June 2005

Dugout Delegate

When Martha Miller, who called me on behalf of the preisdent, asked me to represent President Bush at the World Expo 2005, I was so excited for another opportunity to do something for my country, and the president.  People often ask me of my best moment in baseball, and I immediately talk about the 2000 Olympic Games when I managed the baseball team to its first-ever gold medal.  I say that because I did something great for my country.  So naturally, being a Presidential Delegate at the World Expo gave me the same opportunity, and patriotic fervor.  Olympics_10

120 countries were present at the expo, which lasts for 185 days.  Each country gets their own National Day, which features their exhibit at their respective pavilion.  Our delegation had a chance to see many of the exhibits, which was educational, and inspiring. 

The U.S. exhibit is named, ?The Franklin Spirit,? after inventor, statesman and founding father, Benjamin Franklin.  To see his many inventions and discoveries, and how they continue to play an important role in

America today is incredible.  I wish every American youngster gets the opportunity to see the exhibit, study Franklin?s life and use his wisdom to improve our society. 

Benjamin Franklin?s spirit, devotion and knowledge are still with us today.  He was the embodiment of the American spirit; progressive, thoughtful, courageous and bold. 

Ben_franklin

Our delegation was able to communicate with many other delegations and relate that America continues to stand for freedom, and how we continue to bring democracy to those in need.  I was so proud to see hundreds of thousands of people visit our pavilion and absorb the exhibit and all it represents. 

It made me proud; it made me proud to be an American.

The Honorable Margaret Spellings, Secretary of Education, was the head of our delegation.  She did a tremendous job inspiring people.  To see how she touched people was inspirational.  Her speeches were intelligent, and her delivery, precise.  She is outstanding!  Also included in our delegation was the Honorable Tom Schieffer, U.S. Ambassador to Japan, The Honorable Lisa Gable, Commissioner General of the U.S. Exhibition, Gary Nakamoto, CEO of Base Technologies, Jeff Eubank of the U.S. Department of State and Christian Vanderbrouk, Protocol Officer for the U.S. Department of State.  All of them gave tirelessly of their spirit representing our country.

Next time you go to a ballpark, as you stand to honor our country with the singing of our National Anthem, remember what a privilege it is to live in the greatest country in the world.  Remember what it means to be American, and how you can help your fellow American prosper, succeed and be as happy as they can living in the land of the free.

Cesar Izturis

In 1974, my first year on Walter Alston’s coaching staff, Dodger fans amazed me as they wrote-in Steve Garvey to the All-Star Game.  I will never forget how touched Steve was by the support he received.  He was tremendously honored, and equally deserving.

This year, we as Dodger fans have a duty to vote Cesar Izturis into this year?s All-Star Game.  He is, without a doubt, the best shortstop in the National League.  In fact, I would have to go back to Pee Wee Reese to find a better defensive shortstop in the history of our franchise to compare to Izturis. 

Cesar is like a vacuum.  His range is outstanding, and he makes amazing plays.  If something is hit his way, you can rest assured he will make the play.  His hands are soft and his feet are quick.  He definitely gets my vote.

The All-Star Game is our way of giving back to the fans.  It is our way of thanking the fans for all the support they give to baseball.  The starters for each team are picked by the fans, and rightfully so.  However, when voting, remember Cesar Izturis has not gotten the recognition he so richly deserves.

Not only is Cesar a talented, special ballplayer, he is an outstanding young man who wears the Dodger uniform with dignity and character.  He is humble and hard working; he shows up to the ballpark everyday with the attitude of performing better than he did the day before. 

Cesar is like a breath of fresh air.  He plays baseball like my wife shops?all day long.

The Dodgers have not had a starter in the Mid Summer Classic since Mike Piazza in 1997.  We have an opportunity to change that with Cesar Izturis.  Since last week he has moved from sixth place in voting for shortstops to fourth by receiving 98,000 votes.  Let?s keep up the good work, and continue to vote for Cesar until he is the starter.  He only trails Nomar Garciaparra, who is in first place despite only playing in 14 game this season, by 52,209 votes.

Through mlb.com, you can vote on-line 25 times per email address with which you register.  So thanks for reading my blog, now start voting for Cesar and all your favorite Dodgers until we have a starter. 

Thank you.

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