He's counting on a blend of youth and experience.Dec. 6, 2006, provided a perfect example, as the Dodgers signed veteran catcher Mike Lieberthal, who spent 12 seasons with Philadelphia, two as an All-Star.
Martin laughed as he said that, and Lieberthal can relate to the self-effacing humor. If only it were that easy -- especially when it comes to calling a game behind the plate. Not to put a damper on Martin's comfort zone or anything but ..."He's only been around the league once," Lieberthal said.
Little ball: Manager Grady Little told reporters before the game he was OK with a six-week Spring Training schedule.
"I guess if they shortened it to five weeks, there'd be people who'd want to change it to four.
Little said Rafael Furcal's status still was iffy, as the shortstop's sprained ankle might keep him sidelined for the first week of the season.
The manager likes what he's heard and seen of newly acquired outfielder Brady Clark.
"He's a player who gives you everything he's got on the field, and his work habits are second to none."
As for new Dodgers center fielder Juan Pierre, Little said that when it comes to work habits, Pierre is in a class by himself.
"He comes to the clubhouse earlier than some of the coaches sometime -- and that's too early."
Little said Nomar Garciaparra would join the club Friday after spending the day with his wife, Mia Hamm, and their newborn twin daughters.Dodgers feel lucky: The Dodgers and the California Lottery this week unveiled the newest game in town: a customized Scratchers game under the Dodgers logo, offering fans the opportunity to win cash prizes up to $10,000, as well as an array of prizes that include once-in-a-lifetime experiences such as a night in a luxury suite, dinner and pregame batting practice, a weekend road trip with the team and throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Dodger Stadium. The program, which also features the other four California Major League teams, debuted on Tuesday night and will run throughout the season, said lottery spokesman Rob McAndrews. "It's a great opportunity for schools [chief beneficiaries of lottery proceeds] and great branding for the Dodgers," said Marty Greenspun, the club's executive vice president and chief operating officer.
Next up: The Freeway Series rolls on, as Friday night's matchup at Dodger Stadium features a battle of right-handers, Ervin Santana of the Angels and Jason Schmidt -- the latter's first home appearance in a Dodgers uniform. First pitch is set for 7:40 p.m. PT.
Ted Brock is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less