Bruce Bochy’s pregame media sessions have been starting a little on the later side recently. Usually they’re scheduled for 4:30, and more often they’ve been starting around 4:45. The day the Dodgers (in town tonight, as it would turn out) made that trade for a dozen Boston Red Sox, Bochy was supposedly “in a meeting” and didn’t come up to the dugout until about 5 pm.
Anyway, this is all a roundabout way of making an excuse for being late for today’s presser. I got to the dugout at 4:33 and Bochy had already talked about Xavier Nady (“mild” hamstring strain, out at least 4-5 days) and Brandon Belt (he’s playing left field, just like Bochy said he might the other night when I asked him about Ryan Theriot playing there).
I couldn’t hear a thing because the crowd around Bochy was much bigger than usual, and the music was blaring over the park’s PA system. The Flip Cam’s sound is admittedly not the greatest already, so I tried to find a spot where I could get a little closer. Bochy must have noticed me moving around, and he fixated on the little handheld device I’ve been filming his interviews with for the past two seasons.
“I keep thinking you’re gonna shoot me,” Bochy said.
Everyone started laughing, and the only response I could muster was, “No, just uh, film.” You know, because I actually take reels of film and upload those to YouTube (I’m not the brightest).
Then Bochy said something about the camera being like a device you’d see in a James Bond movie.
The Dodgers seem like they’re trying especially hard to show what great chemistry they have, especially Matt Kemp. Giants batting practice (or is it “Giants’ batting practice”?) was winding down, and Ryan Theriot was hitting fly balls to his warning track, the infield. I kid, I kid.
The Dodgers strolled onto the field in front of their dugout, as visiting teams are wont to do during the end of a home team’s BP session. Instead of milling about and spitting, as visiting teams usually do while waiting, the Dodgers grouped together for a full team huddle. The huddle wasn’t loud and there wasn’t much movement, but it appeared that Matt Kemp was talking and they were all listening to him talk about the toilets at Rhianna’s house or something.
The the huddle broke and they started jogging down the right field line before easing into the customary milling about and spitting routine. It was a strange site on a baseball field, and it makes me wonder if tonight they’ll start doing those chants from the dugout that you see during high school and college softball games.
“Adrian, Adrian, you can do it! Adrian, Adrian, Dodger blue it!”
Kemp is in full Kobe Bryant mode, as I said on Twitter. Sometimes — usually when the cameras are on — Kobe will try and show what a gregarious, fun teammate he is. Lots of over-laughing at nonexistent jokes, slapping guys on the shoulder, that sort of thing. It’s insincere, but since he’s a star his teammates put up with it.
Kemp’s filling that role wonderfully tonight. At one point he threw his glove up in the air to try and knock down a throw between two teammates, then laugh-staggered over to the Dodger who threw the ball and gave him a hug that lingered for a few seconds. Then some more laughing.
We get it, Matt. The Dodgers aren’t feeling the pressure that comes from a 4.5-game deficit in the standings, they’re the team that has nothing to lose! They’re talented, they’re just going to come in and party it up on their rivals’ home field! Beach balls and Corona Lights for everyone!
Can you tell that this is the first Dodgers team that has truly annoyed me in a while? Almost as annoyed as Bochy probably is at me and my Flip Cam.
One last thing: if Peter Guber invites Joe Lacob to sit with him behind the Dodgers’ dugout, Lacob HAS to decline, doesn’t he? This is Lacob we’re talking about, though. He’s not exactly known for reading the room all that well.