Anyone who has been to Dodger Stadium in recent years during one of their sell-outs or near sell-outs (like just about every bobble head night) pretty much knows that it is a complete waste of time to even try to get a cell phone or 3G/4G wireless signal while sitting just about anywhere in the stadium. And even if you were fortunate enough to get a signal, you probably could have walked to wherever you were sending your message to faster than it would get there over your smartphone. Yes, wireless service at Dodger Stadium is that bad.
Enter Guggenheim Baseball Management group.
In addition to spending $2.15 billion to purchase the Dodgers last May and then another half billion to acquire what can only be described as an All-Star team, Mark Walter and company are spending yet another undisclosed millions to upgrade the 51-year-old historic ballpark to bring it into the 21st century.
In addition to the obvious (and very extensive) construction going on at Dodger Stadium right now, there is something that may not be quite as obvious to the casual observer – a brand new cell tower has been installed near the flag poles in center field; not obvious only because we are so accustomed to seeing them just about everywhere we go these days – unless, of course, they are disguised as incredibly fake looking pine trees or palm tress, which makes them blatantly obvious.
Although there has been no official press release from the Dodgers front office (not yet, at least) as to exactly what modifications are being made at Dodger Stadium, it has been well documented in nearly every southern California newspaper and reported on nearly every Dodgers-related blog site that historic Dodger Stadium is going through the first of what Dodgers president and CEO Stan Kasten referred to (unofficially) as “several phases” of renovating the iconic ballpark in the next three to five years.
“I guess it’s kind of obvious what some of our plans include,” said Kasten at Tuesday’s Zack Greinke press conference. ” You can see that we are completely renovating both clubhouses, enlarging the eating areas and indoor batting cage. We’re also adding a visitor’s batting cage so that visiting teams will no longer have to walk through the Dodgers clubhouse to get to the batting cage. We’re also adding two brand new scoreboards and several other improvements that I can’t really talk about right now, but you’ll be hearing about them real soon, I promise,” he added.
Kasten guaranteed that phase one of the construction at Dodger Stadium will be completely finished in time for Opening Day against the hated Giants on April 1, 2013.
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In other Dodger news…
- As you all know by now, Albuquerque Isotopes outfielder/first baseman Scott Van Slyke was designated for assignment on Tuesday to make room on the 40-man roster for journeyman utility player Skip Schumaker. The Dodgers acquired ‘Schu’ in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals for minor league shortstop Jake Lemmerman. SVS was a huge fan-favorite in Albuquerque, especially for our good friend Evan Chavez of I Bleed Dodger Blue Too. Baseball is a strange business and when that Big League call comes, there is absolutely zero margin for error. Although SVS had a game-winning home run during his brief M*A*S*H unit appearance with the Dodgers this past season, it was his weak .167 (9 for 54) average that eventually sent him back to Albuquerque. To make matters worse, when you’ve got guys like Yasiel Puig and Joc Pederson breathing down your neck for very few Big League jobs, you better pull off a ‘Luis Cruz-type’ move when your time comes – and Van Slyke did not. The good news for SVS is that it is unlikely that any other team will claim him off waivers and he will probably return to Albuquerque – but not on the coveted 40-man roster. Give Evan C’s post a look.
- Another Evan – Evan Bladh of Opinion of Kingman’s Performance has an interesting piece about an interesting former Dodger – Gary Sheffield. It seems that ‘Shef’ wants to try his hand at being an agent. As Evan notes in his post and with which I concur, I’m not all that convinced that players are going to be beating down Shef’s door to represent them – but hey, I could be wrong about this. Check out what Evan B has to say over on OKP, as well.
- Eric Stephen over at True Blue LA has yet another excellent article going even deeper into the incredible mind of Zack Greinke about his pitching style and how he plans to approach hitters in 2013. Greinke also recaps his outstanding 2009 Cy Young Award winning season and shares his thoughts on batting (which was my question at Tuesday’s press conference). If True Blue LA isn’t on your daily read list, it should be. You won’t find a more knowledgeable baseball writer (print or blog) than Eric Stephen.