunch.

"I'm sure it's going back to a safe environment," Mattingly said.

In other news, the Dodgers will field their projected opening day lineup for Wednesday's game against the Seattle Mariners, although Tony Gwynn Jr. will bat ninth in place of pitcher Jon Garland, with the designated hitter in effect.

First baseman James Loney, who has sat out four games because of inflammation in his left knee, returns to the lineup. Left-handed reliever Hong-Chih Kuo, eased into spring training to protect an arm that has undergone surgery four times, is scheduled to make his Cactus League debut.

-- Bill Shaikin in Glendale, Ariz.