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Category: Brooklyn Dodgers

Dodgers Web musings: Struggle for the No. 2 hitter, the McCourts, off-season grades and more

It’s one of the great unknowns the Dodgers will begin to examine when they report to camp next week:

Who can possibly bat second in the lineup?

There isn’t anything that even resembles a traditional No.2 hitter in their expected lineup, although I understand Larry Bowa is available. No typical table setter. No one with an interestingly high on-base percentage or particularly adept at bunting and advancing the runners.

So are you ready for Casey Blake batting second?

Hey, somebody has to. Newbie manager Don Mattingly told’s Ken Gurnick he is giving serious thought to having Blake in the No.2 spot because he can hit to the opposite field and take a pitch.

And this can’t be good, can it? Mattingly implied the batting order could be a daily shuffle.

Also on the Web:

-- Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes that Bud Selig views Frank and Jamie McCourt far less kindly than Mets’ beleaguered owner Fred Wilpon, but doesn’t sound hopeful the commission will use the "best interest of the game" provision to force movement by either.

-- Off-season grades are coming in, and the Dodgers aren’t faring badly. ESPN’s Jayson Stark gives the Dodgers an NL West-best B-plus, while CBS Sports’ David Andriesen gives them a B, just behind the Rockies’ B-plus.

-- Joe Block is the new co-host for KABC’s Dodger Talk
. Block comes from New Orleans, where he hosted a similar show on the Hornets. He’ll team with Josh Suchon, replacing Ken Levine.

Levine is the Seattle Mariners new play-by-play announcer, though he wrote in his blog that he hopes to continue to contribute to Dodger Talk with features.

-- Former L.A. Times baseball writer Ross Newhan thinks Rangers infielder Michael Young would be an ideal fit for either the Dodgers or Angels, but doesn't believe it’s going to happen.

-- The first name listed by Fox Sports’ Jack Magruder on players whose teams need them to step it up this season is Matt Kemp.

-- True Blue LA’s Phil Gurnee gives an overview on prospect Jerry Sands, the Dodgers’ minor league player of the year.

-- Fernando Valenzuela is making his first trip to the Dominican Republic to be enshrined in the Latino Baseball Hall of Fame on Staturday.

-- Sports Illustrated’s Joe Lemire, meanwhile, bemoans the current state of major talent at the Caribbean Series.

-- Tony Malinosky was baseball’s oldest surviving player when he died Tuesday in Oxnard. Malinosky played 35 games for the Dodgers in 1937.

-- Vin Scully Is My Homeboy’s Roberto Baly
is pumped over a miniature replica of Ebbets Field, reportedly valued at $4,500.

--'s Michael Arkush catches up with Maury Wills, still going strong at 78 after prostate and knee replacement surgeries, and still lamenting his lost opportunity as a manager.

-- Steve Dilbeck

The Jackie Robinson Show


Ran across this story Wednesday on the Dodgers community caravan. Too wild not to be true ...

Maybe some kids at a grammar school on Long Island were stumped when the teacher handed out a show-and-tell assignment, but not young Jimmy Campanis.

Jimmy's father, Al Campanis, was briefly a second baseman for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Jackie Robinson's roommate in the minors. He moved into the front office and later became the team's general manager.

"When I was like 10 or 11 years old, I had a show-and-tell at school,'' Jimmy said. "My dad said, 'What are you going to do?'

"I said I'm going to do a thing on Jackie Robinson. And he asked what I was going to show. So I said, 'Dad, you being a good friend of his, why don't you bring him for me?' ''

To kids, all things are possible.

"So I get up in front of the class and I do the whole tell thing about how he was the first black player, what his average was and all the great things he did.

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